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Monday, October 31, 2011

Why It's Good to Let Your Kids Have Halloween Candy

If your kids are anything like mine, they cannot wait for Trick-or-Treating tonight. Getting dressed up in their costumes and getting tons of candy!

But then comes the debate on how much candy we can let our kids eat and still be considered a "good mom" in the eyes of other moms.

Letting your child dive in and eat as much as they want is not a good idea. One year, our oldest managed to sneak his candy bag out of its hiding place and chow down. Later, his room was strewn with candy wrappers and puke. Even if you don't have a pukefest, your child's teacher will likely wish that the day after Halloween was a National Holiday if your child comes to school fully sugared up.

But, not letting your child have any or only letting them have one piece before you give it away might be extreme, too.

When I was growing up, we were not allowed any sugar at all. Unless you count the natural sugars found in fruit/fruit juice. My mother made everything from scratch because she wanted to make sure we were getting totally healthy, all-natural, sugar-free foods. No sugar and nothing artificial.

Yet, we were still allowed to go trick-or-treating. Because she couldn't deny us dressing up and getting to go out like the other kids.

But, unless we were given something like raisins, we couldn't have any of our candy.

None. Not even one piece.


My father was around. And then he'd let us have all we wanted. Because it was such a rare treat, we dove in and ate until we felt sick... and then ate some more.

Making candy be so off-limits made it all the more desirable.

Now, I'm not going to let my own kids have a crazy sugar-fest where they can eat all they want. But, they can have a few pieces each day for a few days- after which, they will have either forgotten the candy is there or will assume that they ate it all.

A few pieces for a few days is not going to hurt them. And because they know they can have some, it won't seem like such a forbidden temptation.

Well, except that they can't have any Reeses peanut butter cups: those are for me and Hubs to fight over.

What do you do with your child/children's Halloween candy? 


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Superhero Cape Giveaway from Babypop Designs

My boys are already convinced that they are superheroes. Or perhaps the bad guys that superheroes fight...

Either way, they love to play pretend. 

So, of all the packages we've received so far, the superhero capes and masks from Babypop Designs has been their absolute favorite. 

Sherry Aikens is the creator of Babypop Designs. I already knew from meeting her at different conferences that she is a fabulous person. But, now I know she is a fabulously creative person as well. Her capes have even been seen on Good Morning America.

Each cape is individualized: you can pick the cape color, the logo and its color, as well as the letter and its color. Capes are reasonably priced at $17.  They are well-made and durable. My boys received their capes almost two weeks ago and they have worn them every single day.
Don't they look like they are off to save the world? Or maybe cause some trouble.

Masks, Superhero gloves, t-shirts, Superhero Princess costumes, adult capes, and even capes for your child's favorite stuffed animal and your pet are all available from Babypop as well. Child Superhero Capes are recommended for ages 2-7.

While all of the above pics are of my boys as superheroes, I thought I'd share this pic of what a Superhero Princess looks like- photo courtesy of Babypop:

Adorable, isn't it? So, boy or girl, you can find something fun for your kids from Babypop Designs!

GIVEAWAY: Babypop will send one of you your choice of cape along with a matching superhero mask. Giveaway will close at 3pm ET 11/4. Winner will be selected randomly and notified via email. If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comment. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. US only.

Mandatory entry: Visit Babypop Designs and tell me what cape you like best!

Additional entries: Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
*Follow @babypop on twitter and leave your username
*Like Babypop on facebook and leave your username
*Follow Things I Can't Say GFC

I was sent capes and masks to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Things They Can't Say: CA Girl

Lourie is the incredibly sweet and sometimes sarcastic blogger behind CA Girl: CEO, Writer, MD, Lawyer, Ref, Taxi...Mom!

I am often behind the camera instead of in front of it because I am the photographer and because that means I won’t break the camera.  I am painfully shy and yet, I love the idea of performing.  Let me explain that to you.  Being on stage and pretending to be someone else is a great escape from reality.  I do not have to be me.  Or at least, I can pretend to be the person everyone thinks I am not.  People think I am so quiet and reserved.  They also will tell me I am so calm and even-tempered.  My only response to that is:  oh honey, you just don’t live with me.  As for the quiet and reserved, well you haven’t stepped into my comfort zone.  Once you are there you know I am not either.

