Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Blog Of 2011: It's About The Company.

I'll start off by saying thank you ... from the bottom of my heart ... for making my first year of blogging a great one.  I started my blog as a keepsake and journal for my family.  And it's become so much more than that.  I have made some new friends (you) and have been blessed with great opportunities for my family because of blogging.

I planned on spending my night entertaining myself with Twitter feeds.  But evidently Twitter is "over capacity".  I can't sign on.  Funny.

Most of the years I was/am happy to say, "Good Riddance [insert year here]"!  I can't say the same about 2011.  We had ups and A LOT of downs.  But Christopher had so many firsts and Cash had such a great year that I would be ungrateful and selfish to say Good Riddance to this year.  It's bittersweet to see it go ... but I'm hopeful and happy to see what 2012 has in store for us. 

My husband and I don't go out on NYE.  We haven't since having kids.  Not because we don't have a sitter.  Cash's old babysitter has offered the past two years.  And while he loves her and would be crushed if I told him we said no .... ringing in the New Year without my kids is just sooooo last year.  For us anyway.

The last time my husband and I left the house on NYE was the 2007-2008 transition.  We had a two month old and our good friends, The Loops (shoutout!) invited us over to their house to ring in the new year.  They had an almost four-month-old and our little ones rang in the new year lying on the floor staring at each other.  We were all amazed that not only were WE all still awake ... but our babes were too.

Last year, My husband and I celebrated by falling asleep on the couch.  When I woke up and saw Times Square confetti in the streets ... I shook the hubs, kissed him, and giggled about how long we'd been asleep.

We're also not ones to keep our kiddo's awake either.  Being a parent of a sleep-deprived child is not a way that I like to start my New Year. 

My idea of a good new year is not trying to grab my husband and YELL "Happy New Year" into his ear over the hundreds of other people trying to do the same and then giving him a sloppy, wet drunken kiss.  It's not fun walking to your car the same time hundreds of other drunkasses are doing the same cackling at you or your husband or your friends, trying to start a fight.  It's not fun watching your best friend cry because she didn't have a date to kiss this year.  It's not fun driving home with hundreds of drunkasses on the road.

This year it's about the company .... not what bar or club we're at and at what time.  When the clock strikes midnight, I can give my husband a sweet, as long as I want, kiss in our peace and quiet home with the people I love the most.
Because those kind of New Years Eves are the most memorable ...... to us.
Happy New Year friends. 
Be safe and enjoy it the way YOU want with the people that mean the most to you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I Had A Date Last Night

Yep .... first one since my birthday, outside of the house.  We've done some patio dates at home here and there once the little guys go to bed.  But this is the first one since May that we were able to go on a date in public.   And we had a fantastic time!  The details of the date are staying undisclosed.  Not because we did something "naughty" but because it's a secret that we want to stay between each other.  Here's the thing though.  It has been a long LONG time since I've been able to sit down at dinner and have a good look at my husband and to actually have a conversation with him.  And while other people/couples (with children) probably don't realize this stuff because they go on many more dates than Cale and I do ... it's still stuff that I could not help but notice.

*  It doesn't matter whether I'm at home or at a fancy restaurant ... the conversation between me and my husband will be interrupted.  Either by my little boys tugging at my shirt, or by the waitress asking if I need another cocktail (because the first one went down a little too smooth).

*  Somehow the word "poop" STILL came up at the table.  I don't even know how we got on the topic.  Really.  I honestly can't figure out how our conversation went from holding hands across the table ... gazing into each other's eyes ... reminiscing how much easier and spontaneous our lives were pre-kids ... to talking about poop.  Not only that, but as I brought the conversation up about poop ... I caught myself spelling the word "p-o-o-p" out as if my boys were sitting right next to me.  You know that's when you really need to get out of the house and have alone time a little more.

* I caught myself eating my food like there was no tomorrow.  Not because it was good and it'd been awhile since we had something other than spaghetti, crockpot roast, or hamburger helper .... but because I'm so use to serving everyone else's food ... getting everyone their drinks ... making sure my boys are all taken care of before I sit down and eat my food (eventho it may be cold by the time I get a chance to eat).  And usually by the time I am ready to sit down and eat, somebody needs a refill or seconds.  So usually I have to eat my dinner fast to finish the same time everyone else is so that I get one of the kids off to their bath.  Pity party for Amanda ... NOT!  We have a routine.  I'm Mom.  It's how it is.  And I'm use to it.  But it's also become a habit.  And luckily I caught myself shoveling my food in at record-breaking bites before anyone else noticed.

