t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.

5.30.2008

Fight Back


Since ***** doesn't want me to fly out to **** this weekend, where I should be right now...I have decided to just go to work and make my own destiny. In fact for the first time I started contacting retailers, and guess what? They are actually writing me back, calling me and are interested. I am stealthily searching out email addresses and phone numbers, yes I actually called a couple CEO's yesterday. All this without paying thousands of dollars a year for a service.

Cap Trappers are a good product. I am confident of it. Retailers that jump on board are for sure going to be the lucky ones!! And thankfully we are fully equipped to handle large orders and deadlines. Thanks to the help of my amazing partner Brent.

If you want to balance home and family successfully, just make sure you don't try to do everything yourself.

5.29.2008

Figuring out Facebook


I joined facebook today. I feel so young and hip. I still really know nothing about it. I feel very old and crusty and bewildered. Yes that is me being bewildered at my computer above. I think I just thought you made up a page. But I guess that is My Space. Facebook kind-of seemed boring until the emails kept pouring in all day, with people adding me as friends. That makes me sound really popular, but I'm not don't worry, it was mostly family.

So how do I use this better? If you are on facebook what are the good groups to join? How do I go about doing it? I'm going to be honest. My husband set it up for me. So I really am clueless. I don't even know how to direct you to me. Add me as a friend. Hmmm I think my account is under Savvy May? That's what it says at the top of my page. And don't ask me why my husband chose that picture. He could have at least chosen a flattering one like the one included above.

Hopefully I can relive my high school glory years. ha ha. All sarcasm aside...isn't technology amazing?

We are such a connected world. Who knows maybe I will start "twittering" soon? Then everyone will always know what I had for breakfast and how many bites my kids had to finish before they had their 3 chocolate chips for dessert.

5.28.2008

"Hurry up and Wait"

So I learned a new phrase today common in the television industry: "Hurry up and wait." I was supposed to be on a plane to **** right at this very moment. But, here I am sitting at my computer instead writing a blog. As glorious as blogging is, I would much rather be on that plane.

Yesterday I spoke with the producer, and they decided they didn't have things ready enough yet to do the "big shoot." So I am postponed. Yesterday was a totally down day for me. However, I am holding out hope. They are telling me there is no reason for concern. They are constantly on a "hurry up" schedule and then a "wait" schedule.

Well at least I have more time to shed the post-baby weight since television adds 20 lbs I am informed. And btw, it is really good motivation to think you might be in front of so many people.

I am just counting my blessings...because darn it, I am so lucky!

5.26.2008

Cap Trappers: A Successful Product in a Down Economy

Cap Trappers are the ultimate product to sell during slow economic times. They allow users the ability to eliminate waste. School budgets are constantly strained and inevitably will get tighter. Supplying each teacher with a set of Cap Trappers for their classroom ensures their markers will be used to the fullest. Teachers can easily organize their marker collection, quickly distribute markers (or dry erase) to students, and effectively take inventory of missing markers at cleanup. This saves time, wasted money and frustration.

Parents looking to squeeze extra pennies from the budget will be more likely to purchase “another” set of markers knowing their kids got full use out of the last set. (There is nothing more irritating than purchasing a product knowing that the previous purchase was wasted). Many of our current Cap Trapper customers have actually gone back to using markers (after giving them up in exchange for crayons, or pencils) once introduced to Cap Trappers.

The design elements of Cap Trappers were developed while studying with my husband for one of his MBA classes. The class focused on one of Toyota’s core elements of success called 5S (Sort, Sustain, Standardize, Straighten, Shine). These ideas resonated in me and I tried to implement some of them within the Cap Trapper. I feel using this product will reduce the time you spend on “non-value-added” work (searching under stoves for caps, panicking that your child has a cap in their mouth, or as a teacher having to sort through 100 markers at the end of each school day looking for caps, etc, etc, etc) while allowing you those few extra minutes each day to focus on things that really matter.

Whatever financial position you find yourself in using the Cap Trapper will help save you time, wasted money, frustration and worry. Thanks for supporting us in our efforts to take Cap Trappers to the masses!

5.25.2008

The Business Pitch...The Abe Lincoln Version

Here is my pitch. I call it the Abe Lincoln version. You will see why. I am like a floundering fish when it comes to this type of thing. So please help! Any feedback would be fantastic.

Give me a tantruming two-year-old or really dirty bathroom and I can work magic. But ask me to clearly and concisely pitch my product and I flop around all over the deck.


video

Who knew a blog could be so revealing?!

Serving up Bessie...Thoughts on Being a Solo Vegetarian and Adaptability



The picture above represents a true feat on my part. I assembled these patties myself. That may not sound grand and glorious but it is a far cry from where I was 10 years ago when I got married. I have adapted to accommodate my sweet, meat-eating husband. I now will touch and prepare meat (while wearing surgical gloves).