Unfortunately for you and for me, I make myself to appear quite unapproachable.  I am not one to sit in the middle front row at church—more like the back corner or near the exit to make a clean get away.  Likewise, I will not seek out new people at mixers(like I go to any) or church functions(more my speed) I either search out the one person I know or hang with the one I came with—meaning my husband or my mom if husband happens to be working that night.   I am not a cold fish by any stretch of the imagination.  All you have to do is draw me out.  Once you have done that you are golden.  And you will see that I don’t bite…usually.

So if we ever have the pleasure of meeting, and it is filled awkward silences, rest assured it is totally me and not you.  Just keep the conversation going.  If you can do that, I am sure we will hit a common ground and I will open up.  Then I will start talking, and probably not shut up open up and that awkwardness will melt away.   

Are you shy or outspoken?  Do you reach out to people or hope people will seek you out?


Please leave Lourie some comment love here and then go follow CA Girl. You can also find her on twitter.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: When I Can't Be Upbeat

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. ;)


I thought for sure this would be an easy week for me to "Pour Your Heart Out."

It's Lead Poisoning Awareness Week so I thought I'd talk about how Bear's lead levels continue to come down and how much progress he's making at school. I thought I'd share how sometimes, as a mom, we can do things to protect our kids but we can still miss things and how we shouldn't blame ourselves.

And yet, here I am, not ready to write an upbeat post about progress.

Because while Bear's lead levels do continue to go down, we don't know how much permanent neurological damage has been done.

And while he's doing better at school than he was at the beginning of the school year, I still have to pick him up two hours early every day because the full day is just too much for him. And he still manages to find trouble. And that he seems "off" in comparison to kids his age.

I just wish things could be easy for him. 

He has a psychologist appointments this month to further evaluate and see if there is anything else we can do to help him. We're hoping for help.

But, I can't find it in me to be upbeat about it right now.

And while I could write the second part of the post, about how we can miss things as moms, even when we think we are being careful... I can't talk about not blaming myself. 

I used to check all the recalls diligently to make sure my boys didn't have any toys that contained lead.

But, it was our home, which we were told was safe, that poisoned my son- my Bear who was at that stage where kids put everything in their mouths: oldest was past it and youngest wasn't there yet, which is how only one of our children was affected. 

And even though I've been told time and again that I couldn't have known, that I did what I could, that we can't see every danger....

I still blame myself. 

And I sometimes live in the Land of What-If where I wonder just how different Bear's life would have been if we'd caught it earlier. 

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Monday, October 24, 2011

A Motherbitch Story

Motherbitches: what the mean girls of junior high turn into when they grow up and procreate.

It's been a while since I've told you one of these stories.

This most recent one comes to you from my church's fall festival.

Because yes, Christian women can still be motherbitches.

Last weekend, we went to our church's fall festival. They really go all out. So much fun for the kids and everything is free. It's a great way to get people in from the community who don't usually go to our church and maybe have them give it a shot.

We'd been there for an hour or so when Hubs took off with our oldest to go on a hayride with some friends, leaving me with the two littles.

Bear and Cub were bouncing away in jumpy thing(that is their technical name, I think). But then Cub slid out and wanted to go on the big slide beside the jumpy thing.

I walked him over, keeping an eye on Bear jumping.  I helped Cub get up to where he'd climb the rungs to get to the top of the slide... even though he's gone on bigger slides, people usually see his little peanut self and assume that he couldn't climb that and wonder where his mama his. So, I was right there.

But, while I was right there for Cub, Bear decided to dash out of the jumpy thing and run over to the firetruck  that was parked a little bit away and climb right on in, ignoring the line of kids who were waiting.

I could have shrieked at him from where I was... but really, it probably wouldn't have done anything at that point but cause a lot of people to turn and stare at me.

So, I waited til Cub went down the slide and we went over to get Bear out of the firetruck.

As we approached, these two moms were talking. I vaguely recognized them from Bible Study. As I called for Bear, one of them stopped, turned to me and said "Oh, that must be his mother."

And then she turned back to her friend and said "It's a shame when people don't pay attention to what their kids are doing and ruin it for everyone else."

I had to literally bite my tongue to stop from saying "Way to show Jesus to the community, bitch."

Because REALLY?

He'd RUINED it for everyone else?


And not paying attention?

I did see him, I just couldn't get to him fast enough.

It's one thing to be a mom who just sits there and doesn't pay attention to what her kids are doing. Who doesn't care if they are doing something wrong.

There are plenty of those- who would sit down eating fried snickers bars(OMG, can you believe I didn't eat one of those?) and let their kids run wild all over the festival. Or who would think that their child cutting in line was perfectly acceptable.

