Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm Going on Blogging Road Trip and Hosting Some Giveaways - Want to Play?

I'm going on a Blogging Road Trip and if you want to discover some other fabulous bloggers, this is a great way to do it!! If you click on the above graphic, you will get all the details!


I am hosting some giveaways during the Blogging Road Trip and if you are interested, I would love to have you enter to win! This is what I am giving away:


1) Free advertising for a month on my website OR $10 gift certificate to Sassy Pink Boutique! If you are a retail website, the boutique is the best spot for you! If your business is not retail, but you feel you fit somewhere else on my website, that works just as well! It is a FREE members only site - so if you can't "get in", all you need to do is sign up as a member either right here, or on the home page.


2) Free advertising of a 125 x 125 graphic or text link on my Mommy Meryl blog OR $10 credit to Sassy Pink Boutique.


3) Free advertising of a 125 x 125 graphic or text link on my Mommy Meryl Must Haves! blog OR $10 credit to Sassy Pink Boutique.


How to Enter: For each prize, you must sign up as a member or subscriber of that site or blog AND CONFIRM your subscription and then leave me a comment on this post as to WHICH giveaway away you would like to be entered into (you must being a subscriber or member to that specific website or blog , please include your email address so I know how to get in touch with you! For example, if you want to enter giveaway #2, you must subscribe to Mommy Meryl Blog; if you want to enter giveaway #1, you must subscribe to my website). You can enter all 3 giveaways if you would like - you just need to become a member and/or subscribe to however many you wish to enter. If you are already a subscriber or member to the site/blog you wish to enter, just simple leave me a comment stating so! Please just leave me a separate comment for each!


Gain an Additional Entry: If you have a blog, please feel free to blog about this giveaway to earn an additional entry! Please leave me an additional comment so I can enter you a 2nd time!
Contest runs from September 1 through 11:59PM on September 5, 2008. Winners will be chosen via random.org and announced on this website on September 7, 2008. Please remember to leave your email so we can contact you!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Child. . .No Need for Sitter. . .Guess What We Did on our Hot Date???

Stayed Home. Yup. That is right. We stayed home and watched a pay-per-view movie. Now, how is that for excitement?

Its not that we didn't attempt to go out - but we were both wanting to see a movie and there was NOTHING, and I mean NO MOVIE we wanted to see.

And before you begin to think of all the hot bars you and your hubby would go to if you had a date night, don't work your brain anymore because trust me - I hated going to bars when I was single in college and law school and you were supposed to like it. I'm a little more of a nerd - I kinda dig movies, dinner, plays, and hanging out with friends and shmoozing and noshing! :-) An adult game night is always fun too (nooooooooooooooooooooo, not those games! I mean like pictionary, trivial pursuit, Balderdash, etc). And thankfully my hubby is just as happy with the nerdier things in life as well!

Last night we were going out for a quickie, no big deal, inexpensive dinner with Allie and our really close friend, Allie's god-mother. I came up with the bright idea that we could ask our neighbor's 3rd grade daughter to come - that way Allie could have a friend to play with at dinner and the adults could have some adult chit-chat time! When we went to go pick up our neighbor, the girls said they were DYING for a sleepover - so our neighbors invited Allie over and said we should take the opportunity to have a night out.

We immediately accepted their gracious offer and we were almost off their driveway, barely containing ourselves as we made plans of an exciting night of dinner out (a non-Allie friendly restaurant) and a movie, when both girls came running out whining how excited they were for Chinese food and couldn't we still take them to dinner.

While all the adults except I are telling the girls no, they will just at home for dinner, ever the sucker I am for a child, I raise my eyebrows to my hubby and he mumbles something which I immediately interpret as an "of course girls" and I turn to tell the girls that we would love to take them to dinner.

So, the plan was we would take them to dinner and then drop them off afterwards and then Hubby and I would go to a movie.

So, we go to dinner and I make sure I don't eat too much, because I was really salivating over the anticipation of getting my movie popcorn. We drop the girls off and we break out the newspaper and start trying to figure out which movie we were going to go to.

He had no interest in seeing the Traveling Pants movie - he told me that it belongs on a girls night out. We have already seen Mamma Mia and the Luke Wilson movie (can't remember - somebody was here. . .). There was NOTHING ELSE to see! Wow - I remember how before Allie was born we saw movies all the time - sometimes 2 weekends in a row!! I loved loved loved going to the movies and I never remember not being able to find a movie to see! I immediately began to feel bad for all those people who don't have children and can go out anytime they want to see a movie - there is nothing for them to see either and they have so many more available date nights!!

So, we saw Smart People on pay-per-view - a movie I had never heard of with Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker. It was worth the $3.25 that it cost. But I didn't have my movie popcorn - so it was a little unsatisfying.

But, OMIGOSH, I almost forgot to tell you, the most EXCITING benefit of Allie sleeping over a friend's house. I.GOT.TO.SLEEP.TILL.9.AM. And I am sure I could have kept sleeping, except that is when the neighbor's brought Allie home (they had somewhere to be by 10am). But that is okay - I haven't seen anything after 7:30 (but mostly nothing after 7am) in a long, long, long time. ..

Now, I have to say, that was better than any movie without paying for a babysitter that I can think of. . .Yes, you too would be saying that if you only got to sleep late two days out of the year - my birthday and Mother's Day. . .and that is only if my birthday falls on a Saturday or Sunday that I don't teach Hebrew School.

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Sometimes You Have to Think Out of the Box

First, thank you to everyone who commented and sent me amazing emails of what to do - I love to get the support and advice!! Not to mention, I love it even more when someone says, "I get it"!! :-)

So, remember my really close friend who spent the day with me helping me "de-clutter"??? Well, she solved my Brownies/Gymnastics dilemma!!!

Now, after my meeting on Wednesday, when Allie asked me if her school was going to have Brownies, I just said we don't know yet, there will be one more meeting in September. She was fine with that and I thought that was the end of the conversation.

Well, on Thursday after school, all she could talk about was Brownies and how so many of her friends signed up for it and their Moms told them that they saw Allie's name on the list and it was just a huge love fest and everyone was so excited to do Brownies together. I told her that if she wants to do it, she can absolutely do it - and left it at that. I didn't want to have her go through this whole decision process if she didn't have to yet.

