It's time to pat myself on the back...

Why? Because if I don't, who will?

Without further ado...some reasons why I'm a "FUN MOM." (This post could also be called...why I'm a "Sucky Wife."

  • I always make popcorn and hot chocolate
  • We have 3 dogs a cat and a fish
  • We have a trampoline even though it looks butt ugly in our yard
  • We always have friends over
  • I let my daughter shop at "Justice" even though I think most of their clothes are tacky and overpriced. (Only on 40% days.)
  • We have gone on too many family trips to count including, Disney, Land of Make Believe, Storybook Land, countless trips to the boardwalk, arcades, zoos, the list goes on and on and on and on....
  • I let my daughters listen to THEIR music in the car. (There's a special place in heaven for moms who have listened to all the High School Musical soundtracks more than 5oo times)
  • I let them play "beauty shop" with my makeup.
  • I show them funny videos on YouTube
I could go on, but I don't want to brag tooo much, since I'm sure you're all fun moms and dads too.

In my next post I just might explore what I need to work on. If I have time.

Being a "fun mom" is a full time job.


Sick Day...(and Momma's gonna pay.)

I've passed on some of my words of wisdom in previous posts, and today I'm going to share with you another little pearl that I've discovered in my 10 years as a mom.


If you do, then expect to be called a faker.

Don't expect anyone to bring you a glass of orange juice or an extra blanket.

Expect to emerge from your cocoon of fever and sweats to face a house that looks like it should be condemned.

If that isn't enough motivation to stay healthy, than I don't know what is.

Now please pass the Echinacea.


All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe...

Remember that song by The Hollies? I love that song, but I digress.

In my last post, I listed a few things that I WANT. This of course was my short list, but I threw out a few things that I would love to have.

Now I'm going to talk about what we all NEED to have.

Take a look at the pyramid above. This is Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs. At the bottom are our basic needs: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis (the body's ability to regulate it's body to the outside environment) and excretion.

That's it. That's all we need...to breath, sleep, eat and do poo poo and pee pee. But let's face it, we all WANT much more, which leads us up the pyramid. (Take note that this pyramid doesn't include nice jeans, an iPod, an Apple MacBook or a trip to Florida for Spring Break.)

It's human nature to want things, and to strive to get them. It is also human nature (for most people) to have empathy for our fellow humans and to want to help those in need.

What I question is the government's assertion that they have a say in how much we make, or who we choose to assist.

Rush Limbaugh was a guest on "The Jay Leno Show" last night. He and Jay got into a political discussion (of course). Jay said he feels that it's CRAZY how much money some people make. "It's NUTS," Jay said, "these people are making MILLIONS of dollars. Do they really NEED to make that much?"

According to my research, Jay Leno makes about 16 million a year. Who is he to say some people make TOO MUCH? Who is anyone to say it?

Rush made the same point. As long as someone is making there money legally, who is anyone to say it's too much!? If Jay REALLY feels this way, maybe he can keep a million a year and give the other 15 million to the government and let them decide where to spend it. Great idea right?

Rush stressed the importance of allowing the marketplace to work out problems and to exclude the government from over regulation. He criticized Leno for caring about the salaries of CEOs. Limbaugh stated that it was no one's business what anyone else makes. I agree.

In the same vein, Limbaugh mentioned that one of his primary fears with the national health care system is that it would give the federal government justification to control the lives of American citizens. Limbaugh explained that under the guise of fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers, the government could dictate some very personal freedoms.

I love Rush's philosophy on government. Less regulation, less taxes. The government does not need to step in to solve all our problems. It's not their job. This isn't about political affiliation. For me, it's all about freedom.

In my next post I'll discuss communism and capitalism. (And no, I'm not calling anyone a communist..so chill, will ya?!)

I leave you with this video:


That's what I want...

We all have wants. Some are really important, and some completely trivial and shallow. Here are some of mine...(in no particular order.)

  • To have a muscular toned body with no cellulite whatsoever.
  • To have a president in the White House that I think is doing a good job.
  • To never feel jealous or resentful of another person's good fortune
  • To have always have a good relationship with my family
  • To go to Europe
  • To have financial security
  • To have a cleaning lady twice a week
  • To manage my time wisely and make the most of each day

There you have it. That's the short list, of course there are many other things that I want, but that's a jumping off point.

