Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions--Yes or No?

Well, the countdown is beginning...there's bubbly being bought by the caseload...Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper are getting their makeup on for the big ball drop. Our house is quiet. Baby Bear is down for a late 2nd nap, so that he can stay up a little longer tonight. Papa Bear just got home, and brought ICE CREAM! YUM! It's from Whole Foods, so it's healthy, right?

We're fixing Turkey Pita Tacos for dinner, along with Spanish Rice. Want the recipes? I'll post them a little further down the road.

On to the subject at hand. Do you make New Year's Resolutions? Why or why not? Do you keep them? Why or why not?

If I were to make New Year's Resolutions, here is what I would do. And these aren't listed in order of importance.

1. Get healthy! I guess that's pretty much on everyone's list, right? I mean, lose weight (see my "Looking for a few good women" post further down), start eating better, and really starting to enjoy or at least try to enjoy exercising.

2. Spend more time in the Word. I always say that I'm going to, but it just seems to fall by the wayside with all of my "busyness"! Lord, please forgive me. I want to do better.

3. Have a REAL family night each week...not just the family sitting in front of the TV to watch a movie. Family night can be a little more challenging with a toddler and a teen.

4. Really, seriously de-clutter my home! I want a beautiful, cozy, and welcoming cottage-style home. (I could use some decorating tips!) We live in a tiny apartment, with all four of us, so sometimes it's tough. But I need to get rid of a LOT of STUFF! Really! There are some things in my home that haven't seen daylight since we moved in. Are those things really that important to me????

5. Have a date with Papa Bear every other week. We have only had 2 dates in the last 7 months, so this is one we seriously need to work on! I need Papa Bear time!

I think that's enough, don't you? So, tell me what your thoughts are on all of this.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!!!
Mama Bear

Why I Can't Let Go

You know there's a point in each of your children's lives where you must let go. For some kids, it comes pretty early, because they are those super independent kids that know what they want out of life at age two and don't stand in their way, because no one's going to stop them! For others, they are still hanging on to mama's apron strings at age 25, when you're giving them that mama bird push out of the know the one, where they either fall or find their wings!

Well, there are also different stages in your kids' lives where you need to learn to let go and let them do it "by myself", even if there is the dread of big messes to clean up. I'm that mama. I have a hard time with letting them do it themselves, because I dread cleaning up the mess. Have you ever seen a toddler trying to learn to feed themselves? How about a toddler with tactile defensiveness, who doesn't eat much "big people" food, because he doesn't quite know how to chew yet? (Yeah, we're working on that. It's not a mommy-coddled's just something he's having to deal with.)

I decided yesterday to let Baby Bear eat his morning porridge (really! It was! He loves oatmeal!) by himself. I'm only brave enough to do this with foods that are fairly thick! He has this fun little spoon that holds the food in because of the little holes in the bowl of the spoon. It also has this wonky handle that is a little textured, and a little curvy. So here he is, eating like a big boy (This was early; you should've seen the bib by the time he was through!):

And here he is at lunch time with yogurt all over his hands and arms, after soaking his chow mein noodles and animal crackers thoroughly in the yogurt. I think he realized that by putting the crunchy foods in the wet food, they will soften enough for him to eat without having to chew them! He's a clever little bear, that's for sure! Ahhhh, see how happy he is? He's messy! This is actually pretty good for a little guy who screamed and cried when he got anything on his hands, at the time that we first got him.

Next step: Potty training!

What have you been hesitant to let go of? I'd love to hear from ya!

Mama Bear

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Movie Review -- Made of Honor

While I am not the type of girl who just drools over gorgeous actor-men, I do think that Patrick Dempsey is rather handsome. He has a certain charm to him. But he was definitely lacking that charm in this movie...Made of Honor.

Warning: If you haven't seen the movie, don't keep reading. There are a few "spoilers".

We watched this "chick flick" last night as a family. Yes, Papa Bear and Brother Bear watched too. I watch a lot of "war" movies with them, so I figure they must think it's only fair. Truth be told, I have to admit that I enjoy watching MOST of the movies that they like to watch.

