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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Lesson from Five Year Olds

On Monday morning, I took my boys to the church where my middle son went to preschool last year. The one that my youngest will attend this fall.

It was time for Vacation Bible School. VBS. Where I can drop off my kiddos and have three glorious hours of quiet each day without feeling guilty about it, since they are off learning and having fun and all that good stuff. My boys need Jesus, you know. 

I knew my oldest would be fine.  I wasn't sure about my 3 year-old because I hadn't even known until that morning that they had a class for his age. But, he was fine.

It was my 5 year-old Bear that I was the most concerned about. He's a total sweetheart, but things aren't always easy for him. And I always worry about just how much I need to explain to an adult who is going to be in charge of him.

But, when we got to his group, I saw that his girlfriend was there.  The one he started a flashmob with on a preschool field trip.

He went and sat down with her, big hugs all around, and I knew he would be fine.
One of the few ways I feel comfortable sharing a pic of someone else's child on my blog. 

They are best buddies and she helps him so much. Some of that help is because she can be a little bossy and he adores her so much he'll do whatever she says, but I'll take it.  I left with no worries about him.

On Tuesday, I went to go sign him out from his group and the leader of that group told me that he had been moved to another group that morning.  They ended up with a lot more 5 year-olds than they had planned on, so they split the kids up and created a second group.

My panicked eyes flew to the new sign out list, quickly scanning down the sheet. Phew. Bear's girlfriend had been moved to the other group with him.

I gave a relieved laugh and said, "Oh, I'm so glad you moved Bear and Bear's Girlfriend together."

An eyeroll was the response that I received.  When Bear was told to go to the other group, he and his girlfriend grabbed hands and headed to the new group together. They were told no, Bear was moving, but Girlfriend was not. They stopped, kept holding hands, and refused. So, the wise teachers decided not to fight it and let the two be together.

I could be embarrassed that my child wasn't listening and doing as he was told. But, I'm not.

Instead, I'm taking a lesson from him.  He has someone whom he sticks with. Someone who holds his hand and helps him. Someone he has a blast with.

And he wasn't about to let anyone separate them.

Yes, they both play with others. And they don't have to be together all the time.

But, when it comes down to it, they have that person that they want with them. And they aren't letting go.

I think we should all have a friend like that.  We might not always be together, but when it's important, we stick together.

Do you have a friend like that? 

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: A Screaming Mama

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

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


Every night, when my boys are fast asleep, I think about how the next day will go.

That tomorrow, I will have patience with them. That I will bite my tongue, count to ten, and calmly handle everything that comes up.

That I won't freak out when one of my boys decides to slide down the banister or when another chases me out to the mailbox when he's completely naked. Or when the third pulls my iPhone out of the back of his pull-up. And then screams because he has a Hi-Ho Cherry-O piece stuck up his nose.

After all, it's just little things. It's not like we have a gorilla-glue-all-over-the-couch incident every day.  And they only gave each other horrible hair haircuts once. Okay, twice.

In general, they are just typical little boys with lots and lots and lots of energy.

And they want to PLAY.  That's rough and tumble little boy play: physical, active, messy, and LOUD. Oh, for the love of God, are they LOUD.

But, they have the biggest smiles and the sweetest little hearts.

What they do is just natural little boy curiosity, not malicious bratty behavior. Even the gorilla glue incident was an accident.  Sure, they might wrestle around, but that's about the worst of it.

But, as good as my intentions are each day to handle all these little things with grace and calm, I fail miserably.  Yes, this mama loses it.


I never wanted to be a screamer. Deep breaths and counting to ten don't sound all that hard when I'm looking at their angelic sleeping faces.

And then it's the middle of the day. And they are arguing over something totally stupid. And someone spilled juice all over the floor and someone else accidentally knocked over the laundry I had just folded. And then they all gang up and decide to see if they can whine their way into heading to the pool even though it's about to storm.

Oh yes, mama screams.






LA, LA, LA!!! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! with my hands over my ears. Okay, I only did this once, and it was after my oldest had done this all morning to his brothers. This one actually shocked them into silence. 

I know I don't want to be like that. But, my patience gets chipped away little by little each day until I'm that cranky, yelling mama.

My patience doesn't return until they are once again fast asleep. And the cycle starts all over again.

If you link up, please visit the linker above you and the one below you. You can always visit more, too!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Really Loud Purse for a Good Cause

Have you met Pursey? Pursey is a very loud purse. You can't help but notice her.  She travels around the country to different bloggers who show her a good time. She is the brain child of Lori, who started Project Purse and Boots.  Pursey is not just fun to carry around as we try to out-loud the loud purse, but there's also a cause that goes along with the sequins.  For every stop Pursey makes, she raises money for "The American Stroke Association in celebration of caregivers taking time to take care of themselves."