My Journey to Vegetarianism Begins...

Nearly twenty years ago, while in my tender elementary school years, I had a truly traumatic experience involving prepared meat. With an after school group I attended a Bilmar Turkey Processing Plant in Michigan (where I lived). I have vivid memories of tiptoeing through blood pools, gasping at bins brimming with turkey feet, and cringing as turkey dogs shot out of who-knows-where in long chains. To compound the lasting horror, for some reason, still unclear to me, I volunteered along with my best friend Rachel (we were the only two of the whole bunch to step forward)to enter the slaughter room.

Sqwauking masses of white feathers hung suspended by their feet from a long conveyor belt. The belt crept slowly towards a large metal chamber. Upon reaching the chamber it was explained to us the turkey's received an electrical jolt to stop their hearts. Once outside the chamber a line worker slit the long slender throat, and the turkey moved to a second chamber. It was here, to my horror, the animals were again shocked, to restart their hearts so they would bleed to death. That sealed the deal for me. From that moment forward I swore I would never eat a piece of turkey again. I informed my mother (who was certain I would grow out of it, this too will pass) who has stood by me faithfully all these years. Always willing to accommodate.


Fully Committing to Vegetarianism

The full commitment to living a meat-free life came in my headstrong, environmentally zealous teenage years. In middle-school I was assigned to debate the issue of factory farming. Upon learning of the hormone and antibiotic injected animals, literally stacked on top of each other, I knew I wouldn't eat meat again.

Adapting

When I got married I tried to avoid all cooking in general, especially meat. Slowly but surely however, I have adapted and learned to cook meat for my family. I don't remember a single moment when I could finally look or touch meat, it just sort of gradually came. When Ellery was little I fed her tofurky and soy milk... only to learn the hormones naturally in soy are as dangerous as the horomones in meat. So now I serve up Bessie.

Serving Up Bessie



Bessie was my Dad's cow. Raised on the Full-Circle Ranch. (3 years ago when my parents moved to Logan they wanted a name for their 9 acre spread. Brent's vote was the Double D Ranch, that didn't fly with my ultra-conservative mother) Bessie wasn't really her name, my mother refused to name the cows, and tried not to look at them peacefully grazing in their pastures. But for all intents and purposes, she was Bessie and she had a wonderful grass-fed life, rumbling around in Cache Valley. Except for the occasional break-outs of she and her two comrades, (cows are amazingly good jumpers, who would have thought) her life was pretty uneventful. Until slaughter day.

But I will happily feed my family Bessie. I know where she lived, how she lived, and what she ate. The same cannot be said of the grocery store meat. With Bessie I at least know my young son will not be developing breasts at a young age. For myself however, I stick with a huge green salad for dinner. No one ever thought of naming broccoli, or shooting it up with steroids, and that is just fine by me.


The Life Lesson

Stick to your guns. I have been mercilessly teased for not eating meat for years. However, it is part of who I am and I stick to it. Sometimes though it is okay to give on things that aren't a part of my value system. So just because I don't like to prepare meat, or eat helpless animals myself, it doesn't compromise anything dear to me to grill a steak for my family. I think that is a true life lesson. Giving where we can and sticking when we should.



Here is a recipe for this fantastic salad you see below you. This is my latest favorite.



Mixed Greens (including fancy lettuce, spinach, and green leaf lettuce (organic of course)
Strawberries
Raspberries
Sometimes I throw in an Apple
Pecans or Walnuts
Parmesan cheese
Broccoli
Balsamic Vinagarette


5.24.2008

The Big Five..Can't we Just Keep them Little?



Yesterday was the Big 5 Birthday for Ellery. Her excitement was over-the-top. She woke up the night before at about 2 am and could not go back to sleep she was so giddy. It was contagious. The day included a fabulous party, complete with cookie cutter PB & J sandwiches, a wild bike parade, and the classic, but always disturbingly dangerous, pinata.




Unfortunately, as the day closed it became clear to me we had doubled the load of toys in our house. Ellery was thrilled. Not me. I am not huge on "stuff." So tonight, while she is peacefully sleeping, it is out with the old and in with the new. I am stealthily working my way around the house and filling bags for the good-will. I feel a bit "grinch-ish," but we just don't have room for everything! And most likely, a big fingers crossed, she won't notice.

Cheers to Ellery for her zeal for life. Why wasn't I that excited for my B-day? (most likely because it was one of those "big ones") Aren't kids the greatest? Tonight she looked up at my while we were snuggling and said; "Mommy I love you so much, thanks for giving me the best party in the whole world!" I wish I could just freeze my children so they would never grow up! But if I froze her when she was 2 I would have missed this moment. I guess things just keep getting better!

5.22.2008

The Back-to-School Must Have Item: Cap Trappers!



