My kind of party

A friend just texted me. She sent:

“Sorry you can’t go out tonight, happy new year anyway!”

She’s a good friend, and I hope she has a great time ringing in the new year. But she’s got it all wrong.

I’m not the least bit sorry.

We woke up this morning to a burst water pipe that resulted in a sink hole in the road and no water to our house.

A kiddo that had a failed wisdom teeth removal yesterday and is resembling a chipmunk today.

Another kiddo who needed to get to his landscaping job, in the below freezing cold.

Stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things after being unfairly tempted by a recipe I spotted on Facebook. (I’m looking at you Elizabeth….)

Due to near perfect timing, I was able to grab a huge prime rib roast for about half-price. (Thank you person who ordered it and didn’t pick it up…I owe you one.)

When I was growing up my dad would cook a prime rib every New Years. It was something we all looked forward to, and in those years, it was the kick off to our night. Big prime rib dinner followed by NEW YEARS EVE!!! 

Today, when I tossed the roast in the cart, I realized, my life is amazing. Looking in from the outside, others may think my life is stressful, chaotic and just plain nuts.

Well, yes. Yes it is.

But it is also my paradise.

Tonight I cooked an amazing prime rib (thanks Dad for the recipe) and we are hanging here at home, ready to welcome in the new year. Faith is stimming away on the couch watching Winx Club. My water is back…kinda. My tummy is full. My heart is happy.

Happy New Year!

It’s just another day in my paradise. :)

Watch it.

It IS your choice on how to respond.

So, uh, you ever have post scheduled and think it’s all set so you don’t double check to make sure it posted?

Yeah. Me either.

Ooops.

The post was simply stating that Mommy Rambles will be on hiatus until the kiddos go back to school on the 4th.

And I regain some sanity.

But, I recently read this post, and I would really like to share it with you. Please take a moment to read. I have been in this spot more times than I care to remember. You, as an observer can either choose to add to the parents stress and anxiety by the judgements or you can choose to show a small amount of sympathy. And it IS a choice.

One time Faith was having a total meltdown in a pool’s locker room. Complete screeching, screaming, flailing meltdown. I wanted the floor to open up and just swallow us. The awful looks, the rolling eyes. One woman stepped up to me and touched my shoulder. She said “I’m a special ed teacher, and honey, you are doing fine.” That was almost two years ago and that one woman’s nice words are still what I lean on.

Dear Shopper Staring at MY Child Having a Meltdown in the Grocery Store

Read it, please.

It’s looking a lot like…. #searsrealcheer #cbias

When we left off last post, I had found the perfect tree for us this year. Remember this?

How can you not smile at that tree? You are smiling right now, aren’t you?

But it looked pretty humdrum. After some thought, I decided to head to Sears Holiday Shop to spruce it up a bit. You can follow along with me on my shopping trip here.

I added a few more strings of lights. I chose white and pink.

It’s not too much, right? Of course not! Then I added some beaded garland and awesome crystal icicles I found at Sears. These are so pretty!

Next up I added beautiful glass bulbs that Jimmy spotted while we were shopping.

I think the tree is almost done, but it just doesn’t quite seem tied together. Hmmmm. That gives me an idea!

It’s my tree! I am so excited! This tree fits perfectly with our available space and it still feels full of holiday cheer! Thanks to the ideas I spotted on my shopping trip at Sears, I was able to feel confident in stepping outside of my usual decorating comfort zone. The colors work beautifully together and really convey the feeling I was hoping for. So far every person who has walked into my home has broken into a huge smile upon spotting the tree.

I call that a total WIN!

{This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias However all opinions and awesome trees are my own}

Let’s do this – DS game giveaway

********WINNER********

 

Want ’em? I got ’em. Let’s do this…

Ends Monday, and if the winner sends me their address by 9pm,  I’ll send them by Priority Mail on Tuesday, should be there by Friday. (wink, wink)

Mandatory Entry 

Tell me in a comment below who the lucky-ducky is that will be getting these games. Or are they for you? :)  (One entry per person)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter using the buttons below. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (one extra entry per person per day)

This giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends at noon 12:00 EST on December 19th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose a winner from all comments. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

“Games have MSRP of $60 and were generously provided to  Mommy Rambles by Activision. However all opinions are my own”

It’s beginning to look a lot like… #Cbias #Searsrealcheer

Several years ago I found an amazing artificial Christmas tree at an after Christmas sale. It was 7 ft tall and so life-like. And it was 75% off. It was poofy and full and green and I love it! At that time we had a house with a huge living room. The tree worked beautifully.

