Life by Cynthia: April 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

"First Time" Friday

Do you remember how you felt your FIRST TIME?  Were you nervous & scared?

I wanted to share. Let's do First Time Friday shall we? Oh kids, minds out of the gutter. I am NOT talking about THAT first time.  I'm talking about your very first time blogging.

I am hoping that some of you will play along and share your first blog post via comment.  Please leave a link to the very post that you have written, the date of the post, and a few of your thoughts.

I'll start:
XANGA - WHY I'M HERE Posted 10/6/2004 5:45 PM.  I was excited but nervous about what information I put out on the world wide web.  Once you put it out there - It's there. Forever.  I have since closed my first blog but recently reactivated it and left only a handful of posts.  I am a little embarrassed by my first attempts but now I am a much more confident blogger.  It's now more about what I want to do, say, and share.  In the past it was more of a worry that will others like me? Will anyone read my blogs? How do I get better at it?  Then - BAM, I was addicted!  I stopped for a few years but have since returned to my beloved hobby.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crushes

I wrote a blog last night which now has me thinking so I wanted to check in with you to see who your Teen Crushes were?  Do you still think he is all that? Nope. Not me. Read more: Uh Oh We Have a TWEEN In The Family



My crush was Ralph Macchio - he doesn't do it for me anymore. Weird.

If you were a little girl would you have Bieber Fever?  Will he be cool when he's old? Or will he be like Ralph Macchio is to me now? Just odd to look at...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

Sometimes I just don't know anymore!  I am a mommy to an infant but I am no stranger to studying and helping with homework.  I have been an active participant in my eldest niece's life since birth. I was in the delivery room.  I was there at her first dance recital, her first trip to urgent care, and her first day of kindergarten.  I thought that through her I was exposed to a bit of what motherhood may be like.  Reality check:  Not even close! Being "Auntie" is a totally different ball game!  I have learned a valuable thing or two.  Did you know that they give kids homework as early as kindergarten?!  I've been helping my niece with her homework from time to time throughout her schooling. My niece is now in the 5th grade.  She will be entering middle school next fall.  Her workload with homework is not a small task.  It has been fun but I'll admit that I've been stumped with some of her 5th grade level work!  I am college educated and in my own mind would like to classify myself as a learned individual.  I think that I will be suitable as a tutor and study partner for a few more years - but quite honestly I believe in the "use it or lose it" theory.  Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus - I don't know about you but I don't brush up on any of this for fun nor do I use it in my everyday life!  Will I be of any help when she is at the point where she is studying for the SAT or ACT?!  I really don't know.  I've already looked into available resources.  Not only for my niece but for our young son. It's never too early to prepare.  I have a few friends in the education field and with budget cuts and increased class sizes I wonder if the kids will get enough one on one time - if any at all - with their teachers.  My sister in law is a librarian and major cuts are being done there as well.  Kids won't have as much access to public libraries.  With the combination of lack of funding for libraries and cuts in our schools - do kids even have a chance to learn?  Crowded classrooms & teachers without proper support and resources sounds bleak. I have found a few "learning centers" in our area but I most impressed with StudyPoint.  I was surprised to learn that they have programs for as early as Kindergarten. Even though I think I am capable of covering at least their elementary school years it's good to know that help is out there.  Should my husband and I have more than one child and if I continue to work outside of the home - I just don't know how effective I will be in helping with homework.  Sometimes a work weary parent isn't the best choice for this important task! This program covers K- 12 and offers test preparation for SAT & ACT. What really sold me is that they offer one-on-one in-home programs. I'd prefer our kids to be at home rather than dropped off at a study center.

I know that I'm a long way off before I have cause to worry but I wanted to know what more experienced parents thoughts are.  Have you ever helped your kids with their homework and find yourself feeling like you have mush for brains? Are you & your child too tired after a long workday and school day? Is there time for studies after extracurricular activities? How does your family handle homework? 

I have to end this blog post NOW because my mind is now flooded with premature worries! Private school or public?  How to save enough money for educational expenses?  Inappropriate behavior from teachers/coaches?  Bullying in schools?  Drugs in schools? Sexting?!

Nail Salon Stories

Does anyone have any nail salon horror stories? Did you know that you can get staph infections & possibly HIV from a mani-pedi? I'm not sure of the actual data, but even the tiniest likelihood causes concern for me!

Check out this article Dirt Alert! Five Signs of an Unsanitary Nail Salon .  It makes me think twice about booking my next appointment!





