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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guest Blog on New Breed of Mom

My first post as a guest on New Breed of Mom: Guest Blogging is like a First Date. Yay!!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Preschool

Preschool! The educational foundation that every child builds upon. It's the first brick that will help build and determine how successful your child will be in the future. Ivy league college or permanent fixture on Mama's couch? The pressure!

Does any of that sound familiar?

No one ever told me that finding and getting into a top preschool was like applying for college. First of all, the choices out there was mind blowing: Montessori, private school, public school (which you still pay for by the way).

Research had to be done: student-teacher ratio, parent volunteering requirements, comments and recommendations by other parents, awards, licenses, tuition, waiting list.

Waiting lists! Yes, there are waiting lists to get into preschool! Really?!?! Yes! Some so-called top notch preschools have waiting lists so long you can be waiting years.

I later find out there is also an interview. Someone wants to interview my 3 year old daughter. What exactly are you going to ask her? I can tell you she barely listens to her parents. Good luck in trying to interview her. Great, we may not get into a preschool.

The interview isn't just the 3 year old. It's a family interview. What exactly do you want to know about the family? Is there a criminal background check involved as well? Great, we may not get into a preschool.

We actually had to decide on our top 4 preschools. Like I mentioned, it's like applying to college. In case, you didn't get into your #1 choice, you want to have back-ups.

Did I mention application fees? These were not cheap either. We're talking triple digits. Non-refundable. They made that very clear.

After all of that, there are deadlines to meet. Make sure the paperwork is completed and handed in by this date. Your child will not be a candidate if all necessary paperwork is not completed and turned in by said date. Interviews had to be completed by this day. Letters and notifications of acceptance will be mailed out on this date.

Well, those dates were marked and circled on the calendar. We waited and waited. Is it like college? Thick envelope is good. Thin envelope is the letter of doom.

Luckily, our top 4 choices for preschools had their notifications being sent out during the same week. In that one week, Princess Ninja's entire future will be determined. Can I get any more dramatic with this?

At the end of this whole process, Princess Ninja was able to get into choice 1 & 2 for preschool. We ultimately decided to accept the offer for our #1 choice. Obvious, right?

Preparations have already began for the first day of preschool. I'm sure there will be posts about this. Prepare yourselves for crying and an emotional wreck.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The VJ Check-Up

It's been a week since the yearly VJ (in case you didn't know: vajayjay) check-up. After the visit, the NP or Dr. usually ends it with:

Give it about a week, no news is good news.


I know this office all too well. It's the same office I had to go to time and time again for both of my pregnancies. It's this same office I go to have the yearly VJ checked out and all it's accessories.

I sit in the waiting room and wait for my name to be called. The happy MA greets me, tells me to pee in a cup, and meet her at the scales. During my pregnancies, I had the pee-in-a-cup method down packed. I can do it quickly without getting a drop of pee on my hands. Even during my 3rd trimester, the large belly was no match. After not going for a year, my technique could have used some work.

Knowing I have to hop on a scale, I usually pick out my "lightest" outfits. After all, I want the weight on the scale to reflect my true weight and not an ounce more.

Then, we enter The Room. After the MA checks more vitals, she hands me my new outfit. A lovely two piece ensemble that is made up of a paper vest and a larger piece of rectangular paper to cover below the waist. I'm assuming this outfit is one size fits all. It's definitely not flattering to anyone.

The MA reminds me that the open side of the vest goes towards the front so they can do a breast exam. Great, can't leave out the girls during all this fun.

After getting undressed, I like to fold my clothes up nicely and tuck my undergarments away. I don't know why I obsess about this. It's not like the Dr/NP is going to be assessing my folding techniques. They're going to be assessing way more than that.

I hop on the table that's covered with more of the crunchy paper. I also try not to move much because the sound of the paper beneath my naked a** is disturbing. I sit there and wait uncomfortably. As I wait, I always read the posters that cover the wall (what else is there to do). Pictures of ovulation, the stages of pregnancy, what happens to a woman as she ages, types of birth control, etc. They do make lovely reading material as you sit there naked under some bright lights, as if on a Broadway stage.

