Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Have a wonderful spooktacular day!

Halloween Countdown!

So time is just about up! Ghosts and goblins will be knocking at your door in about 24 hours! Are your pumpkins carved? Treats properly displayed in a bowl? And most importantly, are all halloween costumes ready to go?

At our house, I must say we are running behind. Sigh. We were off to a good start, and then...the stomach flu decided to pay a visit. First my daughter, then me and my 4 year old. Nothing like the sickies to throw everything into full stop mode.

But thankfully we are all doing better today. Not great, but definitely better. So tonight we will be doing some catch up. We have a pumpkin waiting to be carved, and my daughter's Halloween costume to be finished. We have Spiderman and Thomas The Train costumes on the ready for my two little guys, and I plan to don my faithful Witches attire.

I always reminisce about Halloween pasts (doesn't everyone?)and get all nostalgic. Especially those "First Halloweens" with the kids. Little tiny Tiggers, Vampires and Witches, not to mention the itsy bitsy fairy princesses and firemen. I love Halloween, and I love the kids faces when they get to put on their costumes and head out to collect their candy.

So bring on the Trick and Treaters...we will be ready at our house...will you? (hear my witches crackle??)

Quick Update On My Daughter's Halloween Costume...Finally!

Well, last week I had posted about girls Halloween costumes and just what is going on with them. My daughter and I were in a standoff as far as her Halloween costume this year because the ones she kept pointing out to me were, let's say, a bit too sexy for my approval. And she is only 11!
So my update. Thankfully we have reached an agreement (just last night, whew...talk about cutting it close!). We are making her a costume that will be mostly what she wants with a bit of mom's input too. She will be..."A Dead Prom Queen". I know...morbid. But she is happy with her decision, finally, and I am more than happy that she will be in an outfit that does not look like it's made for Hollywood!
We have most of the costume together, and will finish up tonight. Hopefully I will get some photos (if she lets me!), and I will share here.
Just wanted to say Thanks for all the wonderful and supportive comments I got when I posted about our dilemma!

Any Dean Martin Fans Out There?

I cannot personally say I was a fan of Dean Martin, but there is definitely something intriguing and awesome about his singing and overall entertainment talent. My hubby loves to listen to Dean Martin's old classics, and if he an catch him on an old television show, he's in heaven. There is a box set collection, Martin at the Sands featuring 48 of Dean Martin's best hits such as That's Amore', 'Volare', 'Return To Me', 'Cha ChaCha d'Amour', 'Young And Foolish', 'Memories Are Made OfThis' and 'Dream A Little Dream Of Me' available that I am eyeing as a Christmas gift for hubby. If you have any old time music fans on your holiday shopping list, you may want to check out this set.

The Hottest toy For Christmas This Year?

Hmmm...my guess is that Mattel is hoping their new "Elmo" doll will be the buzz toy of this year's holiday season. The newest version, "Elmo Live" is supposed to be the most life-like and realistic yet. Elmo can now flap his arms and wiggle around just like the real thing. His head moves back and forth as he speaks. He waves his arms, sits and stands, even crosses his legs all the while telling stories and jokes, singing songs and playing games For the price tag of $60.00 that comes along with the newest Elmo, he should do a lot.

Now I'm not anti-Elmo, really I'm not. I have always loved the red furry goofy guy. As a matter of fact, we have Tickle me Elmo, and the TMX Elmo, not to mention a couple plain old stuffed versions of the big eyed muppet. And while I actually would love to surprise my two year old with this latest Elmo on Christmas morning, at $60.00 I don't think we'll be seeing that red fuzzy guy under our tree this year.

My 4 year old doesn't have time for Elmo this year...he is on to bigger and better things like remote controlled dinosaurs. And my two year old, who still does love Elmo and just yesterday decided he would carry TMX Elmo everywhere with him (luck Elmo--my boy is fickle--today it will be another lucky toy and Elmo will lay discarded somewhere), does not yet get into what is a hot toy to demand to have and what is not.

But I am curious to see how the unveiling of this latest "Elmo" goes. Will it cause distress among parents trying to buy the coveted toy of the season, and will "Elmo Live" be showing up on Ebay auctions soon? Or will the economy this year put a damper on Mattel's hopes? And will "Elmo Live" end up living on toy shelves much longer this year than before?

Are you thinking of buying "Elmo Live" for a Christmas present this year?

Squirrels, Dogs, and Birds

Sitting in our backyard can be quite the cool experience. That is because we have a couple of huge trees in our backyard which seem to intrigue squirrels. Behind the yard is some land that is pretty much wilderness still and that seems to be a draw for birds of all types as well. So relaxing back there while listening to chattering squirrels and chirping birds is pretty awesome. And to watch the faces of our dogs as they get scolded by some nagging squirrels is really funny.
The kids love to watch the different birds that check out our backyard on their way to who knows where. There have been some very unique birds stop by, making me think I should take up birding as a hobby. If only I had time for a hobby. Anyway, the kids have made the makeshift milk carton bird feeders a few times, but the squirrels usually make quick work of them., leaving nothing for the birds. So I'm thinking we really should be more hospitable to our winged friends, and put up a squirrel-proof bird feeder like the one pictured here. Hmmm...maybe the squirrels deserve their own feeder. After all, I wouldn't want them to feel offended.

It's Giveaway Time @ Happy Healthy Families!

This is the first Giveaway at Happy Healthy Families, and I am soo excited! Can you tell? And I am particularly excited at the great gift you can win in this Giveaway!

