Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Daughter's Fairy Godmother

My daughter got to spend the day with her Aunt Sue, or her Fairy Godmother, today.

When Aunt Sue picked Allie up this morning she told Allie they were going to have a day of adventures. I saw Allie's eyes light up as I could see her wheels turning in wonder as she thought about what kind of adventures her day would bring her. I walked away from the car with a warm tingling sensation - I felt so amazingly happy that Allie has this wonderful woman in her life that loves her almost as much as I do and gets to spend time with her and have nothing other then fun! I know I didn't have that kind of relationship with my grandparents or aunts growing up - I was even momentarily envious that Allie gets to experience such a wonderful and special relationship. But more than envious I am so happy that Allie has such a person in her life.

I thought of all the adventures Allie and her Fairy Godmother have been on in the past - sleepovers, rock-climbing, shopping, getting temporary henna tattoos together, playing arcade games at Dave & Busters, riding rides together at an indoor amusement park, frolicking at parks and in the pool, dining on Dim Sum, and I'm sure there were countless others that I have forgotten over time. Aunt Sue (along with Muncle Rick) has even bought Allie some of her all-time favorite presents: a portable DVD player, High School Musical 2 DVD, Bella Pop Star DVD, a mini-blow up bouncy when she was younger, a bracelet that says Allie, a necklace with a blinged out "A", a princess "big girl" bike, a "twirly" dress from Greece, puppets from a puppet show and I'm sure lots others that are escaping me.

And the coolest thing ever - Aunt Sue makes pancakes for Allie that spell her name (that really impresses me considering I thought unless you ordered pancakes from a restaurant you just took them out of a box and nuked them in a microwave!) - Allie continues to be in awe over that one!

At the end of the day, as I was in my car driving to meet them for ice-cream I noticed how excited I was to see them to hear all about their adventures! As I listened to everything they did, I realized how lucky I am to have such an amazing friend. And more importantly, I realized (not for the 1st time, but for at least the millionth time) how lucky my daughter is be loved by such a fabulous person.

While "Aunt Sue" and I haven't known each other for a life time, we have spent countless hours of the last decade together and Allie has most definitely known "Aunt Sue" for her entire lifetime. What hit me today more than anything was that at whatever place Sue and I are at in our life, we always come together. We cry together. We laugh together. We argue together. We hug together. We stand together. We are family together.

At various times over the past decade we have had some really rough spots. We have lost jobs, money, her marriage (took me a while to recover from that one!), self esteem and our minds at times. But at any given moment she has always been there for myself, my husband and my daughter. With no judgment. Just hope, love and laughter.

And as I sat in the ice-cream shop today at the table with my daughter and her Fairy Godmother, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Not only was I with my daughter who I adore to pieces and absolutely enjoy being with, but I was with "Aunt Sue" - a better friend and a better Fairy Godmother does not exist. And I felt truly fortunate that my daughter is just beginning her journey of creating such a special relationship with her Aunt Sue.

What girl hasn't dreamt about a Fairy Godmother when they were little? I looked at Allie and Aunt Sue today and realized that Allie has a real life Fairy Godmother that is better than any she could ever dream about. . .

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Fun Blog Contest!

lipstick to crayons blog bash

Happy Birthday to Lipstick to Crayons - what a cool website!! And what do birthday parties mean in the world of blogging - lots of neat giveaways and contests and prizes to be won!! And a great way to check out lots of wonderful Mom blogs!

My Best Birthday Memory? I have 2 of them - for my 33rd birthday in November 2001 I found out I was pregnant after trying for a few years - I thought nothing could be better than that present!! Until, July 28, 2003 - my daughter's 1st Birthday Party!! It was then I realized that I no longer counted down the days till my birthday - it was all about Allie from then on!! Not to mention - kids birthday parties are much more fun that those of adults - better presents, better activities (ever been to an adult birthday party at an inflatable bouncy place or ice-skating or pottery painting [okay, for my friends who read my blog, yes I do love going pottery painting and thank you for indulging me for my birthday last year!!] or a glamour girls dress-up party?)!!

AND, speaking of giveaways, MOMMY MERYL is hosting a giveaway too for those who are celebrating Lipstick to Crayon's Birthday!

I am giving away 10 free ebooks of choice from the following:
1. How to Set Up a Family Budget
2. 224 Meals in a Hurry!
3. Fun Recipes for Kids
4. The Ultimate Potty Training Guide
5. Party Games (for kids, for teens and for adults)

1. $15 gift certificate to Sassy Pink Boutique
2. $15 gift certificate to The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs
3. My Reward Board Game
4. Tiny Toes book by Kelly Damron - a moving story about infertility & premature birth

To enter the giveaway, we only ask that Moms become a member of the Chatty Mommy Club - its FREE (they must confirm/opt in and not simply sign up). You can sign up at my Chit Chat for Mommies Website. The winners will be randomly chosen via and notified by email on June 5th!

Contest DEADLINE is Tuesday, June 3rd at 11:59pm!

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Toot

What is a Tuesday Toot you might be wondering?? In the Mommy Blog world its the one day that you get to "toot your own horn" and have no shame in doing it!

