Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ... and a few words

My poor splotchy baby boy. :'0(
Fake tree next year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ho Ho Holy Crap!

Christmas is coming and I have nothing wrapped.
Not everyone is shopped for and yet I am strapped.

I have knitted and knitted until I couldn't feel my hands.
Stockings and hats and scarves and head bands.

I'm not happy with what little I've produced.
Not happy. I need a Christmasy boost!

Can you buy it in a bottle? Like a 5 hour shot?
Only for 5 or 6 days? I'd like that a lot!

I need something! Something quick! I swear.
This "Bah Humbug" feeling is staring to wear.

I want to be happy, joyful and filled with GLEE!
Not inwardly screaming and wanting to flee.

I just want it to be over. How festive, I know.
I used to love Christmas and now I wish it'd just go.

My children count down the days with excitement and cheer.
How can I let them down? Ya, THAT is my fear.

What if they are sad when the see less under the tree?
What if they hate the gifts hand made by me?

What if what they asked Santafor, is not what they get?
Will it matter to them? Probably not that much I bet.

They are good kids. Happy with anything.
Thrilled for the holiday and not what the gifts bring.

They love the tradition! The lights and the songs,
The family and love will right all the wrongs!

I need not to worry. I need not to fear.
Things will be ok on Christmas this year.

Happy Holidays from all of us at KidLit'sKorner!
May it be stress free and love filled!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Out with the turkey... In with the tree.

I know I don't have many followers, however for the one or two I do have, I want to apologize for my absence. It has been hectic. But then are the holidays ever free of chaos? If this time of year is calm for you, I envy you immensely.

I don't know why, but week after Thanksgiving always seems to be the worst. I mean, there's still 3 weeks or so before Christmas, yet it seems more like 3 days. Black Friday gets everyone worked up into a panicked frenzy in which they never really seem to come down from until New Years! You get that feeling that you should have more done, when in essence, the Christmas portion of the "holidays" has just started! Even if you try to slow down and attempt to just take some of it in, you really can't because you have this checklist continuously playing over and over and over again in the back of your head. Normally, it's relatively quiet and keeps to the back of your brain. That is, until you see or hear a trigger word from the list.

Example: I'm at my kids school trying to enjoy the Winter Concert last year. I think I've left the hustle and bustle at the door. Then, from a row back, I hear a child say she wants more of her apple juice. And immediately, that check list pops up with a voice of authority and says "APPLES! Liam's allergic. Need to pick a pie he's ok with." Then from the right, you hear a mother comment how beautiful the schools tree is. "TREE! Gotta remember to water the tree. Don't want it to go brown and lose all its needles like last year." The class on the stage sings "We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year." "NEW YEAR! What ARE we doing for New Year?" Principal says "Please be sure to stay for punch and cookies." "COOKIES! Have to make sure we have all the ingredients for sugar cookies so we can bake them for Santa." Father to son "pull up your sock." SOCKS! Do we have an equal amount of stocking stuffers for each kid? Don't want to play favorites." And on... and on... and on.... the mind never really seems capable of taking a break!

I don't want it to be that way this year. I want to be able to stop and smell the tree, taste the cookies and drink in how blessed I am with out it being tainted by what I should be doing. And I hope the same for you.

Have a happy and quiet month. Even if the quiet is only from with in. ;0)

Our Goofy Christmas eCard From Last Year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday... and a few words

My first time knitting a hat. The color is called Grape Jelly. Yummy!

Rogers Family Christmas Cards a la Shutterfly!

Family Wall Noir Christmas Card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creative organized holiday greetings amidst utter chaos?
Totally Doable.

As the days counting down to Christmas dwindle away, many of us find ourselves wondering what in the world we are going to do and how the heck we are going to pull it off. With the current economy still wreaking havoc on many of our pocket books, this can be even more stressful and anxiety laden. I know. I wake up nights wracked with concern, sweat pouring down my face, many times screaming "SANTA! STOP!" Ya, probably something I need to bring up in therapy...

Anyway, my point is, I GET IT! And I'm here to tell you (and myself) that it doesn't have to be this way! We live in the age of technology and it's a wonderful thing! It can save us not only money, but time and most importantly save us from ourselves!

