Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Last Day

Even though New Year's is happy, I do always get a little sad at the start of the Last Day of the Old Year. Yea, I am sentimental. I spent this morning working quietly while the children slept, sipping my coffee, and every so often, letting my thoughts slip to memories of the past year.

All in all, it has been a most wonderful and blessed year, and perhaps that is why I feel super sad to see it go, while still happy for what is to come.

My second son was born, and though it was a bit of a scary, spur of the moment-we have to induce you now-a month early birth, JR has been doing great. Now you wouldn't even know that he was a preemie and just under 6 pounds at birth.

My first son introduced me to his friend, the water monster, that seems to live in our bathroom. He has also welcomed us into the fun world of toddlerhood, which though trying, is oh so fun to experience.

I lost my baby weight! Though having baby weight was a good excuse for my otherwise flabby body...perhaps I will continue to use that. Can you still say you have baby weight when your kids are 7? Hmmm....

We moved with my husband's job to Alabama. But even though I am sad to have left our friends and activities back in NC, we are so blessed that Bill has a job, that we can afford to stay together with an apartment here in AL and still keep our home in NC for the future day we get to go back (hopefully sometime in mid '09).

I started using cloth diapers and LOVE them. Every time I do a load of laundry I feel like I am saving trash from a landfill AND saving us money. That makes it really motivating to do the laundry now.

Part of my resolution this year will be to focus on all the good things in my life and to not stress over the "bad" that happens. There is just so much that is good in my life that I feel the need to really reflect on the past year and try hard to carry that reflection into the New Year, because no matter what awaits us in the future, we have so much to be thankful for, and I never want to forget that.

And for the other part of my resolution? Well, I guess I could always say "get in shape", that is, if I ever find the time to go running....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Made It!

Yes, we are here in Mobile, AL safe and sound. Right now I am in the middle of unpacking and entertaining the kids, and pretty much enjoying a low key day at "home".

"Home", here though, does actually feel like home. Mobile felt foreign, alien, and rather scary to me the first time we came down; however, now it seems the short holiday back at our real home in NC made this trip feel like going home, too. I recognize streets, I remember where the grocery store is, and Little Dude remembered Ruby, Jessie and William, his little friends in our play group here, which made me super happy.

This may not be our house, or even where our dog, Eddie, is, but for now, home truly is where the heart is.

And I am very glad our hearts are together, full and happy, here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Don't Want to be Me....

At least, not right now. For my hundreds of adoring fans (hehe), I am sure you are asking, "Well, why ever not?"

Well, I will tell you. Because right now I am starting at 15 hour drive to Alabama with two kids, Christmas toys, and my computer jammed in somewhere.

And we won't get to the apartment in AL until 7pm, at the earliest. And we got up at 3am this morning. WITH THE KIDS.

Our fun adventures at home have ended along with Christmas, and now it is back to the deep south with us. For those of you we didn't get to see during this short trip home, I really hope we get to come back for good this summer! For those of you we did get to see, I can't wait to see you all again!

I'll let you all know how it goes tomorrow...unless I am having to recuperate...then you'll know it went badly! Ha ha ha!

Take care!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bye Bye Christmas

We had the most wonderful Christmas with my in-laws, sister, in-law siblings, and the kids. Little Dude was so excited about the trash truck he got from Grandma and Grandpa and all the books I found on Amazon were a huge hit.

Being home was so much fun, and I am so sad it is over now. Today we are packing the last few things and then hiding out on the long drive back to Alabama early tomorrow morning. *Sigh*

Oh Christmas was so very much fun; we hope all of you had a great holiday too!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Greatest Gift

It is so very easy to be wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas, or for that matter, any of the winter time celebrated religious holidays. Schools can't celebrate any of them, Christmas cards sometimes don't even have the word Christmas on them, and last year some tree farms tried to call their Christmas tress "holiday trees". So, it is easy to see, how everyone can get quickly swept up in putting emphasis on the wrong things this time of year-getting the great gifts, fighting crowds for those early morning sales, spending money you don't have to get people items they probably don't want.

I want to thank Steph from Adventures in Babywearing for directing me to this video; it really makes you think:





Monday, December 22, 2008

My son has been informing us lately that he is a kid.

This morning though, he has decided he is a man, and doing all kinds of "man" work around the house, like helping me with everything (which also slows everything down in a very fun way).

Yea, he is growing up too fast.

Sigh.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Break in the Treading

Anyone that knows me knows I am not a terribly great swimmer. Comes from growing up in the mountains; not a ton of chances to swim outside of our knee deep backyard creek.

Since Thanksgiving, I have been desperately treading water, though not in the literal sense. You see, I can barely keep up with everything I have to do, need to do, and want to do. In fact, over the last few days, I had been feeling my treading getting tired and not so strong.