So, I'm talking to my girlfriend expressing my frustration and she says I can do both. I say, huh? And then she points it out to me - Allie has gymnastics EVERY Tuesday & Thursday from 6 - 7:30. Brownies - if on Tuesdays - will only be EVERY OTHER Tuesday from 6:30 - 7:30. Brownies is only 9- 10 months out of the year and Gymnastics is 12 months. So, my girlfriend pointed out to me that if Allie misses every other Tuesday that isn't the worst thing in the world - she can do both activities!!!

And the same day she came home talking all about Brownies, that night after gymnastics she was on Cloud 9 because she tackled a new skill that has been working on and they told her that she was the only one in her group that could do a double flip on the bar. And for the next two days, anytime she has been home all she does is Gymnastics. So, do you feel my pain? How could I really have made her choose?

Thanks to my girlfriend who gave me this wonderful way to resolve my dilemma. There is no choosing that needs to be done!! Now, I feel so much better!!

How much longer until I bring you the next crisis?? :-)

Oh - and for those of you who suggested I start my own troop, I seriously debated it for a long time, but I really didn't want to. The reason is simply because with Allie being an only child for now she already gets lots and lots and lots of Mommy time. I volunteer in her class, I am homeroom Mom, I teach at her religious school and I am definitely the mom that hosts lots and lots of playdates and sleepovers! I really thought that Girl Scouts was something Allie could do without Mommy - I will always be there to help when/if the troop leader needs, but I think a little activity without Mommy running it is always a good thing. I think some of the most amazing strides a child makes is when they have the opportunity to be independent and try things when Mommy isn't there and that is a little bit of what I wanted to give Allie through Brownies. Hopefully my readers "get" where I am coming from. . .

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beams and Bars. . .or Brownies?

I think I am a bit melancholy tonight. My hubby doesn't really think I have a reason to be - but perhaps its a chic thing. Or maybe just a Mommy Meryl thing - and that is okay. I am comfortable knowing that I can make too much out of something at times.


I don't know if you were in brownies/girl scouts growing up, but I have really fond memories of it and again, it was one of those things that I immediately thought about the minute I found out I delivered a girl.


Okay - maybe not exactly the minute after I gave birth, given that I had an emergency c-section and in drama of it all, they tore my uterus and couldn't get it to stop bleeding. When they finally were able to close me up, my hubby and I were told there was a good chance in the next 24 hours I could have internal bleeding and they needed to get our consent right then and there to put me under and go ahead and give me a full hysterectomy because that would be the only way to stop the bleeding and save my life. But, that is a whole other story (and thankfully those 24 hours passed uneventfully and I have all my "parts"). . .but I just did want to clarify for those that remembered my delivery drama that no, it wasn't the minute I delivered Allie. But definitely very soon after when I was thinking about all those amazing things Mommies get to do with little girls, I began to get excited about the day Allie would be old enough to be in Brownies.



Well, the day that Allie was old enough to start Brownies/Daisies came last year when we started Kindergarten and I was excited to sign her up for a troop. I was sorely disappointed to learn that at our very large elementary school (over 700 kids) that the world of Brownies/Daisies/Girl Scouts has never been very strong at our school. I grew up with Brownies meeting right after school (I remember even wearing my dorky uniform to school - remember those sashes with all those badges?), but there were no after school troops at Allie's school. And, there was only one option for Allie's age at her school - a troop with only 3 other girls in her grade that met at 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings and the rest of the troop was predominately older girls.



Just getting out of Pre-K and still getting up at 5:3am, Allie was usually asleep by 7:30 and I couldn't even imagine starting an activity as late as 6:30pm for her. And on top of that, I teach Hebrew on Wednesdays from 4:30 - 6 and Allie usually comes and spends that time with her other friends at the temple. It would have been an awfully long day for her and I just decided to pass on it last year with the hopes that something else would pop up the following year.


Well, guess what? The following year is here. . .there are 2 of Allie's good friends that also want to do Brownies - I too love these girls and really like their Moms and the thought of Allie doing Brownies with them was really attractive to me! I had even decided that if Wednesday at 6:30pm was our only choice, I would give it a shot this year. She is a year older and even though I didn't want to add another late night to her schedule (with gymnastics on Tuesday & Thursday from 6 - 7:30pm), but Brownies were important enough to me to give it a go.


So. tonight was a general informational meeting and everything seemed fine until the troop leader said that this year she might change Wednesday nights to Tuesday nights due to her own scheduling conflicts. So, I asked what time, in the hopes that she would tell me it was after school. Well, no such luck - the troop would be meeting from 6:30 - 7:30. My heart sank - she couldn't do it because she has gymnastics.


I immediately told the mom of Allie's friend that unless they come up with another option, it sounds like we will have to pass because Allie has gymnastics and gymnastics is her world.


But with that said, the troop leader did say they are going to have an organizational meeting (apparently this one was informational which is significantly different than organizational - who knew???) in mid-September and they would solidify the meeting time at that time.


When the meeting was over, I got in the car and headed home and I couldn't quite shake this feeling I had. While Allie loves gymnastics, she also really loves these two girls and I don't know what her answer would be if I told her she needs to make a choice between continuing gymnastics or doing Brownies with her friends.


So, it made me sad to think that she might not love gymnastics enough to continue it because she would rather do Brownies with her friends (she can be very much like her mother in that if she knows her good buddies are doing something she doesn't want to be left out of the activity - even if that means not doing something she really wants to do just to be with them). But it also made me sad to think that she might love Gymnastics too much and not want to quit gymnastics and would miss out on this whole amazing Brownies experience.


So, I expressed my feelings/concerns to my hubby and he said that he already thinks I'm pondering and worrying about it more than Allie will. He says once we know all the facts and times, just to ask her and she will simply give me an answer and be happy with it. He said I could be creating a problem that might never exist in that he felt she would be able to make a pretty quick decision and be totally okay with it (unlike her mommy!). He also pointed out to me that nothing is set in stone and she can always change her mind at any time about either.


I told him that maybe we just won't say anything to her. He said that was a fabulous way to create another problem when she hears two of her closest girlfriends talking about all the fun they are having in Brownies together and she looks at me and asks what happened and why isn't she in it because she told me she wanted to be in Brownies with her friends. Which is true. She started talking about wanting to be in Brownies last year when our neighbors were selling girl scout cookies.


So, instead of walking away from this "informational" evening excited about Allie's involvement with Brownies, I am feeling a bit sad that it might all come down to a 6 year old making a choice between gymnastics or brownies. . .a choice I don't think a 6 year old should have to make.


Before you tell me not to worry because maybe a new night will pop up at the organizational meeting, I know that could be a possibility. But I take my ability to stress and ponder about things I don't know the final answer to and have no control over very seriously - I'm really good at it!!


