Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day at the Beach

We took the kids to the beach yesterday.



Considering Hubster has no fondness of the beach at all (he doesn't like the sand everywhere),we had a really good time and a ton of laughs...at least I was laughing.
When we first arrived parking was limited so Hubster dropped the kids and I and all our stuff off and went to park. While he was gone we had the time to set up camp and play in the water. Not only is he not fond of all the sand (because you bring it home with you and it gets in the car), he also made it clear to the kids that he WAS NOT going into the water. We had a picnic lunch, flew a kite, buried both kids in the sand, and relaxed in the sun. When the kids wanted to go back into the water, I took my chair down to the edge and sat so I could watch. Having already been in the water, I knew the kids could go out more than 15 feet and still be able to touch the bottom. Hubster did not know this.
Puddin Pop was just relaxing in the water when all of the sudden she said "Help, I'm sinking". Mind you, the kids play rescue all the time and this was not a voice of fear, but Hubster looked out and saw this





and he was off and running. I started to say "She's fine." but he was too quick to rescue her (and he was now in the water which I suspect was her plan). As he got closer to her...



She stood up, causing me to bust out laughing at Daddy's attempted rescue and the realization that he'd been played...by a 3 year old.

Shortly after, a group of teenagers arrived at the beach and a couple of the girls walked into the water near where PP had resumed her floating. A couple of the boys in the group came running into the water to meet up with them and the girls, looking in PP's direction, shouted "Be careful, You're splashing the baby." PP stood up and looked behind her, seeing nothing she went back to floating. A few more minutes and a couple more of the teenagers decided to brave the water and ran in to meet their friends. Again the girls, looking in PP's direction, said "Watch out. You're splashing the baby." Again PP stood up and looked behind her (which is when I realized what was going on, but decided to watch and see how it played out). She saw nothing, and went back to floating. When the last of the group came into the water the girls again shouted their warning and the entire group looked at PP. She stood up, looked behind her, and assuming the girls were talking to her instead of about her said " What baby? I don't see any baby." Which gave the whole group a little chuckle, and me one too.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Every Wine Lover MUST Have

I'm a klutz. No denying it. I walk into walls all the time. I do find that I am better after an adult beverage than I am before, maybe because I tend to be more careful. Anyway, since I am a klutz, and I have a dog and 2 small children who like to remain right under foot while I'm cooking dinner each night (which is when winethirty begins) I use stemless glasses while in the kitchen and around the kids. I'll use the stemware after they go to bed or when entertaining.


I've only had the stemless for 2 years and had a lot of spills before them (and some after as well). I tried all the old tricks; white wine, oxyclean, vinegar, and all sorts of carpet cleaners, nothing would get the stain fully out. Then I found this


Wine Away is an innovative, non-toxic formula for getting rid of wine stains in carpet and fabrics. I've even had success in getting out stains that the other stuff couldn't remove. It is safe to use around pets and children and is the best working product I have come across. Whether it's on clothes, the carpet or the couch, Wine Away is the first thing I grab when a spill occurs. If used at onset it really takes nothing more than spraying, allowing it to work itself into fibers, then blotting. It's a wonderful thing.

The ABC's of Me.

I found this idea over at J. Leigh designz and thought it was a great opportunity to let you in on more information about me. Thank You Jennifer Leigh for letting me snag this.


A - Age: 41
B - Bed size: King. Need room for two adults and two kids:)
C - Chore you hate: I DO NOT Iron!
D - Dogs' names: Ashley (7 year old min pin) Blu (9 year old Doberman)
E - Essential start to your day: Coffee and the quiet (I try to get up at least 30 minutes before everyone else)
F - Favorite color: It changes often. Today I'm going to say pink.
G - Gold or Silver: Definitely GOLD
H – Height: 5'8"
I - Instruments you play: None currently. As a kid I played piano and violin.
J - Job title: WAHM, Which covers every job you can think of.
K - Kid(s): 2, Boogie (5 year old son) and Puddin' Pop (3 year old daughter)
L - Living arrangements: single family house
M - Mom's name: Irene
N – Nicknames: Shelly, R2,
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: None
P - Pet Peeve: People who lack common sense. Rude people
Q - Quote from a movie: I don't really do the movie quote thing. Can't think of a single one
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 2 brothers, one older and one younger.
T - Time you wake up: For some reason I usually get out of bed at 6:34. No alarm, it just always seems to be the time on the clock when I roll over to get up.
U- Underwear: Thanks for reminding me, I need to buy some. Yes to underwear, NO to thongs.
V - Vegetable you dislike: I'll eat them all but like peas the least.
W - Ways you run late: I usually don't unless Hubster is involved. Then we are always late.
X - X-rays: Just dental ones as a kid.
Y - Yummy food you make: I love to cook. I'm great on the grill and would never let anyone other than my father cook a steak for me.
Z - Zoo animals: The best zoos are the ones with Penquins.


Feel free to take this for your own blog. Let's all get to know each other a little better!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Would You Like to Die, Sweetie?

You have to love the innocence and kind heartedness of children, especially when the moments are rare amongst the never-ending bickering. Last night the kids and I somehow got on the subject of death while watching Surf'sUp. While Boog understands the general idea of death, his perception of how it occurs is slightly limited. For PP this was a subject she hadn’t discussed before. Here was the conversation between them

Boog: PP, do you want to get shot and die now, or would you rather live a full life?
PP: No
Boog: No what?
PP: I don't want to die
Boog: Well you're gonna die eventually
PP: I don't want to get shot
Boog: So you want to just get really old and die?
PP: No
Boog: You have to pick one, sweetie.
PP: I don’t want to get shot
Boog: (Stroking her hair and face) Okay, then you can live a full life like me, and grow to be five.

