Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stubbornness, Pigheadedness and all those things

A few posts back I talked about the whole character issue I'm having and on this road of discovery, I've noticed that I can be a bit... stubborn.

Or maybe hard headed?

I think they are the same thing really.

But I have it.

My head is hard, my stubbornness is annoying and an overall bad trait.

I admit this fully.

I tend not to listen to what people tell me and hear only what I want to hear (sometimes I call it selective hearing and with kids it's a must).

I don't like this trait. I don't like that I ignore some of the most important words I need to hear.

I'm trying to change this.

Especially because I can't change how others view me or how the world revolves. I'm working on accepting that there's a plan for me and I can't really do much to change it, just to enjoy the ride and take the fruits of its (and my) labors.

I also need to accept that I can't always get things my way, that sometimes my way isn't the best way and that I need to do what's best for my family.

This challenge has been hard, I won't lie. I'll do great for a day or two and then I'll break down and revert to old ways... like a bully.

And being a bullied sucks, I know this first hand.

So it changes.

From this moment on, I am doing my part to be a better person.

Any advice?

Wordless Wednesday: Can't Live Without

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mommy Failure: Bullying.

I uttered the words that no Mom ever wants to say yesterday... My Daughter is being Bullied.

Just reading that makes me want to cry.

My 4 year old is being harassed at Pre-School.

Pre-School!

It started innocent enough (as innocent as bullying can start?) by the boy saying he didn't like her.

When Roo told me this, I told her that she needs to use her words and tell the teacher if anything persisted.

Well, it persisted and she ended up being pushed one day and slapped on the arm the next.

She could never remember the boy's name and each time I asked about her telling the teacher, she said the teacher was busy.

Roo is an easy going child, never one to rock the boat. She's had three temper tantrums her whole life! She's a people pleaser... and some say, a push-over.

And the whole time we're dealing with this, I'm freaking out.

Did I do something wrong? Why is my child being picked on? Did I not arm her with enough to defend herself? Why isn't she defending herself? Is she not developing enough?

Egh, the crutch of being a Mom.

It's horrible.

And of course, Roo was freaking out over the whole thing. She suddenly didn't want to go to school and last night she was up all night with nightmares.

Today we were able to pinpoint who was bothering her and after talking to the teacher and the director of the school, we decided to move Roo's chair (because the bully sat right next to her), the teacher said she would keep an eye on her and work on teaching Roo to stand up for herself.

Roo immediately brightened up and you could see a change in her.

She felt safe again.

While this brings me a measure of peace, I'm still feeling horrible that this even happened in the first place.

I feel like I failed as her Mom.

It's a never ending cycle for us Moms, this guilt that we have some how managed to let our children down.

It's horrible, I know... but it's part of being a Mom.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: The Garfield Show: Spooky Tails DVD

Halloween is exactly 63 days away.

Shocking, isn't it?

My girls are already  hounding me to buy their costumes, get their buckets and even buy the candy!

And I still have 63 days to go!

Will I be able to last? Will they?

Luckily, I have a copy of The Garfield Show's latest DVD to keep them entertained: The Garfield Show's Spooky Tails DVD.



From the press release: "Follow the witty and silly duo as they run into spooky trouble again! It's all fun and games for Garfield and Odie as they take a fun-filled trip on Halloween until Garfied is mistaken by a loose wild cat! Includes other out-of-this-world adventures! Featuring 6 episodes."


Roo loves watching this DVD and I don't mind her watching it on repeat because it's not scary (at all). She sits and giggles through the entire DVD.


Turtle will watch the DVD for a little bit, but her attention span isn't on par with Roo's.


The Garfield Show: Spooky Tails DVD is on store shelves now and available for purchase. 








I received a copy of The Garfield Show: Spooky Tails DVD for review purposes. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information. 



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Character Building?

The other day, a friend and I were discussing character building.

Being a mother to two girls makes me really want to set a good example for them to follow.

A kind, caring person with lots of good traits.

Also know as having good character.

I want both of my girls to have good character and I have to confess to you, I don't necessarily have the tippest-toppiest character (Shocking, I know).

I do possess a few traits that can be considered... bitchy.

And yes, I want my girls to keep the sass that they have but still have good characteristics that enable them to be outstanding folks.

So after my conversation with my friend, I did what any good mother would do: I googled character.

And I found a website that hits on the six pillars of good character.

Trustworthiness
Respect
Responsibility
Fairness
Caring
Citizenship

All fine qualities in a person.

So I'm challenging myself to apply these principles in my day to day activities and teach my girls that it's good to have solid character and I'm hoping they will follow by example.

Wish me luck.