Case in point. How many times have you said "I would LOVE to get a family portrait done of my beautiful wonderful children and send it out as a Christmas card, maybe with our year updates for the family members we hardly ever see." And then your oldest starts "cooking" for your middle child who wants to help and sets off the smoke alarm, waking up the baby, who starts SCREAMING because her diaper is full and her stomach is empty, while your darling hubby (with out missing a beat or looking up from his game)asks "Honey, will get the baby? I'm on level 40 and this guy has me locked in battle." Then you realize, there is NO WAY I'm going to be able to get these kids to sit still and look cute all at the same time, let alone the big one virtually taking his aggressions out on a dwarf!

*deep breath* OK, probably not that often... but you get my point. Right?

Well, this year I know exactly how I'm going to handle it! I have several great pics of the all the family, just not of all of them together. And with the awesome holiday photo cards they have available at, I can just pick the best of each of them and BAM! Precious holiday photo-card greeting done! I can even get them in a folded card so I can add updates about our family, like Libby's birth, Liam starting school and all about Cait's awards. Come to think of it, they also have gifts you can personalized. I know Nana and Papa would LOVE a calendar loaded with pics of the kids. And my Dad would totally get a kick out of a mug with their precious faces on the side so he could brag all day at work. :0)

Well there ya go! Christmas solved! Stress relieved! Scary Santa nightmares... I'll work on that one. Until then, stress less and have a great holiday season everyone!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted ... in my underwear.

I know. Big deal. Right? Yes, it IS a big deal! We are privileged to live in a land where we get a say and many times this is sadly over looked. Does that mean I vote every time? No. And that might be bad of me, however, I do have the right not to if I so chose. That too is something we should realize is a privilege. In some countries, you are forced to vote in the name of democracy (whatever) but there's only one name on the ballot.

But I digress... *quickly gets off the soap box before she is kicked off* The point is, I did it IN MY UNDERWEAR! I know. Not quite the vision you wanted, but still. That is the life. Voting in my own room... chillin'... with my coffee... in my underwear... watchin' my favorite morning news program. And it go me thinkin', if the public officials could pass the freakin' budget in their rooms... in their underwear... shit might get done! Or not. It was a thought. A gross one, now that I think about it more. Could you imagine CNN covering that? *shudder* Ya, OK. Never mind.

Anyway, to the point I wanted to make to begin with: When you vote, you get one of these!!!!

Some places give you freebies or discounts if you wear this on election day. I would comprise an awesome list of said goodies, but I'm tired now from voting and blogging (both in my underwear, of course) and now the baby is screaming AND both my other kids have homework they need help done. I did try to do a search to share with you, but honestly, all I found were from the presidential election back in 08 and several articles on how its illegal to give away freebies for voting. *shrug* I tried.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Super Yummy Teether! (a way over due review)

A couple months back, my daughter started teething. Big Time! At the same time, my girlfriend's son started teething too. Coincidentally, I won a $25 credit for Discovery Toys in a giveaway sponsored by fellow blogger and mom extraordinaire, Jennifer Bellucci a.k.a. Mum2Abby of "Home is Where They Send Us...". With my credit, I scored 2 of the greatest teethers ever! Bright red, very tactile stimulating and smelling (and I am assuming tasting) of yummy vanilla, this great toy was the instant favorite with my friend's son. It's easy to grip and has several chewable nubbies to choose from. It's name: The Super Yummy Teether. Perfect.

Now, I wanted to include pics of either or both kids going to town on their teethers. This proved to be impossible. My daughter still has not mastered holding it on her own very well and my friend's son never has it when I have my camera at the ready. I will get pics and when I do, they will be posted. Promise.

Other Great Points of the Teether:

* Bright Red! Can't miss it!

* Hole big enough to attach it a stroller, carrier, play center, etc. with links.

* Smells good!

* Decent size. No losing it in the diaper bag.

* The price! These great teethers were very affordable at $10 each.

* Very Durable!!

* Soft and relatively light weight. I say that, because it is a lot bigger than I had expected it to be. In fact, I was sure Libby was going to bash her own face with it upon her first fumble. Not so. Despite its hammer like appearance, it is very baby friendly, even for those new to the whole eye-hand thing.