The way he was stroking her hair made me about cry. The fact that he thinks he's had a pretty full life made me want to bust out laughing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Visiting Family in North Carolina

We're having a wonderful time in NC. The kids stayed up late (11:30) playing with their cousins and both slept until 8:30 this morning...and so did I. I can not remember the last time I slept so late. My brother, in anticipation of our visit, mad a trip to Trader Joe's and bought a case of different wines and so far the selections have been wonderful. We had a cookout last night of BBQ chicken, a potato casserole, salad, strawberries, and carrots. The food was great, having uninterrupted adult conversations about everything from diet pills that work to what are the new hottest wines to try, all while sipping fabulous wine, was very enjoyable. Today we are headed to the pool to spend some time relaxing, and then tonight we'll have more great food, wine and chatting while the 5 kids amuse each other. I'll try to get in a review of one of the wine selections.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Favorite Wine Accessory

A few years back my neighbor was at and Arts and Crafts show and spotted a unique gift for wine lovers. She purchased a variety of four wine coasters and delivered one to each of us Girls that play once a month at GNI (girls night in). We each got a different design and it was one of the coolest gifts I have ever received. In attempting to share it with you, I realized that my coveted coaster is missing (probably a nice cozy bed for an action figure somewhere in the house) but with the power of google, I found a website for you to get your own (because I know you'll want to).


The days of wine charms are gone, (although I have a ton of those too) as these gifts, if purchased in a variety of patterns, can be used to distinguish who's glass is who's as well as serve as a coaster that your glass will not fall off of... What?... Am I the only one that has happened to? Anyway, if you go to diningintheround.com, you can find beautiful linens for your table, as well as these. They get the "plug" since I'm using their photos in place of my own absent coaster.

How's that for a coaster? These would be perfect for the wine lover in your life for any special occasion...or just because.

Today's Wine at Five: Black Swan Merlot (what a pretty label)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Talking It Through


Tomorrow is the day. I get to go for the re-take of my Mammogram. I really should not have mentioned what a wonderful time I had, as they have invited me back for more tests. Yay. So as I sit here wine free (because the mood I'm in would surely lend itself to a nasty hangover), I'm becoming more and more convinced that what I really need is a vacation.

With Kissimmee giving away 3 weekend vacations (for 2) and 2 two-week vacations (for 4), I'm having a hard time deciding which I would prefer to win. Hubster and I could take a weekend trip plus an extra day for driving and spend some nice overdue time together. On the other hand, two weeks in a hotel with all the amenities and a pool for the kids and Shamu close by would be ideal as well. I don't think I've ever in my life been on a vacation that lasted 2 weeks. No cleaning, no laundry, no complaints of boredom, no cooking.

I spend a lot if time with the kids, in my current position, so having another adult to spend the time with as well as to share the kid duties would be a vacation all on it's own. We've talked about taking the kids to Sea World and if it doesn't happen this summer, I hope it will be in October, providing I can talk Hubster into taking the trip to Izea Fest.

With so many things to do in Kissimmee it's hard to pick. I am not one to over book vacations, nor do I need to have an activity scheduled for every day. I honestly think the kids would be happy lounging by the pool each day with an excursion to Sea World one day and a couple night time trips out for ice cream and a round of miniature golf. The important thing would be time spent together without the hustle and bustle of our every day lives.

I guess I do have a preference of which vacation I would like to win. Amazing how talking it through makes the choice clear.

It would also be a great opportunity to check out some wines that I have wanted to try and can't find here.



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Ufadili ~ Kind World Goods

If you've been here before you know I am all about raising awareness of charities and easy ways to get involved even if you don't have a lot of time or money to spend. I was thrilled to be contacted by Michele Mandeville to help get the word out about Ufadili. Here's what Michele had to say about her online shop:


What if the clothes you purchased for you and your children were more than just cute?

What if ... the clothes were super cute, taught you and your children how to say things in different languages, shared unique and interesting facts and then 30% of the profits from your purchase went to helping people, animals and the planet?

That is the essence of Ufadili.

Ufadili was founded on the philosophical cornerstone of conscious consumerism. I had an idea of a place where the simple decision of buying a shirt for my daughter or a onesie for my son could be a great connecting experience - an experience that connected us artistically, culturally, educationally and charitably to the rest of the world. In this spirit came the concept for Ufadili , a name inspired by the Swahili word " ufadhili " meaning "kindheartedness, goodwill".

Along with every Ufadili garment is a special "Giving Tag". The Learning side shares fascinating facts and several language translations of the designs. The Charitable side indicates the organizations that will receive 30% of Ufadili's profits. Ufadili garments are made by a fair trade, sweatshop-free manufacturer. All print materials and packaging are made of 100% recycled or biodegradable products.

Everyday I am deeply grateful for my circumstances and feel a personal obligation to try and improve the lives of others. My ultimate hope is that through Ufadili we can help raise awareness and monies for organizations that work tirelessly to recognize, aid, and celebrate the extraordinary wonder of each life and our world.

Thank you for visiting,

Michele Mandeville
Founder

I was hooked just from the that statement. Who puts so much into developing a product that is socially conscious on all levels? I think this idea is unique and inspiring.
The clothes are adorable and each design comes in a variety of styles from onesies to raglans. Made for children of all ages and Mother's as well. The whole family could sport matching shirts or each in a different design. This is one of my favorites:

The gift boxes are just as cute. Look at these:


Some of the organizations that will receive part of the profits are Heifer International, Surfrider Foundation and WildAid. If you want a great, socially conscious, fun learning shirt for someone special in your life, check out Ufadili.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wine Corks, Not Just for Preserving Wine

I'm in transition.