Maybe tomorrow I'll do a little post on what I NEED.

In the meantime, tell me...what do YOU want?


Likes and Dislikes...

Hmmm...seems giving advice might be my calling. So here's another helpful suggestion...

If you have a website that sells sex toys, don't try to advertise it in the comment section of my blog. Jilly doesn't like it. Capisce?

Okay, onto some things I DO like...

Lucky Brand "Angel" boots in brandy

Tall Hunter "Huntress" Wellies in black

The plaid trend...

I like this trend so much that I want to wear plaid all the time!! I even found a cute plaid dress that I might wear to my brother in law's Vermont wedding in November...

This is the best view I have of it...if you want a better look, go here and let me know what you think.

Sooo, do you like what I like? Do you want to learn more about sex toys in the comment section of my blog? What trends are you into this season?

I will be anxiously sitting by my BlackBerry, waiting to hear from you!


5 things I've learned in my 44 years on this Earth...

1. Never EVER ask someone when they're due, unless you are absolutely positively sure they're pregnant.

2. Living above your means and/or trying to keep up with the Joneses will eventually lead to disaster.

3. Drinking to overcome social anxiety is another recipe for disaster.

4. If someone talks about other people to you, you can be damn sure they'll gossip about you.

5. Nobody likes a bragger, but if you meet one, try to understand that they're probably insecure, so give them some attention. (Consider it your good deed for the day.)

More to come...

Happy Sunday!


Because I HAVE TO question everything I do....

Do you ever think what your life would be like if you took all the time you spend blogging, Twittering and Facebooking and did something PRODUCTIVE?

I do.

We all get 24 hours in a day, and those hours are precious. So why do I choose to sit staring at my laptop or BlackBerry when I could be cooking gourmet meals for my family, or running, or decorating the house?

Maybe I could work at a soup kitchen or plant 500 daffodil bulbs in my backyard. I could learn how to paint watercolors, or even, dare I say...get a job. The possibilities are endless.

Sometimes I think I should log my time spent at wasteful computer related activities. Maybe that would bitch slap me into reality.

What do you think?

Should we all do it? Can we admit publicly the time we "waste" on our dirty little habit?

What do you think about undertaking a computer logging experiment? We could log the time we spend glancing at our BlackBerrys, or sitting on our butts blogging or Facebooking and then choose kind of alternative that might make our lives better.

Then we could all report on our progress.

Yeah, I know, that idea kind of sucks....

Or does it?



My hardworking husband has decided to take a few days of rest before heading out on a business trip, so we have been having a little "staycation!"

Yesterday, we hit the beaches of Bay Head NJ, had a lovely lunch and got back home in time to pick the girls up from school.

Today, we chilled at home and then went to see a movie (We saw "Extract" with Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck-loved it...)

Tomorrow, we drop the girls at school and head into NYC for a little day trip.

I feel like I'm playing hooky from school, only I don't have to worry about the forging a note or having a truant officer show up at my house. (Which did indeed happen when I was in high school, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

Who knows what Friday will bring...a trip shoe shopping? A ride on the roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure? Holding hands and running through a field of wild flowers?

I guess I'll just have to wait.

You just never know what will happen when you're on STAYCATION.


Okay, I've Milked This Story Long Enough!

I can't leave any of you thinking that I got wasted and flashed my boobs at the Open. So without further ado, here's what happened.

The actual ending to the story is a combination of options B. and C. from my previous post.

When I saw that my friend was freaked out that we had 8 extra guests in the box I called Donald's right hand man in the hall. He was stunned that I thought having all the extra people was a problem!! He insisted that everyone stay.

We then continued to party hearty. There was Lance Bass look-alike tennis pro from one of Trump's clubs in the box with us, and he was like a camp counselor. In an attempt to get us on the JumboTron, he led us all in a rowdy version on YMCA. He poured massive amounts of Trump Vodka in my Diet Coke, which I promptly dumped out when he wasn't looking.

We took turns peeking a Johnny Mac in the broadcast booth, and we waved at Will Ferrell, who was seated directly below us (drinking a pina colada!!!).

It was a wonderful night and a good time was had by all.

And that concludes my coverage of the 2009 U.S. Open.

