I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Interesting Forward of the Day

I thought this was really cute (forwarded from my friend Jackie, a soon-to-be mom.)

"To those who still have Moms: you are very fortunate.
To those whose Moms are gone, remember they live forever in your heart.




MOTHERS

Real Mothers don't eat quiche;
They don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils
Are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors,
Filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough
Doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what
The vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?'
And get their answer when a little
Voice says, 'Because I love you best.'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth
Is not measured by height or years or grade...
It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother..."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our First Family Road Trip

If you have young kids, you know that long road trips with kids are not the most fun thing in the world. Last Friday, we ventured to Glenwood, Iowa. I was meeting a man from Nebraka to purchase a new pekingese, but I asked him to meet me in Glenwood because my grandparents lived there and for the first 18 years of my life we visited them throughout the year. My grandmother died in 97 and my grandpa died in 2000. My husband never met them and then of course neither did my children obviously. I had always wanted to take my family there, though, so they could see places that I remembered growing up. My husband's grandparents all lived in the same town as he did, so he didn't know what it was like to have to travel to visit them.

So, we took the five hour drive Friday morning. I was so amazed by how well the kids behaved on the trip!! We only had to make one stop on the way for a potty break and food. Once we got to the hotel, it was another story because they went batty! They wanted to jump on the beds, they were loud, but they were so excited. Apparently kids love hotels. While there was daylight available, I took them around town. I took pictures of the headstones at the cemetery, my grandparents old house, we went to the park, drove around town a bit. The town had changed quite a bit in the past decade. There were new businesses everywhere, some of the old businesses were gone. My great-grandparents' house had been next door to my grandparents' house and it had since been torn down and a duplex had been put in its place. We ate dinner at one of the restaurants we ate at often when I was younger. I had planned to do the same for breakfast, but that cafe had closed down.

The trip back went by faster and the kids slept a lot of the way this time. They were really excited to be back home, as were we. You'd think a trip that only lasted about 24 hours would not be so exhausting, but it was. I had to take the whole next day to recover... I might still be recovering.

I will post some pictures soon.

My friend Christine was reminiscing with me and said her kids love hotels for some reason, too. Anyone have a similar experience they want to share?

Dora the Explorer: Let's Explore! Dora's Greatest Adventures


My kids literally have like 10 Dora DVDs. They used to have more, but I thought it was getting a little excessive. My kids are Dora fiends. Most kids I know are Dora fiends. There is just something about Dora that makes her appeal to every child. As a parent, I love her upbeat attitude, and the fact that she teaches kids everything from Spanish to counting to colors to shapes. It helps them use their memory and critical thinking. My son is 2 and I will hear Dora ask a question and he answers her. It's mind boggling and I love it!

Dora is a little girl who likes to go exploring. She uses a map to tell her where to go, has a pet Monkey friend named Boots who goes along with her and then there's Swiper the Fox, who likes to steal things and hide them from Dora.

This DVD is a collection of the best adventures that Dora has been on and spans several seasons.

Episodes:

Lost Map
Hide and Go Seek
Journey to the Purple Planet
Rescue Rescue
Boots to the Rescue
Star Catching
Star Mountain
Swiper the Explorer Fox

DVD also includes a game entitled "Explore Dora's World."

Family Time Factor: Definitely appeals to a wide variety. I think it could be enjoyed by boys or girls through age 10. It's also tolerable to parents.

MOTR Grade: A+

Dora the Explorer: Let's Explore! Dora's Greatest Adventures is available on DVD February 2nd!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What in the World, L?

When A was six week old, she began sleeping through the night. She'd sleep like 14 hours a night and it was fabulous. I had energy, I was pleasant, getting a good night's sleep made a huge difference.

When L was born, there was no such luck. I think in his first 18 months, he only slept through the night for about a week (that was the best week ever!) Well, as he got closer to two, he started sleeping through the night. He'd wake up a couple times if he couldn't find his pacifier, but once it was back in his mouth, he'd fall right back asleep...

until about a week ago.

