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Olympics Commercials

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The following post contains some spoilers of events that have happened through Friday the 26th. Please beware!

Still with me? Good! You know, I’ve always been kind of an emotional person, but when I became a mom I became a REALLY emotional person. Now I cry at, well, pretty much everything. And nothing gets the tear a’flowin’ like some of these commercials on the Olympics.

  • Visa commercial with Dan Jansen. Seriously, this one alone is going to be the death of me. It’s the one where the announcer says that speed skater Dan Jansen’s sister, Jane, passed away hours before his race in the 1988 winter Olympics. “He promised her he’d win gold…[heartbreaking footage of crash]…he didn’t.” Cut to footage from the 1994 Olympics and Jansen’s gold medal win, announcer says, “…until six years later. Then, he skated his victory lap with his daughter, Jane.” My goodness, I’m teary just writing about it. And in addition to the tears, I was reading some youngsters on the internet discussing the commercial, saying, “I remember this from when I was little.” Yikes. Because I was already in college when the 1994 Olympics happened. Not, like, ten years old.
  • Who is it who has the commercial with the different Olympic athletes winning various gold medals and then shows athlete from the Special Olympics winning medals? The true fault of this commercial is that I’m always too busy wiping my eyes to see who sponsored it.
  • Uplifting Moments with Coke? A round-up of the recent triumphs of the day before with narration like, “He broke his leg in three places and still captured the gold in moguls!” (is it just me, or do your knees start to hurt just looking at the moguls competition? And then they say something like, “she’s skiing with a torn ACL” and I’m like “a torn tendon? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???”)
  • Julia Mancuso drew a picture of herself winning a gold medal when she was just a kid? Of course she did! Gimme another tissue!
  • Anything involving a mom? Even McDonald’s gets me! The little girl, her hockey uniform (hockey! You go with your tomboy self, sweetheart!), her skating on the ice–even though I know they’re headed to McDonald’s next (which is totally bogus, since everyone knows that after a team sports victory you go get PIZZA!) and it’s going to be a hard sell for Chicken McNuggets. Still gets me.
  • And speaking of moms–Proctor and Gamble? You’re killing me here. Killing me! Yes, I know your commercials were clearly “invented by a mom” because I’m pretty much going to wash my Pampers in Tide with a dash of Comet after watching these.
    • “To Their Moms, They’ll Always Be Kids” Well, just watch this one, and don’t forget the Kleenex:
    • The one I saw last night that’s like, “What’s better than being an Olympian? Being an Olympian’s Mom” with footage of all of these moms in the crowds cheering on their kids, capped off with one at the end clearly mouthing “That’s my baby!” Oh, is this Kleenex box empty already?
  • And then there are commercials that are so annoying the sponsors should be banned from advertising at the Olympics forever. I’m looking at you, five-dollar-foot-long Subway and dad-on-a-water-slide Carnival Cruises.

I know I’m playing right into these advertiser’s hands. They’re trying to evoke this emotional reaction from me. I feel a little ridiculous that I’m so moved by something that is unabashedly trying to sell me something. Aren’t adults, especially moms, supposed to be media savvy? How are we supposed to teach our children to resist the siren call of the sugared-cereal commercial when we’re boo-hooing over a credit card?

What can I say?

I’m a mom.

The Scrivener

I’m Not a BAD Mom, BUT…

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… I gave my kid a hot dog.

It wasn’t even a vegan-kosher-certified organic-BPA free-all natural dog. Just a plain ol’ dog, made out of chicken feet or whatever it is they put in those things (and really, I don’t wanna know). With ketchup and mustard, too. I didn’t even cut it up into non-choking hazard size pieces. I’m such a rebel.

Ok, so this may not be the most earth-shattering revelation, but pre-child, I was one of those people who swore “I would never”. You know The Ones- the single, career-types… The Ones who look at parents with disgust when they do something Unacceptable.

Oh, I never said it out LOUD, mind you. Just thought it. Quietly. To myself. Or stage-whispered it to whomever I happened to be with. “Oh my GOD, do they KNOW what’s in those things?!”

Bubba was in melt-down mode, hungry and tired and I simply did not have the energy to mess with real food.

He’ll probably need therapy when he’s 30.

The SoCal FruGal

I Love My Mommy, But…

I love my mommy, but…she is always telling me what to do.

I love my mommy, but…I sometimes get scared when she is mad.

I love my mommy, but…I wish she would remember to bend down when she talks to me.

I love my mommy, but…I get upset when she doesn’t understand me.

I love my mommy, but…I hate when she makes me wait.

I love my mommy, but…she tries to make me sleep and I don’t like it.

