...never judge a book by its movie

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Wish Someone Had Told Me ....

This may become a sort of ongoing series, but there are a number of things that I wish someone had told me before I embarked on this journey called parenting.

One is that no one ever told me that your labor pain wasn't over just because the baby was out ... (Moms will understand).

Another is that sometimes,

your little bebes that you've nurtured and cared for and love more than anything in the world ...

are going to hate you.

I mean really hate you.

I mean the "I wish you were dead" kind of hatred (although, hopefully, they won't say that aloud where you can hear it).

They will look like this:

and you will feel like this:




They may only hate you for five minutes (sometimes less).  They may hate you for a while and simmer with resentment the entire time that they are grounded for some transgression.  But it WILL happen.  

It doesn't matter if you're the most understanding, patient, loving parent in the world.  Believe me, the first few times it happens, you're going to FEEL like the WORST parent in the world. 

Take it from me, you're not.

Why do I bring this up now?  

Well, TWO times this week I have been hated by my children.  As Not-So-Bebe Girl Autumn walked away after a reprimand, I could hear (under her breath, of course), "I can't wait ...."  I finished the statement in my head, "until I'm 18 so I can get OUT of here!"

Bebe Boy James has limited gaming time, as all of my children have had.  When his hour was up, of course, he didn't want to stop playing.  Being the stern disciplinarian that I am (not really), I said, "No, dude!  You have to get off now!"  (The reasoning is that I'd LIKE my children to actually INTERACT with the rest of the fam - you don't get that while you're staring at a screen and racing cars/skateboarding/beating up aliens).

As he walked out of the room and through the kitchen, he said (and THIS was NOT under his breath), "I wish I lived in a different family!  I don't LIKE this family!!".  In my earlier parenting years, I probably would have said, "Well, right now, I don't like you either, buddy!" (SO not the right answer!!!)

Now that I'm a bit more mellow, I've changed my tactics.  So what I ACTUALLY said was, "That's OK.  We love you anyway".  Did that work?  Well, not right away, since he repeated what he had already said.  

And I repeated what I had said.  

And he walked out of the back door to sit on the steps and stew.  

After a while, I heard him crying.  A little while later, he came in and hugged me and said, "I'm sorry that I was mean to you".

Which just goes to show that sometimes a little parental guilt trip works.

So, now, let me lay a lil' wisdom on ya.  I don't claim to know EVERYthing about parenting.  Believe me, I've been doing it for 26 years and still have a lot to learn.  But one thing I DO know is this:

If your kids never hate you, then you're not doing something right.  

I've raised two daughters to adulthood already.  Many was the time that they hated me.  Other parents were cooler: they did more for their kids, they allowed them to go wherever whenever - the list goes on.

Now that they are grown up, they have both come to me and apologized for what they put me through when they were teenagers.  They have also told me how much they appreciated that I gave them the limits that I did and made them earn their stripes a bit, because it's taught them to work hard and they understand that, even now, they can't just do what they want when they want to do it if they're going to consider themselves responsible adults.

So I must have done SOMEthing right. 

Rinse and repeat ...

If your kids never hate you, then you're not doing something right.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take Back the Night (PSA)

As we were walking home from picking Bebe Boy James up from daycare, Bebe Girl Autumn:





(that's her) asked if she could stay after school late on Thursday, because she had been helping to plan their "Take Back the Night" event for that evening.  She also asked me if I wanted to come.

Of course I will be there.

We lost our stepsister/daughter less than a year ago to domestic violence at the tender age of 23, and every day, I ask myself if there is SOMEthing ... ANYthing that I could have done or said that would mean that she would still be here to grow into her potential.  No woman deserves to be a victim of violence because of her gender (rape and other sexual assault) or because she doesn't feel strong enough to fight her way out of a violent partnership.

From the Take Back the Night website:

"10 Points of Light

Take a stand against sexual violence as we encircle the entire United States on Thursday, April 29, 2010 with 10 Points of Light to Take Back The Night! Each of our ten locations will light vigil candles simultaneously at 9pm EST (6pm PST) and unite in support of survivors of sexual violence to illuminate the darkness of abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault."


There is a link to read more on the main events and there is also a link to find a local event near you.

