Sunday, November 28, 2010

Get your GROUPON On!!

Have I got a deal for you!  I have joined the GROUPON affiliate program and with that brings awesome super secret deals for you! If you click this GROUPON link it will bring you to the very secret hidden deal page just for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (I believe it ends at midnight tomorrow, but am not positive).  There are deals on chocolate, coffee, wine, snacks, and books

If you happen to be new to the whole GROUPON thing, click on the picture below and find the deals for your city!

PS For full disclosure, by clicking on the link and then buying the deal, I do earn a small amount of money...a very small amount of money.   Really I just want to be able to give you all these really cool deals.  I may have a small crush on Groupon...yes, I am strange. What can I say? I love a good deal.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Vacation!

My husband is taking some time off, so I am too.  I hope you all have a fabulous holiday.  I will see you in just over a week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baby Love

He looks at me...and I melt.

He reaches for me...and I melt.

He scrunches up his nose and giggles...and I melt.

He bobs his head to the music...and I melt.

He stops himself in the middle of his play to throw himself at me...and I melt.

He takes a step away, but turns around to make sure that I am still there...and I melt.

He cries out in pain or tiredness or simple sadness...and I melt.

I will never be able to describe this feeling adequately.  It isn't like I have never felt love before....I have felt it from my family and friends...and obviously from my husband.  But this is different. 

This is a love that stops me in my tracks 100+ times a day. 

This is a love that changes my mood in an instant.  

This is a love that seems so pure and perfect while feeling so unbelievably strong and unwavering.

This is a love that surprises me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And ready to go!

Yesterday I posted about the realization that Superman had outgrown his infant car seat.  Today I am going to talk a little bit about what I did to find Superman's new seat.

Unless your child is over a year, the next car seat after the infant seat must be a convertible one.  Most state laws dictate that children must be at least 20 pounds and one year before they are allowed to be forward facing.  However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
"For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat."
With this in mind, I knew that I wanted to not only get a convertible seat, but one that would allow Superman to stay rear-facing as long as possible. 

So the first thing I do whenever I need to buy something new is go to Consumer Reports.  Sadly, this time they dropped the ball for me initially.  I didn't feel like their reviews on car seats helped me much and they were recommending some seats that had really low scores.  Frankly, I just didn't understand it all.

The next thing I did was post on my personal Facebook page that we were looking for a new seat and wanted recommendations.  I thought that I might at least get some leads and maybe some car seats to stay away from.  Of the 21 responses, all but one person recommended the Britax and that person had a Combi and an Evenflo.  The three main Britax car seats people had were the Roundabout, Marathon, and Boulevard.

At this point I did go back to Consumer Reports and found that the Roundabout was the highest rated of the three, but had the lowest limits for weight (35 lbs rear facing & 50 lbs forward facing) and shoulder height  (max 16.25 for both rear and forward facing).  All three have a max height of 49 inches.

Since I want Superman to be rear facing for as long as possible, I felt like the Roundabout was out of the mix for me.   When I looked at the Marathon 70 and Boulevard 70 the only differences was the side impact protection.  The Boulevard has extra head support in case of a side impact collision.  According to Consumer Reports, the Boulevard also had a feature that allowed for adjusting the harness height without having to re-thread it.   Consumer Reports also rated the Boulevard higher than the Marathon.

I went back and forth over which of these two to get.  Amazon had them both on sale and the difference in price was about $20.   Finally my husband told me to get the one that was rated higher.  So we got the Boulevard 70.

I will be honest, when I saw how big the car seat I was a little worried that I went a bit overboard.  We could have gotten away with the Marathon...but it turned out we couldn't install it in the middle seat (and wouldn't have been able to install the Marathon in the middle either).  Now I am grateful to have the extra side impact protection.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Child Restraint Laws (by state)
Car Seat Recall List

**Disclaimer- I am not an expert on car seats.  I have no certifications or documents saying I should be giving advice. Therefore, take what I say as one mom's experience and do you own research.  Thank you.***

Monday, November 15, 2010

All buckled in...

