Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Year in Status Updates

This post was inspired by Loukia over at Lou Lou's Views. It actually turned out to be a great way to get to know someone and what their year was like in a nutshell! Here's my year-end summary. After looking back at my statuses, I decided I had a whole lot of nothing to say this year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby Formula: Brand Name vs. Store Brand

When my son was born last year, the thought of buying formula after breastfeeding was not a happy one. I wanted to make sure I gave him the best, but just found the price tag hard to swallow. After about 3 months of formula feeding, my sitter mentioned that her daughter who also had a tot my son's age started buying generic baby formula. Her daughter took it to the pediatrician and asked what the difference is. Guess what the answer was - NONE! After that, we were generic all the way!

I have read so many blog posts and articles about the equality of brand name formulas (like Enfamil and Similac) and generic formulas, but with the marketing of these brand names as "better" than generic, it's no surprise that common consumer doesn't think otherwise.

Recently, a landmark federal court jury verdict confirmed that Mead Johnson, the maker of Enfamil LIPIL Infant Formula, has engaged in false advertising by stating that store brand-infant formulas sold at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and other retailers, do not provide the same nutritional benefits as Enfamil.

The jury found that Enfamil advertisements were false and misleading, especially since store brand formulas have the same nutrients at the same levels as Enfamil. In the process, they have exposed the truth about infant formula: store-brand infant formulas are nutritionally equivalent to, and confer the same developmental benefits as, the more expensive national brands like Enfamil. Buying a heavily marketed formula from a big pharmaceutical company does not get you any closer to breast milk.

So what does this mean to Moms? It means we could have been saving up to $600 a year by using store brand formulas, which cost half as much as Enfamil LIPIL and other national brands. Luckily I made the switch and assumed the cost savings after just a few months. I felt it was SO important to pass this information along because as a mom on a budget- I know you need that $600 a year!

If you're looking for more back up information check out articles about Brand vs. Store Brand formula on these sites:

Baby Center
BNet.com
PBM Products (manufacturer of store brand formulas)

As an added bonus, Consumer Reports is giving away an excellent source of unbiased recommendations - the Consumer Reports Best Baby Products Book. This trusted manual can help any Mom navigate the world of baby products by recommending necessities that are safe, affordable and suit any lifestyle. This giveaway is all about spreading the word! Here's how to enter:

Initial Entry:
Leave a comment here - What's your take on this issue? Does the court ruling change your mind about buying store brand?

1 Extra Entry:
Follow my blog or subscribe to the RSS feed. Please leave a separate comment that you did!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow @MadMomMission on Twitter (comment here with your Twitter ID)

1 Extra Entry:
Tweet this giveaway, include @MadMomMission and a link to this giveaway, and post a link to the Tweet here. (limit once per day)

2 Extra Entries:
Become a Fan of The Mad Mom on Facebook. Leave a comment that you did so.

4 Extra Entries:
Blog about this contest with a link back to this Giveaway! Don't forget to put a link to your post here!

Giveaway ends January 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm EST. Thanks for entering and good luck!

The First Flutters

From the time I found out we were going to have a baby, I wondered when I would start to feel him move. I had been told that the first movement feels so slight that it's easy to miss.

My mom and I went out of town for an overnight stay with my Grandmother the weekend of Memorial Day. I was almost 17 weeks along and was anticipating the first movement to be any day! While we were relaxing on the couch doing a puzzle, I felt this very slight fluttery feeling. It was only a fraction of a second that I could feel it and then it was gone.

Was this the first kick? Was it gas? Was it a weird stomach indigestion thing? No, it was the definitely the first kick. This fluttery thing happening in my body, wasn't my body... it was something else making me feel this way. It was by far one of the coolest moments of my life. It made the pregnancy just a bit more real.

When you're about 4 months along, it seems like we go through this "I'm pregnant, but I just look fat" stage. The stage where none of our clothes fit, it looks like we just have a gut or spare tire, and maternity clothes are still too big. Feeling that first movement during the "fat" stage was actually more of a concrete theres-really-a-baby-in-there moment. I was very fortunate to not have any morning sickness or anything that made me feel like I was pregnant so acepting the fact that I actually was pregnant was kind of weird.

I felt the first kick on May 29, 2008 (yes, I remembered the date!) and then it was gone. I'd try to pay special attention to see if I'd feel another little flutter, but nothing. For at least three weeks, my little guy was still. As the pregnancy progressed, my guy was a kicking machine. Then he'd stop for a couple days, I'd go to the ER and they'd tell me he's just "being quiet," then boom - back to kicking his little heart out.

Then, around week 32, he got the hiccups. I swear they were constant until the day I delivered him. Actually, he still had the hiccups after he was born. Very strange, but they went away. The hiccups felt like a gentle rythmic tap on the inside of my belly. Constantly.

Here's a great place to find more information about fetal movement.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Hanukkah?

The holidays are my favorite time of year. All the way from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day. It's a time to celebrate and be with family. For the past two Christmases I worked for a Christian senior living community. We'd sing Christmas songs and celebrate the season. Now that I've moved on to a "corporate" job, I'm realizing how sensitive people are when it comes to the holidays.

I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas. I know I wouldn't get offended if anyone told me Happy Hanukkah. I hope I'm not coming off as ignorant as I feel this sounds, but what do Jewish people do on Christmas? I read an article on JewFAQ.org about what Jewish people do on Christmas but it didn't really answer my question. I mean, I know life goes on. Just like Hanukkah is another ordinary eight days for me, is Christmas just another ordinary day?

I find it interesting to learn and appreciate other cultures and views. Even though I don't celebrate Hanukkah, I always make sure to tell my Jewish friends to have a Happy Hanukkah. With how over-marketed Christmas is, do people of the Jewish faith feel pressured or left out when (as Adam Sandler says) "you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree?"

When I was in grade school we learned about Hanukkah, the festival of lights, the oil burning for eight days, and of course the eight days of presents! But, I never actually met a Jewish person until I was 15. I was brought up in a very small town without a Jewish person in sight! So when my family moved and I met my first Jewish person I thought - cool! I loved hearing about Passover and Hanukkah, their family traditions, and meals.

I hate that this season has become so politically correct that I can't wish my coworker a Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas, but I have to say "Happy Holidays." As a society we're all so oversensitive. Or maybe I'm just hard to offend? I  hope that I can raise my son to appreciate other cultures. I wish I knew more about Kwanzaa. The internet can only give you so much information. I'd like to hear stories from real people!

No matter what holiday you're celebrating this season, I hope you have a wonderful one filled with family, friends, laughter and memories!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction

My cousin's first born was delivered at 11:40 pm on December 31. Perfect time for a tax deduction! All Moms would agree that the joy that comes from having a new baby is priceless! The sweet sounds of cooing, chubby cheeks and the intimate bond between parent and child can make any family feel rich with love. But, as any new parents can attest, raising children can have an impact on your checkbook, as well as your heart. In fact, the typical family spends more than $221,000 raising a child through age 17.


I am thrilled to pass along the news of a fun contest that might lighten the load of one lucky family! Thanks to TurboTax®, one "last-minute" baby will help his or her parents save a bundle.

TurboTax® the nation's No. 1 rated, best-selling tax preparation software from Intuit Inc. is conducting its 3rd annual nationwide search for America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction. The parents of one lucky baby, born in the month of December 2009, will win $5,000.

To enter, parents or legal guardians should submit a photo of their baby born between Dec. 1-31, to http://www.cutesttaxdeduction.com/. The deadline for submissions is January 7, 2010. Judges will select 10 finalists, and America will determine America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction and the $5,000 grand prize winner!

So if you or anyone you know has welcomed a new addition to the family this month, make sure you send them over to cutesttaxdeduction.com! What a way to ring in the New Year!

No-Bake Cookies: Haystacks

There are about a million different variations of this recipe out there, but I thought I'd share anyway. This recipe has become my new favorite no bake cookie! So easy that I can remember the recipe without ever writing it down! Here's what you need:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup peanuts
1 bag butterscotch morsels
7-9 cups corn flakes cereal

Directions:

Melt morsels and peanut butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds or just until the morsels start to soften. Stir the mixture until the morsels lose their shape and blend with the peanut butter. Add peanuts and cereal and toss until evenly coated.