Summer break is just days away for all the children attending the elementary school across the street from our house. They are giddy with the idea of popsicles and pools. In fact, on one of the 3 warm days we have had this entire Spring (do I sound bitter? because I am) my girls ran through the sprinklers with their friends, I think 6x in one day. One time at each of the neighbors houses in our cul-de-sac and 3x at our house. Ellery graduated from preschool. With honors of course (do they do that in preschool? probably).



She is so excited for Kindergarten in the Fall she can hardly stand it. In fact, so am I. But not because my sweet little angel is getting so big. That petrifies me. When we tease her about not going to school next year, her response is "Mom, Dad, forget it. I am going."



So why can't I wait for school to start again? I am excited and determined that Cap Trappers take the back-to-school market by storm. I think Cap Trappers will be the must-have supply for teachers and for students this fall. The teachers currently using Cap Trappers in their classroom love them. They rave about the preserved learning time and efficiency gained by their use. (I will get some pictures up soon of them being used in the classroom.)

For this back-to-school push I have to land a major retail account. Cap Trappers must be totally accessible to the masses. Internet sales are just not effective for this type of product or marketing push.

Education about the product is crucial. I believe moms and teachers will seek out stores that carry Cap Trappers, once they know what and where they are. But for those browsing the store, I believe education on the product is simple. Ideally I envision Cap Trappers in a retail store in their own kiosk. These kiosks would be complete with Cap Trappers loaded with markers for display. A clear visual will immediately educate the customer.

Big dreams in our family. Dreams of Kindergarten. Dreams of taking the back-to-school market by storm. I better get my nose to the grindstone and woo those retailers!

5.21.2008

Free and Clear Messaging

Free and Clear

Tonight I went to a great, free class put on by the Small Business Development Center and Utah Valley University. (I highly recommend finding resources like this in your area if you are trying to start something.) It was free (did I already say that?) and invaluable. This class reinforced to me again, my overall ignorance of all things business. But...it also showed me, several normal people bouncing ideas off each other, led by someone who actually knows what they are doing (Susan McClain www.thewritingway.com) can make some great business sense.

The class was on messaging. Sending clear messages to your targeted audience. A theme which has definitely been on my mind lately. (If only I had taken this class one week ago. Oh well, what can you do. Better this week than next week!) In a nutshell here is what I learned. Again, I claim absolutely no expertise...I'm just a regular mom who by day juggles 2 kids in a single stroller with the other trying her hardest to annoy the ones in the stroller while I search the mall for nursing covers. (Also known as "Hooter Hiders" Why are these so hard to find?) Because Emmett and I are attached, and that won't change in ****** next week! Again, here it is, what I learned.

  1. Write down everything you can think of related to your product or business
  2. Make bullet points of everything unique to your product or business
  3. Write down your target audience
  4. Create a 10 word sentence packed with as much power as you can. You really want to grab attention and create interest. Pin point the unique aspects you bulleted.
  5. Expand with 15 more words
  6. Expand with 10 more words
As I reread that, it needs further explanation. I will ask Susan to expand. Maybe she can comment and add her brilliant expertise!

Tomorrow I will get my notes in here. And show you my before and after pitches. It will be interesting to see what the "Expert Board" has to say next week.

5.20.2008

The Wild Card

Brent calls Callista our "Wild Card." We definitely never know what we will get with her. But what we can count on is it will come with a whole lot of spunk, style, and smiles! Savvy May is my wild card.



Communicate Clearly...Even your Love Messages

We like to play a silly game with the girls. "I love you...(fill in the blank with the largest number or thing you can think of)" Ellery usually spouts off a number like "one hundred million and sixty." Callista has kept saying "one hundred William Davidson." I couldn't figure out why she kept inserting Emmetts name (Emmett William) Finally it clicked. She was hearing "William" instead of "million" and then she added "Davidson" because in her mind, it fit.

A little reminder to me to send correct and clear messages. That is, if, I want to be understood. It is funny the cute little things you learn from your children in the midst of being a parent.

5.19.2008

How to Find Your Big Idea

WARNING!!
Before you read this be sure you understand I have zero expertise. No credentials whatsoever. But just maybe that is why you should read this. Because aren't most of us totally amateurs with no experience, nothing special to attach to our name? And if I have a shot with my little idea, that means you do too!

So here are the steps in the evolution of my Big Idea.

Let me start by saying I can't take all the credit. My husband has been constantly prodding me for 10 years about my idea. "What is your idea Rebecca?" He would say this over and over to me. My response was always the same, "You are the idea person. I am the book person." I never imagined I had an idea in me.

I am living proof, everyone does. We have yet to see how big this idea actually turns out to be...

Step #1

Find something that bugs you. Something that bothers you just about everyday.

