Saturday, February 21, 2015

Deciding What to Pack? myCharge Always Makes the List!

Last weekend Madison and I went to our first dance competition.

This is totally new to her as a dancer and totally new to me as a mom. I am that mom - the one who asks nine thousand questions about little details that should probably be clear. But I'm that Type A, plan ahead, over pack and over organize mom. I would rather have more stuff that I don't need than find out that what I do actually need is sitting on the kitchen counter. I don't want to be the mom who is constantly accepting favors and loaners from other moms because she didn't have her stuff together.

So I hated the thought of not really knowing what to expect. I mean, I have the paperwork, but that's not really the same. And I felt it was safe to assume that Dance Moms is probably not realistic (I was right).

But this first competition of the season was just for solos and duos and Madison's group wasn't competing. We could go watch the older girls, cheer and participate as part of the team, and actually see how it worked: backstage, onstage, awards, whatever.

It was the best thing we could have done. Madison now understands what her teachers are talking about when they tell the girls about competitions which will alleviate any potential nervousness, and I have a much better understanding of how the day flows (although the moms did tell us that this particular competition was - comparatively -  easy). And I definitely know what I need that wasn't necessarily on her list (at least, I hope so).

I need snacks - and plenty of them.

I need a way to keep Madison's stuff both contained and organized for a very crowded backstage dressing room. Not just her makeup kit, but all the other stuff. The snacks, the shoes, the warm up, the spare tights and everything else we might need.

And I definitely need a spare charger for my phone.

I had my phone plugged in the car, and we were there for about five hours. During that time, between taking photos, videos, letting Madison kill some occasional down time with her Strawberry Shortcake game and checking my weather app (because it was snowing - again), we left with my phone hovering around 15%. When my phone hits that red zone, it doesn't take pictures as well, it doesn't take video as well, and it generally slows down to try and conserve what little battery is left.

This wasn't a huge deal since we were leaving and none of the pictures I was taking were really all that important, but on a day her group is dancing, I know I will be even more camera and video crazy. Plus, naturally, I'll be uploading to Facebook and staying in touch with Adam and the day will be phone is just not going to let me do all that in one charge. And I know I would be really mad at myself if I let a dead battery get in the way of all the ridiculous cuteness that is a little girl's dance.

So next time, I will make sure I have my myCharge. The RazorPlus I got around Christmastime usually stays in my purse, but I'd loaned it to Adam for a business trip and hadn't put it back. Because, let's face it, I use my phone a lot. And I need it functional.

Did you know that the average smartphone users checks their phone 110 times per day and that 2.7 hours of that is just for fun?

Did you also know that without an available power source 77% of phone users will have a dead battery by 4pm?

Whether at work or play all of these things can be a huge strain on your phone's battery, and this is where myCharge comes in! myCharge is a leader in portable charging solutions that's been first to offer the most advanced solutions for a multitude of needs. Their devices boast built–in charging cords that emphasize portability and versatility, and powerful lithium polymer batteries that allow you to quickly charge your smartphone, tablet, eReader and other devices so that they’re ready when you need them! Ditch your dependency on cables and wall outlets – and let myCharge make your life a bit easier!

For the month of February myCharge is offering the Limited Edition RazorPlus Bundle for $49.99 - in it you receive a RazorPlus with the imprint: We can charge right here right now. The RazorPlus is an ultra-thin rechargeable 3000 mAh battery crafted from anodized aluminum that delivers an extra 13 hours talk time for your smartphone. You'll also receive a shirt and a 22 oz. reusable/dishwasher safe stadium cup that is color-changing! The frosted cups turn green when filled with your favorite (possibly adult) beverage. Green is the new red after all! myCharge is also giving away 20 of these Bundles FREE, so enter for your chance to win below!

 Limited Edition RazorPlus Bundle Prize from myCharge

Good luck!

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For more fun contests, promotions and product info visit!

I received a myCharge RazorPlus pack in exchange for this post. However, my dependence on my smartphone and paranoia about dance stuff are completely my own issues.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hibernation Mode

Our family is deep into hibernation mode.

