Sunday, August 30, 2009

Some things you just can't fake

You can get fake hair color and even fake hair. You can get a fake nose, fake teeth, fake tans, and fake boobs. But there are some things you just can't fake.

While Googling another stupid blond D List celebrity female, I came across one of funniest videos I've seen in a long time. Having danced for seventeen years, I was literally about to roll off of the couch onto the floor and had to wipe the tears from my eyes. I'm not a professional by any means but I've taken enough classes to know when someone's got it and when someone doesn't.

Whoever decided it would be a good idea to have Heidi Montag perform at the Miss Universe 2009 contest should be fired. Or given a raise for their incredible sense of humor.

Heidi Montag Body Language Performance at Miss Universe 2009 HD

Home girl can't dance. She's got no rhythm. She's just plain bad. To make a bad performance even worse, Heidi can't sing either which is why she lip synced the performance- she vehemently denies this however. Plus there's that little cough at the end which she does to make sure someone has remembered to turn the microphone back on before she says, "Thank you." This is the oldest trick in the book. Oh, and does anyone recognize the outfit? Yeah, that's a redesign of Britney's 2004 costume. But at least Brit's pants fit in the crotch.

AP Photo
AP Photo

Well, at least she had fun and that's all that counts.

My Sexy by Summer Make Over Day

In January several moms joined the Sexy by Summer weight loss contest on a site for moms. We all jumped in not even knowing what the grand prize was....we just knew we wanted to lose weight. After 6 months I'd lost 24 lbs and 17% body fat making me the winner. Here's how my day of pampering went:

This morning I set my GPS then took off to Largo to have my hair cut and colored at Sharp Image. Mary Knaus was very friendly but completely ignored the fact that I wanted to keep my hair long. I've tried very hard to get used to it but I still miss my long hair. She gave me a great cut, it's just not what I wanted. Mary added 2 shades of red highlights on the top and a little bit of blond above my ears- I love the color! The owner, Susan, was there also and I was very appreciative of their time and use of the salon. Along for the entire ride was Kelly Machbitz who can be seen on Channel 10 at 5 PM- for you Tampa Bay peeps. She was there to try to keep Mary on the time schedule (didn't work too well ), give her expert opinion and help me shop. After getting my hair chopped off it was off to Merle Norman Cosmetics in Belleair Bluffs to have my eyebrows waxed and make up applied. Kelly was great at taking before and after pics...even the wonderful pre-waxing pics (blech). Her team at her Merle Norman store was fabulous! I'm very thankful for the lovely ladies who waxed, plucked, moisturized, and purtied me up! They were all fantastic!

Next it was off to Dillard's to meet Mike the camera man. Poor guy had to lug his heavy camera all over the top floor following Kelly and I as we looked for dresses to try on. I tried on dress after dress after dress after dress while Kelly shared her opinion of what she liked and disliked for each one. Sorry to all the ladies who were trying to get in and out of the dressing room and trying to avoid being on camera! It was great seeing people's wide eyes and curious stares wondering why I was being followed by a camera. We also went on a scavenger hunt for jeans and tops since it's not really practical for me to wear dresses while crawling all over the floor chasing kids and cleaning toilets- oh the life of a stay-at-home-mom. Kelly got me to try on jeans I wouldn't normally wear and tops usually out of my price range. She was a great sport listening to me say, "Nope, don't like it. Nope, won't wear it." I think I was a bit of a challenge for her since she's used to 'casual' being a nice pair of dress slacks instead of a pair of pajama pants. I had to explain to her that my wardrobe was EXTREME casual.

So, what did I buy? Well, I really wanted the purple dress they showed on the TV clip but it was $155. EEK! I LOVED it but it just wasn't practical for a SAHM like me (I'm keeping my eye on it to see if it goes on sale). I did get a purple dress perfect for my BFF's graduation party this Saturday. The dress was originally $118 but with it being on sale PLUS Dillard's 40% sale going on right now I only paid $42. I also got a really cute top ($98- paid $35) that I can wear to a football game with sneakers then slip on a pair of heels and hit the town (after the sock marks go away)! My best find that day was a pair of dark jeans (that have to be hemmed for my short lil legs) that were originally $99- I got them for $17.82. Got a big High Five from Kelly for that one! I went back the next day and bought a pair of $80 jeans for $5!

I had a great day and had so much fun with Kelly. We got in some good giggles at me eating Subway while Bobbi was doing my make up. Thanks for lunch, Kelly.

NEW HAIR courtesy: Mary Knaus, Sharp Image (1886 West Bay Drive, Largo)

Bobbi Barry, makeup artist & Nanette Barrows, Aesthetician

Merle Norman Cosmetics, 100 N. Indian Rocks Road, Belleair Bluffs

CLOTHES & NEW STYLE: Kelly Machbitz, Certified Image Consultant

I was also in another contest called Waist Watchers which was a three month long contest. I came in 3rd for that one. Both of these contests are the reason I started blogging. Below are some of my favorite posts from my journey to lose weight. I recently added a search box and am in the process of tagging my posts so you can easily locate subjects you're looking for. Feel free to read the ones I've chosen and to poke around RMS Snowdrop- you may learn some things you didn't know before!

Thank you to everyone who had encouraged me during these last several months. We're not finished yet though! We're now on our way to be Sexier by Halloween.

Related posts:

Official Weigh-In and Weight Loss Party- this was my last hoorah for junk food

The Dreaded Meal Plan- this helped me jump start my weight loss even though I hated it. Big thanks to Douglas for developing this plan for me.

Thing 1 & Thing 2- Ugh, these are my before bathing suit pictures

It's Working! It's Working!- my hard work was finally starting to pay off

Glass half full or half empty- typical ups and downs of losing weight, updated bathing suit pictures

Slacker Fattie vs Skinny Bitch- humorous struggle between who I was and who I wanted to be

What I've learned- taking time to reflect on what I've learned from losing weight

How I discovered I'd gotten too fat...for me- my wake up call that something in my life needed to change drastically

Second Weight Loss Contest Results- this ones kind of self explanatory!

