Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taking the Day Off

Being a teacher means that I was off this entire week for Christmas break (score), unfortunately all my fun plans were cancelled because Mother Nature isn't without her sense of irony and decided to snow all over my parade.  24 inches of snow.  Play dates...cancelled.  Excursions...cancelled.  Museum...cancelled.  Girl's dinner out...cancelled.  So it was basically Isabella and I locked in the house for 3 days.  Good thing I was stocked up on wine because being trapped inside with an energetic toddler without an off switch is, um, interesting.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday I took the day off.

I dropped Isabella off at school at 8:30 am and didn't pick her up until 4:30 pm.  You can roll your eyes if you'd like and think me a terribly selfish mom, I'm fine with that because having the day to myself was well worth it.  Wanna know what I did?  Not a damn thing.

I went back to sleep until 10:30 am, made myself bacon, egg, and cheese empanadas and a giant pot of coffee.  I watched a little Dr. Oz, caught up with my Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (anyone else hate Camille?), took a (lukewarm) bath because my hot water heater is meh, read a magazine, started The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and basically lived as a sloth for the day.  I didn't clean, I didn't do laundry, I didn't organize, I didn't make my returns.  I didn't do a blessed thing except be lazy and selfish and I loved it.

I fully plan on keeping Isabella's one day a week day care situation going through the summer.  It's good for her to socialize and play with other kids, it's good for her to keep that regular schedule, and it's good for me to take a few hours to myself.  Not all days can be as slothful as yesterday was, but I'd be happy with one day a week of peace and quiet.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tiger Balm Giveaway Extended

Due to the holidays and a busted laptop charger I've decided to extend the Tiger Balm Giveaway until Monday January 3, 2011.  There's just been so much going on with the holidays that I thought I'd give you all a bit more time to enter.  5 lucky readers will win a retail sized tube of soothing Tiger Balm for all your aching muscles.  I've tried it and I love it.  Made Andy give me a massage with it last night.  So if you want to enter just click HERE for the original post.

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It Was Christmas

Isabella handled Christmas wonderfully.  It was the first time her schedule has been seriously up-ended.  Christmas eve was so-so, I think she figured out that if she went to different people at different times she could finagle cookies out of them so she woke up around 11 pm on Christmas eve a little uncomfortable from an upset stomach.  A little mylicon and some snuggles and she was fine, although she did lie awake in her crib for about 15 minutes saying, "Santa, where are you?"  Priceless.  She got a ton of new loot and I've really been enjoying this Christmas break and spending time with her, which is why I've been a little bloggy mia.  Here are some pictures of our Christmas and I hope that you enjoyed your holidays with your loved ones.  
Christmas Eve, she has a mouth full of apples







After our monstrous snow storm that had us trapped in the house for days

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Featured Little Blogger: Samantha's Day

This week's featured blogger is Erinsgobragh from Samantha's Day.  Erin is a stay at home mom to 6 month old Samantha, but she's also an artist, a baker and a very free spirit and she also happens to be gorgeous.  She has a disability in her right arm because of a car accident, but she doesn't let that hold her back.  Go and check out Samantha's Day today and show some support to a fresh new blogger.

The little guy project is now closed.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

A Little Self Love

I'm not talking about the kind of self love that involves a pink piece of rubber cleverly adorned with vibrating rabbit ears, I should say that I'm talking about self-nurturing.  Mother's are constantly nurturing our children.  There's always a mouth that needs feeding, a nose that needs wiping, a bum that needs changing, a boo boo that needs kissing, and a tear that needs comforting.  Then we nurture our home.  There are floors to mop, rugs to vacuum, clothes to wash, dry, fold, and put away, meals to make, and lunches to pack.  We also nurture our husbands.  We cook, clean, and put out.  It's safe to say that our nurturing skills are very well honed, but do we ever use them on ourselves?

So many women, whether they are mothers or not, are worn down, burnt out, and fed up.  We work our bodies to the core and we run our souls ragged.  We need to start carving out small moments to nurture ourselves.

I'm sitting here now, with a hot cup of green tea and two Stella D'oro Breakfast biscuits; the Christmas tree is all lit up and the lights are dim and I feel at peace.  I feel like I can take 20 minutes to enjoy this quiet space to write.  Stella D'oro Breakfast Biscuits are my favorite and I never buy them because I've been so good on my diet and it makes me think about all the times I do without.   I do without delicious cookies so the scales don't tip, I pass on the beautiful dress that flatters my curves because it's too pricy and that money should be spent on diapers, I say no to the dinner invitation because I need to be home with my family.  Sometimes it's not ok to do without.