Eventually, I hear the knock on the door. A warning of what is about to happen. Then the exam begins.

It's now been a week and I haven't heard from them, so I'm assuming it's good news. Yay, the VJ can rest easy for another year!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mr. Pig

I have a teething 1 year old!!!! I think that about sums up the week.

Chubs has not sprouted teeth since December 2009. I kid you not. The boy had 8 brand spanking new teeth to welcome 2010.

Then last week, badda bing badda boom, my sweet little boy turned crazy. He became bipolar. One second he wanted me to hold him. The next second he wanted to be put down. Over and over again. It was quickly getting old.

Then there were the screams in the middle of the night. Goodness!!! I even tried medicating the poor kid. Motrin AND Tylenol...or should I say the generic brands of these drugs. It bought a few precious moments of shut eye.

Teething rings, frozen waffles, toys, various body parts of my husband all fell victim to Chubs.

Here is one such victim. Mr. Pig.

Mr. Pig is now deaf. Chubs almost got his snout off too.

Mr. Pig is left with one leg.

Poor Mr. Pig

Mr. Pig was a stress ball shaped like...well a pig. He was actually Princess Ninja's toy. I guess Chubs was so stressed about teething that Mr. Pig is no longer the same.

For those of you who are concerned, Chubs did not swallow any of Mr. Pig's parts. He was so gracious enough to spit them out on the floor.

To give the week that added boom it was missing, Princess Ninja was bitten in the eye. Breathing, eating, playing. A few days later, she was back to normal.


What a great week! Glad it's over!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Anniversary Dinner

Our Wedding.
Photos: Janis Foley Photography

I just celebrated my 7 year wedding anniversary. A date night with my husband is something I really look forward to. Because we've been going through some rough times this past year, this dinner was extra special. I wanted to share it with all of you.


Hopefully if I post it, it will be floating in the virtual universe forever. I can look back on it one day and remember it fondly.

Reservations were made at Oceanaire. A seafood restaurant whose claim to fame was due to Brian Malarkey. He was a contestant on Top Chef. Well Mr. Malarkey has left the restaurant but it wasn't going to stop me from eating there.

My husband and I have eaten there in the past and we've both enjoyed it. My old pre-mama days loved trying out new restaurants. Since the birth of the kids, I've become kind of a bore and have tried to stick to my list of faves.

For one thing, we don't go out for such things often. It's usually quite the task to try and find a date we are both off and able to find someone to watch the kids. After going through all that trouble and spending a good amount of change, I really, really don't want to be disappointed.

Upon being seated, the hostess gave us our menus. As I was trying to decide what to order, I noticed they were wishing us a "Happy Anniversary" at the top of the menu. A very nice touch.


We started the night with raw oysters. Hello, aphrodisiac! We usually go for a trio. Tonight's trio consisted of Fanny Bay, kusshi, and blackberry. The Fanny Bays are one of my favorites. Some of the oysters are already missing from picture. I couldn't resist.


Next came Oceanaire's famous crab cake. I could honestly have a couple of these with a starch and call it a day. It's probably one of the best crab cakes outside of Maryland. It's the real, deal crab cake. Just mouth watering, sweet, whole lump crab meat. Sprinkled with some good Old Bay...delicious!


No celebration would be complete without wine. We both enjoy a good Pino Noir. After letting it breathe for a bit, it was a smooth red wine with slight bite at the end.


We both ordered an entree of fish. One dish was sea bass topped with crab meat. Dish two was the Mako shark with blue cheese butter.


Since we were celebrating a special occasion, the restaurant served us their flaming baked Alaska.


To top it off, I received this bouquet of white roses. I have something against red roses. Red roses aren't my favorite.


The night was great. A fancy meal, quiet adult conversation and another wonderful year together.

Downtown San Diego. 7 years ago.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Mini Makeover: Hair

As some of you may know, the beginning of 2010 was a rough road. If you weren't aware, here's a little link so we are all up to speed. As we enter the later half of the year, I'm starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. With that said, as I emerge from the dark tunnel of 2010, I don't want to look like I've been buried in the depths of the earth this whole time.

