Self Balancing Boards and The Best of the Rest this Holiday on @Fox29

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Why yes, my favorite time of year for sure!  I get to play on tv with the coolest mom in PHILLY!!  ha.  Jennaphr Frederick and I met WHILE DOING THESE SEGMENTS.  I pitched her years ago for a holiday segment - she liked me and gave me a shot and now I stalk her like this insane toy lady!!  I mean, I am a toy hoarder.  Sort of.  Well, just because it's my JOB.  Ahem.  I've gotten better, ok? hahaha.  But my GARAGE?  Dude.  I can't even tell you what my neighbors think of my product problem.  You see, have you SEEN the Real Mom Gift Guide? 

Honestly, I like to think I'm a PRODUCT PRINCESS and not a toy hoarder. I That baby called a gift guide takes some serious product reviews to pump out.  And not everything gets out here in my social universe either!  So yes, Jenn has seen my garage.  

AND SHE STILL WANTS TO HANG OUT WITH ME. 

Ha.  I joke cause she's the best.  The best EVER in Philly.  Not because she puts me on tv, but because she gets me!  Oh the conversations we've had.  And one of them was me talking her OFF the idea of allowing Santa to give her son a self balancing scooter for the holidays.  True story.  Those things really weren't winning with me.  But then I learned of Glitek (the brand I endorse in the gift guide this year) & Razor (the brand I've endorsed for the past 5 years).  The ONLY two brands I endorse for this crazy scooter craze this season. Period.  And neither of them are paying me to say that either! #NotSponsored.  So, truth be told - I wasn't sold on them for kids with all these scary stories out there from them burning down homes and awful stuff like that!  I talked all my friends down from getting one for their kids and now I sort of change my opinion on them.  Sorry Sandy! haha.  (My friend Sandy - her daughter wants one BAD. I talked out her of it.  SORRY ALLIE!!)
 

So, first watch this AMAZING story she did with Tony from Glitek & why the batteries need to be a SPECIFIC kind of battery before you buy.  

And then check out the hot holiday toys for the BIGGER girls & boys!  And note:  Boston my dear son who I love - THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T MESS WITH MY TOYS DUDE! ha.  Love my kids, but man alive - if you knew the struggles with having all these samples in my home.  It's a REALLY hot toy when MY kids fight for it.  OR - It's a REALLY REALLY hot toy when Joey comes on Fox 29 and it DOESN'T WORK cause the KIDS ate the ingredients white testing or the dang batteries are dead!  #RealMomProblems for sure!

REAL MOM REVIEWS

"TOY TEST - DOES JOEY'S TOYS WORK?!?!"

 


Just Between Friends #JBFPhilly

Are you ready for the biggest/best consignment sale around?  Real Mom Media is even setting up a craft corner to entertain you and your kids this week while the Pope is in town!  Friday September 25 from 11a-1p to enjoy!

Western Mainline Fall/Winter (Oaks) Sales Event: September 24-27. I have been consigning and shopping this amazing sale for over four years!  I wish I had known about it earlier!  So I am writing to let you know how you can join the fun.  When I am working the sale, I am always wearing a shirt that says, "Shop, Sell, Save, Smart".  As I am writing to inform others about this amazing sale.....let's focus on those 4 powerful words!

Shop!  This is where I really wish I had known about this amazing sale earlier.  I could have saved a ton on baby items for Ava. I bought every piece of baby equipment, toys and clothing at retail prices!!!!   UGH!!! If I had shopped SMART at JBF ....I  could  have saved a lot of money.....I mean a ton!  Did you know  that SAFETY is our #1 priority at JBF?

 Just Between Friends Western Mainline is literally a sea of savings!  From strollers, cars seats, every type of the toy under the sun, and  CLOTHING....oh...the CLOTHES!!!!  JBF even sells Maternity Clothing.  

