Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Is Up With All These Recalls?! A Mad Mama's Rant

Am I the only mama who has had it UP TO HERE with all these recalls?! First it was the Infant Tylenol due to "tiny particles" and "too much active ingredients". Then it was Similac formula, which reportedly contained BEETLES! And now it's Hyland Teething Tablets, which have been recalled due to potential belladonna poisoning! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!

How are we supposed to trust that the indigestible we are giving to our most precious beings - our children - are safe? What is wrong with these companies that they think it is OK to just wing it with ingredients? These products aren't made for adults with mature immune systems and fully developed brains. These products are for BABIES! Babies who are still growing and developing. Babies who God has entrusted each mama with to protect and nurture. What part of that is so hard to understand?! These companies need to step up their safety procedures in a major way. How can you do this to innocent babies and their moms, who are doping everything they can to do the right thing? Get your acts together - PLEASE!

Also - a specific message to the folks at Similac - DO NOT email me again about promoting your product on my blog. Especially when you are unwilling to respond to my questions re: new safety procedures to ensure contamination never happens again, and how it happened in the first place. Your lack of response to my questions "Anna at Similac" speaks volumes... you must not have solutions! My readers deserve more than that. PR and marketing efforts don't magically undo the massive mistakes your company has made. Prove yourself, explain how and why it happened - and most importantly why it won't happen again - and then ask for our trust and patronage again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas Cards in October? Yes, Ma'am!

Every year - even before I became a mama - my thought process goes a little like this regarding Christmas cards:

Early September: WOW! Christmas is right around the corner. What am I going to do for Christmas cards this year? Maybe I'll go the Martha Stewart route and MAKE them all! Glitter and cut outs and stamping - oh my!

Late September: Well, didn't make it over to Hobby Lobby to pick up the craft paper. Oh well. I'll just find some super cute ones and write personal messages inside.

Early October: Shoot! I'm not going to have time to write messages in all those cards!! I think I'll go the picture card route - everyone wants a picture of me and my smiling family, don't they? Of course they do!

Mid/Late October: Haloween madness hits - all anyone can think of is costumes, parties and candy. Christmas who?

November: Let's get real - planning the Thanksgiving menu is going to take all month. AND, since I didn't get to show off my Martha Stewart with my homemade, glittery Christmas cards, I've got to BRING IT for the Thanksgiving meal.

December 4th: The first Christmas card arrives in the mail and I haven't even ordered mine yet!! I go into total defense mode and send out leftovers of last years cards... maybe no one will remember? We kind of look the same, right? EEK!

One year I even sent out "New Year's" cards because I couldn't get my act together for Christmas. I thought it was creative! My husband thought it was lame.

So this year when my friends at Shutterfly reached out to promote their Christmas cards in October, my first thought was - NO WAY! It's waaaaay to early to talk about Christmas cards. But then the more I thought about it, I realized how genius it is to get them out of the way NOW, so I don't have to give them another thought. Maybe MINE will be the first to arrive this year?! Ok - let's not get ahead of ourselves... You know I'll forget to pick up the stamps until at lest the 5th of December : )

So here are some of my favorite holiday photo cards this year. I can't decide between these three. I want to go cute, but not overboard. PLEASE vote which one you like best!

So what do you say we take as stab at getting organized this year mamas?? : ) Check out all of Shutterfly's Christmas cards HERE!

Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select "Clever 1000" as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mom Jeans

My husband accused me of something so horrific, so vile, it's hard to even write about... He said I'm only one step away from (Cue dramatic music...) MOM JEANS! Here's what happened...

Yesterday, we were driving home after church and in bumper to bumper traffic. As we sat there, I started to admire the "rear decor" on the SUV in front of us. She had all sorts of stickers representing her life - the stick people family, a South Carolina palm tree and crescent moon, a "13.1" sicker for the half-marathon she ran (which, BTW, seems to be a new mandatory past time for women ages 25-35. Everyone I know is talking about what half-marathon/5K they are training for... right?!) And the highlight for me was her license plate frame. It was a decorative one, with blue and green polka dots. I thought it was adorable. I took out my iPhone and started to search for it online to see how much it cost. My husband - who obviously knows me better than I know myself - looked over and said, "Why don't you just search for some mom jeans why you're in there." Here is the conversation that followed:


Daniel: I know you are looking for that license plate frame. And if you get that, you're only one step away from mom jeans. I'm just sayin'...

Me: No way! That frame is adorable! There is nothing "mom jeans" about it!

Daniel: Yeah, ok! (note the sarcasm). Two years ago, the young fashionista I knew NEVER would have put that on her car. You're going down a slippery slope my friend.

Me: Whatever! (that's pretty much all I could muster up for a response... I know - pretty lame)

Daniel: It's not like I care, but I wanted to intervene because I know how much YOU care...

Me: Whatever.