This Giveaway is being sponsored by Gale Langley of Scribbleprints. Gale is a stay at home mom to three little boys, who happily give their mom lots of inspiration for some of her humorous T-shirt designs. Gale is a wonderful artist as well as mommy, and is the owner of several online stores, Scribbleprints, Gales Gifts, And Gales Giggles that feature her artwork. How she finds the time to do all this simply amazes me.

When I checked out Scribbleprints I found some truly funny stuff like this t-shirt which would be perfect for a new mommy or daddy Photobucket
And if you have kids, you know this is just so true --Photobucket.Another one of my favorites from Gale's designs is this maternity T-Shirt--Photobucket.

To win one of Gale's fabulous T-Shirts, all you need to do is visit Gale's store, Scribbleprints, pick your favorite design, and come back here and leave a message letting me know your favorite!! The winner will be randomly chosen November 2nd.

Gale has a coupon code for my happy healthy families readers..isn't that awesome? Youcan get 10% off with coupon code HAPPY until Nov 7, 2008. (note--It's not applicable to custom gifts).

And be sure to visit Bloggy Giveaways to check out the giveaway carnival -- there's a whole slew of giveaways going on throughout the blogosphere this week. Don't miss it!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Happy Healthy Families Is Having a Giveaway!

Yea!! Happy Healthy Families is going to have Giveaway! I am so excited. I'll be posting details very shortly---it's going to be a good one, so check back soon!

What Is Going On With Halloween Costumes For Girls?

So here we are with just a week until Halloween, and guess what? My "11 year old going on 17" year old daughter has not gotten her Halloween Costume yet. Why, you ask? Because every darn thing she has picked out online I, the crumedgeony-ish mother,(yes, I just made up that word, and I do believe it is a much more pleasant word than my daughter would use to describe me!) have vetoed immediately.

The Halloween ideas themselves have been fine, such as " The Little Red Riding Hood" she thought of. But when I went to my daughter's room the other night to check the costume out on her computer, I sadly had to inform my very excited daughter that she would not be wearing that outfit come Halloween night ( and no other night except maybe her Honeymoon night some day in the very distant future!) Does that pretty much give you an idea of just what the costume looked like?

So what is it with these Halloween Costumes for tween girls? And how are moms supposed to say OK to their little girls wearing these vampy renditions of Pirate Girls and Cheerleaders? I wonder if the designers of these costumes have daughters, or if they just are so desperately trying to make a profit they decide to lure young girls with these sexy costumes?

My daughter and I have gone toe to toe all week. I am way out of the "cool zone" and am dangerously near the "ancient and knows nothing at all" zone in my lovely daughter's eyes about now. But I am standing my ground. I will not waver. I may lose ground as she gets older, but dang it, this year I am still in full control (I think), and my little girl will not prance about on Halloween dressed like she is going trick or treating on Hollywood Blvd.!

I think what bothers me most of all about this whole Halloween costume debacle though, is the way my daughter looks at me when I tell her no way can she wear something like she has picked out. Her eyes are wide and her face looks like I just said the Jonas Brothers have just quit singing for good and are becoming monks. She cannot believe that I find something wrong with a costume that barely has a skirt, has a shirt with shoulders totally bared, and fishnet stockings to finish off the look. Mind you, this is not a Halloween Costume my daughter found online at Fredricks of Hollywood. Oh no. This is from a "kids Halloween site" and this is from the section for girls. Yea, um, ok. It comes in a size 8? Great!

So the clock is ticking, and Halloween night is nearing. How will this stand-off between my daughter and me end? Hopefully with a great compromise and a fun-filled night. Sigh. I so miss the days of Disney Princesses and cute Witches.

I Love a Good Contest!

I love contests...especially fun ones where I really don't have to do anything to win except be lucky! 123Rf is having one such contest going on right now. If you blog, you probably browse stock photo services a lot, like me, and are familiar with 123rf. But if you have not checked out 123rf before, I can tell you that they offer a great selection of photos, both free and premium. After I am done with my writing, I love to go browsing for just the perfect stock photo to go with my post. I probably spend far too much time checking out all the great pictures available, but it just gets so addicting.
But with 123rf Search and Win , I have a feeling I'll be spending even more time there. All you do is search the stock photos as you would normally do, and if you are lucky, a special thumbnail will appear displaying a winning prize. You simply click on the thumbnail to follow the directions to claim your prize. Pretty easy. I want to win a Wacom Bamboo ...this is such an awesome tool! Cte450s_md-1You can read all about it at the 123rf website if you haven't heard about it yet. But I will also be happy if I could win twenty credits for the site..which is also a prize being given away daily. So if you don't find me here posting, LOL, I will probably be over at 123rf playing search and win!


A Game of Tag

I have been tagged. Yep, Carrie from Time Keeps on Flying has tagged me. I am now supposed to share 8 things about me that have never before been told (well,at least not on this blog, hehe). What shall I share....hmmm...well, while I think about this, let me first share the rules of this fun game:

1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. A the end of your blogpost, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.

Ok..now for my 8 things--

1. I am a die hard Pepsi/Coke addict. Just can't give up those sodas,ah well.
2. I have 6 dogs (yes,we love dogs in this house)
3. I am the youngest of six children
4. I love Agatha Christie books (LOVE!)
5. I am a reality-show junkie (watch them all)
6. I am vegetarian...so is hubby.
7. I cannot stand the taste of butter or mayonnaise (weird, uh?)
8. I would love to live in Cambria (maybe some day...)

