Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's My SITS Day!

For those of you who don't know SITS is a blogging community that encourages and supports bloggers through leaving lots of comments and featuring different bloggers daily.  They have given me a lot of support through the years and many of my followers are surely my SITStahs.  So if you haven't checked them out you should most certainly do so.


If you're new here, welcome!  I'm glad you came by.  My name is Melissa and I've been blogging here at Completely Eclipsed for over 2 years.  I'm a working mom to a beautiful, yet bratty two year old.  Being a mother, as wonderful as it is, doesn't always come easily to me and I'm not embarrassed to chronicle my flubs for all the interwebz to laugh at.  So if you're feeling bad about yourself as a mom, you can surely come here and I can make you look good.





If you want to get to know me better you can read some of these posts:

Raising a Brat - I've created my very own monster
A Day in the Life of a Working Mom - this is where the crazy stems from
Happiness - Where the idea for my own happiness project was born.

First picture as a family
Also, if you're interested and living in or around the NYC area or know someone who is, you can enter HERE to win tickets to see ImaginOcean and HERE to enter to win tickets to see the Gazillion Bubble Show.

The Brat
So hopefully if you like what you see, you'll stick around because us moms really do need to stick together.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gazillion Bubble Show Ticket Giveaway

This giveaway is closed and the winner, Melissa O., has been notified.
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The Gazillion Bubble Show will amaze your whole family with mind blowing bubble magic. Step into an interactive bubble world and be dazzled by spellbinding lasers, spectacular lighting effects, and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry. It will make you smile, laugh, and feel like a kid all over again! (From the about page).

I can't wait to take Isabella to see this show.  If it's one thing she loves it's bubbles and lots of them.  So I think this show is a great one for kids of any age.

And one lucky reader will be able to win 4 tickets to see this amazing show or you can purchase them by clicking HERE.  So if you live in or around the NYC area or know someone that would love this as a gift you can enter to win a 4 pack of tickets (2 vouchers) right here.

There is no mandatory entry.  Complete as many or as little as you would like.  Just make sure that if something is worth 2 entries that you leave 2 separate comments.

1.  Tell me who you would take to see The Gazillion Bubble Show (1 entry)

2.  Be a public follower of my blog (1 entry)

3.  Grab my button or tell me you already have it (2 entries)

4.  Blog about this giveaway (5 entries)

5.  Enter my ImaginOcean giveaway or tell me you already have (4 entries)

Good luck to all who enter.  This show is performing at New World Stages in NY, NY.  This giveaway will run until 8/2/11 at 11:59 pm where a winner will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  I did receive free tickets to this show.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Making New Friends

My friendship themed month in my Happiness Project is hovering around the 50/50 mark.  I've been making an effort via text, phone call, and e-mail which is great.  I've seen a lot of my friends from work, they tend to be easier to see in the summer since they're off and I'm not scrambling to find coordinating weekends, which is great.  I haven't really seen my other group of friends (Christie, Crotch, Christina, and Alley), but the month isn't out and it's not like there's an expiration date on friendships or spending time together.  I also haven't been putting a lot of effort into e-friendships.  So I'm not doing terribly, but I can most certainly do better.

However, I did make a friend.  Making new friends is never easy for me because I tend to be shy at first and even a bit awkward at times.  But one night on vacation (I'm working on getting those posts up asap), Andy, my sister, his friend who lives in Orlando, and myself went out to dinner at City Walk in Universal. After we ate we went to this dueling piano bar where we had some drinks.  There was a girl about my age sitting at a table with her friends and you could just tell she was super fun.  She was singing and laughing and both my sister and I said that we wanted to be friends with her, but we were half in the bag and screeching "Tiny Dancer" as loud as we could so we didn't pay much mind to it.

Then we went to the bathroom and who was in there? Fun Girl!  When girls are drunk and in the bathroom together, we just naturally talk to one another.  I wasn't awkward at all and we hung out in the bathroom making fun of people for a while and then she left.  But on the way out we ran into her outside and we actually exchanged numbers, on a tampon, but whatevs.  Yup that's right, I picked up a friend at a bar.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Back From Vacation

Gawking at the singing dolls in
Small World
Last week we just got back from our Disney World vacation!  I bet you didn't even know I was gone.  That's because I love you so much that I scheduled posts for you and, even though I don't mind discussing my vagina, sex life, or general insecurities that I have about myself as a mom, I don't want say exactly when I'll be abandoning my house for a week lest a robber stumbles across this blog and robs me blind.

