Friday, August 31, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday (apple pancakes)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Upcoming Themed Schedule
September 7- Italian dishes
September 21- Sandwiches
October 5- Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style (2nd Edition)
October 19- Soups

I really can't remember where my recipe comes from, it's been a part of my recipe box collection for quite a while now. Snuggle Bug LOVES these pancakes and you will too. :)


Apple Pancakes


Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded tart apple
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon white sugar

Preparation
In a large bowl, combine butter, egg, milk and apple. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. Stir flour mixture into apple mixture, just until combined.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Maple-Apple Syrup

Ingredients
2 teaspoons butter
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 cup dark corn syrup
Dash of salt

Preparation
Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and saute until just brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and corn syrup to apples and stir gently. Let cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Serve with Apple Pancakes.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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5:00 AM
13 comments


Thursday, August 30, 2007
If bribing my son works, I'm all for it!
I've blogged in the past about our half hearted efforts to work on potty training Snuggle Bug. I know now that he was really too young in January to even entertain the idea of potty training. But now, I think we're making progress!

Potty Training Benefit From Daycare

One of the benefits of having Snuggle Bug in daycare is that his teachers are working with all the 2 year olds on potty training. Every hour they take the kids in to try to use the potty. They all stand in a line and wait their turn to go. I suspect that the success rate is pretty low, but the teachers are establishing the routine and for that I'm thankful.

Mommy & Daddy Need Motivating

Oronzo and I have finally decided to get motivated to reinforce the daycare's potty training efforts while we're here at home. Snuggle Bug has been going potty in his potty chair off and on for about a month now but not on a consistent basis. I know this is in large part due to the fact that we haven't been consistent about encouraging him to go. We've been the lax ones, not him!

Pull-Ups, Big Mistake

Last week Oronzo and I decided to purchase pull-ups and planned on phasing out his diapers. We made a big deal of these pull-ups to Snuggle Bug, calling them his "big boy pants." He was all for wearing big boy pants and was happy to give up on his diapers.

Let me just say that I think pull-ups are a BIG mistake, at least for us! They're considerably more expensive than diapers and, to Snuggle Bug, they're really not much different from diapers, except that he can pull them on and off on his own.

What we found out is that Snuggle Bug treats pull-ups just like his diaper. I think it's because when he pees in them he doesn't feel wet. Pull-ups are too expensive to be used as diaper substitutes!

Age-Old Rite of Choosing Underpants

Yesterday, I decided to take him to Target and purchase him toddler underpants, thinking that if he could feel himself being wet he'd be more likely to want to use the potty.

I let Snuggle Bug pick out his own designs. He agonized over Cars, Thomas, Sesame Street, Nemo, and Diego themed underpants. He chose the Cars and Sesame Street underpants. When we got home, I washed them and immediately put a pair on him. He didn't like them. He wanted his pull-ups back on. I let him run around the house naked instead.

Let the Bribes Begin

After speaking to many parents, I heard over and over again that you basically have to bribe your child into becoming potty trained. I tried bribing Snuggle Bug with a stamp on his hand (he loves stamps) but that lost it's appeal over time.

Now, it's all about presents! I decided to wrap up little gifts (cars, bubbles, stickers, books, and a wee bit of candy...all stuff I already had around the house), put them in a basket, and let Snuggle Bug pick a present each time he successfully uses the potty. Unexpected bonus, I'm using up ugly wrapping paper that I didn't know what to do with!

Bribing is working out pretty well so far. Snuggle Bug loves unwrapping his presents almost as much as he loves seeing what's inside. He's even decided that his underpants are neat too (pull-ups will only be used at night from here on out) and today he wore them at home and at daycare.

Today he went pee twice for me in the potty in the morning and went again for Oronzo this evening. He had no accidents at home and had only one accident at daycare. He actually often tells us when he has to go pee!

I think now that Ornozo and I are making an effort, potty training Snuggle Bug won't be so horrible! We're making progress on the peeing portion of potty training, but haven't made much headway with pooping. I've been told that takes a bit longer.

** Edited to Add **

It's 3 p.m. my time and I've got good news to share! If you're not a parent dealing with or having dealt with potty training, please disregard. :)

This morning Snuggle Bug went pee in his potty four times! Better yet, on his fifth time to the potty, he actually went poop! This is the first time he's pooped in the potty. Hooray! He and I were both excited!

The presents are working like a charm to motivate him! He got 5 presents before I even took him to daycare at 11:30 a.m.

Ornozo just picked Snuggle Bug up and was told that he had a great afternoon. He went potty for them once in the bathroom and his underwear stayed dry the whole time. Oronzo is being brave and put Snuggle Bug down for a nap in his underpants, rather than putting a pull-up on him. Let's hope he stays dry while sleeping.

I think we are officially on our way to really potty training Snuggle Bug!

So, anyone else out there in the midst of potty training? If so, what's working for you?

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6:05 AM
21 comments


Wednesday, August 29, 2007
WFMW: Lowering Cholesterol tips
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip.

Yesterday I had an appointment with a nutritionist to discuss my high cholesterol levels and what to do about them. You can read about some of the details right here.

The nutritionsit shared a website link with me that offers a PDF file for A Guide To Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. It's pretty good, check it out!

The nutritionist also gave me some helpful handouts that I've scanned in to my computer. They include:

1) General Tips for Healthy Dining Out

2) Physical Activity Pyramid

3) 1600 Calorie Sample Menus

4) Menu Planning Guidelines

If you're interested in receiving any of these handouts, leave me your email in the comments section, specifying which handouts interest you, and I'll send them out to you.