What am I tooting my own horn about? I think I am finally starting to not panic with fear that every time my daughter rides her razor scooter, tries on her roller skates or does a flip off of a swing that the activity is going to end in tons of blood, tears (mine and hers) and a trip to the ER.

Thankfully my child is a physical child - but I don't just mean running and swimming. I mean jumping, flipping, climbing, speeding, etc. All things that give me reason to clench my teeth and dig my nails into my palms every time she says "watch me". And while she isn't a daredevil by any means (she doesn't really like to attempt anything she doesn't think she can do or is scared of), there are enough "adventures" out in our backyard or on our street to cause me enough panic that I am very happy that we aren't a daredevil!

So her new favorite activities are to climb our really big grapefruit tree outside in our backyard (she goes so high up that yesterday her friend who is 2 years older then her came in to get me and said Allie's hair was stick in the branches and she couldn't get down and her friend said she was too scared to climb that high - she ended up shaking her hair loose and coming down - thankfully because I'm pretty confident neither my husband nor I would be able to climb the tree to untangle her hair!) and to swing from the top silver bar that our swings hang down from. Normally these activities cause me to breath heavily and pray each time she says "watch me" that she finishes her "trick" in one piece and usually I'm so fearful that I clench my eyes the entire time that I miss the whole thing anyways!

Well - I accidentally watched her climb the tree yesterday and saw the sheer joy she had in her conquest and realized that I need to tone my fears down because I don't want to quash her sense of adventure or somehow influence her into thinking that she should feel scared.

Can she get hurt? Sure. Do I want her to get hurt? Absolutely not. But she can get hurt doing gymnastics, riding her bike, climbing the monkey bars, or slipping in the shower (as she did this past Christmas!) and sometimes getting hurt is part of being a kid.

So Allie, here is to you for being that kid that I wanted to be but never was - enjoy it, have fun and I promise to watch next time! :-)

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Have Your Ever Been Puked on By Someone Else's Child?

I can tell you that I have not had the experience of being puked on by anyone else's child, let alone my own daughter.

But one of our very close family friends has now officially bonded with my daughter in a way that I have not - my daughter puked all over both of them tonight. And while my first reaction was making sure my daughter was okay, I immediately felt both relief that it was not me who was puked on as well as mortified that my daughter threw up all over someone who was not her mother.

After the shock (by all ) and hysterics (by my daughter) began to subside, my girlfriend said to my daughter that she is now just like family - as all Moms know having those spit-up stains on their clothes from their babies is the true badge of motherhood (at least that is how we justify to ourselves the reason we have spit up on our clothes!). And I can tell you that if spit-up is a badge, then what my daughter did is an absolutely head-to-toe costume of motherhood.

And needless to say, nothing clears a crowd and ends a good time faster then throwing up in the public play area you are playing in and on the people you are playing with. . .

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Idol - Battle of the Davids

As much as I have wanted to offer a comment here and there about AI this season (Michael John's early "offing" was totally wrong! And if you saw him sing in Wednesday's how, you might feel, as I do, that he definitely deserved to be a finalist!) - I haven't. Mostly because this is my "Mommy" blog and just as many people who read my blog probably have no clue who Randy Jackson is as those that do.

But I couldn't resist commenting on tonight's finale - for the first time ever I truly didn't care who won because I loved both of them. Every week I changed my mind on who my favorite was and who should win and who will win (sometimes I changed from day to day!). My one consistent belief was that David A. had a much better voice but David C. was hot and sexy and an amazing performer.

Both Davids appeared to be genuinely good guys - you can't deny how adorable it was every time this week that David C. reached out to put his arm around David A. - like a really proud big brother. They seemed to really like each other - and I found that infectious.

After Tuesday night, I felt David C. deserved to win but I wanted David A to win - I just thought his voice was incredibly stellar and mostly, I hated to hear what would his Dad would do if he didn't win! :-) On Wednesday morning, I changed my mind and decided that David C. was more of an "American Idol" and that David A. needs a few years to work on his charisma. By dinner time, I wanted David A. again to take the crown because I just love love his voice and I find him adorable. After the show began I felt awful that Michael Johns went home as early as he did, because he was simply amazing tonight (how did Jason Castro last longer then him?) - but I was really engaged with everything David C. did or said or sang in Wednesday's show.

And as Ryan began to announce the winner, I realized that I would be equally happy for whomever won and equally sad for whomever lost as i really loved both of them and I truly didn't care who won as I was happy with both of them and felt they both deserved to win!

Now - if I was only as in love with the presidential candidates. ..

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tomorrow is our last day of Kindergarten

Is Allie really ready to say goodbye to Kindergarten and say hello to first grade? Of course she is (she is already telling me every morning that next year she gets to go play on the big kids playground) - but am I?

