Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Carrots! Wordless on Wednesday

G's first carrots...messiest food to date!
G has had rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, real bananas mixed with breastmilk, jar winter squash, and now jar carrots. I plan to home-make most of her baby food, but have found that starting with a jar is easier on my heart. With the homemade banana baby food, I may-or-may-not have had a heart attack when she seemed to be gagging...it just wasn't as smooth as the jar kind. So, we'll get good at the jar stuff and then switch over (hopefully soon). She seemed to LOVE carrots-she ate half the jar!!! and....then I got to see it again during this morning's diaper change. Can you say: gross!
evidence of teething
Story of our life, right now...teething is the bain of our existence. Is that the right use of the word? I hope so.
someone is happier watching me iron than I am doing it
I also happened to burn myself pretty badly during the chore that I loathe yesterday...another reason to hate ironing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Smarti Pants cloth diaper winner

Rafflecopter has selected Jennifer Estep as the winner of one Smarti Pants cloth diaper, in the color of her choice. She has until Thursday 9/1 at 11 AM Central Time to return my email with her mailing information. If she does not respond, a new winner will be chosen and announced on my blog. Jennifer completed ALL entries, including posting about the giveaway. Thank you to her!!

I verified the legitimacy of all entries, and had to delete a few due to duplication. I'm hoping it was a rafflecopter error. When you enter my giveaways, please be honest :-)

Thank you to all the entrants! Please continue to follow my blog, the Rockin' Green review/giveaway will be posted soon! I've also got a few others to come after that. I don't want Letters from Momma to simply be reviews/giveaways only, therefore, I won't be posting more than one at a time :-)
A big thank you to Smarti Pants for sponsoring Letters from Momma's first ever giveaway!! I am still in love with this diaper! It keeps G drier than any of her other diapers and is very easy to stuff, wash, and use!

Dancing with my Baby, or G's 27th week

Dear G,

I guess teething is the only thing that really brings you down. You just aren't yourself when your teeth are bothering you. I understand that...it'd make me cry too. I really wish I could feel the pain for you. I know all mothers feel that way about their babies, but it doesn't work that way. Babies still feel the pain and our hearts hurt right along with them.

I do have a sentimental story to share with you.

In the early evening on Sunday you weren't easily consoled. I turned on Pandora radio (thank you technology). The lullaby station plays all of our favorite songs, like Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Hush Little Baby, and You Are My Sunshine. I've danced with you before, but it's been a while since we've really got into it. So that evening, I dusted off my dancing shoes and we hit the floor. It was so fun. You are a lot more involved now, and LOVED it despite your bad mood. I swear I even heard a few giggles, but I bet you thought I couldn't hear you--underneath all that sour-puss act--but I did! We really got into it. I was lifting you up and out, down and around, as if we were a contemporary ballet pair. Your head was on a swivel, because all the things in our living room look a lot cooler when they're spinning by quickly. Daddy caught us dancing and agreed it seemed pretty fun--and was helping you feel better.

Week 27: Crawling away from me!
It's the sweetest thing to make you happy when you are sad and in pain.

This past week you also had your first swing at the park, tasted ate some winter squash, drank from a sippy cup, had a visit from your aunt, went on a walk with Daddy alone, and started the horrible bout of teething.

Hope you enjoyed the past week as much as I did!!


In case your baby is teething too, here are some things we've tried:

Distraction: walks, dancing, looking at favorite (but not often seen) things - like the cookie jar, bouncing, etc...
Cold: wet wash cloth, wash cloth with an ice cube in it, freezer teether ring, crushed ice pieces in a baby sock (this molds better into her mouth)
Gnawing: regular teethers, our finger, allowing her to suck/gnaw her thumb, non-wet cloth
Medication: Hylands Homeopathic Teething Gel, Baby Tylenol
Comfort: nursing, snuggling, rocking

Things I won't try:
orajel (benzocaine)

If you've got any other suggestions, let me know.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday--easy/cheap week!

