Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Who wants a Dollop of Diane?!

Just in case you didn't know - today is Leap Day!  And in the land of (some) bloggers, it's also Leap Blog Day!  Leap Blog Day is where you have the pleasure of posting on anothers blog.  After a couple of tries of swapping with someone who was already taken...(does that sound weird?), I was introduced to Diane through a friend.  Once I started reading through her blogs, I realized we were a match made in blog heaven!   A switcheroo was born!  Please enjoy Dollops of Diane's post below.  And make sure you follow her regularly at Dollops of Diane!  I'm positive you are going to enjoy her posts as much as I do!  And to see my post - based on an interview with myself head on over to Dollops of Diane!  I (Cathe) am planning some fun things in March so make sure you stay tuned!  Ready, set, go....it's time for a blog swap:

Everyone parties like this, right?



Hi Everyone!  I'm so excited to be guest posting here today at Tiaras and Tantrums.  For those of you who aren't familiar with my blog, I'm a stay at home mom with a four year old daughter, three year old son, and an (almost) 19 month old son.  My everyday life consists of diaper changes, sippy cup refills, and playing referee.  However, this past week I had the opportunity to attend Blissdom (a blogging conference in Nashville).  This was the first time I had spent any extended time away from my family since the kids were born.  It was AMAZING.  I had the chance to meet some pretty cool people and even mingle with a couple of celebrities.  I was basically living in my own little real life fantasy for five days.  Best.trip.ever.  Of course, all good things must come to an end and I'm now adjusting to life back in the grind.  Upon coming back to reality I've learned a few things, so now I give you...


The Top Things I've Learned after Being Away for Five Days


(1)  I actually didn't miss out on too much since Isabelle (4yo) told me EVERYTHING that happened while I was away.  She also placed a huge emphasis on all of the "naughty" things that the boys did while I was gone.  My favorites were the ones that Tim (hubs) did since she always ended these stories with, "Ohhh, that Dadda!"
(2)  Nothing is where I left it or where it belongs.  Where is the diaper cream??
(3)  I can't recover like I used to.  I partied it up while I was away.  I drank like a fish and stayed up way too late (that's what you do when you're kid-free, right?).  By the time Sunday afternoon had come around, I was exhausted, feeling a big blah, and longed for a day/night in my sweats on the couch!
(4) No matter how much fun I had while I was gone, nothing could beat the shear happiness I felt when I saw the kids SO ecstatic to see me when I got home.  The hubs was also pretty excited to see me!  He did an incredible job while I was gone and was a total champ.  I guess when all is said and done, there really is no place like home.


Okay, I'm now off to start tackling my endless "to do" list which apparently didn't take a vacation like I did.  If you've enjoyed my post, I'd love to see you in the future over at Dollops of Diane!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Anniversary

Today would have been my Grandpa and Grandma Beasley's 68th wedding anniversary.  Can you imagine, 68 years?  They were married February 28th, 1944.  I'm going to keep this incredibly simple tonight, because I've reminisced all day to myself about what wonderful people they were.  I miss them terribly but I am sure that they are celebrating in heaven tonight.  I can only hope that someday I'm celebrating 25, 30, 40, and 50 plus years of marriage.  Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!






This is my last post for February - however, tune in tomorrow, because there will be a special guest!  We're trading blogs for the day so make sure you check in with us both! 

It's been a good month and even though I didn't write every day like I had planned, I'm happy with the results.  I've gotten a lot of great feedback and it honestly means the world to me when someone says "Hey - I'm missing your blogs!"  So, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that keeps reading.  I can't promise a grand slam every time I write but I can promise I'll keep trying!  You guys ROCK!! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time in land far away, lived a beautiful princess…..
February 26th was National Fairy tale Day. While my life is nothing like I thought it was going to be and certainly not the Fairy Tale I had imagined it is indeed has become my grown up version of a fairy tale.  Sure my kids don’t always behave, I have a messy house, and my husband I have an occasional argument (or two or three). I’m not sure I can remember the last time I got more than 5 to 6 hours of sleep at night. I have bags under my eyes, most of my wardrobe has been purchased from the Salvation Army, and I have more things to do than hours in the day.
What I do have, has far exceeded every expectation that I ever had for myself.   Instead of Knight in Shining Armor, I have Garry. Garry bickers with me and picks on me but he also loves me unconditionally – even when Crazy Cathe comes out he is still always there.  He (as corny as it sounds) is my rock and my version of prince charming.  He's also nothing like who I had pictured I was going to marry - instead he is a million times better.
My babies are independent, free thinkers. (This is code word for stubborn and stubborn). They are adorable and love to have fun. They are a constant reminder of what life is and should be about. While they are not perfect, they are my God given blessings and I wouldn't change a thing about them.  They are my treasures.
My castle is not quite what I envisioned.  I always thought I would live in more of a mansion instead of a split level ranch.  I’m envious of whirlpool bathtubs and walk in closets. I long for the days of big bay windows, an eloquently landscaped yard, and an in ground swimming pool.  We don't have any of that but our home is filled with love, lots and lots of love. 
So, while my I've never lost a glass slipper, lived with seven short people,  or swam under the ocean as a mermaid, I have helped to build a pretty charmed life.  If you told me 20 years ago that my fairy tale would consist of a gorgeous Sunday afternoon of haircuts, shakes, and playing outside I would have told you that was crazy.  Now that I'm living it, I have to tell you:  it's pretty awesome.
Brayden got his first official haircut!  (Daddy had been cutting it.)
Smile!
We played in the park!

We had Shamrock Shakes (and mommy had a frappe)!


We dressed up in costumes and played pretend!



We watched the Oscars and in honor of movies big night, I dug out the Oscar that my hubby
bought me from the Hollywood Wax Museum - "Best Girlfriend" -  circa 2005.


"Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale of all."
 – Hans Christian Andersen







Monday, February 20, 2012

An Interview with a Future President

"Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be President, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process."  - John F. Kennedy


When it comes to my three year old, this is the comment I hear  the most "That boy is gonna end up in the White House someday".  I always giggle to myself and say "Yeah, you're probably right."  Of course, only time will tell but Brayden already has some major qualifiers (in my opinion) to take on the job of President.  He's a fabulous negotiator, an amazing debater, and that smile of his will take him miles in a primary race.  He is as smart as they come, his vocabulary is better than some adults I know, and he's charming, witty, talented, and so very handsome.  Early this morning,  Brayden sat down with me and we did an impromptu interview on what the President does.  And like he always does, he gave it to me straight.


Mommy:  Who is the President of the United States?
Brayden: You are and Barack Obama is too.  You guys share and that's so, so nice of you.

Mommy:  What does the President do?
Brayden:  They hide money and they put the snow out for everyone to play in.  Oh, they protect people from storms too.  And they eat cake, lots and lots of cake. 

Mommy:  Where does the President live?
Brayden:  Oh, I know that - The White House - Grandpa and Grandma told me.  And that's where I'm going to live when I'm a grown up too.

Mommy:  How much money does the President make?
Brayden: Twenty monies.

Mommy:  How old do you have to be to become President?
Brayden: Really old.  Like as old as you are.

Mommy:  What do Presidents like to do?
Brayden:  They like to eat cake and take naps.  And they like to play their Leapster a lot.

He still has a lot to learn, but whether he decides to become Student Council President, a Lawyer, a Doctor, a Senator, the President, a janitor, or a Fry Cooker at McDonalds, one thing will always remain:  He will have my undying support and love, no matter what.  (And the blog post to prove it!)

Happy President's Day!

*Remember to check out Sunday's blog for you chance to win a gift set from The Water Bottle Soap Company!   Click here to win! !




Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bouncy Houses, Ice Cream and Pudding Paint!

To say that this weekend has been a mild one, would be an understatement.  In this particular weekend, my family has portrayed one of those happy families you see in commercials: sitting around the table eating some Campbell's soup, laughing at each others witty comments, and hugging at the end of the commercial.   It's unusual, unheard of, and completely unbelievable - but there were no threats, no tears, and no yelling - and the kids were being pretty awesome too!  Of course - my little monkeys have acted a lot like the gorillas that got loose at the local zoo today.  Oh well, all good things must come to an end.  Even though the calm is gone and the storm has returned, I wouldn't have it any other way.  (It's not a bad storm anyways - it's my storm and I love it.) 

So here is a brief rundown of our mild mannered weekend:

Friday, my husband was in desperate need of some man time.  So he made a man date with his ex-cousin (don't ask), and they went and shot guns.  What's more manly than that? I'm pretty sure my husband just wanted to practice his end of the world drills, but eh - who am I to judge?  He wanted man time, I wanted kid time, it was all an even trade.  I wanted to take the kids to do something fun since it was rare that I had a Friday off.  So after nap, we loaded up and headed to Space Bound - an indoor playground filled with five different kinds of bouncy houses, slides, jungle gym things.  The kids loved it and I was sweaty - for two reasons:

1.  It was hot in there.  No, it really was - I heard other parents complaining of it also, so it wasn't just my extra poundage that made it feel warm.
2.  I'm not sure those activities are made for full sized adults, but for the enjoyment of my children I climbed, slid, and bounced...a lot.  I've been popping Excederin Back and Body since Friday.

During our visit, Emma and I were rescued from the middle of one of the more complicated jungle gyms - by an 8 year old.  In return, I rescued a toddler (not one of my own) from exiting one of the bouncy things head first.   So, I'm not sure who to give hero of the day to:  Me or the eight year old?

Brayden loved this thing!  So did Emma, but that was a long climb to the top!

After a couple of hours of bouncing, sweating, sliding, sweating, climbing, sweating, getting stuck, and sweating some more...we were all ready to leave.  B and E were delightful the entire time, so I told them we would go the "Ice Cream Parlor" aka Baskin Robbins and get a treat.   Can I just say, that I love my kids?  No matter what you tell them - as long as you say it with an exclamation at the end they will readily agree.  Who wants to match socks?!!  Who wants to go to the grocery store?!  It works everytime.  The hubs was on his way home from his man date, so we decided to meet up at the home of 31 flavors and get everyone an afternoon treat.

Honestly, my life is pretty amazing.  And so is theirs.

Em sharing her ice cream with her big brother.  Insert heart melt now!

We capped our Friday off with laying our exhausted, sugar high kids in bed, and then engaging in a little grown up time.  And by grown up time, I mean Garry sat at the table and cleaned his gun, while I stood next the counter where my glue gun was plugged in at and made hair bows.  We talked about how sweet our kids were, how much alone time was appreciated (and needed) and who was going to buy new tires for my car.  FYI: We haven't worked that one out yet.  We finally watched the movie that I had rented from the night before.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Saturday was a beautiful day as well.  Again, I am SO very blessed and it doesn't get much better than this:
I'm SO lucky!
Since Sunday is Fun day around these parts, I covered the table with wax paper, bought 3 packs of pudding (best $3 investment ever) and let the kiddos go to town with pudding paint.  They looked like they had bathed in it instead of painted with it but they had fun and I had fun watching them. 
Didn't take long for them to get the hang of it!

I am pudding man!


True Story:  She was having so much fun until she looked in the mirror.  Then she cried and said "I'm yucky".

Ummm....to much pudding fun?

He was quite pleased with his messiness!

Needless to say, we had a mid afternoon bath today, which happens to be the perfect lead in to my new blog sponsor!  Please join me in welcoming Darinda Sant and  The Water Bottle Soap Company to Tiaras and Tantrums!  I am SO excited to have her!  Make sure you check out her website, her Facebook and her Etsy shop and show her some love!   And don't forget to check out her bio below!  Read all the way to the end, because it's giveaway time again too!