...For me it was markers. I was annoyed with the lost caps, the wasted money, the mess. I kept trying to stop buying them, but my students and kids wanted them. The colors are brighter, you can write all over your body, come on, what kid doesn't love that?

Step #2

Make sure it really annoys other people too.

...
At thanksgiving, I heard my 60-year-old Father-in-Law complaining that he couldn't find 2 caps from the brand new set of markers he had just bought for the grandkids. It hit me then, this doesn't just bother me. I then started asking everyone I knew if they had the problem. They did.

Step #3

Let the problem sit and fester.

...I definitely don't think about markers every moment of my life. That would not be fulfilling. I also try not to think of my annoyances all the time. What fun would that be? But I did let this problem just sit in the back of my mind. I was aware of it.

I came up with several different ideas first. But decided against them. One was a flip-top marker (since then Crayola came out with one). Flip tops didn't solve my problem because it seemed awkward, the caps could break, and as my husband brought up, I didn't want to compete with marker companies.


Step #4

Be aware of all Possible Solutions

Few ideas are completely new and fresh. While I was thinking about this problem of the course of a couple months, our oldest Ellery needed to be seen at Primary Children's Medical Center in SLC. While we were in the waiting room, sitting on a table was a big thick block of wood. It had 10 holes drilled into it and the caps glued inside. My husband pointed it out to me and said, here is the solution to your problem. But it wasn't. I remember in high school my chemistry teacher had made something similar. I needed something not just to keep my caps together, but I wanted it to be:

  • Safe - no sharp edges, nothing heavy, okay to put in mouths
  • Small - Little enough to fit in my craft box, or in a drawer
  • Portable - Easily thrown in my purse, brought to church or in the car
  • Universal - It needed to fit all cap sizes and require no glue
That experience however perked my imagination and later the Cap Trapper was born.

Step #5

Make sure no one else has had your "big idea"and especially be sure no one has patented it!

I did an exhaustive search to make sure no one had thought of my idea. Once I was convinced it was time to move forward. But that is for a different entry!

5.16.2008

Whew...and....Oops!

Whew....

What a day! It was quite the adventure from 8 am until 1 pm with the ****crew here. You can imagine trying to keep the kids quiet during interviews, even the big wheels in the front yard were too loud, and the baby happy and well fed. All in all though, the children were angels.



By far the hardest part of the day was my personal interview. I had to answer the producers questions in 1 sentence answers. It was so hard. I had practiced using 2-3 sentences. Cutting back to one was a challenge. I also kept saying words like "so", "well" and "okay." Those all had to be redone.

The "b role" (all those filler quiet filler shots) was much easier. They just filmed all of our day to day things. That, I can handle. Callista of course was a complete ham for the camera. She definitely knows how to work it at 2 1/2. I think we are in for some trouble when she is 15! Ellery took an hour or two to warm up for the cameras and then she was a star.



As far as the girls go, I had meticulously done both of their hair at 7:45, ironed their clothes, and bronzed their little faces. My efforts were completely in vain. I'm afraid to say this will be "reality" TV. By the time it was their turn to be on film, Ellery had fallen and scraped her face and switched into her black patent leather sunday shoes. Calllista's clothes were covered in stains and her nose needed a definite wiping. What can you do?

Oops...

I did have a big oops. Apparently I was not supposed to publicize this yet. Yikes! We tried to stop the **** article from running tomorrow, but to no avail...it was too late. So you will notice I can no longer mention the ****** ***** show or the station name. Please just forget all the names I mentioned for about 2 weeks and then we can repost everything!

To Sum it Up...

I am exhausted. Emotionally, physically. It still all seems too good to be true. I'm just a nobody from nowhere...and totally lucky! I am worried about the editing, you never know. I hope it comes across that my family is number one. They are what matter to me the most.

Tonight Emmett kissed and kissed me cooing all the while. I am richest, happiest woman in the world, right in those moments.

But now, I am going to lay on my couch and do nothing for 4 hours.

5.15.2008

Thoughts on Trashed Sippy Cups and Flubbed Interviews



This is me sitting at me freshly organized and semi-dusted work station. I am drinking from my brand new Sigg water bottle I have been anxiously awaiting. Yep, all aluminum. I got them for my whole family. It cost me an arm and a leg, but somethings I will pay for.



So now we are drinking our "spring water" from aluminum bottles. (Did I mention the spring water comes in a plastic bottle? At least it is a #2, semi-yucky, and not a #7 the super yucky kind.) I'm trying to eliminate those nasty bisphenols.

Thankfully a couple years ago I stopped storing my food in plastic or heating it in the micro in plastic. If I hadn't we would probably all have cancer, be infertile and obese by now.

I try to be educated. I try to learn from the things I read and from my experiences. So today was good prep for tomorrow. I had 2 photographers come and an interview, all from the local papers. Anyways the first photographer was somewhat of a disaster on my part. Somehow I was completely clammed up. I asked him one question about himself, gave a brief pitch, and then lots of awkward silence. I even failed to introduce my incredibly better half!

