It's Awards Day and I'm Feeling the Bloggy Love! Plus, FREE STUFF/ GIVEAWAYS!!

The lovely Leigh over at Leigh vs. Laundry and the entertaining Kelly at Speaking From The Crib bestowed this new award upon me.Thank you, Leigh and Kelly! After I finished sniveling and tossing tissues about and shuddering over the sheer joy that a brand new award brings, I started thinking about whom to share it with. I'm supposed to pass it along to my Top 10 Most Loyal Readers. I'm not sure I can limit it to just 10, and it's gonna be extra hard because Leigh & Kelly passed it along to a lot of the same people I was thinking of....so maybe I'll make an effort to pass it along to some newer peeps and those who just got it from Leigh can just nod & smile!

The award goes to:

Life Laugh Latte
Lee at Headaches, Hormones & Hotflashes
Kys at Stir-Fry Awesomeness
Daffy at Batcrap Crazy
Big Sis at Speaking of Witch
Blue Violet at A Nut in a Nutshell
MJ at Life, Interrupted
Deb at Menopausal New Mom
Mindy at The Inquisitive Mom
Holly at 504 Main
Pink Flip Flops and Wine
Think Tank Momma

The fabulous and snarky Holly over at 504 Main gave me this bling for my blog. Thanks, Holly! Holly's been one of my bloggy friends for a long time and you have to go check her out! This award is so shiny & sparkly and I'm really excited. I'm supposed to pass it along to 10 worthy bloggers (again, I can't stop at 10), so here goes:

Jenny Mac at Let's Have a Cocktail

Now for some cool FREE STUFF---listen up!(don't we all love free stuff?)

Please check out my GO GREEN GIVEAWAY. Set of 6 reusable produce bags and a cute coffee coozie. Giveaway ends on 12/10/09.

Please also go visit & follow my friend Chanda, the Eco-Cheap Mom, and enter her giveaway for some sweet EnviroVogue bags---very hip & stylish reusable totes for all of your shopping needs. Even if you already have some of your own, these would make wonderful gifts for your Greenie for the holidays! And Chanda and I will love you all the more for entering and making another effort to be green.

Last but not least, go see Jenna over at Bloggy Blog Designz. She just redesigned my blog and is hosting another giveaway plus a discount! Tell her I sent you.


Big Pimpin' All Up In The Mother Load---Thank You, Jenna!!!!

You may have noticed my lovely new layout courtesy of Jenna over at Bloggy Blog Designz!

I was the lucky winner of her giveaway hosted by the amazing Kelly of Speaking From The Crib.  If you don't already follow Kelly, shame on you and get thee over to her blog immediately! Then be sure to go say hi to Jenna and see about a blog makeover of your own! Jenna worked super fast, was so incredibly friendly, and she took the time to find out about me and what I liked prior to designing my blog. I am so excited about my new "look" and I hope you'll hop on over to Jenna's soon!

**I forgot to add that the fabulous Jenny Mac over at Let's Have a Cocktail helped me tame my tag line. Thank you, Jenny Mac!**


Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop -- An Open Letter to Santa Claus From Super Jew

If you'd like to play along, please check out Mama Kat's blog.

***The prompt I've chosen for today is an open letter to Santa.***

Dear Santa,

First of all, I'm really sorry that my family confused you when I was little. My mom's a Jew and my dad's an atheist, so why the hell were you stopping over at our place anyway? Of course when I was young, I had no conscience to speak of I didn't really think too hard about who brought me those cool roller skates and Ramona Quimby books. I was just super excited to have some new loot. While I wondered how such a fatty could fit down our chimney in the first place was a little suspicious, my thoughts never lingered long on the logistics---I just holed up in my room for a few days reading all about Ramona and her mother.

But Santa, a lot has changed since then. When I was a teenager I became friends with a special Jewish family and they taught me most of what I know now. Don't hate me for loving bacon embracing my Judaism. I've read and studied and gone to synagogue. I make challah almost every Friday and am proud of my Jewish heritage and how hot Hubs looks in his yarmulke.

Let me get to the point: stay the HELL away from my children! Please don't try to convert my kids. I mean, it's hard enough having a contest between a menorah and Santa. Lighting candles vs. a jolly old fella in a red suit? C'mon! So when they see you at their school next week and sit on your lap, please shut your trap  tread carefully. They are incredibly gullible They don't really "get it" yet and if you tell them you're going to come to our house with presents for them, they'll be expecting you.

In all seriousness, it makes me kinda sad. I am at a loss for what to tell them. How to explain for the umpteenth time that you aren't coming to our house, that we are Jews and we celebrate Hanukkah instead. I am sure this phase is temporary, but I want them to want their Judaism--I want them to want to be different in that way. As usual, my expectations are entirely too high for their tender young age.