Several people get sent to this blog for the wine reviews and recipes through google and yahoo. I also have some readers who come back and comment that they think this is a wine blog, and want more wine stuff. As you know by my reviews, I am anything but a great wine Reviewer, you can find those here and here. What I am is a Mom who enjoys a glass or 3 of wine at the end of the day. I enjoy talking about wine and sharing. I do it in Mom-next-door terms like yummy, spicy and fruity verses talking about tannins and "old world dirt" flavors. If you want to know what the uneducated (in wine) people think, explained in terms you can understand, I'm your gal.
That being said, and with no firm promises to offer you. I will transition this blog to reflect more of my love for wine and all the things you can do with those empty bottles, corks, foils and labels. A little more wine, a little less of the kids. If you need to get an update on my parenting, you can now go here.
To kick this off, I went in search of the ultimate project for your wine paraphernalia and I do believe I found it. I can not properly give credit as the individual is only known as John D. over at Strat's Place. This guy did an amazing job. Read what he had to say:


John writes .. We started saving corks over 20 years ago and finally started covering one whole wall in our bar with them on New Years' Day this year. It took me two months to complete, working about 10 to 12 hours each weekend on it. As the years went on, we had a lot of people start saving corks for us, plus we went to a lot of wine tastings where we collected corks from all the wineries represented. I want it to be clearly known that we didn't drink all of these ourselves!!--Hahaha!
I used corks cut in half as the border all the way around and champagne corks on their ends around the central mirror. All the other corks are whole---give or take some trimming to make things line up. I am sending you a picture of my cork supply
before I started, and also a couple of the completed wall.


Now, take a look at this...




How flippin' cool is that? I may have to redo my kitchen. I really love this look.
Okay. You've officially been warned that Wine at Five? is going to get crafty. I've found some other uses for corks I'm going to try and share. I just need a project for the foils. Anyone have any ideas?

Ebeanstalk~ 15% off First Order


If you haven't yet heard, there is a new site that makes is super simple to find age appropriate toys for kids. Ebeanstalk has put together toys grouped in age categories from birth to 7& up. They have researched the best developmental toys in each group and have listed them on the site for your convenience.


One of the best features of the site (in my opinion) is their gift series. For Christmas, a birthday, or a birth (even as a shower gift) you can put in the age of the child and every three months, for a year, a new gift will arrive. You can use their pre-selected, age appropriate gifts or choose different gifts in the same age grouping. A great idea for a relative who may be out of state and wants to remind a child how much they are loved. Here's the Press Release from Ebeanstalk:




Ebeanstalk is dedicated to a baby's development. And we select the best baby toys matched to a baby's development. To see great information on how a baby grows up, check out the info on our baby toys page.



Picking toys for a baby is not as simple as it sounds. Here are some quick baby facts:





  • Toys for a newborn baby: A newborn baby is briefly looking at objects and attempting to imitate facial expressions. They can follow objects with their eyes and usually quiet down, when they are picked up.


  • Toys for a three month old: They will enjoy ‘frolic play', reaching for objects and will repeat enjoyable activities. Believe it or not, they will respond to ‘no' (about half the time) and will start babbling.


  • Toys for a six month old: They'll search for hidden objects (object permanence). They'll reach for themselves in the mirror, play peekaboo, crumple paper, roll from their stomach to their back and even respond to their name.


  • Toys for a nine month old: They are pushing toy cars, playing pat-a-cake and looking for hidden sounds. The baby toys they are playing with are also getting more fun.


Whether you need a birthday gift for a family friend or relative, in an age group you are not yet familiar with, Ebeanstalk is the place to go. Right now they are offering readers a 15% discount on your first purchase. Use code TGS345 at checkout.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nero d' Avola ~a Review


I mentioned a week or so ago about a fabulous wine I had for Girl's Night In. It was extremely enjoyable and I wanted to share. It was, however, GNI (where us Mommy's of the cul de sac get together for adult food, drinks and conversation and sometimes over indulge on all accounts, due to the fact that we walk home)so I thought I would get a new bottle (good excuse) and tell you all about it.
Ruggero di Tasso's Nero d' Avola
I love this wine. I was not familiar with the variety so I did some research.

Nero d' Avola has for a long time been the indigenous grape of Sicily. Mostly used in blends, to add a rich color and flavor to reds, the grape has come into its own in the past few decades and wines have been created with 100% of the varietal creating a wine dark in color and rich in flavor.


What I remembered most about the flavor was it's spiciness. Now as I sit enjoying another glass, I taste plum and oak as well. This is a very bold tasting wine and went extremely well with our fondue dinner the other night.

I must also mention that the first glass I had was from a bottle that had been opened 2 weeks prior and it was as good as the new bottle, maybe even better. I would also be amiss if I didn't mention that this particular bottle was purchased at Trader Joe's for $4.99. So you have no reason not to try it...unless you are unfortunate, and don't have a TJ's near you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Early Morning Resistance

Oh me Oh my. It's not a pleasant morning. Boog was too excited about his field trip to sleep and was up at 6. Now he is in rare form. Doesn't understand why he needs to brush his teeth and hair to go to the park. He is trying to negotiate and hoping that he can get down to brushing just once a day. Silly boy. How do you get them to understand the importance of teeth? Andy why does something that takes 3 minutes seem like such a chore to a 5 year old? Whats going to happen when his morning routine includes deodorant, acne treatment , any maintenance of braces (which I'm pretty sure he'll have)? What are those mornings going to be like? What about shaving? Nevermind. He's growing too fast as it is. The thought of my baby shaving is just not possible. I'll go be happy it's just the teeth and hair he's complaining about.
Have a great day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time by the Water, My Weekend Plan

I love the water. Ocean, lakes, pool, I don't care. My body literally craves water when the weather gets nice. We have one of the Intex inflatable pools and I think this will be the weekend to get it ready for play. Since it isn't that big, but still big enough for the whole family to cool off, we can set it up and fill it and within a day the water is the perfect temperature. I'd be living at the beach right now if I thought Puddin Pop would realize the water is too cold to get into.

