< Things I Can't Say: February 2011

This Page

has been moved to new address

Things I Can't Say

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#fff; margin:0; padding:40px 20px; font:x-small Georgia,Serif; text-align:center; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } a:link { color:#58a; text-decoration:none; } a:visited { color:#969; text-decoration:none; } a:hover { color:#c60; text-decoration:underline; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { width:660px; margin:0 auto 10px; border:1px solid #ccc; } } @media handheld { #header { width:90%; } } #blog-title { margin:5px 5px 0; padding:20px 20px .25em; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:1px 1px 0; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; font-weight:normal; color:#666; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; } #blog-title a { color:#666; text-decoration:none; } #blog-title a:hover { color:#c60; } #description { margin:0 5px 5px; padding:0 20px 20px; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:0 1px 1px; max-width:700px; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Content ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { width:660px; margin:0 auto; padding:0; text-align:left; } #main { width:410px; float:left; } #sidebar { width:220px; float:right; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Headings ----------------------------------------------- */ h2 { margin:1.5em 0 .75em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .date-header { margin:1.5em 0 .5em; } .post { margin:.5em 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } } @media handheld { .date-header { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } .post { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } } .post-title { margin:.25em 0 0; padding:0 0 4px; font-size:140%; font-weight:normal; line-height:1.4em; color:#c60; } .post-title a, .post-title a:visited, .post-title strong { display:block; text-decoration:none; color:#c60; font-weight:normal; } .post-title strong, .post-title a:hover { color:#333; } .post div { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } p.post-footer { margin:-.25em 0 0; color:#ccc; } .post-footer em, .comment-link { font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .post-footer em { font-style:normal; color:#999; margin-right:.6em; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } .post img { padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; } .post blockquote { margin:1em 20px; } .post blockquote p { margin:.75em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments h4 { margin:1em 0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } #comments h4 strong { font-size:130%; } #comments-block { margin:1em 0 1.5em; line-height:1.6em; } #comments-block dt { margin:.5em 0; } #comments-block dd { margin:.25em 0 0; } #comments-block dd.comment-timestamp { margin:-.25em 0 2em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } #comments-block dd p { margin:0 0 .75em; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ #sidebar ul { margin:0 0 1.5em; padding:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; list-style:none; } #sidebar li { margin:0; padding:0 0 .25em 15px; text-indent:-15px; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar p { color:#666; line-height:1.5em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } .profile-datablock { margin:.5em 0 .5em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; margin:0 8px 3px 0; } .profile-data { margin:0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .profile-data strong { display:none; } .profile-textblock { margin:0 0 .5em; } .profile-link { margin:0; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { width:660px; clear:both; margin:0 auto; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; padding-top:15px; font:78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Monday, February 28, 2011

Steps to Potty Training: Shell-Style

It's that time. Time to potty train my youngest child.

After potty training 2 boys, I have come up with this list of must-haves for Potty Training:

*Lots of character-themed underwear
*M&Ms or other small treat
*Potty Power dvd
*potty seat for the big potty
*stepstool to reach potty
*timer(alarm on cell phone works well)
*lots of juice
*carpet cleaner
*lots of paper towels
*several bottles of wine

1. Start off the morning by having child watch the Potty Power dvd. Point out all the cute little songs and talk about using the potty as the DVD plays.

2. Strip your child and put him in cute character-themed underwear. Tell child that Buzz Lightyear or Diego or whoever is on the underwear doesn't want to get all yucky with pee or poop.

3. Take child to the potty and have them try to use the potty. Congratulate them for trying and give them an m&m.

4.  Set alarm for 30 minutes from now. Watch Potty Power dvd while child drinks juice.

5. Repeat steps 3&4 over and over again.  Should child successfully use the potty, you can extend the time til the alarm goes off next.

6. Paper towels, carpet cleaner, and spare underwear should be used as needed.

7. After the third accident of the morning, eye the wine.

8.  Continue with the potty alarm, potty dvds, and repeated talk about using the potty.

9. Consider opening bottle of wine at lunch.

10.  Consider waiting another few months to potty train after the 5th accident of the day.

11.  Wonder if you have enough wine in the house.

12.  Sneak some m&ms because you deserve a treat, too.

13.  Calculate the price of a single pair of Thomas the Train underwear and realize that it's not worth cleaning a big nasty poo out of them.

14. Successful peeing on the potty by toddler: cheer him on!

15. More reminders about using the potty.

16. Wonder if you will ever be able to complete another sentence without the words "pee," "poop," or "potty" in it.

17.  Put child in pull-up for bedtime and tell him that he did a good job and that tomorrow, he's going to use the potty just like a big boy!

18. Open up that bottle(s) of wine.

19. Repeat the following day.

20. Good news: this usually doesn't last more than 3 days. Perhaps stock up on 3 bottles of wine from the start.

As much as potty training drove me insane, it took about a day and a half of this with my oldest and then he never had another accident. With my middle, it took a little less than 3 days.

