Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

Take one sick kid, sad to miss trick or treat,
add in a trip to grandma and grandpas,
and a last minute costume (because the other was "hot & sticky"),
and this is what you get:
1 skull tee, 1 pair of cut up yoga pants held up with duct tape, and 1 pair of momma's socks, and tada, you've got a little pirate in under 10 minutes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rockabye Baby! CD Review

Little Man stopped taking naps at 22 months. While he was apparently ready for it, I'm not sure that momma was. So instead of an afternoon nap, we had "quiet time," a few moments where momma could clear her head and Little Man could rev up for the afternoon.

During quiet time, I'd pop in a slow CD, your typical lullabies, doing my best to get my little one to relax. The problem? The CDs would drive me insane. I would hear the same Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star over, and over, and over.

If only I knew about Rockabye Baby! years ago! I recently had the chance to listen to two CDs from Rockaby Baby! full of lullabies. But these are nowhere near your typical lullabies. The CDs included lullaby renditions of songs by Queen and Aerosmith.
The timeless rock songs featured on the CDs have been mellowed down to instrumental lullabies, perfect for kids of any age. According to Rockabye Baby!, guitars and drums are traded in for soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells, and the volume is turned down from an eleven to a two.While quiet time doesn't happen in our house anymore, we love using the Rockabye Baby! CDs at bedtime. It adds a soothing background to our nightly routine. Momma is even guilty of falling asleep on occasion listening to it with Little Man. The sounds are very relaxing, and unlike most lullaby CDs, Rockabye Baby! is very enjoyable for both kids and parents.

Rockabye Baby! offers lullaby renditions from a variety of other artists, including U2, The Pixies, AC/DC, and Green Day, along with many others. The CDs can be purchased for $16.98.

Thanks to Rockabye Baby! for sending copies of the CDs for our review. And, while the CDs were provided, the opinions are all ours.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Popsicles & Empty Threats

It's 5 am.

We're eating popsicles, watching cartoons, and drinking ginger ale. Because that's how we roll before the crack of dawn.

I'm wishing I had slept for longer than 45 minutes.

My hair's a mess and I think I still have remnants of yesterday's make-up smeared across my face. But I'm sure my 5 year old won't mind too much. Yet again, that's how our day is going.

My overheard bits of randomness from the last few days (because randomness seems to be the only thing I'll do well today):

From my oh so sweet child to his aunt: You won't be laughing for long, you know. No idea what spurred this oh-so-serious wannabe threat. But everyone found it hilarious.

And Is that in the budget? when helping me make a list for the store. Even at 5, he acts like such a mini-me sometimes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: The Twins

Shut Your Nose Up

I spoke too soon last week. The flu has hit and Little Man and I are miserable.

Hubby has managed to survive the germs so far. Though with as much as he's annoying me today, I may just cough all over his pillow tonight.

Okay, not really. That's just gross. But he really is asking for it. Whining about this and that after I let him sleep in, asking me what's for dinner, yet telling me he doesn't want to be too close to Little Man and I for fear of catching it. Because you know it makes sense to have the sicky prepare the meals. It's not like I breath when I cook or anything.

Oh, but the most classic moment of the last two days:

As hubby came back into the bedroom after a bathroom trip in the middle of the night, the little one who had crawled into my bed announces, "Daddy, when you go back to sleep, could you shut your nose up," aka stop snoring. Even at 2am, it made me giggle.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hope, Faith and Charlie Review

Seeing your little one sick is the worst thing any parent can go through. I know just seeing my baby with a cold makes me ache. I would do anything to make him feel better. I can't even imagine how parents handle seeing their child endure a life threatening illness.

Hope, Faith and Charlie: An Inspirational Journey tells one mother's story. Written by mom, Deirdre Carey, the book follows their family's struggles with childhood cancer. She takes readers through Charlie's diagnosis and treatment, battles and successes.At only 6 months, Charlie was diagnosed with stage 4 brain and spine cancer. His story is one of hope, of love, of support. Carey's goal in self-publishing her story was to let people know that miracles do exist. She watched as one unfolded in front of her eyes. As her baby healed.

Through 21 months of chemo and 10 surgeries, Carey shows how the love of family, trust in her own instincts, and the strength of one little boy can prevail. She shows that faith and hope can get you through any struggle life leads you to.

Hope, Faith and Charlie is an amazing read. I found myself in tears on many occasions, my heart breaking for their struggles. Carey's way with words makes you feel as though you are right there with her, cheering on Charlie.

The book takes you on an emotional roller coaster, but I would recommend it to anyone going through a tough life challenge, to every mom who needs to renew their faith. It will force you to re-evaluate, to see things in a different light.