So, I'm curious - tell me, what are your thoughts? Is this a chic feeling I am having - or is this Mommy Meryl moment of being a little more dramatic then necessary?


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Wordless Wednesday




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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It All Started With a Plate of Brownies. . .



Almost 5 years ago we moved into the house we are currently living in. We didn't move far away from our previous house, but we moved into a house that was better suited for a child and two dogs. And in truth, one of the biggest selling points was when the people who we were buying the house from told us there were 8 kids between 18 mos and 4th grade that were living in the cul-de-sac across from our house.




When we first moved in, our neighbors that lived directly across from us showed up one evening (mom, dad and 3 kids in tow) with a plate of brownies. And maybe even more exciting, the low-down on ALL the neighbors. At that time, Allie was only 15 months and our neighbors kids were 3, 4 and 5 (yes, the are all just a year apart from each each other) and they seemed soooooooooooooooooo old (the kids, not the parents - the parents were younger than my hubby & I) and at that time, while I was crazy about the parents I was mildly bummed that their kids were sooooooo much older than Allie - I was hoping to have neighbors that Allie could be friends with.




Fast forward a few years and while the other families in the cul-de-sac have moved away (take my advice - never buy a house because you like the neighbors - they very well might leave!),our neighbors directly across the street have stayed and I couldn't be happier that they are our neighbors.




Not only do Rich & I love them (and are eternally grateful to them for the various handyman, fix-it and medical emergencies they handle for us), but we help each other out with our pets and kids and Allie just adores her "neighbor friends".




Neighbor friends are so fabulous to have. You don't have to make elaborate arrangements for a playdate - the kids (now that they are old enough) just pick up the phone can call each other to see if the other can play. On Saturday, Allie called and their 3rd grader came running over and the girls played and had dinner together. When it was time to go home, we walked their little girl back home and then Allie stayed for dessert and their 5th grade son and his friend walked Allie back to our house. It was easy and simple!



Not only that, I think I get the better end of the bargain. Because their kids are at a minimum 2 years older than Allie, I can actually get housework or website/blog work done when they are playing with Allie. They are old enough to indulge a 6 year old's craziness, but yet young enough to enjoy playing with her and not feel like they are babysitting.



When Allie and her neighbor friend were giggling and having a wonderful time on Saturday, I started thinking back to how it all started. . .you never know what amazing things can happen with a plate of brownies.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

What is the most over-the-top birthday party you have been to?

Allie has been to two birthday parties in the last week and I have some birthday party observations to share with you. And while the only commonality between the two parties was clearly them most important - the kids had a blast and the birthday party girl was ecstatic and felt as though she was the Birthday party princess - the parties could not have been more different.

Allie had an absolute blast at both of them - but one was a lesson in simplicity and budgeting and the other was on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Last week Allie was invited to a close girlfriend's party at Peter Piper Pizza and there were approximately 10 kids. Pizza, drinks, party favors, cake and 5 tokens for each kid was provided. Do you have any clue how fast a 6 year old can blow through 5 tokens? Yes - it took you longer to read this blog post than it took these kids to spend 5 tokens. When Allie and her friends were done with their tokens, they each headed back to their parents to ask them for more. None of us batted an eye as we reached into our wallets to give our children more tokens.

Then the mother of the birthday party girl said they weren't giving their daughter any more tokens - and there were a few other kids without parents there. So the other moms and I decided that it wouldn't be fair to only give our kids tokens, so we told them that was the rules of this party, only 5 tokens. After a few grimaces from the kids, they went off on their merry ways and they played in the play structure and figured out how to creatively play without tokens. They had a blast - didn't ask for more tokens after the first time they asked and somehow managed to entertain themselves without tokens for close to 2 hours.

Today's party was at Build-a-Bear. It was for a little girl that Allie has known since she was 4 mos. old as I met the mom when we started a playgroup together almost 6 years ago. I love the mother - she is one of the kindest and most down-to-earth women I know. She always has a smile and kind word for everyone and she is fortunate to be financially secure.

Allie has been to 6 or 7 parties at Build-a-Bear and as any little girl does, she always loves to make her bear and she sleeps with it for at least 2 weeks! Now, every other party we have been to there has had a price limit of $20 - $25 per child. And at some of the parties, the hosts let the kids choose from one of the $10 - $15 bears and the party favor is an adorable shirt for the bear that says the name of the child or the birthday party person that probably cost the parent no more than a few dollars each. At today's party, each child had $40 to spend. Yes, you read it correctly - $40. Each child thought they were in seventh heaven as they picked out ANY bear they wanted and pretty much any outfit and/or accessory.

Allie's bear was decked out in Hannah Montana (surprise, surprise) with a sound card that played songs from High School Musical (it was a little hard for me to see a Hannah Montana bear that sings HSM songs - but as I kept reminding myself, it wasn't my bear and as long as Allie was happy, I was!) because the Hannah Montana sound card isn't out yet. In addition to her very blingy Hannah Montana outfit, Allie also got a Hannah Montana purse that also was a perfect fit for her bear's pink sparkly cell phone. I think today was the first time I never said no to anything Allie wanted at Build-A-Bear. I mean, what bear should be without a cell phone, right?

Some of the other birthday party guests purchased roller blades for their bears while others decked them out fancier than any princess. There was no little girl (or rather, bear,) that left that party that wanted for anything.

The question that keeps nagging at me is this: are we (meaning parents) to blame for these over-the-top birthday parties? I think we are raising the bar on what a birthday party is supposed to be and our kids are growing up expecting more from their birthday parties. I even had one mom joke with me that her child is being raised Catholic, but if kids are having extraordinary birthday parties at 6, she wouldn't be surprised if her Catholic son wants a Bar Mitzvah with a band and photo booth when he turns 13.

So, let me go back to the Peter Piper Pizza party for a minute - why is it that my mom friends and I immediately felt we needed to provide our kids with more tokens? One of my girlfriends told her husband after the party that it was a lesson for her child to appreciate what she has - which I agreed with her and nodded as she told her husband. But, I find myself sitting here today wondering why was it a lesson about anything?

The kids had lots of fun - at six years old, the beauty of any gathering is that if you are with your friends, you can run around and chase each other and have a blast! If anything it should have been a lesson to us parents - not to the kids.

