Mama Knows Best

I am going to take advantage of this long holiday weekend while most people will be spending it with their families to switch my blogging from WordPress over to Blogger. Currently I am having difficulty importing the posts, so I may just end up leaving this blog intact and begin all my new blogs on Blogger. So, by Monday I will be finished, however until then, please head over to my new blog home mama4kids.blogspot.com and don’t forget to update your links and subscribe to my new feed there.

I am deeply touched by the writing of Jessica Gottliebon on LA Moms Blog. I have been checking in on the heated debate of ‘mommy bloggers’ and the disdain for the term. Personally, I am proud to be a mommy blogger, and as my husband would say, a HOT mommy blogger. I would even love to put my own twist on the word and coin Mama Blogger as what I am.

I am a Mom and a blogger. So, why not put them together? Or even better, take my Twitter bio Mom, Wife, Lover, Blogger, Crafter, Creative Entreprenuer, and friend” and what would you call me now? Yea, I’m stumped too. I guess “Mama-Wifey-Crafter-Entreprenuer-Friendly Blogger” doesn’t have quite a roll of the tongue aspect to it.

So, what is the big deal about calling us what we are? I’ll admit that I am proud when someone spits out at me that I’m a B#tch. I am. So what? Not everyone is going to know ALL aspects of your life, and that’s okay. If you really want them to know everything about you in one glance, then tattoo it on your forehead, because I can guarantee that whenever you meet someone and you immediately start running down the list of all the things you can do or do on a daily basis, they are going to back away from you until they are at a safe enough distance to bolt.

To be honest, Jessica’s entry really hit me hard. I like to think of myself and my family as lucky and healthy and all that jazz. However the truth is there are some things that are really difficult to deal with so I choose not to. Although they are never far out of my thoughts or life. So, I want to take this time to come clean to my readers and social network about the issues that bog me down.

First, I will start with myself. I am 22 years old, and have lived all over the country when my dad was in the service for 25 years. I never kept friends longer than a year or two because we moved so much. Even to this day, I do not have any friends to hang out with because after I graduated high school (2004) in San Diego we moved back to Massachusetts and I started my adult life lonely. In my high school years, I was affected by the San Diego fires and then more devastatingly the War. However my dad is home now and I am thankful for that each and everyday.

Upon moving up here to Massachusetts, besides finding many loves (snowboarding, my husband, etc.) I found out probably the biggest piece of devastating news since high school, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was diagnosed in late 2005, and have been dealing with it ever since. Everyday I go through my daily routine in searing pain, and dread when my son wants me to hold him for long periods (even though I still do, because I want to). And yes, I even type in severe pain, however I still try and better my WPMs average. I worked for 3 years in an office as a receptionist doing all types of filing, envelope stuffing, typing, etc. How do I manage? I have no idea, I just do, because I love to be on the computer and hold my son. I was worried when he was born that I would have difficulty or perhaps drop him on accident because of my arm and joint pain. However I managed with pillows, slings, and sitting most of the time with him in my lap. It’s tough, but I like to think of myself as more clever because of it.

My daughter (6) has a defect in her rib cage, where instead of growing with her, the middle bone that connects to two halves stays back and the bones grow out causing a dip in her chest. The doctor has started mentioning surgery because it may affect her breathing. I am scared for her having to go through such an ordeal in the next year or so. My husband and my son thankfully are getting off scott free so far, which I am definitely very thankful for.

My nephew has not been so lucky. I think he has it worse than every thing I have been through together. He is only 2 1/2 years old, and almost died a year ago. He’s a fraternal twin to my niece, and since a few months after birth you could tell there was something majorly different about him. Compared to her, he stopped gaining so much weight, was quiet most of the time, and sounded funny breathing (like he had a chest cold or something). When he was about 6 months old, I was watching both of them for a few hours. At one point, my nephew got really upset and began to cry. Now he had always been a kid that ‘whispered’, so I thought nothing of that, however when I heard what sounded like his breathing heavy and I looked over and his face looked like it was screaming at the top of his lungs in pain and distress, I knew something was severly wrong. No baby that refuses to talk would cry like that. When a baby cries, he cries. But this was scary. He was crying, but I heard nothing but his breath. It took months to convince my sister-in-law that something was wrong, and by the time they brought him to specialist they were surprised he could even breathe.

He has Laryngeal Papillomas on his vocal cords. It’s a form of the HPV virus in his throat. Apparently he got it when he breathed it in at birth (no one knew my SIL had it, because it can be prevented by C section). At the time, he was over 90% blocked and had to go into surgery within the week. He could have stopped breathing at any time, especially in his sleep. It was devastating for my whole family to hear, but I’m sure my brother and his wife was hit the hardest. And his ordeal isn’t over there… Now and for possibly the rest of his life, he has to go in to surgery and have his throat lasered to remove the papillomas. It may recess at puberty, but it may also come back after that. For now though, we all just have to keep a watchful eye over him, and he has to endure hour long waits at the Children’s Hospital in Boston once a month.