According to my daughter's Kindergarten Aide and my husband - no, I'm so not ready. How did we get here so fast? It was only a little bit ago that I was teary at her preschool graduation in May 2007, worrying and dreading about the 1st day of Kindergarten and wondering how I will be able to walk away from her when she is in tears holding on to my arms?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that I took her to the 1st day of Kindergarten to her new big school and she gave me a big hug and kiss and while I saw the nervousness in her eyes, she held it together and told me it was fine and she never saw my tears as I turned around and walked out to my car?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she wasn't reading and only knew how to write in capital letters?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she bought lunch in the cafeteria for the first time and I panicked all day whether she would be able to carry the tray from the counter to her table and whether she would know what to order?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that when I dropped her off in the mornings on the Kindergarten playground she insisted that I walk in with her and stay with her until the bell rings?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she told me that she didn't like recess in Kindergarten and she missed recess in Preschool. When I asked her why, she said it was so different then Pre-School because no-one played house, they all played soccer or "kissy girls" (the girls chased the boys and apparently try to kiss them)?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that Allie told me it was hard to go to Kindergarten because all the friends were new and she didn't know how to make a friend?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she didn't know how to read anything other than her name?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she barely knew how to draw anything other then a stick figure?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that her teacher told me that Allie was a little unsure about all the kids out on the playground at recess and preferred to hang-out with the teacher?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she would only wear Velcro shoes because she didn't know how to tie them?

Wasn't it just a little while ago that she watched Dora, Barney & The Wiggles?

And now?

Her favorite shows are Hannah Montana, Zack & Cody and Full House and she can repeat the lines verbatim from the movie Parent Trap and also sing the "Hula-Hoop" song from Alvin & The Chipmunks with a perfect chipmunk tone!

She can write, journal create beautiful pictures and read at a 2nd grade level.

She has made lots of new and wonderful friends and loves to have playdates and sleepovers with her friends. She says her favorite time of day is recess so she can chase the boys, play soccer, jump rope and catch bugs.

She only likes Daddy to take her to school so she can get there super early to play with her friends - and she insists that he drop her off as far away as possible (and still be close that he can see her walk in and not cross the street) because she wants to walk into the playground by herself.

She loves to buy lunch and has never had problems carrying the tray to her table and even figured out half-way through the year that 2 quarters could by her ice-cream.

When she first learned to tie shoes a couple of months ago, she said she didn't like Velcro shoes because they were for babies as they don't know how to tie shoes (although now that the novelty has worn off, she says Velcro is easier as her shoes come untied all day long).

Not only did she survive Kindergarten, but she thrived - and so did I. I met some wonderful new Moms and have started to make Allie's new home my home too. And at bedtime, as we picked out tomorrow's clothes one last time for school this year, Allie asked me if I was going to cry tomorrow. Before I answered she said, "Mom, I know you are going to cry - but don't be sad. I'm 'cited to go to 1st grade because I'm too smart to do Kindergarten again and I finally get to be in a grade, not just Kindergarten. . .and 'sides, we'll do lots of playdates with my friends so you won't miss them during the summer."

What could I say to that?

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Wordless Wednesday

I'm starting a new weekly posting - Wordless Wednesdays. Sometimes pictures are all you need! And your comments are always welcome and wanted! That is what makes blogging all the more fun.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why I Want to be a Hot Mama

This weekend found us very busy with lots of plans and lots of fun!! We had sleep-overs, 2 pool parties, a scavenger hunt, an opportunity to go horseback riding and just some really great mommy/daughter time. But as we went from one activity to the next, I got hit with more and more reasons with why having extra layers of maternal tissue (I always found that was such an interesting way that my ob/gyn refers to my fat) is truly getting more and more pitiful to me and I think really preventing Allie having have the best mom in the world. . .

Instead of telling you all the things I couldn't do this weekend, let me tell you all the things I could have done this weekend if I was a "hot mama". . .

  1. Sat at the Little Tykes picnic table with my daughter and her friend when they invited me to join them at their breakfast picnic outside on Saturday morning after their sleepover.
  2. Not have to wear a bathing suit with a skirt on the bottom (I don't even know at this point if its to cover my large thighs or the times when my bikini line is more stubbly then not. And no, I don't wax - I tried it once and I only made it through half-way on one side before I said it was more painful then childbirth).
  3. Looked cute in a bathing suit (or if not cute, at least not awful!).
  4. Jumped off a diving board without making it creak as I bounced a few times before jumping.
  5. Looked relatively presentable after getting out of the pool - my thought is that if I was thin, it wouldn't matter how bad my pool hair looked because as least my body was cute.
  6. I could have gone horseback riding with my daughter instead of bowing out because I was concerned I would break the horse's back.
  7. Done the limbo at a party without getting out after the 1st round because my belly hit the bar - and I can't bend far enough backwards to avoid that!
  8. Hula-hooped for more then a second because the hula hoops needs to hula on hips, not blubber.
  9. Jump Rope for more then 2 turns.

Thankfully at our mother/daughter group tonight where we had a pool party, scavenger hunt and various games, my daughter just loved the fact that I participated in everything and I was able to provide much entertainment for her as she laughed and laughed at how I looked jumping rope, hula-hooping and doing the limbo.

But I am aiming for the time that my daughter looks at me with excitement and pride before one of those physical contests because she is hopeful I will win, instead of her looking at me with pity saying, "Oh Mommy, you're going to lose" before I even begin my first hula. . .

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

And the winners are:

Wow! What a week - Mommyfest 2008 is over and it was lots of fun!! Not only did I welcome lots of new Mommies to the Chatty Mommy Club on my website, but I got to meet soooo many amazing Moms and check out so many fabulous blogs!! That was truly the best part of Mommyfest - its simply amazing to think I would have never known about these blogs.

