Monday, January 31, 2011

Winner Announcements, Did you win?

The Winner of the $50.00 Eden Fantasy Giveaway is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
81 - Naddez 
Timestamp: 2011-01-31 17:34:58 UTC

Thank you to everyone who entered.  I am forwarding an email to the winner, who has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. If you do not get an email, please contact me directly.

Dinosaur Train PJs - So Cute!

The hit television series Dinosaur Train ®   on PBS KIDS® (check local listings) is extremely popular in my house.

We recently were able to review the new Dinosaur Train™ Striped Footed Pajamas available at Kohl's. These are perfect for this winter which has been one of the coldest and snowiest ever. 

The dinosaur appliques and striped pattern on these footed pajamas offer timeless touches, and the footed design keep toes toasty. SRP is $26.00, available in sizes 2T-5T.  I really wish they were available in bigger sizes.  Handsome begs to try on Goddess' size 5T. They are big on her and he is sure they will fit. He is a size 8 or 10 depending on the clothing.

When I asked Goddess what she would want people to know about the PJ's, here is what she had to say.

"I like the colors"
"They are very, very warm and soft"
"My favorite part is that Buddy is on my feet. He is so cute!"

The PJs are very warm. She loves putting them on when she gets out of the bath because she "warms up quicker."

Dinosaur Train on PBS
The Jim Henson Company:
The Jim Henson Company on Facebook
The Jim Henson Company on Twitter:

About Dinosaur Train:

In DINOSAUR TRAIN, young viewers join Buddy and his adoptive family of Pteranodons on whimsical adventures through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans as they unearth basic concepts in natural science, natural history and paleontology. The Dinosaur Train is a colorful locomotive, customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs, and it has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the Train’s Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with fascinating facts along the way.

DINOSAUR TRAIN is a Parents’ Choice Recommended TV series, and the DINOSAUR TRAIN website received a Parents’ Choice Silver Award and was the recipient of a prestigious 2010 Prix Jeunesse Award.

DINOSAUR TRAIN, created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills. Each episode includes animated segments with live-action sequences featuring a paleontologist who brings to life the show's natural science and natural history curriculum for preschoolers, giving specific facts about dinosaurs and comparing their features to animals of today.

In addition to the television series, there is also a DINOSAUR TRAIN interactive website at Buddy, Tiny and Mr. Conductor guide children as they discover natural history and the science of paleontology through fun games and activities. For information on the DINOSAUR TRAIN geocache program—a fast growing adventure game that inspires families to get out and discover treasures together go to

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Eden Fantasy For Your Valentine Gift Ideas Giveaway - RISQUE POST

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Meooowwwww....who doesn't like to hear a kitty purr?  No really aren't they the cutest?

Everyone feels better when the cat is happy so why not get the kitty a toy or two.

When I was over at Eden Fantasy today, I noticed two new products that I would like to add to my arsenal.

Is this the cutest pillow? It's the Liberator Heart Wedge - position pillow! Because really, there is more ways than one to enjoy one of life's greatest pleasures. Annndd...when not in's just a cute heart shaped pillow.

Annnddd...the line of music driven vibrators. Uhhh...ummm...what's that? Well most of us agree we are moved by music. Now, we can really feel the music!

Club Vibe Strap On Vibrating panty. Really?! A panty that I can wear and no one will even know I have it on. Well, now that sounds like a fun time.

This bullet has 7 different speeds and can be used with or without music but what a fun way to experience your favorite songs.

The bullet can be plugged into any 3.5mm headphone/output jack (including laptops and cell phones) or you can switch it to Ambient mode to pick up any music in a room. I love this feature. What a fun idea for a concert. Teresa, imagine wearing one of these to a Jon Bon Jovi Concert?!

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. What a great gift idea! You listening honey????

Oh, BTW..another great feature of the Eden Fantasy sites that I meant to tell you about in my last post is the, view actual size section. Each item can be viewed actual size. Simply hit the 1:1 View Actual Product Size button under the picture and hold up any of the comparison objects (credit card, US dollar bill, or standard ruler) on the screen to the corresponding image. I have ordered things online and been very surprised by size. This takes the guessing part out. Plus, I need to know if it will fit in the hiding drawer. This will! Hint! Hint!

The Giveaway:  $50.00 Eden Fantasy Gift Card!

The Sponsor: Eden Fantasy

To Win:
Leave me a message
telling me an item you want to use your $50.00 gift card on by February 13th.

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link for (5 extra entries) (each entry must be separate).
*Subscribe to my newsletter/email (3 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Follow my blog (2 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Leave a comment on my 2011 Valentines Gift Guide telling me what you want for Valentines Day this year.
*Follow Eden Fantasys on Twitter
*Follow me on Networked Blogs (2 entries)
*Follow me on Twitter and Tweet ((leave your link)
*Share this post on Facebook by using the button below.
*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one (up to 10 comments).
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook (Not my personal Facebook) and post a message that you entered with a link to the giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a link to the message in the entry form (3 Entries).
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link (3 Entries)
*Add my main button to your side bar

*Open to US only.
Disclosure: I am hosting this giveaway for Eden Fantasy who 
provided the giveaway. I will receive a gift certificate for hosting.

Shop For Valentines Day With Ease at Red Envelope

Red Envelope makes Valentine’s Day a cinch. Once you’ve picked out the perfect gift, choose delivery dates (including day-of shipping), select gift wrap, add a personalized card, and you’re set. No more trips to the mall for tired greeting cards and tacky ties!