Depending on the level of interest, it may take me a few days to get to you, but fear not, I will get them emailed to you!

Sharing healthy eating tips from the nutritionist works for me. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

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6:00 AM
9 comments


Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Results from meeting a nutrionist
My appointment with the nutritionist yesterday was pretty good.

The woman was very nice and didn’t lecture me as I expected her to. She took my food journal for the week, recorded at www.my-calorie-counter.com, and figured out my averages for Fat, Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, and Sugar intake. Then she wrote out some goals that I need to work on achieving.

Goals
1) Keep calorie intake at around 1600/day. This may have to increase with increase in exercise.

2) Limit saturated fats and trans fats to less than 7% from saturated fat based on total calories which is less than 12 grams saturated fat/day.

3) Limit cholesterol to less than 200 mg cholesterol/day (eat less than 3 egg yolks/week).

4) Eat more omega-3 fats (heart healthy fats)- to achieve 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids/day- eat two 4-oz portions of fatty fish weekly (salmon, albacore, tuna, mackerel, or sardines) or take 1000 mg/day fish oil supplement.

5) Keep total amount of fat consumed to less than or = to 53 grams total fat/day (less than or = to 25%- 30% total fat).

6) Get 20-30 grams of dietary fiber per day.

7) Work on Menu Planning: 3 servings of fruit per day, 5 starches, 5 serviings lean meat, 5 servings of fat (butter, dressing, peanut butter, mayo, etc), 3 servings of dairy, and 4 vegetables.

8) Exercise 1 hour/day, 6 days/week. This should entail brisk walks 1 mile/15 minutes or rigorous bicycling or swimming. 30 minutes of moderate level of activity per day should be a bare minimum.

Food Tips
1) Switch from 2% to 1% milk.

2) Eat whole grain cereals- oatmeal, plain Cheerios, plain Wheaties, wheat Chex cereal with 6 grams of sugar or less per serving.

3) Eat only lean meats (palm-sized servings).

4) Lean Cuisine & Healthy Choices frozen meals are fine, but watch the high sodium intake that comes with those meals.

5) Eat out as little as possible because it’s nearly impossible to eat healthy when eating out!

6) Avoid fried foods and creams whenever possible!

7) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables!

The nutritionist gave me some helpful handouts that I'll be posting about tomorrow as my WFMW contribution. Check back tomorrow if you want more details! :)

I hope this info is helpful. Although my doctor only authorized one visit with the nutritionist, I've got the nutritionist's email and she encouraged me to email her with any questions. So, if you have any burning questions about any of this, leave me a comment and I'll see if I can get you an answer!

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1:52 PM
5 comments


Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm off to receive a lecture!
In 2 hours I have an appointment with a nutritionist to discuss my high cholesterol levels. Let me show you what they are:

LDL "bad cholesterol"- 148 (normal is below 130)

HDL "good cholesterol"- 46 (normal is 40-59)

Triglycerides: 265 (normal is 0-59)

Total Cholesterol: 247 (normal is 100-199)

I've been asked to keep a food journal for the past 3 days. I actually plan on bringing on in for all of last week.

I fully expect this appointment to be a lecture on what a crappy eater I am. I don't eat enough veggies, I eat too many fatty foods, I don't exercise enough. I need to change my lifestyle.

Can you tell I'm dreading this a bit? I'm not even sure if this appointment is covered by insurance so I may be paying about $87 for a lecture.

I'm not sure how much the fact that high cholesterol runs in my family will weigh in. Both my parents and my 2 sisters are on high cholesterol medication because they couldn't lower their levels even after changing their eating and excercising habits.

Despite not looking forward to the well-deserved lecture that I'm sure to receive, I know I need to go because I don't want to die of a heart attack or heart disease! I owe it to myself and my family to get these cholesterol levels under control and I obviously need help doing so.

I hope this appointment will give me tools to help me change my eating habits for the better. I'm going to ask for concrete lists on foods to avoid and foods to eat more of, I'm going to ask for recipes and help with menu planning. I'm going to try to get my money's worth out of this appointment.

I'll try to stop back today or tomorrow to give you all a report on the results of my appointment with the nutritionist, so please stop back.

In the meantime, I'm curious, when's the last time you had your cholesterol levels checked and how were they? Does high cholesterol run in your family?

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6:33 AM
14 comments


Saturday, August 25, 2007
I used to have car envy!
Since Oronzo got his new 2007 Jeep Compass 4x4 earlier this week I've been feeling a bit of car envy. It wasn't his car especially that I was envying, although it is quite nice, rather the pristine cleanliness of his car!. I drove his car yesterday and then looked at my messy car, a 2002 Hyundai Accent GL, and decided it was time to give it a major cleaning!

Oronzo got me a trash bag, ARMOR ALL® wipes, and pulled out the shop vac for me and I went to work. I purged the car of all miscellaneous toys, books, hair clips, and an assortment of other odds and ends. Can you believe, I found my $50 hands free headpiece that I lost less than a month after purchasing it? It was hiding deep underneath my driver's seat. Hooray!

I threw out all the trash (including some rather nasty sippy cups), I scrubbed every nook and cranny inside, and then I vacuumed like there was no tomorrow (I even vacuumed outside my trunk), sucking up Cheerios, hair, lint, dirt, rocks, and other indescribable things!

