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CLOSED...Marlie and Me L-O-V-E Mom-preneurs #1: Sew Bebe (R&G)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Momprenuers buttonMichelle was the first mom-preneur who responded to my call for sponsors. She is the creative talent behind SewBebe (and a fellow Swap Mama!). She sent me two of her embellished burp cloths to review. I must admit I didn't register for burp cloths when I was pregnant. I cringed at the thought of walking around with an ugly rag permanently hanging from my shoulder. I don't have that problem with SewBebe's fashionable designs. Now I don't have to use my sleeves anymore...yay! I love that these burp cloths are 100% cotton, so they don't irritate Marlie's delicate skin when I wipe her face. They are also absorbent and durable. I have already washed my pair three times without any fraying. I now keep my SewBebe burp cloths on hand for feedings and pack one in her diaper bag for when we are on the go. I have been converted!
burp cloths review

burp cloths review

Win It: One lucky Marlie and Me reader is going to get a 3-pack of SewBebe burp cloths!

Mandatory first entry: Visit the SewBebe Etsy shop and comment here on another item you'd like to try

Extra Entries:
Earn one (1) extra entry for completing each of the following (leave separate comments for each):

  • Be a current or new follower of Marlie and Me via Google Friend Connect
  • Be a current or new subscriber of Marlie and Me via email (subscription must be activated)
  • Become a fan of SewBebe on Facebook
  • Add SewBebe to your list of favorite sellers on Etsy (must have an Etsy account to do this)
If you posted the Marlie and Me L-O-V-E Mom-preneurs button before Jan. 30, don't forget to leave three (3) separate comments for your extra entries.
The rules:

  • This giveaway will end on 2/6/10 at 11:59 pm CST
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments posted using Random.org
  • The winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. Please make sure I can contact you either by having an email address visible on your blog profile or leave your email address in your comment(s). By accepting the prize, the winner is granting permission to be identified as such.
  • The winner's mailing address will be forwarded to the sponsor for prize fulfillment.
  • In the event the prize is not claimed in the allotted time another winner will be chosen.
  • Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents. Must be at least 18 years of age to participate.
  • Entries that do not follow instructions or are falsified will be disqualified

Baby Log: Week 23

Marlie and the dogThis was a week of high notes (bearing witness to the baby and fur-baby summit) and low notes (sleep, why has thou forsaken me?), but mostly high notes. The most fun experience this week was watching Marlie get a hold of our dog Butters. She has been itching to touch him and finally got her chance this week when he lay down too close to her activity mat. She grabbed his leg, but he didn't growl or snap at her.

He just got up and moved a safe distance away, LOL!. He came back a few minutes later and sat down face-to-face. It was like they were negotiating a treaty or plotting something, like how to get their hands on some real food.

Marlie and Butters

Other happenings in week 23:

  • We've gone back to co-sleeping because her constant waking up at night was about to drive us both over the edge. She must have he developed immunity that one time we let her cry-it-out because she can seemingly cry without taking a breather. The only way to get a decent amount of rest is to let her stay in our room. Marlie-1 Parents-0.
  • It's okay though because it's temporary. Keyalus turned me onto this very resourceful blog about infant development that explained a lot of Marlie's recent troubles (fussiness, night-waking, separation anxiety). Thanks girl! If Marlie needs her parents' comfort and reassurance during this developmental stage, so be it.
  • Her gums are bothering her again. It looked like she had stopped teething at one point, but the itching an drooling are back. She loves to put any type of cloth material in her mouth to rub her gums, including my shirt.
  • I won 3 bars of Creamery Creek Farm homemade goat milk soap thanks to Just Another New Blog. I picked lavender, lemongrass, honey almond oatmeal.
  • I donated $10 to Partner's in Health and the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC in support of the relief efforts in Haiti because of your comments on last week's baby log. Thank you!

Flashback Friday: Prom

Friday, January 29, 2010

prom picture 1994That's me at Senior Prom. Miami Norland High School Class of...none of your business! I almost missed prom night because of my family's financial hardships. This inspired me to start my own prom dress project when I lived in Atlanta called Enchanted Closet. That small seed sprouted into a holistic service organization for girls. I had to leave it behind when I moved away, but the nonprofit continues to provide special occasion dresses and developmental programs and is thriving under new leadership. This is the time of year that the organizers of Enchanted Closet begin gearing up to collect prom dresses to outfit some very deserving young ladies. It's the fairy godmother-Cinderella story come to life. I very much miss being part of the magic! So, I dedicate today's flashback to spreading the word about this incredible organization and the women keeping the dream alive: Angelica, Bonita, Gwen, Lauren, Lillian, Rosalyn, and Tiki...I love you ladies! Keep up the good work! If you live in the metro Atlanta area, please support Enchanted Closet. For more information:

subscribe to the email list
or join their Facebook Fan prom dress charityPage

Thursdays with Teresha : Sophisticated Redneck Mommy

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blogger TereshaWelcome back dears! A weekly show is hardly enough time to shine a spotlight on all of the awesome bloggers who follow Marlie and Me, but I'm going to try! This week we are joined one classy mama who is proud of her roots. Let's give a warm welcome to...

