Weekly Highlights: May 24 - May 30, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

School is offically out for the summer. While I'm sure I won't be able to blog as much, I only see a slight slow down. So be sure to continue dropping by everyday....I need your adult conversation! :)

Now, on to highlight this past week at The Mom Trap.



Bumbo Seat A Must For Older Infants (Product Review)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I haven't had an infant in my home for over four years, which at times means I can be out of the loop on some of the newer baby products on the market.

As soon as my baby girl was holding her head up on her own, I kept hearing, "You gotta get a Bumbo."

Over and over I heard this; all the while thinking, "What in the world is a Bumbo?"

Since I'm not one to jump feet first in to anything, I first did my research. Imagine how taken aback I was when one of the first things I came across was a Hubpages article sarcastically written (although it's hard to tell unless you read the whole thing) stating that these seats had been recalled.

With a little more sleuthing, however, I came to realize that the writer of the previously mentioned article had essentially poked fun at the name and spun off a little bit of truth; specifically, in October 2007, Bumbo International did experience an U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall that required them to provide additional safety warnings.

Not surprising, really. How often are many practical, wonderful products are recalled to put "common sense" warnings that have been omitted. With the Bumbo, they were required to place additional warnings on the box about leaving infants unattended; or using the Bumbo on countertops, chairs or other elevated surfaces.

Basic cover-your-behind warnings.

Once I realized that the Bumbo was a safe product, I was ready to give it a try.

Best thing I ever did!

As soon as she learned to hold her head up, my daughter has been determined to sit up.

Rolling over? Her opinion: do it a few times so I'm up to speed with pedi, but let's move on to the sitting up.

And let's face it, with four children at home, Mom doesn't have time to sit around play sit-up all day.

The Bumbo has been my lifesaver!

This colorful, foamy chair has allowed me to give baby girl the sitting time she wants without tying up my hands. And being lightweight, I can tote it from room to room to keep her in sight.

Princess A loves this little chair so much that she could care less about her baby bouncer now. If she's not sleeping, not playing with Mom, Dad or the boys, she wants to be sitting in her chair.

I would add this product to any must-haves-for-infants list.

Who is the product recommended for? Bumbo should only be used with infants who have the ability to bear the weight of the head alone. I would also recommend waiting until they have at least minimal strength in their back even though the Bumbo site does not mention this.

Where can the Bumbo be purchased? The Bumbo is available at a wide variety of discount retailers or purchase direct from the Bumbo International website. A wide variety of the Bumbo products is also available at Amazon.

What colors are available? The Bumbo comes in Aqua, Pastel Pink, Blue, Lime, and Lilac.

I love the Bumbo so much (and my daughter too!), that I will soon be trying to the tray attachment and, later, the potty training seat.

Remember, not only is purchasing this a great idea for your own infant but consider purchasing one as a baby shower gift - I'm sure the Mom will thank you many times over within a few months!



When Will There Be Too Much Reality For TV?

Millions tuned in to the Season 5 premier of Jon and Kate Plus 8 as the Gosselins discussed their recent marital issues with their worldwide audience.

During this episode, it was obvious that the Gosselins are very much on the "outs" as they struggle with media-fueled allegations of infidelity.

The episode became extremely gut-wrenching when Alexis, one of the sextuplets, tells Jon, "I don't want you to leave anymore."

This statement made as Jon and Kate hosted the sextuplet's 5th birthday party at a local park.

As paparazzi lurked in the background.

Their every move recorded and photographed to share with the world.

Which makes me wonder - when did common decency leave human beings?

When will sympathy for a marriage in trouble - family being destroyed before our very eyes - supersede a blood thirst for rumors, gossip and innuendo to be transported through the airwaves?

This episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 is as real as it gets. I swear I saw the family deteriorate right before my eyes.

Yes, I watched that episode. Somewhere I was hoping that the Gosselins would tell me that the rumors are untrue and they will fight, together, for the sake of the children - even if it means giving up the television series.

