Monday, May 30, 2011

Barn Life

Sometimes one living on a farm can get bored.

And when that someone gets bored, she gets creative and her kids benefit from the boredom.

Take one tarp from the shavings pile, two bottles of dish soap and three kids and you get: a Redneck Slippy Slide.





You know you're a Redneck when...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Struggling Back

Last week the stomach flu/bug took over my family with vengeance.

It was horrible.

There were way too many bodily fluids going on and I was the one cleaning them up.

It was not pretty.

Thankfully, we are all back on the mend.

That mend though is a pain. We are struggling to get back to normal.

Roo got the worst of it and hasn't really gotten back to her normal operating range yet. She tires easily, naps in the middle of the day and doesn't really want to eat much.

Turtle didn't have a bad case so she wasn't too bad, but the one way she was effected was her sleeping.

She slept in our bed while sick and I nursed her whenever she demanded it (I was following doctor's orders to keep her hydrated). Of course now that she's better, she's still demanding to sleep in our bed and nurse as often as possible (even if she only nurses for two nanoseconds).

And then there's me... I had a touch of the bug, but it wiped me the fuck out.

I can't stand up without being exhausted and I can't catch up on anything because I'm helping everyone else recover.

I'm struggling to get everyone back on track and once they all are good, then it'll be time to work on me.

I just wish that were sooner than later.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three Day Weekend!

I remember back when I worked and a three day weekend rolled around, I was over the moon.

Three whole days without work!

Plus, the next week only was a four day work-week and that was a thing of beauty itself.

Now that my job is to raise beautiful babies, three day weekends don't mean the same thing. But, they still kick ass because it means my favorite people (who do work) will be able to hang out an extra day with me.

I hope you enjoy your three day weekend and Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Sweet Valley Confidential

My summer reading list has a not even on the shelf book on it: Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later.



As I said before, I loved the original Sweet Valley High series and would spend hours in the back of the library reading the backs of them and picking which one I would take home.

I even watched the (short-lived) show on television!

The characters were so likable that you wanted nothing more than to be their best friends.

"SWEET VALLEY CONFIDENTIAL: Ten Years Later (St. Martin’s Press, 3/29/11), the striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood."


I was really excited about reading this book... but I have to be honest with you, I wasn't really into it and found it difficult to become involved with the characters and their lives ten years later. As I turned the pages, I realized that it is written exactly like the Sweet Valley High books were and I've moved on in my reading tastes since I was in the sixth grade.

I hate to say it, but it really was a struggle for me to get through the book.

I imagine that if I were still that middle schooler, I would be okay reading this book (but it's an adult novel with curse words and adult situations), but I'm not. I'm a 30 year old Mom of two and I realized I couldn't care what Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield were up to.

But this is just my opinion, I'm sure there are readers out there that love the book and will sing its praise.

I am honor bound to tell you, I am not one of them.



I received a copy of this book to review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review: MMCH: Mickey's Great Outdoors

Out on DVD tomorrow (the 24th of May), is the latest from Mickey Mouse and his Clubhouse of pals.

And its just in time to inspire summer fun.

"MMCH: Mickey's Great Outdoors features four episodes from the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” TV show plus one all-new, never-before-seen “Mickey’s Fish Story” episode and comes packaged as a special DVD Play Set (DVD + Digital Copy + Mickey Mote) that will retail nationwide for the suggested price of $29.99 U.S. / $35.99 Canada."



The MMCH is one of Roo's favorite show and I love that I can plop her down infront of it and not worry about her watching mindless television. MMCH is full of educational tidbits and encourages kids to learn.

Here is a clip from the episode, "Mickey's Camp Out"


It's a DVD that I don't even mind sitting down and watching with her.

MMCH: Mickey's Great Outdoors hits shelves tomorrow!

Go on and get ya' one.


I received a copy of this DVD to review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

My Summer Reads

When I was little my summers were spent reading.

Seriously, I read all the time.

If we were traveling to the mountains, I was reading.

If my cousins were coming for a visit, I was reading.

My nose was always stuck in a book. Except for that one time we went to Disney, but do you blame me?

As a girl my favorite books were The Baby Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High and Gone with the Wind.

