Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Glimpse into My Daughter's Jewish Education

Tonight after gymnastics we went to dinner with some of Allie's friends and the girls were having a wonderful time just hanging out and being with each other. The following conversation occurred:

O (friend of Allie): Do you believe the Saviour has already come or is coming?

Allie: huh?

O: Do you believe the Saviour has already come or is coming?

Allie: who?

O: The Saviour
Allie: Huh?
O: The Saviour. You know, the Saviour.
Allie: Who? Mom?

Mommy Meryl: O honey, we don't learn about that at our Temple, we learn other things.

O to Allie: Like what?
Allie: Like Chanukah, uhhh Shabbat, matzah. . .

O's Mom: O, Jewish people believe in the Old Testament. You know, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and . . .

Allie: The Gingerbread Man.
No, I'm not kidding. . .and if that is not blog fodder, I don't know what is!

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Blogging Idol is Over. . .

I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who subscribed to me in the last month to help me win Blogging Idol - hopefully you like my posts well enough to continue being a subscriber!! While I loved being a part of this competition, I'm looking forward to going back to "just blogging" for awhile - its much more enjoyable and much less exhausting than trying to figure out how to get new subscribers!

Because I appreciate everyone who supported me, I am going to leave my Blogroll up for another 2 weeks - please make sure you stop by and visit some of these websites and blogs. . . .they made the effort to support me and I would love to try to help them get some new traffic!

And if you are wondering the same thing I am, why is Blogging Idol over at 4pm Arizona time on July 31st? I don't have the answer for you. . .Its supposed to be over at midnight - but perhaps it is midnight somewhere in the world??? I don't really think I had a chance to win that many new subscribers in the last few hours. . .but when I saw that the contest was over, I was a little disappointed because then I knew there was absolutely not a chance. . .

Michelle left me a comment that she was getting 6 friends as new subscribers to me - assuming they sign up (I will be able to confirm once either you or they email me their email addresses), she is the winner of my last contest. Michelle, you didn't leave me your email address, so please email me at so we can talk specifics. . .

Again, thank you to everyone - it was fun. . .but now that I'm not winning, I need to really figure out how to monetize my blog and website! :-)

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tees For Change

Get some very cool t-shirts at a 15% discount for MommyMeryl readers - read more about them here.

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Things that make you say "Hmmmm. . ."

I have to say, even by my very social and thereisnothingmoreimportantthanyourbirthday standards, Allie's birthday festivities have been quite festive and plentiful so far - and we still have the biggest event - her birthday party - set for this Saturday.

But my hubby and I experienced something the other night that I wanted to share. Now, I will be the first to admit, we make large birthday parties for Allie- I'm not saying expensive, I'm saying large. I don't think we have ever had less than 20 kids (Okay - there is no one I can cut - there just isn't! I go over the list with my friends as they tell me they are sure they can get rid of half - and they never can! I really believe that my family is fortunate to have such a wonderful and special circle of friends. . .but I digress. Oh and by the way, this year there are 32 kids coming - we added a new crop of friends from Kindergarten and didn't really "drop" old friends - we treasure those relationships!) and we have always invited families as well - my hubby and I always love a reason to get together with our friends and celebrate!

So, the other night, on Allie's actual birthday, we had her sleepover club spend the night. They came over around 4:30 and were ecstatic to play on the trampoline. We headed out to Chuck E. Cheese around 6:45 where the kids closed down the place - we finally got home around 9:30. The girls thought it was decadent to get in their jammies and bounce on the trampoline at 10pm and then they couldn't wait to close the door to the playroom and dance and sing to the Hannah Montana movie that we had taped from Saturday night.

Numerous times that evening all 3 of Allie's friends came up to Rich and I that evening and told us it was the best birthday party they have ever been to.

In the morning, they woke up and couldn't wait to bounce on the trampoline and then dive into chocolate donuts w/ sprinkles for breakfast. After brushing teeth, hair and washing hands & face, they packed up their bags and changed into their bathing suits and we all went swimming. The girls danced on the pool deck to Hannah Montana and then pretended they were mermaids, just like in H2O.

Each child told Allie that she was lucky to have the best birthday party ever.

Guess what? It wasn't even her birthday party! At least my hubby & I didn't think it was. Allie's big birthday party is planned for this Saturday where there will be swimming, games, pizza, cake, lots of friends, party favors, etc. Saturday's party took lots of effort and money to plan and has been in the works for months.

Last Monday was simply her monthly sleepover club coming on her actual birthday - that is all. Yet, in the eyes of these girls, it was the best night ever.

It was small, simple, easy and inexpensive.

There is a lesson to be learned here Moms - but how many of us will really take it to heart?

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Last Blogging Idol Contest - Nice Prize for Winner

Hi everyone - I am going to make this short and sweet. . .I want to win Blogging Idol!

When I was first introduced to this contest by my buddy at Winning Startups, I joined the contest more out of curiosity than anything else. When I realized on July 1 that there were over 100 Bloggers and most of them information or tech blogs, I didn't really think I would have a chance. But guess what - I have been in and out of the top 10 Bloggers all month and this week, I am at #9!! There are a little over 400 subscribers that separate me and #1 - and with your help, I believe its doable! Might sound crazy - but I really believe that you and I together can make this Mommy Blog the winner!