But they didn't.

So no matter what the Gosselins decide - I'm done.

I will never watch another episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8. Never.

It's just too....real.



Operation Aborted in Blogger Getting REALLY Old

Friday, May 29, 2009

Operation Aborted

Many, many, many [....] bloggers are still reporting the error message in IE7 (and 8 - despite being told it won't happen in the newer version) of "Operation Aborted" when trying to load blogspot blogs.

It appears to be a problem with the "Followers" script.

Using another browser will correct it.

Tell that to the 54.44% of visitors to my blog that use Internet Explorer.

Google Analytics
I opted to remove the "Followers" gadget until (if) Blogger fixes it and reinstalled the top bar as a temporary option.

But there are many blogs out there that I like to read that haven't removed it and I can't get to their site. (Sorry, I'm a die hard IE fan!)


Come on, Blogger, get it fixed already. Ditch the plan of making the former "Blogger in Draft" the new Blogger and restore the old.

When you get the bugs worked out, then you can reintroduce it.



What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You? (Aloha Friday)

I've got to admit it. Lately I've been spending way too much time on Facebook. It's just so much fun to hook up with old friends - and play with some of the apps.

One I was messing around with the other day was about what your favorite color says about you.

The colors and what they say about one's personality is:

  • Yellow: Yellow is the color of the creative and artistic individual. If it's your favorite, you have a cheerful spirit and are inclined to be intellectual, idealistic and imaginative.

  • Blue: Blue, the color of tranquility, the color of the sea and the sky, is both the color of peace and the color of royalty. If blue is your favorite color, you crave harmony. You are capable, sensitive and make an outstanding friend. You are cautious in your manner of dress and conscientious at whatever you're working on.

  • Green: Green reminds us of freshness, security, jealousy and camouflage. It symbolizes new growth and increases our sense of well-being. If it's your favorite, you are an affectionate, loyal friend who is inclined to be frank and moral. You're a person whose reputation is very important to you and when you start something, you finish it.

  • Red: Dynamic red is the color of love, courage, anger and joy. It demands attention and helps create a cheerful atmosphere. If you prefer red, you are impulsive, possibly athletic, sexy and given to mood swings. You are determined to experience life to its fullest.

  • Orange: The color of autumn was named in the tenth century after the fruit. If orange, the color of heat, fire and the harvest is your favorite color, you probably get along well with others. You tend to be social and hate to be alone. If you're feeling down in the dumps, adding a tad of orange to your day can help.

My Question:

What Is Your Favorite Color? Does It Match Your Personality?

My Answer:

My favorite color is red; and it couldn't describe me better.



My Anthem: My Next 30 Years

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Something crazy happened shortly after turning 30.

I grew up.

I realized just how much resentment and anger I had been holding on to. Just how exhausted I was from trying to keep the same hours I had ten years earlier.

I got a wake-up call on just how precious life is and how short our time can be.

How much time I had wasted.

And although it was already several years old by that time, Tim McGraw's song My Next Thirty Years became my anthem.



Crock Pot Family Pot Roast With Vegetables Recipe

I can't believe with all these recipes I've been using lately that I forgotten a family favorite: pot roast!

But I've been reminded and so I'm listing the recipe here to make sure I don't forget again.

This a simple recipe that requires minimal work on the prep side. With an 8 hour slow cooker time, you can fix it then forget it.


  • 3 - 4 lb. pot roast

  • large onion cut up

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 lb. carrots cut in 2 inch pieces

  • 4 - 5 potatoes cut up

  • salt and pepper


  1. Brown pot roast in a pan on top of the stove.

  2. Add vegetables to bottom of crock pot. Top with roast and pour beef broth over it.

  3. Salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Cook for 8 hours on low in crock pot.


13 Ways To Save Money During An Economic Downturn (Thursday 13)

You can't turn on the news these days without hearing about the recession; which I prefer to tone it down by calling it an economic downturn.

