Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is that white stuff around your mouth, son?

So, a couple of evenings ago, my husband was outside with our 3 yr old son, Max, swinging in the backyard, while I was inside with our 1 yr old, Harry. Harry was behind me, playing with toys, while I sat at the computer and checked my email. I had just changed his diaper on the floor and now, he was playing with his cars. I was also in the middle of cooking dinner at the time and might have been a teensy bit distracted. Ahem.

When I stood up from my chair to check on dinner, Harry looked up at me from the floor with a huge grin on his face. A huge, white, grin. Something white was all over his mouth. I freaked out because I thought he had thrown up again (he had just gotten over a stomach bug a few days earlier).

"Oh no! Poor baby!", I said. And then I looked a little closer, looked at what was in his hand, realized it wasn't vomit, and then yelled, "What the? What is that? Oh no!"

It was Desitin. He had been sitting on the floor sucking on an open tube of Desitin. I had forgotten to put the lid back on when I changed his diaper. Yipes! Desitin was all over him, his mouth, his tongue, the carpet, the ottoman, his blanket.

I freaked out again, looked at the ingredients, called my husband from outside, looked for the number to poison control, and then decided to Google "my baby ate Desitin" quickly. I mean, this is what we do these days - we Google before we call poison control.

Afterwards, I felt waaaaay better. Apparently, kids eat Desitin all the time. Tons of blogs and forums popped up on the screen with moms talking about how their toddler sucked up half a tube of Desitin, then the moms freaked out, called poison control, and the experts said not to worry about it - to just observe their child overnight.

So, that is exactly what we did. Like hawks. And Harry was fine. I don't think he ate much of the cream, but still, I was slightly panicked. My husband said not to worry about it because "they" wouldn't make a toxic product for babies because babies put everything in their mouths. True. My husband is usually the voice of reason when it comes to our kids and their health. I tend to panic. Just a little.

Harry had his one year well-child check-up on Tuesday morning and everything was fine. No Desitin poisoning. He is now 23 pounds - we thought he would weigh more than that because the child is ALWAYS hungry. I'm not complaining - it is a relief to have at least one of my children like to eat. We still have to bribe Max to eat.

Harry got one vaccine - we only allow our kids to get one at a time, every few months, since Max has had bad reactions to vaccines - and Harry handled it like a champ.

The doc said he is no longer anemic, so we get to take him off formula and give him whole milk.

Yay! And yet, not so yay.

We, unfortunately, weren't able to establish a good night night routine with Harry because Max was so young when he was born. I wasn't able to leave Max alone for very long to read and sing to Harry like I did with Max. So, Harry's bedtime routine was a bottle.

And now, as of yesterday, we have said bye bye to the bottle and Harry isn't handling it so well. He cried himself to sleep everytime I put him down yesterday, and he cried again today. I have started a bedtime routine with him of books and songs, but it will take time for him to get used to it.

We took his pacifier away over a month ago and I don't think he even noticed. But, taking away his bottle has been like taking away my sweat pants. Or my husband's bedtime bowl of cereal. Devastating.

Wish us luck.

Here is Harry with his new sippy cup:

My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software Winner!

Sooooo, the winner of the My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software is...

#28...Penny Minding Mom!

Penny Minding Mom said...
Following them on Twitter.

Congratulations! I am on my way to email you, Penny Minding Mom!

Thanks to everyone who entered! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Harry, Meeko and their ouchie tummies

So, really, Meeko's gas. I don't know what is up with his stomach, but it's killing me. He sleeps in our bedroom at night and now our room needs to be fumigated. Our dog's flatulence is poison and I think it gave me a disease last night. His gas is physically hurting me.

Here he is wreaking typical havoc in the snow. He looks like he's going to college.

That dog drives me crazy. He has to wear this sweater 24 hours a day now because he has a behavioral scratching problem and he scratches all his fur off. He clearly has some mental issues.

Let's move on.

Poor Harry is sick again. My sweet baby boy. He woke up crying last night around 1 am and I couldn't get him to calm down no matter what I did. He eventually woke my husband up, too, and he thought it might be teething pain, so he gave Harry Tylenol, which only made Harry scream louder. When I couldn't handle the screaming in my ear anymore, I passed him to Steve, to which Harry responded by throwing up all over my husband. And then he did it a second time.

While Steve was cleaning himself and the floor up, I held Harry again and about 10 minutes later, he threw up all over me.

It was HEARTBREAKING (and stinky)!! Harry is so sweet and precious and I don't know why he is sick so often. It isn't fair. Is his immune system really this bad? We try to keep his system boosted with vitamins and minerals, but he still gets sick all the time.