So for the rest of the ride home, I really could not figure out why liking that adorable license plate frame made me mom jeans-esque. And there, I believe, lies the problem! I'm so close to jumping head first into mom jean mania, that I can't even differentiate the line. So what's a mama to do? I ran directly (did not pass go, did not collect $200) to Old Navy and bought a second pair of Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans. So basically - my mind my be going the way of mom jeans, but I'm going to try and hold on - kicking and screaming - to my former self. Let's see how long that lasts... : )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So Fresh and So Clean

I've been at home for almost an entire year now (first on disability at the end of the pregnancy, and now of course a stay-at-home mama) - hard to believe since I've worked at least one job (usually more than one) since the age of 13! And I am totally loving it. But there is one down side that I discovered... since I don't spend an hour + in the car commuting each morning, I miss out on all the scoop from my beloved morning radio shows! Occasionally I'll grab 10 minutes of the chatter here or there as I make a Starbucks run or go to pick up my husband's dry cleaning in the morning. Yes, I totally realize I could turn on the radio in my house each morning - but I seriously don't think about it until it's after 10 a.m. and all the shows are over. A few days ago I ran out to Starbucks with Miss Paige in tow and there was a particularly interesting conversation going on. I can't remember specifics, but it was something really juicy! : ) So I am totally sucked into the story and decide to sit in the car for a few moments to listen to the conclusion, sipping my Starbucks while Paige plays in the back seat. All is good, right? WRONG! After a few minutes I realized I was sitting in the garage, with the car running still, and the garage door down!!! DUH! Luckily we're still alive to tell the story : ) Anyway, I digress...

So this morning I had to run out to do a few errands and had on a local radio show. A commercial came on for Secret's newest product - waterproof deodorant. I know what you're thinking - "Yeah. Nothing new. Who cares." Which is totally what I was thinking. All I want my deodorant to do is keep me from stinking up the joint. Whatever they have to do to make that happen is fine with me. So you know the commercials where one of the morning show DJs talks from "personal experience" about the product? You know - like Healthee Trim diet pills? Laser hair removal? Cell phone plans? Car dealers? Well this commercial was one of those types, and the female DJ starts raving about how great this waterproof deodorant is. She says something to the extent of, "I can do whatever I want throughout the day, and I know my deodorant is still there. Even after I shower! Nothing can penetrate through this waterproof deodorant!" HUH?! Isn't the point of showering to CLEAN your body - including the pits? Why in the world would I want a deodorant that REPELS water, and therefore repels my attempts to clean my pits? It's not like waterproof mascara, where it stays on until you wash it off. According to the commercial, it stays on even after you try to wash it off! Who in the world would want that? I mean, is it that hard to reapply deodorant after you shower? I personally would rather reapply then let the funk fester until the waterproof deodorant finally decomposes under my pits. Not that I have any funk, that is ; ) So am I missing something here? I just don't get it! It's other uses make sense - like when you are at the pool or beach. But shower-proof? I'll pass on that!

In other news, Paige is standing! Woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Southern Mamas Say

Over the last week I've had playdates with a few diferent Southern Mamas. Being a transplant to the deep South, it's taken me a couple years to work words like "ya'll" into my everyday vocabulary. And I must say that it's very strange to say things like "ya'll want some coffee?" with "ya'll" being as Southern as can be, and my still distinct NY accent coming out on "coffee." Oh, and then throw in the long O's of the Pennsylvania Dutch accent I picked up in college. I'm a hot mess the say the least : ) So anyway...

There is one thing all Southern Mamas say to their daughters - and I have definitely picked up on over the last few months. And that is "No, ma'am!"

In the same vein as how "bless his/her heart" is used as a sweet, Southern way of saying "They're NUTS!,"   "No, Ma'am!" is a sweet was of disciplining our baby girls. It can be said gently as you take away something she shouldn't be playing with. It can be said with a slight tone paired with a hand slap if they take something that isn't theirs. Or, it can be used in full force with clenched teeth and the evil eye, when they've done something really bad - NO! MA'AM!!

You should try it. It's a great catchall for discipline, and you'll still sound sweet as a Georgia Peach while saying it. And if you're in the South, pay attention to how many times it's used at your next playdate. I lost track at the last few I've been at : )

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baby Sign Language: Advice from the Expert

Happy Monday Mamas! I have a special treat today - a guest post from Misty Weaver, the Chief Editor of I've been trying to teach Paige baby sign language since birth without much luck. I asked Misty what I may be doing wrong, and how to get the ball rolling in a more productive way... And here is her advice!! Enjoy!

How To Get Started With Baby Sign Language And What Signs Should You Teach First
When you are first starting with Baby Sign Language it’s best to begin with signs you can use every day, such as Mommy, Daddy, Milk and More. Signs that represent something exciting and meaningful to baby will be easier to learn. Begin with these starter signs then build up your range to include other objects, ideas and emotions.