My Weight Loss Journey- looking back on my weight and measurements along with my desire to keep going to meet my goal of 110 pounds...which I still haven't done.

Tight Scalp

Yet another one of my issues which seem to be increasing as I get older. About a year ago I noticed a spot on the front on my hairline that was sore. It felt like an ingrown hair. I yanked the hair out thinking it would feel better. Over the course of a week I'd made a nice little bald spot right in front. Great! I decided to leave it alone. A few months later all was well...except I noticed a couple of other spots on the back of my head.

This is nothing gross like some of the stories I read after researching this (some people have some serious scalp issues!). Mine is simple. The last time I got my hair cut I mentioned my problem to the hair dresser, or hair professional- whatever the politically correct term for chick-who-cuts-my-hair is. I told her that most of the hairs that I plucked out were really kinky.

Tight scalp was her immediate answer. What the hell is tight scalp? Apparently one of the reasons hair chopping chicks/dudes/other massage your scalp when they shampoo your hair is to help relax your scalp. Yes, I have to go to a salon where my hair chopper has to wash the hair, too. Maybe one day my blog will take off and I'll able to afford to go to a salon that has hair washers- I wonder what their politically correct name is.

Anyway I decided to hit up Google to see what I could find. The only thing that came up on the fir
st page that seemed relevant to me was this article on Scalp Relaxation by Lynne Chapman, Hair Editor for BellaOnline The Voice of Women:

Scalp Relaxation

Are you overwhelmed by the business of life? The stress of it causes you become tense and even your scalp becomes tight. That tight scalp inhibits circulation and is hindrance to healthy hair growth. For years hairdressers have known the best way to relieve stress and to relax the scalp. That’s why every salon visit starts with a shampoo and thorough head massage. This massage increases circulation, stimulates nerve endings, frees knots of muscle tension, relaxes connective tissue and feels great. Professionals are trained in the pattern of manipulation for the most beneficial massage, how
ever, it is a simple process to perform on yourself with almost the same relaxing and healthful results. Using the following technique will get you started on taking better care of your scalp. You can create yourself by using a good conditioner and adding a few drops of essential oil. Try using lavender oil, chamomile or jasmine for anxiety and stress relief, or use grapefruit to uplift the spirits. Be aware that the essential oils are too strong to be used alone so be sure to mix them with the conditioner. Use slow, steady movements for enhanced relaxation or vigorous massage for more energy. Rinse your hair with warm water, and then wrap the hair in a warm towel to remove about 50% of the water. Loosen the hair and apply a massage lotion. All of the manipulations will be performed with the pads of fingers and under the hair. Start by placing both hands at each side of the back of the head, fingers pointed up. Slide the fingers firmly upward until they meet at the top at the head. Next, repeat the movement, except move the fingers in one-inch rotations as they slide towards the top. Repeat this several times. Now, place your hands in the front, palms on the forehead, fingers toward the top of the head and repeat the rotating motion while sliding the fingers toward the crown. Repeat this motion several times. Next, place the fingertips at the sides of the head just above the ears. Use the same circular motion as you move your fingers toward the top of the head. Repeat several times. Finally, place the fingertips at the temples and massage in slow circular movements. Finish by firmly running the fingers of both hands from the front hairline to the back. Repeat this several times. Remove the oils with a shampoo and condition to leave both scalp and hair in top condition. There is no need to wait for a trip to the hair salon for all the therapeutic benefits of a wonderful scalp massage. All you have to do is spend a little time pampering yourself.

I'd also like to share this hair mask posted by my new friend Kelly Machbitz who was my fashion consultant on my Sexy by Summer make over day.

Homemade Hair Mask

Mix one ripe avocado with equal parts mayonnaise. Apply with fingertips from root to ends, cover with plastic shower cap and leave on 15 minutes. Wash with shampoo and rinse clean, dry and style as usual. This mask will leave your hair shiny and healthy looking.

I tried it and my hair felt amazing afterwards! Happy Home Spa-ing!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'll bet you a strawberry

With four kids it's difficult to have quality one on one time with each of them. I have to admit that Hubby and I are pretty good at it, though. We take turns running errands with each kid and everyone gets equal tickle time...we'll not so much Kelly anymore since she's too cool for tickling. She just asks for money instead.

On Sunday, two days before school started, Carson came into my room and laid down on the bed with me. He snuggled up and told me he didn't want to go to kindergarten. We'd been dealing with this all summer and Carson recently declared that he wanted to go to firefighter school instead of kindergarten. I reminded him that Uncle Mike told him all firefighters had to go to kindergarten before they
became firefighters.

Carson was convinced that he wasn't going to have fun at school.
I told h
im about using his new Transformer's backpack and his matching lunch box. We talked about how he'd eat in the cafeteria and how I would partially open his Cheetos and gummy snacks so he didn't have to ask for help. I told him he would get to color, play games, learn to read and write and make lots of friends.

"Can I have strawberries in my lunch?" was what he asked after I said all of that.

I laughed and told him of course he could have strawberries.

I gave him a big hug and kiss. "I'll bet you a strawberry that you'll have fun," I suggested.

"A strawberry?"

"Mmmmhmmm. If you don't have any fun then I'll owe you a strawberry. If you have fun then you owe me a strawberry. Deal?"


The first day was a little rough since he was still groggy and sore from his shots but by the third day he came out with a big smile, holding his friend Angelina's hand, and saying that kindergarten was great!

My big boy owes his mommy a strawberry.

But I'll give him one instead.

Alzheimer's stole my Nanny

In March of 2009, after seventeen years of searching for my biological parents, I was reunited with the woman who had to give me up for adoption the day after I was born. It was a happy occasion for bio mom's entire family. There was one exception. Bio mom's mom, Nanny, has Alzheimer's. The only thing that would have made our reunion perfect would have been if Nanny could remember her daughter having me.

