Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Dec 31, 2008

Don'tcha hate it when.... Wednesday

**This will be our final posting of the traditional Don'tcha hate it when.... Wednesday. In 2009 we will dedicate Wednesday to being "Vent day Wednesday". You can now vent about anything you want to. We will do most of these posts in video form. Don't get me wrong, you can still leave your don'tcha hate it when comments if you want! :)**

Don'tcha hate it when...
  • Dwayne cleans in the house for what feels like the first time in our long marriage and he thinks he is owed something? and then wants to talk about how he cleaned up (that one time mind you) for about 3 months!
  • it is 24 degrees one day and the next it is 76!
  • my kids tell me that I "think" I am cool. Trust me, they could have a lamer mother than I am lol! Oh, and when I type or test 'lol' they think I should not know about that. Again, I could be way lamer than I am!
  • you have to catch up to blogging after the holidays. It's so hard to get back into it right away.
  • people only call you because they want or need something. You would not hear from them otherwise. I know I always complain about that one but it annoys me!
Please stay tuned next Wednesday for the video launch of 'Vent day Wednesday'. Dwayne will be hosting it so I promise it will be very entertaining! I apologize for his obnoxious behavior in advance!
Now my friends, it is your turn... What's buggin you? Hit us up in the comments!
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Dec 30, 2008

Need advice

Hello all, today I am pondering the idea of joining a wholesale club for household items and groceries. We are looking at stretching our dollars more in 2009 and my hubby complains that I make too many trips to the grocery store and yet we still run out of things. I guess my part of the discussion is I am afraid of wasting by purchasing in bulk and also is it really cheaper?? It seems like I can go to the grocery store and spend over $100 and within a couple days you wonder where the hell it all went. I am still not convinced about paying a membership fee to purchase larger quantities. This is where you all come in. I need help to decide if it is wise to do this. Since we live in a smaller city, the only wholesale club we have is Sams Club. If you are a member with them would you recommend a membership? I need any input I can get to make the final decision. Thanks in advance :)
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Dec 29, 2008

Long time no post

Wow, it has a week since I last posted. I have sort of taken a blog vacation. I went out of town for the holiday and amazingly stayed off the computer for over 48 hours!! It was actually refreshing and I think we all need to take a break some time. This week will be one of organizing and cleaning. The kids are thrilled about that of course! I have almost finished putting away any signs of Christmas. I thought I was done but I noticed my tablecloth and a few small odds and ends. Now I have to put those items some place that I will remember next year since all the rest of my stuff has been packed away.

Now it is time to have everything cleaned up and ready to bring in the new year. I always remember growing up that we had to have the house super tidy and as dust-free and clutter-free as we could get it. The point was that you entered the new year in a clean home. I don't really think it makes any difference on what happens in that new year but I guess I feel like it is a tradition. Oh how my family loves this tradition ha ha! Another tradition we have is we put some cash under the doormat at all the entryways of our home on New Year's eve. Dwayne's Grandmother always used to do that when she was alive. Supposedly more money will come into your home for the new year. Again, not sure that one has worked either but we continue to do it year after year.

So what about you? Do you and your family have any special traditions for the new year? Please share so I don't think we are the only weird family we know!
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Dec 19, 2008

Someone is 9 months old today!

Baby William is officially 9 months old today. I don't like doing these posts because it always reminds me of how quickly my baby is growing up. The little man is now 21 1/2 pounds and 30 inches tall. He's got 2 little teeth on the bottom and sure has a great appetite. I think if he could eat sweet potatoes all day long he would! It is the only food you will never see him 'wearing'. He is always very playful and happy so we have lots of fun at the Ismail house! He LOVES Papo. I call them Frick & Frack. Once Papo is home, it's all about the 2 of them. Forget there are other members of the family. Well I sure hope everyone has a really nice weekend!
The boy has his tongue sticking out, surprising huh?!
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Dec 18, 2008

It's baby proofing time

I can't believe it. The time is here... Time to baby proof our home. William has gotten so big and is now rolling all over the house in his walker. He grab everything is sight! He likes to pull on doorknobs and drawers. No more leaving little things around anywhere we want. This is a whole lifestyle change for my family. The girls are having to rearrange things to accommodate the wild child. The boy is fast as lightening too so I can't take my eyes off of him for even a minute. Dwayne and I watched him this morning as he curiously looked at a cord plugged into an outlet. I guess my real mommy work is about to get started!