Do we get caught up in subconsciously showing our love for our children by giving them more things and providing them with more cool experiences? Doesn't this create pressure on us as parents to continually try to surpass each previous year's Birthday party to make sure we are doing enough to make our kids happy? And if we continue along this path, who can we blame but ourselves that kids start developing a sense of entitlement.

So, how will we begin to stop the insanity? Perhaps you are reading this blog and you don't feel that you are caught up in this craziness - good for you, I envy you.

Do we begin to make a no-goodie bag policy? Honestly, I would never get rid of them - now that Allie is older, she is as excited about picking them out and putting them together as the kids are to get them. Now you and I know that often they are filled with nothing more than junk, but these kids act like those plastic whistles and magnifying glasses and other random party favors are as valuable as gold to them.

I have to say, that I am proud of myself in the party favor department. I used to spend months figuring out the perfect personalized party favor and spend days soliciting my good friend Kerie's help in decorating and personalizing them. The irony is, I did that when the kids were 1, 2 and 3 years old - THEY CAN'T EVEN READ YET. So, who was I doing it for? The oohs and ahhs from the other parents - I'm just being honest.

My husband begged me when Allie turned 4 to stop the party favor insanity and give them what they really wanted - the junk. And you know what - I saved myself a ton of time, quite a bit of money and the kids were happier and more impressed. I know each parent silently mumbled to themselves, wondering how long before this set of party favors gets lost or gets pitched. But that is okay - Allie thinks it way cooler than the personalized water bottles, visors, tote bags, and bucket and shovels we have done over the years. Go figure.

Should we tell our guests no presents - or in lieu of presents, please bring a book or toy that we will donate to charity? You are a better person than I if you go that route. I don't believe the presents from their friends cause the insanity as much as the party, presents and party favors that the parents provide. Birthday kids look forward to presents from their friends - that is just a fact of life, there is nothing wrong with that. Birthdays are meant for presents and meant to enjoy and most kids love to pick out presents for the friends - its part of the process! That doesn't mean you can't create a ritual between you and your child that for every new present your child receives, he/she donates an old one or two that he/she no longer uses - it accomplishes the goal of cleaning out and teaching your child about giving.

So, as Allie was picking out her Hannah Montana outfit, Hannah Montana purse and cell phone for her bear, I told her she still had $5 to spend and she can get one more item for her bear (and of course I would have added in if she went over - because she REALLY NEEDED to get one more thing, right?) and while Allie doesn't really know what does and doesn't cost $5, she looked around the store and looked at me and said, "Mommy, my Hannah Bear is perfect. I don't want anything else. Let's save it for next time for another bear."

And please don't think that in any way I am saying the party at Build-a-Bear was bad or wrong - it wasn't. It was a beautiful party that both my daughter and I had lots of fun at. I too am guilty of going overboard at Allie's birthday parties.

With all these recent birthday parties, it just gave me lots of food for thought (okay, yes, I have had my share of birthday cake too!) and it just hit me that if so many of us are going overboard at 6, what are we going to do when they are 10, 11 and 12?

Tell me - how do you do birthday parties? Are you totally low-key or do you do a bit more than you need to/should? What is the most over-the-top birthday party you ever attended?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Do they still have Teen Beat & Tiger Beat Magazine?


I have been coloring my hair for years - not because I had gray hair, but just because I liked to color it. I have had hair color that has seen almost every shade of brown, purple and red with some copper and blond thrown in here and there for good measure. Right now its simply brown - mostly because of 2 reasons: 1) what 6 year old girl wants their mom having shades of purple in their hair (or what husband does, for that matter?) ? and 2) keep up is much less costly and less frequent as well. So, for those reasons we are simply brown.


But guess what? I now have to color because I'm gray!! OMIGOSH, I woke up recently with 2 silver things peeking out on top of my head! Holy crap - when did that happen??? I can't tell you what that did to my mental health - now I color because I HAVE TO BECAUSE I HAVE GRAY HAIR - not because I want to.


Then guess what else has been happening lately - I have to move my arm back and forth a few times to adjust the clarity of my vision when I am reading something. Again, OMIGOSH - not to be dramatic or anything, but I'm getting old age eyesight issues. Yes, once you start to have reading issues I have decided that is no longer simply an "I need new glasses/contacts because I can't see" issue but a "I need new glasses/contacts because I can 't see BECAUSE I'M GETTING OLD" issue. Maybe if I stay out of restaurants and ignore all of those teeny-tiny directions on cosmetics and over-the-counter medications and all of Allie's toys, I can hide the fact that I'm having trouble seeing - I mean I can still enjoy to read books, they make big print right?


Allie's theme in school this year that the use for awards and bribes and general classroom management is warm fuzzies/cold prickles. Now I remember loving warm fuzzies - who doesn't right? So, I was so excited to learn Allie was going to be using them. When Allie realized I knew what they were she said, "Oh, I didn't know warm fuzzies were so old, I thought they were young like me".


Then the other day I was cleaning up Allie's rooms and found an old issue of People Jr. from last year that as all about High School Musical and then another one I bought for her this summer that was all Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus.


And that reminded me of all my crushes - Robby Benson, Parker Stevenson, Shaun Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Leif Garrett, John Stamos (yes, he was a hottie before Full House and ER - remember Blackie on GH??), and all those other yummy guys we pinned up on our walls at home (and I was really lucky - my mom even sent me those magazines when I was at summer camp - all my bunk mates loved when I got those in the mail - we never had enough scotch tape to hang up all those pictures).

And then it made me think, please tell me Tiger Beat & Teen Beat are still around. . .I can't decide if I feel older because they might not be or because if they are, I'll have no idea who is the centerfold. . .

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Make your own Disney tshirts!

Did you know you can design your own Disney tshirts with original names and sayings on them? Check this out - I had no clue!

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Almost Wordless Wednesday - 8/20/08


Since when are nails only supposed to be painted one color?


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Monday, August 18, 2008

My 6 Year Old Got Me In Trouble!

Yes, I know I'm the almost 40 year old parent (I know - those of you who actually have read my profile are saying, "but I thought she said she was thirty-something - but 39 is still in the thirties - right??), but I still got busted, nonetheless.


So let me give you a little background. Somehow between the end of Kindergarten and the beginning of First Grade, Allie's bedtime has changed from 7:30 - 8ish to 9ish - and I use 9ish loosely. There were many nights over the summer that she didn't even see her pillow until 10pm. And even if she did go into bed at 9, she came out of her room no less than 2 - 4 times and rarely fell asleep before 9:30 or 10pm. I know you are saying that summer is different and lots of kids go to bed later. While I agree that summer is a time for later nights and looser routines, Allie still had to get up each morning and be at camp by 9am.