Yes, I was slowly sinking as the piles of work, cooking, laundry, cleaning up TOYS, getting Christmas things done, catching up with everyone before driving BACK to Alabama, THE KIDS, cleaning the house, WASHING EDDIE (our very smelly dog), trying to even maintain and build this blog and, oh yea, BREATH and SLEEP just kept getting deeper and deeper.

So today, and I have dropped everything, and am spending time with my in laws, letting them help me relax, take over the kids for a bit and give me time to tread water in their oh so awesome, heated, indoor pool.

Nice. Right now, I am glad to take a break from the not so fun sinking I was going through back home and trade it in for some oh so very fun, sorta swimming, family hangout, treading water, relaxation time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm A Guest Today

Today, I am a guest blogger over at Mom's Marbles, a really fun blog full of great activities for kids of all ages to help you, well, keep your marbles.

I'm also down at the beach for the next few days with my in-laws to celebrate Ed's birthday, so if I get to post on Thursday, awesome, if not, then you will know I was just having too much fun letting my fabulous in laws take over the kid duties, and took full advantage- allowing me time to sleep.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Playing Garbge Truck

My first year as a preschool teacher, I LOVED playing dolls and tea time with the little girls in my class. It never failed I would be asked to participate, and I was all too happy to oblige.

Now that I am the mom to a toddler boy (and another boy that is all too quickly heading towards the toddler years) I am surrounded by very different types of play.

Sure, I saw it before, after all there were a lot of boys in my preschool classes. But they always had each other to play with, and even though I know they liked me, I was, after all, still a girl. So they only rarely asked me to play on the playground with them. That and the fact that somehow my classes always had way less girls than boys, so I always felt the need to make sure they got to play what they wanted to (Elizabeth and McKenzie LOVED tea time) while the others all ran around like humingbirds (including the third girl in my class, Kendall) Thus most of my rough and tumble boy play experience comes from observation.

And so, my son introduced me to the fun filled world of turning the bed into a trash truck today. And then diving either off the bed, er trash truck, onto the the floor while screaming and laughing loudly OR flying onto the bed, somehow not killing yourself on all the toys, er trash, now piled on it, and driving the bed, er truck, all over town to find more trash.

We filled up little baskets (which is where everything is supposed to be organized into), dumped the baskets on the bed, commented on how stinky the trash was, how the baby must have pooped a "good pooming", and how trash trucks are sweet, er "feet".

All while bouncing around, laughing and screaming like a banshee.

Oh yea, I have been welcomed to the world of boys and it sure is awesome. Today is trash day too, so I think we will be playing more trash truck later. I am off to bed now so I will have the energy to keep up with all the toys, er garbage, we will be moving around.



Monday, December 15, 2008

Parents® Critter Conga

My son is in love with the new Parents® drum and so am I! I made a couple of videos for you to enjoy:


video

and you can read the rest of my review here:

Enjoy!





Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy 6 Months!!

My baby, JR, is half a year old today. I blinked, and 6 months flew by.


video

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flying Solo

Wow, I really can't believe it is Friday already! Wasn't I just complaining about Bill having to go back to Alabama? Tonight I get to pick him up around 8:30pm-YAY!

But gosh, how annoying to realize that an entire week has gone by and I have not gotten much off my list of things to do around the house, like:

*Wash Eddie(our dog SMELLS)
*Go through Little Dude's clothes, weed out what doesn't fit, what does and figure out who to pass what to.
*Do laundry. Amazingly, I have kept up with keeping the diapers clean. My laundry and the boys laundry has piled up though. It's clean, just not put away, because my major beef with laundry is all the folding. I hate folding.
*vacuum. Nope, haven't done that yet
*Mop the floors. Nope to that either
*Dust. Haven't dusted in years, but feel that it is time I should
*Clean my office-week out what can go to the Salvation Army
*For that matter, go through my entire house to find things for the Salvation Army

All joking around aside, I have to say, it is tough not having Bill around to help, especially at night. My hat goes off to all the single moms and dads out there-it is tiring doing it alone.

So, when Bill gets home I am giving him a HUGE kiss, passing him his boys, and then I am going to take a nice hot shower that doesn't involve a toddler poking his head in, pulling back the curtain (GOSH that its COLD!), bring toys that also need a shower, and striping down as he tries to climb in while I try to get the soap out of my eyes and stop him.

Oh yea, a HUGE, HUGE kiss for Bill.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Organizing the Chaos



What works for me this week?

Organization. Oh yes, I am a huge organizing junkie. I function so much better when I am able to organize and keep up with everything, be it or Dakno, my kids, my blog, or household things, like dishes and laundry....

So how do I try to stay organized? I carry a calendar around with me everywhere. Every January, I invest in a good, sturdy small notebook size calendar that fits great into my bag of miracles, aka the diaper bag, so I am able to write down things as they come up right away. And when I get home, I copy them all to my big wall calendar in the kitchen.

