Friday, November 29, 2013

Planning for a plumber's Black Friday!!!

So, here we are. Wait let me clarify. By me, I mean a passed out husband on the couch and me up at 10:00 dying my hair and painting my nails in the silence of my master bathroom. Well, it's almost silent if you count the dripping water from the shower head. Tomorrow is thanksgiving, and I feel like I'm the only one in this house that's stressed out about it.

If you know anything about me, it's that my hair is uber important to me. Ladies, do you have summer color? You know, where the sun (and maybe stylist) lighten up the locks for the summer months? If your saying 'Heck yeah I do! That's when I get my tan on, and my summer skin glistens like a bronzed goddess' (only because I'm chasing my kiddos around the backyard to wear those suckers out before noon so that I can nap, and somehow I end up with a sun-burned nose and a farmers tan)...then boy are we in the same boat. I hate that those platinum locks grow out and I'm left with dull, brassy crap for two toned color for the next 8 months. 

Any who...so here I sit. Dye in my hair, waiting for the 25 min to pass so I can rinse, and then shower. Applying a base coat of nail polish, thinking about the details of tomorrow. Every year, we participate in Operation: Homecooking. It's a program on the local Air Force base where volunteers can pick up 2 trainees for the day and spend the day with them because they are away from their families for training purposes...And, well...let's face it, not even your worst enemy should be alone during the holidays. So, the honor that we have of inviting two (usually young) trainees into our home, is honestly the best gift of thanksgiving. 

Enough with the sentimentals....

....I forgot to mention the importance of a shower when our water has been shut off for 28 hours (but who's counting!) and the need of driving to the store to use the bathroom. As it turns out, we've had a water leak for the past 3 weeks. So, on thanksgiving eve, we got the (homeowners) honor or finding out what the previous tenant Effed up. Then, the icing on the cake is that we get to fix their screw up! Giddy up partners...we've got about 50 ft of 2 ft trench to dig up! 

Looks like Black Friday is rearing it's ugly head (on Wednesday! TEE HEE HEE). We get to spend spend spend... On Repairs for this casa. 

What are your Black Friday plans? Are they to be a good neighbor and to be hospitable if someone else might be in need. Or are you out haggling other shoppers over that 65' LCD? 
Thursday, November 28, 2013

From the mouth of babes: Thanksgiving edition

So, instead of the usual Thanksgiving post, we wanted to do something different. We know why we, as adults, are thankful: health, children, happiness in the home, jobs, you name it. But was does this holiday mean to our littles? I thought I'd ask Pixy(5) and Banshee (3). Here's what I got:

Pixy: it's important to give thanks. For my sister because she's so special and she cares about me and I care about her. It's important to give love and kindness. To my new brother when he comes. I'm looking forward to family time and give thanks for our family and animals and give thanks for us. Because we were made special.

Banshee: God and eating turkey, and cranberries, and eating some stuffing. Eating is important on Thanksgiving and I eat candy.

Huh. Not only do their answers give insight I to how their brains think at their ages, but how important they felt that they were being asked their opinion. It was a fun assignment and I hope I get to be a reporter in this way again.

Liz asked Silas what Thanksgiving means as well.
Silas, age 3.5: "Kisses and hugs. And presents."  
Liz: "No that's Christmas Silas. What's Thanksgiving for?"  
"Um birthdays?"

From the MATH family to yours, may you stuff yourself with food, enjoy quality time with your family, and capture all those funny moments. You may need them as comic relief later!! ;)

Your assignment for today and tomorrow, besides family and food, is to ask your littles what Thanksgiving means to them. What's important about this holiday? Share their answers with us! The wisest and simplest things really do come "from the mouths of babes". 

Happy thanksgiving!!! We are thankful for all of you readers, sharing yourself and children's stories with us. It means a lot to all of us. 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Giveaway to Make Christmas Brighter

Growing up my (Liz's) family always had artificial Christmas trees because most of our family members were allergic to real trees. Every year it was a tradition to dig the tree box out of the porch closet (at my Grandparents') or up from the basement (at my parents') and bust out the tree and the lights. I always remember my Grandfather, Bill, having the worst time with the lights. Every year it seemed he would take them all out and lay them out flat, plug them in, and inevitably at least one string wouldn't work. So he'd cuss at that string and we'd find more. Then there were the (boxes of) ornaments that seemed to go on and on.

"Christmas Background" by jannoon028 from freedigitalphotos.net

I always thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to avoid all this light business?" Little did I know that eventually stores would sell pre-lit artificial trees.

King of Christmas, a retailer of artificial Christmas trees and other holiday decor, is giving away a 7 foot pre-lit Cypress Spruce Christmas tree this year, along with some other great prizes (including Apple gift cards). If you're an artificial tree family, this is a great giveaway for you. If you don't have one, wouldn't it be great to be able to take out the tree whenever you wanted and set it up rather than having to go out and pick your tree, bring it home, set it up, water it, clean up after it...

Interested? Enter here. Good luck and we hope your family enjoys their family tree time this year!

Photo "Christmas Background" by jannoon028 from Freedigitalphotos.net

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's POM Time Giveaway


pom
Pomegranate. My family and I LOVE these as a snack anytime of day. My kids ask for them as fruit popcorn.
They are a burst of juice with a popcorn like texture and taste to me. My whole family loves them and they are worth a try any time of day.-Priscilla Craven

Below You can find some important info from their website about this amazing fruit. There is tons more info available on their website as well. Makes for a great read! 

Many of the benefits of fruits and vegetables are attributable to their rich antioxidant content, which comes from vitamins and other unique plant phytochemicals. Wonderful pomegranates provide a number of important nutrients including vitamin K, potassium and a variety of pomegranate polyphenols, making them an important part of a healthy and balanced diet.
The Antioxidant Power of Pomegranate Juice:
Polyphenol antioxidants help protect the body against “free radicals” – unstable molecules that cause damage to our bodies over time. Polyphenol antioxidants in pomegranate juice include punicalagin, a polyphenol unique to pomegranates and anthocyanins, which is responsible for giving pomegranate juice its rich red color.
A amazing source of:
Potassium

The pomegranate consist of many amazing parts and deliciousness.

ARIL - The botanical term for a seed surrounded by a juice sac. Unlike other varieties, arils of the Wonderful variety are a brilliant ruby red, indicating the healthy, sweet, tart juice contained within.
ALBEDO - The white, fleshy substance directly under the skin of a pomegranate.
MEMBRANE - The translucent yellow material surrounding the pomegranate arils. The membrane is bitter and not recommended for consumption.
RIND - The outer peel or husk of a pomegranate. Much of the antioxidant content of the juice comes from crushing the whole fruit, as the rind is where you will find a unique blend of phytonutrients.

