I Sold My Soul for a Free Pillow

sleep number pillowIt’s all fun and games until you turn it into work, and that’s exactly what I did when I signed up for this mission from Smiley360 and Sleep Number. I was having fun, sampling stuff left and right, but high on the prospect of free goodies I took on too much and that was my downfall.

I’m cool with the usual free stuff requirements – a blog or video and a few social shares. Something totally natural that you can work in without bugging people and looking like you totally sold out. And then, lured in by the promise of a free $90 pillow, I accepted the invitation to join the Sleep Number campaign.

Here’s what they want:

  1. Visit a Sleep Number store and get your number
  2. Share a photo to Facebook 4 times
  3. 2 Ad tweets
  4. 4 Photo shares to Twitter
  5. 2 Comments on Smiley360
  6. Report on sharing with 10 people face-to-face
  7. 2 Posts on Pinterest
  8. 2 Posts on Instagram

Visiting the store is quite a time investment for a busy mom. I was lucky they had a little Lego table set-up, but there were moments the toddler was zooming around the store squealing.

But the real killer is the social shares. One Facebook post, OK. People actually paid attention and posted their Sleep Number and it was kinda fun to see. But again and again…I’m probably losing friends and credibility with every post. Most of the time I feel like nobody is paying attention on Twitter so I loaded up my feed with as many tweets as I could.

And then this happened: In my rush to get it done, I tagged CrowdTap instead of Smiley360 and my posts were rejected! So not only did I already bug everybody, but I was going to have to do it AGAIN if I wanted to complete my mission. I had gone this far for the darn pillow, I wasn’t going to let it go, so I did it with an added apology to friends that I had let this happen.

I’m still waiting to see if my last posts were accepted, so fingers crossed. This better be the most wonderful damn pillow in the world. (and maybe I will post a photo of it because I Want to this time)

Getting my number at the Sleep Number store
Now give me my fancy pillow!
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My Top 5 Daily #MomFail Moments

momfail1Every day starts off with grand intentions. He’s going to eat all his breakfast! Then we brush teeth! Serious potty training starts now! Then it takes about two minutes into the morning for it to all go to hell and I’m giving the kid M&Ms for breakfast just so I can sit for a minute and have a cup of coffee without being harassed. So here’s my list of my top five “Mom Fails” that happen on an almost daily basis:

1) Tooth Brushing He hates it so much that I usually have to straddle him, pin his arms down and then brush all the teeth I can get to as quickly as possible. We just had his first dentist visit recently and coincidentally, they actually recommended the pinning them down method! I guess that’s a Mom win after all.

2) His Hair – The kid needs a haircut. I sent him to pre-school this morning looking like a toddler Einstein, and not in good way. I even tried applying a hair smoothing product and it refused to do anything but stick straight up.

3) The Bribery – I know I’m setting myself up for failure here, but I usually get him a toy at the grocery store or candy at the checkout line. I can almost enjoy our grocery store outings this way. But he expects it now. In fact, he asks to go to the grocery store all the time because he thinks it’s a magical place of new cars and chocolate.

4) The Food – He would exclusively eat M&M’s and fruit gummies if given the opportunity, so I’ll do anything to get him to eat solid food. Hotdogs for breakfast? Sure. A fried egg and peanut butter from the jar for dinner? Yep that’s happened. These are obviously not the best choices, but all my efforts at good wholesome meals end up on the floor so I figure I’ll just at least feed him some something he will eat.

5) My Restaurant TacticsTaking a toddler out to dinner is a unique form of torture. In an effort to not just stuff my face while trying to keep him from escaping, I will let him do whatever keeps him quiet within reason. Last night he entertained himself by sticking his straw in my margarita, then licking it. Don’t get judgy, it was mostly just lime flavored ice. He also likes to lick all the tortilla chips and then put them back. That’s why he gets his own bowl of chips now.

