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Jan 31, 2010

A Hurricane Willie moment

You see this sweet, innocent face??

Well this is the what he does all day long, everywhere in our house. This is why we call him Hurricane Willie.

I try to teach him to clean up and he likes to destroy even further. When exactly do little boys learn how to clean up??

Jan 29, 2010

Flashback Friday- 16 years of marriage

Today is Dwayne and Shelly's 16th wedding anniversary!

We are both very proud to be together and look forward to many, many more anniversaries to come. What a wild and crazy ride it's been. We have endured hard times, three children, recovering from hard times, fun times, crazy times, sad days, happy days, non-stop shenanigans, growth and most importantly we have loved each other unconditionally the whole time.

This felt poster from over 16 years ago has been hung up in every place we have lived. It remains on our upstairs hallway wall so each morning we walk out of our bedroom it's the first thing we see. It's a reminder of the promise that we will love each other and stay together FOREVER.

Jan 28, 2010

Briahnna update

I posted a couple days ago about taking Brie to the doctor for her headaches. As I expected, she did not have any signs of headache in the doc's office. The doctor checked her blood count and pressure and both checked out perfectly. She changed one of her allergy medications to Periactin. She says it is an antihistamine and is also used for a variety of ailments in children including chronic headaches. The downside of this medication is the sedative effects and it increases appetite. The doc says her body will get used to it and she will not be drowsy after a while as well as she should not have any significant weight gain. Poor kid walks around like a zombie and eats like a football player. I guess I will just have to keep some fresh fruit on hand and stock up on some relatively healthy snacks. Bless her little heart she is determined to deal with it and so far her headaches have been mild to non-existent. I just want my child to be well. I have breathed many of deep sighs in the past weeks. Thanks to everyone who showed concern and gave advice. What would I do without my blog buddies?!


Jan 27, 2010

You are a freakin adult!!!

If you have a Facebook account you might notice a trend in grown folks behavior. Some ppl Lyke 2 tYPe liKe dis nd SpElL LykE dis. If you are a teenager then I will give you a little bit of a pass. Now when you are a parent of teenagers then you just have a problem. If you take so much time to purposely misspell words and think you are cool, you thought WRONG. I have asked my teenagers what they think about adults doing it and they thought it was tacky and very uncool. They even think it's stupid for their own friends to do it. The older one told me if I ever did that on Facebook she would delete me from her friends list! Let me not get started on some of the very risque photos that are being posted. I see this with people that have their own kids on their friend's list. Hmm, don't go into politics ;)

My point to this post is that your children watch you and tend to follow in your foot steps (bad or good). Don't you find it your responsibility to be a good role model? There comes a time that we all have to grow up already! Not saying you need to break out the walking cane and Geritol just act your age.

Jan 26, 2010

Random things in my head

I have not been posting in normal Shelly fashion because I have been pretty consumed in a lot of things. Dwayne and I painted my office over the weekend so it took up a lot of time. I went from a creamsicle orange (used to be Chardie's room) into a color called green tea leaves. I really love it and my office finally looks like a grown-up works out of it! My office was smelling of paint so I looked up ways to get rid of the scent. There were so many things I could have tried but I went with the cracked open window and a container of coffee grinds. It worked! Now I have the scent of coffee stuck in my brain but I will take that over paint any day.

Briahnna has been suffering so badly from excruciating headaches. They are so bad that she lays on the couch all day and doesn't even change from her pajamas. She has been on the allergy shots for 2 months now and the ENT Specialist says to give it time. Well when you can see the veins in your child's head throbbing then giving it time just won't cut it. I made an appointment with her pediatrician for today and I am going to beg her to do some blood work to check to see if there can be something else ailing her besides the allergies being the culprit to the headaches. It breaks my heart like you would not believe when your child is so engrossed in pain and there is nothing you can do and no pill that helps. My mind has been taken over in anguish thinking about my girl. I am hoping the doctor can help her. She has suffered way longer than anyone should.

Okay, that's it for now. I will post an update once we get some kind of answers. Chances are she will feel just fine once she steps foot in the doctor's office *sighs*

Jan 25, 2010

Happy Monday!

