This is me...

This is me...
I'm having a mom moment....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quick Update

I am still alive, and I WILL be writing real posts again very soon!!

I am in Alabama because my dad had triple bypass surgery this morning.  It all went well, but that is why I haven't posted in a while. 

In my head, there is an entire post about the mess that the 3 and 4 year made when I opted to go back to bed after taking the two oldest to school one morning instead of staying up and watching them, but I haven't had a chance to write it yet (and it will have pictures!!) And because of the trip from hell that I had to get here for my dad's surgery, there is a whole other post coming about that.  So just hang in there -- there is good stuff coming! 

Just think of this post as a "Coming Attractions" post.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Hard Out There For A Pimp

Okay.  This is NOT the post that I wanted to write today -- what with all the Facebook changes to complain about, and the fact that it is FINALLY Fall TV Premiere Week, but as promised, here is my post about other pages, blogs, and sites you might want to check out!  Not nearly as many of you responded to my request to be included here, so if you were left out, please feel free to pimp yourself in the comments.  If you had requested to be included, but I didn't include you, then I obviously did not receive your request because the only pages, links, etc. that I left out were those that wanted me to promote their books about cleaning or shiny-happy-strategies of how to be a Stepford Parent without Prozac (THOSE people obviously have not read my blog), or place a permanent ad banner, etc.  (Just out of curiosity, how vehemently opposed to advertising would you guys be??  I have a legitimate offer from


Red Vines and Red Wine  -- A mommy blogger whose son is on the spectrum.  Her son is what she calls "Invisibly Autistic" and he seems just like other kids until he doesn't.  I have gained a much better insight into the autistic spectrum through reading her blogs.  Her language is colorful, but she offers awesome insight on living with her son in the real world.

Dad V. Autism -- Hubby to Red Vines and Red Wine.  Here is a portion of his "About" page that should give you a better idea of what he is like:  " I have written lots of blogs, usually about the Detroit Lions or my latest project (book, movie, tree house, etc), but I have never really written about my son, Noah.  My wife writes about him often. She does the research. She is an incredible advocate.  Me? I blunder on learning from her predigested research and only occasionally doing my own when a particularly puzzling problem arises. I take care of the bills, kill the spiders, get the stuff off the top shelves, take out the garbage, do the dishes, occasionally do the laundry and try to be as understanding as possible with both Noah and the other two offspring. Noah is 8, Rylee is 12, and Dane is 20...each one has been their own set of peculiar, frustrating and humbling challenges." 
I love getting both of their takes on things!

Down Wit Dat -- Mother of twins, one has Downs, and one does not.  Here is a portion of her "About" page that should help you understand what her blog is like: 
"The time since their birth has been a blur. In between all the feedings, diaper changes and doctors appointments I have tried to network... tried to find DS resources that meet our needs. I may be a nurse, but this is far from my specialty. There are many parenting blogs out there and there are many DS related blogs as well.  And, no offense, but a lot of them depress the hell out of me.  Many are scrapbooks of family life, a few have a fragment of useful information here and there. There are twin stories, but of identical or fraternal twins where both children are affected. Some are stories of families that adopt more DS children from around the world. They are over the top positive and often mention what a gift from the creator this is.  Many of these blogs have book deals in the works.  This is not one of those blogs.  My name is Jen and I am the mother of a son with Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome. I am also the mother of twins. I am not religious, I do not wish to adopt more children with his disorder, nor am I in denial. I think this f☠cking sucks. There, I said it. (I also swear like a pirate hooker, which you will learn as time goes on)."


Hammock Tracks -- Well written blog that offers recipes along with her thoughts and stories about homeschooling.  This is the blurb from her site:  "Hammock - an elevated tract of land rising above the general level of a marsh region. Or in other words, where we call home. This is a record of our life, or the "tracks" we leave there. We are the parents of four children. We home school and do other crazy things like raise rabbits, garden, fish, hunt and spend a lot of time together. Just as animals leave tracks in the marsh near our home, we leave tracks here for you to read and hopefully enjoy."

The Third Boob -- Okay, these ladies are the ones who are re-posting my "Fundraisers SUCK" post (which should happen this Wednesday, September 28th).  Normally, they have informative posts with recipes and motherhood tips, and usually they are presented in a humorous way so that I don't feel like my mother is standing over me telling me what to do like when I was 5.  But you absolutely HAVE to go back and read the post about how the blog got its name -- I laughed out loud. 