Ok -here is my bribe to you - for the person who solicits the most new subscribers for me between now and 11:59pm on Thursday, July 31, that person will win the following:

1. 500 business cards (2-sided, full color, full bleed, 2x3.5") donated by Concept Design Studios

2. An original Sara Rose Tutu - custom made tutu for your little princess!

3. An informative business guide donated by Operate It Right that will teach you how to tell others what you do for a living! The OperateItRight Guide to Articulating What You Do™ will help you develop 6 key marketing messages:
Tagline that sets the perceived image of your company
Elevator Speech that answers the “What do you do?” question in a way that makes them want to know more
Compelling Marketing Message that clearly explains what you do, who you help and what you help them achieve
Your Story to explain what drives you to do what you do
A Reason to Buy Now that makes sure your listeners know what you offer
Call to Action so your listeners know what you want them to do

4. $25 Starbucks Gift donated Sue Barenholtz of World Venture Travel - stop by to see how she can save you lots of money on your next vacation!

Yes, one winner takes all!

Ok - so, you want to win and now you need to know what to do? Simple - tell all your friends and/or the readers of your blog about Mommy Meryl and Blogging Idol Competition and tell them to subscribe to me!

1. Your "recruit" needs to Subscribe to Mommy Meryl Blog via email (on the top left side bar or you can click here): Subscribe to Mommy Meryl by Email

2. Your "recruit" needs to leave me a comment here and tell me what their email is that they subscribed with and who referred them to me (that would be your name). If your "recruit" doesn't want to leave a public comment w/ their email, they can certainly email me at and leave me the same information in the email as they would in the comment.

3. This contest ends 11:59 PM on Thursday, July 31, 2008 and the winner is simply the person that recruits the most new subscribers for me between NOW and July 31, 2008. If each one of you recruit at least 4 - 5 people for me that could be the push Mommy Meryl needs!

Remember, they need to subscribe via email so I can verify that they signed up!

Thank you or all your continuing support!

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We Have a Winner for the Personalized Pillow Cases!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-07-29 08:15:09 UTC

Congrats to #29 - Samantha P (please email me at - if I don't hear from you by Thursday, July 31, you will forfeit to the next person) and thank you so much for everyone who played and who subscribed to my blog to support me in this Blogging Idol competition! And thank you to Dorothy's Delights for sponsoring this contest! If you haven't stopped by their website, please do as she has some really great items!!

I will have another contest/giveaway starting on Tuesday evening - a huge prize for the one subscriber that gets me the most subscribers by Thursday, July 31, 2008. I will post all the details on Tuesday evening - but so far we have a tutu for that little princess, 500 business cards and a wonderful business guide!!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Today Is Allie's Birthday!!

And guess what? I got a present too - 2 new bright strands of gray hair right smack dab on top of my head! They are so prominent, I'm surprised you can't see them!!

My hubby tells me that is what happens when your daughter turns 6 - gosh, I can only imagine what will happen when she turns 16!!

Best quotes of her trampoline birthday present?

"I can't believe I have a trampoline - I dreamt this my whole life"

"This is the best day in my life so far"

Allie to babysitter: "Do you like or love my trampoline?"

Babysitter: "Love it, of course!" "Do you like or love your trampoline?"

Allie: "I don't like it or love it."

Babysitter: "huh?"

Allie: "I love love love love love it - I'm going to marry it".

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

So, What Is It About Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana?

Tonight we had some friends over for swimming, trampoline jumping and the Hannah Montana movie. My friend, M, is the mother of a 4.5 year old girl and a 6 year old boy and she knew, just as I did, the words to almost every Hannah Montana song. And why is that?

I got to thinking. There are probably very few Moms in this country that don't know who Hannah Montana is, assuming they have a daughter between the ages of 4 - 11. If you mention Hannah Montana, chances are Moms have something to say - while the vast majority have nothing but positive things to say, there are a few naysayers in the bunch. But the bottom line is, we all know who she is and most of us love her just as much as our daughters do (okay, we might not have the blond wigs, but you know what I mean).

And why is that? I'll tell you why, branding. Hannah Montana is not a person -but a theme, an event, a phenomenon, an activity, a wardrobe, a shopping experience that keeps us coming back for more. How many Hannah Montana t-shirts does YOUR daughter own? I can tell you that I wouldn't have to do laundry for a week and my daughter would still have Hannah Montana shirts to wear (thankfully Walmart carries them for around $6!).

When you first learned about Hannah Montana, what were your first thoughts? I'll tell you mine ". . .But don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart, I just don't think it'd understand. And if you tell my heart, my achy breaky heart, don't break my heart, my achy brakey heart. . .". Yes - I had no idea who that cute little firecracker was, but I sure knew her Daddy! But, I had nothing but fond memories of Billy Ray. I'm not a fan of country, but I did love his song (you can't deny it was very catchy. . .) and it immediately took me back to memories of law school and all my friends singing the song. So, immediately I feel more connected to Miley when I learn she is Billy Ray Cyrus's daughter and instead of it being another show I really have no interest in, Allie and I are bonding over the Cyrus Father and Daughter show.

I also think, despite all the bad press the poor kid has received lately, that Disney has created a pretty wholesome Hannah Montana experience. If you have ever watched her show, I think you would agree that while there are some snotty characters on the show every now and then, Hannah is not one of them and the message always demonstrates that being nice is better. Hannah always wears appropriate clothes (you might not like the style and what she puts together, but it covers everything its supposed to cover. . .).

I have seen the Hannah Montana movie twice and at no time did any of her costume changes reflect any inappropriate skin, tattoos or body piercings. Her dancing and that of her dancers didn't want to make you look away because of gyrating and/or body pumping - their dancing was impressive, infectious and fun to watch. Whether my daughter is watching this in a movie theatre, on tv or in person I am extremely comfortable with the feel good and upbeat show she is going to see.