I love my mommy, but…I don’t always want to go the places she wants to go.

I love my mommy, but…I have a hard time getting her attention when she is talking to others.

I love my mommy, but…it isn’t fair that I never get to be the boss.

I love my mommy, but…I can’t wait to be bigger.

Sometimes we moms forget what it is like to be a small child on the receiving end of things. So many decisions are out of his control and it is frustrating not to be able to do the things grown-ups take for granted. It is a challenge being a parent but it is also tough being a kid. Next time you are having a hard time with your little one, try switching your perspective. Putting yourself in your child’s shoes just might give you the insight you need to help keep your sanity.

The Librarian

***The Gen X Moms are no longer writing as a group (too many scheduling conflicts) but you can continue reading about my adventures with Rocky on my new blog at:

http://www.jedismama.com

Works For Me Wednesday: Baking soda scrubbing powder

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Instead of buying Comet, Bon Ami or any of the other commercially made scrubbing powders, use baking soda. It works just as good, doesn’t scratch, isn’t harmful to the environment and won’t kill your kid/cat/dog/goldfish/significant other.

Plus- and here’s my favorite part- it’s cheap! To the tune of $2-$3 for a 2 lb box at Walmart. That is some serious baking soda. It will take most people a while to go through all that. ‘Cept for me. I go through it rather quickly, because I use it for everything.

Works for me!

The SoCal FruGal

At-Home Businesses for Busy Moms: Tastefully Simple

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So many moms want to run an at-home business. Whether it’s to pay a few extra bills, have more money to splurge on lip gloss that goes unappreciated by everyone except our other mommy friends, or just continue a hobby and use our brains, starting an at-home business can be scary but exciting. In this feature, Gen X Moms will interview a variety of moms who run at-home businesses. Be sure to scroll to the bottom where you’ll find exclusive offers just for Gen X Mom readers!

Today’s Mom: Monica with Tastefully Simple

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I am married to a wonderful man for 6 years now and have 2 boys.  KK is 3 and Little Monkey is 15 months.  I split my time between being a wife and SAHM (the most important part of my time), running a direct sales business, running a mommy group and working part time as a website administrator for my brother’s seminar company.  My husband goes out and works the daily grind so I can stay home and raise our children.  My boys are smart, funny and adorable!  (what mom would say otherwise?) and I love teaching them new things and seeing the light bulb go on in their little faces.  I love unsolicited hugs and kisses.  I try to write down every funny or cute thing they say so I will remember it 20 years from now.  We love to go camping in our motor home, at the beach or in the mountains.  My husband is in a rock n roll band, Hall Pass,  and I am a belly dancer on hiatus.  I guess we have performing in our family!  When my little monkey gets a bit older, I plan to go back to dancing.  I also love to do whatever I can to help people and I am able to help a lot of people through my business and my mommy group.

Tell us about your business
I am a consultant for Tastefully Simple.  It is a wonderful company that creates and sells delicious, easy-to-prepare foods, seasonings and sauces.  It is a direct sales business and most of my sales are done through in-home taste testing parties.  I also do boutiques and other expo events a few times a year in addition to re-order sales.  Re-orders are great because you don’t really have to do any work other than make a phone call.  Once your clients have eaten through their last order, they are hungry for more!

How did you get started in this business?
I had been looking for a way to earn money while still staying home after my second son was about 2 months old.   I saw a post about a special they were running and decided to learn more about it.  When I found out it was selling food, I thought, “I can do that, everyone needs food”.  I was right, it has proven to be a great thing to sell food!

Did you have any kind of special education or training?
I didn’t have any special training to get started, but have listened in on or attended lots of training sessions since signing up.  You get everything you need to start off with a bang and then are constantly offered more training and support from the company’s headquarters and your team leaders.  There is as much training and support available as you want to make use of.

How do you juggle motherhood and the business?
I have learned to carve out a daily schedule that allows me chunks of time during the day (nap time) or evening (bath time) to make phone calls or send out marketing materials or just organize my supplies.  I also have a set party schedule that is just 2 Saturday afternoons a month.  I have had to re-adjust my schedule over time as my kids’ nap times have changed, but all my clients are wonderful and understanding people.  Most of them are moms too and know just what I am up against.

What would you say to other moms interested in opening a similar business?
I would say that if you are looking for something to do for yourself, this is it!  I get so much more than just money from running my business.  I used to work in corporate America before becoming a SAHM and missed the adult conversation, accolades for a job well done and sense of accomplishment.  I have found all of those things again with my Tastefully Simple business.  Plus, I don’t have to report to an office every day, all day long.  I can work as much or as little as I like and my income will reflect that.  I really enjoy having something in my life that is “mine”.  Besides, I believe this is the easiest product ever to sell.  Everyone eats so everyone is a potential client!  People love to have taste testing parties because they are low key and low pressure and you get to eat!  What could be more fun?

