Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Product Review - pet shampoo

I wrote in an earlier blog that I would be reviewing a pet shampoo soon. Well, I finally had time to wash the dog and the hypoallergenic pet shampoo from ecostore USA was a hit!

I have a pug and she sheds a lot and stinks horribly. I've been trying different shampoos for a while and nothing really seems to get her clean. I feel like I have to use half a bottle sometimes to fully cover her plump body and even when I'm finished, she still doesn't seem much better off than she was before I washed her.

The biggest difference I noticed with this shampoo is that, similar to the baby wash, it lathered up a lot more and I was able to use less and really have her whole body covered in bubbles. It smelled pleasant enough, although very similar to other pet shampoos I've used. I'd actually love to find a pet shampoo with a stronger smell (like the baby wash), since my dogs always seem to smell so badly.

I will definitely continue using this product, as it was certainly a step above the others I've found. I can't promise your dog won't stink after his first run around your yard, but at least you'll feel he's really been cleaned. All in all, thumbs up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Board games - a free, fun, healthy family activity

Last night Billy and I took Myles to see Mr. Richard at Chick Fil-A. He plays there one Tuesday evening per month for "Musical Suppertime" and since we hadn't been in a few months, we thought it was time. We met a few friends and Myles had lots of fun in the play area and listening to a few of his favorite Mr. Richard tunes.

But what happened afterward is what was really special. We bought Candyland (the board game) for Myles this past Christmas. We play it somewhat regularly, with me usually recommending it because I'll do anything but spend another minute playing with matchbox cars.

Last night, Myles wanted to play, so all three of us sat down at the coffee table. Myles really understands the game now and LOVES landing on one of the picture squares (unless it's licorice - where you lose a turn - or one of the cards that sends you back to the beginning of the board). We spent close to an hour and playing four games! We played him fair and square and he still ended up winning three of the four. Myles is a very sore loser (he throws a major screaming fit) so we're working with him on how to both win and lose gracefully.

When we put him to bed, he seemed so happy. So were we. I went to sleep knowing we had spent good, quality time with Myles, investing in him and helping him understand another one of life's lessons. So many nights, we just sit down and watch a movie...I think this is a much better alternative.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Funny video

This video was taken in the car yesterday on our way to see my dad for Father's Day. I thought it was funny.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day is coming

I hope everyone is looking forward to a wonderful Father's Day. I'm still trying to get my husband to tell me if I can see my own dad on Father's Day (he's 90 miles away and typically, Father's Day is reserved for whatever Billy wants to do). This is a rare quiet weekend for us w/ no plans w/ friends and no birthday parties. Hopefully we can spend some time outdoors and I pray it's not too unbearably hot.

Myles is truly a lucky boy to have such a wonderful daddy. Today, they shared Father's Day breakfast at the daycare and he sang Billy a song he learned in class. He also made him some cute keepsakes, which I know made Billy feel really special. I don't say it enough but Billy is really an amazing father and a man that I'm proud and excited to be spending my life with.

Happy Father's Day, Billy! I love you more each day we're together.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lunchtime dash!

I don't know about you, but I feel like I have a never-ending list of errands that need to be run. And the list only grew when I had Myles three years ago. Since my husband is "not the errand type," I keep a running to-do list.

As a working mom, what time is there to get these things done? Lunchtime!

First off, I'm not big on spending money on lunches out. I go out about 2-3 times per month to connect with friends I don't see much and I bring my lunch the other days. So since I'm always eating at my desk, I can get out to start checking off my to-do list.

Sometimes, it's a mad dash. Case in point: yesterday. I made a short list, which included picking up some supplies that my boss needed me to purchase for the employee gym. I started at Stein Mart, hoping to find my dad an outfit for Father's Day. No luck. So I raced to the mall, where I had pre-purchased some foundation and needed to pick it up during the "free gift" promotion. Since I was basically out of the tester foundation they'd given me to hold me over, I needed to do this ASAP. Check. Then I ran to Target to pick up the work supplies and while I was there, I figured I'd pick up a birthday gift for a little girl whose party Myles will attend next weekend, as well as a card for one of his old daycare teachers, whose last day is today. Check. Finally, I'd had a rare coffee craving all day and since I had a coupon for a free McCafe w/ no purchase required, I went to the McDonalds drive-through to pick one up. I did all of this in one hour, ten minutes!

What I didn't get to do was purchase a gift for a little boy whose party we have on the same day as the little girl's (it's a joint party and I hadn't heard back yet from the mom on what he wants), actually BUY a Father's Day gift for my dad, buy Billy's Father's Day gifts from me and Myles, and buy my Mother in-law's birthday gift (June 22). There simply wasn't enough time. But that's on my list for tomorrow!

This may sound insane to some people - spending your lunch hours this way - but for me, it works. It saves me from spending money on lunches and gives me more quality time with Myles and Billy, free of errands. What about other moms? When do you get your errands run?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Best baby wash EVER

I was contacted to do my first product review and boy, did I luck out! I reviewed the baby wash from ecostore, a New Zealand-based company that offers "genuinely clean and green products," ranging from baby care to bath and body to household cleaners.

I'd been using a popular brand of baby wash on Myles for quite a while and the first time I opened the ecostore Baby Body Wash, I knew it was radically different. First of all, it smells AMAZING! When I finish washing Myles, I want to sit and smell him for the rest of the night. I even sneak in a few sniffs after he falls asleep! It also leaves his skin very soft and seems to glide on easier and suds him up better than other products I've used.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that it includes "no nasty chemicals" - as ecostore's slogan states. And it's good for the planet.

