Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Way to Save

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.
Ever since I became a SAHM we've been looking for ways to save money. Even a few dollars here and there add up. A few things we cut were the cable and land line. This made more sense since we are always on the go. We decided to make our cell phones our only phone line. Even with just cell phones, the bill is close to $200/month for two phones.
I came across another option I wanted to share with you. It's call Straight Talk and they offer great nationwide cell phone coverage with excellent reception/connectivity available at your local Walmart. There are no contracts, no surprise bills, no credit checks and no activation, reactivation, or termination fees.
The part that interests me the most is the price. I'm talking, less than half of my current bill. Imagine saving extra money by switching to Straight Talk. What would you buy? I see a spa day with my name on it. If I'm feeling generous I might throw in something for my little girl or even the hubby. Naw! Mommy needs some "me time"!
There are different plans depending on your needs. The “All You Need Plan” meets even the needs of heavy phone users with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data. Or, if you are on the phone as much as I am. There is an unlimited monthly plan that is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web. That's only $499 a year! Calling 411 is free and there is even long distance. International Long Distance Service is a flexible prepaid calling service that enables you to make international calls from your home, cell or office phone at low rates. With all these different types of plans call a friend to share in on the savings!
Straight Talk has all the perks and you'll be able to find everything you need! Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung. Their phone selections include smart phones; touch screen phones, and app capable phones with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth®. Are you planning to give a phone to your kids or teens? They offer reconditioned phones that are available from $10.00 with camera, mp3 player, mobile web access, and blue-tooth capability.
I like everything that I've learned about Straight Talk. It is like a hook, line and sinker and convinced me that this is another way for my family to save money with our tight budget. The best part is that I don't have to give up my smart phone.
Are you still unsure? Check out what this customer had to say about their service.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toddler Antics - Mixing Bowl

Silly girl playing with momma's mixing bowl.








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Cousin Love

At yesterday's play date Izzy kept hugging and pulling her cousin Nate around. They love each!

YouTube Video

Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeling the Burn

Started the weekend with a bang by fitting in one last work out with Stroller Strides.  For some reason I had no energy today.  I was dragging my feet throughout the entire workout.  I couldn't say that I had less sleep than I usually do but I was just TIRED.  I power walked through most of my workout and still managed to built up a good sweat.

Last Wednesday I injured my left knee during Stroller Strides and I've been favoring it ever since.  Today we did stairs and took each one going down but two on the way up.  During the way up it felt "wobbly" as if it wanted to give way.  This is with a knee brace so it looks like I have to be very careful of it from now on. 

It also seems like lunges and squats are a favorite of our instructor.  We do some variation every session and my legs are hurting.  I have a constant soreness to them that just won't go away.  They better make my tushie head north from all the ones I'm doing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Toddler Antics - Copycat

After I got out of the shower Izzy jumped right in, closed the door and imitated washing her hair. Everyday she does something that makes me smile. I love being a mom.

YouTube Video

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Heading Back for More

I'm excited for Saturday.  I'm heading back to my favorite photography instructor for another class.  This will be my fourth class with San Diego Photography Classes.  I've already taken three other classes with them you can see posts on Photography 101 and Photography 102.  These two posts were even featured for their Groupon Deal

This Saturday I'll be attending the Studio and Lighting Photography - Learn How to Manipulate Light at their new studio at Kettner Daylight Studio.  Ever since I decided to learn how to use my camera I was hooked.  My original goal was to take better pictures of my daughter to captured her personality.  I would have been happy to take pictures that weren't overexposed.  I still have a long way to go but I see improvement.  One of my desires is to one day take professional level photos, even if it's on the side.  This class will point me in that very direction.  Even if I only use it to take studio-type pictures of Izzy I can see all the money I'll save on portraits in the future.  So if your interested in photography check out Jason at San Diego Photography Classes.  It's affordable and well worth the time and money.

Our First Baby

Guest written by our friend Sergio Chaney

My husband and I just welcomed our first baby and it’s been a totally magical experience. I love the idea of being a stay at home momand thanks to his recent promotion it’s actually something I can do which makes me happier than ever! I love being able to give Abbey my full attention and it’s nice cooking dinner and doing laundry while my husband’s at work. I can’t believe I’m a mom now and that I’m responsible for this tiny baby’s wellbeing! Anyway, my mom gave us a www.TVBYDIRECT.COM subscription since she knew I’d get bored her at home and she was right – but the movie channels help since I can watch one each day when Abbey goes down for her nap. I’d love to find some kind of work that I can do from home so I could bring in some extra cash and exercise my brain a little more! I love being a mom but I’ve got to keep my mind nimble or I’ll just lose it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Three Hours Isn't Enough

Izzy has never been on a schedule. Sleeping and meals have always been on a "as needed" basis. I watch out for her cues to tell me when she was hungry or tired. Even with a relaxed "schedule" when something is late or missed everything else suffers.

