Monday, March 23, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Well, it's party time again. 5 Minutes for Mom is holding their annual Ultimate Blog Party, and you can enter to win some amazing prizes! How to Party with the Ultimate Blog Party:

(Simplified version. Details here.)
*Read and comment on THIS post to be entered in the draw for PRIZES.
*If you have a blog, write a party post on your site, include a UBP 09 BUTTON, and tell us which prizes you want if you win.
*Add your blog url AND/OR your facebook link AND/OR your twitter link to the appropriate Mr. Linky below.
*Visit tons of blogs, facebook pages and follow new twitter friends from the Mr. Linkies. (To be eligible for prizes, we ask that you visit and comment on at least 20 blogs.)

Here's what I would pick from the list of prizes, if I won:

INTL 19 -- $130 Sponsor spot on Tip Junkie

INTL 14 -- 4 week ad spot on Boutique Flair

#19 -- $50 Target Gift Card

So what are you waiting for? Oh! You mean you want ME to give something away? Ok, I can do that. I will give you a choice of what you would like to win:

1. A $10 gift card.

2. A $10 Target gift card.

3. This custom made "Biker Chick" jacket that is size 6-9M (infant size).

4. This custom made peasant dress that is size 4T (worn only for modeling purposes).

5. This custom made Pink Sequin Cross t-shirt that is size 4T.

The winner chooses which one of the 5 items they would like.

To enter, simply leave a comment with your name and email

and which prize you would like to win.

Deadline to enter is Sunday March 29 at 11:59pm.

The drawing will be held on March 30, 2009.

Giveaway available to US residents only.

Please make sure you leave a valid email address, or that there is one attached to your Blogger account when you enter. If we can not get ahold of you easily, we will pick someone else.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Slow and Painful Death

Our house phone is dying. It's not a quick thing. It's been a slow and painful death. We have gotten new headsets twice now. Maybe it's just the headset. Maybe it's the phone. Who knows? But when I saw my email from the Mom Buzz, I just had to enter to win the phone that she and VTech are giving away! It's a VTech CS6129-31 phone, that has 3 handsets. Now, we don't really NEED three handsets, but I figure, when one goes out we will have another one to quickly replace it with!

Need a new phone? Be sure to head over to the Mom Buzz to enter to win.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Very Special Day

Today is a very special day for the Bear Family. Today is the day that Baby Bear gets to change his last name, and his two middle names! Today is the adoption finalization. We are SO excited, and can't believe that this day has finally arrived. I'm pretty sure Baby Bear and Brother Bear are excited too. Baby Bear woke me up at 5:30 this morning, which is SO unlike him! He normally sleeps in until about 7:30. So I decided to get up with him, figuring that he could get up early and then nap before our court appointment. Fingers crossed...

Brother Bear is also up early. He leaves for school at 7:50, but he was up at just after 6am. He's such a good kid! He gets up and showers on his own. (He's a special needs teen, so sometimes his daily responsibilities get forgotten, or we have to remind him about things on a regular basis.) He fixes his lunch for school. Papa Bear and I must've done something right! This kid is good!

So, at 1:15, we will stand with family and close friends, before a judge who will be granting permission for Baby Bear to legally be our little boy. We have prayed for this for about 3-1/2 years now, and it's here! This whole journey sure didn't come about the way we expected, but God knew what was best, and he brought a little BOY (we had our hearts set on a girl) to our home, and brought with him LOADS of smiles and giggles and wiggles and dancing and just full on laughter at his antics. Thank you Lord, for not always giving us exactly what we want, but instead, what we need.

And yes, we will be taking pictures! I hope to post some next week. No, can't do it tomorrow. Papa Bear is taking me down to Monterey for two whole days! We have gone on a total of 4 dates since Baby Bear made his debut in our home. We have not done any overnights. This time, we have a wonderful Grandma-friend who will be watching the Bear brothers, and Papa Bear and I get to stay at a hotel on the beach, and we get to RELAX! I'm looking forward to not having to "take care" of anyone, and I'm looking forward to just getting to hold hands with Papa Bear, and walk on the beach together, and explore Moss Landing together. YAY!

By the way, it's our engagement anniversary tomorrow! And it's Papa Bear's 40th birthday on Monday, so it's kind of a full circle celebration.

Well, have a GREAT weekend.

God bless,
Mama Bear

Digital Moms on

Monday, March 9, 2009

Why My Heart Breaks at Times

Do you have a child or other family member with disabilities, or do you know know someone with disabilities? If so, you may see a glimpse into their lives, and how they feel about themselves, or how they feel about how they are treated by others.

I have two boys with disabilities. Our two year old, whom we are adopting, has tactile defensiveness, which means he has major issues with textures. He hasn't learned how to chew properly, so weird textures in his mouth tend to make him gag. So, even though he is 28 months old, he is still eating baby food, and drinking from a bottle. When we first got him last May, he wouldn't touch a sippy cup, let alone drink from one. He's come a long way since then, but it's sometimes difficult having to explain why my almost 2-1/2 year old still eats baby food, and not much table food. Or why NOT to give him goldfish crackers in kid's church. (Because he doesn't chew well, but he likes the salty taste, he will stuff them in his mouth and basically let them stay there, and then ends up gagging or choking on them.)

