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Friday, May 29, 2009

Cross Post & Giveaway - Where I go for last minute baby gifts

This is a cross-post and giveaway from over at my Twofer Thumbs Up blog but I wanted to highlight it here because it's for my friend and neighbor.
_______________________________
Everyone say Hi to my neighbor Sharina. (((waving)))
Sharina has got a sewing machine and isn’t
afraid to use it.
Sharina, owner of BlankiesBurpsandBibs.com, i
s where I turn for last-minute baby gifts. And because I’m a last-minute kind of gal, I’m at Sharina’s house...a lot.

BlankiesBurpsandBibs.com has all kids of great things for mom, baby, and little kids including bibs, blankets, clothing, stroller tags, even hair bows!

The matching bibs and burp clothes have been a huge hit with my friends.



These little dresses are so cute!



You can even get matching dresses for your big and little girl!


This Snacker Packer is ingenious.


Tuck a small bowl inside for easy snacking without all the mess. Little hands can reach in and you can tie it up easily. A clip keeps the snacks from flying off the stroller and onto the floor. The bag is reusable, better for the environment than plastic baggies, and washable!

Do you need last minute gifts? The good news is that you don’t have to drive to Sharina's house to shop. You can shop online at www.blankiesburpsandbibs.com .

Enter to Win a Snacker Packer!



I have in my hot little hands THIS Snacker Packer (see above photo) to give away to one lucky reader. Here’s what you need to do:

{Go To Twofer Thumbs Up to enter}

Contest open to US residents in the 48 contiguous states, and ends June 10, 2009 at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified via email or Twitter and will have 3 days to claim the prize.


Good luck!
Janine

Product supplied by
Blankies, Burps & Bibs

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mamapedia.com is like an Encyclopedia for Moms

Who do you turn to when you have questions and concerns relating to parenting? Most of us ask other parents – whether it’s our own mothers, or friends that have kids.

Now what do you do when you have a question at 4:00 am? Some us still call our moms and best friends and wake them up. Another resource to try is Mamapedia.com.


This site contains a wealth of information for moms, from moms. I tested it out recently with this question: What are good books for first graders?
Someone had recently asked that question (in April) and there were over 40 answers that I read through!
Some of the books mentioned were:

1. Cam Jansen

2. Henry & Mudge
3. Magic Treehouse series


Mamapedia.com was developed from the responses collected on Mamasource.com that were categorized and organized and made into a searchable database. Questions range from parenting questions about newborns to health-related topics, and even house and garden questions!

What I like is the range and number of responses. For medical questions, you aren’t weeding through too much medical jargon that may scare you. The most comforting thing is that it’s other moms simply sharing from their personal experiences.

Check out Mamapedia.com and then let me know what question you asked!

Janine


This post sponsored

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Disney Magic - NOW I get it. I get it and I love it. Here's why...

I believe in Disney magic.
There. I said it.

And, I cried like a baby during the Wishes Fireworks, but more on that later.

Disney Twofer

As you know from my earlier posts we planned a trip to Disney World for the Free on Your Birthday promotion to celebrate the Twofer's 6th birthday. Last week we flew down Wednesday and only had Thursday and Friday to spend at Magic Kingdom but that was enough to catch the bug.


If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed some tweets go by with the hashtag #disneytwofer – that was me and the folks following along on the journey. And it was quite a journey. I may have to break this up into 2 different.

The Magic of Disney at the hotel

OK, there was definitely a line and some time spent waiting for the Disney Magical Express bus. But at least we didn’t have to wait with our big bags, just our carry-on bags. We got to the hotel (we chose Pop Century) and were able to check in right away and enjoy the pool. Later on, our bags were delivered to our room – voila!
Other highlights:
  • The Dining plan felt magical because we didn’t feel the pinch of pulling out our wallets each time we ate.
  • I told the front desk we were celebrating our twin’s birthday and there were balloons and Mickey photos in the room when we returned after dinner!
  • The pool was open until midnight and what is more magical than swimming on a warm Florida night?

Magic at The Magic Kingdom

Rides


On each ride I allowed myself to really see things from a child’s perspective and I’m telling you I remembered. I remembered how excited I was at age 5 to climb aboard Dumbo, and wind through It’s a Small World. I allowed myself to really feel like I was flying over Never Never Land with Peter Pan and witness a battle on Pirates of the Caribbean. I did something I haven’t done in a long time…I used my imagination. And I liked it.

