Martini Time

Martini Time

October 26, 2014

To My Hero, on his Birthday

In a job interview recently, I was asked, "Who do you consider to be your hero and why?" I realized that over the years, my answer has always been the same. It was never an athlete or a superhero. It wasn’t my favorite person of the moment. I never thought twice about my answer growing up.

As a child, my answer was playful: "My Daddy is my hero because he gives me piggy back rides and plays games with me."
As a teenager, my answer was a little less, well, childlike: "My Dad is my hero because he's strong and helps me when I don't know the answer on my homework."
As a young adult, my maturity began to show as I said, "My Pops is my hero because he's in the military and he loves his children and his country even when it doesn't seem like they love him back."
As an adult, when asked who I consider to be my hero, my answer was different. This time, my heart was swollen with pride and I had to choke back the tears before I could confidently give my answer. Because this time, I’m a parent. So this time I get it.
I get what it feels like to love a little person so deeply that you ache.
I get what it means to sacrifice so much of yourself so that your family is cared for.
I get how hard it is to see your child hurt or sick or sad without being able to fix it.
I get how it feels when your child says they hate you for the first time. But I’ll never forget the day I heard “I love you” for the first timer, either.
I get how much work it takes to make sure your kids have what they need without them ever knowing how much work it takes for you to give them everything they need.
I get the struggle of long nights and early mornings with endless work days and no breaks in between.
I get that it is totally and completely worth it; every whine, every tantrum, every diaper, every fever, every hug, every kiss, every smile.
I get that everything I do, I do for them.
I get that everything he did, he did for us.
So, who is my hero?
My father is my hero. He always has been and he always will be. He is the only person that I can trust my heart and soul with. He is the only person I can depend on to take away my fear and doubt before they take me away. He is the first man who ever loved me without question. Beyond putting his own needs aside for my brother and me, he has proudly and honorably served his country for almost 35 years and has sacrificed more for our safety, freedom and daily livelihoods than Hollywood could ever try to portray in a two hour feature film. He is a compassionate and strong man that has taught me morals and values that are surpassed only by his faith. He has made me who I am today and he is who I can only hope to be like in the future.
Thank you, Dad. Truly, thank you. Not only for being my hero, but for teaching me how to be the same for my kids. We couldn't ask for a better Dad, Father-in-law or Grandpa!
Happy Birthday!

September 15, 2014

Stay Connected and WIN with myCharge!

The kids are back to school, but Moms know that's only the beginning! Now that the school year is in full swing, there's no slowing down. In fact, things can start getting pretty hectic this time of year between your work and your kid's homework, after-school clubs and sports, music lessons and carpools, birthday parties and play dates...the list goes on and on!

Even the most organized Mom will tell you things can change at the last minute, and Moms of all people can't afford to run out of power...we mean for your phone or tablet, of course! myCharge knows how important it is for you to stay charged and connected all day - and all school year - long, so they're giving the gift of portable power so you're never left in the red!

To keep you charged and connected myCharge is giving 3 lucky winners each an iPad mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger! The amazingly compact Hub 6000 features built-in cables and connectors for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and more. Get up to 27 hours of additional talk time for your devices, as well as integrated, quick-charge wall prongs. The Hub series is commonly known as the “Swiss Army Knife of portable power devices.

Additionally, 40 (FORTY!!) winners will each receive an Energy Shot compact portable charger for their smartphones that delivers an additional boost when you need it most. They come in a variety of styles and can give you up to 10 hours of talk time! (Please note, smart phone not included in giveaway).

So Moms, stay out of the red this school year! myCharge is here to keep you charged and connected! For more information on products visit the myCharge website or follow them on Facebook. You can find myCharge products available at retailers such as Target and Kohl's.

Fill out the entry form below September 15, 2014 - October 15, 2014 for your chance to be one of 40 winners to receive an Energy Shot Charger (10 winners randomly selected each week) and one of 3 grand prize winners randomly selected on October 15, 2014 to receive one iPad Mini with a myCharge HUB 6000 portable charger. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age or older, must live in the United States and have a valid shipping address. See giveaway form for complete list of rules and details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post from myCharge. Mommy Needs A Martini is not responsible for prize distribution.

August 14, 2014

Another AMAZING Giveaway from Boogie Wipes!

In celebration of Great Grape Boogie Wipes being sold at Walmart, I'm teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer the Great Grape Summer Giveaway!

It's a Great Grape Summer celebration! Enter to Win a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack. One winner each week for the next 3 weeks. Enter now!