And in today's time of Bratz dolls (okay, do any of them NOT look like Hoochie Mammas??) and Barbies with black fishnet stockings, I'll take Hannah Montana any day!

And Disney has spread some sort of magic dust on their Hannah Products because I think I love buying them for Allie as much as she loves to get them! When I buy Allie a Hannah t-shirt or new CD, it makes me feel good knowing this little purchase created such excitement in Allie - again, its a whole experience, not just buying some cute t-shirt for Allie that she says thanks for. When she sees its Hannah, she goes crazy and is filled with joy.

When you put all this together, what do you get? Simply, a brilliant way that Disney has created an opportunity for Moms and their daughters to experience true fun and joy with each other. Moms and Daughters are connecting, bonding and sharing and we are taking advantage of that because we all know that soon enough that will end. They won't see us as the cool moms that took us to Hannah Montana and bought them their favorite Hannah Montana sleeping bag. We will be unhip and uncool to them before you know it and not only will they not want to hang out with us, but chances are we won't want to listen to the music they want to listen to and sadly, Hannah Montana will go in the same memories box that we put The Wiggles, Barney, Elmo and Dora in.

So, if you are one of those moms like me who are caught up in the Hannah Montana hype, enjoy the ride and appreciate the bonding with your daughter because chances are it won't last forever.

And if you are one of those moms that hold Hannah Montana at arms length, catch a glimpse of her show or listen to one of her CDs. I'll be shocked if you don't find the music catchy and fun to listen to . But even if you don't, look at it as an opportunity to share something magical in your daughter's eyes - I an confident that you won't regret it, and it will probably be over before you know it.

And just in case I haven't convinced you to give Hannah Montana a try and you are shaking your head doubting that there are any positive messages that your child can learn, I would have to beg to differ and ask you to try this on for size. Whenever Allie or someone else makes a mistake, Allie is quick to say, "that's okay, NOBODY'S PERFECT, not even Hannah Montana - she said so!"

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Check Out Some Mommy Meryl Must Haves!

Look at what Mommy Meryl says is a must have - great tshirt wear and wonderful workbooks for home!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

And Allie's Birthday Festivities Start. . .

A lot of money for a trampoline for our 6 year olds birthday. . .???

Dinner & Beer for our neighbors to bribe them to help us build the trampoline - $60.00

Amount of body water lost from putting together a trampoline in 100 degree heat in AZ - gallons

Amount of laughs between neighbors putting together a trampline - millions

Seeing Allie's face when she came home and saw the trampline - PRICELESS!

She said that this was the BEST DAY OF HER LIFE SO FAR!

Admit it, C'mon, its always nice to be a hero parent for a moment or two. ..

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I Need Over 350 More Subscribers - Can You Help Me?

Hi everyone - thanks so much for your continuing support of me and Blogging Idol! A few people have asked me for my stats - I have a total of 131 subscribers - I started on July 1 with 17 and so I have gained 114 new subscribers!! I am sooo excited! But, I have to tell you, the #1 guy has gained 484 subscribers since July 1 - that is 353 more than me. Sooooooooo - here is my thought, if you are game - if each one of you are able to share my blog with at least 3 -4 of your friends/blog readers and ask them to subscribe, I can have a decent shot of catching up to the #1 guy! And wouldn't that be amazing to have a Mommy Blog with Blogging Idol?

I also would love to have a contest to offer the current subscriber who attracts the most new subscribers to my blog between now and July 31st a wonderful prize/bribe - BUT, the contest rules prohibit me from giving a prize that I buy myself. Soooo - if anyone has that one amazing prize to donate for this cause, please let me know - I would be sooo appreciative!! All my contest sponsors have been wonderful and have helped me attract so many subscribers!!

As always, thanks for your continuing support - please let me know if you have that fabulous prize to donate!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can We Go to the Trophy Store?

There is truly nothing more worthy of repeating than those comments, statements, observations and questions that often come out of the mouths of our children. . .and today Allie posed one of those questions.

Today was Field Day at camp for Allie and she has been quite excited for a few days. Earlier in the week the counselors told the kids that some campers would win a trophy, but everyone would leave with at least one ribbon. Well, Allie kept telling me all week how excited she was because she was going to get a trophy at Field Day. Of course, wanting to protect her from every upset, I tried to make sure that she understood most kids would not get a trophy and that she shouldn't be disappointed if she didn't. All that matters is that she has fun!

There was not a more excited child at 3pm when Allie came rushing out to me proudly holding out her trophy. She couldn't wait to tell me that she got it for Jump Roping and the smile on her face and excitement in her voice was contagious! At the same time Allie was proudly sharing her good news, her close girlfriend "A" was clearly not so happy and the more excited Allie seemed, the more upset her friend got and so before I could turn around and ask her friend "A" what she got her ribbon in, "A" and her mom left.

After seeing "A" leave, Allie turned to me and said, "A is grumpy because she didn't get a trophy. I asked Miss Claire if they could give A a trophy so she wouldn't be sad but Miss Claire told me you can only win a trophy."

I told Allie it was really sweet of her to think of A like that and to want to make her feel better but that as hard as it is sometimes not to get a trophy, the most important thing is to have fun and to be proud of your friends who do get trophies even though you are sometimes a little sad that you might not have gotten one."