On Red Envelope, discover exclusive gifts for everyone, including the man who has everything. He’ll love perfecting his favorite craft beer with the Home Brewery Kit, among other selections from Red Envelope’s Gifts for Him Collection.  Moms will love keepsakes like Reasons I Love U Stones or elegant jewelry, like the silver Lily Pad Pearl Necklace – plus a Sculpted Jewelry Tree to hold all her favorite pieces! 

I have used Red Envelope in the past for gift ideas for my family and friends. I was introduced to Red Envelope many years ago when my boss was looking for something different and special for someone and wanted me to search Red Envelope in a certain price range. It quickly became our go to site for her gift needs.

Whether you are looking for jewelry, gourmet goods, or that special gift for the guy in your life.
Does he love baseball? Surprise him with a sporty Ballpark Pens set (made out of authentic stadium seats). 
Or, send him the Superhero cufflinks so he knows just how much he saves the day! There’s many great choices in the Gifts for Him Collection. RedEnvelope also has gifts for THE most special woman in your life – Mom! How about the customizable Mother’s Birthstone Necklace that holds up to 5 precious stones – one for each of her children – or the Sculpted Jewelry Tree

to hold all her favorite pieces? For thoughtful keepsakes, try the Reasons I Love U Stones, or send a Story of a Lifetime memory book to keep track of all your favorite moments together. With Red Envelope, you’re sure to bring a smile to their faces this Valentine’s Day!

Another great feature of RedEnvelope is the review section. These are reviews on the products written by people just like you. It is a great way to make an educated decision on your purchase.

I adore Valentine's Day and wish I could do it bigger than I do, but at least with RedEnvelope I can get my husband something different and special. He just isn't one of those frilly, red and pink Valentine type guys. 

BTW, check out RedEnvelope's Sister site ProFlowers and make Valentine’s Day gifts a cinch this year with high quality gifts for all price ranges, including gifts under $50

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Holy Crap I Am On A Conference Call With Katherine Heigl

I am currently on a phone call with 15 other bloggers talking through a moderator to Katherine Heigl. Can you imagine!?

We are talking about motherhood, parenting, family and juggling life!

How cool!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Journaling My Medical Drama of 2010 - Warning, Graphically Detailed-PART 3

So, when we last left off, I was on the commode with an audience.

The next day, I awoke to a kiss on my cheek. It was Clary who had been given a pass to visit by Teach. She was good until I sat up to hug her. Then she stared crying telling me that she had assured herself that she would be able to hold it together. We visited. She got to watch me pee (we are soooo much closer now) and at least I had someone there to shut the door for me.

When my roommate left for a rehab center (poor thing cried that she just wanted to go home but in your 90's you cannot just do what you want, it's like being a kid again) I asked to be moved to the more private bed.

My view

I stopped the morphine on day 3 after noticing that my blood pressure was as low as 85. No reason for that! Move on. I am not a big believer in pain killers. I think they mask a lot of what is going on and you won't be able to moniter yourself. This is not to say I am a big believer in PAIN. If you are in unbearable pain, you NEED relief. But how would I know what I need, if I were constantly masking it?

They removed my stomach drain on day 4. I was on the phone with Teach 20 minutes later and felt very, very nauseous. He told me to buzz a nurse. I clicked off my Blackberry as I pressed the buzzer for a nurse, barely getting out, that I felt like I was going to throw up. Opened my commode and noisily throw up, while holding my stitched and stapled stomach. On my first hurl, I noticed my friend Sandra standing in the doorway. She asked if I had called a nurse, stepped in and motherly started moving my hair away and handing me tissues for my face. Such good friends!
Here is the tree, the flowers and a balloon that latested until last week when it blew out the back door as Goddess and I watched it go over the mountain were from my Daddy!

The nurse came, all was cleaned and I felt fine. Sandra had brought me the cutest little Christmas Tree for my hospital room. It was decorated with red beads, red ribbons and had two little mittens on it. She said, "there are two for your two babies." Awww...always knowing what to say. Then she proceed to hang up my cards and things I brought with me,(from her and a teacher aid at the school, pictures of the kids, art work from the kids). I love my friends.

It is hard to see the kids at the hospital but they did come to see me. They were informed by Teach not to touch mommy, I showed them why they had to be careful. Handsome was very interested "What did they do? Will it be like that forever"?. Goddess, not so much, "it looks like it hurts!"

Clary and Teach came to see me on the same day which was wonderful. I felt like I had people with me and loved my foot massage (thanks Clary). Only a good friend could put on exfoliating gloves, and rub cream into your feet with your husband sitting next to you.

On this particular day I was pissed off for a good part of the morning. During the early morning, I received a new roommate who was really unhappy about being moved from her private room. Can't say I blame her but hear me out.
My little make shift dressing area

This particular morning, I decided to finally get out of my hospital gown. I made a little makeshift dressing room and got a basin of warm water, soap, wash cloth, towels and new pajamas that I had purchased for my time at the hospital. I took a bath (well, you get the idea), put on my new PJ's and sprayed some Dove Body Spray, on. Just a light raspberry. The nurse came in and said, "don't you look nice? It smells so good in here."

I went for a walk, met Clarissa in the hallway, walked back and forth with her. That is what you do in the hospital. Met Teach in the hallway, and we walked back to my room.

