Saturday, March 31, 2007

30 Deeds for 30 Days

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I will be turning 30 on April 20th and I decided that this year I would like to do something special to celebrate. I've come up with something that I think will be a lot of fun. It's called 30 Deeds for 30 Days.

The idea behind 30/30 is that for every day in April you do one small thing (or big thing) to make a difference in your world. A couple of ideas for things that you could do are:

  • Donate some time to a local charity.
  • Help an elderly neighbor with some yardwork.
  • If you go out to eat and your waitress is good, make a point to mention to the manager how good her service was (and leave a good tip).
  • Pick up a couple of extra things at the grocery store and drop them off at a food shelf.
  • Give a genuine compliment to someone you don't really get along with.
  • Drop a couple of coins in a meter that's about to expire.

The point of this is no good deed is too small. 30 small deeds can add up to a lot of positive change in your world. The more people that we can get involved with this, the better. There are three things that you can do to get involved.

  1. Post the 30 Deeds for 30 Days banner on your own blog. The more people that see and click it, the bigger the change that we can make!
  2. Post about what you've done in your blog. It's a good way to give people ideas of what they can do. Don't worry if you're not an every day type of blogger. Just talk about what you've done when you do blog. Remember, this is for fun!
  3. Every day I'll post about what I've done. Leave a comment letting other people know what your deed was. This is another good way to give people ideas for what deed to do. It's also a good way to get a little traffic at you're site (if you're into that kind of thing).

Have fun with this! No deed is too big or two small. Every deed that you do will help to make a difference in your world. No go out there and spread the word and do some good!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Boobs, glorious boobs

I think that there are very few things in this world more lovely and wonderful to look at than a baby who's happily nursing. I just think it's a really nice thing to see. Of course not everyone feels that way.

Before I had Elle I really didn't know there was such a big mommy war going on between women who nurse and women who don't. I just figured everyone fed their babies the best they could and didn't really care all that much what everyone else did. And then I became a breastfeeder and a mommyblogger and I saw, holy crap, this is serious stuff here. And then I picked a side.

I won't be dainty about this. After struggling with nursing for the first few months (and many, many, many times of nearly giving up) and then slowly growing to love it I know what I feel is right. I don't think there is any really valid reason for not nursing if you are able to. Except in cases where a) the mother physicaly unable to b) the baby is unable to c) there is no mother in the picture I just think that babies should be nursed. It's better for the mother, it's better for the baby, it's better for the enviroment, it's better for countless reasons.

I have heard (or read) many mothers who formula feed say that they've been given a hard time by hard-core breastfeeding advocates. That's unfortunate. While I think that breastfeeding is best I would never come down a woman for choosing to bottle feed. That doesn't help anyone. In fact, the point of this post is to celebrate the beauty and joy of nursing, not to insult anyone who is unable to (or chooses not to) nurse.

Here's a funny thing about that though. Because Joseph was adopted he was 100% bottle fed. When he was a baby I fed him countless bottles in public places. I never once got a dirty look or a snide remark. Now I'm not saying that no woman ever, anywhere has ever been berated for bottle feeding but do you know when it was that I got looks and remarks? That's right, when I was nursing.

When Elle was very young I was pretty uptight about nursing in public. I sometimes didn't want toleave the house because I was worried that when we got to where we were going I wouldn't be able to find a spot to nurse. If I had to nurse Elle when we were out somewhere I would try to do it as covered up and as hidden as possbile. Thankfully Disney World changed all that. Nothing gets a person used to nursing in public like trying to quiet a fussy baby on while on a ride at Disney World. By the time Elle was getting ready to wean I didn't care who was around when I nursed. If wanted to nurse I popped out a boob right then and there. I didn't care where I was or who saw.

The more free I became about public nursing though the more I noticed that other people seemed to be uncomfortable with it. And I was discreet! It's not like I just sat there with my boob hanging out or anything. I would leave myself mostly covered by my shirt and then Elle would pretty much cover up the rest. But I got a lot of open mouthed stares, several dirty looks and a couple of not so nice comments.

Why is that do you suppose? I think I know partof the reason. We're a forumla feeding culture. I was looking at baby shower invitations recently and almost all of them had pictures of bottles on them. We see images of babies with bottles all over the place. Think hard though. When was the last time you saw an image of a nursing baby? You never see that. The last time I remember seeing that was on the cover of a parenting magazie and there was a huge outcry over that. People wrote in to the magazine saying they didn't want their husbands or children to see the image of a nursing mother so they tore off the cover of the magazine and threw it away. Think I'm kidding? I wish I was. Some stores refused to carry the issue and others carried it but covered the magazines up so that no one could see the picture. All that fuss over a little boob.