As we were getting in the car to go home, Allie told me she had an " excellent idea". She said we should mall and go to the Trophy Store to get one for A to give it to her tomorrow. . .

Its moments like those that make you think you must be doing something right as a Mommy (or at least all the other stuff you did hasn't completely messed them up. . .)!

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I LOVE Karaoke - how about you?

Your Karaoke Theme Song is "I'm Too Sexy"

You're a total goof ball and a bit of a nut job. You don't take yourself seriously at all.

And while you may not be the greatest singer, you're the first to volunteer for karaoke.

You have a wild and unpredictable sense of humor that always gets people cracking up.

Irreverent and rebellious, your humor knows no bounds or limits. You enjoy shocking people.

You might also sing: "Like a Virgin," "Ice Ice Baby," and "Hey Ya!"

Stay away from people who sing: "Sweet Home Alabama"

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Please Support Me In Blogging Idol - Win a Personalized Pillowcase!

Here is a wonderful give-away for those of you who are looking for an adorable pillowcase. These pillowcases are best sellers. They're made with the highest quality 100% cotton fabric that washes beautifully. Dozens of themes available...sports, dance, music, dogs, hobbies, little boy toys, nursery rhymes, flip flops and many more! ... $16.95-each. Please check out Dorothy's website.

Dorthothy's Delights has been kind enough to sponsor this giveaway to help Mommy Meryl win Blogging Idol! For the longer version of what that is, click here. In short, over 100 bloggers are competing to see who can attract the most subscribers to their blog in the month of July. The winner will receive $3000 worth of goodies - not the least is $1500 cash and I can't deny that I would be thrilled to win and to finally say that my blogging is earning an income! :-) I am doing really well for a Mommy Blogger and as of now, I have almost 117 subscribers!!

How to enter (for US Residents ONLY):
1. Subscribe to Mommy Meryl Blog by clicking here: Subscribe to Mommy Meryl by Email
2. Leave me a comment that tells you you subscribed AND you confirmed the subscription in your email. All subscriptions will be confirmed via Feedburner.
3. All verified entries will be entered into on Tuesday morning and a winner will be posted here on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.
4. You can also gain yourself another entry by subscribing to my blog AND posting about it on your blog - just make sure to let me know in your comment the full URL of your blog posting!
What if you already subscribe (thank you!!) , but want to enter this giveaway? Simple! Just post about this giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment with the URL to your post and you will be entered!
Good luck and thanks for entering! Contest will run from Thurs., July 24 - Mon., July 28!

And just so you don't have to scroll up again - here is the link to subscribe to my blog - Subscribe to Mommy Meryl by Email

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Too Hot To Cook At Home? Treat Yourself to a Meal Out!

NEW! Dinner of the Month Club at

Save on Dinner of the Month Club: Now thru July 31st, 70% Off Dinner of the Month Club Purchase. Use code CRAVE.

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We have a Winner for our Avon Giveaway!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-07-23 00:07:45 TCU

Congrats to #6 - agordon10 (please contact me via email - so I can forward your information on to our sponsoring vendor - you have 72 hours to claim your prize or you will forfeit it to the next winner) and thank you so much for everyone who played and who subscribed to my blog to support me in this Blogging Idol competition! And thank you to Shannon who donated her wonderful Avon products. Please don't forget to stop by her site to check out all the deals currently going on with her Avon products.

I will have another contest/giveaway starting on Thursday - if you already subscribed, but have a blog you will be able to enter by posting about my contest on your blog (please wait for details so you know what you are posting about!)! But if a personalized pillowcase sounds like something fun to win, you will enjoy this contest!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Costumephobia? Characterphobia? Or Just a Kid?

I don't know if I have shared this with you yet, but Disneyland is one of my favorite places on Earth - as well as my hubby's and daughter's. Halloween is also one of our favorite holidays - decorating the house, picking out the costume, going trick or treating, etc. And one of Allie's favorite past times is looking at Christmas lights and Christmas decorations and observing/celebrating the Christmas feeling from afar.

Have I also told you that Allie is absolutely afraid of Characters??? No - she is not afraid of the typical Halloween costumes - be it adult or child - she is just deathly afraid of the big character costumes - i.e., Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, the Rat from Chuck E. Cheese, Snoopy, Elmo, Big Bird or any of the 100s of other characters she has seen at the various theme parks, birthday parties and children shows that we have been to. And I'm not talking about afraid, let's walk in the other direction. I'm talking death grip, shakes, tears and gotta get outta here fear!

Disneyland is her favorite place on earth - so long as she is far enough away from Mickey and his friends that she knows they won't try and come near her (but she couldn't get close enough to the Princesses!). She loves when Santa comes to the mall at Christmas time - only to view him from 6 stores away and not a foot closer. When we go to our local train park over the December holidays to see all the lights, its always time to leave when the characters (Elmo, Snoopy, Bob the Builder, etc) come out and mill around with the children.

I can't even tell you how many birthday parties we have left because she took one look at the Chuck E. Cheese Rat and she couldn't even stay in the same building. . .and that brings me to the purpose of this post. Allie no longer insists on making a mad dash for the exit when she sees Chuck E. Cheese - she only needs to be on the opposite side of the restaurant and cling to an adult for dear life. . .that is progress, right?

Allie's 6th birthday is at the end of July and Missy Miss is having 2 birthday celebrations this year. Her birthday party is going to be held during the first part of August and is going to be a really fun pool party with a Camp Rock theme and lots of games and yummy food! She is having another celebration on her actual birthday when her sleepover club has their monthly sleepover at our house (ohhh, I can feel some good blogging material coming on. . .) and for months Allie has talked about wanting to go to Chuck E. Cheese. WWWWHHHHATTTTT?