My Nail Salon Story:
I don't have any grossly horrific stories to tell.  I used to often wonder though: Am I being gossiped about in front of my face?  OK we are all the victim of gossip every once in a while.  But do you tip someone to do it to your face?  I guess that it's better than behind your back, right?

Whenever I do go into the the nail salon, the common question after "what color"  is ALWAYS what my ethnicity is. Maybe just small talk?  Once the manicurist confirm that I of a differing ethnic background.  The chatter begins! I end up feeling "talked about" - one of these days I'll have to learn so I know what is being said!   Perhaps not probable, but that's sure what it feels like.  I thought that maybe it was just me.  After talking to a few other friends about it,  I found some that have encountered similar experiences.  Culture & language is wonderful.  I myself am bilingual.  Early on our parents taught us that it is rude to speak in a language that is not understood by all that are present.  Just as whispering into someone's ear can also be construed as rude (depending on the scenario).

The first few times I found the loud talking, laughing, and "chatter" annoying.  I was there after all to RELAX and be pampered.  I've gotten used to it to some degree.  I shouldn't be complaining as they do have tough day to day job.  In any case, I could not (would not) be able to do pedicures for a living.  Feet - other than my own - gross me out.  You couldn't pay me enough to do it.

I'm looking forward to reading your nail shop stories!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lesson Learned - What it "Taut" me

I'm sure that I cannot be the only woman that has eagerly tried many different products during pregnancy.  I have spent a few bucks on things that I thought might help with my pregnancy and post pregnancy.  Items that claim to help.  From creams, lotions, and oils for stretch marks (I escaped without one single stretch mark)...to body pillows for comfort and bras to hoist up the ever expanding boobies- you name it. I tried it. Some items I loved.  Some I felt indifferent about. Some - (just a few) I found to be a total waste of money.  I always give my honest view on any product that I take time to mention on my blog. If you know me and have read me for any length of time you know that I will sing praises on things I love and be open about things I dislike.  All in all, in the end it is just my personal experience & opinion so take from it what you will.

The one item that I am most disappointed with is the Tauts Post Pregnancy Wrap by Brooke Burke.  I saw her product featured on an episode of The Doctors and it seemed like a good idea. Plus - have you seen Brooke's bod?  Yeah.  Her endorsement sold me. Once in a while we are all suckers for something too good to be true.
I ordered and used the product as directed. It had the proper fit but it was very uncomfortable. The Velcro didn't grasp well, so every movement caused it to come loose.  It would bunch and bind and quickly lost it's form.  A total waste of money in my very honest opinion. 



The damage:

Item Sku Qty Subtotal
Baboosh Body Unisex Exercise Wrap 
Size Small
BBODY1 1 $42.95
Tauts Nude Pure 
Size Medium
TAUTNP3 1 $56.00
Subtotal $98.95
Discount (MOM) -$32.95
Shipping & Handling $10.71
Tax $9.65
Grand Total $86.36





The damage could have been worse. $32.95 worse if I didn't use the coupon code.  They were running a promo at the time I made my purchase so I also bought the Exercise Wrap.  I have not tried that product yet but will post a review and let you know how that will fare. You never know, I may end up loving that part of my purchase.


Any other self admitted suckers that have purchased useless items?  Please warn us all now. Thank you.


Lesson: Ask someone you know and trust before wasting your hard earned cash. I could have used this towards my favorite yoga studio instead! Lesson learned. Lesson learned.

*The opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine. I did not receive compensation and do not represent this company in any way.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Whew...What a Weekend!

My Weekend Recap

Friday:
Surprise 40th birthday party for my brother in law. It was a happy celebration. However, eating a veggie burger at a BBQ joint was a slight bummer.  We made up for it with ice cream cake.

Saturday:
I actually had time to clean my house.  I mean really clean, not just tidy up. First, I took my son out for a walk. I have to tell you all that I love my go-to, no-fail nap trick! It works every time. Bonus:  I get to have a great workout.  I "wear" him while I walk so I have a 20 lb "weighted" walk. We bond. He falls asleep. I get a great workout + fresh air + sunshine. Win-win.  After our walk I asked my husband to lie down beside him since he naps much longer that way. I wasn't too surprised to find that hubby ended up napping also.  I should have taken a photo.  As they napped I had a full 2 hours of uninterrupted cleaning time.Yay! The Shocker: I want to do more!