So I'm urging you to take a few minutes for yourself each day.  Take a bubble bath, read a magazine in peace and quiet, get lost in a book, sip a cup of tea by the fire, savor a glass of wine in front of a rainy window, make your favorite meal and sit down at the table and enjoy each bite, go window shopping, buy something for yourself, grab dinner with your best girlfriends, go see a movie with your husband, grab a latte at starbucks and sink into one of their cushy arm chairs and enjoy it while you people watch, take a class, sit quietly and think of all your grateful for.

There are so many ways, so many of them free, that we can indulge ourselves.  So many ways to nurture ourselves.  It could be ten minutes, 20, half an hour, an hour if you're lucky each day that you call your own.  Make it a priority.  For me I have to write it on my to-do list, which is so lame but it works.  Sandwiched between "do the dishes" and "fold the laundry" is, have a "cup of tea and cookies and write".  How do you carve out time for yourself?
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Hairiest Time of Day

The most difficult time of day in the Eclipsed household is dinner time hands down.  I think it's a combination of the fact that I am just getting home from work and am already frazzled, trying to get my stuff down and pee while Isabella climbs up me like a little monkey (she usually winds up in the bathroom with me), then I only get about 15 minutes to decompress and play with her before I start dinner.  I usually do a lot of the prep work on the weekend so making dinner usually only takes me about 20-30 minutes, but it doesn't matter if Andy is home or not because the only place Isabella wants to be is with me, which is fantastic but it's hard to pay attention to a stove and a toddler simultaneously.

But dinner always gets made and once it is the real fun begins.  She doesn't want to sit in her high chair (I really need to get the kid a booster seat).  She doesn't like the dinner I made (even though she devoured it last week), she throws it on the floor, I get upset, she does it again, she rubs it in her hair, she tosses her food/fork/cup off the side of the high chair.  I don't enjoy my meal.  I wind up cleaning a meal I spent so much time on off the floor.

Almost everyday and it's the pits.  All she wants to eat is fruit and any form of dairy.  No meat and no vegetables unless they're pureed and hidden, which they are.  It's so frustrating and when I'm alone it's ten times worse.  Thank God this time of day is followed by quiet play and bath time which is awesome and peaceful.  Bubbles in the tub provide endless entertainment.

How do you survive this time of day because I'm half tempted to feed her bananas and laughing cow baby bel cheese out of a trough on the floor and call it a day!
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tiger Balm Review and Giveaway

Lugging around bulging diaper bags, carrying growing babies and toddlers, loading and unloading groceries, toting book bags, gym bags, carrying around exploding bags of stress can really take a toll on your neck and shoulders.  I can feel the tightness and strain building up in my neck and shoulders, and I often find myself waking up with stiff necks.  So I was really excited that I had the opportunity to try Tiger Balm Neck and Shoulder Rub.

You can feel the difference instantly.  It has a menthol smell that you can feel tingling as it almost instantly relieves the pain in your neck and shoulders.  It's light weight, creamy, and non-greasy.  It helps to relieve neck and shoulder pain, everyday stress, the pain of bruises and minor muscle pains and strains and it smells and feels divine.

Tiger Balm was started by an imperial court herbalist in China nearly a hundred years ago.  His vision was to create an herbal ointment that would heal aches and pains.  His sons turned his vision into a reality with Tiger Balm.

Tiger Balm is graciously giving away 5 retail sized tubes of Tiger Balm Neck and Shoulder Rub to 5 of my readers.  Isn't that so generous?  You can click HERE to request a $1.00 off coupon from Tiger Balm and if you like them on facebook by clicking HERE they draw a winner every week to win about $50 worth of Tiger Balm products.