I kindly, warmly, sweetly tell her that whatever she wants is fine and that sounds like a GREAT idea, but what about THE RAT? Allie tells me that she will be 6 and won't be scared of it. Well, gotta tell you, that answer just wasn't good enough for Mom. Soooo, I insist that my husband take her there for a trial run because the last thing I wanted to have happen was to arrive with Allie and all her friends on her birthday and for Allie to see THE RAT and clutch to one of us for dear life and drag us running out the door. And then all of us staring at each other wondering what to do next. No, that plan just wasn't going to work for me.

So, last night Hubby and I take Allie and one of her bestest buddies to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner. I can't tell you how excited Allie and her little friend were all day for our big evening activity. So, was our $46 dollar evening a success (yes - $46 dollars to eat gross pizza, some wilted salad with room temperature dressing, 4 drinks and 80 tokens, but I digress. . .)? I'll let you decide. . .

So, we get to Chuck E. Cheese and as we walk in, Allie couldn't have been more excited. I'm feeling a bit relieved at this point because in the past, all it took was for Allie to see the "fake" Rat in the party room on the right side of the stage and she was history. So, we walk in, get stamped, pick out our table and then we hear the music and dancing coming from the party room. We look over and The Rat is leading a bunch of happy kids in a dance. Allie runs to her Daddy, clutches in arm for dear life and tells him she want him to take her into the room to get closer. So, while I order dinner, Hubby takes the girls into the party room and walk as close as Allie would allow - a safe 10 feet from The Rat. But you know what, this is HUGE PROGRESS!

So, after a while they come back to the main room and we tell the kids they can play until the pizza comes and Allie stays at the table. A million questions - where is The Rat? will he come into this room? When? How long will he stay? Will he come near me? And we don't have any answers, but she finally agrees to go play with her friend under the strict promise that if Hubby or I see The Rat we have to run to her immediately.

And just as you would think, while Allie is halfway across the restaurant, we see The Rat coming into the dining room. So, Hubby wanders over to Allie (do men "get" the sense of urgency???) and as long as Daddy is next to her and The Rat is away from her, she is happy as can be. She is even happier when The Rat leaves.

And that was how our evening went. Happy and carefree if The Rat was out-of-sight. If The Rat was entertaining other happy kids, she was content so long as he was half-way across the restaurant and Daddy was no more than an inch or two from her being.

Surely, I thought, how fun can this be for her? She essentially is one step away from needing to be on anxiety medication for fear that she will see The Rat at every turn (boy was she relieved when she decided The Rat was a boy and no way would he be in the girl's bathroom - had she thought it was a girl I'm pretty confident she wouldn't have gone in the restroom).

And wouldn't you know it, 2 hours later she said she couldn't wait to come here with her sleepover club for her birthday because she is not as scared as she used to be. And then she said she couldn't wait to go to Disneyland again because just maybe she might want to be close enough to wave to Mickey this time.

I guess, who am I to judge what fun should look like or feel like, right?

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Word Only

Another fun posting that I snagged from Jen at her blog.

Each answer can only be one word. I have to tell you, this is a little more challenging than I thought as brevity is not my stong suit!

1. Where is your cell phone? Car.

2. Your significant other? Rich

3. Your hair? Crunchy

4. Your favorite thing? Fun

5. Your dream last night? Clueless

6. Your favorite drink? Chai

7. Your dream/goal? Thin

8. The room you’re in? Kitchen

9. Your friends? Special

10. Your fear? Death

11.. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Beach

12. Where were you last night? Friend's

13. What you’re not? Thin

14. Muffins? Tops

15. One of your wish list items? Pregnant

16. Where you grew up? Arizona

17. The last thing you did? Popcorn

18. What are you wishing? Happiness

19. Your TV? Disney

20. Your pets? Dogs

21. Your computer? Addicted

22. Your life? Journey

23. Your mood? laughing

24. Missing someone? Rick

25. Your car? minivan

26. Something you’re not wearing? shoes

27. Favorite store? Target

28. Your summer? Pool

29. Loves? family

30. Your favorite word? Mommy

31. Last time you laughed? earlier

32. Last time you cried? PMS

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Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm Just Not That Into Naked People

I have to tell you, I never thought of myself as a prude, but maybe I sadly am?

Ok, yesterday I am with my daughter at gymnastics and I need to use the restroom - so I go into the ladies locker room to do my thing. As I walk through, I notice out of the corner of my eye the yummy cuteness of little naked girls chasing each other around the locker room and it reminds me of how much I love Allie's naked little tush! I wonder where their mom is. Then as I'm getting closer to the toilets I see a completely naked woman blow drying her hair and trying to get the cute naked girls' attention while she was standing next to her completely naked friend who was putting on her make up. And as I see them, I have millions of thoughts flying through my head at insane speeds. Not the least of was, why do you have to be naked drying your hair and putting on your make up in front of EVERYONE?

As I head into my private bathroom stall, I close the door with relief and began to ponder why this is giving me so much anxiety. I know women all have the same "parts" but I have to be really honest with you, unless you are a cute little girl, I have NO INTEREST IN SEEING YOUR PARTS! And I sit down to pee with major relief that the naked moms didn't try to talk to me.

