Friday, November 30, 2007

Right As Rain

When we moved into our home, my courtyard was severely lacking in any greenery and my mother-in-law came to the rescue with some much needed and lovely potted plants.

One of them was this Camellia bush which I was really excited to receive.

I love camellias. They are so "genteel". They are graceful. They have that southern laid-back charm.

Did you know that one variety of camellia is what they use to make green tea? No wonder it's so soothing...

What I didn't know is that they take their own sweet time blooming.

I just had green leaves for the longest time, but then some buds started to appear. They are a bit smaller than golf balls now, and you can see the pink color peeking out, but they remain bundled up tight, taking their slow-as-molasses time.

So, I wait.

The winter rains have come to southern California. We were told of a chance of rain, but it has steadily fallen since before sunrise. You can tell the ground is just drinking it up. My plants look happy.

Today, an old friend is coming to stay with me for the night. We were friends way back from our days at Orange Coast College up in Costa Mesa. She has two kids I haven't seen in years who are now teenagers! A boy and a girl. Its gonna be great to catch up and be all girly with an old friend. I really need that. Need the giggles and hugs and understanding that comes with knowing someone for so many years.

I am gonna make us a big pot of Asian noodles and veggies, and maybe drink some hot green tea and enjoy the rain today.

What are you doing today??

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Nappin' With Lambie in the High Chair

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the Wordless Wednesday HQ and at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Noah is Five

My boy is five.

My first son, my first child

He is five.

He is smart

He is serious

He is curious

He is proud

He is five.

He still needs help

He wants to do it himself

He wants company

He wants me to go away

He is learning to read

He is learning to write

He is five.

He uses big words

He pushes limits

He runs like the wind

He is silly

He is five.

He is careful

He is reckless

He is inquisitive

He is insightful

He just doesn’t understand

He works it out

He tries his best

He is five.

He is my baby

He is my big boy

He wants cuddles

He wants me to stop touching him

He wants me to stop it now

He wants me to show him how

He is charmingly polite

He is painfully rude

He is sorry

He is five.

He goes to school

He runs with scissors

He plays well with others

He loves his brothers

He shares

He takes

He pushes

He lies

He makes beautiful art

He dances to his own beat

He stands on his own two feet

He is five.

He is amazing

He loves me

He stands alone

He is his own man

He is all boy

He needs me

He is mine.

He is five.

My boy is five.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stuffing Happens

Simon and Garfunkle would be so proud!

Well, mostly proud. There was no rosemary in my stuffing recipe, only the parsley, sage, and thyme. Although maybe there should have been! What goes better with bread than rosemary??

Maybe next time.

I was assigned to bring the stuffing to this year's family Thanksgiving feast! I pleasure and a worry. Pleasure because I LOVE ME MY STUFFING!!! And I am picky... no fruits, no nuts, just savory goodness! But worry, because stuffing is a big deal in any Thanksgiving feast. I was worried.

I found an awesome recipe with rave reviews on and went with it. Rustic Porcini and Onion Stuffing! Yummy! I plan on baking it after I arrive at Mima's house, but man, it was all I could do not to eat it all raw out of the pot! The only problem may be that there is not going to be enough for anyone to have seconds. Next time I may have to double the recipe. But I may have to save up for it! Did you know that porcinis are 8 dollars an ounce? The recipe called for two ounces. Yikes!

Anyway, half way through chopping herbs, I realized that it actually looked like I knew what the heck I was doing, and had to record the image for posterity.

We are off to Mima's tonight after dinner, hoping the kids will pass out on the way north. The family will gather for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, and then it will be Noah's fifth birthday party on Friday.

On a whim, today, we decided to switch Noah's party from just family (mostly adults) to one where 4 other families with adults and kids are now invited. What. The. Heck. Was. I. Thinking?
Can you say, "Pizza for 27"???

Wish me luck. Or at least wish that I get through the weekend in one piece.

If I do, I will truly have something to be thankful for.

~*^*~ ~*^*~
A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and a very blessed year to come.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Naptime - Sleepless in San Diego

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Sometimes Mama Just Needs Her Java

Why, why, WHY do they do this to us?

I have only just gotten my first child into kindergarten and I am seeing the trend. Can you see what I am talking about on the calendar?

We are careening into what should be the best part of the year, what with the weather, the family holidays and kids’ birthdays. If only we didn’t have to deal with the weather, the holidays and the kids’ birthdays!!