So - now on to the question you came to this post for - who won and what did they win??

I went to and put in all the names of my new members and the site's software program spits them out in a random order (just like the old fashioned method of picking names out of hat).

The person in the top spot wins a grand prize of her choice of one of the following:

1. $15 gift certificate to Sassy Pink Boutique
2. $15 gift certificate to The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs
3. My Reward Board Game
4. Tiny Toes book by Kelly Damron - a moving story about infertility & premature birth

The next 10 names on my list get to chose one of the following ebooks:

1. How to Set Up a Family Budget
2. 224 Meals in a Hurry!
3. Fun Recipes for Kids
4. The Ultimate Potty Training Guide
5. Party Games (for kids, for teens and for adults)

How do you collect your prize? Please leave a comment here with your name, email and your choice of what you won. If I don't hear from you by midnight on Monday, May 19th I will award your prize to the next person on the list (I only listed the top spot and the next 10 because I didn't want someone to feel sad if they saw their name after #10 - yes, I'm a people pleaser!).

And again, thank you tons for everyone who stopped by my blog and introduced themselves and thank you tons and tons for those of you who also became members of the Chatty Mommy Club!!

List Randomizer
There were 42 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
Magic Mommy
Shauna Smith
Timestamp: 2008-05-17 15:02:25 UTC

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2008 Mommyfest Blog Party and Giveaways

** This post will remain at the top of the page until the Mommyfest Blog Party is over - you can scroll down to see the newer posts.

By way of Introduction. . . I'm Meryl and I'm a thirty-something stay-at-home (SAHM) but sometimes part-time working mom to a 5 1/2 year old daughter. I have been married 13 years to a wonderfully supportive husband and 2 dogs complete our family for the moment. . . I began this blog as a supplement to my website - Chit Chat for Mommies. At whatever stage I have been at with my daughter thus far, there has been nothing more valuable and reassuring then connecting with other moms either going through the same stuff with me at the same time - or others who have already been there and done that. I also feel wonderful when I am able to add my own two cents in and help some other mom out as well. My goal for creating my website was to create that environment for you. There is no better group to belong to then the mommy group. We are always chatting about lots of interesting things. . .

What is going on here?. . .The MommyFest Blog Party is a five-day "celebration of motherhood" and runs from May 12 through May 16. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, socialize online, discover new blogs, and even win some amazing prizes. I have never participated in a blog party but one of the most exciting things about them is that they are full of giveaways and this one is no exception. Check out MommyFest for the latest blog party info and list of prizes (current prizes include chocolate, graphic design, gift certificates, ebooks, and more). And of course MommyFest isn't the only place to win; many blog party-goers are hosting their own giveaways, so check the site for details on those.

AND, speaking of giveaways, MOMMY MERYL is hosting a giveaway too!

I am giving away 10 free ebooks of choice from the following:
1. How to Set Up a Family Budget
2. 224 Meals in a Hurry!
3. Fun Recipes for Kids
4. The Ultimate Potty Training Guide
5. Party Games (for kids, for teens and for adults)

AND 1 GRAND PRIZE GIVEWAY of Mom’s choice:
1. $15 gift certificate to Sassy Pink Boutique
2. $15 gift certificate to The Trendy Mommy Blog Designs
4. Tiny Toes book by Kelly Damron - a moving story about infertility & premature birth

To enter the giveaway, we only ask that Moms become a member of the Chatty Mommy Club - its FREE (they must confirm/opt in and not simply sign up). You can sign up at my Chit Chat for Mommies Website. The winners will be randomly chosen via and notified by email on May 17th!

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!!

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I Love Birthday Parties

I think I get just as excited about my daughter's birthday party as she does - maybe even more! As my daughter's birthday approaches, I can only be honest and tell you that my excitement builds to a feverish pitch as the big event approaches. And I'm sure quite a few probably think "feverish" is an appropriate word - I know my husband does! :-)

Why do I enjoy it so much? Why do I start planning and thinking 6 months in advance? Because not only is Allie's birthday party a celebration of her life, but its also a celebration of her relationships with her family and friends. Birthday parties are about relationships and without those relationships, there would be no birthday parties because there would be no guests. So - we have come full circle in my thinking - i love planning birthday parties for my daughter so not only will she be happy, but all of our guests be happy too!

I truly enjoy the agony (or pleasure) of finding the "perfect" party favor. And I'm not talking expensive - I rarely spent much money on the party favors. But that doesn't mean they still can't be wonderful and creative! You would think that I would have learned my lesson - last year I opted for getting the typical party favor junk and wouldn't you just know it? That crap was the absolute favorite of every child - many of them told me they liked it sooo much better then the personalized favors of earlier years! I have to tell you, I do think I spotted the perfect party favors at the Dollar Store down the street last week. . .

