Saturday, December 31, 2011

Forgotten cloth diapers

No, no...I haven't stopped using cloth diapers, I literally forgot about some when we left for Christmas with our families.

When we travel, I always leave the diaper pail empty. I do laundry right before we leave and take the few dirty diapers with us. Who wants to come home to a smelly bathroom and days old diapers? Not this clean freak, that's for sure.

Well this past Tuesday, that's just what we did. We left town the Thursday before Christmas, and it took me about an hour to remember we forgot the dirty diapers in the pail. It was almost worth turning around to get them, but my husband isn't the type to go back. He has even left his cell phone at home for a weekend, despite only being 2 minutes away when we realized it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Travel - Seven Quick Takes (vol 5)

--- 1 ---

Last year my husband and I were gone for a week around the holidays--and we said we'd never do it again. If we had gone to one place and stayed there it would have been different, but we hit up several towns and family members.
Did we learn our lesson? No...We did the same thing this year.
Holidays are really tough with a baby--everyone wants to see her! I was worried how she would do in the car, but she completely blew us away with her great attitude. She took two short naps on the 6 hour drive to my parents, and pretty much occupied herself the whole time she was awake by looking at her picture books. We stopped once to change her diaper and eat lunch. She was a tad fussy as we pulled into town, but who could blame her. Six hours is a long time in a sport wagon.
On the two hour drive from my parents to my grandpa's house she slept the whole way! From my grandpa's house to my in-laws she played with toys and I think maybe fell asleep a tiny bit, I can't remember. That drive was a little over an hour, but she started getting fussy at the very end again.
On the last leg of our trip, the three hour drive home, she took a good nap for half of it and played well for about 20 minutes. Then we had to stop. We had to change a huge (and I do mean HUGE) diaper explosion, including her clothes...it was disgusting. The last hour wasn't very fun for anyone, we played baby song tapes and CDs to calm down the very annoyed G. We were never so glad to see our front door as we finished our holiday travels, although we loved spending time with our families.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Planet Wise Cloth Wipes / Wipe Pouch Review & Giveaway

"Planet Wise Inc. products are eco-friendly and designed to replace disposable items you use every day. Not only will they help reduce your waste, but you can save money and look good doing it!" 
-- Planet Wise Product Guide

I first saw Planet Wise at my local cloth diaper store, while shopping for my pre-baby stash. Their bags were super cute, and felt like they were made of quality materials. I went home and did some more research on Planet Wise, and found out pretty much every cloth diaper mom loves them! I went back to the store and bought a medium wet bag for our diaper bag. I love it because it truly keeps the moisture AND smell inside, so that nothing else in the diaper bag is affected from dirty diapers. During my cloth wipe research, I found out that Planet Wise also makes cloth wipes! I was really excited when they offered me the opportunity to review a pack of their flannel wipes and a Planet Wise wipe pouch. A lot of cloth diaper brands offer wipes, but not many sell a pouch for storing them.

We've been using sky/lime Planet Wise flannel wipes and the owl Planet Wise wipe pouch for a few weeks now. Check out my review below and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Handmade Christmas #WW #Linky

My husband has made me an ornament every Christmas since we've been together (the one Christmas before we got married, he made me a jewelry box).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thirsties Accessories WINNER

What a GREAT giveaway!! The Thirsties Fab Wipes, Booty Luster, and Booty Love giveaway has closed. There were 107 unique entrants, and the total number of entries (including bonus entries) was over 3100!!! I cannot believe how successful this review/giveaway was. I'm really grateful to all who entered. You made this the most popular review to date on Letters from Momma!

Happy Birthday Jesus and Momma

Sunday was Christmas, but also my momma's birthday! I had planned to post that day, but decided I preferred taking some time off to enjoy my family's company.

We were gone for almost a full week. We went to my parents, and also to my in-laws. I don't think we will ever to the full circle again...it was too much traveling with a 10 month old and ended up being kind of stressful. It was really nice to see everyone though.

I love spending my mom's birthday with her, and it was nice to have G's first Christmas with my parents and sister. The generosity of our family toward us and our baby girl was so great. Thank you all! G got a lot of toys, several books, and even a bit of money. We got more gifts than expected, plus some money! We were shocked, to say the least. I now have a new diaper bag, baking supplies, gloves, clothes, gift cards, running shoes, and my homemade ornament. My husband got literally everything on his list; so now I don't know what to get him for his birthday!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seven Quick Takes (vol 4)

--- 1 ---
This is my fourth Seven Quick Takes. Have I really been doing 7QT for a month?? Wow, time flies. I hope you all are enjoying getting to read little snippets from my life.