I would lock myself away in my room and just devour page after page of books.

I would even stay up late reading my the pale blue light of my alarm clock (which cost me dearly as I am now blind as a bat and have to wear contacts or I'll walk into walls).

And now that summer is rolling around, I'm piling up my shelves with great books to read out in the sun while the kids play in the pool.

My list is this (and my list is always changing so this is just a starting point):

Sweet Valley Confidential (review to come this week) by Francine Pascal
Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig
The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Allison Weir
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

What are you reading this summer?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Today is the day you've been waiting for, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie opens to the public TODAY!

I was one of the lucky ones that got a sneak peek at the movie earlier this week and I was really excited to go see it (and not only because it was a chance for me and the hubs to have a date night).

Honestly, I didn't have many expectations going into the movie because I had loved the previous three, I thought: I'll love the 4th.

Walking away, I didn't exactly love it.

I walked out pondering if I even liked it at all!

Sure, there were elements in the film I liked a lot. I loved that Johnny Depp was back as Captain Jack Sparrow, but all the characters I had grown to love and spent so much time with, weren't.

I was hoping and praying that we'd see a cameo from Will Turner, but no luck.

I did love the mermaid element in the movie. It gave it a mythical feel that I normally don't enjoy, but the storyline with one particular mermaid had me enthralled.... like, seriously enthralled.

And while I didn't totally love it right away, I realized I just needed time to process the movie and recall my favorite parts, four days later I am pleased with how they did the movie. It was beautiful and the terrain en route to the Fountain of Youth was gorgeous.

And of course, Captain Jack was funny at the right moments but I wanted more humor from him. I liked Blackbeard because it brought an historical element to the film and made me want to research him more and find out more about the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Overall, it was a good movie and not many series (especially the 4th one in) can still hold its weight and pull. Pirates of the Caribbean can and hopefully will continue to rake it in.




I received two passes to attend a sneak peek of this movie in exchange for my review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cars 2: Back Into Cars 2 - Featurette

I have to confess, I'm stinkin' excited about this movie... maybe more than my daughter.

Okay, maybe not.

But still!

Check out the latest Featurette on Cars 2.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Star Tours in 3D!

Okay, I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan on the planet, by far. But I've seen the movies, I've ridden the old ride countless times, I can tell you who played Princess Leia.

So I wanted to pass along the latest from Disney about Star Tours- The Adventure Continues that open on Friday!

From the latest Press Release:


"LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The power of the Force and the magic of Disney have combined to create “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue,” a new 3-D attraction set to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park on May 20, 2011. The attraction also will open at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., on June 3, 2011.
Based on the Star Wars films, Star Tours will take Walt Disney World Resort guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the Saga. And it will all be in 3-D.
 
With an eye-popping digital presentation leveraging Dolby 3-D to deliver a vivid and realistic experience, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology, guests will be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction.

Star Tours, which had thrilled Disney Parks guests since the 1980s, was “powered down” at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2010 so Imagineers could begin work on the new attraction.
 
And in a new twist, guests may be able to enjoy the attraction multiple times without ever experiencing the same adventure. More than 50 story combinations are possible for guests to experience aboard Star Tours.
 
Just as the Star Wars films immerse movie-goers in storylines that keep them on the edge of their seats, Star Tours will feature multiple stories and scenarios that will hurtle park guests throughout the Star Wars galaxy. And all of the storyline’s twists and turns will be random, affording guests the chance to ride the attraction multiple times.
 
Whether it’s a battle with Darth Vader and his legion of stormtroopers or a plea from Princess Leia to help her save the Rebellion, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action – literally – in the 3-D, multi-sensory attraction.
 
Entering the attraction queue area, Star Tours guests walk into a bustling spaceport. The famed Star Wars droid duo, C-3PO and R2-D2, greet them as the Starspeeder 1000 is prepped for service. Anthony Daniels, the voice of C-3PO and the only actor to appear in every theatrical chapter of the Star Wars Saga, reprises his role as the golden protocol droid. Daniels worked with Walt Disney Imagineering to record new dialogue for the attraction. Guests also are introduced to AC-38, a hotshot droid pilot known simply as “Ace,” and Aly San San (voiced by actress Allison Janney), the “spokesbot” for the spaceport.
 
