Sunday, September 28, 2008

Heavenly Impressions

Okay, so I usually talk candles and fragrances, but I have a wonderful company that I felt compelled to dish about: Heavenly Impressions.

Based out of Shreveport, Lousiana, Heavenly Impressions is the brainchild of Rachel Fultz ( Heavenly Impressions offers chic and trendy scrapbook inspired photo cards and other unique products. These wonderful cards aren’t your everyday cards! From invitations to holiday cards, Heavenly Impressions has a creative array of fantastic choices.

I discovered this fantastic company while trying to find photo birthday cards for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party several years ago. She was having a Flip Flop Pool Party theme. When I stumbled on Rachel’s site, I was sold! Her Hot Pink Hawaiian card was EXACTLY what I’d been hunting for!

I’d ordered from other companies before finding Rachel’s fantastic company. I won’t ever go back! Not only were the cards professional, the customer service was outstanding. Rachel quickly answers any questions or concerns. She gets back to you with a proof of your design very quickly and ships promptly (although if you’re a procrastinator like me, she does offer Rush Delivery). AND, if your daughter decides to take all 25 invitations to school and invite her entire class plus a few, and you are now out of invitations to give to family members and neighbors....Rachel is more than happy to create a few more ;) Don't ask me how I know this, LOL.

In addition to invitations for all occasions, Rachel offers birth announcements, stationary, address labels and jewelry! For the Holidays, her photo Christmas cards are perfect (and she also offers Hanukah cards as well). Again being the ever constant procrastinator that I am, I missed Christmas cards last year and ended up ordering New Year’s cards. I came up with a cute poem and Rachel custom designed the cards to fit my needs. They turned out beautifully and everyone loved them! This year we’ll be ordering the photo ornaments as presents for family!

So if you’re looking for unique, high quality custom cards, ornaments, stationary or more, be sure to swing by . You won’t be disappointed!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Faith In My Fellow Humans

It’s sad that we live in a society where so many people have lost faith in each other, in humanity. Violence, murder, selfish lawsuits... unfortunately, living in a large city, this is a part of everyday life. I grew up in a small town. Small towns are a world unto themselves. We didn’t lock our doors, we said hello to each other, we waved to strangers, that’s how we rolled. My daughter recently waved to a neighbor from down the street…he looked at her and drove on…didn’t even smile. How can you resist a toothless 7 year old in pig tails? It broke my heart. I guess I’ve been frustrated with life in a big city, and consequently the behavior of the city’s’ people for some time now. It took a car accident to restore my faith in my fellow human beings.

I was driving back from Target. I only had K in the car, very unusual, I usually have all three. But it was a Sunday, so I wanted to make a special mommy and me time for just K and I. Driving home, there was a Honda Civic in front of me. The car in front of him slammed on his brakes and swerved, the Honda swerved, and unfortunately, I couldn’t swerve without hitting oncoming traffic…so bam. I rear ended the 2008 Honda Civic. We immediately pulled to the side of the road. K was fine (her main concern was whether or not mommy was going to jail). I got out of the car, worried to death that someone might be hurt. I have to admit that I was also worried that whomever I’d hit was going to get out screaming and yelling (not a scene I wanted my child to see). I needn’t have worried. I had hit a young 20 year old man, driving back from a weekend away with a friend. I felt so awful I was almost crying. I didn’t even worry about the damage to my van, I just felt so horrible that I’d cracked his bumper. He was very nice about things, telling me these things happen, everyone was fine, no worries. We called the police who came, ticketed me, and sent us on our way.

After I got home, I started to stress. I know a woman (luckily not a friend of mine) who was rear ended and sued the other driver…for $80,000! Now, I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck don’t have $80,000. I also know my good friend “C” had gone through a horrible ordeal due to rear ending the “wrong person”. I knew the other driver was okay, and the policeman was careful to document everything to make sure there were no injuries. But what if he did sue me? Face it, we live in a sue happy society. It’s horrible. I had a hard time sleeping that night. The next day I got a phone call from the boy’s mom. She wanted to make sure I was okay!! I was flabbergasted. I told her we were fine and how sorry I was about her son’s car. She was so nice about everything, very empathetic (they’d been in a similar situation a few months ago, but they were at the other end…the cause of the accident). Long story short, this family was so nice, so gracious, it just surprised me. It put things into perspective.