Also, tell me what "pillars" are important to your character.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Date Night: Cirque du Soleil La Nouba

When you’re married and swamped the duties of being a parent, it can be tiresome.

Every once in a while you need to escape the chaos and reconnect.

Recently, my husband and I escaped diaper duty and snuck out to Cirque Du Soleil’s La Nouba in Downtown Disney.

We dressed up real nice and felt like we were kids again.

And I’m so glad we did.

La Nouba is Ah-Ma-Zing!

Other words that come to mind are: beautiful, awe-inspiring, colorful, breathtaking and funny.

Oh, so funny.

Thorough the entire show you really are on the edge of your seat as over 20 performers walk high-wires, jump bikes over audience members (they pulled him on to stage, not jumped over their seats), bounce on trampolines and just basically leave you with your mouth hanging open.

For an hour and a half!

For an hour and a half you witness pure joy.


And you will laugh.

A lot.

There’s a clown duo that appears thorough the performance to apply slap-stick humor that the crowd loves.

You will walk out of the building (a fantastic looking “big top”) and won’t be able to stop gushing about how wonderful the entire show was.

Here’s a sneak peek at what made my mouth hang open:





I highly recommend you see this show the next time you are in town.


If you’re in Florida and you want to check out La Nouba for yourself, they are offering special pricing for residents.

Here’s the details (straight from the press release, word for word):

La Nouba Offers Special Price to Florida Residents

August 2 – October 29, 2011

WHAT: La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil announces a special $50 ticket price (plus tax) for Florida residents.

Seen by more than 8 million guests, La Nouba features high wire and flying trapeze acts, stunning acro-gymnastic performances and other dynamic displays of coordination and strength.

La Nouba is performed exclusively at Downtown Disney® West Side at Walt Disney World® Resort.

WHEN: This offer is available for performances August 2 - October 29 on category 2 seats.

TICKETS: Florida residents can purchase $50 tickets (plus tax for adults and children) for performances August 2 – October 2 for category 2 seats only (rules and restrictions apply). Tickets are available by phone at (407) 939-7328, or at the box office located on the plaza level of the theater. Cirque Club members can buy online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/lanouba (click the offers page for additional ticket information, rules and restrictions). To receive news alerts and priority sale details, visitwww.facebook.com/lanouba. Group discounts are available by calling (702) 352-0197.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The theater is dark Sundays, Mondays and select times throughout the year – including September 20 – 24, 2011. “



I received two tickets to a performance in exchange for my review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Monday, August 22, 2011

F'd up Schedules

Normally I like to stick to a routine.

Yes, that routine varies and I'm not a total stickler to it.

But I like to have my days with the kids end at 8pm.

8pm is a good ending time for all of us, especially because Roo has to get up in the morning for school and be fresh and focused for that.

Sometimes, like tonight, our schedule is thrown to the wind.

And not for something fun like a water fight or a great family movie.

It's all screwed up just because.

Both girls were up until 10:00 tonight and I feel like I got ran over by a truck and dragged for miles.

All because my happy routine was f'd up.

I struggled to get Turtle to sleep for over two hours while I let Roo play with her Daddy in her room. And after much screaming and doing that whole stiffen her body thing, she passed out in my arms.

And now that both are them are asleep in their room and I have the bed all to myself, I am in that funky wired, too tired to sleep phase.

So until sleep comes to take me away, it's bad 80s movies (Dream a Little Dream anyone?) and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eden Fantasys

When one has been in a long term relationship, it never hurts to keep things... spicy.

Now I'm not saying run out, get duct tape and go to town (unless that is your thing... ahem). What I am saying is that it never hurts to be open minded.

A while back I did a review for Eden Fantasys and had a positive experience so when they contacted me again, I decided I would work with them again.

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store


Eden Fantasys isn't just a sex store, it's much more.

It's an entire community that includes a book club, a magazine and even a Eden Tube video section where you can watch videos of product reviews.

Visiting their website won't make you feel embarrassed, you'll actually feel empowered and open to all sorts of great things. Plus you have the knowledge that anything you buy online (and there are tons of choices for you to choose from!), your nosy neighbor will have no clue what it is when it's delivered because it comes in a completely nondescript package.

Eden Fantasys has anything and everything, even fancy duct tape if that's your thing.

So go forth, be spicy.


I was compensated for this post. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Back to School: Tiny Prints

There's no such thing as Back to School in our household.

This year is our first ever going to school.

And as you know, I'm heartbroken about it.

But four days in to the school year, I'm handling it better than I imagined I ever would.

I really did think I would be a blubbering mess that sinks her claws into her little girl and never let go.