But there are ways to save even in these difficult times. And it's important to save whether there is financial trouble brewing or not.

Here are some great ways to save money now or anytime:

  1. Budget

  2. Create grocery list and stick to it.

  3. Use coupons.

  4. Shop online and compare prices. Many things are cheaper through Amazon than purchasing at Walmart or other big chain stores.

  5. Use a water filteration system instead of buying bottled water.

  6. Carpool.

  7. Combine errands to reduce gasoline use.

  8. Subscribe to newspapers and/or magazines online versus hardcopies.

  9. Line dry clothing instead of using the dryer.

  10. Brown bag it.

  11. Refill ink cartridges instead of buying them new. Walgreens offers a fast, affordable ink refill service.

  12. Pay with only cash and put coin change into a jar everyday. When the jar is full, have it counted by your bank and put directly into savings.

  13. Increase deductibles on auto and homeowner's insurance policies.


From Boring to Beautiful (A Thousand Words Thursday)

Big Brother Despite having lived in my house for 15 years now, with the exception of a short stint that included some (very) ugly burning bush, the 17' x 7' spot under the far right window has been bare. It's sole purpose being to create more work and headache when it comes to mowing since it's seperated from the rest of the yard by a sidewalk.

Brian made it his goal this summer to relieve us of the empty spot with a garden. And the results are stunning! Such a transformation!

But...he couldn't have accomplished this without the help of a very special guy:


Cheaper Than Therapy


DVD Review: Paul Blart Mall Cop

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For years, I was a HUGE fan of the sitcom The King of Queens in which Kevin James was co-star and executive producer.

So I was very excited when I begin seeing trailers for a new movie starring James: Paul Blart Mall Cop.

Paul Blart is a overweight, lonely single father looking for love while eager to join the forces of the New Jersey State Police. Unfortunately, the effects of hypoglycemia keeps squashing those dreams.

In the meantime, Paul Blart works as a security guard at the West Orange Pavillion Mall, where he takes his job very seriously.

And when a group of thieves takes over the mall along with hostages, Paul Blart decides he will defend his mall; a place that he swore to protect (even if it was a personal oath sworn only to himself).

This is an outrageously funny movie. Seldom do I find comedy to be as funny as they once were, but this movie kept me laughing through out.

If you were a fan of James' character Doug Heffernan on The King of Queens, you'll definitely enjoy Paul Blart Mall Cop.



Peek-A-Boo (Wordless Wednesday)



Wild Animals, Thumb Sucking and Survival

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

School is officially out tomorrow. There was a time that I was excited for school to be out. It meant that I get to sleep a little later each morning and didn't have to have the homework fights every night. But I'm just not looking forward to it this year.

Although the 17 year old has a job, I've still got a 13 year old and 4 year old, along with the 4 month old baby, here; and they fight constantly - about everything. And the 4 year old has tattling down to an science: he tattles about things before they happen.

Then add to the fighting and running through the house like wild animals, the phone keeps ringing off the hook with calls from Mr. 13's girlfriend. Funny thing is, I don't know why she calls - he just sits there with an occasional "uh huh" and "yeah" tossed in to let her know he's still on the line.

Maybe I should reconsider the cell phone. Then I wouldn't have to hear the phone ringing; and maybe she would get more of a response if they just texted.

But I'm not a fan of 13 year old's having cell phones; especially if they are like my son where they would lose their head if it wasn't attached to their shoulders.

This child lives in a 10 x 12 room, but somewhere it must have a trap door because so many things go into that room that will never come out. How in such a small space can you lose stuff?

Princess A
And Princess A has begun sucking her fingers. Ugh! Mr. 13 went through the same thing, finally breaking the habit at age 3. But her thumb-sucking 4 year old brother is still at it. I'm not sure he'll ever quit - well, until one of his high school buddies teases him into oblivion about it.

Of course that will screw with his self-esteem. Traumatize him for life. But at least he won't be sucking his thumb on his honeymoon, right?

