Wednesday, December 21

weird.

Over the course of our ten-year friendship, one conversation has come up over and over between my best friend and me.

Player One: "Gah, (he is / she is / they are / that was) so weird!" 


Player Two: "You are so weird."


Player One: "I am not weird." 


Player Two: "Um. I know all your secrets. You are weird." 


Player One: ...


Player Two: ...


Player One: "You're right. I'm ridiculously weird."


Player Two: "Exactly."


Player One: "Whatever."


More often than not, I am Player One in this situation, but occasionally the BFF will admit her own oddity, too.

from pinterest


It is so good to be known. Not for what you can do, or what you can offer, or what you have learned, or where you have been, or where you are going, or what influence you have... but to be known simply for who you are...

best friend, me, best friend
circa: when we were all skinny



And how how truly weird you can be.






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Tuesday, December 6

I don't like your stupid face, Pinterest.

Way back in March, I wrote a post extolling the virtues of tumblr.

Tumblr is easy. Tumblr is pretty. Tumblr is nice.

Tumblr is so great, in fact, I have two of them:

The Things I Love
and
#DestructoTot Strikes


And then the new It thing came along. Pinterest. What a dumb name.

I don't know exactly what I have against Pinterest, but a text from my friend Audreya might hold a clue:
And don't be all hipster "I'm going to actively try to dislike this because of how much everyone else likes it."
Whatever. Except, our whole textual conversation was just me yelling at her in all caps things like, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS CRAP." and "THIS IS STUPID AND DUMB." To which she replied:
"Take off your black framed glasses and stop being a hipster."
What. ever.
It's not that I'm a hipster, it's more than I'm a grumpy old lady and I don't like new things.
At first.

I mean, I didn't really even like my second kid at first. She screamed a lot.


So far, all I can tell is that Pinterest is a bunch of pictures of pretty crap and sappy inspiring words in swirly fonts and food that will make me happy chubbier and DIY crafty things I probably can't replicate, even if I fool myself into thinking I can.

Basically, it's a wonderland of a time suck.
I want to want to like Pinterest, really I do. So many of my friends across the internets have great big ooey gooey hearts for pinning.

THERE ARE JUST SO MANY THINGS TO SEE AND PUT ONTO THE PROPER BOARDS AND I DON'T REALLY GET IT AT ALL.

Sorry about the all caps again.

Luckily, Audreya created a Pinterest How-To for me for the internet at large.

I'm going to read it again and try to figure it all out.

You can follow me, or look at my pins, or whatever you people do there.

Although I still think it's a bunch of crap.*











*check back in 4-6 days for a follow-up "I'm totally Pinteresting!" post, wherein I gush about the awesome-itude of Pinterest. Sigh. 

Tuesday, November 29

Let's Hear it for the Girl: Elizabeth Owen and her Not So Storybook Life (AND A GIVEAWAY, TOO!)

My (not so) Storybook Life, Elizabeth Owen

And the winner is....
entry #5
Kat!
If your name is Kat and your avatar is a super cute pair of socks, email me at Savannah (at) chasingmybees (dot) com!


I mentioned my friend Liz's book once before here on the little ol' blog. If you follow me on the twitters, you've seen me mention it at least 16 times. Leading up to its pub date, the actual pub date, the day I received my copy, the day Liz had a book signing (which I couldn't attend and am still pouting about)... Lots of tweeting about this book.

Clicking on this link will take you to my first post about My (not so) Storybook Life, where you can read an excerpt to get a taste of how delicious Liz's writing is.

Clicking on this link will take you to Barnes & Noble where you can purchase the turquoise wonder.

Clicking on this link will take you to Amazon where you can buy the hardcover OR the Kindle edition.

Exciting!

Liz and sweet baby Jane. Happy girls.

I really loved this book. There were more than a few times I lol'd, and you guys, I don't lol over just anything. There were also several, "Uh-huh, girl. I know exactly whatchu mean" moments. And some unexpected sweetness, which, I totally should have expected. This tale of friendship and faith, both honest and imaginative, is one of the loveliest books I've read in a long time. 

And it can be yours.* 


Let's make this easy, shall we?
Tell me your favorite work of fiction or your favorite memoir and tell me, if you can, why it's the best.
That's it. Just leave a comment (with a valid email address. very important.) and you could win a copy of My (not so) Storybook Life

But you might as well buy a copy to give your sister, too. 
Or for your BFF. 
Or yo' momma. 
Or (even if only because she birthed your favorite guy) your mother-in-law.
Really, this book deserves to sit on the shelf of every woman you love. 






