Monday, February 28, 2011

What My Kiddos Would Miss if I was Abducted by Aliens... - A Sponsored Post

As a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes feel like I am chained to my house. Sure I get out to the store, or play-dates but hardly ever on my own. And, when I do get out of the house alone it's usually not something that I really want to do. Being abducted by aliens just might be a nice vacation! Ok, not really I would miss my family so much, but just what would they miss about me?

One of my favorite things is when I get home from running an errand and I get great big hugs from my babies, and hear those wonderful things like, "Mommy I missed you so much!". One thing that I know my kids would miss is my patience. Poor Daddy really tries, but he just can't do it all the time. I know my children so well that I can pretty much predict their behavior. I think since I know how they work, it makes it easier for me to be patient.

In the same breath, I am a huge pushover for my kids. I try to be the bad cop sometimes, but it just doesn't work. I know that they would miss Mommy's love and understanding big time! There is just nothing like a Mommy hug, am I right?

Mommy is also a one-man personal library. I must read over 50 books a day when you add them all together. My kids love to read, and I LOVE that they love to read, but it does get old. They also love when I tell them made up stories, which I'm not great at, but they don't know. Without their Mommy, just who would read all of those books?

The four of us do get out of the house quite a bit together. I know they love these outings. We go to story-time, playdates, the playground, the grocery store, etc. Daddy has not ventured out of the house with the three babies very often, and I think it stresses him out to do so. With good reason, it is hard to get a 3 year old, almost 2 year old, and 9 month old out of the house. We require a lot of "stuff" and a lot of space. It is hard work, but I know my kids really appreciate it. They would seriously miss being able to do these things.

I'm sure I could come up with a million things my kids would miss about me, but I could come up with a million and one things I would miss about my kids. I love my family, and I love being a stay-at-home Mommy. While an alien abduction might be a good break, I'm not sure I would last long on Mars without my babies!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Simple Changes for the New Year - A Sponsored Post

This is the first year I didn't make a New Year's Resolution, mostly because, well....I never finish them. But, this year instead I made a list of things I would like to accomplish. Read the bible, fit into some old clothes, talk to my sisters more frequently, be debt free, and some more. One of them was to do something for me.

I know it sounds incredibly selfish, but as a mom of three (soon to be four) under three, I don't get very much me time. I love my children, and I really love being a stay at home mom, but I often worry that my children won't be prepared for preschool and being without me or each other for any amount of time. The three of them are really close, and my oldest is a very good big brother who protects his little sisters. At the same time, they are codependent and have trouble being separated. Basically, I knew that taking some time for me would be good for all of us!

A friend of mine recently invited me to a bible study at her church, and so I decided to go. It's in the morning, and they provide free daycare for all the kiddos. I get two hours to recharge and I know my children are safe and right next door. My babies aren't adjusting very well, but they've never been in the care of anyone else ever before. It is good for both of us to have some time apart. Another thing I love about this study is that there is daily homework. That means everyday I have to take 20 minutes for myself. It keeps me accountable to taking care of myself, and keeps me sane.

There are about 100 women in this study and I'm in a small group of 8. I love being surrounded my women who understand where I am coming from. They're all moms, or grandmas and everybody knows what my days are like. We offer each other love and support and understanding. I've never been a part of a group like this before. It is good for the soul.

The best thing I've done since having children, is force myself to take time for me. Not just a shower, or a spa day, but an experience that refreshes the mind and body and makes me a better person. I look forward to going every week, and I know someday soon my kids will too!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Congratulations to our Winners!

The winners have been contacted and have 48 hours to respond, thank you to every one who participated! I apologize that it has taken so long to get these winners announced, my blog has taken a back burner to my family life for the moment.

The winner of the Yoplait and Kitchen Aid giveaway is comment #85, eclaire.

The winners of the Del Monte Gift Certificates are comments #18 and #28 Laura and Karyn Hughes.

The Perfect Gift - A Sponsored Post

SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards.
For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) , up to $125,000.
Clever Girls Collective and SWAGG are sending a pair of movie fans to the Sundance Film Festival! Download the SWAGG app and then visit the Ultimate SWAGG Getaway Sweepstakes site to enter to win a trip for two to the Sundance Film Festival. Entry deadline is January 3, 2011, 11:59pm, PST.

