Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Rock Star in the Family

A few months ago I wrote about how much fun our friends and neighbors had playing at being rock stars for the evening. I had honestly been surprised that so many people got into it. 

It seems Emily is following in the rocker footsteps...

For Christmas she got a guitar and a drum set.  The guitar remains her favorite toy to date.  The guitar plays "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and I hear it again and again and again almost every day when Emily is "jammin".  She'll even wear the head microphone and pretend to sing along.  Her sister has even got into the spirit and and will dance (or attempt to) while Emily plays the guitar.

What toy did your kids get for Christmas that remains a favorite even now months later?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Duct Tape & Diapers

Last Friday, I had a moms night out with a bunch of other women.  No husbands and no kids although the conversation turned to both more than once.

It also brought back memories of when Emily was 12 months old.

She was an escape artist when it came to clothes.  We packed up her two piece pajamas since they were asking for trouble.  New one piece zippered pajamas were bought.  We cut the feet off of them, turned them backwards, and yet she still got out of them or had the legs so stretched out she could get to her diaper through the legs.

"It's just a phase," everyone said.  A phase that lasted several long months.

Every nap time when I laid her down I knew there was a possibility I would be back up at some point probably changing her crib sheets after she had stripped down (diaper included) and then fallen asleep only to awaken with wet sheets.

One day after hearing her laughter and squeals on a particularly challenging day I went upstairs to find her smeared with poop from head to toe, holding her diaper, a brown clump in her hand.  She had decorated her crib, the wall, and even the floor with poop.

After cleaning her up, I made the decision that was to us a last resort.   After cleaning her room and sanitizing it, I packed her up and we drove to Wal-mart.  In the aisle in the back of the store they had a huge selection of duck tape in every very color you could imagine.  I choose white.

That night after bathing Emily we put her diaper on and proceeded to use duct tape to secure her diaper.  We were pretty smug.  Finally, we were getting one step ahead of our daughter.  I worried incessantly that night about what if she did manage to get the duct tape off and what if she put it in her mouth even though we had tested it ourselves and were pretty sure it would hold.  I could hardly sleep and kept checking on her.  She was fine.

The next morning when we heard her stirring we went into her room.  There she sat befuddled with her pajamas half off.  She had been struggling to get her diaper off as well, her diaper sitting on her hips slightly askew but the duck tape still held it together.

After a few days she still struggled to get her diaper off at naptime but to no avail.  One weekend my MIL offered to watch her so me and my husband could go out. I packed up her diaper bag including the duck tape.  When we returned, my MIL laughingly told us that when she was looking through the diaper bag she found the duck tape.  She hadn't thought we were serious about it until she saw it in the diaper bag.

Oh, but we were quite serious.

It worked though. Within about a month she had given up trying to pull her diaper off at naptime and in the morning if we didn't go into her room right after she woke.  She would even sometimes leave her clothes on.

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make life easier on your self even if it requires some creativity and maybe a little duct tape on a diaper.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Value of a Dollar

My husband loved the idea of the video boxes when they first started popping up.  Blockbuster Express and Redbox boxes made it possible to touch a screen and out popped a video for a $1.00 /night plus tax. 

It was even nicer once our Blockbusters and Hollywood Videos started to close.

Who cares if the movies come out later than in regular video stores?  We're lucky we get to see movies at all anymore so there is always something we haven't seen yet in the boxes.

We had tried the online services but there was something about being able to go get what you wanted when you wanted that we both missed. Updating our queue online was even a pain since my husband never did it and I would have to remind him what was coming out.  Otherwise, we only got movies I was interested in seeing.

Unfortunately, I have the mentality of "Oh, I'll return it tomorrow" with the video boxes. "It's only another $1."  By the time I do return it my charges are about what they would have been had I rented it at a regular video store, if not more.

There is always On Demand but then I think of how much cheaper it is to rent from those bright, eye catching boxes when I am at the grocery store and I get sucked right back in. Cheaper is always better, right? Even if it isn't really cheaper in the end.