*I received a copy for review because I am super awesome. Or, more likely, Liz asked her publisher very politely if I could have a copy, because she is undoubtedly a politer person than I.
The giveaway will be open until Friday, December 2nd. On Friday, some magical forces will reveal the winner to me, and I'll reveal the winner to you, and you'll get a copy, too. 


Thursday, November 17

Clearly, She Wrote This Book for DestructoTot

Emily Jenkins is fast becoming a family favorite 'round here. She is basically who I want to be when I grow up: a picture book and kid lit writer, a YA author, and novel-er.

The first Emily Jenkins book we read was Invisible Inkling, a middle-grade chapter book with really great pictures. The Boy and I loved it instantly, and quickly moved on to the The Secret Life of Billie's Uncle Myron (which she wrote with her dad) and the Toys series.


But what I love most about Emily Jenkins, so far, is that apparently she bugged our house and watched The Baby very closely and then decided to write a book about her. Which is weird, because Love You When You Whine was published in 2006, and The Baby wasn't born until 2008. Semantics, schemantics. She's got a crystal ball. Probably.

Judging on title alone, Love You When You Whine is a perfect book for The Baby. Judging on Jenkins' words and the illustrations by Sergio Ruzzier, it was made for her.

www.emilyjenkins.com



"Love you when you whine."



"Love you when you pour cereal on the floor."


"...and chew with your mouth open."


"Love you when you mess with my checkbook."
www.ruzzier.com




There are over two dozen "Love you when..." scenarios, which account for roughly four hours of one day with The Baby.


I love this book so, so much. There are no saccharine, "You're the most perfect baby ever to have never puked on her mommy" moments. There are no, "I made one hundred and twelve organic carrot cake cupcakes with applesauce-sweetened icing made from the apples grown in my pesticide-free orchard that I cultivate with my own hands and don't forget there is a soccer game tonight of which I am coach and also have you noticed my beautiful highlights and perfectly manicured fingernails and by the way I showered today before 7 am" mothers. Nowhere. None. 

As much as I love the sticky-sweet stories and illustrations in many classic children's books (and really, I really do), I am absolutely in love with this book, because through hilariously sad illustrations and simple declarations, it's clear that the parents are not afraid to say Look kid, you are bat-snot crazy, and you wear me out, and I wish you would just take a nap already, and oh my gosh you are wonderful and exquisite and I love you so much that there are just no adequate words to make you understand how important you are to me.

Because that's exactly how I feel about The DestructoTot Baby.






Friday, November 11

We're Off to See the Wizard! Ticket Giveaway!


I am so excited, y'all. Dorothy and her pals are coming to town as part of UCA's Public Appearances Broadway series!

The show, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, November 19th, is already sold out. 

But I, faithful friends, have tickets. No, that's not an opium haze from the poppy field you're feeling... you read that right.


The performance is sold out but I have four tickets. For you!!


My Bees and I will be there, representin' Little Rock Family magazine and taking pictures of all the costumed show-goers before the show goes. The wonderful wizards at UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall will have a yellow brick road ready for sparkly shoes and scarecrows and lions and tinmen, oh my!
We just happen to have a Dorothy outfit in our dress-up trunk, so The Girl will be donning the iconic blue gingham dress (or, an approximate polyester variation thereof). I'm considering making The Baby go as Toto. She certainly barks enough for the part.

from UCA Reynolds facebook

Entering to win the four emerald tickets is easy. 

Just leave a comment telling me your favorite Wizard of Oz moment, or your favorite memory associated with the Wiz and Company. 

The giveaway will be open until Thursday, November 17th, when I'll announce the winners. 






*disclaimer* I get comped tickets because I'm awesome, and also because I'll be there photog-ing for Little Rock Family. The lovely folks at UCA totally agreed when I emailed them, saying, "Hey! A ticket giveaway would be super!" I received no monetary compensation for this post, so don't sic the flying monkeys on me. 

Monday, November 7

Live, Love, and Leap. A LeapFrog Review




We love Leap Frog 'round here.
The Bees still play with the (now ancient) My First Leap Pad...
And the (also ancient) first Leap Pad...
And a vast array of other Leap Stuff...
Didj, My Own LeapTop, Text and Learn, and My Own StoryTime Pad
That's not even including the Alphabet Pal pull-along toy, the TWO talking Baby Tad toys, the My Day with Tad magnetic toy, and the four LeapFrog movies we have in our Netflix instant queue.

