Friday, July 30, 2010

JumpStart Get Moving Winner!

I first want to thank everyone who entered my giveaway-124 total entries is not too shabby! Now for the results... The winner is Christina Hidek! (Christina has been contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond.) Thanks again everyone!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Virginia Beach with a Twist: The Accident

This post was supposed to be a review of Virginia Beach, but I decided to break things up a bit and tell you what happened July 16, the day before we were scheduled to leave. My husband was officially off that day to help pack up our van, but he needed to attend a last minute meeting. The kids wanted to get some spending money for our trip so my husband decided they could go with him and I could finish packing the suitcases. And as they were filing out the door, my husband turned to me and said, "This way you can be all alone," and my reply seems somewhat prophetic now-I remember saying that I didn’t want to be alone, and I still wonder why I said that. Now I am convinced that it was a premonition of what would soon follow…

I knew I didn’t have a lot of time, so I was foolishly doing several things at once-packing, laundry, and looking for a receipt (not sure why I was doing this one)-and things were okay until I heard the washing machine shut off. I quickly headed down our basement steps only to charge back up to get a laundry basket. (I usually keep an empty one down there, hmm...) I wanted to hang a few things outside that I wanted to take on our trip, and since it was such a hot day I knew they would dry quickly. Back down the stairs I went carrying the empty laundry basket, but when I mistakenly reached what I thought was the floor, I took a step out in mid air-I went up over the last step of the staircase and down on my left ankle and I eventually ended up on my hands and knees straddling the laundry basket.

Hot pain shot through my foot but since I didn’t hear a crack I didn’t think it was broken. I dumbly sat there on the basement floor trying to rub the pain away, and then reality started to set in-how was I going to get back upstairs? I couldn’t put any weight on my foot and my right knee was missing a teensy bit of skin, so I went up backwards, butt first, then crawled, hopped, and dragged my way around the house in search of my cell phone. I couldn’t get through to my husband’s meeting, so when I finally reached one of the secretaries, I broke down. I’m surprised she could understand me through all my crying and I don’t exactly recall what I did say to her, but she promised to get a message to my husband, and I was still crying when he finally called.

I made myself calm down so I could think about where I last saw my old crutches (um, I had broken this same ankle about 14 years ago on the same staircase, but I was trying to shoo the cat down the stairs when I fell-I hate stairs!) I remembered seeing them in the garage, so I crawled, dragged, then hopped again(there was no way I was going to crawl on that garage floor if I could help it!) until I found the crutches. With these I was at least able to get ready to meet my husband when he got home.

I ended up going to the OSS (Orthopedic and Spine Specialists) because a co-worker of my husband said it would be much faster than the ER at the hospital. Heck, I was checked in, examined, x-rayed, and fitted with a new pair of crutches in exactly an hour-fast service! I saw the emergency care physician and unfortunately she was only looking at my ankle and not my foot. She said it wasn’t broken, just a really bad sprain, and that it would be about four or five days before I could put weight on it. Well, a week and a half later my foot was still swollen and I couldn’t put weight on it. More x-rays Monday revealed a small bone in my foot was broken off when my ligaments in my ankle put pressure there during my fall, so now I'm in a space aged boot for the next four weeks-isn’t it pretty?

My husband wanted to cancel our trip, but I was determined to get to the beach this summer (plus we would lose a pretty hefty deposit!) We decided to rent a wheel chair when we were down there, and since it’s past my bedtime and my foot is throbbing, you will have to wait for that story in a couple days…

Update 7/28:  I am trying to catch up on everyone's blogs a little at a time.  See, I can't sit for very long and my smart phone makes me feel stupid!  Can't wait to catch up!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Virginia Beach with a Twist-Literally!

Our family vacation is this week, and let's just say it's been interesting and leave it at that.  I will explain everything when I get back...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wee Witty Wednesday

Why is it that when multiple things are going wrong humor is right around the corner? I know it’s only been a couple days since my last post, but I couldn’t resist sharing some of the witty that has happened in my life during the past 24 hours (and a little beyond that)-I hope it cheers you too!