A perfect day is one spent in the yard with the kids, floating in our pool floats lounges , beverage in hand, while the kids splash and explore around us. Doesn't that sound like fun. Finish off the day with burgers on the grill and an outside picnic and all is good,

Astrological Personality Profiles for Kids

I'm not an astrological fanatic but enjoy reading an occasional horoscope and other entertaining reports about how our signs reflect who we are. I happened across this site and thought it would be fun to get a free reading based on the kid's birth date.

First I did Boog. My loving, funny, intelligent, sensitive, snugly 5 year old

Young Leo

Leo children are rays of light - playful, willing to be the center of attention, always ready to put on a show. This child is highly entertaining and able to assess the presence of an audience with surprising sophistication. In infants you may notice his showmanship just by their alert and pleasant nature, like stars ready to go onstage. There is warmth and charm about little Leos. As the baby grows into a toddler, there will be a marked agility with the body, a natural athleticism, good balance, and physical features such as a wide brow or a big head of hair.

Leo children are natural stars and may need a little help when it comes to fitting in with their peer group. They are naturally popular, but may have issues when it's not their turn with a toy or game, or simply not their turn to shine. Rebuffs or accidental slights might be taken as deep insults. Imagine a cat getting water poured on its fur! At these junctures, help your little Leo understand that they are not the target of ridicule, even though they feel terribly humiliated because it means so much to them to be loved, adored, even worshipped! Remember, many actors, rock stars, and politicians are Leos, so you have a big personality on your hands!

Leo is a fire sign and thus warm, affectionate and sexually uninhibited. Encourage your child's free expression with the body, maybe introducing dance lessons when he or she is ready. Some kind of physical exercise that channels all that fiery exuberance is recommended, lest the energy be repressed or express itself in unproductive ways. Be the parent who gently reminds your son or daughter about boundaries and limits, their own and other people's, so that you are a trusted source of support, not a critical judge.


I agree with most of this. Boog definitely wants to be the center of attention, but only around people he feels comfortable with. It may be the fear of ridicule that prevents him from any team activities. We started him in soccer at 3. He loved practice and was eagerly ready for the first game. Right after the first kickoff he dribbled the ball down the field and scored a goal. It couldn't have been more than 20 seconds into the game. I was so proud and just knew we had picked the right sport for him. NOPE. Once everyone started cheering, he immediately came over to the sidelines and begged me not to make him go back. He did that the rest of the season. Would participate at practice and would refuse to play in the games, where people were watching. We would have stopped going all together but Hubster was the coach and I had signed on to be the team mom.

He definitely has the fiery exuberance and needs physical activity after school to burn it off.

Then there's my beautiful, confident, charming, loving, oh-so-stubborn 3 year old, Puddin Pop.

Young Taurus

Children born under the sign of the bull are calm and pleasant, consistent and practical. Being cuddly and affectionate, Taurus children enjoy physical contact. Endowed with a gentle nature, they can nevertheless be extremely stubborn.

Taurus is ruled by Venus - the planet of love and beauty - and Taurus can be seen as the most sensuous of the signs. The little ones are sensitive to colors and sounds and to a harmonious environment; they care about what they eat and wear and appreciate the finer things in life from early childhood on.

Taurus children won't be bullied into anything they don't want to do. If they feel forced they turn stubborn and won't give in to anything and anybody and will always hold their ground.

Most Taurus children are likely to have a naturally beautiful singing voice and a very melodic way of speaking. They should be encouraged to take part in any musical activity offered, be it singing in a choir or learning to play an instrument.

Collections and possessions are rather important to Taurus children and they love toys and things they can collect. They even like to take on little chores for money and save what they earn. They can become little money makers at a very early age.

Taurus children are extremely loving and sensitive. Physical signs of affection are especially important, and they enjoy receiving huge bear hugs from an early age. Taurus' are strong, and they will learn to make the best huggers in the world.

In general, your child is loving, generous, tender, sensitive, and for the most part, well behaved. Just make sure you don't push him too hard or force him into anything he doesn't want to do. He will process things on his own time.


This one is pretty much DEAD ON. She is everything mentioned and already collects every coin she finds around the house, outside, in the car. wherever and puts them in her bank. Stubborn? Yeah. She definitely tries to rule the house. We have to stop laughing at how stubborn she is because it won't be funny for much longer.

All this Appreciating is Making Me Busy

As the school year winds to an end, I am finding myself very busy with all the appreciation ceremonies for Teachers, PTA Volunteers, Class Mom's and Principal Appreciation Day, which for some reason is in a totally different week from the Teacher Appreciation Week. Last week was the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. It was in the school cafeteria and I opted not to go. The theme was country (or cowboy) I can't really remember, but I lack any sort of equestrian apparel so I decided to stay home. My neighbor wasn't going to go either, but she is a substitute at the school and so she was there on that day and they MADE her go, poor thing. I did receive a nice appreciation certificate in Boog's backpack the following day, name spelled wrong and all. I feel the appreciation!