I can't wait to go back next year. Wanna come with me?


The U.S. Open Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

On the last episode of Caffeine Court, I left you in the Trump Box at the U.S. Open, in a very tense moment.

There I was, sitting in the lap of luxury with my very generous friend and I can see that she is very, VERY annoyed at me.

I feel panic and confusion. I know I have to do something, ANYTHING to make things okay.

What do you think I do next?

A. Get really pissed off and pull a Serena. I threaten to shove a tennis ball down my friend's throat if she doesn't take a chill pill and allow my 8 guests to stay. She tells me I'm a low class, pushy broad and dumps a glass of Pinot Noir all over my cute white Anthropologie blouse. Security escorts us out of the stadium and into our waiting limo. Our friendship is over.

B. Pull Larry (Donald's right hand man) into the hall. Apologize profusely for inviting my friends to stop in without asking. He looks at me like I have two heads and insists that they stay and enjoy themselves. We all enjoy the rest of the night and bask in our good fortune.

C. Feel extremely uncomfortable and don't know what to do, so I go into the bar and do a few shots of Trump Brand Vodka. Next thing I know, I'm completely trashed. I start peeking my head around the broadcast booth to get a picture of John McEnroe. He gets annoyed and I'm told to keep away from the booth. I then decide our entire box needs to get on the JumboTron, so I start dancing around doing the "YMCA" and then flash my boobs at the camera. I spend the rest of the night on the bathroom floor puking.

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know me well enough to guess the outcome.

So, tell me. What did I do? Do I need anger management counseling? Did I bow and scrape? Or should I head to an AA meeting?


The More the Merrier? Aka: Never Invite Jill Anywhere Nice

I promised I'd tell you a story which illustrates how immature I am, and here it is:

What a difference a week makes! Last Friday afternoon, I was sitting in traffic (in a limo which helps soften the blow) sweating my butt off, on my way to watch the U.S. Open. This week it's freezing cold, high winds, torrential rain, and play is suspended. I guess I should be glad I got tickets for the early rounds.

As I've probably mentioned, a good friend of mine belongs to Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck, NJ. Her husband got us seats in Trump's box for last week's matches.

To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.

The Trump box is right next to the broadcast booth for ESPN so we could peek around and see Mary Jo Fernandez, and John and Patrick McEnroe as they did commentary. Will Ferrell was sitting right below us and we had first class food, and booze. We were giddy.

Anyway, another of my friends has a son who sings the National Anthem every year at the Open. I completely spaced in my excitement and forgot that he was singing THE SAME NIGHT WE WERE THERE.

As they announced his name we got all excited and told everyone in the booth "that's our friend's son!!!" Everyone smiled politely.

At that point my excitement and wine consumption got the best of me. I picked up my phone and called my friend who I could see exiting Center Court with her son.

"Hey!!! It's Jill! We're up in Trump's box, #247!!!! Come on up!!!"

I ran over to Trump's right hand man and told him I had just invited my friend and her family up to say hi. No, I didn't ask. I told.

The family shows up. 2 parents, 4 kids and 2 of their friends. Our waiter offers them brownies, sandwiches, wine and juice boxes. They then proceed to watch the match and make themselves at home.

Finally, I notice my friend who invited me is looking a bit tense.

Oops. I guess I should have asked her before I asked my friend to drop over to the box to say hi. Damn.

I realize I'm in trouble and have to think fast.



How Random Can You Get?

I really shouldn't be on the computer right now, but I feel I've been neglecting my blog and I simply can't let that happen!

So far, I've loved my little political experiment. We've discussed some pretty controversial topics and everybody kept their cool. So much fun.

I'll do some more in a few days, I even have a guest blogger who will step in to discuss healthcare reform. I know you all love THAT subject, so try to contain yourselves!!!

Anyway, since there are bills to pay and laundry piles that need tending to, I'll keep this brief.

Here are some thoughts, let's call them:


I believe that people spend way too much time worrying about how they look and what other people think of them. Humans are social animals, so some concern over appearances and behavior are healthy. I just think we go overboard spending too much on cosmetics, clothes and trying to impress. It's hard to pull away from it when everyone else is doing it, but I still think we all waste too much time trying to be perfect.

