Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lands' End gift card giveaway

I'm always excited to find a note from Lands' End in my inbox. But a month or so ago when they sent me an offer for a new bathing suit, the weather was cold and I was feeling fat. Um, okay, it's still cold and I still feel fat. Swimsuits and summer fun are a distant memory and it's hard to imagine summer is just around the corner.

But who am I to deny Lands' End? (Yes, yes, I'm an admitted blogwhore.)

I graciously accepted an offer to test out their allergen-blocking PureLoft line of bedding accessories. The PureLoft line has the fluff, or loft, of down, but is hypoallergenic. This is great for Smartypants, who needs all the allergy relief he can get. Also, when we bought his mattress years ago, he was still having nighttime accidents, so we got a cheap one figuring we'd replace it in a year or two. Only we didn't. We still haven't because we're really lazy (and, no it's not all pee-stained and stinky; we covered it in plastic sheeting).

Anyway, Smartypants called the PureLoft mattress topper, "heavenly." It definitely brings his mattress to a new level- literally and figuratively. So cushy and comfy.

I'd consider one for my own bed, but hey, guess who just bought herself a new mattress last night? It's a cause for celebration. DH's and my marriage has outlasted our first mattress! Wahoo! Why didn't I get one for Smartypants, though? It has to do with this.

Back to the reason you're here. Maybe, unlike me, you want a great bathing suit. Read about my experience shopping for a suit at Landsend.com here. Online bathing suit shopping with your virtual twin is definitely the way to go- none of those horrid dressing room lights mapping out your newest varicose veins, highlighting cellulite and such.

Or maybe a pair of beach shoes, shorts, or something for the kids or hubs is more your style. That's fine, too.

So here's the deal: Leave a comment below and tell me how you'd like to spend this gift card- this $100 Lands' End gift card. You can boost your chances of winning (x 5) by subscribing to this blog's feed (see the handy new SUBSCRIBE bar near the top of the right hand column). Or by mentioning and linking to this Hormone-colored Days giveaway on your own blog (x 5 entries).

Entries will be accepted through 9 PM CST on Sunday, May 4. Winner will be chosen at random via a low-tech method such as picking names out of a hat. Winner will be notified by May 6 and must respond by May 8 or the prize will be given to the runner up.

*Remember to tell me how you'd like to spend the card and keep in mind that I must have a way to contact you (email or blog).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Matzah Mania

We ate the bread, crunched the crackers, and packed away the pasta in preparation for Passover, which started last Saturday evening.

Guess which of the following foods have been on our menu for the week?

A. Matzah Kugel

B. Matzah Schmattas

C. Matzah Lasagna

D. Matzah Brie

E. Matzah Bris

F. Matzah Balls

G. Matzah Ice Cream Cones

H. Matzah Nachos

I. Ice Cream A La Matzah

J. Matzah Toffee

K. Matzah A La Matzah

Answers: This Passover we will be eating A, C, D, F, J and L. To our knowledge, products B, E, G, I, and K do not exist. We may experiment with H.

If you got them all correct, hooray, this yiddeshe mama is kvelling for you!

If your got more than two wrong, make some Jewish friends, already!

Learn about two great Passover books in my post at MOMformation.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

BlogHer or BlogWhore?

Do you advertise on your blog? Accept free products or invitations to glam blogger junkets? Do you write your heart out without concern as to how many readers or subscribers you have?

Do I lose blogging cred when I ask readers to click over to MOMformation because I post there five times per week and often lack the time or energy to write at my humble little home blog?

Check out Lindsay's post at Suburban Turmoil: The State of the Mommyblog and join the discussion. I'll see you at her BlogHer session.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guess what we're cooking up?

My deadline is this week, but you can't read it until June.

Monday, April 21, 2008

An ode to Guy Kawasaki

Admittedly it's an acrostic, not a lofty ode, nothing close to a sonnet, but, like Guy himself, it's an original. That counts for something, doesn't it?