Noah is in a “year-round” school which means he will go through the summer, but have longer breaks all through the year. I have no idea how people find childcare, those who need it more than I, for these short intervals. The school does seem to send home flyers for “day camps” that cost a good deal but keep the kids active and having fun without all that educational hoo-hah!

There was one offered this week but I chose to keep Noah home because it actually looked a bit too strenuous, and included kids up to age 12.

So this week I have all three kids home, trying to entertain those with different age specific needs, and different nap times, even different meal times, while trying to pack for our trip to Grandma Vera’s house, make stuffing that isn’t lame, and plan and shop for Noah’s birthday party away from home.

Today, we made it a fun day, instead, and blew off the responsibilities. I tried to take the kids to get books from the library (and sign language videos, mostly for Luka) for the week since Noah isn’t bringing books home from school nightly. But when we got there, I realized it wouldn’t be open for 2 more hours.

So, we headed to Java Mama’s, this AWESOME coffeehouse designed for moms and small kids, with a play area, a classroom, toys, and wicked Mochas. They were having a sing-along at 11am, and we were way early since we had skipped the library, so we headed first to a recommended playground with a fence all the way around (which is essential when you have twin toddlers who run in opposite directions at random times). Then off to sing-along time, and then home by 12:30!! Already a full day and it had only just started.

I barely got Noah down for a nap (which was spent standing on the bed and singing) when Ethan woke with a bad dream. So we are spending time ripping up pieces of wrapping paper and dropping them down the wrapping paper tube, which apparently is a “poisonous machine” because it somehow makes the bits of paper poisonous.

So Noah tells me.

Tonight, the playtime must end, and I must focus on packing and stuffing and planning.

Or maybe we will try the library again, instead.

So much more fun!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Change of Seasons

Mmmmm… the weather has been lovely. It is autumn in San Diego. And a warm one at that!

It’s nice because, like the Midwest, we do get the change of color, albeit not the glorious ubiquitous colors seen back east. And we do get the crunchy leaves underfoot on the sidewalks, though not quite enough to rake into a pile one could jump into. Well, I guess you COULD jump into your pile of leaves, but not safely. Watch that tailbone!

We don’t get that smoky fall smell of leaf piles illegally burning in your neighbor’s back yard, either. Which I admit, I actually miss quite a lot. We do, however get the blustery-sweet sweater weather and the dramatic clouds.

In exchange for this not-quite-as-stunning-as-the-Midwest autumn, we get to have our autumn without the ominous impending doom of winter. Oh no.

Our winter rocks.

In SoCal, we get rain in the winter. We get moist, drenching rain, and kids wearing puddle-jumpers and wellies. We get umbrellas and windshield wipers, followed by gloriously clean, blue, wide open skies. We also get bright sunny days when you can wear shorts and a sweatshirt. One Christmas, when I lived in LA County, we had a barbecue and a rousing Frisbee game because it was 80 degrees! We also get the silliness of Christmas lights strung around palm trees and Santa sleighs out on the green front lawns of tract homes. Strange but sweet. Rain, sun, a few fallen leaves...

And then the magic happens.

Most of our year, the wild grasses on the mountains that surround us are brown. Sometimes they are even on fire! But in the wintertime, like some kind of Brigadoon, the world renews itself. With the rain comes green grass on the mountains, new life and wildflowers! It is southern California's renewal, its true spring.

And it's just around the corner...


And if we want snow, we drive up and play in it.

So there!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wherein She Renegs On Her Promise To Stop Talking About Giveaways Already, And Get Back To Real Blogging

Well, I had been planning to get over all that holiday contest craziness and get back to blogging about my family life, but I just can't help but gloat over the new "bling" (oooh, I'm so hip, so cool! I said bling!) that I won in a couple giveaways!

I mentioned these wins before but I feel compelled to give a little linky love to the hosts of the giveaways and to the companies that supplied the prizes.

First off is the "awesome!" (Noah's review) skeleton earrings that I won through a blog called Subu, Inc. Confessions of a Craftaholic and were made by an awesome little home-based company called Local Library. Both places are very fun to peruse. Check them out. I also won one of LL's little funky patches. Thanks, ladies!!

And then...

Then! I won this awesome chunky real turquoise bracelet from NY $pender, a blog full of fashion and style tips. Its made by a company called Luxe Jewels which makes just that: little pieces of luxury for your wrists, neck and ears!