A few days ago I wrote about safety on the internet...or rather I wrote about reading about safety on the internet. Today I am going to talk about safety in your car.  I know that many of you have little ones around the same age as my Superman.  Many of you probably are still using your infant car seat, aren't you?  It is okay to admit it, I was up until this week.

Thank goodness for friends with children older than my own.  I was at boot camp and it came up casually.  I had it stuck in my head that my infant car seat was rated to 30 pounds.  Superman is only 19 pounds so we were good.  What these ladies pointed out to me was that it is not just weight, but height that factors into the change to a bigger seat.  When they said that I had one of those, "OMG I can't believe I didn't think about that!" moments.

So I did a little research and found that the height limit for our infant seat was 30 inches.  Superman was 29 inches at 9 months.  Fortunately, we measured him again and he is still just 29 inches.  However, the other thing the manual said was that if his head was less than an inch from the top of the seat, it was time to get a bigger seat.  Sure enough Superman's head was less than an inch from the top.

So let me recap.  You should know the following limits for your current car seat:
  • weight limit (if it is a convertible seat, you should know the limit for rear facing and forward facing)
  • height limit (if it is a convertible seat, you should know the limit for rear facing and forward facing)
  • shoulder height limit
Unless you are absolutely positive that your child is within the limits for their current car seat, I would go check right now. Oh and if you knew this already? Good job!  I am disappointed that I didn't know all this before, but feel better knowing that I have the information now.  If your child is too big for their car seat, don't beat yourself up, just do something about it.  If you aren't sure where to start, be sure to come back tomorrow when I will share my experience with shopping for Superman's new car seat.

**Disclaimer- I am not an expert on car seats.  I have no certifications or documents saying I should be giving advice. Therefore, take what I say as one mom's experience and do you own research.  Thank you.***

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I believe that a bad day can be made better with the simple act of blowing bubbles.  Try it some time.  I bet you can't blow bubbles when you are all tense and will just blow bubble juice everywhere.  Blowing bubbles takes patience and slow even breaths.  It gets better if you stop and enjoy the moment. 

So yesterday, when I was frustrated that my little man was insisting on his desire to play in the dog's water bowl or the cords on the tv receiver, or anything else he isn't allowed to do, instead of getting irritated, I got bubbles.  The dogs even joined in on the fun. Clyde tried to eat them and Lola cocked her head to the side trying to figure out what was floating in the air all around her.  The whole living room was covered!  Superman was giggling and I couldn't help but chuckle along with him.

And then? The world was okay again...well, for at least a little while.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Check Out My New Digs!

Isn't it pretty???  I know I am not one of the fabulously popular blogs that I love to read, but I love having my little place on the internet where I get to share my thoughts about being a parent.  This has become one of my "things" since I decided to stay home with Superman and since every hobby has expensive splurges that go along with it; a custom blog design was going to be my splurge.  The only problem with that concept? You don't actually have to splurge to get the perfect design.  Thanks to Jessica over at The Frilly Coconut, I have a totally new look for not a whole lot of money!  If you are thinking about redesigning your blog, I highly recommend checking her out.

So let me show you around a bit.  If you notice on the top, right below my header, there is a menu bar.  You want to learn more about my family and I?  Go ahead and click on the About Us tab (it is currently a work in progress).  Next up is the Contact tab.  Here you can send me suggestions on things to blog about, tips on how to be a better mom, or just your two cents on something I wrote.  The final tab is my Blog Roll.  While this isn't a complete list of all the blogs I read, they are the ones that I read most frequently.

Speaking of Blog Rolls, I know have my very own button!! Look to the left at the top of the side bar.  Do you see it?  Isn't it perfect?  So please feel free to grab it and place it on your blog!  Then come on back and drop me a note.  I will be sure to come and visit you soon.

