Monday, June 28, 2010
It's been an exhausting month... Lilian is cutting some of her most difficult & slow-growing teeth yet. Her bottom two canines are just barely cutting through (and I remember how long the top canines took to poke through a few months ago) and her two year molars haven't shown any signs yet, but are making her gums swollen.
We give her ibuprofen when she's inconsolable, but I'm not really happy about giving her medicine in excess, so I'm all for natural remedies when I can find them! Our two secret recipes are Apples (I guess gnawing on a cold apple from the fridge soothes her) and more recently, chewing on ice chips. But there's only so many apples she can eat and ice chips aren't always practical, so I was looking for other alternatives. I have heard that other moms have tried amber teething necklaces, so I decided to try one out for her, and luckily, the nice people over at Inspired by Finn agreed to sponser a giveaway for my blog! The necklace came in recycled packaging and with two full pages of information and instructions!
I chose the round bead style (which isn't round like marbles, they are slightly irregular and natural looking, but "mostly" round) and the four different color style, it has dark cherry, honey, butter, and yellow amber beads in an alternating pattern. To be honest, I chose the color scheme based on aesthetics, I love how pretty the multi-colors are!
I got the 12" style for Lilian (you can choose from 11-16 inches for the children's styles), and it's a little long on her, so she's got some room to grow in it, but even though she's almost two, she's a very petite child! (She's only 22 pounds). It has an amber-colored screw fastener with no parts to catch on any clothing or skin, and it blends in nicely with the necklace. The necklace is knotted between each bead (like a string of pearls) so if it does break, you won't have little beads all over the place or a choking hazard.
The Inspired by Finn website has an awesome informational section on the benefits of Baltic Amber. Amber isn't a stone or a mineral, but is fossilized tree resin from forests tens of millions of years ago. It warms to your skin and releases succinic acid, a chemical naturally found in the body that promotes wellness and immunity and can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Amber can be used for teething babies/children (should not be worn unsupervised), but also for adults in cases of chronic pain, arthritis, etc.
I've been putting Lilian's necklace on her all weekend while we're awake, and she has slept through the past 2-3 nights with no wake-ups and no tears. Could it be a coincidence, maybe, but I have to say, I'm a believer already! I want to order myself a matching bracelet/necklace to see if it will help with my chronic back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and joint aches!
And what would a review be without seeing the adorable Lilian modelling the jewelry??
Here is Lilian wearing the necklace while visiting her great aunt and cousins. Her baby cousin "V" (age 11 months) is totally jealous of it and was playing with it!
I tried to get a nice close-up portrait of Lilian smiling, but she preferred to run around the yard and play with her cousin, so a funny face is going to have to be sufficient! I guess it's pretty typical of a near-two-year-old anyway!
And lastly, a photo of Lilian wearing her necklace at the zoo with her grandpa yesterday. It was SUPER hot (in the 90's) so her hair was all sorts of a mess, but she's looking at the monkey cage here, and is obviously captivated!
The necklace is worn under the clothes so it makes maximum contact with the skin, so you can only see it peeking out on the sides, but it still looks adorable! And Lilian loves having it put on! I bet it makes her feel grown up and glamorous having jewelry of her own!
Would You Like To WIN an Amber Necklace to match Lilian's????
One lucky reader will have a piece of jewelry sent to them from Inspired by Finn, any color, any bead shape of their choosing. It must be 16 inches or shorter (which includes all children's necklaces and ankles, and bracelets and anklets for adults) and it must be an "in stock" item.
To enter, leave a comment and tell me which item you would like to have shipped to you if you win (color, bead shape, and size) and a way you can be contacted if you win so I can get your shipping address!
For extra entries, you may do any of the following and recieve an extra entry in the giveaway for each you complete. Please let me know which of these you have done.
* "Like" Inspired by Finn on Facebook.
* Add a separate comment here sharing your favorite non-medicinal teething remedies!
* Follow my blog
* Suggest to your friends that THEY come read my blog and enter the contest as well, if they tell me YOU sent them, you get an extra entry.
The giveaway will begin immediately, and I will no longer accept entries after 11:59PM EST on July 13. Winner will be announced between then and July 15, 2010 and contacted. Product will be shipped directly by the company within a reasonable amount of time.