Also, I have a huge wipe board in my office, so I can make weekly and monthly lists of projects and deadlines coming up (often reflecting items written on the other two calendars, yes I need reminding.) Such as:

Century 21 project due Dec. 13th
Team Mom review due Dec. 15th
upload JR video to Newbaby.com sometime next week.
ongoing work projects: blogs optimizations, retainer reports
Playdate with Mia this Friday
Pick up Bill at Airport 9pm Friday
Clean out car-someday

So for this week, I realize I have to get on the Century 21 project,and I am reminded of a review in a few weeks and my on going tasks at work. As I finish off items, I simply erase them from my board. Each Sunday I go back over it and make a new list or re write it so I stay on top of everything.

So, each day, at a glance, I can see what is coming up and plan my work hours around other things and see what items I would like to get done in whatever free time I find myself having. (Like cleaning the car out....not a time sensitive project, but still needs to be done before new life forms start to develop....)

And so, that is What Works For Me! Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips!

Also, check out my Miche Reviews for a few new items that have also Worked For Me!



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Adoption Blessing

I have the most wonderful news to share!!!

Our dear friends, Craig and Melissa have been waiting to adopt for a few years now, and their dream has come true!!! They were blessed with a beautiful little 6 lb 11oz little girl-a perfect little miracle!

I am so excited and happy I am actually crying. So, today I will be going over with the boys to see their new bundle of joy and to go stock up on some girly-ness for them.

Oh gosh, this is truly the most wonderful Christmas gift for them, their little girl and the brave young birth mother. What a blessing from God.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bitter Sweet

Well the weekend is over, and for me it is especially bittersweet, because not only does my hubby have to go back to work and leave me alone all day with the kids and *gasp* Elmo's World again and again but he has to go back to Alabama.

And we are in North Carolina. Sigh.

I am so sad to see him go, and I am up right now only because I just can't sleep. I am taking Bill to the airport in 3 hours, (John will be here while the kids keep sleeping) and then it will be Friday night before he is home again.

I know it will go by quickly, but right now, Friday seems forever away.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fab Art!

My brother in law, Fab, has an art show going on at the NC Museum of Art on Blue Ridge today from 10am to 12 to celebrate and exhibit of his art that will be on display until April 2009!! WHOO HOO! I am so excited for him! So, we are off to celebrate and look at his art, then I'm getting a hair cut.

And I am going to document it all with my flip video. (Unless the museum won't let me; I have never tried video taping in there before..)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cloth vs Disposible part 2

I have been trying out some cloth diapers for a few weeks now, and I have to say I am loving it! (Yes, I have had to clean poopy ones)

I tried out some Chinese prefolds with covers and some Bumgenius 3.0 pocket diapers, both of which are MUCH cheaper than using disposables. With two kids in diapers, and probably will have another year of two in diapers, AND with a huge slow down in construction (which is what my hubby does for a living) we felt it was time to try doing everything we could to tighten the belt.

So, enter the cloth diapers.

I have to say that so far, the pockets are my favorite because they kind I ordered can be used for BOTH my boys-they adjust in size. With the prefolds, though it appears they would be the cheapest route, aren't. Because you have to buy different sized clothes for each of your kids. And you need about 24 of each size so you can do laundry every other day. THEN you need different sized covers so the prefolds don't leak everywhere. THEN you need pins or snaps so the prefolds stay in place(and those come in different sizes too..). So, even though the prefolds are about 2 dollars each, by the time you add up all the covers, all the prefolds, all the pins, and snaps, then you are actually spending MORE than you would for the Bumgenius pocket diapers. Not much more, but still, more, and the prefolds are a TON more work!

With the Bumgenius pocket ones, I ordered enough for each boy to go through 4 a day for two days, so 16 diapers. Then I ordered 30 inserts and diaper doublers (which is all I have to change when the boys pee, I don't have to get a whole new diaper) Each diaper also comes with a insert and over night doubler.

And I am done. No more sizes to buy, no snaps or pins to keep up with and I only have to carry one diaper and a handful of inserts and doublers in my diaper bag, because it can adjust to fit either boy! In the rare case that both poop or pee out of a diaper while we are out and about, I have simply put two of the diapers in my car. The diapers will stay in the car permanently, for those times I forget one or need more than one extra.

Nice!

There were also a few forums to try to get used diapers from (I know that sounds gross, I would have washed them first) like diaperswappers.com; however, I had such a hard time understanding all the abbreviations (like I think pocket diapers were PCD for pocket cloth diaper, and All in Ones-just like disposable but you wash them, no inserts or anything- are AIO. That is all I picked up though. So, if you check them out, good luck, I gave up and figured the savings we would be getting from not buying tons and tons of disposables was worth splurging a tiny bit and getting new diapers. Also, as a warning with diaperswappers.com, it was my experience that most of the new diapers were not that much cheaper than new ones anyway. Like with many of the prefold covers and the Bumgenius 3.0 were going for only a dollar or 2 less than new ones. PLUS you pay shipping to the person sending it. So just pay attention if you use their site to make sure it is actually a deal to buy used.

