Monday, December 27, 2010



This is my back door. Here at the Jersey Shore we got over 2 feet of snow on the day after Christmas. Our street is not passable, there is over 2 feet on the road & I know they plowed at 9:30 last night. (ETA: totals from NOAA said 33 inches of snow)

I don't mind snow, really I don't, but holy cow 2+ feet in the first snow storm of the season is a bit ridiculous! Thankfully even though my husband is recovering from a stomach bug that has hit the males in this family, he is trying to shovel out our driveway! Not that we can go anywhere!

As for getting any beach writing orders filled, well that is going to have wait. I'm sure I can find clear beach at low tide, but just getting down to the water line is going to be quite a feat!

But I WILL continue doing custom beach writings through the winter. Valentine's day is coming & I will be offering some amazing ideas and items for you to give your loved one! Think initials in a heart made into a necklace! Or a card that says "Be Mine".

So don't forget to click here and browse through all the awesome things I have for sale!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and have a Wonderful New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pretty?



I think so :D

I took this at sunrise this morning when it was 22 degrees out there. Thankfully it wasn't windy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

There is still time



There is still time to order the ornaments I've made, the Jersey Girl necklaces (only 2 left) and even custom beach writings. I'm going to the beach Friday, Saturday & Sunday this week, as long as the weather cooperates. Next weekend I will do the same thing. All pictures will be sent out by the Monday after the weekend. Since Christmas is still a little bit away, there is plenty of time for you to print pictures I send you to give as gifts for Christmas.

MY SHOP


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Did I really see that?

Oh yes I did!!!

As of today, Saturday December 4, 2010 I am down 50 freaking pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I started this journey in January of 2009, slacked for months at a time, but started back up with renewed effort on 9/1/2010 and it's paying off!

I am SOOOOOOO Happy today :D Especially since the scale barely moved all week. I gained 3lbs over Thanksgiving weekend, that came off by Wednesday, but then just stayed there. I nearly cried when I saw the scale this morning! I know I rubbed my eyes because I couldn't believe what I saw, but I saw it!!!!! WOOT!

Some other great news, I did really well at the craft fair last night! Sold several Jersey Girl necklaces, took a few custom beach writing orders, sold a few of my example pictures and 2 rubber ducks. Totally bummed the ducks didn't move, but whatever! LOL I had to laugh when people asked if they could buy some of the pictures I had on the table. I print them just as examples, but people want them! I thought it was too funny. One was even personalized, but it was a common last name!

I will definitely do more craft fairs, maybe even before this Christmas!

Go visit my shop! Until Sunday night the 1 Jersey Girl necklace I have listed will remain for sale for $10, after that it's being bumped up to $15. www.etsy.com/shop/mssuzie RUN!

Photobucket

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

My First Craft Fair



This coming Friday, December 3, 2010 I will be doing my first craft fair. I've never sold at a craft fair before. It starts at 6:30 and goes until 9pm.

Being sold for the first time is my Jersey Girl Necklaces. I have a bunch and will be offering them for $10 on Friday night only. Any I have left will be put up for sale in my Etsy account for $15 plus $2.50 shipping.

I will also have these for $1.50 each. I didn't make the ducks, but I think they are just too cute!
So make sure you come out to see me! I will also be taking custom beach writing orders as well!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A work in progress!

This is my latest creation. I do have to give credit to my sister in law Kristen at Kristen Mintz Photography though, she posted about them first.

It is a work in progress, actually I'm still waiting for it and the 38 others I made, to dry!

The original intent was just to make Christmas ornaments and maybe a few of the Jersey Girl ones as necklaces. But I'm getting LOTS of interest in the JG necklaces so I'm placing a rush order for the supplies I need so I can make more!

If you're in the area, on December 3, I will be at the Colonia Middle School 2010 CANDYLAND Holiday Shop Night from 6 to 9:30. Come check me out be one of the firsts to get a custom made Jersey Girl necklace!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gloves!



My 9 year old decided he wanted to do what I do and drew this picture of me. I know I've lost weight, but I'm not quite a stick figure yet! LOL

So on my last trip to the beach I realized I am in need of a serious pair of warm gloves that still lets me use my camera! Leather gloves would definitely fit the bill, but they need to be lined with something. I don't want real fur (allergies, dogs, etc LOL) and I don't want to spend big bucks. I wish I had thought of this at the end of last winter when they were all on sale!

If you see a good pair on sale, let me know!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween is coming!




I have a sickness, I LOVE Halloween! The above picture is how I decorate the outside of my house for Halloween.

Yesterday while browsing the web I found the picture below, I really like it so I thought I'd share!

Facts About Halloween
[Via: HalloweenExpress.com]

Update on me, I'm still doing very good losing weight. I'm down 11 lbs since 9/1 and down 45lbs since 1/1/09. 20 more to go!!!! 19 more to meet my challenge of 30lbs in 4 months!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Can't believe I'm posting that picture. However I can not get over the transformation and I wanted to share. A mere 6 months and a difference of ONLY 6lbs. Really, I'm not lying. I was only 6lbs heavier in the picture on the right from March. I've got chickens in the freezer bigger then that!

