Bramell, Party of Five: March 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's Twin Tuesday: Girl Twin News

Seriously, how is it Tuesday again already?  Oh, how I need some sleep.

And that is something we aren't getting much of around here we made a visit to the pediatrician today to check it out.  We got exactly the news I thought we would, and it's not that great.

Girl Twin has always snored.  As an infant, I thought it was cute. I mentioned it once at a doctor's visit and was told that she'd probably grow out of it.  She's almost three now, and it's not cute at all.  And it's getting worse.  Much worse.  I've been up most of the night for the last two nights because she is waking herself up snoring, and of course, coming to wake me up.  The not-so-fun part is that she goes right back to sleep but I cannot because she is snoring like a grown man, or worse, a grown grizzly bear.  Then I lay there listening to her gasp for air and wonder if I should take her to the doctor.  Then I talk myself out of it.  Finally, a whole fifteen minutes before my alarm buzzes, I fall asleep.  *Sigh*

One of the hardest parts of being a parent for me has been those times when we suspect something is not right and yet we flip-flop on going in to see the doctor or not.  Because, let's face it, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" when it comes to running to the pediatrician's office for three kids.  I sure don't.  I belong to the "dirt don't hurt" camp when it comes to minor sickness and boo-boos.  Thanks, Mom!

So our good doctor took one look at Girl Twin's tonsils and immediately referred us to an ENT.  It took him less than one second to change his tune from, "we could treat it with nasal spray for a few weeks" to "ummmm,'s the name of the ENT."  So my baby girl is likely on the road to getting her tonsils and/or adenoids out very soon.  This is scary because she's not yet three, and she'll be having surgery (!!).  But I know it's the right thing to do, to help her rest at night and get rid of the Darth Vadar thing for good.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Party of Five Exposed: Live on Stage

I have some exciting news to share with you all.  I am happy, nervous, scared and shocked all at once.  You may remember THIS POST from last year, when I submitted an essay to audition for the inaugural Listen to Your Mother show in Northwest Arkansas.  You might also remember that I didn't get chosen to share my story, so I shared it in the post on the blog.  The show went on to be a big success and featured many ladies whom I've since gotten to know through my blogging network.

SOOOO...this year I decided to give it a try again.  The concept is to celebrate motherhood, or to share your feelings about being a mother.  Well, you know I've got material for years on that.  In my usual fashion, I waited until the day before the deadline to submit my essay.  Not because I was afraid, but just because I procrastinate.  

About a week later, I got an email to notify me that I'd made it to the "live read" round of the audition process.  I had to go in and read my essay in front of three judges, which is scary enough.  But here's how my morning went prior to the reading:  up early to go to the Family Fun Walk at Big Sister's school, which we also WALKED to and WALKED home.  I rushed in the house for a quick shower, with only a half hour to get ready and leave with wet hair.  I made it to my audition (with stuffy nose, mind you) and had to rush across town to meet hubby for a kid exchange, because he was taking Big Sis to the Razorback game right after my audition.  Then I took a breath.

To make a long story longer, I got chosen to be in the cast of the 2013 Listen to Your Mother Show in Northwest AR! On May 30, I will be joining about a dozen other cool women and one brave dude, to read our essays.  Out loud. On a stage.  In front of a couple hundred people.  Seriously, what was I thinking??  And, I have two months to fret about it.

Here is THE LINK to 2013 show information. You can see the complete cast list and even buy tickets online, if you'd like to come support me. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Giveaway Starts Today: Happy Spring!

I wanted to do a super cool giveaway to kick off the first day of SPRING, and boy, do I have one!  Oh, how I look forward to warmer weather, wearing sandals and cooking on the grill every night.  If you like to grill, cook or EAT, then this contest is for YOU! Isn't that everyone?  My friends at the C.F. Sauer Company are hooking up one of my readers with a fantastic prize package of grilling spices and marinades, condiments, dinner mixes and soup bowls.  I tried to figure up the value on this, but got lost in the math.  Just look at the loot below.  I'm giving all this away--to one person!

I've been using these products since around the first of the year, and we haven't tried anything that we didn't like.  My absolute favorite (so far) has been the Seafood Grill & Broil spices.  Oddly enough, we didn't grill or broil...we bought a bag of frozen raw shrimp, threw them in the skillet with some butter and sprinkled on the spices.  OH. MY.  So delicious! And a fast, healthy dinner when coupled with a salad. 

