A Letter To My Future Self

I’ve seen posts like this a thousand times. I think I even remember writing one when I was in school. But I am at a time in my life where I want to look back and remember what it was like to be a stay-at-home mom to two small children. To remember this overwhelming feeling of being needed. By EVERYONE.

While my threenager is tugging on my shirt, pitching a fit for whatever reason it is this time. Or while my now 7-month-old is screaming (because she is just totally obsessed with her own voice) in her jumparoo. I want to remember how stressful and completely exhausting it is to be surrounded by children 24/7.

I want to remember how my poor husband must feel neglected because I just can’t possibly do anything besides sit in peace once the kids are in bed. I want to remember the feeling of defeat as I look around my house and see the monstrosity of a mess that my 3-year-old can make. SO. DAMN. FAST.  I want to remember the mountain of laundry. And the dishes that need to be washed and put away.

I want to remember all of it. And then I want to remember how I conquered it. I want to remember how I won at life. Not that that has happened or anything…I mean this is a letter to my FUTURE self. Hopefully, one day it’ll happen. But until then, I want to remember all of the good and bad times….

So here it goes.

dear future me

Dear Future Katy, 

First of all, I hope that you still enjoy everything about Brabbly and that it never grows old, because seriously, it’s awesome and hilarious.  I hope that this blog has become everything you wanted it to be and more. And please,

Leaving on a Jet Plane!

Our oldest just joined a 12U league and we had to figure out which glove to get her.  My hubby and I are extremely excited and I’ll be posting updates on how she’s doing on this blog.

Stay tuned.

For today’s post, in October, my husband and I will leave for Newport, RI. I’ll be participating in NECC 2018 ; Tim will be visiting art museums and checking out the “Cold Margaritas and Hot Senoritas” (Hmmm).

I’ve already mentioned in Twitter that we’ll only be taking carry-on luggage: a duffel bag for hubby, and a backpack, with laptop compartment, and a small handbag for me. After a few less than successful incidents with airline baggage handling, we’re convinced that traveling light is the only way to reach your destination with wardrobe intact.

If you would like to follow our example, you might want to visit One Bag for tips on how to avoid overpacking.

A challenge faced by vacationers hoping to travel light is the restriction on the type and size of liquids and gels that are permitted in carry-ons. The Department of Homeland Security’s TSA gives updates on the current regulations on its site. Remember 3-1-1…no more than 3 ounces per container packed in a 1 quart ziploc bag with 1 bag permitted per traveler.

The size of the carry-on is also important. Rules vary by airline, but a general rule of thumb given by the FAA is “the maximum size carry-on bag for most airlines is 45 linear inches (the total of the height, width, and depth of the bag). Anything larger should be checked.”

A final tip to make your trip less stressful: go to Expedia and read the guide to whichever airports you connect through. There you will find information about food, shops, activities, …

Goats and Ice Cream

We just got back from a trip to the county fair – a trip we’ve been building up for my 2-year-old daughter all week – animals! ice cream! cows! goats! pigs! chickens!

Guess what the favorite animal was? Bees. Yup, that’s right. The hit of the trip was the beekeeper exhibit where we got to see the queen bee in with all of the rest of the bees and got to listen to the hum and buzz of the pack (sorry, forgot my bee terminology!). Cows, pigs, horses – ho hum. All she cared about around those animals were the cool ribbons and balloons that the 4H kids hung on the fences. Seriously, the kids going to be a designer, I swear. I’m saying this after seeing how she tried to be creative with my Lix 3d pen. Oh yeah, and, Can we have ice cream now? was the constant refrain.

What will my husband and I remember from the trip? The goat trying to eat Jakes sleeve – no lie, a goat bit my sons sleeve – only at the county fair, right? What will Maggie remember? Bees and ice cream. What will Jake remember? Nothing.

The trip reminds me so much the most important thing about parenting and teaching – its not about me and what I want to happen, its about what actually DOES happen.

I wanted an idyllic farmyard experience, we got a coveting of sparkly streamers, sticky hands and honeybees. Oh, and dont forget the hungry goat.

My constant need to control often leads to frustration in parenting and was probably my main weakness in the classroom.

I just need to remember: its not about expectations, its about experiences. Maggie will remember the bees, that’s whats important. The test we …

I Bought a New Bread Maker!

Happy New Year!

And I bought a new bread maker! I got the item from craigslist and it’s a little bit of an older model. However, so far, I love it’s performance. The bread maker is theFal OW5005001 Emerilware.

