Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 - It's Party Time!!

Yess! I have been looking forward to this since last year's party!
5 Minutes for Mom is great for putting this shindig together and for everything they contribute to the blogging communities!
If you are just browsing, please join in the fun, they are giving away some GREAT PRIZES this year and you don't want to miss out!

I made a few lasting friendships taking part in UBP 2010 (Post) last year and now that I know a little about how it goes, I wanted to offer what I do best...COFFEE!

Grabba cuppa joe and stay awhile!

Please, feel free to pull up a chair and let's chat for a bit - don't we all love comments? I hope I can make you feel at home here at Coffee Lovin' Mom!

If you look at last year's post (link above) you can learn more about me. I have since, recently lost my job downtown and spend my days drinking coffee, eating bon bons and watching Oprah. Kidding of course, I do still have the children after all! I actually plan to enjoy this summer OFF with my little buggers - my first in many years. Then, come Fall-ish, I will decide what I want to be when I grow up I guess ...(or not!)

I still do not have a theme aside from the love of coffee, and stating my opinion seems to be a popular way I go with alot of my posts. My children and family who are not your typical cup of coffee are my main focus here.

I enjoy trying to brighten up your days with videos that do the same for me - See my FAVORITE POST - and give you useful information - See My MOST POPULAR POST - all from the comfort of my coffee pants (which used to be my header) and my keyboard.

You can find me on TWITTER here

"Like" Coffee Lovin' Mom on FACEBOOK here.

I have also submitted a COFFEE PRIZE PACKAGE to 5 Minutes for Mom which includes 3 Gevalia coffees and a mug!

Looking over the other GREAT PRIZES on the list, I would LOVE the 3 night stay by Mondoli Hospitality or the one night family stay at Hoyt's Chicago (being that I'm close to the Windy City!) and ANY of the Blog Makeovers being offered.

Please show me some comment love and if you want, follow my blog. Don't forget to leave me your link so I can visit you while I'm partying all week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week Four

My baby got a big girl haircut! Complete with bangs..

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Next American Idol

Here's who I'm voting for!

How about you?

American Idol will only be a memory by the time she is old enough..

Working It!

This morning starts my first full week at the gym and working out.
I admit I haven't worked out in more than a year and gained weight back that I lost this time last year in - What a Difference a Year Makes. Getting back up over 150 told me it was time. Well, that and the fact that I have grown out of all my jeans and refuse to buy any that fit right now. I signed up last Wednesday, did a double dose of classes and was sore til Saturday if that tells you anything.

I decided to get a 3 month membership as they were running a special including an hour personal training session, 2 tanning sessions and the one I'm most excited about - a half hour massage! I get most of the classes for free so I am trying them all getting a double dose this morning of Tone and Tighten and Ab Blast. They run more than 10 classes a week and my goal in the 3 months is to have at least 60 classes under my belt. Considering I have been sitting on my fatass butt for the last month since losing my job, this will be a complete change of pace for me. My sister has been going to this gym for a couple of years and trying to talk me into it pretty much since. (She also talked me into the treadmill - which I despise - after a Zumba class on Saturday.) If you are in the NWI area, this is located in Lowell and called Fitness Edge.

I'm sure you will hear endorsements from me later, especially if I'm having a good time!

My personal training session is not until next Monday April 4 so I expect to have a list of goals at that time and begin to hit it hard. This week, I am trying out the classes to see which are my favorite and not worrying too much about my diet as the kids are on Spring Break. (Part of our plans include Albanese Candy Factory - home to the World's Best Gummies!) I have not been eating after 8pm or drinking soda for almost a month now and already see a little weight loss.

My plan is to go low carb again since it works best for me out of the diets I have tried, which believe me is plenty! I hope this too is like riding a bike and I am able to get right back into shrinking instead of widening! If you are beginning a workout routine, or already into one, let me know so I have some buddies. I also plan to look in the next week for a weightloss blogging group so if you know of a good one, let me in on it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

In case this is the first you've heard of it, Earth Hour started by the WWF in 2007 and has spread from one country to worldwide in 4 years having over 4600 cities and towns participate including Chicago.