So, in short: 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and the very first, not so coveted, KidLit's Keepers Award to Discovery Toy's Super Yummy Teether!! And another to Jen for her outstanding service! If you like Discovery Toys, show her some love and send your business her way. Oh, and her blog is awesome and worthy of your attention too. ;0)

For those who give two shakes, this was an unsolicited review. I was not asked nor was I paid to give it. While the teethers were free to me, they were a result of a blog give-away and were given with out any requirements. The views of this blog are of mine and mine alone, unless otherwise specified. Yadda-yadda-yadda. Blobbity blobbity. Bippity Boppity Boo!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ramblings of a Mad Woman

This will most likely make no sense. If you walk away and make a sandwich while I vomit the thoughts from my head, that's fine. I'll probably still be rambling when you get back.

I started this blog back in.... crap, I don't remember when I started this blog... a while ago. It just sat here! Had, maybe one post? Don't bother looking for it. I deleted it. But then, a member of my mom's group started blogging. Then another. I figured it was worth another shot. After all, I was spewing enough books on our mom's site, might as well re-direct my efforts to one place in the event I wanted to re-read them at some point or share them with non-mom-group-members. That and most of the mom's were scanning my rants at best. I was feeling bad about all the eye pollution I was creating there. I mean, it was usually on topic and only a a little self centered. ;0) But where else was I going to spew my brain spittle?!? So, ya. The blog made sense for my sake and the sake of my fellow mama's. (Note: some of them would be quick to argue and say my stuff was funny/well worded/on topic/blah blah blah... but they are my friends and pay them to say that. Others said it was skim worthy at best, so... You be the judge. Read my stuff and either follow my blog or leave "YOU SUCK" in the comments section and kick rocks. Ok, maybe not that last part.)

I like creative writing. However, my definition of "creative writing" doesn't seem to be the same as my previous instructors definitions, because my papers always came back marked up with mountains post-it arrows and miles of red ink pointing out all my grammatical, punctuational and spelling errors. (Not to mention lengthy run-on sentences) I mean, isn't it creative to manipulate punctuation, spacing and what not in order to write like you talk? I always thought so. Apparently, what I saw as "creative", they saw as just "wrong." This quickly sent my love of writing out the window. My love was rekindled as I started posting about my families adventures on the aforementioned mama's group, which led me here.

The problem with this whole blog thing, is that I get performance anxiety. I know that sounds stupid, but bare with me while I explain. I started this to unload the rambling thoughts out of my head and have them stored some where. Then I get here and feel the not so piercing eyes of would be readers. Not that I have many. But still! And it's stupid really! I want to do this for myself! What do I care what others think? Because I'm HUMAN! *eye roll* Now, if I was a cat, this wouldn't be the case. Cats don't care what others think. Especially humans! But then, cats don't have thumbs, so... that would be pointless. All my entries would be about tuna and lack spaces.

Speakin' of Tuna... back with that sandwich? Good! Well, don't let me stop ya. Munch on. I'm almost done.

So, what is my point with all this. Well, not sure if I have one really. Just trying to figure some things out for myself. Answer some questions. Like... Do I want to keep blogging? Does it matter if no one really reads it? Is it better if not one reads it? What if people DO read it? Will that bother me? Do I continue to write like I'm aware others will be reading or more like I am writing in a personal diary and from the heart? And if I do, do I attempt to be more correct in my creativity or just give in and be creative in my own interpretation of the word? Will I slave to a schedule? Do I sign up on blog lists and with blog groups? Or do I fly solo and let the flow of the internet wave take me where ever the tide of surfers see fit? To tell you the Truth, I know none of these answers. Yet. But I will! This was my first step. Now that I've typed this all out and have read and re-read it, it will be easier to mull over as one big picture and not just a jumbled mass of fragmented thoughts. Hopefully, I'll have an answer soon.

Done with your sandwich I see. Wow. Did I really ramble that long? Eh. Nothing new.

Oh great. Now I'm hungry. Good thing dinner is already in the oven. ;0)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Iz Gots a Smart Cookie!

Warning. I'm gonna braaaaag. BIG TIME! I hate to be one of those parents.... but I am. For this next post anyway.