And that brings me to the point of this long and rambling entry. We don't get to see enough women nursing their babies. We need to see this more often so that as a society we can become more comfotable with the idea of breasts being more than just something to grace the pages of Playboy. Breasts are beautiful on their own but they're even more beautiful when they've got a content baby attached to them. I want to applaud the women who have recognized that!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Real Moms

I've been tagged by Melody at Slurping Life with the Real Moms meme that I've seen going around lately. I was excited about this one because I had a lot of thoughts on what real moms do and what makes a real mom. So here are my thoughts:

Real moms will scoop a toddler off the floor and sniff their butt on purpose! They will wipe their babies nose with their own hands without missing a beat. They'll use their own spit to clean another person's face.

Real moms will do everything right and still worry that they haven't done enough.

Real moms will take you down if you hurt one of their babies. Real moms have even been known to "accidently" trip a big kid who was being mean to all the little kids on the playground.

Real moms will sometimes get really, really mad when someone almost causes them to get into a car accident and they'll yell out the window "My kids are in this car ASSHOLE!"

Real moms lie to their kids. "Uh, no honey. I said 'my kids are in this car .... glass ... pole.'"

Real moms sometimes cry just because they love their kids so much that it hurts.

Real moms sometimes don't know what to do other than throw their hands up and laugh.

Real moms make the hard choices.

Real moms say "No honey, you're sleeping in your own bed tonight" and then, at 2:00 in the morning when they find a little warm body next to them the smile and snuggle up close.

Real moms think their car looks nicer with stickers stuck all over the inside of it.

Real moms stop for ice cream.

If you've read this and you have some thoughts on real moms then you're tagged. Real moms do memes.

A timeline

Ok, minor surrogacy timeline update! The egg donor is going to have her medical testing done on April 6th. The results of that usually take about 2 weeks. After all that is done I will finally be put on medication to get my cycle synched up with the donor. Knowing how this has all gone though I'm sure that a dozen different delays will pop up before anything happens.

If all goes well with this surrogacy and I chose to do it again, chances are it will not go the way this one has. It's pretty rare for IPs to chose a surrogate without having chose a donor and it's virtually unheard of for IPs to take this long to chose a donor. Most of the time surrogates are rushed along from one step to the next because they are the final piece of the puzzle. It's been a little stessful for me to have been the first piece in place. I feel like I've been in a holding pattern just waiting and waiting and waiting for something to happen. I don't have any control over how this goes so I pretty much just have to grin and bear it.

So for now, I'm just going to think positive thoughts and hope that everything goes as it should for the next few weeks. I'll keep you updated! (Of course.)

Not much to say

I don't really huve much to say lately. Things have just been kinda chugging along and not being very interesting.

Still no news on a timeline for the egg donor. I guess I could call my caseworker and ask about it but she probably already thinks I'm a nag. I'll wait till tomorrow to call her.

I had mentioned a little while back that I was going to try to get Joseph seen by a moblie assesment unit so that we could get a diagnosis for him. Looks like that's a no go for now. He's having a ton of stuff done through school right now so that we can write our his IEP for next year and there has to be at least 6 months between a lot of the tests he would have done in order for them to be considered valid. I don't know exactly why it works that way but I do know that they won't have him go through all the assements now since he just did all the stuff through school. Whatever. We've gone this long without a "label" for Joseph, 6 more months won't matter.

I've been "tagged" again for another meme, this one is about "real moms". I have to give this one more thought than the last one. I'll be back.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What's the internet?

I read way too many blogs. I just added a bunch recently too. I'm out of control! I need to figure out what in the hell an RSS feed is so that I don't have to go clicking all over the place to see if anyone has updated or not. How do those things work? Anyone?

Oh crap, I just realized there are two more people I forgot to add to my list. In the meantime, I would not have understood this joke last year and I have some awesome/horrible people to thank/strangle for that.

And this is hilarious!

Nice ads, whore

So whatdo you think about these Pay Per Post ads? And no, this is not a sponsored post, it's just me talking about them. See, I guess in the blogging world PPP are kind of looked down on. People come here for stories about baby poop and when you get here and find me babbling on about light fixtures or dating sites then you're probably confused and angry and scared. You want baby poop dammit!

So why do I do these ads if they're such an eyesore? It's simple really. We're a four person family surviving on a single income. We've made it work for the most part but we do have to skimp on a lot of the exras. So when I'm able to bring in $5 here and $6 there through things like this then I have to kind of jump on that. It helps us out a little bit in the places where our budget is stretched thin.

I find these PPP things to require very little effort for the payoff. I'm able to make a lot more money on ebay (that's my real money maker there) but this is quicker and easier. I've dabbled a little bit in survey taking and mystery shopping and I've been paid for both but I thought they were both more trouble than the payoff was worth. This is easy and so I think I want to keep doing it.

I've tired to keep my PPP posts pretty short and somewhat amusing but if you really hate them I'll make them easier for you to skip. I'll have them all in a different font or something from here on out. Maybe italics like the post before this one was? It's not like I have a huge readership but I am curious what people think. Do you mind the posts? Am I selling out what little integrity I had the blogging world? Or is it all good and no one really cares?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

More dating sites!