Tomorrow is the only field trip of the year. I don't blame the teacher's for not wanting to take a bunch of 5 year olds out in public. I usually try to get my errands done during the day to avoid taking mine out. I'm going to go and help the 4 Teachers and their Aides and 100 Kindergartners have a good time at the park. Wish me luck?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Really? I Should Have Said Plain


Let me start by saying that BK is the absolute best place to get a burger. I have made some pretty tasty ones at home and have had great burgers at restaurants and at cookouts, but NOTHING beats a Whopper. Yes, that's right, I am a huge fan of the Whopper. Now that I think of it, I'm going to have to look and see if they have a Whopper fan page on Facebook, I am so joining.
Anyway. Yesterday I was in the mood for said Whopper. I eat approximately 3 a year so it is a treat I was looking forward to ...and it was worth the wait. The problem is that I ordered a cheeseburger kids meal for Puddin' Pop and I believe my exact words were "I need a cheeseburger kids meal with only cheese." I meant no pickles, onions, ketchup or mustard, but that's a lot to say. We get home for our picnic lunch (blanket on the living room floor, just us girls) and I am so wrapped up in the deliciousness of my Whopper that I don't realize that PP's burger is wrong...it's not even a burger. They gave her a bun with cheese. Really? Because if you took the "just cheese" literally and thought that meant no meat, why would you assume I wanted a bun? She loved it and never said a word, but still.
Did I order it wrong? Should I have just said plain? Please help me out here people.

I Hate When He's Right

Boogie gave me a nice envelope of pictures and crafts that he made at school for Mother's day. Included was a fill-in-the-blank "All About Mom" form that the teacher helped him fill out. She asked the questions and then wrote in the answers.



Now, I am thrilled that he believes that I am pretty as a flower, and love that he wouldn't trade me for an action figure. The problem I have is the age question. I hate it that he's right. I hate it even more that he is only right because darling Hubster decided on my last birthday to divulge the truth. See, I had already told Boog last year that I was 25. He knew that it was a "big" birthday, so when he asked point blank, I lied. He was pretty sure, since he can count, that on my last birthday (February) that I was turning 26, but for some reason Hubster decided he deserved the truth. So there it is, for the world to see. 26 would have gone nicely with my 60 pound frame... that I achieve from eating all those salads.

With all these projects that the kids do at home and school, I was thinking of getting them each their own custom rubber stamps . That way they can just stamp their name on projects so we will know who's is who's when we pull them out of boxes 20 years from now. This one is definitely sticking around for the future when he would rather have an action figure instead of mom.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Old Photos


My little brother and I, 36 years ago.
I got a new scanner for Mother's Day and I'm having some fun with it!
I'm also making a move from today.com to here. Thanks for visiting!



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Things I Swore I'd Never Say

We all have those sayings from our childhood that we swear we will never repeat to our children. Things like "I don't care what the other kids do." or "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" You get the idea. So I was having a conversation with the 3 year old (Chachi) yesterday morning... and it happened. The conversation went something like this:

me: What would you like for breakfast?
her: Ice cream.
me: You can't have Ice cream for breakfast.
her: Why?
me: Because you need to have something good for you for breakfast.
her: Oh.
me: Would you like some fruit? Pancakes? Cereal?
her: No.
me: What would you like then?
her: Ice cream
me: Chachi, you can not have ice cream for breakfast
her: Why?
me: You need something to help you grow and give your body and brain some energy
her: Why?
me: Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day and sets your body up for the rest of the day.
her: Oh.
me: So, what would you like? Eggs, fruit, pancakes, cereal, sausage, waffles, or french toast sticks?
her: Ice cream
Me: You can not have ice cream for breakfast
her: Why?
me: (and here it comes) Because I said so!
her: Okay, I'll have eggs then.
me: Hmmm

Am I my own worst enemy? If I had said "Because I said so" to begin with could have avoided the rest of it? I'm definitely going to find out the next time she wants ice cream or candy for breakfast.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Collection

I was perusing Facebook earlier and saw that one of my friends had posted their collection of wine corks to their page. I laughed. The corks were in a glass vase and the vase was about 1/6th full. I laughed because this friend is a blogging buddy. We have never met in real life and have only chatted through our blogs and other social networks. We seem to have a lot in common and this pic only proved that more. I immediately got my collection from the window above my kitchen sink. I would love to say that it is displayed on a coffee table in my living room, but I have a 5 and 3 year old so glass vases of any sort left in the middle of a room would just be foolish for all parties involved. Here's my collection



I had to Windex the vases before taking the picture. Sad but true. I also like to collect the foils (pretty aren't they?) Before you sign me up for drug rehab, which would actually just be wine rehab, I have to say that that is a years worth of corks and I send them to my Step Mom who makes hot pads and wall art out of them. In fact, last year she had a group of people over for the weekend that they had met at a wine tasting. When she told me she was looking for a unique gift idea, I told her to make a hot pad for each couple and leave room for one more cork. Each couple then got to pick their favorite wine of the weekend (lots of wine was consumed) and got that cork to add to their hot pad. How cool is that?

Thank You Wine Whore for the great post idea. I will enjoy reading about every cork you add.

My Worst Fear

When Boogie was first born Hubster made me aware that , from all the movies he'd watched, that it was inevitable that at one time or another, I would forget one of the kids. That is ridiculous. While I wasn't sure at the time, I was pretty sure that I would never leave the house or anywhere else without my kid (even now that there are two).