Its called the La Playa bracelet. It's heavy and is valued at $85.00, baby! I love the black lines going through the stone. Its lovely. Especially on MY wrist!

A big Muchas Gracias to the people at both companies!

Okay, back to your usual business...

Just needed to gloat a little bit.

Needer, needer, neeeeeeeder!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sugar Smack!

Now, I love my Lucky Charms!

I try to feed my kids healthy foods, but I also like to give them some of the few delectable joys that I loved as a small child. So, I tend to mix a handful of Cheerios with a handful of Lucky Charms before tossing it down onto the twin’s tray for a crunchy snack.

But I also like a good bargain! That is why I tend to buy the generic versions, or the big bag versions of my favorite cereals, to see if they stand up to the original.

Malto Meal usually tastes pretty darn good, and their marshmallows have that perfect Lucky Charm crunch, so when I saw that a 14 ounce box of real Lucky Charms was above SIX DOLLARS (!!) I turned my back and headed over to the monster size bags that tend to be cheaper. I grabbed the Malto Meal Marshmallow Mateys because I have had them before, they say they are at least made WITH whole grains, and it was far cheaper.

But then I get them home, open the bag, and dig out a handful with, like 60 marshmallows and 10 oat pieces! I think, as Moms do, “Great, another one of those boxes where all the good pieces are in the top and the healthy ones on the bottom and you have to mix it yourself!” So I start stirring and looking for the section with the healthy bits, and there is NONE!!

Let me show you what I mean. Here is a handful of cereal from the dregs of the box of Lucky Charms we are just finishing:

THIS is the same size handful of Marshmallow Mateys! I mean look at this!!

Now, I know that grain prices have skyrocketed, but Malto Meal seems to have found a way around raising their costs like all the other brands have! It seems they have switched around the ratio of marshmallow bits to oat bits! There is nary an oat bit in the box!!

And what sold me on this bag, as opposed to the other bagged cereal???

Yup, it’s right there on the bag:

The fact that it was made WITH (read: “a few”) whole grains!

Now, when I was a child, this would have been my dream-bag of Lucky Charms, but now, even though I want my kids to have the joy of sugary bits in their cereal (such the good mom!) I just can’t serve this to my kids! There is no way I am pouring Noah a bowl full of marshmallows in the morning!



But not my kids!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let The Brainwashing Begin!!

I had the talk with Noah.

Oh NO!!

No, no, no… not THAT talk!

I mean the one you have with four-year-old-about-to-turn-five. The one this time of year… the SANTA talk! I had the Santa talk with Noah.

He went off with Cooper yesterday for Cooper’s birthday celebration at Build-a-Bear. He and Cooper, and Cooper’s little brother got to pick out a stuffed animal, have it stuffed, put a little heart in it, dress it up and give it a name. After the hoopla, they walked through the mall, and although it’s not even yet THANKSGIVING, there was Santa Claus, sitting around waiting for someone, anyone, to come talk to him.

So Cooper’s mom took the boys over for a little chat.

Nobody really wanted to sit on the guy’s lap, but they were happy to talk with him about what they wanted for Christmas, how they were being good boys this year, etc. Santa asked them if they were doing well at sharing, told them they needed to learn to work together, and told him that he was going to keep an eye on them for the rest of the year because he hadn’t decided which list to put them on yet, the Good Boy List, or, you know… that OTHER list!

So, during tuck-ins that night, I lay beside Noah in the dark and he begins with the questions…

“Mom… was that the real Santa Claus?”

“Oh, um… well… what did he look like?”

“Like Santa Claus”

“Well, did he have a real beard, or was it a costume beard?”

“I think it was a real beard.”

“Did he have a jolly round belly, or did it feel like he had pillows under his coat?”

“I think it was real… he wasn’t really big. He was like, PLUMP!”

“And did he look like a grandpa, or did he look like a younger guy, like Daddy?”

“He was kinda grampa-ish. Was that man the real Santa Claus?”

“Hmmmm… well, they say that Santa can do some pretty great magic, but I don’t think he has time to go to ALL the malls and talk to ALL the children. Some people say that he can split up into different people to get the job done, and other people say that he has helpers, who dress up like him, find out what the kids want, and then they go and tell Santa.”

