Monday, September 15, 2014

LifebankUSA Facebook Contest

I was recently contacted by a company called LifebankUSA, to help spread the word about a Facebook contest they are currently running. 

If you've never heard of them before, they are the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood, and tissue banking, and the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant. New Jersey-based, LifebankUSA is a technological leader that is pioneering key medical innovations in the field.  Owned by the Celgene Corporation, a world-class biopharmaceutical company, LifebankUSA also operates a robust donation program and collects cells from anywhere in the US for use primarily in advancing medical research. 

As an expectant parent, your baby’s health means everything. Right now, he or she is protected in the womb and will soon enter the world. There is a lot to think about and prepare for, but an invaluable step you can take when your child is born is to preserve his/her stem-cell rich cord and placenta blood The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.  

On a personal note, I wanted to talk about my older brother Shaun for a minute. I never got the opportunity to meet him, as he died just three months before I was born from leukemia. He was only six years old at the time (diagnosed at age three).  This was almost forty years ago when cord blood banking unfortunately wasn't an option for expectant parents.  We are so lucky to have this opportunity today. 

When you bank with LifebankUSA, we include tissue banking (tissue from the placenta).* Placental tissue contains mesenchymal cells (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifebankUSA's parent company is actively involved in their development.
LifebankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of our complete banking package using our cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby's tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at that time.†  Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.

*Storage fees apply 
†Clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells.

To enter the LifebankUSA Peace of Mind contest please click HERE and "like" their Facebook page. Then be sure to enter the drawing for your chance to win $500 OFF Cord Blood Banking! 

*LifebankUSA sent me a gift card in exchange for this post. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why some people (me) shouldn't wear make up

I've been feeling a little down in the dumps about my looks lately. I don't take care of myself. I do bathe daily, but other than that, I don't do anything to help myself out in the glamour/fashion department. I wear ugly pajamas that would probably get me arrested for indecent exposure if I wore them out in public (which I don't, except if you count dropping off and picking up kids but I don't get out of the car for that...although I totally should). My hair has gotten crazy long and a bit out of control, yet I do nothing to it except pull it back.  I never wear make up. I guess I've just gotten lazy.  I've gained a lot of weight and have like two pairs of pants that fit and I hate them both, and when you don't feel confident in what you're wearing, you just kinda stop trying or caring. 

Recently I decided to do something nice for myself and ordered some mineral make up. I used to wear it years ago, but ran out and just never ordered more (which is seriously the last time I probably wore any).  Today I needed to run a few errands so I put on my ugly clothes (haven't had a chance to do anything about those yet), put my long, boring hair in a ponytail (shut up), and was ready to walk out of my bathroom when a little voice in my head said, "Maybe you should put on some make up".   

So that's exactly what I did. 

It's a three step process so there is a concealer, the light foundation in the palest color possible (sadly I'm whiter than my toilet paper), and finally the blush.  

I thought that I had put on the foundation and started to reach for the blush to finish off the job, when I glanced at myself in the mirror and freaked the f@$k out. 

I looked like this....
My face was purple. PURPLE!!!!  I looked like Barney or Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Somehow Harold had snuck into my bathroom and colored all over my face with his damn purple crayon! 

I was about two seconds away from sitting down at my MacBook to write a super nasty complaint to my Ebay seller about how their foundation turned me into a purple people eater (yes, I'm too cheap to order it from an actual company), when I noticed the words "Sweet Cheeks" on the lid. I had covered my entire face with BLUSH instead of the foundation.  Cause I'm a genius. 

After realizing my blunder, I needed to get the purple off so I started to scrub. I wasn't purple anymore, but I now looked like this....
My face is now a deep shade of maroon from being scrubbed really hard, and I look like I have a fever/flesh eating virus. I'm about to head out to go shopping and I'm feeling super sexy. I may even frighten some small children. I'm so glad I decided to buy some make up to help me build my self confidence back.  Best decision ever. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Some exciting news you don't want to miss!