Does anyone have any suggestions on things to look out for? I never baby proofed with the girls simply because they were very calm. I feel like a first time parent here. I'm happy for any advice anyone wants to share. Thanks!
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Dec 17, 2008

Don'tcha hate it when.... Wednesday

Don'tcha hate it when...
  • Dwayne is in charge of the getting the fire going and the house smells like a barbecue pit. Dwayne honey, you were born and raised in Miami, Florida. You are not a fireologist.
  • you receive a re-gifted gift that you know was a re-gift. Just not cool.
  • people treat you like hell all year and then want to be nice because it's the holiday season.
  • you string your lights on the tree and when you are ready to do the tree lighting for the family you have big gaps of unlit lights.

that's all I have for now but I am sure Dwayne will do something dumb and I will be back. Now it your turn to gripe. Hit us up in the comments!

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Dec 14, 2008

Dwayne & Shelly's night out

Dwayne and I went out on Friday night to a Christmas party at the Capital City Club. We went last year and I was 6 months pregnant at the time. Our server we had last year came by our private dining room to say hello and she actually remembered details about all of us. Even what we were drinking! Of course for me that was water :) The girls and my mother-in-law took care of William...everyone survived. I did keep checking to see if the girls sent a text. I told them to do so in case of an emergency. Thankfully everything went smoothly and we were able to enjoy some time out alone.


Malibu & pineapple sure was nicer than water this year!

This shot makes me look pregnant with the way the sweater fit!

Dwayne as always, trying to look cool.



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Dec 12, 2008

Flashback Friday

Here is a photo of Dwayne from back in his music business days. He used to be a rapper (That's a whole other post!) He was about 100 pounds lighter! As you can tell Dwayne has always been full of himself. You can't tell him he did not look cool ha ha! At least his pants came over the top of his butt in this shot.

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Dec 11, 2008

Naps and babies

As you all know, having a baby for me now is like starting all over again so I feel like there are some things I don't know or need a refresher course on. Babies do take naps right? I'm not talking catnaps or power naps. I mean actual more than 30 minutes kinda naps..right?

What happened to my kid then? He almost only power naps for about 20 minutes maybe twice per day. Is this normal for an almost 9 month old? My girls took naps until they were almost 4, hour long ones at that. So basically I am not getting anywhere near what I need to get done on a daily basis. I guess I better shut up and be thankful the kid started sleeping through the night early and is even sleeping a little later in the mornings.

Seriously, does anyone or has anyone had this problem with a baby under the age of 1?
Please let me know there are others out there like me!
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Dec 10, 2008

Don'tcha hate it when.... Wednesday

Don'tcha hate it when...

  • there is an object in the middle of the floor (that should not be there) and everyone in the house walks, skips, cartwheels, and leaps over it? I purposely don't pick it up to wait and see who will. Said object pretty much sits and rots for days of course.

  • women curse worse than men.

  • people do not know how to send forwarded email.

  • I think I am about to get an actual afternoon nap...dog barks and boom, baby wakes up.

  • on the coldest night of the season, the big bear that sleeps next to me hogs all the covers. We have 2 comforters on the bed for a reason!

  • you want to slap the living daylights out of some one's bratty, rude kid and you can't since they are not yours.

Okay, I think I'm good. How about you? Hit us up in the comments...

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Dec 9, 2008

Reflections of 2008

Well another year is getting ready to come to a close. It goes by so fast it's unreal! There were so many things that happened over this year, both good and bad. I have taken everything as a learning lesson. I know that you are never to old to learn. Unless you are 16 then you know it all ha ha! I think the biggest thing I learned this year is how important it is to get all the toxic people out of my life in order to grow. You are probably thinking that I should know that by now and I do. I guess I just tend to be too nice and tolerate a lot of things that I don't always look at as tolerating. There eventually comes that 'enough is enough' feeling that wakes up inside of you and makes you do something about it. This year has brought so much clarity to me and has allowed me to rid my life of a lot of toxic people and behaviors. I am still very flawed but I know I will learn more and more as the years go by. I am so grateful that I had my healthy baby boy and that my family continues to stay strong and persevere. I am extremely grateful to have such a wonderful husband that keeps me on my toes and is a strong father to our children. I know I give him a hard time (that's my job) but he is awesome and I could not make it through a lot of things without him by my side and always having my back. Before I say anything else nice about Dwayne I will stop here. No need in getting carried away!

