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Updates

I know it has been a while since I've written on here, and boy have I missed it!  Things have been so crazy hectic that my brain decided that I wasn't allowed to sit and organize my thoughts.  So now here it is, 3:30am, with me wide awake and with a chance to sort everything out.

So a couple of new things are going on: I just found out I'm pregnant a couple of weeks ago, I'm working on potty training my little guy, and my step-daughter hates me.

Technically, I wasn't supposed to be able to get pregnant again.  Or, I guess I should say, my chances of getting pregnant were pretty slim.  Back in April, I had to have a cone biopsy on my cervix because of Carcinoma In Situ (girls, get your pap smears, get the HPV vaccine, and stay on top of it if you have an abnormal pap!) and the doctor removed quite a bit of my cervix.  He told me that due to scar tissue, my chances of getting pregnant were slim but carrying a baby full term would be really difficult.  I am 17 weeks along now and have to go in for an ultrasound soon to find out how serious this pregnancy will be.  My options seem to be bedrest, hormone shots to thicken my cervix, or my cervix being sutchered shut until 36 weeks.  Don't get me wrong, I am very excited to be having another baby, I'm just scared for mine (and his/her) well being.

Potty training has been going pretty good.  My little guy is so silly; every time he wets his diaper, he will tap his crotch to let me know.  I figured that was a pretty good sign that he knows whats going on, so we got him a potty chair (it's so cute, a green froggy potty) and he seemed to know exactly what to do when I set him on it.  So we've got peeing down, but #2 isn't working out yet.  No big deal, we just wait until after the morning poop to bring the potty chair out.  It's so cute, he's figured out how to take his diaper off now, so he will strip, sit and go, and then lay down in the floor immediately for me to wipe and re-diaper him.  It amazes me how smart he is.  I can't believe he'll be 2 next month, time goes so fast...

Hotslings Flash #Giveaway

Welcome to the Facebook Fan Flash Giveaway!
This flash giveaway is for a HOTSLINGS baby carrier in Graham Cracker print!

(Not sponsored or endorsed by hotslings, facebook, or anyone other than Momma Without a Clue)

For your chance to win, follow the directions on the rafflecopter below.  

Open to US only.  You must be a fan of Momma Without a Clue on facebook to win.
All entries will be verified.


Choosing an Adult Halloween Costume

As an adult, it gets difficult to figure out what kind of Halloween costume you should go with.  Should you play it safe and stick with being a Disney Princess to match your 6 year-old or do you dare to explore the more sexy costumes?

I guess it comes down to what you plan on doing in your costume.  If you are going to an adult party, then you could definitely choose from the sexy costumes and be a French Maid or cheerleader.  However, if your plans are to only trick-or-treat with your kids, I would stay as chaste as possible and go for a scary witch or princess.

AnytimeCostumes.com provided me with one of their fantastic costumes to review, so I chose the Catnip Cutie.  I like that it is sexy, but still modest enough to wear out trick-or-treating with the kids.

First, I have to say, this costume is hot!  I love the style, and how well it fits.  The material of this outfit is durable and stretchy and the lace is gorgeous!  (It has a lace-ruffle bustle on the back, which I'm not going to show, but I LOVE IT!)  This is the kind of costume that will hold up for years.  They are very inexpensive as well.  This costume retails for under $30!

mee-ow!

To check out AnytimeCostumes.com adult line for men and women's costumes, and see their amazing prices, you can click this link.

Good luck, and have a great Halloween in 2012!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Italian Beef (Chicago-style)

This is one of my all time favorite foods.  Growing up in the south, we didn't have foods like this.  Every summer when I would visit my dad in Illinois, I would turn into a food connoisseur - tasting and enjoying everything we didn't have back home.  I ran across a recipe one day and discovered that it tastes just like Portillo's Italian Beef :)


Chicago-Style Italian Beef

Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 packet italian dressing mix
5 lb rump roast

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water and seasonings and bring just to a boil.
Put roast in crockpot and pour mixture over meat.  Turn on low setting and cook for 10-12 hours or high for 4-5 hours.  Shred meat and serve on italian rolls.