Darinda Sant was in a quandary over what to do with the hundreds of plastic water bottles she and her friends used every year.  She knew throwing them out was bad for the environment so into the recycling container they would go week after week. She knew there had to be something better, more environmentally proactive to be done with these plastic bottles that were clogging landfills everywhere.  One night, as she tapped her empty bottle on the table, it slipped out of her hand and as she picked it up, she noticed the design on the bottom.  Immediately, her designer sensibilities kicked in.  She realized the shape on the bottom of the bottle was unique and could be used as a mold....the answer was simple: Soap!  Darinda created soaps using the water bottles as molds and gave them as her annual handmade holiday gifts.  Like all good things, word began to spread, requests started coming in, and The Water Bottle Soap Company was born!

The Water Bottle Soap Company uses all natural, vegan friendly, Kosher ingredients.  The delicious fragrances range from floral to chocolate.  The soap bases are made from vegetables and plants with as few additives as possibole.  The soaps can be personalized with the recipient's name, and can be used as wedding or bridal shower favors.

Her soaps start at just $1.50 a piece and the highest priced soap set tops out at $20, plus applicable sales tax, shipping, and handling.  The Water Bottle Soap Company, offers an affordable luxury for anyone.

Darinda says "I am so happy to be doing my part for reducing/reusing/repurposing/recycling via The Water Bottle Soap Company.  Not only is my company helping the environemtn but I am making a prodcut, that people use every day, a little more luxurious and thereby a little more fun for them."

I can't say thank you enough to Darinda or the Water Bottle Soap Company for allowing me to feature such an amazing line of products!

Decadence Butterscotch Brulee $7

Get Your Eggs in a Basket $10.00 (Perfect Easter gift for all you ladies!)

Tied up in Zing set of 3 $6


How fun, amazing, wonderful are these soaps?  I LOVE the fact that the idea came from  reusing something that a lot of people would nornally throw away.  So here's the deal, Tiaras and Tantrums and The Water Bottle Soap Company have joined forces and we're giving you a chance to win a Bit O' Heaven Spa Set!   All you have to do is comment on this post (and this post only - Not Facebook!)  I'll be linking back to this post all week and the contest doesn't end until Saturday at 7 p.m. CST so tell your friends!  The winner will be chosen by random.org and posted on Saturday nights blog post.   The winner will need to send an email by Tuesday to myself or a new winner will be chosen.
So was your weekend wacky and wild or meek and mild?  Did you get messy or did you clean up some messes?  Comment below for a chance to win the gift set pictured below!
Everyone deserves a little bit of heaven! This is the perfect special something to give that hard working person in your life. Set includes two Massage Rounds beautifully wrapped in a Porcelain soap dish!  Valued at $10.00








Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lady Parts and Emergency Socks

So today was my big annual lady parts exam.  Yep - that's right, my lady parts exam.  The only thing that I enjoy about this is I got to leave work two hours early and say "See ya guys Tuesday - I'm off to get my lady parts checked out."  I had been waiting all day to say that last line - I find myself humorous, some probably find me crude. 

It was my first time with my new lady parts doc - and she was actually quite awesome.  I was impressed as soon as I walked in.  I didn't have to pay a co-pay and any exam room that has a plush red velvety rolly chair in it is okay by me. 

It went as I expected until the "OK - go ahead and get undressed and sit on the exam table.  I'll be back in a minute."  I smiled and said "OK!"  And then as I stripped myself down, and had a slight moment of panic.   I realized that I had my husbands socks on - and they didn't match.  "Are you kidding me Cathe?", I thought to myself.  Please note,  that I freaking hate socks.  I wear a lot of ballet slipper type shoes because I hate socks SO much.  Even in the winter - I spray my flats with water proofing so I can wear them in the rain, snow, and sleet.  I hate socks.  This could also be why I can never find any socks that are mine and also why I only fold socks when everyone starts saying "Ummm...can you go buy us some new socks?  We don't have anymore."  I always reply "Yes you do - they're all piled in that big basket - go find a match."  Apparently I don't wear socks enough to find it neccessary to "fold them or match them".  Of course,  the day that I do decide to put on a pair would be the day that my feet are going to be the only part of my body that is clothed.

I had just a couple of minutes to decide what to do:  Do I take my husband socks off and bare my feet that were in desperate need of a pedicure?  Or do I leave them on and face the possible ridicule of a 28 year old adult wearing mismatched husband socks?  Time was ticking, so I decided my best bet was to leave the socks on and face the stirrups that my feet were about to be placed in.  I also decided that as soon as this appointment was over with, I was going to go by some new cute socks and store a pair in my purse for emergency situations like the one I was in at the present moment.

While the conversation during my exam revolved around some sort of potato skin appetizer from Applebee's and not my terrible choice in socks,  the lady part exam is over for another year and I now have my emergency socks, one pair which will remain in my purse for the rest of my life.




So, if you dare tell:  What is your most embarrassing Doctor office blunder??!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's Been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

There is a children's book that is a favorite in our house.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is a story that Brayden has memorized and that he fell in love with from the first time I read it to him.  I first came across this book as an elementary student, later stumbled upon it in a Children's Literature course in college, and most recently when I purchased it to read to my kids.  Just in case you haven't read it (which you really should - even if you don't have kids), the story goes a little something like this:  Alexander is one of three brothers - and he has it rough.  Really rough.  He wakes up in a bad mood, he drops his sweater in the sink, he gets jipped out of a good cereal box toy, he never gets to sit on the outside in the carpool, and everyone is always one-upping him.  Especially when it comes to lessons in school and treats at lunch time. His solution for his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?  Move to Australia of course!


So, as my day went along today, from the time I woke up until the time I began writing this I kept saying over and over again..."well, today has sucked."  To make myself snap out of my mood, I kept referring to this book (I've got it memorized.)  Although Alexander himself thinks he has it rough - it's true that it isn't that bad.  I've had to remind myself of this throughout the day today.  Today has sucked but it's gonna be okay.  Everyone has bad days now and again and today was just extra sucky. 