--- 2 ---
icing the cookies was intense!
Advent Goal wrap-up:
Attend mass each Advent Wednesday: We were 2 to 7 minutes late to 3 of the 4 masses. I tried.
Read our devotional book at dinner each night: We were going strong until my birthday weekend when we went out for dinner two nights in a row (to my husband's work functions). So we were successful for two weeks.
I took cookies to the office staff at church (and also sent a lot to my husband's work too).
I made a homemade gift for my husband that he will open Christmas morning (and you will see next Wordless Wednesday).
I did not find time to make the felt Advent wreath for baby G...maybe next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

TWO HANDS club. {with linky for other 10 month old posts}

ten months old
Wow, another month has flown by!! In two short months our baby girl will be a year old. Month 10 was one that saw a lot of growth in fine motor skills and physical development. G also celebrated another major holiday -- Thanksgiving -- but didn't really like turkey or mashed potatoes. I found that odd. 

Teething is back full force, and actually seems worse than before. Her sleep is all crazy again, but at least I know I've done all I can. There is nothing I can do besides give her medicine, nurse her, comfort her as best as possible... I know a lot of you will tell me to get her a teething necklace, but I am not okay with that, knowing how she already pulls at bibs and sticks everything into her mouth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

G & her Christmas cookie #WW #linky

My favorite thing to do during the Christmas season is make cut-out cookies. I look forward to it all year! My husband and I have been doing it since our first holiday in 2007. He either enjoys it as much as I do, or humors me--either way, I love our tradition of making them together! We make the dough, roll them out, cut them, cook them, and ice them. This year we are sharing our huge batch of cookies with his co-workers and the office staff at church. The baby even got in on the fun, and I let her have a taste of cookie! Check out G's reaction to her "G" cookie in the pictures below:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My {easy} Cut-Out Cookie Recipe & Cookie Icing {that hardens}

Cut-Out Cookies
Time: ~ 2 hours total
 Prep work (20), Chilling (60), Baking (8-10 per baking batch)
350 degrees

VIDEO: Our Cloth Wipe Routine {so far}

I haven't really done much research on the proper method for using cloth wipes. I'm actually kind of going into it blindly. I'd love to hear your suggestions or personal routine, though, so feel free to leave me a comment.

We've been using our Thirsties cloth wipes for over a month now, but we have still been using disposable wipes, because we obviously don't have enough cloth ones yet. Although 10 Planet Wise wipes did arrive in the mail Friday, though, so now we have 16! Woooooo!
I was going to type out how we are using cloth wipes, but then decided a video would be a better idea. Here's what I've been doing at diaper changes when using a cloth wipe:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week went pretty well, although my husband came back from "a quick run" to the grocery store with more than I told him to get....so we had some impromptu meals and went over our budget. At least it wasn't my fault ;-)

Monday: Baked Homemade Pork Egg Rolls, veggies, rice
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: eat anything in the house that will go bad while we are gone
Thursday: dinner at my parents after driving all morning/afternoon (kettle beef)
Friday: (second annual holiday) taco night with my parents and family friends
Saturday: Christmas Eve dinner (probably pizza)
Sunday: Christmas dinner: Ribs (weird, but it's my mom's plan)

For holiday dessert I am going to make an amazing Brownie, Cookie, Oreo Layer dessert that I saw on Katie @ NFP & Me (which she found on Pinterest). I'm going to be following the recipe I found on BrownEyedBaker.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
Thanks for stopping in on Menu Plan Monday, which is linked up at OrgJunkie.com

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seventh Generation Kitchen Pack WINNER

Thank you to everyone who entered the awesome $80 value Seventh Generation Kitchen Pack giveaway, featuring the Natural Dish Soaps, sponsored by My Blog Spark. There were 1527 entries, including the bonus entries. There were 84 unique entrants, so that's awesome!! This is the second review/giveaway that I've done for My Blog Spark, and both have been well received. I really hope to get more great offers from them.

The winner is:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thank you FuzziBunz warranty

In case you missed this photo on my facebook yesterday:
I turned it inside out so that you can see the tears better
That's what I found when I was stuffing my small watermelon Perfect Size FuzziBunz Friday morning after doing laundry Thursday afternoon (yeah, my diapers often sit unstuffed for a while...sorry about it).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cloth Diaper Review Opportunity

Kebbie's Diaper Bag is looking for cloth diaper bloggers to test out their products.