A Bit About Me

A few lists to give you a better insight of who I am.  

Seven Things that Scare Me:

* Large crowds
* Driving/walking over bridges
* That pause in breathing babies do when they're sleeping that only lasts about 10 seconds but seems like eternity
* Spiders
* Snakes
* Hydroplaning
* Falling

Seven Things I Like:

* The smell of fresh rain on hot asphalt
* Cat pictures on the internet
* Talking about my kid
* Sleeping
* The moon
* Astrology
* The smell of french lavender

Seven Random Facts About Me:

* I won the spelling bee in 3rd grade
* I hate seafood but love canned tuna
* I love getting so absorbed in a book that it takes a few minutes for reality to come back
* I would totally hit on Gerard Butler or Jason Statham in front of my fiance, and he knows it
* I have many beliefs but am not religious in the conventional sense
* I am the most uncoordinated person in the world.  I can (and have) trip on the lines in linoleum 
* I hate being out in the sun

Seven Things I want to Do Before I Die:

* Write a book
* Raise my son to be an honest, loving man
* Visit Japan
* Learn HTML
* Become Self-Sufficient
* Drive a motorcycle
* Beat my anxiety

Seven Things I Can Do Well:

* Correct grammar mistakes (yes, I am a Grammar Nazi)
* Sleep
* Give advice 
* Bake
* Clean (although I don't like too)
* Snuggle
* Look at things in a realistic view

Seven Things I Can't Do But Wish I Could:

* Read minds
* Have an anxiety-free day out of the house
* Get my step-daughter to listen to me
* Teach my little guy to talk
* Have a full night's sleep
* Stop worrying
* Relax

Seven Phrases I'm Known to Use:

* Okee Dokee
* Be careful!
* It's up to you...
* Don't eat that!
* Cool Beans 
* Ugh!
* Fine.

Comment challenge time!
I want my readers to take one of these lists and comment with your "Seven."  It'll be fun to get to know you a little better!  This post will be open until midnight tonight where I will randomly (using random.org) select one commenter to win a $5 Amazon gift code! 
-only one comment per person, and must be a GFC follower to win! Good luck!

Good Morning... (Kinda)

It's 5:30am.  Little man just woke up, crying, so I roll off the couch and stumble over to the love seat to get him since he insisted in sleeping in the living room last night.  By insisted, I mean every time I carried him to bed he woke up and screamed, so I gave up comfort for a few hours of sleep.  Anyway, I stumble over to the love seat, trying to untangle myself from the blanket, to scoop him up before he wakes everyone else up. As I pick him up, he tears off his diaper (which he has completely soaked) and proceeds to pee on the love seat, somehow managing to soak his (and my) shirt in the process.

Ok, we can handle this, no big deal.  I grab a diaper, get him cleaned up and his shirt stripped off him, and dry him off.  We go to the laundry room, him on my hip, and get clean, dry shirts and stop into the kitchen on the way back for a cup of milk.  My ever-so-helpful little guy decides to put his lid on his cup as I'm pouring his milk, so I end up pouring a good cupful into the floor.  Woohoo!

I set him down and grab a towel, clean up the floor, and dry my feet off, scoop him up and head back for the living room.  I give him his milk, turn on Kung Fu Panda, and lay him on the couch so I can attempt to dry to love seat up.  Unsuccessfully, I throw a towel over the wet spot and here I am.

And that has been my wake up on a Saturday morning.  I miss sleeping in!

