Saturday, October 11, 2014

MommyCon Philly

Back in July I heard MommyCon would be visiting Philadelphia October 4-5 and decided I had to go. I couldn't pass up the chance to hang out with hundreds of like minds and get to meet some amazing people. I talked to Hubby and instead of dipping into our practically non-existent saving I sold some diapers to pay for my VIP ticket, no regrets.

The VIP ticket not only gave me extra goodies in my gift bag but is also included a brand new Beco Soleil (which alone retails for more then the cost of the ticket) and an extra day with Jessica Martin-Weber of The Leaky Boob, Bunmi Laditan of The Honest Toddler and Jamie Grayson of Baby Guy NYC.

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I brought Monster with me on Saturday for VIP day, we both had a blast. While Monster was not into being personally fitted for our new Beco, he did enjoy playing with the other kids and running around the Convention Center. I'll say this, my child is not going to have a problem making friends when he gets older. The seminar room was filled with tunnels and playhouses in the back for Moms like me who brought toddlers along for the day, all of the kids seemed to enjoy it (they did not however like the few kids who played a bit too rough and were jumping on top of the tunnels while others were inside). The play area was nice because it allowed me to half listen to the speakers. We all cried with Jessica, laughed with Bunmi and learned about baby gear that I will never be able to afford with Jamie. As an added bonus, all of the speakers had giveaways.

Our Mommy/Monster day could not have gone any better. Monster had his first Patco train ride and walk through Center City Philadelphia. I of course felt right at home, it felt good but weird to be there for fun and not for work. I watched my son smoothly interact with other kids all in an unfamiliar place, he never fails to amaze me. We had an indoor picnic in the hallway, sharing everything and pointed out colors, shapes and and counted our snacks. He rested his head on my shoulder while Jamie Grayson answered countless questions and gave away more gift bags and baby gear. Monster was asleep in the stroller before we were even walked 2 blocks back to the train station; I'm sure the fact that he missed his nap also had something to do with that. Definitely a day to remember.

On Sunday, general admission day, I went solo. My boys had a Daddy/Monster day watching the Eagles game while this Mama got a day to herself. I was up bright and early to catch the train, I was determined to make the 9:30 AM Cloth Diapers 101 seminar with Jennifer Labit of Cotton Babies. It was interesting to hear how her company started...from nothing. She could not even afford to buy diapers and groceries for her family and used her last $100.00 to start her business; she is an inspiration and gives me hope. I'm sure she did the same for others who were there.

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I was a bit disappointed in the layout and schedule of seminars; I missed some speakers I wanted to see due to lack of organization. Seminars were in at least 3 different areas and there was no "Master List" of where and when seminars were being held; I only made it to the ones in the main room. Something I would have liked to see was someone to talk about raising a baby/toddler on a budget; after all, most people start out being crunchy to save money.
Most vendors had samples to give out and sales on their products. I stopped to learn about every vendor there, big and small. I was very happy to see my local cloth diaper/child consignment store The Nesting House had a booth. There were not as many vendors as I expected but there was certainly a little bit of everything. I'm happy to say I only bought 1 thing, my first AppleCheeks pocket diaper in the limited addition color Trick or Cheeks from FiggyFuzz Baby Boutique. I would have bought Boo also but they were sold out. All attendees also walked away with a free Kiinde Twist Starter set; a breastfeeding collection, storage and feeding kit. No more passing pumped milk from bottle to pouch and back to bottle anymore!

I spoiled myself a bit and went over to Reading Terminal Market for lunch, I had a pulled pork sandwich from DiNiC's... Delicious! Carrying everything around the market and back to the train was not easy, thank goodness I brought reusable bags with me to carry everything. My only regret from the weekend was that I did not take enough pictures, huge blogger fail. I was just so overwhelmed with everything else that I forgot, I did get some but most of them were of Monster playing. MommyCon posted photos of there own, Monster and I were in quite a few of them, mostly of us attempting to be fitted for our Beco. It was a wonderful weekend, I met some amazing women and I am looking forward to attending next year.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

It's been a while

It's been a long time since I last posted, actually I have not posted since I started my new job in November 2013. Things haven't been wonderful but they could always be worse. I thought if I got back into to writing that it might be more therapeutic then sulking.

I miss working for the animal shelter and I wish I could go back to dispatching, the shelter is actually looking for a part time dispatcher but I need full time work. They are hiring for a full time ACO too, but after the way I was treated when I was an officer I wouldn't go back to that position at that animal shelter unless they were under new management. I was born to work in the shelter industry and I'm determined to go back, even if it's to a different shelter.

We were on vacation 2 weeks ago, a "stay-cation". We took several day trips including Storybook Land and the Philadelphia Zoo. I had a total of 9 days off including weekends and it was amazing. Hubby and I got to spend all week with Monster Boy (formally known as Minion); it was my first vacation since he was born in 2012. While I enjoyed it, it made going back to work so much harder. I've been struggling a lot lately with being a full time working mom, I feel like I don't get to spend enough time with Monster Boy. He is so smart and learns new things everyday, I love that, but I'm not always the one teaching him these things and it makes me a little sad. I've been searching for legitimate ways to make money from home but so far I've come up dry. Avon and "pyramid" type jobs didn't work out at all.

