As a mother…

I have to say that I approach bullying from many different angles. As a teacher, it’s my job to help educate the kids in my class so that they understand how much their words hurt, how deep those scars can run. As a girl who was bullied for most of her life and still gets bullied by people who should be old enough to be beyond that, I know exactly how much it hurts. I know how hard you try to shake it off, blow it off and not let it get to you and how sometimes you just can’t let it go. As a mother, I watch my girls and pray they never know what that feels like. It’s inevitable and I know that. I want to protect them, but I can’t be there every minute.

I saw this on Facebook today and it was worth sharing. Not only with my other Facebook friends, but with everyone who reads this blog.

Let me say this, because it needs to be said.

Everyone is someone’s baby. Everyone is worth something to someone. Every life is worth protecting and every minute of that life should be spent being comfortable with yourself. If you’re not comfortable, do what you have to do to get comfortable. If you are comfortable in your own skin, then no one has the right to take that away from you.

The idiot who wrote the e-mail to this news anchor forgot one, very big, thing. It is the people who don’t fit the perfect little mold of society that makes this country the beautiful thing that it is. It’s the fat people and the skinny people. It’s the ugly people and the beautiful people. It’s the jocks and the marching band. It’s the tall kids and the short kids.  It’s the kids who are good at math and those that are good at art. It’s the drama queens and the ice princes. It’s the sun and the moon. To insult one is to insult them all. To consider someone somehow less than what you perceive they should be based on the life you believe to be perfect is to detract from the perfection you think you enjoy. It’s not our civic duty, those of us in the public spotlight… the news anchors, the teachers, the cops, the EMT, the nurses, the dentists, the doctors, the stewardesses, the store managers, the waitresses, the cashiers… it’s not our civic duty to represent what you believe a perfect life should be. It’s not our community responsibility to be skinny and beautiful.

It’s our community responsibility to be positive roll models. It’s our community responsibility to ensure that the next generation knows they’re worth every minute someone invests in them. And it’s our community responsibility to understand that every minute we spend with them is a minute we’re investing in the future of our world.

October is anti-bullying month. I challenge you, all of you, to hold your hand out to that kid who is getting picked on. I challenge you to show them they’re worth so much more than they can even imagine. Teach them it’s not ok. Teach them to stand up. Teach them to know they’re worth (and know that there is no number high enough to represent that worth to you). Teach them to love. Then hold on tight, because the light is going to shine and it’s going to blind you. That, my friends, is how you protect the future.

And it’ll be worth every second.

Stop the bullying before it starts.

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Weekly Shout Out- One Year in the Life Art Journal

 

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I like collecting Art Journal ideas. I have a whole category dedicated to it over there *points to the right* and a whole board dedicated to it on Pinterest. I don’t get to actually do much with mine at home, but I’m working on it at school with my class.

I gather my ideas from a lot of different places, but this one is another of my favorites. There’s not a post for every day, but when there is a post, it’s totally worth the wait! Besides, it makes me feel like I can tackle it, too! 🙂

Now, for those of you reading this that don’t know me, let me first say that I draw stick people. I am NOT an artist. I usually pick colors I think will work and it turns out HORRIBLE when I’m finished with it. That goes for my clothes, too, while we’re on the subject. The difference is that I don’t let it stop me. I’ll pick up those crayons or markers again. If I really hated the pages I put in my journal, I try them again. I am addicted to doodle books because they help me focus on little things at a time. I’ve also come to have some fun with stick people. I showed my class my stick ninja the first week of school and I’m here to tell you he’s become the icon of our class. LOL

So, go pick up a pencil and a spiral notebook and doodle something. You just might surprise yourself and it’s amazing how good it is for your stress level, too! 🙂

My new love…

I got this text message from Target the other day and, this morning, I got a minute to look at it. It was a link to an app you can load on your phone called ShopKick. The text message said “get a free $2 gift card for signing up using this link!” which was good enough for me! I could always delete it if it was horrible, right?

Well, I can tell you that won’t be happening. Shopkick is an app designed to reward you for window shopping. YOU HEARD ME RIGHT… Window shopping! It’s pretty simple! You load this app on your phone and take it with you when you go shopping. When you walk into any store listed on your app (and there are tons! Not just local ones, either!), just open the app and BAM! You get points! If you scan items in their bonus list, BAM! You get more! When you earn enough points, you can trade them in for gift cards! In some places (*coughcoughBestBuycoughcough*) you actually get rewards for using your Best Buy Rewards card to make a purchase! That’s right! You get points for buying the stuff you bought, you get Rewards points to trade in for merchandise credit from the store AND you get “kicks” from ShopKick which you can then turn into a gift card for said store.

