25 February 2010

I'M GOING TO NEW YORK CITY AND CAPS LOCK IS THE ONLY WAY I KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS MY EXCITEMENT


Soooo... (I could probably start all posts with "sooooo", but I don't. You're welcome.) I AM GOING TO BLOGHER '10 IN NEW YORK CITY IN AUGUST.

...and....

I GOT A "BLOGHERSHIP" (volunteer position) AS A "MIC WRANGLER", SO MY TICKET IS NOW TAKEN.CARE.OF.

I know, right?

Basically, under the "qualifications" section of the application to run a microphone around a room full of freaking awesome women, I put "I'm tiny and I'm fast, do I need more qualifications?". AND THE BEST PART IS THAT THE WONDERFUL WOMEN AT BLOGHER LOL'D INSTEAD OF "..."ing AND ACCEPTED THAT. Good call, BlogHer, good call.

(BTW - does anyone else type faster in CAPS? It's almost like I know you are reading it as me being excited, therefore, I type in "excited mode". I'm going to stop now and get back to how awesome going to BlogHer is for me.)

DUDES!

Here's the part where I tell you that I'm both ultra excited YET totally overwhelmed. It's an honor, really, to help represent the BlogHer community (in such a small way, I know, but still). Not to mention how much I have to do to get ready for this! I'm a conference newbie, and this is kinda the Mother Of All Conferences. Meaning I have even MORE to do, and MORE to plan, and MORE to research.

Let's start there, mk?

First off, I need business cards. On these cards, I'll put my pertinent information, and hopefully, A SPONSOR. I've read that between 150-300 cards is a safe bet (more if you attend lots of parties or are a social butterfly) (I'm not quite a butterfly, but not a catepillar either, so.... I'm going to call myself a social moth and just order about 250)

For the entire back of the card (front of the card if I hand them out upside down) (lol), will be the logo of The Most Awesome Company Or Organization To Ever Exist And I Will Stop At Nothing To Make Sure The Person That Receives Said Card Truly Understands How Awesome You Are Except That I Won't Do This In A Manner That Might Make Me Seem Annoying Because That Would Be Counterproductive.

Yup.

Contact me at (my NEW email address!) Amanda@TheMomJob.net

In the spirit of you wanting to sponsor me, I'm also offering my boobs. Well, and my back. But come on, the boobs are clearly prime real estate.

I'm talking t-shirts. Or *a* t-shirt, for me (and not a frumpy t-shirt, but a nicely (read: tastefully) fitted tee with a logo (in full color) on one side. This will be worn in front of thousands of participants. I have more info for those interested. (Again - Amanda@TheMomJob.net)

For both sponsor opportunities, I'll also offer ad space on this site. During the conference, I intend to live blog and/or live tweet (many of you know "how I roll" with live tweeting - a mix between "IT'S LIKE I'M THERE!" and "I CAN'T STOP LAUGHING") (I manage to gain followers each time I live tweet an event) (one of my FAVORITE things to do) (yay parathesis!). This way, the thousands on people following the #BlogHer hashtag on twitter will find this blog and your brand will gain lots of exposure.

You can't lose here!

Anyone else going?

24 February 2010

Layla Grace.

I could type a thousand paragraphs on how unfair little Layla's illness is, or how horrible I feel for her parents, family and friends. But, I feel that reading her story straight from her parents is more moving.

Layla is likely in her last hours, and this precious face will no longer grace us, but will join her Heavenly Father in His Kingdom - finally free of pain.


This beautiful child's pain breaks my heart. Please pray for her family.

Image from Layla Grace.org taken by Christie Lacy.

23 February 2010

Picking Battles With A Picky Eater

Over at B-Metro today:

t's Saturday and I'm making chicken noodle soup (via my crock pot - it's so simple, hearty and soul-meltingly delicious). Everyone has a full bowl of noodles, chicken, carrots and celery, well... everyone except Conner. He is eating processed cheese with his fingers. Again.

I've had a lot of guilt about Conner's 10 Items or Less menu for the longest time. For years, I cooked full dinners at least 5 days a week (and always things remotely "kid friendly" to encourage him to partake) - chicken, mashed potatoes, an array of veggies, lasagna, etc. - all in hopes that at some point, Conner would accidentally smell the cheesy potatoes or saucy lasagna and oh, I don't know, TRY IT.