Here's to a quick potty training experience with my youngest!

Note: Everyone approaches potty training differently. For me, I thought that my kids should be able to handle getting undressed/dressed by themselves for the most part and be capable of getting themselves on the potty alone before trying to potty train. Because that way, after I worked with them for a few days, I could mostly remove myself from the process instead of having them get used to me helping them with everything. This is why I waited until they were around 3 to try to potty train.

Other moms start earlier/later and use different methods of potty training. If you have written a post about potty training, please link it up here for all of us who are in potty training mode and need help!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Glamamom

I adore this week's Blog Friend Feature.  She's proving that you can still live a completely fabulous life even after motherhood.  And yet, as glamorous as her life seems, she's still a totally down-to-earth friend.

Meet Jill from Glamamom.

Hello Ladies! (and possibly Gentlemen?) I’m thrilled to be Shell’s BFF today. Things I Can’t Say is one of the first blogs I started reading when I immersed myself in the blogging community last June after becoming a mama and deciding to chronicle my own journey at Glamamom.

A million thanks, Shell, for introducing me to your readers and all the support. It’s been an honor getting to know you through your thoughtful words and I look forward to the day when we can laugh together in person (and discuss X)!

For those unfamiliar with Glamamom, my huz, son, pup, and I reside in New York City. The Big Apple, the Concrete Jungle, the City That Never Sleeps, the Empire City, Gotham, the Financial Capital of the World, the City So Nice, They Named It Twice.

I won’t lie, some days it’s so mind-blowingly exciting, I have to pinch myself. Celeb neighbors? Check! An 850-acre back yard? Check! Broadway? Check! Fashion Week? Check! Nightlife? Shopping? Chinese food at 4 a.m.? Check! Check! Check!

And that’s what my blog is about, the fun stuff, the inspiration, an attempt to stop time and take it all in.

But don’t let it fool you. Life in Manhattan is challenging on a good day and can be far from glamorous:

Ever hear of sidewalk rage? It’s the pedestrian’s equivalent of road rage. Since NY’ers walk everywhere, when someone in the crowd isn’t going with the flow or proceeding fast enough, heart attack-inducing rage courses through your veins. I’m certainly guilt of having murderous thoughts, so just imagine what it’s like trying to navigate the bustling streets with a stroller, gear, and cranky toddler daily! Pray for me.

Our living quarters leave much to be desired too. How about 1,500 square feet (rather large by NYC standards) in which to make a home for children, a dog, and all your shoes?! That leaves no space to hide.

Oh, and that doggie? Well, he needs to be walked 4 times a day, on a leash, and we have to pick up his poop. As if I don’t have enough poop to deal with throughout the day.

Then there’s the cost of well, everything. Paying 3 times as much for groceries makes you reevaluate if you really need those Entenmann’s cookies. And don’t even get me started on the cost of preschool and the insane application process!

But my worst fear, and what I anticipate will be the most challenging aspect of raising children in a city so full of excess, is that a childhood in Manhattan will rob them of their motivation and drive to succeed. That they’ll feel entitled and have unrealistic expectations. I shudder to imagine my children like one of the kids of Gossip Girl, growing up too fast, and being exposed to too much too soon.

So, yeah. It’s not all that glamorous when you get down to it. Can parenthood ever be? I know these nuances aren’t limited to big city life. We’re all dealing with limitations and challenges.

But if you don’t mind, I think I’ll just go ahead and keep on focusing on the fabulous.

Please leave Jill some comment love here and then go follow Glamamom if you don't already!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: The Baby Ache

We are coming up on ONE YEAR of Pour Your Heart Out! Trying to get some fun things planned for the anniversary. If you are interested in donating a prize, please let me know.

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.

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. ;)


My boys are getting older. In September, I will have a first grader, a kindergartener, and a preschooler. There will be times during the week when ALL of them are in school at the same time.

Yippeeeeeeeee! I can take a shower without worrying about someone getting superglue on the couch or cutting each other's hair. I can go to the grocery store without a child asking for treats. I can go to the gym without worry that I'll be called out of class due to a babysitting room mishap.

I can read blogs without mommy guilt.

Or, you know: do laundry, clean the house, etc.

Because we're moving away from the baby days.  Onward to school days.

There are still two and a half years until all of my boys are in school full-time, but I can see it coming.  A totally different way of life.

In some ways, it's exciting. Our boys getting older, more independent, doing new things.

We made the decision to be done having children.  Snip, snip.

But, every once in a while, I see a little baby....and I get an ache. And yes, it happens when I see a baby boy OR a baby girl. 

I miss those days of a tiny little baby curled asleep in my arms, sighing those adorable baby sighs. A baby small enough to cuddle, to carry, to fit their little heads right underneath my chin as they are held in my lap.

