Archive | March, 2011

The Potty Training Chronicles…

17 Mar

If you would have told me when my son, Cody, was first born that he would still be wearing Pull’Ups at age four, I would have laughed and told you “Over my dead body.”

If that were the case, lets just say, I am lucky to be alive.

I also would have told you that I wanted just one child. Funny how things change! When my son reached about 2/12 years old I decided I was dang tired of changing diapers- not to mention spending money on them-so I decided it was time to start potty training him. I was a little worried about trying to potty train a little boy, as I had heard stories of it being notoriously difficult, but my theory was that if he wasn’t ready yet I would back off, I wouldn’t push him. After all, we still had lots of time…or at least it seemed like we did. That very next day I went out and bought him a cute little potty, some big boy Lightening McQueen underwear and a box of training pants. I even fashioned a rather delightful potty chart out of some computer paper and Crayola markers, if I do say so myself. I was determined to do this, and do to it as painlessly as possible. I promised myself I would not pressure him nor would I get disappointed if things didn’t move along a quickly as I would have like them too.


If you would have asked me two weeks into things if potty training an almost three-year-old boy was difficult, I would have said “No way! This is easy peasy!” Little did I know… Within a week of potty training 101, he was already a natural. He rarely even had any accidents during the day, I think it was because he just felt so independent and grown up peeing and pooping like a seasoned champ.  I thought I was the potty training queen, and would often “Pfft” at all those other mom’s that claimed it was so difficult. This was a cakewalk! All was well and dry for the next few weeks and I thought I was home free. I dreamed of the diaper-free days ahead. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

The day of reckoning started like any other day, Cody woke up, still dry to my pleasure, and I herded him off to the bathroom to take care of his morning business. As I was in the kitchen whipping up breakfast, I heard a wimper from the bathroom. Hmmm. As I cocked my head and listened a little more,  the whimpers quickly progressed to true tears. I rushed in the bathroom to see what the trouble was. There on the potty sat my little fella, red as a tomato with his veins bulging out of his little neck, crying and pushing with all his might. “M-m-mommmmyyyy, my p-p-p-poopy hurts my bum…WAAAA.”  Uh oh. After a good 20 minutes of pushing and encouraging and back rubbing and tears, my poor little guy finally ejected the biggest poop I had ever seen escape his little body, and it was as hard as a rock. (You know, the old wrap-your-finger-in-toilet-paper-and-poke-it-to-see-how-hard-it-is, trick) No wonder the kid was crying! This thing was colossal.


A few words of encouragement and one racecar sticker later, we were finally out of the bathroom, after a good half hour. The next day or two were uneventful, and he continued to pee like a big boy. He didn’t have another poop for the next few days, probably because the last one cleaned out every last bit. Later on in the evening as I was sitting on the couch I noticed Cody standing in the corner, three shades of red, looking rather tense. “Honey, do you need to poop?” I got up and went over to him, ready to usher him into the bathroom, thinking it was a little strange that he didn’t tell me he had to go, as he had been doing so well. When I was less then a foot from him he let out a shriek, “MOMMY, DON’T. TOUCH. ME! ” Whoa. “But you have to come sit on the potty,” I reasoned with him. He wasn’t having any of it. As soon as I attempted to uproot him from his spot, I realized it was a big mistake. He started screaming like a banshee, crying and trembling, the whole nine. What the H? What was wrong with my pro potty user? Then it clicked. The super poop from the other day. That HAD to be the reason for this behavior. I finally managed to get him into the bathroom, which was goo because there was no way I was cleaning poop off of the carpet. Except, when I tried to sit him on the potty, he would make his whole body go stiff, making it a near impossible feat. Clearly he wanted to be left alone (As if his screams of “Leave me ALONE!” were any indication.) So I told him that I would be close by if he needed me and to call me in once he finished pooping in his potty. I figured if I left him alone he would eventually go. Well, about ten minutes later he called out “Mommy, I’m done!) I trotted on into the bathroom to congratulate him and help him wipe. However, as I bent over to empty out the potty, I noticed something was missing…Huh? No poop? Crap! (No pun intended). Then I spotted it, smack dab in the middle of my bathroom floor. A perfectly formed piece of fecal latter.