SOME Tips on how to eat your POM Wonderful

Step. 1 Cut

With a sharp paring knife, cut off the top about a half inch below the crown.

Step. 2 Score

Once the top has been removed, four to six sections of the pomegranate divided by the white membrane will be visible. With the knife’s point, score the skin along each section.

Step. 3 Open

Using both hands, carefully pull the pomegranate apart in a bowl of water, breaking it into smaller sections.

Step. 4 Loosen

Under water, loosen the arils and allow them to sink to the bottom of the bowl; the membrane will float to the top.

Step. 5 Scoop

Use a spoon to scoop out the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the top of the water.

Step. 6 Strain

Pour the arils and remaining liquid through a strainer.


This awesome giveaway is Sponsored by POM WONDERFUL . It is Hosted by It's Peachy Keen and Co-Hosted by these fabulous blogs. The Stuff Of Success , Her 3 Little Thinkers , and Mamas Around The House.

They have offered an amazing giveaway to all you awesome readers that includes...

· A Chef Series 2013 cookbook with POM-inspired recipes featuring culinary masters like Top Chef Hung Huynh, Michael Mina, Charlie Palmer and more!

· POM Wonderful 100% Pure Pomegranate juice

· A wooden cutting board for prepping fresh pomegranates

· An apron and coupons

The giveaway is open to US Residents 18+ . The winner will have 48 hours to respond to me via email. It ends December 15 EST at midnight!

This blog was not compensated in any way for this post and is not responsible for this giveaway prize fulfillment.

Paying it forward 2013

The closer we get to Thanksgiving, the giddier I become. At our house, we try to do one good deed a day the whole year, but we ramp it up near the holidays. It's important to pay it forward and  not pay it back, because we want the goodwill, good intentions, happiness to catch on like a virus!! Let's face it, everything nowadays always holds a note of gloom, whether it's the news, or day-to-day nonsense. We need to combat that!!

What's the cure for the winter blues? Doing something for another person just because. No strings attached! There's not a better feeling in the world than getting he warm fuzzies after you've made someone's day. My project that goes on year-round, is to collect any used "play condition" cloth diapers, wash them and pass them on to needy Mamas. I sometimes give them a little lesson on how to use the diapers and what things to stuff them with(kitchen towels work, and socks too in a pinch). It feels good to know that these Mamas won't have to choose between putting food on the table or diapering their newborn. Sometimes, I had more Mamas asking for diapers than I had diapers!! It's a labor of love that I hope I can continue throughout the years.

"Wheel Chair In Hospital" by sakhorn38 from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Lisa's gifting again!

In addition to this project, I always pick a person to do something nice for daily. It can be nothing more than stopping to ask them how they' are doing, or sending a package of something that they really wanted, or complimenting someone on a job well done. This year, I've picked my recipient. She doesn't know that I'm up to something, as she's living with a disability and forgets things sometimes, but I see her at Mass and always try to help her caretakers out when they're there. They're always grateful that I sit in the same pew and don't ask if they need help, I just give it. Well, since I sit behind her, I've seen the condition of her wheelchair bag, and I've decided to gift her a new one anonymously. Maybe leave it with a note on her wheelchair when she's not in it. I'm notorious for stealthy sneaking, even when in plain sight, so it shouldn't be too hard...albeit funny, as I'm sneaking around in church. Ha! I'm positively giddy about it and can't wait to carry it out. Wish me luck!

So, what does his have to do with you? I challenge you to Pay it Forward, whether by doing a small good deed daily, a big project, or a stealthy good-deed drive by. The prize for this: warm fuzzies that will catch on and multiply until it's a virus everyone wants to catch. When the deed is done, come back here and report it!! Let us know what you've done, who was the recipient, and how it was received. Just remember the rules: don't expect anything back from recipient, don't break the bank, have fun, and share win everyone you know not in order to get a pat on the back, but with the sole intent to get them to do it too. That's it!! Simple, huh? Pay it Forward 2013 starts now!! :)

You know what to do!! Tell us all about your Pay it Forward adventures. Let's make this a new family tradition!! Have fun !! 


Photo "Wheel Chair In Hospital" by sakhorn38 from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, November 25, 2013

Julep Maven Review and Giveaway - Three Winners!

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know that we have been writing a lot about Julep, the Seattle-based beauty company and their fantastic products.

I (Liz) have been a Julep Maven for two months. What that means is that I get a monthly box of beauty goodness that usually includes nail color and another product. A week before the boxes are sent out, I receive an email alerting me that my box is ready. I log on to the website and view what's coming. I can do nothing and receive my box as is, I can switch to another box, I can skip this month, or I can gift my box to a friend.

 CynthiaSheilaJulep Lip Gloss - Coming Soon!

What's in "The Box?" Amazingness. My November box is below. It included two nail colors (Cynthia and Sheila, pictured above) and a new product - their new lip gloss. The rest of the stuff was add ons I added when I checked out my box online. I love their polishes because they are high quality and go on smooth. The new lip gloss is my current favorite and I'm looking forward to buying other shades of it in the coming months.

Julep Maven Review and Giveaway
My November Maven Box - two nail colors and a lip gloss

Julep would like to give three of our amazing readers a free Maven Box. Complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter. The giveaway begins Monday, November 25 and ends Monday, December 2nd. Be sure to take the style quiz and see which box would best fit your style (or choose one that you just like). Are you a Classic With a Twist? A Boho Glam? Let us know in the Rafflecopter so we know which box to send if you win! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sweepstakes at Sweepstakes-Search.com

Comfy Joey 2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comfy Joey Ring Sling Gift Card Giveaway Ends 12/15

PicMonkey Collage
Giveaway Hosted by:Conservamom
Sponsored by :Comfy Joey Ring Slings
Co hosted by:



Baby wearing is something that can not only make life easier for mothers but allow them to bond with their little ones. It allows them to learn various cues their baby may give off in order to help their little one grow emotionally. There are so many various ways one can baby wear Comfy Joey Ring Slings make baby wearing comfortable and fashionable with their gorgeous slings. These slings come in many different designs and fabrics. They offer slings in linen, wool, silk and even mesh water slings.

Comfy Joey offers pretty ring slings to suit everyone’s needs for the perfect baby wearing experience.