How to Enter
1.  Mandatory Entry: Be a public follower of my blog (1 entry)

2.  Like Tiger Balm on Facebook by clicking HERE (1 entry)

3.  Leave a comment on Tiger Balm's facebook page telling them I sent you (2 entries)

4.  Follow me on Twitter by clicking HERE, leave your handle (1 entry)

5.  Follow any of my Little Guy Bloggers (see tab at header) (1 entry per blog you follow)

6.  Tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per tweet, can be done once per day)

7.  Grab my button (3 entries)

8.  Blog about this giveaway (5 entries)

And that's it.  One comment per entry.  Make sure you leave your e-mail if it is not linked to your profile.  The contest will end on December 27th at midnight.  5 winners will be chosen by random draw and notified by e-mail.  They will have 48 hours to respond.  Good luck to all who enter.
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WallCandy Arts Growth Chart Winner

Congratulations FeliciaE!  You have been e-mailed and will have 48 hours to respond to the e-mail or else a new winner will be selected.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Featured Little Blogger: In The Babyhood

This week's Featured Blogger is In The Babyhood.  In The Babyhood is a new mom's journey through all the struggles that motherhood brings.  She's completely anonymous which is an excellent breeding ground for her raw honesty.  Her son is a little over a year old and he's described as being "spirited."  I am also the mom of a fresh "spirited" child so I can relate to how frustrating it can be.  And it's always nice to know that you're not alone.  She has this very simple, yet powerful post called My Truth.  Visit In The Babyhood today and show this anonomom some support.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

18 Months Old

My baby is a big girl.  She's a walking, talking, striving for independence, toddler.  It's been a while since I've updated you on Isabella since I have my head up my ass most of the time, so I figured that since today she turns a year and a half, now is a good a time as any.

  • She's still a chub at 28 lbs and 31.5 inches
  • She is climbing on everything.  I swear the girl has no fear.  She pushes her little chair close to the couch so she can get on.  Once she gets on the couch she likes to stand on the arm and throw herself backwards.  I can't leave her alone in the living room for very long at all. 
  • She's talking non-stop.  I'm going to say that she can say over 100 words.  She's starting to group words together in 2-4 word sentences.  "Mommy, where are you?" And she's so polite, she says "thank you" and "welcome" and we're working on please.  She's also really friendly.  She says hi to everyone and everything.  "Hi moon"  "Hi toast"  "Oh, hi tree" She greets all her food before she eats it.  
  • She can count to ten and she can say the first part and last part of the alphabet (a-g and then u-z) but she can recognize almost all of the letters and all the numbers to ten, except 9.  She won't say it and when she sees the 9 magnet on the fridge she says "no" and throws it.
  • She is striving for independence like crazy.  Which is great, but sometimes annoying.  Meals take forever because she wants to feed herself with her fork and gets really frustrated when she can't.  
  • Speaking of meals, she's still the pickiest eater known to man.  The kid could survive on fruit and cheese.
  • We have more good days than bad days behavior wise these days, but we still have our share of public meltdowns, throwing herself on the floor, and whining, oh God the whining.
  • She sleeps from about 7/7:30 pm to anywhere between 6:30 - 7:30 am and she takes one nap that is still so inconsistent, usually around an hour.  Could be as short as 45 minutes or as long as 2 hours.  
  • She has 10 teeth, two of which are molars.  I feel the teething has gotten much better as she's gotten older.  
  • She's doing great at day care.  She goes once a week and it's been really great for her.  She loves playing with the kids, she takes great naps, and she does awesome projects.  She gets a little clingy at drop off, but she's fine after that.
  • She loves to dance and run and jump and play hide and seek and she's always making up some other crazy game.  She's happy and healthy and awesome and brave and I love her to bits, even when she's driving me bonkers.  
Thanks for fully allowing me to brag about my kid.  I know it's annoying when moms do that, so I won't do it again until she's two, I swear it.  

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Friday, December 17, 2010

C'mon Guys

My WallCandy Arts Growth Chart giveaway has super low entrants and I know a lot of you guys out there have kids who are growing.  Click HERE if you want to enter and if you leave a link with your current giveaway I'll enter yours.  A little tit for tat.  WallCandy Arts is a great company and I know you'll love it!







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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blind Date Review

If you want to pee your pants go see Blind Date, because that's how funny it is.  I'm not messing with you it was hysterical.  As soon as Andy heard about the premise of the show, which is that it consists of one woman, Mimi, who selects men from the audience to essentially go on a blind date with in front of everyone, he bailed.  He had had enough during his on-stage stint during Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage.  So I brought my friend Teresa from Monday Morning.  We had a blast!

When we walked in we were waiting in a hallway and "french" guys came out and offered everyone red or white wine, which could have sold me right there, because free wine is really all I need. They were nice and chatted with everyone. The theatre was very small and cozy, it sort of reminded me of a french restaurant. We were handed free popcorn upon entering.  So free food and free wine!

