Friday, August 6, 2010

Busy Weekend Planned

This weekend is going to be a rush.

My mom is in town. We are babysitting my 2 nephews (both under 2) ALL day tomorrow. Taking the boys (my boys) to sign up for football tomorrow. Riley is going to state fair with his paternal grandma tomorrow. (I know paternal g'ma sounds weird, but it's the social worker in me.) Also I have to find a medical laboratory open tomorrow to get my blood taken because aunt flow decided to come to town finally (at the worst possible time) and I need to have blood drawn before I can start my fertility shots on Sunday.

And I have cramps. Haven't had cramps in months but apparently this weekend, when I am uber busy, I get cramps. Fabulous. And probably too much information, but it is late when I am writing this and I am tired. So, oh well.

On Sunday... Church. Cake and ice cream for my son's 8th Bday (OMG 8!). Still need to buy him a gift. (Adding that to my Saturday list.) Lots of people at my house. Probably need to clean. Probably won't have time. After the party, my neice is spending the night. Oh, and I start my shots. I'm nervous.

Monday, I am taking the boys and niece to the pool. (For my son's 8th birthday. He's half way to 16, when he can drive, so help me Lord.) After the pool, then I have to drive Riley to my grandparents house, one hour away. Yes, my grandparents - his great grandparents, because they are keeping him for the week. Why? Because my babysitter is on vacation. I suppose she is allowed to have one.

I'm exhausted just writing about it. And there is no picture on this post. Because I am lazy tonight.

Taking Infertility Treatments to the Next Level

Within the next couple of days, depending on when Aunt Flo decides to make a visit, I will be starting to take Follistim, an injectable fertility medication. According to my doctor, the injectable medications do not cause horrible mood swings, unlike Clomid. Clomid is an evil medication. I was on an emotional roller coaster ride for the three months I was taking it.

Now we are on to bigger and better things.

I hope.

My Twitter sources tell me that Follistim also causes severe mood swings. Hmmm. What does my doctor know anyway? He's a man. And he had obviously never had the need to chemically alter his hormone levels. Unless of course if he was ever on anti-depressants, and a lot of people need to take anit-depressants. But I've taken anti-depressants in the past, and the are NOTHING like fertility meds.

Ok, here's the other thing - I am scared of shots. It's silly because I have a child. I have given birth. I have suffered through a 17 hour labor. I should be able to give myself a shot, right? I mean diabetics do it every day. And the shot is with a little EpiPen type thing. So it shouldn't be that bad... And my wonderful, terrific, loving husband has oh so kindly offered to give me the shots. Although I don't know if that is for my benefit, so I don't have to do it myself, or his, so he can watch me suffer!

Also I am nervous. What if this doesn't work?

We have been TTC for almost a year. At the end of the month it will be a year. After about 6 months of spotty, light, and very late periods I found out I had PCOS. When I first found out, I was relieved because it meant that all the doctor had to get me to do was ovulate and we would get preggers. Simple enough. They made pills for that.

Yeah, pills that make you psycho!

And don't work.

For me, at least.

Ok, so no-go with the pills. Now, on to shots. Very expensive shots. Thank God I have great insurance. Still, if the shots do not work, then what? My insurance does not cover IUI (which wouldn't work anyway if I'm still not ovulating) or IVF. And IVF is EXPENSIVE.

If hubs was here, he tell me to quit worrying about it. He would tell me that we will cross that bridge when we come to it. He would tell me that it will happen for us. He's not worried. All in good time. He is practical like that. Laid back. It's not him who is defective.

Being infertile is one of those things... you pity women whose bodies don't work right for them. You don't know quite what to say to them. "It'll happen when it is supposed to." "My second cousin when to Dr. X and was pregnant in a month. I'll get you his number." or maybe just the sad looking smile and "I am so sorry to hear that." You say those things. You mean those things. But you really don't, you really can't, understand.

Until become one of them.

You don't want people to feel sorry for you. Please don't pity me. I know it will happen all in good time. I know that God has a plan. It's just hard. Damn hard. Logically, you appreciate all the kind words and prayers. And I really do appreciate the kind words and prayers. But, catch me on a bad day? Catch me on a "I'm all hyped up on Clomid" and weepy day? You will see me turn green, grow an ugly "I'm infertile" wart, and blow fire!"

