May 2, 2011

Guest Mommy Blogger: Nicole - "Striving for Oxygen"

We're introducing some new members to the AMP Agency team: Frequency Guest Bloggers. Each month we'll reach out to two consumer demographics or mindsets. This month we reached out to Nicole, who is 36, a mom of three beautiful children and lives in Plainville, Massachusetts. Here are her responses to some of our questions.

What kind of shopper am I? In three words, creative, frugal and selfless (to a fault). Ok, that's more than three. I tend to forget or forgo my wants and head straight to the children's section of any store I am in. I can talk myself out of a purchase for me, but into a purchase for any of my three children. However, when I do indulge for myself, I still try to be frugal. As for the creative part, I love to peruse designer ads for home or fashion, see the insane couture sticker price and create a similar design for a fraction. It's a rush and a notch in my proverbial thrifty belt.

I look for eye catching, pretty items for me and my daughters. Not necessarily trendy, just enough to stop me in my tracks-online or in person. For my husband and son, I look for designer labels on sale or even cosigned. As for home décor, I seek beautiful indulgence - think Dom Perignon on a Bud Light budget. And for staples and groceries, coupons and online deals all the way.

The item that I own that most defines me would have to be my wedding dress. It is the most classic, tailored, beautiful and timeless piece of my history and I treasure it. It could have been worn 60 years ago and could be worn again by my daughters (Fingers crossed). The most defining part about it, however, is it cost $600. An amazing, quality, designer gown for well under $1,000. That, I am proud of, and I love it to this day.

The qualities that make me a good (dare I say great) mom'?¦are. Oh, man, I got stuck. Isn't that awful? The very thing that I have given most of my time to and sacrificed so much for and when I attempt to choose one quality, I go blank. Ok, here it is. I strive. I strive to achieve balance. Balancing a teenage son, a preschool daughter and a 17 month old baby girl. I strive for balance with discipline and fun, balance with housework, cooking and play dates. Making sure to leave time for my husband and oh, yes, myself. Striving to create beautiful memories for my family, instill morals, keep the fridge close to full and maybe squeeze in a movie night with friends or a yoga class. I may fail, but I surely strive.

The advice I would give to a new mom, or soon to be'?¦write the great moments down. It passes so darn fast and if you don't keep a journal of the super cute or quirky moments, you'll forget. Write it on a napkin if you have to and put it in the junk drawer, as long as you record it somewhere. Also, make time for you ' you may have been told after boarding a plane that in the unlikely case of emergency, you should put the oxygen mask on first; that way you are better equipped to care for your kiddos if you do'?¦ well same goes while on the ground, moms. You have to don that oxygen mask so you can breathe deeper and not run on empty. Be it in the form of a small xenical order online retail indulgence, a spa trip, a five minute meditation, or a salted margarita with your 'besties', take that break and you'll be a better mom. Oh, and there's no guilt in bottle feeding!

If I had a million dollars what would I buy? The boring portion of my response? Three $100,000 college educations, and a $500,000 4 bedroom home. Then for joy, I'd buy a well in Africa, a convertible for my mom and a boat for my dad. I'd pay our church bills for a year and then the right hand mother's ring I've been dreaming of, a killer swing set and one of those robot vacuums for my endlessly messy floors! Um, do I have enough left for a trip to Italy?

The most important thing I have ever done in my life would be to take a chance on my husband. Without him, I would not have these three miraculous children. Because of him, I also have the ability to raise them from home and work per diem as a teacher, actress and writer.  My children don't define me, but they enhance my life so ridiculously much every day. They challenge me, teach me and make me laugh at least hourly. I would say two close seconds, are writing my first children's book and maintaining faith in God through various life challenges.

May 2, 2011

Guest Mommy Blogger: Nicole - "Striving for Oxygen"

We're introducing some new members to the AMP Agency team: Frequency Guest Bloggers. Each month we'll reach out to two consumer demographics or mindsets. This month we reached out to Nicole, who is 36, a mom of three beautiful children and lives in Plainville, Massachusetts. Here are her responses to some of our questions.