Today was the CST awards ceremony at my daughter's school. (CST = California Standards Test). In order to better explain what she recieved and why, I need to explain a few things about CST's scoring. Scores fall into the following categories: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, Below Basic, & Far Below Basic. The test is divided into 2 subjects: Mathematics & Language Arts (atleast in the 3rd & 4th grades anyway). Each subject has 6 small tests. The percentage of right answers for each individual test is added up to give the overall scores for each subject and range from 150 (rock bottom in Far Below Basic) to a perfect score of 600 (top score in Advanced). Because the two subjects are tallied seperately, it is possible to be in two different categories (ie: Basic/Proficient).

That been said, today the 3rd & 4th graders received awards based on their categories and other achievements. First, they called up those who recieved Proficient in one of the categories and 5 happy kiddos recieved certificates. Then, they called up those who recieved Proficient on both subjects and they recieved a certs; 7 or 8 kiddos. (My daughter's autistic friend from kinder was called up for the double pro certs and we were estatic for her!!) Then, 10 or so more kids were called up for certs because they recieved Advanced on one subject. I was SURE Cait would be in this group and I got a bit worried when she didn't get called. That left Advanced/Advanced. And she was called up... along with close to 30 other kiddos!! DAAANG!!! AND, they not only did they get their 2 certs, they recieved little wooden plaques as well.

*warm fuzzy feeling and a flood of tears* I was so proud!

Two more sets of awards were given out. 5 kids recieved trophies for scoring perfect scores in both subjects! Outstanding! And one boy recieved two trophies for being the most improved in both subjects since the previous year. He was so stoked! I'm sure his parents were too.

Tonight, I treated my smart little cookie to an afternoon on the town. We had ourselves some tall drinks at the Jamba Juice and then some serious petty damage at the Sanrio shop! WE know how to throw down, yo! '0)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Financial Woes

* Roof over our head? Check!
* Food in the fridge? Check!
* Car in the drive way still? Check! wait.... *checks* Ya. Check.
* Power still on? Check!
* TV too? Check!
* Phones? For now... Half a check.
* Clothes that fit? Check!
* Credit cards paid? Ya... no. Sorry guys. I know. Poor credit. I get it.
* Pocket change for misc. Ha! Ha ahaha aahahh a ahahahahaaaa!! *cough* No.

Misc. is short for: Mom I want that, I want coffee, the fee for that is, crap that broke, the bus for the fieldtrip will only cost you, we need milk again, Oh, you want that clean, then I need soap, what do you mean you lost your library book, crap THAT broke, that was the last roll, make your sandwhiches out of crackers then, brush your teeth with warm water, I don't need no stinking bandages.... wait, yes I do, seriously.. I want REAL coffee, Gas Again... Didn't you just fill up, you need WHAT for your class, suck in, get the shoe horn, stop growing, I just bought those, well, we DID have enough for the week, please-coffee-now, that wasn't under warranty, get the duct tape/stapler/safety pins/glue, again with the gas, How Much Is THAT Gonna Cost!

*sigh* I need coffee.

And a job.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Baby Says "Mama!"

baby Pictures, Images and Photos

There's nothing sweeter than hearing your child utter her first word. However, hearing it when she's only 2 1/2 months old, causes nothing but dismissal and denial. For the past month or so, my little cutie has been smiling, cooing, almost laughing and ... saying "Mama."

At first, I dismissed it as just babble. Then others started to point out when she would say it.

"No. It just sounds like it. It's just noises and cooing."

My neighbors agree, she was definitely saying "Mama." I said they were nuts.

It wasn't until one day when I was helping my older 2 clean their room, my baby girl started fussing. I started to rush through pick up so I could declare their room clean before I dealt with the dirty diaper, snotty nose, slobber and up spit I foresaw coming my way.


Again, I dismissed it as possible and continued to fling toys into bins at neck breaking speed and deadly accuracy! But then, I received the ultimate confirmation...

"Mom. Libby just said "MAMA!"

Thank you son. I believe you're right. :'0)

Walking the sleepy baby Pictures, Images and Photos

That all been said and gushed over, she only says it when she's upset. To her, its a noise that brings me running and all the care she needs. I know she isn't actually associating me with the term "Mama." (That's me safely staying in the world of dismissal and denial... just in case it disappears tomorrow.)

