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May 23, 2008

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

cdw_lavender_burst.jpgLet's face it - in a house full of active kids, things can get a bit grubby from time to time. Or, okay. ALL the time. Sometimes it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle against dirt and grime.

I've been a big fan of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes since they first came on the market. I don't use them for all my cleaning jobs, but especially in the bathroom and kitchen, it is so handy to have a container of wipes ready to go.

When the gals at Mom Central offered me the chance to try out the new and improved Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, I couldn't wait. I mean, these things are already awesome and convenient as all get-out. What more could they do?

When my sample pack arrived, I ripped it open in glee. You guys... they made the wipes thicker and stronger and! My favorite part! They smell pretty!

Lavender is supposed to be a soothing scent, so I marched into the kids' rooms and wiped off their nightstands. Sleep tight! This is like a germ killer and sleep-aid all rolled up into one!

Then I marched out to the living room and spotted my new Wii Fit board. Bare feet and sweat and my not exactly pristine floors? Aw yeah.

Perfect spot to test out the wipes, baby. Two quick swipes of the board, and the faint dirty foot prints were wiped away from the Wii Fit board. Fitness equipment, light switches, door knobs, even the sticky mystery mess left on the bathroom counter by one of my kids who refuses to step forward.

I've been having a blast wiping stuff. And to a reluctant housekeeper like me? That's golden.

Thanks, Mom Central and Clorox!

May 21, 2008

Nestle Crunch - Win a Wii For The Kid In You

Want to win a Nintendo Wii? Keep on reading, my friends. *Contest Closed!*

Via Random.org's Random Integer Generator - the winning comment number is: 7

Wii Winner.jpg

And... our 7th comment is from Kim, who doesn't have a blog to link. Congratulations!

I received an email from a PR agent last week, offering me the chance to give away a Wii, courtesy of Nestle Crunch. What's the catch? No catch! Nestle just wants to know what YOU do to stay young at heart and celebrate your inner kid.

Eating Nestle Crunch bars apparently is good for the kid in you. I know this, because they sent me a pinata filled with mini-Crunch bars, and my kids are currently engaged in trying to tear the thing limb from limb in a frenzy for the goodies. Before I go and throw myself into the fray, I thought I'd share the ways that I maintain my youth. Besides hair dye and wrinkle cream. And teeth bleach. And Spanx.

Ahem.

Anyone who has been reading my sites for any length of time knows I'm a huge cornball. I love to joke around and spend much of my time laughing. Even when I'm bleaching and dying and squeezing myself into spandex body armor! It's true!

One of my favorite regression techniques? Playing like a kid.

Witness:


This Could Go Really Great, Or Really, Really Bad from BigSliceJenny on Vimeo.

Wanna see that trick from another angle?


See Me Roll from mizzjenny on Vimeo.

My friend and I took our preschoolers to the inflatable jumpy place to "let them play" and we ended up taking over the place and scaring the other children and parents for life. It was so much fun to leap around, yelling and laughing and going down giant slides that gave us wedgies-

PumpItUpWorkout_021

and boxing with giant gloves -

PumpItUpWorkout_038

and in general acting like four year olds -

PumpItUpWorkout_039

I have no doubt we totally made a spectacle of ourselves. And I've been itching to go back and do it again. Acting like a rampaging dork is one of my favorite ways to cut loose and take care of Little Jenny.

(Big Jenny is ready press her advantage and steal most of the fun-size Crunch bars from the scrum under the pinata.)

So now - it's your turn! Tell me what you do for the kid in you?

  • Head over to your blog, and share how you celebrate The Kid In You.
  • Please link back to this entry and mention that you are entering to win a Wii from Three Kid Circus and Nestle Crunch.
  • Then come on back here and leave a comment with a link to your entry.
  • Don't have a blog? It's okay! Leave a comment here with your story or fun tips for keeping it immature.
  • Tell your friends - everyone is eligible!

I'll keep the entries open until Wednesday, May 28th at midnight. I'll choose the winner through a random drawing, and announce it here on Thursday, May 29th.

Need some inspiration? Check out the Nestle Crunch site for lessons on Pig Latin and other funny time-passers.

May 14, 2008

Wii Fit - It Moves (Me) In Mysterious Ways

Balancepicture.jpgLast Saturday night, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to gather a group of friends and host a sneak-peek party for the Nintendo Wii Fit game.

