Tuesday, May 25, 2010

At Hospital

Dear Readers,

Long story short. I am at the hospital with an acute case of Diverticulitis. I pray to be out by Friday.

If I promised a reader or sponsor anything. Please know I will get to it as soon as I can.

Long version of this story when I get home.

I love you all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It Was Like Lord of The Flies....(long post!)

Yesterday I headed to a birthday party for one of Handsome's classmates. It was one that I knew would be a little stressful because Handsome really likes this kid and this kid is quite popular. Handsome really wants to be like this little boy and is quite the outsider in this group of kids.

He is often removed from class to attend speech, OT and PT which means he misses out on a lot of the down time in class when kids are socializing. Which also means he misses out on the one thing he needs to strengthen in his social life.

As most of you know, Handsome had a speech delay which contributed to a social delay. He is a really good kid who just wants to fit in but doesn't know how to join in.

He is quieter and shyer than most of his classmates. He also doesn't speak up for himself which means most often you hear his name. It happens at home too! "Handsome, Handsome, Handsome, Stop! Stop! Don't hit me, give that back." So, you walk in and say, "Handsome, would you stopping hitting her! Give it back!" He says, "I'm not talking" which makes you angry, so you say something like, "stop touching her or you will be punished." Then he cries and after you sit down with him you find out that, "she" hit him 5 times while he told her to stop, then he retailiates by pulling out of her hand the thing she hit him with to hit her back."

I have learned that this is usually the way it goes and before I blame him, I try to find out what happened first.

Yesterday, I was sitting down 5 minutes into the party and a little girl comes over saying to her mom "Handsome hit me." The mom says, "tell his mom". The girl comes over and tells me so I head over and say, "Handsome be careful, this little girl says you hurt her."

I sit back down and 3 minutes later the same girl comes back and says the same thing. The mother tells her not to be a tattle tale but I head over to the bounce house, take off my shoes and crawl inside. There are about 15 kids in there and it is utter mayhem. I cross my arms and stand in a corner in the middle of this awesome bounce house complete with slide, basket ball hoop, ladder, two posts for bouncing into and a gate looking thing that kids are supposed to crawl under or climb over.

As I stand there I get to watch the chaos and calamity of 5, 6, 7 years younger and older in their own little world. There are kids hanging from this gate thing, holding onto it like koalas leaving only a small corner for kids to slip through in order to get to the ladder, leading to the slide. Kids are crawling and climbing and jumping over each other to hang, climb, slide, wrestling for a football, sliding down the slide as others climb up and then bashing into the kids at the bottom of the slide as kid congregate there instead of sliding and moving.

My son's name was called out at least 10 times by kids who wanted me to know he "hit them."

As the only present parent I was privy to how rude, mean, obnoxious and catty kids can be. They are so mean to each other. After listening to at least 3 kids tell me that Handsome had hit them. I was tired. He wasn't hitting anyone. What he was doing was trying to go down the slide, asking people to "please" move, asking kids to "slide over so I can get through." Then heading down the slide only to have kids congregate there and get knocked into chaos of kids coming down the slide. My son included.

Eventually I started telling them that I was tired of hearing how Handsome had "hit them" and started saying, "he did not hit you! he knocked into you because you guys piled up at the bottom of the slide" Or "you guys fell into a heap" Or "you guys slipped on a football".

When he came down the slide hitting with his foot a little girl who was sitting at the bottom, "I heard her say ow, Handsome!"  Another little girl said to her, "you can't beat Handsome up, but I can!" Then she proceeded to grabbed him from behind pinning his arms down. I watched to see what he would do. He tried to get away but never, ever said anything like, "Stop! Let go! Get off me!" nothing! I finally said, "Hey, let go of him now!" She did, saying that he had hurt a little girl. I told her that he had not and that I was watching. Then as he slid down the slide, I watched her, run up, throw herself down the slide to crash into him before he hit the bottom. He grabbed his wrist and started crying. I told her that I saw everything and that it was not nice! That I should have Handsome march right over to her mother as she had and that she was being really mean and it was not OK! Then I put my hand out to Handsome who thought he had done something wrong. If your mom is the only one there and all you ever hear is your name and to not do this or not do that, you eventually get a complex thinking you are the WRONG one.

I told him, "I am not mad you at. Come with me and lets put ice on your wrist. I saw what she did and that was very bad. She was not nice."