We were there about 10 minutes when the nurse came over and whispered. "What did you spray? Your roommate says it is bothering her and I have to ask you not to use it again" Ok, this would not be such a big problem if....I hadn't been smelling "ASS" for the past few hours. Literallly, my roommate and her husband smelled like "ASS". I never complained to the nurse however, my nose was offended for two days! There were times, I had to literally put my hand cream up to my nose to smell something other than ass, because when you are not eating, and your nausesous from your meds, you cannot smell unpleasant things without feeling more SICK!

Here is my Facebook post on that day:

IVs suck. no veins left anddd it smells like ass in here. imagine? my name roommate came at 5am complaining all morn. complain to my nurse about the Dove body spray smell. too much for her. its so not strong and was pissed at her rudeness. however everytime she passes my bed or her hub or she moves it smells like ASS! now I know why It was too much for her. she is not used to smelling something good. fah!


My nose is 100% offended. the smell of ass is overpowering. should I complain or just hand her some ass wipes?

Facebook kept me going. That comment sparked some funny comments from my friends who had all kinds of suggestions on how to deal with the "ass" family.
Fortunately, by day 6 I received my very first meal for my new intestine!

I drank about half of it! There is my commode! It was very good to me. I got rid of it that day and eventually used the bathroom which I was able to get into with my IV being outside the door.

Then I received a few more containers of liquid! When you have abdominal surgery, you are actually scared to eat. I can tell you that that first bit of soup I had, I felt where it was in my digestive track the entire time. I knew when it was entering my stomach, small intestines and than large intestine! Weirdness.

For dinner that night I received....Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes! Really??? There was no work up to it...soup, ginger ale, italian ice, then...this.
I ate about 70% of it and it took me an hour to eat because I fed myself like I was feeding a 10 month old.
For breakfast the next day, December 21st, I received this...

It was delicious and I ate everything except the orange juice. I was afraid it would upset my stomach.

On the 21st, my doctor made his rounds by 9:00 a.m. and I got to post this message on Facebook:

Being released from my prison cell today! now if they would only remove the handcuffs!!!

I was beyond happy and called Teach right away. He came to the hospital at 12:30. My IV was disconnected and I was released a half hour later. I was excited but hesitant; no antibiotics? Ummm...OK, I guess I was ready. The doctor knows best.
I was wheeled out by a 6.5 foot, 65 year old volunteer as the nurses said, "good-bye Maria". They knew how important it was for me to be home by Christmas. It was the 21st and I was heading home.
Teach met me at the door with the car and I got it feeling soooo happy.
He went to pick the kids up at the normal time and hearing them come through the door was music to my ears.
He was awesome, bringing me my drinks and cooking my meals, taking care of the kids. My man, was awesome. I walked up and down the hall way every 25 minutes about 10 times each way....feeling like I was on the mend.
Part 4, the final chapter coming!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pocoyo Squeeze and Play Plush Toy Review

Last month, I was mailed a box containing a Squeeze and Play Plush of the wildly popular Pocoyo.

About Pocoyo:The charming, vibrant and multi award-winning animated preschool series Pocoyo, already an international hit, is now brought to life for American preschoolers! 

Created by Spain’s Zinkia Entertainment, and broadcast in over 100 countries across the globe, the Pocoyo TV series airs in the U.S on Nick Jr. (seven days per week at 4.25 pm); PBS stations across 80% of the U.S.; Univision’s Planeta U (Saturday mornings at 8.30 am); and Discovery Familia.  Narrated by British actor Stephen Fry (Dr. Gordon Wyatt on Bones), the series follows the adventures of three-year-old Pocoyo (“little me” in Spanish), an inquisitive and fun-loving boy and his animal friends, Elly (the elephant), Pato (the duck) and Loula (the dog).  The show, packed with music, dance, and humor, engages the audience, encouraging children to learn through laughter.  Pocoyo, co-produced by ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment and Zinkia, has attracted a host of accolades including a prestigious BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for Best Animated Preschool Series, three Pucinella Prizes at the Italian Cartoons on the Bay Festival and Best TV Series at the Annecy Cartoon Festival.

Pocoyo is a multi-platform property enjoying strong online presence, with the virtual world  attracting over 4.5 million visitors, where children and carer’s can share a host of fun and educational activities with their favorite characters. There are over 300 million Pocoyo hits on YouTube, 25 million downloads from the official Pocoyo website, and over 10 million people using the ‘Pocoyize’ customizing application. In Spain alone, the brand has sold over 2.5 million toys, over 600,000 books and 1.2million DVDs. 

The brand new Pocoyo toy line has debuted for the first time in the U.S. at Toys”R”Us stores across the country.   The line includes:
  • Bump n’ Go - Pocoyo just loves to zoom around in his racing car! Press Pocoyo's head and off he zooms with music coming from the car! Press Pocoyo's head again and the music accelerates! When the car hits an obstacle, it stops, moves back and makes a U-Turn!  **NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 25 TOYS FOR INFANTS AND PRESCHOOLERS BY TOY INSIDER!
  • Squeeze n’ Play Plush - Plush Pocoyo, Elly and Pato play popular music from the show when preschoolers squeeze their tummies.
  • 6-Inch Mini-Plush Assortment - Preschoolers can take Pocoyo and his friends Elly,Pato and Loula where ever they go.
  • Pocoyo Water Taxi - Scuba Pocoyo and friends can float in the tub or be pushed along the floor.
  • Bath Figures - 2.5-inch figures of Pocoyo and Elly have a special water squirting chamber, while Pato  floats along.

To Purchase Go Here: Pocoyo Musical Plush Characters -Squeeze n Play Pocoyo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why Don't You Need A License to Parent?!