Here’s my reviews of the bread maker.

If you’re looking for an innovative bread and baguette maker that makes a 3 pound loaf of bread, then you should look into the T-Fal OW5005001 Emerilware bread maker. You will also have the option of making loafs that are 2 ½ pounds or 2 pound loafs. The loaf pans that come with the unit are made of non-stick material for convenient empting of the bread and cleaning.

Before I bought this appliance, I had read Zojirushi bread maker reviews and was initially going for the model. However, I changed my mind at the last minute, and I’m not disappointed.

There are 14 settings that are already pre-programmed for baking and 3 crust settings, so you can have the exact crust flakiness you prefer. The express cycle will bake your breads in less than an hour and a half. While making your dinner for the family your whole house will smell delicious from making fresh bread for dinner.

You can also delay the baking of your bread up to 15 hours with the delayed start timer. The mini baguette tray is a perfect size for a family with young children, or if you are having guests over for tea and want to serve a smaller size baguette.

Besides the many bread baking setting there are also settings for making cakes, dough, pasta, and even jams. You will be pleasantly surprised at all the different features the T-Fal OW5005001 bread maker has to make your life easier.

Your bread unit comes with an easy touch …

EdTech Musings

I saw a very interesting article on Twitter this morning and it brought up so many of the niggling issues I have when I get all evangelistic about technology in education. It doesn’t make me doubt the usefulness of technology itself, but the implementation of it. I highly suggest reading The Laptops Are Coming by Sarah Heller McFarlane to get a teachers reflection of her first year of teaching with a classroom of laptops – it brings up some interesting issues that I’m currently processing.

And I believe this is important even in the advent of 3D technology Check this BCN3D Sigma review to see what I mean.

The main thing Im taking away from Heller-McFarlanes article is this (one that Ive heard over and over again, especially when I was meeting with a group of ed tech people earlier this month):

Technology does not solve all problems and throwing technology at teachers without working it seamlessly into existing curriculum is NOT the answer.

The solution? Im working on it, I know its out there. Right now, Im going with this:

Before a district spends even one more dollar on technology, they need to spend the money on people. People to make the decisions about the technology, people to train teachers, people to help with the integration.

Before all of that, though, they need to spend the money to make sure there are enough people PERIOD.

A 4th grade classroom of 29 students with one teacher and no TA is positively impacted more by the addition of a TA than by a set of laptops. Do I have numbers on this? No. Do I have experience in 4th grade classrooms with too many kids and not enough teachers? Yes. I want my own children in classrooms with human beings to …

A Look at Weight Loss Products in South Africa

With the obesity rates in the country going up, I always wonder why Americans are ranked among the most obese people on earth! I can bet you a dollar that you know someone who is obese.

However, I’ve realized that Africa also has obese people. I was doing some research on obesity in Africa and was surprised to find out that stores are coming up that sell the same weight loss supplements in the States.

obese manHere’s what I learned about one of the top weight loss retailers in South Africa.

There are many weight loss supplements that are on the South African retail market currently. These supplements are either natural or nutritional supplements which have been specifically formulated to help those individuals who need some assistance in losing weight.

MelanotanZA is one of the leaders in the market offering weight loss products. Their products have been specifically engineered to assist you in achieving dramatic results and reaching your much anticipated weight loss goals.

MelanotanZA has 4 specific categories of questions that help people make correct decisions in choosing the right product to assist them in achieving the targeted goal.

This article will direct you in choosing the correct product depending on what you looking for in a weight loss supplement.

A Supplement That Works Fast and Is Effective

You probably want a supplement that is quick yet effective in helping you lose weight. Thus, you need an effective appetite suppressant. MelanotanZA has 2 weight loss products: Shape Platinum and The Secret Fat Burner.

You may be wondering which one you should choose. From customer reviews, the Secret Fat Burner is one of the company’s most effective products. It has more side effects compared to the Shape Platinum but does not cost much.

The Shape Platinum, on the other hand, …

Tech Mommy Move

I just completed my ultra geeky mom certification today, I promise. No, it’s not an actual title, but it SHOULD be! I actually cant believe I didn’t think of this earlier, but you can blame it on my late-start to the ultra tech world.

What did I do? I just bought domain names for my 1- and 2-year-old.

Yup, that’s right. I’m paying $9.95 per year to hold domain names for my kids until they’re ready to use them. And with me for a mom, they’ll be ready to use them sooner than later! I was kind of bummed that they didn’t have .coms left for my kiddos names, but I did end up with .orgs which are good enough.

