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by Jenna   posted Jan 7 2013 11:25AM
When my hour long on-line search for a sofa table turned up fruitless, I decided to make one.  FUN!  With no experience or plan, I jumped in my car and headed to Lowe’s.  

Because my husband is always supportive of pretty much everything I do, I didn’t share my plans with him.  He would have smiled and said something perfect like “That’s what I love about you…you’ll just make one!”  But all the while, he’d probably be thinking:  “Oh God,
Jenna.  Please don’t do that.”

I picked up some 2x2x6’s for the legs (2 inches x 2 inches x 6 feet) … and cut them in ½.  I got some L brackets and leg brackets, some 1x2 inch trim…AND…to avoid having to use the router to “pretty up” the edges of the sofa table, I bought a step (!) for $10!  Yeah – like for stairs.  It was better wood, cheaper, already rounded, and the PERFECT size!!!  Who know, right?

Always a fan of my own double standards, I laid everything out on the family room floor… an offense I would NEVER let my husband commit…but it was so cold outside this weekend!  I made sure I cut the trim to the proper length (leaving a ½ lip around the edge).  Then I attached the legs & placed the table under the mirror when it will reside – just to make sure it’s the right size.  PERFECT!  36” tall, 12 “ deep, 48” long.  FUN!  My handsome husband cut grooves in the trim to set on top of the leg brackets so the legs would be flush with the trim.

THEN…because it’s such a tall table, we cut squares in a 2nd piece of wood (step) to add as a bottom shelf and provide stability.  THEN, I spend about an hour filling in all of the gaps & seams with wood filler (which required a trip to Ace, bc I didn’t think of THAT at Lowe’s) … and that’s where I am so far J  I will prime and paint it today…Black Satin Finish. 
by Jenna   posted Dec 17 2012 8:07AM
I kind of pride myself on knowing how to explain almost anything to my children.  I have learned that honesty is the best policy - and not to offer more info than they can process.  I've learned that showing them emotion is a good thing...wait...showing HEALTHY emotion is a good thing.  I believe I have done this well because my kids share their feelings & secrets with me.  They come to me instead of their friends because they know they will get the straight dope - and more importantly - they know they won't be judged.

With that said, the trauma at Sandy Hook threw me for a loop.  How much should I tell them?  Do I minimize the details - then risk having them hear those details in the lunchroom or the playground?  

After searching the Internet & speaking with my mom (who is a clinical psychologist), I found a great article that I thought you may find beneficial as well...it's from Dr. Wendy Walsh.  -Jenna

We all deal with trauma in different ways, and children are especially sensitive.

They tend to be less verbal, so the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder almost always show up in their bodies — regressions, bed wetting, whining, tantrums, toy breaking or nightmares. And in today’s times, with such pervasive media, it will be nearly impossible to keep the trauma of Sandy Hook away from any school-aged child. As a parent, here are a few ways that you can help your child deal with the news:

1. Let your child lead the conversation: Don’t bombard kids with details they can barely comprehend. Answer questions honestly and calmly. Show compassion on your face and in your voice. Give no more details than what is asked.

2. Contain yourself: Small children look to parents for clues on how they should feel. While you don’t want kids to think you aren’t feeling anything at all, collapsing in crying jags and telephone rants in front of kids can rattle their core. To them, you are their strong protector. If you fall apart, so will they.

3. Do not punish developmental regressions:Bed wetting may happen. Tantrums can occur. A child may want to sleep in your bed. This is not the time for lectures and stern admonitions. This is the time to wrap a child in your arms and let them know everything will be okay.

4. Don’t make them talk about it: Most children in shock have a hard time connecting feelings with words. Instead, create, draw, sing, or play music with them.

5. Model healthy ways of dealing with trauma: Light a candle for the victims and their families. If you practice a faith, have your children join you in prayer. Find a positive thing to do together as a family in your own community. (My family is packing holiday food baskets next week.) Find a way to reach out to your own community with love and care.

Childhood psychological trauma is tricky. Some kids can have wounds that show up decades later in the forms of unexplained fears and anxieties. Others, because of the miracle of neuroplasticity, have brains that heal well, sometimes much better than adults who have been exposed to trauma.

The most important thing in the days, weeks and months to come is that you remain in tune with your children. Look into their eyes, listen to the many meanings of their words, give them creative outlets for expression.

And most of all, don’t criticize them. They are finding their own perfect way to ease trauma out of their tiny body. Be a kind, solid, presence while they do that. 

Filed Under :
People : Sandy HookWendy Walsh
by Jenna   posted Dec 17 2012 8:01AM


Eight Reasons Why You Never Need to

Buy a Service Plan


If you've gone Christmas shopping in an actual store recently, someone might have tried to sell you a service plan.  And it might sound like a good idea at FIRST, but Consumer Reports is here to tell you . . . don't believe the hype.


#1.)  Products already last a long time.  If your product doesn't break during the original warranty period, chances are it will last beyond the extended warranty period too.  Especially if you're not buying off-brand stuff.