Now, for my bloggy friends I will pass this Tag Game Torch on to...

1. The Mom Buzz
2. Babyluvin!
3. It's Just My Thoughts
4. Raising a Girl
5. Mommy's Little Corner
6. The Cajun Blogger
7. Ms. Frugal McDougal
8. World of Homemaking

Goodnight Goon!

While doing my blog reads this morning, I found this book, thanks to the wonderful Jen from Mommy Mayhem!! I am so excited...I am going to go get this today for my kids. Unfortunately I have not been out and about so much lately, and have not been on top of the latest Halloween books out there. So I had no idea about "Goodnight Goon". Since "Goodnight Moon" is like indispensable in our house, there is little doubt my two little guys will love this Halloween themed version! Doesn't the cover just make you want to read it to your kids (or yourself, hehe) right away.
So big thanks to you Jen, I am soooo excited!! And btw, you should check out Jen's great recipe for Halloween Cupcake Cakes...so easy and soo cute too!

Do Moms Really Need That Extra Hour?

October may bring Halloween and falling leaves, but that's not all it brings. This is the month when we set back our clocks one hour, thus getting an extra hour of "Quality Time" with our kids. Now one would think that having an extra hour of time would be a good thing, but for stay at home moms with little ones, this may not necessarily be the case.

The change in time is something that a toddler doesn't get, so how can they not wake up at their regular time..say 6:00am...and understand that it is really only 5:00am? Or understand why mommy is groaning and covering her head with her pillow. Just come by my house at 5:00am one of these mornings and see how excited I am to have that extra hour!

With the sun up earlier every morning, just like you and your kids, you may mourn that few minutes of alone time you used to have with just you, the silence, and your coffee cup. But we can smile bravely and try embracing this extra quality time with our kids, along with those flying spoonfuls of oatmeal.

And what mom wouldn't just love an extra hour of The Wiggles? Oh yeah, now that makes me smile.

But that extra hour can help moms practice their negotiating skills. A cookie for a 5 minute truce between big brother and little brother? Not a bad deal. But just think how we can polish up our bribery techniques with that extra time.

Instead of the kids practicing their future musical skills with the pots and pans while you get the bathroom all to yourself--for 3 minutes, try throwing in a purse to go through and a book or two to tear pages out of and get 5-7minutes? That deal will be sounding good come 3:00pm.

We can always use that extra hour to ponder the meaning of life. And perhaps the meaning of Barney.

And when we glance hopefully at the clock, praying to see the numbers 7:30 just to see that though darkness is creeping in, it is really only 4:30, remember that the cocktail hour cannot tell time either. Just like your toddlers.

And in those moments when the kids are finally drifting off to sleep, all tuckered out from their extra hour of play, remind yourself that Spring will be here again some day, taking pity on moms everywhere by confiscating that extra hour Fall so graciously bestowed on us.

Pampering Feet And Fighting Cancer

I love Artemis products for many reasons. I love the fact that this company was started by two women with a vision--gotta love that! I also appreciate the fact that Artemis uses natural skin care products for revitalize and nurturing the body and soul. It's like everything the company creates is designed to make women feel better and to help busy women find the time to pamper themselves.

The latest thing I want from the Artemis collection is their too cool Heel Smoother. My feet are most definitely not a priority in my day, LOL. The poor things take a lot of abuse and get little in return. But I think the Heel Smoother will be just the thing my feet need. It is small, easy to use, runs on batteries, and will get my feet soft and smooth in minutes. Plus, Artemis includes their shea butter based moisturizer with aromatherapy essential oils of tea tree, bergamot and lemon to protect the newly-revealed skin. Hmmm...pampering at it's best!

But I think the ultimate reason I love Artemis is the fact that their concern for women goes beyond developing the best products for us. They donate 2% of their profits to alternative treatments and screenings for women's cancers. Now that is truly a sign of a company that cares about women.You can get a 15% discount off the purchase price of any beauty tools right now too. Just use the Promotion Code AWPPP08 at checkout.

Hottest Toys Giveaway at Parenting.com!

This is so awesome! Parenting.com is having a toy sweepstakes...but not for just one toy. Nope, the winner will be getting 25--yes, 25, toys!! Their team of mommy testers has selected their choices for the hottest 25 toys of the season, and one lucky winner will be receiving all 25 toys. Now that would be a nice way to get some Christmas shopping done, don't you think?
Now don't think that this is a bunch of rattles and stacking cubes.... this is one list of 25 toys that has something for everyone. I love the Pictionary Man...and so would my daughter and her friends, I'm sure. There is an electronic UNO game that is pretty cool too. I think my personal favorite on the list is the 50's Diner. Too cute.
Take a look at the list of hottest toys of the season, and the complete rules for the giveaway. The winner will be randomly selected November 17th, so hurry over and enter the toy giveaway today!