Pursey showed up in Asheville, NC last week to make an appearance at the Type A Parent Conference. Here are just some of the pics:

Me and my bloggy-other-half @PorchSwingMom

@dadstreet and Janice from @5minutesformom

Pursey even won over fashion/beauty/style blogger @CharmedValerie

My dinner crew Friday night: @evry1nosmehere, @allfookeduptoo, @ByWordsMusings, @PorchSwingMom and of course, Pursey

Me, @caitm who also tweets for @mabelhood, and @RealLifeSarah

Me and @DearBadKitty, Founder and Principal of @CleverGirlsColl- we should really all be Clever Girls! Even Pursey. 

Pursey really made the rounds at Type A Con.  I will post more Pursey and conference pics on my facebook page later.

If you would like to make a donation, you can click HERE to be taken to Pursey's page on the American Heart/American Stroke Association. 

Linking to WW at 5minutesformom

3 Lessons Learned from Type A Con Plus Spreading Bloggy Love

From Wednesday thru Saturday last week, I was at Type A Parent Conference in Asheville, NC. And no, you don't have to be Type A to attend. It was my secret fear last year that I'd be found out and kicked out for being far from Type A.

And while I took some fun pics- I'll share some a little later today as part of an early Wordless Wednesday and some I'll post on facebook (click "like" over there in my sidebar- you know you want to!!!), and while I learned some valuable info, like how we can't under any circumstances have "like my/a company's facebook page" as even an optional entry in a giveaway, that isn't what I want to talk about right now.

Instead, here are some more general takeaways from the conference, to keep in mind for when you attend a blog conference:

1.  If there is someone you want to get to meet, GO TALK TO THEM. There were a few people that I talked to that had me inwardly thinking OMG, I'm talking to so-and-so and it probably showed on my dorky face.  But, I got to talk to them because I went up to them and talked to them.  Don't ever assume someone doesn't want to talk to you just because they don't approach you first. Conferences are busy and people get caught up in conversations. Most are not ignoring others on purpose and will talk to you if you make the effort to go up to them.  Don't jump to the conclusion that someone is snubbing you.

2.  It's okay to take a break for a little while.  While I went to some fabulous sessions at Type A, I also skipped a few so that I could go relax in my room for a little bit or walk around the adorable town of Asheville with my fabulous roommate/partner-in-crime/other half Ashley.  Conferences can be very go-go-go, and if you don't step away for a minute now and then, you might wind up burnt out and wanting to go to bed at 8pm... which brings me to #3.

3. Even though you will be really tired, stay up late and join the parties!  While I talked to lots of people during the day, the days were more focused on sessions, while I had more in-depth conversations with people drinking hanging out on the patio til all hours of the night. That was where I felt like I really made connections. Um, not the icky I'm using you to get something for me kind of connections, but friendship connections, y'all.

If you've been to Type A or any blogging conference, what tips do you have to add? If you haven't been, what questions do you have?

I'm also over at Creative Kristi's blog today, talking about someone I think does an amazing job at Spreading Bloggy Love 

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Monday, June 27, 2011

When a Girl Has Nothing to Wear

First, let me just say that this is in no way a sponsored post.  It's also in no way about being nekkid.

I pretty much live in sundresses in the summer. Casual things that I can toss over my swimsuit to head to the pool or the beach. Or to wear around in this obnoxious humidity.

But, I go for the $10-20 specials from Target, Old Navy, and any sundress sale I happen to see.

So, when I need something fancy, like for a summer wedding, I'm kind of stumped. I don't have fancy dresses. And I hate the idea of spending money on them because I'll wear them once and then they'll just go to waste in my closet. Even if, like these past two weekends, I have two weddings to go to, one right after another. Because if I see some of the same people at both, I want to be wearing something different each time.

But, it's just not practical for me to go on a crazy shopping spree.

Enter Rent the Runway.  I feel like I should say TA-DA!!!! after that.

On Rent the Runway, you can choose from tons of designer dresses and YES, rent them.  They rent the dresses out for 10% of the retail value. You can choose to have the dress come a day or two before your event.  The day after your event, you put the dress(es) in the prepaid shipping package they include and drop it in a mailbox and you're done. No cleaning necessary.

I rented a dress from Rent the Runway for my bil's wedding last week and another dress for a wedding this past weekend.  They will send you the same dress in two different sizes to ensure a fit- at no additional charge.

Me and Hubs at his brother's wedding. Ignore the hideous pink vest he had to wear as Best Man. My new sil picked that one out. 
My dress for bil's wedding. I felt like I was ready for a party on the beach. Or maybe I was just dreaming about running away to a tropical island somewhere. 

And at a wedding this past weekend. I also rented that bling on my wrist!
There was a floaty piece on the front of the dress that was blowing around on the beach. Such a fun dress. 

Each dress was $50 to rent, though if you aren't sure if you'll like the dress, you can always pick a second dress of equal or lesser value to rent for an additonal $25. I took a chance on these and didn't order a back up, and I ended up loving them. There are many designers to choose from, but apparently, I'm a Halston girl. Who knew?