The difference is, I'm working out. Since September 15th 2010 I have done the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred every week day. 15 times, that's it. I did move up to Level 2, but the jumping exercises in that level caused my bum knee to hurt, so I'm sticking with level 1. I hate to sound like an advertisement for anyone, especially since Jillian in now selling some crappy weight loss product, but this workout IS working for me. And the workout takes like 25 minutes including warm up and cool down. Who doesn't have 25 extra minutes?

The muffin top difference is great, but I can't get over how much bigger the jeans are in my thighs! Those jeans are not stretchy at all.

Ok I'm going to hit publish before I chicken out!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Update of Sorts

I guess if I blogged more I would remember my password & not have to reset it every time! LOL

Anyway a quick update. I am down 8lbs since 9/1!!!! I've also started exercising :D Every week day I face the evil Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred video. I have exercise ADD, if the video is more then 30 minutes, I have no interest it! The 30 Day Shred is about 25 minutes long including warm up & cool down. Perfect for me. I've been doing that for almost 2 weeks now and can see my body is changing even if the weight isn't dropping off.

Also I joined a Challenge/Support thread on one of the message boards I visit. It's titled 30lbs in 4 months and we started 9/1. I don't normally join challenges because they have the reverse affect on me and I gain weight. But this time is different. This time I am DETERMINED to get this weight off! And so far, so good!

I'd really like to walk the beach when I go down to fill my orders for Names On The Jersey Shore, but I usually have a few supplies with me that make it kind of hard. Walking on the beach is great for your muscles and is hard!

I'd REALLY like to walk my dogs on the beach (remember the overweight border collie post?) but again I can't do my beach writings if my dogs are running around! LOL

Excuses, excuses. But I am exercising so I'm not making complete excuses!

Monday, August 23, 2010

15 weeks



In 15 weeks, I will be 41. I want to be 22lbs lighter by then.

It's really not a whole lot to ask for. I've lost more in a shorter amount of time.

I could go to my doc who is offering a program called The Bead Diet. But I think it's a scam, plus it's been banned in the UK. Umm no thanks. I could join Jenny Craig, a few people I know have used that program and dropped quite a bit of weight. But it's too expensive. If I was single, I would totally do it. But I can't justify spending $200 a week on food just for me when I can feed my entire family of 4 for the same price. Plus I'm not a big fan of eating all that processed food.

I tried weight watchers, and felt hungry ALL THE TIME.

What works for me is Low Carb. BUT I have to stick to it. Any diet or "WOE" (way of eating) only works when you stick to it.

And that my friends inlies my problem, sticking to it. I've done low carb on and off for 10 years now. The very first time, I lost 43 lbs in 6 months. This is me from August 2000.




That night I got pregnant with our 2nd son. And I've never taken off the weight. Even in the picture above I am not skinny, but I am within a healthy weight range. Had I not gotten pregnant, and started exercising, I believe I could have lost a few more pounds & inches. But my kids are worth every pound I fight.

In January of 2009 I was at an awful all time high. I won't say the exact weight, but I was wearing a lot of 1x & 2x shirts, along with living in sweatpants. I was able to lose 40lbs by November, but since then I have been playing with the same 5lbs. Today I am actually up 7lbs from my lowest in 2 years, but I made some homemade bread last night that I just "had" to try. That and a few beers caused at least 2 of the lbs today, it will be off by Wednesday.

So today, August 23rd, 2010 I extend my hand to those of you on the weight loss wagon & ask for some help back up.

It doesn't matter what plan you're using to lose weight, we can all us support and encouragement. And someone to kick our asses either outside or to the gym to exercise!

Drop me an email if you want to talk about losing weight!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I watch "Jersey Shore"



Yep, I watch it. I'm a 40 year old mom who likes to watch the stupid MTV show Jersey Shore.

But last night's episode left me sick to my stomach.

It's not their normal every stay stupid actions that left me feeling sick, it's the way Ronnie abuses Sammie.

If he were physically hitting her, it would be all over the news and he would be arrested. What he is doing is worse, he's mentally abusing her.

He treats her like crap, cheats on her, calls her nasty vulgar names (remember he called her the C-word in the Taxi) tells her to leave him alone and then when she confronts him, he tells her it's her fault & she apologizes.

Classic mental abuse.

In the episode last night Sammie tells the other girls to tell her if Ronnie is cheating on her and they're all nervous and not sure what to do. But what's the point, she's only going to go back to him every single time. That is exactly what I would have told her. "What's the point?"

Everyone in the house & the entire viewing audience knows what's going on, yet as recent as last weekend they were still together. (A friend of mine saw them at a bar in Seaside.)