Did one of mine get away from me for just a minute? Yes.

But, damn, I got to him and got him out there.

Excuse me for having a 20 second parenting lapse.



Friday, October 21, 2011

Things They Can't Say: Mama Wants This

Meet Alison, the incredibly supportive and friendly blogger from Mama Wants This: 

I Can't Say This On My Blog Or In Real Life

I have two brothers. Which means I have two sisters-in-law.

By and large, I have nothing against them. My sisters-in-law that is.

However, there are a few things I wish I could say to them. But I can't, and I probably never will.

So I'll tell you, the Internet, instead.

Here goes. *gulp*

Sister-in-Law #1,

Please stop inviting me to your daughter's birthday parties. I love my niece, but I hate parties. I hate parties that are held in places where getting there will take me an hour, finding a parking spot will take me even longer, and having to hang out with your friends will probably make me want to throw cake at someone.
Please don't pretend to chat with me online, only to ask me for favors, such as helping you out at events your company organizes. I have an idea, why don't you PAY someone to take event photographs for you?

Please eat more, you're almost two-dimensional. Rest assured, you're skinnier now than before you had your child.

Please don't change plans last-minute when we've already made plans weeks before. I have a toddler who's a routine junkie, and any changes throws us both off.

Your Husband's Sister

Sister-in-Law #2 (to-be but what's the difference?),

Please don't tell everyone I'm organizing your wedding. I am not. I merely said I'll do what I can, while sitting on the couch. That means Googling for information and sending that to you. Period.

Please don't ask for my suggestions on your wedding dress when you keep shooting them down.

Please don't presume my business is your business, and blab stuff to my mother, when I specifically told you not to.

Please don't talk about me or my husband behind my back to my parents and cousins. I thought we were friends?

Please don't go crying to my brother and making it all about you, when it's not. I have a right to be mad when you go blabbermouth on me, after you said you wouldn't.

Your Former Friend

*For the record, I'm still very civil to my sisters-in-law. I repress my resentment and anger, letting it bubble over, then spilling it all out on someone else's blog. You'll still love me, right?*

Please leave some comment love here for Alison and then go follow her blog Mama Wants This. You can also find her on facebook and on twitter. 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Why the Soccer Field Terrifies Me

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. ;)

Yes, it's true: I suck as a soccer mom.

When the skies suddenly turned pitch black at 5:30 last night, I did a little cheer and thought no soccer practice for us! 

But, it's not really that I hate soccer. Hubs never would have married me if I'd hated soccer.

And it's not really my hatred of getting eaten alive by bugs at the field. Or even how practice throws off our usual early bedtime routine. It's not even how crabby my boys are the next day.

No, it's not any of those. Those would be rational.

What bothers me stems from one of my biggest fears as a mom.

The fear that one of my children will be taken.

Stolen, kidnapped, never to be seen alive again.

Because all it takes is to lose sight of a child for just a minute and they could be gone. I'm sure you've heard the same horror stories I have.

Yeah, sure, I've been known to joke when my kids are in a mood that no one would want them anyway or that they are so rotten that someone would give them back.... but I'm joking.

The thought of any of them disappearing forever terrifies me.

And while I can say that their practice is held in a good neighborhood and there are caring people all around and we live in a small town.... kids disappear from places like that, too.

My boys are usually in three different places in the soccer complex. One or two on the playground and one or two on the fields- different fields. It just depends on who has practice that night.

Trying to keep track of all three, when they are spread out... because of course they aren't practicing right next to each other or practicing right beside the playground.... that would be too easy.... trying to keep track of them like that makes my heart race.

I'm constantly doing a headcount. 1....2....where's ? oh, there he is....3....1....2...3...

Sure, there are other parents around and the boys have coaches, but I can't assume that they are going to pay attention to MY kids. They are paying attention to their own or, in the case of the coaches, trying to coach the rest of the team.

So, it falls to me.

And I breathe a huge sigh of relief when it's time for us to leave and I can walk out with all three of my boys. Even if I'm wishing for some sort of sound barrier between their whining and the driver's seat so I don't have to hear it on the drive home. Even their whining is a good thing if it means I have all three.

The soccer field is not the only place where I feel this fear. At festivals, parades, malls, playgrounds, any crowded place, sometimes even in my own backyard,  I feel it. I'm watching to see where my kids are.

