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Tag: NaBloPoMo

Dee's Geek-Friendly Holiday Gift Guide

Everybody all over the internet is posting their own version of holiday gift guides and I’m feeling left out. I have great ideas this year for gifts, but unfortunately am limited in funds. Plus, most of my family and friends are not as geeky as me and wouldn’t appreciate some of the great things I’ve found. So, if you are searching for gift ideas for that somewhat geeky, sorta crafty, gadget-loving person in your life maybe one of these items will jump out at you. Or, you know, if you are shopping for somebody like me, any of these would be fantastic gift ideas. Best of all, none of them are super expensive.

photokeychain1.jpgFirst up is the digital photo keychain. This particular model is made by Coby, but a quick online search will turn up lots of other options. It would be a great gift for new parents, grandparents, or even kids who like to show off their photos to their friends. The screen quality isn’t the best, but good enough to show off photos of the new baby or grandkids. Along the same line is the credit card size photo album which can easily be carried around in a wallet or purse.

eyefi.jpgSince we’re talking about digital photos, let’s move on to the next item, the Eye-Fi Wireless SD Memory Card. I’ve been drooling over this since I first found out about it. Stick this little SD card into any digital camera that uses SD memory and you can transfer your photos instantly. No more searching for lost cords or card readers. With this little device you no longer need them. There is also a CF card adapter available if you need it.

butter.jpgFor those not-so-technical girls on your list, you can’t go wrong with some nice smelling lotions and/or body wash. I suggest Victoria’s Secret Ultra-Softening Body Butter. It is light and non-greasy and feels so good going on. Plus, it doesn’t irritate the skin (unless you are allergic, I suppose) and it smells fabulous. Coming from someone with extremely sensitive, dry skin, that is saying a lot. I highly recommend the “Love Spell” scent as I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t just love it.

chiller.jpgI’m not sure where I originally saw the link, but I bookmarked it and have been waiting for just the right time to buy this one. I think it would be a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting at their computer. This USB Drink Chiller and Warmer can keep your coffee hot and your soda cold. All it takes is a little flip of a switch. It is powered by USB, making it just as portable as your laptop. Everyone has seen the coffee warmers, but I love that this one does both. I’m not a fan of coffee, but occasionally have a cup of hot chocolate on a cold snowy day. I would use it mostly to keep my water or soda cold as I usually find myself drinking it warm every afternoon. The CoolIT USB Beverage Chiller is another option for those who just want their drinks cold.

stone.jpgFor the music lover in your life, I have a couple of suggestions. First off is the Creative Zen Stone MP3 player. This tiny little 1GB player easily fits in the palm of your hand, is half the price of an iPod Shuffle, and doesn’t limit you to using iTunes for transferring your music. There is also a 2GB version for those that may want to carry more music with them. Of course, if you are gifting and MP3 player, why not include a gift card for iTunes, or a gift membership to Rhapsody or eMusic so they can fill that thing up?

itzbeen.jpgAre any of your friends taking part in the recent baby boom? It seems half of the women I know are just about to pop out new babies and the Itzbeen Baby Care Timer would be a great gift for them. I can’t imagine a more useful tool for new parents. It keeps track of how long it has been since the baby’s last feeding, diaper change, and time awake/asleep, plus has an extra timer for whatever miscellaneous item you may want to track. There is also a nursing reminder switch to help you keep track of which side the baby has last fed from. It is hard to remember much of anything during those first few sleep deprived months and I really wish I would have had one of these when my son was born. It would also be handy to pass off to a baby-sitter or grandparents if you can ever manage to let your little one out of your site.

I want to mention one last thing before I finish this list off and that is Etsy. If you are buying for anyone with a bit of a crafty flair, you should definitely check it out. Most Etsy items are handmade and some of the most creative I’ve seen. There are so many fun things over there I can’t even narrow it down, but I’m pretty sure you can find something for anybody over there.

I’m going to end it here because it has taken me long enough to write all this out and do all the linking.  Hopefully this list at least gives you some fun ideas to work with.  Now, go shop!

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One More Day

Only one more day of posting for NaBloPoMo.  When this all started I wasn’t sure that I could keep up, but I managed and it really hasn’t been too bad.  There have only been a couple of times when I have struggled to come up with something to say.  It is almost easier to write every day because it keeps me from trying to do long catch-up posts after several days.

The best part of NaBloPoMo has been all of the new blogs I’ve discovered and all of the new commenters that have been by my site.  It is nice to see some new names around here.  Plus, I seem to have lost several people when I changed my feed address so it is nice to be getting a little more traffic.

The worst part of NaBloPoMo is typing out NaBloPoMo (kidding!).  Honestly, the worst part is that I didn’t keep up with my 30 days of thanks posts.  I was all excited about it but eventually started feeling like it was just a little too forced.  I prefer to write about whatever happens to be on my mind at any given moment rather than writing out planned posts.  I am truly thankful for many, many things, including all of the wonderful friends I have met online but writing about it just wasn’t me.  I guess I’ll know better next time around.

The absolute hardest part of NaBloPoMo has been keeping up with all of the blogs I like to read.  With most of my friends participating as well, it has been even more difficult than usual to keep up with my feed reader.  I’m hoping December will bring a little bit of a lull so I can rest and maybe do something besides stare at my computer screen.

Tomorrow, for the very last day of NaBloPoMo, I have put together a different type of post.  I have gathered up some of my favorite wishlist items and put together my very first holiday gift guide.  I think there are some great gift ideas on there so make sure to come check it out!

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Twinkle, Twinkle

Zachary has always been a big fan of music and these days he is usually singing along. When we’re in the car, he’ll ask for “my music” and will often request a specific song on whatever cd I turn on. He can also tell the difference between Daddy’s music and Mommy’s music and will ask that we turn it off or turn it up depending on his mood.