To continue reading, click here!

21 February 2010

NO CHEESE.

Chase: Come on, dadda
Mike: Ok. I'm coming.



Chase: pop! pop! (frozen pop)
Mike: ok. geez. (he'd already had 2)
Chase: no cheese!
Mike: NO. Not cheese. I said "geez"
Chase: NO CHEESE!
Mike: I said "geez!" No talking, Chase.
Chase: NO TALKING, DADDA!

19 February 2010

Onesies, Rompers & Jeggings - Say Wha?

Can we talk about something? Good.

Last week, I went to Target to... oh, heck. I don't remember my "reason", but it may or may not have been an excuse to browse the entire store for two hours. Mommy needs a break sometimes, kids.

Anyways, I started in the Junior's section, seeing that I'm tiny, but also because I'm 25 and in The No Woman's Land Of In Between Sections. As to not discriminate against any style, I quickly grabbed up about 15 items (mostly dresses) in varying colors and prints. The first thing that caught my eye was this:


Only - on the rack it looked like a dress and Momma's time is precious people. I don't have time to sift for an inseam, so I immediately filed it in my brain as "dress" and moved on. 

Eventually, I made my way to the fitting room and tried on that "outfit" first - only to quickly realize that something was between my legs (stop laughing).

"Holy sh*t, this is a onesie" - that was my first thought. 

It's just... honestly, I was torn. It was cute, cheapish, mostly attractive and EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE. As in, the top was a soft cotton jersey, breathable and the skort? bottom was lightweight and... well... freeing. In other words: all my lady junk was hanging out and I felt mostly naked.

The problem: IT'S A FREAKING ROMPER AND I'M NOT 3.

So, I made a few faces at it, and eventually decided on 2 other ACTUAL dresses and not wanna-be onesies.


It's just that even since, I've seen rompers in other places, and on Victoria's Secrets models, they don't look that bad. Dare I might say, they kinda look cute especially with a gladiator sandle or for casual beachwear. 

Actually, after typing "casual beachwear", I'd say that is a perfect scenario for Onesie Attire, but I don't LIVE at the beach... and I'm so on the fence about this.

The only thing about wearing the romper (*cough* onesie *cough*) is that it leaves some.... room? in the back... which I can only imagine is for next year's summer trend - Neon Diapers.

Keep in mind that I'm a small girl and am frequently mistaken for a 12-year-old, should I not disregard this fashion so quickly?

Two years ago, I had similar feelings towards skinny jeans. I kept thinking "ok, didn't we do this already? and we all decided it sucked? THEN WHY ARE WE TRYING IT AGAIN?", only to find myself in 2010 with more skinny jeans than "regular" and boy do they make my butt look great (and are awesome for tucking into my trillion pairs of boots).


Better yet - today I got a promotional e-mail from Express for.. get this... JEGGINGS! I've been wandering when this whole "omg can we get these jeans ANY SMALLER" trend would figure out a way to merge with either A) leggings or B) body paint, and finally I am left not-so-disappointed w/ jeans + leggings = jeggings.



This is a trend I will likely (ok, I'm on the order screen) participate in. THEY ARE JUST HOT WITH HEELS, ok? Stop the judging.


**Updated to Add***
So, Donya, a friend of mine who runs the Pitter Pat House just linked me to this "romper" from French Connection:
...
Only... It's not a "romper" or even a "onesie", but this site refers to them as PLAYSUITS.

SRSLY WTF? WE ARE NOT TODDLERS IN A PARK OR PRESCHOOLERS MASTERING THE TEETER-TOTTER, BUT RATHER, ADULTS  - MORE SO, ADULTS THAT DON'T WEAR THINGS CALLED "PLAYSUITS".

/end rant

15 February 2010

Mommy Seeking Mommy

This week on B-Metro.com:

Never having problems finding friends before, I assumed that the not-so-often discussed world of Finding Friends After Having Birthed Small People was an inviting land of play dates and casseroles. A comfortable abode in which I traded appetizer recipes and gabbed over a glass of wine on the weekends. I thought we'd all have something in common, surviving motherhood, and with a little luck and a killer quiche, I could totally nab a good friend or two to fill the position.
But the exact opposite has happened.
Read the entire entry here.