And if you have no patience for contests, I urge you to go purchase an Inspired by Finn product. They are offering the following way to receive a discount:
"TO SAVE 20% on an order with us, join us by clicking the "Like" button toward the top of our "Wall" tab. TO SAVE 25%, join us by clicking the "Like" button + use the "Suggest to Friends" link near the top left of this "Wall" tab to suggest this page to your Facebook friends. The discount code is entered/applied during checkout, and the discount is given off of prices on our website - www.InspiredByFinn.com The codes to use once you have completed the criteria above - To save 20%: FB20, To save 25%: FB25."
Thank you for reading & good luck to you all!!!
Ispired by Finn sent me the amber necklace pictured as a gift for me to review and use, but all photos, words, opnions, and descriptions on this page are my own.
And... if you make/sell a product and you'd like Lilian and I to review/model it and/or do a giveaway, please contact me!
EDITED Wed, July 14 at Midnight: Thank you to everyone for entering! The contest is now closed and the winner will be drawn tomorrow or the next day and announced!
No entries after this will be accepted!
Please see my other giveaways for other awesome prizes!
I can't take it! Feels like 97?!?! It might as well be 207 degrees out!
Looks like my wife bought me my surprise air conditioner for our bedroom (ours broke sometime over the winter and wouldn't turn on this season) JUST in time! I'm pretty sure I'm not even going to leave the bedroom today!
I HATE summer. I HATE hot weather. For some reason, I overheat so easily. And I'm always warmer than everyone around me. In the winter, I rarely get cold... it's like i'm ALWAYS hot. So when it's REALLY hot out, it's unbearable for me. And it seems that Lilian is the same way, she's rarely cold, and she gets hot/flushed/overheated really easily too. I guess that's one more thing she got from me, we're really "warm blooded."
The ONLY two things I enjoy about summer are swimming and fresh fruit... the rest of summer can go SUCK IT. And seeing how we didn't get a pool membership again this year, I don't think fruit is enough to keep me from being cranky about the heat.
I can't understand people who live in hot weather climates! For me, that would be pure torture. I just endure the summer (here in New York) and wait for it to be over so I can enjoy the autumn/winter/spring. If we ever make a long distance move, I'd like it to be north... or at least not SOUTH of here at all! I guess I'm just a snow bunny at heart.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
This has happened to me a FEW times while living her on Long Island, but two specific instances stand out in my mind.
Around Christmas time, I was at Wal-Mart with my in-laws (I normally have a ban on shopping there due to ethical reasons, but I was just along for the ride.) The parking lot is reasonably full, and I parked my compact (VW Jetta) car in a regular space, a regular distance from the cars on either side. As you know, the backseat of a Volkswagen is famously uncomfortable ("Mallrats" reference there... awesome), and we were piled in like a clown car... my mother-in-law and father-in-law, wife, infant daughter in her car seat, and I. When the rear door was opened, it TAPPED the Range Rover next to me. Not smashed, crashed, or banged, but tapped the door. And because of the height difference between the massive Range Rover and my (more fuel efficient) Jetta, the door hit the kind of plastic-y side bumper/step thingy that goes below the doors. (Isn't an SUV supposed to be a "SPORT" vehicle?!?!) Anyway, a tall beefy dude comes flying out of his car and gets in my wife's face, hovering over her shorter frame with physical intimidation shouting "how dare you, you dented my car, what the f&%k is your problem?" etc. All sorts of expletives came out of his mouth, all the while using his physical size to silence her. If I remember correctly, she muttered something like "it barely touched," but this guy was so out of his mind, he wasn't listening. The rest of the family got out and we went in the store and left him steaming... but in all honesty, there was NO damage to his car. It was a major overreaction and poor manners. And if you are afraid of someone "tapping" your so-called Sports Utility Vehicle, perhaps you should park in the way back where there are many empty spots and walk.