Case in point: I have You Again (which my husband has no desire to see) in my purse where it has remained for the last week since I haven't had a chance to watch it.  It was supposed to be my motivation for putting laundry away upstairs after the girls were in bed.  I could watch it in our bedroom as I folded clothes and gave my husband time to relax and unwind in our living room, watching his shows recorded on the DVR.  That was the plan.  That hasn't happened yet.  By the time the kids are in bed, I am exhausted and ready to collapse into a heap and ...zzzzz. 

See how quickly my plans get derailed?

So I should return it...but I really want to see the darn movie...

And I keep telling myself, tonight will be different.  Then, I wake up the next morning thinking "shoot, I should have stayed awake and watched the darn movie.  I'm going to return it today."

I wonder how much of the money coming into those video boxes is from people like myself who do this? 

But in reality, it isn't just the videos.  My "it's only a dollar" mentality extends to the grocery store or any kind of shopping at all.  Even though I tell myself that I am not going to buy any more stuff  from the dollar bins at Michael's or those dollar bins at Target I find myself doing it again and again because it's only a dollar.  This is why my craft bins, gift bins, and party bins are overflowing with "stuff". 

Are you guilty of the "it's only a dollar" mentality to?  Or do you ever keep telling yourself to do something and you have the best intentions of doing it but at the same time are just fooling yourself because chances are you probably aren't going to do it?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Picture Day

Today is Emily's picture day at her pre-school.

Yesterday we drove to a local children's salon to get her bangs cut.  Since she had to peer through her bangs or sweep them aside to see, I figured it was due time.

My daughter who gives me that cheesy Cheshire grin when I tell her to smile for the camera, whose eyes cross even with her little bifocals on, and who is incapable it seems of sitting still will sit in the hands of a professional photographer without me and I can honestly say I am fine with that.

When we visit the photo studio for family pics, it takes a lot of corralling, animals dancing on our heads, sneezes causing the animals to fall off said heads, and so on to get a few good shots of each of the girls.  It is often a stressful event and probably why I want to have a photographer come to us in the future to take pictures, preferably outside.

All I can say is God bless any photographer of pre-schoolers. Twenty-four kids in one picture sounds like a daunting task. Not to mention the patience needed to photogragh twenty-four kids individually in the span of two hours.

I can see it now.  My daughter will be the one with the silly face.  Just like she was the one who couldn't stop dancing during the Christmas children's program and proceeded to lift her dress and flash the audience.

We were asked to choose one of five poses.  There was no option six that said whatever looks best or whichever one in which my kid cooperates.

I can't wait to see these pics.

Even if they are silly pics, they will fit right in with her personality.  She's a natural ham. 

What have your experiences been with school pics?

Friday, March 18, 2011

From Taking It to Seriously to Laughing My Way Through

I started cleaning out our spare room (aka the room that in the last two months had became the receptacle of any and all kinds of junk that I didn't want to deal with or didn't know how to deal with).

I finally started putting things into piles: to sell, to give away, and to keep.

I needed to get rid of two bookcases of books.  Some I am going to pack up but some I finally decided to part with.  The reality is I don't reread books anymore.  There was a time that there were books that were like old friends.  I would pull them off the shelf and read them again and again usually when I was troubled about something because there was something calming about knowing how the story turned out.

Not to mention all the parenting books that I accumulated before Emily was born and that I never touched after she arrived. They have to go.  When a book's only purpose is to collect dust, it's time to go has arrived.

I lugged a bag of the books to a local used book store and while they were sorting them I perused the shelves.  I ended up buying a few books.   

I am a sucker for romantic comedies.  Sometimes I need something light, easy to follow, easy to read, and entertaining.  I know I will be up a lot in the coming months and I usually read when I am up at night.  They'll be the perfect company.

Then I found myself in the parenting aisle.  I had to hold in a laugh at the impressive number of books on the shelves.  What to Expect the First Year, The Scientist in the Crib, The Portable Pediatrician and myriad others all sat on the shelves proclaiming to have all the answers.  If only those books and most of the other books sitting there really had all the answers as I had once thought.

I did walk away with two books from that section though.