The Brain That Changes Everything ebook- Review

I was introduced to this book - The Brain That Changes Everything by Shaahin Cheyene - and am compelled to write a review.  This is a book that I think all Mommas should read, especially if you have "clueless" moments as often as I do.
In short, it is a book that teaches you how to change the way your brain functions, basically rewiring and reshaping, so you can have improved memory, focus, and faster processing.  The subtitle "The Ultimate Guide to Accelerating Your Brain" just about sums it up.
This is the ultimate guide to discovering your superhuman brain. If you take just an hour out of your busy schedule to read this book, you'll be well on your way to improving your brainpower. I've condensed all the fastest, most powerful techniques into one, easy-to-follow guide.
 I love how simple Shaahin Cheyen breaks everything down, making the idea of increasing your brain power achievable for anyone regardless of age or intelligence.  This book covers the essential supplements your body and brain need, along with exercise and stress-reducing techniques that may help increase your brain's abilities.

It is an easy to follow book with as much information as you could need packed into a guide that can be read in one or two sittings.  In fact, he even lays out a formula for reading this guide:
Any philosophy worth taking on can be learned quickly. After all, it does me no good if you age by the time you read this. The brain retains the most information in the first and last five minutes of any session. This book was designed to be read in a total of two fifty-nine-minute sessions. I recommend five-minute increments with a one- minute break in between.
According to The Brain That Changes Everything, 20% of everything you eat feeds your brain.  This book lays out all the foods you should be avoiding, as well as outlining why you should eat others.  It also talks about how Cortisol is a "brain-killer" and steps you can take to reduce the amount your body produces.

In all, this is a fantastic read for anyone wanting to improve the way their brain works.  I, for one, will definitely be implementing these techniques into my every day life and will report to you guys how well it works.  With the "brain fog" I experience on a daily basis from fibromyalgia and just the every day stress of being a momma, I know that any little improvement in my memory and focus would be tremendous.

 http://www.excelerol.com is the site where this free ebook can be found, just subscribe to the newsletter.


Clueless Moment of the Day

Our power went out at 5am this morning.  Little Man made sure I knew all about it.  He woke up terrified because the living room was completely dark, and he couldn't see anything.  Of course, still half-asleep, I assumed the lamp was just off so I reached over and turned the switch a couple of times.  Then I realized nothing else was on.  So after lighting a candle and getting him settled back down, I decided to try to find the phone number for the electric company to report the power outage.  I figured no one else in my neighborhood was awake yet to call, I might as well have the honors.

After stumbling over the baby gate, stubbing my toe on several little toys that the little guy had thrown over, and making my way into the office, I finally get to my rocker and pick up the laptop.  No power, that's ok - the laptop has a battery!  Feeling pretty pleased with myself that I figured that much out, I turned the laptop on and proceeded to look up the power companies website...

DOH! No electricity= no router.  Seriously, it took me about 5 minutes to figure out why the laptop wouldn't connect.  That's about the time I said, "screw it" and decided to go back to bed.  The power was on 15 minutes later.

What's your most recent "mom-brain" moment?

On this day in history (August 10th)

Here are a few things that happened on this day, throughout history:

Headache Remedies


Let's face it. I've got a screaming meanie that runs around beating on everything 24/7. Ok maybe that's a little drastic, since he sleeps for about 8 hours + a nap. So 15 hours a day, I have this loud little guy that doesn't give me time to think, let alone relax.

I already suffered from migraines a couple of times a month before I became a mom, but geez, here lately I've been getting horrible headaches almost every afternoon.  I decided to do some research about how to get rid of them and thought I would share what I found.


My toddler refuses to eat

Seriously, he hates food.  I'm lucky if I can get him to eat more than a bite or two, and that is if I'm feeding him his favorites.  If it isn't fruit, rice, or pasta, it automatically gets thrown onto the ground.  According to all of the baby experts, when a toddler nears the 18 month mark, they start going though the independent stage where they want to do everything themselves.  I understand that he wants to be in control, that he wants to be a big boy and feed himself.  That's why I only make him things that he can pick up and feed himself.  He has no problem using a spoon or fork, but doesn't want to.

He'll eat a cracker if he gets to run around too.

His Daddy says to not give him milk, and he'll eat when he's hungry. Daddy works all day though and doesn't realize that the little guy only gets milk when he first wakes up, at naptime, and then before bed.  So that can't be enough to keep him from being hungry, I wouldn't think.  