Cody continued to pee in the potty with no problems, whatsoever. Number two was another story. Things continued in much the same way for quite a while. He had no qualms about peeing but when it came to pooping he would tense up, stand in the corner grunting and yelling and crying. I would always try to coax him onto the potty. It would always end up on my floor. I talked to his doctor, to public health nurses, and to other parents. They all assured me that it was quite normal for a child to do well and then backtrack. But this was not just him regressing. The small bout of constipation clearly traumatized him. And I have no clue how to reverse the damage. I thought the birth of my daughter might help. I hoped that him being a big brother would encourage him to be the big boy and show he how using the potty is done, but really he was just ticked off that sissy could wear diapers to poo and he couldn’t.

Cody has just recently turned four and I wish I could tell you that the phase has passed and he is back to peeing and pooping in the potty, but that would be lying. And truthfully, I am probably making things worse by resorting to him wearing Pull-Ups again, but I got sick and tired of finding poop on my floor. And every other surface. One time a piece of poop was even discovered in my fiancees work boots. I thought it was pretty funny. Unfortunately, at six in the morning getting ready to leave for work, he failed to see the humor in it. When later confronted, my son innocently told me that he put it there because he wanted Daddy to stay home. Aww, I guess it was a sweet gesture.

As the days and weeks keep passing by, I find my self getting more and more stressed over this potty training dilemma. I now feel that I am on a deadline as far as how soon I have to have Cody FULLY potty trained. You see, my son is set to begin Kindergarten in September. And do you honestly think I am going to send him to school in a diaper?

Over my dead body…

Is your toddler eating enough?

16 Mar

Parental Concerns

If I had a penny for every meal that ended up on the floor instead of my daughters tummy, well lets just say I wouldn’t be living in an apartment building staring at a ten-year-old computer monitor.

When it comes to toddler eating habits, it is safe to say that they are never on par with parental expectations. One day they seem to go all day on no more than milk and juice and then the next you can’t help but wonder where they are putting it all. Three common parental concerns are that their toddler has suddenly become a picky eater, that they throw more food than they eat or do not sit still long enough to eat at all, and that all they want is liquids. It is also common for children this age to eat something one day and then totally reject the same type of food the next day for no apparent reason. All of these issues can become a cause for much frustration for parents. We know that our children need to eat a well-balanced, variety of nutritional foods in order to grow and develop properly, however, who wants each and every meal to become a battle?

Normal Toddler Eating

There are a few things that parents need to keep in mind when it comes to feeding their toddler.

Many parents, including me, will give their child a banana and then after their child takes three bites, try to convince them to eat the rest. However, it is important to keep in mind that a normal serving size for a toddler is only about 1/4 to 1/3 of an adult serving. So in reality, it only takes about 1/4 of a banana to fill their tiny tummies. Do not expect your toddler to eat what you would consider a normal serving for yourself or even for your six-year-old. Keep their meal size proportional to what is the normal toddler serving.

As most parents have already realized, toddlers are at an age where they are fiercely independent. They are determined to do everything by themselves and to challenge mom and dad in any way that they can.  Unfortunately for parent, what and how much they eat is one thing that they can exercise some control over. So while it may be tempting to spoon feed their entire meal to them for your own piece of mind, the better option is to feed them a few bites and then show them the proper way to hold the utensil and allow them to have a go at it. Better yet, forgo the spoon altogether and let them have fun with finger foods. Not only are they more likely to eat without a fight if they get to do it themselves, it is also critical is helping them develop their fine motor skills. Try offering them a variety of different finger foods  such as crackers, cheese cubes,  apples slices and banana wheels,  and boiled egg slices as opposed to serving one large meal. There is nothing wrong with them eating what the family eats for dinner just make sure that it is cut up into smaller pieces so it is easier for them to handle. It is also a good idea to add a few finger foods on the side of the main meal in case they aren’t too interested in eating what is on the menu. Although I have found that all it usually take is for my daughter to see mom, dad and big brother enjoying a certain food and then she is more than happy to join in.

Tips to make mealtime more enjoyable

Thankfully, there are many simple things that parents can do to encourage healthy eating habits and make mealtimes  happier and more relaxed for everyone.

  • Offer a wide variety of nutritional foods. Even though toddlers may refuse a type of food one day, it is important to keep offering it along with a wide variety of other nutritional options. It may take toddlers five tries before they will even consider eating something, so be persistent!
  • Have fun with food! Making meals more appealing can be as simple as making a smile face on their plate with grape eyes, a banana nose and melon slice for a mouth. By keep things bite sized, colorful and fun children are much more likely to try a few different things on their plate. I know that smily faced pancakes always tasted much better than plain ones. Makes sense, right?