*  I saw an old friend today and we started talking about the past and some people we hadn't heard from in a long time.  You know it's a sign of the times (unfortunately) when she brought up Barbie and Ken (these names are completely fictitious to hide the true identity of the persons in this story) and my immediate reaction was to ask if they (this couple with four kids that have been together for 20 years) were still married. 

*  My husband and I still know how to have a good time.  There was one point in the night where we literally laughed until we cried.  And it was probably at the most immature and unfunniest (-->totally not a word) thing.  But we could not. stop. laughing.  Good times, good times.

*  For four hours ... Cale and I had the chance to be a couple again.  Not just Mom and Dad.  Yes I may have looked at my phone every ten-fifteen minutes.  But I couldn't help it.  Not sure if this is normal and I really don't care if it isn't.  We still had an amazing time.

And lastly ....

*  It really is possible to fall in love all over again.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

.... and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

- From our family.

PS:   If your children didn't receive any gifts from Santa ... it's because we caught him on camera sleeping on our couch ...

Friday, December 23, 2011

It Could Have Been Worse

We had Santa pictures a couple weeks ago. We weren't sure how this years would turn out. Afterall, Cash is still a little timid of him and the fact that he has SOOOO much power on how many presents he'll get on Christmas morning. As well as a say so in WHAT he gets.
And Christopher ... well ... he's just such a Mama's boy. He cries when his own grandparents try to hold him. I was apprehensive how the Santa session would go.

The photographer asked us before going in if we thought the kids would be scared. I said yes for Christopher's sake. Cash isn't dumb. He saw Santa's coat hanging up on the backdrop and he knew what was up.
So the photographer hid Santa behind a cute backdrop and took a picture of him behind them. Then Santa slowly and quietly creeps up behind them and she snaps another. Then the old man does his famous, "HO HO HO" and she usually takes another picture of their faces as they see the man in red for the first time. And then Santa "attempts" to set them on his lap as she quickly takes another picture.

This is how our session went ....

So Cash looks he is constipated and Christopher doesn't know what to think.

But as I said .... it could have been a LOT worse.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winners Announced - I Caught Santa (Photo) Giveaway

I have notified the winners.  Congrats!!

Thank you to everyone who entered.

I did not promote this giveaway on any other website(s) other than Facebook and my blog as I only wanted my closest followers (and their aquaintences) to be able to enter.

As you can see there are only 4 winners via Rafflecopter.  That's because one of the winners commented on the blog post but forgot to click on Rafflecopter.  I can't count that against him/her.

I am waiting to hear back from the winners within 18 hours so if you did not hear back from me today ... don't count anything out.  If the winners don't contact me back for their code ... I will be submitting new winners.

And remember .... if you didn't win this giveaway but you still want a photo .... you can still receive 50% off a photo by using the code:  Santa50   at checkout.  Making it only $4.99.  STILL totally worth the price for a new tradition for your family!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mommy Needed A Break

From EVERYTHING.  Unfortunately .... SAHM's don't get the luxury of getting to get up and go to work everyday.  I tell my husband all the time, have a good vacation as he's leaving for work.

So during the holidays ... I'm taking a break from writing for awhile.  I figure, most people don't have the time to read blogs right now anyway with all the shopping, gift wrapping, and the time spent with family. So I've decided to take some time as well.

I'll still list any current reviews and giveaways that come in ... but for now I need to try to figure out how to be in more than one place at the same time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Giveaway: I Caught Santa!! - 5 WINNERS!!

I’m excited to spread Holiday cheer!

If you're a Pinterest addict like I am ... you've probably seen the photo of Santa caught on camera.  It's created by I Caught Santa, a unique website that helps parents create proof that Santa is real.  Not that my 4-year-old is questioning anything yet.  But this will hopefully at least stretch it out a little longer.

I hope you join me in my excitement to “catch” Santa in your house!