I'm just not too sure I'm going to survive this summer. It's definitely going to be interesting.

Maybe I can take up finger or thumb sucking as a stress reliever.



Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Recipe

I've admitted my recent cravings for anything sweet; especially chocolate.

And while I'm doing my best to refrain from overindulging, I'm still seeking out tasty treat recipes that do offer some benefit, such as these Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars; since peanut butter offers tons of protein.



  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 2 cups all-purpose baking mix

  • 1 (12-ounce) package dark chocolate morsels, divided


  1. Stir together peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl.

  2. Stir in brown sugar until combined. Add baking mix and 3/4 cup dark chocolate morsels, stirring just until moistened. Spread mixture in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

  3. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate morsels; let stand 5 minutes or until chocolate melts. Spread melted chocolate evenly over top. Cut into triangles, bars, or squares.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes - Bake Time: 25 Minutes - Yields: 24 Bars



What Took Me So Long To Do This?

It's been a very busy weekend with Memorial Day. But it was fun and that's all that matters, right?

As a result, though, I totally lamed out on this week's project.

Having children at home, means lots of doors opening and closing; and in the process the doorknobs become loose. It's reached a point where I've almost given up on keeping them tightened; and this time I let this one go for a while.

But since I needed a simple quick project, I decided to use tightening down the front door knob my project.

Let's see how long it lasts. *sigh*


Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Thank A Soldier Today - Happy Memorial Day 2009!

Monday, May 25, 2009



Do You Remember This America? (Quotable Sunday)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tomorrow is Memorial Day in America; a day to remember those who fought - and some who gave their lives - so that we might live in the greatest nation in the world.

Today America stands at a most important crossroads when it comes to our freedoms and the future of our sacred country.

So for this week's Quotable Sunday I using Presidential quotes that will hopefully help us each to remember the America we were once proud of; the America for which many soldiers shed blood.

"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson

"We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And that makes us special among the nations of the earth." - Ronald W. Reagan

"We need a spirit of community, a sense that we are all in this together. If we have no sense of community, the American dream will wither." - William Jefferson Clinton

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." - Abraham Lincoln

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt


More Quotable Sunday


Out With The Old, In With The New

Friday, May 22, 2009

We had remodeled our home to add a fourth bedroom less than one year before I discovered I was pregnant with our fourth child.

We immediately began looking to optimize space within our home to accommodate the little one without infringing on the other three's new found freedom with their own bedrooms.

The most important decision we needed to make was bedding; and we opted for a space-saving bassinet.

We purchased The First Years 5-in-1 Carry Me Near Sleep System; and it was a purchase we'll never regret.

I had never bothered purchasing a bassinet before; instead opting to go from hospital to crib. For the first time in 17 years of motherhood, I was trying something new. And, wow, I wished I had known then what I know now.

I can't say if it was the confining space of a bassinet (versus a crib) or just my daughter's personality, but she was eager to sleep through the night immediately. Add the multiple sound features such as mother's heartbeat, rainfall, chirping, and music, and my daughter, unlike her brothers, learned very early to be a self-soother.

It's now been four months later and she has essentially reached a point where she has less than an inch space between the edge of the bassinet and her head when she is fully stretched. As a result, we've had to force her into a crib.

Force being a key word.

Again looking to save space, we decided on the Davinci Emily mini crib. While not as large as a standard crib, the mini cribs offer plenty of space for a growing infant. And we were hoping that it's smaller size wouldn't intimidate her and she'd take right to it.

The first night she moved to her new crib was a rough night, as she awoke in the middle of the night and refused to go back to sleep (something she hadn't done in many, many months). As I sat there rocking her, singing to her, I was tempted to drag the bassinet out and let her have her way.

As I continued trying to get her back to sleep, I seriously considered just letting her sleep in it until she graduated high school.

It's been two weeks now and she's finally growing accustomed to sleep in a bigger bed. But I have no doubt that she'd return to that bassinet in a heartbeat.



What I'd Like To Be Wearing Today



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