Friday, May 28, 2010

Mary Grace Jewellery Giveaway!

Okay, everybody, have I got some exciting news for you.  I am hosting a giveaway!  And not just any giveaway...I'm giving away pretty things from Mary Grace Jewellery!!

Who doesn't like pretty things??  That's right - nobody!  (Wait - is that too many double negatives? I have confused myself.)

Let's start over.

Mary Grace Jewellery rocks!  I've been a fan of her stuff for a long time now - her pieces are not only pretty, but unique, well-crafted and have just the right twist of vintage/modern flair.  I have a necklace from her shop that I get so many compliments on when I wear.  Mary just opened a new online shop the other day, and in celebration she's offered to give some of her items away to one of my lucky readers!

Specifically, this lovely ring (in your choice of pink, yellow or blue):


And these lovely earrings:


Gorgeous, no?

**WIN THEM!**

Mandatory First Entry:  
To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post!  Pretty easy right?

Bonus Entries:
For bonus entries, leave a separate comment for each entry you do below:

[1 entry] Become a public Google Friend Connect follower of my blog, or tell me that you already are!

[1 entry]  Become a follower of Mary Grace Jewellery on twitter!

[2 entries]  Blog about this giveaway!  (Make sure to leave me a link to the post in your comment!)

**RULES**

This giveaway will end on June 11th at NOON CST. You must have your email address available on your profile or leave it in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.  The winner will be drawn via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond - otherwise, a new winner will be picked.  The item will be sent to the winner directly by the sponsor of this giveaway.  I am not responsible for damaged, lost or missing items.  

Woot!  Let the giving-away commence!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tips for a Summer Road Trip with Children

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As some of you may have deduced, my little family and I traveled from Nebraska to both Chicago and Minneapolis in the last month.  We made both trips...by minivan.

Yes, you read that right.  Minivan.  It took us 7 hours to drive to Minneapolis.  It took us 10 hours to drive to Chicago.  (Strangely enough, the drive back to Nebraska from both places went a lot quicker - I don't want to say that speeding was involved, but yes - speeding was involved.)

Let me tell you, I have learned a lot this past month about how to keep 3 children aged 4 and under entertained while you're trapped in a 16 foot box on wheels.  And I'm sure you guys are just dying for me to share what I learned along the way.  So without further ado, here are my suggestions to any of you brave enough to attempt a road trip with your little darlings this summer:

Issue #1:  PUBLIC POTTY-ING

Now I don't know about your kids, but my twins are still in the midst of potty-training, which definitely presents a unique set of challenges for a road trip.  For example, Owen is afraid of the big potty.  And Aidan, while not afraid of the big potty, refuses to use one unless he can first remove every article of clothing except his shirt.   

So you can see, public potty-ing is a problem.   

Now Owen's solution was simple - we just brought the little potty with us.  Genius, right?  It fit right in the aisle of the minivan so we had our own personal rest stop on wheels.  Scott and I stressed about what to do with the pee-output, until we saw a dog taking a potty break right out on the grass and realized we could just dump it.  We assumed the same rule would not apply to poop-output, but luckily God answered our request for constipation so we didn't need to worry about it.

With Aidan, well, I wish I had a great solution.  But basically he just got naked in every public restroom we stopped at along the way.  I disinfected him once we got to our destination. 

Issue #2:  ENTERTAINMENT

One word (or is it two?) - RedBox.  Redbox, redbox, redbox.  What an ingenious idea for a road trip!  You stop at a gas station, rent DVD's for a dollar each, and continue on your merry way.  One important thing I learned on this trip is that RedBox has a 5 DVD limit - and that you shouldn't waste one of those DVDs on "Scooby Doo and the Vampires", because apparently you have to be able to make it to the end of the Scooby Doo movie to find out that the vampires aren't really vampires.  Otherwise, you just end up with a bunch of terrified kids muttering about vampires for the rest of the day while you try to explain that they weren't really vampires but just Old Man Maguire wearing a vampire mask, that crazy old bastard!  It's hard to explain Scooby Doo. 

Issue #3:  THIRD ROW KID

Now, when you have a minivan and 3 kids, at least one of them is going to get stuck in the third row.  I recommend you put the oldest back there, because if she needs something you can just throw it on back without having to stop the car.  Ashley is excellent at catching snacks - she's got a real talent for it.  Now if only I could get better at throwing them.  We have a cookie graveyard back there that I'm sure I'll get around to cleaning eventually.  Also, I didn't mean to hit Aidan in the eye that time, I swear.