The word "license", according to Wikipedia, means to give permission.  We need a license or need to take a class for everything, driving a car, getting married, selling houses, etc.  Yet, for one of the most challenging, rewarding, hardest jobs on the planet, we don't. Anyone schmuck can have a child, thus making them a parent.  Why are people not forced to take a class before they can become parents?

We head into parenting without any knowledge, hauling our own baggage, histories of our own parents mistakes, fears, phobias, idiosyncrasies, yet we are allowed to shape, mold and teach the next generation.  It is just plain scary!

I had my first child at 36 years old. The positive side of having children older is I got to watch many friends and family make mistakes along the way.  We all parent differently, and while I don't judge anyone's parenting style, (mostly because I understand the second paragraph of this post) it is sometimes harder not to judge when I see some life altering mistakes being made.

Last week my niece, who has always been extremely sensitive (the kid used to tear up when she was 2 years old during Hallmark commercials or when she was talking about something sad), posted something on her Facebook wall that worried me and I just had to call her.  I noticed messages from friends who were saying they were sorry about what had happened during the day. She is 15, what could have happened during the day?

When I called, I asked are you physically OK? I know that at 15 to ask if you are OK would be crazy. No one at 15 is OK. They maybe alright but there is a lot going on at 15 hormonally and mentally.  When she told me she was physically OK I asked if it was about a boy. It was! Surprise, surprise.

She, wanting to be honest with her parents had gone to them and asked if it was OK for her and this boy to get together, watch movies, hang out with each other. Her parents, being like the rest of us, people who didn't need an education to be a parent told her that this boy, who is older than her, is trying to get in her pants, and will eventually go to college and leave her.

Ummm...OK...while I get the wanting to be an adult and warn this young teen of the makings of a typical guys head and how it works, I think they missed an opportunity.

What they taught her, was to lie. Go behind their backs for the things she is passionate about.  Most teenage girls (not the girls on Maury) at this age, in case anyone has forgotten, which her mother obviously has, are not thinking about sex.  The act of sex is scary. They are romanticizing holding hands, calling someone a boyfriend, hugging and kissing a boy. To even put that thought in her head makes her think about it. Try to keep them apart and she will do what she has to in order to get him/keep him.

What she and this 17 year old boy were asking to do, was watch a movie and hang out. These are things that if my daughter had asked me, I would hope that I would say, "Yes, he can come over here when Daddy and I are home. You can watch a movie in the living room with us. We would love to meet him."

Then I would make sure that The Teach and I were home. There would be rules. They would not be allowed to go to her bedroom unless they kept the door open. Allowing them the time to be together without being alone would show her that I trust her to make the right decisions for herself, under my supervision of course.

If this boy were pressuring her to go further than she wants, I would trust that she is smart enough to know what her boundaries are. The only way to do that, is to talk openly about making the positive choices without scaring her. There would be plenty of time to have the "he's trying to get into your pants talk."

Shutting the door on this relationship, as her parents have, creates a bigger problem. She wants to be with this person. She will eventually lie to do so. Teens who are kept apart will find a way to be together. Plus, this will affect everything for her. Why? Because she is passionate and feels she knows what she wants. They are not even giving her the chance to see if this isn't what she wants. Maybe by spending time with him, she will see he is not the person for her and move on.

In no way, am I advocating that she and this boy date. She is 15 but, this first relationship, positive or negative will affect the way she deals with all others.

My suggestion to her was, try not to bring this up. Your parents, are not going to wake up tomorrow morning and tell you they have changed their minds.  Try to show them that you are the smart girl, I know you to be and that you can handle this. By acting like the angsty teen they think you are, they feel they made the right decision for you. Put this away for a week or two, busy yourself with friends, school, and crew and revisit it again telling them that you would like them to reconsider and invite him over for dinner and a movie with your family.

Kids grow up so fast, parents need to make sure they are doing the best they can without being selfish or judgmental. You cannot tell someone how they feel. If your teen says, this boy is perfect or the guys worth fighting for, that is how they feel!  Telling them how you think they feel, is not the answer! Don't close the door on your teens feelings or honesty because you are uncomfortable with the conversation. The only way to get through the teen years, is to be open and allow your teen the room to be their own person. In the long run, it is the only way to have a lasting, loving, relationship with them.

Sunday Stealing - The Ace Meme, Part One

Cheers to all of us thieves
1. ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?  Just last month I had a left colectomy (post here), the scar goes from just above my belly button to my bikini line. It looks like I have a front butt on my belly. It is only a month old and I am praying it will eventually look just a little better. If not, I will call myself "double butt!"

2. WHAT IS ON THE WALLS IN YOUR ROOM? Paint, some photos and a cross! Oh and there that one time that my son (about 3.5 years old) decided to write his name by scrapping it with a pencil into the wall.

3. DO YOU SNORE, GRIND YOUR TEETH, OR TALK IN YOUR SLEEP? When I was younger I used to talk in my sleep. My husband tells me that I grind my teeth sometimes. And, occasionally, he will inform me that I was snoring.

4. WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? I listen to a little of everything but mostly rock!


6. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW? To finish this meme and move on.

7. WHAT DO YOU MISS? Having energy. Seeing my girlfriends. Spending time with family. Hanging with my husband before we were married, just driving around, talking and listening to music.

8. WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION(S)? My children are the obvious answers and hell yes...they are at the moment my possessions. Besides that, they are my videos and photos. I love looking at them and remembering the moment.