(A recent photo of a healthy Charlie)

Hope, Faith and Charlie can be ordered online from the Hope, Faith and Charlie site or from Amazon. 10% of all earnings from the book will be donated to the Floating Hospital for Children's Cancer Center in Boston.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trying to Stay Healthy AKA Fighting the Flu

Yesterday my niece tested positive for Influenza A. My fingers are crossed that she caught it Monday at the parade (which is what I'm assuming, since the kids with her woke up with a high fever the next day) because we spent most of the weekend playing together. And, to sound like my 5 year old, I don't want it.

We've been in sanitize mode lately. Little Man has learned to drop his shoes, jacket, and backpack by the door. Hands are washed immediately after getting home from school. And momma has used more than her fair share of Lysol and Wet Wipes.

We try to avoid going out too much, because no one else around here seems to have the common sense to stay home when they're sick. Today at work, a mom brought in her daughter and told everyone that they had the flu. Seriously, do you have any sense at all?

We've been sending Little Man to bed early, trying to get him as much rest as possible, and are pushing fruits and vitamin C.

Most of what we're doing really isn't out of the ordinary, but it's only October. I'm not ready to stress out over being sick all the time for the next 4 months or more through winter. The fact that someone in the house has had a cold of one type or another for over a month already doesn't help. Why can the germs just go away?!

How are you staying healthy? Any tips?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers of Fall

My Kid Wears Sweats

Yes, my kid wears sweatpants.

In fact, he wears them almost every day.

He's 5. He likes to run around. He likes to play. And the last thing he worries about is what his clothes look like.

Now this isn't to say he doesn't dress nicely for school. His clothes match and are clean, but he's also comfortable.

The other day at work, someone said they had been given a few bags of clothes from a friend, but that they were "all sweats. Stuff my kids wouldn't wear out."

Wearing sweats doesn't define a person. Last I checked, we as adults should be teaching our kids not to judge others, and definitely not to judge them by what they're wearing. I have never been one to stress over who's wearing what. I'm happy if my kid is dressed on time to get to the bus, and I'm ecstatic if it's in something without grass stains.

I guess it's all about priorities, seeing as how the same person was going on and on about a $2200 purse. Seriously? It's a bag to carry your stuff. And if it's anything like mine, it'll have a fruit snack stuck to the bottom and be filled with random Legos, crayons, and baby wipes in no time. Seems if I had $2200 just laying around, I'd find something much more useful to spend it on. But that's just me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Los Lobos Goes Disney Review

Last week my mom called to tell me that Little Man's teacher had called her aside (since she teaches in the same school). Of course, I was instantly afraid something was wrong, that he was in trouble for something. But it turns out she just wanted to say how impressed she was with his dancing.

Apparently, they spend the last 10-15 minutes of the day listening to music and dancing. Most of the boys refuse to dance at all. But Little Man is more than willing to get up, dance and sing. He's the same way at home too-a huge music lover.

Recently we had the chance to listen to the latest CD from Los Lobos. Los Lobos has sold millions of records over their 36-year career. Their sound combines rock, R & B, jazz, blues, and country sounds with traditional Spanish and Mexican music.

Los Lobos Goes Disney includes a selection of fun, fast-paced Disney songs-from classics like The Bare Necessities and Heigh-Ho to Disneyland-inspired tunes like Grim Grinning Ghosts and The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.
The full track list:
1. Heigh-Ho - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
2. I Wan'na Be Like You - The Jungle Book
3. Not in Nottingham - Robin Hood
4. The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room - The Enchanted Tiki Room
5. Grim Grinning Ghosts - The Haunted Mansion
6. I Will Go Sailing No More - Toy Story
7. The Ugly Bug Ball - Summer Magic
8. Cruella De Vil - 101 Dalmations
9. Bella Notte - Lady and the Tramp
10. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah - Song of the South
11. The Bare Necessities - The Jungle Book
12. Oo-De-Lally - Robin Hood
13. When You Wish Upon a Star/It's A Small World

Little Man loved hearing a new take on songs he already enjoyed. He was up and dancing the minute I started the music. His first comment was "it's jazzy, mommy." And he requested Grim Grinning Ghosts to be played over and over.

The sound is upbeat, but doesn't necessarily sound like kid's music at first. It's a CD that mommy can listen to without feeling crazy (like I do when I've heard Animal Alphabet for the 16th time in one day).

Little Man gives it two thumbs up (followed by some crazy dance moves). Los Lobos Goes Disney will be available for purchase in stores October 27th 2009. But you can also buy a copy now at Amazon.

Thanks to Total Assault for providing a copy of the CD for review.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tired of the Rain

I've been quiet lately... A week's worth of rain has left us with a hint of cabin fever. I'm not sure we've ever watched more movies or taken more naps. And all this dark, dreariness has left me exhausted.