Colorful Heart Border Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy to Hear. Hard to Bare.

I never thought I would be so happy to have any of my children official diagnosed with anything. However, when it seemed my first born was following in the long tradition of suffering from the "family curse," I felt the need to get it documented as soon as possible. Better heads up for the school, for one. Easier for the rest of the family to understand and accept, for another. The biggest reason? So she could begin to accept it, learn to live with it, adapt around it, and grow successfully inspite of it.

I knew having children brought on the gamble of passing it on. But it's not all bad. Many very iconic individuals had the same thing. Difference being, we live in a time where more is known about it, less of a stigma surrounds it, and most importantly, she'll know early on. That's something none of them had... a head start.

She'll be ok.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

{This Moment}

From Soulemama via Not Blessed Mama:

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

Ok, so I'm late a day this week. oops.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3 Months Old!!

Tomorrow, my little princess turns 3 months old!

Tomorrow, her balloons ALSO turn 3 months old.

This pic was taken today. Yes, that is the ceiling. Not the floor.

I stand by my initial review. Dollar Tree helium filled balloons ROCK!!

(click here for the back story on these balloons.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

{This Moment}

From Soulemama via Not Blessed Mama:

"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes Love is Sweet, but Hard to Swallow

Yesterday morning, my 8 year old daughter surprised me with breakfast in bed:

Looks good, doesn't it?

That's 4 lightly toasted (aka still somewhat cold) blueberry toaster waffles each topped with a patchy layer of either peanut butter or Nutella and lightly drizzled over with maple syrup. (I added more before this pic was taken.) It was lovingly served on a paper plate and a plastic spork still in the plastic wrap (switched out for a real fork before pic was taken.)

Her reason? It was "Happy People Who Love Cats" day.

Isn't she sweet! And oh so pretty. My adorable little tree hugger.

Let's not share with her how "not so green" the plate and spork were. Or just how many glasses of milk mama needed to finish her breakfast. (3 tall frothy glasses & a cup of coffee!) We'll just keep those secrets to ourselves for now. Some day, I'll share this story with her as I beam over the pictures with pride and a warm feeling in my heart. Reminds me of the time I baked my dad a green grape pie, which he too ate every bite of. Ahhh, memories. '0)

Yup. Sometimes love is sweet, but hard to swallow.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Got My First $5!!!

I just got my first $5 PayPal from SwagBucks! Yippeeeee!

About a month ago, I saw this ad for SwagBucks. It was promoted as being similar to MyPoints. Intrigued, I had to try it.

Wait. You don't know what MyPoints is? (Not "are". "is." I know. sounds odd. It's ok. I cringed too. Let's move on.)

I love MyPoints! I click on emails for 5 points each and after about 6 months, I get enough for a $25 Starbucks card!! (and I loves me some coffee) Ya, it takes quite some time and its only for gift cards, but hey, it's free and it's not hard. Right up my alley. ;0) Although, you can speed that time up by filling out surveys, signing up for trial offers (and get freebies for doing so, along with your points), making purchases, etc. And it's not just for Starbucks. They have over 75 different merchants to chose from including: Target, Walmart, JC Penney's, Applebee's, Hyatt, iTunes, Outback, Old Navy, Saks 5th Ave, Shell, William Sonoma, and many more gas cards, hotel cards, retail cards, restaurant cards, even frequent flyer miles and (newly added) Visa debit cards you can use on anything you want!

I know I sound like a commercial or badly worded ad. And in a way, I guess I am. But I also want to express how much I trust this site. I've been a member well over 10 years and have earned hundreds of dollars in gift cards and prizes. (from back when they did prizes)

Now... on to the reason I'm blogging twice in one day. SwagBucks! It is more search engine based and instead of "points" you get "bucks." Just like with MyPoints, you exchange your accumulated "bucks" for prizes and gift cards. Unlike MyPoints, you can redeem your virtual stash for money via PayPal! (If you don't know what PayPal is, google it... better yet, swag it on the search box to the right of this blog. Explaining it would derail my train of thought again and I'll never get to my intended destination.)