So after a debriefing from my husband on this slight snafu in my public relations, I bounced back and did much better for the next photographer and my interview. Now it's just all old hat. I'm sure tomorrow will be a piece of cake. No big deal. Sure.



So like these toxic sippy cups in my garbage, I can't look back at what I did in the past, the toxic chemicals my girls innocently sipped each night, the flubbed interview...I just have to keep learning and going :)

Wish me luck tomorrow.

5.14.2008

Newspaper Interviews and Priorities

I never had any intentions of being an entrepreneur. I never thought I had any ideas. But I had one idea. And I am totally passionate about that one idea. So I am doing what it takes to make it happen.

However, I think key for any mompreneur is to get a really good team behind her. I am so lucky because I have my fabulous husband. He is an experienced entrepreneur. And successful at it too. Which can't be said for a lot of entrepreneurs. Here is one example of what he does for me.

Tomorrow I have 2 interviews. (I guess the press release was decent.) One with ****** and the other with *********. I am excited about both of these. Tonight Brent helped me practice answering questions. Because lets keep it real, I am totally a bumbler. Bumbling is not what anyone in the press wants for sure. He has this amazing knack for saying things clearly and concisely. I'm not totally hopeless, but pretty close!

A little thought on priorities. My family is totally number one. Today I found myself putting off Ellery. Telling her to be patient and wait while I emailed. I thought about it for a second and the sweet little lamb had been so patient. I was distracted. So I closed the computer and took her to the park. First things first.

Cap Trappers are set to revolutionize the way people use markers. :) The word is starting to spread.

5.13.2008

Press Releases and Producers

What a crazy day! It seemed like I was either "Diego" rescuing "baby jaguar" (Emmett) with "Alicia" (Pip) or emailing or on the phone. It was great I was talking to my sister Monica and had to say, "Hold on, this is the producer on the other line." So official huh!

I got about 4 hours of sleep last night so to try to prevent a deluge of wrinkles for my photo-op on Friday I am headed to bed.

Oh...I did send out my first press release to the local media. How fun!


....Here it is...If you know anything about press releases feel free to slaughter this one, hopefully I will be better next time.

The ****** ***** Show Visit Orem Stay-At-Home-Mom-Inventor

“It has been an amazing whirlwind…I am just a mom but I am passionate about this product and it looks likes *** is too!”

Orem, UT, May 13, 2008—Former teacher and stay-at-home-mom, Rebecca Davidson, never thought of herself as an entrepreneur or inventor. But six months ago she had a little idea and **** and *********, think it is huge. On Friday, the film crew flies out from ******** to interview and film a day in her life as a mom and entrepreneur. So what is ***** so excited about?

Rebecca explains when she taught in the public schools, and now as a mom she constantly battled lost, dry, and messy marker pens. It seemed everyone wanted markers but the headaches weren’t worth it. Then she had an ah-ha moment and conceived Cap Trappers. Cap Trappers are a simple, inexpensive solution to keep caps together and out of little children’s mouths, and markers organized and portable. With an idea she was passionate about she started her company Savvy May Creations. The last four months she worked out the design, manufacturing, and packaging of Cap Trappers. They are currently sold on Amazon.com.

“It has been an amazing whirlwind the last 24 hours. The producer called yesterday to tell me they want me on their show to pitch my little idea to a mass retailer. I’m still in shock at the amazing opportunity this will be for my company. I am so lucky to get this huge break. I am just a mom but I totally believe in this and it looks like ***** does too!” After filming in Orem, the show will fly Rebecca out to *** on May 29th and 30th for studio filming and for the “*****” The spot will air in early June.

For more information visit www.CapTrappers.com or email Rebecca@SavvyMayCreations.com, 801.221.7430.

###

SMC is going on the ******* ***** Show...Go Wild Sweet Peas!

What an unbelievable phone call yesterday! My little sweet pea company could be going wild and crazy with growth. ******* called (from ****) and they want me to come on their show. (All this from a humble little email I sent 4 days ago.) But the amazing part is not just that I get to go on the show, but I get to...... One ****** is basically what I get. And they say Yes, or No. Yikes!

Their crew is coming this Friday. Spending the day with me to film me in my element. I hope they like playing at the park, coloring with markers, watching Dora, and an occasional run in between me and my computer. Maybe I should tell them to come from 8pm to 6am, when the real work is happening. After they shoot out here, they fly me to *****. My first time in the *******. I am soooooo exctied. On May 29-30 I will film for the show.... Then the spot will air in the beginning of June. Soooo fast!!!

It has been a wild 12 hours. As with any television show the producers need a story. So my homework was to explain to them in a nutshell what it would mean to me if I had the biggest bumper crop of sweet peas in history.

