Friday, February 26, 2010

I Want a Shawabty

Yesterday I had the privilege of chaperoning my daughter's Alpha class field trip to the art museum. This year they are studying Egypt and our local museum has a ton of Egyptian artifacts. Our docent was very nice but she was quite soft spoken and some of the kids and adults, myself included, were getting a little board with some of the things she was showing. Until, she started talking about the Shawabty.
See, the Egyptians believed that if you do all you are supposed to in this life and live a great life then, in your next life you can have Shawabty's do your undesired chores in the next life. So, before people died they created these sculptures that would come to life and be their slaves in the next life. If you didn't want to scoop the litter box you could send your shawabty to do it. Whatever job you hated or didn't want to do you had a Shawabty. This way, your next life would be better. It was your reward.
I have many tasks in my life that I would rather not do. I would like to have several Shawabty's. One to do the laundry, one to do the dishes, and one to clean my kitchen floor. You see, these are jobs that are never done. Lately, my kitchen floor is my weakness. My kids seem to think that if they don't want to finish eating something they can just push it onto the floor. I hate to sweep and mop. I think it is mostly because I do not have the proper tools. My broom sheds when I use it and it doesn't get everything. I can sweep and then look back at my floor and you can hardly tell I did anything. I have been trying for years to find a good mop. I don't like the sponge mops because they just push the grimy water around. The micro fiber is okay but it is really hard to push across my floor for some reason. So, I've succumbed to scrubbing on my hands and knees in the same fashion as Cinderella. I want a Shawabty. I've been really good, so I think I deserve one in this life so I don't have to wait.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Make a Chocolate Nugget Box

This little box is fairly easy to make and is perfect for thank you gifts, Valentines, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, teacher appreciation, etc. You can use it for so many different things by just changing how it is embellished. The easy way to create this box is copy the pattern onto your card stock and follow the instructions on the paper. I tried to figure out how to insert a copy of the pattern here but couldn't figure it out so, if you would like a copy, leave a comment with a way I can contact you or send an email to annewithany2 at hotmail dot com. The printed instructions for the box will be visible after assembly underneath the nuggets. Simply cut out a piece of card stock to fit down inside to hide the writing.
I was going to create a step by step photo guide on doing it then came across a video on You Tube and figured I didn't need to re-invent the wheel. The video is how to make a nugget box that holds 3 pieces of chocolate. The pattern I have is to hold 8 pieces of chocolate. You will notice in the video she has covered her chocolates with decorative paper. I usually stamp address labels and wrap those around the chocolates but I wanted you to see the type of chocolate to use. You can stamp images or print sayings on the labels to go along with the event you are giving the chocolates for. Hope you enjoy making these as much as I do.

What you will need to make these boxes
Coordinating card stock
Decorative paper (if desired)
Stamps/stickers for embellishing
Double sided sticky tape
other adhesive
8 Hershey chocolate Nuggets
mailing labels
any other embellishments

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm a OWOH Winner

Today I was pleasantly surprised to see I received one of the prizes I won during the OWOH giveaway I participated in earlier this month. My magic carpet took me to B.B. Bellezza and I won this cute necklace with a charm of the Chinese symbol for love she made on a recycled scrabble piece.
Kimberlie Burkhart, the jewelry artist, takes ordinary things and gives them a second life. Take a moment to visit her website and see some of the beautiful pieces she has created. I personally love the revamped keys. If you want to get your hands on her jewelry but you don't live in PA you can always visit her Etsy shop.
Thanks Kimberlie!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Well Woman Exam

It is recommended that you visit a health care professional for an annual well woman exam. It has been almost 2 years since my last visit and I decided I couldn't put it off any longer so today, I made a visit to my OB/GYN. I hate going to these exams but not for the reason you might think. Sure, having my doctor probe in the nether regions is a little uncomfortable but that is not why I dread going. I hate going for the fact that I have to stand on a scale and have my weight recorded.