So, since I found Bumgenius at Mom4Life.com, with free shipping and a newsletter discount, it was a tiny bit cheaper to get new ones!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Online Shopping



What is working for me right now? Two words: ONLINE SHOPPING. Oh yea, baby!

Normally I am a marathon shopper; my mother in law and I even pack water and snacks for when we are out hunting, er, shopping, for deals.

But with a two year old and a 5 month old, going out and nursing, changing diapers, stopping tantrums, keeping up with the gift list (I have made 4 already because I keep losing them), and shopping in the crowded stores right now is just not my cup of tea.

So, this year, I have done almost all my shopping online and I have LOVED IT. Here are the major places I have shopped from:

Amazon.com
Mom4Life
One Step Ahead
Best Buy
Overstock.com
Walmart

Amazon is great because you can find cheap used items Like all the library books my son is in love with and hates having to turn in, I got for anywhere from 50 cents to a few dollars plus cheap shipping. And I don't have to worry if he tears a page or colors them up-which I know will happen at some point since he is 2-awesome. So, overall, I got a few hundred dollars worth of kid books for the boys for less than $40. OH YEA.

Mom4Life is great for anyone on your list that is a parent, grandparent,or parent to be. They have EVERYTHING you could possibly think of to make your baby outings awesome, organized and stylish for both moms AND dads. The girls at Mom4Life are also AMAZING. They have such great customer service. I have spent so much time on the phone talking with them all I almost feel like I know them personally. Being able to ask them questions and get details on items helped to bridge the gap between real life shopping (and being able to touch and see an item before buying)and online shopping. Also, Heather and Angela have spent time helping me find items to fit my needs! Even if it was not sold at their store, they directed me to sites where I could buy it. That is what I call customer service!! And they have free shipping-AWESOME. Also, if you sign up for their newsletter you will get 5% off your purchase! Whoo hoo!

Overstock.com is good, but check on other sites, like Best Buy, Target or Walmart to make sure you are getting a good deal. A few things I found where GREAT deals, others were actually more expensive when you realize the shipping charges. So, just compare.

One Step Ahead has some super cute and great toys for kids that are all VERY well made and safe (no lead paint or other such fun products) but beware they are on the pricey side. I did splurge and ordered a stacking toy for JR from there. It is on sale and it is three stacking toys in one, so it is well worth the price. HERE IS A CODE TO HELP WITH YOUR SHOPPING: BDAYDCMR Enter the code at check out for 15% off!

Walmart is AWESOME because you have the option of having it shipped to your door OR having it shipped for free to the store. It is already paid for, so it is just a quick in and out. The manager at our new one here in Garner even told me if I call ahead next time they can bring the boxes out to my car so I don't have to even get the kids out. OH TOTALLY IN LOVE!

Best Buy-where I usually shop for the electronic and movie junkies in my family.

The biggest thing I have loved about online shopping? It comes to my door! So, everyday for the past week has been like a mini Christmas for me, because I get to open the boxes and check out the items before wrapping them for other people! Super fun! Also, with the ease and quickness of online shopping, I am almost done getting gifts! I have two more gifts to get, unless I run across something else that just hits me as something someone would love.

I love having lots of gifts wrapped under the tree all ready to be handed out; it just makes the tree look so complete and happy to me. And it is a great feeling to NOT feel rushed at all-this has actually been the most relaxing Christmas shopping I have ever done. I think this will be the way to go from here on out.

Though I will still need to get to the mall with my mother in law for some "retail therapy", it will just be after the Christmas crowds are gone.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Being There

There is nothing like being there for your children.




Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Car Ride....

Oh yes, we did almost 15 hours in the car with the kids so we could get back to NC in time for the holidays! Bill had to fly back to Mobile Sunday, but the boys and I will be at home until after Christmas! Boy,even though it wasn't bad am I ever glad I don't have to do this drive again for a little longer.....the last two hours Little Dude screamed. Yes you heard me, SCREAMED. Below you can see some of the happier moments.....



Sunday, November 30, 2008

Queen of the Road: Book Review

I have a book review up on my Miche Reviews page for Queen Of The Road-a humorous book that had me laughing so hard I cried. Oh yea, you are going to want to read it. And, even better, you can get it now at a discount and with FREE shipping (see Amazon for details)!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Total Cuteness

We had such a great Thanksgiving! It was so wonderful seeing so many of our family and friends and being home...I am on cloud nine and surrounded by total cuteness. Later today we are going to try a visit to Santa with the boys and THEN I might be getting a haircut; if there is time.





Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!!