Unlike this last summer's Mother-Daughter Sorority Extravaganza - this one was for the mamas only. And let me tell you...this was the PERFECT way to kick off Mother's Day.

The party was to be held at my house, but given the size and general decrepitude of my humble abode, I almost passed on the opportunity. When lamenting this sad state of affairs, one of my friends volunteered another friend to host the party at her lovely and spacious home.

A few phone calls later, and we were in full party-planning mode.

By which "we" means the lovely ladies of the Nintendo Party Brigade. I just made a couple of phone calls. Sent some emails. That sort of thing. They even made custom invites for the party.

On the day of the party, I figured that in the interest of being fit and active-appearing, I would ride my bike the four blocks to the party location. You know, it was really weird being the "hostess" and just showing up merrily, la la la... I could totally get used to that.

When I arrived, I parked my bike and greeted the lovely and gracious Holly who was actually hosting - and moments later, the television delivery guy arrived. And hot on his heels, it was the Wii Fit Party Squad.

TV delivery you say? Why yes! Armed with three flat-screen tvs, seven hundred boxes and several suitcases, the Nintendo team kicked into high gear, and transformed the house into a fitness-party wonderland. Not only did we have the game setups, but we also had lovely fruits and juices all fancied up, and bottles of water on ice stationed conveniently about the party area, and Wii Fit experts standing by to help us get our moves on.

After the initial setup was done, and before the party guests arrived, Holly and I took our turns getting on the balance board and going through the BMI and weight part of the program. Holly's husband kindly stepped out of the room before we calculated my totals - aaaaaand I'm obese. No suprise there. In fact, the little Wii FIt voice was rather cheerful about it, and the little character looked stunned to notice that she was on the ginormous side of things. It is what it is. For now. More on that in a minute.

With that out of the way, we quickly switched back to the characters created by the gorgeous women who had been training themselves silly for the last week, in order to unlock all the possible games and exercises.

Once the guests started to arrive, we quickly got into the groove. The Wii Fit women walked us through the basics, and then turned us loose. All three game setups were going simultaneously. It was really funny - one group would be doing the hula hoop game, and then we'd notice the group in the kitchen was doing yoga, so we'd all go over there and watch for a minute.

wiifit_021

Then someone else would start boxing, or being a penguin, or ski-jumping, and we'd wander into the other room to ooh and ahh. And taunt. We did a lot of taunting.

Midway through the party, Catherine and the rest of the Nintendo team laid out a magnificent, healthy spread including dolmas, baba ganoush, hummus, pita, olives and feta cheese, tabouleh and orzo salads and seriously yummy shish-kabobs. We also enjoyed the most delicious white wine version of Sangria - I have to get the recipe for that!

Wii Fit + Sangria = My Kind of Workout

Reactions from the rest of the party guests were a lot of fun to overhear. One friend who is a physical therapist for children, was very impressed, and eager to get her hands on a copy of Wii Fit for her clients. Another friend was not interested in the cartoon-style games - she wanted to dig into the more 'adult' exercises. Both the yoga and the strength training modules impressed her - but what really won her over? The tightrope walking game.

Incidentally, I suck at tightrope.

And the bubble down the river game.
wiifit_053 I should have titled this one "Pop!"

But I'm a hula hooping wunderkind, and I'm loud and proud about it.

WiiFit_GDC_06.bmp


Who knew you didn't even need a hoop? This was moments before I really let loose and shook what my mama gave me on my way to a super-high score. You're glad we didn't capture that.

Hula Hooping.  Aw yeah.

rvl_BalanceBoard_photo01.tifAnd I'll admit, a lot of the photos from the party look like we were just standing on a white rectangle, staring at a TV, but the balance board is REALLY cool.

It functions as a scale, sure, but it is also pressure sensitive to a very high degree, and even the slightest shifts in balance trigger a response on the games.
wiifit_025
This made for a frustrating, challenging and ultimately addictive play experience. Everyone wants to try just one. more. time. before quitting - because you know that you can master it if you just practice a little bit more. That's the best kind of motivation, if you ask me.

I love that the games start off short, but as you gain skill you can add minutes or difficulty to the activities. I also love that there is no prescribed workout order, or must-do activities to be successful. You work on what you want to work on, and for however long.

As the party wound down (actually, when the Wii Fit ladies started giving the party guests some thank you gifts and presented me with my own copy of Wii Fit (!) and then started packing things up,) everyone quickly started playing their favorite games one more time. We had some ski jumping going in the kitchen. We had some last minute penguin action going in the living room. And Mary and Kim decided to have a running race.

