Monday, February 28, 2011

If I were abducted by aliens . . .

I recently took Pumpkin and Peanut to the movies to see Gnomeo & Juliet.   While there, we saw the preview for Mars Needs Moms.    What a cute looking movie!   When SocialMoms posted that they were looking for the top 10 things your kids would miss about you if you were abducted by aliens, I thought “What a fun idea!”  Who knew how hard it would be to come up with ten things?!  Here’s my best effort:

My cooking – Okay, I’m going to be honest.  I’m not much of a cook.  I try to cook, but many of my meals are not terribly well received.   (Though admittedly, they are appreciated much more the first night than they are as “leftovers”.)  Even so, I’d like to think that eventually they’d miss at least a few of my meals.

Story time – We love to read stories together.  Whether I’m reading or they are, it is always something we all enjoy.  Even when it is late, the girls ask if they can pick a story time before bed (and are sad if I tell them we don’t have time).

Mommy Hugs – Earlier today, Pumpkin fell and scraped her knee.  It certainly wasn’t anything life threatening, but it definitely needed a mommy hug and kiss to make it all better. 

“I love you”s – Every night after prayers, before leaving the girls in their rooms for the night, I whisper “I love you” 15 times in each ear.  It started as a way to fill their minds with happy thoughts before bed so that they wouldn’t have nightmares, and has stuck.  They really miss those “I love you”s when I’m not home to put them to bed.

Car Rides – I’m lucky to be able to stay home with my girls.  Because of that, I take them to and from school each day.  The car rides are a wonderful time for them to tell me about their days without the interruptions of phones, TV, computers, etc. 

Games – I am horrible at pretend play, but I love playing games with the girls.  Monopoly, Clue, Checkers, Memory, DDR – you name it and we play it.  We always have such a great time.

Lunchbox Notes – Each day I put a note in Peanut’s lunchbox.  Whether I write something silly, funny or sweet, she always looks forward to that note.  If I happen to forget one day, she always notices and asks what happened.  The lunchbox notes are a great way to let her know she’s on my mind even when she’s at school.

Baking Time – Doc is an amazing father, but one thing he does NOT do, is bake.  The girls and I love to bake together.  We have a great time making cookies, cakes, brownies, bars, etc.  I think they actually enjoy the process more than the end product.  If I was abducted, either Doc would have to learn to bake or hire someone who could.

Crafts – From hair clips to play-dough birds, the girls and I love to make crafts together.  At Valentine’s Day, they each made their Valentines for their friends.  After working for a couple weeks on those Valentines, Doc asked me “Do you think their friends appreciate all the work you guys put into those?”  My reply was, “We don’t do it for them.  We do it for us.”

Play Area Visits – The girls are like most kids and love visiting the local play areas at the mall, restaurants, playgrounds, water parks, etc.   I can sit there for hours just watching them have fun.  Whenever anyone else takes them, the visits tend to be much shorter.   I think they’d miss the tolerance I have for those visits. (Which is ironic considering I always said I’d never let my kids play in those places because they are breeding grounds for germs . . . one of the many ways that being a parent has changed me.)

I may not be a perfect mom.  I know that I have plenty of faults and lots of other things to work on.  Regardless, I am their mom, and they love me imperfections and all.  Just as I love them!

Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Countdown - Days 34 & 33

Exercise - Power 90 3-4 Sweat with Ab Ripper 200; 30 minutes of Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii

Diet - I don't remember what I ate, since that was two days ago.  If I remember right, the day was pretty standard.  I wasn't perfect, but I tried. 

Exercise - None

Diet - 1 cup Honey Nut Cheerios in skim milk, 2 waffles, 4 peanut butter crackers, 1 cup Sunchips, 1 Grapefruit, 1 Orange,  I'm sure I had something else, but I can't remember.  The day was a bit of a blur.  We woke up to snow and ice everywhere.  We grabbed some cereal quick and were out the door for a dentist appointment. When we got home we felt like comfort food, so I made us some waffles.  Peanut had a fever, so we played board games, read, cuddled, and watched Beauty and the Beast for most of the day.  Due to being sick and having a thrown off schedule, the girls weren't hungry at regular times.  Not eating at regular scheduled times makes it hard for me to remember what we had.

