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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back-to-School: Power A Bright Future (and Giveaway, too!)

From time to time, I get up on my former-teacher soapbox. Don't worry, this isn't one of those times.  But, as a former teacher, I do know the hard work and effort that goes into being an effective teacher and running a school.

The right teacher and a good school can make such a difference in a child's life. When it came time for my middle son to go to preschool, we searched for the right school and teacher who would be able to handle the special challenges that he had. We found that teacher in Miss Michelle, who loved him, saw him as smart, and made a huge impact on him.  He's always been musical and the music programs in his school were invaluable as well.

He's in a new school this year, but doesn't quite understand that he does have a new teacher. He's waiting for his teacher from last year to show up. In his words: "My teacher is my Miss Michelle. She's perfect for me."

Those teachers and schools? When you find them, they are priceless. They made such a huge difference in the lives of our children.

But, sometimes, those schools could use a little extra help.  Enrichment activities like music, art, and sports are some of the most memorable for children, but those are often the first areas to go when there are budget cuts.

Each year parents hold fundraisers to keep enrichment programs in schools. Now there’s another way to raise money for your child’s school: Power A Bright Future, created by the Clorox Company, will help brighten kids’ futures with school grants to help fund critical programs. Parents and teachers can help kids continue to learn and play by nominating their school programs for a Power A Bright Future grant from the Clorox Company.

As part of the Power A Bright Future grant program, Clorox is seeking nominations for school programs for a chance to win a $50,000 grand-prize grant or one of three $20,000 grants to help provide critically needed resources to school programs that enrich kids’ lives and create brighter futures. In November, four schools will be chosen to receive grants and the opportunity to impact the lives of children in their communities.
 Nominators will receive exclusive Clorox classroom tools and the chance to win coupons for Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox® Regular-Bleach and other great prize packs daily.
For more than six generations, Clorox has been a trusted stain remover and disinfectant, ultimately helping to keep families healthier, cleaner and happier. Clorox wants to continue to celebrate these activities that help kids continue to learn, play and create. To nominate a new or existing school program, visit http://www.clorox.com/ from August 12 to September 27, 2010. You will find the official rules there, as well as details on voting.

What a fabulous opportunity that would be for your local schools and programs! If you do enter, please let me know and I'll always give you a retweet to help spread the word about your entry!
But, in the meantime, there is a Clorox prize pack that you can win here!

Giveaway: One of you will win a Clorox giveaway bag which includes:
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
  • Dr. Harley Rotbart’s book Germ Proof Your Kids
  • Clorox Hand Sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Fun stickers
  • Crazy cutting scissors
  • Markers/pencils/crayons

To enter: If your email is not in your profile, please leave it with your comment. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Contest will close at 9pm EST on Tuesday, September 7th.

First entry: Tell me about a teacher, school, or program that you think is worthy of one of these grants!

Bonus entry #1: Follow my blog either through GFC or by confirmed email subscription.
Bonus entry #2: Tweet and leave a link to your tweet: Help your school with a #CloroxBrightFuture grant and enter a #giveaway http://bit.ly/9DdQBh

I wrote this post after being engaged by TheMotherhood.com and Clorox and am being compensated for my participation.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is Naomi #49. Winner will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Don't forget to apply at Clorox for a grant for a school program!

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Crutches, Hurricanes, Twitter-Pouting, and Back-to-School

Only Parent Chronicles


Monday, August 30, 2010

How My Mom Got Me in Trouble in Kindergarten

With my oldest now in Kindergarten, he was asking me questions about when I was in Kindergarten.  There are a few memories that stand out: being the only one in my class who couldn't whistle(I still can't) and thinking I was going to be held back for it, the boy I had a crush on, my fabulous pink shoes, and then this memory....

When my brothers and I were young, we weren't allowed to have sugar. None. My mom wouldn't even allow for the pretty pink candies on top of my birthday cake when I SO wanted a Strawberry Shortcake Cake and begged and pleaded and promised that I wouldn't actually eat the candies, I just wanted to have a pretty cake. Instead, she made the icing pink with beet juice, put real strawberries on it, and put a paper cut-out of Strawberry Shortcake on top.  So not the same thing. I'm still bitter.