Confessions of a Slacker Mom and The Sweet Potato's Queen's Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit* ended up coming home with me to sit on my nightstand because they looked....well, hilarious.

Because let's face it, with motherhood sometimes a good laugh is more sorely needed than a how-to from an expert.

With chapters like "There Goes Harvard", "Has Anyone Seen my Instinct", "How to Talk to a Pregnant Woman", and "Brother's Keeper. Low Pay, Few Benefits", how could I not take them home with me?  I'm sure I'll be nodding my head and chuckling as I read along.

That is the one thing that the how-to books forget to mention.  You need to laugh about it.  All the mom fails (not noticing that your child went to school with her shoes on the wrong feet), all the sleepless nights that cause you to do uncharacteristic things (like putting the box of cereal in the fridge), and all the things that your kids do that you never taught them (like picking their nose in public) are in their own way funny.

As I eat my breakfast this morning after being up until 3:30 am after Emily woke her sister up, I'll be eating a bowl of cereal and cracking open the Sweet Potato's Guide.  Not only do I need a good laugh but I really need something to keep me from falling asleep in my cereal.

*This title is tongue in cheek since every mom knows that motherhood is really hard work and your more likely to end up in the poorhouse.  The titles of the chapters were to funny to resist and are full of funny takes on motherhood.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trying to Be Adventurous

Yesterday, we attempted to make homemade ice cream.  

In honor of St. Patrick's Day we attempted to make mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Notice the ingredients in the background?

Spinach, Greek yogurt, mint extract, and semi-sweet chocolate chips...and there was also confectioners sugar added. 

We had fun making it.

Em helped puree the spinach and loved making the blender go.  The loud cacophony coming from our kitchen amazingly didn't wake up Madison from her nap.  Many of the chocolate chips never even made it into the bowl.  Emily gobbled them up one after the other.  I would let them dissolve into chocolatey goodness before swallowing, savoring the bite of the chocolate.  We then watched the clouds of sugar puff out of the bowl.  It was exciting sticking the concoction into the freezer for the 2 hours and then waiting, waiting, and waiting.

Eating it wasn't so much fun. Memorable though.

I snuck a bite before calling the girls out.  It was pretty awful. My husband laughed and asked how I thought it could possibly taste good.

My response, "but the cookbook said..." I wondered if maybe I had followed the instructions of pureeing the mint extract with the spinach if it would have been better rather than just throwing it into the bowl.

Emily spit it out...on the floor.

Madison wouldn't even try it.  She covered her mouth and ran away.  We got a glimpse of her diaper covered butt as she hurried away into the "dress-up room" (our family room).

That was until I pulled out the carton of chocolate ice cream from the freezer.

(There are no pictures of the taste tasting since my kids would not cooperate.)

If you participate in Wordless Wednesday, link up at the following sites: 5 Minutes For Mom, Woven by Words, Two of a Kind Working on a Full House and Wordful Wednesday with Parenting by Dummies (if your like me and you can't not write a full post with your picture).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Can I Borrow Your Baby Brother?

Remember the other month when I wrote about how Em thought we were selling her sister after we broached the topic of how would she like a new brother or sister? 

When we found out the baby was a boy she seemed fine with it-at first.  We broke the news when we picked her and her sister up at their grandmother's house after my ultrasound.

I whispered the news in her ear.  She tried saying it aloud almost as though she was testing out the words.

"I havin' baby brother. Yay!  Mommy, I havin' baby brother." She held my face in her hands as she chatted away excitedly.

I should have left well enough alone.  I had to go on to say, "Your going to have a baby brother just like S, (her one little friend from playgroup), who has C as a little brother." 

Later that night she asked when C coming to live with us.


You know because he was going to be her new baby brother.

Explaining that one took some quick thinking, some fancy footwork, and lots of praying that we would explain it in a way she could understand and that would not again lead to tears.

We explained (my husband wasn't getting off the hook even though I was the one who managed to create this debacle and anyway I needed back-up) that C was going to stay S's baby brother and that Emily was going to get a new baby brother.  Her new baby brother didn't have a name yet.  My husband asked her if she had any idea what she wanted to call him since he was going to be her and Madison's new baby brother?