Another reason for wanting to keep up ones appearance is due to the fact that my big wedding anniversary is coming up. It's the big 7!!! The husband and I are going out for our special dinner. Dinner that includes great food and wine. How can one celebrate without wine? Red wine, so it's heart healthy. =)

My task to give myself a mini makeover was lock, set, and implemented. First things first, hair! I've managed to let my hair go for almost 5 months. No cut, no color, no touch-up. Sooner or later, Disney people were going to come knocking at my door to see if I wanted to play a poor, tortured Mufasa for the next Lion King movie. Things were getting out of hand.

Uh, yeah! Not cute, I know. I go out in public like this.

Like a good man, a good hairdresser is hard to find. Can I get an amen?

A few years ago, I thought I finally found my perfect hairdresser. Let's call him "Abe". Abe was my man. I looked forward to seeing him. He was owner of a great salon. It was urban and hip. Abe wasn't too chatty. He would allow me to sit in that chair and catch-up on all the latest gossip and beauty magazine. His salon served wine!!!! Ding, ding, ding, ding! His staff gave the best head massages ever on the face of God's green earth. Every time I left Abe's salon, I felt like I belonged on a hair commercial. *hair blowing in the cool breeze*

Well, like the rest of us, Abe had some rough times. Divorce, money, a new girlfriend. You know all the things a good reality show is made of. His salon, his golden touch all went to hell. I tried going back to him a few times, hoping and praying he would get his groove back. After a few attempts, I had to finally say good bye to my dear Abe. My hair and I were left to fend for ourselves.

After numerous Yelp and Google searches, I finally settled on a place. The girl they recommended was a cute, young, blond gal. She reminded me of Julianne Hough from Dancing with the Stars. I started seeing "Julianne" in March 2010 (actually it was the first and only time I saw her). I told her the kind of look I was going for: low maintenance, keep it on the longer side so I can pull it up, thin it out a bit, and give me bangs but not Brenda Walsh 90210 bangs.

I was very pleased with Julianne's work, so I decided to see her again for the mini makeover. She's a bit more chatty than I'd like, but she's not annoying. The head massages are okay. I guess comparing who gives better head massages is like comparing old boyfriends. Sometimes if you can have a better relationship on a deeper level, head massages can be somewhat overlooked. 3 long hours later, I left the salon a tiny bit disappointed.

Cute cut. No cut is complete without the ponytail test.


Overall, I'm very pleased with the cut. I just feel she made the color a little too light for my low maintenance, I can only come every 4-5 months lifestyle. To be honest, it's a pain in the butt to find time to go back to the salon to get it fixed. I've decided to keep the lighter, blonder me for a wee bit. Let's see how many months I can go without a touch-up. It reminds me of the hair color I had when we got married. I figured the Mr can enjoy a new me for our wedding anniversary....a semi-new and improved Mufasa....Roar!

Monday, July 12, 2010

How It All Began

Once upon a time there was a barely 20 year old sophomore college gal. She was just your semi-typical, yet semi-responsible, college student who was thrilled with the new found freedoms of college, but was still trying to find her way into the adult world.

One day in the college library, as she sat with her friends discussing everything but class lectures, an almost 23 year old guy came by to talk to one of her friends. This guy just happened to catch the gals fancy. I bet you this 23 year old guy was quite smitten by the barely 20 year old gal!

That's my very Cliff Notes version of how Hubs and I met. I think it's also one of the few details that we could probably agree upon. That beginning was almost 13 years ago!!!!

When I met Hubs, I was actually dating someone else. Like I mentioned, I was young and in college. I wasn't looking for Mr. Right or my future husband. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that exact moment in time would change my life forever.

I went out on dates and dated a few guys before I met the future Mr. MamaOnDaGo. Yeah, if I started to date someone more exclusive, it was probably because I thought they were nice guys. There was probably some type of chemistry between us that deserved to be discovered. I will admit, my dating and past relationships pretty much ended the same way. Is there a nice way to ever break-up with someone?

Hubs, or shall I say pre-Hubs, was different. Does that sound like a cliche? He was this older guy (at least older than me), he drove a smashingly cool car, he was suave, he was nice, and most of all he was cute. What else could a college sophomore want?

