Friday, June 24, 2011

Enlighten Me

Now that my husband and son are at the pool and I have my daughter successfully hooked on the Elmo Loves You DVD, I can write about my ponderance (is that even a word?) of the  day.  I thought playdates and playgrounds were supposed to be fun.  When I had just one child the playground and playdates were great.  I could talk to the other moms while my child got socialized and tired out for a lengthy nap.  Enter Baby #2 and all that goes straight out the window.  If I am missing something (besides rolling con un nino) or if there is an easier way, please, please fill me in.  My daughter is everywhere. I mean scaling cement walls while teetering on the edge, about to crack open her skull on the macadam below.  Meanwhile, my son is somewhere else, possibly being abducted while I try to carry on the semblance of a conversation.  And I really try to interact with at least one child at a time, but they are obviously into doing different things and one of them doesn't involve sitting still digging quietly in the sand.  On the other hand you obviously feel that you should, and WANT to, interact with the adults that you are meeting there!  Seriously, I don't get it.  So basically in the future, I plan to have zero expectations for adult interaction and have my son tag along with me while we chase E around, or I can find someone to install a padded room and never leave my house.  Sounds like a plan..............

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Kickoff

I couldn't stay away, but tomorrow I will....I just had to share what I accomplished yesterday including the following photo of the two kids together, which is an almost impossibility!

1.  Playdate at Bull Run followed by DQ
2.  Encouraged independent bath, drying and dressing with success (with the 4yr old)
3.  Provided a hot lunch (grilled cheese with Muenster YUM!)
 4.  Made dinner (tuna helper, but it was organic, who knew!?)
 5.  Taught 17 month old how to sign 'more' (if this link does not work, go to to see hundreds of signs in action)

I am happy with those 5 things that we accomplished on our kickoff to summer! So happy my time off started on a positive note.  It's going to be a great summer............

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turn Me Over Please

This is a saying that my mother taught me and I have been using for years.  Every time I get into an emotional slump, I look at the back of my hand and turn it over, as to say, 'it's time.' Time to turn over a new leaf and stop dwelling over things you can not control.  Today marks the beginning of summer vacation and instead of wallowing in negativity, as I have been doing for the past week, I am going to 'live in the now.'  I am going to focus on myself first, taking things slowly, relishing the unstructured time, the time when I don't have to be routine oriented whatsoever.  I can get so carried away with making plans (or thinking about the fact that I feel left out of so many other people's plans, this needs to stop before I get an ulcer) and seeing who I can visit with, and where I can take the kids.  But this summer, I am not going to do that.  We have some family vacations planned and one week of camp and that is all.  I don't feel it's necessary to send my kids off to camps for the entire summer, I want to be with them.
At times I feel like I bend over backwards trying to take advantage of the time I have during the summer to make up for lost time visiting with friends, close and far.  And, I'm not going to lie, a lot of times I don't feel that the efforts are reciprocated.  But I have to say that I do feel lonely at times being far from my childhood friends (and their families) and my own family.  I realize that everyone has there own things going on, and let's me be honest, I have a very hard time handling the fact that it's not all about me.  I am not afraid to admit that, but again, that is part of turning over my new leaf :)
So this summer, I am taking time to appreciate all the wonderful things I can do with my kids and enjoy THEM, because I don't get to during the school year.  Unfortunately, that will take some of my time away from this blog, which I thoroughly enjoy, but I don't want it to become an obligation, because then I will resent it.  I can't stand obligations.  If I have a photo, a story, a joke, a list to share I will, if somewhat use this blog as an online journal and it has been very therapeutic for me.  For years people have advised me to 'journal' and that is just so unappealing to me.  This is has been a modified way for me to accomplish that.
I have also spent a lot of time thinking about our family's eventual (and necessary) relocation and that has kept me from establishing some meaningful relationships here.  I think it's time to do that.  BUT, I am not going to plan it.  I am tired of saying, 'one more year.'  I am going to enjoy the time and all of the opportunities this area has to offer.   
All in all, what I am saying is, I am here and I will be enjoying some most needed time with my family.  If you would like to talk or visit, I will be here on the new side of my leaf :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Throwback Thursday: You Know You Love The 90's If............

Borrowed from
If I haven't mentioned it by now, I heart the 90's.  First and foremost, I love the music. I would say I listen to the 90's station on my Sirius 90% of the time.  I love the clothes, I mean not literally, but I adore looking back at the fashion choices my friends and I made during that decade.  I love the  toys and the movies, in 1990 I was 12, but I grew up with brothers who are 6 and 7 years younger than me, so I was always surrounded my the toys and movies.  I am not even really sure how to sum up my love into one of my top 10 lists.  I think I'll change up the format and go with "You know you love the 90's if...." I am going to try to do 25.  Let's go.