We participated in Earth Hour 2009, Earth Hour 2010 and again this year for Earth Hour 2011 - every year the kids get more into it and the hour passes by quicker and quicker. This year dad was home from work and was able to take part! He brought some fun things home from Cabela's to pass the time..

(There is a child under that turkey!)

Even the cat joined in on the fun!


In case you were wondering, turkey calls are more fun in the dark.
This year will be one we won't forget - we could have had a fire!
We normally all stay in the same area or floor of the house so all candles are in sight and one is in the bathroom in case someone should need to go. Of course my daughter was the unintentional culprit as the toilet paper was not on the roll holder, and as she was putting it back on the sink the end grazed the candle and instantly started the paper on fire. It was on the floor when we walked in and I just put it in the sink - crisis averted, thankfully nobody hurt. I did gently remind my lovely that if she had put the TP on the holder, this would have been avoided. Maybe I won't be the only soul in the house that does it anymore - nope that's wishful thinking huh?

Note for next year: fireless candles at least for the bathroom!


My Son is Being Bullied

And it begins....
I knew this day was coming, not only because kids are so cruel but because my son is different than the average child. Yes, yes everyone says this, I'm not saying he is better or smarter, I just know that he will never fit into the football crowd or the goth group or whatever the little clics in school are now (unless he might be smart enough to be tutoring them). He is a confident, smart kid that I can describe as being in his own world. We lovingly call it "David's World". He's the kid on the soccer field that was running after the ball that's now going the opposite direction, he just hasn't noticed yet. He's good at school and has the potential to excel, he just lacks effort, a trait I'm sure he gets from me. Thing is, he is completely satisfied with this, he doesn't strive to be the star player or student even when encouraged to do it loudly from the sideline. He is definitely more musically inclined than sports, he plays piano and has rythm but lacks coordination. I don't think he will conform to whatever the student body is, and even though he's content and it's something that I might be proud of in him, I believe this also makes him a target.

This week was interesting at school for my son.
I believe he is being bullied. I will re-play the story for you and you can tell me what you think.

TUESDAY: He comes home from school and tells me that this kid in his class called him stupid, ugly and weak. My first reaction of course (after my initial reaction which was to kick the crap out of a third grader..) was to talk to his teacher who just happened to be sick and went home early. He also told me that the kid threatened to "pop him in the jaw." First I asked him if he was stupid, or ugly which he knows he's not, but this kind of thing can be hard to ignore and by experience I know ignoring does not stop the bully. We talked and I suggested that he respond to the kid with the old Pee-Wee standby: "I know you are, but what am I?"

We role played this situation first with him being the bully and then the victim and he seemed to be satisfied and prepared for the next day. I explained that if he just does something that he doesn't expect, it may be enough to throw this kid off and leave him alone.

WEDNESDAY: This time, it started in music class - which my son LOVES. He said they were doing something fun and he reacted in his excited 9 year old way (which also reminds me of Pee-Wee with his hands clenched in front of his face saying "YAY") and this kid said, "Are you GAY? Only gay people do that."
Son: "I know you are but what am I?"
Kid: "You're ugly"
Son: "I know you are but what am I?"
Kid: "You're stupid"
Son: "I know you are but what am I?"
Kid: "You're weak"
Son: "I know you are but what am I?"
(I'm wondering what the teacher was doing to not notice this..)
Kid: (probably pausing by now)
"You're a dirty hobo!"
Son: "I know you are but what am I?"
At this point, he says the kid started talking really fast not making sense and he didn't say anthing else to him. He's convinced it didn't work - I tell him that maybe it did. Sounds like he threw the kid off to me. I guess later in the day, the kid called him weak again and he told him his MOM was weak. This kid doesn't know me very well...