Yeah, I was makin’ all that up during the rapid fire questioning… I have amazing mental acrobatic skills.

“So, was that man the real Santa Claus?”

“Well, if you think the beard was real, and his plumpness was real, and he looked like a grandpa and he was kind… you know, honey? I think maybe that just might have been the real Santa Claus. It sounds to me like you guys got lucky and picked the right mall!


“Yeah, I know!”
(crickets chirping. I must have made it through...)

“Mom, I have to work really extra hard to get on the good list. Or I might not get any Moon Sand. Can Santa Claus fly?”

“I don’t think he can fly, but he has 12 reindeer that can fly, and a flying sleigh! Yeah… and you know, I think he would land right on that part of the roof right outside your window because that’s where the chimney is!”

“Whoa. Right there? How does he get down the chimney if he’s… you know, plump?”

He loves the word plump, and uses it whenever possible. It makes him giggle.

“Oh, well, you know…”


“Well, um… you see… well, no one really knows for sure because he won’t come to your house unless EVERYONE is asleep, so no one has ever really seen it! But some people think he can turn into a whisp of smoke, and shoot down the chimney, and then POOF! Into your living room!”

I make a mental note to possibly remove the baby gate we stretched across our fireplace opening to prevent Luka from climbing to the roof.


“Yeah, I know.”

“How does he get into your house if you don’t have a chimney?”

Oh, I was so unprepared for the talk! Why did I mention the damned chimney? Less is More... Less is More... There should be books on this, so that everyone knows what to say without stammering when the time comes!! But then it came to me!

“Oh, with his magic key, of course! It lets him into the front door of every home!”

“Whoa. Mom, I am going to have to work really extra hard to get on the good list. Or I might not get any Moon Sand.”

“Yeah, you said that.”

“Yeah. I don’t want no rock of coal.”

“I don’t want any…”

“I don’t want any rock of coal.”



“Nothin’. Goodnight, Sweetie.”

“’Night, Mom.”

Oh, that in the picture there? That is the new awesome shirt I won for Noah from a nifty blog called Memarie Lane! It was made by the generous folks over at Trendy Tadpole, and they have lots of funny stuff! Buy large, though... that's a size 6T on Noah!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Ethan's Love

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Giant Leap

I have written about my worries about the twins’ language development before.

I am not overly concerned because I know they are low on the bell curve but not off of it. And also because I know intellectually that Noah was (and is) linguistically gifted. And in comparison the average child would look slow, and Ethan and Luka are below the average.

But Ethan took a big jump forward recently.

He recognized letters. And he kept pointing to them. One day Michael said, “That’s a B!”. Ahhhh!! “B!!” he shrieked, and pointed at all the other letters he saw in his world and proclaimed them, “B”. He thought that the word for “letter” was “B”. We would tell him the name of every letter he looked at but he insisted it was B.

Then came “Y”.

There was a B and a Y right beside each other. Pointing back and forth I showed him, “B…Y…B…Y….B….Y. Get it?”

And the light bulb went on. It was near blinding.

Like Helen Keller in Miracle Worker, he dragged me around the house in a giddy hysteria, pointing at every letter he could find demanding I tell him what it was called. And he would shout it out.

For two days he followed me around with a piece of paper saying “Rye! Rye!!” He had just met Noah’s best friend’s little brother, Rye, and I thought he wanted to see him. It went on for days. “RYE!!!” “RYE!!!”

Then one day he had found a pencil, and on came my own personal light bulb. “Oh, WRITE? You want me to write???” And he nearly burst into tears with relief. “Rye!!!!!!!!! Yeah, rye!!!”

I took the paper and the pencil and drew him an A. “A”, I said. I thought he was going to burst. He giggled with glee as I slowly drew a B. The slower I drew the letters the more giddy joy he got out of it. “Ceeeeeeee...”

The first day, I just taught him the ones he could pronounce. Six letters. The next day he had 11. Then 17, and by the end of 4 days it was all 26. And now he follows me around with the MagnaDoodle like he is carrying a suitcase and begs me 30 times a day to write the alphabet. We had to move on to the numbers 1-10 and 5 different shapes in order to keep Mom's sanity.

Ethan now officially knows more letters than he knows words.


Where is Luka in all this linguistic frenzy? He is coming along in his own way.

He has picked up some sign language and uses it with delight. He does the sign for bed and ball with glee when he sees either one. He can sign “more”, “milk” and “all done”.