No breaking the no-sugar rule, not even for birthdays.

Mom used to tell us that she only gave us healthy things because she loved us. And sometimes she told us things that weren't true to get us to eat healthy.

Along comes kindergarten. Aside from the crooked bangs....wasn't I a cute little thing? Yes, my hair just spontaneously turned blond all by itself about ten years ago. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We had half-day kindergarten and always had a snack each day. When our teacher would take roll call, we had to respond with what kind of milk we wanted for snack time. I looked around in horror at my classmates because I was the only one who responded that I wanted white milk. Everyone else said chocolate.

I felt like it was my duty to inform my little classmates about what exactly they were drinking because that was soooooooo gross.

The next morning, when our teacher called roll, not a single child requested chocolate milk.

Knowing something was up, the teacher went on a mission to find out exactly what had happened.

And ended up calling my mom because I was in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

I had told everyone in the class what I thought to be the truth- because it's what my mom had told me- that the reason that their milk was brown was because a cow had POOPED in it. Groooooooooossssssss!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Almost Time for Type A Mom!

This summer has flown by! It's almost September already and that means Type A Mom conference is right around the corner!

I'm excited to go! It's in Asheville, NC, which is an absolutely gorgeous place! I'm an NC girl by marriage- Yankee by birth- don't hold it against me, though I live on the coast, so it's about a 4-5 hour hike for me to get there! I'm a beach girl- as you can probably tell from my blog. Yes, there are flip-flops on my blog cards.

I'm glad that there is a conference in my state, but I am a little nervous that it's Type A Mom, since it's possible they'll find out that I'm not really Type A in any way, shape, or form, and kick me out.

This is my second conference, though the first I'm attending without my blinky ring girls, so if you are going, please let me know! So I'm not the awkward girl in the corner with no one to talk to. Please don't let that be me.

If you are stopping by for the first time from the Type A Mom blog hop, welcome! I'm Shell, a former teacher turned sahm to my three boys, and I started this blog as a way to be able to say all the things I felt like I couldn't on my family blog. My honest opinion on parenting, marriage, friendship, and life in general. It's very freeing to have an anonymous blog.

Though, I will actually show you my face, so you can know what I look like if you will be at the conference!

Forgive the cheesy posed pic, but I'm usually behind the camera, so I had to use what I had!

On Wednesdays, you'll find my Pour Your Heart Out blog hop, which you can join by writing a post from the heart on whatever topic you want. On Fridays, I introduce you to a fabulous blogger as my BFF: Blog Friend Feature. Weekends are for product reviews and giveaways. The rest of the week varies, but it's always honest ME.

Are you going? I can't wait to meet you all!

Thank you to my sponsor, Tooth Soap® , for making it possible for me to attend Type A Mom.


ScentSationals Review and Giveaway

I love candles and other scented products- a pretty smell can add so much to a room. To me, it can make a room seem cleaner and more put together.

I'm always concerned about safety- making sure that my kids aren't going to get hurt, or burned, or burn our house down- and price, too!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a ScentSationals wickless wax warmer.  They are safe- using a 25 watt light bulb  and the wax only gets slightly warmer than body temperature.  They are also affordable: costing less than their competition. You can buy replacement wax not only from their site, but also Hobby Lobby and some Walmarts.

I was sent this English Garden warmer($17.99) along with six different sets of wax($2.99 per pack- 6 cubes per pack) to review. According to the directions, you turn the warmer on and in about five minutes, you should be able to notice the scent. It didn't  even take that long!  The wax is reusuable- you simply pour it back into the empty fragrance cube container. How long each one lasts depends on how long you have your warmer on each day. A tip from their website is to turn it on for an hour in the morning and an hour at night because the scent will linger and your wax cubes will last longer.

There are over 50 scents to choose from, with new ones being added all the time. I'm a fan of fruity or "clean" scents, so I was sent cupcake, zen, no place like home, coconut sun, crisp linens, and black raspberry vanilla to try. I haven't had a chance to try them all because I've been stuck on using the coconut sun one since it's  a great one for the last days of summer.

