Total Eclipse of the HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

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There’s just something special about 80’s music–something that compels me to fill my iPhone chock-full of it and listen to it in the car all the time. It was a simpler time, a time with many synthesizers and profound lyrics. Who needs John Mayer when you can express your love by saying “You spin me right round baby right round–like a record baby right round round round,” or soothe your jaded, broken heart by belting out some Howard Jones “What is looooooooooooooooove anyway? Does anybody love anybody anyway? Woooh, wooooooh, wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Zombie Howard Jones wants YOU to wear a vest and sport a mullet

And the videos? Dude, the 80’s invented music television. I mean that literally–music television, where they just played videos. MTV? Nowadays there’s all that crap on there and it just leaves me saying “I want my MTV!”

Sorry, that was a bad one.

Anyway, the 80’s outdid every other decade in bad music videos. People were just figuring out how to make them, how to out-do each other, and how to ultimately impress. Paula Abdul tap-dancing with an animated cat? Heck yeah! And Michael Jackson (when he was still black) turning into a werewolf? That was revolutionary.

But there’s one song that stands above the rest, both in belt-out-ability and desperately lovelorn moments. Yes, I’m talking about the Cheesiest Song Ever Written: Total Eclipse of the Heart. How can you not love this song? It’s so bad, it’s flippin’ awesome. It really is. And the video? In classic early 80’s fashion, the video is trying to send some kind of message but it’s totally unclear what that message means, and it pretty much leaves you saying WTF?

Well, welcome to the 2000’s, where people have combined both the cheesiest song ever written and the truly bizarre video, and rather than just letting the song play, they go through and change the lyrics to describe what’s happening in the video.

If you’re prone to incontinence, you might want to consider going to the bathroom now.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Scrivener

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At-Home Businesses for Busy Moms: Usborne Books and More

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So many moms want to run an at-home business. Whether it’s to pay a few extra bills, have more money to splurge on lip gloss that goes unappreciated by everyone except our other mommy friends, or just continue a hobby and use our brains, starting an at-home business can be scary but exciting. In this feature, Gen X Moms interviews a variety of moms who run at-home businesses. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom where you’ll find exclusive offers just for Gen X Mom readers!

Today’s Mom: Melissa with Usborne Books and More

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I am a full-time SAHM with 2 daughters under the age of 3.  I used to have a very steressful job that was very demanding and a lot of hours, so I was happy to leave it behind when I had the chance.  But, I was looking for something to do to provide some balance and that would provide some intellectual engagement that’s above a preschool level.

Tell us about your business
Usborne Books and More is a direct sales business at home parties and to schools and libraries.

How did you get started in this business?
I was toying with working at a bookstore part time because I harbor thoughts of one day opening a children’s bookstore.  Then, my friend told me about a business I could do at home that would allow me to learn about kid’s books and still be at home.

Did you have any kind of special education or training?
Nope!  Just a great supervisor who trained me over the phone (we live 2 time zones apart)

How do you juggle motherhood and the business?
I hold home shows in the evenings or on weekends when my husband is home with the kids.  I also have been able to take my kids with me to weekday book shows and to storytimes I conduct at businesses that double as playdates for the kids.  Otherwise, I do my work during naptime and after bedtime.

What would you say to other moms interested in opening a similar business?
You can work as little or as much as you’d like, and you can make as little or as much as you like.  Usborne Books are awesome, and, without any prompting from me, many of them have become my girls’ favorites.  Selling them has allowed me to fill our bookshelves with really great books for a very small fraction of the price.

Do you have any special offers for Gen X Mom readers?
Any blog reader who hosts a party before the end of June will get an extra free book in addition to the amazing hostess rewards we offer.
Any blog reader who orders books will receive a 10% discount if the place the order within the next 2 weeks.  However, to get this discount, you must email me the order directly at: booksfromatoz@gmail.com.  Any, if the order is over $100, you will get FREE SHIPPING!

Stop by Melissa’s Usborne Books and More site today!