G oogle him and you'll get over 800,000 results because he

U nderstands the Internets

Y ou and I might get to party with him at BlogHer

K nows

A ll the best blogs about

W ork, moms, dads

A nd

S o many interesting topics

A nd he's so

K nows about lots of other stuff

I hope he reads this

Find fun links to help you get your Suess on during National Poetry Month at MOMformation.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My vacuum cleaner does not suck

A vacuum cleaner that does not suck is bad.

My dishwasher does suck and that is also bad.

The blogging gods have been kind to me in recent weeks, even if the sleep gods have not. If anyone wants to have me sing the praises of their fabulous dishwasher or vacuum cleaner, I'm totally up for it. Assuming it is fabulous, of course.

Consumer Reports likes the Eureka Boss. I have a note on my fridge reminding me to get one. Some day. Oooh, Mother's Day is just around the corner....

DH knows better than to get me a vacuum cleaner for Mother's Day. Don't you, dear?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sending my gifted kids to public school

Well, I only sent the boys for the morning to check out a local public school. They came back unscathed. Smartypants even had a smile on his face and asked to go back! That's one less obstacle if we do switch from the private school for gifted kids to public school.

On the downside, after a watching Smartypants rack up a "high score" at Freerice.org, his classmates in the gifted language arts section he attended called him a genius. Ugh.

And on a completely unrelated note, we just received a new Kajeet phone with GPS capabilities. It's fresh out of the box, but looks so sleek and cool. Way hipper than my clunky Sanyo Sprint phone, which is currently held together with duct tape. Sad but true. Maybe I'll post a photo. In all fairness I will note that I experience a lot of dropped calls in the sense that I often drop my phone or it falls out of my pocket or some nonsense. At least I've kept this one out of icy puddles.

I'm off to the website to learn about the Kajeet's GPS features. Join me, will you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Does Trashless Tuesday leave you feeling down in the dumps?

After all these years, Trashless Tuesday, Waste-free Wednesday and their ilk are bringing me down. How about you? Read more at MOMformation.

Maybe those traces of Prozac in our water supply aren't so bad after all

This just is from the Yahoo homepage: The survey says Gen-X is glum on retirement prospects.

"More than two-thirds of Americans aged 27 to 42 don't think they will ever be able to stop working...."

At least I'm not the only one who feels this way. You know, misery loves company and all that.

On a lighter note, my blog sistah Leticia Barr of the DC Metro Moms Blog is the featured guest blogger over at The Washington Post "On Parenting" blog today.

And I just learned that my friend Amy from Chicago Moms Blog is also in the WaPo.com today as a guest blogger at the "On Balance" blog.

Way to go, ladies!

And yes, I noticed that I linked different sets of words in similar sentences, but I'm not sure what it says about me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mommy, what's prolapse?

If you attended or have read about Johnson and Johnson's Camp Baby, you know what I'm talking about.

Today, I received my box-o-swag from the event.

I tucked away the KY products first thing, so as not to replicate last night's incident when Smartypants tripped over a box that was under my desk, spilling out my goodies from the Crotch Queen. He was compelled to examine each package v-e-r-y carefully before placing it back in the Fed Ex box from whence it came.

I revelled in my bounty of Neutrogena goods (hooray, but could you reduce the packaging waste, please?) and baby lotion and wash for the shower I'm attending next weekend. (Is it tacky to include the Tucks wipes in a baby shower gift? I mean, she's probably gonna need them.)

I love the stylish, reusable nylon shopping bag whose brand name I'll edit in later, and I geek out over stuff like Neosporin-to-go.

Splenda samples will go to mom and dad's house.

I'll tease my boys by leaving my Nintendo DS in the box.

All that unpacking made me tired, so I stopped midway through as I am wont to do. All the good stuff was gone. Only a few bandages (real Band-Aids!) and my notebook with graphic illustrations from the Girl Talk lecture, and my special light-up "down there" mirror were left in the box. I figured I'd get to it after later.

And then, just before bedtime Smartypants asked, "What's prolapse?"

Dear God.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dude, where's my e-mail?

It's one thing to stop checking e-mail on a voluntary basis, such as on my recent trip with DH. It's a completely different beast when your e-mail provider gets a little funky on you. What's up Comcast?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Look who's talking!

