Fly on the Wall – Do Books Take Baths?

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 16 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Fly on the Wall Post

I feel like I’ve been buzzing around a lot lately with family activities, birthdays, passing along baby gear, and not a lot of blogging.  I have been having fun with my own side business in addition to my part time job. Basically, I get to prepare / eat amazing food, drink wine and help prepare some freezer meals while I work. Read more about my job here.

Back to Fly on the Wall….

Bye Bye Baby Gear

I had a lot of gear from my kids that wasn’t needed by friends or family having kids, so I found a local charity for single moms who took a wide range of donations. I loaded my car with a highchair, bouncer, jumper, infant bathtub among other things, and buckled little brother into his seat. On the way to the donation center, he said, “I call baby toys a bunch of junk!” And “There’s a bunch of junk in the back.”

Hey bud, you used that junk!! I hope it helps another family too!

Music to my Ears

Big sister: Mom, can I wash the floors? I need a bucket.

Mom / Dad: Sure!

Big sister: C’mon Mom, help us. It’s fun.

Me: No, that’s okay honey. You’re doing great.

Big sister: You have to do it like Cinderella does!

Me thinking – we need to watch that movie more often!! Our house would be so clean!

This wasn't exactly said, but it was written, which counts for Fly on the Wall.

This wasn’t exactly said, but it was written exactly how big sister would say it, which counts for Fly on the Wall.

Playing the Game

When getting dressed, my son will say, “Wait, let me check and see if it’s size 3,” because he is 3 years old.  Upon seeing a 2 on the tag (some of which still fit him), he’ll choose something else. Daddy O. responded one time, “Do you want to see a 3?”  When he said yes, Daddy O. took a sharpie to the shirt & turned the 2 into a 3.  Problem solved & shirt worn! We’ve done this to a few of his shirts now. I write more about that here.

changing little brother's shirt to 3T

Play the game while getting dressed – a new size!

Do Books Take Baths?

My mom gave me some old books from my own childhood and even some from when my dad was a kid.  My son especially loves Grandpa’s train book! When talking about the books, I said, “It’s an old book from when mom was little. It has old book smell.” Big sister replied, “Pweh! Do books take baths?”

My Birthday

My daughter was born one week after my birthday, so I’m always focused on her birthday party when my own rolls around.  Still, we had some fun celebrating my special day as a family.  My colleagues bought me cake & a balloon at work and my husband bought me chocolate covered cannoli from our local Italian bakery. YUM! He put candles in the cannoli and he & big sister sang me Happy Birthday.  Little brother wasn’t singing at all.  When they sang, “How old are you?” he chimed in, “I’m not old.”  So true, so true my little man!

mama O. and my birthday cake

Sweet birthday treats waiting for me in the office

Melt my Heart

Big sister is into coloring and making art projects.  She has so many of them that I often encourage sending them to our family.  Sometimes she decides without me asking who will be the lucky recipient of her artwork. For one particular piece she recently said, “Can we send this leaf up to heaven?”  My reply, “Who do you want to give it to?” Big sister said, “Great Grandma.”

At this point I got a little choked up because she mentioned a grandma who passed away when I was still in high school. She’s seen pictures of her and we’ve talked about her. I WISH I would have just said, “sure, we can send it up to her. Let me get an envelope,” but instead I said, ” Sweetie, you haven’t even met her. She would love you very much. I think Great Grandma can see this beautiful leaf you made already.” Just precious! How do kids come up with this stuff?!

Random Comments

Ahhh…I had some Fly on the Wall “memo” saved in my phone.  Some mysterious phone monster deleted them. I think one gem was from my daughter, as we were driving to Illinois, she declared, “Someday I’ll name my kid Illinois.”  Okay, honey!

Big sister: My poop was like an eel turd.
Me & Daddy O.: What?!
Big Sis: my poop looked like an eel.
Wow! Thanks!

As I’m pulling out of a parking lot, little brothers reminds me in his sweet voice, “You’re not in a demo derby!”

Little Brother: When I get big, I’m going to hunt bees.

Me to wild kids: it’s not wrestle-mania kids!
Big sister: what? Wrestlevania?
Yes, not that either kids!

Big sister: The sky looks like a maze of clouds. (such a good description for that day)!

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado

http://www.therowdybaker.com                                  The Rowdy Baker

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty

http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                                   The Sadder But Wiser Girl

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                        Stacy Sews and Schools

http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                                 Battered Hope

http://dinoheromommy.com/                         Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                   Someone Else’s Genius

http://www.crumpetsandbollocks.com                     Crumpets and Bollocks

http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                          Juicebox Confession

http://www.risanye.com                                              Risa Nye

My Venture into Direct Sales

As I had mentioned way back in September in my Fly on the Wall post, I started my own business as an independent representative of an all-natural foods company.  This is a direct selling gig – something that I thought I wouldn’t ever do! You never know what twists & turns life will take, so the old adage, “never say never” certainly holds true.