 

  • Eat together at the table. While many families are often so busy during the day that everyone may very well be somewhere different (work, daycare, school, etc), it is very important to make an effort to sit down as a family for at least one meal a day, AT THE TABLE. Turn off the TV, ignore the phone and put away the toys. As a child I can remember my father’s rule: If we didn’t want to eat, fine, but we had to sit at the table during mealtime. I claimed to hate it at the time, but looking back it was often the highlight of my day.
  • Schedule regular mealtimes. Having set times for each meal helps prevent children from grazing on everything they can get their hands on to curb hunger. A small snack is fine, and often necessary, for toddlers to keep them satisfied and energized. Just be sure to keep it relatively healthy, keep it small as too not fill them up too much and give it to them at least an hour before their next meal.
  • Be a good role model. We’ve all heard the saying: “Monkey see, Monkey do.” This has never been more true than in reference to toddlers. If they see mom and dad enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods then they will be much more likely to do the same. However, if they see their parents eating junk all day every day, it is safe to say that they will probably not have the healthiest eating habits. You set the biggest example for your child because you are their whole world. It is your responsibility to provide them with healthy, well-balanced regular meals and snacks each and every day. It is their choice how much and if they will eat it.

Which brings us to the last, and probably most important, piece of advice:

  • RELAX! Stop keeping track of every morsel of food that passes their lips and just relax a bit. Getting your child to eat healthy should not be a full-time job. While it is important to ensure that they are getting the vitamins and nutrients that they need and are not malnourished, you don’t have to stress about a few unbalanced meals-or even days. Children will NOT starve themselves, when they are hungry, then they will eat. If they are happy, active and growing well then it is safe to say that you are doing a good job. You do not have to cook up complicated and elaborate meals each and every day. As long as you keep on offering nutritious choices, children WILL eat them. Stop begging, threatening, bribing and encouraging and simply step back and let them be. Before you know it they will have eaten their full meal and be asking for seconds.

Eating Well for Life

When it comes right down to it, there is only so much that you can do when it comes to getting your toddlers to eat. You can provide them with a variety of good, healthy food, you can make mealtimes a calm and enjoyable experience and you can set a good example for them, but that is ALL you can do. At the end of the day the rest is them. Keep on doing what you’re doing, give the above tips and try not to make a huge deal of it. If you are doing these things already then your toddler is already well on their way to a great relationship with food and a lifetime of healthy eating.

**CALL YOUR DOCTOR if your child is losing weight, doesn’t eat anything for more than a day or you are concerned that they aren’t eating a balanced diet. Follow you gut, you know your child best, if something doesn’t seem right or you are concerned do not hesitate to discuss it with your child’s doctor or pediatrician. NEVER give a child vitamins, supplements or meal replacement products without the advice of your doctor. SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION if you child is experiencing persistent vomiting, severe stomach pain and/or cramping, refuses to take any liquids for over 8 hours or shows signs of dehydration.**

Little liars: Your preschooler and honesty

14 Mar

 

Have you caught your preschooler telling a lie?

 

Child misbehaving mother talking to child

 

Busted!

Yesterday morning I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup when I heard a distinct SMACK, immediately followed by a long wail from my 18 month old daughter. “MOMMMYYYY”, my four year old son yelled, “Sissy fell off the bed”. I ran in the room to find my daughter still, in fact,  on the bed with a bright red, perfectly formed, four year old’s hand print on her little back. ‘That little sh*t!’ was my first thought…Until that point I had never actually outright caught him in such a lie. Sure he would spin tall tails when recounting an event or telling me a story. But this was a deliberate lie, a lie made in an attempt to avoid something…in this case a timeout. After cuddling and soothing the little one I then turned my attention to my son. “Cody”, I said, “Why did you tell mommy that sissy fell off the bed when she didn’t?’ “Yes, she did” was his reply. “Well she was still on the bed when mommy came in, if she fell she would be on the floor, wouldn’t she?” “No, because she climbed back up really fast”..Uh huh, this is going no where. “Cody, tell mommy the truth please, sissy has a hand print on her back, someone hit her and you were the only one in the room”. He blinked up at me for a few seconds before dissolving into tears.”S-S-S-Sissy was bugging meeeee…WHAAAA *Sniff*” After quickly debating the best way to handle this situation, I proceeded to kneel in front of him and look him in the eyes, while explaining calmly that it is not nice to lie, and if you tell lies then people won’t always believe you when you are telling the truth. He told me that he lied because he didn’t want to get into trouble. Which, in all honesty, is totally understandable. I mean how many times have we, as adults, told a lie to avoid consequences to certain actions. I know I have before. I am not proud of it, but lying does happen. This is incident made me realize that I was, in fact, not quite sure exactly HOW I should handle a lying four year old. So, like I do when any great parenting dilemma has me stumped,  I stayed up until 3am pouring over every article and study I could find through  “Google.”  I only powered down my computer once I felt pretty confident that I was armed with the knowledge necessary handle the next incident. And now I am going to pass that knowledge on to you!