If you are in or know someone else who is in a violent situation, please visit the "Resources" section of their site and take whatever steps are necessary.  Do EVERYthing you can to get out.  It may mean that you have to move and/or change your job or cause you monetary hardship .. but you'll be ALIVE.

I've lived through domestic violence.  I've counseled domestic violence victims. I've lost one of my bebe girls to domestic violence. I know how horrible and difficult and frightening every single day can be.

None of us deserve to live our life that way.  Be strong.  Get help.  Get out.
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Hey! Where'd the "carbon neutral" button and post go?

When I logged in to my site this afternoon, I saw that the link to kaufDA.de was broken on both my original post AND on the button. I couldn't open kaufDA's website, either.  Although I checked the button code and did some summary research BEfore placing it on this blog; I can't be certain that their website or code hasn't been altered since then by someone hacking into their website.

Hackers are malicious, and their ways are many and devious.  Many websites and visitors are compromised by malicious code inserted into buttons or links.  Until I see that the kaufDA.de website is stable and that no harm will come to my visitors by clicking the link and/or button or even visiting my page, I have (at least temporarily) taken both the post and the button out of the public and behind-the-scenes section of my blog.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010 Monday Giveaway Roundup (ALL LISTED GIVEAWAYS CLOSED)

Oh, boy!  First off, in last Monday's Giveaway Roundup, I told you that I won my choice of Delta fixture from Thanks, Mail Carrier!  I had listed this giveaway in the April 13 Roundup, Part Deux  When my new handheld sliding shower fixture gets here, I'll be certain to review it and blog about it for y'all!

Another giveaway I listed in my Part Deux Roundup was for a giveaway from Sweeps 4 Bloggers for a pair of reading glasses from Amy Sacks Eyewear.  My grandbebe girls had TOTALLY broken the handle off of my good reading glasses and I am now reduced to wearing cheap drugstore reading glasses.  Well, I won my choice of glasses!!  Although I had originally chosen a different pair, on a second visit, I decided on these Bamboo Masa glasses in cherry:


I'm going to be stylin'!!  I'll write a review for these for you too!!

It appears that sharing with y'all is getting me some wins too!  So I think I'll keep on doin' it!!

Now, on to some of the latest and greatest bloggy giveaways from around the web!  First off, don't forget to enter the All Children's Furniture giveaway right here on this blog!!  One winner from either the US or Canada gets to choose one of these for their kiddo(s):


That's the K'NEX Collect 'n Build Speed Coaster Building Set, EduShape Roly Poly Shape Sorter, or The Young Scientists Kit #10!  Enter through 5/5/2010!

Because I've run across SO much goodness this week, I'm going to do something a bit different and break it down into categories for you!

TOYS AND GARB GOODIENESS FOR THE KIDS

3 Garnets and 2 Sapphires is hosting a giveaway from Sakar for your choice of either a Star Wars Digital Camera Kit or a Hello Kitty Digital Camera!  Fun pics for the kids, and you no longer have to worry about them 'borrowing' YOUR camera!  (I have had my pics 'accidentally' erased, plugged the camera in to my PC and had it automatically add TONS of no-subject videos [which takes forever], you name it!)  Look:

I don't know about you, but I'D even want to use that cute Hello Kitty cam!!  If you're from the US, get a chance to win if you enter by 5/3/2010.

Baby Loving Mama and The Shopping Mama are teaming up to give you a chance to win this great Little Tykes package!
  Photo credit: The Shopping Mama and Baby Loving Mama

One lucky winner will receive the Little Tikes Get Out ‘n’ Grill $39.99 and the School Bus Activity Gym $99.99!  Visit each of these wonderful sites for a chance to win!  This giveaway is open to the US.  But HURRY!!!   Both of these giveaways end TONIGHT 4/26/2010!!


Gummy Lump Toys has a blog!! And guess what??  They are giving us a chance to win the Voila Workbench!
My grandbebe boy would LOVE to have this toy to pound on and work with!  You can enter through 5/4/2010!

In the spirit of Earth Day past, and our own continuing efforts at making every day Earth Day, Life of a Modern Mom is hosting a giveaway for this super cool Green Toys Recycle Truck:


All of the Green Toys products are proudly MADE IN THE USA!!!  They are eco-friendly and affordable, too!!  If you're from the US, head on over and enter by 5/4/2010!

