Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Zhu Zhu Pets Move to Video Game!

Remember the post I did about Zhu Zhu Pets last year?  (At the time they were called Go Go pets).  Remember how the hamster ball kept coming apart and Wicked Awesome Engineer Dude contacted me to let me know they had revised the design and then sent me a new one that wouldn't keep falling apart?  Well, because the company thought enough about its consumers to address this problem, (without my having to even contact them, BTW!  They took the initiative ON THEIR OWN to address the issue!) I am always happy to help them introduce new products. 

We all know that Zhu Zhu Pets have become quite the toy phenomenon the last few months, it only makes sense that they would extend their line of toys to include a video game, right? 

So if you are a Zhu Zhu Pets collector, you won’t want to miss this! Baxter, an exclusive Zhu Zhu Pets™ hamster baby, will come packaged as a Collector’s Edition with the initial release of the Zhu Zhu Pets™ video game for Nintendo DS™. This is a limited edition item, which will sell $29.99, and will only be available until the product sells out!  What do you get for your cash?  Zhu Zhu Pets fans get more than they could ever imagine - an amazing, adorable game and a rare Zhu Zhu Pets baby hamster that fits perfectly into the collection!

The video game, Zhu Zhu Pets for Nintendo DS, allows players to care for and play with their favorite toys virtually. Players can race their hamsters through different mazes to collect carrots, coins and new hamster friends and babies. It's an endlessly enjoyable game that lets you have fun with Zhu Zhu Pets anywhere! Perfect for road trips or long waits at the Dr.'s office where the real Zhu Zhu pets can't roam!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How's Work?

Question of the week:  "So how do you like your new job?" 

Answer of the week:  "Ask me when I work out the sleeping part." 

Sleep consumes my thoughts now.  I wake up thinking about when I can go back to sleep.  When I'm sleeping, I dream about for a full 24 hours with no interruptions.  Sleep has become my new master.  Which is good in one sense, because it has replaced eating.  So, there's that bonus. 

Here's the thing, just so you don't think I'm lazy.  Which I can be.  But not this time.  This time I am tired because I work second shift and then get home at 2 a.m. and get to bed at about 2:30 in the morning.  Then I get up at 6:30 to take the kids to school, because with this work shcedule, it's the only time I see them.  I think we covered this in a previous blog post, right?  Anyway...I may or may not come home and go back to bed for a few hours after getting them to school, depending on whether or not we have appoinments and how much house work needs to be done, etc.  So I am not getting a ton of sleep.  And my body and brain know it.  They are mad at me and starting to shut down.  So I've been walking around in a fog the last few days, trying to get my bearings.  People think I'm stoned or stupid.  I'm neither.  Okay, I have been stupid before, but that's not the problem now.  I'm FREAKING TIRED!  So if I seem cross and grumpy?  It's because I'M TIRED!  As in NO SLEEP!  And if I get an attitude? Don't take it personal.  Just back off.  Or offer me a pillow and a Snuggi. 

My friend works 2nd shift.  She's been doing it for 6 years.  I asked her how long it took her to get used to the schedule.  She said 6 years.  Great.  Only 5 years, 11 months and 2.5 weeks to go til I feel normal again!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SAHM No More?

Well, I'm kind of a working girl as of yesterday.  The regular kind of working girl, not the Pretty Woman kind of working girl.  I started a temporary job that is easy on the mind, but kind of tough on the 'ole sleep meter.  I am working second shift and not getting home 'til almost 2 a.m.  It will take some getting used to, but the work is easy enough that as long as I don't fall asleep on the hour-long drive home, I think I can do this! And it pays well enough that it's worth the sacrifice for awhile.  (Do you see what I just did there?  Do you see how I am trying really hard to be positive?  Glass half full, right?)

My boys are not so sure they can handle it though.  This is only the second time I have worked out of my house and been away from them for the bulk of the day.  The difference is that last time I did it, they were younger and their dad was home with them during the day, so they felt okay.  And then I was back home by 2 p.m. to sepend the rest of the day with them.