If we jump over to the other side bar on the right, you will also find my new social networking buttons.  I personally hate having to look all over the blog for the Facebook or Twitter link.  I think Jessica did a great job make them stand out.  I also have a whole new look for Twitter that will be updated soon.  Be sure to stop by and say hello!  By the way, Facebook is my favorite way to keep up to date on my favorite blogs.  For me it is much easier than remembering to check my Google Reader (although that is a great way for many people). So, why don't you go on over to Facebook right now and "like" me so that you can get my latest updates right on your very own wall. 

A few other things to point out.  As I mentioned at the top of this post, I know I am not one of those big blogs with hundreds of thousands of followers.  However, I would love for more people to come and check out my blog.  So if you enjoy reading it, please take a moment and vote for me over at Top Mommy Blogs each time you come and visit.  Please and thank you.  (The button to click is located on the right side.)

One last really cool feature of this new format is that DISQUS is now being used for comments.  If I understand it all correctly, I will now be able to have threaded comments, email replies to people, and a whole bunch of other cool stuff that I am just going to have to learn about as I go.   So please, leave me a comment so we can try it out!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour.  Have a wonderful weekend!

A lot more about Mommy C

I thought that maybe I would give you all a little bit more about me.  I am more than a new mom 

Growing up in Upstate NY, I lived with my dad during the school year and my mom during vacations and the summer.  It was not an easy childhood, but it has molded me into the person that I am today.  I went off to college in 1995 and became an elementary school teacher.  I graduated early in December 1998 and my sister convinced me to try living somewhere other than the small town we grew up in.
     In January of 1999 I flew to Northern California for an interview and never left (yes, I got the job).  I taught 2nd grade in a multi-age classroom in a very tiny school (175 kids K-8) till the summer of 2001.  At that point, I transferred to a huge school district to teach 6th grade.  I hated 6th grade.  I taught it for two years only because I convinced myself that I was taking the easy way out if I transferred after one year.  I was actually about ready to make the decision to move back to NY at the end of the school year when I met my husband.
     Up to this point I had felt very unconnected with the community and had very few friends.  He not only was an amazing man that made each and everyone of my days brighter, but he had an amazing group of friends that quickly welcomed me in.
   The next year, rather than heading back to NY, I transferred to 4th grade in the same school and I loved it!  I had a fabulous team, the students were the perfect age for me, and began to find more and more opportunities to be a leader on my campus.  Over the next couple of years I would become part of a staff development team that provided in-service to the other teachers.  I loved every minute of it.
    In 2006, I married the man of my dreams and decided that another change was in order.  I applied for a job as an instructional coach and got it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Are My Sunshine

When I was 13 or so I was given this Paddington Bear that plays "You Are My Sunshine".  You may be thinking that I was a little to old for such a gift, but this wasn't just any ordinary musical bear.  This bear held onto a very special memory for me and every time I wanted to visit that memory he was there to help out.

File0009My grandfather was a chemist who came up with the amazing idea for Super Coil. Yes, those fantastic key chains everyone uses?  My grandfather invented them.  When I was little he would give my mother the scraps and she would use them to put pigtails in my hair.  Then when I got older and jelly bracelets became the thing to have, he would make me the bracelets using the uncoiled material. You can see in my silly picture to the left I am sporting a bracelet and a coiled necklace. 

 The factory was just a few miles from their home and visiting it was one of my favorite things to do when we went there.  He would show me all the bars that had the various colors of coil wrapped around them.  He would demonstrate how the workers cut the coil and then prepare the actual key chain by putting the two ends on a hot metal plate and then sticking them together.  I don't remember interacting with him much beyond our trips to the factory (not necessarily because they didn't happen, just that I don't remember), but those trips were pretty cool.

But of all the trips we made to the factory, there was one trip that sticks out in my memory.  As usual we had gone to the factory and he showed me what they were working on.  Then we headed upstairs to the Woolworth's that was just above the factory.  There he ordered something for each of us (my memory is failing me, but I think they were ice cream sundaes).  He was clearly friendly with the man behind the counter and they talked back and forth.  Then at some point they began to sing to me.  The song they sang?  You are My Sunshine.

