Friday, January 28, 2011

"Make Mo' Money" or Ebates is where it's at!

Have you heard of Ebates yet?  I hadn't until a couple months ago when I saw all the money saving blogs talking about it.  I checked it out and immediately signed up.

What got me to sign up so quickly and Why should you?
  • It is absolutely free to join
  • You get $5 for just signing up
  • Ebates pays you. Yes, you! to shop
  • There are even discounts and coupons associated with the stores you are going to shop with anyway.
So what do you do?
  • Sign up!
  • When you are ready to shop at any of the affiliated stores, go to Ebates first.
  • Find the store you want to shop with and click on that link
  • Shop!
  • Ebates does all the work and will let you know how much cash back you will receive from any purchases you made.
  • Every three months, a check will be mailed to you or you can choose to have it posted to your paypal account.
One major online store that Ebates does not have a relationship with is Amazon, which is a real bummer.  Don't let that stop you from signing up!  Since the time I have signed up, I have already earned over twenty bucks in cash back!  So give them a try!

This post does contain affiliate links.  I do get a small credit if you click on them.  Thanks!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Music and Self-Esteem

VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip

I discovered this Pink video from a Mommy Goggles post and I have to say I love it.  It has a great message for both young and old and in-between.
If you are interested in the non-censored version (she uses the F word and the video is bit more explicit), feel free to check it out here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Baby Shower is always fun...

...when you are not the one having the baby!  My lovely niece, Caley, and her awesome fiance, Bryan, are expecting a bundle of crying, screaming joy next month.  So their baby shower was this past weekend at my sister's house.  Here are some pics to document the day:

Conversation Starters

The games & scrapbook to sign 
The favor
Pretty girls 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Being Cool is Fun! by Miss M

I like to be cool!  It is fun being cool.  Because you get to wear all the cool stuff like Star Wars and Princess and Barbie.  And you get to wear a fancy hat like in the picture.  And you get to wear fancy lipstick even though I don't get to.  It is so so fun to be cool!  You get to wear cool shirts with Star Wars and Princess Leah and fancy shirts with flowers and letters like O, I, M and U.  I love my alphabet too.  You have to be cool to learn your alphabet.  But the coolest letter is M.  I love dogs because they are so cute!  If you like dogs, put a yes or if you are allergic put a no or if you don't like them, put I don't like them in the comments.  If you don't want to, then that is fine.

I am going to go to a baby shower tomorrow.  We will play games and eat lots of yummy food.  We made deviled eggs with my grandma. 

And remember, always be cool!

[Dictated to AEK by Miss M, age 6]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three Day Weekend w/a side of disappointment

On Saturday, our local library opened up applications for their display cases near the Junior Room.  These cases are for children (age preschool-8th grade) to display a collection of their choosing and design.  There are six windows and all are in great demand.  Thus the application process.  You apply at the beginning of the year to get a window for some time frame within the year.  You don't really apply, more like you give them a piece of paper that has your info on it and if you get that paper in before all the slots fill then you get a window.  Miss M and I were at the library around 9:50 a.m. (the library opens at 9)  and as we approached the librarian we asked, "are we too late?"  "Yes.  We closed the applications at 9:40 a.m."  10 MINUTES!  We missed the cut off by 10 minutes.  Total Bummer.  I had already prepared Miss M that we might be too late so she took it well.  It was still a disappointment.   Better luck next year and next year, I'm camping out!  (not really)

Then, on Monday, both J and Miss M had the day off due to Martin Luther King Day. We decided to go to the awesome Museum of Science and Industry and try to get there close to the time they opened, which is 9:30am.  We got there at 9:40 or so and already it was crowded.  Turns out it was a free day.  No school plus free day plus crummy weather equals a lot of people I am going to want to bite if they get too close to me.  We didn't realize it was a free day until we were there.  One of our motivations for going there was to see the awesome (or so we had heard) Jim Henson exhibit.  As we are standing in the long line we overhear someone say that the Jim Henson exhibit is selling fast.  Then before we knew it, we saw the ticket booths quickly putting up signs reading "Jim Henson exhibit is sold out."  This was in the first 15 minutes of the museum being open!  And that is disappointment number two.   We still had a blast and Miss M was able to see everything else on her list that she wanted.  In fact, I think mom and dad were more sad that we couldn't see the Jim Henson exhibit than the kiddos.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Winner of EcoSprout Detergent!

