Thursday, March 29, 2012

Seven Quick Takes Friday 18

--- 1 ---
During this week's Target trip I was stocking up on some toiletries and browsing the clearance section. I had some coupons that I let G play with in a moment of weakness. She was getting ancy and I just caved. You probably know where this story is going... We got to the check out and I de-carted everything, then turned to hand the crumbled coupon mess to the check-out lady. My Charmin $1 off coupon was missing!! They had a $2 off sale on the super huge pack, and when coupled with that $1 off coupon, my glorious red package of Charmin (the ultra strong kind) was cheaper than any other kind! I was pretty stoked until I couldn't find the coupon ANYWHERE. I told her that I wanted to go retrace my steps to see if I could find the coupon and she looked at me like I was off my rocker. She basically said, 'well let me ring you up and then if you find the coupon, just take it to customer service and they'll give you the dollar.' She probably thought I wouldn't do it...but I surely did. I knew that I had it in the TP aisle, so I only had to retrace from the check out to the hand soap to the cheese to the peanut butter to the paper products; which in all actuality ended up being a third of the store. I was starting to go into panic mode when it wasn't in the first few aisles I checked, but low and behold I found my mangled Charmin coupon in front of the jam. Victory was mine as we headed for customer service and I got my dollar refund :-)

--- 2 ---
From a high to a low... Thursday brought the discovery that our bedroom floor will almost certainly have to be torn up due to a leak somewhere. Our landlord (thankfully we won't have to pay for any of this because we don't own the house) is having a leak detection company come Friday to find where the leak is because it isn't any place obvious (he had a plumber search the typical places). Everyone thinks it is in a pipe under our floor, and the bulging laminate wood floor pieces would indicate that's a correct assumption. I'll keep you posted on the situation, but it pretty much sucks since we just got settled in and now everything in that room will have to be put elsewhere and who knows where we will sleep.

Lucky 13.

I never really did a developmental post about G as a 12 month old. I feel pretty bad about that, but with the craziness of moving and such, it was just an oversight. Rather than try to recreate a post on memories, I'm moving forward and addressing her in the present...as a 13 month old.

I.am.in.shock. of how amazing my baby girl is on a daily basis. She does the cutest things and melts my heart with the tiniest hug. She's turning into a real toddler and even if I really think about it, I can hardly remember her as a little baby. Ten months ago she was 3 months old, and for the longest time that's how I thought of her. A little girl who rolled over for fun, cried to communicate, and nursed as her only means of sustenance. She was light and short. She still used an infant car seat and couldn't sit up. She was active, but that was a totally different definition of the word compared to the active 13 month old we have now.
When she is older and asks about herself as a baby, I will tell her that she loved people and was very social. She smiles and waves at everyone, and will often try to jump into their arms (especially at Target, where a check-out lady had almost no choice but to grab her because she lurched so far out of the cart). Literally everyone comments on how happy she is (in public...mhmm) and almost every time we go out I hear that "she just made my day." While she doesn't always behave perfectly, I do enjoy taking her places. We tend to have better days, though, when we stay home because I am able to keep her on track for eating and napping. She likes her routine and tends to sleep better when we've had a low-key day. In that respect, she is a very textbook baby.

As a 13 month old, G:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Hair Clip Wordless Wednesday #linky

G's hair is finally long enough for some hair accessories. Today she wore her purple hair clip. At first she kept pulling it out, but eventually she left it alone.

If you have a blog post with pictures today, please consider linking up!