One date led to another and another. Before I knew it, months of dating became years of marriage. We will be celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary in a few days!!!! I'm very excited!

Some of our engagement pictures taken in beautiful, sunny San Diego (circa early 2003)

Looking back, the relationship that Hubs and I have has changed so much through the years. There were the initial discussions of our likes and dislikes, what we did in our spare time, do we want to continue this relationship, if he doesn't call me "I'm going to get pissed".

I haven't seen these pictures in quite awhile.

Dating anniversaries were monthly...you know in case we never really made it to the year mark. Those monthly anniversaries consisted of dinners, flowers, little gifts and surprises. The early part of our marriage consisted of yearly vacations, dinners, flowers, little gifts and surprises. Are you seeing a pattern? Oh those more carefree days.

Cheesy yet beautiful at the same time. =)

As we approach our 7 year wedding anniversary, there are no longer discussions of what we enjoy in our spare time, only because, there is NO spare time. LOL! To be honest, sometimes we can go on for days without having a real discussion. The kids have consumed almost every square inch of time and space in our lives. I say almost because we try to make it a point to reconnect with each other. Like having children, marriage is something that needs attention, nurturing, work, patience, and love.

I hear so many stories of couples who divorce after 20+ years because they've grown apart. I can see how this can happen. Life takes over and couples often forget about constantly reconnecting with each other. People do change. Hubs and I are definitely not the same people we were 13 years ago. If we were, I think we'd have a serious problem.

In another 20 years, I picture the kids grown and life will again change the people we are today. I want to be able to lay out on a beach in Hawaii with Mr. MamaOnDaGo and look back at the great journey we've experienced and have the following toast:


"Here's to another 20 years!!!! Where can we travel to next? I love you!"

Mai Tai or wine in hand (who knows what alcoholic beverage I may enjoy in 20 years)
Also, let's note how great I look because the kids will be independent. Gym and I can reconnect.

I'm no Dr. Phil or Dr. Ruth. In fact, I'm not a Dr. Any advice like element is strictly my own personal experience.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Giveaway: Urban Decay Primer Potion in SIN & Cover Girl Lash Blast WP in Black

I've decided to do another giveaway. The two items up for grabs are featured in my I Heart segments. I've personally been using both of these and I adore them. If you end up winning and don't like them....they were free & too bad! Both items will go to one lucky winner.


Rules are simple:
1.) Mandatory entry: become a subscriber to the blog AND leave a comment below (any old comment...weather, food, wine. Oh, I'd love to hear of more make-up recommendations).
If you already subscribe, just leave me a comment.

2.) Additional entry: Follow me on Twitter AND let me know by sending me a tweet
@mamondago14

3.) Additional entry: Tweet about it AND send me a tweet @mamaondago14
-one entry per day

You have until July 21, 2010

PS if you know you're sensitive to eye products, please do not enter. I don't want to be responsible for any damage. I guess this is a disclaimer. Kind of like those drug commercials: can cause loose bowels, difficulty urinating, if you have an erection for more than 4 hours seek medical assistance...etc etc. I personally have had no problems using these products and I wear contacts.

Good luck!!!!


Guess who won???

Navy Frugalista
winner chosen by random.org

I Heart: Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin


Time to meet Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin. I already Heart the original formula. It's perfect for preventing the nasty look of oily eyelids and eyeliner/shadow meltdown. AKA: the you do NOT look cute look of summer!

I purchased Sin a few weeks ago and have been using it non-stop. Not only does it prevent the "not so cute" look of summer meltdown, but it offers a tiny bit of "champagne" shimmer to the lids. Who doesn't like a little bubbly in their life?

While using the original formula which is described as an ultra sheer, totally nude color, I would sometimes apply a little MAC eyeshadow in Wishful and/or Vanilla to give my eyes a little pop of color. None of that is needed while using Sin. The champagne shimmer is just the right amount of color to highlight the eyes. It does not look disco-like or overdone for a day time look.