Another great opportunity for my readers is a coupon code to save you money! If you want to do some shopping at, just use the code PARTY5 to get 25% off your entire order.  And, if you spend more than $25, you can also get FREE shipping on your order. 

TO ENTER CONTEST: There will be three steps to enter this giveaway. 1) Like The Spice Hunter on Facebook.   2) Like   Bramell, Party of Five on Facebook and 3) Leave a comment on this post to tell me your favorite food to cook on the grill.  Don't forget to leave me your email address so I contact you if you win. Deadline to enter is 10:00 pm on Friday, March 29th.
Disclaimer:  The products mentioned and pictured above were given to me for the purpose of sampling for this blog giveaway.  All opinions are my own and I have not received any further compensation for this promotion. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's Twin Tuesday!

For this week's Twin Tuesday, I thought I should give an update on the potty training situation.  And the report is GOOD!  We are now on the 10th day of no daytime diapers (minus naptime) and they are both doing fantastic and really getting the hang of it.

Girl Twin didn't have an accident at school last week at all, but Boy Twin took a bit longer. He used up all his spare clothes the first few days then the accidents got progressively less.  Yesterday he was accident free! I've always heard that boys are harder to potty train than girls, but they are really both doing the same. I think it helps that they are competitive and want to copy the other sibling.  I feel like we are spending every waking minute in the bathroom, but at least they are productive at it!  Go teamwork!

I certainly don't want to jinx this, but I'm so happy and surprised how quickly they are getting it.  I think I was just prepared for the worst, so anything is better than that.  Teachers in daycare are being very supportive, too.  We were hoping the kids would move up a room, as they are now the oldest in their room. I feel like they need to go to the 3-yr-old classroom where all the kids go potty.  But, unfortunately, all the spaces are full and there is no room to move up until August, which I'm not entirely happy about.  I'm also ready for that discount when they move up to that room!!

Just look at these cute little booties! (yes, they will kill me for this one day)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to Babbs Clements!  She was chosen by as the winner of a BRAND NEW, spiral sliced smoked ham from Petit Jean Meats.  I know she will be excited, and so will her daughters.  

Remember, if you didn't win and you'd like to try some of the wonderful products by Petit Jean Meats, you can shop at Petit Jean Meats online and have it shipped right to your house.  In my opinion, you will not find a better tasting ham or bacon.

Thanks for playing, everyone!  Stay tuned for another cool giveaway I'll have later in the week to kick off the official start of SPRING.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sunday Dinner = Delicious Ham

Last Sunday, in the middle of potty training, I managed to get our Petit Jean Spiral Sliced Ham prepared and on the table for dinner.  It was fantastic!  A couple of months ago I was watching Trisha Yearwood's cooking show on the Food Network and saw her baking a ham and making a delicious-looking glaze.  I knew that I wanted to try it.  So, when I got my ham last week, IT WAS ON.  Here is the recipe her glaze I used:  Brown Sugar Honey Glaze .

I had to modify the recipe just a bit because Trisha's ham was much bigger than mine, but it still worked.  It's hard to mess up when there are only two ingredients involved!

First, I wrapped the ham in foil and baked for about 30 minutes.  While it was baking, I made the glaze using honey and brown sugar.  Then, I took out the ham and poured on the glaze.  I wrapped it and baked for another 45 minutes.  The house smelled so sweet and yummy!

Remember, I'm not a food blogger or a professional photographer---bet you can't tell!  Ha!  So, here is your last chance to enter my giveaway.  One of my readers will win a Spiral Sliced Smoked Ham from Arkansas's own Petit Jean Meats. Go to THIS POST and follow my instructions to enter.  It would make a perfect addition to your Easter dinner (or any dinner, for that matter).  You have just under 24 hours left to get your name in the drawing...go now!  

Disclaimer:  I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club.  Through this affiliation, I get to try out products, and give my opinions on new products and branding for the company. My opinions are my own and honest reflections of how I feel. I was given product for this giveaway, so that I could also give away a spiral sliced ham on my blog.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Twin Tuesday!