How To Get Started With Baby Sign Language
First of all, you need to remember to make the sign every time you say the relevant word to your baby. It’s important to say the word that goes with the sign clearly, using good eye-contact, while pointing to the thing or person you are describing. Sign when your baby is alert and not fussing. Remember to practice the signs beforehand so you feel confident and clear about what you are doing.

What Signs Should You Teach First And How?

Start with these signs: Mommy, Daddy, Milk and More. These signs are simple to learn and are really interesting to your baby. To sign Mommy extend and spread apart your fingers. With your little finger facing forward, tap your thumb on your chin.

  • To sign Daddy, extend and spread out your five fingers on your strong hand. Tap your hand on your forehead. Done right you will look like a turkey.

  • The sign for Milk is a lot like milking a cow, but without the vertical motion – you are just squeezing the udder. Take both hands, make them into a fist, relax, and repeat. You will notice most babies have trouble moving their fingers together this way, but any kind of repeated squeezing and relaxing of the hand is likely Milk.

  • To make the sign for More, flatten out your hands then bring your thumbs under to make an O shape. Then, bring your hands together and separate them repeatedly. Baby will often simplify More by clapping their fists together. As they get older and more proficient you may want to encourage the more correct sign of flattening out their hands and creating the O shape with their thumbs as a fun way to help them develop fine motor skills.

Repetition is the key to Baby Sign Language . When you first start, be sure to make the sign and say the word every time you do an action or use an object. Soon this will become second-nature. Your baby will learn the signs through repetition and constant exposure.

Be Patient
Don’t expect too much too soon – from your baby or from yourself. If you forget to sign for a day it’s doesn’t matter – just begin again with renewed effort. Have realistic expectations. Research by Dr. Joseph Garcia, one of the founders of Baby Sign Language, found that a typical baby who starts learning signs at seven months old needs about two months of repetition and exposure to a sign to start using it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Poop Happens

TGIF!!! Never thought it would get here, but HALLELUIA, at last it has!

So last week while I was on my death bed (and by "death bed" I really mean "super sick, but more mad/cranky than anything else about the fact that I couldn't eat") something pretty hilarious happened. Now, last year at this time - before I was a mama - I probably would not have seen the humor in this at all. But now it's pretty much the funniest thing that's happened in along time. And it's all about poop. No, not MY poop. Paige's poop : )

So one day last week I was moping around the kitchen, opening the refrigerator and cupboards just to see all the things I couldn't eat thanks to my sore throat. After I tortured myself enough, I sauntered back into the living room where Paige was playing. As I approached Paige, I noticed she was squirming around on her back, kind of rubbing her butt against the floor. When I was finally next to her, she rolled over and I saw a bunch of "mud" on the rug. And I thought to myself - "How in the world did that mud get into the house?!" So finally after a few seconds of pondering the mud, it hit me - it wasn't mud at all! It was POOP!!! (DUH! I know, I know - let's blame my stupidity on the NyQuil...) And not just normal poop - explosive diarrhea poop. The kind that shoots out of the sides of diapers and up the front, back and everywhere in between. Totally grossed out, I raced her up the stairs and put her in the bathtub, clothes and all. Now covered in poop myself from carrying her up the stairs, I jumped in the tub with her. Oh, we were a sorry, sh*tty sight to say the least : ). So as I'm trying desperately to de-poop both of us, I think about the gross mess on the carpet downstairs and how I'm going to clean up the smashed up poo. And then I realized - where was Lenni LuLu (the dog)?! Still in the tub, I screamed for her. I hear her bolt up the stairs, run into the bedroom, then bathroom, and then I see her - licking her chops like she just had a juicy steak! Yes, that's right... Lenni ate the poop. I started dry heaving. By the time I got back downstairs, you almost couldn't even tell where the poop had been - that's how "good" of a job Lenni did on it. I worked for the next 45 minutes scrubbing and disinfecting, just to make sure all the poop (or what was left of it after the "clean up crew") was gone. Then I went upstairs to give Paige a bottle and put her down for bed. Just as she was dozing off, I heard the garage door go up - Daddy's home!!! : ) I put Paige down, and headed downstairs, excited to tell Daniel about the craziness that was the last 2 hours. And as I hit the last few stairs, I saw it - as if it was happening in slow motion... Daniel was bending over, greeting Lenni... and Lenni was LICKING DANIEL'S FACE!!! Yes - that's right - licking him with the same tongue that only 1 hour earlier had eaten Paige's poop! Needless to say I woke Paige up because I was laughing so hard. It was an "almost peed myself, can't breathe, crying my eyes out" kind of laughing. I couldn't even get the words out to tell Daniel what was going on. When I did finally tell him, he wasn't as amused as I was. But I still crack up at the thought of it, even more than a week later. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night laughing about it. It's the little things... : )