Posted by: amamasblog | March 14, 2008

A Mama’s Blog Has Moved!

I am so excited to announce that A Mama’s Blog has moved to its own website! 

After thinking about taking my blog to the next level for about seven months now, I finally took the plunge last month, and contacted a designer to design and manage my new blog site.  I thought I would contact her, she’d design the site in a few days, and I’d be up and running.  As with most things in life, it never goes quite according to plan.  I learned a lot about blog code ( I don’t even think that is the official name of it), but I can now insert code on my blog. 

Heather, from Girly Blog Designz  did a great job designing my blog, and helping someone like me, who knows zilch about designing and managing blogs.  She has made it very easy for me to do basic changes and she is wonderful to work with.   I also have to thank my good friend Amy, (or better known as Crunchy Domestic Goddess), who has taught me so much about blogging.  She also referred me to Girly Blog Designz, Blogherads, and answered my very basic technical questions along the way.  Amy has the best blog ever, and is so knowledgeable.  I refer to her as the “Queen of Blogging,” and she is so gracious to share what she has learned along the way.  

You can find A Mama’s Blog now at: http://amamasblog.com/  or you can click here.  Please update your bookmarks, and or RSS feeds, so you won’t miss any posts.  I will not post here at WordPress again.  All my previous posts and pictures are on the new site, in case you are looking for something from the archives. 

So head over to the brand new site, and check it out!  I have one of my best selling toddler T-shirt’s to give away from my store, Little Pumpkin Sweet Pea Designs to celebrate the new site. 

Thank you to all my readers during the last 14-months, and I look forward to seeing you all at the brand new A Mama’s Blog!

Posted by: amamasblog | March 11, 2008

Mama’s Sick

Yesterday afternoon, a stomach bug hit me out of nowhere!  I’ll spare you all the lovely details, but today I feel like I was hit by a bus, am achy, have a pounding headache, and I am exhausted.  To top it off, Cole seems to have come down with another cold.  He is miserable, whinny, and clingy.  On the positive side, Ryan has just been such an angel.  He entertained himself this morning while Cole and I rested, and after lunch he went outside and played for two hours!  I didn’t even attempt to take him to pre-school this morning. 

Joe had to go to work today, and is trying to get his class done early so he can come home.  Last night he totally took over and fed the boys, gave them baths, and got them ready for bed.  It was so nice being able to just rest and let Dad take care of everything.   Days like this are so hard.  It is bad enough when you aren’t feeling good, but having a sick child too, who wants and needs you is so draining. 

I just got Cole down for a nap, and Ryan and I are going to go take one now too.  I may not post for a few days, but as soon as I am feeling better and caught up with everything, I’ll be back.  Hope everyone else is staying healthy.  These stomach viruses stink!

Posted by: amamasblog | March 6, 2008

Vaccines, Autism, & Government Liability

Cross-posted at Blogher

This post has moved, and can now be found by clicking HERE (you may have to click on the link in the pop-up window that appears).  It has been moved to the new A Mama’s Blog site.  Thank you.

 

Posted by: amamasblog | March 3, 2008

Mall Rats

This post has moved, and can now be found by clicking HERE (you may have to click on the link in the pop-up window that appears).  It has been moved to the new A Mama’s Blog site.  Thank you.

Posted by: amamasblog | March 1, 2008

Moving Day

While I wish I could say today was our moving day, (hopefully we’ll have one in the near future), Ryan and Cole got a taste of what moving is like.  Our wonderful child care provider was moving into a new house today, and needed some extra help. 

Ryan had a preschool make-up day today and he spent Friday night at Grandma’s house.  So we picked him up from Grandma’s and took him to school, where we were informed that a cow just had a calf that morning!  Mama Cow and Baby Calf weren’t ready to make an appearance today, so hopefully we’ll be able to see them on Tuesday.  We also got to see several baby goats and Ryan also said that a sheep had a baby lamb.  It must be spring time or something!

 Joe, Cole, and I went to get some coffee (Cole had water) and then we took Cole to the park to play for a while.  It was a gorgeous day.  Then we headed over to J.’s house.  I am so glad we decided to help out, because all of her “man” help had canceled.  There was only her daughter’s boyfriend (teen aged boy), and one other man there.  J. didn’t have too many things but with not a lot of help, it took Joe and this other guy about 3 hours to move the heavy stuff.  I was trying to help with smaller items, but had to keep an eye on Cole too.