Message With A Bottle -- Here is the blurb from this daddy blogger's site:  "On May 19th, 2010 I quit my job to be a stay-at-home, freelancer-for-hire and user-of-many-hyphens dad. As a reminder of everything going on with my writing, I leave Post-It Notes around my office so I don't forget deadlines, meetings and the fact my bank account is nearly empty (it's a sick motivational tool--the yearning to eat).  I decided to incorporate those same organizational principles while watching my son.  These are notes to remind myself what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do when raising a child."  If that doesn't make you want to read it, I don't know what will.  It simply rocks.

Hyperbole and a Half -- Allie Brosh is like my guru.  I credit her and her blog as the reason I started my blog.  I fall forever short of the kind of humor that she is able to produce with her awesome stories and MS Paint illustrations, but someday I want to be as funny as her.  Or at least come close.  On a bad, bad, day in my life, I can put on the holey, funky, sweatshirt from college that I refuse to get rid of, make a large pot of coffee and sit with my laptop and read her old posts to make me literally "Laugh Out Loud." 

Moms Who Drink And Swear -- Nikki, although I do not always agree with her, is one of those honest mom bloggers that tell it like it is.  Here is blurb from her "About" page on her blog:  "This momma's on the run! Running my mouth, that is.  Real moms get frustrated. We say and do things that we regret. We are often running in 100 different directions, having no time to shower, rarely get to go to the bathroom without an uninvited guest or talk on the phone without getting barked at by a needy kid. Sometimes it sucks. PERIOD.  The Moms who drink and swear© blog is raw, honest, and often completely inappropriate. Perfect parenting doesn't exist. We just keep trying and in the process we all just want to feel like we aren't alone in this crazy thing.  I put on my bitch pants and say the stuff we all think at one time or another because I choose to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Writing it all out helps me figure it all out, sometimes. I hope it gives you comfort, information and giggles.  I write both from the heart and my experience as a mental health professional and a parent of two nutjob kids who provide me with more material for this nonsense than I could ever use.  This is not a site for the humorless or serious type mom. Pearl clutching, perfect parents....don't say I didn't warn you.  OUR MISSION: To laugh, love and support our families and communities through socialization, education, support systems and philanthropy."

And NOT a blog, but still amazing is Chef Jeff.  He has written an amazing cookbook that is completely on-line and has given me a link for you guys to preview it FOR FREE!!!  Go to DinneRevolution and register.  Be sure to provide him with the feedback he has asked for!!  This cookbook is full of recipes that contain less than 10 ingredients and are easy to make and are family friendly -- even for MY kids. 

So, show these bloggers some love and tell them where you heard about them.  Who knows, maybe they will return the favor!  If you are a blogger, or if you have an etsy shop, or if you own a business, etc. then pimp yourself in the comments.  And now, go and pimp MY blog out to all of your friends, family, and random strangers on the street. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sad Day

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

This morning, my dear friend's 10 year old son, Evan, passed away from Stage 4 neuroblastoma that he has been fighting for half of his young life.  I will be hugging my kids extra tight tonight and praying for Melissa, Andy, and Adam. Heaven welcomed Evan early this morning with open arms. His pain and suffering are over and I am so thankful for that. But while the angels rejoice at his homecoming, my sweet friend and her family are left with a void that can never be filled. My heart breaks for her. This family needs our prayers today, tomorrow, and in the days & weeks to come. May the loving arms of God envelop them and carry them through the difficult days ahead.

The loss of a child is a special kind of grief that few understand and no one should ever know.  Join me in praying for ALL of the families who are painfully aware of Childhood Cancer everyday, and honor them by donating to research to find a cure. 

Also, check out these AWESOME ladies:

As someone who clings to my own long locks like a security blanket, and cries every couple of years as I cut it to donate, I applaud them for going bald on purpose.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Times, They Are A-Changing....

Dear children of this house,

Your world is about to change.  Drastically.

No longer will you be allowed to play off the exhaustion of your mother to avoid your homework, your chores, your dinner, or your bedtime.  I have called in reinforcements, and after years of semi-patiently waiting, your father has finally been moved to 1st shift. 

So when you get home from school on Monday, be prepared.  Be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.  And be prepared to change and adapt.  Quickly.  This will be key to your survival.