Monday: Leftover (personal recipe) Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday: Mushroom / Red Sauce Pasta
Wednesday: Leftovers Galore
Thursday: Sandwiches/Leftovers
Friday: Out of Town
Saturday: Out of Town
Sunday: Out of Town

See!! I told you, easy and cheap week. I sadly went over the food budget for the month. I tried really hard. We budgeted $320, but I spent $360. The good news, I do still have a pretty well stocked pantry. I have read about people who can eat on $200/month...I need to figure out how. Any tips, please let me know! I already shop sales, shop Aldi, buy a lot of what's good & on sale. I think my problem is not being able to pass up a sale. For instance, if I make a grocery list, but go into the store and see something that is a GREAT BUY, but not on my list...I buy it--nothing too expensive or fancy, and nothing we won't use--just not on my list. Fail. My mom tells me to stop buying 'good' stuff, or organic stuff. I don't buy everything organic, and I still buy non-grass-fed beef (despite wanting too, we can't afford it), for example. There are some things, though, that I'm not will to compromise on because chemicals aren't worth a few extra cents/bucks saved. Here's to hoping next month I improve even more!

Check out the homemade egg rolls from last week, that were such a hit, I made them twice!
 recipe from another blog
They don't look very pretty in this picture, but trust me. They were DELISH! The second time I made them, I cooked some homemade fried rice to go with them...definitely needed a wok.

linked to: OrgJunkie.com Menu Plan Monday

The Best Giveaway I've Ever Entered

In my short giveaway entering experience, I've mostly only entered to win cloth diapers. However, through advertising my own Smarti Pants cloth diaper giveaway (ends tonight), I've come across several great non-cloth diaper giveaways. One fantastic giveaway that I had to share is for a very SWEET set up. It's for a Peg Perego Pliko Switch System. How this mom was able to offer this giveaway, I have no idea, but it's amazing. I really want to win. We are currently using my husband's aunt's hand-me down Peg Perego system. It's really nice, but is 6 years old, so of course we'd like some new gear to finish out G's babyhood and continue with it for our next baby's use. Although I hope to win, I wanted to share it with all of my great followers incase you are interested. The only downfall is that it's a comment-entry giveaway, not a Rafflecopter giveaway...so it takes more time and effort to enter. I still think a giveaway worth hundreds of dollars is worth it!

If you go enter from the link here, please comment to let me know that you found this helpful!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wonderful Weather but a crabby patty

We are having a seriously wonderful weekend over here. The weather has been wonderful (sorry East Coast), and my sister came in town. We also had some family over last night for dinner and games. My sister and I made fabulous homemade chicken pot pie (recipe), with brownies & ice cream for dessert (yes, I realize that's probably 2000 calories). We all played Cranium. Such fun was had by all! The girls beat the guys 3 games to 2...obviously we are smarter.
This morning, after mass, my husband and I were able to go for a lovely bike ride while my sister stayed with the baby. It was actually our first ride since G was born, because she's not really big enough to ride in a trailer (which we still need to get one anyways). We both enjoyed the late summer breeze and bright sunny day. We encountered a lot of bicyclists, joggers, and dog walkers on our trip. The sweetest thing we saw was a dad and his daughter fishing in a creek. The little girl had just caught a fish and they were very excited over the size. She was squealing in excitement, and as we rode past, I felt excited too because I know that G and my husband will have times like that in the future. He loves fishing, and she will learn to love it too--haha. We also saw an elderly couple sharing a treat (appeared to be Mcflurries) at a picnic table, reading their newspapers. Precious.

Not my usually smiley girl
However. G has been a SERIOUSLY crabby patty lately and I think that she is teething. She's gnawing more than ever & hitting at her head :-( poor thing. It's bad. We caved and tried some baby tylenol today. I hate medications, especially with babies...nothing was working, though. She's in a little bit better spirits now, but still not the generally happy baby we are used to.

I'll keep you posted on if a tooth pops up tomorrow! If it's not teething, I'm at a loss. And after all, isn't 'teething' what moms say their 6 month old babies are doing when nothing else seems to be wrong?

