Monday, November 22, 2010

Leave of Absence







I've been taking a break from "Stuff Mamas Like" and will continue to do so for a little while. I'll let you know when I start it back. Thanks for following!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun Friday: Snotty Doctor

In honor of the changing of the seasons and the snottiness it brings . . .




Thursday, October 28, 2010

School Pictures



Tomorrow is picture day at my children's school. Which made me think of last year's picture day . . .

Much to my mother's despair, I don't always spend a lot of time on my girls' hair. And my boy's hair--well, we never brush it. We just tousle it with our hands. (Honestly, it looks best that way. He's got great hair!) But for picture day, I do try to make my girls' hair look really nice, which includes making sure it's been washed the previous night.

So this time last year, my then-third grade daughter decided to do something a little "extra" with her hair . . . without my knowing it. Apparently, after she'd already been put to bed, she got up and put her hair into about a dozen different tiny twists.

The next morning, I woke her up and discovered what she'd done. Since we had gotten up late, as usual, there wasn't enough time to rewash, dry, and style her hair. Plus, this was something that she had wanted to do, so we just went with it. As I began taking down and untwisting her hair, I found it to be the frizziest, tangled mess I'd ever seen. The more I brushed it, the worse it got. So I started spraying it down with water and ended up pulling some of it back away from her face, at least taming it a bit.

Callie loved it. So we left it. And the smile on her face in her third grade picture far outshines her hair that day. (Thank goodness.)

Mama Question: What has been your worst school picture experience (either your own or your child's)? Bonus points if you share the picture with us!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun Friday: Pistachio Winner!

 


Congrats to Juliana Kyzar! You've won the Pistachio DVD! Just e-mail your mailing address to me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, and I'll get your prize in the mail to you next week.










Fun Friday: Pistachio Giveaway (What?)

That's right--I have a Pistachio to give away! Of the VeggieTales DVD variety, that is. It's a lesson in listening to your parents. Who wants it? (Who wouldn't?!)

To be entered to win, you'll have to tell on yourself this time. Leave a comment here and tell us about a time when you didn't listen to your parents . . . and should have.

I'll start: My mother told me that I would one day regret not sticking with an instrument. Once upon a time (but not at the same time), I played piano, clarinet, and cello. Today I can play none of them. However, I can play a mean egg shaker. Oh well. She told me so.

Your turn. Do it fast, though, because the drawing will be at 7:00 tonight!



Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Gift of Giving: Instilling Generosity in Your Children




I haven't posted any of my articles on this blog, so I thought I'd start doing that from time to time. Here is one I had published in Parents & Kids magazine on teaching your children about giving.

Mama Question: How do you encourage your children to give to others?






Monday, October 18, 2010

Not Feeling Frazzled

http://static.open.salon.com/files/frazzled_mom1227369071.jpg
Mamahood is just plain busy. It's constant. There is always something that needs to be done or seen or heard or kissed. And it doesn't really matter how we feel; we still have to tend to it. We can easily feel frazzled and overwhelmed, which is why we must take the time to tend to ourselves. It is essential to the health (and safety?) of our families for us to make sure we take the breaks (even short snippets) that we need and get the rest (with eyes closed or open) that we need in order to be at our best.


Mama Question: What do you do to tend to yourself when you are feeling particularly frazzled?



Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun Friday: Smelling Like a Man . . . or a Monster

Ever since the first time I saw this commercial, I thought it was hilarious . . .



But this one is even greater . . .




Thursday, October 14, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Creating

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Jennifer said, "We use our hands to make things the way God made us and our world! Our favorite things to make are drawings and food. Josie especially loves to use her hands to 'help' us make bread."

Using our hands to create, mold, build, design, or fashion is a wonderful way to express ourselves and can also be a beautiful act of worship. What a tremendous way to engage our children in both praising and serving our Creator! Thank you for the reminder, Jennifer.

And for those of us who dread the mess that so often accompanies creativity . . . Well, we just need to get over it, don't we?

 Mama Question: What do you and your child like to create together?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Hugging, Not Hitting

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Sherry said, "My son is a hitter. So we constantly talk about how hands are not for hitting. Hands are for helping and hugging and being gentle."

When little ones get frustrated, they don't always know how to handle it. (Neither do I, kids.) Particularly before they have learned how to verbally communicate their feelings, I think it's just instinctive to act on them physically. So it's our job as parents to continually remind our children that hitting is not appropriate.

I like Sherry's suggestion--hugging! Unless they're like my daughter when she was little. She hugged a little too tightly sometimes. Talk about tough love.

Mama Question: How have you dealt with little ones who like to hit?