I managed to load a few things in the van, and move some toys into the van too.  Cole had fun “sweeping” J’s garage and walking up and down the moving truck’s ramp- hence why I had to keep an eye on him.  I was trying to let him walk up the ramp in between Joe and other guy loading loading heavy, big, items.  At one point, Cole was getting really fussy so I was holding him in one arm, and carrying what I could manage in the other arm. (more on this in a sec.)

When it was time for me to go get Ryan, the truck was loaded, so Joe said he’d go over to the new house and help unload, and then I’d come by and pick him up.  Well, Cole was tired, hot, and hungry. After I picked up Ryan, we made a pit-stop at Grandma’s for lunch.  She made the boys a nice lunch, and definitely helped thwart off two melt-downs.  Even though Ryan eats lunch at school, he was outside playing all day, and he was hungry!   Thanks Grandma!

We finally made it to J.’s new house, where Ryan flipped out when he saw a real live moving truck, with a ramp no less!  They were about half way done, and Ryan turned into the moving director.  He would stand at the side of the ramp, and tell me to stay back- it was too dangerous for me and Coley, but since he was a big boy, and Dad was a big boy, they could be near the truck.  After Joe and the other guy were off the ramp, he would run up the ramp, into the back of the truck, and pick out what Daddy and “the other man,” were going to move next. Of course Cole had to be right there too, next to Ryan.  I managed to help unload a few things, and set some toys up, but spent most of the time watching to make sure Cole didn’t fall out of the truck!

We finally finished at 2, and J. was very appreciative. They boys were exhausted, but we managed to keep them from falling asleep on the way home, so they could take their naps at home.  I’m very happy we were able to help J.  She does a phenomenal job of taking care of Ryan and Cole.  You can’t really pay someone like this, who not only watches your children, but loves them too, enough, so we were happy to be able to do something else for her.

Now for the reality check: as we were driving home, Joe said that he heard J.’s teen aged daughter and her friend talking at one point. He said he didn’t hear the entire conversation, but he heard one of them say, “He is the husband of the mother with the two little boys, (obviously referring to Joe and I), and then she added, “they are old.”  OUCH! 

I guess to high school kids, we are old.  But Joe made the point that even if he was old, him and this other man (who is also “old”) out worked all three teenagers combined.  I also realized I was carrying a 30 pound toddler in one arm and carrying crates of movies, toys, and chairs in the other arm at one point, so enen though  I may be “old,” I’d like to see those teenage girls do that!  So take that, young whippersnappers!  :-)

Posted by: amamasblog | February 28, 2008

The Business of Being Born – My Review

This post has moved, and can now be found by clicking HERE (you may have to click on the link in the pop-up window that appears).  It has been moved to the new A Mama’s Blog site.  Thank you.

Posted by: amamasblog | February 27, 2008

Mercury in CFL’s- Danger if they break

Here is an informative article from the Boston Globe, warning of mercury leaks in broken in Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s). I had no idea these bulbs had mercury in them, and when broken can pose a risk of mercury poisoning especially to infants, small children, and pregnant women. Mercury is a neurotoxin, which can damage the nervous system in adults, children, infants, and unborn babies.   

There were two reports done and in one of the studies, “researchers shattered 65 compact fluorescents to test air quality and cleanup methods. They found that, in many cases, immediately after the bulb was broken – and sometimes even after a cleanup was attempted – levels of mercury vapor exceeded federal guidelines for chronic exposure by as much as 100 times.”

“The study recommended that if a compact fluorescent breaks, get children and pets out of the room. Ventilate the room. Never use a vacuum, even on a rug, to clean up a broken compact fluorescent lamps. Instead, use stiff paper such as index cards and tape to pick up pieces, and then wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel. If there are young children or pregnant woman in the house, consider cutting out the piece of carpet where the lamp broke as a precaution. Place the shards and cleanup debris in a glass jar with a screw top and remove the jar from the house.”

Hopefully we will never have a broken CFL, but I think the fact that CFL’s have mercury in them, and they can pose health risk if broken, should be publicized more.  I don’t think anyone wants to put their child (or unborn child), or themselves at risk for exposure to mercury by accidentally handling a broken CFL or by leaving the area where it broke un-treated.

As the story says, hopefully they will develop a mercury free CFL in the future so we can reduce greenhouse emissions, and keep our children safe from possible mercury exposure. 

Posted by: amamasblog | February 26, 2008

Ryan’s First Concert

Ryan participated in his first concert, if you could call it that today.  One of his preschool teachers has been teaching the kids songs all quarter.  Today was the last day of the winter quarter, and the parents were treated to a performance of all the kids singing.  It was so cute.  There were about 9 kids.  Three just walked off the “stage” altogether, while a few of the kids were too shy to sing, and just stood there, looking at their hands. 

