Friday, August 22, 2014


Is that the sound of my sanity snapping? 
I think it could be.

Here I am ALMOST at the end of August. In denial? Sure. Freaking out? Absolutely. WHERE DID MY SUMMER GO? So here it is, almost back to school time. The most wonderful time of the year. Right? RIGHT??

You know that commercial with the "That Was Easy" theme. Press a button and send them back to school with new supplies and then do a little happy jig that summer is over. Well, I kind of wish they had a version of that for special needs parents. This is my commercial for us. I think it would look like this:

THAT WAS Unbelievably hard button

Slow pan in on the "That Was Unbelievably Hard" Button. 
That's the button you press just to get the game started. You know the one where your resistant to change inflexible child suddenly has to change all their routines again to go to school. Unbelievably hard is sometimes getting them to buy in that they need to be there. Sometimes it is the transition into the school. 

Zoom out and hit the next button. No soft focus here. This button is a bigger one that reads: "No Freakin' Way" on it. You can hit it when you need something for your child and it will blast a negative Blart sound at you. Like a bull horn. Nobody answers the Blart sound. Also it startles you when you hit it. It jars your nerves and sets your hair on end. Keep shopping. 

Camera moves in on shopping cart. Camera person is pushing the cart along so shooting through the cart giving perspective they are the shopper/consumer/parent. It stops at end of aisle. Zoom up high. Look, there's the holy grail - the one with three little letters on it: IEP (Individual education plan for those of you not familiar with our special needs alphabet). Why is it so high up on a shelf near the ceiling where you cannot reach it? Jump for it, Mom and Dad. Come on, you can get it. What's that? You almost hit it, and then they moved it. They hit the IEP quota for the year at 9:02 a.m. and you got there at 9:03. DRAT! Well, there's always next year. Someone hits the shopping cart with their cart because there is a mad rush over to your area of the store. You extricate your cart and move on. Someone in sound effects department will hit the censor button here to mask all the swearing going on in the corner from which the IEP button has just vanished.

There is one more button that reads: "No problem, we love parent feedback." It is nailed to the floor. It makes no noise, but when you hit it sometimes it responds like a bobble head car toy and Nods. That is all. Nodding. Nodding. It taunts you until you contemplate kicking it. Shopping cart backs up and looks like it's getting ready to ram into the bobble head. 

Cue image of the That Was Unbelievably Hard button again.

Back to School is not a cutesy TV commercial for parents trying to get their special needs kids what they need in public school. It can be a totally frustrating anxiety inducing experience. Can you relate?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

I almost couldn't write this post. Ask me why. Go ahead.
I actually couldn't stop playing Panda Pandamonium long enough to work. Panda Pandamonium is just that cute and that fun. Seriously addictive gaming, and have you seen the adorable little panda bears? I love them. It seems like Big Fish Games Inc. has a permanent corner of my iPhone carved out just for their creative diversions.

So what's unique about Panda Pandamonium? Well let's start with the concept: Panda Pandamonium is a free mahjong inspired game. Now that's different. I don't play a lot of mahjong but I know it's good stimulation for the brain and have even read it helps ward off age-related brain deterioration. It employs a puzzle mechanic that is new to the gaming genre. You match tiles with an exposed side edge to clear them from the board. The objective of each level is to match the two golden panda tiles. When you have no more matches you tap the gong and clear the board for more chances. 

Save the pandas and you save the world in this colourful and cute game. Panda Pandamonium builds on hundreds of interesting and unique levels. Match pairs of magic tiles to crash through obstacles, trigger bonuses and  save pandas from dragons and their evil minions. There are in app purchases and you can also connect this game to Facebook and challenge friends if you wish. I have found it satisfying enough without needing to make any in app purchases. But some of you may want to extend the play and buy extra jade packages. They are available.

Some games are addictive. Some are fun and cute and enjoyable and easy on your eyes. Panda Pandamonium is both. It makes me irrationally happy to play this game. I want to save those Pandas. Just look at their big Panda eyes. No sad Pandas on my watch. Get it and download it. It's free and it launches today on iTunes. Panda Pandamonium is suitable for iOS 6 and above, while it is optimized to iPhone 5. Designed for iPhone and iPad. This app is available in numerous languages including French, English, Russian, Japanese, German, Korena, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Spanish.

You can find Panda Pandamonium here on iTunes:
This is a sponsored advertorial. I was compensated for this post. My opinion is 100 % my own. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome to the MPM BTS Transportation Sweepstakes Organized by: Mom to Bed by 8 - Special thank you to our supporting co-host bloggers: A Medic's World, My So Called Balanced Life, Life with 5 monkies, Reviews 411, Monica's Rants, Raves & Reviews, Michigan Saving and More and Plum Crazy About Coupons.

One winner will receive a $500 Southwest Gift Card.

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Giveaway ends September 19th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.

Last week we went to the beach with my bother-in-law and sister-in-law. The highlight of that type of break is always all about seeing the cousins play together. This year there was swimming, but as they grow there is also a fair bit of independent play, such as drawing, running and simply taking off to do their own thing. It's a little bit different every year, but it's certainly never dull.

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