Your father has not been worn down by the past 3 unrelenting years of your antics.  He will not be amused by your "art projects" that involve no fewer than 243 individual pieces of paper that you tore out of the notebook we literally bought you last month to use for school.  Nor will he find it endearing when you all pitch a fit and whine and ask for something different for dinner despite the fact that I am literally in the process of putting food on your plates.  When the four of you cover the entire floor of the den with blocks and Lego's and other random crap and fight over who gets to watch what on the TV, he will not just roll his eyes and sigh and walk away to the sanctuary of our bedroom and leave you to it.  When you get out of the tub or shower soaking wet without a thought to the towel that I thoughtfully placed next to the shower door, he will not just ignore the wet carpet left in your wake as you streak through the house. 

Your back-talk, bad attitudes, whining, fighting and choruses of "Not Fair's" will not be met with the cheery sarcasm that you are accustomed to from me -- your dad will not put up with any of that crap.  Back-talk and whining are as much of your daily routine as eating and sleeping, so this will take some getting used to.  You should probably just go ahead and prepare yourselves to be stripped of privileges like video game time, TV time, desserts, and play dates. 

Losing the remote for hours or days on end will no longer be tolerated -- in fact, don't even worry about this one.  It won't even be possible for you to lose the remote because your father is not going to let you even touch the remote. 

If your dad sees you flood the bathroom; or spill an entire jumbo-sized box of cereal; or write on a wall, a chair, a table, or ANYTHING other than paper, he won't take a picture and post it on Facebook like I would.  No, there will most likely be a little yelling, followed by a lecture, and possibly a spanking involved, depending upon the severity of the damage you caused.  And he will make you clean it up. 

When your dad tells you to do your homework, you had best just sit down and do it.  Getting up 14 times in a half an hour, whining that you need a break, that you're hungry or thirsty, etc. will carry little weight with him.  You are not writing a thesis.  You have never had a homework assignment that SHOULD have taken more than an hour to complete, and your dad will expect you to sit down and do it.  Period.  No discussion.

At bedtime, your dad will tell you to brush your teeth and go to bed just like I do now.  However, he will not allow you to take up to 30 minutes to brush your teeth and get into the bed only to endure your French farce-like behavior where you bed-hop for at least another half hour.  If you get up after he puts you down for the night, you had better really need to pee or be reporting a life-threatening situation.  This is a very important adjustment for you to all make.  Your dad will need to get up no later than 4:30 in the morning to get to work for his new shift, and he will be going to bed shortly after you do.  It would not be wise for you to keep him up.  Not wise at all.

I hope that you are listening to this.  I hope that you heed these warnings I am giving you.  I hope that your survival instincts kick in and you adapt to this new environment.  Because although I love you all very much, you will not get much sympathy from me if you fail adjust your behavior.  When your dad is reading you the riot act, I will be nodding in agreement behind him.  I've tried for years to get you to behave like normal kids with limited success, now I am bringing in the big guns and you are on your own.

Your Overworked Mom

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You've Got A Friend In Me

It has been a weird kind of week.  I've been kind of down and depressed and not my normal snarky, sarcastic self at all.  I supposedly "got" the writing gig that I went out for last month, but it is an "as needed" kind of thing, and apparently I have not been needed yet.  Add to that the back-to-school madness, the fund raising insanity, the job hunt to get back closer to Alabama and my funk from a few weeks ago has not dissipated.  It has more like fermented into a grand funk. I've blamed everything from the weather to the absence of the beloved nicotine, but the truth is that whatever the root cause is, I've been off my game.

Last night, I made a Starbucks run around 9:00 because my mother-in-law is here and she love Starbucks and is willing to buy me one too as long as I go and get her one.  While I was there in line, in walks this girl? Woman?  I couldn't really tell which would be appropriate since it appeared that she was wearing the entire Walgreen's cosmetic department on her face, but I could definitely tell that she was female.  Her hair made her appear a good 6 inches taller than her thigh-high black leather pirate boots could on their own, and she was wearing a corset and a very short mini skirt.  Keep in mind, this was Tuesday night, and we were no where near a club of any kind -- we were in the corner shop of a Kroger strip mall.  I looked at her, paid for my coffees and left.  I didn't even raise my eyebrows at her or make any snarky comments in my head like I normally would have like "Excuse me, but your dignity seems to have fallen off somewhere; did you perhaps leave it at home with your self respect?"  Nothing.  So after I got in the car, it struck me that I had not so much shown restraint, as I had just not really had any 'snark' to restrain.  So in an attempt to rectify my apathy, I pulled up Facebook on my phone and typed out a status about her outfit:  "If you're wearing a ton of makeup, a corset top, a mini-skirt, and thigh-high pirate boots at 9:00 on a Tuesday, in Starbucks, I'm just gonna go ahead and assume you're a hooker."