What kind of shopper am I? In three words, creative, frugal and selfless (to a fault). Ok, that's more than three. I tend to forget or forgo my wants and head straight to the children's section of any store I am in. I can talk myself out of a purchase for me, but into a purchase for any of my three children. However, when I do indulge for myself, I still try to be frugal. As for the creative part, I love to peruse designer ads for home or fashion, see the insane couture sticker price and create a similar design for a fraction. It's a rush and a notch in my proverbial thrifty belt.

I look for eye catching, pretty items for me and my daughters. Not necessarily trendy, just enough to stop me in my tracks-online or in person. For my husband and son, I look for designer labels on sale or even cosigned. As for home décor, I seek beautiful indulgence - think Dom Perignon on a Bud Light budget. And for staples and groceries, coupons and online deals all the way.

The item that I own that most defines me would have to be my wedding dress. It is the most classic, tailored, beautiful and timeless piece of my history and I treasure it. It could have been worn 60 years ago and could be worn again by my daughters (Fingers crossed). The most defining part about it, however, is it cost $600. An amazing, quality, designer gown for well under $1,000. That, I am proud of, and I love it to this day.

The qualities that make me a good (dare I say great) mom'?¦are. Oh, man, I got stuck. Isn't that awful? The very thing that I have given most of my time to and sacrificed so much for and when I attempt to choose one quality, I go blank. Ok, here it is. I strive. I strive to achieve balance. Balancing a teenage son, a preschool daughter and a 17 month old baby girl. I strive for balance with discipline and fun, balance with housework, cooking and play dates. Making sure to leave time for my husband and oh, yes, myself. Striving to create beautiful memories for my family, instill morals, keep the fridge close to full and maybe squeeze in a movie night with friends or a yoga class. I may fail, but I surely strive.

The advice I would give to a new mom, or soon to be'?¦write the great moments down. It passes so darn fast and if you don't keep a journal of the super cute or quirky moments, you'll forget. Write it on a napkin if you have to and put it in the junk drawer, as long as you record it somewhere. Also, make time for you ' you may have been told after boarding a plane that in the unlikely case of emergency, you should put the oxygen mask on first; that way you are better equipped to care for your kiddos if you do'?¦ well same goes while on the ground, moms. You have to don that oxygen mask so you can breathe deeper and not run on empty. Be it in the form of a small xenical order online retail indulgence, a spa trip, a five minute meditation, or a salted margarita with your 'besties', take that break and you'll be a better mom. Oh, and there's no guilt in bottle feeding!

If I had a million dollars what would I buy? The boring portion of my response? Three $100,000 college educations, and a $500,000 4 bedroom home. Then for joy, I'd buy a well in Africa, a convertible for my mom and a boat for my dad. I'd pay our church bills for a year and then the right hand mother's ring I've been dreaming of, a killer swing set and one of those robot vacuums for my endlessly messy floors! Um, do I have enough left for a trip to Italy?

The most important thing I have ever done in my life would be to take a chance on my husband. Without him, I would not have these three miraculous children. Because of him, I also have the ability to raise them from home and work per diem as a teacher, actress and writer.  My children don't define me, but they enhance my life so ridiculously much every day. They challenge me, teach me and make me laugh at least hourly. I would say two close seconds, are writing my first children's book and maintaining faith in God through various life challenges.

May 2, 2011

Guest Mommy Blogger: Nicole - "Striving for Oxygen"

We're introducing some new members to the AMP Agency team: Frequency Guest Bloggers. Each month we'll reach out to two consumer demographics or mindsets. This month we reached out to Nicole, who is 36, a mom of three beautiful children and lives in Plainville, Massachusetts. Here are her responses to some of our questions.