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Sharing

Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Kara said, "My 3.5 year old son is still adjusting to sharing his toys with his one year old brother. So, we are constantly trying to remind him how God wants us to (use our hands) share our things with other people."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again . . . Anyone who thinks we aren't born with a sin nature hasn't spent any time with a toddler! We are naturally very selfish creatures, aren't we? We as adults are often guilty of not being able to share, too. We need to practice right alongside our children.

Although it's one of the most important lessons we can teach our children, it's also one of the hardest. Keep it up!

Mama Question: How do you encourage your children to share with others?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Helping Hands Week: Doing Dishes


Last week I asked Mamas to tell me how they like to encourage their children to use their hands. Emily said, "I have my kids scrape the plate and put it in the sink for me, this helps tremendously when I start to load the dishwasher. My four year old can do this easily."

We're trying to get better about this at my house, Emily! My children are entirely capable of clearing the table and scraping their plates. Sometimes I find myself caught up in the years-long habit of doing things for my children, that I don't even consider that they can actually do things for themselves now. (This is not a good thing.) Or else I'm afraid they'll break a dish or make a mess or not rinse properly or just plain take a long time getting it done. But it is worth all these things in order to teach them how to help with the dishes and contribute to the family.

Thanks for the reminder!

Mama Question: Do your children help with the dishes? Have a great story to share about it? Do it here!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Fun Friday: Book Giveaway Winner!



Congratulations to Kara! 

You have won Max Lucado's newest children's book--One Hand, Two Hands! E-mail your mailing address to me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, and I will send it to you next week. Congrats! And enjoy the book!




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Max Lucado's ONE HAND, TWO HANDS Book Giveaway!



I have one copy of Max Lucado's newest children's book--One Hand, Two Hands--to give away! To be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment about some different ways you encourage your children to use (or not use) their hands. The drawing will be this Friday at noon. Tell a friend!




Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Review: ONE HAND, TWO HANDS: Oh, the Ways We Can Help With Our Hands!

The wonderful illustrations are what first captured my attention in One Hand, Two Hands. Gaby Hansen has created sweet, colorful, warm, joyful illustrations that both children and their parents alike will enjoy looking at time and time again. The pictures truly invite the reader/listener to explore the book.

Of course, Max Lucado does a wonderful job with the words, too! Since the book is intended for toddlers and preschoolers, the language is very simple, and the use of rhyme engages their minds, attention, and senses. As the reader/listener observes the little girl interacting with various animals throughout the book's illustrations, the words evoke images of fun, playful, creative, and helpful things we can do with our hands.

One of my favorite features is found on the last pages, where listed are different things that Helping Hands, Kind Hands, and Loving Hands can do--things like clean my room, gather the trash, draw a get-well card for a sick person, and clap for someone else. Then the child is encouraged to think of other ways that their hands can be helping hands. So even though the book is fairly short, it can provoke some wonderful conversations between parents and children.

This delightful children's book would be a treasured addition to any family's library.   

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Friday, October 1, 2010

Prolific Partridges

I just started a new blog where my children and I can post their writing and artwork. We're pretty excited about it! Check it out. Become a follower, even!

www.prolificpartridges.blogspot.com

Fun Friday: Spinach/Spanish




Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baby Showers

There is a baby boom going on around me! So many of my friends and family are with child, which means lots of baby showers to attend. I'm not lying--I really do love baby showers. It is so exciting to see a mama-to-be being lavished with onesies, blankets, and diapers, and she is all smiles and glows. She has no idea what's coming. And by that, of course, I mean that her life is about to be changed forever. And by that, of course, I mean that motherhood is completely wonderful. Completely. Of course.

:)

No, I really do love baby showers and getting to celebrate a brand new person coming into existence. There is nothing like it. I loved each of my own baby showers and truly appreciated all the help and gear being offered to me by people who loved me and my family. I needed the support as well as all the baby stuff, as does every new mother. And really, does any woman ever get tired of buying precious little baby outfits?! And I think it's okay that I'm glad that I'm buying them for other people's babies.

So bring on the powder pink and baby blue! Bring on the diaper cakes! Bring on the baby-food-tasting and guess-the-melted-candy-bar-in-the-diaper games! Bring on the baby showers! All us mamas will bring you gifts and sit and smile at you . . . albeit a knowing smile.

Mama Question: What's your favorite gift to give at baby showers?


Friday, September 24, 2010

And the winners are . . .






Congrats to Elise! You've won the Sweetpea Beauty prize package!

                         









                                        --and-- 











Congrats to Alison! You've won the Noah's Umbrella prize package!