We put the ice on and eventually went back in. I stood outside the bounce house, not only watching mine for the two and a half hours, but the rest. It was ridiculously chaotic and I don't know how more kids didn't get hurt.

I stood there for 2.5 hours watching the chaos but mostly watching my son. So if anyone had a complaint I could say what did or did not happen.

At one point he jumped and a little girl (6?) who was hanging on that "post thing" fell off, held her side and ran off as I asked if she was OK. I heard her brother (12?) call Handsome! He didn't hear him and went to climb the ladder. I saw the sister (11?) heading toward him, I zoned in and saw her grab Handsome from behind. He silently fought her trying to get away. She lifted him up and I yelled, "put him down right now! Let.... go!" She did and walked over to me saying, "he hurt my sister and my brother wanted me to get him." (she was what, going to drag my just turned 7 year old out to her 12 year old brother?) I said, "He didn't hurt your sister, your sister fell. I am watching everything." She said, "I didn't know, I saw my sister crying and my brother asked me to get him." So, I calmly explained what happened, and that everyone in the bounce house was wild and crazy. That they are all complaining about getting hit but they are at the bottom of the slide and when 3 kids come down the slide, they WILL get hurt. She said, "so, it's their fault because they are at the bottom!!!!!" I said, exactly!

After standing and watching the chaos I just had to leave. I bribed him with a trip to Dunkin Donuts. It was heartbreaking and devastating to watch. Thankfully, he is not fully aware of how hurtful the day was. Eventually he will be and then it will be harder. Now, I am the one hurt. He is fine! It scares me about the things I cannot protect him from.

I can only pray that he is not bullied in school and if he is, I hope he learns to stick up for himself. We are teaching him that he needs to speak up and if someone hits you, you tell them them to stop, then go to the teacher and tell them.  If that kid hits you again, you are to hit them back as hard as you can! Hopefully he won't have to use this method because, I don't think he will do it!

Handsome was having a great time jumping, but I just couldn't watch the torture anymore. He was not allowed to play with them. Not allowed, to touch them. Not allowed to follow them. He just wanted to fit in and tried so hard but when you are bigger, older, "different" you are odd! It was so sad to watch him try so hard.

I don't believe these kids are bad kids. I believe that there was a lot of absent parenting going on. The kids are not being told what is right or wrong, they are not being told what is rude and mean. They are just kids. Without proper instruction. If no one is telling them, how will they know?

Childhood is hard enough but I am really worried about him. I am worried about how hard kids are. How mean kids are. How Handsome doesn't stick up for himself. If a kid goes up to a teacher crying after someone retaliates and the other kid isn't saying "that kid hit me first" the kid crying will be the victim.

I have talked to all his teachers, all his special educators and therapists, his bus driver, his preschool teachers, and everyone says the same thing! He is NOT an aggressive kid. He is a good boy. He does not look for trouble. He is very polite and asks if other kids are OK if they fall, trip or bang into something. Yet, he is made out to be the brute. The bad kid. The "hitter".

The day before he accidentally hit a little girl in the leg with a bowling ball. I knew for a fact that he didn't haul off and hit her but without him speaking up, he looks guilty. It was only after talking to him for 10 minutes that he told me the ball slipped out of his hands, the girl was sitting on the floor and it hit her.

My heart broke for him yesterday. I just wanted to ball my eyes out thinking about how hard he tried and how he felt like he was wrong. At the end, I made a point of telling him that I was proud of him. That he didn't do anything wrong. That he was a good boy.

When we got him home, his father and I had a talk with him separately about sticking up for himself. How it is OK for him to yell at someone, tell them to stop or even go to their mother and say, "so and so hit me."

Lessons for speaking up start now!

Mellow Yellow Monday - Birthday


Look at all the yellow at Handsome's 7th Birthday - It was a fabulous day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Self Portrait Sunday - May 22, 2010

Happy Sunday!

Tomorrow night is the season finale of Lost and they are putting it on at 7:00 p.m. After watching for 6 years, they couldn't put it on after my kids go to bed. How the hell am I supposed to watch if my kids are up?

After spending the afternoon in a bowling alley for a 6 year old birthday party, I am shot! Feeling tired and goofy. Thought why not post a picture of one of my many talents. My daughter has been practicing the tongue roll since she is two and now can do it as good as I can.

Picture 099

Picture 113

God Never Blinks 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours - Audiobook Giveaway

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I received a copy of God Never Blinks 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours by Regina Brett

About the Book:
Already an internet phenomenon, these wise and insightful lessons by popular newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Regina Brett will make you see the possibilities in your life in a whole new way.

