Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Tiny One Gets a Little Less Tiny

Bunny had her weight check and the good news is she is gaining weight again! Hooray! She is back up to 13lbs 13oz. So that is great! I have been spending all my time, nursing, pumping and feeding her. I have some things planned as soon as I do several things, including survive the holidays! Some baby (and kid) food related things, a post about my choice to use cloth diapers, and a holiday induced post about my adventures in babywearing. Possibly a giveaway or two in there as well. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Tiny Baby Girl by Cali

I have debated a few weeks now just how I was going to address this. It's a touchy subject, and I still feel guilt in someways, and I can identify why part of the time.
All of it started on Oct. 25th. My oldest had a pretty nasty cold, and his school insisted we go to the dr. for a note. So to the office we went. As the dr. wrapped up his appointment (which was, "it's just a virus, probably a cold"), I told him I was worried about the baby, that she had felt lighter. He said what I had been hoping, that I am probably getting used to her weight. He sent a nurse in and we had her weighed, she was 12lbs 14oz. I felt my stomach crawl into my throat. The nurse reset the scale and began telling me it was a good weight, she stopped when she saw the look of panic on my face. I told her that 2 months prior on Sept. 9th she weighed in at 15lbs. The dr. came in to talk to us briefly, he didn't push us to use formula, but told me we would stay vigilant for the time being, and we would weigh her at her six month appointment on Nov 5th. After a SNAFU at the dr. office when we were six minutes late, I took her to the Lactation Consultant that runs the group I had attended in the past. She weighed in at 12lbs 10oz. It was a long long weekend as I waited to see her dr. at our rescheduled appointment on Monday. I spent much of the weekend on google looking desperately for parents in the same boat as me, I came up empty handed.
Last week she saw her regular ped. and a ped specializing in breastfeeding. My mind has been put at east a bit. On Monday her regular ped (who also happens to specialize in Failure to Thrive cases) recommended that we add formula to her intake. What does that mean? I pump between feedings and at night, when she gets that pumped milk, formula is mixed into it as if it was water, it increases the calories. I was reluctant and very surprised when the Breastfeeding dr. agreed on Wed. I had to get over my mental formula block. I had to really get it through my own head that formula is NOT evil, and that I am not in anyway failing my baby, but I would be failing her if I didn't do everything I could to change what was going on.
It's been difficult, I can't lie. I spend a good part of my day nursing or pumping. But I am doing my best, and that is why I am okay with it. Right now I am looking to buy or rent a scale to measure her intake, and make sure she is gaining. I will keep posting, because I am sure that there are other parents out there that are going through this, or have been through this.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marie Claire on "Fat" People: Belligerent or Brilliant?

I just happened to stumble upon an interesting debate today while casually glancing through my Twitter feed. I happened to notice that Marie Claire was a trending topic. I thought to myself, "That's weird - do people even read that magazine anymore?" And more importantly, "What's going on there that's such big news?"

It appears a blogger at Marie Claire posted an article titled, "Should 'Fatties' Get a Room?" Sure, even at first glance of the headline this article is already pissing off readers. Well, I don't want to get into that. Agree or disagree, this could turn out to be one brilliant stunt. Sure, Marie Claire may still have subscribers, but are they as in as Elle, Glamour, or InStyle? I don't even know if I've noticed Marie Claire in the checkout aisle at the grocery store in recent months. This really got the internet marketer in me thinking...

One of the tweets that stands out in my mind in particular is one that read, "Who the heck was still reading Marie Claire anyway?" This is what makes this ploy (if it truly is one) brilliant. Think about it... the title itself is controversial in and of itself. Using the term "fatties" definitely catches attention. Then after you read on, and are inevitably infuriated over the blogger's insensitivity and judgment, you (well maybe not you specifically, but enough of "you" to start the buzz) tweet about it, protest on the mag's Facebook wall, and create a media frenzy over one poorly thought out article.

Can you remember the time you last saw even one of your favorite brand's as a top trending topic in the world on Twitter? Just in the time I've spent writing this post (about 20 minutes) the mag's Facebook page has gained 15 fans. Even if they only "liked" the page to be able to protest on the Wall - they're still "fans."  Imagine the gigantic spike in traffic their website is seeing today. Just think, if they're selling ads on their website based on impressions the page gets- Marie Claire may have hit the jackpot.  Sure the brand will have to bounce back and spin it "PR style" but I know one thing for sure... Marie Claire magazine isn't dead...

Again- NOT condoning the content or point of view of this article. I just want to wait and see how this faux pas can affect their overall brand and reputation. In the age of Twitter where news is instant, the brand really needs to step up to the plate and address the situation before it gets really out of hand and they can't recover from a reputation perspective.

I challenge you to think beyond the content of the now infamous blog post - What's your take on this? Not on the hatred and disgusting display of insensitivity, but if it truly is just a PR stunt - brilliant or belligerent?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let's Talk Boobs by Cali

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I was overwhelmed with what I had to do! Take
prenatal vitamins, find a Dr., go to said Dr., A LOT, find a pediatrician for your baby, register for baby
items you are unfamiliar with and have no idea what you need, go to baby shower, get the rest of the
things you need. Can't forget dealing with the things that happen to your body, whose boobs are these?
Where is my baby bump? THERE it is! Why are my boobs leaking? I need nacho cheese Doritos at 2am.
Why can't I sleep? No I really wanted cooler ranch Doritos? What do you mean you can't find
peppermint stick ice cream at the store? I could go on for weeks! So hard to prepare yourself
emotionally for what is about to happen.

Eventually it crossed my mind "oh my gosh I am going to have to feed this being!? Now I get to my
point. I knew breastfeeding was best. I knew that I wanted to do what was best for my baby. So why
not? Well from the very beginning of my son's life I ran into SO many "booby traps."
Booby trap number 1 for me, formula! I had more cans of formula than I knew what to do with before my son was even born! Samples, checks you name it, they gave me even more IN the hospital too! Other road blocks included a total lack of support and advice. After my son was born we were thrown into a breastfeeding class that had at least 15 other moms and their own new bundles of joy and ONE lactation consultant, with a half hour to help us all.

That was no good! We got a quick once over and I was told he had a great latch. Well okay then, this
will be smooth sailing! Then the melt down came, my first night home, no milk had come in, baby was
crying, I was crying, my boobs hurt, chaos! What do I do? Oh yeah, all that formula they gave us (see
how that works?) Then it happens, for me the most crippling blow to my attempt to breastfeed...
Nursing. In... PUBLIC!? Going out was scary, leave the house? What if the baby gets hungry? What if I
have to feed him in public? What if someone is offended and says something rude to me? I was so sure
I would crumple into a pile of tears that I resigned to staying home. But that got old fast as my father
came to town a few weeks after my sons birth and we were off to the races, lunch out, shopping, visiting
family, and it felt GREAT to be out and about, except for that cold sweat panic when the baby got
hungry, so formula it was (again, see how that works?). I felt so much guilt as my milk supply decreased,
and his formula intake increased, what a slippery slope.