I love my husband a lot, so I admit that I do feel slightly guilty whenever I write posts that poke fun of him. I can't help myself. He makes it way too darn easy!

When I think back to my favorite blog posts i've ever written, the majority of them center around my hubby. For example, his extreme spider phobia, his frustrating trips to the grocery store, and his lack of success in being able to set up a Christmas tree in a timely matter, just to name a few.

In fact he gives me so much hilarious and embarrassing material that I kinda feel like I owe something. A special gift perhaps? Or maybe a high five? Or better yet, I agree to sex after the first time he asks instead of the fifth? He would really like that one. But then again, I did pop five kids from my loins for him, while also gaining tons of weight in the process. I grew an unsightly head full of frizzy, out of control grey hair from the stress of raising his little darlings, and I can't for the life of me remember the last time I slept through the night or ate a meal without needing to reheat it first. Shit, forget about the high five! Maybe he owes me!!! Where was I going with this again?  Okay, so maybe we'll just say we're even at this point.

However, pretty soon I will REALLY owe him big time! BIG TIME!

Are you ready for this one?  

Remember that awesome, amazing, and hilariously funny book, I Just Want to Pee Alone that I was so honored to be included in?


I'm proud to announce that i'm also in the sequel, I Just Want to Be Alone!!
In case you're wondering what this book will be about, here is a little blurb taken off of Amazon: 

Don't get us wrong, we love the men in our lives – we do (most of the time). It's just that sometimes we would like them to go away. Not forever or anything like that. Just for an hour … or a day … or a weekend. We want some time to ourselves to read a good book or take a walk or do anything other than try to make a dent in the never ending mound of dirty clothes that keeps piling up on the floor on his side of the bed. We just want to be alone. All alone. Is that too much to ask?

So you can see why I mentioned above that I was going to owe the hubby big time, right? I don't want to give anything away, so all I will say about my essay is that it's a little embarrassing and shocking all rolled into one. You don't want to miss this one! 
What's even more exciting is that this time you have the opportunity to pre-order this fabulous little book, so make sure and reserve your copy today! 

  In case you needed another reason to order, check out the list of amazing contributors....
Pretty awesome list, huh? Make sure you reserve your copy today, or else Jen of People I Want to Punch in the Throat really might just throat punch ya. I'm kidding. Geesh! People are so overly sensitive these days. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

I survived the great snowpocalypse in Portland. Sort of. Stop laughing.

We live in Portland, which means there's usually a pretty good chance we'll make it through winter without any snow.   Since it's February, I assumed we had survived another winter without the annoying white stuff.  If it does happen to snow here in the beautiful, quirky, Pacific Northwest, then you hear it described as a "Snowpocalypse" or "Arctic Storm" or "Blizzard", etc.  It's a tad overdramatic, I get it, but we Portlanders are very theatrical people.

On Thursday I drove the kids to school like any normal day.  There was no snow that morning, although rumors were starting to swirl that a "storm" was a brewing.   Within a few hours of dropping them off, it began to snow.  My younger boys were eagerly standing by the window, thrilled to see the first signs of snow flakes falling, and were already hounding me about going outside to build a snowman.  Our puppy, Olive, was deeply disturbed by this strange white substance falling out of the sky and wouldn't stop barking.

Olive with a snow mustache: 
By noon the snow was coming down pretty good and was actually starting to stick. I knew what this meant. Life as we knew it was over.  OVER!  The city would soon be shuttin down and boy did it ever.  When Starbucks closes early, you know that the shit is about to hit the fan!  By 1 PM I was getting frantic emails and phone calls from the school district saying all schools were closing early and I needed to come pick up the kids. 

The scene in our city was total chaos.  People sliding all over the road, cars parked on the side of the road, some cars were stuck, etc.   It's true that the Pacific NW gets clowned pretty much all over the country for not knowing what to do when it snows--and they're right. We don't. 

