Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: The Last Bully

The Last Bully by Suzy Liebermann is yet another story about Hugo the Happy Starfish.  We received a copy to read on our Kindle which was an enjoyable medium for both of my children.  I love that this series uses gentle characters to educate children on how to use an attitude of respect when dealing with one another and with dealing with bullies.  In this brightly illustrated book, the cheerful characters gently teach children how to handle disrespect.  Hugo the Happy Starfish observes his friends being bullied.  He forms the Anti-Bulling Club (ABC) to help his friends feel supported in their struggles.  Their message is to stop bullying as there are always bigger fish in the ocean and they need to respect one another.  In the end, they convert the entire ocean to their kind ways.  This is a great children's book about bullying!  I love that it helps to teach respect.

For more information on Hugo, click here.

You can also read my reviews and those of other readers on Amazon and Goodreads.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Today I turned 26.  This has to be, by far, the worst birthday yet.  I was awakened at 5 am to my sister panicking that Mom is sick and trouble her teenage son got himself in to.  The selfish part of me was pissed that she work me up that early and didn't even wish me a happy birthday.  It was my day to be greedy and shitty and I didn't get it.  I'm sad.  That's just how it is.  And, I'll probably be sad until we get some answers which should happen within the next two weeks.  I just want to be selfish and I can't.  Other people have needs and wants and those should be prioritized over my selfish ones.

So, to answer the people that asked what I was doing for my special day, I got up and got kids ready and delivered to their appropriate places.  I was went to work, worked an 8 hour day and then rushed to pick up said children, deliver them at home and then went to Parent Orientation at Gabby's school.  I came home to dinner, homework and bedtime.  It was nothing special.  It was Thursday.

If the last 24 hours are any indication of how 26 is going to treat me, I'm going in to hibernation for the next year.  I'll see you in 2014.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Mom Has Cancer

My mom is sick.  My mom has cancer.  There.  I said it.  Never have two sentences been harder to type.  My mom is a brave woman and a hell of a fighter.  She has battled stage 3C primary ovarian, secondary peritoneal ve for the last 5 years.  She's a survivor.  3 years ago she was told she had 6 months to live.  She beat those odds and gave cancer the big fuck you.  She's damn lucky.  Honestly, she is.

She fought a terrible battle, had numerous surgeries, saw nameless nurses and tons of doctors.  Her hospital stays were long and many.  It was a terribly trying battle.  But she persisted and she fought for answers.  And she won!

And then today, she found out it's back or it's spread and my whole world came crashing down.  My mom is my rock and my friend and I can't see her be put through this again.  She fought so hard for what she has that it's so hard to see her taken back a step.  But, she'll do what she does and she'll back so hard and she'll win. She has to.  We need her.

So, now, she has cancer in her kidney.  She'll meet with a urologist and then they will operate.  Part or all of her kidney will be removed.  I don't know if that means dialysis.  I don't know if she'll need further treatment.  I don't know and that terrifies me so much.

I need her.  We need her.  This little one needs her.

Yes, those are her hands holding my little itty bitty throwback baby.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shitty Parenting Things You Don't Learn in a Book

I'm pretty sure every new parent has read, browsed or at least glanced at a parenting book or website.  It might be BabyCenter or the Bump or What to Exempt When You're Expecting but we all do it.  My weekend was filled with things that you don't find in that book.

The first thing?  Your baby will up and decide to jump out of bed one night.  I couldn't figure out why Jack wouldn't stop screaming at bedtime one night.  We practice CIO (cry it out) -- don't judge-- and Jack has been a great sleeper for the last 9 months.  Very rarely do we have an issue with him.  I put him to bed as I normally do: bath, diaper/pj's, 2 stories read at least 3 times each, a kiss on the forehead, the mobile music turned on and lights out.  This is our routine.  This has been our routine for a long time.  When I put him in his crib, he lost his shit.  Full on screaming that wouldn't stop.  Eventually it was time to put Gabby to bed so I went in there to try to quiet him down so he wouldn't be so loud that she wouldn't sleep.  I opened the door and tripped over him standing in his room with his blankie under his arm.  Of course the logical response was to turn to Felipe and Gabby and ask who the hell got him out of bed.  My brain hadn't yet caught up.  I quickly realized that no one had gotten him out of bed and that he had tumbled out.  I scooped him up, got a sippy cup with milk and Tylenol and sat down with him.  Rocking him until he was nearly asleep.  I put him in his bed and can you guess what happened next?  I shut the door and herd a loud slam as he tumbled out of bed on to his hard wood floors.  Fuck.  Felipe came barreling in to the room.  I demanded that he lower the crib to the floor and took Jack to my bed.  Of course we fell asleep all snuggled up together.  Fast forward to some unknown hour when Felipe came in, scooped up Jack and put him to bed no problems.  4:30 am?  Yeah, Jack woke up and cried for 20 minutes I assume because he was back in bed and unable to escape.  He got over it and went back to bed.