Gosh, I LOVE cute baby, toddler and kid's clothes!  Zutano's Itzy Bitzy has some of the CUTEST!!  Moms Wear Your Tees is hosting a giveaway where one lucky lucky person gets a $75 gift card to the Zutano Itzy Bitzy online boutique!! If you're from the US, enter before 5/17/2010 for your chance to win! Here's what I'd chose if I won:
My youngest grandbebe girl would look even MORE adorable (if that's even possible) in this outfit!

The Tea Collection ALSO has some of the cutest things!  Heading back over, I saw the following goodness:


That's a pretty piece for EACH of the grandbebe girls!  Piece of Me is hosting a US giveaway for a $75 gift certificate to Tea Collection's online shop!  Guess what?  I could get all THREE of these pieces with that!  Enter for your chance to win by 5/3/2010!

I don't know if this next one really counts as "Toys for the Kids", 'cause Battleship is one of my favorite games!!!  I've loved it since I was a kid, and that means I've loved it for quite a looooong time!!  The Twinners is giving THREE of us a chance to win this game!  The giveaway is open worldwide, but if you are from outside of the US, you only need to pay the shipping costs if you win!  Enter by 5/1/2010!
More MADE IN THE USA goodness!  Little Tikes is headquartered right here in my home state of Ohio!!  Words From a Busy SAHM is hosting a giveaway for this Cozy Coupe:



Honestly, which one of us didn't have one of these when we were kids or ride in one or give one to one or more of our own kids?!  If you're from the US, get your chance to win by entering before 5/7/2010!

You can also enter to win one of these Cozy Coupes over at A Mom's Impression!  Open to the US - enter by 4/30/2010!

MAGNEATOS is an awesome Oppenheim award-winning toy that will keep your boy or girl entertained!  It encourages creative play (which is one of the things that I look for in our favorite toys!)  Mama to 3 Blessings is hosting a Guidecraft giveway open to the US for your chance to win a set!  Head on over by 5/7/2010!



MAMA JEWELRY

There are lots of great jewelry giveaways going on right now! 

Through 4/30/2010, Audrey's Giveaways is hosting a giveaway for the US and Canada for  your choice of Hand Stamped and Hand Painted Ceramic Bead Jewelry from Lauren Nicole Jewelry & Gifts!  They are so different and unique!  I would pick this piece for one of my girls (only with one of THEIR names on it!!):


LOOK at this!!

Aquas, turquoise and teals!  My ABSOLUTE fave colors!  Get a chance to win this Antiqued Brass Charm Necklace from All Earz by heading over to Audrey's Giveaways before 4/30/2010.  This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!

I remember giving MY mom a Mother's Day ring when I was in my early twenties.  My mom cherished it and wore it every day for the next twenty years.  She still had it on at her memorial service; and even through the sadness, it made me smile to know that such a 'little' thing had given her so much pleasure.

Audrey's Giveaways (she is HOPPIN' this week!) is giving US and Canadian readers the chance to win your own Mother's Day Ring from Kranich's Jewelers!  YOUR CHOICE up to $300!  They have a GREAT customization feature, so you can get exactly what you want!  Here is the ring I ended up with for myself (I also emailed it to my daughters ... hint, hint):

Those are genuine stones in 10k white gold!  There's even room to add more stones!  The price for THIS creation?  Slightly under $275!  You REALLY can't beat that!  If I don't win, however, I want one of YOU to win, so head over QUICKLY because this giveaway ends TOMORROW 4/27/2010!

Two Classy Chicks is offering up THIS lovely Tri-Flower necklace from Just Jewelry:


I love the mixed metals in this!!  US residents can enter to win by 5/1/2010.   

MAMAS AND BABIES

The Juppy!  What is it?  Well, when we're teaching our bebes to walk, we're usually bent over holding them under the shoulders - unstable and back-breaking.  The Juppy is a great item to stabilize your bebe, give them more confidence AND save your back!


Not a really good pic, but if you head over to Dear Crissy's blog, you can read all about HER adventures and see MUCH better pics of the Juppy in use!  US and Canadian residents can enter to win this really innovative item by 5/6/2010!  My grandbebe Makayla is FINALLY taking independent steps ALL THROUGH the house, but I have a BFF with a new baby who would truly LOVE this!

