Tuesday, February 28, 2012

sick toddlers = no fun

J is sick...again.

He's puked on the carpet, the kitchen floor, both couches and of course my new suit. Everywhere but the bathroom...

We just got over him being sick for 2 weeks - contant fevers, nothing the doctors could do w/o any other symptoms.

He just went back to school, and now I have to keep him out again.

I have used all my towels and had to change the sheets I laid on the couch twice.

So just a few minutes ago, I could tell he was going to get sick again, I brought him into the bathroom.  And now he wants to stay there

Thankfully, due to couponing I have a stash of Lysol (almost out though after the last couple of weeks)

I hate when the kids are sick, especially like this.  Thankfully, I've never had more than 2 people sick at a time in my house.  (knock on wood).

I have to pull an all-nighter tonight anyway, but this is going to make getting my work done even harder.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting in gear!

I hate working out.  I hate the gym.  I don't like lifting weights.  Work out videos are stupid.

Before I had kids...sigh...
Although... I really do enjoy the various aerobics classes.  We are members of the YMCA, and when I was a stay at home mom, I'd take 1, sometimes 2, classes a day.  It gave me time to interact with adults, and my kids got to have some interactions of their own.

Baby Bump
Then I started working, and then I had my son... and getting to the gym was harder.

Thanks to being a nursing mother, I lost ALL my baby weight by the time J came home from the NICU at 10 days old (however, he was 6 weeks early, and I'd only gained 18 lbs...).

But it took several months to lose the inches - which is the hardest part.

I'd always been petite, but for the first time in my life, I had curves!

Now here I am, J is about to turn 4, and I'm feeling very self conscious about my body.

So for Christmas this year, my husband and I got ourselves a joint gift: a NordicTrack e5.7 Elliptical.  We got a great deal on it at Sears, worth the couple of weeks we had to wait on it.

While we waited for it, I started going back to the gym.  I usually would spend my time on the treadmill. But I decided to try it out.  Now, the ones they had at the gym are not like mine, and I couldn't really adjust it to fit my small frame (If it was possible, I didn't know how).  It had me nervous to get ours.

We decided to put it in our bedroom - keep it away from the kids.  I was afraid that it would be loud, because my husband works odd shifts, and sometimes sleeps in the mornings, sometimes in the afternoons.  But honestly, this thing is quiet!

I like that I can plug my iPod or iPad into it, listen to music or watch a movie.

It's also very comfortable and easy to use.  I was afraid of hurting my knees and shoulders with it (softball player of many years).  But it's not bad at all - the treadmill was more uncomfortable, and I didn't even realize it!

I've only had it a few weeks, and it did take a while to find my rhythm.  Once I figured it out, it was no problem.

I've slimmed up a bit in my 'trouble area', and looking forward to slimming up a bit more...

Now all I need is a new playlist!

No School - And the house come tumbling down

My kids are usually very well behaved.  However, I think after the long weekend, they're ready for some time apart...

They are fighting over who sits where on the couch. 
They are fighting when someone takes too long in the bathroom (even if we have 2 others). 
They are fighting over what color to be in the board games.  
They are fighting over what books they can or cannot read.  

I can't even keep them separated into different parts of the house "It's too quiet in the basement", "It's lonely in my room".  Isn't that the point?!?!?!


Sigh... I wish it was warm enough to send them outside, because this 20degree weather is really starting to get to me (and them!)

So what do you do to keep the sanity while dealing with cabin fever?

My crazy kids!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On my mind this Valentine's Day: How Steve Proposed

I've been with my husband for almost 12 years.   On the day when it's culturally required to put our attention on love, I'm thinking back on my relationship with my husband.

I saw a marriage proposal on Mashable today - it was adorable.   It got me thinking of Steve's proposal to me.

To go clarify a few things - Steve and I weren't technically 'together'.  We had dated for 17 months when he decided he needed space.  We didn't see much of each other for 3 months.  Around Thanksgiving, he started stopping by work, and then by my house at random times.

We began spending more time together, but we never really had "the talk".  After several months, it got to me.  He'd try to be bossy, and I'd return w/ "you can boss me around when you give me a velvet box".  That shut him up.

We were together just about every day.  We did everything together.  And yet, I was not his girlfriend.

He went to Colorado to interview for a job, and when he came back, he joined me and my family on an East Coast vacation to DC and Boston.  He'd never been.  He'd surprised me by holding my hand -in public.  He'd met my ENTIRE FAMILY those 2 weeks.  They'd been calling him my boyfriend - and I had apologized to him for it, but he said he didn't mind.

We got home just before my 19th birthday.  He made that an extra special day for me.  He bought a CD car stereo for me, took me to lunch, took me to dinner... it was a great day.