I know you. I know what you're asking for. More dating sites reviewed! So here's another one for you. is a Christian Dating site that promises to help you meet the Christian man or woman of your dreams. The site has all the standard search features and it lets you know who's online as you search. The problem that I see with the site is that there just aren't a lot of people on it. If, for example, a woman in my town wanted to search for a man between the ages of 18 and 99 she might be a little sad to find that there's only one in a 200 mile radius. And he enjoys quilting. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Anyway, I'm sure this is a fine site and if you're a single person who likes God and doesn't mind dating a quilter, check it out. Tell them I sent you. I'm sure they'll remember me from the stench of sin I carried with me as I browsed through their profiles.

The words and opinions in this blog post are purely my own. This post was sponsored by PayPerPost.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Good news

The egg donor, she is picked! Like for real picked, not kinda sorta maybe tentativly picked. Picked picked. She still have to have her medical screening (and I'm not sure how long that will take to set up) and the results take about 2 weeks but after her results come in I will get started on meds to synch my cycle up with hers. I should know a little better exactly what kind of timeline we're looking at pretty soon.

This is for real now!

My first tag!

I've never been tagged before! I mean, before today. But now I've been tagged by Shannon with this:
"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are presently enjoying. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to."

1. My Girl - Nirvana Unplugged - I just think this is a really cool song. The Leadbelly version is really good too but this is the one I like a little better.
2. Jackson - Johnny Cash & June Carter - I love this song. Joseph likes it too so we sing it together in the car.
3. Down to the River to Pray - Oh Bother Where Art Thou Soundtrack - I ignore the religious aspects of this song because it's just so pretty. It's a specail treat when I can get Joseph to sing this one with me because he really has the sweetest little voice ever.
4. Crush - Mandy Moore - Shut up, I just like it ok?
5. I Will Survive - Gloria Gayner - Another one that we listen to a lot because Joseph likes it.
6. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash - Who doesn't love this song?
7. Problem Girl - Rob Thomas - I've talked about this before. It's my theme song!

So I tag Ben (who won't do this) Chel Coo shyestviolet Stacey (who I know for sure will do this) Kel Bell and Jacob (who would shock me right to death if he did this).

I know why you come to this blog. It's for reviews of dating sites. And I know that right now you're saying "Jen, you're the whitest person that has ever lived on the face of the earth. Where do I, a single black person, go to find love on the net?" Luckily for you and your oddly specific question I have just the place for you! is a dating site with (according to them) hundreds of new members a day.

I put aside my fears that my overpowering whiteness would somehow be detected through my computer screen and browsed around the site a bit. It seems pretty easy to use and has all the typical dating site features like a member search and a list of users that are currently online. The only thing I noticed that seemed kind of strange about the site was that as I was checking it out three of the people featured on the homepage were not black. That seemed strange for a site devoted to "Black Dating".

But anyway, check it out and tell them that I sent you. I'm sure they'll remember me from the gleaming whire glow I gave off as I visited the site.

The words and opinions in this blog post are purely my own. This post was sponsored by PayPerPost.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pretty in pink

I was folding laundry and Elle took a shirt out of the basket and then put it on all by herself. I don't even care that the house looks like a tornado ran through it, I just had to share this. Ignore my big pile o' ebay crap on the table and focus on the cotton candy colored blob of adorable instead.

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos


Because I can't give her a hug for real.....

Hugs are good medicine. Do you know someone who could use a hug today?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Good health is killing me

By now you already know that I've managed to nearly kill myself (several times) with my neti pot. Everyone laughs at me about that and says "Why don't you just take drugs?" But I stuck with it, certain that the neti pot was the way to good health. And I still think it might be. And as soon as I am able to use it without nearly drowning I will tell you all about it. Oh what a glorious day it will be when I can gloat about how I got water to gush through my sinuses.

But yesterday I discovered a fun, new way to nearly die while trying to get healthy. (And no, I didn't go jogging because people who do that just aren't right in the head.*) I took an all natural fiber capsule that I got a free sample of at the natural foods co-op.** I figured that I could use a little extra fiber in my diet. I mean, I'm pushing 30 and I think I remember reading that as you get older it gets harder to "go". Or maybe I just made that I because I really wanted to use that free sample. ***

So I take the pill with a swig of water. I feel divine. Instantly my bowels feel clean and healthy and regular. I am the earth and the earth is me and we are one and in tune. Oh no, wait. That's what happened when I dropped acid.