Instead, I have a 6 year old whose feet are almost as big as mine. A 4 year old who insists that he can do everything on his own. A 2 year old who insists he's already 3.

They are growing up.  It's a proud mama moment.... but it's also a sad mama moment.

I sometimes gaze a little too long at the sweet little babies I see.  With too much longing in my eyes.

Because it's hard to move on to a different stage of life, even when you think you are ready to move on.... knowing you can't go back.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When I Was Just a Little Girl...

I know, I know, I had to get all musical on you. I'm trying something a little different today and linking up with The Red Dress Club prompt about memory and reflection. This is what came to mind:

I walked into the warm room, full of people I didn't know. They were all talking quietly, but the collective buzz hurt my ears as I tried to pick out a voice that I recognized.

I kept my eyes down, playing with my nails, trying not to bite them. My grandpa always told me that it was a disgusting habit and the thought of biting them here seemed wrong.

My aunt put her hand on my back and gently guided me to the front the of the room.  I forced myself to smile. I knew my parents weren't sure if I should be here at all.

I'd heard my father saying that it wasn't an appropriate place for a seven year old. My mother argued that it would be seen as rude if I weren't there, though she worried I would cry.  It was decided I would go, for just a little while, and then return to my aunt's house.

I smoothed down the skirt of my yellow sundress, my favorite dress.  How bright I must have looked in a room of black and dark-blue clad adults.

My aunt gave me a little nod and I took those last few steps forward.  My grandfather looked like he was sleeping.  He was dressed much the same as he usually was for our weekly Saturday shopping trips to the grocery store, where he always bought me a special toy, though he insisted each week he wasn't going to because I was getting spoiled.

Just like he was sleeping, just like my parents had told me. But, Grandpa wasn't sleeping.  He was my only grandparent who really loved me. My mom's mom had died well before I was born and her father was possibly the strictest adult I'd ever met. My other grandmother was very ill and all she could do was give me an occasional hug.

This, in front of me, was the man who took me to the park, teased me, and stuck up for me.

But, he was gone. Lung cancer. Don't ever smoke, he told me. Girls don't smoke.

I stood there, not really sure what I was supposed to do.  I knew I was supposed to say goodbye, but he wasn't really there any more anyway.

He was gone. I didn't want him to be gone.

Tears started to form and threatened to fall. I did not want to cry, sure that someone would be mad at me for crying, like it was the wrong thing to do.

And so I smiled. The biggest smile that I could. A smile that stretched my face and made my cheeks hurt, but stopped the tears from falling.

My aunt must have been right behind me the whole time, but I didn't notice until she touched my shoulder and told me it was time to go.

I walked out, still smiling as hard as I could, wishing I didn't have to say goodbye.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Pants Rules

Due to the desire of the boys in my house to run around naked all the time(or at least, in nothing but underwear/diapers), the following rules are in place:

Pants must be worn at the dinner table. You want to eat, you must have on more than underwear. Or socks.

Pants are required if you wish to answer the door. Even if you are almost sure it's your grandma, you must put on pants. The UPS man is more than a little freaked out by naked boys running to the door yelling "Package here!"

Leaving the house requires pants. This includes getting the mail and going to pick up one of your brothers from school. No, I will not take "naked man" with me to school, so please stop asking.

If company is coming over, you must put on pants.

When the temperature is below 50 degrees outside, you must wear both pants and a shirt, even though we are inside the house.

The proper place to get dressed for the day is NOT in the entranceway of our home, where the neighbors can see through our double glass doors.

Underwear, a shirt, pants/shorts, and shoes are all required for school. Socks are negotiable: the rest of the items on this list are not. The same goes for outings to the store, church, the playground, and all restaurants, even those that give away toys with your meal.

Tell me that kids eventually grow out of this stage! Do your kids actually like to wear clothes?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hallmark Interactive Storybuddy Review and Giveaway

When I was at Blissdom, I won an Interactive Storybuddy from Hallmark.  My boys LOVE this thing!

The one I won is Cooper the Bear. As you read the storybook to your children and Cooper, when you say certain phrases, Cooper responds.

My boys' faces lit up when they heard Cooper talking.  They've also figured out what some of the phrases are that Cooper will respond to and will say them to him, even when we aren't reading the story.

You can see a little bit of how he works in this short video clip.  Yes, I'm in my pajamas...it was bedtime!

There are two more Cooper books right now besides the one that we have and Cooper says more phrases with each book: my boys want the other books! Also, there are iPhone/iPad apps for the Storybuddies...I really need to get one of those one of these days!

There is also a Watson the Raccoon Storybuddy with his own set of books. More Storybooks and Storybuddies will be released throughout the year.

These interactive storybooks are a great way to keep your children engaged in storytime.

WIN IT! One of you will win a Cooper Storybuddy with an Interactive Storybook from Hallmark.

To enter:  If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comment(s).  Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  US only, please. Giveaway will end at 9pm ET on 2/26.