We did get a kind of good one before mass
Don't forget to enter my Smarti Pants cloth diaper (my first ever) giveaway. It ends tomorrow night.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Heavily adapted from Ina Garten
You can choose to make 4 pot pies, using crust only on the top, or you may choose to make 2 pies, using crust on the top and bottom.

4-6 cooked chicken breasts (I used about 7 chicken boneless chicken tender cuts), cut into bite size chunks, or shredded
1 carton chicken broth
2 bouillion cubes
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c chopped onions
3/4 c flour
1/4 - 1/2 c half & half
5 carrots peeled/cut into coins
1 package of frozen peas
10 small-medium potatoes, peeled/cut
5 medium stalks of celery, chopped

5 c flour
3 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
1/2 c shortening
about 2/3 c milk
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
sea salt & pepper

Make the crust first, so that it can chill while prepping the rest.
Mix the flour, salt, & baking powder. Add the butter/shortening and mix with a pastry cutter until blended into pea size bits. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk. Mix until just moistened throughout. Knead quickly on a floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook the carrots and potatoes for a few minutes in a pot of hot water to soften them a bit. Drain & wait to be added to filling.

In a large pot, head the chicken broth and dissolve the bouillon cubes in it. In a saute pan, melt the butter and add flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add to the chicken broth. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Mix in the cream. Stir well. Add in the chicken, carrots, peas, onions, potatoes and celery.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Divide the dough into quarters--but actually make two of the balls a bit bigger because lining a pie pan takes more dough than topping it. Roll each piece into a circle. Grease the pie plates & line the bottoms with the bigger circles of dough. Divide the filling between the two pies. Top the pies with the top crusts. Crimp the edges. Brush with egg wash and make slits on the top (3, or a cute pattern). Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden.

*You may want to put the pies on a baking sheet so that the filling does bubble over and make a mess in your oven.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spinnin' Saturday Link-up: Third Eye Blind

Last week I had one submission, other than my own! This is progress :-) I hope more people get excited about this linky as time goes on...Music is always spinning in my head, and I just know there are others who want to share some tunes with the rest of us!

This week I found myself humming "Water Landing" by Third Eye Blind. Yes, that Third Eye Blind of "Semi-Charmed Life" and "Jumper" fame. They are still around (well, kind of). They've gone through a lot of line-up changes, where basically only the lead singer is the same. Their most recent album came out in 2009 and is overall fantastic.

A funny story about this song:
I was singing along to it for weeks without knowing the title of the song (otherwise this never would have happened). My husband and I were discussing it, and he said, "what do you think they are saying here?" I said: "I think it's World Un-ending." Husband: "I think it's Water Landing." Me: "I'll look it up...........yeah, I guess that's why the song is called 'Water Landing.'" I felt like an idiot, because 3EB has been my favorite band for years. My bad :-)

Here is the first verse:
When will I start to learn
I'm bleeding in this game
Cause she uses boys like bandages
But the wounds remain the same
And I hope you find it through this endless wandering
And I'm missing you for so long
You're a question mark and a scar
And you twist me up like a tourniquet
Til I don't know who we are
And I know chasing after you won't change a thing
And I hope you find it through this endless wandering
Change everything I know
But she won't let me come
She won't let me go
Third Eye Blind songs can often be interpreted in many ways, depending on the listener. I believe this song is about how it takes something really drastic to get this particular girl to actually admit her feelings and take a stance on the relationship (as in, not half-in, half-out).

While I am very secure and happy in my marriage, this song is a reminder that every day is a gift and shouldn't be taken for granted. You never know when your time will be up--enjoy each day!!! Oh, and it's really catchy ;-)

You can find a lot of youtube videos of this song performed live, but quality is lacking, so this link enables you to listen to the song via youtube, although there is no video.
Water Landing Audio

Friday, August 26, 2011

Five Question Friday!