Comfy Joey Carriers:

  • Can be used from birth up to 35 pounds.
  • Can help soothe a fussy or colicky baby.
  • Is a hands free way to carry your baby.
  • Can fold compactly enough to fit in a diaper bag.
  • Can be used while nursing on the go.


You can check out a review of these beautiful slings from Conservamom here!
Now is your chance to own one of these gorgeous slings! So Your little Joey can be Comfy and close to you!
Enter to win a $100 Gift Card to custom make or purchase your very own!
This giveaway is open Worldwide and ends on 12/15


So head over to the Rafflecopter and enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:Conservamom nor Mamas Around the House are responsible for fulfillment of prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media outlets.
Sunday, November 24, 2013

What We Learned (November 24th edition)

Another week closer to the holidays? What did you learn this week? Big or small, it's all interesting!

Lisa:
Robyn and Liz learned that Lisa's been havibg contractions all week and completely off the hook. Love you!!!!

Robyn:
1. I've learned something new about men: "Having toe hair is masculine!" (Anonymous source) *Eww! Gag!*

2. I've learned that the saddest thing to see at the grocery store on a cold Saturday night, is a single elderly man (no ring on the finger) with a frozen lasagne and garlic bread, with a 40 of bud light in line waiting to check out. 

3. I've learned helicopter rides ROCK! My son turned 6 this week, and I took him on a helicopter tour of the city. He absolutely loved it! From now on, I'm convinced that memories should be made, instead of toys being given out for such occasions. 


Liz:
1) It's not something I just learned but something I observed firsthand - 3 year olds can hear it once and use it correctly. A family friend used the s-word at our house without thinking about small ears and Silas said, "S^%# my car's stuck" later that night. We asked what he just said and he replied, "Help? Help my car's stuck?" So he knows. He knows.

2) If you work hard people will ask you to do more work. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it's annoying.

3) I have found the crock pot love. I've been using it a lot in the last few weeks and Mike said, "Whatever comes out of this thing is really good." Sold! If you have an awesome recipe for me to try, leave a link in the comments. I'd love some new ones to try!

What about you, our lovely readers? What did you learn this week? Comment below and let us know!
Thursday, November 21, 2013

5 Healthy Thanksgiving Ingredient Swaps from Abesmarket.com

5 HEALTHY THANKSGIVING INGREDIENT SWAPS
Image Source: http://media.abesmarket.com/media/scoop/article/healthythanksgiving_header.jpg
Healthy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving should be a time of gratitude, family, friends and good times, not food comas and bloated bellies. If you make an effort to eat well everyday, you don't have to throw your healthy habits out the window on Thanksgiving. Instead, clean up your favorite holiday meals with these healthy Thanksgiving swaps. We're not saying go full-on tofurkey, but by choosing better-for-you ingredients, you can make the holiday healthier for you and your loved ones.

Traditional
: Stuffing & White Rice
Healthy: Quinoa or Sprouted Grains
Stuffing gets an easy, healthier upgrade when made with quinoa or sprouted grains like brown or wild rice. Quinoa is a protein- and fiber-rich pseudograin, so it's a great choice for any veg guests.
Traditional: Candied Sweet Potatoes & Marshmallows
Healthy: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil & Cinnamon
If you've ever baked, steamed or roasted a sweet potato, you know this healthy root veg is plenty sweet without marshmallows and added sugar. Try dressing your sweet potato side dish with coconut oil and cinnamon. Coconut oil provides beneficial fats that your body can more easily metabolize, which means you'll less likely feel like you need a post-meal nap. Cinnamon is a superfood in its own right: It's loaded with antioxidants and helps balance blood sugar levels. Simply bake sweet potatoes and swipe with coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon before serving.
Traditional: Canned Cranberry Sauce
Healthy: Natural Cranberries, Chutney, Jams, Spreads
Chutney, jams, spreads … canned cranberry has a lot of competition and the other options tend to be lower in sugar and sodium. Not to mention real 
cranberries are loaded with vitamin C, manganese and fiber. If your friends and family are open to the exotic, try this chipotle cranberry orange relish. For a more traditional cranberry, go with this cranberry sauce with port. Can the canned cran … it likely contains BPA, too.
Traditional: White & Refined Baking Flours
Healthy: Whole Wheat, Gluten Free & Sprouted Flours
We admit that going from white flours to gluten-free, sprouted or whole grain flours can change the consistency of texture of certain types of desserts, so you may need to whip up your favorite holiday dessert before the big day to make sure you get it right. Taking this extra step pays off big when you can serve your loved ones a better-for-you dessert.
Traditional: Fats & Sugar
Healthy: Unsweetened Applesauce
Did you know you could replace sugar and butter in recipes with unsweetened applesauce? Use a cup of applesauce for every cup of sugar called for in a recipe (just be sure to reduce the amount of liquid by ¼ cup) to reduce sugar levels and cut calories. It also makes desserts nice and moist. Unsweetened applesauce also works for replacing fats in sweet treats. Try ½ cup of applesauce and ½ cup of fat for every 1 cup of fat (butter, oil, etc.) in the recipe.

Today's post was written by Abesmarket.com and was posted by the Mamas to offer readers some new ideas for Thanksgiving. We hope you appreciate them!

20 Questions with a 5 year old

Have you ever wondered what goes on in a 5 year old's head? Well, stay tuned my friends, because here's what goes through my 5 year old's head...


Kasen, 2012

1. Why do you follow me in and out of rooms throughout the house?
"'Cause you're so pretty. Cause I wanna save you if any thing bad happens."

2. Like what bad thing would happen?
"A bad guy snuck in the house, and I'm strong and then I could kill him for you." (Whoa, buddy! Calm down.)

3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
"A firefighter or a doctor. They both save and help people, and I like that."

4. What makes a mommy a 'good mommy'?
"Everything she does. Making dinner, making cookies, and doing it all in one day cause you've got to be tired with all the stuff that you do. You do everything , but I don't know what else to say about that."

5. What is your favorite thing for us to do together?
"Lay in your room. Then you count to 10 with a big smile, and say "DANCE PARTY!" Then you count to 10 and say "STRAIGHT AS A BOARD ON THE GROUND". And we just do silly stuff like that."

6. What is your favorite song?
"What does the fox say? Mee mee mee mee mee...."

7. How many girlfriends do you have?
"Like almost everybody in my class. Ummmm.....1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Atleast 5."

8.Who will you marry?
"I wanna get married to you, but you already got married before I could ask you! Who else can I marry? Nevermind, I'll just marry you!!!"

