Monday, December 28, 2009

Let the Nesting Begin

I'm 26 weeks pregnant and the nesting instinct kicked in today...and do I mean kicked in. While my older son was at preschool, my little guy and I spent the morning stimulating the economy and getting the things we need for our new little dude. After running several other errands, I then proceeded to work on cleaning out the guest room/office that will soon be the nursery and worked on reorganizing the chaos in our garage.

Cleaning and organizing are things I hate, so clearly the hormones have kicked in and taken over my mind and body. If only I could have the nesting instinct when I'm NOT pregnant.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blog Giveaway Round-up

It's time for another blog giveaway round-up. Check out these great reviews and giveaways in the blogosphere.

Where Did My Cooking Grove Go?

I've always considered myself a pretty decent cook. I'm not talking fancy stuff by any stretch, but good around the kitchen nonetheless. I love to cook and enjoy the expression and creativity that goes into crafting delicious food. About a year or so ago, something really strange happened: I lost my cooking skills. It's like some crazy voodoo witch cast a spell on me and "poof" no more cooking abilities. I feel like most of the stuff I make goes south--even the stuff that I've always considered myself a pro at. I've always made great pasta sauce and sucks, as does my amazing meatballs and great meatloaf. It's gotten to a point in which I want to stay away from potlucks. A neighbor recently dealt with a family trauma in which all of us rallied together to provide the family meals. My go to meal of spaghetti and meatballs was terrible (edible but not anything I could be proud of). I was so embarrassed.

Will I get my cooking grove back? Have my two little boys taken some crazy toll on my brain powers? I hope that my cooking abilities return in 2010...and I'm sure my family, neighbors, and friends hope so too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blog Giveaway Round-up

There's lots of great product reviews and giveaways on the web. Here's just a few...

  • A Martha Stewart gift baskets from 1-800 on The Mommy Files
  • Scholastic Christmas books on The Mommy Files.
  • A $25 gift card to Subway on The Mommy Files.
  • Bright Starts has offered one J. Leigh Designz reader a Bright Starts™ Bunch-o-Fun lion or elephant.
  • Blush Topless Undershirts is also giving away anundershirt in the winners size on Naptime Reviews
  • An Undercover Mama shirt to hide that post-baby tummy while nursing at Naptime Reviews.
  • $50 gift card for Kids Foot Locker (3 winners) at Mama's Money Savers.
  • Thanks to the Disney Store, 3 lucky winners will each win 1 doll – 1 winner for Woody, 1 winner for Buzz Lightyear, and 1 winner for Princess Tiana from The Mommy Files
  • A pound of amazing See's Candy. I'm a huge See's fan. My huband's grandmother was one of Mrs. See's original employees and worked at the original store for about 50 years. Oh, and she was diabetic! Oh, the irony. Win it at The Mommy Files.
  • Two lucky readers will win 3 coupons for a free 8oz or 32 oz bottle of First Juice, up to a value of $4.99. The coupons expire 12/31/09 and are available at Baby Loving Mama.
  • Win a $25 Macy's gift card on Our Ordinary Life.
  • Win one of ten $50 Amex gift cards at Our Ordinary Life.
  • One lucky My Wee View reader is going to win a Just Jen shirt of their choice (up to $35).
  • One lucky reader will win an amazing, fabulous Epson Artisan 710 All-in-One Printer! This printer does it all and would be the answer to my printing dreams! Check it out on Piece of Me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blog Giveaway Round-up

This week there's some really great giveaways in the blogosphere. Click and win!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blog Giveaway Round-up #3

Here's a great round-up of current blog giveaways!

  • Super cute Snowman Water Globe personalized by Things Remembered at Piece of ME.
  • A Complete Coverage Color Video Monitor Set by Summer Infant at A Giveaway Everyday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Christmas Card List

Every year I pull up my Christmas card list from the deep recesses of my computer. Every year I am forced to face the same question. At what point can I take someone off the list? There's a few usual suspects I consider removing every year, yet keep them on out of some sort of strange feeling of guilt or desire to show off my kids' smiling mugs.

First, there's the people I don't know. I now that this seems like a no-brainer, but hear me out on this one. There's a couple my in-laws asked us to invite to our wedding and later asked us to send a birth announcement to when our youngest son was born. Apparently, my father-in-law served with the husband in the Air Force and the families were at one time close. After our first child was born, this couple started sending us Christmas cards every year. I'm not just talking a simple, "Merry Christmas, From the X Family." I'm talking a card with the "family letter" plus an additional (long) personal letter. My in-laws no longer keep in touch with this family, but given the effort that this family puts in to keeping in touch with us, I feel obligated to return the favor.

Second, there's the Christmas celebrators who never send a card back. (I'm not counting my nonChristmas-celebrating friends, as I do not expect a card from them and now they like getting our card each year because I hear from them otherwise--phone, email, etc.) I have a few friends who I like keeping in contact with who just "don't send cards" because it's not their "thing." In the past, I have felt like although these friends of mine don't reciprocate the card I want to stay in contact with them, there comes a point when the cute "quirk" is kind of annoying. I mean, do these friends really want me to keep in contact with them if they year after year don't send a card? I have a feeling that they really just don't care about the whole Christmas card thing--giving or getting.

Finally, there's the friends I send to (and send back to me) that I have virtually no relationship with anymore--except for the Christmas card exchange, of course. I have a feeling that I send cards to these folks just to show off my kids, how much weight I've lost, how pregnant I am, etc. A waste, right? If I don't like having these people in my life, why do I send them cards.

