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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking Forward to 2011

I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season. We're down to one more holiday. The New Year!!!! 2011!!!!

Looking back at 2010, it was filled with a lot of bad news. The word cancer in various forms came up multiple times this year. Up to now, we are still dealing with it. There were also some very unexpected deaths and other illnesses.

I know, I'm sounding like such a downer. With all of that said, 2010 was also filled with so many priceless moments that I shouldn't push into the shadows of depression. Celebrating Christmas reminded me how precious life can be.

Ever since the birth of my children, life has taken on a brand new meaning. Princess Ninja and Chubs have allowed me to appreciate life. The amazement and magic of everyday life through the eyes of my children is truly a wonder that I cannot get enough of.

Some of you may have noticed, I have not been present in the blogging world as often as I'd like. Its mainly due to the fact that I'm trying to savor as much of life with my family as humanly possible.

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Mental note that I never want to forget, so I'm sharing it with all of you as a means of preserving it. I'd love to hear one of your favorite memories so that we can somehow archive it here and remind each other how great life can truly be.

Christmas Eve, Princess Ninja and I spent most of the morning and afternoon baking treats for family and Santa. Prior to leaving the house, Princess Ninja and H leave a plate of truffle balls and milk for Santa. Of course, we can't forget about those hard working reindeer. A small box of raisins were placed by the fireplace as well.

We arrived back to our house past midnight on Christmas Day. Both kids are sound asleep in their car seats. H and I quietly try to place each child in their room without waking them. There isn't a single wrapped gift under the tree. This was done on purpose and not by shear laziness. Chubs has a tendency to open gifts.

As I walk down the stairs, I see the yummy truffle balls, glass of milk, and raisins for Santa. How could I resist such a delectable midnight snack. H and I spent the remainder of the night wrapping and placing gifts under the tree and in their stockings.

Come Christmas morning, the look on the children's faces as they saw all the gifts Santa left is engraved in my mind. Princess Ninja was so proud that Santa ate the special treats that she made that she's still talking about it with a smile as big as Texas on her face. Priceless.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tassimo Brewbot

I must have been a good girl this year because Santa's little elves dropped off a little something for me to play around with. I was fortunate enough to review the Tassimo T20 Brewbot.

What exactly is a Tassimo T20 Brewbot you might ask? 

It's a 7.08 lbs, 11.0" (length), 7.9" (width), 11.8" (depth) machine that makes coffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, crema, espresso, and hot cocoa. Yes, all of that liquid goodness in a small little package.  The Brewbot retails for about $129.99 and can be purchased at a number of stores. Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart to name a few.

   
The Brewbot along with T Disc





Please visit www.brewbot.com for further details. 

When this lovely was dropped at my doorstep, I couldn't wait to brew some coffee. Like many of you, a day without coffee is a day in lethargy hell. 

As a busy working mom, I have some basic needs and wants out of my coffee. One, I need my coffee STAT. Two, I want my coffee to jump start my day and it better be good. 

The Brewbot was easy to set-up. You basically fill the water tank with water, place your choice of T Disc into the machine, press a button, and in less than a minute....Voila, a cup of coffee. 

Fresh cup of coffee brewing
Surprisingly good!
   

I sampled the Gevalia Signature Blend Coffee first. It was smooth and robust. It was exactly how I would like my morning cup of Joe. 

What I enjoyed most is that the machine is so simple to use and set-up. I can literally carry the baby in one arm and brew a fresh cup of coffee with the other hand. Did I mention the toddler was stuck onto my other leg while all of this was going on?

Princess Ninja

Because the Brewbot uses T Disc technology, there are no beans to grind and no messy filters to deal with. The T Disc keeps the grounds fresh and easily available. There is no messy set-up or clean-up.  There are a large variety of T Disc to choose from. It's not just coffee either. They have teas and cocoa as well. So there's something for everybody. 

Speaking of something for everybody. The machine also has interchangeable faces that can be purchased separately. The Brewbot pictured above has a red face. There are a variety of different faces to match your decor and mood. 

I can totally see this being a bonus at a party. Everyone is able to select the beverage of their choice and brew it up themselves. 

As a late afternoon treat, I brewed myself up a cup of Starbucks cappuccino. That's right Starbucks! Although it wasn't exactly how a cappuccino would taste, it was delightful in itself.

From an economic standpoint, I could brew up more cups of regular black coffee using my old coffee maker. The key word there is regular. 

If you're one that usually stops by your local coffee shop for a cup of gourmet coffee then this machine could provide you with a comparable cup of coffee for much less.


Because I was so excited about this machine, I invited my fellow coffee lover, Manette G, over to help me with this review. She was also kind enough to provide the pictures. 