I'm not sure what it is but so many people hate Monday. Not me, I LOVE them. I tend to work harder on the weekends so I welcome Monday so I can sort of finish up a few things and get geared up for the rest of the week. I think when people start their day off complaining how much they hate Mondays it sets a negative tone for that entire day and sometimes for the rest of the week. I sure wish everyone a great start to the week and a Happy Monday!

Jan 22, 2010

Do people sleep anymore?

I wonder if anyone sleeps anymore. I know I am one those rare "the minute my head hits the pillow I'm out" kind of people. I have NO problem sleeping. Now don't get me wrong, there are times that I have interrupted or broken sleep and the few rare nights that I barely get a couple hours. For the most part sleep is never an issue for me. I noticed that all across Facebook and Twitter there seems to be an epidemic of insomniacs. I see people signing off Facebook at 6 am so they can catch an hour. I am so astonished by this. I don't know how anyone can function like this every day. I am worried about some of my cyber friends that have this problem.

Are you a sufferer of insomnia? If so how do you cope with it and do you do anything to help yourself get the proper sleep your body needs?

Jan 21, 2010

The Green moms are gonna get me!

Seriously, real talk...I have been trying to get down with the being "green" thing. While I am already a big recycler and reuser of a lot of things, there are just some things I can't get down with. First off I went and purchased one of those organic and natural kitchen sponges. I got a great price for it so I figured it was worth a shot. Um, WRONG! I could not get the darn thing to make my dish soap lather so this made me waste detergent. After the first use it felt icky and slimy. I thought maybe because it was the first use that it just had to get broken in. Nope. Stayed that way for 2 weeks and made it into the trash can in a hurry! Also I tried to use recycled aluminum foil. Seriously, you get charged more for a cheap product? I was so disappointed in the quality.

One great thing though is my paper plates and bowls. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and will not trade them EVER. Sorry greenies, maybe one of the big brands will come out with a green version. Until then I will stick to most of my traditional methods that work!

Jan 20, 2010

Family members and your blog

I was thinking about this the other day and I don't get it. How come I tell people that are related to me or close friends that if they want to see the latest photos of the family or want to know the recent goings on in the Ismail household that they can check the blog. Why in the world do I get the whole..."I don't have time for the blog thing" or "I don't know how to leave a comment". I have even gone and put "leave your comment here" to make it easier for those who claim it is too difficult to do. Of course my relatives ignore it and make excuses. I guess this is why I love my blog friends so much. It seems like strangers have more interest in your life that your own family. I know I can't be the only blogger that feels this way.

Do you find this to be a trend in your blog life?

Jan 18, 2010

Daddy does not play! The importance of strong fathers

Today Dwayne and I took William out with us to run a few errands. One of our stops was by my father-in-law's house. Dwayne let William run around a little in the front yard (it's one of those streets that very few cars drive through). Dwayne's dad had a pile of yard debris including some old wooden boards and it was on a part of the front yard that is on a slope. This was a dangerous area for the little guy to be around so we had to keep a good eye on him. Of course William had to try running over that way and I am screaming for him to stop and he is laughing the whole way over there. Dwayne then does this simple sound like he's clearing his throat loudly and Will stops dead in his tracks. Smile is gone. He slowly walks away from the danger zone. See William knows he can sort of charm his way a bit with me and the big sisters but when it comes to daddy, no way. It ain't happening. Dwayne says that fathers have to "Put the fear of God" in a child to keep them in check. He also says there has to be a line drawn out that they should know they are not to cross. I think we have a pretty good balance between the two of us so hopefully we will have a great experience raising this little boy. I truly believe that strong fathers are such an important part in a child's development. I'm also glad that I can use Dwayne when William gets out of line. It worked like a charm with the girls so we will see what happens with William :)