I felt a little better.  So I decided to come home and work on blog stuff.  Let's face it, I have been a major slacker when it comes to my blog lately.  I'm posting once a week or so, and usually its because something has effected me so deeply on an emotional level that I just need to talk about it (ie; 9/11, my friend's son battling cancer, etc.).  When I checked email for the blog I half expected there to be another email from that Tara person from last Spring chastising me for not being funny enough.  There wasn't by the way, just a bunch of "Wow you have a great blog!  Let us advertise on it and we'll pay you 0.0005% of the money we make!" emails, a couple of "Hey could you tell your readers to follow MY blog?" emails, and a request from the awesome ladies at The Third Boob wanting to repost my "Fundraisers SUCK" post.  (Which I gladly agreed to -- I'll let y'all know when that's gonna happen as soon as I know!) 

I also got several emails from people asking me to promote their books, websites, or products. Some of these are things that I think that at least some of you may be interested in, and I may pass them along. Others....not so much.  I have no problem pimping out other blogs, sites, products, etc. if I think that they are worth my time and yours -- either because they are useful, informative, funny or all of the above -- but I will not promote someone just because they are following me.  This isn't middle school. 

So let's establish some guidelines:

Some random person who creeps up on me and says "Hey, I'm following your blog now, so will you tell your readers to come read my blog???!"  Yeah, it probably ain't gonna happen.  Not to mention that these people have usually written 2 posts and the first one was all about how they are going to start blogging.  I will, however, make fun of them.....keep that in mind before you ask me to pimp your blog. 

I do not promote political agendas on my blog unless they are of my own design, so don't ask me to add a link to the Tea Party, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or any other party unless it is an ACTUAL party and not a political group.  I am a registered voter -- I am registered as INDEPENDENT -- not as a member of the Independent Party. 

Also, if you are a marketer of products for babies, children, mothers, or families that believes in the whole "Donna Reed" image of what family life is all about, you probably should have read my blog before you asked me to promote your website/blog/book/magazine/product.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the whole "Leave it to Beaver" IDEAL -- but truth is, most families are less "Norman Rockwell" and more "Malcolm in the Middle."  (I channel Lois on a daily basis and am proud to say that I have even been compared to her.)

After checking all those emails, I decided that often times the best way to get out of a funk is to do something nice for someone else.  So today (and possibly tomorrow), my task is going to be to sift through all of these requests and figure out if any of them have merit.  Barring some freak thing that my children may do (and we all know that this is a real possibility) my next post will be all about these other blogs, products, books, and websites that I think you guys might be interested in. 

So if you WANTED to ask me to pimp for you but haven't gotten up the nerve yet, DO IT.  Do it today. Do it RIGHT NOW.  If it goes well, I may do this type of thing once a month, or once a quarter, or once a year -- whatever works.

“We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them” -- Thucydides

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Will Never Forget

The attacks of September 11, 2001, reshaped not only our physical landscape, but also the face of the nation and the course of history. Our lives and the lives of generations to come -- not just in New York or Washington, D.C. or the United States, but around the globe -- were changed forever.

The date, September 11, (which also happens to be both my husband's and my father's birthdays) will for me, forever evoke recollections of unimaginable tragedy.  The memories from that day conjure unbelievable images of lives callously lost and brutally cut short and of unspeakable horror and sorrow that were seared into the hearts and minds of all Americans.  Many have compared it to Pearl Harbor, and I believe that the effect the events of September 11, 2001 had on us as a nation are very similar -- we wept as a nation united by our love of this great country and ignored the things that had separated us like race, politics, and religion.  We were all Americans.  But there was a glaring difference between the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1945 and the attacks on 9/11/2001.  Advances in technology, media and communication, meant that we all saw the horror with our own eyes.

Ten years ago, I was a first time mom, pregnant with my oldest, living in Georgia just north of Atlanta, and running late to my ultrasound appointment on that Tuesday morning.  My husband was coming from work and was meeting me there.   At about 10 minutes until 9:00, I was about to get onto I-85, heading towards Atlanta, when my husband called my cell phone and told me to change my radio station from the classic rock that I always listened to and find a news station because a plane had just hit the World Trade Center in New York.  I peppered him with questions as I held the phone with my shoulder, held my coffee in my left hand, fiddled with the radio buttons with my right hand, and drove. 

