12.22.2010

The Return of the Prodigal Pants

I don't know if there is such thing as a writer's coma, but I think that I have been in one for several months.  It's not so much that I can't think of anything to write about... I frequently write blog entries in my head.  Mostly ones that highlight my borderline functional parenting moments or those that deal with the follies of my 4 children.  I had a whopper all worked out, but the child who starred in the tale will k-i-l-l me if  I actually publish it on the internet, so too bad for you... and now since I'm up a creek with no funny story,  here's an update on what's been going on the last few... um... months.


  • I have officially started back at school and am moving slowly along my path toward becoming a midwife.  I got 100% in my first class - intercultural communications.  (Which was not that difficult since, based on their answers, most of the class thought that the homework questions were actually a Facebook survey.)    I thought about sending my resume into the UN after my perfect performance, but my husband doesn't believe in the UN, so... peace at home before peace in the world I guess. 
I have several sciencey kinds of classes that I'm starting and  have to do a statistics course that I am procrastinating as long as possible.  I 'm good with the words, but the numbers- not so much.  Also, I'm pretty sure statistics is just something that big fat liars made up to try to convince everyone else that they're not big fat liars.  (PS - I had to take a math placement test.  Mediocre is over-exaggerating my performance. I swear the only thing that saved me is that my daughter broke her arm in two places at the beginning of the school year which meant that I got to act as 5th grade scribe/tutor for 5 weeks... also, I Googled "college math placement test" about 2 hours before I had to show up.  Say what you will about Google.  As far as I'm concerned they can map my house all they want as long as they help me test out of basic college algebra.)  


  •  I have lived to celebrate another birthday, ushering in my late-mid -30s... and that's all I have to say about that... except- my mom got me the best birthday present ever... 2 days with a bunch of hippy birth junkies whose idea of a fun Friday night is a women's energy/sharing/dance circle and swapping stories about placenta encapsulation.  I am out of my mind excited.  By the way Eugene Oregon... if you smell something strange, it's just my deodorant.


(...one more thing about the birthday. Every year on December 10th I reacquaint myself with the famous people who share my astrological sign.  Sagittarius.  Basically we break down like this... writers (Mark Twain, Emily Dickenson, Jane Austen), musicians (Beethoven, Hendrix, Donny Osmond, and Billy Idol), actors (Don Johnson) and politicians (Winston Churchill) including a couple of despotic tyrants.  I was feeling like I had really found my people until it occurred to me that the horoscope folks probably don't include normal and boring lives in these lists and so it is very likely that every other astrological sign has a similar roll call of awesomeness... except for Donny Osmond.


  • The baby has cavities all over his mouth.  You don't know judgement until your dentist peeks into  your baby's mouth and the look on her face says "clearly he's been sucking down Dr.Pepper and Pixie Stix for 14 months".  The first dentist (yep, more than one dentist) actually showed me how to put the toothpaste on the tooth brush and then made little circles with it in the air to demonstrate proper brushing technique.  I'm not kidding.  Just for the record... I have never had a cavity.  Ever.  I never had braces.  I never had a retainer and I have all of my teeth including the 4 wisdom ones.  Clearly, this is totally my husband's fault.
  • It's Christmas again.  I have been possessed by the Spirit of Crafters Past and have an unexplainable and obsessive urge to make stuff out of paper and felt.  Not necessarily in that order.

Merry Christmas all... and on that note, I'm off to send an email to Santa telling him that my kids are signing up for a Chilean miner"s pocketfull of coal if they don't stop their fighting.  It usually solicits good results - after the crying and screaming that I am "the worst mom ever,  seriously Mom, ever."   Aaah.  I love being the best at stuff.



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8.06.2010

{Nothing funny about those pants}

***WARNING - THIS POST CONTAINS FRANK DISCUSSION OF WHAT I CONSIDER ADULT THEMES***


My son's hemophilia does not scare me.  I am not scared by the daily questions like "Where did that bleed/bruise/bleed and bruise come from?" or "Hmmm.  Shouldn't your clotting factor be actually helping you clot?".  I am not scared of blood.  I am scared of AIDS.

Recently I heard a brief discussion on NPR about whether or not the standards for donating blood should be revised to include men who have had sexual contact with other men in the potential donor pool.  The FDA has recently upheld the current standard of declining to accept the blood of people who fall into this category.

As I listened to the guest talk, I must admit to struggling with a schizophrenic battle between the sickening panic in my stomach and the logic in my head.  The idea of any kind of lowered safety threshold makes me deeply concerned.  The consequences of contaminated blood is not theoretical for those of us in the bleeding disorders community.  It is not a debate over ideologies or value systems or religious beliefs or civil rights.  We have good reason to support strict controls on the level of risk we are willing to accept when it comes to blood born pathogens.  By the end of the 1980s 10,000 hemophiliacs in the US had contracted HIV and 15,000 were infected with hepatitis as a result of FDA-approved tainted blood product.  (To help understand the magnitude of that number you must know that there are currently around 17,000 people living with hemophilia nationwide.)  It is well documented that both the government and the pharmaceutical companies knowingly allowed tainted blood clotting product to be marketed to and used by the hemophilia community. Exacerbated by poor blood screening/treatment mechanisms and high risk donors being allowed to contribute to the blood supply, the result was, what I consider, a generational genocide...and the reason my mother was widowed with 4 children before she turned 40.

The NPR guest did a lot of talking about the right to give blood - which, first of all, I'm not so sure is actually a right.  Secondly, I do not think it is discrimination to say "Hey, you make risky choices... which may be ok with you, but not so much with us. Thanks, but no thanks."  I think it's smart.   I don't think it's smart, however, to have guidelines that make people think that they are more safe, while actually doing nothing to improve safety.

The question then becomes, does the ban on accepting blood donations from homosexual men in general improve the overall safety of the collective blood supply.  In deciding where I come down on this issue I asked myself:  "If my son needed a transfusion (like my 14 month old nephew just received) or a human-derived clotting product would I consider using the blood of a gay man who has sex exclusively with one person more risky than using the blood of a straight man who engages in sexual activity with multiple partners?  Not taking into consideration the infinitely improved screening and treating processes, I would choose the blood of the monogamous gay man over the promiscuous straight man.

When making changes to the screening mechanism, I would prefer that donors be excluded based on the number of partners with whom they've had sex over a given period of time.   Quite frankly I don't want my son exposed to the diseases that accompany risky sexual practices, whether those practices are with men or women.  It seems to me that this criteria would appropriately identify risky behaviors practiced across all potential blood donors, while allowing those who engage in more responsible sexual behaviors to contribute to the much relied upon blood supply.