If your child wants a dog REALLY, REALLY, badly, you should get one. Yes, they are expensive, and messy and they are lots of work, but they are TOTALLY worth it. If you're considering it. DO IT. It'll be one of the best things you can do for your family.

I don't necessarily think, Twitter, Facebook, my blog and my BlackBerry have made my life better. They have CHANGED my life, but I think they can be really bad for my brain.

I am so, so glad my husband has forced me to clean up the clutter in my car and house. I have fought him tooth and nail, but I always feel so much more centered and at peace when there aren't piles of crap everywhere. May god give me the strength to keep it this way!!

Oh, and by the way, the US Open Friday night was one of the best nights of my life. Which means I really need to get out more!

I have a funny story about the night which illustrates how immature I am, but I'll save it for later!

Happy 9/9/09 to all of you.


The fundamentals of a good education...study hard, and wear the right jeans!!!

It happens every year at this time. We gather our children, our credit cards and all our patience, jump in the S.U.V. and make the trek to our local mall for the annual back to school shopping spree!

As I browsed the aisles of the Monmouth Mall Justice Store (the world's tackiest and most overpriced chain for girls), I started thinking about how nice it would be to have school uniforms for my daughters.

No more worrying about cool sneakers, or the right jeans. Every morning I'd just pull out the official uniform and send the girls on their merry way.

I did a little Google search on school uniforms in the public schools and came up with this article at Public School Review.

Although uniforms have been a mainstay of private schools, public schools jumped on the bandwagon in 1994, when the California school district of Long Beach implemented school uniforms. According to the Long Beach school district, within one year after the implementation of uniforms, the fights and muggings at school decreased by 50%, while committed sexual offenses were reduced by 74%. Across the country, similar statistics abound; for example, at Ruffner Middle School in Norfolk, the number of discipline referrals decreased by 42% once uniforms were enforced.

Subsequently, fueled by these statistics, more schools across the country are implementing uniforms in public schools. Nonetheless, there are other statistics that argue that uniforms are not as beneficial as school administrators believe. Thus, the question still remains: are public school uniforms good for your child?

The benefits of public school uniforms: safer campus with renewed focus on academics
There are fundamentally two benefits associated with school uniforms: a focus on learning, as well as a reduction of violence on campus.

More conducive learning environment
Many school administrators and parents believe that uniforms create a better learning environment at school. First and foremost, students are not distracted by how they look, and therefore, spend more time learning at school. The peer pressures of stylish dressing with the “best” brands are alleviated, and students can focus more upon their schoolwork, rather than social appearances. In fact, the socioeconomic differences present among students are equalized with school uniforms, minimizing the pressure to “fit in” with the right clothing choices.

According to the School Administrator publication, along with school-reported statistics, the mandate of uniforms on campuses has reduced tardiness, skipped classes, suspensions, and discipline referrals.

In addition, with the visual uniformity present across all students, the instance of school pride has increased. Similar to athletic team uniforms, dressing cohesively increases pride, unity, and a renewed commitment to the school. With uniforms, a more professional tone is set in school, encouraging students to take their studies more seriously.

Creates a safer campus

Secondly, uniforms at school reduce the prevalence of violence, which is a major concern for many public schools. First and foremost, outsiders who do not belong on campus are easily identified, and thus, do not pose a great threat to the students.

Uniforms also reduce the “cliques” and gangs on school campuses. When it is not easy to identify members of gangs, the fights and violence decrease. According to PHS commentator Melissa Nitsch, “when everyone looks alike, there is less risk of being caught in gang fights for wearing the wrong color. With uniforms, no one is killed over a pair of Nikes or a Starter jacket.” Students can no longer be disrupted by who is wearing which gang color, and therefore, the campus is kept safer with less incidences of fighting.

The disadvantages: limitation of personal expression and comfort

Denial of self-expression

The opponents of public school uniforms, as outlined by the ACLU’s argument for the First Amendment, argue that uniforms stifle a student’s need for self expression. Students need to be encouraged to embrace their individualism, and uniforms deny that self-expression. According to opponents of uniforms, even preschoolers should have input into their wardrobe, and the need to encourage personality confidence and independence grows more important as the student becomes older. Without the outlet of expression in their clothes, students may turn to inappropriate hair styles, jewelry, or make-up.