The Castle


I have ALWAYS wanted to go in
that castle. The one way I knew I could get in there was to make reservations to have lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table and seeing as it was the Twofers’ birthday, I knew they would love it too. So this is what it’s like:

First we met and took photos with Cinderella – fabulous blue dress, white gloves, and all.


Then we headed upstairs for our meal and a number of other princesses stopped by our table for autographs and pictures. Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Jasmine were gracious and charming. The dining area had big chairs, wooden beams, and large windows with a view of the park. The food was surprisingly good and the desserts were deeeelish. Throw in some wishing stars and wands and you’ve got Disney magic…bippity, boppity, boo!


After an enormous lunch and all the excitement We headed back to the hotel for a break and returned in the evening for more rides, dinner, and those darn….Fireworks.

The Magical Fireworks


Yes, I cried during the Wishes celebration fireworks. But here’s what was swirling through my head: I remember thinking about what a great day we just had and how good it felt to be able to share this with my girls. MY girls who are no longer babies but big 6 year olds. I thought about all that is wrong in this world, and how lucky I was to have my family safe, healthy, and experiencing this together.

I thought of the Make-A-Wish kids who often get trips to Disney World and what their parents feel as they watch those same fireworks night after night. And then I thought of how my dad, who passed away just weeks after the Twofer were born, would have f-ing LOVED the
whole damn thing.



What I realize now is that it was not just the fireworks that brought me to tears. It was the combination of fireworks + touching music about wishes + lack of sleep that most likely caused me to tear up (ok, bawl).

But what happened when we got back to the room was truly magical.
And that you will have to come back to read in my next post…Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney.

Read more in this series:
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise


Wearing my mouse ears,
Janine

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why you should care about the Frigidaire Mother Load Index


Did you know according to the Frigidaire Motherload Index* moms spend on average 28 hours per month washing dishes, and only 7 hours a month showering!

You moms with newborns get a break here, but people, come on! We are living in our own stench while the dishes are sparkling clean?!?!?!

How about this:
Moms
spend an average of 18 hours a month doing laundry vs. just 9 hours a month exercising.

Or this one:
We moms spend an average of 52 hours a month on meal prep vs. just 12 hours a month cuddling with our spouses.

No wonder we're so cranky!

And this one breaks my cold, dishpan, laundry-working, meal-prepping heart!
Moms spend an average of 7 more hours a month getting kids together to get out the door than playing with them.


As my friend Linda would say, {le sigh}. It's downright depressing.

This is why Frigidaire created their new line of time-saving appliances.
Just some of the features include:
  • Quick Preheat means you're good to go in less than 6 minutes.
  • Effortless Dry means no more towel drying after the dishwasher.
  • Effortless Reheat means reheating almost anything at the touch of a button.
  • Time Wise Technology means the washer and dryer end at the same time.

Enter to win an Entire Suite of New Frigidaire appliances!
Go to The Frigidaire Motherload site and register.
Click on the 5 Things tab and list the 5 things you would do with an extra hour.
You can also tell 5 friends for another chance to win! Contest ends June 30, 2009.


*The Frigidaire Motherload Index is based on an online consumer index fielded nationwide to 1170 US females, ages 25 - 50, who are married and have 2+ children in the household by NPD.

And I want to know....who showers only 7 hours a month? C'mon, own it like a Mother!
Janine

Sponsored by:



Monday, May 18, 2009

The Frigidaire More Me-Time Guarantee (aka: What I fumbled saying in that WUSA interivew)

Y'all saw the interview I did on WUSA 9 morning news, right?
Y'all saw how I sortof hijacked the segment rambling on about the Frigidaire time-saving guarantee? (My apologies to Liz from Washington Family Magazine and Peggy Fox - I blame my nerves for not being able to spit it out!)

Anyway, I thought I should take a minute to actually explain The More Me-Time Guarantee.

Here it is straight from Frigidaire:
"When you purchase three or more select Frigidaire appliances , you can qualify for the Frigidaire "More Me-Time" Guarantee by signing up at time of purchase. If you feel your "me-time" hasn't increased by at least eight hours a month, you can return the appliances to their place of purchase within 30 days and get your money back."


So you see, I got a few things right. I got that you need to purchase 3 Frigidaire appliances and I think I had that number '8' in there somewhere.