Parent scolding preschool aged child

The Tall Tale

When it comes to preschoolers there are two main types of lies that are told. Number one: Telling Tall tales-All mothers of young children are familiar with the concept. You know, the one where you ask them what they did at daycare and they proceed to tell you the teacher was  turned into a monkey by the evil magician because she wouldn’t let the children eat candy for lunch and so on and so on… These type of lies are not an attempt to deceive, they are simply a preschooler’s way of exercising their imagination. And truthfully, many preschoolers don’t yet have a firm grasp of where “real” ends and “fantasy” begins. These tall tails are usually just a way to express what they wish would have or will happen. When you find your child spouting off a tall tale you have two choices. You can either say “Is that so?” And leave it at that. Or you can help them elaborate by asking them questions and giving suggestions. Why not make a game out of it by taking turns adding to the story. This is a great way to help children exercise their imagination and practice pretending. It will also provide hours of great fun as children love spending time with mom and dad and they really love having control of the story and how it plays out. You will be amazed at how creative your little ones story can become.

The lie to avoid consequence

The second type of lie is the one that we, as parents, especially dread. It is the lie that is told to get what they want or avoid something that they don’t want. A common reason is obviously to avoid punishment, such as in my sons case. Depending on the age of your child there are important factors to consider when doling out consequences of lying and teaching children how to tell the truth. Preschool age children, around the ages of three to five, as I said earlier, do not necessarily understand the difference between a lie and the truth. When your child says that they “Didn’t hit sissy” when sissy clearly has a hand print on her back…ahem, I am familiar with this scenario, Your child could really mean that they wish that they didn’t hit sissy. They are not really mature enough to even realize that lying is wrong, which is why a child sees no problem in fibbing to get something that they want. We, as parents need to keep this in mind when reacting to our children lie. While it may be tempting to scold, discipline or even shout when we catch our child lying, cease and desist, because all that will do is reinforce the belief that they have to lie in order to avoid punishment. Instead make a promise to your child that, no matter what, if they tell the truth, you will not get angry. Also be sure to make it clear that even if they tell a lie or behave badly, that you still love them, you just do not like the behavior. Sometimes children feel that if they do something wrong they must lie because if mommy finds out “she won’t love me anymore.” And never, EVER, not matter how angry you are, EVER tell your child you hate them or that you don’t love them. These types of statements can cause the problem to worsen, because the child will feel the need to lie in order to gain your approval or “love.” At the preschool age the main things you can do are to letting your child know how happy it makes you when they tell the truth, make sure they know that if they tell the truth they will not get yelled at or punished and explain to them the basics of truth telling, and how not telling the truth makes it hard for people to trust you.

Child crossing fingers behind back

Practice what you preach

One last thing to keep in mind is that children are ALWAYS listening. You may have even encouraged you child to tell a “white lie,” such as telling them to tell grandma how yummy her not-so-yummy  brownies are. Children take everything very literally and do not understand what a “white lie” is. Even if you attempt to explain it, it will just confuse them more. To children, a lie is a lie, and if they see mommy not telling the truth, then why should they? So make a conscious effort to be honest, even if it  may be a little embarrassing. I know that this is going to be the hardest part for me, as I have told many a white lie. So often, in fact that it is almost a habit.  Oops! I guess it is for the best, though. All the lessons in the world about truth telling and honesty do not measure up to what your child will learn simply by observing you. Children learn by example, and it is our job to set a good one. And hey, maybe if grandma finally knows the truth, we can stop feeding her poor dog those brownies!

You won’t believe this picture!!!!

11 Mar

Wanna see an AMAZING picture?!?

Go to my Top Momma URL and vote for my picture or give me a referral PLEASE!!

http://www.topmomma.com/mommas/referal/2784

Go ahead, Click It…Do it right NOW! You know your are curious..What could this amazing, daring, unbelievable picture possibly be?? You will have to click to find out!!