My return to work also yielded many issues for me. Working in the food industry as a server provided
many pitfalls. Long shifts often, what we refer to as "doubles", left no time to pump, when can a server
stop and breath, let alone sit down for 10-15 minutes and pump? It was the end of the end. I would be
lying if I said sometimes I don't feel pangs of guilt about not breastfeeding him longer. However I
learned a lot from that first attempt.
With the birth of my daughter I felt ready, I was prepared with support groups and more knowledge than
the first time around. While I took the diaper bags that the formula companies used for marketing, I hid
away, gave away, threw away the samples, keeping the bag and even the occasional convenient cooler
bag. This time around the hospital I delivered at had changed things around; instead of one class with
many moms and one lactation consultant, they had a lactation consultant that came to my room to
help. I had people to call when I got home and realized, oh yeah this hurts! I came to realize, well yes, it
hurts at first (only the initial latch, not the entire time), and about two weeks (if even that) later it didn't
hurt. Wew! I made it through, with no formula. Then the big hurdle... Nursing. In... PUBLIC! Maybe it
came with a little bit of age, maybe it came with a little experience, but this time around I figured, I really
didn't care what anyone else though, I would not put someone else's needs in front of my child's. Armed
with a few nursing bras and a few nursing shirts, I was ready to take on the world. I did it! Here we are,
five months into breastfeeding and I feel like a superhero!

Two great "movements" that have come around since I had my first child that I would like to give credit
too are, Ban the Bag and Best for Babes. I was very happy to see that the hospital I was delivering at was a participant in Ban the Bag. I feel that it's really setting mothers up to fail, "breastfeed because it is best for the baby."

But here is some formula for when you fail". It would be like a doctor sending you home with a prescription
for chantix to quit smoking, and a pack of cigarettes, what good is that? I can't say enough great things
about Best for Babes, they are doing a great thing, and I recommend that site to any mom that is
breastfeeding, wants to breast feed, or is struggling with breast feeding. If I can do it, you can try! But
importantly, if you don’t suceed, do not beat yourself up over it. Because while breastfeeding is good
for your baby, having a hapy healthy (phsically, mentally and emotionally) mama is really what matters

Have any mama’s here run into any “Booby Traps?”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

There are so many things I love about the Traverse. The cargo space helps me transport everything from a six foot table to a big load of groceries. Hands free Bluetooth makes me like talking on the phone because I don't have to search for it when it rings. My son (and I) love the skylight in the back seat - he always tells me when it's raining. The heated seats warm me right up!

Here's a clip of a couple more of my favorite features the Traverse offers! Stay tuned because there are more to come! :)

Favorite Traverse Features from Amanda Bastock on Vimeo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Win Tickets to The Greatest Show on Earth!

The Circus is in Town! Well, not yet, but it will be!

I remember the very first time I went to the circus. My parents told my sisters and me that if we did all of our chores and were good little girls, we would get a surprise. We had no idea we would get to go to the circus!
It was so exciting! The lights! The animals! The adventure of it all, right in our "backyard!"

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Barnum’s FUNundrumSM!

The Greatest Show On Earth® just got Greater!

Ladies and Gentlemen…Children Of All Ages… The Greatest Show On Earth® just got Greater with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Barnum’s FUNundrum!SM. Featuring 130 performers from six continents, almost 100,000 pounds of performing pachyderms, cowboys, pirates, and mermaids, Barnum’s FUNundrum! is a super-sized spectacle so massive you just can’t miss it!

SEE Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Barnum’s FUNundrum!SM at the Quicken Loans Arena OCTOBER 20-25.

SHOWTIMES for Barnum’s FUNundrum!SM include:
Wednesday (10/20) at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday (10/21) at 7:30 p.m.
Friday (10/22) at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday (10/23) at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday (10/24) at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Monday (10/25) at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $15.00, $20.00, $43.00 (VIP), $68.00 (Front Row) and $85.00 (Circus Celebrity) and are currently available at the Quicken Loans Box Office, online at or charge by phone at 800-754-3000

I'm so excited to get to take my little guy to the circus now that he's old enough to appreciate it!
Cleveland-area parents - Win tickets to take your little one! I have 3 pairs of tickets to giveaway good for a show this Wednesday 10/20, Thursday 10/21, and Monday 10/25.

This one is Cleveland only so first come, first serve!

Leave a comment then I'll email you to get your mailing address or we can arrange to have them picked up/dropped off if you're local.

And those who don't want to enter to win but do want to enjoy the circus- use the code FAMFUN to get $5 off your tickets!

Toasty Buns!

Well, this week was challenging... I had a pretty bad head cold (which I was finally able to kick just in time for the weekend) accompanied by a lovely case of larygitis. Meanwhile, I worked about 50+ hours and gave a two hour presentation. What's the one thing you hate to be when you have a cold? Being cold!

I'm such a freeze baby. The weather went from beautiful and warm fall weather, to typically cold Cleveland fall weather in the matter of a day. Cleveland is known for the weather changing at the drop of a hat. At lunchtime it's beautiful and sunny - just warm enough for the sun to heat up your car so you're good to go without a jacket. And by 5:00, it's cold again. The sun went away (of course because it's only ever nice outside when you're at work and unable to enjoy it) and now you need to warm up- and fast!

After having worked 11 hours with a cold, sniffles, and aches, I race out to the car in the light rain and fridgid temps. The heated seats warmed me up so quickly I didn't even have time to sit in the car and complain about how cold it had gotten!

Going in the Right Direction

As I mentioned in my last post, I was pretty much worthless all week due to a head cold. So this weekend was pretty busy to make up for all the down time!

First off, this week's mission was to go out to lunch with a girlfriend got some girl time. I can do that! Lucky for me my sister-in-law also happens to be one of my closest friends. We decided to take some time out and meet for dinner.
She hadn't seen the Traverse yet so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to show it off! Her first thoughts? "This is awesome!" My thoughts exactly :) We took a picture to commemorate the occasion!

Then, Friday was my best friend's birthday. We packed up the kiddo (and all his stuff) and made the voyage down to Canton to visit. By the time we dropped the kiddo off and were on our way, it was dark. I've never driven to Canton in the dark. If you're like me (a landmark driver) it's really helpful to be driving in the daylight.

About 45 minutes into the drive I asked - did we pass Lover's Lane? (That's one of my landmark signs because it's so memorable) Apparently we did and I didn't notice... which lead me to the conclusion that we made a wrong turn because clearly, I wasn't paying attention.

We ended up getting on another highway that was going to take u way out of our way. I was already peeved because we were running late, so this was just great. I have a good sense of direction, but it was dark, and everything about it felt wrong...