Ryan was in a singing mood and stood up and sang for all of the songs.  Half way through one of the songs, Cole walked right up to him, and handed him a toy.  All the kids stopped singing to see what toy Cole handed to Ryan.  Guess Cole is still a little too young for the whole concert concept.  At any rate it was so neat to see him singing, and I just amazed how fast he is growing up. Isn’t this my little boy who wouldn’t udder a word to a stranger, let alone sing in front of a whole group of them, just a few months ago?  Pretty cool how he is blossoming out of his shy little self, and enjoying this new phase of his personality.  

Here is a picture of him singing, while doing a hand motion that went along with one of the songs.

 253-copy.jpg

Posted by: amamasblog | February 26, 2008

The Business of Being Born- On Its Way

I have been waiting to see Ricki Lake’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, for what seems like forever now.  When it was released last year, it was only shown in selected theaters, in selected cities.  While there were a few showings of it in cities around me, I was never able to go.  Then the DVD release was delayed by about a month.  Nevertheless I put the DVD in our number one spot on our Netflix’s que, and today I received the e-mail: The DVD is on its way, and should be here tomorrow!  Hooray! 

I am really hoping to watch it tomorrow night, but Wednesday’s are a really long day for us, so I might have to wait until Thursday night.  At any rate I am doing a happy dance.  I will of course blog about it once I view it.  There has been a lot of buzz around this documentary, so I can’t wait to see it for myself.  Here is a summary of the film from The Business of Being Born’s Website:

Birth: it’s a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to examine and question the way American women have babies.

The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.

Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?

Posted by: amamasblog | February 25, 2008

Second Annual Academy Awards Fashion Review

 I was expecting great things this year in terms of fashion at the Academy Awards, due to most of the red carpet events being canceled this year because of the writer’s strike.  I was hoping for Old Hollywood glamour, classic beauty, new trends done well, and just that good old “WOW” factor. 

I was not disappointed.  I think most of the fashions were just gorgeous.  I had a lot of fun watching the show this year.  I knew immediately who my Worst Dressed was, and struggled with Best Dressed.  I also loved the pregnant mommy’s-to-be looks, and have added two new categories this year- Best & Worst Dressed Couples.  Last year I provided links where you could look at the fashions themselves, but I have deicded to go all out, and post the actual pictures right here. 

So without further delay, here is A Mama’s Blog Academy Award Fashion Review for 2008:

BEST DRESSED

I really went back and forth on this one.  After seeing my final two walk across the stage in their beautiful gowns, and reviewing several pictures of them at different angles, I still can’t make up my mind.  How great is that, when there are just two simply gorgeous and radiant actresses (one is a new mom) in their gowns, one just can’t pick an overall favorite.   I enjoyed both of these dresses so much and both of their presentations, and I can’t seem to find a single flaw with either of them.  So, I have decided not to have to decide- it is a tie- both of these are my best dressed this year.

  • Kerri Russel - She had that WOW factor and then some!  When she walked out to present, she just glowed.  She looked stunning in her champagne organza dress.  Not to mention her stunning 46-carat diamond necklace, accessorised with her gown perfectly.  Top that off with the fact that she gave birth to her first child last June- 8 months ago.  Oh, if only the rest of us mommy’s could look this fabulous less than a year giving birth.  Kerri Russel hit it out of the ball park this year.

  kerri_russell.jpgCredit: Frazer Harrison/Getty        actresske_steve_15550657_502.jpg Steve Granitz/WireImage

  • Hillary Swank- She always looks great, but she too, had that WOW factor.  Her Versace black gown was breathtaking.  It highlighted her body the way a dress should, and I loved how it was a classic but elegant dress, with some fun playful features too.  I just adored the shoulder strap.  It looked like a little butterfly or a flower on her shoulder, tastefully done of course.  I don’t think she could have radiated Old Hollywood glamour any more than she did tonight.  It was great!

  hilary_swank.jpg                          hillary-2.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage (both pictures)

HONORABLE MENTION-BEST DRESSED

1.  My number one honorable mention pick goes to Rene Zillwegger.  Her Carolina Herrera silver gown, is stunning.  I love the pretty flower on it, and the slit in the front.  It is classic, sexy, and elegant all at the same time.  It is the perfect dress for Rene.  What more can I say?

renee_zellwegger.jpgCredit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage     reneezell_leste_15551121_502.jpg Steve Granitz/WireImage