A Baby Shower Gift That Has Special Meaning

I remember almost every detail of my last pregnancy, down to my prenatal visits with my OB. As I watch my now two year old playing these days, I get nostalgic remembering the days where I would sit in the waiting room at my obstetrician's office, eagerly awaiting my turn. There is nothing, in my book, that compares to hearing the heartbeat at those visits, and getting to see the baby on an ultrasound.
I remember reading the pamphlets that were in my doctor's office about cord blood banking, and talking to my hubby about it. I had previously read and heard about cord blood banking with my other pregnancies as well, but did not give it as much thought at those times. But over the years the news about the potential life-saving benefits of stem cells collected from cord blood has been amazing. These stem cells can treat 70 diseases, including leukemia, anemia, lymphoma, diabetes and cerebral palsy. That is truly remarkable. So with my last pregnancy, we did give this idea some very serious thought. And though ultimately we did not choose to do it, I still have misgivings today about our decision. But unfortunately, finances played a big role in our final decision.
International now offers a wonderful option for those looking for a special gift for parents-to-be... a gift certificate for cord blood banking. I would have so loved getting one when I was pregnant. This is really a gift that could one day be life-saving. It is worth taking a look at the current offers Cyro-Cell has, and read more about the life-saving potentials that cord stem cells may offer.

I Love Your Blog Award

Aw..my blog got an award!! Melissa from Your Fun Family has given me (and my blog!) this super cool award. Thank-you Melissa. Now there are rules for passing on this award--

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the persons you've nominated.

So now comes the fun part...passing on this award to some fabulous bloggers!
So here are my choices...all wonderful bloggers with blogs I read daily--

The Jolly Kitchen
Mommy Cracked
Heart of Rachel
Tara's View of The World
The Geek's Girl
Anything I Think About
Mama Belly Blog

Should You Use That Artificial Christmas Tree This Christmas?

Yes, I know we have not even gotten past Halloween yet, but Christmas is on your mind anyway, am I right? If you are one of the lucky ones that can stay focused on one holiday at a time, I am jealous but may I remind you, gently, that you will be thinking of tinsel and gifts soon?

So in the spirit of everything Christmas, have you thought about the Christmas Tree you will put up this year? My parents always had a real tree for us kids, and my hubbs and I always have gotten a real Christmas Tree every year too. My daughter would never have it any other way. But I have thought many times of getting an artificial tree for reasons like less mess, instant set-up ( some trees even come with lights already attached?!), no drying out and loose needles falling about, and we could put it up earlier and leave it up longer, if we wanted to. But like I said, my daughter would never ever let an artificial tree enter our house...so we stayed with the real thing each year so far.

But now with all the latest news about the health hazards associated with the plastic PVC, which has been called the most toxic plastic, I am so happy my daughter kept us on the real Christmas Tree program. So this year before you decide on what kind of Christmas Tree you'll put up, remember that older artificial Christmas Trees are most likely made with PVC plastic.

At Healthychild.org, an article discusses the potential dangers associated with PVC and artificial Christmas Trees. PVC contains significant amounts of lead as a stabilizer. Foundation E.A.R.T.H. has discovered that, as plastic artificial Christmas trees trees age, they release lead dust, which can collect on tree branches and even on the floor beneath the tree. Most of the plastic trees come from China and may exceed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommendations for lead levels in consumer products. We all know how toxic Lead is, and that it has the potential of producing long-term behavioral and brain damage, even at low doses.

If you do use an artificial tree, don't let your children touch or handle a plastic tree or crawl underneath it. Don't keep presents underneath it either, as they will collect any lead dust that falls. And think about buying a fresh tree this year—it's a renewable resource that can be recycled!

More tips on keeping children lead-free can be found at Healthychild.org.

Cool Tool For Flight Travel

When it comes to traveling by planes, I am the first to admit I am a chicken. So much so that I pretty much avoid flying at all costs. But if I did travel by plane, I would take advantage of this cool new tool that Skyscanner.net offers.

It is a a Flash travel map that you can embed on your own website to display Skyscanner flight route information. And it is free to download from www.Skyscanner.net. They also offer a widget version that can be added to iGoogle Netvibes, and your desktop. If my hubby had his own blog or website, I know he'd have this Cheap Flights Map Widget on there just because he loves everything that as to do with airplanes and flying.

If you have family or friends that travel by plane frequently, whether for business or pleasure, I would suggest checking out Skyscanner. It is the most powerful and flexible flight search engine in Europe, which provides instant online price comparisons on over 300,000 flights and over 600 airlines. With Skyscanner, users can browse without having to enter specific dates, departures or even destinations. So you can get information quickly without having to put in all your information. Saves time and money--always a good thing in my book.

Tales From The Potty Chair, Part Two

About a week ago I posted that I was thinking of starting potty training with my two year old. I decided that I would sign up for About.com's 7 Days of Potty Training E-Course. Not quite sure why I did this, since I have gone down the potty training path a couple of times before. I guess I just needed some extra motivation this time around. Could it be I will miss those cute little diapers with Diego, Dinosaurs, and Lightning McQueen on them? Knowing me, the answer is probably yes.

But I digress. Back to the Potty Training E-Course. Today I received in my email a link to a little quiz to determine if your child is ready for potty training. Um...yea he is, but mom....maybe not so much. Sigh. But I headed over and took the quiz. Guess what? He may not be quite as ready as I thought. LOL. I know, I know--I am stalling on this potty training stuff. So I fudged a couple of answers on the quiz... so what?? I did answer some honestly ...he really doesn't make it through a nap and stay dry--that is the truth!

So where does leave us? I am going to offer the suggestion to my cutie pie that he may want to use the potty instead of the diaper, but I am not going to push it. I am going to go slow and not pressure him or me. We have plenty of time. And I have a lot of Diego diapers waiting to be used up anyway.

Stay tuned for more tales from the potty chair....coming soon!

