Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Looking back over this year, I would have to say that my proudest moment was crossing the finish line at the San Jose Half-Marathon. Not because I had run the thirteen miles in any spectacular fashion, but because I was officially part of Team Cure CMD's successful efforts to raise funds for research, final total $175,000+. If you've read my past blog posts about the race (here and here), you know that my friend's daughter Sophie is suffering from Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, a diagnosis that only 500-1000 people have in North America. That means not enough people are suffering from the disease to attract the attention or research dollars of the big drug companies or big government, so parents and doctors have to do a lot on their own to raise awareness and funds. If there is one thing that my little blog has done this year, I hope that it has spread awareness about this rare condition. If you know someone who knows someone that might be able to help either through research grants or ability, I hope you will share this information with them. Also, if you know someone whose child has the same symptoms that Sophie had and doctors can't figure out what is wrong with the child, then you might want to share this with them as well. Sophie went over two years going from doctor to doctor without a diagnosis before her mom finally figured out she might have Ullrich CMD. While the diagnosis was devastating, at least they knew what they were fighting and what they needed to do to prolong her life. Recently NBC Bay Area did a feature on Sophie. Please check it out so the news station will continue to do pieces like this that focus on what people are doing as a community to come together and help one of their own. 

I am so thankful to God that he has blessed me with two healthy boys, a supportive husband, a roof over my head and all other necessities of life. I am also thankful that he gave me the opportunity this year to look beyond myself and my family and be a part of something that could profoundly impact another person's life. I pray that there will be a cure found for Sophie and all the other children soon. Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve and a wonderful and prosperous New Year! Thanks for being part of my Random Mommy family. Peace.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This is the first year that H&R are aware of Santa. It was great, I loved using the phrases, "Santa sees you," "Be good or you won't get anything from Santa," and "Don't you want Santa to bring you Mario Cart Wii?" I don't know why any parent would not use these motivators for good behavior. I am definitely going to keep it up as long as I can! H's big "gift" was Santa stopping by our old house in SoCal to pick up the Wii game system and the games that I had *forgotten* to pack when we moved. Maybe this can become an annual tradition, where the Wii mysterious disappears in September and Santa has to bring it back for Christmas. R was most happy with his Thomas cards, the pack of Uno cards Stewart picked up at the Mattel store when he still had his 50% discount. Nice. They also enjoyed their new Hexbug battle set that they got from Lily gomo. All in all a very happy Christmas morning. Thank you Aunt Sarah and Auntie Ann for sending presents from afar. Of course, they've completely forgotten about the reason for the day, that it's Jesus' birthday and the Savior of the World came to us today. Hopefully they can remember that as they get older. Merry Christmas everyone and very Happy New Year!

And for all my lawyer friends out there, check out this version of the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Professor Caron's blog. Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

GIVEAWAY & Review: Baby Einstein Wild Animal Safari Discovery Kit

My boys watch TV. When I was a first-time mom, I was really idealistic and decided that H would not watch much TV before he turned two, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This was easy for me since I went back to work and the job of occupying baby went to H's very capable Columbian manny. I think every working mom of a boy who can find a male nanny should definitely do it because males are just programmed differently. My husband can play cars and trains with the boys for longer than five minutes at a time. I just have zero interest. I mean, how many times can Thomas, James and Percy go around the same track and still be fun? So when I became a stay-at-home mom after the birth of my second son R, I quickly realized that TV was my friend. After playdates, the park, racing cars, and reading books, Mama needs a break!!!!!

Of course, the TV guilt can be greatly relieved if you find educational programs like Disney's Baby Einstein series. A few weeks ago Baby Einstein launched its Baby Einstein Discovery Kits, an innovative new interactive experience to help parents introduce babies to the beautiful music, nature and animals for which the company’s products are known. Each of the first six Discovery Kits features a DVD, a music CD and a picture book or Discovery Cards, each element complementing the others. The new kits give parents another way to interact with their babies by extending the moving picture and music experience of the DVDs to other areas of a baby’s day through the CDs and book or cards which feature the same music and images experienced in the DVD. They were created to grow with babies and are organized in a way that offers three distinct levels of discovery: Experience (Level 1), Explore (Level 2) and Expression (Level 3).

Baby Einstein: Wild Animal Safari Discovery Kit (DVD + CD and Discovery Cards)The boys, Stewart and I had the opportunity to review one of the Discovery Kits of Level 2: Explore. The Wild Animal Safari Discovery Kit includes a DVD, Discovery Cards, Music CD and Parents’ Guide. Parents can take their little explorer on an exotic musical expedition to meet wild animals from across the globe. Together, they’ll journey to the jungle, savanna, desert and forest on a wild, wonderful voyage of discovery with Wild Animal Safari. The boys had a great time identifying the scenes on the TV with the cards. R especially loved matching the card to what he saw on the screen. H has been learning about different habitats in school and he was very pleased with himself when he matched each animal with its habitat. I can definitely see myself using this Kit with any other baby that may join our family. When TV is interactive, fun and educational, it can enhance both the life of the baby and the caregiver.

Three additional Discovery Kits will be available in early 2011. The Baby Einstein Discovery Kits have a U.S. suggested retail price of $19.99 and a suggested retail price in Canada of $24.99 CAD. One Random Mommy reader will have the chance to share the Level 2 Wild Animal Safari Discovery Kit with his/her child through the generosity of my friends at Baby Einstein.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:  Contest period runs from Monday, December 6, 2010 at 12:01 AM (Pacific) until Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 11:59 PM (Pacific). Enter by leaving the name of your favorite children's character (from TV or otherwise), and leave your e-mail address OR sign in to comments using your Blogger ID, making sure your Blogger profile is public and includes your e-mail address.

Bonus Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry, it counts if you've done any of these so leave a comment for each one)
1) Follow me on Twitter
2) Tweet this contest and leave the tweet url
3) Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect by clicking on the sidebar
4) Like Baby Einstein on Facebook

If you don't leave a qualifying comment and your e-mail address or public Blogger profile, your entry will be disqualified. I reserve the right to extend the contest period. At the end of the contest period, I will utilize to randomly choose the winner. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 72 hours to respond to my e-mail. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will go to the next place winner as decided by This contest is open for US Residents only. A huge thank you and much appreciation to my friends at Baby Einstein for their generosity! Good luck!

I did not receive compensation for this post. I received product samples to facilitate my review.