According to the Direct Selling Association (of which my company is a member), more than 16 million independent reps in the U.S. alone are part of a $30 billion dollar industry!  That’s a lot of home parties and individuals selling to their own networks! Wow!

How I Decided to Sell

I was first introduced to Wildtree through my sister, who invited me to attend a friend’s freezer meal workshop. At first I wasn’t sure what I was in for – it can be intimidating to buy groceries for 10 meals, do the prep, and haul your cooler to a friend’s house.  For the cost of the workshop, I had 7 Wildtree products waiting for me at the workshop to measure & add to each individual bag, according to the recipe instructions.  I stood next to my sister, had some wine, and chatted away with the other guest while we prepped our meals.  It was a lot of fun, not to mention productive.

Wildtree Freezer Meal Workshop

This is what a freezer meal workshop looks like!

After enjoying the 10 Wildtree Freezer Meals I had prepped the night of the workshop, I would do another workshop a few weeks later. It was a grilling workshop that included a Hickory Smoke Grapeseed oil and a Rancher Steak Rub seasoning blend.  I think it was these two ingredients that made me fall in love with Wildtree!  I’ve never had such delicious steaks before!!  Each meal felt like restaurant quality foods, making me feel like such a rockstar in the kitchen!

Plus, being the main cook in our house, I was tired of making the same things over and over again and wanted quick, easy dinners after my days at work or fun-filled summer days at home with my kids. The freezer meals were the ideal solution for my family!

When faced with attending another freezer meal workshop, or becoming a rep myself, I ultimately decided to pay for the $49.95 for the starter kit (plus shipping), and go for it back in August!

The IDEAL Job (especially for Busy Moms)

I’m excited to share the freezer meal planning concept and amazing, all-natural Wildtree products with my network on a schedule that I set on my own. The flexibility of my Wildtree business fits in so nicely with my current part-time job, while still giving me time at home with my 3 year old and older daughter who is in 4K half-days. It’s a perfect job where I’m completely in control! I think this is why so many moms are attracted to direct sales.  You can determine when you work, booking parties, or in my case tastings or freezer meal workshops when it’s convenient.  As with any job, you get out what you put in, so I do need to be disciplined to keep my business going. Ideally, I am targeting to have three to four parties a month to give me enough time to balance our family’s activities.  It’s been a lot of fun promoting and selling products I love!

Wildtree 8 Pack of Seasonings

Here’s an 8 Pack Sampler that was included in the Starter Kit.

More about Wildtree 

Wildtree is an all-natural food company that focuses on quick, easy, healthy dinners. Their all-natural products do not contain preservatives, dyes, fillers, GMO, MSG or high fructose corn syrup. Many products are organic certified too.  Most important of all in my book is the amazing taste! For more about the company & its history, click here.

Hosting Parties

In addition to helping my contacts host parties, I have been a recent host for my friend’s new Stella & Dot venture (also a mom looking for a flexible work arrangement). As with any direct sales business, it pays off to be a host because you can earn free products!  I also like the added benefit of motivation to clean up my house when people come over.  I’m definitely a people person, and I love a reason to bring friends and family together. It IS a lot of fun combining friends from all different areas of your life!

I had never really done a jewelry/accessory party before, but it was a huge hit! I loved being able to try on the items and the chance to catch up with friends over drinks & food. I’m excited to choose my accessories and do some holiday shopping with my host credit!

What are your favorite direct sales or home party-type businesses? Have you heard of Wildtree before?

If you want more info about my Wildtree business, please email me at gomamao AT gmail (dot) com.

Sometimes You Gotta Play the Game

This was advice I heard early on in my career.  Sometimes you gotta play the game. It’s so true!  Even though I may have thought that something should be done or approved much sooner, I have learned that sometimes it comes down to timing, or making your boss think it was his/her own idea!  Whatever works!

In my own personal life as a parent, I too must play the game at home!  I talked before about the rebranding I do for my kids to try to encourage cooperation and good listening, while making it fun. Sometimes this works well, and sometimes I’m just plain annoyed, tired, and too focused on getting the task at hand completed.

We had one of those times recently, when I was trying to get my son dressed.  Since he’s three years old, he thinks that all of his clothes should be a size three.  This logic works for big sister, who has pretty much been true to her size and age as she’s grown.  Little brother is still wearing some size two clothes and often boycotts wearing size two because it doesn’t match his age.  Before putting on a soccer t-shirt, he said, “Wait, I want to see if it’s size three.”  It wasn’t, so he was refusing to put it on. Frustrated, I walked away.

Daddy O. stepped in with a genius move. He took the shirt and asked little brother, “Do you want to see the number three on it?”  He nodded, yes. Daddy O. took a sharpie to the tag and wrote the number 3.  Upon seeing it, little brother GLADLY put on the newly labeled shirt.  AMAZING!