My car hasn't had a cleaning like this since my brother, Cole, came to visit me a couple years back and scoured my car out of embarrassment for having to ride in it. It now looks fantastic and I did it all by myself!

Well, I take that back, as I was cleaning out my car Snuggle Bug was helping me "clean" the outside of my car with a sponge and some spray cleaner, bless his heart. I told him, "When you're a bit older, I'll gladly pay you $25 cash to do all of this for me, deal?!"

I'm exhausted and in desperate need of a shower from all the interior cleaning. I think I'm going to treat my car to a car wash done by a professional. :)

So, when's the last time you cleaned out your car? Did you find anything unexpected in it?

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11:44 AM
14 comments


Friday, August 24, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday- Sauce Edition

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Sauce edition! I can't wait to see what sauce recipes you all come up with. I do love sauces! :) Maybe we can get some Southern sauce recipes posted here too!

My contribution is not my own recipe, rather it's Oronzo's Italian grandmother's recipe. He learned it from her while he was growing up and he'll eat no other marinara sauce while we're at home. I think he might disown me if I ever tried to bring a jar of Prego into our house.

I've posted this recipe once before, last year, but I hope you don't mind the repost for those of you who might have missed it.

This sauce take a bit of effort to make, but believe me it's oh so worth it! Your entire house will smell fantastic as this sauce is simmering! And the recipe makes a huge stock pot full of sauce that you can freeze and reheat in individual portions for many more meals. It's wonderful!


Oronzo's Italian Marinara Sauce

Ingredients
2 bulbs garlic
1 large yellow onion
10+ sweet Italian sausages
4 (28 oz.) cans of whole tomatoes
4 (6 oz) cans of tomato paste
oregano (to taste)
basil (to taste)
parsley (to taste)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
crushed red pepper (to taste)
3 whole bay leaves
1 bottle Merlot red wine
olive oil

Directions
Chop up onion (into large chunks) & garlic, throw in a large stock pot with olive oil & sauté until onion is soft and translucent.

Throw in sweet Italian sausages & cook until juice escapes sausages when pierced with a knife. Remove the sausages & place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until you're ready to add them later to the simmering sauce.

Add 1 can of whole tomato & 1 can of tomato paste + 1 tomato past can full of water into a blender & blend on pulse for just a few seconds. Pour mixture into stock pot with the onion & garlic. Blend the 2nd can of whole tomatoes & tomato paste (don't forget the tomato paste can full of water), pour into the stock pot, & continue until all cans have been blended & added.

Add about 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of Merlot wine to the pot of sauce. Drink the rest! :)

Add a handful of each (or more or less, according to your tastes) of oregano, basil, & parsley to the pot of sauce. Then add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Put the Italian sausages (or pre-cooked meatballs) back into the sauce to simmer.

Put 3 whole bay leaves on the top of the sauce & leave in for flavoring while the sauce is simmering. Be sure to remove all bay leaves before serving.

Let sauce simmer for several hours before serving! Serve over pasta of your choice! Freeze leftovers for later meals. Enjoy!

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Sauce edition recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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5:00 AM
13 comments


Thursday, August 23, 2007
It's a Jeep thing!
Oronzo's car (a 2002 Kia Rio) has been on it's last leg for a few months now, especially with his hour commute to work. We've put some money into it but the last mechanic to look at it warned Oronzo that the clutch could go at any time and the transmission was close too. We realized that it was time to look for another car because it wasn't worth it to dump more money into the Kia.

Oronzo did a lot of research before choosing the 2007 Jeep Compass 4x4. He wanted a small SUV type car that had more space, since our family will hopefully be growing in the near future, one that would get decent gas mileage, and one that would be versatile for in-town driving and for traveling. And, he wanted a 4x4 (I guess it's a Jeep thing).

Oronzo decided that leasing would be a good option for him, since he could write much of the expense of it through his business. I'm still not thrilled with the idea of making car payments for the next 3 years, only to give the car back at the end with nothing to show for it, but two of my siblings lease and they love it (more car for less car payments, they say) so I decided to let Oronzo have his way on this one.

After comparing many dealerships in our city and other nearby towns and cities, he got the best deal that he could locally. He signed the paperwork last night and left for work in his new car this morning with a big grin on his face.

So, do any of you lease or have you considered it?

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7:04 AM
13 comments


Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Works-for -Me Wednesday (free 411 calls)


It's time once again to post another WFMW tip.

Have you checked your phone bill to see how much phone companies are charging for a 411 information call? It's about $1.00 to $1.75!

I usually need info when I'm in the car, using my cell phone. I've learned that when you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial 800-FREE-411, or 800-373-3411 without incurring any charge at all. In exchange for the free service, you will hear an advertisement before you hear your number.

Free 411 calls work for me, maybe it'll work for you. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here

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8:47 PM
12 comments


Monday, August 20, 2007
Adoption #2- still waiting
Just thought I'd let you know that absolutely NOTHING has transpired with our application since I last updated you all on our process.

I was lead to believe that our licensing agent was putting the finishing touches on our paperwork and her Homestudy report and was just about to turn it over to her boss for review when I spoke to her on 7 August.

Apparently that is not the case. When I hadn't heard from her in over a week, I emailed her and asked her if her boss had reviewed our application and forwarded it on to the state yet.

She emailed back to tell me that she was getting ready to turn everything over to her boss for final review.

So, for the past week and a half our application has been sitting in limbo. Ugh!!! I wonder how long it'll take for the agency to put their stamp of approval on it and get it turned in to the state? It takes 30-60 days from the time that the state receives it to approve us (as I hope they will), so we still have a lot of waiting in store.