The more I read about Britax and their new products, the more I love them!  My middle daughter's stroller was borrowed and not returned, so if I won one of THESE babies:



being the self-sacrificing Mom/Gigi that I am, she would have an awesome new stroller!  Head on over to Frugal Coupon Living by 4/29/2010 for YOUR chance to win a Britax Chaperone stroller in your choice of the above fabrics!

If I win this Blink from Sugar Pop Ribbons, I'm keeping it for myself!  I really really DO need a portable stroller for the grandbebes instead of the behemoth I'm using now!

Isn't that just one of the nicest-looking portables you've ever seen?  If you're from the US, you can win this as long as you enter before 4/30/2010!


Grandbebe Makayla is using her big sis's nursery hand-me-downs!  They're cute, but they're not "her".  Gigi (that's ME) wants to get her a nice, new, just-for-her set.  That's why I'd be thrilled to win an Oilo Bedding Set from Mom Start!  If you have a US shipping address, you can enter to win by 5/19/2010!  My choice would be this Raindrops Aqua set:
So, Grandbebe Makalya is walking now!  That means that I'm always shooshing her out of the kitchen while I'm cooking or constantly trying to remind everyone to PLEASE CLOSE THE BACK DOOR!!!  (I live in an upstairs apartment and the back door leads directly to the entry stairway).  I need a baby gate [or two]).  It's almost as though they really DO live with me sometimes!  I'd really love the Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate because unlike the gates we've all used, the babies aren't going to be able to simply push it out of the doorway:


If you're from the USA, head over to Sugar Pop Ribbons to by 5/7/2010 for your chance to win! 

HOUSE AND HOME

I just noticed that Sodastream has an option for flavored WATER now too!  THAT'S the REAL ticket for me!  My bebes, however, are all in for making soda every day right here at home!  Baba's Farm Life is offering up a chance for you to win your own Soda Stream Jet Soda Lovers Start Up Kit (approximately $100 retail value) if you get on over there before 5/10/2010!


Reviews and Reflections is also hosting a giveaway for the same great Start Up Kit!  If you're from the US, head on over there by 4/30/2010 and get YOUR chance to win!

I told you that many of my kitchen items disappeared during my last move.  One of them was my waffle maker.  I want a new one, a cool one, a nice, shiny one like this Cuisinart Waffle Maker:


Get over to Born 2 Impress by 5/2/2010 to win!  This giveaway is only open to the US.

I have an inexpensive vacuum cleaner.  It works to clean the surface dirt (in quite a few swoops) and when I set it to the "bare floor" setting, it loves to spit dirt back at me.  This is why I want to win this:
That's the Hoover Linx stick vac!  Holly over at I Like It Frantic has one (well, she did until her MIL 'borrowed' it) :), and SHE says that IT doesn't spit dirt back!  I REALLY REALLY  want me one!  US bloggers can enter to win this by heading over before 5/16/2010!

That's the Roundup for this week!  Tune in next week for a new edition of beautiful bloggy giveaways!
 

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Earth Day 2010 - a Pictorial Journey Through a Real Mom's Eyes

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Walking from Bebe Boy James' school to pick up two of the grandbebe girls ...

"What are you reading, buddy?"
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A map!  OK, then, let's go get the girls!

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This is for you, Gigi!

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On to the park, which was kind of lonely and empty.

Gigi, you KNOW I'm not really in the mood for this today!

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Then Grandbebe Girl Amira's friends came:


and fun was had by all!



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 Grandbebe Girl Makayla made some new friends:


and she even got a 'flower':



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On the way home, a spot of urban beauty:



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"But, Mom!  I just wanted to taste them to see if I could get the pollen and the honey out!":



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Home again!  Craft time!  I wanted to make these:

Photo credit: Kaboose.com

with pretty little paper wrapped around the bottom to dress them up.  But .. WHERE did my seeds go?

Just as well, since I only had two soda bottles and ended up with three craftmakers.

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So we decided to make these instead:

Photo credit: Kaboose.com

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But they turned out looking like these:



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Pretty pathetic-looking.  But the children were pleased with themselves.

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I had a horrid mess of crayon shavings and what-not to clean.


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So I used some toxic chemicals to make everything shiny and bright again.

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and THAT was our Earth Day!
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