Imagine my surprise today when I read about the Family emigrating from the Philippines who left a 23 month old in a Canadian airport. he father thought that the child was with the mother and grandparents and the mother thought he was with his father. Since their seats were scattered throughout the plane, no on noticed. He also happened to be a lap rider so the airlines didn't realize that anyone was missing from the flight. It wasn't until the plane had taken off that security noticed the (almost) 2 year old and started investigating. The parents were informed by the airline that their child was back at the Vancouver airport.

Really? As a mother I'm pretty sure it would have been my lap that my child rode on. I would have at least checked to see that he was okay during flight (apparently the four adults had seats scattered around the plane).

The father traveled 1400 miles back to retrieve the child who was attended to by Tagalog-speaking agent during the ordeal. Poor little guy.

I'm a Computer Challenged Goober


Not really. I just don't care about some stuff. I LOVE to look around the Internet, chat with friends, check out what other people are talking about, research different topics of interest, and occasionally I can be caught playing some online games. I received a laptop last Christmas because I constantly complained to Hubster that everything he did on the computer slowed it down and caused all sorts of other problems. I wasn't positive that it was him, but I was pretty sure the "adult" sites that were popping up were not from anything I did. Now the poor thing (the desktop) can not even access the internet, and we can't figure out why. My laptop is fine.


Anyway, I've seen all the hype for Windows Vista, and that's what I'm running, but I've never read my manual or even really checked out the features on my system. It just doesn't matter. Hubster was dying to check out the features when I first got my laptop, but part of our agreement was that he was not allowed to touch it. It was hard for him at first, because he is really into "features", but he has learned not to even ask anymore (more than a year later).


Today I decided to check out what all the hype was about, and actually look into the customizable features. I haven't as much as changed the display or the desktop theme since I got it. I always did this with new pictures of the kids each week on the "old" computer. Imagine my surprize when I clicked on "optimize visual display" and a voice started telling me about all my options. So, I'm off to play and get to know my laptop a little better. It's the least I can do to solidify our friendship.

Mother's Day Perspective

How was your Mother's Day?
I had one friend tell me around 3:30pm yesterday that her Husband was watching TV and had just realized it was Mom's Day...nice. My day was pretty much like every other day, except I got a gift and a card. I was feeling a little less than special, and then I put it into perspective.

I have 2 beautiful children.
I have a husband who loves his kids.
I have a home to live in.
We have enough food to feed the four of us, a dog and a bunch of fish.
We have clean clothes in the appropriate sizes and for the current season.
We have shoes and jackets to keep us warm.
We have cars to drive to the places we need to go.

I am a mom and am taking care of my kids. That's all I ever wanted. I don't need the gifts and cards, maybe just a day with other Moms to celebrate US!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...and what NOT to do

Dear Husbands and Children of the World,

If you would like Mommy to have a nice Mother's Day, here is a list of things NOT to do.

Do Not let Mommy sleep in only to be awoke by the sounds of a child being "popped" for not listening (Especially if Mom is 100% against hitting) at 7:30am.

Do Not cook breakfast (including bacon) and then leave the dishes for Mom to clean up.

Do Not go lay down (because your back hurts) and leave rowdy kids with Mom.

Do Not "pop" the other kid because he is frustrated he can't tie his shoes that he only got 5 minutes ago at Grandma's house (it's especially annoying for this to transpire at the In-laws who agree the kids should be spanked).

Do Not come home from Grandma's house and let Mommy get lunch for the kids and then decide to "watch a movie" with son who is still upset for getting slapped only to have him come back downstairs 5 minutes later while you "rest" for another hour.

Do Not buy Mommy a gift you can't afford when you fail to respect her wishes and disregard her as a person of importance, it means nothing.

Do Not allow your wife to cook dinner and do all the dishes while you lay on the couch.

Do Not listen to older child yell that younger child just pee'd on the floor and do nothing.

Do Not allow Mommy to clean up pee and get new PJ's for the child.

I think that Mother's should at least be cherished and respected and while I love my family, I would like to spend next Mother's day with other Mother's AWAY from our families.

Who's in?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Secret to Potty Training


Puddin Pop turned 3 a little over a week ago and we were pushing the time line to get her fully potty trained before the big day. She would only use the potty to poop and would insist on using every public restroom whenever we were out, but refused to use the potty for peeing at home. I tried everything I could think of and everything suggested and read about. I began to think it was just a battle of wills between she and I, and I was getting very tired of cleaning up pee everywhere. She would continuously pee on the couch in the same spot, the pee would get between two of the non-removable cushions. I several times banned her from sitting on the couch and in some instances when it just got to be too much, would ban her from the living room altogether. Then I had an idea...


One week before she turned 3, I told her that if she could use the potty all morning, she could get a surprise at the grocery store when we went shopping. Now my 5 year old thinks a surprise at the grocery store should be the $7 match box car that would cot $2 at Target. My sweet Princess got excited at this idea and said "Can I get gum?" I said "You betcha baby, IF you use the potty the rest of the morning until we go." She said "I promise."

Three hours later we headed to the store for our groceries AND her bubble gum. She likes the pink bubble gum tape. After we checked out I told her if she used the potty the rest of the week, she could get another roll the following week. Guess what? She got that roll too. We're even done with pull-ups at night.
Who knew the secret to potty training was GUM?
Now you know!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday Ramble 5/7

Okay. I was wrong. It will happen again, I'm sure. Adam did NOT go home last night, but I'm still not sure he's going to make it to the finals. I think it may be Kris and Danny. We'll have to wait and see.