First Entry: Tell me who you want to win this Storybuddy for!

Additional Entries: Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
*Like Hallmark on facebook and leave your username
*Follow HallmarkPR on twitter and leave your twitter name
*Follow Things I Can't Say GFC
*Follow shellthings on twitter
*Like Things I Can't Say on facebook(you can do this in the sidebar)
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the direct link to your tweet: Enter Interactive Storybuddy #giveaway from @HallmarkPR and @shellthings http://bit.ly/iiWrjQ

I won a Storybuddy from Hallmark: all opinions are my own...or in this case: my children's opinions are their own.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is 3Gigglymonsters

Labels: ,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog Friend Feature

I'm so excited to introduce you to this week's Blog Friend Feature. She and I have so much in common and she feels like a true friend. Even if I can't tell you her name because she blogs anonymously. 

Since she introduces herself, I'll just jump right to her post. Meet Sorta Southern Single Mom from Single Mom in the South.

I could hardly contain my excitement when I got an email from Shell telling me I was "on the list" for BFF! Seriously y'all, it's a good thing I was alone or I would have embarrassed myself, such was my excitement. Then, like many of my predecessors have claimed, reality set in and I realized I had to actually write a post. *Gulp*

I've been following Shell almost from the inception of my own blog. I can't exactly recall how I found her, I think it might have been her SITS day, but she is a legend, so it could easily have been elsewhere!

Turns out we actually have quite a bit in common...okay, she's married, I'm divorced, so not that, but other stuff - feel free to correct me Shell...Shell's note: she's right, we have a lot in common, though I guess she wanted to leave out our shared love of trashy romance novels. Oops.

  • We both hail from Above the Mason Dixon Line.
  • We both relocated Below the Mason Dixon Line, although she beat me to it, cause I think she first came down after college and I only came down a few years ago to start fresh after my divorce.
  • We're both blond- naturally so, of course ;) *winks*
  • We're both moms, although I have one boy and one girl and mine are a bit older.
  • We are both teachers, although she's currently home with her boys and I just started back for the first time since having kids this year. Holy Long Maternity Leave Batman! *grins*

I keep threatening to come visit her. She says she lives by the beach and claims she's in an area with a really high male/female ratio. Really, I may just show up on her doorstep this summer... you just never know *winks*

As part of my relocation to the south, I'm constantly trying to become more Southern. I love to "y'all" up a storm and often blog about the differences between northerners and southerners.

Speaking of all things southern, guess what I got, ironically, the last time I went 'home' to The Great White North????

My very own Cast Iron Skillet. I felt like a complete fraud, living Below the Mason Dixon Line and not having one. I'd mentioned to my parents that I wanted one, and apparently, although I've no recollection of either of them ever using one, they had THREE, so they kindly gave me one. It actually belonged to my grandfather and was tucked away in the camping equipment in the garage, so that makes it extra special, although technically NOT southern.

So y'all help me out. I haven't used it yet. Tell me what I should make in it... I know cornbread, but what else????

Oh, and guess what other southern thing I wowed them with the last time I was up north? Chocolate Chess Pie! My sister's fiancee, who's southern through and through, taught me to make it. It's so easy and if you serve it warm, it's like a great gooey pile o' hot fudge in a pie crust. Be Still My Heart!

Chocolate Chess Pie
1 unbaked pie crust
1 stick butter
2 squares semi-sweet baker's chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

In a small sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together other ingredients. Add chocolate mixture to the bowl and stir to incorporate. Pour into a regular unbaked pie shell and bake 35 minutes at 350° degrees F. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Seriously y'all will just swoon over this. I swannee! Run on over to the Harris Teeter or Piggly Wiggly -Really, where do they come up with this stuff???- right quick and get yourself the fixins' to make some!

Hurry on now, what are y'all waitin' for????

Don't you feel like you are chatting with a friend? Please show Sorta Southern Single Mom some comment love here and then go follow Single Mom in the South!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: I Don't Belong Here

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.

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. ;)


I was walking around outside yesterday afternoon barefoot.

Yes, in February.  It was a beautiful day here in Eastern Carolina. 

I've never been a fan of the cold weather.  Ever.  I always wanted to move somewhere warm.  And now, I'm here. I've spent approximately 8 of the 12 years since college graduation here...though not in a row.

And yet, more often than not, I feel like I don't belong here. 

We live in a town where everyone is either military or local.  We're not military. Hubs is a local, but I am not.  I can't relate to the military wives when they are talking about their husbands deploying for 6 months or a year: I don't even like when Hubs has to go out of town for a day or two.  And I can't follow the conversations about the people that Hubs and his friends all know from back in high school.

But, this is where Hubs needs to be.  His family is here, his friends are here, and his job is here.  This is his home and I am his wife: therefore, this is where I am.  He fits, it's his home. And me? I'm not even Shell, I'm just J's wife.