After watching my grandma deteriorate from Alzheimer's I didn't think I could see Nanny. It seemed like a cruel twist of fate that I was given the second chance at having a grandma again only to find she, too, would not know me.
I remember the first time I met Nanny. PaPaw, bio mom, and my four kids all went to the nursing home. A nurse brought Nanny into the room and bio mom knelt down next to her. She asked Nanny if she remembered when she was pregnant and had to give the baby away. Nanny just looked at her. Bio mom told her that I had found them. Nanny looked at me and just grinned. She stared at me almost the whole time we were there. We would like to think she understood but with my experience with Grandma, my best guess is that Nanny thinks I'm bio mom when she was younger.

The biggest difference between Grandma and Nanny, other than Nanny doesn't talk much at all, is visitors. Grandma just had me and Mom- occasionally my sisters and my dad would visit but that's it. PaPaw has dinner with Nanny every night. Bio mom sees her every time she comes to town. My cousins, aunt and uncle all go see her on a regular basis. My cousin Melanie painted Nanny's nails last weekend.

It's beautiful to see the love and support Nanny has. Yet it's so sad that she doesn't seem to be able to appreciate it. I've been told that Nanny always had her hair fixed, always did her make up, always dressed nice. I wish I could have known her then. I wish I could have met her before Alzheimer's stole her. I wish she knew who I was.

Maybe one day they'll find a cure and end the heartache families have to endure.

If I develop Alzheimer's- A letter to my family

To my loving husband, children, friends, and family,

If I follow in Grandma and Nanny's footsteps and develop Alzheimer's I have a request.

If Alzheimer's steals my thoughts, my dreams, my memories- please check me into an inexpensive but safe nursing home. I don't want a lot of money spent on a place I won't remember from one moment to the next.

Under no circumstances are any of you to visit me. Drop me off, kiss me goodbye, let me call you each by your name one last time- then leave. Don't come back. Don't come check on me. Don't visit. Ever.

I've seen what it does to loved ones who visit Alzheimer patients. I don't want that for you. I don't want you to remember me sitting in a chair staring at the wall. I don't want your heart to break when I call you the wrong name or worse- don't call you anything at all.

I want you to remember me as vibrant and carefree. Remember my goofiness, my ability to make you laugh hysterically, even the times I made you extremely angry. Remember the words of wisdom I passed on to you, the silly things I did to get the frowns off of your faces, the times I made you roll your eyes. I want you to think about the trips we took, the places we went, trips to the grocery, and the mall. Think of all the happy times we spent riding roller coasters and watching the animals at Busch Gardens.

Remember those times. Remember that me. Remember because I won't be able to.

To Hubby, I won't know who you are. I won't know who I am. I won't remember any of the houses we lived in, where we got married, when I gave birth or even if I did. I won't remember the special places we went- just you and me. I won't remember my favorite cocktail, my favorite vacation spot, or even my favorite color. I won't remember sleeping next to you, the feel of your hand in mine, or the love I'm sure you felt for me.

Goodbye my children. Goodbye my friends and family. Goodbye my love.

You may come back when my time on earth is finished. Until then, live your lives. Be happy. Be free.

Alzheimer's stole me from you but I'll be fine. One day I'll remember.

I'll be free.

I'll be




Alzheimer's stole my grandma

Grandma lived by herself since before I was born – Grandpa passed away a few years before. I saw Grandma once a year when she flew down to Florida for Christmas or when my parents stuck my two sisters and me in our avocado green van and trucked up to Indiana to play in the snow. Grandma always had a big ceramic jar of chocolate chip cookies to spoil our dinner with.

When I was about twelve, Mom and I started flying up to see Grandma during the summer. We would spend a week making sure everything around the house was okay and just spent some quality time with my only grandmother. We'd visit my cousins and great aunts and uncles (both of my parents are only children). Pop, Dad's dad, would come over for spaghetti and then we'd sit on the porch while he smoked his pipe and told us stories. One year we painted the front porch so Grandma wouldn't try to do it herself – she was in her 80's. We'd walk to the grocery store and church just how Grandma did when we weren't there. We'd fill her in on what the rest of the family had been up to and hear her tell stories about when she was growing up. I loved to hear Grandma tell about driving her sisters and brothers around in a buggy – she was born in 1901.

I was fifteen the last year we flew to Indiana. On the fourth or fifth day Mom and I noticed that Grandma kept
telling us the same stories over and over. This was before Alzheimer's was as well known as it is now. We met a woman who was helping care for one of Grandma's elderly neighbors. Zelda was a pleasant woman and offered to check on Grandma for us. We left feeling a bit apprehensive but relieved to have someone looking in on her.

Several months later on Easter weekend, my mom got a call from Grandma's youngest sister, Aunt Mim. Grandma called Aunt Mim to tell her she was transferring all her money into an account for Zelda. My mom and dad dropped me off at my sister and brother's-in-law
apartment in Orlando and were on the next plane to Indiana to bring Grandma to live with us.

Shortly after, Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We tried to care for her at home but eventually she needed to be moved into a nursing home. Mom visited her almost every day and she hated when meetings would prevent her from going. The nursing home was minutes from my high school so I went as often as I could between work, the dance team, and homework.

One of the
last times I saw Grandma I went with a guy I'd been dating for a while. Jimmy and I walked in and I said, "Hi, Grandma!" She looked at me and asked, "Who are you?" I told her, "It's your granddaughter." "Oh, yes," she replied. We chatted for a little while and then she looked at me and asked again, "Who are you?" I gave Grandma a hug and kiss then mumbled to Jimmy, "I have to get out of here." I ran out with tears streaming down my face.