Cover baking sheets with wax paper and place scoops of the mixture on the sheets. Let set in fridge until "solid." Enjoy!

This is a quick and easy treat that's sure to please! Plus it's easy enough to leave as a last minute plea to Santa! Don't forget the milk!

Boys Get Yeast Infections?

The one reason I was scared to have a boy was because I didn't know what to do with their little weinies. I'm oneof three girls. I didn't have any little boy cousins to babysit or anything so the first time I saw one it wasn't in a diaper.

Well my son has a little stomach bug. He's been pooping like crazy! Luckily we already had an appointment scheduled for the doctor today - his 12 month check up. The doctor said (exact words)- "no matter how clean you keep him, diarrhia will eat yer booty." We love our pediatrician... :) Poor guy has developed quite a nasty rash that we just can't get rid of.

My son would cry and cry all day. Everytime he moved the wrong way he'd clench his little butt cheeks, tense up and let out a big yell! I felt so bad for him. Poor little guy. Good old Desitin just wouldn't do the trick. The pediatrcian perscribed Nystatin which has seemed to do the trick.

Little did I know, the real trick would be to give him an oatmeal bath. Good advice from my mom. After all, a mother knows! My son is a little swimmer in the tub! He loves to splash around and ultimately ends up swallowing a lot of bath water... unfortunately. I didn't think it'd be a good idea to just throw him in with a store bought oatmeal bath solution so I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the good old fashioned quick cook oats!

Little guy was clinging to me all day so I knew it'd be a challenge to get him into the tub. As soon as his feet hit the cloudy, oatmeal water he screamed and reached for Mommy! Of course, as his mommy, it feels good when your baby wants you to "save" him. But he needed this bath! So, I stripped down to my tank top and undies and hopped into the bath with him.

It was really gross. That oatmeal bath eventually turned into a shower for mommy to get all of the oatmeal out of places where there shouldn't be oatmeal. But hey, a mother's gotta do what a mother's gotta do!

After the bath he was happy as a clam and the rash has almost completely cleared up! The Nystatin has really helped. If your baby seems to be getting a diaper rash, no matter how bad or if they have some minor skin irritation elsewhere, I definitely recommend tossing them in the bath with some good old fashioned quick cook oats!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hellmann's Real Holiday Helpings Giveaway WINNER

Congratulations lmurley2000!

You're the lucky winner of a $25 AmEx gift card from the Hellmann's Holiday Helpings program!

Thank you to each and every person who entered! A special thanks for making this my most successful giveaway yet! Stay tuned for the next Mad Mom giveaway!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Griswold Old-Fashioned Family Christmas

Nothing says it's the Christmas season like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! This is not only one of my favorite holiday movies, but one of my favorites of all time. Every year, my family gathers around the TV together to watch the Griswold's fun-filled, old fashioned family Christmas unravel into a holiday mess. It's a movie that everyone can relate to. From the gaggle of in-laws and relatives invading your house to the over-cooked turkey and suprise visits from crazy distant cousins, Christmas Vacation does manage to remind me of what the holidays are all about.

One thing about the holidays that I can't stand is the rush. I tend to avoid the mall and stores like Walmart because they turn into a zoo after Thanksgiving. Jam packed with parties and gift exchanges, the holiday season seems to disappear before I can really get into the spirit. Gift giving is fun for me. I love to spread the Christmas cheer to others by getting them a nice and thoughtful gift. The overwhelming task of shopping for everyone has become such a drag. Especially with growing families and office exchanges. With so many people to buy for, its hard to find the time to put a lot of thought into the gifts we give.

For the past couple of years my in-law family has done a Secret Santa exchange. Rather than buying for the whole family, we each draw a name and buy one special, thoughtful gift for one person. I love this idea. Not only is it budget friendly, but it takes the focus off the gifts and puts it back on the family. We all get together and have food, share stories, and of course indulge in the Brandy Smash!

Has your family changed its gift-giving habits? Perhaps due to the economy or to eliminate some of the holiday stress. Maybe your family doesn't exchange at all. Or, maybe you have a full-blow holiday gifting extravaganza! Either way, I hope your holidays are filled with family, friends and whatever makes you happy. De-stress this year! Holidays are supposed to be happy, after all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hellmann's Real Holiday Helpings Giveaway

For most moms, multi-tasking is second nature. We heal boo-boos while making dinner, type one-handed while feeding the baby with the other. One instance where we want to avoid pulling double duty? In the kitchen - especially during the holidays!


If you're like me and seem to always end up heating up chicken nuggets to please the little ones, here's the perfect solution for you! To help parents prepare Real Food they can feel good about serving the whole family this holiday season, Hellmann's® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise has teamed up with one of my Food Network favorites - critically acclaimed chef, author, Food TV personality Bobby Flay to create the "Real Holiday Helpings" program on http://www.hellmanns.com/ and http://www.bestfoods.com/.
 

By visiting the site you can find recipes and tips for how to easily prepare Real Food that tastes great and is made from simple ingredients including Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise (made with eggs, oil and vinegar). There are even some really great recipes to use up those holiday leftovers! My favorite would have to be the Sweet Potato Green Onion Fritters. YUM! You can also watch video demonstrations that showcase stand-out holiday dishes. While you're at it, don't forget to enter the Real Holiday Helpings Giveaway for the chance to win a year's supply of groceries!
 
Hellmann's wants to give you an extra helping for the holidays! As a part of the Hellmann's Real Holiday Helpings program I was sent a $25 American Express gift card to help with holiday food shopping. Hellmann's wants to "spread" the cheer to my readers!
 
Enter to WIN a $25 American Express gift card. Here are the entry details. Contest ends at 7:00 pm EST on Friday, December 18, 2009. Remember to add a separate comment for each entry! Good luck!
 
Initial Entry:

Leave a comment here about your favorite holiday dish!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow my blog or subscribe to the RSS feed. Please leave a separate comment that you did!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow @MadMomMission on Twitter (comment here with your Twitter ID)

1 Extra Entry:
Tweet this giveaway and post a link to the Tweet here. (limit once per day) Just copy and paste! Win a $25 AmEx gift card! Hellmann's Real Holiday Helpings giveaway! http://ow.ly/KMR6

2 Extra Entries:
Become a Fan of The Mad Mom on Facebook. Leave a comment that you did so.

3 Extra Entries:
Blog about this contest with a link back to this Giveaway! Don't forget to post a link to your post here!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Haircut Jitters

My child is starting to look like a raggamuffin. He had a full head of beautiful dark hair when he was born. As the months passed, those dark locks lightened up to a bright cheerful blonde. Then he went through the balding phase. You know, that phase when all they do is lay there and move their head right and left. He had a mohawk. All the cute little locks on the top of his head stayed right in place as the hair from the sides and back rubbed off.

Now those locks are a little long. If I put him in pink, I'm sure you'd think my baby was a girl. Ok, maybe I'm just a picky mom, but it's getting long. I keep thinking about how badly he needs a haircut. He's so squirmy I don't think he'll ever be able to get a trim! He is in constant motion. I feel as though I'm diapering a monkey sometimes. Arms, legs, hands, feet, everywhere! He won't hold still. Not to change a diaper, not to put his shoes on... nothing!

What's a mom to do? I've read article after article claiming they've got the tips and tricks to keep your baby occupied for their first haircut. Give him a toy? Yeah, that'll get old in about 30 seconds....

So now I just have to wait and see how long I can stand his hair to be before I take the plunge and try to get his haircut!

Monday, December 7, 2009

BJ's Wholesale Club Giveaway Winner!

The winner of a $25 gift card to BJs Wholesale Club is... Doreen!

Congrats! Please email me your shipping info-  themadmomblog @ gmail.com.

Thanks to all who entered! Stay tuned for your next holiday giveaway!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to Throw a Simple, Stress-Free 1st Birthday Party

I was nervous about throwing my son's first birthday party. I wanted to make sure he had a blast and that my guests had a good time, too. How do you satisfy both a one year old and a group of mostly twenty somethings and grandparents??

