Archive | September, 2010

Softlips PURE 100% Naturals Giveaway — Enter To Win

30 Sep

Softlips moisturizing lip products deliver superior protection with a perfect blend of style and function to keep lips soft, moisturized and healthy.

The newest offering is Softlips PURE 100% Natural lip care products, which includes tinted lip balms, glosses, an exfoliating lip polish and a moisturizing lip butter, all of which are free from preservatives, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, and gluten, and not tested on animals.

Softlips PURE 100% Natural includes:

  • Softlips PURE 100% Natural Lip Butter – a tube applicator that provides hydrating SPF 15 protection for very dry lips with zinc oxide, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, beeswax and a light vanilla-berry scent.
  • Softlips PURE 100% Natural Lip Gloss – a tube applicator that provides natural, glossy color with high shine in three shades – Shell Pink, Natural Honesty and Coral Charm – with natural seed oils and beeswax and provides hydrating SPF 15 protection for dry lips with zinc oxide and a light vanilla-berry scent.
  • Softlips PURE 100% Natural Lip Polish – provides natural exfoliation for lips with organic coconut flakes and sugar and deeply moisturizes lips with bees wax and natural seed oils like safflower, mango and castor seed with a light coconut scent.
  • Softlips PURE 100% Natural Lip Tint – a balm/stick applicator that provides sheer, tinted color in three shades – Shell Pink, Natural Honesty and Coral Charm – with beeswax, coconut oil and other natural ingredients and provides hydrating SPF 15 protection for dry lips with zinc oxide and a light vanilla-berry scent.

I’ve been loving the shell pink…and I don’t have to put lipstick over it!

The new Softlips PURE 100% Natural lip care products are available at most Target stores nationwide.

Other Softlips lip balms are available at Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, other drugstores and retailers nationwide, as well as in their new online store at

Also, starting in the fall, the Softlips SPF 20 limited edition winter flavor pack will be available for purchase in the new Softlips online store for $9.99. Limited edition flavors include: Sugar Cookie, Sugar Plum Berry, Wildberry, Winter Mint and Sugar Cookie.

One (1) lucky Just Another Manic Mommy reader will win one (1) complete set of Softlips PURE 100% Naturals


Each of the following will earn an entry:

  1. Leave a comment and tell me which Softlips PURE 100% Natural product you would love to have.
  2. Become a fan of Just Another Manic Mommy on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall.
  3. Become an email subscriber of Just Another Manic Mommy.
  4. Link this post on your blog.
  5. Visit Softlips on Facebook and leave a comment about this Softlips PURE 100% Naturals giveaway.

Winner will be chosen randomly on 10/07/10 and notified via email.

(Sample provided for review)

Little Ballerinas, Little Tutus

28 Sep

My girls have been dying to take ballet.  Is it because they love to dance?  Not really.

Moms, you know how it is, little girls just love to be ballerinas.

Luckily my town offers a wonderful dance program from age 3 and up.

The 3-year-old goes one day and then I’m back 2 days later with the kindergartener.  The teacher told us it is not necessary to wear ballerina outfits or ballet slippers…yeah right!

The outfits may be what hooked them, but so far, they seem to LOVE it, so I am completely thrilled.  Bonus for me has been the opportunity to meet some more nice moms.

Oh and my big girl is taking ballet/hip hop.  Do you have any idea why I chose that over ballet/tap?  The answer is…there are no special shoes needed for hip hop, or simply that I am cheap.  Who tap dances anyway?  This way I figure she’ll at least be able to use those hip hop moves at parties and stuff, though I can’t say my husband is thrilled about her ‘raising the roof’ and so on.

I’m starting to get what people say about how when the kids get older it gets a lot busier.  My children are still pretty young, but between dance, tennis, and library time (with basketball and daisy troop coming up) in addition to getting to and from school, it’s a lot of running around.

Looking ahead,  we’ve talked about the fact that we don’t want the kids to be over scheduled with us running to 23 different sporting events each weekend.  How have you managed that?

