Sunday, June 27, 2010

Giveaway rant

As a avid blog reader, I am also an avid blog giveaway entrant. I am grateful for these giveaways, as they give me a chance to win something I would not have access to, or could not afford otherwise. HOWEVER, I am so frustrated with the process lately.

Some blogs out there don't make it easy to enter their giveaways. It is a long process of follows on 8 different social networks, comments, and tweets. Then, when the giveaway is over.....nothing. No Winner, for weeks, or even months no winner is listed. There is typically only a 48 hour window after the giveaway ends to claim the prize, and blog owners do not email the winner. So, that means checking every day to see if there is a winner posted, only to find nothing.

I know emergencies happen, and I am not talking about posting a giveaway, then a family emergency comes up and they can't access their blog for weeks or even months. I am referring to people who post a giveaway, then post something else every day or so, and give full attention to their blog. Worse even are blog owners that will announce a winner for a giveaway that ended a week ago that only had 30 entrants, but leave the giveaway that ended 2 months ago open becuase it had 120 entrants.

It seems to me that this is being done to drive blog traffic. The more hits they have on their blog the more their advertisers pay and if they continuosly have people coming back to check on the giveaway they entered more money is being made. I am all for imcome producing blogs. Hey, if you can do it, that's great. However, this method of driving blog traffic may be having an adverse effect, because If I enter a giveaway on a blog, and this waiting game happens ( I am not talking 3 days or even a week, I am talking 30 days or more) then that is it. I am done with that blog, I will not read it, or enter a giveaway there again. Let your posts drive me to your blog, but don't force me to go just to see if day 87 after the giveaway has ended as the day you finally took the 60 seconds it takes to go to and pick a winner.

I know that it has to take some nerve to complain about something that I may/or may not win for free, but it is readers like me who put money in the pockets of the these blog owners, so I feel like this isn't neccessarily unfounded.

I do really appreciate all of the blog giveaways, and I enter a lot of them. For the most part my experience has been great. Most blogs out there offer great items, are easy to enter, and quick to end.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Orange you glad I didn't say Banana

Someone in my house is learning to feed themselves using the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

mums the word

I don't know what to say when someone experiences a death in the family. I don't know if that is socially acceptable to admit, but hey, honesty right.

I have a friend, and for her privacy, I won't share details here, but she lost a member of her family. He was a relatively young, and it was a very sad circumstance. I want so desperately to tell her that I am sorry, and I am her for her. However, I am not, technically we live about 5 states away from each other, so I can not be a shoulder to cry on. Also, everyone is basically regurgitating the same speech: "If you need anything I'm here, I'm so sorry"

It seems so redundant to be one more sorry in the sea of sorrys and it just doesn't seem sincere to repeat the same thing to her.

So, I say nothing. I hurt for her hurt and I think of her often, but I haven't said anything to her, because I have nothing to say. I have no words that will bring this person back to her family, I have no advice to lessen her pain. I can't tell her that time heals all wounds, because I know from experience that it doesn't. I can't send her flowers, or bereavement help books. I watched my mom receive countless bouquets and books on how to deal with loss after my brother died, and they didn't mean anything to her. I don't believe she opened one book or smelled one flower.

I wish that I could translate to her my condolences in a way that doesn't seem cheapened by cliches, and would reflect my heartfelt sympathy, but I have not found the words.

So, until then, I will think of her as she and her family pick up the pieces, and I will pray that they find strength and peace.

**If you are reading this, and you know who you are. I am sorry I don't have the words for you, yet, but I love you and miss you.**

Monday, June 21, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I did NOT slack off on my blog. I did NOT suddenly realize that I have nothing to write about and get extremely frustrated. I NEVER over-react to something as simple as writers-block.

I did NOT make Beanie Weenies for dinner a couple of times this week. I NEVER cook childish recipes with little to no nutritional value for dinner. I ALWAYS make sure the meals I prepare contain all 5 food groups.

