Did you say changes?

**UPDATE** This blog now resides at Mom is the Only Girl (WordPress platform)

Nothing to do with this post, but aren’t my trick-or-treaters cute?!

Yes! I did say changes!

I’ve been working hard (and long) on making those changes behind the scenes, but have run into some major snafus, including now not being able to access my domain! Let me tell ya! Technology!

Anyway, since things aren’t seeming to work out as I had planned, I’ve tried my best to return everything to the original settings. Please make note of that if you’d like to keep up to date with my posts and are following along via e-mail (but hopefully you’ll still get updates from me!)

That said, if I am not able to work through all of this I’ll still be making some changes around here and following through with my plan (to offer my basic planner and a few other goodies I’ve been working on).

If I disappear again for a few days (or weeks) know that I’m just trying to get focused and bring you more content targeting moms in the pre-school and early elementary school stage as well as fun activities for you and your kiddos to enjoy together!


**UPDATE** This blog now resides at Mom is the Only Girl (WordPress platform)

Exciting Changes Underway

Just a quick post to let you all know I’m working on those changes I mentioned a few weeks ago!

Right now to transfer to WordPress is taking place. I will be leaving Mom is the Only Girl up on blogspot, trying to point everything to WordPress, but it might be a little hairy since I’m doing it all on my own. (Money’s tight, y’all…I know you can all relate!)

So please make sure to check back in a week or so…hopefully the update will appear seamless to you and you’ll start receiving posts and updates again without a glitch!

If you’re really wanting to read or look for ideas before the switch, please check out my blogspot link!

Child-like Faith

The other night as I was tucking five-year-old Sweet Pea in bed, he was really adamant I pray for something. I thought it would be for a new train (he’s always reminding us he needs one). I paused like any good mother would and asked what I should pray for.

God to give me good dreams. Only good dreams.

My heart ached. I remembered for several nights before he had been waking up sweating and crying after horrible dreams and would cling to me like he would never let go.

As moms we want to take away all the scariness, make them feel safe and secure so they can sleep at night. We give them lovies, their favorite blankets. We play soft music to cover the noises of the night and give them night lights when they are afraid of the dark. What a simple thing for a child to pray in faith that God will take away the bad dreams – the dreams we cannot do anything about!

My child has the faith God can give him good dreams (we pray for this every night now). His child-like faith reminded me how gentle God is and how powerful He is in the same moment.

The Invisible Boy, a book I really like

This post contains an affiliate link, which is for an item I highly recommend. Making a purchase through this link in no way increases the cost of the product. It just gives this blogger a (little) extra income.

Yesterday I shared a great book about colors, counting and bullying. Today I thought I’d share a book for the shy child. I can totally relate to this book because I could have been the main character in my early elementary grades.

The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig, (links to author’s page) starts out with “Can you see Brian, the invisible boy?” The illustrations show him in pencil sketch at the beginning of the book. He was always the last to be picked for group games and was never invited to parties. No one seems to notice him. But then a new boy starts at the school and invites him to be involved. As he participates more and more he becomes more than a pencil sketch!

As a shy child I had a difficult time, hesitating to be involved because I was so unsure of myself. I could relate to Brian, sometimes feeling I was just a figment of someone’s imagination, watching everything go on around me, but not being part of it. I know there are kiddos today who will be comforted by this book.

This book is a gentle reminder for children to be nice to everyone and include all in their activities. It shows them they can make a difference by being a friend.

If you have a child who is feeling a little shy or a child who easily makes friends, this is a very good book to share with them!

What books can you recommend for a shy child?

Mom is the Only Girl participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means there is no additional cost to you if you click on the link and purchase this item.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month ~ My Experience

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I sit here in the sitting room of the Breast Cancer Center waiting for my name to be called for my mammogram. I’m watching anxious feet rise and fall as ladies are sitting, their legs crossed, waiting for their names to be called or for their mammogram results. I’m noticing there are very few that look my age.