Yes, there are people who will sue you for looking at them wrong. But there are still good people in this world. There are still people who genuinely care for others, decent human beings. My faith in humanity has been restored by one family. One family being human, being caring. It’s crazy how something so little can make such an impact. One little act of decency is all it took. After all was said and done, the insurance claim filed, I returned the act. I called the family and thanked them. I explained to them how grateful I was for their kindness. I wanted to let them know how much I appreciated how they had handled the situation. Imagine that. A car accident where no one yelled, no one screamed, no one got sued, and the participants involved were kind to each other. That’s how life should be (well, without the whole car accident thing ; ).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My New Addiction!

I have a new addiction. It is so unbelievably bad. My house is a disaster, my kids are running wild, my husband is abandoned. My dinner has consisted of rice crackers and Diet Pepsi for the past week. The dogs are sadly neglected and the cats have been ignored. My addiction is also catching. I’ve given it to my girlfriend ,“C”. We sneak out to the gym to fulfill our addiction. Exercise, schmexercise, we’re being slaves to our addiction. Our husbands miss us. It’s insanity.

No, we’re not sneaking out doing anything horrendous. We’re reading. Yes, that’s right, we’re dorks. I had a girls’ night out the other night and the topic turned to books. Several ladies were chatting about this fantastic series they were reading. Now, being the book aficionado I am (and yes, that translates into dork), I had to know what these ladies were raving about. “Twilight”. At first I heard “romance” and that about threw me off…..I don’t do mush. Then I heard, “Vampire” and that (excuse the lame pun) sucked me in. That is soooooo my type of book!

And so began my addiction. I took a minute Saturday to head over to the bookstore. I found “Twilight” by Stephenie (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) Meyer. At the checkout, the lady behind the counter asked me, “Would you like to sign up for our book club and save 10%”. My reply, “No, I don’t buy very many new books”. *Sigh* If only I had known how bad the addiction would be. I could’ve saved a ton of mula. I headed home, and decided, “Nah, laundry can wait, I’ll read for a few minutes”. Famous last words; three hours later…I was still reading. I was hooked. Made a fancy dinner consisting of fish sticks and cottage cheese, kept reading. Read all afternoon…all night…and finished the book by Sunday morning. Alluring vampires, danger, romance, and teenage angst….could it get any better?

I was so enamored with this book, I knew I had to share it. Within 5 minutes of finishing it, I headed over to “C’s” house. Her husband thought I was nutty, he couldn’t believe I read the whole book in less than a day. Oh, if only he knew how bad it would get.

Rushed BACK to the bookstore, and bought the second one, “New Moon”. Same checkout lady. Gave me a funny look. And no, I still didn’t sign up for the 10% club. Read, read, read. Went to the gym, read for an hour while walking on the treadmill, then since I was at a good part, did the bike for 30 minutes. “C” was next to me on the treadmill reading the first book, “Twilight”. Ah, two dorks completely obsessed ;) Headed home and read the book while at the stoplight (no joke). Finished it Monday morning. Tried to convince myself I could wait for the next book. It didn’t work, all I could think about was the next “hit”.

Headed BACK to the same bookstore. Now the checkout lady is looking a bit smug. I brace myself for the “You could have saved” lecture. Thankfully my 4 year old was so amazingly loud, she was distracted. Made off with my purchase of “Eclipse” and headed home. Like a true addict, I tried to draw it out. I promised myself, “Just a few chapters”. I will get laundry done today (since now it’s piled up to my closet ceiling). I called “C” to see how her laundry was going…..she was faring no better. We agreed to meet at the gym “to work out”. Yes, we did exercise, but we also read obsessively the entire time. I even made her go an extra 10 minutes so I could get through my chapter! And now I’m done. I’m a freak. I’m jittery knowing that another book doesn’t come out until August 2. How will I survive?? *Ugh* I guess I’ll have to go get that laundry done…until the next book comes out….then I’ll fall off the wagon ;)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Being a WAHM!

Being a WAHM

What is a WAHM? WAHM stands for Work-at-home mom and it happens to be the current title I've adopted. As a child, my own mother stayed home with us. That’s all I knew. Mom would be there for lunch, she’d make us dinner, if we needed help in the classroom or with Girl Scouts, mom would do it. Once we were older, she went back to school and eventually worked full time. My own path has been somewhat different.

After graduating high school, I attend the University of Arizona where I met my husband to be. Eventually, I transferred to Arizona State University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business, specializing in Human Resources. I had high ambitions of working my way up the corporate ladder and making enough money to live very comfortably. Oh how life changes! I was married in August of 1997. I had my internships lined up and possible jobs all laid out. Then life threw us a curveball (albeit a very wanted and very loved curveball). I got pregnant in November of 1997 and all my ideals on life changed in one instant. While the pregnancy wasn’t planned, we were ecstatic. All my life I’ve wanted to be a mom. I was 22 at the time. I finished up college, scrapped the internships, and made the executive decision to become a stay-at-home mom.