Now he has reverted back to his previous sleeping self and wakes up crying at least three times at night. And yesterday and today I had my alarm set for 7am, but he woke me up in the 6 o'clock hour crying. I'm super frustrated. I'm not sure why he has reverted. I remember his pediatrician saying that most people (even adults) wake up 3-5 times at night, but we don't remember because we immediately fall back asleep. But with kids, sometimes they don't realize that the immediate reaction should be to fall back asleep and they become disoriented and upset. Argh! I just don't get why kids are so resistant to sleep when adults crave it and can never seem to get enough.

Any horror stories out there about a kid who did this until they were seven? Let's all sympathize with each other's pain.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How many shopping days until next Christmas?

I am an early shopper. Since my kids both have birthdays around Christmas, I know that if I wait until December to buy presents for them and everyone else, I won't be able to pay my electric bill until February. So, I love shopping early. And I've also been buying school books lately. When doing either of these I like to compare shopping prices because I don't like paying full price for anything. (I think I inherited this gene from my mother.) She can spot shopping deals a mile away. I will find a book that I want for $1, but keep looking at all these different sites because maybe, just maybe, I will find them for a penny.

Anyway, I have a couple favorite places that I like to look for things, like LTD Commodities, Ebay, Amazon, Half.com, Abe Books, Buy.com and Bestwebbuys.com. And then of course, I'll check walmart.com to compare, but I just learned the other day that walmart.com and the WalMart stores are not actually as linked as one would think and you will often find a discrepancy between prices in the store and on the website. For instance, you could find a dishwasher on their website for cheaper than in the store, get free site to store shipping and voila! You just saved some money. You'd be surprised how many appliances you can actually buy from WalMart.

Anyway, these are just some things to think about now that you have a few shopping days until next Christmas, lol. I think I probably buy the majority of gifts through the summer months, but my motto is that if you shop all year round, you don't have to worry about running out of money come holiday time!

Do you guys have any money saving tips when it comes to holiday shopping or good websites to find great deals?






This is a paid post, but content is original.

Team Conan!

NBC is stupid. Leno's so over and the fact they are letting Conan go just proves why the network is in last place. Conan is a genuine guy, and hilarious to boot! I hope Fox snags him up and gives him a talk show on their station... well, since I'll DVR him wherever he goes, it doesn't matter, but I'd like to see Fox show NBC what a mistake they made. If it weren't for Community and SVU, I'd boycott NBC altogether.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Care Bears: Helping Hearts


I grew up loving Care Bears, so it excites me when new Care Bear DVDs are released so that my daughter can grow up with them too!

Lionsgate is releasing a brand new dvd entitled "Helping Hearts" that includes 8 never before seen episodes, which include: Ice Creamed, A Little Help, Unbearable, Twinklet, Rainshine Meadows, Care-ful Bear, Rudemate and Dare Bears.

What I love about the new Care Bears is that they teach lessons with each different episode. For instance, they teach about friendship, teamwork, honesty and all the things that I want my daughter to know about. (This DVD focuses on helping others.) But, as a parent, you realize that just telling your children sometimes isn't as effective as having it played out by their favorite cartoon characters!

I was especially excited about teaching about helping others, because we are working with our daughter on her empathy and realization that the world does not revolve around her- something most four year old's don't understand. So, I love that that was one of the themes in this DVD!

Family Time Factor
: I think this is something kids ten and under could enjoy. If they watch Saturday morning cartoons, they probably won't mind it. And of course, toddlers eat it up! Plus, it's not hard for me to watch with them.

MOTR Grade: A

Care Bears: Helping Hearts is now available on DVD!!!

Music Monday: One Republic "All the Right Moves"

Looooooove this song!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dear Pet Shop Puppy Owner

I came across this letter on pncmidwest.org and thought I'd share it. I can't believe that after all we know about where pet store puppies come from, people still by them... argh!

"Dear Pet Shop Puppy Owner;

Today, your dog's mother died in my arms. After years of enduring relentless pain, living in filth and never knowing kind words or gentle hands, she had the gift of a few months of a life with people who loved her and would do anything for her. It wasn't long enough and she still suffered pain that would probably be unbearable to you or me despite everything possible that could be done for her.

She died on the first perfect day of spring, having never known the feel of the hot sun or gentle summer breezes. She never got to run with abandon through the grass or sniff interesting smells, chew on sticks or dig holes in the yard. She was blind, crippled with arthritis, had a fractured jaw and few teeth from bad diet and no care, and riddled with cancer which invaded her brain and made life confusing and frightening.