One of you will win an English Garden warmer, along with a variety of scents to try!

To enter: If your email is not visible in your profile, please leave it with your first comment. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. US only.

Mandatory Entry:  Visit ScentSationals and tell me a scent that you would like to try.

Additional Entries:
*Like ScentSationals on facebook
*Follow ScentSationals on twitter
*Follow Things I Can't Say on GFC/confirm email subscription
*Follow shellthings on twitter
*Tweet this giveaway and leave a link to your tweet: #Win a @Scent_Sationals wickless candle from @shellthings #giveaway  http://bit.ly/971uLa

Giveaway will end at 9pm EST on Sunday, September 5th.

I was sent these products in exchange for my honest review.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is #41 Katie. I will email the winner shortly and she will have 48 hours to reply or I will pick another winner.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Isagenix Isalean Shake Review and Giveaway

Do you know Crystal from Wannabe Balanced Mom?  She's such a sweetheart- and absolutely adorable. I'd see pics of her on her blog and think I wish I could look like that!

She shared her weight-loss secret with me, though- and now I'm going to tell the rest of you about it!

By using Isagenix products, she was able to lose 25 pounds and go from a size 10 to a size 5!

Doesn't she look fabulous?

According to the site, these products can give you:

  • Greater energy
  • Weight loss boost
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Balanced digestion
  • Reduced cravings

Here's a video with more information:

One of you will win Isagenix IsaLean Shake in either vanilla or chocolate, containing 14 servings.

To enter: If your email is not in your profile, please leave it with your first comment. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. US only.

First entry:  Tell me what you do to try to lose weight.

Additional entries:
*Visit Crystal's Nutritional Cleansing Website and tell me something that you learned (this is also where you can order these products if you are interested!)
*Follow Crystal's blog Wannabe Balanced Mom
*Follow Crystal on twitter @balancedmoms and leave your twitter name
*Like Crystal's facebook page and leave your fb name
*Tweet about this giveaway, including a link to this post, and leave a link to your tweet

Entries will close 9/4 at 9pm EST.

I was sent a Vanilla IsaLean Shake to try in exchange for posting this giveaway. I did not experience any problems with this product, however, please keep in mind: If you are pregnant, nursing, diabetic, or on medication, have any medical condition, or are beginning a weight control program, consult your physician before using this product or making any other dietary changes. Discontinue use if allergic reaction occurs.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is #40: Jessica. Due to the holiday weekend, I will extend the normal contact period of 48 hours and will draw a new winner if I do not hear from the winner by Tuesday night 9/7.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

BFF: Expectations

Just real quick before we get to today's Blog Friend Feature- my oldest has his first day of Kindergarten today and Hubs has his surgery to remove his tumor(benign) from his foot this morning. Update: dh is home from his surgery and doing fine. It's a little crazy here today. But, I hope you all show lots of love to today's BFF and I'll catch up with you this afternoon and this weekend!

This week's BFF is someone that I wish could be my neighbor. Because our boys could play together while we chatted- she's someone that I think I would just fall into that easy sort of conversation with, where you don't worry that the person you're spilling your secrets to would ever judge. Meet Kerri from Kerri's Klutter.

My brain's junk drawer is getting full.

I find myself falling back into a bad habit so I’m cleaning shop and ridding myself of expectations, the ones I put on others as well as the ones placed on me.

I’ve got quite a few in there. {{Shaking Head}}

Lately, I've been overloading the rules for the boys with what I expect them to do rather then what I want or need them to do.

When they don't listen when I call them to me, I will say, "When Mommy calls you I expect you to listen and come to me."

It’s such a trap and they know it.

I want them to listen but my want does not get conveyed because of the expectation that they must do it...

There is a ginormous chance that they won't listen because they are children but I need them to understand that I need them to listen.

Rather then continuing to create an expectation of listening and a result of failure I think I'm going to start saying, I need you to listen or I want you to listen because it changes the eventual outcome from failure or accomplishment to listening or ignoring.

If my boys learn what I am teaching them about expectation they could begin applying the logic, if I don't listen to Mommy I expect Mommy to yell. Then they test the boundary to see if I live up to their expectation.

