Princesses for Halloween? My Daughters Let it Go

A few months ago (like June) when the stores started putting out Halloween costumes, I thought my girls would no doubt want to be Elsa and Anna from “Frozen”.

I mean, what little girl doesn’t want to be one of them?

They eat and breathe anything and everything with those sisters faces on it.

They screech “Let it Go” at the top of their lungs and wish they had their very own Olaf in the backyard all year long to play with.

But, just when I thought I had them figured out, they surprised me. My older daughter told me right away she wanted to be a “police”, as in an officer of the law.police1

“Really? Why?” I asked. The answer, “So, I can direct traffic.” I laughed. She was dead serious. I thought as the big day got closer she would maybe change her mind. I thought when we went to the party store to get her costume and she saw all the princess costumes she would drop her badge for a magic wand or at least an ice crystal. Nope. She was not going to let it go. So, we bought the police officer costume. Truth be told, we got the boys’ costume because I didn’t see the need in having a five-year-old wear fishnet stockings and knee high boots.  Call me crazy, but that’s not happening in my house.

Moving on to daughter number two who is also a “Frozen” freak. If not Elsa or Anna, I thought maybe she would opt for Olaf. She really does love warm hugs. Nope. For some reason, she wanted to be Dora the Explorer. Perfect! I thought. dora1

I already have that costume in the closet from a few years back.

I dragged it out.

She tried it on.

It fit.

She loved it.

I loved it more because it meant I didn’t have to buy two costumes. Gracias mi amiga Dora! Elsa and Anna who?

I couldn’t help but ask my girls why they were ditching the sisters from Arendale this Halloween. They simply said they didn’t want to dress up as them.

That’s good enough for me, especially after going to several Halloween events where all sets of sisters I’ve seen are dressing up as Elsa and Anna. We were at one party where there four Elsas and Annas and several other princesses including Belle, Snow White, and the rest of her BFFs.

Don’t get me wrong, my girls love to dress up as princesses and I’m all for it. But, I was doing mommy cartwheels inside when they decided not to be one for Halloween. I was kinda proud that my daughters didn’t want to get lost in the crowd . I can honestly say I have not seen one other little girl police officer nor have I seen another Dora. That’s probably because Dora is a bit past her prime, but you get the point.

When it comes to princess Hallloween costumes, in the words of the famous Elsa, “Let it go, let it go”…Being different should never bother you any day.







Dreft Giveaway

Welcome to the Dreft Prize Package Giveaway

Sponsored by Dreft

Hosted by Kathy’s Savings


This giveaway is for a Dreft prize package. The package includes:

  • 2 bottles of Dreft ($38)
  • 1 set of Dreft wipes ($10)
  • 1 laundry stain remover ($5)
  • 1 to-go stain remover ($4)
  • 1 odor eliminator and fabric refresher ($5)
  • $30 gift card for Little Me clothing ($30)
  • Little Me footie pajamas sz. 6 months ($16)

The giveaway is open to the U.S. only. The Mommy Rundown is helping to promote this giveaway. This will run from 10/28-11/11. Good luck to everyone. There will be a Twitter party on November 6th, so please check out Kathy’s Savings post about Dreft.

Disclosure: Kathy’s Savings and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment. The giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn.

Great Pumpkin & Apple Dessert

I admit, I am no Betty Crocker. I’m not her sister, her aunt, not even her second cousin twice removed. So, when I decide to take a culinary leap, I feel the need to brag about it.

The other day my daughter came home from school with a cute little recipe idea. Basically, you take a small pumpkin, cut off the top like you’re going to carve it and scoop out the insides. Then, in a bowl you chop up a few apples, add some raisins, cranberries (I used craisins), cinnamon and sugar. You mix it all together and put it inside the pumpkin. So easy peasy.


Once you have this done, you put a dot of butter on top, put the pumpkin top back on, then place the entire pumpkin on a cookie sheet. You cook the whole pumpkin at 350 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half.

Once you take it out and let it cool off you not only have yummy apples and cinnamon goodness, but also some pumpkin to go along with it since the pumpkin is nice and soft.

Let me tell you how delicious this thing is! My kids loved it. I loved it. Score.

It really couldn’t have been more simple. Thank God the pumpkin didn’t explode in my oven. For a second there, I thought it was a possibility.



So, if you’re looking for a fun activity and yummy dessert, try this one. I can’t promise how many more recipes I will ever write about, so enjoy this one!

Do You Really Like Staying Home with Your Kids?

