Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Who has time to update?

This Fall Y'all Giveaway is going to give me carpal tunnel. I spent all of yesterday glued to my computer between moderating my comments for my giveaway and checking the Bloggy giveaway site. Who doesn't love free stuff? I have been diligently trying to visit the sites of each and every person who commented on my site and have added several to my Google Reader. Do you hear it groaning under the strain of all the new blogs I added?

If you haven't checked out all the great giveaways then run, don't walk, to the Bloggy Giveaway site and see all the fantastic giveaways! Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00 go directly there. I have signed up for so many great giveaways it makes my head spin. It has been a wonderful opportunity to get to see lots of great blogs and great products. Thanks so much to Rocks in My Dryer for hosting this.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all Giveaway

As a new blogger I figured what better way to introduce myself to the neighbors than participating in a giveaway hosted by Rocks in my Dryer. I will be giving away two 1 year subscriptions to Wondertime parenting magazine to two lucky winners. I shopped around for a parenting magazine that worked for me for awhile before finding this one. You can check them out at this website.

All you need to do is leave a comment below and I will use a random number generator on Friday, November 2, 2007 to select the two lucky winners. Please make sure I have a way to contact you through a link to your blog or an email address if you post anonymously.
(Open to US and Canada residents only, my apologies to anyone living abroad)

Thanks for visiting! Be sure to check out other great giveaways at Rocks in my dryer.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

All recipes

I made a darn good dinner tonight if I may say so myself. I love they have been the source of many wonderful dishes but tonight they outdid themselves. I cooked Shrimp and Feta Cheese Pasta. The recipe is located here. I highly recommend it although I recommend you increase the amount of wine to about 3 tablespoons and use fresh basil. We drank the rest of the wine with dinner and it was perfect. It was so easy to make too.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Inquiring Minds want to know

Ok. So I was buying winter clothes for Bear today. I picked up some 12 month stuff but I am not sure what to buy next. I am used to clothes in 3 month increments. He went from Preemie clothes to newborn to 0-3 month to 3-6 to 6-9. Now I am getting 12 month. Why is it that after 12 months you go to 18 month? Why is there no 15 month? The 18 month stuff looks so big? Is it that they don't grow as fast after 12 months? Or they grow faster? I am so new to all this stuff. Then you go to the 2T, 3T , etc.

Don't even get me started on buying baby shoes. I always have to consult the internet to figure out what size I am supposed to buy but yet they seem to run big to me or maybe Bear just has little feet? (Don't tell his Daddy I said that)

Ack. I need help....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Golden Compass

I understand I could be alienating my lone reader but I feel this is an important thing to discuss.

I am a Christian and I go to church every Sunday and participate in small groups through my church. I was forced to go to church as a child and teenager and when I went to college I chose to no longer attend. Not because I abandoned my beliefs but because I was young, wild and selfish and didn't want to be held back by a bunch of hypocrites that scrub up nicely on Sunday but live like hell the rest of the week. Once I got ready to think about becoming a mother I decided I wanted my child raised in a Christian environment. We found an incredible new young church that had started a year before we started going there in the living room of the pastor's house. Now the church is not quite 3 years old and has 3 services on Sunday and 1 Saturday night. It is growing exponentially because it is a church designed for people who don't fit the typical mold of "church people". I am not putting down other religious organizations in any way. This is just where we feel like we fit best.

Anyways, that being said, I am disturbed by a new children's movie coming out this Christmas called The Golden Compass. I saw the previews and it looks really interesting, until I started reading about it. Apparently the gentleman who wrote the book is an atheist with a particular vendetta against Christianity. I googled this and found many articles backing this up. Some even went so far as to say that the movie isn't anti-Christian enough, that they diluted the book when making the movie. The author expressly said in a 2003 interview that his books are about killing God.