Life is Best When Shared With Someone You Love

Sometimes I have moments of clarity and realize just how lucky I am to be married to my hubby. Sadly, I do not often enough have these moments. I think way down the knowledge is always there yet the day to day trials and tribulations we all go through tends to push those feelings of gratitude and being blessed aside. It's like second nature almost to find fault or blame for some minor (in the grand scheme of things) altercation with my hubby. The silliest of things like who should be changing a diaper and who is on homework duty will cause us to be short with each other and feel so put upon.
And then there are the days where work, life and kids have us running to keep up that we kind of pass by each other as we make our way through another day with barely time to speak to each other.
But then come those special moments of clarity out of the blue--when I am least expecting it. I will find my tired hubby holding my little boy n his lap, and telling him a story. And I will stop and catch my breath as I try to memorize every detail of that moment. It's not like I have never seen this picture before...but it is just that moment where it will hit me how so very lucky I am.
Finding your true love is the most wonderful thing. And it is something that I know I need to treasure and nurture and be extremely thankful for. And for those that have not yet found their true love, it is something that I believe they should not give up on. Because there really is nothing that can compare to having that true friend and love that you can share anything and everything with, even dirty diapers and fights. To find true love is worth taking chances, I feel, that you might not have considered before. Trying a service like True.com is a way to open up the possibilities of meeting that perfect one. I used to think dating services were a little risky to join, but with criminal background checks and single certification, like True.com does with all members, it really seems like a safe approach to maybe finding true love. And with free sign up, you can basically search for free.
So why not? I would try it for sure if I were single and alone. Life is best shared with one you love. Even if some days life is so crazy all you get to share is a smile, and maybe a dirty diaper or two!

Spooky Meringue Bones Treats For Halloween

Halloween is in full swing at our house now. This weekend we plan to go to our favorite Pumpkin Patch and do some serious pumpkin picking. We have decorated our house with duly appointed skeletons, bats, ghosts and cobwebs. So in the spirit of Halloween, here is a treat that is pretty easy to make and is a lot of fun to eat!

You'll need-
3 cold large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
Ground chocolate wafer cookies

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. On high speed, gradually add sugar, a Tbsp at a time, and extract; beat 8 minutes or until stiff glossy peaks form and mixture no longer feels grainy.

Then spoon the meringue mixture into a large plastic baggie (the freezer baggies work well). Next snip the one corner of the bag, and now squeeze out the mixture into shapes of bones (making different sizes and shapes) onto foil lined baking sheets.

Bake 2 hours or until "bones" feel firm. Turn off oven; leave the "bones" in oven 2 hours or overnight until crisp and dry.

Layer a plate with cookie crumbs to look like dirt,and arrange the meringue bones on top.

Robeez Giveaway!

Babytalk.com is sponsoring a Robeez Contest with 10 lucky winners each winning an adorable pair of robeez shoes for their little ones.
I love robeez--these cute cozy shoes seem to snuggle baby toes just right. The Babytalk Robeez contest ends November 1st, so hurry on over and read the complete rules and enter the contest online!

Loving My Blogosphere Friends!

I am a stay at home mom who also tries to do some work from home (tries, mind you!) I figure as my kids get older and are all in school, I will be able to either return to working outside the home (shudder!), or I will have gotten somewhat of a head start on my wannabe work at home business(s)-- and will continue working from home.
But I have to tell you that one of the wonderful perks of working at home is getting to "meet" some awesome people in the blogosphere. I really need to say a big Thank-You for all the support and advice I have gotten from my blogging cohorts. It is like a community that shares and laughs and even cries together. And in the course of developing friendships, I have been fortunate to come across some wonderful blogs. I really do visit these blogs everyday, and if you have a chance, you should take a look at some of these blogs too. You will laugh, ponder, smirk, find great deals, recipes, and so much more on these blogs, I promise you.
To my blogging buddies--smooches!!

All in a Blog

Angies Silly Stuff

Anything I Think About
Baby Luvin

Blog About it

Bloggie Mommie

Busy Bee Village

The Cajun Blogger

Candle At Both Ends

Cat-o-nine Tales

Claudette's Words

A Christian Marriage

Confetti by:Kateedyd

Coodas Corner

Cypress TX Mom

Da Boss And Bryguy

Deal with Chrominc Pain

Different World

Domesticated Diva

Drizzly Blog

Fat Girl Goes Fit

Feelings Just Are

Flipping Adentures

Florida Travel Spots

4 Cats Make Me Crazy!

The Fuzzbutt Files

The Geeks Girl

Godly Woman

Good News

Green 'n' Pink

Have Your Health

Healthy Home Blog

Here On Columbia Avenue

Hillbilly Heart

House of Bargains

House Wife Wom

Huckle Buckle and Other Mom Stuff

A Hunter's Wife

I Don't Commute

I Feel Like A Woman

I Love My 3 Boys

It's Just My Thoughts

Jolly Mom

Kateedyd What?!