Out of a record (for me!) of 171 entries, choose lucky number 82!  Congrats Me and Mine in a Small Town!
Winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to respond.  Thank you everyone for entering!  I wish I could give you all some EcoSprout!  Stay tuned for (hopefully) some more giveaways in the future!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Favorite Seasons by Miss M

I love to play in the snow because it is so fun.  I like to make tunnels and snow angels and also, I like to go sledding.  In the summertime I like to go to the beach with my mom, my dad and my baby sister.  We like to play in the sand and make sand castles and go into the water.  At Thanksgiving time, I like to go my MaGa's house, which is my Grandma's house, and play in the leaves if there is any on the ground.  I like to eat a lot at Thanksgiving time!  But in November I also like to eat some hot chocolate.  This year (for Christmas) I got a Barbie Camper and an iPod, and a Darth Vader Ornament and a Pillow Pet and other things.  I also Santa ate all of our cookies and fed our carrots to his reindeer.  In autumn I dress as a kitty cat for Halloween.  And in Halloween I like to jump in the leaves when my Mommy rakes them.  And my baby sister likes to put her knees in the leaves which is very very fun.  January which is right now I got to go to a birthday party, my Aunt's party.  We got to dance with the Kinect and eats lots and lots of birthday cake.  I like all the seasons but my favorite is October.  Because that is my birthday!  That is all.

Make sure you enter our giveaway if you want to.  It ends tonight!

(Dictated to AEK by Miss M age 6)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's the Birthday Queen's Birthday!

No, that is not me.  It is my awesome sister, Mimi.  Today is her birthday!  She is THE birthday queen.  So I wanted to dedicate my little corner of the internets to her today.  She is my big sister and I love her sooooo much.  She is an awesome woman, friend, sister, daughter, wife, and especially, mother!  


Side note: I was given my name by my sister.  She is 9 1/2 years older than me and my parents had decided to let her name me if I was a girl.  I am so thankful I turned out to be a girl, because if I was a boy they were going to let my then 7 year old brother name wouldn't have been pretty.  Love ya, Mim!

Enter my giveaway here!  Only a couple days left! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Miss M at the Movies

On Sunday, J and I took Miss M to see Tangled while C stayed home and slept.  All alone.  Not really, Grandma was kind enough to come over and sit in our house while she slept.  Anyway, this is only the second time we have taken M to see a movie.  The last one was Wall-E and she was, I think, 3 1/2.  She doesn't ask to go to the movies and we haven't really been asking her either.  As a part of our public library's summer reading program, she received a coupon for a free movie at one of our local budget theaters.  We asked her if she wanted to go and she said sure.  She has the Tag book on Tangled, so she knew the general idea of the movie and I think was intrigued.

We get to the theater and while J goes to get popcorn, M and I settle in for the previews that were already starting.  Back up a second, I let her pick out her seat and she choose the seats in the last row...near the door.  Not a good sign.  Luckily the preview they were showing was the last one, because already M was having some problems.  It was a preview for Nutcracker (I think) and had quite a few action scenes.  Granted this preview went on for only a couple minutes, but in that time M had her fingers firmly plugged into her ears and her face turned away from the screen.  Too loud and too scary in her mind.  And this was just the preview.

The movie then started and we settled in with our popcorn and special treat for M, root beer.  In the beginning of the movie, the narrator starts off by saying this is the story of how he was killed.  M heard those words and pretty much from then on all bets were off.  She was very nervous that any scene was going to be the scene where the narrator dies.  Any time that there was a chase scene or any sort of conflict going on, M put her fingers in her ears and hid her face in the seat.  At one point, I held her on my lap so that I could help her cover her face.  She told me she just didn't want to get any bad dreams.

