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The Kids' Log: September 23-29, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm in a crappy mood so pardon this brief update. I was flying solo with the kids this week and we did okay Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday Marlie was carrying one when I dropped her off at school and then Desmond came down with a cold that I now have because I was rundown. By the time Damon came home on Thursday night I was exhausted and just wanted a good night's sleep. But I wound up comforting a stuffy infant the whole night and the next. Being tired and congested affected my marathon training yesterday and I was secretly glad we only did 7.5 miles instead of 9. 

On a cheery note, I did win a couple of cool giveaways: 1. a dozen cupcakes, fun bites food cutter and a $25 gc to Daydreaming Gifts from Anderson Angels blog. 2. a Super Undies Nighttime Training Pants from Happy Mothering blog.

Toddler Log: 3 Years and 6 Weeks Old
Marlie was not pleased about daddy being gone and it showed. Everything was a battle. She didn't even want to go to school, which is a first.

I tried my best to distract her with cool projects and even some treats like a little extra TV time. She'd do okay until bedtime and then all heck would break loose. By the time I got her to go to sleep all I wanted to do was fall into my own bed, but there were chores to do and then baby boy would wake up. I don't know how single parents do it.

We did manage some fun like drawing on the huge sheets of paper that the movers used to pack our boxes. And we had a wonderful play date on Friday with one of the moms I met through Mocha Moms who also relocated here recently. She has a 2 yo boy and a 4 yo girl. We have lots in common so talking to her is easy. Marlie and her kids get along fabulously and she is a cool lady, so that's a plus.

Baby Log: 24 Weeks Old
Someone is 6 months old! I'm floored. Didn't I just push him out yesterday?! He caught a nice cold for is half birthday. But he's not letting it slow him down! He had his first babies-only play date this week at IKEA.He got his first taste of meat (the liver and sweet potatoes did not go over well). I made him sweet potatoes and bananas instead. He is sitting up and crawling a few steps. He likes to move it, move it! 

Convos from the Backseat #2

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm toying with a new meme inspired by my conversations in the car with my chatterbox in the backseat. Let me know what you think!

Last Friday's conversation while sitting in traffic...

Marlie: Mommy, look at ALL these cars!
Me: It looks like a sea of cars, right?
Marlie: Yeah! Where are the people going, mommy?
Me: Where do you think they are going?
Marlie: Places!
Me: Like what places?
Marlie: To school, to work, back home to eat breakfast!
Me: Oh really? And where are we going?
Marlie: The park!
Me: That's right. As soon as these cars move.
Marlie: Come on cars! Let's go!

Fall into Savings on Leady Lady Bras

Monday, September 24, 2012

Leading Lady is offering 10% off + FREE SHIPPING on all regularly priced items thru 9/27. No coupon code needed!
Leading Lady Nursing and Full Figured Bras
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

The Kids' Log: September 16-22, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Life is good. It really is. I was watching a pair of squirrels play in the street without a care in the world except forging for food and dodging cars and I told myself to take a cue from them. I am going to make more of an effort to focus on what really matters and not sweat the small stuff. I didn't even freak out when a huge spider used me as a ladder to climb down to the floor. I did stomp the living daylights out of him but I didn't jump around and scream like a little girl. I still love nature, I just prefer it to live outside my home. There is a huge green grasshopper living in Marlie's room and he's lucky I am scare of him.

I have high-speed Internet again and it's been wonderful to be able to blog hop and enter giveaways again! I am also reading Facebook posts and lo and behold my estranged father has sent me a friend request. His profile pic is a photo swiped from my album (given to him by another relative on FB). I'm not sure what to do. I haven't seen his 17 years and I last spoke to him on the phone when I attended my grandmother's funeral in 2005. It was not a pleasant conversation. He has a way of trying to talk to me like we are  just each other last week that really gets under my skin. It never goes well because I call him on his BS and then he gets belligerent. I asked myself if I haven't confirmed his friend request out of spite, but I think it has more to do with protecting my babies. I don't think he has any right to lay claims to grandkids when he didn't take care of the kid. Am I right?