Ok, so I take the pill with a swig of water. Everything is fine for a few minutes. Then I slowly start to notice that it feels like there's something stuck in my throat. I drink some more water and the feeling goes away but then it keeps coming back. I go to lay Elle down for a nap and as I'm doing that I feel like my throat is closing up. By the time I lay her down I feel like I can hardly swallow. Now I know I'm an over-reactor and I'm trying to not let myself think about how I'm probably the first person in the world with an allergy to all natural fiber pills and now I'm going to die from a closed up throat and my children will be left without a mother and Jesse will have to take over all my work around the house and I just don't know if he can handle that and it will all be because I was selfish and wanted to be regular.

I fish the sample package out of the trash and written in big bold letters (in two seperate places) it tells you to take the pills with 8 ounces of water to avoid having the pills swell up in your throat and become a choking hazard. Killer fiber pills!

I hurridly drink 2 bottles of water and about halfway through the second one I no longer feel like I'm going to die. That's a good thing because death by fiber is even worse than death by neti pot. Good health is going to kill me yet.

*I love you Shannon! And Deels who I guess got her started on all that jogging stuff.

**It was recently pointed out to me that using a neti pot and shopping at the natural foods co-op is the start on a slipperly slope towards using natural crystals instead of deodorant and wearing organic, washable maxi-pads. I pointed out that when I go to the natural foods co-op and ask for something I almost always pronounce it wrong and then feel stupid so my shame alone will keep me from becoming a total crunchy granola earth mother. And it will be a cold day in hell the day I wash and re-wear a maxi pad.

***I am a sucker for a free sample. I think I must have lived a past life during the Depression because I can't throw that kind of thing away. If I get a free sample I will use it no matter what. I don't have a cat but if you give me a free sample of kitty litter I'm going to hang onto that sonofabitch untill I've figured out a way to use it.

Pay Per Post

If you've been reading my blog for a little while you've probably seen me do a few of those Pay Per Post posts where I talk about random things like dating sites or sites that sell big ass medalions. So you're no dummy, you probably already figured out that I do those for a reason. And you probably already figured out the reason. That's right, I do it all for the nookie.

Oh, wait. That's not right. I meant to say that I do them for the wildly easy money that I can earn. It's called blog marketing and there's some pretty easy money to be made in it. For 5-10 minutes of "work" I can earn between $5 and $10 a post. That may not sound like that much to you corprate types (note to self- find out if any corporate types read this blog) but to a SAHM who's looking for a little extra ebay money, it's pretty great.

Here's the best thing about Pay Per Post: Anyone can do it. You don't have to have 8 billion readers, you don't have to be especially witty (case in point, me) you don't have to do a certain amount, you just do it when an opportunity looks interesting to you. If you blog and you don't mind interrupting the flow of your blog once in a while to talk about something random (luckily my blog has no flow anyway) then you really should check out Pay Per Post. I've made nearly $60 not really doing much at all and if you really put some effort into it you could make a lot more.

If you do decide to give Pay Per Post a try please sign up via the link in my sidebar on the left there. (I get paid for that too.) Come on, what else were you going to do today?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hot or Not revisited

You know what I haven't done in a long time? Mocked people for being so needy and insecure that they posted pictures of themselves on Hot or Not. Now some of these pics may be repeats but if they are then I forgot that I used them already so I'm going to use them again. Deal with it won't you?

Hey, if anyone finds this guys pelvis laying around somewhere, can you send it back to him?

The best thing about this girl is that she listed her interests as including "God, bible study, christianity and moral behavior". I kid you not.

Is it just me or does it look like she's about to throw up? Bulimia is hot!

It's too bad he wasn't able to take this picture before his landlord installed those new low-flow shower heads.

Holy cow! How big are those brackets they used to hang up that tiny little shelf? And it's hung on the dirtiest wall I have ever seen in my life. Grime is not hot.

Oh my god. What an asshole. I hate this guy so much. I've never even met him and I hate him. I feel dirty.

Well, that's all for now. I need to go lay down for a while. And I'll be doing it very hotly I can assure you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What's new?

What's new? In Jesse news, men are so sensitive. Can you believe that Jesse actually got mad at me when I said his new haircut made him look like a Mighty Bean? What's up with that?

In Joseph news, his IEP case manager continues to be incredible. She's a big part of why I'm thinking I'll keep him at his current school next year. I just found out today that the district is cutting 17 special ed staff jobs and her postion is one that might be cut. Frustrating! The good news is that she's been such a huge part of Joseph's growth this school year. We're really lucky that he's got such great people on his team. So keep you fingers crossed that she'll still be there next year.

In Elle news, she has learned to say "applesauce" and it's cute as can be. We probably ask her to say it about 20 times a day. It's just so funny to hear this big word come out of a such a tiny little person.

In me news, the surrogacy continues to move forward. I got my first monthly allowance payment today. That was kinda cool to get. I also got my life insurance policy in the mail on Saturday so that's another thing that's in place. And, the biggest news of all, by the end of today (I hope, I hope, I hope) I should be getting a call for my case manager about the guys picking an egg donor. Won't be long now and I'll be shooting myself up with massive amounts of hormomes! And then the real starts.