He is only 12 months old and so far he has had more sinus and ear infections than I can count, he had tubes put in his ears, he is borderline anemic, he has been on 7 rounds of antibiotics, he gets diaper rash in two seconds, he has allergic reactions to mosquito bites where the bites look like GIANT blisters that eventually pop and are painful, and the doctor told us that he has asthma. And I'm sure I am forgetting something.

I don't understand. Our 3 yr old son has only been really sick twice that I can think of, thank goodness, but it is just crazy how two children from the same parents, living in the same household, can have such different immune responses. The only thing I did differently in my pregnancies was I ate gluten free while pregnant with Harry because I found out I had celiac disease after Max was born. Could my diet have had something to do with it? Or is it just genetics?



with a little of Max thrown in.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kid-free hours. I had some.

So, Sunday, I got almost three whole kid-free hours. Kid-free. No kids. Not even the little one.

We had a birthday party to attend and my husband said he would take them by himself if I would clean the boys' rooms while he was gone. That was the condition. Then, I could do whatever I wanted. Ummm...done deal. I would have cleaned the boys' rooms anyway.

So, how did I spend my time? First, I prepared dinner in the slow cooker. I know this isn't glamorous or even different from my usual daily routine, but believe me, to get to cook dinner without my 1 yr old pulling on my pant legs to be held and my 3 yr old demanding that I find his lost Obi Wan Kenobi doll was heaven. And enjoyable. I turned up the Carpenters (strange choice, I know, but all the CDs I have left that weren't stolen [see previous post] were in my car and my hubs took my car to the birthday party - plus, I secretly love the Carpenters - shhhh) and I sang as loud as I could - DON'T YOU REMEMBER YOU TOLD ME YOU LOVED ME BAAAAABY - while I chopped onions and potatoes.

Then, I thought about cleaning the boys' rooms, but decided to take a kid-free shower instead. But first, I peed BY MYSELF without my 3 yr old standing in the doorway explaining the Han Solo in carbonite scene from Star Wars to me.

Then, I took my time in the shower - usually my husband is rushing me because he has to leave for work or it's 10 o'clock at night and I'm exhausted. This time, I actually got to shave my legs. And I might have even danced a little.

Then, I decided to blow out my hair with the hairdryer. Usually, I have to let my hair dry by itself or I go to bed with it wet, so when I wake up in the morning, I look like a zombie from the 1980's. Shiver.

About halfway through drying my hair, I realized that I still hadn't cleaned the boys' rooms. And I only had a few minutes left. Oops. Where did all the time go? I must have stepped into some kind of Carpenters time warp and danced in the shower longer than I thought.

So, with my hair half-dry, I ran into Max's room and started throwing toys in the toy box. Darth Maul, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and about seven different Darth Vaders were flying through the air. I shoved his books in the bookcase, put his costumes in the closet (he likes to dress up like Spiderman, Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi). I put his 36 million light sabers of various sizes and colors into a bin and then ran to Harry's room.

In Harry's room, I got a tad bit distracted. This has happened to me a lot since having kids. Something about taking care of children all day has given me ADD.

I used to be extremely focused, able to become completely engrossed in a book, anytime, anywhere. I was a very good student in school with high grades. Now, I am so used to multi-tasking, I can't sit still long enough to read a book. I can't even sit still and watch TV without doing something else at the same time, like folding laundry or working on the computer. And I don't finish anything I start anymore. I am waiting for the day when I don't finish getting dressed and I realize in the middle of Walmart that I have forgotten to put on my bra. Or that the back of my dress is tucked into my panties. And believe me, after having two kids, no one wants that.

So, in Harry's room, instead of cleaning, I began pulling out toys for a rummage sale and making piles all over his room - piles of stuffed animals, rattles, and oh! let's pull out all his shoes and make piles of those, too!

And then! Oh no! Max rounds the corner. I screamed! Oh crap. They're home. And Harry's room looks like a circus clown threw up.

Luckily, due to years of pre-marriage/baby parties and heavy drinking, my husband doesn't have a short-term memory. He never said a word about Harry's room looking like a bomb went off. Harry had fallen asleep in the car, so Steve brought him in the room, stepped over all the piles of toys and shoes, put Harry in his crib, and we all went out to the den. I don't think he even remembered our deal. No short-term memory.

Thanks, Bombay Sapphire!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stop the trail of tears, already!

So, a few months ago, my CDs were stolen out of my car. That sucks. Not just because they were stolen, but because all of my favorite CDs were in the car. The songs that get me through, with lyrics I can relate to during my long days. Stinkin' criminals.

