Friday, December 31, 2010

Time Flies

Wow, time really flies during the holidays. I can't believe I haven't posted in 2 weeks. My apologies, but I do have something great to share with you today. My last post provided a hint as to my favorite organizational tool (another clue, it's an app) and I'll get to that in a moment. First I'd love to hear some of your New Year's Eve traditions. My family, even as a kid, just stays home and watches the ball drop on television. We'll have a light dinner and then munch on hors d'oeuvres like shrimp cocktail the rest of the evening. Closer to midnight I'll have a glass of champagne, Dadda monkey will have a sip of mine (he's not much of a drinker) and then have a glass of Martinelli's sparkling apple cider. That's what I always had as a kid and since I introduced it to Dadda, he can't get enough. If Monkey girl makes it up that late, she can have a small cup as well. Sounds pretty boring and perhaps it is, but every year now when I see the crowd in New York City, I'm grateful that I'm sitting in the comfort of my own home. It's a little strange now that I live in the central time zone. I've always been on the east coast and now we kind of celebrate the New Year at 2 different times.

On to my favorite app...My favorite little tool will allow me to schedule my New Year's festivities and write out my shopping list in the same place. I don't remember how I came across it, but I stumbled upon an app for my iPod Touch called Intuition. This little program is quite a gem. I don't have an iPhone yet (come on, Verizon) so I can't attest to it's full capabilities, but I'd originally been looking for a good app to do my grocery lists. I tried a few, even on Dadda Monkey's Android phone, but none of them were really up to par. Then I found Intuition. The shopping list section is really well done. There's already a large list of items and I just click on them to add them to my list. If something I want isn't on there yet, then it's really easy to add it yourself. Once your list is complete, you save it and pull it up at any time to view or make changes. When you're at the grocery store, the list is organized by section (ie: produce, meat, dairy, etc...) and you can check them off as you put them in your cart.

As if this weren't enough, Intuition also has a calendar and sections to organize errands, calls, family, wishlist, and an 'everything else' tab. I have mundane items on there like when the milkman comes so I remember to leave my cooler and my order form for him. Then I have things that may be on there for quite some time like take a photo of my neighborhood and have it turned into a 4 piece canvas. What can I say, my house is lacking in art work on the walls and I saw this idea somewhere. I thought it was a great idea so much so that I have it indefinitely scheduled to be done. When Monkey girl had her speech therapist appointments, I had that listed under the family section.

When you click on Intuition, you get this little flower and each petal is a different section. I usually just click on categories because that takes me to the menu which shows me how many tasks are pending and there's an exclamation point if something is past due. You can also click on the calendar to see what is scheduled from any section. Apparently you can do things by location too, but my use of this is limited because I don't have an iPhone. However, this app is worth it's weight in gold for just the parts I'm able to use. I've asked them if they're going to get an app for Android and they said Android is high up on their list of next versions to do. What that means, I'm not sure, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The app is free, but I would pay money for it. Hint, hint developers, get that Android version out with a fee for it and I'll be your first customer! They have a facebook page as well, if you want to take a peek, make a comment, or pester them for an Android version like me. One of my New Year's resolutions is to make better use of this app so I can be better organized. Perhaps I'll even get that photo done. Happy New Year's Eve!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is the crazy time of year when I'm trying to keep track of all the things going on and what needs to be done. I like to make lists to organize the chaos going on in my head, but I still forget things or think that something is so simple it doesn't need to go on the list (especially if it's not handy). Today, I had a regular chant going on of all the places I needed to run errands. Then there's a separate list of things I need to do. My list for today looked a little like this:
  •  milk man comes, leave his check and the order form
  • notify Bro Bro's sitter that there's no Little Gym for Monkey girl for the next 2 weeks so she doesn't have to haul herself over here those mornings
  • run errands at bank, post office, grocery store, and department store
  • take trash out this evening
  • clean up kitchen so I can bake cookies tomorrow
  • finish wrapping presents
Needless to say I forgot a couple of things like getting the dogs dinner. I was preoccupied with feeding the children. Not to worry though, because they reminded me pretty quickly. If only things like my Christmas tree could whine or bark to remind me that they need water. Or if my holiday cards could remind me they need to be addressed and mailed off already. I know, I know, they're really late, but I have a bit of an excuse, they just got here today.