9. HOW TALL ARE YOU? You should be asking how short are you, in my case. I am 4'11" and 3/4"

10. DO YOU GET CLAUSTROPHOBIC? Usually I get claustrophobic if I feel people are standing too close.
11. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK? Depends. Sometimes I am extremely scared of the dark and sometimes, I walk through it like it is nothing.

12. THE LAST PERSON TO MAKE YOU CRY? Probably one of my kids by something cute they said. I am a total sap.

13. WHAT'S YOUR WORST FEAR? Losing one of my kids or my husband.


15. WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF PROPOSING? Well since I have been proposed to, I don't see myself proposing anytime some.



18. IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Right now? Umm...well considering I just finished breakfast, I could go for a nice, crisp, slice of something cold, like watermelon or grapefruit.


20. HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A GOLDFISH? No. Will people actually be answering yes to this question? SICK!

21. WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEANINGFUL GIFT YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED? A gift boxed set of Little House on The Prairie books when I was 13 years old.

22. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH? I am always crushing on someone. Never people in my little part of the world. Always some celebrity dude.

23. ARE YOU DOUBLE JOINTED? Nope just one set, feel sorry for me?!

24. FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND? The kind I can afford.

25. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE/MALE CELEBRITY? I have so many favorites as I am quite fickle, however my favorites stick around for years. For a while it was Josh Holloway of Lost, that lasted about 3 years. Now, it is Rob Pattinson since 2008.

26. DO YOU HAVE A PET RIGHT NOW?  YES! We have about 150 stuffed animals in this house.

27. WHAT KIND IS IT? All kinds, from snakes, to horses and everything in between.

28. WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING? Are we talking about leaving the room? Leaving the city? Leaving my sight? Will they be back? You can't help who you fall in love with. Whether they are leaving or not.

30. SAY A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED? Ok!  Did you hear it?

31. BLONDES OR BRUNETTES? Both, but I prefer brunettes!


 "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

"Promise me you will always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think!"

Right here with my family.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winner Announcements, Did you win?

The Winners of the the Denise Austin Get Energy book are:
Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
41 - Ruthhill74
87 - Stephanie B.
26 - NightOwl
Timestamp: 2011-01-22 19:47:47 UTC

Thank you to everyone who entered.
Winners have been notified by email. You have 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. If you do not get an email, please contact me directly.

Journaling My Medical Drama of 2010 - Warning, Graphically Detailed-PART 2

The 10 days leading up to my surgery I made sure that everything that needed to be done if God forbid the worst happened, was done. 

I cleaned out paperwork and put it in a place that would be easyily found if my husband needed it. 
All Christmas cards were mailed out.
All Christmas gifts were wrapped and tagged.
The kids clothes for school, were bagged by day down to the socks and underwear.
Notes to the school and teachers about the change in drop off and pick up were sent in.
Snacks and vitamins were ready for the kids in a bin in the kitchen.
Gas tank on the car filled.
Clarissa was on stand by if The Teach needed back up or someone to drop off or pick up the kids.

My husband did the gig for two weeks but it is a lot to do it all especially when you don't normally do it.  Anything I could get done, was! 

On the morning of surgery, I woke up and started to get dressed. Before putting my shirt on, I looked at my stomach in the mirror. I ran my hands up and down the smooth, unlined stomach knowing that it would never look like that again. I have an appendix scar and two c-sections but those are at the bikini line. This was going to be different.  I was having a Left colectomy - removal of the portion of the colon located on the left side of the body (also known as the descending colon). Colectomy can be performed as a treatment for cancer and other diseases of the bowel. I looked it up on line and watched a medical video, it is better to be semi prepared.

We dropped the kids off and I tried hard not to cry. I kissed them both praying it would not be the last time I saw them. I prayed I would be out for Christmas.

We got to the hospital after an uncomfortable conversation in the car. I felt strong until the conversation and needed to regroup and gain my strength back. We walked into the hospital holding hands and headed to pre-op. I couldn't be at the Christmas Concert and really wanted Teach to record it and I focused on that. Blood, IV, a nice warm blanket (like bubble wrap that is inflated with warm air) and I was comfortable and nervous but ready.  The doctor comes in, shakes our hands. I ask him how he is feeling. He is in scrubs and just came out of surgery. I hear him tell Teach that I will be in recovery for 2 days "They will keep a better eye on her there.". When he leaves, Teach says, the kids won't be able to see you for at least 2 days. I can't bring them into recovery." 
In my head, I thought, OK, let's just get this done. I don't want to be looking at this, I want it behind me. Teach took my things (my wedding/engagement ring, kissed me, we said our I Love Yous and I watched him walk out of the curtain. I took a deep breath and the curtain opened revealing someone who introduced themselves as my anestesiologist.

Right before he left he asked if I wanted something to take the edge off. I am not great with meds, they make me sick, and I pass out quickly. My stress level seemed OK and I was alone so said, "nah, I'm OK!"

He walked out, and the nurse turned to me and said, "You really should take him up on that offer! It will make the ride down the hallway much quicker." I said, "Ok!"

She stuck her head out the curtain and said, "She changed her mind. She would like a cocktail. Make it a sweet one!"

He came back in with a syringe. I watched him insert it into my IV and he walked out of the curtain. The nurse was writing something in a notebook with her back to me.........