I hope to participate in this event because as you all know, I like blogging about cloth diapers and I love bringing you information about products you should look into buying for your own family.

If you are a blogger and are interested in participating too, please see this post on Midnight Mommy's blog for the most information.

Seven Quick Takes (vol. 3)

--- 1 ---
We made it to Wednesday mass BEFORE the entrance song started. Advent Goal victory.

--- 2 ---
On Wednesday night we had dinner with friends. They made us Moroccan food. Have you ever had that cuisine before? It was pretty good. I love any type of couscous. Their son is 2.5 months younger than G, and as the babies age, the play dates get a lot more interesting. For instance, G was crawling by their son, who was sitting up. She briefly paused next to him and he put his hand on her booty!! It was obviously just curiosity and convenience...but I couldn't help but laugh and think how she will never date! ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Switching to Cloth Wipes...not as easy as it doesn't look.

When I decided to use cloth diapers, I never even considered using cloth wipes. My list looked something like this:
Using cloth diapers? cute, eco-friendly, frugal.
Using cloth wipes? gross, not easy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fork!! - #WW & #linky

St. Nicholas brought G some baby forks and spoons in her stocking last Tuesday. I am still amazed at how well she does with the fork. I put food on it, lay it on her tray, then she picks it up and eats off of it! It was such a proud moment when I first watched her feed herself. Yes, I know I am still putting the food on the utensil, but it's still a big milestone! She is so funny--she loves the fork, and knows to put it into her mouth, but she will just grab the food off of the spoon. Go figure!
Link up--

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thirsties: Fab Wipes / Booty Luster / Booty Love Review & Giveaway

The great switch to cloth wipes is upon us... and by us, I mean me, because my husband still doesn't seem fully committed. I'll write more in a separate post about the apprehensions we are feeling and the challenges we are facing, along with the perks and positives from switching to cloth wipes. This review will focus on the specifics about the Thirsties brand cloth wipes and accessories, not just using cloth wipes in general.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

So last week was really nice... I had an easy meal plan, I went out with a friend, my sister came to town, I celebrated my birthday, and my husband's work had two evenings of parties.

I'd say the food highlight of the week was the homemade ice cream cake that my husband made for me. It is a-mazing! It got even better the second time we had some. He based his recipe off of a few ideas he found online; layers of vanilla ice cream, Oreos & chocolate syrup, cookie dough ice cream, whip cream, whoppers, fudge sauce.

Check it out:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gaudete Sunday - Rejoice!!

Today is the third Sunday of Advent; it is called Gaudete Sunday, and it is my favorite non-Christmas/Easter day to attend mass! The priest wears pink, we light the pink candle, and the penitential mood is lifted a bit. Gaudete means Rejoice! and is a Sunday to celebrate that Christ's {second} coming is near!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Seven Quick Takes on my birthday {re: Friday}

--- 1 ---

Today, as indicated above, is my birthday. I am twenty-five years old. I wrote a little blog about it, you can read it here.
--- 2 ---

My little sister is in town! We are six years and nine days apart. We've had our ups and downs, but we are truly sisters...no fight can keep us down. We've seen each other at our worst, and still love each other. I am proud to call her my one and only sister. I hope that baby G has a sister some day...and a brother or two, too.


Today I am twenty-five years old.

I love birthdays, and especially my own!! It's childish, I guess, but I seriously love having a day to celebrate my life! I like to reflect on all that happened in the past year, and all the good things in my life. I am thankful for another wonderful year.
Unsure which birthday this was... maybe four? I'm on the left.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Hot Dog Mac & Cheese

Hot Dog Macaroni & Cheese
Adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe

Breastfeeding - Love/Hate

On any given day, I would classify my relationship with breastfeeding as love/hate. I bet I'm not the only one. Again, I am very much PRO-breastfeeding, and I love it more than I hate it....but there are many downsides. Here is my pro/con list, that in all honesty, is pretty pointless, because I'm going to breastfeed all of my babies. It's just nice to rant sometimes :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Eco Sprout Winner!

Thank you to the 70+ people who entered the Eco Sprout giveaway!! There were nearly 1200 entries after bonus entries were counted. It was a well received giveaway, and I'm really thankful to Eco Sprout for sponsoring it. I am still loving this detergent! I ordered the biggest bag possible (and received a free small bag as part of the Cyber Monday special) and bought the medium size bag from my local CD store.... sooo I think I'm set on Eco Sprout for a while. I hope those of you who didn't win will consider purchasing some--you won't regret it!