This time they may have to stay with a sitter a few days a week after school until their dad can get them after school at 9 :30 p.m.  And I don't get to see them in the evenings.  None of us are thrilled about the situation and I am struggling with the fact that I only see the boys for an hour in the mornings while we are getting ready for school.  I have to be at work before they get out of school and I don't get home until long after they are in bed.  

This is hard for me. I hate not meeting them after school and talking to them about their day.  I hate not knowing how things are going with their homework.  I hate not being there at dinner to make sure they are fed well and not being able to get them to Scouts.  I hate that I may have to pay somebody else to do the job I should be doing.  Did I mention I am really struggling with this work situation?  But the job came and we need the money to pay the mortgage, so what d'ya do?  You go where the money is, right? 

I am sincerely amazed by lovig, caring, single parents who have to make these kinds of tough decisions every day about how to best care for their kids and still find a way to make ends meet financially!  I can't imagine the emotional struggles they have to face.  Lord love'em for their strength!

So, as I get ready for night two on the job, I am really trying hard to be strong.  I really missed their hugs last night (I know, it's only been one night...I told you!  I'm having a hard time with this!)  It's such a great way to end our day.   All the drama and hurt feelings and stresses of the day just melt away while I embrace my boys and they squeeze me tightly in return.  Even when we are grumpy and tired and mad.  Their hearts soften and they remember that their mom really does love them, and I breathe in their clean smelling, freshly washed hair and soft skin as we hug and rock and talk and pray during the last few minutes of the day. 

It's our time.  And , despite the fact that just a few hours before I was threatening to send them to live with the mean lady down the street, I count on that time at night to help me stay in touch with my boys.  It's my last chance at the end of each day to remember and give thanks for the two sweet spirits that bring so much joy to my life.

So yeah...We're all kind of struggling with this.       

Let's Pick Some Winners!

No, I am not inviting you to a group nose pick...I'm talkin' giveaways!  Let's see who won the Dentyne and the Surf Sweets!!  Right now!  Let's do this thang!! 

First, the Dentyne Anthony Yankovic gum bottles - Drum roll please...

Whoo-hoo!  Congrats to 3 Boys and an Old Lady! 

She's new to my blog and I'm glad to get to know another Boymom!

Now the candy!  And the winner is....


Who asked for Jelly Beans, but is going to get Gummy Swirls, 'cause that's what I have.  Sorry, Mel, but yay for winning!!

Thanks to all my readers who participated.  I appreciate all of you!  Don't forget to enter the Horizon Chocolate Milk giveaway for coupons for free milk!  It ends next weekend!  

Friday, February 12, 2010

Horizon Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk Giveaway and Review

Here's something you may not know about me:

I loves me an ice cold glass of milk.  But it can't be just any milk.  I am kind of a milk snob.  I can't stand warm milk or room temperature milk and I will only buy certain brands.  And truthfully?  I only drink whole milk.  I know, I KNOW!  I see you all rolling your eyes.  Whole milk is so fattening and 2% or lowfat is just as good and much better for me, right?  I watch TV and I hear all those nutrition people, so I KNOW!  But I don't agree that 2 % or lowfat or skim milk tastes just as good as whole milk.  It doesn't.  It tastes like someone just drank a glass of milk, then instead of getting a clean cup? They filled the milk cup with water and the result is milky water. Which is what lowfat milk tastes like to me. Milky water. I know, I "learn to like it."  Well, the thing is, I don't want to learn to like my food just because it's supposed to be good for me, I would like to just like it because it naturally tastes good. 

So when I was asked to try Horizon Organic Low Fat Milk with DHA-Omega 3, my initial response was enthusiastic because my entire family loves chocolate milk.  I love the fact that Horizon products are organic, and I was overjoyed to find that this Horizon product contains DHA-Omega 3, an important nutrient that helps support heart, brain and eye health. Good for all of us, right?  But I kind of don't do lowfat milk.  Until now.  'Cause I gotta tell ya, this was some kick-butt good chocolate milk! My whole family got in on the gig and 2 half gallons I bought on Monday?  Were gone by Wednesday.  Every time I turned around they had a new cupful!