The show is great for people who like improv. The show could go from funny to awkward in a matter of seconds, all depending on how the audience member on stage reacts. In our particular show a young kid form Texas was funny at first but then he started to act obnoxious and clearly wasn't into it anymore. Luckily they have a backup story for that situation and picked another audience member who was more willing to go with the flow and the show ended great.

The woman who played Mimi, was great. She never hesitated for a minute and always knew the right thing to say in any situation that kept the play interesting.  I don't want to give it away, but the ending was hysterical and completely unexpected.

I would recommend it to anyone.  If you want to see Blind Date click HERE for tickets.  It's a limited engagement so act fast.  You won't regret it.  




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Other Mothers Know Best

And in this case, the other mothers are you.  I have a few questions that need answering.  Questions that are above the age and stage that I'm at right now.  So hopefully if you have kids that are about Isabella's age or older you can help me out either in a comment or an e-mail, I'm not picky.

1.  At what age do they stop climbing on everything?  Because having a monkey for a child is getting old.

2.  When will she stop throwing her food on the floor?

3.  At what age can you start time outs?  Nanny Jo/Super Nanny, whom I just simply adore, says 2.5.  What do you think?

4.  Will she ever not be such a picky eater? (you may need to whip out your crystal ball for this one)

5.  At what age were your children potty trained?  Potty training stories are welcome because I find them hilarious.

6.  When can I expect public tantrums to end?  I've learned how to deal with them but they're still, um, unpleasant.

7.  Did your kid(s) ever try to climb out of the crib?  She hasn't yet, but it's terrifying to think of!

8.  Tell me about your transition from crib to toddler bed.

Oh thank you so much in advance.  I could google, but I find real life answers from real live people much more helpful.  If I can answer any of your questions don't hesitate to ask.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WallCandy Arts Growth Chart Giveaway

WallCandy Arts creates beautiful, reusable wall stickers and wall art that grows with your child's imagination.  Allison Krongard is the founder of this innovative company, and the story behind it is just hysterical.  She was designing a 3 year old boy's room around his obsession for dinosaurs.  After she had acquired all the paint swatches and the like, he kindly informed her that he was now obsessed with space ships.  She decided that children needed room decor that grew along with their imagination and their growing bodies.  WallCandy Arts was born.  Isn't that just the most amazing story ever?

Now onto the good stuff.  WallCandy Arts is graciously giving away a growth chart to one lucky reader.  The Watch Me Grow Wall Chart is a modern growth chart with brightly colored graphics that can be moved from house to house without trouble.

How to Enter:
1. Mandatory Entry: Follow my blog publicly (1 entry)

2.  Like WallCandy Arts on Facebook by clicking here (1 entry)

3.  Comment on WallCandy Arts wall and tell them I sent you (2 entries)

4.  Follow WallCandy Arts on twitter by clicking here (1 entry)

5.  Follow me on twitter by clicking here (1 entry)

6.  Blog about this giveaway (3 entries)

7.  Tweet about this giveaway.  Can be done once per day.  Leave a link (1 entry per tweet)

* Make sure you leave your e-mail address in your mandatory entry post if it's not linked in your profile
*Leave a separate comment for each entry.
*This giveaway will run until Monday December 20th at midnight.  The winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn.

Very best of luck to all who enter.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Featured Little Guy Blogger: Musings of Middle Age

This week's featured blogger is Urban Gypsy from Musings of Middle Age.  She has four adult children, 2 are hers biologically and the other two are her step-sons, but she's raised them for 15 years and makes no distinction which is awesome.  No evil step-mother mole there.  And best of all she has a brand spanking new grandson.  Her blog is a refreshingly new look on motherhood.  She's a mommy, so technically a mommy blogger, but she has a completely different perspective since her children are grown.  It's nice to see that life goes on after tantrums, poopy diapers, and bottles.  Sometimes that can be beautiful and sometimes it can be difficult.  She has this great post called Let Me Tell You What I Know.  Go and show her some love and support by visiting Musings of Middle Age today.

The Little Guy Project is closed.
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let Me Make You An Offer

Andy and I were just kind of casually talking about when we want to have another kid and when we want to move when he said to me, "We can move further South and you can stay home till both kids are in school."  I just kind of gave him the side eye because, while I love my husband dearly, he's a cheap bastard plain and simple.  Losing an entire salary is enough to send him into cardiac arrest.  He quickly said that it was just a thought and we would talk more about it in the future.