OK, we get it people from Wisconsin and Minnesota and other places where it's so cold your breast milk freezes as soon as you step outside. We are hipster dumbasses who drive small, energy efficient cars and don't know how to handle snow, but we can drive in a torrential downpour like nobody's business.  OK, so maybe we suck at that too. Never mind. 

Anywho, these are photos I found on the Fox 12 Oregon's Facebook page

As you can see, venturing out of the house has been pretty difficult these past few days, so i've been stuck at home since Thursday afternoon with five kids and a dog.  Five kids and a dog in case you missed it the first time. 

This describes how I felt by Saturday, errrr, Friday afternoon: 
School was cancelled on Friday and again today. I think last weekend was the first weekend I can think of in a very long time, where I didn't leave the house at all.  Not once.  Not even to walk across the street to get the mail.  

Anytime a car was brave enough to drive down our street I wanted to yell out the window, "Please, take me with you" but they never stopped.  Those bastards didn't even stop to hand me some booze or chocolate!  What the hell is the matter with people these days?! 

So pretty much everyone and everything has been getting on my nerves.  My kids are currently trying to kill each other with their bare hands as we speak so there is really no need to watch the Olympics. I have the real life Hunger Games taking place at my house, folks.  My dog keeps tracking in muddy paw prints all over the floor and i'm about ready to slip some Glad bags over her hooves.  My house looks like, well, like five kids and a dog live in it.  I watched more Netflix than I care to admit.  I drank way too much coffee, which means chronic insomnia so getting up tomorrow morning is going to be a beast. I'm still braless and in my pajamas and haven't washed my hair since, geez, when the hell did I last wash my hair?!  

The good news is the rain is back and the snow has turned to ice and it's slowly melting so school should be back in session tomorrow.  Then I can get back to the important things like cleaning my house, paying bills and the other super responsible things I do during the day when my hubby is at work and the kids are at school. Yeah, right! Who am I kidding?  I'll be curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth while sucking my thumb and reminiscing about how I survived the great Snowpocalypse of 2014.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to drive me crazy on Facebook

Facebook.  Ah, glorious Facebook. I know there have been thousands, perhaps millions of excellent blog posts from many talented bloggers about the bazillion reasons why certain Facebooker's get on our nerves. I can't compete with those bloggers so i'm not even going to try, because i'm ridiculous. I typically agree with the majority of these posts and laugh hysterically because i'm usually guilty of breaking a few of the rules (okay a lot of them).  For example I know I post way too many pictures of my dog.  And I probably talk about her a little more than I should....

My dog pooped on my floor. 
My dog is the cutest dog ever. 
My dog is smarter than your dog.
My dog....
yeah, go ahead and cyber slap me. I can take it (no, I can't)...

But since you asked, here is a pic of my darling baby....

oh you didn't ask? My bad. 

Anywho, you get the point.  People can be really annoying on Facebook. I'm annoying, you're annoying, we're all annoying! It's part of what makes Facebook so darn fun.

So here are some things that bug me, not that you should care or change who you are or anything because really who gives a poop if you annoy people?   

People who write a post asking for suggestions or advice.  No, there's nothing annoying or wrong with that.  Geesh, what kind of a monster do you think I am? Don't answer that....However, if you end your question with, "Now GO" I kinda want to slap you upside the head with an octopus.  I mean is this really necessary?  I know it's urgent for you to find the perfect dance studio for your precious Sophie right NOW even though you don't plan on signing her up for dance classes until next year, or which restaurant you should eat at with your husband next month, or which brand of toilet paper leaves the least amount of fuzzies on your butt, but really do I have to do it right NOW?  My response will always be the same, "Sure, let me get right on that, as soon as i'm done waxing my b-hole."