For those who would like to keep the belief alive as well, will be very pleased to learn how to obtain photographic evidence of the big guy in your home.  It will be priceless to watch your child’s face fill with wonder, delight, and surprise when they find a picture of Santa in front of their tree or fireplace or sofa!


I've played around with the website but I haven't yet made our official picture to leave for the boys.  It is SOOOO easy to do.  The main reason I haven't yet clicked the "order" button is because I want about 10 different pictures.  I'm having a hard time choosing.  But here are some pictures that other Moms and Dads have done...

I just love this website and it's definitely going to be a yearly thing from now on!

Creating your own picture is a simple process.
Just take a picture of the spot you want Santa to be shown in (make sure it's a spot your child(ren) will recognize as being your house.  ie:  I'll make sure that our fireplace doors will be open as it always is on Christmas morning).
Upload it to the site. 
Then select a Santa to use from the 20 available poses.

You can really make it look authentic if you work with the tools to rotate, size, flip, and brighten. You can also choose from several border styles to jazz it up.

Once you confirm your digital image, payment is made, you will then be able to download the image to your computer to print, email, or share via facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.  The image you download is the product that you are purchasing. They do not send you a photo.

The nice folks at I Caught Santa have given my readers a 25% code to use as often as you wish.  Just enter SAVE25 at checkout to receive 25% off your total purchase.


I have *5* free codes to give away to you, my readers.  Yep, that’s right – 5 lucky winners will each get to make their own “I Caught Santa” photo, free of charge! (value of $9.99/each).  AND, if there are more than 30 unique entries into the giveaway then they will give me 5 more redemption codes.  So tell your friends and family, the more entries we can get the more winners there will be!

I know I can't wait to see my son's eyes light up as he sees that Santa truly was in our house unloading his presents, eating our cookies and drinking our milk, checking their names off the list, etc.

To enter:
Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment below.  Say whatever you want .... just keep it clean.  This is a family friendly website :)

Additional Entries:
*  Join my blog via Google Friend Connect (click "join this site" on the right side of my blog) - Leave another comment stating you did so.
*  Follow That's What They're Made Of on Facebook and write on my wall stating that you hope you win (If you're already following me, just go ahead and write on my wall)
*  Follow me on Twitter (@ThatsWhatTheyre)
*  Tweet about the giveaway
* Follow I Caught Santa via Twitter

Giveaway will enter at 12:01 am on Dec 23, 2011 to allow time for you to capture, upload, and choose your photo.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows - Schedule, Discount (And a Giveaway)

Have you been looking for a great event to attend with the family? Times are tight. With the holidays near us, money is tight. Or maybe you're looking for a great gift for that motorcycle lover in your life. Or maybe you're just looking for a fun staycation.

If you are looking for an event that provides excitement, entertainment, and value for the whole family, look no further - Progressive International Motorcycle Shows provides that perfect stay/daycation.
The IMS features numerous engaging and interactive exhibitions including opportunities to become an artist for a day by using a digital paint can to design your own bike (which you can see pictured below):

and/or to see a thrilling stunt show featuring Smage Brothers, made famous by an impressive top 10 finish on American's Got Talent (which you can see below).

Additionally, every Sunday, the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows features “Family Day”, in which kids under 12 get in free with a paid family member.

This is just a scratch on the surface of what the IMS has to offer!!
For more information, visit

If IMS is coming to an arena near you .... make sure you don't miss it! I know I won't!!
Please visit to purchase tickets.
Enter this promo code to receive $2 off their ticket: MOTOINFO

Check out the schedule below and find a show near you and purchase tickets....

  • Seattle, WA Dec 16-18, 2011 (Washington State Convention Center)

  • Novi, MI Jan 6-8, 2012 (Suburban Collection Showplace)

  • Washington, DC Jan 13-15 2012 (Washington Convention Center)

  • New York, NY Jan 20-22, 2012 (Jacob K. Javits Convention Center)

  • Cleveland, OH Jan 27-29, 2012 (I-X Center)

  • Minneapolis, MN Feb 3-5, 2012 (Minneapolis Convention Center)

  • Chicago, IL Feb 10-12, 2012 (Donald E. Stephens Convention Center)

  • Charlotte, NC Feb 24-26, 2012 (Charlotte Convention Center)

  • Daytona Beach, FL March 14-17, 2012 (Ocean Center Daytona Beach)


The nice folks at Family Fun Events have given me the opportunity to give one very lucky "That's What They're Made Of" stalker a chance to win a pair of mechanics gloves OR tickets to see one of the Live shows (of your choice)!!!