Beginning Weaning

I know a lot of breastfeeding moms want to make it to a year, as the APA recommends, but my BF'ing goal is to simply nurse my kids until they begin to wean themselves (if they don't show any signs of starting before 18 months, though, I'd start nudging them in that direction). I think that's the best thing for me too. If I let her lead the weaning, I shouldn't be too uncomfortable (avoiding engorgement, much leaking, and mastitis).
Apparently G started weaning herself in the past few weeks. I don't know exactly when it started because of the chaotic move, but I know it was a little after her first birthday. I had been nursing her 5 - 6 times a day for about five months, without any reservations, but we are down to 3 nursing sessions now. This is obviously due to the fact that she is eating more--both quantity and type--solid foods and drinking from her straw cup like an expert (water or watered down juice; no cows milk for us, more on this later). She nurses before bed, when she wakes up in the morning, and before nap time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

The highlight of this week (Monday) comes from a great episode of Giada at Home that I saw last week. Man, I missed Food Network! We don't have too many more channels than we did in Kansas (locals only there), but Food Network is included in the Digital Economy package we have & I am so excited! If only HGTV was too...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#BFBBP WINNER Thirsties Cloth Diaper Pack

Thank you to the 144 people that entered the Thirsties Duo Diaper & Hemp Prefold giveaway as part of the Babies First Birthday Blog Party!! There were 3454 total entries :-)

I appreciate everyone reading my review & hope you consider adding any or all of the amazing Thirsties cloth diaper products to your stash. I really can't recommend a better company in the cloth diapering world. They have something for everyone! Perhaps I'll be able to review their new Duo All-in-One diaper sometime soon!

Without further ado, the winner of the recent Thirsties giveaway on my blog is:

Congrats to a fellow Catholic Momma blogger!

Please consider entering the last BFBBP giveaway for Happy Baby organic toddler food, it ends on 3/30!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Seven Quick Takes 17

--- 1 --- busy
This post is a little later than normal, but at least it's still Friday :-) I feel busier than I actually am, because I'm so tired. G's sleep is kind of crazy again (see number 4), so my husband and I are feeling really sleep deprived and I can't nap during her nap time because I have to get house work / crafts done that I can't do while she is awake. The blog has started taking a back seat...I suppose that's normal for a momma who just moved into a new house/state and has an active 13 month old.

--- 2 --- 13 months
Oh, that's right baby G is official 13 months old. Wow. That sounds old, no? I've been a mom for 13 months!
I know she isn't a teenager or anything (whew), but 13 months is much more substantial than 12 months old. She's really past the baby stage, and I don't think I get away with calling her Baby G much longer. She's also walking for real now (not just taking steps), although I wouldn't say she is a "walker" because she will crawl about 70% and walk 30%. I assume that ratio will change quickly. I used to get so excited when she took 10 steps or more, but now she is walking from room to room--and even walking in circles!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The almighty cloth diaper queen has fallen. Two days ago I bought a package of disposable diapers. Sad Face.

Baby G woke up FIVE times Sunday night, so no one really got a lot of sleep that night. She leaked through five diapers and we ran out of sheets. We resorted to covering her mattress with a large blanket and tucking it under (I know, not the safest in the world). The only diaper that hasn't leaked at night is my trusty Thirsties Fab Fitted/Hemp Insert/Duo Wrap cover and the only nap time diaper that I've trusted is my Mother-ease Sandy's fitted with Stay-dry insert and Londonware fleece cover. Other than that, everything has been leaking. My hemp solutions are not working as they had before moving to California. I don't know if it's the water here, or if baby G has turned into an even heavier wetter than before.  I have no idea what is going on, but I even tried "stripping" my diapers yesterday.

I'm on a mission to fix it, but for now...disposables at night time if the Fab Fitted is dirty :-(


Green Toys Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Green Toys stacking cups giveaway! There were nearly 70 people who entered and 1651 total entries. I appreciate everyone reading my review :-)

The winner is:

Please check out the rest of the #BFBBP giveaways still going on! One is for a cloth diaper pack from Thirsties and the other is for a variety of toddler appropriate Happy Baby organic food.

My new clothes line's first use #WW #linky

One of the best things about having a house / yard: I can now really utilize the sun as an energy-saving  alternative to a dryer. In our old apartment, I could occasionally use an indoor drying rack out on our small patio to sun a few diapers. I wished for more space and sun to dry more things "naturally."