The last time I saw Grandma alive she was in the hospital. She looked so beautiful and peaceful sleeping in the bed. The next morning, just before my high school graduation, Mom came into my room to wake me up for school and told me Grandma passed away a few hours earlier. I cried for a while, got dressed, grabbed my backpack and drove to school. My friends all thought I should be at home but I knew that would leave too much time for me to think about how devastated I was.

I tried very hard to stay composed at Grandma's viewing. It was my first time seeing an open casket. Grandma never wore makeup. She used Noxzema every day and had beautiful skin. To see her lying there with all that makeup on her, so still and lifeless was more than I could take. My cousins tried to talk to me, console me, but they still had their grandma. Mine was gone.

That was eighteen years ago. It still makes me sad to think of Grandma looking at me and not knowing who I was. It still hurts that my only grandma is gone. But, Grandma is in a better place. She's with her brothers and sisters. She's with Grandpa and her only grandson, Brian. She has her memory back. She knows that Mom is her daughter and not Aunt Mim. She knows who my Dad is. She knows who my sisters are. She knows who I am.

Alzheimer's stole my grandma for several years but she's okay now. Her mind is whole again. And she remembers everything.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Texting while driving can be deadly

I've been sitting on this post for about a week. Now that's it's hit big I'm wishing I hadn't procrastinated so much. No matter. This post will be for those who haven't seen this video. I need to warn you that the content in this video is very graphic.

PSA Texting and Driving 'COW' taster 001

I'll admit that I've texted while driving. I'll also admit that after seeing this video I'll never do it again. What some people don't understand is that this is a short film about what could happen if someone is texting while driving. I've heard of people who think this is a real film. Unfortunately, it is exactly what is happening all over the world. We've stopped paying attention to the fact that we're driving around in 1-4+ ton vehicles which in a sense are killing machines. We need to stop applying make up, eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, looking for a lost shoe in the back seat, shaving, reading newspapers, reading books, programming GPS gadgets, and now texting. Yes, I've seen all of these things while driving around Tampa.

Our lack of attention to the road is killing and severely injuring thousands and the numbers will continue to climb. Laws against talking on cell phones and texting aren't going to do much at all to stop accidents from occurring. We need to take it upon ourselves to change our behavior. We need to get back to not multi-tasking while driving. My oldest daughter will be sixteen in December. She passed the learner's permit test in April but we've yet to take her down to pick up her permit. We're scared. Not of her ability to drive and follow the rules and laws of the road but of all the other careless drivers.

Pay attention to driving. Pay attention to the road. Keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. Is making that 2:45 meeting or appointment worth risking killing yourself or others around you? Think about that next time you step into your vehicle.

The change starts with you. Make the change.

Sexier by Halloween

I just realized that I never posted about my day of pampering after winning the Sexy by Summer contest that I won in June. I'll get that out after I finish this post.

Halloween is fast approaching once again. I remember last year at this time wanting to lose weight and tone up to look hot and sexy in my Angel costume. I kept thinking I had time and was disappointed in myself when I was finishing the final touches on my costume Halloween night knowing I'd done nothing to look how I wanted to in it. I'm not allowing that to happen this year.

Since winning Sexy by Summer I've not done much exercising at all. I'm afraid to get on the scale. With my four ki
ds home all summer it was difficult to make the time to exercise. I say "make" instead of "find" because I had plenty of time- no need to find it. I simply chose not to make time. I did keep myself busy enough to keep most of the 24 pounds off that I'd lost, I hope.

Now that three of my four are in school I can pull out my Core Rhythms, Crunch Go Go Dance, and my new Buns of Steel DVD's. I can pull up my favorite youtube mini workout clips and Fitness Magazine toning sessions. I can bounce on my stability ball while blogging and jam to my iPod while doing dishes and laundry. I'll play Shimmy, All Star Workouts, and Namaste on the DVR. Why couldn't I do this during the summer? The main reason was because we were very busy. Between camps, play dates, trying to stay on top of the messes a
family of six makes there wasn't much energy left for exercising. The other reason is my older kids really don't want to see mommy shakin' what her mamma gave her.

So, here we go again! I was going to call this Sexy by Halloween but Hubby corrected me by saying, "Sexier by Halloween." What a wonderful spouse I have.

This time there are no big prizes, no ma
ke overs, no shopping sprees. This time it's just me and my desire to look amazing in my Halloween costume this year. Look for an starting point bathing suit picture coming soon! I was hoping to have the final picture shortly after winning Sexy by Summer but, well, I got lazy. So hopefully in the next several weeks I'll be able to put on and be happy in my new bathing suit. Until then, we're stuck with the itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini!

I'll do my best to post what exercises I do for anyone who wants to join me. I'm ignoring the "I should eat healthier, too" part of losing weight for the time being. But, don't yell at me if I forget or get delayed- those of you who have been following me for a while should be used to my A
DD ways.

Let's do this shit!......again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tweet away drunk drivers, tweet away

I was working on another post related to drunk driving but saw Blog to Eliminate Drunk Driving's post and thought I'd submit this first. One of the blogs I follow is Blog to Eliminate Drunk Driving. I started following it around the time I signed up for Walk Like MADD. Today's post made me smile. A few weeks ago the topic they blogged about enraged me. I was listening to the radio and listeners were calling in to the radio station letting people know where the DUI check points were. I couldn't believe that the station was supporting this! Why let the drunk drivers know where the check points are? Don't people want them to get caught? Don't we want them pulled over and placed in jail? Don't we want them off our streets so they can't kill us or our loved ones?

Blog to Eliminate Drunk Driving had a much better take on this after they discovered people were tweeting to alert the drunk drivers. Here's their post:

August 26, 2009 Twitter Used to Spread the Word about DUI check points In Arizona this past weekend, cops were out doing their job by conducting DUI checkpoints to help deter drunk drivers. That's right, I said deter drunk drivers. Twitter users thought they would give other drivers a heads up, thereby thwarting the officer's efforts. However, what th
ey did was actually help the officers achieve their goal. MADD has long supported high-visibility law enforcement efforts. In fact, it is part of its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. However, what most fail to realize is that the point of these efforts isn't to catch drunk drivers, but rather to prevent drunk drivers from getting on the road at all. The idea is, if a driver hears about a DUI checkpoint, then they might make safer choices when it comes to drinking and driving. Bottom line: People are less likely to get behind the wheel of a car if the perceived risk of getting caught is heightened and that is a good thing. So tweet away ...