All this time, he wouldn't say "I love you".

After the time we'd spent, I really thought things were going to change.  I actually went to the mall and tried on rings - just for fun.  I asked around to who would be able to create the ring I wanted (a diamond w/ our birthstones on either side).  I mentioned to him I went looking at jewelry that day, and he got upset.

He began becoming distant again.  And I'd put it in my mind that it needed to end.  There were a few guys from church and school who had expressed interest, I'd finally made my mind to become available.

And then that night...  He'd taken me to dinner, we went to the video store and picked out a few movies.  He was pretty quite the whole night.  He asked if I wanted to go for a walk - at 9pm on a Thursday night.  We went to downtown Sylvania, he parked the car, and leaned over and said "You've always wanted a velvet box" I started to cry.  And then he opened it - it was empty.  His class ring box.

I should have asked him to take me home.  I don't know why I didn't.  We walked, we talked, and he apologized for all the frustration he'd been causing me.  I let him have it - I needed to know what I was to him - I needed a title.

He got down on his knee, and said 'How's this for a title?  Will you Marry Me?"

It was my ring - the one with the diamond and our birthstones.

I was shocked, and yet pissed at the same time.  So I punched him in the shoulder.  And then hugged him and said "I love you".  And he asked "is that a yes".


He'd been planning this since he was in Colorado in July.  He'd bought the ring when we got back from Boston.  It had taken a month for it to be made.  He was distant because he was afraid I'd say no.  He wanted to get married right away, in December after I was done with the semester.

We were married July 5, 2003.  We have 3 amazing kids.  We've been through it all - good and bad.  And through it all, he's always been my best friend.

As my daughters grow, and become interested in boys, I'll be teaching them that he has to be your friend first.  He has to appreciate your quirks, your faults, your fears.  Only when he is truly your friend, can he ever become something more

Monday, February 13, 2012

To the people who tormented me in my youth - are you happy now?

I had very nice conversation with a very nice young lady today.  We both frequent New-Trition and have spoken several times before.  But today she shared with me about The Movement, and it brought a lot of memories and feelings that I thought had been washed away...

I was bullied.
A lot.
Starting around 3rd grade.
Lasted through college.

And it still hurts.  I tried really hard to not think about the specific insolents that hurt me when I was preparing for my 10 Year High School reunion.  A few came up, but I'd had such a nice time with my friends that I'd forgotten about the stuff that upset me.

It came flooding back today.

Being made fun of for my New England Accent.
Being made fun of for my last name.
Being made fun of because of the clothes I wore.
Being made fun of because I wasn't pretty.
Being made fun of because of spiritual beliefs
Being made fun of because of the music I liked.
Being made fun of because I was a manager at McDonald's
People calling me a liar about my boyfriend.
People saying I spread lies about my fellow softball players.
Being physically assaulted by my fellow softball players.
People saying I made my engagement up.
People calling me a tramp for getting married at 19.
People paint-balling and t-p'ing my house.

I could go on.  But I won't.  It's just making me angry.

So to everyone who ever bullied me (or anyone else for that matter)


Who/what made you King/Queen Bee?  What was it about me that you hated so much that you had to torment me.

I mean, you threw freaking softballs at my head on the bus coming home from games.  You wrote nasty comments about me in the bathrooms.  You'd call me up on the weekends and pretend to be someone else, just to set me up in you little games.

You claimed that I made up my boyfriend, even though I brought him to all the dances and school events.  Then called me a tramp because I married him at 19 (3 weeks shy of 20)?  Oh yea, and while it may be taboo to you, waiting until you're married is actually a very good thing, thank-you-very-much!

You vandalized my parents house.  You even came and destroyed weeks of hard work as it was tp'd and paint-balled 2 DAYS BEFORE MY WEDDING.


What was it about being a bully that makes you feel so good?  Why did you waste time out of your day to try and ruin mine?

Did you know what your words and actions did to me?  Did you know I was anorexic for most of junior high school?  Did you know that I worked as many hours as I could to convince my parents to let me pay to go to private school?  Did you know I tried to hurt myself, just to make you go away?

Did you know, that because of the way you treated me, I'm afraid of what my kids will go through?  That because of you, I don't want my kids participating in team/group activities.  I don't want them to feel the pain that I did, and clearly still do.

Think back to what you did to me.  And think, how would you feel if someone was doing that to you.  Or better yet, think of how you'll feel if someone is doing that to your child.

As I write this, I'm thinking about the kids today that are dealing with bullies... I didn't have to deal with the internet component 10 years ago.  Kids today do.  It never stops, it comes home with them. Sometimes it can go on for months without the victims even knowing it.  Technology allows kids to photoshop faces onto bodies, put it on a blog and blast it out on twitter.