Name: Jana
Blog: Sophisticated Redneck Mommy

  1. Me: I LOVE creative blog titles! Mine is a play on the movie starring that dog and Jennifer Anniston. You have a very interesting blog title, tell us how you came up with it and what does it mean?
    Jana: Well, not long after I got married and we bought our house my husband and I were sitting in our carport drinking beer. Our house (at the time) had a very dilapidated back porch, but it was very nice outside. We wanted to enjoy the weather and relax and that is how we ended up in the carport. As we were chatting my husband started laughing at the fact that we were drinking in the carport instead of going out on a date or just staying inside like most normal people. He then decided we were sophisticated rednecks. Sophisticated because half the time we love to go out to really nice, fancy dinners and we can be fairly high class. Rednecks because the other half of the time we would just rather not make a fuss about anything (I know there are other connotations to the term redneck, but we won't get into that right now). I soon realized that this translated into a large portion of my life. This would be especially true in regards to being a mother. I want my daughter to dress well and be chic, but it won't bother me one bit if one day she is running in the sprinklers in just a diaper and covered in mud either. Another example....my dad is a VP for Tiffany and Company and was raised on a peach farm in rural south Georgia where he almost followed his dream of becoming a star in a southern rock band. I guess the apple doesn't fall far!
  2. Me: I lived in Atlanta for 10 years not far from where you live now. I miss my friends and the DeKalb Farmer's Market, but not the gridlock on the I-75/85 (aka The Connector). If you had to move, what would you miss most about Hotlanta?
    Jana: Oh my goodness, that's a tough one because I have lived here my entire life. Atlanta has a whole slew of issues that drive me crazy. You named the worst one. However, this may sound silly, but I think what I would miss most is how well I know this town. I can get anywhere at any time in almost every part of the metro area (and beyond to some degree). If you have ever even just visited here you know that Atlanta is a poorly laid out mess of highways. Therefore, I am pretty proud of my ability to navigate it. There is no greater comfort than knowing that this is my city and if you come here I can show you pretty much anything you would be interested in seeing.
  3. Me: You recently turned 30...Happy Birthday! I remember my big 3-0. I made a big deal about being "grown and sexy." I had a party with my family in my hometown(Miami) and a big bash with friends in Atlanta. How did you celebrate?
    Jana: I just did a post on my blog about this! Seriously, I hit gold when I met my husband. To make a long story short, my best friend's 30th is a week after mine. My husband and her husband rented out the top of a bar in Midtown and threw us a huge surprise party. We also stayed at the Georgian Terrace (think Gone With the Wind) after the party was over. It was a wonderful way to step into the next decade of my life.
  4. Me: This weekend I watched the movie 13 Going on 30 on TV. It made me think about who I was at 13 (a nerdy tomboy) and who I thought I'd be at 30 (a rich lawyer living in Miami Beach). What were you like at 13 and how did you see yourself at 30? Is your life at 30 what you imagined?
    Jana: At 13 I was incredibly shy, scared of everyone, and just as awkward as most other 13 year old girls. At that time I probably thought that I would be a tennis pro because all I ever did was play tennis. Deep down though I have always seen myself as a mother. I was hoping to have a couple more kids by this time, but I made sure I found the right man first. My life at 30 is exactly what I imagined, if not better. I don't feel 30, but I don't think I will ever feel older than 25.
  5. Me: I also thought I'd be a mother by the time I was 30 years old, but we put it off for a few more years. Did being a mommy change how you felt about turning 30?
    Jana: I don't think so. I want a lot of kids and I knew I wanted to at least get started before turning 30. I just barely accomplished that goal! If anything, I feel like being a mommy and turning 30 went hand in hand for me. I feel like my twenties gave me the chance to really find who I am (as much as you can before 30) and find who I wanted to spend my life with. My thirties are now the perfect time to learn how to be a great mommy and enjoy having kids.
  6. Me: I like to think about what my daughter will be like when she is older. I'm hoping she'll be a tomboy like I me, but I might have to learn to like playing dress-up and throwing tea parties! What personality traits do you want your little girl to inherit from you?
    Jana: That is incredibly hard to answer because at this point everything about her is my husband. I know she's only eight months old, but it is shocking sometimes how much of him I already see in her. At any rate, if anything about me comes out in her I would hope it's my acceptance and love of others. I have been around many intolerant people in my life and such a quality is an ugly thing to see in a person. I want her to love people for who they are at all times. If I can teach her that, I will be proud of myself.
  7. Me: I also want to teach me daughter certain social skills like the art of making small talk (and some survival skills for navigating high school!). What is a social skill you'd like your daughter to learn?
    Jana: I would love for my daughter to learn how to work well in a group. This is the teacher in me talking, but you would be amazed how many kids are so good at working well alone. You put them in a group and they are at a total loss. They become bossy or introverted and before you know it the group is falling apart. Teamwork is so important in all aspects of life.
  8. Me: I do have some bad habits (chewing loudly, cursing) that I hope my daughter doesn't learn from me. I dread one day getting a call from school about Marlie dropping a F-bomb at recess and telling the teacher she learned that word from me. Do you fear your daughter might pick up some undesirable quality from you or is it just me?
    Jana: Oh no! My husband and I both have terrible potty mouths. We joke that her first word will either be Molly (our dog's name) or the F word because we haven't tried to control it well enough yet. I can also be a very vice driven person. I smoked for a long time, I love a good drink, and I obsess over things a little too much. Wait, you only asked for one bad habit right? :-) Obviously, it's not just you!
  9. Me: The other day I saw a commercial for The Electric Company, and it made me think of the saying everything that is old is new again. What is one thing you wish would make a comeback?
    Jana: Drive-ins. Is that weird? There is only one left in Atlanta and we take every opportunity to go even though it isn't so close to our house. My daughter's first movie going experience was to see The Hangover and she was three months old. You can go with friends and tailgate or take your baby and breastfeed in the privacy of your own car. I am an avid movie lover so I was afraid after having a baby that my two or three times a month movie nights would be over. While it is harder the more mobile she gets, it's still better than taking a baby to a theater. People that do that infuriate me. I don't pay $9 to listen to your child scream while I try to watch a movie I have been dieing to see. If your child screams in your car, no one can hear it but you.
  10. Me: On that note, I don't ever want to see the Aquanet waterfall bangs again (guilty as charged)! What is one fashion trend you hope stays buried in the past?
    Jana: Well, it's too late now, but I HATE skinny jeans. It has nothing to do with the fact that I have a large rear end and can't wear them (ok, maybe that factors in a little). It has everything to do with their name. You seriously have to be insanely skinny to even attempt to look good in them. In my opinion, those people that I have seen attempt it look pretty silly even if they are super skinny. Sorry if you love them...I just can't get into it (ha!).
LOL, that is so sad, true, and funny! Thanks Jana for appearing on the show. Let's all visit Jana's blog and show her some support!