So, what's new with you?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Oh fine!

Because every other person in the entire world is doing one!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jen is

I'm stealing this idea from Ben. Let's see what google has to say about me.

1. Jen is an exceptional person who is to be worshipped and adored at all times.
2. Jen is a compassionate, loving, fun and caring person.
3. Jen Is The New Blog.
4. Jen is yummy!
5. Jen is an inspiring, creative survivor.
6. Jen Is A Player Hater.
7. Jen is staying in a peaceful hotel with gorgeous gardens and a view of the volcano.
8. Jen is climbing out a tunnel under a tree.
9. Jen is a choreographer in demand for her expertise in Lindy Hop
10. Jen is to good for Bard!
11. Jen is a high-level Java™ classworking toolkit that harnesses the power and performance of ASM in a convenient, easy to work with package.
12. Jen Is Bringin' The Drugs.
13. Jen is a Fine Example of What a Plumbette Should Be!
14. Jen is a sarcastic remarking, bookloving, entertainment seaking, people loving, life challenging, question asking, fun loving, music inspiring kinda girl.
15. Jen is looking for her contact.
16. Jen is not pretentious enough to think she is always right, but hates being overlooked.
17. Jen is a multi-multi tasker, as evidenced by names that can be used to describe her.
18. Jen is going to be seen as the poster child for bias against Google perhaps forever heretofore and any sort of negative commentary about them is going to be seen as further evidence of disrespect.
19. Jen is wonderful and I will certainly be first in line to see any future movies with her.
20. jen is a make out slut.

Damn, I'm awesome.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bad news, good news

The bad news? Joseph climbed into my bed last night at about 2:00 and threw up.

The good news? He threw up all over Jesse's pillows and not mine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

A twofer!

This is what I get when I say "Joseph, look right at me when I take a picture of you!"

Ignore the messy face. Sometimes it just takes my breath away to look at her.

Ok, so it wasn't wordless. Let's just call it Not Many Words Wednesday.

Not much new

There's not really much going on around here these days. The most exciting thing I can think of to tell you is that I had a dream last night that I went fishing with Simon from American Idol. He had to bait my hook for me because I didn't know how to do it. Then later we ate the fish we caught and he let me be a guest judge on American Idol. That's pretty ironic since in real life last night I was just laughed at for not knowing how American Idol worked. Anyway, that's the most interesting thing I could think of to tell you so if you're going to read further you might want to bring along something to entertain yourself.

I managed to somehow miss an appointment with Joseph's pychatrist last week. Those appointments are impossible to get too. I was just kicking myself. I'll make another one today while we're there for speech and OT but who knows how long it will be before I can get him in. Augh, not my best mom moment.

I also managed to miss a call from the surrogacy agency yetsterday. I'm not sure how that happened since I watch my cell like a hawk and I've got my ring tone tunred up to "earsplitting". Maybe this is the big call? Probably not. This wait is really starting to drag on. Sigh.

I accidently took some nighttime cold medicine this morning. That's why I'm not more interesting today. That's also why this lame entry took me nearly half an hour to type. But that's not your fault so I'll let you go now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A big secret

Do you like jewelry? I do! Unfortunatly I don't have enough money to get the kind of jewelry that I love. Ifyou're like me you may want to head over here: Ashley's Big Secret- Faux Jewelry, Fab Prices and check out some of the really cute stuff they have for sale. If you're looking for something interesting and unique you'll be sure to find it at Ashley's. They've got all kinds of stuff; pins, purses, charm bracelets, necklaces and more. You can search the site by catagory or by price so it's really easy to find something that's in your budget. Give it a try!

The words and opinions in this blog post are purely my own. This post was sponsored by PayPerPost.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Homeschooling, Unschooling and other crazy things people do

As we get closer to the time when Joseph will enter 1st Grade (or real school as I think of it) I'm starting to wonder if the school he's in now is really the right place for him. His teacher this year is great and so is his IEP case manager. What if that's not the case next year? What if he has another great teacher but she's just too busy and overwhelmed to give him the attention he needs on a daily basis? What if she's terrible and doesn't know how to deal with his behavior? So I've been thinking about some other options.

I don't think I could do this. I dont' have the skills needed to make Joseph sit down and learn. There are days when I think I don't even have the skills to deal with him just during regular day to day stuff. (Note to self - does this mean that I'm used school as a way to get Joseph out of the house and out of my hair for a few hours a day? Probably. I can live with that.)

I know that homeschooling has it advantages but one thing it's lacking is the social aspect. Joseph is naturally brilliant and could learn academic stuff in any enviroment. One thing he gets at school that he can't get at home is the scoial stuff, the give and take of working with other kids, dealing with a group, learning social norms. He needs to see other kids modeling those behaviors for him and he needs to see it every day. I suppose in theory I could just make sure that he's involved with lots of activites with other kids but I just don't feel like it's the same. I think homeschooling is out. (Sorry Mom.)