When Regina Brett turned 50, she wrote a column on the 50 lessons life had taught her. She reflected on all she had learned through becoming a single parent, looking for love in all the wrong places, working on her relationship with God, battling cancer and making peace with a difficult childhood. It became one of the most popular columns ever published in the newspaper, and since then the 50 lessons have been emailed to hundreds of thousands of people.
Brett now takes the 50 lessons and expounds on them in essays that are deeply personal. From "Don't take yourself too seriously-Nobody else does" to "Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift," these lessons will strike a chord with anyone who has ever gone through tough times--and haven't we all?

About the Author:
Regina Brett has been a newspaper columnist for fourteen years, eight of them for Cleveland's Plain Dealer, where she was a finalist in 2008 and 2009 for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. She also hosts a call-in talk show once a week on WCPN, the Cleveland NPR affiliate, and speaks regularly to companies and not-for-profit organizations. Find out more about the book and Regina Brett on http://www.reginabrett.com

What I Can Tell You: Even though it is a Best Seller I had never heard of this book before. This is one of the best parts about being a book reviewer. So many things are on my reading list that I normally wouldn't have noticed. God Never Blinks is a perfect title. It is thought provoking and a message I am teaching my children (God sees everything).

What Regina has done is created a templete that we should live our life by. I really appreciated her list of  45 life lessons and 5 to grow on that she wrote to celebrate growing older. It contained things like:

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

What other people think of you is none of your business.

God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

At 38 I felt like I really knew who I was, at 43 I know and accept even more of who I am and I like me. This is something I wished I knew in my early 20's. It would be interesting to know what kind of person I would be if I knew what I knew now, then (got that?)

Regina's advice is so basic and true that it fits most of the population universally regardless of beliefs, upbringing or religion differences. While this is obviously a book of one woman's story, it could be any of ours.

I personally love self help books.

Listen to an excerpt

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies to giveaway to my readers.

To Win:  Leave me a comment letting me know who you are entering for  by Midnight, June 5, 2010

US and Canada ONLY!

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for (3 extra entries) (each entry must be separate)
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Do not leave entries in the comment section, 
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Thanks to Hachette Book Group for my copy and the 3 sets of audiobooks for the giveaway.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Are You Katy Perry's #1 Fan?

If so, you may be very interested in this contest:

Win the Bike Featured in Katy Perry’s Proactiv Commercial

Enter for a Chance to Win on Proactiv’s Facebook Page

Palm Desert, CA -- May 17, 2010 – Show your love (or like!) for Proactiv on Facebook for a chance to win the retro-chic beach cruiser featured in the Katy Perry Proactiv commercial. Starting on May 5, those who “like” the Proactiv Facebook page and register for the contest will be entered to win the white bike with aqua blue trim with a very special California license plate signed by Katy. Four other winners will receive a Proactiv product assortment package valued at $400.00. The contest will run through June 1. For contest details, visit http://www.facebook.com/Proactiv.

Joining the Proactiv Facebook community will not only put you in the running for a chance to win the bike, but it will keep you in the know about Proactiv news and announcements, behind-the-scenes videos, fan stories, tips and special offers.

Friday Fragments

It has been a crazy week.

Busy with life and still playing catch up on sponsors, giveaways, reviews and email.

Monday - I had a meeting with the Director of Curriculum, Principal and two other moms from the school. The other moms each of kids in the school and for the past three years I have heard about some problems that I was hoping to combat before the kids even started. Both kids will be in this school next year and there were a few things we wanted to bring to the attention of the school.

#1 for all of us were the attitudes of the aids who greet our children. We weren't asking them to move mountains or to fire anyone. We wanted them to know that the attitude presented at the school was NOT OK, unacceptable and unprofessional. Hopefully the few things we presented will be fixed before September when my kids start.

Tuesday - What the hell happened Tuesday? I don't remember. I think this was a laundry, review, cleaning day.

Wednesday - I met with someone about insurance! Boring and tons of paperwork

As a Pearista for Pear Tree, I received really cute note monogram note cards. For all your stationary needs, remember Pear Tree for your cards, invitations and more.

Then I received a box from Aurora Focus Group for YooHoo & Friends I received this box
You really want to make a kid happy! Let them open a box of really awesome stuffed animals.  Doesn't she look as proud as Octomom minus two kids?