Now, just so we are clear - I love shopping with my girlfriends or going to the spa with them - but the amount of time we are truly naked with each other lasts for seconds - we usually are taking something off to immediately put something on - be it a towel, bathing suit, a robe, clothes, etc. We are not having lengthy conversations while being naked.

And lest you think I am prejudiced against women, I am not - my naked issues stem to men too. I mean, let's be honest here - I truly believe clothes were invented not to keep us warm and dry from the weather, but to prevent us from having to watch men and their parts flap around in all their glory. I think its even awkward to look at big ole' dogs who have not been neutered yet - can you honestly tell me that you think a dog is just as cute walking with a big package between his hind legs?

So, as I finish peeing I realize that the blow dryer has stopped and I hear some women talking about gymnastics and one woman saying, "I think that lady that went into the stall has a daughter in gymnastics." Now, I have the utmost confidence that these women are not the naked women - I mean surely after naked woman was done blow drying her hair she wasn't just standing around talking naked, right? I mean she is definitely getting dressed, right? Absolutely, I tell myself.

I leave the stall and I am face to face with the 2 naked women who want to talk to me about gymnastics. OMIGOSH. So, they introduce themselves and extend their hand - what am I to do? I must shake hands with these naked ladies - or else it would seem like I was being rude as they are extending their hands from their naked bodies. So I introduce myself and shake their hands and go to wash my hands and wonder how long I can possibly drag my hand washing out so when I talk I can stare straight at my hands and the water?

Well, not too long or I would seem like a complete social loser and of course that was more concerning to me than talking to naked women - not much more bothersome, but a little! :-)

So, I finish washing my hands and wouldn't you believe it, another naked woman joins us, but this time I sigh with relief as I see her grab a towel. But you know what, she put the towel on top of her hair - not her body! Hey ladies, I want to shout, please please get dressed because all I am thinking about while you are trying to talk to me is that you ARE NAKED!

And not that it is important, but let me tell you, each woman was a little more flabby then the next - its not like I was surrounded by women in pristine shape (I'm not saying that it would even make it better - but as I told this story to 2 girlfriends this morning, the first question they asked me was whether they were in good shape. So, I figured you might want to know the answer to that too. . .). Now I suppose they get major credit for being comfortable in their nakedness, regardless of their body shape and I do give them kudos for that - but that doesn't take away from the fact that I don't want to have a conversation with naked ladies. It just makes me squirm. I mean where do you look?? Ok, yes, I know you are supposed to look into someone eyes when you talk, but c'mon, let's be real! If that was the only place we looked when we talked to someone, we could never comment on their cute (or hideous) shoes, their fabulous (or scary) purse, their cute (or ugly) new top - etc - I mean, you can't help but look at the boobs and well, one had a brazillian, one did not. Oy - why am I sharing this with you???

So, me who is normally very verbose, tries to wrap up this gymnastics conversation quickly (especially after I dropped my cell phone on the floor and I had to bend down and pick it up in the middle of this circle of naked women!) - I virtually ran out the door telling them to come find me in the gym AFTER YOU'RE DRESSED if you want to chat about anything else - I was so excited to escape the locker room and return to watching my daughter's gymnastics class.

As I sit down, another mom from Allie's class joins me and I asked her where she was coming from. She told me the bathroom - and then she happens to tell me that she goes to the one farther away because the locker room has too many naked women just standing around for her liking. . .

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Contest - Help Mommy Meryl Win Blogging Idol and smell pretty too!

Here is a wonderful give-away for those of you who love to pamper yourself with a little shower gel and lotion - Gardenia scent too! Shannon who has a great blog, also has an Avon store and she is kindly giving away Avon Gardenia Body Lotion and Gardenia Shower Gel. Please check out what else is in her Avon store because right now there is a special going on where customers can purchase any 3 Avon Naturals for $10, Mix or Match- shower gel,body lotion, or body spray!

Shannon has been kind enough to sponsor this giveaway to help Mommy Meryl win Blogging Idol! For the longer version of what that is, click here. In short, over 100 bloggers are competing to see who can attract the most subscribers to their blog in the month of July. The winner will receive $3000 worth of goodies - not the least is $1500 cash and I can't deny that I would be thrilled to win and to finally say that my blogging is earning an income! :-) As of Saturday, July 13th, Mommy Meryl was in 6th place!!!

How to enter (for US Residents ONLY):

1. Subscribe to Mommy Meryl Blog by clicking here: Subscribe to Mommy Meryl by Email
2. Leave me a comment that tells you you subscribed AND you confirmed the subscription in your email. All subscriptions will be confirmed via Feedburner.
3. All verified entries will be entered into on Tuesday morning and a winner will be posted here on Tuesday, July 22, 2008.
4. You can also gain yourself another entry by subscribing to my blog AND posting about it on your blog - just make sure to let me know in your comment the full URL of your blog posting!

What if you already subscribe (thank you!!) , but want to enter this giveaway? Simple! Just post about this giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment with the URL to your post and you will be entered!

Good luck and thanks for entering! Contest will run from Wed., July 16 - Mon., July 21!

And just so you don't have to scroll up again - here is the link to subscribe to my blog - Subscribe to Mommy Meryl by Email

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Wordless Wednesday - 7/16/08 - Happy Birthday Daddy!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sugar & Spice is Not Always So Nice!

Allie has a cute little buddy from Kindergarten that I adore just as much as she does and I look forward to having him over for a playdate just as much as Allie does. Yes, I said a "him" - let's call him MM for the purposes of this post.