I love the fall-all the lovely leaves, the crisp air, and all the holidays and food! Yummy! But you know, I don't know that I have ever truly celebrated Thanksgiving the way that perhaps I should. Or for that matter even thought of Thanksgiving in the way I should. Sure, I get excited about the food, the family-I even stress and moan about "how are we going to fit in visits to everyone..."

This year though, as I watch friends lose jobs, notice homes going up for foreclosure where families once played....I must say I am thinking of Thanksgiving a little differently. I am really quite humbled, and THANKFUL that my family is well, and we are able to live the quality of life we have. We are pretty darn blessed and lucky.

I often feel like I fail as a parent because the house isn't cleaned, I didn't make it to library time, dinner isn't ready in time....but I am able to afford staying home. And for me, that is a huge blessing.

All of us should be thankful, especially now as we watch people lose their jobs and homes. I should be thankful even for that dust up on the TV and the stains on my carpet I have yet to get out, simply because I haven't bothered to open the can of cleaner I bought months ago. All the toys my children have. We can pay the heating bill; we can afford for me to not work. Heck, I work from home just for the EXTRA money for me to spend however I want. HOWEVER I WANT.

And I find things to complain about, to NOT be Thankful for, like having to move to Alabama for my husband's job, and for that, I am rather embarrassed. Thank God he has a job, right?

So, this Thanksgiving, am going to focus on the giving, because I have SO MUCH to be thankful for.

You too can focus on the giving of today, by going through your home, cleaning out the items that are collecting dust, and give them to charities that help people and families that have hit hard times. Our local church here in NC AND in AL are involved in Catholic Charities, and even if you aren't Catholic, (or even Christian) Catholic Charities is a HUGE was to help others and you can even do all your giving anonymously, be it through money, food, or home items. Every bit can help.

And for those of you that enjoy outdoor work, Habitat For Humanity can use help right now as well, especially with winter coming quickly! How wonderful would it be to build a home for someone that otherwise wouldn't have one this Christmas? (And don't worry, you need NO experience-if I can do it you can too, TRUST me).

Yes, I am going to be Thanksgiving, and I hope you all do too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Washable Poster Paint

Since I have two little kids that get up at the crack of dawn AND I stayed up all night trying to get caught up at work, I am re-sharing (is that a word? My brain stopped working around midnight...) one of my favorite WFMW suggestions. Enjoy!



It is another Works for Me Wednesday! Yay!

As you may not know, I have been a daycare provider for babies-toddlers and preschool ages 4-5, so I have a few tricks up my sleeves to share! Here is one of my favoirite, cost effecitive, easy clean, paint recipes:

Detergent Poster Paint

You will need:
small jars or plastic containers
1 tablespoon clear liquid detergent per container
2 teaspoons powdered tempera paint per container

In each small container, mix together 1 tablespoon liquid detergent and 2 teaspoons powered tempera paint. This recipe makes enough for one painting session.

For even every young toddlers and older babies (those that can sit up), this recipe is great AND EASY TO WASH OUT OF CLOTHES!!! Children usually love feeling different textures, and the intorduction to new textures is a GREAT sensory learning experience for kids of all ages.

I would undress the younger kids down to diapers, and the older kids I would request the day before that they being some old clothes to school along with wearing one of my kid oil cloth aprons while painting to keep the clean up as easy as possible. However, it never failed someone would get paint on someone else, on me, or the carpet.

This recipe has always been super easy for me to get out of my clothes, even after drying and staining all day long at the preschool before I could even think about washing it out. FANTASTIC! Also it is great because you can just make the amount you need, instead of storing jars and jars of different colors of wet paint just waiting to dry out or tip over.

The Tempera paint and some really great, sturdy paint jars you can get at Michaels Crafts and though the jars are a little pricey, for the fact they are so hard to knock over and stackable, they are well worth the extra money. Besides, you will save a lot buying the tempera powder colors as apposed to getting new Crayola paint all the time.

Keep in mind the age of your child, younger ones need thicker paint and brushes, and you can thicken this recipe up by adding a little cornstarch (melt it in some hot water first, like you would for gravy, and then, of course, don't let you kid paint until it has cooled).

Not all kids love sensory experiences, like painting, the first time (or even five) that they try it. However, keep trying, and perhaps, if you have been undressing the child for the painting session, try keeping old clothes on, or even just putting one of your husbands old t shirts over him/her because part of what may be upsetting your child is being cold. If your child still doesn't like it, keep trying to make it fun by getting in there and painting yourself, but certainly don't make your child do the project if they are super upset, just put it away for another day and try again, or move on to another sensory activity, like playing in a sensory box.

Well, that is what Works for Me! Head on over to Rocks in my Dryer for other great tips!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Geeze

Well, we made it here safe and sound. It is so great to be back at our house, see our neighbors and catch up with friends! I am on cloud nine.

Almost.