Being a stay-at-home mom is absolutely one of the most rewarding jobs you could be blessed with. Yes, it does involve playing Barbies and Hot-Wheels and eating stale PB & J at times rather than schmoozing at corporate events and eating sushi, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, my youngest will start kindergarten next year, and since we have all day kindergarten, I’ll have no children at home. I started thinking about getting a job. But, what would I do if one of my kids was sick? What if I want to chaperone a field trip? How could I still be my daughter’s Girl Scout Leader? What if, what if, what if? It boiled down to the fact that I didn’t want to work in an office. I wanted to work from home….which leads me to my current title…WAHM.

I’ve always had an obsession with candles. In 2004, I discovered the world of wax tarts (also called wax melts & wax potpourri, wax with no wick). I was hooked. I loved how my house would smell when I’d burn a tart, and no open flames was a nice bonus. In 2005, I had an epiphany. I could make these, how hard could it be? I could save some money! HA! Wow, boy was I in for a shocker. I made my first batch of tarts in August of 2005. I was so proud, I handed them out to everyone I knew that had a tart warmer (which is how you melt the tarts). I expected glowing reviews. I waited. And then my friend called, “Well, I can’t smell it”. I was floored. I immediately burned a few I’d made. I could smell them, but they definitely weren’t all that. And so began my adventure. I started playing with different waxes, formulas, and additives. The tarts got better! After about a year and much research (and LOTS of spent money), I’d found a formula that worked. I gave them to some testers and waited nervously. The result? RAVE reviews! The tarts were strong and they lasted for such a long time! And that’s how it began. I began making candles, dabbled in bath products and air fresheners, and slowly things began snowballing. Friends and family were placing orders left and right, but everyone had one question, “Do you have a website I can order from?”

In October 2007, I took the plunge and opened my own online store, The Blue Gecko Candle Company, I am so proud of it! It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it! I have the best customers (seriously)! It’s hard work, but hearing the pride in your little 6 year old’s voice as she’s telling her friends, “My mom made this”, is very rewarding! But the best part? I’m here in the morning when the kids wake up, I can still get them to school and I’m here when they get home. The downside? My laundry still piles up, my toilets still need to be scrubbed, and dinner still needs to get cooked. Trying to balance working with my normal mom duties has been very challenging, although I’m somewhat getting my routine down. And another bonus? Even if my house is messy, it smells darn good in here ;)

I am blessed. I have the best of both worlds, and I am thankful. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Heart Strings

I have recentely blogged about my frustration with my children (we've all been there). In light of that fact, I wanted to post a story to remind me (and you) why we do what we do. Watch out, this one will tug your heart strings.

I took the rugrats to McDonalds the other day. They like to play at the play place. There were a ton of kids running amuck, it was very busy. One little girl caught my eye. She was a tiny thing, probably only about 2. She had very little hair, a fact most of the other kids noticed, she looked different. She had Down’s Syndrome. Kids can be cruel. I always try to impress upon my own kids that it’s never okay to make fun of someone for being different, ever. Some of the kids (not my own), were giggling at the little girl (who laughed along with them). There were a few kids that were teasing her, and it tore at my heart . My 6 year old, watched all of this from our seat. Without a word, she got up and went to play. She played for awhile, and no doubt noticed the other kids being cruel. She bent down and said something to the little girl, and the little girl smiled, she then got up, walked over to the little girl’s mom and says, “You have a beautiful daughter”. It brings tears to my eyes. The mom smiled and said, “Thank you honey, you’re a beautiful little girl too”. Kylie said, “Thank you”, smiled and went on her way. I have no doubt that that was exactly what the mom needed. And for me, it reminded me that while so many times I feel like I’m not being a good mother, I must be doing something right to raise such a kind hearted little girl.

Now go grab your kleenex ;)


Friday, January 25, 2008

Crankiness Abounds....

I know I've whined about my children's sleep habits in a previous blog, but why oh why is my boy such a nightmare to get to bed? Does he feel it's his duty as a future man in training to stress out the women in his life? Is it because I ate to many Girl Scout cookies while he was in utero and therefor creating a permanent sugar high in his energetic little body? Does he possibly think that his boring stay-at-home mother needs a little practice in anger management (of which I fail miserably)? I don't know. All I know is that my sweet little 3 year old knows how to turn this mom into a cranky, red-faced, temper tantrum throwing mommy. I try to be calm. I try to rationalize with him (yeah, three year olds are not conducive to rationalizing). I read countless books (many of which involve how wonderful it is to go to sleep!). I sing to him (including songs which I have to make up off the top of my head "Mom, sing the song about the monster fire truck"). I take away privileges when he's out of control. I hug him, I kiss him. I try to be a good mom. So why do I feel like such a failure??? WHY CAN'T I GET HIM TO BED????