Among a few other things, these are the biggest sub-influences in my life. These affect my thoughts, actions, and conversations. I have lived through a lot and endure more each and every day for the rest of my life. So, here is my tattoo, my brand, my confessions.

What affects your life? What obstacles have you had to overcome or face?

Day 3

I started this task days ago, but I wanted to post in working order. This day was simple, I was having trouble getting my camera to work and then my recording volume wasn’t working. However then my hubby fixed it for me the other night, and I was able to get started yesterday morning.

Out of the three options:

  1. Start vlogging.
  2. Sign up for 12seconds.tv
  3. Confess in your blog posts, be real.

I am vlogging on 12seconds.tv http://12seconds.tv/channel/Mama4Kids Check me out and follow. :) Also, I am pretty sure that I am ‘being real’ here on my blog, so you could say I have all three of these covered, even though only one was required.

Today, marks Day 2 of me following JessicaKnows tips on her 15 Days of Marketing series. If you missed Day 1, read it here.

Day 2

1. √ I signed up with Mom Central, Mom Select, and One2One Network. And I am considering signing up with more, just because I love free stuff.
2. √ I have signed up for an account on WishPot, and begun to add products to my many wishlists. Also, it has features to write product reviews which will help me with step 4 of Day 1.
3. √ I applied for a spot on Blissfully Domestic, because I love their site. Then I signed up with Type-A Mom and I love their simplicity much more than the others.
4. √ I have signed up with NewsVine, however I am still at a loss of where to begin. I am not much a news person.

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Mom Generations is hosting an awesome video gift guide and giveaway here. If you are in need of ideas for new toys to get your little one or another little one on your list, this is perfect. Also, they are giving you a chance to win and four ways to enter! Check them out, enter, and good luck.

Mom Generations

I was writing these tips to Katy at ConstantChatter.com for a post she’s writing up and I figured I would share my tips with all of you as well.

My Tips for Shopping on Black Friday

First and foremost, the one major tip that I would tell ALL Black Friday Shoppers, BRING A FRIEND! This is so important, especially if you are planning on getting a lot of items. The technique my parents used was that my dad manned the cart at the end of the aisle while my mom rushed down and grabbed what was good. The reason this is important is because sometimes the aisles (especially ones with hot toys that are not put on end displays) can be packed with people. Also, it is nice to have at least 2 people, because one can run through the store for that wicked hot item (2 years ago it was the Rocker Gaming Chairs that my husband made a mad dash for while I started on smaller items).

That leads to my second tip, know what you want. All the ads are released in the Thanksgiving paper, and some earlier or online. Look through them, mark them up, circle things, make a list, whatever works best, just don’t miss a store. Sometimes one store may have only one great deal, but it can be a doozy of a deal. Such as the $4 appliances Wal-Mart seems to be featuring every year now.

After deciding all the items you are going to get and which stores you have to go to, my third tip is to map out your attack plan. I will share a story from two years ago to explain this:

My husband and I were planning on shopping Black Friday, and so we went through the ads the day before. At the end, we found that Wal-Mart only had one great deal (the $4 appliances I mentioned earlier), but Target had all the really great big deals (such as the rocker chair I also mentioned). So, we had to get to both stores as soon as they opened, but they are 15 minutes apart. So, I looked at the store opening hours, and to my surprise Target opened an hour later than Wal-Mart! Woohoo! So, we drove to Wal-Mart an hour before they were planning on opening, and there was already 150 people lined up down the side of the building and across the other plaza stores. We quickly bundled up, manned our hot chocolates, and got right in line. 20 minutes after the doors opened, we finally got inside and ran straight for the appliances, which to my surprise no one else seemed to notice. Either way we grabbed our 3 and headed for the registers. One store down. We quickly drove to Target and got there just in time, there was a nice spot right on the side of the building and the line was only about 50 people long. Once inside was the real mad dash for those darn rocker chairs, which the store managers moved out of electronics into the clothing area (how bizarre).

So, you can probably gather a few more tips from my little story there, but since I am having so much fun with this let me make you a list.

  1. Bring a friend.
  2. Know what you want.
  3. Map out your attack plan on the stores.
  4. Double check the store hours.
  5. Get there early.
  6. Be prepared for the weather conditions ahead of time.
  7. Consider all your wanted items as HOT.
  8. Waste no time.
  9. Keep your eyes peeled in case they place items in an awkward area.
  10. If you can’t find something, ask a store employee immediately.

Check out this great giveaway going on over at MogulBaby.com. To celebrate Thanksgiving, they’re giving away a $25 gift certificate to spend at babysparewear! The contest is open until midnight EST this Sunday on November 30, 2008 and you are able to get up to 3 entries for your chance to win! Check it out here!

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