The winner is:

Congratulations to her! She has been notified and has until Thursday at noon central time to respond.

Have you seen the Seventh Generation Kitchen Pack giveaway?? Please consider entering--it's valued at more than $80 and ends on 12/17 at 11 pm central!

Thank you all for following Letters from Momma :-)

Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid Review & Kitchen Pack Giveaway

This review (and giveaway) is long overdue. The benefit to the tardiness of this post is that I have been using the Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid to get our dishes clean for over a month. I feel very confident recommending this product to you!

I hand wash baby G's toys, breast pump accessories, bottles/sippy cups, and high chair tray. I prefer to use non-toxic or 'free & clear' soaps with her items. I also always wash our pots and pans by hand. I like to use sponges and scour pads on our items, but prefer a gentle wash cloth for the baby's items. I was in serious luck when My Blog Spark sent me a Seventh Generation kitchen pack for review, because it included all of my favorite items--in eco-friendly or organic options!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This week is a busy week! My sister is coming in town, it's my birthday week, and my husband's work is having their Holiday Party and Annual Meeting. Therefore, this week is really easy on me...and probably boring for you! I promise my menu plan will be more exciting next week :-) If you'd like more ideas, check out my recipe page that lists some of my personal or adapted recipes, including the super easy Faj-ritos I made this past week. I'd also like to hear any recipes you have for the 8 pound bag of oranges we bought for $3.99 this weekend. They smell and look delicious, but aside from eating them plain...any ideas?

Sunday, December 04, 2011


I made a combination of Fajitas and Burritos this past week and wanted to share the super easy recipe!

4 servings

Saturday, December 03, 2011

November Stats!

Another month has ended? Time is seriously flying!! I'm starting to finally see my hard work pay off! Lately my daily pageviews are hovering right around 500. Sweet :-)

Google analytic stats for Nov 1 - Dec 1:

Friday, December 02, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

Welcome if you are visiting from the link-up at Conversion Diary! This is my first week doing 7 quick takes. I've read it on Catholic Newlywed and NFP & Me, so I decided to join in the fun this week. I write mostly about being a momma to my beautiful and wiggley daughter, baby G. We use cloth diapers, breastfeed, and our biggest woes right now are teething and sleep!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The hardest thing about being a mom - candidly speaking

Do you believe in 'fake it 'til you make it?' I always have. I like to think I am good at many things--and I've been told I am, but there are things that I definitely could stand to improve on. If I'm not great at something that I need to be... I sure do act like I am until I get there.

And I've been faking it 'til I make it with this whole motherhood thing for the past...oh, I don't know.... 40 weeks.

It ain't easy. It's sure not pretty or glamourous (unless you're Kourtney Kardashian?). And it's definitely not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - #WW

This Sunday we decorated for Christmas. I love Christmas decorations, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, and all things of this wonderful time of year. I am the kind of person that doesn't believe Christmas is over until the Church says it's over...which is in January, so you can believe Christmas decorations/music/food are here to stay in our home until then. Hooray :-) I don't usually like to decorate this early, but with an early Advent season, I couldn't wait to do so. Baby G didn't know what to think at first, with all the festive activities going on! She desperately wanted to help though! She also really likes Christmas music--especially Jingle Bells and when I sing Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.
 Baby G likes to be "helpful"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Goals

As I've mentioned before, we are Catholic. This past Sunday marked the 'new year' for Catholics, with the start of Advent. Advent is also recognized as a liturgical season by various other Christian denominations. I don't want to get "preachy" on you, as this is a 'mom blog,' but I do want to share a little bit about my faith.

Advent Facts:

Advent is a season of preparing ourselves to celebrate Christ's birthday at Christmas, while at the same time reminding us to be ready for His final coming--either at our death or the end of the present world. It gets it's name from the Latin word meaning 'coming.'

The readings at mass are mostly about preparing our souls to be worthy of Christ & Heaven.

There are four Sundays in Advent (although this was not always the case, and in Eastern Churches it is still 6 weeks). Because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, Advent started as early as possible (11/27) and will be as long as possible (28 days).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!! I took last week off from posting my meal plan, but I still had one:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thirsties WINNER!