*Please note these are MY favorites, feel free to comment on yours!*
You know you love the 90's if:
1.  You have seen the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie.
2.  You can do a perfect imitation of Joey Lawrence saying "Whoa."
3.  You wore a Hypercolor shirt. **
4.  You wore one strap off of your overalls.**
5.  You know the words to Silk's Freak Me.
6.  You saw all 3 renditions of the Amy Fisher Story made for TV movies (not to forget Alyssa Milano starring at the Long Island Lolita!)
7.  You know who Wayne and Garth are.
8.  You wore/owned a Simpson's T-shirt **
9.  You had more than 5 Beanie Babies.
10.  You have seen every episode of Beverly Hills 90201.
11.  You wore babydoll dresses with bike shorts underneath. **
12.  You made fun of the 'I've fallen and can't get up' commercial.** ok fine......
13.  You had a discman and a hookup for it for your car cassette player.
14.  You wore Adidas Sambas.
15.  You wore white slouchy socks.
16.  A scrunchie (sp?) was permanently attached to your wrist.
17.  You often said "Psych!" at the end of your sentences. **
18.  You wore Dr. Martens.
19.  You wore used Levi's.
20.  You know the choreography to the Electric Slide.
21.  You have Rollerbladed.
22.  You've eaten Berry Bears and/or Shark Bites.
23.  You tried Pepsi Clear. **
24.  You logged hours watching Supermarket Sweep (what the hell is wrong with me?)
25.  You dreamt of being on Star Search (technically this show started in the 80's but ended in 1995).
**Items that I am NOT guilty of.

I could really keep going, but I would be here all night and the pinched nerve in my neck will never be the same.  I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I enjoyed writing it.  TTFN!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Uses for Old Things #6: Ice Cream Scoop

Use an ice cream scoop to dole out dry ingredients. Most standard ice cream scoops double as 1/4-cup measuring devices.  Good to know!

Borrowed from

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Last Day of Students

I say Last Day of Students because I still have to work until next Tuesday, but my students are done today.  This picture pretty much depict how I feel after surviving the more than hellish year.

I designed it on Create Your Own Superhero | Games | which was so much fun.  I did it a while back and now I am thinking my son would love to design his own.  I am so, so, so looking forward to the end of the school year and summer vacation.  So if you are looking for your inner Superhero, check out and let the fun begin.  TTFN!

Monday, June 13, 2011

What occupation did you want as a child?

According to my JCC Nursery School Yearbook, I wanted to be a nurse.   I believe it's dated 1983, but I am way too lazy to go dig it out to find out.  And I am obsessed with the fact that I wanted to shop at the Farmer's Market (who doesn't!?) and live in a brick house!?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Follow Ups

Over the past few months I have left a few posts open ended, promising to follow up on a variety of things.  I would like to take this opportunity to do so, not just for you, my readers, but for myself!  I am not the type of person who handles uncertainty well, I like closure.  I don't even like to quit reading books that I hate.  I feel that I should finish what I start.  

It's Official:  I am thoroughly enjoying driving my 'grocery grabber' as a good friend called it.  Being that it is used, it has some quirks, but overall it's a quality vehicle and I feel great about our choice to go with this style.  

Lakeshore Learning: Still haven't gone

Sassy Recall:  I received the Phone of My Own in a timely manner and my daughter really likes it.  Good job Sassy!

Summer Skin:  I think it did make me break out a little, but that could be PMS..............

Smart Ones:  I tried the Ziti with Meatballs and Cheese on Wednesday. It was pretty good. A few things that could be improved are that it comes in a bag so you need a dish, and the cheese is probably some low fat kind and it didn't melt that great.  But filling? Yes.

If I have forgotten anything and or there is something you would like for me to follow up on, please comment and I will do so!  TTFN!