YOU WON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES!!!

You have to click it right NOW!!

Time is running out and soon it will be gone!!

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR IT!!

P.S-If you didn’t vote then you are missing out…BIG TIME!!

How to look hot for less this Spring? PLUS- You could be featured here!

9 Mar

♥You know you LOVE a good sale, Ladies!♥

Adorable Cardigan and Purse for only 25$!!

**BUY NOW** @ www.blnts.com

No Credit Card? No Problem! Bluenotes Online also accepts Interac! How cool is that? Pay with you debit card straight from your bank account!

Striped Cardigan from Bluenotes

Pink and Grey Striped Button Cardie with Epaulets *ONLY 15$*

Bluenotes Oversized brown slouchy hobo bag

Large Brown Slouchy Hobo Bag *ONLY 10$*


I couldn’t resist snatching up this adorable striped cardie, I love the preppy look of it and the sleeves can be worn down or they roll up and fasten with a button! And we all know that every girl needs a cute hobo bag, they go with everything!! Can’t wait to rock my floral dresses this spring with my leather woven brown belt and hobo! Plus I can fit EVERYTHING inside of it, even my 18 month old daughter!!

The grand total for these two items, including taxes AND shipping was just under 40$, that’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me:)


Want to see your face posted here ALL WEEK?

Enter your Outfit Of the Week and get your face and blog featured FREE for a week!

Each week I will be posting an outfit of the week. This will simply be something I own, I have saw on someone, found online, saw in a store or put together myself. It may also be YOUR OUTFIT! Wanna be featured on Moonstruck Mama for a FULL WEEK? Want your face, your blog link and info posted for all to see? Simply email me a full body shot of you (or someone you know) rockin your favourite outfit and you could be chosen to appear as a STICKY post for the week! Be sure to include you name, email, blog URL, age and location and send the picture as an attatchment. Emails without contact info will be deleted. Images become property of Moonstruck Mama and will not be returned. This could be you!

**Outfit of the Week**

 

Floral long sleeve dress with leather belt and sunglasses

Flouncy floral dress with a brown woven leather belt and aviators=So CHIC!

I love this adorable flowy floral printed frock with 3/4 length sleeves, cinched at the waist with a great brown leather belt. Can’t forget the shades of course!! Throw on a cute jean jacket and some flat boots for a cute and casual spring day or a black leather motocycle jacket and some heels for night. Accessorize with some big chunky wooden bangles or beads, a pink lip and a oversize bag (like my hobo above!) and your good to go!

Check Out What The Hubz Got Me!!

HUGE HAUL: Apple Bottoms by Nelly & MORE!

I ♥ Being Spoiled!

BTW- My camera isn’t working that’s why I posted the actual pictures from the sites, etc. He came home with three huge bags of stuff, doesn’t he have great taste? £Øν€ my boo so much♥ (Wonder what he is sucking up for…Hope he wasn’t a bad boy! haha)

Apple Bottom Shirts

  • Deep V neck Gold Script Tee (in white, hot pink, yellow, purple)
  • Deep V neck Scripted Tee with side Ruching and Adjustable waist Tie (in Black, Turquoise, and red)

White and Gold Script Apple Bottoms V neck Tee

Apple bottom black and gold script baby tee

Apple Bottom Jeans:

  • Dark Blue Denim Apple Bottom Skinny Jeans, Apple Pockets with Gold Detail
  • Grey Apple Bottom Skinny Jeans with apple pockets and gold detail

Apple Bottoms Dark Wash Denim Skinny Jeans

Grey Apple Bottom Stretch Skinny Jeans

Apple Bottom Black Maxi Dress with cutout back

Can’t wait to rock this at the beach!!

Apple Bottoms Black Maxi Dress with Gold Scipt

Super Cute Maxi!

Apple Bottoms Black Maxi Dress with Gold Scipt Open Back 

Sexy Back!

Love this stuff as much as I do? Head on over to the official Apple Bottoms website and snag your own fab gear!!

Moving on..I’m so stoked for the end of the month, the fiancee is taking me to see Nelly live in concert! Definitely gonna be sporting head to toe Apple Bottom and a band aid on my cheek! Thanks Babe!