I hope that they aren't being naive about this. In a perfect world no one would drive drunk. Not everyone will hear about check points and think, "Hey, maybe I should call a cab or have someone come pick me up." In my opinion most will think, "Great, now I know where not to go so I don't get a ticket or wind up in jail." Of course, they won't be thinking very coherently anyway so let's hope the latter makes more sense in their jumbled drunken mind. Drunk driving is 100% preventable.

For those of you who have followed RMS Snowdrop for a while, you'll know that I've lost two friends to drunk drivers. One was eight months pregnant. I'm all for a night out on the town. But be sensible and get a cab or have a designated driver. It's not usually the drunk driver who is killed or injured; it's the innocent people on their way home from work, the families on vacation, and the mom running out for a gallon of milk.

The next time you want to go out for drinks, please think of your friends, families, the innocent lives you could take, the relationships you'll ruin just for a few hours of a good time.

I would like to encourage you to read this post which I wrote last May just before I did Walk Like MADD
Drunk Drivers Killed my Friends. I hope that the story inside touches your heart as it did mine. I just read again and was unable to stop my tears.

I also encourage you to follow Blog to Eliminate Drunk Driving. MADD would love to be out of business. This would mean we've succeeded in clearing the road of drunk drivers and saved the lives of those we love.

Below are more heart wrenching stories of lives permanently changed in the blink of an eye because of a drunk driver's choices:

Dedicated to Save a Life

Parents of Hit and Run Victim are 'numbed'

DWI News Information and News Blog

The Drunk Driving Masses This little boy was killed when he was four months old by a drunk driver. His family was on their way home from having pizza on Thanksgiving. This is the families second drunk driving fatality.

Student Leader, Athlete, Cherished Son and Brother
Killed by an Underage Drunk Driver

Read their stories. There are thousands more like them. Drunk driving is 100% preventable.

Blogging for Dummies

I should have known that if they have a Breastfeeding for Dummies that there would be a Blogging for Dummies (come on women! We've been sticking our boobs in babies mouths for thousands of years. It's not rocket science.).

Apparently I need to buy the book- not the bre
astfeeding one, been there done that many times. I need the Blogging for Dummies. Like, seven months ago. Just after starting my baby RMS Snowdrop I lost it. Not mentally, I literally lost my blog. I spent two days trying to find it. Hubby and my friend Beth also tried to help me find it. We looked under the bed, in the closet, behind the washer, nothing. My editor was in Austria at the time and I really didn't want to interrupt her vacation by telling her that her computer illiterate friend lost her blog. I even wrote a post about losing it- the blog, not my mind. Oh where are thou blog? was one of my first posts on BloggersBase and for several months held an amazing 9.0. Then some meanies decided to go vote it down. Ppplllbbb! Feel free to go help get it back up! Oh, and here's the update from Oh, Where Out Thou Blog; Recently Crowned Queen of the Dorks which wasn't as well received. (Here's the link on BloggersBase)

Ok, I'm way off track (vote! vote! vote!). So, Kris gets back from vacation and I have to tell her I've lost my blog. I've tried to log in several times and it tells me I have no posts. It's there, somewhere in Internet world but I can't log into it. She tells me to hang on, she'll try to find it. I wait patiently.

Kris: It's right there!

Me: Where?

Kris: I typed in kaytiiangel......and there it was.



Me: Ummmm, oh. That's the email address I used for my blog!

Who the hell allowed me access to a computer? Didn't they know a severe Adult ADD sufferer shouldn't be allowed to use such a complicated machine?

I recently left this comment to this post Top SEO Forums: If I understood what SEO's
were I'd say that's a great list! LOL

A fellow blogger-Dajjal- who obviously has not had billions of brain cells sucked out after giving birth five times left me this very helpful comment: SEO
is tactics for maximizing the search engine rank of your web site or blog. It is based on analysis of search engine algorithms. It involves the use of headers, meta tags,key words, image descriptors and links. Download Web Ceo and try it on your blog.

In the words of Marlin the Clown fish from Finding Nemo- "It's like you're trying to speak to me, I know it." I'm trying to get it, honest!

Fortunately BloggersBase has related posts underneath. I see one that says Intro to SEO Tuesdays by thejimgaudet. I read the post then left this comment: I feel like Marlin when Squirt is explaining how to travel in the East Australian Current in Finding Nemo. Do they make meds for computer illiteracy???....

g Finding Nemo quotes, take a humorous look inside my tiny brain:

Marlin- Look, you're really cute, but I can't understand what you're saying. Say the first thing again. This is how I feel when anyone tried to explain directions to me...for anything.
Crush: Dude? Dude? Focus dude... Dude? I swear I try to focus. It's like I need glasses for my brain.

Crush: ... First you were all like "whoa", and we were like "whoa", and you were like "whoa..." That's about all I hear when you try to explain something foreign to directions to an
ywhere- except the mall, those I would get.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim. What goes through my head when you're on Step 2.

Bob: Hey Marty, calm down.
Marlin: Don't tell me to be calm, pony boy.
Bob: Pony boy?
Bill: You know for a clownfish, he really isn't that funny
Ted: Pity Ok, I added this one just because it has Ted's name in it- our only true comedian on BloggersBase.

Dory: I remembered what it said! I usually forget things, but I remembered it that time! P. Sherman, 4...
Marlin: Wait! What does that mean?
Dory: I don't know. But who cares! Ha ha! I remembered! P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. I remembered it again! How I'll feel if I ever do happen understand the innards of blogging.