My girls are easy. Brush teeth, read book, sing songs...bed. Done. *Sigh* Someday I'll show him this blog. I love my little man, as challenging as he is, I still love him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cabin Fever

Okay, so having been stuck in the house since Monday, I could see how ye' old pioneers would go crazy and eat their children. So I'd never eat my kids (they're a bit on the scrawny side, that and they're puking at the moment…ewww), I absolutely am going nuts! You'd think being stuck at home for three days straight, I'd get a lot accomplished. Not so. Inactivity breeds boredom. I find myself dabbling in new bath and body recipes (hmm…what happens when I add massive amounts of bubbling powder to massive amounts of cocoa butter (for the record, gross, don't do it)! I've spent unbelievable amounts of time on the computer (I'll pretend it was for work, but let's just say I caught up on about 1000 emails). That's productive right? I'm still trying to figure out who the person is that keeps trying to chat with me on Yahoo. They're very persistent…but I don't know who they are, LOL. It's gotta be someone I know, but I don't recognize the name, so I refuse to chat…but I don't want to be mean and deny them…so I just close the window…and it will inevitably pop back up, LOL. A little game to amuse me in my time of need.

And heaven forbid anyone call me…I'll talk your frickin' ear off, LOL. Serious. Don't call unless you have two hours to kill. I've probably taken 20 bubble baths (see, I was productive, I mastered my bubble bath bombs and I'm probably the cleanest chick for 20 miles!). I caught up on my celebrity gossip (it's exhausting trying to figure out who's in rehab this month!). In short, my week so far has been a complete loss. I'm debating a wild and crazy happy hour Friday to make up for my week of boredom (except that my favorite happy hour enabler has company in town….crap). Now what do I do? Maybe I'll go by myself, LOL. Yipee…happy hour for one. See, I told you I have cabin fever, I'm delirious!

What the hell did the pioneers do? No email, no phone, no bubble baths, no happy hour? OMG! No wonder they snacked on their children. I bet it would've been a different world if they had had bubble powder and cocoa butter to amuse them. Then again, they may have just washed and moisturized their children before eating them ;)

I know you are just so exhilarated to have wasted a good 15 minutes of your life reading my rambling and quite pointless blog. Go take a bubble bath, it'll cheer ya up.

D (who promises not to eat her children)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Complexities Of Sleep

I can fall asleep in my bed. That’s it. Stick me on the couch and I’ll toss and turn. Fall asleep in my chair, never. One little snore from the hubby, I’m up for the night. Now the boy…that’s a different story. I woke up this morning to find my darling three year old asleep. Wonderful, right? No. He’s sleeping (no joke) on the TOP step . His little body is just the perfect size and fits one stair length amazingly well. He was sound asleep. I can’t even begin to recount how many near heart attacks I’ve had from the boy. When you’re expecting them to be sleeping in their bed (you know you tucked them in!) and they’re not there…..eek! This week Caeden’s sleeping spot of choice is (drum roll please) UNDER his bed. Sunday night I did a “where the hell did he go?” search and was starting to get a little panicky! I finally turned off all the fans and just stood in his room, listening. I could hear little boy snoring, peeked under the bed, and there he was, sound asleep. Amazing.

Now the 6 year old is the same way. That kid can sleep anywhere and through anything. During Christmas, some friends put on the Nativity Story (complete with manger). While the adults were playing the piano and very loudly singing Christmas carols, Kylie decided she was tired, crawled into the manger (which was outside), grabbed a blanket….and crashed. Adorable, but how in the world could she sleep? She’s infamous for falling asleep anywhere (including a very loud Halloween party complete with screaming noises and sugared up toddlers). Have you ever known a kid who will ask to be put to bed? That’s our girl!

This brings me to my oldest. That kid doesn’t sleep. Being the first child, perhaps I coddled her to much as an infant. I remember anxiously awaiting her to wake up so I could see her again. Ah, the good old days. She was rocked to sleep, nursed to sleep, and sung to sleep. And of course, any noise at nap time was met with an extremely cranky assault by an overprotective mother. No noise. As a result…she’s a pain to get to bed. She’ll stay up as late as you let her, and never naps. I’m the first child also, and I can guarantee my own mom was the same as me. My brother (the 2nd) can and does sleep anywhere, at any time. Alas, I'm an awful sleeper.