I’m worried about their safety with the phones. I’ve been reading FlexiSpy reviews 2017 to determine whether it’s the right app to use to track my kids. But that’s a story for another day.

I actually plan to help my kids build their first sites when they get a bit older – I’m not going to use the domains to build them blogs right now where I blog about each kid, but want the domains to be used for sites THEY create eventually. I’m seriously not leaving the tech education of my children up to their schools, well do this as a fun mom-kiddo activity.

They may not use these domain names for a few years, but my kids will be thanking me laterthey WILL, stop doubting me!


I’m also excited because my .com name was FINALLY available and I just managed to grab it – yay! Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to get my nails done at the closest nail salon to me.

And yes, the total of my domain purchases this year …

Going Hunting? Get a Cheap Rifle Scope

My hubby is an avid outdoors person. And I have to admit he has been influencing me and the kids to spend more time outdoors too. Last weekend, he was researching a rifle scopes online and I got to learn a thing of two about them.

Here’s a summary of what I learned.

Most optics from the WWII era are of lower quality than modern optics found here: https://www.legiontactical.co.za/collections/vortex-optics. However, these optics are still very usable.  Often, you will find clear though not perfect parts for the scopes

How to make Sure it’s a Good Purchase

Make sure the Vintage Rifle Scopes you want to buy still function smoothly and have no significant rust on the ranging ring. Apart from this, ensure the scope is in good condition, there are light or no ring marks, and few normal use marks.  Make sure the optics are clean, clearand bright. The lenses should be scratch free.

If everything works as it should, the scope can be a good purchase.  Make sure the external adjustments work fine and that none of the cross hairs is bent or loose.  You can expect to see some exterior signs of use. But again, as long as the optics and crosshairs are clear, you are good to go.

Some old scopes are so simple that they have no crosshairs nor adjustments. Some have what are called “TV views”. These are basically flattened circles that allow you to get a little bit more left and right viewing.

The Weaver Vintage Rifle Scope

Weaver makes some of the best vintage rifle scopes in US history. Although the scopes are simple (fine and simple crosshairs), they sometimes come with variable objectives and power settings.  If youwant to buy a vintage scope, make sure that most  of the wear …

Mommy Market Saturated?

I usually don’t publish my comments to other blog posts here, but this one was long enough that I thought it deserved space here as well. As you know, I’ve entered the world of mommy blogging and I’m a freelance writer (check my last post on a comprehensive guide to stethoscopes), so have quite a few thoughts on the below issue.

Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester wrote an interesting post after attending a BlogHer party – he poses the following questions after commenting about the swag that the BlogHer party attendees received:

When this organic and natural market gets saturated from the many vendors pitching at them (would make Scoble blush) what impacts does this have to: 1) credibility of the women bloggers, 2) Effectiveness of brands trying to reach this inundated market? 3) If credibility and demand is reduced to this market, will it decrease their influence? How will they be able to maintain these levels? I think something has to give.

Of course, me being me, I responded. The comment I left was this:

Very interesting post. I’m a mom, and I blog – making me a mommy blogger, I suppose. I run a group parenting and sleep blog at https://www.sleepdeeper.net and we are often approached by companies about reviewing their products.

You address the issue of swag and tons of free product, but how is this really any different than what has been happening with magazines for years? We all know that magazine beauty editors don’t go out and purchase all of the items they review in their magazines, but it isn’t specifically spelled out – why are mom bloggers different?

When we do reviews on our site, it’s with the understanding that the company has sent us something to review. We don’t get paid to write

Teachers of Children with Asperger’s

Ok, I’d like to believe that every education-related professional that reads this blog actually took my advice and joined HARO. I’m a realist, though, and realize that you probably didn’t. Here’s why you should have:

There’s a HARO request today for teachers who work with children with Asperger’s – the query states:

“Hello, I am looking for a teacher who has taught a child with
Asperger’s. The article is in a magazine for teachers. You’d need
to be able to say your school district and discuss what worked for
you and any possible challenges that can come up. “

I recently wrote about some excellent parenting blogs that deal with autism and Asperger’s and know there must be some excellent educators out there writing about this topic as well. If you aren’t on HARO yet and want info on answering the query, just leave a comment here or email me at kolson29 at gmail dot com. I wasn’t sure if it was ok to actually post all the query info, but I’d be glad to forward the email to you. In addition, JOIN HARO.