Thursday, July 29, 2010

Welcome to Living in South Texas

Just in case I forgot where I was temporarily, this little guy (to my husband he was little, to myself he was a monster of epic proportions) decided to pop by and remind me that I am now living in south Texas. Thanks, bud! I was having a moment of peace and sitting on the couch watching some television. Bro Bro monkey was in his pack and play while his sister was napping. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a large brown spot across the room. I couldn't make it out at first and thought it's awfully large to be a bug. We've been having a problem with flies in our neighborhood so I've become accustomed to spotting them around. I watched it for a moment and started to make out it's shape. It looked kind of like a scorpion, but surely there wasn't really a large scorpion hanging out on my wall near where it meets the ceiling. I got up and inched closer and saw it's tail curl and finally confirmed that, yes indeed, there was a LARGE SCORPION in my house!

I moved Bro Bro's pack and play further away from it and closer to me on the couch. I sat back down and tried to call my husband. Why is it that whenever I want to talk to him during the day, he's conveniently 'stepped away from his desk'?! I did move as close as I dared to it in order to take a picture for posterity. No one told me scorpions climb walls. I remembered that our pest company had been out earlier that morning so I thought I'd call them. I don't know why, it's not like I expected them to say 'oh, sorry ma'am, we'll be right there to help you remove this little guy so you're not so freaked out'. I confirmed that they do spray for scorpions and the woman was very polite and understanding. She said that if it was out during the day, then it was probably having a reaction to the pesticide and might be in distress. Honestly, I couldn't care less about the scorpion's distress when I was in my own distress due to him. I told her I wasn't going anywhere near it and she said she understood. I thanked her for the information and that was pretty much the end of that call.

There was no way I was dealing with this on my own and I didn't want to leave the room and let it out of my sight. I sat on the couch for 2 hours until Dadda monkey came home, laughing at me on his way in. He decided it was a 'normal' size for a scorpion and he was going to trap it and take it out to the trash. First off, I have seen 2 other scorpions since I've lived here and I know this one was at least twice as big as those others had been. Secondly, I forbade him to use my Glad containers unless he was willing to throw it out as well. Am I really that unreasonable in not wanting to keep a food container around that used to house a scorpion?

I asked Dadda monkey to take a closer picture since mine weren't very clear (it's kind of obvious who took which pictures) and then he set to work. He took an old soup carryout container and put it over the scorpion. I saw part of it flick out of the top and warned Dadda monkey. I'm not sure if it was intelligible because, to be honest, I was shrieking a bit. He slid the container down the wall and the scorpion fell out and landed on a picture that was hanging below it. That put me over the edge and I was completely standing up on the corner of the sofa, still shrieking. I honestly don't remember much that follows, except that Dadda monkey finally got him back in the bowl and took him out to the trash. Good-bye Mr. Scorpion and thanks for the reminder that I'm not in Maryland anymore, though I could have done without it. By the way, your friends are not welcome here!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Introducing The Rattles...and a giveaway!

There's a new music group, straight from the wild, called The Rattles. They're a lively band of furry, family-friendly critters and their debut album, Rattle On, will be released on August 17. They call their music a fusion of classic rock and power pop. The unique animal collective consists of four stellar musicians and life-long friends – Gus, Kitty, Sal, and Hal – who describe their upcoming release as “the album we were born to make”. I was told their influences are The Beatles, The Monkees, and They Might Be Giants. I'm a big fan of They Might Be Giants and I can really hear semblances of all 3 bands in their song Wavy Lane. You can listen to the lead single, Wavy Lane, at

We're getting to the stage with Monkey Girl where we need kids music in the car for our trips and this is a great choice. I wouldn't mind listening to The Rattles for any length of time on a road trip. The music is enjoyable for the whole family. I think she'll enjoy it more as she gets older, but you can have a lot of fun with the songs. For example, I envision waving our hands in the air when we're listening to Wavy Lane. You know how you need to come up with fun activities to get their mind off the fact that they're in the car for hours. You can read more about The Rattles here and get a copy of their album starting August 17th.

Each character has a distinct personality and Gus is the most vivacious of the group. Check out their website, for more about them. You can also follow them on twitter. I think Gus would be excited to hear that I have THREE copies of their new album to giveaway to my readers.

How To Enter:
(The first step is required for your first entry. Any steps after that reward you with an extra entry.) Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
This giveaway, and subsequent shipping, is only offered within the United States (including AK and HI) and Canada.