There's Nothing Like Being Recognized by Your Peers

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My blog has been recognized this week not once, not twice, but three times!

First, Darcel at The Mahogany Way gave me this lovely award:

Kreativ Blogger Award

Next, Ottavia at ...i don't like 'mama' tagged me in the 10 Things That Make Me Happy challenge. I've done this one before, but I can always find more things to be happy about:
  1. My daughter's laughter
  2. baby smell
  3. sleep
  4. when I hear my husband's car door open and shut in the evening
  5. high-speed internet access (how did I ever get any web surfing done before?)
  6. space heaters
  7. the return of LOST next week
  8. my mini trampoline and a pair of 5 lb weights
  9. Etsy.com
  10. praying
I'm going to bend the rules and leave the above award and tag challenge up for grabs. Feel free to award or tag yourself! I know this is not the intended spirit of blog recognition, but it's getting harder for me to fulfill the obligation of accepting an award. It's even harder for me to select only a few bloggers to share them with.

Lastly, I received an honorable mention in the January 2010 MyBrownBaby Beautiful Mind Writing Contest. Pop over there to read the winning entry and other submissions!

Monday Morning Parenting: Never Say...

Monday, January 25, 2010

cry it outIn my limited experience as a parent (5.5 months and counting), I have learned an invaluable lesson which is to refrain from speaking in absolutes. A few posts back, I made a statement that began with, I would never and ended with, let my baby cry it out. I'm now eating these words with a slice of humble pie because on Saturday night I didn't leap out of bed, run to the nursery, scoop up my baby girl and rock her back to sleep as I (or her daddy) have done for the last 154 days. Instead, we both rolled over and went back to sleep. And guess what? So did she. My feelings about the cry-it-out method haven't changed in my heart, but my body has its own mind. It was screaming out for rest and its cries were louder than Marlie.

In retrospect, I should have said that I don't have the nerves to let my baby cry it out, which is true. But when you hit a wall of exhaustion like I did on Saturday, you'd be surprised what you are capable of doing. So from now on I will no longer employ the words I always or I never when it comes to how we care for or raise our little girl...because you never know.

Baby Log: Week 22

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You may have noticed my spotty blogging this week (or, maybe not). It has been a trying 7 days with a colicky infant. You heard me...colicky. Our formerly sweet, happy, smiling, cooing baby girl has morphed into a fussy, gassy, green-pooping, night-waking little monster (that last part is the sleep deprivation talking). Never fear MOMMY is here, and she is on the case. The verdict...foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. We are getting her feedings and digestive system back on track with some help from the La Leche League web site. Despite the lack of rest our week wasn't all that bad. Actually, it was tea and crumpets compared to the hellish nightmare that the people of Haiti are experiencing. While watching the news on Friday morning, I caught this footage of a seven-year-old boy being pulled out from rubble ALIVE with his arms raised toward the heavens...God is Good! I cry every time I think about his rescue. In honor of the heroic NYC firemen who rescued Kiki, I will donate $1 for every comment left on this post today (up to $20) to Partners in Health and the Mayor's Fund for NYC.

Here's the rest of Marlie's week...

  • Bath time is now like the Splash Zone at Sea World. Marlie has become very adept at using every limb to soak the counter, the floor, and me. Seriously, I have never seen a baby who enjoys the water so much. I can cross aquaphobia off my list of neurotic traits I hope not to pass on to her.
  • Everything goes in her mouth, including her feet. I find this yucky (did I ever mention my aversion to feet?). The plus side is that her foot fetish makes diaper changes a whole lot easier!
  • Marlie's newest obsession is paper. I can't read a magazine or write on my scratch pad when she is in my arm. She is lighting fast at grabbing and tearing up paper. There are sections of pages missing from my Entertainment Weekly.baby crunches
  • She is making move to sit up on her own. Right now, she is trying to raise up from her back and it looks like she is doing Superman crunches. -------->

Re-Post: Valentine Giveaways Coming

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mompreneurs EventOnly 8 more days until the L-O-V-E-fest! Don't miss your chance for extra entries!
Have you noticed the new "Marlie and Me L-O-V-E Mom-preneurs" button over there in the middle sidebar?

I have been rustling up mommy business owners for a special month-long Valentine's giveaway extravaganza next month! I'll be posting the participating mom-preneurs in my giveaway section as they are confirmed. I'm so excited! I hope you are too!

