Tag Archive: Sponsored Post

Calling All Color Runners! #WeShine

Disclosure: I received 2 complementary entries to my local race in exchange for this post. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.



So I guess maybe it’s time to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Well, sorta. I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions, so I gave them up several years ago. But I’ve recently seen several blog posts about setting goals for the new year. Now that I can get behind.

My biggest goal is to get healthy. As y’all may or may not remember, in 2014 we adopted two 2-year-old boys. I’d like to not only be around to watch their kids grow up, I’d like to have the energy and stamina to chase them around and keep up with their activities.

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Great American Smokeout – Quit Together. Win Together

This post was sponsored the American Cancer Society. All storytelling and opinions are my own.
I started smoking when I was 12. Yeah – that’s not a typo. All the cool kids were doing it, so… I now wonder if my having been adopted and exaggerated need to fit in may have contributed to that first puff. Great! That just occurred to me – one more thing to worry when the twins are older…
But I did one of the best things I ever could have done for them way before I ever met them – 2 years before they were even born. I quit smoking. And when I did, I got my life back. And I eliminated one of the biggest risk factors that they will start smoking as teenagers – having a parent who smokes.

July 2010 was actually the second time I really quit smoking. Like any smoker, I had tried to quit so many times. Unlike most smokers, I feel like I successfully quit twice. I know what you’re thinking, how successful could the first quit have been if I started again. Well, let me ‘splain it to you….
I quit smoking in August 2003. We were going to start our family soon, and I wanted to quit smoking well before we starting “trying”.
I actually tricked myself into quitting, if you can believe that.
I had set the day we were moving into our new apartment as my quit date – circled it on my calendar, the whole deal…. About 10 days before my quit date I worked from home all day. Around 6pm it dawned on my that I hadn’t smoked all day. And I wondered if I could go the whole day without smoking. I did, so I decided to see if I could go the next day without smoking. I did. Mind you, I hadn’t quit smoking yet, my quit date was set and I wasn’t there yet. I was just seeing if I could not smoke for a couple of days.
After 3-4 days of not smoking, I told SuperDad that I hadn’t had a cigarette in several days. I cut him off when he started to congratulate me – I hadn’t quit yet, I just hadn’t smoked in a few days…
By the time I got to my quit date, I hadn’t smoked in 10 days, so it was really no big deal at that point. Fast forward to 2006 when I finally accepted that ever being a mom just wasn’t in the cards for me (at least I thought so at the time). As some kind of stupid, childish, short-sighted “screw you” to infertility, I made a conscious decision to start smoking again. Now, how freaking moronic is that??
As I said, I quit again in July 2010, actually before we had even decided to get re-licensed for foster care. I was sick of sounding like Bea Arthur hacking up a hairball every morning. I couldn’t stand the smell of my own clothes. And burning up that much money was killing me – literally AND figuratively.
Ever since I first laid eyes on Lady Bug, every time I’ve thought about lighting up again, I just look at the kids and think about all they stand to lose if I started again – a mommy that is able to run around with them and not get winded just looking at a bicycle, a mommy that is present and will be present for a very long time, no exposure to second-hand smoke… I could go on, but I think you get the point.
If I can quit twice, you can do it once, right? Join the Great American Smokeout (800-227-2345) on Thursday, November 20th and win YOUR life back. November 20 marks the American Cancer Society’s 38th year of the Great American Smokeout (GASO), an initiative to encourage smokers to commit to quit or make a plan to quit on that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will take a critical step to a healthier life that can reduce the risk of cancer.
It’s a cheesy cliche, but I promise your family will thank you and you’ll be SO glad you did it. Make sure you check out the Quit for Life Facebook page and the American Cancer Society’s Guide to Quitting Smoking and make a commitment to “Quit Together. Win Together”

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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Book Review ~ Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids

Disclosure: I received a complementary copy of this book to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

For everyone who thinks I can’t make a long any story short, I am going to cut right to the chase. I didn’t read much past the introduction of this book; I won’t be reading it to my kids; I suggest you don’t either.


The author, Sarah Young, states in the introduction that the devotions in the book are some of the messages she has received directly from God through a process that sounds suspiciously like automatic writing. Directly. from. God.