Bubbles: Bubbles. Bubbles. My bubbles. Oh, sorry, you were saying?

You can talk about Finding Nemo and not mention this scene so this one is purely for giggles:

Nemo: What's that?
Tad: I know what that is. Sandy Plankton saw one. He called it... uh... he said it was called a "butt".
Pearl: That's a pretty big butt.
[swims out a little]
Sheldon: Oh, look at me. I'm gonna touch the butt.

Sheldon: [gasp] He touched the butt.

Hmmm, how to wrap this up.....well the point was to poke fun at myself about being computer illiterate on the innards of blogging while including quotes from one of my favorite Disney movies that I've watched thousands of times thanks to having four kids.

So, be honest, did it make you laugh? Giggle? Smirk? Upward twitch?

I'm off to attempt to understand SEO's, key words, tags, mega somthing-or-others, HTML's, URL's and any other complicated mumbo jumbo I'm supposed to understand to get RMS Snowdrop off of page 4,567,231 of Google.

No, I didn't actually take the time to see if it was that low of the totem pole-that was just a random number. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being self pay in an insurance world

I've recently had a discussions with my friends about health insurance so I figured I'd let you all in on how my side of the conversation goes.

We don't have any insurance. Zip. None. Nada.

Why not? Hubby owns his own business and is the only employee. We would wind up spending WAY more on insurance than what we pay on medical bills. That includes the five children we've had.

How is this possible? No, we're not rolling in money so check that off your list. We're just a typical American family, except we've have twice the average 2.5 kids that the typical American family has. We've simply discovered a way around the system quite by accident.

When we had our 15 year old, Kelly, we were young, broke, college students. Fortunately we had a lot of help from our families. The hospital bill alone was $4,5000. Keep in mind, this was not a normal birth. I had complications and had to stay four days instead of the usual two. Kelly was released after two days but when they told Hubby he could take her home, he looked at them and laughed. So she stayed in my room. Because we were "self pay," when we got the bill we went through it with a fine toothed comb. They charged us four days in the nursery instead of two. There were a few other charges that weren't correct and when we called the hospital, they gladly took the charges off.

The next baby was completely different. The pregnancy was normal until my 7th month when I went into labor early. We had test after test for two months before Jacob was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. Had we had insurance, the bill would have been astronomical. We had several advanced ultrasounds, one with five doctors from five different specialties all in the same room. We had an amniocentesis, appointments with a geneticist, plus six visits to the ER to receive a shot to stop my labor. I have no idea what our bill would have been if we'd had insurance. Our OB/GYN gave us a discount because we paid in cash. The hospital removed several charges because we paid cash. Our geneticist didn't charge us at all. We received a severe discount on the amnio. And the brand new advanced ultrasound performed with the team of doctors? Free. Yes, a lot of this was because they felt sorry for us that our son would not live long even if he made it through delivery. But many of the discounts were due to the fact the hospital/doctors didn't have to wade through mounds of paper work and wait months to be reimbursed by some over inflated medical insurance company. They were getting cash without having to bill us.

We used the same doctor's office when I got pregnant with Reyna. They continued to be wonderful giving us a discount once again. We even got a discount on the amnio which thankfully came back normal. After having Jacob it was highly suggested we get an amnio for every pregnancy to screen for chromosomal disorders. We did use medicare in my last two months of pregnancy with Reyna. She was our first baby born in Florida where the other two were born in North Carolina. The previous seven months, we paid cash to our doctors in North Carolina. We used Florida Kid Care for Reyna and Kelly until we moved back to NC a year later. So, for a short time, we accepted help from the government. They tried each time we went into the office to push food stamps on us. We were perfectly capable of providing our family with groceries and continually declined. Others are greedy and will take whatever the government offers them whether they need it or not. We didn't feel comfortable taking advantage of the system.

The pediatrician in NC that we used for the girls gave us a discount because we paid in cash. If they needed a prescription, they looked through their samples first before writing one we'd have to pay for.

We looked into insurance when we decided to have another baby. We would have had to wait up to two years before I could get pregnant. I wanted a baby now. When
I wanted one. I didn't want some money hungry company telling me when I was allowed to expand my family. So we opted to not get insurance. When we finally got pregnant with Carson, we used a doctor's office that was highly recommended. It was crap. The whole experience was horrible. They treated me like trash because I was self pay, though they did give us somewhat of a discount. When we hit a snag for two months and were unable to pay them, they told me I would have to go to the Health Department for the last two months of my pregnancy. We paid them as soon as we could, refusing to go anywhere else. We paid cash for my epidural and received a discount.

Oh, and sometimes it's all in who you know. We paid in advance for a private room. One was not available after I was finished in the delivery room, so I was placed in a room with a horrible couple who apparently didn't care that I could hear everything they said on the other side of the paper thin curtain. They spoke, loudly, of how bad their last experience was when the mother had to share a room. My visitors could hear them. Both of our nurses could hear them. Their nurse apologized several times. I couldn't take it anymore and started to cry. I looked at Hubby and pleaded with him to take me home. He grabbed someone out in the hall, told them who he knew in the higher ups of the hospital, and I was quickly whisked off to a private room and given a steak and shrimp dinner compliments of the hospital. The other couple's nurse even found me and apologized again. The day Carson and I were released from the hospital, billing called up to my room and asked if Hubby could come down and speak with them. They told him if he paid the whole bill right then, they'd cut it in half. Yup, in HALF! Which, by the way, had nothing to do with who we knew. They'd rather be paid something right then, then have to waste paper and time billing us over the next several months and not know whether or not they'd get paid.

We had the same experience when I had Maisie (though we chose a different doctor's office and they were phenomenal). Cha ching, discount from the doctor. Cha ching, discount from the ultrasound specialist. Cha ching, discount from the hospital. We even got a discount for my tubal ligation. Yes, we're finished. Even though Carson has been begging for a little brother. I told him, "Tough luck. I'm done."