OnStar to the rescue! This was exactly the quick fix I needed! In just a few minutes I was on my way (the right way) again! Just pressed the OnStar button, gave the representative my friend's address, and the car did the rest! Well, not really, I still had to pay attention and physically drive the car, but the Traverse let me know where to turn with visual help on the display! Such a lifesaver!

Here's a picture I took with all of our stuff loaded in the cargo space. That's a six foot table in there too! Plenty of room left! No matter how full I think I fill it, the back always seems like it can fit so much more... it's huge!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pee Pee in the Pot-tay!

Today was an exciting day. We had a couple of our friends over last night to watch the Ohio State football game (don't even get me started on how bad we looked!). Our friends have a son who's just six months older than Josh (we'll call him B). It's amazing at how much six little months can make a difference. When they were younger - I would constantly compare Josh to B trying to see if he's "normal" and on track like the other kids... We all do it...

Well, B is potty training. We've seen that Josh is ready to start, but were introducing it slowly. He tells us he has to go, but is then afraid to actually sit on the pot. I think after "seeing" B use the potty yesterday (or seeing the praise he got when he was finished) sparked some motivation in Josh.

Shortly after I woke up, Josh said, "potty mommy." Of course, I was thinking, "ok, we'll go to the potty and he'll be afraid to do anything." I sat him down and waited... and waited... and waited...

He'd stand up and look in there, sit down again, stand up again. The third time he sat down, he stood up about 30 seconds later and said "all done." I, of course being the skeptical encouraging mother that I am, checked to see if any business was truly done.

To my surprise, there was actually pee in the potty! A celebration followed. I called my husband up the stairs, we hugged him and congratulated his accomplishment. Josh then just looked at me with a "so what" expression on his face. I could imagine him saying, "big deal, you pee in the potty every day and I don't give you a high five."

Now, I'm just hoping we can keep this going... Let the fun begin!

Toasty Buns

Well, this week was challenging... I had a pretty bad head cold (which I was finally able to kick just in time for the weekend) accompanied by a lovely case of larygitis. Meanwhile, I worked about 50+ hours and gave a two hour presentation. What's the one thing you hate to be when you have a cold? Being cold!

I'm such a freeze baby. The weather went from beautiful and warm fall weather, to typically cold Cleveland fall weather in the matter of a day. Cleveland is known for the weather changing at the drop of a hat. At lunchtime it's beautiful and sunny - just warm enough for the sun to heat up your car so you're good to go without a jacket. And by 5:00, it's cold again. The sun went away (of course because it's only ever nice outside when you're at work and unable to enjoy it) and now you need to warm up- and fast!
After having worked 11 hours with a cold, sniffles, and aches, I race out to the car in the light rain and fridgid temps. The heated seats warmed me up so quickly I didn't even have time to sit in the car and complain about how cold it had gotten!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Music to My Ears

Have you ever heard an old song on the radio that you haven’t heard in years, turned the volume up and jammed until the song was over – whether or not you were still driving? I love music. In the morning my favorite songs get my ready for the daily grind. In the evening, music helps me relax and unwind.

When I picked up the Traverse last Friday, I had to make sure I brought my CD book with me. I knew this car would have a great sound system so I wanted to make sure I could really enjoy it by listening to my favorite songs. It’s been 5 days and I haven’t even opened the CD book. I don’t understand how, after all these years, this music fanatic has survived without XM radio!

Right after I picked up the car, I really put it to the test and drove down to North Canton for a visit with my best friend. If you’re from Cleveland, and have driven down 77 South before, you know this drive is not an exciting one. The road is typically lined with orange barrels which means the drive will consist of the speed limit going from 65 to 50, then back to 65, then when you get into Akron, back down to 55.

Chevy seriously thought of everything when putting this car together. One of my favorite features (which means it must be really cool because there are so many!) is the volume “control.” I’m sure there’s a way fancier name for it, but it’s one of those things that makes you go – “why didn’t I think of that?!”

So, I’m driving down the road, approaching the entrance ramp to the highway. You know what happens next: I accelerate and turn up the music since the sound of the engine and the noise from the highway drown out the awesome song that’s playing. Wait, no, I can still hear it… how’d that happen?

The Traverse automatically adjusts the volume when you accelerate! I think this is the coolest thing ever! So when you get on the highway or accelerate, the volume goes up just enough to compensate for the noise. When you decelerate (or when you’re getting off the highway, pulling up the the traffic light on the exit ramp) the volume re-adjusts so you’re not one of those people blaring their music to the high heavens for everyone to hear.

The combination of these two super cool features made my 75 minute voyage to Canton seem to be over in the blink of an eye. I jammed to the 90s on 9 and relived the first decade of the 21st century on Pop2K (yes, I’m a girl who likes the stereotypical pop music). I was having so much fun in the car that I almost didn’t want to get out of it when I got there. Luckily, when I got to my friend’s apartment, she wasn’t quite home yet so I got to hear a few more songs and weened myself from the radio.

Now, if only we could invent a TV that does the same thing for when those loud, annoying commercials come on…

Chevy Mom's Time Out

Well, I'm super excited to officially announce that I'm a Chevy Test Driver for the Northeast Ohio Mom's Time Out promotion! This is such a cool opportunity which has allowed me to drive the Chevy Traverse for a whole month and blog about my experiences. I love, love, love the car already! I think I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on it actually.

Of course my son loves it, too. He's almost 2 years old now and loves trucks. Every time we see one on the road, "truck mommy! Truck!" Which is followed by the "vvvrrrooommm, vvrrroooooomm" sound. It's so cute. So now that mommy's driving this "truck" (as it is to the little people) he just can't wait to get in the car and go! He seems fascinated by all the space around him compared to the sedan I drive. I think he may be just as sad to see it go at the end of the month as I am.

So check out the Chevy NEO blog that will document our fabulous experiences and excursions. You'll also get to see my first attempt at a vlog (video blog). It was not as disastrous as I thought it would be, but it's still kind of embarrassing since i was a video virgin...  :)

The Moms Time Out campaign is being sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Chevy Dealers who gave the chosen bloggers a 2010 Chevy Traverse to test drive for one month and blog about our experiences using the vehicle. Moms Time Out has given us some fun missions and will be providing us with gift cards to accomplish them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kitty Prize Pack

It seems appropriate that this review comes on the heels on my kitty being sick. I am the proud pet parent to two cats, both boys, and both playful. About four years ago my cat, Dusty, who I've had since he was a kitten, got deathly ill. He was lethargic, unable to urinate, and not eating. After taking him to the emergency vet, we quickly learned that he had a common condition called feline cystitis which translates to pretty much a bladder obstruction. This condition, if left untreated, can ultimately lead to death. I'm so thankful my little kitty cat is back to his happy playful self again and am excited to extend this fabulous kitty prize pack from My Blog Spark and 9Lives.