I won't even talk about the example they are setting, because I don't let my kids watch it. I know some parents do and that's your decision. Maybe it can be a good way to start a conversation, especially with your daughters.

I used to joke and say that I wanted to ride on the "coat tails" of the Jersey Shore fame to further my business Names on the Jersey Shore but now, I don't know.

I still love living at the Jersey Shore but I don't know how I feel about having the name of my business, and my blog being associated with the name of a TV show that not only features mental abuse, but glorifies it.

Sorry for the dark post today, but I had to get it out and it is my blog!

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 Things

In order for me to get really good pictures for my clients, 3 things must line up, beach, sun & water. Names on the Jersey Shore

If it's mostly or completely cloudy, forget it. (see previous post) The pictures come out too dark & don't print nicely. When I first started doing this in the Spring, I used to go at sunrise. I quickly learned that while the sunrise can make gorgeous pictures.



It makes terrible light for taking pictures of writings in the sand.



I still like to go for sunrise because it's an AMAZING way to start the day, I wait for the sun to rise a bit before taking pictures.

If it's high tide & rough, nothing I write stays there very long. Sure I could write further up the beach, but then I have to deal with footprints (serious pet peeve) or no ocean in the picture, and that doesn't work.



Lastly I need space to write. If it's high tide, but calm it's ok but I prefer low tide. Low tide is normally calm. This gives me tons of space to write & nice waves. My favorite writings come on days when it's a calm low tide.

But none of this matters when the beach looks like this.


My friend said "thankfully it's not oil" and she is completely right. The seaweed will clear in a day or two. In the meantime, my orders wait. I hate making people wait!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh, would you look at that...

I got up at 6:30 like usual, and laid in bed for 20 minutes, like usual. I was contemplating how long I could lay there before I had to get moving. Trying to go figure out in my head the longest I could lay there and still get to the beach and back before dh had to leave for work.

While I LOVE doing the custom beach writings, some mornings it's harder to get up then others, this was one of those mornings.

So I get up and stumble to the bathroom.

"Gosh it's dark in here" I think.

Then I looked out the window.


This screen shot was taken early this morning.

Mind you, my bedroom curtains were open this morning, it just did not hit me until I got up that the weather may not be ripe for going to the beach.

While this makes my children very happy because when it rains they get to play video games, it does not make me happy.

I have 3 orders to fill this morning for my custom beach writings. Names on The Jersey Shore

Oh well, tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maybe a reprieve?

The neighbor kids are home so I haven't heard a whine about "there's nothing to do" so far!

This is really good because I was planning on take the kids to play tennis after work (I have a "real job" from 9 to 2 each day) but found out from a friend that the tennis courts don't have a net. WTF??? I called the town to complain but supposedly the person in charge of that was in a meeting. I left a message 3 hours ago and haven't heard a word, imagine that....

Anyway, the boys being occupied is very good for me today, I have pictures to edit! Monday morning I had 8 custom beach writings to fill for my business.
http://www.namesonthejerseyshore.com I took over 250 pictures! So I need to spend some time making sure they look their best & send them out!


Update: Got a call back from the rec dept, a net should be up next week, it's on "order." LOL

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 2 of August Hell

I know it's August 10th, but my kids have decided to really drive each other crazy.

Here's the problem. It's summer vacation. I work from home 9 to 2 each day & we are a 1 car family. This means no car from 8:30 until 5:30. Later if dear husband (aka dh) has a meeting to go to.

And there aren't any other kids to play with. Either they're away on vacation, go to a babysitters or the moms don't work & they have money to go places. Even if I had a car, unfortunately things are just too tight to do too much. I didn't even buy beach badges this summer. First time in a long time. OH and the little one has a bad case of swimmers ear, so that means no beach anyway.

Tomorrow I will either take dh to work in the morning, or have him come home at lunch time & I will bring him back to work so I can have the car for a least a little while.

The video show they're doing require two of the neighbor boys that spend most of the day at the babysitters, so they won't work on it without them.

Earlier today I googled "things for bored boys to do" and had them set up cans on a saw horse for them to throw balls at. That lasted about 5 minutes before they were arguing "You put the cans up," "you go get the ball."

My boys normally get along. They're not perfect but they get along. But being trapped together is driving them and me batty!!!!! The older one is about to turn 12 so let's add in a few out of control hormones into the mix. (thankfully I'm not pms'ing)

Thankfully I have my side business of Custom beach writings on the Jersey Shore to keep me sane! http://www.namesonthejerseyshore.com

So if you're in the neighborhood & want to entertain 2 very bored boys, 11 & 9, just let me know!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Their own web show

My sons & their friends want to make their own "icarly" type show. But for boys. Instead of random dancing, they're doing random shooting. (Did I just hear one of them say "Penis shot!"????)

Tony, a doll we gave our older son when I was pregnant with the younger son, is a zombie baby and right now they are playing "toybox of treasures."

Thankfully they are finally not sitting in front of the tv or bugging me to play video games. They are fully immersed in this project.

