Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Treat your back

Long car rides.
Lifting kid(s) in and out of the car.
Standing on your feet all day.
A bad office chair (or for me, working from home on the couch).
Bad posture.

Many things cause back aches and fatigue. And very few things actually help relieve it. But today, I'm excited to share the Back Sac with you. (Keep reading for a GIVEAWAY!)

The Back Sac is an air-filled back support cushion, designed by a physical therapist and certified pilates instructor (also a real-life friend of mine!) for back support and comfort in any resting position.
Unlike a regular pillow, the air in the Back Sac can move, supporting only where you need it.

I use my Back Sac while working from home and while sitting on the couch writing blog posts. I used it in the car on our long ride for Thanksgiving. I've even used it as a pillow while laying on the floor playing games with Amelia. The beauty of the Back Sac is that it is inflatable. I can put more or less air in it depending on the type of seat I'm using. For the car, only a tiny bit of air. For computer work on the couch, maybe a little bit more. It is totally adjustable and fits anyone - and any situation.

For more information, visit BackSac.com. For a 10% discount, enter code 3MOMS upon checkout.

*** giveaway is closed. Congrats to Becky Jane! (selected via random.org) ***
One lucky reader will win a Back Sac of their own!
"Treat your back to the Sac"


Simply leave a comment below, telling me why you'd like to try the Back Sac. You must provide an email or Twitter handle so I can contact you if you win.

Bonus entries:
  • Tweet (up to 2x/day) about this giveaway. Include @BalancingMama and a link to this post so I can count your entry.
  • Like 3 Moms In 1 on Facebook - leave a comment to let me know (1 bonus)
  • Follow @BalancingMama on Twitter - leave a comment to let me know (1 bonus)
  • Follow @BackSac on Twitter - leave a comment to let me know (1 bonus)
  • Blog about this giveaway - leave a comment with a link (5 bonus)
  • Become a Google Friend Connect follower (if you are not already) - leave a comment (5 bonus)

Entries accepted through Thursday 12/9 at 7:00 AM eastern. One winner will be selected via Random.org. The prize will be sent via U.S. Postal Service - to a U.S. address ONLY. If I have not made contact with a winner by 8:00 AM on Monday 12/13, I will select another winner from the remaining entries.  I received a BackSac to review. Opinions are solely mine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Am I on your nice list? I have put a lot of effort into 2010, and I think I've done pretty well. We've had some major stresses thrown our way, and I am cautiously anticipating a quiet and peaceful start to 2011. Amelia's terrible twos nearly ground me to a pulp, but we're making progress. I've had my naughty days where I lost my patience or allowed myself to wallow in self-pity, but I have also met my challenges head-on. I am far from perfect. But I am pretty good at standing by my friends, caring for my family, and guiding my child towards independence and happiness.

If you have time to consider some grown-up wishes this year, here is my Christmas list:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Keep it going

While taking a few moments to recover from holiday festivities (and a very full belly), I surfed on over to Better In Bulk. She shared a few ideas to keep our thankfulness going beyond Turkey Day.

I'm still in the midst of my holiday cheer, while Amelia passes out pretend cups of ice cream and plates of cookies to her lucky daddy and grandparents. This makes me smile.

In the Better In Bulk post, she includes:

Creating Your “Enough List”: While striving towards self-improvement is an important aspect of growing as a person, it’s also necessary to take stock of what you already have. The “enough” list shouldn’t replace your “er” list of personal improvements (like getting better at the piano, eating healthier meals or keeping the bedroom neater). Instead, it will help you to stay grateful for what is already good, while you are working on improving other aspects of your life.

So here's mine!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday: Taming Insanity

Like I've said before, this blogging thing has opened up a whole new world to me. And I've been lucky enough to meet (virtually) some really funny and sassy mamas.

This week, I'm introducing Taming Insanity! Although you may already know her. 'Cause she's too awesome not to know.

Happy Friday!