Unschooling is out for the same reasons as homeschooling and for a few other reasons too. From what I gather unschooling is based on the idea that kids have a natural desire to learn and instead of using a set lesson plan you seize on that natural desire to learn and build from there. I suppose that works up to a point. If you take your child for a walk and they wonder why leaves are green you could take opportunity to explain to them the science behind. If you take your child to the zoo and they ask why zebra has stripes you could use that to open up a discussion about natural selection and animal behavior and the food chain.

But that only works up to a point. Your kid is never going to come to you and say "Gee mommy, what's algebra?". Not that that seems to matter in unschooling though. From what I've learned through reading some blogs of unschoolers most days seem to consist of the following: 5% of your day is spent making wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free cookies with carob chips. Use this as a chance to expain fractions as you show how 4 1/4 cups = 1 cup. Explain to your child that you will end up with cookies that taste 1/10 as good as regular cookies. 95% of your day is spent laying in your hemp hammock, smelling like patchoilli and feeling superior, certain that you are raising the most perfect children ever.

(If I seem a little bitter about this you can thank the lady who sent me the email suggesting that Joseph doesn't really have Aspergers and if I just unschooled him he would turn out all right.)

Charter school
This is a real possibility. There is one charter school in our town and I was pretty impressed with it. I was not as impressed with the way they made us think Joseph would get into it's kindergarten when we really had no shot. There are a lot of things I like about this school though so I'm wondering if it might be worth looking into for 1st grade.

I like the student to teacher ratio that the school has and the emphasis that they place on children being well rounded. I like that they have year round school because I think Joseph would really benefit from that. This school has a lot going for it.

The big problem with it that I can see is that right now the school only goes up to 5th grade. Do I really want to have him go to this school for 5 years and then yank him out and put him in a new school with all new people right before junior high? That seems kind of cruel. And then there's the issue of if we can even get him into the school. There's a lot to think about here.

Private school
I think this option is out. I appreciate a lot of things that a private school can offer but the only private schools in our area are affiliated with churches. This is not so great for us. I don't want Joseph learning religion in school. I have a real problem with that. I don't think Joseph would like it much either. (The other day he asked me a question about something to do with religion and I explained it to him the best and most unbiased way I could. After thinking about what I said for a minute he said "That sounds false to me.") I don't think private school is an option right now.

Public school
This is where we're at right now. I think this is where we might stay but I do have some concerns about it. I worry about class sizes and the staffs ability to address Joseph's special needs. To be fair I'm not sure if I feel like anyone can deal with Joseph the way he needs and that due in part to me not being sure exactly what it is he needs.

Joseph's current school is pretty good and it does have a lot going for it. It's a newer building so the facilaties are pretty state-of-the-art. Everyone we've dealt with on the staff seems great and really seems to care about kids. So far I feel like all of Joseph's needs have been met and hope that won't change.

So what do you think? Do I need to adopt a "if it's don't broke don't fix it" way of looking at all this? Is public school the best choice for Joseph? Or do I need to look further into other options? I'm open to opinions and ideas here (but if you write me an email telling me that public school is making my kids autistic I'm going to have to mock you) because at this point I'm feeling a little unsure about what's right. So whatta ya thing?

Friday, March 09, 2007

My new look

Yippee! Look how pretty my blog is now. I can't even explain to you how much I love it. A million, billion thank yous to Sticky for being the most awesome person ever and working on this late into the night. I love it so much, I just can't even tell you. Eeeee!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Single moms

I've got a review of another dating site for you. This one is just for single moms and dads. It's called (as you might guess)

I checked the site out and it seems really easy to use and navigate. You can do a general search based on who's in your local area or a more specific search based on things like interests, body type, religion, marital status and more. You can join the site for free but you don't even have to be a member to search through pictures.

Just by browsing around the site it seems like the women outnumber the men aby about 10 to 1. So if you're single (or married I guess) and looking to meet someone (with kids) then give a try. I won't cost you anything just to look and you never know who you might find!

The words and opinions in this blog post are purely my own. This post was sponsored by PayPerPost.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hips Don't Lie

It should really be against the law for kids to be this cute. In case you can't tell they're dancing to Hips Don't Lie by Shakira. Ignore that dork laughing in the background. She has a cold.

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

I just found out that the reason Joseph was shaking his elbows around like that was because got the words "hips" and "elbows" confused. As people sometimes do. I love how Elle wanders off at the end because she was distracted by something she found on the floor. Probably something shiny.

Just Say Hi

Do your interests include long walks on the beach, sitting by a fire, home cooked meals and saving money? If you're a thrifty single person you might want to check out is a 100% free dating service.

How do they do it when other sites charge so much? I don't know. And I don't want to spend too much time checking it out in case Jesse looks at my web history and then wonders why I was checking out a dating site. But if you're single and looking for love (and cheap - not that there's anything wrong with that!) then check out JustSayHi.