But, it seems like I can keep my kids closer to me and closer to each other and therefore easier to watch everywhere else but on the soccer fields.

I don't know how I'd live with it if one of my kids went missing.

I don't hover over their every move because I do believe in giving them room to play, but.... I DO like being able to see them.

And so, the soccer field will continue to be a source of anxiety for me. I just want to keep my kids safe.


Monday, October 17, 2011

What Doing a Detox Taught Me

Here I am. Day 8 of a 10 day detox.

And no, I haven't cheated.

Unlike Hubs, who is a dirty cheater.

Though, I guess I should be thankful that he is the type of dirty cheater who cheats with a beer and a basket of wings, and not some hoochie homewrecker.


For the past week, I have followed the plan created for me by Lisa at Whole Health Designs. I won this plan so I'm under no obligation to talk about it. But, since it has made such a huge difference this past week, I want to write about it and tell you what I've learned by going on this detox.

Oh, and for those of you who thought that being on a detox meant you just drank weird things like water with cayenne pepper, that isn't true. The type I was on involved actual food. I wouldn't last 10 minutes on a plan if I didn't still get to eat.  The food on my detox plan kept me full. It didn't stop the cravings for things that were bad for me, but if I was honest about how I was feeling, I was never hungry on this plan.

Being on this plan really showed me some of the incredibly bad habits I had fallen into. The ones that, combined with a lack of exercise over the last almost 4 months, made me want to cry when I stepped on a scale the day before this detox started.

These are not exactly earth-shattering revelations. But, I fell into bad habits and this detox was just the swift kick in the butt that I needed. Here's what I learned:

1. I was not drinking enough water. Not by a long shot. Unless I was at the beach or at zumba, I really wasn't drinking much at all.  But, with this detox, I made sure that I drank a big glass when I first woke up and kept my glass filled all day. This also helped in between meals when I usually would have grabbed a snack.

2.  I was using way too many convenience foods. With the boys in soccer 3 nights a week and Hubs often working late, it was easy to turn to the drive-thru or to grab some sort of meal from the freezer section of the grocery store. While those types of meals have their place, in the past week, I've been eating so much fresh produce and the meals did not take very long to make.

3.  I was adding way too many "extras" to my food. Y'all. I'm the type of person who thinks that the only reason you eat salad is so that you can eat the dressing. And when the dressing is done, you push the salad away. So, the idea of a salad without dressing?  BLECH. Whether it's dressing or cheese or butter, I was adding unnecessary calories to my foods before.

4. I was eating more than I thought I was.  When I'd go to get a snack for the boys or when I'd be making them a meal or when they didn't finish a meal or when I was simply passing through the kitchen, I was snacking.  I wasn't thinking about it because it wasn't a meal, right?

5.  I wasn't planning our meals. I used to be so good at menu planning. And then I failed in a big way. It was so much easier to eat healthy when the meals and snacks were all planned out for me.

6.  I was pretty much taking crap care of myself.  From not eating breakfast because I thought I was too busy getting the boys ready for school and then off to their respective schools to grabbing junk food and calling it a meal, I wasn't putting any effort into making sure that I ate well.

I actually do feel a lot better after being on this plan for a week. Aside from being cranky from the no wine rule.

Does this mean that come Thursday, I will only eat "healthy" and "clean?"

Um, no.

I've missed chocolate and wine and cheese and bread... SO VERY MUCH.

But, I am going to put more thought into my meals. I'm menu-planning and going to incorporate more fresh greens/veggies into our meals- and not add as much of the "extras."  I'm going to take the time to eat breakfast.  I'm going to continue drinking lots of water. And I'm realizing that I HAVE to take good care of myself so that I'm able to take care of my family. And so my jeans fit.

Btw, I also learned that there are waaaay too damn many commercials on tv for bad food. It's just cruel. 

Oh, and? After I get through these last 3 days of the detox, I'm headed out of town to visit a friend and attend Bloggy Bootcamp. I reserve the right to eat and drink whatever the hell I feel like during that time. I have healthy foods planned for when I get back. 

Have you ever tried a detox?

*UPDATE: I weighed myself the morning of day 9. 9 pounds lost, y'all!

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Things They Can't Say: Vinobaby's Voice

A wine glass in one hand and a soccer ball under the other arm: oh yes, I can relate to this week's featured blogger! Meet Kerry Ann from Vinobaby's Voice. 