In case you are wondering the marathon training is going well. I am up to 7.5 miles! I just need to replicate that distance three more times and I will be a marathoner.

Toddler Log: 3 Years and 5 Weeks Old
Miss, Missy, Miss got her hair down yesterday it purdy two-strand twists. No, I did not do them. I have reached the end of the road with my limited skills hair styling skills which consist of picking out an afro, drop curls, flat twists and bantu knots. So I called in a pro and not a moment too soon because she scratched out a nice chunk of her hair at the nape of her neck leaving a dime-sized bald spot.

This kid is just too much. Always exploring. Always questioning and answering. Always on. She has this way of responding to my yes/no questions that makes me smile. I'll ask, "Marlie, do you want a snack?" and she'll answer, "um, sure!" Not yes, not okay, but um, sure! And she says it in her cute little girlie voice.

Her conversations are starting to evolve beyond just why this and why that, especially when I ask her what she thinks. Our talks can get pretty interesting like when she spotted a blimp in the sky and then asked me where it was going with the people and could we catch it. She is also starting to make up stories and tell tales (lie). Who hurt the worm Marlie? The spider did it.

She is growing way too fast. She'll be asking to borrow the car next. Actually, this week she asked me if she can drive when she is bigger. Sheesh.

Baby Log: 23 Weeks Old
Boyfriend is still teething hard. He is like a puppy gnawing and slobbering on everything! I caught him gumming the wooden feet on the couch. He is restless and crying all the time and just miserable. He also gets violent when he is irritated. I lost count of how many times I have been bitten, pinched, smacked, kicked, and headbutted.  I feel like I am in the ring at a WWE event! I was commenting to someone that Marlie didn't have it this rough, but then I remembered she had the amber teething necklace. You know I went on a hunt for that thing and came up empty. It will probably be in the last box we unpack. Sigh. 

In happy news, I cracked open the Baby Brezza my grandma gave me and officially kicked off the homemade baby food spree. Our first recipe was pears and avocados. He enjoyed it and Marlie got to feed him. But I think he's waiting for meat. Next week...liver and sweet potatoes!

#FallGreen Giveaway: clickR Day Brilliant Lotion w/ SPF 15

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall-Into-Green Hop buttonFall is here and the leaves are starting to change, but we can still celebrate being green in other ways! Welcome to the Fall Into Green Giveaway Hop, hosted by Happy Mothering and Happy Green Mama through the Green Moms Network. Each participating blog is hosting a green or eco-friendly giveaway worth at least $25. You can find the list of participating blogs at the bottom of my post. 

clickR day lotion
My giveaway is for a 1.7 fl oz. jar of clickR Day Brilliant Lotion with SPF 15 (a $45 value). It is formulated with plant-based ingredients. ClickR's skin care line is so green that it positively glows and so will your skin! Read my Review.
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We also have a fabulous Grand Prize for this giveaway hop, sponsored by Maggie Bags. Two lucky winners will each receive The Tote of Many Colors in The Fall of Leaves or Camo – Maggie Bags’ most eco-friendly bag! Made of super durable recycled seat belt webbing, this roomy tote will hold everything you need and want, even that extra pair of shoes! You can also get 25% off at Maggie Bags with code FallGreen good now through November 10 on their Premier Line!

Click here to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway.


The Fall Fashionista Giveaway Event is Coming! Hold onto your Hats, Scarves, Shoes, Handbags!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What is exciting, awe-inspiring, and the Internet's largest fashion giveaway event? The answer is the Fall Fashionista Event! More than 100 bloggers get together and for one week host amazing all-fashion, only-fashion giveaways on their blogs. You can hop from blog to blog, entering to win thousands of dollars of amazing prizes. The hosts Still Blonde after all these YEARS and Modly Chic, and co-host K-Squared Glamour anticipate this event to have $20,000+ in prizes, 118+ participating blogs and more that 1/2 Million entries. Each blog will have a minimum $125 prize package!

Last spring I entered all the giveaways and won several of them. I had so much fun that I signed up to be a participating blogger for the fall event because I like to give as much as I like to receive. 