I did NOT venture out to the mall this week just to get exercise. I NEVER put on my walking shoes and just walk around the mall for an hour or so. I know that sunlight is important for vitamin D, so I am NEVER so disgusted by the heat that I refuse to be outside for any longer that it necessary.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tresemme FreshStart Dry Shampoo

As someone who admittedly does not get to wash her hair everyday, I was very curious to try this product. Who wouldn't want to look like they had just washed their hair without all of the hassle.

I have very oily hair and if I go about 14 hours without washing it you will definitely be able to notice. I will look like I just sprayed my hair with PAM. Unfortunately, I do not get to wash my hair every 14 hours, sometimes I feel blessed if I just get to wash my "Important" parts every day. So, I thought this would be a great product for me...if it really works. I was skeptical.

The directions were easy enough:
  • spray on hair in short bursts
  • allow a few seconds to dry
  • brush and style as usual
I began spraying on my hair, giving a little extra attention to the extra oily parts. The first thing I noticed was the odor. It is a bit overwhelming. It isn't bad, it is actually kind of sweet, but it is too much and took my breath away. I had to stop spraying and leave the bathroom so I could breath.

When I was finished I noticed this white powdery film on my hair. I brushed it out as much as I could, but it was still mildly visible (I have blond hair so I didn't really care).

There was a big difference, my hair looked much better. About 80% of the oil was gone, and my hair did seem easier to style. This spray affected my hair much like hair spray does. It felt brittle and hard, not soft like it usually does.

Overall, I think it is a product I will use again. It did fulfill it's purpose and my hair looked like it had been washed. The positives out-weighed the negatives in my opinion. However, I believe that someone with darker hair is really going to have a problem with the white film this shampoo left behind. If anyone, who has dark hair and used this product successfully I would like to ask them how they got the white film off of their hair without washing it (with "wet" shampoo).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Read more:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I was recently given a clean bill of health in regards to this nasty little bug. I am overjoyed, and so thankful that I found a Dr. willing to listen to my concerns and treat me. If you, or anyone you know is going through this horrific diagnosis and treatment process, it can be cured! Don't give up.

Original Post :

That was the first thing I said when I learned about Helicobactor Pylori, or H. Pylori, as it is commonly referred to. According to the Mayo clinic it is a a "bacterium known by the same name that infects the stomach and the first part of the small intestine" ( )
I was having routine tests to prepare for an upcoming surgery when I got the call: "You have a bacteria, and we don't normally treat it unless you have symptoms, but you don't, so we aren't going to do anything unless you start presenting symptoms."

"How did I get this?" I demanded, but they didn't know. Some say it comes from contaminated food or water, but no one knows for sure. I was a bit taken aback. I got off the phone and went on a fact finding mission about this disgusting little bug.

I scoured the internet and found very valuable information. I found out that the blood test I had was not definitive; it meant that I either have an active infection or I have had this infection in the past and developed an antibody for this that is present in my blood stream. I asked my primary doctor for the more definitive testing, and she said she did not know about any further testing. I then made an appointment with a Gastroenterologist.

I did more research and read that "It is estimated that 40-50 percent of people in developed countries and more than 90 percent in developing countries have this bacteria." ( The kicker is that only 20% of people who have this bacteria will ever show symptoms or develop a peptic ulcer. More importantly, "In 1994, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified H. pylori as a carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent." ( I read that H. Pylori has been known to cause gastric cancer, and it is suspected to also cause Pancreatic cancer, and MALT lymphoma.

At my appointment with the Gastroenterologist I expressed my desire to have more definitive testing to see if I have an active infection. Tests were ordered that were unpleasant, at best. Then I waited. I finally got a call that my test was in fact positive. There was live bacteria swimming around my gut. I asked about treatment, but I was told they normally do not treat this bacteria if there are no symptoms.


I could hardly believe my ears. I asked to speak to the doctor directly and waited for him to call me back. When he finally called I asked him to be treated, and he repeated the same spiel to me. I asked him if he was aware about the studies that this bacteria causes cancer. He told me that he was aware, but that was only a factor in people that have had the disease for 10 years or more. I asked him, if he didn't treat me how was I suppose to get rid of the bacteria so I didn't end up with it for 10 years, and then get stomach cancer. He then agreed to give me the antibiotics.