I am scared to death of kids' birthday parties. Attending them is bad enough. I cringe thinking about having to smile and make small talk with strangers while trapped by dozens of screaming munchkins in Chuck E. Cheese or bounce house world purgatory.

But what is worse is having to host one.

I am the embodiment of the anti-Martha Stewart;  I was born missing the gene essential for throwing  parties. Whether it is a specific link of hostess DNA, lack of social savvy, or maybe I just have a low threshold for tolerating dozens of children running around with pinata sticks while on a sugar high — the thought of planning and executing my own Kiddo's birthday party nearly gives me a panic attack.

This year I had an easy out. Legoland, my son's wildest fantasy come true, opens a week after his birthday.  Yes, I will gladly drive an hour and a half each way, cough up the cash for the three of us to go get in, and be a part of the opening weekend madness instead of hosing a party. No question.

So why am I so terrified of throwing my own kid's birthday party?

My mom gave me a birthday party each year until I was about eight or nine — but they were little shin-digs, a bunch of neighborhood buddies kicking it up in our backyard sandbox or pool.  Parents dropped off kids back then.  A homemade cake and ice cream, a jug of apple juice, maybe a bag of chips and the buffet was complete. We were thrilled to get special plates and cake in the middle of the afternoon. We were basically caged in the back yard running wild, playing Marco Polo in the pool with maybe a game of pin the tail on the donkey or penny drop. And we had a blast.

Now birthday parties are a competitive sport. And I have always sucked at sports.

You have to rent bounce houses or water slides or ultimate video game buses. Princess and pirates are hired to stroll through the party, painting faces and handing toddlers swords or tiaras. Photographers snap the scenes for photo books and immediate broadcast across the social media streams (and if it is REALLY good, it may even end up on Pinterest).  Dress codes are often mandatory; come in your fairy gown or as your favorite superhero or you may as well not come at all (so parents have to buy costumes or risk being the object of ridicule).

Parents must stay the entire time for social hour, gossiping and grazing on the lavish buffet offered to impress them while their kids complain about the food (because they are all picky eaters now, right?).

I just can't get into this scene.

First off, I am far to cheap frugal (shh, it's in style now). I cannot afford to host one of these fancy-schmancy fetes. I bake the birthday cake each year — yes, I try to decorate it in a way which will make Kiddo swoon, but it's hardly a professionally decorated masterpiece. My cakes are lopsided, from a box, but full of (hours worth of) love.

And in real life, I am really kind of shy.  What if I threw a party and no one came?  That is one of my biggest fears. Am I passing it down to my child?  Remarkably, he did not inherit any of my shyness. He is friendly, popular, and seems to be a pretty cool kid. But what if the other kid's parents knew I was a terrible hostess and no one showed up? I couldn't bear to see my Kiddo's little heart break.

I  gave in and threw him a big party for his 5th birthday.  I rented a pavilion at a local park, bought a ginormous Costco cake and a pinata, and carefully ordered proper goodie bag treats. I invited tons of his friends from playgroup and preschool.

I was in over my head.

The festivities almost ended in the E.R. before the party began. The "Daddies" decided it would be fun to race down the massively steep hill in our wagon and ran over the Birthday Boy. He was okay, and my Mom was able preserve me screaming at the Big Boys on video for posterity. Then the kids didn't want to do any of the games I so painstakingly planned and a couple of them went at the pinata a little to over-zealously and we had tears and ice packs.

A mom I had never met before saved my behind by helping cut and dish out the cake to the hungry monstersmasses.  Rarely had I ever felt so out of my element. There is a reason I am not a party planner or a teacher: hoards of hyper kids absolutely terrify me.

Kiddo had a great time. But I will never do it again.

Does that make me a bad parent?It's just a small family get together for us this year and hopefully an amazing day at Legoland.

Maybe next year we can do a slumber party for a friend or two. I can handle that, right?

Please leave Kerry Ann some comment love here and then go follow Vinobaby's Voice. You can also find her on twitter @VinoBaby1 and on facebook.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: A Frightening Parenting Moment

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. ;)


Today's post was previously published on this blog about two years ago. When I had about 10 readers. I was thinking about what a frightening parenting moment this was and thought it was PYHO-worthy, so I'm recycling it, with just a few edits. 

It started out innocently enough.

Three moms, hanging out at a park in the middle of nowhere with their five children. Me, massively pregnant(2 weeks from giving birth to my 3rd baby) and taking care of Bear(about to turn 2) and Monkey(3.5). 

