Monday, November 29, 2010

In the mood for some videos?

Have you checked us out lately?  I am one of The Three Disneyland Moms.  We produce Disneyland informational and tip videos for families.  We've got some great pieces up on our site, so stop by today and learn how to do Disneyland right!

I've also got lots of other Disneyland videos, product reviews, and reviews of hotels and tourist attractions over on my personal YouTube channel.  Here's just a couple of the many videos on the channel.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Let the decorating begin!

This week I started decorating for the holidays.  I was yearning to decorate for Christmas but felt like I was cheating on Thanksgiving.  I decided to start with these decorations, which I can keep up until I am in full Christmas mode--minus the Thanksgiving nutcrackers.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving

Here's what I'm thankful for...

My baby love.

My super sweet snuggle love.

My caring, sensitive, first born love.

My one and only love.  Forever.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 22, 2010

No Sugar and Spice, But Life Is Still Nice

I am a mother of three boys.  When you add a husband and male dog into the mix, I am clearly a woman swimming in a sea of testosterone.  I am a girly girl living in a guys’ world.  I’m a dress-wearing, hair-curling, pink-loving kind of gal.  I love to shop and decorate and make crafts. I adore antique furniture and vintage hats and gloves.  I collect teacups and bits and pieces of sterling silver.  I have not one but four sets of china.  I am just about as girly as it gets.

I love my boys with all of my heart and when I found out my third baby was going to be a boy, I tried not to let it bother me.  I already had two boys whom I adore and knew that my third boy would be just as amazing as the first two, yet deep down inside I felt a strange pain clawing its way up to the surface.  Several days later, it hit me that I was not having a little girl and my world was tipped off of its axis.  How could this be?  How could I not have a daughter?  Who would I pass all of my girly antiques on to one day when I was old and gray?  I would never have a daughter to go shopping with or go to lunch with.  I would never go prom dress shopping or have “the talk” with my little girl.  I would never stand next to my daughter in the delivery room just like my mom did with me all three times.  I would never have all of the experiences I have had with my mom and grandmother.  As these facts became clear to me, I became depressed and guilty.  I was depressed that I would be missing out on the mother-daughter relationship I had always dreamed about.  I felt guilty for being disappointed that the beautiful, wonderful, healthy baby in my belly was a boy.

I struggled and cried in secret.  I was ashamed of my feelings.  And then after a few days of really looking into myself, I came to the realization that it was and is ok to feel that way.  There is nothing wrong for having wanted a daughter and in the end I allowed myself to mourn the relationship I will never have.  I gave myself time to grieve and reflect on my feelings and past expectation.  After a few weeks, I came out on the other end feeling so much better and ready to parent my three boys in a way that will make them wonderful husbands to someone else’s daughters.  I realized that having three healthy, happy, and wonderful sons is my path in life.  I was put on this earth to teach my boys how to treat a woman right and how to live their lives with respect and dignity.  And lucky for my boys and me, I have a wonderful husband who consistently sets just such an example for them.

The other day, my mom spent the day tending to and laying in bed with my sick grandmother.  They talked about jewelery and clothes and what was on QVC.  Sometimes they laid in silence, both lost in their memories.  My mom told me it was something just a mother and daughter could do together.  While I was happy that my mom and grandmother shared that time together, the statement instantly hit me in the heart.  I cannot deny my disappointment that I will not get to experience these same moments with my own daughter.  I don’t think that it is something I will ever get over.  But I would never, ever trade my beautiful boys and all of the amazing moments we share now and will share in the future for anything.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Waffle Recipe

This morning, our family kicked off Thanksgiving week with homemade pumpkin waffles.  They were amazing and super easy to make.  Happy Cooking!