I've finally have that now and Tuesday I put our new clothes line to the test!

My husband did some extensive research on a clothes line we could take with us when we move (read, wouldn't have to cement into the ground of a rental house). He ultimately decided on this Tripod Portable Clothes Dryer
If you have a photo posted on your blog today, please link up!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Babies & Church, specifically a Catholic mass

We are currently struggling with baby G's behavior in church. Her first trip to church was at 5 days old & she slept through most of mass. It was wonderful ;-) That behavior lasted all of 3 weeks. Then she started being alert for most of mass, but she wasn't old enough to really misbehave, so that was fine. As long as we kept her from crying, we were golden. I'm not quite sure when she started being 'too much to handle' in mass...probably around 6 months old. She's never liked to sit still & will try to climb between the two of us. We get a great upper body workout during church.
'Good' days at church are when she doesn't scream more than once or twice, we don't have to get up to take her out of the pew, and we walk away from mass with at least a partial understanding of what the message was. 'Bad' days are when she screams to be let down, has to be taken out of the pew multiple times, and we feel like we did nothing but manage her behavior (so we have no clue what was really talked about).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I'm not doing very well with attempting a budget for California grocery shopping. I am 2 for 2 at over $150/week. I can justify it away, but the fact remains the same, our grocery spending MUST get lower. This week will be different. I'm finally starting to feel normal again, so I hope that spills over to my grocery shopping. I know it sounds crazy, but having my own vehicle here really makes a big difference for 'normalcy.'

Here are our dinners for the week:

BFBBP: Happy Baby Organic Food - review of munchies, pouch, bites

I love cooking, I really do, but sometimes I just need a quick and easy meal--even for the baby. I also enjoy giving her healthy snacks throughout the day to promote eating when hungry, rather than learning to stuff herself full at meal times. I found Happy Baby just as she was starting solid foods. She instantly loved the Happy Baby Puffs--so much so that she kind of became addicted! I'm happy to say that she has widened her food preferences as she's grown, and Happy Family brand products have plenty to choose from. They offer cereals, puffs, pouches, finger foods, and even frozen meals--always organic. Check out baby G's favorites below, and enter to win some Happy Family products of your own as part of the Babies First Birthday Blog Party.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recipe: Hearty stuffed peppers!

I made these tonight, adapting the recipe in my cookbook, as I went along, and they turned out SO delicious! Definitely the best stuffed peppers I've ever had. The filling reminds me of chili, so they are perfect for a breezy spring evening like we had. I was worried we wouldn't be satisfied with just one, but the rice dish I served them with was just the addition needed to round out the meal. Check out my adapted recipe below!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day changed my life

I'm not making it up; without St. Patrick's Day I wouldn't be married to my wonderful soul mate.
Five years ago, as of 2 am central time, I met my husband at a St. Patrick's Day party. You can read more about our story in the post I did for Valentine's Day about Our Love Story. If you like romantic movies, I think you'd love our story. I really think it's better than at least half of the Lifetime movies out there.

While it's not our wedding anniversary, I will always think of St. Patrick's Day as 'our anniversary' because it's the day our lives changed completely. Neither of us were looking for a spouse, but that's exactly what we got.

I love green, I love Irish, I love the lack of snakes in Ireland, and I love St. Patrick's Day.

Most of all I love my husband!

Shamrock tattoo (the words are Italian "forever")

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Life Update - Seven Quick Takes 16

--- 1 ---
After a two week (and 2 day) absence, our cars have returned to our lives! We had them shipped to CA using the shipper my husband's company told us to use and it took that long for them to go halfway across the country!! I think that is absolutely ridiculous. Now that they are here, I feel much more settled in. Driving our rental car (2012 Ford Explorer) was fun, but it made it seem more vacation-y than home-y. We have no boxes left to unpack, the walls are decorated, the beds are made and everything has a place. I've been grocery shopping twice, we've been to church twice, and baby G had a play date with two friends. I suppose we officially live in California. Weird. I do still have a few addresses to change and insurance to switch over.