What is the most important thing you learned in 2008? Please share :)
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Dec 8, 2008

Weekend wrap-up

Well, not much to talk about for the weekend. We have been sharing a cold for a few days now. What a close family huh? William seems to be handling it better than I expected and Dwayne and I are about over it. Briahnna is getting her share so she stayed home from school today. Chardie went to school but we will see what happens this week. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I will hopefully have more to say tomorrow. I must go tend to my sick children.
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Dec 5, 2008

Flashback Friday

These photos are from a year ago. Wow, I remember this night so vividly. I was 6 months pregnant and feeling like a million bucks! For those of you that love to follow the Shelly & Dwayne saga be sure to read the couple sentences to this post and you will see that some things will never change. You'll know what I'm talking about!

Have a great weekend :-)
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Dec 4, 2008

Giveaways

Check out all the great giveways at Soapbox Mama!
I have become an official giveway signer upper addict!! Too bad I don't ever win anything :(

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Dec 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

5 examples of why Dwayne should keep his day job and never pursue a career in photography.






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Dec 1, 2008

Is it Monday already??

Oh man, it has been one long and fantastic holiday weekend! I have abandoned my blog apparently. I guess it's time to get back in the swing of things. We had a house full of family the past few days. It has been non-stop fun and it felt good to do pretty much nothing. Dwayne took over 100 photos and I think I have to fire him. He has this theory that it is better to take photos of people when they are not looking at the camera. That's great if you actually did not take them while the subject's eyes were closed, they were blowing their noses, their mouth was full of food, etc... Here are a couple shots I was able to salvage. I hope everyone had a blast over the holiday weekend. Now it's time to get back to reality :(

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Nov 25, 2008

Giveaways galore!!

When you can stop by Mommydaddyblog to enter the great giveways they are offering. I have entered several of them and they have some GREAT items! Good luck!



Three Gs For The Holidays At Mommy Daddy Blog!
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Nov 24, 2008

Cranberry sauce

Ahh it's that time of year again... Thanksgiving. Of course you will have your turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and all the classic things that make Thanksgiving so special. We can't forget the cranberry sauce. There is nothing like those sweet-tart berries that go so perfectly with our meal. I don't know about your family but here at the Ismail house we absolutely have to have it. Usually the kids "make it". When I say make it I mean cracking open the can and slicing it up! We absolutely LOVE the jellied cranberry sauce over the whole berry or homemade varieties. Jellied sauce has been a tradition in our family for as long as we have been together. I personally love the homemade type as well but my family would feel like I ruined Thanksgiving if I put anything other than what they are used to. How about your family...what type of cranberry sauce do you prefer? Do you have any special traditions for Thanksgiving?

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Nov 20, 2008

It's Tacky Day!

It is spirit week at the girls' school and yesterday's theme was "Tacky Day". My girls LOVE that day! Briahnna loves it mostly because she says "YES! I can finally wear what I want!" Yep, my baby has a little natural tackiness in her and we love her for that. She does not understand why you have to match. I let her wear whatever she wants as long as she is covered, appropriate for the weather, and is comfy. Can adults have tacky day too? lol!




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Nov 18, 2008

Don'tcha hate it when.... Wednesday

Don'tcha hate it when...



  • you have been seeing previews of a show you've been longing to watch and when you do finally see it you are so disappointed. Example: Jon & Kate plus 8 wedding. Not the romantic tear jerker I was looking forward to at all.

  • hubby laughs at you because your show was a bust.

  • you have to make a $175 payment and the vendor tells you to make a deposit (fair enough right? WRONG!!!) They say $150 minimum deposit, huh??? Might as well pay the entire amount at one time!