Dress rentals start at $50 and go up from there, depending on the retail value of the dress that you select.  You do have to sign up to view the site, but it's free to sign up. Be sure to check out the deal emails they send out- I got $50 off a rental of $75 or more, which is why I rented that bling-y bracelet to go along with that second dress. 

I will definitely rent from them again whenever I have an event to go to. I love the idea of getting to wear a fabulous runway dress that I'd otherwise not be able to afford. And it's a fun way to add something to your wardrobe... even if it's temporary! 

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Linking with Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious? because I've included pics of me and one of my "babies." The husband kind counts as much as the kid kind. 

*I was not asked to write this post and received nothing for writing it. I just think it's such a fabulous site that I wanted you all to know about it! *SIGH* I figured out tonight that I actually have a referral link for this. And if you sign up through it and end up renting, I'd get a $20 code. Oh well. At least you know that I really do love this and wasn't just trying to get credit on the site. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Kelley's Break Room

Do you ever read a post and think I wish I had thought of that? This week's Blog Friend Feature makes me have moments like that all the time. She's so incredibly witty. She managed to snag a fabulous writing job... just from her hilarious tweets. It takes skills to impress people that much in under 140 characters.  Though, today, you get to see her in full effect: Meet Kelley from Kelley's Break Room
"When Crush crushed me"

Before I start blabbing my mouth right off, let me thank you, Shell, for having me in the BFF chair.  This is truly an honor!  Nice chair!  Like so many of us, I have been touched by your words and stories and am grateful that you are sharing your space with me today.

Much time was spent trying to figure out what kind of post to write.  The posts on my site are 98.9% not serious and mostly have to do with silly topics like misnamed neighborhoods, song parodies, Spanish-speaking manatees, Mister Rogers and games, like Captcha Balderdash and Name That Job.  Given that Shell's posts are uplifting many times, I decided to mix some serious and some silly.

For my son's 5th birthday in October 2009, we took him to Disney World at Halloween.  My husband dressed up as Darth Vader, I was Princess Leah and my son was a Storm Trooper.  We left our baby at home with my parents with his Ewok costume.  Like everyone else, we had a really great time, although my son did keep asking, "When we are done with ____, can we go back to us hotel and go swimming?"   WHAT IN THE HECK?

Perhaps I had the most fun acting like I was in the paparazzi.  I kept getting distracted by ladies with big wings.  These pair of wings were spotted in line for the Jungle Cruise:

Ladies with ridiculous Disney-walking shoes like these below also distracted me:

And especially these below.  Goodness gracious alive.  I had to chase this lady down to Pooh's "Hunny Pot" to take this picture.  I'm pretty sure I had to perch one foot on an old stranger's fanny pack and the other on Billy Bob's gut to get it, too.

My cheerful mood soon plummeted, though.

At stinkin' EPCOT.

I actually LOVE Epcot.  It has always been one of my favorites of the various parks. You might think my day went south when my Norwegian chocolate melted or when I compared myself to the belly dancer in Morocco or when I didn't have time to finish my margarita in Mexico (which, let's be honest, all are true), but that wasn't it. 

It was when we were at the Turtle Talk With Crush show.



I don't really blame him.  His behavior was typical and was not malicious.

But still.

My very young 5-year-old, who really looks almost 6 given his height, sat right up front with all of the other kids while my husband and I sat in the back.  Crush, the big turtle from Finding Nemo, swims around in his tank and interacts with the kids through some hocus-pocus computer magic.  He "sees" the kids with their hands raised and encourages them to ask anything they would like.  It is such a fun, fun time for everyone!

Unless your son is speech delayed.

Like mine. 

His brand new 5-year-old little hand was raised as high as it could reach.  He didn't get picked out of the 6 times he probably lifted his hand.  He begged to go through the line again to see the Crush show again once the show was over.  He wanted so badly to have a chance to talk to that turtle.

He was oblivious to his communication difficulties.

Dory is...not-so-smart.
During the second show, after raising his hand probably 4-5 times, Crush picked him.

The whole room was staring at him.  I was holding my breath.  And cringing.  I was happy he wanted to talk to Crush and was brave enough to raise his little hand, but knew this interaction was probably not going to be pretty.

My son said something.

No one understood him. 

Crush was staring at him like he was Dory or something.

"Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, like, what are you saying, duuuuuuuuude?  I can't understand you, dude. DUDE!"  *Cue a really, really long laugh track that includes all the voices inside that room that day

Dagger in my heart.

My son is still smiling and wants to ask another question.  He doesn't realize the laughter is at his expense.  He asks another question that is not understood.

"Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, I'm having trouble here understanding you, dude.  Hahahahaha!!!"  Crush was joined by a bunch of other "hahahahahahaha"s from the crowd.

Crush tries one more time to have my son repeat his question.  This time he asks something that everyone somehow understands this time.  He asked Crush, "Do you wear a hat?  Do you burp or toot?"

Oh, dear Lord.

"Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, what did you say?  Ummmm....this is crazy, dude.  Like, okay, well, uhhhh, YES.  Hahahahaha!!!  Did you also ask if I wear a hat?  Like, no, I don't wear a hat, dude.  You're crazy, dude.  Who has another question?"

I was so very relieved that Crush caught any of the words my son said, even if they happened to be "burp" and "toot", because I knew that one more failed communication attempt would definitely be noticed by my little guy.  He would have been crushed at that point, too.

It was clear throughout their little interaction that Crush was trying to get some laughs at my son's expense.  I wasn't really upset with Crush at all.

My heart just hurt for my son.

He was still smiling, though.  Beaming, actually.

Almost two years later, my little guy, now almost 7 and communicating well, still remembers he asked Crush those exact questions.

He is still smiling about it. 

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

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Parenting Do's and Don'ts: Part 2

Last month, some fabulous bloggers shared their Parenting Do's and Don'ts. I loved your advice so much that I decided to ask some more bloggers for their advice. They are sharing that with you today: parenting do's and don'ts that you can actually use!  Be sure to visit some of these wise mamas!

DO feed your kids healthy things for their bodies like fruit.

DON'T let them eat their whole body weight in fruit say like watermelon or you will spend your whole night cleaning up the bathroom after said child because, "Mom, my butt threw up" and he couldn't make it to the toilet in time.

DO what you can, and always remember that at the end of the day your best IS good enough.

DON'T sweat the small stuff. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. If you worry about all the little things that don't matter, you waste precious time that would be better spent soaking in all the rewards being a mom has to share!
-Brandi @ Think Tank Momma

DO notice the candy-coated moments. They go by so very fast.

DON'T forget to keep your relationship with your significant other in the middle- it's truly the heart of your family.
-Galit Breen @ These Little Waves

DO make time for exercise 4-5 days a week. Even if you have to wake up super early or work out very late, your sanity will thank you for it.

DON'T beat yourself up over a missed workout. Just look at the next week and budget in your times that you can exercise - writing it down will help make it happen.

DO Take several timeout's for yourself. I may joke about being in timeout a lot on my blog, but seriously do it. Go get a pedicure. Lounge around during naptime. Have a date night out with your hubby. All parents need a break. Don't feel guilty taking one.

DON'T Be afraid to ask others questions. Something may happen in your parenting tenure that you think nobody else would have experienced. Guess what? Someone probably has. Ask around and you just might get some really great advice.

DO find some mommy friends if you're a stay at home mom...join a MOMS Club or MOPS, being a new mom or stay at home mom can be a very lonely time if you don't have friends

DON'T let the one mom at the park who rebuffed your attempts at friendship keep you down or keep you from trying again...who knows, maybe she's had a crazy day or her kids are driving her nuts...we've all been there!
-Holly @ Holly's House

DO give your child limited choices(food, weather appropriate clothing, toys, etc.). I promise the child does not usually have their best interest in mind, they just want to fulfill their desires. You are the parent, limit those choices to help them make the right decision ( "The high is 5 degrees today, do you want to wear your blue sweater or red sweatshirt to school today?").

DON'T you believe for a a single moment that a child is completely capable of making all the right choices for all the right reasons. Sometimes they make those right choices purely by mistake. Remember their brains are still developing (even as teenagers/young adults), they will need you behind them for some time.

DO learn to pee, eat, pull up your pants, fill out important paperwork, and do laundry all with one hand BEFORE you have a baby. Because that is how you will be doing everything from then on.

DON'T expect your childless friends to be as fascinated by your baby's poop as you are.
-Stephanie @ The Blue Zoo

DO remember that your children may be young, but they are very impressionable.

DON'T forget what you might inadvertantly promise to your kids; they are like elephants, they never forget.

DO be prepared for plenty of life lessons once you become a parent.  Such as...boogers are an acceptable snack food when in a pinch, kids will not hear you ask them to clean up their room but they will hear you mumble the word "shit" under your breath even if they're in the next room (and they will repeat it exactly at the wrong time in a very public place), the family pets will need to be on a serious dose of anti-depressants, there is no point in having a bunk bed if you can't fling your little brother off of the top bunk, any and all forms of bodily fluids and/or bodily noises are worth a giggle or two (especially if discussed at the dinner table on Thanksgiving) and kids only require 2 food groups, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

DON'T give into Mommy Peer Pressure.  Who cares about the June Cleaver Wanna-Be down the street who always looks stylish, has a winning smile and never seems to smell like baby puke.  So what if she hand knits all her kid's hats and gloves and bakes amazingly delicious cookies for all the school's bake sales.  

Your kids love you because of who YOU are.  They don't care what you smell like, what you look like or the fact that you haven't washed your hair in 3 days.  Kids don't need perfection...they just need a mom who loves them unconditionally and can dole out hugs and kisses like no one's business.

