Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lively Up Your Nails

I have spent countless dollars on nail polish, ten to twelve dollars per tiny bottle of paint, to only have the polish chip in less than a day or two.  With the Christmas season in full effect I have been doing my best impression of a frugal wife and looked into a less expensive way to give my finger tips a little bit of style and came across a real winner of a polish.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear nail polish comes in a full line of colors from trendy to edgy.  My new personal favorite, “Grey Area”, is gunmetal gray with a hint of purple that looks as great on Mom’s as it does on your favorite rock star. The price is unbeatable, between $2.50 and $5.00 a bottle, and unlike so many other products out there it is worth every penny.

If you are looking to dress up the never overlooked tips of your fingers I highly recommend a bottle, for the price why not two, of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish.

Let’s lively ‘em up Moms!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to the Grind and Loving It

I cannot be the only one…who, while I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom, I also find satisfaction in having a job outside the home.  I have been very lucky to spend the first four years of my son’s life with him in our home, at times it has been trying and tedious, but I do know that most mom’s do not get this luxury.  Now I am ready to return to the workforce and talk with other adults about topics other than why Sponge Bob’s pants are square or why chocolate milk is not necessarily healthy even though it’s made from milk.

Before my son was born I would have defined myself as a professional; I worked nine to five, received a weekly paycheck, and participated in an unfavorable commute. I had a wardrobe that complimented my position and enjoyed lunching with the ladies in my office.  With the birth of my son I gave all that up, once I arrived home from the hospital with a baby in a carrier car seat, my career became home based.  I realized quickly that in addition to my personal and social lives becoming null and void; my career became one of Victoria Secret “Pink” sweats and hushed phone calls from the home office.  With my attention spread too thin, between husband, baby, and work, I did my best to keep my head above water, but my job eventually got downsized and I was unemployed for the first time in ten years.

After vigorous debates with my husband I have finally decided to return to the world of working women.  Although I will only be working a mere seven hours a week, I am excited for the old feeling of accomplishment, beyond a clean toilet or a neatly folded stack of laundry.  I have asked other mother’s who do the commendable job of staying at home with their children if they miss working, the general consensus is no, but I am cut from a different cloth, a cloth that enjoys the camaraderie of co-workers and a paycheck at the end of a job well done.

I can’t be the only one who looks forward to working again….right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A New Thanksgiving Tradition

There are not many Thanksgiving media traditions; the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the only one I knew growing up, so I thought I would start one with my son this afternoon.  I browsed Amazon looking for something easily enjoyable with a light message, and found a no-brainer winner: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  This is not a Charlie Brown that my parents kept in their holiday arsenal when I was a child and because I hadn’t seen it before either it made it more fun to be sharing in something new to both myself and my son.

As I started the twenty-two minute classic sitting next to my son, I wondered if the hand drawn cartoon would hold his attention like the slick computer animated cartoons made today.  My answer fell upon me quickly, with the first silly sound effect, when Lucy lifts the football at just the last second before Charlie Brown kicks it and he falls flat on his back, I could tell by the boisterous laughter from my son that the show had captured his attention.  We watched the Peanuts gather around a tablecloth covered ping-pong table to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal of buttered toast and popcorn, and my son laughed at the muted trombone voices of the adults and the frustrated arguing between Snoopy and Woodstock.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is an effortlessly entertaining watch and does not disappoint with the compulsory lesson, this time offered by Marcy: Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for being together.  While not quite as poignant a lesson as that of Linus’ speech in the Christmas edition, it is a valuable lesson just the same.

If you are looking for a new tradition to add to the evening before or on the day of Thanksgiving give A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving a chance, my son’s laughter was all the endorsement I needed, and I think your children will enjoy it just the same.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Top 5 Things I am Thankful for this Thanksgiving

5.  My son has stopped wetting the bed and I am thankful for not changing sheets in the middle of the night in a sleepy stupor.

4.  We sold our condo!  I am thankful for the money we are going to save while we freeload off grandma and grandpa until we find a new place to live.

3.  I am very thankful that my son has lost interest in shows like The Wonder Pets and Go Diego Go…sorry Nick Jr., the shows are great but I have definitely seen them enough to last two lifetimes.

