Baby Shower Fun

The baby shower is over and it was pleasant success. Much thanks to Jenny, April, Kristen & Heather for making is a terrific event.


Many people showed with whom I was excited to see,visit and chat. Friends, family.. it was good.

My ex was there with his family. Try as I might to be friendly, I always seem shut out. But, it rolls off. Suzie was there and I didn’t realize who she was at first – until I asked Cas -who is that lady. But Piper (Suzie’s and the ex’s baby) is about the cutest little pixie ever. Missed the uncle though.. Gpa was nice as always.

Friends from the homeschool group were there – oh how nice to see these moms.. with their kids grown up and out of the group. I am looking forward to getting together with them again soon, like the old days of gathering and gabbing and crafting and laughing.

baby-shower-134

Daniel’s grandma was great – so friendly, funny and just always around. My step-mom and aunt came which tickled me to pieces. My mom, Bob’s mom Dale, and Bob’s dad and gma were there.. friends and ex-coworkers of Cas. And I think I have more pics of Piper and Em with Piper than I do my own kids at the shower.

I didn’t play any games – when they first started I had taken Ry to the potty.. What was great was the “Who knows Cassie Best” game was won by Bob (my hubby, Cas & Em’s stepdad of 12+ years). Now, I won’t lie, even had I played, he’d have beat me. I just didn’t know all the answers.. and some which should have been no-brainers for me, I completely ditz on… but like I said, I didn’t play.

Cas and Daniel opened so many packages and bags, and it seemed every time she opened something, she pulled out another bib, or set of bibs. She got dresses, and bath goodies and a bouncer.. Now, she is stripping all the tags and will get everything washed and ready to wear.

The place the party was held at was a really neat building – an old car dealer place.. very neat inside, a perfect place for a nice shower. Daniel’s sisters Kristen & Heather are both adorable, smile a lot, friendly and I hope to work with them on any future showers… actually, even though they have plenty of family, maybe I’ll just adopt them as my nieces… hmmm…

I ordered the carseat/stroller combo . Still need onesies, sleepers and a few other things – things people thought everyone would get, but instead, only a couple did.

Shopping for Baby Stroller Combo


Baby shower is in just a few days and Cas is already 33 (amost 34) weeks pregnant. At this point, we have start thinking about Anna’s arrival and procrastinating no more. Off we went to go stroller/carseat shopping.

First we went to Babies R Us.. they didn’t have a combo stroller/car seat that was girly, not pink-girly (which they didn’t have either), but nothing that was even do-able as a girl unless Cas wanted brown.

Then we went to Target. There was only one pink one. So I pulled it down off the shelf that was eye-level (not too bright imo).. it wouldn’t close.. once it was closed the first time, it opened super easy. After that, she had to fight with it to open or close – with two hands and it was a “one-hand” open or close model. So, we gave up on that.

We went to sears.. they had a couple combos, but like babies r us, nothing girly. I mean, come one, women having girls would like something that at least hinted it might be a girl.

I will say that while Cas was being picky, we were also looking for a Graco. Her car is a difficult one to fit a baby seat in, and not only will it fit her car, it’s also a good brand. We were limited by the color and ease of use as well as brand.

As little as Sears had JC Pennies had *nothing*. I mean, a wall of umbrella strollers and that was it.

At this point, I mentioned to Cas she may need to lower her standards a bit (not on brand, but color and/or style)… I mean, Anna could get her and we’d have no car seat. I told her I could picture it now…. Going to visit Anna every day at the hospital because Cas and Daniel could find the perfect carseat.. but it’s ok, because the nurses love her, she’s a good baby… plus, they love all her hair. No, seriously, we need a carseat. Cas swears she’s going early (doesn’t almost every mom wish for it) and I tell her she’s got an extra two weeks (way to be a supportive, lovely mom, huh? Tell it like it is.. she isn’t going early.)

stroller-combo

So we went to Baby Depot, inside Berlington Coat Factory. They had a really nice little baby section, but were complete idiots.. Expect after we paid for a stroller combo (it was like a sea green and brown, but had flowers on it, folded super easy for her, was really soft material for Anna) I got home and got a call saying the only one they had in stock in the back was a return and they didn’t realize it was damaged until AFTER we left. SO they let me pay full price for a returned item. The guy on the phone told me it would be at the store tomorrow.. 10 minutes later I get a call saying it wouldn’t be there until Monday. I told them to cancel it and I’d get it somewhere else (I’ll order it from Amazon instead).. I don’t trust them now knowing they were going to sell me a returned item for full price. NO stores do that. If it’s returned, undamaged, it is discounted because it’s an opened container. If it’s damaged, it gets sent back to the manufacturer..

So, long story short, we found what she wanted, but we are ordering it online -it’s the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System. She is happy with that because she knows she likes it – which she didn’t want to do at first (order online) in case it ended up like the one at Target which she had a hard time with. While it won’t be there for the shower, at least she’ll get what she wants. I’ll print off a picture and put it on the gift table saying “Purchased” along with the arrival date, this way everyone knows she’s got it.