Thanks for sharing your comments with us, ladies! I am inspired by your adoption stories. I hope that your family will enjoy these Veggie Tales items. Just e-mail your mailing address to me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, and I'll mail your prizes to you next week. Congrats!


Fun Friday: "His Cheeseburger"

In honor of our Veggie Tales drawing today . . . and because I'm craving a cheeseburger . . . enjoy this Silly Song.




Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dropping the Kids Off at School

Most of the time, my husband drops the kids off at school, but there are days when I am the one to take them. I don't mind, though, because I can just throw my hair in a ponytail, wear whatever slouchy clothes are nearby, and put some sunglasses on my un-made-up-and-probably-not-washed-face. After all, I won't have to see or talk to anyone, since I can just let the kids out of the van near the entrance to the school.

Unless my kindergartner begs me to walk her into her class.

This was the case this morning. I sort-of hmmm'd and twisted my mouth as I tried to think of a good reason why I couldn't escort her into the building.



"I don't know, Katie," I said.

"Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?," she pleaded.

"Katie, she doesn't want to," my eldest daughter told her little sister. "She doesn't have any make-up on."

"So!," Katie replied. "It doesn't matter. It's the morning! And I don't have on any make-up either!"

"You're five," Callie reminded her.

"I'm SIX!," Katie retorted, still savoring the memory of her birthday last week.




Katie and I had to laugh, but since Callie doesn't appreciate being laughed at, she decided to answer us with her fourth grade logic: "Well, if you round, you're five!" Hmmmm . . . But I'm not a morning person, so I didn't have it in me to even give an answer to that bit of reasoning.

But I digress.

Since I've never wanted to be the kind of woman who can't let herself be seen in public without make-up and because I certainly don't want to send a wrong message to my impressionable daughters, I decided to suck it up and traipse into the school as-is. Of course, since Katie wanted me to walk her all the way to her classroom and not just to the front door, I had to stop in the office and get a visitor's pass. Then I think I greeted every teacher and parent in the hallway, plus I talked to each of my children's teachers.

The dropping-off process that normally involves hugs, kisses, an opening of the van door, and a wave of the hand ended up being a 10-minute social event. It was good, I'm sure, but I felt very conscious of my aura. On my way out, I had to drop off my visitor's pass in the office, but there was a line of tardy students waiting to receive passes. So I waited. Finally, the school security guard came over to me, took my pass, and told me not to worry about signing out, that she'd do it for me.

"You just want to leave, right?," she asked.

"Yes. I just want to leave."

Tomorrow morning the hug/kiss/door/wave will have to suffice.


Mama Question: Do you walk your kids into the school building or just drop them off?

*Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway! The drawing is tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Wonderful Song and a Fun Giveaway!

Listen to this beautiful song, "Meant to Be," by Steven Curtis Chapman for VeggieTales' upcoming release, It's a Meaningful Life. You'll be blessed by both what you'll hear and what you'll see!



And since we're talking VeggieTales, why not have another giveaway?! I have two prize packages to give. To be entered in the drawing, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what you like or what stood out to you the most about this song/video.

I'll have the drawing this Friday, September 24th, at noon. Spread the word! Here's what you can win:

The Sweetpea Beauty package, which includes:
  • Sweetpea Beauty: A Girl After God's Own Heart (A Lesson About True Beauty) DVD
  • Sweetpea Beauty jigsaw puzzle
  • Sweetpea's Songs for Girls CD
  • Sweetpea Beauty stickers







--OR--



The Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella package, which includes:
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella (A Lesson in Confidence) DVD
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella jigsaw puzzle
  • VeggieTales 25 Favorite Action Songs CD
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella stickers











Friday, September 10, 2010

Fun Friday: Reflections of Motherhood

Sorry I haven't posted anything this week. Maybe this will make up for it . . .

Mamas, what would YOU tell yourselves???




Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And Another Totally Desperate Mom Story!

This Totally Desperate Mom moment was submitted by Tiffany van Gorder. Yeesh . . .

Spent an afternoon at the pool by myself with my two daughters (5 and 2) while my husband enjoyed a day at the golf range. I even took them to get an ice cream cone afterwards. Came home relaxed and ready to do a load of laundry. Walked down the hall to put away some clothes only to come across a pretty bad smell. Not sure what it was until I entered my youngest daughter's bedroom and found my two dogs had gotten into her diaper genie. Needless to say, the room was a mess and I had to go into instant clean up mode - screaming but trying to keep the profanities out of my vocabulary. Five minutes later, my husband gets home after having a pretty good day, thinking he would return to three happy girls. Not exactly the case! The house didn't return to normal until the carpet cleaners arrived two days later and I awaited my next Totally Desperate Mom Moment.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Totally Desperate Mom Story

This TDM moment was submitted by Sherry Wolfe. Can't you relate?! . . . 