I tease Adam about hibernating every winter. Once he truly has to put his golf clubs away (which this year was around New Year's - he played in cold weather until there was actually snow on the ground) he doesn't want to do anything. He will find every excuse in the book not to go out. He works from home, and unless he's traveling, time will go by when he won't actually leave the house for weeks. Seriously. If it doesn't look like I'll be running errands for what he needs, he'll just order it online. He won't call it hibernation, but that is clearly what it is. He's like a bear. He wants to stay in his cave but he gets really grumpy when you poke him and tease him about it.

My hibernation is a little bit different. 

This is the part of winter when I get sleepy and lazy. Everything is just sloppy. The driveway is sloppy. Parking lots are sloppy. The car is sloppy. And because of that our floors are sloppy. Shoes off or not, there is just a lot of slush and salt residue. The snow has lost its appeal. The cold has definitely lost its appeal. I'm tired of layers, I'm tired of feeling cold, I'm tired of all of it. I just want to curl up inside.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Defense of Indoor Playgyms

We had a relatively mild start this winter.

Sure, it was chilly, and yeah, I complained because I'm not a cold weather person, but internally, I was breathing a sigh of relief. I did a happy dance when we didn't have a white Christmas and we didn't have to worry about travel being impacted.

Then...Mother Nature decided to give us ALL THE SNOW at once.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Drop Your Pants and Overshare - More Fun at the Gym

Thanks to Depend® for sponsoring this post.  Click here to find out how your tweet can get $1 donated to charity.  Depend® will donate up to $3 million!

So it's been almost six months and I'm still going to the gym.

I know. And it's only about 75% for the childcare. And maybe 15% for the sauna.

No, seriously, I worried that I wouldn't stick with it, but I'm definitely happy there. I love that the girls can play, I can exercise, relax and shower, and we all come home happy.

But I have to say, that locker room...definitely a place for oversharing. People drop their pants...and the stories come out.

Honestly, I don't have a lot of post high school locker room experience, so I don't know if this is typical or not. I never used to change or shower at the gym. Even when we go to the pool in the summer, I typically change at home. But now that I'm using the gym as a way to get my daily shower in, I've had to become accustomed to locker room behavior.

For the most part, the women who are there when I am are pretty modest. Like me, they change for the shower in the privacy of the shower stall. But there are some there who seem to have no boundaries, and that's always...interesting.

The other day I was organizing my bag. I'd showered and changed, I'd done my hair, and really, I was just killing time until my two hours of childcare were up. Another woman opened a locker in the little corner where I was and struck up a conversation. Not weird at all...until she started stripping.

Like, completely stripping.

Let me tell you, I'm glad that she was so comfortable with her body. But it's really hard to find a good place to look when you are surprised by a full on strip tease mid-conversation. This particular woman hung out, completely naked, asking me questions and telling me long drawn out stories, for what seemed like a long time while she rifled through her bag for her workout clothes. I finally faked a call from the childcare center just to escape.

And the other day, I ended up in a conversation with another stranger that seemed way too personal. Remember when I mentioned that a woman in my Zumba class confided that she worked out with a pad on, since post-kids jumping was not her friend? This woman at the gym took it to the next level.

She worked out in Depend.

As she changed into them - right there in the locker room - she was a regular Chatty Cathy about when she realized it was time. This woman was informed. She had done her research so that she would have no shame about what was under her workout clothes.

I had no idea that there are more people under the age of 50 than over 60 who rely on Depend. And that Depend has focused their efforts on providing a thin, discreet product, not diaper like one (which, incidentally, is what I had in my bag that day, since I didn't totally trust Reagan). I'd honestly never really thought about it, but this particular woman certainly wasn't acting like an old lady, so I was pretty impressed that she was feeling confident enough to prove that she wasn't.

Now I have to admit, I'm still changing in the shower stall. And when I see anyone who looks like she could be an exhibitionist coming way, I immerse myself in something else.

Because if you can't tell it's there, I really don't need the proof.