I need to change my ways in order to change theirs.

Personally, I would rather they grow up with the understanding that if they want Mommy to be happy with them they need to listen to her rather then having a fear of failing Mommy’s expectations.

They don’t need the extra limitation.

Life is already a struggle.

Expectations are a tricky thing and I think they come hand in hand with wanting to be in control.

From the very day we're born not only do we have expectations to live up to but we also develop our own expectations of people and the world around us

In relationships, even before that awkward first date or the first playgroup meet up, expectations loom. As if it's not enough stress maintaining a light conversation with someone you've just met, you've got the gut feeling of being scrutinized making you want to run away and hide. Sadly enough, we sit there picking them apart in return. If even one of our expectations is met during that initiation though, we want to search deeper, "get to know them better" and see if they measure up.

Just how realistic are our expectations anyway and why would should we expect things to be a certain way?

Shouldn't we allow our relationships to take their own course?

Who are we to coerce it in a different direction?

Every day life changes who we are and having friends and spouses expecting things of us adds such an unnecessary palpable pressure.

I know I don't function very well as a person, a friend or a wife when I feel like I'm being stuffed into a box full of the "idea of me".

What would our outcomes be with little or no expectation placed on us?

Expectations lead us down a road of disappointment and hurt. When they are not met, we feel unappreciated and not loved enough all because the behavior of others towards us is not what we expect it should be.

Why not allow others to love us in their own way?

There is a "foundation of want" inside of us all and we carry it into all our relationships.

I want to be treated with respect, listened to and treated fairly and equally. I want those I surround myself with to be interested in some of the same things I am. I want to be understood. I want to be liked and loved.

These are just some of my wants.

Our wants are all different.

I can not expect everyone who I come in contact with to fulfill these wants for me. If I expect them to I will be disappointed, surely.

Too many expectations (coming and going) start to hurt who we are inside.

Things under pressure will normally end up cracking. Our friendships will dwindle, our marriages will weaken, and our individuality will suffer.

We must exchange expectations for wants/needs and be understanding that not everyone will possess the ability to fulfill them all or any at all.

Sometimes the pieces just don’t fit but that’s okay because we ourselves have all the missing pieces.

"To protect yourself from being hurt, it is best for you to not have any expectations at all."

Is it better to expect nothing or to want everything we desire?

Shoot for the moon.

A friend I lived down the street from while growing up and with whom I attended school was recently told by doctors that they only expect him to live 2 months due to an aggressive and rapidly spreading tumor on his spine.

If someone were to place that sort of expectation on you what would you do differently today?

While we may rely on them up to a point, don’t let expectations define your wants.

Anything is possible.

Please leave some comment love here for Kerri and then go follow her blog if you don't already!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out: A Glass of Childhood Dreams

If you need more info about Pour Your Heart Out, see THIS post.

But, really, it's anything that YOU consider pouring your heart out.

Please grab the button for your post and link up!

Be sure to check out some of the links- you will find some amazing stories out there. And you'll definitely get to know another blogger better by reading what they are pouring out.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)

 You can find the code for the button on my Memes page- tab is at the top of the page.
So many of you responded to my post-it yesterday about cutting myself a break. So, I'm excited to be starting the 40 day Inner Mean Girl Cleanse. I think it will be good for me. If you would like info on how to participate, too, go HERE.  Today's PYHO is a good starting point for me.

When I was four, I had a record called "Tina the Ballerina." Does anyone remember this? It's now out of print...not that I have a record player anyway.

It was the story of a little girl who loved to dance. She would dance everywhere she went. The big climax of the story is the prima ballerina not being able to dance when Tina goes to see the ballet. So, Tina jumps out of her seat, runs up on stage, and dances in her place.

Round and round and round she goes, dancing, dancing on her toes...

I used to get dressed in a pretty dress or a leotard or one of my ballet costumes, stand on my bed- where I could see myself in the big mirror on my dresser- and act out the story along with the record.

I fully believed that I could be a ballerina.

That, in fact, I already WAS one and all it would take for the world to discover me is for my parents to take me to the ballet so that I could jump up on the stage and have the world take notice.

After all, I was graceful and could dance.