We had big plans for today, which were unfortunately rained out. All of us were sad not to attend the big fall fest we go to every year. It's an amazing evening, where the kids get to carve pumpkins, drink hot chocolate, then send their carvings out on a raft to the middle of the lake.
(from 2007)

We would have braved the rain if it hadn't been so cold. Or braved the cold if it hadn't been so rainy.

We do have our own big plans to carve pumpkins next week and design our own little raft to send out on the creek behind the house. It should be interesting if nothing else.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Campbell's Help Grow Your Soup Campaign

I am a true country girl. I grew up milking cows, picking corn, and spending more time in a barn than just about anywhere else. And I loved it!
I recently found out about the Campbell's Help Grow Your Soup campaign. Campbell Soup Company has partnered with the FFA (Future Farmers of America) to showcase contributions of the farming community by giving life to their stories and history.

You have the chance to experience 10 farms and vote for the barn you want to see restored. Plus, every time a vote is cast on or before Jan. 5, 2010, Campbell's will donate $1 to FFA (up to $250,000). The five barns with the most votes will be announced in January as winners of this year’s Help Grow Your Soup program. Campbell, FFA alumni and students, and community members across the country will work to restore the winning barns starting spring 2010.

Go check out the barns and cast your vote!

And thanks to M80 for letting me know about the campaign!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wubbzy Goes Boo Review & Giveaway

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. All the pumpkins, the costumes, the candy. I love it all! And over the last few years, I've passed that love onto my 5 year old.

However, so much of Halloween tends to be scary, even terrifying to little kids. In our house, we do our best to keep Halloween fun and friendly. More imaginative than frightful.

We recently had the chance to see Wubbzy Goes Boo, a 70 minute DVD containing several Wubbzy episodes.
About the DVD:
Wubbzy and his friends are back in an all-new DVD collection just in time for the fall season! Watch as Wubbzy, Widget and Walden clean up a crazy mess with Moo Moo’s magic wand, pick the perfect pumpkin and create the spookiest Halloween costume of all. There’s singing, dancing, trick or treating and kickity-kick ball too, plus plenty of positive values like creativity, patience and responsibility. It’s all here in the Emmy winning Nick Jr./Noggin hit that’s so much fun it’s scary!

Our thoughts:
My 5 year old loved the DVD. At 5, he still gets nervous during scary cartoons, so I'm careful with what he watches. There was no need to worry with Wubbzy Goes Boo. He thought it was funny and loved when Wubbzy and his friends went trick-or-treating. Mommy even liked it too!

The DVD is currently on sale, and can be purchased for $16.98.

You can also print free Halloween coloring pages from Wubbzy by visiting here or here.

Win It!
Two lucky readers will win a copy of Wubbzy Goes Boo!

To enter: Tell me what your kids are dressing up as for Halloween this year.

Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
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Giveaway ends 10/22 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

Just so you know...a DVD was provided free for our review, but that does not influence our opinions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

(Picking beans)

(My cute little nephew)

Oh Boys

The things with boys is that they love the simple things.
We spent Saturday afternoon setting bug traps and searching for creepy crawlies.
The (un)fortunate few to be caught were promptly put in our "catcher."

Even the slimey ones that left an icky trail of goop behind were dropped inside.

Though fortunately some critters were spotted before they were found by little ones.
They were trapped by much bigger hands and set free far from houses.

Our day ended with little fingers digging in the dirt, cookies in the other hand.
And mommy trying to ignore the amounts of dirt they most likely consumed with those Oreos.
It definitely is the simple things that get the biggest smiles.
(And mommy won't even mention the bug jar that got left open on the dining room table or the bug she squished crawling across her dinner plate. Nope, would never mention that part.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

WordWorld DVD Review

One of the biggest things Little Man has being studying in Kindergarten is letter recognition and letter sounds. We try our best to keep up the practice at home too. We read everything. Books, magazines, signs, food boxes. You name it, we've pointed out the letters and encouraged him to sound out the words.

WordWorld: Lots of Letters was released on September 29th. Word World is perfect for reinforcing letters. As their tag line states, it's where "words come alive," and the animation is very intriguing for my little one. He loves that the characters, houses, and many other items are created from the letters that spell them out.
Lots of Letters contains 16 episodes for a running time of 180 minutes. Little Man's favorite episode was The Lost Letter L, especially because L was the letter of the week at school. He loved seeing where the character's adventures would lead and what words they would create. I enjoy that the show teaches letter sounds and word composition, as well as problem solving and life skills.

You can buy Lots of Letters at NCircle Entertainment, Toys R Us, or Amazon. You can also catch WordWorld daily on PBS kids.

And just so you know...NCircle provided a copy of the DVD for review. But that does influence my opinion in any way.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Activity Jar

No more hearing "I'm bored..."
No more wondering what to do after school
No more struggling for fun ideas
I should have thought of this sooner

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Campus Quilt Company Review & Giveaway

I'm one of those people who can't bear to part with old clothes. I always think that someone else could wear them, some day they'll fit again, whatever. But really, I just love the memories that come up when I dig through a box of old clothes. Remembering high school games, the first time I went out with hubby, the days when little man was still little.

