Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Help Graco Help Others in Need


I wanted to share this information about an AWESOME charitable campaign that Graco is doing right now. Check out this information that I received from Graco and GO SIGN UP TODAY! You receive great Graco and partner offers and information, and more importantly, you can help someone in need receive a FREE CAR SEAT! Go sign up right now! What are you waiting for?
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With Halloween here at the end of this week, the holiday season will soon be in full swing (the kids certainly know it’s coming!) which means travel for many, and unfortunately tough times for a few. As part of Graco’s new “Ready for the Road Ahead” campaign, we have created the Ready. Safe. Go! Car Seat Club.

The Car Seat Club gives its members access to car seat resources, special partner offers and e-mail updates and the best part about the club, (we think) is that for every 10 people that join the club 1 car seat will be donated to organizations helping families in need. The holiday season has always been a time to help others and just by joining, you’re able to help organizations distribute donated car seats to families who aren’t able to buy one for themselves.

So help Graco help others -- all while helping yourself!
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Wordless Wednesday: Cold Enough to Start Wearing Hats


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

MMEEEOOOWWWW!

The dance studio where Maddie takes her ballet class held it's first annual Halloween-themed performance this weekend called "Thriller". Considering it was their first time hosting this event, there were certainly some kinks that needed to be worked out regarding the preparations for this event (which was only 8 weeks into the dancing "semester"!), especially for the preschool-aged kids. Several times over the last few weeks, I wondered if it was appropriate for me to even have Madison perform this weekend and considered pulling her out of the show. My biggest fear was that this would be too much, too soon for Madison and I didn't want to traumatize her and then she wouldn't want to do her main recital at the end of the year. But, I finally realized that I was having issues, not her. She's been nothing but excited since the moment she found out about this event. So we practiced and were all excited about today!

And, tonight, I got confirmation that I made the right decision to continue with it. I realized that she LOVES ballet and LOVES performing. She didn't have one moment of fear or anxiety. She is having a great time with ballet, and that is really all I can ask for. Here is the video from her class' performance. It's grainy because I had to tape it stealthily from my digital camera, because no video taping was allowed. I won't even comment on that..ugh!
Her class dressed as kittens and danced to the Stray Cat Strut! This video makes me smile. Those little girls did a great job! You can see a line of 3 girls in the forefront. Madison is in the middle. She's the one who's back is to the camera most of the time :-) She kept turning around to see her teacher. BTW, to the left of Maddie is our playgroup friend Nicole and to the right of her is our playgroup friend Eliza. Lilly was in the back row and I didn't catch her on film.

Thanks to Mimi and Pop-Pop for coming to see the show and for the celebratory dinner at Red Robin afterwards!
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P.S. Make sure you put the music on my playlist below on pause so that you can hear the audio on this video clip.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not what I expected, but more than pleasantly surprised!


On Tuesday I'm headed to NYC to hang out with Martha Stewart. OK, so maybe I am going to see a taping of her show, but that's considered hanging out, right? A girl can dream.

I am going with 9 other Chester County Moms bloggers and friends. I am so thankful to Sarah for scoring these tickets for us. It's going to be a fantastic day full of laughter. I am sure we'll have alot to blog about upon our return.

There weren't alot of details given about the topic for next Tuesday's show. And, truthfully, does it really matter what the show is about? I mean, we're going to have a day in NYC, see Martha Stewart, and spend adult time with girlfriends... the show's topic is somewhat inconsequential because all of her show topics are good ones.

Then, I checked her website yesterday to see if they had posted any info about next week's lineup and saw the news...."Halloween Crafts with LL Cool J". Oooohhhhh... how the Ladies Love Cool James! This is awesome on many levels.

First, did you ever think you'd see a day when LL Cool J was sitting in Martha Stewart's craft room and helping her with a Jack-O-Lantern? Good stuff. Second, my inner college self has already played and replayed in my head the lyrics to Around the Way Girl and Mamma Said Knock You Out! So many of his songs were fixtures on the party playlists back in the day! I am really looking forward to hearing about his new album... think we might get a copy of the CD? And, third, well, you've SEEN LL Cool J, right? He's the ultimate in eye candy!

Can't wait to "meet" you, LL. I'll be the inappropriately overzealous mid-aged mommy blogger in the audience whose 9 friends are holding her down because she's so star struck!

Check your local listings and look for us in the audience!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back in Business....

After nearly two weeks of being without my power cord for my laptop, my husband saved me today and bought me a new one! I have never been so happy to see that little blue power light come on in all my life. Our desktop is so slow that it is almost unbearable to use, so it's been a long 2 weeks. So, thanks for the save, sweetie. You made my day.

Now I can get back to blogging more regularly!

