Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Really Fantastic Contests!

Is it cheating to put them all in one post? I hope not!!! I have stumbled upon some wonderful giveaways!

First is a wonderful sling giveaway from Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing. The sling is a KimzKreations. She is giving away a Solarveil ring sling! I've never used a solarveil RS before, but it would really come in handy. Especially since I have such a pale baby with sensitive skin! I really love the pink and the turquoise slings Kim has. Fun giveaway!

And holy Bling baby! Check out the amazing giveaway at Pinks and Blues. This one is super easy to enter too. Love love love it!

I also love Sheena's giveaway. It's for a $50 gift certificate to Kangaroodle. They have the cutest, cutest, cutest stuff there! I love this frog pod bath toy storage, since we have a billion bath toys that are constantly cluttering the bottom of the shower. This watermelon blanket is to die for as well! I love the bright colors. I really love all of their stuff!

I love me some giveaways!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Alivia has really been acting like she is ready for solids. She freaks out and starts panting like a dog when she sees food. And she starts frantically grabbing at my spoon when I am eating. So I mixed up a delicious concoction of bland rice cereal and warm formula. Yum-o!

At first she got really excited, but she pushed it all back out with her tongue. We tried several times, but she didn't really get any. The best part though was when big sister saw me feeding baby and wanted to try.

She said "Want oh-mill!" I guess it looked like oatmeal to her. I told her that it was baby's food and I didn't think she'd like it. I guess I said the magic words because she really put up a big fuss over not getting "oh-mill". So I put some on a spoon and let her try it. She said "Yum!" and opened wide. The texture hit her first and she gagged. Then the taste of the formula hit her and she shook her head and ran to the garbage can yelling "No! No!" I felt bad laughing because it must have really been gross. But she learned her lesson!

Then I went to feed baby more and she came running over yelling "No baby! No eat it!" Hahah! I'm such a mean mommy!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hug Your Babies

My nephew's friend died yesterday. She was just six. :( She had some medical problems at birth, but she outgrew them, and lived a normal healthy life for six more years. She had flu like symptoms for a few days, then died in the middle of the night. I never met this little girl, but my sister is good friends with her mom. I can't even imagine (and don't want to) the anguish and heartache of losing a child.

It makes my heart hurt to think about this little girl's family. It makes me so grateful for my family and everything I have. Even if it seems like things suck sometimes.

Tonight I went and sat on Chloe's bed after she had been asleep for a few hours. I stroked her soft face, and brushed the hair out of her eyes. Her chest rose and fell slowly and her breath was soft and even. I cried silently, the tears falling from my face on to her pillow. I cried for a little girl who won't get to see second grade. I cried for a mom who is feeling so empty right now. I cried for my girls who are going to feel so much pain and hurt in their lives. But most of all, I cried because I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness. My world will stop if something happened to them. But I know I just need to kiss them, hug them, hold them close and pray that I get to keep them forever.

So hug your babies tonight. Every night.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Menu planning FRIDAY!

I like to plan my meals the week before instead of at the beginning of the week. I do a big grocery shopping trip every two weeks on Saturday or Sunday night. I do the shopping late at night, once the kids are in bed. My girls are good shoppers, but it is nice to get a mini break. Plus at that hour it is nice and UNcrowded at our grocery store.

I do a few in between trips for fresh produce, milk, or a specific ingredient. But I try to plan my meals for two weeks and get all that I can at once. I make a tentative plan, but I have been known to switch days around depending on what sounds good and how much cooking I want to do that day! So my plan is...

Week 1
Chicken and Rice Bake
Steamed Veggies


Chicken Stir Fry
Brown Rice

Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza (with BBQ sauce, onions, bacon, cooked chicken)

Home fries

Week 2
Beef Macaroni Casserole
Steamed veggies

Chicken Skillet Dinner

French Dip sandwiches

Baked Potatoes

Breakfast for dinner (Pancakes or French Toast, Scrambled eggs, Hash browns)

Ok, so we aren't the healthiest people around! But hey, at least I'm cooking dinner every night. I used to be the queen of heating up a can of soup and calling it dinner.