He absolutely loves to sing and dance and can often be heard singing during play time or bath time. He has apparently learned a lot of new songs at school as his favorites these days include Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and B-I-N-G-O. He’ll usually sing anytime I ask him to, except of course when I tried to get the video camera out tonight. He would get the first line of a song out and then scream, “I did it!” I was determined to get a video clip of him singing, but he was pretty determined not to let me.

A couple of weeks ago, singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star became part of his bedtime routine. It fits in right between reading a couple of books and saying his prayers. He can’t seem to settle down until it has been sung. One night while he was singing, I decided to grab my cell phone and record him. He misses a few words in the middle, but you can make out most of it. Since I couldn’t manage to get it on video, you can at least listen to the audio clip.

I spent my evening figuring out how to convert the audio file and how to use Podpress so I could include the short clip in my post. If all goes well, I would love to include more audio posts so feel free to leave any feedback.

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Building Traditions

Tree Time!

After trying for several days now, I finally found time tonight to get the Christmas tree up and decorated. I was really hoping that Zach would get excited about helping this year and I was not disappointed. He handed Hubby and I branches as we put the tree together (yes, fake tree). He watched excitedly as I wrapped the tree in lights and garland. Then he helped hang the decorations on the branches. The only problem was that he wanted to hang all of the decorations on the exact same branch. I had to do a little bit of rearranging when he was finished, but it was totally worth it to watch him enjoy this small part of our family’s Christmas tradition.

When the tree was finished we decided it was time for a little snack so we finished the night up with this:

Celebrating a Job Well Done

It was so good it may very well become a new holiday tradition.

I’m really excited to celebrate Christmas with Zach this year.  I can’t wait to read him the Christmas story and teach him the true meaning of Christmas.  He may not really understand it quite yet, but I still want to introduce it to him.  I’m anxious to teach him the songs that I have sung since I was a young child.  I can’t wait for him to experience the true spirit of Christmas, celebrating with family and friends.  But the best part is building new traditions that my own little family will carry on for years to come.

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I'm Glad He Won't Remember This Day

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My sister snapped this photo at my mom’s house on Thanksgiving while I was snuggling with the kids on the couch. Zach and Ryan were pretty consumed watching Toy Story at the time and Brayden was just interested in those things the older boys were shoving in their mouths. As for myself, I was just enjoying being surrounded by three of my favorite kids.

This is how I feel most natural, surrounded by kids. I love them all, but Zach and my nephews have such a special place in my heart. They bring so much joy to my life. That’s why when I get frustrated and lose my cool with any of them it breaks my heart and I wonder if I’m really cut out for this parenting thing. I know kids act up and I should be prepared for that, but sometimes my frustration overtakes me and I lash out.

The whole losing my cool thing has been happening a bit too often lately. Instead of consistent disciplining, I find myself yelling and having the urge to spank out of frustration. I know it has a lot to do with the lack of sleep and Zach’s seemingly endless tantrums these days, but I find it happening more and more often. The less Zach sleeps, the less I sleep and we both end up crankier and crankier.

This morning, during an almost hour long tantrum I lost control to the point that I scared myself. After a night of very little sleep, Zach was screaming and thrashing around and refusing to cooperate with anything. I was getting later and later for work and he was getting more and more obstinate as the minutes went by. I had to hold him down to get his clothes on him and after he kicked his shoes off for about the fifth time I was spent.

I felt myself growing more and more angry and knew I needed to take a step back. I finally managed to wrestle him into his car seat and strapped him in. The car was in the garage, so I left him there for a couple minutes while I stepped back inside the house and tried to calm myself down. It didn’t take long. I just needed a couple of deep breaths and a moment to put things into perspective.

When I came back to the car, Zach was still screaming (just as I expected) but I was in a different frame of mind. He finally settled down shortly before we got to his school. I wanted so badly to turn the car around, go home, and just hold him for the rest of the day. Instead, I had to take him inside to his class where he clung to me with a death grip. When his teacher finally pulled him away from me, I had to listen to his screams all the way to the door.

I left his school with tears in my eyes, knowing that all he really wanted was some time with me this morning and I was in too big of a rush to give it to him. After being away from him all weekend, I couldn’t give him a few extra minutes of my time when he needed it. The worst part of it all is feeling like I let him down.

By the time I picked Zach up from school tonight, he was perfectly fine and had most likely forgotten about the whole thing. I was the one in need of some extra snuggling by that time and he was happy to oblige.

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Home Sweet Home

I had planned to write more about our trip tonight, but unfortunately our 3 1/2 hour drive home turned into a 6 hour drive.  There were five wrecks on the highway between St. Louis and Columbia which really slowed us down.  Add that to the holiday traffic and the drive was pretty much a disaster.  Once we got a little ways past Columbia things cleared up, but it still nearly doubled our driving time.

We had planned to get home in time to spend a couple of hours with Zach before his bed time but that didn’t really work out.  Instead, he ended up staying up extra late because he was pretty wound up after we finally got home.  He was definitely happy to see Mom and Dad after two days away and I was absolutely thrilled to see him.  Fortunately, Grandma had already brought him home and had him in his jammies when we got here so we got to spend some time playing.  It is already 10:30 and he’s just now getting settled down into bed.  We should have a lovely Monday morning ahead of us.

The good news is that Hubby and I had a good time in St. Louis.  It was nice to spend some time together where we didn’t have to try to talk over a screaming toddler for once.  It seems like Zachary also had a really great time at grandma’s, although he did end up getting sick to his stomach Saturday night.  He’s feeling much better though and was his usual happy self when we got home.

I now feel like I need another day off before heading back to work, but I guess that isn’t really an option.  I really hate Mondays.

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