Me, and Devra and Aviva from Parentopia, as well as Susan Jackson from Working Moms Against Guilt are quoted in Julie Tilsner's feature story about Mommy Guilt. Coincidentally, all of us were together last week at Camp Baby.
I was quoted about, natch, how blogs help me deal with guilt. And I even put in a nice word about DH. (Yes, dear, in a national print publication!)
Julie Tilsner also writes one of my favorite food blogs, Bad Home Cooking.

It's been that kind of week

I stayed up too late, for too many nights and the boys have been waking midway through every night because they

* have a headache

* a cold

*night terrors

*knee pain


So despite being braindead I was over working on my blog at BabyCenter (Hi LM!) and I think I just permanently deleted the entire blog archives, or maybe just one really important page. In case you're wondering, I did take a moment to send off an urgent note to my editor before bothering to record it here for posterity

Speaking of posteriors, I need to get my sorry aching butt on the treadmill and get some endorphins flowing. Heck, I'm not sure my blood is even flowing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why DH should have his own blog

The Crotch Queen is incredibly efficient. I received a lovely package from her today and couldn't wait to show it to DH.

"Look!" I showed him a spritzy (they call it mistable) bottle of Sensual Mist. Sensual Spritz sounds okay to me, maybe a little less classy and more Bubbe-like than mist, but I wasn't invited to that particular focus group.

Then I reached into the Fed Ex box and pulled out another and another and another and so on. The box was a veritable clown car of personal lubricant.

Then my witty husband looks at my booty and says with a smile,

"Let's make a giant slip-n-slide in the backyard."


Read what Busy Mom said about this product a while back.

The Crotch Queen is sending me a care package!

That does sound odd, doesn't it?

It's weird how I can be so blase about getting something like a free, brand-new Nintendo DS Lite at Camp Baby (yes!), and yet I beg the J&J folks to receive a $5 sample of the spritzy KY product.

I'm planning to auction off the DS to benefit my boys' school (and annoy them). Each boy already has a DS, but they cannot believe I'm willing to part with mine. How will I get to play Brain Age? Anyway, if you want to bid, contact me ASAP, otherwise, I'm just contacting my friends about it.

The spritzy stuff is all mine, though. Well, there is going to be some sharing involved, but that's between me and DH, who is either blushing, fuming, or rolling his eyes as he reads this.

(Check out their website. They've got it going on. This is not your parent's KY. Of course your parents never needed the stuff because they only did it to conceive you and your siblings, right? Which reminds me, did you read that post about DH's grandma's lingerie?)

Edited to add: Wait, you can get swag too! Click here to request your free sample of their premium line.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I was right about that coffee thing

Yesterday, as seven-year-old Pikachu was heading back in to the house after school I took a look at his pants. "Did you change clothes today?" I asked.


"Then I guess you've been wearing your pants inside-out all day long."

He laughed. I sighed.

Click over to MOMformation to learn about another topsy-turvy event in our life. Okay, I'll give you a hint: the birthday party from hell. Karmic retribution for all the fun I've been having lately.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

In which reality slaps me in the face

I'm not a rockstar blogger, I just play one when I get invited to really cool events.

In reality, I wake up each Monday, suck it up and go to work for The Man. That is, after I've made breakfast for The Boys.

I don't know where I'm headed with my life or even what I'm serving for dinner tonight. I don't know where the boys are going to school next year, or even what schooling option is in their (as well as DH's and my) best interest.

I don't even know if that last sentence made sense.

I've figured something out, though.

M-o-m-m-y needs c-o-f-f-e-e.*

* best sung Ralph Covert style

Monday, April 07, 2008

I couldn't have planned this if I tried

Before Johnson's Camp Baby, there was The Vacation. The child-free getaway for DH and I (or, more cynically put, the save-the-marriage trip). The kind of trip that happens only about once every ten years. Yes, we've been parents for ten years....

While awaiting our flight to California, I broke out the world's tiniest Boggle game, an item I picked up at the school potluck. DH, BTW, is the the best Boggle player, evah.

