Saturday, July 30, 2011

Straight Talk

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

For a lot of young families, like myself and my husband, landlines are not a necessity.  But we cannot function without our cell phones.  Of course, cell phones come with their own hassle, like choosing a plan and signing a contract, no to mention trying to find a deal on the phone itself.

Fortunately, there are a lot more option nowadays to have an affordable plan and a great phone - no contract required.  Straight Talk enables you to cut your cell phone bill in half without getting tied down, hook, line and sinker to a restricting contract.  In fact, there are no surprise bills, nor credit checks.

You don't have to worry about being short-changed on service, either.  Straight Talk provides great nationwide coverage, and only does business with trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.

And unlike a lot of the big-name phone companies where you call a friend and suddenly find you've exceeded your bandwidth, Straight Talk offers some amazing unlimited packages.  You can have unlimited calls, texts, picture messaging, and free 411 for only $45 a month, or $499 a year!  No activation, reactivation, or termination fees.

If unlimited is too much for you, there's another plan that can cover everything you need.  Simply called the "All You Need Plan", this provides 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 30 MB of web data a month.  Enough for even the heaviest data users.

There's even a prepaid international plan, providing low rates on international calls from your cell, home, or office phone.

Once again, the phones are top-notch, as well.  Smart phones, touchscreen phones, with all the prerequisite apps:  voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth.  Or, for the more budget-conscious, reconditioned phones, with all the same features, are available starting from $10.

So for my fellow young parents and couples out there who are looking for your first phone plan, Straight Talk is worth checking out.  You can spend the money you save on more nights out with your honey.

Or, for those of us with babies, on diapers.

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Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dealing with the jealous, possessive (little) man in my life...

The other night we were hanging out with my parents before they left for vacation.  My sister cooked a huge, amazing meal, and we had eaten and had a lot of fun.

My younger niece, the 1-year-old, was closing in on bedtime and getting sleepy and cuddly.  She toddled over to where I was playing with the kids on the floor and plopped in my lap.

My son immediately ran over and hugged onto me.  "No!" he chastised her.  "My mama!"

I showed him that there was room for me to cuddle on them both, and that his cousin wasn't going to steal me away from him, but he was still pretty put-out.  That's when I started getting nervous about Sunday.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Breastfeeding supplies to make life easier for mom and baby

I know there are a lot of "lactivists" that would disagree with me, but, speaking from experience, breastfeeding is hard.  And unless you plan on you and your baby never being separated or leaving your house during the time you're breastfeeding, you're going to need a lot of supplies.

And, like everything else for babies, breast feeding supplies are expensive.  Canada Post Comparison Shopper can help with that.  They compile the best deals and prices on a variety of products, including a large section on breastfeeding supplies.

If you are in need of anything from breastfeeding pads, to pillows, to pumps, check Canada Post Comparison Shopper first, and don't spend any more money than you have to.

My son's first 2nd Birthday Party

As you might be aware from last week's continued panic on the subject, we had my son's first 2nd birthday party last Saturday.  (First because he technically turns two this coming Saturday, but my parents will be out-of-town, so we had a party early.)

If I do say so myself, I think it went pretty well.

The first BIG blessing came in the form of a $60 payout I got from some advertising vendors the night before the party.  I may not make much money of the blog, but those little boosts seem to always come when I need them most.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's 100 degrees. Buy a hoodie!

Exhausted after running again this morning.  (But proud of myself for sticking with it!)  Gonna hold off on the Little Man's birthday post and just link the info for Printfection's crazy "Hoodies in July" sale.

Here's the store link.  8PP Store

And here are the coupon codes:

Coupon Code: TooHot

Discount: 20% off the base price subtotal, no minimums

Coupon Code: forHoodies
Discount: 35% off the base price subtotal of $50+

Enter the coupon code before check-out.  Sale runs today through Saturday.
Oh, for the sale, they've also added 9 new colors.  Don't forget to contact me if you want anything customized.  (I strongly recommend the "Hi, my name is 's mom/dad" design.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't touch me.

So, as I've written about before, I have a bit of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  It's pretty much under control, but there are still certain things I struggle with.

And what a lot of people don't realize that, with OCD, you don't just have compulsions.  There are also a lot of aversions that come hand-in-hand with it.

For me, there's only a few little things that bother me deeply (styrofoam, prime numbers, etc.) but there is one very big issue.

I am very uncomfortable with physical contact.

Monday, July 25, 2011

This is some of the best pain I've ever inflicted upon myself.

I have a headache.  My lower back is killing me.  So is my upper back, and pretty much all the middle part, too.  My shoulders and neck are stiff and my legs are sore.  In general, I have that feeling you get the day after a minor car accident.

Of course, I wasn't in a car accident.  I just went running for the first time in over a year and a half.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Life Outside the Bubble

In my daily Bible reading I participate in with two friends from church, we're just now getting into some really good stuff.

Specifically, Song of Solomon.

Song of Solomon holds the distinction of being the only book of the Bible you can feel a little guilty about reading.  It's a love story, and it does not hold back on the torrid romance.