Allie and MM had an instant connection from the beginning of school and both expressed an interest in playdates with each other pretty early on in the school year. Allie and MM are both physical in that they love to run, jump, play, and swim (and if you ask them they prefer PE to art and music in school) - but they also love to sit and play games together.

When they play together, it never ceases to amaze me how they bring both of their "gender" roles into whatever they are playing. For example, yesterday they were building train tracks and setting up the station and people around it. MM was focused on designing the track and where the lights would go and the direction of the train. Allie was most concerned about who was riding the train, where they were going and what their names were. Putting the two together made for a killer train track with lots of people that created lots of possibilities to play with. They were both able to focus on what they wanted to - yet play together beautifully.

Then they decided to play a bowling game -while they were setting it up, Allie decided they could "pretend" they were at someone birthday party and MM said "yeah, and then all those people on the train are coming to the party and crash into the bowling game" - at first Allie was devastated over that concept - but then she discovered how much fun it was to aim the train to the bowling pins and knock them over. Never something she would have thought about on her own or would have come up with while playing with her girlfriends.

There are many more examples that occurred during the playdate that I could share with you - but what I realized more than anything was that it was a really easy playdate - just as enjoyable for me as for her.

As much as I love all of Allie's girlfriends (and I do!) - and as much fun as she has with them (she will tell you she has much more fun with girls then boys!), there is no arguing, refereeing, negotiating, redirecting, whining or crying during playdates with MM. What is it about girls that always bring such drama to the situation?

Maybe its because MM never wants to be the mom or the baby or the kitty cat - he is always happy being the Dad or Brother or the Mailman and Allie isn't interested in those roles. Maybe its because boys buttons can't get pushed the way girls can and maybe boys don't know how (or have no interest) in pushing the girls' buttons. Maybe there is less competition between boys and girls.

No, I think its something else. I think I have figured it out. . .get ready for this. . .I think its because girls talk and boys don't.

Girls relate and connect by using their words. Boys tend to be more physical. That is why often (I know this is stereotypical - so I apologize in advance. . .), but you hear parents say that a playdate of boys is lots of running around and chasing each other or playing with their figurines in a physical format and when girls get together, they might jump rope or do a cartwheel - but mostly they play house, school or do crafts - something a little more relaxed and usually conversing more.

And when there is less physical playing and more talking, there is more room for girls to be hurtful when they talk to each other. And in the same vain, girls get their feelings hurt quite a bit easier than boys do. So, perhaps the same exchange between Allie and MM would have a different result than if Allie had that same conversation with a girl.

For example:

Allie: I want to play bowling
MM: I really want to play air hockey
Allie: But at your house we played what you wanted to first, and we are at my house so now its my turn to choose first
MM: okay

Now - if there was a girl this is what I can see happening:

Allie: I want to play bowling
Girl: I really want to play air hockey
Allie: But at your house we played what you wanted to first, and we are at my house so now its my turn to choose first
Girl: Why do you always have to be the boss? (immediately starting with the name calling)
Girl: You always have to have it your way
Girl: So? We don't have to do everything the same.

Now, I'm not saying Allie is an angel here because I'm sure her comment back would be in the same tone and then chances are after a while they would resolve the problem themselves or more often then not you would hear the "Mooooooooooooooooom" whine which by the tone you would know immediately you were needed to solve a problem.

Where am I going with this? I don't really know - I don't have a profound message or lesson to be learned. I can only tell you that I wouldn't trade having a daughter for anything in the world as afternoons of lunch and pedicures are much more appealing to me than building a rocket, but whomever came up with the saying that girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice didn't really experience very many playdates with girls. . .

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Vote for Sassy Pink Boutique!

You could win this!

If You Do This. . .

Vote for Sassy Pink Boutique

It's time to vote!
Show your love and vote for Sassy Pink Boutique over at Girl Indie.
They have entered their Washcloth Candies in the Baby Gear Category ( entry #11-at the bottom) of the 1008 Designer Chick Contest!

To show their appreciation, everyone who emails Sassy Pink @ and lets her know they voted will be entered to win a cupcake bath bomb!

Vote here

Thank so much for your support - as a new Mommy Website and a new Mommy Blogger (check out my review blog if you haven't already - I'm getting ready to tell you where I found a lava lamp just like the one in Hannah Montana bedroom - your girls will love it!!), I am all about giving back the love to all the other Mommy websites and bloggers who support me. Sassy Pink Boutique not only happens to be a big supporter of Mommy Meryl (and designer of my Must Haves! blog!), but they are one of my fave sites to buy lots of baby shower and baby gifts at.

Deadline is Sunday, July 20th.

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We have a Winner for Little Pink Bowtique Contest!

Random Integer Generator

Part 2: Go!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-07-15 18:30:29 UTC

Congrats to #11 - Maria and #15 Linda of Ribbon Rock Star and thank you so much for everyone who played and who subscribed to my blog to support me in this Blogging Idol competition! And thank you to thanks to Little Pink Bowtique for sponsoring this contest! If you haven't stopped by their website, please do as she has some really cute hair accessories!!

I will have another contest/giveaway starting on Thursday - if you already subscribed, but have a blog you will be able to enter by posting about my contest on your blog (please wait for details so you know what you are posting about!)! If you like Avon products, this will be a great contest for you!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

What Does Your Name Mean?

What Meryl Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Virtual Ice-Cream Social


I was just invited to an ice-cream social and I'll never pass up ice-cream - especially if I won't gain weight from it!! They tell me there will be lots of fun and prizes during the week - hope to see you there!