Let's have a light hearted Friday :-) I'm linking up with Five Question Friday
Also on blog hops at: Thanks, Mail CarrierWhere Nothing Good Comes Easy

Did you make any fun purchases this week? I bought some super cute socks and a 9 month size sleeper that has butterflies and says "I love you" on it for G. I also bought her 6 month pictures. I'm officially a mom because I had a $10 JCP cash coupon and bought stuff for my daughter instead of myself. Fashionista fail.
If you could go to any musical concert – what would it be? Right now, Josh Turner. Love. Love. LOVE. Too bad that's not in the budget! My favorite past concert, even though you didn't ask, was Third Eye Blind <3
What is your least favorite/most favorite house chore? Least favorite = Ironing. Ironic because I do it most often. I just hate how tedious it is (probably because I am a perfectionist) and how quickly it gets undone. My favorite chore = vacuuming. I kind of love it. Weird, I know, but it's very rewarding to see the carpet get clean and the noise is soothing. Sad day because I broke my vacuum belt 2 days ago. Yes, we are going to get a new one today :-)
Would you prefer new appliances or new clothes?  Well, right now, this is kind of an easy question. We are renting, so the appliances are kind of a package deal. I also don't have a lot of clothing that fits. Although I am under my pre-pregnancy weight, nothing fits the same.
So I would much rather have new clothes right now.
Miracle Whip or Mayo?  Mayo. I don't really use it often, I'd rather add calories from cheese than mayo. When it's called for in recipes, I have light mayo on hand. The husband globs it on in a disgusting fashion, so I usually make his sandwiches :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cloth Diapers at Night

Do you cloth diaper?
Just not at night time?
Want to try cloth but you're scared?
Need a better night time solution? 

Try ours!
I'm not gonna lie, there was a time in our household where we used disposables at night. It was a dark, expensive, and occasionally leaky time. We didn't start out that way, it just became necessary when G got really bad rashes from cloth diapers.

Come to find out, it was because I wasn't using appropriate detergent & I wasn't using the right kind of diapers for night time. Because G wets her diaper a lot at night, using certain types of diapers (regardless of detergent used) caused her to get rashed up because the diapers wouldn't keep the moisture off of her. Certain diapers also couldn't contain the leaks, and that just wouldn't work for us because we want to be sleeping--not changing sheets.

Enter disposables with Destin and Rx rash cream. After about a week of that being our night time solution, I got really fed up because it wasn't what we had set out to do. Buying disposables, even if we only used 7 to 14 a week, was not part of the plan. We were determined to save money, be kinder to G's bottom, and help the planet. AND they weren't leak proof either!

I stripped our cloth diapers and started using cloth diaper detergent. Then I made sure to keep the diapers detergent-residue free (sometimes this is a very annoying task). Then I tried some different combinations of diapers/inserts/doublers to see what worked best. A few of our diapers weren't good for night time, but those that were, I share below!
In my honest opinion, the below solutions work even better than disposables at night time.

You will need to get a quality pocket diaper with a microfiber insert, a hemp doubler, & possibly another hemp insert depending on the thickness of the microfiber-or the level of wetness you are trying to protect against.
Microfiber, although not a natural fiber, absorbs the quickest. Many moms have found that if their baby pees too quickly other fibers can't soak up the wetness quick enough--and the diaper leaks. Hemp is the most absorbent fiber you can stuff into a diaper, so it's great for overnight. The combination of the two is the best I've found! 

Our night time line-up:
Tots Bots, SmartiPants, FuzziBunz, Rump-a-rooz
Tots Bots (sold in North America by Bummis) Easy Fit stuffed with its liner, 1 Hemp Baby Little Weeds insert, & 1 Thirsties Hemp Insert
OR Tots Bots stuffed with its liner and 1 Thirsties Hemp Duo Prefold
I have one Tots Bots and it is my preferred night time diaper. It holds in the moisture while keeping G as dry as possible. The nicest thing about this solution is the fit of the Tots Bots. It's stretchy in all the right places so that it closes around her legs and belly perfectly. The velcro allows for a customizable fit every time.

Our new Smarti Pants stuffed with its liner & 1 Thirsties Hemp Duo Prefold. This is my second favorite night time solution, due to my preference of velcro (Tots Bots) over the snaps (smartipants). This, as I state in my SmartiPants review, is a very trim fit, so her bottom isn't too bulky.