Crockpot Cooking

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I am extremely busy right now.  I have just found a retail studio space for my children’s portrait studio which I hope to open by the end of the month.  I also attend school online, have a 4 bedroom house to take care of, 2 children and a husband.  Obviously things can fall behind really quickly.  The number one way I feel like I’m failing my family is if everyone comes home around dinner, and they ask “so what’s for dinner?” and I honestly can’t say!  I then have to do the kitchen cupboard shuffle and whip something up real quick.  It’s never very healthy because it almost always has to come out of a box of some sort.  Not exactly mother/wife of the year.

Enter the crockpot.  I absolutely LOVE my crockpot!  On days that I know I’m going to be busy I put all my ingredients into my crockpot, turn it on low and go about my day.  8 hours later the house smells fantastic and I have a healthy meal for my family.

Here is a pdf document with over 250 weight watchers crockpot recipes.  Even if your not following weight watchers its nice to know all the recipes in this document are low-fat and healthy for your family.

Definitely works for me!

Works-For-Me Wednesday

Rambling On

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I have a cute butt. I can say this because I’ve earned it. I’ve been dragging myself to exercise classes and gym time for several months, submitting myself to the nazi instructors who say things like “doesn’t this feel good” as we do 50 squat jumps with weights in our hands. No. No it does not. It feels like torture, actually. There is always some woman with a great body to inspire me to continue.  She’s usually 22. I realize that only freaks of nature like Demi Moore and Jennifer Anniston are going to have that body when pushing 40. But there is always room for improvement, right? I do have my limits though. I’ll eat smaller portions but I’m not giving up my favorite junk foods. Kind of slows the process…

Ever try to put your kid’s helmet on in a hurry and end up pinching his skin with that stupid clip that goes under the chin? I did this once and now Rocky closes his eyes in fear whenever it’s time for me to put it on again.

I went out on an impromptu movie date wearing my mommy clothes. Wow did I feel out of place with the late night got-no-kids, let’s all wear dark tight-fitting outfits and tons of make-up crowd.

Does a $100 jar of skin cream really outperform one that is, say $20? Even $15 for a teeny tiny jar of the supposed anti-wrinkle stuff seems preposterously high to me. Are we as women really this gullible that we keep the high-end skin care businesses going? Let me know if you’ve tried it and ended up looking like Halle Berry.  For now, I am dubious. Ditto with fancy shampoos.

Every now and then I get hooked on shows about people having mysterious symptoms and the doctors’ efforts (or non-efforts as is sometimes the case) to find a diagnosis and, hopefully, a treatment. I always feel bad for the people who are suffering but I keep watching because in the back of my mind I think “if this happens to someone I know,  I can help.”  I’ve found that more often than not, the mystery diagnosis is lyme disease.  If you’ve got crazy symptoms that no one’s been able to pinpoint.  Check it out.

Another day, another conversation about Star Wars. My son’s uncles opened his eyes to the fact that there were 3 more movies before the classic Star Wars tales we were watching before. I was never into the prequels so I can’t get into discussions about characters like General Grievous. “Mommy, did you KNOW that General Grievous takes light sabers from the Jedis he kills? He can use four at once.”  That sounds awful. Why aren’t you having nightmares about this? “AND did you KNOW that ONLY Obi Wan Kenobi could beat him? He shooted his gun at him…”

Good-bye Thomas the Train, you didn’t stand a chance against stories about galaxies far, far away.

The Librarian

Click on graphic to read other random thoughts:

Silent Sundays

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Confessions of a Feminist Stay at Home Mom

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That’s right. I’ve said it. I am a feminist AND a stay at home mom. Thankfully, I surround myself with enough like-minded people that I don’t have to defend that statement anymore. I have a B.S. in Women’s Studies and have been defending the term “feminism” for a long time. I have a t-shirt that best sums up my views on the subject: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” SO, my choice to be a stay at home doesn’t run contrary to that notion. It is a choice I made, and I have the power and the strength to make that choice. (AND, a very loving and supporting husband who doesn’t nag me or beg me to go back to work outside the home.)