I am not a book burner by any means. I have no problems with adults reading books and viewing movies and making up their own minds. That is one of the great freedoms we enjoy as US citizens. However, this is not something I am prepared for my child to read and watch. I'll stick to buying the Chronicles of Narnia when he is old enough to read. If you are a parent and choose to see this movie with your child then that is your choice and I am not here to pass judgement. However, for those of you who didn't know about the movie already and are bothered by this then just consider this a heads up.

Thanks for listening.


I don't know how single mothers do it. Every time my husband mentions going out of town overnight I cringe. Tonight he will be staying out of town for work which means I am on single parent duty tonight. I have to run to the grocery store during lunch today to pick up the stuff for the potluck at work tomorrow. I have not gotten to the point where I feel comfortable getting in and out of a store with groceries and Bear by myself. I know, I'm a wuss.

My older sister is a single mother to 3 kids (2 toddler twins and a 7 year old) and I honestly do not know how she does it. She has a lot of help from family members that live nearby, but I can only imagine those days when she has to get up get 1 kid ready and dropped of to elementary school and two kids dropped off at daycare so she can drive to her school. I complain about my one kid getting sick at daycare. On any given week she can have 1-3 sick kids.

I have tremendous respect for single parents as I can barely handle one night on my own. I know I could do it long term if I had to but I am so glad I don't. Every time I think my husband isn't doing enough to help out I am reminded how much harder it is when he isn't here. All the bottles he washes, trash he takes out, laundry he folds, tag teaming with me on picking up Bear and taking him to doctors appointments. It really is a lot and I am grateful for his help and his partnership. We are a team and without him I am a little lost. He is a wonderful father and loves his son with such depth that it takes my breath away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WFMW (Works for Me Wednesday)

I was reading Rocks In My Dryer's blog this morning and she has people sharing ways they save money or time or their sanity. This got me thinking about all the little ways I cut corners and shave off pennies. I am not a coupon clipper or sale watcher. However I do have a few ways I save money on my purchases.

1. I get the frequent customer cards at the stores I use so when they do have specials on something I need I save money on it. I have cards for Kroger, Steinmart, Petsmart, Petco, CVS, etc) It doesn't cost me anything and it doesn't require sitting and clipping coupons. What's easier than swiping your keychain? If you get their card they will also send you coupons and fliers in the mail for specials coming up.

2. I buy diapers through a diaper subscription service on They only offer Huggies now but they used to offer the subscriptions for Luvs and Pampers. Basically I pay $28.00 and a box of 144 diapers sitting on my doorstep every month. They automatically ship a box at whatever interval you choose (1 month, 2 months, etc). No tax and no shipping.

3. I never pay full price for clothes unless I am shopping at Walmart or TJ Maxx. Walmart has amazing pricing on baby clothes so I get a lot of my son's clothes there and they are cheap. Same for Target. If I buy stuff at Kohls or JC Penny's I will shop the sale rack for next seasons stuff so at the end of the summer I will buy summer stuff on sale for next summer. I do a lot of my clothes shopping at Steinmart when they have their really good sales and I use my Steinmart customer card for extra discounts.

4. I buy just about everything I can online especially if I can get free shipping. Buying online saves me the 8.25% sales tax I would pay if I shopped in a store here in Texas (unless the store is located in Texas like Target). So I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, Blue Nile, Perfume Bay, etc.

5. I have a Sam's card. We pay $50.00 a year for my husband and I to have a membership but I buy gas, baby food, clothes, baby books, etc there. Gas is usually about 20 cents cheaper a gallon there than at the station by my house. I save on formula, medicine, electronics but I don't buy a lot of groceries there. The quantities they sell of groceries aren't really practical for a family of 3.

6. We use credit cards with cash back or points to pay for just about everything. We have a credit card with our bank so when I pull up bank accounts online I can easily view the credit card balance and transfer the money whenever I want to pay it off. Then we use the points to get cash back or to put towards gift cards.

7. Anything we can fix ourselves we do. We change our own oil, replaced the kitchen sink and disposal ourselves, fixed our hot water heater, etc. I managed to find step by step instructions with pictures on the web on how to fix and replace many many things ourselves.