After winding through the spaceport, guests board the Starspeeder 1000 spacecraft and prepare for Star Tours Flight #1401. Through a series of mishaps, however, C-3PO finds himself in the pilot’s seat instead of Ace, and it’s up to him and R2-D2 to navigate their passengers through the galaxy. However, the tyrannical Empire is out to stop the Starspeeder at all costs. C-3PO and R2-D2 take the controls and try to outwit and outrun the Imperial forces and a galactic bounty hunter hired to pursue the spaceship and its passengers.
 
Utilizing the 50+ random story combinations, the Starspeeder then embarks on a wild trip through the galaxy, visiting several planets made famous in the Star Wars films. Among the locations that might provide haven from the Empire’s pursuit are the icy planet of Hoth, the lush jungles of Kashyyyk and the underwater Gungan world of Naboo. And along the way guests may encounter Star Wars characters that offer to help (or hinder) their journey, including Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. “Skytroopers,” a legion of stormtroopers created just for the Star Tours attraction story, might even join in the chase.
 
In fact, with multiple ways to experience each flight, guests will never know where the Force will take them.
 
At Walt Disney World Resort, Star Tours opens May 20, 2011, the same day the annual Star Wars Weekends event begins at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends event activities are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.
 
For more information and to purchase theme park tickets or book vacation packages, guests may visit disneyworld.com/startours or disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends."

Wordless Wednesday: I'm Melting

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Giving up the Boob

Lately I've been contemplating weaning Turtle.

This decision changes with the wind though.

One day I am all for it. She's not really that interested and she has many better things to do than cuddling with Mommy. Plus she drinks just fine from a sippy cup, enjoys cow milk and I'm thinking that if I follow through with it, maybe just maybe, she'll sleep through the night.

Then, of course, the next day I'm heartbroken for even considering it. On these days, she is excited to nurse and gets all giggly when she sees the Boppy Pillow.

I remember coming to this point with Roo and feeling horrible that I was pulling the plug on her.

Turtle has never been like Roo regarding breastfeeding and I knew that I would never go as far as I did with Roo with Turtle.

So I don't necessarily feel horrible about pulling the plug (if I ever make up my mind), I just feel... empty?

Will she still need me if we break up? Will she still want to snuggle? Will I survive?

Then I look at Roo and remember that the cuddling doesn't stop just because the breastfeeding relationship ends. She didn't hate me, hell, I don't even know if she noticed that we stopped!

It would be difficult in lots of ways if and when I do stop. Turtle still nurses to sleep (but the other night Daddy was able to get her to sleep with a sippy cup and some cuddling). I still nurse her in the middle of the night to calm her.

I haven't completely 100% made up my mind about stopping nursing, but when I do. I'll need your love more than ever... that and a really hot bra to celebrate.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Super Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers

I wanted to share a super simple recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers.

I only put meat, cheese and rice in my peppers (like I said, super easy). The whole process takes me about an hour (with the cooking of the peppers) and clean up is, again, super easy.


I use ground beef and fried it up with fresh green onion, salt and pepper and a tad bit of Goya seasonings.

While that is cooking, I make up the yellow rice as the directions state.


You can use any kind of bell peppers. I use the mixed green and red simply because they were on sale 3/$1.


I use my jumbo muffin pan to cook the peppers in so I don't have to worry about them tipping during the cooking process.




I mix all the ingredients, including cheese together in a big bowl, stuff the peppers and add a smidge more cheese on top to complete.


Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then enjoy!

They were delicious, so delicious in fact that I could not stop feeding myself to take a picture of the end result.

But trust me, they were yum.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

P&G is Future Friendly: Tide & Cascade Review

A family of four brings lots of laundry to the laundry room.

Lots.

I am constantly finding myself in front of the washer and dryer, shoveling clothes in and out.

And while I'm not a stickler for laundry brands, meaning I am not brand loyal to just one type of detergent. I do buy free and gentle, clean, clear detergent because of the sensitive skins in our family.