In the end, no one can truly police blood donors.  It's not as though a list of questions is going to stop someone from donating blood that is considered high risk if they want to donate blood.  This is why I am grateful for improved screening, treating and monitoring protocols, as well as recombinant factor that is not derived from human blood product.  Constant vigilance is vital and I want to support policies that both actually keep our families safe and demand that those who are in a position of guardianship over that blood supply take their responsibility seriously this time... not just look like they do.


NOTE:   Bad Blood is a documentary that was released to limited markets about a week ago.  It tells the story of the devastating consequences borne by those in the bleeding disorders community when they were knowingly exposed to diseased blood product.  I have not yet seen this documentary, but when it is released on DVD in December, I intend to purchase it.  (I am in no way connected to the makers of the film, but am grateful that this chapter of our history is finally being told.  Loudly.)
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6.24.2010

Winner of the Rants In My Pants June Giveaway

Congratulations to Jenny the winner of the great vintage inspired apron from Terrace Hill.  Happy canning Jenny.

A huge thank you to Terrace Hill for sponsoring such a terrific giveaway.

Stay tuned for next month's giveaway starting July 7th.
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6.22.2010

{ Pants For Sale }

For Father's Day my husband received:
  • One watercolor painting of a tree frog from our oldest son.
  • One watercolor painting of a sword fish from ... our oldest son.
  • One card expressing gratitude to my husband for his abilities to finish levels on the Lego Batman game, heretofore unattained by our 2nd son.  (The card was written by our oldest son.)
  • One bar of Lever soap taken by my daughter from the hall closet, wrapped in homemade wrapping paper and tied up with a ribbon.  She thought this was very funny and quite frankly... so did I.
  • One breakfast in bed.
  • One Father's Day dinner.
I made braised short ribs, and I'm not gonna lie about this, they were good.  I consider ribs "man food" which basically means food that either requires no utensils and therefore a lot of finger licking (example: ribs), is totally disgusting (example: a hamburger with a fried egg on it), or both (example: a hamburger with a fried egg and a slab of ribs on it.  Don't think you can't order this somewhere people - this is America).  I also made Man Food's best friend - mashed potatoes, and rounded out the whole thing with some green beans, pineapple and corn on the cob.

Corn on the cob is one of those things that reminds me strongly of my own childhood and my own father.  (If you are picturing me sitting on the porch shucking huge ripe ears with my dad ...  not so much.)

When I was a kid, our church would earn funds for our budget every year by raising and selling corn.  (Who knew there was such good money in small scale farming.)  Each family in our congregation was responsible for tending a certain number of rows... and don't think my dad let a little thing like him being in a wheelchair get us out of weeding the weediest and most boring rows of corn in the history of corn.  We kids did the hands and knees thing, and  I'm pretty sure I remember him using some kind of homemade weed digger contraption assembled from various pieces of broken garden tools that were held in place with black electrical tape.  He was constantly taping stuff to long handles to make his tools handi-friendly since he and bending over were not good friends.  (Where the heck was Billy Mays then I ask you?  Seriously, if there's a market for Life Alert, there's a market for Shoe-Horn-On-A-Stick...although we might need to work on the name.) 

Once the "raising of the corn" was complete, it was time for phase two of the Great Mormon Corn Expansion Project.  Also known as "the selling of the corn".  Apparently, my family was like the Little Red Hen of Billings Montana, because we did  it all while many of the other congregants ( "able bodied men" mostly) played the dog, the pig and the cat... or in other words, were too "busy" to help with anything.

I hated the weeding, but I loved the selling.  My father, three younger sisters, and I would tow our trailer full of golden corny goodness to a spot where we would get lots of foot traffic (the parking lot of the Maverick truck stop and gas station), place our signage (a piece of cardboard with the words "Fresh Corn" written in spray paint) and wait for the cash to start flowing in (12 ears for $1 - I'm a little murky on this detail, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.  I distinctly remember putting 12 ears of corn into old paper grocery bags, hoping that they didn't rip when I handed them out).  I don't know how many hours we spent selling corn, but I do know that we sold a lot of corn.  I think that we basically sold out of whatever corn we were selling.  We sold more corn than anyone else in the church.

As a child, I thought that our  fundraising success was due to our superior corn selling abilities.  As an adult I realized that it was likely for a different reason entirely.  Frankly speaking, who is not going to buy corn from a man in a wheel chair, parked at a truck stop in the middle of August, sitting next to a trailer full of one mountain of corn which is being scaled by four barefoot little girls in varying degrees of late summer shabbyness? (In my parents' defense - we had a bath every night and started the day with combed and braided and curled hair... but childhood is a messy thing.  Especially when there's corn to sell).
Seriously, we could've inspired our own Dickens novel.

Clearly, my dad was a genius and this remains, in my opinion, the most genius marketing strategy in the history of church corn sales.  I still smile everytime I think of what people must have thought as they drove by us, turned around, pulled into the truck stop and forked over their dollar bills. (This happened a lot.) I'm guessing we were the topic of more than one car ride discussion on the importance of family planning.

Maybe this year we'll get all of our corn u-pick style - for old time's sake (and because I love to listen to my kids complain - it's my favorite).  Just don't think you're going to find me selling it wholesale out of the back of my minivan.














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6.09.2010

Rants In My Pants June Giveaway Featuring Terrace Hill


June is here.  It's time to bust out those cute little canning jars and weird suctioney lid things and get to making some strawberry jam...and if you believe, as I do, that it is not about what you do but about how you look while you're doing it that counts, you're gonna want to add this month's prize to your festival of fruit preservation.

That's right.  This month's prize is a cool vintage inspired apron from Terrace Hill.  Donna Reed wishes she looked so good.  Too bad for you Donna.

Terrace Hill is an Etsy shop whose owner, Chadley, is based in sunny California.  She sells all kinds of great vintagey aprons (her grandma used to tell her that a girl can never have too many aprons - you go Gran) and really cute sock monkeys (her parents never would give in and let her have that real pet monkey that she always wanted.  Big meanies.)  

Chadley is all about the beach and baking and gardening and spring cleaning and good books.  She's a former librarian who has turned her considerable talents to her creative pursuits.  Luckily.

Want to win?  Here's how...