Blog name? Taming Insanity

Taming Insanity on TWITTER 
Taming Insanity on FACEBOOK

The writer behind the words - list 5 adjectives that describe you.
Sarcastic, Self-deprecating, Ridiculous, Loving, Empathetic

What surprised you most about parenthood?
I was most astounded by how much kids understand even before they can talk. Sure people TELL you they hear everything you say, but until you experience it you can't really get that they understand when you're swearing.

Something that recently made you laugh?
My one year-old sings la bamba when he's happy. It's hilarious.

If you had 2 hours of pure "me" time, what would you do?
I would sit quietly, read a book, and guzzle diet pepsi.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thankful for...

Joy and celebration with extended family

The glint in Amelia's eye when she laughs

Abundant food

Friendly neighbors

Childhood friends - who are still friends today

Fuzzy socks and soft fleece PJ pants

A sleeping child

Love - both given and received

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sometimes I forget

I took a little trip down memory lane this evening, visiting some of my earlier blog posts. When I saw the title of this one, I grinned smugly within myself, figuring it was just a simple post from pre-terrible twos.

But then I read it. And I realized how much I needed to think about those words again.

It has been a rough few months, and I've martyred myself a few too many times. But I'm happy. And even though I may forget sometimes, I wouldn't change my little family for the world.

Monday, March 15, 2010
Mommy to a toddler - not as bad I as thought

I'm relaxed. I got my "me" time. And I missed Amelia like crazy.

My trip was a wonderful experience, not just for myself, but for making me a better mommy. I had lost my perspective on the power of the good things. I was so burned out that I focused almost entirely on the challenges, frustrations, and exhaustion.

But what about that sweet little voice every morning that calls out "mommy? mommy!"

Sunday blog-hoppin'

When I began my blog 10 months ago, I had no clue how sucked in I would get. Had no concept of the true complexity of this blogging world. Fumbling my way through Twitter, figuring out "hashtags" and "retweets", Follow Friday, and Wordless Wednesday. Sidebars, icons, linkys, giveaways, reviews...

It is sometimes totally overwhelming.

But it can also be really fun. I've "met" so many lovely bloggers. Hilarious moms, inspiring writers, and a fun dad or two.

One of my favorite meet & greet activities? Blog hops! Not the kind with a ton of rules. Not the desperate "follow me & I'll follow you back!" shout-outs. I want to read blogs that interest me. Written by people who can actually, well, write. If I take a peek at your blog and I can identify with your posts, I will certainly follow. And I want you to follow me IF you enjoy reading what I have to say.

I love Relax & Surf Sunday!

(click the image to join in!)

I've discovered some great blogs through this no-rules blog hop. And hopefully, the lovely women who found 3 Moms In 1 will stick with me too.

Happy Weekend!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Know what day it is?

November 20th marks "Universal Children's Day" according to the United Nations. It is a day to promote understanding among children, benefit the welfare of children, and to celebrate childhood.

I don't know about you, but every day is about my child. It is always children's day in this house!

So while I wish her & the other kids out there a happy Universal Children's Day, I will instead devote this post to a celebration of my own childhood.

For me, childhood happiness was...
  • Homemade play-dough
  • A blue & white swing set
  • Riding bicycles in the cul-de-sac
  • Summertime trips to the beach
  • Spitting watermelon seeds over the porch railing
  • Making whirlpools in our round backyard pool
  • Care Bears, Monchichis, and Cabbage Patch Kids
  • My first record player - and first cassette player
  • Sledding with neighbors after a winter's snow

Happy Universal Children's Day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday: Kate

Friday Friday Friday!  Seriously, I love this day.
Come meet my new bloggy friend, Kate. An Atlanta mommy just like me! Also a TV news writer, coffee drinker, and occasional wearer of snuggly (aka "ugly") sweaters.
Blog name? Love and Kate

When was your blog born - and why? May 2008. I originally started it because I was a blog stalker for about a year and decided maybe I should bite the bullet and join in. Since I write TV news for a living, writing something fun and creative was a great outlet for me. Originally, my blog was just about random stuff, but now it’s focused on my adventures in motherhood.

Find Kate on Twitter HERE

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Words from the heart

"Write a poem about a time someone made you smile."

Back in the day when things were going okay,
He would write me some lines of prose that would rhyme.