One winner will be drawn each week for the next three weeks and will receive a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack.

How to Enter

From following some of our favorite bloggers on social media to instagramming a picture of your Great Grape purchase at Walmart, there are dozens of ways to enter - and a few ways to enter every single day.

Check back throughout the next three weeks to enter again and see if you won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to have more fun this summer?

Visit the Boogie Wipes blog for all sorts of summer fun ideas - including Sidewalk Chalk Recipes, Crafts and Games to Play with Pool Noodles and DIY Board Games (for when it rains).

Good luck!

Giveaway is live Tuesday, July 8, 2014 until midnight on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. US and Canada residents only. One winner will be chosen each week and will be notified via email. Mommy Needs A Martini received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes.

August 8, 2014

Back to School! Back to School!

Slowly but surely, the "Back to School" posts are popping up on social media - parents everywhere, REJOICE! My oldest daughter starts Pre-K this year, which isn't exactly school since it's still at our daycare, but she is excited just the same! And I'm a little weepy. Oh, shush...

Of course, with a new school year comes new germs. So, I'm teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer an awesome Back-to-School Giveaway for kids AND moms!

Back-to-School giveaway from Boogie Wipes. Three winners will win a backpack and mommy clutch - full of school supplies, gift cards and Boogie Wipes. Ends August 22. Enter now!

Three lucky winners will receive a backpack stocked with school supplies (and Boogie Wipes) and a Mommy Clutch - full of everything moms needs (including gift cards!)

How to Enter

From following Boogie Wipes on social media to instagramming a picture of your favorite Boogie Wipes products, there are dozens of ways to enter - and a few ways to enter every single day!

Complete the form below to get started.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking for Great Back-to-School Ideas?

Visit the Boogie Wipes blog for six back-to-school ideas for parents, plus a coupon to save on your favorite Boogie Wipes products.

Great back to school ideas for parents. Must read!

Good luck!

Giveaway is live Tuesday, August 5, 2014 until midnight on August 22, 2014. US and Canada residents only (excluding Quebec). Three winners will be randomly chosen and notified via email. Mommy Needs A Martini received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes.

July 22, 2014

It's Time To Try Something Different

As a mom of two young toddlers, taking them in public often feels daunting. I will almost always opt for quick take-out as opposed to sitting in a restaurant. If I’m given the option to grocery shop alone, I take it. There’s a sitter available during my appointment? Sold.

Don’t get me wrong; I love being with my kids and I’m not trying to pawn them off. It’s just HARD. It’s hard to keep them entertained, occupied, calm, engaged and behaved in a public setting. Not because they’re bad or unruly kids, but because everyone else thinks they are. Correction: I think everyone else thinks they are. Therein lies the problem, you see. It’s not my kids; it’s my own parenting insecurity.
Over the weekend, I brought my four year old to the store with me. Admittedly, it was just before lunch and nap, she just sat through church relatively quietly, and she was not excited about waiting in line with me. So, I let her be-bop around the displays near the line while keeping her within my reach. She would pick something up and put it back nicely. She would tell me to look at the pretty thing she found. She was behaving. But then she started to drift further away.
I called to her to stay close and she gave me that look. You know, the “I’m going to test my limits” look. I stepped closer to her, keeping one toe in line, but couldn’t reach her. I turned to the woman behind me with a smile and asked if I could jump back in line after retrieving my wandering toddler. She rolled her eyes and said, “I suppose!” as she waved me off. I could feel my face turn red as I gasped at her reply so I quickly picked up the testing toddler and continued to hold her while waiting. This, of course, only made matters worse.

In an instant, I stripped my child of her newfound independence. Not because she was misbehaving, but because a stranger made me feel like she was a bother. She started pushing herself away from me, climbing out of my arms like a scared puppy, her whines became louder and she ultimately started to cry. Full blown tantrum mode ensued. Simply because I was concerned with other people’s perception of her behavior.

On our way out, a cashier said to me loudly, “Hey, Mom! That looks like ADHD to me. My kid is 14 so I know it when I see it. You oughta’ get that kid checked out!” I pretended to half listen to her but chose not to engage the label maker she was trying to be. I needed to get my daughter to a quiet place.
We both left the store frazzled for different reasons; but upset just the same. Neither of us spoke during the drive because I was embarrassed and she was angry. When we arrived at our house, I turned to the backseat to see a frowning kid with her arms crossed staring pensively out the window. I told her we should talk about what happened and she erupted into tears saying, “Mommy! I wasn’t even naughty! I could see you! I wasn’t even touching the breaky things! Why did you have to hold me like a baby?! I’M FOUR NOW!”