Machine and coffee were provided. Opinions are all mine. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gifts

The Holiday Season is in full swing right now. Our tree is up and decorated. The stockings are hung. We've even used the fireplace and played Christmas music in the background to bring us more cheer. The outside of the house is full of holiday nick-knacks ranging from the inflatable ornaments to random animals dressed in winter clothing.

Everything is ready for Christmas but one minor detail (said very sarcastically with eyes rolling). Okay make that two minor details.

Minor detail #1: I have yet to receive my Christmas cards that I ordered. Did I mention I just placed the order 2 days ago? I'm just hoping people will receive them before 2011.

Minor detail #2: I have purchased 2 gifts. Those gifts were purchased today. My Christmas shopping list seems as long as Santa's.

I understand that Christmas is all about being together as a family. I'm supposed to enjoy this season and absorb the love and joy. To be frank, people expect presents. Don't tell me they don't. If we're truly being honest with one another, when was the last time a member of your family was happy with a hug for Christmas?

Well this year, I'm this close (thumb and index finger 2 mm away from each other) to call it a wrap and purchase gift cards for all. With the few exceptions, being my kids, I'm so very tempted to. I can literally drive on over to my local grocery store, purchase the usual grocery items, and get a bunch of gift cards. That's it! The only major thought is to decide which type of gift card to purchase.

I, for one, love gift cards. I usually get a few different ones and place them in my wallet, so they're ready for action at any moment. I understand the pure enjoyment of ripping open the wrapping paper and avoiding paper cuts is kind of a bummer.

So tell me your thoughts on gift cards? Yay or nay?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hello!!!!

I know! I've been away for awhile. Definitely a little longer than I had anticipated. So where have I been?

1.) The family went on this FABULOUS (said in that snotty Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island accent) vacation around Europe. That's right! The kids were oh so well behaved. H and I drank wine and ate the most exquisite food under the European sky. Think Brad and Angelina but with far fewer kids. Instead of kids, it's a bunch of family members. I get chills just thinking about it.

2.) I had a mental breakdown. You know the kind that celebrities have because they're under too much stress. Shall I say it, I pulled a Britney. A Britney without the bald head incident because there is no way I'm having holiday pictures of myself bald. I had to admit myself to the hospital to destress and to regroup myself mentally and physically. Isn't that what the rich and famous/celebrities do when they're stress?

3.) The long weekend of the Thanksgiving holiday was far too long! The term "long" weekend has a new meaning.

4.) The real reason why I've been away so long is probably a combo of all the above. Since it's been one thing after the other the last week, I found myself having to escape to a happy place. Now. Now I'm left with a far less than vivid sense of where my reality and happy place actually end and begin.

So there you have it. It's now December. The holiday lights are up outside. The tree is decorated. I haven't even started shopping yet. If you'll all excuse me, I'm off to my happy place again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twice In One Month...WTH!

So there I am, sitting there in a semi-reclined position with a my mouth wide open and a light shining in my face.

No, it's not some sexy new position that H and I have going on. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about my dentist visit.

Yes, the dentist. How many times a year am I supposed to see him?

Twice. It's highly recommended that I visit the dentist twice a year. They remind me it's been almost a year since my last visit.  Really, it's been that long?

I sit there, the dental hygienist is literally scraping and pulling plaque out of my mouth. I feel like someone is running their fingernails across a chalkboard. She continues on to tell me that I should floss more often because there is a large amount of plaque build-up in my mouth.

Alright, let's get on the subject of flossing. I don't floss everyday. I know I should. Seriously, I'm just glad I'm able to bath and brush my teeth every day. That alone is an accomplishment.

Like many of you, don't deny it either, I some how think I can fool my dentist. If I start flossing a week before my visit, maybe my gums won't bleed so much. Maybe, just maybe, I won't hear the flossing lecture.

I continue to sit there. The hygienist places some type of gum measuring device between all my teeth. She dictates numbers to the other hygienist who notes each number down. 2.3.1.3.3.4.

What the hell does all that numerical mumbo jumbo mean?

Well it means that my attempts to start flossing a week before my visit isn't fooling anyone. I did not dodge the important flossing lecture. They even took out the fake teeth. Teeth that are perfectly straight and shiny. Teeth that are free of plaque. Gums that are healthy.

They take out another pair of fake teeth. Teeth that have been neglected. Teeth that are missing and brown. Teeth that are so scary that I've been flossing every night.

Good news is I'm cavity free.  Bad news, I have to go back for a DEEP CLEANING. UGH!

http://www.drbradhylan.com/gum-disease.html

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Being Robbed by this Fall Back of Time

On a normal day, I'd be all excited about getting an extra hour of sleep. Actually I'd be excited about getting an extra 15 minutes of sleep. Excited: streamers, confetti, clappers excited! The big hype is all about getting sleep.