Besides, the June Cleaver Wanna-Be is probably a complete bitch behind closed doors and has no real friends.
-Helene @ I'm Living Proof God Has a Sense of Humor

Want to share your advice for the next edition of Parenting Do's and Don'ts?  Email me @ thingsicantsaymichelle at gmail dot com, subject "Parenting Do's and Don'ts." Include ONE do and ONE don't and your blog url.  Please submit by Saturday, 6/25.  Not all submissions will be used due to space constraints, but I'd love to hear from you. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: My Soft Place to Land

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

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


P.S. I'm traveling today. I will visit all the linkers as usual, but it might take me a bit longer this week! Thanks for joining in. 

If you've been around these past few weeks, you know that I have been struggling with feeling overwhelmed lately. I was trying to figure out ways to deal with it.

And though I'm not completely through it, I am starting to feel better.

Through it all, I've realized something really important.

I have a soft place to land.

Someone who loves me through all my crazy.

My up and down moods, my crying jags, my pissed-off rants, my exhaustion, my crabbiness.  The times I stomp my foot like a child and loudly whine that something isn't fair. And oh, have I mentioned the crying?

But, Hubs loves me through all of it.

I know that I'm able to vent and whine and pout and cry and he'll listen to me.  He'll hold me when I need it, fix what he can, make me laugh, and make me realize that I'm never alone.

When I'm with him, I don't ever have to pretend that things are okay when they are not.

There is such peace in having someone who gets me like he does.

Yes, he was forced to wear that bright pink vest as best man at his brother's wedding last weekend. 

Marry someone who is your best friend: the advice you hear over and over again.  Someone who loves you for you. 

And I did. Still so in love with my husband: almost 10 years since we met, 8+ years of marriage, 3 kids, countless moves, and many cranky days later. 

Even when I am feeling overwhelmed, I know that I have this amazing man as my husband.  The good days, our friendship, and our love get us through it all.

A-hem: feeling the need to add- I'm not always difficult and Hubs isn't always easy. There's no good guy/bad guy here. Just a balanced marriage where we support each other...which is why our marriage works!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Favorite Family Video Games Plus Giveaway

My boys spend a lot of time outside during the summer. Running around and playing. But, on rainy days or times when this mama needs to be inside to get some work done, video games are a fun option.
To celebrate summer fun, Redbox is asking moms, "What's your family's favorite video game to play together?" Plus, they are rewarding 2 lucky people with a chance to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes. AND 3 of you will win 5 video game rentals from Redbox right here!

Video games can get expensive so I love being able to rent them from Redbox before we buy, to be sure that my boys will actually like the games! Redbox, America’s favorite destination for movie rentals, is now renting video games in 21,000 kiosks nationwide for $2 a day.  Redbox is truly a one-stop shop for affordable, family home entertainment with both games and movies. 

We rented Just Dance from Redbox a few times before we decided to buy it.  That is one of our favorite games to play together as a family, though my boys prefer the kids' version.

My boys are also fans of Dora Saves the Snow Princess because there is help for them in the bottom corner of the screen, showing them what to do with their Wii remotes.

Check out the rules for the big $10,000 giveaway below. Plus, if you leave a comment telling me what your favorite video game to play as a family is, you'll be entered to win 5 video game rental codes from Redbox.  Three winners will be selected via random.org at 9pm ET on Tuesday, June 28.

Redbox is celebrating summer family time with a great line up of family-friendly titles, awesome savings and two chances to win $10,000 as part of the Redbox Summer of Fun & Games Sweepstakes.*

4 Easy Ways to Enter:
1.  Enter your email address at www.redbox.com/summer
2.  Rent a movie or game at a redbox kiosk (and provide a valid email address at checkout)
3.  Reserve a rental online at redbox.com
4.  Text 'SUMMER' to 727272

Enter to win today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Redbox. The opinions and text are all mine.
*Each item rented earns one entry, regardless of how long it is rented, up to three entries per day. Limit 3 entries per day, regardless of entry method. The sweepstakes begins May 27, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. CT and ends on August 1, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CT. No purchase necessary. See official rules at www.redbox.com/summer.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

You Know What Rockin' the Bump Leads to? Find Out What's Next!

All of your adorable baby bumps linked up for Rockin' the Bump have given me baby fever!  We have almost 200 linkers so far and the linky doesn't close until tonight. We got lots of attention, even getting a write up over on Babble!

If you haven't joined in, there is still time! And be sure to visit the other baby bump mamas- it's a great way to get to find new blogs to read!


Looking at all the belly pics made me pout a little and wished I could rock a new bump because:

1. I never did all the cute week-by-week or even month-by-month belly pics.

2. I never got professional preggo pics taken.

3. Pregnancy would give me a ton of new blog topics.

4. I could wear a bikini this summer and have people oooh and aw over my belly.

5. My maternity clothes are cuter than my regular clothes. Even though I've given most of them away.

6. Having another baby could even things up around here. If we had four kids, everyone would have a partner for the rides at an amusement park.