Help me spread the word
by grabbing and posting the "Marlie and Me L-O-V-E Mom-preneurs" button on your blog. As thanks, I'll give you three (3) extra entries for each giveaway. Just have the button up by Jan. 30 then email your blog URL to t_freckleton at yahoo dot com.

If you are a mom-preneur with an Etsy store or other online business and would like to participate, shoot me an email and I'll reply with the details!

Thursdays with Teresha : Natural & Organic Body Care

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogger Teresha I hope you are enjoying the new and improved Thursdays With Teresha! Today's guest is a little bit crunchy, a little bit rock and roll. Allow me to introduce...

Name: Lynn
Blog: Natural & Organic Body Care

  1. Me: I fell asleep watching the Golden Globes. The last thing I remember was Drew Barrymore giving her acceptance speech. Did you watch? If so, what was your favorite part?Lynn: No I didn't get to watch because we don't have cable and we watch everything online. When we did have cable we used to turn awards shows into games for me and my husband to play. We would make guesses and the winner won nothing but a pat on the back and bragging rights.
  2. Me: I love watching the red carpet arrivals just to see the couture gowns, but the rain ruined it! I give Heidi Klum's dress two thumbs up. Who in your opinion is always best-dressed at an awards show?Lynn: For a good long while it was my girl Halle Berry, but now I think that Tina Fey as far as I can tell delivers the goods each time. I like that she pulls off goofy glam!
  3. Me: There was some criticism about Mariah Carey's dress. Did you think it was too tight and revealing?
    Hold on let me Google it...be right back...okaaaay, she's made it quite clear that she's a woman in that dress but how bout a little less cleavage? I definitely think it was too tight and revealing, especially when it seems she uses her dresses as an excuse every time she makes a "kinda" drunken looking acceptance speech - "Oh it was my dress!"
  4. Me: As a mommy of a baby girl, I am already worried about how Hollywood standards of beauty will affect her self-esteem. You have a daughter, what do you teach her about body image?
    Lynn: Well my daughter seems to already be on the right track body wise. She knows what the word modest means and what to do with her legs when I give her that look like "You BETTER sit like a lady." I got my best self image from my mom who was so classy it was crazy. I am hoping that I can pass that down to little lady some day. She already has a nice eye for great dressing and she tells me in a heartbeat when a boy won't give her space or is being fresh to her. I tell her every day, "Respect yourself and others will respect you to." (You can edit that down to whatever...I talk too much :oP)
  5. Me: My siblings and I weren't allowed to watch rated PG-13 or R movies when we were growing up, but a lot of our classmates did. They were the cool kids. Would you take your children to see a movie like Twilight, for example? Why or why not?
    I also was not allowed to watch those kinds of movies until I was 13 and when I was old enough to watch rated R movies, I had no desire to because of their content. I would never take my children to see Twilight because from what I have read about it and have heard, it doesn't sound like the type of movie to take young kids to. I don't believe in immortal souls anyway because it basically goes against what I've learned in the Bible. And no matter if they are young, hot, up and coming Hollywood actors, what they portray I personally don't feel should be glamorized and packaged towards our youth.
  6. Me: I didn't get to see any of the movies that are in contention for Oscars this year, so I have no educated guesses as to who will win. Do you have any Academy Award predictions?
    I get so confused as to all things awards shows. I really have no clue who is invited to that party, but if someone acts up, I will be Googling them the next morning that's for sure!
  7. Me: If I were a filmmaker, I would make a documentary on fast food chains. Oh, wait that's already been done...never mind! What kind of movie would you make?
    Ooo...right up my alley because I love documentaries! Although I've never had to think about my own until now. I guess I am very intrigued with non-profit organizations right now. I would be interested in seeing where and how they raise their funds and where does the money really go? Like the Goodwills and Salvation Armys and different Ministries that have thrift stores. I wonder where the money really goes. Does it go overseas or is it used in their communities in any way? Hmm...
  8. Me: I'm really missing the cinema, but I'm content with renting movies for now. What movie do you recommend everyone see that out on DVD?Lynn: Speaking of documentaries, I just saw a mind blowing, eye-opening one called "The Cove." It's a real thriller and it's also pretty tragic that it's actually real. It's not a kids movie by any means, so make sure any dolphin lovers are not nearby.
  9. Me: You know I am passionate about natural living, but shopping can be frustrating because the word "natural" on a label can be misleading. What is one truly natural product everyone should buy to lead a healthier lifestyle?
    There are just so many great things nowadays, but I'll go with one that is great for our skin and tell you about this awesome lotion that I'm into right now. It's ecoTOOLS Nourishing Shea Butter Body Lotion and I found it at my nearest Walgreens. You can find it online. It's 98% natural and it smells like a fruity cocktail. It will make you want summer in a heartbeat.
  10. Me: I feel it's important to start my daughter off on the right foot, by using natural products with her. It's not always easy or economical. What is one simple, inexpensive natural product all parents can get for their child(ren)?
    Okay this one inexpensive and must have (especially having small accident prone children) thing that we use here is an aloe vera plant and a jar or bottle of 100% Cocoa Butter. Growing up, any scrape or booboo got slathered with a piece of fresh aloe off the plant (trim the pointy spikes off so you don't cut yourself or the children) and rubbed with some Cocoa Butter and then the Band Aids were applied. It cuts down on scarring tremendously. It heals the wounds quickly and aloe has bacteria fighting capabilities in it. To this day, you can't tell where I got major road rash when I skidded down our hill after falling of my bike as a child. Inexpensive and effective - I promise.
Thanks Lynn for being on the show! I suggest everyone add your blog to their reading list so that they can get the real scoop on natural beauty products and skin care. I'm heading out to buy an aloe plant...