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Halloween Candy Recalled!

I put this information on the Chester County Moms blog, but wanted to share it here as well.

There is a warning put out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.... Sherwood brand "Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins" are being recalled due to the fact that they contain Melamine, the chemical that has caused several infant deaths in China, and sickened thousands more. These candies are sold at Costco, as well as many bulk and dollar stores! PLEASE make sure to check your childrens' Halloween candy and DO NOT LET THEM EAT THE PIRATE COINS (the ones wrapped in the shiny gold/silver foil) and please let other parents know about this!

You can verify the validity of this information at Snopes.com.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot

As some of you may know, I recently have lost some weight. 26 pounds to be exact! I worked the Weight Watchers program very devoutly over the spring and summer and ultimately reached my goal. What is the problem, then, you ask? Well, the problem is twofold.

First, I only made it to my Weight Watchers goal by the end of August, not my own personal goal. My personal goal was to lose another 10 to 15 pounds more after I hit my WW Goal.

Second, not only have I not been maintaining at my WW goal weight, I have gained a few pounds back! And, as sure as I am sitting here writing this post, I am NOT going to let myself get back to where I was and I don't like this upward progression on the scale that I am seeing each week!

So, after the little hiatus that I let myself take over the last 8 weeks, I am getting back on track and I am going to get Hot for the Holidays! I saw this challenge at Genesis Moments and Sarah's post inspired me to get in in on this great support system!

My goal is to lose a total of 17 pounds. I think that losing 10- 12 pounds by the holidays is reasonable, and if I lose more, even better. Here is how I am going to do it:

1. Go back to the Weight Watchers program fully. This means counting my points faithfully and accurately each day and staying within my target allowance. This program works for me. I've seen great results with it and I just need to get serious about it.

2. Go back to Weight Watchers for weigh-ins and meetings. I will set a goal to do this twice a month at a minimum and if I can get to more that will be even better!

3. Get my sorry self back to the gym. I haven't been there in months and I am wasting LOTS of money each month there. So, let me put the money and the membership to good use and get this remaining weight off!

Do you want to be Hot for the Holidays? Go to It's Almost Naptime and put a link to your blog under her Hot for the Holidays post and join the challenge. Then, leave a comment here for me so that I know you are playing along too! I'd love to have more people to support and be supported by. I will keep you posted on my progress.

I'm already feelin' hot, hot, hot!

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Friends Know Best?

I always thought that the sage pearl of wisdom that has been passed down through the generations went a little something like this... "Mother Knows Best". This apparently is NOT the case according to my 3 and a half year old.

After picking her up from preschool yesterday, we had this conversation about her friend from class named B:

Maddie: "Mom, B says that I am not 3 and a half."

Me: "Madison, you are 3 and a half. In fact, you are almost going to be 4."

Maddie: "But, Mom, B says that I am not."

Me: "Honey, you most certainly are. It has been over 9 months since your 3rd birthday. That makes you more than 3 and a half."

Maddie: "No, Mom, I'm NNOOOOTTTT. B says I'm not.

Here's where I want to tell her 1) that B doesn't know what the h*ll she is talking about, 2) that I would certainly like to think that as the person that birthed her into this world I might remember just a little bit better than B when she came into it, 3) that I am right and B is wrong, and 4) to stop arguing with me about it! But I realize the inappropriateness (and futility)of these fleeting thoughts and keep my mouth shut.

Me: "OK, Madison, you aren't 3 and a half then, I guess."

Maddie: "Um, I KNOW that already, Mom. B told me that today." Sigh.

Do you hear that noise? That's the sound of my head banging against the steering wheel as we had this conversation. I am so glad that B is keeping track of my daughter's age for us, since I apparently am unable to do so :-)

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Friday, October 17, 2008

'Atta Boy, Dan!



Ok, so I need to do some serious bragging here, because not only is this fantastic young man my cousin, he is my Godson! In this Philadelphia Inquirer article from yesterday, Dan has been ranked #6 out of the top #15 Southeastern PA High School Offensive Linemen. Pretty cool, huh? Dan plays as #65 for the Neshaminy Redskins and is a senior there, and he is also one of the 2008 Team Captains! We have some serious football fever in our family!

Even cooler.... he is one of the nicest (and most hilarious) guys you'll ever meet and he is so great with my girls and my brother's girls who are totally enamored with him!

Dan, we are super proud of you! Go Skins!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm getting the shakes here....

I am officially in withdrawl.

I can't use my laptop. The battery has died. Well, plug it into the wall, you say? I'd love to, but I can't. Being the brilliant, put-together person that I am, I left my laptop power cord at the Boston BlogHer conference that I attended this weekend! Yeah... I'm so smart like that. I guess I was in a little bit of a rush to get to get out of the final session and over to the cocktail hour.

