Thursday, November 29, 2012

Half Way

    My little baby is 6 months! Seriously I know a lot of people say it but really - where does the time go?!?! I spent the first three months home with her and I hate to admit that the past few months have blurred a little since returning back to work. That feeling snowballs into a boulder going down the hill when I then step back further and realize the same with the Tweedles.
    My little man is turning 3 soon and my older daughter is going to be whole hand's worth of fingers! Then she'll be off to Kindergarten and then college then off to start a family of her own.., ok that was a little intense. But it's true.
    I am going to make it one of my New Year's resolutions to be more aware of my children growing. That definitely means more pictures! (Sorry honey) More one on one dates. More moments where I don't worry about the mess on the floor, the clothes that need to be picked up, the coupons that need to be sorted, the list that needs to be made or anything else. Those moments that I would pay anything to pause in time. Like that of when Bear and I dance in the rain.
    The Tweedles and I took Bear to get her 6 month pictures taken. She was breathtakingly beautiful. And yes I actually did a gigantic flower head band. I could not help myself. She's my last one. I'm not going to have another, so of course I'm going to doll her up! She looked like a Victorian-ish shabby chic little lady in coral and teal. Four words! A Dor A Bal!
    How do you take a moment to breath in your children growing up?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gatorade and a movie from 1988

     Right now I'm sitting on my sofa while my little man is sitting on the blue chair  (aka Daddy's chair) with a cup of gatorade. My little guy is the last of us to get sick from Thanksgiving, as someone was so kind enough to bring a bug to the party. Haha. He is actually sitting still watching Runaway Ralph from 1988. Yes- I said 1988 with a very young Fred Savage. Haha. This is Beverly Cleary's sequel to The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

    What is a movie that your kid will sit and watch when they are not feeling well? Do you have a blanket or something special that they get when they're sick?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What's more fun than a box? Stork Stack

    Well look what the Stork brought?! I'm not talking about my three beautiful children. This review of the monthly subscription for Stork Stack. I had purchased a voucher from Plum District to try out one box. 

    Monthly memberships start at $28/box. You can purchase a 3 month membership for $84 where a box will be donate through their great Give Back Program, a 6 month membership for $168 where 2 boxes will be donated and a 12 month membership for $336 where 3 boxes are donated. Boxes ship out the first of the month.
Super cute box design!


How cute is this? I love the presentation!

    The box I received was their November Stack that was themed "Around the table" and it was geared for my 5 month old. It was spot on! Lets break down the box and all the goodies inside that I received!
Lots of fun goodies!! A perfect themed collection.

All the goodies outside of the box.

    From left to right: A full sized bottle of Pure Matters for Hair, Skin & Nails Support. This bottle retails at $27.95. According to the website it says it promotes healthy hair, nails and skin, supports healthy connective tissue formation and may help to manage skin-related health conditions. Two full sized pouches of Peter Rabbit Organics Fruit Snacks. I let the Tweedles enjoy these. These retail for about $1.29 each.

    This next one is a fun one! Lunch by Denise Fleming board book. This is about a mouse who is just so hungry he starts to eat and cant stop. This book retails for $7.99. The kids all love it and the illustrations are very colorful. Next to that is the Spuds Spoon and Fork set. This is another neat product made in America from non-toxic and biodegradable materials. The company story is a sad story but out from that came a wonderful product. These sets retail for about $5.99.  

    The adorable giraffe item is one of the jungle jam designed burpy bibs from aden + anais. Made from 100% cotton muslin with four layers this design of burp cloth  goes on real easy with one snap and provides a ton of coverage. A 2-pk retails for $22. Lastly there was a savings code for the Tea Collection. This is fantastic collection of clothes. I found out about them when Liv was a wee one (four and a half years ago - yikes!). Their dresses are fun and stylish. I still have all of them saved for Bear.

    Hands down this is a fantastic company! I had had a question and within an hour I had an answer. I also exchanged some more emails to find out more details of the company.

I asked about the different age breakdowns with the boxes:

  • We have members from 3rd Trimester to 3rd Birthday, and the breakdown really depends on the products for any given month. We don't actually set the different groups until all product partners are selected (each product is tested, and must not only fit quality standards, but must also fit into the month's theme, such as "Around the Table"). This month, the breakdown was 3T-4 months, 5-10 months, 11-23 months, and 24-36 months.
    Here I asked if I wanted to break down a subscription or switch between age groups for my kids:
  • You can purchase multiple Stacks, but you need to do so by contacting us (our system gets confused if you buy two monthly memberships). The 2 year old Stack would have had the same book, and would have also included: Gummy Vitamins (for kids), the Itzy Ritzy Bento Box, Funny Face dried cranberries, and a cup by the company Spuds that created your utensils.
  • You can definitely break down the 6 month membership by age and split it up. All you would need to do is email me when you want to switch and I'll have someone update the database.