So tonight,  I present to you my own personal version of this beloved children's story:

I went to sleep late last night and my alarm went off at 4:30 this morning.  I pushed the snooze and tried to go back to sleep but my husband farted underneath the blankets and I felt like I was being attacked by an enemy insurgent tear gas so I went ahead and got up. I dropped my left contact down the drain and I didn't have time to blow dry my hair and I couldn't find a matching pair of socks to save my life.   I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I didn't have time to fix breakfast before I left the house or warm my car up.  I didn't use my turn signal at one stop sign, and I rolled through the next one, causing me to get pulled over by the police as I was turning into Burger King to grab my breakfast.  I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  I think I'll go crawl in a hole.

I couldn't find my insurance card, I was mouthy to the police officer, and I said quite a few bad words while he was running my plates.  This took up the 10 minutes that should have been spent in the drive thru of Burger King getting my Sausage Muffin and the 5 minutes that should have spent running into Quik Trip to grab some coffee.  I told him I was going to work.  I told him that I had to hurry because I was going to be late but he just wouldn't listen.  I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At work, I was already running late, which meant I was already behind.  There was no caffeine and we have no vending machines.  I had overdue reports, mountains of work, and couldn't make any headway in my various piles.  At break time I went for a walk and almost got ran over by a garbage truck that was driving on the wrong side of the road.  My lunch wasn't hot enough, I had a terrible headache,  I didn't bring enough bottles of water, and my friend got sick and had to go home.  It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. 

On my way home from work an 18 wheeler pulled in my lane on the exit ramp and nearly ran me off the road.  My husband called at 4:15 p.m. and said the electric bill was due by 5 p.m.  TODAY.  I cussed the whole way home, got cut off by another car, and rolled through about four more stop signs and stepped in a mud puddle when I was dropping off the electric bill.  It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I dropped the mail on the ground.

I lost a Rosette clip from my tablet case.

There were no heart shaped donuts left and I love heart shaped donuts.

I got kicked in the ribs by my three year old.

My one year old wanted her daddy, not me.

Both of my kids are being extra whiny today.

And my husband was riding my last nerve.

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My kids say some days are like that.  Even if you crawl in a hole.

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Here's hoping the rest of the week is fabulous for everyone! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Frozen Pipes and Curse Words

I had originally intended on posting this yesterday....I got caught up doing housework and watching the Grammy's, so it didn't get done until this morning! 

We bought our house in July 2007 - right smack dab at the end of a brutally hot summer and what would shape up to be a mild Fall.  The house we picked was in a neighborhood we liked, the neighbors seemed nice, and it was right next door to an elementary school  The most important feature:  The price was right.

August, September, October, November and December were some glorious months in this old house.  We painted rooms, moved in our furniture, and settled in.  In August, we found out we were expecting baby #1, so the room that was to become our office ended up being turned into a Noah's Ark themed nursery.

And with the glorious tribulations of new home ownership, also came many trials.  Specifically, one trial - over and over and over again.  I can't tell you the temperatures or how much snow we got during the winter of 2008 but  I can tell you, that every time it got below a certain temperature (freezing) that one spot in our household would freeze up like a computer with a dial up Internet connection.  It was the damn bathtub. Not the sink in the bathroom - not the toilet.  Just the bathtub/shower.  If anything were to freeze in the house and become useless - I would want it to be the washing machine - but no such luck.

Because we were to busy preparing for a new baby - we chose to ride this specific winter out.  "We'll get someone down there to look at it as soon as it warms up," my husband promised.  In the meantime, we developed a work-around.  We had got this huge set of stock pots for our wedding that we hadn't used yet:  we got those puppies out and filled them with hot water from our two working sinks in the bathroom and in the kitchen, and filled the bathtub up.  I washed my hair and face in the sink and my body in what was most of the time, luke warm water to say the least by the time we finished filling it with enough water to cover this pregnant girl.   It sucked having to bathe this way, and that is the understatement of the century.

Lets skip to the winter of 2009:  We had a 7 month old, and because we were very busy learning what it's like to be parents, we missed the spring, summer, and fall opportunites to either fix the frozen bathtub problem ourselves or have someone fix else fix it.  We were now back to freezing cold temperatures and blankets of the white stuff on the ground.  And guess what?  The exact same thing happened as above, except this time, my husband had this to say: "I'll go down there to look at it as soon as it warms up."  Insert scenario from above.  It sucked even more this winter because it seemed like it was frozen every three days.  I was beyond frustrated by the second winter.  You can bathe a baby fairly easily in a sink - but a grown woman does not fit easily into one.

Winter 2010?  Same problem, different circumstances.  During this winter I was 7ish months pregnant with baby #2.  And because we were to busy prepping for the arrival of our second child, my husband missed the opportunity to go downstairs, and try to figure out how to keep our bathtub/shower from freezing.  Again.  We had the same conversation about getting it fixed, except this time there were a lot more threats and curse words being thrown around.  It was essentialy a Deja Vu situation, but I was hoping with the amount of verbal threats I was giving - one of us would come to our damn senses and fix the curious case of the frozen bath tub.  My husband assured me that he had watched a YouTube Video and was certain that he could fix the problem with a little insulation and a space heater.

Fall 2011:  My husband bought a space heater and also sprayed this liquid insulation crap in what he perceived to be some pretty serious air leaks in our foundation and around the doors.  All we could do at this point was wait for the temps to drop to see if our trickery worked.

Winter 2011: Despite our best efforts, it didn't work.   And because we were busy, busy being parents to two toddlers, busy having jobs, busy in basically every aspect of life, we decided to wait and hope for a mild winter.  What did we get instead?  Brutally cold temperatures with record snowfall and a freaking blizzard in February.  We did the stock pot bath tub filler upper thing again for several days.  The kids bathed in the sink.  I washed my hair in the sink - thinking the whole time that I was going to hire a damn plumber and get someone out here to look at that damn bathtub.  Winter turned to Spring, Spring turned to Summer, Summer turned to Fall....and Fall took us to where we are today:

Winter 2012:
I was seriously hoping that the biggest hurdle I was going to have today was to clear the tub of all the toys left from the night before.....but alas:

Baby It's Cold Outside




Yep - that one ice cold trickle of water!