My third preference at night time is a tie between the medium one-size FuzziBunz and the Rump-a-rooz. I like the trimmer fit of Fuzzibunz, but don't really like the way it fits her legs.  I stuff the Fuzzibunz with its microfiber insert and a Thirsties Hemp Duo Prefold.
I like the double gussets of RaR, but it is SO bulky and doesn't fit G very well in the belly. Thus, the two are tied. I stuff the RaR with the two 6-r soaker inserts it came with, plus a Hemp Babies Little Weeds doubler.
SmartiPants (2nd) is the trimmest fit, the Rump-a-rooz (4th) is the thickest
The reason to have a good pocket diaper for night time is to keep the moisture off the baby but still contained inside the diaper. The stay-dry capability of part that touches the baby is really important, that's why I've listed the brands that work best for us (to give you some suggestions/starting points). The covers of the pocket diaper are important too, so that the diapers don't leak out the front or back. The real workhorses here, though, are the extras that I stuff the diapers with--as long as you have a quality diaper, the brand probably doesn't matter as much--it's the stuff you stuff it with.

Hemp Babies Little (or Bigger) Weeds Doublers/Inserts
Thirsties Hemp Prefolds and Inserts

 Check out my other diaper posts!

Buy some dipes at Kelly's Closet!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

G & her sippy - WoW

Wordless on Wednesday this week is brought to you by my lovely daughter and her first experience with a SIPPY CUP. G drank about 3 oz of breast milk, although after about .5 oz, she got frustrated and I had to help her.

don't think it's supposed to look like this!

I had to include this one because it's such a funny face!

edited to add, we did 6 month pictures yesterday & I just got these two uploaded:

thanks if you're stopping by from a link-up! Feel free to follow my blog :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

G's Half Birthday

6 months old!
 Dear G,

Yesterday you turned 6 months old. I can't believe we made it! (haha) First of all, when I was pregnant, it seemed like you would never come. Then you came and we were so wrapped up in learning how to be parents and take care of a newborn. I couldn't believe it when we made it to 1 month, 6 weeks, 2 months, 3 months...you get the picture. I think these "month birthdays" are more for parents to celebrate making it so far. We love being your momma and daddy, but sometimes it is tough work! You can't talk yet, and even though we are pretty good at deciphering your cries, we still are at a loss sometimes. You are also very rambunctious (for your age), and it's exhausting keeping up with you sometimes! I know it will only get tougher as you grow! I am glad, though, that you are a wiggle worm and an adventurous baby, because it is so fun to watch. As for your size, I think you are perfect (of course), but people often underestimate your age because you are pretty "thin" compared to the often ginormous formula babies. Most recently, people have guessed your age (I don't ask them, they volunteer this information) to be about 4 months. You are really tall for your age, but quite average for your weight--thus you look small because your weight is stretched out.

my little cutie!
We went to the doctor yesterday and you got your Dtap and HiB shots (read about our vaccination plan). Hopefully you aren't really effected like you were after the first round of these two (you did pass out about 10 minutes after getting them-not a normal nap time). We also got some 'official' stats. I love seeing the progress you and I have made. Because I am still nursing you (no plans to wean anytime soon), I feel like this is a check up on me, too. I get really proud to see you grow. I know that formula would make you grow too, and I would be feeding you still, but with breastfeeding I just feel like my body has helped you grow, and that feels amazing.

Weight: 15 lbs 8.5 oz (43%)
Height: 26.75" (83%)
Head Circumference: 17" (72%)

are crawling (army style mostly)
sit up perfectly (although you eventually get tired of it and like to lean over)
enjoy getting people to smile at you through your silly antics
are the wiggliest/squirmiest baby I've ever seen, everyone that meets you agrees
kick your legs in excitement, all.the.time
are not really a snuggler (sad), but sometimes I can get you to cuddle with me, and I love that!
don't cry very often, but when you do, it is melt down city!
eat cereal (first time 8/4)
have tried bananas (first time 8/19)
sleep through the night almost every night
have bed time between 6:45 - 7:45 pm
wake up between 6-6:45 am