Issue #4:  SCENERY

If it all possible, I suggest driving through Iowa because there are huge windmills that line the interstate.  And lots of little towns with water towers.  And if you have children who go ape-shit over windmills and water towers like mine do, they will definitely be entertained for the majority of the drive.

However, I must point out that this can backfire on your return drive, if your normal windmill, water tower loving children all of a sudden decide that they absolutely HATE everything within a 180 degree view from their carseat.  Because it's kind of hard to avoid looking at all those windmills.  Especially when their older sister keeps popping up from the third row to say "Hey boys, look it's another windmill!"  Sometimes throwing a cookie back at her will help that issue, but only if you have good aim.

Issue #5:  LAST HOUR

In my opinion, the last hour of any road trip is the worst.  By that time, everybody has had it and is ready to GET OUT.  So my advice here is - do not get lost in the suburbs of Chicago.  I'm looking at you, Scotty.  Also, stop for milkshakes.  It will buy you at least another 20 minutes.  25 if it takes your kids awhile to get that first sip up the straw.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just Dance. Or Run. Or Point, Depending On Your Preference.

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One time, when I was a little girl, my dad told me to stop running around the house.

I said, "I'm not running.  I'm dancing."

He said, "No, you're not.  You're running."

And I replied, with just a little bit of disdain in my voice, "Dancing is running."

He still teases me about it to this day.  And I don't blame him.  "Dancing is running!" How silly is that??

Because clearly, dancing is not just running.  It's running with wacky facial expressions.  And pointy fingers.  And just the right amount of attitude.  And maybe a little bit of an overbite, if you can manage it.

Just ask Ashley.  She has even more natural dancing talent than me, and that's really saying something.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Filler Post and Filler Children

I spent the weekend in a Minneapolis hotel room with 1 husband, 3 children and 2 double beds.

I am tired.

But my little brother is now married, so it was all worth it.  I have many stories and pictures to share, but for now I will just provide the following updates for those of you on the edge of your seats:

Toes:  I went with french.  I was all set to ask for a blue flower, but the pedicurist and I had a bit of a language barrier so I decided to just make it easier on both of us and go with a one-word request.  Of course then I got home and saw all the comments suggesting pink!  (Note to self:  Submit blog post requesting pedicure advice sooner than 10 minutes before leaving for said pedicure.)

Dress:  I got it from Von Maur, a local department store here in town - but I'm sure you could find it Macy's or Nordstrom's or Dillards or whatever your local department store happens to be named.  The brand was Maggy London.

And now for something completely different, my kids are famous!  Last week they were "filler children" in a local news piece about chiropractic care for babies.  My three kids are on the swings and are the examples of "non-adjusted" children - oh, how fitting that description is.  My favorite part is when the doctor being interviewed says chiropractic care is not recommended for children with down syndrome and then the camera cuts in for a close-up of Ashley saying "Whoo hoo!".  As if we didn't get enough questions about her. 

Click here to see my little ones in all their glory:

http://www.ketv.com/video/23631135/

You might want to shield your eyes from the brightness of Aidan's shirt.  And don't look at his high-waters.  And don't pay attention to that dead staked tree behind the young sapling - we're going to pull it out eventually, I swear. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Important Things in Life

Tonight, I am going to the mall to get a pedicure.

I do not normally pedicure my feet.  My feet are tickle-ish.  Plus I don't like those cuticle clipper thingies.  And economically speaking, I'm pretty good at painting my toes myself.  

But this weekend, I must have beautiful toes.  Because I will be wearing this dress:
 

and these shoes...
to my little brother's wedding.  And I must have toes that match the occasion.  

The only question is...what color?

My mom suggested red, but I thought I might end up looking a little too patriotic.

Then I was thinking french.  But don't you think that french pedicures just make you look like you reeeeeally need to clip your toe-nails?  Or is that just me?

Maybe silver?  

Blue?  

Blue with a white flower?

What about orange?

(Just wanted to see if anyone was still paying attention).

Stay tuned for further discussion on whether I should wear a sparkly barrette in my hair.  So much to ponder. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Twins: A Blame Game

Recently, my little family of 5 traveled up to Chicago, Illinois to see our darling nieces be baptized.

Yes, I said niec-es.  Scott's brother and his wife also have identical twins of their own.  What are the odds of that happening?

Apparently, not high.  There is tons of research out there indicating that identical twins do not run in families.  Instead, such genetic tendencies are reserved for fraternal twins and their hyperovulating moms.  Speaking of which, I just learned that word - hyperovulating.  It's kind of a fun word, no?  It makes me want to go play tennis.