What kind of shopper am I? In three words, creative, frugal and selfless (to a fault). Ok, that's more than three. I tend to forget or forgo my wants and head straight to the children's section of any store I am in. I can talk myself out of a purchase for me, but into a purchase for any of my three children. However, when I do indulge for myself, I still try to be frugal. As for the creative part, I love to peruse designer ads for home or fashion, see the insane couture sticker price and create a similar design for a fraction. It's a rush and a notch in my proverbial thrifty belt.

I look for eye catching, pretty items for me and my daughters. Not necessarily trendy, just enough to stop me in my tracks-online or in person. For my husband and son, I look for designer labels on sale or even cosigned. As for home décor, I seek beautiful indulgence - think Dom Perignon on a Bud Light budget. And for staples and groceries, coupons and online deals all the way.

The item that I own that most defines me would have to be my wedding dress. It is the most classic, tailored, beautiful and timeless piece of my history and I treasure it. It could have been worn 60 years ago and could be worn again by my daughters (Fingers crossed). The most defining part about it, however, is it cost $600. An amazing, quality, designer gown for well under $1,000. That, I am proud of, and I love it to this day.

The qualities that make me a good (dare I say great) mom'?¦are. Oh, man, I got stuck. Isn't that awful? The very thing that I have given most of my time to and sacrificed so much for and when I attempt to choose one quality, I go blank. Ok, here it is. I strive. I strive to achieve balance. Balancing a teenage son, a preschool daughter and a 17 month old baby girl. I strive for balance with discipline and fun, balance with housework, cooking and play dates. Making sure to leave time for my husband and oh, yes, myself. Striving to create beautiful memories for my family, instill morals, keep the fridge close to full and maybe squeeze in a movie night with friends or a yoga class. I may fail, but I surely strive.

The advice I would give to a new mom, or soon to be'?¦write the great moments down. It passes so darn fast and if you don't keep a journal of the super cute or quirky moments, you'll forget. Write it on a napkin if you have to and put it in the junk drawer, as long as you record it somewhere. Also, make time for you ' you may have been told after boarding a plane that in the unlikely case of emergency, you should put the oxygen mask on first; that way you are better equipped to care for your kiddos if you do'?¦ well same goes while on the ground, moms. You have to don that oxygen mask so you can breathe deeper and not run on empty. Be it in the form of a small xenical order online retail indulgence, a spa trip, a five minute meditation, or a salted margarita with your 'besties', take that break and you'll be a better mom. Oh, and there's no guilt in bottle feeding!

If I had a million dollars what would I buy? The boring portion of my response? Three $100,000 college educations, and a $500,000 4 bedroom home. Then for joy, I'd buy a well in Africa, a convertible for my mom and a boat for my dad. I'd pay our church bills for a year and then the right hand mother's ring I've been dreaming of, a killer swing set and one of those robot vacuums for my endlessly messy floors! Um, do I have enough left for a trip to Italy?

The most important thing I have ever done in my life would be to take a chance on my husband. Without him, I would not have these three miraculous children. Because of him, I also have the ability to raise them from home and work per diem as a teacher, actress and writer.  My children don't define me, but they enhance my life so ridiculously much every day. They challenge me, teach me and make me laugh at least hourly. I would say two close seconds, are writing my first children's book and maintaining faith in God through various life challenges.

April 22, 2011

April's Guest Blogger: Julie - "My 1 Year Old Son Climbed On the Computer Desk As I Wrote This'?¦"

We're introducing some new members to the AMP Agency team: Frequency Guest Bloggers. Each month we'll reach out to two consumer demographics or mindsets. This month we reached out to Julie Finlay, who is 31, a mom of two boys and lives in Dudley, Massachusetts. Here is a brief summary of what we heard when we asked her to answer these questions (the full excerpt follows):

What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life?

  • Julie believes there are many things in her life that she has accomplished, but feels life is too far from being 'done'? to say there is one most important thing that belongs in that category.

What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be? What do you look for in the brands you use?