I don't know a single person who is happy with their weight. I know people who are thin who wish they were bigger and people who are thin and think they are fat. I'm not either one of those. I'm overweight and I hate being overweight. In fact, I think I'm only a pound or two away from the weight I was when I delivered baby #4 almost 2 years ago. The thing is, I don't think of myself as being overweight until I have to be accountable for my weight, see pictures of myself, go clothes shopping or put on a bathing suit. I still feel like I'm a much smaller person. I have a pretty good self esteem. However, I'm reminded I'm not as small as I feel when I try to squeeze through a tight space that I'm sure I can get through only to realize half way through that I'm stuck. Or, when I walk by one of my kids and the next thing I know the junk in the trunk has knocked them over and I had no idea I was that close to them. I know I'm overweight but I guess I just ignore it. I know my weight. My husband knows my weight. A few really close friends know my weight. For some reason though, having a nurse know my weight and the doctor know my weight is much worse. Maybe it is because it is recorded on my medical record. It makes it official....I'm overweight.

So, today I show up for my exam. I went back so they could take my vitals. Then came the moment of reckoning. She pointed towards the scale and asked me to get on. I look at where she was pointing and it looked like a cattle scale to me. Great. Just perfect. I'm too big for the regular scale. I laughed out loud to myself and made a comment about it looking like a cattle scale as I stepped on. The nurse chuckled a little bit and said "I know it is big but is a scale that our wheel chair patients can use." I knew what type of scale it really was but after 2 seconds I saw the numbers. The numbers themselves weren't very big, maybe 3/4 of an inch but they might as well have been 6 inches big and blinking bright red because that is how it felt when she wrote it down.

The awkward moment was over quicker than it has taken me to write this moment down. I survived. I'm in the process of changing some bad eating habits and getting in an exercise routine but the progress isn't as fast as I would like. I don't loose weight easily. In recording my medical history she asked about a thyroid disorder. I hesitated in answering because at one point in my mothers life she was diagnosed with a thyroid problem only to have it discovered by another DR. that she was diagnosed wrong. We decided to check it out just to rule out the possibility. I don't think I have one but secretly I kind of wish I do because then my weight isn't entirely my fault. I think my birth control is to blame for some of the problem, genetics is to blame for some too, but the majority of the problem is on me and my love of all things baked. I haven't met a brownie, cookie, or bread I didn't like.

I reach out to you my readers....few in number but strong in knowledge and experience....what things have worked well for you in the battle of the bulge and what things should I avoid. Is there a specific diet plan? A specific exercise? I would love your healthy recipes. It is time to look as thin as I feel.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Counting Blessings

I have unfortunately been sick for the last several days. Yesterday my husband had to work a 30 hour shift which meant it was sick me vs 4 very healthy kids. I was at a low point yesterday, feeling a little woe is me when I decided I needed to get out of this funk. The best way to do that is by counting my blessings. So, that is what I did. These are not in any particular order but here are my favorite ones.
  1. I have 4 healthy children whom I love very much.
  2. I have 4 children who love me and think I'm am the most amazing person in the world. (at least that is how they make me feel)
  3. I have a wonderful husband
  4. My husband has a job
  5. Because of my husband's job, I get to stay home and take care of my family.
  6. I have use of my hands to knit beautiful baby gifts.
  7. I have a house and 2 vehicles we use to get around in.
  8. I have the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  9. I live in the fullness of times.
  10. I have a pantry full of food.
  11. I can read great books.

These are just 11 of my many blessings. Suddenly life doesn't look so bad. I really have a pretty awesome life and if it takes an illness to make me count my blessings and be grateful, then I'm thankful for my illness too. Afterall, it gave me a chance to knit and read book 2 of The Work and the Glory series guilt free.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Best Recipe for Meatloaf

I've tried many recipes for meatloaf. Some are too spicy while others are too dry and bland. My sister in law gave me a cookbook for Christmas one year and in it was her father's recipe for the meatloaf he used to cook for the firehouse when he was a fireman. This recipe makes a lot so I freeze half of it to bake at another time.

Firehouse Meatloaf

2 lb. lean hamburger
1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
1 lb. pork sausage
1 green pepper, chopped
4 eggs
2 small cans mushrooms
1 onion chopped
1 C. Italian bread Crumbs

Blend ingredients together with your hands; form into loaf shape on wax paper. Move to a cooking rack and bake open at 350 for 1 1/2 hours or until done.
Or, take half of mixture and freeze it. Place the other half in the shape of a ring in a 9x13 inch pan and bake 45-60 minutes until done.
I sometimes chop up whatever veggies I have and add them too.