Today is a brand new day . . . Peanut is still sick (which means that Pumpkin will follow shortly), so wish me luck on getting my exercise in today.   

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Countdown - Day 35

Exercise - Power 90 3-4 Sculpt

Diet - 1 cup Honey Nut Cheerios in skim milk, 1/2 cup orange juice, 6 oz yogurt, kiwi, 1/2 can Campbell's Minestrone soup, roast beef sandwich, water, iced tea, handful almonds, Sensible Snacks Apple Cinnamon Sticks, 1/2 c frozen yogurt

Weigh In - Disheartening . . . +1 :o(

I appreciate the value of delayed gratification.  I've seen the video for the marshmallow test.

That being said, when it comes to my weight, I'm more of an instant gratification girl.   I know that muscle weighs more than fat.  I know that it is better for my overall health if I try to exercise more and eat better even if I don't lose weight.  I know that I could have done better this past week with my diet and exercise.  I also know that I like cookies, ice cream, candy, fried foods, etc.  If I gain weight when I generally avoid those foods I love so much, then it is harder for me to resist temptation. 

Oh well.  I'm going to try to go all in for week two.  Wish me luck.  If I don't see or feel some difference though, it will be hard to stay motivated. 

Any words of wisdom?

Countdown - Day 36

Exercise - Another walk/jog while the girls and Doc rode their scooters.  We were planning a little Just Dance Kids, but the sun was shining so the girls wanted to go outside instead.  Unfortunately, it was cold out so we weren't out as long as I would have liked.  We spent about 30-45 minutes exercising.

Diet - 1 cup Honey Nut Cheerios with skim milk, handful of pretzels, my pasta leftovers from Ruby Tuesday, a handful of movie theater popcorn YUM!, a Dum Dum Lollipop, One Pizza Hut breadstick, Salad with chicken lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and no dressing, water, a small slice of pizza, handful of almonds.

Again, not my best day.   Apparently we eat out way more often than I realized.  I'm beginning to think that this is my main problem.  I try to eat healthy when we're out, but it is so much harder if the kids are eating yummy stuff while I'm munching on a dry salad (that was supposed to be made with Romaine lettuce, but was actually iceberg.)  I will say that I just love the kids' snack packs at the movie theater.  For $5 the kids get a tiny drink (no need to get up and pee during the movie), one Laffy Taffy, and the tiniest bit of popcorn.  They usually eat everything except the tiny scraps of popcorn that get stuck in the corner of the box.  I get those!  It works perfectly for me.  I get a taste of popcorn without the guilt that comes from eating the large bucket (because it is the best deal!). 

Since I've decided to only weigh myself once a week, tomorrow will be my first weigh-in.  Wish me luck!  I feel like I've done pretty well so far.  I've been far from perfect (but I'd never be able to maintain perfect, so that doesn't bother me too much), but I think I've done pretty good so far.   After today, I only have 5 weeks left . . .

Friday, February 18, 2011

Countdown - Day 37

Exercise - Power 90 3-4 Sweat with Ab Ripper 200

Diet - banana, 1 cup Honey Nut Cheerios with skim milk, 6 oz yogurt, 1/2 banana, Ruby Tuesday Vegetarian Pasta (1/2), a handful of Chex Mix, Burger King TenderGrill Chicken Salad without dressing

I was out and about tons today, but I don't think I did too bad considering.  I've discovered that the best thing to do when going out to eat is to order something fairly healthy and only eat half.  If you ask for a box when you order or as soon as they bring out the food, you won't be tempted to eat more.  Immediately cut the portion in half and box it.  Eat the half that is on your plate and you don't be tempted to eat just a couple more bites. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Countdown - Day 38

Exercise - 30-45 minute jog with the kiddos while they rode their scooters . . . Yay for a sunshine filled day!