Once I picked my heart up off the floor, I did my best to explain to her that she wandered too far away and I had to leave the line to pull her closer so she was safe. What I didn’t tell her was the truth: I was embarrassed by the judging eye roll of the woman behind us. But I shouldn't have been.
At that moment, I made a mental promise to myself (and to my kids) to allow them to just be kids in public. I need to allow them a little bit of freedom, within reason, in public so they learn what is and isn’t appropriate behavior. The only problem I had with this promise was I didn’t know how to make it happen. They couldn’t experience the freedom properly if I wasn’t teaching it properly.
Thankfully, I’ve been fortunate enough to discover MomAssembly recently. Co-founded by Jill Spivack and Jen Waldburger, this site has been my go to place for the tough parenting situations that nobody warned me about. With nearly 50 courses available and more being added weekly, they cover topics ranging from birth to five years, all taught by hand selected parenting experts. And for those on the go, MomAssembly is available to view from your tablet or mobile device as well, picking right up where you left off when you change devices.

After my experience at the store, I scoured the site for answers and found a course called “Raising ChildrenThat Other People Like To Be Around” taught by author and blogger Richard Greenberg. He has raised four children with his wife and recently wrote a book by the same name. His parenting theory is to be S.M.A.R.T. in raising your children. Sure, it’s not foolproof, but his theory is relatively simple to follow:
You can check out a clip of this lesson below:

If you’d like to see more of Richard’s lessons and others offered on the site, MomAssembly subscriptions are available monthly for $7.99 or you can pay annually for $3.99/month. Either way, you get unlimited access to the entire library of expert video classes.
And because I love my subscription SO much, I've partnered with MomAssembly to give TEN of my readers their first month FREE! There is no drawing or raffle for this – just be one of the first ten to sign up for your subscription HERE to receive your free month! 
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some toddler taming to do!

I was compensated for this post but all experiences and opinions are true and my very own.

July 1, 2014

Ohhh, this kid...!

May I present to you, my future superstar in all her glory! All lyrics were made up on the spot, she does not take singing or guitar lessons and her very calm scolding at the end was not scripted. This is my 4yo, to a tee!

April 9, 2014

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words... and a GIVEAWAY!

If you’ve followed me on Facebook for more than a day or have ever read a single post I’ve put up here, you know I love pictures – taking them, seeing them, sharing them – it really doesn’t matter. YAY PICTURES! You’ve also come to learn that I love and cherish the time spent with my Dad (remember when Grandpa went viral? Well, in his eyes, anyway.). When my Dad comes to visit, my camera goes into overdrive taking pictures of him and the grandkids! In a recent visit, I snapped this keeper:

This picture immediately became the background on my phone and was my Dad’s caller ID picture and remained as such until I discovered Jewelry Keepsakes (thanks to Jessica over at Four Plus An Angel). They specialize in cremation and photo engraved jewelry so it was a perfect way to preserve my new favorite photo.
While browsing through their products, I came across their silver rectangle keychain and HAD to have it. Since my Dad is retired military, this item reminded me of a dog tag so it was quite fitting. When I sent my e-mail with the order information, I wasn’t sure how to crop the photo (or if it needed to be cropped at all) so I sent three different versions of it along with a quote that I wanted engraved on the back of it. It really was THAT simple.
And BOOM. Perfection:

I mean, honestly, how seriously AWESOME is that?! This picture hardly does it justice – it’s shiny with a smooth finish, thick and durable with a strong key ring, zero flaws, and as you can see, the background was eliminated so only the people remain in the engraving. And the quote: The best dads get promoted to Grandpa. Amazing! I LOVE THIS.

And when I love something, I love to share it! So, I’ve partnered with Jewelry Keepsakes to give away a photo engraved item to one of my readers. The winner will be able to choose from the rectangle keychain I got or a heart-shaped pendant:

 You know what’s great about that? Mother’s Day is around the corner and what mama wouldn’t love some new jewelry! You know what else is great about that? Father’s Day isn’t too far behind and what daddy wouldn’t love a new keychain! Even if you don’t win, their prices can’t be beat for the wide selection they offer!
Here’s your chance to win – enter through the rafflecopter below until Friday April 11th. I will announce the winner on Saturday! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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