He says, “Woooow!!!” all drawn out and with true wonder in his voice.

He says “foobah” for any kind of food. It came from “fruit bar”. He says “kitty”. He says “fffshh” for fish. He has the word, “door” down cold and uses it when he wants us to open anything. He can raise his hands and yell, "Ta-da!!!"

He can make a car sound, bark like a dog and make an elephant noise. I think that about covers it.

Oh wait, he also calls me “Daddy”.

His non-verbal skills, however, are through the roof. You almost always know what he wants or means. He points and nods and uses facial expressions better than Marcel Marceau.

But if you say, “Luka, can you say “hat”? He will look at you all serious and nod “yes, I can”.

One day, maybe, he will show us.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Letter To My Teenage Self

This post was written a little while back in response to this writing challenge over at Mom's Daily Dose. I saved it for a time such as this when I have nothing to give you, and my readership is dwindling because all I write about is my booty. Spoils. Winnings. Whatever!

You can read some other people's letters to their dumb teenage selves too, by clicking on that link.

I wish I had some nasty old picture of myself in high school so you can see who I am writing to, but I burned all those before leaving Ohio.


Letter to My Teenage Self (circa 1982)


Hi, its me, from 2007!

Yeah, weird, huh?

I just wanted to write and let you know that you rock! Don’t believe me, huh? Yeah, well that’s a self esteem thing you are going to carry around for awhile before you get over it. But you know, all those popular girls are going through it too, they just hide it better.

So, lets see, it’s a good opportunity to give you some good advice.

First thing’s first. Stop Brushing Your Hair!! No really… Do you want to stop looking like a bush? Get some of that stuff that some of the girls use to make their bangs really tall. It’s new. It’s called Gel. Wash your hair, rub this stuff on, scrunch it with your hands, and don’t brush your hair!! Just let it air dry! You will look far more like Farrah Fawcett if you do this, than you do now using that curling iron to make that “tube” down the side of your hair. And if you insist on curling your hair back, get it feathered for god’s sake!

Next, you remember that interview with Joseph Campbell where he talks about his theory called Follow Your Bliss, where if you don’t know what to do with yourself, just aim yourself towards whatever feels blissful and you will go forward on a path that will bring you happiness? Remember how you thought that might be a good way to live your life?

It is. Do it.

For now, though, don’t worry so much about everything. High school FEELS so incredibly important, but really it’s not. In fact, looking back, I have so few memories of high school because I almost never ever think about it. Or I blocked it out. One or the other.

And stop trying to fit in so much. All those popular people who are big fishes in that little pond, are going to be LOST in college, I tell ya!


One of them, who you will swear now doesn’t even know your name, will stop you on a sidewalk at college and talk about how long it’s been, and ask you to hang out. You might want to be slightly more polite to her than I was. That’s just the kind thing to do. She probably feels in college like you do now, in high school.

So, college? You are gonna LOVE IT!! So much so, that you will attend about six of them. You will thrive like you never did in high school. You are eventually going to have this urge to follow your bliss across country to California, which will lead to a cheap education in junior college. Do it. You will make some of the best friends of your life there, and they will be the ones you stick with and who support you through the years, even if visits with some of them are few and far between. You will have your first real long term boyfriend there too, and will stay friends with him forever.

That idea of taking theater classes for fun because no one REALLY makes a living in theater?


A few of those friends are going to do pretty darn well for themselves. At first I was tempted to just tell you to quit floundering around and go major in theater, but if you do, you may never meet your future husband (yes, it does EVENTUALLY happen) who is currently 9 years old as you read this. Yep.

And by the way… he is going to be everything you want in a man.

And more.

Before that though, you are going to have to go through some hard-lesson-learning. You are going to date a guy for three years. He will teach you SO FREAKING MUCH about life. He is so wonderful, and such a mess at the same time. He will shape your philosophy of life, religion, politics, what music you listen too. He will steer you toward the person I am today. He is not easy to live with. Stick it out. But only for two years. That last year? It was a year too long. Don’t believe him when he says he is nothing without you. He will be just fine.

You will eventually work in professional theater and it will be the most creatively rewarding thing you do until you have children.

And, oh, about the children. That idea of tea parties and pink tutus and playing house?

Ain’t gonna happen.