Anyways, apparently nobody sent the identical/fraternal genetics memo to Scott or his brother.  Either that, or they both just completely disregarded years of genetic research in order to get a 2 for 1 deal.  Or maybe, identical twins actually are genetic after all.  Genetic on the guy's side of the family!

I wonder how that would work.  If fraternal twins are caused by the mom's hyper-ovulation, then that must mean that identical twins are caused by the dad's hyper...

Never mind.  I don't even want to google-image search for the picture that I have conjured up in my head.

Anyways, what was I talking about again?  Ah yes, Chicago. 

We had a lovely time. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Little Tikes Picnic Table Review

I recently got the opportunity to review a product from CSN Stores...the Little Tikes Easy Store Kids' Jr. Play Table.


Now let me tell you, I have fallen in love with this table, for the following reasons:

(1)  When it is time for lunch, I no longer have to yell "Everybody come inside for lunch!" forty thousand times.  Instead, I just bring PB&J's out to the picnic table.  Except for Owen, who refuses to have J on his PB&J.  So he just gets a PB.

(2)  When it is time for dinner, I no longer have to yell "Everybody come inside for dinner!" forty thousand times.  Instead, I just bring pasta out to the picnic table.  Yes, pasta might be an odd choice for picnic food.  But when you're outnumbered by your children, you do what works.

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My kids give the new picnic table a solid thumbs up.  Or a solid pointer finger up, for Aidan and Owen.  Still figuring out that opposable thumb thing.  We'll get there.

P.S.  It is also worth noting that I put it together all by myself!!  Which is quite impressive for a lady who can't even open a jar of spaghetti sauce.  Luckily the kids are partial to buttered-only pasta.

***I received a free Little Tikes Easy Store Kids' Jr. Play Table from CSN Stores in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received.***

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dreaming Big

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Half way through Mother's Day, Ashley told me that she wished it was "Kid Day" instead of Mother's Day. 

If it was Kid Day, she would go to the park, and have me push her on the swings, and make her cinnamon toast for breakfast.

Hmm.

Ashley's dream day sounds a lot like a typical Saturday around here.  Makes me think I must be doing something right.   

(I would have wished for a pony, but to each their own.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Megan Goes to a Psychic

Last Tuesday, I went to see a psychic.  Let us continue to refer to him as "Psychic Dave" for continuity purposes, even though after meeting him I think he looks more like a "Psychic Timothy."  See, he was wearing one of those newsboy cap thingies.  And don't you always think guys who wear those caps must be named Timothy?

Maybe it's just me.

Anyways, three of my friends and I showed up on Psychic Dave's doorstep at 6:45 p.m. on the dot.  He opened the door so quickly it was like he knew we were coming.  Granted, we had made an appointment, but I was feeling pretty good about his psychic abilities nonetheless.

We all walked in and introduced ourselves, and I had a momentary panic attack when I realized that one of my friends was also named Megan.  Now, I've known she's been named Megan since we were 14 years old, so that was no surprise.  But I didn't think about how that could affect our psychic readings!  What if a ghost popped in the room and wanted to communicate with one of us?  Would Psychic Dave be able to distinguish between us?

Ghost:  oooooh oooooooh  I have an important message for Megan ooooooh

Psychic Dave:  Megan, there is a spirit trying to contact you from the spirit world.

Megan #1:  Me or her?

Megan #2:  Her or me?

Ghost:  ooooooh Never mind, this is too complicated ooooooh

Yes, all this ran through my head within the first two minutes of stepping into Psychic Dave's house.  I hope he wasn't reading my mind yet, but you can never be sure with those psychics.

After introductions were made, Psychic Dave asked us all to remove our shoes before heading back to his "office".  I thought that was odd.  Did he need to see our toes in order to give us our psychic predictions?  Or was he just worried about his carpet?  I guess I'll never know.

Psychic Dave also had a dog, which he said was usually very skittish when there were a lot of people around, and therefore she may not be able to come to the office with us.  I'm not sure why that was an issue but it seemed pretty important to him.  So I took that as my cue that I needed to get that dog to like me.  If the dog liked me, I was in like flynn with Psychic Dave.  No negative predictions for this lady!  So I let this dog lick and lick my hand like there was no tomorrow.  And nibble on my nails until they were all nubby.  And  let me tell you, that was tough because I am not a dog person.  But I let her do it, because everyone knows that people who don't like dogs are the devil.  And I didn't want Psychic Dave to think I was a devil!  I try to like dogs, I really do...but I just don't.  Maybe I was a cat in a former life.  Shoot, I should have asked Psychic Dave.  