I don't know where I'd chose to be if the choice were entirely up to me, anyway. I miss my family and my friends from back home, but I hate the weather and the family drama gets old quick.  Though, having friends that I could go out with is something that I do miss.  Having people who can see me for me, I miss.

My husband and my kids: they will always come first to me.  But, there are times when I long for something more.

I've written a little bit about this before, if you want to check out A Glass of Identity.  Though, Ash at Shades of Blue and Gray wrote a story last week where a line from it about the character just being the wife of another character really hit me and made me think about these things again. She's a fabulous writer and you should go read her.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Husbands: Top 10 Ways to Show a Mom You Love Her

1.  YOU get up with a screaming child in the middle of the night. Without having to be kicked or shaken awake.

2.  Call her at lunchtime to tell her not to worry about dinner because you are going to bring something home.

3.  Tell her she looks hot in her yoga pants.  Without saying they would look hotter on the floor beside your bed.

4.  Tell her she's a fabulous mom.

5.  Change a stinky diaper. Without asking for a medal for it.  Bonus points if you potty-train said child.

6.  Let her sleep in without having to be deathly ill.

7.  Tell her to go take a hot bath or shower while you get the kids ready for bed.  Without implying that you can't remember the last time she bathed.

8.  Compliment her in front of other people. Just not as your facebook status. Because that is obnoxious.

9.  Say "I love you." A lot. Duh.

10. Bring her chocolate-covered strawberries.  Without telling her that she'll need to go to the gym to work them off.  Note: chocolate-covered strawberries are my own personal addiction.  Do not get her these if she's allergic to strawberries. Again: duh.

Okay, ladies, chime in: how can your husband show you that he loves you? Not just on Valentine's Day, but everyday.

Doing something I rarely do- adding a p.s here b/c some of you are thinking that I'm calling my Hubs a jerk on Valentine's Day. I'm not. He rocks. And does most of these things- except the diaper thing- but I don't like to change them, either.  My point? It's the little things that really show the love.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Comfortable and Stylish Spring Clothing

I find it really hard for me to leave the comfort of my yoga clothes behind.  It's so nice to be comfortable, isn't it?

But, for those times when we want to look more put-together, what do we do? Sacrifice comfort for style? You don't have to!

I'm going to gush about one of my all-time favorite companies now.  Seriously, y'all: I have said many times that I could have my entire wardrobe be from Fresh Produce, as long as I could throw in my favorite pair of jeans.

Fresh Produce clothing is all about stylish, effortless, whimsical looks, but always in the form of comfortable clothing.

They sent me this outfit to wear to Blissdom last month and it was perfect!  It was so comfortable, yet I looked put together.  I also love that have their clothes available in color! You can stick with neutrals, but you have an option to add a bright punch of color if you want.

Here it is paired with different colors:

It was funny when I was trying to find someone at the conference: we'd tweet what session we were in or where we were and what we were wearing. When I was wearing this, I'd tweet that I was in a bright pink cardigan. Made it easy for people to find me!

I can't remember who it was, but someone sat down next to me in a session, told me they loved my outfit and then stroked the sleeve of my cardigan and remarked that it felt just like pajamas. It really is that comfortable!

Fresh Produce has some great new Spring clothing out now.

I adore this dress and think I would live in it once the weather gets warmer. It's also available in Tropical Punch and Oyster.

I like this Mardi Gras tunic, too. It's available in seven different colors. Would love this with a pair of their capris.

Oooh, or pedal pushers. I heart pedal pushers.

You can take a look at Fresh Produce's Spring lookbook on facebook to see all their new looks.

If you order between now and February 14th, you get free shipping!  No minimum to order and this is automatically added to your cart when you go to check out.

From Fresh Produce clothing, I'm learning that everyday comfort can still mean looking stylish!

I was sent this outfit from Fresh Produce clothing. Though, no one made me gush about it this much. My love for their clothing is my own.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: The Parenting Paradox

You know when you are reading blogs and you come across a blog and think I want my blog to be just like that when it grows up.  That was what I thought when I found this week's Blog Friend Feature.  Hers was one of the very first blogs that I started following when I started blogging.

Meet Angie from Seven Clown Circus.  I so relate to her stories about parenting. What I really love about her is that she writes funny posts and serious posts: but it's always her voice coming through.  She is also the host of Wordful Wednesdays, so if you like to show off your pics but have to write about them, too, you should link up with her.  I was so excited when she agreed to be BFF this week because I know that you will love her.

Parenting is a paradox. I really believe that.

I've been a mother for 11 years now, which seems like such a long time.

And at other times not so long at all.

I feel like I've aged about a million years in that time, yet I feel younger now than ever.

See what I mean? :)

I thought I'd have buckets of free time when my children went off to school. I have less time now than I've ever had in my life.