Yesterday she missed her nap and it hit her around 5pm how tired she was. By 6pm she was fed and down for the night. Her normal bedtime is 8:30pm. By midnight she was wide awake and ready to face the day, err night. I wasn't able to get her back to sleep until 3am and she was up again by 6:30am. The result was that she was tired and I was exhausted.

I was too tired to make my workout and today is the first one I missed since starting. I even worked out injured on Friday to keep my schedule going. I'm definitely bummed that I stayed home and "hung" around the house all day. I'll just have to "bring it" on Wednesday with my new knee brace in tow. So a note to self, don't let her miss anymore naps.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Six Years After "I Do"

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our sixth year of marriage together. If I added up all the years we have ever been a couple then we're working on our tenth year together and seventh year married. After all those years together you tend to forget the excitement you feel when you go on a date. That's especially true once you have kids.

When you have a small child your attention is always split on multiple things. The ability to leisurely holds hands or hold a conversation doesn't happen as often as you like. Yesterday we did just that. We ate at a nice restaurant down town without worrying about Izzy throwing food or yelling. We saw a movie in a theater! I haven't been to a movie theater in over two years! We walked around down town and talked. We held hands and just spent time together. It might not sound like much but for me it was everything I could have hoped for. What better way to celebrate your married life than rekindling that feeling you have for your spouse. It doesn't take much, just a date night. Here is a special "thank you" to my parents for watching Izzy on our anniversary.

Happy 6 years to my hubby! I love you!


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No More Injuries Please

I'm so bummed! Today at Stroller Strides I was having a pretty good workout. I want to keep improving my cardio so I opted to jog in between each station to push myself. Toward the end of the workout there was an exercise that changed everything.

While standing next to a picnic table we side stepped on to the seat with the leg closest to the table following with the other leg and then returned to the floor. It is a pretty high step so I was careful and took the exercise slow. Around the 10th rep I hear a LOUD crack from my left knee as I'm stepping on to the bench. Initially I felt a pain in my knee which subsided after 5 minutes or so.

If I was back at work and I had to assess myself. I would say - pain 0/10, no neurovascular deficits noted, denies numbness, tingling or shooting pain, ROM (range of motion) intact, skin pink and warm to the touch, no ecchymosis (bruising) noted. States instability felt in knee joint while ambulating (walking).

Put simply the last paragraph means that everything seems normal on my left knee. Except when I'm walking the joint feels unstable as if it might give out on me. I don't think it's bad enough to go the the doctor at this point. I'll wait and see if there is any improvement or if it gets worse. Hopefully I just need to be off my knee for a few days. I'm really enjoying Stroller Strides and I love how I'm feeling. I hope it doesn't get any worse. Wish me luck that I'll be able to get back to it by Friday or the latest Monday.

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Wordless Wednesday - Family


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wood Foam Blocks

Hello mamas! A month ago my husband and I stopped by the local Lakeshore Learning Store here at Hazard Center Mall and picked up some things for Izzy that I want to tell you about.  The first one is a bag of Wood Foam toys. They come in its own zippered bag of 100.


I like them because there not heavy or injury prone as real wooden blocks. As a toddler her coordination is still work in progress and the wooden blocks have fallen on her toes a few times.


These blocks can be taken anywhere in the bag and they're extremely light. She's also brought them in the tub with her since they float it just adds to bath time fun.

Izzy is over the stage for knocking everything down and now she enjoys building.  She plays semi quietly building little structures before knocking them down and starting all over. I don't have to worry about her, the walls, the furniture or the dog getting hit with these blocks.

The only down side is that the are not as sturdy.
Since they are made from foam, her buildings can topple easily. The shapes can also be manipulated if Izzy decides to take a bite out of one. A few of her blocks have been retired for the very same reason. Overall I think they are great toys. Izzy has avoided a few bumps and bruises from flying blocks. Check out the Lakeshore Learning Store if you're interested.


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Toddler Antics

My daughter absolutely loves trying on shoes. Last night she had her eye on my husband's uniform boots. She probably bit off more then she bargained for. That's me snickering in the background.