It hurts.

When the one thing you want more than anything, you can't have.

And it's your fault.

It's your body's fault.

We've had a nice little respite from the TTC roller coast for the last 6 weeks or so, but now it's time to get back on the train.

It's time to take things to the next level.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

10 Reasons Why It Would Benefit You to Sponsor A Back to School Giveaway on A New Breed of Mom

It's that time of year! Summer is winding down and parents everywhere are gearing up for the back to school rush. It's time to buy new lunch boxes, school supplies, school clothes, and more! A New Breed of Mom is committed to providing support and encouragement to mothers and fathers as they prepare for the start of a new academic year. One way in which I would love to support parents who have school-age children, is by offering an array of promotional deals and giveaways in honor of Back to School. In order to do that, I need your help. Do you own, or work for, a company, website, or Etsy shop that would be willing to sponsor a Back to School Giveaway on A New Breed of Mom?

10 Reasons Your Business Will Benefit By Sponsoring A Back to School Giveaway on A New Breed of Mom:

1) I am addicted to Twitter. This means you will receive a TON of twitter publicity from me. I currently have over 900 Twitter followers and the number is growing every day.

2) I am very pleasant to work with. I aim to please!

3) I will only promote products that I either use myself, or would in a heartbeat. This means if your product is reviewed on my blog, it will be a positive review.

4) In addition to promoting you on my blog and on Twitter, I will promote you on Facebook as well - both the A New Breed of Mom fan page and my own personal account.

5) The traffic flow to my blog is steadily increasing each week.

6) I like to help out other mothers. Period. That means that even after our work together is done, I will be recommending your product to other mothers whenever it is appropriate.

7) I will direct traffic to your website and twitter account by a) having readers go to you site and tell me what they like about your product b) asking readers to tweet about the giveaway and your product.

8) Mothers who blog like to purchase products from businesses that support bloggers.

9) Helping parents and children prepare for Back to School is rewarding in and of itself.

10) My readers want you to! Readers, please comment on this post and tell everyone what type of Back to School Giveaways and Promotions you want to see on A New Breed of Mom!

** This post is my Day 2 List Post for the ProBlogger Challenge - 31 Days to Building a Better Blog

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Our Vacation in Pictures

Ok. Well a few words... For you new readers, or those that need to catch up on your blog reading (I'm guilty too!), my family just got back from a nice relaxing vacation in South Haven Michigan. We stayed at a place called Palisades Park - a private community of summer cabins - off of Lake Michigan. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and the boys had a blast!

Mama's Taking the Family to Cherry Valley Lodge & Coco Key Water Resort in Newark Ohio & You Can Go Too!

In less than two weeks my family will be going on a little weekend getaway to Cherry Valley Lodge & Coco Key Water Resort. Although I have never been there before, I have heard nothing but positive reviews about this resort. That is why, I was super excited when Cherry Valley Lodge contacted me to offer a complimentary overnight stay, two $10 arcade gift cards, AND four passes to Coco Key Water Resort.

In return for accepting a free weekend getaway at an awesome place like Cherry Valley, I get the privilege of extending an impressive offer to my readers so that you too can plan an inexpensive family getaway to Cherry Valley Lodge and Coco Key Water Resort. They drive a hard bargain, don't they?

Before I tell you the details of this fabulous offer, let me tell you a little bit about what you can expect from Cherry Valley Lodge & Coco Key Water Resort, located 25 short miles east of Columbus, Ohio.

Cherry Valley Lodge
  • Over 200 spacious guest rooms and suites
  • Amenities such as plasma flat-screen TVs, in-room refrigerators, and luxury bathrobes
  • A full service spa! Bayan Leaf Spa offers facials, massages, nail, and hair services
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Fine Dining at Cherry Valley's signature restaurant, Sunflowers
  • The Lodge Pub is open for late night snacking
  • Indoor & Outdoor pool
  • Exercise facility
  • 14 Mile Bike Trail
  • Playground
  • Volleyball, Shuffleboard, Horseshoes
  • 18 rooms are available with in-room jacuzzi tubs
  • State of the art conference rooms 
  • Banquet Rooms (Great for weddings, I hear!)
Coco Key Water Resort
  • 50, 000 Square Foot Indoor Water Park
  • 3 Giant Water Slides
  • Dump Bucket (Kids LOVE dump buckets!)
  • Adventure River
  • Key Quest Arcade
  • Callaloo Grill - Burgers, snacks, smoothies, ice cream, and Pizza Hut pizza
  • Wet Rooster Bar offer tropical drinks and overlooks the entire waterpark
And if that didn't sell you....