My only gripe is the cost seems a little steep at $10 for a 6.8 fl oz bottle, more than three times what I pay for a traditional baby wash. But since the smell is just so amazing and Myles himself seems to enjoy being bathed with it, they've turned me into a believer - and a new customer.

Check out ecostore's USA site at www.ecostoreusa.com. And enjoy!

PS - I will also be reviewing ecostore's pet shampoo...I just haven't had time yet to wash the dog! Such is the life of the working mom!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Layout issues

FYI, I have obviously changed my layout. This is just a temporary solution though. When I logged on this morning, my page was covered with Photobucket ads and it was basically unreadable. I did some searching to see what the problem was and it was something with my blog designer's personal page. Since I don't have the time at work right now to go and find a new design that suits me and this content well, I'm going with a generic design until I do have the time. Hope everyone is having a happy Monday (or at least as happy as Mondays can get!).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Welcome to summer

I live in Florida. Therefore, I despise the summertime and live for winter. Our 70-degree days from December through February are far more appealing than the 95-plus-degree heat we feel from June through September. And if I had it my way, I'd be out of here in favor of the Pacific Northwest from about May 1 through November 1.

I digress though. There are some nice things about the summer despite the blazing heat that nearly melts your skin. Vacations are #1 and Myles was on one w/ my parents for the past week. He did Disney's Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach (the closest we get to snow down here) and spent many other days in the resort pool. Below are some pictures from his fun week. All I can say is I'm glad he's home!
Myles at Animal Kingdom

Myles and a snowbaby at Blizzard Beach

Myles and my dad in the resort pool

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where are all of the working mommies?

I was talking to my co-worker yesterday about the need for so many "sick/personal" days when you have a little one. My place of employment only offers five sick days, four personals and ten vacation days until you've been with the company for five years.

Since I've had Myles, I burn through the sick days before we're halfway through the year and I always need to use at least two personal days for sickness as well. Then I have the daycare, which is closed for many more holidays than my place of employment. At my job, we only get SIX holidays. The daycare is closed for those six holidays PLUS six and one half additional. Well, even if my husband and I split those days, I've now burned through all of my personal days, plus a vacation day.

The co-worker then mentioned that when her boys were younger, she and her other working mom friends would take turns watching the kids on the days when they were scheduled to work, but the daycare was closed. They rotated holidays. What a great idea, I thought!

Then it hit me...in my circle of friends, I am THE ONLY ONE who has a traditional, 9-5 job! Yes, I do have other working mom friends, but they all have the type of job where they work when they are able and are not required to be in the office for 40 long, specific hours, like me.

About half of my friends are SAHMs. But I do have a few who work. One friend sells promotional products and does much of her work at home. She gets a sitter when she needs to go to the office, or puts her sons in a mother's morning out program. Another works for her husband...from home. Yet another is a wedding planner who works for herself and makes her own hours. A fourth works mostly from home and goes into the office one day a week. And another is a speech and language pathologist, who also makes her own hours and does her own thing.

When I come to realizations like this, I immediately begin to feel isolated. Like nobody understands me. Like I'm alone in this fight to help provide for my family while still trying to be a great mom and wife. Then I start feeling like I'm losing, even if I'm not.

I appreciate that I've met a few 9-5ers through this blog. And really, I know I'm not the only mom out there who works 9-5. Sometimes it just feels that way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Back to reality

I took the last 3 working days off for a much needed mini vacation. I spent a couple of nights w/ family on Florida's Gulf Coast, then met up w/ a friend for a short girls' weekend near Naples. I had a great time, complete w/ a massage, pedicure, shopping, lounge time at the pool, tasty fruity drinks and a soft, comfy bed all to myself.

But the entire time I was gone, I thought about Billy and Myles...and how great it would be to see them again on Sunday. And it was!

Of course, I wasn't thinking that about returning to work. While my job has many perks, I don't think anyone actually wants to go back after a long absence. I have three hours left in my first day back. I already can't wait for Friday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little black cloud growing bigger

There seems to be a growing black cloud at my place of employment lately. In March, a co-worker started having serious marital problems. Another co-worker's wife had to have an emergency C-section at just 35 weeks due to severe eclampsia. She and the baby spent weeks in the hospital. Then, that same co-worker had his car stolen right out of his driveway just a few days after the wife came home w/ the baby.

Next, I had the miscarriage and another co-worker's husband lost his job. Of course, plenty of people at my company are losing their jobs...and have been for over a year now. I am starting to get used to it.

Now, in the past week, 911 has been called twice and both people were taken to the hospital for somewhat serious issues. Then, today, the co-worker who has been having marital problems announced she is getting a divorce...and may not return to work.

Wow...it seems this little black cloud that has parked itself at work is only getting bigger. And all of this bad news is becoming increasingly difficult to hear.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mom 'do?

So my hair has suddenly developed a bit of curl and with that comes a little frizz. I have hated dealing with it so decided there was no better time to chop it off. The hair desperately needed to be tamed since I was having no luck making it look descent. Plus, with temperatures now reaching the 90 degree range, maybe a shorter 'do wouldn't be too bad.

Below is a picture of the new, chopped hair. It looks very much like a typical mom 'do to me. I'm getting used to it, but I miss my long locks (although I do NOT miss the hair I had just before the cut). It's the shortest it's ever been and seems like it will be a lot easier to manage, something every mom likes to hear!

Anyway, I just thought I'd share a photo. We went to the St. Pete Beach area for the weekend to spend time with family, who were visiting from out of state. On this picture, we were enjoying our annual tradition of cocktails at the Don CeSar with my uncle and his partner, Lee. The picture was taken around sunset on a day that was incomparably gorgeous. I think I need to stay at Don CeSar someday.