Looking for a specific size or style? SHOP EARLY!  Check out Just Between Friends Shop page to see how you can be the first to shop this legendary sale.   First time parent or grandparent.....Volunteer & more!  Many ways to save!  Another reason to volunteer ....Team Members who complete a 4 hour shift earn 70% profit on all their sold items!!!!!

Sell!!!!!    If you are anything like me.....you have a closet or two full of outgrown clothes and toys.

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I admit it!  I kept everything Ava had ever worn.  I had lent some out to a friend, but they always came back.  This was an emotional hold that I had....trying to keep her a baby by holding on to her onesies?????  Then one day as I was putting Ava on the bus for kindergarten a good friend told me about Just Between Friends.  I would love to say I jumped on board immediately, but of course I can't!  It took some soul searching and then I realized what I had to do.  Plus, four and 1/2 years of clothes were...ummm....taking over!!!!

So, my friend gave me basic steps to consigning at this amazing sale.  In lieu of my friend .... I would like to help you if you are in any way like me.  You can let go.... and make some CASH while doing it!!!!

The Just Between Friends website has everything you need to know from registering, to tagging, to drop off and beyond.  Let me give you some insights into the world of trading your treasures for some serious cash!

Go to Western Mainline Just Between Friends main webpage and register as a consignor.  You can also register as a shopper, first time parent, volunteer ....etc.   Get yourself registered (don't forget to sign up as a volunteer....for extra benefits)   Now, hit your closets, basements, playrooms and anywhere your hidden treasures may be hiding?!   For clothing and shoes you will want to gather supplies to start tagging. Once again Tracy, the wonderful owner of this sale has made it easy peasy on you.  She has tagging videos, first time mentors, calendar of events and even tagging supply sales!  TONS of stuff to sell but NO time....we have you covered with valet tagging.  

Once you have finished tagging you will be dropping off your stuff at the Expo Center in Oaks...Hall A.  There is an inspection process so make sure all clothing and shoes are in good used shape.  Then all you have to do is place your goodies on the floor and check each night (usually) pretty late to see what has sold.  You have the option when tagging to reduce your items for  the 50% off day and you can also donate unsold items to charity.  It's up to you!  If you do have things that you did not donate or didn't sell.....come back and pick-up on assigned date.  The sale calendar is great for keeping you organized!  I suggest you print out the calendar and keep it handy!!!!

SAVE!!!!!!!!

Items at The Western Mainline Just Between Friends sale are 50-90% off retail!  People who are in the know shop this SALE!  There are even youtube videos of people showing off their bargains from the sale.  You will save on everything from strollers, to bottles, to diapers, to Halloween Costumes.....the list is endless!  Don't forget to make your own list of items you want to pick up!  I want to SAVE even more Ellie!!!!   Well, you can!  The sale goes to 50% off on most items on Sunday the 27th.  Any ticket WITHOUT a star is 50% off.  YES!  No star, starting Sunday it's half off!  If the tag has a star it still is a great deal.....but it's the price marked on the tag!

SMART!!!  Well, you have kept reading this post ....so we already know you are SMART!  Western Mainline JBF sale is just the thing to do.  Whether you are selling, shopping, volunteering....it is  SMART !!!!!! At the beginning of my journey with JBF ....I really had no clue what I was doing or what an amazing opportunity I had in front of me.  Now four years later I am so grateful to my neighbor for sharing this gem.  Who will you share this with?   Now a video I love....that gives a great look at JBF in general.  What is JBF?  

Please come out and join us September 24th-27th.....(even earlier if you earn your presale pass)  You will not regret coming and you probably will come more than ONCE!!!!!   Shop, Sell, Save, Smart......That is JBF!!!!










9 Things About Mothering an Almost Two Year Old

Well... here I am.  An emotional roller coaster trying to navigate my way to the end of the exit before I end up throwing up in a paper bag from nerves, sadness, stress...life, ya know.  Trying to keep a dry eye today is almost impossible.  ( MEGA Thanks to my dear friend Debbie for allowing me to get lost in my tears with you.  And my amazingly organized friend Darla came over yesterday and fueled my heart with good and bad emotions too.)