Last year Allie woke up most mornings between 7- 7:30 - so she was getting anywhere between 11 - 12 hours of sleep each night. Now, while she is waking up around the same time, but because she is going to bed later, she is only getting anywhere between 10 - 10.5 hours of sleep each night.


Last week we finished our first week back at school and by all accounts it was a wonderful week. Then on Friday night Allie had a "late over" at one of her friend's house where 7 girls had an evening of swimming, pizza, movies, and fun and parents picked up at 10pm. On Saturday she had a birthday celebration with one of her closest friends where they went to a pottery painting studio and then out to lunch to celebrate her friend's birthday. The celebration was topped off with decadent donuts with sprinkles and a carousel ride. That night we had an event at our synagogue and the next morning we met some friends to go bowling at 9:30am. Allie ended her weekend with a birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza for another one of her good friends.


Think Missy Miss had a lot going on over the last week? Oh, let's not forget the gymnastics twice a week where she doesn't get home until 8pm and we are lucky if she is asleep by 9:30!


Well, what happens when you mix lots of events, the first week of school, not the best amount of sleep and a 6 year old girl? I'll give you one guess. . .yes, you are right. . .those ingredients can make the best meltdown ever. And I'll skip the gory details, but suffice it to say we left Peter Piper Pizza before some of her friends did and she wailed in the car the entire ride home and it took her Daddy a good 30 minutes to calm her down, listen to her tale of woe and discuss with her why we left early.


So, after Allie went to bed on Sunday night, my loving yet practical and notalwaysneedingtomakesocialplans hubby says that he thinks I might not want to over pack her week with playdates so she can have some down time because he thinks she is running a bit on empty and we also have another jam packed weekend coming up. He also was quick to point out that while being tired was not an excuse for her behavior, he felt it was definitely the reason why and that if I want the week to go smoothly he would really suggest that other than gymnastics on Tues. & Thurs. this week, I don't make plans and we just come home and hang out. I don't give much thought to it and mutter "okay" and we both go on to other things more exciting to discuss.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon. Completely disregarding my hubby's advice/thoughts/words-of-wisdom, my girlfriend and I decide to take the kids for ice-cream after school. Thanks to Christine at From Dates to Diapers and Beyond, we went to Baskin-Robbins where we saved some money! What a great giveaway - thanks again Christine!

The kids had a great time and I loved hanging out with my friend too. When we said our goodbyes (over 2 hours later! I mean, who spends 2 hours at a Baskin Robbins???), Allie didn't even put up a fight when I said we had to grab a few things at the grocery (she typically lets out a guttural grown when I mention grocery shopping). On the car ride home when I suggest that as soon as we walk in, she should do her homework and after I unpack the groceries she should take her shower so it is out of the way, she immediately says that is a great idea. At this point, I have no reason to think that our evening is going to be anything but enjoyable and stress free.

As we walk in the door, we start Allie on her homework which she does happily. While I finish unpacking groceries I tell her to go play and then we will take a shower. About 15 minutes later I find Allie and tell her that I finished putting the groceries away and we should start her shower. She looked at me as though I spoke some foreign language and didn't really say anything or make a move to head to the bathroom. I repeat myself. Allie then tells me that when we talked about a shower she didn't realize that I meant I was going to unpack the groceries so quickly and that she thought I would unpack the groceries later at night and that was when she wanted to take a shower.

Uh oh. I saw where we were headed. I was now negotiating with a 6 year old about when to take a shower - I'm not sure when she exactly started to win. Was it when it turned to a negotiation, or when I continued to negotiate and then finally after 20 minutes of getting nowhere, I just told her "fine - take your shower whenever" - that was the best my undergrad and law school education could come up with? "Fine" and "Whenever"?? Oy!

Or maybe she started winning, when after I muttered by "fine" and "whenever" I got more aggravated about why does showering, brushing hair/teeth and washing hands and face with her ALWAYS cause me soooo much grief when she is tired? So I turned to her to offer some more motherly and helpful and motivating words - "I said fine - just don't take a shower and be smelly and then kids won't want to be near you because you will be dirty". Did that push her buttons to get her to jump and take a shower - no, it pushed her tear button though. Oy. I felt 2" tall. That was so unhelpful and so unnecessary of me and soooooooooooooooooo unmotherly. So where are we now? No shower and I feel like crap.

So, I said I was sorry and I told her I shouldn't have said that but I was frustrated. She said that it was "okay" but she was sad and she needed to talk to Daddy. Uh Oh - I thought. How soon before he tells me "I told you so" about the playdate???

So, 15 minutes and 16 seconds later she comes out to me and tells me that she is really sorry about not taking a shower when I asked and she wants to take a shower now but before the shower, "I just need to tell you something. You hurt my heart when you said no one would want to be near me. Daddy said you didn't mean it but that wasn't a nice joke then". Ok - knife in heart, but yet spoken from her heart and very effective. I pulled her close and said I was so sorry and said I loved her more than anything and that I don't want to hurt her heart.

Speaking from her heart and effective. Hopefully I can remember that her tactic worked better than mine did the next time I get frustrated that I can't get her to take a simple shower. . .

Maybe next time I'll try taking my hubby's suggestions into account. . .he said while he has empathy for me that she put up a fight to take a shower, he also said just because I don't know how to have downtime she needs it and he would be willing to bet had we just come home and hung out there would have been no shower negotiations. He also thought it was kinda funny that Allie ratted me out because he is confident that had she not called him and told him her whole story, I probably would have just told Hubby that she was tired and arguing about taking a shower again and I would have left the playdate out of the story . .just to avoid him telling me "I told you so!".


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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Have you discovered Facebook yet?

I am concerned that my August newsletter for my website won't come out timely this month. I could tell you its because I have been crazy busy getting ready for Allie's birthday party at the beginning of the month, or getting ready for the start of school last week or working on my blogs and websites and still trying to figure out what in the world Twitter is all about. Or maybe I can tell you its because I am co Vice-President of Social at Allie's school and the PTA has just sucked the lift out of me at the beginning of school. But none of those reasons alone would really be true - instead I have one thing and one thing alone to blame it on. . .FACEBOOK.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. It has come the biggest time suck of my day lately. But yet, I keep going back for more.

In case you are one of the rare people who don't really know what Facebook is (I can say that because I was one of those people just 2 months ago!), it is a useful on-line vehicle for millions of people worldwide seeking to network with like-minded individuals and to see if they can "find" former classmates, neighbors, friends and even old flames.