Her ideas included "princess" (no), "sofia" (no), and "Ariel" (no).  Then, my husband explained that the baby needed a boy's name.  He asked her what some of the boys' names were in her playgroup.  She rattled off three boys' names.

"Daddy, can we name him C?" she asked excitedly.

Bob explained that we need a new boys' name for the baby preferably a name that none of her little friend's shared.

I started listing some of the boy's names we had discussed when I was pregnant with Emily and we hadn't found out what we were having.  We had went to the hospital with a boy's name and a girl's name in mind.

"Ryan, Hayden,..."

Emily looked at me strangly.  "No, Mommy, those aren't good names."

Here we go again...

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's My SITS Day!

If your visiting from SITS, welcome! 

Are you familiar with SITS?

SITS is made up of over 8,000 women bloggers who provide support and inspiration to each other!

Today I was blessed to be the Featured Blogger!

Feel free to look around.

A little about me:
I am a former teacher who is now a SAHM. Em is my three year old who has a penchant for hiding/losing her glasses (which is why she is without her glasses in the picture below) and who recently surprised us all with her ability to purchase smurfberries. Madison is my one year old who idolizes her sister. Then there is my husband who has an addiction similar to my blogging addiction.  We're expecting a little boy in June and by how active this kid is already, he'll be going nonstop from the get go.  We also can't forget Alley, our rescued cat who my husband refers to as "the Doorstop" since her favorite hobby is laying around underfoot, unmoving. 

I have a magazine addiction and am a self-professed bibliophile who just finished Steig Larrson's series. I also secretly (or not so secretly anymore) love to watch The Real Housewives tv series on Bravo (and other reality tv) which I've found is the quickest way to drive my husband from the room. And I love practical jokes.

There is a little bit of everything here. Who doesn't want to be more organized or save money and keep their kids entertained? My informative posts (an excuse to exercise my brain which evidenced by my lack of ability to win at Scrabble is not quite as sharp as it used to be and to help keep me on track) are listed under "Articles".  I also write about motherhood from giving up feeling guilty over feeling guilty, being scared of my daughter's toys, to ending up on the naughty list at Christmas and life in general such as the night we broke in our newly finished basement with friends and neighbors and a humorous look at pet names for loved ones

Like what you read? I always love meeting new readers and I'm also on twitter @blogmom221 and Facebook.

Enjoy reading and thanks for stopping by! And thanks to the girls at SITS for featuring me today!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

At Least I Can Still Spell My Name

One of my closest friends used to live in the apartment next door to mine.  We had also grown up together living just minutes away from each other and attending the same elementary, middle, and high schools.  

After a 12 hour day at work we would sometimes get together and play Scrabble.  The quiet of our apartments invaded by the people's voices and the traffic from the street below.  The bar across the street would be hopping with people waiting to get a buzz on. We lived downtown so the streets usually didn't quiet down until after three in the morning.

And I used to win at Scrabble, occasionally.

Then she moved to Florida.

I would have to tie my husband to a chair and let him cheat using the iPad if I wanted to get him to play. The only board game he plays is Monopoly which is a family tradition at the holidays.

On our recent trip to Florida I got to play with my friend again who apparently has more brain cells left than me.

I got trounced. 

Some things I learned while playing:

You forget how to spell simple words like queue.  Or is it que?

Even after two kids, I still giggle when someone puts vaginal on the board.  Actually, it was more funny because she told her elderly Italian MIL who was watching us play to hold her ears.

It is still fun to play a game without letting the other person win.  In this case I didn't stand a chance in hell of actually winning as proved by my not so shocking defeats.

I am still competitive.

I still think the letters Q, X, and Z should be removed from the alphabet. Why do we need them anyway?  I always end up with them when I play Scrabble which gets me in a dither every time as I rack my brain with words to make.

By the way did you know that W is sometimes a vowel?  My husband brought that little tidbit home the other day from a colleague.  I had no recollection whatsoever of learning that in school (not even in college). Yet, it is and several people I asked were like "how did you not know that?"  How didn't I?