YouTube Video

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Cardio Monday at Stroller Strides

logo copy right Stroller Strides
Yesterday was cardio Monday at Stroller Strides.  Last Monday was my first day working out and it tough with a capital "T".  I was felt like I was loosing my breath during the warm up and a few times during the work out I felt the urge to vomit.  Sounds delicious, doesn't it?  It was much tougher than I was expecting and I had thoughts that it was too tough for me to continue.  What changed my mind were the other moms in the group.  Throughout the workout the other moms came up to me to introduce themselves and encourage me to continue.  I felt that this was a great group of women that were friendly and supporting.  What better way to get in shape and possibly make friends for both Izzy and myself?

If I had to compare how I did yesterday with last Monday I am pleased to announce that I saw HUGE improvements.  I set my goal to jog through the entire workout.  I didn't reach that but I jogged through 75% of it.  Improvement!  Last Monday I mostly walked.  I didn't feel like throwing up during the workout.  Improvement! 

My problems with the workout are mainly from my injury.  I recently hurt my right elbow from lifting Izzy and it hasn't quite healed from repeat use.  There was an exercise with the resistance band were we extend our forearm above our head to work the triceps muscle.  It was really difficult to get past a 90 degree angle with my right side.  It felt especially weak and fragile.  I think from now on I'll bring my elbow brace to give that side some added support until it's healed. 

Another problem I had is that I let Izzy out of the stroller too soon.  The previous week some of the toddlers were out playing during abs and I thought that she would get in more play time with the other kids if I let her out.  Well, instead of playing she decided to lay on my back while I was trying to do a push up and plank.  That's one way to get more resistance.  Unfortunately, she would also jump on my back or crawl underneath me.  That's an easy fix though by leaving her in the stroller until we're done.  She's been really good so far hopefully she'll keep that up.

As far as results?  The number on the scale hasn't changed but my clothes do feel more loose.  The shorts I always wear were starting to feel too tight to wear comfortably and I was looking for a larger size.  By the end of last week they started to fit again.  So no new clothes unless it's a smaller size.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stink Eye

I have a confession to make.  I realized that I've been doing the "stink eye" more frequently than I should.  My husband gives my daughter ice cream right before bedtime?  Stink Eye!  Some one pushes their way through the door while I'm in the middle of it holding my daughter in my arms?  Stink Eye!  The neighbor's car alarm goes off for the 10th night in a row waking my daughter up?  Stink Eye!  Some manic thinks driving offensively means to weave in an out of traffic narrowly making the lane changes?  Stink Eye!  A child bullies my child while the parents don't lift a finger to correct their behavior?  Stink Eye!

I'm sure you get the idea.  My stink eye usually comes out when I'm faced with people that are clueless or just pain rude.  When it comes to my daughter the mama bear in me takes offense.  Although, lately I wonder if I've been letting the stink eye out more frequently.  Should I be more direct and tell the other person what I'm thinking rather than throwing them the stink eye? 

Take the example of the child bully.  The last time I was at Java Mama I came across a little girl that picked on my daughter the entire time we were there.  She tried to take toys away or push her way in to play with something.  Keep in mind that she was around 5-6 and my daughter is 22 months.  I gave her mother a chance to say something then I was the referee.  I kept saying the "share", "take turns" and "she's littler than you" comments.  The whole time waiting for her parents to jump in and do something.  Should I have taken a direct approach and asked her parents to discipline her child rather than throwing them the stink eye?  What are your two cents?

Public Spanking

My family spent the afternoon walking around Plaza Bonita Mall. It's one of the three indoor malls here in San Diego. During our time there a woman was frantically searching for her daughter. She was asking groups of people if they saw a little girl with pinks bows wandering by her self. There was no doubt in my mind that she was panicked and frightened that her little girl was lost in a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon.

We were there to witness the moment she found her daughter a few stores down. Relief quickly turned to anger that she wandered away. The mom was holding her by one arm and spanking her hard enough to swing forward a little bit. I would have to say that she spanked that girl at least 5+ times in my vision.

The commotion was enough to make the crowds stop and stare. It also made a guard question whether or not he should intervene. What would you do? Would you intervene? Was the mom justified in her reaction? Should she have handled it in another way?

Personally, I was in a similar situation when I was a child and spanking was a common way to discipline. I was around 5 or 6 years old and it was my first trip from the east coast to CA for a visit. I got lost riding my cousin's big wheel around the neighborhood. When I was found my mom expressed her fear and anger in a similar way that the mom from the mall did.