9. What will you do as a good husband?
"Help my wife so she doesn't  have to do everything like clean the sink, water the plants and vacuum the carpets. But, sometimes brothers help mommies too."

10. How many secrets do we have?
"Oh, geez. Like over 159."

11.Will you always tell me your secrets? Tell me one now.
"You're my girlfriend MOM! Keep this paper in a secret spot, so that dad will never know our deepest secrets."

12. What is a shenanigan?
"A bad guy that likes to lick."

13. How old do you have to be to go on a date?
"2, HAHAHA, I'm just kidding. I'll probably go when I'm a teenager. So...approximately 14. Oh Mommy! I have an idea. I'll go on a date with you! I'll drive."

14. Cool, where would we go?
"California. To a nice forest to play hide and seek. You can't go far though, so it would be 'close to me and seek.'"

15. If we had missing teeth, what would we eat?
"You could eat anything in a blender. Just put a straw in it and slurrrrp! Steak, chicken, potatoes, cantaloupe, hummus. Anything really."

16.What does mommy say all the time?
"She uses her manners and is nice. Daddy always says stuff out loud and he says it mean. I don't like that."

17. What one nice thing would you do for someone besides family?
"Besides someone in this house?"
Yes.
 "My mimi (grandma) Whatever she was making, I would take over and make it for her.
Even if it was a gigantic elephant out of wire and paper mache?
"I would say 'Stop. Stop, Mimi. You go on and relax. I'll take over for you. You deserve to chill Bill."

18. How will you feel when Reagan has a boyfriend?
"Happy, cause she needs one so she won't be alone and sad." 

We only got to 18. He got distracted and ran to the bathroom. After a hot minute, I went to find him and realized he had emptied out the popcorn container and was filling it with soapy water to keep his 'treasures'. Ahhh...It's just another day with this kid~
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Julep Mani Essentials - Free for 72 Hours!

Mani Essentials
Julep Mani Essentials


A special bonus for our readers who love beauty products - order $35 or more of Julep products and get Mani Essentials free (with code). This is only good for 72 hours so make sure to get it quickly!
The Mani Essentials set includes Fiore - It Girl, Oxygen Nail Treatment, Julep Essential Cuticle Oil, Julep Emery Board, Clean Slate Polish Remover 10 pc. Pad and Rock Star Hand Crème—a $70 value! 

To receive the free gift, add the Mani Essentials set to your shopping bag in addition to $35+ of Julep.com items. Use the promo code MANIGIFT at checkout. 

(Offer not valid on julep.com gift cards. No exchanges or returns on free gift. Offer expires 11/23/13 at 11:59pm PT, or while supplies last.  Taxes vary by location.)
 
And don’t forget, shipping is FREE on all orders until December 24!

Why We Should Clean While Kids Are Awake

Earlier this year Roo at Neon Fresh posted about 7 "game changers for parents" and I read her suggestions. One really caught my eye - clean while your kids are awake. I've been doing some of both - vacuuming while awake obviously because well, who wants to wake a sleeping kiddo with the vacuum.

But reading her reasoning really resonated with me. As adults, as parents, one of our goals is to teach children how to "do" life. If they don't see a chunk of life (i.e., cleaning) they won't realize it exists and won't get to learn how to be involved.

"Dustpan And Brush" by Grant Cochrane
Little Sweeper for your Little Sweeper
Now you're probably saying, "My kids are too little to help" and I hear that. My kids are 3 1/2 and 18 months, so cleaning on the sly without "help" sounds so nice. Sage likes to get in the dishwasher. They both follow the vacuum around like the dogs do. But there are things they can do.

Silas loves to help with laundry. I give him four or five clothes to carry to the washer while I carry the basket, and I show him how to put the detergent in (but keep it up so he can't reach it). I ask my kids to pick up their toys so we can vacuum. I help to make sure it gets done, but they know the process. I put Sage in the Ergo baby carrier to do dishes and to sweep and/or mop.

As they get older, I'll get them their own brooms to help sweep and get them to put their clean clothes away. If we take their developmental abilities into account, we can figure out ways to help with the cleaning. Eventually, we can assign certain chores as their own, and they'll know how to do it because we've been doing it all along.

How do you get your kids involved in cleaning and household chores?

Photo "Dustpan And Brush" by Grant Cochrane downloaded from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nicki's Diapers Gift Card Giveaway (Ends December 2)

We love to provide giveaways for our readers that they will actually find fun and useful. Since many of our parents cloth diaper or are interested in learning more about cloth diapering, we're participating in a giveaway with The Daily Globe and Nicki's Diapers hosted by The Parenting Patch. Be sure to enter - Nicki's Diapers carries a great selection of eco-parenting gear.


Nicky's Diapers Giveaway

Welcome to the Happy Holidays Nicki's Diapers $75 Gift Card Giveaway sponsored by the Daily Globe and hosted by The Parenting Patch!

With the holidays approaching, how would you like to win a $75 gift card to Nicki's Diapers? Nicki's Diapers is a business founded and run by a mom. The small business was started to fill a gap in the cloth diapering services available within a local community and has since grown into a website helping parents around the United States and world.

One lucky reader of The Parenting Patch will win one (1) $75 gift card to Nicki's Diapers. To enter for your chance to win the Happy Holidays Nicki's Diapers $75 Gift Card Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Good luck! Happy holidays!



The Happy Holidays Nicki's Diapers $75 Gift Card Giveaway is open worldwide. An international winner will receive $75 via PayPal in lieu of the specified prize. The Happy Holidays Nicki's Diapers $75 Gift Card Giveaway ends at midnight CST on December 2, 2013. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.
Sunday, November 17, 2013

10 Days of Christmas Blogger Opportunity

Bloggers - are you interested in promoting giveaways for your blog? If so, sign up for this great one! If you're interested in entering this giveaway, it will go live in early December so keep checking back!


Free sign up with pay option

Starting December 2, we will have a giveaway starting each day until Dec. 11. ($550 in prizes).

If more sponsors are added, no anything charges will be made, I will just ask you if you want to participate on that specific giveaway.

To get your free link you must post the promotion announcement (co-hosts are not require if you are co-hosting the 10 giveaways), you will have the option to select which giveaways you want to be part of.

Free link Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.  


Here are the pay options:
Co-host for all the giveaways $15.  (you are saving $35)
Include:  2 co-host pages, up to 10 links on the RC (no google links)

Co-host for each giveaway $5.00 (in case you don't want to be a co-host for all the giveaways)
For example you maybe want to co-host only a few giveaways and get free links for the other giveaways!! 