Not only am I relegated to this uber-slow piece of antiquated machinery known as my desktop, but I also can't upload any of my pictures. That stinks! So, no Wordless Wednesday post for me today. I'm still working with the hotel to see if they can find it for me, but if not, I'm going to have to go get my "fix" and buy a new cord ASAP.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby Brother....

Today is my baby brother's 30th birthday. It is hard to call him my "baby" brother without laughing, since he is 6 ' 5" and towers over me.

Sometimes it strikes me just how interesting it is to relate to your siblings as adults now, isn't it? I just look at my brother and I am so proud of him. He has accomplished alot in his 30 years and is a hardworking and loving husband and father.

Here he is last year during our week in the Outer Banks. We had a Pirate theme night and he made an awesome pirate, don't ya think? Love that snarl he's giving me. This might be one of my favorite pictures of him. And, no, the silver tooth is not real.




Happy Birthday, Sean. Hope you have a great day!


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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

On Tuesday, Maddie's friend D came to spend the afternoon with us. At one point, McKenna was crawling around on the kitchen floor and the girls stopped to play with her. They were rocking back and forth with her and singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. McKenna thought it was awesome. Then I messed up their groove by asking them to look at me for a picture. The fun ended right after this and they were off to their next adventure!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Get your motor runnin'!

I'm going! I'm really, really going! On Friday, myself and my fellow Chester County Moms blog buddies Sarah, Jenn, and Kelly are headed to Boston to hit one of the BlogHer '08 Reach Out Tour stops.

In addition to all of the great fun and great learning experiences we'll have at the conference, we are also very lucky to have been selected to be part of the GM Carpool program for this tour. GM is letting us drive to Boston in style in one of their Saturn Outlooks. I can't wait to get that baby out on the open road..... just kidding, GM..... I promise to behave!

Please check out BlogHer's Notes From the Road page to hear all about what we and our fellow Carpoolers are up to out on the road. You can read all of our blog posts and our Twitter feeds from there! I am sure that there will be some very funny bloggy material during this trip!!!

We'll keep you "posted"!

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Support a Fellow Mommy!

I am posting this message that my friend Sarah had on her blog. I've had the pleasure of meeting K.C. twice and she is wonderful woman and mother. It's a win-win.... you get one (or more!) of her amazing products and she donates some of her earnings to a wonderful cause. Her story will touch your heart.

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My friend, K.C was recently diagnosed with Stage 2A Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer. She had a double mastectomy and will under go chemotherapy for 4 months, Herceptin IV infusion treatment for 12 months and hormone therapy for 5 years. All while chasing around her young daughter and running her Mommy business, The Diaper Bag Wrangler. To read more about her diagnosis and treatment plan, click here to vist her blog. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 10% of The Diaper Bag Wrangler sales from 10/1- 10/31 are going to be donated to The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

Click here to start shopping!

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Go, Team Classy Mommy!

On Friday night, Colleen from Classy Mommy hosted a benefit for the national virtual "Gal to Gal Walk" which benefits women with Stage IV Breast Cancer and their families. We created virtual girls for Team Classy Mommy who will "walk" in 31 cities in 31 days during the month of October! As an added bonus, Colleen had been being interviewed by a Korean documentary crew for the past 2 days, and the crew was there to talk to Colleen's Mommy Blogger friends too.

It was a great evening and it was so wonderful to meet some of the other Philly Mom Bloggers who I feel like I know from reading their blogs, but hadn't yet met personally!

If you are interested in helping out this amazing foundation, go to the Gal to Gal Walk website and for a small donation, you can create a walker and join Team Classy Mommy too!

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Spot Shot rocks!

A few weeks ago, our friends at Mom Central asked me if I wanted to try out a new carpet cleaning product called Spot Shot. Now, given that I am the mother of 2 small children and a dog owner, carpet cleaners are something that I know a thing or two about! I was definitely willing to try something new to try to fight some of our nasty carpet stains. The best part is that Spot Shot is non-toxic and environmentally friendly!

The sample arrived complete with a product testing kit. They included a piece of sample carpet along with chocolate and amonia to "stain" the carpet with and the product to clean up the stains with. The Spot Shot completely removed all of the chocolate stain and all of the amonia odor! I was impressed.


I also wanted to try the Spot Shot on my own carpet stains, so I headed for the toughest stain in my whole house! I am completely embarrassed to admit that the photo below is a section of carpet in my master bedroom. While I was in my early pregnancy with McKenna and not feeling so well in the mornings, I set Maddie up on our floor with breakfast and a sippy cup to watch some television while I tried to muster the strength to get on with the day. And, well, the carpet took a little bit of a beating as a result of that!