The Special Offer

Cherry Valley Lodge & Coco Key Water Resort are offering this unheard of discount package price to anyone who reads this blog. This is not a contest. You don't need to enter to win. Although, I do ask that if you have any questions about this offer, or if you decide to take advantage of this offer, that you post a comment and let me know you did.

For just $99, you can enjoy a overnight stay for a family of four in a deluxe guestroom, plus four waterpark passes AND a $10 arcade gift card! OR, you can purchase a day pass for low rate of $10 a person. This offer is good for the either the weekend of 8/21/10 - 8/22/10  or 8/27/10 - 8/28/10. To book your discounted family getaway, simply call (800) 788-8008 and ask for the "MY BLOG" package, OR visit schedule online.

For directions, or see the complete list of amenities and packages that Cherry Valley offers, you can visit their website.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thermos Brand Iron Man Lunch Box Giveaway

Do you have a child that would love to go to school on his first day carrying this cool Iron Man Lunch Box Soft Kit by @ThermosBrand? My boys love Iron Man so I knew this product would be a perfect prize for a mom like me!

How to Enter the Giveaway

Mandatory Entry:
Comment on this post and tell me why you want to win the Iron Man Soft Kit Lunch Box. 

Additional Entries: Please enter a new comment for EACH additional entry.

Follow A New Breed of Mom with Google Friend Connect.
Follow Me on Twitter @NewBreedMama
Follow A New Breed of Mom on Facebook
Tweet about the @ThermosBrand Twitter Party and Giveaway (described below)

** When tweeting about the @ThermosBrand Twitter Party, please be sure to include me @NewBreedMama, so I can verify your entry.

The contest will be open from Tuesday 8/3 through Monday 8/9 and the winner will be announced the day of @ThermosBrand's Twitter Party - Tuesday 8/10. A winner will be chosen at random (I will have one of my sons draw name out of  a hat.)

Thermos Brand Twitter Party and Giveaway Details:
On Tuesday, August 10 from 2-3pm EDT, join @ThermosBrand for a back-to-school discussion with leading product-safety and food-safety experts. Ask questions, provide tips about what matters to you and
help prepare your family for a safe and healthy back-to-school season. Participate using the #ThermosBTS hashtag and you will automatically be entered to win some of our newest lunch boxes and FUNtainer products.

Thermos lunch kits comply with the highest level of safety standards and come in a variety of designs, with characters appealing to every child's tastes. The lunch kits are available at retailers nationwide. For a complete listing of the Thermos Brand lunch products please visit their website

Monday, August 2, 2010

Not Going to BlogHer? What's Your Excuse?

This week is BlogHer week. BlogHer '10 will be held on Friday August 7th and Saturday August 8th in the Big Apple. Bloggy Mommies everywhere are packing up and heading to New York City! The Tweet-waves are filled with talks of BlogHer.

The #BlogHer hashtag is everywhere! What to pack? What to wear? What parties to go to? What talks to attend? Will you be my roommate at BlogHer? Can I get your cell number so I can call you at BlogHer? I can't post a giveaway this week - it's BlogHer! My BlogHer Sponsor is such & such. My BlogHer BFF is so & so. I hope I can I lose 10 lbs before BlogHer!

Give me a Freakin' Break with the BlogHer Talk Aleady!!!

But really, I know that is just my jealousy talking...

The truth is, this mama is not going to BlogHer - and I am a little sad about it.

There are a variety of reasons I am not attending BlogHer this year. I am a newbie blogger. I really wasn't that interested in it - until I started hearing all the #BlogHer Twitter talk... I didn't know enough to register for the conference. I didn't have a sponsor. I had a family vacation planned right before BlogHer. I couldn't take the extra time off work. My son's 8th birthday party will be held over the weekend of BlogHer. 