Jan 17, 2010

William update

For those of you who read Momfiles regularly you might recall this post where I talked about joining the local Community Center. One of my big goals was to get William put in babysitting a few times a week to help him socialize with other kids his age and hopefully encourage him to speak. I took him on Friday and stayed in the room with him and watched him stay as far away from the other kids and babysitter. He played independently and occasionally made his way over to me to cling to me. The lady that was on that particular babysitting shift noticed that he was playing nicely alone and asked for me to walk out of the room until she gave me the heads up to return. I watched him from the slim door window and at first I saw him looking around the room for me. The babysitter (older lady) told him, "I'm here William. Let's play ball." From there he was fine, no panic or crying. He still did not quite play with the other kids but he did sit at a table voluntarily with the others. This was a great step for him and I really feel confident about leaving him perhaps starting this week. Even though you can have 2 hours of free babysitting at one time I think I will start out with 20-30 minutes. Honestly, I don't see myself working out for 2 hours! I will update more on how he does once he is completely solo.

Jan 15, 2010

Get rid of your washing machine funk! (Giveaway)

**Contest Closed**
Winner #72 Sue E. Thanks to all for participating!

My awesome friends at Tide contacted me to try out their new product called Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. Being the big fan of the family of Tide products I was very optimistic. I have a dinosaur washing machine and was afraid that a new product like this would not work for me. Luckily I was wrong! It can be used in all washers. This product was formulated to help clean built-up residue that can re-attach to your clothes.The cleaner comes in a powder form and for me all I had to do was add it straight into my washer (without clothing) and run a normal cycle using hot water. The first thing I noticed was the scent. It is one of those "slap you in the face" kind of fresh scents. I love strong scents when it comes to cleaning products so this was a plus for me. A soon as my washer started to agitate I could smell the freshness traveling up to the top floor of my home. Seriously, my machine smells so good and there is no sign of the funk left over. It is suggested to initially use 1 packet once per week for three weeks and then once per month for maintenance. I will stick a note in my washroom to remind me to clean the washer on a schedule.

**For those of you with HE machines I found out that washing machine odor is actually a common problem with HE washing machines. Since these machines use less water, odor causing residues can build up in unseen places like the back of the drum, hose or drain.

Giveaway: Now 1 (one) lucky Momfiles reader get a chance to win a year's supply of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. Mandatory: All you have to do is leave a relevant comment to this post. Maybe you can share a laundry tip. Comments saying "thanks" or "count me in" will be deleted.
(You must complete the above method to qualify for extra entries)

--You can Twitter this giveaway (one per day) and leave me
a link to your Tweet.
Win a one year supply of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner @momfiles

-- Facebook this giveaway, and please leave a separate comment/link for each entry to count. (one per day)

--Follow me on Twitter or "friend me" on Facebook (leave a comment with a link) If you already follow let me know.

--You can also place our button on your blog or follow us (please leave a blog link in your comment or specify if you are a new or current follower).

*Be sure to have a visible email address in your comment if you do not have a Blogger profile. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Deadline to enter is January 28, 2010 at 09:59 pm
EST. Good luck!
Thank you Tide for providing Momfiles with a year's supply of this product as well as sponsoring the giveaway product for one reader.

Jan 14, 2010

I'm not ready give it up yet

There are some items that parents believe to be a must with babies. Granted William is no longer a baby but now a toddler, there is still use for certain thing right? For instance, you still use the carseat, stroller, playpen and several other things. The one thing I still use is the changing table. Most people think it's a waste but I LOVE it. I had one that I used for both girls and bought one when I was expecting William. I love being able to store and organize his diapers, wipes, powder and all kinds of bath related and miscellaneous items. It has been the most useful piece of equipment we purchased.

Now what do you do when it gets to this point?

Man, I just don't want to get rid of this just yet! Will has outgrown this changing table by a couple inches. Y'all better not be making fun of me :P

Jan 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Hide-and-Seek with Will

Look at big boy Will! He is really looking so grown up and has just about lost his baby looks.

He loves to hide. Look at this face. This is one of those rare times he will smile for the camera because he is not expecting to have his photo taken. He thinks I am trying to find him instead!

Here is one of those silly shots after we ran all through the house playing hide-and -seek.

This little guy keeps his mommy on the go ALL day long!