Remembering a Traumatic Moment…The Story of a Seizure

24 Sep

I was at a party over the weekend and my friends mentioned their wedding anniversary was coming up.

It was then I remembered that we almost weren’t able to attend the wedding.

The day before I was home with the kids who at that time were 22 months, 22 months and 4 months old.  My 22 month old girl had a fever all day and was lying around lethargically, very unlike her.

I snapped that picture as I awaited the arrival of my mother in law who would watch the other two so I could take my daughter to the pediatrician.  She just had a fever, but I didn’t like how my gut was reacting to it.

Having one little one in the minivan, way in the back, was unusual.  We chatted about the birds and the different colors we saw out the window.  I thought about how long I had until the baby needed to be fed, and whether or not I had any breast milk in the fridge, and what to feed the other two, and whether I paid the credit card bill.

And then I looked in the rear view mirror.

My baby girl was staring up and out the window.  I asked what she saw out there.  She stayed frozen for a few seconds and then began to convulse.

I was waiting at a red light.  What would you do?

It didn’t matter that I had worked for 5 years on the neurology service at a hospital.  I was sure I was witnessing her becoming brain-damaged.  I was utterly shaking with fear myself.

I started screaming her name and just screaming in general.  The pediatrician’s office was just ahead.

I parked the car, grabbed her out of her car seat and raced.  I don’t remember going in to the building, and up the elevator and into the office.

I do remember the blank look I got from the doctor’s receptionist when I carried her to the window and shouted,

She’s having a seizure!

We have the most wonderful pediatrician.  He was in front of me in a flash and then what he said was a gift, a calm wind running over a stormy sea….

This looks worse than it is.

He gently explained he would be giving her oxygen, just in case she stopped breathing. He said she would probably stop seizing soon but that he would still be calling 911 and she would be going to the emergency room.

Then the police arrived.  It was the lovely father of the twins we played with at our park!  He volunteered to drive my car home.

Here’s where I wish I did things differently.  I called my husband.  He was on the commuter train.  Powerless.  That ride was the worst in his life.  He said people were afraid to go near him.

Next we’re in the ambulance and it was surreal.  You see how fast they drive but being in one is another story.  I was falling over every 2 seconds.  I was holding on for life…….literally and figuratively.

She was still seizing when we arrived in the E.R. and instantly had a team working on her baby body.  This was likely a febrile seizure I was told, but it could be something else as well.  She would need an extensive neurological work up because the length of the seizure, or that she had multiple, one after another, was atypical.

As it turned out febrile seizure has occurred on both sides of the family.  And after many horrible tests we got the confirmation that that’s what it was.  And I learned that a febrile seizure is the effect of a sudden rise in temperature, not just a high fever.

It was amazing that she was fine the next day, on round the clock Tylenol and Motrin.  Going to the wedding, and telling the story over and over was a catharsis.  I will forever have that picture of her in the rear view mirror on my brain.  It took many days before I could sleep again.

It was one of my toughest moments as a parent.  Can you think of yours?

Cranky All Around

23 Sep

School is in full swing which is great.  But boy oh boy are the kids cranky.  I mean really sassy and irritable.  While they are enjoying school, I think they are exhausted.  After all they’re babies!

Even my little one, who is usually the sunniest of the bunch, almost had a complete meltdown after school today because the playground  I suggested we play at doesn’t have a tire swing.

This is how I avoided a full-blown tantrum.

And beloved chai tea latte continues to bring harmony to this family.

Anyone else having a cranky existence?

Free Scoops at Carvel

22 Sep


On September 23, TOMORROW, Carvel will be hosting a Scoop of Thanks Event. Participating locations will be giving out free scoops of Swiss Miss Hand-Dipped Ice Cream.  (You may want to call ahead to make sure your Carvel is participating.)  Check here for more information and happy ice cream eating!