But it got me thinking, because everything gets me thinking, and I don't know if that would be something that I would want.  I don't want to move further away from my friends and family.  I love having the support of my sister and I like being able to help my mom out when she needs me.  I like that I can hop in the car and drive 45 minutes (off peak hours of course) to see my friends and for Isabella to see her cousins.  I don't know if I can remove myself even further than I already am from my support system.  I'd have no help and no company and I'd be home all day alone.

I also love my job.  I'm in a great position as a Reading Teacher when out of classroom positions are hard to come by and I really don't want to give that up.  I like making my own money and feeling independent.  I'm also very good at what I do.  And while I'm severely underpaid, my salary allows us to book trips to Disney World (see you July 2011), go out to dinner, spend a weekend away, buy new clothes/toys or whatever we need.  I don't know how I would feel giving up that extra security.

I feel guilty for the aforementioned reasons but that's the cold hard truth.

On the other hand, I'd have two kids who I could be there for all day.  Isabella will probably be in school and I would have a little baby to take care of, so there would be lots of exciting things that I would miss if I were working.  I think I'm actually going to listen to Andy for once and not worry about it until it's time to have a serious conversation about it.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Commuting

If anything is going to put me into an early grave it's commuting hands down.  My house and my job are about 45 minutes apart, which would be annoying, but not terrible except that I have to drive through Staten Island which means I'm stuck in a boat load of traffic.  So my commute jumps to an hour to an hour and a half.  That means that I spend 2-3 hours a day in my car.

The morning commute isn't bad.  I have my radio, I have my coffee and it's quiet.  I'm still stuck in traffic at an ungodly early hour but it's not terrible.  It's that afternoon drive that gets me, because all I want to do is be home.  When we move we're thinking that we'll definitely have to move closer to the city because the drive is really wearing me down.  And I love, and I mean love, when people say to me, "Oh I don't know how you do it."  Well it's either that or the unemployment line, so I do it.  We can't live in NY since Andy is a state trooper in NJ, he has to live here.

Maybe if people didn't drive like out and out douche bags it would make life easier.  For example, people who dart in and out of lanes in bumper to bumper traffic drive me crazy.  Seriously?  Where do they think they're going?  People who drive on the shoulder in traffic, because I was just sitting here for my health.  People who rubber neck at a fender bender that is pulled over to the side of the road, that's not blocking any traffic which causes mile long back ups is insane to me.  People who drive 15 mph when there's a tiny wet drizzle.  And anyone who drives a BMW because, in my experience, they are the most aggressive and arrogant drivers (sorry to all the beamer owners out there).  C'mon people get your shit together!
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Co-Sleeping Experience

I have vowed to never ever let Isabella sleep in the bed with Andy and I but I apparently also vowed to break all my vows anyway.  I just wanted to curl up and take a nap with her (my night time sleep is too precious).  She's getting so big, and while she loves giving hugs and kisses, it's very rare that I get a long snuggle so I figured that I would  stock up on snuggles during a lovely co-nap.  Why I thought it would turn out well I have no idea.

I went through my regular nap time routine: books, walk for a few minutes, but instead of putting her in her crib, I brought her into my room and we lied down on the bed together.  I rubbed her hair and closed my eyes.  Not two seconds later I feel a chubby little finger poke me in the eye.  "Eyes open"  "No Isabella we're going night night.  Shhhhhhh."  I feel wiggling, I hear giggling.  She's jumping on the bed.

I wasn't prepared to give up my lovely visual of a co-nap.  So I scooped her up and walked with her for a bit, until she put her head on my shoulder and was drifting off.  I carefully cradled her on the bed, no sooner than my head hit the pillow she's up and trying to jump again, "I jump I jump I jump" she screamed.

I was tired.  She was getting more excitable by the minute.  So we each napped.  Me in my bed and Isabella in her crib.  But she hasn't seen the last of me...I will get that co-nap!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snapping Out of It

I talked recently about being in a craptastic rut. I just wasn't myself at all, I really felt like I was just sinking.  Like my ass might literally merge with the fabric of my couch.  But good things are on the horizon and I think I'm snapping out of it.  And I think it was mostly because of this past weekend.  All week I was dreading this weekend because it was jam packed.  When you're in a rut, jam packed doesn't make you smile.  But it was filled with a lot of "have to's" so I kind of, well, had to.  And what I started out dreading, I actually wound up loving.