I think I lost two pounds from laughing. Clutching the Wii Remotes and jogging in place, Kim and Mary ran and ran and ran. Mary stuck with it, but Kim started cheating and just shook the remote with her hand.
wiifit_062
At the last minute, Kim's on-screen character tripped and fell. Mary's character stopped to see what happened, and Kim's character leaped up and ran across the finish line for a win.

We finally relinquished the balance boards and turned over the remotes, and one by one, the guests headed home. After a final pack-up, and a spit-polish of the kitchen, the Wii Team left, too, and I mounted by bike for home.

Since riding home slightly tipsy with the Wii Fit box crammed in my bike basket and setting it up at 11pm, I've played daily. Actually, that is why it has taken me so long to post this entry... my poor arms were all sore from whacking the crap out of the punching bag in that boxing game. (Not really. But ow! It makes me sore!)

I'm not the only one either - everyone from my five year old, seven year old and nine year old kids to my husband has set themselves up and has played for at least a few minutes daily. I love the quick burst of energy I can get from a couple silly games - it makes for a great break from work. And I'm noticing muscles hurting that I forgot I had... this is always a good sign.

I think I'm going to set up a Wii Fit page on Three Kid Circus to keep track of my progress publicly. Believe me, I know that merely playing Wii Fit isn't going to get me down out of the obese category, but it's a start - and a damn fun one at that. Thank you, Nintendo!

Want to win a Wii console and a Wii Fit of your very own? Check out my contest at Three Kid Circus.
(A number of Wii Ambassadors and several other lucky bloggers will be giving away Wii Fit as well - I'll link to their contests once they are up!)


May 5, 2008

Kinzin - Making Me Look Good, Once A Month

When my now-eight-year-old daughter was born, I was a maniac about sending photos to relatives. Not only did I take more photos than I do now, but it was back in the days of film cameras. I must have spent $9,000 printing out shots of my kid with eyes crossed (her "poop face") with her limbs blurry from flailing.

I'm still a proud mama, but I'm not as good about sending photos to the extended family as I once was. Digital cameras are awesome, and I use Flickr to share my latest shots with my online-savvy family and friends. But for the other members of my family, including my mother-in-law? She doesn't use a computer - and I am lazy about getting the prints made and mailed. The last candids she has of my kids are a couple of years old now...and I'm a horrible daughter-in-law.

Another challenge about using Flickr with the online family is that not every shot I post online is fit for Grandma's eyes. I mean, I'm not posting Moms Gone Wild photos - often...

So anyway, the lovely ladies at Parent Bloggers offered me the chance to test out the online service for families - Kinzin - and I jumped at it.

Kinzin.com is a fun, free and easy and secure way to keep your loved ones up on the latest from your kids. Once you've logged in, you can set up a quick profile for each of your kids, and include a quick "what he/she is doing right now" blurb ala Facebook status or Twitter message. Each child has a dedicated "Kidstream" with a place for journaling, photos and more.
You can see what my page looks like here!

Hands down, though, the best feature of Kinzin is the photo shipping. Check this out...

You can upload photos directly to Kinzin, or you can suck them in from Facebook, Flickr and a few other services - Kinzin will select the most recent 10 photos (or you can select your own assortment) and at the end of each month, Kinzin will print and ship these 10 photos and a custom message to the folks that you've signed up for this service. At $2.99 per address, you cannot go wrong. That's less than a latte, and you'll be keeping Grandma happy - automatically.

Even better, I guess they are doing a promotion right now where if you buy 2 addresses, you get one free. They will automatically send up to 10 pictures ONE time per month to the addresses you have listed. That's like $6, for 10 photos plus a custom message to THREE people who would love to see the latest photos of the kids.

My order just arrived, and the finishing is lovely, and the colors are great. I love that the photos are matte finished, and have the photo name printed on the front of the photo. (I didn't realize that this would be the case, so in future batches, I'll rename the photos to something more descriptive than park_001)

For the delivery service alone, Kinzin is going to make me look like a rock star. But the online hub for interested family and friends is really cool, too - and keeps all those "Mommy Weekends" safely segregated.

To get started, visit the Kinzin.com homepage. To see what my fellow Parent Bloggers reviewers had to say, check out the roundup.