I don't want to hear of girls taking pictures of their classmates in the locker room and then posting them on the internet. I don't want to hear another news report of a teen committing suicide because of what their classmates wrote about them.

It's making me sick to my stomach.  We need to end this now!

Parents - monitor your kids computers.  Check their phones.  Get involved at school.  Listen to what they say about their classmates.  It's your responsibility too. Raise them up!  Don't let them bully you either.  Stand your ground.  Take away their phones, TV, computers, whatever.  Give them boundaries and stick to your guns!

To those who hurt me, whether you realized it or not (You knew what you were doing, but you didn't know what it really did to me.)   I forgive you, but I'll never forget.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blog and Event Sponsorship Opportunities

I am excited and eager to attend several Blogging Conference and I would love to have your partnership. I’m looking for brands to represent during these conferences. 

Funds from sponsorship will be allocated toward:

{1} Ticket to the Conferences  
{2} Travel to and from the Conferences 
{3} Food and Lodging during Conferences
I have several sponsorship packages available. I am available should you like to speak regarding any other sponsorship ideas you may have in mind.

Platinum Sponsorship {$1,000+}
{1} One year of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). Banner size and placement of your choice.
{2} One blog post per month for 12 months (Sociably Cindy, Sociably Surviving, or combination). Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials. Included in the post will be any links back to your site.
{3} During Conference, I can wear clothing with your logo/brand.
{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook weekly during prime times for one year.

Gold Sponsorship {$500+}
{1} Six months of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). Banner size and placement of your choice.
{2} One blog post per month for six months (Sociably Cindy, Sociably Surviving, or combination). Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials. Included in the post will be any links back to your site.
{3} During Conference, I can wear clothing with your logo/brand.
{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook every other week during prime times for six months.

Silver Sponsorship {$250+}
{1} Three months of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). Banner size and placement of your choice.
{2} One blog post per month for three months (Sociably Cindy, Sociably Surviving, or combination). Post will feature your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials. Included in the post will be any links back to your site.
{3} During Conference, I can wear clothing with your logo/brand.
{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook weekly during prime times for three months.

Sponsoring/providing an iPad
{1} Your logo will be placed on the item and I will be using it during Conference.
{2} Six months of advertising on my blog (Sociably Cindy or Sociably Surviving). Ad size and placement of your choice.
{3} One blog post per month for six months (Sociably Cindy, Sociably Surviving, or combination) featuring your brand/latest products, deals and/or specials. Included in the post will be any links back to your site.
{4} Posts of your choice can be tweeted out and placed on Facebook weekly during prime times for six months.

Upcoming Conferences: (**Conferences Sociably Cindy is planning on attending.  If you are interested in sponsoring a particular conference, here are other opportunities to share your business. Attendance is subject to sponsorships.)

SXSW 2012, Austin Tx March 9-13, 2012
SOBCon Chicago 2012Chicago, IL May 4-6, 2012
**Gleek Retreat 2012  Holland, Michigan, May 19-20, 2012
SheCon 2012 Lake Buena Vista, FL May 25-27, 2012
Reviewers Retreat 2012 Charlotte, NC, June 3-5, 2012
BlogWorld Expo New York 2012 New York, NY June 5-7, 2012
Type-A Parent Conference 2012 Asheville, NC June 22-24, 2012
**Brands & Bloggers Summit 2012 Chicago, IL July 21, 2012
BlogHer 2012 New York, NY August 2-4, 2012
Lavish! 2012 Atlanta, GA August 24-26, 2012
**Bloggy Conference 2012 Cincinnati, OH September 27-29, 2012 

Should you want to sponsor me for one of these Conferences or have questions, please e-mail me at cindy@sociablycindy.com

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Game Night Traditions

I love board games.

Call me a dork if you want, but I love board games.

I'd rather play a game and talk, then just sit and talk. Because if the conversations become dry, they can be revived by the game. 

So why then am I the only one that ever wants to play games?  THEY'RE FUN!!!!

OK so here are a few of my favorite games:

Phase 10 has been a favorite for many years!  It's an easy game to learn, and it's can drive people crazy.    My husband works a crazy schedule, and I don't get to see him as often as I'd like.  So we started playing 1 hand a night.  So far - he's won every hand.  Jerk.  Our goal is to not only complete the game's set 10 phases, but the additional 10 phases that we found online. 

I Love The 80's is a game I bought last year.  I've played it a few times, and it's definitely easier to play with people who lived, even partially, in the 80's.  Playing with someone born in 1991 isn't as much fun....

Apples To Apples can be a lot of fun, with the right people.  I've played it where everyone is taking it WAY TO SERIOUSLY and you want to stop after one round.  But if you are a silly group, the game can get quite interesting...