Allie's birthday is at the end of July - this year her party is going to be August 2nd. Why do I know so far in advance when it is going to be? Because another Mom of a little boy in Allie's class is just as nutty as I am - but I soooo appreciate her nuttiness and even more that I appreciate it, I sooooooooooo get it! Her son's birthday is very close to Allie's and about 6 weeks ago this Mom sent me an email suggesting we pick our dates for birthday parties now so we don't conflict with each other as quite a few of the kids would be invited to both. But I took the conversation one step further - once I realized that the parties would be one week apart, I felt that we needed to pick the "what" as well. I mean, we couldn't do the same thing 1 week apart with the same kids - could we? No absolutely not - at least not in my crazy mind! But not to worry, her son wanted a party at a bouncy place and my daughter wanted a pool party - so all was okay. . .

Now, for my confession. Can I tell you what I did next? I'm a bit embarrassed. . .I can't even believe I actually did it - I sent a "Save The Date" email for my daughter's 6th birthday to a few people.

Did I mention her birthday party is August 2nd and this is May?!! My only saving grace is that I did tell my friends in the email that they had my permission to talk about me behind my back and make fun of me! I do hereby promise that although I'm ashamed I felt the need to send a "Save the Date" for her birthday, I will never ever resort to having her register for gifts - at least not before her wedding!

But I had a potentially rational reason for my save-the-date email - with Allie's birthday being in the summer, people are always planning last minute getaways, BBQs, road trips to the lake, etc. I know that there are some people Allie would just not consider a birthday party if they weren't there - so as silly as it sounds that I sent the email, perhaps it will turn out to be a good thing. Maybe that one little girl will be able to come now because her mom had enough advance notice to switch the weekend that they were planning on going camping .

Now this is the first year we are not having Allie's birthday party at our house - this year she is opting to have a pool party somewhere else where there are lifeguards (as opposed to 30 kids between the ages of 5-7 playing in our backyard pool - while they have an amazing time, I'm always glad to see everyone comes alive on the other end.)

So, as I'm writing this, I am realizing I am feeling a bit empty and sad because at this point, other then picking out the birthday invitations, I have nothing to do and nothing to plan. I have the date, I have notified Allie's closest buddies when it is, we know where it is and the staff at the place are doing everything, the theme has been picked out for at least the last 8 months (Miley Cyrus/Hannan Montana - which will probably cover the invitations and the cake) and Allie, Rich & I all loved the party favors we found at the Dollar Store the other day. So, what do I do now??

What is that you say? Am I hearing you right? Ok - I promise to try - I will sit back and do nothing until 3-4 weeks before when we'll send the invitations out. And then there will be more nothing for me to do - usually my days before her birthday are filled to the gill with figuring out what kinds of crafts and water games will accompany the swimming and what are the perfect snack foods for parents and kids alike. And as I sit here and write my blog, I have to be honest with you - I'm kind of excited to sit back and relax and let the birthday place handle everything!

Why do I love birthday parties you ask? Because for everyone who is at a birthday party, it truly simply just means eating, socializing and having a fun time. It’s an event where I get to spend time with family and friends and everyone is always laughing and having a wonderful time and forgetting all about their worries and problems in life.

Oh wait, I just realized something, oh and I feel sooo much better now - I will have something to ponder and worry about the week before - what kinds of snacks should I bring for the moms and dads who do want to hang out????

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another Great Mommyfest Contest!

This is another really cool contest at Mommyfest!! I'm posting one of my favorite recipes of all time - I love to make these muffins during Thanksgiving!! Very very yummy!! I have to tell you - the prize is a 3 month subscription to Dine Without Whine - A Family Friendly Weekly Menu Planner !! I love love this program and would love to win this contest!! I think its such a great program, I have them on my website!!

Pumkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. basking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tables. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
6 Tables. cocoa
3/4 of a bag of chocolate chips

Combine dry ingred. Mix well. In center add rest of ingred. Spread in greased pans and bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes(I check on them to see when they are done).

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Another Mommyfest Contest - What I have Learned Since Becoming a Mom

1. That everyday I learn something new from my daughter !

2. That not only did I always need an extra change of clothes for her wherever we went - but it wasn't a bad idea to always carry an extra shirt for me too!

3. I can always finish the laundry tomorrow - she won't always want to play with her Mommy tomorrow.

4. Nothing hurts more then my daughter's tears.

5. Nothing feels better then seeing my daughter happy.

6. Nothing turns my heart to mush more then a hug, kiss and "I love you" from my daughter.

7. My only reason for cleaning up her toys is so that they are an in organized manner to get messed up again.

8. There are more than one way to use anything (have you ever seen the amount of hours a child can play with an empty suitcase?).

9. Sleep is overrated when you have a child.

10. Patience is not only a virtue, but a necessity to sanity.

11. Moms have meltdowns too.

12. Sometimes time-outs are more for the Moms then the kids!

13. Hannah Montana has a great voice!

14. I loved the Wiggles!

15. Figuring out how to do things with other parts of your body (feet, legs, mouth, etc) because when they are little your arms and hands are always busy holding your kids.

16. I have no idea what the hottest trend for adults are, nor do I know where all the presidential candidates stand on every issue, but I do know all my daughter's friends and their parents and what goes on in her class and what all her friends like and don't like who was line-leader and who missed school that day and who raised their hand in circle time and who cried that day.

17. The only thing predictable about being a Mom is that everyday is unpredictable.

18. The power a kiss has between a Mom and her child. Works even better then a pint of Ben & Jerry's on bad day!

19. There is nothing more delightful then tapping into your child's imagination - there is no toy my daughter has the provides her more enjoyment then her pretend play.