So are of these really fails? No, I’m pretty sure they’re necessary survival tactics for parenting. (Though we could use some improvement on the dental hygiene angle.) I think a lot of parents will look at this list and be like, been there, done that. So what’s your #MomFail #MakingItWork moments?

Hi, I’m Candy Keane and I’m a…

img_7376A couple weeks ago I was at a ComicCon type convention judging a cosplay contest and at the beginning they handed the microphone to the judges to introduce themselves. As soon as I put the mic to my mouth and said “Hi, I’m Candy Keane and…” I just froze. I looked out at all those people and had not one idea what to say about who I was or what I was doing there, besides “I’m a mom.” I was suddenly having a full-blown identity crisis in front of hundreds of people.

My mind started racing as the MC took over for me and started rattling off my years of involvement in the cosplay community and experience in costuming. My face started to burn. I used to have such a solid answer. I own a small business. I run my own boutique. I’ve achieved success in my field and am a well-known cosplayer and costume designer. I was there as a cosplay guest! I could have easily led with that but my mind just blanked. I wanted to say I blogged but couldn’t seem to get it out.

After that experience, I realized I need to embrace my new identity as mom and blogger and be able to shout it loud and proud. It’s not the mom part I wasn’t confident about. There’s no denying that part! It was being a blogger.

Blogging is the kind of thing where anyone can set up a free page and write a few lines and call themselves a blogger. So how do you distinguish when you are a “real” blogger? Is it when you are getting paid for writing? Because so far I’ve only been paid in free products. I don’t like ads on my page so I’ve turned down offers of advertising. I haven’t been published on any big blogs. I don’t write about anything newsworthy. Half the time I’m writing about pooping. (see previous post)

So what makes me a blogger? I guess the answer is Me. I’m the one who makes that distinction. And people are not going to believe it unless I truly believe in myself.

So let’s try this again: “Hi, I’m Candy Keane and write a blog called GeekMamas.com.”

I think that’s a good start.

 

And now I know why they do that…

If you like to skip to the end for the answers, it’s because they’re kids. And no matter what my mother says, they are all little monsters at times. It’s possible my mom got off easy and I was actually the quiet little well-behaved angel she describes. But she set the bar pretty high with the way I judged children. And of course now every one of those judgements is flying back in my face as complete crap while I watch my son run from room to room squealing and whacking things with a stick.

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That time our friends came to visit and their two sons managed to disable our TV remote, break a wine glass and grab our toothbrushes of the counter? I get it.

That kid I saw dragged off the playground today screaming at the top of his lungs? Been there.

Also that time I just couldn’t understand why our 4 year old cousin grabbed a hurling stick and just started bashing it on the ground until it busted? Well I have seen that reenacted right here at home.

So all these “awful” things that had me horrified about these unmanageable crazy children…well now I realize they were just being children. And every time I realize that, I feel a little sheepish for my previously uninformed judgements. I don’t even question the crazy anymore. I understand now it’s just some childhood instinct that kicks in and they act insane. I also understand that it is just going to keep happening no matter how “good” anyone’s parenting skills might be.

Because they’re kids. And That’s why they do that.

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IrmApocalypse…it’s coming!

I grew up in Florida, and when I was too little to care about anything except a day off from school, hurricanes were always fun and exciting. Now that I have a house, 2 cats, 2 dogs, 1 kid and 23 fish to keep safe, it’s a little more stressful.

irma1

As I type this, my husband is outside drilling holes into our freshly painted house to put plywood over the windows we just had installed last month. We finally fulfilled our dream of buying a house at the beach and have been working hard to renovate it since December. We bought what you might call “the neighborhood eyesore” so it has required extensive work. Now I’m hoping and praying that this storm passes through without damaging the house.

Since we live on a barrier island, we are evacuating tomorrow to a safer place inland. This is my first time in 40 years of living in Florida that I have ever evacuated! It’s pretty crazy, but this hurricane looks like it is no joke.

Of course, I made a joke about it:

Screenshot (22)

So take care everyone, watch out for this crazy storm! I’ll let you guys know if our house is still standing, lol. #irmagerd