I was quite taken aback by her claims, and embarked on some research about Sarah Young and her previous book, Jesus Calling. What I found was very alarming. It seems that the author does indeed rely on automatic writing for receipt of her messages. Now, she doesn’t appear to ever use the term “automatic writing,” for very good reason – the practice is not only NOT scriptural, but also considered to be a psychic ability by practitioners of the occult.

As tempted as I am to get into the whys and wherefores of all the things wrong with this, instead I will link you to A Precautionary Review By Pastor Mark Barrett of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

I will not deny that the devotions I did peruse are inspirational, with worthy sentiments. And the author includes scripture that supports each devotion. Regardless, the theological issues are, for me, insurmountable.

All of that being said, if you are interested in any of the Jesus Calling products, you can get them all at the above link for 50% off starting on Friday, November 14th. To kick off this amazing sale, there will be a Twitter Party Nov 14th 1-2 pm EST. Use the hashtag #JesusCalling to participate – 5 winners will receive the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling plus a $50 gift certificate for Family Christian Bookstores and 5 winners will receive a $50 Family Christian Bookstores gift certificate.

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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

LifebankUSA Peace of Mind Graco 4ever™ 4-in-1 Car Seat giveaway

SPONSORED POST: This post is paid for by the LifeBankUSA.
Before I realized that my family wouldn’t include biological children, I did a lot of research. A LOT. While we were trying to get pregnant, SuperDad and I discussed and agreed on many of the decisions that expectant parents face. We decided that we wouldn’t circumcise or pierce baby’s ears. We would breastfeed and rear-face for as long as possible. And we would bank our baby’s cord blood.


As a parent, I’m sure you’ve heard that “cord blood”, the blood found in a baby’s umbilical cord is rich with stem cells – cells with the ability to transform into almost any cell found in the human body.Did you realize that the stems cells found in cord blood have been used to treat over 30,000 patients worldwide? Or that it’s been shown that using a higher number of stem cells in a transplant leads to better engraftment and survival? Did you know that significantly MORE of your baby’s stem cells can be preserved by adding placenta blood banking to the cord blood collection?

Banking the most stem cells can be critical and this can only be accomplished through banking both cord and placenta blood. Numerous studies published in top medical journals have shown that transplanting more stem cells significantly increases success and transplant survival rates. In fact, customers who bank placenta blood in addition to cord blood with LifebankUSA preserve 60%-70% more CD34+ stem cells – the cells that are the most important for rebuilding diseased blood with healthy blood.

Only LifebankUSA has the proprietary technology to offer placenta blood banking with cord blood banking. We are also the only company in the world to release placenta stem cell units for transplant.

Now through December 21, 2014, you can enter the LifebankUSA Peace of Mind giveaway on Facebook for a chance to win one of THREE Graco 4ever™ 4-in-1 Car Seats!


“LifebankUSA is a pioneer in placenta-stem cell technology. Our stem cell banking program meets and exceeds the highest standards in the industry-and we are the only company that can provide access to technology that allows you to boost the number of cells you can recover after birth.”

– Robert Hariri, MD, PhD
CEO and Founder of LifebankUSA

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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

I HAVE to be good enough, because I AM his mommy

SPONSORED POSTThis post is paid for by the Ad Council. All opinions are my own.

If you’ve been following my story, you know I’ve wanted to be a foster parent since I was 8 years old. If you haven’t, may I suggest reading about how I got here from there.

When we were being licensed, we were asked if we had any racial preferences or objections. Nope, we said, we’re color-blind. We don’t care about that stuff at all.

Squirm @ 1st sightWhen we got the call for Squirm, his race didn’t phase me at all. Not a problem. We’re color-blind, right? Yeah. Then he shows up with the most adorable baby-fro. And I realize that I DON’T. HAVE. A. FREAKING. CLUE how to take care of his hair – hell, I honestly just figured out what to do with my hair about 5 years ago. Seriously.

So I did what any clueless white foster mom would do – I googled. Which may or may not have been the best first step. I spent the next 2 hours alternately clicking on random google results and poking/pulling at Squirm’s hair trying to determine whether his curls had a “Z” pattern when stretched or an “S”. I still can’t answer that question, but I ultimately decided that his hair falls somewhere in the range of 3b to 4a. Whew! With that question (sort of) solved, I can now turn to what the experts (and by experts, I mean the next 5 random google results) suggest as the go-to product for 3b to 4a hair.