Sunday:
Church with my 2 guys.  We are there every Sunday but this was our son's first Palm Sunday Mass. To see him raise his palm frond along with the entire congregation was heartwarming.  He blew flying kisses to the people near us during the Rite of Peace - they couldn't help but come up to him.  He kept waving to them after. He is such a charmer. Just like his daddy.

Later...off to a spa day with my 2 sister in laws (hubby's side). We had massages in the afternoon followed by lunch with the whole family.  While the mommies were "spa-ing" the daddies had all 6 boys!  No injuries.  Woo-hoo.  Imagine that:  6 (very active) boys with 3 dads in charge. 3 boys still in diapers...

Your turn! What did you all do this weekend?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Today when I checked my blog I was pleasantly surprised.  I'm am flattered & so very thankful. So join me as I "high-five" my sweet blog friend Lindsay! Visit her at Life As 5 .  I love her honest posts.  She's rad.


To formally accept this award you are asked to do a few things:
  • First thank and link to the blogger who gave you the award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Share this Award with 15 other bloggers.
  • Contact these bloggers to let them know that they got the award.
A big HUGE Thank You to Lindsay @ Life As 5 !  I truly appreciate the mention and thank you for reading my blog.

7 things about me:
  1. I wish I had more time for blogging.
  2. I have scoliosis.
  3. I can juggle.
  4. I love Sundays at Church - we are in the same Church that we were married at so weekly I am reminded of that blessed day!
  5. I'm not such a good friend since I am horrible at keeping in touch.
  6. I am a middle child.
  7. Even before I became a Mom I loved kids and they love me (not to brag) - but kids love me. Ask my nieces & nephews!
Share this Award with 15 other Bloggers : this one may have a few 2nd and 3rd time mentions but I'm putting them on my list anyway! In no particular order.  I could think of a bunch more, but I'm being capped at 15 - If I forgot to mention you I'm sorry...

Monday, April 11, 2011

NOT Guilty

Has anyone read this article: Escaping the "Mommy Guilt" trap ? A BabyCenter poll finds that 94 percent of moms say they feel guilty.

I'm in the 6% - Is that BAD?!

I have to admit that I was starting wondering if there was something wrong with me for NOT having Mommy Guilt.  Perhaps I am too new as a mommy to have developed this?? I'm really not sure.  Should I feel guilty for not feeling guilty? I do think about the day when our son learns to speak and express his feelings. I wonder how I will cope when hearing things like "mommy, please don't go" and such??  I am glad that I read the article to help me deal with those feelings of guilt if and when they do develop.

I do work outside of the home but I am five to ten minutes away from being with our child (depending on the traffic lights between work to home).  The proximity eases my mind quite a bit.  At first I did contemplate what it would be like to stay home with him but I am more than happy with our current situation.  I am able to contribute financially to our household and I know that we are doing what is best for our son and his future.   We will reevaluate our situation as his needs change but for now it is working out very well.  I admit that I do have my worries while we are away from our son but I wouldn't classify it as guilt.  For example:  I worry if he should get hurt - but this can happen if his daddy or I are on watch that day.  We know that he is in the loving and watchful care of his grandmother.  We see that he is happy, healthy and so very excited to see us when we return from our workday.  Mom (his & mine) raised us and my husband & myself both turned out just fine!  Better is the care that our son gets from our mothers than we did when they raised us - as grandmas are already experienced Mommies.  A Mom that that has graduated if you will.  We trust her.  We even find that he naps better when she's with him.  I also believe that since he has very early on observed us leave and return that he will be more confident in knowing that if we happen to go out for a while without him that we will always, always come back.  This may prove helpful when he is older and we take off on a date night.

I don't really have the luxury of time to write more on the Mommy Guilt subject at the moment.  A revisit to this topic would be more ideal.

On to other "guilt" topics...  One that I do have more than "Mommy Guilt" is "Wife Guilt". Sometimes (OK a lot of the time) I feel like I haven't been the best wife that I could be because of my other roles in both career and motherhood. I do my best to thank my husband daily. I compliment him on all of his efforts in our new life as parents.  I know that these efforts are not enough though.  I am still trying to figure out how to balance everything out. Suggestions on how to escape "Wife Guilt"?