Survived Back to School Night…With a Smile

21 Sep

Last night was the long-awaited Back to School Night.  It’s going to sound crazy but I was very stressed about it.  This is one of the aspects about being a mother of twins that has been challenging for me; I’m very aware of wanting to be equal to both of them, to ensure they get individual time, to not short change them.

Therefore, I wanted to be in each of their classrooms for the full teacher presentation.  But I could not.  And that really had me distressed.  It didn’t matter that my husband would be in one of the rooms.  I wanted to be in 2 places at the same time.

So I started out in my daughter’s room with my husband.  I met the teacher and saw and some of my daughter’s artwork.  She seems to be very gifted in art and the teacher told me she has been impressed with how long she sits and works on her pictures.  It was so hard to leave that room to move onto my son’s because my two great friends were there with their husbands, but that also helped me feel good leaving my husband in their hands.  (He hated school and was hyperventilating as he entered the class.)

I got to my son’s room as the teacher was asking everyone to be seated, yet she introduced herself to me with a hug and a kiss!  Oh she seemed wonderful.  Thinking about her warmth right now makes me want to cry.

She talked about what a long day it is for them because they are still “babies”.  She believes she is setting a foundation for the rest of their lives and she wants them to feel happy (and now I do!) and good about school.  She said we all have our noses behind our Blackberries, iPad, etc and she is seeing that the kids don’t have great eye contact because we DON’T LOOK AT THEM WHEN THEY’RE SPEAKING TO US.  Of course as she is saying this I’m BBMing my husband the conference time I signed up for (for next March, I might add).

It made me stop.

I’ve got to put the Crackberry down, in general, and relax.  My frenzied state of being is no good to anyone.

When the talk finished my husband came in, met the teacher, and told me our friends were waiting for me.  And there they were in the hallway.  As I approached, it hit me that these are forever friends.  Our children are going to grow together, and so are we.  My son’s teacher told us to look around the room at one another……that her son’s best man was his buddy from kindergarten.

So the night, for me, was a success.  And this is only the beginning…

Vindaloo Vacation (Mini)

19 Sep

With 3 young children and 2 homebodyish parents, we don’t get away ever much.

However, we are fortunate to be able to go out dinner around once a week, kids free, to enjoy food that is not in the franchise family.  And we love food.  And luckily we have access to almost every kind of food in the world being within such close proximity to NYC.

The other night we zipped over to our favorite Indian joint in Queens.

You either love or hate Indian food.  We love it.  But many of our dinner date friends hate it so we usually go solo.

The staff at our place seems to remember us, perhaps because we are some of the only non Indians in the place, and we aren’t afraid of spice.  Oh yeah, we love spicy.

My husband orders THE spiciest entrée vindaloo, lamb vindaloo to be exact  (it’s the orange entrée in the picture) — Lamb cooked with herbs and Potatoes in a spicy curry.

I love, love palak paneer (that’s the green entrée in the picture) — Home made cheese cooked with spinach and herbs.

It’s served with unlimited Basmati rice and we order a serving of Naan bread — Leavened bread of super fine flour baked in a tandoor.

We leave filling full and sweaty from the spices and I always have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Anyone else love Indian food and what’s your favorite dish?

Another First Day and a Single Dad

16 Sep

Today was the little one’s first day of preschool.  She’s only 3 but she is a baby sister to twin thugs only 18 months older so she’s grown up fast.  Consequently, she was very nonchalant about  the whole first day of school thing and wanted to get the photos out of the way to get on with things.

We seem to have enacted a little tradition with the kids.  When one of them is with both of us (mom and dad) for a special thing (first day of school or school show or whatever) we first go to Dunkin Donuts for the most favorite thing in their worlds…munchkins.

See those bunny barrettes?  They match the bunny dress, sweater and shirt I scored at Gymboree.  It was very exciting because this little one loves bunnies and it’s not as easy as you may think to accessorize with them.  (As an aside, I LOVE that she loves bunnies.  There’s something so innocent, cute and noncommercial about that love….as opposed to something like princesses, gag.)