(This picture is pre-baked)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Make Tissue Paper Flowers

Spring is in the air. I know we are still in February but the sun is shining bright today and it makes me think of spring. So, here is a fun little craft you can do with your children to help you decorate for spring.

Take different colors of tissue paper and lay them one on top of the other. Then fan fold them. Once it is completely folded up tie a pipe cleaner around the middle. Gradually pull apart the layers of tissue and fluff them up. Now you have a beautiful Fiesta flower.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The OWOH winners

I had so much fun on my magic carpet ride participating in this years One World One Heart Giveaway. I was even lucky enough to win 2 items and when I get them I will post pictures and links to the creators. As for my giveaway, I have 2 winners.

Izzy has won the knit baby cardigan and matching blanket.
Necky White has won the cookbook.
I have sent an email to both winners in congratulations. Hopefully I will hear from them soon. I hope everyone has a blessed day. As for me, I'm going to schedule an appointment to see the doctor. I seem to have strep throat again.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

One World One Heart-Giveaway

Added another giveaway since I received 100 comments. I will now be giving away 2 things. Scroll down to see what they are.


There is a world wide event among bloggers going on right now and I want to participate. One World One Heart is working to link bloggers from around the world no matter what race, religion, sex, etc. What a wonderful opportunity to meet people from around the world. Part of it is doing a giveaway. I've been wanting to do a giveaway for some time now and there is no better time than the present.

My giveaway will be

A knit baby cardigan and matching blanket. I was browsing through patterns at the Lionbrand website and came across this one and thought it was just adorable. Can't you imagine your little baby or the baby of someone you love wrapped up in this goodness? It is almost enough to make me want baby #5. I haven't decided yet what type of yarn it will be made from so that is something we can figure out together along with the color. The pattern says the Cardigan is for size 3-6 months but most of the reviews I read say it will fit a larger child, so don't be shy if your baby is a little older. The blanket will be appox. 18 x 24 inches. Perfect for snuggling baby up in the carseat. When you win just let me know the color you want it in.

You can choose pink, blue, or cream.

For those of you who might not want a knitted baby gift, I will also be giving away to another lucky winner a cookbook the ladies at my church put together. It is filled with family tested recipes including several of my own.

This book contains 138 pages of recipes and tips. These are just some of the wonderful recipes you can find in this book.

Here's how to enter to win.

Leave me a comment and make sure to leave some sort of way I can contact you should you win. Deadline for entry is Feb. 14th 11:59 PM CST. The drawing will be done on Feb 15th. That's it!

You can find link to other bloggers participating in the OWOH giveaway here.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give this Valentine's day is to just Love one Another.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Slow Surfing


I have been having so much fun on my magic carpet ride around the world as part of the One World One Heart phenomenon. I have seen so many amazing artists and seen art pieces I had no idea people were creating. The stuff that can be done with gourds is amazing. There is beautiful talent around this great big world we live in and I'm glad we all get to share it.
I don't know about you but I noticed my Internet is not moving as fast as it used to. It takes a while for my pages to load up. It dawned on me the reason is I have been visiting so many websites lately and leaving so many comments that my Internet history is overloaded. I deleted my history and now things are moving along at a greater pace. So, if you find you are having slow surfing, delete your browsing history and see if that helps.

If you haven't had a chance to enter my drawing for the OWOH giveaway click here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chocolate Addiction = Scar

Scars. Everyone has them. Some stand out more than others. Some you can hardly see unless you look for them. My oldest daughter has a scar on her head she got when she was in utero from the heart rate monitor they attached there. I doubt she knows it's there but I do and I can see it when I put her hair in pigtails. It is a reminder of her birthday for me.

I have a scar. I have a scar that reminds me I'm addicted to chocolate and it all started at an early age. I don't remember getting the scar I only remember my parents telling me about it when I was in middle school when I finally realized I had it. The doctor who stitched me up wasn't worried much about aesthetics since the scar is pretty jagged looking. It looks like one Frankenstein would have but not as big. This little beauty is located just above the knuckle on my right index finger. Now you are probably wondering how my chocolate addiction could create a scar in that location so, I'll tell you.