Diet - banana, 1 cup honey nut cheerios in skim milk, water, 1cup chex mix, 6 oz yogurt, 1 oreo, 1 peanut butter cup, 1 pull and peel Twizzler, 3 slices of thin peppered turkey on a Bagel Thin (I switched it up a bit today), handful of almonds, kiwi, strawberries, salad with grilled chicken, lettuce, and almond slivers, watermelon jolly rancher lollipop

Okay, today was a horrible day.  I have no idea why, but I was craving something.  I couldn't figure out what it was so I just kept trying different things.  No matter what I ate I didn't feel like it was right or enough.  It was very strange.   Tomorrow is a brand new day!

Sharing Happiness

Happiness seems to be contagious!

While a friend and I were waiting to pick up our kids from preschool today, we were just talking about happiness.  The sun was shining, the temperature was up, and we were both in the best moods we'd been in in a while.  Sometimes, something as simple as a sunny day can make you happy.

What other things make you happy?
  • I'm happy when a cashier is particularly kind and friendly.
  • I'm happy when I get a great deal on an item I've been wanting.
  • I'm happy when my kids come home from school with good news.
  • I'm happy when my husband notices that I've worked especially hard around the house.
  • I'm happy when I get to have lunch and good conversation with a friend.
  • I'm happy when I do good and follow my exercise and diet plan.
  • I'm happy when I can indulge in a small, but delicious piece of chocolate without feeling guilty.
  • I'm happy when someone compliments my kids on their manners or thoughtfulness.
Just think, if things as simple as that can make me happy, then small things probably make other people happy too.  It makes me wonder what I can do to make the world just a bit happier.  So, here's the plan.  I'm going to do little things each day and see if I notice a difference.  Perhaps if I spread some happiness, others will continue to pay it forward.

Smile - A smile shows you're happy.  When I great people, I will make sure that I smile.  I want people to know that I am happy to see them.   I want people to feel like they belong.  I want people to feel appreciated.  I hope that a small, but sincere smile will send that message and spread happiness.

Please & Thank You - Please and thank you are simple words that we learn as children.  They also are words that show appreciation.  Just the other day, when I said "thank you" to Pumpkin, she said to me, "Mom, you're an adult.  You don't have to say "thank you".  Only kids do."    What????   I have no idea where she heard that or why she thinks that to be true, but it isn't.  Parents need to show appreciation as well.  Whether teachers, food servers, cashiers, grocery baggers, doctors, or even your children for helping out around the house - people should be thanked for the work they do.   I know that it makes me happy when I feel appreciated.  I am going to make a better effort to be sure that I thank people for their help.

Giving - We try to be generous people.  We donate items that we no longer need or use.  We buy extra items for the classroom so that children that don't have the necessary money or supplies can have them.   However, I can always do more.  I used to send my unwanted coupons to military stationed overseas.  For some reason I stopped.  I think I'm going to start doing that again.  I am going to look for more opportunities to give of my time, talent, and money when possible.

Here's hoping that I'm right, and happiness is contagious.  That is one thing I certainly wouldn't mind catching!

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hershey's blogging program, for a gift card worth $25 and some product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Countdown - Day 39

Exercise - Power 90 3-4 Sculpt

Diet - Banana, 1 cup Honey Nut Cheerios with skim milk, 6 oz yogurt, 3 slices of thin peppered turkey breast on a multi grain Arnold's Sandwich Thin, 6 strawberries, 3 mini Quaker rice cakes (cheddar), water, handful of almonds, 1 cup of Sensible Snacks Apple Cinnamon crisps, 3 Hershey's Kisses, Salad - lettuce, pepperoni (The kids were eating homemade bagel pizzas and it looked good, so I threw on a couple slices!), peppers, 16 oz green tea (iced), banana

Monday, February 14, 2011

Countdown - Day 40

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today wasn't my best day, but it wasn't too bad either.  Here's how I did . . .