I'm telling you, we love LeapFrog products.

So when the Clever Girls Collective had an opportunity to review a new LeapFrog product, I... well... leaped on it. 

This is the new My Own Story Time LeapPad
Find it here!
This is what LeapFrog.com has to say about the Story Time Pad:
Personalized play, stories and activities on a tablet just for little learners! Children can watch fun animations and listen to stories, emails and music as they explore the world of Scout & Friends. Parents can personalize the story time pad with their child's name, favorites, customized “emails" from family and a music playlist. My Own Story Time Pad comes pre-loaded with 1 story, 1 email, and 3 songs, and holds up to 5 stories, 10 songs and 3 emails at a time.

And this is what my kids say:
It's awesome.
And here's what I say:
It is actually pretty awesome.

We personalized it for The Girl (since The Baby has the My First LeapTop personalized for her), using the LeapFrog Connect computer app we downloaded. Any of the LeapFrog interactive/personalized toys use LeapFrog Connect. I really like the Connect app because it shows the Learning Path of each kid/each game, and they're all available in one glance.

The programming of the Story Pad is very similar to the LeapTop. But, like laptops vs. tablet computers, there are some differences. The Story Pad is very light, and has stories in addition to "emails," songs, and games.


It was super easy to set up, and super super easy for the girls to figure out. The Baby was very excited to see and hear from her friends, Scout and Lilly.

The only drawbacks I can see are that the screen is a bit smaller than I'd expected, and the keyboard is ABC format, instead of QWERTY. The Text and Learn toy is QWERTY, and I wish the StoryPad was, too. However? The girls didn't care. :) They loved it.

I am certain there will be a few LeapFrog items under our Christmas tree this year, like there are every year. I love that they teach letters and numbers and technology, and the kiddos love them- flat out.





Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this review. While LeapFrog provided the product to me for this review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest point of view.

Monday, October 31

Halloween Pics and a Parent-Friendly PSA


We're not big into Halloween, 'round here. We're not like, anti-Halloween, we're just not huge fans. 
But we DO love any chance to dress up. And collect candy. For no good reason, other than to eat so much we puke. 
We love that.

It's a long-standing family tradition to hit up Jeremy's sister's church's (how many more 's's could I work in?) Fall Festival each October 31st-ish. 

Grumpy Old Man
This year, I totally forgot about the dressing-up part of Halloween. I guess I was just so intent on THE CANDY part. Luckily, the kids' Nana bought costumes for the girls. The Boy? His was totally original. He got the fake glasses/nose/mustache from the treasure box at school and came home all, "Do you think I could be an old man for Halloween?" and I was all, "Sure thing! Your old man dad will help you find clothes." but secretly I was all, "You're kind of a grumpy old man half the time anyway, dear firstborn, so it would totally make sense." 
In any case- he rocked the 'stache, and the suit jacket, and my dad's old walking cane, and then Jeremy dumped half a bottle of baby powder in his hair to turn it old-man-white. At some point, the "old man" turned into an "old man/professor/scientist," which also sort of suits The Boy.
And it was awesome.


Wackadoo Pirate

The #DestructoTot Baby was a pirate. Which also totally makes sense, since she yells ARRRGGHH approximately 17 times a day, and she's a pro at looting and plundering. Daddy did her make up, complete with piratey unibrow.




Pretty Pretty Princess (and her steed)

The Girl was, naturally, a princess. All effervescence and light, pinkness and smiles.
And she got to ride a white horse, so she was totally in her princessy element.



 

My (brilliant and very pretty) friend Kerri has this reminder for you today:
Parent PSA: Remember this Halloween, your kids live rent-free in your house. That means as Supreme Allied Commander, you get first dibs on the good candy.



What about you? Do you do Halloween? Do you steal your kids' good candy, like any self-respecting mother does?


Wednesday, October 26

The Importance of Being Nekkid

There is a difference between being naked and being nekkid. Naked simply means not wearing clothes. Nekkid is being naked and up to something

I think Mark Twain said that. Or maybe Margaret Thatcher. I get confused.

wearing my overalls, circa 1986

The Baby is NOT a fan of being clothed. I mean, she makes do in public- we have yet to experience a full disrobing outside the house. But when we're at home? 92% of the time, she's nekkid as a jay bird.