To be entered in this month's giveaway please visit Terrace Hill on Etsy.  Hustle your pants right back here and leave a comment about your favorite item.  That is worth ONE ENTRY and one chance to win.

If you just can't stand losing and would like to rack up some additional entries, listen up.  You can earn ONE ADDITIONAL ENTRY EACH by:
 
  • becoming a follower of Rants In My Pants (my blog must show up on the "blogs I'm following" portion of your dashboard or it doesn't count)
  • linking to the giveaway from your blog or website 
  • posting a link to the giveaway on Facebook
  • Tweeting about the giveaway 
  • taking one the buttons from my sidebar for your blog
  • and/or writing a post on your blog about the giveaway

If you purchase something from our generous sponsor (in the month in which they are featured), you will earn 5 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES.  (I'll need an invoice number or some other type of verification so that I can double check with our sponsor.  Like I said, I don't want cheaters to prosper.)

YOU MUST leave a different comment for each entry. (Example:  One comment with your favorite thing and a different comment saying you are a follower).  If you don't, don't blame me when you don't get your rightful chances.  I will use random.org's random number generator to pick our winner.  The winner's name will be posted on Rants In My Pants and will be notified via email.  They will have 24 hours from the time of the post with the big announcement to claim their prize.  If the prize is not claimed within the time limit, everyone (except the "too bad for you" winner) will stand up and cheer, because we'll try again with the random number, claim it within 24hrs. thing.

This deadline for entering this giveaway is June 23, 2010 @ 5pm PST.

Good Luck.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.  If you're not 18, get your parent to enter for you.

-E.


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5.27.2010

Winner of the Rants In My Pants May giveaway

Congratulations to Christy , the winner of the May giveaway featuring Raspberry Baby.  Check back with us next month when our prize will be sponsored by Terrace Hill.
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5.26.2010

A New Pair of Pants

First the bad news...
it's 10:01 pm PST and I have not heard from our original May giveaway winner.  Sorry winner number 1, but we're movin' on.

Now the good news...
we have selected a new winner and the clock is ticking away on her "hey give me that awesome prize" window.  I will post her name once she has claimed her prize.

-e
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Come and claim your pants

Hey all -

I sent an email yesterday to the winner of the May giveaway but haven't heard back yet.  If you are the winner you have until 9 pm PST to contact me... or you forfeit your prize.  Sad.

Check your email accounts everyone.  I don't want our winner to lose out.

e
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5.25.2010

{ Walk A Mile In Tiny's Pants }

I don't usually do this topic on this blog so much, but lots of people ask me what Tiny's treatments are like.  So I thought I'd give you a look.  (If you want to know more about hemophilia or need clarification on the terms just check out our family blog "The Bloody Good Life"... mostly because I'm too lazy to cut and paste it over here.)

Prophy day (we have a standing appointment at our center for once a week treatments:)

  • 7:30 wake up.  Have a nurse.  Have a bath.

  • Daily bruise inventory? Check.

  • Get dressed in short sleeves for easy vein access.  Go for a layered look with a sweatshirt to keep the veins warm and plumpy...and stylish.

  • Electronic distraction for 4 year old brother? Check.

  • Factor? Check.  Extra box of Factor?  Check.

  • Arrive at treatment center a little early for parking...

  • ... and playing


  • Favorite exam room?  Check.

  • Purple gloves.  You know you've got trouble when they pull out the purple gloves.

  • Pick a vein... any vein.

  • Mmmm.  Hot packs.  Warm veins are happy veins.

  • Mix the factor.

  • Cross your fingers for one good stick.

  • Let the good stuff flow.

  • Voila!  

  • Get big love from the amazing team.  Seriously.  They are like prophy Ninjas.

  • Get big love from Mom.



Done and done.  Now, what's for lunch?




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Last Day for the May Rants In My Pants Giveaway

Today is the last day to get in on the May Rants In My Pants giveaway.  Click on the link on the sidebar and sign up to win a wrap style baby carrier from Raspberry Baby.
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5.19.2010

{ The pants on the bus go "let me off" }

Every Friday I take an inventory of what is in my kids' backpacks.
... Same baggy of carrots that I just keep putting back into their lunchboxes day after day so that I will look like a good mom just in case Jaimie Oliver shows up at our elementary school... but without having to buy more carrots that will never be eaten?  Check.
... A bunch of graded papers that I throw away without even looking at them first because I figure if there was real problem I would've heard by now?  Check.
... All kinds of art projects that I tell my kids I'm keeping in their "special boxes" but really they end up in the same place that the graded papers end up?  Check.
... Next month's calendar which confirms my suspicion that the last 4 weeks of school are just for show?  Check.

The weekly backpack check is  how I found out that my daughter has 3 field trips in the next three weeks... and because I pretty much live by the Biblical principle of "better you than me" I signed up to help with the one that has nothing to do with riding a bus with 120, 10-year-olds.

Last year, when I was younger, stupider and pregnanter I chaperoned the third grade trip to the junior symphony in downtown Portland.  If you've ever considered driving a school bus as a profession - Do. Not. Do. It.  The poor bus driver lady had to maneuver what is essentially a cattle car for children down all kinds of one way streets that were clearly designed for people on horses or maybe those bikes with the really big front wheel.  Every time I saw movement out the window I'd stamp my foot down like I was pushing on an imaginary brake.  Also, I kept doing that arm-seatbelt thing across my daughter's chest like my mom did to whoever was sitting in the front seat of our car from about 1978 onward.  By the time we got to the concert my hands were totally sweaty, I was maybe going to throw up a little bit and I seriously considered calling my husband to come pick me up.  (What I learned from this was that unless you want to die in a metal box that smells like dirty feet and peanut butter and sounds like that really scary attic scene from "The Birds" you should pretend like you're an involved parent some other way.)

The field trip destination was a concert hall that's all Baroqued out with carvings and beautiful architecture and marble floors and that lovely way sounds spiral up to the ceiling in buildings that are meant to be listened in.  It also has a statue right in the entry way... a nude statue.  I don't totally remember, but I'm pretty sure that this particular nude was a woman, because I don't recall any embarrassing boys bits hanging out there.  What I do remember is that there was a lot of pointing and hands covering mouths and the kind of laughter you might do if you walk in on someone going to the bathroom.  The third graders found the naked bum part particularly amusing.  I think I spent the entire time up until intermission telling them to be quiet and stop laughing about the naked statue... at which point they went out to have another look.

