DIZMOMMY > February 2015

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February 26, 2015

SHINE Blog Hop Underway

It's Thursday...aka it's TIME TO SHINE! I'm thrilled for this particular edition of Jennifer's Shine Blog Hop because not only am I the last rotating co-host, but it's also my second Shine cohost gig so I know exactly what to expect- quality! I love reading each one of your posts and I'm so happy that Jennifer is letting me hoard all of your links on my site. Jennifer is one of my favorite people in the world. Not only was she my very first blog reader, but last September when my 14 year old dachshund Liebe died, Jennifer immediately reached out to and sent the most heartfelt condolences. I'll never forget her words or her kindness. She is a great friend to have like I already said, I just love that girl! So thank you Jennifer! It's so appropriate that you created the SHINE Blog Hop because you are a true gem.

February 19, 2015

Scaring My Son Into Obedience

My husband calls it child abuse, my mother calls it torture. But I like to call it my go-to apparatus for rule enforcement when shit gets too real. But before I break the internet and entice pitch fork clad trolls to burn me at the stake for my questionable parenting practices, let me explain exactly how I accidentally uncovered the power to mind control my toddler. 

Dylan’s new favorite pastime is pretending to be a monster. What started as popping out of corners and shouting, “BOO!” evolved into full-blown stalking, creeping, and growling. It’s like I have my very own fun-sized demon lurking behind me at all times…and it’s pretty cute. But faking the fear got boring and I wanted to play scary too, leading to mom/son scare-offs. He’d scare me, I’d scare him, and we’d both have a good laugh. 

But mom got a little carried away (or a bit competitive) and without thinking too much about it, I put on my best monster face and let out my typical roar. And Dylan just about pissed himself. 

He didn’t recognize me. Dylan was convinced that I really was a monster. He screamed, cried, and resisted coming near me. But it was hysterical and I couldn’t help but laugh. I mean, he started it. I apologized for my lack of sensitivity and tried to explain that I was just a jerk but you know…reasoning, toddlers…it’s a vain endeavor. 

Hours later he was back to scaring. “Do you want mommy to scare you too?” I asked as a courtesy, but the trauma could not be undone. His smile turned into terror as he lunged into my arms and clung onto me like a teenage girl with her first smartphone, pleading, “No, no…Mommy? No? No scary?” LOL I couldn’t believe how terrified he still was by my face! I mean, how ugly can it be? But instead of wallowing in the insult, I realized I had unearthed some serious leverage. 

It was a week later when I found myself struggling with a fit pitching toddler who refused to leave the daycare sandbox to come home with me. He screamed, gave me his back, and then I remembered…the face. So I stepped into the sandbox while my brute cautioned me with a screeching “NOOOOOOOO!” I remained nonreactive, picked up a shovel, nonchalantly pushed around some sand and whispered (like a calculated psycho), “Do you want mommy to scare you?” Boyfriend dropped his pail and flung into my arms faster than a knife fight in a phone booth, adding, “No, no, up? Up with mommy?” lol 

Yes, I know scaring Dylan isn’t nice but it’s kind of a gray area. Is it cruel? Yes. Is it funny? Kind of. Does it work? EVERY TIME. I mean, trying to control a toddler’s behavior is a total waste of energy. There’s really no easy or foolproof way to do it. But somehow I’m ugly enough to encourage and discourage behavior with just one look. I’m not harming him (physically) and I don’t even have to actually make “the face” to get results. So go ahead and call me a monster because that’s kind of the point.

February 17, 2015

My Son Makes Movies With Mickey (He's Big Time)



I used to worry about exposing Dylan to too much technology, but nowadays? I ain’t worried ‘bout nothin’. I’ve come to terms with the fact that tech time is unavoidable and instead shifted my focus on using technology for educational and creative purposes. Disney Imagicademy fits the bill for both, but more importantly, it’s still FUN! Imagicademy is more than just a single free app, it ranges from Mickey’s Magical Math World to Mickey’s Magical Art World, with science and reading in between. 

When you open Disney Imagicademy, the beloved Disney characters and classic Disney stories are all there, ready to interact with Dylan through curriculum that creates a learning experience. I emphasize experience because that’s what makes learning fun and memorable. Dylan doesn’t know that the curriculum he’s operating was designed by top academics and education experts, and he can’t tell that it’s all research driven, he just knows that Mickey is interacting with everything he’s doing.

February 16, 2015

Why I Forgive My Parents for Ruining My Life

I yelled, I cried, and I told them how mean they were because when I was growing up, my parents just couldn’t get it right. They didn’t care, they didn’t try, they weren’t listening, and they didn't understand. “I can’t wait until I’m a grownup!” I’d spew in frustration, “I can’t wait to move out!” Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to keep all my teeth in this snide little mouth of mine. Somehow my parents (especially my mom, who often received the brunt of my attitude) were able to restrain themselves from knocking me out cold. I'd huff, puff, try to blow the house down, and instead of rolling heads it was my mother’s eyes, right before saying something like, “Yeah, we’ll see.”

