March 30, 2010

Blog shout-outs

I love reading other people's blogs, and thought you might like to as well! So, here are some shout-outs to some of  my favorite blogs!

My cousin Rachel - such an amazing writer - I laugh (and sometimes cry) almost every time I read one of her entries.

My Aunt Pam - just started one today!

My good friend Megan - wonderful Atlanta photographer

I Heart Faces - A photography blog/online community with great tips and fun contests!

Rachel's friend, Sara - another wonderful woman with a contagious outlook on life - love her blog for health tips, Momma advice and cool giveaways and contests!

The Stanley Clan - a very inspirational blog about a family who mentors inner-city kids

Curtis Baker - another great Atlanta photographer

There ya go! For your viewing pleasure! (and now you know what I do during Clover's naptime!)

March 23, 2010

A single Mom?

Dustin has been working out of town during the week for the past couple of months, so it's just been me and Clover against the world (okay, maybe just against the squirrels living in our chimney) while he's gone.  My friends and I joke that I'm a single Mom during the week.  Sometimes it is a challenge - like the nights when Clover is whinny and clingy and just won't entertain herself so I can make some dinner, when all I really want to do is space out in a hot bath for a little while - but we manage.  The hardest is when Clover wakes up from her nap and says "Da Da" with her face all lit up with excitement...and he's not there.  It breaks my heart.

Sometimes I really do feel like I can empathize with other single Mom's raising their kids on their own.  But the truth is, I'm not a single Mom.

Last week, I came down with either a bad case of food poisoning or a bad stomach flu.  Either way, it was not good (and it ruined St.Patrick's Day!)  I was literally up all night.  If I was truly a single Mom, I wouldn't have my husband to call crying when I couldn't stop throwing up.  Even though I am physically alone to parent Clover during the week when he is gone, I'm not truly alone as a parent.  He is always there as a support.  Whether it be texting me throughout the day just to see how things are going, or "talking" to Clover on the phone when she wakes up from her nap looking for him, he is there for me.  He still helps me make decisions as a parent, I still have someone by my side no matter what and Clover still has a Dad involved in her life as much as he can be, even from long distance.  He's a wonderful Dad and a wonderful husband.

So, on those hard days when a single Mom would have no one to turn to, I can call Dustin and vent my frustrations and he can promise that he will be home soon to help.  I'm not a single Mom and I have no idea how it feels to be one. 

March 11, 2010

Little Bears

Just a quick little review for Marietta/Kennesaw/Woodstock area Mom's.  There's a great place called Little Bears Indoor Playground off of Cobb Pkwy in Kennesaw.  I'm not all about sharing little germies, and normally if the title said "indoor playground" I would picture a room with a bunch of dirty toys that kids pass around and put in their mouths.  Yes, Little Bears does have some of that, but the difference is, they're CLEAN!

The best thing about Little Bears is that you can tell they've really put a lot of thought into it.  (It must have been created by a Mom!)

Here is how they have thought of Mommy's and kiddies' needs:

1. They give discounts to Mommy groups (just shoot them an email and tell them you're coming!)

2. Feeding Time: There is an area with big tables for the adults and little picnic tables for the kids.  They have highchairs (that they keep clean!) They offer free coffee, and have sodas and snacks for sale.  They have a refrigerator, a microwave and even a bottle warmer for your convenience!  There is also cable tv and free wireless internet! (I'm telling you, they've thought of it all!)

3. Clean bathrooms with changing tables and step stools.

4. There are two plastic play sets, with three slides, one giant bouncy with a slide, several soft mats and large blocks to crawl on and build, a dress-up area, lots of push toys and Clover's favorite, a bubble machine.  All of which is in a big, open space that can easily been seen from the snack ("grown up") area. 

LOVE this place (in case you can't tell) and would highly recommend it. Super nice, really clean, spacious, well planned and convenient. This indoor playground is one of my favorite places to take Clover. 

Oh, and socks are required, but if you forget yours because you wore rainboots (like I did today), they will sell you a pair of NEW (and nice - not crappy, gross ones) for $1.


March 10, 2010

Have I mentioned Ava True?

I know this blog is entitled "Thoughts of Clover", but I include a lot of other things about my life as well.  I've already written a few posts about my brother, but have failed to really mention my 3 year old baby sister, Ava True.  Ava was truly (no pun intended) my first real love.  I learned so much from her.  One of my favorite things, that makes my heart swell like the grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is when I watch Ava and Clover play together.  Clover thinks Ava is so cool, and I'm sure that feeling will continue as they get older.

And in keeping with the theme of my last post, The Dirtier, The Better, here are some pictures of Clover playing in the sand box with Ava.

March 08, 2010

The Dirtier, The Better

One major difference between Dustin and me is that I’m not afraid of getting messy, and he hates messes! He literally will follow me around the kitchen cleaning up after me. If Clover drops her spill-proof cup, he whips it up, even when he’s driving. I shovel the food in Clover’s mouth as fast as she’ll eat it (because sometimes when you stop, she loses interest); he takes his time and wipes her mouth in between bites. We’re total opposites. It drives him crazy when I make a mess; it drives me crazy when he obsesses over the mess!