My absolute favorite artists of all time - the ones that were swiped from my car by a hoodlum who was hoping for rap, but got my girly love tunes instead and therefore, probably threw my music in a dumpster somewhere, stupid criminal - are: ahem, Tracy Chapman (my first love), the Indigo Girls (I give them all my lyrics-like-poetry love), Brandi Carlisle, Stevie Wonder, and Al Green. All gone.

You know that game you play when you are drunk at a bar where someone asks you if you had to be with a celebrity of the same sex (or opposite sex, depending on your original sexual orientation) for whatever reason, like you were held at gunpoint or someone will give you a million dollars if you do it - well, who would you pick? My pick was always Tracy Chapman. I don't know if she is a lesbian or not, I'm just saying, she's my choice when I play that game. Everytime. Love her.

Anyway, thank goodness for free phone apps like TinyShark - otherwise, I wouldn't be able to listen to my favorite songs because I can't afford to go out and buy my CDs all over again. It took me years to collect them all. I had every single Tracy Chapman and Indigo Girls CDs. And, I know, I'm an old lady who is behind the times and should just have an iPod with a docking station, but I don't, and they cost money, too, so I won't anytime soon.

My point is that I was listening to TinyShark today (which I can only get to work part of the time. Grrrr.), cooking dinner and singing along with my dear Tracy Chapman and Indigo Girls, when all of a sudden, I just started crying. Not a sad cry. Not a happy cry. Just crying. This music takes me back to years of my life, really tough but fun and carefree years, and I think I might have been grieving the person I used to be - someone with a life outside of the home - when I had time to sit around and appreciate what the music was saying and what the poetic lyrics meant to me.

These songs reminded me of myself, three years ago, before I lost myself in my motherhood role. I might have felt a tinge of sadness that I can't ever have her back again in the same way. But, I also felt hope that I can come back, better than ever, in a different way - still me, only with eyes in the back of my head and a mean don't-mess-with-me-I've-raised-two-boys attitude

I wasn't sad. I was just...letting go a little bit.

However, I've been emotional all day for whatever reason (and no, you men out there who might ask, it is not my time of the month). Earlier in the day, I was watching my boys playing in Max's room - they couldn't see me and didn't know I was watching. Max leaned over to Harry, hugged him, and said, "I love you, Harry." And then continued playing with his Star Wars figures, like it was no big deal.

I cried then, too, hiding behind the wall in the hallway. I cried because it was incredibly sweet and Max has come so far in his understanding of appropriate emotion - I am so proud of him, but I cried also because I thought for the first time in a long time, "Hey, I must be doing something right."

Then,(and this is ridiculous), when my son was watching Return of the Jedi, I actually cried at the end of the movie when the Ewoks are celebrating and Luke Skywalker returns and hugs Princess Leia and he sees the ghosts of his mentors and father.

Um, hello. Who cries at the end of Star Wars? Maybe lifers who go to Star Wars conventions, dress up like Darth Vader and do live action role playing, but certainly not normal, non-obsessed-with-sci-fi people. Something might be seriously wrong with me.

Though, on a somewhat lighter note, I read on a homeschooling blog today that Satan is who makes people send their kids to public school, which made me laugh, and then I felt better, because hey, at least I'm not batsh*t crazy, right?

P.S. Please enter my giveaway at the top right hand corner of my blog. It's my first one ever! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Look at my Scrapped Kids! My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software Review and Giveaway! Ends 9/27

So, I had grand plans of scrapbooking my oldest son's first year, his first Christmas, his first birthday, his first everything...but it never happened. After having my son, I suddenly had no free time to cut and glue and glitter and measure and browse crafting stores for supplies. Then, after my second son was born, well, let's just say I now barely have time to shower.

When contacted me to review their digital scrapbooking software, My Memories Suite, and give one away to a lucky reader, I jumped at the opportunity! I had never tried digital scrapbooking, so I was incredibly excited about this review.

Admittedly, as easy as this software is to use, I had trouble at first. I am not techno-savvy. At all. Not in the slightest. However, once I played around with the software and watched the demos on YouTube, I got the hang of digital scrapbooking and felt rather silly for not figuring it out on my own. This software really is easy to use! But, as all mommies know, it's hard to learn a new skill while your 3 yr old is screaming at you for chocolate milk and his Han Solo action figure, while your 1 year old screams because your 3 yr old just took the Han Solo action figure away. Ahem. Drama.