You see, my computer isn't wanting to behave. OH GEEZE. The issue isn't really the computer, but more my mouse and keyboard. Since I have an office here in Raleigh with all my things, when we moved to AL, I only took the computer tower, and extra computer parts my brother in law had. THAT way (so I thought) I could travel back and forth with just the tower and not risk breaking screens, losing wires, etc.

My plan would have been perfect if my old tower had not died a few months ago. Thus, I got a new one. Thus, I am just now realizing that:

1-When I had the computer people transfer the data from my old tower to the new, I neglected to realize the wireless card would need to be transfered...thus it wasn't. So yesterday I bought a NEW wireless card, much to my bank account's dismay.

2-Once I got home and tried to set up the said wireless card, I realized my mouse AND my keyboard have different portal connections than the back of my new computer supports. And the kicker is that they are ALL Dell. ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!

3-I have TONS of work to do that would be SO NICE to get caught up on before all the family comes; however, that won't be possible unless I now go buy a new keyboard AND a new mouse so I can TRY to install the wireless card and then get online to work.

4-The kicker that is killing me is this: I could just use my brother in law's computer (which I am right now) to get online and work; HOWEVER, a file a REALLY MUST HAVE to complete a project is saved on MY computer and I have no way of getting to it. SO I have to go spend a bunch of money I don't want to spend on items I already own IN ALABAMA.


I knew I hated Alabama. OH Geeze.

And if I ever get myself online again, I have some cute videos to share of the 15 hour car trip back to NC. Now I am off to get ready to go to Best Buy with my kids.

SIGH.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Letters to Mothers

Oh my, I think I want to cry. There is a husband and father out here in the blogosphere who, instead of buying a gift for his wife, is gathering up letters of encouragement and advice from moms to turn into a book to give his wife as a Christmas gift. OH. MY. GOSH. How SWEET!!!

So, I have given my advice and letter by submitting it here and you guys all should too, because, after all, this is so thoughtful and sweet!!

You can also see what Steph and Shannon have to say about this awesome hubby and you can read more about him and the wonderful reasoning behind his gift over at Shannon's blog, Rocks In My Dryer.

And for those of you wondering, here is my letter:

Dear Mother,

One piece of wisdom I got from my mother in law, that she got from her mother in law, is this:

"The hardest thing in the world is to tell your child no. The most important thing in the world is to tell your child no."

I have hit that time with my toddler-when I want so badly to give him everything he wants, (and since we have the money to do it, the temptation is especially hard to fight) but as I follow the advice, and say no, I realize I am teaching my son a far better lesson than just patience. I am teaching him that not everything will go his way all the time, and he must learn to accept that.

Because someday, he will be a man, and I certainly don't want to raise a man who thinks he should get everything he wants when he wants it; it would be a disservice to him and to me to allow him to grow up thinking that way.

And so, I follow the advice, and say no to things, knowing those tears and tantrums now will make him a better man, later.

Love,


Sunday, November 23, 2008

On the Road Again...

Well, we are on the road from Mobile, AL to Raleigh, NC right now. It is a 12 hour drive non stop, so with two little kids and my small bladder, it will probably take us forever. Sigh.

So, wish us luck, hopefully we will get back to Raleigh before the end of today. I'll be making a vlog, and posting on Monday the success (or mess..) of our trip!



Friday, November 21, 2008

Imagine, If You Will...

So we have a new member to welcome to our family! Yes, my hysterical toddler, Little Dude, has met an imaginary friend, who as of a few weeks ago begain making small apperances around our home.

Last night though, Little Dude's imaginary friend needed a cup of water though. And not an imaginary one, a real one. Because, as I was informed, he was thirsty.

So what do I know about this new friend of Little Dude's? Not much, but here is what I have learned so far:

*He is Orange
*His Mom is Orange
*His Dad is Purple
*His Baby is Orange
*He likes garbage trucks and trash(which is probably how my son and he bonded)
*He likes baths
*He likes Nemo, Clifford and Elmo
*He poops
*He does not like gross stuff (That does not include anything I would call gross. Gross is relative, apparently)
*He plays the drum
*He has a computer and a phone
*He is a water monster

Yes, I am one of the lucky few to have a rather talented, orange water monster living at my house. I am thinking next week will we invite his parents and baby brother over for dinner. I wonder what water monsters eat? I better go ask Little Dude...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Granting Wishes

Christmas is my favorite time of year-for a whole two months, everyone gets into the spirit of giving and sharing and helping and I love that. How can you be in a bad mood when you hear some Christmas music? Or see little kids getting excited about Santa?

The main reason I love Christmas? The kids. Kids are just truly amazing and the glow of believing in Santa is so fun to watch. As Erma Bombeck said:

"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."

I agree; watching a child enjoy Christmas is so wonderful. Every Christmas, my family does our best to make sure that kids that may not have any presents to open get some from us and this year, we can do something extra special as well: We can make a wish come true.

Yes, I can be a Fairy Godmother this Christmas, just by writing a letter to Santa. My new-found wish granting powers come courtesy of Macy's, because for every letter you sent to Santa from their store mail box, they will donate money to Make A Wish Foundation and help make the wishes of many terminally ill children come true this holiday.

Wow, what better way to get into the spirit? And what an easy way to give a lifetime of memories to a family suffering with their child-just simply write a letter.

I, myself, am writing numerous letters with Little Dude's help. One of each of my children, myself and my husband and plan to take them to the Macy's near us every week. After all, you can never have too many items for Santa to pick from and since every letter counts, figured we should do our part. Besides, I am liking this role of Fairy Godmother.

To learn more, click below. I will also have the info over in my right hand sidebar all holiday season as well.





Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What if....

Fire Fighters Ran The World?

I saw this commercial the other night and thought it was awesome, so I am sharing it with all of you that may not have seen it yet:



I have always hated that most issues coming up for vote in Congress have all kinds of additions tacked onto it. Like a vote a few years back, (that was for a mostly education related bill), as a side effect of passing, resulted in a teapot museum being built in Selma, NC at the cost of a couple million dollars-my taxes at work, nice.

And, of course, if anyone had been against the waste of a few million dollars going to a teapot museum in the middle of no where (Yes I know. I grew up in the boonies of NC)Then you know when election time came around the other party would blow up how they "didn't vote for education" but leave out the part that voting that bill through wasted tax payers money. Yea, I hate politics.

Anyways, I always complain about it and what I would do differently; but wouldn't it be nice if fire fighters really did run the world?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Secret Mountain Publishing Group

Do you guys have any reading routines with your children? I LOVE reading to my kids before bed, and we have recently added some new books to our reading list. I have a children's book review for The Secret Mountain Publishing Group up on my Miche Reviews page today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh My Motrin

Wow, Motrin. You didn't have any moms on your test panel did you? Did you even realize that the week you released this ad was International Babywearing Week? Dang guys.

Here is a new ad Motrin is running that is very ANTI babywearing. Now, if you don't wear your baby-and I count wearing as ALL carriers, bjorn, snuggli, maya wrap, ergos...etc-then that is cool-you are the parent and thus you know what works to keep you and your baby happy. So, if wearing your baby isn't a happy thing, then don't do it, and that is OK. For example, I don't sleep with my baby-personal choice, my family's thing, and what is best for us; babywearing is what is best for us and I love it.

Now watch this commercial:



OK, so what did you think of the tone? I thought it was quite mocking, and downright negative about babywearing. Which, to me makes no difference, except I will probably just think twice about buying Motrin. After all, if they can't put some real effort and research into their ads, why should I trust them to put effort and research into something I ingest?

For moms that haven't tried it, or moms who have yet to welcome their babies homes, I feel this ad is very ANTI babywearing, and actually makes it seem like it is a "trendy pain in the back" that ranks up there with designer handbags and the latest runway fashion stilettos. Their commercial makes it sound like babywearing is stupid-and it even lays out a little guilt to those that don't by saying you have to babywear to be an "official" mom. WHAT? No way! EVERYONE with a child, awaiting a child, trying for a child, lost a child, adopting a child, caring for a child and LOVING a child is an official and WONDERFUL mom.

And beyond babywearing, does it not make you feel like they are saying women are dumb enough do anything to be trendy, even endure pain for which they must take meds for? Maybe a fashion model does, or a movie star, but last I checked the moms buying Motrin are pretty smart and far more practical. I personally love fashion, but I don't do anything or wear anything that is going to cause me enough pain I have to take medication for it. Actually, Motrin people, I came across babywearing by trying to find a way to avoid the pain of carrying my baby in my arms or a normal front carrier (I had a Snuggli, and I could not adjust it to fit my shortness AND at the 10lb mark, my back killed me; sorry Snuggli) and found my ring slings and pouch slings to be great and pain free alternatives.

My friend Steph here at Adventures in Babywearing has tips on how to wear your baby and points out: if wearing your baby is hurting, then you are doing it WRONG. Instead of buying Motrin you need to get some advice or have someone show you how to adjust your carrier to fit you so that the pain stops.

Also, the reason babywearing is more for wraps, slings, pouches, and mei tais and (sorta) excludes Bjorn and Snuggli type carriers is because those DO hurt your back. They put all they baby's weight on your upper back, so once your baby reaches a good weight (for me that is the 10lb mark) your back will hurt after more than a short walk. With a good sling, pouch, mei tai, wrap, ergo, beco, or what have you, the baby's weight is evenly distributed through your shoulders, hips and back, keeping you from having pain because you don't end up with one pressure point supporting your baby. Your whole body supports your baby.

So, Motrin, perhaps you should have a babywearing mom on your marketing panel? And don't forget to hire some people that research what is going on in the world at the time you release your ads. After all, an anti babywearing ad during International Babywearing Week, when TONS of Babywearing Moms are on the internet sharing pictures and chatting it up, is not the smartest PR move.

After all, ALL those moms do need pain medication. We are girls you know, so at least once a month we need something. And they may have bought Motrin, but now you have quite upset a lot of them, be them loyal customers or prospective customers of Motrin.

Thoughts? Questions? I myself sent a comment to Motrin letting them know I thought the ad was rather misleading for new moms considering babywearing and made a mockery of an ANCIENT, inexpensive, and easy (not trendy) way of caring for children.

Phthalates Not For US

Yes, so I just recently discoverd another parenting thing to worry about (like there isn't enough already): Phthalate.

Phthalate is a chemical used in MOST baby products that makes plastic soft.

It is not harmful unless ingested or absorbed through the skin; THUS my new thing to worry about: it is used in teethers. And baby wash. And baby shampoo. And baby toys.

When was the last time your baby didn't put something in his mouth? Yea, I thought so.

SO, I did some research, and found out that even if you are careful with selecting products, manufacturers aren't going to list the product because they aren't required to. Awesome. So, you can't even find out if that new teether or sippy cup you got is full of phthalates or not; but I guess we can go ahead and assume it is.

Starting in Feb 2009 the chemical will be banned from use in children's toys and items (like baby wash)

But until then, you need to look for items that specifically say they DON'T have phthalate. One baby wash I found is baby pHisoderm, so that is safe to buy! You can watch my vlog below for more info, or google phthalate yourself to see all the nice information on it.


You can see my review of baby pHisoderm body wash on my Miche Reviews page or by checking out my Newbaby.com video below!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Real Life

For the past year I have been making some really wonderful friends out here in the internet world. Some of them I talk about to my husband, others I tell other friends about, and many I turn to for questions, answers, and just fun chit chat.

And thanks to many of those great friends, I have gotten to: do product reviews, explore babywearing, learn about cloth diapers, join BLOG HER ad network and have a wonderful time sharing myself while getting to know them.

So, imagine my joy when I found out that the Blog Her '09 conference will be in Chicago in JULY. Heading north just as the summer gets crazy hot.. Whoo hoo! The hotel rooms are affordable, the plane ticket won't be too much if I can buy early, AND it is a city I have always wanted to visit!!! PLUS I could meet all these great friends I have made, IN REAL LIFE. Like, put a real hug to the virtual ones we exchange.

BlogHer '09 In Real Life

I'll get to meet some of the nicest, warmest gals I know while celebrating Blog Her. Oh, I am off to count the pennies in my piggy bank.....


Friday, November 14, 2008

Seal My SOUL

If you love Seal and some fantastic body grooving SOUL music, take a peek at my review of Seal's new ablum, SOUL, out in stores now. Read my Miche Review to see how you can win some great gear and the new SOUL CD for yourself!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Little Brother, Big Brother


Well, again, I have done my best to get pictures of the boys together. I was hoping I could capture a super cute image to use for our Christmas cards. Since no one is screaming or hiding their faces from the camera, I have to say these two might just be successes!

We might be trying again later with a better background-outside would be nice-but if all else fails, (or if I completely forget and run out of time) you guys might be seeing these again this Christmas...


And I must have been crazy tired when I wrote my post last night, because I read it again today and realized I typed my intro twice...nice going Miche...see what motherhood does to you?


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Veteran's Day

We went to the USS ALABAMA this weekend to celebrate Veteran's Day. Gosh, it was just mesmerizing and breathtaking to stand there where so many brave men stood while fighting WWII. Inside the ship there was a huge flag that the battleship flew whenever they were under attack or in battle. We were so blown away by the symbolism and pride that flag represented I didn't even think to take a picture until we were leaving...so we will have to go back for sure!
We also got to visit a submarine, though we didn't get to go inside; it was getting late and JR was REALLY ready to eat....

While we were there we met some boy scouts and found out that each year they get to spend the night on the battle ship! WOW! Also, there was a wedding getting ready to take place-I love weddings so I thought it was so cute for a soldier and his bride to marry on the ship and celebrate in the airplane hanger! Everything looked so lovely; I wanted to take a picture but didn't want to be "that weirdo" either, so I didn't.



Here is a breathtaking statement that was on a plaque inside the USS ALABAMA. I love what it says and means, and the last line makes me so sad, even though it is true. In case you can't read my picture, here is what it says:

Remember
It is the soldier and the sailor
Not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press

It is the solder and the sailor
Not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech

It is the soldier and the sailor
Not the campus organizer
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate

It is the soldier and the sailor
Who salutes the flag
Who serves the flag
Who's coffin is draped by the flag
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

I don't know who wrote it, but gosh, that made me want to cry. Thank you veterans, for all you have given us, still give us, and I am sorry for those who don't realize all you have done and do.