So this year, I think I'm going to clean house in my Christmas card list--maybe add some new folks and delete some old...update the folks who have moved and the ones who have divorced. What's up with your holiday card list this year?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stroller Discrimination

There's is nothing I hate more than when I am discriminated against because I am a parent with children. My children are well behaved in restaurants and stores. Our house is full of antiques and not baby proofed. They respect our belongings and those of others. They are by no means perfect, but they are probably on your upper end of well-behaved kiddos. (I consider myself very lucky!)

Recently, we walked over to a bakery for breakfast and on our way back we decided to go into an antique store that was just about to open. The owner saw us lingering by the door and she told me that the would not be open for about ten more minutes. We walked to a couple of our other morning errands and headed back. When I got there, she told me that we were not allowed to come into the store because I have a (small) stroller. I was disgusted. First, why didn't she just tell me I would not be allowed in her store when she first saw me? Second, this store is going out of business and they are trying to liquidate the inventory. If you are going out of business, shouldn't you be happy to get money from anyone? The ironic thing is that while we were waiting for the store to open, we had walked to the bank where I got a bunch of cash so I could pick up some treasures from this glorified junk store.

The incident this morning reminds me of another time we were discriminated against. The California Pizza Kitchen by our house has a policy (official or written, I do not know) that they seat families with children in the back of the restaurant. One time while in there, my husband asked if we could have a seat at the front of the restaurant so that my son could look out the window while we ate. They outright refused to allow up sit up front until my husband said, "I just want to be sure I understand what you are saying--you won't let me sit up front because we have a child." The hostess replied yes until she realized what she said and then said she could make an exception. Needless to say, we left the restaurant and we've never patronized another CPK.

I work hard to make sure my kids are well behaved in public. We are out and about all of the time so that they are well socialized and experienced with the right and wrong ways to act in public places. And when our children do misbehave, we remove them from the restaurant or store immediately. I hate being punished for the fact that other children do misbehave! And yes, I know what you are going to say. I realize that store and restaurant owners can allow in whomever they choose. I still think it sucks!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Pressure of Baby Naming

Naming a new baby is huge pressure. Will said child get made fun of for the name? Does it have CEO potential? Does it have staying power or is it a kid's name?

Naming our first son was easy. We decided on the first name and meaningful (family-linked) middle name was decided months before I delivered. With our second son, the hubs and I "discussed" names at length...the entire pregnancy. We still didn't have a name picked out once he was born and had the hospital retype his birth certificate paperwork four times within the hour before we left the hospital.

Naming our boys has been tough each time because every time I bring up a name, my husband has a few prepared responses:
  • "I know a guy with that name..."
  • "I know a guy with that name and he's an a-hole..."
  • "I knew a guy with that name and he was such a nerd."
  • "No way! "
The hubs isn't difficult to get along with, just has definite opinions about names. I find it most ironic that the problem is usually his agreeing to a name when I'm the one who is a teacher and is around so many (insert adjective to describe today's youth here) kids all day.

Tonight the hubs came back from taking our kids to a neighborhood holiday party and proclaimed that he had come up with a name. It's a good name. I like the first name and fits in with my first letter requirement. The middle name is good too, but doesn't fit in with what we've done for the other two boys. Each of my other sons has a middle name with familial significance and the proposed middle name is just...a name. No special significance, just sounds good with the first name.

So now I feel that I must walk the fine line with the hubs again of trying to negotiate the name game. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Wish I Was A Domestic Diva

As I gaze around my family room, I wish I was a domestic diva. I am no where near a domestic diva, in fact I think I am more of a domestic novice even though I've been married for nine years and have had kids for more than four and a half years.

I yearn to be an organized mom who has a place for everything--no papers stacked in corners and on counters, no toys strewn about, and no mail from last week still close to the front door. I wish I was one of those moms who have the urge to vacuum when a crumb hits the floor. I wish I didn't hate folding the laundry.

Now don't get me wrong, my house isn't one of those places you see on that Hoarders show. (Not yet anyway.) I try to keep up with it all and throw out the things we don't need. I don't have old food wrappers on the floor and stuffed animals stacked to the ceiling. Nonetheless, I could stay on top of the day to day cleaning and tidying more and save myself the anguish of having to try to "do it all" on my Friday day off. Instead of doing what a good housewife should, I always opt for things like taking the kids to lunch at McDonalds. day trips to Disneyland, and play time at the park. And take right now, for example, I'm watching a TiVo'ed episode of "the forgotten" and writing this piece...instead of sweeping and washing the kitchen floor. (And it needs it!)

One day, I hope the good wife fairy comes during my sleep and waves her magic Swiffer over my head. I want her to make me into one of those perfect housewives with the dust-free, handprint free, soap scum-less homes. Until then, I will strive to remain mediocre. I will continue my relentless Friday tidying sessions and always remain behind on my responsibilities. Oh, and I will continue to be thankful for my awesome, amazing and very helpful husband who pitches in and puts up with it all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cute Mommy-themed Shirts and More by Babes in Disneyland

If you are looking for some cute Mommy-inspired gifts for the holidays or something cute for yourself, check out these super cute shirts available through The pirate-inspired shirt below is my most popular shirt! It can be made into a sweatshirt and on my Zazzle sitethere's many other variations. I have lots of other great mom-inspired shirts too.