  • She is a mom who shops with value in mind. Her desire to find a deal is admirable and likely exhausting. Store brands need to provide similar functionality ' or taste ' as name brands.

What item that you have purchased best represents your personality?

  • Julie thinks the addictive nature of snacks like Cheetos represents her somewhat addictive personality type. She also thinks she and ketchup have lots in common because they both 'go with everything.'? Julie's empathetic nature really helps her mesh with just about everyone!

What makes you a good mom?

  • Julie doesn't come out and say what she thinks makes her a good mom, but if what she wrote is used as testament, as a good mom she tries to instill the importance of time and value, as well as an appreciation for life into her sons. She also aims to do her best to guide them and mold them, but stay 'her'? in the process. Sounds like a good mom to me!

What advice would you give to a new mom or a soon-to-be new mom?

  • She says don't buy into all the hype, myths, or wives tales about what you should do as a new mom. Just sit back and enjoy your kids before they're running from you to get on the school bus.

If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?!

  • Julie wouldn't buy anything. She'd simply work less to spend more 'awake time'? with her kids.

Here is the full version of what our first Mommy Blogger, Julie, had to say:
My 1 Year Old Son Climbed On the Computer Desk As I Wrote This'?¦

So what would you say is the most important thing you have done in your life? Graduating college, running a marathon, eating 42 hot dogs in 3 minutes? Being a working mom of two boys, I think what most people would expect me to say is that 'being a mom'? is the most important thing I have done. But when I repeat the question in my head, I don't get that answer. The most important thing I have ever done in my life'?¦. Hmmmm. Wouldn't that imply that I have completed the task? I mean the question does ask what you have DONE, right? So that eliminates being a mom as being my answer since my kids are only 6 and 1, far from 'done'?. Plus, can't everyone or mostly everyone accomplish the same thing (have children), it surely doesn't set me apart. I can't say my job as a high school chemistry teacher either because that is hardly done'?¦ I have at least 24 years, (more likely 26) and 44 days left. So, that being said, the most important thing I have ever done must be a decision, maybe even something I chose not to do. Well I guess I'll come back to that'?¦

The other day I went to BJs or rather I had the goal of going to BJs. I had the day off from work because my older son had a half day and my younger son had come down with a bad cold conveniently the night before. So my plan was to get my older son on the bus, then go straight to BJs to get a few essential items with my younger son. But, don't you know, all was on schedule until I arrived at BJs at 8:19am, looked at the hours and realized they weren't open until 9am. Well that stinks. My personal goal up until this moment was to never shop at Wal-Mart again because of the news stories about poor treatment of employees, especially women. But in that instant, everything changed.  Out of convenience, I had to go to Wal-Mart. That boycott lasted all of 1 month. I can start fresh again. But, that sums up my life, its all about convenience. How many things can I buy that I need in the shortest amount of time possible with the minimum number of car seat transfers? What is that lately? All the malls that have developed that require you to drive from one store to the next? What happened to parking, entering the mall, and walking from store to store? Yup, you heard me, walking! It, to me, is more convenient than reloading my kids into the car to drive all of 200 feet to repeat the process.

This is why I like the department store with everything'?¦ but not junk. Ok, I admit, the Wal-Mart trip I regretted afterwards'?¦ should have went to Target but that extra ten minute drive would've really interrupted my son's morning nap schedule. Who doesn't love Target? They have some of the best prices on food and their clothing and furniture is actually decent quality for the price. Their store brand rocks too. I'm all about the store brands, every 23 cents of savings add up, you know.  It probably drives my older son nuts though since every time he wants to buy a snack at the grocery store, I try to convince him that the Fruity Crisps are just as good as Fruity Pebbles'?¦ or I buy them and slip them into the Fruity Pebbles box at home'?¦ they never know.

'Mom, can I get Oreos?'?

'Nope, they're not on sale'?

'How come everything needs to be on sale?'?

'Because you need to be conscious of how you spend your money, Trey, that's why'?