Pay no attention to the ring around the tub or the areas that need a good re-caulking:  pay attention to the tiny stream of ice cold water running down into the bottom of the tub.  Oh, wait - is it hard to see?  That's because it's basically non existent.  And that was our bathtub turned on at full force.  And that's what caused me to say "Son of a Bitch" this morning at 7:05 a.m.  My only hope now is that it does indeed warm up above the freezing mark today so I can shower at some point during the day.

"After I finish writing this blog about my bathtub mishaps, I will definitely be calling a plumber." - Cathe Johnson

Update:  While it did take awhile, the bathtub finally "unfroze" at approximately 1:22 p.m. on Sunday.  



Do you have something that goes south like clockwork?  Perhaps a basement that floods every time it rains?  A toilet that quits working at the most inappropriate time?  A light that flickers every time you plug the vacuum in? Comment below for a chance to make me feel better about my own failings as a homeowner!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Monster Jammin' Momma

Shameless self promotion before we get started:  Please go here and click "Like" on my brand new, super shiny, Facebook Blog Page!  Thanks a million!

I am not a "Monster Jam" kind of mom.  I don't like dirt, loud trucks annoy me, and people on four wheelers scare me to death.  I'm also not a fan of truck/tractor pulls, hunting, fishing, sweating or camping - tent style.  I do love Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live, musicals, shopping, air conditioning and camping - Embassy Suites style. 

With that said, I am a mom of a little boy who is ALL boy.  100% no doubt boy.  He loves dirt, loud trucks, four wheelers, being outside and running around.  His dad is planning on taking him camping and fishing this summer, which I am also sure he is going to love.  Because he loves the things that I despise so much, I try very hard not to show my dismay for the above mentioned things.  In fact, I even try to enjoy those things.

And that is what led us to "Monster Jam" on Friday evening:

Tickets to Monster Jam: $60 - The look on my sons face when we told him we were going: Priceless





Although Monster Jam is not my cup of tea, I was honestly and truely looking forward to going.  Maybe not so much for the trucks and car smashing but to spend some quality time with both my son and my husband.  In addition to the show, we told Brayden that he could pick where we ate at before the show.  Once I said the words "You can pick where we eat at", I immediately began praying for two things:  One, that he wouldn't choose Chuck E. Cheeses and Two, that he would pick Jose Peppers,  because he knows that's my favorite.  His restaurant of choice:  IHOP.  So, we loaded up the car and set out for our first stop of the night: International House of Pancakes.

Such a little character!

Parenting 101:  A place that offers 5 different kinds of syrup, in addition to whip cream and fruit topping for pancakes is not a wise choice of venues to eat at.  FYI.


With our bellies full of breakfast for dinner, we were off to our next stop - which was our destination for the evening:


We're cuties and we know it!



And our adventure begins.  I was immediately emersed in Monster Truck mania.  There were people with signs with their favorites written on it.  I was informed of Trucks called Gravedigger, Monster Mutt, El Toro Loco, Bad Habit, Grinder and more.   We spent $55 on Cotton Candy with a Monster Truck shaped hat attached, a Hotwheels Grave Digger car, a Grave Digger sword and a program.   I really had no idea what this so called Grave Digger was or why he was so popular - but apparently everyone else did because I was definitely not the only one purchasing over priced plastic swords!

I did a lot of cringing - every time a truck flipped on it's back wheels, I was sure it was going to flip over in the stands.  When these trucks were doing donuts in the middle of the track, I thought for sure that they were going to lose control and slam into the side of the track.  And I was sure that a piece of debree from a crushed car would come flying straight into Section 114.  My heart stopped when one of the people racing a four wheeler went over their handle bars and laid in the dirt, for what seemed like forever - not moving at all.  And with the smell of exhaust fumes, I was almost certain that there would be some sort of explosion and the whole place would be evacuated.  And I used the words "I'm going to have a panic attack" about 47 times during the first half of the show.


I ain't saying she's a Grave Digger...but she ain't messin with no broke....nevermind.

Brayden had these spiffy ear muffs to protect his hearing, and Garry gave me some earplugs.  My question to Garry:  "Why the heck have you been holding out on me with these earplugs?  No wonder why your so calm all the time."

Monster Trucks in all their Glory

I also did a lot of laughing, cheering, and clapping.  We picked favorites during each round:  Brayden and I always picked the losers and Garry always picked the winners.  I howled when my new favorite monster truck, "GRAVE DIGGER" entered the arena.  I screamed when the only woman driver made her way back into the arena after her truck had some initial difficulties during the wheelie competition.  My heart swelled with pride when the driver of the four wheeler that went over the front of his contraption got up and walked out of the arena.  I smiled with a sense of pride when my 3 year old found a little boy named Alex and started playing with him - even letting him play with his brand new Monster Truck.  And I couldn't help but laugh out loud when one of the parents in front of me looked at our sack of souveniers and asked "You guys bought the whole set huh?"  I just smiled and said "Pretty Much".




More from Parenting 101:  Your kid will ultimately become incredibly whiny and incredibly hard to deal with after pancakes drowned in 5 kind of syrup, 1 bag of cotton candy, and bottle of juice from Quik Trip.

This is Brayden and his new friend Alex.  It was cute to watch them play together, even though they got in trouble for playing on the stairs.   Darn those fire hazards.

Grave Digger Truck and Sword and of course, our Grave Digger hat.

Overall, it wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be.  The earplugs prevented a headache that I had been anticipating, the Monster Trucks had provided me some unexpected entertainment, and the look on my boys' face (the big one and the little one) totally made my night:



Two of the most important guys in  my life - having a blast.

In fact, if I'm being honest here (which I usually try to be) I had a blast.  We definitely made some fun memories.  I definitely want to come back and eventually take Emma(so there's a little more girl power on my side.) I'm even finding myself wanting to plan a trip to North Carolina so we can go to the Diggers Dungeon - which is billed as a must see for Grave Digger fans...which I guess includes this momma now.