Most recently, you've started to SCREAM at bed time. You had been able to put yourself to sleep, but now, apparently, it's almost impossible (I'll write a sleep blog later).
You love getting into anything you can find, especially shoes or bright colored stuff, or toes!

a popular new face
Cliche as usual, it seems like just yesterday the midwife put you on my tummy after your daddy and I worked so hard to get you out ( mostly me ;-) ). You've been such a blessing and I'm starting to (almost) forget what life was like before you! We fit nicely together, and our family unit is so strong already. Daddy and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in these next six months!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

So, yet again, I planned more food that I ended up cooking last week. We had a nice surprise. A couple we know from my husband's work invited us out to dinner last Thursday (on them, they had a gift certificate for $50 to a Mexican Restaurant). Very kind of them to share with us. Leftovers stretched a little farther, too, so I have some things from last week to make this week now. I think I've figured out that if I make the normal size recipes of things, I only need to make about 3 things a week.

G's HALF BIRTHDAY Monday: Turkey Meatball Pasta & veggies (was supposed to be last week)
Tuesday: Salad Bar!! (yummy, I'm making fancy fixin's)
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Pork Baked Eggrolls (idea found through the link-up!) & fried rice
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Chicken Pot Pie (while making my grocery list, I felt the 'hankering' for a CPP, so we're having one!) & salad
Sunday: leftovers

Meal plan is linked up at OrgJunkie.com  :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Daddy told a funny.

I have to share something funny my husband said today. He has a sense of humor, but doesn't usually say funny things.

Back story:

G has a rough sleeping day yesterday. Her night sleep over Friday night was wonderful, her first nap was the typical 40 minutes, and then her second nap was almost 2 hours. It ended around 12:30 pm. Her bed time isn't until after 6 pm. There was no way she could make it to bedtime without another nap. I tried to put her down around 2:45, but she SCREAMED and fought it harder than ever. My husband, God love him, figured she didn't want to sleep, so I willingly got her up (I mean, who wants to listen to screaming on their weekend when it's the only time daddy is really home to play with the baby). They went for a walk, and all seemed okay. In the back of my mind, though, my sleep training obsessed self came out. I knew we were going to have a bear on our hands that evening because she was going to be so overtired. I even tried for a late nap (4:45)  to combat it...fail. At bed time (early, at 6 pm), she was so overtired we couldn't get her to sleep (no matter what we tried) until after 8:30. Wow. That was by far the worst evening we've had since sleep training G. I was so stressed, saying some choice words in the kitchen while my husband took his turn trying to get her down. I suppose we could have tried cry it out (never had to really do it before), but we didn't. It was, essentially, cry it out with checks that turned into my husband getting her to fall asleep by putting his hand on her until she was out. Even nursing her to sleep didn't work.

This morning, she woke up at her regular time (she is very regular with that, regardless of bed time), all in a funk. Getting her down for her first nap this morning was also a pain, because she was still overtired from lack of restorative night sleep (2 less hours than normal).

I was prepared for the worst at church. I assumed she would have a meltdown. She is normally a perfect baby in church, and she was no different today! Hooray!!! She just listened, looked around, smiled, fidgeted a little bit, and stole the show for everyone around us (sorry!).

Upon returning home, my husband was holding her, as nap time was nearing, but she was still in a great mood. He said, "What? Did church get those sleep demons out of you!?"

I stopped in my tracks and busted up laughing :-)

ps. I'll post an updated sleep training post this week.

pps. Thanks for stopping by if you are here from a hop!

Relax & Surf Sunday

Thirsties' Weekly Giveaway

I'm entering to win two duo fab fitted diapers from Thirsties. I've never tried this brand of fitteds, but I love many of their other products, so I'd love to try these. If I don't win them from their giveaway...perhaps I could contact them and they'd let me review them for my blog!

If you cloth diaper, you should enter too!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spinnin' Saturday link-up: Josh Turner

Please tell me you know who Josh Turner is. He's a lot more popular now than when I first started liking him (2 years ago).