Anyone up for a game of Scrabble?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The State of Beauty

36A...We can change that

55 birthdays...Can be your little secret

These are billboards I see every time I drive down the local highway.  They no longer shock me.

When did it become become more beautiful to have obvious plastic surgery (as noted by the plastic, frigid or inflated face that many celebs and socialites sport) than sagginess and wrinkles?  Many of these women are under 40.  Wasn't the point of having plastic surgery to look younger naturally?  Apparently that memo got lost a decade or so ago.  Do you still feel shock when you see these women?

I didn't bat an eye flipping through People magazine while I was on the treadmill at the gym last night.

Growing up we used to laugh at those women who looked like Joan Rivers.  When did we stop laughing and want to be more like them?

Is it because plastic surgery has become a status symbol among the elite? A race to see who can turn the clock back the longest even when they've long since gone past the point of looking "natural"?  Is it about who has the money to have the most procedures?  Or is it deeper than that? A need to control something so out of our control-the fact that we are all aging every second of every day. 

I used to think these women were deluding themselves.  After all, their hands gave them away every time?

Or so I thought.  Now you can apparently even get a hand lift.

That shocked me.

Recently, I read an article that said you should not use the terms "exercise" or "diet" with your children but more positive terms such as "healthy eating" and "physical activity". This is to counter the upward trend of eating disorders and unhealthy images among tweens and teens.  Shocking? I thought so. 

My closet and drawers are filled with push-up bras, slimming underwear, figure enhancing jeans, and the list goes on.  At the gym last night my eye caught sight of a flyer for small group personal training, something new the gym is offering.  I stopped and read the flyer.  Baby #3 isn't even here yet and I have found myself already thinking about my post-baby body.

Where do we draw the line?  Where do you draw the line?

I always saw plastic surgery as something limited to Hollywood but the reality is it isn't, not anymore.

This morning I called Emily "Princess Emily" because she had a blanket wrapped around her like a robe and a crown on her head.  She looked at me and said, "I'm not a princess.  I Emily". I hope she takes pride in that fact always and that she always sees herself as beautiful when she looks in the mirror because she is just as beautiful on the inside.  Hopefully, others will look to see it to.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Name Do You Go By?

I remember calling my mother "mommy" long past the time it was probably considered normal or cool.

I was about 13.

Starting at around age 10 or 11, I avoided addressing her in front of my friends.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings by stopping calling her Mommy but I wasn't ready to call her by any other name. It didn't feel natural.

Then, I turned 13.  I wasn't a child any longer.  I was a teenager.

Looking back I knew more about life than most children my age.  Not that I was privy to all the secrets of the adult world but I watched everything and knew more than I should.  I heard things and would work them out for myself.  Also, when I asked a question my mom usually didn't censor herself.

Then, my Mommy became my Mother.  Not Mom but Mother.  Looking back I can see why I called her that. 

I already have a new name, at least according to my children.

My three year old has taken to not calling me Mommy anymore.  No matter how often I say mommy this and mommy that.

I am now Mama.  It's Goldilock's fault and those three darn bears.

I am sure I will go by many names between now and adulthood and not all of them will be flattering but this made me just a little bit sad.

I liked Mommy.

It also meant that my daughter made the choice to call me this new name.  She is starting to think for herself.  Okay, let's face it she has been for awhile now but this just brought it home that there is no going back only forward.

Every time I hear Mama I think of a giant bear who growls loudly.   At times, I am overly protective.  What mom isn't?  So maybe it is more fitting.

Now the one year old calls me this to so it seems to officially be my new name. 

I am now Mama.

What did you call your mom?  What do your children call you?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough Book Review & Giveaway (2 Winners)

What would you do if your husband left you because he didn't want to be married anymore, your teen daughter was rebelling and seemed to hate you, and your mother with whom you were never the favorite child and who has a penchant for shoplifting has moved in with you?  

I shudder to think about it. Yet, it is a reality for some families.

This is the topic of Ruth Pennebaker's new Penguin novel Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough.   We meet three generations of women residing in the same household and trying to find common ground.