The guy at the outside table next to us overheard us taking about school and he mentioned that he had recently dropped his son off at college and that now he felt like a “lost dog”.  He went on to say that he was a single parent of two boys for the past 10 years since his wife got encephalitis, suffered brain damage and subsequently decided she no longer wanted to be married to him.

Certainly this tale of woe was not what I wanted to hear at that moment, as I thought about my baby entering school and how fast the weeks fly by as contrasted with the long days.  There was something so sad and lost about him sitting there drinking his black coffee that in a way, I wanted to invite him along on our journey.  I know it sounds strange.  I told him since I became a parent, my respect for single parents has multiplied a million times and that I think he’s awesome.  I started to tell him about my neighbor who’s single but that’s when my husband dragged me away!

We had to cut the conversation with the guy short so we could get to school.  Before we entered the classroom she ran around drove around on the great playground for a few minutes.

Then it was time.

We entered the classroom.  She bypassed the teachers greeting us at the door and sat right down to get to work.

She barely acknowledged my goodbye and certainly was too busy for a kiss!  But to me that screamed success.  I went to another room with the gathering parents and got to meet the other moms in the class.

So another milestone today.  All 3 are going to school tomorrow and all of them are excited about it!  And I’m sending good vibes to the Dunkin Donuts guy…

So It’s Back-to-School Night

15 Sep

Just as I was sitting here trying to think of something to write, my big sis once again takes care of me and sends this fabulous and helpful information about an event coming up shortly for all of us with school aged kids…

Back-to-School Night (aka Meet the Teacher Night, Open House, Curriculum Night) is upon us.  As a mom of two boys, I’ve been to well over 20 of these evenings, and more than that in my role as a kindergarten teacher.

If you think that managing 20 kindergarten students is courageous, think, for a moment, about how a teacher feels looking out at anywhere from 20-40 anxious parents waiting to be enlightened, informed, and assured, while deciding if they are going to like you.  When I attend my sons’ Back-to-School Nights, I really, really want to like their teachers.  I want to see a hybrid of all the qualities my best teachers had … knowledge, compassion, enthusiasm… you know.

As a teacher, looking out at the parents, I want them to like me.  It’s the truth.  I know they may not agree with everything I say, but I want them to respect my years of experience, and my knowledge of how young children grow and develop.  Most important, I want them to trust me with their children, to know that I have their child’s best interest at heart.

All parents have hopes and dreams for their children.  They have some expectations of what school will be like and what their child’s teacher should do to make their child excited about school, to feel safe physically and emotionally.

Teachers have hopes, dreams and expectations, as well for their students and for the positive relationships they hope to establish with their students’ families.  Back-to-School Night plays an important role in that process; it can set the stage for the rest of the school year.

Here are some things to keep in mind about your child’s Back to School Night:

1.     Go to it! You may think this sounds crazy.  Of course you plan to go!  Or, you could be thinking…nah… don’t think so… got two older kids… been there, done that.  No you haven’t. Not really.  Every year is different.  While my core values and principles of sound educational practice haven’t changed, procedures, curriculum, and school policies do.  Also, many teachers post sign-up sheets for Parent-Teacher conferences and other important events for which you will want to be able to select a time and date that works for you.

2.     Reserve your babysitter early. You really don’t want to bring your children to this adults-only evening.  If you are nursing your newborn, pump, or have dad go.  Teachers put a great deal of planning and thought into this time we get with you, we don’t want to hear Madison toppling a block structure while we are explaining important details that you need to hear about your child’s school year.

3.     Come prepared with questions. This is the best time to ask about transportation, library books, birthday celebrations, parent volunteers, trips, etc.  Do make sure you find out the best method of contacting the teacher.  Do not ask her for her home or cell phone number.  You do not call your doctors or lawyers at home…that goes for teachers, too!

If the teacher hasn’t mentioned basic school policies and procedures during her presentation, and you have a question, ask it.  There’s a good chance it’s something we meant to discuss and ran out of time.  I now write a list of Kindergarten FAQ’s I distribute that night, because there are always distractions during the evening and I want to make sure all my parents get the important information.