I've also been having trouble with our living arrangement. We just re-signed the lease in the complex we moved into last summer, today marks exactly one year since we moved from our 3 bedroom rancher with a huge yard to 2 bedroom apartment on the 10th floor. It's too small for us, we are hoping to save enough money by next summer to buy a house or at least rent one. There is no way we could have another baby here. I'd love to live in a small town where everyone knows each other, neighbors are able to make good on threats to "tell your parents" and you don't have to be afraid to be outside after dark. A farm town would be nice. Honestly, I think as long as I can't hear my neighbors TV work for word I'd be happy. So much for the soundproof walls we were told all units have.


Well enough depressing, how about a Monster Boy update. He turned 2 years old in June and is doing great, getting bigger every day. He can count to 11, forms full sentences and even spelled his own name the other day. He's also started calling me "Mommy" instead of "Mama" occasionally. He seemed very interested in potty training in June but it didn't last long, he likes his diapers. He does tell us when he needs to be changed though, most of the time. For now, his potty chair sits in the living room until he is ready to try again. Oh, and he's been binky free for almost 3 months. Even during Terrible Twos, that kid makes me happier then anything else in the world.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Job

That's right, I finally got the job I've been after for over 10 years and now just 7 months later, I quit. I think I've lost my mind. I was venting to a friend one day about needing a new job closer to home (half joking and not seriously looking) and she told me her employer is always hiring; I figured what the heck, lets give it a shot. I had to take a pre-employment test which included a section on Excel, a program I've never so much as opened before let alone used. I failed it but must have rocked my interview because they hired me anyway! They offered me less money then what I make at the shelter so before I accepted Hubby and I sat down and figured out all of our expenses taking into account gas, tolls, food, sitter (who will have Minion 2 extra days now) and of course bills. Turns out, we are still saving more money if I take the new job. It also offers room for advancement and they have quarterly bonuses, something I'll likely never see at the shelter. I decided to take it. Hubby of course is thrilled because I will no longer be working night shift or over-nights anymore, or weekends for that matter. I've never had a job where not only so I have a set schedule but I have EVERY weekend off! Maybe I can be a functional member of my family for once.

I'm going to miss the shelter a lot though, for a lot of reasons. Saving animals lives, seeing something different everyday, police drug busts...I live for this stuff; I need to find myself a new adrenaline rush before I go stir crazy. Most of all I'm going to miss my co-workers. Scratch that, I'm going to miss my friends. I have met some amazing people working at the shelter and some life long friends, it's killing me that I won't get to see them everyday anymore. I'm not even going to be in the same state. I'm not going to get to see all the babies grow up (I started quite a baby boom when I got pregnant with Minion). Sure the place is like high school sometimes but what place isn't? So many people have had my back since I started there and genuinely supported me. Some are a bit over-protective but it's sweet and I think I'll even miss that. I'm always going to worry about my drivers even though I won't be working there anymore. They bust their butts doing what they love and it's usually a thankless job (except of course all the puppy kisses). Lives have been in danger more then once but it never stops anyone. I wish the rest of the world could see a shelter workers life through their eyes, it's hard. What am I going to do without this place?

I keep feeling like a made a mistake but I know this new job will be better for our future. We want to save to buy a house in a few years, I need a new car... These are all things that just won't be possible if I stay at the shelter. On a positive note, I get to go clothes/shoe shopping! This new place is business casual and there is not a lot in my current wardrobe that fits that category. Hubby is working on Sunday(his 1 a month) so Minion and I are going to spend the day upgrading our closets, I know he won't really enjoy it but at least we get to hang out together all day. Maybe I'll find somewhere with a play place for lunch since it's getting to cold for the playground... I know Chick-fil-A will be closed, I hope that doesn't leave only McDonald's. I can't eat there, it hurts my stomach and I'd rather Minion not eat there either.

This should definitely be interesting, I start this coming Monday so wish me luck.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

VTECH InnoTab 3S Giveaway

Welcome to the Vtech's InnoTab Giveaway

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This giveaway is brought to you by Empowered Mommy and friends!

Co-hosted by Black Coffe Brown Cow,  Nest Full Of New,  Powered By Dad,  Joys Of Life  &  Craft Cravings

Vtech's Innotab is a perfect technology gift for own child, niece/nephew or grandchildren! I was in love with this electronic toy ever since I laid eyes on it! Empowered Mommy and friends teamed together to giveaway one of these tabs to one of their reader!

What is Vtech's Innotab? 

It is tablet that offers a wealth of fun, age-appropriate learning games for kids, plus new ways to play and learn. Kids and parents can exchange and share their text messages, photos and more over a kid-safe Wi-Fi connection using VTech Kid Connect. Children can browse kid-safe and parent approved websites to find even more learning fun right from the InnoTab 3S.

What does this tablet include?

