Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beat the Winter Break Boredom with Disney on Ice!

Here's a fun thing to do that I got from! We're going to take the girls this week too!

Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Enjoy a winter wonderland with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains, a Very Merry Unbirthday Party, a Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe.

Discount Ticket Promo Code: Use coupon code MOM — four tickets for $44 for Monday-Friday matinee shows, and $4 off Friday night and weekend shows; any additional weekday tickets are still priced at $11. Tickets can be purchased at for Philadelphia shows.

Philadelphia Show Dates
Opening Night Wed. Dec. 23, 2009 - 7:00 PM
Sat. Dec. 26, 2009 - 11:00 AM, 3:00PM, 7:00PM
Mon. Dec. 28, 2009 - 11:00 AM, 3:00PM, 7:00PM
Tue. Dec. 29, 2009 - 11:00 AM , 3:00PM, 7:00PM
Wed. Dec. 30, 2009 - 11:00 AM, 3:00PM, 7:00PM
Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 - 11:00 AM, 3:00PM, 7:00PM
Fri. Jan. 1, 2010 - 1:00 PM , 5:00PM,
Sat. Jan. 2, 2010 - 11:00 AM, 3:00PM, 7:00PM
Sun. Jan. 3, 2010 - 11:00 AM, 3:00PM


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 Months of Silence....

It wasn't intentional, my friends. REALLY. It wasn't.

My last post here was May 4th. And, as I look at the calendar and realize that nearly 6 months have gone by since posting on my blog, I am honestly amazed. You see... it just sorta happened. I'm sorry it did, but sometimes life just gets in the way, right?

I went through some of my last posts and realized that life here at Chateau Ott is quite different from the last time I updated you. When I left you, McKenna was a mostly immobile, binky-sucking little mama. And, Maddie, well, let's just say that the Summer of 2009 was one she'll never forget.

So, what happened? Well, my primary "distraction" (and it is a WONDERFUL distraction at that) is that in January, I started "working" with my friend Sarah in a more formal capacity over at Chester County Moms and Montgomery County Moms. We've got a great thing going over there, if I do say so myself, and sometimes when given an hour of free time, I choose working on those blogs versus blogging here. Beyond that, you know how life is with a 2 year old and an almost 5 year old. Soon, so much time had passed that there was almost too much to say and it felt overwhelming to post here.

Anywho.... I miss blogging. Period. End of story.

So, whether you want to read or not, I will be posting here more regularly (it's hard not to post any less, right? :-)). I like telling our stories and chronicling the kids lives, especially for family that live far away or want to see all of their daily happenings.

Let me catch you up a little:

McKenna is a bright, talkative, stubborn, opinionated, fully mobile little girl now. She just celebrated her 2nd birthday and she is a shining light. She is our child of extremes. She has full on temper tantrums, but she also has these hilariously heart-warming giggle fits too. She is a love bug... but only on her terms. She is willful and spirited and I love her to pieces.

Madison has had a crazy summer. After an exciting few weeks of camp, we headed to the beach in early August for a week of vacation. On our first beach day, Madison was down at the water's edge and in a VERY FREAK ACCIDENT, she twisted her leg and ultimately somehow broke it. It has been weeks of full leg casts, short leg casts, wheelchairs, walkers, pain, tears, and frustration. It has been the hardest weeks of my parenting career without a doubt, but also my most eye-opening. Madison has taught me so much in these weeks about compassion, patience, perspective and positive attitude. This little girl has been so resilient and such a trooper throughout. She has handled the whole situation with such grace and I am honored to be learning such valuable lessons from my own child. She amazes me.

So, here we are in October, enjoying preschool and planning for Halloween. McKenna is going to be Abby Cadabby, a fairy character from Sesame Street and Madison picked a "Forest Fairy" costume. They are excited to both be fairies, but be different at the same time. I can't believe how fast time is flying by with these kids!

Will post more soon! I promise.

Monday, May 4, 2009

And the winner is....

#6... Amy! Amy and her family have won the family 4 pack of tickets to see Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Zing Zang Zoom show on opening night, Wednesday, May 13th!

Sometimes I just ask Matt or Madison to pick a number for me to select winners, but since MANY of my close friends had all entered this contest, I used to generate the winning number so that it was completely unbiased!

Have fun Amy and family!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zing Zang Zoom: The Circus is Coming to Town!