And, I was beautiful.

This is what I believed when I was small.

That the world was at my feet, just waiting for me to take action and become a star.

Surely, someone would notice how special I was. How beautiful I was.

And then I'd get to be the star of the show.

Or maybe become a princess or something else equally as fabulous.

I was not meant to be ordinary.

Oh, to go back to being that confident little girl.

Because, as she grew up, she learned that she really wasn't a very good dancer.

And that "clumsy" was a better description of her than "graceful."

And that while she was pretty, there were others who were prettier. And then she had an awkward stage that lasted way too long and made her forget how pretty she used to think she was.

And she learned that no one was going to show up at her door with a princess crown and sweep her away to a magic kingdom.

How sad to have those childhood dreams dashed.

To learn that life isn't that simple or easy.

I look at my boys and wonder what dreams they have. I marvel at their confidence, their belief that anything is possible.

And I think that the grown-up me can learn a lot from the girl I used to be and from my children.

The grown-up me can be allowed to dream and be confident and think that the world is a place of endless possibilities.

Twirling, twirling in a spin, whirling, whirling like the wind...


I Need Glasses- Do You?

I have to wear eyeglasses or contacts. My eyes just keep getting worse with age....yes, I say that like I'm 87 years old. But, it's true. My vision is definitely not what it used to be. Someday, I hope to get lasik...though the husband and I disagree on what elective surgery I would have first---ahem, YOU figure out what he thinks would be more fun.

For now, I have to wear prescription glasses. I'm super picky about what mine look like. It takes me forever to decide on frames. I try to pretend like I am going for the sexy librarian look...or at least, that is what I try to convince myself of, anyway. And really, there are so many stylish frames now.

The last time that I needed glasses, it was the day that we were moving from PA to NC.  With all the dust that got stirred up by packing,  I managed to get something in my eyes and couldn't put in my contacts without shrieking in pain. Not what you want when you have a ten hour drive ahead of you. I would have just put on my glasses, but unfortunately, one of my boys had broken mine. So, I was stuck going to one of those same-day glasses places- they knew they had me, since I needed the glasses right then. It's almost a year later and I still cringe, thinking about how much I paid for those glasses.  Though, now, I make sure that they are kept well out of reach of my kids!

An option I didn't have then because I needed the glasses that same day, but one that would save me money in the future is ordering glasses online.  You can look at all the different frames that are available- without feeling rushed. Then, enter your prescription and they will be shipped to you.  It's a great way to get a deal on your glasses!

In addition to their everyday discounts, GlassesUSA is offering my readers 10% off your next purchase with them. Use the code mommy10 when prompted during your next purchase of prescription glasses.  You can visit their site by clicking on any of the links in this post or find out more information by visiting their facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/glassesusa

I wrote this post on behalf of GlassesUSA and was paid a small fee to share this information with you.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The End of P.O.S.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet the Teacher: From A Teacher's Perspective

Today is a big day around here. From 10-12 this morning, I have to attend an informational meeting for parents of kindergarteners.

Yes, TWO HOURS. In the morning. Without any kids. I could go on a rant about how ridiculous I think that is since there are so many working parents or parents who can't get a babysitter, but that's not the point of my post.

In the afternoon, I get to go back to the school with my oldest, so that he can meet his teacher and get his supplies arranged in his desk.

Even though I vowed not to ever be that parent back when I was a teacher pre-kids,  I still find myself thinking of questions and concerns that I have.

So, I thought this would be a good time to remind myself of the do's and don'ts/things I wished the parents of my students had done on meet-the-teacher day from the teacher's point of view.  Before I go embarrass myself and become that parent.

*Don't ask the teacher how old she is. This might just be a sensitive issue for me because I had my first meet-the-teacher night as a teacher about a week after I turned 22 and looked 15. But, really, it's not any of your business.

*You can ask how long the teacher has been teaching that grade/subject. But, keep in mind that years of experience does not necessarily have anything to do with how effective that teacher will be.  Experience can be a great thing, but can sometimes mean a complacent, mediocre teacher. A newer teacher might be clueless or could have more enthusiasm and be open to trying new things. 