Then we moved. The tree wouldn’t fit in our other house’s living room. But the library! It worked wonderfully there. It fit and looked amazing.

Then we moved again. No library. Our living room is open but oddly shaped. We still made it work by only assembling part of the tree and placing it in a corner. But…it felt pretty cramped and it didn’t look as pretty. We made this work for 3 years.

But this year, I’m just not feeling it. We have to make a change. I usually put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We usually all pitch in and decorate together reminiscing about the ornaments as we hang them up. It is now mid December and it’s still not done. My motivation has left the building.

We looked at narrow/slim Christmas trees. They look like they would work, but I don’t really want a second tree. I love the one we have, it’s just not working for us right now. We also know this is our last Christmas in this house. I don’t want to buy a tree to fit here, when I know next year we will be living somewhere else.

I have also been missing South Carolina quite a bit this year. I’m missing warmth, and white sand beaches. When I spotted this, I KNEW what we were doing this year!

I’m going in a whole new direction this year! And I can incorporate this palm tree into my year-round decor. Score! But….I need decorations. Not my usual ones. This tree calls for new ornaments. Happy ones. Maybe pink, green and blue. And more lights!

One thing I just found out is that Sears has a huge holiday decorating section. Did you know that? I didn’t. They are also having some amazing sales right now! I also learned about  this Sears website, http://realcheer.Sears.com. It has great inspirations for Christmas decorating. You can even upload your pictures to help inspire others. They have fresh, live trees and greenery and they even have a new Platinum shop that has amazing, unique ornaments.

I’m really excited to get some new and happy decorations for this palm tree. I’ll post again in a week or so to show the final result!

{This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All thoughts and opinions are my own.}

Thursday Thinking

This is a weekly series that I hope you will take part in. Basically, I will ask a question, you answer. Easy-peasy. ;) Sometimes the questions will be very simple and easy to answer in one word. Other times they may be more controversial and require a bit of thought on your part.

Ready?

In your own not-so-humble opinion, what is your best quality?

I think my best quality is empathy.

A 2nd look at Lupus from #Clever2ndMD #spon

Thank you to 2nd.MD for providing me with a $200 stipend to test-drive this revolutionary online medical service.

It’s no secret to my readers that I have Lupus.

Lupus is bullshit. In a normal body, the immune system is an amazing machine. It identifies bad stuff (virus, infection…) and attacks it.

Bing. Bang. Pow. Done.

In a person with Lupus, the immune system thinks it’s own body is the bad stuff. The immune system launches an attack on the offender. It’s self. And it sucks. Sometimes it attacks the skin, sometimes the kidneys, sometimes even the brain.

My Lupus, that I have nicknamed “stupid lupus” or SL for short, thought it would be awesome to go after my brain a couple years ago. Whoa nelly, that was some fun.

Seriously, that was a bad time. Luckily I have a really great, traditional doctor that has been on this SL road with me for the last 4 years. He recognized what was going on and quickly sent me off to UW for several other consults with the top docs in the area. They all worked together and halted the damage SL (or in this case Central Nervous System Stupid Lupus) was doing to my brain.

Unfortunately, they way they stopped the attack on my brain was by using a super-strong, ninja-kick-your-butt immunosupessant. Immunosupressants work just like they sound they would. They suppress your immune system. Which is awesome if your immune system is busy kicking the crap out of your brain. Not so awesome in day to day life when surrounded by sneezing kids and coughing adults. The immunosuppressant I am currently on also has the side effect of making me feel like I am always sick to my tummy. Not cool.

I love my doc, I really do, but he is very traditional. He sticks with what he has worked with for a long time and feels comfortable with. It is also somewhat awkward to bring up different therapies with him. I have been on my ninja-kicking immunosuppressants for 2 years. And at times I wonder if I am always so sick because of them. I am ready to try something new, but I wanted to have more information before broaching the subject with my current doctor.

When given the opportunity to try 2ndMD, I jumped at it.

The concept is simple. Video appointments with top doctors around the country. No referrals, no traveling, no long waits. Log on. Make an appointment, see your doctor!

Check out this video: Peace of Mind – http://vimeo.com/24934042

I made my account, logged on and looked at the available specialists for Lupus.

After reading the extensive bios for each doc, I chose Dr. Chaudhary. Making my appointment was simple. I chose the times that would work for ME, then I received an email letting me know which of MY available times would also work for the doctor. Talk about convenience!

I logged in to the virtual waiting room on the day of my appointment and at 2pm right on the dot, Dr. Chaudhary appeared on my screen.