In Which My 4-year-old Tells A German Man To Eat It

I frequently address what it's like to do this job, being a mom, but rarely do I mention what it means to do the same job from the male perspective - the "dad job", if you will. It's his job to teach our sons the timeless classics - how to hold a football with fingers to laces, what a proper full body tackle looks like, or where to find the best fishing spots. In Conner's case, this also means proper gaming technique, phrasing included.


Conner and Michael play a few games on our Wii and PS3, admittely some are not in his age range, but rest assured that we take steps to keep these as "kid friendly" as possible, and several games are saved specifically for post-bedtime (read: Michael's eyes only). But, let's be frank here - sheltering children from things they see on Spiderman (cartoon) and Transformers (also cartoon) are simply unrealistic. For the sake of this story, Conner was playing a game where you line up tanks, take down helicopters, and shift troops (no blood, no person-on-person combat, etc) - it's about strategy. 

Normally, as in 99% of the time, Michael plays alongside Conner. They team up, high five at "major take downs", "boo" enemy enclaves, "fist bump" over reached redenevouz points and subscribe to a very specific brotherhood known as Gaming Lingo.

"Yeah, baby!" exclaims my nearly 5-year-old, "LET ME SHOW YOU MY SURPRISE!" he torts towards his defeated foes. Michael agrees, acknowledges a downed enemy helicopter and they move on to the next area. There's even a sense of competition between them. During any given game, Conner teases Michael "why do you ALWAYS die, gah!". 

It's really all hilarious. But today, at an early dinner of crockpot Chicken Noodle soup (which was simply amazing, just so you know), Conner decided that he wasn't hungry for a "second lunch" (seeing as he ate only 45 minutes prior), and so we allowed him to continue playing his game. But, Conner being the "button pusher" that he is, he decides to mess around with the settings, and while we are eating within ear shot, he joins an online mission, in which players from all over the globe join in on a single mission to work together or to fight against each other. In an online round, players use a chat feature or a wireless headset to communicate with each other as a team, or if playing against each other, to engage in "smack talk". 

Within minutes, I detect German chatter coming from our bedroom and step in to check on Conner. He's engaged in moving tanks around in Paris, and a man is talking calmly (in German) over our tv speaker. It's then that it hits me that this stranger, halfway around the world, is using his Sunday afternoon to engage in online combat with a 4-year-old, who is smack talking him. The best part? It's a WWII setting (silly Germans), and my American son is kicking his heiny.

"How do you like THAT?" as he takes out another helicopter. Then we hear more German that neither of us understand. "I've got something fooor youuuu" as he serves up another Can of YouKnowWhat (with sauerkraut, of course).

For Mission: Teach Children Proper Smack, Mike gets an "all clear".

14 February 2010

Valentine's Day - Picture Post

I'm thinking it's going to be awhile before I totally get it "together" with working the new camera, but I'm enjoying the learning process.

These pictures are from Conner's Valentine's Day party at school last week. Chase, obviously, tagged along, but dove right into the classroom setting, pulled up a chair beside his big brother and had a ball.


They shared pink cherry 7-up...





and made Valentine's Day art...



and then we went home. The end. (hahahha - I am SUCH a good blogger!) (or not)




12 February 2010

Review of the Claro SX

If you suffer from acne or frequent breakouts, you've GOT to read my review of the Claro SX IPL acne system over on my review blog.


GO! It's really an amazing device.

09 February 2010

The Run-On Marathon (@ B-Metro)

New post up at B-Metro today!

He is such a quiet boy. A literal "pulling teeth" situation for the majority of times you simply need him to just get over whatever it is that holds him back for a basic conversation. In school, he's the child that has a internal total panic button for being called on in front of the class. At home, if you need an explanation for why the kitchen table is covered in a salt mound, or why army men are floating in the toilet - whether or not it's his fault - it's basically as if you are trying to move the planet with a plastic straw.

... more after the jump.

08 February 2010

My Laughter's Cost in Eyelashes

There are some things that no parenting class will ever prepare you for.

Like having a 2-year-old remove half your eyelashes by method of iphone.



(and my eyelashes are not normally stuck together like that. They are in such a position because I was CRYING LIKE A BABY.)

The first question I keep getting - HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?

Answer: I have no damn idea.