So for right now I'm sneaking multi-vitamin drops into his milk at night to make sure he's getting enough nutrients, and wracking my brain trying to think of ways to get him to eat.



Do you have a picky non-eating toddler?  I would love to get some comments to know I'm not alone!  What are some methods that you have tried?  


Looking for a cheap vacation? Rent a timeshare! {Review}

As a stay-at-home Mama, I get cabin fever BAD!  The only places I go really is the grocery store and maybe to my mom's house.  We live on a tight budget though, so vacationing tends to be out of the question.
Then I was introduced to timeshare rentals.  Did you know that you can rent someone else's timeshare for a fraction of the cost you would pay getting a hotel? Timeshare rentals typically cost up to 50% less than hotel rooms, especially when rented directly from the owner.


RedWeek.com is a website dedicated to connecting timeshare owners to those who are looking for a great vacation place at an affordable price. With over 1.5 million members,  timeshare owners can list their timeshare for rent, so members can easily find a great vacation without worrying about how to cover the costs of a hotel for a big family.  





As soon as you log in, "Top Timeshare Rental Destinations" will catch your eye.  Cancun at $42 a night?? Sign me up!  You can click on these top destinations for listings of timeshares for rent, and a page will pop up with available dates and prices.  

One thing that I absolutely love about this site is that you can customize your search to find exactly what you are looking for.  When you click on Find a Timeshare, you are routed to a page that lists features, such as "Kid friendly," "Pet friendly," as well as nearby attractions like golf courses, beaches, and theme parks. 

They also offer a "Resource" page with FAQs, a tutorial on how the page works, easy instructions on how to rent a timeshare, and a glossary of common terms.  Three different blogs can be accessed through the "Resource" page as well for even more help and information.

You can visit RedWeek.com and create a guest account to browse their site.  If you see something you like, you can purchase a membershp that allows you to contact the timeshare owners.
Want a free membership?  Enter below for a chance to win a 2-year membership at RedWeek.com
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Scrumptious Saturday: Green Beans and Bacon

This has been one heck of a week, and I am in some serious need of comfort foods. You know the kind I'm talking about: a greasy, starchy, fill-you-up kind of meal that invokes memories just by smelling it cooking? That's what I'm after.

Where's my silver lining??

After a half-hour long car ride with my screaming little guy (he had just woken up from his nap and was not happy for some reason still unbeknownst to me,) we finally made it to the grocery store.  I had spent all morning planning this shopping trip: had my grocery list, my coupons, and was kind of excited.  There were some great deals that I didn't want to miss out on.

5-Hour Energy Review

As you all may have noticed - I have a very rambunctious, energetic little guy.  Don't believe me? Scroll through a couple of my latest posts.  He's a climber, a screamer, a temper-tantrum conundrum.  Don't get me wrong, I love him more than anything in this world.  I just wish I was able to keep up with him, especially in the evenings when he's got me completely worn down. 

After absolutely no sleep last night, you can imagine how excited I was to open my mailbox this afternoon to find free samples from Smiley360 of 5-Hour Energy.  


It's the simple things...

My little guy is a year and a half - a toddler.  He has so many nifty toys (ones that I like playing with lol) but nothing beats the smile he has plastered on his face when he gets to go into the kitchen with me.  
We keep all of our pots, pans, and mixing bowls in a bottom cabinet, and he has discovered it.  I think I may have a drummer on my hands: as soon as he gets into said cabinet, he's putting pots and bowls upside down and immediately banging on them.  I love it, he's my little music man.  He gets so excited when he's got a wooden spoon and something to beat on!


The lesson I learned here?  Sometimes it's the simplest things that bring out the greatest pleasure.

Wordless Wednesday

Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, erm box:

1 a.m.

and I just now got my little one to go to sleep. He has been a screaming banshee tonight. Full fricken tantrums: complete with pulling Momma's hair, throwing his milk across the room, lunging at the ground like his feet got knocked out from under him, screaming at the top of his lungs... 