I think the main reason I didn't become that woman is because my daughter LOVES school.

Seriously.

She walks into class and darts for all the toys and barely manages a "Bye Mom" before completely forgetting about me.

Yes, it's heartbreaking but so satisfying at the same time.

She loves school!

This will change in ten years so I better enjoy it now while she doesn't have a clue what skipping is.

Another reason I love that she's in school, I can finally get all that cute school stuff!

And Tiny Prints has a ton of it.

If you want cute note cards to leave in a lunchbox, they have it! Or if you want to send the teacher a note, they've got you covered!


And it's all at a great price, so click on over and buy it all up.





I received a Tiny Prints gift code in exchange for this post. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Back To School: Mabel's Labels

I'm learning that having a kid in school means you will be needing tons of school supplies to accompany them.

The list of things needed is staggering.

And expensive.

So when you drop a ton of cash on said supplies, you want to make sure they don't just walk off in the middle of everything and leave you heading back to the store to buy more.

A great solution to this problem: Mabel's Labels!

I recently got the Ultimate Back to School Combo of labels.



It includes the following: 
  • 50 Tag Mates™
  • 40 Skinny-Minis™
  • 16 Shoe Labels
  • 2 Teeny Tags™

Roo and I went crazy labeling everything in her backpack, including her backpack!

(I can't post photos of the actual labels because I choose to keep my kids names off my blog, but here's a great photo from the website).


Roo even insisted on putting some on her favorite toys.

Mabel's Labels are made of sturdy, durable materials that can withstand washes and the rough and tumble life of a 4 year old.

I love that I was able to use them on my plastic snack containers and after many washes, there is no sign of peeling.

You can get your own Mabel's Labels Ultimate Back to School Combo online.



I received a BTS Ultimate Combo Pack for review purposes. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Heart Palpitations

This kid gives me heart palpitations all day long.

And not just because she will climb to the tippy top of a ladder in a second flat or because she will hang from the mounting block and laugh about it.

Because she is so darn cute and she loves to laugh.

Hold me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today is the Day

Today is the day I take my oldest to school.

My first born, my baby, my sidekick.

Egh. I am sick with the thought of it.

But you already know this.

Last night I put Mabel's Labels on her items, packed up her backpack and made her lunch. We also picked out her clothes, lined up her socks and shoes and charged the camera for that famous First Day of School (!) picture.

In just a few, we'll load up and take her to school and drop her off.

And I'll do everything in my power to not stare at the clock for the next three hours and enjoy the one-on-one time I'll have with Turtle.

Wish me luck that I survive.

:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear Boobs (Again),

Dear Boobs,

Last time we spoke, I was promising you that I would do everything in my power to perk you up after putting in months upon months of hard labor.

And of course, I failed you.

After 22 months of service to my first child, you quickly found yourself back in the labor force when child number two rolled into town.

Yes, you were a champ while we went through the motions, but to be honest, you were very bitchy about the whole thing throwing me curve balls left and right with your clogged ducts and engorgement issues.

I get it; you were pissed off at me because I failed you in my promise.

But things happen, life gets in the way, children come along and need to be nourish!

Just because you were unhappy about the situation didn’t mean you had to protest in your mean-spirited way and force me to spend hours with a heating pad on my chest, taking Advil round the clock to ease your stubbornness.

You could have handled the whole situation with some class, that’s all I’m saying.

And now that breastfeeding relationship number two is coming to an end, I’d like to be the bigger person in the whole deal and extended a hand and give you a healthy pat on the back.

I want to be a sophisticated lady and reward you for a job well done and ask that if you could just finish out the next few weeks with some pride that I promise you that you will get a break.

I promise to buy you a fancy bra to hang out in, some good sweet smelling lotion to lather you in and to take extra good care of you.

Can you do this for me, please?

Thanks so much,
SuZ

They Don't Need Me!

Every Mom goes through the feeling that their kids don't need them anymore.

Sometimes it's a tiny thing and others are big and tend to snowball.

With Roo going to school next week I'm already fragile, now Turtle has decided that she doesn't need me and went to sleep on her own.

Without my help!

The nerve of that child!

Normally, I hold her and snuggle with her until she drifts off to sleep and I adore this time.

I love that she and I can closet ourselves away from everything else and we can just be. I can be useful and she can use me. It's perfect.

Today I pulled her into my lap for nap time and she stiffened up and howled at me.

I think my heart broke a little (yes, I know I'm dramatic!).

She rolled out of my lap, cozied up on my bed and fell asleep.

Without me!

The nerve!

You'll just have to excuse me, like I said I'm fragile right now.