Anyways, now that I'd gotten in good with the dog, Psychic Dave told me a bunch of interesting things.  He told me that I should go see psychics more often and that water is my element.   I must have been giving him the hairy eyeball because he then said I was very intimidating.  Ha!  Apparently he didn't see me crying like a weenie at "How To Train Your Dragon" last weekend. 

Truth be told, my psychic reading was not all that exciting so there's not much more to say.  But I was blown away by some of the things he said to my friends - I seriously got chills a couple of times.  Although it might have just been from the lack of footwear. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Holy Sits!

Wow.  I am still recovering from my SITS day in the sun.  All those great comments!  All those fantastic blogs to visit!  I'm a bit overwhelmed.  But overwhelmed in a good way, like on Christmas morning when there are tons of presents under the tree and you don't know what to open first.  Except that's not a good example, because most of the Christmas presents aren't for me anymore.  Hmm.  It's like free sample day at Costco when you don't know what to eat first!  Except we don't have a membership to Costco.  Which, sidenote:  we really need to get one of those.  Okay, I got it - it's like when your TiVo has a million good shows recorded and you don't know which one to watch first!  Except the only thing on my TiVo right now is a million different episodes of The Backyardigans. 

Maybe I should stop trying to come up with a good analogy and just say THANKS to all of you who visited yesterday and to all of you who have been visiting for awhile now.  Lord knows I don't mind talking to myself but it's very nice to know there are people out there reading.  You all make me one happy blogger. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Welcome, SITStas!

Today is my SITS day!

Wait, what?

It's my SITS day! That means billions of people might be stopping by my blog to take a look-see because I'm the featured blogger of the day over at the wonderful blogging community "The Secret is in the Sauce." 

(I hope my hair looks okay.)

So welcome, SITStas!  I'm Megan, and I write about things that make me laugh.  Sometimes it's about me, sometimes it's about my 3 kids, sometimes it's about my husband.  Sometimes it's about how a barbecue tried to kill me.  You just never know what you're going to get around these parts.

Here are some of my fave posts that I hope you'll check out:

When You Wish Upon a Star Wars:  The first time you show your children Star Wars is such a magical experience, is it not? Unless your children are mine.

This is Why I'm Not in Charge of the Cars:  Why do they make cars so complicated?  It's not rocket science.  Or is it?

The Bug:  A heart-warming summary of a toddler bug-killing expedition.  Because you know how the feeling of terror can really get your heart pumping.     

Deep Thoughts While Finger Painting:  Sometimes the best heart-to-hearts with your offspring happen while you're finger-painting.

Thanks for stopping by, everybody!  I hope you'll all decide to stick around! :-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This is Why I'm Not in Charge of the Cars

I need to update on Psychic Dave.  And how I think he gets his psychic powers either through people's toes or his dog's excessive licking issues.  Trust me - it will all be in the recap.

But first I need to tell you a story about my car.

Last week I had to drive down to Kansas City to give a presentation on legal stuff.

It was super exciting.  (Not). 

On the drive back up to Nebraska, a warning light on my dashboard lit up.

I picked up my cell phone and called Scott.  (Sorry, Oprah).

Scott:  Hello?

Me:  Hey, a warning light just popped up on my dashboard.

Scott:  What does it say?

Me:  It doesn't say anything.  It's a picture.

Scott:  Well, what's it a picture of?


I looked at it closely.

Me:  Um...a helicopter.

Scott:  What?

Me:  Or maybe a video camera.

Scott:  You have a picture of a helicopter or a video camera on your dashboard.

Me:  Or it might be a fish. A fish wearing a graduation cap.

Scott:  Okay, let's back up.  What shape is it?

Me:  It's a circle-square.

Scott:  A what?

Me:  You know, like a circle-ish square.

Scott:  No, I don't know.

Me:  It's like a blob.  Like a blobby square.

Scott:  Is it the oil pressure guage?

Me:  I dunno.  What's that look like?

Bless his heart, he tried to speak to me in my own language.

Scott:  Um...like a genie lamp.

Me:  No, it's definitely a helicopter.

Luckily I made it home before my car exploded.  When I showed the actual light to Scott, he informed me that it was a picture of an "engine block."  Whatever that is.

I said to him, though, "Seriously - doesn't it look like a helicopter?"

And he said.  "Maybe.  But I would have gone with submarine."

Hmm.  I can totally see it.