7. I love getting to hear the baby's heartbeat and feeling him(you know it would be another "him") move around.

8.  It would be fun to try to Zumba with a big ol' bump.

9.  Hubs treats me like a queen when I'm pregnant. I like being Queen.

10.  I would totally tweet my labor.

But, then I remember:

My "baby" just turned 3 and is almost out of diapers. He's going to preschool, while the other two will be in full-day school for the first time this fall. OMG, there will be QUIET. And NO DIAPERS.  Plus, Hubs manned up and had the big snip-snip two years ago.

So, no more babies for me.

But, I still have baby fever.  Might as well roll with it!

Button by Jess at Frilly Coconut

Link up a favorite baby pic... or favorite baby picS if you can't pick just one!
Not a mama yet? You can even share a baby pic of YOU if you want to join in. Or pics of a special baby in your life. Any adorable baby cuteness will do!
Linky will open at midnight ET on Monday, July 11 and close at 11:59pm on Monday, July 18th.
We will have sponsors for this next event, so there will be a chance for you to win some prizes, just by linking up! Hope you will join in and make this another fabulous event!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hapari Swimsuit Review and Giveaway

It is HOT down here in the South. My boys and I spend a lot of time at the pool, trying to stay cool.

Yes, I have to wear a swimsuit. SIGH.

Last summer, I discovered Hapari International LLC swimsuits.  And for the first time in many years, I found a swimsuit that I actually liked.

Hapari has women's swimwear and tankinis that are both adorable and practical.

I currently have this one, which is on clearance right now:

I love that you can wear the straps three different ways: halter, tank, and crisscross. I also like that the top is long enough that my mommy tummy isn't going to be peeking out. That really doesn't need to see the light of day.  Plus, there are pockets in the top for silicone inserts or Hapari's "Illusions" if you are like me and like to have a little something extra added to your top.

You have your choice of bottons: regular, hot shorts, or tummy tuk.  I have the tummy tuk bottoms and they really work: no muffin top in these bottoms!  I ordinarily would go right for the size medium bottoms but I did find that I had to size down in Hapari bottoms. SCORE. There is information on Hapari's sizing page for both tops and bottoms.

This suit stays in place, which is so important since I'm chasing three little boys around the pool or at the beach.

There are new styles out this year and this one is my favorite- can't wait to wear it!

Giveaway: One of you will win an $85 gift card to Hapari for the swimsuit of your choice. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comment(s). Giveaway will close at 9pm ET 6/26. Winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

Mandatory Entry: Visit Hapari.com and then leave a comment here telling me which is your favorite swimsuit.

Additional Entries: Mandatory entry must be completed first. Please leave a separate comment for each thing that you do.

*Share this giveaway on facebook.
*Tweet this giveaway and leave the direct link to your tweet in your comment (one tweet only, please)
*Like Things I Can't Say on facbook(you can do this in my sidebar)

My review comes from my experience with a Hapari swimsuit I received last summer. I will be receiving a gift certificate for a new one after posting this giveaway. All opinions are my own. 

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is #136: Caitlin. 

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Therapon Theraderm Skin Renewal System Review and $140 Giveaway!

I'm a pretty simple girl.  I have to be since I have three small boys racing around my house who will wreak havoc if I take too long trying to get myself ready.

Tossing on a sundress and flip flops is the extent of my "getting ready" on summer mornings.  My hair is usually tossed up in a messy bun and then I'm set to go.

But, the one thing that I am actually fussy about is my skin.  Because glowing skin might distract people from the fact that clumsy me one of my boys probably spilled something on my dress. Plus, I want to fight getting older. Or at least, fight looking like I'm getting older.

So, I was excited when I won the Theraderm Skin Renewal System with Enriched Moisturizer back in January.  Though, I kept using my regular cleansers until they were gone and finally got around to trying this system a little over a month ago after reading about their promise of healthy, radiant skin. Who doesn't want that?


It's four steps- which usually makes me turn away- because who has time for that? But, the four steps of the Theraderm Skin Renewal System are clearly labeled and very easy to use.

Step 1: Cleansing Wash
Step 2: Fruit Acid Exfoliant
Step 3: OPC Reparative Gel
Step 4: Enriched Facial Moisturizer

I actually love it so much that I contacted Therapon and asked if they would let me giveaway one of their systems to you.  Because, let's face it: I could rave about it and you might listen.... but you're more likely to check out my review if you can win something, too.

Now, I said $140 giveaway, though this system is actually $137.50. But, that didn't quite have the same ring in my title, so forgive me, okay?

You know that I tend to be really cheap frugal, but after using this system for over a month, I haven't put much of a dent into it.  Considering it's four products plus the Gentle Action Application pads for the Fruit Acid Exfoliant, it's a lot of bang for your buck.