We had a great time!  I was worried about how Isabella would handle the lines, the crowds, the heat, and the general disruption of her schedule, but she was so great...for the most part.  First of all, Florida in July is  insane and I'll never go again in the summer.  It was so brutally hot that I thought I would die, either from heat exhaustion or Andy's incessant complaining.

Isabella was so great on the rides.  She loved Small World, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, The Haunted Mansion, the Carousel, the Seuss Train Ride,  Aladdin's Magic Carpet, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  She stared in amazement at Small World, it was by far her favorite and we went on about 7 or 8 times during the duration of the trip.  She even waited very patiently on the lines, which I was glad about.  It was also great that my mom and sister were there because the adults were able to get in a few rides themselves.

She loved all the shows too.  The Disney Junior Show, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and the Dolphin Show at Sea World.  She sang and danced along with all of it.  We had breakfast with the characters and waited in line to meet them.  She was beside herself with excitement when we met Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Little Einsteins, Pluto, Daisy, Donald, and the coup d'etat Mickey and Minnie.


I'm a pretty big stickler for schedules so I was more than apprehensive about upending Isabella's, but I also wanted her to experience the fire works and the electrical parade.  So we decided that 3 of the 7 days she would get to stay up late and we would compensate by giving her an extra late nap, which wound up being extra long because she was so worn out.  The other days she would nap and sleep at regular times, but there was 2 days where she fell asleep in my arms at the park or in her stroller.  So she just had extra early bedtimes those days.  By the end of the trip she was really just done and we had a minor meltdown at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I should have planned a rest day in the middle of the trip to let her relax a bit.  But overall she was amazing.  The only trouble is that she had to sleep in the room with us in her crib, so sometimes in the middle of the night she would wake up and see us and we'd have to soothe her back to sleep, which pretty much sucked.  Plus now that we're home she wants us to rub her back to sleep, which is a post for another day.

I really want to get into details, but it's too long for one post, so I'm breaking it up and next week is officially Disney Week over here.  That might make you want to throw up in your mouth a bit, but I want to get it all down so I remember it and so she can look at it too when she's grown.

It was such a great trip and I can't wait to go back.  December of 2012 we're thinking of going again.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ImaginOcean Ticket Giveaway


This giveaway is over and the winner Yoga Mommy has been notified
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John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean  is (straight from the about page) A one-of-a-kind live black-light puppet show, John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean is a magical undersea adventure for kids of all ages. Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel and three best friends who just happen to be fish, and they're about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery. And it all starts with a treasure map. As they swim off in search of clues, they'll sing, they'll dance, and they'll make new friends, including everyone in the audience. Ultimately they discover the greatest treasure of all: friendship.

Jam-packed with music ranging from swing to R&B to Big Band, John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean is a blast from the first big splash to the last wave goodbye.

And 1 lucky reader will be winning a 4 ticket voucher to go and see the show at New World Stages in NY, NY.  So if you live in the area, are willing to drive to the area, or know someone who does and want to gift this voucher this is an amazing opportunity.

You can purchase your own tickets by clicking HERE and the show is touring so checking out the website wouldn't be a bad idea either

OR

You can win them here.  There is no mandatory entry, you can pick and chose which ones you would like to do.  Complete one or complete them all. Make sure you leave a comment for each entry. If something is for 2 entries, just leave 2 comments.  Here's how to enter:

1.  Tell me why you want to see ImaginOcean (1 entry)

2.  Follow ImaginOcean Live on Twitter by clicking HERE (1 entry)

3.  Follow ImaginOcean on Facebook by clicking HERE (2 entries)

4.  Be a public follower of my blog (2 entries)

5.  Blog about this giveaway (5 entries)

That's it.  The contest will run until 7/30/11 at 11:59 pm when a winner will be drawn via random number generator and contacted by e-mail.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn.  Good Luck to all who enter.

I was given a set of tickets as well.
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Potty Training

I'm not into it.  I know it will make my life easier.  I know it's cheaper than buying diapers, but I really have to admit that this is one rite of passage I am not looking forward to.  Obviously it has to happen eventually, but it's so much easier to just change her diaper than to have to try and convince her to sit on a potty.

And-plus-also, I don't think she's even close to ready.  She'll sit in a shitty diaper all day if I let her.  She doesn't tell me if she's wet or dry and if I ask her if she wants to go on the potty, she just says no.  The only small sign of readiness is that she likes privacy when she does her business.  So I think maybe we'll see how I feel at the end of the summer and if she's still not ready and I'm still not ready, we'll reevaluate in a few months.  I mean, I figure at some point she'll have to be potty trained.