OK, it was the day before our vacation, and I had to run about 10 errands, with both kids, and the weather was 100 degrees!!!!  We got to my daughter's speech evaluation and they had our appointment written down for the wrong time.  I begged and pleaded for them to still see us because I had moved heaven and earth to be there and we were leaving the next day for 2 weeks.  So they moved things around and the nicest lady did the evaluation for us.

Then, we went to my doctor's office to pick up some copies of medical records.  On the way back out to the car, I noticed my daughter had a stinky diaper.  (Side note:  She is 2 1/2 and has chronic diarrhea ..... like, the worst diarrhea I have ever seen come out of anyone!)  Sure enough, this stinky diaper was bad.  It was soaked through her clothes and running down her legs.  I always keep a change of clothes for her in our van, specifically for this reason.  Keep in mind, it's 100 degrees out, and I'm already frazzled from all the errand-running with a 2 and a 3 year old!  So I stripped her in the back of the van and wipe her down the best I can with baby wipes.  I completely changed her and we finally kept going on our errands.

We still had several errands to run and I was so desperate .... Calgon, take me away!!!!!




Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Friday: Our Totally Desperate Mom Winner!

Congratulations to Dana Bicker! Wendy Hagen has chosen you as the winner in the Totally Desperate Mom contest! E-mail me (heycarriepartridge@gmail.com) with your address, and we'll get Totally Desperate Mom to you!

And now for the rest of us Mamas--here is Dana's winning story. (Bless her heart.) The story will also be posted on Wendy's blog on Monday . . .

How could a good story not involve poop?! Here's one of my desperate mom stories.

My exciting adventure was on Easter morning. My husband was working but regardless I wanted to venture out (my new mom mission) to share my then 4 month old Munchkin with the family for brunch. That morning we both dressed up. Munch had his cute matching shirt, pants and shoes. Crazy first time mom mission. And then to top it off, Heels for me. Heels people! That alone is a huge feat for me. I regretted that decision as soon as I sat down at the table. I digress.

The whole back seat car ride (a whopping 20 minutes) was quiet. Strangely quiet. Pulling up to the restaurant, Munch was still smiling which later tuned me into the idea that smiles do not always mean good things. Grandpa S was the initiator once our seating had been arranged. The whole thing was almost slow motion. Seat belt clicks open, hands reach in, Munch (still smiling) is raised into the air, and wham. A vertical stripe of yellow is up the shirt, into the hair, into the car seat and onto Grandpa S' hands. 

Whoa. 

The worst blow out I have ever experienced. 

Newbie mom here goes into gear and starts to gather the necessities for an emergency baby wipe bath and change. I grab the Stinky Smiling Munchkin and head off to the bathroom - Plan A. Of course. No changing station.  Plan B. The back seat of my Saturn out in the parking lot. 

To fully grasp the scene, please close your eyes and imagine with me. Very low "slanted" back seat. Mom in a skirt AND heels. Wind and rain picking up very quickly. Poop everywhere. Apparently a pair of scrubs should be included in every diaper bag for an occasion such as this. 

By the time the clothing, diaper and changing pads were cleared (forever stained by the way), my legs were shaking, my back was throbbing and I was wet. All from holding the awkward lunge position necessary to change Munch in the back seat of my car. I 

I learned some valuable lessons that day.
1. Heels are evil.
2. Cute outfits are not meant to last and should be avoided.
3. A petition should be signed forcing every bathroom to have a changing station... or a counter...or a wood plank. SOMETHING that is not a slanted backseat of a car that hugs the ground.
3. Baby smiles may be cute but oh man are they sneaky.
4. Poop stains. Oh how it stains. 
5. I faced the sad reality that I am desperately out of shape. I literally could not walk for two days without hobbling after that lunge position.


-Dana Bicker
Just another mom.




Thursday, August 26, 2010

My OWN Totally Desperate Mom Moment (and Last Chance for the Giveaway!)


Well, it just wouldn't be right if I didn't tell of one of my own Totally Desperate Mom moments . . . 

It was Thanksgiving, and Katie (my youngest) was only two months old. We were having a lot of people over for the lunchtime feast, which meant that I had a lot of cooking to do. And since I had a ginormous turkey to cook, which would take several hours, I had to get up early to prepare it and pop it in the oven.

But first Katie had some things she wanted me to do.