And I'd write back to him, I'd create on a whim,
A poem - cute or funny - just to make his day sunny.

When Steve and I were dating, we used to surprise each other out of the blue with funny or cute poems. I am shocked that they were written almost TEN years ago. I can't believe he's put up with me for so long!

   Once, when I didn't get a job I really wanted...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wordless (almost) Wendesday: Special delivery

Amelia received some very special mail this week...

A personalized letter from Santa!

Festive envelope (arrived within a white envelope that was addressed to me)

Cute North Pole postmark and Christmas stamp
Don't want to spoil the fun for others... but here's a tiny peek at the personalization and signature

Visit EspeciallyFromSanta.com to order Christmas letters for the kids (and kids-at-heart) in your life. Letters also come with a "nice list" doorknob hanger and Christmas activity/coloring pages.

<-- You can also click on this ad located on my right sidebar (through mid-December) so they know 3 Moms In 1 sent you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! (a little early) 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mommy mantra

There are several people lucky enough to have an in-person relationship with my daughter.
Family, friends, and teachers. These people all love to tell me how sweet she is, how pleasant. She is always a fantastic listener at school. Always a good friend to her classmates. Always "so easy!".

While I do not deny that my girl has a real knack for caring and an amazing sweet streak, I also know that she can be very far from it.

At home, the dark side can really come out. We've had some heated arguments lately. She can be violent too - my hair is tired of getting pulled. A few days ago, she even chased me around the house trying to bite my leg.

It breaks my heart to see her with so much rage. To hear her exclaim, "Mommy, I can't stop crying!" when she has gotten over the initial anger.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Love thy mother

The weather is really bi-polar these days. We officially turned on the heat to combat the cold nights. But in the afternoon, I'm stripping off my long sleeves and jeans and opting for my trusty capris and t-shirts. Then as the sun goes down again (a little too early for my liking), my favorite fuzzy PJ pants are in regular evening rotation.

I am trying to eat healthier these days. Less fast food, less pre-prepared, high-sodium, frozen meals and snacks.

We are also potty-training.

What do these have in common, you ask?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday: Sara

Welcome Sara! A fellow southern mama.

She says on Twitter, "I'm fairly certain the internet is evil." Sometimes this can be so true! It's certainly an addiction, anyway.
Blog Name?  Sara Plays House

When was your blog born - and why? My little blog was born in August of 2006, mainly as a way to keep my family updated with Avery's life. The more I wrote, the more I loved it, and I love the blogging community. It took me a good year to find my "voice". And I still go through bouts of laryngitis every now and then. Real life certainly has a way of keeping me away from the keyboard sometimes, but I've learned to be okay with that. (And embrace it.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Yesterday's Wordless (almost!) Wednesday post referred to our 2009 family vacation to Europe. We bravely took an 14-month old child with us. Despite getting blasted on websites like CruiseCritic.com for our irresponsible parenting and lack of concern for other travelers' happiness (thank you, jerks), we never considered leaving her home. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience we could not pass up. For us, leaving our baby girl at home was not an option.
While in Barcelona, we visited the enormous, creative, and absolutely amazing Sagrada Familia cathedral. This cathedral has been under construction since the late 1800s!

Anyone could stare at this building for hours and still miss some of the details. Words, sculpture depicting bible stories, symbolic icons, and elegant (sometimes gaudy) embellishments adorn the entire structure.
Always a sucker for a fabulous view, my husband convinced us to take the elevator up to the top. I did not want to go.

Eventually I caved, knowing he desperately wanted some photos from the top. So the whole family (11 of us) waited in line, paid our Euros, stored the stroller in their special area, and boarded the elevator. The small, dark, slightly frightening elevator.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless (almost) Wednesday

Did I ever tell you we took Amelia to Europe when she was 11 months old?

The flight went fairly well.

The cruise was outstanding.

Our ports (Barcelona, Valencia, Nice, Florence/Pisa, Rome) were gorgeous and awe-inspiring.

I highly recommend cousins (and 5 extra adults) for major travel with a small child.

Despite most of the world telling us we were crazy...
We are so thankful to have gone when we did!