I woke up to someone removing an oxygen mask from my mouth. I was angry. I loved the cold, clean air. I felt a hand patting my leg and saying, "the surgery went well." As I moaned out loud, feeling the first lick of pain, she thrust something into my hand and pressed my finger onto a button. "Here, this is your pain medication, press this button." I felt her hand squeezing mine around the clicker in my hand. I moaned, feeling as if I were hit by a bus....

My eyes open. I don't have my glasses on so I can't really see but the room is dark other than some colorful lights from monitors. I hear beeping and see two people standing at a desk, talking quietly....

I wake and feel like I am moving. A nurse is squeezing my hand telling me to push the button, I am going over an elevator frame, there are some bumps and I am moaning. They are wheeling me into a room and I worry that I am supposed to be in recovery.

The nurses are buzzing around. I want to call Teach but can't move. I have a tube up my nose and down my throat. It is extremely uncomfortable and I want to cry. I feel the heaviness of the tape holding it to my nose. It is hard to breath, swallow or lie flat with the tube.

Nurses are buzzing around, making room in my shared space for all my equipment. I feel the bed being moved, things being shuffled and I am in ridiculous pain. They tell me that they spoke to my husband and he knows where I am.

I have a catheter for urine, IV's in both arms (one for my meds, one for morphine and one for my IV), and the one up my nose and down my throat. That was the worst one BTW!

The tube down my throat is constantly sucking stomach acid and everything else so that my intestines are not forced to work. It is disgusting hearing the sucking noise and seeing the dark fluids go past my face to collect into a glass canister behind me.

I am able to speak to the Teach on the phone and tell him about the tube and how hard it is to talk and swallow. He tells me that the surgery well and that the reason I wasn't in recovery is because it wasn't as bad as they had originally thought. Good news!

The next day he comes to the hospital. He tells me that he wrote to everyone we are both friends/family with on Facebook and told them not to call or visit me until he gives them the OK. The only person allowed is my father. He tells them that I have a tube that makes it hard for me to talk and swallow and that he needs me to concentrate on getting better. Some people were shocked, some (my sister, angry), most understood that he was doing it for me.

The pain was about an 8. I could breathe through it and couldn't wait for the tube to come out of my throat!  They took my catheter out the next day and brought me a commode. Hooray, I was right next to the door. Had a tube in my throat that only let me go about a foot from my bed, IV in both arms and my room mate had neighbors. I couldn't reach to close the door or the curtain and had to pee every 20 minutes. It was crazy. No privacy at all. Everyone and their brother saw me pee and would wave at me as they walked by. Son-in-laws and brother-in-laws of my roommate included would literally wave and say hello. Maybe they didn't realize what I was doing but, seriously! If someone is sitting on a commode, could you divert your eyes as you walk by and give them a little dignity. There was no way around it either. If I had waited for an aid or nurse which is what I did the first 6 hours of this, I would wait sometimes 20 minutes for someone to get there and when you had to go, you had to go. Pressure in that area after my surgery wasn't good!

Part 3 coming up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Scrubbing Bubbles Soap Scum Remover - Review and Giveaway

According to the Scrubbing Bubbles Dirty Work Index, a comprehensive national study, 68 percent of women confessed their dirtiest secret - they actually enjoy cleaning their homes!

In fact, the study also discovered that women today clean for their own emotional well-being. After cleaning their homes, they report feeling:

· satisfied (95 percent)

· accomplished (91 percent)

· relieved (87 percent)

· responsible (82 percent)

· proud (81 percent)

Are you one of the 68 percent? I must admit, I am. Though my husband would not agree that the house is clean. I am not sure whose home he visits but this is a clean house. We don't have a lot of storage or furniture so sometimes things seem cluttered but, in actuality it isn't. Everything has a place and a home and is fairly organized.

Even as a child, I couldn't play in my sister's room unless it was neat. They had to straighten up. I don't feel like I can relax if things are messy. I can't concentrate if I feel like I am sitting in clutter or a mess.  There is something about cleaning the house and finally putting your feet up knowing there is nothing left to do. It feels sooooo good.

Scrubbing Bubbles is a name most of us are familiar with. The commercials with those little brushes with eyes, cleaning to tub and making it sparkle. We all have it under our sinks and love the fact that we don't have to scrub the tub. My tub is very old and whoever designed it, wasn't thinking about the cleaning process. Every three months I take a toothbrush, step in, and spend 3 hours cleaning each tile. It is so annoying but I love the final product. However, I don't have the time to do that every single week. There is no way, it would make me crazy. kids take baths in that tub and I give it a once over with a sponge every week along with a daily Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner. Needless to say, it is always in good shape.

I used Scrubbing Bubbles Soap Scum Remover this week and love how little effort it took to clean the sides of my tub. My kids think they are cleaning the tub when they take soap and rub it along the walls and wall.  So not helpful but so not a problem anymore thanks to Scrubbing Bubbles Soap Scum Remover.

What to try Scrubbing Bubbles Soap Scum Remover?

The Giveaway: A Bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles Soap Scum Remover

The Sponsor: S.C. Johnson and Son

To Win:
Leave me a message
telling me your favorite way to get the cleaning done. Do you talk on the phone, watch TV, listen to music, dance, etc., by Midnight, February 4th.

