Saturday, November 22, 2008

My First Blog Contest!!

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is, of course, the food. It's the one holiday that we're not tied to food with any religious affiliation and year after year, I look forward to all the different foods that we're going to eat. In the past three years, we've taken to hosting our family for Thanksgiving and have a bazillion kids running around and not anywhere near the same number of adults, but it's nice to have everyone in our house.

This year, according to Pillsbury, Home is Calling. And they've asked me to give away a great prize! I'm so excited because this is my first bloggy contest and I'll give one lucky winner * this great Home is Calling basket pictured here.

This gift basket includes
  • coupon for a FREE package of Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls,
  • magnetic coupon holder,
  • house shaped mouse pad,
  • pot holders,
  • cookie sheet,
  • bread basket and
  • Pillsbury Doughboy figurine.
Here's how to win. Leave a comment on this blog about what your most favorite Pillsbury product is. Please make sure to leave a valid e-mail address so that I can contact you if you are the winner (you can also leave the address of your blog, if you have one). Winner will be chosen at random and you have until midnight on Friday, November 27, 2008.

*Note that two additional baskets will be given away on

Too Much Dora?

Coming home from a birthday party today, we pulled into the driveway and as I'm getting out of the car, my two year old yells "Open my door! Abre! Abre! Abre!"

Is a Spanish speaking two year old (when we're not Spanish nor do we speak Spanish) the sign of too much Dora the Explorer?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To kajeet or not kajeet, that is the question....

Everywhere I go I see people on cell phones. Old people, young people. My kids, ages 5 and 2, both know how to dial and work my Blackberry. They know what it is, that it gets e-mail, that you can text message people and talk on it as a phone. I remember when I was younger, I had a friend who had a phone in her parents' car. It was a brick - this whole contraption that they had to carry around with them. Fast forward a few years to my first cell phone. It was that grey Motorola flip phone, you know the one that everyone had, with the plastic antenna? It was cool and cutting edge. Ack.

kajeet is a company that has come up with a great product - phones for teens and tweens that can be monitored by their parents. No contracts. No overage charges because everything is prepaid. They can talk. They can text. They can go on the internet and download content. Safely. It's a pretty cool product, I was able to try one out, and I definitely recommend it for parents who want to maybe "test" their child's responsibility level. Great bonus? Click this link to visit kajeet and get 10% off your entire purchase!

Here's a great video that the folks at kajeet put together about their product that explains it much more succinctly than I ever could.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Finally Did It.....

Over the summer, I posted here about a crossroads that I had come to in my life with respect to my work and my career. I am happy and sort of proud to say that I have surpassed the crossroads as of this past week. It sort of goes back a long way.

Around the time I got pregnant with my daughter, I was working full time at a job that I knew wasn't my whole future. I was the Controller for a retail chain of stores and worked in a small office, but made good money and liked my job. I had been working there for about 2 years when I got pregnant with Camryn, and slowly realized that I was working in a total boys club. Pretty much if you weren't a man in their inner circle, your days were numbered. I wasn't sure exactly how numbered my days were until about a month after I announced I was pregnant, my job was eliminated. Clearly illegal disturbing, but a story for another time.

Here's a fact - being pregnant and job hunting are not a very desirable combination for any potential employer. I did find a job, and surprise of all surprises, it was actually a better job than I had been pushed out of let go from. They were very nice and supportive, I worked for 4 months and then took maternity leave for 3 and came back to my job there waiting for me. Only now that I wasn't pregnant anymore and had two children at home, this job was not where I wanted to be. I decided that I wasn't going to be one of those women who complained all the time that they had to work and mope around about it, because I truly didn't want any misery to overflow into my personal life and my time with my family. So I gave myself a time frame - I knew I wanted to do something for myself and I gave myself six months to figure out exactly what that was going to be and then a year to implement it to the point where I could leave my job.

In that time period, LIParentSource was born. Through ParentClick, I had the opportunity to start a business, do something on my own and service parents in my area by providing a resource to make their lives easier.

A few months later, I was given the opportunity to take a job working 3 days per week with a flexible schedule and flexible hours. This meant so many things to me - I could be around for my kids 2 days during the week, take them to school, put my son on the bus for camp and work on my new business. Two whole days sounded like alot of time.