#2.)  Service plans are WAY too expensive.  Most of them cost about the same as what you'd pay for one repair:  Up to a third of the full cost of the product itself.  Just save the money . . . and pay for repairs when you actually need them.


#3.)  They rip you off in the fine print.  Some plans start on the purchase date, which means they're covering the same period as the manufacturer warranty.  Other times a company will give you a flimsy excuse and refuse to honor the contract.

--For instance, they could "determine" that the damage was YOUR fault.  Or they could just say there's no authorized repair provider in your area.


#4.)  Good companies will want to help you anyway.  Companies want to keep their customers happy.  Even after your warranty runs out, you might still get free repairs.


#5.)  You might be covered by a credit card.  Lots of credit cards offer benefits that extend a manufacturer's warranty for a year.  So you might not need the service plan even if something DOES break.


#6.)  State laws may already extend your warranty rights.  Most states have laws requiring products to be free of major defects for a reasonable amount of time.  So a court could force a company to fix something even after the warranty runs out.


#7.)  It might be an easy fix anyway.  If something breaks, a few minutes on Google might show you how to repair it on your own.


#8.)  You can probably get renter's insurance cheaper.  If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, add whatever you buy to it.  They might give better coverage for less money . . . and they don't run out.


Most service plans are for electronics anyway.  And if you're like most people, you'll be ready to buy the next model before your service plan even runs out.

(Consumer Reports)


by Jenna   posted Dec 4 2012 2:36PM
by Jenna In The Moring posted Aug 13 2012 7:56AM

This conversation took place about 2 months ago:

Barry McKay:  "Hey Jenna in the Morning!  You reading 50 Shades yet?"
Me:  "Wuh?  What's 50 Shades?"
Barry McKay:  "Oh.  It's all the rage.  Get it.  Read it."

...and so began this weird thing in my life that I can't seem to get away from...

About a week later, while downloading a Harry Potter book on the Kindle for my son, I remembered 50 Shades and downloaded it as well.

That evening I began reading it, wondering what all the fuss was about...and THEN I got to the part that officially began exactly what all that fuss was about.  O!M!G!  I literally laughed out loud - not because it was funny, but because I was partially shocked by it AND dreadfully entertained that it was Barry McKay, the amazing husband & father of beautiful girls who recommended it.

I looked over at my husband with his noggin on the pillow just smiling sweetly at me and he asked: "Is that the book Barry said to read?" 
"Yes, it is.  Yup."  I replied. 
"Is it funny?  You're giggling."  He smiled.
"Oh, it's a scream.  Let me read you some of it." ... and so I began to read aloud. 

A little while later, a wide awake Brian said "Please, please, please thank Barry for me.  In fact, tell Barry I'm buying him a beer next time we're all out together."

Honestly, we've only gotten through half of the first book.  First, 'cause we're newlyweds. Secondly, with 2 young kids we can only afford ONE guilty pleasure at a time.  Our current guilty pleasure is watching the entire series of Lost ... we're into season 4 right now, and honestly, Jacob, Ben, Jack & John are all the drama we can handle right now.  Christian will have to wait a little while longer.

So what is freaking me out about 50 Shades?  Not only that I think about Barry McKay every time I see it, but that fact that it's EVERYWHERE!  Recently we were at a party at a home in the kind of neighborhood that I will never be wealthy enough to live in ... and a woman looked at her husband and said "Ready to go home hon?"  Her husband looked at us and said "It'll be a good night - she's been reading 50 Shades."  Kinda funny, kinda TMI ... but whatever, that's cool...

Then last week I was doing some work in the front yard when a woman in my neighborhood took a break from her morning walk to chat for a few.  She is the tiniest, sweetest grandmother on the block.  Probably in her mid-70's.  I mentioned that I passed her on the road last week and she said "Oh.  Sorry if I didn't wave.  The library finally got the thrid 50 Shades book on audio book and it's all I listen to when I'm driving."

I was speechless.

She continued to tell me how earlier that week she asked her 20 year old grandson to move her car from the street to the driveway ... and when he returned to the kitchen he said "Grandma!!  What are you listening to?!"  She told me that fortunately, it was only at the part where Christian was just getting out the handcuffs so it wasn't that bad. 

How do you respond to something like that?  I do love her though!  LOVE her!

So, perhaps after we're done with the Lost series, we will begin the 50 Shades series.  Maybe by then it will be out on video :)


Filed Under :
People : Barry McKay
by Jenna in the Morning posted Jun 15 2012 7:52AM
Every day my Charlie gets off the bus and runs down the street yelling "Mommy!" like he hasn't seen me in days!  I brace for the impact of his 70 pound body jumping into my arms at top speed then I spin him around twice and tell him today is really the day he has to start taking shrinking pills bc he's growing up too fast. If, as a 3rd grader next year, he gets off the bus and doesn't run or yell my name, I just might stick my head in the oven.   