We were talking about what verses stuck out to us, what deeper meanings they might possess when I recounted a funny story from my fundamentalist high school.

For our senior year, we got to choose a Bible verse to go in the yearbook next to our senior portrait.  Since, even then, I really enjoyed messing with fundies, I picked a verse from Song of Solomon.  (Honestly, it was one of the tamer verses from Song of Solomon.)  I chose Solomon 1:2, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is sweeter than honeywine."

Pretty, right?  Eh, my school didn't think so.  Whereas every other senior had a Bible verse printed next to their name, I did not.  They just printed a small reference, "Sol. 1:2".

I was recounting this to my friend and, instead of laughing, she looked incredulous.  "Your Christian high school censored the Bible?"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New designs and summer sale!

To celebrate the addition of over 50 new color and design combinations, Printfection is offering 30% off ALL apparel, no minimum purchase necessary.  Three easy steps to save:

1.  Go to the 8PP Store.
2.  Choose from a variety of kids', men's, women's, and maternity wear.
3.  Enter the coupon code FantasticNewColors at checkout to save 30%.

The sale runs through Monday, and you can always use the Contact Page to request custom designs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marrying young was right for me.

My husband and I started dating when I was 19 and he was 20.  I had just turned 20 when he was proposed.  I was 21 when we got married.

I was 23 when we closed on our first house.  I got pregnant not long after, and I turned 24 a few weeks before giving birth to our son, our first and (so far) only child.

I'm not going to lie and say that things have always been easy.  We've both make a thousand mistakes, and will probably make a few million more.  We've been through illness, unemployment, double employment, times when money was tight, and times when we were just flat-out broke.

But, here we are, just a couple of weeks from my son's birthday, and a few more weeks from our 5-year-anniversary.  And it's crazy to think that I've been with my husband for 19% of my life (27% if you count dating).  And, obviously, with every year, that percentage just goes up and up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Young lady, are you lost? This is the fertility clinic. Planned Parenthood is across the street."

When I was last at my OBGYN's office, I informed my doctor (specialist/surgeon/only person I trust with a knife in my insides) of mine and my husband's intentions to start trying for another baby.  He told me, "If you're not knocked up in 6 months, come back and see us."  (Yeah, my old doctor was pretty casual.)

Well, here we are, 6 months, hundreds of temperature readings, pills taken, and dozens of sticks peed on later and, big surprise, I'm not pregnant.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Part-time Parent

As I so often mention, I often teach preschool children's church.  And what's so exciting about it, is nothing is ever routine.  I don't always have the same group of kids, and even "regulars", kids I've taught for months, can still surprise me.

I just plain, love toddlers, too.  I get to be around kids ages 2-5, when the world is still new and they're still excited to be learning about it.  And, although I normally don't know them as well as I'd like, I feel such appreciation for the parents who trust me with their little ones on a regular basis.  For a couple of hours a week, they let me take on their role.  I feed their kids, help them to the potty, and instruct them.  And it's a responsibility I appreciate being entrusted with.

I knew this past Sunday was going to be a great lesson days in advance, when I saw the schedule.  I enjoy all the volunteers with whom I serve, but some combinations just work better than others, and I was very happy when I saw who the other two volunteers for this week were.  I ended up letting one of them lead the lesson, because it was one I wasn't sure how to teach dynamically.  (I'm better with puppets and funny voices, and there were no puppets.)

Though there were mishaps, as always, we ended up having such a great day.  Two things in particular happened that just melted my heart.

Friday, July 15, 2011

It all ends.

When I post this in the morning, I'll be about 12 hours out from seeing the last Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II".

And, I can readily admit, I'm probably going to cry my eyes out in the theater.  Not just because I've read the books and know that J.K. Rowling straight-up murdered most of my favorite characters, but also because I grew up with this franchise, and it's very bittersweet that it's ending.

So I'm taking a look back at the previous movies, and recounting what was going on in my life when I saw them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Outrageous(ly Frugal) Kid Parties

So, I've been talking some about this new TLC show, "Outrageous Kid Parties".  There's a picture of one on the left.  That little girl is 6, and she's sitting on a throne while she opens presents.  She also got mad that her $2,100 cake had a purple bird on it instead of a blue one.  The whole party ran her parents about $32K.

But, hey, what's the cost of a college tuition in exchange for being the most popular kid in 1st grade?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

on the joys of organized chaos and big-kid friends

As I've mentioned, my son turns 2 in a few weeks.  Though this is a happy event to which I'm greatly looking forward, there's also a lot of stress that goes along with it.  There's presents to buy, a party to plan, food to prepare, and the "I can't believe my baby's turning 2" tears to shed.

Of course, most of his day-to-day routines won't change.  His preschool uses the same schedule for moving classes up as the public school system does so, there at least, he's been in the two-year-old class for weeks.

However, I will admit that I've been very nervous about him moving up from the nursery to preschool children's church.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If I die young, don't let them play this song at my wake.

If, any time in the last few weeks, you've been in the presence of a radio, you've probably heard the song "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry.  (They're the emo cowboys in the picture to the left.)

