December 31, 2008

I Could Kiss Laura From Housekeeping

So we went on an overnight ski trip to a resort a few hours away from where we live on Sunday. Aside from it being one of the most stressful trips we've ever been on, we did end up having a great time. People always tease me for making lists and itineraries and "over-planning" trips, but this past weekend just reinforced why I do all of that. This is the first time since I can remember that I didn't make a packing checklist or map out an activity itinerary and boy did it show. Here's how the stress all started:

  1. Hubby did not put my overnight bag in the car.
    (Please know that I cannot possibly convey to you in words the feelings that little situation evoked. Use your imagination.)
  2. Since we were in middle-of-nowhere-Maryland my only shopping options to replace my stuff were Wal-Mart and Cato Fashions. Any store with the word "fashions" in the name can only be bad news. It was, however, a step up from the atrocities the local Wal-Mart was trying to pass off as "sweaters." I never longed for a Target so badly in my life.
  3. We also forgot at home L'il Buddy's winter coat and Chatterbox's and Giggles' hats, gloves, and scarves. This was because when we left home it was a record-breaking 70 degrees for some freakish reason and so we didn't bundle the kids up as we normally do when leaving the house. Instead everyone just piled in the car and Hubby threw the girls' coats in the back. So the kids got some winter "fashions" from Wal-Mart too. Thank goodness I had packed the girls' snowpants in their bag which, thank goodness, Hubby did bother to put it in the car.
  4. Hubby did not bother to bring any winter accessories for himself (because he "took this trip for granted" - his words, not mine) and so he ended up buying an overpriced ski mask from the resort boutique. He did have ski gloves that his wife packed for him though.
  5. Hubby had also decided that there was "no room" for the girls' sled and left it in the driveway at home. Scout's honor. (How could there not be any room? He didn't put anything else in the car!)
  6. With no set itinerary we wasted precious time trying to figure out what to do and when and where and how much it cost once we got there. Add three small children to the mix and it was a mess.

In the end we made the best of everything and had fun. J. Ny and her family came too and the first night the kids all went sledding (on J. Ny's sleds, of course) and tubing. My sister and I went night skiing (albeit very late) and! After a completely sleepless night (the baby did not like his unfamiliar surroundings; Giggles' had a cough; the heater in the hotel room was louder than an army-issue Black Hawk; shall I go on?) we woke up, had breakfast and Hubby and I hit the slopes. We then had a ridiculously complicated time checking out of the room and returning our equipment (check out time came before the ski lift passes expired so we were trying to do as much skiing as possible whilst having checked out of our room), and then we were finally on our way home. Of course, in line with the rest of the events of the weekend, the nipple for L'il Buddy's bottle sprung a leak on the car ride back home just as he was wanting to eat, and we had to find our way to a CVS on dark back roads in the Maryland countryside to buy a new one. We finally made it home, happy and tired from our skiing adventure. End of story.

Or so I thought.

This morning it occurred to me that I hadn't seen Chatterbox's "DS" that she got for Christmas since we had been back home. Of course, being a firm believer in Murphy's Law, deep down I had a feeling that I knew exactly where the game was but I attempted to look for it everyhwere nonetheless. Chatterbox confirmed my suspicions and announced that her "DS is in the drawer in the hotel room." At which point I almost cried. She hadn't even had the thing for a full week!

Anyway, to put you out of your misery I will cut to the chase: I just called the resort and spoke to Laura from Housekeeping who cheerfully told me that they in fact had "the Frog" and would send it to out to us right away.

How's that for a Christmas miracle?

Lessons learned: There still are some good people left in the world; my unconditional love for Target really is justified; always double-check behind your husband when going on a trip; ignore the haters and make checklists and itineraries 'til the cows come home; and add "hotel drawers" to the list of spots to triple-check when checking out of a hotel room.

The End.

December 24, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Look at Oldest, he was a Wiseman in his Christmas Nativity play. Yours truly made the costume, from scratch using a pattern. Great-Grandma Jonesie had to help with the blue robe because I messed up the sleeves.

So I waited last minute to do my shopping for the kids. We drove 11 hours to Washington DC to see family, friends, and snow. So far, we are two out of three. Although it was about 20 something degrees on Monday, there is no snow. We froze our buns off site seeing the Monument, and one of the Smithsonian museums. The entire time I kept thinking of how much I love DC and how much I miss DC. Such a beautiful city.