Exercise - Power 90 3-4 Sweat and Ab Ripper 200

Diet - banana, 1 cup honey nut cheerios with skim milk, 6 oz yogurt, grapefruit, 1/2 orange, handful of grapes, 4 strawberries, 3 thin slices of peppered turkey on an Arnold's Sandwich Thin (multigrain),  handful of almonds,  handful of goldfish, 1 Fresco Chicken Soft Taco, 1/2 Regular Chicken Soft Taco, Water, banana, 3 Hershey's kisses (It is Valentine's Day!)

As hard as it was, I did throw away my kids leftover nachos and tacos from Taco Bell.  Why do I have such an issue with that?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Countdown . . . 42

Something very exciting is happening . . . exactly 42 days from yesterday. 

While I'm not going to tell you what it is (until after it happens), I will tell you that it is something that I am motivated to get in shape for.  I've been trying since before the new year.  I've not been dedicated though.  I work out hard, then I get lazy.  That is not going to happen this time.  I've decided.  I've committed.  I will succeed.  (Any BeachBody customers recognize that tagline?)

In order to stay on track, I will be posting here on my blog regularly.  I'm hoping by posting, I will be able to see patterns in when I struggle the most with staying on track.  Knowing the problem is a necessity in trying to fix it.  I will try to post daily, but make no guarantees.  The actual workout will take priority over writing about it.  So, if I only have time for one or the other then you'll miss a day or two of updates.  Many of the updates will be short.  Those of you following me on Facebook, fear not, I will not post every workout update in your feed.  I don't want to lose followers over my mission . . . just weight.  :o)

To give you an idea of my goals, I'm going to give you a bit of information about me.  However, I'm not going to tell you how much I weigh.  I will tell you that on Saturday I weighed exactly 13 lbs more than I did before I got pregnant with Peanut.   When I got pregnant, I was at a decent weight, but not my ideal weight.   My goal is to lose 20 lbs.  Will I lose 20 lbs in 42 days?  Not likely!  However, I hope to be at least half way to my goal by Saturday March 26, 2011.    How am I going to do this?  Well, here's what I've done so far -

Exercise - Tony Horton's Power 90 Sweat 3-4 with AbRipper 200
Diet - 1 Banana, 1/2 c orange juice, 1 c Raisin Bran w/ skim milk, 6 oz yogurt, 1/2 can Italian Vegetable Soup, handful Almonds, 1/2 grilled chicken breast, rice pilaf, fresh fruit cup with pineapple, grapes, and apples, water

Exercise - Tony Horton's Power 90 Sculpt 3-4
Diet - 1 c Honey Nut Cheerios w/skim milk, 1/2 c orange juice, 6oz yogurt, 1/2 can Italian Vegetable Soup, handful Almonds, salad with grilled chicken, peppers, carrots and lettuce, 1 grapefruit, blueberries, grapes, 1 banana, water

Wish me luck!

Clorox Get the Dirt Sweepstakes

As much as I know it isn't good to gossip, I still love to hear the occasional juicy tidbit. Does that make me a bad person?
This Valentine’s Day, a new mobile campaign from Clorox® Regular-Bleach helps women clean up their own dirt while they enjoy their Hollywood news.

Clorox is sharing quick clean-up tips on how to keep fashionable winter whites white, keep flowers fresh longer and host a Hollywood-style party. And with Valentine's Day just around the corner, a girl can use some help. Tips like…

* Nothing says “I love you” like roses. Want to enjoy those flowers longer than a celebrity romance? Just add ¼ teaspoon of Clorox® Regular-Bleach to each quart of cold water you put in the vase.

* Got a stain from a heart-shaped chocolate on your favorite whites? It’ll come out in a snap once you add ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach to the hot water and detergent in your washing machine.