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered the largest giveaway Letters from Momma has ever hosted! There were 2221 entries (over 100 people)! I'm so pleased with the success of this review. The winner will receive a Thirsties Duo Fab Fitted, Duo Wrap, & two hemp inserts.

The winner is:
She had 22 entries-- including many daily tweets!

Thank you to all who entered!

A special thanks to Tanya for a great comment on 11/15/11:
"I have yet to try Thirsties diapers since my LO isn't set to arrive for a few more weeks but I do have six duo wraps that I bought second hand and a new duo diaper that I can't wait to try! The fitted is next on my list to get :) Great review by the way! It made me want to go stock up on Thirsties brand items :)"

Ps. Have you seen the Eco Sprout Cloth Diaper Detergent review & giveaway? Enter to win until 12/5 11 pm central time. 

Recipe: White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
adapted from Allrecipes.com

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Puppies, Baking, Family... I'm back from my break!

She got some potatoes and turkey!
You probably noticed that I didn't post anything yesterday or on Thanksgiving either. I suppose I could have scheduled posts ahead of time, but I really just wanted my blog take a break from posting too. I've been spending a LOT of time on my blog / promoting giveaways / designing elements and just wanted to take a time out to be thankful for the gift of my little family. Kind of like a moment of silence, if you will. I hope you all were able to spend some quality time with loved ones, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Do you like my blog?

I've been building this blog for about 3 months now, and I hope you like it. I've posted pretty much everyday since August about everything from cloth diapering to sleep training to breastfeeding to stay-at-home-mom issues. If you do like my blog, I'd love to hear from you!

Or you can also click below to vote for me on the fence.

If you aren't already following me on facebook or twitter, please consider doing so! Just click the appropriate boxes.

Our anniversary - kind of #WW

Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary. It was our first anniversary as parents. It was 11/22/11. It was also G's 9 month "birthday." It was a BIG day. Thankfully, my husband's cousin and his wife came to babysit so that we could go out. We are so appreciative of them!!

I'd like to share the card that I got for my husband. I usually spend at least 10 minutes in the card aisle trying to pick the perfect one. (I will home make cards for our 'dating' anniversary and sometimes other holidays, but for our wedding anniversary...I buy one. always.) This year I walked away from the card aisle after 1 minute, with the first card I picked up. Not because I was in a hurry or anything, but because the first card I read was the most perfect card in the world. (I did read a few more to be sure, but they didn't come close). I couldn't believe my luck! Here it is:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baby G at 9 months old

My bitty baby is NINE months old today! I think nine months old is a big deal. It's 3/4 of a year and major milestones have been reached.

She is right on track for development, and is growing in personality every second. She smiles all.the.time. G is seriously the happiest baby I have ever seen.

Her home measurements are:
28.25" height
17.8 lbs weight
2 bottm teeth and the top right tooth is cutting through

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eco Sprout Cloth Diaper Detergent Review and Giveaway

Since my last post about cloth diaper laundry, some pretty important things in our routine have changed. I've altered the detergent we are using and consequently lowered the amount of rinses we have to do to rid our diapers of detergent residue. Therefore, our total wash time is down. I also haven't had to stand over the washer and skim off excess soap bubbles, as with previous detergents. This is making me a much happier cloth diaper momma. I can still appreciate the old cloth diaper detergent we were using, because it got the job done, but it took a lot more time and energy. Easy-to-use and time-saving are two very important qualities in any product, so I prefer our new detergent much more. Because cloth diaper laundry routines are a somewhat personal balance, what works for one family may not work for another...but I am here to tell you about the cloth diaper detergent that has saved my sanity.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crafty Momma Alert!! Crib Rail Covers and Pillow

The baby has been teething like a MAD woman. She's also gone through a frustrating sleep hiccup. To make a long story short she's been gnawing into her crib that was supposed to last through all of our kids. It still can, but my husband will have to sand it down and repaint it. Aside from the cosmetic damage, I don't want G swallowing paint and wood! Needless to say, I've been on the prowl for something to cover her rails.
I saw the gummy things you can stick on, but thought those looked pretty cheap. I saw the clip on plastic things but didn't think they would fit her convertible crib style. Then I found the cloth rail covers that looked perfect! There's only one kind sold in stores and 2 other kinds I could find online. Is there really not that big of a market for crib rail covers?
I guess not because the cost certainly doesn't reflect a competitive price point. $22+ for the front rail cover and $37+ for a pair of side rail covers! No thank you, ma'am.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sleep and Teeth - a sleep log update