Anyhoo, with all this traveling and site seeing, I knew that I would not be able to do my Christmas shopping until today. I pulled into the Target parking lot at 8:44 am, and by 9:30ish, I was all done. I couldn't believe it. The store was empty in a scary type of way. Scary because people aren't spending any money. When you think about how many people have been laid off, or behind in payments, it's scary. It's not just stories I'm hearing on the news either, but I personally know people that are behind in their bills and mortgage. People who I never thought would be in this position. Crazy!!

I don't want to depress anyone but I couldn't help but think about all that while I made my purchases. I was real careful not to over spend and made cautious decisions. In the past, this was not an issue.

With all that said, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!! May Santa bring you all that you wanted and don't forget to wish Baby Jesus happy birthday tomorrow!! I have a picture of a beautiful birthday cake for Baby Jesus but I forgot my cord for my camera. Until then, here is our Christmas photo.

Hugs and Kissess all!

December 19, 2008

Our Motley Crew

The gals over at BabyBunching have been offering great holiday tips for parents of 'twiblings' (siblings close in age). One of them was how to make the picture-with-Santa trip easier. Reading that post reminded me of our trip to see Santa this year and I thought I'd share with you the comment I left for them. Oh and our photo of course:

"We totally lucked out and ran into santa by accident in an EMPTY mall the weekend after thanksgiving. the stars were aligned and we managed to get ALL THREE kiddies on santa's lap, facing the camera AND smiling. (pausing for applause) Besides the fact that we were totally unprepared for a photo and so that outfits are not a-la-Children's place, the only mishap was one bleeding 4 year-old finger thanks to the staple on the goody bag santa passed out.


And so went this year's photo with Santa.

We are just all holiday'd out over here! Wait 'til you see the photos from the cookie party... (The suspense is killing you, I know).

The Chivalry, It Is Dead.

Yesterday morning on the train on the way in to work I saw a woman who was SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT sitting on the FLOOR of the train car because no one offered her their seat. It was despicable! She was very good natured about it.

Couldn't have been me.

December 17, 2008

Because I Must Share With You How Dora Is Always An Integral Part of Each Holiday At My House

On Black Friday, while you (and I) commercial consumptionists were pillaging the racks at the local mall, Chatterbox and Giggles were at home, joyfully building a gingerbread house under Grandma's loving care.

I know you're wondering how we managed to find a Dora and a Boots that were appropriately dressed for the "weather." It's because we're fly like that.

I take no responsibility for the cow though. I was out-voted when I suggested that the cow may not quite be necessary. But then my ability to reason is questionable anyway. After all, I had just woken up at the crack of dawn to buy a Bratz World House for dirt cheap. The cow makes plenty more sense.

December 16, 2008

*UPDATED* Holiday Deals, Steals & Giveaway: Tech Products Edition

Only 9 days 'til Christmas! Can you believe it?


kajeet, the cell phone service made 4 kids, is offering MamaLaw readers a special $10 bonus in airtime with the purchase and activation of any kajeet handset. kajeet offers a full suite of easy parental controls plus all the sweet stuff your kids love...all for less than $5-10 a month! There's no annual contract and the service includes a GPS phone locator and 3 great mechanisms for parents and kids to set limits for calls and texts. Mention code "Bonus10" at checkout. Offer expires Feb. 1, 2009.

MobiStories, virtual books for kids ages 1-10, is offering MamaLaw readers a download of up to $15 of MobiStories books for FREE! MobiStories offer children quality choices to enjoy great books on their terms, anywhere and anytime. The stories can be downloaded to all major media, including: iPhone, iPod, Computers, DVDs, MP3s, Zune, iTunes, MySpace, Facebook and more. Enter the promotion code "BSM125A" on this page to download your FREE MobiStories from the library!

[I'm totally doing this since we bought Giggles the Fisher-Price KidTough FP3 Player for Christmas. She'll be all set!]