Jan 12, 2010

Glad there was no technology in my days of school

I was driving home this morning after dropping the girls off to school and thought about what school is like in this time and how different it is from my days. Back in my time when report cards came out I would buy myself a good few days to a week before I showed my parents mine. I would hope that none of the other people they worked with would mention that their kids got their report cards. That would be some very stressful days for me! Now in my kids' time, we can read the big flashing sign in front of the school that tells you the exact day report cards come out. You also get an automated call from your principal reminding you about report card day. I must not forget the lovely email reminder as well. Poor kids, they couldn't get away with what some of us could back in the day!

Another great parent tool we have is Parent Portal. This would vary depending on your district but it is a website that you can sign into to check your kids grades, absences and tardies. I have even set up to get emails each time teachers update my child's record with any information. This really keeps you informed and is a great deterrent for if they even think about cutting class. Lucky for me my kids come to me about their school related stuff but you never know if something can get left out on purpose. Boy oh boy am I ever so lucky that there was no real technology in my time!! I'm sure some of you agree ;-)

Jan 11, 2010

Don't slam me for being a SAHM

Just a warning that the normally peaceful and sweet Shelly is not writing this post. The raw and outspoken Shelly is in charge. I have something to say to people who seem to have a big problem with the stay-at-home mom. If you meet someone who is a SAHM please do not say "Oh it must be nice". That is not a freakin compliment. Most people did not pay attention to what the word ASSume means. They like to assume because you are at home that your family is rolling in dough. This is not often the case for most of us. I stay home because I choose to. I am a very low-maintenance woman and do not feel like I have to have everything material. With 3 kids we would struggle worse financially if I worked. The cost of daycare/after care, arranging rides to and from school, cost of work clothing, additional fuel cost for travel and the list goes on.

Another assumption is that because I am home I have all this "free" time that I can sit around and do whatever I want. Granted, I do have more time than working moms however I utilize my time to benefit my family. I manage my home and always come up with more ideas and solutions for cutting costs without making the family feel short-changed. I do spend a good deal of time online but that has it's benefits as well. I don't just sit on the computer all day because I have no life.

I don't appreciate people asking me when I plan to go back to work or when I plan to put William in pre-school so I can get a part-time job. It's none of your damn business what my plans are. Again, please do not assume you know anything about my personal life. I really wish folks would realize that it is my choice and the choice of many others to stay at home for our children. I am sorry if I offended you but I just had to say what I needed. Please feel free to give your input on this subject whether you are a SAHM or if you work.

Jan 10, 2010

Day One at the gym

Well today marked the first official day that the whole family went to the gym. Since I already knew that I am totally out of shape I took it easy and did little things. The first step was stepping on the dreaded scale. I was so nervous because I know I have put on some weight. Would you believe that I was way less than expected? I was so shocked that I weighed myself at another scale to be sure. I am really happy about it. Now I don't need to worry about my weight but more about toning up what I already have. My goal is to wear a fitted t-shirt and jeans and not have any rolls or muffin-top showing. I know I can do it and will do it. The girls had a blast playing volleyball, jogging, and playing basketball. We took William into the big kids room/babysitting room to let him get a feel of the room. He did pretty well and really seemed to enjoy playing on the slide, climbing things he shouldn't and taking a peek at the little baby that was in there. I got to meet one of the babysitters and it seems like things are really going to work out.

I was walking the indoor track with the girls when they decided they wanted to go for a jog. I got jealous and felt like they ditched me so I joined them. Hmm, halfway through I had a lovely cramp. Baby steps I told myself. I also played a little volleyball with the kids. I thought I was going to snap my wrists! Wow, I know I will be feeling it tomorrow. Oh well a little at a time and then hopefully I will get better and be able to hang! I will post updates on my progress. Maybe Dwayne will post about his goals and progress as well. Now off to down a half gallon of water...okay 2 glasses :)

Jan 7, 2010

Winter must-haves!

There are two items that my family simply can't live without during the winter weather months. First is the Carmex lip balm. This is a year around item that lives in my make-up kit at home, my make-up bag in my purse and one in the car. I LOVE this stuff! I am on their email list and they offered some 50 cents off printable coupons. I was able to print a few and used them at Kroger (since they double coupons up to 50 cents) so that gave me $1 off!!