Well, I feel robbed. Not only am I not getting an extra hour but sleep hours have been taken away from me. Valuable, irreplaceable sleep. How I miss you terribly!

You would think it'd be logical if your child normally wakes up at 7am, he/she would wake up at 6am during this fall back of time. It's not the case for my Chubs. This whole messing with time is messing with our lives.

Chubs is waking up between the hours of 3am-5am. Waking up like he's gotten a full night of shut eye. I have no problem getting out of my comfy, warm bed to lay on the uncomfortable, cold couch as he plays quietly in the family room. OK, I would still have a problem with getting out of my comfy, warm bed, but it's a bigger problem if Chubs wants me to be all interactive with him at 3am.

There I am, in the dark, the only light is the street lamp outside our family room window and the light of the moon. Inside I'm praying Chubs gets the hint that it's dark. Dark meaning sleep. No, he wants Mama to read, play cars, wrestle. I lay on the couch pretending actually sleeping. He yells at the top of his lungs. He's announcing to the world it's time to wake up like a crazy rooster who has his days and nights mixed up.

It's now day 5 of this routine. How long does it take to reset? Help!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Come Here Sweet Thang!

With Halloween now behind us, I'm faced with the reality of the upcoming holiday season. The time of year that seems to go by the fastest. It's as if Father Time pushes the fast forward button and all of a sudden it's a new year. Although every day seems like a whirlwind of chaos, there is something about November and December that adds to the craziness of every day life.

I do love the holidays, but they've definitely taken on a new twist now that I've become an adult. Don't get me wrong and I don't want to sound like Ebenezer Scrooge, but there's so much chaos during this time of year that the very site of Christmas items at the stores sends my blood pressure up, up and up.  

I. do. not. like. Christmas shopping!!!!!

I have to admit, I'm somewhat of an emotional eater. When the going gets tough, desserts and chocolate seem to call me. There cries of, "I'm here. Enjoy my yumminess. I'll make you feel better" become louder and louder to the point where I can no longer resist. 

It was just a few days ago that I noticed that I happened to enjoy 3, count them 3, Reese's peanut butter cups right before bed. I was a work and I lost count of how many "fun" size pieces of candy I ate. What's so fun about fun size anyways? I could probably go on and on but I've lost count. 

So I ask all of you this, how do you cope with the holiday season? Perhaps it's just me who become so overwhelmed. I'm open to suggestions. 

In the mean time, there's a dark chocolate Milky Way calling me. Yes, it's supposedly "fun" size. Let the fun of the holiday season begin. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset & Defense by ManetteGonz

RB Sunset
Sunset by ManetteGonz

Defense!
Defense by ManetteGonz

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest Post: Maureen from Tatter Scoops

If you don't know, I'm a full-time working mom. Often times I find it difficult and tiring trying to balance it all. Am I alone in my less than perfect Martha Stewart/Pottery Barn/Brady Bunch world? I wanted to know other people's thoughts and feelings on finding the balance between it all. Please share. 

I introduce you to Maureen from Tatter Scoops.  She was kind enough to share her perspective as a working mom. 
========================================================

When Mama on Da Go asked me to guest post about being a full time working mom, I was so flattered then I panicked!

What the heck do I really know? I’ve only been working for a little more than two weeks now! There are plenty of other working moms out there.

Before, I did some part time job from home, little things that doesn’t really consume my time but with the end of my marriage, I must push myself out there. Injecting my old self back into the corporate world…

It’s not easy! That’s for sure…from finding the job itself to leave my son on the first day.

Believe me, I cried!

I was missing him too much, I felt distant with the new people at work – they are nice but I still feel awkward being ask about my marital status, I felt guilty that I would be missing out my son’s daily activities. It was really tough.

Then I started to get into the rhythms of working again, secretly, I started falling back in love with my career. There’s this great feelings inside about being productive, satisfactions coming from outside motherhood.

Luckily, I am living with my parents. Got my son a nanny to help watching him, she seems to love him so that’s great. I don’t have to do the dishes, laundry, cleaning or cooking. My mom has an assistant who does all that. All I have to do is work, come home and spend what’s left of that day with my son, nanny will pretty much rest when I get home and took over. Sounds easy right? Not so much!

Often times, I’d come home feeling exhausted because my day started early, so early. Got up at 4 and left the house by 6 or 6:15. I’d rather come early, finish my job and doesn’t have to work overtime too much. On average I’m working 55-60 hours a week.