The song is catchy, and beautiful, and it really, really bothers me.  It bothers me in the way that the poem "Leda and the Swan" or the novel "Lolita" bothers me; it's a beautiful glamorization of a very disturbing topic.

And, no, I'm not one of those idiots who thinks teenagers are going to kill themselves because they think the song is telling them to (though it wouldn't surprise if they played the songs during suicide attempts, like happened with "Adam's Song" by Blink 182).  This song bothers me because the pretty vocals and slightly country twang are masking lyrics that would be too emo for even Hot Topic shoppers.

The lyrics are selfish, overdramatic, and immature.  And they're stuck in my head.  While a more sane individual might just try to get another song stuck in their head, or sing it once to just try and get it out of their system, I'm a blogger, and therefore slightly insane.  So I'm going to break down the lyrics of "If I Die Young" and explain why they're absolutely ridiculous.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SAHMs, I need you to be quiet for just a few minutes.

"Stay at home Rock Star."

"I have the greatest salary in the world, because I get paid in hugs and kisses."

"Stay at home moms should make over $100k a year. They work as a daycare, psychologist/counselor, chef, CEO, teacher, accountant and maid. They work 97 hrs./wk. If you are stay at home mom and agree, repost this as your status for 24 hours."

Oh, stay-at-home-moms.  Okay, first off, how long a disclaimer do I need to stop a flame war before it starts?  Let's see:

Stay-at-home-moms, I know you work hard.  I know raising kids and running a household is tough.  I'm also aware that not all of you are self-righteous martyrs about it.  This post is directed towards the women who choose to stay home, and then either spend hours a day complaining on Facebook about how unappreciated they are, and/or who look down on working moms.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Turning 2 and Mommy-Guilt

Maybe you've heard of that new TLC (of course) show, "Outrageous Kids' Parties".  It's where TLC finds a different genre of bottom-dwellers to showcase and mock, in this case, parents so affluent and entitled that they throw their grade-school children birthday parties costing tens of thousands of dollars (more than many of us spent on our weddings).

It is in conflict with this "anything for my baby" cultural mindset that I presently find myself.  See, I went birthday shopping for my son the other day.  I got all his presents in one big trip.

I spent $60.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I really don't get tired of saying what a jerk Richard Dawkins is.

If you're not already, let's pretend you're a 31-one-year-old single female.  You're at a conference, and after a long day of speeches and seminars, you get on the elevator to ride back up to your room.

<---This guy, and no one else, is on the elevator with you, which understandably, makes you a bit uncomfortable.  Unfamiliar town, late at night in a hotel, now trapped alone in a confined space with an older male.  This is one of those situations that girls are taught from puberty to avoid for their own safety.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't worry. Be happy.

When I was thinking about what I'd like to write on, there have been so many things in the news lately that have made me so angry, and so many things in my life that aren't going well just right this second, that I had a hard time sorting through them all.  Do I want to talk about how Richard Dawkins is an even bigger jerk than anyone realized?  Or all the things that are so wrong about the Casey Anthony verdict?

Or maybe I could just whine about how miserable I am that my baby is sick and has to stay home from school, or that the new interest rates almost doubled my student loan payment.

But I'm not going to do that (at least not today).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So Far Away from Mom and Dad

The Author of this post is Solomon Dejesus

It’s tough living so far away from my parents but since they absolutely refuse to leave my childhood home, I guess I have to. They’re all the way out in Texas and where they live it’s really, really rural. The mailman doesn’t even deliver their mail to the mailbox, they have to go into town and pick it up at the post office! I convinced them to get internet from so they could stay in touch better and that’s helped ease my mind a lot but I don’t really understand what they’re getting by being all the way out there. All the kids have since moved away and we’re all out here on the east coast so it would make more sense to me if they were here nearer to us. They’ve always been stubborn, though, so I don't anticipate them changing their minds anytime soon so I guess we'll just have to keep in touch the way we're doing for now until something changes out their way!
Wowee!  A lot has happened since my last post!  Here's a quick holiday weekend recap:

Friday.  Left work a little early and went with some family to see "Cars 2".  Wait for dvd on this one.  Didn't hold the kids' interest, and involved a convoluted plot about Mater being mistaken for a secret agent and a plot by Big Oil to discredit alternative fuel sources.  In a kids' movie.  It's not worth trying to explain the energy crisis to a preschooler.

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Sale!

It's a holiday weekend*, so of course Printfection is hosting a big sale.  This means big savings in the 8PP Store!

* apologies to our non-U.S. readers; we're aware it's not a holiday weekend everywhere else

Use the following coupon codes to save on shirts, bags, kids' clothes, maternity gear, paternity gear, gifts, etc.!

Coupon Code: StarSavings

Discount: $5 off any order!

Coupon Code: BrightSavings
Discount: $10 off subtotal of $50+

Coupon Code: SpangledSavings
Discount: $30 off subtotal of $100+

Codes must be entered at check-out.  Sale ends 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 5th.

Just a preview of some of the cool stuff you might find.