If you are starting a company and haven't thought about this I suggest you do. A little soul searching never hurts anyone. I have always known since I got this idea at Thanksgiving it was important to me. I have felt so driven by it...known I wanted it to succeed. But why? Well that is what I have been articulating the last 7 hours. Sometimes getting out what's on the inside is a lot harder than we think.

I think I have it figured out, but I better not give away any punch lines from the show....I will tell you this much...

Remember how passionate about my minivan I am...I would love to upgrade to leather seats and 3 power doors, a true mother's dream!

This is my chance, the big break....the huge piece of luck I needed...

5.12.2008

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

It's hailing outside. But it is a beautiful day! For one thing we have a wonderful review of our Cap Trappers over on Make and Takes. I met Marie last week and she was so sweet. I am so glad she and her community are loving the product. Go check out what she had to say and her pictures.

Beautiful day #2...I got an amazing call today. It could be the big break I've been waiting for. I will post tomorrow and let you know....

I know pins and needles!

This is how I feel....

5.08.2008

Sweet Peas


Sweet Peas. There is absolutely no reason this little vegetable should have the word "pea" in it. An instant turnoff. That's why in our family we call them "gummies."

These are my little sweet peas growing in my garden. They were really the first vegetable I could get Ellery to eat. In fact she loves them. In hot summer, she runs over to the vines and snaps off as many peas as she can find, and hides them in the folds of her shirt. But it isn't what's on the outside that she loves, it's the inside. She opens each one carefully for her little treasures. In fact, both my girls call those plump little peas "gummy." Because in their minds they must be candy if they taste so good and have such a pretty color.

I planted the peas about 3 weeks ago, and then life happened. I have to admit I have totally and completely ignored them. But guess what? This time I was lucky and we had cool weather (yes freezing, I shouldn't have complained), lots of rain and up they popped. Usually I am definitely not this lucky. In fact, my beans last year I had to replant about 4 times. Finally they came up in July. Not very impressive.

Life is like that. Sometimes we just get lucky breaks. All we have to do is plant a seed and things will grow. But the majority of the time, the seeds fail and we have to replant. We can't ignore. Conditions don't magically fall into place. Cap Trappers won't be sold in masses just by planting the seeds. In fact, I need a ton of luck, the right conditions and a whole lot of working, watering etc. It's a lot of unglamorous work, but as with most things in life, I will take those sweet plump peas any day! Totally worth the effort.

5.07.2008

Mom are there Sharks in your Tummy? or the Power of Communication


Today I have been thinking about how critical communication is. Not just any kind but effective, lucent communication.

First point in case:


We Have a Pool...

Ellery asked me today if we could put a pool in our backyard. (Of course she is ready for spring because we have had two days of warm weather in a row now, but never fear you Winter lovers, it is freezing again today.) I politely explained to Ellery a pool in our backyard would be a glorified hot tub. (Another joy of suburbia.)

But then her eyes lit up and she said, "Oh Mom, I forgot we do have a pool, it just lives at Mimi's house!"

Well that was settled easily. Just like we have a baby brother and a bike, (and a dog that lives at Grandma's :-)), we have a pool.

A second point in case:

Mom, are there Sharks in your Tummy?


In final, large and extremely uncomfortable weeks of my pregnancy Ellery and Pip were fascinated by the deformity that my stomach had become. I often told them a little baby was swimming inside just waiting to come out and play with them. One afternoon, Ellery got a very thoughtful look on her face and asked,
"Mom, are there sharks in your tummy?" How do you respond to that? Of course I started humming jaws and chasing her around...but after we cleared up there were no sharks she wanted to know about dolphins and starfish. I really didn't think I was that big to fit all those things!

A third point in case:

Did You Read This?

This afternoon I sat down at my computer to type an email. I left to make a sandwich and my husband sat down at the computer and read it. He said, "Rebecca, did you read this? Are you actually going to send this to someone? It makes zero sense."

A few words used in just the wrong way can totally change the meaning. Words without context are totally meaningless as well. I better get back to tending my new born shark pup.

5.06.2008

Squeezing into Too-tight Peep-Toe Pumps... Or What I Learned From my Mother

BlogHer has a great tribute to moms Mother Knows Best. Here is my little tribute to both of my wonderful moms.
My own Mother...
Squeeze into those tiny peep-toe pumps even if you feel all blistered because of it... My mom has tiny feet. But she never had a problem wearing my Dad's triple E wing-tips or the neighborhood trophy-wife's peep-toe pumps. In fact she had a whole closet full of shoes she could walk-in.

I remember so many times coming home from school, especially in those difficult junior high years bawling. Sometimes crying because I was so mad, sometimes crying because I was so hurt. Usually I just ran up to my room and shut the door. It was then I would get the little tap on the door, or sometimes a note slipped under...mom was ready to help. When I let her in, I always wanted a "You poor thing, awwwwe..." What I got was so much better.