The antibiotics were awful. I had to take 1500 mg of clarithromycin and 1500 mg of Amoxicillin along with 60 mg of lansoprazole. Folks, that is a lot of antibiotics. The side effects were not fun either, my least favorite was the horrible taste. Nothing got rid of it and it made me very sick to my stomach.

Things were looking up as I finished my last couple days of the 14 day treatment, when I found some more disturbing news. "Up to 20 percent of patients with Helicobacter pylori infection are not cured after completing their first course of treatment" ( Again, I was upset. I never imagined that this medication would not kill the little bastards. After I finished the meds I requested a second test to determine if the bacteria had been eradicated. The doctor told me that he would not order a second test just for "my peace of mind." It was time for me to find a new doctor.

I found another Gastroenterologist and gave him my whole long story. He immediately ordered another test to determine if I was rid of the little buggers. This test was not unpleasant at all; I had to drink a small amount of liquid and then breath into a bag.

My results came in a few days later and my doctor was surprised. He said that I had the "highest positive reading he has ever seen in his practice." I then asked him what the next step was. He said that we could continue to just blindly treat with stronger antibiotics, or he could go in and take a biopsy of my stomach and run a culture on it. He told me that this would determine exactly what strand of the bacteria I had and what it was sensitive to so I could take the proper combination of antibiotics this time. I agreed to do the second option. (Which I feel should have been the first option I was given, so I didn't develop un-needed immunities to such widely prescribed antibiotics like Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin.)

I had this procedure a couple of weeks ago, and it went well. I was peacefully sleeping thanks to Propofal (that is the Michael Jackson killer, for those interested, but it was administered by an anesthesiologist so I wasn't worried).

I awaited *patiently* for my test results, when I got a call from the P.A. at my Dr's office. My biopsy tested positivity for H. Pylori, but the culture did not grow any bacteria. I asked why this happened. She told me that, most likely, the live bacteria died while in transport to the laboratory. So, I came away from that procedure with NO new information. With no other option, my Dr. prescribed me a new set of medication that may or may not kill the bacteria.

I am currently taking 80 mg of Nexium, 2080 mg of bismuth subsalicylate, 1000 mg of metronidazole, and 2000 mg of tetracycline daily. This new medication regimen requires to take medication 4 times a day for 14 days, and unfortunately the side effect of these medications is dizziness, and nausea. I remain optomistic that this will be my final treatment for this frustrating illness.

My purpose in writing this post is not to complain about my battle with this little bug, but really to spread awareness of this infection. Everyone has heard of HPV (the cancer causing virus), but noone has heard of this cancer causing infection that effects far more people world wide. A vast majority of whom don't even know they are infected. If this post can inform 1 person, who requests to be tested and treated, then it was worth it.

I will post updates as I continue struggling with this bacteria.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week, I did NOT proceed to eat several sugar free popsicles, because they were sugar free and I wanted to have something in my mouth. I know that just because something is sugar free, that doesn't mean that it is automatically good for me. I ALWAYS eat in moderation and never have a scarf-fest.

I did NOT put my son in his play pen to take a nap because his crib mattress needed to be lowered. I do NOT decide that some days are "lazy" and then refuse to do work. Nope, NOT me.

I did NOT have a meltdown while trying to get a new tire put on my car at Wal-Mart. I am ALWAYS professional and NEVER let the stress of having a flat tire, then a flat spare tire affect me. I did NOT leave the store utterly embarrassed and vowed never to return.

Wow, it was hard reliving that last one.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beach Bum

We have been having an abundance of "firsts" in our house lately.For our little man's first Memorial day...
We took him on his first trip to the beach.

He felt sand for the first time, and dipped his feet in ocean.

The water was cold, so he cuddled his daddy on the beach,

and watched a seagull.

and played in the sand some more

We had a great time.

I never knew how great a Memorial Day could be until the first one I got to spend as a mommy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So Funny!

As I was blog hopping the other day (as I often do). I found my way to Lee's blog, and she had posted a link to a video.

Greg, at, writes song parodies, and he had written one for bloggers. I watched this video and laughed so hard.