*Do not tell the teacher that your child is brilliant or smarter than all the other kids. Eyes will be rolling. Let the teacher actually spend time with your child first. Every parent thinks their child is special. Teachers get that. And sometimes, the child in question is actually gifted- and if they have been identified as such, it's okay to make sure the teacher is aware of an existing IEP.

*While you can share concerns you might have about your child, sometimes a wait-and-see approach is better. A behavior you see at home or that showed up a previous year might not be an issue in the classroom.  If it's something that could harm your child or others, bring that up, but you don't have to confess all your child's quirks at that first meeting.

*Do let the teacher know if your child has an IEP. This seems to be more of a concern if you are changing schools than just moving up a grade in the same school because sometimes files are late being sent or the IEP can get separated from the rest of the file.

*Keep in mind that this is the time for the teacher to meet all the parents and students who show up- not a time for an in-depth conference with you.

*And btw, those other parents can hear what you are saying, so don't put all your business out there for everyone to hear. If you have something private to discuss, schedule a time when it can actually be privately discussed.

*Do not bring up gossip you have heard about the teacher. "So-and-so's mom said that you....blah, blah, blah." Give the teacher the benefit of the doubt at first, okay? Or, let's say that so-and-so's mom told you that the teacher only lets the students have one bathroom break a day. Instead of putting it like that, if you really are concerned, just ask how many bathroom breaks the students are allowed a day. Don't make it seem like you have been gossiping about the teacher with other parents.

*Unless you are seeing the classroom the night before the first day of school, cut the teacher some slack for the appearance of her classroom. She might not have it all together yet. She's probably been in staff meetings and workshops. I wanted to put an "under construction" sign on my door one year...though I settled for allowing my assistant to shove all my boxes into the closet and pray no one was nosey enough to open the closet.

*Do not open the teacher's closet or go behind her desk or open her desk drawers. Yes, some parents do these things.

*Don't be annoyed at the school supply list. I know that there are often things parents don't understand about it, but there's a good reason for the things on the list.  And sadly, things like kleenx are often not supplied by the school. Teachers can't be expected to pay for every little thing for their classrooms- and they don't have any answers for where your tax dollars are going, either. They probably want to know, too.

*Your child's teacher will probably have a list of "wants" somewhere in the classroom- if you can, please bring in some of these items. Prizes for the goody box, pencils, and dry erase markers were items that I couldn't have enough of.

*If you are able to volunteer at all, let the teacher know. Whether it's for parties, special events, field trips, tutoring, on a regular basis or occasionally, let the teacher know. One year, I had a parent who came in every Tuesday afternoon for two hours and would do whatever I needed her to do- from making copies to putting up a new bulletin board to working one-on-one with students. That was awesome and I plan on doing that in my son's kindergarten class.

*If you can't go into the classroom to help, ask the teacher if there is anything that can be sent home for you to do. Particularly in the younger grades, there is a lot of tracing and cutting that needs to be done. You could do that once a week or once a month as you watch tv in the evening.

*Keep in mind that the teacher will be sharing more info with you as the school year starts. You don't have to leave that first meeting with her knowing every single classroom procedure and every single thing that she plans to teach your children that year.

*If, for some reason, you do not like the teacher, wait until you are away from her classroom and away from your child to vent about it. I'll never forget the mother who stopped right outside my classroom door with her son and said, "Shit, another young, blond, pregnant teacher for my son. Two years in a row, we got screwed."  Not the best impression on the teacher and if you don't show respect for the teacher in front of your child, you're setting a bad example for your child.

*If all else fails, presents always work. (Um, just kidding......sort of)

Oh, and yes, I know I used feminine pronouns throughout this post and there are male teachers- just generalizing here and avoiding the awkward use of he/she and his/her. ;)

We'll see if I can remember back to my teaching days today, though, when I'm the other side of the desk and it's my own child that this concerns.

If you want my advice for how to deal with your child's teacher later in the school year, you can check that out HERE.

header 150x150Love the vocab challenges at Word Up, Yo! This week's word was "mediocre." I thought this would be a good week to play along since one of the hosts is Natalie  from Mommy of a Monster, who is this week's BFF. If you missed her guest post this week, you can check out the link in my sidebar.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Infiniti Pro by Conair Review and Giveaway

I have obnoxiously thick hair.