What have you endured as a parent for the pure enjoyment of your kids?   Monster Jam? New Kids on The Block?  The Wiggles in Concert?  Let's hear it people!!  

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And now, Tiaras and Tantrums is please to welcome a new sponsor to the page: Independent Consultant for Tastefully Simple, Tiffanie Whitby!

Tastefully Simple: The food you love, the time you deserve. Tiaras and Tantrums is pleased to welcome Tastefully Simple representative Tiffanie Whitby as a sponsor! Tastefully Simple offers a wide selection of convenient, easy-to-prepare foods designed to help people spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the rest of their lives. There amazing line of products are available through consultants, such as Tiffany Whitby! Tastefully Simple has an amazing line of desserts, dips, drink mixes and more!
As an added bonus, if you place an order through Tiffanie Whitby this month, she will throw in a FREE bag of Tastefully Simple Vanilla Caramels. Contact her today via Facebook to place your order and get your free back of caramels!  Rememeber though, it's for this month only, so get those orders in!

Thanks for joining us Tastefully Simple Tiffanie and Welcome to Tiaras and Tantrums!  And as always, thank you to everyone who is taking the time out to read this blog - it really means a lot to me.
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Also, if you are interested in advertising on my blog, please contact me at braydenandemmasmommy@yahoo.com  I'm looking for direct selling consultants, Handmade crafters, photographers and more! 




Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Two for One Special!

I obviously failed at writing everyday - in face I only made it 5 days.  With that said, tonight will be two posts in one to make up for yesterday!  Because I'm the boss here and I can make up my own rules and regulations here. 

House Hunting with Mr. B and Little Miss E


We had a birthday party to go to Sunday and both of my kids were driving me CRAZY.  I should learn by now - never tell them we're going anywhere.  If you do make the mistake of telling them we are going some place be prepared - they will undoubtedly ask you every 10 minutes - "Are we going yet?" " Is it time to go yet?" "Is there going to be cake there?"  "What are we going to do there?"  "Are we leaving now?"  "Mommy, are you angry?"  Yes, by now I should no better than to tell them we are going any place - it should be left to their surprise.

Back to the story:  My kids were driving me crazy and we still had about 45 minutes before we needed to leave.  There was a lot of yelling, room destructing, and my patience was running thin - very thin.  So, I chipperly asked "Who wants to go look for a new house?!"  Brayden eagerly agreed, and because Emma does everything he does, she was game as well.  So we loaded up the car and we went a house huntin'.  We drove over to Elementary School located in our town.  I showed Brayden some houses that we had looked at before we bought our current house.  His reaction? "Hmmmm....I'm sure kinda glad you didn't buy that one cause I don't like that car in front of that house."  I tried to explain that if we would have bought that particular house then the cars would be different, but he wasn't having it.  So we continued on our house hunt.  The bigger the house, the more excited he got.  He said things like "Ohhh...that one has a flag on the porch and we definitely need that one."  or "Ohhh....that one has kids playing in the driveway, can we have that one?" Or "Hmmm...that grass looks lawn mowed - daddy would like that one."  He even said "That one looks a little pricey for us, so its probably not gonna happen momma".  At the end of our trip, I explained to him that we would move someday, but our plan was to wait another 5 to 7 years. (He was ready to skip the birthday party and go pack up his room.)   He very calmly stated, "Well, 5 years works best for me."  Brayden Johnson: Keepin' it real since 2008. 

Big Girls Don't Cry....Nor do they stay in their big girl beds....

Damn my husband and his occasional efficiency.  I suggested on Saturday that we turn Emma's crib into a big girl bed.  20 minutes later he was finished with the conversion.  And four hours later, he was headed to work for the night and I was left to deal with the first night in the big girl bed by myself.  Like I said, damn my husband and his occasional efficiency.

Emma had taken no nap that day, so I put her in bed at 6:30.  My kids go to bed at 7 anyways, like clock work so this shouldn't have been a big deal.  I was probably in her room six or seven times in between 6:30 and 7.  In between 7 and 8,  both kids had their heads stuck out there doors and were talking to each other - one of the dangers of putting your kids who are 22 months of part in rooms that are right next to each other.  I probably said "If you two don't be quiet, lay down, and go to sleep - I'm going to call your daddy", at least a hundred times.  Brayden finally conked out about 8 - but Emma was still going strong.  From 8 to 10, I made multiple trips to her room, removing necklaces and dress up clothes from her body, taking books out of her bed, and re-tucking her in for the millionth time.  The last time I went into her room, (shortly after 10), I made a deal with her.  (Yep, I'm bargaining with an almost two year old.)  I told her she could pick one thing to take in her bed with her.  My hope was that she would pick a stuffed animal or doll - she put her little hand on her hip, strutted over to her closet and picked up her Mini Miche, strutted back to her bed, plopped herself down and snuggled with her purse....and went straight to sleep.   "I heard mommy exclaim as she walked out of sight...finally I've got peace and quiet for the night." 


Happy Tuesday!





Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Gift of Giving

You know that old saying "It's better to give than to receive?"  Well, from experience, I absolutely love getting gifts.  I love going to shows and expos and picking up the freebies.  I love surprise Starbucks gift cards that are left on my desk at work.  I love surprise sparkly things that I had no clue that I was getting.  I love going to my moms house because everyday is like Christmas there.  I always walk away with something great. 

Something I love even more than getting stuff?  Giving stuff.  I love giving my kids presents because they get so excited.  I love shopping for other people.  I love doing things for other people

Something caught on in 2011 in my family, and it has carried over into 2012.  It all started when my niece and nephew had a joint birthday party at Harvesters Food Bank.  For those that don't know, Harvesters is a food bank that serves our local community as well as all of the surrounding communities.  It's a great organization.   The kids (who were turning 10 and 7 at the time) chose to have a party at Harvesters instead of a big bash with all of their friends.  Instead of presents, they asked that people bring non perishable food items to be donated.  We also rolled up our sleeves and sorted through fruits and vegetables that would be handed out to those in need. It was an interesting afternoon - I know that I will never again look at a food bank the same way.  That one organization does so much good and it is almost completely staffed by volunteers.  It's a pretty amazing way to spend a day, that's for sure.