I was told countless times how life gets busier once the kids go to school. I didn't buy it. It didn't make sense to me. I thought that nothing could be more time consuming that mothering babies and toddlers. And, really, nothing is. I didn't understand that by busy they meant that they'd be hard pressed to find any block of time for themselves because they'd be scheduled here there and everywhere. I didn't comprehend that the chauffeuring, homeworking helping, dinner making, extra curricular shuffling, social calendaring, volunteering, roll would take so much time. I didn't realize that mothering older children can be as taxing as mothering infants. Just in a different way.

I've found that some things are harder, but some things are so much easier. Like going out with my children without bottles, diapers, strollers and that emergency change of clothing.

I guess the main thing I've found about parenting is that it doesn't always make sense, but it's worth it.

And of course, parenting is a paradox.

The End.

And here I was hoping that Angie would tell us that it was all going to get easier. SIGH.

Please leave her some comment love here and then go follow Seven Clown Circus.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: When Your Child Is Different

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.

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. ;)


When your child has problems being able to understand things the way other kids do, it's so heartbreaking.

You want to be able to explain. You want them to "get it."

But, they can't.

My four year-old thinks differently than "normal" kids. There are things he doesn't "get." The world is black and white to him: for instance, in his world, there are no shades of "bad."  Bad is bad. A toy stolen away from someone who was playing with it is equally as bad as a hit or a bite.

There is no "worse" to him. So, if he sees the reprimands differ so much, he doesn't understand why.  But, he will take it personally. If he and another child were both "bad," to his eyes, they should both get the same punishment. Not one more harsh than another.

It's a bit of an oxymoron, because he can't understand degrees of "bad" or "good," but he will notice if someone isn't as nice to him as they are to another child.  And he takes it personally- that it is not his action that someone doesn't like, but him. And he cries. And then I cry.

I do not expect everything that he does wrong to be excused because, "oh, he doesn't understand, let's let him get away with murder."

We do have to work to teach him.  But, it has to be in small steps, in ways that he can understand. 

Some might say that this approach isn't preparing him for real life. That exceptions will not always be made and he needs to deal with it. To this I say, he's four and that is why there is such a thing as "special needs." Their needs are special, different from other children's needs.

You can't just say deal with it, do what the other kids are doing.

It would be like if I dropped your non-swimming child into the deep end of the pool and said "Swim. The other kids can do it." And then sneered down at your sinking child instead of reaching out to keep them from drowning.

You don't hold the child who can't swim to the same standards you do the child who can. You let them start in the shallow end. You let them use swimmies. You let them hold on to the side. You understand when they go out too far and grab for you in panic.  You know that jumping off the diving board into the deep end isn't something that will happen that first day. You accept that it is going to be a process.

Even as you look across the pool and see all the fun that the other kids are having, the ease with which they swim back and forth and play.  Even as you wish you could say, "Just swim. The other kids can. They're your age. Just swim!"

You can't.

You have to take each child where they are and work with them to get them to understand.

It's not fair to treat them differently, you still say? Well, it's NOT FAIR that my son has the struggles he has, either.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why I'm Proud To Be a Mommy Blogger

Mommy Blogger.

I used to hate that term.

Wasn't a fan of it when I was asked to join "mommy groups" either. For some reason, it seemed to sound condescending and belittle what we do.

And so, when I started blogging and heard the term "mommy blogger," I cringed. The term conjured up visions of posts that were nothing but a cute pic of my child and bragging about what we had done that day. And hey, there's a place for those types of blogs: I even HAVE one like that for just my family's eyes.

But, here, in this space, I do more.  Sure, I talk about my kids, but I talk about bigger parenting issues than just what we did today. Motherhood, marriage, education, friendship, women's issues...I'm not just a mommy blogger, I scoffed.

I've come to realize, though, that the title of Mommy Blogger is one to be worn with pride.

Because, if I were not a mommy... my blog would be much different.  I might not even have a blog.

But, if I did... I'd still be blogging about marriage, but have no clue about the changes that happen in a marriage after you have children.

I'd still blog about education, but from the perspective of a teacher, not as a parent. Having experience with diverse students in the classroom is completely different from having children with diverse needs.

I'd still blog about friendships, but not anything about how complex they are after you have kids in the mix.

Women's issues: absolutely. But, what is important to you changes after you become a mom.

Even if not every post I write screams I'M A MOMMY BLOGGER, each word I write is still seen through the lens of being a mommy. It changed my world.

And I think the title of Mommy Blogger helps remind me of what should come first. Yes, I'm a blogger. But, I'm MOMMY first.

So, I'll wear the title of Mommy Blogger with pride.


Monday, February 7, 2011

I am a Monster Mommy

We all have mom fails, don't we?

Things we do wrong as moms.

I've turned my back at the wrong moment and had my kids gorrilla glue our couch, cut each other's hair...and cut their hair again a week later.

I've completely lost my temper with my boys.

I'm definitely not mom of the year.