  • you scrape the roof of your mouth from eating too much of something that you shouldn't mess with in the first place.

  • people are stressing out about what to buy for Christmas when they need to be thinking of those that have to go without the basic necessities (victims of foreclosure, loss of home due to destruction, job loss, etc...) It annoys me and believe me, life freakin' goes on after the 25th. I promise.

Well, I got may say and now you take a turn. Hit us up in the comments!

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8 months old already!

Oh no!! I am always sad to do these month by month posts. It's a reminder that the little guy is growing up and each day he changes and does new things. His favorite person? DaDa. Forget the fact that I am with him ALL DAY LONG. DaDa makes him light up and laugh. Well, he started saying Mama so I guess I am happy. Now of course he only says that when he is fighting sleep and crying. All of you moms out there that claimed there would be the whole mother and son thing, NOT! He is all about his dad. William finally got his bottom teeth! I hope the drooling will start to slow down a bit. He can sit on his own for up to an hour and play independently. This buys me time to actually get things done. He loves watching me cook and clean the kitchen so that is added time to get things done. He is an all around happy and funny baby boy. I am really loving the not having to do hair, matching, or worrying much. Boys are pretty cool... Stinky, but cool.
He's so charming too! Look at that face. The ladies can't resist it!!
I don't know what it is about the tongue thing! He has been doing that since birth! He can touch his tongue to the tip of his nose! Of course Papo thinks that is so cool. *shaking head*
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Nov 17, 2008

It's Monday and I got ....NOTHING!

**Apologies ahead of time to you good parents that are big into saving the earth. I do care about the earth, I'm just human.**

I know this is an odd subject but I was wondering this: Do you use the kind of paper towels that are regular full-sized sheets or the select-a-size type sheets? I did a little test at home to see which ones would last longer. I have found that if I use a standard size roll it lasts about 3-4 days. The select-a-size roll lasts about 7-8 days. Most people don't like the select-a-size rolls but I LOVE them in my house. If we have the full-sized sheets I make the family rip it in half to begin with so they are used to the size (I know, cheap..oh well). I mean, why waste and entire sheet on something so tiny?



Which paper towels do you prefer full-size or select-a-size?



*I told you it was Monday and I had nothing!
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Nov 14, 2008

It's the weekend BaBy!!!

This is what the boy behaves like with his father. Of course Papo is so proud.
Everyone have a great weekend and be safe :P


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Nov 13, 2008

The Ped Egg

Has anyone out there ever tried the Ped Egg? I am one of those zany people that I want one but I am very skeptical and hate to waste my money. Of course on their website you can read customer testimonials, but for some reason I feel better getting the real from actual people I know or correspond with.



So if you have tried this product, what do you think? Did it actually work and would you recommend it to others?
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Nov 11, 2008

Don'tcha hate it when.... Wednesday

Don'tcha hate it when...


  • you can't find your keys and you get frantic looking for them. Only to find that they were in your back pocket or in your hand.

  • you find out from your kids that they have to pay for volleyball uniforms. I am setting aside a good $100 thinking that will suffice only to find out they cost $179, PER CHILD!!! Times 2 kids that makes $358!!! Merry Christmas girls!!

  • you get a bluetooth for your birthday (good bye corded ear piece) and it ends up not to be compatible with your phone. Just my freakin luck :/

  • hateful unhappy people want you to feel as bad as they do.

  • you buy something and realize after you get home that you did not use your coupon. I hate that one, I'm the coupon Queen. I do at least warn the person behind me that I may be a minute and I even offer up coupons that I won't use for things I see they are purchasing. *Yeah, just had to say that cause I just know one of you will comment and say you hate it when you are stuck behind someone that has a fist full of coupons!

Now it's your turn to gripe... Hit us up in the comments...

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Nov 9, 2008

Being GREEN is so hard!

I am finding these days that being green is getting to be quite a challenge. We have changed almost all of our light bulbs to the curly ones (which are costly), we recycle everything, we try to reuse things in creative ways and we have even been composting. One neat thing I do is I tend to buy premium pasta sauces when they are on sale and I save the glass Mason jar and lid it came in. I use the jars when I make my homemade soups and chili to share with a sick friend, neighbor or relative. They appreciate you did something so nice and I don't get annoyed when I don't get my container back. (I have issues with when I give you food and you don't have the decency to return my container)
Okay, back to my story...