1. Let me know what you think of Wavy Lane or why you think you'd enjoy The Rattles new album.

2. Become a follower of my blog, Mommy 2 Monkeys, and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
3. 'Like' the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
4. Follow me on Twitter and leave  a comment on this post that you've done so.
5. Place my button on your blog/website and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.

This giveaway will remain open until August 18, 2010 at midnight central time. The winner will be chosen using I will post the winner on my blog and also email the winner (please make sure your email is visible on your profile or post it in your comment). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email or I will choose another winner via Good luck!


Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with the opportunity to hold a giveaway for my readers. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own. Press release information came from The Musebox.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Camelbak Is Good For Me

I don't remember how I found out about them, but I do remember that I really wanted one for myself when I first saw them. The color choices were fantastic with vibrant jewel tones. I ordered my first Camelbak in a pretty pink shade. Later I decided I wanted a bright blue. At the time that I bought my Camelbak water bottle, I bought one for Dadda monkey too. I was hoping that they'd encourage us to drink more water. It's really convenient to fill it with ice and water and keep it with me all day, refilling both the ice and water as needed. The bite valve took about 2 minutes to get used to and I love it. I have to question though why my pink bottle came with a blue valve and my blue bottle has a clear one.

Normally I hate drinking water, which is why I needed something to make it  a little easier on me.  I made the mistake of trying lemonade in my bottle, which probably isn't normally a problem if you thoroughly wash it each day, but I confess that it took me about 2 weeks before I figured out that you could take the bite valve off for cleaning. It was starting to get pretty gross in there, but Camelbak also sells replacement bite valves separately. I haven't needed to buy one for my new bottle since I know how to clean it now and that scenario taught me that I should use my bottle for water only. That makes it easier for me mentally to think that I can only drink water out of it, but you can really put any beverage you like in your bottles, just be sure to disassemble for cleaning regularly. As long as I have fresh ice in there, I'm okay with drinking water. I think I've made a pretty good adjustment to drinking mostly water every day.

One day we were shopping at a sporting goods store and I saw the cutest little Camelbak bottles with neat graphics. My daughter has been fine with all the different sippy cups we've tried and I thought this would be a great idea for her too. Her dentist told us that she should be drinking only water except for with her 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. It was something about not being able to handle the extra acid in her mouth. She had used my Camelbak a few times and thought it was neat when she was able to drink from 'Momma's water'. So I ordered her a pink zinnia Camelbak when we got home. The kids Camelbaks are adorable and my daughter loves hers.

Camelbak also has a stainless steel kids water bottle that really keeps her water cold. It has butterflies, which is her new fascination so she is also getting the side benefit of drinking more water without realizing it. The stainless steel bottle also comes in multiple cool graphics. Bro Bro monkey even has a blue boy's Camelbak bottle waiting for him as soon as he's old enough to use it. Monkey girl loves her bottle and the fact that it's like Momma's.

The kids bottles and the stainless steel bottles (for adults and kids) came out in early 2009.  The stainless steel bottles are insulted to keep beverages cold for hours and has a dual-wall design to eliminate condensation on the outside. Both bottles are BPA free and offer quick flip and sip hydration. The looped handle is also handy for attaching to backpacks or diaper bags when you're on the go. The kids bottles are 12 ounces and retail for $14-$20 (for stainless steel).

I fully encourage everyone with a child in their life to try the kids Camelbak bottles (get one for yourself too). They're as easy as any sippy cup to drink from (it's just a straw) and spill proof too. I feel so much better with Monkey girl drinking water throughout the day when she's thirsty. It's been kind of life changing. Discovering Camelbak has been good for my whole family and I'm thankful to have found them.

Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with a sample for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received (in fact I bought all my other Camelbaks myself) and the views expressed here are my own.

CSN Stores Giveaway Winner

The winner has been selected for the CSN Stores Gift Certificate. The winner, as picked by, is comment #123.  Congratulations to Lona.

I've sent the winner an email. If I don't hear a response within 72 hours, I will select a new winner with Thank you to everyone who participated and a special thanks to CSN Stores for sponsoring the giveaway!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Not Much Going On

The title says it all. There's not much going on in the monkey household these days. It's been tremendously hot out. We made it to the pool the other day and there were very few people there. I made the mistake of only bringing the single stroller and hoping Monkey girl would walk both ways. When we got home I was exhausted from carrying her and pushing the stroller all while making sure the diaper bag was also secure. On the bright side, the cloth swim diaper I bought Monkey girl was great. We didn't have a poo experience, but it fit well and performed well in the pool. I'll try Bro Bro's next time we go. He was content with sitting with me and playing with the fountain in the pool. It took a few minutes, but he was running his hands through the fountain and by the end he was kicking his little baby feet. Taking both of them by myself wasn't as hard as I expected, but next time I'll remember to bring the double stroller!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!