So, when Natalie from Mommy of a Monster asked me to write a Monster Mommy moment for her weekly feature, I thought this will be easy.

I can write a funny post about all the times I've messed up as a mom.  Because we all mess up.

And then....

Something happened last week that was a true Monster Mommy Moment.

Something that brought me to my knees.

And that is what I'm sharing over there today: my worst mom fail moment.

Please go read it and know that I KNOW it was horrible. I've already beat myself up for it. Am still beating myself up for it.

I am a Monster Mommy.


Comments are off. Please go visit my post at Mommy of a Monster.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here We Go!

I have to cheer for the Steelers since I'm originally from Pittsburgh! Even though the commercials and the food hold my attention more than the game itself.

I love the etrade babies commercials- now you can upload a pic of your baby and make your own baby message! Check out my Steeler baby.

No, this post isn't in any way associated with etrade. I just think it's a funny thing to do.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Boobies, Babies, and a Blog

I found this week's Blog Friend Feature last spring, when someone directed me to her blog on twitter. I can't remember who it was, but I remember reading that post of hers and wanting to go back to the days when it was cool to high-five someone(okay, I still do that) and high five her. Because she spoke her mind, openly and honestly.

Jana, or Boobies as she is more commonly know, blogs at Boobies, Babies, and a Blog. She is hysterically funny and is someone who will have your back.  Oh, and she didn't mind my million detailed questions about getting a "mommy makeover." We went right into the girl talk.  She not only is a great friend to have, but she also has fabulous giveaways on her blog, too.

Hi everyone! For those who haven't had the opportunity to meet me, I'm Boobies. Stay at home SUPERmom of three, wifey, shoe connoisseur, & all around big mouth. When Shell asked me to be her BFF, I was overjoyed. (Because come on...Shell's like the Oprah of the blog world, am I right?)

So after much pondering on what I would write about-I decided to stick with a topic I am an expert at. But then I had to try to think of all the things I'm all knowing in regards to. My short only list came out looking like this:

  • Parenting (My own left of center techniques, but still yet.)
  • Shoes
  • Fake Breasts
  • Spending Mr. Boobie's $ & blinding him with my sex appeal when the bills come rolling in.
So Parenting wins out. (Because the truth is, it always does!) I have three kids; ages 4 to 14. I know..it's kind of  ridonkulous a spread. In fairness to myself-I'm a pretty kick ass Mom. Clearly, I'm not perfect..but we love each other, laugh together, no one has ever ended up in juvie, jail, or rehab...so I think we're holding it down pretty well.

I'm not a strict Mom in most aspects of parenting; but there are a few essentials that I've made it a point to pass on to my kids.

HONESTY- A must for a parent-child relationship. I've drilled it into all three of their heads from the time they could talk.

Shining example:

Teenie Queenie (That's my 14 year old daughter) was texting the other night. Because, you know-teenagers don't know how to do anything else. So I asked her who it was that she was texting with, what they were talking about, all that nosey shit a Mom SHOULD do. She tells me who it is. It's a boy. (Naturally.) This particular boy has quite the rep. He's trying to break Wilt Chamberlain's record--if you know what I'm saying. (Okay...maybe somewhere between Tiger & Gene would be more appropriate to say.)


Anymaleteentramp, the word around the water fountain is--this kid has herpes. Like visually confirmed. In any event, I tell my daughter not to be rude to him or say anything about it..but in not so many words--okay, I explicitly advised her to never date/kiss/share beverages/or star on Teen Mom with this young man. (Hey, you can't ever be too safe.) So on to the great virtue of honesty. She tells me this kid wants to go out with her. Eeeek! "What'd you say?" I ask T.Q. Knowing she said something really brilliant like; "I think we're so much better off as friends." She looked up from her phone and very honestly said--"I told him you didn't want me dating him because you think he has herpes." HONESTY.

FIND YOUR VOICE & ALWAYS LET IT BE HEARD- I never want my kids to take a back seat to anyone. I don't want my boy's to marry a Kate Gosselin and live as a doormat for years, then go through a midlife Ed Hardy induced fog complete with hair plugs and teenage lovers. I want them to find their voice and never be afraid to use it. So I've always tried to instill a confidence in them to do so.

Shining example:

A couple days ago, I was grocery shopping with The Boss. (That's my 4 year old son.) We passed a Dad and his son who looked to be about the same age. In passing, the boy yelled to my son; "Hey little boy. Look what I got." He was holding up a toy. I'm thinking great...now The Boss will insist he needs that toy and mass chaos is gonna ensue for sure. The Boss waits until we are at opposite ends of the aisle...and apparantly he heard his inner voice. Because he screamed this: "Hey kid! I'm not a boy. I'm a grown man!" All eyes on us. FIND YOUR VOICE & ALWAYS LET IT BE HEARD.

Lastly....BE SPIRITUAL. I don't care if my kids believe in God, Buddha, Chuck Norris...I just want them to sense a higher power that they can lean on in hard times.