And as life will have it, I grew up and moved out just like I said I would, causing me to learn fairly quickly that the excitement of becoming an adult is both foolish and overrated. Apparently (wah) there’s a lot more to it than hanging out with whoever and eating junk food whenever. Fast forward many more years and I’m a working mom with a 2 year old, rushing to daycare after leaving work later than I intended because a fire needed putting out. And I stayed because that’s what adults do. They do what they have to. It sucks.

When I finally pulled my car into the daycare driveway thirty minutes later than usual, the reality of just how tough it is to be everything you want to be, all the time, permeated. That’s when I had my full circle moment, seeing myself in my mom, who fervently worked to meet the challenges of adulthood while juggling the responsibilities of parenthood. And with five daughters, we each made sure she didn’t catch a break, calling Mom on everything we didn’t fancy like five immediate supervisors breathing down her neck.

Now I understand the struggle. Perception is everything and my mom was right when she said, “Yeah, we’ll see.” Because today, I’m ready to see things from the eyes of a parent and forgive them from a child's view. Forgive them for: 

Running late.  It’s the easiest thing to lose track of time, get held up by your boss, get stuck in traffic, or simply get your carpool days mixed up. Parents are humans, I get that now.

Not going to every award ceremony.  Seeing all the other parents clapping in the audience for their kid of the month made me wonder why my own parents couldn't show up. Now I understand what the word logistics means and how complicated it must have been with 5 kids. I mean, there was always a baby. And I got way too many of those awards (just sayin’).

Not getting me a Power Wheels Jeep for Christmas...or any other ridiculously high-priced toy that I “had to have.” I had to negotiate for, contribute to, and work towards the big "things" I wanted and whoa! Desires require effort; I appreciate not having developed a false sense of that fact. 

Sandwiches for dinner.  "Sandwiches are for lunch!!!" I'd yell. But every once in a while I had to eat one for dinner. I considered it torture. In hindsight, there are a million real life reasons why you didn't get around to cooking the typical delicious dinners I was accustomed to. In hindsight, I was spoiled, not reasonable. 

Making me take the bus.  All of my friends' parents drove them to school and I had to wake up extra early so I could catch the bus. "But we're the first stop, it's not fair!" I'd complain, not realizing the work required to get 5 kids to 3 different schools by 8 a.m.

Not letting me spend the night.  Slumber parties were out of the question. What were you so afraid of? I'm glad I didn't know at the time because it was too scary for me to handle. Thank you for putting up with my resistance, it kept me safe.

Ruining my life.  You wouldn't let me hang out with or go to so-and-so, you wouldn't let me stay out until blah and blah. And you definitely didn't give me whatever. I must've accused you of ruining my life a trillion times by the time I was "finally" able to ruin it myself. But once again you were right. (Does that ever get old?) Nothing good takes place at 2am, Shanda's mom isn't really "cool" as much as she is troubled, bad company really does bring bad luck, and though you didn't know exactly what I was up to- you knew enough to prevent me from screwing up big time.

I forgive my parents for all of it; the rules, the control, the structure and the boundaries. Because now that I have a child of my own whom I love more than life itself, all I want to do is protect him, guide him, and do the best I can, too.  So Mom and Dad, thank you. Thank you for ruining my life so that I couldn't ruin it myself, and helping me see that running late to the daycare pickup is an offense I can easily forgive myself for.

And when the time comes, I hope that I ruin my son's life too.

February 13, 2015

The Art of Pitching

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChangingPrepaid #CollectiveBias 
 
Because I'm married, I have to convince my husband of things ALL THE TIME. Things like cellphones. For years I've wanted to switch carriers to lower our cellphone bill or at least figure out a way to stop paying $200 a month. But my husband? He resists change and opts to just keep moving forward. In order to switch things up, I have to sell him on it. 

So when T-Mobile introduced their game changing Simply Prepaid™  plan back in January that includes unlimited talk/text on 4G LTE network for a mere $40 bucks a month, I knew this was my shot. It's time to open my husband's eyes, take him to Walmart, and make my move. And as long as my pitch is logical, he’ll go for it. He’s a logic man that can’t resist the cold hard facts. My only concern is that after so many years of resisting a cellphone switch, a conversation won’t cut it. I linked him to this video...but he never responded.




So Dylan and I got together and created this pitch:







 

Well? Is my pitch convincing? Will my husband switch to T-Mobile Simply Prepaid™?

February 10, 2015

King for a Day

We celebrated Dylan's big boy toddler status with heap of a party at Chuck E. Cheese, which he LOVED! He ran around screaming like a banshee, demanding to go down slides, play games, and eat cake like a birthday brat should. He made sure to take full advantage of all the attention he was receiving from family and even ended up ditching mom and dad for his first sleep over at his Tia's house. I baked Dylan his very own monster truck cake that he devoured way too quickly and just like that, I have a two year old. Here are some highlights from the memory vault:

 






 First birthday vs. Second birthday:

February 6, 2015

Sweetheart Jars vs. Sugar Cookies – Valentine’s Day Challenge (POLL!)

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RedVelvetLove #CollectiveBias 


Valentines Day is next week and for my husband, that means nothing. Like I've mentioned before, he considers it a commercial holiday. Buzzkill alert! I mean, if there's an entire holiday dedicated to celebrating and acknowledging love, why wouldn't you partake? It's LOVE honey people! So regardless of my robotic spouse, I opt to celebrate and this year I decided to do something nice for my co-workers. But I need help.