Our family doctors do the same thing for us. I tell them we're self pay, the doctor himself writes how much he's charging us on our chart. If they have samples, they give them to us.

We've been very fortunate and have had healthy kids aside from Jacob. They have an occasional sinus infection, injury, yearly check ups, and sports physicals, but we pay MUCH less out of pocket than we would paying for insurance every month. I noticed that our family doctor's office has started asking for co-pays before patients see the doctor. With us, we get charged after we see him. Sometimes we make a partial payment and are billed for the remainder. They always get paid and without all the headaches and hoops they have to jump through with insurance companies. We can see what ever doctor we choose. We don't need to get referrals. If we do have to go to the ER, we don't have to check and make sure the doctor that sees us is covered by our insurance plan. If we are unable to make the payments, we can't lose out cars. They can't take our house. They can't garnish wages. They must accept the loss. Would I feel bad not paying for the service I received? Yes. But I wouldn't move my family out on the street because I was unable to pay for a severely overinflated medical fee either.

After sharing the above with people, I always get the same reaction. Their jaws hit the floor and they are speechless. When they are finally able to form words again, the first question they ask is "In half?" Most people are unaware of how much money the insurance companies are making and how much they overcharge. Once upon a time, there was no health insurance. Office visits didn't cost $100. It didn't cost $10,000-$30,000+ to have a baby. Surgeries and ER visits didn't put you in financial shock. I shared this with my friends and some are now rethinking paying for insurance.

I've recently began to look into catastrophic insurance a little bit.

The following is from Catastrophic Health Insurance

Everyone knows how important it is to have health insurance, but what about coverage for events such as a bicycle or auto accident, dog bite, appendectomy or emergency root canal? These events are unpredictable, traumatic and expensive since they often require an emergency room visit. Below are the estimated costs of a selection of emergency treatments and surgeries:

Minor Car Accident: $15,082
Major Car Accident: $814,251
Appendectomy: $15,850
Severe Dog Bite: $4,622 - $6,842
Broken Limb: $1,000 - $2,000
Root Canal: $1,000

A catastrophic plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida for a nonsmoking 21-year-old female, with a $250 deductible and $2,500 out-of-pocket limit after exceeding the deductible, costs $29 per month.

This is something I may look into sometime but for the time being we're perfectly content being self pay.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Put a little love in your...pj's?

I was recently made aware of The Pajama Program through a website I'm a member of. The Pajama Program provides NEW warm pajamas and NEW books to needy children across the globe. Many of these children are not fortunate enough to have a home much less pajamas and books to call their own. Some have dreams of being adopted others hope to be reunited with their families.

Sprout and the Pajama Program launch The Great Sprout ...

One of the mom's hosted a play date/pajama party today and 30 brand new pairs of pajamas, 24 new books, 3 new back packs, and some school supplies were donated. Also, the venue where today's event was held sold chocolate chip cookies 2/$1 then donated 100% of the proceeds to The Pajama Program. On top of that, they matched what they sold and presented the mom with a check for $100. That will buy a lot of new pj's!

The pajamas, books, and money collected today will benefit Raising Hope. Here is their mission statement:

"Raising Hope, Inc. was established to take an active role in ensuring that the at-risk children in Pinellas County are afforded opportunities to live happy, healthy, stable, and productive lives. This will be accomplished through fundraising and developing partnerships that give members of the community an opportunity to support children living in crisis situations. All money raised and resources acquired will be channeled toward services and products that support the healthy development of children."

Raising Hope cares for children and their needs from newborns to age eighteen. A variety of support is needed for them to help as many children as possible. Please click here to see some of the many ways they need help.

Pajama Program on the Today Show!

When I first heard about The Pajama Program, I was already incredibly interested but after viewing the clip from an Oprah show I was even more ready to jump on board.

Pajama Program

Please take the time to watch the videos on here. I guarantee you that you will be moved. I was.

Children Incorporated - Pajama Party

If you would be interested in donating pajamas, books, or money for our next pajama drive Sunday September 20, 2009 please send me an email at

Thursday, August 20, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day September 21

September 21 is World Alzheimer's Day, when Alzheimer organizations from around the world work together to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease.

We're asking friends like you to demonstrate your support for World Alzheimer's Day by shopping for the cause!

Make a powerful World Alzheimer's Day statement and show your support for advancing essential Alzheimer research and care programs by purchasing these products and wearing purple today!

Alzheimer's Association

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Duodecaplets Mother a Fraud

Earlier today I submitted a post on a mother who claimed to be pregnant with twelve babies- six boys and six girls- Make adoption an option. I am thrilled to find that it was a fraud. After the research I did last night I was deeply disturbed by what I found. It's becoming more and more common to become pregnant with multiples then capitalize on that by accepting freebies from several companies and/or landing your own television show.

But what about the health of the babies? Any pregnancy can have it's difficulties but the more babies a mother carries the greater the risk to her and the unborn children. In researching medical problems with multiple births I found these to
be the most common issues, due sometimes to prematurity: bleeding on the brain, intestinal problems, developmental delays, learning disabilities, low birth weight, underdeveloped lungs, mental retardation, blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, and even death.

The babies aren't the only ones at risk. Mothers of multiples have a high- 43%- of developing Postpartum Depression which can be severe if left untreated. Nausea, heartburn, insomnia, fatigue, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, twin to twin transfusion, pre-term birth, cesarean section, and placenta

Are the risks really worth it? To many, yes it is. But I'll say it again. Make adoption an option.

But I don't wanna go to kindergarten!

My five year old son Carson doesn't want to go to kindergarten. He won't say why, just that he doesn't want to go. We've tried telling him how much fun he'll have, all the new friends he'll make, and the wonderful things he'll learn. Nope. Still doesn't want to go.