Co-host page $3.00 (Co-host page are only to get more traffic to your blog and will help with your number, no links are included buy you still have the option to get a free link with announcement.

Extra Links $.50 each (up to 4 links) For each giveaway you want  your links to be in.

Please send payment as gift to melisurveys1978@gmail.com



Reliable Steamboy Steam Mop Combo Blogger Opportunity

Are you a blogger looking for giveaways to promote? If so, sign up to promote this giveaway - both free and paid options are available. If you're interested in entering this giveaway, come back December 1 for when it goes live!

Reliable Steamboy Steam Mop Giveaway Event
Prize: Reliable Steamboy T1 Steam Mop & Reliable PRONTO P7 Portable Steam Cleaner Combo Package
$199 Retail
Hosted by: Easy Green Mama
Sponsored by: AllergyBuyersClub.com
Requirements: Must have 1000 Facebook Fans
Dates: 12/01-12/20
You must promote 3x per week on Facebook & Twitter
Giveaway open to US Only
One free Twitter or Facebook link WITH announcement, or pay $5 waiver
*5,000 Facebook Fans 1 free extra link
*10,000 Facebook Fans 2 free extra links
Co-Host $12, Extra Links $2 each, Email & Daily Vote $5, Daily Comment $8
Most Referrals will get a FREE Link & Daily Comment Entry.

What We Learned This Week (November 17th, 2013 edition)

Someone posted on the Facebook page that there's only 6 weeks left until Christmas. What is this B.S.?! Where is the time going? What did you do this week? This is what we did. And it was awe-some!

Liz:
1. I turned 37 on Thursday. Not sure how I feel about that. I think I'm OK with it. I'll get back to you.

2. I spent my Monday night and Tuesday day preparing a talk on stress and health, which isn't my research area but I think I did pretty well. I apparently work pretty well under stress (hehe) when it's about a topic I know something about but that isn't, like, my favorite thing ever. Check out my talk here.

3. I'm realizing that persistence is paying off in the blogging world. You'll see what I mean in a few weeks. Let's just say that a certain affiliate we advertise for is giving you gals (and guys I guess) something awesome. Something awesome this way comes November 25th. Be there or...I don't know.

Robyn:
I've learned that trying to get a baby to relax and have some quiet cuddle time is not the best idea while wearing a rhinestone studded shirt. Reagan kept playing with the bling, and would get even crankier when I tried to hold her hand (Give me the shiny stuff MOM!) Is this a sign of a glitz and glamour child of the future? AH! Prepare the bank accounts now!!!
Reagan wants the bling!

2. I've learned that flu symptoms set in less than 15 minutes after getting the shot. Shoo shoo flu! 

3. I've learned that I cannot take you serious when you pull up next to me in a low rider with pink accent windows, do the upward head nod at me, and drive away with the "shocker" sticker on your back window.

Lisa:
1. I learned that things happen when you least expect them. We had to take Kai to the vet because we feared he'd torn his ACL. It turns out that he is having a neurological issue and he's losing feeling in his hind end. I would lie if I say that I'm not heartbroken. He's my first baby and it has hit me hard. My consolation though? If he gets his wheelchair, I'm painting flames on the side. He has to look cool!!

2. Banshee started her new group at Kennedy Krieger and we couldn't be more pleased for her. She is so happy, in spite of being sad about Kai, that it is infectious. She screams and laughs and dances....just a happy child. That is worth all the riches in all the world.

3. I had the bestest afternoon with Pixy. She decided to come into my room and sit on the rocking chair with me to ask about babies. She's so excited for Cubby to show up that she needs to know about when she was a baby, if his diapers are ready for him, does he have everything he needs....Pixy is a little Mama in training and it was awesome to relive her babyhood with her.

4. I learned that I am ready for this kid to get here. Anyone wanna take bets on when he shows up?! ;)

Now you! What did you learn? What was super cool-io about your week? Share in the comments!
Friday, November 15, 2013

America Recycles Day - November 15

Today is America Recycles Day. We at Mamas Around the House want to support our readers in their recycling efforts as well as in their efforts to reduce their waste, reduce their "footprint" on the Earth, and to re-use products that they can. 

"Creative Light Bulb With Happy Family Drawing" by KROMKRATHOG from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today on the blog is #FridayForReaders, and what that means is that we provide a prompt and ask our readers, the fabulous folks that they are, to "write" the post in the comments. This week we want to know, what questions do you have about recycling? Leave them in the comments below and we'll see if we can answer them with you!

Are you participating in the America Recycles Thunderclap? Want to know more about it? At 11 a.m. messages will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr relating to recycling. Want to participate? Look here. Help spread the word so that others may learn, act, and share what they have learned with others.

So what are your questions? Post them below!

Photo"Creative Light Bulb With Happy Family Drawing" by KROMKRATHOG from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Parents Need a Break

At our "jobs," we're allowed a certain amount of down-time, sometimes by law depending on what state you're in and how long you work. It's called a "break." As parents, breaks are important too.

I was messaging with a good friend the other day and she said she wasn't prepared for the amount of noise 2 kids would make. When combined with kids, pets, and sometimes music or TV, it can be sensory overload. Sometimes we just need a quiet time break.

"Not hearing" by artur84 from freedigitalphotos.net
Need quiet!
My husband and I have an understanding where if one of us gets overloaded, we get to sit outside and take a break that is protected by the other person (no wandering kids or dogs come out onto the porch) but the kids also learn that break time is a person's quiet time (and they can take breaks too). My older son has asked for quiet time away from his brother as well, and he gets it. These two spend all day together, and then come home to eat and bathe together. They even share a room and toys. I can completely understand a request to have time away from your younger sibling who follows you around and plays with the same toys.

Protected breaks where we as adults make sure the other adult (or the child) will have uninterrupted down time are important. They help us recharge our batteries so to speak and help us to regain some lost mental energy. Parents should not feel guilty for wanting some time alone, some quiet time to recharge our batteries (and our patience). In my mind it helps me to be a better parent and teaches my kids that they too may need down time and can take it without being interrupted.

Do you take Mommy or Daddy Breaks? What do you enjoy doing during your break?