Many of my anecdotes revolve around my son because he has been the focus of a lot of bad luck lately, and just about everything that comes out of his mouth these days cracks me up-his sister thinks he’s more weird than funny, but I disagree. Now remember, humor comes from sadness sometimes, and the first tale starts off a little sad…

My husband made a doctor’s appointment for my son about his foot “condition”, and he was the elected escort just in case things got ugly. Anyway, while my son sat on the examining table the doctor whispered, “I’m going to yank this scab off.” My husband nodded and held my son’s arms while the doctor gave the scab a couple tugs. My husband said that people outside the building probably heard my son’s screams. (Oh, did I mention that both my kids have very low thresholds when it comes to pain, and if a mere splinter can send them into convulsions, I know how loud he would have been screaming over this!) The good news is that the wicked wart is dead, but we still need to keep the area covered and apply antibacterial cream-now on to the funny finally.

My husband phoned me to say that my son was in good spirits, he survived the trauma, and that he was able to put weight on his foot-something he hasn’t done for a couple days. But as soon as my husband came home, in came my son walking like Igore, dragging his bad foot behind him, his arms clutching his chest, and he was moaning! My husband and I watched in silence as my son hobbled out of the room, and then we shared some silent belly laughter-you know the kind when you’re laughing but no sound comes out? Love that!

Now some more funnies from today:

My son, "I want to dress like a kipsie."
Me, "Like who?"
My daughter, "He calls hippies ‘kipsies’."
Me, "Do you even know what hippies are?"
My son, "Yea, they are the guys that say, ‘Yo, yo dog.’"
I’m cracking up while my daughter sternly corrects my son.
My daughter, "Those are rapsters."
Me, "Rappers."
My son and daughter, "Oh…"

WARNING, this next story involves potty humor, so if you’re not into this, skip down a couple paragraphs.

My son (yelling from the bathroom while we were at the dinner table), "Dad!"

Thank goodness he was yelling for his father!
My husband, "What?"
My son, "Come here!"
My husband, "Why?"
My son, "You have got to look at this!"

I am half disgusted and half cracking up as I look over at my husband.

My husband yells back, "It’s dinner time. Finish up and get in here."
My son, "Please! You have got to see the size of this."

Now when you live with boys you quickly realize how much this kind of thing fascinates them. I told my husband just to go so that my son could come back and eat, and this is the last of the conversation:

My husband yelling from the bathroom, "Holy cow! All right buddy! "
My son, "I told you."

My comment? I guess I must be the killer of all male bonding! Thank goodness I have a daughter to even out the testosterone in this household, although if you count our male dog, the scales are leaning slightly in their favor. (Maybe not since the dog is fixed, but my daughter and I better stake our claim around here, and do so fast!)

This one is a little older but still funny.

My son, "I talked to the maids at school today."
Me (More than a little confused), "There are maids at school? You mean custodians, right?"
My son, "No I don’t. You know, maids."

My daughter walks into the room so I ask her to translate for me. She talks to him and starts laughing-it’s pretty rare for her to be laughing at her brother’s antics.

My daughter, "He’s calling the aids at the school maids!"
My son just shrugs-nothing seems to faze him.

Then we have the times when my son repeats everything he hears, over and over throughout the day, like the commercial for a show called Adventure Time he saw on Cartoon Network. (I didn't know he was watching TV-he tends to slip into our family room when I am otherwise "indisposed"-like when I take a shower!)

Anyway, anytime anyone asked him a question, he would say: "I’m going to say something fun. Oh yea, I’m having a good time, oh yea, oh yea," and he did so using an Ed Sullivan like accent.  I thought it was cute-the first five times-but this went on for hours. I just waited it out, although my daughter was annoyed beyond belief. (By the way, she now thinks it’s funny-what gives?)

I have a couple more but it’s late and nobody ever sleeps in over here. Instead, I will leave you with this quote about sons:
"Boys are found everywhere -- on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket," Alan Marshall Beck   Boy oh boy...
Goodnight everybody!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ho Hum...

I have a very weary soul.I guess you could say I’ve been a bit stressed the past couple days (my stressors are both technical and human)-I should be exclaiming "So hum" (I am that) and enjoying time with my family, but I’m muttering "Ho hum" and secretly hoping for some peace. Writing is just one of the ways I use to deal with all of this, and the other is cheesecake, but since cheesecake keeps my tummy gummy, I’ll stick with the writing (at least for tonight.)Just be prepared for a pretty jumbled post…