The movie is rated PG-13, but look what I found on the IMDB site: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. (edited; originally Rated R for some sex-related material.) Well, DUH! If it had stayed at "R", we most likely wouldn't have watched it, but I don't think it deserved the PG-13 rating. There were a few blatant "lingerie" scenes, and several "in bed" scenes, because Tom Bailey (Patrick's character) was, how do I say this delicately?, a "Casanova".

Papa Bear and Brother Bear have this rule; they turn their heads whenever they see women on TV who are scantily clad, and this even means women who are fully dressed, with the exception of a fully bared cleavage. So, needless to say, they did a lot of "head-turning" and hiding of the eyes. (I'm so proud of them! Papa Bear turns to look at me when scenes like that come on. And I'm so thrilled that Brother Bear is learning to keep his eyes and mind as pure as he is able.)

We definitely weren't thrilled with all the hopping in and out of beds that Dempsey's character did. If I were Hannah (Michelle Monaghan--who was also in Eagle Eye, which we previously reviewed!), I don't think I would've stuck around! Oh, and we were again grateful for TVG! There was quite a bit of language in the movie, although I don't think the "F" word was in there. However, the "P" word was, and one time the TVG missed it. YUCK!

Another thing that made this movie lousy was Tom Bailey's dad's weddings. Yep, weddings. There was only one shown, but it was his SIXTH! And the pre-nup discussion? AWFUL! Not to mention his BRIDE! And fidelity? Not a high standard in this movie at all. There was not really a man in the movie who was "faithful". Not many women were either! Tom's guy friends were all into "well at least I know how it feels to have the same woman by my side--in my bed, for life" (and this guy also was told on about how he actively fantasizes over the JC Penneys lingerie catalog, so his fidelity wasn't even there, no matter how long he's been with the same woman!), and "yes, but you don't know what it's like to have a different woman in your bed each night", like that's a GOOD thing! This movie sets the bar so low for men, when it comes to being 100% faithful to their wife or girlfriend.

It seemed that Hannah's fiance, Colin, was right out of a fairy tale. He had it all...title, Scottish accent, castles for seasonal homes, looks, brawn, and he was a hunter (which Hannah didn't care for!). He seemed to have a lot going for him. (There was even one part where one of the bridesmaids mentioned that she was going to meet, fall in love with, and marry a man from Scotland. No offense to the Scots, but just because a guy has an accent and a castle, doesn't mean that he's a real man either...doesn't mean he's the "perfect guy"!) I'm just glad that he didn't choose one of the bridesmaids in the end. And he gave Tom Bailey what he had coming. The thing that I didn't care for in his character is that he was not willing to share his cake! I mean, come on! It was chocolate cake! And Hannah was so used to sharing with Tom. It seemed like the makings of a disasterous and non-loving, non-sacrificial marriage to me.

This movie had a great story line, but so many elements that made it bad! It could've been a really good movie, if it weren't for all the sexual innuendos and obviousness (is that even a word?)! It is not a movie that will ever make it to our list of all time favorites.

Let me know what you thought of it!

Mama Bear

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mom Made That!

There's a new site out there. Have you seen it? It's called "Mom Made That!", and it showcases work done by moms. They are doing a giveaway from Suzi Homemaker. You can win an overnight duffel that is just too cute! Click HERE to see how YOU can enter to win.

I'm Looking For a Few Good Women...

...who want and need to lose weight! I am starting again on this weight loss journey. My motivation? I now have a 2 year old and I want to be able to have enough energy to be the mom of a teenager and a toddler. I don't have enough energy for the teen, let alone the toddler. I want to be that "run-around" mom, but not in the bad sense. Ya know? I want to feel like leaving the house during the day. Right now, I love just staying in and sitting at the computer doing my work. I get cozy and comfy and time just seems to speed by. Where does the day go?

So here's the thing. I have found out about this cool website that will "photoshop" you to show you what you look like after losing a certain amount of weight. I was on, and saw 5MinutesForMom tweet about needing women who want to lose weight. I jumped on that right away! We'll see if I can get in on their little deal.