I am not hesitant to brag that a I worked my butt off to put together not one, but TWO incredible prize packages. My giveaways will be included in a lookbook along with a sneak peek at some of the other fashion prizes up for grabs. Here is one of the items I am self-sponsoring in my College Girl prize package:

On October 1 the Fall Fashionista Event Lookbook will be published so make sure to come back so you can see what fabulous fashion prizes you can win!. The Lookbook has its own awesome giveaway from Mountain Khakis. Two winners will take home a total of $500 in Gift Certificates!

And there is this GRAND PRIZE...

This so. stunningly. beautiful. it aches. Louis Vuitton epi speedy 25 sponsored by Bella Bag with an MSRP of $1200 (Bella Bag Price, $795)! 

You can win this bag and other awesome fashions during the Fashionista Event, Oct. 11-17, MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!!

Fall Into Green Sponsor Review: clickR Day Brilliant Lotion with SPF 15

The end of summer doesn't mean you can put away the sunscreen. You still need sun protection especially on your face where the skin is very delicate and vulnerable to sunburn. The fall and winter months present another challenge because the harsh wind and cold are extra drying to exposed skin. So what is a woman to do?

clickR day lotionI always use a moisturizer with SPF and I switch to a thicker face cream in the colder months to give my skin additional hydration. I have tried just about every brand on the market, but the clickR Day Brilliant Lotion with SPF 15 is head and shoulders above the rest.

ClickR is the greenest skin care line out there in my opinion. Their tag line is all natural all the way and they mean it. There are no artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, endocrine disruptors, allergen fragrances and always vegan! Every clickR product I have tried in the past has a clean, pure smell to it. The other SPF moisturizers I used before smelled chemically, but the Day Brilliant Lotion has a subtle natural scent. I am not worried about chemical sunscreen additives burning my eyes when I sweat.

I am loving on my face with this stuff! It is very thick but goes on light and absorbs very well. The Day Brilliant Lotion is so rich in skin-nourishing ingredients like diamond dust for polishing the skin and boosting radiance, antibacterial silver minerals for minimizing laugh lines and wrinkles, gold minerals for promoting oxygen and a healthy glow, sodium hyaluronate for locking in moisture and a special UVA/UVB blend for protecting your face from harmful UV rays.

It's been two weeks since I started using the Day Brilliant Lotion and my skin is so bright and soft despite the fact that I have been out training for a marathon in the sun, wind, and cooler temps! I am a total clickR convert  and you will be too once you try their products.

Connect: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Ruby's Blog

Buy It: Day Brilliant Lotion w/ SPF 15 retails for $45 at clickR website. Also available on Amazon.

Win It: Come back September 22-30 for a chance to win a jar of clickR Day Brilliant Lotion with SPF 15 in the Fall into Green Giveaway Hop! Tip: Leave a comment on this review post to earn bonus entries!

fall into green hop button


Wordful Wednesday: Future LadyKiller

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Indulge me while I brag, please. We made some gorgeous babies! Not that other babies aren't adorable, but mine stop traffic. No lie. I was out walking with Desmond last week and a woman driving by literally stopped along side us to tell me how cute he is. Looking at this photo, I can see what she means. Those big eyes like his sister's and his killer smile. I'm going to have lots of girls calling my house, but I will teach him to treat women with respect. Both my babies are really, really good-looking (to quote Zoolander). I take it in stride though. Looks aren't everything, but a few modeling gigs can't hurt especially if it gets the college funds squared away! Am I right?

Kmart Big Layaway Giveaway! Win Your Holiday Shopping List!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It feels like the holiday shopping season starts earlier each year, but when you realize that there are exactly 114 between Labor Day and Christmas then you might actually feel like you are running out of time.
Kmart_Logo_B&W.jpg (3 documents, 3 total pages)
Kmart is here to help you get all the great holiday gifts for your family and friends without putting a hurting on your wallet. Not only do they offer great prices everyday, but you can pay for your purchases in installments with the amazing Kmart Layaway Program. The best part is that you can layaway items online while other big box retailers only offer in-store laway. Plus, there is no minimum price or total purchase value requirement. It's so easy! I saw this tricycle that I am thinking of getting for Marlie. I must say the idea of making four layaway payments of $11 is more palatable!

