Snowflakes For Sandy Hook

snowflakes
Time to break out the scissors and show off your mad snowflake making skills!
When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA at:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

Donations will be accepted indefinitely to the Connecticut PTSA “Sandy Hook Fund” to provide ongoing support to the community. Please send checks to the Connecticut PTSA address listed above. Group fundraising projects may include walk-a-thons, spirits days, pajama days, etc., which may be scheduled at your convenience.

Donate via Paypal here: http://www.ctpta.org/About-CT-PTA/SANDY-HOOK-FUND.html

National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I mentioned earlier this month that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  Today, October 15 is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  There is a special candle lighting ceremony at 7pm in every time zone for parents, friends and relatives to create a wave of light around the world in memory of babies lost to pregnancy and infant loss.

For all of the sweet angel babies, and for all of the grieving family members, may you feel the love and the light from the candles as you will again one day in our arms.

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Back in October of 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated the month to be Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.  “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, their isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”  It’s not something people like to think about, especially people who have never experienced a loss and don’t understand the pain and torment a mother feels when losing her baby.

I have suffered personally through miscarriage myself, and unfortunately, know some pretty amazing, strong women who have suffered through multiple miscarriages and infant deaths.

It sucks.  It’s stupid and it just sucks.  No child ever deserves to die.  No man or woman should ever have to send their child to God.  There is no rhyme or reason, there is no silver lining, it’s just stupid and it sucks.

My thoughts, my prayers, my love and hugs to each and every person who is personally affected by pregnancy or infant loss.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Dr Seuss, Horton Hears A Who!

 

 

In loving memory….

August 17th has been burned into my memory for the last twelve years.  That is the day the world lost a truly amazing human being, Kevin Heisinger.

We worked together at Kmart, back in high school days,  along with a handful of other pretty awesome people that I am still lucky to call my friends.  He was by far one of the nicest, caring, wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I still have a scrapbook with birthday cards he gave me, and ticket stubs to movies we went out to see together as the “K Crew”.

On August 17, 2000, Kevin was beaten to death in a men’s bathroom in a Kalamazoo bus station.  There were witnesses, grown adults who heard the screams for help and did nothing.  It took a twelve year old child to break the silence and call for help.

I remain as dumbfounded by his death today as I did 12 years ago.  I could rant and vent and tell you how I really feel about the monster that killed him or the horrible people that stood by and did nothing, but in honor of Kevin, I will simply share some articles about the incident and about the bill passed in his honor.

You can read more about his death HERE.

You can read about Kevin’s Law, a bill that took affect in Michigan in 2005 HERE.

Kevin Heisinger

February 13, 1976-August 17, 2000

Gone but never forgotten.

Good luck? Sure, I’ll take some!

Hummingbird

I was sitting outside on the back steps this morning, listening to the bugs chirping and admiring the crappy job the tree guys did when a very large thing started to buzz around my head.

I will readily admit that I am scared of bugs.  Hate them.  I possess the unique ability to be all chill and pretend that they don’t bother me around the kids, because I don’t want them getting my irrational fears, but I am slowly dying and screaming on the inside.

So I am about a millisecond away from jumping up and screaming, acting all a fool, when the ginormous thing lands on the fence, just a few feet away from me.

My heart stopped as I held my breath, prepared to see some mutated gigantic insect from hell, moments away from sucking my soul with it’s ghastly, buggy evilness.

As I opened my eyes through squinted lids, do you know what I saw?

A hummingbird.

*giant sigh of relief*

I let out a nervous laugh as the tiny, gorgeous little bird looked over at me as if to say, “Really?”  He sat for a few seconds and then flew away, probably to tell all his friends about the ridiculous loca mami that was so scared by the little hummingbird, she almost fainted on the back steps.

Soooooo…….

Completely ignoring the embarrassment of my little freak out, it is said and believed in many cultures that seeing a hummingbird is good luck.  Many Native American tribes and Mexican folklore tell of the hummingbird as having mystical powers, carrying our prayers to God and promising good fortune for those lucky enough to be visited by them, scared half to death or not.

Have you ever had a hummingbird buzz by your head before?  To be fair, they do sound like a massive insect, that buzzing noise their wings make, and their flitty, fast movements.  It’s not completely irrational to assume that it’s a bug.  I mean, it makes sense.  I see bugs far more often that I see hummingbirds.

Anyway,  yadda yadda yadda, good luck, yeah, I’ll take it.  Maybe I won’t nearly pee my pants next time I get buzzed by a hummingbird.  That really would be some good luck!

 

Happy Fourth of July!

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...

 

We are celebrating our Independence Day by hiding indoors, trying to keep cool.  It is nasty hot out, 105 degrees, and quite humid.  Everyone has a full belly, and now we are just waiting for the sun to go down so we can watch the fireworks.

I hope everyone has a nice, cool Independence Day!  Be safe, and remember to give thanks for our freedom.

 

snackTAXI!

Okay, this is exciting!  As I have mentioned before, my family is slowly working to make ourselves more “green”.  Through a lot of research and plenty of trial and error, we are changing the way we do things in a way that works for us.

Having four evil spawn, err…I mean lovely children!!  Ahem, well, there a lot of lunches and snacks made in this house that need to be taken on the go, whether its for school or travel or just to keep the peace at on an extra long day of errands.  I will admit it.  We go through an obscene amount of plastic snack and sandwich bags.  I had been wanting to phase out the plastic, but was unsure where to start.

Then I found snackTAXI.  (Imagine a thousand angels singing right here for dramatic effect, please and thank you oh so much!)