4.     Do not go to the classroom early. In most schools, parents convene in an auditorium and hear opening announcements from the school principal and other district personnel at the beginning of the evening.  Teachers are sometimes introduced at this time, or are doing last-minute preparations in our classrooms.  Everyone understands that you really just want to get into the classroom, to see the teacher, see the room, see your kid’s work.  The “short” speeches in the auditorium are often, well…boring.  I know.  I’ve heard enough of them!  Still, don’t show up in your kid’s classroom because you don’t want to sit in the overheated auditorium, and you want a few private minutes to hang out with your child’s teacher.  Not a good idea. Ever.  Besides demonstrating basic disrespect for the teacher’s time, you are also showing us that basic rules and etiquette don’t apply to you.  It’s not the way you want to start the school year.

5.     Remember that this is not the time for a private conference about your child. This is important to remember.  In fact, many principals will make a point to mention it before sending parents off to the classrooms.  A principal will remind you it’s an evening for a general overview, not private conversations with the teacher about your child. However, at some point during your time in your child’s classroom, you will most likely have a chance to mingle and look around the class.  Please do approach the teacher and introduce yourself if you haven’t already met.  If s/he feels it’s appropriate to make a comment or share an anecdote with you about your child, s/he will.

6.     If you or your spouse cannot attend, do not ask the teacher to “tell you what you missed” at another time. It’s almost like asking to have the school band give you a special performance because you couldn’t make it on concert night.  We put a great deal of time and energy into making Back to School Night informative and special.  Teachers are often charged with describing a year’s worth of curriculum in one night, while addressing a host of other issues and questions.  We make PowerPoint presentations, we display children’s work, we clean the room, we have the kids leave notes or drawings for their parents – you.  We also distribute packets of information, which you will receive whether you can attend or not.

7.     Don’t forget…you see us around 7:30pm.  Many of us have been at school since 7:30am.  We have taught a full day.  The children go home and we keep working.  We set up the room to show you, in the best way possible, all the wonderful projects, new ideas, and tremendous growth your child will experience their first year in public school.  We pray that we will sound as knowledgeable and caring as we really are.  We hope you will hear in our voices how much we love your children and how honored we feel that you have entrusted them to us for this important and special time in their lives.  We hope you will hear our commitment to do our best for your children.  Because, in many ways, they are our children, too.

We are advocates for your children and want the best educational experience for them.  So help us with that.  Come to Back-to-School night with open minds and open hearts.  We want to answer your questions, reassure you, set you straight if you need it (gently and politely, of course J).   We will be there for you and your child.  So please be there for us.

I Smell Something

14 Sep

I’ll bet you your thinking this is going to be another gross post, pertaining to butts or what not.

Nah it’s about me and my hypersensitive olfactory sense.

I have an unbelievable sense of smell.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that when I was pregnant with my 3rd child and my twins were babies, I could SMELL, from the next room, the exact moment they were peeing in their diapers.  I thought it was a pregnancy smell thing but the skill seems to have lasted.

So when I detected a smell in my kitchen a few weeks back, I was not initially surprised when no one else could smell it.  I got to work investigating the fridge, the garbage, the garbage disposal…scrubbing, cleansing, disinfecting, you name it.  I got everything cleaned and checked out.

Yet, I still smell a foul smell, and no one else does. I’m thinking something might be dead in the wall, but if that were the case, that smell would be apparent to others.

When I lived in Manhattan a tenant in my building died in her apartment and went undiscovered for many days ( and even before that happened this was an irrational fear of  mine … that I would fall in the shower or something and be there until someone from my work was sent to my apartment to investigate my absence…).  Let me just say that the building reeked for weeks and it was horribly disturbing.

So, this is where I’m at…I smell something in my kitchen, and sometimes other rooms, that’s undetectable to anyone else and I’m starting to think I’m having olfactory hallucinations (and if you Google that it’s pretty scary!)

Anyone else ever experience something like this!?


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