This is a much different than the first time I shared my mammogram experience with you.
It’s odd, the feeling in this room today. There’s a group of ladies chatting busily in the corner. From the conversation I think they are old friends and come as a group every year. There are pages of magazines flipping, ladies sipping non-caffienated tea. Ladies coming and going, some to the massage therapist while they wait, others going with the nurse. Relaxing piano music playing from speakers above, HGTV on the big screen, fish swimming around the huge fish tank in the middle of the room. A very casual, relaxing atmosphere, although those feet are still rising and falling and there’s a bit of anxiety in the air.

After a short wait and recognition of my surroundings, my name is called by a nice young nurse and I’m escorted to a small, dimly-lit room filled with machines. I set my things down and do as I’m gently directed.

There’s nothing embarrassing about removing my arm from the dressing gown and allowing the nurse to place my breasts exactly how she needs to. There is pressure, but no pain. I hold my breath as she instructs, the machine whirs and the process repeats.

I have dense breasts, so today they are taking 3D images. That’s why the movable part of the machine also moves for two of the pictures, but the plate I’m placed on stays still (and I try to stay extremely still, as directed.)

Five minutes later I’m back in my chair in the waiting room, patiently waiting for the results. This facility has doctors on staff who review the images immediately. I’m sure that’s a relief to some who are worried.

My name is called again and this time I’m escorted to a small room off the waiting area. I’m handed a sheet of information that describes the type of breast tissue I have as well as the mammogram results. No suspicious lumps or spots were found on any of the images.

I change, take a look at the jewelry for sale in the lobby and leave. Whispering a prayer of thanks.
I notice the helicopter flying low overhead, the chill of fall in the air, the lady headed to her car next to mine, and I think…what would I have done if I weren’t given good news today.

I know some experiences are not the same as mine. In every case I am thankful technology exists that can detect breast cancer.

So grab a friend if you’re not sure about going alone, and make that appointment. Do your self breast exam in the shower (alone). It’s so much better to find it early…

 Did you see my friend, Lisa on the Dr. Oz show? An amazingly encouraging lady!

Colors, counting and bullying

This post contains an affiliate link, which is for an item I highly recommend. Making a purchase through this link in no way increases the cost of the product. It just gives this blogger a little extra income.

Are you trying to help a young child learn to count or learn their colors? Or, maybe even more importantly, trying to help a younger child deal with a little bullying situation? Then you would really like this book!

One, by Kathryn Otoshi, is such a simple color and counting book (it covers the numbers one through seven), but has a hidden message about bullying.

See, in this book “Blue was a quiet color. He like being blue… except when he was with Red.” Then one comes and teaches the colors “If someone is mean and picks on me, I, for One, stand up and say, No.”

In the end all of the colors realize that “Everyone counts!” Even Red.

I love the way this book addresses bullies in such a simple way. It is simply, in our humble opinion, a great book for every early elementary child.

Mom is the Only Girl participtes in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means there is no additional cost to you if you click on the link and purchase this item.


Lisa has Breast Cancer

Fighting Breast Cancer http://www.momistheonlygirl.comA friend of mine is fighting breast cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy. I want to introduce you to her via my blog so you can put a face to breast cancer. (Watch Dr. Oz on Tuesday, October 21st, to hear her voice! Read ‘Why she e-mailed’ below!)
Lisa’s exact diagnosis was invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2a. This means that it still had not spread to the lymph nodes. Her particular cancer is estrogen and progesterone receptive and “HER2 NEU” positive. She was told that this is a double-edged sword in a sense that it is more aggressive due to the her2 neu factor, but that there is a specific, relatively new medicine (a monoclonal antibody), called Herceptin that addresses this fact.
This is just the kind of cancer Lisa has. There are lots of different kinds of breast cancer and specific ways to treat each one.

I asked Lisa about her course of treatment:

I just finished round 5 of my 6 rounds of chemo and then I will do radiation for 5-6 weeks on a daily basis. I will also continue to receive the Herceptin drug every three weeks for a year. Luckily, it does not make me feel lousy, so once the radiation is over with I hope to get my life back to some semblance of normal! :)

Breast cancer can be scary, but finding it early is so important to fighting and surviving. I’m so glad my friend Lisa found it early!