But, I have 2 daughters, 2 future women who will learn a lot about being a woman from me. How do I deal with that pressure? They are very young (both under 3), but I already like to let them feel empowered to make their own choices. But, they’re toddlers. They’re going to make their own decisions regardless of what I – or anyone else – have to say about it!  I wouldn’t let anyone buy them a toy vacuum until my oldest actually asked for one. The fact that she’s in girl in no way means she has to have a toy vacuum. In fact, in our house, Dad is the one that vacuums. And, The Big Cheese is afraid of vacuums. And, yes, we’re potty training, and The Big Cheese wanted Cars panties. They don’t make them. So, we have a set of Cars briefs in her drawer, along with Dora, Tinkerbell, and Hello Kitty.

Am I doing it right? Doubtful. Heck, who is. But I am trying my darnedest to raise 2 strong, independent women. And anyone who has met The Big Cheese knows I must be doing something right!

The Legal Eagle

No Dogs, Please

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I am not a dog person. I had dogs as a kid, I don’t hate them. But they are not for me. I don’t think it’s cute when they slobber on my child’s face. I don’t enjoy the sound of the neighbor’s dogs barking every time someone walks by. I don’t like the hair all over the furniture or the urine stains they leave on the carpet. Some really smell and the house reeks as a result. I’m guessing the owners probably don’t notice as they become accustomed to it.

The problem is everyone around me seems to adore the canines. My sisters, my friends. So many have incorporated their dogs as members of their families. In fact, not loving dogs is as isolating as me being a conservative on the left coast. Dog people seem to have an instant bond; they are part of a club where I don’t belong. Take the movie Marley and Me. That dog was terrible, why did they keep him? Dog lovers relate.

Rocky's robot

Time and time again I’ve been told that every boy needs a dog and I am depriving my son of the experience. But I don’t want to be the one to tote it to the vet when it gets sick or walk it three times a day, scooping up the poop along the way. I don’t want to worry about it every time I leave the house. I know very well this will all fall to me. That is why he has a cool robot instead.

What about cats, you ask? While I admire their independence, there is still a matter of hair everywhere for indoor cats and many trips to the vet for outdoor ones. Besides that, I am allergic. I like them, but having one isn’t worth being on medication. 

Here’s another reason I don’t need a dog. I’ve known three children who have been sent to the hospital by seemingly friendly family dogs who turned on them. Three unrelated incidents with three totally different breeds of dogs. Those kids now have some serious scars. And they were not particularly rough kids. Their parents were SCARED and felt really guilty, too. I think about this every time a dog off its leash comes bounding towards my kid. Clueless owners often don’t see why it’s a problem for their pet to roam free in places where children play. And don’t get me started on the lazy people who don’t bother to clean up after their pets and I end up having to scrape poop off our shoes as a result.

I know dogs can do wonders for people who live alone or have disabilities and I’m not knocking anyone who happens to love dogs. If they make you (and your kids) happy and you are a responsible person, I am all for you having as many as you want. I’m glad that someone is willing to take them in. Some are really cute and I can appreciate a well-mannered pooch. Puppies are fabulous, too. As long as they stay at your house.

One day perhaps we will choose a small animal that our son can learn to be responsible for. But right now he enjoys the the company of R2D2. Oh and zhu zhu pets. Lizards, bugs and butterflies in the garden. Rabbits in the fields. Hummingbirds who are regular visitors to our patio. Even a praying mantis. Easy clean-up and no worrying about who takes care of them when we leave the house. He likes petting other’s dogs but so far his interests lie elsewhere and he isn’t begging for his own. I’m hoping this doesn’t change any time soon.

Well Gen Xers, now that you know my stance on pooches (and that I think Obama Care is a big mistake), I hope you will still be my friend. I’m always happy to watch your children. Just don’t ask me to keep your dog.

The Librarian