On top of that, Dadda monkey is laid up for a couple of days so I'm on my own with everything. I can truly say I sympathize with all the single Moms or Dads out there. Normally I don't credit Dadda monkey enough, but every little bit helps. I was so stressed today, that I forgot my favorite weekly activity...Ladies Night. Once a week, some girlfriends and I gather at a friend's house to watch a little TV, drink a little wine, and chat a bit. I always look forward to it and tonight it somehow completely slipped my mind. On a week when I could use it the most, my head was in a fog and I missed it.

I hope your schedules this holiday season are allowing you a chance to enjoy it. I love this time of year, but I feel swamped this week. I do have one little tool that helps ease my mind a bit. I just have to discipline myself to use it and consult it more often. I'll share that little gem with you soon. For now, I'm off to take out the last of the trash and then get some sleep so I can do this all over again tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

YGG Update

Yo Gabba Gabba went better than expected. That may have something to do with the fact that I didn't let Bro Bro monkey take his nap earlier that day. Monkey girl was a bit unsure of the loud music (it was incredibly loud) and flashing lights at first, but when they got into the dancing and the crowd joined in, she was happy. They sang songs she knew so she sang along, danced with the crowd, and really enjoyed it. Bro Bro sat on my lap most of the time. When my arms got tired about 3/4 of the way through, I passed him off to Dadda.

One funny thing to note is that Dadda monkey does not like Biz from Biz's Beat of the Day. He finds him 'creepy'. Well, Biz showed up and did his thing with the kids. Just before he went off stage, he sang a couple rounds of 'You...You got what I need. But you say he's just a friend, but you say he's just a friend...' I immediately recognized the song and it was a bit of fun for the adults. I admit that I didn't know he was the one who sang it. The show was fun and both kids enjoyed it, as did I. I'm counting it as their first concert since it was so loud with a lot of music. If you get a chance to go, you definitely should. I think the San Antonio crowd and theater is smaller than elsewhere so we had decent seats, but I still think it's a must see if you have kids that enjoy Yo Gabba Gabba.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Tonight

Tonight is the night our family has been looking forward to. Months ago, we bought our tickets for Yo Gabba Gabba Live and the date has finally come. I'm excited to see how Monkey girl reacts to seeing everything, but I'm nervous about taking Bro Bro monkey. He's at the stage where he does not want to be contained. He's a boy on the go! If you attempt to restrain him, you're sure to hear his discontent. The show isn't very long, about an hour, so hopefully we'll make it through okay. Ideally, he'll be mesmerized by the characters and music, but we'll see. Wish us luck.

Friday, December 3, 2010

CSN Stores Wish List

I've created a wish list at CSN Stores because I keep finding things I'm interested in. With over 200 stores there's a lot to see, from furniture to toys and everything in between. If I weren't getting a new kitchen table set I'd probably go for these counter height stools.
In the near future, I'll be reviewing something from CSN Stores that I've had my eye on for a while (something that once resided on my wish list). I highly recommend using their wish list feature. Since CSN Stores has such a vast array of products, I'm able to keep track of items I want. Dadda monkey knows about my wish list too so it makes buying presents easier on him. If you haven't already, this holiday season is a perfect time to check out CSN Stores.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Almost ready for Candy Land

I can't wait to play games regularly with my kids and I had been wondering if my two and a half year old was ready to play board games. I can't think of any game that's better to start with than the classic Candy Land. We got Hasbro's Candy Land: The World of Sweets and set it up promptly. Setting up involved nothing more than unfolding the board, shuffling the cards, and placing our characters at the start. My mother, Nai Nai, was here and she was excited to try playing with her grand daughter. Monkey girl was enthralled with the vivid colors and the novelty of it all. She picked her card and we explained that she needed to move to the next purple square. Unfortunately, 'next' purple square meant 'any' purple square to her. We're still working on the concept of following the path so I don't think she's quite ready for a full game. Needless to say, she won in as little as 3 turns. 

Candy Land was one of my favorite games as a child and I had fun playing with my daughter. I still think it's a great game to start with and we'll keep trying to play with Monkey girl. The most important part, as with any game, is that everyone has fun and it's a fantastic family activity. For next year's National Family Game Night, Candy Land will be our go to game and maybe even Bro Bro monkey can try playing.