The giving continued with Brayden's 3rd birthday party - Brayden told me he didn't care about presents and he just wanted cake.   We are extremely fortunate - our kids have amazing Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents (and pretty awesome parents too) - our kids have never went without anything that they needed or anything that we thought they might want.  Brayden didn't blink an eye when I suggested that we forgo the gifts and give donations to Hope Haven.  While I didn't go into the details of what Hope Haven was (one of its purposes serves as a domestic abuse shelter), I did tell him that he could help a lot of people.  He really got a kick out of that and we collected a great stock of items to donate in his name.

My niece turned 9 today, and instead of presents she asked that everyone bring items to donate to Aaron's House - a home for pregnant teens ages 12 through 19.  We were asked to make Welcome Baskets to give to the residents at Aaron's House.  M and her friends made over 13 baskets to give away to the residents - filled with shampoo, soap, slipper socks, hair ties, baby items and more.  I had taken Brayden shopping with me to pick out the items that we would donate, and he was so proud picking out things to give away.  I couldn't help but smile watching him pick up two of everything and telling me that we still needed to get more to help people.  I may not be a perfect parent, but it's moments like this where I feel like I may be doing something right. 

And on that sentimental note.....It's time for some prizes!!!! 


The winner of the Skinlogics Lip Apeel by BeautiControl is Mrs. Johnny K!

The winner of the Love Flameless Candle is Marie - workfromhome.com!

The winner of Twilight Woods Antibacterial Hand Soap is  Jana

The winner of the Warming Trend Green Tea Masque by BeautiControl is Jen P!

The winner of the Rainkissed Leaves Antibacterial Hand Soap is Tiffanie!

The winner of the Midnight Pomegranate Antibacterial Hand Soap is Holly!

And because I had one prize left over, I did a random drawing from the girlies that participated in my blog....and the winner of the "You are Beautiful, Inside and Out" sign is.....Kristin Carver!

Please send an email to: braydenandemmasmommy@yahoo.com with your full name and mailing address - as soon as I  have this info, I will get every one's prizes shipped!

Congrats to everyone that won!  I'm working with a lot of other vendors to keep doing the giveaways - and I already have my own prize closet, so keep reading!  And whether you commented or not - thanks for reading!  Really - thank you for reading!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Untitled

I really don't have much to say tonight...and it's Emma's first night in her big girl bed, (which is its own blog for another night.)  So Instead of making this completely about nothing....I will just remind you to go check out last nights blog - and make sure you leave a comment on "I Feel Pretty" for a chance to win, win, win!

http://tiarasandtantrumsjohnson.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-feel-pretty-oh-so-pretty.html

Random Drawing tomorrow after I get my kids to sleep!  Look for a more thoughtful blog tomorrow!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

One thing I've struggled with for a majority of my life is my own self image.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that a lot of women have struggled with their own self image as well.  Many are probably still struggling. For whatever reason, we are our own worst critic.  When I was in high school I was completely uncomortable in my own skin.  I felt I was overweight, my nose was the size of Rhode Island, my boobs were to big for my body, and I couldn't pull off the low rise jeans like the other girls could.

Flash Forward ten years later:

I'm much heavier than I was when I thought I was fat, my nose is still the size of Rhode Island and my boobs are still huge - except now they are huge and droopy.  And to top it off, I have this massive pimple coming through on my chin.  I obviously have way more physical issues now then I ever did at age 18.  However,  I'm so much more confident and happy with myself now then I ever was then.  Saggy boobs, back fat, stretch marks and even my huge pimple cannot stop me from feeling pretty and confident.  While I don't think I'll be modeling for the Victoria Secret catalog anytime soon, I don't let not being perfect get to me anymore. 

I saw this picture on Facebook the other day and thought it would be perfect for this blog:


I took a little survey this morning with some of my friends and family.  I asked one simple question:  What makes you feel pretty?

Ashley, my cousin and a newlywed had this to say:
Getting all dressed up and when I see that big smile on my husbands face :)

Beka, a friend from my college days had this to say:
My best friends strengthen the confidence I have to be me, which in turn makes me feel pretty. Working with my youth group kids helps a lot, too! They're not judgmental about the way you look, the clothes you have, etc. For them, it's all about how you treat people. They make it easy to settle into my skin and feel awesome about it! 

Kristin, one of my oldest friends (meaning we go way back) and an expectant mom had this to say:
Right now I feel the prettiest I've ever felt probably has something to do with the little rugrat inside me right now!!! I love being pregnant :)

Sonia, my sister and friend had this to say: :
I feel prettiest when my daughter tells me I do. The best compliment she gives me is when she changes her clothes so she is dressed like me.

Jen, friend and fellow mommy blogger had this to say:
Red lipstick and an amazing perfume!

Jana, my sister-in-law, friend, and back up baby sitter had this to say:
John pawing at me (I know, TMI, sorry, being honest) and his, "Hey, pretty lady," comments... Mascara... Compliments from the kids (cause you know they say what they really think)

I can personally relate to all of the above - except for my sister-in-law talking about my brother pawing at her....but that's because it's my brother and that would be gross if I related to that. :)  Each beautiful girl up above all came up with a different answer, a different view on what makes them feel pretty.  After thinking all day about what made me feel pretty, I cam up with the following list:

1.  BeautiControl Mineral Eye Shadow - Downtown Chic....I feel I'm at my best when I take the time to use this specific eye shadow.

2.  Flashy jewelry - the bigger the sparkle and flash the better.

3.  My kids - While reading "People Magazine" the other day, Brayden pointed to Kim Kardashian and said, "Momma - you kinda look like her."  Now, while I look absolutely nothing like Kim K, I was flattered that my three year old saw me as a tall, brunette, Armenian girl with really great shoes.  He obviously thinks I'm beautiful!

4.  My husband - He never comes out and says "You are really pretty."  But he holds me when I'm ugly crying and always kisses me afterwords...now its possible he's just trying to get lucky, but it still makes me feel pretty. 