20. I haven't outgrown all those things that I thought I did - coloring, painting, doing puzzles, playing games, giggling, shopping at Toys R Us. playing in the park, sleepovers, Disneyland, not swimming but playing in the pool, playdoh, finger painting - as a matter of fact, these things are even more fun to do as a Mommy!!

21. I'm so glad my job as a Mommy will never end - there is no better role in the world I would rather have.

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5 Things About Mommy Meryl - Mommyfest Contest

1. My favorite color is purple

2. I love sushi, chips & salsa & chocolate

3. Gerber Daisies are my favorite flower

4. I wanted my daughter to have an "i" in her name so I could put a heart on top!

5. I try to live, laugh and love every day!

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It is only 10:15am & I already turned to mush!

So far my Mother's Day has been WONDERFUL - how about yours? Its only 10:15am and we haven't done much - but that has been the beauty of the day so far. It's 10:15am and I am still in my PJs - my husband has been up with our daughter since early this morning. I got to lounge in bed and be decadent - read People Magazine and watch a Lifetime Movie - so far my day is perfect!

Allie gave me an adorable craft she made in school - a flower w/ her hand print on it as the petals and a heart in the middle of the flower. There was a beautiful poem on it - I have to share:

A piece of me, I give to you

I painted this flower to say "I Love You."

The heart is you, the hand is me

To show we are friends, the best there can be.

I hope you will save it, and look back someday

At the flower we shared, on your special day.

--Kathleen Lademan

I hope you are getting some wonderful goodies from your kids too! Leave me your comments - I would love to hear about them!

Ok - off to have some family time- we are planning on spending the day with family and friends out by the pool swimming, relaxing and eating!

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Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to All My Fellow Mommy Club Members!!

I know we have probably all seen this before, but its one of my favorite emails that I think bears repeating today!

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, 'It's okay honey, Mommy's here.'

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars. And that when their kids asked, 'Did you see me, Mom?' they could say, 'Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world,' and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read 'Goodnight, Moon' twice a night for a year. And then read it again, 'Just one more time.'

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls 'Mom?' in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college -- or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache she feels when she watches her son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes her from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put her hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when she just wants to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in her home?

Or the need to flee from wherever she is and hug her child when she hears news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...

And for mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us...

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them.

And pray and never stop being a mother...

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thank you friend!

Wow! As I went to the mailbox today, I couldn't have been more excited to see something in the mail FOR ME!! No, it wasn't an ad, it wasn't a solicitation, it wasn't a bill, it wasn't something from my daughter's school and it wasn't junk mail. It was one of those really old fashioned envelopes from a friend that had my name hand-written on it. Now, what is so remarkable about this? Its not my birthday, its not a religious holiday, its not my anniversary and I know anyone who I would get a Mother's Day card from is planning on giving it to me tomorrow. And it certainly didn't look like an invitation to anything. I haven't been this excited to open up something in the mail in a long time - I truly had NO IDEA what the card was for.

Inside I found the most wonderful and touching thing I have received in a long long time - an unexpected, very wonderful card from a very special friend. My close girlfriend sent me a card for Mother's Day - and while the thought of the card was unexpected and amazing enough, what it said inside was just what I needed. The card told me I was great at being a mom and great at being a friend too.

When our lives are running in different directions and we are being pulled every-which-way and we don't get to see or talk to our friends as much as we want to - getting a card like this is worth more then any lottery winning could ever be. For when we are old and grey, I'm confident that those of us with an abundance of friendships will be far better off and happier then those with just an abundance of money - although I can't deny, both would be nice! :-)

Thank you my friend for not only bringing a big smile to my face with an unexpected surprise in my mailbox. But thank you even more for your words - please know how much I appreciate and love you and I hope your Mother's Day is everything you hope it to be - and more!

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A Cool Freebie For Moms!

Find Time Mama
I love finding free tips on the internet and passing them on to you! This is perfect for Moms like me who sometimes feel guilty about wanting to have a little time to myself - be it to steal an hour to myself to read a good book or knit or go out for an evening with my girlfriends!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

What I Really Want for Mother's Day

There has truly never been, nor can I imagine a time that I would return a gift that I received from my daughter for Mother's Day. I mean, as moms wouldn't we be silly to do that? Returning the not-so-wonderful gift for something else that we REALLY REALLY want just wouldn't be worth hurting our child's' feelings.

But maybe you are more like me anyways. Other then a handmade gift from your child, how important is it that you get a gift that you can hold (ok, I did get a pink sparkly heart necklace from my daughter last year that while it is a "thing", she picked it out all by herself and was so excited to give it to me and I just love that and for that reason I'll always love that pink sparkly heart!)?

What do I want most - just to feel loved and appreciated! Perhaps, in my world, a peaceful morning without arguments and negotiations to get out the door would be just heavenly (but I already know I'll get that on Mother's Day because it is a Sunday and it is a slowpoke day - which means we won't have to rush out of here) - but given that the last 6 school mornings have been rather trying with Allie - I would give up all the flowers and spa days in the world - just to have the remaining 10 school mornings that are left in this year to go by peacefully without argument or negotiation or tears (mine and/or Allie's!). OMIGOSH - only 10 days left of Kindergarten - wow - how did that happen?? But I digress, that is for another posting at another time. . .