No matter how much you or your future husband plan on having little girls? Again, ain’t gonna happen. Three boys. All completely different from each other. All completely awesome. Start studying little boys now. They are mystifying.

Basically, if you follow your bliss, everything is going to work out for the best. You are going to feel like you are constantly blessed. You do most of the broad strokes just right.

Otherwise, I would say...

*Travel internationally more.

*Stay away from that DJ in Anaheim, he’s married, but he won’t tell you that.

*Keep the hotel room door closed if you are ever passing through Las Vegas with a cat.

*That year in Davis, CA? Nothing really gained. Waste of time. Except you get to live in a Victorian flat and a warehouse loft. That’s cool.

*Floss! My teeth are a mess thanks to you. You owe me 3000 dollars!

Oh, and you know that little company called Microsoft? And that little nest egg you have been saving? Spend it all! Buy stock. As much as you can.

No, really.

Karen, circa 2007

New Girl On The Block

It's contagious, isn't it? This blog thing. It spreads from friend to friend, even from acquaintance to acquaintance. Now I've given this disease to my mother. There is no cure...

So, please welcome, my mom's new bouncing baby blog...

She is a pretty amazing woman! In her About Me section, she writes this:

I guess actually I am a Sunbird since we are now Florida residents. I am a retired Special Ed. teacher who spends 7 months of the year on Sanibel Island, Florida and 5 months of the year in Findlay, Ohio. I have been married to my hubby, Chuck, for 45 years. I have two great kids, a son and a daughter, who have two great spouses. I am the proud grandmother of 5. Sam, my firstborn grandson is 14 and loves snowboarding. Erin, my only granddaughter is 10 and has inherited her grandmother's love of sports. Noah, my only dark haired, dark eyed cutie is almost 5 and has just started kindergarten, and Ethan and Luka, my adorable twins who are as different as night and day are almost 2. What do I love besides my family? I love to walk on the beach and feel the sand between my toes. I love to shell pick and have quite a collection. I also have been a family genealogist for 40 years and love doing research. And I love BGSU hockey. But perhaps my favorite place is a place called CROW. This is the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel Island where I have been a volunteer for 6 years rescuing, rehabbing, and releasing wildlife.

So, check her out sometime... although she will probably make you jealous of her life of luxury in sunny Florida. She knows how to live it up. This is her and my dad watching the sunset near their home on Sanibel Island, with my son Noah in March of 2005.

Up at the top, there... that is her with Noah inside her Florida home with Noah, who was 16 months old at the time. I see a little bit of Ethan in there... just darker haired. And tan.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Wherein She Explains to Her Mystified Readers How This is Not a Blog About Giveaways And That She Will Return to her Memoirs Post Haste

Really, I will.

Really, really!

The Spoils: Part One

I have become a giveaway addict.

For those of you not in the game, the blog game that is, you may not be aware that there is an abundance of awesome giveaways out there that you just need to sign up for. Usually, you need to do nothing more than comment on a post like you do here on my posts (cough-yeahright-cough). And you don’t even HAVE to have a blog! Just an email address. And I have been staying up late nights, attempting to support my family, keeping them supplied with cute t-shirts and reading material.

But I hesitate to tell you this little-known secret, because you might just enter a giveaway that I am entering and win my beloved, oh-so-coveted prizes!!

On the other hand, I know that small companies actually DO these giveaways so that folks will check out their websites, and even do a little review of the product on their blog if they win. And as I said, I have been a giveaway-entering-fiend.

And, yes my friends, I have been WINNING!!!

So without further ado… I give you my spoils:

You might recall that I recently participated in the Fall Ya’ll Bloggy Giveaways. I entered about 275 giveaways. I won TWO of them! Yeehaw!!

Firstly, from the blog Memarie Lane, I won my choice of an awesome array of funky boy’s shirts from a company called Trendy Tadpole. Its so hard to find good boy’s clothes that don’t have firetrucks and soccer balls on them, and Trendy Tadpole comes through. We picked a black longsleeve shirt with a goofy little skull and crossbones on it for Noah, so that the twins can grow into it eventually. Thanks, Marie!

Secondly, from a blog called Our Family Village, I won a lovely bath set from Flutterby Gifts! I am waiting to receive it but Summer, who held the giveaway, describes the set as “a homemade treat for any tired mama looking to relax a little. There is a bottle of chocolate scented powdered bath milk, perfect for using during long soaks in the bathtub. A bar of solid lotion, also chocolate scented. Rub it on after the bath and feel your skin get softer. And a fabulous bar of Mocha scented soap to wash with.” Mmmm… can you say yummy in the tubby??