I love saving money, but THIS, my friends… THIS takes that to a whole other level!

So, stop in here (which is my link. I get points when you join using my link!)  and sign up today! It’s totally worth the download! 🙂

Ever do a search for symptoms on WebMD?

So, just for kicks (because I knew it was going to try to scare me to death), I wandered over to WebMD to see what direction their little symptom checker would point me in for the dizziness, light-headedness and migraines I’ve been having over the last 18 months. Before you ask, yes, I just had a baby last year. That was 13 months ago. Hormones shouldn’t be an issue now. In the last 18 months, I have had an ENG, two MRI’s, an EEG, and a sleep study. As far as I know, everything came back normal. I have a “beautiful brain.”

So, for fun, ran the symptoms through WebMD. Check out this list of goodies:

Possible Conditions:

Brain Aneurysm— would’ve shown up on one of the MRI’s, right?

Labrynthitis- (inner ear infection)- Umm… not for the last 18 months and the ENG was clean.

Meniere’s Disease- more inner ear stuff. Still no.

Medication Reaction/Side Effect- I wasn’t taking anything when it started and have only started taking something in the last two months.

Fainting- um, no. I’ve come closer to it in the last 5 months than I think I ever have, though.

Generalized Anxiety disorder- blood pressure is normal. No other symptoms.

Heart rhythm disorder- not a single doctor has said a word about my ticker sounding off.

Middle Ear Infection- again, no.

Hyperventilation- Again… for 18 months?

Fibromyalgia- I don’t really have any consistent pain, or any pain that would correlate with this.

Acoustic Neuroma- this is a growth on a nerve that connects the ear to the brain. I’m thinking this would’ve shown up on an MRI…

 

The rest of the list ranges from Acute Kidney Failure to Anemia, Brain Tumors, and Toxic Shock Syndrome.

 

Sometimes those lists are so fantastic, it’s hard to take them too seriously. Luckily, most of it would’ve shown up on an MRI and both of those came back clean. Even the EEG was normal! Brain is acting just fine!

Ah, well. Another appointment with a Neurologist (or, at least his nurse practitioner) on Thursday next week should help clear the air a bit. A girl can dream, right?

 

Weekly Shout Out: Digital Scrapbook Experts

I am an avid scrapper. I love putting my memories onto paper and seeing how the things I love interact with other things in my scrapbook. As I added children and more work to my daily grind, though, I have less time to get out my shaped hole punches and stickers. So, I found another option: digital scrapbooking. I actually bought my mother a program to do this on her computer a few years ago, but found myself being curious about it.

Then I found digital scrapbook experts. Not only do they have adorable kits that you can buy, but you can sign up for a daily e-mail where they mail you a piece of one of their kits every day! You collect them all and you’ve got a whole kit… FREE!!! What do they call it? Collect-A-Kit, of course! Seriously awesome!

So, stop in and get addicted today. 🙂 You’ll spend a few hours playing “I can download that!” Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉

Location Review: Jimmy John’s on Abercorn

This weekend was a very busy one here in motherhood-land! My daughter’s 5th birthday meant a party (review coming this week!) and family in town. One member, my sister, was very excited to see that the Southside had a Jimmy John’s. She was nearly giddy with excitement, so we decided to give it a shot (since we were curious, anyway) and stopped in on Saturday around lunchtime.

Now, something to keep in mind while reading this is that this location is BRAND NEW and hasn’t even been open a month, yet. With that in mind…

As we walked in, I admit I was lovin’ the decor and the music! Led Zepplin, Motley Crue, Red Hot Chilli Peppers… I could just sit and listen to the tunes all day! Made my fingers itch for my older CD’s (and yes, tapes!). The color scheme is all steel and red, grays and whites. The booths are dark wood benches with no cushions. The store is in a shopping center, so the restaurant feels very “shotgun” in that the seating runs the length of the store along the outside wall, with an extra booth in the front. Overall, even though it didn’t look comfortable, it wasn’t too bad.