The boy has been doing great while his mommy is at work or so I’ve been told. Yet when I’m home, he’ll become super clingy, whiney and cranky leaving me overwhelmed. Maybe it’s just a phase until he get used to the idea that mommy is now working full time. I’m hoping it will get better and I won’t get too worked up over this.

He will start preschool next month…when he went to his preschool last week, my heart aches because I can’t take him. When I got home from work, I tried to absorb every little detail that my mom could remember and told me.

That’s just a beginning…

Sadly, I’m sure I will be missing out on a lot of little things that my boy would experience in preschool, with my schedule I won’t be able to drop him off and pick him up.

As hard as I wanted to be there 100% for him, I can’t be in two places at the same time so hopefully when he’s old enough to understand, he’ll know that I’m doing all this to give him a better future.
Balancing mommyhood and career is not easy, especially for a single mom. We may have extra helps from families or on my case, hired hands but there is a difference.

Learning to prioritize and setting limits are the keys, I think because frankly, we can’t all be supermom who juggles motherhood, career and being a domestic diva at the same time without sacrificing one or two things to keep the important parts up in the air.

Until I master these steps and learn how not to loose my mind…I would just take it one day at a time.

If you’re a working mom, how do you balance it all? Tips and tricks are welcome."

XOXO
Maureen 

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Drivers License

I remember being 15 1/2 years old. I was in high school and signed up for my drivers education classes. It was just another step closer to obtaining my driver's license and the joys of being behind the wheel without an adult chaperon. After passing the written and the behind the wheel exam, I was so excited to take my driver's license picture.

Of course taking a driver's license picture was/is a big deal! For one thing, it's the picture you have to keep with you for a few years. Once you hit 21, it's the picture you flash multiple times. A few hundred bartenders and club bouncers have seen that picture.

As the years go by, it's no longer bartenders or club bouncers checking to make sure I'm legit. Now hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Target register employees have seen my driver's license to make sure I'm legit enough to pay the bill. I mean I can't remember the last time I was at a club. I know damn well that the bartender who is checking to make sure I'm legal enough to drink is doing it for a larger tip or because they fear losing their job.

Just bring me my red wine! You don't have to schmooze me. You'll still get a tip.

Well the lovely DMV sent me a letter back in September reminding me that it's time to renew my driver's license. For the last 5 years, I've been able to keep my license and pay the usual renewal fees over the internet. This time the letter was different. This time the letter stated I needed to physically enter a DMV, get my finger scanned, take a new picture, and pay the renewal fees in person.

Really, you want me to physically enter a DMV and take a new picture? What's wrong with the 5 year old picture that I've been carrying around? Did I mention I'm happy with my picture? Did I mention I look young and fresh in my picture?  What could possibly make the DMV think that I no longer look like that picture?

Thinking back on the last 5 years of my life, it dawned upon me that many life changing events have occurred. From the years 2005-2010, the following major events have taken place:

      1.) graduated with my second college degree
      2.) started a new career that requires me to put in crazy hours
      3.) x3 moves
      4.) purchased a house
      5.) had 2 kids
      6.) Did I mention the amount of stress that all of the above has put on me? Let's not forget the lack of sleep and healthy meals.

Now I wait. I'm eagerly waiting to see what my new driver's license picture looks like. No, I didn't get to preview the picture either. It's the DMV not a model shoot. They didn't allow me to take a few pictures so I could choose the best one. I didn't see a Photshop option either in any of the paperwork I was filling out.

To top it off, despite all of the above life changing events, my height AND weight have remained the same.
  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tip On How To Have Stylish Hair



It's been awhile since my last visit to the hair dresser. Almost 3 months to be exact (last hair appointment). I just love the feeling of leaving the salon with a banging new cut and fresh highlights. I want that feeling again. Even if that oh so wonderful feeling lasts only a day or two, I. Want. That. Feeling.

Since then, my cut has definitely lost it's shape. It's looking more like a shag rug landed on top of my head. The hair color has faded and I'm left with inches of root showing...inches!

Like many busy women, the last person to get pampered in my household is yours truly. Granted, H's haircuts are far, far cheaper than mine. He also swears visiting his barber is not being pampered as he compares it to the wonderful scalp massage I receive. I realize spending a hundred or so dollars on a hair cut and color is ridiculous for a family on a budget. Yes, you read that correctly, "hundred" or so dollars. Did you also notice I did not put the exact price since I live in fear H will one day read my blog?

For the price of a trip to the salon, I can purchase more sensible things that would contribute to the overall wellness of the family and not just my selfish vanity.
    1.) gallons of gas to drive the family here and there
    2.) food
    3.) preschool tuition
    4.) a birthday gift for my sister
    5.) Let's not forget the bills that could be paid

After debating with myself (and checking out the monthly budget), I will have to go another month without that oh so lovely feeling of getting a fresh cut and color.