I don't know if chocolate syrup comes in cans anymore but it used to. My family would buy the cans of the syrup to pour over ice cream or make chocolate milk. One of the ways to get the syrup out is to cut a triangle out of the top using the pointy little attachment that is shaped like a triangle on the can opener shaped.
Well, I must have decided I couldn't wait for chocolate on my ice cream or milk, I was going to get it now, so I stuck my finger in the hole. Uh oh, my finger was much bigger around the knuckle coming out and it was stuck. I couldn't get the chocolate to my mouth with a can stuck to my finger. If I couldn't get my finger out I couldn't enjoy that sweet, dark elixir I love. I pulled, I pulled hard and got my finger out. Unfortunately, I left some skin and blood behind. I tainted that can of chocolate. I'm sure I cried cause what child wouldn't. The question I'm asking myself now is, did I cry because I cut my finger open? or did I cry because I ruined all that beautiful chocolate with some blood?

I tried taking a picture but I can't take pictures with my left hand very well. So, I decided to scan my hand. The scar has faded in color over the years so it didn't scan as well. It is however 3D so I can feel it. Too bad the computer screen won't display it in 3D. So, the pictures are the best I could do.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cake Mix Cookies

Here is an easy recipe for making cookies from a cake mix. Think Valentine's and use a Strawberry cake mix and pink frosting. Or a Chocolate cake mix and Pink frosting.

Cake Mix Cookies
Favorite cake mix
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
Raisins, nuts, chocolate chips (your choice)
Mix. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Entertaining Children through long Doctor Office Visits

Last week I had the joy (read with thick sarcasm) of taking my three youngest kids to the doctors office 3 times. Once for a well check for my baby which they didn't tell me they had to cancel until I got there. A second time for a sick visit, and the third time was for the re-scheduled well check. I don't know about you but my doctor's office is completely inefficient and if I have an appointment I better plan at least an extra hour time there. So what do you do to entertain your children during those long visits? Here are some of my ideas.

  • Small toys- Take a few of their small toys that they can play with. My son loves to take his Hot Wheels while my daughter likes ponies or babies. Remember to sanitize the toys when you leave to clean off any germs they picked up.

  • Crayons- Take crayons and stickers to decorate the paper on the exam table in the room.

  • Books- You might consider taking some books that your children like to read.

  • Snacks- Depending on when your appointment time is, it might run over into a meal or snack time. If you have snacks on hand you can avoid the melt downs associated with hunger. Make sure it is a snack that won't leave a big mess.

  • Magazines- Most offices have a stack of magazines. I sometimes hand each child a magazine and send them on a scavenger hunt to find different objects in the magazine. For example: find a purple flower, a ball, or a red car. This can keep them entertained for a while just make sure the objects aren't too hard to find.

These are just a few of the things I have tried. I want to know what you do to help pass the long waits. Please share your thoughts and ideas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Favorite Grill Seasoning

I did it. Last night my husband was working late and I wanted a steak. I have only cooked on the grill once before and that was hamburgers several months ago. I have always been afraid of turning on the grill. I guess I have this idea that when I turn the knob and there is a spark a big flame is going to jump out of the grill right at me. Well, I'm happy to report that didn't happen the first time and it didn't happen last night either.

My husband likes his steak still mooing. I on the other hand prefer mine well done. However, not as well as I got it done last night. I don't know what I'm doing but I really cooked them too long. They were on the verge of being burnt but they were not. They were dry and tough to chew. I still ate it and my kids ate it. The flavour was still there. Perhaps not as much as what would have been if there was a bit of juice left in them. I firmly believe the reason for such good flavor was the seasoning I put on the steaks. It is the same seasoning I use for everything that goes on the grill. So what is this seasoning extraordinaire you ask? It's Crushed Peppercorn and Garlic rub put out by the Pampered Chef. It does cost a bit more than what I like spending on seasoning but, I love it so I stocked up and got 4 bottles the last time I had the opportunity to.

I am open to change so I want to know, what is your favorite grill seasoning?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Putting and End to Tantrums

You've probably been a witness of a tantrum whether it be your own child’s or that of another child. They can be frustrating and downright embarrassing when in public. How do put an end to a tantrum? Or better yet, how do you prevent them from occurring?