And, below is that same section of carpet 5 minutes later. I promise... it's the same section of carpet and no trick photography. Spot Shot worked on even an OLD stain that I thought was never coming out! And, there was no scrubbing necessary! I just sprayed it on and started to blot and rub out the stain and it was gone. I am impressed with this product. If you have some stubborn stains in your house, it's worth giving it a try!


Happy cleaning!

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Ouch.... That's gonna leave a mark!

Today, McKenna and I were sitting at the table eating lunch together. I have a feeding chair for her that is strapped to one of my kitchen table chairs. There really isn't alot of space in my kitchen to neatly store a highchair, so we've used this chair with both of our kids and it's been great. The chair has a removable tray just like a highchair which is what we've been using for McKenna most of the time.

Today, however, I decided to just pull her right up to the table and set her food out for her. She was having a great time rolling her peas all over the table and being a "big girl". A great time, that is, until she pulled her head back and then slammed it down on the table. I *think* she may have been trying to eat a pea off the table without using her hands. Who knows? What I do know is that the instant she slammed her little baby head on the table I knew it was NOT going to be good.

She was hurting so badly that she couldn't even cry. She had her face all scrunched up like she was crying, but nothing would come out. Those silent cries are scary. Just based on the sound that the thud of her head had made, I assumed that she slammed her forehead down. I didnt see any immediate redness or swelling on the head and I knew that I needed to check her mouth in case she hit her teeth. And, thats when I saw the blood. My poor little baby's mouth was bleeding and I was starting to freak out. (As an aside, why do these things always happen when you are the only parent home? Hubs went to the Eagles game today and I got to deal with head slamming and bloody mouths!)

Once I got some of the blood cleaned up, I could see that luckily all of her teeth were just fine. She had hit her teeth on the inside of her upper lip and it is cut. She's probably going to have a fat lip, but it could've been alot worse.

I am feeling soooo guilty. Why didnt I just leave that damn tray on her chair?

Ahhh, the joys of parenting.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Ask you doctor: Vusion Ointment


As a mother of a soon-to-be one year old, I know all too well that sometimes despite all of our best efforts, diaper rashes can occur. And, sometimes those rashes can be severe.

Severe diaper rash can sometimes be the result of yeast coming in contact with irritated skin and causing a yeast infection. Did you know that there is a prescription strength product to help your baby feel better quickly when the over-the-counter ointments just aren't working? I didn't know about this product until I heard about it from our friends over at Mom Central.

Vusion Ointment's prescription strength medication helps combat diaper rash complicated by yeast infections. This gentle ointment, the only FDA approved medication to treat this type of diaper rash, treats babies as young as 4 weeks old.

Next time your baby has a severe diaper rash, call your doctor and ask about Vusion Ointment.

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This is very serious!

We went to Toys R Us Wednesday in search of a birthday gift for a party that Madison is going to this weekend. As we were walking in, Madison asked if we could look for toys for her birthday. I told her that Christmas and her birthday still werent for a couple of months, but we could look around to start getting ideas and make a wish list. She was very excited to make her list.

As we shopped around the store, we finally turned a corner and several aisles of dolls, Barbies, princess gear, etc. all became visible. Madison turns to me and gasps "ok, Mom, this is NOT the time for joking around!" I didn't think that I was known as being a jokester, but apparently shopping for dolls is VERY SERIOUS business.

One other funny Maddie-ism from that trip.... we were looking at the Barbies and all of a sudden Madison says very dramatically "Oh, they are so romantic!" Has someone seen a few too many princess movies?

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Declan!

I am so totally excited. On Tuesday, my sister-in-law gave birth to a baby boy, my nephew, Declan!!! Declan has 2 big sisters, and they couldnt be happier that he is here. Since I have 2 girls and my brother and sister in law had two girls already, the birth of the first boy in the family has been exciting. He will certainly be the little prince (at least for a while until my younger sister has children)!

Even more exciting is that both Declan and my SIL are doing well. Declan was born at 36 weeks, after a very challenging pregnancy for my SIL (which is an understatement). Things had become very stressful and quite concerning in the last 4 weeks for them, and the fact that he was born at 7 lbs, 6 oz with a healthy set of lungs is simply amazing.

I will post some pictures of him soon!

Welcome to the world, little man! We love you!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oh, so this is what my blog looks like...

So sorry for the very long silence around here. Last week was... challenging. Let's just say that I had 6 straight days of headaches, with one or two of those days being a full-on migraine. You can all draw your own conclusions about what a happy camper I had been to live with!

Then, I got so busy with getting re-aquainted with my life and responsibilities, that this is the first opportunity I've had to write.

Will be writing soon about our AWESOME news from yesterday in a post very shortly.

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