For Extra Entries:
*Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link for (5 extra entries) (each entry must be separate).
*Subscribe to my newsletter/email (3 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Follow my blog (2 entries) (each entry must be separate)
*Leave a comment on my 2011 Valentines Gift Guide telling me what you want for Valentines Day this year.
*Follow me on Networked Blogs (2 entries)
*Follow me on Twitter and Tweet ((leave your link)
*Share this post on Facebook by using the button below.
*Enter another giveaway on my blog and let me know which one.
*Comment on a non-giveaway post and tell me which one (up to 10 comments).
*Become a fan of Maria's Space on Facebook (Not my personal Facebook) and post a message that you entered with a link to the giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a link to the message in the entry form (3 Entries).
*Add me to your blog roll and leave the link (3 Entries)
*Add my main button to your side bar

*Open to US only.
Disclosure: I am hosting this giveaway for SC Johnson who 
provided review product and the giveaway.

Journaling My Medical Drama of 2010 - Warning, Graphically Detailed

I have been meaning to get to this post, mostly for myself because well as this is Maria's Space most of the non-commercial stuff gets saved into a Word file that I hope to eventually put into book  form for myself and my kids.

It is over a month that I had surgery but it wasn't far enough behind me to write about. It was such a traumatic time that to revisit it would be too emotional but I am ready and willing to write it down for prosperity.

Yesterday I finally discussed the details with someone outside of my immediate family and friends and it was very easy to do. it goes.

If you have been reading along, you may remember that last May-into June (here is the post), I ended up in the hospital with a severe case of diverticulitis that required me to stay at the hospital for 2 weeks and on heavy antibiotics for over a month afterward.

Since June, I have had numerous uterine infections and never felt quite right. My stomach ached, digestion wasn't easy and I always felt, weak, sick and nauseous. At the beginning of November with my 3rd uterine I headed to the gynecologist yet again. "Something is wrong! I have another infection." She does her thing and says, "yes, it appears you have a bacteria, very normal. I am going to give you an antibiotic, although I am surprised that after almost 6 months of antibiotics you have anything!"

I ask her to please send the culture to the lab! She insists it is just a vaginal bacteria and that the lab bill will be something she can't control (I have no insurance) and wants me to wait a day and reconsider not sending. I tell her that I understand about the bill but there have been too many infections, something is not right!

She calls me a week later from her car phone and tells me that she had to look up the bacteria that came back because it is outside her realm of medical knowledge. It is Bacteroides fragilis which turns out to be an intestinal bacteria. "Ummm"...I ask, "what is that doing by my cervix?" She says, "I wish I had answers for you, I don't know." Well, thanks lady!

The next day I call my GI doctor and explain over to the phone to his staff what is happening and ask to see him. We make an appointment and I head down to see him to set up a colonoscopy which is something we have had to reschedule before for a uterine infection.

Colonoscopy scheduled I head home and prepare myself for the thought of this. Two days before the colonoscopy, I pass stool from my vagina. Now, when I explain this part to people, I carefully say, there is no solid stool coming out. There is simply a smear of "poop" on the toilet paper. How did I know? I saw brown, smelled it and sure as shit it was shit!

Ok, now that I got that part out...let me continue...there is nothing that can prepare you for this...I came out of the bathroom crying. I went to the living room to get a tissue and my husband asked what is wrong? I walked into the kitchen and he followed. I told him and cried harder. He hugged me and said, don't be scared (this is not the first time these words have come out of his mouth. I have heard them twice before: 1. We heard a tree break during a storm and didn't know if it was going to crash through our house. He said it right before he threw himself over me and our newborn Handsome. 2. My water broke with Handsome and there was Meconium all over. He knew enough to say, the baby is Breech, his bottom is at your bottom, he will not aspirate, don't be scared everything is OK.)  He said, "maybe you should call your GI doctor. I did! He said, it sounds like you have a fistula. You need surgery. Call Dr. blah, blah and set up an emergency appointment, you need an emergency cat scan to find out where the path is.

I called, scheduled, saw the doctor, I told him that the path was between my uterus and intestine, he said, no it's your bladder and intestine.  Emergency cat scan was scheduled for the next day. I made a video on my cell phone, it makes me sick to look at it. I was so scared heading into the hospital alone for this cat scan. I really thought I was dying. It sounded so bad. Soft organs can adhere to each other and create a path?! What the hell?

The results were sent to the surgeon. During my appointment I asked what organs were involved. He said, it may be bladder, uterus and intestine (I found out later, he said, all three because he had never heard of a uterus being attached to the intestine).  

Surgery was set up. It wasn't soon enough for me. It was 10 days from my diagnosis and I was worried about sepsis. He prescribed an antibiotic.

I was really pissed about the date because just like in the Spring where I missed Handsome's Spring Concert, the surgery would be on the same day as the kids Christmas Concert! Nothing could be done about, the surgery had to happen.

Part 2 coming tomorrow, I just need to get it all down but don't want to make this post too long.

Free People Sale - Sponsored Post

Free People Sale - Sponsored Post
Free People sale on HauteLook (designer looks). Up to 70% off on cute dresses Sign up now and RT >>

You Capture - Circles


Circles, circles everywhere.
Handmade Jewelry from Street Angel on Etsy

Wild Flower-sold-1st sale

Seats at a carnival game and check out those circles on the numbered sections.
June 26, 2010 (4)

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere. Not the best picture but I love how many bubbles are in the shot. I was trying to capture my daughter in the bubble but my favorite part of this picture beside her dress, are the bubbles laying on the deck floor like glass balls. 

Little girl in a bubble

Who doesn't love the simplicity of the daisy. Such a common, can be found anywhere flower but look at the detail in those petals.