My mother told me at one point that he had sung that song frequently to me, but right now I only can remember that once.  I remember feeling so incredibly special at that moment. 

DSC_003020101110_3805Last week my son had woken from his nap and we were cuddling in the rocking chair.  He started to climb up me and reach for something on the bookcase behind us.  I turned to look at what he was reaching for and saw Paddington.  So I grabbed the bear, turned the musical key on the back and began to sing to my son "You Are My Sunshine".  I have sung it several times since then and each time he lights up with the greatest smile.   I imagine he feels a lot like I did when my grandpa sang it to me.

Hugs to you all!


Mommy C

Monday, November 08, 2010

Safety First and other changes

Over the next couple weeks you will notice some changes on my blog.  Some good and some that are just necessary. 

First, the necessary. I am taking all my pictures of Superman off my blog.  Today Rebekah over at Mom In A Million posted a blog post by Jessica Gottlieb titled The MomBlogosphere Wants Its Photos on her Facebook fan page.  I had not read Jessica's blog before, but I am glad I read it because it got me really thinking.   In the comments she referenced a slide show she did on privacy at Bloggy Boot Camp in Austin.  I watched the almost 30 minute presentation and although I don't agree with everything she said, her theme of being careful about what you put out in the internet really resonated with me.  So no more calling it in on Wednesdays with cute pictures of Superman for Wordless Wednesdays (although I may have other subjects for those posts).  I am going to have to get back to really writing and that is a little bit scary for me (so please be kind).

The super cool thing that is going to happen in the next couple weeks is that I have a new blog design!  Jessica over at The Frilly Coconut has taken on this challenge for me and we have been working hard at making the design perfect (actually she is working hard and I am just saying things like "that is awesome" and "I love it!" in response to the changes she makes).  I have no idea where we are in the process (I should probably ask her that), but it feels like we are close to getting done.  So stay tuned for a new look around here!


Mommy C

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Favorite Moments Friday

I think I have been working on this post since Thursday and finally finishing it. It has been an interesting week and my mind has been elsewhere.   Horrible excuse I know, but such is life sometimes.  

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!


Superman is 10 months old!! I can't believe he is so close to turning 1.  Where did the time go?

Here are some of the favorite moments from the last month.

  • Superman is a full on cruiser!  He can go from laying down to cruising along the coffee table in about 2 seconds.  He loves going from one piece of furniture to another and using his little walkers.

  • REI sent Superman his first credit card application.  Thanks, but I think we will pass for now.
    Superman in Pumpkin Patch2
  •  As I posted earlier this month, we headed to two different pumpkin patches this year.  We first we went to Kruger Farms and tried our hand at our very first corn maze.  The second was Lake View Farms with a boat and train ride. 

  •  My husband takes care of getting Superman ready for bed every night, including story time.  Hubby called me in earlier this month to show me Superman's new skill...turning the page!   Now a days he is turning pages left and right.  He especially likes the peek-a-boo books where there is something hidden under the flap.

  • Superman has tried a lot of different foods in his life, but the big one this month was fish.  I got a couple small fillets of sole at Whole Foods and baked them.  Superman loved it!  Unfortunately, my house smelled like fish for a couple days.
  • My husband's group at work held treat or treating and a party the Friday before Halloween.  I brought Superman in and he got to show his baby off to all his coworkers.  It was fun to see how proud my husband is of our son.

  •  Superman's first Halloween was filled with crankiness, teething we suspect.  However, he put up with his mom and dad so we could get some cute pictures that I posted on Wednesday.

I suppose that is all for this month. Till next month....


Mommy C

          Wednesday, November 03, 2010

          Wordless Wednesday: Happy Halloween!

          On Friday, my husband's work had a Halloween Party for all of the employee's kids.  Here are just a couple pictures from that.

          My baby jayhawk

          Daddy is showing him off to all his co-workers

          And here are a few from Halloween:

          Happy Halloween
          Much harder to get him to sit still while holding the paper.  LOL



          Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!