She woke up around 5:00 a.m. for her regular feeding, after which she normally went right back to sleep. Normally. As soon as she woke up, I changed her diaper and then settled into feeding her. During the feeding, she had a blow-out poopy diaper (You knew it had to involve poop!), so I stopped feeding her to change both her diaper and her clothes. Then I went back to feeding her, hoping she'd get really full and really sleepy, so that we could both doze for a while before beginning our Day of Thanks.

When she finished eating, I worked on burping her. I don't know if she ate too much or I burped her too hard, but out came about a gallon of spitup, drenching us both! So now we're onto clothing change number two. By the time this was finished, Katie was wide awake, so I held her and gave her her pacifier to get her to go back to sleep. By the time she finally gave into her desire/need to snooze, it was time for me to get up and start cooking the turkey! After finally getting it ready and into the oven, it was time to feed Katie again . . .

Think I was ready for that Thanksgiving nap???

Alright, Mamas, now it's YOUR turn! What desperate mommy moment do you have to share with us? Submit it today and be entered to win Totally Desperate Mom by Wendy Hagen. To enter, just e-mail me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com and share a hilarious desperate mom moment that you've had. You can keep it short and sweet--just hit the highlights. Wendy will judge the entries and choose a winner, whose story will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like and on Wendy's blog! All other stories will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like next week.

And now our last blast from Wendy's past . . . "Growing Pains" and "The New Lassie"--both of which involve a very young Leonardo DiCaprio!








Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Circus of the Stars" and a TOTALLY DESPERATE MOM Giveaway!


The author of our giveaway book is apparently a woman of many talents. She was on "Circus of the Stars," for crying out loud!!! How many Mamas can say that?! And guess who was supposed to be performing with her. None other than Zach from "Saved By the Bell"! Don't act like you didn't have a crush on him back in the day. :)

It's not too late to submit your favorite desperate Mama moment to win the contest . . .

Wendy Hagen and I are giving away a copy of Wendy's book, Totally Desperate Mom, on Friday! To enter, just e-mail me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com and share a hilarious desperate mom moment that you've had. You can keep it short and sweet--just hit the highlights. Wendy will judge the entries and choose a winner, whose story will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like and on Wendy's blog! All other stories will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like next week.











Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"The Wonder Years" and TDM Giveaway Week!



Wendy Hagen and I are giving away a copy of Totally Desperate Mom at the end of this week! To enter, just e-mail me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com and share a hilarious desperate mom moment that you've had. You can keep it short and sweet--just hit the highlights. Wendy will judge the entries and choose a winner, whose story will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like and on Wendy's blog! All other stories will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like next week.

I know you've got something to share. And it probably involves poop.

Now in honor of our author/judge, here she is guest starring in an episode of "The Wonder Years" . . .









Monday, August 23, 2010

TOTALLY DESPERATE MOM Book Giveaway!

Okay, who wants to win a copy of Totally Desperate Mom by Wendy Hagen?! It's a great book, and you can read the first chapter here.

To be entered in the drawing, I'm going to ask you to do something for me. E-mail me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com and share one of your most hilarious desperate moments as a Mama. Wendy's agreed to be our judge and will choose our Totally Desperate Mom winner, who will be announced this Friday, August 27th!

All entries must be sent to me by Thursday, August 26th. The winning entry will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like this Friday and will also be posted on Wendy's blog! All other entries will be posted on Stuff Mamas Like next week. So take a few minutes and share your desperate Mama stories with the rest of us. You know you have plenty to share!




Now here's a bit of trivia for you. Did you know that Wendy was a childhood actress? How fun is that?! I'll share some clips from her acting days on the blog this week in honor of her book giveaway. Here she is with Kirk Cameron and Leonardo DiCaprio!





Saturday, August 21, 2010

And the winner is . . .




Congratulations to Merianne!!! You've won the 3-2-1 Penguins! Blast in Space! DVD! Thanks for following Stuff Mamas Like. May you enjoy many more naps/quiet time. :)









Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Friday: Spontaneous Giveaway!



Quick! Leave a comment and name something that YOU, as a Mama, like and be entered to win the 3-2-1 Penguins! Blast in Space! DVD for your kiddos. I'll do the drawing at noon tomorrow (Saturday, August 21). Hurry! And tell a friend!






Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bread Bags

Mamas are so creative and resourceful--even when it comes to finding ways to reuse bread bags. When my babies were actually still babies, I found that bread bags were useful for wrapping up dirty diapers to throw in the trash, since they seemed to somewhat contain the odor.

When my siblings and I were young, my Mama had another creative use for them: she put them on our feet! Why? Well, we didn't have snow boots, so on the rare occasion that it snowed in Memphis, TN, and we wanted to go out and play in it, Mama put Roman Meal bread bags on our feet between our socks and our shoes to help keep our feet dry. And to help keep them up and tight, she put rubberbands around them on our shins. Genius.