"Oh my god. Was it on purpose or on accident?!"
"I don't know it just happened."
"Was it a big plane or a little plane?!"
"I don't know.  It literally JUST happened."
"Where on the tower did it hit?  Like, at the top?"
"Sweetie, I am in my car.  I did not see it.  Let me let you go so I can listen."

I later learned that the plane that had hit the North Tower at 8:46 was American Airlines, Flight 11, and had taken off from Boston that morning headed to L.A.  By the time we had signed in at the doctor's office, the second plane, United Flight 175, also out of Boston, and headed for L.A. had hit the South Tower.  We learned while waiting in that office that the planes were not, as was first hoped, small, single engine Cessna, but they were commercial passenger planes full of people.  America was under attack. 

We were still in the doctor's office when the Pentagon was struck by a third plane, that we would later learn was Flight 77 out of Virginia, also bound for L.A.  When that happened, I began frantically trying to call my parents.  I knew that my dad was flying home from Washington, D.C. at some point that week and I couldn't remember when.  I HAD to make sure that my dad was on the ground.  I HAD to know that he was not in Washington.  Most importantly, I HAD to know that he was SAFE.  But the cellular network for the entire country was overloaded.  Calls would not go through.  It was several hours after I got home before I had confirmation that everyone was fine.  But they were.  I was one of the lucky ones who had not lost any friends or family on that day.

But there were other planes missing.

It is important to point out that even though it was apparent that our country was under attack, there were so very many unknown facts.  Add to that the state of shock that everyone was in and you will understand why after my appointment, I went into Atlanta to go to work.  When I reached my office, no one was working.  Everyone was glued to the TV in the conference room, or frantically searching on their computers for information.  The towers had collapsed, Flight 93 out of New Jersey, bound for San Fransisco had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania and the first theories about other possible targets began to emerge.  Atlanta was on several of those lists.  Without permission and without even asking, I gathered my things and left the office.  My house wasn't but about 20 miles north of where I was in Norcross, but it was 20 miles farther from Atlanta than I was now, and I was getting as far away from any possible target as I could.  I went home to my husband and sat for the next 2 days transfixed in front of the TV watching the replay of the attacks as new footage was discovered, listening to politicians and newscasters speculate and pontificate, and crying.  There was a lot of crying.

There was also anger.  I vividly remember images of people burning the American flag, dancing in the streets, and celebrating this tragedy.  I remember feeling hatred towards them.  I am not proud of that.  But I could not believe that these people -- men, women, and even children -- hated us so much that they would rejoice in the deaths of thousands of innocent people.  Then as the facts of that day came out, I got more and more angry.  I wanted revenge on the people that had planned this attack, those who had funded it, those who had sent 19 men to kill 2,977 people, all but 55 of them (all military personnel at the Pentagon) were civilians.  The victims ranged in age from 2 to 85, and not one of them deserved to die.  In New York alone, an estimated 91,000 police, firefighters and other first responders helped with the search and rescue efforts in the wake of the attacks that day.  On the morning of the attacks, a total of 411 emergency workers who responded to the scene died as they tried to rescue people and fight fires. The New York City Fire Department lost 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics.  The New York City Police Department lost 23 officers.  The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers.  Eight emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private emergency medical services units were killed.  At the pentagon, brave men in uniform ran into literal infernos to pull out victims trapped by the plane and the debris.  Because of these people and their willingness to run into the danger, countless lives were saved.  They were not victims of the attack but rather they chose to risk their lives to save others because it was their job, because they could, because it was simply who they were.  They were heroes.

There were also stories of hope.  Stories of how fate, or circumstances, or divine intervention or pure luck had resulted in survival that the media vigorously reported with the hopes that they could somehow help to counter the sadness that had settled over us as a nation and we seized them and retold them as our own over dinner, over water coolers, over phone lines and emails.  The 18 people who survived in what became known as the miracle of Stairway B, the first responder who survived because he was running late and had to take his 3 year old daughter to pre-school, the chef who was picking up his new glasses instead of prepping his kitchen at the top of the World Trade Center, or  the passengers of Flight 93 who sacrificed themselves and saved countless others at their intended target with 2 little words "Let's roll." 