This is the frustrating part...we've done all we can do and now it's out of our hands. I guess all that's left to do is pray.

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6:30 AM
13 comments


Sunday, August 19, 2007
Name that business- WINNER!

Oy Veh! I know I said I'd have a business name picked out yesterday but I'm having a tough time deciding on one! I've gotten so many fantastic suggestions from many of you. Thanks so much!

I've been checking each of these suggestions to see if the URL is already being used. Many of them are, but quite a few aren't. I just can't decide yet, I'm sorry! This is harder than I expected. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I can't help myself.

I still want to do a giveaway though, so I used Random Integer Generator to select a winner from those of you who left comments with name suggestions.

And the winner is...

Commenter #45- penguinsandladybugs over at All Rolled Into One! What's neat is that her kids were joining in the fun trying to come up with name suggestions. How cute is that?

penguinsandladybugs, just email me to let me know if you'd rather have me ship the bracelet/earring set or a bookmark of your choice.

As for the rest of you, please feel free to offer more suggestions. I promise to post when I finally decide on a name. If it's one that was suggested, that person will still win one of my products!

Oh, and even though I haven't officially kicked off my new business, I'm still open for business if you're interested. :)

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8:30 PM
4 comments


Friday, August 17, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday (caramel fudge brownies)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Upcoming Themed Schedule

August 24- Sauces
September 7- Italian dishes

My recipe this week comes from Betty Crocker. I made these and brought them in to work this week and they were devoured in no time flat!


Caramel Fudge Brownies


Ingredients
1 pack Betty Crocker® Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
60 ml / 2 fl oz milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
230 g / 8 oz caramels
390 g can sweetened condensed milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease bottom only of rectangular pan, 27x17x4cm (11"x7").
Mix brownie mix (dry), milk, vanilla and egg with spoon.
Pour ¾ of mixture into pan and spread. Bake for 10 minutes.
Heat caramels in a thick saucepan over a medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are melted (I use a double boiler). Stir in condensed milk.
Pour over baked layer. Spoon reserved brownie mixture over caramel layer.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.
Cool completely, for about 1 hour. Refrigerate for easier cutting into bars. Store tightly covered and, if desired, in refrigerator.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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5:30 AM
12 comments


Thursday, August 16, 2007
Teething Pains
I think Snuggle Bug is working on getting his 2 year molars in. He's been saying "mouth hurt" and sticking his fingers in his mouth. He's also been running low grade fevers off and on. Considering he'll be turning 3 in December, I'd say it's about time these molars come in!

It's been a while since we've had to witness Snuggle Bug in pain due to teething and these last 3 nights have been tough. He wakes up frequently throughout the night, crying out in pain. We go in and try to comfort him the best we can, but it's not easy.

Last night I picked up my 28 lb. little boy and paced the wooden floors of his room with him in my arms as he snuggled up against my chest and whimpered in pain. I did the bounce-sway-shhhh-shhhh-shhh walk with him for several minutes, just like I used to do when he was teething as a baby, until he had fell back to sleep in my arms.

I hate to see him in pain like this and I'm not sure what's the best brand of medicine out there for his age to help sooth his teething pain. Any suggestions? Maybe I should call our pediatrician and ask.

Oh, by the way, I just want to say that I'm loving all the business names that many of you have come up with! I'm checking them all out to see which URLs have already been taken and which ones are still available. Unfortunately, many of the clever ones are already taken so keep those suggestions coming!

I'll announce on Saturday the name I've chosen for my new home-based jewelry business.

Thanks so much for all your help!

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6:09 AM
14 comments


Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Works-for -Me Wednesday (gasoline tip)

It's time once again to post another WFMW tip. Before I share my tip, I wanted to encourage you to stop by and enter my Name That Business contest. I'm giving away either a bracelet and earring set or an embellished bookmark! Check it out!

Now, for my WFMW tip...

Filler' Up

I've been told that if you fill up your car's gas tank in the morning (the earlier the better), you will get about 1 free gallon of gas per fill-up. That's because the gas in the tanks at the station expands during the heat of the day (especially in the summer). You get less for your money later in the day.

With the price of gas these days, I'll try anything to save a buck or two!

Filling up my gas tank in the moring works for me, maybe it'll work for you. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries:

inexpensive landscaping
chalk it up
fun & creative labels
Melt Down
How to get your spouse to do the dishes
the Plate Method
free steak seasonings/marinades
bargain shopping tips
My-Calorie-Counter
free customized ring tones
party favor basket
10 ways to make brushing fun!
Crayola Twistables Slick Stix
kids car organizer
stop urban legend emails
send credit scores soaring
foolproof extra creamy cottage cheese
stainless steel ball whisk
Uses for your child's wagon
10 Reasons Why Parents Should Not Spank
Love Sweet Love
travel tip
free children's printables
calendar labels
Strawberry Spinach Salad
mesh laundry bag uses
12 lbs 'til Christmas
toddler healthy eating techniques
reindeer puppet
Grocery Game website
No Fear Shakespeare
list of age appropriate children's chores
linking within comments
baptism gift
creating blogger categories
alternate use for pot rack
cake decorating tips
unique way to stay connected
cake baking tip
comforts of home while traveling
quenching the thirst of your little one
pie crust made in bulk
hot chocolate kicked up a notch

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6:00 AM
9 comments


Monday, August 13, 2007
"Name that business" contest!