A survey of feline pet parents across the country commissioned by 9Lives found that an overwhelming 94 percent of cat owners are confident they feed their felines the most nutritious meals possible. However, nearly half (48 percent) admit they’ve fed their cats table scraps – which do not provide the essential nutrients cats need – an average seven times per month. Additionally, only 30 percent know that giving your cat milk may not be a healthy practice due to the common incidence of lactose intolerance in adult cats.

Additional findings include:

* 23% of American pet parents think it’s beneficial to keep their cats on a purely vegetarian diet, while actually it may be harmful

* There are a number of foods that feline parents assume are healthy for cats, but are actually not advantageous to their health including root vegetables (73%), green tomatoes (54%), and raw potatoes (50%)

* Nine out of ten feline pet parents would be willing to switch foods if they knew it would provide better nutrition. In fact:

o 92% of cat owners would switch foods if it would improve their cat’s health, and

o 91% would switch food if they could add years onto their feline’s life

In an effort to educate pet parents about the common misconceptions of proper cat nutrition, 9Lives is committed to raising awareness to this issue by providing advanced nutrition for all cats. With the 9Lives Advanced Nutrient System, feline parents everywhere can rest assured knowing their cats are getting the essential nutrients they need to help promote healthy skin and coat, strong muscle growth and a healthy immune system among other benefits.

Give your kitty some love and enter to win a fun-filled prize pack courtesy of My Blog Spark and 9Lives! The prize pack includes toys to keep your cat entertained, magnetic frames, and a 9Lives dry food scoop/bag clip.

Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment and tell me about your pets! Names, funny things they do, do they get along with your kids? Anything! :)
Contest ends Monday, September 27th at 11:59 pm EST.  
**9Lives provided the product, information, and prize packs through MyBlogSpark.

Monday, August 23, 2010

gDiapers Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Karen! She's the lucky winner of our New Baby Bundle Giveaway sponsored by the very generous gDiapers!

You have 48 hours to claims your prize! Please email me at the email address found in my contact info to claim it!

Congrats and Thanks again to all who entered!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Dad Life

This was just too hilarious to not share!!! Enjoy! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Be Green, Be Grateful, Be Genuine!

I was lucky enough to discover gDiapers four years ago when I had my son. When he was first born we used a big name brand diaper, I remember how much I hated changing his diaper to find those little gel crystals on his little bottom and boy parts.   I had looked into using cloth diapers, however living in an apartment it simply wasn’t cost effective.   I began searching the internet, there HAD to be another option.  That is when I found gDiapers, it was a disposable option, but also had cloth qualities. Flushable inserts that you have the option of flushing or even composting (just the wet ones please), and the ability to use cloth instead.  I ordered a starter pack and began stalking our mailman. 

When the diapers came I was so excited to strap them on to his little booty!  They were oh so cute, his little Grasshopper Green booty, complete with a g on the back, for Gabriel of course.  I soon realized the extra perks.  Only a few minutes in to our g-experience he had a blowout worthy number 2, one that would have warranted a wardrobe change in his previous diapers. I was perplexed, I HEARD it, but where was it?  It’s wasn’t leaking out the legs, it hadn’t gone up his back... I tentatively poked my finger into the waist band to confirm, yup, it was there, all in there, where it is supposed to be!  Amazing!  Then the diaper change came, that remarkably disgusting number two didn’t have to hang out in the nursery till trash day!   I simply took the flushable insert into the bathroom and ripped it, “swished” it, and flushed it.  It was gone!  No stinky ick in our apartment!  Over the next few weeks and months I appreciated our gDiapers more, for things like the Velcro being in the back, once I got used to it, it was much easier than the front Velcro, but way more difficult for his wandering hands to reach, no “look ma!  No diaper” moments for us!  Then when we were in a situation to not have to save quarter for laundry, we quickly figured out how to use prefolds inside our gPants while we were home, saving our flushies for outings.  It was clean, pure, simple and green, not chemicals on my little ones skin either!

Fast forward four years.  Number two (no not that kind), is about to make her appearance to the world.  I had began a small stash of cloth diapers, but I knew I want to use gDiapers again as well.  Right before we got pregnant with number two, gDiapers released their newest addition: tiny gPants, and oh man, were they CUTE!  A few changes from previous gPants, the liner didn’t snap in, it was built in.  I had to have them.  I had to buy them off a mom, who was no longer using hers because there was quite a large demand for them and they had been put on backorder.  Again I stalked our mail carrier.  I ordered flushies and was ready to go when they came, all of those tiny gPants were stuffed and waiting when Cordelia came home.  I really loved the tiny g’s, they had the features I loved about the regular little g’s, and then some.  I loved that they snapped down in the front to make room for her cord stump, it kept the diapers from rubbing on it and making it bleed.   The built in liner was also great, easy to clean.  I can’t lie I also love the cute “g word” print, not girly, not boyish (I am a mom that feels like anything that isn’t pink is too boyish too) just plain… well… baby! 

Another thing the wonderful folks at gDiapers have come out with since my son was in them, gCloth.  It is the companies very own version of our prefolds.  I found that while using prefolds in our gPants saved us money, it made the diapers bulky.  This time around we have gCloth as an option,   made with microfleece to pull the moisture away from your baby and a hemp/cotton fabric to absorb the moisture.  The microfleece is super soft on baby’s skin.  Also new to the gFamily are gStyles, oh so adorable gDiaper outfits!  One for girls and one for boys, and too cute for words!  This mama has been drooling over the gDarling dress set…  A truly picture worthy outfit!

I love gDiapers, not just the product, but the company.  I can’t speak highly enough of the people at gDiapers headquarters.  I have never had an unfriendly, below wonderful experience with them.  As a mom, and consumer that is a big deal to me.  If I do not have a good customer service experience, I simply find a way to live without your product (I drive an extra half hour to go to a theater other than Regal just because of a terrible experience).  I will tell you one thing, they are not lacking in that department.  They have someone that can answer any question or problem you might have, they stand by their product %110 percent, and because of that so do many of the parents that use gDiapers.   

I also appreciate that they are very environmentally friendly, not just the product, but down to shipping, using Green Shipping (see  Possibly my favorite thing about this company (and trust me it is impossible for me to pick one but this is up there), is the value they place in family “We have an on-site child development center. If mom needs to nurse or wants some playtime with her baby, gDiapers is set up to accommodate her needs. If a child is sick, by all means, go home. We hope everyone feels better soon. If dad wants to see Jr. in the school talent show in the middle of the day, he has our blessing. In fact, we may come with him. “ if that doesn’t sum it up, then I don’t know what does!  If only I could talk my husband into moving to Portland…

I know that sometimes we post snippets (yeah I said snippets) from the company’s website, but I want you to go check it out, I will give you a quiz on it later… Kind of… 
No blog is complete without a picture or two… I want to share mine.  