*side note* Jeremy and I have had a relationship-long dispute over this phrase: he thinks it's "naked as a blue jay" but I have always heard "naked as a jay bird." What say you, oh wise readers?

She and her siblings are so often in their birthday suits that my friend Audreya tweeted the other day:


Every single time Aud has visited us, one or more of my children have been nekkid. And, usually, it's The Baby. Okay, it's always The Baby.

Her naked booty normally doesn't bother me. In fact, this time of life is a blessing to my mother-heart. There is no sucking-in of the belly. There is no pushing out of the boobies. There is not a hint of self-consciousness in the way my babies carry themselves. Plus, really, we stay home most days and rarely have company that isn't kin (which may or may not be why I spend so much time on the twitters), so I'm pretty much okay with the naked. Saves on laundry work.


The only thing is, I have GOT to get this kid out of diapers. 


Potty training the first two was easy, or so I remember. With The Boy, I just told him to watch carefully and "do what Daddy does." With The Girl, I was anxious to get away from buying two sizes of diapers (since she was 2 when The Baby was born), and I don't remember much, except that she took to the potty (and the bribe-prize M&M's) quickly.

Both of the elder Bees were fully potty trained by their third birthdays. (Although, because I'm lazy I was always dealing with a middle-of-the-night baby, I kept diapers on both kids at night-time until their fourth birthdays. By then, they were old enough to either hold it all night or get up and go by themselves.)
The Baby will be three in 54 days. 


To be fair, she pee-pees in the potty 100% of the time... if she's nekkid. One hundred percent. But if she's wearing panties? She'll just pee right in 'em as if they're diapers.
Even though she totally knows they're not, and she totally looks at me with her demented little face and she totally laughs her maniacal laugh and then totally innocently asks for a bath, pretty pretty please. 

I thought maybe some new panties would work some new-panty magic. (Ladies, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout here, right? Sometimes, some new skivvies just makes you feel... better.) I bought her some Big Girl Undies last night instead of the thick cotton training ones.
This morning, she was ecstatic over new drawers. She shrieked with glee. She put on a pair and pranced, actually pranced, around the house.
And twenty minutes later, she'd tinkled all over them.

I just don't remember how to do this part.
How do I convince her not to wee-wee in her unmentionables?
She's too smart for bribery, she's too brazen for admonishment, and by this child -baby number three- we've learned that discipline is not a great tool for successful potty training.



So, help me out, you beautiful internet patrons, you.
What do I do now?








ps- we're not even going to mention the poop situation right now. just don't bring it up.       just. don't.


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Tuesday, October 18

Hello, sweetface(s).

in a train car at Magic Springs

more Magic Springs last weekend

after EcoFest in September





They make my whole world happy.

Tuesday, October 11

Beautiful Fall


Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit http://moms.dailybuzz.com/channel/style.


It's fall, y'all!
(I love how that particular, pervasive Southernism is co-opted in the autumn, all for the sake of a few cute yard signs.)
credit: pinterest
I am a BIG fan of fall. I am NOT a big fan of seasonal extremes- you can keep your hunnerd-and-ten-degree July and your 22-degree January, thank you very much (I'm talking to you, Arkansas). In fact, you can keep your pollony, fake-Easter-egg-basket-grass springtime, too.
I live for fall. 

photo credit: my sweet friend Becke'

Cooler weather.
Warmer drinks.
Football games.
Heavy, carb-loaded meals.
Crunchy leaves.
Cinnamon smells.
New makeup.


Wait... what?








I don't generally spend a lot of time on my beauty routine, unless it's for A Big Event. I have friends who do not venture out to their mailbox without their full face on. Me? I'm lucky to take a shower before 2pm most days. But one thing I really love is the chance to buy new makeup for the fall new season.

While the temperature cools down, wardrobe and makeup colors warm up.

photo credit etsy
The names of autumn makeup are kinda gross: rust, olive, khaki, kelp, taupe (I really hate taupe), poop... you get the idea... the colors themselves are rich and bold and deep and subtle, all at once.
photo credit: talented Becke' again!

I have so much fun playing around with new eyeshadows and liners. I'm big into lipstick or blush, but I do love a good non-pink matte lip color. I am a classic Summer when it comes to facial color analysis. (Need a more in-depth makeup analysis? Read Amy's Southern Girl Academy post!) Which means I look best (and feel most comfortable in) a stunning array of colors from plum to charcoal. Drab? Never. Muted? Most of the time. Navy or chocolate? Nearly every day. Yellows? Not. on. my. life.