8. Don't order tea or soft drinks at restaurants. We went out to eat this weekend at a chain restaurant and in a moment of weakness we ordered soft drinks. They were $2.00 each plus tax. That was $4.33 on drinks. If we did this every time we eat out (which is a lot) we could easily waste over $50.00 a month on drinks (assuming we eat out 3 times a week over 4 weeks in a month).

Those are just a few of the ways I save without really having to try.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here we are now, entertain us

I have found myself slowly sucked into the blog world. First it was just an occasional checking of Amalah or Rockstar Mommy but then it grew. I feel mired down in the quicksand being sucked under by the sheer number of blogs. I have my usuals that I bookmark and check daily but lately I have been sucked into comments and links and find myself hopelessly addicted.

I need my blog fix and find myself checking them several times a day at work and home. If one of my favorite bloggers doesn't update that day it just drives me crazy. Don't they know they are here for my entertainment? Reality shows brought to you live by your web browser only with people who aren't acting for the cameras?

I am one of those A.D.D. people who can't even eat without having something to do during the meal. I must be talking to someone, reading something, or watching TV. I can't drive in the car for more than 2 minutes without talking to someone on my cell. I am almost never relaxed. I must be doing something always. I can't get a pedicure without reading a magazine or book while watching TV and checking my voicemail. Don't even think about taking me to a spa if you think you want to relax. And what is funny is that I am always in a big hurry to do nothing. My life isn't all that exciting, there is nothing so important that I need to rush off to. It is a sickness, really. I may need an intervention...

Monday, October 22, 2007

What is fall?

I live in the land of 2 seasons. We have no spring and definitely no fall here in Texas. We skip straight from summer to winter and then back. There are a few days every once in awhile that might pass as fallish or springish but no actual "season". The leaves don't turn colors unless you count brown and crunchy as a the turning of the leaves. No one takes road trips through Texas to see the fall foliage.

Today marks the first coldish weather we have had in months. The weather went from high 80's and sunny this weekend to high of 58 and rainy today. Although the rest of the week looks more promising with highs in the low 70's. That will not last long.

Even winter in Texas isn't winter as the rest of the world knows it. We get the colder temperatures but no snow to sled in or turn into snowmen. Last year we got 3 days of ice here and the town shut down completely. Snow might make us catatonic.

The only thing we get right down here is summer. If you are ever looking for the perfect tropical vacation with weather in the 100's and 99% humidity this is your place. I still love it here though. One thing they say about Texas weather is if you don't like it, wait a minute, it'll change.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Born and Bred in the Pumpkin Patch

This is Bear's first Halloween so we made the obligatory trip to the Pumpkin Patch this Saturday. It was 90 degrees here in Texas but we had a good time taking pictures and picking out our pumpkins. Before I head back into another manic Monday I thought I would close my weekend with this picture.

Friday, October 19, 2007


So we got up at 5:30 this morning and took Bear to the Outpatient Surgery Center and got tubes put in. We spent 2 hours waiting and he spent 5 minutes in surgery. The left ear was still infected so they drained the fluid out and he is like a new baby.

Today he has been playing like a champ. He has been happier and more talkative than he has in a long time. I really enjoyed my day off home with him.

All is well with the world. I am going to go enjoy my weekend now...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ear Infection 4.0

Ok, so they warned me before I went back to work and I didn't listen. Everyone told me that you put your kid in daycare and a plague (or is it a pox?) will come upon your house. I smiled and nodded and thought to myself "How bad can it be"? Oh MY GOD!!! It has been 3 months this week since I went back to work. In 3 months my son has had a viral sore throat, a cold, a stomach virus from hell, FOUR ear infections and a partridge in a pear tree. Ok, maybe I got a little carried away at the end. He is on his 5th round of antibiotics and we are getting tubes put in tomorrow. I have used all of my sick leave and so has my husband.