"Not listening" photo by artur84 retrieved from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Good Dad

Recently Doyin of Daddy Doin' Work asked his subscribers to describe a "good dad." He received entries and chose some to post on his blog today. This question made these Mamas put on their thinkin' caps, and here's what they said:

Robyn: 
Good daddy's work. They have a day job and maintain the house and cars. They have helpers, too. In the garage, they help pass wrenches. At the bathroom sink, they help shave faces. Good daddy's also teach. They teach their kids about how a woman should be treated. To be kind and give her honesty, respect and love. Kids learn from their daddy's how to use tools, whether it be in the kitchen or in the garage. They teach kids about sports rules and regulations. They teach gun safety. They teach consequences for not listening when told to do something. Daddy's also listen a lot. They listen to fights among the kids, and then break them up. They listen to non fun stations on talk radio and NPR. They point to mommy to fix boo-boos with her kisses and band aids. "Mommy will make it better", they say. Daddy's hold mommies tight, and dance with them in the kitchen, for the kids to see. Good daddy's are adventurous, but predictable. (Like bringing home hockey tickets for a Friday night, but in the nosebleed seats while the budget in mind). Good daddy's have a support system of good friends, colleagues and the most important a great family who drives him nuts! 

Lisa:
A good dad is someone who goes to work all day, but is constantly thinking about home. A good dad takes over bath time, dinner time, homework time, just because. In spite of being tired, a good dad will take time to play tea party with his little girls, take he dogs out for walks, and smile through all of it. A good dad teaches his children how the world works: enjoy each day to the fullest, try your absolute best at everything, and never give up. A good dad always has time to say 'I love you, no matter what' to all of his family, without fear that he will look uncool doing it. A good dad will go to the ends of the earth to get that one toy you can't live without. He will also send love notes to Mama with the kids as the delivery people. A good dad is tall, short, skinny, fat, lanky, muscular, white, black, brown, yellow, speak different languages, have curly hair, straight hair, Mohawks, have tattoos, no tattoos, work all day, work some days,....good dads come in all shapes, sizes, and with all sorts of experience under their belts but the one thing that all good dads embody is love. 

Liz:
Liz wrote an entry for DDW and it was actually chosen for his post! Read what she wrote here (last one at the bottom).

What about you, what do you think "a good dad" is or does? How would you describe a "good dad?" Comment below with your thoughts. 
Monday, November 11, 2013

Keurig V600 Giveaway (Ends November 30th)



We try to find fun, parent-style giveaways for our readers. What could be better than a new coffee maker?! If you already have one, consider entering this giveaway for a friend or family member for a Christmas gift!


Hosted By:
Co-Hosted By:
 
Prize:
1 Keurig V600 with Vue Packs 
(arv 169.99)
 
About the Keurig V600
The Keurig Vue V600 Brewing System lets you customize your own cup of coffee, tea and more. Brew stronger, bigger, hotter and with more choices than ever before. The V600 has a  black and white touch screen and Custom Brew Technology Vue which makes sure that your beverages are brewed to your liking, giving you great results every cup and every time. And your choices are nearly limitless. In addition to coffee, tea, hot cocoa and iced beverages, Vue brews delicious café and specialty beverages as well.  You can make a cup of joe for your Dad and then make a cup of tea for your Mum and if the kiddies want some hot chocolate you can do that too.  It is really versatile and a great addition to the kitchen. 
This giveaway is open to the US Only, 18+ 
 
 

 
Disclosure: Mamas Around the House is not responsible for prize fulfillment. My opinions are 100% my own and may differ from your own or even those stated in this post. Out of the Bags is responsible for prize delivery. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What We Learned This Week (November 10, 2013 edition)

How can we be 1/3 of the way through November?! Time flies when you're having fun (or busy) eh? What new learnings did you have this week? Share your fun ones with us in the comments.

Lisa:
1. Rest is great! I've become reacquainted with a book series that I love and it's been helping stave off cabin fever. Thankfully, bed rest should be over soon!! A couple more weeks until Cubby is here.

2. Was patted on the back by Banshee's doctor about our parenting. Always good to hear someone who knows how hard you've been working to get help and maintaining life as usual, tell you that you've got it under control. Sailor and I gave each other a high five. That was the extent of our congratulations.

3. Cracked up at Pixy, who has apparently found boys. She wrote on a piece of paper ' I love Max'. Now, there is no Max in her classroom, so I'm assuming it is someone from the playground? Anyway, I asked her why does she love him and her answer made poor Sailor start having palpitations: " I think he's cute!" Seriously?! This stuff happens in Kindergarten?! :)


Robyn:

I've learned that the Rosemary bushes on the walk to school 'smell like Christmas' according to Kasen. He's associated smells with holidays, and it totally warms my heart! 

I got the chance to remember how good shopping for myself feels. I gave Forever 21 a good run, and felt fabulous walking out of there. It was like the sunshine had opened up the clouds, and a beam of light was shining down on my golden curls as I strutted out. It feels good to spoil yourself rotten every now and then! 

Liz:

I was reminded that I only have so much mental energy and that days like Tuesday (our annual Psychology Day at the college) sap so much of my energy that I'm useless for, like, 2 days afterwards. It's a fun day, don't get me wrong, but introverts like me need to take a break for safety's sake if you know what I'm saying.

I learned that you can use tea bags and super glue to fix cracked nails. My right index finger nail cracked all the way from the side to the middle in a bad spot; it's the type of spot that trimming the nail down is just going to cause you pain. Robyn suggested I super glue it. I did. It cracked again within the day. So I read online that you can super glue then put a small piece of a tea bag over the glue and it will hold in place better. So far so good.

Nail fun!
Since I've finished my PhD I've been at a loss as to "what to do next," and this is something I've heard from a lot of people who finished their PhDs. It's like this, "Ok what now?" phenomenon. I have turned to...nail art for now. How fun is this? I came up with the idea and Hubby figured out how to do the hearts. He says he can do Chevron on the ends of my nails. Can. Not. Wait.

Now you share: what did you learn? Comment below with the coolest thing you learned this week.
Friday, November 8, 2013

Confessions - Another Not A Blog Post #FridayforReaders

"Two Pretty Young Girls Gossiping" by stockimages from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Confess!

It's Friday again! #FridayforReaders is live. We all have things we'd rather not admit or that we think are silly about ourselves. Do you save bubble wrap for a cheap kid toy? Did your kid cover their car window with unknown stickers? Help us write today's post with your confessions in the comments.

Photo "Two Pretty Young Girls Gossiping" by stockimages from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mirror, mirror - Adults and Friendship

Recently, I made a decision to limit my time on Facebook and distance myself a bit from the shenanigans that go on there. It is baffling to me how brave people get behind a keyboard, how quickly insults fly, and even more sad...just how disposable cyber friendships really are.