Joanie is the divorcee whose husband has left her and who now has a twenty-nine year old pregnant girlfriend/fiancee.  Her daughter thinks she is a nag and refuses to talk to her and her mother who just moved in seems critical of everything she does.  She struggles to come to terms with her new life now that she is on her own through her divorcee support group, her friend Mary Margaret whose own mother is dead and is herself seeing a married man, and with the help of her colleague, Bruce who becomes a catalyst in helping Joanie realize some important things about her life including whether or not to ever be intimate again.

Ivy is her mother who is from a completely different generation and has her own ideas of how to raise a child and even why Joanie's husband left her.  Ivy has lost friends through death and their moving away.  She lost her husband.  Even after saving and doing everything "right" she is also affected by the downturn in the economy and is forced to move in with her daughter.  She is essentially away from everything she has known and her favorite child, her son, seems to have forgotten about her. Shoplifting for her is a way to add some excitement to her lonely and dull life-until she gets caught and is forced to face everything she has been avoiding.

Caroline is the teenager who is forced to deal with knowing more than she ever wanted to know about those around her in addition to the usual teenage angst.  She watched her mom, Joanie hit rock bottom and has become the confidante of her father's new girlfriend, B.J.  She rebels smoking marijuana and dying her hair as she figures out who she is.

Three women who each act out in their own ways all come to realize that they must let go and that only they are responsible for their happiness and that they may need to venture out of their comfort zones to find the life they want for themselves. 

Pennebaker draws her readers into the characters' lives.  You see their flaws and their vulnerabilities. The situations they each find themselves in are at times comical.  It is hard to pass judgment on them when they are each struggling with the hands they have been dealt and ultimately must let go or be swallowed up by their anger and sadness.   There are elements in the story that each of us can relate to especially the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship.  We've also all been there at that moment where we must decide which path to take. You can't help but feel compassion for these three strong women who decide to keep moving forward. 

Want to read more about Ruth Pennebaker?  Visit her at (her witty quotes will have you laughing hysterically) or her blog, The Fabulous Geezersisters

Want to read her new novel for yourself?

Win a copy of Ruth Pennebaker's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough (2 winners)
Mandatory Entry (Must be completed for all other entries to be valid): Where is your favorite place to curl up with a book?
To receive additional entries:
*Become a follower or a subscriber of The Practical Mom Guide and if you already do so just leave a comment stating that you already follow (1 entry)

*Enter another giveaway here at TPMG and leave a comment with the giveaway you entered (2 entries/giveaway)

*Become a fan of TPMG on Facebook (1 entry each)
 *Follow TPMG on twitter (1 entry each)
*Tweet (maximum of once daily) about this giveaway and don't forget to leave your twitter name
Copy and paste: Ruth Pennebaker novel #giveaway at #TPMG (2 winners). Ends 3/19. (1 entry per tweet)

*Add The Practical Mom Guide to your blogroll or display our button (5 entries)

*Post about this giveaway on your blog (5 entries)

This giveaway will end on Saturday, March 19, 2011. I will announce the winner on March 20th here at The Practical Mom Guide. All winners are chosen randomly. If I am unable to contact the winner or they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Contest only open to U.S. residents.

Good luck and thank you for participating!

*I was provided with a copy of Ruth Pennebaker's novel to review and two novels to give away to two lucky TPMG readers.

Friday, March 4, 2011

CafePress Review & $60 CafePress GC Giveaway

Spring is right around the corner and now that I am finally back from vacation what better way to end the week than with a review and giveaway!

Do you like to express yourself through personalized products that you can design yourself?  CafePress is the online source for funny t-shirts, cool aprons and millions of other personalized gifts!

Recently I had the chance to review several items from CafePress.

I liked the vintage look of the "Street Sign" Large Thermos Bottle.  It isn't something my husband would be embarrassed to be seen toting around either.  Best of all you can put hot or cold beverages inside to keep them hot or cold for 24 hours which is nice.  Most of our stainless steel bottles are only for cold beverages.