--- 2 ---
Do you have Comcast? This is our first time with them and I'm already annoyed. We had a HUGE fiasco with our first bill this week and I spent WAY too many hours of my life trying to get everything straightened out. We were overcharged and then our service was decreased to "solve" me asking for the reduced rate we signed up for. Then when I tried to get our service restored at the rate we were promised, I was told it didn't exist! Finally things got fixed after about 4 hours of our time. I am beyond disappointed in Comcast's shady practices, and I even went in with low expectations.
What's your opinion of their customer service? I feel like people tried to help us just enough to get by and it wasn't until the fifth person we were fully heard. I am, however, beyond pleased with our price and products--so all the hassle was worth it. We've got digital economy cable and super fast broadband internet for $49.99 plus tax. Can't beat that!

Londonware Winner #BFBBP

The second of my Babies First Birthday Blog Party giveaways has ended! There were 2100 entries and 89 unique entrants for the Londonware prize of fleece diaper cover and leg warmer set. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to enter.

Congratulations to:

Don't forget there are still 2 giveaways going on on my blog & one yet to come. The Mommyhood Chronicles is also hosting many BFBBP giveaways, so be sure to check hers out too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kid's table at Grandma's #WW #linky

We spent several days at my in-laws prior to our move. They don't have a high chair for baby G and we couldn't bring ours due to it being shipped to CA, so this is where G ate most of her meals :-)

Link up!

A perfectionist as a parent.

I have a bit of perfectionism complex. If you know me in person, perhaps "a bit" is an understatement.

Although, I'd rather be a perfectionist than a slacker.....but if I was a slacker, I'm sure I'd hate perfectionists for making me look "bad." Everyone has their role to play in society, right? We perfectionists get things done with efficiency and quality detail. Oh, and we certainly fill the world's quota for anxiety.

When a perfectionist becomes a mother, her world is quite literally turned upside down. I'm learning trying to learn how to let some things go. I can't "control" baby G, and that's a really hard concept for someone like me to deal with. She can't be reasoned with, and she can't be "reversed psychology-ed." I can't even "do" her things for her, because that's impossible...or else, trust me, I would.
I can't sleep for her. I can't eat for her. I can't learn for her. She must do those things on her own. But, as a super-perfectionist, I really want to. She just isn't very good at them sometimes. She doesn't sleep "enough," she doesn't eat "enough," and she doesn't seem to learn things "normally."

Of course, she is a baby. I'm an educated woman--in education, no less--I know that she needs my support, understanding, and love. I give her those things, I promise! Then, I come on here and throw a pity party. Because, after all, what's a perfectionist to do??

I think the problem for me, as a mother, stems from what I like to call "Parent Information Overload."

Monday, March 12, 2012

New grocery shopping experiences and Menu Plan Monday

After a few weeks absence due to moving, I present to you... our meal plan for the week. I am actually looking forward to getting back into a routine. I think it will make the stress of being in a new part of the country seem less noticeable. I wonder if I am the only one that loves having a grocery shopping routine. I truly enjoyed the stores in our old town and I miss the routine I had down. It's odd being in a new place with NONE of the stores I used to love shopping at (except Target, thankfully).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New products from Glade® and $1.50 off coupon

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Triad Retail Media for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
As you've read around my blog, we recently moved to California. The best thing about the move so far has been that we are in a house, not an apartment! Settling into our new home has been exciting, but does create some anxiety with unpacking, cleaning, and organizing. Something that I don't have to worry about is making it smell like home, despite it not being a brand new house. I wanted to share about the new Glade® Expressions™ fragrance mist and new Glade® Expressions™ oil diffuser. I like that they are easy to use and don't smell 'fake.' They feature modern designs; the diffuser fits in with various room decors and the fragrance mist bottle is very sleek.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Moving Pains

I don't have too much time for an in depth blog analysis of our move, so this one will be quick & easy to read.