I also serve a green salad with almost every dinner. And when I grocery shop I buy low fat or fat free, organic, and fresh as much as possible. We're getting a little healthier, slowly but surely.

The beef macaroni casserole is one I tried out recently and liked. I just sauteed ground beef (93% lean), garlic and onion, then added a jar of traditional spaghetti sauce (I was going to make my own but was out of tomato sauce). I simmered that for awhile. Then I boiled large elbow macaroni until it was al dente, drained it, then mixed it all together and poured it into a casserole dish. I shredded some cheddar and monterey jack cheese and mixed it with some bread crumbs, then sprinkled that on top. I baked it at 375 for about 15 minutes until the cheese melted. Chloe kept asking for more, she really liked it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Can I have a poor me moment?

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! I am going crazy. It just feels like I am surrounded in chaos, messy house, crying baby, whiny toddler, burning dinner, it just never ends. And it's not the peaceful kind either. It feels like I get one part of my life under control (marriage is going much better) and then something else goes down the potty.

Alivia got up no less than thirty times last night. It goes like this.

Rock baby for anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes.
Lay baby down.
Mommy lays down and fights insomnia for a few hours.
Baby rolls over to tummy.
Baby wakes up.
Mommy wakes up.
Mommy rolls baby back over.
Baby goes back to sleep for half an hour.
Mommy fights insomnia, then drifts back to sleep.
Baby rolls back to tummy.
Baby wakes up.

Etc, etc, etc. All night long. I've tried putting pillows next to her (down by her legs, not her face) but that doesn't stop her. We have a sleep positioner but it is too small for her. I can't figure out how to keep her on her back or side!

And then a family member has the freakin audacity to suggest moving her to a crib. WTF is that going to do? Then I will just have to physically get out of bed thirty plus times a night. And please tell me where a crib is going to fit in this cardboard box of an apartment? Squeezed in our bedroom so we won't be able to get out of bed? Squeezed next to Chloe's bed so they can wake each other up all night? In the kitchen? On the porch?

Sigh. I just feel like I am in a sea of stress and frustration, and my head is barely above water.

Not to mention my newly mobile baby. I was hoping I would have a few more months, but my luck isn't that great methinks. She is crawling (slowly still), army crawling (lightening fast), sitting (a bit wobbly), and rolling (all over). She just wants to get up and go like big sissy.

This brings me to my next and biggest source of frustration. This eensy teensy weensy little apartment. It's tiny. It's beyond tiny. It's miniscule. Yet we have managed to shove a tremendous amount of junk and useless crap into every single corner. Hubs has no less than 6 broken printers laying around that he is going to fix "sometime soon." Well, honey, they have been there for three years, your timer just ran out. I just want to grab a giant garbage bag and throw every thing away. I just filled four boxes with toys, and we still have an astounding amount of playthings laying around. I clean the house spotless, put everything in it's own place, and two days later it looks like a tornado has come through. Husband and I are both pack rats and hate to throw things away and we are terrible about picking up after ourselves, but this is getting ridiculous. We either need to get rid of 1/3 of our accumulated crap, or get a bigger place. Well, we need a bigger place anyway, two mini bedrooms and a bathroom that you can't even turn around in aren't really cutting it. But hey, it's cheap. Don't even get me started on money.

GAAAAAAAHHHHH! It's just too damn much for one person to handle. Granted, the majority of it is stuff I can fix (like my weight, the messy house) but instead I think I will just wallow in my self pity and whine to my online buddies.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Friday, June 15, 2007

Sweet baby!

Have you ever wanted to eat your child? Not in a cannibalistic way, but in a munchable, juicy, delicious way?

I just want to munch on her big round cheeks. I want to nibble on her roly poly thighs, and bite each teeny perfect toe.

Sometimes I have to grit my teeth really hard to avoid munching on her! She is so yummy!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


"Chloe, do you want juice or milk?"
"You may have milk, or juice."
"Ok, you get milk."
(Pouring milk in cup)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sorta Crunchy!

My good friend Megan has inspired me to write out my parenting practices and philosophies. She labels herself as 'Sorta crunchy' as in, she practices Natural Family Parenting and Attachment Parenting, but is not 100% "crunchy". She explains it much better, click on her linky to hear all about it! :)

I am similar to Megan in several of our parenting ideas. Here are some of my thoughts...