Nothing Better

We’ve been busy this week getting ready for a baby shower. My oldest daughters first baby, my first grandbaby. What fun! We’ve been shopping for shower foods and accessories, baby goodies and even something for ourselves.

I bought a pair of pj’s at the new xxi – it’s a huge Forever 21.. and I noticed the tag on the pants had a little saying on them.. part of it started “There is nothing better than..” and I thought, wow! I can think of a few things for which there is nothing better..

There is nothing better than….
1. wearing comfy clothes.. oooh, give me pjs, or, if I must get dressed, a comfy pair of jeans.
2. hearing my kids say “I love you”.
3. just as good as I love you, is hearing your kids (teenagers no less) tell me I’m there best friend. Wow.. I can be a mom and a best friend.
4. taking a nap and having all the dogs climb into bed and snuggle around me… for the whole nap.
5. making a yummy smell good batch of soap with beautiful swirls.
6. a homemade dinner that everyone oohs and aahs over, eats so much they are stuffed an there is no leftovers. delish!
7. having quiet time.
8. reading a good book.
9. being married for 12 years and it seems like just yesterday you met… as in, it’s been a terrific 12 years.
10. getting some alone time with my hubby in the hottub. [wink]
11. going shopping with my girls.. usually a good time.
12. seeing people you having seen in a long time.. (particularly people you actually like!)
13. new babies.
14. looking in the mirror and having a good “hey, I look good today” day.
15. good hair days!
16. playing a fun game with my oldest son… we’ve been playing wizard101.com – oh, seriously fun. Very similar to toontown.com.. we have a great time working / playing together.

Want to share your “Nothing better than”? Post on your blog, and leave a link here so I can come read yours.

Admiring Women in Technology


March 24th, 2009 is the date set to write a post about a woman whom you admire in technology. “In technology” is to be interpreted in the way you see fit. One woman is writing about a woman in animation, or maybe someone will write about a woman in gaming. It should be about a woman who creates or uses any technology in an innovative way.

I haven’t decided exactly who I will write about, though I do have an idea or two.

I pledged via PledgeBank I would write a post. The way PledgeBank works is if the number requested to pledge isn’t met, you don’t have to do it… in this case, the number of posts requested was 1000. I made the 1310th person to pledge.

Would you like more information? Visit the main website about it at Ada Lovelace Day. From there, you’ll find the PledgeBank Ada Lovelace pledge, as well as links to follow this on following on twitter, joining the mailing list, where to read the blog and a Facebook Event.

Sign my pledge at PledgeBank

We Heart It


This evening, I came across a site called We Heart It. This is a site where you can add all your favorite pictures, share them with others, tag them for easy searchability (is that a word?).

I am a flickr fan. And in flickr, you have the ability to mark other peoples photos as a favorite. All your favorites are stored in your “favorites” page or pages as the case may be.

We Heart It is similar, except you can favorite just about any picture. Right now, the bookmarklet doesn’t work in IE (yet another reason to switch browsers – I’d recommend Firefox), but for our other browser users, a bookmarklet is available to drop into your browser bar – you’ll find it on their site under “About Us”. From there, once you have an account [1. My husband registered and it’s so easy, he quickly said “That’s it!?”, yep, that’s it!}, whenever you come across a picture you like, you click that button and from there you click the picture you want to save (it’s easy to see where to click, as a big pink box shows up on your picture.

Don’t forget to add some tags, this makes your favorited picture more viewable to others and definitely more searchable.

You can also have friends at We Heart It.. so join and, or if you already have, make me a friend. My Heart

Saving Change Makes Sense


Oh how cliché, I know.. but really, there is so much truth in this simple statement. While this post was originally written for and posted at MomSpark.com, I thought I’d bring it here to repost – since we are in such a financial situation country-wide, here is one more pinch-the-pennies post. Reading the post from Marc at Recession Family called Got Change? reminded me of my post on change. See end of post for some extra info on saving change.

We have always kept jars around the house to toss change into. I’ve not got one of those really neat old glass water bottles, the 5 gallon kind – a flea market find, of course. Bob and I, and the boys always put our loose change in this. I even put in bills periodically – but usually it’s only when I have a lot of them at one time.

We use to keep our change in smaller jars or containers – the most common around our house were empty Pringles cans (the tall ones). I like these because you can leave the lid on, but cut a nice slot for change (and bills) to drop in easily. In my car, I keep an old Wet Ones container. I had to cut the slit in the top a little bit so quarters would fit through it more easily. I like that big old glass jar… but it will never get filled up in our house, we “break” into it too often, ha!

After a while, all that loose change starts adding up.

This spring, we decided to buy family passes to the local amusement park. We were realistic and knew we’d only go a few times in the spring and a few times in the fall, but overall, buying the passes would save us money. Plus, we never feel like we have to go the whole day. We can make short trips, more often.

Seasons passes for a family of 5 (we didn’t get a membership for our oldest daughter) are pricey.. so we emptied out our change jar (which we’d started the fall before) and started separating all the coins. The bank teller gave me a bag of coin wrappers… and we went to work. About 2.5-3 inches of change and bills in the bottom of that jar and added up to somewhere around $375… I was excited – it almost paid for our tickets. Much more than what I thought, and much less than what I expected to come out of pockets!