To get more tips from Clorox® Regular-Bleach and extend the Valentine’s Day romance, readers can enter the Get the Dirt, but Keep it Clean sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for 2 Hollywood, CA! To enter and view official rules, visit
Disclaimer -  The Clorox Company sent me information about the Get the Dirt, but Keep it Clean program.  All information other than the first two sentences came directly from One2One.  I did not receive any compensation in exchange for my post.  However, I am eligible to win a one year subscription to a gossip magazine in exchange for sharing this information with you.

Win With Baby Brezza

When my kiddos were babies, I always thought that I would be one of those moms that made her own baby food. It seemed so easy, healthy, and cost effective. Unfortunately, I'm a bit technologically challenged. As such, I couldn't figure out my food processor. When I did get it to work, it was such a pain to clean that I didn't want to use it anymore.

Where was the Baby Brezza when I was a new mom?

I have to be honest and tell you that I've never actually used the Baby Brezza. However, every time I see one I really want to try it. It steams, blends, reheats, and defrosts. How cool is that?! Also, with just four dishwasher safe parts, even I could probably figure it out. So, who thinks I should have another baby, just so I can get a Baby Brezza? (Just kidding! I don't want one that bad. I'm too perfectly content with our cozy little family of four.)

Are you having a baby? Do you know someone who is? If so, then I bet a Baby Brezza is on your/their list. If it is, then I have to tell you about a cool promotion that BabiesRUs is having. If you put a Baby Brezza on your registry (you have to scan it, you can't just add it online), then you could win your entire registry for free (up to $3500). Unfortunately, this promotion ends on February 16th. For more information check out the BabiesRUs or Baby Brezza sites. Good luck! (If you win, be sure to come back and tell me if the Baby Brezza is as cool as it looks!)

Disclaimer - I was entered for a chance to win a gift card and Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.

Valentine's Day with Pure Romance - Review & Giveaway

So, here it is.

Another Valentine's Day is almost upon us.

What are your plans for this festive occasion?

Maybe you're planning a fun night out - Perhaps dinner and a movie?

Maybe you're planning a family night - Perhaps pizza and some board games?

Maybe you're even planning a romantic night in. Maybe you have parents nearby that have offered to take the kids for the night. Maybe you don't have kids yet. Maybe your kids are grown and off at college. If the romantic night in is what you're hoping for, then I have a giveaway for you.

Have you heard of Pure Romance?

If not, then here's a little background on the company -
Patty Brisben, the founder of Pure Romance, started the company in 1993 to empower, educate, and entertain women. Since then, the company has grown to over 70,000 product consultants who live the company’s mission each and every day.

Empowerment: This jobless recovery is taking its toll on families, however very often our Pure Romance consultants report that they are meeting or exceeding their income expectations. Sales have been recession-resistant. Pure Romance experienced a 37% increase in sales in 2010. Pure Romance also empowers women because they are able to take control of their sex lives, which can have an impact on quality of life.

Education: Pure Romance products resonate with women unlike any other in the category due to our commitment to educating women about their bodies and our products. The Pure Romance partnership with the Kinsey Institute, coupled with our curriculum developed by our Director of Sexual Health Education, means our 70,000 consultants are trained to provide the most helpful information and advice. Pure Romance doesn’t sell in stores because in-home parties offer women fun, private, peer-to-peer learning opportunities about romance, intimacy and sex.

Entertainment: Whether it’s the fun and camaraderie of the Pure Romance parties themselves, the use of Pure Romance products by a woman, or a couple’s inventive Pure Romance fun, entertainment is at the core of the company’s mission.

Is it sounding a bit more familiar now?  ;o)

I have actually never been to a PureRomance party. In fact, I had never even used any of their products. However, they did send me a box of goodies to facilitate this review. While I haven't used most of the products, I did try out one. It is a rash preventing shaving cream that can also double as a hair conditioner.  I have to admit, it smells wonderful (I used grapefruit.) and did an amazing job of making my skin soft and smooth.   If you're looking for this product on the website, it is called "Coochy". (Seriously, who names this stuff?  I liked it so much that I'd probably buy it, but I don't know if I want the kids - that can sound out anything - to see this tube sitting in my shower.  I'm almost positive that this would be a word that they'd find a way to repeat in school.)