Okay my fellow bloggers (and non-bloggers), I need your help! This would be a good time for you lurkers to delurk. :)

I'm preparing to start up a home-based jewelry business. Well, maybe it's more than just a jewelry business. I'll be attempting to sell beaded and wire-wrapped jewelry that I've created (the bracelet you see above is one that I made). I'll also be selling embellished bookmarks, hairclips, and other odds and ends.

I'm having trouble thinking of a cleaver name. I don't want to use my IRL name or even Overwhelmed With Joy. I want something totally separate and distinct. I want a name that's creative and catchy but also concise.

So, here's where you come in (I hope)! I'd like you all to help me come up with a name for my business. In return, I'm offering to give away one of my products to the person who comes up with the name I end up using. I'll even give the winner a choice.

The winner can choose either this sparkling bracelet and earring set (made with Swarovski crystals)

or

one of my embellished bookmarks, like the styles you see below (you pick the color and style you like best and I'll custom make it for you).







All you have to do to enter this "contest" is leave me a business name suggestion in the comment section of this post. That's it!

Of course, if you're feeling generous and would be willing to help me spread the word, you could grab the "Name that business" button from the top of this post and use it in a post on your blog, but that's certainly optional.

I'm leaving the comments open until end of day on Friday, 17 August. As long as there's a business name that I like (which I'm confident there will be) I'll select a business name on Saturday, 18 August and announce the winner that day.

So, can you help me? I sure hope so!

Just a side note: The pictures that you see on this post were taken by my beloved husband, Oronzo. Isn't he a fantastic photographer?! I just love the work he does!

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6:00 AM
63 comments


Saturday, August 11, 2007
Winner of August Pay It Forward Book Exchange
It's time to announce the winner of my August Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway of the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

My winner was randomly selected using the Random Integer Generator.

And the winner is...
Joyful Days! I guess sometimes it does pay to be the first one on the list. Congrats, Joyful Days! Please email me your mailing address so I can get the book sent out to you.

For those you of who didn't win my book, you still have many other opportunities to win. Check out the list of bloggers who are still giving books away this month!

Not only that, check back here next week for some giveaways of a different kind.

Thanks!

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7:07 AM
6 comments


Friday, August 10, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Salad Edition)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad edition!

I'm cheating a bit on the recipe I'm about to share! It's not mine, but I love it with all my heart. This salad recipe was created by a fellow blogger, Rachel at The Escandon's Family Blog and she shared it with us back in January. It's fabulous, try it!


Cranberry and Walnut Salad

Ingredients:

1) 2 bags of Dole's Organic Spring Mix with Herbs
2) 1/2 Cup of dried cranberries
3) 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts/walnut pieces
4) One golden Delicious Apple, Chopped in bite size pieces
5) 1/2 Cup Feta Cheese (I like a lot of feta... so I usually put more)
6) Half bottle of Lighthouse Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Preparation:

In a large salad bowl, mix all ingredients together. Chill for 20 mins if desired before serving. However, it is delicious if served immediately as well.

There are so many variations that can be made with this, that's why I love it. You can substitute pecans for the walnuts, green apples instead of the golden delicious, Gorgonzola or blue cheese instead of the feta, and even switch up the dressing... but something tangy is best! of course, you can increase or decrease the amount of any of the ingredients according to your preference. It's great to keep the ingredients on hand so if I feel like a gourmet salad, I can whip one up in seconds rather than spend the big bucks and go out to eat.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad edition recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:00 AM
15 comments


Thursday, August 09, 2007
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Last week I posted about our FAILED home inspection which Oronzo had to deal with himself, since I was in Florida on business (thanks for all the supportive comments, by the way). Well, we passed the follow-up home inspection!

This past Saturday Oronzo went to Home Depot and got the hardware required to make the required changes.

Tues morning our agency licensing agent came to our house and confirmed that the changes had been made. She initialed those areas on the checklist left by the state inspector and took the paperwork with her to submit to the state.

Tuesday evening, Oronzo undid everything that he had done to pass the inspection because we refuse to violate fire code and put our family at risk by blocking our exits in 2 bedrooms in case we are trapped because of a fire! Thankfully, our home won't be inspected again for another 3 years.

So, now that we've passed the follow-up inspection we're in the waiting stage.

We've done everything we could do to complete the process of getting licensed. All of our paperwork has been completed and turned in. All background checks (financial and criminal) have been completed. Oronzo and I have had our doctors give us physicals and sign off on the Physical Statement form. Our 5 reference letters have been sent in to the agency by family and friends. Our home has passed inspection. Our interviews have been completed and the licensing agent has written up her home study report.

All that's left is for our licensing agent to submit everything to her boss for review. Once her boss approves everything, it all gets forwarded on to the state. We're told that it can take 30-60 days for the state to decide whether or not to license us. I guess that means we could be licensed by end of September.

Once we're licensed, then we are required to complete 240 hours of strictly foster care before we can even be considered for a foster-to-adopt situation. This is a new state requirement.

We can get those 240 hours by providing respite care to foster children for foster parents that need time off or are traveling and are unable to take their foster children with them. Or, we can accept an emergency receiving placement (where very little info is known about the situation of the child that is placed with us).

I think we'll probably accept an emergency receiving placement because a situation like that could turn into a foster-to-adopt scenario, whereas a respite care placement would not.

So, there you have it. We're waiting. I'll keep you all posted. Your prayers would be much appreciated!