Maybe the most impressive re-use of the bread bag, however, was one I observed this summer on our family's vacation with the rest of my husband's family. We were all down on the beach, enjoying an evening of pizza and the sunset, when my almost-three-year-old niece announced that she needed to poop! Not wanting to make the trek all the way back up to the condo, my quick-thinking sister-in-law didn't miss a beat. She quickly snatched up one of the kid's sand pails and a bread bag with which to line the potty/pail, and she and her daughter traipsed up the dunes for a little more privacy. Again, genius.


My niece ended up having a false alarm, but we were grateful for the demonstrated improvisation, because not ten minutes later, my son announced that he had to poop! With great laughter, my husband grabbed the potty/pail, the bread bag, and my son, and they, too, headed for the dunes. A few minutes later, my son proudly held up his bread bag and announced its contents as he walked toward the trash can on the beach. It was pretty stinkin' funny.

Now fast-forward a week or so. My neighbor and her dog stop by to see my kids, who are playing in the front yard. After several minutes of chatting, she tells us that she and the dog need to move along, so she stoops down and picks up these little, filled plastic bags. Curious, my son says, "What is that?" To which my neighbor just smiles and says, "It's poop!" To which my son naturally and innocently asks . . . "Whose?"

Genius.

Mama Question: Do you have another creative re-use for bread bags? Obviously, anything goes!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: TOTALLY DESPERATE MOM

Moms, you will love this book by Wendy Hagen! This young mother of three will keep you laughing and nodding your head in agreement as you compare her crazy, messy stories of motherhood with your own. Truly, only other moms can appreciate(?) this stage of life that is just as full of joys as it is bodily fluids.

Reading Wendy's book is like reading a long e-mail from one of your best girlfriends. She spills out all the frustrations of mothering babies and toddlers with both humor and grace (both of which moms REALLY need!). But Wendy also brings encouragement and wisdom to the matter, giving practical tips on how to take care of yourself and your marriage during this hectic time of life.

Totally Desperate Mom is a quick, easy read (very important for busy moms, who may only have time to read while in the bathroom or while cooking dinner)--one that will hold your attention and make you smile. You'll appreciate this realistic approach to what life is really like in "the motherhood." Moms, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. And if you know a mom-to-be, give her a copy of it, too, because she'll want to know she's not alone when she's in the midst of "the Black Hole"! Now you're curious, aren't you?

And here's the really fun news: Wendy and I will be giving away a copy of Totally Desperate Mom next week on Stuff Mamas Like! So keep checking in to find out how to win it!



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The First Day of School

Whether your baby is starting kindergarten or his senior year, the first day of school is still exciting . . . and emotional. Yesterday my husband and I took our youngest to school for the first time. She was so excited, as were her older brother and sister, which only helped. They were all up and ready to go 30 minutes before we needed to leave the house. (This will never happen again.)

Although I couldn't help but shed a few tears as I watched my "big girl" line up with the other kindergarteners, I was still excited for her. I know she'll love school and will make some great friends. Oh yeah--and she'll learn some stuff, too. And honestly, I was excited for me. I think it will help me to be a better manager of my time to know that I have six hours a day, five days a week to focus on writing, running errands, and doing housework. And I think I will be better able to really focus on my children when they are home, because I won't feel these other things looming over me. Also, it's nice for Mamas and their babies to miss each other sometimes. I get some great hugs after school!

So here's to the first day of school, Mamas! It's okay to be excited. :)

Mama Question: How was your kids' first day of school? 


Friday, August 13, 2010

Giveaway Scout

I'm signing my blog up to be a part of Giveaway Scout, in hopes that it will drive more traffic to my blog. Here's why . . .
 
Make the most of your giveaways.
Giveaway Scout is a giveaway search engine. Our users subscribe to receive updates on the latest giveaways on the web. Add your blog and your giveaways will be exposed to our large network or users.
  • We publish your giveaways on multiple channels (Our web, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook and widget network)
  • Get more exposure to your blog and giveaways.
You might want to sign up to get their e-mails! Never know what you'll win.

And the winner is . . .

Congratulations to Christy Bullock!!! You may choose one of the following prize packages.

But wait! There's more! Jenn is also a winner! (Sorry, your profile doesn't give me your last name. But you have on a really cute green hat in your picture. :) ) Jenn, you'll receive the other prize package!

So I need you ladies to e-mail me with your choice and your mailing address. Send it to heycarriepartridge@gmail.com.

CONGRATS!! And thanks for following!