We loved her deeply and her loss is almost more than we can bear and made more terrible by the fact that she was only with us for a few short months. It would have taken years and years to make up for the callousness and cruelty she endured at human hands. Even then, it wouldn't have been enough.

Despite all the terrible things that had happened to her, she still bravely faced every day with a joyous heart and wagging tail. She was my teacher and my hero. My life will never be the same.

So hug her puppy close to you this day and think of the sacrifice this angel made so you could have that cute puppy in the window. I hope you realize how lucky you are.

Snowball's Foster Mother."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Speechless

...that's what I've been lately. I have nothing interesting to say on Facebook, Twitter or this blog. All I think is worth talking about is how cute the kitten is when it plays with random objects or how Ozzy and I are attached at the hip...

So, I apologize if you've been waiting for something witty or a rant, I guess no news is good news. Semester starts again on Tuesday for me, so maybe I'll have something to say then. And next weekend I am driving to the town that my grandparents lived in. They were special to me and I have really fond memories of the place, so it will be nice to reminisce with my family there (my husband never met them.)

How about you? Do you have any exciting news to share with me?

Oh, and Millionaire Matchmaker is back, woo hoo! I love seeing the deplorable ways in which the rich live! Money doesn't buy class you know!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Music Monday: All American Rejects "Gives You Hell"

Man, wouldn't we all like to be this rich or successful? I know quite a few people I'd dedicate this song to!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Ozzman Cometh


I love when I'm able to report happy news! And of course it's only happy for me and the dog involved, but...

If you read my post a couple weeks ago entitled "The Legend of Ozzy" you'll know about a dog that I'd had since he was born that was very near and dear to me, and I had the opportunity to get him back from a rescue group. (Read the story, I don't have time to sum it up again, lol.)

So, yesterday I planned on getting up at 5:30 am to drive the supposed 3 hours 40 minutes to where I was supposed to meet Heidi, one of the rescue people from Peke N Chin Midwest. Well, I was rudely awakened by my son at 3:30am and was unable to go back to sleep due to excitement. (Nick says there's something wrong with me that I keep waking up all night, but he's so wrong and that's a whole nother rant for another time.) I picked my friend Susan up around 7, we went to Casey's to pick up breakfast and coffee (I bought some No Doz, which was absolutely useless) and were on the road at 7:30am. Oh, and we had to listen to her boyfriend rant for about 10 minutes about how bad of an idea it was for us to be driving.

So, the trip was supposed to take 3 hours and 40 minutes according to Mapquest. Unfortunately, no one has explained to people that when the weather is bad and there's snow all over the roads, you should DRIVE SLOWLY. It's like a huge secret or something because we counted almost 40 cars in the ditches and this main interstate I needed to get on was closed for a couple hours due to a semi accident. Well, I got COMPLETELY lost. I even asked for directions from several gas station workers, who all kept telling me how to get to the interstate that was closed. Finally, the vet where I was meeting Heidi explained to me how to get to the highway that would be a back way in. I found it and swore not to deviate from this highway. Unfortunately, the blowing snow made visibility near zero most of the way and I had to avoid running into snow drifts. It took me about 2 hours to go 40 miles. In the meantime, I had to be lectured by a couple people over the phone about how stupid I was for driving there. No one understands my passion for animals and I HAD TO get Ozzy. I mean, how many times have animals made you cry? How many times have they yelled at you or put you down? Seriously, animals are like so much better than most humans I know.

Okay, so I get to the meeting point and there he was! He was exactly like I remembered and I was thrilled. I was exhausted, traumatized and on the verge of tears, but seeing Ozzy perked me up and made me feel like I could go on. (If Susan hadn't been with me, I probably would have been in a ditch curled in the fetal position crying to this moment.) So we snagged him up, chatted with Heidi and hit the road... more precisely the interstate. I was NOT going back on that highway we took to get in.