2. I am thankful for a good glass of wine, as opposed to my normal beloved Charles Shaw, and conversation about something other than mortgages, laundry, and all other mundane household conversations at Thanksgiving dinner.

1.  In all seriousness I am truly thankful for the health and love of my family.  Even though, on Thanksgiving my brother will say something completely inappropriate that my son will think is the funniest thing he ever heard and then repeat if on a constant loop.  I am thankful for spending time with my family on Thanksgiving, even if my mom puts one whole stick of butter in both the corn and the potatoes “for flavor”.  I am thankful even when my husband eats so much he is a lump of misery for the remainder of the evening.  Believe it or not I am thankful for all those things…a little agitated, but still thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Farewell to the Twinkie

I cannot be the only one...who has never fed my child a Twinkie, but I am saddened that the future option of making the bad decision to buy him one will be null and void in the future.  To say that the Twinkie is not a healthy snack alternative is an understatement, a murderer once used the "Twinkie defense" in an American court of law as an excuse for committing his crimes, that alone should frighten away any parent. I do have to note though, as a daughter of a mother who was a member of the baby boomer generation, a Twinkie was a perfectly acceptable treat in my childhood (along with chocodiles, snowballs, and Wonder bread).

When my family moved to the beautiful San Fernando Valley I was three years old, the prime time of life when yummy is the best flavor of food there is, add that to my families limited funds and that made the Hostess Day-Old Bakery a regular "grocery" stop.  My mom would fill her basket with Wonder Bread and foil covered "ding-dong's" to be included in our lunch boxes right next to our sandwiches made on preservative filled white bread with plastic wrapped American Kraft cheese slices.  I always remembered on those visits to the Day-Old Bakery that I needed to be on my best behavior, because at the check out my mom would allow my brother and I a choice of any of the array of treats Hostess offered, what a day.  When my brother and I got home, we would lay on our bellies in front of the TV, watching Land of the Lost, not making a sound, savoring our Hostess cakes.

My son will never have those experiences with a Hostess sweet, but let's be honest there are plenty of other treats out there that could rival the nutritional value of the Twinkie that are still readily available, so he will create his own memories of yummy with another product.  I am positive that I am not the only one that had these moments of reminiscing when they heard the news of the closure of the Hostess company...right?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pronoun Gender Benders

I cannot be the only one…who noticed that my son gravitated towards “boy” toys as soon as he was able to move around on his own.  I spend my time leaping over fire trucks, dodging light sabers, and keeping my son from using his plastic saw on our furniture.  We have a lack of Barbies and My Little Pony’s in our house and it is not because I refuse “girl” toys entry into my home, it is simply because my son is not interested in those toys. Although I accept my son’s gender specific toy choices with ease there are those who believe the types of toys a child is given to play with determines their gender role for life. I don’t agree with that assumption, my son’s choice of playthings happened without prompting from my husband or myself; my son’s choices are inherent and organic.

I recently read a New York Times article in which a preschool in Sweden has nixed the use of the pronouns of “he” and “she” from the school and is replacing them with “friend” or “friends” to promote equality between the sexes. Although I think this is an interesting idea, I couldn’t help feeling how unnecessary it seemed, and as though the preschool is promoting a genderless environment, which is not the way of the world. Personally I love to watch my son do classic “boy” things, the way he thinks burps are the funniest things ever, the excitement in his eyes when a police car drives by with its siren blaring, and his patience at perfecting his swing of a baseball bat.  On the other side of the gender-coin, I also love watching the girls at my son’s preschool round up all the Barbies while wearing their pink dresses and sparkly shoes.  The contrast between little boys and girls make them what they are now, who they may become in the future, and part of what makes growing up interesting.