So… those were my wins from the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. But I would be remiss if I did not write a little something about the generosity of the other giveaway sponsors that I have won something from…

First off, I got a big box of goodies from the Hanes company from a giveaway sponsored by a great review blog called Go check her out… lots of good info on fun new products for parents. Hanes sent us a couple awesome shirts for Noah, along with some things for the babies, and some sweats for them all to grow into. The t-shirts for Noah are funky and fun with a funky octopus on one and a scorpion design on the other.

Over at Katrina Stonoff’s site, Stone Soup, she writes really helpful reviews of books, and is a ridiculously prolific reader (and is a novelist as well!). With all those finished books on the shelf, she likes to occasionally pass them on. I won a giveaway of any book still on her shelf, and chose the wildly popular book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt. Normally, I don’t go for non-fiction but this one was just so intriguing and I knew that Michael would enjoy it as well. Go check out this part of Katrina’s site to read insightful reviews of some great books. You might just find your next good novel.

Another book I was excited to win was Deceptively Delicious written by Jessica Seinfield (wife of Jerry). This giveaway was offered up by a blog called An Island Review which does lots of useful product reviews and loads of good giveaways, and links to other giveaways. Check it out. According to An Island Review, “the whole premise of this book is to get kids to eat healthily, by “hiding” pureed vegetables and fruits in everyday foods that your kids eat. When you think about it, the concept is quite simple. I just wonder why I never thought about it. She even puts spinach and carrots in her brownies! Now that's just darn right sneaky!” As you may well know, I have son who eats something like seven different things, so I am going to be studying this like a textbook!

Lastly today, I want to tell you about which is a site that sells yummy goodies to people with nasty food allergies. Their sweets are peanut free, tree nut free, egg free & dairy free.
Well, Teensy Green, a website that shares a wealth of information about "green" toys, books, arts and crafts, as well as natural clothing, bath and body products, and how to really have fun with your kids, hosted a Divvies Cupcake Giveaway!
We won a dozen Halloween cupcakes from them which come gently packaged, with frosting and sprinkles on the side. We our very-allergic niece and nephew over for trick or treat night. Every year, they get their pumpkin buckets confiscated before they eat anything, in order to remove the goodies that can cause them problems. So we were thrilled to be able to throw a post-trick-or-treat decorate-your-own-cupcake party back at our house. They were really moist and tasty. Highly recommended.

Anyway, I actually won some other wonderful goodies, but I will save them for another time so I can take pictures that will make you all jealous of my new bling!!

I am off to play with my booty!

Umm… as in, treasure… not…
Oh never mind!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

And We Have A WINNER!!!

Congratulations to

*** CINDY ***

from her new blog,

Happy Chaps!!!

Cindy is the winner of my first ever giveaway and will be receiving a lovely orange and white tote bag filled with four pairs of summer flip-flops in four ridiculously cheerful colors!!

Cindy is a stay-at-home Mom to a sweet looking three-year-old boy, and has what sounds like an equally wonderful hubby!

She is brand new to blogging (Welcome to the blogosphere!) and totally stole my picked an AWESOME layout for her site. Like me, she is into doing her own photography and dabbles in Photoshop!

Hopefully, the tote and flip-flops will get her through the tough arctic winters they have down there in Dallas, Texas, so she can go hang on the beach after the thaw with all the spring breakers!

Wooooot!!! Congrats, Cindy!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wannabe an Apronista!

I have been cooking a good deal more lately (stop looking so shocked!) and have been thinking of getting an apron. I keep wiping my hands on my pants. So I have taken to tucking a dishtowel into my jeans. Not the most stylish thing in the world.

I never much thought of aprons. Then my eyes beheld THESE beauties!!

And Apronista is having a giveaway for a holiday themed one. Of course I signed up. They offer a second entry to those who blog about it, but I decided not to do that.

But then, I kept thinking about that lovely apron, and how retro-cool I would look in it. It's reversable and comes with a matching hair band for *&%$#'s sake!!

So, yes, I am blogging about it. To get my extra entry. So I can look like Doris Day and cook like the Beav's mom!! Woot!!!

Crossing my fingers...