I am slowly starting to comprehend why everyone says that little boys are harder than little girls because my son exhausts me in so many different ways. We have been living through the "week of the wart" as we try to home medicate a wart on my son’s heal. I am searching for just the right word to describe my experience with this malady but one just won’t do. Okay, I know I’m the mommy, and I should be taking care of these kinds of things without a second thought, but I’m dealing with a mixed bag of emotional stuff that includes revulsion, guilt at being revolted, annoyance for having to deal with something this "yucky," and finally concern and worry because I think my son may have to see a foot doctor (and I know that won’t be fun!) And of course, this is all happening just a short time before our beach vacation…

I am also realizing that my son’s little mind is a vast array of disjointed thoughts and unanswered questions, and the more time I spend with him, the more confused I get. I can’t quite figure out if he wants answers to his questions or not, even though he does ask me directly-it’s almost if he needs to ask the questions so that he can formulate his own answers, and our discussions have me going, "Huh?" Okay, here are some excerpts of a few of our conversations this past week:

I was getting ready to take the kids to the movies Friday afternoon when my son started asking or um, telling me about time.

"Mom, how long will the movie take?"

"The movie is an hour and a half, so if it starts at 1:55 it will be over around 3:30."

"Oh, so it will be half an hour."

"No, it’s an hour and a half."

"Okay." He sits and watches me get ready for a few minutes then says, "So if it’s a half hour it will be thirty minutes long since a half hour is thirty minutes."

I stared at him with my mouth hanging open and my brain went, "Huh?" Then my brain told me I wasn’t going to get anywhere with this one, so I numbly nodded my head in agreement. (Sometimes it’s best not to pursue that which cannot be pursued…)

Here’s another equally puzzling exchange that took place in the car. We were driving down the road in silence (a rarity I assure you) when my son asks me a question.

"Mom, who’s that lady who was born in the 1900s but died in 2000?"

"What lady?"

"You know, the one who lived in the 1900s." And then my brain went, "Huh?"

Now being quite schooled in history, my daughter pipes up, "Is it Betsy Ross?"

So someone needs a little refresher when it comes to American history, but she was trying to help, so I just said, "I’m pretty sure she died quite a long time ago since she lived during the American Revolution."

My daughter was relentless, "What about Susan B. Anthony?"

My son was elated, "Yes, that’s her. Didn’t she make the American flag or something?"

Okay, history isn’t a big thing with my son either.

"She was a suffragette."

My son wasn’t letting this one go. "She suffered from what?"

"She was one of the first women suffragettes," (I was sort of a proud that I knew the answer to this one) "and she fought for women’s rights."

"But how did she suffer?"

Well, how am I supposed to know that? So I gave a decidedly sophisticated answer, "I don’t know," and my brain once again told me to just let it go… (I'll Google it later.)

My son’s thinking is not the only thing that puzzles me-his behavior these days has been unique. He develops these little habits, and one he started doing this week is "pretend" crying, making these breathless, whimpering noises whenever I tell him to do something. And when I tell him to do anything, his immediate response is, "No," and it’s aggravating, as, well, you know... The consequence for the first sign of a whimper or a no answer is to lie down on his bed until I say he can get up-and for a guy who doesn’t take naps or likes to sleep in general, this is torture, so I’m hoping he stops this soon (at least before daddy has a coronary!)

Now I do have two children, and although my daughter doesn’t have the behavioral issues that her brother has, her tween brain is just as confusing and frustrating. She has become a walking, talking "get me" machine-every time we go anywhere she starts her requests, and it’s usually for junky, tidbit type stuff that would end up getting lost in the black hole in our house-formerly known as her room. Clothing and shoe purchases I’ll agree to because she is growing like a weed, but I stay tough when it comes to the junk (but daddy easily caves…)

And let’s get back to the black hole, otherwise known as her room. Do you know where she finds most of her lost items? In her bed! We're talking pencils, items of clothing, you name it and she sleeps alongside it every night, and my brain once again goes, "Huh?"

Last but not least are the technical troubles we’ve been having lately such as a leaking furnace, a faulty satellite dish, printer issues, and a fun time with Blogger. (You do know I’m throwing a mega dose of sarcasm your way, don’t you?) Well, the satellite dish issue has been fixed, we are working on the furnace issue, I gave up on the printer, and my Blog has me shaking my head. I wanted to just tweak my blog a bit just to make it more professional looking, but that one tweak took me nearly six hours to fix. I tried out one of the new designs Blogger has but mistakenly clicked on "Apply" because I thought I could just go back to my original format-silly me! I first thought the design was doable until I checked my website with MSN-none of my sidebar widgets worked and my buttons were piled all over each other. I still can’t figure out why because everything looked great with Firefox and on my smart phone. Can you say, "Huh?" Thank goodness I kept a copy of one of my reworked formats, although I still had to work with it for over an hour before everything looked decent enough. I think I’m going to make a dummy site to rework some designs before applying them to my site, but right now I will keep my tired look a tad longer.