I cannot be the only one that has seen a little boy, who has no toy guns at home, eat his grilled cheese sandwich into the shape of a gun and shoot at the TV.  As well as I am sure your little precious daughter never watched you dress up in a ball gown while wearing a tiara, but she still loves to dress up like a princess.  Children are born knowing what they like and what they don’t, I cannot be the only one who thinks that the types of toys we give to our children is definitely not responsible for determining their sense of gender…right?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Food for Kids: Definite Diet Downers

I cannot be the only one…who feels like being on a diet as a mother is like a visit to the zoo during which you turn your back to all the animal exhibits, in other words pointless.  I have managed, after four years, to squeeze my way back into all my pre-prego pants through major changes to my diet, but it has been a long hard road.  Most evenings my son eats the same meals as my husband and myself, but there are a few exceptions such as pizza night.  Friday’s I make my son a mini-pizza that he can never seem to finish and I am sure many of you can relate to the amount of super human strength of my will that it takes to not give in and finish the rest of that itsy-bitsy pizza for him.

The idea of being wasteful is placed on the scales of justice opposite of the pain of not being able to comfortably button the top button of my designer jeans left over from the life before motherhood.  Just the other day it was a single dinosaur chicken nugget, it hadn’t even been manhandled by the boy, just forgotten and I left it sitting on a plate on the kitchen counter for three hours before I felt I could throw it in the trash.  It would have been so much easier if someone would have came along and just eaten it for me…in one chew my anxiety over throwing away perfectly good chicken dinos or eating it myself and ruining my diet would have disappeared.

I hope as my son grows I will be able to find the balance between looking the way I did sans child and the way I do with child in tow, until then I am sure there will be plenty more worries over whether the extra minutes on the treadmill are worth enjoying the cookies at my son’s mommy and me tea being held at his school.  I cannot be the only one who has a hard time with the ability to enjoy the food at child centered activities and being true to their diet….right?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pop-O-Matic Bubble: Notes from an Old School Gamer

I purchased the first Christmas present of the year; although it seems early, when I saw the familiar “pop-o-matic bubble” I could not resist purchasing the board game Trouble.  Last year my son was delighted by the ease of competition that comes with the insatiable appetite of the Hungry Hungry Hippos, this year I am kicking it up a notch with the roll or pop of the die (feels strange to put it that way, but there is only one).  I have fond memories of my brother pumping a fist in the air as his nondescript blue peg stomped on my yellow peg and sent me back to the beginning of the game board.  Trouble is the type of game that can be played with ease while discussing your favorite scenes from the movie Goonies, or with fierce seriousness in a winner take all type of way.  I am already having visions of wrapping paper and bows strewn across the floor while my son and I pop away taking our pegs on their pilgrimage from their temporary home to their “safe” zone, and the victor of the game celebrating with a bit too much enthusiasm.
Trouble is the type of game I played as a child. Believe it or not we had video games as well, but a good board game stood the test of time in my childhood home, and I am hoping in our home by giving the gift of Trouble to my son this year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lost in Regression

I cannot be the only one…that has a child that regresses from time to time. Which I wouldn’t mind too much with the exception of when the regression happens at one or two in the morning, and if the regression didn’t include physical activity in which I am the one breaking a sweat.  Besides the sweat and the early wake up call, after a glass or two of wine before bed, I have to will myself to not get frustrated. Mistakes happen, I know, but at two in the morning it feels like a brush stroke could irritate me, especially on day two of the same mistake.

All right, I am going to just get right into it; my son is wetting the bed again.  We had so many good nights, so many nights that I took sleeping without changing a bed pad and sheets for granted.  Now two nights in a row my son has awakened me with a longing cry for “mama” in the wee hours (no pun intended) of the morning because he has had an accident.  My first reaction is in sweet mama mode, after all when your baby needs you in the middle of the night, even though he is no longer a baby; you want to make everything okay.  That is until I started changing the bedding. The mattress is heavy, the bed frame is chipping away at my shinbones, and every stuffed animal owned by my son is in the bed.  My patience starts to tic-tic-tic like a bomb about to annihilate every plush snake, owl, and bunny rabbit that inhabits my son’s inner sanctum. I take a deep breathe, help him get on fresh jammies, and let him know that there is no other option than going back to sleep.  As I lay in my bed willing my blood pressure to return to it’s normal 120/80 I am searching for a reason why this happened and already planning how to make sure it doesn’t happen again tomorrow night, but I am definitely not getting back to sleep.

I know you guessed it already, and you were right, on night three at two a.m. the pitiful cry for “mama” starts, again.  I cannot be the only one that this happens to…right?