That's not bragging, it's a complaint.  My hair is a major pain to blow dry but I will look like Medusa if I don't blow dry it.

So, I need a good hairdryer. I was recently sent an Infinity Pro by Conair ™ to try in exchange for my honest review.  And, after trying it, I am happily shoving my old hairdryer into a closet and replacing it with this shiny new toy:

It has an AC motor, which is the high-performance motor typically designed for hair stylists and salon use. But, it's 15% lighter than most AC motor dryers.

It uses quiet, yet powerful air velocity to dry hair faster and lessen heat exposure/damage(oh,  how I need this!).

It gives a true blast of cold air when "Cold Shot" button is engaged, to better set your style.

In comparison to a typical hair dryer, it has up to a 3x longer life span- there's a limited four year warranty on it.  I've never had a hair dryer last that long!

The new Infiniti Pro by Conair ™ is available nationwide at mass market and drug store retailers, as well as http://www.conairdryer.com/ for an average retail price of $38.99.

One of you can win one here! US only.

To enter: If your email is not in your profile, please leave it with your first comment. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

First/mandatory entry: Tell me why you want to try the Infiniti Pro.

Additional entries:
*"Like" Conair ™ on facebook
*Follow Conair_Hair on twitter and tell them you want to win an Infiniti Pro from @shellthings
*Follow @shellthings on twitter
*Follow Things I Can't Say GFC or activate email subscription(one entry only, even if you do both)
*Like Things I Can't Say on facebook (you can do this in my sidebar)

Contest will close at 9pm EST on Sunday 8/29. This contest is now closed.

The winner is #31: Kim said... twitter follow u -kgail11. If the winner does not respond in 48 hours, I will pick a new winner.

Thanks to all who entered!

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I want to win!

It has been hot, hot, HOT here in the South this summer.
We've been at the pool or beach a lot, trying to stay cool. At home, we've used the little pool and the sprinkler.
What I really wanted to get my kids was an inflatable waterslide. Unfortunately, that didn't quite work out.
But, J. Leigh Designz is having a giveaway for one right now!


I don't often blog about others' giveaways, but this one was too awesome to pass up! You can enter, too- you know, if you want my kids to cry if you win instead of me. LOL

Friday, August 20, 2010

BFF: How She Does It

Though I don't have multiples myself, at one point I did have two children under the age of two and then three under four. I often heard "How do you do it?" But, I imagine that today's BFF has heard that even more than I have!

Meet Natalie from Mommy of a Monster. She's one of those bloggers whom, as soon as I "met," I just instantly adored her blog and her and I know you'll love her, too.  Her BFF post today tells you how she manages with three young kids!
My twin daughters, Ms. L and Ms. M, turned a year old on Tuesday. I can't believe how fast the year has flown by! I also have a son, Tater, who will be three on Monday. Needless to say, having three small children is basically like living in a constant state of crazy. The house is always a mess, there are toys EVERYWHERE, there's a lot of crying, tantrum throwing, and laughing going on all day; sometimes all at the same time.

When I first brought the twins home after they were born, like all newborns they slept a lot. Things didn't change much. Tater thought they were "cute little dolls" and while feeding and sleep schedules were hectic, those first few months were pretty easy.

Easy continued through months four, five, and six. Everybody always said things like "I don't know how you do it" and "Isn't it a lot of working taking care of three kids so young?". My response was always the same "The twins are a piece of cake! They pretty much keep each other occupied. Tater is the monster" (hence the name of my blog: Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins). And all those months, that was the truth!

Then month seven rolled around. The girls both started crawling. Things got a little crazier...you know, one goes one way and the other goes the exact opposite direction. But I could still keep them both wrangled pretty well. Months eight, nine, and ten come, and they start pulling themselves up to walk around things. Still manageable, for the most part. And when I'd get asked those questions again, my response became "Yeah, it's getting a little harder to deal with them now that they are moving around".