So in closing, Dear Santa, please be careful with my kids. Don't make them want you too much. I know it's my job to make Hanukkah at our house super fun this year, and I'm on it. But it would be helpful if you could just back the hell off slow down this season and not be in so many places all at once. It's not Quantum Leap, it's Christmas.

And after all, I'm just a Jew....a lonely Jew....on Christmas.


My third GO GREEN GIVEAWAY begins NOW ---Third time's a charm, right?!!?

I had a brief mental lapse and forgot to announce that BunkieBott over at Adventures of a Poor Shopaholic won my 2nd GO GREEN GIVEAWAY! Congratulations & your reusable tote is in the mail on its way to you.

This means it's time to begin my 3rd and final GO GREEN GIVEAWAY. It may not be my final giveaway ever, but it's the last one for now.

Here's what you're going to win:

This super cute blue coffee coozie thingie! It protects your hands as you once again succumb to that caffeine addiction enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee on the go. Courtesy of Coffee Girls here in KC! It goes without saying you should be bringing your own mug by now, but if you don't, at least you can skip the paper sleeve part.

You will also win this set of six reusbale produce bags courtesy of Etsy (2 bags in each size):

These bags are white with pink ribbon. They come with a pink floral storage bag:

This giveaway will end  at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, 12/10/09. So you have a full week for this one. Here's how to enter:

1.) Follow me here on Blogger - 1 entry
2.) Follow me on Twitter (@erinlynn76) - 1 entry
3.) Write about this giveaway on your own blog with a link to this post here (please email me and make sure I see the post! erinlynn76@aol.com) - 5 entries
4.) Tweet about this giveaway with a link to this post  - 5 entries (please send me a link to your tweet or at least put my Twitter username in your tweet so I can see it---people who may have entered the last giveaway this way---I never saw your tweets!). You can tweet about this giveaway once per day.
5.) Write your own GO GREEN blog post and tell us about everything you do that helps our planet. And link up to me here, too - 10 entries

Thanks for playing & good luck!


Silly Haiku Wednesday

Hop on over to You Know....That Blog to play along!

This week's haiku theme is: challenge.
Here's mine:

Motherhood--oy vey!
A challenge I am up to.
Just not today, k?


The Night That Began Eight Years of Wedded Bliss, or, The Look of Terror On My Face On My Wedding Night

On this day eight incredible years ago, Hubs and I quit living in sin got married. Surrounded by our families and closest friends, we spoke our own vows and became one under the chuppa (for you non-Jews, that's the marriage canopy we are standing underneath in the photo below).

This may be my favorite photo of us---taken as we were leaving the ballroom after the ceremony's completion:

It was a beautiful evening marred only by my maid of honor's toast in which she warned Hubs about that time I tripped and fell unconscious in gym class but due to the inebriated state of several people who shall remain nameless, I fell off my chair during the horah. I thought you might find these photos ridiculously funny rather endearing. No bride should have to feel or look like this on her wedding day (please note my bulging bicep muscles as I grip the chair--although you may be slightly distracted by the fake bosoms sewn into the bodice of my dress):

If you look carefully in the background, you'll notice my husband is clearly happy and laughing and enjoying himself whilst his beloved bride is experiencing sheer terror. Now I want you to have the full effect and see just how un-level my chair was at this point. This is not a 90-degree angle, people:
Seriously. Look at me. I'm holding on for DEAR LIFE. C'mon, guys, SOBER UP! And while I am not a tiny woman, it's not like I weighed 500 pounds and was expecting you to hold me up for an hour. Clearly you need to get yourselves to a gym and pump some iron!

I was trying to grab the other end of the handkerchief, but couldn't continue to hold myself upon the chair with my one remaining arm (oh that I were an octopus!). Consequently, I fell off the chair and onto the floor, flashing my lacy white skivvies to the entire ballroom. Fortunately our photographer either failed to capture me in all my nekkid glory, or he destroyed the proofs and never showed them to me.

Happy Anniversary, my love!


The Little People Are Everywhere and WHY Won't They Stop Asking Embarrassing Questions?!

The constantly curious phase descended on our home some time ago. It hangs over us like a wet towel-- heavy, cumbersome, and suffocating. It haunts me like a demon in the night. I've run out of answers for most things or am simply too tired to keep answering. Give me vodka!

"Why, Mom?"
"What is that?"
"Why is he doing that, Mom?"
"Mom, why do we have to go there?"
"Why did you do that, Mommy?"

Most of the time these questions are just irritating in their rapid-fire manner; other times, like yesterday, they are really embarrassing.