26 more days of summer. Can they make it last long enough????

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sex on the Beach


I wrote this story a few years ago.
I'm not normally a story writer and as I read back over it, I see things I want to change. But that's for another time. Right now I just want to share it. Small warning that there is a tiny bit of adult stuff.

“Why are you up so late?” he asked.
“Can’t sleep.” She lied.
Little did her father know she was waiting to go out. Hoping that he would turn in soon, she sat seemingly engrossed in the show on television. But her thoughts were on her plans. She was sneaking out to meet Steve.
Steve was older. He was older by at least 7 years. To her, he was a real man.
They had flirted endlessly. Stolen glances when no one was looking, sly innuendos that only they understood. They had met at her boyfriend’s house. She wanted adventure, excitement, but boyfriend was boring. However, Steve… She thought Steve was everything. He spoke of his frequent trips to NYC, he wrote movies, he seemed so worldly. His band played out. Her boyfriend only ever played in the basement. Steve was going to take her places… or at least she that is what she thought.
Finally her father went to bed. She quietly picked up the phone and called Steve. He was on his way.
“Where are we going?” She asked when she got in his car a block from her house.
“Down the shore, maybe Belmar.”
Only in NJ do they call it the shore. Not the beach, not the ocean… but the shore.
The only part of the shore she had ever been to was Seaside Heights where her grandparents lived. She had never been to Belmar. He was already starting to take her new places!
Cruising down the parkway, she felt his hand on her thigh. She was not inexperienced… She knew what he wanted. And she was more then willing to give it to him. He brought her to orgasm with his right hand while controlling the car with his left. It had never felt so good. When the waves of pleasure overcame her she thought she was going to push the windshield out with her feet!
He flew by exit 98. “I thought you said we were going to Belmar.”
“I changed my mind,” he said “I want someplace more private so we can be alone.”
As exit 82 approached, he slowed the car. Great, she thought disappointed, Seaside Heights. She was not happy. She’d seen Seaside, she wanted something new and exciting, not the usual.
She crossed her arms and pouted, the way only a Jersey Girl knows how to do.
Seaside?” she said, quite annoyed.
“Relax,” he said “I’m going to take you someplace special, somewhere you’ll never forget.”
A smile played at her lips as her arms relaxed.
They drove past the dying lights of the boardwalk. It was late, the boardwalk hawkers were closing up shop and drunks were staggering their way to their cars. She watched the streets go by, mindlessly saying their names. She knew the island like the back of her hand. As a child she played on those streets making summer friends she swore she’d never forget. She looked to him as they passed 23rd Street.
“Are we going to Island Beach?”
He silently smiled.
Island Beach State Park was the jewel of New Jersey. It was 11 miles of untouched coast line. The person who gave it to the state stipulated in their will that it is to never be built on.
They parked on 24th street and got out of the car. It was late, so they couldn’t drive into the park.
“We walk from here” he said.
Excited about sneaking onto the island, she did not complain.
They walked through the sea grass and over the dunes. Little animals scurried by, annoyed at their intrusion. It felt like they walked forever. He had a backpack that she assumed contained a blanket and other items for a romantic night on the beach.
Finally he stopped walking.
Exhausted from the walk (and the adventure in the car) she dropped to the sand and relaxed. There was almost no moon. She sat up and watched the waves crash on the beach. It was so dark you could barely see the white heads as they engulfed the sand. How romantic, she thought. The beach was her favorite place. She knew her boyfriend would never do something as romantic as this.
While she was deep in thought of dumping her boyfriend for Steve, he laid the blanket out on the cool sand.
“Come here” he said, patting the blanket next to him.
Happily she got up and joined him on the blanket.
He took her in his arms and they made love. At least she thought it was love. But she was just a teenager, and gave love away too freely.
She looked in his eyes as he came. There was something there, some thing she had never seen before. What was hiding behind those dark eyes?
When he was spent, he rolled over. She laid on her back searching for the small sliver of moon that played gently on the water as he searched around in his backpack. The smell of sex and salt mingling around her.
Her thoughts returned to her boyfriend. Maybe he wasn’t so bad. He never looked at her like that. He looked at her with love. He hugged and kissed her after making love. He seemed ever so grateful to be in her life.
She never saw it coming. The hammer he had stashed in his backpack was the last thing that went through her mind.
He carried her into the ocean, letting the waves wash the blood from his naked body. He stood for a moment after letting her body go. Watching her lifeless form float out to sea.
The next day her body washed up on the shore. No one could explain how she got down there. Her parents thought she was in bed all night.
A week went by. Her funeral was very somber, as it usually is when a child dies. Devastated, her boyfriend called his friends. He had been interrogated over and over again by the police. He needed to go out and get his mind off of things.
They all piled in Steve’s car. Her boyfriend sat in the very same seat that she sat in the week before. He looked up at the windshield.
“Footprints?” said the boyfriend smiling. “I guess you had a hot time lately.”
“A hot time,” he said with a wicked grin, “a very hot time.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Someone asked me if my Border Collie Mix was pregnant.