Still haven't had time to get your holiday cards printed yet? Or maybe you want to make a photo book for someone of your gift list? Don't wait another minute and enter our HP Photosmart Giveaway! Leave us a comment telling us what you would use the giftcards for and we'll select TWO of you to win a $14.50 giftcard to use at the HP Photosmart Express station. It's the easy way to print photos in seconds! Giveaway ends Friday at midnight.


Congrats to our winners, Tech Savvy Mama and Lady Amanda!

December 15, 2008

If You Give A Mom A Weekend...

Ugh, I'm sick. I've had a cold since Thursday and I just can't seem to shake it. Luckily it is not the flu. But it's wiping me out nonetheless. However, lest you think that stopped me from running aorund like a maniac this weekend, let me set the record straight...

Friday I took a sick day from work to "rest." Yeah right. I ended up running mad errands. I got my hair done, did a return at the mall, bought an outfit for Saturday's holiday party, picked up our holiday cards, and took the girls to the library after school to get a book in order to be prepared for Saturday. Friday evening we (finally) out up the tree! Thank heavens for "shatterproof" ornaments. Really, I have no idea why it was so hard for the girls to get the ornaments ON the tree.

Saturday I took the girls to see If You Give A Pig A Pancake. It was an adorable show and I was glad that I had them read the book beforehand because they were able to follow along which made them even more engaged. Then we went to the bakery to pick up holiday cookies for a party we had later that evening. Next we stopped off at home, had lunch, picked up L'il Buddy and Hubby and made our way to a birthday party at a kids' museum. It was lots of fun. After a speed change in the museum bathroom, we were all ready to head to our church holiday party. Where I ate way too much.

Sunday we went to church (and I was so proud of Giggles for going to Children's Church like a big girl and not even coming back to look for me once!) We went home, had lunch and Chatterbox and I went on a special excursion to pick up some hair products for Giggles that a woman at the birthday party told me about. Giggles has SO MUCH HAIR and I am continually searching for some helpful products. If any of you are in need of hair products for curly hair, check out Miss Jessie's - and they are actually having a buy one, get one FREE sale right now! After that we did our usual Sunday evening grocery run and I came home and made bacon burgers. Hubby and I also did the girls' hair, which was a big production as usual. I texturized Chatterbox's and Hubby washed and deep conditioned Giggles' It was a 2 hour affair. Then I had a conference call for church and THEN I was finally free to collapse into bed...and get ready for the start of a new week.

Say, if you have a pre-paid vacation that you are dying to give away, throw it my way would ya? I'm beat.

December 11, 2008

Great Christmas Buy! LeapFrog Handheld Didj

LeapFrog has really out done themselves with this one. You've probably seen the Didj in the stores, but didn't know how to pronounce it, and didn't realize all that it can do. The Didj (pronounced "did+g") is LeapFrog's Custom Learning Gaming System appropriate for ages 6-10. What does "custom gaming system" really mean? It means your child can go on-line, enter the math skills or spelling skills he or she is working on in school (for example, addition up to 12) and incorporate those skills into fun video games like Hannah Montana, Sonic, Star Wars, etc. What's great about the customizable features is that there is nothing else like it, and you can buy a number of games that your child already wants to play. Furthermore, it does a great job in balancing the gaming aspect with the learning aspect; important to the kiddos and the parents. Right? In fact, your child gets rewarded for doing well on the games. The better your child does, the more customizable options your child can choose from. Points are earned and "secret codes" are given so that your child can add additional features to the games. Customizing the games is really easy, you just connect the game to your computer, download a program, and then you can also go on-line to do more.

With Christmas right around the corner, I give the Didj five out of five! Oldest loves it and I love it. Thank you LeapFrog!

Deals: Get $10 off the Didj Custom Gaming System at Enter code HY8DSP at checkout expires 12/20/08. And get FREE shipping on purchases $50 or more.

*UPDATED* Holiday Steals, Deals & Giveaway: Beauty Edition!

Get a FREE sample of Covet, Sarah Jessica Parker's new fragrance. Request yours here.
15% off your online purchase at Enter code FYP96 at checkout. Valid through Dec. 14, 2008.

Bonus: Get a FREE set of Sephora brand lashes in Snowflake or a FREE Sephora brand mini lipstick in Talented Berry with any purchase. Enter code winkorkiss at checkout. Valid though Jan. 31, 2009.