Like many other moms, I joined quite a few chat groups in order to meet other moms, learn from those that have tried new things, and share the knowledge I have. Win-win, right? It started out that way, but for some reason, women feel compelled to beat each other down--something I have no patience for. In the groups, I am known for being a neutral but no-nonsense party. If someone has a problem with me, they can talk to me directly and we will try to solve it. No nasty private messages, nor hurt feelings after. I also don't hold grudges. I just don't have time for that.  It makes a lot of the group members like me and a whole bunch not like me. It's the way of the world, right? Imagine my surprise, when one day, I found myself  adopting the negativity and becoming that kind of person. I hated myself for it and decided to make the change ASAP.


Here's what prompted this change: there is a woman that is always complaining about her life. It happens several times a day, with every status update. I'm sure we all have one of those in our friend list. I began to resent these ramblings from her. Nothing in life is ever that bad to warrant an 'FML' post, right? (FML=f**k my life) That's the way I see it. It got so bad, that I cringed when I saw a post from her. Here's the rub, she has a great support group of friends, has the resources in her hands to handle whatever is thrown her way, and has been blessed with lots of good things. Why did she then have to post the 'FML' tirades? I just didn't see the sense in that. Know what I mean? Somehow, I felt like it hurt me personally to see her do this daily and began to coma ore myself to her--completely uncharacteristic of me.  I was ashamed.

This was my 'mirror, mirror, on the wall' moment. Why was I resenting her this way? Was it because she was doing something I wanted to do? To vent, explode, rage against the cosmos? Was it because I felt like she was focusing to much on the bad, that she needed to wake up and savor life before it was over? Or was it because she was mourning the loss of her life prior to its daily complications, much like me? I sat down and just thought about it. 2013 has not been my year with the death of my father, moving twice, looking out for my mother, finding a diagnosis and resources for Banshee, school for Pixy,  a baby that I didn't want to get too attached to in case we lost it.... but I told myself that focusing on the negatives would get me nowhere fast, that I need to find that damn silver lining in daily life or I would go mad. And, I did. Ferociously and in true Mama Wolf style. I hung onto the positives as if my life depended on it, and when necessary, defended this with teeth and claws. Maybe this friend was treading too close into territory I didn't want to explore. That part of the forest that is off-limits lest the beast that lives there finds you. I think I felt cornered. Wow.

After a thorough examination of myself, I decided that what I needed was a break. I needed to get away from the things that were not going to help me move forward right now. You see, it turns out, that the cave this friend is dwelling in right now, isn't really too different from my own. Maybe this was where my resentment and anger was coming from: while I chose to fight against the bad, I felt like she was embracing it. I didn't want her to. I wanted her to fight for those simple joys, those little moments that brought a smile even if the 2 hours after that, all you did was cry. I not only wanted her to do that...I needed her to do that. So I could breathe. Everyone deals witth life and it's intricacies in different ways, and I know that. I also know that sometimes you need to let a friend smack their head into the same wall, in order to figure out that they're the ones in the driver seat of their lives. I think this is why I chose to take a break. I'm in control of SOMEthing, right?

Anyway, I think I'm waiting for this friend to wake up, have her moment where she figures out that there are others in worse positions that handle life with grace and courage, who might rage momentarily but do look for that silver lining out there somewhere. When she does, I will be there to cheer her on, even more so than I did before because it means she chose to live life instead of being a negative observer from the sidelines. Here's hoping that meanwhile, she keeps her chin up and her moccasins always pointing forward.

Have you experienced a situation similar to this one? In real life or the Facebook universe? Let's talk about it. 

Photo by AdamR courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Children and Sports: Sticks and Stones

"Baseball game" by Now and Zen Photography
Kids and sports
Every Saturday, we pack up and head to my son's baseball. He plays for a league that doesn't keep score, everyone gets to bat, and everyone gets to play. Cute, right? *Eye Roll* Actually, I despite how sports' leagues play like that. What happened to teaching kids that not everybody is a winner? Yeah, that's why it's called a game. There's a winner and a loser. And, well, ya can't be both at once!
Anyway, it's a great starter league to help him understand the concept of a team and to get the basic fundamentals down. Come to find out, he's quite the little competitive slugger! The coach has him batting last and has named him as the "clean up hitter". He makes me super proud when he's the only one who can hit the ball into the outfield! 

While he was waiting to bat, I got distracted by another parent on our team. "AUBREY, AUBREY. PAY ATTENTION" Followed by a mean hand whipping gesture from the mom. 

**Side note---if you're yelling at your kid to get their attention, only to tell them to focus on the game, is it possible you're creating him/her confusion?**

First thought: "Holy Sh!t lady, calm down. You're on a 10. Take it down to about a 2. She's only 5, lay off of her!' 

Instead of speaking my opinions, I just sat back and watched. What I saw was truly sad. The mom was in her mid 30's and dressed pretty normal. She was wearing a t-shirt and mom jeans that made her have a saggy butt and complete with sneakers. But, her clothes were clean and hair was pulled back in a simple pony tail. Her daughter Aubrey was wearing her hair in pigtails, baseball jersey, skinny jeans and high top sneakers. She was extremely cute, but seemed as if she was uncomfortable. 

I sat and watched as this other mom became seriously frustrated with her (5 year old) kiddo not paying attention. She would pace back and forth, like she was a coach in the World Series (Go Boston, BTW!). Her other daughter was making a ruckus and not wanting to sit in her stroller, because let's face it...it's boring to just sit and not BE a part of the action! The mom made numerous grunting/frustration sounds when her kid would scream. Followed with eye rolls and even telling her (I'm assuming 3 year old) 'YOU'RE FRUSTRATING ME, UHHHH' 

I would glance over and the mom had this rage look on her face. When we made eye contact, she would dropped her head, as if she was ashamed that she got caught. If she was this way in public, It made me wonder what she did when no one was watching. I also thought 'damn right, you better drop your head like a dog that just got caught chewing up sneakers!)