        This really is a great service with an awesome mission of giving back to those who served our country and those in need. I would highly suggest checking them out for yourself. And yes, I am signing up for a monthly subscription for this service. I think I'm going to go with Trey for a few then switch back over to Bear.

        Have you tried these guys out? What did you think? What was your favorite product from "the Stork"?


    (They are currently on a hold therefore no boxes right now)

    (They are no longer sending boxes)
    Next box on deck to review: BabbaCo.

    Lazy Lazy

        Things have been quite lazy around here since the Thanksgiving holiday. The kids and I have been total lazy bums. Not to mention that we have been feeling a little sick lately. Seems like someone brought some yucky germs to the party. (bleck!)
        We have just been relaxing in our pjs and bumming with movies. Even though I should really be cleaning and reorganizing the house. Speaking of the house, the quest to figure out what to do is still there. Do we add on and stay where we are? Or do we continue to look to move? It's so annoying. We have even thought about adding to the mixture the possibility of buying land and then building on that but that is a far cry unless we win a silver of the lotto.
        We have figured out that we would like at least one acre of land and I really like the colonial style of house. And that a basement is required. Also a perfect Christmas tree spot is needed in the living room.
        What are some things that you looked for in a house? Master bedroom? At least two bathrooms? A basement? An updated kitchen?
    A place to cook your garbage can turkey?

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    An Ironic Thankful Thursday on Thanksgiving

        Happy Thanksgiving! In most of my Thankful Thursdays posts I would blab about what I am thankful for. The obvious family and healthy children. My (small) home, my job, my creative spirit and so on. I'm going to blab about some things that I am thankful for that are off the cuff.
        I am also thankful for coffee - even though I currently have to resort to decaf (Bear gets very irritated when I have caffeine). I am thankful for socks! Lots of them because my toes get super cold. I am thankful for basements because we recently looked at a house that didn't have a basement. (How can you NOT have a basement?! I thought I could be able to make it work but not with the way I stock up and store things and there were a few other problems with it. Major Bummer!)
        I am surprisingly thankful for sick babes, only because that's when they need to cuddle the most. Although I really don't like the sickness that comes with those cuddles. I am thankful for daisies because when I get them for my birthday in February they brighten up the place and make me remember the summer time!
        I am thankful for green tea lattes because they are delish and make me feel happy. It's one of my favorite treats! I am thankful for mail and packages. Yes, I am one of those people who like to get mail - just not bills. Fuzzy blankets, fleece zip ups, pony tail bands, Merlot (that was obvious - haha). I will add in there that I am thankful that we were able to get a great family of five picture together and it wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be.
        Liv says she is thankful for "all of the people I met when I was a baby". When I asked Trey what he was thankful for today he simply said "dum ditty ditty dum dum dum". So maybe he is thankful for Dr. Seuss?
        What are you thankful that is off the cuff?
    I am also thankful for toy trains for keeping my little man occupied while we clean.

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    Be amazed!

        I was amazed! I was beyond amazed I teared up but don't worry I didn't cry. they would have been tears of pure happiness!! Today we attempted and succeeded our first family of five picture!! It was the third group picture the girl took and we were done! I was floored!
        I was preparing for the worse. I warned the girl taking the pictures. I put on extra deodorant (yeah that's tmi but true) I felt I was going to sweat bullets. I still can't believe we were able to pull it off. I thought with a 4.5, 2.5 and a 5  month old this wasn't going to go very well. BUT IT DID!! And the Hubs and I finally got a nice picture of just the two of us. We haven't had one since our wedding.
        I was proud and happy. My heart fills up with warmth when I look at it! And I also learned a very valuable lesson - one must never underestimate the power of a promised Twizzler.
        What are some tricks and trade secrets for getting young kids to sit and smile? Sweet bribes like this mama?

    I can be bribed with a Milky Way - how about you?