Nelly XXL

To see if Nelly will be playing in a city near you, check out his Official Site at Nelly.net!! You will find music, videos, pics, bio and tour info. Also check: Nellyuk.com

•Oh yeah, and I also grabbed these jewelry making kits for just 19.99$ each because I thought they were really neat and cute! Accessorizing ain’t cheap so instead of paying 20 bucks for one necklace, I got two of these kits that make two necklaces, 2 bracelets and two sets of earring each, and they all go together so you can swap them day to day!•

The first kit I got is called Rose Light and the other is Silver Mist:

Crystazzi Jewellry Making Kit in RoseCrystazzi Jewellry Making Kit in Silver Mist

I will post the finished products once I finish them.

Now if only I could find the time to make them!

Please come back soon…


Want to lose 20LBS by the summer? Here’s How

8 Mar

Are you tired of hiding behind a beach towel?

Join my on my weight loss journey and get bikini ready before June!

GO ON NOW, CLICK ON THE “GET FIT” TAB AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE FOR THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MY HEALTH AND FITNESS JOURNEY.

You will find a detailed guide to my entire exercise regime including strength training, cardio, workout equipment and gear and much more. Join me on my journey to a bangin’ bikini bod NOW! Put on your workout clothes and break a sweat with me!! Your body will thank you:)

**COMING SOON: My Nutrition and Diet Guide..The FULL Scoop on my journey to eating healthy and cutting out the junk…It ain’t an easy one! Including my meal plans, ideal calorie and nutrient goals, portion control, recipes and more!!

Red "no excuses" sign with black font

Fraud, weight loss and Everything in between!

6 Mar

So it has been a while since my last post, mainly because the hubby has been working full time and I have been chasing the kids around and doing all the errands by myself. But some odd happenings have taken place during my hiatus. I have two different things I want to share with you, starting with the crappy one and saving the best for last! Okay, so, I posted an ad on good ol’ Kijiji to try to get rid of some off the junk accumulating in my small place. One of the ads I posted was for a bicycle that we had bought for my son last Easter. It was pretty cool, from Fisher Price, and converted from a Tricycle to a two wheeler bicycle. Not to mention we payed about 150$ for it and it was only driven like three times. So anyways I posted an add for it asking for 50$. Well the next day I got a reply from a man saying he was interested in purchasing it and that he hoped to have a “good business relationship” with me…Okaaaaayy…

So I agreed to sell it thinking that he lived in my city, as I had posted the ad on my local kijiji site for my town. However,h e told me that he lived in Ontario and that he was going to send me a money order. I said ok, I figured that was how things were done when you are buying something from another province. He told me that he would send it via UPS and when i received the money order i was to deduct the asking price for the bike then wire transfer the remaining funds through Western Union to his “shipper”. Now things started to sound a bit sketchy but I figured that he had done this before and that it was normal because he spoke very professional, although he did keep emphasizing that i send the fund as soon as i received them.So I agreed to do so, thinking that he would only be sending a little bit of extra money, enough to cover the shipping, although now that I think back I realize that it made no sense, and why wouldn’t he send the money to his shipper himself, as opposed to trusting a stranger to do so.

After he emailed me the address of his shipper and things got even weirder because I noticed his shipper’s name was Emmanuel something rather and his address was in Tokpa, Benin…Ummmm okay…that is no where near New Brunswick, where I live OR Ontario, where the buyer supposedly lived. Yet again, I gave him the benefit of a doubt. Fast forward a few days I received an envelope delivered through UPS and the first thing I noticed was the sender’s name, which said Victor Hupe…Alarm bell went of in my head because the person I was speaking to initially claimed his name was Joseph Poole, I went onto Joseph’s email account profile to see if I could put to and two together but surprise surprise..He had NO profile info or pictures, nothing…hmmm. So I called my hubby and told him he was going to have to drive me to the bank to cash it…Then I opened it and that’s when the alarm in my head started BLARING.