Simple, cut out the stress, don't make a big deal of it, and party! I went cheap on the decorations. After all, my son is one, what's he going to care if the house doesn't transform into a Sesame Street or Tonka truck room? I had a birthday table cloth, banner and balloons already on hand. That was my decor! Hung it up and bam- instant party!

We did easy food too. I lack a dishwasher - you can imagine how fun it is to clean up after parties and holiday dinners with no dishwasher! So we went with pizza, wings, a veggie tray and macaroni salad. Everything was eaten! We didn't have one piece or pizza or one wing left over! I have a tendancy to over do it on the food when throwing parties, so I really wanted to just make Josh the focus of the party. Not the food, not the decorations, just the birthday boy!

It was a success! Everyone enjoyed watching Josh play with his new toys. The food was all eaten! I had almost no leftovers! It was great. Just wrapped up some cake and sent everyone on their way.

Perfect. Forget the favors and themes and over-the-top decor... At the end of the day the baby turned one. He will never remember that fabulous Go Diego Go theme with the full size cut out of Diego himself. Relax! You set the tone for your party. I have plenty more years ahead of me to make a big deal out of birthday parties - I want to make sure he'll at least remember them!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How Did You Find Me?

So I was checking out some of my stats today and almost busted a gut laughing so hard at the keywords people found me with. I mean, it all makes sense when you think about what some of my posts are about, but take a look for yourself:

"large boobs" asian blog  - This must be a combination of this post (about how your boobs change with pregnancy) and my Wanchai Ferry Asian meals giveaway... very weird search query though....

am i traumatized - you might be if you read my blog regularly (this one's probably for the post "That One Time I Traumatized my Baby")

ever pooped with the door open?  - gotta be related to this post about comfort in your relationship

filling rubber pants with pee

is a always pad like a diaper - aren't they all? this post is more for actual diaper pads

mommy in rubber - that's just weird

pee pee rubber panties

"irritating in-laws" - bet this person was suprised when they saw my post actually described how much I love my in-laws!

in-laws are cheap - nothing I've written says that, but I thought it was funny :)

So, how did you find me?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is OCD Hereditary?

My husband is a neat freak. Everything has its place. When we first got together I thought it was cute. Now, it kind of irritates me. I am not a neat person. I like organized chaos. It may look a little messy to you, but I know where everything is. He is the yin to my yang. Keeps my butt in gear when I get lazy and don't feel like putting things in their designated "place."

I'm pretty sure my son has inherited that trait. It's so cute! It started a couple months back when he was about 7 or 8 months old. He'd stand up in his crib when he was done napping or sleeping and by the time we got in the room his stuffed animal would be in his hamper. The hamper sits right next to his crib. We thought it was so peculiar that only the stuffed animal would make it to the hamper while the toy in his crib would be on the floor- every time.

Then after we noticed his preference of Ally the aligator being in the hamper as opposed to on the floor, he started "helping" with laundry. I'd bring the basket downstairs, dump the clothes on the floor, and sort into piles. As soon as the clothes hit the floor, here comes Josh, picking up each article of clothing and placing it back in the basket. He'd give me a look like - "Mom, you know this is where the clothes go. Not on the floor."

Now he's starting to help me put his toys away. He picks up each block and puts them into the bag. Going around the room to make sure he has them all. I love it! I'm just amazed at how he knows where things belong. I guess after living in a house for one year, you pick up on where things get put away. Haha

As long as he doesn't get on my back about "where my bath towell goes" (like someone I know), it'll be great to have a little helper around the house! ...Or does this "wanting to help" thing wear off at some point? Teenage years, maybe?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BJ's Wholesale Club Giveaway



I've never been a member of a wholesale club. When I first moved out on my own, I'd tag along with my mom on monthly Costco trips. I'd stock up on mostly non-parishables since it was just me. This weekend I made my first trip to BJ's Wholesale Club.

BJ’s Wholesale Club and General Mills provided me with the free trial membership, gift card, coupons and information through MyBlogSpark. This was an excellent opportunity to see what all the fuss is about. We got there on Black Friday - after the rush hours!

At first, we had planned to just get our 60-day free trial membership and hit the aisles. When we got to the customer service counter we were informed of a great offer this particular club had going on. For $35 we have 14 months of membership, plus coupons galore! This was an offer we just couldn't refuse! Membership specials vary by location, but check out your local BJ's to check out their current membership specials.

There's a pretty wide selection so you're sure to find what you need. Among other deals, I made sure to stock up and bought myself a big ol' box of Chips Ahoy for only $5.96 - I think there are four 12 oz packages inside. That's a lot of cookies. But don't worry if you're afraid of getting too much! BJ's has recently made some of their grocery selections a bit smaller and more "manageable."

As a mom, I can't wait to stock up on diapers and wipes! If only we had the membership when we were buying formula! It's so much cheaper at BJ's! I did stock up on juice for the tot. They also have a great selection of Gerber baby food and Graduates snacks. I was pretty impressed with the selection although I was a little disappointed in the frozen foods section. I was really looking forward to getting some fun appetizers. Aside from taquitos and egg rolls, (both of which I love) there wasn't anything unique to pick up.

Check out BJ's latest coupons here! You're also able to enjoy a FREE 60-day trial membership! If you're a sucker for deals like I am - you won't be able to pass up the membership specials!


Here's your chance to stock up just in time for the holidays! The Mad Mom is giving away a FREE $25 giftcard to one lucky reader! Here's how to enter:
 
Initial Entry:

Leave a comment here about what you'd like to stock up on for the holidays- yes, BJ's sells wine ;)

1 Extra Entry:
Follow my blog or subscribe to the RSS feed. Please leave a separate comment that you did!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow @MadMomMission on Twitter (comment here with your Twitter ID)

1 Extra Entry:
Tweet this giveaway and post a link to the Tweet here. (limit once per day)
2 Extra Entries:
Become a Fan of The Mad Mom on Facebook. Leave a comment that you did so.

3 Extra Entries:
Blog about this contest with a link back to this Giveaway! Don't forget to post a link to your post here!



Deadline for entering is December 7th at 7:00 EST. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Little Guy's Birthday!



Someone enjoyed their birthday cake!

Thankful Thoughts

I love Thanksgiving. It's my absolute favorite holiday. The vast amount of food is of course just a compliment to the wonderful people we surround ourselves with during this holiday feast. Sad thing is, I don't take too much time to think about what I'm grateful for on this day of thanks.

I'm grateful for almost too many things to list. Health, family, my beautiful baby boy, friends, my job, food on the table... The list goes on. The only time I usually dedicate to this list is when I'm thinking of something to say when we go around the table to give thanks.

I try to think beyond the most obvious. There are so many other things to be thankful for - that I'm able to afford to put gas in my car, that I have a wonderful in-home babysitter, that I have socks and shoes, I'm able to keep my house warm, the fact that it hasn't snowed yet and it's almost December (knock on wood), that my child is well behaved...

What are some of the less obvious things you're grateful for?

Crib Recall

My sitter told me there was a huge crib recall that affected millions of parents. I don't get the paper and didn't see anything in the headlines this morning, so I needed to make sure the word got out! Without her, I would have never known.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Stork Craft is recalling 2.1 million (yes, that's a LOT) drop-side cribs. The recall was prompted by 110 drop-side detatchments. The drop-side rail detatchment leaves an opening large enough for an infant to become entrapped and has lead to 4 suffocations.

Major retailers in the United States and Canada sold the recalled cribs including BJ’s Wholesale Club, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Meijer, Sears, USA Baby, and Wal-Mart stores and online at Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com from January 1993 through October 2009 for between $100 and $400.

Please visit the US CPSC or Stork Craft's website for more information.

Help spread the word! There are so many other things to worry about as a new parent, don't let your baby's crib add to them!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yoplait Kids Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to our two lucky giveaway winners, Sherri and Sharon! You gals won a Yoplait Kids prize pack including free Yoplait Kids yogurt, fun color changing spoons, placemat, toy, and keep cool bag.