Our 15 year old was born with only 1/2 of his heart and as a result, has had 5 strokes...two major and three minor (if you can call a stroke "minor"). The two major strokes took his speech and hearing, (although his hearing came back, he still has many problems with processing sounds--phonics for instance, and has problems with his speech), they took a lot of cognitive skills, and they paralyzed his entire right side. He is able to use the right side, but not much. He walks with a very pronounced limp, and tends to drag his toe on the right foot. His right hand is practically useless right now. For one reason, he won't do the strengthening exercises, but for the other reason, he simply can't move the fingers and hand like most people can. He wears a brace on both the leg/foot, and on the hand.

Other than the obvious physical issues, Brother Bear looks like a normal 15 year old kid. But he is in a special day class in high school, and hasn't met a whole lot of people outside of that class, other than the guys in the Bible club, which Brother Bear voluntarily attends. There are many times when he comes home from school with tears because he has eaten lunch by himself, or because of the way someone has treated him, or because he so BADLY wants to play "real" basketball or football.

My heart breaks for him! I had a hard enough time in high school, because of being "different", but without disabilities. I never "fit in" quite right. I didn't wear the right clothes, or it was because I am SERIOUSLY fair-skinned, or I was slightly (and really only SLIGHTLY) overweight as a teen. Whatever the reason, I got teased. You know what I'm talking's the norm. The part where someone has to make someone else feel inferior because they are lacking self-confidence themselves.

But Brother Bear wears pretty much the same kind of clothes as many 15 year old boys, and he tans really well, and he is tall and lean, with even the occasional muscles showing through. He's a good-looking kid.

For some reason though, MANY people have a really difficult time knowing how to relate to people with disabilities. I know...I have been one of those people in the past. What do you say? What do you NOT say? How do you act? Do you stare? Do you look away? Do you ignore? I think it may be because no one has educated us on what to do in those situations. People with disabilities are people. Just like you and me. We ALL have things that we consider our "issues", right? Things that we think people wouldn't like us for. Things that we consider "ugly" or "stupid" or whatever. If everyone could understand that this is something that humans constantly deal with, then maybe we would be more comfortable around those who have the more obvious physical or mental disabilities.

So, what do we do? I think there are a few things. Especially if you are a Christian. Educate your children. Teach them to be kind and compassionate to everyone. Teach them to not be afraid to go up and talk to someone with a disability...especially if it's another kid at their school. PLEASE teach them that these kids are just like them, but that God has just given them something different to deal with, than what your child must deal with.

CVS Pharmacy has a website, CVS Caremark - All Kids Can, that deals with exactly this with disabilities. They are committed to making life easier for children with disabilities. They are striving to do what they can to help out, and to educate:

"We recognize the importance of providing children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in everyday activities. CVS All Kids Can will support activities that promote the value and importance of inclusion. Through greater awareness of the needs of children with disabilities and support for programs that bring children of all abilities together, CVS All Kids Can will touch the lives of many children."

I hope that you will go check out the website, and I hope that you will put some thought and action into doing what you can to reach out to those with disabilities, and to teaching your children or grandchildren (if you have them) how to love, and show kindness and compassion to other children (and adults) with disabilities. I know that this will go a long way to ease the heartache that these people and their families deal with on a daily basis. I know that it will help to ease my heartache, and that of my boys.

God bless,
Mama Bear

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Family Favorite Recipe -- Green Jello Salad

Green Jello Salad
1 pkg. lime Jell-o
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup Cool Whip
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
Mix the first three ingredients with 1 cup hot water until marshmallows dissolve; let jell.
Then whip with mixer and add pinepple, Cool Whip and cream cheese. Whip until well mixed. Fold in toasted pecans.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Make Something Monday -- Italian Rice Supper "Mold"

This dish isn't really a "molded" dish, but that's what it's called. I imagine that back somewhere in in the 60's or 70's when "molded" foods were in, this dish was probably created. It is one of the dishes my mom made for us when we were growing up, and, while I hated peas back then, I love this yummy dish now!
1 chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp. butter
3 c. water
1-1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 c. rice
1 small onion, diced
1 pound Italian sausage
1 c. milk
1/2 pound mushrooms
10 ounces frozen peas
14 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
3 zucchini, sliced


Set oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the rice with the first 6 ingredients.

Cut up the sausage into bite sized pieces. Add to a skillet with 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the cover, then brown the sausage. Drain on paper towels.

Slice the mushrooms and zucchini. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and chopped onion to the skillet with the sausage drippings; cook until tender.

Stir vegetable mix, peas, sausage, cheese and milk into the rice in a large bowl. Place into a greased 9x13 pan, cover with foil, and cook for 30 minutes. Let stand for about 5-8 minutes before serving.

Serves approximately 4-6 people.

Win a Set of Spreadheads

You can enter to win a set of absolutely gross and disgusting Spread Heads over at the Mom Buzz. What a perfect gift for the little boy (or big boy) in YOUR life! Or you can buy them for yourself over at Spread Heads!