(Cue rolling of the eyes)

Even though it annoys him to all ends, I hope in the future, he'll realize that necessities like food and clothing don't require excessive amounts of money. Maybe that's why God gave me boys'?¦ I don't have to deal with a designer girl spending extreme amounts of money on jeans or pocketbooks that no one notices.  OK, that most of the population doesn't notice'?¦ or maybe I just don't notice. Regardless, I hope that he will be more attentive of how he spends his money, how he can save his money (something I wasn't taught), and how to appreciate what he is given. Most of the time, I think he still has no clue, but it will come in time. Right?

Having two boys is crazy. I am sure it's not as crazy as 3, 4 or 5 kids, regardless of sex, but boys are crazy. They have this energy about this, physical intensity, recklessness. Sometimes I wish I could just sit and play Barbies'?¦ why do we insist on Indiana Jones killing Darth Vader and why is it they combine movies like that'?¦ I can't keep up. I thank the dear lord though that I have two boys, I am pretty certain Barbie's all the time would get old and at least I have my husband to coach basketball, soccer and baseball with the boys. I'm not sure I could have convinced him into the Barbie route.

Those of you pregnant out there'?¦ I know you have heard it already'?¦ 'enjoy your sleep now'? and 'your life will be changed forever'?. All the classic lines. The best advice I ever got was that the baby senses your mood, take care of you first, then everything else follows. I can't give you advice on sleeping through the night, my kids still don't. I can't give you data that nursing prevents ear infections because my kids have had countless ear infections. The only thing I can say is that life is WAY TOO SHORT. So, even when you are up in the middle of the night, take a moment to take it in. Try to freeze life for a moment, take a mental snapshot, because once they start walking, speaking, getting on the bus to kindergarten, you are going to want it all back. Remember they are their own person'?¦ you can only guide them not mold them'?¦ but don't let them mold you!

I now revert to the original question. What is the most important thing I have done? I still don't know the answer; sorry if that is why you have been reading this. I can only tell you what my one regret is.  I wish I could spend more time with my kids'?¦ I wish I didn't have to work as much. My students and I calculated one day that I spend 56% of my youngest son's 'awake time'? with him (what's the point of counting when you are sleeping). The remaining 44% of the time, he is at day care.  That is sad, I think. I work as a teacher and don't give me 'but you have summers and vacations off'? stuff'?¦ you are right, I do. But teaching is actually the most inflexible and underappreciated job there is, when in session. That is something to explain at another time. So, I wish I worked as a teacher part time and a mom full time, because that is where my heart is. If only I had a million dollars'?¦

Oh and'?¦

I would think the one product that best represents me and my personality would be a tie between Cheetos and ketchup. Cheetos for my son have been a fairly common purchase lately, as he is following in my footsteps. Looking back on how I was called "cheesy" as a kid because of my addiction to the delectable snack, I giggle inside knowing Trey too will love them just as much. Why do they fit my personality... I have an addictive one, just like you can't stop eating Cheetos (heck, the more cheese, the better). I am also impulsive... it's not often you put Cheetos on your shopping list, but once you see that sale tag, you can't resist. The other product fitting my personality is ketchup. No, Cheetos and ketchup do not go together AT ALL but ketchup does go with everything. I consider myself an empathetic person... I try seeing through others' eyes and understanding them. Because of that, I mesh with most everyone. As you can see, my life centers around food and it took a lot for me to avoid saying chocolate and ice cream as my representative products... chocolate too is addictive and ice cream, so smooth. Speaking of which, I have a mint skinny cow waiting for me in the freezer.

April 22, 2011

April's Guest Blogger: Julie - "My 1 Year Old Son Climbed On the Computer Desk As I Wrote This'?¦"

We're introducing some new members to the AMP Agency team: Frequency Guest Bloggers. Each month we'll reach out to two consumer demographics or mindsets. This month we reached out to Julie Finlay, who is 31, a mom of two boys and lives in Dudley, Massachusetts. Here is a brief summary of what we heard when we asked her to answer these questions (the full excerpt follows):

What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life?