Does your refrigerator look like mine with the kids' art everywhere?  I love whimsical magnets to hang the girls' art.  How could I resist this colorful fantasy Mermaid and Catfish No. 1 Magnet?

I also love anything practical such as this Dirty/Clean Dishwasher Magnet for the door of the dishwasher.  Unfortunately, my dishwasher door is not magnetic so I improvised and keep it in my laundry room so I know if the baskets on top of the washing machine are full of dirty or clean laundry.

When I was in school I always had buttons on my jean jacket or backpack.  These colorful buttons made me smile.  They were called the Happy Owl Mini Button and the Japanese Ume Mini Button. I put them on my backpack that I use when I travel. Of course, as soon as Emily saw them she wanted them for herself.

CafePress also has fun t-shirts. Below are some of my favorites.  The first one is a March Madness t-shirt and since the only time I follow basketball is when my husband brings home that sheet with brackets for me to fill out I couldn't help but find this shirt fitting.  Whenever I see leprechauns or shamrocks I always think of those Lucky Charms commericals and I just love sock monkeys which is why I included that last one. 
Pics of tee's courtesy of CafePress site

When I visited their site I literally spent about two hours just browsing. The have products for every occasion and to suit everyone that you need to buy a gift for. Seriously, if you are stumped about what to buy a friend, family member, or colleague for a present, you'll get some fabulous ideas here.

CafePress is offering one lucky TPMG reader a $60 GC to their online store.

Enter to win a $60 CafePress GC

Mandatory Entry (Must be completed for all other entries to be valid): Visit CafePress and leave a comment here with an item that you would like to buy.

To receive additional entries:
*Become a follower or a subscriber of The Practical Mom Guide and if you already do so just leave a comment stating that you already follow (1 entry)

*Enter another giveaway here at TPMG and leave a comment with the giveaway you entered (2 entries/giveaway)

*Become a fan of TPMG and/or CafePress on Facebook (1 entry each)
 *Follow TPMG and/or CafePress on twitter (1 entry each)
*Tweet (maximum of once daily) about this giveaway and don't forget to leave your twitter name
Copy and paste: $60 CafePress GC #giveaway at #TPMG (Ends 3/18). (1 entry per tweet)

*Add The Practical Mom Guide to your blogroll or display our button (5 entries)

*Post about this giveaway on your blog (5 entries)

This giveaway will end on Friday, March 18, 2011. I will announce the winner on March 19th here at The Practical Mom Guide. All winners are chosen randomly. If I am unable to contact the winner or they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Contest only open to U.S. residents.

Good luck and thank you for participating!

*I was provided with $60 in CafePress products by CafePress to review and they have graciously offered a $60 GC to one lucky TPMG reader.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Ever visit paradise and then constantly think of what is happening at home or wanting to be at home? 

I felt a little like Dorothy at the end of my recent trip wishing it was as simple as tapping my heels together to be transported home.  Of course, I had to use an airplane rather than a pair of ruby slippers.

While It was nice to get away and to be able to do simple things-ALONE it was even nicer to come home to those things that I find myself complaining about occasionally.  Peeing, reading a book, and eating a meal without interruption, and sleeping in until I chose when I wanted to get up were things that have become somewhat foreign since I became a mom.

Seeing two Phillies spring training games, visiting the beach, basking in the sunshine, visiting with close friends who we don't get to see often since they live thousands of miles away were all really nice and a relaxing way to spend our babymoon before our lives change once again. I will miss our friends and the warm sunshine. 

Yet, it feels good to be home even if home contains two sick children and a mom with a migraine.  There is something comforting about once again being amidst our daily routines.

Last year I remember visiting my husband in CA and how much fun my mommycation was but my trip this time was colored a bit differently. Probably because I was pregnant and tired way more easily. For the first time probably in my life, I wanted to spend more time sleeping in and laying around than sightseeing.

The one evening I stayed in our hotel while my husband went out with a friend.  I ordered in and read a book before falling fast asleep long before my husband returned.  It was a perfect evening.

Did I just really write that? 

Those who told me having kids would make me enjoy the simpler things in life really got it right. I just didn't realize how much I would enjoy slowing down until I actually did it.