With Christmas just around the corner, I'm double checking my list to make sure that I've not forgotten anyone. This year, I had a really hard time shopping for my mom. You know how when you get someone the perfect gift one year, it's hard to get one to top it.

My parents are divorced, and my mom remarried when I was four. Unfortunately she didn't get professional pictures of her second wedding, and no one gave her any of the photos they took. She owns maybe 4 or 5 pictures from her wedding total. One day I was cleaning out some boxes, packing up things to move into my first apartment with my hubby, and I came across an invitation to my mom's wedding. I knew that I had to get it framed, I was sure my mom hadn't seen it for years. I spent way too much money to have the invite along with one of her precious pictures framed and matted for my mother.

I know she was surprised and touched that I preserved such a special memory for her. It hangs on her wall, and I know she sees it everyday. It's these special gifts that make Christmas so meaningful. It's not about the money you spend on the next best thing, but the heartfelt thought that matters.

So, I feel like it was THE perfect gift...but now what to do? Luckily my mom is fairly easy to shop for. And if all else fails, she loves gift cards because then she can buy exactly what she wants. My mom has a fancy new iPhone, so I'm thinking of getting her a fancy SWAGG giftcard to go with it. Whatever it will be, I love my momma and that love makes any gift perfect.

Learn more about the coolest new app that revolutionizes the whole shopping, gifting, and gift card-organizing experience and Download the SWAGG app to your iPhone or Droid. I was selected for this sponsorship by Clever Girls Collective , which endorses Blog With Integrity.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My favorite Road Trip!

Road tripping can be a fun and inexpensive way to take a vacation. You just get in your car and drive...or if you're like me you plan for weeks in advance and have a binder prepared with every map, gas station, and possible excursion planned for the entirety of the trip. Whether your the over-preparer like myself, or a fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal, road trips are great family fun.

When my husband and I first got married, we took a road trip through Canada and a large part of the Western United States, and we brought a long my little sister! It was quite adventurous of us, and I'm not sure I could ever plan such a trip again, but I'm glad we did it once.

We left Lincoln, Nebraska and headed North. We stopped at Mt. Rushmore, and drove on to Canada. We stayed at the cheapest AAA motels we could find, and shared a room with my little sis trying to be as frugal as possible. We hit up the Calgary zoo, and headed up to Banff, Alberta. My husband had a conference in this beautiful scenic area, and I have never seen waters so clear nor mountains so beautiful in my life. While the hubs was off working, my sister and I went canoeing, sightseeing, and of course shopping. We ate delicious foods and played board games. It was so nice to have the bonding time with my sister, and still get to have my husband time as well.

We continued on our journey hitting up Vancouver before we headed down to Seattle and our final destination, Sisters, Oregon. Every year my step-father's dad has a family reunion in Black Butte Oregon. We spent days relaxing, swimming, hiking, and nights hot-tubbing and eating good food with family. It was a great way to spend our first summer as a married couple.

The view of our "back yard" in Oregon.

When it was time to head home, we had been on the road for over two weeks. All three of us just wanted to get home, and while I love my sis dearly, my hubby and I were ready for some alone time. We made the decision to drive from Sisters Oregon to Lincoln Nebraska straight through. We had two drivers, it was doable, right? My poor husband ended up driving most of the way, and I'm not even sure if I was awake the part I drove through. Eventually though, we made it home.

I saw the most amazing sights traveling through the Northwestern U.S. and Southern Canada, beauty that you don't even realize exists. I can't wait to take road trips with my kiddos. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do, it's being with family that makes it fun.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kum and Go You Disappointed Me...

Kum & Go has changed their milk from 2 gallons for $5 to 2 gallons for $5.50! =(

2/$5 is a great deal when you need whole and 2% milk like I buy. However, 2/$5.50 is pretty close to what the regular stores sell it for, and I've heard that Aldi has even cheaper milk. So Kum & Go, I'm sorry, I may be moving on. Aldi, here I come!

Paper Mama Photo Challenge - Cozy

This week The Paper Mama has chosen "Cozy" as her photo challenge, and it sure was hard to narrow it down. I love nothing more than a snuggly baby, but this one of Clara was my favorite!

The Paper Mama

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