Now through November 17th, Kmart is offering free layaway! You won't have to pay a single cent to reserve your holiday purchases. Also occuring during this time is Kmart's Big Layaway Giveaway. All Kmart stores are giving away one layaway each week. Now's the time to place those gifts you've been eying on layaway and also get the chance to win some great prizes at Kmart! So fill up your cart!

Kmart Free Layaway Grid 09_12.jpg
I am off to create my shopping list, check it twice, and then sign up for Kmart's layaway plan. If I am lucky I will win everything. Now that would be a very Merry Christmas!
Visit Sponsor's Site

Netflix Offers Up Cutely-Named Counterfeit Cartoons

I love me some Netflix. I do. But the animated children's movie category of their instant streaming service doesn't have the most popular selections thanks to licensing limitations (read: no Disney stuff). So they've taken a page from the designer shoe and handbag playbook. If you can't get the real deal, buy the knockoffs.

Case in point...your kid wants to watch Kung Fu Panda. Netflix has the next best thing, Chop Kick Panda!

No Happy Feet in the Watch Instantly library? No problem! Try Tappy Toes instead.

Why cry over the absence of The Princess and the Frog when they have The Frog Prince?

Rango is a very popular family movie and it is actually one of the few available on Netflix, but it might disappear. When that happens, there is always Oscar's Oasis!

Review: The Ultimate Yogi

Monday, September 17, 2012

I think I've mentioned that I am training to walk the Oakland Marathon in March. I'm doing it in part to lose the pregnancy weight, but also to cross an item off my bucket list (complete a marathon). 

I am quickly learning that training to walk a long distance race is just as challenging as training to run it. I have already suffered two minor injuries (a sprain in my lower back and a hamstring pull). I saw a massage therapist who diagnosed the problem as a lack of proper stretching. My husband Damon suggested that I do yoga for the pain and to prevent future problems. In the back of my mind I knew he was right, but I resisted because with the little time I have to train I felt I should be doing Insanity or P90X to build strength and endurance.

Then I saw an opportunity to try The Ultimate Yogi and signed up for the both of us since he is really into yoga. Developed by yoga teacher Travis Eliot, The Ulitmate Yogi is a 108-day whole-lifestyle transformation. Everything you need is contained in a boxed DVD set that includes 12 yoga classes on discs, a training guide, a program calendar, nutrition plan and a short instructional video that demonstrates several key poses. You will have purchase some accessories like a yoga mat, block, and rug if you don't already have these.

For a busy mom like me it's important that I know how long any exercise class is so I can budget that time and plan accordingly. It was weird not to find this information written anywhere on The Ultimate Yogi DVDs or in the program guide. Maybe this part of the plan to free the mind, but I don't have a lot of free time and this information would be helpful. That being said, the program is feasible for moms (and dads). I schedule my workouts during nap time.

CrossTrain is the first workout in the program (it is around 1 hour and 5 minutes long, plus of 18 minutes of HardCORE and 10 minutes of meditation=roughly 1.5 hours total workout time for Day 1). I must say Travis is an excellent teacher (and easy on the eyes). Instead of showing off his skills he uses his reassuring voice to walk you through each pose and he paces the classroom correcting students so that you can learn proper form. 

doing ultimate yogiAbout 15 minutes in we started to feel the burn, sweat, and breath harder. Damon and I disagree on whether you  need prior yoga experience to do this workout. I say you should be able to pick it up relatively quickly, but always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. We both agreed that it is an ultimate workout. I will be ready to power walk that marathon after using The Ulimtate Yogi!

What I really like about The Ultimate Yogi is that it combines the gentle elements of traditional yoga like deep stretching, breathing, and meditation with the physical intensity of a beach body workout. Each day of the program is designed to put your mind, body and spirit through boot camp. This is not your mother's yoga!

UY108 the Future of YOGA!