Like I said, (about a mile back up the page) I've been with SwagBucks for about a month now. About a week ago, I had enough to cash in for $5 PayPal and it came today! Now, to be fair, it may have taken a month, but most of that time, I was gone or busy doing other things. So normally, it would take a lot less time to earn. In fact, I am about half way to cashing in for my next $5 PayPal. Not enough to quit my day job (if I infact had one), but a great little savings to apply towards extra goodies here and there, Christmas items, or whatever. ;0)

If you decide to join me in the fun, please do so through my links above, the banner below or put kidlit as your referal when you sign up. That way I get a little closer to my next prize a little quicker. Thanks! ;0)

Search & Win

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew... Again!

My beloved son turns 5 in 3 weeks. :0)

That same week...

* I'm throwing him a birthday party.
* He's starting kindergarten.
* My darling daughter starts 3rd grade.
* I'm participating in one of the greatest children's consignment sales ever.
* I'm helping some of my friends prep their items for same said sale.

That's a lot to prep for. Especially when I have an adorable infant who eats at the breast upon demand, a 4 year old who creates a path of destruction where ever he goes (topic for another blog entry), and an 8 year old who's idea of helping is counter-productive to say the least.

Have I lost my mind?!?!? Well, ya. Of course. Pretty much goes with out saying, but then I seem to thrive on insanity. The downside is the stress that comes with it. I don't do stress well. Never have. Hey, that's why they created coffee, right? *slurp*

If I survive, I'll be back in 4 weeks to blog about how it all went. Here's to hopin' I get to report that the party was a success, all my items (and my friends items) sold, the kids made it to school dressed appropriately and more importantly, my son makes it to see is 5th birthday.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dollar Tree Balloons Rock!

A couple of months ago, my brother-in-law posted on FaceBook a picture of my niece's $10 Elmo balloon. He was amazed on how well it was holding up after 2 weeks.

This sparked a conversation on helium balloons, their life expectancy and longevity. (Oh, the things you talk about once you become a parent. They are the things that make your childless friends roll their eyes and stop calling you.) I made mention on how we have had balloons that lasted up to a month and how they had been purchased at the Dollar Tree. Others said they too had purchased balloons from Dollar Tree that seemed to hang around for quite some time.

Shortly after this, my daughter Libby was born and Daddy bought her a cute pink Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger balloon from the hospital gift shop. Two days later, she came home and her God Mother purchased her 2 more cute pink balloons from the Dollar Tree. She is now 7 1/2 weeks old.

And so are the balloons. :0)

Gift shop balloon (on the floor):

Dollar Tree balloons (on the ceiling):

I'm not sure how much he purchase the Pooh Bear balloon for. Being a gift shop, it was probably somewhere around $10-15. I'm not slamming his purchase. Far from it. It was very sweet and the only gift she received while in the hospital. Once I remove the last of the helium, it will be placed in her baby keepsake box o' memories along side the other two because this balloon is special.

Now, from a frugal stand point. The price you pay for a helium balloon, (whether it be from a gift shop, grocery store or even a party supply store) is costly! I've priced them from anywhere between $3 and $35! Not kidding! Ok, so the $35 ones were huge, sang to you or had one of those recorders in them so you could add your own message, but still... IT'S A BALLOON!!! It's only going to last sooo long before it pops, deflates or floats away!! (Even if it does last 2 months) For the price you pay for one of these, you could buy several more! Or, buy the same amount you would have at the higher priced places and put the savings in your pocket. And chances are, it will last longer.

I have purchased a dozen or so balloons from the Dollar Tree for several birthday parties, used them as decorations and then handed them out as parting gifts to the little guests as they leave. The price I paid was the same some of the guests paid to gift the birthday child one balloon. ;0)

Does it have to be Dollar Tree, you ask? In my experience, I'd have to say yes. I've tried purchasing balloons from the other dollar store (who's name I will not mention because I do like them for other things... not that anyone beyond my 1 or 2 readers will ever read this. But just in case.) They charge a dollar for the empty balloon and extra to fill it!! I would not have followed through with my purchase of their balloons if they had not been ultra cute. Still not worth it! Died within 24 hours. Not kidding. :0( Since then, I have only purchased balloons from the Dollar Tree.