Thanks to Daddy O. I’ve learned to play the “numbers game.” Here’s the picture of the shirt I recently re-labeled so my son would wear it. Whatever works, right?!

changing little brother's shirt to 3T

Play the game while getting dressed – a new size!

How do you play the game as a parent?  Are there any other sayings you’ve heard at work that also apply to your life at home?

Related Posts

Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde – The Pinterested Parent - this post applies to ANY toddler / preschooler!  It’s a good one (and an all-around fun blog to follow), so go check it out!

Last Minute Halloween Costume for Mom

I’m not overly enthusiastic about Halloween myself.  I’m not obsessing over my own costume or planning a big Halloween bash. Instead I was the mom hemming up my daughter’s Elsa dress that I bought a size bigger on Etsy (a necessity for layering clothes underneath thanks to cold Wisconsin Trick-or-Treating), and I was putting the finishing touches on my son’s pumpkin costume that his grandma made.

We went to an indoor Halloween Hullabaloo party in our neighborhood, and about an hour beforehand, I decided to dress up, using whatever I could find in our house.

It started with this black, sparkly fabric that was hanging in my daughter’s closet. My mom and I had talked about making a tutu out of it, but the sparkles just shower off of the fabric, so it would be a tutu that would leave a sparkly trail behind (ugh). It was the perfect cape for me.  I just tied the ends together at my neck (real fancy, I know).

I bought a small witches’ hat at the end of last season and raided my closet for black clothes. Seriously – a witch costume is the easiest, and best last minute costume!

My daughter helped add my accessories – a purple cat pillow curled around my neck that also disguised my crudely tied cape, a spider (former glow spider) that I twist-tied onto another necklace of mine, and a magic wand (former glow stick) that I put in my belt.  I loaded on dark eyeshadow & eyeliner and I felt “witchy” enough.  Here was the final result – me & the kids all dressed up:

my last minute witch costume

Grouchy “I don’t want to wear this” Pumpkin, Mama O. the sorta good Witch, not frozen yet Elsa

While this costume was perfect for an indoor party, I don’t think I’ll be wearing it this Friday with the forecast calling for high of 40 degrees. Ugh… well, maybe I can wear my black wool coat over it all, or I’ll just stay inside & handout candy!

What are your plans for Halloween?  What’s your favorite last minute costume? Happy trick or treating!

Taking Good Pictures of your Kids – An Impossible Feat?

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, I am searching for a good picture of my kids and family to use for our annual holiday photo card.  It was a beautiful fall day with such colorful leaves all around our neighborhood, so I tried snapping a few pictures on a walk with my kids. Here’s how I did with my camera phone:

my photo shoot yesterday

Trying to get two kids smiling at the same time, while looking at the camera is NO small feat.

My daughter is generally more cooperative for taking pictures, but we’ve done so many “funny face” shots that EVERY time I take a picture now, there has to be at least one funny one.

My son was making nearly EVERY picture a funny face one.  And yes, dear 3 year old boy, they are funny.  Maybe, just maybe, a funny face shot will make it into our Christmas card.

Here are some other picture options. Which ones are your favorites?

Someday I would like to have professional pictures taken, but my husband is still a bit put-off by the idea after one bad experience. The photographer took pictures of us in a lovely setting – along the lakefront and in front of some trees. My daughter was almost 3 and my son just turned 1. Here was my own snapshot before the photo shoot started later than our scheduled time thanks to the photographer’s tardiness.

my snapshots before our professional photo shoot

2 years ago – my own snapshots before our professional photography shoot

Brilliant blue sky, aqua blue shimmering lake, sand, we could check every box in the “Ideal Setting” category.  And take pictures our photographer did! We had THOUSANDS of options to review. It was overwhelming and time consuming at his home (aka not the most convenient for us, being parent of two kids under age 3). The family pictures of all four of us were just weird-looking too.  We looked so posed and stiff – not at all our style. None of them were that great.

There were SO many good ones of our daughter.  She was running, holding flowers, smiling….just being her cute, almost three year old self.

Our son was another story. He was just little, and it was dinnertime (though we had snacks before), and we barely got a smile out of him.  We found one picture that we liked of him.

We had “won” the gift certificate for the photographer’s services as part of our church’s silent auction.  Somehow, according to his crazy pricing, we did not receive much in way of print-credit.  He had this complex pricing matrix and wanted us to join his family plan, so there would be numerous photo sessions through the years. Given that we hated the family pictures, it was NOT for us.  We finally ended up buying two 8×10 portraits, one of each child, and paid a hundred+ for them. They are now hanging in our living room, where they shall be forever & ever. Amen.

Whenever I mention the idea of getting professional pictures taken to Daddy O., he bristles in reply, thinking of our bad experience. I guess I have to resort to my photo archives or quick snap my own pictures for this year’s card anyway.  Hopefully these photo card options can make my pictures look good!

Have you ever been disappointed by professional photographers? How do you take  pictures for holiday cards?