My lesson for new moms: Be noisy while your monsters sleep. I remember people telling me this, but at the time, a sleeping baby was a good thing and there was no way in hell I was going to do anything to jeopardize that precious quiet time. By the second and third, there was no such thing as quiet time!

And on that note, I need to go wake up the rugrats for school (of course the first is already up…the younger two are still sleeping). Case closed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Introduction to the Motley Mom

Hi! I'm Deirdre --------->
While this is my first blog here, I'm not new to blogging. I've been on MySpace for awhile now, but this seems a little more "family friendly" ;) . I'm a proud mama to three little rugrats who keep me hopping daily. I've written several blogs on my crazy life and thought it might be appropriate to let you know how my days progress. So, grab some coffee, sit back, and enjoy the chaos.
Ramblings of a housewife........

After running amuck all morning, I'm a tad bit caffeine inebriated. I tend to ramble. There's your warning, prepare yourself :)

I've come to the conclusion that I may be a bit A.D.D. No laughing (okay, you can giggle a little). I have no attention span whatsoever....hey did you watch CSI last night... (okay, kidding). Seriously, I started out with such good intentions this morning. Sorted the laundry (whoo hoo me!). As I carried the laundry downstairs, I noticed that one of my wonderful youngens had left a tennis shoe dipped in dog crap on the stairs. Dropped the laundry on the stairs, grabbed the shoe. Headed outside to hose off the shoe. Got outside and realized WHY the kid had stepped in dog crap. Dropped the shoe and proceeded to scoop dog poop (and yes, it was the butt crack of dawn). Waved to the neighbors behind me who were probably wondering why in the hell this woman in her jammies was out scooping dog crap at 6 am…okay, so it was probably closer to 7. Noticed that packing peanuts were piled up around the garbage can outside as I threw the doggie doo in, dropped the shovel, picked up packing peanuts. Remembered I needed to ship a package and went back inside (shoe with poop is now on the back patio baking in the sun (eww), shovel is laying next to garbage, poop is still all over the yard). Got inside and the youngens were up (and crabby). Forgot about mailing package. Assured the little one that he was NOT going to die if he ate his bananas, gave the middle kid biscuits with jelly. Realized the dog needed to be fed (why? It's just going to create more poop all over the yard!). Headed to the pantry to get dog food. Noticed that the dishwasher was done. Never made it to the pantry. Opened the dishwasher, p.o.'d because half the freakin' dishes were filled with water and poured out the minute I opened it. Now my feet are wet. Went to get towel...which reminded me that I needed to do laundry. Dripped wet feet over to the stairs to collect laundry which was thrown haphazardly in every direction (apparently the littlest youngen decided it would be fun to toss dirty undies in every which direction). Start picking up laundry, and realize it's time for the school bus. Headed back upstairs (screw the laundry). Middle youngen is waiting at the top of the stairs. Jelly. Freakin' Jelly. Have you ever tried combing through a glop of strawberry jam nestled in a mop of blonde hair? It's like trimming the lawn with a weed whacker (don't ask how I know). Drag middle youngen into the bathroom to attack jelly glob. Notice older youngen looking for missing shoe. Abandon jelly laden middle youngen, head back downstairs (launching my oh so agile body over the mass of laundry), out the door to get shoe (still decorated in dog doo and now nicely sunbaked on). Decide I don't have time to scoop (although I know my neighbors were disappointed they didn't get to peek at the psycho poop scooping nightie wearing freak). Hose off shoe, head back in. Realized, hey, "I didn't have my coffee". Actually, I sort of shouted this causing my little one to startle and slip in the now puddled up water by the dishwasher. Consoled youngen. School bus drives by (we're not on it). Crap, now I have to drive them. Dog is hungry, middle youngen' is whining about jelly, oldest youngen is complaining about her shoe being wet (I had to get the dog crap off somehow!). Grab coffee, scoop youngest under arms, leave comb embedded in middle youngens hair, and drag all three to the car ("my shoooooeeee's wet", "you didn't take the comb out", "whine, whine, - that's the dog...who has yet to be fed). Drive kids to school ("I forgot my backpack"). Drive home, grab backpack, head back to school, and then back home. Try to dress youngest for pre-school and realize he has no clean undies (they're scattered like snowflakes around my dining room awaiting their well deserved visit to the ol' washing machine). He free balls it. Drive youngest to school. Come home...and wake up husband (who has amazingly slept through all the chaos...or just ignored us..probably the latter). Not so bright hubby says, "I don't know why you're so busy, we should get a nanny so you can get stuff done". No joke. Smack hubby, grab more coffee. Nothings done, house is trashed, package is not mailed, yard is full of crap, dog is whining. And it's only 9:30am. Welcome to my life.