I'm also not in any rush to get her in a big girl bed.  I like her nice and contained in her crib.  And so far, she hasn't tried to climb out.
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Monday, July 18, 2011

I Haz the Sad

I usually post my happiness project updates on Mondays, but today I am sad.  Not cry into your pinot sad, just the regular kind of sad.  It's about work and I'm not sure exactly what I can and can't write about when it comes to my job, so I'm just going to stick to the bare bones of it.

I worked as a regular classroom teacher for 5 years.  A few years in 2nd grade and a few years in 3rd grade and I loved it, but then last year my boss offered me an out of the classroom position as a reading teacher and I was thrilled.  There are limited out of classroom positions available and I felt really honored that she thought of me to fill the position.  And I loved doing it.  I loved working with all different groups of kids, I loved pushing into classrooms and working with teachers, and I loved helping with professional development.  But I recently found out that due to budget cuts, my position was cut and I'm going back into the classroom.

I am so grateful that I still have a job and that I'm going back into 3rd grade, which is the last grade I taught, back to gifted, and back to my old room.  But I'm still kind of sad about it.  I had some really big plans for my lessons for the upcoming school year and I can't use them now.  I also shared a room with two great girls who I really love both personally and professionally and it really stinks that I won't be with them next year.  That makes me extra sad.  And honestly, my pride and ego are really bruised.  I know that most people will realize that it's budgetary and will be supportive, but there are some real douche's who I know will almost enjoy the misfortune, because some people really do rejoice in other people being upset.  And I just don't like when I'm the highlight of gossip and talking.

So today, instead of being happy, I'm nursing my ego and letting myself be a little bit sad.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Un-Milestones

There are milestones in our kid's lives that we wait for and look forward to.  The first time your baby smiles at you, those first precious steps, the first words.  Whether you were right there for it, watched it on a video, or had to see it another time.  And for the record, I'm a working mom and I was here for her first steps, but in the shower the first time she rolled over so it really is a crap shoot whether you're around or not, but whenever you see it it's the first time for you.  But sometimes it's the un-milestones that get you.  The things that gradually fade out as your kid gets older.

Isabella used to always let me read her books.  Before nap time and bed time she and I would lie on the floor or snuggle up in my bed and I'd read her a bunch of books.  Then she slowly started showing a preference for certain books.  Fine.  But now she reads to me.  Every time I try and read to her, she says, "No mommy, I read it to you."  And it's sweet and she's so smart, but I miss reading to her.

We used to sing Twinkle Twinkle every night before bed and it was so sweet because she would sort of gently hum along with me, but now we have to sing all different songs, like "Peppino" or "London Bridge" or "If You're Happy and You Know It" real silly, shitty songs that do not feel like my sweet Twinkle Twinkle bed time.

She wants to dress herself, put on her own shoes, and draw her pictures by herself.  My baby isn't such a baby anymore, she's turning into a little girl.  So when she's doing something that's really obnoxious, I try and think of a time when she won't be so endearing.  It's the little things that slip away that sometimes I miss the most.

Sneaking in a picture because she won't sit still for a family pic anymore.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

When I Was Your Age

I was watching Isabella play with my iPhone the other day.  I saw her little finger flipping through the apps to find the one she wanted.  I watched her zoom in and zoom out with her fingers and flip the phone to get the screen to change it's orientation.  And it got me thinking about the fact that I didn't have a computer in my house until I was maybe 17 years old.

The connection on the computer was dial up and it took about a hundred years to start.  No one could call the house when you were on the internet because it used the phone lines.  There was no facebook.  I didn't have a cell phone until I could pay for it and before that I had a beeper (143 anyone?).  The coolest game on my cell phone was Snake.  Before the computer I had a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica that I used for reports.  I went to the library to look up information on microfiche.

And not to sound too old lady yelling get-off-my-lawn, but by the time Isabella is my age I'm thinking that there will be no more paper books, no more laptops or desk tops, no more printers, and maybe a ton of cool stuff that I'll need her to teach me how to use.

I just worry that in this age of not now, right now, that delayed gratification and working for a goal is going to be lost and we'll be left with demanding, brats who want everything immediately.  And I love my Nook, but there's still something so wonderful about the feel of a book in your hand.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Lies We Tell

Generally speaking I'd say I'm an honest person.  I might tell the occasional fib, something along the lines of, "that dress doesn't make you look like a prostitute" or "I have a really bad headache, can you put the baby to bed?" But lying has risen to a whole new level with the arrival of toddlerhood.