Buy It: Click the Banner Ad above to purchase The Ultimate Yogi  for $108 (plus tax and $14.99 S&H) and get started on transforming you! Use coupon code "LaborDay" for 20% off. Expires September 24.

Connect on Social Media: Twitter | Facebook

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Keeping Kids Creative Giveaway: Rollors Backyard Game

Keeping Kids Creative hop button
The last week of September has been Nationally designated as "Keep Kids Creative Week". While this week is often celebrated in schools with many fun activities to help stimulate kid's creativeness, parents can also take advantage of this week to do some really fun things at home. Many parents struggle with finding time to fit creativity in but there are lots of products out there to help us with getting those creative juices flowing. Mama-Nibbles and Life With Two Boys created this event to help you find some fun products to keep your family creative not only during "Keep Kids Creative Week" but any time of the year!

Keeping Kids Creative begins on September 17th at 12:01am EST and ends on September 30th at 11:59pm EST. Along with the awesome prizes that each of the participating blogs are offering we also have 3 Grand Prizes thanks to our sponsors BabbaCo, Green Kid Crafts, Kelly Kits, PowerCapes, Bannor Toys, We Can Too, and Kat and Company.

My Giveaway

Do you remember the days when kids played outdoors and not in front of a video game console? Do you remember when family time was spent engaging with each other instead of in front of a TV screen?

Rollors Backyard GameRollors is a new game that is helping to bring families back together for quality time outdoors.  Rollors is like playing bocce, bowling and horseshoes all in one! Players "roll" disks at the goal and points are awarded to the player/team that positions their disks closest to the goal. It's a great game of skill with the element of chance! You can set up Rollors in seconds in your backyard or take it with you to the park or beack thanks to its convenient carry bag. Watch this official video for a demonstration of how the game is played:

Pretty neat, right? But what is even cooler is the story behind Rollors. The game was invented by Matt Butler, an active duty officer in the Air Force while he was deployed in the Middle East. The idea came to him while he was reminiscing about his childhood visits to a lake house cabin in Minnesota and spending time outside playing bocce ball and horseshoes with his family.

Matt successfully took several old-fashioned games and gave them a modern twist! He has sold more than 25,000 games and won several prestigious awards from Creative Child, Dr. Toy top 100 games for 2010, Dr. Toy top 10 active toys, Major Fun in several categories and Mr. Dad. And judging by the reviews by bloggers such as Dad Does, the game is fun for the entire family!

Buy It: Retail Value: $39.99. Available in stores at Meijer and REI and many online retailers like Amazon (on sale now for $29.99!). Visit rollors.net for a full list of retail locations.

Win It: One lucky ready is going to win a Rollors game kit right here on Marlie and Me!

I did not receive product to review or compensation to host this giveaway.
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The Kids' Log: September 9-15, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I survived a whole week without a Internet connection at home! That's partially true. I broke down and went to the Sprint Store and had the hotspot add-on enabled on my Galaxy phone, but the connection is so slow it has given me post-traumatic stress flashbacks to the days of dial-up. Can you say cancel this service, please? Another survival tool I used was to hit up the coffee shops for free wifi. I drank way too many overpriced chai tea lattes this week. I am going to hug the cable guy when he comes to install our Internet service on Tuesday. I did manage to squeeze out a couple of posts this week. Did you notice the HUGE eShakti dress review and giveaway?

We are stilled buried under boxes and it feels like we'll never get unpacked. Part of the problem is trying to figure out where to put everything when you are working with much less space. I won a $50 gift certificate to HearthSong and ordered a Zoku ice pop maker which I now regret because it's one more thing to find a spot for. I know I'll change my mind when I'm enjoying a yummy Popiscle next summer.

I miss reading all your blogs! I pinky swear that I am going to read all your back posts next week and leave comments!

Toddler Log: 3 Years and 4 Weeks Old
Marlie still loves school. It is the highlight of her week. Now if I could just get a copy of whatever magic spell they cast on her to use at home then we'd be doing great. We attended a parent meeting this week and got to learn more about the school, its staff, and its approach to child development. It's all so zen.