This morning, when I get on my knees and say my prayers, I will pray for all of those who lost loved ones on that day. I will pray for all of those who still carry the engulfing fear of that deadly day. I will pray for all of us who live our lives in a world that was changed forever.   Everyone should take a few moments of their lives on Sunday to simply remember the tragedy. Whether it is through a moment of silence, prayer or even simply watching the television, all are valid and important in their own way.  And we should  always remember that we were attacked that day ten years ago not for what we do wrong but for what we do right. Remember the spirit of that day -- the day America showed what makes us a great people and a great nation; the day the true character of our nation triumphed over unspeakable evil; the day that freedom and democracy prevailed yet again over oppression and tyranny.

We can never forget 9/11/2001.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fundraisers SUCK

It is fundraising time at my kids' school again.  Crap.  So my kids came in all hyped up from the fundraising kick-off pep rally at school this afternoon ready to take on the world with their little selling kits and product flyers.  I really hated to do it, but I had to crush their little fundraising spirits.  I sat them both down and I taught them something.  The way that the school has represented this fundraiser to my kids, they believe that the world will end if they don't sell at least 10 items and that the prizes are priceless artifacts obtainable only through this contest (when you can buy them by the gross from Oriental Trading Company).  I let them know that at the absolute most, that $12.00 item will earn the school $9.00, that the "rewards" could mostly be bought at the dollar store, and that selling things is VERY hard. (I know, I did it for a living before I had kids.)

Fundraising is absolutely one of the most asinine practices in public schools today in my opinion.  There are 2 flyers -- the first one has food items ranging from the $11.00 Funnel Cake Mix to the $18.00 for 5 Frozen Mini Pizzas.  Then they have plastic cups.  Yes, plastic "tumblers" with regional sports teams on them for $15.00 each.  Then on the front of the fundraising packet is a list, complete with enticing photos, of all of the "rewards" given for selling the items.  If you sell one item you get a plastic lei.  Yep, ONE plastic lei.  If you sell 5 items you get a pair of neon sunglasses AND a plastic lei.  10 items will get you that lei, the sunglasses, AND a plastic LED flying toy.  20 items gets you all of that AND a light-up rubber ring and a rubber digital watch.  It goes on and on like that until you get to the 80 item level where you can get a remote control helicopter (in addition to all of the cheapo plastic crap from the previous levels).  But if you sell 100 items, you get all that AND an electric drum set.  It keeps going up to an iPad.  You have to sell 500 items to get that though.  So just out of curiosity, I did a little research and came up with the following chart and shared it with my kids to get the point across:

If You Sell          Worth A Minimum Of           We'll Give You A Reward Worth A Maximum Of

     1 item                           $11.00                                                                 $0.15
     5 items                         $55.00                                                                 $0.98
   10 items                       $110.00                                                                 $1.46
   20 items                       $220.00                                                                 $2.78
   30 items                       $330.00                                                                 $4.26
   40 items                       $440.00                                                                 $8.97
   50 items                       $550.00                                                                $13.57
   60 items                       $660.00                                                                $19.96
   70 items                       $770.00                                                                $26.33
   80 items                       $880.00                                                                $58.64
  100 items                   $1,100.00                                                               $93.78
  150 items                   $1,650.00                                                               $263.77
  200 items                   $2,200.00                                                               $317.89
  500 items                   $5,500.00                                                               $816.88

Does anyone else see how ridiculous this is??  Even if the cost of the items that they're selling have a profit margin that makes selling them in the first place worth the effort, most people do not want the stuff your kids are selling and will gladly give you a fraction of that cost just to get you to leave them alone. I know I would.  My kids are not going to do it.  I am going to tell them that if they want to raise money for the school, they can collect money and turn it in.  I will call their relatives and say "Hey, it's fundraising time.  Do you want to buy some over-priced crappy food items that you don't really want or give me a $5.00 or $10.00 check per kid made out to the school?"  As far as their "incentive" program, I am going to give my kids $0.15 on the dollar that they raise, and they'll STILL come out better.  And so will the school. 

I get that offering the kids incentives gets them to sell more and that it teaches them that hard work is rewarded, but why don't we give them REAL rewards?  Why don't we sell stuff that people want at prices that make sense AND make money for the school?  I think that teaching the kids the value of a dollar (yes, even at the tender age of 5 or 6), AND letting them raise money for their school would be awesome.  But for now, does anyone want some funnel cake mix for $11.00?