Baby Bunny hanging out in her Tiny g

Lets kick it old school with Gabe back in the day sporting his green gDiaper, and baby love handles.  (This picture was actually used for a Kiddie Kandids ad campaign. Just to throw out a mom brag)

I feel really lucky that I came across this product, and this company.  Now I want YOU to get to know them!  I contacted Michelle at gHeadquarters and they have been generous enough to donate a New Baby Bundle to one lucky reader!  One VERY lucky reader!  I am actually jealous of whoever wins this, and my baby can’t even fit in them!

So let’s get down to it shall we? Time for the Quiz!

Mandatory Entry:
Go to tell us what you like.  What product, what philosophy, feature, anything, because gDiapers isn’t just about what they are selling.
For extra entries:
Become a follower of this blog on Google Friend Connect and/or RSS feed - one entry
Become a fan of The Mad Mom Blog on Facebook - one entry
Become a fan of gDiapers on Facebook (make sure to come back here and tell us)- one entry Post a link to this contest on your Facebook or Twitter (one entry per day and make sure to post a link here)

**Contest ends Friday, August 20th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize from the time the announcement is made.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Febreze Home Collections Review

As a mother of a soon-to-be two year old, I can't leave fresh smelling potpourri out - either the baby or the cats will eat it. Candle wax on the carpet, candle wax on the couch. It's a real pain to get out! The Febreze Home Collection wants to introduce you to their no mess, no spill line-up that’s perfect for creating a refreshing atmosphere.
The newest addition to the Febreze Home Collection, the No-Spill Wood Diffuser, combines everything you love about WoodWick diffuser technology and Febreze scents, offering a unique fragrance experience. The scented oil is drawn up through the dowel into the wood top, creating a hassle-free way to freshen your home. I keep this one in my bedroom because it adds a nice touch of classy decor and smells relaxing!

If you’re looking to add character to your décor, then the Febreze Flameless Luminary is for you! The Febreze Flameless Luminary has interchangeable shade styles and the refreshing atmosphere of a burning candle without the danger of a flame. For a limited time, you can fill your home with the newest scent, Honeysuckle Orchid. I was so impressed when I turned it on. It really gave a relaxing candle-like glow. I actually fooled some of my friends who thought it was a candle! The scents last for about a week. You know how you get used to a scent though. My friends said "it smells good in here" after a couple weeks.

**Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information and gift card to give away were all sponsored by Febreze and MyBlogSpark

Monday, July 26, 2010

The One Where I Just Let it All Out

I've been dealing with a lot lately and have pretty much alienated everyone in my life because of my self-dubbed "bag of shit." I feel I owe my awesome followers some explanation, too, as to why my posts have been so sparse the past few months. And well if you can't tell your blog, who can you tell? So, here goes...

This has all been going on for a while now. Pretty much since my son was born (about 20 months ago). I had been acting like a completely different person with a new "this is who I am and if you don't like it then eff off" attitude. Which is totally not me. I am, and always have been, a people-pleaser. Pressures of motherhood and being an adult mounted so high that I literally collapsed. The first signs that this was about to get ugly were the several weekends in a row that I went out with my friends, left hubby and baby at home, and stayed out till five in the morning. What 26 year old married mother needs to do that more than once in a blue moon?

My husband works hard. He leaves before six in the morning and doesn't get home until 8 at night. Meanwhile, I'm home taking care of the baby, finances, etc. It just got to be so much that I would literally go out and explode on the weekends. I'd escape for those hours before I had to get back to reality.

Then my epiphany came. I woke up one morning and figured it out. I knew I wasn't happy, but just couldn't figure out why. So I did what any woman does, blame the man. Yeah, there were some issues there that needed working out but I soon learned that placing the blame on other people wasn't going to stop my own tragic downfall.

Initially, I thought I was sick of doing what everyone else expected me to do. I have always been the girl that does things the right way and does everything other people think I should do. So, I stopped. I did what I wanted. I made bad choices. I was lying. Lying to everyone I love because I couldn't face the harsh realities and consequences of what I'd done. I knew I was being deceitful. I knew I was acting foolish. I just couldn't accept it enough to tell the people that I love. The people I don't want to disappoint. Well that just got me in deeper. I think I was subconsciously looking for an easy way out of all the responsibility I've created. Now I have this black hole of oblivion and I don't know how I'm going to get out.

First, I started with my family. I have a wonderful husband who has actually stuck through this whole "finding myself" thing. I can't throw that away. He's loving and understanding, and I don't think I could find someone better for me. During this whole ordeal I've been so worried about our families and friends hating me because of the nasty things I said to my husband that came out of anger and ugly emotions.

I feel like I lied to my friends because I just couldn't handle that yet. I couldn't handle everyone in my life despising me. Those lies made it worse. Instead of them being upset with my actions alone, my friends are upset with my lies, my deceit.

Who is this person? How did I become this? I'm a strong, independent, intelligent, motivated woman. How did I start making such terrible decisions? People kept asking me about postpartum depression. I honestly couldn't tell. I have had so much going on that I didn't think it could possibly be just chalked up to postpartum. My husband lost his job right after Josh was born, I finished college, changed jobs, typical financial woes, etc. Reflecting on the grand scheme of things, I really do think it's postpartum depression. There's just no other logical explanation. I've felt like I have this renewed self confidence since I had the baby and devoting many of those feelings to what I've accomplished in the past several years. My unhappiness was blamed on my stressors. The people you love the most are always going to be the ones who stress you the most. It's because you invest so many emotions in them and their happiness.

So, I've taken the first step. I'm seeking help. I have burned some very important bridges and just hope that one day, we can all move past this.I'm making the right decisions now. I'm sorry for my mistakes and I realize the consequences.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shabby Apple Review and Discount

I recently had the opportunity to try an online retailer of fabulous ladies clothing, I'm always looking for fashion I can multipurpose from a day at the office to a night on the town. That's hard to do. My personal style is definitely more flirty at night than in the office (although that's probably a good thing).

Visiting Shabby Apple was just the answer I needed. What I love most about their collection of dresses, is the vintage twist on modern silhouettes. After browsing the site, I believe nearly all of these pieces can make a strong impression in the office, then spiced up with accessories and higher heels for an evening event. 

Customer reviews on the site implied the sized run big so I decided to go with a size smaller than I usually wear. Once I received my garment, it was still a little too roomy. Returning and exchanging was easy! Which is such a plus since that's why I'm usually hesitant to buy clothes online. And as an added bonus- they have maternity clothes!!

The Shabby Apple has been gracious enough to offer all my lovely readers 10% off! Just use the coupon code madmom2141 at checkout. How cool is that!?

I'd LOVE to hear back to see if you checked out the site or made a purchase! I think this is one of my new favorites!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NEW Rockin' Green Winner

Our first winner for the Rockin' Green giveaway never claimed their prize! This makes me feel kinda bad. I know that if I won a fabulous prize, I'd be so disappointed if I forgot to claim it :(

But we really had a ton of entries, so there's always room for another lucky winner!