The other day I purchased some Clorox GreenWorks glass and surface cleaner. I have been very skeptical since it claims it is natural. Something about cleaning something that shows lemons, coconuts and oranges does not make me feel like I would be cleaning. I like how it works for the most part on surfaces like my range top, desk, and glass surfaces. I just don't like the fact that it does not smell clean. To me there is nothing like the strikingly fresh scent of pine that about slaps you in the face. I am sure most of you grew smelling that fragrance while mom was in the kitchen cleaning. Now I feel like things are clean when they smell clean. I am really trying to be as green as I can but I have to draw the line with my cleaning products. Please, to all the green mamas out there, don't go sending me any hate mail. I'm old school...I'm just sayin'...

If you really want to help save the environment then order one of these. =) (my shameless plug)
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Nov 8, 2008

Get your FREE samples!

If you love signing up for freebies then I have a treat for you! Check out these great offers and enjoy! Be careful because you might get addicted like I am. Yes, I am a freebieholic. My husband gets annoyed when he is checking our PO box for business mail and it is filled with free samples! I get everything from health and beauty products, food items, pet products, and the list goes on! I just thought I would share :)

Aquafresh Toothpaste (great for travel)

Degree Deodorant for Men (trust me, husbands love free stuff too!)

Dunkin Donuts coffee sample (a ground coffee sample to make at home)

Bear Naked Fruit and Granola ( just got this in the mail yesterday)

Greenies Dental treat for dogs (these are VERY pricey in the store! My Milo loved his free sample~!)

New Always Infinity (just got this one last week)
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Nov 6, 2008

Happiness

Happiness to me is...

  • when my kids tell me I smell good.
  • when I get my new light bill and find that it went down by over $100!
  • when I get something unexpected in the mail.
  • when my hubby gets up in the morning on his own and I don't have to tell him what to do.
  • when my baby blows bubbles and I tell him to stop and he smiles at me.
  • when I hear the girls say "this is one of the best days of my life!"
  • making a senior citizen smile.
  • getting my feet rubbed.
  • the sound of laughter.
  • making those around me happy.

In a nutshell, it's the simple things in life that make me happy :) What about you??

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Nov 5, 2008

The icing on the cake

I know everyone is talking about the same thing today, our new President-Elect Barack Obama. I will not make you read anything you already know but I will say this has been an amazing historical event to take part in! I turned 35 yesterday and I guarantee this was a birthday gift that I will treasure always. I would have waited in line to vote for 2 or 3 more hours if I had to with zero regret.


I am only now realizing how scary this photo is with the 5 am no make-up look! Yikes!!

I enjoyed my cake and cupcakes! When I was a kid, I would be bummed when my birthday fell on Election Day. I always thought it was a waste. Not this time around!!

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Nov 3, 2008

Happy Voting Y'all

I know that I am so sick and tired (sure you are too) of all the media coverage, back stabbing, vicious competition we hear about over and over again and we just want to get this election OVER with! Finally, tomorrow is the day. I just want to say that I hope that all registered voters will get out there tomorrow if you have not already voted. We are planning on lining up at our site around 5:30 am (kids and all) with coffee in the thermos, drinks, snacks and baby stuff. I really hope that we will make it through and not have to wait more than three hours but we know the importance of voting. We will be prepared and we will make it a fun event!

Another cool thing is I will be celebrating the big "3-5" tomorrow. I usually don't care to advertise my birthday, but I am excited since my day is on a very historic day (either way it goes). I can't wait to hear all the stories from all over the country in blog world tomorrow. Oh, and don't forget to check out my hubby's latest post "Sagging Pants" Please leave him a comment! Thanks and Y'all be safe :)
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Oct 31, 2008

You should impress the one you love

I hear people say this all the time (especially married or those on long term relationships)

"I have been with so and so long enough that he/she loves me and I don't need to impress him/her"

You're kidding me right? Think that if you want! I speak primarily to the ladies when I say this... When your husband/boyfriend first knew you and you wore makeup or dressed a certain way, chances are that impressed him. Just because you have been together for years does not mean you should feel so comfortable and think he does not care if you wear makeup or take the time to dress nicely. Don't you want your mate to still "check you out"?? I know I do! Hey, I don't ever want Dwayne to try to get me signed up to go on an episode of What not to wear. Stacy and Clinton are no joke! Then again, 5 grand to purchase a new wardrobe would be amazing!! **Dwayne I would still make you suffer if you did that to me!