But again, I am sad I will not be a part of it.

Blogging is a whole new world to me. A New Breed of Mom just had it's three month birthday. Since starting this blog, I have met such a fabulous group of strong, independent woman who are also mothers. So often, we, as mothers and wives and sisters and daughters and friends, lose sight of our true selves.

Blogging is a way to stay in touch with the "me" part of me. I think it's probably like that for many of you too. Yes, we blog about our children and our families and our marriages. The difference is we blog about this stuff for us. Not them. From our own perspectives, we share the most intimate details about our lives. We share our inner-most thoughts, feelings, goals, and dreams.

That is why I can relate to everyone who is getting so worked up about this event. At BlogHer you meet your counter-parts. Other mommy bloggers. You put faces - real live, human, faces - with the user-names you are used to seeing comment on your posts. All of the sudden, it becomes REAL. You are exposed. Naked. The content of your blog is no longer some form of therapeutic relief or online diary. People have read what you wrote. And they are REAL people. And now, you must face them, face-to-face. In real life. Scary, right?

If you're like me, you may be saying, "I really don't give a damn what other people think about me." But wait. Even if you don't give a damn about what other people think, if you're a blogger (especially a serious enough blogger to be attending a conference about blogging), you DO give a damn about the readership of your blog. And if you generate a substantial income off of your blog, then your readership is that much more important to sustain.


Then the self-doubt sets in. What if they don't like me in person? Will they stop reading my blog?

Once that self-doubt sets in, it is logical, it is human nature, to want to protect yourself from any possible threats of harm - whether real or imagined. And our mommy-blogger counterparts, like us, are sophisticated, worldly women capable of anything they set their minds to. Just a tad bit intimidating, right? So we go out and get our hair colored, get our nails done, get a pedicure, buy a whole new wardrobe - you get the drift.

So, yes, I am sick of the BlogHer talk, but I TOTALLY understand the hype and the excitement for those of you who will be attending. You will get to meet each other. In real life.

Next year, maybe, I'll get to be part of BlogHer 2011. If I can get a sponsor...

Do It All Mom Calendar and Do It All Mom Planner Product Review & Giveaway

Do It All Mom Calendar
Do It All Mom Planner

Product Review 
The easiest way for a busy mom, who is trying to do it all, to reduce her stress level is to be a good planner. When you are faced with the task of coordinating schedules for everyone in the family it can be overwhelming - especially if you have school-age children who are involved in a variety of sports and extra-curricular activities! As a mom who is trying to juggle my schedule, my husband's schedule, and the schedule of two active little boys; I was thrilled when Orange Circle Studio approached me about doing a product review for their Do It All Mom Calendar & Do It All Mom Planner.

When I received this product I was so excited. I, like many moms today, use the calendar on my phone to schedule my family's many activities, doctor appointments, and school schedules. However, with two young children and a husband always asking me when this game is scheduled, or what time does that activity start, I like to keep a physical calendar hung up in our kitchen for everyone to see. The Do It All Mom Calendar is not only a fabulous visual aid to my family's hectic schedule, but it is also a very practical and efficient way for my family to stay organized.

The Do It All Mom Calendar is a 17 month calendar (August 2010 - December 2011) - perfect for a mom, planning around her children's school year. In addition to the awesome graphics and design, this calendar is magnetized! It can be hung up on the refrigerator so there is no need to get out a hammer and nail to pound a hole into the wall - like you must do with other calendars. It comes with a pen, and a built-in pen holder(!), so when you need to write something down you won't have to search the junk draw for a writing utensil.

The calendar is designed with extra large grids for posting everyone's schedule. In addition there is a fold-out wing flap, where you can write down everyone's name. Each family member has their own grid-line on the calendar so there is no need to write initials or names next to each event. Also, there is a pocket so busy moms can stash those field trip permission slips, sports signed-up paperworks, or important school notifications - no more hunting and search for that piece of paper you know you stashed somewhere safe.