We have always tried to use our change collection for something fun – movie rentals and a fun eat-in fest, movies out (though we usually prefer in), a trip to the local aquarium or zoo.. museum memberships.

I met a couple who said they’d started saving in two large 5-gallon jugs when they first got married. They promised themselves a trip to Hawaii when both jugs were full. She said they had about 1/4 of one left to go… I don’t think it would take me long to finish that much off!

Marc suggests using the Coinstar machines you find in the grocery store. While ours use to charge 9%, I’m thinking ours went up to 11%. Instead, what I do it go to the bank and ask for coin rolls. They give me a bag at a time. So, I spend some time sorting and rolling, but I also save a nice bit. Last time we counted out the coin collection, I had about $375.. if I’d taken that to Coinstar, it would have cost me minimum $33.75. Wow.. now… what could I do with an extra $33? Plenty, I assure you!

Do you save your change? What do you save it in and what do you plan to do with it?

Keeping Hydrated

(originally posted at MomSpark.com 9/8/08, wanted to repost here)

Many of our kids are going back to school, and when we get busy, we tend to forget to take care of our needs and sometimes even important needs of the kids – like staying hydrated.

hydrated-pitcher


Make sure you take plenty of breaks. I know I’m terrible at hitting “stop” when I get going – especially when I’m out digging in the yard. I also know when I’m out digging, I’m sweating out essential electrolytes like sodium and potassium… Because kids metabolisms are higher ours as adults, they get dehydrated quicker than we do.. so If the kids are out playing and/or getting physical in the heat, they need to replenish those electrolytes too – and likely more often than we do.

Fruits like watermelon, grapes and orange slices are nice and juicy and help too. Staying well stocked in water, juice boxes and drinks like Gatorades are great… but in todays times, sometimes it’s more economical to make your own. Here are two recipes for electrolyte drinks containing simple ingredients, simple enough most kids could help make it.

Recipe 1:

Orange Citrus Electrolyte Sport Drink

1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. fresh orange juice, pulp free
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
7 cups cold water

1. In a glass pitcher, combine sugar and salt.
2. Pour in boiling water and stir to dissolve sugar and salt.
3. Add orange juice, lemon juice, and cold water – stir & mix.

Stir before serving. Stores up to a week.

Recipe 1, Ver. 2:

Lime Citrus Electrolyte Sport Drink

To make the above recipe a lime version, omit the orange juice and increase the lemon juice by 2 tbsp. add 3 tbsp fresh lime juice.

Recipe 2:

Kool-Aid Electrolyte Drink

2 quarts water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute (or just plain salt)

Mix all ingredients together and serve.
*My own note.. you may want to put your ingredients into a 2 quart pitcher, and then add cold water.. that way it will all fit into the pitcher – since most pitchers are about 2 quarts in size.

One last tip, which may seem kind of gross but a good indicator of hydration, teach your kids what color their urine is suppose to be.. if they have enough fluids, it should be almost clear to a very light yellow.. if it’s a strong yellow or darker, they need to have a drink.
Keep Healthy!

Hand-Me-Downs

hand-me-down-logo

Here we go, a classifieds specifically for moms – it’s a new online shop where you are able to purchase, sell, donate or even just give away your gently used baby, kid, pregnancy items…. and more, but read the site for all that.


It’s a super cute site which has just recently launched. I was bummed at first because there was no option for my city, or even close to my city. But I’ve spoke with Norah (who happened to be the nice lady who answered my email inquiry) and she assures me they are adding other big cities soon and eventually even some not quite so big, but not little either cities… So go ahead, and register ( I live in Ohio and chose New York as my city… why, I don’t know, but there I go). Norah assured me it should be easy to switch between cities so you can always check out what’s going on over here and there.

So, sell those gently used, but still awesomely cute baby clothes.. your most comfy maternity tops and jeans, and if you have a bag of t-shirts you plain just don’t want any more donate or give them away (please… please.. just get them out of my house! we all have some of that, don’t we?)

P.S. Register before February 13th, 2009 for a chance to win a Clek Olli Booster Seat – ooh, la, la!

Flickr Stats


I’ve been a long time fan of flickr, as they are almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world (according to their site and I happen to agree). Long time user since the summer my toshiba laptop crashed (over and over again) and finally destroyed my hard drive. Dumb butt me I did not back up my pictures and lost a summers worth of pictures. Since then, all my pics get added to my flickr/madaise account – good and bad.

You can create sets, which are groups of like items.. and then you can group the sets into categories.. organization is awesome. Easy uploadr tools, comments, explore photos (some of the most awesomest photos!)…

I just happened to realize there is also a statistics page – which is either new or I have really been out of it lately.. well, yes, that’s true, I have been. Anyway.

I was tickled to see my stats are pretty close to my stats here at Momma Muse. And while flickr doesn’t give link love in the individual photo descriptions, I’ve started adding my link to Momma Muse as often as I think about it. If even just a few of these visitors pop over to check out this site, that’s not too bad, in my opinion.

Here’s some of my stats:
Daily aggregate views on your account
Most viewed photos and videos
Referrers

Love the stats.