Speaking of dropping pants (which is more common at the gym than I thought it would be), Depend is donating up to $3 million dollars with their #underwareness campaign. Visit their site to learn more!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Welcome to One Day on Android!


What a gift for me. You know that app I spent not one, but two blog posts raving about? The one where you interview your kids and the app makes an instant mini movie? One Day?

They finally have an app for Android!

Adam and I are both Android people. We have the iPads for the girls to use, and we are really happy with them, but our phones are both Android and we have no intention of changing. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind here. My mom can't imagine switching from her iPhone to an Android, I can't imagine going to an iPhone. People tend to pick a camp and settle in. I don't judge you for loving your iPhone. I also don't see myself joining you. It's ok. Live and let live. Just because it's not the path I chose doesn't mean I plan to spend my time trying to convert you.

Wait, am I talking about phones or politics?

Or religion?

Or parenting styles?

Or blogging platforms?

Wow, when you think about it, people these days are really, really committed to their choices and are pretty much willing to defend them to the death. But let's not go there...

Anyway, the only issue we run into, besides the occasional fight to the death over which technology is superior, is when certain apps don't cross platforms. And the One Day app was one of those. I could make super cute movies of the girls, but I had to use Madison's iPad to do it. Not a huge deal, but I admit that I wished I could just use my phone. The camera on her iPad is great, but it feels little awkward to me to use a camera that's so big. I like using my phone for that stuff.

And now I can!

They have their Valentine prompts up, all of which look so cute. And now I can accost the girls any time I want to.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Surprise Me!

If you could ask for one gift for you, not your family, not your household, but just for you, what would you ask for?

Seriously, give me some ideas because I'm really struggling here.

My birthday is tomorrow. My parents are all set to get me a gift card, as soon as I tell them where and promise to only use it for myself, and Adam has reached the point of begging for hints so he can go ahead and do his last minute shopping with the girls. And I have no idea what to tell either of them. Heck, I don't even know what I'd like for dinner. I'm stuck in a place of total indecisiveness.

Let me say that again. Adam is offering to either take me out, pick up food, or cook our meal tomorrow night, and I have absolutely no ideas to give him. As long as I don't have to cook it, I'm happy. Seriously. But he wants feedback.

Gift giving should not be stressful for the recipient, but somehow I'm feeling it. I don't know what I want. I can't think of a single thing to tell him. So far, all I've managed to come up with is a new microwave, but Adam tells me that's not a birthday gift.

Besides, our microwave is totally holding steady with three functional numbers.

My problem is that whatever I want seems to be things for the house or things for the kids. My cart on Amazon is filled with homeschool stuff - books and manipulatives that I want to get to use with the girls. I read my HGTV magazine and lust after new flooring and cabinets. If you give me a gift card to anywhere that sells children's clothes, chances are I'll purchase those because Madison just had another growth spurt. And sure, a spa day is nice and luxurious, but once I sling my giant mom purse back over my shoulder I've pretty much negated the massage that it took me months to schedule.

If I need something for myself, I generally get it in the most practical way possible. I do treat myself to a mani/pedi on occasion, and I've got my loyalty card so I get the tenth one free. I needed new sneakers, so I picked up a pair on sale a few weeks ago. I get time to myself when my sitter comes every week, and usually on the weekends too, and I do treat myself while I go out to write or run errands. So there isn't anything I really need.

The thing is, I usually don't feel bad about this! I don't feel neglected, I don't feel like my image has been swallowed up by my family. I get time to myself, I focus on things that make me happy, I make sure I'm taken care of too. I have what I need. I don't feel like a sad story. I'm not, and I never have been, one of those women who say things like "my kids are the only important thing. I don't need presents. Give them presents".

But I still can't think of a birthday gift to suggest. Seriously. Not one. And it's driving me crazy.

What I'm really hoping is, as I sit in Starbucks and write this, that Adam has taken the girls out and they've become inspired. And tomorrow morning I'm surprised and happy and feeling even more blessed because I didn't have to come up with anything - they just knew what I'd love.

Because sometimes the best gift is the gift of not having to make the decisions for a day. photo mediumsignature_zpsbff01a79.png
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