Visibility started getting bad around dark and sometimes I had to putter at about 10 mph, but we managed to get home in about 4.5 hours. I had never been so happy to see my house (cause you know I hate it.) Ozzy slept in the bed with me and it felt like he had never left. I think a part of my soul has been restored (which is good since WIU is sucking most of it away) and despite the verbal tongue lashings I got from so many people, I think it was worth it. I know he will have a good life here and I know that I need positive things and he makes me smile. It makes the world a little more okay.

Now, waking up to a cranky family this morning almost made me want to take another 12 hour road trip,.... but that's another story, too. I'm just so thankful to have him back! (The picture is one I took of him awhile before he got shipped off.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Interesting Forward of the Day

I don't know if these are true, but I found it interesting...




********************************* ********************************************
The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for

Blood plasma.

***************************************************************************

No piece of paper can be folded in half

More than seven (7) times. Oh go ahead....I'll wait...

****************************************************************************

Donkeys kill more people annually

Than plane crashes or shark attacks. (So, watch your Ass)

************************************************************************

You burn more calories sleeping

Than you do watching television.

**************************************************************************
Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty (50) years of age or older.

****************************************************************************
The first product to have a bar code

Was Wrigley's gum.

*************************************************************************
The King of Hearts is the only king

WITHOUT A MOUSTACHE

***************************************************************************
American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one (1) olive

From each salad served in first-class.

**************************************************************************
Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.


*********************************************************************
Apples, not caffeine,

Are more effective at waking you up in the morning .

************************************ ***********************************

Most dust particles in your house are made from

DEAD SKIN !

****************************************************************************
The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.

So did the first 'Marlboro Man'.

***************************************************************************
Walt Disney was afraid

OF MICE!

***************************************************************************
PEARLS DISSOLVE

IN VINEGAR !

*********************************************************************
The three most valuable brand names on earth:
Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

**********************************************************************
It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...

But, not downstairs.

************************************************************************
A duck's quack doesn't echo,

And no one knows why.

************************************************************************
Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six (6) feet
away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.


***************************************************

And the best for last....

Turtles can breathe through their butts.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, L!


Today is my son's SECOND birthday! So, in honor of it, I decided to share the story about the day he was born:

Around 2am, I decided to go to bed (we were night owls back then, but now apparently I'm the only one who isn't.) My husband was going to stay up for a little bit longer, so I went to bed and A was already in bed sleeping long before then. I believe I was due Jan. 8, but I can't remember. I just know I didn't think it was accurate, but who am I to argue with doctors? So, I laid down in bed and dozed off... about 45 minutes later, I woke up, not sure why. I sat there for a bit and started to feel these funny little twitches in my stomach.

I went into the living room to tell Nick and they just kept happening. I told him I thought I was having contractions, so we felt my stomach and sure enough you could tell it was tightening. (Right now, you're probably thinking I should be in more pain, right? Apparently I was blessed with not being able to really feel contractions- until the end, cause boy do I feel those!) Anyway, so we realized they were pretty close together and called the hospital. They told me to come in. Unfortunately, my parents whom I wanted to babysit A were in Florida and I felt that our best option was to wake up Nick's brother and have him come stay with A at our house. We drove to the hospital in a town about 15 miles away and arrived around 4am. (Recall Nick had not gone to bed and I had about 45 minutes of sleep.)

We got checked in, the nurse called the on-call OB/GYN and they decided I could cook until regular hours when my doctor would be in. So I did.

As the day progressed, I was given pitocin and had my water broken to speed things up. (This happened with A as well, so apparently my child birthing is a slow process.) I was prepared for a long day of pain, sleepiness and frustration as I was in labor with A for 33 hours and it took me 3 hours to push her out.

Around 4pm, my doctor said I was ready to push. Nick and I looked at each other and then looked at the nurse because none of us knew if he was being serious. He was kind of known for being a big kidder. The nurse asked him if he was serious and he said yes. So, they got things ready and I started to push. I was braced for a 3 hour ordeal like the last one- thankfully it didn't happen! It only took me 6 minutes to pop that sucker out and it was quite nice compared to three hours! In fact, they tell you to push three times on each contraction and I remember pushing twice on the last one and he came out and I felt weird that I didn't get to the third one.

Anyway, L came out weighing TEN POUNDS! (Proof that I was right on Jan. 8 being an unrealistic due date cause I'm pretty sure he was overdue.) And now I have a little monkey.

There you have it!