Having learned last year's lesson about chaperoning field trips that have anything to do with a bus ride, I volunteered to go with my daughter's fourth grade walking trip to our local heritage center...yesterday.  It can be summarized thus:  120 ten-year-olds, 2 miles there, 2 miles back.  Old folks dressed like pioneers.  Lots of rain.

This year's lesson?  Stick to volunteering in the art program.
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5.16.2010

{ Lookin' Like A Fool With Your Pants On The Ground }

When I was around 20 I started to know a whole lot about how to raise other people's kids.  I did not have children.  I did not want children... but I did know that when I did want and have children, they would not behave like those kids in the mall that hid from their mother under the Nordstrom clothing racks like some kind of freaky little special-ops ninja.  I also knew that they would not say things like "you can't make me" when I told them to clean their room, yell out "take that you fool" while pretending to shoot the guy in the pew next to us during church, or write their initials all over the upholstery of my Volkswagen van with a bright blue Sharpie... (including the top of their baby brother's little bald head.)

What I did not know, however, was that every time I thought to myself  "my child will never do that" God would dig through his personnel files and pick out the kids who he knew would totally do "that"...and then he would send out a memo to the shipping department that said essentially "Hey, you know how we didn't know where in the heck to send this one?  Well, I just found him a spot.  By the way, clear your schedule, because you're gonna want to watch this.  Oh, and pull up that training video "Pride and You".  I think we'll be able to get some updated footage."

I'm pretty sure that babies start out as babies primarily so that you can start out kidding yourself into thinking that you are the reason that they are so squishy and cute.  You can believe that they sit up because you are a good mother, and use the baby sign language to ask for more freshly steamed sweet potatoes because you are a good mother, and learn to walk in uncomfortable shoes like a proper human being because you are a good mother.  We say it's all about the baby, but really it's mostly about "Hey look what my kid can do.  Don't you think I'm a good mom?"  This is a trap ladies... and I'll tell you why.  Eventually you are going to take your above average child to a Zumba class at your church and while you are doing your ab work at the end of your "wow, I didn't know I was Latin" exercise extravaganza he will walk over to some random lady who has clearly done more sit-ups than is healthy... and kick her.  Just like that.  (This actually happened to my friend of mine... a good friend and a good mom).  All I'm saying is that if you start thinking that the reason your child has the talents, or disposition or personality that they do because of something you control... when they turn beasty, you're in for a massive identity crisis.

Don't get me wrong.  I believe that parents play a huge role in the development of a child, but I've known too many good moms who feel totally defeated when faced with a child who came with a little more fire, or tears or hatred of seams than everyone else things they should have.  Really good moms who have had to put up with the comments about "if you'd just let her cry it out then she'd sleep"...or "if he's hungry enough he'll eat it"...or "it looks like you've got your hands full"... Which is what I got to hear from a total stranger last week when I turned around at the park to find my 4 year old son, bum exposed to the world, peeing in the flower bed.  I looked her right in the eye and said "You know, I'm never quite sure what people are trying to tell me when they say that".  Then, I pulled up my son's pants, told him (really loudly so that every mom within earshot could hear) "good job keeping those pants dry buddy" and headed for the car... with my pointy chin held high... totally embarrassed and wondering how I could be so bad at this mothering thing after almost 11 years.

... maybe I'll just blame his father for this one.
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5.12.2010

That was not a good picture of those pants...

Something went terribly amiss with the giveaway picture yesterday.  It displayed fine on my computer, but apparently looked like a giant frowny face to everyone else.  I'm not guessing that you want to win a frowny face.  I reposted and you should be able to see the real picture now.

thanks-
e
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5.11.2010

Rants In My Pants May Giveaway Featuring Raspberry Baby


Let your hippy chick shine through... carry your baby close to your body with this very cool baby wrap from Raspberry Baby.  I use a baby wrap almost every day and highly recommend it to moms who love to hold their wee one... but may find it hard to hold their wee one while chasing the wee one's brother in the parking lot of Target, piling the wee one's astonishingly large pile of clothes into the dryer or cleaning up the pureed carrots rejected by the wee one at lunch.


The color of this wrap is super rad- grey (good for a boy or girl) and the style allows it to be used from infant to big kid, in front/on the back/on the hip. Who doesn't love something that can grow with the baby?  Good for you, your child and your pocket book.  Keep it for yourself, or give it as a gift.


This prize comes to us courtesy of Tiffany at Raspberry Baby.  Based in Dallas TX, she is a mother of 3 and an etsy veteran of a few years.  Her shop started with simple ring slings (which are still available if you aren't a fan of the wrap), and now boasts maternity skirts, nursing covers (which are very handy for the modest among us) and many other goodies for moms.  You can find her stuff at her shop on etsy as well as various boutiques across the country.  


Lucky for you, you can also find her stuff right here... this month only... in our giveaway.






To be entered in this month's giveaway please visit Raspberry Baby on Etsy.  Hustle your pants right back here and leave a comment about your favorite item.  That is worth ONE ENTRY and one chance to win.


If you just can't stand losing and would like to rack up some additional entries, listen up.  You can earn ONE ADDITIONAL ENTRY EACH by:
  • becoming a follower of Rants In My Pants (my blog must show up on the "blogs I'm following" portion of your dashboard or it doesn't count)
  • linking to the giveaway from your blog or website 
  • posting a link to the giveaway on Facebook
  • Tweeting about the giveaway 
  • taking one the buttons from my sidebar for your blog
  • and/or writing a post on your blog about the giveaway

PLUS...


YOU MUST leave a different comment for each entry. (Example:  One comment with your favorite thing and a different comment saying you are a follower).  If you don't, don't blame me when you don't get your rightful chances.  I will use random.org's random number generator to pick our winner.  The winner's name will be posted on Rants In My Pants and will be notified via email.  They will have 24 hours from the time of the post with the big announcement to claim their prize.  If the prize is not claimed within the time limit, everyone (except the "too bad for you" winner) will stand up and cheer, because we'll try again with the random number, claim it within 24hrs. thing.


This deadline for entering this giveaway is May25 , 2010 @ 5pm PST.


Good Luck.


This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.  If you're not 18, get your parent to enter for you.


-E.
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4.30.2010

Rants In My Pants April Giveaway Winner


Here it is people.  The moment you've been waiting for... and waiting for... and waiting for... at least that's what I've been told.  Apparently I am late at announcing April's winner.  In the future "I will not allow my personal tragedy to effect/affect my ability to do good hair"... or blogging as the case may be.  (I actually have not had a personal tragedy, I just like that line.)