2.  Nicole Kidman- The mommy-to-be- was exquisite in her Balenciaga black gown.  But the true show stopper for her, besides her baby bump (more on that later) was her 1,399 carat diamond necklace.  Oh my God!  What a stunning necklace, and Nicole pulls the look off magnificently.  Nicole made my Best Dressed list last year at number 4, so she has moved up two places this year.  At this rate, she’ll be number one next year!  Honestly, she is four or five months pregnant, and still can wear anything.  She would make a burlap sack glamorous.

nicole_kidman.jpg Credit: Kevork Djansezian/AP

3.  Laura Linney- If you looked up “Classic but Elegant” in the dictionary, you would see this picture of Laura Linney in her Oscar gown this year:

laura-linney-2.jpg Credit: Kevork Djansezian/AP

What isn’t there to like about this entire look?  Love her hair, LOVE her necklace, LOVE her Michael Kors silk bustle back gown, Love her bracelet, love her bag, and love her shoes.  This is a wonderful look for Laura.   Whomever her stylist was, she should give them a bonus!

4.  Andrienne Frantz- I admit until tonight, I had never heard of Andrienne.  Where has she been hiding?  Her gold dress is just lovely.  The train is to die for.  She looks like she is having fun, with her smile.  It seems like so many actress strike a pose, but Andrienne here looks like she is just being herself, and enjoying it.  I hope we see more of Andrienne in the future. 

actressad_steve_15550646_502.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage  1043149822_1203901935.jpg Lester Cohen/Wireimage

5.  Katherine Heigl- I was debating this final spot between Heidi Klum and Katherine Heigl.  They both look red hot in their red dresses- Katherine in a silk crimson Escada gown, and Heidi in a Haute Couture red silk taffeta by John Galliano, (which will be auctioned off for charity.)  I didn’t really like Katherine’s make-up.  In most of the pictures it looks like she went to heavy on the bronzer and looks kind of orange.  On the other hand, I didn’t like the wrap on Heidi’s dress, and I hated her pink dangle earrings. They just didn’t go with the dress.  Both had awesome hair though.  In the end I liked Katherine’s overall Old Hollywood glamour look more, and I love to see what she wears.  I am just a bit disappointed in her dress selection though.  Katherine has been nothing short of perfection on all her red carpet appearances, and I was expecting that ultimate WOW factor from her.  She is still on the mark though, and you can’t hit it out of the park every time right?   

katherine-heigl-4.jpg Credit: Jeff Vespa/Wire Image

WORST DRESSED

  • I knew the moment I saw it-black, hideous, bat, Hefty garbage bag, curtain, awful.  These were just a few of the words that came to mind when I saw Best Supporting Actress winner, Tilda Swinton’s dress.  One side was bare off the shoulder, the other side was a full sleeve, that flapped like a bat’s wing.  The rest of the dress looked like an old stage curtain had been ripped down, and sewn loosely around her body.  It was shiny too, like a garbage bag.    It was the ugliest dress I have ever seen.  What makes it worse, is I think Tilda is gorgeous.  She clearly is a non-conformer and with those piercing green eyes, and red hair, (she’s Scottish), she could have done so, so, much better.  With Tilda’s red hair, green eyes- she has been blessed already with a wonderful gift from the gene pool, and she just blows it on her “bat dress.”  Was I the only one who thought it was ironic that she mentioned Batman to George Clooney (her co-star), in her acceptance speech?  Maybe she did have a bat theme in mind, when selecting this dress. Take this dress right to the bat cave, and don’t let it out Tilda!

tilda-swinton.jpg         tilda-swinton-1.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

HONORABLE MENTION- WORST DRESSED

1. Julie Christie- I hardly know where to start- I guess the dreadful burgundy dress is a start.  Again, the word “curtain” comes to mind.  Or it looks like her 150 pound dog slept on it, hence all the wrinkles.  Oh, are those supposed to be there?  Can someone explain what is up with the light pink gloves with the thumbs cut out of them?  Did she need the thumbs cut out so she could hitchhike to the Oscar’s?  Is there another explanation?  In a terrible attempt to “accessorize,” the light pink shoes, that match the light pink gloves just scream “tacky.”  This entire outfit is just horrid.  Please bury it when you get home, and bury it deep, so it never resurfaces. 

actressju_leste_15551206_502.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

2.  Sissy Spacek- This outfit looks like Sissy is having an identity crisis.  Is she trying to be a high powered business woman, or go for a feminine look with a long skirt?  The combination of both results in a hideous ensemble.  Her hair is terrible too, with her bangs hiding her face, and making her look old enough and somewhat like Hillary Clinton’s grandmother.  At least she isn’t wearing gloves with the thumbs missing.