I haven't posted a sleep log in a few weeks, because not much has changed. There really hasn't been much of an improvement. The good news, though, is that G has settled back down into a two nap pattern for now. That's a lot easier to deal with, than trying to make one nap stretch for the whole day. Her nights are still a crapshoot, but at least I can blame the teeth and poop (nothing I can control). Her top right tooth is seriously THIS CLOSE to poking through. We haven't figured out anything to solve the middle of the night poop problems, so we are changing a poopy diaper around 5 AM each morning. UGHHHHH.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kinda-Dirty Rice Recipe

Here's my new recipe for "kinda-dirty" rice that I made this past week. It was seriously delicious and really easy. I think it's pretty healthy, too. It'd be easy to "vegan-ize" also.

Kinda-Dirty Rice
personal recipe

4.5 c cooked brown rice (1 regular size box)
1 can chicken broth
1 c chopped bell peppers (any color)
1/2 small white onion
1 can of Rotel (I used the Lime/Cilantro variety)
1/2 can of black beans
4 Turkey/Chicken cooked sausages (I used Johnsonville Chipotle Monterey Jack Chicken Sausages--really accentuated the spicy flavor)
salt/pepper to taste

Put the chicken broth in a large soup pot. Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch chunks and add to the broth. Toss in the peppers and onions. Bring to a slow boil--let all of the flavors blend together for about 10 minutes. Add in the beans and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the Rotel and Rice, then heat throughout.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cloth Diapers on Mom Blog Society

Are you guys on Mom Blog Society? I joined just to be able to enter to win a coffee maker and a new lap top (both of ours are on their way out), but have been trying to get involved now. I think it may be a nice way to interact with other momma bloggers.

If you are on it, and blog about cloth diapers, check out the "group" I just created.  http://www.momblogsociety.com/group/cloth-diaper-blogs

I'd love to have more members, seeing as how it's at 1 right now ;-)

Seeking Sponsors!

I am currently seeping sponsors for a giveaway event to celebrate baby G's first birthday! The event will run from February 22 to March 31, 2012. I'd like to have at least 5 different review/giveaways that focus on family friendly items that parents of one year old babies should know about! If you think your company and products would be a great fit, please contact me!

I spend a lot of time promoting my giveaways, so your company will receive plenty of exposure. I place my giveaway links and titles on multiple linky sites each day, and I promote on twitter/facebook. I have over 500 blog subscribers, 450+ facebook likes and 420+ twitter followers. I have have 1000+ unique visitors each month, with 4000 pageviews.
There will be a special tab on my blog for this event where your company will receive a link and a logo, as well as information/links in the review post of your product.
Sponsoring a giveaway on Letters from Momma is a great way to increase your social media following and generate more web traffic to your site. It will also help create buzz about your product, as I stand behind the brands I work with.

Breastfeeding Series part 3 - Nursing in public

I had been a pretty modest person, but when I gave birth and started breastfeeding that all went out the window. It is a natural thing, and although I do my best to cover up, accidents happen. The good news is the people that have seen something are either female family members or people we will never see again.

Because breastfeeding didn't come super easy to G, I was pretty inflexible with where we nursed. Once I found a spot to feed her that worked for us, I was scared to change it. We would sit in a chair in our living room--me propped up with pillows and a foot "stool," and G propped up with her BreastFriend pillow. I didn't think I could nurse anywhere else.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Searching for a Birthday Giveaway Bash Co-Host!

Is you or your child's birthday in February or March? Do you have a PR friendly blog?

If so please contact me! I want to have a "Birthday Giveaway Bash" for G's first birthday and would love to have a co-host. You child can be any age, and your giveaways only need to be family friendly. We could work to promote the event together and would benefit from each other's Rafflecopter bonus entries.

I'm just in the planning stages, but hope to begin contacting sponsors after Thanksgiving.

Thanks for your consideration!!

email Kaylene at mislean at gmail dot com

A Learning Table for Baby - Wordless on Wednesday

We finally got the baby a learning table! It's an older version from craigslist, but it's still awesome. I did a nice cleaning on it and we presented it to her together. Yes, I'm silly and waited to 'give' it to her until my husband got home from work. But when you are frugal, giving your kid a learning table is.a.big.deal. She loves it! I love it, too, because she shakes her little booty to the music and enjoys trying out all of the activities.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diaper Junction Giveaway

I don't know how many of you have seen this...but I sure am excited about it! One winner EACH DAY will get $50 to Diaper Junction's cloth diaper store!