Friday, April 8, 2011

TIME OUT Mommy!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Mommy needs a time out! While I am absolutely loving being a Mom and all of the joys that go along with motherhood... I could greatly benefit from a few relaxing moments to myself.  While our son naps I would love to be able to go out onto our veranda and just sit. OK, I'll admit it now:  I'd be blogging...but at least getting fresh air and a touch of vitamin D at the same time! I would love to create a sanctuary for myself that would allow me to do just that.   My husband has his "man room" (I think most guys do).  Transforming some of our outdoor living area to "mommy's space" sounds like a fair trade to me.  I have found a few ideas for my "time out" corner.  I've included a picture above that shows the look and feel that I am attempting to achieve.  At Pier 1 I know that I could find just the perfect patterns for the seat cushions!  I've browsed online a bit but could use a trip to the store to see, touch, & feel (you know that I will want to sit on the cushions for a test run) the beautiful fabrics!  We do have great weather here in San Diego so I would be able to enjoy my space for more than just the spring & summer months!  I'm picturing my future blog spot now...I'll need to stretch out once in a while so I'm thinking maybe a chaise lounge or a papasan chair?  Not sure though.  What looks more comfy to you?  I think I'm leaning toward the papasan!  It would be so easy to bring this indoors.  I could easily find a cozy place in our house for this piece and cuddle up with my honey or little one!  Decisions, decisions!

I would want to accessorize a bit.  Thankfully, there are not too many bugs where we live so I don't know if citronella candles would be necessary, but I thought the lamps were cute (not to mention inexpensive).  I think the lanterns would look nice too.  I can't really decide between the battery operated paper lanterns or the sunburst glass lanterns. Yet more decisions!  Having so many choices is a wonderfully confusing thing isn't it?  I still haven't browsed through the indoor/outdoor rugs yet, but am very excited to check those out in person.


The wall sconces from the very top photo are petty but I am paranoid if the flame is not contained so I think I will go a different route.  Who needs candles on a sunny spring or summer day?!  Well...You do know that I am thinking of sharing a few summer nights out there with the husband (sure I'll share my "she-sanctuary" once in a while)....a glass of wine, some candle light....baby sleeping soundly.  I wonder if my husband reads my blog?  If so...Honey....It's project time!  After all....Mother's Day is around the corner (My very 1st one at that)!  Not to mention my 40th birthday. Hint-Hint.  Well....I may be doing this renovation project for myself since my husband is already planning a fabulous getaway for my big 40 celebration.If you live in New York City or plan on visiting check out this link: Pier 1 Tweetups

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Best Kept Secret - One of Many

Is there a little something - a tip that you have kept as your own little secret that you'd like to I can convince you to share?


It's been a while since I've posted anything as topics just haven't been coming to me as free flowing as I would like.  I've been caught up with work, fighting off a cold, being a mommy and wife, trying to lose a pound or two (or 7) etc.  I'm sure you all know the drill.  I had my light bulb moment and felt in the sharing mood.  There are a few things that I've learned in my 39 years of life that may seem trivial but may benefit another individual all the same. SO... I've decided to share ONE of my very many "hat tricks".  I guess we tend to hoard our precious little secrets because if word gets out life may suck.  No really, I don't know why we don't all shout from the rooftops all of the things that we learn to help each other out.  Hmm....I guess that I've just kept my opinions to myself.  Too bad, this is my forum to spew what I wish.

BAD
Once upon a time I lived in high heeled shoes.  I rarely wore flats.  I've recently become "Mommied" and throughout my pregnancy I LIVED in flats.  First off, I am not the knee high wearing sort.  I have tried every "no show" sock on the market and hated every one.  They fit oddly and are not comfy.  From my experience there is no such thing as a "no show sock" .  IF you know of one, please share!  Those darned things peek out of every flat I own.  To me it's as annoying as panty lines. Or even worse: a peek-a-boo thong. Even WORSE than that: the visible muffin top over hang or butt show from ill fitted low rise jeans.  Yes, I dislike "no show" socks that "show" quite a bit!  What I hate even more than the "no show"-show is going barefoot in a flat. It grosses me out.


GOOD!
I did stumble upon the best invention EVER for a flat wearer. Here is the secret that I will only share with YOU.  This was my "must have" discovery that made my flat wearing tolerable: Kiwi Select Fresh Ins Ultra Thin Shoe Inserts.  They are super thin and lightly fragranced (but not obnoxiously so). You just slip them into your flats and throw them out.  Just replace when necessary. The package recommends up to 5 days depending on usage.  No fuss, no muss, no sweaty feet feeling. It's barefoot, but NOT.










*The opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine. I did not receive compensation and do not represent this company in any way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1 - April Fool?

I am not kidding. I will do this: No Joke I am going to work out every day until May from here on.
I hope that I can push myself.  Anyone wanna push me?

Cynthia
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