We had our Girls Night In last night and had some wonderful wine and fondue. I'm going to do a review of the wine soon, I just need to grab another bottle from Trader Joes. I might even be giving one away, but don't hold me to that. It depends on what kind of shipping deal I can get.
I remembered to take my camera with me last night so I could capture some pics of the food and our good time, but when it came time to actually take some pictures I realized that BOTH of my
memory sticks were full. I usually delete as I go so there weren't any pictures I could bare to be without. Maybe you'll get to see the fun next month, maybe not. Summer months are Girls Night by the Pool so we may NOT want to be displaying those, maybe just some food and beverage shots.

Why is no one interested in receiving a free book? I posted a contest for Andy Andrews The Noticer and not a single entry? Look down a couple posts and enter to win, otherwise I'm just going to give it my MIL.

Making the Move

I think it's time to bring my Parenting knowledge and/or lack of knowledge to the masses. I'm always posting about the kids on my other blogs and figured it was time to create a space "just for them". This will now be where the kids projects and funny stories go. I'm trying to organize my writing efforts and create "homes" for my many different project. Come back in a while as I'm sure we (myself and my family) can make you laugh and give you ideas of what to do and what NOT to do as we travel this road of parenting.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Thought I Won...

Remember when I told you that Kissimmee was giving away free vacations? I got an e-mail the other day that said I won. But it wasn't from them. It was some other promotion for Disney. I don't recall entering a drawing or contest for a Disney vacation so I will be interested to see what they send me. But it got me thinking more about a vacation and our need to take one. I think if I have to spend the entire summer entertaining the kids I'll go crazy. They play together in short spurts okay (like 20-30 minutes) then the screaming, name calling, and tattling begins.

So I've looked into even more things to do in Kissimmee in the hopes that my name will be drawn in either this or next month's contest. I can dream, can't I. I would like to go to Sea World. I think the whole family would enjoy that. Hubster has a new passion for fish so I think he would even enjoy that. I would like to stay here


One of the many vacation rentals available with special pricing until the end of May. I think I may never leave the house. It would be like home, but better, and NOT home.

Seriously though, I think it would be nice to take the kids putt putt golfing and there are several different courses in the area. I would also like to take the kids to Downtown Disney. I'll bed they could make an afternoon of playing in the fountain and would probably enjoy it more than going into the actual park. They're just like that. But I remember when Hubster and I went, almost 10 years age, before we were parents, that's where we camped out. We had more fun watching kids, big and old, try to get through tat fountain without getting wet. I guess the apples don't fall far from the tree.

So, go sign up for your chance to win a free vacation, then call me when you win and we can go together. Deal?


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Mammogram vs Ultrasound

I wrote on my other blog about my first Mammogram last week and what a wonderful experience it was (my first time). Maybe I shouldn't have sounded so enthusiastic. They called me up and invited me back for a full diagnostic exam with ultrasound. Ouch, that was like a punch to the gut. I freaked for a couple hours, composed myself after several glasses of wine and went to bed. Today I awoke fine. Barely even thought about it. Googled it. But barely thought about it. Anyway, here is what I found out.

Half of all women under 50 (and a third of women over 50) are dense. Well, that is to say they have dense breasts, which yield very poor results from regular mammograms. Full diagnostics with ultrasounds are extremely costly to the radiologists due to insurance covering only 67% and the time involved being 30-40 minutes. So while this is clearly the best way to detect anything, it is currently cost prohibitive to administer to everyone although research is being done to create machines that would cut down on the time involved.

So, I'll be going back. No worries.

Wordless Wednesday ~ Pink





American Idol 5/5


I haven't been posting about this regularly but thought I would take the time to put my 2 cents in now. I think Adam is going to go home tonight. I think he is super talented but he changes too much, for me. He was actually the person I voted least likely to use a stylist, not that there was actually a vote, I just thought he came across, in the beginning as someone who knew who he was. He song choices are fabulous, he can sing anything, but who is he? One week he's a rocker dude in need of several eye creams to remove all that makeup and the next day he's looking like Kurt Russell. I just don't get him. The other three have stayed pretty true to themselves in song choices and appearance and I think this will get Kris, Danny and Allison to the top 3 spots.


Disagree? Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Noticer ~ Review AND Giveaway


I finished reading The Noticer and feel I may become a better person because of it. The book is cleverly written and Andrews encourages everyone, no matter what situation you find yourself in, to notice the things you DO have and be grateful. Put everything into perspective and only good things will come your way. Of course the opposite is true. Spend all your time thinking of what you DON'T have and you will end up in a vicious cycle with an increasing list of DON'Ts.


The characters are real. Jones is reminiscent of a biblical character. Not being religious myself, I recognized the image and yet felt comfortable following his journey and was amazed at all he accomplished by just talking to people. He made them see that their lives could be worse and through a new perspective, always made their lives better.


I think this book is a GREAT read and therefore would like to give a copy away.


The rules:


Go to TheNoticerProject.com and tell me here who you would like to "notice."


You can get extra entries by...

(1 entry per task)


Following me on Twitter (leave an additional comment with your twitter id)

Subscribe to Wine at Five? (leave a comment when you do)

Blog about this contest (and comment with post entry link)

Tweet about The Noticer (leave link in yet another comment)


It's pretty simple.

Contest will end May 10th and a winner will be picked using Random.org on May 11th.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Raising Money for Breast Cancer without asking for a Single Donation

Along with my participation in Relay for Life, I am collecting money for the Breast Cancer Network of Strength, and I won't even ask you for a dime. BumbleBee Foods has created
BeeWell Miles to help support Breast Cancer and make a difference.

Starting on April 1st, BeeWell Miles is encouraging participants to log in, and keep track of miles walked each day. They have created a site with coaches and nutritionist to help us get more active and eat healthier all while supporting a great cause. The nutritionists will evaluate your daily meals and offer alternatives to create healthier choices while still indulging your cravings.