When asked the next morning what he did last night, this is the face I got:

Guilty trouble maker.

The next thing was really shitty.  Literally.  Jack woke me up at 7 am on Saturday morning by whining in his crib.  I got out of bed, went in to find that my son had removed his diaper.  His poopy diaper.  He then proceeded to play in it and (I'm assuming) continue to shit in the bed which would explain the two neat piles I found.  There was poop on his clothes, his arms, his legs, his face and all over the bed.  I took one look at him and said "Excuse me, I haven't even had time to pee yet." and promptly left the room.  Having peed, I returned to find that it was indeed the exact situation that I though.  So, I threw him in a warm bath and started bleaching before 7:30 am.  Shoot me and gag me now.

Tonight it has been 90 minutes and Jack still refuses to go to sleep.  He'll absolutely be up at 6 am as his is every other morning and I'll be in need of some major coffee.

Parenting is great.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gabby's Birthday Party Part 2

This year, we combined Gabby's friend/family birthday party in to one big pool party.  We rented out our local pool and invited children from Gabby's class, her friends from her Indian Princess tribe and family.  It was great!  We had perfect weather-- better than could be imagined.  We also had a great turn out.  It wasn't crowded but we had enough people to have a really good time.  I kept food at the pool easy since it was 10-12p.  We had "beach balls" aka cheese balls, pool noodles aka Twizzlers, chips and watermelon.  We also had a number of drinks in coolers.  I had Nana make and ice cupcakes at the bakery and then Felipe and I spent one night decorating them.  All ideas were courtesy of Pinterest.

Happy 8th birthday, Gabby! We love you!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: It's Good to be Me! (Children's Book)

The key word in Suzy Liebermann's It's Good to be Me! featuring Hugo the Happy Starfish is appreciation.  Hugo finds himself to be unhappy with himself and focuses solely on his looks in this underwater children's book.  The Magic Manta offers 6 wishes to his friend in an attempt to make him happier.  Hugo changes his eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and grows larger but when he looks in the mirror, he's more disappointed with himself than he was before.  He uses his last wish to turn himself back to himself.

You can purchase your copy of this book here.  This is by far my favorite of Suzy Liebermann's books.  I think this is probably the most important message that she sends: you're beautiful the way you are.  My little one certainly struggles with image issues which is horrifying to me given that she's eight.  We read this book and discussed the importance of appreciating what you have.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: One Step at a Time (Children's Book)

In Suzy Lieberman's One Step at a Time, the story focuses on Hugo the starfish's commitment to getting to the top of the Matterhorn in Switzerland.  He is required to follow a number of steps and instructions on a list in order to meet his goal.  His persistence is rewarded with the accomplishment of reaching the top and getting a helicopter ride back to the ocean thanks to his friend Manta.

The illustrations were a little crazy but the story and the message are good.  My 8 year old enjoyed the story and looking up both Switzerland and the Matterhorn on a map.  It was a little geography lesson paired with encouragement to stay focused and proceed one step at a time to meet a goal.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: The Secret to Happiness (Children's Book)

The Secret to Happiness by Suzy Liebermann is a children's book about Hugo, a small starfish.  He's sad and disinterested in his life and goes looking for something that makes him happy.  After a few attempts at fleeting happiness, Hugo discovers with the help of a friend that the secret to true, lasting happiness is to share with others without expecting anything in return.

I think in today's society, this is not something embraced by our children.  Our children are spoiled and expect something in return.  We are trying to teach Gabby to be responsible and respectful and have to bribe her with the promise of  a pet.  For her, it keeps her on track and gives her a goal.  I think this book has an important message that is gently taught with a sweet story and cute pictures.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.