i can curse and care

On March 11th 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan resulting in triggering a 33 foot Tsunami that devastated coastal areas. Hundreds of aftershocks, unstable radioactivity and a high death toll of almost 13,000 people as a result to this disaster. This is something you think you would only see in movies.

I have family in Tokyo who are safe but still going through a hard time just as everyone else is in Japan. It is hard to know what they are going through but I’m inspired by the strength and integrity shown right now. I truly cannot imagine how scary it must have felt to experience the earthquake and tsunami. I also cannot imagine how our country would do during a time like that.

Right now I am helping run a fundraiser at my daughters school called “Cranes for a Cause” and we are selling Origami Grams to benefit Japan. We are selling Origami cranes and various other origami that was made by ourselves, family and friends. All the proceeds are going to a Japan Relief fund. I’m going to be adding the cranes and various other origami to my online store. All proceeds will go directly to the Japan Relief fund.

In addition I am going to donate all the profits from the sales for my Don’t Speak Whinese t-shirts to the Japan Relief fund. I will run this for the next week or until I run out of inventory! So, while supporting my website, wearing a kick ass shirt you will also be supporting a great cause.

And because I am really proud of my daughter for making this decision she asked for donations for Japan instead of gifts this year for her birthday. She raised just over $200. I had to throw in that proud Mommy moment!

Other ways to help:

Direct Relief International

Global Giving

Cranes for Kids by OshKosh


If you follow my mindless babble on twitter you may know by now that I am an active Girl Scout Troop Leader or you assume I am totally obsessed with Thin Mints and wine. In my pre-Mommy years I never thought I’d be excited to see my friends at Girl Scout leader events. I never thought I would get chills and feel tears welling up when one of my girls tells me that she thinks I’m a great Girl Scout leader. I never expected to feel such pride when I see my girls take an extra step to proactively do something in our meetings because they were inspired by me.

I had a whole lot of preconceived notions about the Girl Scouting community and what Girl Scouts was about in general. However, I found my overachieving, extremely outgoing, slightly obnoxious, joking and totally sarcastic self meshing in quite nicely. I’ve also made some amazing friends. The best part of it is that my daughter has found the same positives as I have and it’s been a huge opportunity for both of us to have a “Mommy and Daughter” thing. Also, she looks stinkin cute in her Uniform!

Right now its cookie season in Girl Scouts and I encourage you all to support this cause. Even if it is as small as the change in your pocket to donate to a booth you pass or encouraging the Girl Scouts in your community to keep up the good work if you have nothing to spare. My troop is using our proceeds to fund community service projects as well as an end of year party. I am also able to teach them goal setting, business practices, marketing, sales and empowering them to be their own business women. A small percentage of the proceeds also go to Girl Scouts USA that helps continue to provide this organization.

Finally, this adventure has empowered my daughter a little more to accept her life threatening food allergies and sell products that she knows she cannot enjoy herself but her Troop benefits from her hard work. When I started researching Girl Scouts when she was in Kindergarten I assumed she had to sell cookies and I didn’t want her to be forced to sell something that could cause her any negativity. Instead, she decided that helping her Troop was more important. I’m really damn proud of her for that alone.

And… one last thing… support Girl Scout cookies because they are tasty as hell and some cookie Mom out there had to load up her vehicle, or more, unload them, sort them, count them, recount them and distribute them to the families selling them. Cookies are hard work so thank your local cookie Mom as well because I am sure her vehicle looked as crazy as mine did at some point or more!

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I’m not a romantic person but I can appreciate the sentiment and the mushy crap involved. However, Valentine’s Day used to bug the shit out of me before I became a Mom because of the romantic expectations rather than the love focus. It’s like a rule that you are pathetic if you are single on Valentine’s Day… and why is that? I’m secure in myself and my life and I’m very happy with how it is… but Valentine’s Day seems to create judgment on Singles. Do we have the plague? I’ve got two kids that shower me with love and affection and we have created our own family Valentine’s Day traditions that have nothing to do with Smoochy Mc Smooches. I can’t ask for more than that.

Our Valentine Traditions:

Give back, spread the love to others and put smiles on a strangers face. Three years ago my daughter and I made cards for a Children’s Hospital and it was a great experience. I wanted to think outside of ourselves and do something for others and create a more positive outlook on this holiday for myself. The year following we had a few of her friends over and we made even more cards and again it was so awesome. This year we had this big crafting park play date and the kids made a massive amount of cards. It was truly beautiful. The parents participated as well! It’s amazing what cardstock, doilies, foam stickers, crayons, glue and miscellaneous pink/red/white craft bits will inspire.

Red Velvet Cupcakes! I like to think of holidays as an excuse to make stuff that I shouldn’t! Baking has become a huge part of our holiday traditions. My daughter’s previous severe wheat allergy made baking a challenge that we always took on but now that she can eat wheat we totally over do it! Red, cupcakey goodness and excuse to feed our faces seems like a perfect tradition to me!

Pancakes with strawberries and shaped like hearts. Yup, its nerdy but I love it.

Plant something! Red, pink or white flowers are always purchased on Valentine’s Day and put into our garden. I really like calla lilies so I usually convince them to go with that. It’s also cool to see them pop back up the next year!

Chocolate fondue with tons of strawberries to again give us an excuse to indulge.

Dress up in something ridiculous and take pictures. I’m on a mission to get my 3 year old son to dress up like cupid tomorrow. Sometimes he is overly enthusiastic about those fun projects and then other times he acts like a little diva and refuses! The search will be on in the morning to find outfits to make this happen. Bribery may ensue.

So the once supposed cynic who doesn’t believe in mushy crap has now found an amazing appreciation for Singles Awareness Day AKA Valentine’s Day. I vehemently believe that pity parties are bullshit and you should focus your energy on the things you do have instead of what you wish you did. Believe me there was a time when I felt incomplete because of the lack of romantic affection I was getting on February 14th but then I realized I am much loved and very happy. Life as a single parent isn’t supposed to be easy but we can all rock it and rock it well. Happy Valentine’s Day and love to you all!

And remember don’t stress not having a Valentine… I know I don’t… because mine runs on batteries!