Special MLK Jr. Day Post

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr St Paul Campus U MN
By Minnesota Historical Society [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Like all of you, I have been following the news about the devastating aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, the desperate condition of the survivors, and the relief efforts. I have been wracking my brain with the question, How can I help? I'm not a wealthy philanthropist, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a celebrity...but what I am is a blogger. I can spread the word!

So, I am dedicating today's post, in honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (A Day On, Not a Day Off!), to shining the spotlight on bloggers and organizations doing their part to assist Haiti:

Hope for Haiti
Help Haiti Now Blog Challenge
Partners in Health

If you know of others, please add them to the comments!

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Baby Log: Week 21

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This week has been fuMarlie at 21 weeksll of wonderful surprises! It went a something like this:
  • Marlie is so ticklish. The slightest touch will send her into a fit of giggles. Here I am drying her hair after a bath and she just starts cracking up!
  • I finally saw her roll over from her back to her tummy on Wednesday...go Marlie! She has been rolling over nonstop ever since and can even complete a full rotation back-to-front-to-back again.
  • Her daddy went on a business trip for the first time since she was born. It was scary being alone with her, especially since our dog decided to bark at only-Heaven-knows-what most of the night.
  • I was exhausted by Friday having spent a couple of days and one night without my assistant coach. I asked Damon to put on her nighttime cloth diaper, and he forgets the cover...everything was damp the next morning.
  • I won a Dyson DC31 handheld vacuum in a giveaway at the blog What's That Smell? I am still flipping out. I can't wait to get my grubby, little hands on it!
Check out this announcement about my upcoming Valentine Giveaways

Tag, I'm It!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I recently started reading Heather's blog Theta Mom. She's such a REAL mom. So imagine my delight when she tagged my blog to play My Seven. I feel like I've been asked to sit at the cool kids table at lunch!
The rules of this tag are that I must describe seven things about me that you don’t already know (my habit of over-sharing has forced me to scrap the barrel...forgive me if I repeat something) and then tag­ seven oth­ers to do the same. Without further adieu....
  1. I have a green mole on my right shoulder. It's green because it is attached to a vein...and yes I get it examined by a dermatologist every year.
  2. I have two tattoos that I got while I was in college. One is a butterfly and the other is a panther. Polar opposites, I know, but that's who I was in college.Teresha at 30
  3. I have a partial dental implant to replace the tooth that was knocked out when my face *kissed* the back of my college roommate's car while I was rollerblading. I wound up in the ER (driven in the same car that I slammed into) where the nurses kept asking "did someone do this to you?" (did I mention that I was still wearing the rollerblades?) and the doctor wouldn't give me any pain meds (I guess I looked like a junkie). I had to go to back home to Miami (17 hours on a Greyhound bus!) to see a dentist because I was on my mom's insurance. it. was. the. most. painful. experience. of. my. life.
  4. I've been a dog owner almost all my life. I can't imagine not having man's best friend around. Meet our fur baby Butters:Butters the dog
  5. I took silversmithing classes for a year and was good at it. I even considered become a jewelry maker until the price of silver skyrocketed. I still make beaded jewelry. Oh, I just got an idea for a blog-versary giveaway!
  6. I've been writing a book for more than a year. It's a children's book. It turns out that it's harder to write for children than adults. My goal is to finish it this year and then work on getting it published.
  7. My favorite game at recess was kickball. I could play that all day.
I'm going to follow Theta Mom's example, and tag seven bloggers who are new followers:
Growing towards a dream

Luvs Jurn3
Sophisticated Redneck Mommy
The Musings of Earl's Daughter
Whoz Your Doula

Today on Thursdays With Teresha: Post-Modern Jen

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blogger TereshaWelcome to the re-tooled Thursdays With Teresha. I've changed the format of the interview to be more conversational, I'm going to try to have a new guest each week, and I'll be randomly selecting the guest from my blog followers on Goodle Friends Connect. Let's jump into today's interview...
Name: Jen
Blog Name: Post-Modern Jen