Exchange and Share with Smart phones
InnoTab 3S connects kids to their parents and friends anywhere (available with Wi-Fi connection). With VTech Kid Connect Basic (included) you can wirelessly exchange text and fun stickers between the InnoTab 3S and smart phones. Kids can also connect with friends and siblings safely with tablet-to-tablet communication between two InnoTab 3S tablets no matter where they are- anytime, anywhere.
Browse the web
Make A Wish
Deluxe Apps Package
Movie Maker
Rotating Camera and Video Recorder
Wonder Cam
Magic Beanstalk Game
& MUCH MORE!!!

Learning is even more fun with InnoTab 3S, fun that never stops!

This giveaway is open to US/CAN. Entrants must be 18+ to enter the giveaway.

Giveaway dates: October 17, 2013 to November 17, 2013

Enter via rafflecopter widget below. Allow the widget to fully load and claim as many entries as you can to maximize your chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Epic Tales of a First Time Mom is not responsible for the shipment of the prize. This giveaway is not at all endorsed or sponsored by Facebook, Twitter and/or Vtech. This is a self sponsored giveaway brought to you by Empowered Mommy and friends. Once the giveaway is over, the winner will be announced via random.org and will be contacted by Empowered Mommy via. For questions, please email Empowered Mommy. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Mind 4U "I Love You to the Moon & Back" sign Giveaway

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Hosted By: Simply Southern Couponers

Sponsored By: In Mind 4U

In Mind 4 U is a hand painted wood sign shop on etsy founded by Stacy Murphy out of Ohio. She opened her shop on etsy in late 2010. While experimenting and seeing what she was going to sell, she saw her true calling, hand painted vintage style signs. She loves to paint or do anything that allows her to show her creative sign so she loves painting new signs for her shop. She has an amazing support system from her husband and their son. Read Simply Southern Couponers full review here.

Simply Southern Couponers is happy to have been able to partner up with In Mind 4U to give our readers this awesome giveaway! We will be giving away a wooden sign just like this one pictured above to one of our viewers (RV$30). See details below on how to enter!

Event Details:

October 16th - October 30th

Open to US residents who are 18 years of age or older.

To enter complete the entries on the Entry Form below. All winning entries will be verified.

Prize: One lucky viewer will have a chance to win their own "I love you to the moon & back" hand painted wood sign from In Mind 4U.


This would be a beautiful addition to any nursery or home decor.

Disclosure: Epic Tales of a First Time Mom did not receive compensation for promoting this event and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google or any other social network. Nomad Footwear is responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact Jennifer atsimplysoutherncouponers@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

BabyBjorn ONE carrier Giveaway

Welcome to the BabyBjörn
ONE Carrier
Giveaway

Hosted by: So Sew Mama
Sponsored by: BabyBjörn

Epic Tales of a First Time Mom proudly supports baby wearing!

The Features:

  • The Baby Carrier One is for use with newborns (minimum 8 pounds) to age approximately age three (maximum 33 pounds)
  • Four position options. Front carrying in or outward facing. Back carrying in or outward facing.
  • Ergonomic design with back distribution and a waist belt for added parental and babe comfort.
  • All fabrics safety tested and free from hazardous chemicals.
  • Machine washable
  • Extra secure

Giveaway
10/8 - 10/22
One reader will receive the BabyBjörn ONE carrier. The winner must be 18+ years of age and have a US address. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Winner must reply to email to confirm address with 48 hours or a new winner is chosen. The more entries you complete the greater of a chance you have at winning.

Good luck!

SHARE LINK http://giveawaytools.com/share.php?giveaway=320438309

So Sew Mama and the bloggers involved are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment and fulfillment. Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway. I was not compensated for this post.

Pit Bull Calendar Giveaway

FREE Blogger Opp - Dog Park Publishing Pit Bull Calendars 6 Winners

Hosted by: Queen of Savings

Dog Park Publishing, based out of northern New Jersey, was created for the purpose of showcasing and celebrating the Pit Bull, in particular, as a majestic, affectionate, and intelligent breed that is sorely misunderstood.

They have developed calendars and other products -- with a portion of the proceeds going to Pit Bull rescue groups -- to increase the public's awareness of the good qualities of these wonderful dogs.

3 Winners will receive a Painted Pit Bulls 2014 Calendar that is a full-color 12"x12" wall calendar, perfect for any Pit Bull or dog lover! Enjoy twelve months of beautiful artwork by artist Dean Russo -- each month features a new and exciting print.

3 Winners will receive a For The Love of Pit Bulls 2014 Calendar that is a full-color 12"x12" wall calendar, perfect for any Pit Bull or dog lover! Enjoy twelve months of beautiful Pit Bulls -- each one rescued from difficult circumstances by a reputable rescue group.

Winners and prizes will be chosen at random.

Prize: 3 Painted Pit Bulls 2014 Calendars and 3 For The Love of Pit Bulls 2014 Calendars

Dates: 10/12-10/26

Open to: US Residents18+

Enter to win using the Giveaway Tools Widget below. Good luck!



Disclosure: Epic Tales of a First Time Mom did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Just sharing the Pit Bull love.