Monkey was playing with his friends, while Bear happily played on the bleachers.

Lots of talk between the moms.



No real panic at first. 

There are lots of places for him to be, after all. 

On the baseball field.  

Over on the playground.  

By the bathrooms.  

On the football field.  

Near the picnic pavilions. 

Trying to get a snack out of the truck. 

He has to be here somewhere.

He was right there.  

We were all maybe 10 feet away from where he was playing. 

None of us saw him leave.

He has to be here somewhere. 

We corralled the other kids and started to call for him...a child who doesn't say much and rarely responds even in normal situations. 

We look everywhere. 

But, we can't see him anywhere.  

Panic creeps into my voice and the baby in my belly starts frantically kicking in empathy.  

A car comes down the deserted road, driving slowly. 

I make a mad dash towards it. 

Maybe they've seen my son

.Maybe they took my son.

Oh, God, let my baby boy be okay. 

Calls for him become more and more frantic. 

We discover what is beyond the cluster of trees that border the park. 

A rapidly rushing river.


Bear, who has no fear of water. 

Oh, dear Lord, don't let him be in the river.  

Let him be okay.

Don't let me lose my little boy, 3 days before his second birthday. 

Where is my Bear?  

Heart, keep beating.  

Baby in my belly, stay there. 

Mommy will calm down soon, just as soon as she finds your brother.  

The world is starting to spin. 

My friends, telling me to calm down, that we will find him. 

Calm down, think of the baby, now is not the time to go into labor. 

How could I have lost him?  

I was right there, how is it possible that I didn't see him leave?

 "I FOUND HIM!" comes a yell from one of the other moms. 

He somehow managed to open and close the gate to the ballfield, tricking us into thinking he couldn't have gone that way. He was behind the concession stand, where we couldn't see...about 20 feet away from the rushing river.  

Three and a half years later and my heart still pounds, thinking about that day.  

I have not returned to that park since then.  

Not that it is the park's fault.  

But, I don't think I could return without having a panic attack from the memory.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Seven Signs Pigs Must Be Flying

Should any of the following occur, I will know that somewhere, pigs must be flying:

Should my husband ever let me be the one to sleep in while he gets up and gets all three boys dressed for school, packs their lunches and backpacks, pigs must be flying.

Should I ever have a good hair day without the assistance of a professional or at least a flat iron, an instyler, and tons of product, pigs must be flying.

Should a day pass without my boys saying the words "poop," "butt," "poopy" or any other potty word, pigs must be flying.

Should I actually be excited about soccer practice or first grade homework, pigs must be flying.

Should I  find a pair of high heels that I actually like and want to wear over going barefoot or wearing flip flops, pigs must be flying.

Should my boys actually have good aim when using the potty, pigs must be flying.

Should I be excited about going 10 days without chocolate, wine, and all things bad for me, pigs must be flying. Though I am starting a detox today and following this one. But, I'm kinda cranky about it. So, no call to look for the flying pigs.

Give me one of your signs that pigs must be flying.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things They Can't Say: Grumpy Grateful Mom

I'd so be IRL friends with this week's guest blogger. I love her approach to being a mom. Please welcome Janae from Diaries of a Grumpy Grateful Mom. 

I've had some amazingly embarrassing moments.

Like when I got the great idea to limbo under a volleyball net back in my junior high gym class.  My braces caught on the bottom net wire, came unglued and made a loop above my upper lip.   The orthodontist exclaimed, "In all my years, I've NEVER seen anything like this!"

Then there was the short-lived time I was a TV news anchor and accidentally started laughing hysterically on the air.   Surprisingly they fired me, excuse me, I mean didn't renew my contract.  Also embarrassing.

I can laugh about these things now, though at the time, I believe those incidents were worthy of my embarrassment.

Yet, there are other everyday happenings that are not so worthy of my embarrassment.  I try to be open about some of my faults, though I feel that if people knew too many of my shortcomings, I might have to hide under a rock.  But I don't want to waste any more energy feeling this way.

So For Now,

It's OK that I'm a bad--actually terrible--home loveliness maintainer.  Those extra germs build immunity, right?

It's OK that I ate more junk food than healthful food yesterday.   I did cut back from three bowls of ice cream to a mere two.  Woot! Woot!

It's OK that I haven't made it through church ONE time without having to take one or more of my kiddos into the hall for disorderly conduct.  They'll make it through someday, at least by the time they're adults.