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Simple Crafts Remind You of a Simple Time

If you like arts & crafts made with natural and organic materials, then check out my newest review on Mommy Meryl Must Haves!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Daughter Had Frosted Flakes & Lemonade for Dinner

I was sick yesterday. Not deathly ill. Not bleeding or broken bones. Just run-of-the-mill sick - low grade fever and an awful stomach ache and so exhausted that other than the bare minimum I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed.

I took my daughter to camp - came home and crawled into bed. 5 hours and 45 minutes later I crawled out of bed and picked my daughter up from camp.

We came home from camp and I tried my hardest to seem perky and pleasant and make conversation. Then Allie asked me if I would play a game with her. I felt soooo guilty because I had to say no as the thought of being a part of the world for one more minute was making me even more ill. So, I tell Allie, "Mommy doesn't feel well and I need to lay down for 5 minutes." Allie asks if she can watch iCarly. I told her yes and to wake me up when its over.

That was at 4pm on Friday.

I didn't see Allie again till both of us woke up this morning at 8am.

When she came in to wake me, I saw it was light outside and asked her if iCarly was over. Allie said, "Mommy, iCarly was on yesterday". I did a double take and saw my husband was sleeping in bed (totally don't remember him coming home) and I wondered what in the world happened to the last 16 hours of my life and began to question what did Allie do, who took care of her? when did my husband come home? Did she eat dinner? What did she have? And then I felt so guilty because I didn't know any answer to any of those questions.

After peppering Allie with millions of questions, she simply looks at me and tells me that she didn't want to wake me because I was sick and so she took the house phone and cell phone with her into her playroom in case anyone called. She said she made her own dinner - frosted flakes and lemonade and Daddy put her to bed when he got home from work.

I'm completely torn between feeling extremely guilty that I felt so awful yesterday that my child had no adult taking care of her and playing with her and giving her attention from the time we got home from camp until Daddy came home and feeling extremely proud of her for getting the fact that Mommy was sick and she needed to figure out a way to entertain herself. I was just hoping for 22 minutes of nothing while iCarly was on - I didn't expect her to make her own dinner too! And hey, who's to say that frosted flakes and lemonade would be any worse than what I would have made her with a fever of 100 and feeling crappy?

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Skip the Ice Cream - Just Tell Me Who Her Teacher Is!

My emotions got the better of me this afternoon. As I looked at the calendar, I realized that exactly one month from today, Allie starts 1st Grade. And that has managed to ignite a whole slew of minor anxiety-ridden questions and thoughts, and not the least of it is our school's ice-cream social.

On August 8th, Allie's school has their Ice-Cream social where all the kids and parents pretend to be excited to see everyone and eat ice-cream from 3-4pm, when the reality is that everyone is on pins and needles. . .waiting. Waiting until 4pm when they open the cafeteria doors to the hallway and 400 parents and 800 children are herded through one double door to clamor on top of each other to get a view of their class list.

Does my child have the teacher I want for him? How about if not the one I want, is he with the one he wants? Are my kids' friends all together in class? Do I have another mommy friend in class with me?

Yes, we wait all summer for the Friday before school to learn who our child's teacher is and who is in class with them. Then after you find out, you are either giddy with delight that all turned out the way you hoped - or you are inwardly seething while trying to make nice with all of your child's friends and secretly hoping that by osmosis you will be able to get your child's class changed between 4pm on Friday and 9am on Monday (perhaps this is a reason they wait until this day to let us know! - not enough time for parents to raise a stink!).

I started thinking, it was not even 2 months ago that we said goodbye to Allie's spectacular Kindergarten year - that last day filed with so many bittersweet feelings, not the least of which was saying goodbye and thank you to her most fabulous Kindergarten teacher as well as room full of wonderful moms and adorable classmates. And then something went off in my head like a lightening bolt! I'm not ready for first grade. . .

Yes, you read it correctly, I said I'm not ready for first grade. I didn't mention Allie because I'm sure she'll do fine. I'm the one that I'm worried about. .

One month from today is the first day of First Grade (August 11th - mark your calendars - you know there will be lots o' blogging on that day!) and I'll be honest, I'm not ready.

I'm not ready for the casual days of summer to end - where other than gymnastics and summer camp we have no pressures and concerns other than to enjoy ourselves and frolic the time away in the pool and with family and friends.

I'm not ready to start the fighting and arguing that goes along with bedtime and getting ready for school time.

I'm not ready to explain to her why she can't wear halter tops and flip flops at school even though its 110 degrees outside.

I'm not ready for our school's ice-cream social on August 8th to learn who her teacher is and who is in her class - what if its not THE teacher we (and 100 other students) want? What if she is not with the friends she wants to be with - or maybe even more importantly (I mean, let's be honest here. . .), what if I'm not with the same moms I want to be with?

I'm not ready to drop her off on the "big girl" playground - with 600 other kids - a far cry from the enclosed Kindergarten playground that seemed so safe and secure to me.

I'm not ready to have "real" homework. I'm not ready to have arguments about doing homework.

So, I'm not going to think about school starting - I'm going to put those thoughts tightly away in a neat little box that I'll put away in my underwear drawer until August 8th (ok, let's be real, I'll be a mess on August 7th. . .) and enjoy the rest of the summer with my family and friends where the biggest worry is whether or not we put on the sunscreen.

But, one last thought - don't you agree with me - nix the ice-cream and just get to the point. . .no sense making nice and torturing us for an hour . . .

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