  • Julie believes there are many things in her life that she has accomplished, but feels life is too far from being 'done'? to say there is one most important thing that belongs in that category.

What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be? What do you look for in the brands you use?

  • She is a mom who shops with value in mind. Her desire to find a deal is admirable and likely exhausting. Store brands need to provide similar functionality ' or taste ' as name brands.

What item that you have purchased best represents your personality?

  • Julie thinks the addictive nature of snacks like Cheetos represents her somewhat addictive personality type. She also thinks she and ketchup have lots in common because they both 'go with everything.'? Julie's empathetic nature really helps her mesh with just about everyone!

What makes you a good mom?

  • Julie doesn't come out and say what she thinks makes her a good mom, but if what she wrote is used as testament, as a good mom she tries to instill the importance of time and value, as well as an appreciation for life into her sons. She also aims to do her best to guide them and mold them, but stay 'her'? in the process. Sounds like a good mom to me!

What advice would you give to a new mom or a soon-to-be new mom?

  • She says don't buy into all the hype, myths, or wives tales about what you should do as a new mom. Just sit back and enjoy your kids before they're running from you to get on the school bus.

If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?!

  • Julie wouldn't buy anything. She'd simply work less to spend more 'awake time'? with her kids.

Here is the full version of what our first Mommy Blogger, Julie, had to say:
My 1 Year Old Son Climbed On the Computer Desk As I Wrote This'?¦

So what would you say is the most important thing you have done in your life? Graduating college, running a marathon, eating 42 hot dogs in 3 minutes? Being a working mom of two boys, I think what most people would expect me to say is that 'being a mom'? is the most important thing I have done. But when I repeat the question in my head, I don't get that answer. The most important thing I have ever done in my life'?¦. Hmmmm. Wouldn't that imply that I have completed the task? I mean the question does ask what you have DONE, right? So that eliminates being a mom as being my answer since my kids are only 6 and 1, far from 'done'?. Plus, can't everyone or mostly everyone accomplish the same thing (have children), it surely doesn't set me apart. I can't say my job as a high school chemistry teacher either because that is hardly done'?¦ I have at least 24 years, (more likely 26) and 44 days left. So, that being said, the most important thing I have ever done must be a decision, maybe even something I chose not to do. Well I guess I'll come back to that'?¦

The other day I went to BJs or rather I had the goal of going to BJs. I had the day off from work because my older son had a half day and my younger son had come down with a bad cold conveniently the night before. So my plan was to get my older son on the bus, then go straight to BJs to get a few essential items with my younger son. But, don't you know, all was on schedule until I arrived at BJs at 8:19am, looked at the hours and realized they weren't open until 9am. Well that stinks. My personal goal up until this moment was to never shop at Wal-Mart again because of the news stories about poor treatment of employees, especially women. But in that instant, everything changed.  Out of convenience, I had to go to Wal-Mart. That boycott lasted all of 1 month. I can start fresh again. But, that sums up my life, its all about convenience. How many things can I buy that I need in the shortest amount of time possible with the minimum number of car seat transfers? What is that lately? All the malls that have developed that require you to drive from one store to the next? What happened to parking, entering the mall, and walking from store to store? Yup, you heard me, walking! It, to me, is more convenient than reloading my kids into the car to drive all of 200 feet to repeat the process.

This is why I like the department store with everything'?¦ but not junk. Ok, I admit, the Wal-Mart trip I regretted afterwards'?¦ should have went to Target but that extra ten minute drive would've really interrupted my son's morning nap schedule. Who doesn't love Target? They have some of the best prices on food and their clothing and furniture is actually decent quality for the price. Their store brand rocks too. I'm all about the store brands, every 23 cents of savings add up, you know.  It probably drives my older son nuts though since every time he wants to buy a snack at the grocery store, I try to convince him that the Fruity Crisps are just as good as Fruity Pebbles'?¦ or I buy them and slip them into the Fruity Pebbles box at home'?¦ they never know.