Finally, my favorite part of the Do It All Mom Calendar, is the 225 stickers that come with it to indicate holiday's, doctor appts, dentist appts, vet appts for the family pet, anniversaries, family outings/events/vacations, birthdays, parties, school-related activities, carpools, sports games/practices, and even blank stickers in case anything was overlooked!

The Do It All Mom Planner is just as awesome! The planner is also a 17 month planner from August 2010 through December 2011. It comes with 288 stickers to note the various events and activities listed above. In addition, it comes with 60 tear-off grocery/to-do lists.There is a handy-dandy storage pocket in front for the odd and end receipts, coupons, and other papers you need to store. An elastic band to securely closes the planner.

Promotional Deal
Orange Circle Studio is offering a 20% discount for any of their unique products if you "like" Orange Circle on Facebook. You will receive a promotional code after becoming a fan of the page.

There will be two winners. One winner for the Do It All Mom Calendar and one winner for the Do It All Mom Planner. You may enter to win both. Each comment left on this blog post (as described below) is counted as one entry for one of the two products. ie. If you are entering to win both the Calendar and the Planner, please comment separately for each items' entries. You will be able to enter up to 8 times using a combination of the below entry methods. Each comment = 1 entry.

The contest will run from Monday August 2nd through Sunday August 8th and the winners will be announced on August 9th. In addition, the winners will be notified via email so if there is any doubt that I may not have your email address, please leave it in one of your entry comments. Winners will be randomly drawn - I will have my boys draw a name out of a hat for each prize.

Mandatory Entry: Comment on this post and tell me why you like the Calendar or Planner and how it can help your family to organize and plan for your busy schedule.

Additional Entries: You will receive an additional entry for each of the following; 1) Follow A New Breed of Mom with Google Friend Connect. 2) Follow me on Twitter @NewBreedMama. 3) Like A New Breed of Mom on Facebook. 4) Grab my badge and post it on your blog. 5) Vote for A New Breed of Mom on Top Mommy Blogs. 6) Vote for A New Breed of Mom on Picket Fence Blogs.

Back To Reality & Reflections of a Peaceful Day

Back to Reality 

It's Monday. My week of vacation has come to an end. I am back to reality and, of course, work. We arrived home Saturday afternoon, which worked out remarkably well. I was able to get our bags unpacked and make a Walmart trip Saturday afternoon. Then, while I put away groceries and made dinner, hubs mowed the yard. And, by the way, the weed bed yard REALLY needed to be mowed. I think next year we are going to have to break down a pay chem lawn to make our grass purdy.

We had a fabulous time on vacation. Tune into my wordless Wednesday post to see just how fabulous of a time we had! It's always a little sad going back to work after a nice relaxing week with the family. However, I think that the day-to-day "stuff" makes us appreciate each other and the time we have to share together all the more. A week away allows us to come back to center - meaning that it allows us to refocus on what is important in life. Sometimes it is all too easy to get caught up with the day-to-day "stuff" and lose sight of what matters most - God, family, friends, love.

Reflections of a Peaceful Day

I am sitting on the beach as I write this post. It is a beautiful day! We've had nothing but gorgeous, sunny weather all week long! The boys are loving the water. They have been "boogie boarding" and wave jumping all week long!

The sun is shining down on me and I feel at peace with the world. My husband, the love of my life, is sitting next to me, holding my hand. There are so many blessings in my life and I feel grateful for them every day. Yet, at this moment, I feel especially grateful. Almost like God is shining down all of his blessings directly onto me and my family. 

This sense of peace and harmony is something I wish for all mothers. A beautiful day. A loving family. A happy heart. The power to create that peace is within us all. It is called love.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stay at Home Mom, or Not?: by Maija @ Mommy Moments

Today's guest blogger is my new friend Maija, from Mommy Moments. She is one awesome mommy! You can find her on Twitter @MommyMoments. Her post today really hits home for many of us who struggle with the balance between work and home. Enjoy!

Stay at Home Mom, or Not?

Have you ever pretended you were something you weren’t? Not in a way where you actually told a lie, but that you let someone assume something about you that maybe you just didn’t correct. Perhaps you let someone assume you read the book before the movie came out, or that you really did graduate Ivey League or even that your perfect tan came from a fabulous exotic vacation rather than from a bottle.