I feel like I really accomplished something this week by adding Horizon Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk to our diet, even though the kids totally overdid it and drank it in 2 days.  For one thing, I overcame my issues with lowfat milk.  Yes, I realize the addition of chocolate made the lowfat milk more palatable, but the point is, I drank it.  And I liked it and now I will drink it again and probably even try plain lowfat milk again.  Soon.  Maybe.  Okay, probably, but let me ease into it, will ya?

The other thing I feel like I accomplished was giving my family a product that is good and healthy.  We are trying so hard to overcome our poor eating habits and get healthy this year and Horizon Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk with DHA-Omega 3 helped us do that this week.  While I drank it, I sat down and perused Horizon's website.  Here is what I learned:
  • DHA provides a nutritional boost for children's growing minds and bodies. Children's brains grow incredibly fast. In fact, the brain nearly quadruples in the first five years of life.
  • DHA is a key structural component of the brain, yet many young children don't get their recommended daily amount of DHA as it is found in a limited number of food sources.
  • Horizon Organic Milk Plus DHA Omega-3 is fortified with a natural, 100 percent vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA - a safe, wholesome, delicious way to bring more of this important nutrient into your family's diet.
I also learned alot of facts about milk in general.  Did you know that a 2006 study showed that low fat milk was as effective at post-exercise rehydration as sports drinks?  Who would have thought!? Apparently, because of the natural carb:pro ratio in flavored milks, low fat chocolate milk is an effective post-exercise recovery beverage.  So now you can feel the burn, then squelch it with some lowfat choco milk, which is good news for me, cause I really don't like sports drinks.  At all.  Not even a little bit.   Consuming carbohydrate and protein post workout has been shown to:
  • Enhance muscle glycogen formation
  • Promote a hormonal environment that encourages muscle growth
  • Promote muscle protein production
  • May lessen immune-suppressive effects due of intense exercise
All of this is great news for me as I struggle to gain control of my body this year.  And believe me when I say, it's a HUGE struggle! 

I want to thank Horizon for letting me have this opportunity to try their Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk with DHA-Omega 3.  I am more knowledgeable now about the benefits of Omega 3 and I am feeling like I have options when it comes to the healthy products I can incorporate into our menus.  Knowing that I do not have to feel deprived and eat things I don't find tasty is half the battle, right?  And knowing that my kids are getting soemthing healthy in their bodies makes me feel less guilty, which means I personally won't use food to ease my guilt as often.  Horizon Organic® products are produced without antibiotics, pesticides or cloning, from cows not given added growth hormones. So in addition to the good stuff in the milk, I can feel good about the stuff NOT going into the milk. Win-Win, yes!?

There's lots of interesting facts on the Horizon website. You should check it out. I love the little kids laughing and running around on the home page, they make me giggle!

While you are there, find and interesting fact about one of their products then come back and leave a comment for your chance to WIN FREE Horizon Organic Chocolate Milk! 2 winners (yep!  Two of you!)  will recieve 4 coupons each (2 coupons for a free half gallon of the chocolate milk and 2 coupons for $1 off a half gallon of the chocolate milk). That's a lot of milk, people!
Want extra entries?
  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Blog about it on your blog
  • Post it on Facebook
  • Become a Facebook Fan of Horizon Organic Products
  • Add the giveaway to a Mr. Linky somewhere and leave me the link in your comments. 
Contest is open to US residents only and will end on February 27th at 12 midnight PST. I will choose the winner using and notify the winners by email.
**I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.  I did receive 2 coupons for free Horizon Organic Chocolate milk in order to facilitate this review.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soft Scrub Winner

Looks like Johnson Team Mom is a winner today!  Actually, she's a winner every day, but today she is actually winning something!  Congrats JTM!! 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Lesson about Erosion...

I am all for toys that give my kids opportunities to learn about nature and science and stuff.  I really try hard to steer them towards really cool gadgets that will enable them to engage their brains while they play and learn when their first impulse is to spend that Christmas Walmart gift card on more action figures.  So I was really excited for Little Man when he got the rock tumbler he asked for at Christmas!