My neighbors probably think I'm beating the hell out of him from all the noise 
going on up here, but all I could do was sit and watch him do all of this; he didn't want me near him at all.  This had been going on for at least an hour.  Finally he let me scoop him up and rock/sway/bounce him until his head started getting heavy and doing the drunk bob. That's when I knew it was safe to lay him down and quietly escape to another room.  I am still trying to work the cramps out of my legs from all the pacing.  All this while Daddy sleeps peacefully on the couch. Nights like these make me miss my Effexor. Bad. 

Nostalgia

Feeling kind depressed today, just thinking about how fast my little guy is growing up.  It isn't like he did anything huge today, no new milestones or anything like that.  Just watching him play and realizing how smart he is though, how fast he learns everything... It's crazy.  I swear I was just pregnant with him last week!  How is it that the days can go by so slow, but the weeks, months, and years fly by?

Little Monkeys

Sorry I haven't written in a few days, it has been pretty hectic around here.  Between a tantrum-throwing toddler wanting Momma to carry him everywhere, a whiny 6 year-old who refused to listen to anything I said, and a fiance who chose to stay out of the house as much as possible to avoid it all, I haven't gotten a few minutes of peace to sit and compose a coherent thought (let alone try to write about it.)


Just had to share a picture of my lil guy, sound asleep :)
There is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping child.
Especially when the child is your own.
Good night, and sweet dreams :)

Step-Parenting

My fiance has a 6 year old little girl who is amazing.  No, her daddy and I aren't married (yet) but I still consider her my step-daughter.  She is such a goofy, fun, smart kid and I love having her around.  The custody arrangement is that we get her every other week, and it seems to work out okay.  

Nightmares

My 6 year old step-daughter has been having nightmares lately.  About 30 minutes to an hour after she goes to bed, she will wake up sobbing.  When her daddy and I go in there to check on her, the only thing she will say is that she had a bad dream.  Clearly upset, but refuses to tell us what's wrong.  I don't want to push her, she's got a pretty firm grasp on reality and knows that what she dreamed is not real.  I just wish that I could help her out. 

Here we go again

3:30am again. Little man wanted his milk, and to be moved to the couch because apparently the new queen sized mattress we bought isn't good enough for him.  Which means that in order to make sure he continues sleeping until at least daylight, I have to leave him there.  So if I want to get any sleep whatsoever, I am gonna have to curl up on the loveseat and try to get as comfortable as possible.

Isn't that the truth...



They come out only knowing how to breathe, cry, poop, sleep, and nurse.  Its up to us parents to teach them everything else, if not directly, at least to expose them to things in life that will teach them. 


I worry all the time whether or not I'm teaching my kid the things he's supposed to know.  I have no idea what I'm doing, how can I expect him to learn from me?!? 

Random Screaming

My toddler is in the tantrum stage. And I'm talkin', full blown whiney screaming fits where he flops his entire body on the floor and lays there until someone picks him up.  Or until he gets bored and finds something else to do, which usually takes about 2-3 minutes.  What did this teach me?  To step over him and continue on with what I was doing.  Seriously, if I were to drop everything and go running every single time he started one of these emotional tirades I would spend all day carrying him and trying to figure out what he wanted from the pointed little E.T. finger and random bursts of "UhhhHHHHhhhh!"

I know this, because I learned it the hard way.



My little monkey is 18 months old (drives the fiance crazy when I say that, "he's a year and a half damnit!") and he hasn't figured out yet how to verbalize.  Sure, there's the "ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma" when he wants me, or the cute random ones like "pop" and "want" that we don't hear often.  Other than that, its a series of different pitched cries, whines, screams, and babbles.  How am I supposed to know what "um ba da da eeeeeeeeee" means??


Yet another day of feeling clueless :)

New Beginnings

So I've always wanted to write.  I am an opinionated person that has something to say about everything.  I also have an extreme amount of anxiety, so most of those thoughts go unheard.  Not opinionated in a bad way, just that I have an input on a lot of things.  So why not blog? :)