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Darla is working with the Just Between Friends Philly sale as an ambassador and she's been amazing in helping me clear the clothing clutter in my house.  I have 3 racks full of baby, toddler & kid clothes plus some crazy awesome tips that I'm sharing in the next week with you so be sure to be on the lookout for that.

So between getting emotional yesterday with Darla as I was reminded that my baby isn't a baby anymore as I cleaned out his adorable -too-small clothes yesterday, him turning two, my dad struggling with walking and spending a week in the hospital after he fell...then the ups/downs of traveling last week.  The cold.  The stress.  All of it can go fly a kite for all I care.  

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I'm not really sure whether the emotions I am feeling is totally because my 'baby' is about to turn 2 tomorrow. Or whether it's some other things that are going on in my life.  But then again, it wouldn't be life if it wasn't filled with ups and downs, right?  I just wish at this point I was feeling more ups than downs.  But I guess most moms feel this when they know that they are forever past their own baby stage, right?  Please tell me this is normal.  

I can tell you that right now, my boy and his birthday are the most important thing on my plate.

There is nothing going to get in my way of celebrating with that little love this time.  Last year, I missed this poor kids birthday.  He doesn't have a clue. But I do.  I was devastated that my flight from Kansas City got cancelled and I got home right when he needed to go to bed but we managed to throw in a cake, candles and a song.  Last year my Mother in Law was in town helping with the boys because I was traveling so much.  She did a great job at giving his special day merits of awesome.  She even baked him a cake. 

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Here I am, a year later and it's time for me to reflect on Hudson. 

There is so much guilt with this job.  Guilt is so hard to release and move on from, isn't it?

So, I'm going to bestow upon you some of the learning lessons I've picked up with this little monkey in his short years of life. 

Isn't he so freaking cute?  It kills me how cute he is.  Blonde hair & blue eyes. How could have God given me a more beautiful gift?  So let's get out more tissues for the day and lets reflect on motherhood to me.

9 Things About Mothering An Almost Two Year Old

1)  REPETITION.  OH, my dear child how I love you.  But you love to nail it home!!  haha.  For instance, when I'm trying to get dinner ready and you come in with your 'APPLESAUCE APPLESAUCE APPLESAUCE' chanting.  Hudson, please learn "JUST A MINUTE PLEASE" a little faster, k?  =)

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2)  YOUR LOVE OF GO-GO SQUEEZE. 'MORE APPLESAUCE MOMMY'  Dear Go-Go Squeez, this kid is obsessed.  That word is an understatement.  

3)  THE RUB A DUB THING THAT YOU DO.  Honestly, the most amazing and most special thing that I will never ever forget about this kid is what is going to be the hardest thing to see go!  I know it's going to hurt me more than it will you, kid. For sure.   Hudson loves to rub shoe strings, stuffed animal tails, blankets....anything funky and soft on his binky.  It's how he soothes himself.  Wow.  How am I going to survive that one?  Eh.  One foot in front of the other, right?

4)  THE LOVE YOU HAVE FOR YOUR BIG BROTHER.   Oh dear Lord.  Here come the tears again.  Dangit.  Ok, so Hudson - and Boston.. maybe you'll both read this one day.  Maybe you'll both forever be the best of friends.  Boston just adores you, Hudson.  And Hudson thinks Boston hung the moon.  The sweet things they do.  They really are the best of friends.  (Tossed in with a glimpse of wrestling...boys will be boys though.)  There is definitely something special there between the two though.  I hope it lasts.  And there is a small part of me that is totally jealous of it because I hardly talk to my sisters.  We have had some big bumps and bruises in our lives and not the best relationships between us.  It's sad.  But I'm chalking it up to the fact that we are females.  Boys are just wired so differently.  