Who knows, maybe Mr Right is there waiting for you. And since he saved so much on the dating service he should be able to afford a nice dinner for you.

The words and opinions in this blog post are purely my own. This post was sponsored by PayPerPost.

Tackle It Tuesday

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I'm not feeling well enough to clean this week so Elle is going to help out by using the Swiffer. She just got off her shift at the hospital here. (Note the stethascope around her neck.)

My tackles are mostly going to be things I can do while sitting down.
1. Get some things listed on ebay.
2. Try to visit more blogs from the blog party.
3. Sign and initial all 26 pages of my surrogacy contract (both copies) and get that in the mail.
4. Try to use the neti pot again (read my previous post to see how that's gone in the past).

I'm taking it easy today and trying to get Joseph to do the same since it seems like he has the same cold as I do. We need a vacation someplace warm and sunny! This weather is not good for children and other living things!

Monday, March 05, 2007

The fight of the century

I own a neti pot. I've heard it said that a neti pot is the best way to clean out your sinuses and get you feeling better if you're a little bit stuffy. I have never had much success with my neti pot. Every time I ues it I just end up feeling kind of water logged. I've got a really sutffy nose right now though so I was determined to get that damned neti pot to work for me. I read and re-read the instuctions. I did a dry run through to practice my positioning. I even watched a YouTube video on how to do it. I was prepared. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Fight of the Century!

In this corner, my nose! My right nostril is so clogged that I can't breath through it at all. I can squeeze a little air in through the left side if I really, really try. My nose had been the victor in previous battles, can it hang on to it's title?

And in this corner, the neti pot! This little pot has got a lot of support from it's loyal fans but it's as of yet been unable to prove itself in the ring. Will today be the day that it triumphs over the clogged nose?

I will be playing the part of the neti pot's trainer, manager, roadie and , if need be, groupie. It's my job to prepare the salt water and to position the pot.

Round 1!
I insert the tip of the pot into my right nostril. I tip my head just right, just like the lady on the video. I tilt the pot and ....... nothing. I think the spout must be blocked because I'm not feeling anything at all. The spout is not blocked. I change tactis and switch to the left nostril.

Round 2!
After inserting the tip, tilting my head and opening my mouth I begin to tip the pot. Almost right away I can feel the water in my sinuses. "Hey!" I think "this is working!" But it's not. The water is going in but it's not coming out. I can taste the salt water starting to down the back of my throat. Out comes the pot.

Round 3!
I'm not ready to give up on the left nostril. I gently blow my nose to clear out the gunk and try again. Success! This time a couple of drops drip out of the right side. It seems like I'm pouring a lot in without much coming out but I'm pleased that I'm seeing some results. Could this be the neti pot's big day? Is there a win in it's future?

Round 4!
Back to the right nostril. I'm feeling good. Those 3 or 4 drops coming out last time really boosted my confidence. I prepare myself again and begin to tip the pot. I feel the warm water filling my sinuses and then ..... nothing. The water starts to dribble out of my mouth. In a sudden burst of genius I think that maybe if I close my mouth that will somehow force the water to go out my left nostril. The water starts to fill my mouth but I force myself not to think about how gross it is and to keep my mouth shut. For about 5 seconds I'm feeling really good about this plan. Then I start to hear on odd bubbling sound coming from the neti pot. My nose has realized that at some point I'm going to need to breath and independent of me it has choosen to try to inhale through the neti pot. In a panic I pull the pot out and open my mouth. Salt water is everywhere. It's draining out of both nostrils. It's running in a thick stream out of my mouth. My eyes have tears streaming out of them. My ears feel a little waxy. I don't care about the mess that I've made in the sick and the mirror. I just know that I don't want to be the first person in history to drown while using a neti pot.

The neti pot lays in the bottom of the sink, dazed and confused as the last few drops of water dribble out of it's spout. I'm coughing and hacking and it seems like there's still a waterfall of salt water running down the back of my throat. I decide to take a shower to try to clear things out. I climb in and nearly kill myself as I slip on the baby oil slick left in there after Elle's bath.

After a few moments in the shower realize that in fact I'm not going to die the world's most humilating death. Sure, I feel like I swallowed half the Great Salt Lake and sure, I've had a few vomit burbs (one should not ingest that much salt water unless one is attemping to dislodge one's last four meals) but otherwise I'm ok. I still can't breath through my nose but at least I'm alive. I start to wonder if this is the real draw of the neti pots. People don't like them because they clean out your sinuses, they use them for the near death experiences.

The winner? My nose. It's still clogged with about half a gallon of (now very salty) mucus. To the victor go the spoils I guess. The neti pot is going to take a while off to reflect on this fight. I'm sure it'll be back though once I'm feeling better and have forgotten how it feels to nearly kill yourself with a couple of ounces of water.