We're giving away a jar of Carol's Daughter Almond Cookie Sea Salt Scrub! This award-winning scrub is a delightful recipe of sea salt blended with avocado, jojoba and wheat germ oil, that naturally exfoliates for super supple skin and a healthy glow.

Gentle enough for all skin types.
Paraben, mineral oil, petroleum, and artificial color FREE.
Contains jojoba, avocado and wheat germ oil.

Retails at $28.

To enter, visit the Carol's Daughter online boutique and leave us a comment telling us which product(s) are calling your name! Comments will close on midnight, Tuesday, Dec. 16.

More Holiday Steals, Deals & Giveaways coming your way soon!

Congratulations to Three Time Mommy!! She's the winner of this fabulous Carol's Daughter Body Scrub. Enjoy!
Here is the screenshot from

December 09, 2008

This & That

I lost 2lbs! I lost 2lbs! Not bad for the first week. I've been following the Weight Watchers plan and exercised twice. I even managed to survive a holiday party on Saturday amidst trays of cookies and dips without blowing my diet out of the water. Yay for me. I do have 2 holiday parties this weekend though, so hopefully I can do as well then too.

In other news, I finally dragged the Christmas decorations up from the basement last night and we started putting things up. Never mind that December is half over. We still need a tree and hubby and I are going back and forth about whether to get a real or fake one. I am totally over the real tree idea (vacuming needles, refilling water) - I have enough work to do as it is - but hubby is set on having "the real scent of fresh pine" in the house. I told him that we can get a fake tree and I'll get him a spray bottle of the pine scent :) He's never had an artificial treee before so I think he's expecting it to look like Charlie Brown's. We're still in deliberations.

Lastly, congrats to Justice Ny on landing a fabulous new job! She is much too modest (and busy) to brag about it herself, so I am doing it for her. You go, Mommy!

That's all for now. Check back soon for another great giveaway...

December 04, 2008

Delicious Indulgence? Or Cause for Indigestion?

How'd ya like this in your Christmas stocking?

December 03, 2008

Time to Put Up or Shut Up

Remember this post? Well, since that day I (shamefully) have not exercised again. The baby wakes up 4 -5 times each night and I'm beat. It's all I can do to get through each day, let alone exercise. But going shopping on Black Friday and over the weekend and realizing that nothing fits put me over the edge. So I signed up for Weight Watchers yesterday and registered for aerobics class which starts tonight. I really don't have a spare moment, but I've got to do this. Oh and I am also planning to join Mrs. Schmitty in her BlubHer Overhaul. I need all the support I can get!
Will report back soon.

December 02, 2008

*UPDATED* Day 2 -- Holiday Steals, Deals & a Giveaway!

Busy, busy, busy, so I'll keep this one short and sweet:


MA! Motherhood with Attitude is offering 15% off anything in their online boutique -- just enter code STUFFER08 at checkout. This includes their sassy notecard box sets ($10) and their brand new line of funky magnets ($4). And they are offering FREE shipping through the end of December. Add all of that up and that you've got a steal!

I'll let you in on a secret of mine in case you haven't already discovered it: Woot offers a super deal on one electronic item every day until it is sold out. And, because it's Two-For-Tuesday, today's item is a 2-pack of a Philips Plug and Play USB Webcam with Microphone for $12.95! Definitely a deal.

Right in time for the holidays, we are giving away $10 in BearBucks to use at any Build-a-Bear Workshop and a Spanish music CD from Lango, a company that offers classes and products for teaching foreign languages to kids, ages 18 months to 9 years old. The CD is called Con Cosmo. You can listen to some snippets here.

And because we're in the spirit of giving, we are going to giveaway this prize pack to two lucky winners!! All you have to do is leave a comment for us by midnight on Friday, Dec. 5.

Who says there isn't a Santa Claus?

Congratulations to our winners: Thien-Kim & De in D.C.!!

Happy Belated Birthday

My LadyBug is now 3 years old! I can hardly believe it myself. I found myself re-living the entire birth process as the hours drew to her birth time - is that strange or what?!?! Time has gone by so fast though that I know I'm going to blink and she'll be all grown up. I've heard people say "enjoy every moment because before you know it she'll be all grown" -- now I understand.

Anyway, happy birthday ladybug (or Barack Obama as she prefers to be called).

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