By the way, I believe Rome is the hottest place on Earth in the summer.

Monday, November 8, 2010

45 days

45 days until Christmas!

The cheesy decor is up in the stores. The holiday music is playing over the speakers. Normally this irritates me so early. For some reason, though, I don't really mind this time around. I am ready for a break from regular life and some family travel.

I'm ready for Amelia to get some new toys!

As the weather gets colder, we're going to be stuck in the house more often. She has some great toys, but I can only play them so many times per day without a bout of insanity. So during my evening computer time, I'm trying to fit in a bit of online Christmas shopping. Not ready to buy just yet, but working on those big ideas.

Some thoughts...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Date night!

"There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for granted relationship."
~Iris Murdoch

Date night. The best prescription for a mom suffering from fatigue, sore muscles, lack of patience, and that gloomy "alone" feeling that comes from, well, never quite being alone.
Date night has not happened in a long time. And it almost didn't happen this week. We talk about scheduling a date night, then we forget to arrange a babysitter. Or we let other things interrupt our weekends. Sometimes, life's chaotic moments steal our good intentions away and leave us no other choice.
We arranged a sitter ahead of time this week. We made reservations at The Melting Pot.

Potty Training: Part 1

Yep, we're potty training. I spent four straight days at home last weekend. Worrying about pee, talking about pee, cleaning up pee.

Not exactly the best weekend ever.

We made it through our first serious push, but we're not there yet.

Here are some lessons I've learned thus far:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday

Yep, I'm doing my Friday happy dance again!

Would be dancing with a tad more enthusiasm if someone at husband's work had not decided on an ALL-day training... on a Friday! Really! But, I am still thankful. Happy that the weekend is almost upon us.

This week on Friends 2 Follow Friday, I'm honored to introduce you to one of my favorites. I always try to check her blog a few times a week, and she always has something perfectly poingant to say. Often, I find myself wondering how she got into my head before writing her post. Love, love, love this blog.

Blog name?
Amber Page Writes

When was your blog born - and why?
It was born in September of 2008, when I decided to announce my pregnancy to the world (literally). People thought I was joking (apparently, no one thought I had a maternal side).

Find Amber Page Writes on TWITTER and FACEBOOK

The writer behind the words - list 5 adjectives that describe you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Country Girl

I may be in a city of 6 million+ population now, but I grew up a small town girl. Where people were chatty, traffic did not exist, and food was especially yummy.

When I was recently introduced to a sauce called "Country Bob's", I just knew I had to try it. The name alone conjures up images of friendly people who know how to cook - and enjoy - good, hearty food.

I received two bottles of Country Bob's to try. I first did the fingertip taste. It was pretty good! Reminds me of a cross between BBQ and steak sauce, with maybe some worcestershire sauce thrown in. All really good flavors for meats and other savory meals. Then I discovered the Country Bob's website, chock full of recipes and ideas. It may sound silly, but I was so excited to cook with this newly discovered sauce!

I made three things in the past week, all using Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The most important

My husband and I have very little quality time together. He works extremely hard and is incredibly talented. He leaves the house early Monday through Friday, and often comes home after Amelia and I have already eaten our dinner. By the time he eats and we get the dishes clean in the dishwasher, he's lucky to have 90 minutes to devote to silly playtime (the kind dads do best!) before Amelia's bedtime. If it's a bath night, even less. His quality time with her is extended in their nighttime reading/singing/laughing ritual, while I get myself in my own comfy PJs. Often, I'm so worn out I struggle to keep myself awake past 9:00.
In an attempt to spend more awake time together, we instituted movie night. We get a $1/night Redbox rental and watch it together in our room. No computers, no iPhones, no child needs. One night per week, every week. It is a good thing. I hope we keep it up.

Recently we watched Crazy Heart.
I would say it is worth seeing, but definitely not an all-time favorite. Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal portray their characters vividly, and certainly deserved the accolades. One line in particular really stood out to me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Parent of the week!

If you're not following Avant Garde Parenting, you should!

And look who is the Parent of the Week! Meeeee! Check it out.
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