We had another talk, about the word GAY and how it's used differently by different people, what it could mean and what it really means. I asked him if he thought he was ugly or stupid or weak or gay and he said no. I reminded him that whatever anyone else says doesn't matter as long as he doesn't believe it they can think whatever they want!

I'm convinced that the kid is breaking so I ask David what would happen if you tell this guy he's being mean and just to stop? He wasn't sure but was willing to try.

THURSDAY: Today he came home and told me he talked with the kid and told him he was being mean. The kid said he was just messing around and my son reminded him of the things he said (kudos to him!) and told him it wasn't nice at all. Apparently the kid said he wouldn't do it anymore. Problem solved? We'll see...

There was no incident on Friday and when I asked David about it, he said the kid was actually being nice. Spring Break is next week so I'm hoping the break doesn't make this kid forget and go back to his old routine when school is back in session. We've already talked about if it does and I've told him to label that this kid is being a bully. The school has a 'no tolerance' policy and if this continues, I will be sure that it's put into effect on this kid. David got in trouble earlier in the year for waving a paper gun, I think situation this is more pertinent.

Today I found out through the grapevine from the teacher (who was out wednesday too) that this kid doesn't speak English. Now I am feeling empathy for the bully and at the same time, dumbfounded how this kid has even made it to third grade! He knows enough English to call my kid names, maybe he doesn't even know what he's saying. Either way, if it continues, I will make sure that it stops just as soon as it starts.

Do you think I'm being overly protective and that this is just a case of boys being boys? Please let me know, this is why I didn't march into the school to talk to the principal...

Saturday Short - I joined a Gym!

I didn't want to announce it because I just joined this week and haven't gotten a routine down yet. I started Wednesday and already have three classes under my belt and a bout on the treadmill this morning with my sister who encourged me to sign up (and to do the treadmill this morning). I know there are a lot of ladies working out with each other and joining groups in blogland which I may also join once I get into the swing of things. With summer coming before we know it, now's the time ladies!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week Three

This week I wanted to put in a picture that to this day gives me butterflies.

The day I married my best friend.
We look so young!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Mommy!

Today is my mom's 60th Birthday
I think it's sinking in that I am getting old.
She looks really great for 60 - I don't think people would guess she is 60 if they didn't know. I don't think of her as getting old so much but rather in terms of my own age getting up there. Her age doesn't really seem to phase her, in fact my parents (my dad also turned 60 last month) are currently looking for a new house and neither have any major health problems to speak of.

Growing up, my mom was usually the calm one in situations that could have easily become the opposite. She was strict with curfew and when friends commented about how they wished my parents would let me do whatever I wanted, I was almost offended even back then because I knew better.

I could never come home drunk from a party in high school to say, "It's not like you never did it," because she never really did. I think the story goes that she had a few drinks at a senior picnic and got sick so didn't really drink again. (These days, however, she has a box of wine in the fridge,

My mom is probably one of the most grounded people I know and she is a great judge of character...she always knew when things weren't going to work out with certain friends or boyfriends and yet was always able to let me figure these things out on my own.

My mom basically had little old ME for her 21st birthday - they had been married a whole 9 months and 5 days which I always gave them crap about through the years - (she never said a word or probably even thought about karma when I had to plan MY shotgun wedding after being engaged three short months.) By 23, she had two little girls, a new house and a family to raise...ain't they sweet??

I can't tell you how proud I have always been to say my parents are still married and will celebrate 40 years of bliss in June. Holy Crap - 40 years - by the time I celebrate 40 years, I will be almost 70!

Growing up, mom was always tight on the reigns and as she ages has become a bit more loose and definitely gets funnier and thinks life is more and more hilarious the older she gets. By the time she's 80, she may be downright looney!!

I want to pay tribute to her for her birthday to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY and THANK YOU!!

