Archives for February 2011

There is Never Enough Time… To Please a Woman

With Valentine’s day quickly approaching, I thought I’d take a minute and remind all the readers that there is truly never enough time to please a woman.

Some of you reading are now getting angry saying of course there is time its takes 5 minutes, a box of chocolates, a vase full of roses, what could be simpler? For most men it’s never that simple because of one key thing… lack of communication… Which is something I’m working on with my wife. Being that we’re in the city that never sleeps, i’ts also the city that will charge you unholy amounts when there is a hallmark holiday. This being one of those times, roses will be 500% more expensive then on any other day. Restaurants create price fixed meals that really are just money makers to them.

The romance of this holiday has long since passed for me, maybe in 3rd
grade when you wanted to see which boy would get the most Valentine’s day cards from which girls or vice-versa. Now this holiday is about trying to do no wrong… even after asking my wife what she wants, which she says is usually something practical its not truly what she wants… she wants romance, she wants spontaneity, she wants passion and love and all those things that we might have been able to do if not for the fact that we’re parents. Life has changed, the close we get to spontaneity now is when our son falls asleep earlier then
usual.

For this holiday I suggest this… carve out some time – create a
special memory with your beloved. Don’t forget the card or the candy
but really the most important thing is take a picture that day in some
crazy moment – print it and save it because we’re never this young
again and its always nice to remember the good days and most
importantly do tell your beloved how much they mean to you!

When Mommy Travels

For the last 5 or so years… I’ve done a great deal of traveling related to my work. My family is used to it. We’ve adapted. Grandmas cook and clean, Uncles and Aunts help out with the school schedules, friends set up play dates. We’re almost a finely tuned machine when it comes to mommy traveling.

When I’m away… my girls always want me to bring them something back. I know you’re probably thinking this is a terrible habit for them to be into. And I would agree with you but… I don’t bring them back toys or clothes or gifts of those sorts. I bring them back pens, stress balls, and samples. I bring them hotel stationary and lotions. They can’t wait to see what goodies I’ve hoarded away for them on my journey.

I call each night to discuss the day’s events and before we say I love you and hang up… one little voice will always say… “What are you bringing me?” And rather than get annoyed and feel like I’ve raised a materialistic child… I smile. I smile because I know that the anticipation of opening my bags and finding peanuts from the plane brings Mommy one day closer to home.

Try It. You’ll Like It.

One of the things I love about social media, is the fact that someone will go out and try a product and then share their experience with the rest of us. If they hate the product… they’ll steer us clear of it. If they love the product… they’ll recommend it to us.

I did this recently on a mission for Collective Bias. I went out and purchased a new line of shampoo and conditioner from Equate at WalMart and I tried it. For you. *sweet smile*

I know what you’re thinking… Equate? WalMart? Hair care? That’s what I was thinking. But hey… I was curious. What could possibly be new and worth trying in the value brand category of shampoo and conditioners? Well… Let me tell you!

Equate is no stranger to value priced hair care. Their products actually dominated the aisle at the WalMart I visited. (You can check out my Whrrl story for a visual) They have a line for each type of hair issue: curly, fine, thick, moisturizing, volumizing, color care. Here’s the thing. Next to Equate’s new brand, Simply U, those lines look old school.

Simply U, by Equate, has a sexier, shinier packaging. It looks more salon like. And let’s face it… people do judge a book by it’s cover. This new packaging, along with some updated ingredients, and a small line of styling products, make Simply U a competitor in WalMart’s shampoo aisle. Right there amongst the more expensive Bed Head and Matrix products… you’ll find Equate’s Simply U and it fits right in.

Ok… now that I’ve told you what a value it is and how pretty the new packaging is… I’ll bet you want to know if it works. Here’s how I truly feel about it. Simply U feels good. It doesn’t feel cheap or “value” line-like. It truly has a silky, creamy quality and it smells nice too. The shampoo lathers well and the conditioner detangles.

Will I be switching from my usual $20 a bottle salon shampoo? Probably not. But I do think that the new Simply U line from Equate is an excellent step up for someone seeking a better-than-value-line shampoo. And if I wasn’t such a hair snob… I would switch. In all fairness… my kids lathered up and liked it too. They may become loyal Simply U consumers!

Moral of the story? Try it. You’ll like it.

Check out my Whrrl for a visual tour of my shopping experience.

I was compensated for the time I took to try and buy and write about my experience. This doesn’t change the fact that all the opinions above are my own.

Welcome to Twin Tuesday!

Hi there!  I’m new here to Everyday Childhood, and I’ll be hosting Twin Tuesday here each week.  I am thrilled to be a part of things here, so let’s get this started!  My name is Cassandra, but you can call me Cass.  I met Kelly via Twitter, and we were “virtual friends” for months before we realized we live a five-minute walk from each other!