Friday after spending some time with Isabella my girlfriend, Jen, and I went to Atlantic City.  We got all dolled up with makeup, heels, and dresses had a delicious dinner at The Palms and then headed out to a nightclub for some dancing.  We had fun there talking and dancing for about an hour or so until it got really crowded and we looked around and realized that we were probably the oldest ones there.  It was full of young, firm things with skirts up their whoo-ha.  It just wasn't our scene.  So we went to this Irish Pub where they had a live band and we sang and danced like maniacs until 3 am.  We got some room service and crashed.  It was so nice to have a night out to cut loose and it might have been just what I needed.  That and about 5 cocktails.


I got home early Saturday afternoon and spent a lazy day lounging around with Isabella and Andy.  After her nap we took her to get her Christmas pictures taken.  Then we had a casual dinner and I put her to bed.  After she was sleeping I headed out to Sushi Samba in Manhattan to celebrate my cousin, Christina's, engagement with my girlfriends.  It was a blast.  I usually don't eat fish, but the waitress custom created our menu and it was delish.  There was 8 of us and we polished off 5 bottles of wine.  It was so good to laugh with my friends and talk about all the stupid things we've done together.  So nice to feel connected to the people I love and who love me.

Sunday morning we had a fund raiser at The Brownstone (which should sound familiar to you if you're a fan of The Real Housewives of New Jersey).  It was breakfast with Santa and there were clowns and giveaways, and Christmas trees and Isabella loved every second of it.  She loved playing with Daniella, she loved the attention the staff lavished on her, and she loved her new red, patent leather mary jane Christmas shoes.  The only thing she didn't love was Santa.  She wasn't scared of him, she just couldn't be bothered to stop watching the clowns long enough to sit on his lap.  Sunday night we spent relaxing and playing.

It was wonderful and exhausting and just what I needed to start snapping myself out of my rut.

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Oh and the winner for the Blind Date tickets was Mich and you have been contacted by e-mail.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Featured Little Blogger: Diary of a Devil Dog Wife

I've been a fan of this week's Featured Little Guy Blogger for months now. Marah from Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. Marah is a proud Marine wife and she has an adorable son named Kolton who actually turns 1 year old today! So Happy Birthday Kolton! You'll love Diary of a Devil Dog Wife not only because of her cool giveaways and awesome sense of humor but because her family is just so pretty. She's beautiful, her son is beautiful, and let's just say I stared at the picture of her shirtless Marine husband in her "About Me" page for longer than I should have (sorry for ogling your husband Marah) so go and check her out.

The Helping the Little Guy Project is closed.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Going Unplugged

I recently wrote about being in a rut and how it was bringing me down.  Well I decided that spending most of my free time tethered to a laptop, blackberry, or television set isn't doing me any good.  Sometimes it makes me just feel so lethargic, kind of like a mindless, restless zombie.  So Andy and I had a discussion about how we spend our time together...usually tethered to a TV, followed by a laptop, then a smart phone.   No way to spend quality time, so we decided to go unplugged.

That means for one day a week there is no e-mail, blogging, message board, sports, texting etc. and it's been wonderful!  So wonderful that we went 3 days unplugged and a few days semi-unplugged.  We talked, played gin, battled at Mario Kart on Wii (which is kind of unplugged but not really).  It was fun.  It was reconnecting.  We had time to be together.  Time for ourselves.  Time for me to read and meditate and do all the things I don't have time to do because I'm watching America's Next Top Model or Mike and Molley.  My DVR runneth over, but I'm ok with that because TV is not the center of my universe.

We've even gone to putting on the Toddler Tunes channel on cable for Isabella, which is all music and no annoying character *cough* Kai Lan *cough*.  She loves it.  She dances and claps and sings.  It's been good for me as a person, good for my marriage, and good for my child.  Try going unplugged just one day and see how nice it is.  I won't lie, it feels almost awkward at first, but you find your groove.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Had a Mom Date

Yup that's right.  After writing my Mommy Want Ads and my Ummm Will You Go Out With Me? posts, I finally had a play date with a mom who wasn't related to me (no offense Nicole, you'll always be my #1).  It was with the skinny mom who works at my school.  We went to the Staten Island Children's Museum.
 To say that this was anything unlike a real date would be a fib.  I worried about what I would wear; I didn't want to seem to schlubby but I also didn't want to seem to dressy, which really is not my style.  I didn't worry so much about what Isabella would wear because her clothes are adorable, I just hoped that she would keep it clean.  The night before I had to scrub raviolis out of her hair so I hoped that I got them all.

