Abby Cadabby's Parents Divorce

Sesame Street has the best ways of dealing with and explaining various situations when it comes to children.  This clip explains divorce along with a cute little song sang by pink, puffy pigtailed Abby Cadabby herself.

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Part 2: My Conversation w/Michelle Obama + School Lunch Mandate Update

Back in October, many of you may remember that I had a 1-minute conversation with First Lady Michelle Obama the following day after the Presidential Debate held here on Long Island.  Valley Stream Dad and I had tickets to a fundraiser she hosted at Crest Hollow I believe.  I decided to hold off with writing Part 2 of our conversation because we were in the midst of campaign season and didn't want this blog to be seen as political.  Never mind that my husband is a politician making me a politician's wife.  Sigh....Now that the election is over, I can share with you my conversation (paraphrased, of course) with Michelle Obama.

As Mrs. Obama came closer to where I was standing in the receiving line, a topic of conversation hit me.  I needed this opportunity to be meaningful to both FLOTUS and I.  She finally approached me.   She extended her hand to me which was warming after the Secret Service slammed my phone down onto the barrier just moments before and said, "No phones."  No complaints from me.  Boy, did THAT make me nervous!  Even after that episode, I still felt welcomed in her presence and that she was genuinely interested in meeting me and hearing what I had to say.

I placed my hand into hers and as we shook hands I immediately began speaking.  I didn't know how much time I had and wanted to capture her attention.

"Mrs. Obama, before coming to hear you speak, I attended my school's PTA meeting where many parents were not in favor of the new school lunch mandate.  There were a lot of complaints and concerns about the program."  (She's still holding my hand!)  She said that change doesn't happen over night and that it will take time.  She said a bit more but I was trying to hold it together while talking and I forgot what she said!  I said, "I personally don't see the problem with the new menu.  I think if parents aren't happy with what is on the menu, there are options to send your child to school with a packed lunch.  She agreed.  She said that we need people like you (me) to be a voice for our children.

Of course, this is paraphrased and she did more talking than this, but our conversation was well over 6 weeks ago and I should have written it down the moment she moved on to the next person.

I think many of you who are not in favor of the new school lunch mandate will be happy to hear that there is more flexibility in the program than when it first began at the start of the school year.

Black beans

My child wasn't able to purchase lunch while in Kindergarten last year.  They ate in their classrooms and had to bring in a packed lunch so I can't compare last year's portions to this year's portions or menu.  However, I have been told that there were fewer chicken nuggets and that the pizza was made with white flour and not wheat as it is today.

Fresh pears
After many complaints, the updated mandate now allows for more fruits, vegetables, and more grains to help fill our children's tummies.  But what child is going to eat more vegetables?  I also saw a headline that read the flexibility includes more meat but I think that is if the child wants to purchase additional servings.  I would suggest you read the updates and Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 2010 yourself.

I didn't know Doritos were considered healthy...
Personally, I saw what our kids were eating and while my child likes the cafeteria food, I would still recommend that you pack their lunch.  I haven't tasted the food but my child seems to like it.  However, she is a good eater unlike many children.  I only allow her to buy lunch once a week and it's usually on whole wheat pizza or chicken nugget day.  I also let her buy on days where I'm being lazy and I know she will eat at least 4 out of 5 of the items on the menu.  If you do not like what is on the menu, there is usually an option for a deli sandwich, PB&J or salad.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 2010

What are your thoughts on the school lunch mandate?
Does your child pack lunch or buy?

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Free Holiday Cards, New Coupon Links & More!

The holidays are finally here with the smell of gingerbread and sugar plums filling your homes with holiday joy! Your holiday gift list may continue to get longer like the guest list for your holiday party, but some of the best things this season can still be yours for free! This week, you can get 10 of your favorite personalized holiday cards for free from Vistaprint! 

Plus, you can even get free shipping on orders over $30. Choose from over 3,200 designs to find the perfect backdrop for the picture of your children mid-food fight when they were baking sugar cookies, the photo of your new Golden Retriever puppy adopted from the shelter, or your annual goofy family portrait. Show friends and family your new bundle of joy by adding the photograph of her sporting chic reindeer antlers to a holiday card with candy cane stripes and a quaint little reindeer image. Or for a true heartwarming card, use snapshots of everyone in your family, starting with baby pictures, and chronicling annual highlights in a Year in Review card, including your favorite stories from this year. 

This year, some of your most cherished keepsakes for everyone on your list can still be purchased for next to nothing. So start spreading your holiday wishes now! 