Other things I am known for:  Being a parent of twins.  Being snarky.  Making fun of Shake Weight Commercials.  Hating baby poop in my fingernails.  Harboring a love for ten dollar words.  Being obsessed with NHL hockey.  Golfing terribly.  Being the most prolific karaoke’er of “Summer Lovin” on the planet.  Hating football.  Maintaining a 1:20 ratio of speeding tickets received to number of times stopped for speeding.

Things I really should be known for:  Having a degree in Political Science (I do).  Being a great cook (I am, if you like healthy, creative meals that involve a lot of wine drinking).  Creating epic 1990’s hip hop playlists (totally).  Being a lash-lengthening mascara aficionado (yep).  Studying the violin for 20+ years (check).  Liking craft beers (double check).  Tirelessly advocating for my able-bodied child as well as my two disabled children (yeppers).

Other things you should know about me before we continue our relationship:  I am from Phoenix.  I used to work in IT, but now I am a stay-at-home mom.  I have three children—two of these children use power wheelchairs, due to a type of Muscular Dystrophy called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).  I am tall.  I have big ears.  I sometimes drop f-bombs.  I hate going to Wal-Mart.  I like to whine, but don’t like whiners.  I run.  I like beer and wine.  Also flip-flops.  And Canada.  Also cheese.  And Mexican food.  Also the Beastie Boys.  And I’m a fan of lists.  And incomplete sentences.  Apparently.

I like to write.  I like funny.  I like my kids.  I like to write funny things about my kids.  My primary role here is to share my reflections on twin parenthood, parenting disabled children and parenthood in general–though not everything I write will relate to those topics.  This is my day of the week–who knows what streams of consciousness will flow from my over-sized man-hands and through to my keyboard?  It’s a pleasure to meet your acquaintance–hang around for a spell.

~~~~~~

Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at Byrds for a Cure.

Giving Yourself Permission

For the longest time I couldn’t imagine ever being away from O and Jake. I mean, it took us four long years just to bring O into our lives so the thought of being away for even a day was inconceivable. If I had been away for any period of time (a day or so) I’d feel super guilty!! How could I miss one moment of their lives? How could I let a night go by without kissing their sweet cheeks!? Staring down over their cribs looking at their big eyes reflecting back into mine. This was a nightly routine for me, and one that I’ve cherished.

I thought about these things on a recent overnight trip. I had a long drive to my destination and so I had time to think about things. I was going on a personal trip and one that was completely my option to go on. I knew I’d miss them both for an entire Saturday, the evening, and then part of Sunday. At first, I was bothered, as I had been in the past. This time was a little different though. I began to feel myself become calmer. The anxiety, guilt, and worry that was there before was still there but a bit less. I realized I was giving myself permission to be me.

Every day I’m Josh the employee, I’m Josh the friend, I’m Josh the husband, I’m Josh the Dad, I’m Josh the Dog Owner, I’m Josh the Home Owner, I’m Josh the Household Finance Manager, I’m Josh the Cook, and the list goes on. Yes, I do make time for myself when I can (thanks to the support of my wife) but it’s usually late in the evenings. Kind of like right now, as I write this! However, this trip was not just a couple of hours at night with the kids asleep down the hall. And no, it wasn’t a week-long trip either. It didn’t need to be. The feelings I had were still there and yet I allowed myself to take a break from all the other daily roles. I allowed myself to do something for me.

I convinced myself that this was okay. It was okay. Why? We need to care for ourselves as much as we do our family and the other roles that come with them. If we don’t take care of ourselves we won’t fully be able to give to others. There will be emptiness in us and maybe even built up resentment over the years. Only when we feel full can we truly give all of ourselves to others.

This is a hard concept to grasp. It’s almost counter-intuitive. We think we don’t have time for ourselves since our families come first. Then we wake up one day and realize there’s nothing left. It’s like the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs. We’re that goose and we lay these golden eggs. Our eggs are our gifts of doing for families. What happens when we don’t take care of the goose that lays the golden eggs? We run out of eggs! We can’t keep withdrawing from the bank without making deposits.

Think in terms like this and you’ll quickly see how you probably haven’t made many deposits lately. If that’s the case for you, then do yourself a favor. Do your family a favor. Start making those deposits, start taking care of that goose inside of you. When you do? You’ll quickly see how much more you really have to offer and your children will learn that it’s as important to care for oneself as much as it is the ones they love.

I took those two days for myself. When I came back I had a better appreciation for what I had waiting at home for me. The deposits had been made and the goose was ready to deliver some golden eggs again!

Read more from Josh on his blog Dad Street and follow him on Twitter @DadStreet. Thanks Josh!

Wordless Wednesday: Bread

Bread.

This bread is dedicated to Julie @DutchBeingMe.

Royalty Free Lovin’