I think it is important for Clover to experience as many (safe) things as possible. When she discovered the toilet paper, I let her pull it all off the roll and throw it around the bathroom. I let her play with play-doh, even though half of it ends up in her mouth. I let her paint. I encourage her to feed herself, even as she excitedly throws yogurt everywhere

When Clover and I used to go to the park, I had to assist her around much of the equipment. Lately, however, she has really been all over the place when we go. She loves to climb all over the equipment, go down the slides by herself (backwards), sit down in the sand and just explore. I love it. The only downside is that she gets SO dirty. She is usually covered in dirt almost from head to toe.

Today we had a little picnic in the park in between playing. It is a gorgeous day out, and much warmer than the snowy weather we’ve been having. We both had a blast.

March 07, 2010


I've been selling a bunch of my brother's old clothes on EBay recently. Last week I had a woman named 09momoftwo buy some of the Hollister and Abercrombie clothes I was selling. She requested that before I list anything again that I email her because there were some things she wanted before that someone else bought. In my naive mind I took her screen name "mom of two" and assumed that she was searching EBay for inexpensive clothes for her two boys. So, I emailed her right before I started listing the rest of the Hollister and Abercrombie clothes I had so that she could start watching. She immediately bought item after item as I listed them. I thought, wow, she must have a child that wears the exact same size that my brother does (I'm talking shoes, hats, pants, shirts, jewelry - she bought it all!) I got a little excited that she was buying every item I listed, so I listed a pair of shorts for $5. I felt bad because she was a Mom of two buying for her two boys (that's what I had envisioned) so I went back and changed the price to $4. I then gave her a big shipping discount (which I didn't have to do) and also gave her great feedback....

Yesterday, I decided to browse around EBay and see what she was selling. To my shock I found listed "Mens/boys 43 piece lot hollister abercrombie AE, hurley" with items she had purchased from me, including my original pictures!! She is reselling everything that she buys from me! I know this is completely legal and shouldn't be a big deal. However, I can't get it out of my head. I think what bothers me is that I try to be incredibly honest and detailed when I sell on EBay. I sold an Abercrombie shirt that had a rip that was sewn and included a picture of the rip and detailed it in the listing. This woman, not only is using my pictures without my permission, but she is being dishonest about it. All of her listings say "cleaning out the closets" and then list other people's items. She is reselling that same Abercrombie shirt, but her listing has no mention of the mended rip. I wrote in my listings that some of the shirts had stains; in her listings she says "worn a little but in good shape". How does she know how much it was worn, it's still sitting in a box at my house!?!

I really like to see the good in people. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I don't usually hold a grudge. I truly believe that people have a good heart somewhere deep down. But the truth is, there aren't many people you can truly trust. People lie. Lying bothers me more than anything (even more than loud chewing noises!!) I felt some compassion towards this "Mom of two" and my helpful nature thought about listing the clothes for as cheap as possible just to help her out. Now, she’s taking my clothes and lying to others about them, using my pictures without my permission and selling the clothes for triple what I sold them to her. (I don’t blame her for the resell. It’s a pretty ingenious idea actually.) I just don’t like when people lie. I don’t understand the point.

My brother and I joked that I should change my EBay name to something like "Homeless mother of 12 who has to sell these clothes to feed her children" and then list my items for really expensive.

I bet Mom of two would do it.

March 04, 2010

2010 MS Walk

I still remember the exact moment my Mom told us that she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, or MS.  I was in 6th grade and my brother was in 3rd.  The way she explained it to us (so that we could try to understand at that age) was that when you have MS you can get little "sores" that could grow on your spine and sometimes your brain.  She said that if they appeared on your brain then you could possible end up in a wheel chair because you can't walk.  I cried, my brother said "cool".  Not because he really thought it was cool, but because that's how we deal with hard things sometimes - we laugh.  You may not have known, until now, that my Mom has MS.  That's because you wouldn't know unless someone told you.  I can honestly say that my Mom is one of the strongest people I know.  In our family, it's called "being like Grandma Alman", which means you take things as they come and deal with them in a practical manner.  It's life.  It doesn't have to be an emotional roller coaster.  I'm the complete opposite though.  I cry at the Sarah McLachlan dog commercials.

I now know the real definition of MS.  Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).  The number of people living with multiple sclerosis increases every hour of every day. This astonishing rate is not going to slow down, let alone stop, until we've found a cure. Research has made some incredible advances recently, but the world can still only offer disease management drugs and therapies to the 400,000 people living with MS in America.

Every hour of every day, someone is newly diagnosed with the devastating disease known as Multiple Sclerosis. I believe that we can do something about MS. I believe that we can find a cure and that's why I have registered to be a part of Walk MS. I want to do something about MS now and I would like for you to support my fundraising efforts with a tax-deductible donation. Any amount, great or small, helps to make an immediate difference in the lives of people affected by MS.

Click on any of the below links to donate or to join us!!
Team Lucky Charms
My personal page

Join our team and walk with us:

DATE: Saturday, May 8, 2010

START TIME:  10:00a.m.

LOCATION: Marietta Square


Event Web site