Because I like it so much, guess what? I'm giving one away! Details to follow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Good, The Bad, & MY Ugly

I think many of us envisioned what being a mom would be like. This beautiful bundle of joy that we would cherish and love. Those little hands and feet that we would caress. Those adorable cheeks that we would kiss and kiss and kiss. Don't forget that wonderful smile and giggle.

From the very beginning of both of my pregnancies, I had a wonderful experience and was overjoyed. Of course, there was the weight gain, the cravings, the weird things that would go on with my body that no book could come close to describing. I tried to cherish each pregnancy regardless.

The funny thing about Mother Nature is that she hypnotizes us with all these precious little things our baby does that it makes us develop amnesia. I guess if we remembered the pain of child birth, the lack of sleep, and the many other things that occur, we would be a dying species.

Yes, I did fall immediately in love with my children the moment they were placed in my arms. The love has just grown and grown. *happy music starts to play in the background, flowers and rainbows appear*

Now it's time for MY ugly. My personal confession. I hate to even admit to this, but I thought I'd share. After reading numerous books on the joys of being a mother, I never came across anyone that ever stated any real negativity to it.

Prior to having children, I will admit that I had very little patience and I was very much consumed with ME. Having children has definitely changed my level of patience and how little me time there is. I feel that 95% of my life revolves around the kids. This is a rough estimate, of course. I'm sure you get the idea of what I'm saying. Especially since they are so young, 3 and 1, they are so dependent upon me. I knew this part prior to having them. I definitely didn't expect them to be self-sufficient beings right from the get go.

There are moments when I absolutely dislike being a mom. Yes, I said it. Yes, there is still a feeling of guilt, but it's the truth. At first, I felt truly guilty to having these feelings. I felt I wasn't being a good mother. Maybe there was something wrong with my motherly wiring. Maybe, maybe, maybe it's just the truth. Regardless, I know that I'm a good mom. I love my children, but I don't love every single minute I have with them.

There are the drives when all I can hear is the stereo sound of the two of them crying and fighting in the background. Moments when all I'm trying to do is go use the bathroom and one, if not both of them, are in there with me. The tantrums over, literally, spilled milk. The lack of patience that drives me nuts. The sound of me asking the 3 year old to do something over and over again. There are the times when the sound of, "Mama" or "Mommy", actually brings a tension down my neck and back because the tone of it is done in just that way. The way the 1 year old is on me like white on rice and all I need is to have a moment without anyone in my bubble. I can go on and on.

Deep down, I enjoy my 1 hour of alone time at the gym. My hour of just sweating and working out my inner aggressions of life. I do enjoy it when my husband comes home from work early and I am no longer out numbered by the kids. I like the end of the day when both kids are quietly sleeping and my personal bubble is unoccupied. I enjoy getting my hair done where I can sit quietly and read tabloid/beauty magazines and hope the hair dresser is not in a chatty mood. Yes, these are some of my deep down guilty pleasures.

Maybe that's also why Mother Nature has developed unconditional love. A love that can withstand anything. A love that causes all the bad aspects to be overlooked. A love so deep that it's indescribable. Unconditional love has to be what I have for these two because I definitely wouldn't be able to put up with them if it wasn't.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Busy, Busy, Stress, Stress, Gross, Gross!

The last few weeks have been filled with a lot of changes for the entire family. Actually, it's been the first half of 2010 that's been filled with change, both good and bad. I am hoping and praying the second half of 2010 will be filled with much happier things. Although it's entirely too early to determine if things are taking a turn, the last few weeks have been extremely stressful. It's forced Hubs and I to focus our energy into other things, mainly relocating. With that said, family QT has dwindled and become almost none existent. Aside from the few hours spent at the fair, I'm surprised we all recognize each other.

Another example is the great meals I've been serving the kids. From late night drive thrus to various fast food joints to those great microwave mac and cheese bowls. The kids and I have been filling ourselves with preservatives, grease, and mystery ingredients up the ying-yang. If you need another example of a drive thru horror story click here. Can I also add that both kids have the runs? Too much grease?!

If I can figure out which box holds our kitchen pots and pans, perhaps I can whip up something. Never mind the fact that the fridge contains milk, orange juice, yogurt, and eggs. Let's see if someone from the Food Network can make something edible with those ingredients. British buff guy from Mission Impossible, I'm challenging you!