Thank you to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for the next Mad Mom giveaway coming soon!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hormones

Hormones are the worst. Starting at the delicate age of about 12, us women become ruthless monsters. All thanks to hormones.

These chemicals change and make me so emotional sometimes. When I was getting married, I would be driving in my car and think about my friends and how much we've gone through together over the years, now they're in my wedding, and blah blah blah... I'd cry. Yes, just the thought of happiness, made me cry tears of joy out of nowhere. Then the whole changing of the name thing was just too much for me. I built an identity on my maiden name and now I have to change it?! I wanted to change it, but I had to have a breakdown first.

Then I got pregnant. Need I say more? Ok, then I'll on. The first trimester wasn't bad. Toward my 14th or 15th week, those crazy juices started flowing. Pop music fans- remember that song "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears? Well the lyrics are about how she can't do anything without it ending up in the tabloids. I know, PUH-LEASE. Riding in the car, the song would come on and the part of the song would come on and I'd just get so sad for Britney! **Insert crazy guy crying "Leave Britney alone!" here**

"I'm mrs she's too big, now she's too thin." That lyric got me every time. I would think about my massive rear end I'm sitting on and how horrible it would be for the public to point it out and headline it on People and OK! and the rest of the tabloids. Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a pitty party for Britney Spears, I was crying (yes, I shed a tear to this song) because my hormones were raging out of control!

I would sob and sob and sob during my second trimester. Nearly everything would turn me into a raging, psychopathic bitch or a crying, bumbling idiot who needed a hug. That went strong until about 30 weeks into my pregnancy. Then it shut off. I was getting ready. Nesting, being in control.

Then I got to my baby shower. Blaring "Move bitch get out the way" (a la Ludacris - yes it was that kind of move), I sped to my shower. Singing along "move bitch," my big, huge 8 and a half month pregnant self got to the parking lot, after holding it back the whole way, and started to sob. "I can't believe I'm having a baby!" Seriously, picture this singing Ludacris... they let me have a baby. HA!

What are some of your fun stories you can blame on your hormones? Does it ever work? Do you ever verbally knock your man's lights out and get away with it because you're feeling "bitchy?" C'mon tell!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birthdays

I've been thinking a lot lately. Reminiscing about my pregnancy, the birth of my first baby, and how fast the first year has gone. My son, my baby, my first born, will be turning one year old on Friday. I can't believe it. The time has gone so fast.

When he was first born, I'd hold him and sleep with him on my chest, and soak up each and every second. Always thinking about how these days would be gone before I knew it. And they were. In the blink of an eye, Josh was eating baby cereal, cutting a tooth, saying his first word and walking.

I took the day off from work on Friday so I can celebrate with my little man. I was always so excited when my mom got to stay with us on our birthdays. It just made the day so much more special. That statement made me think. She took the day off work so she could spend time with me. That means the day must have been special for her, too. Why wouldn't it? She carried me around for nine months, gave birth to me, raised me... Of course this day is special for her.

Our attitudes toward birthdays are so self-centered. "It's my day!" As a mother, I'm totally re-thinking that statement. My birthday is not all about me. Yes, I was born and the world changed forever... haha, but the most important factor was the fact that as the first born, my birth created a family. My parents' love for eachother, created a family. That's such an astounding thought that I could only understand after becoming a parent.

This year, more than ever, I want to spend my birthday with my parents. The ones who brought me into this world. The people who fed me when I was hungry and taught me the importance of the "Clean Plate Club." The people who grounded me because "it worked" and didn't ground my younger sister because she needed "different" discipline - grounding "didn't work." The people who put up with my shinanigans as a teenager (and as an adult).

Now that I'm a mom, there's nothing in the world more important than being with my baby on his birthday. I still remember my 16th birthday. The teenybopper boy band group LFO was popular (yes, gag me now) and my friend had gotten us tickets to a small concert on the night of my 16th birthday. I wanted to go SO bad! What better way to spend your Sweet Sixteen than with a girl friend and crooning prubescent boys? My mom was disappointed that I wouldn't be around, but she understood that I was a teenager and it was "all about me" that day. Looking back, no, I wouldn't change it, but I certainly do appreciate her more for being disappointed. If she didn't care at all, what would that have meant?

But don't get me wrong, I still deserve to be treated as a queen on my birthday. I'll just make sure to share some of the love with those two people who put me here and gave me a day all to myself!

Thought I'd throw this clip in here. I can totally relate to this commercial. I'm sure you've seen it before. It just reminds us how prescious these years are before they become their own people- with jobs and boyfriends and lives outside our happy little home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yoplait Kids Giveaway: Less Sugar, More Fun!



MyBlogSpark recently offered my the opportunity to try Yoplait Kids yogurt. I, of course, was thrilled! I'm a convenience food eater myself and it's so hard to not pass that bad habit along to the little one.

Snack time is hard. Sometimes it's just easier to hand the kids whatever is closest, then think about all the sugar and sodium in that convenience food. Are you, too, searching for a snack for the kids that tastes good and is good for them? Yoplait Kids yogurt is the perfect solution with 25% less sugar than the leading kids´ yogurt. With its thick and creamy texture that will hug your little one´s spoon, you won´t have to worry about a sticky mess to clean up afterwards. It also contains no artificial sweeteners or flavors, so you can feel good about serving it to your kids.


In addition, Yoplait Kids is a good source of vitamin D and, according to two new studies that provide the first national assessment of the crucial nutrient in young Americans, millions of U.S. children have disturbingly low vitamin D levels, possibly increasing their risk for a variety of health concerns, including bone problems. About 7.6 million children, adolescents, and young adults have vitamin D levels so low they could be considered deficient. It can be challenging for growing kids to get enough vitamin D because this nutrient is only found naturally in very few foods; however Yoplait Kids makes it a little easier to incorporate a delicious source of vitamin D and calcium in your child´s diet.

Sound good? My son loves this tasty snack. It's SO much easier to feed him the thicker Yoplait Kids yogurt than that gooey baby yogurt! Here's your opportunity to try it!
 
Perfect for accompanying this fun afternoon snack, the Yoplait Less Sugar, More Fun prize pack includes coupon for a Yoplait Kids yogurt, a travel cooler (to take your yogurt on-the-go), a fun spoon that changes colors in warm water, a reusable place mat with games to keep the kids happy while snacking, and a fuzzy tangle puzzle for some after-snack fun.
 
This prize pack is so much fun! I am lucky enough to offer this to 2  readers! Here's how to enter:
 
Initial Entry:

Leave a comment here about how you try to sneak in that extra goodness at snack time. Whether it's for yourself or your kiddo!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow my blog or subscribe to the RSS feed. Please leave a separate comment that you did!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow @MadMomMission on Twitter (comment here with your Twitter ID)

1 Extra Entry:
Tweet this giveaway and post a link to the Tweet here.

1 Extra Entry:
Become a Fan of The Mad Mom on Facebook. Leave a comment that you did so.

3 Extra Entries:
Blog about this contest with a link back to this Giveaway! Don't forget to post a link to your post here!

Deadline for entering is November 18th at 7:00 EST. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rubber Pants and Always Pads

Pee. That's all I can say. There's so much pee! Everynight we get up in the wee hours of the morning to our son screaming at the fact that he is soaked in pee. His diaper, jammies, sheets and sometimes his favorite aligator gets a bath in the golden shower. We've tried everything! At first we thought it was the diapers. We had success with our local super market brand and they were about $10 cheaper a box. Which, as you know, really adds up when you're going through so many diapers!

The first few times this happened he was in the generic store brand diapers. He peed so much that the silicone inside had seeped out into his PJs and he was covered in this jelly-like goo. Not a fun experience to get up to a screaming baby and have to bath him at two in the morning because he had a diaper explosion. Then we switched to Luvs. Same thing happend.

After restricting his fluid intake before bed to only sips of water with dinner, then a bottle at bedtime, we had some success. Success meaning the diaper didn't explode it's gooey guts all over him. We went to Babies R Us to pick up some rubber pants, thinking this would at least contain the goo, and found these cool absorbant inserts. They're like big thick Always pads without the sticky. Just put one in front and it boosts the absorbancy of the diaper. Pretty cool but the best part was they were less than $4 for a package of 30. I could handle that.