Harms transition into adulthood

Denying students their ability to express individualism and belief in a sub-culture, whether preppy, hip-hop, punk, or jock, could stymie the students’ transition from childhood into adulthood. Controlling the socialization process could harm the student as an adult, as they are not prepared for the real world, where they will indeed by judged by their appearances.

Potential discomfort for students

In addition, others argue that uniforms may not be comfortable for all students. As it is important to ensure that the student is comfortable in order to maximize learning outcomes, uniforms may stymie academic focus.

The mixed responses

Whereas some parents believe that uniforms are more cost-effective than purchasing the latest stylish clothes, other parents argue that the cost of uniforms is steep. Typically, uniforms are more expensive up-front, as the parent must invest in all of the staples; however, as the school year progresses, there are less purchases that need to be made. On the other hand, students cannot wear their uniforms outside of school, and thus, there is the double-cost of both uniforms and a casual wardrobe.

In conclusion, the decision of school uniforms is not a black and white one. The arguments are best summed up by Dr. Alan HIlfer, a senior child and adolescent psychologist: “Uniforms do eliminate competition, pressure, and assaults perpetuated by older kids on younger kids for their sneakers and possessions. They also allow some kids to focus better, especially in the lower grades… [However], clothes are a source of expression for children, and as kids get older, they become increasingly resentful of uniforms.”

Deciding whether uniforms are right for your child depends upon the individual circumstances. If your child has a high need for self-expression, then uniforms may create unhealthy resentment. On the other hand, if you believe that your child needs to focus more on academics than physical appearances, then uniforms may help level the social pressures associated with independent dressing. Understanding what elements are most important for you and your child will help you determine if school uniforms are a right fit.

As always, I'd love to know what you think about this. I know my 5th grader would hate the idea of wearing a uniform. She loves shopping and would despise having to wear the same thing everyday.

On the other hand, wearing a uniform might take some of the focus away from fashion and put attention on academics.

Maybe it doesn't matter.

So tell me.

Do clothes make (or break) the student?


National Keep Your Child at Home Day...

Unless you've been living under a rock, (like me lately) you've probably heard about President Obama's scheduled address to our nation's children on Tuesday, September 8th.

The following is a letter sent to school principals from United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Dear Principal:

In a recent interview with student reporter, Damon Weaver, President Obama announced that on September 8 — the first day of school for many children across America — he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.

Since taking office, the President has repeatedly focused on education, even as the country faces two wars, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and major challenges on issues like energy and health care. The President believes that education is a critical part of building a new foundation for the American economy. Educated people are more active civically and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures.

This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school. We encourage you to use this historic moment to help your students get focused and begin the school year strong. I encourage you, your teachers, and students to join me in watching the President deliver this address on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. It will be broadcast live on the White House website www.whitehouse.gov 12:00 noon eastern standard time.

In advance of this address, we would like to share the following resources: a menu of classroom activities for students in grades preK-6 and for students in grades 7-12. These are ideas developed by and for teachers to help engage students and stimulate discussion on the importance of education in their lives. We are also staging a student video contest on education. Details of the video contest will be available on our website www.ed.gov in the coming weeks.

On behalf of all Americans, I want to thank our educators who do society's most important work by preparing our children for work and for life. No other task is more critical to our economic future and our social progress. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue improving the quality of public education we provide all of our children.

Sincerely, Arne Duncan

I haven't heard anything about plans to broadcast this in my daughters' schools, but I will be calling their teachers to see if they will showing my children the address.

Many parents do not approve of the President addressing their children in the schools and plan on keeping them home from school to protest Obama's message to students.

I will not be one of them.

As you know, I did not vote for Obama, but if he feels he can benefit my children by telling them to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. I'm cool with it. ONCE.

If he starts popping into the classroom via cyberspace more frequently, I'm going to get a little creeped out. Let Mom and Dad decide whether or not they want their children to watch his messages.

Let us screen the messages, and if we decide to show it to our children, then we can download the activity sheets and watch his addresses together, at home, as a family.

I love the idea of personal responsibility. I also like the idea of knowing what my children are watching.

Let's see how this goes.

Oh and while we're discussing this...how would you feel if George W. Bush intended to address our nation's children in the same manner?

(I didn't proof this, and I don't feel like it...so take it as it is. Warts and all)

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