And the new lucky winner of Rockin' Green Soap is...

Adam's Blankie! Please, please, please contact me via email (I'll email you too) by Thursday, July 8th to claim your fabulous prize!

Congrats! And please remember, when you enter a giveaway, leave your contact info so I can try to hunt you down if you win :)

Good Earth Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Shanna7313 - You're the lucky winner of the fabulous Good Earth prize pack! Thanks again to My BlogSpark who has been sending absolutely fabulous prizes, and of course Good Earth for their tasty dinners!

Shanna7313 - please contact me via email by Thursday, July 8th at 7:00 pm EST to claim your prize.

Thanks to all who entered! 

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Anti-Diaper

Like I said a few posts back... this is a very fun age. The little man is over 19 months now and is like a little sponge soaking up every word and motion he sees. There are a couple things, however, that I have no idea why why he does them.

The most interesting is his pinching and pulling his own nipples. It's so bizarre. He just stands there, notices these little bumps on his chest, and pulls away. It almost looks like he grabs onto them for security. Well, after this started becoming an all-the-time-thing, we tried to put the kabash on it. It was just weird. He'd walk around when we're in public, pinching away. I can just hear it now, "where did that child learn THAT?!"

Luckily, the fascination with this interesting new body part only lasted a few weeks. He hasn't quite found his other "interesting" part, but I'm sure when he does, he'll be pulling and pinching even more. The kabash will be put on that way sooner. He has many, many years to learn what that thing does!

My new dreaded favorite activity, is coming up to get him up from a nap or in the morning. Nine times out of ten, his diaper is on the floor and there are little pee spots all over his bed and the floor. I told our sitter to be on the look out during the day because he now has the skill of diaper removal. She said he even takes them off when he has a little one-piece outfit on. How did he figure that out!? Well, apparently it's very easy. He sticks his arm up the leg, undoes one side, then lets the other side slide down his leg. Very crafty for a one year old. Thankfully, this hasn't happened with any poopie diapers, I think he's smart enough to know that poop is yucky and he shouldn't get it all over his bed. For example:

One beautiful morning, I went into his room to wake him up. He was awake, bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  His arms were held out and he enthusiastically greets me with "eew!" Great... The diaper had sprung a "leak" and he clearly didn't like having poop on his hands. This is okay with me, though. Please, anytime you get poop on your hands, just stick them out, don't touch anything, and wait for mommy to clean you off!

I'm just waiting for the day when there actually is poop in the diaper that's been thrown out of the crib... That will be a great day...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rockin Green Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much for everyone who entered! Cali and I are so excited about the overwhelming success of this giveaway!

I won't keep you waiting in anticipation any longer...

Congratulations, Paige! She's the lucky winner of Rockin' Green detergent! Please contact me via email by Tuesday, July 6, 2010 to claim your Rockin' prize!

Again, thanks to all who entered and keep your eyes peeled for another cloth diapering giveaway coming soon!

~Cali & Amanda (aka The Mad Moms)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Earth Dinner Giveaway

When dinner means tons of pots and pans and mixing or chopping for hours, sometimes dining out seems tempting. Now with new Good Earth TM dry dinner kits, you can have restaurant taste without the restaurant wait and still have a wholesome dinner.

With appetizing entrées from Good Earth, dining in is made easy! Enjoy cooking a sophisticated, restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home. Each variety includes vibrant and flavorful sauces along with specialty ingredients like sweet basil, white wine and dried tomatoes. Delicious dinners that allow you to keep a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste, Good Earth dry dinner kits are perfect for whipping up a no-fail, five-star cuisine in less than 30 minutes.

100% whole grain, no trans fat, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no MSG - just add meat and, voila! Dinner is served.

Coming to stores this month, Good Earth dry dinner kits offer a selection of four delectable meals: Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta, Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp with angel hair pasta, Herb Crusted Chicken with mushroom risotto and Tuscan Chicken with penne pasta.

My BlogSpark recently gave me the opportunity to taste this new product. For those of you who have been reading a while, you know that I'm a BIG fan of easy-prep meals! This one is definitely a winner!

At first I was a little worried that it wasn't going to be enough food. The package of wholegrain pasta seemed so tiny. I'm all for portion control, but this looked like I'd be left hungry. Boy was I wrong. This little box exploded into a delicious and bountiful meal! I couldn't believe how much food it made!

I had the Mediterranean Chicken. It tasted as fabulous as my favorite Italian restaurant! I was even very proud of myself for making such a tastey dinner!

You have the chance to win a Good Earth gift pack that includes a Good Earth Mediterranean Chicken dry dinner kit, two sets of bamboo flatware, two bamboo dishes, a bamboo utility board and a 100% recyclable grocery tote. This is one of the cutest prize packs I've seen!

product, gift pack, information and additional gift pack to give away were all provided by Good Earth and MyBlogSpark.

Here's how to enter. Please make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry!

 Giveaway ends July 5th, 2010 at 7:00 pm EST. Good luck and thanks for entering!

Initial Entry:
Which Good Earth meal would you like to try?

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

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)

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

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sex and the City Soundtrack Makes Girls Night Complete

As moms, we can all use a good night out (or in) with our girlfriends. I'm usually pretty skeptical when it comes to feature film soundtracks. They seem to have a bunch of songs that are perfect for the movie, but just not something I would listen to on my own. 

This is not the case with the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack. Tracks on this CD are the perfect soundtrack for getting ready - which as women, getting ready for a night with the girls can be a production in itself! 

And for those SJP fans out there, you now have a chance to win a phone call from Sarah Jessica herself!

Soundtrack to Strut Your Stuff!
1. Alicia Keys “Rapture”
2. Dido “Everything to Lose”
3. Cee Lo “Language of Love”
4. Erykah Badu “Window Seat”
5. Natacha Atlas “Kidda”
6. Michael McGregor “Euphrates Dream”
7. Liza Minnelli “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”
8. Ricki-Lee "Can't Touch It"
9. Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
10. Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis "Love Is Your Color"
11. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon “I Am Woman”
12. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “If Ever I Would Leave You”
13. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “Sunrise, Sunset”
14. Sex and the City Men’s Choir “Till There Was You”
15.  Shayna Steele, Jordan Ballard, Kamilah Marshall “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”
16.  Liza Minnelli with Billy Stritch “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”
17.  Cyndi Lauper “True Colors”
18.  Aaron Zigman “Divas and Dunes” 
Now that you've all had the chance to see the movie, party like a diva and order your Sex and the City 2 soundtrack!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cali's Rockin' Her First Giveaway

Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent

I know I mentioned it in my intro, but I am a cloth diapering mama.  While that on its own is an entirely different blog entry, it is how I found what I am about to tell you all about.  Laundry detergent!  HOORAY!  Only mom would get excited about laundry detergent.  When using cloth diapers, you must be careful how you care for them and that includes washing.  You can’t use many of the main stream detergents. Certain dyes, enzymes and scents leave buildup that will make your diaper repel moisture, which is obviously the opposite of what you want in a diaper right?  That buildup will also attract and trap dirt, again the opposite of what you want, for anything you wash.  My search for that perfect detergent led me to RockinGreen; it is everything I was looking for, and MORE.   

