Wednesday, September 30, 2009
As we round the daycare building next door, he announces, "Momma, I gotta tell you about...about the F-WORD." He's practically screaming about it. Moms putting their kids in the car stop to look. Probably listening in, being glad it's not their kid saying it.
Of course I stop him in his tracks to ask what he's talking about. He says (with pure excitement), "You know, the f-word. FIELD TRIP!!!"
Oh me, on my. Thank goodness that's the only f-word he needed to bring up.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is all the movies. This year, Lionsgate is releasing Gotta Catch Santa Claus starring William Shatner as Santa.
About the movie:
Sure to become a modern-day holiday classic, this funny, contemporary DVD is enjoyable for the entire family and features six jolly jammin’ new holiday songs. When a friend starts to doubt the idea of Santa Claus, 12 year old Trevor sets out on a mission to catch old St. Nick in order to prove his existence and put the skeptics to rest. Gotta Catch Santa Claus, which will be broadcast nationally on ABC Family during their annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming block, features bonus materials on the DVD that include deleted scenes, behind the scenes Santa footage, sing-along songs and more!
Check out the movie trailer:
Designed for consumers who are looking to quickly edit photos and share them online, the Aurora Quick Fix is free to download. It features Aurora’s relight editing tool, the crop and straighten tool, and tools to help organize and publish photos.
The file of images edited in Aurora Quick Fix are sized for online sharing, allowing files to be uploaded or emailed quickly. Users can email photos directly from Aurora Quick Fix to friends and family or they can sync the software with their online accounts on Flickr, Facebook, SmugMug, Picasa, Shutterfly, and TwentyThree.
Aurora Quick Fix can be downloaded at Lightcrafts.
There is also an updated version of the original Aurora, which now includes:
- Edited images are now saved at the original file size
- A new albums feature
- Improved speed and stability of the software
Monday, September 28, 2009
Well, Friday night I got a little scratchiness in my throat. I figured I was finally catching the cough little man has had for the past week. Saturday, it was a little worse. Then Sunday I woke up without a voice at all.
Waitressing for 8 hours Sunday morning was interesting to say the least. Thankfully people were sympathetic.
Now it's been two days where I've barely been able to whisper. I'm learning just how hard it is to discipline a 5 year old when you can't get out a single word. A forceful whisper just isn't cutting it. And hubby thinks this whole thing is just hilarious. That is until he needs to know something and has to get right in my face to hear my answer.
Me? I feel like I'm going crazy. It's so tough not to be heard, not to be able to just say what I'm thinking. All I want to do is crawl under the covers and wait for my voice to return.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Today’s topic is “6 things you love or hate about your neighbors.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . .
1. I love that I rarely have to see any of them.
2. I hate that one of them has dogs who howl ALL night long because all 3 are penned outside. And if the fire alarm goes off, they get even louder.
3. I hate that one of them feels the need to mow his grass at 7 am. Seriously, way too early. And if his wife mows, she does so in a bikini top. Way too old to be showing that much skin.
4. I hate that some of them seem so judgmental. Really, what's it to you if I'm in my pj's at 3 in the afternoon?!
4. I hate that they often feel like it's okay to park right up against our cars. (We live next door to a church and people will literally park us in all morning long.)
5. Love that there is one nice person nearby who waves when he spots me.
6. Hate that one neighbor leaves his bathroom window open and if I happen to go to my car at the wrong time, I hear way more than I bargained for. Ick ick ick.
Even better, after the first night, my consignor page is showing my sales at $119. Two days left, and $80 to meet my goal.
Find a steal this week? They want to hear about it over at Steals and Deals.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
About two weeks ago hubby went in to pick up a few things, getting a head start on some Christmas shopping because the toy clearance aisle had some great deals and we had a American Express gift card to use. Checking out, he ran into some issues. Card couldn't be accepted.