To make myself feel better, I did discover I'm actually very stylish. Apparently, there's a hair style that's hit Hollywood. It's called the ombre. Let's make note that I'm usually way behind the styles so this could be old news. But since I'm making myself feel better, in my mind, I'm stylish and I'm rocking the latest Hollywood hair on a budget.





Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ni Hao Preschool

We're about a month into preschool and I'm happy to say not a single tear has been shed. I should clarify, not a single tear has been shed since day 1 of preschool. The weeks prior were a little rough and emotional on my part. Luckily, I was able to get all of the "my baby is growing up" tears out.

Princess Ninja is blossoming right before my eyes. She's bringing up stuff about China and pandas. Apparently, she wants to go to China. Actually, she thinks she lives in China. I keep telling her she lives in the USA. To my frustration, she insists she lives in China. OK then! As much as I keeping ranting and raving about Canada, it's way closer and way cheaper to go to, she still wants to go to China.

I have even turned on as many a few episodes of Ni Hao Kai Lan in hopes that it would help with her new found interest in the Orient. On occasion, I hear her saying phrases in Chinese. She could be cursing at me for all I know.

For some brownie points, we've even made it to the local library to read more about China.

Let's be honest, who doesn't love Chinese food? We've had our share of local Chinese take-out. I know it's probably not truly authentic, but the people behind the counter were speaking Chinese. That's good enough for me. And besides, the food was certainly yummy! It's all in the name of Higher Education.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: San Diego by Manette

San Diego Endless Summer
San Diego Endless Summer by Manette

Night at Balboa Park
Night At Balboa Park by Manette

Sunday, October 3, 2010

High School Friends

My 15 year high school reunion is coming up (yeah you do the math on my age), but prior to that Kludgy Mom has a homework assignment that I need to get out of the way. The assignment is to feature one of our followers and talk about how fabulous they are.

In honor of my reunion, I'd like to present you, not one, but two followers! Yes, two for the price of one! The reason why I chose these two was because they reminded me of friends that I would have had in high school. Of course, the present day me likes them also!

Behind door number 1 is Maureen from Tatter Scoops.

Maureen would be the exotic foreign exchange student from Jakarta. After a few weeks of sitting next to her in algebra class, you discover this gal is pretty smart and it'd be in your best interest to introduce yourself to her. After a few sessions of her schooling you, you realize there's more to her than just smarts. You end up spending plenty of time hanging out with her and talking about life in Jakarta and boys!


Behind door number 2 is Pop from Go, Pop, Go!

Pop would be my best guy friend in high school. You know, the guy that you grew up with, so you could never really think of him like that. Your family would have his family over for BBQs. The guy your mom wished you would end up, but you're too preoccupied with either the QB of the football team, the bad boy, or Mr. Best Looking. He's funny and he shares his life's experiences, so us gals can get the guys perspective.

There you have it, a few of the people who I would allow to enter my personal circle. Check them out and tell them MamaOnDaGo sent you.

Now it's your turn, tell me about a blogger or bloggers that you picture yourself being friends with.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Childhood Memories: Saturdays

Photo: Musings of a  Housewife
As the weekend approaches, every now and then when I have a moment to think, I remember one of my favorite childhood memories. Saturdays!

Growing up, my favorite day of the week was definitely Saturdays. I loved Saturdays. For one thing, it meant that I didn't have to wake up early to go to school. Not that I disliked school, but I was never really a morning person. Back then, the option of waking up to a freshly brewed cup of Joe was not part of the breakfast of champions.

Another reason to love Saturdays was my mom's pancake breakfast. It was probably one of the few days out of the week where I didn't have to pour myself a bowl of cereal.

I would eagerly get out of bed and burst into my parent's bedroom to wake my mom. Having my own children now, I have to apologize to my mother for doing this. Now I realize the weekends were the only days she could sleep in. Hey, she needed to get up and make me some pancakes. It's Saturday!

As mom would get herself situated in the kitchen, I'd turn on the TV and plop myself on the couch. How I loved staying in my PJs and having a warm blanket on me during those winter months.

Let's not forget Saturday morning cartoons. To the surprise of many children, we didn't have channels devoted to cartoons. There were no cartoons 24/7 whenever we had the need to watch a cartoon, they did not appear. We had to wait for specific times and days to watch certain shows. There was also something called a TV Guide, do they still make this? A whole weekly magazine devoted to helping us track our favorite shows. Of course, I had my morning line up memorized.

During commercials, I'd run into the kitchen to see if a fresh batch of pancakes were ready to be devoured. In a blink of an eye, I'd have a plate of warm pancakes that were topped with butter and syrup. I'd plop myself right back on that couch engulfed in my Saturday morning cartoons and pancakes.