My response "No, she's not pregnant, just fat."

If, as a woman, you've ever carried any extra weight, especially in the stomach area, you know how devastating being asked that question is. I've been asked a few times in my life, never once while I was pregnant either. I was even offered a seat on the subway once in NYC. I promptly went home and burned that shirt.

Thankfully Becca (the border collie mix) doesn't understand that question, but it still bothered me. Just like my children, my dogs are a reflection of me and how I take care of them. So having that question asked of me made me feel like a complete ass for not taking care of my dog! Even Odie, the Jack Russell Terrier, has been told he's getting fat. He's not, at every check up he weighs the same. He's just more fuzzier then normal, he needs a hair cut.

But back to Becca, she's always been a lazy dog. Sure she chases the frisbee but never for very long. She just likes to hang out. She's definitely an indoor dog. Loves the air conditioning, and has her spot on the couch. However to be asked if she's pregnant is just too much.

So now we walk 1 mile every day. It's good for her, Odie, me & whichever family member I can drag with me. As long as the weather is decent we will continue to do this and eventually move it up to 2 or more miles.

Because a female never wants to be asked if she's pregnant when she's not.

ALSO, let this be a lesson to everyone out there:

Unless you see the baby's head crowning, never NEVER ask a woman if she's pregnant. There is no polite way to ask and more then likely you will just end up hurting her feelings. So keep your mouth shut and boil some water!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Never Give Up



Rather cliche, I know, but this weekend I witnessed a perfect example of what happens when you Never Give Up!

My 11 year old son plays Travel Baseball. This is in addition to his regular Little League team. At first I was grateful for this team because for an unknown reason, he was not getting much playing time on his regular team.

However, the travel team was not winning.

They got "mercy ruled" more then once, and after every game there were a bunch of very miserable boys. I don't know what the head coach was thinking, he kept using the same pitcher with the bad attitude every game (cough *his son* cough) and we just kept losing. He can pitch, he just can't lead the team. So when he would get a bad attitude, it would resonate throughout the team. The parents were mad as hell. This supposed star pitcher should have been thrown out of the game for talking back and a bad attitude more then once and their kids, who are good players, were riding the bench.

So they end the season 0 & 8. Not one single win. A few close games, but never a win. However, with the way the league is set up, everyone makes it to the playoffs. So the first playoff game comes and our last place team goes up against the 2nd place team (1st place team got the week off). The whole ride up there my son is complaining "we don't even belong in the playoffs, we suck" I remind him of the Giants last Superbowl win. They were the underdogs, New England had not lost 1 single game the entire season & post season. They were not favorites to win. But what happened? That's right, the Giants won! 18 wins & one Giant loss. It's one of my favorite catch phrases!

My husband tells me "star pitcher" can't pitch. He pitched the night before! (league rules)!!!!

So we're at the game and since we're the away team, we get up first and score 3 or 4 runs! Wow what a great start!!

The coach puts in Matt* to start off the game. Matt is a good pitcher and he's left handed which will confuse the batters. He has a good first inning, but a couple of runs score. However, we're still winning!

Top of the second inning we again score a few runs.

Bottom of the inning Matt is back pitching. A few runs score and you can see he's losing it. These kids are at such a fragile age, you have to take them out before it deflates their ego. The game is still close & we're still wining. I think it's 6 to 5.

The coach pulls Matt and puts in my son. My son can pitch. He's a great pitcher. It's really too bad his regular team coach never used him because he is really good. I know I'm his mom, but trust me, he's VERY good. And this day, he is ON FIRE! He is on his game 100% and then some! Let's put it this way, "star pitcher" had to stop catching because my son's pitches were hurting his hand!

Ok back to the game.

The innings are just flying by, the other team may have gotten some hits, but no one scored. My son pitched 4 shut out innings. AND AND!!! The very last out of the last inning was a line drive right to my son's head, AND HE CAUGHT IT!!!!!!

I could have cried I was so proud of him! He was shocked that he caught it too! The entire team ran in and jumped on him. They may not have won a single game during the season, but they just knocked out the 2nd place team, 10 to 5!

So when life gets you down & you think things are never going to get better, think of this little rag tag baseball team from the Jersey Shore that won a game they didn't even think they belonged in.

Don't forget to check out my website Names on the Jersey Shore !

*names changed to protect the innocent.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Ohhh look at all the cobwebs! Ok, so it's been a while since I wrote. Life happens.



Recently I took 2 trips. One to the Dallas area for a baby shower and another to Fort Walton Beach, FL to see one niece graduate and to meet my other niece's baby, my great-niece! If you're thinking, "hey didn't you just say you're losing your house in the last post?", you're right. These trips were paid for with miles :D But that's not the point of the post.

Two trips in around 30 days and 6 flights (no direct flights from Newark to Fort Walton Beach).

And I don't like to fly.