Ok - back to Mother's Day. I can't deny that there are some things that I know I would LOVE - how about you?

I know that I don't want to cook on Mother's Day - or clean dishes. So whether we go out for every meal, my husband and daughter cook AND clean (breakfast in bed would be too cute!!) or we do take out, I am happy so long as I'm not needed in the kitchen (and that doesn't mean a pile of dishes left for the next day either!). Nothing fancy, costly or complicated - the fact that someone took the time to think about it and plan what we are eating would be greatly appreciated!

I, as I assume any mom would agree, would love a weekend, day or even an hour at a spa so I can get pampered and feel decadent! Whether your budget allows you an hour massage for $49 at one of your local discount massage places or a whole day at a fancy resort spa, its just nice to be someplace where we don’t have to worry about what needs to be done next and who is squabbling over what. No, I can't lie to you - any time at the spa would be heaven for me. It can even be a "spa day at home" - who says it can't be your child/husband that gives you a massage and paints your nails for you? Let's be creative here!!

All moms love a Girls Night Out every now and then. Perhaps our husbands can give us a "coupon" for a future evening and would agree to stay at home with the kids and allow Mom to have a girl’s night out with friends. Dinner and movie with time to have some fun mommy chit-chat time may do wonders to improve a stressed mom’s outlook. How neat would it be if our husband even arranged it with the husbands of our close friends so they all have a night picked out? Ok - perhaps that is a little too high to hope for. Probably something more we would do for our husbands if we thought they would like a "guy's night out". And in fairness to them, if they did attempt to try and arrange it they would probably pick the "wrong" night and we would tell them it would have been better if we arranged it because they don't know our schedule or the kids' schedule. And then they would feel like they can't win. But that is okay - a coupon for a Mom's Night Out would be great and very appreciated!

And perhaps the best of all, how about some time to just enjoy and have fun with the family? As moms we are often pulled in many directions throughout the year. How nice would it be just to have uninterrupted quality time with your family - play games, go on a picnic, do a family craft, plant a garden or having a family movie night with a big bowl of popcorn and some really yummy candy? My husband doesn't get home until 7 or 8 most evenings and often works on Saturdays, so to spend family time together is really high on my list!

And there is nothing that melts my heart more then anything handmade from my daughter for Mother's Day - and when I know my husband organized it, it turns me into complete mush (for some reason I get more teary when I know my husband had a hand in it then when she just brings something home from school - although trust me, I love those too!) My daughter started writing last year and to me, a handwritten “love note” from her ranks the highest of all things I really want for Mother’s Day.

Ultimately, what I want more than anything else in the world – more than a store-bought card, a box of candy, or a beautiful bouquet of flowers – is to know that I am loved. And nothing material does that - its simply just feeling special and appreciated and knowing that our husbands and kids think that there is no better Mom in the world than us.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm so glad that we have some Posters!! New Grand Prize!

Yay!!! I just wanted to shout out a big THANK YOU to everyone who is participating on my forum so far!! I got a great email from someone who found my site who is going to be moderating the forums for now - hopefully she will spark some great conversations!! Its not too late to enter!!

My new grand prize that I am giving away for the forum thread this is the busiest is a $10 gift certificate to Restaurant.Com - you can choose from 1000s of restaurants all over the country!

Then I will give away 4 FREE EBOOKS to the 4 people who post the most comments on my forums!! Remember to go to my website and click on forums to get going!! Thanks for playing!!

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Sunday, May 4, 2008


I'm having a contest and I would love if you played!!

The rules are simple:

1. Visit my website - and click on FORUMS on the top menu bar

2. Start a thread going and invite as many friends or other forum buddies of yours to come over and get a good discussion going

3. The 5 people who are able to inspire the best threads and keep them going will win their choice of one of 5 ebooks that I have. Normally I sell these from time to time on my website for anywhere between $10 - $20 - but I'm willing to give 5 of these away just to bribe and motivate you to wake up and put some life into the forums on my website!!

4. In order to enter, you must leave a comment on this post and let me know your name, email address, user name that you used on my forum and what thread or threads you started.

5. Please feel free to start as many threads as you would like - and even if you don't invite friends over to play, but your thread gets the attention of other visitors and sparks some conversation, you can absolutely win!!

6. This contest BEGINS NOW and WILL END AT 8AM Arizona Time on Monday, May 12th - the day after Mother's Day!!

Good luck - I can't wait to see what mommies are going to chat about this week!!

The ebooks that you have a choice of are:
1. How to Set Up a Family Budget
2. 224 Meals in a Hurry!
3. Fun Recipes for Kids
4. The Ultimate Potty Training Guide
5. Party Games (for kids, for teens and for adults)

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Hurry - we're going to be Late - otherwise known as My Morning Mantra

Does anyone out there who has kids that they have to get ready for school actually have smooth, easy, no argument, no negotiation, no rushing mornings? If that person is you, not only do I want to know you and know what your secret is, but YOU ARE MY HERO!