Thursday - My baby girl, Goddess had her Kindergarten orientation. We had breakfast with Clary then headed to orientation. Wahhh...as excited as I am for her. I am so sad. She is my little buddy. She looked so small on the bus. They took us on an 8 minute bus ride and she was so excited.

I also found out that I won a $100 Fisher Price card which is so exciting!

Friday - I got to see a friend who I haven't seen since Monday. Her husband is off and it is harder to see her. She came over for an hour and a half and we got to chat. Then Goddess and I did some work in the family room, some laundry and headed out to pick up Handsome.

Hope you had a great week!

May Has Become Birthday Month In My Life

Handsome's birthday is in May, three personal friends birthdays are in May and 6 kids in Handsome's class are in May. Is this normal? I cannot tell you how many birthdays I have attended this month (hence the quiet blog posts).

Getting for my kids is so easy. Handsome is very specific in his likes and wants. Goddess is super easy because she "LOVES" everything.

I really love buying gifts for kids. It is so fun. I just buy things I would want to play with. Being a "big kid" makes it really easy.

For Handsome's first two years I always got him educational toys. As an older, first time mom I wanted to teach him. All my time was spent with him which is why he was spelling at 2 years old. I have video of me doing a puppet show for him while reading a book when he was 2 months old. Poor kid!

When he started Occupational Therapy most of his OT toys looked like this.

I love mixing toys with education.
Now, I love the pretend play toys.

If I had more room and money, I would have bought Handsome something like this.
Isn't virtual wishing fun?

For the kids in my son's class this year I got a lot of them these.

Cute right? Melissa and Doug products are awesome.

Hopefully we get a financial reprieve next month. I am gifted out.

Allergies Killing Ya? Check out Halls Allergy Relief

Thanks to Mom Central I received a sample of Halls Allergy Relief Cough Drops.

Personally, I had no idea that Halls Cough Drops could aid in allergy relief.

I have taken my fair share of Halls for my cold symptoms. Head to Halls and find out which drop is right for you based on your symptoms.

Fight your allergy cough with a Halls cough drop.

From the Halls Website:
While you’re waiting for your allergy medication to work, HALLS® steps in and helps out as a complement to your allergy regimen. HALLS® starts working within 10 seconds to soothe your allergy related cough and sore throat.
During allergy season, inhaled irritants like pollen, grass and trees can trigger irritating coughs and scratchy, sore throats. While your allergy medication provides the all-day relief you’re looking for, don’t forget to take your HALLS® too. Take HALLS® with Advanced Vapor Action® formula for fast, soothing relief of your cough and scratchy, sore throat. It starts working within 10 seconds! As a complement to your allergy medication, the fast-relief of HALLS® might just put a spring in your step when spring allergies hit.

Hey, I will try anything to combat my allergy discomfort. 

Thanks to Mom Central for getting the sample sent out to me.  

 “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Halls and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Playtex Bra Makeover

I don't know about you guys but I am totally a bra makeover candidate. If someone was to open my underwear draw, I would die of embarrassment. My bras are, no lie, 10 years old. There are two that may be 2 years and 1 that didn't fit a friend and it was handed down to me. I have a total of 5 bras and none of them fit, support or feel comfortable. Taking my bra off when I came home for the night is my favorite thing to do. At 36D I totally need one but hate having to wear them. I bet with a bra makeover things would be different. 

Thanks to Mom Select I received this in my in-box.

Seven out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra, which can result in an ill fit for the rest of their outfit, back and shoulder pain, as well as bruising and digging.

We know that busy moms don't always have time to update their bras or even check to make sure they are wearing the correct size. That's why we wanted to let you know about this contest from Playtex! Playtex recently launched www.PlaytexBraMakeover.com, a site where women can go to apply for a bra makeover or nominate a friend. If chosen, the winner will be flown to New York to receive a Bra Makeover with style expert Alison Deyette. Deyette is a fashion and trend lifestyle expert who has been featured on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker and TLC's Ten Years Younger, as well as in print publications including Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, and O Magazine. Apply for your chance to win a Playtex Bra Makeover today. The last day to apply is Friday, May 21st, 2010.

The 10 winners selected for a Bra Makeover will also star in their very own webisode wherein a makeover candidate will receive a fitting with Deyette and walk away with the perfect Playtex products. A new webisode will premier on www.PlaytexBraMakeover.com every two weeks.

Sounds like heaven! I could so use this! I entered, you should too!

