Category Archives: owls

Take Your Vitamins! (And A Giveaway!)

My status as a cutting edge mommy blogger with a pulse on what’s hip and trendy has been solidified once again.  I have been approached to review a product.  You heard me right.  A product.  Wowzers!

Editor’s note:  I’m certain that my sarcastic, self-depreciating attitude about the act of reviewing products and/or services will eventually diminish, but for now it’s out of my control.  I literally can’t stop myself.  I started writing this blog almost three years ago because Dora and diapers had turned me into a bat shit crazy lady, and now I’m a Crazy (capital “C”) Shopaholic Proud Happy Anxious Nervous Crafty (sometimes) Guilty Martyr Helicopter (sometimes…okay a lot of the times) Grateful Mama who people actually trust to test products.  Ha!

p.s. Speaking of three years ago… My third blog-iversary is coming up on July 8th in case you want to do something special like buy me something. Or send a card.  Or “like” my Facebook page.   

p.p.s. I’m really easy to shop for.  I like wine, Boom Chicka Pop popcorn, owls, and babysitters.

Anywho…

This is ground zero in my kitchen.

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Please tell me there’s a tornado of crap like this in your kitchen, too. (#motherhoodismessy)  It’s all sitting on a nifty Lazy Susan I got at The Container Store, which makes me feel like it’s organized.  Among a bazillion random items, this is where our vitamins hang out, including the calcium supplement I’m supposed to take daily (because I’m getting old), but I don’t because I always forget.  And besides, I’d rather eat cheese.

Although vitamins are clearly not that important to me for me, they’re vital for my kids because although I made some cutie patootie children, they eat like crap.  If left to their own devices, Dylan would eat nothing but popcorn, donuts, and macaroni & cheese, and Riley would drink Kefir with a side of Rice Krispies Treats.  Forever.

I’m exaggerating a little bit.  Riley actually ate half of a slice of cucumber yesterday, which nearly caused me to pass out from a combination of surprise and glee.  And under duress earlier in the week, Dylan nibbled (literally nibbled) on a half of a half of a half of a piece of celery.  Still, picky eating rules in my house.  Even Harry is a picky eater.  (New readers:  Harry is a dog.)  Thus, vitamins are important.  They help me sleep at night.  (That, and an occasional Clonazepam.)

Enter Vitacost.  They graciously sent me several samples to try, including Multi-Vitamin Gummies for Kids and Omega-3 Gummies for Kids.

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The competition.

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It ain’t easy being the new guys in town.

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The guinea pigs:

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The verdict:

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Thumbs up! Vitacost Multi-Vitamin and Omega-3 Gummies for Kids are A-OKAY!  The funny thing about my kids is that even thought they’re the world’s most infuriating eaters, they’ll eat any vitamin gummies…any time…anywhere.

The Vitacost gummies are similar in shape, flavor, and size to all of the other vitamin gummies in our house (Disney Gummies, L’il Critters Gummy Vites, and Yummi Bears).  For the detail-oriented folks, the sugar content is low in all of them (1-4g) and the other contents are almost identical.  The Vitacost gummies have less vitamin D3 (200 IU vs. 400 IU), but worry not because Vitacost makes Vitamin D3 Gummies, too!

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The Vitacost gummies are free of milk, eggs, peanuts, crustacean shellfish, fish, and gluten.  As far as price goes, they’re about the same as or slightly cheaper than all of the others depending on the size (60 vs. 90 vs. 180 vs. 275 count).  By the way, the price exception is Yummi Bears from Whole Foods, which are more expensive than all of them (no surprise there).

At the end of the day, Vitacost is a great choice for vitamins for your entire family.  It all just depends if you’re a brick and mortar shopper (i.e. a grab-and-go shopper at Target, Costco, etc.) or an online shopper.  If you’re an online shopper, Vitacost has reasonable shipping costs ($4.99 no matter how big the box) and they offer free shipping if you spend more than $49 dollars.  For a hopeless shopaholic like me, it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy because they sell a whole lot more than vitamins on their Web site.    (It’s like an all natural, healthy living version of drugstore.com.)  I’m filling up an online shopping cart as we speak! #shopaholicmama

And so concludes my landmark review of Vitacost Multi-Vitamin Gummies and Omega-3 Gummies for Kids.  It was almost as momentous as the Supreme Court striking down DOMA and dismissing the Proposition 8 appeal.  Almost.

Wait!  Don’t leave!  THERE’S A GIVEAWAY!  Leave a comment under this post about your experience with your kids and vitamins (or just say hello or ask me a question or whatever else) and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card to Vitacost.com.  Wow!  FYI: Vitacost.com has a stellar Baby & Kids section.

The deadline to enter is midnight on Monday, July 1st.  (Holy crap! It’s almost July.  It’s practically Christmas time!)  I will choose a winner at random. I don’t have one of those fancy giveaway widget app program thingies, but I’m an Honest Mama.  I promise.

Good luck!  And unlike me, TAKE YOUR VITAMINS!

do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do-hypocrisy

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Filed under food, health, owls, vitamins

Awfulness

My neighbor across the street just had a baby.  It’s her second child.  Her second girl.  Over the weekend, I saw her for the first time since the baby was born.  She was sitting in a lawn chair next to a bassinet and watching her four-year-old daughter ride her bike around the driveway.

I walked across the street to congratulate her and asked, “How are you doing?”

Her response was refreshingly candid. “Awful,” she said.

Her c-section incision hurt like hell, she was exhausted, her husband was at work (on the weekend no less), and at 4pm, she had only just showered.  She was just seven days into the madness of having two kids.

Sound familiar?

I’ll never forget the depth of awfulness that engulfed me after I brought my babies home from the hospital.  Of course, there was love and bliss and wonder, but the awfulness was there, and it was thick and sticky.