I was having a virtual doctor appointment! Dr. Chaudhary asked several questions and listened to each of my concerns. He was calm, patient and explained several complimentary therapies I could try. He even suggested an antiacid taken with my ninja-kick med. Simple. He brought up a couple supplements I had not thought to try. He asked about diet, about my sun exposure (a no-no for lupus) and exercise. He also discussed a couple other ninja-kick medications that would have the immunosupressant power but might be easier on my tummy. The entire conversation was calm and low key. I felt very comfortable with the process.

I logged out of the 2nd.md website after the appointment and almost immediately received an email notification that Dr. Chaudhary had posted a note.

After my appointment on 2nd.md, I have several new ideas and options that I will be bringing up with my regular doctor at our next appointment.

My appointment had a fee of $120. That seems like a lot until I really thought about it. We live in a somewhat rural area. Most specialists are in Seattle and a trip over to see the specialists = all day trip. Here is a breakdown: Gas $15.00, ferry fee to and from Seattle $25.00, lunch $25.00, babysitter since I won’t be back to meet the bus $15.00, co-pay of $30.00. That’s $110 and a whole day wasted!

I would not hesitate to contact 2nd MD in the future for a specialist consult.

My John Hancock

Thank you again to 2nd.MD for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about 2nd.MD. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #Clever2ndMD #spon

We are wild and crazy around here

A local carpet store went out of business. They were selling off the carpet samples for $1 each So I went and bought 20.

What? Wouldn’t you?

We are currently about a year from owning a home again. Homes come with fun things like renovations. Usually (for us at least…) renovations mean decisions. Do we want this color or that? This faucet or that? This carpet or that?

The problem with “this carpet or that” is you don’t have much to go on. You can run you hand over it. If the sales guy isn’t looking you can grab the sample, toss it on the ground and stomp on it a couple times. Not that I have ever done that.

:looking innocent:

But what about the REAL stuff. How does it look covered in dog hair? How does it look when you don’t vacuum? If I dump red popsicle on it, how easy does it clean? And for those of us with sensory affected children…how does it feel under foot. While barefoot? While in socks? While wearing shoes?

We, being the wild and crazy family we are… Cough…. Took this opportunity to grab a bunch of carpet. Different textures and colors. Then I tossed them out and we went about our lives.

I had my favorite, Jimmy had his, Faith even had hers.

Over the weeks, one became a clear  favorite. It didn’t show cat or dog hair. It was just the right amount of soft. It vacuumed great. It cleaned up fantastic. And….. it was one NONE of us would have picked.

I realize this doesn’t sound very wild or crazy but if you ever get a chance to grab some carpet samples, try it. Especially if you are not in the middle of renovating.

And now Jimmy is making scratching posts for the cat. 😉

My John Hancock

Sharing a cup of joy and a giveaway #PeetsCoffee #Cbias

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try Peet’s Coffee for the first time. That stuff is GOOD! Now, just in time for the holiday and for gift giving, I thought we would give Peet’s Holiday Blend a try.

You can follow along on my shopping trip HERE.

Once I had this yummy coffee in my hands, my next mission was to try and figure out for whom to make a gift of coffee.

You know how I love my coffee.

And I love giving gifts.

Giving the gift of coffee? Yes please!

Gosh, who can I chose to give a gift of coffee to? I want to give the gift of Peet’s Coffee to more than just one person.

What if instead of giving the gift of coffee I gave the gift of something made with the coffee? Then I could give the gift to many people!

Yes!

I am going to make Peet’s Coffee shortbread cookies. Can you say yum???

I have all my ingredients, ready to go.

Look at this amazing Peet’s Coffee! I wish you could smell this!

Have you ever tried the ziplock method? Talk about easy!

Cut into cute squares. The coffee is so aromatic, it really smells amazing while baking.

Cooling. It wouldn’t hurt to sneak one… Or two….

Packaging up, with cute ribbons.

I can’t wait to hand these out! Peet’s Coffee makes more than just a great cup of coffee, it is perfect to cook with!

Would you like to win a Peet’s Coffee gift pack worth $75?? I thought so….

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to Peet’s and then come back here and tell me what blend of Peet’s you would most like to try. (One entry per person)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook then leave me a separate comment below telling me you did so. (one extra entry per person)

“Share” this giveaway on Facebook  using the buttons below. Then leave me a comment below telling me that you did. (one extra entry per person)

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 9th, 2011. I will use Random.org to chose a winner from all comments. Winner will be contacted. Even though there are several #PeetsCoffee giveaways are running right now, each person can only win once in the #PeetsCoffee Holiday giveaway.

“This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias However all opinions and yummy cookies are my own”

My John Hancock