Easy application, upload a photo of yourself from the waist up or a video telling why you should be selected.

Good Luck!

By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a free bra from Playtex. I recieved nothing to post this information.  Thanks to MomSelect for this information!

Do You Have A FabTabulous Idea?

Mom Select left something cool in my in-box today.

Huggies wants to help you!

Through their program called:

I have been sitting on an idea for at least 6 years now. Anyone I've told it to think it is a fabulous idea but I have never had the finances to move on it. Maybe like me, you have been sitting on an FabTabulous Idea. Maybe you have the "next big thing". Look at Silly Bands! Who would have thought?

Huggies Mom Inspired Grant Program wants to talk to you.

Huggies Mom Inspired Grant Program allows inventive moms to submit their original idea until June 11h. They are dolling out grants from $1,000 - $15,000 based on your idea. To apply and hopefully be accepted simply go to HuggiesMomInspired.Com

I finally put my idea and it took all of 15 minutes. Wish me luck!

If you have an idea that you feel will make life easier, please apply and let me know that you did. I would love to hear.

By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a $250 American Express gift card from MomSelect. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review - Welcome to Harmony

The name just says it all. Look at that beautiful cover, you just know you want to put Jodi Thomas' newest creation on your list this summer. Some of my friends have started their summer reading list and I figured that is a great place to start.

Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Sixteen-year-old runaway Reagan has always wanted a place to belong. She's never had a real home of her own, but perhaps she could borrow someone else's. Under an assumed name and identity, she moves to Harmony, Texas, but keeps her distance from the welcoming townsfolk. Until prairie fires threaten Harmony-and Reagan learns the true meaning of family, friends, and home.

I received a copy for review and although I had another 2 books to read before getting to it. I couldn't stop looking at the cover.

What I Can tell You:  It took me 2 days to devour this book because I have two little ones but this would have been a one day book prior to babies because I would have read for the whole day. You really don't want to put it down!  I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Reagan. Would she find what she was longing for. Every young person needs a home and people she knows love her for all the right reasons. My heart broke for poor Reagan. I just wanted to pluck her out of the pages and love her.  She heads to Harmony after meeting a woman named Miss Beverly. When Miss Beverly passes, Reagan heads to the town she heard so many stories and decides to pass herself off as Miss Beverly's granddaughter.

Upon entering the town Reagan is treated well and I believe she would have been treated well even if she wasn't Miss Beverly's "granddaughter".

She heads out to the home Miss Beverly shared with her grumpy brother Jeremiah. I personally loved all the scenes that included Jeremiah.

I also loved Fire Chief Hank who really takes care of his town and the people in it. Funeral Director Tyler, even tough Alex is likable. I don't think there is a single unlikable person in the book and I guess that is something you would imagine to find in a town called Harmony. There is an unlikable circumstance but not of the walking talking kind.

 I received an email from Jodi Thomas regarding her book. As an avid reviewer, as most of my book loving readers can imagine; I am always shocked, and thrilled when an author writes me. I have saved every email that was sent by an author.

Memory Rewind - Writing

This week's Memory Rewind is:
Look Mom I drew "M"
Here is Handsome who had just turned 4 writing for me. YOu can see how very proud he was. He was spelling at 2 and wrote his first letter a "W" when he was 3. He is a wonderful reader and read us a book yesterday while we did our own thing in the same room. It is so amazing how far kids come in such short times. We are very proud of him.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Bride Collector Audiobook - Review & Giveaway

I received a copy of The Bride Collector through Hachette Book Group and was unsure if this was a genre I was looking to read. After having my kids, I gave up Murder, Suspense, Horror and focused on Romance, Self Help and Fairy Tales.

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

Product Description

FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted.

It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.

As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector's next target.

The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?

What I Can Tell You: I usually listen to audio books while cleaning, doing scrap-booking, or straightening up around the house. There were times when I felt I had to sit and listen. Ted is a masterful storyteller building up a complex tale of twists, turns and gripping storyline.  Still not sure if this is a genre I want to stay with (for now) but The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker did not disappoint.

Listen to an Excerpt
"Like" Ted Dekker on Facebook
Follow @TedDekker on Twitter
Check out the Exclusive Interactive Excerpt
Visit TedDekker.com

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies to giveaway to my readers.

To Win:  Leave me a comment letting me know who you are entering for  by Midnight, June 3, 2010

US and Canada ONLY!