'Mom, can I get Oreos?'?

'Nope, they're not on sale'?

'How come everything needs to be on sale?'?

'Because you need to be conscious of how you spend your money, Trey, that's why'?

(Cue rolling of the eyes)

Even though it annoys him to all ends, I hope in the future, he'll realize that necessities like food and clothing don't require excessive amounts of money. Maybe that's why God gave me boys'?¦ I don't have to deal with a designer girl spending extreme amounts of money on jeans or pocketbooks that no one notices.  OK, that most of the population doesn't notice'?¦ or maybe I just don't notice. Regardless, I hope that he will be more attentive of how he spends his money, how he can save his money (something I wasn't taught), and how to appreciate what he is given. Most of the time, I think he still has no clue, but it will come in time. Right?

Having two boys is crazy. I am sure it's not as crazy as 3, 4 or 5 kids, regardless of sex, but boys are crazy. They have this energy about this, physical intensity, recklessness. Sometimes I wish I could just sit and play Barbies'?¦ why do we insist on Indiana Jones killing Darth Vader and why is it they combine movies like that'?¦ I can't keep up. I thank the dear lord though that I have two boys, I am pretty certain Barbie's all the time would get old and at least I have my husband to coach basketball, soccer and baseball with the boys. I'm not sure I could have convinced him into the Barbie route.

Those of you pregnant out there'?¦ I know you have heard it already'?¦ 'enjoy your sleep now'? and 'your life will be changed forever'?. All the classic lines. The best advice I ever got was that the baby senses your mood, take care of you first, then everything else follows. I can't give you advice on sleeping through the night, my kids still don't. I can't give you data that nursing prevents ear infections because my kids have had countless ear infections. The only thing I can say is that life is WAY TOO SHORT. So, even when you are up in the middle of the night, take a moment to take it in. Try to freeze life for a moment, take a mental snapshot, because once they start walking, speaking, getting on the bus to kindergarten, you are going to want it all back. Remember they are their own person'?¦ you can only guide them not mold them'?¦ but don't let them mold you!

I now revert to the original question. What is the most important thing I have done? I still don't know the answer; sorry if that is why you have been reading this. I can only tell you what my one regret is.  I wish I could spend more time with my kids'?¦ I wish I didn't have to work as much. My students and I calculated one day that I spend 56% of my youngest son's 'awake time'? with him (what's the point of counting when you are sleeping). The remaining 44% of the time, he is at day care.  That is sad, I think. I work as a teacher and don't give me 'but you have summers and vacations off'? stuff'?¦ you are right, I do. But teaching is actually the most inflexible and underappreciated job there is, when in session. That is something to explain at another time. So, I wish I worked as a teacher part time and a mom full time, because that is where my heart is. If only I had a million dollars'?¦

Oh and'?¦

I would think the one product that best represents me and my personality would be a tie between Cheetos and ketchup. Cheetos for my son have been a fairly common purchase lately, as he is following in my footsteps. Looking back on how I was called "cheesy" as a kid because of my addiction to the delectable snack, I giggle inside knowing Trey too will love them just as much. Why do they fit my personality... I have an addictive one, just like you can't stop eating Cheetos (heck, the more cheese, the better). I am also impulsive... it's not often you put Cheetos on your shopping list, but once you see that sale tag, you can't resist. The other product fitting my personality is ketchup. No, Cheetos and ketchup do not go together AT ALL but ketchup does go with everything. I consider myself an empathetic person... I try seeing through others' eyes and understanding them. Because of that, I mesh with most everyone. As you can see, my life centers around food and it took a lot for me to avoid saying chocolate and ice cream as my representative products... chocolate too is addictive and ice cream, so smooth. Speaking of which, I have a mint skinny cow waiting for me in the freezer.

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