          Mommy C

          Tuesday, November 02, 2010

          A Board Book Gone Wrong

          I love books.  I especially love children's books.  As a teacher, I used books to teach every single subject at every grade level and since school budgets are never what they should be, I have spent a lot of my own money on books for my classroom (and why I had to buy a thing to hang from the ceiling of my garage to hold all my teaching supplies now that I am on leave).

          Shortly after Superman was born, my husband found that he really enjoyed reading to him and it became their "thing".  I quickly began gathering all the books that I thought Superman might like from my collection.  As most moms already know, at some point the normal full sized picture books stopped keeping Superman's attention.  He needed less words, more rhyming and to get his hands on those books  I knew I needed to get some board books so off to Powell's I went.

          Among the collection of board books were several written by Sandra Boynton.  We have The Going to Bed Book, Snuggle Puppy, Pajama Time, Moo, Baa, La La La, and Blue Hat, Green Hat.  The Going to Bed Book and Pajama Time are must reads every single night (although my husband always has to add something about the fact that no one actually goes up to exercise as they are getting ready for bed) and the others make their rounds frequently.  There is one book written by Sanda Boynton that I regret buying:  Hey! Wake Up!.

          I will admit that I was on a buying rampage and may not have read the whole way through this book before buying it.  I know that this is therefore my fault and I should just stop complaining.  However, maybe by writing this blog, you won't make the same mistake that I did.

          So what is my problem with this book?  I think a list is the only real way to get my point across:   (I heart lists.)
          1. The hippo says "ew" to the broccoli stew...TWICE!  I like broccoli enough, but probably won't be making broccoli stew anytime soon.  However, I do not want the idea that you can say "ew" to anything be taught to my son and especially not to vegetables.  
          2. "You're too small for basketball" - Who says?  You, Ms. Boynton?  If my child wants to play basketball, then he will be allowed to play basketball, even if he doesn't "play with someone tall".   I have no problem later in life explaining to my under 6 foot son that he will never have a career as a NBA center, but as a child that is reading a board book?  Oh no you didn't!  (please add the side to side head and finger shake for effect) 
          3. Along the lines of #2 is "You're too big to use the swings! You should go do Big Guy things."  In the picture there is a hippo sitting on the swing.  So is how is a toddler going to translate this? Big kids and adults can't swing? Fat kids can't swing?  We should not be saying the words "you can't" to our babies and toddlers when we are talking about something that is fun and healthy for them, especially when the reason has to do with their size.  (Editors Note: I realize that parents are going to say, "you can't" all the time to babies and toddlers when it isn't safe or the timing is wrong or whatever.  I am talking in the greater sense of the words, "you can't".)
          4. "Morning snack is here for you. Milk and cookies."  I hate to pull out the "I never will ____" for fear that I may some day actually do that, but I want to believe in my heart of hearts that I will NEVER give my son milk and cookies for a morning snack.  I don't even want him thinking that is a possibility!
          5. "And broccoli stew. [hippo says, "ew"] For the bunny, not you." [hippo says, "oh. phew."]  I know, I know, I already brought this up, but come on!  Really?  
          Maybe I am just completely missing something on this book, but in my opinion, Susan Boynton missed the mark on this book BIG TIME.  Part of me wants to recycle the book so that no other child will read it ever again.  The frugal side of me wants to sell it back to Powell's and hope that the next new mommy does a better job reading through the books before buying it.

          Have you ever bought a book for your baby or toddler and later read it and thought, "whuck?"  I would love to hear about it.  In fact, if you would like to be a guest blogger on my blog and write about, that would be even better!  You do not need to have a blog of your own to be a guest blogger.  Simply click on the "Contact" button at the top of my page and email me your idea.

          Happy Reading!


          Mommy C  

          (I have absolutely no connection to these books, the publishers, the author, or anyone connected to them.  I am just a mom writing my own opinion.)