Then yesterday, I was at a diner (further east) for brunch with my wife, daughter, and our friend AJW. Same scenario, normal parking spots, normal distance between us, only this time I was next to a Ford sedan and the door did NOT tap the other car. AJW and I were standing behind the car chatting while my wife had the rear passenger door open and was pulling Lilian out of her (rear facing) car seat, which at some angles isn't an easy task. But the door was NOT touching the car next to us, but it was probably a hair away. Next thing I know, I hear some douchebag screaming "Are you kidding me???"... "Are you F%&king Kidding ME?" and I look up to see a cheesy-tattooed, wife-beater-donning, steroid-munching, skunk-toupee-wearing ASSHOLE stomping up to us, with an equally TRASHY bottle-blonde bimbo. Pure Long Island trash the both of them. The type that makes the stereotypes sparkle. I guess he had assumed we hit his car or something, but we hadn't! And I didn't hear if he said anything else, but his body language clearly implied that my wife, M, better move out of the way, and fast. She closed the door and left Lilian in the car. He moved out of the way and the blonde got behind the wheel (ha ha ha... we guessed he was on probation and that's why he can't drive, but we were just making assumptions based on his dickhead-tendancies.) He huffed a little more, got in, and they peeled out of the parking lot. M, AJW and I just looked at each other, did a nervous giggle, and all exclaimed "What the Fu...?" His rage and again, his body language were very intimidating and so we were all frozen. But in retrospect, I wish we had shouted back, "it's not even touching, you ass, and slid a piece of paper between the doors." Or even better I wanted to go back in time and say "if someone acted this way to YOUR mother while she was pulling you or her grandchild out of the carseat, would you be OK with that?" And for godsake... it was a freakin' Ford!!!! Not a Bentley! Lighten up!
These are the two most memorable incidents, but in the 27 years I lived on the continental United States, this never happened to me, my girlfriends, or my mother (that I know of). But since moving to Long Island (3 years ago), I have seen about 5 incidents of Your-Car-Touched-My-Car-RAGE. WTH?!?! Seriously. What is up with this? Does this happen to you periodically? (Oh, let the record show that my car is in decent condition, it's not a smashed up beater that they may think I just go smashing into everything, it's a very mom-like blue Jetta with only normal wear and tear for a 6.5 year old car.) What's up with all these macho idiots yelling at and intimidating women/mothers? Would they be OK with other Meatheads doing it to THEIR own mothers? In general, I see a lack of manners in middle Long Island (not letting cars pull out, not taking turns at stop lights, littering, not returning the shopping carts to the right spot in the supermarket parking lot, poor cell phone ettiquette, etc.) but this just takes the cake to me. It really has me dumbfounded.
Is chivalry dead on Long Island???
(Big thanks to my friend Christiaan K for the photoshopped image of the "Meathead" as per my request!!!)
And as always... while you're here, please click on an ad or two... my advertisers like it and so do I!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Check back tomorrow for a chance to win a Baltic Amber (teething)
necklace made by Inspired by Finn. (Any style of your choice 16" or
Also... what's blooming in Dana's garden!!! (Photos)
And... "Is Chivalry Dead on Long Island?"
Friday, June 25, 2010
Of course there are exceptions to everything, but I'd be willing to bet that the percentage of PLANNED pregnancies in lesbian families is MUCH higher than the percentage of planned pregnancies in heterosexual couples. And I'm not implying that an unplanned child can't be or isn't loved... but... well, you get the idea.
I'd be curious to see other studies... like IQ, percentage of white collar jobs vs blue collar jobs, average earning, age at which they get married and have their own children, etc. Like I said, I'd expect the children to be happy and well adjusted, but I wonder if their parenting resulted in any other statistical anomalies. I've seen tons of people post links to this article on my Facebook, but to me, I just feel like saying "DUH!"
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Comment here with your question... and I'll wait a few days and answer all the questions at once in a separate blog post (so don't forget to come back and see your answer... a good reason why you should FOLLOW my blog!)
So... go ahead... ASK ME A QUESTION!!!
* I reserve the right to not answer anything I find offensive or too personal... but if you know me, you should know that probably doesn't include much!
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Monday, June 21, 2010
apart? This is one of those.
And I hope when everything crumbles and we resurface, we find ourselves
in a better place.
Things in our house are literally breaking around us (and not getting
fixed)... the sink, the hot water heater, the toilet, the dryer, the
bedroom AC, the roof, the garage door, the front door, etc. Our
formerly flooded basement looks like a war zone and smells even worse.
We're gonna start looking at house rentals soon and aim to move.... to a
place where the landlord fixes shit when it breaks.
The other day our fridge got unplugged... and we don't know for how
long, but everything in the freezer melted/defrosted and all the ice
disappeared... so now we don't know if we need to throw out EVERYTHING
in both fridge/freezer (and if you've been to my house, you know it's a
lot) or which things, etc.
Well, luckily for us, we have some pretty good friends (specifically AJW
and JH) who have been opening up their (air conditioned) homes and pools
to us, and making us laugh so hard we forget most of the bullshit in our
lives. It can only get better.... right? Hopefully soon...