For now I'm going to take a decongestant and have a Schwans Orange Push Up. Now who's the real winner here?

What day is it again?

We can't be the only parents in the world who got their kid up, dressed, ready for school and to the school door before they realized that it's spring break right? There has to be at least one other person out there who forgot there was no school this week. Right? Please? Please don't let us be the only people that out of it.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I took the kids sledding today. Ok, so we didn't really do down any hills or anything, I just pulled them around the block. Ok, not both of them. Elle tumbled out of the sled 3 times in the first two minutes and I ended up carrying her the rest of the way. And I think I broke my elbow as I was picking her up the last time because I heard a popping noise as I was lifting her and now I have a funny tingling in my hand. But otherwise we had fun. Ok, so Joseph whined the whole time after I dropped Elle off at home and took him around the block again. And instead of sitting in the sled laughing and smiling he laid down and pouted*. But otherwise it was fun.

The snow we've gotten here lately is crazy! There are parts of our yard where the drifts are so high that they're taller than Elle. There must be something wrong with me as a mother because I was so tempted to drop her into one of the drifts just to see how cute she would look in her little pink snowsuit, all surrounded by snow. Luckily some little part of me told that's not the sort of thing that good mothers do.

*This was mostly an act because by the time we got home he was giggling quietly and smiling behind his hand. He was powerless against my mad sled pulling skills.

Just for fun, here's a picture that made me laugh and laugh when I first saw it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Blog party!

It's time for 5 Minutes for Mom's Blog Party. It's a week long event where you can show off your blog, find new blogs to read, win prizes and have a lot of fun. If you want to get involved just click the link and head on over there to find out how.

If you're here for the party then allow me to introduce myself. (I had hoped to have my super-cute new layout done but for now lets all just be happy that I'm dressed.) My name is Jen and I'm a 29 year old SAHM with a great husband and two fantastic kids. I like watching cheesy reality tv, reading, blogging, talking with friends, playing with my kids, cooking and trying to restore order to my chaotic house. Very soon I will be starting a surrogate pregnancy. I look forward to being pregnant again and this time I won't be the one changing the poopy diapers afterwards! I'm very passionate about breastfeeding, being an at home parent and parenting by choice, not by chance (that means I'm pro-choice, very, very much so.) Check out some of my pet causes.

Let me introduce my kids since they're what I spend the most time talking about! Joseph is 6 and a half. He has a wicked sense of humor and I have filled my blog with stories about the crazy things he does and says. Joseph was adopted but people often tell me how much he looks like me. His adoption via foster care was really a miracle and we feel like we're so lucky to have him as our little boy. He has Asperger Syndrome and although it's occasionaly a struggle for him (and us!) I think it's really made him into the funny, quirky, brilliant boy that he his. Joseph is a really fun person to be around.

Elle (pronounced El-EE and not El) is 16 months old and an absolute joy. She's friendly and smiley and never minds when I take pictures of her and post them on my blog. She looks just like her daddy with her red hair and great big cheeks. Elle's bright and sunny personality hasbeen a real joy to me. She makes me laugh all the time with her silly little ways.

My husband Jesse is a great guy! He does all the snowblowing in the winter and the lawn mowing in the summer. He fills my car up with gas so that I don't have to do it. If I could just get him to help out in the kitchen once in a while he would be the perfect guy. Sometimes I can't belive that we've been married for over 7 years now. Time flies when you're having fun I guess!

So that's my life in a nutshell. If you would like to know more about me please stick around and read some more of my blog. I love getting to know new people and look forward to meeting people at this party. And please, come back in April because I have something big planned that I would love to share with you. In the meantime, happy blogging!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Legal news

Big things are happening on the surrogacy front! I just got my contract yesterday! Whoo-hoo! On Monday I'll speak with the lawyer handling the case and we'll go over the whole thing together. After that I'll sign and return the contracts and that will move us one very giant step forward. It's good to feel like some progress is being made.

On the home front, there is nothing cuter in the whole wide world than when Elle looks at me with her big blue eyes and says "chock-hit?" Anyone want to guess what she's asking for?

Widget crazy

I am a widget addict. A widget is a little, um, thing (yes, that's the technical term) that you can put on your blog or website. An example of a widget is my little Amazon Wishlist over there on my sidebar. (Hint, hint, hint.) Another great widget I've recently discovered is this Widget.

You can use this widget to share pictures, videos, music and more. Here's a simple one I created of some of my forum icons just to give you an example of how it works.

Get your own widget and share anywhere!

The widget is really easy to make. Just browse and upload the files you want to add and the you get the code to add to your site. It's lots of fun and I could see myself sitting in front of my computer adding every icon I have. One note though, this widget is not intended for use with copywritten material, original creations only please!

If you've got a blog give it a try! The words and opinions in this blog post are purely my own. This post was sponsored by PayPerPost.