I have been working on using some of their strategies like channeling her high energy into tasks that keep her focused and make her feel like a big kid. So we bought her a plant, a cute little succulent she named Rapunzel. She waters it and talks to it. It's the perfect combination of teaching tool and diversionary tactic.

Baby Log: 22 Weeks Old
The teething has kicked into high gear and Desmond has turned into a restless little bundle of crankiness. He won't nap/sleep unless he is strapped to me in his carrier or latched on my boob. I see four little nubs under his gums and I just want them to push through already. I want my sweet baby back!

eShakti Fall Fashion Review and $930 Dress Giveaway, 7 Winners!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Have you ever been shopping online and saw a dress that stopped you in your tracks? Did you buy it and then fell more in love with it when it arrived?

What I am describing is lightning in a bottle, but it happened to me recently when I was struck by this dress at eShakti.com.

eShakti winter blue dress

I was looking for a dress for the holidays and this winter blue number with decorative berry-colored trim definitely fit the bill. It's so festive! But what really made me want this dress were all of the feminine details from the V-shape neckline to the scalloped trim to the full skirt. The dress is even more striking in person and I knew I had made the right choice.

eShakti dress reviewI ripped open the packaging and put on the dress like it was Christmas morning. It already has beautiful embellishments, so I went minimalist with the accessories, just some earrings and a hair clip. I was surprised by the pockets, bonus! I ordered a standard size medium, but had the hem taken up because I am only 5'2". That is the beauty of shopping at eShakti. You can purchase clothing ready-to-wear or customize the size with your exact measurements and select different style options on the sleeves, dress length and neckline for an extra fee. It is a very empowering feeling!

This is actually my third eShakti dress and I am once again over the moon, gaga over it. The fit is a little snug because I am still losing the pregnancy weight, but it will be perfect by the holidays. eShakti strives to satisfy will a wide selection of designer fashions in size 0-36W that suit your style personality. You could easily shop your entire fall/winter wardrobe at eShakti!

The Giveaway:
This amazing giveaway is sponsored by eShakti. The Giveaway Runs from September 6-October 5, 2012 and is open to US AND CANADA! There are 7 winners total! The Grand Prize winner takes home a dress for each season for the next year (a $430 value)! Once you are done entering keep hoping to the other blogs so you can see the eShakti looks that each of the other bloggers have put together and get some ideas on how to add spice your fall/winter wardrobe with eShakti!

  • 1st place prize: one winner will receive a dress each season for the year. (estimated $430 value)
  • 2nd place prize: three winners will pick the dress of their choice
  • 3rd place prize: three winners will pick the skirt or top of their choice.
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Disclosure/Disclaimer: Fashionista Giveaway Event bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. This dress was provided for me to review by eShakti in collaboration with the Fashionista Blogger group hosted by Still Blonde After All These Years and ModlyChic.

Monday Morning Parenting: Dear Mom Guilt,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dear Mom Guilt, 

I am going to get straight to the point. 

I am breaking up with you. 

Sky Park in Daejeon floating in sky
By Yoo Chung (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This may come as a shock to you since we have become tight in the past two months during a very stressful cross-country move with an infant and toddler. I was worried about uprooting my family. I was afraid that I traumatized my little girl by ripping her away from her school community and the only friends she's ever known. My doubts were redoubled when I made a misstep with the first new school I picked for her and I could only scare up two kids to attend her birthday party. You have been my constant companion through all of the transitions and adjustments.
But you are suffocating me. I feel you squeezing my gut every time I make the the wrong mom move. You hover over my head like a dark cloud ready to strike me with lighting when I fail as a parent. You make me second guess my instincts, which is my most powerful tool as a mom. I can't have you emasculating me. So, like all bad relationships, our "friendship" has to come to an end. 
I came to this conclusion after realizing that my kids are more resilient than I give them credit for, that I am more resourceful and stronger than I give myself credit for. I was not doing anyone any favors by letting you eat away at me. My kids are healthy and happy and thriving. That is all that matters. 

We may still run into each other in passing, but I can't hang out with you anymore. There is just no room for you in my life. I am ready to move on and be a happy mom who embraces being good enough.