So... without further delay... Congratulations to Melissa Haas.  You are this month's winner.  Enjoy your bag... and yeah earth!

ps - thanks as always to our great sponsor:  A Beach Breeze.  (Now go buy something from her.)
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4.15.2010

{You must remember to put on your pants}

Here's something that you could make into one of those "spend more time with your family it won't kill you and it could be funny every once in awhile" TV ads... When you pull up to the Elementary School where your niece is performing as "Butterfly #1" in the first grade production about bugs at a picnic and you're noticing how nice all of the families look as they walk into the gym... and then, as you're parking your car, your own first grader announces "Oh, umm, Mom?  Yeah, we need to go home, 'cause I've got on clean socks, but I forgot my shoes".  

I'm sure it could happen to anyone, son.
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4.12.2010

{Rants In My Pants April Giveaway Featuring A Beach Breeze}

As some of you may have noticed our monthly giveaway went on an unexpected vaca in March.  We finally tracked it down and made it come home to do some work.  Slacker.  I think I'll forgive it though, because, in honor of Earth Day and farmer's markets  (our's opens in 2 weeks) and  the idealistic little college guy who tried to get me to sign a petition to outlaw plastic grocery store bags in Oregon, the giveaway brings you...

 A super chic reusable shopping bag from A Beach Breeze based in Dallas Texas.

This bag is reclaimed and upcycled.  In a former life it was a bed sheet, but now, after a little nip and tuck, by shop owner Erin, it's been transformed into a really cute and environmentally responsible reusable shopping bag.  It is also a contortionist. (In a good way.  Not a creepy "hey, where are your joints" way.) There's a little pocket in the front that the whole bag folds into so that it can fit in a purse or diaper bag or back pocket like a wallet.  You've got to admit - that's pretty cool.  Now you won't have to be that person at the store who has no room in the cart for actual groceries because it's full of reusable bags falling all over the place.

A little bit about the brains behind the bag... Erin (owner of A Beach Breeze) is a Kansas girl who went to design school in Denver and then made her way down to Dallas (where as far as I know there are no beach breezes.  Sad).  She comes from a long line of seamstress wizards, namely her mom and grandma. She attributes her love of vintage fabric to the time she spent playing around her grandmother as she quilted.  (I love that by the way.  Hey, I wonder if she does pants.)  She's also a passionate recycler... hence the giveaway prize... which brings me to... the giveaway rules.


To be entered in this month's giveaway please visit A Beach Breeze's Etsy shop.  Hustle your pants right back here and leave a comment about your favorite item.  That is worth ONE ENTRY and one chance to win.
If you just can't stand losing and would like to rack up some additional entries, listen up.  You can earn ONE ADDITIONAL ENTRY EACH by:
  • becoming a follower of Rants In My Pants (my blog must show up on the "blogs I'm following" portion of your dashboard or it doesn't count).  If you are already a follower you can use this one too.
  • linking to the giveaway from your blog or website 
  • posting a link to the giveaway on Facebook
  • Tweeting about the giveaway 
  • taking one the buttons from my sidebar for your blog
  • and/or writing a post on your blog about the giveaway


If you purchase something from our generous sponsor (in the month in which they are featured), you will earn 5 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES.  (I'll need an invoice number or some other type of verification so that I can double check with our sponsor.  Like I said, I don't want cheaters to prosper.)


YOU MUST leave a different comment for each entry. (Example:  One comment with your favorite thing and a different comment saying you are a follower).  If you don't, don't blame me when you don't get your rightful chances.  I will use random.org's random number generator to pick our winner.  The winner's name will be posted on Rants In My Pants and will be notified via email.  They will have 24 hours from the time of the post with the big announcement to claim their prize.  If the prize is not claimed within the time limit, everyone (except the "too bad for you" winner) will stand up and cheer, because we'll try again with the random number, claim it within 24hrs. thing.


This deadline for entering this giveaway is April 26th, 2010 @ 5pm PST.


Good Luck.


This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.  If you're not 18, get your parent to enter for you.


-E.

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3.31.2010

{How We Treat A Man's Pants}


I have an investment idea for anyone out there who might be looking to expand their portfolios.  I want to open a chain of  treatment centers that specialize in helping the unfortunate politicians/professional athletes/manopause suffers everywhere who do daily battle with addictions to Stupid, and its gateway companion, Selfish.

If you're interested in helping stupaholic/selfaholic men kick the habit, let me know and we'll talk numbers.
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3.19.2010

{Our Tooth Fairy Keeps Forgetting Her Pants}

Memo

From: E.

To:  Tooth Fairy

Re:  What the heck?




This memo is to serve as your official notification that I will be filing a formal complaint with your supervisor regarding our complete dissatisfaction with your performance as our family's Tooth Fairy.

On more than one occasion you have demonstrated behavior that leads me to believe that you would be better suited for a different field of employment.  Such behaviors include an alarmingly high rate of absenteeism (my son waited three days for your last pick up), disregarding your obligation for personal written correspondence with my children (you have yet to answer my son's letter requesting information on what you do with all of those teeth - I think he finds it a little disturbing) and below market value pricing for my children's cavity free teeth.  One of my son's classmates is currently being compensated at the rate of $10 per tooth, and my sister informs me that her Tooth Fairy leaves fancy gold dollars with each visit.  We will be filing a separate complaint with the EEOC and will be requesting all back pay plus fines paid in full as soon as possible.

I do not have the extra time nor am I willing to assume responsibility any longer for your carelessness.  I will no longer attempt to convince my disappointed children that their tooth money has fallen behind the bed, worked its way into the pillowcase, or become tangled in the sheets.  I will no longer pen hastily written letters with my left hand to disguise my handwriting in hopes of protecting your professional reputation.  I will no longer store two mouths worth of teeth in my underwear drawer because you have failed to remove them as per your job description.  (Quite frankly it's just a little gross.)

As my children's advocate in this matter, I can no longer accept your irresponsible behavior nor will I subject them to the neglect and obvious careless regard that you have for their feelings.  I will be requesting a replacement fairy as soon as possible, and can only hope that you pursue a career that does not involve destroying childhood memories.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that your replacement is more responsible and thorough than you have been.


ps-
I will be forwarding my complaint to the Easter Bunny, Santa's Workshop and The Great Pumpkin.
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{Not sure that Yoda wore pants...}



Really Mom?  Really?
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3.13.2010

{Is that blood on your pants?}

My family and I have started a new blog called "The Bloody Good Life".  We will focus on issues surrounding raising children with hemophilia and try to serve as a resource for families living with this condition.  A lot of the blogs etc. that deal with this disease are sort of ... big downers.  We hope to show lives that are hopeful and happy in spite of things that can be scary and sad.