Why was I excited?  Because he collects sooooooooo many rocks and sticks and bottle caps and other assorted items that he finds on a daily basis, I thought it would be cool to for him to have something to DO with those rocks - other than put them in his pocket.  Waaaay down in his pocket.  So far down in those tiny little pockets that my fat fingers don't always reach the bottom to find them.  Which means they end up in my washer. You know...the GIANT rock tumbler.  So I thought a real rock tumbler would be an easy and fun way to spend time together and to learn about nature.  What can I say?  I am naive.  Why would I say that?

Hmmm...well...Have you ever had a rock tumbler? If you have, you are shaking your head knowingly right now and  probably laughing hysterically at my naivete.  If you have not had the opportunity to experience a rock tumbler with your child?  You should go buy one right now.  (Insert Evil laugh)  Seriously!  Go buy one.  They are sooooooo much fun (Second evil laugh)!  Go.  Get in the car and drive to Toys R Us and pick one up.  Get your kids all excited about this awesome piece of kid machinery that you are bringing home.  As soon as you get it open, run plug it in.  Then call me in like 5 weeks and tell me how your rocks look.  Wait, what!?!?!  

Yeah.  You heard me.  5 weeks.  Of rock polishing hell.  5 weeks of Little Man asking me Every. Single. Day. when the rocks would be ready.  35 days of listening to the laborious grumbling and groaning of the polisher motor as it worked to erode the corners and edges off of those "semi-precious" hunks of hardened earth.  Night and day, day and night!  We even had the foresight to put it outside on our back patio, but the droning noise was inescapable.  We endured 5 loooooong, irritating, noisy, loud weeks with this "amazing gift for kids...that enables you to create stunning jewelry with gem-like polished stones" only to end up with some craptastic, barely shiny pieces of rock that only an 8 year-old could appreciate.  The same 8 year-old who gave up on the process at day 2, then again at day 4, then again at day 7, again at day get the idea.  Trying to keep him engaged in the process was like trying to teach a cat to dance.  He'd let me lead him to the polisher, we'd check the container, he'd notice that the rocks were pretty much the same as the day before, shoot me that "this is really annoying and lame, Mom" look and scamper away to play with his friends, leaving me to stare at the rocks myself and wonder just how freaking long it takes to make a damn rock shiny and smooth!  Especially when the rocks that came with the kit had obviously already been through half the process before they ever got to us!  Whoo!  Can't remember when we've had more fun!   

Towards the end, I couldn't figure out who had been eroded more - me or the rocks?  But I perservered  for Little Man's sake.  Because I wanted him to learn that we have to see a project all the way through.  Even if it takes a month.   Never mind that the noise the thing made night and day.  Never mind the fact that the finished product would be shoved into his deepest, smallest pocket so he could show his friends his cool rocks and then accidently leave them somewhere.  Never mind the fact that none of the rocks actually fit the jewelry bases that were sent along with the kit, nor did we have the tools we needed to drill tiny holes into the rocks to insert the keychain rings.   After 5 weeks of waiting, none of that mattered.  What mattered was that we were doing something together (kind of - like every couple of days for 5 minutes) and that he was learning about the effects of nature (kind of - like every couple of days for 5 minutes) and that for awhile his little mind was focused on something other than TV or action figures (kind of, like ...well, you get it).  So in the end, despite all of the waiting and the "just okay" outcome, I guess the experience was worth it.  We had a few bonding moments and enduring all of the rock polisher drama to get that time with Little Man was worth it.

And now, I get the added bonus of remembering those precious moments everytime I open the game closet and see that freaking rock polisher sitting there.  It stares back at me, begging me to let the other set of rocks (yeah, it came with 2 sets!  'Cause 1 go-round with this pain in the crack isn't torture enough!) have a turn at making their debut as "semi-precious" stones.  Yeah,  I think it will be a cold day in Hades before you find your way to a crappy wire earring or cheap brooch clip.  Blame your slow and tedious bossman, Mr. Tumbler there.  'Til he's figured out how to speed up the process and produce a better looking product, I've had all of the science and nature bonding moments I can take.  I'm just sayin.'

(I'll post pics sometime this weekend!)