  1. Me: First, I want to say that you have a couple of cute kids! It must be fun to watch them grow and wonder what they will be like as adults. I think my daughter is going to be some kind of performer, maybe an actress because she is such a charmer and can cry on cue. I see an Academy Award or a high political office in her future. What professions to you see your kids' future and why?
    First, thanks! Hmmm...well, I really don't want to project my dreams on them, but I can definitely answer hypothetically. With my three year old, Starlet, I can easily say she'd like to be an actress because she is such the drama queen, is always pretending to be someone else, and, plus, she has already told me several times that she wants to be an "ac-tree-us"! As for my 14 month old, 4 Wheel Drive, I am going to guess (and pray that I'm wrong...) that he wants to be some type of extreme sports athlete or a race car driver because the little guy seems to have no fear at this point. His current favorite past time is climbing anything he can pull himself onto and jumping off of it. This is also known as "trying to give me a heart attack."
  2. Me: I wanted to be a writer when I was a little girl, but my mother thought I should be a lawyer. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen?
    Jen: Oh, man, this is a loaded question! My dad may have suggested I should be an editor because of my writing skills, and another time he suggested my being an accountant, because of my math skills and because I was "good with my money." Other than that, my parents never pressured me into any specific career. As for my own aspirations, I also had dreams of being a writer, but I also had dreams of being a doctor, a psychologist, and an anthropologist (thus I changed my major three times during my first two years of college...). However, I went totally off on a tangent and ended up with a Business Administration and Accounting degree. I worked at several different administrative jobs, then I married a soldier, had my first child, and have been a stay-at-home mom ever since. This is definitely the toughest job I've ever had! I like to pretend I'm a writer now on my blog, and I do hope to get back into the workforce at least part-time as soon as my son is in school, or go back for a graduate degree (maybe in Nutrition?)---fingers crossed!
  3. Me: I wish I could go back and tell 10-year-old me to go for it! If time machines were a reality, would you visit yourself in the past, what would you say?
    Jen: I would definitely go back in time to when I was about eight years old and tell myself to quit being so scared all the time, that if you never take a chance, you'll never see what could be. I was a very timid child and young adult, and I always held myself back from pursuing the things that I wanted. I would also go back in time to sixteen year old me and say "Hey, you're smart, you're kind, you've got a great figure, and you're beautiful! Quit thinking no boy could like you!" and now I've said too much... It could happen!
  4. Me: Scientists are inventing new gadgets all the time. I think the memory card is the best thing since sliced bread...no more waiting for one-hour photo to see how your pictures turned out. What do you think is the best invention?
    Jen: Oh my gosh, I love this question! I am SOOOOOOO grateful for the Internet, WI-FI, laptops, digital cameras, the GPS...can I go on???
  5. Me: Some inventions are misses in my opinion...hello, Segway! What do you think is the worst invention?
    Jen: Man, I just saw something when I was shopping today that made me say "What??? Who would ever need that???"---but I can't remember what it was! So I guess I'd have to say the worst invention is cigarettes. Is that too low-tech? I agree that the Segway really is ridiculous!
  6. Me: They say necessity is the mother of invention. I say mothers are the will of invention. I would invent a robot that changed poopie diapers like on The Jetsons. What would you invent to make life as a mommy easier?
    Jen:I would invent a housekeeper and a nanny. Oh, wait, those aren't really inventions, are they? Hmm...I guess I would invent a "baby holder" that just pops up for those moments when I just have to run up the stairs, but I can't leave the little daredevil alone. Yes, I know there are things called playpens for this, but mine keeps getting filled with toys, jackets and shopping bags!
  7. Me: Even if the technology was available, there are some things I would still want to do myself like preparing meals for my family. What is a task you wouldn't give up even if they created a machine to do it?
    Jen: Is playing with my kids a task? I feel like a bad mommy for even asking that, but I have to admit, sometimes it actually does feel like one when I'm so tired and just need some time to myself, or to just hear my own thoughts! I pretty much don't mind if a machine does everything else, I'll just play with my kids.
  8. Me: I think being a parent is harder for our generation than it was for our parents or grandparents. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
    Jen: Wow, that's a good question. I'm going to have to take the middle road on this one and say that our generation and our parents' have/had it equally hard. We just have different challenges than our parents did. For example, it would seem easier for us because of all the gadgets, gear and guides available today, but in the same note, technology and the prevalence of the media cause all kinds of new challenges regarding our children's social, emotional, and physical development. Regarding our previous generations, mothers may have had it easier for the simple fact that they didn't really have to struggle with the whole career or motherhood thing. It was just expected that a wife would stay home with her kids. That fact, while limiting, was simultaneously liberating because women didn't have to beat themselves up over whether they were making the right choice in staying home with their kids- it was their only option so they just had to accept it, and, ideally, embrace it. (By the way, I am not supporting "stay-at-home" over work, I say to each her own. My ideal situation would be "work-at-home"- just haven't found the right opportunity yet!)
  9. Me: I love the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. It's such a humorous look at multi-generational families. I don't have any family nearby, which is a blessing and a hardship. Do your relatives live close by, and do they help or get in the way?
    Jen: I've always been pretty independent, and for a long time, I thought I didn't need to live near family to be happy. However, that all changed when I became a mother. I mean, is it just me or does a girl really start needing her mother again when she becomes a mother? As a military family, we move every couple of years, so we're not always near our extended family. We were lucky to live near my family when we were first married and near my husband's family when our daughter was born. By the time our son was born, we were in a new state, literally across the country from my husband's relatives and across an ocean from mine! At this point, I have to say that having relatives nearby would be tremendously helpful and desirable.
  10. Me: I am the oldest of six children and always felt like the babysitter rather than a big sister. This is why I don't want a big family. How many siblings do you have, what number are you, did the size of your family influence how many kids you had?
    Jen: I'm a first-born, like you! But I only have a younger sister and our brother is the baby. I think that the size of my family definitely influenced how many children I wanted to have, meaning I knew that I definitely wanted to have more than one! Growing up as a military brat my family lived in three foreign countries and five states, and each time we moved, we had to say goodbye to friends, schools and houses---but I always had my brother and sister no matter where we went. By the time I got married, I knew that I wanted to have two kids to always be there for each other, especially now that I have an always-on-the-road military family of my own!
I enjoyed talking with you Jen, thanks for appearing on my show! Give her a round of applause audience and please visit her blog.

She's Something New

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I began to take things for granted as I got older. The adult me zipped through life on autopilot while the substance of time passed me by. How did the effortless consideration of my youth get replaced with chronic neglectfulness in my mature years?