Let me just interrupt myself here to say that while I laugh about this whole process now, at the time I was literally frantic to get to THE.RIGHT.ANSWER. – RIGHTNOW! You see, I was convinced that this was my MOST.IMPORTANT.TEST. as a transracial parent (ha!) and that if I didn’t figure out the best way to care for his hair IMMEDIATELY then the whole world would know that I was a complete failure as a parent and he would be scarred for life. I just kept telling SuperDad – “I don’t him walking around looking like he has white foster parents!!”

So.. what guidance did the next 5 random google results offer? About 15 different opinions about the best and worst products to use on his hair, many of which would list a product as the best and then in the next paragraph describe it as the worst…

Now, if you’ve ever cared for ethnic hair, you’ve probably fallen out of your chair laughing at me by now. If you haven’t, let me just tell you that my sweet baby boy requires 4 different hair care products, to be used at different times during the week. There’s a daily leave-in conditioner/styling aid to make his curls pop. There’s the weekly (Wednesday) shea butter shampoo and restorative conditioner, and the weekly (Sunday) co-wash conditioning cleanser because his delicate hair can’t be washed more than once a week.

But again, I digress. Where was I? Oh! trying to google the single right hair product for my bouncy baby-fro. After another hour fretting in front of the computer trying to decipher a consensus, I despaired that google didn’t have the answer after all – but then I remembered seeing the ethnic hair care section at Wal-Mart.

So I convinced SuperDad that we must load up Squirm & Lady Bug and go to Wal-Mart immediately. Yes, all of us. If you have any experience with infants, you know that it took approximately 3 days to get everyone dressed, diaper-bagged, loaded into the car and then unloaded at the store. We made a beeline for the ethnic section to find….

 

HOLY-MARY-MOTHER-OF-WHAT-THE-HELL-AM-I-SUPPOSED-TO-DO-NOW?!?!?

So I did what any slightly anxious completely panicked mom would do – I grabbed the first person of color I saw and pleaded for help. It happened to be a teen-aged boy just cutting through the aisle with his friends.

Nevertheless, I stepped in front in him with my hand up, said “Excuse me, I have a strange question. I am a foster mom, and this gorgeous little boy has just been placed with me – I don’t have a clue what to do with his hair, can you please help me?”

Luckily the teenager was amused, rather than offended. He also wasn’t much help. He smiled, handed me a brush (for straightened hair) and gestured at the olive oil products and made his escape.

As soon as he was out of sight, I realized that my time spent frantically googling and my instincts could tell me more about caring for my biracial infant’s hair than a teenager with a fade. That gave me my first shot of confidence in my ability to parent this child and I picked out some items that seemed promising. 

We don’t actually still use any of the products that I picked up that day – they were really pretty awful. But I’ve done more research, experimented a little and (thank God) found the natural hair care section at Target. If you’re wondering, that stuff on the top shelf is awesome! 

Don’t get me started on the skin-care consternation, but we figured that one out, too.

I panicked again when I attended a transracial parenting lecture and realized that I hadn’t even begun to realize the challenges we will face. I was frequently completely convinced that there had to be a better home for him – because I was simply not equipped to do him justice. I’m wasn’t good enough to be this precious boy’s mom.

But the bottom-line is this: 

I HAVE to be good enough – because I AM his mommy.

AdoptUSKids has a great new initiative: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” There are over 100,000 children in foster care ~right now~ waiting for forever homes; 31,000 are between the ages of 11 and 17. And they need you. I can’t count how many times someone has said to us, “I would love to adopt or foster, but I’m just not strong enough.” SuperDad and I have two responses to that:

  1. How do you know until you try?
  2. You have to be, because they need you.

These kids don’t need or expect perfection. They just need someone to care. They deserve to feel loved and wanted and to know that they belong to someone.

Before I get hate mail about saying we were color-blind, I’m intentionally speaking the way we thought before coming a transracial family, in an effort to illustrate just how cavalier we were about the whole thing.