If you'd like to follow our journey, you can find us here:  thebloodygoodlife.blogspot.com
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3.11.2010

{Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?}

When I was in the seventh grade I was on the school dance team.  I use the term "dance" as loosely as possible here.  Let's just put it this way - if 1987's idea of "going viral" had less to do with quarantine and more to do with laughing at the super uncool behavior of people that you do not know - YouTube would've been all over us.

Luckily for my sisters, this hip-shaking, streamer-twirling, jazz-hands extravaganza lives on thanks to the awesome invention of home video.  Mostly, I'm forced to watch these videos at holiday gatherings- along with the videos of our band performances and one of me being interviewed by a local television program, also circa 1987-permed-hair.   (I'd worked with a local artist on completing a piece of "wearable art" and it was being displayed in one of her shows.  Apparently this was big news in Lockwood, Montana.  My  adventure in "wearable art" is a totally different post all together.)  I have endured many hours of pretending that I am not totally embarrassed that I ever thought it was a good idea to wear a black leotard, footless leggings and red leg warmers... in public... while dancing to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel."  (If I had any idea how to get the video tape stuff onto the internet, I would totally post this for you.  I'm a big believer in funny stuff... even if it's at my own expense.)

In those brief viewing moments when I actually open my eyes to see if my sisters have suffocated because they chose mocking laughter over oxygen, I am struck with something about myself.  I was skinny.  Not thin.  Skinny.  I seriously had no idea at all about this.  I probably should've clued into this when the spandex shorts I wore for gym class were baggy, but I guess it's not until you fill out your spandex that you realize what that meant.

I only had one moment in my life (prior to adulthood) that I ever really even thought about my body.  I was 12 and at a water park with our church youth group, and thus, wearing a swimsuit.  I remember looking at myself and then saying to my dad "I have a fat stomach".  (I did not have a fat stomach.  I weighed like 95 pounds or something, but my stomach has never been totally flat. It's always had a bit of curve to it... like everything else on my body- even at 95 pounds.)  My dad looked at me and said "You don't have a fat stomach.  All girls have stomachs like that.  God made girls to have stomachs like that."  (I have since learned that this is a total lie.  Not all girls have stomachs like this, but I go with "spirit of the law" on this one and so I'm ok with it.)

I thought about those two seconds with my dad yesterday as my daughter stepped off the scale at the doctor's office.  The nurse announced her weight, and then my daughter looked at me.  She looked like how you feel when you are waiting to find out if you passed your driver's license test.  She has never looked at me that way before, and I'm not gonna lie - I was pretty sure it was one of those parenting moments that if you get wrong, will last until your children can tell their therapist about it. I thought of my dad and how differently I would've seen myself for the rest of my life if he would've even jokingly agreed with me.  I thought of my dad and how he could have turned me into a different person with two sentences... and then because I am super witty and good with words I came up with ... "Perfect".  That's what I said to her.  "Perfect".  I even said it really fast so that it would sound like I was not totally concerned about causing her to have an eating disorder or something.

I will always be sad when I think of her looking at me from that scale, but I'm pretty sure that this was a way bigger deal for me than for her... and if that's true, then I think I did my job.
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2.26.2010

{ Let me check your pants }

 A few months back, when we were looking for a new place to live, I applied for a job as an onsite apartment manager.  It's not like when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I said "the onsite apartment manager for an over 55 property", but I was willing to take one for the team.  I've been out of the paid workforce for over 10 years, so when they called and asked me to please bring my resume to the interview I thought that maybe they were joking.  They weren't.

I actually Googled "how to write a resume with little or no paid work experience".  Supporting my theory that you can learn anything from the internet, I was able to write something that was not a total embarrassment.  It consisted of basically taking all of the stuff I've done as a volunteer and making it sound like someone should've been paying me to do it.  I was ready to start sending out demands for back wages, but apparently the people at the property management place were less impressed.  Here's something I learned from that - nothing makes you realize that everyone who ever claimed that you are smart and capable and talented were lying right to your face faster than not being able to get a job as a resident apartment manager. (I also kinda blame Google.)

I was asked to put together a similar job history for an application to a midwifery program that I'm interested in.  I wrote the work timeline that they asked for, but it sounded pretty boring, so I tore it up (I actually just deleted it, but tearing it up seems way more dramatic and decisive) and wrote this instead:


  • Mom - 1999,2002,2005;  employment responsibilities include: First Responder/Medic (specializing in Magic Kiss Treatment - proven to heal any hurt, except broken hearts),  Transportation Services, Science Project Research Fellow, Lego-Conflict Mitigation, Light Saber Technician (contracted primarily by pre-school boys),  Financial Controller, Calendaring and Schedule Coordinator, Life and Style Coach, Soccer Party and Birthday Catering, Homework Tutor  (English: all levels, Math: K-3), Head of Housekeeping, Laundry Delivery Service, Social Etiquette Instruction, Director of Nutrition and Food Preparation Services , Psychological Counselor for ‘Tweens, Costume Mistress (including but not limited to Halloween, Soccer, Ballet, and School Pictures), Law Enforcement Agent, Pharmacist (special training in the uses of Tylenol, Chocolate Cake and Breastmilk).
I never submitted it.  I had finished up my application, tracked down my transcripts, and was figuring out how I was going to pay for school, when I found out that I was getting a new employer... baby #4... and it is because of him that I need to update my resume.

I was picking up the living room while the baby was on his stomach doing his wounded-soldier-drag-crawl when I looked down and saw poo running up his back.  Not down.  Up.  Have you ever heard that saying about  poo not running up hill?  Well, put enough gas behind it, and it loves running up hill.  I grabbed the wipes and started my HazMat cleanup, but seriously,  who was I kidding?  Whoever invented those wipes either has a baby with the world's smallest bum, or a baby that came out knowing all about flush toilets.  So, I just flipped him over and pulled the whole diaper off... and then I panicked.

My baby is breastfed.  I do not even own a bottle (Keep your pants on people.  I'm not telling you what to do with your girls, only what I do with mine) - and I hold off on solid foods until my kids can say, "Hey lady, how 'bout some of that sharing that I hear so much about?"  (Primarily because the constant cleaning-eating-spilling-cleaning-eating-spilling cycle annoys me.)  So, I was pretty sure that there should have been no  big red things in my baby's diaper.