Chase grabbed my iphone out of my lap and BAM! hit me in the eye. I'm guessing since he hit my brow bone and pinned my lashes to it, when he pulled away quickly, it took my lashes with it.

I cried for 5 minutes before realizing the cosmetic damage. It hurt so badly that I assumed my contact split in my eye (still to be determined). Then, to assess the damage, I pulled my hand away slowly only to recognize about 20-30 lashes stuck to my palm.

Time to grow back: 1-2 months.

Oh, and Conner has a Valentine's Day Party on Wednesday. I'm on the committee. Anyone have brand recommendations for false eyelashes?

05 February 2010

7 Quick Takes - I Haven't Done One Of These In FOREVER.

--1--
Have not done one of these in a while, but I have so many random things going on that I'd like to share or get comments back on that are too long for a tweet but too short for a full blog post. 7 Quick Takes is perfect for just that.

If there's anything in this post that'd you like me to expand on, just leave that in the comment section! I'd love to ramble about it, I'm sure.


--2--
Conner and Chase now sleep in Chase's room each and every night together and go to bed at a time that doesn't make a majority of friends, family, co-workers or strangers give the O-face (the bad version). It took a lot of work, more so with Conner, because we co-slept with Conner, moved around a good bit and in the process, he never fully learned how to sleep on his own.

We also co-slept with Chase, but Chase being the more independent child, it was obvious when he could handle sleeping on his own at night (around 12 months). This went hand-in-hand with when he could wean off night feedings, and then eventually fully wean from nursing all-together (get ready for another shock face when I tell you he was 16 months once completely weaned).

Conner spent a week or so getting up in the middle of the night, wandering to our bed, and in full steal mode, climbing in next to me without ever waking a soul.

But eventually, he just stopped. He is now even better than Chase about staying in bed once we put them down and doesn't give us one ounce of trouble. It's truly amazing and I have finally, after 5 years taken back my bed.


--3--
In taking back my bed, I'm taking steps to transform my ENTIRE bedroom (ballsy, I know). I have a "plan", one might say, for the overall look, design and even price range for this "transformation" of my less than appealing boudoir. I think I'll blog the change too!

This includes new bedding (for my birthday, thus "free"), the already purchased and in use sheets (60% off post-Christmas at Target = major score), fresh paint, new curtains (that don't suck), and ... (and this is SOOO not typical Amanda) MONOGRAMMED PILLOWS! Shocked, I'm sure. Oh! And maybe even a rug!! An envelope pusher, I am.

More info to come.


--4--
I've been drinking one (hahahahahaha. I should have just stopped this sentence here!), hot cup of green tea each day for a week now - for the antioxidants. It's yummy.


--5-- 
I'm writing for B-Metro now, so I have no idea why you haven't read it yet (unless you read it here too), in which case please take a look-see at their other bloggers and articles. Good stuff.


--6--
We are almost 2 full weeks into potty training for Chase. It's AMAZING how fast he is with it. To him, for some reason, it's just NO BIG DEAL.

I don't get it.
... but I'll take it!

He can go to the bathroom, throw on the training seat, plop down (no pun intended) and just... go. We've caught him doing it even when no one is around to "ooooHhhh" and "ahhhhh" and "OMG YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD BOY!!" at him.

Now, this means he's naked 90% of the time, with exception to at nap, bedtime, in public or with guests at the house. It's just the method that works for us (and probably very boy-centric) (although I'm sure many parents of girls have used this method as well).


--7--
Conner is signed up for speech to start in March after an innumerable amount of set backs with the in-house speech pathologist with his school. We are pretty confident about this new speech clinic and hopefully we can go full force into a summer filled with weekly speech clinics, fun workbooks and a reading program at the local library.

For more Quick Takes, check out the Conversion Diary.

04 February 2010

You Capture via I Should Be Folding Laundry - 1st Edition

Today, I am participating in You Capture from I Should Be Folding Laundry. It's a weekly challenge/meme/activity/carnival/fun thing in which she "assigns" a topic and the challenge is to get out your camera and HAVE FUN!

This, I could do.

The challenge for this week was faces. The rules/guidelines are simple and can be found here (which basically states there are little rules, have fun and share!) (oh, and link back because that's the nice thing to do).

From yesterday's post, I'm re-posting Chase (2) eating... his own face.