I received two P&G Future Friendly products to check out and one of them was Tide.

The old fashioned powder kind with a Clean Breeze scent to it.

The scoop contained in the package is said to be 1/3 less the size of the old one and while I do not have the old scoop to compare to, the scoop honestly didn't look any different to me.

I'm not a instructions reader, never really have been, so I always toss in a full scoop or a full cap (if using liquid) into my washing machine to get the job done.

I did learn from P&G (word for word) that: "Consumers think that using more detergent will get their laundry cleaner, with one in four adults saying they use more than the recommended dose of detergent because it makes their laundry cleaner. Source: IPSOS Omnibus Survey conducted in February
Consumers often ignore on-package dosing instructions, with a third of adults guessing how much laundry detergent to use and one in four adults saying they always fill the scoop/cap to the top, regardless of dosage instructions. Source: IPSOS Omnibus Survey conducted in February 2011"

The only problem I had with using the Tide detergent was that it made my husband's sensitive skin break out.

But the scent was nice and the clothes were cleaned as expected.
The second P&G Future Friendly item I received was Cascade Dishwasher Detergent.



The Cascade cleaned my dishes just fine, although the one night we didn't pre-rinse the dishes before putting them in (to fully test the product), about 75% of the dishes came out spotless while some bowls and spoons still had macaroni noddles stuck to them.

I continued to use the product but because I am a pre-rinser (thanks Dad!), we had no further problems with the Cascade product.

I've mention that both the P&G products I received were Future Friendly and I know you want to know what I'm speaking about.

"Future Friendly is P&G’s multi-brand conservation education program aimed at helping consumers save energy, save water and reduce waste. It’s designed to provide practical conservation advice and branded products featuring clear benefits in water savings, energy savings and waste reduction. Through educational tools and resources, the program aims to help families conserve by focusing on simple, tangible actions that consumers can take in their homes."

I also wanted to share some facts that I learned about P&G and their Future Friendly project (from the press release):
"P&Gs compaction of powder laundry detergents in the US could help save up to 771 million gallons of water each year. That’s enough to fill up to 1168 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

The energy saved could provide 34 thousand average homes with electricity for a year.

Greenhouse emissions could be reduced by the same amount of CO2 emitted by driving the average car 653 million miles - enough to circle the world 26,000 times."

If using P&G Future Friendly products helps out Mother Earth, I'm all about it. Especially because it's easy to do and goes a long way.

To learn more about P&G and their Future Friendly project, check out their Facebook page.




I received the two products mentioned above for review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Giveaway

Yo Ho.

It's almost here.

The latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theatres on May 20th, 2011.

Here's the official trailer to tease you.






And to celebrate, I've got a Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Prize Pack to giveaway.

It includes the following:
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES in adult sizes of S, M, L, XL-
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES bandana in black -
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES temporary tattoo (2 per winner)

Want to win?

All you need to do is tell me which Pirates of the Caribbean movie is your favorite.

Easy peasy.

Contest ends on May 22, 2011.


I was not compensated for this post. Just wanted to share the fun with you. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Flip the Switch

Around the same time every year, you wake up one morning and all of a sudden that beautiful crisp, cool Spring weather we in Florida enjoy so much is gone.

Straight up gone.

And in its place is hot, sticky, miserable weather.

Hot like makeup melting off your face the instant you walk outside.

And it just appears like someone flipped a switch.

Suddenly it's here and it's going to put its feet up on your table and stay until late October.

Until that day (when the switch for Fall is flipped), you must endure. You must rely on shorts, tank tops and flip flops.

That and a kiddie pool.

And air conditioner.

AMC Dine In Movie Experience & A Giveaway!

Who hasn't been in a theatre and thought: A good steak sounds perfect right about now?

The fine folks at AMC Downtown Disney 24 thought the same thing and made it possible.

Next week, the new Dine-In Theatres will open and guests can view a movie and eat a yummy meal in the process!

And to celebrate they are giving away Free Movies for a Year

Yes, you read that right, A YEAR!