We tried both the inserts and the plastic pants over the diaper. It seemed to work ok but he'd still pee thought. He just wasn't soaking to the point of needing a bedding change at 2 am.

I wasn't too keen on the plastic pants after that. Since he was peeing and getting the inside wet I was afraid of what that would do to his skin. He has pretty sensitive skin and I don't want to give him an un-needed rash.

So, after all of this for about two months, I think we finally have it figured out (knock on wood). I have continued limiting his liquids at night and added more solid food. This kid eats and eats and eats. I added some applesauce to his bedtime routine. I give him some Gerber Graduates snacks like the wheels or crunchies and about an hour later we move on to applesauce. He loooves applesauce.

Since we've added more solid food and are using the inserts, we haven't been getting up at 2 in the morning to a wet, screaming baby.

Trial and error, ladies.... Hope this keeps working or I don't know what I'm going to try next!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Things I'm Glad I Don't Have to Pay For

Times are tough. Not just here, but everywhere. That little traffic incident last month cost me $300 that I was not happy to see go. After kissing my hard earned $300 away (well, it was technically $295 - $100 deductible for my crinkled up car and a $195 ticket), I started thinking of all the material thinkgs I was glad I didn't have to pay for. Yeah, as a mom you can say, "I love that those little giggles are free and can get them anytime I want." The best things in life are free, but there are things in life that keep us sane and this is my short list:

Top Things I'm Glad I Don't Have to Pay For:

  • Facebook Fan Page
  • Email account
  • Paying bills online
  • Twitter
  • Blogging - could pay, but I'm cheap and I'll stick with my BlogSpot.
  • Grey's Anatomy - or CSI, or Flash Forward. Prime Time TV has so much to offer me to escape reality
  • Showering- yes, there's a water bill, but a fee per minute or fee per shower would make showering far less relaxing
  • Wasting time watching funny videos on YouTube
  • Listening to Pandora
What did I miss? When trying to think of all the material things we can get without having to pay, I really couldn't think of any. My list makes me happy though. I would be sorely disappointed if these things cost me a per use fee. Could you imagine the bill you'd rack up with a fee-per-Tweet? Or fee-per-status update on Facebook?  No thanks!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Getting Old is Weird

Hey look my ghost post inspired a story on Mother's Click!

Getting older is weird. Yesterday I pulled out my second ever gray hair. I pulled it out and examined it. You know, to make sure it really was gray and not one of my highlights. It was actually a beautiful gleaming piece of silver hair. It's funny that I'm describing it so lovingly. Some people just have really beautiful silver hair. Not gray but silver or snow white. I worked in a nursing home for 7 years of my life and have seen some gorgeous "old lady" hair. I didn't feel the same way with my first gray hair. I think it was about a year ago. I saw it in the mirror while I was at work. I probably shed a single tear. I was 24- waaaay too early for gray! But I hear that's not the case. I'm just glad I hadn't sprouted another until just now.

It's also weird to see the guys you've known forever show signs of aging. Some of them have thinning hair. I caught myself looking at a man my age the other day. Just staring at what would soon be his bald spot. That must really suck. Women bald too, though its not as common as it is for men, I couldn't imagine waking up with piles of hair on my pillow.

Women sag and droop. We get sad and have to cover up our gray hair. What is it about men that makes them look so distinguished with gray hair? Is it our "natural" instict. That instinct that tells us to marry a man who can provide and take care of the family - back to the cavemen roots? The same roots that tell men to marry younger women. The instict that says "I need to reproduce and this young female can do it for me." Hmmm.... thoughts to ponder.

I took a social psychology class in college about 5 years ago. Strange that this is all just seeping out of my brain now.. What do you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon by Eileen Goudge

When I hear "once in a blue moon" the first thing that comes to mind is that it sounds about how often I read a book. When I was asked by the One2One Network if I was interested in doing a book review I'll admit that yes, I was not interested. But, then I decided that I'd give it a shot. It would give me a reason to read.


A book has got to be good in order for me to finish it. I can just turn it off right in the middle of the story- never needing to know what happened at the end. This was not the case with Eileen Goudge's latest book Once in a Blue Moon. It's no wonder Goudge is a New York Times bestselling author. She reveals the story in such vivid detail that I feel as though I'm there. A big plus in my book!

Once in a Blue Moon is a story about two sisters, Kerrie Ann and Lindsay, who are separated when they were young. Thirty years later they are leading very different lives and are reunited when they need each other the most. Kerrie Ann is a down-on-her-luck kind of girl who can't seem to get the stars to align just right. It reminded me how lucky I am to have two sisters. A gift that is often taken for granted.

The story is told in such a voice that you feel like there's a part of you that can connect and empathize with both of the sisters. Though they lead very different lives than I have, I could see myself in each of them. Learn more about this next bestseller by Eileen Goudge on her website. You can even become a fan on Facebook!

Friday, October 23, 2009

'Tis the Season: Ghost Stories

You are all probably going to think I'm nuts for this post, but I just had to get it out there. It's kind of a long story so I'll try to keep it short and readable. Maybe it's just the "spirit" of the season, maybe I really am going crazy, or maybe this did really happen...

I'm sure I've mentioned that my younger sister is living with us now. She's helping out with Josh and helping pay some bills. Just a couple of my perks in our mutual arrangement. A couple months back, she went to her friend's house. When she came home she told me her friend had a ghost at her house. Without her friend even telling her, she knew. Then when she started asking questions, her friend said "yes, there's a ghost here." My sister was able to describe the ghost and everything.

A few weeks later, her friend came over. It was late and she only stayed for a bit. When she left I went up to bed. Things carried on as usual for the next couple days. Then I started getting this weird feeling. Like someone was there. I couldn't see them, but I could... it was weird.

This continued for about two weeks getting worse and worse. Or, maybe not worse, just more apparent. The ghost seemed to be a young man, late teens- early twenties. He wore dark pants and a dark colored (I think it was a shade of deep red) flannel or jacket. I mentioned this to my sister and she replied, "It's so funny that you say that because I've been experiencing the same thing!" The she continued to describe the same skinny young man I saw.

He'd just lurk out in the upstairs hallway. Not really causing any harm or "haunting" us. He'd just be there. Kind of like he was just checking us out, wanted to see what was going on. I never sensed it in any of the bedrooms. Just in the hall.

My mom came over today, and she said the SAME THING! Described it and all! Very creeeeepy! She said she thinks she brought it home with her, so I may not be seeing him lurking around anymore. Sorry!

Has this ever happened to you? Maybe I really am going nuts! It's a strange feeling. It wasn't threatening like Paranormal Activity or anything. More like, "I know you're there and I would like for you to go away and stop creeping me out."

What would you do if you saw a ghost?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Fun: Haunted Houses!

It's time for some Halloween fun! I just love this time of year- hay rides, mazes, pumpkin patches, costumes and of course haunted houses! There's a haunted house in New York City called Nightmare. It is NYC's largest haunted house, and for the first time they are doing a children's version of its famously scary haunted attraction.


KIDS DAY is a fun, friendly version of NIGHTMARE: VAMPIRES. No big “boos,” no scary monsters and LOTS of candy! It's set in the fictitious Museum of Vampyric Artifacts (MoVA), where you and your kids take a tour through a series of galleries that give an overview of vampires in history and the media, led by Count Dracula himself! When the Count's famous red velvet cupcake is stolen, all the exhibits come to life while you look for it. Don't worry, though, the kids are well protected: everyone will be given squirt guns full of magic water right at the beginning, and any monster they splash will immediately retreat. There will also be a short balloon animal show and candy will be given out in every room, so bring your trick or treat bags!

This sounds like SO MUCH FUN! It's appropriate for kids up to ten years old. I'm a Clevelander and WISH there was something like this in our area. New Yorkers - enjoy! If you take the kiddos, let me know how it goes!

Kids day is Saturday, October 24 from 10AM to 3PM. Tickets are $15.