And I'd like to add:

a dash of Conner The Momentarily Still 4.5-year-old
and

a pinch of Chase In Need Of a Nap, But Too Darn Stubborn To go to sleep

Tomorrow, 7 Quick Takes from Conversion Diary. (Yup, haven't done one if forever) I am a little blog carnival happy this week.

03 February 2010

Basically a Picture Post - My Shakers Say 'Moo'

I collect salt & pepper shakers. Here are my two newest ones! Moo.


Oh, and I also have an obsession with nail polish (as so many of you are aware). Conner simply cracks me up because he tells me he "loves the smell" (yeah. I'm watching you, kid).So when I got a few new polishes last week, and ran out of fingers for trying them on, Conner happily volunteered.

To be honest, he wasn't happy about it at all, but did get giggly/nervous once I did the one (and only) finger. Also, please note HIS HAIR!! Conner spends the first hour after I put Chase down for nap UPSIDE DOWN in his "big green chair" in our living room, watching Pokemon. The result of said upside-down-ness combined with static is a mess.

It's fabulous.

For Michael's birthday last week, his parents brought him down a cake for a mini-celebration. They, for some reason or another, chose a Christmas picture (large decorated tree as the background) of Chase and Conner, neither child looking at the camera (and Conner's eyes basically shut). Chase has put a large dent in the cake, so we've decided to throw it away. Before we did, we let Chase have one last bite.



Such an animal.

Also, my sister-in-law recently got engaged. I wanted to take a few pictures of her engagement ring on Saturday, but my camera had a different plan. It died 4 shots in. Major bummer. So here's the only decent shot I got, edited 3 ways.




02 February 2010

Now Contributing to B-Metro.com

As you may have noticed, I'm now a weekly contributor to B-Metro's online magazine at B-Metro! Make sure to check it out, as well as the other bloggers' contributions.

And if you'd like to flip through magazines, admiring layout design, sleek ads or to read thought-provoking pieces, I'd like to suggest you become a subscriber and get the magazine in your mail! (Not bias here, but it really is a sharp magazine. You won't be disappointed.)

You can also pick up B-Metro in the Birmingham area at Joe Muggs, Barnes & Nobles, Urban Standard, and O'Kafes.

Follow them on Twitter or Facebook, too.

01 February 2010

Writer's Block Goblin v. Mommy

After staring at this stupid, blank screen for a few days out of sincere desperation to simply CHURN OUT A POST, I've finally accepted my diagnosis: Writer's Block.

I've mulled and contorted my tiny, lost leggos and mush of a brain over every topic that comes up. With running a "mommy blog", that typically means considering your 113th post on laundry anguish, contemplating another rant on how children make you age three times faster, or how out of touch you STILL are with the rest of the universe because you spend countless hours a day in the Land Of 4-year-old and 2-year-old boys.

So I sat down in front of my computer, smack between dropping Conner off at preschool and picking up Conner from preschool, because... well, it lasts 3 hours. I spent 5 minutes contemplating which movie would keep Chase's attention the longest, trains vs. Mickey Mouse vs. something new and exciting. Which shows could likely become replacement attention holders if my "plan A" failed, noting Disney's Movie Time Monday as an all around win, what with the limited commercial action.

Sometimes, Disney saves lives people.

Of course, writing in this little window meant a few things were bound to happen.

While basically inhaling my breakfast cereal in dangerous proximity to my open laptop, Chase, better known as the Cereal Monster around these parts, stalks my bedside like the Chupacabra, snaking his way towards my brimming cereal bowl, only to ninja kick the whole thing into the air, landing in a cereal and milk landslide down my freshly laundered bedspread. Fortunately, it missed my laptop.

Obviously, once the mess was removed, laundry wadded into a ball and thrown into a hamper hand washed, line dried in the dewy morning air, ironed and fitted perfectly back on the bed, I once again sat down to stare my One-Eyed Fiend in the eyes and proclaim "Writer's Block Goblin, I will conquer you" followed by my best (or worst) maniacal laugh.

Which brings me to now, as I sit in my 4-year-old's bunk bed (because it ended up being my only haven), typing ABOUT my writer's block, rather than actually producing a genuine, thought-provoking, entertaining contribution to this publication. Mostly because I'm a mom and that comes first, but also because I'm a mom and it's the most inspirational thing a writer could ever hope for.


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