My Memories Suite provides many creative options for scrapbooking! You can create an album using one of the professionally-designed templates or you can make your album from scratch! You can also download paper packages and themed templates from the website, some of them for FREE, to expand your My Memories Suite paper and embellishment library.

A few of the other great options with this software include: printing your pages to make your own scrapbook, use the 1-click share option to turn your album into a professionally printed hardbound book, turn your scrapbook into a DVD, make calendars, posters and greeting cards, and finally, you can make a movie out of your scrapbook with narration, music and video!

I still haven't played with all the options! There are so many!

My only complaint with this software is that the original software doesn't provide any paper or embellishment options for scrapbooking pictures of boys. You would have to download boyish paper kits and embellishments from the website. And while some of them may be free, I still would have liked some options provided in the software. However, if you are the mommy of girls, there are a lot of super cute girly papers and embellishments, like flowers, bows, ribbons, buttons, hair clips, pink shoes, polka-dots, and lace!

I can't even begin to tell you about EVERYTHING you can do with this software. So, I will show you a few of the things I created my first time amateur digital scrapbooking debut!

The first four album pages are from my son's first birthday party, which was a firetruck theme.

Next, I played around with making shapes out of my photos to put on my blog!
I also had so much fun making my own Holiday Gift Tags because Christmas is my favorite holiday! What a great way to save money during the holidays!

WANNA BUY IT: If you would like to purchase this software, I have a special coupon code for all my readers! This provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software and a $10 coupon for the store - a $20 value! To purchase, just go HERE and use the coupon code STMMMS16202!


WANNA WIN IT: My Memories has offered the My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software to one of my lucky readers!

To enter, you must first provide the mandatory entry and leave your email address in your comment so that I may contact you if you win! After that, you can choose whether or not to enter the optional extra entries for more chances to win! Leave a separate comment for each thing you do! Winner will be chosen by

Mandatory entry: Visit and leave me a comment with your favorite scrapbooking kit or paper pack! Don't forget to leave your email address!

Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each!)

Follow Where A Woman Shakes Her Tablecloth via GFC
Subscribe to the MyMemories blog via GFC for one extra entry
"Like" the My Memories Suite page on Facebook for one extra entry
Follow My Memories Suite on Twitter for one extra entry
Subscribe to the My Memories Suite YouTube page for one extra entry

If you do all the extra entries, then that is six chances to win! Good luck to everyone! This software is worth it!

This giveaway ends September 27, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Look at My Canvas! Easy Canvas Prints Review

custom canvas prints

We just had family pictures taken in July by one of my very talented photography friends! We had never had a family photo taken with our children, cousins, aunt, mom - and my husband and I hadn't had a family photo taken since our second son, Harry was born, a year ago!

So, when Easy Canvas Prints contacted me to review a canvas with a photo of my choice, I was extremely excited. It was the perfect opportunity to review a great product and display our family photo!

In my experience, Easy Canvas Prints had me upload a photo of my choice, from my personal collection or a work of art from the internet, choose my canvas size (I chose 16x20), canvas wrap thickness, edit the image size, and choose a border style. Other editing options are color finishing (black and white, sepia) and image retouching for an additional fee.

I paid for my image to be retouched because Harry woke up with pink eye on the morning of our photo shoot. The Easy Canvas Prints Art Department removed the dark red blemish underneath my son's eye. Yay! Poor baby.

I was impressed with Easy Canvas Prints and their art department. Shortly after submitting my order, a member of the art department emailed to inform me that I needed to submit an image with a higher resolution. This person attached a proof of my photo so I could see how blurry it would print. They then provided me with appropriate pixel dimensions and told me that the best images are the original ones straight from your camera (the photo I originally submitted was previously color finished). This is fabulous information for someone, like me, who has no idea what a pixel dimension is or which photo would have a higher resolution. I know, I should probably take a photography class.

Anyway, I submitted the original photo and received another email letting me know the image would still be a bit blurry, again with a proof attached for my viewing. I decided that the minor blurriness didn't bother me and went ahead with my order, after the pink eye retouch.

And...I love it!

Here is the original photo with my youngest son's pink eye (you can see the redness under his right eye):

And here are a couple of pictures of the canvas, without the pink eye!

And a close-up of Harry on the canvas, minus the pink eye...

These canvas prints can be framed, but they recommend you get the .75" canvas wrap thickness if you plan on framing. Our new family photo will be framed and hung over our fireplace!

Overall, I was extremely pleased with Easy Canvas Prints and their customer service. I definitely, with confidence, recommend this company to my readers. The possibilities are endless and you can rest assured that this company won't rest until your canvas looks perfect!