I am not a know-it-all (hate those types) but I do know how to keep a relationship alive. Ladies, I know you are not a machine but you have to find a way to show that man that you get better with time (not the opposite). Fellas, we still love all the silly pickup lines you dropped to get us in the first place. My hubby tells all young men getting ready to get married, or you let him tell you get locked up for life with no parole, "Always treat your wife like she is your girlfriend". That simple advice works like a charm. Trust me, we have been together for 20 years. I still want the same person when we are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary to try to grab a little booty in front of our guests. Even though I shove him when he does it, I know I love it :) I still am impressed with the fact that Dwayne still holds the door for me, buys me flowers often, brings home 'little' things he knows I love, and behaves like the crazy fool I have always known him to be. Why would I want a different person? I expect him to still do whatever it takes to impress me. **Especially when I get fat commission checks in hand!

If you want a long healthy relationship I would suggest you always try to impress your mate. Just my two cents.
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Oct 30, 2008

Do kids need a boost?

The other day I was at my kids' school when I noticed a student drinking a beverage out of a skinny can. The first think I thought was that it had to be an energy drink. Why would a 12 year old need one of those anyway? As it turns out a lot of the 12-17 age group drink these drinks just because they feel 'tired'. I personally think that if kids would get outside and be active and stay away from the computer, television and game consoles that their energy would not be depleted as badly. It is amazing how simple exercise, eating properly and taking vitamins can make a huge difference in the way you feel. I would never allow my children to drink these beverages because it is kind of like giving your kid a few cups of coffee a day and that can't be good.
Now Dwayne will occasionally drink part of an energy drink *Note: I said part of one because of the effects it has on his body and he is a big grown man! The only time he really does that is if he has to work a 12 hour day to accommodate meeting with clients or mentoring a child or if he has to go out of town by car. I have even had some a few times while on a road trip. It wreaks havoc on your body once it wears off! Whew!! Imagine people that can mix it with liquor?! YIKES!
Do you or would you let your 12-17 year old drink an energy drink? What are your thoughts?
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Oct 28, 2008

Cutest pumpkin in the patch!

I very happily went out this morning in the 37 degree weather to take little Willam to the pumpkin patch so we could snap a few Fall photos. Well, he looked every which way except at me! LOL!! I think it was too much excitement for the little guy. There were a lot of preschool aged kids running around and cool things hanging from the trees to look at. There were dozens of painted gourds and Indian corn. Looking at the camera was just not interesting! So we walked around a bit then purchased a baby pumpkin and headed home.





Look what he did when he got back to his toasty home!




This face is my new favorite. How cute is this? Please, I want another little William because I am having the time of my life! Being a mom is the best job in the world!!

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Oct 27, 2008

Freebie

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample
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Spring cleaning in Fall

Do you ever feel like your life is too cluttered? You have so much going on in so many directions that it makes you lose focus. In my family, we tend to 'Spring clean' all year long. We throw everything out and try not to collect stuff. The rule is if it has not been used in the past year then it has to go (with the small exception of some keepsakes). I used to be one of those people that would save things I thought might eventually come in handy one day only to find that it would collect dust and never did get used. I accumulated a box collection. A box collection? Yes, every time I would receive a package through the mail I would save the box thinking that it was the perfect size for if I was to ship something to someone. I would end up with a corner of my storage room loaded with these boxes and I never used them. My kids have even gotten into the habit in their own rooms to get rid of outgrown clothes, shoes and other odds and ends that end up creating clutter. I don't even have to ask them to do it! I have also been putting William's outgrown things in huge zipper bags separated by give aways/donations and also things to take to consignment. This ensures that he will always have things that actually fit instead of grabbing something that is too small. I figured I need to get into that habit early on so I can keep up with his room.