I work full-time with a great group of people that love their sweets. I'm not kidding. When a vendor sends treats to our office, the staff picks over them like famished vultures (myself included). Making some sort of V-Day concoction that involved sugar was a no-brainer. So I went to Walmart and bought a festive bag of M&M's® Red Velvets (they scream Feb. 14th), M&M's® Peanut Butter (my favorite), and DOVE® Promises (that I promised I wouldn't eat all by myself).


But this is where I need your help: I have two ideas for the M&M's® and I cant pick which one to do...so I did a test run of them both and I need you guys to pick the winner.

M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises Sweetheart Jars
VS.
 M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises Sweetheart Sugar Cookies

Both are super easy, which I love and since that's what Valentine's Day is all about, I'm obviously on the right track.

M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises Sweetheart Jars
  • I filled small jars with M&M's® Red Velvets and DOVE® Promises.
  • I used cute doilies to cover the top of the jar and secured the doilies with heart ribbon because everything looks cuter with doilies and ribbon.


Why this is good for my co-workers:  Everyone gets their own sweetheart jar that can be reused for whatever they want and it's small enough to keep on or in their desk. Final product:
 

M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises Sweetheart Sugar Cookies
  • I used a sugar cookie mix (it's a test run, don't judge me)!
  • I shaped the cookies in envelopes (love letters), X, O, lips, flowers...whatevz.
  • I used the M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises to decorate the dough (critical for the festive look) before putting it in the oven.



Why this is good for my co-workers: This group LOVES cookies and if I put them in the break room, they can choose their own cookies (and as many as they want). Final product:

I would just like to add that my mom made me take this picture....you know, moms. lol

So which project do I create next Friday?


Which M&M's® Red Velvets VDAY treat should I make?

M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises Sweetheart Jars
M&M's® Red Velvets & DOVE® Promises Sweetheart Sugar Cookies
free quiz maker
 
Or, if my ideas suck:   

See more great M&M's® Red Velvet recipe and party ideas at myconfectioncorner.com/valentines-day where you can also download a coupon to save on your M&M's® purchase.  

For more M&M's® Red Velvet inspiration, be sure to visit the Red Velvet Love Recipes page.

February 5, 2015

Moms On Birthdays

I cant be the only one. The only mother who cries a week before her child’s birthday, who is so greedy and selfish that they want the days to last longer so the years don't pass as quickly. Tell me I’m not the only one who’s as proud as they are sad, tearing up over old pictures right before the memories trigger a million fuzzy feelings of complete and perfect happiness... 

"That was you! You were a baby!" I tell him when he looks at pictures of an unrecognizable version of himself. He can't even grasp that the stranger baby was him a year ago. In fact, he thinks the baby is boring. 
"Do you love him?" I ask, certain that my sensitive 2 year old, who frequently requests  I "get cuddly" with him and two blankets atop a gigantic stuffed bear he calls "Boog," will love the baby I'm showing him. My baby. 
"No." He responds, unimpressed.
"Well I love him! That's MY baby!" I boast, hoping the fondness is contagious, "Do you want a baby, Dylan?" 
"No..." He matter of fairly shrugs before walking away. I watch him as he runs towards his toys. That picture baby has transformed into a little big boy so subtlety that I almost feel gypped. 

So long dependency. To the real kind, that requires balancing a small human body on a hip with six bags of groceries because there's no other way...with babies. Hello, independence. To the exciting kind, that buzzes with new experiences, learning, and wonder. Like riding on carousels, running on sand in parks, and asking "what's this" two dozen times in a row...like kids do. KIDS.

Because that's what I have now. A little kid, who wants to speak more for himself each day, who concocts his own ideas and expresses his own desires, like cookies instead of dinner (ain't happening) or climbing into my dresser's drawers. The kid is emerging and the babe is on its way out. But before the nostalgia (and the realization that he won't fit in those drawers next year) can consume me, I hear a cry for mommy from the other room. 

He fell off the slide and he wants me. He wants ME, his mother, the one he knows he can manipulate with kisses and will pick him up even if he's too heavy to carry. He knows I'll trudge along because when he needs me- I'm there. And I'm so grateful for his faith in me, his confidence in me, his innate trust that whatever I'll do will be exactly what he needs despite the fact I'm winging it. Somehow it's always enough even when it doesn't seem like it to me. I have him to thank for that.

I live for these moments, the big ones and the small. The baby, the toddler, the boy, the man, the whole shebang of public tantrums and cuddles with two blankets. So I let the hugs linger and I never let go first. Because in just two years I have a walking, talking, little boy, who will one day have arms strong enough to carry his mom...or his own baby.     

So yes, I'm selfish and I admit that I'm greedy, because if given the chance to go back to the day my child was born, I'd do it all over again, and again, and again. Today I have a kid...but on February 5, 2013, I had a baby. 

Happy Birthday my precious little Dylan! You are every bit of perfect! Watching you grow is a gift! Dad and Mom love you.