To check it out and for more information, visit the Haunted House's website.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Mish Mash Mad Mom

Some of you may remember this post, Too Many Hats, back from May. Obviously being a new mom and a twenty five year old recent college grad with a house and a family is tough. I've been going through my own personal stuff right now. The bad part about it is that it's been stuck in my head and I've been trying to figure it out without the support of my best friends, my rocks. My communication skills have been lacking over the past months. So bad that I've pretty much secluded myself by not feeling like talking on the phone, or even get out of the house.


I just feel trapped. I've been trying out how to not feel so trapped. I don't even know why I feel this way. Shutting myself in - no phone calls, no leaving the house - was the complete opposite way to deal with it. Little baby is growing up. He's not as "portable" as he used to be. I used to be able to toss him in the car and go. Let him sleep in the car seat. Not have to worry about him getting into much. That's not the case anymore. As he's gotten more mobile, I found myself becoming less mobile. I'm afraid to go anywhere when I get home from work because he needs to eat. He might be crabby the whole time. He might poop and I'd need to find somewhere to change him. I don't even go to the store because that means I'd have to bring him. I don't want to resent him, but I feel like I don't know how to balance all of this.

I need some bull shit in my life. Just good old fashioned bull shit. The kind of bull shit where I can sit around with my best friends and talk about what happened on Grey's. The kind of bull shit where I can take off the mommy hat for 30 minutes and just be myself. It's overwhelming to feel responsible for someone every single moment of every single day. I guess I've just been having trouble balancing the damanding feeling of motherhood with myself. The person who makes me, me. I feel like I've totally changed and might have had an identity chrisis.
And my blog! Ugh! I feel sooo guilty for not posting every other day like I had been! I just feel so lazy and have such a hard time getting my ideas out of my head. I hate it! I love blogging and I love my readers! I want you to stick around! Please don't let my lack of communication skills impede our bloggy love! ;)

I'm just learning that, as a mother, I will never have alone time ever again. Or at least not for another 18 years... My only alone time is in the car. When I'm driving to and from the sitter's. After that I have to entertain Josh for two hours before the hubby gets home. Then I have to entertain him.

I think I've finally figured it out. I've always been a person who things about the future and not about the now. Even when it comes to my future 45 minutes from now. I'm so busy thinking about everything else I have to do that I can't chill out for five minutes and call my best friend to tell her about the really embarrassing zit I have on my nose. I can't enjoy my son when I get home from work because I'm thinking about all the other work I have to do.

That's no way to live. I'm living in the now--- for the important "now" stuff. Save the future living for the actual future and not 45 minutes into the future.

Has anyone ever felt this way? Mother or not... I think we all deal with "growing up" in different ways. It took me to produce another life for me to actually "grow up." haha. There could be a punch line in there, but I won't embarrass myself.

What do you think? Are you going through this too?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bumper Cars

This week has been a very rainy week. It's rained all day for at least five days in a row. Luckily, the rain stopped so we could enjoy our weekend. I picked Joshua up at the sitter's house on Friday night. It was raining pretty heavy. Visibility was low and there was a good amount of water on the roads. We got into the car and started our trip home.

Nearing the highway, traffic started to slow. There were lots of people trying to get home and out of the rain. I was going down a slight hill and suddenly two cars in front of me stopped. This of course caused a chain reaction. I was about two houses away from the car immediately in front of me. I stepped on the break only to have them totally lock up. I slid... and slid... and slid. Realizing I only had about 10 more feet before I hit the car, I started looking for options- maybe I could swing into a driveway really quick - maybe I could find an opening on the other side of the road and avoid a collision. No chance, I was moving closer and closer. I laid on the horn when there were about eight feet between my car and her bumper.

SMASH! I watched my hood wrinkle up before my eyes. Both Josh and I were fine but it scared him of course. This is just what I need... Hands shaking, I rummaged through my glove compartment to frantically pull out my insurance cards.

I saw the woman get out of her car and take a look at her bumper. Scratches, only scratches. Ok, this won't be so bad... think again. After making sure everyone was ok, I turned to take a look at the damage. Since I had seen the hood of my car rise up in folds before my eyes, I knew it wouldn't be pretty. The front bumper is cracked in the middle making the sides stick out and hang as if I folded it in half. The hood wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's crinkled up and exposing part of the cars "guts" on the side, but still, not as bad. How could her car have sustained such a force coming at it while mine crinkled up like a piece of paper?

We went to the police station and made our statements. I got a ticket. The first time ever... I've never had any kind of traffic violation or anything. Now, I'm in the system. No longer off the grid... My insurance is pretty good. I knew that if I got into an accident I wouldn't have $500 to pay plus the ticket so I've been paying a little extra to keep my deductible down to $100. THANK GOD!

Luckily the woman whose car I hit was very nice. We took down eachother's information and called it a night. After she left, the policeman handed me that nasty pink piece of paper. Scribbled in carbon copy, the offense was marked "safe distance." In the eyes of the law, no matter what the circumstances, I was too close. I flipped it over to see what the damage would be to my checkbook. $200!!!

WHAT?! I can't pay that plus my deductible! I'm a 25 year old recent college grad with a house and a family. Holy crap! Then I learned that I could go to court. If I could prove the damages were taken care of and no one was badly injurred, I have a good shot. I'll take it! I'd rather go to court and try to reduce my out of pocket by being reduced to court costs only than not take the chance and be out the full $200.

I know it's just a little fender bender and lots of people go through this, but I feel like such a criminal. My name will be in the public database for the court system. I hate the thought of that! I can't believe I caused an accident before I even got a speeding ticket... 

*sigh* I'll fill you in after I make my first court appearance. Hopefully my defense attorney skills/grovelling are better than my driving skills.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy's Little Helper


At 10 months old, he's such a good little helper already!

Monday, October 12, 2009

11 Month Recap

Josh is fast approaching the 11 month mark. Which means he's also fast approaching his first birthday!! I can't believe it. He's grown so fast. Everytime I look at him he's grown even more. This past weekend my husband's best friend got married. Josh was just starting to walk, 12 to maybe 14 steps in a row. He slept over my parents' house so Mommy and Daddy could have a few cocktails and not have to wake up at 6 am with a massive headache to mother/father a rambuncious baby. I picked him up from his overnight stay and he was full-blown walking. It's amazing how fast he learned that. He just turned 10 months when he decided it was time to take his first steps, now three weeks later, he's walking from room to room, sippy cup in hand.


He's getting his seventh tooth. That's really fun. He was just 4 months old when he started teething. Back then he was just crying his normal baby cry. Now that it's been a couple months since he cut a new tooth, this one's a doozy. He cries his little head off. Tears flowing, nose running. Poor guy. He whines when the pain isn't quite so severe. It's kinda cute actually.

His little teeth are doing their jobs. He is totally over baby food. (Thank God) He eats what the family eats for dinner which is SO much easier! I make sure he gets all of his fruits and veggies, grains and protiens. He actually wants to start using the spoon himself. He gets it, puts it in his mouth the right way, but just can't figure out how to get the food on there. Is there a tutorial or something for that??

He learns more and more everyday. It's so fun to watch. He's so smart. He puts all of his toys in their place. Blocks go in the dumptruck so he can dump them. He throws his stuffed animals from the crib into the laundry basket and all the other toys go on the floor. I think it's because whenever he has a diaper explosion, that's where Daddy and I toss them. So cute!

I love being his mommy. It's so weird to see my little baby turn into a toddler. He is looking more and more like a little boy and less like a baby. He walked into the dining room today carrying his sippy and crying for mama. Makes me smile :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mini Chill Product Review

When I was approached by the makers of Mini Chill™ to review this product, I was more than skeptical. My skeptiscim was the perfect opportunity for me to provide a transparent and honest review, so I said "why not?!"  My husband is the king of energy drinks and I just like to stick to good old fashioned coffee. Energy drinks have nothing but junk in them. They provide a short burst of energy, then the guilt of consuming all of those empty calories and sugar. I'm not an afternoon coffee drinker. The caffiene is just too much and keeps me up until the wee hours of the morning making the next day even harder.