The Sweetpea Beauty package, which includes:
  • Sweetpea Beauty: A Girl After God's Own Heart (A Lesson About True Beauty) DVD
  • Sweetpea Beauty jigsaw puzzle
  • Sweetpea's Songs for Girls CD
  • Sweetpea Beauty stickers







--OR--



The Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella package, which includes:
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella (A Lesson in Confidence) DVD
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella jigsaw puzzle
  • VeggieTales 25 Favorite Action Songs CD
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella stickers










Fun Friday: Silly Songs

In honor of our drawing today, let's enjoy some VeggieTales Silly Songs, shall we? We'll start with a classic . . .



And one of my favorites . . .



And one from our giveaway . . .




Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shopping for School Supplies (or Not)

Yesterday I took all three of my children to buy school supplies. This is the first year that we will have all three of them in school, so it's a pretty big milestone. The first stop was for Katie, my youngest, to pick out her first backpack. Huge decision. And it was all craziness from that point on . . .

I was juggling four very specific lists of school supplies, my own shopping list for home, coupons, a shopping cart, Icees for the kids (Maybe my first mistake?), and a Frappucino for myself (Not a mistake.). My children weren't acting bad; they were just excited about school supplies. But when they get excited, they talk loudly, rapidly, and constantly, which does nothing good for my ADDness when it comes to shopping.

We managed to get out in about an hour and a half with an overflowing shopping cart and a lot less money in the bank. And I was in need of both a shower and a tranquilizer. But we're well-equipped for a new school year. We'll just have to hitch up the U-Haul to the back of the van to lug all these supplies up to the school.

Mama Question: What school supplies shopping stories do you have to share?

**Don't forget to become a follower of Stuff Mamas Like and be entered in the VeggieTales giveaway. Drawing is Friday at noon!


Monday, August 9, 2010

A Very Veggie Giveaway!

Wanna win some VeggieTales goodies?! All you have to do is officially become a "follower" of this blog, and you'll be entered in the drawing to win either . . .

The Sweetpea Beauty package, which includes:
  • Sweetpea Beauty: A Girl After God's Own Heart (A Lesson About True Beauty) DVD
  • Sweetpea Beauty jigsaw puzzle
  • Sweetpea's Songs for Girls CD
  • Sweetpea Beauty stickers







--OR--



The Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella package, which includes:
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella (A Lesson in Confidence) DVD
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella jigsaw puzzle
  • VeggieTales 25 Favorite Action Songs CD
  • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella stickers






The winner will get to choose which package he/she would like to receive. The drawing will be held this Friday, August, 13th, at noon, so be sure to follow me before then! Also, for those of you wonderful people who are already following my blog, you'll be happy to know that you're already entered in the drawing. Thanks for reading!




Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun Friday: David After the Dentist

In honor of my daughter's upcoming dentist appointment . . .




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

VeggieTales Giveaways!


Coming next week . . .



Stay tuned!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Pick-Me-Ups

Last week I asked Mamas to submit their favorite pick-me-ups. Here they are:

  • My favorite pick-me-up is Naptime!!!!!  I have a few minutes to myself .... I can get a few things done, or watch one of MY shows, and eat what I want!!!  Plus, it's quiet!!!!! --Sherry
  • A caramel frappucino...preferably starbucks but I'll take a Mickey D's one.  Makes my day when I have had a long day and my husband brings me one! --Dana
  • Exercise is the best mood altering activity for me right now.  If only I could manage to lose some weight...sigh... --Martha
  • I just LOVE it when my son says, "Mommy, I just love you all the time!"  It just makes my day and all the frustrations melt away! --Sherry
  • around 3pm- cup of freshly ground coffee and one 1 or 2 pieces of realllly good chocolate.--Gini
  • Homemade iced coffee!!!! --Liska
  • I love seeing my adult children passing along words I told them to the third generation. --Edna Ellison (author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups!

Mama Question: What can you add to this list?


Book Giveaway (on someone else's blog this time)

You can enter to win a copy of Friendship for Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way by Lisa Whelchel on The Common Room blog! Go to the site for details.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Fun Friday: A Great Mommy Pick-Me-Up

Because a baby's laugh is quite possibly the BEST pick-me-up for a Mama . . .










And the winner is . . .







Congratulations to Gini Kirk! She has won the drawing for the book giveaway this week!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

"First Day of School" from MOMMY-PICK-ME-UPS

Here is a sample chapter from Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load By Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden. Don't forget to *enter to win a copy of the book!


Gena sat alone in the car. A tear escaped her eye. Why is this so hard? she wondered.

Katie Beth was her first child, and the first grade year had always seemed so far in the future. But here it was, and there she went.