Now there are good lies: Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.  And then there are the bad lies that I've started to tell: if you don't stop running around and let me change your diaper your buns are gonna fall off.  That one actually made me almost feel bad, until she just looked at me like I was ridiculous and proceeded to run around the kitchen.  I also told her that if she draws on her clothes with markers that the marker fairy will come and take them away.  In an effort to get her to go to sleep I told her that if she stopped fussing and lay down that in the morning she could have ice cream for breakfast...thank goodness she forgot about that one.

So I guess it shouldn't surprise me that she's turning into quite the little liar herself!  I could smell her diaper stink from clear across the room and I'll ask her if she pooped and she'll look dead in my face and say no.  I'll see her drawing on her clothes again (because apparently she's not afraid of the marker fairy) and I'll tell her to stop and she'll say, "I'm not drawing on my shirt."  And the other day she told my mom that I punched her in the nose and gave her a boo boo, which is obviously untrue.  Filthy little liar!

I could take the high road and say I'll stop lying.  But that would be untrue.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

E-Friends

I've really been putting myself out there with this month's Happiness Project theme of Friendship.  I've been making phone calls and sending e-mails and trying to strengthen the relationships in my life.  But I neglected to mention one very important aspect...e-friends.

It hasn't only been my real life relationships that feel strained, but also my electronic ones too.  I had a core group of girls from my mom board (PD's you know who you are) that I was uber close too and I kind of just fell out of it.  I was also active in a spin off of a mom board and I've been kind of lacking there as well. I think it's just because I don't know where I really fit and I don't have so many close relationships on that board anymore (duh, because I'm never on).

But I always loved feeling like a part of a community and I need to stop making excuses and start making time for the people who are important to me, even if I've never actually seen their faces.

Also my bloggy buddies.  There are so many wonderful bloggers that I love that I haven't read up on in a while and I actually miss them and wonder where there lives are going.  So I'm expanding my resolutions to encompass all of my friendships, real, electronic, and maybe in instances, imaginary.
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mommy Do It

Remind me in September when I go back to work and Isabella can't be bothered with me anymore that being the favorite isn't all that it's cracked up to be.  Since I'm home with Isabella 6 days a week, all day and night long (one day a week she goes to school to keep with her schedule, thank the heavens), she's all about Mommy.  And I love it.  I love that she loves me and wants me, but I'm getting a little bit over it.

When I've been with her all day, at the gym, at the park, at the pool, on the deck, reading books whatever and the last thing I want to do is give her a bath so I have Andy do it and she screams bloody murder "Mommy do it"

When I'm at the pool and I'd like to lay out for 15 minutes in silence with a book or a magazine or maybe I want to swim laps so I see if she'll go in with Aunt Meaghan and she firmly says, "Mommy do it."

Sometimes I would like to shower after the gym and clean off all my sweat, Andy says he'll make her lunch, but nope...."Mommy do it"

The only person who she might let do it besides me is my mom because she's fairly obsessed with her.  I don't want her poor father to think that she doesn't love him.  And I don't want to have to be the one who has to do everything all the time.  Ah, I'm sure I'll miss it in September, but for right now it's a tiny bit draining.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Overextended

Andy and I make decent money.  We're not rolling in the dough, but we're not poor either.  I'd say we're middle class with an emphasis on middle.  But for some reason these past few months we've really been struggling financially.  There's been a lot of things that have come up out of the ordinary that have really drained us.  (I'm going to talk specifics of money here, so if that makes you uncomfortable back slowly out of the post)

$800 to fix his car.  $1,300 life insurance payment (for the year).  A few hundred for home insurance.  A trip to Disney.  Two engagement parties.  Two weddings (plus 2 more next year that I'm in the bridal party), bachelorette party to Vegas (only half paid for), $1,000 towards classes for my next salary differential.

We are tapped out, so badly that we had to transfer money over from our savings which is something we haven't had to do since we first got married.  Some of it was inevitable and some of it was over splurging, either way we need to cut costs big time.

We're cutting back on dinners out.  I can get together with friends over a home cooked meal or a cup of coffee instead of an elaborate dinner.  We were planning a vacation for our 5 year wedding anniversary and that's been cut.  He's going to start bringing dinner/lunch to work instead of always going out to eat with the other troopers.  Run the dishwasher/washer less, I'm not traveling to work in the summer and that is saving a lot on gas and tolls.