There are two ways you'll get me on a plane.

1. Xanax - next to the computer, Xanax is one of the best inventions EVER. If you've never taken it, the best way to describe the effects is that it makes you not care. Some people say it turns off your brain. I can't say it turns off my entire brain, but it quiets down the part that thinks scary thoughts when flying. I take one sometimes before we leave the house to settle me. Then I take one as we board. I often think it's more of just having it to take then the actual affects of the medicine.

2. Put my kids on a plane. I'm not a "helicopter parent." I encourage my children to try things and have fun and explore. But even with Xanax I can't grasp the thought of putting the kids on a plane before they're 16 or so without a parent. Hell, when I was in some airport this trip I saw a news story about 2 kids getting mixed up. The girl was supposed to to Boston & the boy was going somewhere else, but the boy ended up in Boston & the girl in the other location. The kids were 8! I'm not judging parents that do it, it's just foreign to me, like the phrase "too much garlic" LOL

Oh and even on Xanax, I can't sleep on the plane. Seems like everyone I fly with can, but not me. So I amuse myself by looking out the window. Oh that's the other thing, have to have a window seat. Unless I'm about to pee my pants, I do NOT get out of my seat! Because the flight could be as smooth as a baby's bottom, but as soon as I get out of my seat, BAM turbulence! HATE TURBULENCE! I think it's because it reminds me that we are in the SKY and that there is 5 or so miles of empty space between us & Earth! LOL

So I amuse myself. If you hear the click of a camera shutter on a plane, more then likely it's me taking pictures out the window.


This is one of my favorites. We were coming back from California for my sister in law's wedding. I think it looks like an alien landscape.

So even though I don't like to fly I still do it. I will not let my fear keep me from seeing things I want to see. I've flown back & forth to different parts of Florida multiple times, Myrtle Beach, California, Dallas, and St. John, Newfoundland. Some day I want to go to go Europe, at the very least England, but I'd like to see Italy, France, Ireland and Scotland too.

And in closing, let me tell you, the two flights home were the smoothest I have ever had. I wanted to tip the pilot when the flight was over!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bungalow or Mansion


In a discussion about whether or not you'd buy back the house you grew up in today I stated "I'd rather live in a bungalow where I live now, then in a Mansion in North Jersey." Then I really thought about what I had just said.

Where I live now is down the Jersey Shore. I'm not on the ocean or even have a good view of any water. But I love it down here. Of course there are downsides, one is summer traffic. One time it took my husband & I 45 minutes drive to the beach. It's only 3 miles away. Our fault though, we left the house around 11am on a Saturday of a holiday weekend. You learn not to do these things after you've lived here a while. Another is Bennys (tourists) - we avoid the boardwalk on the weekend, we only go during the week.

My house isn't anything spectacular. And in all honestly, we'll be losing this house sometime in the next year due to foreclosure. But there is just something about living near the ocean that inspires/encourages/feeds me that I just can't explain. Recently I started an endeavour of writing names in the sand and taking pictures of it. (click "My Etsy Shop" link over on the right side of your screen) While I have gone down to the beach at other times, I mostly do it at sunrise.

That's right, I get up before dawn and go down to the beach.

If you know me, I'm sure you're laughing. I am not a morning person, I am a night owl. I'd rather see 5 am because I've been up all night rather then get up at that time. I breastfed my kids because it was just easier to pop them on the breast while laying down then to get up and warm a bottle. (ok there were other reasons too).

But there is something about watching the sunrise that can not be put into words. It truly has to be experienced.

I haven't brought the family with me yet, but as soon as we have a Saturday or Sunday that the kids don't have 10 bazillion things to do, and the weather cooperates, I'll wake them to come with me. Our younger son really wants to come with me.

What is there up in North Jersey that can compete with driving 10 minutes down the road to watch the sunrise over the Ocean? Sure we have family up there, but they're only an hour away, no big deal. Shopping? Nah we've got lots of that down here too. Pretty fall scenery? Sure, in the fall. The beach is beautiful every day.

So, if it means we have to live in a house that has just 2 bedrooms and 1 bath so small only 1 person can be in it at a time, so be it.



Besides a smaller house is easier to clean!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My son wants a Facebook page



My 11 year old son wants a Facebook page.

As a protective mom, my first response is "No." Period, end of sentence, no further discussion. I'm the parent, my house, my rules.

Now we can get into the whole discussion about internet safety, online predators and peer pressure/harassment. But like I said, I'm a pretty involved mom and would monitor his page & his interactions, so that really doesn't isn't my argument.

However, we're considering it. We told him if he got 5 A's on his report card this marking period, we would allow him to set up a Facebook page.

I'm stressing over it, there is a very good chance he will get 5 A's. I'm not stressing because the internet is a big, bad place, my problem is that the internet is my place. I have a few hundred friends on Facebook and even though we're adults, sometimes we say things on Facebook that I would rather not he see. It's the place that I can be "me" not Mom. So opening it up to him means I lose my privacy. It means I have to censor what I say. I'm not very good at sharing.