So I ask you, where are you going to buy your next balloon? ;0)

(Note: The views expressed in this blog are strictly my own and in no way was I compensated by Dollar Tree. However... if they want to... I'm all for it. <3 )

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sorry. I Got Nothin'.

As my days progress with my little newborn, I have less and less time to sit down and add to my blog. Oh, I think about it constantly! Topics will pop in my head, I'll think "this would be great for my blog" and my brain will run with them. That's usually as far as it goes.


Because I get here and ...... I got nothin'.

The brain does a sudden release and all I get is "poof" nothing. This is more commonly known as a "brain fart."

OR, more often than not, I get here and find myself having to type one handed beecause the little demands I bounce/hold/feed/soothe/change her. (note the latter stops me all together.) This slows down the creative flow and 9 out of 10 times, brings my thoughts to a grinding halt.

Either way, I got nothin'.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Long Road Trips

NOTE: All links are non-money earning links to places mentioned, just in case you want to learn more about them. ;0)

Very recently, my beloved family and I embarked on a very long road trip. When I say long, I don't meant 3 or 4 hours. Not even 5 or 6. I mean 13 hours! From our door to my in-law's door, one way. We were told it was possible in 9 hours, however that obviously was not with 2 young children and a baby on board. We had to stop for potty breaks, for food, and of course to feed and change the little. Problem was, we just couldn't seem to time our stops and get everyone taken care in one stop. No, no matter how hard we tried, we ended up stopping almost every hour for one reason or another. Needless to say, the trip there was an adventure in itself.

Once we reached the in-laws (and one day of rest), they had to show us the points of interest. Unfortunately, they live in Laughlin, Nevada and none of said points were near by. In fact, with the exception of several hotel casinos along the Colorado river/Nevada-Arizona border, nothing is in or near by Laughlin, Nevada. The first trip was to Oatman, Arizona on Route 66. The trip took us about an hour. No big deal. However, I didn't keep track of the time and ended up with a hungry baby when we were back on the road headed towards our next destination. With no place to pull over for a full feeding, I hopped into the seat next to her and (upon surprising suggestion of my MIL) performed what my BFF lovingly refers to as "Tossing A Tit" which, in front of my ILs, was awkward in more ways than one. For obvious reasons, this feeding was cut short. The day included one more stop at Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge, several more hours on the road, more rushed partial feedings and one fussy baby.

I decided for my own sanity (and a potentially shorter road trip home) I'd break down and purchase a bottle and some formula. (I know.... eeew!)

We decided to road test our formula feeding theory on our 2nd (and even longer) day of "site seeing." This time we were on the road for 2 plus hours to Las Vegas, Nevada to see Circus Circus and sneak a quick visit with my beloved grandmother so she could see her great-grandkiddos. Trip started off well enough. Fed with out stopping. However, by the time she needed to fee again, I was in PAIN! Ya, didn't totally think that through.

(I didn't take pics of Las Vegas. *hand-forhead* So here's a cool pic of the fountain in front of the London Bridge)

Let me preface this next part by saying, I am ALL for NIP (nursing in public). I support it 100%... out in the open... full boobage... all ok by me and I'll fight for a woman's right to do so. That been said, I am a huge chicken!!! LOL

I was so gun boob shy, I found it hard to just whip it out, or even sneak it out to feed her. I ended up sitting on a bench sandwiched between the stroller and my DH who went with me upon my request for protection, just in case someone confronted me about it. Ya, I'm a chicken. He was great though. He looked like he was hoping someone would say something so he could chew someone out. In fact, he was so awesome about it, he snapped at his own mother when she suggested we could maybe find a bathroom or something. "No, MOTHER! She isn't going to feed my baby in the BATHROOM!! Do you eat there?!?!?" LOL I love him. hehehehe Although, I think she was thinking of how shy I was being about it, not how others would react. She doesn't care what others think. LOL!

But I digress. Between my personal hang ups and the formula feedings, I was not only in serious pain, I exploded. Literally. Luckily, I was wearing a black shirt, it was dark out and we were headed back to their house.

The formula only plan had back fired in more ways than one. Besides leaving me in a bad situation, someone had failed to explain it little, she wasn't supposed to be hungry every 2 hours with formula. So really, it didn't save us much time and it only added to the problems. However, we prepped for the trip home with bottle and formula at the ready. We left the other 2 kiddos to stay with the in-laws for a 3 week summer vacation from the baby (something I am struggling to enjoy, but will grow accustom to just in time to get them back, I'm sure.) and headed out.