Pumpkin Waffle Recipe
2 1/3 cups of Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 natural applesauce (no sugar or corn syrup added)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs

1.  Preheat your waffle iron as you normally would and grease with cooking spray.
2.  Mix all of the ingredients above with a whisk until smooth.  Poor onto hot waffle iron and close the lid.
3.  Cook for about five minutes or until steaming stops and the waffle is golden brown.  Top with maple syrup, whip cream, or apple butter.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Wanna Be Perfectionist

As a mother, I always try to put my best foot forward.  I try to offer my children a lot of enriching experiences and work hard to guide them into being polite and well behaved.  A mommy friend of mine once said that she was jealous of how much I “had it all figured out” as a mom.  I remember looking at her in shock and thinking to myself, “…if she only knew…”

I’m here to state for the record that I don’t have it all together—not even close.  I’m a joke and a sham.  I do get out with the kids a lot.  I do teach my kids about new and different things.  I bake cookies and cakes with them and read to them.  But then there’s the other side of me–the side that kept me from having play dates at my house for the first four years of my oldest son’s life.  The side of me that shutters at the thought of a friend stopping by for a surprise visit.  My house is a mess.  That’s it.  There it is.  As I type this, there is a Leaning Tower of Pisa of Laundry that I am clearly neglecting to fold.  My house is not dirty…it’s messy.  I am terribly unorganized.  My entryway and master bedroom closets are downright danger zones.  I wish I could get it together enough to be one of those super moms who keeps their house super neat and tidy, but I just can’t do it.  I’ve tried.

I am terribly embarrassed by the fact that I can’t keep my house the way that I want it.  In fact, this flaw deterred me from having but a few play dates in our home in my oldest son’s first four years of life.  I mean, what would people think of me if they knew I kept a less than perfect house?  I felt bad because as every parent knows, you reap what you sow when it comes to play dates and my son was not invited to lots of play dates since I rarely had other children over here…and when I did it was only after several hours of tidying up.

This all went on until last year when I was talking with a teacher at my school.  She was just about to retire and as we cleaned the room we shared, she told me a story that her daughter (who is my age) had recently told her regarding her childhood.   She said, “Mom, you know how you used to be embarrassed that our house wasn’t perfect when I was a kid?  Well, there’s a funny thing about that.  All of my friends loved coming to our house because they didn’t have to worry about getting yelled at for leaving toys out.  As I got older my friends like to hang out at our place because it was comfortable and they didn’t feel like they were in a museum.  I know you hated it, Mom, but I loved it and so did my friends.”

I’m not quite sure why my friend told me this story or how it came up in the course of conversation.  Perhaps she sensed that I was a lot like her from the stacks and stacks of papers on my desk.  Maybe she just sensed that we were kindred spirits—fake perfectionists who want the world to see us how we wish we were.  Whatever made her tell me that story changed my outlook on play dates, kids, and other moms.  I have had a lot more play dates since that day and I’ve tried to not be so consumed with making the house perfect before the child crosses my threshold.  I learned that day that kids don’t really care if I have a stack of laundry on the sofa that needs to be folded…and quite frankly their moms probably don’t either.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just Make Me Beautiful!

Dear Cosmetics and Hair Care Manufacturers,

Please stop lying to me. I'm sick of it. I'm specifically tired of the following fibs:
  • "100% gray coverage"
    That's just crap and you know it. Oh, sure. If you have ONE gray hair, I'm sure it covers it just fine. Now I don't have a TON of gray, but I have enough to know they are there and enough to see that they aren't all covered after I dye my hair. And for the record, I did dyed my hair exactly how I was supposed to.
  • "eliminate dark circle"
    More poppy cock. Really? Does that mean you get up with the baby at night to, Mr. Eye Cream. You are a liar.
  • "All-day coverage"
    I don't know about you, but my makeup doesn't look fabulous at the end of the day.
  • Plumps lips
    Uhhh...unless the tube of lipstick comes with a guy in a white coat and a needle full of something expensive, I doubt it. 
  • Longer, fuller lashes
    Maybe I'm crazy, but I've never really been able to notice the difference between most mascaras.
Although I love getting my hopes up that cosmetics will make me look like what I'm not (or what I used to be), I think I might appreciate a little more honesty--like "covers most grays" or "will stay on your face for most of the day unless it's the middle of the summer then forget it" get where I'm going.

Me :)