Today I did just that... only I pretended to be “one of them”. I just let someone assume I was a stay-at-home mom. It was 10 a.m. on a weekday and I was in the park. The park that many people drive to but the moms who live in close proximity consider it a ‘neighbourhood’ park. I had my three children with me and I looked like I had absolutely nowhere else to be. I had my mommy bag of healthy snacks, juice, and SPF 50 sunscreen. The one thing that would have truly given me away – my Blackberry – I left in the van.

I was wearing Sweet Pea in the baby sling and I was helping Bugaboo onto the ‘big boy’ swing when one of the neighbourhood moms who was forced to break away from her group due to a rogue child wanting to swing instead of slide asked me one of the appropriate ‘initiate conversation with fellow mommy’ questions: “How old is he?”

I look over, smile, give Bugaboo a push and answer “two and half. How old is your (quick check... yes she’s wearing pink shoes) daughter”? “Just turned two” she tells me. Now we’re best friends. Yes, on the playground, when you have nowhere else to be, sometimes it happens that quickly.

We exchange our children’s names (but never our own) and she asks about Sweet Pea and then about Sugar Plum who is happily playing with the others on the slide. Then she says to me “I’m not looking forward to school in September since Jack (among the sliding children) will be going into grade one and I’ll be home with just this one. It will be so lonely. At least you still have two at home.”

And there was my moment. My moment to say something about my maternity leave ending in September and therefore I won’t be home at all anymore. At 10 a.m. during the week I will have somewhere else I need to be (and likely many somewheres) besides the park.

But I didn’t. I just nodded as if admitting yes I was lucky and understood how lonely she would be. I then went on to a safe topic of where Jack went to school. Within a few minutes I was welcomed into the fold of the stay-at-home mommies, happily talking about upcoming cottage vacations and dance classes starting in September. It’s the same conversation I’m sure we would have had whether I was a stay-at-home mom or not but I was happy to be considered one of them.

There are stay-at-home moms, working moms, work-from-home moms and combinations of all of the above. For the last year I have been lucky to have been home on my third maternity leave but I am definitely a working mommy. I think I am one of those moms that fluctuate between wanting to work and wanting to be at home. If I am completely honest, however, I think the division would be 49% work and 51% home and it’s that 1% that gets me every time. I want to be one of them - at least 51% of the time.

There are stay-at-home moms, working moms, work-from-home moms and combinations of all of the above. For the last year I have been lucky to have been home on my third maternity leave but I am definitely a working mommy. I think I am one of those moms that fluctuate between wanting to work and wanting to be at home. If I am completely honest, however, I think the division would be 49% work and 51% home and it’s that 1% that gets me every time. I want to be one of them - at least 51% of the time.

I love my job. I make a difference in my job. Most importantly I make a good living and equally provide the financial resources to support our home and our lives. Seven years ago, while on my first maternity leave, staying at home was not an option. Now perhaps, if we had a smaller house, one less car and likely no dance, skating, swimming or vacations, living on my husband’s salary alone might be an option.


So perhaps by choice but perhaps not, I work... hard.

I’ve been a mom for seven years so I am well aware of the work-at-home vs. stay-at-home mommy debate and I refuse to take sides. I also refuse to believe that because my children went to daycare, preschool and/or stayed home with a nanny that they are any less emotionally, socially or intellectually developed. Nor that because I am a working mother my children will live unhealthy lifestyles or become obese.

I will also not believe that the children of stay-at-home mommies are any less prepared for school, have a higher rate of suffering from anxiety or have an unhealthy emotional attachment to their mothers.

I will, however, despite alienating many a working mom with this comment, continue to feel the guilt of choosing and/or having to work. I can only hope the guilt is less when all three of my children are in school full-time.

Again... maybe...

The mommy conversation dwindles as the children have tired of the slide and the swings. They’ve eaten all the snacks, the juice containers are empty and the sun is getting hotter by the minute. It’s time to go home. Jack’s mom is frantically trying to soothe her crying over –tired two year old while running after Jack who is grabbing a toy from another child. As her daughter is pulling at her hair and Jack is now screaming and lying face down in the sand after his mother gave back the toy, she looks at her friends who give her sympathetic smiles and says “it’s days like today I wish I was back at work”.

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.