Smurfs
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Ewoks
Snorks
Superfriends
Muppet Babies
Disney's Gummy Bears
Care Bears
Fat Albert

Do any of these ring a bell? 
What were some of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons and memories?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Souvenirs From Hawaii






I want a vacation! I need a vacation! I want to lay on the sand, soak in skin cancer the sun (wearing appropriate SPF, of course), let the cool breeze toss my hair around as the sound of the ocean waves calm my inner being. 


When was the last time you went on a vacation? 

The last time I went on vacation was over 2 years ago!!!! H & I decided we needed a getaway. Not to mention, we were approaching our 5 year wedding anniversary. We wanted to celebrate.

Back then we only had Princess Ninja who was a little over a year old. We purchased all sorts of things that were meant to keep her busy for the never ending 4 hour plane ride. We bought various DVDs, coloring books, crayons, snacks. I was packing so much stuff in my carry-on to keep her entertained there was barely room for my wallet and lip gloss.

                                      
                                            
I even went so far as to purchase Benadryl. Yes, I was prepared to medicate my child if she turned into the Hulk. I know some of you out there are shaking your head and pointing your middle index finger at me.  Hey, don't judge!

As far as the Benadryl went, I did a test run a few days prior. It worked like a charm. Princess Ninja had a lovely evening. She woke up happy as a clam the next morning.                                              

For those of you shaking, pointing, and judging, you'll be happy to know the Benadryl didn't work. Just look at the above pictures. Does that look like a sleeping child? There are you happy?





Looking back at the pictures, it reminded me of a great family vacation. 
                              
                             


  
Oh, did I mention, 9 months later Chubs was born!
 We brought home one of the greatest souvenirs ever!


   

I'm using this as part of my B2S/B2B  homework with Kludgy Mom. I'm sending more commenting love out. Please leave a comment and I promise to love you back. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Disneyland: The Real Deal

This post started off kind of sappy and sweet. It was going to be Disneyland through the eyes of my children. I actually deleted it and decided to do something else. I wanted to write about the flip side of the Disney experience. My point-of-view. All unedited and straight from the heart.

First of all, it took H and I a couple of months to even decide on a date to take the kids to Disneyland. We're both juggling full-time careers. After months of negotiating, we decided it was going to be Monday, September 20.

Why this date you ask?

We figured most children would be back in school. Considering it was a Monday, we thought people would be headed back to work. Also, it happened to be the only day H and I could agree upon. Of course, the stars, the moon, our horoscopes said it'd be a fine day to go.

How much are tickets?

The 3 year olds ticket ran a hefty $68. H & I were $76 each. This is for one park, one day. You do the math.  Luckily, the 1 year old was free.

Gees, does anyone work any more?

I thought we were in a recession. I realize that the unemployment rate is high, but I didn't think Disneyland was on the Top 10 Things To Do While You're Looking For A Job.

If you are a kid on vacation, shouldn't you be reading or doing some extra credit project in the library? 

First of all, I can't believe there are that many children who do not go to school. Not every child there was a baby or toddler either. Yes, I did hear some accents. I must admit, I'm not an expert in the world's schools systems, so these children were excused. Other children in the world are entitled to enjoy Disneyland.

Why do the shuttle drivers make us take down the strollers?

This was definitely on my top 10 pet peeve of the day.

Seriously Disneyland, do you really expect us to not only care for our children and their 5,000 pounds of equipment, but you want me to fold up the stroller too? 

Like many parents, my stroller not only transports the kids, but it acts as a storage device. I don't know what type of stroller the rest of you have, but I have to empty out the undercarriage to fold up the stroller.

Let's just say I looked like a circus act trying to balance the kids and the equipment. I left H outside to battle folding up the stroller, carrying it in the shuttle, and finding a spot for it so it wouldn't injure anyone.

I haven't even mentioned doing the circus act in reverse.

Nourishment and Hydration?

Forget about packing a lunch and going back to the car to eat it. The whole shuttle experience is crazy. Although I did pack some snacks and drinks, it was part of the 5,000 pounds of equipment, we needed to eat. I won't even tell you how much, but it was going to be our only big meal of the day. Luckily it consisted of fried food, so it'd sustain us until we left the park.

It was also Chubs' first time in the Magic Kingdom. He's 1. Although he seemed amazed by the wonderful sights and sounds of the park, he would have been just as content playing in the neighborhood park. He enjoyed the rides, but was a total animal waiting in line. For the first few rides, he was a total angel. Then the novelty of it wore off and it was a wrangling war. Disneyland all of a sudden felt like the Danger Zone.