It also means he's growing up and entering a more adult world, this affects me as well. My baby will be 12 this year. That being said, he really does need start to learn what the real world is like. Like real life, you can't keep your kids locked in the house watching Barney until they're 18 then thrust them out into the world without any experience. Sure their friends expose them to things that as parents we'd rather then not see. And don't even get me started on the school bus! I only took the bus in 9th grade, but I remember it very well.

Experience on the internet is important as well. They need how to weed out the real friends from the weirdos. They need to learn what is safe to download and what they should just delete immediately.

In order for him to learn, I have to give a little too. It means I have to share my world.

I love my boys more then life itself and would give them the moon if they asked me for it. So I guess I can change a little bit and share my experiences with my boys.

That's what parents are supposed to do, right? Teach them right from wrong, give advice but let them experience things on their own so they can learn from mistakes. Give up themselves to better their children.

So pending a report card results, Facebook will no longer be my place to play freely, it will be a place I can be a role model for my son, it's my job & my life.

And my boys are worth it.

Don't forget to visit my Etsy shop. www.etsy.com/shop/mssuzie

Monday, April 12, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballgame



Ahhh Opening Day 2010, for a while there last year, I didn't think this day was going to come.

Long story short, lots of bad things went on with the "old league" and our town said ENOUGH and kicked them out of the field complex they had occupied forever. It was sad, but in order to have an opening day 2010, it needed to be done. There are still some bad feelings, but on April 10th over 850 children lined up to welcome in the 2010 Little League season.

Ok, maybe not all 850 children showed up, but it sure felt like it! There were little boys & girls in their bright, clean, crisp uniforms running around having a great time.

Still trying to figure out whose bright idea it was to give over half the teams WHITE pants!!! LOL After 1 game for each of my children, we found the extra wash & soak cycle on the washer machine. Pants, so far, are still white.

I love children's baseball. You couldn't pay me to sit and watch a major league game on TV. But sit at the stands (or my case, my beach chair) and cheer on the kids, sign me up! Win or lose, they learn so much and have such a good time.

Baseball isn't just about learning how to play the game. Sure they get exercise and learn the game, but there is teamwork and sportsmanship learned as well. These are 2 very important life lessons that they don't get in school. If they have a classmate that fails the class, it doesn't normally affect them. Having a teammate that isn't very good, that does affect their team. So they learn to work together to either help them get better or step up and work harder to cover for that player.

Throwing a hissy fit in class because you don't like something a teacher did, will probably earn you detention. Do it on the field and it affects your whole team. This happened to us Sunday at my older son's travel baseball team. I'm sure the other team will remember our team because the last kid that was pitching threw a temper tantrum on the field when we lost. You don't want to make your team unhappy. Stuff like that follows you.

If you want to get on a good team, you have to be more then a good player, you have to be a good person as well. No one wants a "poor sport" on their team.

So like many parents around the country, for the next two months my tushie will be in my beach chair somewhere outside the outfield fence cheering on not only my boys & their teams, but anyone that makes an awesome play.

Play Ball!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Other People's Children



Every so often I will run across someone who doesn't want to have children. I commend those people for knowing what they want and not bowing down to the social or family pressure to have children. However, I never understood when I would hear people say "I don't like children." It's one of those statements like "too much garlic" or "I don't like the beach," it just doesn't make any sense to me.

Then I had kids.

Don't get me wrong, I love and adore my children. Each new phase they go through creates challenges and push you to be a better person so you mold them into good people. I would gladly give up my own life for them.

Downside, because of your children, you are introduced to "Other People's Children."

Each set of parents have their own ideals on how to raise their children, and more often then not, those ideals will be different then yours. And the ones that have completely different rules then you are, more then likely, going to be the ones that live next door. Their ideals are not necessarily wrong or bad, they're just different then yours and sometimes make you want to bang your head against the wall.

This can range from abiding to the helmet law to when homework gets done or how far from home they are allowed to wander.

Or, like the one I deal with often, how often they can play video games.

I like video games, but I never wanted a game system in the house. I know my older son would be very happy to sit and play video games all day long. So we came up with the rule that they only have free access to video games if it's raining (or other extreme weather) otherwise they are outside, End of Discussion.

The other times they are allowed to play is at doctor visits or long car rides. We feel this is more then enough.

Other children we know are allowed to play all the time, any time. One walks around with his Nintendo DS all the time.

Yesterday neighbor child was begging my younger son to play video games with him. My son told him no, he can't play. He's not real happy about this but he knows those are the rules.

Small neighbor child then proceeds to tell me I am mean, my rules don't make any sense, and I'm not fair.

After regaining my composure from being spoken to like that from a 6 year old, I told him I did not care what he thought, our rules are our rules and if he didn't like them, he could just go home.

All children quickly vacated my front yard.