We had the fabulous idea to take the girls to the T-Rex Cafe. We imagined the awe and wonder and utter joy that the girls would inevitably experience from the moment we entered the place--we'd never been and just thought it would be something fun & different to do on a holiday weekend. Here's a quick peek inside the prehistoric era restaurant where we gasped in horror once we saw the prices on the menu. $12.99 for a Brontosaurus Burger? Give me a break! But you can't really put a price on dining with the dinos--especially ones that move, roar, and come to visit you at your table & scare the pants off your kids! Yes, my kids were terrified. But their hunger outweighed their fear, so food won out and we stayed.

Abby's bladder is the size of a pea, so of course she said she had to potty as soon as we sat down. I needed to attend to some business of my own, so I agreed to take her.

We went into the ladies' room and chose a stall. I helped her go first and then it was my turn. I figured she'd be so busy pulling up her pants that she wouldn't notice the tampon I pulled out of my purse.

Abby doesn't let a thing get by her. I was stupid. But at home it's easier to have a little more privacy.

Why didn't you let her out of the stall, you might be asking? Simple. Because I'm a complete germophobe and my kids are the opposite. She may as well take her tongue and lick every freakin' surface in there. If I let her out, she will touch and inspect the diaper-changing station, the puddles on the floor and at the sink, and she'll dutifully pick up any trash on the floor and put her hands all over the garbage can to pry it open to throw the stuff away. So she stays in with me where I can keep an eye on her.

"Mommy, what is that?" she asks, as I begin to unwrap said tampon.

"Oh, you don't need to worry about it," I reply, easing my pants down. "Will you get me some toilet paper?" I ask sweetly, hoping to distract her. But Abby is good at multitasking even at age three (and three-quarters). She keeps her eyes trained on me as she yanks a completely useless sheet of scratchy paper off the roll.
"But Moooooooom, I said, WHAT IS THAT?" Now I can hear giggles coming from another stall. Thank goodness no one can see me because I'm blushing furiously.

"It's a tampon," I whisper, quickly stuffing the trash in the bin on the wall.

"What is it for, Mommy?"

"It's for my tushie," I say, as I quickly finish and yank my pants back up. You see, "tushie" is a generic term at our house which refers to the whole kit n' caboodle and doesn't often require any distinction. It's far better than my saying, "It's a wad of cotton I have to shove up my vag when I'm bleeding like a stuck pig."

"Can I have one, Mommy?"

"I don't have any more, Abs. Now let's go wash hands and get back to the table," I say, and fortunately this is the end of our introduction to tampons. That is, until one day she suddenly announces something to the effect of, "My mommy uses tampons for her tushie!" when we're surrounded by total strangers in Target.

Kids are funny. And just when you think they've forgotten all about something, they'll bring it up in the most unlikely/inappropriate way. So I'm just holding my breath, waiting for the tampon to rear its ugly head.


Sunday Stealing: The Tell Me About Yourself Meme

If you'd like to play along, check out Sunday Stealing here.

1. When is your birthday? I'm a Virgo, baby! And I'm trying not to put too many important personal deets on the internetz due to crazy creeps who are surfing the web. But then does that mean blogging in and of itself is something I shouldn't be doing?! Oh well.

2. Where were you born? The Crescent City, The Big Easy, NOLA

3. Where do you live now? Dorothy & Toto land. But I'm not wearing red sequined pumps.

4. What is your heritage? um, it's very, very old. And exotic. Lots of different, um, stuff coursing through these here veins. Yeah! I'm half Yiddish and half British. Oh wait. I mean Jewish. And some American Indian.

5. Tell us about a weakness. I have so many, it's hard to choose just one. French fries, pie, Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, books, chick flicks, and two little girls who call me "Mommy."

6. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve? I'd like to be a good mommy. You know, one who doesn't rely on insipid cartoons, vodka, or babysitters to get through the day.

7. What is the most overused internet phrase? LOL

8. What was your first thought this morning? Hooray, the girls are spending the night out tonight!

9. When do you usually go to bed? when I'm tired. Which is almost always by about 10 p.m. Or maybe it should be earlier since I'm falling asleep on the couch by 9:30.

10. Do you smoke? If not, did you ever? I never bought my own ciggies. I bummed some off of people in college sometimes. You know, to pretend I was cool like that.

11. Do you like your current relationship status? married with children---love it!

12. Do you (or did you) get along with your parents? yup

13. How often do you drink alcohol? not often enough. I think I'd be a better mom with more regular & rigorous alcohol consumption

14. Have you ever tried drugs (that weren't prescribed)? just pot. None of that scary or hard stuff that requires snorting or injecting between your toes or whatever.

15. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? If yes, do tell. Um, yes. Um, no thanks.

16. If given the choice, how would you like to die? quickly and in my sleep after consuming vast quantities of french fries and pie.

17. What did you want to be when you grew up? a mommy and a writer.

18. Have you ever been dumped? yes. Grrrrr.

19. What's on your pizza? veggies! but NO bell peppers.

20. Have you ever shoplifted? no. I'm boring like that.

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