Would I do the same thing if my own daughter was lost? No, the spanking I received only made me feel like my mom was mad at me. At that age her fear of loosing me translate as concern. It translated a message of anger. I wouldn't want my daughter to feel the way I did. I would want her to feel my relief that she was found and loved. What are your two cents?

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Try it You Might Like it

When in doubt change how it looks. Izzy has always been more on the picky side when it comes to what she'll put in her mouth. What can I say, she's a toddler. I've even tried singing the Yo Gabba Gabba song "Try it You Might Like it", doesn't work.


I tried giving her corn before she didn't look at it twice before saying "nooooooooo". Tonight I made corn-on-the-cob and didn't even try giving it to her. You guessed it she wanted to try it. Her teeth barely made a dent in the corn but I was excited that she was willing to try something new. My husband was able to capture the moment. Here's to trying new things.


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A Look Back - Stroller Strides

So my first week of Stroller Strides is complete and I must say I feel REALLY good. I think I was at a point in my fitness, or lack of it, that I was lazy to do anything. I didn't want to go anywhere nice because that would mean I would have to go clothes shopping. After one of those I am always in a funk. I hate looking at how nothing fits nice on me and how my post baby belly still makes me look pregnant in some styles.

I stay up late last night reading and was seriously thinking of skipping today's workout. The only thing that got me out the door was thinking about how I've felt after I started working out. I feel more energized and accomplished that I finally doing something about my body.

For mommas out there that feel the same I say it's worth trying it out. There are locations all over and my favorite part is that I'm able to bring Izzy. The babies are entertained watching the group work out, they socialize with each other and work on separation anxiety. Our instructor Branda sings songs, pulls out puppets or bubbles to keep them happy while you're sweating off last night's dessert.

The first session is free so call Branda and tell her I sent you over. If you're not local then check out the site to find one. You have nothing to loose except the baby weight.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

KABOOST

We used to use a booster seat for Izzy during meal times. We loved the Fisher-Price Deluxe Booster Seat because it was portable and easy to carry. This past month or so Izzy has been fighting the time she spends in that chair. No, we don't strap her down and walk away. I'm talking about in less then 10 minutes she's pulling on the seat belt repeating "down" over and over again.

I recently found a product that raises the entire chair. I've had the KABOOST for about a month and I can officially say that I love it. It's not a high chair or a booster seat that you strap to the chair. It's a spring loaded booster that goes under the chair legs to raise the entire chair. After reading the reviews online and watching the videos I purchased it through amazon for around $35.




There are two sides that raises the chair different heights. Each side has a non-slip grip that prevents the chair from moving. The grips works so well that you can't slide the chair at all. If you want to reposition the chair you have to lift it completely off the floor to move it. I was a little concerned that the chair wouldn't be stable once it's lifted. When it's on the chair it widens the base so unless Izzy pushes her legs against the table it doesn't move. She can climb up onto the chair pulling on the back for leverage and it doesn't budge. The legs are spring loaded and I was able to fit it on to our chairs, my sister's and mom's chairs and also the ones at a coffee shop. It folds down pretty compact and I was able to fit it into a small tote to carry with me.
The up side is that she's more willing to go to "her" chair and climb into it without much hassle. She's at the point that she wants the same type of chair, fork, spoon, plate and cups that mommy and daddy use. After using the KABOOST there isn't too much of a fight to have her sit in her chair. The down side is that she's not strapped in. So I have to be extra careful when she tries to stand up in the in chair. It's not a chair that you can step away from your child. I think this would work well with older children that are able to sit still in their chair. Or for toddlers like my daughter that fight a standard booster seat, constantly.

Toddler Talk

Have you ever wondered what goes on in your toddler's head? I rolled over one morning to find my toddler exploring the drawer in my night stand. If you listen closely you can hear the conversation she has into the headphones.

YouTube Video

"lo lo hello hello hello what are you doing? ... Way e i ooo... I love you... Hi hi hey ... Bye" What better way to start your day then to see this? Was there a time your little brought a smile to you first thing in the morning? Join in on the conversation.

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Treasures

Do you remember the first time you had an Oreo? I probably wasn't any older then five when I had mine.
My uncle, sister and I sat at the table to try a black cookie and promised me it was good. They showed me how to twist the top off and dunk it in milk. To this day it's one of my favorite guilty pleasures. It turns out that it might be one of my daughter's as well.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Working Out at the Park

Just finished my second day of Stroller Strides. I didn't feel like I was dying like I did on Monday. So I guess that's progress. I still have a long way to go though. That goes double for my abs. These days they look more like a keg than a six pack.