Kimmi's Krazy World

Kim's Kountry Kitchen

KKB Mom of 3

Kookie Krumblez

Lipgloss N" Pinups

Luxury Lifestylez

Making My American Dream

Mia's Motivation

Mix World

Mad Mommy

Moma's Crazy World

Moma's Life

Mommie’s Marbles

Mommy Mia's World

Mom Tidings

Mom to Three Sisters

Moon Babyz

Ms Frugal McDougal

My Big Fat Battle

My First Steps With Jesus


My So Called Blog

My Name is Not “Mom”

My Song of Joy

My Wahm Life

My Weekly Beef

Notes From a Wannabe WAHM

Not Just In Your Head

101 Ways to Save


Paradise Fiber Studio

Photos for the Fun of it

Postcard from Somewhere

Pure Jade Home

Raising a Girl

Remotely Mommy

Saving with Style

Saving With Tracy

Savvy Business Moms

Secola‘s Space

Secret Thoughts and More

Shrinking Pamelalala


Something Witty to Say

Success Factors

Surgical Nurse Musings

Talk Time with Kim

That‘s What I am Talking About

The Geek's Girl

The Jolly Kitchen

Thrifty Momma Ramblings

Thrifty Thoughts

Time Keeps on Flying
Vibrant Healthy U

Wahm Adventures

WAH and Loving It


The Work From Home Blog

Work from Home Options

World of Homemaking

World of Mom

BPA's Worries and Sippy Cups

My two year old loves his Winnie The Pooh sippy cups, but mom is not so much enthralled anymore. Not since I've been learning about Bisphenol A and phthalates anyway. So I have been on a mission to find BPA free sippy cups that I can somehow convince my little guy to use and let Pooh retreat to the far corners of my kitchen cabinet. I think I have found Pooh's successor--this sippy cup from Kid Basix that I I saw featured on Celebrity Baby Blog. The cup is non-leaching food-grade stainless steel, with a rubber sleeve to help protect the cup when it is dropped (because you know that cup is gonna hit the floor several times over!). But for me, the very best part is that this is a BPA free sippy cup-- certified free of those chemicals! I know the cap is plastic (who knew one day I would shudder at the word plastic?), but is Polypropylene (#5 plastic), which is the most stable of all the plastics that is Bisphenol A, phthalates and DEHA free.

If only these sippys had Winnie The Pooh on them...it would make the switch go so much more smoothly. Sigh.

A New Career For Me?

While watching TV last night my hubby swore he saw one of his old friends in a commercial. I tried looking to see if I recognized him too, but the scene was over too fast. But it is possible as this friend used to consistently be an extra in movies as well as commercials when he was younger. And so did dear old hubby! Yep, these two guys, in their bachelor days, made quite a nice living from doing extra work. My hubby had the highlight of his "acting" career come from being an extra on the comedy television show,Martin . He played a customer in a restaurant and while as an extra he had no lines, he did get to have direct interaction with the stars of the show. To this day hubby plays the video of that Martin episode to anyone that visits and has never seen it before. He is so proud!
Anyhoo--back to last night....we still don't know for sure if that was our friend, but it sure got the hubby excited and remembering his days of playing an extra. I have often though how fun it would be to get up and head to the studios to play an extra in movies and television shows. Imagine, making $100-$300 a day mingling with Hollywood actors. Now that would be awesome. But with being a mommy to three kids, I think I will have to wait a while to start my "acting" career.
But I know there are companies ready to help me become the "extra of my dreams" when I am ready, like Talent6. Just by calling them at 800-493-9047 I can speak to a portfolio manager and get started on my new career as an Extra in movies and television shows. Just think, not just a mommy and a wife anymore, but a well-known and highly sought after actor (ok, sort of actor, harrumph). You too can join me in this adventure--just check out http://talent6.com and see what they can do for you.

New Warnings About Cold Medicines and Kids

So yesterday brought the recommendation from Drug Companies and pediatricians to not give over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to children under 4 years old. This is a change from last year when the recommendation was not to give over-the-counter cold remedies to children under two years. Major drug makers agreed Tuesday to label over-the-counter cough and cold remedies unsafe for children younger than 4. Leading cough and cold brands include Dimetapp, Pediacare, Robitussin, Triaminic, Little Colds and versions of Tylenol.

Many pediatricians have long been supporting a complete ban on cough and cold medicine for children under six, and have pointed out that there really is no scientific prof that these over-the-counter cold medicines even help. Many studies have shown that these medicines are ineffective in children, and they can potentially cause side effects that could lead to more serious symptoms. A main concern with the cold remedies is incorrect dosing by parents and accidental ingestion by young children who have managed to get into the medicine themselves.

So what to do for our little ones when they have a cold? Pediatricians recommend lots of liquid, rest and TLC. Also humidifiers, vaporizers and saline nose drops are possible was to provide relief for children's cold symptons.

A Karito Kids Doll Giveaway! Hurry!

This is a great Karito Kids Doll Giveaway on The Free Birthday Treats Blog that will be ending October 10th...so hurry and join in the fun! If you have a little girl, chances are you are already familiar with the adorable Karito Kids Dolls. And if not, you will love these dolls once you see them. I am certain this particular Karito Kid, the lovely Zoe, will delight any little girl that finds Zoe under the Christmas Tree.
My two little boys would not show Zoe much love, LOL, and my daughter is not in doll mode anymore, so I will be passing on this giveaway. But if you are interested in getting in on this fun giveaway and maybe winning the lovely Zoe, head on over to The Free Birthday Treats Blog and enter. Remember this Karito Kids Doll Giveaway ends October 10th!

Sunday In The Blogosphere

Sunday is a great day to share some linky love, I think, and I have some great EC friends that I'd love to say Thanks to!

Your Fun Family


My Opinion Counts

Money Saving Pro

Lauri Liaw

The Pond

The house that Koen & Claire (re)built

Thrifty Momma Ramblings

Money Ning

It Is Nap Time

Thanks for being my top droppers in September! **Kisses**

A Little Neighborhood Halloween Fun!