In the last month, I have reconnected with at least 50 friends from grade school, high school, my teen youth group, my childhood camp that I went to for 16 summers, long-lost friends from college and buddies from law school. Some of these friends I have not seen in over 20 years when I was last their camp counselor and they were going into 10th grade and I was a big college kid. Now most of us are married with kids - some have even been divorced and some have remarried.

I love reading about every one's life and what they are up to. I love looking at all my "friends'" pictures. Its absolutely amazing that other than some hairstyle changes and perhaps a wrinkle or two, I could recognize most of them in a dark alley. Even more so, I love the connection with my past. I love the fact that some of my camp friends have little girls Allie's age and we are all hoping to send our kids to camp together in the next few years.

I love and treasure my friends that I have now more than life, but as one pointed out when I sent her a picture of me as a camp counselor from 1988, she had no clue beyond the basics about my life before we met in 2000. Now, this same friend told me she had no interest in Facebook and reconnecting with people that she wouldn't do more than trade an email with every now and as she barely has time to keep up with her local friends. I respect where she is coming from , but I don't get it.

Reconnecting with my past has been good for my soul. It has reminded me of amazing summers I spent at my most favorite place on earth (summer camp in Malibu, CA), a fabulous 4 years in college and a challenging but very likeable law school experience. These people are people who knew me before I hit puberty, were with me when I had my first boyfriend and my first broken heart, the people I experienced "stuff" with, pulled all-nighters with, drove cross country with, spent Spring Break with, went through Greek Rush with and attended many formal and semi-formals with. First crushes, first boyfriends as a little girl and then first boyfriends as a college girl.

After you reconnect, you don't have to work hard keep the connection alive. You can write a simple message on some one's "wall" that everyone will see, you can send a quick/long private message, you can update your status to let everyone who reads your profile know what you are doing RIGHT NOW, or you can challenge your friend(s) to a word game and perhaps see whose college loan was better spent!

What I have realized is that as the years go by, everyone moves and/or moves on, our immediate circle of friends grows and evolves, circumstances change - all making it more difficult to maintain contact with the wonderful people with whom we've shared fond memories. Just because the logistics of your friendships change doesn't mean you have to lose touch completely. Modern technology such as Facebook is making it easier than ever to reconnect with old friends.

My close friends that I see and/or speak to everyday (or most days) are unquestionably my "family" that I have chosen to surround myself with and as I am now I mommy and wife, I have connections with them that I could never duplicate and I would miss dreadfully if I no longer had them. But it has been really nice lately to know that there is nothing quite like reconnecting with someone from your past - its like a dormant warm fuzzie that has come to life.

Am I going to start emailing and calling everyone that I have reconnected with? I'm pretty sure that won't happen with most. Will we continue to stay in contact and update each other - hopefully yes, and thankfully, Facebook sure makes it easier to do that.

And while I was certainly never popular in high school (if only I had been content being myself instead of striving to belong to that proverbial "in" crowd), I look now and see all these fabulous connections from my past and realize now what I should have known then - I had some really amazing friends in my life and I was a pretty lucky kid to know them!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Random Info About Mommy Meryl

I got this from The Wise Young Mommy - a new blog I discovered once I joined Entre Card (try it if you are a blogger - you will love it! One more place on the web I can spend countless hours - just like Twitter, Facebook & the Blogosphere!) that I really like! Read, enjoy and feel free to grab it and do it on your blog as well!

I am...
 Mommy, Mommy, Mommy and then Meryl!

I think...about what I have no control over way too much!

I know...
 I have a great hubby and amazing friends and a fabulous daughter!

I want... to be skinny!

I have...a home filled with lots of love, laughs and the occasional crankiness!

I wish... for my family and friends to have a lifetime of love, good health & happiness.

I hate...
parenting advice from people who don't have the same parenting challenges

I miss...Allie's Muncle Rick!

I fear...
my daughter being hurt or sick.

I feel...tired, but happy!

I hear...my daughter getting out of bed for the 3rd time tonight. . .

I smell...movie theatre popcorn (we just got home from the movies)

I search... for the best chips & salsa & best sushi specials all the time as well as ways to generate more traffic and income from my website and blogs.

I wonder...what I will be like when I grow up (okay, I wonder about Allie too. . .)

I regret...not much - I try to look and say that had I not made certain mistakes I wouldn't be the person I am - regrets are a waste of space.

I love...Allie, my hubby, my friends, chocolate, sushi & chips & salsa!

I care...
too much about what you think.

I always...worry about what you think.

I am not...
skinny.

I believe... what goes around comes around.

I dance... just like you would think a white Jewish girl would.

I sing...
to Hannah Montana too much!

I don't always...
wash my hair every day (better for the flat iron - I promise!)

I write...from my heart.

I win...at procrastinating!

I lose...the housecleaning award!

I never...enjoy cleaning.

I listen...to my heart more than my head.

I can usually be found...on the phone.

I'm scared of...bees and bugs and most other critters.

I read...
People magazine religiously.

I forget...when I was last caught up on laundry.

I just...love blogging!.

I am happy about...Allie's fabulous start to a new school year!

I hope you enjoyed all this useless information about me!


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Mommy Meryl Must Haves - 2 books!


Check out my review - love these books!! 20% discount to Mommy Meryl readers!


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First Week of School




We have more than survived our first week of first grade - we are loving it - both Mommy and Allie! Of course Daddy is happy too - but he is a guy - sooo much easier to please and not caught up in the drama that I was (who is Allie's teacher going to be? will I like her? will she be warm and kind? will she be able to indulge my neurosis? will Allie have friends in her class? will allie be comfortable leaving the class to go to the bathroom now that there aren't bathrooms in her class? will being dropped off in a playground of 700 kids overwhelm her and revert her to being clingy again or will she do okay? need I go on??)!

Anyways -we love our teacher - she couldn't be kinder and warmer (at least during the first week!) and Allie loves her! Allie is also in class with 2 of buddies from last year (although she was very bummed that one of her closest buddies was in a different class - she seems to be doing just fine as they play on the playground and are already planning play dates!) and she is making new friends.

She loves her "job" this week - she gets to take the " 'tenndence" to the front office and be a bathroom buddy to any girl who doesn't want to leave the class to go the bathroom by themselves (although I'm not sure she was the best choice given I don't think she has even done that yet - instead she opts for going when her teacher makes group runs to the bathroom).