I love Megan's description of 'child led weaning' instead of 'extended bf'ing'. I am one of those women who did every possible thing that I could, I spent hours researching, I took herbs and ate everything I should, I drank gallons of water, nursed as often as baby would let me, and yet my body did not produce enough milk. I believe breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your sweet little babe and applaud every woman who has at least tried! Hopefully the third time's the charm for us! (don't worry, not anytime soon!)

Organic/Natural food:
I was a vegan for many years. I loved how great I felt, and the slimmer hips weren't too bad either! I started eating junky food when I was pregnant with Chloe, and I guess I just never stopped. I've slowly been getting better, and I just recently did a huge grocery trip, and I'm up to my ears in fresh fruits and veggies (most organic). I hope Chloe will have a taste for healthy foods, I know it is important to expose her to a wide variety of nutritious foods NOW, so she'll eat well for the rest of her life. I want her to learn that not everything has to be smothered in cheese, or fried, or rolled in sugar, or processed, or passed to her through a drive thru window!

This is a passion of mine. Much to the shock of my in laws and family, I absolutely love having a baby in my bed. I've taken extra measures to make my bed a safe sleeping space for both of us. I know Alivia feels so safe in our bed, right next to Mommy. Plus it made night feedings a breeze!

Gentle Discipline/AP parenting:
I am firmly planted on the "no spanking" side of the fence. I also don't yell or get angry when she gets in trouble. The punishment matches the offense, so if she writes on the wall, she needs to sit down and scrub it off. If she dumps out a box of toys, she must put them all back. Like the majority of Moms, I've lost my temper before, but that was usually when one or both of us was sick, or when I was pregnant. I strongly believe that children learn by example. So if I show her to be calm, fair, gentle but firm, and consistent, she will follow my lead. She is SO well behaved in public, she can shop for hours, and loves to go to resteraunts to eat. I also praise the heck out of her when she is behaving well or doing something nice for someone else. I always stop and ask myself "How would I have wanted MY mom to react if I was 2?"

I think I love babywearing the most because it is just so dang convenient! For example, grocery shopping. If I put Chloe in the front seat area, and the big bucket carseat in the back, where do the groceries go? Or taking a walk...we don't have a giant expensive double stroller, so Chloe goes in the singleton, or walks, and Ali goes in a carrier. It is just so easy and simple, and so comforting for a fussy baby.

Natural Child birth:
Women have been having babies for thousands of years. Way before doctors and hospitals and epidurals ever existed. Child birth should be a beautiful, calm, gentle passage into life, rather than a forced, monitored, hectic thrust into the bright noisy world. That being said...I was induced with my first, and had my water broken with my second. I also had IV drugs both times around. Don't get me wrong, I am SO grateful that we have modern medicine around. Since I live in a small town, and I have difficult pregnancies, homebirth or even a midwife assisted birth are not options available to me. I love to hear about natural births, and live vicariously through women who can have their babies at home. But I think all women who have given birth are SuperMoms!

No circumcision:
Since the hubby is stingy with those Y chromosomes, I haven't had to worry about circumcision yet! But if we are blessed with a son in the future, he will remain intact. I won't pierce my girls' ears (until they ask) for the same reason...Their body, their choice!

Now my uncrunchy things..

No cloth diapering. (I am horrible at laundry anyway!)
No delayed vax. (Although we did opt out of the chicky pox vax.)
No homeschooling. (I can't even sing the ABC's properly)
Not very earth/eco friendly. (I still don't recycle *blush* and use too many natural resources, although I have switched to cloth grocery bags)

I also feel compelled to add....I totally respect other points of view and parenting practices (within reason...circ'ing yes, smoking in a car with kids, no). I am amazed at how much my parenting has evolved over the past two years. I'm proud of all of the advice I didn't take, and instincts I followed. And major kudos (organic kudos of course) to Megan. I really have learned a lot from her! Thanks Megan!

Fun stuff!