Thank you for your long patience, your listening ear, your faith in me, humor, understanding, vitality, guidance, acknowledgement, beauty, longevity, wisdom, and for helping shape me and make me the person I am today, which you continue to do everyday. I love you and would not be where I am today without you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scenes from Irish Towns

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, and seeing as we got to experience Ireland up close and personal a couple years ago, I thought I would share some of the photos taken on our trip...

Below is Sean Ryan, owner of Leap Castle - Ireland's most Haunted Castle.

This is a small church in the heart of Dublin.

The City of Galway, Home of the Claddagh Ring

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft on your fields.
And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
An Irish blessing

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!
(Happy Saint Patrick's Day to You All!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week One and Two!

I'm happy to say I've decided on a challenge.
I will not brag about my camera skills because they are not all that but I do know I can find happiness through the lens so...

Hosted by Leigh vs. Laundry, please click her link to join the fun!
I missed the first week as most people are on week two so I will utilize two joyous pictures in this post, the first being an alltime favorite of mine:

This was taken on our trip to Ireland in 2008 at a place called Craggaunowen Castle. The castle itself was not the eye catcher, rather the landscape of the surrounding land which to me it the epitome of Ireland with all the GREEN!
This being the week of St. Patrick's Day, I thought this was the perfect picture to start with.

Next, a picture that brings my children joy just to think about:

This was taken last summer when we took the kids to Chicago and went to the Hershey Store! Needless to say, they were in heaven!!

So here we go! I am looking forward to the next 50 weeks of happiness!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Writer's Block

I am having a hard time getting back into the swing of things obviously with my last post being March 2. I am feeling very blah lately and even with my birthday coming on St. Patrick's Day and Daylight Savings Time back in effect, I can't seem to get the gumption to write anything down. I thought about doing some kind of challenge I see other bloggers doing which would give me some kind of direction or at least a place to start. I have never been a real lengthy writer, just short and to the point so it's not that I have to come up with a lot of content, I think I'm just not finding it.

I have been off work almost a month and projects are in the works now that the house is finally clean. Yes it took me almost a month, included many purgings, donations and tears from the children as most of the purging invloved items obtained after emptying a closet or box of toys. (Which reminds me, Amvets called again for next week!) Anyway, one of the home projects will be turning my dining room into an actual dining room which now houses only a hutch which is being moved out, and is basically an extension of the living room. I have a vision I know my husband doesn't trust (so what? far) because he can't see it in his head like I do. My plan is to make it look like a bistro, complete with a canopy window treatment. I only need to find someone who knows their way around a sewing machine as this window treatment will have to be made from scratch. Again, I have a vision..and will update this vision later.

We have been in this house for 3 years and didn't have to do anything as far as paint or remodeling. Three years of my kids living here, believe me, it's time to paint!
Yep..that's it...all I got. I will try again later..

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Like Riding a Bike?

So it's been over six months since I have been an active blogger.
Bad bad blogger that I am...
I have a million excuses and reasons why I haven't been here including my job, my family and my own doubts about people wanting to hear about my life and whether my blog needed a theme and all the other blah blitty blahs about whatever the rules of blogging are.

Who cares what's going on in my life? You've all got lives of your own to contend with and nurture.

I have in the last six months been to France in Paris and Southern Burgundy, had a great skydiving experience which I plan to duplicate this year and celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday, all of which I would really like to record and share.

I have in the last two weeks, been let go from my job and feel like blogging is calling me back. I want to do this and document things for my own sake and that of my children that I brag about more often than I need to - they are what this is really about anyway. I feel really good about being jobless and being able to spend the time with my kids, they couldn't be happier - setting me up with all the school jobs ie. lunch lady, teacher and busdriver.

I am hoping that getting back into the swing of blogging is like riding a bike and I can just get back on and go just like that.. although I have a feeling it will be more of an ease into a cold pool..either way I plan to enjoy every minute!