People who post pictures of their feet.  It's okay if you do this. We can still be friends, but please stop it right now.  I don't like feet.  Flip flop season makes me cringe.  And no, I don't wear Teva's with socks, but it's darn tempting.
If you grab your poor unsuspecting toddler who's wearing nothing but a dirty diaper sagging to his knees with a lovely mixture of spaghetti-o's and chocolate (it is chocolate, right?) smeared on his face,  and yet you are somehow conveniently dolled up like you're ready to hit the club, then you might just be an accidental selfie taker. You aren't fooling anyone with your bad self!  If you want to post more selfies of yourself then be all means, just do it!  But please leave Tommy and his poopy pants out of it. GA-ROSS!!!!
People who post graphic gaping wound pics. I'm so sorry that half of your leg is gone from a flesh eating virus, I seriously am, but you just ruined my date with an Old Dirty Bastard from VooDoo Donut (don't worry it's vegan) so now I kinda hate you and secretly want to stab you in the eye with a dirty Tampon. Now there's a visual I could live with. 

Or how bout this one? You're having a good day until you log into Facebook and see this pile of horse shit...."Re-post this if you value our friendship. I have a pretty good idea of which of my friends will re-post this".   You do? If you already know which friends value your friendship, then why ask them to re-post how much you mean to them?  I mean I sorta liked you before you spammed my wall with a stupid chain letter, but now i'm definitely not gonna buy you that Starbucks e-gift certificate that Facebook is always pressuring me to buy. Sorry.   

Then there are those people who complain about everything.  I mean EV-ER-Y little, teeny tiny, damn thing.   These people make you tired and sympathetic towards their spouses (if you happen to see my husband go ahead and apologize to him because i'm exhausting).

"The stupid store didn't have the sheets in the size I need. I'll kill them all."
"My food is cold. Screw everyone."
"People are horrible. I hope they all get syphilis." 

I mean I don't mind the occasional vent or rant and i've done it before myself. I'm more of a glass half empty kinda girl myself so I get it.  Sometimes we need a sympathetic ear and there is no one else around except for a 3 year old watching Blues Clues who could care less about your problems.  Please by all means vent away if you had a lousy day, BUT what really bugs me are the negative nellies who also love to rant about how sick and tired they are of everyone else's negative crap on Facebook.  I think somebody needs a doggy bag to pick up their own poo. What do you think? 

The house cleaner.  And I don't mean someone who scrubs toilets.  Nope. I'm talking about those who constantly threaten others with biological Facebook war with things like, "I'm cleaning up my friends list on Thursday so some of you may get deleted. But don't take it personal. I just have a lot of stuff going on in my life and need to de-stress"   Well then, why wait until Thursday?  I'll make things easier on ya.  Unfriend.

Another thing that gets me are people who use Facebook as their own personal divorce court.  Divorce is hard, I get it. I've been through one myself, but do you have to let everyone on your friend's list know every single marital problem you've ever had?  Write a rap about your baby mama drama like Eminem does, but please for the love of Poptarts, keep the passive aggressive crap off of my timeline!   We get it. You chose the wrong partner.  No need to shout it from the rooftop that you married a douchenugget.

And the next time I see several of these inspirational type quotes posted in a row, i'm sending you a picture of my stretch marks. They're extra sexy. You're welcome.

Phew, I feel better already! So now that I got all of that out of my system, who wants to be my Facebook friend? 

*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be taken seriously.  Please do not get offended and unfriend me because I will cry. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You don't deserve your kids

I recently received a rather nasty, hateful email through my blog from a reader who said that I was a horrible, rotten, selfish mother who didn’t deserve my kids because I cracked a few jokes aimed at motherhood and I vented about my less than perfect day. This got me to thinking that perhaps she does have a point.  Maybe I don’t always deserve my kids.