Simply put, he is a country music hunk. His voice just gets to me. It often sends shivers down my spine. OOOOOHHHHH he is such an amazing country singer. He's a great guy too! I've seen him do interviews with his family right there, you can just tell he's a great husband and dad. Therefore, even more sexy. My husband knows that if Josh Turner came to my door and asked me on a date (obviously not going to happen), I'd say yes in a heart beat. He is #1 on my celeb crush list (the others are Matt Lauer, Bobby Flay...so yeah, my taste is a bit older--LOL).

So here's the song that's been spinnin' around my head this week. "All over me"

I searched and searched but could not find the official video for this song. I thought about doing another song because of that fact (he has so many I love), but this is the one stuck in my head. So please excuse the fact it's a live video, not even shot by me...so I totally have no rights to it. Just listen & enjoy!
Load up your boat, get your girl if you've got one, nice little breeze gonna blow! Such a fun summer song! My husband is boat obsessed and we both love being on the water, I always think of us when listening to this song (even though I'm secretly thinking about Josh Turner, hehe)

Let's get this going! Post a spinnin' Saturday post on your blog and mention in your post that you are linked up at Letters from Momma with a link to this weekly post. Then come back here and post your name/blog title and a link to your Spinnin' Saturday post with the inlinkz below!

Friday, August 19, 2011

SmartiPants Diaper Review & Giveaway

As my loyal readers know, I cloth diaper my daughter, G. She is now 6 months old (where did the time go!!), and our 'stash' of cloth diapers is some what diverse. However, it did not include a SmartiPants diaper. That's until recently when a Jet Black one size pocket diaper of the SmartiPants variety arrived in my mail box.

I had read a little bit about their diapers before, and was very excited to test it out on G. Before I tell you how that went, let me give you the basics.
  • These diapers fit 7-35 pounds through adjustable snaps in the waist and the rise. The snaps can overlap each other. The snaps are guaranteed for 2 years.
  • The diaper features a Leak Guard Technology to keep babies dry and moisture contained.
  • Though they are 'pocket' diapers, there is an opening at the front and the back so that the insert will agitate out in the wash.
  • Smarti Pants Diapers are made in the USA, and the brainchild of a mommy of 4.
  • One diaper will cost you $14.95, with multiple diaper packages available for a smarter deal (re: lower cost per diaper).

For more of the specifics, including all the color options and accessories, check out their website: SmartiPants
Are you facebook obsessed like me? Check out their page: SmartiPants on Facebook

Onto how the diaper worked for us

I wanted to put this diaper to the test right away. I stuffed it with the the smart sleeve insert it comes with, plus a hemp prefold because G is a heavy wetter and I didn't want to be unfair. That's our tried & true night time routine for any diaper.
  • First, the diaper, even when stuffed, fit under her normal size pee-jees (as pajamas are called in our house). This is great, because with our other stuffed night time diapers, she usually has to wear a size up.
  • Second, no leaks whatsoever, not even onto the belly of her pee-jees, as she is a tummy sleeper. Perhaps this isn't a big deal to you, but my daughter sleeps 10+ hours straight at night and a no leak solution is hard to come by, especially for a diaper that doesn't make her bottom triple in size. It kept her dry and didn't bother her all night = happy baby, happy momma.
  • The insert DID come out during washing and everything got clean!
I also tried this diaper out during the day, and it was a great fit, comfy for her, and left no marks, rashes, or irritations on her chubby-hard-to-fit thighs. It contained all dirty messes, no matter the consistency. This is an awesome diaper & gets our family's serious approval.

Are you ready to give SmartiPants diapers a try??

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Though I received one SmartiPants diaper to review for this post; all comments, opinions, & thoughts are my own.


I have no cute or funny titles for this post. I am essentially speechless.

