“A Day” for a hard-working Mom

In the beginning of the movie “Shrek 4-ever”, Shrek was in a rut.  He needed “a day” for himself, away from his normal routine and everyday cares and chores.  He cut a deal with Rumplestiltskin where he could have a day all to himself to do whatever he wanted and be the old ogre he was, without any other cares in the world.

We all need that sometimes.  Even SuperMoms.

Last week Robyn got one of those days as a Christmas gift, which was nice since she could schedule it ahead of time and we all could prepare for it.  She ‘disappeared’ for a day, taking her Bible and her laptop with her, and we managed as if she were away on a business trip.

The kids did remarkably well.  Realizing Dad was at the helm, and it was ‘crunch time’, they buckled down and we did splendidly.  We started out waking up–check.  After that it went sort of like so:

  • Get your body out of bed and get down stairs
  • Eat breakfast
  • Get dressed
  • Brush your teeth if you’ve got em.
  • Four teams were made with one ‘big one’ and one ‘little one’ on each (and little Nick was a bonus helper for a team).  Each team had to clean one easy room (warm up), one challenging room, and one bathroom.  I am not sure how many bathrooms actually were touched but that was the plan.  The teams were carefully crafted by Dad based on personality mixes, and the rooms were in ship shape in no time.
  • Go down to the basement with school books.  We cleaned a little, did a little schoolwork.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  About a hundred times until all the Barbie stuff, LEGOs and various random implements of destruction were picked up and put away.  All homework was completed and Dad checked it over (which is an amazing feat in itself).  It helped that no one was able to go upstairs until it was all done.  And mercifully, we have a bathroom in the basement.

We had a break at about 12:30 – 2 PM for lunch.  Leftovers and pizza rolls are a blessing for Dads.

Afternoon was broken up for different groups:

  • big kids got computer time from 2-4:30PM,
  • medium and little guys got to play board games with Daddy,
  • help fold laundry (we were Mommy’s Laundry Fairies and blasted through 5 or 6 loads throughout the day***see my blog regarding “Thoughts on Laundry” coming up soon),
  • watched TV a while
  • Daddy had a 15 minute nap to recharge his batteries, accompanied by his littlest daughter.
Christmas Kids_a Moms Day away

Christmas Kids_a Moms Day away

Then it was up for dinner, then kitchen chores, and “1-2-3”, which means “jammies on, brush teeth, and use the potty”.  Finally Daddy read some stories to the little ones, we said prayers and they went to bed.

Mommy came home to a spotless house, sleeping children, and one tired but appreciative husband.



ViveVita has successful show at ABC Kids Expo

ViveVita attended the 2012 ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, KY from October 14-17, 2012.  This was our fifth year attending the show.

ViveVita exhibited the Label Itz line of baby and child labeling products, including:

ViveVita ABC Trade Show Booth 2012

ViveVita and Dr. Brown’s Booths at ABC Kids Expo 2012

Also on exhibit were Gripsterz StayAlong, the original, patented character handle and walking rope, Kissaboo boo-boo covers, and washable, waterproof Everyday Elegance Chair Covers.

Lily Winnail from Padalily visits Robyn Pellei at ViveVita Booth at ABC Kids Expo 2012

Thanks, Lily, for visiting!!!






We were delighted to be visited by Lily Winnail, CEO and owner of Lily’s Loving Arms, LLC, maker of Padalily. Lily is one of the Huggies Inspired Award winners, a fellow Charlotte-area Mompreneur and friend of Robyn’s, who also happens to be a “movie star”!  She was in the movie “Hunger Games”, and is currently the body double for Claire Danes (Carrie Mathison) in the Showtime series Homeland.  Both of those productions are filmed in our home town area of Charlotte, NC.

Robyn Pellei, the CEO and President of ViveVita, llc was also proud to also announce a synergistic business relationship between ViveVita, llc and Dr. Brown’s Bottles.  Stay tuned…more details to follow on that announcement soon!.

Travel with Children Lesson Learned


Bring Bags!

We have done a fair bit of driving, visiting different places in and around Panama City as well as around Coclé province, which is central Panama on the Pacific coast. There are a few areas where the roads are pretty curvy as you ascend or descend the central mountains just West of Panama City, and going up and down to El Valle de Anton.

Our van in square as seen from belltower of La iglesia Colonial de Santiago Apóstol, de Natá de Los Caballeros, Coclé province of Panama

Our van in square as seen from belltower of La iglesia Colonial de Santiago Apóstol, de Natá de Los Caballeros, Coclé province of Panama

We quickly learned a good use of all those plastic shopping bags you get from the grocery stores or department stores. They are useful to have in the car in case anyone gets motion sickness. We keep a couple pairs, tested for leaks, having have at least one ‘bag fail’ episode, for each child. Even those who don’t normally get car sick are not impervious to the ‘chain reaction’ when stuck in an enclosed area and one child starts getting sick.

The shopping bags are lightweight and fold down to small spaces. They can be stuck in the side pocket of a handbag, or just stuck next to a seat or in a handle or holder near the seat.

This little secret has saved us on numerous occasions.

¡Buen viaje!

Off Label Use: Bandette or Bandle Child ID Bracelet

Bandette Child ID BraceletWhen we first introduced Bandette sippy cup labels we were very specific that it was NOT a wristband.  Due to familiarity with silicone wristbands, the first thing children and adults alike would do was to put it on their wrists.  We wanted them to understand the primary function was for labeling drink cups.

Now that there is getting to be a broader exposure and understanding of our product, we have received comments that it would work well as a child ID bracelet.  Well, they are absolutely correct.  We have used them in the past when traveling as an easy way to put the name of a child and our contact information somewhere visible in case they were separated from us.  We also use a backup by putting all pertinent information on a small index card or business card and putting it in their pocket.

Bandette band size generally runs a little big for the wrists of small children, so we found it works also to put it over a sleeve or on a child’s ankle where it is less likely to come off.  As long as it is not so snug as to be uncomfortable or restricting we found it to be no hinderance.

Team up this idea with Gripsterz Stay Along, and your outing should be fun filled and enjoyable!

Got an idea for ViveVita?  Visit our idea submission page <click here>


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Saturday Soccer Scramble

This morning was a bit of a scramble, but we pulled off a small miracle for soccer.  With Robyn at the Southern Womens Show in Charlotte, Dave had soccer duty with all 9 kids.  Robyn has done this before, so she’s an old pro, but this was Dave’s first time gunning solo.  Here are the statistics:

  • 1 parent
  • 9 children
  • 6 players
  • 5 teams on 5 fields (3 at 9:15AM, 2 at 9:45AM; 2 at school on one side of a main street and 3 at the YMCA across the street)
  • 3 players on 2 teams with pictures at 8:40AM (we were late, but still got there in time to get team and player pictures)

We have been blessed to have have the opportunity to play on our Church’s teams, with fantastic coaches and team parents, many who are from large families themselves, and who were able to lend helping hands.


So, we started with a head count of 9, and finished with a head count of 9.  Not sure if they are all ours, but we can sort it out later (after we determine whether or not we traded up for some ‘keepers’).

Next week will be a slightly different story, as the number of parents goes to “zero” while we are both at the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, KY.  We’ll be saying our prayers. 😉

Soccer with 9 kids 9-17-2011.