Giveaway: One of you will win a Theraderm Skin Renewal System.  This giveaway is open to US addresses only. If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comment(s). Giveaway will close at 9pm ET 6/26. Winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

Choose one or more of the entry methods: Must leave a separate comment for each thing that you do!
*Like Therapon on facebook
*Follow @theraponskin on twitter and leave your twitter name
*Sign up for Therapon's promos on “The Skinny”
*Follow Things I Can't Say GFC
*Like Things I Can't Say on facebook (you can do this right in my sidebar)
*Share this giveaway on Facebook

Disclaimer: I won the Theraderm Skin Renewal System, with no obligation to blog about it. All opinions are my own. Just sharing something fabulous with you. 

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is #142 jsc123. 


Friday, June 17, 2011

Blog Friend Feature: Mommy Shorts

When I feel like I need a good laugh, I know that I will get one from this week's Blog Friend Feature. In fact, I'll not only laugh at the hilarious stuff she comes up with, I'll probably snort and maybe even pee myself a little. She's THAT funny. Though, she's sharing a little sweeter side today, in honor of Father's Day. 

Let me introduce you to Ilana from Mommy Shorts

First of all, I'd like to thank Shell for having me here today. She is one of the most generous bloggers I have come across and I'm totally in awe of the community she has built around her site.

Today, I think it's only appropriate that I talk about my husband since Father's Day is on Sunday. It seems like I have talked about the holiday relentlessly on Mommy Shorts but I have yet to give Mike a proper send-up.

I poke a lot of fun at my husband on my blog. He plays the role of the stereotypical guy who likes to talk about sports and the weather and won't ask people for directions and wouldn't know how to put Mazzy (our 1 1/2 year old) down for a nap if he tried. (For the record, every word of that is true.)

But the reason I am allowed to have so much fun at his expense is because THE MAN EATS IT UP. He loves that the posts about him tend to get more traffic (he calls himself a "fan favorite") and more than once, he has suggested a Mike-central blog topic. Like the time he said I should do a post recording each aspect of our road trip to DC in real time.

For example...

8:14am: Mike suggests I do a blog post recording each aspect of our road trip to DC in real time.

8:15am: I ask Mike if he understands that I'm not twiddling my thumbs in the backseat, I'm taking care of a ten month old.

When I started writing Mommy Shorts, Mazzy was about six months old. At the time, I described Mike's role as pretty limited. He wasn't breastfeeding (obviously), he avoided changing diapers as much as possible, and he never woke up to tend to the baby in the middle of the night. Of course— he still claimed exhaustion. But the only thing I can figure is that I may have jostled him awake momentarily on the numerous instances I reluctantly got out of bed to do my maternal duties.

The difference between the roles of mother and father were pretty shocking to me. Especially since before the baby, we were equal parts husband and wife. We both had full-time jobs and I was used to us taking care of each other, paying our way and contributing to the household as a team.

But the interesting thing I've realized recently, is that as Mazzy grows, the roles begin to even out. For the past few months, it is Mike who is getting up with Mazzy in the morning and feeding her breakfast. And since he has always been the cook (his one atypical "guy's guy" feature), now that Mazzy eats what we eat, he makes her dinner too. Plus, he's watched her on his own a few times when I've been away. He'll even send pictures where Mazzy is not only fully dressed but wearing what I can only assume is not the same diaper I put her in before I left.

Also? When I'm away, Mike puts a barrette in Mazzy's hair just like I do. True, Mazzy is like Baby Captain Caveman without a barrette, but still. The thought of him doing her hair is just too cute for words.

Nine months of pregnancy did it's fair share to prepare me for the huge responibility of being a mother. But it doesn't prepare a father in the same way. I think it took the first year of Mazzy's life to do that.

And now, for the first time, I feel like we are both completely immersed in parenthood.

Equally and together.

Mommy Shorts Button B/W

Please leave Ilana some comment love here and then go follow Mommy Shorts if you don't already!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's Your Song?

I can't sing.

Not even a little bit.

But, music speaks to me.

Certain songs take me right back to a memory from long ago. Other songs make me cry every time I hear them.

And then there are songs that make me smile, make me sing, make me dance.

So, I'm joining in with Goodnight Moon today to share one of those types of songs.

With lines like "Sunshine gonna wash my blues away" and "the only worry in the world
is the tide gonna reach my chair," I am loving "Knee Deep" by Zac Brown Band. If you haven't heard it before, take a listen:

You have to smile when you listen to it, don't you?

What song are you loving right now?


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Getting Through

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post.

But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

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


Last week, I shared with you just how overwhelmed I've been feeling lately. And as much as I'd love to pretend that everything is just fine now... and completely change the subject... that wouldn't be very honest. And I'm nothing if not honest on here. Even when it sometimes hurts.

Besides, you were all so supportive that I want to share with you how I'm getting through now.

I remind myself to take deep breaths.
Because deep breaths calm me and remind me I am breathing.

I cuddle my kids.
Because there is healing power in a child's hug.

I workout at the gym.
Because I focus on that and nothing else in that moment.

I have a glass of wine.
Because it helps to relax me.

I skype with a friend.
Because she reminds me that life can be good.