But my point about the More Me-Time Guarantee was this:


Frigidaire is so confident in the new Affinity Washer and Dryer that yes, they are givin
g mouthy me one to test drive for free. I will be reporting to you what really happens (weights, measures, etc.) and how the Frigidaire washer and dryer work including all the time-saving features.
What's more, Frigidaire is soooo confident in their new line of time-saving appliances that they are offering a guarantee! So you see, they are giving you something too!

Want the chance to win your own Frigidaire Affinity Washer and Dryer?


Take
the Frigidaire Daily Dare to find a little more Me-Time everyday.
These are fun and you can see others are already enjoying more me time! (At least enough Me-Time to hit the Frigidaire site, log in and hit take the dare!) Each time you take a dare (once a day) you'll be entered to win your own Affinity Washer and Dryer.

Other Frigidaire Posts:
I'm a Frigidaire Test Drive mom!

Up Next:
The
Motherload Survey and how they came up with that guarantee
Enter to win and Entire Suite of Frigidaire time-saving appliances!
Who else is on the Mom Test Drive team?


Janine


Sponsored by:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mom's Night Out - who makes dinner?

Baked Pasta Primavera via Unilever

I'm just wondering if my fellow mom's feel the 'need' to arrange dinner plans (either cook or order) when they go out for a night with girlfriends.

Do I plan the meals even when it's my Girls Night Out?


Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
Usually, I do.
It's not a guilt thing...these day
s it's a save-money thing. I'd rather cook something ahead of time that my husband can serve to himself and the kids because I know in the end it's a lot cheaper than the pizza guy.
First, pizza around here can be expensive.
Second, the Mister can eat like a growing teenager...for that matter, the Twofer often eat like growing teens so Pizza doesn't get us very far from the 'I'm huuuungry' whine.


Unilever and Mom Select to the rescue!


For National Mom's Night Out I was the lucky recipient of a Unilever Making Life Better Family Fun Package that
contained all kinds of goodies to make an easy, tasty, and filling meal for my family. This included:
  • Family Fun Book with tips for easy and affordable meals
  • Package of Lipton Tea (how did they know my husband LOVES homemade iced tea?)
  • Lipton Beefy Onion Mix (great for burgers or meat loaf)
  • Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice
  • I Can't Believe it's Not Butter
  • Bertoli Frozen Entree (can't get any easier for Chicken Parm)
and a few more things. The only thing I needed to add was a veggie!

My Mom's Night Out


Ironically, I did not go out on National Moms Night Out but I DID go out that Saturday night...a little too late...to celebr
ate my friend Allison's birthday.
My tweets from the bar and dance floor looked like this:

BTW - the old dude RAWKED

I'm sure there is photographic evidence of my unique dancing skillz (anyone remember the 'running man'?) but none of my friends are savvy enough to get those up on Twitter, etc. Facebook may be another issue.

Working on my moves,
Janine

Product provided by
MomSelect

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!


So first I want to thank my travel agent/stress reliever/ Twitter friend @DailyJen who also has a very funny blog. I bought the Jet Blue tickets on a whim one day when talking with my friend Barb (otherwise known as my Flip Videographer from the Yanni Voices concert).

Anyway, Jen saw me tweeting about Disney and came to my rescue! That is, if everything goes well...no sweat, right Jen?

But even after hours on the phone with her answering hundreds if not thousands of questions...I still have more.

I have decided to give Jen a rest and see if you, my faithful friends, readers, and advice-givers can help me muddle through the crazy World of Disney.

(PS: we are going Wed-Sat. but only Thurs and Fri at Magic Kingdom)

Explain to me again Le Fast Pass?


This really only pertains to Friday since I've heard we'll get some ultimate Fast Pass on Thursday which is the girls actual birthday and we'll be foregoing the FREE part of "free on your birthday" since we paid for the tix in the package, blah, blah, blah.

What rides should we stop at first for a Fast Pass?
How many can I get at one time?

Crocs or sneakers?


I'm going with sneaks but you tell me.

6-year olds in strollers??? Won't people make fun of me?


Apparently there are Disney issued strollers that look more like jogging strollers. Still, my kids haven't been in a stroller since they were 3. I'm not kidding. I don't even know if they'll WANT to sit in one. A wheelchair, definitely! A stroller? I'm not so sure.

But I've heard from people that especially since we've only got 2 days, they will be very long days and as parents, we'll appreciate cutting down on the crankiness by having one of these.