Anyways, I joined, and asked them to show what I would look like after losing 40 pounds, which is roughly 15% of my weight. I submitted a photo that Papa Bear took of me yesterday, and already today, I got back my "After" picture! Now, granted, I think the "After" photo looks more like how I would look if I lost about 60 or 70 pounds, but still. It's supposed to be a motivational tool. I really, REALLY don't like the way I currently look, and how much I weigh. But I have to be honest if I want accountability, right? I currently weigh 257. I am 5'6", and my goal is to lose 40 pounds.



I'm asking for 10 ladies who want to join me in this adventure. I'm not putting a time frame on the weight loss...simply a percentage....FIFTEEN PERCENT! If you want to lose 15% of your weight, and want to join the "15% Club", please comment and leave your email address. We're going to make this good, with incentives and all. If there are more than 10 women who want to join me, that's wonderful! The more, the merrier!
Oh! And please leave your email address in your comment, especially if you don't have it attached to your blog account. I need to be able to get ahold of you!

Here's a button that you can put on your blog. Please link it to this post.

If you are interested in joining me (it's FREE) AND you want to donate an "incentive", please let me know in your comment. I'm still thinking of what my "incentive" donation will be...

On your mark, Get set, GO!!!!

Mama Bear

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Butterscotch Haystacks

Movie Review --- Eagle Eye

Have you seen Eagle Eye? I know, it came out in the theater quite some time ago, but we typically wait for movies to come out on DVD.

So, last night, Papa Bear rented Eagle Eye from RedBox. I really like Shia LeBoeuf, and this looked pretty intense, so I thought it would be good. We really like to watch this kind of movie, so I was hoping that it would come through for us.

And it delivered! This was pretty much an edge of your seat kind of movie. There was plenty of fact, there pretty much wasn't a single dull moment for me. The camera just seemed to keep going and going...kind of like the Energizer Bunny. Most of the acting in this movie was good. I don't have complaints there.

I don't want to give anything away, but I will mention it was a bit "Big Brother"-ish. No, not the reality TV show, but the George Orwell "Big Brother". The thought that all of our conversations can be heard because of our electronics is a little scary. Cell phones, MP3's, GPS's...pretty much anything with a computer chip can be an antenna for all of our conversations. YIKES!

I do think they could've wrapped up the end of the movie a little better. It seemed like they ran out of time and kind of gave a watery ending. They only weakly established what the woman on the other end of the phone represented, and it never got any stronger from my perspective. I think there could've been a little more of a foundation given there.

A little terrorism goes a long way in this movie. These days, since 9/11, you can never be too sure who is the "terrorist". Especially with the help of Hollywood. Is it the music teacher? The unassuming paralegal? The copy manager? The soldier? The Secretary of Defense? Hmmm...

The only thing I could've really done without on this movie, was all the bad language. Fortunately we have a DVD player that has TVG (TV Guardian), and with Closed Caption movies, it mutes out the bad words and puts up a substitute phrase in closed captioning. This movie was also fairly violent and has some gross images. It is rated PG-13, and we would've allowed Brother Bear to see it if he had been feeling better.

What did YOU think of it?

Have a wonderful week!

Mama Bear

I'm Under Attack!

Yep, it's true. I've been attacked by this nasty intestinal virus now. I might just make my short-term weight loss goal! Not the way I would've preferred to have lost the weight though! Gotta take my "magic potion".

Saturday, December 27, 2008

UGH! The Bug!

Well, I knew it had to happen sooner or later. Papa Bear's side of the family is taking turns getting the stomach flu, and we were with them on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It started with my little 16 month old niece, and it made the rounds.

Last night, we had some good friends over for dinner, and right in the middle of eating, Brother Bear (the fifteen year old) laid his head on his arms on the table. He's a little bit of an actor anyways, but we asked him "What's wrong?". He said that his stomach hurt, so we sent him immediately to his room to lie down.

We sat back down and were just chatting, when out of nowhere, my phone rings, with the ring tone that is only my son's when he calls me from his cell phone. I answer, "What's wrong?". He says "I need you." I went into his room and got assaulted, both visually and scentually. Papa Bear had put a wastebasket somewhat close to Brother Bear's bed, but Brother Bear doesn't get up out of bed quickly, because of his disabilities and because he's in a bunk bed...on the bottom.