The foundation of my daily beauty routine is Clinique. My favorite mascara comes from Lancome. But for all other intents and palatte purposes? I'm a drugstore kinda girl. I can't justify spending $25 dollars on one compact of eyeshadow, but for $4? You bet your pencil-skirt bottom.

Fall is a great time to try new colors- the bright spotlight of summer has faded, and clothes tend to be thicker and more cover-you-up-ish.... so what better way to highlight some of your best features than to play them up with autumn's gorgeous hues?


Do you have a Fall beauty regimen, or do you wear the same colors year 'round?
C'mon... share your cool weather beauty tips here and on chasing my Bees' facebook page!






Thank you to Walgreens for sponsoring this blog post. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 10

Lovely Liz Owen + an excerpt from My (Not So) Storybook Life

Y'all. I'd introduce you to my friend Liz Owen, but you already read her blog and salivate over her beautiful pictures and craftiness, right?

Liz has an adorable dog named Mabel, a super-talented arty husband, and one of the cutest little girl babies to ever be a girl baby.
This is Jane. Hi, Jane!

Liz is a great blogger. By that, I mean that she actually blogs useful and cute and informative and inviting and honest things. And she does it more often than I do once a month.

And Liz wrote a book. And not just the kind of book that sits around on a hard drive and never gets any fresh air, but a real, live, funny, published book. Because I like Liz so much, I'm choosing not to be annoyed that yet another friend of mine is going to be a famous author before I am. (See: Kyran and Jerusalem)

Instead of being jealous and keeping Liz's talent and grace (and her love/hate of literary heroines I also happen to love/hate) a secret, I'm going to share.

She posted an excerpt from My (Not So) Storybook Life: A Tale of Friendship and Faith on her blog, and I'm swiping it.

Folks, you're going to want to read this book. It will be out and about, making people happy, next Tuesday, October 18th.

Pre-ordering is your friend.
You can find My (Not So) Storybook Life at any of these fine book-selling establishments:
(click on the links below, yo!)
Amazon
Walmart.com (and, maybe in stores? I dunno)
Barnes et. Noble, inc
IndieBound.org
and BAM!
(ps- if you google "Elizabeth Owen" she is not the one with the book about clairvoyance. fyi. she's the one with the supersweet cover)


I haven't read it yet, but I've been promised an early copy. I'll review it here when I've read it, and possibly, since I was planning on buying it anyway, maybe, if you tell me I'm pretty, I'll give away a copy, too.

For now, enjoy. And pre-order. And thank me later. 




******************
Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.
But let me explain.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.
“Matt… what’s that smell?”
Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”
I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”
Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”
I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”
We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.
“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.
“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.
“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.
“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.
That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.
I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.
“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.
“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.
I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.
I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.
“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”
I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.





It's gonna be so cool, right? I know. I'm excited, too.

Monday, October 3

Mechatar Robot Winner and Discount Code


And the Mechatar goes to.... Justin Wright!


Don't forget to visit iLoveRobots.com to see their entire lineup of cool robots. 

And, the code MECHMOM is good until November 30 to get get 10% off! (Hellooo, Christmas shopping!)










I was selected to participate in this sponsored post series by Clever Girls Collective. I can only assume it's because I'm so pretty, but it probably also had to do with the fact that I have three toy-crazy kids that live in my house. Rent free! In any case, all of the opinions are my own.

Monday, September 19

Mechatars!! Robot Review & Giveaway!

www.mechatars.com
Meet our new friend, Wrexx.

We got this bad boy last week and have been playing with it since. Wrexx is one of a new line of toys robots called Mechatars. Mechatars blend real world/online play from iLoveRobots.com

And that? Blew. my. mind.
I guess I'm an old lady, or we deny our kids the finer toys in life, because I had no idea these things existed.

Straight out of the box, Wrexx connected to his wireless remote. Then, Mr. Bossy Wrexxpants demanded we connect him to the computer "to download critical data." The downloading and data collecting took several minutes, and we used the time to read up on the Mechatar warfare. Apparently, it's us and the robots vs. The Swarm. Whoever they are. Bad guys, obviously. 
The Boy loves anything remote, anything mechanical, anything digital, and anything that scares the bejeebees out of his sisters (and dog). Wrexx fit the bill. He had a good enough time just playing with the wobbly-legged robot, making it chase the girls. And me. 