Ummm….Okay, when I saw the sugar skulls, I literally squealed with delight!  I have witnesses, my husband ran in to see what was wrong.  Love, love, love.

Right away, Isabella wanted to claim it as her own.  I see a large purchase order for snackTAXI’s in my near future!

snackTAXI’s are reusable bags for sandwiches and snacks on the go.  They are machine washable, free of lead,phthalates and BPA, and they are made in the USA.  On their website, they mention that they are committed to keeping their business local and will never outsource their labor.  Are you falling in love yet?

In just the US alone, 20 million plastic baggies are added to landfills every single day.  Yuck!  And imagine all of the baggies that get thrown on the ground, or end up in oceans and rivers, causing hazards for wildlife, not to mention the hazards they pose to us!

Every reusable bag that you use and add to your regular rotation can keep as many as 1000 plastic bags out of the waste stream.  Imagine if every single household could add some reusable bags to their lunch assembly line.  Think of the difference that could make, both in the landfills and in your wallet!

I put my snackTAXI through some good testing here at the casa de locos.  One thing I wanted to be sure and test was if it would effectively keep a sandwich fresh.  I worried if the bread would get stale in the snackTAXI.

Worry not!  I made this delicious sandwich in the morning and did not meet up with it again for a good six hours.  When I opened the snackTAXI, my sandwich was just as fresh as it was when I prepared it hours earlier!

I also filled my snackTAXI with some crackers, cookies and fruit for the kiddos.  They held up wonderfully, and the snackTAXI was no worse for wear being handled by the hungry little monsters.

How could you not choose this beautiful bag over some piddly little plastic bag?  And on their website, they have tons of choices for you to choose from!  They also have other fun products to browse through while you’re there stocking up!

I am absolutely going to be stocking up on these as we phase out the plastic.  The hardest part will be choosing which designs to get!

You can go to snackTAXI’s website by clicking HERE.

Follow them on Twitter by clicking HERE.

And go “Like” them on Facebook by clicking HERE.

The awesome people at snackTAXI  very generously provided me with this product free of charge to review, but I did not receive any monetary compensation for sharing my love of their awesome product!

Brain Quest

US Postage Issue: Abraham_Lincoln_Airmail_1960...

 

Matthew got a Brain Quest question pack for his birthday yesterday.  It’s 1500 questions (and answers, thank goodness lol) that are age appropriate and help sharpen their school smarts.  We had a great time playing with them last night, even Bella was chiming in with correct answers.  Smarty pants!

But one answer, well, it was just the best.  Worthy of being shared, to be enjoyed for all of its greatness.  I present that to you now.

 

Question: Why didn’t any women vote for Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election?

Matthew’s answer: “Because he had a beard!”

 

That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are.

I have to say, we learned a few things ourselves from the cards.  Nifty idea, I think I may have to venture out and collect some more.  What a nerdy family we are.

Cinco de Mayo

Français : Poste - États-Unis - Cinco de Mayo

Ahhhh, its that time of year again!  Two for one specials at the Mexican restaurants, margarita mixes on sale at the grocery stores, latin festivals planned.  And all for the fifth of May.

Do you know they don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico?

Do you know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence day?

Huh?  Its okay.  Take another sip of your margarita, another nibble of your burrito, and allow me to school you on this often misunderstood drinking holiday.

There is an old saying in Mexico, something along the lines of ” Porque los Gringos celebran el Cinco de Mayo?  Porque no pueden pronunciar el dieciséis de Septiembre.”  Basically saying Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo because they can’t pronounce dieciséis de Septiembre.  

September 16 is Mexican Independence Day.  Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the unlikey victory of the Mexican militia over the French army in The Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Regionally in Puebla, they celebrate the holiday, but it’s not widely celebrated throughout Mexico.

There are more and more latin festivals and celebrations around this time of year that focus on celebrating Mexican heritage, but I think most people just like to use it as an excuse to have some margaritas and Mexican food.  Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!  I’m all for margaritas on Cinco de Mayo, Junio, Julio, Agosto….any time really.

Salud!

Lactivist

Breastfeeding symbol

Here’s Mama’s two cents on breastfeeding.  Yes, we are gonna talk about boobs today.

Breastfeeding = Good.

Profound, right?  But wait, there’s more!

Nursing in Public = Good.

Say what?!  But that’s obscene!  Using breasts for their purpose!  To feed a hungry baby!  Oh, the humanity!

If I can watch you eat a burger in public without feeling uncomfortable, then why should nursing be any different?  (Oh no, shes one of those moms…)

I am a proud breastfeeding mommy.  I nurse my babies in public.  I have had complete conversations with strangers who have come up to talk to me while I was nursing, because they simply thought the baby was sleeping.  I am also married to my breast pump right now.  We definitely have a love/hate relationship, but that’s a post for another day.  When I feed my baby a bottle in public, I feel more embarrassed that people will think she is eating formula than I ever have nursing in public.

But that’s me and my problems.  There is nothing wrong with formula, and I don’t judge any other mother for how she decides is best to feed her baby.  That’s not my business.

As mothers, I think we simply need to support each other.  See a mama nursing in public?  Make eye contact and do a fist pump.  She is awesome.  See a mama feeding a bottle in public?  (Could be formula or breast milk, lets not assume…)  Make eye contact and do a fist pump.    She is awesome.  See a daddy nursing in public?  Avoid eye contact, but definitely call Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, or something….

My point?  Oh yes, I do have one.  Less judgement people.  Live and let live.  Love one another.  Appreciate what you have and appreciate that everyone in this world is unique and that’s what makes it awesome.