I feel so bad for the little guy cause he has been such a trooper. I think the thing that frustrates me more than anything is the daycare policies. They get him sick then they make me keep him home for days. Or with the ear infections, he is on antibiotics, they aren't contagious but yet I still had to hit up my husband's aunt to watch my son today. Yet I am still paying the daycare for the full week and he is out 2 1/2 days this week. I have paid and paid and paid them and he has not had a full week there in forever. I think he has had maybe 1 or 2 weeks where he was there for 5 days. I understand they have a business to run but I can't keep hitting up everyone I know to watch him. I can't afford to pay the daycare and pay someone else to watch him for a day. I am going to start investigating other options but I haven't found a soul who can recommend a good home based daycare.

Sorry to vent I am just very frustrated.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Is it just a Southern thing or do people all over the world have 50,000 variations of nicknames for their pets and children? I have a laundry list of nicknames for my son and my dog yet my poor husband doesn't have one. At least none I will repeat here. We (my husband) nicknamed our son Bear shortly after he was born. Ok, one nickname is usual. However I cannot stop myself there. He is sugar bear, honey bear, gummy bear (because of his gummy smiles), booger bear (need I explain this one?), bear bear, care bear, really I could go on but I think I hear you gagging...

The same goes for my pug, Rocky. He is Rockdog, Pugly, Puglet, Pugbutt, RockDoggy Dog, Pugster, Rock Rock, Snot Rocket (if you have a pug you'll understand), Pugbert, again I can go on...

I'm just curious if other people do this as well?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is it just me?

I've been thinking about fears lately. I have the usual ones; spiders, heights, small spaces, etc. Then I have my weird little ones like checking the mail. Am I the only person who absolutely abhors checking the mail? I actually dread it all day. There are weekends where I will not check it just because I know there is something in there that could ruin my weekend and there is nothing I can do about it until Monday.

I remember as a kid I always wanted to check the mail. I would get so excited going out to the box and checking to see if I got a magazine, card, or letter. This irrational fear of checking the mail is actually a fairly new thing for me. It came about around the time I had my son and got laid off from my job. I had my son 7 1/2 weeks early and we both were in the ICU (me for 2 days and him for 15). So the medical bills and insurance statements started rolling in. Then I got laid off at the end of May and stuff started coming for unemployment. It seemed that every time I checked the mail I had some phone call that needed to be made or some bill I had to figure out if I needed to pay. It got so bad that my husband and I would both refuse to check the mail just to avoid the stress.

Eventually I got another job and squared away all the unemployment stuff and the insurance covered the bulk of our enormous hospital bill. I have lots of good things like Netflix movies, magazines, and cards that come in the mail but I still have that fear in me. Does everyone have some odd fear that was brought about by one bad period or event but yet they carry it with them always?

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Advice Whisperer

I have this thing about giving advice/opinions. I can't help it. Once I open my mouth to make one comment the floodgate is released. My brain might explode from the sheer effort of not commenting on everything and anything. I have been silently reading blogs for the past year making no comments but here recently I have not been able to sit idly by and not say something. Once one comment was made many others followed.

I have a similar problem in real life. I rely a lot on word of mouth in selecting everything from doctors to toothpaste. So, in turn I have a tendency to blurt out my opinions unsolicted on unsuspecting souls. I do it with the best of intentions. I want to help people and make friends based on common ground. I want people to know if I had a good or bad experience with a particular store, product, service or person.

I have discovered two things about advice. One is that it should be requested not dumped on someone. Two, when taking advice, take into account who is giving the advice. Things that work great for me may not work for someone with a completely different personality.

I attended a short seminar the other day on working with different cultures. The teacher made us break up in groups of 5 and tell everyone our name, where we worked, and one embarrassing thing about ourselves. This was a good way to break the ice because once someone knows your OCD issues with checking to make sure the curling iron is turned off for the 18th time before you leave the house (not that I would know *ahem*) they realize you are just a person too.

I'm not sure where I am going with this but it has just made me think about how we all have things in common but because we never break the ice we never know. I am going to work on finding common ground with people in other ways than giving advice. I find that tends to put people off in a "she's such a know it all" kind of way.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just when I start to feel sorry for myself....