Now, it showed on the register screen that there was plenty of money on the card. But it kept flashing "cell center." So the girl called in for assistance. After 20 minutes of being passed from person to person on the line she found out they were missing their store number, couldn't process Am Ex gift cards, and gave up. Hubby paid in cash. $45 dollars out of pocket we hadn't planned to spend.
Flash forward to today. I go to Kmart, needing to pick up a few things. Go to checkout, pull out the gift card. Not thinking the same issue would still be going on 2 weeks later. I mean surely I'm not the only person in the world with an Am Ex card.
Well, obviously I am. Screen started flashing "call center" again. They called (same girl even apparently as hubby dealt with because she remembered him), same issue. No store number in the system. So again, I pay out $78 I hadn't planned to spend.
So, Kmart, I give up. There has been ample time to fix the issue. As a costumer it's frustrating and embarrassing to stand at the checkout holding up everyone else, people assuming my credit card's being denied or something. Snide comments coming from grandma waiting to pay for her $3 clearance jeans.
Looks like there won't be anymore blue light specials in my future.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Being sick leaves him tired, silly, and sweet.
We were snuggling on the couch today, when I leaned over and whispered, I love you.
His response: I know. You tell me all the time. But I like you to say it anyways.
Little man: Oh, and I looovveee you too, momma.
Sweet little moments like this make it all worth it. (Even when it means cleaning sheets at 1 am from someone getting sick. Only getting 4 hours of sleep because someone can't sleep. Or listening to whining the entire day because someone can't get out of their funk. Not that I would know about any of that.)
Friday, September 18, 2009
Today’s Small Talk Six topic is “6 things you love or hate about autumn.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . .
I love fall. Definitely my favorite season.
Love trick or treating:
Love the beautiful fall skies:
Love trips to the pumpkin patch:
Love the birthdays (including my own):
Love the changing leaves & the chance to play in them:
And the apple pies:
I had my fears.
But 4 weeks in, it seems that all is well.
Unlike my sister-in-law, the principal has yet to call my cell phone.
My 5 year old niece, who started kindergarten at another school apparently threatened some of other kids this week. (Though I'm sure mommy and daddy won't blame it on the completely inappropriate movies and music she's exposed to. Like Twlight, which she can basically recite word for word, or the random lyrics she spouts out: "if I ever see you again and this gun is loaded, you'll sleep in hell." Because every 5 year old needs to talk like that, right?)
This week, she also apparently stole snacks from other kids and broke other students' pencils.
So yes, I'm glad my fears were limited to nose picking and mild potty talk (aka "I just tooted"). And yes, I'm glad my little one still shows his innocence. I'm glad that his biggest worry of the day is what he can take for show and tell or where he'll get to sit at lunch.
But, I'll also still prepare myself for when my moment comes, when I have to deal with school drama, a principal's call, or a note from the teacher. I'll keep reminding myself that no one's perfect, and our day may come. (Okay, will come.)
But for now I'll just be thankful that we're 4 weeks in. 4 weeks with exciting stories of recess and friends. 4 weeks of excitement over heading off each and every day. 4 weeks down and lots more to go.
Then I stumbled upon this gray peacoat from Gap at the thrift store:
Did you get any good deals this week?
Be sure to link up over at Steals and Deals.
We are big on fruit in our house. As much as I love fresh fruit, sometimes it's tough to keep around. We either go through it way too fast, or it sits around to go bad.
But, Dole jarred fruit is a great alternative. They last so much longer than fruit sitting on my counter, and it's so simple just to grab and throw in a bowl. Plus, they are delicious. My little one and I love the mandarin oranges. They make for a quick, yummy after school snack.
Some fruit facts & tips from Dole:
- Fruit combats childhood obesity. Unlike junk food, which is high in calories and low in nutrients, fruit and veggies are low in calories but high in fiber, water and nutrients. Filling kids up with DOLE Jarred Fruit while meeting nutrient needs will make them feel more satisfied with fewer calories.
- Be creative with presentation. Give young children DOLE Jarred fruits and let them create funny faces or animals.