A few days ago he told me he wanted to go to his uncle's fire station instead of going to kindergarten. The day before that, he said he wanted to go to fire school instead of going to kindergarten. Hmmm, wonder who his hero is? Thankfully, my Uncle Mike explained to Carson that all firefighters had to go to kindergarten before they went to fire school. He seemed to buy that.

We have yet to tell Carson that on Monday, the day before school starts that he has to get four shots. I can imagine how well that's going to go over. This is the kid who let the dentist numb his mouth and then refused to let him fix his tooth.

For any other parents going through a similar situation, here's how we got our son more interested in school. I took him to Target and let him pick out whatever backpack and lunch box he wanted. He chose Transformers for both... even though he's never seen the movie. At Payless, since it was buy one get one 1/2 off I let him choose two new pair of shoes. He chose Transformers and G.I. Joe...even though he's never seen the movies. Are boys just drawn to shoot ‘em up movies? Regardless, he's a little more excited about going to school. Especially after I took him to get a haircut and the barber told him he was ready to make the little girls go crazy!

Carson also got a kick out of me reading him these kindergarten jokes/funny stories:

Summer vacation was over and Little Johnny returned back to school.
Only two days later his teacher phoned his mother to tell her that he was misbehaving.
"Wait a minute," she said. "I had Johnny with me for three months and I never called you once when he misbehaved!"

A little girl came home from school and said to her mother, "Mommy, today in school I was punished for something that I didn't do."
The mother exclaimed, "But that's terrible! I'm going to have a talk with your teacher about this ... by the way, what was it that you didn't do?"
The little girl replied, "My homework."

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Teacher: Why are you late, Joseph?
Joseph: Because of a sign down the road.
Teacher: What does a sign have to do with your being late?
Joseph: The sign said, "School Ahead, Go Slow!"

The child comes home from his first day at school. Mother asks, "What did you learn today?"
The kid replies, "Not enough. I have to go back tomorrow."
Little Johnny wasn't getting good marks in school. One day he surprised the teacher with an announcement. He tapped her on the shoulder and said, "I don't want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don't start getting better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking!"

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

Make adoption an option

Yesterday a new multiple baby pregnancy made the news. This one has to be the most disturbing one, yet. Please note that I am purposefully not mentioning the most recent mom by name who gave birth to eight babies and now has her own show which many people are boycotting because they believe she became pregnant with multiple babies to get her own show, as do I and am disgusted. Moving on....

I read four articles (see below) about the Tunisian teacher, pregnant with twelve babies, who is in her 30's. No that's not a typo – she has 12 babies growing inside of her. Six are boys and six are girls. None of the articles knew exactly what type of artificial means she used to become pregnant. She had suffered two miscarriages in the last two years which is why they chose to use medical intervention.

"I don't want to dampen her enthusiasm, but the chances are she will deliver at twenty weeks. I wouldn't even give her a one in 100 chance of even one surviving. It's frightening," Peter Bowen-Simpkins, a fellow at the
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists told the Daily mail.

According to the, the record for multiples was set in 1996. A Greek Cypriot woman was pregnant at age 23 with eleven babies. Doctors aborted nine of the babies so that two of them would have a chance to survive.

In another article, last May Nuala Conway, from Dunamore in Co Tyrone gave birth to sextuplets when she was 26. She delivered four girls and two boys. One of the girls died.

The Sun posted that in 1971, a mother in Australia became pregnant with nine babies. Every single one died.

And yet another mom, this time in Britain was pregnant with eight babies. Doctors advised her to abort some of the babies but she refused. All eight babies died when she went into labor at twenty two weeks.

I understand a woman's incredibly strong desire to feel her own baby inside of her and experience birth, but at what cost to the babies? When do we draw the line? There seems to be a competition to see what doctor can successfully implant and deliver the most babies. Kate Gosselin has shown the world how difficult it is to raise eight children, six being the same age. As a mom of four, I can't imagine raising multiple children of the same age.

I was adopted at birth and brought a lot of joy to my parents (most of the time). Once they got me home, when I was two days old, they never thought of me as belonging to anyone else. I was theirs just like my sisters were. One of my sister's and her ex-husband weren't able to have children. They adopted my niece from China. GK is a very happy, healthy, well-loved little girl.

I've heard that some moms who are having difficulty getting pregnant get angry when people suggest adoption. I don't understand why it's such a dirty word to people. Thousands of babies and children need loving homes. People who can't have kids could accept them into their lives and love them as their own. I understand they want to have a biological child. But sometimes other options can be explored – other than risking the health of the mother and the tiny, helpless unborn babies.

I know that many people have strong opinions on these things and I understand everyone is entitled to their opinion. As a happy adoptee and mother of four children and one Angel, I just feel that adoption should be considered more than artificial insemination of multiple babies. I know I've carried my babies so I don't know what it's like to not be able to get pregnant. But I ALSO know what it's like to be raised by a wonderful family who treated me like their own. Not all adoptees are as lucky as me, but I believe the majority are. When Hubby and I decided to have baby number four, we had a hard time. It took over two years. Adoption was never far from my mind during my struggles.

Justine Simmons gave birth to her daughter, Victoria Anne on September 26, 2006. Victoria was premature and passed away two hours after she was born. Longing to have a little girl to love, she and her husband Rev Run decided to adopt. I love Justine's outlook on her adopted baby girl, Miley. In an article on bnet Justine said, "There are other women out there who can't have babies and they keep trying. They get so caught up with 'I gotta have my own,'" she states. "I forget sometimes that Miley's adopted. If people knew that they would get that feeling from adoption, I think more [couples] would adopt and not go through the heartache of trying and miscarrying."

One day while doing some research on adoption of older children for a friend, I came across pictures of children available for adoption on I scrolled through every picture and wanted so badly to bring every one of them into my home to love as my own. There are currently 751 children in need of a loving family on My hope is that more people, childless or not, make adoption an option.

Open your home.

Open your heart.,2933,540023,00.html