I had wanted to add my husband in here as well, but he keeps looking over my shoulder, my neck is stiff, and it’s getting late so I will leave off issues with him for now. Sorry about the length of this post but I did warn you. Wish me luck as I add the stress of packing to my long list of stressors. Goodnight everybody!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Get Moving! (Review and Giveaway)

JumpStart has been producing top-quality, award winning computer-learning games for the past twenty years, so when they asked if I would review another one of their products, I “jumped” at the chance. (My kids still enjoy playing their 3-D virtual world games online, and I love that the game is learning in disguise!)
JumpStart teamed up with Wii to develop Get Moving Family Fitness (Sports Edition) and recently sent a copy for me (ahem, I mean my kids) to review.

The game couldn’t have arrived at a better time-we had just dropped my daughter off at practice and my son was saying how bored he was going to be that evening-then we saw the package. My son could hardly contain himself as he tried to tear the box open himself-thank goodness my daughter wasn’t around because I believe there would have been a war!

The first thing he did was create a custom profile for his jumpee, and when I say "custom profile" I mean you get to pick the hair, eyes, mouth, outfit, and skin color of your character-this is one the aspects of the game that both my kids love best, and something they do a lot on the online site. (My son has three characters for this game all with different looks and names, and the first thing he wants to do before playing is update one of his player profiles!)

Then he had to choose either quick play or routines. Quick play allows you to play one game in a 90 second period and would be good for smaller kids with limited attention spans. My seven-year-old son preferred this approach, but my eleven-year-old daughter chose to do routines that allowed her to customize levels and do different types of games without taking a break. There are three difficulty levels, but we sort of stuck with easy for now. There are demonstrations on how to hold your Wii controllers at the start of each game, and at the end of play you get a final score, tally of how many calories you burned, and a healthy lifestyle tip.

There are a total of 15 sports challenges and 11 different landscapes like outer space, Atlantis, a volcano, and a castle, for your jumpee to play. And, if you have Wii Fit, you can use the balance board to enhance some of the game play. You will find basketball, baseball, racing, and balance games that are similar to those in Wii Sport, but there are also some exciting new additions like football, dodge ball, and volleyball. Plus there are added extras to the familiar like a flying race game where you soar as a bird through and around obstacles, and the ability to catch and throw in baseball. Selecting multiplayer mode even gives you a split screen so you see how well you are faring against your opponent. My daughter narrowed her favorites down to volleyball and dodge ball. My son had a tougher time, but he plays football and baseball more than the rest.

These games certainly came in handy when we were between outside activities, and I liked the fact that my kids kept “moving” instead of just lounging in front of the TV. My whole family was able to play and I think we all benefited from a little more activity.

So are you intrigued? You can purchase JumpStart Get Moving: Family Fitness for the Wii for $29.99 or win your very own copy here!

Your first mandatory entry: tell me why you would like to win this game. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment if it’s not in your profile. (You need to complete this entry before you can qualify for additional entries.)

Earn "Extra Entries(Woo hoo!) with the following but be sure to leave a comment per entry:

-Follow me via Google friend connect (or tell me you are already a follower)- 2 entries
-Follow me on Twitter(Twitter link is on my sidebar)-1 entry

-Tweet this giveaway- 1 entry
RT Win a JumpStart Get Moving Family Fitness Wii Game #giveaway @FamilyFormula (Ends 7/29)
You can tweet once a day.

-Add my blog button to your site and provide a link-2 entries

-Add my blog to your blog roll and provide a link- 2 entries

-Like JumpStart on Facebook- 3 entries

-Make a blog post about this giveaway and link back here (leave a link in your comment)- 5 entries

The giveaway ends at midnight (EST) on July 29, 2010 and is open to U.S. residents. I will pick the winner with and notify by e-mail. (The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.)  Good luck!

And please note: I was provided with a copy of JumpStart® Get Moving™ Family Fitness at no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided. My family thoroughly enjoyed this game-thank you again JumpStart!