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this, and leave me the link for (3 extra entries) (each entry must be separate)
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ABC Wednesday - R

This weeks ABC Wednesday is the letter R

R is for Relaxing

After spending two hours climbing and sliding, Goddess relaxed at the bottom of the slide waiting for her cousins to come down.

R is for Running
There just wasn't enough time to play so Goddess spent the 2.5 hours running from slide to slide. Because if you don't go on each about 20 times, it just isn't worth it.

R is for Ring
Picture 972
Not all gems are inedible.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dove Mini Moment Contest

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dove Ice Cream. All opinions are 100% mine.

Who couldn't use a Mini Moment in their day? Just some time for yourself to do whatever it is that gives you peace of mind, allows you to take a deep breath, relaxes your breathing, or just makes you pause in the hectic pace of the average day.

Chocolate makes everything better and what is better than Dove Ice Cream encased in some of the best chocolate?

Release the guilt of indulgence, at 70 calories each, DOVE Ice Cream Miniatures are ice cream wrapped in real Dove chocolate making them the perfect treat. Try the new decadent Café Collection which features Java Chip and Cappuccino Flavors (include attached photo of Café Collection box). I ate some Dove Ice Cream after the kids went to bed and believe it is the decadent chocolate that makes it the best!

Nothing better!

I dare you to go to Dove's website and not crave chocolate after.

What is your mini moment? Dove wants to know. Share your favorite my mini moment and get a chance to win your choice of three mini escapes. But hurry, there are only 20 days left.

Dove's Mini Getaway Choices are:
  • An escape to the beautiful Wine Country of Napa Valley 
  • A Mini Spa Escape at your favorite Spa.
  • Revamp a favorite room in your home to create the perfect mini-Oasis
Also, the top ten finalists will receive a DOVEBAR® Ice Cream Indulgence Tote filled with DOVEBAR® Ice Cream Miniatures coupons, a spa wrap,eye mask, candle, lotions and shower gel.

To enter the contest head to "My Mini Moment" contest website. Register (it took me 3 minutes). Then upload a photo and write your story. Someone has to win! Why not you?!

Visit my sponsor: “My Mini Moment” contest

Father's Day Is Next Month - Do Something Dad Will Love

Where I live people go camping all the time. Every Monday someone or another has some camping photos on their Facebook page from the weekend before. As someone who has gone camping one time in my life I don't know if it is something my kids would love. Sleeping in a camping tent might sound good until you are actually doing it.

Today I had a conversation with a friend who went camping this weekend. She and her family love it and they don't even all have actual tents. They use tarps and such. We two tents and we sent them up in the dining room at times for the kids to play and sleep in every once in a while but sleeping outdoors? That is something I am not sure of. The bugs would make me their feast for the night.
Picture 1383

With Father's Day coming next month I started thinking that this is a great way to really spend some time together. Going camping with your husband and kids means that you have to count on each other for comfort and company. There are no TVs or computers. Sounds great already!

I would so go camping if we had a tent that looked like this...
I mean really! That is like the mansions of camping tents. I could totally live in this tent. It is the Coleman Elite WeatherMaster™ 6-8 Screened Tent.

Then I would need a portable BBQ and plumbing, air mattress and a really comfortable sleeping bag but....if it was hotter than 75 I would need a fan.

Seriously, with so many of my neighbors and kids classmates heading out to the woods in nothing but tarps or a small camping tent. Who am I? The Queen of Sheba. 

Note to Self: Talk of with the husband and gauge his interest.

Music is Very Important to My Well Being - One eskimO - Review

My husband and I before kids were huge music fans with an extensive music collection and music was always on. When the "baby" turned 3.5 I started putting more music on during the day. Other than that it had only been lullabies or classical music. Handsome still listens to the music he used to listen to while inside me. I used to put the headphones on my belly and lie down for an hour a day after work.

I had not heard of One eskimO prior to this CD review. I also didn't know that the third song on the CD, is the most played song on all adult radio stations.

Hometime - This song slowly grew on me over the second time playing it. I am a big melody girl. And the melody was really pretty.
Astronauts - I loved how this song started. The piano piece was simple and pretty. After hearing it the second time I felt like I had heard it before. It is a really great song.
Kandi - I have heard this song before. I thought it was John Mayer the first time I heard it. It is easy to hear why it is the #1 song.