- Studies show that adequate vitamin C intake may help maintain a A food that is a “rich” in vitamin C contains at least 12 milligrams of vitamin C per serving.
They are also currently holding the Find Snacking Magic Inside Every Jar contest. There are 60 daily prizes, 8 weekly prizes, and 1 grand prize, a trip for 4 to Maui, including a 4-star hotel stay, rental car, and $1000 to spend.
Also stay up to date with what's going on at Dole on Facebook.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
What I never learned was the importance of my own relationship with myself. I never learned to put myself first, to make myself happy, to be alone. I always felt the need to be with someone. I needed that to be happy.
As I've gotten older, I've learned how skewed my thoughts were. I've learned to make myself happy, instead of relying on others all the time.
Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life by Lauren Mackler is like a how-to guide to being alone, and being happy. It's meant for anyone, those in relationships or not. The book includes self-assessment tools, opportunities for guided writing, and exercises to help you get a new sense of yourself.
Solemate incorporates Mackler's experiences from her background in psychology, physiology, sociology, holistic healing, and strategic business practices throughout the book. An interesting perspective is offered, as Mackler herself had to learn what it was like to be alone after her divorce.
Mackler discusses how changes take time, and effort. It takes commitment and a willingness to change. But, the results are well worth it.
Solemate brings a new way of thinking to the table. It reinforces that being alone can be healthy, and that we don't always need a relationship to be happy. But, the most important idea it brings about is that you have to be happy with yourself. Once you achieve your own happiness, you will see how it transforms your other relationships.
Friday, September 11, 2009
3. Pringle Stix (Vanilla flavored)
4. Strawberries, especially on lava cake
What's your favorite chocolate covered treat?
MSN Mom's Homeroom, backed by Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats, is dedicated to helping moms with the same questions and concerns. Featuring four moms, including a a teacher, a psychiatrist, a former marketing coordinator, and an ob/gyn, the site offers school tips, articles designed to help your children succeed, and quizzes on a little of everything.
The MSN Homeroom community offers moms a chance to post questions, share ideas and experiences, and gain advice or support from other parents. The topics range from health & nutrition to home life to reading & study skills, so there's something for everyone.
I loved the ideas offered in the article 10 Ways to Teach the Alphabet with Food. My little one would have a blast making letters out of pretzels or painting with pudding. Such a creative and fun way to incorporate learning!
For more tips and ideas be sure to head over to Mom's Homeroom.
And just so you know...I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.
I've been contemplating how to start this post all morning. There's so much I have to say, but I don't have the powerful words I've read in so many other remembrances, just my story, and that of my family.
9/11 still makes me nervous, even seven years later. My heart seems to beat a little faster and tears seem to come just a little easier. As I'm making lunch today, Little GM yells out that the tv went black. His only concern was that he was missing Diego. My first thought today, however, flies to much more serious reasons why the cartoons suddenly stopped blaring. Luckily, after a bit of investigation, I find the cable guy outside on a ladder repairing one thing or another.
Seven years ago, I was only 16, I was trying to get ahead on my college education, so I was attending a local university in the mornings, then returning to high school in the afternoon. On the morning of the attack, I was in speech class when someone announced that a plane had hit the first tower. No one really knew what to think, an accident we had assumed. At that point, terrorism was not on the forefront in our minds.
As we finally were able to see the news, we learned that the situation was much worse than we had imagined. I finally snuck out of class to return a call to my mom, she was listening to the news at her school and trying to keep a group of fifth graders busy, while silently scared to pieces.
As I got to my car to leave campus, I found myself faced with a dead battery. The tears started coming. I was so scared, and now stuck with no way to get home. I sat in the grass and said a silent prayer for all those in the buildings while I waited for my dad to pick me up.