Here's the deets:

From the press release:


"AMC DOWNTOWN DISNEY 24 CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING WITH FREE MOVIES FOR A YEAR GIVEAWAY






WHO: AMC Theatres® will celebrate the grand opening of AMC Dine-In TheatresSM

at AMC Downtown Disney with a Free Movies for a Year giveaway at the theatre on Monday, May 16, 2011.



WHAT: AMC Downtown Disney 24 is celebrating the grand opening of its Dine-In Theatres by hosting a Free Movies for a Year giveaway to the first 100 people in line on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. The first 100 guests (must be at least 18 years of age, photo I.D. required) who come to the theatre will win 24 tickets (two per month for 12 months) for free admission to AMC Downtown Disney 24 as well as 12 free appetizers (one per month for 12 months).



WHEN: Monday, May 16, 2011

Free Movies for a Year Giveaway

10:30 a.m. – Participants line up in front of the AMC Downtown Disney Dine-In Theatre entrance (participants may not line up before this time)

11:30a.m. – Check-in begins for first 100 people in line

12:45 p.m. – Giveaway begins



WHERE: AMC Downtown Disney 24

1500 E. Lake Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL"
 
 
 
I was not compensated for this post. This post is purely informational for you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Lizard Hunter

Summer Fun at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress!

When I was a kid, my dad was a firefighter and his station was located in the touristy part of town so when we went to visit him at work, we would drive past all the hotels and gift shops.

One hotel always stood out to me, and rightfully so, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

It was large, massive even and I would always gaze wistfully at it, wishing I lived on the very top floor and had room service deliver me ice cream sundae's every morning for breakfast.

I actually still have these dream.

The Hyatt has some smashing deals going on and I wanted to share them with you.

From a press release (word for word):


"Enjoy Family Fun in the Sun at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress


Sunshine on Sale® Package Includes Extra Night Free Through December


ORLANDO, Fla. (April 29, 2011) – At Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, families are our top priority. Our unique programs and services allow guests to focus on making memories and worry less about packing and entertainment. In fact, there are so many options, guests can enjoy a fun-filled, multi-day stay without leaving the property. And, now through December 31, 2011, families will receive a free night when they book a Sunshine on Sale® package.



Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress family-friendly activities and services include:

A lush, tropical propertyfeaturing a half-acre outdoor pool with 12 waterfalls, two water slides and a sundeck. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Tennis and Racquet Club features 12 tennis courts, two outdoor racquetball courts, and a basketball court and the 21-acre Lake Windsong is perfect for a day on the boat or beach.

Four exclusive Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf courses, Grand Cypress Academy of Golf and our nine-hole Pitch 'n' Putt course.

Camp Hyatt, one of the first resort programs created especially for kids ages 3-12, offers fun, hands-on activities focusing on the culture, history and geography of Central Florida. From necklace making, cookie decorating, or exploring our 1,500-acre, kid-friendly paradise, Camp Hyatt is filled with adventure, movies, munchies and more. Rates start at $45.

Hyatt's partnership with Babies Travel Lite allows parents to travel without packing the baby supplies. Guests can shop online and choose to have their favorite baby products delivered directly to Grand Cypress.

Young guests are also encouraged to pack light by leaving their toys at home. They can choose from more than 25 toys available at registration in the Hyatt Resorts Toy Box. From LEGOs to TONKA trucks and board games, Hyatt offers something for every age and interest.

Grand Cypress guests also enjoy easy access to the Walt Disney World® theme parks and attractions, SeaWorld®/Discovery Cove, Universal Studios®/Islands of Adventure®, local water parks and area beaches.



Additional family amenities include assistive devices for guests with disabilities, baby-sitting and pet friendly guest rooms.

Visit www.hyattgrandcypress.com to book a Sunshine on Sale® package and kick-off summer with a fantastic family get-away. Earn a fourth night for free through June 30 and a fifth night for free July 1 - December 31, 2011. Rates start at $169.00 a night.





About Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress



The award-winning Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is situated on 1,500 acres in Lake Buena Vista, close to all of the area’s famous theme parks. The resort features a variety of recreational activities, including 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf, racquet club, 21-acre lake with water sports, half-acre swimming pool with 12 waterfalls and two water slides and Camp Hyatt children’s programs.



Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is located near Walt Disney World, just west of Interstate 4 off Exit 68 in Lake Buena Vista. The resort’s address is One Grand Cypress Blvd., Orlando, Florida, USA 32836 and the hotel’s direct telephone number is 407.239.1234. The resort’s website is www.hyattgrandcypress.com"




This post is informative for you. I was not compensated for this post.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Day in Greenville, South Carolina

This past week I spent some time up in South Carolina with my family and traveled up to the adorable city of Greenville one day.

I loved the place so much I wanted to share my perfect Greenville day with you.


Now, I've been to a few children's museums since becoming a Mommy and they have been so-so.

Not the Children's Museum of the Upstate.

It was three floors packed with hands on fun for kids of all ages. Both Turtle and Roo were able to get into everything the museum had to offer. The super huge Lite Brite, the Market complete with tiny green shopping carts, the construction area, the art area.... all of it was entertaining.

They even had a nursing station for breastfeeding mamas.

After the Children's Museum of the Upstate, we picked up some chicken and headed to Cleveland Park for a picnic.

This park is lush and green and huge. There is something for everyone there: walking trails, playgrounds (separated by small kids and older kids so they don't mix), tennis courts, ball fields and more.

We found a shady spot, ate our lunch and the kids played... and played and played. The playground is covered too so its great no matter what the weather is.

Adjacent to Cleveland Park is the Greenville Zoo (we didn't even have to load up in the car and move to another parking spot). We just wandered up the hill and we were there.

The Greenville Zoo is a small zoo that is hilly (fun with a stroller) and has the essential animals. Roo loved the elephant the most and I loved that there was a Rat Snake crossing in the middle of the park.

There were giraffes, great photo spots and yummy snacks.

The girls loved it and I loved that I didn't have to do much walking to see all the animals (the park is only 14 acres and takes about 45-60 minutes to see everything).

It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Greenville, South Carolina is gorgeous and full of great things to do. There are unique shops, great hotels and tons of restaurants to pick from. It is a quick and easy drive up from Columbia (where my parents live) and worth the trip.




I was not compensated in any way for this post, I just wanted to share a fantastic day I had with my girls.

Enabler

The other day I was doing something and Roo asked me to do something for her.

Like most times, I stopped what I was doing and helped her do her trivial little task and went back to what I was doing (I think I was sewing, but that's besides the point).

Halfway through my own task, I realized that what she had me do was something she could have easily done herself.

This got me thinking: Why wasn't she doing this herself?

And then: Why am I always doing everything for her?

I started thinking back over a handful of things that I would stop what I was doing and do for her and I realized that this makes me an enabler.

An enabler simply because I was enabling her to get away with having me do things that she really should do herself.

Honestly, I felt horrible.... as all Mother's do when they realize that they are stiflling their childrens growing independence.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I made a decision that it's time to stop.

This bad habit of mine is not helping her and me.

She needs to learn to do things for herself (she is four, after all) and I need to finish my own tasks at hand.

We're starting small.

And you know what, she's a rock star. She's picking up things left and right and doing more for herself and it makes me so proud to see her doing them.

And I am proud of myself for recognizing my faults and doing what I can to fix them.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Perfect Snack

I am a sweets lover.

I cannot go a day without eating something sugary and preferably with chocolate.

It has always been my downfall in the weigh loss game.

But I own up to it.

Nothing ends the day better than chocolate.

Or peanut butter and chocolate.

Or pretzels and chocolate.

Oh, hell.

Now I am hungry.

You get the point. I adore chocolate!

Please tell me I'm not alone and while you are it, tell me what is your perfect bedtime snack?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day! May you sleep late and be treated like a Queen!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Contests

I adore the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, adore. I wanted to pass along this great contest with awesome prizes.

From a press release:

"DISNEY AND JERRY BRUCKHEIMER PRESENTS “A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR YOU” WITH WORLD PREMIERE GIVEAWAYS




Pirates’ fans can help celebrate the 5/7 Disneyland World Premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger tides by connecting nationwide on Mobile, Twitter and SCVNGR to win a trove of treasure, including a Disney Cruise to the Mexican Riviera!