We tried to lighten her mood by laughing extra hard at the silly scenes and showing her that it is not all bad.  She did laugh at those points and thought they were fun and silly.  Overall, she said she liked the movie, as did the rest of us.  It was just difficult for her to see the violence (and the anticipation of it) on screen.  This experience made me wonder, why does a cartoon have to be so tense?  Why isn't there a movie for kids that is full of light hearted silly moments?  Or are the movie makers so motivated by money that they want to make sure that they will get the greatest box office and the only way to achieve that is by making a movie that will entertain both kids and adults (with perhaps a greater focus/concentration on the adults)?  Or is it something else?  Does it not bother other kids?  Is it just mine?

I am not saying that M's reaction is the most healthiest but I do think her reaction is normal for a 6 year old who is not exposed to anything on t.v. that does not come from PBS or cartoon shows.  She loves the silly and doesn't like it when even Arthur gets into trouble.  I worry about those kids that aren't bothered by the semi-violent/tense times in a movie.  Are they desensitized by other things that they watch/see in every day life?  What does this say about "kid-friendly" programs?  What does this say about society?  What kind of adults are these kids going to be if they don't find something wrong with people getting stabbed or people resolving conflicts with violence, etc.?  Yes, it is a cartoon, but if they see it enough and no one tells them otherwise, are they going to know the difference?  Are they going to care?  Are they going to do nothing and turn away?  That scares me.  That bothers me.

I think the answer lies in awareness.  Be aware of what your child is watching and help your child to understand what they are watching.  Television and movies should not be a passive activity, make it an active one.  The power is in our hands.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's a Pillow!

It's a Pet!  It's a Pillow Pet!

Don't forget to check out my giveaway here!  Ends January 13th!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here are the words...

Right now, C is experiencing a growth spurt in communication.  She is sprouting new words left and right. I thought it would be fun for me to see how many words she can say at almost 20 months old.

Here's what I came up with:
M____ (for Miss M)
choo choo (for train)
bow-wow (for dog)
kiki/meow (for kitty)
quack quack (for duck)
moo (for cow)
roar (for dinosaur)
ho ho (for Santa)
La La (for Elmo)
all done

and her absolute favorite.....

I came up with 48 words total.  There are probably more that I am missing, but as you can see, she is becoming quite the talker!  Watch out world....

Don't forget to enter my giveaway found here!  Ends on January 13th!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

SAFETY ALERT: Do Not Use Crib Bumper Pads!

Madigan Alerts Families to the Potential for Suffocation or Strangulation from Bumper Pads
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued an alert to Illinois parents, grandparents and other caregivers of infants urging them to remove bumper pads used along the sides of cribs. Madigan said immediate action is necessary in light of the number of infant deaths and injuries attributed to bumper pads.
The Attorney General is alerting caregivers of this danger to prevent infant deaths. Babies may suffocate or be strangled if they roll against a crib bumper, press their face against the bumper, wedge their head between the pad and the mattress or crib side, or if their neck gets wrapped by the tie that secures the bumper to the crib.
“We know that children have tragically died in their cribs because of these bumper pads,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Parents and caregivers should remove these bumpers to prevent tragedy.”
Since 2008, the National Center for Child Death Review has received reports of 14 infants who have died from suffocation caused by crib bumpers. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American SIDS Institute and the Canadian Health Department have all urged parents not to use crib bumpers.
The above is a press release from the Illinois Attorney General's office.  If you are currently using a crib bumper pad please consider stopping or replacing it with a Breathable Bumper.  We have this bumper currently on C's bed and it works great!  It is not your typical bumper because it is made of mesh and so the baby can still breath if he or she should roll against the sides.  The use of traditional bumper pads is especially dangerous for infants that do not have the motor development and strength to move away from the bumper.
I hope this information is helpful to you and your family.

PS don't forget to enter my giveaway found two posts down....ends on Jan. 14th!