I love the fact that we have a house. I don't particularly love our house...but it is nice.
I like the layout, for what it is. I do not like that there is no carpet; I really like carpeted bedrooms. I like the kitchen enough, but the drawers are really shotty (they squeak and get off the track really bad).
I love that there is grass for G to play on/in, but don't like that it's only half of the yard (the other half is dirt). I love that we have a garage.
I don't particularly care for the neighborhood. It's the best we could afford, and that's depressing. I am proud of my husband and he is doing so great, so it sucks that we aren't in an area like we were in Kansas. Don't get me wrong, we aren't in a bad area...but coming from where we were before in the suburbs of KC, this is definitely a step down in that regards. I don't fear for my life or anything, about a mile away I would be a little scared, though. Not sugar coating it; I'm pretty sure California has the most homeless and un/under-employed people, which leads to a lot of crime...

Tommee Tippee #BFBBP WINNER

Thanks to everyone participating in the Babies First Birthday Blog Party event! It's still going on & you can see all the current giveaways on this page.

The first giveaway on my blog has ended and the winner of a $30+ value pack of Tommee Tippee Tableware products is:

There were 2187 number of entries and 85 number of entrants. I appreciate everyone who took the time to enter :-)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

BFBBP: Thirsties Duo Diaper & Hemp Prefold

I was thrilled when Thirsties offered my family the opportunity to try another one of their cloth diaper products. In case you haven't read them; please check out the blog I wrote about the Fab Fitted, Hemp Inserts & Duo Wrap, and my review of the Fab Wipes, Booty Luster, & Booty Love. The Booty Love is still my favorite cloth diaper accessory; it's a CD safe ointment that keeps G from getting even a hint of rash. As part of the Babies First Birthday Blog Party, Thirsties sent us a Duo Diaper to review. It's a pocket style diaper & very easy to use. While the BFBBP is geared toward one-year olds, this diaper is perfect for any diaper stash!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

BFBBP: Green Toys Stacking Cups Giveaway

I really wanted to include a toy company in the Babies First Birthday Blog Party. I try to focus on mostly-crunchy living at Letters from Momma, so I did an Internet search for "green toy companies." Because Google is awesome, I instantly found Green Toys, Inc. I perused their products and was really pleased to find a variety of options for kids of all ages. They agreed to participate in the BFBBP by sending baby G a set of Stacking Cups to review & share with another baby through a giveaway. I just love environmentally friendly toys that are made in the USA.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Seven Quick Takes 15

--- 1 ---
We move into our new home tomorrow. Our flight is at 7 am local time and we get to SFO at 9 Pacific time (I've never lived outside of central time, so this will be weird!). I'm very excited but also nervous / sad to leave the Midwestern life I've always known. This week has been really chaotic, but I've really surprised myself (and husband) by being patient & calm about the whole thing.

--- 2 ---
Example one of how this week is crazy:
The moving company sent ONE guy to pack and move our apartment. I guess when they heard 2 bedroom apartment, they didn't think it'd have that much stuff. HA. The guy is great and a really hard worker, but even he admitted we "filled it well" and that it was way underestimated. He had hoped to be done by 4 pm, and then 6 pm, but ended up needing until 10 PM to get everything packed and loaded. We didn't stay that late, because we had a 3.5 hour drive to get to my in-laws (our in-between location). That's a lot of trust to put in someone else...nearly everything we own is not in our possession. For a control freak like myself, it's totally a God thing that I'm not having a panic attack right now.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Babies First Birthday Blog Party Info (links current)

Starting February 22 (baby G's birthday), Melissa from The Mommyhood Chronicles and I will each be hosting 5 giveaways that end on March 31 (her son's birthday).