Before you panic and send me more hate mail, please let sit back and let me tell you a little story about my day.   Today started out pretty normal, but quickly escalated into a big ole flop of failure.   I was driving across town to pick up my older kids from school. My two toddler boys were buckled into their car seats.  The radio was playing, my dog was happily peering out the window, and all was good in my world.  Then suddenly just like that, something went terribly wrong.  My newly turned four year old for whatever reason, decided that he wanted me to drive in a different direction than I normally do.  A direction that would’ve made it impossible to reach my final destination.  It just wasn’t going to happen, no matter how much he screamed or cried.  Realizing that he wasn’t getting his way he began to kick his feet into the air and scream.  I feebly attempted to calm him down by trying to talk to him in a stern voice.  It didn’t work.  Then I gave him a warning: “You will be going straight to bed when we get home little man if you don’t stop it”.  That didn’t work either.  And finally I just tried to ignore it.  You can guess how well that worked out.

I picked up the older kids and began my drive home.  Apparently my youngest son was just warming up as the screaming intensified and got louder and louder.  I tried to pretend that I was listening to a new screamo rock band. It used to be all the rage, right?   When that didn’t work I silently prayed that Peanut would temporary lose his voice, just until we got home and weren’t confined to a tiny space without an escape.  When that didn’t work, I briefly fantasized about a giant bird swooping down and plucking me out of the window and carrying me away to a land of peace and tranquility, whatever the hell that means. The damn bird could've dumped my ass off at Starbucks and that would've been fine with me. The drive home was painful for everyone but I knew I had to get home as quickly as possible.  It didn't help that I got stuck behind an elderly driver going 15 mph the entire drive home.  Happens to me every. single. time.

I pulled into my driveway but things continued to downward spiral.  By the time the minivan door slid open, my baby Godzilla was in full blown, “somebody kill me now”, meltdown mode.  Suddenly his car seat buckle seemed to be held together by rubber cement and I struggled to unfasten it.  My normally petite, feather weight of a son, suddenly felt like an elephant whom was pregnant with twin baby elephants.

It’s a known fact that every single time one of my kids is going postal, my childless by choice neighbors just happen to be outside to see the show.  They shot me their usual disapproving daggers of discontent and relief that they were able to walk inside to a quiet house, while I tried to pry Gumby out of my van who now had a kung fu, Spiderman grip on the frame of the van.

I carefully removed his kung fu grip, one tiny finger at a time, immediately walked him inside and put him to bed (like I threatened earlier) and then I collapsed onto my bed, still wearing my coat and shoes.  Tears began to fill my eyes and I thought to myself “Why do I deserve this?” I love my kids more than life itself. My kids have always come first.  I turn off my shows so they can watch their annoying kid shows, even though I’d rather pluck out my eyeballs with a fork than have to watch another episode of Mario Bros.  I give them my last piece of candy, even if it’s my very favorite. I sit in long pick up lines at school even though I’m bored out of my mind, and I read them bedtime stories until my tired voice cracks and my tonsils begin to ache.  Am I saying i'm perfect? Obviously not. I think anyone who has read my blog can figure that one out on their own.  There is nothing I love more than to make jokes at my own expense.  But to say I don't deserve my kids because I don't find every aspect of motherhood magical is a low blow and pretty ridiculous.

Parenthood is tough.  It’s not always sunshine and roses. If you have kids then I’m preaching to the choir, but what I don’t understand though, is why it’s not acceptable to vent when we have an occasional rough day?  We should be supporting each other instead of sending nasty grams to someone telling them how they don’t deserve their child because they dared to complain.  I can think of many examples of why some people don't deserve kids.  This isn't one of them.

There is a definite attitude on the Internet that mothers who complain about their children are somehow not worthy or deserving of having kids.  That if we complain, that must mean we don’t love or appreciate our children.  Or worse we post a seemingly harmless vent about something irritating our kid did and all we're looking for is a sympathetic, "Hugs" or "I get it" and instead we're told things like, "Be grateful that your child doesn't have cancer."  Huh?  I must've missed the memo that states only parents who have a child with a catastrophic illness are allowed to vent. Rather we’re supposed to suck it up no matter how tough things get, suffer in silence, cry in the bathroom and tell no one, or share picture perfect Pinterest-worthy photos, pretending to be supermom, when we're really not.