What a fantastical giveaway! Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing is hosting a great giveaway from MamaKanga. I just browsed through their site, I love all of their stuff! I have really enjoyed babywearing this time around. I have used ring slings, pouches, and Mei Tais. I use a MT the most, especially for shopping and walks with the toddler. With my bad back, it is absolutely amazing how it distributes the weight just right so I'm not hurting even after several hours of baby wearage.

If I won, I am torn between a beautiful Gypsy Mama Bali Baby Wrap and this mouth watering CatBird Baby Mei Tai. Gorgeous stuff!

Thanks Megan for directing me there! :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Take a breather!

I have such a busy summer coming up. This weekend was a super busy one, and I am glad it is over! I had such a blast though. I co-hosted a friend's baby shower, which was a lot of fun. I can't wait for that baby to get here!! I also went to a cousin's graduation party which was fun too. I think I might have had too much cake though. *blush*

I remember the summers when I was younger. I kept so busy that the summers just flew by. Summer camps, swimming, camping, sleepovers. I wanted to keep busy, but I also wanted to savor every moment of freedom before school started all over again. Those days went by so quickly.

Summer camp was one of my favorite places in the world. My second year of church camp, I was best friends with everyone from our church who went. The ride to camp in our big yellow bus (the 'banana van') was a blast. We sang, and joked, and laughed the whole way there. There were only a few girls, and a group of boys, one of whom was my boyfriend. We had so much fun together, but rules regarding PDA were very strict. We used to sneak into the forest behind the lodge and kiss. Not any heavy petting, just innocent smooches. One time we snuck back there with another set of friends who were dating. Everyone else was in the lodge hanging out before lights out. A counselor walked by and shined the flashlight towards us and asked if we had a chaperone. My boyfriend was very tall and had a deep voice for only being fifteen. So he said "Yes, I am a counselor, I was just checking on these guys." The other counselor said "Ok, see ya back at the lodge!" And continued on his merry way. I still get a good laugh over that night!

I had so much fun in church. Although I do feel bad about a few things I've done while in the House of God. And in the Van of God. Many a truth or dare was played in the backseat of the van. And right before youth group, a few of us went behind the church and smoked a cigarette. We would also drive over to the next town and go roller skating. Our van driver was older and somewhat deaf, so we got away with a lot. I'm not sure why we thought this was a good idea, but we busted open those glow necklaces rubbed the flourescent gel on our teeth, then freaked out passing cars as we flashed our eerily bright grins! Ok, and this one is really disgusting. We had this one spot in the back of the van, on the ceiling. We would stick our chewed gum up there and squish it in, there was probably thirty pieces of old old old dried gum up there. To be in our 'cool club' you had to lick the chewed gum. Haha! It was funny then, but makes me cringe now. Or we would sit in the backseat, facing the car behind us, and write funny signs and hold them up. We got a lot of glares and a few middle fingers. On one retreat, I snuck off with the same boyfriend and we made out in a church closet. Oh and we played Spin the Bottle in the church basement. Oh, and I learned a bit about God too! LOL!

Anyway, boy I miss those summer camp years. When my kids grow up a bit and are interested in camp, I would supremely enjoy being a counselor. I remember having some great heart to hearts with my camp counselors. What a great opportunity to be a good role model to a group of girls. Plus I think it would be fun to get a bit giggly and paint each other's toenails and laugh about boys. I think I just want to be a kid again! I also can't wait until my girls are old enough to enjoy camping. I would love to go for a weekend to our favorite lake, and have each of them bring a friend. I used to love when my parents let me bring friends along on camping trips. We would go off and explore and swim and hike during the day, then play board and card games with my parents at night. I remember my dad teaching my friend to fish (she was raised by a single mom), that memory makes me a little teary eyed still.

I want to be one of those cool moms. And I was telling my mom yesterday that it is really weird, but I can't wait to be a grandma! I just can't wait to spoil my sweet little grand kids, and keep them for the weekend. And by then I will be a mother in law. I swear, I will be the best mother in law in the world! I have just learned from other people's experiences with their mother in laws, and my own, and I just know I will be so great! I hope I have a son though, so I can have a daughter in law. We'll do lunches out, shopping trips, heartfelt chit chats. Although who am I kidding? No one will ever be good enough for my children!

Long rambling post to say that I like summer and I can't wait to be an old grandma! Haha!