I went to pick up my prescription I ordered online today and was frustrated when they couldn't take my credit card because the machine was broken. Now normally this wouldn't be a big deal except I had no cash or checks and I had to drive across town to go to this particular pharmacy that takes my insurance. So I turned around and came back home and decided to surf the net for a bit before driving back across town with my checkbook.

I was checking some of my favorite blogs and came across a link to another blog about a mother whose child was taken away by CPS due to injuries they thought were inflicted by the parents. I understand that horrible horrible things happen all across America every day to children and the first people we blame are CPS. I know they are over worked and understaffed and have to make tough calls but it breaks my heart to read this mother's story. She is taking donations through paypal to help with medical and legal bills. I can't imagine the horror of having someone falsely believe you hurt your baby and then take them away. I think that no matter what happens in this world, if my baby is happy and healthy and with me then nothing else matters.

I am sending my prayers out tonight to Lag Liv on blogspot. I pray God gives you strength and brings the truth to the surface. I pray you will be reunited with your baby soon. Most of all I pray for the health and safety of your baby.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Made in China

This whole made in China with lead thing has me a little freaked out. I'm not normally a chicken little, the sky is falling, kind of person. I don't buy organic stuff unless it happens to be on sale. I don't stress about the safety in the products we use in our home. However, having an 8 month old child has brought me a greater awareness of what I buy for him. I took a look at his bottles (made in China), his little plastic coated baby spoons (made in China), plastic bowls (made in China), etc etc. I watch him put all of his plastic toys and books in his mouth and I wonder if they have tested that product. Am I being paranoid? Maybe...but who wants to take a chance with their child?

So I went to my trusty friend, Google, and started looking for baby stuff not made in china. I guess I was naive when I expected more. I have found very very little stuff. I can switch to glass bottles, buy wooden toys, get stainless steel bowls and spoons but honestly I was pretty let down.

I know being a parent brings a heightened awareness of the danger around us. I watch the news and read toy recalls, contaminated food, baby cold medicine recalls, bassinets and cribs that are defective and I wonder how with all these federal regulations this stuff gets through. Then I think about the millions and millions of babies who are perfectly fine and use these products every day with no harm done.

I don't know the answer. I guess I will look at this new scare in China as a good thing. It brought about a new awareness and a renewed emphasis on safety. The government and toy companies will take a little closer look at what is coming into this country. A little bit of fear is a good thing. It keeps us on our guard.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is going out to eat considered a hobby?

So I have been considering doing a blog for quite some time. I have been reading them for about a year now and always feel a little left out when they tell you to leave a comment and they will stop by and visit your blog. I want to leave a comment but alas I am uncool and do not have a blog. I am always daunted by how one begins a blog. Do you just start randomly writing? How do you determine a theme? Does one need a theme? Do I need to start by telling you about myself? What if you think I am boring? What if no one wants to read my blog? Worse yet, what if someone does? Do I need to stay entertaining, thoughtful, unoffensive?

So, anyways I decided to just start. I like the idea of an open diary. A way to track your life outloud so to speak. So then I am faced with the question of what to tell you about myself. My hobbies include eating out, sleeping, watching too much TV to be considered healthy (damn you, DVR), watching my son grow, having spirited polictical debates with my husband, traveling, playing with my pug, Rocky. Does eating out count as an actual hobby? And what about traveling? I don't actually like the travel part; packing, dealing with airports, arriving 3 hours early so I can take off my flip flops to go through detector that every other person has walked through barefoot, sitting on a crowded plane, lugging my luggage, finding my shuttle, the list goes on. However I love being somewhere else. I fall a little in love with every place I visit. I just wish I could teleport there without travel documents, visas, luggage, jet lag and such. I love love love San Francisco like no other city I have visited. If I won the lottery I would be there in a heartbeat.

Anyways enough about me for now. Now that I have started the blog I can come and post whenever I please.....