We tried to be smart about it. We were adults in control of our needs (for the most part), so we did our best to care off all 3 of our needs at each stop. At first, I did feed her formula on the road to cut back on stops, but the pain put a quick end to it and I was back to feeding from the tap for both our sakes. It was then that it dawned on me what I should have done all along. I should have brought my pump. I could have pumped on the road, fed by bottle on the road and changed her when we stopped to pee. That would have solved all our problems! DUH!! Hindsight is definitely 20-20. *eye roll* We reached home 11 hours later. We shaved 2 hours off our time. With the pump, we might have cut off another hour. Who knows? However, I hope we don't repeat that trip to test that theory any time soon.

Luckily, the in-laws are bring them back. ;0)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You know you're a sleep deprived mama when...

You bring a new baby home and you think, "I can do this. I've done this before. No big." They sleep a lot and you sleep when they do. When you are both awake, you breastfeed, change and you both pass back out. Right?


You intend to sleep. However, LIFE demands your attention. This kid wants a snack. That one asks if they can paint. The dishes need to get done because the kids are using paper plates left over from a party 2 years ago to put their snack on and the guilt of how "not green" that is, gets you and you're fighting the baby blues. Oh! And then there's that load of diapers you need to do (so you don't use a disposable... see same guilt as listed above) and the small fact that your son told you this morning he is out of clean underwear, nags at you as well. Soooo, you throw in the dishes, a quick load of diapers (with a few pairs of unders for the boy) after slicing some apples, pouring some juice and popping in a movie so they are entertained for at least 15 minutes and you crawl back to bed. Rest is in sight.

Wrong again! This is when your youngest will take her cue and wake up. Why? Her hiney exploded! Not only did it soak through on to her clothes, but her bedding as well. Fun! So, after quickly treating the bedding, her outfit and misc. items from your own sadly neglected mountain of laundry and positioning them next in line for the washer, you dress the bed and make the kid. Things start to fuzz together. Coffee becomes a sweet day dream. The question in your mind is now, do you sleep or do you push through it and caffeinate yourself. Hrmmm...

No matter your decision, you eventually lose the battle and become sleep deprived. You may not even realized you've become sleep deprived as it tends to sneak up on you with out you even knowing it. However, there are signs that you have indeed fell victim to this terrible disease. I am here for you mama! Just in case you miss said signs, I have decided to list them for you. I don't know them all, but as I learn of them, I will post them here. If you learn of some I have missed, please do add them. It's for the greater good of all mama kind.

What will we do with all our new found wealth of knowledge? Commiserate? Use it to guilt our significant others into helping out more so we can get so much needed sleep? Or just get a really good laugh out of it? Who knows. Maybe all 3. Wouldn't that be nice?

Hey. One can dream..... when they sleep. Ya, but who gets to do that? *eye roll*

You know you're a sleep deprived mama when...

* You go to change your breast pads and find a third one hiding in the bottom of your bra.
* You make your baby and change your kid. (see paragraph 3)
* You have to read things several times before you totally get it.
* You use toothpaste on your baby's diaper rash and brush your 4 year old's teeth with Desitin. (no, I didn't do this one. But my MIL is guilty of the whole Desitin dental scrub)
* You go to pour milk into your children's cereal and realize the milk somehow ended up in the cupboard with the bowls.)
* It's then you realize you are also snacking in your sleep.
* Not only have you walked out the door forgetting to put on shoes,
* but have been in public for hours before you realize your shirt is on inside out.
* And backwards. (yes. It's happened to me.)
* You've had to re-wash the same load of laundry 5, 6, 7... hell, a dozen times... because you keep forgetting it's in the machine.
* You forget to run the dishwasher, find yourself drinking out of a dirty cup, shrug and keep drinking. (try not to gag and don't judge. I was really REALLY tired.)

Like I said, I KNOW there's more. I'll add them as I think of them. Please do the same. Hope these gave you a good laugh, guilt power and made you realize you are not alone. ;0)

Sleep tight mamas!