This is especially fun if you are fortunate to live on a street where the neighbors all know each other well and are friendly, and if not, this might do the trick! It's kind of like a take on the "Secret Santa" idea, but with a Halloween twist.

Put together a basket with some fun Halloween treats of your choosing. Then make a card or sign with a ghost on it. Lastly, write a letter saying something to the effect that a friendly Halloween Spirit has brought this treat and to keep the spirits happy, make sure to do the same for another neighbor. Make sure to note that the card/sign with the ghost on it should be placed outside their house where it can be seen so that other Ghostly Spirits will know that a visit was already paid there. Put a ghostly warning that the recipient now has two days in which to secretly deliver a Halloween Treat to another neighbor. And remind them to enclose a sign for the next neighbor to display so subsequent "spirits" will know not to visit.

If enough neighbors participate this can be so much fun. And even if you think your neighbors won't get into the Halloween fun, give it a try anyway...you never know! And if you want to really get the fun going a little quicker, consider starting off with deliveries to 2 or 3 neighbors!

And one last tip-- if you have an elderly neighbor that would have difficulty participating, keep them in the Halloween fun by adding a special note on the Ghostly Letter telling them that they can call on a "goblin" (add your phone number) to help them spread the Halloween fun to another neighbor. Or simply drop off a secret Halloween Treat with a "Happy Halloween" note attached.

Charter Is Having a "Green" Giveaway

If you have not checked out Charter yet, now is a good time for a couple of reasons. The first is that Charter has great prices for cable tv, phone and high speed Internet services. They offer these services separately and in bundles, which will save you even more.
And right now Charter is having a "Green" Giveaway for a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. This car can get up to 45 mph...pretty fantastic. Some other features of the Honda Civic Hybrid are a 160 watt sound system, fabric interior, cruise control and USB Audio Interface /MP3 Auxiliary Input Jack. But the gas mileage is what grabbed my attention--just think of the money savings not to mention how good this is for the environment.
If you want to enter the giveaway, you can do so online, and no purchases are necessary, though you may want to when you check out Charter's prices. Just visit the site and register to enter. Potential winners do need to live in an area that offers Charter services. The contest ends October 31st, and the winner will be chosen in a random drawing on or about Nov. 6th, 2008. Check out the complete sweepstakes rules, and get entered!

Tales From The Potty Chair....Part One

So I have decided that I should start trying to introduce my just about two-year old (*sniff sniff*) to the joys of potty training. I just decided this today and as of yet I have not informed my sweet baby boy about my decision. I am counting on this chapter of potty training being a least a little easier than with my other kids because my 4 year old is fast becoming a hero in his little brother's eyes. And don't little boys want to follow in their hero's footsteps? Even the footsteps that lead to the bathroom?

We are without the most necessary item right now however--a potty chair. The one we used with my 4 year old, I am sad to say, did not survive potty training. So my first task is to buy a new "throne" for my little cutie-pie. I am loving this potty training chair from Levels of Discovery, aptly named His Majesty's Throne ( they have one for the princesses too of course). Is that cute or what? I pretty sure my 4 year old will fight for the right to sit on that throne as well. Can't say I would blame him. I have stayed away from those potty training seat thingys that attach to toilets, as money-saving as they might be. This is because of scary tales I have heard about those things and the sleepy parents who stumble to their toilets in the middle of the night only to be painfully brought into full consciousness as they make contact with the potty training seat that was left forlorn and forgotten about and still attached to the toilet seat. Not such a pretty picture if you have seen some of those potty seat attachments. Though they are meant to look and be kid-friendly, Winnie The Pooh loses some of his appeal when a groggy grown-up hazardously sits down on the cold hard plastic that has sharp curves and pointy cup shaped areas. Hearing these horror stories has etched in my mind the mantra that what fits for a toddler's cute behind so does not fit for a grown-ups!

The second necessary item I will be stocking up on for our potty training adventure will be M&M's. Lots of them. Because mom needs a reward too after all.

So stay tuned for more Tales From The Potty Chair... they will be coming as our adventure begins.

Reading The Fine Print

Some days I feel my age so much more than others, sigh. And when I catch myself holding a newspaper or book farther away from my eyes in order to read it, I feel oh so old. My poor eyes are not going to improve their vision on their own, this I know, but yet I keep putting off getting glasses.
Someone please tell me why I am so reluctant to do so. I mean, glasses in and of themselves do not make you old, right? My hubby wears glasses and so do most of my siblings. So why am I being such a silly wimpy crybaby about my worsening eyesight? And I am sure that once I got glassses I will wonder why I didn't do it sooner. Besides, all the squinting I try to pretend I'm not doing is sure to be doing wonders for my wrinkles!
Well, I am taking some baby steps today, I am happy to say. I have been checking out eyeglasses online from the safety of my laptop (I am working my way up to getting an actual eye exam, really I am)and am trying to decide which styles would make me look fabulous and all that. Yes..I want to look F A B U L O U S in my new eyeglasses, thank-you.
So to that end, I have focused my online searching to sites that I have heard others recommend, such as the host from a radio talk show I sometimes listen to who recommends Zenni Optical. I admit I am impressed with their many styles, which I am sure will make me look fab as we previously discussed, and the low pricing is a sweet perk as well.
So, tell me now...are these frames perfect for someone who is reluctantly accepting that she will need glasses but has heels firmly planted in the notion that said glasses will make her look F A B U L O U S ? Be honest now as you tell me how fab and ALL That I will look in these frames!