To enter:

Simply visit the IMS website and comment below what you think would be the coolest part of attending the International Motorcycle Show.

Additional Entries:

1. Join my blog via Google Friend Connect (on the right side of my blog) and become a follower (comment below that you did so)

2. "Like" my Facebook page (and comment on my FB wall that you are my newest fan)

3. Follow me on Twitter (and tweet a message letting me know you did so + 1)

4. "Like" IMS on Facebook by clicking here.

That's it! That's all you have to do to win either YOU a great gift .... or somebody else.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclosure: This giveaway was provided by IMS. All opinions are my own***

Teacher Gift (Less than $3.00 spent total)

I am completely addicted to Picnik and Pinterest.  And when you combine the two of those website ... you can create some extremely cheap gift ideas for pretty much anyone.

Here's part of the gift we are giving Cash's teacher for Christmas this year.  All the words were emailed to me after the parents asked their child(ren) to tell them something about Ms. Cindy.

And this is how it turned out....
(all that's left is for us to purchase a cheap 8.5" x 11" Dollar Tree/Store frame)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gifts NOT To Buy ...

I've compiled a list of things that prompt us to say, "Oh you really shouldn't have..."
There's one thing I love most about flying .............. SKYMALL.  I think 90% of these things came from there.  Things that make us say:  WTH?  Things that I could totally see my husband purchasing for Crazy Christmas (a tradition).  So here goes...

1.  The "Neckpro Traction Device"
We've all had neck pain before.  And over a few days of stretching, it eventually relieves itself.  However, we can now have immediate relief thanks to this noose "Neckpro Traction Device".  I mean, we all have room to hang ourselves one of these on the back of our door, right?

2.  "Personal Infrared Sauna"
I'm just not quite sure what to say about this.  I would love to have a sauna.  But ... but .... not this one.  I mean, what if it malfunctioned and you got stuck in there and no one was around to open it.  Yikes!!

3.  "Spa-N-A-Box"
Anything with the words "----- In A Box" (ie: Cat in a Box, Poo In A Box, Wine In A Box, etc" are items that should NEVER be purchased.  The phrase:  You get what you pay for" is key here...

4.  "Mermaid of Magellan Cove"
I mean .... why even put the seashells on her?  What's the point?

5.  "Woven Picture Blanket"
I love my kids.  And I love my husband.  But if I wanted to be snuggly, I'd bring them to bed with me.  Not this blanket....

6.  "No Spill Mug Holder"
First of all, why would you need this?  Second of all ... why in the world would you even want to attempt to spin your coffee mug full of hot coffee upside down over your head?

7.  "Fundies"
I'm a stay-at-home Mom.  My husband is lucky to come home to me wearing different clothes than the day before.  No way in hell will you even find me in a store that carries these.

8.  "Body Back Buddy"
This just looks confusing.  It looks more like a weapon.  Or something kinky.  Whatever it is .... it looks painful...

9.  "Pee & Poo Dolls"
Just don't buy these.  For anyone.

10.  "Peekaru"
It's just not very cute to carry your baby like a kangaroo....

BUT.  You CAN buy me this....

It'd definitely come in handy.  Do you think it'd hold a 40 lb 4-year-old too?


I also found a couple toys that you shouldn't even think about buying for the kiddos.
And if you have any of these ... please stop stalking my blog.

1.  "The Cleaning Trolley"
Unless you want your child to grow up a janitor.....

2.  "Doggie Doo Game"
Because pooper scooping is a fun thing to do?

3.  "Buzz Lightyear Cup"
No explanation needed....

3.  "Dress Up Squirrel Magnets"
Why?  Just why?

4.  "Lightning Reaction Reloaded"
The object of the game is to keep your hand on the lever and button.  When the green light comes on you push the button on your lever.  Whoever loses gets shocked.  Wow.