On another note, I know that if Dwayne reads this he will be talking about my junky drawers. Look, I have a few junky drawers in different parts of the house and that will never change. I keep random things like paper clips, pens, batteries, screws, coins, stamps, and all kids of odd items in these drawers (some things are actually useful). Shoot, Dwayne has even found things he needed in the junky drawers.

Do you keep a lot of "STUFF" that you think you need?
Do you have a junky drawer/s in your home? If so, what can be found in it?
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Oct 25, 2008

Televison is crap

I had a couple of moments this weekend to just lay around and flip through channels on TV. I watched bits and pieces of all kinds of shows, both for kids and adults. I came up with a conclusion. Watch Animal Planet, Food Network or Noggin (the preschool channel) or the News channels. As Dwayne would say "Those are the only channels that will not make you mad (except if you are hungry of course)". Everything else seems to be complete garbage. Don't get me wrong, I occasionally like to participate in watching mindless entertainment but some of the crap that is on these days ... ugh! I am glad I never introduced my kids to MTV, BET or VH1. I don't see how anything on those channels could be appropriate for kids. The reality shows are such an atrocity. I do have to admit though I have snuck a peek or two of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Boy, that Ne Ne is a trip! You can say that is part of that mindless entertainment I previously mentioned, hey I am not perfect!

Maybe I am just too mature (I refuse to call myself old!) to appreciate TV choices of today.
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Oct 23, 2008

Life's tough lessons (sorry, long post)

Yesterday afternoon was a really big day for my daughters. I have mentioned in previous posts that both of the girls are a part of the EL Wright Middle School volleyball team (Briahnna is a team manager and Chardonnay is a team player). They had their final game of the season against another team (Blythewood Middle) that was 7-0 just like their school. This was that biggest game of the season. The game that would give title to one school that would be the #1 in the district for middle school volleyball. Unfortunately our team did not win the final game. The other team had stronger serves and had a little better strategy that gave them the title. Chardonnay and her teammates were crushed and disappointed. They had to brave through doing the final handshake with their opponents. They held their tears back like champs. Once the final handshake was over they ran over to the side and sobbed uncontrollably. The reason for this is because in the last 2 years of playing, the veteran players had never lost a game. They were the reigning champions of the district for 3 years. This hit them so hard since they had never experienced loss in the sport they trained so hard for (18 hours per week not including regular school and other activities). Their coach had to tell them to hold their heads high and know that they played their hearts out and rank #2 in the district which is still very good. When I looked over at the girls' tears and pain I knew I had to hold it together.

Someone had to win and someone had to lose. It's life.

Chardie did something out there on the floor that most girls don't master until high school or are not skilled enough to attempt. She was jump serving her butt off! You should have seen the little powerhouse! She is one of the tiniest girls on the team but can play like a true champ. She received so much praise from other players, parents, and even folks from the other school! We all encouraged her and let her know that she did the best she could. This did not make her feel any better, tears were still falling. I had a small victory gift at the house for both girls for whether they won or lost. It brought a little smile to her face. We then went out to dinner and she had a double serving of dessert. Ah, ice cream covered in hot fudge sauce and M&M's the way to a girl's heart! Still, she was a little sluggish. Papo brought home a gift which was a funny card and what else but a brand new volleyball! Now the girl was looking like the child we know! She came up to our room and chatted with us about the game. Even though she was not happy with the end result she accepted things for what they were. She now knows what it is like to lose. She knows that you have to lose some time. She still wants to get out there and work hard. She is a winner.

To end this sad story here is the best part. Briahnna is trying out for the team next year because she says "I want a shot to BEAT Blythewood!!!!" That's my competitive baby! She's got as much heart as her big sister. I love those girls!! I am proud of them always.
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Oct 22, 2008

Don'tcha hate it when.... Wordless Wednesday

I really don't have anything that is bothering me at the moment except I hate it when this little muffin keeps doing too much too soon. He is not staying a baby long enough :( Feel free to post your gripes anyway! I love reading what you have to say.