My dew drop macro shot! Just had to include it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tabasco Original Red

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

TABASCO® Original Red

My husband and I pick up Tabasco Original Red every other shopping trip. It started back in 1992 when we got our first apartment together. We lived on yellow rice and chicken. When our Hawaiian roommate brought home a bottle of Tabasco and was putting it on his eggs.  We eye balled each other and grabbed some for our rice. It was exactly what we needed to change up our boring meal.

Our love of Tabasco Original Red didn't stop there, we added it to everything. The combination of salt, red pepper and vinegar oddly enough go with everything from eggs to pizza (my favorite place to use it). We use it in our marinades and I love popcorn with some poured over the top.

Writing this post today (we are snowed, and iced in) is probably the worst thing I can do. I am craving pizza which was supposed to be dinner tonight and hot wings. Both which I use my Tabasco Original Red on. It isn't just about the heat! If you like your food spicy this is a good choice, but the benefits of Tabasco Original Red is more about the combination of the flavors brought out by the sauce. Everything is just tastier!

My husband and I started putting his Game Day menu together, February 6th will be here before you know it!

Check out the  Game-Day Party Menu

If you don't believe me about the pizza. Try it with Tabasco Original Red, you will never eat your pizza without it again. Pizza Perfected

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - A Real Page Turner! Calling Twilight Fans!

  • Debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list
  • Indies Choice Book Award Finalist
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
  • Amazon Top Ten Books for Teens
  • Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2009
  • Border's Original Voices Pick & Finalist
  • Barnes & Noble 2009 Top Twenty Books for Teens
  • CBC Children's Choice Awards Finalist
  • SIBA 2010 Book Award Finalist
  • Junior Library Guild Selection (Shiver and Linger)
  • Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Nominee
  • Glamour's Best Book to Curl Up With 
the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

What I Can Tell You: 
I had heard about this book last year when Twilight Guy was billing it as Twilight for Wolves. I love Twilight and thought why not! Saturday I finally pulled it from the top of my To Be Read Pile!  Last night I finished it!
I prolonged the ending as much as I could just like I did with Breaking Dawn. I saw the end coming and didn't want it to happen, so I put the book down numerous times. The last page would bring the end of the story and I didn't want to let it go. 

I explained the book today to a friend. "It was billed as Twilight for Werewolves. It isn't like Twilight. In Twilight we have to accept the relationship Bella and Edward form. There is no big build up to their undying love. It just is! It was the only problem I had with Twilight. The relationship seemed juvenile because of how fast they loved each other.  This is not the case with Shiver. We understand why they love each other.  It is something we can see, feel and it doesn't feel silly. 

Grace is a strong girl! She is the anti-Bella. Her world doesn't come crashing down when she isn't with Sam

I love that Maggie gave us Sam and Grace's point of views by switching narrators. 

This book is a quick read and I couldn't put it down. I flew through it in two days (weekend home with two kids, laundry, life, and meals). 

Maggie Stiefvater's writing is poetic, funny and charming. The characters, beside Grace's absent parents (Really people, there is a boy living in your daughter's bedroom for weeks and you have no idea?!) are interesting and likable.  Our main characters Grace and Sam, are sweet and lovable. 

Looking forward to reading Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2) in the series.

Free Shipping on Dockers!

Machete on DVD and Blu-ray

Machete on DVD:


From director Robert Rodriguez (Grindhouse, Sin City) comes an action- packed, cutting-edge serving of carnage asada...with killer deleted scenes that deliver more guns, more girls and more Machete action!

Set up, double-crossed and left for dead, Machete (Danny Trejo) is an ass-kicking ex-Federale who lays waste to anything that gets in his path. As he takes on hitmen, vigilantes and a ruthless drug cartel, bullets fly, blades clash and the body count rises. Any way you slice it, vengeance has a new name--Machete. RATED R.

What I Can Tell You:
If you are a big fan of movie fast action, guns, shooting, and blood, Machete is a must see!

Machete came out of a fake trailer that was featured in Grindhouse and was a brain storm Robert Rodriguez had after meeting Trejo on the set of Desperado. 

As a fan of Robert Rodriguez movies, I knew I was going to love this movie. I remember Danny Trejo from two of my favorite movies, From Dusk Till Dawn with George Clooney and Desperado with Antonio Bandaras.  I really was excited to see this when it was in the theater. Unfortunately, I never got there but thanks to 20th Century Fox, I was able to review the DVD which was released early this month.

Machete, played by Danny Trejo is a Mexican Federale who is on a mission to rescue a kidnapped girl. He is set up and watched his wife and daughter murdered while he is left for dead. Fast forward 3 years and he is laying low, looking for honest work when he is offered a suitcase full of money by Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey) to kill a Senator played by Robert De Niro. It's a set up to show that this illegal immigrant is trying to assassinate the Senator.  He is taken to a Network hospital. U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Agent Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) is sent to retrieve the injured Machete. 

With the help of Luz (Michelle Rodriquez) and his priest brother played by Cheech of Cheech and Chong, Machete seeks revenge on Booth.  After much death, machete throwing, making out, and recovery scenes, Machete rides into the sunset with one of the chicks on his bike (not telling which one).
Only in a movie by Robert Rodriquez could a guy who looks like Danny Trejo make out with Lindsey Lohan (yup she is in there too), Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodiguez, and Alicia Marek. 

Great movie if you like this kind of thing and I do. Spent most of the move fight scenes going "ahhhh" "ohhhh" "damnnnn".  Fun, and a big cast: Don Johnson, Steven Seagal also have roles in this bloody revenge movie. 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary DVD copy courtesy of 20th Century Fox for my honest opinion.