What say you?

Must-See places in Downtown Disney?


We have dinner reservations for the first night but what else should we see while we are there? It will probably be our only time since we'll be at Magic Kingdom the other two days and nights.

Besides the rides, what are other Must-Sees at Magic Kingdom?


Note - we are having lunch at Cinderella's Castle (eee! I just peed a little I'm so excited for that) and so we'll meet some princesses there.
What about places like Ariel's Grotto or other little hideaway places?
Whatever you can tell me....


OK, that's it for now. I welcome any and all advice! Thanks!
Dreaming of Mickey,
Janine

Related Posts: Our Disney Surprise Video

Monday, May 11, 2009

My WUSA 9 segment. How did I do?

I can only tell you that I was winging this from the minute I said 'yes'. I wasn't entirely sure of the topic other than I was there as a mom blogger. I wasn't sure what to wear. I ran into terrible traffic to the point that I thought I would miss the segment entirely. And I got lost, a little, on the way. Don't ask as it's a straight shot down Wisconsin Ave. but I drove right past it.

Anywhoo, here's the piece. Let me know how I did!

WUSA9 segment:




Thanks,
Janine

Related Posts:
Disney Surprise
Help! Disney World Questions
I'm a Frigidaire Test-Drive Mom
Frigidaire More Me-Time Guarantee

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to Me and All the Moms past, present, future

Today I remember that there was a time I was not sure I would ever get to be a mom. Today is a day I remember the mothers who have lost their children.
Today is a day to celebrate new mothers and future mothers.

But mostly, today I will celebrate having the greatest family anyone could ask for.
Today I woke up with breakfast in bed (egg and cheese on kaiser roll, sausage and fruit salad) AND the latest Us Weekly!

I also woke up to little Mother's Day decorations all over my house:

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Happy Mother's Day,
Janine

Friday, May 8, 2009

Here's the BIG NEWS...I'm a Frigidaire Test Drive Mom!


I have been sitting on this little secret for a few weeks now and am SO excited to start talking and blogging about it!

What does 'Frigidaire Test Drive Mom' really mean?

Well, th
anks to Mom Central I was given the opportunity to submit an entry explaining why I should be chosen to test drive appliances in the new Frigidaire line. Test Drive means I get NEW and I get to KEEP (squee!) in return for the time I put into documenting my REAL experience using these appliances.

The new Frigidaire line has incredible time-saving features for your kitchen and laundry room. So what am I getting?

Photobucket
The new Red Frigidaire® Affinity Laundry collection!

I know, I KNOW! I just peed a little too I'm so excited! Hubs is not thrilled with the red and all that but he'll get used to it because, um it's freakin awesome!! Plus, the basement is his. He has his wall of TVs, I get my RED, super cool wash
er and dryer. These are going to really spice up my boring laundry room and will hopefully help detract from the litter box filled with cat poop too!

How I'm going to share my Frigidaire experience with you?

Apparently the new Affinity Laundry collection includes the Fits-More™ Dryer that will allow me to dry the whole family’s clothes at once. You can bet I will be testing out, weighing, and measuring the laundry piles and taking video and photos so you can see first-hand.

Plus, the Affinity Laundry collection has TimeWise™ technology to make the dryer and washing cycle equal. Finally a real breakthrough for laundry machines! The most annoying part of doing laundry is having a second load of wash that's ready to be dried while the dryer isn't done with the first...or second, or third load.

Bottom line, I hope to be on the good side of the Frigidaire Motherload Index so I can get a little More Me Time which I will explain in my next post!


UP NEXT:

Who are the other Frigidaire Test Drive Moms?


I don't know, yet. But I do know you can find out and follow along on this journey with us in 2 ways.
1) go to search.twitter.com and use #FrigidaireTeam
2) join the Frigidaire Facebook fan page!

I can't believe I'm going to sign off with this but...

Looking forward to doing laundry,
Janine

Sponso
red by:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twofer get surprised with Disney for their 6th Birthday!

Photo of Mouse Ears Credit: Megan Bellamy

I am known for throwing elaborate birthday parties for the Twofer. I do this somewhat unconsciously. I can't help it. It has something to do with the slight depression that comes over me around April. This depression stems from the fact that my dad passed away when El & Em were just 3 weeks old.
Here's the math:

Twofer Birthday + Anniversary of Dad's dying = let's throw a party and keep our mind off of remembering!