Boog and I want to start jogging/walking for some needed exercise (for me) and for some special bonding time just mommy and son. We have already signed up with BeeWell and will be tracking our progress...as soon as we make it out the door. BeeWell is donating 15 cents for every mile walked by it's participants (up to $200,000) to the Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

It's not too late to get in on the fun, with almost 47,000 miles logged and over $7000 raised so far, this is an easy way to help others and yourself. The program runs through October 31st and with all the benefits of the site, you should, at the least, check it out.





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I'm a Goldfish

Seriously.

I've started reading The Noticer by Andy Andrews and have come to the realization that I am a goldfish. I won't go into much more detail than that...right now, but will have a full review within the next couple days of this "life changing" book. I'm about a third of the way through and depending on time, should finish within the next day or two. So far I have been enlightened and look forward to gaining more perspective on my life and the people in it.

If you are looking for a good book and would like to gain some perspective on your own life...this is the book. Just released last week, this will make the best sellers list in no time. I'll be back soon with more details

Friday, May 1, 2009

Is it Time?

With the economy the way that it is, I often find myself contemplating getting back into the workforce. There are 2 things holding me back.

1. I can NOT return to the restaurant business where I spent 17 years, my whole professional career. It is not conducive to family life (though many do it). The hours suck, and I refuse to miss all the kids extra curricular activities.

2. I don't want to. Not really a good excuse, but after paying for daycare and after school care for the kids, what would I really be bringing home after a mid-life career change?

LIGHTSHIP RESEARCH offers individuals a head start on the competition when looking for a career change or a better position. With their reverse headhunter strategies, they get you resume' out to companies you didn't even know were hiring. Rather than sitting at your computer all day scouring sites that offer job listings, you can let them be your JOB HUNTERS and match you with the appropriate people within your field.

Here's what one of their clients had to say...


I spent a month uploading my resume to job boards, filling out on-line job applications and sending resumes and cover letters to recruiters and I did not receive one call for an interview. None of them even have phone numbers. I have a house, two kids in college, three cars and I was burning, even being frugal, $15,000 a month. I felt like I was helpless and free falling. I lost my job as the President of a medium size consumer products company, when the parent sold my division to an Indian conglomerate. The strategist that I worked with Lightship Research http://www.lightshipresearch.com had me in direct discussions with the owners and principals of private equity firms within two weeks. It took 56 days until I was gainfully employed and 68 days until I received my first paycheck. I truly believe that if I hadn’t hired these guys I would still be looking for a job. In fact, I may hire them to be a research resource for my new firm. Thanks!J. Holt, CT


I like the idea of letting someone else do that work for me, and if they know about jobs that aren't even advertised, think of the possibilities. I used to receive calls from headhunters all the time doing recruiting for other restaurants, it would be nice to think of someone calling businesses on my behalf to land me the perfect interview.





April Top Droppers

I know there's a bit of a dispute on a couple of new features that entrecard has to offer and I'm trying to stay out of that. I love the traffic it brings me, the ease of exposing my sites to new people and the friends I have made within the community. It's therefor time to recognize my top droppers for April. I have a soft spot for anyone who visits and especially those who comment, but just stopping by is cool too. So Thank You to all my friends and to those who just think my site loads quicker than others. I'll look forward to seeing you again...and again...and again!


Silver Sachet
Traders' Hub
Wii Mommies
First Time
Our Journey to Forever
Jean sQuared
Because Someone Cares
Gas Saver
Hot in Singapore
Travel on the Tide ~

Where Do You Cut Costs?

I'm in no way a penny pincher...though I should be. I've never been organized enough to clip coupons, although I've tried. I do look for good deals on food and paper products and try to stock up when regularly used items are on sale. The biggest area I save money is on things for myself. More like, I never shop for myself unless there is a need for a specific item. I'm curious to know what all the frugal moms spend on their hair. I mention this because I have a very good, thrifty friend who buys clothes for her kids and herself at the thrift stores (and they are always very well dressed) but will think nothing about dropping $100 for a hair cut and color.





I'm getting ready for summer and got a haircut yesterday for $14 and came home and colored it for $3. Including tip, I spent $23 for a cut and color. I need some other summer apparel and went looking for some sandals today. I'm not a shoe collector, but enjoy a couple cute new pairs of shoes and sandals every now and then. Besides my favorite sandals broke at the end of last summer. I happened across a site offering great prices on tons of different sandals and I really like these



At $10, I can fit a couple pairs into my budget.

So, Frugal Mom's, where do you save the most money? Groceries? Stuff for the kids? Or do you, also, tend to neglect yourself like I do? Tell me.




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Cookbook Winner

As promised we just drew the name of our winner and it's...






Jennifer

We actually had 2 Jennifer's enter and this would be the Jennifer of mattandjen. I'll send off an e-mail to you shortly to get your mailing info.

Congrats

April Top Droppers

A big hug to all the people who visit me here. Each of you are special and the few of you who actually speak (comment) are most special of all. I will always try to reciprocate the comments by stopping in at your place and adding my two cents. I do not update daily and yet some days I provide more than one post so for those that stop by everyday, rain or shine, I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

My top EC Droppers for April are...

New Dilemma
Hello Kitty Gifts
Lisgold
Beyond Feron
Split Rock Ranch
Wine at Five?
Traders' Hub
I'm Walking On Sunshine
Wii Mommies
Welcome To Bob's Blog


Thank You to everyone who stops by, with or without a blog. I enjoy being here and couldn't do it without you. Okay, I could...but it wouldn't be as much fun!