So, there we were at O'Hare, having survived (and I don't use that term lightly) a trip to the airport I refer to as Death Cab for Kimmy, anxiously waiting for our flight to start loading and I suggest a game of mini-Boggle. Do you see what I saw? Look at what came up:

Good karma for our trip, eh?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ is great for business travelers

What's not to love about the luxe hotel that served as the campground for Johnson & Johnson's Camp Baby? I felt just like I was in my home office.

On a more serious note, I was quite impressed when stopped by the front desk a few hours after I'd checked in and the clerk greeted me by name. They did a great job while camp was in session.

Honey, I shrunk the bloggers...Johnson's Camp Baby edition

Look at this photo of Devra of Parentopia, Iris G of Johnson & Johnson, and me. I practically tower over them!

We were all delighted to have a conversation that didn't involve us craning out necks upward or talking to people's chests.
What am I talking about? This next photo gives a bit more perspective on my petite posse.

Alltop: All the best blogs (including mine???)

This new badge for Guy Kawasaki's latest venture, Alltop, sums it up for me. I'm so happy to be included with the cool kids, though admittedly feeling like I'm only in because my mom pulled a few strings for me. However, given that my mom barely knows how to check her e-mail, I think I made it in here on my own.
Alltop Moms is great for people who lack the time, technical know-how, or inclination to create their own blogroll in BlogLines (people like me) or their My Yahoo! homepage (a feat I did master, BTW). Alltop makes it easy to follow all the top mom blogs with a single click.
And if mom blogs aren't your thang, Guy's got you've covered because Alltop also has listings for Dad blogs, political blogs, you name it. Check it out.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

That was ironic

Yesterday morning I posted about the Kajeet cell phone that Smartypants tested last summer and the Firefly tween phone that was promised, but never showed up at our house. Guess who I was hanging last night at Camp Baby? Stacy*, the woman who coordinated the Kajeet blog tour! Small blogosphere.

Camp Baby is a blast so far: good food, good wine, good bloggers, interesting conversations (not to mention lovely Neutrogena swag). I even got some useful medical advice from one of the guest speakers. More later.

*Plus many others...and of course there's a good story to go with it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Marketing to Mommybloggers Hall of Shame, cell phone edition

I've only made a public comment or two in the fury surrounding the recent mommyblogger marketing missteps by Johnson and Johnson's Camp Baby events (I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes!) and, less forgivable, Disney (though I'm not ready to take my Duckotrate Degree from Disney U. off my office wall--it's too cute).

No time for links just now. If you're not familiar with the controversy Google terms like "Mommy Marketing Madness and Self Made Mom" for CityMama or Queen of Spain or "Parentopia and Disney" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

I've been reading here and there and didn't intend to post about any ridiculous misfired marketing efforts until this morning at breakfast when Smartypants asked, "When am I going to get the Firefly Phone?"

Oh, the Firefly phone for tweens that a marketing hack reached out and promised us last fall after our very successful trial of the Kajeet cell phone for kids? The one that I was told would be delivered in October? Oops, better make it November. Make that NEVER.

Hey Firefly, I don't care that your PR firm never came through with the phone, but you've lost one potential lifelong customer in my son. Isn't that a huge goal of marketing to young 'uns--creating lifelong customers? I forgot about the promised phone months ago, but you've made an indelible impression on my ten-year-old.

Score one for Kajeet.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm no April Fool

This came in yesterday's mail, so I know it's for reals: I received a shout-out on the Graco Blog for this post.
It's nice to know that somebody is reading...

For someone who doesn't travel much, two nearly back-to-back trips is getting to me. DH and I had a great time traveling sans kids from LA to Las Vegas with a stop in Death Valley en route. Death Valley has a stark beauty, but after 36 hours the heat (it was in the 90s) and lack of vegetation were getting to us.

So much more to say, but I've got to get the house and laundry in order and catch up on work before I leave for Camp Baby. Ooh, I've got a birthday cake to order too!

Are you an April Fool? Stop by today's post at MOMformation and see if you can guess which expert parenting services are real and which were invented by my friends.