actresssi_steve_15551026_502.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImages

3.  Marion Cotillard- Did Marion mistake the Academy Awards, where she was nominated and won for Best Actress, with an opening at an aquarium? Perhaps she thought she was going to see Little Mermaid on Broadway.  Something is “fishy” in this custom-made Jean Paul Gaultier gown.  When you are nominated for Best Actress, I don’t understand why you would turn up wearing a dress that reminds everyone of fish.  Marion’s hair, make-up and jewelry is stunning, but unfortunately they aren’t enough to distract us from the fact that she looks like a mermaid at best, ready to dive into the water, and swim away- fish scales and all. 

marion_cotillard-1.jpg Credit: Kevork Djansezian/AP

4.  Cameron Diaz- Here is what I wrote last year about Cameron’s dress, when she was number 3 on my Worst list: “This dress screams, “80’s!”  I hate the angled flaps across her chest- it looks like a bad bride’s maid dress.”  I can revise that this year to: This dress  (by Dior) screams, “80′s!”  I hate the angled flaps across her hips- it looks like a bad bride’s maid dress.”  Cameron sweetie, lose the flaps on your dresses!  They are repulsive. Does she have a thing for bats too?  Seriously, flaps two years in a row is way too much!  It seems like the flaps are moving down though- last year they were across her chest, this year on her hips, maybe next year they will be around her legs, and then finally by the 2010 Academy Awards, her gown will be “flap free.” 

cameron-diaz.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/Wire Images

5.  Jennifer Hudson- Again, we have a repeat offender from last year.  Last year she was number 2, so at least she is moving in the right direction.  Her white snake-skin trimmed dress just doesn’t pull it off.  I also hate the side bare skin that peeps through the snake-skin waist.  It looks like she got in a fight with a python and won.  Jennifer also looks like she is dire need of a bra that can support the girls properly, instead of letting the dead python skin waist band do the work.  Hopefully by next year, she will have worked out the kinks or gets a new stylist, and while I doubt she’ll be on the Best Dressed list, perhaps she will finally work her way off of the Worst Dressed one.

jennifer-hudson.jpg Credit: Steven Granitz/WireImages

BEST DRESSED COUPLE

  • Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy) & Jillian Fink- Without a doubt, this was the best dressed couple of the night.  I love his tuxedo- he just looks so handsome, and her dress is perfect.  Jillian is a new mommy too, having had twin boys, just over a year ago.   I love how her black evening bag accessorizes with his tux.  Hopefully we’ll see lots more of this elegant and stylish couple on the red carpet.

pd.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/Wire Image

WORST DRESSED COUPLE

  • Daniel Day Lewis & Rebecca Miller- After seeing the striking fashion couple, of Patrick and Jillian, these two look horrendous, and frightening.  Daniel’s brown shoes just top off his unstylish tuxedo, and Rebecca’s dress- well I think the dress speaks for itself.  It is right up there with one of the all-time ugliest dresses. Those red bows look like they came off a Christmas tree.  Rebecca’s shoes are ghastly with her dress.  Has this couple ever heard of a wonderful place called Nordstrom’s shoe department?  When you are up for Best Actor, it is time to go all out.  These two need to find a stylist fast, or fire the one they have. 

actressda_jeff_15550867_502.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

BEST TUXEDO

  • The Rock.  In this case, I’ll let the picture speak a  thousand words.

dwayneth_leste_15550730_502.jpg Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

BABY BUMPS

Since this is A Mama’s Blog, I have to include the pictures of the actresses who are pregnant and showed off their baby bumps.  Since Nicole Kidman made my Best Dressed List, it goes without saying that I think her dress was the best.  I loved Jessica Alba’s too.  I didn’t like the accessories on Cate Blanchet’s dress, and thought her dress would have been great had she accessorised better.  But they all were glowing, and being pregnant is hard.  I couldn’t imagine trying to look glamorous too, especially for Cate, who was a double nominee.  These actresses did all of us mommies proud.

 

actressni_steve_15551279_502.jpg Nicole Kidman Credit: Steve Granitz/Wire Image   5408879822_1203911407.jpg Jessica Alba Credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

8393240922_1203907385.jpg Cate Blanchet Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

That  concludes the review for 2008.  I hoped you enjoyed my review.  Let me know what you think- did I miss someone who you thought was best/worst dressed?  Once again, I can’t wait until next year.

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