Last year's party (over 40 kids) has cured me...I think I'm finally over it.

This year the birthday party will be in Florida at Disney World!


We decided to take advantage of the Free on Your Birthday promotion and plan a little trip to Disney World instead of a big party. Here is what the girls thought when we finally revealed the surprise this past weekend:



This will most definitely be a series of posts and I will provide a running tab and links so you get the whole story no matter where you pick it up.

Looking for my Mouse ears,
Janine

Related posts:
Help! Disney Questions

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cross-Post: Someone thinks I'm an expert! Join me Friday 5/8 9-10pm for Mamapedia Twitter party


The original post is on Twofer Thumbs Up...

I have been asked by Resourceful Mommy to participate in a Twitter party this Friday to celebrate the launch of a new parenting resource AND as the parties twins/multiple 'expert'! (You can laugh, but not too hard. I have feelings.)

What is Mamapedia?


Mamapedia is a new parenting information site that takes the wisdom of thousands and thousands of moms and makes it searchable! You can head to the computer with that screaming infant in your arms and type,

"Why does my baby cry so much at night?"


And this is what you'll find - an article about a mom who asked a question titled "Sleepless Nights with a 13 week old" and the responses of forty-four moms.

When and how to party Twitter-style?

First, RSVP at Resourceful Mommy and check out the Momfluence network.

Then, join us on
Twitter this Friday, May 8th, from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. eastern time along with mom experts (that's me) in a variety of parenting areas.

Follow me, @twincident as well as @ResourcefulMom and even the other participants to get all the tweets!

During the party go to search.twitter.com
(and type in #mamapedia or just use that link) to follow along with all the partiers. When you tweet, be sure to put #mamapedia somewhere in your 140 characters so all the other people know you are part of the party!

Hope you can make it!
Janine


Monday, May 4, 2009

Another milestone - I can sleep in!

This has been going on for a few months now but it just dawned on me that it truly is another milestone.

This weekend I did not wake up until 8:30am. This is sleeping in for me. I had heard the girls awake at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am but then I somehow fell back asleep. They had gone downstairs and turned the TV on.
I. LOVE. TV.

Motorola TV Ad 1951
Motorola TV Ad Photo Credit: MS Blue Sky via Flickr

I know we participated in Turn Off TV Week and for the most part we don't watch TV during the week. At this point, I'll take an extra 2 hours of sleep while they cram all of their TV watching into a Saturday morning.

Have I made a deal with the Devil? No! It's TV. It's what kids are supposed to do on a Saturday morning. I did it. YOU did it. We survived...we even prospered some of us. And we had much happier parents because of it.

More importantly, I am a much better parent getting those extra 2 hours of sleep.

Reaching this kind of milestone only reminds me why I do not want to have another baby (or two). I can't go back to the newborn sleepless nights. I can't. I can't and I won't. And so what begins as a milestone for the Twofer, is also a milestone for me and my uterus.

And I'm ok with that.
Janine

Friday, May 1, 2009

Share your Healthcare Story to Ensure Lawmakers Don’t Leave Our Children Out

I am going to 'Speak Now For Kids' to let Congress know they MUST include children as they consider health care reform!

video

I don’t know anyone that is thrilled with their insurance situation.
  • There are families like us who are self-employed and pay an enormous amount of money each month.
  • There are families who have children with special needs that must forgo important therapies because the out-of-pocket cost is simply too great.
  • There are families who have suffered a job loss and are now faced with the decision of paying their mortgage or their health insurance.
Tell Congress to include children in the health care decision NOW
Congress has a VERY tight time-line for this legislation and we need to let them know NOW how we feel. Speak Now For Kids wants to give children a voice in the great health care debate and they need YOU (parent
s, grandparents, aunts, uncles, care givers, teachers, physicians, etc.) to share your story. We need to let Congress know that they MUST consider the needs of children in the health care discussion.


HOW?
Instead of the ‘copy-and-paste-this-into-an-email-and-send-to-your-congressman…’ campaign Speak Now For Kids will be mapping out everyone’s story so they can generate a report that shows what people are saying in what state.


Please take a minute to share your story.

Go to www.SpeakNowForKids.org.
Fill out a short survey and log your name and location (important to sho. Then Join the Facebook fan page and follow @SpeakNowForKids on Twitter.

Janine