Mini Chill™ is a relaxation beverage which contains materials found in nature known to reduce stress, relieve anxiety and support a restful sleep. Mini Chill™ offers a way to reduce everyday anxiety and stress without interfering with a productive schedule. This little pick-me-up's four primary ingredients are natural, not chemical. Even better!

The first thing I have to rave about this product is that it actually does what it's supposed to do! The Mini Chill really is a "mini chill." It's a small 2 ounce pick-me-up that lasts all day long. And I really mean from the moment I drink it around 2:30, when the day starts dragging, until I go to bed around 11 pm. If you know anything about me, or have read my blog, you know I'm a chronic complainer of being "so tired!" When I drink the Mini Chill™ I don't even realize there's a change. It just happens. I'm suddenly able to focus without being stressed or distracted.

Another thing that really bothers me about the typical energy drink is that they just taste bad! The Mini Chill™ is so good! It's light and fruity and doesn't leave a chalky after-taste. You can drink it right out of the bottle with no refridgeration. Perfect for keeping in my desk drawer!

Whether it's at home, on the town, or during work everyone needs a chill. This is my new secret weapon! I keep a stash at work for that time of day when things seem to be dragging along and piling up. Sip on my Mini Chill™ and I'm good! You NEED to try this! I am very anti-energy drink and this is the right answer! The 2oz. "shots" retail for about $2.99 each and are available where ever you usually buy those 5 Hour Energy drinks.

To learn more about this amazing fast-acting and loooong-lasting mood and focus enhancing elixir, visit http://minichill.com/ or follow them on Twitter @MiniChill!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday:


Today's Wordless Wednesday is brought ot you by Awkward Family Photos. Go ahead, laugh!!!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts



Well today's random thoughts were mysteriously deleted from my "to edit" list... nice...

My little baby was actually crying for Mama from his bed yesterday morning. It was the cutest thing ever. Then on the way home from the sitter last night, I saw him from the rearview mirror waving his hand at me and saying "haaaaaa." It was SO cute! I love it! It's those little things that happen everyday that make me love being a mom. Everything he does. It's just so cool to watch him learn.

My little man is a little monkey. He's so strong for 10 months. He's walking. Not too steadily yet, but he can get in a good 12 - 14 steps before he needs to sit down (or tumble down). This is another reason he needs to wear a helmet. It used to be that he was just so wild that he'd fling himself into the side of the changing table or hard spot of the couch (I still don't know how he managed to do that). A helmet with a faceguard.

He was walking at my in-laws' house today and was making it quite far, so I just let him go. And of course he stopped in the doorway and fell at just the right angle to knock his noggin on the side of the door frame. He had a line shapped goose egg that turned black and blue. Luckily his bangs covered it up and you couldn't really see it after the swelling went down.

Last week he had a bruise on his nose for a while. He was smart enough to pull down the mobile above his crib and take it apart. Like a little engineer he dismantled each peace and wove the part holding the animals at me like a victory flag when I walked into the room.

He's such a little stinker...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pooping with the Door Open

Now did that headline get your attention or what?! ;) I don't know what it is about men that make them so comfortable with everything. For instance, pooping with the bathroom door open. That's so gross. Why do men do this? I know it may not be everyman but there sure are a lot that have no problem letting all hang out after the novelty of newly-wedded bliss has worn off.

I read an interesting article on CNN about what we do in front of our partners. There's a certain guard let down after being in a relationship so long. You think, "hey, we're married, or we've been together forever. Why not let one rip?" I don't really have a problem with dirty habbits as long as I don't have to be a witness to them.

Spitting - particularly lugies. That's disgusting. Over the years I've told my husband how the sound of this makes my want to hurl all over him and never kiss him again. So he stopped doing it in front of me.

Passing gas is another. Hey, I'll admit it, there are certain times of the month or during pregnancy when women have toxic ass. It's normal but as women we usually don't just let 'em rip so proudly (at least I don't) as men do. The worst is how the stink usually comes out at night. Then you have to lay in bed and marinate in it. EW!

And finally, pooping with the door open. That's gross. I'll put up with the occassional lugie and nasty fart, but please for the love of God shut the door! I love you and there's no fart or poop sound in the world that would stop me from loving you but... do you really think I'm so excited to hear every bodily function up close and personal that I just can't wait to jump in bed with you? NO!

I need your take on this ladies. Am I the only one who thinks this is an absolute turn off? I'm comfortable but not enough to even pee with the door open. We've been together 7 years and my husband told me I'm going to have to poop in front of him eventually so "get used to it." NO! I don't wanna!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Take Rides From Strangers

Earlier this summer my husband and I took the little guy to the annual Corn Festival in his home town. (insert Yee-Haw here) The opening night finishes with a fireworks display. Everyone from the town comes to the park for this event - young and old. We parked the car abou 10 houses down from the "party house" which is at the corner of the street where the park is.

After the grand finale fireworks were finished, we waited a bit so the floods of people could get out. If we left in too much of a hurry we'd surely be sitting at the stoplight (or cop that was directing traffic) for a good twenty minutes. After the rush, we walked down to the car. There were only a handful of cars left. Everyone got into their cars and zoomed off. Since we had to pack everything up and get the baby all situated, we took a little longer than others. That was when I noticed a little boy wondering around. He looked like he was about ten years old and looked lost. He politely came up to my husband and asked if he could use his phone. Of course! We continued getting loaded up.

A few minutes passed and the little boy still hadn't gotten ahold of anyone. He seemed like he didn't know what to do. We finished getting situated, then asked the young man if he had a ride home. It was 11:30 at night. It was dark. There wasn't anyone around. He said yes, please and off we went.

What was this kid thinking?!!? Hadn't he learned not to take anything from strangers - rides included?? Luckily my husband and I aren't murders, rapists or child molesters. But what if we were? He didn't know where we could have taken him. First of all, why did this kid's friends leave him at the fair? Friendship 101- never leave a straggler! Buddy system people! I know it may have potentially been very creepy of me to ask this kid if he needed a ride, but I wanted to make sure no other creepjob picked him up. I wish I could have had a word with his mother.

If we didn't give him a ride, what would he have done? Didn't have a phone, his friends had left him... what are the options? Always have a plan! When I was growing up, we didn't have cell phones (wow, that's strange). My parents and I made up a code word and the only people allowed to drive us home had to know the code word. I still remember it to this day. It's the most ridiculous word and no one would ever guess it. I guess I would have walked home, but if it was too far, then I'd go back into the fair and look for an authority figure there. Given the fact that this fair has a beer tent, I'm sure there were plenty of cops willing to give this young man a ride home.

We dropped the boy not too far away from the fair. It was, however, quite a walking distance for a ten year old at 11:30 at night. He went to his friend's house. Will his mother ever know he took a ride from a stranger? Probably not. Hopefully he won't find himself in that type of situation again. Who knows, the next couple that offers him a ride might have a window-less astro van filled with "candy."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Big Debate: Who's Responsible?

It was just a few short years ago when I would listen to a song and my mother would gasp in disgust of the song's lyrics. Jay-Z's Can I Get A... (you finish the rest), Juvenile's Back That Ass Up, and Britney Spears'  Slave 4 U  (with obvious sexuality spewed throughout the whole song with panting in the bridge to the chorus) were all perpetrators of contributing explicit ideas into my oh-so-innocent brain. My response to my mom was always quick "I listen to the beat and the music, lyrics come second." That's just me. I like energy and fun. Music is a release. My husband makes fun of me quite often because I just really don't like slow songs. They could have the most beautiful and meaningful words ever written but it's just not fun... I want music to start a part in my car but judging by the songs on my iPod, you'd think I was trying to start an orgy in my car.

Don't be fooled. It's true. I appreciate the musical value behind every raunchy note. My musical selection ranges from Jay Z to Beyonce and Incubus to System of a Down. Every musical genre has its own "not for my daughter" stake.

As a mother, I find myself paying attention more closely to the lyrics of songs and the violence on TV. There are many songs that when I hear them now, I think "how could I like such filth?" then go on jammin'. My mom was right to gasp in disgust when she turned on "the kids'" station in the car. Can't blame her.