I was recently introduced to the Campus Quilt Company. The Campus Quilt Company creates custom quilts from your old clothes. Not only can they make quilts from tee shirts, but also from sweatshirts, ties, socks, hats, and baby outfits.

I was impressed at how easy it was to create a quilt. Campus Quilt Company sends you everything you need, from swatches to choose a backing color to a UPS shipping bag and label to send back your tees.
The toughest part of the process? Picking out what shirts to include!
(Getting my tees in order)

I had the opportunity to create a Stadium Quilt, composed of 16 squares. Quilts usually take 2 to 4 weeks to complete, though rush orders can be done in as little as 2 days. My tees were sent out on Tuesday September 19th and my quilt arrived Thursday October 1st. I was surprised to see it arriving so quickly, and loved that I received email updates from Campus Quilts throughout the process.
(Finished Quilt)

The final product is being enjoyed by everyone in the house. It quickly became little man's favorite blanket to snuggle with on the couch. And I don't blame him, the flannel backing is incredibly soft and the front holds a ton of memories.We are loving our custom quilt! It would be a perfect Christmas present this holiday season or a birthday surprise.

Win It! Campus Quilt Company is offering a $150 gift certificate to one lucky winner!

To enter: Visit Campus Quilt Company and tell me what type of quilt (which size) you would spend the gift certificate on.

Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
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Be sure to leave a way to contact you.
Giveaway ends 10/22 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

Just so you know... Campus Quilt supplied the quilt for the review free of charge, but it does not influence my opinion. I really do love it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Steal of the Week

We headed out to the bent and dent grocery store this week. It's a huge store with all kinds of stuff from boxes that were damaged in shipping. The prices are incredibly low, and you never know what you'll find there.

I love Yes To Carrots shampoos, but I'm not a huge fan of the price ($7.99/bottle).
Well, this week they had ton of Yes To Carrots products. I got 4 bottles of shampoo and conditioner and a tub of moisturizing mud for a total of $8.50. In the regular store, it would have totaled about $44.

And I'm such a nerd, nothing makes me happy like new shampoo or new socks.

Did you find a steal this week? Tell them about it over at Steals and Deals.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Celtic Festival

A few weekends back, little man and I went to a nearby Celtic festival. It was interesting to learn a little more about the traditions, the culture, and, of course, the food. We were able to watch the games (played by the big boys), and they even offered a versions for the kids.

Little man was able to do the Caber Toss (the men tossed a huge log for distance, little man used a carpet roll):And he also got to do the Sheaf Toss, where you try to toss a weight over a high pole (using a mini hay bale instead of a 16 lb bag though). He got to pet a Scotch Highland Calf. The same one who snotted all over my arm when I walked a little too close.
I think he had a smile on his face the entire day. (Oh, and the men in kilts put a little smile on mommy's face too.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mommy's Law

Murphy's Law says that anything that can go wrong will.

Mommy's Law says that the minute you sit down, a phone will ring, a buzzer will ding, or a kid will scream.

Mommy's Law says that the second you shut the bathroom door, someone else will need to go.

Mommy's Law says that if any food becomes airborne, it will land on the last clean shirt you have.

Mommy's Law says that if someone has an "accident" it will be in your bed, not their own.

Mommy's Law says the morning she stays in her pjs, hair undone, someone will knock on the door.

Mommy's Law means bedtime never seem early enough, especially at 10 o'clock in the morning.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jonny Diaz CD Review & Giveaway

Our house is filled with music lovers, both big and small. Though we all love music, our tastes are all very different. Hubby listens to "hard" music. (You know, the stuff where it sounds like they're just randomly screaming?) Little man loves stuff with a pop sound. And I'm all about country or light alternative music. I like my music to have meaning.

I recently got the chance to hear the latest CD from Jonny Diaz. More Beautiful You was released in May of 2009. Diaz explains the album as one filled with "many different aspects of the Christian faith. One theme that is prevalent throughout the record is truth. We are called to speak and live truth even in a culture that doesn’t agree."
Though I typically don't listen to music that falls under the religious category, I thoroughly enjoyed More Beautiful You. The songs carry strong messages, Diaz's voice is both smooth and passionate, and the music's melodic style fits with the music I usually listen to. Even my 5 year old enjoyed listening to the CD with me.

Win It:
5 lucky readers will each win a copy of More Beautiful You

To enter:

Check outJonny Diaz's biography and tell me something you learned about him or his music.

Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
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Be sure to leave a way to contact you.
Giveaway ends 10/15 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.

Free Cookies!

I almost forgot to tell ya'll: Free cookies!
Just head to your local Mrs Fields.