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7:00 AM
14 comments


Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Works-for-Me Wednesday (inexpensive landscaping)

It's time once again to post another WFMW tip. Before I share my tip, I wanted to encourage you to stop by and enter my Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway. I'm giving away a book and I have other bloggers linked on my post that are also giving away books. There are a total of 26 books being given away so you have lots of chances to win! Check it out!

Now, for my WFMW tip...


Go Plant a Tree...or 10

When Oronzo and I moved into our house two years ago, the landscape left much to be desired!

A friend told us of the National Arbor Day Foundation. For a $10 a year membership fee, they will send you 10 trees (flowering or oak). Your 10 free trees are guaranteed to grow, or the Foundation will replace them free of charge. Your six to twelve inch trees come postpaid (Free shipping) with easy planting instructions.

What's neat is that, if you wish, you can choose to have the 10 free trees sent to another address, such as your place of worship or perhaps the school that your little one goes to.

So, having inexpensive trees sent to you from the National Arbor Day Foundation works for me, maybe it'll work for you. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries:

chalk it up
fun & creative labels
Melt Down
How to get your spouse to do the dishes
the Plate Method
free steak seasonings/marinades
bargain shopping tips
My-Calorie-Counter
free customized ring tones
party favor basket
10 ways to make brushing fun!
Crayola Twistables Slick Stix
kids car organizer
stop urban legend emails
send credit scores soaring
foolproof extra creamy cottage cheese
stainless steel ball whisk
Uses for your child's wagon
10 Reasons Why Parents Should Not Spank
Love Sweet Love
travel tip
free children's printables
calendar labels
Strawberry Spinach Salad
mesh laundry bag uses
12 lbs 'til Christmas
toddler healthy eating techniques
reindeer puppet
Grocery Game website
No Fear Shakespeare
list of age appropriate children's chores
linking within comments
baptism gift
creating blogger categories
alternate use for pot rack
cake decorating tips
unique way to stay connected
cake baking tip
comforts of home while traveling
quenching the thirst of your little one
pie crust made in bulk
hot chocolate kicked up a notch

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6:00 AM
18 comments


Monday, August 06, 2007
August- Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway- 28 books to win!


** The winner of this giveaway was Joyful Days!** My next giveaway will begin on Monday, 3 September!

Last month I launched my Pay It Forward book exchange idea and I was so excited about the interest this exchange has generated thus far. There have been many bloggers hosting their own PIF Book Exchange giveaways and there are more to come! Thank you everyone!

Today I'm hosting my second free Pay It Forward book giveaway!

Let me just recap the Pay It Forward Book Exchange concept for those who might have missed it.

Most all of us love to read and get “new-to-us” books, right? And if you’re anything like me, you love winning things (what a rush), not to mention getting fun stuff in the mail! So here’s what this book exchange is all about:

1) Once a month I'll pick a book to give away to one lucky reader (you don’t have to have a blog to enter). It may be a book that I’ve purchased new or used, or it may be a book that someone has shared with me that I really like. It’ll probably be a paperback, just to make things easier, but no guarantees.

2) Details on how you can enter to win will be listed below.

3) If you’re the lucky winner of the book giveaway and you have your own blog I ask that you, in turn, host a drawing to give that book away for free to one of your readers, after you’ve had a chance to read it (let’s say, within a month after you’ve received the book). If you mail the book out using the media/book rate that the post office offers it’s pretty inexpensive. If you're a non-blogger who has won the book, please consider donating the book to your local library or shelter after you're done with it.

4) If you’re really motivated and want to host your own “Pay It Forward” giveaway at any time, feel free to grab the button above to use on your own blog. Just let me know so I can publish a post on my blog plugging your giveaway and directing my readers your way!

So there you have it, my Pay It Forward Book Exchange, designed to encourage people to read, to share good books, to possibly get you out of your reading comfort zone, and to get fun stuff in the mail instead of just bills!

Now then, my book giveaway for the month of August will be The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Before I go any further, I'd like to send out a special thanks to BooMama who sent me an Amazon gift certificate and suggested that I use it for future PIF books. This book was purchased using that gift certificate so thanks Boomama!

So, I the entire time I was reading The Road I found myself thinking, what if this was Snuggle Bug and I. What would I do? Would my love for him keep me going. I think it would! Love is a powerful thing.

Here's what the back of the book says:

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves agains the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food- and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love.

If you'd like this like new book sent to you, here is what you must do:

1. On your blog, write a post about this giveaway, using my "Pay It Forward" button, and then link back to my post. I am sure your readers would appreciate learning about the chance to win a book. You must complete this step to be put in the drawing, ,unless of course you don't have a blog!

2. Sign the Mr. Linky (the Mr. Linky is that list of names at the end of this post - just type your name in the box) with your name and the specific URL of your PIF post by end of day on Friday, 10 August. Note: If you are not a blogger, you may still enter. Just sign your name on the Mr. Linky without a URL and then email me your contact information. Please note on your email that it is for the Cormac McCarthy book giveaway.

I'll announce the winners this coming Saturday morning, so be sure to check back.

Best of luck!

Additional Pay It Forward Book Exchange Giveaways!

Jill at The Diaper Diaries gave away Lucky by Alice Sebold and Dreaming in Black & White by Laura Jensen Walker. Thanks so much, Jill!

Vail at Thoughts of a Wannabe gave away the book Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher. Thanks, Vail!

Kathleen Marie at The Open Window gave away the book Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon by Jane Austen. Thanks, Kathleen Marie!

Lynn at Somewhere In the Sun gave away the book Divine by Karen Kingsbury. Thanks, Lynn!