Now, back to the giveaway.  Pure Romance is offering one of my readers a Mini Nights of Passion Variety Pack ($30 value) so that you can try out five of their most popular products - Aura, Ex-T-Cee, Excape, Sensations & Sweet Seduction.  This mini size sampler would be perfect to take with you for a romantic weekend away.  Because the winners need to be reported back by the 19th, this giveaway is going to be quick and easy.  Here's what you have to do to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Tell me what your general Valentine's Day plans are/were.   Did you do dinner and a movie?  A performance at the local theater? Bowling?  A romantic night in?

Optional Extra Entries:
  1. Follow me on Twitter. Post your username in the comments.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway using @rmgm. Post a link to your tweet here. This can be done once daily.
  3. Follow me publicly on Google Friend Connect and post a comment with your username.
  4. Like me on Facebook

* Only open to US residents
* Winner will be chosen using
* Giveaway ends 11:59 pm ET on February 16, 2011
* Include your email address in your comment if it is not available on your profile page.
* Winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
* Prize will be sent directly from the sponsor.  I am not responsible for lost or damaged products. 

*Note: This giveaway is sponsored by PureRomance.  I received products in exchange for this post.  No other compensation was received.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Company information for this post was given to me by Global Influence. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dinner Time Etiquette

What does dinner time look like in your household?

Are you a household that changes your clothes to proper dinner attire?  Do you have all your utensils set out in the proper order.  Do you use fine china and cloth napkins?

Are you a household that doesn't believe in utensils?  Do you eat with your hands and wipe your face with your sleeves?  Is belching considered a compliment in your home?

I can honestly say that neither of the above descriptions fits our household.  While we are not as prim and proper as we could (or perhaps even should) be, we do a pretty good job of maintaining some sense of decorum.  We do have some basic rules we live by at our dinner table, most of which revolve on being polite.

Perhaps you don't like every food that is on your plate.  You don't have to eat it all.  You simply have to take a polite taste.  After the polite taste, you are welcome to leave the rest.  You may not make disgusting faces or gagging sounds.  You can not  criticize or complain about the food you have been served.   There is no reason that you should ever offend someone that has worked hard to make a meal for you.

When you would like more of something, you do need to say "please" and "thank you".    Show your appreciation for others by using your kind words.   Ask nicely for seconds, a napkin, or to be excused.

Eating is generally done with utensils.  If a food is intended to be eaten with utensils, then you must try to do so.  Some foods are just not utensil foods, however.  Those can be eaten with your hands as long as you try to be neat about it.  For the younger kids, sometimes an occasional finger might need to help keep a pea on a fork . . . that is okay too.

Eating is a family occasion.  We generally eat dinner as a family.  On occasion some event or meeting will prevent that, but that is our goal.  We wait patiently for everyone to finish eating.  We take turns when speaking (but hopefully not when our mouths are full) and we try our best not to interrupt.

Personally, I think that the most important rule for dinner is that it is an occasion that works for you.  We spend far too much time during the day away from each other.  If we have a few minor lapses in etiquette, but enjoy our time together, then it is definitely worth it!

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Valentine's Day Crafts

The girls have been working hard on their Valentine's Day cards for their classmates.  Pumpkin wanted to give Tootsie Pops, so we made butterflies for each of her classmates.  Peanut wanted to give Smencils, so we made flowers for her friends.  So far I think they turned out really cute!  What do you think?

*If you have Valentine's Day ideas, please link to them here.  I'm always looking for fun new projects for my girls.  You may remember that last year we made heart shaped crayons

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - What animal is this?

I'm told we have coyote where we live . . . this doesn't look like a coyote to me.
Some people swear they've seen a red fox wandering around . . . this doesn't look red to me.
Does anyone know what this animal is?