Let's start with preventing a tantrum. If you have a child prone to tantrums, make sure to catch the child being good and comment on it to them. I haven't met a child yet who didn't like approval.

Choose your words wisely. Instead of saying "no" to a request try saying it like this; "Yes as soon as....." Fill in the blanks with what they need to do. "Yes you can have the candy after you eat something nutritious." More often than not, the word "no" elicits tantrums so avoid saying the word.

Toddler's desperately desire more independence so give your toddler control over some things by giving choices. Let them choose between two outfits or several meal choices. I have a child who occasionally doesn't want to go to bed at night so I give her the choice of hopping like a bunny or riding a horse to bed. She has the choice of how she gets there and I still get the end result of bedtime.

Hide tantrum triggers. If it is close to dinnertime and you know your child is going to ask for the cookies he sees and it is not an option, then make sure the cookies are out of sight. Out of sight out of mind right?

Choose your battles. Think about the request your child has made. Some things really aren't important. I have a child who has gone to school in the middle of winter in shorts and a t-shirt because I chose not to argue with her about what she was wearing. Guess what? I saved the energy from the argument and she learned on her own that it is not a good idea to wear shorts and t-shirts in the middle of winter.

Know your child's limits. Don't take your child to the grocery store when they are tired or hungry. That is just asking for a tantrum.

Those are just a few ideas to avoid the tantrum. Now here are some ways to handle the tantrum.

First and foremost, keep your cool. If you raise your voice and tense up you are just throwing fuel on the fire. Use calm words with your child. Some children can calm down just from the sound of your voice.

Try to understand where your child is coming from. Put yourself in their shoes and choose words that they can understand. Validate your child by saying things like "I know you are sad because you really wanted to play with that truck but John has it now." and then suggest another option.

Redirection and distraction are powerful tools. As in the example above, suggest something else that would be acceptable. While at the park you see an ice cream stand, redirect your play to another side of the park. At the grocery store I try and distract my children from the "I want..." by having them hold my grocery list and check off items as we add them to the cart.

Simply ignoring the tantrum can put an end to it. Children throw tantrums to get a desired result but if no one is listening then what is the point? If one of my children is throwing a tantrum I just calmly say "Let me know when you are ready to talk about it" and then I walk away. However, make sure that you do not leave your child completely alone because this can lead them to feel abandoned which can create a whole other set of problems. Send older children to their room until they can cool off instead of for a specified amount of time. This gives them the power to get control.

Give a great big, firm hug in the middle of or just after a tantrum. This reassures the child that you love them even when they behave badly. I've been doing this with my oldest lately. Sometimes she tries to push me away and other times she just absorbs the embrace and calms down.

Don't be afraid to use a little bribery. Bribery is best when it is done ahead of time and on your terms. Tell your child before that if they are good they will get to watch a movie when you get home.

Most importantly, be consistent! If your child knows exactly how you are going to respond then they are less likely to throw a tantrum.

These are just a few of my ideas. I want to know, what are your tantrum stories?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

1st Knitted Afghan

Sometimes I don't get to write on this blog as often as I would like but that is usually because I'm knitting. I learned to knit a year ago and haven't been able to stop. I've made dozens of hats, several baby blankets, some scarves, and some washcloths. After working on things for others I've finally decided to work on something for myself. I'm making my first afghan. It actually a Mystery Afghan knit along sponsored by Bernat yarn. It is part of a contest you can find at their blog. I finally finished all my squares. I'm working on blocking them (fixing the shape and dimensions) but once that is finished I should be able to start piecing all of it together at the start of next week. Once they are all together I'm going to put a border around it.

I have learned so many new techniques, cabling, bobbles, lace patterns, SSK, and many more. It has been well worth my time and I feel I have grown as a knitter over the last 3 -4 months of knitting. I'll be grateful when I finish though. I have 10 friends that are all expecting little ones which means I've got to get going on some baby gifts. So, if you are new to knitting or looking to expand your skills, I highly recommend this afghan pattern. It starts out basic and works it's way up to experienced knitting levels.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mystery Shopping

I have had many people ask me lately about mystery shopping since I am a mystery shopper.
Despite what the name sounds like, mystery shoppers do not where a trench coat and sunglasses to hide their appearance. A mystery shopper is someone who gets paid to go to a particular store, restaurant, or other location and be a customer. It's all about evaluating customer service as well as the cleanliness of the location. As with paid surveys you will find middlemen wanting to charge you a fee to have access to the companies who hire mystery shoppers. There is no need to pay this fee because you can find the companies on your own just by searching for them and in a lot of cases, the sites that charge a fee are scams.