During abs we were doing this exercise where you sat down with your legs wide a part, one hand behind your head and the other pointing out. The idea was to slowly raise up into a sitting position and then twist to the opposite leg of the arm that's out. I got stuck every time I tried to get up. So I ended up with my legs in the air trying rock myself into a sitting position. It looked as ugly as it sounds. It is only the second day so I'll cut myself some slack. Here's to looking and feeling better in the future!



Afterwards we stayed for Watermelon and Watercolors with the Luna Moms Group. I think Izzy really liked it. She ended up playing more with the water then the paint but in the end it was a great activity.


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Wordless Wednsday: Nap Time

Nap time is always better with your bottom in the air.

Little Helper

I have a little helper. My daughter loves to jump in to help me out with what ever it is that I'm doing. Her favorite activity has to be the laundry. All it takes is a basket of clothes for her to dive right in. Not literally. She likes to hand me the next piece of clothing for me to fold if I ready for it or not. Most of the time I end up with all the clean clothes strewn about the floor. By the time the basket is empty her eyes are set on the folded pile.




As most of you moms out there know that our little helpers make chores last twice, no ten times as long. They are sure cute doing it though. Today she helped me sweep the kitchen floor. As soon as I opened up the pantry she took out the broom and the dust pan. Izzy isn't as tall as the broom but that didn't stop her for a minute. What does your little helper like joining in on?

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Want Your Body Back? Me too!

This morning I headed over to Mast Park with Izzy in tow to try out an exercise group especially for mommies that want to get back into shape after having their bundle of joy. Santee Stroller Strides is a fitness group that you are able to bring your babies with you to work out. It's outdoors and it combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training.

I have been biking around Santee towing Isabel in a biker trailer at least three times a week for an hour each ride. I felt like it was a great way to get some exercise. I walked into the group thinking that I would be prepared for the class with all the biking I was doing. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening. During the WARM-UP I realized how out of shape I really was. I was huffing and puffing during the first 10 minutes of the class.

Even thought I was having a tough time I wanted to continue coming to the class. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice all the moms were. In between stations the other moms would come up and welcome me to the group. They told me about the positive changes they saw within themselves after joining the group and hoped that I would keep coming. Izzy enjoyed herself and was very well behaved watching us run around.

I can already feel some soreness in muscle I forgot I had. I'm looking forward to going back to class and hoping see some results in how my clothes fit in the future. Wish me luck!

Smart Cookie

I haven't been posting frequently the past few months. When I hoped on today and I noticed some odd posts. It took me some time to realize that my 22 month old daughter left 3 new posts on my pages. When I still had my android I installed the blogger app on it with the assumption that I would be able to blog when the desire hit. Izzy plays with my phone every chance she gets and she knows how to unlock it, go into a folder and pick out which app she likes. I had installed some toddler games on my phone like "Monkey Preschool Lunchbox" to keep her busy or calm her down when she's about to have a meltdown. Let's just say that she know the ins and outs of using a cell phone. Low and behold she was able to work out how to use the blogger app to post "bxbxbjdbdbjxlkjd" and two other empty postings. I gotta say that I'm feeling pretty proud that my naughty girl is smart enough to figure things out by herself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Biking

I've really been enjoying my bike rides with Izzy. My hubby bought a Burley Encore Bike Trailer to attach to my bike. Izzy loves going for a "ride" and will wait by the trailer patiently while I put on her helmet. I've been taking her around the neighborhood at least three times a week. When I first started I could tell how out of shape I was.


I had to shift down the gears and coast as much as possible and even then I was huffing and puffing. The sad part was that I was just doing laps around the neighborhood. Now I am able to bike to a distant park that I would have driven to before and I can pedal the entire way. I've been pushing myself by adding to the resistance while I pedal too. It works out that we've been waking up earlier so we can fit in a ride to the park after breakfast, play for an hour and head back before the temperatures get too high.

My next goal is to bike to Santee Lakes from our house. There is a playground and a water area that I want to bring her too. The only thing that has kept me from going so far is the distance and the traffic. I've been lucky going to Mast Park since I can can inner roads most of the way there. I can notice a difference since I've been biking with her. I'm more motivated to go outdoors and door activities with her.

This is a great way to start getting active with your little one. After having a baby it's hard to find time sans baby to work out. So why not bring the baby along? During ride I point things out to her and try to make it as interactive as it can be. What have you done to try to get back in shape?
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