You guessed it...he totally missed the bucket. Cleaning up pizza and soda was not my favorite part of the evening! And it didn't stop there. But he did manage to get it in the bucket from then on. We made him drink the magic potion: Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Tea. Any time any of us feel anything gastrological coming on, we don't run for the Pepto. We run for the ACV. We pretty much swear by it, and it really does work.

Put 2 tablespoons of ACV and 2 tablespoons of honey into a mug. Fill the rest of the way with water, and nuke (microwave) it. Stir well and drink like a tea. I promise you, it will do the trick. I had Brother Bear drink a cup under duress. Just kidding...I told him that I was going to count to 15 and not leave his room until he had downed at least 1/2 the cup. Then I told him that if he missed the bucket again, he was going to clean it up. I'm such a loving and nurturing mom, huh?! If there's one thing that makes me gag...

The bucket and potty were his friends pretty much all night. I made him another cup of the magic potion before I went to bed around Midnight. I got him comfortable, because he had squeezed his big teenage body into the bathroom with pillows and blankets and wastebasket and all. I checked on him around 5:30 to see how he was feeling. He told me that he drank the other cup of potion, and hadn't thrown up since about 3am. YAY!

I went back to bed, to awaken to the sounds of Baby Bear coughing...a LOT! I prayed and prayed that he wouldn't get sick. 2 year olds do not know how to NOT miss the bucket! It would've been ALL over the place! It seemed to be just a little bit of congestion, but just to be safe, Papa Bear gave him some of the magic potion in a medicine dropper when he got up this morning. Papa got up with Baby around 7am, and let me sleep in until about 10:30.

Brother Bear has not had any more projectile episodes since he finished the other cup of potion. Whew! Hopefully we've seen the last of it.

As I type, I have another cup of the magic potion sitting on the desk in front of me, waiting for me to drink it. I will head this bug off at the pass!

Tip: Do not leave your TV tray without wiping up the trace of honey that was on your cup. You WILL have ants in the morning! Bears aren't the only ones who love honey.

Hey, have a healthy and safe weekend!

Mama Bear

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And So We Begin...

Today is Christmas Eve, 2008, and what am I doing? Well, let's see...the bed isn't made. Papa Bear will grumble. No, not really. Baby Bear is NOT taking his nap, and so will be quite a handful tonight at our family's Christmas Eve Party. I'm thinking he'll be ready to crash about 7:30. Brother Bear is lying on the floor, playing his DS. He's been a great help today.

I still don't have my hair done, my makeup on, or my "party" clothes on. I would rather sit here and start a new blog. Not like I don't have enough other things to do. There is peanut britttle cooling on the counter. Lemon Bars are cooling on the table. Fudge is cut and ready to plate. Cookies are bagged and ready to plate too. Papa Bear just got off work at 4pm, and is doing one last run to the grocery store to get eggs and ice, because I used the rest of the eggs in the Lemon Bars, and the ice is quicklyl dwindling because it's HOT in here, what with all the baking and candy making! A Mama Bear needs her ice water!

I feel a little bad about not quite wanting to "party" tonight, but I'm tired! Since our new little cub joined us in May, I have been pooped! I never realized that having a teenager and a toddler could wear one out so much. I don't know how my mom did it...and there were four other kids in between!!! Mom, I TOTALLY respect and commend you for keeping it all together and making things so special for our family...especially Christmas. Looking back, I can't remember the hectic...only the wonder and magic and excitement. I'm sorry I wasn't a better help to you; although I should've been, being the #2 kid, and the #1 girl. I love ya Mom!

Well, I guess I'd better start getting ready. That means going into the bedroom where Baby Bear probably hasn't fallen asleep yet. URG! That's where the clothes, makeup, hairbrush, and curling iron all reside. Yep, you guessed it...Baby Bear sleeps in the Mama/Papa den. We have a teeny little den (apartment), so we have to make do however we can. But next month, Baby Bear is moving in with Brother Bear, let me tell ya! Papa Bear and Mama Bear need our lives back!

Hey! Have a Merry Christmas if you should happen to read this post. Oh, and Feliz Navidad too! God bless you all this Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Good Night,
Mama Bear