 I know that I'm not the encouraging, peppy, excited parent at every waking moment of the day. I'm not the one saying 'good try' when my son swings and misses while at bat. (I don't think it's the 'effort' that counts for him). However, I'm also not the one threatening him ("that's it, I'm not bringing you next week because you aren't paying attention). Seriously? The stuff that comes out of parent's mouths...I choose to say what he's doing right (Way to smack that ball!) versus what I think he's doing wrong (Pay attention, kid, quit messing with your glove)

In all of this watching others, it made me more cognizant of how words can truly hurt. Especially a child, who's learning by observance. That poor girl looked so disappointed when her mother would get after her. She even tried to express herself by crying, because she was sad. She got yelled at for it. She got yelled at a lot. Such a beautiful little girl, with her hair in pigtails, and her sparkly skinny jeans on. Outside, I see a polished little girl with the trendiest clothes and accessories. Through her frown, I see a disappointed, discouraged, sad little girl, who is just doing what she's told. Even at that, she's can't do it right. She can't do anything right, according to her mother. 

This week, I'm planning a distraction technique. Maybe she just needs a little help. An outlet? A break? Either way, I plan on butting in and killing her with kindness. 

Perhaps she can pay it forward, and it can be a positive way to start her day. Wish me positive thoughts for next Saturday's game! 

"Baseball game" photo by Now and Zen Photography downloaded from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Monday, November 4, 2013

MicroTouch SwitchBlade Review

Sometimes we forget that parenting includes Dads too. Mike, my husband, was able to review the MicroTouch SwitchBlade. We received the MicrotTouch SwitchBlade for review from Ideavillage. The SwitchBlade is designed to be an "all in one" tool for grooming - it can do the small stuff like nose hair all the way to trimming your hair on your head between cuts. When I heard about that I thought, "Really? I wonder how that works." Well let me show you.

MicroTouch SwitchBlade Review
MicroTouch SwitchBlade All in One Trimmer

The SwitchBlade has two ends - the top is for micro-grooming (nose, eyebrows, small areas) while the bottom is for the llarger areas such as your hair. Each side has guards as well so if you're doing No Shave November you can still keep your beard trimmed (but keep the length).

The SwitchBlade with attachments

The SwitchBlade requires 2 AAA batteries (not included). They go in the bottom and in order to turn it on you have to bring the guard for the larger trimmer all the way down and click it before you can push the button (top middle below the smaller trimmer).

Closest trim

Mike wanted to see if he could use the SwitchBlade rather than shaving but I tried to remind him it was a trimmer. Above is as close as the trimmer would get. If you're a "full shaver" you would still need to use a razor - this is great for trimming areas you just need to clean up though. Mike used it as a nose hair trimmer and it worked well.

Overall evaluation? If you're a trimmer user or are interested in one, this is the one to try. It gives you the versatility of both sides (micro and larger trims), and has guards that slip on and off easily. It's lightweight so you can take it with you for travel, and cordless (but batteries are required).

These retail for $19.99 and can be found here or at some stores. We received this item for a review for free from Idea Village, but the opinions and experiences are our own.
Sunday, November 3, 2013

What We Learned This Week (November 3, 2013 edition)

It's November! Goodbye Halloween, decorations, helloooo fall decorations! Let's see what the Mamas learned this week...

Liz:
What we learned this week (November 3rd edition)
Silas was a great dragon!
1) My son Silas (3.5) has the amazing capability to be super sweet and to use good manners. On Halloween he went up to the folks giving out candy, said, "Trick or Treat!" and roared (he was a dragon), gave them his basket, received candy, said, "Thank you! Happy Halloween!" and went on his way. It was amazing. I could tell when he got tired though because he started going up to candy buckets and trying to seize handfuls. He told one woman who was handing out animal cookies, "No t'ank you, I no like dose. Candy," and walked away.

2) Waiting on getting my degree conferred is more nerve wracking than finishing it up! I've done all my parts now I'm just waiting for other people to do their parts and it's the whole "hurry up and wait" idea. I keep reminding myself that I'm done and will be degree conferred November 30th but seriously, get your acts together people.

3) Sick kids are no fun. And this isn't something new I've learned. I knew it before but this past week was especially tough (and trying for parents and kids). Both boys were sick. Silas woke up Saturday night crying for me and Sage woke up Sunday night sounding like he was breathing under water and could only be consoled by...momma. They got better this week but ugh. First cold of the season, you suck.

Lisa:
1. Grown up time is wonderful. I've been placed on bed rest due to some contractions and can't get out. My friend popped over for a little while to chat and it was glorious! We got to chat about everything (baby related and not) and laugh a bit, because let's face it...I'm crazy. The cool thing? I met her on a cloth diaper group a while ago and we figured out we live very close to each other. Love when you find, make, and keep friendships that start in an uncommon way. :) I got to vent a little about all the things going on here and she talked about her wee one--who is precious. I'd call this a win!

2. Halloween rocked!!! We only got 8 kids here and now have a surplus of candy...sigh. But, the girls got to trick-or-treat in the rain for a little while in our old neighborhood and visited our old house. Apparently, they had a blast as they got to go inside our neighbors houses. They even handed out candy at our old neighbor's house!! Oh my!! Since I'm supposed to be in bed, I couldn't go with them buuuut, Rocky Horror Picture Show was on. Yesssss!! <fist pump> It helped me to remember just how much I love Tim Curry. No better sweet transsexual from Transylvania than him!!

3. We got a great phone call this week from Banshee's doctor! It seems like the program that we'd been on the waiting list for over a year, has an opening for her!! We are over the moon!! Because it's a little expensive (way expensive but that's ok), we're praying insurance can help us a little. Banshee will benefit from the extra exposure to new friends, speech therapy, and get to be at Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore...which is where she is happiest. Did I mention that she comes home from regular school and says: I don't have to go anymore. I don't learn anything!? Lol!! She cracks me up!!


Robyn:

1. I've learned that the show Extreme Cheapskates is almost unrealistic. I know what I would give in return if my husband got me (almost dead) flowers, teapot (out of the dumpster) and a card (a get well card from my friend with the date changed and her name scratched out) for our 25th wedding anniversary...A DIVORCE!

2. Staying at home is making me crazy. I've started to make bows to occupy my spare time, and they are actually turning out cute. It's scary to see that sweatpants and a pony tail might be my everyday in the near future if I keep this up. Therefore, I've learned I'm more than ready to go back to work, and the job search has increased!
Robyn and baby R

3. I've learned that the next time I wait at the VA, I shall bring: a lunch, blanket, pillow, picnic basket, face shield, a gallon of hand sanitizer, my own pen, phone charger, a babysitter, change of clothes, mosquito net, Lysol wipes and wrinkle cream. You never know what might happen in the 4 hours you wait in line at that place!

What about you, what did you learn this week? Share something exciting, interesting, or just plain funny!