Her teacher was made for me - she sent home a letter saying that she feels that parents working with the teachers guarantee a child's success school and how warm fuzzies will be the theme that they will learn with this year (how much better can you get them warm fuzzies??). In addition to Allie having homework this first week (and yes, I'm already comparing her teacher's assignments with friends in the other 1st grade classes and yes, its driving us all crazy as they appear to all be different. Allie's teacher seems to be the only one who has sent home the most substantive homework so far), the parents had homework. We were told to write a letter to the teacher about our child. Here goes:

Allie is a fun-loving, active little girl who is the light of our lives. Although at first glance, she can be hesitant and quite shy in new situations, when she is in her comfort zone she thrives on being the center of attention.


Allie tends to enjoy more physical activities (i.e., running, jump roping, hula hoping, jumping on her trampoline and gymnastics) than sedentary ones. While I do believe she enjoys school work, she tends to have more confidence in her physical capabilities then her intellectual ones; therefore, hula-hooping, singing to Hannah Montana and gymnastics seem to always be her preference. When some of her friends who are more advanced readers than she share their reading conquests with her, she is very quick to point out proudly that she won a 1st place trophy at her summer camp’s jump roping contest.


While Allie is an only child for now, she fortunately doesn’t exhibit typical only child behaviors. She shares well and can play by herself just as well as playing with others (her preference would be to have a play date 7 days a week if she could though). She knows she has to take turns and while she doesn’t like waiting any more than any other child, she understands sometimes you have to be patient.

Allie is a rule follower and definitely doesn’t want to disappoint an authority figure (other than her mother, of course!). And while she does test the limits/boundaries as all kids do, we have to say that she truly is a good kid and doesn’t give us much trouble at all.


While Allie can have the typical “girl drama” with her friends, she is truly a warm, kind and loving girl. She is also quite funny! But mostly, she is ours and we love her. We love her more than yesterday, but never as much as tomorrow.


Thanks for giving us this opportunity to share a little about Allie with you.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Know What Allie's Loves Best About First Grade So Far?

This is what Allie says she loves the most about First Grade so far:

1. They don't have to walk in a line from the cafeteria to the playground after lunch

2. She can walk to the playground next to whomever she wants to be with

3. While walking to the playground, she can sing, talk, laugh & dance

4. That she doesn't have to walk in a single-file line, silently with one hand up in the air and the other finger on her lips (in the "shush" position) from the cafeteria to the playground

5. That she gets to play on the big kids' playground

6. That she can go as far away from the school as she wants on the big kids' playground (I smile as she tells me that as I am silently wondering is there an adult that far out? How will you know when to come in? How long will it take someone to find you if you miss hearing the bell? Do you always take a friend when you go far out?)

7. That she gets to check out 2 books from the school library (uh-oh, one more thing for me to keep track of!).

8. That she has computers in her classroom.

9. That she started out the year already knowing people and doesn't have to start school again with no friends, like last year.

Not bad for the first week, right?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things that make you say huh?

Just as Allie was getting up to go to bed last night, she decided to do one last flip on the couch (didn't you know that all soft objects in a house are considered trampolines?) - its irrelevant to the story that she knows she isn't supposed to do that. . .well I was sitting on the floor in front of the couch and she clocks me pretty good on the head with her feet and legs. Yes, it hurt. It. hurt. alot. So I was pretty proud of myself that I didn't scream any inappropriate expletives outloud, instead I just held it in and clenched my head with my hands and mumbled something about that is why we bought her a trampoline for her birthday. Except my head really hurt and she knew it. She burst out crying. I don't mean a few tears - I mean full body hysterical crying. So now I feel worse that she feels so bad that she hurt me - I mean clearly that has what has gotten her so upset, right?

So after I comfort her for a while, she finally starts to calm down and I reassure her that I'm okay and not hurt and its an accident and no biggie and she doesn't need to cry about it.

She looks at me and says, "that's not why I'm crying".

I say, "you aren't crying because you were sad that you hurt me?".

Allie says, "no. Well, I'm sad I hurt you, but that isn't why I'm crying."

I ask her, "okay then, why are you crying?".

Allie tells me she doesn't really know, "my face just felt like like it was going to cry and so I had to do what my face wanted to do."

Huh?

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Do you hem & haw or give it to 'em straight?

For being a 6 year old, Allie has a pretty good handle on the intellectual part of death - she has said goodbye to two dogs and a grandfather. She knows that when a person or animal stops breathing they die. She knows that her dogs and her grandpa and not alive, but they are alive in her heart because she can think about them and look at pictures of them.

She also decided that even though she thinks there is a doggie heaven and people heaven, if Allie knows them all they can all be in the same heaven.

But until yesterday, she didn't know anything about what happened to the bodies or what a cemetery was.

Yesterday was the unveiling of my father-in-law, Allie's grandfather. He died last August and at that time, my hubby and I made the decision not to have Allie at the funeral - it was her second week of Kindergarten and we felt it more important that her routine stay the same. Or maybe we didn't want to deal with it? In any event, she stayed in school and didn't come. But we decided it was appropriate for her to come to the unveiling.

Now, what is an unveiling? The unveiling is a ceremony that dedicates a grave monument erected for someone who passed away twelves months earlier. The service is called "unveiling" because in America the tombstone is covered with a cloth which is removed by the family during the ceremony. There is no religious obligation to hold an unveiling ceremony, but the ritual became popular toward the end of the 19th century in America and Western Europe and has become an accepted and meaningful practice. In addition to dedicating the grave monument, the unveiling gives those in mourning an opportunity to commemorate the deceased.

So, when we woke up Sunday morning Allie asked me her usual question of what we were going to do today. I told her we were going to hang out at home and play and then we were going to get her haircut before the first day of school and then we were going to have a little service to remember Grandpa - I told her it was called an unveiling. I told her we were going to a cemetery and that her favorite Rabbi would be there to do a service and its just a time for us to be together with our family and some friends and remember Grandpa. In her infinite wisdom she said she remembers Grandpa and was mostly concerned about how long the service was because "lusually (and no, that isn't a typo!) I'm not that into services because I have to be quiet and sit still for too long". I told her that it was only going to be a short service (I'll address the other issue of sometimes we have to sit and be quiet longer than we would like at another time) and that even though she remembers Grandpa, this is a tradition in the Jewish religion and its nice to remember Grandpa together.