Instead my mom tried to find every angle she could from the other persons perspective. Even though sometimes it hurt, those shoes of my best friend who I felt had just betrayed me, or my orchestra teacher who I was certain blamed her divorce on me, were an awfully tight squeeze, often I felt pretty blistered. However, I have always been grateful as an adult, she taught me how to put them on, work through the pain, and see what it might be like to be in someone else's shoes.

My Mother-in-Law...
How to Be "The Prince" and Relish it... I always sit back in awe as I watch my mother-in-law play with my children. She sits for hours on the ground, in awkward positions and plays Barbies and Polly Pockets (she can even amazingly get those horrendously difficult PP clothes on). She never complains about being "the prince." In fact, somehow she finds a way for the prince to dance with all the princesses at the ball, and both my girls come away the better for it. Clutter, telephone calls, laundry...they all take a back seat because first and foremost she is a mom/grandma, and she loves it, and that is what I want too.

Thanks to both of my moms, I love them.

Wild Hearts Can't be Broken

A few little lessons from this week...


Wild hearts can't be broken...no matter how much I try to contain these raspberries, they go wild and will not be contained

If you email someone over and over again, sometimes they respond...usually they don't. But hooray, a connection I am trying to work with in Chicago finally came through!

It's a small world after all...a wonderful college friend found my blog and we reconnected. Both of us now have 3 children and it turns out his wife goes nuts about messy art activities and she loves Cap Trappers.

Always do your homework...I got an email from a PR firm it sounded incredible. They were ready to make all my dreams come true and flood the earth with Cap Trappers. Well I was excited for about 5 minutes. I did some research, found a former client...let's just say, I'm not interested.

It's all about connections...My husband knows a stellar sales person at Northridge Media. They are the ones who put out those gorgeous magazines Scrapbook Trends, Paper Trends, Card Trends, Bead Trends...I dropped off a bunch of Cap Trappers...she was excited about them, we will see what kind of strings she can pull, since I have 0 budget. If you haven't seen these magazines yet, you have to check them out if you are remotely crafty, you will love them. If you are me you will look at them in a worshipful sort of way knowing full well you will never be able to create that sort of beauty.

Shots stink...Emmett had 6 shots today and the poor little lamb is absolutely miserable.

Top 8 Reasons I WILL be Caught Dead Driving a Mini Van


We all have to have it at one moment in our lives. A moment of epiphany. A time when we throw out everything we have always held dear. It is in that moment we accept what we always swore in our teens and early twenties we would abhor, the minivan. In my case I had to let go of my beloved subaru outback (oh, I loved that car). But now not only do I drive a minivan, I embrace my minivan.

So here are my top 8 reasons I will be caught in mini van!

8-There is enough floor space to become covered in crumbs so I never have to worry we will go hungry if we somehow become stranded in the desert for days at a time.

7-I can move my sons seat close enough behind my driver seat to hold his nuk in and bounce his car seat with my right hand whilst steering with my other hand. (I don't think they make minivans with standard transmission for this reason alone.) I prayed for a car seat baby, but it was not to be. Again.

6-The acoustics are phenomenal. Who would have thought that Old MacDonald and Michael Finnegan, could reach such decibel levels with my daughters and I belting along to the music?

5-It only costs me $60 to fill up my tank. And yes, you all know that is a bargain!

4-I can open my trunk, car door, hold a car seat in my elbow, and push a shopping cart with two kids simultaneously. (Whoever designed the remote control automatic doors was a genius.)

3-There is tons of cargo room to haul large amounts of cap trappers in the back.

2-My husband feels compelled to wash it for me to save a little face.

And finally my #1 reason...

Lets face it, I just look ultra cool :-)


I guess it doesn't always hurt to totally redefine what is important and what makes me who I am. It can change. It's like that being a SAHM mompreneur. It seems like I better always be open to shifting gears and moving in new directions. That way I won't miss any opportunities. And maybe I'll get to switch to a really fast car soon! Because Ferrari's are pretty cool too.
add to sk*rt

5.04.2008

Cool Mom Picks

We were so excited to see what Cool Mom Picks had to say about Cap Trappers. I love their website, they always have the best products, I was definitely honored to be a part. Here's what they had to say:

Missing Marker Tops, No Longer the Bane of My Existence

Whoever invented magic markers was not a parent. While it's bad enough that crayons end up in teeny little shards all over our floor, at least there are no caps to lose - and then find again. In the baby's mouth. As I race towards her yelling, Choking hazard! Choking hazard!

But Cap Trappers? Definitely made by a parent. A smart one named Rebecca Davidson.