It's the Greatest Show on Earth! And, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey want you and your family to get to see it! Come experience the all new Zing Zang Zoom circus playing at the Wachovia Spectrum!

How would you like to win a 4 pack of tickets to see the circus on opening night, Wednesday, May 13th? All you need to do is leave a comment to this post that includes your email address! This contest will end on Monday, May 4th and a winner will be notified! Good luck.

For all of you who may not be lucky enough to win the contest, I am excited to offer you a special discount offer on tickets to see this amazing show.

Purchase a 4 pack of tickets for only $44 by logging onto and entering the coupon code: MOM**.

Don't forget that your tickets include a FREE All Access Pre-Show one hour before the performance begins

** Tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-800-298-4200. Minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4, can be purchased for $11 each. Special Promotional pricing not available for VIP Gold, VIP, Circus Celebrity Seating or combined with any other offers. Other service fees may apply.

Philadelphia Show Dates:
Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00pm Thursday, May 14th at 7:00pm
Friday, May 15th at 10:30am
Friday, May 15th at 7:00pm
Saturday, May 16th at 11:00am
Saturday, May 16th at 3:00pm
Saturday, May 16th at 7:00pm
Sunday, May 17th at 1:00pm
Sunday, May 17th at 5:00pm


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slendertone Giveaway Winner....

Nothing like closing out a giveaway almost a week later than I should have! The rampant sickness that has rocked our household has me more than a little distracted :-)

At any rate, I am happy to say that Patty from So Young Now is the winner of the ab toner system from Slendertone. Enjoy, Patty!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Slendertone GIVEAWAY!

I recently went to a fantastic event hosted by Colleen of Classy Mommy and sponsored by Role Mommy and Slendertone called Moms Night In! It was an amazing night that was full of pampering and fun for all of the Philadelphia mommy entrepreneurs and bloggers that had gathered there. As always, there was great food, great wine, and great conversation as we all caught up with our bloggy buddies that evening and we even got to partake in FREE manicures and makeup consultations courtesy of Calista Grand Salon and Day Spa! **(As an aside, have you seen the specials that Calista is offering to Chester County Moms Blog readers? Go check it out!)

The highlight of the evening was hearing a brief, but highly informative presentation from the folks at Slendertone about their AMAZING product line! The Slendertone range of products includes a variety of solutions that includes everything you need to stay trim and in shape. Whether it’s a firm, toned midsection, shapely arms or a tighter bottom and thighs you’re after, there’s a Slendertone garment for you. And the best part? You can use it while doing cardio, taking a walk, doing chores, or even just sitting in front of the TV.

We all got to try a variety of Slendertone products at Moms Night In. The toning garments were all super easy to wear and to operate. And, they also let us try out their ReVive Professional Muscle Conditioning product. I have to say..... that was one of the best massages I've ever had. With backaches becoming more and more frequent in my household as I haul my 29 pound toddler around, I look forward to using that product over and over again.

OK, back to the awesomeness of toning while multi-tasking in your life!!! So, who doesn't want stronger, firmer abs in just 8 weeks??? I know I do. Well, here's your chance to win a FREE Slendertone Ab toner! That is a $99 value folks!!! All you need to do is leave me a comment here (PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL) to tell me why you'd like to win the ab toner system!

Also, bonus entries can be obtained if you blog about this giveaway or link to it on Twitter. Just come back and write me a new comment linking to either your blog post or your Tweet!

The contest will end on Wednesday, March 18th. Good luck!

In the meantime, check out this funny and adorable You Tube Video on the Slendertone Ab product!


Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' new report: "Toxic Tub"

Traditionally, bath products and cosmetics don't list ingredients on the label, so even the most ingredient-conscious parents wouldn't know whether the product is safe or healthy. Many bath products for your baby are labeled as "gentle"," "pure" or "naturally refreshing", which can be even more confusing, since these words are unregulated and don't hold significant meaning.

Right now, children across America may be unfortunately sitting in bubbles tainted with harmful chemicals. Recently, an independent lab tested 48 kids' products for 1,4-dioxane and found it in 67 percent of the products. Of the 28 products tested for formaldehyde, 82 percent were positive. Seventeen products were contaminated with both 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, both linked to significant health effects.

To find out the specifics, you should check out the new Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report, "Toxic Tub", for all the details, but in the meantime, I encourage you to Take Action and Voice Your Opinion.