The amount the money order was for was 2500.00$!!! Which is conveniently that maximum amount you can send via a money order…So I went on Google and type in Bank of Montreal Money Orders and guess what I found? Pages upon pages of stories just like mine, about people that had been send funds and asked to transfer them to a shipper or back to the sender, etc and then it turning out to be a scam and they end up having to pay their bank back the money, and even facing criminal charges.The scenarios were identical to mine, right down to the dollar amount. Once I knew for certain tat it was a scam things immediately started jumping out to me as tell tale signs something shady was up. Like the fact that the address of the sender was in Oshawa, Ontario, yet the money order was from a Bank of Montreal in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Now, you have to understand the consequences that would have happened if I had not trusted my gut instinct. I get ALL my income directly deposited into my account, money for my rent, groceries, EVERYTHING. If I would have cashed that, I would have been forced to pay back that 2500$. My monthly income isn’t even 2500$, so as soon as my money was deposited, the bank would have taken it all. I wouldn’t have been able to pay my rent, feed my children, I would have probably got evicted for not paying the rent. Not to mention my bank could have closed my account or even contacted the police for fraud. All this could have happened if I hadn’t typed those words into Google and found out what I did. I emailed the guy back immediately to tell him that I WOULD NOT be sending his funds to his shipper and that if he was looking for his funds that he should contact my local police department because that was where they were. And, because I was so pissed I decided to play with him a bit, so I told him that there was an investigation underway as a result of his attempted fraud, which, by the way, I said was a federal offense and would result in incarceration. And for good measure I told him that I hoped that he hadn’t done so from his own personal computer because they are tracing his IP address as we speak, not to mention the addresses and names he provided. Funny that he never replied, he had always replied very quickly when he thought we had a deal…Hmmm..

Looking back I realize why I would appear as a good target. He was counting on me being a young girl, someone that would be very naive and easy to convince and build trust with. What he didn’t count on was me having a good head on my shoulders and a strong intuition. I saved all conversations and contact in case anything comes out of it, however, sadly the police don’t actually catch these scammer’s because of the simple fact that the internet allows you to be nearly anonymous. It takes all of five minutes to create an email address, and I have found out the most of the time the address of these “shippers” ends up being a hotel or a business, not an actual person, making them all the more difficult to track. These scammer’s are usually from underdeveloped or far flung countries. So while the chances of them being caught and convicted are slim to none, there are things that you can do to avoid a similar fate.

READ THEM, LEARN THEM AND LIVE BY THEM…SERIOUSLY! People always believe that internet scams won’t happen to them or that they cant be fool, but the truth is that some of these scams and fake documents are so well done that even bank tellers can’t tell, and by the time they realize what has happened it is often already too late…I was almost one of those people!!

  • NEVER give out personal or financial information of any kind unless you are actually buying something from a business or person that you know or trust and you are POSITIVE that it is a legit source.
  • If you must accept another form of payment ask to be a sent a cashier’s check for the exact amount and do not ship the items until the funds clear.
  • When you can, pay with a credit card, that way you can dispute the charges if the company/person does not deliver what they have agreed to.
  • Do not fall for offers of easy or free money…You know the old saying, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Do not let company’s pressure you or try to tell you it is a limited time offer or you must respond immediately. A real company will give you time to make you decision and will give you information in writing if you request it.
  • Get a phone number and physical address in case things go bad during a transaction, even better, call the number before you do anything to be sure it is the real number. A real company/business/person will understand and have no problem with it. If you are still unsure, contact the Better Business Bureau for confirmation.
  • Do not deposit anything into your account until you have the bank verify that it is legit. Also, do not agree to forward any funds to ANYONE. Tell them to send the money to their shipper themselves (which is what a legit person or business would do in the first place, not trust a perfect stranger with their money).
  • Do not enter personal or banking info on a public computer. There are ways for people to access or obtain it after you are logged off.
  • You don’t have to wait long to use the money, but that doesn’t mean the check is good. Under federal law, banks have to make the funds you deposit available quickly – usually within one to five days, depending on the type of check. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn’t mean the check is good, even if it’s a cashier’s check. It can take weeks for the forgery to be discovered and the check to bounce.

REMEMBER-YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS THAT YOU DEPOSIT.EVEN IF YOU ARE A VICTIM AND WERE UNAWARE OF IT BEING A FRAUD, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THE POLICE OR BAN WILL BELIEVE YOU AND IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND FORCED TO PAY THE FUNDS BACK. SOMEONE HAS TO PAY AND IT IS VERY LIKELY THAT IT WILL BE YOU!!