Well, we are officially in potty training mode at the Bramell house now.  We decided last weekend to get serious and really work on it with the kids.  Once we got home from our Saturday activities, we put them in underwear for the rest of the day. And all day on Sunday.  Overall, the kids did alright.  Actually, quite good compared to the nightmare we had with Big Sis and her training.
I wanted to talk to the teachers at daycare to make sure they are on board with us, so I kept them in diapers on Monday. But today, they wore underwear!  We will have pull-ups for napping and bedtime only. 

I know I will probably be doing an insane amount of laundry over the next week, but I hope it pays off.  We are more than ready to stop paying for diapers.  They both seem to understand the concept; however, I do question Girl Twin's motive (candy).  That girl will go sit on the potty every five minutes (and use it) just to get the M & M's!  I'm serious. That's what we did ALL DAY SUNDAY. It was exhausting!

Anyway, wish us luck. If you have any fantastic tips for potty training two busy two-year-olds, please leave a comment.  I've done this once before, but it was not easy and not fun. I know that's why hubby and I have avoided the potty training until we have the strength to do this again?  I'll let ya know.

First day with underwear at daycare: Girl Twin = ZERO accidents, Boy Twin = 3 accidents. But I'm OK with that!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conversation With My Kid

This little girl has been cracking us up lately.  She's very bossy to the twins, but she also loves them with all her might. Sometimes she even surprises me. Like last night, she asked Boy Twin if he wanted to sleep with her favorite blankie and stuffed bunny. I can't remember a night when she hasn't slept with them herself!  And, she's also been helping the little ones wash in the shower, which is a nice help to me.

The other day, getting out of the bath, she said to me: "Mom. Sometimes, like when we go to Walmart, we see people with big booties."  Out of nowhere!  I couldn't help but laugh at her perceptiveness.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Twin Tuesday!

In sticking with my music theme from the past week or so, I want to share some cuteness about the twins.  They are finally sharing in the fun of music!  Every day, on the way to daycare and back, they insist on listening to their favorite CD in the van.  They totally dig Brian and Terri Kinder, at Kindersongs.  We heard about them years ago from some friends, and first went to see them in a holiday concert at the Fayetteville library when Big Sis was just a toddler.  Since then, we've become quite the groupies.  They usually have 2-3 shows a year at the library, and I'm not sure we've missed any.  If you have little kids, I highly recommend taking them to see the Kinders. They play all over the state, so the chances are good that you can find them in your hometown.  

Now, the twins have learned to love music, too. I'm so proud! Whether it's Christmas music, the Muppets Soundtrack or just regular radio, it's the cutest thing EVER when I can hear them singing along from the backseat.  It's amazing how many words they can remember and sing!

Clever little stinkers, aren't they?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Knock Knock. Who's There? HAM!

And I'm not talking about just any old ham, people.  I'm talking about the best ham you've ever tasted--and it could be yours!  I am giving away a Petit Jean HIckory Smoked Spiral Cut  Ham, just in time for Easter festivities.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

If you don't know, Petit Jean Meats in an Arkansas based company with great tasting products like bacon, ham, sausages and hot dogs.  You can find their meats in grocery stores all over the state, or you can order online direct from . 

I am trying to decide if I want to cook my spiral cut ham for Easter dinner (share), or cook it another weekend just for us at home (or not share).   Either way, I have a delicious plan for this baby. Stay tuned for a follow up post and I'll share my recipe that I'm so excited about trying.  Hint: I got it from my friend Trisha Yearwood!  Well, ok. She's not really my friend but I kinda know her, and I adore her, and the woman can cook.

You know it's a special occasion when Petit Jean is on the table!  Well, in my house it is for sure.

I'm so excited about this great opportunity for one of my readers to win a ham.  I mean, we all have to eat, right?  If you want to enter the drawing to win, follow these steps:

+ Go to  THIS LINK to sign up for the Petit Jean Meats e-newsletter.  You will receive occasional e-mails about product news, special offers and other useful information.  You must sign up for the newsletter to be included in the drawing.

+  Leave a comment under this post!  Let me know that you did sign up for the e-newsletter, and tell me what side dish would go great with this ham.  Also, make sure you leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.  

+  Deadline to enter is Thursday, March 14th at 8:00 p.m. Central time.  A winner will be announced within a few days.

Disclaimer:  I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club.  Through this affiliation, I get to try out products, and give my opinions on new products and branding for the company. My opinions are my own and honest reflections of how I feel. I was given product for this giveaway, so that I could also give away a spiral sliced ham on my blog.
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