Do you have any special offers for Gen X Mom readers?

One of the things I hear often is “how do you find people to have parties?”  My offer to the Gen X Moms blog readers is this:  If you would like to sign up to be a Tastefully Simple consultant, I will give you one of the parties from my calendar.  I will be there with you to do the party, but you will get the commission as well as any new party bookings or recruits for your own.  This will give you a start to your own client base.  We have an $89 startup kit called “Just a Taste” so you can try this business on for size.  If you decide it’s not for you, then you can just eat your supplies!  Not many businesses offer you that option!

Visit Monica’s Tastefully Simple site today!

Johns Incredible Pizza Co

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If you haven’t been to John’s Incredible Pizza Company on the lower level in the Buena Park mall… get your family there asap!  I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, I’m definitely NOT a fan of chuck e cheese.  Anything that is remotely similar to Chuck E Cheese my husband and I usually cringe at the thought of spending any lengthy period of time at.  But we decided one evening to give it a try.

The first thing you’ll notice is how large the place is.  Holw cow, its the entire lower floor of the mall!  When you arrive you have to order and go through the queue before getting into the place.  The cost isn’t bad at $8.99 adults, $4.49 Kids 3-6 and $5.99 Kids 7-12.  Children under age 2 eat free.  You can also purchase your Funcard credits at this time, which seemed to be a bit cheaper when you purchase them with the meal, but it might have been a special the night we were there, so don’t quote me on that one!

The Food.
This place actually has really great food!  I had a wonderful salad and a pesto and goat cheese slice of pizza.  I really appreciated the low-fat and fat-free varieties of salad dressings as well.  Here’s a break down of what they offer.

Salad – You can start by making your own salad by choosing from over 40 fresh vegetables, toppings, and dressings. Try our Low-Fat Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing or even build your own Caesar Salad!
Soups – Two different soups every day, including Pasta Fagioli, Beef Stew, Chicken & Dumplings and more.
Pasta – Choose from Regular Marinara, Meat or Alfredo Sauces and specialty pastas such as Italian Casserole and many others.
Pizza – So many to choose from! We’re famous for our Spicy Peanut Butter Pizza and Alfredo Pizza. There’s also Macaroni & Cheese, BBQ Chicken Ranch, Fiesta, Cheeseburger and Garlic Pesto pizzas as well as the traditional combinations like Veggie, Meat Lovers and Hawaiian.
Desserts – Finally, our desserts include freshly made Cookies, Soft-Serve Ice Cream in a Cup or Cone, Apple Crisp and Cinnamon Rolls.

And to top off the dining experience (and make all the screaming kids more tolerable) they have a beer and wine bar.

The Ambiance.
Unlike Chuck E Cheese (sorry for the constant comparisons, but lets face it, isn’t that our only other option these days?) where you are thrown in the center of the arcade with all the screaming brats (oops, did I just say that?) running around you while you’re trying to suck down a beer and eat a piece of cardboard pizza, the dining area is in a totally different area.  There are several “themed” dining rooms.  There’s a sports room, a rustic lodge, cartoon theme and even a nightclub themed room.  Each room has different entertainment on the big screens, the sports room has whatever big game is on, the cartoon room has cartoons on, etc.  Definitely a MUCH better dining experience.

The Fun.
After reading their website, apparently each location is different in what attractions they offer, but each location has an arcade.  The arcade works on a Funcard, not tokens, similar to Dave and Busters.  The kids collect tickets from the arcade games and can cash them in for prizes just like at C.E.C.  One big difference I loved was that after counting all the tickets Big E had earned he wasn’t satisfied with the prizes he could get.  So the attendant zapped his Funcard with the amount of tickets he has.  So the next time we visit, as long as he has his same Funcard, he can just add to that amount and save for something worthwhile.  Genius.  The Buena Park location has a huge arcade, many games suitable for very young children.  They also have a small toddler friendly play area.  As far as attractions go, they have bumper cars and 2 rides in the center area.  There truly is something for everyone, even my husband and I were having a blast!

The bottom line is that this place truly in Incredibly by its names definition.  They finally thought of the parents that are bringing the younger ones as much as they thought of the kids.  And don’t leave the older ones behind because there is just as much to do for teens as there is for the little ones.

So next time your thinking of someplace to go in North OC, make sure Johns Incredible Pizza Co. is at the top of your list!

Cheers!

The Photo Addict