Now that I am done my lecture it is time for the good news!!! As I posted on my last post, I have decided to revamp my lifestyle and overhaul my food and exercise (or lack of) habits. So after browsing around for different weight loss and dieting sights, I stumbled across SparkPeople.com, the answer to my prayers. You see, I used to be the kind of girl that could eat anything I wanted and never gain a pound. However, this is mainly because I was a drug addict and only weighed 100lbs. Back when I was in middle school, I was a perfectly healthy size 7, at the time I hated it because I always had bigger thighs and hips and what the boys used to smack and call a “ghetto booty”. And while I liked the attention it garnered, at the same time I was always jealous of my girlfriends stick thin figures. So when I started using drugs the weight started literally falling off, and I won’t lie, at first i thought it was great. But that didn’t last long because soon I was so skinny you could count my ribs. And it was not a healthy skinny, it was a gaunt, sunken, skeletal skinny.I tried to eat anything and everything to gain the weight back, but it was pointless because I was still using drugs. Even after my first child, my son, even though I was clean during my pregnancy, I started using again not long after his birth so I lost the weight almost immediately. You couldn’t even tell I just had a baby.

With my daughter on the other hand, I was put on methadone and was clean for the duration of my pregnancy and she is now 18 months old and I am still clean to this day!! Now while that is fantastic and I couldn’t be happier, the one thing that I am not overly happy about is the weight I have gained back, and them some…Now I am no where near obese, not even overweight really, I, like the rest of the planet would just like to lose a few pounds and get rid of the tummy bulge, love handles and the extra few inches. So my current weight is 148lbs while my height is 168 cm. This puts me at a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 27, which is just barely into the overweight category, but no where near the obese one. So in order to bring myself back down to my ideal range for my height, I would like to lose about 20ls. My goal is to weigh 125 lbs by July 1st/2011.

This is where SparkPeople comes in. Sparkpeople is an amazing site that is developed to help you set and reach your health and weight loss goals. It does this in many ways, including allowing you to set and track goals, by providing you with a personalized meal plan (or a SparkDiet), a food tracker (to track your calories and water consumption among many other things), a personalized strength and cardio workout and fitness tracker to track your exercise. Along with my main goal I have also set many smaller goals for myself, such as drink more water, exercise three days a week for 40 minutes each, complete 30 minutes of cardio three times a day, and get outside at least once a day. Now i have only been following Sparkpeople program for two weeks but I already feel so much better and my hubby swears that my tummy is flatter and my muscles are more defined. I don’t know if its a crock of bull or not but I like it!!

My exercise program consists of a variety of different strength and resistance, as well as pilates inspired moves. I use a resistance band for some of them, as well as 5lb weights and ankle weights. For cardio I jump rope as well as doing kickboxing videos, dancing, and whatever other cardio seems fun and interesting to me at the time. I do my workouts on Tues, Thurs, and Saturday, as well as a Sunday workout that focuses just on my target areas (my cores, thighs, and hips). I usually do my cardio immediately after. As far as diets go, I am not following the Sparkdiet, I am using it as a guide. I am simple trying to eat healthier, stay in my daily calorie range of 1200-1500, chose high protein foods to fill me up and give me energy, and drink a lot of water. I do not deprive myself in any way, I actually get to have three snacks per day!! I track every single thing I consume in my food tracker to ensure I am on track. I also track my fitness, and so far I have 276 fitness minutes in!!! Not to bad if I must say so!

Another site I am using to help me out is www.Fatloser.com. I know i know, it sounds pretty sick, but it actually a great site for keeping you motivated. It is a website where you are coached by world renowned expert Steve Siebold that is centered around developing “mental toughness”, which is necessary to stick to any plan and achieve any goal, especially once as big as overhauling your whole fitness and health style. Fatloser‘s makes you hold yourself accountable and forces you to accept responsibility for how you gained weight in the first place.  It gives you the tools necessary to develop a whole new relationship with food and gives you the strength you need when your old habits try to rear their ugly head. How it works is simple: You sign up for a FREE account and each day you are given a new video to watch with questions to answer. It sounds boring but it is actually something i look forward to every day because it allows to me to take my fitness and food journey one day at a time, which makes it much easier to stick to. So if you want to lose weight, get in shape or just get a bit healthier then hurry on over to Sparkpeople and FatLoser and sign up asap. Did I mention they are both absolutely free!! There is no excuse so what are you waiting for, you have nothing to lose, well except the weight:)

COMING IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS...

***I will be posting my complete diet and workout information including my general meal plan, my complete strength and cardio program, including a schedule of when and what exercises I am doing, as well as my goals and challenges that I am currently doing, along with a detailed list of all the equipment I am using, the fitness videos and books I am following and the resources I am using. I will also begin posting a healthy, low cal recipe every week that I have tried and enjoyed!! Come back soon for the latest progress report and info on my weight loss/tone up journey to a bangin’ bikini bod!! See you soon!!***

“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!” -Author Unknown