Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Sign Spinning effective advertising?

[caption id="attachment_270" align="alignleft" width="209" caption="Do you think Lady Liberty convinced people to stop??"]Do you think Lady Liberty convinced people to stop??[/caption]

I found myself wondering today, as I drove past an obviously overheated sign spinner, peddling the China Wok on Eau Gallie Blvd, "Does this actually bring in any business??".  The poor sign spinner was ducking under a shade tree, on the side of Eau Gallie Blvd...not really spinning the sign, but kind of holding it.  I think she was about to fall over from heat stroke.  Ok, maybe not really, but she did look really overheated!  Obviously, there is nobody holding a gun to her head to make her hold this sign up, and she is working, earning a paycheck for her services.  However, is this type of advertising cost effective for a business?  I do believe it does draw attention, but does it draw the right kind of attention?

Case in point...there is a Smoke Shop on A1A up in Satellite Beach.  This business is known for putting girls in teenie weenie bikinis out on the side of A1A with their sign advertising the store.  While I do think that this is VERY clever, and will probably draw in a host of middle-aged perverts, I highly doubt that those middle-aged perverts are going to buy anything that looks like a bong, but being marketed as a hookah pipe.  Jus' sayin'...

So, let's say that these businesses have somebody spinning signs on the side of the road for only 5 days a week, 8 hours per day.  If this person is making federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour, that's $290 each week the business is shelling out in payroll for advertising.  Would that money be better spent on internet and/or print advertising?  Perhaps investing that money into a decent website and some SEO marketing?  I did a google search of this China Wok restaurant, and lo and behold...they have NO website!

This seems to be the case for many privately owned businesses in my local area.  From hair salons to restaurants to gift shops...these places are spending money on the WRONG kinds of advertising.  At least with a website you can get user statistics back on it to see if people are looking at it and finding out about your business?  Not a sermon...just a thought!

Happy 7th Birthday Jacob!

[caption id="attachment_253" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Happy Birthday Jake!"][/caption]

Dear Jacob,

It seems like just yesterday I was bringing you home from the hospital.  Seven years ago I was blessed with my ginger-haired boy, and you have continued to bless my life to this day.

[caption id="attachment_256" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Happy as can be"][/caption]

You were such a delight as a baby...always smiling!  You still have the same sweet smile now, always eager to show us how happy you are.

Despite those dominant genes from your dad's side, you got Mommy's red hair and green eyes.  You also got my bright smile, and much to your disdain, my freckles.  You've got character kiddo, and that's something that nobody can take away from you.

Over the years, you've always been the "accident-prone" kid.  Sure, your sister and brother have had their share of boo-boos, but you definitely have caused my heart to drop more than once!

When you were first walking, I remember leaving you with Mom-Mom, my grandmother, so I could go work at Mrs. Mary's house.  Mom-Mom called me, in a panic, and said that I should come back as soon as I could.  She said you had touched the inside of her oven door and that your hand had been burnt.  I was thinking to myself, "Eh, it's probably just a tiny blister on his finger", because she said that you cried for a minute, but had stopped crying already.  Lo and behold, when I got there and saw just how bad it was, I panicked too!  The entire palm of your hand had been burnt!  We got you all fixed up, and the doctor gave us some great burn relief cream, and you healed soon enough.  Turns out your baby brother is alot like you...he ran with his arms outstretched (in his walker) straight for the oven door the other day!  Scared me half to death!

Just a few months after that, when you were just shy of 2 years old, you were playing with the keyboard drawer on your sister's desk.  You pulled it out onto your face, causing a gash just below your eyebrow.  My goodness, I've never seen so much blood!  You gave me a big scare, and somehow I managed to collect myself, get you picked up, your sister and your brother ready to go out the door so they could stay at your Aunt Cary's house while I got you to the emergency room.  You were such a took four of us to hold you down while they stitched you up!  You still have a slight scar from that today, but it didn't seem to phase you a bit!

[caption id="attachment_258" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This was taken right after you peed all over my lap at your Uncle Danny's wedding."][/caption]

When you were around 3.5 years old, you were out playing around and you tripped and fell...right on your front tooth!  You still have a black front tooth, because you knocked it loose and the tooth died.  Your dentist said it was no big deal and we would just have to wait for it to fall out in time.  Since you've already lost your front two bottom teeth, I imagine it's just a matter of weeks or even days until the dead tooth is finally gone!

Somewhere around the same time, you were bit in the face by a dog.  I wasn't there at the time, and apparently you didn't need stitches.  Just yet another example of how you're my tough little guy.  Sure, you might cry when it hurts, but never for very long!  I'm sure that there will be many more times during the course of your childhood in which you will give me a scare!  That's part of being a mom I guess, and I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to be YOUR mommy.

You only remember life as it has been for the past couple of years...memories of you being with me a majority of the time are cloudy in your young mind, sometimes made clearer with stories we tell when we're all together.  I'm so glad you were too young to remember all the bad that happened when you were just a baby, and in alot of ways, YOU are the reason that I put a stop to all the bad.

[caption id="attachment_260" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Playing in the pool at the Ron Jon Resort"][/caption]

You were not planned, but you were definitely wanted by me.  Your birth was a wakeup call to me to take charge of my life.  Now I had two little men who would need to see a positive example of what a dad should be as they are growing up.   It was time for me to stop the cycle, and do everything in my power to create an environment of peace and love for you and your siblings to grow up in.  Although things didn't end up the way I would have liked for them to, it's not the end.