5.  "Roadkill Plushies"
This is even too disgusting for my little boy who thinks poop and toots are the best things ever....

6.  "Inflatable Wolverine"
One word:  Ewww.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Really, Cale .... Really?

Me:  Cale, you need to get a card for Christopher from us. I only had Cash pick one out for him.
Cale: Ok. I will.

Really?  This is what I'm dealing with?  Out of 500 hundred "son" cards, Mickey Mouse cards, Elmo cards, etc.  You pick out the SAME card as your 4-year-old son....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Christopher

My little man is ONE today.  I am kind of numb about the whole thing.  It's bittersweet.
Wine isn't strong enough anymore.  I need tequila. 

Dear Christopher,
Despite forgetting what day was actually your birthday ... and then remembering it's the same day as the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day - I do still remember the details of your birth like it just happened.  I have two favorite.  One takes precedence over the other.  But the first is when the doctor said:  "Ok Mama .... look up ... here comes your baby boy..."  And there you were.  This perfectly pink wrinkly beautiful little ball of chub.  The next (which is definitely my favorite) was when we were wheeled to our room in the hospital.  Your Daddy went to go get your big brother so he could be the first one to meet you.  He came in already smiling ear to ear and shouted, "HE COMED OUT!!!!"  and held out both hands and said, "I hold him?"  He couldn't get enough of you.  I think he kissed every inch.  Your head, your cheeks, your fingers, your tiny toes.  He didn't want you to wear your cap.  He wanted to see and take in every little bit of you.  It was a moment that is engraved in my brain.  It was the moment you made him the happiest big brother in the world.

Overnight you've turned into a little person.  Ornery.  Busy.  Tough.  Silly.  and Funny.
You've been a mama's boy from day 1.  I like it.  I like it because you're too little to realize that I have flaws.  I make mistakes daily with you.  But you still can't seem to leave my side.  I hope it stays that way.  I may not ever get the chance to do dishes or the laundry.  But I'm also never going to have another baby under my feet either.  So as much as I cry that I can't even pee alone .... I'll take the clinginess any day.

I love you baby boy.  Thank you for choosing ME to be your mommy.  I won't let you down.

Let me just say ... I should not have been holding you here. I was HIGH as a KITE!

Yep ... That's you.  Always has been.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Black Hole

Somewhere in our house there is a secret hiding place where there are a few binkies, a million lost baby socks, puzzle pieces, legos, an extra set of car keys, some sippy cups, and probably some stuff I don't want to find.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Groceries Under $250/Month - 2012 eBook

I saw this on Pinterest and I can't wait to get my copy!!  With two energetic growing boys, we're always looking for ways to save money on our grocery bill.


Click the picture to check it out and get your copy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

BrytonPick - Floss in Seconds

BrytonPick - Floss in Seconds
(From BrytonPick website)

A: BrytonPick - FLOSS in Seconds is discreet on-the-go Solution or Alternative for people who are unable to floss.
BrytonPick is a string-free, portable and reusable dental space cleaner. The flexible edges areas thin as the floss string to make flossing possible anytime and anywhere.
Designed for use after every meal, BrytonPick also brings relief to an everyday problem of food stuck between teeth. Furthermore it replaces all improvised and un-hygienic "items" people use in a search of this relief, such as: paper clips, business cards, matches, finger nails, or worse. .
A: BrytonPick is designed to PASS or SLIDE gently between teeth with In or Out motion. The soft and flexible edges are not meant to be pushed between the teeth, as they are to soft and will bend.
If wearing BRACES up front PASS / SLIDE from behind the teeth. It is also a perfect and quick solution if wearing Invisalign braces.

I'll be honest ... I was a little nervous putting a piece of metal in my mouth near my gums. I have extremely sensitive gums and even though I floss every other day, it doesn't take much to make my gums bleed. But this product was actually not much different that using floss. BUT ... it's reusable for up to 30 days (meaning you save money) AND it doesn't look as silly in public when you get something stuck between your teeth (rather than using a piece of cardstock, fingernail, or even floss). And it comes in a nifty little carrying case too to keep other germs off.
I feel this would be a great stocking stuffer idea for someone.

While money is a little tight in our house ... we will definitely consider buying this product once our stockpile of floss runs out.

**Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.**