There are few things that really, truly eat away at me. I usually just brush them off with an eye roll or an internal “shut up.” Then there are the occasional comments that fester inside of me and make me question how people can be so rude. Maybe they just want to make conversation. But sometimes no conversation is better, you know what I mean? Truthfully, I don’t think people realize how their comments come of…or maybe they do.

Case and point…lately on numerous occasions, I’ve been asked, with squinting eyes and squishy foreheads “Do you really like staying home with your kids?” It would be okay if just one person asked, but when it becomes the topic of several conversations within a short span of time, I just get annoyed. Period. Especially when the tone takes on a sympathetic one implying that I must be some miserable soul because I don’t have a typical job.

So, how do I answer these enquiring minds? The short answer is, “Yes, I do really like staying home with them.”

The long answer is…Yes.

There are days when I wish Doc McStuffins would stop fixing her toys and Dora would realize maps don’t talk.

There are days and moments that I want to rip my hair out.

But, the same can be said when I was a working mother. So, no difference there. Staying home works for me and my family now. Will it in the future? Will I go back to work? I can’t give you that answer because I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t have a psychic friends’ network like Dionne Warwick to help me figure that out.

Perhaps instead of a simple, “yes”, I should fire back with questions like “Do you really like going to work everyday? Do you really like not seeing your kids all day?”

How rude, I know. But isn’t it rude to ask SAHMs the same types of questions?

I just don’t get what is so fascinating about a woman wanting to stay home to take care of her own children. I’m not turning back the clock on women’s equality because I chose to stay home. In fact, I think it is rather empowering. As a SAHM you are the CEO of your house. You schedule and pretty much pull all the strings. Sure you answer to whining co-workers (AKA your kids), but in the end you’re the MIC (Mom in Charge).Not too shabby.




Monday’s Mommas: Suzanna from One Hoolie Mama

Thanks for checking out my Monday’s Mommas feature. This week I’m pleased to introduce you to Suzanna.
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Suzanna is a mom to a multitude of hooligans. You can find her over at  She’s a wife, boy mom, fur mom, runner and fitness enthusiast, blogger, volunteer, who also happens to work full time.  She blogs about their lives and the lessons she’s learning along the way. Read her post about introducing animals to your little ones.
Introducing the Boy to the Pack
I’ve been a mom to our fur children for many years now, so when we learned that we would be having our first non-fur child, I spent quite a bit of time researching how to introduce the new baby into the pack.   There are many different resources that give tips about introducing a little one, but I wanted to share how we chose to (both successfully and relatively easily) bring #BabyD into the pack.

We didn’t spend any longer at the hospital than we were required to by the doctors, so we weren’t away from the dogs too long (I am very thankful to have family close by and a brother who is willing to house & dog-sit when needed).  The only dog we had any hesitation about with the baby was Bella – she’s our youngest, a total daddy’s girl, and pretty much a diva hooligan.  Rather than bringing home baby clothes or blankets for the dogs to sniff out (like I said, we didn’t want to spend any extra time at the hospital, so why take the time to make an extra trip home?), we decided that our plan of attack was for me to come in first, say hello to the dogs, and let them out into the backyard.  Then Hubby would bring #BabyD in, and we’d let the dogs in one at a time to meet their new brother.






Bella was let in first and, while she was very curious about the new creature, she immediately caught on that this little thing was important to her daddy, so she decided he was going to be important to her as well.  Bella decided that this was going to be “her” baby and was attentive to his every fussiness.




The rest of the dogs have adjusted also very well to their new brother – sniffing him and giving him kisses whenever they get the opportunity, and letting him pet them almost whenever he wants.  Now that #BabyD is getting more mobile, sometimes he bothers the dogs enough for them to leave the room, but they are good sports.




All in all, we had an easy transition for the dogs, though they did need some extra attention from us in the beginning.  I think that most dogs will accept a new member to the pack as long as they still get love and attention too.


“Charming” Doll Creeps Me Out

“Mommy look, Lalaloopsy is pooping charms!”

What? When I heard my daughter say this I thought my sleep deprivation was certainly getting the best of me or that my daughter was delusional. Sadly, neither one of these things was true. Lalaloopsy was indeed pooping and peeing charms for little girls to make bracelets out of.



This lovely creation is what the cool kids call Lalaoopsy Babies Diaper Surprise . A surprise indeed. After changing diapers for the better part of five years, I can tell you I never once found a charm nestled away in a poop or pee-filled diaper. Never. But, now little girls can feed their Lalaloopsy doll, press her belly button, check her diaper and find a plastic charm to play with. How wonderful and factual.