At first the job was great. Small company. Family owned. Great values. Flexible schedule. But then the little things started creeping up. I called in sick. Once. And it was an issue. Alot of little things that made me feel like I wasn't given the tools to get this job done the way that I wanted to. 100%. And I don't do anything half-assed, so I felt like I was failing. So many times I felt like I was drowning, like I just couldn't keep my head above water.

My husband tried to get me to quit, but I felt like such a spoiled brat. How could I walk away from a job that paid me a good salary to work part time? From a job that gave me a flexible schedule? From a job that gave me the security of a paycheck let allowed me to be around my kids? But there was another side. It was also a job that for what it was, was causing me alot of stress. A job that was a total joke in the skill that was required for the work that was assigned to me and that I could do with my eyes closed. A job that gave me anxiety about going there almost every day. A job that generally was making me miserable and unable to enjoy the other aspects of my life.

So last week during a conversation with the company owner, we started discussing the things that I was doing. And I voiced my opinions about how I was not being given the tools to get done what I needed to get done. About how I felt that without these tools I was going to fail. And about how I needed certain things to give the company what it needed and what they wanted. He pushed back, and pushed back hard. At the end of the conversation, I found a voice inside of me that I never knew existed. Once it started talking, it seemed to take on a life of it's own. And it was standing up for me, giving me what I wanted, even if I wasn't able to take it myself.

The voice said, "Maybe this just isn't working out." And that was the end, I am now an ex-employee.

And so the next chapter of my life begins, and it's frightening. I see such great things for my own business, I have such ideas and things I want to do. But my excuse of just not having the time is no longer there as a crutch. It's no longer an excuse. If I fail now, it's because I failed. And that's something that is not an option.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bedtime Routines

By day, she's an adorable little girl, pretty cool clothes, curly blond hair and big blue eyes. She says the most adorable things. Like yesterday, she looked at Grandma's shoes and said, "Grandma, mommy have same shoes," and then ran inside I got them. Pretty good for a 2 and a half year old, they were very similar, outside of the color, but who cares? She eats, she takes a pretty good nap, she doesn't mind when I leave for work and she's mostly nice to her brother. At night though, the wild beast emerges and my husband and I look at each other as if to ask, "Who is this?"

Our routine has been dinner, bath and bedtime. Because our first-born's bedtime routine sometimes exceeds 45 minutes (yup, books, stories, then it starts - Can you lay with me/send mommy in/send daddy in/give me a drink/I have to pee?) when our daughter was born, we made a conscious effort for her to have pretty much zero routine. Have the bottle and go in the crib. Usually awake. And it worked for us, until now.

Last night, we ate dinner and then she burst out crying hysterically at the mention of a bath. She now doesn't like the faucet on, which is semi-understandable because it is pretty loud. But, her new rule, which she screamed and cried for a good while, is NO TOYS IN THE BATH. Yes, zero. They have to be outside of the tub. Not even in the bag in the tub, but truly outside of the tub. This is reminiscent of when she was petrified of the bath after she pooped during one, but that's neither here nor there. We complied with her rule (anything to stop the crying), she took a bath and was herself again. Until someone mentioned the dreaded word - BEDTIME.

Hysteria. We read books. Two to be exact. And twice each. Dora and Sesame Street. Then she decided she needed socks. Of course, the white socks that she was wearing weren't good. She needed the Elmo socks. I'm sure you've already guessed that they were in the laundry. And I don't usually do laundry, so she was pretty much out of luck. Crying again. Finally we found socks that were okay - they were pink ("my favorite color") so she was pretty happy with it. Almost ready to go into the crib, but no, the wrong baby is in there. The pink baby is in the crib, of course, because she's been sleeping with that baby for about a month, and she wanted the white baby. Where's the white baby? It's downstairs. So I leave her in her room and go downstairs to get the baby. She then decides that the baby's face is dirty and we have to clean it. Took out the wipes, wiped the baby's face and then the baby was totally ready for bed. Oh wait, we have to pick out a CD to listen to. She decides that she wants the "orange CD". What's the problem? We don't have an orange CD. We have a purple CD, a name CD and a few white ones, but no orange one. So trying not to lose my patience, we put on the purple CD and she goes in the crib. Quietly, no crying and I think I'm in the clear.