When Dylan, my first, came home, the awfulness came from perpetually trying not to accidentally kill him during any of the following activities: feeding, bathing, diapering, dressing, undressing, strolling, driving, rocking, singing, or holding.  Did I ever tell you the first diaper I ever changed was Dylan’s?  True story.  Figuring out what all of his noises and cries meant, leaving the house with less than three hours notice, changing his diapers without getting peed or pooped on, learning how to fold and unfold the stroller without bodily harm, trimming his teeny baby nails without cutting off any of his teeny fingers, and surviving one long, dark night after another were daunting experiences.

When Riley came along, it was a lot easier to not accidentally kill him, but new forms of awfulness lurked.

There was sibling rivalry, and a result, guilt.  Oh, the guilt!  There was pain.  Recovering from a c-section, or any form of childbirth, is difficult when you never stop moving.  There was sleep deprivation.  Actually, it was more like sleep zilch.  Sleep zero.  (There was a brief period of time in late 2009 when Riley and Dylan took the same afternoon nap.  It was miraculous and, to this day, is one of my proudest parenting achievements.)  There was juggling. Breastfeeding while simultaneously flipping grilled cheese sandwiches, finding “The Big Red Chicken” episode of “Dora the Explorer” On Demand, doing puzzles, getting the Moby wrap on and off without strangling myself, and folding laundry (oh, the laundry!) was hard.  Really hard.  It was chaos.  Period.

Oh, I remember the awfulness.

My neighbor will find a rhythm.  She’ll discover a new normal.  She’ll learn how to juggle, and she’ll eventually feel rested (or at least not murderous) on three hours of sleep.  But right now she’s isolated, overwhelmed, and tired beyond all belief.  Seeing her gave me an overwhelming urge to go shopping.  (For her, silly, not me.)

First, I hit Barnes & Noble for baby and big sister gifts.

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I want another baby just so I can buy more owls.  (Did I just write that?)

I settled on this little guy.

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And to keep big sister busy…

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Then I bought a bunch of easy to grab, healthy snacks.

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Last but not least, the cards.

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Inside Mama’s card, I offered to watch the baby or have her older daughter over to my house for a play date with the boys so she can nap or shower or pee or scream into a pillow all by herself.  (I didn’t actually write that last part.)

Ready for delivery!

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Hopefully she can use the bucket in the nursery or elsewhere in the house.

As our kids get older, school days grow longer, sleep comes easier, sanity returns (sort of), and awfulness recedes, we mustn’t forget the Mamas just getting started on this wild ride or the Mamas preparing to climb the next big hill.  We’ve all been there.  For many of us, we’ve been there more than once, and some of us just might find ourselves there again.

Any New Mamas in your life?

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Filed under babies, giving birth, math, New Mama, owls, shopping

Dreams

Do you watch Cougar Town?  The comedy used to be on ABC but now it’s on TBS on Tuesday nights at 10/9c (in case you’re wondering what happened to it).  I like the humor on the show.  That, and they drink a lot of wine (like normal people) (okay, like me).  Courteney Cox’s character, Jules, actually has a name for her wine glass.  Big Karl, I think.  Ha!

Editor’s note:  There is such a thing as too much Botox and lip augmentation.  It really must suck to be over 40 in Hollywood.

In the first episode of the new season, Jules has a dream where Grayson (Josh Hopkins) does something bad.  We never find out what he did (in the dream), but Jules believes it to be real and insists that he apologize.  Funny, right?  Because dreams aren’t real.

I had a terrifying dream the other night that felt so real that I woke myself up.  I dreamed I was on an airplane dangling in the sky…dangling as in about to fall…fall as in about to crash.  It was nighttime and all I could see were stars outside the windows.  I had no idea if we were over land or water.  There were other people on the plane but I didn’t know them.  I was me.  In other words, I was exactly who I am in real life – a Crazy Mama who spends too much money on owl tchotchkes.  As the plane was about to drop (and just before I forced myself awake), all I thought about was myself and that I didn’t want to die.

My family is my life, my livelihood.  Aside from a few precious hours during the day when I run or write (or watch Cougar Town), almost everything I do is for my family, Dylan and Riley especially.  So, why didn’t I think about my loved ones in the harrowing moments before my (dream) death?  Why didn’t I have gorgeous flashbacks of my childhood, my wedding day, and the births of my boys?  Just like Jules, I woke up wanting to blame someone for what happened.  The difference is that she smacked Grayson and I wanted to smack myself.

I struggle every day with the intensity of love I feel for my boys and the resentment I sometimes feel about losing myself in them – about putting their wants, their needs, and their everything above mine.  It’s not their fault.  I made a series of choices that led me to the off-kilter, unbalanced world of Stay-at-Home Mama-hood.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, but I sometimes wonder what I might’ve accomplished had I chosen a different path on the spectrum.

Guilty Mama alert!

I told Mike how selfish I felt about not thinking about the people I love before the (dream) crash, and he reminded me that it wasn’t real.  He also suggested that maybe the dream wasn’t about dying at all.  Maybe it was about writing the book and feeling – for the first time in a long time – that I was, in fact, doing something just for me.  He also thought it was silly that I was tormenting myself about it.  Silly, indeed, but I’m far too good at it to pass up such a rich opportunity.  He’s right.  The Book is all mine.  It’s my dream and my burden, and it’s forced me to give myself completely to the writing process, which is new, unfamiliar, not surprisingly guilt producing, and every now and then as terrifying as, for instance, being on a plane dangling in the nighttime sky.

Thankfully, it was just a dream.

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Filed under bad dreams, book, Crazy Mama, owls, Stay-at-Home Mama