As most of you know by now, my daughter Allie is 5 1/2 and finishing Kindergarten and in most aspects of her life she moves quickly and is compliant and generally a good-natured kid who I love to be around.

School Mornings make me cringe. I feel it when I begin to drift asleep at night - what is tomorrow morning going to bring? Sometimes if I turn over in the middle of the night and glance at the clock - I realize how many hours I have until our morning begins and I shudder (unless its a Friday night and then I go back to sleep with a smile on my face because I realize tomorrow is Saturday and she can have what she refers to as her "slowpoke" mornings where she doesn't have to move fast).

Allie likes to get to school early in the morning to play with her friends and she likes it when her Daddy takes her - so ideally in their perfect world, they like to be out the door by 8:40am. Most mornings they are. But there are those ugly few that they aren't and we were blessed with 2 of those morning this week - Thursday and Friday.

Both mornings started out fine and innocent enough - and while Friday ended up okay, Thursday was pretty yucky.

Thursday's crisis was simply sneakers. On days that she has PE, Allie has to wear sneakers and in a matter of a few days she outgrew 2 of her favorite sneakers. So that left 3 others to choose from (and as some of my friends point out - perhaps that is the problem - if she only had one pair there wouldn't be choices which is what created the problem). Her pink sparkly converse are her favorite - but they come untied numerous times throughout the day and while she knows how to tie her shoes, she doesn't tie them too tight and so I think she isn't overly happy in them. Then she has 2 High School Musical sneakers and while she likes them, she doesn't love them and thinks they are kinda stiff (and yes, when we bought them she swore they were the most comfy shoes in the world and she would wear them all the time - need I say more?). So, the more I kept asking/telling her to pick her shoes because we needed to hurry up, the more she stood staring at her shoes and not making a move.

So, then I said I was not going to ask her again - she is almost in 1st grade - she needed to pick her shoes and come out and eat breakfast. Ok - but here is the problem - I kept going back into her to hurry her along. And the more I went in and the more I saw her sitting there doing nothing, the more frustrated I got and guess what that lead to - TEARS!

So - it now 8:40 and she is all dressed - no shoes on and no breakfast - oh yes, did I mention that my neighbor had to drop their kids off for me to take to school, so we had 2 extra girls as well - all of them watching the clock saying "we have to leave or we are going to be late" numerous times over and over again.

My husband appears at 8:41 ready to go and asks where Allie is and then he hears her tears. He went into her room - I heard some hushed conversations and while I don't know what magic he did, she was out of the room and in her sneakers and ready to eat breakfast by 8:45. By the time she finished breakfast and he loaded all the kids in his car and took them to school - they got there at 8:54 - one minute before the bell rings.

So - when Allie went to bed on Thursday night, we rehash the morning a bit and both say sorry for whatever we did and talk about how we don't like mornings to happen that way and how no way, no how will tomorrow morning be "yucky" again.

Guess what???? Friday wasn't much better!! We woke up very happy and in a great mood - but very chit chatty and very slow. So - I felt most of the morning was spent with me saying "hurry up" "ok, tell me that after you (brush your teeth, brush your hair, get dressed, etc)", "hurry, Daddy is going to want to leave soon" - get the picture? I look at the clock and its 8:20 - and we are doing pretty good - she only has to brush her hair and eat breakfast and there is more then enough time to do that in 20 minutes - right?

Well - I got busy doing laundry and I realize that I haven't seen Allie yet for breakfast - last I left her at 8:20, she was in the bathroom brushing her hair and it was now 8:35. Where did she get lost to? She is only 5 1/2 - she can't be in the bathroom that long! Well, I hear a grunt and sigh from the bathroom and then "Mooooooooooooooooom, my hair isn't cooperating this morning". I go in and she looks as cute as a button to me - but she is distraught over her hair. I try and plead and say she looks cute and its fine and she tells me its not. Finally, after playing with it some more, it is apparently presentable to her and she is ready to eat breakfast at 8:39. I tell her to hurry because Daddy is going to want to leave soon and she is eating her breakfast as though she has all the time in the world. My husband says to her if she wants to leave she had to hurry and finish - we are both trying to get her to hurry and the more we say hurry, the more she looks at us as though we are speaking a foreign language to her.

At 8:45 he says, Allie I'm walking out the door - so either please come with me, or Mommy will take you. He walks out - he starts the car and THE TEARS come. She looks at me like - OMIGOSH - he is really leaving???? She says "fine" - and grabs her backpack and runs out to the car - tears and all.

Well - I hate mornings that end this way - I just feel all sad when she goes off to school and I know she isn't happy. I end up stressing about it all day - how could I have handled it different, etc.

So - as she gets herself in the car, I run out w/ the rest of her breakfast in a bowl (I think 4 bites of bananas at that point) and hand it to her - she doesn't look at me and says "no, forget it, I'm fine" - I tell her "the bananas were calling your name - they were so sad not to be finished". I accomplished my goal - she burst out laughing and took the bananas and off she went with Daddy with a smile on her face.

And no, it doesn't matter if she is up at 6am or 7:30am - just as sure as the sun rises every day, we can be just as sure if we have to be somewhere in the morning there is some sort of negotiation and prodding that takes place - its just a question of whether its a simple, harmless amount of negotiating and prodding or not. . .