Shipping & Processing: Holiday Cards start at $5.52; Bonus: Spend $30 at Vistaprint and get Free Shipping!

New Coupons! is offering their gorgeous 11x14 custom photo canvas for $30 shipped or their 16x20 photo canvas for $39, and their 18x24 for $32.99 + Free Shipping!

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Winter Break: Yay or Nay?

So far, it looks like Hurricane Sandy has ruined many of our surrounding community's beloved Winter Break.  The schools are still out on Presidents Day, but students have to report the rest of the week.

ResorTimeValley Stream schools, however are still in limbo about what's going to happen given that our schools weren't affected as much as our neighbors.  However, we did lose seven days.  So, what do to?

I personally think the kids should be in school.  I'm from the Midwest.  I grew up in Toledo, OH to be exact.  We never had Winter break.  We didn't need it nor did we miss it.  We had Christmas break and Spring break.  Why on earth do kids need to be out in February? To play in the snow is not a good reason especially given that we didn't see any snow last year. Most working parents do not get an average of three weeks vacation during the year, so why should kids?

If you had a trip planned, I hope you bought the trip insurance.

What do you think?
Are your winter break vacation plans ruined?

LI Herald: District officials mulling schedule change to make up days lost

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Weekend Preparation

The weekend is here and throughout the day I will be working on an event filled post in between nail appointments, tap class, cleaning, and preparing for the weekend just for you. I may even throw in a little Yoga at Yoga & Tea in Lynbrook to find my Zen in the midst of this craziness we just so happen to call life.

In the meantime, be sure to check out this weekend's calendar. There is plenty to do! 
If you have a question about something or an activity, leave a comment below. Comments are good for blogs.

Andrea Bocelli Shows Moms & Baby Love During Brooklyn Concert

Five years ago, we packed up our belongings, sold our place within 2 days just blocks from the monstrous arena and moved to Long Island.  I waddled into Valley Stream, NY ready to return to suburban life where I practically grew up back in Ohio.  I had an almost 2 year old in tow and was about 3.5 months pregnant when we moved....7 days before Christmas.  What were we thinking?

Last night, my husband and I went to see Andrea Bocelli at Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, NY, the project that sent us packing and running for LI.  This concert was beyond amazing.  We arrived at the theatre famished and soon found ourselves buying hot and spicy chicken sandwiches and fingers.  Once the burn subsided, we settled into our seats to hear such an amazingly talented Italian Tenor.


I immediately heard a selection performed so many different ways of wrong during my life as a pageant director for Miss America, but thought that I may enjoy this concert after all.  It was my husband's idea to buy the extremely expensive tickets. His ring tone was once Con te patiro and yes, he will break out in song at any given moment.

Other selections he sang were Amazing Grace, New York, New York, which was surprising yet welcoming given that he was in New York, the greatest city EVER. It was fun to hear him sing the song synonymous with pizza commercials...whose title eludes me right now.  He also sang wedding favorite, Ava Maria.  But what surprised me is that he sang OUR wedding song, The Prayer. I was soon reminded that this song was first sang by Bocelli and Celion Dion but we chose it based on the version sang by gospel greats Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams.  It was just as beautiful last night as it was sang on our wedding day almost 10 years ago which quickly brought light tears to my eyes.  Sigh....

Courtesy of Tumblr
What brought everyone happiness and anxiety at the same time was when his wife brought out their daughter who looked about 7-8 months old.  He sang with her in his arms and the looks on her face, such as "What is HE doing?" and the moment she reached for the microphone..and he stopped her were priceless.  He held her in an awkward football hold.  Then he whipped her above his head and placed her on his shoulders.  I almost passed out.  Why?  Bocelli is blind and he felt her reaching for the microphone.  He didn't miss one note, deviate from the song, and his daughter didn't make one peep. Priceless!

Bocelli also paid homage to mothers across the world from today and waaay back in the day given the vintage movies displayed on the monitors as he sang, Mamma. Being a mother and able to appreciate classical music made the evening even more sweeter.

Aside from my irritating neighbor who bobbed her head to classical music, fidgeted during the entire concert, and kept twisting in her seat blocking my view too many times, I had a wonderful evening.  Oh! There were two ladies singing with him who were breathtaking as well.  I didn't catch their names but man their voices were beautiful.  It's just not fair how much talent one person can have any other none at all.

Last night was his only performance in New York.  Click here to see where he'll be next.

Time to say goodbye!

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