Even though you're not "the baby" of the family anymore, you'll always be my baby.  I'll do my best to not treat you like the baby you once were, but it's hard for me to see you guys growing up so fast.  I hope that on this day, your birthday, that you are celebrating and having an awesome day!

Mommy loves you, and I wish you could be here with us today as we celebrate the past 7 years of your life!

[caption id="attachment_261" align="aligncenter" width="202" caption="All Grown Up!"][/caption]

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What The Mom Pledge Means to Babm8krs

Here is the context of The Mom Pledge:

"I am a proud Mommy Blogger. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my blogging activities. I can lead by example.

I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.

I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.

I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful. 

I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks from my blog with no mention or response. I can take control.

I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.

I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference. "

What this means to me is that although I do have very strong opinions about how I want to raise my children, I will not FORCE my opinions on others.  My choices are mine for a reason, and I will do my best to educate other moms and dads as to why I made those choices.  I will not insult or degrade the choices of another parent, and I would expect the same respect to be given to my choices and decisions.  

If you're a Mommy Blogger, I encourage  you to take The Mom Pledge today!  Click the badge on the right hand side for more information!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sometimes we all need a swift kick in the...

...well, you know.  I certainly can benefit from time to time.  A prime example is my lack of discipline when it comes to exercise.  I was doing great for a while, back before it got REALLY freaking hot outside.  However, all I was doing was walking.  I continued to make up excuse after excuse as to why I couldn't just try to jog a little bit.

I'm nursing, so I don't want to burn TOO many calories...then my milk might dry up. (Which is totally an excuse, and I'm sure my body would cue me in to the fact that I needed to consume more calories.)
I might get out of breath and sweat...(Duh, that's KIND of the point, right?)
I'll try it tomorrow...(I am the QUEEN of procrastination...just ask anyone.)

Now that my husband is back in town, and on an exercise kick of his own after taking a much needed sabbatical from his routine when he came back to the U.S., he is my personal trainer.  Every morning he coaxes me out of bed in the morning so we can go for a "walk".   Granted, he doesn't make me get up before the roosters do, but it's still at a time of day where I'd rather be lying in bed snuggling with Tristan or having my first cup of coffee for the day.

We start out with a leisurely walk, and progress to my husband challenging me to jog "from here to the stop sign" or "from here to the next street".  The first day I got a little cocky.  I told him, "I can run farther than that stop sign".  BIG MISTAKE.  Since I made it seem so easy, he pushed me a little harder the next time.  It's like that game you played as a kid called "Mercy".  I submit, Mercy!!  

In the evenings, after my husband comes home from work and finishes his workout at the gym, we go for another "walk".  Strangely enough, these "walks" are becoming more "jogging" than "walking".  When I tell him that I can't go any farther, he encourages me.  He doesn't yell at me, or make fun of me, or make any negative comments.  Instead, he just continues to be positive, tell me that I CAN do it, and gives me a gentle, yet, swift, kick in my rear.  I love him for it.  He needs to hear this, because typically I am protesting the entire time.

These "walks" together give us a chance to reconnect at the end of the day without cell phones, email, Facebook, work, and even Tristan from interrupting us.  We can talk about the things that are on our minds, our goals for the future, our plans for the weekend, etc. while we walk side by side, pointing out homes that catch our eyes, landscaping designs that look awesome, and some yards that are not so awesome.  Tristan is content to go along for the ride in his BOB stroller, so long as the sun isn't right in his eyes.

After it's all said and done, there is another reward besides the quality time with one another.  Fitting back into pre-pregnancy clothes is one of them, and I experienced that reward today!  Maybe this jogging thing isn't so bad after all!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My week so far: An Update on Life as a SAHM

Yeah, I know, it's only Tuesday.  I've had a few days to adjust to this life of leisure, if that's what you want to call it.  My days look like this:

7 am:  Wake up.  Nurse Tristan.  Both of us go back to sleep. (((YAWN!)))

9 am:  Wake up for real this time.  Nurse Tristan again (boy he sure does eat alot!).  Feed the dogs.  Feed myself and have my decaf coffee.

10 am: Shower time!!

11 am:  Play with Tristan, do a little laundry, get his swim bag ready to go.  Load the car.  Finish filling out his BUDS sheet for his lesson.

12 pm: Head to the swim lesson.

12:15 pm: Watch the swim lesson.  Smile the entire time, even though he is crying the entire time.  My little man is really good at floating on his back.  Makes me proud.

12:30 pm:  Head home from swim lesson.

1 pm:  Nurse Tristan while I eat lunch.

1:30 pm:  Turn on the TV or sit in front of the computer (as I'm doing both at the moment).

2 pm:  Try to get Tristan down for a nap...this could take a while.

3 pm:  Realize that it's quiet, Tristan is asleep, and I have FREE time!  Woo hoo! Where's the tequila?!  Just kidding.  Start working on the scrapbook I have been procrastinating on for the past seven months.

5 pm:  Realize that dinner time is fast approaching and then decide I should go to the store to get something awesome to cook.  Or if I have leftovers I realize I have plenty of time to procrastinate on heating dinner up.

6 pm:  Dinnertime.

7pm: Attempt to settle down for the evening.  Tristan usually starts to get cranky around this time.

After that~ usually consists of entirely too much TV.

I think I need to get a hobby.  My life is really boring!  And Tommy, if you're reading this, pretend I put in a 3 hour jog sometime in the mid-afternoon.  It will make you feel better.