My baby girl has been asleep for 2 hours. She usually only naps 40 minutes at a time, about 3 times a day. Sometimes I get lucky and she takes a double nap (where she sleeps 40 minutes, wakes up & fusses a little bit before I go in to get her, but then falls asleep for another 40 minutes). (Edit, she just woke up as I was posting this at, the official nap clock: 2 hours 7 minutes)

This is CRAZY. I bet it is related to her becoming a big girl. She will be 6 months old on Monday and has recently started CRAWLING. It's more of an army crawl, but she is fully mobile and will occasionally get her belly off the ground. I used to have her play on her mat or a blanket, but now I suppose I will be vacuuming every day because she cannot / does not want to be contained. I was watching her play while I was washing dishes and I saw her grabbing at the media console, so before moving her away, I snapped some pictures. I did the same while I was putting up laundry and she went for the blinds. MY BIG GIRL!

Where I'm linked up for hops today:

Lots of Lovin' Weekend Blog Hop

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday; body image post 1.

I could keep an entire blog about my issues with weight and body image. But one blog is plenty for right now, so I'll just share my thoughts here. I hope someone can relate.
I think weight and body image is a BIG BIG BIG topic for mothers because being pregnant and giving birth completely changes your body and how you feel about it.

Some moms are lucky; nothing changes--or it does a little bit, but they don't mind. I'd say a about 8% of moms fall here.
Some moms are average; things kind of change & maybe they mind sometimes (like swimsuit season), but in general they are okay with their body. I'd say about 50% of moms fall here, that's not a scientific fact, just my opinion based on conversations with friends and family, and the media.
Then there are the moms who weren't really okay with their body to begin with, and pregnancy completely threw them for a loop and their post-pregnancy body drives them nuts almost all of the time. This is probably 25% of moms.
Finally, there are the moms who completely hate their body and it flows into their daily life and seriously depresses them, often leading to an eating disorder. This is probably 5% of moms.
The rest fall somewhere in between, depending on the day/time of month.

I'm in the third category. Thank God (seriously, I do every day) that I have a great network of support (primarily my husband) who keeps me from the last category. Although, I have recovered from a previous eating disorder...perhaps I will write about that one day (as that is also related to mothering--regarding how to keep my daughter away from them).

I love G. I love being her mom. I'm still working on accepting that my role for our family right now is best served at home...and that means I'm unable to assign a monetary value to the work I do (read my thoughts from last week)

I do not love my momma body though.
I don't like how I can run an 8 minute mile with really bad knees, but still weigh 163 pounds. I can also sprint like a mad woman, but still have jiggles all over. I don't like how I can lift weights, carry a 16 pound baby around, do core workouts, and tear up cardio equipment, but still be a size 10-14 depending on the brand.
Perhaps I will look more toned after I wean G, because I currently don't want to do anything to crazy with my diet--because she and I both need a lot of nutrients/calories.

So here I am, almost 25, married, with a baby, still dwelling on how I look. I know many people say that once you are married and have a baby, it doesn't really matter how you look. They are obviously lying. It does to me. I have 6 boxes of size 8 clothes that I very well may never fit into again. That irritates me on so many levels.
Looking back, there was a time I should have been very happy with my weight and how I looked...but I wasn't and now I will never look like that again. Stretch marks and loose skin are for.ev.er. I hate walking by a mirror, and sometimes, I don't even need a mirror. When I'm all alone, I just look down, pull my shirt up a little to inspect the skin and fat hanging off my belly...yup, still there. I squeeze my love handles a lot, as if to remind myself how imperfect I am. It's a mental thing, and I need to change it. I'm annoyed with myself for being so hung up on how I look. This blog is an affirmation that I'm going to really, really try to be happy with my body and how I look in (and out) of clothes.

I'd like to end this thought on a positive note.
I am strong.
I am feeding my baby nature's intended food for her, and not all momma's are able to do that.
I am healthy.

And for all of that, I am very happy.

I am also irritated at the media for showing us all those moms who bounce right back to stick skinny and perfect bellies less than 6 weeks after having a baby. Nice air brushing, I'm sure. For a reality check, see this site: The Shape of a Mother (may be graphic at times).

Please let me know your momma thoughts on body image! Or, if you're not a momma...I'm sure you have plenty of thoughts on body image in general--fire away!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop