Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Best Gift I Ever Gave


SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards.


For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) , up to $125,000.


Clever Girls Collective and SWAGG are sending a pair of movie fans to the Sundance Film Festival! Download the SWAGG app and then visit the Ultimate SWAGG Getaway Sweepstakes site to enter to win a trip for two to the Sundance Film Festival. Entry deadline is January 3, 2011, 11:59pm, PST.



I LOVE gift giving and it doesn’t matter the reason or occasion for the present.

I love buying and giving gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and especially “no reason” gifts. My Mom was one of the best at buying and giving gifts and she taught us by example that some of the best gifts to give and receive are those given for no reason. She also taught us that it’s not the price of the gift but the time, effort and thought that goes into the present that matters most.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year because of the “journey.” I love shopping for the perfect gifts for my husband, my brother and now my children. So much thought goes into every gift big or small including the stocking stuffers. I spend time researching the gifts, browsing catalogs, window shopping, online shopping and driving all over to find the best presents. And while I dread wrapping the gifts I look forward to seeing the look on the person’s face when they open their gift.

This year money is tight for my family and instead of a mountain of gifts spilling out from the under the tree, there will only be a few gifts some of them more of a necessity like clothing or shoes than fancy toys or gadgets. But I’m excited to see my two year old’s excitement on Christmas and I know she’ll enjoy unwrapping her presents. And thanks to my parents I know that the best gifts are those that can’t be wrapped because the best gifts for a child or anyone else are the gifts of time and love.

I know this because the best gift I ever gave anyone wasn’t a toy or a gadget and it wasn’t wrapped in shiny paper. When I was a child we would drive downtown to church every Sunday morning and on our drive we always passed an old man on a park bench huddled up in a worn out coat.

One Sunday it was incredibly cold outside and as we drove past I told Mom and Dad I was worried about the man freezing. So we drove to Bojangles, a chicken restaurant and bought a biscuit and large steaming cup of coffee and then drove back to the bench and gave it to the gentleman.

I can’t really describe the feeling I experienced. There wasn’t any joy in shopping, no shiny paper or fancy bows, no anticipation of having found the perfect gift and waiting for the person to open their present but instead there was the look of surprise and appreciation that I haven’t really seen anyone express before or after that experience.

This gentleman wasn’t on the corner begging for money for food, he wasn’t seeking sympathy or expecting anything for free but he was truly thankful. After that Sunday it became a weekly tradition for us, every Sunday on our way to church we’d go by and get a sausage biscuit and coffee and drop it off to the gentleman on the bench. And every time he looked shocked and was so thankful.

Now I’m looking forward to this Christmas and spending Christmas day with my two children, my brother and his fiancĂ©’ and my husband. I’m excited to get the gifts wrapped and under the tree and to assemble our daughter’s gift on Christmas Eve. But

I know that the best gifts we can ever give our children are those of time and love and hopefully we can teach them that the best gift they’ll ever give is to help someone less fortunate or someone in need as my parents gave us.

SWAGG has partnered with non-profit Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to SU2C up to $125,000. Awesome, right?! Visit the SU2C site for more info http://www.standup2cancer.org/

More info about Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)
http://www.standup2cancer.org/




Learn more about the coolest new app that revolutionizes the whole shopping, gifting, and gift card-organizing experience and Download the SWAGG app to your iPhone or Droid. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Quinny Zapp

Here we go again, this time I'm trying to win a Quinny Zapp! I'm a stroller addict, I know I have a problem. But anything that makes my life easier.... This stroller is so cool its modern, sleek and lighweight.

Thank you The Bragging Mommy for this awesome giveaway!

Check it out here: The Bragging Mommy

X-Box 360 Kinect

What do you want this Christmas? Is there one item you just can't live without? For me that would be the X-Box 360 Kinect system. I'm dying to win one because we can't afford to buy one and this would make an awesome surprise for my husband and a nice treat for me! And if I don't win it then we won't have one because like most of America, its just not in the budget!

I entered to win here at: The Mom Buzz Check out this hilarious yet gross video ">

So I'm crossing my fingers, my toes and hoping I get lucky!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HearthSong Cottage Playhouse on Girl Gone Mom

Well the holiday madness has arrived and so I'm spending my free time, what little free time I have entering blog giveaways and trying to win some cool prizes for Christmas presents for our kids.

One of the giveaways I've entered is the HearthSong Cottage Playhouse on Girl Gone Mom, you can enter here: Holiday Gift Guide: HearthSong Cottage Playhouse ARV $80 {Review & Giveaway}


I can only imagine the fun we could have with MC playing in this awesome playhouse!

Monday, November 1, 2010

House Party Party Re-Charge, Relax and Girl Talk


About nine months after my little girl was born I learned that the key to survival was getting time for myself and especially girl time. When I can get out or stay in with other moms I realize I'm not the only person facing the same challenges: endless diapers, teething, extra pounds, mountains of laundry and everything else. And the other thing that helps me survive: caffeine and a LOT of it.

So I was really excited to be chosen to host the Hamilton Beach Brew Station party for House Party. This new coffeemaker is so awesome! I don't have to worry about my children grabbing the glass carafe and breaking it. (its already been broken) But with the Brewstation, there's no carafe and one less thing for me to worry about. The coffee never tastes burned or scorched and there's less to clean (and that makes everyone happy.)

This Saturday night I'm getting together with some of my favorite girlfriends to share coffee, desserts, play some games and have some girl chat. I know they'll love the Brewstation as much as my family does. Thank you to Hamilton Beach and House Party for giving us a reason to re-charge, relax and have some girl talk!



House Party Party Re-Charge, Relax and Girl Talk

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brain Fog

So how often do you experience brain fog? You know that feeling you get when its kind of like you're on autopilot but at the same time eveyrthing feels like it takes more effort than normal.

Today I felt like I was stuck in brain fog, very thick brain fog. I was at the computer and trying to multi-task: eat, check e-mails, watch the kids, etc. but I couldn't really function. So I tried chugging caffeine, eating protein and even just backing away from the computer but nothing really kicked it.

Sometime this afternoon it lifted but I'm not really sure how or why. I can usually attribute a symptom like this to lack of sleep but I've rested pretty well the past three days, thanks to Benadryl and the husband watching the kids while I stayed locked away in the bedroom fighting a sinus infection.

There were lots of things I wanted to accomplish today, cleaning the house, catching up on the laundry that accumulated while I was resting, watching shows on the DVR, etc. but with the brain fog almost nothing was actually started and finished.

And now with it beign 2 AM here I'd like to be sound asleep so I can wake up refreshed and take on some of the tasks I just mentioned but I made the colossal mistake of letting my husband fall asleep before me and now he sounds like a hibernating bear in the dead of winter and I'm writing instead of tossing and turning. Too bad that cleanign the house and washing clothes would wake everyone else up, otherwise I'd be kicking some butt on the chore list right now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Long Day

Today was a long day. One of those days when every time I wasn't watching my toddler, she was doing something or getting into something she wasn't supposed to be doing. And at times it felt like she was intentionally pushing me to my limits. Could it be?

What did she do? What was she doing? It would be easier to tell you what she wasn't doing, behaving, its simple as that. And to make it even more challenging she kept saying "Daddy" all day long.

But now she's in bed, my two month old is napping on the couch and I'm catching up with the DVR. Now if I can just get motivated to work out too....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dreaming of a Dream Vacation

Sponsored By


Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine, Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

Who needs a vacation more than a new Mom? Now granted things are a little easier since this is my second child and I knew I'd be facing endless mountains of laundry, diapers followed by feedings followed by more diapers and dirty bottles on every counter top and table. But there are days when just one day of sleeping in late, being able to shop or run errands alone and taking a shower longer than 10 minutes would qualify as both a dream and a vacation. But when I do sleep and even when I'm awake I still dream of a "real" vacation.

When I dream of a vacation, my dream is of a vacation without our children even though I know we'd miss them terribly, it involves a trip to a beautiful tropical island, staying in a luxury villa located on the ocean with a breathtaking view. I want a private chef, maid service, a private pool and hot tub with a butler that will bring us cold margaritas and fruity alcoholic drinks, sleeping in late and dinners on the patio watching the sunset while eating a five course meal.

And since my husband and I never had a "real honeymoon" I want a combination of romance and adventure in a setting as close to paradise as possible. We'd spend our days sightseeing, snorkeling, playing on jet skis and swimming in our private pool at our luxury villa. And in the evening we'd take a yacht out and cruise around the islands while enjoying dinner, dancing and a hot tub on the boat. We could enjoy couples massages and facials and afterwards spend time shopping where the locals shop.

While I love the Internet and cable television, my smartphone and facebook and blogging and all of the other gadgets we have, I'd truly like to have a vacation from it all. I don't want to be reminded of the high crime rates or the problems of the world, no text messages or online games as distractions, no Ipods, etc. Wouldn't it be great to escape the "real world" for a little while?

My ultimate dream vacation would be to have time to reconnect with my husband without the everyday distractions, in a beautiful location where we could create memories that we could share with our children.
Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Looking Back, While Moving Forward

I remember my parents and other adults saying "the only thing constant is change." As a child I didn't quite understand what that meant but as an adult and now as a parent of two children I'm reminded of this on a daily basis.

Two years ago today I was pregnant with our daughter and in the ICU with my husband and his family, standing by my father-in-law's bedside praying for him to recover. He passed away that afternoon. One week later to the day I gave birth to our daughter. We were so hapy to have a healthy baby girl but so sad that she would never get to meet her Papa and he'd never be able to hold her.

And then a year ago today we rushed to the ER with our little girl. She'd been sick for 3-4 days and wasn't improving but getting worse. After learning she had bacterial meningitis and the most dangerous strain we were in shock. We were standing in the same hospital where we'd lost my father-in-law, just one year later and the thought of losing our first and only child on that day in that place was unbearable.

Shortly after learning MC's diagnosis we were transferred via ambulance to Texas Children's Hospital. I'd never been in an ambulance before and hope I'll never have to ride in one again. I was lying on the bed with MC on my chest, wrapped in several blankets to keep her warm with an IV in her arm. She was lifeless as we weaved in and out of traffic racing to the hospital.

We spent a week in the hospital with our little girl. And I know we were lucky, I know we were blessed and I feel like we received a miracle. As far as we know she has fully recovered without any damage from her illness.

While we were in the hospital MC had her first taste of McDonald's and celebrated her first birthday and now we're just one week away from her second birthday. It seems like a lifetime ago not just a year.

The loss of my mom and father-in-law mean we must tell our children stories of their grandparents, show them pictures and tell them of their love. And from our experience with MC's short hospital visit, when we say our prayers we pray for the children that can't be healed, for the kids that live in the hospital most of the year battling cancer and other diseases, for their parents experiencing the helpless feeling that we felt firsthand. And we remind ourselves not to take time with our kids for granted. Those are just a few of the things that have changed for us the last two years.

I hug my kids and tell them how much I love them several times a day. If you haven't experienced a severe illness with your child, think of those that ahve and remember them n your prayers at night.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Season Premieres

What is everyone watching this fall? During the summer I feel like we live at Blockbuster and spend too much time watching movies we've previously seen on the movie channels, just waiting for fall and the return of our nightly programs.

I can remember when I knew what day of the week it was by seeing what was on TV, Friends, ER, LA Law, etc. This season I know Grey's Anatomy means its Thursday and NCIS means its Tuesday but I'm still learning a lot of the new programs and trying to match them with the nights they're on.

At the same time I hesitate to get involved in a new drama or comedy because lately it seems like every time we find a new program we enjoy its canceled after either the first season or several episodes. And that's frustrating. And in most cases these are good programs that just disappear. What happened to Dirty Sexy Money? How about Lipstick Jungle? Where's The Unit?

Then there are programs that I don't enjoy and figure they won't make it and yet they're still around . I'm kind of surprised that recently the USA network has developed great shows like Royal Pains and Covert Affairs. I just hope they realize they have winners and continue to keep them on the air.

Currently, I look forward to seeing how this season continues to develop. Some of my new favorites include: The Undercovers, The Defenders, Chase and Blue Bloods. What are your favorites this fall?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Follow Me Back Tuesday

It's Tuesday! Follow me back Tuesday!

Join us for Follow Me Back Tuesday
Hosted by Survey Junkie,Little Yaya's,
Review Retreat , Boobies,BabiesAndABlog
& this weeks Guest Host
Xenia from Thanks Mail Carrier


( Do Not Link Your Giveaways.. This is not a giveaway link up.. All links not linked to your FMBT post or your homepage will be deleted )

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How it Works
•Follow all 4 Hosts & Guest Host - Spots 1-5 leave us a comment w/ your blog url so that we can follow u back ( only leave a comment that you follow if you actually follow )
•Snag our button to add to your FMBT post then post on your blog
•Add your blog to the list- using the link from your blog post( NOT YOUR BLOG HOP or GIVEAWAYS PLEASE ) These entries will be deleted.
•Follow as many blogs as you would like, Make sure you leave them a comment so they know you stopped by . Then Follow Back everyone that follows you & comments.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blogging is like Exercise

Does anyone else feel like blogging is like exercise? Let me explain, by no means do I feel like blogging is a chore, but exercise is at times a chore. But you know how when you really get into the swing of fitness and you have a routine you tend to follow through and stay on task, well it seems like the more I blog the easier it is to continue but once I fall off the wagon so to speak, its tough to find the time to get back into it.

And much like my good intentions to make it to the gym, I've had good intentions for the past four weeks to get back to blogging. But I continue to make excuses, I'm too tired, I need to spend time with the kids, I'd rather nap, I'd rather eat, I'd rather work-out (okay, so I've never used that excuse).

I knew when I had the baby that I'd have to take a break from blogging and spend time recovering and adapting to life with two children. We're still getting used to being a family of four. It seems strange to say we have "kids", when it used to be "I have a daughter." Now we have "kids." And on Saturday when the waitress asked "how many", I was ready to reply three, when I realized, now its four.

Life has changed. Definitely for the better but it still takes time to adapt.

Saturday night I was home watching college football on the couch with my five week old son beside me and my daughter running around the family room and in and out of her bedroom. Before I became a parent, I would have been at the game, in a sports bar or partying with friends while watching the games.

At one point during the game I was reminded by a friend of a game we'd attended several years ago, when Auburn played South Carolina at Williams-Brice. It was a cloudy afternoon game and we'd dressed for rain and chilly temperatures only to find a muggy day full of sun by the time we were in our seats. And after tailgating which involved the consumption of alcoholic beverages, we became silly and brave. (I admit I'd completely forgotten/erased this particular memory until she reminded me last week) But at some point we decided to talk the guys seated behind us into giving us their boxer shorts so we could watch the game without suffering from heatstroke. (No I definitely can not EVER run for public office)

So what does this have to do with blogging being like exercise? Has my brain turned into total mush since the baby and I'm just not making any sense? No, not quite, not yet anyways.

The point is with crazy memories like that one, two children, three dogs, a husband that enjoys pushing my buttons just for personal amusement and my ability to multi-task I have lots to say and plenty to write about in my blog just as I have extra pounds to lose and muscles to tone. I'm going to get back to the blog and get back to working out, although I think one will be easier to follow through on than the other.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Toys R Us: Beauty and The Beast + Tinker Bell DVD/Blu Ray Movie Deal

For a great deal on Beauty and the Beast and the new Tinkerbell Movie check out this post by Common Sense with Money.



Toys R Us: Beauty and The Beast + Tinker Bell DVD/Blu Ray Movie Deal

Monday, August 9, 2010

Best if Delivered By....

You know how you have a pantry full of items, ketchup, mustard, soup, jello that all have stamps that read "best if used by" and then there's a date printed next....well I feel like I'm walking around with a big stamp on my belly that reads "Best if delivered by x/x/xxxx."

And maybe it would be better if we did have a date that was a deliver by date instead of a "due date." You know my belly button is popping out like those meat thermometers that pop out of your Thanksgiving turkey when its done...does that mean I'm done?

Considering, none of my clothes fit comfortably and/or cover all of me, including my maternity collection, walking, sleeping, sitting and standing are monumental events; getting dressed requires assistance, these all seem like indications that its time to deliver this baby and give me my body back.

Of course this is my second child and I now know that you don't actually get your body back, not the original, no you get the "rental car version" you know the kind that might look like the original in some ways but has a lot more miles on it and probably experienced some extremes during the rental.

Currently, I feel like my body has been taken over by a body snatcher. We go to the doctor today and due to the size of the baby he's planning on inducing in a few days, because "its best if I'm delivered by...."

So what am I feeling? Relief, exhaustion, fear, panic, excitement, denial and everything in between. I would have though that with this being our second child the emotions wouldn't be as intense, the fear of delivery would be less and we'd feel more prepared, but there are times when I feel less prepared. And these emotions hit you like a hurricane, they slam into you and then they swirl around and continue to rain like the aftermath of the storm.

We are blessed. We are so lucky to have a healthy toddler and in the next three days we'll have a baby. Plus, we're lucky enough to be blessed with a boy and a girl, the best of both worlds.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Discovery Toys Sales & Specials

Alright, you'd think since I sell Discovery Toys and truly LOVE them for so many reasons, their quality, durability, wide range of toys available, ability to engage my toddler for hours on end, etc. that I would talk about them on my blog on a regular basis. But I don't want for my readers to feel like I'm pushing a product that I profit from. However, I'm also being unfair if I don't at least share about our special promotions and sales.

So...right now through August 15th, here are some great deals that can be found:

BUSY FARM
Reg. price$ 20.00
SALE: $ 15.00

CASTLEMARBLEWORKS®
REG:$ 38.50
SALE:$ 32.50

GIANT PEGBOARD ™
REG:$ 18.50
SALE:$ 14.50

GO GO CATERPILLAR
REG:$ 16.50
SALE:$ 13.00

IT’S A MATCH! DELUXE SET
REG:$ 34.50
SALE:$ 30.00

MARBLEWORKS® STARTER SET
REG:$ 30.00
SALE:$ 24.00

MOTOR WORKS
REG:$ 30.00
SALE:$ 24.00

PLAYFUL PATTERNS®
REG:$ 22.50
SALE:$ 18.00

RAINFALL RATTLE
REG:$ 11.50
SALE:$ 9.50

TRY- ANGLE
REG:$ 30.00
SALE:$ 24.00

WORKING TRIO
REG:$ 18.50
SALE:$ 13.50

ZINGO!®
REG:$ 16.50
SALE:$ 13.00

These are some of our most popular toys and some fantastic sale prices. This is a great chance to stock up now for Christmas, birthdays, baby shower gifts, etc.

We also have a special for those that want to join my team and become a DT consultant. This special is a better price than what I paid a little over a year ago when I joined DT.

ANNOUNCING ... “It doesn’t get better than this!” Sponsoring Promotion
July 22 – August 31

Join DT for an
$89 New EC KIT
investment!

Unbelievable, unforgettable!
New Team Members who join DT from July 22 – August 31 receive an

Unprecedented Kit Price - regularly $125 NOW JUST $89!
DT Spring/Summer New EC Kit with a Retail Value over $400!

For more information please visit my website http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/kristinbarclay

You can also e-mail me at Kbarclay1 at att dot net

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Have you heard about the mamaRoo?

Have you heard about the mamaRoo by 4Moms? Since I read about it a few weeks ago I've been learning more and entering giveaways to try and win one for the new baby I'll be having next week. You know I love gadgets and you know I love the newest products so the more I read and learn about the mamaRoo the more I want one for myself and our baby boy.

While I haven't personally been able to try one out yet, I can tell you its unlike any other swing or bouncer on the market. Don't laugh, but it makes you wish there was a product like this for the grown-ups.

Some cool facts about 4Moms:

-there are actually 5 moms but they thought 4Moms sounded better, so one mom is called "The Stealth Mom" (what a cool nickname)
-4Moms has been called the "Apple of the juvenile industry", what a compliment for a company that's small with a fraction of the budget of a major company
-The mamaRoo was designed using motion sensors to monitor movements of real parents (seriously leading edge technology)

If you'd like to learn more about the mamaRoo you can go to http://www.4momsonline.com/mamaroo or read all about a mom's review on the mamaRoo and enter her current giveaway at http://www.momsbalancingact.com/2010/07/4moms-mamaroo-it-moves-like-you-do.html
.

Bragging About my Monkey

You know those days when you look at your toddler and think "wow, they sure are growing up." Sometimes its because they look a little different and sometimes its their actions.

Well today when I woke up MC was still in her room asleep. When she did wake up I just watched and listened to her as she played in her room for a little bit. She started talking, and talking and talking. I heard Daddy, wait, but the most used word was okay.

As she had walked over to her room door and started knocking, so cute, she was saying Mom. So I opened the door, entered and began our daily ritual of the diaper change and while I got our supplies ready on the floor, she walked over to her drawer and said "shorts."

"Do you want to put on shorts and a shirt?" I asked.

She nodded yes and reached in for a pair of shorts. So I picked out shorts and a shirt and we started changing. But today she tried to take charge, she wanted to use the wipes, she wanted to put her legs in the shorts and her arms through the shirt. She's usually not this determined to help, she may assist some but never with this much independence.

Now we head to the kitchen where she grabs a banana off the counter and attempts to eat it through the peel. While we've always called MC our monkey, monkey bucket, monkey butt, spider monkey or something with monkey in it, she's never really liked bananas. So I took the banana back, peeled back the outer layer and handed it back to her, she devoured the entire banana.

I feel all kinds of emotions, I'm proud of her, I'm amazed at her, I'm excited to see her growing on multiple levels and I'm also wondering how did all these changes occur after one night of sleep? Was there a fairy in her room last night? (Of course, I'm being facetious)What's going on and does it even matter?

I'm looking forward to the rest of the day and seeing what else develops.

I Just Won 10 Swag Bucks on www.swagbucks.com

I Just Won 10 Swag Bucks on www.swagbucks.com

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mailbox Jackpot

Alright checking the mail today made me laugh and so I thought I'd share it with you and see if I could make someone else laugh too.

So its midday and I venture outside to check the mail, expecting bills and junk, but instead I find: a Potty Training DVD, a free sample of Goodnites Underwear and a $3 check from a survey I recently completed and my first thought is I hit the mailbox jackpot! LOL

When did my life change to the point where this is so exciting? I can remember when it had to be filled with catalogs, magazines or big money for me to be excited.

Now my days are filled with surfing the web and winning Sawg Bucks, shopping the sales to keep my daughter in clothes, and entering giveaways or requesting free samples! Oh well I'm happy so that's what matters most!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Race is ON!

Ready! Set! GO?

The race is ON! Alright so maybe the race really began back in December when we learned I was pregnant but now we're racing to the finish line at full speed. And the reminders are everywhere.

Seriously I can't leave the house and run into someone without hearing the following comments: "You're ready to pop!", "Any day now you're going to have that baby", "Better get ready, he's coming." Hello? Do you think between my duck waddle, the persistent and feistier kicking and the doctor's appointments once a week that I've forgotten and need these reminders?

I'm going to make it a point to never say to anyone, friend, acquaintance, total stranger, "you're about to pop!." It doesn't matter if you don't mean anything by it, when you're big and have been dealing with all of the symptoms that come with being pregnant you just don't want someone to remind you.

But with the clock ticking, the calendar days passing by and the constant reminders we're rushing around making sure we're ready. Wait, maybe that's incorrect, the only one running around like a crazy person making lists, packing bags, taking inventory is me. I seriously think my husband is in denial. Just like when we had our daughter, 21 months ago, and I was settling into the hospital room, the nurse asked him so are you ready to be a dad? (and thought are you giving him an option, because its kind of too late for that) and I hear him say, "it really hasn't sunk in yet."

So....we're at the hospital, my water had broken a few hours before, contractions were 3 minutes apart and, what hasn't sunk in? I guess its just different for men. But this time around I would think the reality would be hovering around him like those pesky summer flies.

I mean it seems like I'm the only one with any sense of urgency. This is normal right? It does make life easier if all of the clothes are washed and organized, the bottles are sterilized and stored for easy access, diapers are on the changing table with wipes and accessories, hospital bags are packed, the swing is down from the attic and in place. Or have I become obsessed?

Speaking of obsessed...have any of you, if any of you are reading this, found that this "nesting phenomenon" also creates a need to shop? I find myself scoping out the latest baby products, buying extra swaddle blankets, wash cloths, bottles, pacifiers, nipples etc. And I'm amazed and the new producst that have been introduced in just the last 21 months since we had our little girl.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not buying just for the sake of shopping. I'm going through her things and seeing what we needed that we didn't have for her, re-stocking items like diapers, wipes, etc. And as I'm buying, ordering, organizing, I'm also dreaming of putting away the maternity clothes and getting rid of them.

So are we ready? Do we really have three weekends left? I remember being pregnant with MC and everyone focused on the due date. But here I am at 36 weeks and this time people keep reminding me the "baby will be here anyday."

Any day? Well then I will spend today continuing to get the nursery, the house and my family ready for his arrival. But are you ever really ready?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MamaRoo Giveaway on Crazy Coupon Mommy

I made some awesome discoveries today while surfing the Internet. Two of those discoveries include: the products by 4Moms like the MamaRoo and the blog by Crazy Coupon Mommy.

What's a mamaRoo?
From the Manufacturer
We've never seen a parent vibrate like a bouncy seat or swing like a swing. But we've seen thousands of parents scoop their little ones up in their arms and bounce and sway, and that's what the mamaRoo does. It moves like you do. Some seats claim two motions, but really, they just turn their seat to one side. When we say five motions, we mean it. Five unique motions. Five ways to soothe and entertain your little one. That's just better.

Product Description
mamaRoo by 4moms The only seat that moves up and down, and side to side.We've never seen a parent vibrate their child like a bouncy seat and hardly seen one swing a baby around like a swing. BUT, we've seen thousands of parents scoop their little ones up in their arms and bounce and sway. And that's what the mamaRoo does. It moves like you do.5 Unique MotionsSome seats claim two motions, but really, they just turn their seat to the side. When we say unique we mean it. 5 different motions.

Now I'm not sure about you guys but with my little girl MC, if I could find something that would soothe her and buy me time to wash bottles, do a load of laundry or grab a quick shower then that was the greatest product ever made. I haven't personally used one of these but the reviews I've read are raving about it! So I hope to be able to win one! You can read her review and learn more about how to enter the giveaway at: http://www.deals4dummies.com/2010/07/sss-mamaroo/

And while you're there enter or become a follower so you too cnaa learn more about her fantastic giveaways.

Boon Potty Bench Giveaway on Thatsitmommy

Well its Sunday and I spent the day surfing the Internet, learning about new Mommy blogs and checking out some super cool giveaways. I'm not a very lucky person and have only won once in my life but I've decided the way to cahnge those odds are to enter more giveaways.

And while surfing today I came across this cool Boon potty bench giveaway on:
http://thatsitmommy.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/review-giveaway-boon-potty-bench

We haven't started potty training MC as of yet but when we do I'd love to have this bench to use. The best part about it for me is that it doubles as a stool enabling me to have 1 product and use less space in her already small bathroom that's also used as a guest bathroom.

Check out how cool this product looks: The Potty Bench is a training potty featuring two enclosed side storage spaces for organizing potty training supplies, and a pull-out drawer for easy sanitary clean-up. Simply close the lid to use as a large, sturdy stool that supports up to 300 lbs. The sleek, modern design includes a built-in toilet paper holder and a removable soft deflector shield.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Painting Update

Well, we now have two coats of paint on the walls in our master bedroom. And while I'm feeling better about the situation, colors have been chosen and progress is being made, we are living in a house turned upside down while the painting gets done. But then with one toddler and another child just around the corner, I should get used to the chaos, the clutter, the one step forward and two giant leaps backward.

But in the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing the final results. A freshly painted bedroom with our new comforter and hopefully some new lamps in the near future.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Want to SCREAM!

Alright, I'm so frustrated right now I want to scream. But then if I scream I'll wake up my toddler from her nap and that will just frustrate me even more, so I'll resort to venting through my much neglected blog. And the best part is if you don't want to listen, you don't have to continue reading, LOL.

I'm 34.5 weeks pregnant and what are we doing, we're trying to pick out paint colors for the kitchen, dining room, family room, master bedroom and master bathroom. And it feels like we're going round and round and getting nowhere.

On Saturdays the paint store closes at 2PM. So my husband had planned to get up around 10AM go pick up a few sample cans of colors we discussed last night so we could get them on the walls, choose the one we liked best and buy paint. Let me pause to say that I wanted our bedroom painted months ago. I emphasized to him that it would mean a lot to return from having the baby to a retreat, a freshly painted room with our new comforter and two new lamps, a place where I could relax and recover. Let me follow this up by saying in a house that's only 1600 square feet with a toddler running around, two large dogs, a husband and a newborn that I'm fully aware, regardless of the room makeover, a "retreat" will not exist anywhere in a house this small.

However, a new look in our room would make me feel better since our current walls are white with chipping paint, a comforter has seen the last of its days and our lamps don't match or get the job done.

But my husband doesn't get to the paint store until 1:15, leaving only enough time to buy the samples. So when he returned home with more paint swatches and samples of colors we hadn't discussed, none of the colors we'd chosen and on his own had moved from the browns and grays we were considering to purples....I really wanted to scream or throw something. Purple, in our kitchen? Seriously, what is he thinking?

So we have 4-5 weekends left before the baby if we're lucky and we're just spinning our wheels. He wants to park on the couch and watch movies all day and I want to see things getting done so there's less to do later.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Huephoria Hand Painted Salt & Pepper Shakers Giveaway

Thanks to Mom's Focus for offering some fun and awesome giveaways, like the Huephoria hand painted Salt & Pepper shaker give-away.

For those that know me, you know I like to use and collect the unusual items that reflect a little of my personality and I think these shakers, wine and martini glasses make the cut.

A little information on the company: HuePhoria LLC was formed with a goal to design, manufacture and distribute unique glassware to upscale gift boutiques, party throwers and cocktail queens across the country. The partners designed a new glass, bigger and sturdier to appeal to all wine lovers, beer drinkers (made to hold a full one), cocktail drinkers and milk drinkers alike.With a high quality line of hand-blown, hand-painted, dishwasher safe stemware, HuePhoria hit the retail market. Jen, Lisa & Kathy have been “having a ball entertaining” ever since!

So head over to Mom's Focus and enter this contest!

http://momsfocusonline.com/giveaway-huephoria-hand-painted-salt-pepper-shakers-ends-july-22.html/

Medela Pump In Style Give-Away on Mom's Focus

Alright friends, I wish I had some super cool stuff to give-away but since I don't I'm going to start linking to those bloggers that do have the super cool stuff!

Please hop over to Mom's Focus and check out her Medela Pump In Style Give-Away and enter for a chance to win as I have!!!

http://momsfocusonline.com/giveaway-medela-pump-in-style%c2%ae-advanced-double-electric-breastpump-the-metro-bag%e2%84%a2arv-339-99-value.html

Toddler Survival


Someone put my mind at ease.....please! Lately, I feel like I'm spending more time trying to survive the toddler phase than I am preparing for the little one's arrival. And at the same time, I'm trying to help my toddler survive this phase.

Initially, I was really concerned about moving my 20 month old from her crib to her "big girl bed" in her new big girl room. We used the Natura no-VOC paint, we blocked all the outlets, we locked the closet and put away all the toys, we have child-proof locks on the doors. I bought a nightlight that she can keep in bed with her, so there's nothing to unplug and no shocking hazard. But I still worried that we'd hear some loud crash in the middle of the night and find something we'd forgotten to protect her from....

But instead, on the first night we're moving her into the new room, while we're doing a final check, she wanders into one of the bathrooms, opens a drawer and finds electric clipper oil. On her way to show us her treasure, she removed the top, put the bottle in her mouth and had it all over her hands and mouth by the time she finds us for "show and tell." This tiny bottle offered little information, EXCEPT, "can be fatal if swallowed, seek emergency treatment immediately.

So at 34 weeks pregnant, I put my little girl in the tub, fully clothed, and start washing out her mouth with a bottle of water while my husband changes clothes, finds his wallet and grabs the car keys. And on the 4th of July holiday as fireworks are going off throughout the area, we race to the ER with our hazard lights on. While we're waiting for the triage nurse I dial Poison Control, only to find out the first six numbers I called were incorrect.

As I finally get through to Poison Control the triage nurse calls us back and her second questions is "did you call poison control?" After I answer yes, she explains because that's what we're going to do is call them and ask how to treat the patient. Seriously? I wish we'd known that before taking her to the ER with all of the other germs, etc.

We were very fortunate that she didn't get any of the chemicals in her lungs and so no damage was done. And after returning home, giving her a long bath, she spent the first night in her big girl bed in her new room without any problems.

Now we move to today, just four days after our last scare. I'm in the bedroom trying to catch a nap, when I hear a scream from MC, followed by my husband barging into the bedroom, yelling "I need help." What now?

He carries out little girl into our bathroom and I see he has blood all over his shirt and she has blood running down her face. First thought, let me get dressed we're going back to the ER. Fortunately, that was not the case. Apparently, MC was in the den wearing her Dad's cowboy boots while trying to walk, she fell and bumped her mouth on our coffee table and cut herself below her lip.

Again we got lucky, because the bleeding stopped pretty quickly and she cried for less than five minutes. I went to my FB friends for advice and we saved ourselves from a trip to the ER.



But then this evening, while I was fixing dinner, MC came running into the kitchen and fell onto our tile floor. She got back up immediately and after a hug was fine. I wish I could bounce back that quickly, it seems like every time I watch her get hurt I feel like my heart stops.

What's the secret here? How do I survive my toddler and how does she survive herself?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

So here I am sitting at the desk putting my thoughts on the screen, waiting to be able to get up, have my body and energy back and tackle all of the projects piling up and clutter that's threatening to take over our house. And wishing I could climb into the attic, pull out all of those boxes that were stored with good intentions and start piles to give away, sell and just toss out.

And as I sit here and look around at the cluttered kitchen counter, the toys strewn all over the den floor, I feel a little resigned that this will be the way it is for the next 6 months. So I also wish I could just go on vacation, somewhere tropical with delicious mocktails and an oceanfront view, where I could put my feet up and relax while MC builds sandcastles and wades in a crystal clear pool.

I'm in full blown nesting mode. At what month exactly is it supposed to hit? My husband thinks I'm crazy. He keeps reminding me the baby isn't due until August and its still April. I guess all of the time I spent in management I learned its better to be proactive and accomplish things early because you never know what could happen to prevent you from getting things done later.

He continues to tell people that I'm upset the "baby's room" isn't ready yet. Its not the baby's room I'm even concerned with but my little girl's "big girl" room. She's 18 months and I want her to continue to feel like she's an important part of the family. I want her to have a beautiful, clutter free room where she can play, read, sleep and grow.

In my head I see the finished room, do you know what I mean? I can see the walls painted, the bed made with the comforter and pillows and the walls covered with a large collage of pictures of her, the flat screen mounted on the wall and a mirror. All little girls need a mirror on their walls, right? The bunk beds are against the wall and look gorgeous. Its the perfect room.

Reality...well we have a full sized bed in the room, with an exercise bike, a bookcase full of junk and a flat screen, a dresser that's empty and taking up space and a very large, heavy trunk full of my husband's family photos. I'm unable to go in and move these things out, the walls are still a ghostly white and the closet is currently empty with the exception of the new shelving units my husband has insisted on building and installing himself.

I'm hoping next week we will be able to find the bunk beds we want and purchase them. Maybe this weekend we'll be able to finish the closet and get some paint on the walls. I'd like for MC to be sleeping in the room by the first week in June so she can start adapting to life outside her crib before we bring the baby home and have to adapt more.

And then I'll go back into the nursery and re-set everything. The hutch will be filled with clothes for our baby boy, the diapers will be re-stocked with newborn sizes, the crib will be empty with the exception of his new stuffed animals and clean sheets and a bumper once again.

Nesting is an interesting concept. For me personally, it becomes all consuming, an obsession that reminds me of all the tasks that need to be completed and all of the things I'm currently unable to do while pregnant. So for now I'll go back to sitting, waiting and wishing.

If you have any suggestions or ideas, must haves for a toddler room, please post a comment. Thanks

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green or Preggo

It's not easy being green or preggo and for some people like me, they are one in the same on most days. And while this pregnancy has been a bigger challenge than my first, I'm so very grateful that we are expecting our second child. There are so many things and reasons to be grateful for, but there are also the side effects and complications that plague me which just come with my body handling pregnancy.

We're thankful God blessed us with another child without having to go through the draining, complicated and expensive process of fertility treatments. We're blessed that our ultrasounds and doctor's appointments have been full of good news. Both of us are ecstatic that in August we will have a family of four, with a son and a daughter or family of 6 as my hubby likes to say because he counts our dogs too. I'm grateful that I'm not confined to a bed or having certain restrictions to follow.

However, being preggo puts a tremendous strain on my body. I'm unable to work a full/part-time job other than being a SAHM Mom to my 18 month old rambunctious toddler. I can't walk for miles or work-out everyday. And while I am exercising my willpower to be more disciplined about what and how much I eat there are days when I crave junk and give in to the cravings. I don't sleep well, have frequent, vivid nightmares and need at least 1 nap per day. Between rampant hormones and vitamin deficiencies I get weak, dizzy, woozy and sometimes very afraid when experiencing these symptoms and prefer not to be alone.

The Braxton Hicks started early and will continue to plague me at various times throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. I have no bladder capacity and know where every public restroom within 10 miles of my house is located. I don't glow, I'm not toned and in shape and being pregnant does not make me beautiful. By the end of the day I'm exhausted, grumpy, hungry and not much fun to be around.

BUT these symptoms are not my fault. Given a choice I'd love to have the energy and ability to work a job while pregnant, to exercise almost every day and stay thin and toned, to clean the house, cook dinner and teach my child to read while eliminating the need to nap, run back and forth to the bathroom and eat frequent small meals. But no one has offered me that choice.

So I'll do the best I can everyday. I'll wake up and hope I have enough energy to care for and entertain my little girl. Chores and tasks will be completed as my time and body allows. And I'll try not to complain too much about the contractions, the nausea, exhaustion, swelling, compulsions, etc.

Here's what I ask of you: please don't blame me for being sick, I didn't order morning sickness and don't enjoy it nor have any control over it

-don't offer me pie, cake and cookies every time you see me and remind me "I'm eating for 2", those pounds have to come back off after the baby and that's not easy

- don't say you weren't meant to have children or "well I guess you shouldn't have any more because you don't do pregnant well", again this is not something I have any control over and those are my decisions not yours

-don't compare me to yourself and how you worked 40 hours a week on your feet even on your due date and were just fine, that just makes me feel like a failure and then I push my body to do more which can lead to problems

I'm writing this because I know I'm not the only one that wants to have the perfect pregnancy but instead feels like they're struggling to get through the days and the stages. We'd all like to have the perfect pregnancy but please don't blame us if we don't but instead support and encourage us to enjoy the good days, rest on the bad and be grateful for the experience.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I FINALLY Own an iPod

I finally own an iPod, my very own iPod Touch. For years I've been wanting an iPod and yet have held off convincing myself it was too much of a want and not a "need." You know the lists you make, need vs. want and then you try and stick to the needs so you're reducing debt and being responsible.

But tomorrow is our wedding anniversary and I told my husband that I really wanted an iPod. I want to download some music for me to enjoy in the car, at the gym, during the day etc. And I want to start listening to some lullabies etc. so when the baby arrives he'll be used to some of the songs and find them calming.

After waiting this long you'd think I'd have a huge list of songs I want to download and add to my play list, right? I thought so too. But so far I've downloaded about 140songs and about 110 are either lullabies or toddler songs I downloaded for MC. What's up with that?

So I guess if you're reading this and you think of a song or songs that are a MUST HAVE for my new toy, then let me know since I seem to be drawing a blank at the moment.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Missed It!

Well today I was given a gift, the gift of time to myself. Last week a friend and fellow Mom bravely offered to take MC on a playdate with her son so she could get out of the house and I coudl get some rest.

WHo knew it would come on a day where I had to be at the dentist office at 8 AM this morning? And to make amtters worse while at the dreaded torture chamber a.k.a the dentist office I would be subjected to another the second emergency root canal this month. So while driving home, in pain with a big swollen face, I was really looking forward to some peace and quiet and extra sleep.

I don't do well when pregnant. I'm not bragging but merely stating a known fact to me and anyone that has witnessed the problems that plague me while pregnant. So to say I'm exhausted regardless of the trimester or situtation would be accurate and unfortunate, especially since this time around I'm pregnanty with a toddler that is a cross between a monkey and the Energizer bunny...that would definitely be a strange looking creature...

So when my friend pulled up ready to take MC to a bounce house, jungle gym, kids world, I ahd her packed and ready to go. But I was a little surprised when after she was loaded into a car she'd never been in before, I leaned in for a kiss and was quickly dismissed with the wave of her hand. Hmmm...my little girl is growing up I thought.

Back inside, still in my flannel pajama pants and thermal t-shirt, I was excited to be alone. WAIT! The thing is I wasn't alone because my hubby was still at the house answering e-mails, returning phone calls and making noise in my space. But he was supposed to be leaving shortly, so I fixed some pasta that I could slurp down with a numb face and picked up some of the toys cluttering the den floor.

Of course, my luck strikes and my husband's appointment is cancelled and he's not going anywhere. Time alone....not happening. So since the feeling in my mouth was returning and staying still seemed to make it worse I started picking up clothes and toys and working on things that would ahve been impossible with the monkey butt underfoot. And while making progress my mind wandered to MC and whether she was having fun or creating trouble...later, I learned she was doing both.

A few hours later MC and her friends returned to the house for a short visit. Before we were even completely unloaded and inside the house I'm being told how MC found a little boy with the group, took him by the hand and drug him around with her. She stood on tables, climbed into and out of bounce houses, shared snacks by feeding them to other little boys and smiled until she realized someone was trying to "gather eveidence", I mean pictures.

I've never taken MC to a playgraound area and seen her play in a bounce house. And I've never seen her hold anyone's hand but mine or her dad's so the news struck me as funny and strange. I hated to miss today and if I'd been 100% would have been there witnessing these new developments and joys firsthand.

But maybe we both needed some space today. Maybe she showed a new side to her personality that she wouldn't have displayed under my watchful eye. I don't know, but I am sad I missed seeing her so happy.

A few people have told me MC is going to be a heartbreaker and of course I laugh and smile....but she's only 17 months so if she's already picking cute boys out, taking them by the hand and dragging them around well I think we may be in a world of trouble. So ladies, when you see MC smiling at your little boy, you might want to warn him, she wants to be the boss and he's not the first one to be dragged around the playground.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Remembering Mom


Well today is an anniversary, not the kind of anniversary you celebrate with a nice dinner and expensive bottle of wine but the kind you remember quietly. Four years ago today on the first day of Spring in Columbia, SC my Mom finally lost her numerous and final battle with cancer and passed away.

She was only 60 years old. And I'm not sure that on the day we lost her I realized the magnitude of what had been lost. I don't know that I was aware I lost my mentor, my teacher, my best friend, my advocate, hero, etc.

We were one of the lucky ones in so many ways. My brother and I had watched Mom battle cancer two other times and walk away with some battle scars but also as a a stronger person. And we were also given time to process and plan things. We knew Mom was dying and had time to try and come to grips with an impending loss. Time to discuss arrangements and purchase cemetery plots, caskets, flowers, etc. Days, weeks and months to spend by her side talking about old times, making amends, saying goodbye.

But with that time comes a price. A heavy price, the price of watching a once vibrant, healthy person transform into a vegetable. We watched her lose weight, and stop eating, we saw her suffering in pain and being ill, she was usually cognizant but in the last 3-6 days she became confused and incoherent and unable to rest peacefully. We prayed that God would give her peace, we knew she was tired and so were we but we also wanted her to stay.

Looking back there are things we would have done differently and things that we wouldn't have changed. I wish I'd known then that I'd become a different person. If I'd just realized my priorities had changed and that chasing my career was now secondary and finding the right man and starting a family was my new pursuit, I could have shared this revelation with my mom and probably made her extremely happy.

Neither Brian nor I knew what to expect with the loss of a parent. We didn't realize that the entire world changed. Initially you don't notice the basics, the weather, colors, the way food tastes or what day it is, you run on some stripped down version of autopilot and go through the motions.

While its now been four years since Mom left I still miss her terribly. Sometime I'm a little angry because I feel like we were robbed. I wanted Mom to be there at my wedding, I wanted to call her with the news that we were expecting our first child and ask her a million questions about what to expect. I want to call her now and find out why my tuna salad never tastes the way hers did and tell her all of the cute things that MC has done. But instead I hold the Snoopy she gave me when I was 18and leaving for college and I give it a big squeeze. I reflect on my Mom and our memories and I hope that I can have a better relationship with my children.

Mom always did the little things, she gave us "no reason gifts" when she felt like we needed a lift or just saw something she knew we'd enjoy. She'd fix us a favorite snack "just because" and deliver it to us but then exit so she wasn't infringing on our time alone or with a friend. She'd encourage me to push myself harder and always remind me that my strengths would cover my weaknesses. And she loved us no matter what.

Sometimes when she's bring that snack or give us a surprise she'd say, "Repeat after me, I have a good Mommy," and of course we'd giggle and then say "I have a good Mommy." One day I hope MC and I will be able to laugh and I'll hear her say, "I have a good Mommy."

I love you Mom. You have a beautiful granddaughter and a grandson on the way in August. I'm hoping he'll be born on the 14th so you'll share the same birthday. I'm sorry that sometimes we have to lose someone to realize exactly what we had and how very lucky we were. So enjoy the scenery and the popcorn and keep an eye on us from those luxury seats until one day we meet again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wrinkles....where did you come from?

Alright, so yes we all have wrinkles, even babies have wrinkles. But when you're older and have earned your wrinkles its different. And when did I become vain? And when did the wrinkles move in? What did I do to earn them? When will they leave?

I was at the mall on Wednesday with a girlfriend and her little girl. We stopped by the Origins counter so I could get a color match and buy some new foundation. The male consultant was very knowledgeable and I was feeling good about making a change....until...I looked into his little mirror and saw groves of lines under my eyes and throughout the rest of my face.

So why is it when you try on lingerie, dresses, jeans, etc. those mirrors and lights at the mall seem to make you look and feel better? And then you get home and put on the same item and begin to see the flaws. But here in this guy's small mirror were wrinkles looking back at me and seeming to grow as I watched.

Now yes, I used to work long 12 hour sometimes longer days with travel etc. And yes, now I'm a mom that's experienced a new level of sleep deprivation that you can only understand after having firsthand experience, so maybe these wrinkles were earned. But why couldn't I earn a bonus or company watch or vacation instead?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When You Know You're A Mom

I went through the 9-10 months of pregnancy with multiple symptoms, most of them not enjoyable. And then I went through the life altering experience of labor but with painkillers. I nursed my baby and held her while she slept but yet I still didn't feel like a mom.

At 2-3 months we took MC to a surgeon for a consult on her bellybutton. As I was completing the paperwork it had a spot for relation to patient....and of course I wrote "mother." Then I turned to my husband, while looking down at MC sound asleep in her carrier, and asked him "we're really parents, is it me or does it seem like a dream?" This continues through the nights of sleep deprivation, the spit up, the diaper changes, etc. and then one day it hit me....

You know you're a mom when.... you reach into your pocket for change at Starbucks and find a pacifier instead

....you don't even what to know what that brown stain on your jeans is or where it came from you just want to change clothes

...the diaper bag is your new must have accessory and you'll forget the cell phone before leaving the diaper bag behind

...when you're out at a bar, etc. and see a very young person acting stupid you don't think, I really miss those days, you wonder where her parents think she is and if you should give her some advice

...you never use the rear view mirror to check your make-up anymore but to double check that your child is securely strapped into her seat and riding comfortably

...you no longer choose gyms based on the hot trainers and clients but the safety and proximity of the childcare area

...alone time has nothing to do with a spa day but more about using the bathroom without an onlooker

...choosing a mall to go shopping has less to do with the stores and more to do with how accessible it is for strollers

...sleeping in means you slept a little later today than yesterday

...your magazine subscriptions to Redbook, Cosmo and Shape have been replaced by American Baby, Parents, and Parenting

...social networking has left the bar scene and been replaced by your membership to a Mommy & Me group

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm Alive!

I'm alive! I don't necessarily feel like screaming it from a rooftop but I am breathing. And for the first time in weeks I can eat a few more things other than mashed potatoes and soup. Yeah!

I'm still weak and naueseous but I can actually get out of bed and leave the house for small trips without being sick. So here's to hoping this is the beginning of the return to the normal me and I'm back to blogging etc.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Morning Sickness a Total Misnomer

If you ask me about being pregnant I'll tell you I fear and loathe the symptoms. Well maybe not all of the symptoms, but definitely morning sickness. Morning sickness is a total misnomer and a cruel joke for women that become pregnant and expect to be glowing and beautiful.

I intend to tell the truth about pregnancy. Although, if someone had tole me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about pregnancy, well, I might have missed out on the greatest joy of my life, MC and being a parent.

Morning sickness for me is a 24/7 experience, a traumatic experience. Now, for some this is me being melodramatic, but my friends know that I don't do "sick" very well. And that means any kind of sick, a fever, earache, cold, anything that lasts more than 24 hours and I'm ready to be done with it. BUT nausea and vomiting, I'm afraid of those symptoms. I can't stand to be nauseous and well once the hurling has begun, I get scared. I don't really have an explanation for the fear, but its real and its present.

I have friends that ask, "what's morning sickness like?" Well that question is almost impossible to answer because if you haven't experienced it then you can't understand it. I remember my mom saying she had morning sickness with me and again with my brother and that she was miserable, experiencing symptoms for each of the nine months. And now that I know what she's experienced, I wonder why I wasn't an only child.

Morning sickness should be called the "pregnancy curse." Its worse than PMS, its worse than Aunt Flo, its worse than my worst hangover. And as of right now there's not currently a drug that is totally safe for you and your unborn child that will make the symptoms go away.

When I was pregnant with MC, I felt like I had a bad case of the flu for three months. I spent most of the time on the couch, staying as still as possible, hoping that if I didn't move I wouldn't be sick. And then I realized that if I ate every 2 hours like clockwork then I could keep the nausea and vomiting in check. But I couldn't eat just anything, it had to be french fries, or small McDonald's burgers, or plain waffles, some cereal, etc. My husband would always ask me if I was sure that's what I wanted when I'd send him on a Mickey D run for the burgers. You see I never eat Mickey D's. I would joke that eating anything from McDonald's was a definite confirmation I was pregnant.

But this time around, we're at the seven week mark and well what worked before isn't working this time. I can eat every two hours and still be sick. I've tried ginger ale, coke without ice, saltines, etc. but nothing seems to work. And unlike before I'm having cravings. Yesterday, I wanted a chicken breast from Popeye's and strawberries. Oh and I wanted them right away. Strange.

With MC the morning sickness had disappeared by around week 14 and life was easier. I'm hoping that it will disappear sooner this time or that I'll discover a way to master it, the one things that will keep it in check and make the next 7 weeks bearable.

If you're reading this and think you have a solution, well by all means share, even if it doesn't cure my problem, maybe it will help someone else with theirs.

MIB-Missing in Blogosphere

Alright, so the number of blogs I post decreased and then just ceased pretty suddenly, and I guess some people figure I've given up, ran out of things to write about, went out and got a life or just got swallowed by the black hole lurking in the blogosphere.

Nope, none of the above. If I'd won the lottery, it would have been posted within minutes of confirming my win. And if I had gotten a life, well I'd need to blog about it to someone. Me, run out of things to write or talk about, not likely.

Instead I've become victim to the first trimester of pregnancy. Now, please don't misunderstand, I'm ecstatic we're expecting our second child. But it seems the fatigue and morning sickness have run me over like a bulldozier. One minute I was happy, active pregnant woman taking joy in my ability to remain active and exercising and then BAM! I'm sick, exhausted and down for the count.

Today, I'm feeling slightly more energetic and hope that will continue and I can resume blogging at least once a day. While you'll find me talking more about my pregnancy in an effort to document this experience for my little one, something I didn't do very well for MC, I'll also try to keep other topics going and regain a focus on saving money and bargain hunting.

Thank you for your patience, support and loyalty during my absence.