Slip - I loved how this song started. This is probably my least favorite on the CD. I didn't moved me.
Simiple Day - The guitars are really pretty. I love acoustic guitar and the calmness of the sound. This was reminiscent of Jason Mroz for me. I like when the voices blended on the chorus.
Givin Up - I didn't like the start of the song but eventually it kicked in and was reminiscent of Seal.
Chocolate - I think I will be listening to this often.

All Balloons - I like the sound and the stop and start of the versus. Very easy breezy song that reminded me of something I would hear in a coffee house while sipping and watching people go by.
Chosen One - I believe this is my second favorite next to the Astronaut song. Really pretty sound and reminds me of just laying in my apartment during a rain storm listening to music alone.

UFO - This is a really great song. I love all the tones in it. There is so much going on. Loved it.
Amazing - Nice, the words didn't kick in for 40 seconds. At first I thought it was going to be instrumental. I really loved this too.

I think that One eskimO has a very interesting sound and I appreciate how different they are.


Ruby Tuesday

This week's Ruby Tuesday are some photos from Handsome's birthday party this past Friday.

Here is Goddess and her cousin who haven't seen each other in almost two years. It was fun to watch them play like family who saw each other yesterday.

This is pretty much how I saw Goddess this night. In a blur, whizzing by.

Looks like fun, I want to play. Parents were allowed to partake in the fun but Teach wasn't able to come so as the only parent, I kept my feet on the ground and played Hostess.

Wow Imports and Reviewing the Famous "Carrie" necklace

Thanks to Parent Reviewers I was selected to review a name necklace from Wow Imports.

As a Sex in The City fan, I was very familiar with the Carrie necklace and loved that I would get one for myself.

We received a "carrie" necklace with my name on it to try out and show off.

With graduation coming next month this is a great gift idea. Wow Imports has so many different styles of fonts and name necklaces to choose from. You can get the necklaces in whatever style fits the gift recipient's personality and personal style.

You can go with the classic name necklace or get a monogram, ring, vertical name, earrings and more. Wow Imports has so many ideas to choose from that I had trouble deciding on the font and style. I am not a gold person so I loved that there were options of gold or sterling silver. 

I also love that their were child sized necklaces. I have 8 nieces to buy for during the holidays and they all love jewelry.

What impressed me the most about Wow Imports was their fast delivery, the quality of the necklace but more than that was the selection of interesting different products I found on their website.

I bet you were wondering about the price right? Well, I bet you expect to pay over $50.00 for a name necklace! Get this, the name necklace sells for $31.95.

When you order a necklace, you get to choose the length, thickness of the pendent, the style of the font, the chain style, you can even put a Swarovski crystal on it and tell them where to place it on the nameplate. It is all up to you. You can really create the most personalized of name necklaces with Wow Imports.

What I can tell you:  Wow! Imports, is a family business, and a premier online store for African fair trade bead & wire art, beaded animal figurines, piggy banks, beaded key chainsrecycled plastic bag animals and more.

They have the widest selection handmade sterling silver and 14k gold personalized name jewelry besides the  Carrie necklaces, they have name rings, name earrings, name bracelets, name anklets and more.

I appreciate that they import from disadvantaged artisans in Zimbabwe and South African who are provided with the material and actually set their own hours and wages.

What a great company to support.

Thanks Parent Reviewers for the opportunity to participate in this very interesting campaign.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Disney Here We Come.............................

Well not literally but this is a great start. We are dying to take our kids to Disney. My kids are 5 and 7 and haven't been on a vacation yet.

They know all about Disney and believe Mickey Mouse and Disney Princess's live there.

Today I received this in my in-box.
Beside Disney there is so much to do in Orlando. An Orlando Vacation is right up our alley. Plus, my dad lives there and my daughter has never met him.

Orlando Vacation has some awesome Disney World Packages from 2 to 7 days.  You can build the perfect vacation based on your specific needs.

If I were planning the perfect vacation for my family, we would leave on a Thursday getting in at dinner time, dropping our stuff of at our room and getting room service. Crashing early, going for breakfast and heading out when the Disney World opens. One day in Disney World,  a day in Epcot and a day at MGM Studios.

By day four, the kids would be able to go someplace other than a theme park. We could schedule a visit with my dad, hopefully having him come to us and resting in the hotel and at the pool. Day five we would take the kids to Sea World and for dinner, a theme restaurant. Day six, we would go to Universal Studios and perhaps dinner at Epcot (Mexico). Day seven we would sadly pack up and head out after breakfast promising to do it again.
Mexico Pavillion

I could just imagine my kids faces and the pictures I would get. Oh to dream!