Ask your legislators to clean up kids products.
Ask your friends to request their legislators give the FDA the authority it needs to ensure that all cosmetics, from baby shampoo to lipstick to body lotion, are truly safe.

We owe it to our families to demand that the hygiene products that we all use are safe!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Here, Kitty, Kitty

Both Madison and McKenna have a fascination with kitty cats right now. I'm not exactly sure why, considering Matt and I aren't really "cat people", they aren't around any cats, and we actually have a dog as a pet. But, they just think that cats are super adorable. Both kids have stuffed kitty cats, and Madison is particularly attached to hers right now. It's pretty much with her wherever we go and is definitely the "go to" stuffed animal for bedtime.

Madison has been so into kitty cats lately that she has taken to pretending she is a kitty cat while playing. She asks us to pet her and she purrs. It's actually quite cute!
With all of this kitty cat focus, it's no wonder that one of the first animal "sounds" that McKenna could recognize and repeat was "Meow". So, we often ask her what a kitty cat says and she adorably tells us in her cute little voice!

So, last night at dinner, Matt was going through an almost-daily routine with McKenna where we go around the room and point to different people and say "Who is this?". She can say all of our names with no issue and had already identified Dada when Matt pointed to Madison. When Matt asked her who Madison was, we expected her to reply her usual "Maddie". Instead, when Matt asked her tonight, she responded that Madison was "Meow"! I guess that our kitty fascination has now escalated to an all-time high!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

McKenna's first haircut!

McKenna got her first haircut in early February. Her hair doesn't look very different from before. We just needed to get the back of her hair (that had grown into a mullet) evened up. Since I didn't want the management of bangs just yet, we opted to just get the front of her hair evened out as much as possible without taking off any real length.

She did really well with the cut. At first she was tentative, and at one point she whimpered a little bit, but then she rallied and seemed unphased by the whole process. Then, when it came time to blow dry her hair, she was so intrigued by the hairdryer. She was trying to dry her hair herself. McKenna was cracking our stylist up ... she kept saying "I hope you are getting pictures of this, Mom!"

The first snip and holding Daddy's hand for reassurance

Now she's not so sure about this...

Then she sees decides that this is no big deal

But, the hairdryer really made her curious

She was literally trying to hold it herself and dry her hair

She would push it up to her head and let it sit there

And, she didn't want to let go!
I didn't get any "after" shots. We were all just laughing too hard about the hair dryer and I forgot. She looks adorable with her little baby bob!


Snow Angels

During the first week of February, we had our first measurable snow here in the Philadelphia area. Madison was so excited to go outside and play in it! This was McKenna's first snow to play in, so we were excited to get her out there and see what she thought of the whole thing.

Overall, we had lots of fun. Although, with McKenna not walking, it was somewhat challenging to manage her during our adventures. After she was sliding down my hip for the 100th time because of all of the nylon clothing we had on, I finally decided to set her up in her sled and she watched as Maddie took turn after turn going up and down our hill in the backyard! After a while though, McKenna was less than amused at being bundled up like the Pillsbury Dough Girl and wanted to go inside. Luckily, the prospect of hot chocolate and a movie was enough to lure Madison into wanting to come inside with us when McKenna had enough!

Having a ball sledding!

McKenna's first time playing in the snow... not too excited!

Whee! They went down the hill together.... so cute!

McKenna and Mommy in the snow

Telling me that she wanted to have a snowball fight.... doesn't she have a mischievous look on her face!

There's the first attack on Mommy

And, now she is using her sled as a shield as mommy gets her turn to throw snowballs!


Wordless Wednesday: Climbing

At 16 1/2 months, McKenna STILL won't walk (although we are getting close, I think), however, she WILL climb on anything and everything she can reach!


Bippity Boppity Boo

For Madison's 4th Birthday in January, we decided to take her to the Disney On Ice show in Philadelphia. This was a special treat just for Madison, so Mimi came to the house to spend the morning with McKenna for us. There was a Disney Princess Pre-Show event that was right up Madison's alley! We could arrive up to an hour early and get a tour of all of the princesses most beautiful gowns up close. Madison was in heaven! The even bigger surprise was that Belle and Cinderella both made appearances and waved to Madison in the crowd and even said hello to her. She was so excited.