First off, it’s not only safe for cloth diapers, but it is obviously good for your everyday laundry; secondly it smells amazing!  It makes one of my least favorite chores, delicious!  It is phosphate free so what makes it good for sensitive skin also makes it a good choice for the planet!  Did I mention it smells deliciously amazing?  It comes in three formulas: Soft Rock for those that have soft water, Classic Rock for those that are in the middle, and Hard Rock for those of us that have hard water. 

Now for the fun (and incredibly embarrassing part).   I know a lot of you are thinking “okay great, it’s good for cloth diapers, I don’t use cloth diapers”.  My first challenge… How do I relate to everyone?  I know… SHEETS!  Everyone uses multiple sets of sheets for you and your little ones.  So I filled up my bathtub and “Rocked a Soak” with my Rockin’ Green.  What is that?  Well it’s simple; I soaked our sheets in our tub with three tablespoons of the detergent.  Rockin’ Green will pull all that buildup from detergent, minerals from the water, and well… just plain dirt. First I ran our sheets through a quick cycle in the washing machine with my old detergent, just for good measure so they are just as clean as they would be for anyone else trying Rockin’ Green after another detergent.   The results were, well… amazingly, embarrassingly, disgusting!  My sheets after only a half hour into a soak:
You can soak in your tub like I did, or just in your machine.  The website has a great guide as how to rock a soak, and how to use it depending on your machine.  Now if you will excuse me, I must go clean my tub after all that!   A little birdie told me that maybe just maybe Rockin’ Green will have something for that soon, in the form of an all purpose spray cleaner. 

So wanna try some Rockin’ Green on your stuff?  Well we will pick one lucky reader to get a bag just for them! Here's how to enter:

Giveaway ends Friday, July 2nd at 7:00 pm EST. Good luck and thanks for entering!

Mandatory Entry:
1. To enter go to the website at  Take a look around and let us know what scent you want to try and if you have soft or hard water. 

Bonus entries:
1.  Like Rockin’ Green on Facebook  (I recommend checking out the pictures of things other fans have soaked)

2.  Become a follower of this blog or subscribe via RSS

3.  Like The Mad Mom on Facebook

4.  Do something “green” and come back here and tell us about it.  Two entries if you post a picture of it!
Tell us what you want to Rock a Soak on!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Father's Day is Coming!

Is it mean to say that I kind of dread Father's Day? I mean, yeah, I want to tell my Daddy how much I love him and how much he means to me, but I always feel obligated to get him some big fancy gift. To make it worse, his birthday is in May, so I have to double up the excruciatingly difficult task of  shopping for Dad.... again.

He gets to wear jean to work everyday, so a tie is out. Gift cards feel like a cop out. He's had the same watch my entire life and I don't think he'd like to get a new one since that one's so "broken in." I also really hate asking what he wants. I feel like by me asking, I'm pretty much saying, I've known you for 26 years and still have no idea what you like.

I know what he likes. He likes things that aren't tangible. Like saving money, grilling meats, and... well... that's all he really does...I'm thinking of getting him some good craft beers. Something he'll enjoy, but won't have to keep laying around the house until the end of time.

This is what I plan to get my hubby: The Gator Grip - He does a lot with his hands at work and never has the right size socket. Hopefully this one tool will save him some frustration!

And because I'm obsessed with the Food Network Challenge cakes show, here's a nice display of some necktie cakes for the man in your life.

New Addition: Welcome Mad Mom Cali!

Aren’t We ALL a Little Mad?

I think the definition of being a mother includes some madness!  Where to begin about my own?  My name is Cali, I am 26… That’s the boring stuff. I have two munchkins, my wonderful, rambunctious four year old boy Gabriel “the Goblin” Goobs, and Cordelia Bunny “Fluffy Butt” who is a whole eight weeks old.  I am a cloth diapering mama, aka I do a LOT of laundry. I also proudly wear my baby, yes I wear her, I couldn’t think of a cuter, bolder fashion statement and she goes with almost anything!  I plan on sharing all about my decent into madness, including those things, so be ready to hear about some great baby carriers, diapers, and a few other “green” products along the way, and who knows, maybe even a giveaway…

I love my kids, but in this house, nap time is sacred.  When else do you do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry and fold what was in the dryer; and now get some quick thoughts down into the blogosphere?  I have a severe chocolate addiction, and as soon as they come up with chocoholics anonymous I am there!  I don’t want to give everything away so you'll have to stay tuned to keep learning more about this new addition to The Mad Mom Blog!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm No Photographer

So my little man is 18 months now... Well, actually he's almost 19 months. Time is flying so fast! He's a very active boy, constantly on the go! This age is so much fun. He's learning something new, it seems like everyday. As he's growing out of his baby looks and beginning to look more like a little boy, I try to take so many pictures.

Looking back, I probably have hundreds of pictures from birth through about 11 months. After 11 months, he got really good at running. Therefore, I have very few photos of him actually looking at the camera. Something always grabs his attention. Such a little explorer. We've tried fun noises, toys, and practically everything we could think of to get our guy to smile for the camera. Nothing has worked. He holds a smile for a millisecond, then by the time the camera snaps the shot, he's looked away. This results in many, many photos like this one:

While of course I still love the pictures, it sure would be nice to capture one with him looking at the camera. I want to see his smile with those big blue eyes all lit up. The only pictures I have of him at my desk are from when he was 11 months and younger. I see the side of his head all the time. I want to see that smiling face when I'm at work.

This same problem holds true for my video camera.  While I'm not trying to capture him in a still position, he's quite intrigued with the camera itself. He did the cutest thing today, so I whipped out the video camera. He realized this right away and stopped talking on the phone (well, he thought he was) saying "hi, Daddy!" But of course he stopped right away and I have nothing to show my husband when he gets home from work :(

Hopefully he'll grow out of this soon so I can take lots and lots of pictures of that adorable smiling face!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Soft Scrub Total Bath

I have a whole lot of raving to do about this product! Just a couple weeks ago, actually it was the weekend I was hosting a bachelorette party, my bathtub drain totally plugged up. It was disgusting. Not only was the water not draining, but nasty water was coming back up into the tub whenever the water was running in the bathroom sink.

After three full days of nasty, mucky, rusty looking water spewing back into my tub, we had finally figured out a fix. The water drained within a matter of minutes. The aftermath was terrible. A rust colored ring of filth lined the tub. I just couldn't wait to get in and scrub it clean... Yes, that was total sarcasm...