Miss Paula at Gathering of Friends gave away the book Night Song by Tricia Goyer. Thanks, Miss Paula!

Cloudscome at a wrung sponge gave away the book The Living by Annie Dillard. Thanks, Cloudscome!

Lace at Keeping My Fingers Crossed gave away the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Thanks, Lace!

Kris at Paradise Found gave away the book SmartLab 1st Grade
Challenge by Jennifer Jacobson
. Thanks, Kris!

Sheryl at Taking the Challenge gave away the book Fair Game by Carol Cox. Thanks, Sheryl!

Julie at Joyful Days gave away the book Crime and Clutter by Cyndy Salzman and also gave away a CD! Thanks, Julie!

Heidi at God's Grace in Practice gave away the book Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. Thanks, Heidi!

Caroline at food for thought gave away the book Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. Thanks, Caroline!

Brea at The Road to Creating Our Family gave away the book Kissing Adrien by Siri L. Mitchell and I was the lucky winner! Thanks so much, Brea!

Karen at Mommy of Three gave away the book Piercing The Darkness by Frank E Peretti and I was the lucky winner! Thanks so much, Karen!

Kelly at Big A, little a gave away two books. She gave away The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin and also If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko. Thanks, Kelly!

Shauna at Shauna rumbling gave away an autographed copy of the book The Elevator by Angela Hunt. Thanks, Shauna!

Alexia at The Mommy Rambles gave away two books, The Testament by John Grisham and The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts. Thanks, Alexia!

Libby at Lessons from the Tortoise gave away Looking for Alaska by John Green. Thanks, Libby!

Magpie at Magpie Musing gave away Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler. Thanks, Magpie!

Paige at Superpaige's Pad gave away The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Thanks, Paige!

Sheryl at Taking the Challenge gave away another book called The Bishop's Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter. Thanks, Sheryl!

Becky at In the Pages gave away Bright Ideas Calendar by McDonald Publishing. 365 Language Arts Activities for Grades 1-3. Thanks, Becky!

Kathleen Marie at The Open Window gave away the book The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Thanks, Kathleen Marie!

Kelly at Three Hearts For Home gave away the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
by Joanna Weaver
. Thanks, Kelly!

To Know Him gave away the book Making Children Mind, Without Losing Yours, by Kevin Leman. Thanks, To Know Him!

There Is Power In Prayer... gave away the book The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom and I was the lucky winner! Thanks, There Is Power In Prayer!

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5:00 AM
31 comments


Sunday, August 05, 2007
Becoming Jane: the moving that does not appear to be coming here.
This past week while I was in FL on business, I saw a trailer on T.V. for the movie, Becoming Jane, which opened in theaters on Friday. Let me revise that statement, it opened in select theaters.

I love all things Jane Austen and have many of her books. I was thrilled with the opportunity to see a movie that delved a bit into her personal life.

I flew back to my city, eager to purchase a ticket for a Saturday matinee. I was prepared to go myself while Oronzo stayed home with a napping Snuggle Bug.

Imagine my shock and horror when it slowly dawned on me that Becoming Jane was not opening in my theaters! I searched high and low online, in move listings for theaters all throughout my city. I found nothing!!

The one movie I really want to see is not showing here! What's up with that? It's not as though I life in a small town, like the one I grew up in that didn't even have a movie theater. I live in a major metropolitan city, for Heaven's sake!

I'm going to be sorely disappointed if I have to wait until the movie comes out on DVD to rent it through Netflix!

Has anyone seen this movie yet? Without spoiling it for me, did you like it or not?

Reminder: Don't forget to stop back tomorrow to enter my Pay It Forward Book Exchange giveaway. At this point, I have 4 other bloggers who will also be giving away books. They'll be linked in my post tomorrow.

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8:05 AM
13 comments


Friday, August 03, 2007
I'm going home to my beloved boys!
If you're looking for my Favorite Ingredients Friday post, click right here.

I'm flying home to my family and I couldn't be happier! I can't wait to hold Snuggle Bug in my arms once again and shower him with kisses and to get a hug from my husband!

Oronzo tells me that Snuggle Bug has had a rough time with my absence. He's asked after me each day and sobbed desperately when he's been dropped off at daycare.

When I get home, I'm going to pick Snuggle Bug up from daycare and we're spending the rest of the day together, just him and I, until Oronzo gets home from work! I'm looking forward to time with my precious son!

This trip to FL wasn't all that grand. Work proved to be filled with long hours and frustrating equipment failures. It rained nearly all the time. The 'alone' time that I was looking forward to proved to be filled with longing to be with my boys back at home. I've missed them.

It'll be good to be home once again!

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5:30 AM
14 comments


Favorite Ingredients Friday (Saucy Summer Fruit Salad)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Upcoming Themed Schedule

August 10- Salads
August 24- Sauces
September 7- Italian

My recipe this week comes from allrecipes.com. Okay, I know it's a salad recipe and my Salad Edition isn't until next week but I couldn't help myself. I'll come up with another salad recipe next week too, I promise. As for this one, it's easy to prepare and is oh so delicious! I hope you enjoy it!


Saucy Summer Fruit Salad

Ingredients
3 large peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 bananas, sliced
3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 kiwi, sliced

Orange-Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup vanilla nonfat or low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate

Preparation
Combine fruit and lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix yogurt and concentrate. Put fruit in a large glass bowl or 6 small bowls or parfait glasses. Drizzle sauce over fruit and top with mint.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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5:00 AM
10 comments


Thursday, August 02, 2007
Need a good book to read?