Yes, the last few weeks have made me an emotional eater. French fries and Pinkberry seem to be my comfort food. The gym sessions have been non-existent the last couple of weeks and have been replaced with sorting through odds and ends and packing. How much crap can one household have? Gees!

Let's talk about personal hygiene now. I am proud to say that this is one thing I have not let slip through the cracks entirely. I have managed to wash my hair every 2-3 days...maybe 4. I have discovered a nice little product that my sister introduced me to. The hair accessories I have on my hair is a direct indication of how many days have passed since the last washing. For example, freshly washed hair will be worn down. Day 2: pony tail. Day 3: pony tail and clip. Day 4: pony tail, clip, and headband. Maybe if the hair doesn't touch my face, I can go another day. Let's not continue. From there it just gets plain gross.

Showers have been a record 20 seconds. Luckily, I developed skills from when my children were newborns that have come in handy. You can save time by shampooing your hair and letting the suds run down your body as you scrub. No need to soap! If you use extra conditioner on your hair and let it run down as you rinse, you've moisturized your skin already...no need for lotion.

As if my laundry room was not a complete disaster to begin with, I am proud to say that I managed to wash and dry all the clothes prior to the big relocation. These clothes were literally thrown into black garbage bags. No sorting or folding of any kind. I literally have to dig into the garbage bags to find clean clothes for everyone. These garbage bags full of clothes are decorating my bedroom. This is only one side of the room. Heaven forbid I give you a full 360 view. All I can say is lovely!


Today, I managed to get a few things done. My main goal today was to hang out with the kids. The few moments I have had with them during the last few weeks was when I would pick them up after work and get them ready for bed. Sad!

I did manage to hang out as the cable guy installed our cable and internet. Give me some credit. It's one more thing to check off the list. At least now I can post about my experiences. My eyes were starting to hurt reading things off of my Iphone.

Here's a picture of the classy ensemble that greeted the cable guy.


Yes, that is a Thunder Cats t-shirt complete with plaid bottoms. Don't hate. At least I matched...in my eyes, I do. If only I owned a Voltron shirt too. Am I the only one that remembers these cartoons?





Saturday, July 3, 2010

Moving Torture Chamber

Another typical get off late from work, still have to get the kids and feed them nights. We're talking 8:00pm and we still have to make it home to get into jammies and hope I can brush their teeth. Of course, the great mom that I am, decides to go through one of my local drive thrus.


Hmm, which high fat, high calorie fast food joint to go to?


This time the kids and I go through a Wendy's. The kids will eat the same french fries and nuggets, regardless of which place I decide to tempt their culinary palates.



Mama: Can I get a 5 piece nugget and medium french fries, please?


Wendy's man: blah blah nuggets...static....french fries (sounding like the teacher from the Snoopy cartoons) Is there anything else?


Mama: No, that will be it. Thank you.



I pay, grab the bag, and drive off. I stick my hand into the bag to make sure the food isn't molten lava hot and hand the bag to Princess Ninja (the 3 year old).



Mama: Give your brother a nugget, please.


Princess Ninja: Wow, the nuggets are so red.

Mama: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Give your brother a nugget, he's hungry.



I assumed at this point, she gives Chubs a nugget. He is quiet and I can see the silhouette of him chewing from the rear view mirror. Finally, silence as we drive off into the sunset. Oh wait, the sunset hours ago. It's pitch dark now!



Ahh, one thing checked off the to-do list. Only a million more things to do before I can call it a night. At least, the kids are fed.

Princess Ninja: I don't want any of these nuggets!

Mama: Fine, just eat the french fries. (as I grab little carton of nuggets)

Chubs: (screaming bloody murder at the top of his lungs like someone attacked him)

Mama: What's wrong? (I'm trying to look in the rear view, turn my head. Anything to get a look to see what's causing this terrible sound)

I catch a glimpse of the nugget carton to see they were orangey-red. They gave me hot and spicy chicken nuggets!!!!

Mental note: The next time Princess Ninja makes a comment, pay attention!!!!