I'm sure this will past and I'll come around to viewing this as a bit of freedom (in some sense) and I can use the time productively.

But like I said earlier this week, at least she still needs me to change her diaper!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear Roo: Growing Up Too Damn Fast (AKA Mommy Can't Stop Crying).

Dear Roo,

Next week something monumental happens and just thinking about it is giving me heart palpitations.

Next week you start school.

Oh, I'm not ready for this.

From the moment you were pulled from my body, it's been me and you. You've been my constant sidekick and have rarely spent more than a few hours away from me.

And yes, I know school is only three hours a day but still! Three hours a day! Away from me! Away!!!

I watch you play with other kids in the barns and at the park and I know that you will be fine with being away from me (!) for three hours a day (!) because you are cool like that. You love other people and love to play and run and do all those things that four year old love to do... but  now you'll be doing it without me.

I'm going to miss all these great things you'll be doing for three hours, five days a week.

Thinking like that makes me sad.

So I can't look at it like that, I have to look at it that this is a new adventure for you and you are going to grow into this super educated kid that comes home and regales me with tales of pre-school and all its glory.

I have to look at it like you are going to make new friends, learn new things and have so much fun.

I have to look at it like this is exactly what you need.

And what I need (even though I swear I don't).

I have to be positive about you going to school otherwise I will sit outside your classroom door and sobs. Then the teacher will have to come out and scold me and they'll have to escort me out of the building and off the premises and your Daddy will have to be in charge of taking you and picking you up because I'm that crazy lady who sobs all the time.

And in order to avoid a lifetime of therapy bills (yours and mine), I will not sob (only from the safety and comfort of my car) when I drop you off at school next week. Next week when I take you to school, I will be proud of you, I will be happy for you, I will know you are in good hands and I will wave goodbye, blow you a kiss and leave you to spend quality time with Turtle.

And then I will be back promptly three hours later to pick you up, smoother you in hugs and kisses and hang on every word that passes your lips.

Because I'm embarrassing like that.

:)

I love you, Roo... so damn much.

Mommy

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Entertain Your Toddler at Universal Studios

When most people think of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, they tend to immediately think about all the thrill rides and Harry Potter.

And they are right in their thinking, that's what Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure tend to be about.

But you know what, if you look close you can find great places to entertain your toddler while visiting both parks.

I won't lie to you, there's not a ton of things for them to do, but it's totally possible to hit up both parks in one day and have a great time.

First up, at Islands of Adventure is Dr. Seuss' Landing.



The whole area is packed with great things to do with kids. The carousel, the rides, the stores are all perfect to entertain a toddler and the great things about it, it's not crowded! We never had to wait long for a ride (the most was 20 minutes) and the play area was fantastic for the kids to stretch their legs and get some of that energy out.

Another great spot to run around is Camp Jurassic.

While the rope playground is not ideal for toddlers (unless you don't mind carrying them or holding their hands the entire time you are in it) but there are areas to play in water and run through bushes and trees.


There's also a great splash area by the Jurassic Park ride. But be warned: YOU WILL GET SOAKED.

Roo wasn't expecting to get so thoroughly doused with water, but she did and it actually helped cool her down since it was pretty darn hot when we went.

Toon Lagoon is another great spot for toddlers, again not for the rides but for other things.


There's splash areas everywhere!

Roo took total advantage while we ate lunch.


Over at Universal Studios, we hit up and spent hours (literally, hours!) at Woody Woodpecker's Kid Zone.


There's a cluster of rides and playgrounds perfect for toddlers (and older kids) including: Fievel's Playground and Curious George Goes to Town (a splash park!).


There is also an Animal Actors show that is sure to please any child.

Overall, there's a lot to do at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for toddlers you just need to study your map, plan lots of breaks, always know where the restrooms are and make sure you have tons of water, sunscreen and handwipes.

If you do this, you're golden.



I received two park tickets to US & IOA in exchange for this review. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy for more information.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breastfeeding Woes: Giving up the Boob

I've always said from the beginning that Turtle and breastfeeding are completely different than Roo and her relationship with breastfeeding.

I knew this.

I knew Turtle would not last as long as Roo did.

I thought I knew I could handle it when the breastfeeding relationship with Turtle was over.

Wrong.

For the past couple of weeks I have only been nursing Turtle at night. We gave up all those night feedings and she is finally sleeping through the night (Thank Goodness!).

And our one lone nursing session at night is fading... As in she's not too interested and tends to use the Binky to fall asleep, not my boobs.

And as a Mom, I just know.

I can feel it.

And I want to cry.

My little independent sassy pants is growing up.

At least she still needs me to change her diapers.