Her invention basically a strip of rubber that can sit flush on a table or hang from a wall or easel. On it are four cap-shaped cylinders that can hold nearly any sized pen or marker, and they come in lots of pretty colors including my daughter's favorite: Sparkly.

At $5.99 for a set of two on Amazon) it's way cheaper than buying new markers all the time, way kinder to the environment, and way kinder to mommy's back since I no longer have to spend my life under the couch fishing out marker tops. -Liz

5.02.2008

Diaper Bag: What's in Yours?


So today I was thinking about diaper bags (BTW, I love mine, it is Ju*Ju*Be, I totally recommend it www.ju-ju-be.com, tons of space, antibacterial, and super cool. It was a gift from my husbands awesome aunts and uncles) what we as moms keep in them, and what it says about us. Here is what you will find in mine on any given day:



1-A year supply of fruit leather, of course only our favorite flavors. We promptly recycle the large build-up of raspberry and strawberry as our monthly donation for preschool treats.



2-Nukie and Suction-My children have serious pacifier attachment until we drag them to build-a-bear and stuff all the nuks inside a bear. Ellery was 3, but Callista was 2, so we are getting better. 2 of my kids have serious mucus issues so I won't be caught dead without the suction. Although maybe Ellery is getting a little old for that.



3-An extra outfit, because the only time Emmett has blow-outs is when I am in the bank or at the grocery store.



4-Cloth Diapering Essentials, what right eco-minded mom doesn't use cloth diapers? Okay so I know there is some debate on water vs waste. Personally I don't want 1,000's of my kids diapers piled up in landfills. Also who wants to rub nasty chemicals all over their cute little bottoms. My wipe mixture: spring water and a few drops each of chamomile and lavender oil. Complete the set with some nice soft flannel. Check out www.nickisdiapers.com for the best diapers and tons of great tips.



4-Goat and Toad. This is classic, believe me. Well maybe not but it is perfect for Ellery who is just learning "long o".



5-Of course a Cap Trapper. How could any sane mom leave home without one. It provides a perfect activity in a pinch, like waiting forever for a prescription or outside of preschool. And no one wants crayons and markers floating around everywhere in the corners of your bag. A shameless plug, of course. To fit in your purse or kids bags use the little mini pip squeak markers. My girls adore those.



So now you know, I do everything in my power to eliminate refined sugar from my kids diets (why do they have suckers at the bank?). I have strange kids with tons of boogers. We read books about goats and toads (because I am definitely making sure my kids can read by age 2 which is unbelievably crucial, heaven forbid they have time to play). I am mildly fanatic about protecting my kids from yucky disposables. My baby has perfect bowel-timing. And finally, I am ultra-prepared with the best marker case ever my cap trapper! What does your diaper bag say about you?

5.01.2008

Doggy for Hire

From about age 7-12 I begged and pleaded with my parents for a dog. But my mom would never give in. She said they were too much work and her own 5 children were enough. Eventually the burning need sizzled out, and now, yep you guessed it, I am the mom saying to my children "no dogs, they are too much work, my 3 children are enough." However, I have the perfect answer to this age-old conflict....Keep reading...

Doggy-for-Hire. Well I guess we don't pay for him but we loan him from my mom who lives 2 hours away. His name is Brim and he is an angel of a dog. In fact, my mom (the same mom that would never consider a dog when I was so pining for one) claims he is an allergy-free pooch, no shedding, no dog smell...I'm not so sure I concur with the "dog smell" but he is a darn good dog. Here's how it works. About once a month, Brimmie comes to stay at our house. My children think they have a dog, and I didn't even have to potty or puppy train him.

After about 4 days, just when the poor thing is so loaded full of doggy treats he can hardly move (it is not unheard of for a full bag of pupperonies to disappear in a single feeding from Callista, sorry mom if you are reading this) and he is cowering under the slide (because let's be honest, the entire neighborhood gang thinks Brim is their dog) we drive him back to grandmas, or grandma comes to get him (usually the case since my mom is an angel herself).

So maybe if your children are begging for a dog, you could work out a doggy for hire with a friend or relative, maybe you and your friends could go in together and buy a dog...possibly my mom should just start a Doggy-for-Hire business (I'll mention it to her) But be forewarned, I think my 5 year old is wising up to my charade, she has started to protest when I say "Of course we have a dog Ellery."

Here comes the far-fetched analogy you have all been waiting for. Isn't it great when people share with others the amazing things they have done; when they are willing to let you be a part of the "perfect dog" they have nurtured, trained, and created after years of hard-work. These are the angels I am looking for to help me as I am clamoring to make something successful out of a business. I have to admit my husband is a pretty expert "dog trainer" which I have totally needed. I'm so grateful for the help of those brave women who have gone before. I am excited to attend a messaging workshop this month put on for free, by an expert. Check out her website www.thewritingway.com Aren't we all lucky some people are willing to share their Doggy-For-Hire with us!