Then we headed in for the main event and were entertained by scenes from Cars, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Tinkerbelle, not to mention several appearances by Mickey and Minnie!

We had a Disney-rific morning together!

Our little Belle posing by Disney Belle's dress

And, there is the "real" Belle behind Madison

With Snow White's dress
Posing with Cinderella in the background

Daddy and Maddie ready for the show to start!

Showing us her brand new Belle necklace that she bought as a souvenier at the show with the money that Mimi and Pop-Pop gave her!


The Laptop Saga Continues...

Well, we've resolved the laptop issues... partially! The laptop will need to be sent away this weekend for about a 2 week vacation back to HP. The good news is that HP is being AWESOME in their customer service. The bad news is that I'll be without the laptop (and my pictures) again! So, in the meantime, I am going to do a huge dump of all that's been going on here in the last 2 months before I can't share my pictures with you for another long period of time!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Go Mommy!

This bib was one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year. My friend Kristin got it for me (and McKenna), and it says "My mommy's blog is better than YOUR mommy's blog." Not that this is in any way true of any of the fantastic blogs that I subscribe to, but it sure does make me smile and giggle when I see it!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Facebook Stole My Blog

Or, more accurately, Facebook stole all my time to blog :-) I signed up with Facebook back in October. At that time, I found many old friends, acquaintances, and even family members to connect with. Since then, though, even more people I know have signed up and it seems as though almost everyone I know is now using Facebook. Because of that, I find that I spend ALOT of my time lately "facebooking" with people, and ignoring my poor, lonely old blog.

Now I know why they have Facebook addiction groups! And, the group that is the most humorous to me is "Not Now, Mommy's Facebooking"! It hasn't gotten quite that bad around here, but I could see it easily heading in that direction :-) I have been bitten by the Facebook addiction bug myself, but vow to back off a bit and get back to updating people on the kids and myself here!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Silly Girls!

Here are 2 of my favorite candid shots of the kids from the last few weeks.
I walked into Madison's bedroom one afternoon to see what she was up to and found her like this! She had pulled McKenna's inflatable bathtub from the bathroom onto her bed, climbed in, and decided to read a book. Silly girl #1!
Last week, I had left the 2 girls for a few moments in the family room while I went to answer the phone. I came back to find that McKenna had pulled up on the side table, got a hold of the tissue box, and decided to make a mess. Silly girl #2!

And then she decided to blow her nose since she had access to plenty of tissues. So cute!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Christmas to Remember...

And, unfortunately for all of us, that's what I'm going to have to rely on .... remembering! As a scrapbooker, you'd think by now I'd be proficient in getting all the "action shots" to accurately capture the day and have my camera at-the-ready at all times. Well, this year, NOT.SO.MUCH! I am not quite sure what happened. Perhaps it was managing the Christmas chaos for 2 kids this year (McKenna was only 10 weeks old last Christmas, and really didn't enter the fray) or perhaps it was the level of sheer joy and elation that an almost 4 year old brings to the day, but for whatever reason, there are several shots of this Christmas that I just did not get. And, I am very sad about that. One of the main shots that is missing is the annual "on the stairs" shot. That's the picture that my Mom took each year of us in our jammies just before we went out to see the tree. I've done this each year with our kids too, and missed it this year :-( I am also soooo annoyed that I never got a picture of the girls together in their matching Christmas dresses! I have lots of PJ pictures from the morning at our house and then our gift opening at Mimi and Pop Pop's house, but no pics in their cute little dresses at my Uncle's house. And, finally, I also got no picture of the 4 of us together that day :-( Well, all I can do is hope that I re-read this post before next Christmas and try harder to get the shots I want next time!

But, I did manage to get a few fun shots of the day. Take a look!

McKenna LOVED her toy keys and car remote!

Checking out Elmo with Uncle Mark.
Santa granted Maddie's single wish... A Doll House. She loves it so much and barely wanted to see her other toys on Christmas morning. Good work, Santa. (Although it wasn't green, was it?)
Uncle Mark and Maddie take a brief time out from playing with the doll house to say "Cheese!"

Hugging her Tinker Bell movie!
Trying to show everyone her new Barbie head from Mimi and Pop Pop.

Reading her Elmo book like a big girl!
Whether we have the pictures or not, it was an amazing Christmas filled with lots of love, laughter, and family. What could be better?

Twitter Updates