Ultimately I think this debate settles on the side of the parents. You can't control what your kids listen to after they reach a certain age. Friends, pop culture and other influencers have more of an impact. What we can do as parents is to teach our children about why we dislike that particular song. I think this along with aligned your general values and morals should do the trick. Teach them to appreciate the music - not the lyrics. When you appreciate music, you have a greater understanding of so many more things than just "pimp cups" and "it's Britney, bitch."

But, hey, I my baby is only ten months old, we'll see if it's easier said than done in a few more years.

At It Again... Or Not...

It's happened again... writer's block... which is weird because I have so many things that go on in this brain of mine. Everything about health care reform and societal rudeness to cool things I've seen or tried recently.

So I'm asking you, dear readers, what do you want? Do you have some sort of challenge for me? Want to hear more stories about my little one? More about my weekend festivities? Inspire me!

I mean, I guess I could write a post about how Josh is getting another tooth in... but that's about it. I mean, how do I elaborate on that??

Help!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UPrinting Poster Print Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Pinapple Babble! She won an 18"x24" poster print from UPrinting!

Thanks to everyone who entered! I will be posting more giveaways very soon!

When you get a chance, check out the Pineapple Babble blog!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poster Print Giveaway from UPrinting

I'm excited to announce a new giveaway sponsored by online printing company UPrinting! For over 25 years UPrinting has been a trusted leader in online printing and poster printing. UPrinting is now giving you the chance to win a 18x24” rolled poster print!

UPrinting has so many products ranging from business cards and brochures to vinyl banners and window clings! When you select your product there's an instant price calculator right on the page so you're not suprised when you go to check out. You simply upload your photo from your computer and create your own design.

One of the features that is particularly nice is the UDesign Online Design Tool. You can choose from hundreds of templates to create the perfect busiess card or post card for your business. It's all free and you don't even have to create an account before trying it.


The giveaway prize sponsored by UPrinting is one 18"x24" rolled poster print. I plan to use my poster to print a family portrait. Our little guy is approaching his first birthday and we still don't have a nice family photo on the wall. Either that or I'll print my husband's company's trade show poster. Kidding! I'm totally going to flaunt my family!

If you'd like to enter this giveaway here are the specs:
-This giveaway is open to US residents only.
-Prize will be awarded in the form of a coupon to be used on their site.
-All shipping charges will be paid by UPrinting.
-Giveaway ENDS at 7:00 pm EST September 29, 2009
-Winner has 48 hours to contact me for details to claim prize

How to enter:
Initial Entry:
Leave a comment here about how you would use your poster

1 Extra Entry:
Follow my blog or subscribe to the RSS feed. Please leave a separate comment that you did!

1 Extra Entry:
Follow @MadMomMission on Twitter (comment here with your Twitter ID)

1 Extra Entry:
Tweet this giveaway and post a link to the Tweet here. Earn one entry per Tweet but make sure you leave a comment here everytime you tweet!

1 Extra Entry:
Fan The Mad Mom page on Facebook!

3 Extra Entries:
Blog about this contest with a link back to this Giveaway!


Please be sure that you create a separate blog comment for each of the above entries or they won’t count! Again, the giveaway ends at 7:00 pm EST on September 29, 2009. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is what an 11 pound baby looks like in your belly:


And this is what an 11 pound baby looks when he's born:


My chubby little man. Read my post: My Baby is a Freak: A Birth Story

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Tidbits of Awesomeness



I'm sitting here on my stoop. Yes, stoop. Our front porch is enclosed so I'm out on the three little steps leading to the porch door. The sun is setting making the sky a creamy shade of peach with gentle whisps of grayish blue clouds here and there. The neighboorhood is quiet. Just the gentle rustling of the leaves in the breeze and the sound of crickets filling the cool September air.

Ok, now that I have you all relaxed it's a great time for some random Tuesday thoughts!

My 10 month old took his first steps this weekend! I'm such a proud mommy. :)

He has fully mastered the concept of chewing. His six little teeth do all the work. He puts his Cheerios in one at a time and bites through each one with his little front teeth. Crunching away. So cute!

I got on the scale yesterday for the first time in about a month. I was sure I'd gained a few pounds which is why I had avoided the scale for so long. Turns out, I am ten pounds lighter than I thought I would be. Haha!

Do you ever pick up your baby, who has obviously laid a massive turd, and hold him with your one arm, thinking the entire way to the changing table "I'm just smooshing the poop around and it's going to be even harder to clean up."

I like fall. I've been eating that chili I made for about 4 days straight.

I ate my weight in chocolate chip cookies last night. Yes, this was after I weighed myself.

The Dreaded In-Laws!

I hear a lot of complaining about in-laws. "Ugh, my mother-in-law is coming to visit, I'm definitely going to need to get out of the house!" "I really don't want to go on vacation if your parents are going with us."

I just don't get that. I love my in-laws. I think I really lucked out in that random pool. My hubby has two sisters. One older, one younger. Yes, he's the middle child. I know what you're thinking "middle child syndrome." Not at all. His whole family has such an "I love life" spirit. They are always so positive and happy. I'm not a total Negative Nancy but I just don't get that excited over some things. Happiness is a gene I hope was passed down from my husband to my son. Everything always so fabulous and scrumptuous and delightful. I love that. I hope it starts to wear off on my "everything's mediocre" attitude.

My husband's older sister is 44. He's 28. Big age gap, right? His parents had Kim a year after they were married. They joke and say they wanted to wait and see how she turned out before having any more. She turned out great because 16 years later Mike was born. Then two years after that, Dawn.

Kim is awesome. She may be 44 but you would think she's 34. She looks great. I hope I age that well. Come to think of it, his whole family looks way younger than their numerical age would tell you. They are so young at heart, I think it keeps them young physically too. Please let that rub off on me!

Dawn is 25, my age. We graduated the same year and everything. It's really cool to have sisters-in-law you can also call your friends. We go out to parties and bars, and don't feel the typical "I'm obligated to hang out with you because we're related by marriage now" thing.

They're just pretty awesome people and I guess I wanted to share with the world that not all in-laws are bad. Even if you are like some people I know who at times, have the most irritating in-laws ever (you know who you are) you know they'll be there when you need them and that's what matters the most. Family is such an unbreakable bond that even when you don't like eachother, you love eachother and that tends to conquer everything else.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Death of a Crackberry Addict

Being a mother means making sacrafices. Social life, wardrobe, and yes, even technology. Today I reluctantly walked into the Verizon Wireless store with tears in my eyes and made the decision to turn off my Blackberry. I know, I know - teary eyed? You're thinking "you cried over a Blackberry?" Yes, I did. There's a reason they call it a Crackberry you  know. It's a strong addiction that we have to face.

One day after a unusually busy morning, I realized I forgot my phone at home. Oh no! I didnt' have time to turn around and get it. I'd certainly be late to work if I did. The entire day, I kept glancing down to see the empty spot on my desk mocking me with "you really want to see if you have a Blackberry Messenger message right now, don't you?" or "you have 5 new emails, you wish you could see them on your phone right now, huh?" Yes, I really, really would. But I would have to rely on the age-old technology of the PC and internet connection.

How will I get through life without having Twitter at my finger tips? Will I become disconnected from Facebook like I was before I got my Blackberry? I do have the internet at home so I will need to re-teach myself to actually go sit at the computer for a while. I hate that. After working at a computer all day, there's nothing more boring than sitting at a computer again.

I have other priorities in my life right now that need my 45 Blackberry data-plan dollars. My son is growing and eating me out of house and home. My best friend is getting married and I have the honor of being in her wedding. And to top it off, I have to begin paying back the obscene amounts of student loans I have lingering in my not-so-distant future. *sigh*

In retrospect it's all worth it. I have my priorities and my Blackberry just doesn't fit in. I'll miss you dear friend. You've provided me entertainment with your Brick Breaker game, fun with the Facebook app, and of course a combination of both fun and entertainment with Twitter Berry. Rest in peace in my desk drawer until we meet again.