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New and Improved AYMB Coming Soon!

As I near my 2 year blogiversary, I felt it was time to make some changes at the House of AYMB. So the Dude and I (OK, mostly the Dude) have been working on a new design and interface for this blog. I will be unveiling the new and improved AYMB later this month, but here is a little sneak peak:

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In the meantime, I will be attending Blog Her ’11 this weekend (if you’re also attending, please let me know!) and working on fresh new blog posts for your reading pleasure.

Thanks for sticking with me during this transition and I’ll see you back here real soon.

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Giveaway: Glen Ivy Hot Springs Giveaway Winner!

Aviary random-org Picture 1According to random.org, the winner of the Glen Ivy Hot Springs spa giveaway package is:

Comment #5 – Victoria!

Congrats, Victoria! You have a full day of relaxation and pampering ahead of you and I have no doubt that you will enjoy your Glen Ivy spa package. Have a great time!

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Giveaway: A Day of Paradise at Glen Ivy Hot Springs!

GlenIvyWithout a doubt, I’ve never been so excited about a giveaway. Why? Because I’m already jealous of whoever wins this contest!

If you’re from Southern California, there is a good chance you’ve heard about Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona. Perhaps you’ve even had the pleasure of enjoying an afternoon relaxing in the mineral baths, saline pool, or had a spa treatment there as well. If not, let me tell you what you’ve been missing out on.

I’ve been going to Glen Ivy Hot Springs for a few years now and, as you can obviously guess, I’m a big fan. Set in the gorgeous desert-like setting of Corona, California, Glen Ivy Hot Springs offers a beautiful oasis to relax, enjoy time with friends, and get pampered. From minerals baths, lounge pools, the bath house, dry saunas and mud baths to the Grotto experience and the extensive menu of spa treatments, there are plenty of ways to relax and take some much-needed time for yourself. In addition, Glen Ivy also offers a fabulous restaurant with fantastic menu options (my personal fave is the roast chicken and pear salad).

Ready to hear about the giveaway yet?!?

The giveaway includes admission, lunch, Grotto services, and a 50-minute massage! The entire giveaway package is worth over $200.

The contest will end on Wednesday, July 6th. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below about why you need a day in paradise! For additional points of entry, you can do the following (please leave an additional comment for each point of entry):

  • Follow Glen Ivy Hot Springs on Twitter and/or Facebook
  • Follow AYMB on Twitter and/or Facebook
  • Tweet this giveaway
  • Post this giveaway on Facebook
  • Blog about this giveaway

Although this giveaway is for a Southern California destination, the giveaway is not limited to Southern California residents only. Any legal resident of the U.S is eligible to participate.

Good luck!

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Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa
25000 Glen Ivy Road
Corona, CA  92883
58 miles from Los Angeles, 34 miles from Anaheim, or 87 miles from San Diego.

FTC Disclaimer: I was not monetarily compensated for this giveaway.

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A Painful Reminder

At around 1:15 am this past Sunday morning, a nurse from the children’s hospital removed the IV drip that was pumping fluids into my dehydrated and hypoglycemic little boy. After a harrowing 24 hours comforting my 3 year old stricken with a severe gastrointestinal virus, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. His condition was improving and, after another day in the hospital for monitoring, he was released. Four days later, he is almost back to his normal self. I nearly cried when he begged for pancakes this morning.

While I watched the nurse remove the IV tube from my son’s little hand, I later learned that a tragedy was unfolding at that very moment only a few miles away. A repeat drunk driver, with a blood-alcohol level of 0.20%, slammed his truck into a car carrying four high school girls. One of the girls, 14 year old Ashton Sweet, was left brain dead while another girl remains in critical condition. At the request of her grief-stricken parents, Ashton Sweet was kept alive on life support until six of her organs were donated.

Reading about the loss of this beautiful young girl struck something deep within me. At 1:15 am on Sunday morning, I was feeling a sense of relief, renewed optimism, and nothing short of grateful for the improved health of my little boy. I distinctly remember looking at the glowing clock in the hospital room so I could etch that moment in time within my mind forever. I could finally breathe again. But now I know that as I was about to fall back asleep on the hospital cot next to my son, able to sleep more deeply and comfortably with the unquestionable knowledge that he was going to be OK, a family across town was about to wake up to the most horrible news that any parent could possibly receive.

Someone told the Dude the other day that you haven’t really experienced the lows of parenting until your child ends up in the hospital. The thing is, I knew that my little Monkey was going to leave the hospital eventually. I knew he was no longer in danger once the nurses started the IV drip. He was going to be OK. It’s the not knowing that is undoubtedly one of the ultimate lows of parenting. It’s when you can’t bring your child home from the hospital that is undoubtedly the lowest form of human suffering. And it’s those stories that are painful reminders for the rest of us that while parenting has it’s challenging moments, each moment – good, bad, and everything in between – is truly a gift that is a tragedy in itself to take for granted.

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Guest Post: Happiness Is A Gnawed Nipple

Carrie Loewenthal Massey is a writer based in New York City. When she’s not writing, she’s cooking, running, trying to control her spending here, or, most likely, building magnificent cup towers with her baby boy.

Happiness Is a Gnawed Nipple
The Perils of Ice-Cream Free Breastfeeding

I’m walking the five blocks home from the Gymboree Play and Music location where my 8-month-old son, Josh, takes classes. I have him in the baby carrier, his pom-pom hat brushing my chin.  I’m ravenous.

What to eat?  I’m on a restricted diet because I’m still nursing Josh and his lower intestines can’t quite process dairy or soy yet.  It’s a common intolerance, as the pediatrician has stressed, not an allergy, and he will likely grow out of it around age one.  But I haven’t had a chocolate milkshake since I was pregnant, and I hadn’t intended to give them up postpartum.

I walk past the three, yes, three, pizza places on the next two blocks.  I see fresh pies emerging from the oven as I pass the last shop. The 20 pounds of baby strapped to me dissipate as I make a hard left toward the door, ready to devour a whole cheese pie, baked ziti, even the “B” health grade sign the New York Sanitation department has displayed in the window.  Alas, nearly everything has soy in it, so the sign probably isn’t safe.

On the couch back home, I’m malnourished and cranky.  Mr. No Dairy No Soy is latched to my breast, drinking away.  I debate ordering a rare steak à la carte from the Argentine place up the street, when little blue eyes takes a break, smiles at me so wide I see all five of his adorable teeth, nuzzles me, then chomps down so hard on my left nipple that he breaks skin.

I scream.  He giggles. (continues…)

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