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advertisers like it and so do I!)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I have a separate blog for my weight loss stories, but it's something weighing heavy on my mind recently, so I feel like it belongs here today. So, here is that back story. Long story short, is over the past 10 years I gained quite a bit of weight... OK, a lot. But last year, I lost quite a bit in a short amount of time (22 pounds in a little over 2 months) at Weight Watchers... kept it off for about half the year, then spent the next half gaining it all back. I KNOW the program works for me... and for the past 12 months I've been trying to get myself to go back... to re-lose the 22 plus a lot more. Yet, somehow, I just can't. Every single day, I wake up saying "today's the day I get back on track"... and by late afternoon or early evening i'm saying "oops, maybe tomorrow is the day." It's something I want to do, yet I somehow just find myself unable to.
I'm not sure why, or what is going on with me. Whether it's related to depression, boredom, routine, poverty, or all of the above. But something in me just needs to switch over into "forward motion" mode and out of "plateau". But it needs to be soon, because summer doesn't mix well with fat. Hiding in baggy, sleeved shirts and jeans sucks when it's 90+ degrees out. It seems like so many other things in my life... when I want them, I go get them. I want to do something, I usually do, or at least try. But this seems to be my biggest failure. Ever. And I just don't know what to do. How to do it.
A lot of people don't understand this. They say "just watch what you eat" or "eat better". How about "you just need to exercise." Those are people that probably haven't been severely overweight. But seeing photos of myself makes me never want to leave my house again. Every bite of food is a struggle of guilt. It makes every day difficult. It makes things that should be fun, filled with anxiety and dread. It's the biggest source of my depression. And yet every day is the same, and I ask myself, "What are you waiting for???
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Here's the kind of post where instead of TELLING you something, i ASK you something.
I have had a Sidekick mobile phone for about 5 years. I had the Sidekick 2 model, the Sidekick 3 model, and then the Sidekick 2008 model (and I have the cute purple floral one pictured). I obviously liked it. But at the time, there weren't as many "smart phone" options... it was really Palm Pilot, Blackberry, or Sidekick. And now there are a BILLION of them out there! iPhone, Droid, etc. And i haven't done ANY research on them.
Well, my contract is up in late August or early September, and I think it's time to move on. Each of my Sidekicks by the end of their 2 year contracts were in sorry shape, they just don't hold up. This recent one has done the best... but i'm on my THIRD battery, the first two completely died on me and won't hold a charge. Lucky for me, an awesome internet/blog friend (MLL) send me two new ones, but one died and now I'm on that last one... because they cost $50 a piece!!!
So, here are the things I use my phone for, in priority order.
1. Email - and I want there to be at least 3 different accounts on it.
2. Web Browsing
3.Text Messaging/Picture Messaging
4. Photos - must be decent quality
5. Phone Calls
I don't use the calendar function, I still use paper for that.
And, I don't want to pay more than $80 a month for unlimited web browsing and texting. I don't care about talk minutes, I barely talk on the phone.
I need to see if and where we're moving first, because some carriers don't get good cell reception in some areas and some get excellent, so that will be a consideration as well.
You'd think iPhone would be my obvious first choice, but I just don't know if I'm a fan of the touch screen. It seems hard to use and not very precise... and that it would get scratched and icky quickly. So... if you have touch screen, tell me if you're happy with it.
So... help me out. What kind of Smart Phone do YOU use... do you like it??? What functions do you use?? And what should I get?!??
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Today is the day that my mother-in-law retires and moves back to the USA. And not just the USA, but New York... Long Island... where we live!
For all of the followers of my old blog or Missy's blog, you know a lot of specifics, but I'll just leave it at my relationship with all my in-laws (and Missy's too for that matter) is complicated.
For the past 12 (i may have that number wrong, but approximately) years, Missy's parents have lived overseas. Her dad took a job in The Netherlands back in 1997 (or so, again, I'm not sure of the exact year, and it's not important) and her mom followed shortly after. Her mom has lived in The Netherlands ever since. She spends a lot of time in the U.S. - she usually visits for about 2 weeks over Christmas, a week or two in February for her birthday, a week around Easter, and then 2+ months over the summer. (So even though she lived in Europe, I saw her more than my OWN mom who lives in New Jersey, by about 100x!) But for most of the year, we had an ocean dividing us.