At first I thought that it was blood, (because of the hemophilia) and I had no idea how I was going to apply direct pressure and get an icepack to go ... where it needed to go.  Then, I realized it was something solid and so (thankfully) not a trip to the emergency room.  I then did something that I never thought I'd do.  I picked two red mystery objects out of my baby's poo with my bare hands, wiped them off, and examined them. (Take that "Dirty Jobs" guy.)  I'm pretty sure my younger self was there watching and shaking her head ... and gagging, but my poo curiosity was just too strong.  I looked at the red things.  I turned the red things over.  I thought "I am really glad no one can see how interested I am in these pooey red things." I realized what the red things were.  Two partially digested pieces of cardboard... from an empty box of Girl Scouts cookies that had been discarded onto (what else) the floor by the swarm of locusts that are my children.  Awesome.

So... thanks Motherhood, I've just added two more jobs to an exponentially increasing list of skill sets - Waste Management and Forensic Anthropologist, (although considering that my baby's first solid food was an empty box of Girl Scouts cookies, I might want to brush up a little on the "Nutrition Director" portion of my work history... also, probably not great commentary on the "Head of Housekeeping" thing either).  Now all I have to figure out is where to send my invoice.  




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2.24.2010

{ Exposing My Pants }

We are having a talent show at my church.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to encourage our kids to display their unique gifts with our congregation and to make me feel like I was teaching them something useful by throwing some good Bible stuff at them like "don't hide your light under a bushel" and "don't bury your talents in the dirt like that one foolish servant did" and "honor your father and mother- but mostly your mother if you want your days to be long upon the land".  (Whenever I heard that one about the "hiding under the bushel" when I was young, I pictured that song "On Top Of Spaghetti" where the meatball rolled off the table and (having apparently gained an enormous amount of momentum from its fall), made it out the door and continued rolling until it finally came to rest under a bush.  I think after that it grows a meatball tree - and what could be bad about a tree that can grow meat?)

After determining with my sons that each of them would display one of their original Lego creations, and my daughter deciding that she would show some of the pottery she made while learning to throw on the wheel, my children asked me what I was going to do.  My first choice was "stand in the middle of the gym and tell people what to do"... but I was afraid that someone might think "Hey - she's super good at being bossy.  Let's put her in charge", and since my goal is to never be in charge of anything ever - it seemed counterproductive.

I considered tap dancing.  I took a couple years of tap lessons when I was a kid.  I don't know if I was very good, but as far as I can tell, the best tap dancer you've ever seen - not much better than the worst tap dancer you've ever seen, as long as they're enthusiastic, wear something with feathers and wave their arms around in really big circles a lot.  (Actually, as I'm picturing this in my head, I'm thinking that maybe I should've gone with tap dancing.  I would've made it on YouTube for sure.)

Since my first two ideas weren't super viable, I decided to read one of the stories from my blog. (Think a slightly-less-talented Sarah Vowell from "This American Life" only without the interesting voice.)  This is a little scary for me because I'm not sure what I'm going to do if I get up on stage, read one of these things... and hear no laughter.  This had not occurred to me until one of the ladies from my church who read my blog recently told me that she "didn't get it".  (I like her a lot though, so I'm ok with it.)  My husband asked me if it hurt my feelings, and I could honestly answer "no".  I'm a big believer that writing, or music, or painting or dancing has nothing at all to do with how it is received.  Once an artist has finished their work, the art part is over and it doesn't belong to the artist anymore.  People are free to like it, or hate it... or not get it.

However... it is a lot more comfortable for people to "not get it" when you are separated by a computer ... and the internet.  (Which I still contend is Al Gore's most significant contribution to our society... aside from the term "lock box".)

So... I need some reader feedback.  In order to determine which one of these blog essays, (heretofore known as blessays), I should read, I'm asking for your suggestions.  Tell me which blessay you think I should present and I'll  narrow it down from there.

... and if it all goes badly when I'm finally on stage, I'll just have to improv a really sweet tap routine.
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2.23.2010

{ Someone's got lucky pants }

We have a winner!  (Actually two)...

This month's giveaway goes to

Marci Nafziger who is now the proud owner of a set of really cute little owl magnets
and
Julia McGuire who will be displaying all kinds of fantastic things with her new and equally fabulous monkey magnets.

As always thank you to our generous sponsor Mostly Magnets.  Keep them in mind whenever you are in need of prettying up your fridge, workspace or locker.

Watch for our next giveaway starting the second week of March.

e
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2.22.2010

Last Day for the Feb. Rants In My Pants Giveaway

The February giveaway ends today.  Don't forget to get your name in the drawing for the super rad magnet sets. Remember - 2 winners this month!

e
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2.11.2010

{ Why Do Your Pants Smell Like Popcorn? }

I have a very sensitive nose.  I once saved my husband from what I'm certain would've been a nasty case of food poisoning or possibly death by smelling one mold spore on his sandwich bread from 10 feet away.  It was very impressive.  I do not subscribe to the "just cut the moldy part off, the rest of it's fine" way of thinking.  When I was in 6th grade we learned about mold and what I remember is (as I am constantly reminding my family) that mold is a continuous filamentous structure.  This means that it tunnels along, unseen in your food, and then at the last minute looks you in the eye and laughs.  Basically it's the mole of the fungus world... only grosser because you might accidentally eat it.  (By the way, if you are some kind of mold scientist and are going to leave a comment telling me that mold is not a continuous filamentous structure - just walk away now.  If I have to stop sounding smart because you are a know-it-all, I might have to cut you.)

Because of the aforementioned sensitivity, I have some very definite opinions about smells.  I love the smell of lilacs at Easter time. I love the smell of my baby's spitty breath. I love the smell of a sink or bathtub that's been scrubbed down with Comet.  (I have a childhood memory of my grandmother cleaning her tub with Comet once before I took a bath.  I also remember wishing that she would've let me have more water because it seemed like she had a really big bathtub and I was pretty sure that I would be able to pretend I was a mermaid or a whale.  I tried this once at my own house as a child resulting in the flooding of my parents ceiling and me running nudey across the kitchen trying to escape my very irritated mother.  The problem with the wet/nudey escape is that you end up not so much running as sliding on your belly across the linoleum.)