Princess Ninja, who is 3, was so amazed and thrilled about the whole experience. She's finally tall enough to drive a car in Autopia. I'm still suffering from whiplash. 

Would I do it again? 

Yes, in a heartbeat. Regardless of the stress a trip like this can create, I know I'm going to look back at the pictures and remember what fun the kids had. Of course, memories are priceless. Unfortunately, Disney doesn't take memories as a line of credit, so let me start saving money for the next trip now. 


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Australia by Gina

             
Koala picture By Gina Baynham

Port Macquarie New South Wales by Gina Baynham


Sydney Harbour Bridge by Gina Baynham

Wangi Wangi Gum Trees by Gina Baynham

Sunday, September 19, 2010

T/F: People with Four Or More Children Cannot Be Adequate Parents To All

I'm participating in Kludgy Mom's Back To School, Back To Blogging Challenge. We're on week 2 of the challenge, to be honest, I sucked at week 1's assignment.

As usual, Gigi aka Kludgy Mom, has come up with a fantastic idea. Why didn't I think of something like this?

She's come up with the Idea Bank. A bank of ideas from bloggers, moms, and various other people to help those moments when we suffer from writer's block. She's asking that we come up with 10 ideas/questions to help inspire others. I've made my deposit and now I'm withdrawing from the bank.

The inspiration from this post is from Sarah: A Better Magnificent Mom
     
    7. Tue or False. People who have more than four children cannot be adequate parents to all of their children. Explain.


Before I answer, I'd like to add a disclosure: I'm going to answer this question from my own lifestyle, point-of-view, financial situation, etc. 
=========================================================================


Four or more children, the idea crossed my mind once upon a time. That once upon a time was when I was growing up as an only child. My first and only sibling didn't arrive until I was 6 years old. 


In retrospect, H comes from a large family. He is the eldest of 7 siblings. 


Although, I had neighborhood children to play with and a hand full of cousins that lived in the same city, I really wanted to be part of a large family. I vowed to myself that when I grew up and started a family on my own, I would have at least three children maybe even four. Oh, how I spent many days wishing I had older siblings that would teach me to be "cool" and drive me around. How I longed for younger siblings who I could help baby and oh and ah at. 


When I was pregnant with my first child, H and I knew immediately that we would have more. Remind you, I didn't even give birth yet. To be honest, being pregnant was the easy part compared to actually raising Princess Ninja. After she was born, H and I knew we would try to have another child. Almost exactly 2 years later, we were blessed with Chubs. 


It wasn't until my own children came along that I realized how much work, effort, patience, sleeplessness, money, and responsibility came with a human being. I've had more than my share of mommy fails and a few hand fulls of mommy high 5s. 


Two children later, I question having another. It's definitely a topic H and I have discussed.  Although, we are not opposed to being done, there is a piece of me that longs to have more. To be able to make the wish of a little girl who didn't get a sibling until she was 6 years old a reality. Then the 30 something, mom of two comes in and slaps a dose of reality into me. 


Reality:
   1.) I'm stretched and pulled between 2 children, I can't imagine adding another one
   2.) I hear it only gets harder as they grow older
   3.) Financially, how can we support another one
   4.) I want my kids to be kids and not have to take care of their younger siblings. I'm all for teaching responsibility, but it's mommy's job to be mommy
   5.) What is another pregnancy going to do to my body
   6.) I want to one day be able to get sleep
   7.) What would another child do to our current family dynamic
   
I'm sure one can go on and on. For me, I have to be honest and say I know I cannot be an adequate parent to 4 children. I sometimes wonder if I'm an adequate parent to my two children. In the mean time, we are enjoying life with the two kids. Only time will tell if more is in our future. 


For those of you who do have 4 or more children, how do you do it? 



Where is my Ying and Yang?


Like all the usual days and weeks in my life, it's been busy. Seriously, when is it not busy and crazy?

For now, I'm going to spare you the crazy part.

In the mean time, I can feel the abuse I've placed on my body catching up to me. Lack of sleep, lack of nutritious food, lack of exercise, and an increase in the amount of stress. Let's not forget The Grim Reaper Father Time coming to get me.

Does any of that sound familiar to you or is it just me who manages to constantly lose my ying and yang in life?

I'm all about trying to find harmony, inner peace, and all of that good stuff. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles that prevent me from this. I've decided to be a little more diligent about finding my happy place.

I was seriously trying to look for an acupuncturist. I've heard many positive things about acupuncture. I've come to a point where I'd be willing to try this. I really don't mind having a bunch of needles placed onto various stress points on my body. Hey, if I can give birth twice then a bunch of tiny needles is nothing! Trying to squeeze a human being out of ones vajayjay or having a doctor cut through your abdomen to yank out a baby sounds far worst to me.