Smart Ass.  It's a very simple game to play, but boy, the arguments that break out are hilarious!

 Telestrations is a game that we've recently discovered.  Again, it kinda depends on the people you're playing with. But it's a lot of fun, and can you can hear some very interesting explanations and back stories...
I never really got into Pente, when it was just Steve and I.  But when our kids became old enough to play with us, it became fun.  

Ahh Risk...  I have a love/hate relationship with this game.  I've been playing it with Steve for 12 years... and well, apparently I don't play it right.  Yet I always win... 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Growing up in the 80's, and in the New Millennium

I am living in the same neighborhood that I grew up in.  It's looks the same as it did when we moved here from Massachusetts when I was 5.  My kids will go to the same schools that I did. They may even have some of the same teachers (super weird, right).  

Right now, my son is watching The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. on Netflix.  OMG it's funny, yet kinda bad!  But he is loving it.  HeMan and SheRa - wow, those also are not as good as I remember.  I'll sit and watch Transformers (the original, not the new one) Hello Kitty Furry Tail Theatre, Rainbow Brite with my kids.  They've seen the newer cartoons, but for some reason prefer the stuff that Steve and I watched. 

Steve and I have been joking about all the stories our parents would tell us.  "When we were kids, our TV's were black and white, and only had 3 channels"  "We listened to 8 tracks and Vinyl Records."  "We had roller skates" "We didn't have computers".

When I was a kid, we grew up with 2 TV's, with cable.  Today, we have 2 TV's, no cable, but we have Apple TV and Netflix.

We had cassettes and CD's.  Now, we have a few CD's, but mostly we download from Amazon or iTunes.

We had roller blades.   My kids want those stupid wheeley shoes.

We had 1 family computer.  In my house we have 2 desk tops, 3 lap tops and an iPad.  Oh yea, and our phones.

When I played video games, I used a super nintendo and gameboys.  My kids have games downloaded on the iPod Touch and the Wii.  

I'm thankful for the technology that we have.  I'm thankful for the the improvements that have been made.  

But hey, there are just parts of our growing up what we think that they should know: game cartridges, disc-man, cassettes in cars; you know, the important stuff

He will never know what an Arari is...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Trouble with little girls who won't eat

I just don't know what to do any more... it's so frustrating.

My 5 year old daughter Emmalee hasn't been eating much lately.  I've tried it all:

  • Let her pick out what we have for dinner
  • Let her help with the grocery shopping
  • Let her help prepare the meal
  • Let her pack her own lunch for school
Still, 3 out of 5 days at school she brings back her lunch box almost completely full.  At dinner she takes a bite or 2, and we have to practically force her to eat more.  

When she was younger, she would literally stuff her face with food and refuse to swallow so she wouldn't have to take another bite.  

I know she's hungry - she says she wants snacks after school, up until dinner and after dinner.  But even if she picked the meal, she still won't eat it.  It's affecting her behavior and her sleep schedule.  She does eat a lot at breakfast, and I do sneak some extra nutrients in her with strawberry protein shake mix in her milk after she's refused dinner.  

She has favorite foods (spaghetti, tacos, sweet&sour chicken); I try to make them often for her.  She likes vegetables; she'll eat a few when I put them out with dinner.   


So parents - what do you do to get your kids to eat?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's so hard to say goodbye... to my beloved car!

Ok, ok.  I'm such a girl.  I'm getting choked up at the thought of getting rid of my car.

I was not quite 13 when my parents bought my '97 Grand Am.  My parents asked me very specifically what I thought of the car, saying it would be mine one day.  First week of September '99 I got my driver's license.  Spring of 2000, my parents bought a 2000 Grand Am for my mom, and I bought the '97 from them for $3000.

I remember Steve and I buying leopard print seat and steering wheel covers for it.  After a while he hated it, but I loved my little leopard car.  He bought me a disc-man so I could listen to CD's in the car for my 17th birthday.  On my 19th birthday, he bought me a proper CD player and had it installed for me.

I remember the morning I woke up and my car had been broken in to.  I bawled my eyes out.  They smashed a back window, got blood all over the seats and took my CD player. And my 'In The Name Of Love" CD  I was 8 months pregnant, I was an angry mess: had to shampoo the car, replace the window, replace the radio and fix the broken door.

I've always loved my car - because it was mine.

We've put a lot into this car over the last few years.  It was great to not have to worry about a car payment.  But the gas mileage has been getting worse, and we really have put quite a bit into it every year.

I'm hoping it can be fixed, that we can get at least 6 more months out of it.  I know that whatever car we get next will probably driven by our kids.  I don't even want to think  that far in advance...   For now, let's just just hope it can be fixed at a reasonable price, and I'll have to find a reasonably priced car to replace it with when the time comes.