After watching and re-watching this commercial a few times (thank you rewind option on live TV), my daughters and I laughed. This doll is ridiculous! My older daughter asked if she was going to pee or poop charms. She was joking of course. But, if she pooped out some diamonds, I wouldn’t complain.

I know dolls like this are just for play and we shouldn’t take them seriously, blah blah blah….but really, a doll that poops toys? Can we please think of something else for our girls to play with? This is just gross and weird all at the same time. It doesn’t help that I find Lalaloopsy creepy anyway. This just adds to the creeper factor.

Needless to say you will not find this doll in my house. I just can’t. So strange. That is, unless she poops real diamonds. Then, maybe. But, just maybe.


Monday’s Mommas: Jen Rudd from

Hello all…Thanks for checking out this week’s Monday’s Mommas feature.

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Jen Rudd from Jen Rudd HeadshotJen is a Work-From-Home wife and mom of two kids and two beagles from Redondo Beach, California. In addition to running her own Business Development firm, she also blogs about her experiences being a full time mom as well as a business owner. When she isn’t stressing about deadlines or preschool homework (why does a three year old have homework?!?), she enjoys long walks on the beach, making overly ambitious cakes for birthdays and reality television.

Read Jen’s touching post about the love for her children.



You Are My Sunshine

My favorite lullaby for my kids has always been “You Are My Sunshine.” I remember it as a child and it is etched in my memory as a song that has always soothed me.

In my post-partum haze after my son was born, I actually looked up the lyrics – I wanted to sing more than 1 ½ verses to him. What I found surprised me. It is a pretty sad song, about a scorned lover. It really doesn’t seem to be appropriate for a child’s lullaby, but it still holds true to me.

My favorite two verses are:

The other night dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you
In my arms
When I awoke dear
I was mistaken
and I hung my head and cried

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You’ll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

I sing them over and over to my children. The song sometimes brings a little tear to my eyes – the thought of losing them is so frightening to me.

It is frightening because I almost lost both of them.

Both of my children had a rough first couple of months. My pregnancies were awful – I was being tested for pre-eclampsia at thirty weeks for both and they were both induced.

My daughter had a pretty bad start. She was born with fluid on her lungs and spent the first night in the nursery. She went home with jaundice light belts and was tested every day because she was not gaining weight. I thought her spit up was just a part of being a baby. It was a rough few weeks. But at 4 weeks, I felt we were out of the woods. I could start to relax. I actually slept for a few hours at night.

But then the shoe dropped.

We were playing on the floor and she just stopped moving and her lips turned blue. I picked her up in shock and she started moving again. It took me a few minutes to realize something serious had happened, and I called my husband in from the other room and took her to see the doctor. She was admitted to the hospital immediately.

After 3 days of testing, she was diagnosed with milk protein allergy, and SEVERE acid reflux. I found out later that her ALTE (Apparent Life Threatening Event – turning blue) was what was called a diver’s reflex. When the acid gets so bad, they actually hold their breath so they don’t swallow it. It was horrible with her in the hospital and all the testing, but I was glad to have answers and a course of action. Eventually she went on hypoallergenic (expensive) formula and medication and finally outgrew the acid reflux.

My son had a little better entrance. He got to come with me to our mother baby closet suite and seemed to be thriving.

Well for 12 hours at least. After my disastrous time with nursing and a hyper sensitive daughter, I still tried nursing him. Well, 12 hours after he was born, he was projectile-vomiting. It was hitting the side of the bassinet as he lay swaddled on his side (a technique I learned with my daughter. His bassinet was also raised at an angle).

After X-rays to rule out blockage, I immediately requested the pediatrician approve him for hypoallergenic formula. We immediately set him up with a gastroenterologist (from the same practice my daughter went to for the first year of her life) and thought we were doing everything to prevent another episode. We held off putting him on medication until he was a month old due to the side effects it could cause in newborns.

At exactly a month old, he had his ALTE.

I had just put him in his bassinet by my bed and settled down to watch a show with my hubby. I heard some strange noises and looked in his bassinet. He was bubbling and gasping for air. He was a strange shade of purple and struggling. I picked him up and we immediately started trying to get him to breathe. I found out later that blowing in their face helps snap the child out of out of the diver’s reflex episode. We called 911 and he started to come out of the episode. My husband thought we were going to lose him that night.

After the ambulance came and we spent the night in the county hospital (they took us there because the hospital was the closest one that dealt with ALTE pediatric cases) we went to the nearby children’s hospital for testing. He also had severe reflux and allergies.