5.  Smiling - Because Smiling is my favorite.  And everyone looks pretty with a smile on their face. 

What makes you feel pretty?  Comment below for a chance to win a fabulous prize! There are seven chances to win. Winners will be chosen via a random drawing on Sunday evening!    Good luck!

Beautiful Inside and Out Picture, Bath and Body Works Anti Bacterial Hand Soap (Rainkissed Leaves, Midnight Pomegranate, Twilight Woods), Love Flameless Candle, BeautiControl Skinlogics Lip Apeel, BeautiControl Warming Trend Green Tea Masque


WANTED:

I am looking for home based businesses, either in direct sales or hand crafted items to advertise on my blog.  It's at no cost - it just helps me get more exposure and helps your product do the same.  If you are interested shoot me an email at braydenandemmasmommy@yahoo.com and I will send you more information!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chalk on my Floor

Last night, while attempting (and succeeding) in writing a blog before my kids went to bed, my one year old crawled under our kitchen table and proceeded to color the floor with chalk.  My three year old kept going under there too so I honestly thought they were just entertaining each other.  They were doing exactly that - except he was supplying her with the chalk and then using a bottle of water and a paper towel to clean her mess up under the table. 

Shortly after dinner tonight, Brayden threw a massive tantrum that eventually required him to find a place in his room.  He kicked and he screamed and said things like "You better give me my baby room back because I'm acting like a baby!"  And "You are making me angry".  These were all said in a screechy, screamy, yelling kind of voice.

About Fifteen minutes ago, after I got the computer all booted up and began writing tonight's blog, my daughter came over and closed the laptop and said "The End hahahahaha". 

About ten minutes ago, Brayden came out of his room and apologized to everyone for acting like a baby.

About five minutes ago, Brayden came over to me and said, "Mommy Emma just said a bad word - she said damn and you should probably spank her."  (She hadn't said a word since he came out with his big apology a few minutes earlier.)

Now their dad is giving them a bath and I am contemplating.  I didn't get mad about the chalk, or the computer, or the tantrum.  There are few things in life that can't be cleaned up, fixed, repaired, patched or rebooted and I am slowly learning not to sweat the small stuff - like chalk on my floor. 

I'm taking a break from Challenge Thursday for a few weeks - but stay tuned because I'm working on some really great give-a-ways for February! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Resolution Renovation

Happy Wednesday!  As I've mentioned before, starting this blog was a New Year's Resolution of mine.  I wanted something that I could express myself with as well as something that I could share a tiny taste of the craziness that is my family.  I enjoy being able to write about anything I want to.  I'm the boss here on Tiaras and Tantrums and no one can change that. 

Before I get started on the meat and potatoes of tonight's blog, I have some housekeeping to do.   I have taken on a challenge courtesy of NaBloPoMo - I am going to post something every day in February.  Just a forewarning:  Some days may be more valuable to you than others.  Depending on my mood, some days may just irritate the crap out of you.  I've started carrying a tiny notebook and pen with me at all times and as I have ideas I've been writing them down.  The problem is always remembering where I've put the tiny notebook and being able to decipher all of my scribbles.  I'm also sure that I will have to use the writing prompts provided by NaBloPoMo as well!   And one last thing - a huge shout out to my girl Jen over at High Heels and Dirty Dishes - because she completed this same challenge in January and was a featured blog during the month!  Reading her blog in the morning as I'm getting ready for work is one of the highlights of my day!  I seriously hope she takes on the challenge again in February because she is SO talented.

Back on point:  The first month of the new year is over with.  It's time to take our Resolutions for their monthly check up.

Below is a partial list of my resolutions.  I have a lot more.  My thought process is the more I have the more likely I am to have a better success rate.  We'll see how this works out next December 31st. :)

1.  Start a Blog 

Status:  I did indeed start a blog.  I am challenged in the technology area so I have some work to do.  I practiced "linking" tonight and I think I got the hang of it.  Overall though this blog thing is going pretty well and I am proud of myself.  

2.  Get organized. 

Status:  Not a complete bust, instead a work in progress.  I bought an organizer and I've written appointments in it.  I just forget to take the organizer out and look at it after I make the appointments. I also bought one of those dry erase calendars to hang on the side of our fridge.  I  bought it back in October in anticipation of using it into the new year.  While it is still hanging on the side of the fridge, it still has October written on it and it's pretty much covered with magnets and food coupons.

3.  Lose Weight.

Status:  I need to lose some serious weight like Paula Dean needs to give up on the butta. I lost 5 pounds in January.  Really it was just the last full week that I even attempted to diet all month.  I'm told that a healthy weight loss would be 2 to 3 pounds a week.  I've got a diet buddy now and we've set new weight loss goals for this month.  I've been making healthier eating choices - as long as you don't count the crab rangoon I had at lunch today.  I've also been trying to get in a little bit of exercise. 

On a side note:   Nobody better buy me any damn chocolate for Valentine's Day.  Chocolate is my weakness and it seems like every time I start actually losing weight, somebody goes and buys something that is deliciously orgasmic in the chocolate department.  Chocolate is this momma's version of a highly addictive drug.   I'll take flowers, a card, and Breaking Dawn on DVD instead of chocolate.  Thank you in advance for following this suggestion.  This means you Garry Johnson.

4.  Spend less, Save more.

Status:  Ummm...Epic Fail?  I would do better if it were save less, spend more.  My health insurance premiums went down about 22 cents, so I saved some money there.  I bought some Christmas gifts on clearance after the holidays, so I saved some money in the long run there.  February is a short month, so I'm thinking I should just give this one up until March.  March reminds me of green and green reminds me of money so lets table this one until March. 

Most of my resolutions, including the one's not listed on here are a work in progress...after all, If at first you don't succeed, try, try again - right?!


So what's the one New Year's Resolution that you are kicking some serious boo-tay at?  What's the one that you wish you had never made?   Leave a comment and I'll be your friend forever!