I've had no luck in the department of finding an acupuncturist that can help cure me of some of my ailments. There are a few criteria that still need to be met.

Plan 2: Yoga. Yes, I purchased a mat and have been happily taking a few yoga classes. Not that super hot, I'd be sweating and passing out Bikram yoga. Just basic yoga that's supposed to help me stretch and help me to become one with the universe.

A new week is upon us. Let's see how well I do at finding and keeping my ying and yang in place. If all else fails, I have purchased a few bottles of wine.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friday Flip-Off


Everyday life is just so damn busy. Right from the very second of waking up to the bitter end of the day, it's just a constant go, go, go. Usually that very second of waking up is started off by the uninviting sound of any of the following: 

Mama, are you awake?
Good Morning!
Mama, Mama!!!!
Whaaa!!!

Regardless of which morning wake-up call is used my eyes are still closed and my mouth is still open from exhaustion. 

What exactly am I flipping off here? I guess not being able to really feel like I'm taking the time to enjoy life and to enjoy my children.

To time: For going by way too fast and making me feel like I need to fill so much in such a short 24 hour period. I sometimes feel robbed of truly enjoying my babies. You're taking them away from me far faster than I'd like. I want to be able to stop, smell and appreciate what is out there. Did I mention you're aging me faster than I'd like also? Stop it already!

Thank you to MommaKiss for hosting since Gigi is busy.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Homework for Mama

For the next few weeks I've decided to join Gigi over at Kludgy Mom for her
Back to School, Back to Blogging challenge. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a computer, high tech person. All of this computer mumbo jumbo is so foreign to me. I'm just glad that I'm competent enough to figure out how to post. Call me simple.

The pre-homework assignment was to install a retweet button, which I'm proud to say I did. Of course, it took a lot longer than I had hoped.  Luckily, there are other participants who are willing to help those in the less than average section of this challenge.

Also, I believe I was able to set-up a fan page on Facebook for my blog. Yes, MamaOnDaGo now has a fan page, so please "like" me. It took me a few hours to try and set it up. I realize it's simple and oh-so basic. To be honest, I don't even know if I did it correctly. Hey, that's what this challenge is for. I wanted to try and improve things and expose myself to some new high tech info.

I'm also going to be realistic. At the end of this, I don't expect to have this gorgeous state-of-the-art blog or a fancy shmancy fan page with hundreds of new followers and fans. The children just won't compromise on how much time and effort should be used to improve on Mama's hobby. It took me a good long while to even write up this post between naps and quiet time. May I also add that it's football season. Enough said with that. I do hope to learn something and to meet more great people.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mamaondago14
The Fan Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MamaOnDaGo/105834496144690

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Official First Day of Preschool

Today marks the official start of the end preschool. We attended Open House on Tuesday. This allowed us to meet the staff and a few other students and parents. Princess Ninja was able to explore her new surroundings. I must say, she did well. Granted we never left her sight and she was able to do as she pleased. I'm not quite sure how she'll do when Mama and Dada actually leave and she has to follow instructions. Regardless, today is the day.

Since I love pouring salt and squirting lemon juice into my motherhood wounds, I'd like to share a few photos of Princess Ninja.

Princess Ninja a few hours after coming into the world.


Hanging out in her Bumbo



So tired!


Sniff, sniff! No that's not me crying. I just got something in my eye. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Old School: Rocking the Bowl

My cousin, NC (on the left) & little MamaOnDaGo (on the right)


It was a very busy Labor Day weekend. I truly "labored" because I didn't have a lovely 3 day long weekend. At this point, I can no longer continue folding my mountains of laundry due to cramping issues. I needed a break, so I decided to write a post. I am determined to conquer my never-ending piles of laundry today...tonight even. I shall not sleep until all is folded! In the mean time, please enjoy the above picture.

My little sister made a stop at my Aunt's house prior to leaving on a 2 week long tour of the New England states and parts of Canada.

Am I jealous? Yes! She's sending me various messages and pictures of Boston. I'm living vicariously through her at the moment. Oh it must be nice to just take off and travel!

In the depths of my Aunt's photos, my sister managed to find the above picture of my cousin, NC, and me. This is circa early 80s. As you can see, NC and I went to the same hairstylist. We were rocking that bowl!!! Not only did we go to the same hairstylist, we managed to also have the same fashion consultant. NC's look is more old school Chinese with a matching red accessory in her hand. I'm going for a modern farmer look with my red overall shorts. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm really working the hair and outfit with this pose.

Please pardon the flash in the middle of the photo. The picture is behind a humidity, light controlled glass case to preserve it from any damage.