Shining example:

A while back T.Q. & Middle Man (That would be my 13 year old son.) were having a conversation about The Bible. My daughter was inquiring about who actually WROTE the great book. That's when Middle Man smirked at her and said; "Everyone knows Albert Einstein wrote the bible." (And he really meant it.) BE SPIRITUAL.

Thank you everyone who hung with me and smooches to Shell. I'll be your BFF any day! XO-Boobies

BWS tips button

Don't you just love her honesty in parenting? Please leave Jana some comment love here and then go follow her blog!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Knowing Our Worth

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.

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. ;)


My Pour Your Heart Out today is inspired by the opening keynote at Blissdom. Thanks again to my sponsor LeadCheck for sending me to the conference.

I had the pleasure of listening to Brene Brown's opening keynote at Blissdom. There were three quotes that really stuck out to me and resonated with me.  I think everyone who heard her speech felt much the same way. So, here are those three quotes and my thoughts on them.

Our stories matter because we matter- Brene Brown.

What are we really doing with our blogs, anyway? Putting our stories out there? Why would someone want to read that? Well, it's because WE MATTER. And because we matter, our stories do, too. 

Know that you matter. Don't ever think that sharing your story doesn't matter. It does. Share it.

When you say you don't care what people think, and mean it, you have lost the ability to connect.- Brene Brown

I'm pretty confident in my own skin.  This is me, this is who I am.  But, we're not talking about being confident and not changing to fit an expected mold.  It's more not giving a damn whom you offend or what others might think. If you really don't care at all about others, how can you connect?

You can still be you, but you still have to care about what others think. And if you don't care what others think, why should they care about what you think?

Delete the negative. This is my space and you don't get to be here. -Brene Brown

There is a difference between someone disagreeing with you and someone attacking you.  I'm opinionated. I respect the fact that not everyone is going to agree with everything that I say. In fact, I'd be pretty shocked if no one ever disagreed with me some of the time. That's all well and good- I like a discussion.

But, it is NOT okay to attack personally because of those differences. And we all have a right to say HEY! This is MY space and you don't get to be here.

It's not a right that anyone has to come into our space(whether that is on our blogs or in real life) and insult us. We do not have to put up with that. We can DELETE(or whatever the IRL equivalent is).

Brene Brown was just one of the many inspiring women of Blissdom. If you are wondering if you should go next year, the answer is YES, you should.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top Tidbits from Blissdom Short Enough to Tweet

I know that if you didn't go to Blissdom, you might not want to hear all of the stories of what happened at Blissdom. Not unless they are really juicy and can give you some fun gossip....but I'm not posting any of that here. Hey, if I do that, someone could have a story to tell about me in retaliation! Though if you missed my Blissdom pics, you can find them HERE.

There are also fun stories that happened, but telling inside jokes isn't funny unless you were involved, so I'll save those for twitter.

Instead, what I'm going to share are things that I learned from Blissdom that anyone could learn from: most blogging and social media things, some just "life" stuff.  Instead of typing out the pages and pages of notes, I'm going to share a few tidbits.

These are some of my notes from the conference. While most are not credited to their original source, most are just general impressions of what speakers were saying, not direct quotes. But, they are what I learned, not my original thoughts.

Though, I'm actually going to start with some great points from @unmarketing's closing keynote:

*Social media isn't hard, you are just caring about people.

*People don't spread ok stuff, they spread awesome

*Create the awesome and then the SEO

*Don't force your blog audience to read your blog a certain way just because it's what you like: you need to give options(most don't know what RSS is!)

*Only 1-3% of readers comment

*Social media doesn't make you better, it just amplifies whatever product you have- if it sucks, it sucks harder on twitter

*There is a difference between giving constructive criticism and being an ass

Some other great takeaways from other sessions:

*If someone else is doing something that you want to be doing, don't say why not me, ask how you can get there, too.

*Know your story, know your niche: that will tell you whom you should be working with.

*Your blog traffic does matter, but engagement, having something unique, and being respected counts for more.

*Everything you do online, everything you say, do, whom you work with: it all defines your online personality. People see it all.

*I tweeted this during the conference after the VERY audible groan when word verification/captchas were mentioned and it was retweeted and retweeted and retweeted: "The collective groan in the room when captchas were mentioned says a lot. Take them off your blog! #blissdom"

*Social media is about being social. Meet people.

*There are so many fabulous bloggers, so get over any feeling of entitlement.

*Keep doing what you are doing. Brands are watching.

*You have to have boundaries. Say no and have 30 seconds of feeling uncomfortable instead of saying yes and being resentful(from @brenebrown)

Once again, thank you to LeadCheck for sending me to Blissdom and thanks to all whom I met who listened to my story about my son's lead poisoning and about LeadCheck's products.

And thanks to Fresh Produce for giving me a cute outfit to wear, too!

Labels: ,