My Dream Home isn’t Pink and Plastic

dreamhouse
(This post was sponsored by The Blogger Collective)

Last Christmas, Santa brought my daughter the new and fabulous Barbie Dream House. A far cry from the one my back yard neighbor had, but the excitement was comparable.

Not only does the 2013 version have a working elevator and doorbell, it has so many new features from when I was playing with everything pink and plastic.

The kitchen has a recycling bin, a blender that makes noise and an oven light. I remember my friends having a stove, fridge and sink and we were lucky if the doors stayed on.

The TV that is in the living room can change back and forth from two channels. Right now it is a manual change, but I foresee Mattel going to a remote version in the near future.

Apparently, having one elevator in your home is just above poverty level because Barbie classed it up and has a closet elevator. You don’t know what that is? Oh, you silly, silly monkey! It’s a secret elevator that takes your clothes from your closet down to the bathroom. Barbie always puts her dirty clothes back on the elevator to return to the closet, but Ken never seems to do this.

The most idyllic place in the Dream Home is the bathroom. Barbie’s pink toilet makes a flushing noise, a hair dryer makes such a realistic noise you could be fooled the kids are playing with yours, and each time Barbie is in the shower her voice can be heard singing like a crazed fool.

The only thing missing is a bidet where water would shoot up Barbie’s tush and then blow it nice and dry. However, I’m glad the Dream Home isn’t hooked up to water yet. A few years back our Barbie had an unfortunate water accident. It was tragic!

So I got to thinking, when I was seven what did I think was a dream house? What amenities would my grownup house have? I’m fairly certain I wanted more than one bathroom, a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves covering every inch of wall surface, and a recording studio.

When I was in college living in apartments, my dreams had changed substantially and all I wanted was a working icemaker in the refrigerator, a garage with an opener and to live on a beach in Florida.

The home I live in now, doesn’t have a hand-painted Etsy entry way sign, saying I found my dream home in Fort Lauderdale. Nope. I am nowhere near an ocean, but my Midwestern home is comfortable for a family of four and has 3 ½ baths!!

I would have thought my house was a castle when I was a child. Even though there is no elevator, no library, nor recording studio.

But my kids’ bookshelves, which are tethered to the walls so the kids won’t climb on them and be crushed when they topple over, are brimming with wonderful stories. The absence of an elevator, leaves a beautiful staircase that I can decorate with pine boughs and lights at Christmas and place stuffed animal bunnies on each stair for Easter. And the recording studio is much better served as a room with a piano, our guitars and comfy chairs to sit in and enjoy each other’s music.

What has made my house a Dream House? My family.

If you wanna continue to chat or connect, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

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Send Kids to Camp for Instant Relaxation

(This post is sponsored by The Bloggers Collective)

traditional soup cooking on fire in tourism pot
You are a couple weeks into summer with all your kids home 24/7, so you naturally start to contemplate going crazy as a good alternative, just so you can have a room to yourself at the psych hospital. Can you relate?!

The skilled parent (of whom I can only name on one hand) will have planned activities for every week, so that there aren’t constant whines of, “I’m bored!”

Come on! What would summer be without the soul wrenching cries of boredom?!

Yes, you could create a colorful and pinteresting board to proudly hang in your kitchen, to represent each child and their diverse educational yet entertaining summer activities.

Or you could send them to camp.

C-A-M-P. You heard me. Ship ‘em off to camp.

Ah…I can feel the muscles in my neck start to relax as I’m typing this.

What are the pros and cons of sending your children away for a week at camp? Don’t think I don’t got ‘em!

Pros of Camp:
1) You are sending your children away for a week at camp!!
2) It’s the perfect place for them to socialize with peers.
3) Supervised physical activity all the live long day.
4) Plus, it will give Mom and Dad a “stay-cation” for re-grouping – so that you can enjoy the remainder of the summer together as family unit. (aka no one will kill each other)

Cons of Camp:
1) You won’t have as much noise in your home.
2) Your home will remain clean while they are away.
3) No one will leave all the lights on, the door to the outside open or the refrigerator door ajar.
4) Or your kids might get homesick and sing the heart tugging, “I miss my Mama Blues.”

So in order to lessen the trauma for your little lovies, planning ahead for summer camp blues is necessary.

The American Psychological Association (Wallin & Palomares, 2012) reports, “About 90 percent of young people spending time away from home reported some sad feelings; 20 percent experienced moderate-to-severe homesickness; about 7 percent experienced debilitating levels of homesickness.”

That’s a heck of a lot sad letters heading home; and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be getting those tear-stained, guilt postcards in the mail. Even though this is absolutely normal behavior, it can be alleviated with a little preparation before they get on the big school bus heading down that dusty road.