The second item is the Aveeno lotion. Funny thing is it is all I have been using on William and Dwayne asked to borrow some the other day. He instantly blurted out all kinds of jabber to the effect of how great it feels to use something that makes your skin feel truly moisturized. He says he has been missing out on using real lotion all these years! Right now is offering a $2.00 off coupon. That is a great savings.

*I did not receive any compensation from this post of any type. These are just my opinions and views on products I purchase regularly.

Jan 5, 2010

On the way to getting fit

Well we have officially joined the Community Center/gym and we are all excited about it. One part that I am most looking forward to is getting William to socialize. They offer free babysitting (up to 2 hours) for exercising parents (you must stay on the campus) and we are hoping he will learn to be nicer to people. He is used to being around mom all day so he is very shy towards strangers. Actually he gets a little bonkers when people approach him. We plan to introduce him to the big room and slowly get to the point that we leave him in there. We are hopeful this might inadvertently spark his speech. He shows he really wants to speak but can't quite get the words out. I sure hope this works!! Wish us luck! Now I have to run out and get some workout attire... can't wait to ditch the extra fluff :)

Jan 4, 2010

This bread is so Yummy!

I was walking up my front steps last week to find a package sitting at my front door. It was from my cousin Sabina, from Miami. I was not expecting anything so it was a surprise. I opened the box and found some random items including a homemade fruitcake (You haven't had real fruitcake until you have experienced Guyanese style). Another item was this loaf of bread.

I am sure you are thinking "did she say a loaf of bread?" This is not just any loaf of bread, it is Yummy Hardough bread! I have not eaten it since I moved from Miami over 14 years ago. Every West Indian home has it as a staple in their kitchen. We used to call it "hardo bread" as kids. This bread has a special texture that is very smooth, dense and light all at the same time. It has a subtle sweetness that is irresistible. I was happy to get to introduce it to the girls and they loved it just like I thought they would. Out of all the things I have received recently this was the highlight and most appreciated of all! Hey, I'm simple :)

Jan 3, 2010

What ever happened to bar soap?

My father-in-law sent me shopping the other day for bar soap. His one request is he did not want common, everyday Irish Spring or Lever 2000 (aka Man Soap as Dwayne calls it). The FIL prefers his soap to come from Bath & Bodyworks or a boutique type shoppe. He used to buy his soap through Avon and they discontinued it about 2 years ago. I went to Bath & Bodyworks and they only had the "high dollar" variety and they too discontinued the glycerin soaps bars. I searched a few more stores and it was the same story. No bar soap. I finally found some at World Market. I did not realize that specialty soap would be that hard to find! I think we will stick with the normal, affordable and easy-to-find stuff in our home! Personally I think bodywash is way better.

Jan 2, 2010

Back to business already?

I have really been down for the past couple days thinking about the fact that the girls will return to school and Dwayne goes back to the office on Monday. All of the days of getting some extra sleep, laughing at foolishness and making loads of trips to our favorite stores will be dwindling down. Back to reality, back to business. I enjoyed having the kids home even though they make me over-eat. I have to get back on the ball and get the Mom taxi ready for carpool and other places the kids need to go. I am also eager to get back into my Shelly stuff and I need to get in the practice of writing 2010. I hope everyone is enjoying the last little bit of the break before it's back to business as usual!

Jan 1, 2010

So it's 2010

A whole new year, wow. I guess the older you get time really does fly. My daughters still say that they think time goes by so "long". I tell them just wait when they get married, have kids and bills. Time will go super fast then! There are so many things to look forward to and accomplish in the new year. Our family has decided that 2010 will be a year of conserving on many levels. We just don't know when rainy days and storms will hit so we are taking measures to be well prepared as much as we can. We have some goals and house projects we will work on and plan to get them done this year. One thing we did decide as a family is that we will be joining our local Jewish Community Center (you don't actually have to be Jewish to join). It's a beautiful facility with state-of-the-art gym equipment, track, indoor heated pool, free babysitting and a variety of amenities that are perfect for families. The sweet part of it is that it is only a 2 minute drive from our house! We are looking forward to getting in some much needed fitness time and plan to do so as a family. Here's to good health and happiness for all!!
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