And when she was here, she was on vacation. She was a guest in either our house or Dawn's house. (Dawn is my sister-in-law by the way) And we played hostess. So... the change will be, not only will all the in-laws live here now, but there will be a different dynamic. My parents-in-law won't be guests or on vacation... it'll be "real life". I'm not sure exactly how this will change things, but I'm pretty sure it will.
We hope to be moving soon... not sure when, not sure where, but our family has outgrown the tiny beach cottage we're living in now... but that's a topic for another post.
But today all our lives will change. I hope it's for the best, I actually kinda feel in my heart that it WILL be for the best. But I guess I better be ready... ready... GO!
Our Home, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
For starters, she's on some kind of hunger strike. She used to be a good eater, so flexible, she'd eat anything! Now, it's a struggle to get her to even eat ONE meal a day, let alone three. She even rejects a lot of her favorite foods and snacks. She's drinking a ton... and still pooping every day (sorry, TMI) and she still has loads of energy, so it's not really affecting her, but she has just gotten extremely fussy lately.
Second of all, related to this... for the past 2-3 days, its a MELTDOWN when we try to get her in her highchair. She flexes her whole body straight so I can't even bend her into a sitting position and she holds her breath until she turns blue. (She's had BHS... breath holding spells... for over a year and she's passed out & had convulsions before from it). Then it's 10 minutes of crying in the highchair, throwing her plate... until she eventually gives in and then she might nibble, but it ruins every meal for us! I can't eat with a screaming, sky-blue baby next to me.
We've had several meltdowns in public (friends houses or restaurants) and I'm just at wits end. If she's doing something SHE wants to do, she's fine. Playing, watching her favorite TV shows, chasing a dog, playing outside, etc. But the minute you tell her she has to sit still, sit for a meal, sit in a highchair, can't play with something (that ISN'T her toy or breakable), has to leave somewhere or stop doing something fun - results in a meltdown. She has her freedom 95% of the day, gets what she wants, etc. So for 5% of the time, if I "make" her sit down for a meal, that seems pretty fair.
Luckily, she's really freakin' cute and so I forget about it quickly. And luckily we have some pretty understanding friends that let her get away with murder. But I'm not sure how much of this I can take! I really hope this is just a phase and it passes quickly.
Any experienced moms out there have any advice?!?!
But then she goes and does something TOTALLY adorable like this (this was NOT posed, she did this all on her own after fleeing from the "potty")... and all is forgiven.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Prior to this year, I've never been a "beach" girl. Sand is kinda messy, the ocean is kinda icky, and I HATE the sun. But this year, I feel differently! It's a whole new experience going to the beach with a kid. The sand is a giant sandbox, "digging" is the coolest thing Lilian has discovered in a while (and "dig" not only becomes something she shouts in excitement, but I'm pretty sure it's become an order too!), and the ocean is the world's largest bath tub to her!
Our first beach trip, we went in sneakers and clothes, just to "relax" and sight-see... but Lilian wanted to wade in her sneakers and got soaking wet... and I knew the beach would be a hit! The next time we went, was Memorial Day... (the above photo in the Dora swimsuit)... and the beach was crowded and it was a windy day and Lilian just wasn't feeling it. But visits 3 and 4 were a hit! We went to Target and picked up some cute beach toys (all for $1-$2) including shovels, a rake, a sand wheel (which works better with water), and a few pails and sand castle molds. And we picked up a pair of "Knocs" (what I like to call generic brand "fake" Crocs) to protect her feet from the shells/rocks... and we were all set!
So whereas before, when I found the beach boring, because I don't like to sun, and swimming in the ocean icks me out a little... it's a whole new experience! I'm able to see digging in the sand, wading, and splashing through toddler eyes... and it's the most fun thing ever!
I'm still hoping we can get a pool membership again this year, but I am glad Lilian is a big fan of the beach, since living here it's something free and easy to do!
Anyway, these are poor excuses for not doing something I enjoy doing... so I am going to spend the next week catching up. Telling my stories from the beginning. For some they'll be old news, for some just catching up, and for some, a way of introducing myself. And, again, I'm overwhelmed and I don't even know where to start... but I guess I just have to dive in head first. So please check back this week for new posts... and feel free to nag me if they don't come fast enough! I may mix my "back story" with current entries, but hopefully I can get it all out there.
Also, if you're reading... please leave me links to YOUR blogs so I can follow yours as well. Or just say hello, let me know you're out there! And if you'd like to be included on my BlogList on the right of my page, please let me know.
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