Plan Ahead
Usually, younger kids who have never gone to camp are going to have the roughest time, but the majority of them will adjust quite well within two days. Therefore, a backup plan is in order:

• Even though it may be tempting, don’t solve your child’s problems. Assist them to figure out what will work for them. If it’s their idea, they will have better results. “If (blank) happens, then what will make you feel better?” Then wait for them to come up with a resolution.

• If your babes are missing home and weepy, help them preplan with something concrete so they can get through the difficult time. Developmentally they aren’t mature enough to figure out how to problem solve, especially when they are fragile or having feelings of insecurity.

• Sleepovers scheduled ahead of camp departure time can be quite helpful. Especially if your kid has only spent the night at home or Grandmas. Set this up with the other parents so at first you could call your child. Texting could also work. Then work up to no contact at another sleepover, so they know what it will feel like at camp.

If you aren’t a planner and your child fits in just great in new situations, you are lucky and won’t have to do anything but help pack their bag and show them to the bus door. However, this is rare. Revel in your child’s self-confidence and pray it continues into the hormonal teenage years.

And then just enjoy your time to yourself. That week will FLY by!!

If you need more help, here is a parents sleep away camp resource.

If you enjoyed this, please find me at Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Love meeting new friends!

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Summers in NYC With No Air Conditioning

BagelsChicago
This post was sponsored by The Bloggers Collective

Chillin’ with My Boys in NYC

Do you remember that insane time I lived in New York City on the Upper West Side? You don’t? That’s too bad because I hoped maybe you could help me with some of the foggy details of my intoxicating year of job searches, auditions for Broadway shows, cabaret acts in smoky bars and the last few nights when I was kicked out of my apartment and forced to live in a crack hotel.

Hmm. I guess I do remember a bit more than I had thought.

Apparently, I didn’t push that nightmare far enough into the recesses of my brain.

Before the night someone was murdered outside my window at the crack house, I lived in a five-bedroom apartment off of 98th and Broadway. I haven’t been back there since, so I’m not sure if it’s as lovely as it was in the mid-nineties. But I sure hope that lifesaving bagel store on the corner remains in tact.

Each morning I would wake up on my way to look for some disappointing job in the musical theater world or head to a deadbeat temporary agency gig. Since the money wasn’t pouring in from my talent, I was luckily able to answer phones like a champ for some of the bigger fancier companies in the world.

Mr. Gates, I’m sorry we never met; but I’m regretful to inform you, just last month I switched over to your major competitor and I’m totally blown away by new fruity computer!!

So back to my favorite part of NYC, Lenny’s bagel shop. Oy! It was a schmear of ecstasy! Each morning, the regulars which consisted of ten older Jewish men and this little ole blonde, Kansas girl would converse in line about our bagels, the weather and where they would be vacationing for the summer.

I knew that many New Yorkers retired in Florida, in fancy places such as West Palm Beach, Jupiter Yacht Club and Boca Raton. But I had only been to Disney World once so I only imagined their homes by comparison to the infamous Jerry Seinfeld’s parent’s retirement community, Del Boca Vista.

These fabulous men introduced me to a whole new culture and humor; and convinced me to try lox, which I will be forever grateful.

One sweltering summer morning, I sprinted to the bagel shop. Usually I am not a sprinter. Or a runner. I’m more of a sitter, but at the time I was young, fit and hotter than a two dollar pistol. (That’s what he said!)

I didn’t want to show up to the temp agency schvitzing, but our air conditioner had gone out in the apartment, and I knew that Lenny’s would cool me off before I walked several blocks to the underground subway.

Later that night, one of my roommates contacted the owner of our apartment – the same ass lovely man who kicked me to the curb the night of the crack hotel debacle – and said we were in need of new air conditioner units.

Our landlord said we could go find a window unit at one of the thrift stores.

Really?

I’m supposed to go 10 blocks, pick up an old dilapidated unit, haul it up 3 flights of stairs and install it myself into a window that has real, live people walking underneath it?

That was just asking for a mini-series to be written about us. Now we did consider it for a moment though because we thought if we wrote the script and could hire ourselves to play the lead roles, we could earn a mint!

We begged this parasite of man to be upstanding and provide us with what we needed…human decency and a new air conditioner.

“Don’t you think we would save money on your electricity bill if we had a new, more efficient unit?” we asked over the phone.

“I’m not the one paying the bills! You are. Sounds like your problem,” he threw out in a snippy voice.

Actually, this wasn’t the first time our landlord had manipulated the five roomies. We were living in this rent-controlled apartment, not according to the building owner’s rules. If we bucked anything our “landowner” said, he would have had to get rid of his boarders (us) and we would be on the streets.

Yes, he was a gem, but I was young and stupid and finding a place to live in the city for $350/month was unheard of!! Ignorance is hot, hot, HOT!!!

So I bought a fan. It sucked. Or blew, rather.