Going through so much to get our kids to a good place has given me so much to be thankful for, but I also am painfully aware how easily they can be taken away. The days are long with a three and a one year old, but gosh, I am so supremely lucky that they are here to drive me nuts.

So every night, when I put them to bed, I hold them a little too tight as I sing my favorite lullaby…

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

The Good, The Bad, & The Yoga Pants

I’m not one to frequently comment on Facebook posts. I read them. Sometimes I like them, but rarely do I take the time to tell the world what I think. I just don’t. But, one post last week not only cracked me up, but really got me thinking…and commenting.

I read about a workplace discussion over whether yoga pants were appropriate for women to wear when they weren’t doing yoga-like things…like running errands, grocery shopping, etc. The comments covered both ends of the spectrum from both men and women. Some didn’t care what women wore at any time. Some loved the yoga pants; others did not think they should be worn when hopping around town.

Well, I openly professed my love for yoga pants because I thoroughly enjoy wearing them…a lot. In fact, I sometimes have to tell myself to look beyond the yoga pants for fear of wearing them too much. Then, I thought, am I one of those people? Do people think I’m a hot mess because I troll around in them any place and at any time? Am I committing a fashion faux paux? Hmmm…

Then I thought …I have two kids I stay at home with a lot. I taxi around town for school drop offs, pick-ups, story times, swim lessons, errands, and everything else in between. I wear my yoga pants to the gym and beyond. I heart them. Plus, yoga pants make your butt look good. After two kids, who can argue with that?

If people think they are inappropriate, so be it. I know this post may be a bit silly, but sometimes you just need a little silly in your life. I think yoga pants are one of the best creations ever. They are a lot more forgiving than leggings or jeggings or any other kind of “egging”. They truly do rock this momma’s world. Long live the yoga pant!

So, just curious…are you a yoga pant loving momma? Do you think there is a right place and a right time to wear them?


Giveaway: $50 iTunes Gift Card

Check out this cool app & giveaway The Mommy Rundown is helping to promote!
Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post.  However, all opinions are honest and my own. 

I have found my new favorite app!  If I could I’d shout from the rooftops for everyone to get this app on their devices.  The name is fun, the functionality of the app is brilliant, it really is an app that anyone who loves music should have!  Oh, you want to know what it’s called so you can download it right away?  Keep reading!

MusicBleeper is the very app I am raving about.  Occasionally I like to listen to a hip hop song or 2 that may contain lyrics that my 5 yr old and 3 yr old do not need to hear.  It seems these days it is so hard to shield them from all of the nasty in the world, so falling in love with musicBleeper has been a wonderful thing!  Let me tell you a little bit more….

musicBleeper is a censorship app that allows you to personally control the words you feel are inappropriate in your music. Now you can relax and listen to music with your children without being embarrassed or worried about profanity or inappropriate language.

Best of all, musicBleeper is free. Your music. Your way.

As a Mom that has always loved music, it is important to share music with my children.  Sure, we sing songs together, but mainstream music is important too! So many styles, and now we can listen to all of them without worry!

There are so many things to enjoy about this app.  I love that my children cannot change the settings. The app is password protected, so I don’t have to worry about my son jamming on the buttons and accidentally changing the settings.  I’ve had to unlock my phone with my computer so many times, just to gain access, but he can’t mess up this app!  Also, I find this app very easy to use.  You sign in, set the settings how you prefer them, and use the app.  You can choose for the app to silence the word or skip it.  I felt the silence was better for my phone.  It sounded smoother.  Nobody wants choppy music after all!

If you are looking for an app to help your children stay young a little longer, this might just be the one for you!  You control everything about it.  It’s simply Your Music. Your Way.

Follow MusicBleeper on Google+

Oh WAIT!!  Did I hear you want a link to download the app and enter to win a $50 iTunes Gift Card?  Check out the Giveaway tool below!  Good Luck!

The Giveaway:
How to Enter: Please use the Giveaway Tool below!
Prize:  $50 iTunes Gift Card
Dates: Starts October 8, 2014 12:00 am EST.  Winner will be chosen October 22, 2014 11:59 pm EST.

Disclosure: Sweet Cheeks and Savings teamed up with musicBleeper for this giveaway. Other participating bloggers are not responsible for choosing the winner or shipment of product. They have not receive any compensation for this post. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. The winner will be chose at random by the Giveaway Tool and emailed. The winner must claim the prize within 48 hours or they risk forfeiting the prize.