On 9/11 in an entirely different place on Earth, the man who would become my hubby was serving our country in the USMC. He doesn't talk much about what happened that day or what would come in the months and years that followed. He was dropped onto the front line of our fight against terrorism. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The hubby and I weren't married at that point, we vaguely knew each other from high school. He has this life I will never really know, and has lived more, and seen more than I ever will. When he talks about his former life as a Marine, he tells stories of getting into trouble with his buddies, the people he met, and the lands he saw. He tells about sleeping in one hole or another, the views from mountain peaks, trudging through god-forsaken lands. The stories are vague, and they are only told late at night.
However little I know about the life he lived before me, I will always be proud of him, and all of the other men and women who fight for our freedom every day.
Now I've heard of staycations, but what about state-cations?
A state-cation gives you the opportunity to rest and relax, and enjoy all the attractions your state has to offer. And a long weekend nearby is something we can squeeze into our budget.
Pennsylvania offers so many exciting places to visit. Our favorites include Hershey, where we can hit the amusement park, Chocolate World, and Zoo America, or Gettysburg, where we visit the battlefields, learn a little about our history, and go shopping at the outlets. We also love going to any of the state parks to go hiking, swimming, or boating.Whether your heading out for a long weekend or a long vacation, there's a good chance you'll find a Holiday Inn nearby, especially with 2500 locations throughout the country. Holiday Inns are currently undergoing some transformations, including adding soft and firm pillows to their signature bedding and power showers in the bathrooms.
Our trips, whether within the state or not, usually include a stay at Holiday Inn, and we've always had friendly service and clean rooms, without paying an arm and a leg to stay there. I'm excited to see the new changes they've implemented whenever we head out on our next trip!
Just so you know...I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Holiday Inn. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Lucky for you, All Children's Furniture has generously offered to giveaway a Melissa & Doug Magnetic Calendar to one lucky reader. To enter:
Visit All Children's Furniture and tell me one other item you'd love to have.
Want extra entries? (Leave separate comments for each)
- Follow me on Blogger
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- Follow me on Twitter (Leave your username)
- Tweet this giveaway (Leave link)
- For 5 extra entries: Blog about this giveaway. You can copy & paste the following: Momma's Gone Over the Wall is giving away a Melissa & Doug Magnetic Calender from All Children's Furniture, a company carrying everything from kids chairs to toys and decor. Enter to win by 9/18.
Giveaway ends 9/18 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only.
Disney on Ice features various Disney stories and characters, music, and world-class skating. This fall and winter, the line up includes Celebrations, Worlds of Fantasy, 100 Years of Magic, and Princess Classics.
- *Offer #1: Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code "MOM" at select ticketing channels. Offer good on all weekday performances, which includes all weekday evening and Friday matinee performances; minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each.
- *Offer #2: All weekend performance tickets will be $4 off the original price
- Offer #3: Get the best Front Row and VIP seats available – We have reserved seats in the Front Row and VIP sections just for you! No discounts available on these seats. Use the code MOM.
- St. Louis: September 3-6, 2009
- Chicago: September 8-13, 2009
- Sunrise: September 17-20, 2009
- Dayton/Cincinnati: September 17-27, 2009
- Miami: September 23-27, 2009
- Auburn Hills: September 30 – October 4, 2009
- Charlotte: October 8-11, 2009
- Philadelphia: October 14-18, 2009
- Atlanta: October 14-18, 2009
- Oakland/San Jose: October 14-25, 2009
- Fairfax: October 21-25, 2009
- Sacramento: October 28 – November 1, 2009
- Baltimore: October 28 – November 1, 2009
- Uniondale: November 10-15, 2009
- Houston: November 11-15, 2009
- NYC: November 17-22, 2009
- East Rutherford: November 24-29, 2009
- Denver/Broomfield: December 3-13, 2009 *available for purchase on 9/12/09
- St. Paul: December 9-13, 2009
- Los Angeles: December 17-20, 2009
- Toronto: December 18-27, 2009
- Anaheim: December 22-27, 2009
- Philadelphia: December 23 – January 3, 2010 *available for purchase on 10/12/09
- Boston: December 26-29, 2009 *available for purchase on 9/3/09
- Ontario: December 30 – January 3, 2010
- Cleveland: January 8 -18, 2009 *available for presale on 10/2/09
Friday, September 4, 2009
1. A mom, of course. Though I complain now and then, this is my dream job.
2. A food critic. Getting paid to eat (mostly) delicious meals and tell people what I think. Perfect.
3. A children's book author. I've always loved reading kids book, and have so many ideas. I just never took the time to pursue it.