I just wanted to remind you that these fine ladies, listed below, are hosting "Pay It Forward book exchange" giveaways. Some of these giveaways are ending soon, so hurry over to sign up!

1) Iris gave away the book Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. Thanks, Iris!

2) Cee Cee gave away the book The Elevator by Angela Hunt. Thanks, Cee Cee!

3) Vail gave away the book Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn. Thanks, Vail!

4) April gave away a great mystery book, Dead Eyes by Stuart Woods. Thanks, April!

5) Sheryl gave away Hitched by Carol Higgins Clark and I was the winner! Hooray! :) Guess what? This coming Wednesday she'll be giving away Fair Game by Carol Cox. Thanks so much, Sheryl!

6) Danielle gave away the book Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg. Thanks, Danielle!

Are there any other Pay It Forward book exchange giveaways going on (or being planned) that I need to post here to inform my readers? If so, leave me a comment and I'll add you to the list!

I'm also hosting my own second Pay It Forward book exchange giveaway starting Monday, 6 August, and I believe there will be a few more new book giveawas so please stop back then to sign up to win, and I'd appreciate it if you'd help me spread the word!

Also, I wanted to thank Sheryl at Taking the Challenge for awarding me with the Creative Blogger Award for my Pay It Forward Book Exchange idea. I sure do appreciate it, Sheryl!

In turn, I'd like to award this Creative Blogger Award to Melody at Slurping Life for organizing the Love for Parker fundraiser that raised over $2,000 for Parker and his family to be used for medical expenses! Great job, Melody! I'm impressed with your creative efforts to make this worthy effort such a success!

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5:00 AM
6 comments


Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Adoption # 2- We failed our home inspection!
Yesterday I posted about our upcoming home inspection which Oronzo was having to deal with himself, since I'm here in Florida.

Well, after it was done Oronzo called to say we did not pass it! That's right, despite the fact we scoured our house from top to bottom, read and re-read the checklist and the other detailed literature of details about what we should expect from the inspection, and even having our agency licensing agent walk through last week and give us the thumbs up, we did not pass the inspection yesterday! I'm just a bit frustrated with the whole deal!

There were three pool-related things that the State rep told us we need to modify in order to pass inspection:

1) Get locks for the gates of our pool. We have self-latching, self-closing gates that have the latch 5 feet off the ground, where no small child can ever reach them, even standing on a chair. We ripped out the old ones and replaced them with sturdier, safer new ones when we moved into our house. But apparently that's not enough and we need to purchase locks for the gates.

2) Snuggle Bug's window must be secured so that it cannot be open more than 4" without the use of a tool (like a screwdriver or a drill). Snuggle Bug's window faces our back yard (the pool is in the back yard). His window is outside of the pool gate, so even if he were able to climb out without breaking a leg, he still couldn't land himself in the pool! In the literature that we were given, all it said is that a foster child may not have a bedroom with a window that had access to the pool area. Well, the room the foster child will be in faces the side of the house, not the backyard, so we thought we were fine. Apparently not.

3) The sliding patio door that we have in our bedroom leading out to the pool area must be closed off altogether. The fact that this door has a lock (with a key) at the very top of the door that stays locked at all times is not enough (contrary to what our licensing agent told us during her walk-through). We must seal off the door entirely! I'm not sure how we're going to accomplish that without removing the door and walling up that entrance, which I'm not willing to do!

I understand that the State is very serious about a child's safety and that a pool is considered a high-risk situation. I get that and that's great! What frustrates me (and Oronzo) is that no where in their booklet of detailed instructions or their checklists did they mention the specifics any of these requirements that we're now being told we have to adhere to. Instead, they'd rather a lady drive 2 hours to tell us these things in person!

And what about our agency licensing agent? Surely we're not the first family to have a pool. Why didn't she warn us of these things? She warned us of other things. How could she not know of these major things?

Oronzo thinks that he can manage to make the necessary modifications this weekend by purchasing and installing hardware at Home Depotm (thank goodness he's handy like that). Our licensing agent is scheduled to be at our house on Monday afternoon to do our final interview (together, as a couple). She told us before our inspection that if for some reason we didn't pass (but she assured us that she saw no reason why we shouldn't) that we'd be able to make the necessary modifications, she could inspect it on behalf of the state, and then confirm with the state that we were in compliance so that we could be approved. All I can say is that this better be the case and this better not hold things up an unreasonable amount of time or I'm going to be even more frustrated!

I have a call in to our licensing agent. The message I left her is that we didn't pass inspection and that we needed to talk.

Needless to say, our licensing agent and the State is going to get some feedback from me, letting them know that they need to be more forthcoming about their requirements for those of us that have a pool! It needs to be spelled out in black and white so that families don't have to try to guess at what they're looking for!

Ugh! Oh, and did I mention that one of our cats died a mere hour before the inspection (he died of old age, we suspected it was coming soon) and that after the inspection when Oronzo dropped Snuggle Bug off at daycare Snuggle Bug sobbed like crazy. Oronzo called me on his way to work to share all of this with me and said he'd had the worst morning ever! I feel terrible that I wasn't at home to help Oronzo deal with all of this.

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5:30 AM
31 comments




Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Beautiful adoption video
Date Night Bliss
Family Rules and Values
In the swing of school
It's time for the kiddos to head back to school a...
Flying home for a nice, long visit!
Baby fix!
Easing back into blogging
A shocking phone call
1 year anniversary for Boo
























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