It's OK that sometimes I have a hard time focusing in church too.  That one may even be normal.
It's OK that I don't make close friends easily.  Feeling completely comfortable around someone takes time for me.

It's OK that I still don't know how to tweet from my phone.  I'm certain I will bravely conquer this task in the distant future.

It's OK that I've been too lazy to make sack lunches for my daughter this year and that she tells me, "I'm the only one in my entire class that NEVER takes a sack lunch!"  Hopefully, she'll still grow well on her lunch diet of french fries and chocolate milk.  Scratch that.  I may have to change this soon.

I'm not good at thank-you notes, or staying in touch with extended family.  I'm not crafty or budget abiding.  I put my foot in my mouth all the time, and I only bath my children when they start to smell.

I could go on, though I'll stop here, before I truly embarrass myself.  I still want to improve in these areas and progress, but I don't want to be ashamed if I'm not the healthy, organized, sweet, and domestic epitome of motherhood perfection that I would like to be.  

I'll get there.  And if I don't, at least I'll have my ice cream to console me.


Please leave Janae some comment love here and then go follow her blog Grumpy Grateful Mom. You can also find her on twitter @GrumpyGrateful and on facebook

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recess: A Child's Favorite Time of the School Day

Recess was the highpoint of the school day back when I was a child.

It was the time of day when the kids ruled. Or at least, we thought we did. The teachers weren't telling us what to do. The kids decided what games to play. We didn't have to be still and quiet: we could run and scream!

Games of tag, foursquare(not the kind on your phone!), hopscotch, kickball, and jump rope. Chinese jump rope was big when I was in second grade.

Balancing on the seesaw with my best friend, since we weighed the exact same amount and could sit with our feet resting up on the seesaw and not move, giggling away.

Climbing on top of the monkey bars, despite disapproving glances from the teacher.

Swinging so high that the chains jerk at the top before sending you back down to the ground. And jumping from that peak, feeling like I was flying.

Don't get me wrong: I LOVED school. I was a total bookworm and math geek all rolled up into one. But, recess was still the best time of the school day.

Now that my boys are in school, I want them to love recess, too. To have fun playing. But, recess has changed.

In the past twenty years, children have lost an average of 8 hours of recess a week. Danimals Rally for Recessis a national initiative designed to create healthy competition, pitting school against school. Go to Danimals Rally for Recess for a chance to win $20,000 for your Elementary school playground. Plus each day Danimals is giving recess-related prizes to keep kids healthy and active. Share your Recess memories below and go to Rally for Recess for more information on how your school can win!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Danimals. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest Rules.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Little Boy Cuddles

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. ;)


I'm a girl who likes her sleep.

Not just likes it, but loves it. Needs it.

Not a few hours, but a full night's sleep.

Or I get cranky and miserable.

So, those nights up with a newborn were torture for me.

I lived in a fog, trying to figure out when I could get some rest.

And then once my babies were old enough to sleep through the night, oh, how I loved that. Slight bumps with teething or illnesses or nightmares could put me in a bad mood.

And my bed? Well, it's MY bed.

Oh, and Hubs's bed, too, of course.

Small children invading and stealing my pillow, blanket, and space is not high up there on my list of things that make for a good night's rest. Kicks and failing arms, snoring.... nope. Get back in your own beds, kiddos. 

Well, except when Hubs is out of town. And then I occasionally make an exception.

Except that lately, our youngest has been finding his way into our bed in the middle of the night. And I don't want to get up to move him back.

And our middle comes down when he wakes up at some unholy hour of the morning and cuddles.

I look at their sweet little faces... those cute little noses, the fluttering eyelashes, the soft skin, the crazy hair....

Their little heads buried against me or Hubs. Arms around us.

And I realize... this won't last much longer.

Already, my oldest only occasionally wants to sit in my lap or snuggle in to watch a movie.

They are getting so big, so fast.

Soon, they'll scoff at the idea of sharing a pillow with mom.

They won't fit in my lap or even want to be there.

They'll be too big for me to carry them when they fall asleep in the car on the way home. 

They'll retreat to their own rooms and lock the door, wanting their own space.

They'll roll their eyes at the idea of snuggling mama on the couch.

Maybe I'll be lucky and they will still give me a kiss and a hug... as long as their friends aren't around, anyway.

But, these moments when they want to want to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed... they aren't going to last much longer.

I'll take little boy cuddles over a full night's sleep.

Because soon enough, I'll be kept awake by the antics of teenagers.