Minimize Morning Madness Giveaway

We are all familiar with Scrubbing Bubbles®. I have been seeing the Scrubbing Bubble commercials since I was a kid. Now, there is a new Scrubbing Bubbles® product called Scrubbing Bubbles® Extend-A-Clean™ Power Sprayer.

  • The benefits of Scrubbing Bubbles® Extend-A-Clean™ Power Sprayer:
    • Active cleaners work overtime to keep your bathroom cleaner, longer
    • Invisible grime barrier is activated each time bathroom surfaces get wet, working for up to 4 days
    • Power Sprayer provides better coverage for easier cleaning
    • Makes bathroom cleaning simpler, easier and more manageable
The battery-powered Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean Power Sprayer  leaves a layer of active cleaners so dirt and soap scum get washed away easily every time a surface gets wet. Plus, it keeps working for up to four days.

To see how this product works, check out the video here.

Click here to save $5 on any Scrubbing Bubbles® Power Sprayer Starter.

Thanks to SC Johnson, I received the basket you see below and have one to give away to one of my readers.

Included in the gift basket:
  • A Bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles® Extend-A-Clean™ Power Sprayer
  • A Travel Alarm Clock
  • A coffee mug from Starbucks with the words "RENEW" in light green (my new favorite mug)
  • Starbucks Via Coffee
  • A Waterproof notepad and pencil
To Win:  Now that you won't be spending an hour cleaning the shower, tell me what you will do with your extra hour by Midnight, June 1, 2010


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Items were sent to me free of charge courtesy of SC Johnson.

No Cry Separation Anxiety Solution Book Series - A Review & Giveaway

The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution
Gentle Ways to Make Good-bye Easy from Six Months to Six Years by Elizabeth Pantley

Last week I received a book by Elizabeth Pantley entitled No Cry Separation Anxiety Solution. Thankfully my children never went through a separation anxiety when they were babies. My son did have a few months around the time he was going on 4 when he didn't want me to leave him at his preschool. It was odd, because he had been there the year before with no problem. We eventually worked on a visual chart that helped him a lot.


A tear-free approach to child separation blues—from the bestselling No Cry author a generation of parents have come to trust.

Almost every child suffers some sort of anxiety during their first six years of life. Babies cry when grandparents hold them, toddlers cling to mommy’s leg, children weep when their parent leaves them at daycare, at school, or to go to work. This can cause frustration, sadness and stress in an already too-busy day and can break a parent’s heart.

Trusted parenting author Elizabeth Pantley brings you another winning no-cry formula that helps you solve these common separation issues. Pantley helps you identify the source of anxiety and offers simple but proven solutions.

In this exciting addition to the series, she ingeniously includes a free “magic” bracelet inside the book as a special tool for children to feel close to their parents—even when they’re not together. This successful method gives anxious children something to remind them their parents aren’t too far away—instantly providing them with the comfort and reassurance they need

What I Can Tell You: Elizabeth writes with the child and parent well being in mind. As parents, we have one time or another, had to leave our child for a long or short period of time only to have our hearts broken as the child cried. The child clings to you and even if you NEED to leave, the guilt forces you to push the moment aside so you can go about your day. What Elizabeth does with The No Cry book is help parents create a comfortable, easy process for parent/child separation.

Her easy methods are stress free for you and less damaging for the child.

She discusses Separation anxiety and possible causes. Stranger anxiety which in my book isn't always a bad thing. Solutions for school age children which is a group that is sometimes ignored in the baby books when it comes to separation.  There is even a section on separation anxiety in the home. Some parents can't even leave the room that their child is in without a child breaking down.

I believe that no matter what the issue is, Elizabeth Pantley has a solution for it. With simple tips and sound advice, you and your child will have an easier time with separation.

The book even comes with a "magical bracelet" that comes with the book. When my son was going through separation anxiety in preschool I used my watch, putting it on his arm telling him that when the hands were on 11 and 6 I would be back to pick him up. I strapped it to his little wrist and it helped ease the stress because he knew it was mine.

The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution is a book that every caregiver of children should have. Whether you deal with babies, toddlers or grade school kids, this book is a great resource.

For a No Cry Booklet in PDF form, go here.

I have a copy of the book with the bracelet to giveaway.

To Win:  Leave me a comment letting me know who you are entering for  by Midnight, June 1, 2010


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