One of my least favorite smells?  Burnt popcorn.  It's not so much the initial smell that bugs me, but the fact that it creeps along like that smoke monster on Lost taking over every part of the house.  Also, once burnt popcorn has made itself at home, it is pretty hard to evict.

What I learned this week is that when the motor on your washing machine burns up half way through the spin cycle, leaving plastic shavings on your still really wet clothes it smells like a bag of burnt popcorn.  Only this bag of popcorn was being popped by one of those crazies who are trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for something really obscure like "largest bag of popcorn ever popped"... but because they left the room to check on their huge ball of tinfoil, they couldn't hear the popping slow to every few seconds and instead became the world record holders for the "largest bag of popcorn ever burned".

My family (as always) had a lot of suggestions about how the situation should be handled.  It basically became an episode of Solve-the-Crisis-Family-Feud.

Solution #1 - Plunge and scrub the clothes in the bathtub and tell your family and friends that you are doing it because you care about the environment.  Challenge them to wash their clothes in the bathtub too so that you look authentic and passionate.

Solution #2 - Plunge and scrub the clothes in the bathtub and tell your family and friends that you are doing it as research for a book that you intend to write about how giving up modern conveniences is liberating and character building - or some other such nonsense.

Solution #3 - Load up the little red wagon and walk the mile to the Laundromat/Keno Parlor/Dry Cleaner.  Tell your friends and family that you enjoy the exercise.  Also, come up with a smart sounding theory about how paying to do the laundry actually saves you money.

Solution #4 - Use the salad spinner.  I'm not sure how I would fit my husband's jeans into the salad spinner, but I'm fairly certain that I shouldn't tell my family about washing the baby's poo-explosion clothes in the same place where I wash their food.

Solution #5 - Craigslist.  You can get a replacement washing machine for $50 bucks... as long as you "don't mind holding the lid down during the spin cycle" or are not concerned that "the inside smells weird, but the clothes come out pretty good."

My mom had the best solution, "buy a new washing machine".  I have long believed that the people that claim that money can't buy happiness are either liars, stupid or rich... and now I have proof.  Money can buy jeans that don't have baby vomit on them.  Money can buy little boy shirts without juice stains.  Money can buy running clothes that aren't covered in old sweat.  Money can let you send your kids to school in clothes that smell like fabric softener instead of burnt popcorn ... and that, people, is happiness.

(ps- thanks to my mom for our new washing machine and to my sister who took my laundry to her house and returned it washed, dried and folded.)
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2.08.2010

{ Rants In My Pants February Giveaway Featuring Mostly Magnets }


Let's see if you grew up in my house.  Here's your first test.  What do you do when I say the word "Oklahoma"?  If you just can't stop yourself from singing really loudly about waving wheat and how the wind comes right behind the rain, then you may have grown up in my house.  (This impromptu -Broadway-show-tunes-extravaganza also happened/happens when anyone said/says the words "I've got chills", "tradition" or "76".  If we were/are really lucky my mom might throw in a couple of the old Cougar Marching Band moves with that last one.)


(If you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, don't worry - you'll like the giveaway stuff anyway.)


Well, warm up those voices people.  Meet our February giveaway sponsor - Mostly Magnets from ... Oklahoma (Norman to be exact). This cool shop was founded in 2007 and introduced into the Etsy landscape in 2008.  Run by sisters (insert lyrics from White Christmas here), Marie and Malin, their shop specializes in  glass magnets and push pins, many of which are made with their original art work.  


My favorite thing about their sets (besides the prospect of prettying up the refrigerator by replacing the Pizza Hut and Chem Dry phone number magnets) is that they make great, little inexpensive gifts.  Pick a person.  Pick your favorite magnets.  Pick something you want them to hang up with the magnets and... Presto.  Instant gift karma.  (Think a child's work of art for a favorite teacher  ... or... a stack of notes telling your amazing wife how amazing she is for Valentine's Day... or ... pictures of the kids for your mom on Mother's Day.)  (I love giving pictures of my kids.  I edit them in Picasa (which is easy and free), have them printed out by Ritz photo or Costco (which is easy and $1-ish), throw in a set of magnets for stylish fridge hanging (easy and $6.50) and I am the favorite daughter/daughter-in-law for yet another year.)


So ... in honor of gift giving, we will have TWO winners this month.  One lucky reader will win a set of the owl magnets and one will win a set of the monkey magnets.  If you think these magnets are as cute as I do, read on...


To be entered in this month's giveaway please visit Mostly Magnets' Etsy shop.  Hustle your pants right back here and fill out the entry form found at the end of this post.  I'm using the entry form method so that I can protect your email addresses from blog crawling harvester bots.  Honestly, I'm not totally sure what the heck these things are, but I've read about them and I just keep picturing something out of that movie Arachnophobia. Better safe than bitten to death by a bunch of crazy blog crawling harvester bots, I say.  It's only 3 questions - name, email address, and your favorite item at our sponsor's store.  Totally painless and totally worth it.  Doing that gets you ONE ENTRY and ONLY ONE ENTRY.  (No duplicates please, that's cheating.) 

If you just can't stand losing and would like to rack up some additional entries, listen up.  You can earn ONE ADDITIONAL ENTRY EACH by following Rants In My Pants (my blog must show up on the "blogs I'm following" portion of your dashboard or it doesn't count), linking to the giveaway from your blog or website, posting a link to the give away on Facebook, Tweeting about the giveaway, taking one the buttons from my sidebar for your blog, and/or writing a post on your blog about the giveaway.

If you purchase something from our generous sponsor (in the month in which they are featured), you will earn 5 ADDITIONAL ENTRIES.  (I'll need an invoice number or some other type of verification so that I can double check with our sponsor.  Like I said, I don't want cheaters to prosper.)

YOU MUST fill out a different form for each entry. (For example. if you pick a favorite item and become a follower you fill out the entry form twice.)  If you don't, don't blame me when you don't get your rightful chances.  I will use random.org's random number generator to pick our winner.  The winner's name will be posted on Rants In My Pants and will be notified via email.  They will have 24 hours from the time of the post with the big announcement to claim their prize.  If the prize is not claimed within the time limit, everyone (except the "too bad for you" winner) will stand up and cheer, because we'll try again with the random number, claim it within 24hrs. thing.

This deadline for entering this giveaway is February 22, 2010 @ 5pm PST.

Good Luck.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Must be 18 to enter.  If you're not 18, get your parent to enter for you.


-E.
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