Cool Pumpkin Stencil Maker

cool pumpkin stencil maker

My kids and I have started eyeing the pumpkins that are arriving at our local grocery store. I have been trying to stay patient and not buy any pumpkins just yet...but I think I'll be giving in on our next shopping trip.

And we will also be dong one of my favorite activities for Halloween soon too...visiting a nearby pumpkin patch farm. A family can never have too many pumpkins come Halloween time, right? We'll be carving some of our Halloween pumpkins, and doing other pumpkin decorating techniques like using stickers, markers, yarn and what-not on other pumpkins.

Better Homes and Gardens has an awesome Pumpkin Carving Stencil Maker that will help make carving pumpkins easier this year too! Design or choose a stencil and then print it out and use it to create a pumpkin like no other. Way cool for those lacking in artistry/carving skills, like yours truly.

Have I mentioned that I love Halloween??

It's a Spooktacular Jewelry Giveaway and Sale

The talented mommy blogger from It's Just My Thoughts is having a great sale on her handmade jewelry. I would so love to have that kind of talent. There are some beautiful items that would make the coolest of Christmas presents. Plus you can win a very pretty bracelet in a contest that is being held now until Halloween. The winner of this special Halloween treat will be randomly picked on Halloween--so hurry on over and get entered!

My Two Year Old Race Car Driver

Oh how I love my cuddly little almost (counting down the days now!)two year old! He is so into car it's hilarious. He will watch out the window for cars (motorcycles too) going by, and jumps up and down when a loud car or a "going too fast car for mom's approval" car goes by. He can play so happily with his little toy cars, just racing them along the floor while doing his best two year old imitation of a super charged car (think audi turbo)with sounds coming out of his throat that sound surprisingly realistic!
I may have to go get my weary yet oh so loyal car supercharged just to see the amazing smile my two year old would give me! Maybe I should go check out turbochargerpros.com and see if they could breathe some new power into my trusty little car!

Could It Be....Mommy Time For Me?

Yea! My hubby is home from work a bit early (for him) and he has fed the kids (definite points there!) and now has them happily watching Monster House with him. I get some alone time! I am making myself a cup of tea and am going to settle down and watch some tv alone in bed. Sometimes I just gotta smile at the hubby!!

Spirit Squads And Happy Daughters

My daughter is on her elementary school spirit squad this year, as I have mentioned before, and she loves watching anything and everything related to cheerleading like the video below. Watching her reminds me so much of when I was in high school and was on the Drill Team (I know--not as glamorous and prestige as cheerleading, but I still had fun!). I remember when I was a freshman and I went to the first high school football game of my high school life. It was so exciting to me hanging out with my friends and smiling at the cute guys, LOL. I thought I was sooooo cool. Then at half time the Drill Team marched out and performed. I was so impressed and decided right then that my goal would be to get on that Drill team. And I did. I even became captain (yes, that is the sound of me tooting my own horn, hehe). I learned a lot about myself by setting that goal and not giving up until I achieved it. I also learned so much about being a leader and about working together with others to achieve something. And of course I learned how amazing friendships can be. So I love watching my daughter these days as she smiles and laughs with her spirit squad. I am anxiously awaiting an upcoming performance they will be doing at school, because proud mom wants to videotape it and upload the video on SportsVids for our family and friends to watch. It is a great site to watch favorite sports videos that family members upload of their kids, and online sports videos that others have uploaded of professional sporting events. You may want to check it out if you have some sports related videos of your kids to share with family and friends.


The Perfect Mom?

I am so sad right now. I watched Oprah today as I worked on my laptop, and it was an episode about a mom who left her little girl in the car All Day while the mom was at work. So sad.

The mom, a school principal, was herself on Oprah talking about that horrible day. The mom was supposed to drop her little girl off at the babysitter on her way to work. Apparently the dad usually did the dropping off of their two daughters in the morning, and as part of their daily routine the mom picked up both her daughters from their daycares on her way home from work. That morning the routine was interrupted because the dad had a dentist appointment. So the mom had to drop off the two girls. But the routine she followed every morning was too ingrained in her mind--the little two year was asleep in her car seat, and as mom got on he road towards her job as a school principal, she kept going. Mom did not drop off her daughter. She forgot the baby was even in the car. The little two year old died from heatstroke and her mom never remembered her daughter was in the car in the school parking lot. It was not until that afternoon when a teacher walking past the car saw the baby inside, and ran to tell the mom that her daughter was in the car.

As horrible as this is, I feel for this mom. I know I have gone into auto pilot so many times. We get into such a rush...we need to get so many things done....how many times have I jumped ahead in my thoughts to the next task I have on my list that I forget what it is I am supposed to be doing at the moment?

This mom will live with the horrendous guilt all her life. The "what ifs, the how could I's" will never go away.

This was a sad reminder to me that I have to reprioritize my days. I have to slow down, learn to say no, learn to not worry if I don't do everything I wanted to get done in my day. Moms are not super-human. Accidents can and will happen if we try and be perfect, if we steam roll our way through our days trying to be the perfect mom and the perfect wife and perfect in our jobs.

Slow down. Take a breath. The most important things in our lives are our kids, right? Chances are your little ones already think you are the most perfect mom. Ever. So who really cares what anyone else thinks of us anyway.