I read a sad book.
Because it gives me permission to sob.

I listen to a happy song.
Because it distracts me and makes me laugh.

I sleep.
Because rest is good.

I blog.
Because you make me feel not as alone.

I sit out in the sunshine.
Because it warms me.

I sit out under the stars.
Because the silence calms me.

I take some more deep breaths.
Because I know I can get through this.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer of Love

Yesterday was the first official day of summer in my house: the first weekday when all of my boys were home from school because SCHOOL IS OVER.

When I was a teacher, I used to sing and dance and run my skinny butt to the beach when school was out for the year.

As a mom, I try to hide my I've-had-three-kids butt in the closet with a bag of oreos and hope the kids don't find me.

But, Gigi at Kludgy Mom asked me to write a post for her fun series "Summer of Love," so I tried to think of the things I still love about summer.

Go visit, please!

Kludgy Mom

Comments are off. 


Who Couldn't Use Help with Organizing Household Accounts?

Organized? Who, me? No, it's more like a whirlwind around here! But, being that mom means that I HAVE to take care of things like our bills. Trying to keep track of it all gets a little overwhelming. Most of us have over 20 different household accounts. Even though we can manage a lot of these online, that's 20 different places we need to visit to do this. That's not much help!

Last month I got a sneak peek into Manilla, a new household account organization site, and I wanted to share this site with you because it can organize all of those accounts into ONE place for you to manage them all. Plus, in June they are doing an amazing Giveaway: one lucky new user will win $1,000 cash to pay their bills!

But, back to Manilla: it's a free service that helps you manage your household accounts. Everything from banking, credit cards and utilities, to travel rewards and loyalty points.

Manilla automatically retrieves and organizes bills, statements, and other account information, delivers offers, facilitates payments, and sets and delivers reminders.

Oh and all that clutter from paperwork? Manilla helps with that, too.  Manilla also provides unlimited storage of account documents.

Everything all in one place, with just one password to remember: anything to make a mama's life easier!

Get organized and be entered to win $1,000 cash to pay your bills!

How to Enter:
1.  Sign up with Manilla
2.  Link one or more household, financial, subscription or rewards account within Manilla
3.  Come back and leave a comment telling me you signed up and how Manilla can save you time!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Manilla. The opinions and text are all mine.  Contest runs June 7-30, 2011.  Winner must be signed up with Manilla with at least one account linked to win. A random winner will be selected by July 1, 2011.  Official Contest Rules


Monday, June 13, 2011

Rockin' the Bump Link-up! Show Off Your Baby Bumps!

Mamas, it's time to show off those baby bump pics! Whether you had a cute little bump or you were rockin a big bump, post your baby bump pic(s), grab a button, and link up! Linky will close next Monday night to give you a chance to join in and visit the other mamas!


First baby bump. I thought I was HUGE. Bwahahahaha!

 Why yes, I was rockin' baby bump #2 at my oldest's FIRST birthday. 

Baby bump #3: third baby due less than 3.5 years after first was born. Hubs and I escaped to a winery in California. And yes, there was a TEENY bit of wine in that glass. 

Oh, um, yes, my hair spontaneously went from blonde to brunette when I got pregnant with my first baby and then spontaneously went back to blonde after my second was born. *cough, cough*

Link up and show off your bump, too! 

Come back July 11 and Join in Rockin' the Baby!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

One Year of Blog Friend Feature!

One year ago tomorrow, I introduced the very first Blog Friend Feature here on Things I Can't Say. When I started it, I thought that it might be a summer feature, but after seeing your response to BFF, I decided to continue it- and now here we are: a year later!

As long as the BFFs continue to get new friends from their feature day, we'll continue to have BFFs each week!

The first week of January, I did a recap of the first 30 BFFS.  There have been 20 more since then and I'd like to recap them, too. In case you are wondering how my math adds up to one year: 30+20+1 recap post+1 week when Blogger wouldn't let me post=52 weeks.

How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

Unexplained x2

Kludgy Mom

Boobies, Babies, and a Blog

Seven Clown Circus

Single Mom in the South


Theta Mom

Parenting by Dummies

Best of Fates

Sellabit Mum

Dutch being Me

Four Plus an Angel

I'm Living Proof God Has a Sense of Humor

My Crazy Busy Life

Peanut Butter in My Hair

Good Day, Regular People

Emmy Mom

View from the Shoe

Mom Tried It

Take a look at the list and see if you know all of those bloggers! If not, go meet someone new. And if you do know them all, take a look at the first recap post to see if you can find a blog that you don't know yet.  Or, P.S. you could click on the "Blog Friend Feature" label below to bring up all of the BFF posts.

Some of you were asking me how you could be the Blog Friend Feature.  It's easy: just have a blog of your own and be an active part of the community here at Things I Can't Say.  I keep a running list of people I'd love to feature and try to work my way through it. If you haven't been featured yet(especially if you are new to my blog), thanks for your patience!