I can't recall the exact moment that I began to slip, but around age 27 it felt like I was going through the motions. I was busy (too busy) tackling my lengthy list of personal and professional goals. College. Check. Career. Check. Marriage. Check. Graduate School. Check. Travel. Check. Baby. Maybe later. Launch a volunteer-run girls organization. Check. Well, that last one wasn't on my list of goals, but I did it anyway despite an already overflowing plate. It was so crowded that I couldn't taste the fruits of my labor. I didn't chew on life, I just gobbled it up and always felt dissatisfied. In reality, I was simply being ungrateful.

Looking back, I realize that I missed out on the good stuff by not savoring each accomplishment before moving on to the next. There were other repercussions...I forgot my third wedding anniversary and loved ones' birthdays, I didn't make time to speak to my favorite cousin before he died, I experienced a health scare. Yet, these events only gave me enough pause to slap a Band-aid on then resume chugging along with blatant disregard that I needed time to make amends, grieve, and heal.

The one thing that could slow me down was the one thing I put off...motherhood. I became a mother at age 33 and finally pumped the brakes. I vowed to de-clutter my life to make room for new one coming along. In the process, I learned the true meaning of being still. My daughter has restored my appreciation for the fullness of life.
It's refreshing to see the world through her eyes because, to her, everything is something new. When I watch her try to catch water from the faucet during bath time or stare in fascination at a stream of sunlight coming through the window, I am reminded to give thanks for my many blessings.

This essay is my submission for The MyBrownBaby Beautiful Mind Writing Contest. Follow the link for information on how to enter.

100 Followers Challenge Winner!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I woke up this morning to see that my blog now has 101 followers. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I know you are dying to find out who won the Fall Into Comfort Package and the $10 Target gift card.
note: Target did not supply me with the gift card).

There were 55 entries in the contest, and the lucky number is...

True Random Number Generator

and the winner is...

winning entry

Congratulations Olga! She has been notified and has 48 hours to claim her prize. Olga was my 100th follower and that makes her win even more special. Thank you to all who participated in my challenge and helped me reach my goal of 100 followers. I hope you stick around for more fun times with Marlie and me!

Baby Log: Week 20

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Boogie is 20 weeks old! My goodness, where did the time go?! This week Marlie reminded us that she is getting to be a B-I-G girl with her own little personality, her own likes and dislikes, and her own quirks, which included keeping us up three nights in a row! Let the Good Times roll:
Marlie at 20 weeks
  • Marlie can sit up on her own for 10-20 seconds at a time! See photo evidence to the right <-------- span="">
  • In addition to waking up every 30 minutes at night, she is also waging war on bedtime. She hollers...cries big, fat crocodile tears. the.works. It's quite a performance. Maybe she'll become an actress.
  • She has become so tactile. She has to run her hands over everything. I love it when she touches my face while nursing (even when puts her fingers up my nose!)
  • She likes to look at shadows and stares at the sunlight streaming through the windows. I hope she is always this fascinated by the simple things.
  • One morning as her daddy stood over her crib, Marlie said "ha-da." I heard it and thought to myself, oh she's making more sounds. He heard it, and swore she was saying hi, daddy! I'm no dream-crusher.
  • We had two wins this week: a $10 Amazon gift card from Blogs Her Color and a Grow-A-Head from Sugar Pop Ribbons!
  • This is the last weekend of Granny Marge's visit so we went outlast night for some Tex-Mex. I couldn't have any cheese, but the food was so good I didn't miss it at all. It was a nice evening. We've really enjoyed her stay. Until next time grandma, we'll miss you!dinner with grandma

Flashback Friday: Go Away Winter

Friday, January 8, 2010

San Juan PRThe cold weather really does a number on me. I'm talking dry skin, winter blues, cravings for comfort food. Usually, I can handle it with minimum whining, but this arctic blast has me wanting to go into hibernation until spring. I L-O-V-E the heat! It can never be too hot for me. Until it gets warmer, I'll be nostalgically looking at beach photos like this one from our 2005 trip to San Juan, PR. I just imagine that I'm there instead of wrapped in a blanket inside my drafty house. Ah, I feel better already!

I'm Over at My Brown Baby Today

You know I'm passionate about natural healing for babies and children. Wrote an article about it. Want to read it? Here ya go:

The Skin They're In: Healing African American Babies' Skin Naturally

Thursdays with Teresha: 1/7/10

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blogger Teresha Hello fans! It's a new year and a new decade (if you start counting from zero). Today on Thursdays With Teresha, I will be looking into the future...and making plans to enjoy some of this year's entertainment offerings!

Name: Teresha
Blog Name: Marlie and Me
Blog Address: http://marlieandmommy.blogspot.com
How many children do you have and what are their genders/ages? 1 girl, 4.5 months-old

  1. What are some things you want to accomplish in 2010, what about in the next 10 years? I shied away from making any resolutions and made a list of personal goals instead...like finishing the children's book I'm working on. I can't even think about ten years from now...one day at a time.
  2. What do you do to stay motivated and on track toward achieving your goals? I have my list of goals stuck to my computer on a post-it to remind me to never give up on them.
  3. What was the last adult book you read? I can't remember the last adult book I read...sad, I know.
  4. How do you carve out time for yourself and your husband? I learned that I have to be intentional about making time for me and my marriage whereas there used to be a lot more spontaneity. For example, scheduled a movie nights are a must. Otherwise movies will sit on top of the DVD player for months.
  5. Do you use Netflix, redbox, Blockbuster or Movies on Demand? Netflix! I love the convenience of having movies delivered by mail or being able to watch instantly with our Roku box. We also use redbox occasionally.
  6. Speaking of movies, what films are you excited to see this year? I am most looking forward to seeing the first part of the final Harry Potter film this Thanksgiving.
  7. Is there a television show premiere that you are looking forward to? I am eagerly anticipating the return of LOST.
  8. Will you be watching American Idol this season? Do you think it will be better or worse without Paula? I will be checking out American Idol because I'm curious to see if it loses its mojo.
  9. If you could be a participant on any reality show, which would you go on and tell me why? I would love to compete on American Idol for the wardrobe and hairstyles, but I can't sing.
  10. Will you be watching the college football championship game tonight, and who are your rooting for? I am boycotting the Bowl Games since my alma mater (the Gators) are not playing in for the championship.
In the spirit of renewal, rejuvenation and renovation, I will be retooling my talk show in the coming weeks. One change is going to be in how guests are selected. I will start randomly drawing them from my followers. Aren't you excited?! Stay tuned...