As for the menu, it has a standard set of sandwiches (which you can find here) that aren’t overly surprising. They have a collection of club sandwiches which is nice to see, but no hot sandwiches. They’ll even do a “slim” version of their sandwiches, which is just the meat and the bread. They have their own house bags of chips in about 4 varieties (plain, BBQ, salt & vinegar and “low fat”).  The sandwich was not bad, either. It was only $4.59 for an 8″ sandwich and it tasted like a $4.59 sandwich. Since Subway will give me a footlong meatball on much better bread, I wasn’t horribly impressed. I’m also not terribly impressed with the condiments they can or cannot add to a sandwich based on the menu. They couldn’t add mayo to my father’s slim sandwich, but they could give him a packet of mayo for him to put on it, himself. Umm, huh?

Now, as a mother, the locations I can visit are severely limited by 1) what my kids will eat and 2) availability of kid-friendly things (ie, high chairs and changing tables in the bathrooms). The latter won’t keep me from going to a restaurant, so don’t take that as something horribly negative. However, with a 1 year old who needs a high chair and had to be held by either my husband or I while the other choked down a sandwich, I can tell you that it was a bit of a pain. I’ll cut them some slack, being a new place, though. I should hope this is something that gets changed pretty quickly in the future.

My last issue with this place was a staff issue. There were two cash registers, one manned by a young lady, the other by a slightly older than her gentleman. The young lady looked bored most of the time we were in there. Her expression never changed and neither did her posture. When asked if they had high chairs, she just looked at us flatly and said, “no.” She said, “welcome to Jimmy John’s,” when the door opened, but there didn’t seem to be any “I’m happy you’re here” to it. It felt like she was told she had to say it, so she did. There were four people on the sandwich building line, who made seemed more interested in talking to each other than anyone else. The sandwiches were made, and accurately, so I can’t complain overmuch about that. My complaint is mostly that we felt we were inconveniencing the staff, rather than bringing business to their store. Only the other gentleman at the register seemed at all happy to be there. To the outside observer, it seemed as if most of the staff was new and he was the only experienced one of the bunch. Maybe it was just that he seemed comfortable and interacted with the customers where the others did not.  Also, I watched the delivery man take sandwiches out to his car for delivery. The motto of Jimmy John’s is “So fast it’s freaky.” There was nothing fast about his speed in getting his delivery out.

Overall, it wasn’t a horrible experience. I’ll probably give them another shot in a few months. It just won’t be when I have my kids with me and it won’t be with high expectations of great service.

 

On a side note, the quotes on the wall are hilarious! They have a pinterest board here, with a whole board dedicated to “Sign Language.” Check ’em out! These and the music were the best parts of our trip!

Product Review: Always Infinity Pads

Yeah, this is probably a bit TMI for some of my followers, so I’ll do my best to hide the sensitive stuff.  However, I’m a firm believer that when something blows your mind with how well it works, you should tell people about it.

Enter the Always Infinity Pad. According to their little blurb and commercials, 

the Infinity pad is made with a substance called Infinicel™ which allows it to weigh less, be less bulky and still absorb 55% more liquids than “other leading brands.”

Color me skeptical. Then I got a coupon from the paper that made the price just insane to pass up. I had one of those “What the heck?” moments, where I try something when it’s less than $1 to purchase it and I happen to need something along those lines.

This is where I start hiding stuff because it’s a little gross and a whole lot personal. It’s kind of important to know where I’m coming from with a product like this one, though. Highlight the following for the gory details…

You see, I have very heavy periods. The first few days, I go through a normal pad in a matter of two or three hours. If I don’t change it, quickly, then I have to change my clothes. Since I’m a teacher, standing around a bunch of nine year olds, you can imagine how much I dread my monthly visitor! Worse, being a teacher, I don’t get regular restroom breaks. If something comes up, and it often does, the one break I get during the day evaporates without me being able to squeak out a restroom break! During this icky time of the month, that makes the pad I’m wearing even more important! 

Which brings me back to this particular pad. Given its size, I was ever skeptical.  I mean, look at how thin this thing is?

Then I tried it.

Just WOW! I nearly forgot about it a time or two! During a particularly rough day, I didn’t get a restroom break until after 4 (that’s right at 8 hours, for those keeping score) and the pad had contained every bit of what was discharged! This was a huge relief for me, since I then had to sit through a faculty meeting for another hour (luckily, I changed during my quick restroom break before the meeting). At no point during the day did I think, “Oh, no! I’m going to have to go home during lunch! ” or “Oh, I hope it’s not leaking!” I was able to focus on watching my students, instead!

As a teacher, I appreciate the ability to focus on what really matters.

As a woman, I appreciate not having to focus on this part of my life all day.

As a consumer, I would totally recommend this to anyone and everyone who is willing to take my word for it and try it out! Don’t believe me? Give it a shot for free here!! 

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