My friend told me I should have said to him "You're very lucky that I only spank rude children on Friday's" (I would never touch someone elses child, but he doesn't know that.)

I probably should have called his mom and let her know what happened, but I was pretty annoyed and not in a good frame of mind to speak with her, so I let it go.

This morning she came to me at the bus stop and apologized to me. Her older son ratted the younger one out.

These things happen. My children are allowed to do a few things another neighbor child is not. Like I said, everyone has different rules.

If you can manage to find parents that have similar parenting styles as you, hold on to them tight!!! They are more precious than gold!

Because every once in a while, you will run into children that make you understand why some species eat their young!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The ducks are coming!



If you haven't figured out from the title of my blog, I live at the New Jersey Shore. Ever since the MTV show, Jersey Shore, I joke that I live among the "fist pumping guidos," but honestly my neighborhood is normal middle America suburbia.

I am 3 miles from the beach and less then a mile from 2 other rivers or inlets. That being said, in the 25 years this neighborhood has been here, no one has ever had a problem with their basement flooding, until March, 2010.

My poor neighbor had a large amount of water in her basement twice in March. Thankfully her home owners insurance will cover everything, but still, it's a hassle. She's considering selling the house.

So Monday I hear this weird bird noise. It's loud and constant. I look out the window and there are two ducks in my front yard! I know I live by the water, but I don't remember seeing ducks walking down my sidewalk before! I quick run upstairs, grab my camera, pop on the telephoto lens and take a bunch of pictures.

Then the "wise ass" in me comes out.

I print the picture above and write the following on it:

"Dear Friend,
This couple heard you are thinking of selling your house, they are very interested after hearing about the indoor pond"

I haven't seen her so I stuck in in her door last night. She's still home, the note is still in the door and I'm on pins and needles waiting for her reaction!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter is for Little Ones


Let's face it, the whole Easter Bunny deal and baskets are for little kids. Sure it's fun giving baskets to everyone, but the little ones are the best.

(Disclaimer Of course the whole meaning of Easter is religious, but I'm not religious at all. So if your idea of celebrating Easter is spending all day at your house of worship, that's awesome. But that's not how we do it here. We celebrate Spring and the Easter Bunny. We're very honest with the kids about how the holiday came about, but we don't celebrate the religious aspect of it. )

I have an 11 year old son and an 8 year old son. Older one doesn't believe any more, but the younger one does so we play it up for him. Even the 11 year old gets in on it for his little brother. We dye eggs & some years we do an egg hunt. This year we didn't do an egg hunt at home, but more on that later. We try to make it as fun as possible!

This year though we went "a-visiting". First to husband’s grandmothers house. She's getting old (83) and recently broke a bone, so we packed up the car & went to hang with her and hubby's family for a little while. Grammy is such a wonderful person! Then off to my Jewish Aunts house for Ham! LOL

Yep, we celebrate Easter at my Jewish Aunts house. She just LOVES the holidays and like me, any reason to get together is a good reason!

We don't care about how the food looks or tastes, we just like to sit around, possibly drink and enjoy each others company. Usually my dad says something inappropriate and my brother is almost always running late. But eventually we all end up at the table enjoying each others company.

This year it was so nice outside that we ended up spending most of the day on the back porch. The ham dried out and the asparagus got mushy, but no one cared it was all about being together.

After a few drinks, my aunt & I decided that we are celebrating the Spring Passover Bunny and henceforth it will always be called the celebration of the Spring Passover Bunny!

That way we cover everyone and still can do the fun things about each holiday. Like Easter egg hunts! My Aunt and 2 cousins (27 & 29) hid a ton of plastic eggs for my kids and my niece (nephew was home sick). She fills them with candy and little toys, this year she managed to find a bunch of the Silly Bandz. Considering the kids range in ages from 6 to 11, it's hard to find something everyone likes, these fit the bill!

Ok maybe Easte.. I mean Spring Passover Bunny isn’t just for the little kids after all.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hello world!


Let's face it, every "mom" blog out there, all they talk about is what diapers are on sale or what to feed babies.

Well, I'm past that stage & never want to look back! (I turned f-f-f-fourty recently)

I have 2 wonderful sons ages 11 & 8 and a husband that can't be beat as well! Also included in our family are two pretty fabulous dogs, you'll meet them all eventually.

I like to be creative, but I don't want to make burp clothes or try to compete with better seamstresses at some craft show, I want to move on to more grown up creative things.  So I picked up my Canon digital rebel camera, dusted it off and headed out to the beach this morning at 6am!  We've lived in this house for 8 years and today is the first time I ever went to watch the sunrise.

And it was foggy.

But I took the Forever picture this morning and am pretty happy with the results.  That one is a freebie.  If you want it, go ahead and take it.  The rest are going on Etsy.   I'm also going to offer personalized pictures on the beach. As soon as I get that up and running I'll link to it.

In the mean time, grab a cup of coffee, kick back & relax, parents of older kids can do things like this.