 Borrowed from

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Time

Photo by lepiaf.geo
Time, ah sweet time.  Remember coming home from work and napping, or lounging by the pool reading gossip magazines? Yeah, that was awesome.  Keyword: was. Time is something I don't have much of these days.  Let me just clarify by saying that being a parent is not something I would change, ever, but can be exhausting as well as rewarding.  Remember having time to care about what you looked like when you left the house? Having time to dry and straighten your hair, hell who am I kidding, time to shower!?  I seriously forget to brush my teeth 3/7 days a week.  Good thing I keep a toothbrush and toothpaste at work.  Remember not having to strategize outings? Or plan road-trips around schedules?  Today I needed to get to Wegman's which is closer to my work than having to come home and get the kids and then go back so I asked my nanny to meet me there with the kids.  I packed two bags of Cheetos and two juice boxes to keep them busy while I shopped.  My daughter was covered in orange, fake cheese by the time we got to the checkout and the handle of the grocery cart was shellacked with Cheeto residue.  She also screams when I try to clean her.  I know those ladies who smile and coo are really thinking my kid is like Pigpen.  I am that mom, with that dirty Cheeto stained kid!    This is totally off the subject but my daughter really is that kid with the dirty face, much to my dismay.  My son was and mostly still is always clean and neat.  Daughter? Not so much.  It kills me, literally makes me have heart palpitations 
Anyway, with the school year wrapping up, trying to keep up with the Casey Anthony Trial (sorry, but I am hooked and have been since the beginning!), chasing two of my own children, planning a baby shower for a GREAT friend, and house searching, Time is all but a forgotten concept.  I am hoping this summer I have have more Time to edit and add to my drafted Throwbacks and other blog entries, but at this time, this seemed most appropriate.  However, this summer is already starting to fill up with travel plans to the beach and Colorado to visit my sister and her family.  As well as preschool camp (s?) and, oh,  did I mention moving?  Packing this house is going to be the death of me.  I am SUCH a procrastinator and just the thought of cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen is throwing me into a tizzy.  I suppose I should think of it as a great excuse to get rid of a lot of unused/wanted items and a wonderful opportunity to re-organize.  But I keep coming back to that junk drawer and when I open it, I take one look and close it back up.  I will get to it, when I have Time :).  TTFN!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Uses for Old Things: #5 Paint Swatches

A while back, I read about this great idea in a parenting magazine.  At the time when I tried it out, my son who was probably about 12-15 months, was not ready for this type of game AT ALL (even though I went to Home Depot, collected the color samples and brought them home anticipating engaging in a lively game of Memory!).  Um, FAIL.  But now that my son is 4, he would love it.  Disney has a great collection of Behr paints at Home Depot.  I have found all sorts of colors and shapes online but can't be sure if they are available in the stores.  I found stars, jolly rogers, clouds, butterflies and even tiaras.  All you have to do is hit up your local store, grab a few matching sets of colors and voila! You have a fun, FREE memory game!  Another great idea I stumbled upon while writing this post, is gathering a one of each of the cards (in basic colors) and writing the color name across Mickey's outline like here.  This would encourage you child to learn basic color words along with identifying them.  You could do this with any leftover paint swatches, but these are super fun!  TTFN!
**As always and as promised, this is a tip that can be used in the home or school setting**

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smart Ones

When I wrote 25 Things You Might Not Know About Me, #9 was "I pack my breakfast every day."  This may seem like a daunting task, however it's really not that hard when you pack Weight Watchers Smart Ones.  Now, let me just say, I do not choose these because I am watching my weight, I choose them because they are really quite tasty, and convenient.  Plus I really need something to balance the oversized Cinnamon Chip muffin, from the Giant bakery, I consume on an almost regular basis for breakfast.  My favorite selections are Three Cheese Ziti Marinara, Sante Fe Style Rice and Beans, Angel Hair Marinara, and Fettucini Alfredo.  My only complaint is that it's usually not enough and I find myself foraging the secretaries desks for chocolate (which luckily one keeps stocked especially for me!)  Well, tonight on my trip to the grocery store I found these.  30% larger servings, finally!  I bought Ziti with Meatballs and Cheese and Chicken with Broccoli and Cheese to try out.  I know my sister is probably having a cow because a few years back when I told her that this is what I packed for my lunch she stated "Don't you know how much sodium is in those things?"  And now I am still eating them, and going for the bigger portions!  Sorry, but this girl's gotta eat!  TTFN!  .  Sa

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Skin

I think I found it.  Just what I have been looking for.  A lightweight moisturizer with SPF that doesn't make my skin break out or sting my eyes.  And this has an added bonus: Retinol for those pesky crow's feet!  For the past few summers I have experimented with different products that I dislike or just go without (gasp!).   It seems like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer might be just what the Dr. ordered.  I'll keep you posted.....TTFN!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Child Motivation Tip: Lip Smacker Part Deux