So hubby and I sit down to catch up on Army Wives (new favorite show, by the way) and of course, the crying starts. I'm done, so it's his turn. He's in there for about 10 minutes going through the same thing I just went through with her - change the socks, change the CD, clean the baby. Finally, he's out and she's still crying. At this point, we decide to just let her cry it out. After about 5 minutes, she's still crying and as we sit down, he says, "I think you're making a mistake letting her cry."

Yes, he did. He really did. He really said that. And as if that wasn't bad enough, he didn't understand why I got pissed off and why I went into her room. That was like saying, "Hey, you're the worst mother in the world, but keep doing what you're doing." UGGGGGH.

The end result was, I did go in to her room, we changed the CD AGAIN, and she finally laid down and went to sleep. Total time spent, about an hour and a half. And not a fun hour and a half.

I hope that she goes back to her regular bedtime routine of pretty much nothing. A book then the crib then sleeping for about 12 hours. Just when you get used to a routine, these kids go and change it up on you. Hoping that tomorrow night goes a little bit easier....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Love the Wii, Love Wii Music?

Last year, my husband wanted to buy my son a Wii for Hanukkah. I didn't think that a 5 year old needed a Wii. After much debate, I won. Thinking about it a little while later, I came to a conclusion - my husband wanted the Wii for himself and decided to disguise it as a gift for our son. Pretty smart, heh? Clearly it didn't go as he had planned.

Fast forward to April, husband's birthday. Guess what he got as his gift? Wow, you're smart! Yup, a Wii. It's now been about 6 months and game collectors we certainly are not - we have Wii Sports (it came with it), two other games that I have no idea what they are/what they do/how to play them, the Wii Fit (another story for another day) and, Guitar Hero which we L-O-V-E. When Nintendo sent us an advance copy of Wii Music last month, our pathetic excuse for a game collection increased, AND we scored some bonus points with friends thought it was cool that (a) Nintendo sent us stuff and (b) we were given the game before it was out in stores.

We've played it a few times and definitely think it's pretty cool. My two year old daughter was able to play it, as were my six year old son and my husband, none of whom have any musical training whatsoever. Me (and my 14 years of piano and 10 years of violin lessons) as well as a friend whose in a pretty cool band, were all able to play Wii Music and have fun. Pretty much no skills are necessary, but if you got 'em, use 'em. There's a great tutorial that teaches you how to hold the contoller and nunchuck to play the different instruments (there are 60 of them) and you go through the motions of actually playing the instrument. You can create and play with your miis, play with friends or alone, record your music and make videos. If you have the balance board from Wii Fit, you can set it up and use it as a drum set, also pretty cool. The kids will recognize the songs like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" as opposed to mainly radio songs. All in all, a super creative game, and if you get into thinking about the making of video games, you realize that whoever thought up this whole idea is pretty freakin' cool!

However, heed this warning - if you consider yourself a "gamer" and are competitive with your video games, this is not a game for you. Why? Pretty much because there's no actual game. There's no beginning, there's no end, there's no score, there's no beat the evil guy and get to the next level. There's play the music, play the different instruments and see what you can do with it. Don't get me wrong, Wii Music has gotten some pretty awful reviews, which is certainly not where I'm going. It's fun. It's great to play with your kids and let them experiment. You're not though going to sit for hours upon hours as you can do with games like Guitar Hero or Lego Batman (don't have it, I've just heard).

You can purchase Wii Music at for $49.99.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Hate To Say I Told You So But......

Back in July, I posted here about DeAnna and Jesse. Did you forget about them? The Bachelorette who made the worst decision of her life and chose the wrong guy? Yes, it's been awhile and I don't think about it anymore, but every once in awhile, I see them on tv or online and I get mad all over again. But, in my open letter to DeAnna, I said that she and Jesse weren't meant to be. That they wouldn't ever get married. And as of today, I was right. Apparently, DeAnna wasn't even so nice about it. She used the "I love you but I'm not in love with you." Oohhhhh. She told him when she came back to Breckenridge, they were at the airport and he was getting her bags. Ack. Jeez DeAnna, let the guy down a little easy. I do feel bad for Jesse because he looks miserable in this video. I don't want to say I told you so, so I won't, but....

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