4. A race car driver. I love my cars sleek and fast. If there weren't all those wrecks, I'd be all over it.
5. A yoga instructor. Spending the day working out and relaxing. Just say ohm baby.
6. A pro soccer player. It was always my goal growing up and I'd love to get back into it.
My confession? I put my little one to work. Well, not exactly. He loves to help, so we turn laundry into a game. We ball each piece of clothing up, and play our own little round of washer basketball. Whoever gets more in, wins. (He always does.)
Kenmore wants you to share your nutty habits by creating a video describing your extreme cleaning measures, and you'll be entering to win a new washer/dryer or dishwasher. Finalists will be selected from September 7-10 and beginning September 11, fans can vote for their favorite confession and help three lucky finalists win brand new appliances.
Plus for every video submitted on Kenmore's YouTube page, Kenmore will donate $5.00, and they'll donate another $.50 for each vote cast, to the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots program, which aims to make positive changes for our communities, animals, and the environment.
So admit your craziness, submit a video, and vote for your favorite starting September 11th.
You can also head over to Kenmore for the official rules.
Just so you know...I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Kenmore and received a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer Survivors by Carolyn Rubenstein tells the story of 20 young people who battled childhood cancer. Their stories are heartbreaking, heartfelt, and inspiring.
Their stories are also humbling. They made me realize how lucky I am to have a healthy family and how we often take that for granted. (And many times while reading, I found myself wanting nothing more than to go hug my little one and to say a word of thanks that he was healthy.)
The struggles, support systems, victories, and photos of survivors fill the pages of Perseverance. The book gives hope to parents and young adults affected by cancer. It shows how much children can overcome, and just how strong they can be.
About the Author:
Carolyn Rubenstein founded Carolyn's Compassionate Children (CCC) as a pen pal program to connect children with cancer to healthy children when she was only 15. CCC is currently a non-profit organization designed to help childhood cancer survivors emotionally and finicially with furthering their education.
So what good buy did I get this week?
I found these cute clogs at the thrift store: I never buy used shoes. It gives me the heeby jeebies, but I was in love with these. (So I disinfected them, put in new insoles, and wear socks with them).
A few days later, I noticed the exact same pair in a catalog. For $115!
The thrift store had them marked at $3.99. But everything was 50% off that day. So I got them for $2.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Halfway to Each Other follows Susan and Tim Pohlman, who had been married for 18 years. With two kids, work, and a home, they were on the verge of divorce. At the end of a business trip in Italy, they plan to come home to finalize the divorce and break the news to their family. But before leaving, Tim brought up a new idea. What if they leased an apartment in Italy for a year instead?
So instead of going home to end things for good, they changed everything. They sold their car, sold their home, and gave up everything they had once known. They slowed down their lives, they reconnected as a family.
Halfway to Each Other is an amazing story that answers the question of what if? for one family. It answers the question of what’s possible when you give up what you know for a new adventure. And it answers the question of how something so unthinkable can be the perfect solution.
As a mom, some days I want nothing more than an absolutely simple life. Susan and Tim plunged themselves right into that lifestyle. They gave up the fast-paced, non-stop way of life. They gave up electronics, a personal car, and fast food. They learned a new way of living, and the way Susan describes it in Halfway to Each Other makes readers feel like they are along for the ride, even if it gets a little bumpy at times.
Halfway to Each Other will be released September 2009, and I definitely recommend checking it out.