:)

Friday, August 5, 2011

End of Summer Celebration with Rosen Hotels & Sea World

Summer (not the heat though) is quickly coming to an end.

School is right around the corner!

But wait, don't get sad just yet. You can still celebrate what is left of the summer.

There's a great package that combines a great hotel and a great theme park making it the perfect way to end the summer with a bang.

From a press release:


"ORLANDO (August 5, 2011) - It's not too late to enjoy a summer getaway to Orlando. The award-winning Rosen Shingle Creek has teamed up with SeaWorld Orlando to present the "Sea the World" package - a fun family getaway for four including deluxe accommodations at the AAA Four Diamond hotel and SeaWorld Orlando tickets.




Valid on selected dates now through Sept. 6, the "Sea the World" package includes:

Two nights' accommodations in a deluxe double queen guest room

Two adult and two child tickets for SeaWorld Orlando, with a second day free

Twenty-five percent off all food and beverages at any Rosen Shingle Creek restaurant (alcohol excluded)

A SeaWorld themed welcome amenity and nightly turndown service

Complimentary scheduled transportation to and from Rosen Shingle Creek to SeaWorld Orlando (reservations required)

The "Sea the World" package is available for just $500, inclusive of tax; gratuities not included. The offer is valid for any two consecutive nights from Aug. 5-9, 13-16, 19-28, or Aug. 31-Sept. 6, based on availability. To book, call 866-996-6338 or visit www.rosenshinglecreek.com.



SeaWorld Orlando tickets are valid for one year within date of purchase. The second day free is valid for one additional visit at no additional charge for up to seven consecutive days from the date of the first visit. Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable; offer is not valid with other offers or discounts.



Guests may enjoy their twenty-five percent dining discount at any of Rosen Shingle Creek's 14 restaurants and lounges, including two recently opened options: Banrai Sushi sushi bar and Tobias Flats & Watering Hole, serving a variety of flatbread-based dishes. Two of the hotel's restaurants have earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating: A Land Remembered, which proudly serves Harris Ranch All Natural Black Angus Beef, and the upscale Cala Bella "Beautiful Creek" Italian bistro, which offers a presentation bar for "ringside" views of its culinary artists at work.



For some relaxing downtime away from the theme parks, guests may enjoy 18 holes of championship golf at Shingle Creek Golf Club or indulge in an afternoon of pampering at The Spa at Shingle Creek. Four swimming pools, a game room and a host of other amenities offer something for every member of the family.



While at SeaWorld, guests can take in the new "One Ocean" Shamu show, featuring killer whales as ambassadors of the sea and the ocean as the center of the natural world. At the core of the show is the inspiring and educational message that both animals and humans are part of one world, with one ocean. For more information, visit www.seaworldorlando.com.



About Rosen Shingle Creek

The AAA Four Diamond, 1,500-room Rosen Shingle Creek is conveniently located at 9939 Universal Blvd., just off the International Drive tourist district and ten minutes from the Orlando International Airport. Among the many honors the hotel has been awarded are Meetings & Conventions (M&C) magazine's Gold Platter Award, a "best of the best" award which is given only to the top catering departments at convention properties across the country. To book a room, guests may call the Rosen Shingle Creek reservations line at (866) 996-6338. For more information, visit www.rosenshinglecreek.com or call (866) 996-9939. For more information about Rosen Hotels & Resorts, visit www.rosenhotels.com. "

Monday, August 1, 2011

An Aha Moment

I've got a list of things I want to do.

It's my sorta, Things I'll Do in My Life List.

It includes things that a big ones like traveling to Ireland and drinking a beer in a pub down to small ones like learn to knit.

On this list was another small one: Take a Zumba class.

My YMCA offers Zumba and because I am horribly uncoordinated (seriously) I've always been hesitant.

The one time I did go to the class the instructor was late and my nerves got the best of me and I chickened out.

Today when I went to the gym my plan was to run 3 miles and lift a few weights before calling it quit but as I walked by the schedule board I saw that Zumba had just started.

I dropped the kids off at daycare and put one foot in front of the other until I found myself in the gym with a group of 30 or so woman.

Of course I picked a spot in the back, seriously who wants to see my stumble through a routine?

And you know what, I did it.

I didn't have a clue what I was actually doing, but I was doing it!

And for a second there I had this breathless, swelling of the throat aha moment where I almost cried as I danced (or fumbled through a dance) because I was doing it.

I was doing it and crossing an item on my list!

It was an amazing feeling.

Plus, I love shaking my ass!

I am hooked and I am definitely going back for another class on Wednesday (why isn't it offered every day?!!).

Next up on the list to tackle: knitting!

Wish me luck.