But that's still not enough.  I'm a couponing novice, but I guess before I go grocery shopping I should see if the manufacturers are offering coupons.  Maybe I'll dvr Extreme Couponing because my grocery bill is close to $200 a week.  I don't want to sacrifice healthy eating, but that just seems ridiculous to me.

We also need to plan a lot better for our future because we also have a lot of things coming up next year as well.  I didn't grow up with a ton of money and my parents always struggled and I don't want that for myself.  How do you guys manage a budget and cut corners?
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Buy When You Can Rent?

I'm talking about evening wear, not real estate.  And I'd like to mention up front and center that this post is not sponsored at all in any way.  I just love this site so much that I wanted to share it with all of you guys.

 I don't know if you've ever heard of Rent the Runway, but I'd say it's definitely worth a look over.  How many times do you wind up buying a dress for a wedding/charity event/engagement party/New Years Eve and then never wear it again, because OMGod forbid someone should see you on facebook wearing the same dress twice.  When you rent you pay a fraction of the cost to rent a dress, wear it the once and send it back.  You even get to rent a second size in the same style for free.  Return shipping is free and they dry clean it for you.  Plus you can even rent accessories.

I've used it a ton of times and always get tons of compliments.  I put a picture up recently of Andy and I on our way to a wedding and I got a bunch of e-mails asking where I got it...it was rented.

If you want to sign up go for it and if you want to be even extra awesome, give me your e-mail and I'll invite you so if you rent I can get a credit, but if you just want to sign up on your own that's fine too.





















And this is why I won't purchase formal wear again!
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July's Happiness Theme...Friendship

Really focusing on my marriage during June was a great experience, but after thinking about Andy for an entire month I'm ready to keep with my resolutions, but move to something else.  This month I'm working on my friendships.  I found interpersonal relationships are harder for me to work on than intrapersonal relationships, but I'm really weird when it comes to friendships so I'm facing this month with a mixture of excitement towards making things better and trepidation, because...well, I'm weird about my friendships.

When my mom was growing up, she was really poor and she didn't have very many friends.  As a result, she made me feel that having friends was of the utmost importance and I get it; she wanted me to have what she didn't, but sometimes she was really mean about it.  I didn't want to go to a slumber party once because I was too insecure to sleep out, and she told me I was a social handicap.  Which makes me think...was I? or was she putting me under too much pressure?  It made me almost desperate for friends, which made me needy, which is not the best type of friend attractor.

I'm older now, but still fall on some of my old habits.  Only now I oscillate between, "Omg we're bff's" and  not even bothering to pick up a phone.  But I know friendships are important and I love my old friends.  I love Meaghan, Christie, Nicole, Crotch, Kristy, Christina, Lara, Jen, Teresa, Nicole, Alley, Jasmine, and Jennifer.  And I love my budding friendships, Amy and Monica.  I want them to know that they are important to me.  I want to be a good friend without being obnoxious.  And in some cases I might need to let friendships go.  Sometimes people just change and evolve and they don't "fit" anymore.

Here are this month's resolutions:

Make an effort: Call, e-mail, or text a friend every day.  A simple, "I'm thinking of you" text won't drain my time, a catch up phone call isn't going to kill anyone.

Get together: Hang out...make time to be together.  Whether it's a play date or a girls night out or a movie night in.  Just make the time to be together.

Be accountable: I don't always answer e-mails, phone calls or texts right away.  Sometimes I can't take my phone out because Isabella jumps on it, but other times I get the message and I'm busy and say, "Oh, I'll get back to her" and I forget and they go unanswered.  Not cool.

I'm hoping this month will be as good as all of the other's and that I'll really see a difference.
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Discovery Girl's Winner

Is Ginger from The G Spot.  Congrats!  You have been notified and have 48 hours to respond you lucky girl!
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Friday, July 1, 2011

I Need Advice on Flying

If you've ever flown with a toddler I need your advice.

What should I expect?
What should I bring on the plane?
Did your kid ride in the car seat or solo?
What was the deal with ear popping?
Was it as a wretched experience as I'm imagining?

Tell me your story!

Andy and I, along with my mother and sister, are getting ready to take Isabella to Disney World!  I'm beside myself with excitement but I'm worried about the logistics of getting there, especially since Isabella has recently decided that she was going to add "car sick" to her resume of skills.

I'm also seeking advice on what I should expect from a toddler in Disney in July.  Should I stock up on wine or go straight for the hard stuff?
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