**Dwayne: Oh, I got something to say- (FELLAS) Don'tcha hate it when you are walking in the mall with your child, and the females come up to you and start talking , and the wife thinks you are doing something to make the women come over. For instance, William and I were in the store last weekend in the boy's section while Shell and the girls were in the Juniors' section. This store employee comes over and starts talking about how William is soooo cute. William grabs the woman's finger and is just smiling away. I try to get William to let go, then he starts whipping that killer smile (with a little laughter mixed in) on the lady, she melts, and her man (behind the counter) is looking at me like I'm trying to holla at her. Then William lets go and the lady walks off all looking back, sashaying her big butt around, now her man wants to mean mug me, and I'm like dude that's your problem. Then Shelly and the girls walk up looking at me like I'm using William as a chick magnet. Shell and the girls are like mmm hmm! So I'm like What!? I try to explain and then Shell and the girls look at William and he is like DA DA DA DA, so he is trying act like he has no idea of we're talking about. When Shell and the girls walk off, William looks at me and laughs. I'm like playa that was foul, and he just laughs. Man I hate that ! Peace
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Oct 20, 2008

Someone is 7 months old already

Our baby is another month old. This is such a fun time for William. He loves to play, he can sit up (with the occasional flop over!), he recognizes the people that are around him most and he has started saying his first word. Do I even have to say what that might be?? You guessed it...it's "Da Da". I'm only the one that is ALWAYS with him, feeding, bathing, teaching, washing clothes, cleaning messy faces, changing diapers, rocking, singing, carrying him around (he weighs 22 pounds) and all of the other mommy stuff I do. Of course he would say Da Da. It is just the thing babies do. Whenever daddy walks through the door William squeals with excitement, laughing and smiling. He opens his arms and leans towards his dad waiting to be picked up. I tried to capture some video footage of the boy saying Da Da but naturally the minute he sees the camera, he stops.

video

A funny thing about the boy too is that he likes to be called Willie. His sisters started that one and now we all call him that, ha! Any time he gets fussy we start counting and reciting the alphabet. He LOVES it and responds as if he can say it himself! I really think it is because we did it while he was in the womb. His sister Chardie speaks Spanish to him and he gets such a kick out of it! Hey, it's never too early to learn or to teach! Here are a couple more photos of our big boy
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Oct 17, 2008

State Fair fun and some mishaps

Hello friends. Remember my post yesterday about getting to be a kid for a day? Well I don't think kids ever feel like this! This morning has been a very trying one. I woke up to aches and pains in my back, legs and arms. I feel like I was lifting heavy weights without stretching first combined with a hangover! I could barely wake up. I managed to get the coffee made. I grabbed my favorite mug, added my sugar and then poured the steaming hot coffee in. I then proceeded to add the creamer. As I began to gently pour, I realize I was adding baby formula, not coffee creamer. UGH! This meant repeating the steps again and wasting a perfectly good cup of Joe. I am still not awake~! Well, we had a blast at the South Carolina State Fair. All of the usual stuff you see every year but there is nothing like eating certain foods unless you are physically at the Fair. One thing that was very noticeable this year was it was not nearly as crowded as in the past. You could walk up to any ride and sometimes be the only one riding. The food lines were very short and the game vendors begged for your business. Some even offered a free game just to have something to do! These were all true signs that our economy is really bad right now for everyone.
It was a very hot day (near 90 degrees) but at least William behaved very well. I really thought he would have been disgusted after the first two hours but he really seemed to have enjoyed the sights and sounds. Look at this happy boy! I tried to upload a slide show but could not get the html thingy right so here is a link to it instead. There are captions for each photo. I hope you enjoy our photos!
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Oct 16, 2008

Winner of BLYA Contest



Congratulations to the winner of the Business Leaders Youth Alliance traffic contest. Chryss S. She made the only comment for the contest, but her comment really captures what Dwayne is trying to do.



Ismail, I am glad that you have come up with something for our youth. Being a single mother, I am always seeking different avenues for my children to explore to aide them in being productive citizens/youth in our community. I am just so glad that this program will not only reach the youth, jobs skills, but also teach them how to utilize what they have learned in everyday life. Ismail, you the man!!!! Thank you again for a program that will open may opportunities for our youth!!!!

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