If you are a blogger, you have to see it.

It made my day.

Go over now and leave him a comment!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I did NOT talk to my husband in my sleep and demand that he get up with the baby. My husband did NOT have to convince me that this really happened the next day, because I had no recollection of it. I am a light sleeper, and am NEVER so tired that I talk in my sleep. I ALWAYS wake up when my child cries in the night, and I NEVER ask my husband to get up with him.

I did NOT get really good news on Friday and then decide that I was too happy to do any of the housework I had planned to do. So, I did NOT spend the day playing with my happy boy, and watching movies. I am very tidy, and NEVER slack on my "homemaker" duties. I NEVER spend my days doing relatively nothing.

I did NOT get into a heated discussion with my husband this weekend over a discrepancy in a scene from Tropic Thunder. I am NOT one of those people that has to be right all the time, and I can concede in a silly argument, even though I am right, just so there is not an argument.

I have NOT been busy this week!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Night of Sex......


I was able to get out recently and see the new Sex and The City movie. I read the reviews, but went to see it anyway. As a longtime fan of the series, I wasn't going to let a few negative reviews stop me from seeing the newest installment. It is not going to win any Oscars, but it was pure enjoyment.

It was funnier than the last film, and I had more fun watching it. Unlike it's prequel, this movie boasted no heavy plot points, or "downer moments", for the most part. This movie was almost like Sex and the City meets National Lampoon's Middle Eastern Vacation.

Most of the film was set in Luxurious Abu Dhabi, which made for interesting conversations between the girls. While this was a little bit far fetched, it opened up a whole new realm of comedy not yet explored by this series (or any other that I can think of). With these four fashion obsessed Manhattanites surrounded by the modest Arabic women of the middle east, much comic genius ensued. This film was also not as long as its predecessor. I think 2 1/2 hours is a bit long, for a comedy, so I was pleased that this movie was about 30 minutes shorter.

The fashion was just as awful as ever. I have never found the fashion in this series appealing. It has always seemed weird and over the top to me. So, I was not suprised that this film boasted the same strange fashion sense, that I was not a fan of.

It was a great movie going experience. I didn't walk away moved, or emotionally spent, but I did leave the theater with the sense that I had just spent time with 4 really great girlfriends.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Uncanny resemblence

People are constantly telling me how much my son looks like me, and they are right. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, but what they don't seem to see is how much he looks like his daddy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I follow several blogs. I read them daily and comment periodically.

Recently, I was reading a post on a blog I frequent, and I really loved the post. It was on a topic I had been thinking hard about, and there it was, written more perfect than I could write it. I felt such connection with the writer of this blog. For a brief moment, I thought that we were actually friends. Then I had a distressing thought, we're not.

It was like I lost a friend. We have never met, and I am 75% sure that she doesn't have a clue who I am. Sure, I have commented on her blog before, and she has responded to my comments, but I am sure she has many blog readers so she can't possibly remember every one of them. Through her blog it felt as though I had a window into her thoughts. Almost like we could meet for coffee one day and chat like old friends. This realization that we would never do this made me sad.

For several days, I didn't read any blogs. I didn't want to feel that same friendship "mirage" that hurt so deeply, but not reading didn't make me feel better. In fact, it made me feel worse. I didn't realize how much connection and companionship I had gotten from all of the blogs I read.

Although, I know that the connection to these bloggers, these women, is, for the most part, in my head. It is a connection none the less, and even though, it is one sided- these relationships I have formed are very dear to me.

Through these blogs, I have found validation in emotions, that I was unable to validate elsewhere. I have laughed at their stories and cried with them through their heartbreak. I have received wonderful advice, recipes, and even shopping tips and coupons.

What more can you ask of a friend?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Let there be light!

I recently aquired Photoshop Elements and Lightroom for my photo editing pleasure. I love photography, and have long wanted to learn to edit photographs on a more professional level. I currently do not shoot with a professional camera, but I am working on getting one (if you know someone getting rid of one let me know).

Thanks, Mckmama for posting great photography lessons on how to use these wonderful programs. I will be on the look out for more tips on how to make my photographs AH-MAZING!