-Jenna in the Morning
Filed Under :
by jenna posted May 21 2012 2:43PM
Yesterday my husband & son went to see Battleship.  Sure, it's PG 13 & my baby boy is only 8, but I have recently been convinced that "It's better to see it with an adult ..." blah, blah, blah.  Truth is, I enjoy a few hours to myself when I can synchronize the boys going to a movie with my daughter having a play date at someone else's house ;) AND I love that my boys have "a thing" ... superhero movies & the like are what they love to do together.  And as a wife & mom, I ADORE that.

But I digress ...

When the boys returned home, my son was THRILLED!  He loved it!  It wasn't as "super cool great" as The Avenger's ... But it certainly was fantastic for a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Charlie described the movie for a solid 15 minutes.  He TOTALLY enjoyed himself.  

A little while later my husband Brian, a Tomahawk Missile expert for the Navy, quietly shared his feelings on the movie..."it was kind of unrealistic...the USS Missouri, USS John Paul Jones & the USS Samson were fighting a war with aliens...they were shooting 5 inch guns while the main character was right next to it - which would have killed him instantly...they were launching SM2's that looked just like Tomahawks - which they don't..." ...so on & so forth ...

Two things:  #1). It was the use & style of weapons he took issue with as far as credibility, NOT that they were fighting off aliens ...#2) I'm going to download every WKRP in Cincinnati episode and critique every "non-realistic" radio moment...

;). Have a great Monday!
Filed Under :
Location : Cincinnati
People : BrianI ADORE
by Jenna Kehoe posted Aug 27 2011 8:39AM
Hurricanes can damage power lines and create fire hazards. Virginia Beach residents are urged to follow these precautions: Candles Avoid using lighted candles. If you do use them, ensure they are in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. And NEVER leave burning candles unattended! Barbecue Grills - Do not use any grill (charcoal or gas) indoors at any time. Burning charcoal gives off large amounts of toxic carbon monoxide. The propane in gas grills can create a severe explosion hazard when used in an enclosed space. Electricity If your home has suffered water damage, do not turn on the electricity until the circuits have been checked by a qualified electrician. Even though the water level has subsided, moisture may still be trapped within electrical boxes, receptacles, motors and switches. Portable Generators To avoid the danger of electrical shock, portable generators should never be connected to building wiring systems. If you must use a portable generator, connect appliances directly to the generator. Always keep your portable generator outside of your home and never in your garage because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even with the garage door open, fumes can accumulate. Electrical Power Lines Avoid loose or dangling electrical wires. All wires should be considered live. Even wires that normally would not hurt you, like telephone or cable wires, could have come in contact with energized wires or equipment. Report dangling or loose wires to the Fire Department by calling 911. Do not touch or attempt to move them. Keep everyone out of the area. If you are in your car and electrical power lines fall on it, call out for help. Stay calm and remain in your car. Await emergency personnel. DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR unless your life is in immediate danger, i.e., car on fire, about to fall off bridge, etc. If you must get out, DO NOT STEP - JUMP CLEAR. If you step, your body could complete the path of electricity to the ground, and you could be electrocuted.
by Jenna Kehoe posted Aug 27 2011 8:35AM
Portable generators can be deadly if not used properly. The city urges residents to run their portable generators outside the home. Generators should never be started or run inside a garage, carport or anywhere in the home. Even with the garage door open, carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate. Carbon monoxide is an extremely dangerous gas that causes asphyxiation. It is colorless and odorless, and can only be detected with a carbon monoxide detector. The primary hazards to avoid when using generators include carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution and fire. By following these few simple steps, you can prevent the loss of life and property. To avoid carbon monoxide hazards: • Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents. • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. • Follow manufacturer’s instructions. • Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer’s instructions. • Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed. To avoid electrical hazards: • Keep the generator dry. Operate on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. • Dry your hands before touching the generator. • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord. • Make sure entire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin. • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as back feeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer. • If necessary to connect generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch. To avoid fire hazard: • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite. • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers. • Store fuel away from any fuel burning appliance. For more information contact the Virginia Beach Fire Department at www.VBgov.com/fire or at 385-4228. You may also contact the U. S. Fire Administration at www.usfa.fema.gov.
by Jenna Kehoe posted Aug 27 2011 8:30AM
If electrical power is interrupted, use extreme care when consuming your refrigerated and frozen perishable foods. When foods, such as meats and dairy products, are held at temps greater than 41 degrees F. for more than a few hours, microorganisms may multiply, placing you and your family at risk for a food-borne illness. Discard any potentially hazardous food that has exceeded 41 degrees F. for greater than two hours. Once frozen food has thawed, remaining at less than 41 degrees F., it must be cooked and eaten immediately. Discard leftovers if you cannot maintain the food at a safe temperature. Keep a food thermometer on hand to monitor these important temperatures. • Never use a gas or charcoal grill to cook indoors! This may release poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, causing illness or death. • You can use your fireplace, candle warmers, chafing dishes and fondue pots to heat food. Canned foods can be eaten right from the can.