The Kids' Log: September 2-8, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This is going to be a quickie post to keep my regular readers updated. Our new place won't have Internet access until the 18th (Lord, help me!). I promise to visit your blogs soon and catch up with the happenings on your end.

My week started and ended at IKEA. I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. I love that you can furnish and decorate your entire home inexpensively and the quality is pretty good. I hate that it's always crowded no matter when I go and that I can never find my way out when I am ready to leave. It was rough shopping with a toddler and infant (we tried twice to place Marlie in the playroom but they were full the first time and on the next visit the attended claimed she was shorter than the 3 foot height requirement...um, she just got measured at the pediatrician and was 38" lady!) Anyways, I hope we don't have to set foot in IKEA again for a long time.

What else has been going on? I have been exploring our neighborhood all week. There is so many cool places to walk to. The neighbors are so warm and welcoming. We were invited to a cookout last Sunday and yesterday there were cookies waiting for us on the porch when we got home. We love our block!

Toddler Log: 3 Years and 3 Weeks Old
Marlie started preschool this week and she is so happy there. I love how enthusiastic she is to get ready in the morning and how she talks about her day on the way home after I pick her up. I went to a Mom's Night Out with some of the moms from her class and I got to hang out for a couple of hours with a great group of women. We really lucked out!

Not only is school going well, but her behavior is improving too. She is having fewer tantrums and we continue to work on her communication. Her new buzz phrase is right now, as in "I want ice cream, right now!" Her newest fascination is with the Big Bad Wolf thanks to the TV show Super Why. She keeps asking me for the key to lock the vents so the Big Bad Wold can't get in. Sometimes I feel that the writers/producers of these "kids'" shows don't think through their ideas for episodes.

Baby Log: 21 Weeks Old
Desmond has been his usual happy, plump self like he was not vomiting up his guts just last week. He got to try oatmeal cereal mixed with breast milk and eagerly gulped it down. We are going to get all Iron Chef as soon as I dig up his baby food maker. I am hoping to take him on some play dates this week so he can start making some friends of his own.

I promise pictures in the next post. I need to find my SLR camera because my camera phone is just too shaky for my tastes.

The Kids' Log: August 26-September 1

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I've been scarce, I know. For one thing, I'm still in recovery from the birthday party, plus I'm fighting off something tingling in my sinuses (a cold?). Secondly, I've been enjoying the outdoors with my kiddos. It's been in the high 70s this week (or what they call around here "very hot outside"...they've never lived in Texas, LOL!). It's nice to live in a city where I can actually go places without the threat of getting heatstroke. I have also been playing Words with Friends with my cousins and blogger Kim G. and it takes time to kick verbal butt people.

Lastly, this was moving week. Yes ladies and gents, we started the process of moving into our home on Friday. It started with the delivery of our belongings from the storage facility. Just looking at all the boxes that need to be unpacked gave me a stress headache. Marlie complained that our new house is too small. We went from this...to this:
Former house: Dallas 2008-2012
New house: Oakland 2012-
It's called downsizing baby and you will thank us later when we can afford to send you to Stanford.

Toddler Log: 3 Years and 2 Weeks Old
Marlie is still being a pill and I am so exhausted from spending the last three weeks trying to stay three steps ahead of her tantrums. This may sound bad, but I am overjoyed that she is starting school on Tuesday so that she'll have a small army of teachers and classmates to give her round-the-clock attention.

She is sweet when she wants to be especially with her baby brother. She turned her headphones into a stethoscope and proceeded to give him a chest exam. Dr. Marlie then pronounced him in good health (little did she know what was to come at the end of the week). She is always singing to him particularly this one song her daddy made up about a baby in the window with no hair. She is really into doctors and firefighters. She spotted a fire truck outside the park and begged me to take her to see Fireman Sam (a British cartoon she is gaga for right now). She got to shake a fireman's hand and that's all she talked about for the rest of the week.