So, I'll cherish these moments while I can still get them.

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while 
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day 
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle 
Oh just let them be little  -"Let Them Be Little," Lonestar


Monday, October 3, 2011

To Add to the Family or Not?

No, no, no. Not a baby.

We've already been through that scare lately and with three little boys, we are DONE having babies.

But, that doesn't mean we don't debate other additions to our family.

I've never been a dog person. And my oldest is scared of dogs. And we don't have a fenced in yard right now.  So, the idea of a dog was not one that we considered.

It was a thought for "some day."

And then we started talking about moving. Not far, but to a different house in a different neighborhood. One where we would have a fenced in yard.

And then two of the boys' uncles got dogs.

And oh, those sad little faces from my youngest two. And Hubs.

So, I started thinking okay, once we move, we can have a dog. For me to even give in to that was a huge concession.

But, somehow that turned into let's look at dogs right now.

And we saw these adorable puppies. Even I had to admit they were darn cute. And oh, how the boys seemed excited.

Really, what's the difference between getting one now and waiting a few months?

We couldn't get these puppies then- they would be GONE. Oh no! We want these puppies.

How the boys were begging... except the oldest, of course.

But then I realized.

*I* was the one who wanted this dog the least of anyone.

And I was the one who was going to be responsible for it. As much as we could say that the boys would help, they are still young. It's not like they could do all that much. Especially not the two youngest, who are the ones who want the dog.

And Hubs? He's not home that much.

This would be something else for ME to do.

I have enough messes and poop to deal with, without adding a dog to all that.

So, I squashed that idea.

At least, until we move.

Does your family have a pet? How did you decide to add one to an already busy family? 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Project #BraHappy Giveaway from 123underwear

Over the past few weeks, I've shared some tips with you on how your bra should fit and then what happened when I finally was wearing the right size bra.

Enough about me and my underwear, right? Now, it's time to talk about yours.

Okay, maybe not yours specifically, but about what undergarments every woman should have in her underwear drawer. The suggestions for the ten items come from Beverly Russina, the founder of 123underwear.com. Though the commentary is mine.

1. Push-Up Bra: Because we can all use a cleavage-boosting bra. This might be especially for those of us who have a smaller chest, but all of us can use a little lift.

2. Strapless Bra: Bra straps hanging out is not a good look! I live in strapless bras this summer with my sundresses. Go for black or nude colored strapless bras.

3. Underwire Bra: Lift and support the ladies, ladies! All of my bras are underwire. I don't think I've ever owned one without it!

4. All-Lace Bra: It's the date night bra! Yes, even for those of us who have been married forever and whose husbands' idea of romance is turning the tv down a little bit.

5. Boyshorts: When we want a little extra comfort and coverage.

6. Thong: Avoid those panty lines! And they're sexy, too.

7. Nude Panties: If you are wearing light-colored clothing, go with these. No one wants to see your hot pink thong under your white capris. That's a case where a thong does not equal sexy.

8. Slip: Uh-oh. I so do not own any of these. But, they keep your skirts and dresses from clinging to your legs. And they stop you from putting on a show in the sunlight in a thin dress. Try the Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Solutions V-Neck Slip ($48).

9. Shapewear: If you are wearing fitted clothing, this will help get rid of any underwear lines, muffin tops, and bra bulge. I heart shapewear. Because my boys destroyed my once perfectly toned belly. SIGH.

10. Fashion Tape: No wardrobe malfunctions! Help hide bra straps, or secure a revealing neckline, or hold up that strapless top. Showing a little skin is sexy. Showing too much= wardrobe malfunction. Try Hollywood Fashion Tape ($7) from the Keep Your Clothes On collection.

Looking at that list, I see I need a slip, more nude panties, and well... I don't know if a girl can ever have too much shapewear.

What is lacking from your underwear drawer?

GIVEAWAY: One of you will win a $35 gift certificate to 123underwear. Giveaway will close at 6pm ET 10/7. Winner will be selected randomly and notified via email. If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it with your comment. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.  US only.

To enter: Leave a comment telling me what essential undergarment you need!

Additional entries: Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
*Visit 123underwear.com and then leave a comment telling me which specific item you would use your gift certificate for.
*Tweet this giveaway: Win $35 to @123Underwear in Project #BraHappy with @shellthings http://bit.ly/nxR8Ka

This is a sponsored post on behalf of 123Underwear. 

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is #155 Breanne. 

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