She was 15 minutes early and I was 15 minutes late.  I got a little bit turned around in Staten Island (I flipping hate Staten Island).  The museum was super fun.  No one had a meltdown.  No one pooped their pants.  It's funny how mom's converse.  You can be in the middle of a conversation and one of the kids will wander off and without even saying excuse me, the wanderer's mom will get up, get the kid and pick right back up.  It's great.

The date playdate was lots of fun and I think I might ask them out again.  Oh and I was going to put pictures and maybe actually post their names, but I didn't ask her and I'm not sure if there's rules about that, plus I don't want to be that creepy "blogger mom".
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blind Date Giveaway

Right on the heels of Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage comes another wonderful opportunity for one of you lucky readers to go and see the Off-Broadway show for Blind Date.

Blind Date stars Rebecca Northan as Mimi, a temptress who lives out one blind date after another.  Where do these men come from?  Why the audience of course!  It's said to be hysterical and I can't wait to go and see it.  I love improv comedy and I love the theatre so I can't imagine the hilarity of Blind Date.

Blind Date is limited to only 18 performances from Dec 2-Dec 20 so now is the chance to say that you were able to see it...for free!

So if you live in or around the NYC area or know someone who does and would like to give this to them as a gift (the tickets will be held at the box office so you don't need to worry about mailing it), all you need to do is enter this giveaway.

1.  Follow my blog publicly (1 entry)
2.  Follow me on twitter (1 entry)
3.  Tweet about this giveaway, can be done once per day.  Make sure you leave a link (1 entry per tweet)
4.  Blog about this giveaway (5 entries)
5.  Refer a friend to this giveaway (1 entry per person referred, make sure they leave your name in the comment box)

Leave your e-mail if it's not linked in your profile.  Leave separate comments per entry and good luck.  This contest will run until Friday December 3rd and the winner will be notified by e-mail.

*I will be receiving two free tickets to see Blind Date in order to provide an honest review.  I haven't been able to do this yet because, duh, the show doesn't start for a few more days*
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In a Rut

I'm in a rut.  Yup, there I said it.  I've been it ruts before and I'm sure I'll be in them again and I know it will pass, but right now I'm smack dead in the middle of a rut.  I just feel like a robot sometimes.  I get up, get dressed, go to work, teach, come home, play with Isabella, make dinner, put her to bed, go to the gym, get ready for the next day, go to sleep.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

And it's not just that I'm not really doing anything interesting or spectacular, it's that I don't want to.  I don't want to do anything but be at home.  Now I know that's normal.  I should want to be home with my family.  And I do, but also my TV set and my computer.  I should want to spend some time with my friends or my family outside the confines of my home, no?

Whenever I do have plans, either on a weekday after Isabella has gone to sleep, right after work, or on a weekend (day or night), I don't want to do it.  I dread it.  I keep thinking to myself, "Just get through this day and tomorrow you get to stay home."

This is so not like me.  It's usually me wanting to do everything.  Wanting to see my friends.  Wanting to go out with Andy.  Not acting like coffee after work is equivalent to getting a root canal or drinks with the girls is like getting a pap smear.

Maybe it's because I'm tired or maybe it's because I'm bored or maybe I don't like doing the things I used to do (the thought of putting on make up and high heels and staying out past midnight makes me want to set my hair on fire and put it out with an ice pick, which is really not good b/c I have a friend's birthday night out on Friday bleh).  Maybe it's just a phase and it will pass.  I don't know but I do know that I'm in a bit of a rut so I've been brainstorming some things I can do to get out of it.

I can cut back a bit on the TV, computer, cell phone etc because it's becoming a bit draining and I don't like feeling like a zombie.  Maybe I can try something new.  They're offering a cooking class (not a weekly thing, just a one time 4 hour bit) at the Culinary Institute in Manhattan.  This could be something interesting for me to do.  I could also just bite the bullet and actually do something with my friends and I might *gasp* actually have fun, even if the lead up to it is dreadful.