Monday Morning Parenting: Paging Doctor Mom

Monday, January 4, 2010

dr. momI interviewed several pediatricians when I was pregnant. In my perfect world, my baby's doctor would have the credentials of House, M.D., the passion of Dr. Doug Ross and the wellness approach of Dr. Patch Adams. I guess two out of three qualities isn't bad, especially when two of my archetypes are fictional characters. Don't get me wrong...we adore Marlie's pediatrician. She has a wonderful bedside manner and tons of patience for neurotic mommies like me, but she doesn't embrace homeopathic remedies.
This doesn't necessarily bother me, except when she unnecessarily prescribes medicines/products that contain health compromising ingredients. In the case of Marlie's eczema, her treatment was to wash with Selsun Blue (contains many nasty chemicals such as laureth sulfate and DMDM hydatonin), apply a 1% over-the-counter cortisone cream (contains a steroid), and moisturize with Eucerin (contains Dimethicone) for 10 days or until it cleared up. I wouldn't use some of this stuff on my dog, much less my baby. I may not have a medical degree, but I do have what my mother-in-law refers to as a common-sense degree. I know there has to be more non-toxic ways to treat baby eczema. So, after consulting some natural mommies, I developed my own course of treatment. Her eczema is clearing up and I'm not fretting about toxins wreaking havoc in her body.
Of course I will follow doctor's orders if Marlie has a serious condition. I'm not going to try to treat pneumonia with herbs. I'm not foolish. I'm just a mom who believes her daughter's long-term health outweighs the risks of exposing her to toxic chemicals, even for a little while.

Have you ever gone against the pediatrician's advice?

Baby Log: Week 19

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Marlie is getting to be such an active and curious baby. I can hardly wait for all the milestones we will experience as a family in 2010...first solid meal, first steps, first birthday! If this week is any indication, she is going to be mischievous and keep her mommy and daddy on their toes. She wore us out! But we were all captivated by her every move:

  • Everything has become a struggle thanks to her constant wiggling...diaper changes, putting on clothes, everything! She has even started to squirm when she wants to be put down. Thank goodness for the activity mat her grandma bought her for Christmas. I feel secure putting her on it to play. It's a hoot to watch her twist herself from end-to-end and use the "monkey bar" to try and hoist herself up. She is so clever!
  • Her daddy says he has seen her roll over from her back to her tummy...twice! I am disappointed that I missed it, but also upset that he didn't bother to tell me about it until several days later. He claims that he thought I had already seen her do it. Excuse me but, I've only seen her roll off her tummy. She's been flipping onto her back like a flapjack for weeks! If she had rolled off her back, I would have announced it to the world...um, hello! So, I am calling a do-over. It only counts when I see it for myself.
  • Marlie has discovered thumb-sucking. Yikes! She only seems to be rubbing her itchy gums with her thumb instead of using it to soothe herself. She doesn't do it all the time either. I really hope she doesn't develop a habit. She also likes to suck in her bottom lip...it's so cute!
  • Her feet are officially her favorite things to play with...she has forsaken all other toys.

baby Marlie playing with feet

  • Marlie developed her first (and, hopefully, last) eczema flare-up (in her diaper area, no less) thanks to her mommy's nonstop munching on pumpkin cupcakes, apple pie and Moroccan chicken over the holiday. None of these foods would normally cause an eczema reaction, except in this case they were accompanied by cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, and yogurt. Her little bum and inner thighs were so inflamed, plus she scratched herself pretty bad. I feel so awful...a few dairy treats is not worth any amount suffering on her part. I'll repeat this in my head next time I am tempted by a piece of cheesecake.
  • eyeing hamburgerMarlie is ready for some real food! Her pediatrician insists that we wait until the AAP-recommended six months. I am already planning her first meal of rice cereal for Valentine's Day. I don't know if we can keep her from snatching some food before then. See how she is looking at her daddy's hamburger? Just like a lioness waiting for the right moment to pounce on her prey. Her eyes are bigger than her stomach! LOL!
  • She really likes when I sing Baby Love by Diana Ross and the Supremes. I'm on the lookout for new songs to add to my song list. Suggestions are welcome.

Flashback Friday: Decade in Review

Friday, January 1, 2010

I decided to do a pictorial of the events that shaped my life this past decade. If you have trouble reading the captions, click on the photo to see them enlarged. As I was crafting this post, I noticed that I now have 92 followers...only 8 more to go to complete my challenge and giveaway! Wouldn't it be spectacular if I was able to get 100 followers and award the prize package today?! Help me get 8 more followers...tell your friends to join Marlie and Me in 2010. Happy New Decade!!!
decade in review in pictures
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