Here are Lisa’s words: 

I am not sure if it’s due to having lost an Aunt to this cursed disease or maybe that I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac, but I have always been afraid of getting breast cancer. Really afraid. So afraid in fact, that I never wanted to get mammograms or do breast self exams for fear of “finding something.” How’s that for flawed logic?!!  

Well, regardless, here I am. My worst nightmare came true. And now that I have crossed over “to the other side,” I can tell you without any hesitation that the fear of getting breast cancer was FAR, FAR worse than actually facing it head on after finding it early. Sure, half of 2014 has not been a picnic by any stretch, but knowing that this was caught early (by me, doing a rare breast self exam on a whim) puts the fear of this disease in a whole different light.  

The thing that I honestly did not know going into all of this, was that most women do survive this! Especially if it is caught early. 

 I did not know that. It took from the time of my diagnosis in May, until meeting with my current oncologist in July, to receive that message. And in my opinion that little known fact is not broadcast loudly enough. Had I known that, I would have checked my breasts far more frequently. I would have checked them monthly like recommended so that I would have recognized any changes in them right away. 

The more familiar you are with the feel of your breasts now (even if they always feel sort of lumpy), the better you will be able to recognize if a change in them does appear. And just for the record I found this on my own five months after having a clear mammogram…. 

I got lucky. Really lucky. Had someone told me that getting breast cancer would make me feel lucky, I would have thought they were nuts. But the luck came with early detection from that lone breast exam literally done on a whim. Ok, ’nuff said…now ladies go on out and check your breasts!

Why she e-mailed:

Lisa was e-mailing about her exciting week when she shared this. I wanted to take the time to share it with you, not because I thought it was interesting, but because she has become such a proponent for breast cancer awareness. And so you can put a face to this disease.
Her exciting week included a whirlwind trip to NYC to be on the Dr. Oz show with Joan Lunden! Ms. Lunden is a huge advocate for breast cancer awareness after being diagnosed herself, and went onto this show to encourage others fighting this disease. She has been a huge encouragement to Lisa, and Lisa finally got to meet her and tell her in person!
Tune in to watch Dr. Oz on Tuesday (that’s tomorrow!) October 21st to put a face to my incredible, strong, beautiful (even beautifully bald! Seriously she is!) friend Lisa. She is a fighter, and definitely fights like a girl! And then make sure to check your breasts!

One way to ease home-from-school-time coming home from school for moms

When the kids first went back to school I was having a really hard time when they came home at the end of their school day. I was in my own world while they were gone. It was quiet, peaceful.

The kiddos would get off the bus, come inside and ~ LOUDNESS! My oasis was gone.

Have you felt like this or do you feel like this daily? They walk through the door and immediately everything changes, your little world is taken away. It’s not that you aren’t happy to see them, are curious about their day, or want them to be home with you. It’s just that the transition to them being home is so sudden and complete. It’s hard to make the transition.

To be honest, I was having a very difficult time switching gears until very recently. I reached out to mom friends on face book and asked for their advice. Most of them responded with after school routines that work for them, which were very helpful, however one response stood out above all the rest.

My friend’s words were so simple. About 15 minutes before the kids are due to come home stop and relax for a few minutes. End any projects in progress and put them away. Maybe have a glass of water or a snack and concentrate on how I want the kids to feel when they come home. Concentrate on them, what their day might have included (i.e. art, music, PE). Concentrate on being mom.

Now, my kids are still noisier than ever when they come home and have too much energy for me, but this simple change in my focus, in my attitude has made a huge difference. I’m able to handle the transition now with a little more grace and love.

My focus has become them, not my work. It is all outward, to welcome them home. It’s to make them feel loved. I am no longer concentrating on my tasks in my life that they’ve interrupted, but I’m loving them with my life.

A simple change in focus, planned and thought out, has totally changed home-from-school-time for this mom!


Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story {Repost}

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A few years ago I shared my mom’s breast cancer story. She’s now a 9 year survivor. She still attends local survivor support group meetings and walks in the Relay for Life. She is living a ‘normal’ life again, but is forever changed from her experience. I thought I’d repost the initial interview from 2011 today.

How old were you when you were diagnosed with breast cancer?

I was 64 years old when I was diagnosed, and am a 6 year survivor! (She’s now a 9 year survivor!)

Is there a history of breast cancer in our family?

There is a history of breast cancer in our family included my Aunt Ethel, who was my mother’s sister.

How did you discover you had this disease?

I had a regular yearly appointment with my gynecologist, which included a mammogram and they found a small lump. I was then referred to one of our local surgeons.

What happened next, to determine what procedure you would have? What did this involve?

Follow up with the surgeon resulted in having a biopsy and what seemed a really long wait before getting the results. My sister-in-law accompanied me to that appointment and when the Dr. told me it was cancerous I was in disbelief at first. I was glad I had someone with me to hear that bad news. The only good part was that it was smaller than expected and could be taken care of. Breast Cancer Survivor

What were your first thoughts? What did you do, who did you tell?

All I thought of at the time was what my husband had to go through with his gastro cancer and I did not want to have to go through the same thing. I cried a lot. When one hears that diagnosis, you think the worst. I knew I had to tell my children, which was the worst thing to do, not knowing the outcome of anything. So I just had to tell them and hoped they would pray for me.  Of course, they did, especially my youngest daughter and her husband, they were terrific.

There are many possible procedures for breast cancer removal. What did they recommend, and do you know why they recommended it?

My surgeon discussed my prognosis and the procedure that would be performed. He recommended a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy because the site was smaller than expected. My surgery was done 2 months after the initial diagnosis, with 10 lymph nodes removed for biopsy (which were negative). Surgery was performed on March 9th 2004 and I was released from hospital March 11th, with drain tubes intact, meaning they were still attached to my body. I had to care for that area as well as the surgery site during the first part of my recovery. I received radiation, rather than chemo, for 36 weeks. Even during and after the radiation treatments I had an accumulation of fluid at the surgery site that had to be aspirated in the office. That was a little scary, having just gone through everything to have another lump appear, but thankfully it was just fluid.

What support did you have throughout this ordeal and what support do you continue to have, if any?

I had spiritual and moral support from my immediate family, children, brother and sister-in-law.  My sister-in-law happily accompanied me to my follow-up appointments.  She was a God-send because she acted as a second set of ears for me. The oncology nurse practitioner was one of two that coordinated a cancer support group in my area and encouraged me to attend the meetings. As part of that group we started out in one small room and soon had to move to a bigger facility and eventually, an even larger one! Anyone can attend the meetings, survivors and caregivers, current patients-anyone interested in getting information about cancer.  All types of cancers are covered, not just breast cancer. We even have some gentlemen that attend. An “I Can Cope” event is held each October with guest speakers that touch on all phases of cancer treatments, programs available, financial concerns, as well as other programs and events in the area.

I would encourage anyone to search out a support group to attend if only to just listen to others.  Besides being able to get more up to date information, you end up with some very good friends.  It is a plus to be able to actually get out with others, especially others that know what each of us have been, or are going through.

My mom is a fighter, and through this has discovered the amount of fight she has in her. I’m happy we moved back to NYS in time for me to be there for her, even though I wasn’t there as much as I wanted to be. I’m very proud of who my mom has become as a result of all of this hardship. 

I wanted to re-post this interview because I believe hearing positive stories about the outcomes of this fight is important, plants a seed that the fight is worth it, even though it may be difficult. I hope and pray a cure can be found for breast cancer and all cancers, but also believe knowledge is so important. 

Please arm yourself with knowledge and support if this is something you ever have to go through personally or are affected by it in some way, and remember it’s worth the fight!
pumpkin patch

Wordless Wednesday – Pumpkins pumpkin patch
Which to choose? 
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