Baby Log: 21 Weeks Old
Desmond is now five months old! And to celebrate we spent fours hours in the ER in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He woke up around 10 pm the night before choking on vomit. We cleaned him up and I nursed him back to sleep. But he woke up a few minutes later, threw up again, and was gagging. I was afraid he was going to aspirate on his vomit so I called his pediatrician. He vomited twice more while I was on the phone so she instructed us to take him to the children's hospital. Of course he was just fine once we got there and was back to normal yesterday. It was probably a stomach bug, but the choking scared the beetle-juice out of us. I put him to sleep upright in his car seat.

In brighter news, he just started getting up on his hands and knees and looks ready to crawl! He can also sit up unsupported for a few seconds.

Win A Stash! September 1-15 #clothdiapers #giveaway

Saturday, September 1, 2012

win a cloth diaper stash button

Welcome to Win A Stash hosted by Kerrific! We're super excited you decided to join us!
This month we have an awesome stash to giveaway ...

It's all packaged an waiting for YOU to win!

cloth diaper stash giveaway

This month's prize includes: 
12 Kawaii one-size diapers
24 microfiber inserts &
1 large wetbag
With a total value over $100

Please use the form blow to enter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Greenchild Creations Diaper Review & #FallFluff #GiveawayHop

fall fluff giveaway buttonThe season is changing! Soon we will be sending the kiddos back to school, raking leaves, and turning our clocks back. What better way to celebrate the coming of autumn than to fall into some fluff?!

Welcome to The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop! James and Heather, a husband and wife team, launched The Parenting Patch: Where Parents Grow on September 15, 2011. In honor of the first anniversary of their blog and website, The Parenting Patch is hosting a cloth diaper giveaway hop that runs from September 1, 2012 through September 15, 2012.

The minimum value of each prize package participating in The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop is $15. Each giveaway prize is related to cloth diapers. Giveaways include, but are not limited to, cloth diapers, wet bags, cloth wipes, cloth diaper laundry detergent, and cloth diaper ointment.

Additionally, The Parenting Patch is sponsoring a huge cloth diaper grand prize that consists of one (1) wet/dry bag in sage, one (1) handmade wet bag in an owl print, one (1) Smush Tush diaper, one (1) Awesome Blossom diaper, six (6) bamboo/microfiber inserts, nine (9) microfiber inserts, and ten (10) Alva Baby pocket diapers in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, light blue, purple, black, brown, and white.

cloth diaper grand prize

Enter to Win The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop Grand Prize
The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop grand prize is open to legal residents of the United States of America and Canada. To enter to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form found at The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop: Grand Prize Cloth Diaper Prize Pack Giveaway. Good luck and happy cloth diapering!

My Prize Giveaway:
flannel fitted cloth diaperI received this sweet Greenchild Creations flannel fitted cloth diaper to review. This was my first experience with a flannel diaper and I am happy to report that it's no different than using cotton, hemp, bamboo or fleece. The material is really lightweight which makes for a trim fit.

The construction of this diaper is what really sets it apart. It has leg gussets, an open-ended pocket for inserts and an extra long flap that doubles over in front for added wetness protection. It doesn't have snaps or a hook/loop closure so it requires pins or a snappi like a prefold. I was nervous about using the pins but soon discovered I was worried about nothing because they are not like regular safety pins, these diaper pins have guards on them.

parts of cloth diaper
I first put little man in his froggie flannel cloth diaper an hour before bedtime at 6 pm because there is no greater measure of cloth diaper performance than the overnight test. I used a bamboo insert that I already had in my stash. He woke up around midnight for his feeding and I changed the diaper. The insert was soaked, but the flannel material was not. His bum was dry and I suspect he would have slept through the night if he didn't need to eat. I also like to use it during the day for naptime because it keeps his bum dry and warm. It is a versatile little diaper!

Greenchild Creations cloth diaper review

Win it! This Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also be sure to enter the other giveaways participating in The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop:
The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop grand prize is restricted to legal residents of the United States of America and Canada. The Parenting Patch Fall Fluff Giveaway Hop grand prize ends at midnight EST on September 15, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. Note that the Awesome Blossom diaper will ship separately.
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