Entry via Woobox

Cloth Diapers at Night, vol 2

A few months ago I wrote about our night time cloth diaper solutions. They've changed a bit since then, so I wanted to write an update.

I do laundry every other day, but sometimes laundry runs late, so I have three main night time diaper options. Sometimes G will sleep all night in one diaper, so I need them to be super absorbent because she usually eats at least once in the night and is a "heavy wetter" in general. Other times, though, G will go #2 in the middle of the night so we have to change her and don't need the capabilities of the diapers below. She's not predictable with the bowel movements, so I always have to assume she'll be in one diaper all night. I really wish there were a way to stop the midnight poop-scapades. Any tips are appreciated.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This week's meal plan is week two of me REALLY REALLY trying to stick to our food budget. I am glad that our local grocery store is offering a free item each week from now until Christmas. That free item this week is Johnsonville Chicken Sausage. What do you think anchors my meal plan this week? The same store is also having a steak sale. 6 oz Cowboy steaks for $2 a piece, so we are having those for a 'fancy' meal. The potatoes are on sale for $1.99 for 5 lb bag of organic potatoes. Hooray!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday - 5 Gratitude

<br /><center><a href="http://www.lettersfrommomma.com/search/label/Sunday%205" ><img src="
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DNjJWDFSbJ0/TrW7iU63giI/AAAAAAAAAik/ULRveey8Fys/s1600/Sunday-5.jpg" width=150 />

If you are interested in participating in the Letters from Momma Sunday 5 Linky; write a blog post with 5 things you are grateful for this week, grab the button code and copy it into your HTML for that post, and then submit your link at the bottom of this post so that others can go read what you wrote! I know that there are a lot of blog/facebook "thankful" themed posts going on right now, but Letters from Momma has been posting Sunday 5 - Gratitude posts for at least a month now, and will continue past the holiday season. I'd love to see this linky grow blog-hop style! This linky is a way to have a personal post for your readers, but also generate some traffic to your blog!

I look forward to reading all your gratitude posts! I promise if you link up here, I'll visit your post and share some comment love.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Breastfeeding Series part 2 - The Pumping Experience & Supply Abundance

4 days old, nuzzled up
When I set out on my breastfeeding journey, I never thought I'd be pumping much. I am a SAHM, with no real need to bottle feed. I planned to simply nurse our baby she was hungry.

Enter our first 72 hour breastfeeding fiasco. Because healing my breasts was of the utmost importance to our success in breastfeeding, we needed to have a pump at home so that we could continue the routine we had in the hospital.
  • Nurse on one side for about 10 minutes or until the pain was unbearable.
  • Feed G pumped milk (about 2 oz) in a bottle
  • Pump on both sides.
  • Repeat at the next feeding, but nursing on the other side.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

SSAHM - Sick Stay at Home Momma (parenting lesson #4265)

SSAHM move... Elmo gives 5 minutes of relief
What'd you do this week? I've been taking care of a sick baby, while being sick myself. Ugh.

It started last week. G had some congestion in the back of her throat (I could hear it, not see it). I was hoping it was related to teething, but then the runny nose really picked up. She got super irritable, and it turned into a full on illness. I hated it...mostly because she was not herself, but also because she'd use me as a human tissue. Gross.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

STRESS. An interruption to regularly scheduled posting

Hey everyone, this post is going to be a lot more candid that you may be used to.

I'm having a tough time today with something I've blogged a bit about.... Body Image and Eating Disorder.

A day of mischief - WW

Last Wednesday G decided to have a "super-pull-up" day. Since then, she's been into any/everything. She had been pulling up for a few weeks, but now it's like no big deal. I snapped a few photos of the mischief-y places she pulled up on.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thirsties Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway

Thirsties is first brand I remember learning about while researching cloth diapers during my pregnancy. I read such rave reviews about their products--especially the diaper covers and wraps. Consequently, Thirsties was one of the brands in my first-ever fluff purchase. I bought some Thirsties' Duo Hemp Prefolds (size 1) and an extra-small diaper cover. Until this review, my only experience with Thirsties has been with prefolds, inserts, and covers. Their hemp prefolds are the most absorbent diaper I've experienced (thirsty...Thirsties...get it?!?), so I use them alone OR as a night time doubler. But, as you've probably read around my blog, I'm over prefolds--ready to move on. I've been dying to try their other products because Thirsties is a very well rounded cloth diaper company.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Chewy Tubes Ps & Qs teether winner!