And then we have month eleven. Insanity, I tell you! The girls started walking and all hell broke loose. They both go in different directions. They both get into stuff at opposite ends of the room. I swear they tag team each other or come up with a how-to-drive-mom-to-the-brink-of-insanity-plan, because this last month? Has been a whole new ballgame - it's a lot of work and I am TIRED!

The "easy" things like feeding and bedtime aren't so easy. Feeding time can be likened to feeding time at the zoo. There's screaming, food everywhere (including in ears, hair, and nose), they try to steal off of each other's plates, and if I can't get that food on their trays fast enough...there is fist pounding and feet kicking. Sleep doesn't come as fast as it used to because they like to sit up and "talk" to each other, often times seeing who can scream the loudest. Laughs can be heard after each high pitch squeal.

Both girls are teething (and let me just say that's a whole other topic of pain for both me and them) and so as teething babies often are, they have been fussy and cranky. Yesterday I was trying to put away groceries while also trying not to step on babies underfoot. Both of them were crying.

I opened up the pantry, and Ms. L immediately occupies herself with grabbing whatever she can reach. Ms. M decides she is going to get into the "Tupperware cabinet", as we call it, where all the plastic storage containers are kept. Fantastic! Both kids occupied! This should be a piece of cake!

And then I hear a thud. Ms. L starts wailing. She dropped a big can of green beans on her toes. And while I'm trying to soothe her, Ms. M starts screaming. She heard the ruckus and decided to see what was up. She tried to pull herself up using the cupboard door and ended up closing it on her fingers.

Two babies screaming, and the contents of my pantry and Tupperware cabinet are all over the floor.

And all I wanted to do was put away groceries.

I can hardly wait to see what month twelve has in store for me!

Please leave Natalie some comment love here and then go follow her blog if you don't already!

Mommy of a Monster

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pour Your Heart Out: Cheers to My "Family"

If you need more info about Pour Your Heart Out, see THIS post.

But, really, it's anything that YOU consider pouring your heart out.

Please grab the button for your post and link up! Any linked posts without the button or at least a text link WILL BE DELETED. Not to get all mean and harsh, but some people are abusing the linky, so I've had to go to this rule.

Be sure to check out some of the links- you will find some amazing stories out there.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


Not all of those we consider family are related to us by blood.

Some we are lucky enough to inherit through marriage.

And some people become so important in our lives that it is like they are family.

My NC Mom is that to me.

I first met her over 11 years ago, during my first year of teaching. I was the Language Arts/Social Studies part of our team and she was the Math/Science part.

Never once did she complain about being saddled with a first-year teacher as her partner. She helped me through those first days of school,  helped with planning, and stayed after school for hours with me, talking not just about school, but about everything.

I got to know her, to know how strong of a person she is, going through all the challenges in her life. These are not mine to share, but there has been a lot, and she came through it all.

When my place was flooded by a hurricane, she let me stay with her for the month or so that it took for my place to be livable again.

She understood when I fell in love, got engaged, and moved away to NY. Nothing but support.

She was there when that relationship fell apart. Listening and being encouraging.

When I knew I had to leave that relationship, but wasn't sure where I was going to go or what I was going to do, she told me to come move back in with her and her son. Not to even worry if I didn't have a job yet, that I would be able to get one once I was back.

And I did find a teaching job back in the school she worked at, though I didn't know that until after the decision had already been made to move there.

She listened to me and was supportive as I worked through all my emotions about that relationship ending. And then when I tried to start my life over.

Her son became like my brother. And that is what we told people we were, since I would pick him up from soccer practice or drop him off at friends' houses. Just the easiest way to explain why a 24 year-old was hanging around a 14 year-old.

I lived with them for almost two years. Never once did NC Mom expect a dime from me.

I moved out when I got married. NC Mom lit the taper candles for both me and Hubs for our unity candles at our wedding.  She had known Hubs since he was in middle school.

In everything that has happened since I met her, she has offered nothing but encouragement and understanding.

My boys call her Grammy.

She moved to NY two years ago, but she is in town visiting this week and I'm very much looking forward to spending time with her.  At a time when things are hectic for my family, being around her quiet, calm strength will be a tremendous comfort.

I'm thankful to have "family" like her.