Jeremy and I got online before The Boy did. We keep a close eye on what he plays online, and how often (which is to say: not much, and not long). The Mechaverse is an online game where the Mechatars battle the baddies with all kinds of "elemental" weapons. It's pretty advanced stuff for a seven year old, though I think older kids would love it. 

You can personalize nearly every step of the Mechatar experience, and The Boy particularly liked that part. The picking out of stuff. We didn't spend much time in the Mechaverse, but it seems to be a pretty cool way to integrate real word play into an online setting.

For now, The Boy is (and the girls are) happy to play with the IRL version of Wrexx. The Dog? She's not so thrilled. 



So, you want to win one, right? 

You totally can! Right here!

Here's what to do:
  • Visit www.Mechatars.com
  • In order to see the Mechatar line up, you'll need to click on “play now” then “register” but no information needs to be submitted.
  • Check out the Mechatar lineup and decide which Mechatar you'd would most like to win.
  • Leave a comment here telling me which one you choose.
  • Bonus entry: Tweet this text and link...  "Super exciting Mechatar robot review and giveaway from the very pretty @SavannahB! http://bit.ly/np5Njx #CleverRobot #spon"
  • Easy peasy. One. Two. Threesy

I'll keep this post open until Wednesday, September 28, and then one lucky gal (or guy. Hey, guy readers!) will win a Mechatar of their very own. 
(iloveRobots will do their best to fulfill the request for the model you choose, although they can’t guaranteed the specific model due to stock limitations.)

If, on the off chance that you don't win, you can always visitb iLoveRobots.com and buy one for the kiddo(s) in your life. Special secret bonus: Enter the code MECHMOM and get 10% off!








I was selected to participate in this sponsored post series by Clever Girls Collective. I can only assume it's because I'm so pretty, but it probably also had to do with the fact that I have three toy-crazy kids that live in my house. Rent free! In any case, all of the opinions are my own. Although, I may add that The Boy's opinion was thus: "Awwweeeesooooommmeeee!"

Monday, September 12

Doing Good Involves a Little *Doing*


Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote.




We live in a culture and in an economy that sometimes overlooks the value in simply doing good.
The parents of Little Leaguers turn a ball game into a bar-room brawl. The checkbook says it's impossible to give back. The hours in the day are often too few to really invest the kind of time we'd like to spend helping others. All the obligations within our own homes sometimes make it feel like we have nothing left to give to anyone we're not bound to by blood.

Which is exactly why Jeremy and I try to have an on-going conversation about servant-hood, stewardship, compassion, and grace with the Bees. Every time we pull to the side of the road to let an ambulance or fire truck pass with its lights flashing, we say a prayer for whoever is in need, and for the responders who are on their way to help. Each time my husband rolls down his window to hand a five dollar bill to someone holding a sign, we talk about how God calls us to love each other. Whenever we excavate under the kids' beds and find toys we haven't seen in six months, we put them in a bag and take them to a local battered women and children's ministry. All those free samples of formula and diapers we got each time we left the hospital with a new baby? Went straight to a ministry devoted to teaching families how to be families. With every new season and every few inches my children grow, their clothes are donated to Soul Food Cafe, which in turn hands them out free of charge.

photo credit
These are little things, tiny things, that barely interrupt the flow of our abundant days. But we are teaching our kids to be mindful of the world and the people around them. They are learning to extend a hand to people in their own community, but also around the world. Each Christmas, we buy animals from Heifer International, not to build a farm in our own backyard, but to teach a family half the world away to care for livestock, and to give them a way to make a living where before there was no way.

And still, there is more we can do.

There is always so. much. more. One Thanksgiving, we loaded up a shopping cart with food that would make for a delicious meal, then donated all of it to a local church who would be feeding the hungry. But we haven't done it since. We could, if we would take the time to do it. Driving by the Habitat for Humanity village, and explaining the work they do for our neighbors in town, is not the same as taking my children to a work day, and handing them a brush and a bucket of paint. Taking five boxes of macaroni and cheese to church once a month is not nearly as effective as having the kids hand out the boxes on Tuesday mornings at Soul Food.
Max & the Toronto Blue Jays' Habitat story here.

We tell the Bees about doing good, but what good is it if we don't show them? If we don't train them to see ways to help someone else, every day, how will they know what to look for?

It is so easy to overlook the pain and the need that permeates the world around us. It is harder to do something about it.

What can you do today to make your small slice of the world better? How can you initiate a shift in your own thinking, in your own actions?








Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.