As a typical 6 year old, she absorbed the information matter-of-factly and that was it. But I have to be honest with you, I didn't tell her what a cemetery was. I didn't tell her bodies were buried there. I didn't tell her after Grandpa died he was buried. I guess as a parent I don't have all the answers - but I didn't even know how I would have explained if he is buried underground how come I told her he was in heaven above us. I didn't want her to ask where her other dogs were buried - I didn't want to tell her no, they were taken by the Animal Control and cremated with other dogs. No, I couldn't go there with her.

So, we got to the cemetery - at 4pm in 110 degree heat in Arizona - and in the middle of the service , Allie asks out loud with appropriate genuine curiosity, why does that "thing" say Grandpa's name and what is under there. Thank god for our rabbi. She came over to Allie and bent down to her level and gave her the most simple and beautiful explanation: "Allie, when your Grandpa died we buried him in the ground to keep his body safe, but his personality and soul go up to heaven. And this beautiful sign tells us where his body is so we know where to find him when we want to come and say hello to him. " And as any brilliant communicator knows, if a child asks nothing more, a child doesn't need or isn't ready for more information. So, that was the end of the conversation. And Allie picked up a rock and went up with the rest of our family and friends to place a stone on the headstone to tell her Grandpa she was there.

Perhaps when she asks how a baby gets into a Mommy's belly I won't have to defer to the rabbi and I will be able to answer that question myself. I think I have realized its adults who attach so much meaning to everything and kids wants the facts, just the facts. . .

How do you handle those hard questions that kids have? Do you run from the answers and hem and haw, or do you answer them straight on (which I hope to do next time!)?

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Allie wants to be in the Olympics - what child doesn't?


I love the Olympics! I love the Summer ones for the gymnastics and swimming and the Winter ones for the ice-skating. Am I a sports fanatic? No. But there is nothing more I love than reading the stories about the athletes and then getting caught up in their lives and routing for them during the Olympics.
I love it. I truly love the Olympics. I will watch them all day long every day - I will even watch the sports that I'm not really into (like watching Archery yesterday) and I will watch the sports that I don't even understand. I will also DVR everything that I miss. I will become attached to people and sports that I will probably never think about again until 2012 when I become immersed in their world and can't live without them once again.
I always route for the United States and chances are I will get teary every time I hear the National Anthem when someone from America wins the gold medal.
And the best part of the Olympics this year - Allie is just as excited about them as I am. While my hubby is happy to watch the Olympics with me, he doesn't get caught up in the drama as I do - but Missy Miss gets it!
Allie is loving watching the Olympics with me - she said her favorite team is America because that is where she lives. Last night our living room turned into a gymnasium as Allie tried to imitate anything she saw on tv. Our pool earlier in the day turned into a place where Allie raced against herself to see if she thought she was fast enough to be in the Olympics.
When we saw the two female gymnasts fall last night, Allie gasped right along with me. Although she didn't truly understand the significance of the fall - she doesn't realize that these girls have worked their whole lives for this moment and to fall is devastating to them.
Allie looked at these gymnasts as idols - commenting on their hair, their make up (she loved the sparkly eyes of one of the girls from China) and mostly their impressive skills. Her passion for watching these girls reminds me of when I was little and I was taking ice-skating lessons during Dorthy Hamill's days - I even had a Dorothy Hamill haircut! I wanted to be Dorothy Hamill! Who didn't then?
And while I never did get to be the next Dorothy Hamill, I got to dream about it. And while Allie most likely will not become the next star Olympic gymnast, she will get to dream about it and dreaming inspires trying and that is what living life is all about.
Besides, its nice to know that our tv has other channels other than Disney and Nick - I was getting concerned that the tv in our household only had Hannah Montanah, iCarly, Zack & Cody & H20 on it! Seriously, it will be nice to have something for Allie to aspire to be for a while other than Hannah Montana and Demi Lovato!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sometimes You are More Fun Than My Friends

Last night, Allie was supposed to go over to her friend's house for an impromptu playdate and dinner while the friend's mom and I grabbed a light bite for dinner. There was no real reason - just seemed like a good opportunity to steal some Mommy Chat time! Due to miscommunication, our evening plans fell through. Needless to say, Allie wasn't happy and said she didn't know what she was going to do now because she and her friend were going to do this, this and this together (of course she rattled off a list of activities) and now she can't. I told her that other than us skateboarding together on her birthday skateboard (I can handle the scooter, but can you even imagine me on a skateboard? Oy!), I will do all the things that she and her friends were going to do.

We decided to open up her Karaoke Machine that she got for her birthday and we had an ABSOLUTE BLAST singing Karaoke together for the next hour or so. Trust me, Hannah Montana is very catchy!

Then she told me she wanted to show me her flip on the trampoline - it was heading into evening and had cooled down from a million degrees to only 100, so I came out to watch. We realized that there were some leaves and so she asked me to help her sweep them off the trampoline.

I'm sure the flies on the walls (as well as any neighbors who might have seen us from their 2-story windows) had a great laugh while they watched teeny tiny Allie and well, me, Mommy Meryl attempt to sweep leaves off of a trampoline. Have you ever tried it? I suggest you do so if you want lots of belly laughs and some good old fashioned fun. Let's just say, a broom doesn't work as well on a bouncy surface! But boy did we have fun giggling, laughing and falling all over each other.

After Allie took a bath, she looked at me and said, most seriously, that even though I make her brush her teeth when she doesn't want to or go to bed when she isn't even tired that it was okay that her playdate got cancelled because "sometimes you are more fun than my friends".

Until tomorrow morning when she glares at me for making her do something so awful as brushing her teeth, I will take and savor this moment. . .

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Allie & The Mermaids

video

As you can see, Miss Allie was not happy when the Mermaids didn't know all the words to the song. . .I wouldn't want meet Allie in a dark alley if the only way out was to sing a Hannah Montana song with her.

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Planning a Big Olympic Party? Eat Out Tonight!

Are you getting ready for the big Olympic Opening Ceremonies? Allie is all about the gymnastics and we are very excited to go to our good friend's house for some Olympic fun! We are even having Chinese food to get in the spirit!

If you are planning a party or just crazy with back-to-school errands, take advantage of this offer and treat yourself to dinner! Buy $25 gift certificates for 50% off the normal rate of $10 and get a $25 gift certificate at your favorite restaurant for ONLY $5!!

Click Here - RESTAURANT.COM -TODAY, August 7th ONLY, 50% off $25 Gift Certificates. Pay $5 when you use the code GAMES.

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A Mommy Meryl Must Have!

Do you like Origins? Do you like Ginger? Check out my lastest Mommy Meryl Must Haves!

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