5)  YOUR TRAFFIC STOPPING GOOD LOOKS.   Yes, kid.  You're a freaking doll.  Every single room you walk into the girls giggle and the boys want to kick your butt.  =)  Ok, maybe not the last part - but females LOVE your blonde hair and blue eyes!  If only I had a camera rolling when your pediatrician told me that your eyes would stay blue.  I was over the moon!  I just couldn't believe it.  I still don't believe it.  Your daddy has deep dark Armenian eyes.  So does your brother.  I was convinced that there was nothing I could do produce a blue eyed kid.  Toss in the blonde hair bonus?  God is good.  And I guess he wanted to help me out since the first kid, I was always thought of as the 'baby sitter'. ha.   You're a hunk Hudson.  

6)  THE WAY YOU LOVE YOUR MAMA.  Kid, tears are a permanent stain on my face today.  What crinkles my lips to an upward grin is playing what I know would be your response to my tearful tirade.  You would grab ahold of me kid.  Pull me close to you.  Your eyes totally focused on me and trying to take away my pain.  Your sweet heart would touch my cheek and say 'mommy - mommy - mommy' with your repetitive personality and once we locked eyes?  You'd have a 1/2 smile and say 'HI.'  That two letter word is magic from you.

7)  YOUR 'FRIENDS'.  So, I started calling your stuffed animals 'friends' and you immediately caught onto it.  It's so cute. Because at night - you make sure you say 'goodnight friends' to all of them.  Right now your favorites are Mickey Mouse.  (The big one you use to rub his tail on your binky often.)  Also, last week when we went out to dinner you got a COW and you LOVE him as your friend!  They are your friends little buddy.  You can tell them all the stories in the world and they are the best of friends.  They will listen to your every words, Hudson.  They won't judge you or hurt your feelings.  They are always going to have an unconditional love for you little dude.  Just like your mama. 

8)  HOLD YOU, MAMA.  Ya know.  There was quite a few amazing things your big brother did that was sad to see go when he became a 2 year old.  The biggest one I miss the most is the one you picked up.  When you want me to pick you up?  You repeat 'HOLD YOU, MAMA' till I do.  And it hits my heart so deep that you only have to say it a couple times and I'm all over the words and the feelings you give me when you're in my arms. Oh buddy.  The thought that soon I won't be able to hold you makes me cry. 

WHY AM I SO STINKING EMOTIONAL????!?!?!  CAN I PLEASE JUST GET THROUGH THIS. 

DEEP. BREATHING.

9)  SHOES ON!  Hudson, you are so funny with this.  You're obsessed with putting your shoes on! You pick up a pair and walk around the house with that phrase on repeat. It's awesome, dude.

10)  THE WAY YOUR FACE LIGHTS UP WHEN I WALK INTO THE ROOM.  Oh Hudson.  Please don't ever stop doing this.  I could be having the worst day ever and I'll walk into your preschool and that fast moment where you see me and there is nothing I want more than to feel the rush of your grin, your grasp, your run to me... it's something special that words can't even describe.  

Hudson... today I grieve the 2 YEAR MARK.  I definitely don't grieve any loss of love... but I do grieve the loss of little.  The singing you to sleep.  The lullabies that I played for you every night nearly of your little life.  Holding you in my arms and rocking you to sleep stroking your cheek.  Kid, you bring me so much joy.  I can't even imagine my life with out you.  You fuel me to be a better version of myself.  One filled with more love and compassion for others.  One who fears the loss of your little. 

But today is the only day I'll grieve a bit.  Because yes... it's the natural state of life and the cycles we go through.  Knowing that we won't be wearing diapers forever or that you'll brush your teeth, speak in sentences, laugh at the silly boy fart jokes just like your brother.  

I'm not the most spiritual person in the world.  But I know that there is a reason why you were put into my life.  God has so much more life for me to live with you.  I can't wait to watch you grow up in the next two years, Hudson.  May you always love life the way you do today little boy. 


Your biggest fan, 

Your Mama

Talking The Slap on The Today Show

I've been holding back the past couple days because I had to take a fast trip into NYC on Monday to connect with the lovely Kate Snow on a piece for the Today Show.  This really just came out of nowhere as does every really cool opportunity I get the chance to encounter.  Granted, this is what I spent the last 20 years of my career in - radio/tv - but those sporadic opportunities to do tv while doing my 'real job' as a mom to Boston & Hudson always leaves me inspired and wanting more. 