I hope I snap out of this funk soon because I don't really feel like myself.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

CSN Teaser

If you've been around the blogosphere for a while you know that you can get anything at CSN from children's luggage to shoes to toys to, well basically anything.  So if you're looking for one stop holiday shopping CSN is the place to do it and stay tuned for some fun stuff from CSN.
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Featured Little Blogger: Waiting on Pink Lines

This week's Featured Little Guy Blogger is Mrs. Griffith from Waiting on Pink Lines. This blogger is struggling with infertility due to PCOS. I have to say that I admire her strength and grace in dealing with her diagnosis. She's undergone many fertility treatments and is confident that she will have a baby of her own one day weather it's through IVF, IUI, or adoption. Show your support for her.  Go and visit her at Waiting on Pink Lines
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Friday, November 26, 2010

All My Thanks

This year I give thanks for

  1. My beautiful family.  Andy and Isabella can be assholes at times, but they are my everything.
  2. Faith and all the times it has bolstered me and carried me through when I thought there was no going on.
  3. That cancer is not a death sentence and for early detection.
  4. For my friends.  I may bitch about how I feel like I don't fit in with them and how I feel isolated, but that's more my stuff than there's and when push comes to shove, they love me and are there for me.  I just need to learn how to ask.  So I'm thankful for Meaghan, Christie, Crotch, Christina, Teresa, Lara, and Nicole.  
  5. For Isabella's cousins.  It's like three extra sisters (Daniella, Gianna, and Sophia).
  6. That I have a job that I love and that I am good at.
  7. For family traditions, like playing cards after Thansgiving dinner and fights about the kiddie table, and cranberry sauce out of a jar (you know so it still looks like a can).
  8. For all of you.  I love getting your feedback,  I love that you let me peek into your lives, I love that you don't laugh at me when I have my head up my ass, I love that you give me advice, I love that you hunker down with me when I'm blue and cheer for me when I'm up, I love that you allow me to do the same for you.  
Thanksgiving went off without a hitch.  We have it at my mom's house and I got lots of help from family with Isabella which is good because Thanksgiving Eve is my favorite night to go out and a tradition with me and my friends for years.  Hopefully it's one that we can carry on for a while, ya know until we're way too old to be going to a club, which may or may not be next year since we're all getting pretty old.  

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Way Back Wordless Wednesday

My sister and I in 2007
Me and Lara 2008


Somewhere between cute pregnant and whale pregnant



Isabella at 28 weeks
Crazy face at 2 days old

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Time It's My Husband Who's the Asshole

Getting yelled at sucks.  Getting yelled at by your husband is even worse.  Getting yelled at by your husband in front of your  mother and sister is the pits.  Getting yelled at by your husband in front of your mother and sister because his parents forgot to bring your daughter's sound machine and lovey home after a sleepover and you got annoyed is just out and out ridiculous.

I vote...asshole

And, since I'm so mature, I also vote...silent treatment.

*As of publish time he has since apologized.  Jerk*
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage Review

Saturday was finally our date night and we went into Manhattan to go see Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage starring Eve Plumb (who played Jan Brady in the original Brady Bunch...how cool is that?)  It was hysterical.

Miss Abigail, along with her very, very, handsome assistant Paco, talk the audience through dating, mating, and marriage by using advice that has been around for centuries.  From flirting to sex Miss A covers it all in a way that will have you laughing out loud.  This play is far from a stuffy old theatre performance where white haired ladies shush you when you try to open your twizzlers during the overture.  It's modern, fresh and interactive.  Yup that's right, there is a lot of audience participation.  Andy even got pulled up on stage at one point!  I thought he would die of embarrassment but he licked his lips and showed his hiney with the best of them.  Miss A even has a section at the end of the play where she takes your questions.  And if that wasn't reason enough to see it, they have a bar.  And you can drink while you're watching the play.

This show would be a great date night, girls night out, or as the precursor for a bachelorette or birthday party.  I had a blast and so did Andy.  There were times where I thought I might honestly pee my pants from laughing so hard.  And Paco sure was delicious eye candy and nice, because he walked around in the beginning of the show and was talking to the audience.  The show is in a small, intimate theatre where you really feel connected to the actors.  Ticket's for Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage can be purchased by clicking HERE.  If you live in or around the NYC area or know someone who does or will be visiting, tickets to the show would make a great holiday gift.  Use the code DATING to get tickets for as low as $45.  If you do go see the show make sure you let me know how you liked it.

Miss Abigai's Guide is 90 minutes long and it plays in Sofia's Downstairs Theatre, which is right below Sofia's, a very delicious Italian restaurant so you can do the show and dinner in one fell swoop.  There are plenty of other restaurants in the area as well as shops, attractions, and parking lots.  Have fun!

*I did receive two free tickets to go see Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage in order to provide a review.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own and have not been influenced in any way*


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