As I mentioned before I have very little artistic imagination. I love to watch decorating shows and wish I could do what I see on TV and in magazines. I strive to achieve that kind of professional look in my home, which is a never ending project. My husband's differing taste lends to the struggle. He loves dark colors and keeping the windows covered. I love light colors and having all the sunlight/open windows I can get.

The one room I think I've mastered is our bedroom. We got black furniture (to please him) in a matching oversized set (to please me). We bought a beautiful subtle teal colored bedding set and a puffy down comforter with a matching duvet cover. I have two clear stacked globe lamps with black lampshades and an armoire for my necessary television. There are a couple of green plants in the room to bring some life to the room. We painted the walls a muted blue-green color to blend with the bedding. I'm quite happy with how it's turned out. I have to say, appropriately enough, I think it's the most relaxing space in our home. Now if only I could get the rest of the house figured out.

 One thing I've always thought would be great though is to have a vanity in my bedroom. You know the kind you see on TV and in movies where every evening beautiful women diligently brush their hair. Before parties, they put on their jewelry and makeup there. I can see my daughter looking on as I'm grooming myself for my glamorous life. All kidding aside, I found one that would go great with my bedroom furniture though I'd have to figure out where to put it.

That great little vanity is currently available for just $437 at, one of CSN's 200+ Stores. There's also some really cute kids vanities that I could see Monkey girl enjoying as she got older.

I did order this fantastic dog crate end table from CSN Stores which I think will work perfectly in my living room as it'll save space and it looks great. Then maybe we'll have more room in our living area without the eyesore of a large wire dog crate taking up room. I had hoped it'd get here before I did this post, but it should be here soon and I'll update as soon as I get it. One of the great things about CSN Stores is that nearly all their items have free shipping including my oversized purchase.

Onto some more exciting news, CSN Stores has been gracious enough to let me offer another giveaway. This time it's for a $40 gift certificate for you to use as you please at any of their numerous stores. There are so many great things to be found at their sites. I found some All Clad cookware, children's water tables, fire pits, and more that I've bookmarked for possible future purchases.

How To Enter:
(The first step is required for your first entry. Any steps after that reward you with an extra entry.) This one's a little different in that I'll ask that you follow my blog to enter as I'd really like to reward my readers with this giveaway.
This giveaway, and subsequent shipping, is only offered within the continental United States.

1. Let me know something that peaks your interest at CSN Stores by commenting about it here AND follow my blog, Mommy 2 Monkeys.

2. 'Like' the Mommy 2 Monkeys Facebook page and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.
3. Follow me on Twitter and leave  a comment on this post that you've done so.
4. Place my button on your blog/website and leave a comment on this post that you've done so.

This giveaway will remain open until July 19, 2010 at midnight central time. The winner will be chosen using I will post the winner on my blog and also email the winner (please make sure your email is visible on your profile or post it in your comment). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email or I will choose another winner via Good luck!


Mommy 2 Monkeys was given the opportunity to hold a giveaway for my readers. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dogs at Play

We have a couple of golden retrievers who mean a lot to our monkey family. However, given the chance, they'd probably head off with any friendly face so we're careful to keep them in the yard (when not in the house). It's also important to me to let our service people know about the dogs just in case I don't have them inside when they come around. You can never anticipate everything that might happen. Also, some people just aren't dog people and my gentle goldens may as well be fighting dogs to them. I had visions of someone opening the gate, the dogs in all their glory go bounding for the gate looking for some head pats and kisses, and scaring the person away, leaving the gate wide open to let my precious pups roam the neighborhood.

I didn't want one of those hardware store 'Beware of Dog' signs because they're not very attractive and, despite their best efforts, my goldens really aren't menacing. I also found out that if you have a 'Beware of Dog' notification posted and something happens, there may be more legal repercussions for your 'admission' to having an aggressive dog. Living in Texas where they're quite liberal when it comes to protecting your self, I feel that it's necessary to make people aware of my dogs, but without scaring them. A simple notification of the dogs presence is enough so people aren't surprised or they have the option of coming to my front door and asking me to bring the dogs inside so they can enter the yard without worry.