Gena and Katie Beth had prepared for the day with a new backpack, pencils, socks, and hair ribbons. Katie Beth was ready, and Gena thought she herself was.

But now as she sat in the car watching Katie Beth, pigtails bouncing, run up the same steps Gena had climbed as a first grader, she wasn't sure she was prepared to let her firstborn enter the world of public school.

"Lord," she prayed, "take care of Katie Beth. Provide some wonderful new friends for her. Help her pay attention in class. Let her remember that I love her and will miss her all day!"

Gena had met Katie Beth's teacher, and she seemed very nice. But would she know that Katie Beth did not like her food to touch on her plate? Would she have any idea that Katie Beth was a perfectionist, even down to the position of the bump in her socks? Would she know . . . ?

As Gena watched Katie Beth enter the building, God quietly spoke to her heart: "I am going to take care of her. She is My child too. I love her even more than you do. Trust Me to take care of her."

Gena smiled. She knew all that. But just for a moment as she relinquished her precious firstborn to the mercy of the school, she wished she could go along and be by Katie Beth's side all day! How thankful she was for God's reminder: "She is only on loan from Me to you. She is Mine, and I will be there for her through the good times and the bad . . . especially on the first day of school."

Message for Mommy: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.--I John 4:16

Pick-me-up: Is there anything harder than letting our children go? Mothers take their responsibility of looking after their children very seriously, and that is as it should be. But as our children get older and the things we release them to seem bigger and more potentially dangerous, it gets harder.

Mothers often need to be reminded that God loves their children more than they do. God understands the heart of a mother. After all, He created it. But He also planned for mothers to train their children and help them grow into independent people who love Him.

Today ask God for an extra measure of trust as you guide your children into independence in the world and their place of peace in Him.

Creative Parenting: As you guide your child into independence, help him or her learn that true independence can be achieved only through total dependence on God. That is a lesson we learn in small steps, but mothers can help their children understand the concept probably better than anyone else because of the difficulty they experience in letting their children go.


*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups! 


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Are We There Yet?" from MOMMY PICK-ME-UPS

Here is a sample chapter from Mommy Pick-Me-Ups: Refreshing Stories to Lighten Your Load By Edna Ellison and Linda Gilden. Don't forget to *enter to win a copy of the book!


Leah dropped into her seat in the car and breathed a sigh of relief. Why did it take so much effort to get her little family ready to go on vacation? Even the hour drive to the mountains required multiple hours of preparation.

Leah leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She had gotten everything together just in time. What a sacrifice of time and energy it had been! Whatever was forgotten they would do without--no matter what it might be! They were getting on the road now and would have four entire days in the mountains to play as a family. She pictured long walks, wading in the streams, sleeping late, and . . .

"Mom, how far is it to the mountains?" Jeremy asked, interrupting her thoughts.

"I don't know, Jeremy. Why don't you take a little nap?"

"OK."

Leah thought, That was easy. Then her mind started to focus in on the fresh mountain trout she hoped they would have for supper.

"Mom?"

What now?

"Are we there yet?" asked Lisa.

"No," said Leah. "We have another hour or so to drive. Look over there. Do you see the mountains in the distance? That's where we are going."

"But it doesn't seem like we are getting any closer."

Leah had been anticipating these questions. She was prepared. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a map and a highlighter.

"Here, Lisa, why don't you chart our progress. I'll mark where home is and where we are going. Then you can watch the road signs and look at the map to see exactly where we are."

"Good. Thanks, Mom."

Leah relaxed and began to enjoy the scenery.

Then Jeremy stirred from his nap and asked. "Mom, are we there yet?"

Message for Mommy: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.--Proverbs 3:5-6

Pick-me-up: Do you ever ask God, "Am I there yet?" Does your journey ever seem long and endless? Sometimes things seem so hard that we lose sight of the end of our journey. Heaven will be more wonderful than we can imagine. We just have to be faithful for the journey.

To help us along the way, God has given us a "road map"--His Word. Take a little extra time today to study the map. Following God's road map to your life's destination will bring you true joy.

Creative Parenting: Look for opportunities to talk to your children about their destinations in life. If they are not Christians, pray earnestly for a chance to share your faith with them. If they have already asked Jesus Christ into their lives, encourage them on their journeys. Let them see your excitement about the ultimate destination, heaven.


*Being entered in the drawing to win a copy of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups is easy. All you have to do is e-mail me and tell me what picks YOU up as a Mommy. I'm sure you've got some wonderful answers! And for each pick-me-up you send me at heycarriepartridge@gmail.com, you'll be entered in the book drawing, which will be on Friday, July 30th. Then look for a post next week that will list everyone's favorite pick-me-ups!