I have to tell you - I was extremely nervous with what they were actually going to air and what was going to be cut out after our very candid discussion about kids, other parents & discipline. 

We sat in that room for at least an hour.  It went by so fast - but the discussion had all four of us really opening up about our personal lives and our personal opinions regarding parenting.  

I for one, wasn't exactly the smartest person in the room. ((HA. I KNOW YOU'RE TOTALLY SHOCKED, RIGHT?)  It's been interesting over the years to see how I've gone from interview-er to interview-ee.  That's not a bad thing - it's just a transition for anyone who is use to being on the 'other side'.  Before, I'd dive in to the conversation focused on the guests.  Not me.  And now, they wanted to know more about me?  And not just about me - about my parenting skills.  

Ohhhhh boy.  I hopped on that train on Monday night with the fear that I was going to get a tongue lashing from anyone I know.  I'm totally giving myself away here, aren't I?  I mean - if I didn't tell you that I TALKED to much - you'd have no clue, right?   

I gotta stop calling myself out.  I guess because I've done so many things that I'm never sure what way they spin things.  It's for ratings, I get it.  Totally get it.  But that doesn't mean I'm not going to find my foot in my mouth as I walk out the door, right? 

So, just to give you a quick bit on the inside story of that.  I candidly discussed my childhood.  And we all really felt that parenting today is a totally different experience than it was when we were kids.  It was more of a norm that parents whipped or discipline us with aggression.  For me, I can tell you my mama was a wonderful mom.  My biggest cheerleader.  But if you crossed that woman?  Shew.  You betta grab your behind cause she's coming for it. She enjoyed breaking branches off trees and chasing me with it, only after she PEELED them and exposed the GREEN of course. 

Naw.  Not scarred about that one.  I was ONLY trying to learn how to ride a bike when she chased me down the road on a bike swinging that stick to make a stink on my legs.  I did learn how to ride a bike that day. However, I don't think I sat down from the sore bum for another week after that.  

Yeah, I know that the topic is 'Would you let another parent discipline your child?"  Not so much, were YOU disciplined as a kid by your parents.  But don't we all as adults do what our parents did?

Is it ok to let another parent discipline my child?  My answer to that is yes.  I would.  But if anyone wants to lay a hand on my kid - you better be prepared for a hard core investigation done by me.  Have I personally ever hit my kids?  Not Hudson.  But I did lose my temper on Boston once.  As he was just so happening to hop in the shower. I gave him a whack on the butt.  Did he cry? No.  He did what I did when I was a kid.  "ha ha - that didn't hurt mom!'  Ok dude.  So, I'll only do what my mother did when I was a kid.  Get more mad and want to slap even harder!

But, I have had enough classes in DBT to take my anger and redirect it into something more powerful as a message. Sadly, I can't even tell you what I did.  I just don't remember.  But I can tell you that was the beginning of a different personality for Boston.  It may not have been the beginning - but it sure had to have started somewhere around there.  Because I can tell you there were numerous occasions that I did everything I could to not lose my temper when he said things like 'I hate my life.  It's so boring... yada yada."  I realized that a big chunk of that behavior either came from other kids or something he watched because I can assure you I would have and never have talked to my mother that way!

He's in 1st grade.  There is a sense of arrogance, 'I don't have to follow rules' to him that is extremely alarming.  But sometime later and many hours of crying to girlfriends that I'm raising the spawn of satan, I've accepted the fact that this feeling is normal.  The reactions are normal. The anger, frustration and desire to ship him off to a 3rd world country so he can REALLY see how bad his life could be.  Yeah.  It's there.  Trust me.  I want to take him around to see how his life could be.  But, that's for another day.  

Today?  It's about TODAY.   

So, I come to you with the parenting delimma... What would you do? 

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