The ring of rust colored filth was on top of all the other day-to-day grime that builds up which made it look like even more of a challenge to clean. Naturally, as a mom, my first thought was "I have to bath my baby in that!" Immediately after the water drained and we were sure the problem was fixed, I reached for the Soft Scrub Total Bath & Bowl. Knowing that my last experience was so effortless, I thought this would be the perfect time to really put it to the test! I figured it would at least get the really grimey stuff off, but I'd have to kick in a little elbow grease to get the rest of the job done.

That wasn't the case at all. I really wish my computer wasn't busted at the time because I would have uploaded tons of pictures! Using the foam spray, I coated the gunk. Then switched the nozzle to spray the bottom of the tub with a fine mist. Given the severity of the filth, I let the cleanser sit to work it's magic for a couple minutes.

foamspray_iconsI got myself ready, sleeves rolled up, heavy duty scrub brush out, abrasive Ajax cleaner on deck. With one swipe of the rag, the mess was gone. All that anticipation. All that preparation for a bathroom cleaning nightmare... Gone... Just wiped the surface of the tub, rinsed, and it looked brand-spanking-new!

Another reason to rave about Soft Scrub Total Bath & Bowl is because of the staying power. This cleaning miracle took place on May 16th. Just this Wednesday, two and a half weeks later, my mother came over to watch the baby while I was out on business. She commented how good my tub looked! I couldn't believe it! Me, the person who hates to clean and rarely does it, still has a great looking tub after all that time! And yes, we do shower and bath regularly!

So tomorrow, my mom is going out to purchase this amazing bathroom cleaner and I'm going to demonstrate how effortless it really is! I'll try to take a video- if she'll let me tape her bathroom :)

Get the coupons!

MIA Status

I know I totally went MIA for pretty much the entire month of May. Things have been crazy busy! The little one is now 18 months and is SO much fun! Work has been equally busy (if not more). Then, to top it all off, one of my very best friends got married last weekend. (Yes, you can expect a "mommy drank" post soon)

The biggest reason for my disappearance from the blogosphere is due to my computer crashing... for the fourth time... You'd think I'd learn my lesson and just get a new one with super virus protection, but I refuse. I'm frugal, not cheap!

I'll have a lot to say in the next few posts so stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

It's been a while since I've done this so here goes...

I've been sick all weekend. Today is day 4 with this hideous cold. The worst part about it is that I'm hosting the bachelorette party for one of my very best friends this weekend. That's right, husband and baby are kicked out for the weekend. This party is equally important to me as my own bachelorette party was. So it really sucks that I'm not feeling 100%. I want to make sure we're all able to enjoy it- including me! I've been dosing up on Nyquil and cold medicine. Which has definitely helped me sleep, but that's about it. I think I feel about the same as I did before.

Additionally, this past weekend was Mother's Day. What a way to spend it... sick! I did enjoy myself quite a bit though.  My sisters and I made brunch for my mom. Then I had about an hour of quiet time while Josh was napping. It was wonderful! After that, we zipped over to my in-laws' house for dinner. It was so nice! I love spending time with my families.

It's so different than it was just a few years ago. Ok, maybe more than a few... When I was in my late teens, I dreaded, just like every other teen, having to spend a day with my family. My friends were so much more interesting!

It's amazing how things change as you get older and you begin to realize which people in your life are truly the most important.

Friday, April 30, 2010

baseline Jewelry Review and Giveaway

Inspired by architecture + design, the environment, and our ever-emerging culture, baseline is a combination of jewelry and modern home goods. Jewelry and home goods are created from a broad range of materials including: metals, vintage + modern glass beads, semi-precious stones, fabrics, wool felt, and other inherited, gathered, and salvaged materials. 

baseline is a product of a lifetime of creativity and inspiration from someone I've known most of my life. Since kindergarten, Susan has been one of the most artistically gifted people I've known. She combines her creative instincts with sleek and modern design elements to create her truly unique jewelry line. Each piece is handcrafted

"I appreciate design on a multitude of scales. While I work full-time as an architect, I enjoy the intricate and delicate process of jewelry and sewing. I feel that simple, clean lines of architecture have translated into many of my pieces."

Her jewelry making started back in grade school with the ever popular friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss. It’s always been something that she enjoyed to make for herself, family, and friends- but it wasn’t until college that she used making jewelry as a means to earn a small income (mostly for architecture supplies and beer). In recent years, Susan has also created numerous home goods- pillows, tea towels, and recycled glass vases among others.  

"Today, I have become an active member of the Cleveland Handmade community and have had the opportunity to participate in numerous local fundraisers, handmade markets, and arts/cultural events."
I am so honored to have to opportunity to share baseline's exclusive designs with you! Susan has graciously provided a pair of stunning freshwater pearl earrings to giveaway to one lucky reader! This would make a truly fabulous Mother's Day gift! The earrings for the giveaway are varying purple freshwater pearls on gunmetal chain with hand- oxidized sterling silver ear wires. The length of the earrings is approximately 1.25” from the top of the ear wire. 

Here's how to enter! Giveaway ends at 7:00 pm EST, Friday, May 7, 2010. Good luck!

Remember- leave a separate comment for each entry!

Required: Visit and leave a comment about which pair of earrings is your favorite

1 Extra Entry: Become a Facebook Fan of baseline

1 Extra Entry: Tweet this giveaway: Enter to win handmade earrings from baseline and @MadMomMission!

10 Extra Entries: Purchase any item from baseline

1 Extra Entry: Become a follower of this blog or subscribe via RSS 

1 Extra Entry: Become a Facebook Fan of The Mad Mom Blog

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hellmann's Real Food Project

You may remember when I announced the Hellmann's Holiday Helpings site last holiday season. Now my favorite celebrity chef, Bobby Flay, partnered with Becky, I mean, actress/mom Lori Loughlin are unveiling the  Hellmann's® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise Real Food Project on, a comprehensive online resource offering tips and ideas on how to create real meals made with Real Food.
Because videos are great for multi-tasking moms, The Real Food Project features a series of entertaining how-to tutorials, hosted by Bobby Flay, to give us tools and techniques to prepare great-tasting, at-home meals for our families. I know this is a Rachel Ray saying but- Yumm-O! 

Just by visiting, you can access a wide range of recipes, including sandwiches, entrees and side dishes, all designed to please picky palates. There are even chances to win great prizes like a kitchen essentials bundle, Bobby Flay Grill It and Hellmann's® and Best Foods® products by playing the "Wheel of Real" instant win game and entering the Real Food Sweepstakes. Prizes include a $500 grocery gift card (who couldn't use that!?) and a gas grill so you can be grillin' in style just like Bobby Flay!

The Real Food Project is even integrated with Twitter and Facebook so you can join in and be a part of the conversation! So hop on over to and check out the Real Food Project!

"Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Hellmann's® prize package in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place."