There were 36 unique people that entered Letters from Momma's Chewy Tubes Ps & Qs teether giveaway! After bonus entries were counted, there were 317 entries. For a non-cloth diaper giveaway, and one that the sponsor didn't promote, I feel this in fantastic! Thank you all for participating.

The winner is:

She has been e-mailed and has until Wednesday at 1 pm CENTRAL time to respond. Congratulations to her!

Menu Plan Monday

I'm not sure if I'm going to keep up Menu Plan Mondays. I'm sure I'll keep meal planning, but the menus around my house are about to get a lot more boring. I MUST stop going over our food budget. I think part of me wants to make yummy sounding / fancy looking meals because other people are going to be reading my menus. Fancier meals tend to have more expensive ingredients (sun-dried tomatoes anyone?)...but as you can tell from the few meals on our menu plan this week, I'm tightening the reigns. I do not like how our budget looks, and this week we are eating super cheap (and then going to the in-laws). I hope some of you can relate, so maybe I'll keep posting them anyways!

While you're here, I'd invite you to check out my personal cinnamon roll recipe that I shared over the weekend. (and if you use cloth diapers, come back Tuesday for my Thirsties' giveaway!)

Monday: Tuna Melts, Salad
Tuesday: Pasta, Salad
Wednesday: left overs
Thursday: Soup, Sandwich
Friday: (in-laws)
Saturday: (in-laws)
Sunday: Tortellini

Linked up with Org Junkie Menu Plan Monday

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunday 5 - Gratitude

<br /><center><a href="http://www.lettersfrommomma.com/search/label/Sunday%205" ><img src="
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DNjJWDFSbJ0/TrW7iU63giI/AAAAAAAAAik/ULRveey8Fys/s1600/Sunday-5.jpg" width=150 />

This week we have a button!! If you are interested in participating in the Letters from Momma Sunday 5 Linky; write a blog post with 5 things you are grateful for this week, grab the button code and copy it into your HTML for that post, and then submit your link at the bottom of this post so that others can go read what you wrote! I know that there are a lot of blog/facebook "thankful" themed posts going on right now, but Letters from Momma has been posting Sunday 5 - Gratitude posts for at least a month now, and will continue past the holiday season. I'd love to see this linky grow blog-hop style! This linky is a way to have a personal post for your readers, but also generate some traffic to your blog!

I look forward to reading all your gratitude posts! I promise if you link up here, I'll visit your post and share some comment love.

This week I am grateful for the following things.

1. My husband's job. Even though he had to work Saturday morning and stay late a few days last week, it is a great job. He is good at it, and it provides for us. It allows me to stay home with baby G and for that, I'm really grateful. The benefits are good and there are many vertical opportunites for my husband.

2. Good coffee. I used to be a big caffine-addict...but now, for some reason, when I need it most, I haven't been drinking it much at all. Maybe 2 times a month. Recently, though, we started using out home coffee pot again. Folgers Gourmet Select was on sale and I bought some pumpkin spice creamer at Aldi. It's no PSL from Starbucks, but it is still really good. And I feel like a more efficient human. Ha.

3. Bulb Syringes. Gross, and not fun to use...but it's helping get the yuckies out of G's nose. She's got a cold right now and it's NO fun for anyone. I never thought I'd want to use the blue thing, and neither did my husband, but it works. Poor baby girl.

4. Coupons, Target, & our local grocery store We made our weekly food budget this week, thanks to some GREAT coupons. I also like that Target lets you stack manufacturers' coupons with store coupons. Charmin toilet paper was already $2 off, and then we got $2 more dollars off from coupons. Hooray! Our local grocery store was having a great one-day sale yesterday. We got a free slice of gourmet pumpkin pie, $2.50 off Wholly Guacamole, $1/lb strawberries, $1/pack of raspberries, $2.99 16 oz. organic salad, and some other sweet deals. PLUS they were having "holiday" sample day; so we got turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, holiday ham, pumpkin praline pie, fudge, crusted fish, fancy cheese, yogurt, and some chicken dish. It was AWESOME. I bet you got bored reading this paragraph, but I'm really grateful for good deals and delicious food!

5. Hoodie weather. I love fall, as I've mentioned before, so the weather between warm and freezing (also known as "chilly") is my favorite! You know, the weather where you can wear just a tee-shirt, jeans, & a hoodie and still be cozy. No need for a coat. That weather won't last long around here, so I'm soaking it all up now!