WHAT: Pirates fans across the country have 3 ways to connect to the Disneyland World Premiere and win Pirates of the Caribbean Prize Packs including Hot Topic T-shirts, Xpand 3D Glasses, Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray™ Box Sets, Pirates Booty, a Disney Cruise to the Mexican Riviera and more!



WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 9AM PST – 9PM PST



HOW:

1. Grand Prize Disney Cruise Giveaway

a. WHERE: Follow Pirates of the Caribbean Producer Jerry Bruckheimer on Twitter (@BRUCKHEIMERJB) all day on 5/7

b. HOW: Jerry Bruckheimer will tweet special instructions to enter the sweeps.

c. WHAT: A cruise to the Mexican Riviera on a Disney Cruise line and access to exclusive Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides content!

d. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal residents of 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 years and older. Sweepstakes starts at 4:00 PM Pacific Time (PT) on 5/7/11 and ends at 11:59 PM (PT) on 5/8/11. For official rules go to www.facebook.com/piratesofthecaribbean 2. SCVNGR Hunt for the Fountain of Youth

a. WHERE: Los Angeles; New York City; Chicago; Washington, DC; Boston; Dallas; Philadelphia; Seattle; San Francisco; Miami

b. HOW:

i. Download the free SCVNGR app for iPhone & Android at www.scvngr.com ii. Tap 'Treks' and search for "Pirate's Life"

iii. Go to the places in the trek and do the challenges there to earn points

iv. All participants are automatically entered for a chance to win Sponsor selected prize packs.

c. WHAT: Chances to win prize packs including Hot Topic T-shirts, Xpand 3D Glasses, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Soundtracks, Pirates Booty and the Pirates movie poster

d. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal residents of Los Angeles; New York City; Chicago; Washington, DC; Boston; Dallas; Philadelphia; Seattle; San Francisco; Miami age 18 years and older. Sweepstakes starts May 7, 2011 9 a.m. EDT and ends May 7, 2011 when Participating Locations close for business. For official rules go to: www.facebook.com/piratesofthecaribbean 3. Twitter Prize Pack Giveaways

a. WHERE: Follow @DisneyPirates between 9AM PST and 9PM PST on 5/7

b. WHAT: Chances to win prize packs including Hot Topic T-Shirts, Skull decanters, Pirates of the Caribbean Blu-ray™ Box Sets, Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack Treasures Collection Box Sets and Pirates Booty!

c. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal residents of is open only to legal residents who are physically located in one (1) of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia (void in Puerto Rico, all U.S. territories and possessions and all overseas military installations) who are at least 13 years of age or older at the time of entry. Sweepstakes starts May 7, 2011 6 p.m. PDT and ends May 7, 2011 9 p.m. PDT. For official rules go to: www.facebook.com/piratesofthecaribbean "

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Too Much Fun

This is what happens when you have too much fun at Grandma's.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chase the Baby

One of the things I love about Roo is that I can give her something to do, something to entertain herself and she's solid gold.

She can watch television, color in her books, play with her toys, whatever it is, she's good.

I can slink away across the hall and check my email or jot down a blog.

And I can do this without worry because 1) I am just right across the hall and 2) she's at that age where she doesn't need to be watched 24/7 and can handle the tasks of making herself happy for a few moments.

This is not the case with Turtle.

Of course, Turtle is way younger than Roo but she cannot be left alone... for even a second.

If I turn my back on her for the briefest of moments, she has climbed on top of the dinner table and is turning circles. Or if I blink too slow, she's in the kitchen pulling out every pot and pan we own and sliding them all over the floors. Or she's going up the stairs at Grandma's or she's sneaking out on to the back porch. Or she's climbing on a bed, a chair, a desk, a potted plant.

The kid is unstoppable.

And that is why I am exhausted.

She goes goes goes alllllllllllllll day long and barely stops to take a breath before she's on to destroy the next thing.

I call her my problem child.

That doesn't mean I don't love her, because you know I do.

I could just do with sitting still for two seconds and taking a really long, deep breath.

But if I dare do that, all the keys on my keyboard will be ripped off and the flower arrangement at our neighbors house will be ripped to shreds.