I came across The Original Property Postings and loved them. There are several options including Dog In Yard, Dogs in Yard, and Dog at Play. Dogs at Play seemed completely appropriate for my house. I initially wanted it in black with brass writing, but it wasn't available for Dogs at Play so I chose brown. The signs also come in blue and green. As it turns out the brown works really well with the tan coloring of my house. We'll eventually get the fence stained so it will look even better, but I really love the way the sign looks. It's a little classier with a friendly tone.

Installation was easy and took about 5 minutes. The powder coated steel signs are 3.25 x 12 inches and come with the mounting hardware (4 very shiny brass screws). There are 4 holes in the corner of the sign for installation. It might be easier to drill pilot holes in the fence first, but Dadda monkey did just fine screwing it directly onto the fence. If you have a chain link or wrought iron fence they also provide cable ties for those mounting options. We have a black wrought iron fence along the back of our property and if we get a gate installed back there later I'll probably order another sign. They have black cable ties as well, which would look great.

I couldn't resist posting this photo of Monkey girl helping with the installation.
Here's a couple of interesting points taken from
  • Most dogs are friendly but even normally docile dogs may bite when they are frightened or surprised.
  • Dog bites account for 33% of all homeowners insurance liability claims.
  • Over the last several years, many insurers have implemented rules aimed at limiting their exposure to dog bite claims. 
You're better off safe than sorry and with these elegant signs there's no excuse not to take the precaution. The story as to how these signs came about is really interesting too. You can read the meter reader story here. The Original Property Posting started in August 2002 and they have shipped to all 50 states. The signs are a nominal $16.95 which includes shipping (they also take care of the tax for their Illinois customers). They're clearly dedicated to making our pet environments safe for everyone. They don't take credit cards, but their order form is very simple and then you just mail a check to them.

If you own a dog, there's really no reason not to post one of these signs, just go to, they can blend in any decor and are very informal. Clearly my favorite is Dogs at Play, it's just so whimsical, but Dog in Yard still gets the informational point across which protects everybody.

Introducing Doyle Dog (Bailey puppy wasn't as cooperative for the photos). See, he loves his new sign too!

As a side note, we live in a fairly new neighborhood and as a result we get a lot of solicitors. Everything from people selling steak to vacuums to yard services and security companies. I've been contemplating getting a no soliciting sign. On days when I'm really annoyed you'd get a kick out of my hand written (in crayon) No Solicitors sign on the back of a blank envelope. The Original Property Posting carries the No Solicitors signs as well as signs for Private Property, No Trespasing, and No Parking among others.

Mommy 2 Monkeys was provided with a sample for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th Activities (or lack of)

We decided to treat the holiday very casually. We bought a bunch of chicken and steak and Dadda monkey grilled them outside. Monkey girl got to play on her playset for a while and Bro Bro's been working on pulling himself up. Bro Bro monkey was uncharacteristically fussy for a little while because he has his two top teeth working on coming in. He wanted to be held most of the time which made for difficult cooking, but he eventually passed out for a nap in the play yard we set up in the living room. I thought it would be nice to make crepes (I know, not very American) with the leftover strawberries for everyone for breakfast, but it turned out no one was interested in my breakfast for some reason, hmph. I promise they weren't that bad;  I can attest to that since I got extras.

The evening was enjoyable as well. We heard fireworks going off during dinner and decided to take a walk around the block to see more. We got a little mini fireworks show from our neighbors. Bro Bro was in the stroller and just enjoyed being pushed around. Monkey girl liked the 'sparkles' that were a couple streets over, but the ones nearby were a little much for her. At one point, she told me various Ni Hao Kai Lan characters were scared so we decided that was our cue to go back inside. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and Happy belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fantastic Friendly Friday

Another Friday has arrived and I am thrilled to have been awarded a top spot from our 3 gracious hostesses, Charla (Healthy Home Blog), Christi (The Frugal Novice), and Xenia (Thanks, Mail Carrier). I look forward to discovering some more fantastic blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

Unfortunately, Hurricane Alex, is barreling toward land nearby and we're already starting to see consistent rain. I had wanted to take the kids to Sea World tomorrow (for the first time by myself), but I think those plans will be put on hold. I'm not sure what my backup plan is, but we'll come up with something, maybe just making a black bean salad since I think the bell peppers have been sitting in the fridge long enough. This all probably means going to watch fireworks and have a picnic on the 4th of July isn't going to happen either. Monkey girl had been asking to put up a small tent inside and have a camp out, so that sounds like a good idea for this weekend. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and an enjoyable holiday weekend.