If you are interested in becoming a mystery shopper I would start by going to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website. There is a listing of legitimate companies as well as training. Some companies ask if you are MSPA certified. You do not have to be certified to be a mystery shopper but in some cases you will be chosen first or be paid more if you are certified. Volition is also a good place to see a free listing of mystery shopping companies.

So here are some basic facts you should know.

  • You cannot make a living mystery shopping. You can however, make some extra cash and be reimbursed for purchases.

  • Some shops require you to purchase something. If this is the case, you will either be reimbursed for the purchase or you will be required to return the item to evaluate the return process.

  • When you purchase items, always use a credit card. This will ensure that you can get your money back in a timely manner when you have to make a return.

  • Most of the companies will pay/reimburse you via a check or a PayPal account. Some require direct deposit only. I would avoid the direct deposit ones unless you have a completely separate account not tied in with your personal account.

  • For most companies the payments/reimbursements are made at the end of the following month of your completed shop. For example, if you complete a shop on Sept 15 you won't get paid for it until the end of October. This is to give both companies involved time to verify your shop.

  • Most require you to have a digital camera to take pictures of your receipts or specific things at the location.

  • A scanner is definitely helpful for scanning in receipts but isn't always required.

  • You are notified of shops that are available via email. Some you can self assign and others you apply for and they let you know if you have been assigned.

  • Read all of the information about the company and how the shop is to be performed. Incomplete shops or shops that are incorrect you will not be paid for.

  • If you live on a tight budget, mystery shopping could be an excellent way to get the "shopping bug" out of your system or to just go out and have a free dinner. Shops include, restaurants, entertainment, retail, banking, apartments, and hotels.

I've been shopping for over a year and love doing the entertainment and dining shops. They usually equate to a free date night for my husband and me. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. I can't however divulge which locations I shop or which companies I am signed up with. If you want to know the legitimacy of a mystery shop company I highly recommend going to Volition and reading the Mystery Shoppers Forum. At the forum you can read about other shoppers experiences with different companies. I usually go here to read about a company before I sign up. I want to make sure they pay in a timely manner. Happy shopping.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Being a Mother has Taught Me

In college I majored in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. Because of this I knew I was going to have the picture perfect family. I had all of the know how. I was educated in what makes a happy marriage and a well adjusted child. It was going to be easy...well, I knew it would be hard but it would certainly be easier for me. I worked in a daycare/preschool for many years. I could see what parents did and how their children reacted. I knew I was not going to use a pacifier. It drove me crazy to see a 3 year old with a binky. I was going to breast feed exclusively the entire first year. I could go on and on about the things I was and wasn't going to do to achieve my picture perfect family.

All of my preconceived notions flew out the window with the birth of my first child. And, with each consecutive child I have bent on some of my preconceived notions. Here is my list of 10 things being a mother has taught me:

  1. It's okay for a child to have a pacifier up to a certain age. I still think it is creepy to see a child older than 2 years with a binky. It is much easier to ween a child from a binky than a thumb.
  2. A good nights sleep is important. If having my newborn sleep in my room or even in my bed means we both get a good nights sleep then I will break the habit later.
  3. Going to the bathroom with the door closed is a luxury. Somehow they no when the door closes and they stand there and beat on it and cry until I come out.
  4. I can get ready for the day in under 20 min. including a shower.
  5. Make up isn't required but sure helps me feel better
  6. I have learned to choose my battles wisely. If my child wants to wear the same pants all week long I don't least they have clothes on.
  7. When my child is sick it is hard to concentrate on anything but helping them get better.
  8. A bubble bath and a piece of chocolate can calm any crazy day.
  9. It's okay to leave a mess to go and play together.
  10. A hug, kiss, and an I love you from my kids makes it all worth it.
It isn't always easy. In fact it is usually a challenge to be a mother. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world though. I may not have the"picture perfect" family but it is my family and I think it is pretty perfect.