Monday’s Mommas: Pets, Parents, and How Children Cope Best

Hello and welcome to my new feature “Monday’s Mommas”. Each Monday I will spotlight one or two bloggers with a fabulous guest post.

I’m kicking off the series with a post by Janet S. Lopes. In this entry, she writes about kids, pets, and the lengths we’ll go for our kids. Surely a great read whether or not you have pets!

janetJanet is a wife and mother of two living in Connecticut.  She is an award-winning television journalist, photographer, and blogger.  You can check out her outdoor adventure blog, “The Trail Mix” on


Pets, Parents, and How Children Cope Best 


Yep, that’s the name of my daughter’s hamster.  I can’t remember how she came up with it. Bella tried to change it a few times. But, those didn’t stick. This one did.  And for about a year, Babycakes was living the high life, as only a hamster could, until now.

Babycakes is a teddy bear hamster; cute, pudgy, and as my husband, Tom, notes, still a rodent.  Bella, who is 10, takes offense to that.  She feels it’s in an insult, tells her dad under no uncertain circumstances it is, and for the last year, tried to convince him otherwise.  Well, it may have finally paid off.

Because, like a vigilant hawk, Bella, just a few days ago, noticed something was amiss, “Mom, something is wrong with Babycakes.”

I looked at her, back at the hamster, saw nothing of concern, and tried to settle my daughter’s fears.

“She looks perfectly fine. She’s doing what hamsters do,” I said.

That was mistake number one.

Next day….same thing.

I took her from her multi-level cage (oh yes, only the best), checked her out, and dismissed her lethargic movements and bloated appearance.

“She’ll be fine,” I assured. “She’s just getting older and resting more.”

Mistake number two.

By this time, Bella is bursting at the seams, pleading with me constantly, finally, taking Babycakes from her ‘condo’ digs and sticking her in my face.

“See! Look at her again.  Can we take her to the vet?”

“What? Are you kidding? There aren’t many vets that take care of hamsters.  And, besides, it’s probably nothing,” I said.

Mistake number three.

And this…this is where the turnaround comes.  Before Bella went off with her sister for a weekend sleepover, she took me and my husband aside and quite seriously informed us, “Mom, Dad… you’ll have to watch out for Babycakes now.  Make sure she’s okay.”

And, like any other parent, we made our assurances, before we set out on our day.

Now, mind you, my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary.  So, we had big plans in mind.  We spent the day on the shore and hoped to catch some dinner and a movie.

But, before setting off again for the night, my daughter’s soft-spoken request kept whispering in my ears.

“Take care of her.”

So, I checked.  And, like Bella repeatedly told me, she was right. Something was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what. With most vet offices closed for business, I made Babycakes as comfortable as possible and set off to dinner with my husband.

But, the situation continued to gnaw at me.  And, while dining on some fine French food (as opposed to our normal French fries), I voiced my fears to Tom.

“What are we going to do about Babycakes?”

And, from the man who won’t even come near the tiny critter came, “We have to take her to the vet.”

So, now the race begins. As the appetizers head for our table, Tom is dialing up every emergency vet clinic in an hour radius.  No joke.  Now, we are seriously changing our nighttime plans, to pay a potential $100 emergency room visit to figure out what’s wrong with the little guy.

The transformation from doting husband to doting parent is instantaneous.  Yes, he feels bad for the hamster.  But, what is even clearer is that as a dad, he’s ever loyal to his daughter’s needs.

Despite the cost and inconvenience, we are both on page to do what’s right, save Babycakes’ life and make our own daughter proud of us.

But, it isn’t easy.  After a good hour of calls (in between the main course and with no

time for dessert), we are no closer to finding an on-call vet that could help us out.
But, this is our mission.  We are obsessed. One night’s search has now
turned into a full-fledged weekend offensive, to find someone.  Finally, with lots of phone consults, and an appointment in hand from a specialized vet, we make an early-morning visit.

And the news isn’t good.

“She’s much older now,” he said. “Her body is shutting down.  It’s time for a family discussion.”

The dreaded talk…the talk we already knew we had to prepare for.  But, there is no preparation.  Not for us, not for the kids, not even for the hamster.  But, it had to be done.

It wasn’t long before the tears flowed along with the questions, and everything in between.

But in that moment of sorrow and discomfort, what I found most remarkable, was that

we, the parents, became the very children we aimed to console. Whereas, Bella, the child,

became the caring and wise adult.

This, as I finally voiced a soft-spoken, “I’m sorry.”

Only to be met with her quiet strength.

“It’s okay.”