But every morning for the remainder of the summer, I would run to my favorite place in the city to hang with my boys, chat over a bagel, dream of vacationing in Florida and just chill!

Have any of you had any wild roommate experiences? Or lived in in NYC in the summer? I would love to hear if you think that anyone in their right mind can survive the city without A/C! 🙂

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No Baby Photos on Hand? Family Services will Arrive Shortly

How many times have you been to a party or wedding and a long lost friend asks, “Do you have photos of your kids or grandkids?”

photo2books

I always have my phone, photo ID and a fabulous lipstick, but when I’m heading out for the evening the last thing I’m thinking is, “Do I have a brag book worthy of impressing the Joneses…or the Kardashians.” Apparently, I have no idea who I’m supposed to impress these days.

I never can get to the cute photos of my kids or pets on my pseudo-Smart phone fast enough when asked. Then I notice the person who requested the photos of my rugrats, begins checking her cuticles, tapping her expensive heels and desperately scanning the room for ANYONE to talk to whilst I futz around like a putz.

“I know I took a good photo on Wednesday morning. It was so funny…” I stammer.

Scanning…

Searching…

Still looking!

“Oops! My girls must have stolen my phone again and taken pictures of their heinies. You don’t want to see those, right? No? Give me one more sec…”

This happens time and time again – not having photos AND butt shots on my phone.

So thank the heavens above, recently I learned TPS Printing Shoppe has come up with the perfect fix for one of my many awkward moments.

Now you don’t have to lose anymore friends at parties! Unless of course, you are a total jack-wad; then this product won’t do squat for you, and I recommend some anger management counseling.

Cute, right?!

Cute, right?!

Photos2Books are portable photo albums available in 2 sizes:

The Micro Photo Album (attached to a keychain) – So cute and handy! It has a magnetic clasp which keeps the sturdy pages bound in a micro suede cover with several colors to choose from. It’s smaller than your electric key FOB, so it won’t take up space on your key ring. This is a super choice for folks who don’t lose their keys!

photo2books2

Mini Photo Album (NO key ring attachment) – This one is larger and has fewer pages, but still fits into any Coach wristlet. Also, if you are minimally-aged challenged this one might be a nice one for your friends. This way no one has to pull out their “readers” to admire your glorious grandchildren.

These photo albums also make creative last-minute gifts from your iPhone Camera Roll and start at the $9.95 USD. The company claims approximate 2-day printing and shipping from ordering; so if you are a major planner like I am, you could get a great gift in no time for:

• Wedding albums
• Baby books
• Teacher books
• Sports Team books
• Coach books
• Mother’s Day books
• Father’s Day books

Check out their site here and download their free app at the App Store.

Also, if you use the code “NURSE” you will get $1 off your order.

In just a few steps you will have produced a great album and in several days, you will be prepped for when the next person asks you that dreaded question…

“Do you have any pictures of your kid’s first haircut?”

You can pat your evening bag, cock your hip and smile, “As a matter of fact, I do!”

My girls in chocolate Micro key chain style.

My girls in chocolate Micro key chain style.


This post is a sponsored post by TPS Printing Shoppe; however, I absolutely adore my micro key chain album. I only put products on my site I think are “blog worthy.”

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The Great Medical Scrub Contest by Uniform Advantage


Calling all Nurses who like free stuff!!!                 (Is that an oxymoron?)

Don’t worry your capless head, we don’t want your urine sample for analysis (UA).

This is a certified “too-legit-to-quit” contest with the GRAND PRIZE being… (drum roll, Dr. Scholl)

A FREE – yes, that’s right. A FREE – $25.00 gift card for SCRUBS from my dear friends at Uniform Advantage (UA)  for TWO Nurse Mommy readers!  (Okay, I’ve never met them, but they’re giving away free scrubs, so they have to be good peeps.) Can I hear 50 shades of Hey?!

All you have to do is give up your first child and sign over your next 10 (ten) paychecks to “Nurse Mommy”…KIDDING!  I said FREE, do you have a problem with that?  Don’t make a liar out of the nurse, they’ll revoke my license!

So Ladies and Gents, come check out Uniform Advantage’s website and their new products!  They have a line called “Butter-Soft Scrubs.”  Nurses have been known to be caught skipping down hallways rubbing their soft scrubs and quietly muttering, “Mmmh, these scrubs are like buttah!”**

**This line of scrubs promises to not add calories or increase your BMI for the wearer of the uniform.

 

http://www.uniformadvantage.com

 

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Please just mention why you like or dislike butter in the comment section of the Nurse Mommy Laughs website.
  2. Two winners will be drawn next week by Dr. Scholl (my assistant) and announced at that time. 
    Good luck and happy buttery thoughts!

~ Nurse Mommy

(this post was sponsored by Uniform Advantage; however, all opinions are mine)

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