Borrowed from KARE Givers

Educators (and parents) are commonly urged to focus on positive behaviors that are occurring in the classroom (and home).  For example, if the class is a little rowdy, you find the one child who is behaving appropriately and praise them, "Oh! I love the way Johnny is sitting criss cross applesauce!" Guess what happens?  Most of the other kids in the class will scurry to sit criss cross applesauce to get Mrs. Barr's praise just like little Johnny.  Sometimes, however, a verbal statement is just not enough, especially at this point in the school year, when all you want is to be finished!  It's very easy to forget to focus on the positive and call out behaviors that are not appropriate, "Excuse me! Why did you just do that!? You go apologize right now." or "Do I need to call Mrs. A.P.? Well, then follow directions!" Not that I have ever said, anything like that.......
So I will reach into my bag of tricks and share with you something that works like a charm.  Please keep in mind I work with 3-5 year olds, so this may not apply to your 6th grade social studies clan.  It's incredible and I have gotten a lot of feedback lately on the sheer brilliance of it.  I  feel that I can call this practice brilliant because I borrowed it from a brilliant educator, Dr. Jean, not because I am an arrogant narcissist. She is fabulous and you can read more on her website to find out more about her if you care.  I had the opportunity to attend one of her conferences about 3 and 1/2 years ago and this was one of the best things I took away from the experience.
     Smellies: the simple practice of dabbing chapstick of any kind (obviously I prefer Lip Smacker) to the back of the hand of the children who are behaving well. 
It might go a little something like this:
The class comes in from recess and are still a bit hyped up.  
The teacher instructs students "Go to your color on the circle" some students follow the direction, most, like in my class, do not.  
The teacher says "Wow, I really like the way Sally is standing on her red spot.  Here Sally, you get a smelly!" and the teacher gently swipes the pink chocolate flavored stick across the back of Sally's hand.  
Sally smells her hand and grins from ear to ear!  
The teacher then finds a few more students, who have picked up on the reinforcement and gotten with the program, to praise with the smelly.  
Students without smellies pout.
The teacher reminds them that they must follow directions the first time to get a smelly.  
Now you might think it's really mean to not to give it to everyone, but for those who don't get the smelly, they will work that much harder the next time.  I absolutely swear by this motivational tidbit.  My mom just sent some Vitamin Water Lip balms down with my dad yesterday, and the fruit punch one is already packed and ready to go reinforce America's future tomorrow! I look forward to sharing more from my bag of tricks with you in the future.  TTFN!

**As always and as promised, this is a tip that can be used in the home or school setting**

Saturday, June 4, 2011


This is officially the busiest day the Barr Family has even seen. I guess it's just a preview of what is to come as our children get older and make more friends and become more involved in activities.  Let me give you a little run down of our day.

8:45 a.m. T-Ball pictures
10:00 T-Ball game
11:00 Preschool Packet Pick-Up for our 4 year old's pre-school in the Fall.
2:00 Coach Barr in the Dunk Tank at SYA Fun Day....Pop-Pop and Uncle Bill will join in the fun!
3:00 Birthday Party
5:30 pick up friends at airport

We also had my in-laws last night and this morning for the game, joined by my dad and brother.  Action packed.   It's 12:47 p.m. as I write this and I am already exhausted.  I am looking to hitting up the pool for the birthday party this afternoon.  I am hoping tomorrow will be a more relaxing day!  TTFN..........

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Nintendo

Borrowed from Nintendo Wiki

Ah, video games.  This post could go on for days and days, so what I have decided to do is list my top 10 favorite Nintendo Games of all time.  I mean the original Nintendo System, not Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 or anything fancier.
1.  Rad Racer
2.  Mike Tyson's Punch Out
3  Super Mario Brothers (all of them)
4.  Paperboy (Thanks AJ!)
5.  Adventure Island (my best friend had this game and I wanted to play it every time I went to her house and she would tell me it was "broken"  You know who you are!)
6.  Contra (oh yeah, I defeated the whole thing with my next door neighbor)
7.  Duck Hunt
8.  Zelda
9.  Double Dribble
10. Dr. Mario

I am sure there are tons more, but these are my best memories!  Feel free to add game names to the comments!  TTFN!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Uses for Old Things #4: Nail Polish

Candie's Yunnis Peep-Toe Platform Heel

Last week I wrote about the wonderful wedding I attended in Cape May.  I also wrote about how I drank had a little too much and ruined my new shoes.  I love a good bargain, and the shoes pictured above were on sale at Kohl's for a mere $29.99.  Plus I had $10 in Kohl's Cash.  Score for me!  Anyway, these shoes are so practical.  I can literally wear them with anything.  And then I go and fall and not just scuff them, but carve entire chunks of faux patent leather out of the platform on not one, but BOTH shoes.  When I woke up, I was more than pissed off.  Luckily, I had another brilliant idea.  I convinced myself that instead of going out an buying  new pair of shoes, because let's face it, these are a classic wardrobe staple, I would paint the hacked parts with nail color.  The first one I tried at home was not a match.  So I hit up my local Ulta store and picked up Essie Nail Polish in Jazz.  Perfect match!  Now, luckily most of the damage is on the insole of the shoe so it's really not that noticeable.  And now that they are patched up, I feel much better about wearing them.  Why did I go to all this trouble and not just buy another pair? Because I am cheap and I really like these shoes.  In spite of the 4 inch heel they are comfortable, even though I was like 5'10' at the wedding.  I was a giant.  A stumbling, giant. Grand.  Well, I hope this tip will be added to your bag of tricks and I also hope you don't repeat my mistakes.  I am fairly certain I will repeat them for all of us.  TTFN!