The next time you see a child having a colossal meltdown in the grocery store because a mom stands firm and tells her little darling no to the 20 lb bag of Laffy Taffy, or you read a post on the internet written by a mom (or dad) who had a rotten day and are simply frustrated and at the end of his or her rope, try not to judge. Be thankful that your day was frustration free. Tomorrow you might not be so lucky.

And whatever happened to screaming Mr. Peanut you may be wondering? He fell asleep in time out and i'm staring at his adorable chubby cheeks and thinking, "Thank GAWD he's asleep."  
As for my internet hater, I wish she wouldn't of remained anonymous so I could've emailed her back and asked if she wanted to babysit.  I’d love to soak in her infinite wisdom since she appears to have this parenting stuff down.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm back. Lucky you.

You may have been wondering where I went this past month or two?  Or maybe you're not. Either way, i'm going to tell you. I took the holidays off from blogging and showering (kidding. Sort of).  Why? Because I was so busy baking cookies and spreading holiday joy that I didn't have time to write.  Are you buying this?  Me either.  The real reason is, I simply didn't have anything blog worthy to write about.  Well, that and I have a slight Amazon addiction during the holidays so I was pretty much glued to my laptop ordering more toys for kids who don't need anymore toys.  I made a vow to the husband this year that I wouldn't buy anything with small pieces.  You should've seen his face when our daughter opened up her giant Monster High High School Playset and he looked at me with that "What in the hell is that monstrosity?" look.  I refused to make eye contact with him when the boys started tearing open the Playmobil stuff. I promised after the last couple of Christmases that I would never purchase another Playmobil item again. At least not for our own kids.  Our grandkids will be getting loads of it every single year, along with toys that make noise, stain your furniture and smell bad.  You're welcome kids!

So yeah, I suppose I could've babbled on and on and on about stupid things, but when I babble, I tend to give out way too much personal info and before you know it i'm describing my hemorrhoids to perfect strangers. And I don't even have hemorrhoids so then i'd be blogging without integrity. Slap me. Please.

This morning was the first day back to school.  I couldn't sleep so I was wide awake until 5 am. The alarm went off at 7:30 but I ignored it.  Then a few minutes later I heard a little voice calling out "Mom, come wipe my butt". I tried to ignore it but it didn't go away. It never does.  So I got up. In case you didn't know, unconditional love is crawling out of your warm, comfy bed to wipe a child's butt.  I wish I could say that I wake up every morning and seize the day and stuff, but I don't.  It's more like I stumble into the kitchen in a zombie like state and stuff a handful of Captain Crunch Berries into my mouth.

I was so tired this morning that I actually let my dog chew the legs off our ottoman and bark at leaves blowing by the front window. I will pretend to have no idea how or when it happened when the hubby comes home from work and asks why our black shag rug is covered in wood chips.

I'm pretty sure this long holiday break has caused me to slowly lose my mind.  I loved the Facebook posts over the holiday break saying, "Yay! Now I can sleep in".  Sleep in?  What's that? Seriously those two words may as well be "size zero" in my world. Never going to happen.  Last night I ordered a diaper bag. My youngest child is four and we're not having anymore kids (nor do I want anymore).  Just try and explain that one...I double dog dare ya!

I started a new diet plan before the holidays and actually started to lose some weight.  Then I gained most of it back over Christmas.  We had a glazed ham on Christmas Eve. I have no self control when it comes to pork products.  I will stalk the fridge like a dog (i'm actually worse than our dog) and eat cold ham straight out of the container until i'm so swollen and puffy all over my body from the sodium, that I have to use Crisco to get my wedding ring off. I'm re-starting my diet plan today and i'm pretty sure i'll want to stab my husband in the eye while we're sitting in the Costco food court tonight and he's eating a slice of pepperoni pizza in front of me.  I'm not a happy dieter.  In fairness, i'm not really much of a happy anything in case you haven't noticed.

Now that you've read this, i'm sure you're feeling smarter and wiser (I just misspelled smarter. Thank you autocorrect).  I give up.  Until next time.....