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    This can't be a good sign

        It seems to me that my cabin fever has snuck up and attacked me - and it's only November 17! This cannot be a good sign. There is no snow but it gets darker out earlier, it's not sunny out when I wake up and it's getting colder. (Talk about being a cry baby - boo)
        I have been done with holiday shopping so I don't have to worry about sneaking in some shopping while the kids are at school or on Sundays. Unfortunately the house will get a light coat of decorations like we did for Halloween. I just don't forsee any extra time or energy this year getting ALL the decorations out, putting them up and then taking them all down. Sorry kiddos. BUT we will keep up the tradition of going out and "hunting" for our Christmas tree. Maybe this year Trey can help the Hubs chop it down. I'll be on camera duty, as always.
        Liv has been asking to listen to Christmas songs so we have those playing. I have to admit, every time I hear a start to a song that I think could be my Grandpa's song I start to feel anxiety. No, maybe not anxiety but I have caught myself holding my breath waiting to is if it is playing. (We'll save that for another day...., I'm not ready to blog about it)
        Trey gets super excited when his new favorite song is on, Bing Crosby's Happy Holidays. Liv just likes ALL of them. I'm sure if I asked her what her favorite is she'll say which ever the last one that was played, which is currently the 12 days of Christmas. Although yesterday she sang all of White Christmas, which made me smile. She loves that movie, even when it's not winter. I remember we use to watch that while we waited for Midnight Mass after Wigilia. And now that she has Bear she's happy to be able to sing Sisters from White Christmas. 
    My favorite song from there is Best Things
     Wow! This posting did a quick turn on subject eh? I suppose while we're at it.., what is your favorite song from White Christmas? Is that one of the movies you watch come Christmas time?

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    This butt is not part of the joke

         Again, I am surprised! I read my email from Earth911 this morning to find out that cigarette butts liter worldwide is about 1.69 billion pounds a year! How insane is that?!  On top of that they are also a form of non-biodegradable litter so they are hear to stay - bummer. 
        Believe it or not according to the email, TerraCycle is teaming up with Sante Fe Tobacco Co. and promoting the opportunity for individuals and groups to collect the cigarette waste and send it in where they will turn around and produce things like shipping pallets, railroad ties, plastic lumber or (my favorite which is wonderfully ironic) ash trays! 
        If you are interested in finding out more about TerraCycle's recycling program, check out their Cigarette Waste Brigade

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Thankful Thursday

        Ok, really quick I am going to celebrate being thankful! (Yeah! I know something to be happy about - contrary to my crappy mood lately.) For this installment of being thankful, I am thankful that we are having Thanksgiving Dinner at our house! It's an open door invitation so friends and family are welcomed before, during and after with no pressure to come.
        It means a lot to me to be able to have it at our house. The Hubs and I both agreed to have it for a few reasons. The main being that I am THAT insane and crave to have a tradition that I can call mine now. Plus the Hubs makes a kick-a$$ garbage can turkey! Well my dad and the hubs do - haha. (It really is delish! Search for it or check out this page.)
        We did have Thanksgiving dinner at our house in prior to this year, although last year was a glitch or a hiccup.., but I wont go into it. We were still with family but it wasn't the same for us - well me at least.
        So yes, it is a lot of work but I am so excited. And I nearly have most everything ready. Big thanks to my brother who picked up the extra poppers/crackers I needed. That is a super fun tradition that we have done in years past and I hope to continue! I like seeing us all with our paper crowns and laughing while telling the corny jokes that are inside.

    Like this but with turkeys on

        Where are you celebrating this holiday? What fun traditions do you have?

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    What's more fun than a box? TeetheMe

        This entry was going to be about my TeetheMe Box experience. However, much like Petite Box, TeetheMe Box is no longer available for subscription service. 

        This was another service that I purchased a discount voucher to try out. Since I enjoyed my first box I received from them I figured I would give it another go and kept my subscription active. Sadly, my second box I received from them was an almost carbon copy of a prior month's box contents. 
        I hate to say this but I did see a hiccup or two coming for this service because of that box mishap. Many people were upset and rightfully so. The company disabled comments on their facebook page and stopped responding to comments on their posts. (Not a good idea to do in this age of multimedia exposure - in my opinion.)
        I was disappointed and would have liked to have seen a company announcement about what happened but instead they ignored it. Because of  media and being in the public more, I thought that was not a good call. I ended up putting my membership on pause. I was waiting to see if the company was going to take responsibility of what happened or admit there was a mistake made. Well they did - eventually. Today I received an email with the following message:

    Dear TeetheMe members,

    We would like to wholeheartedly apologize for the delay in the shipment of your TeetheMe boxes. For the past year, we have loved helping you discover great brands while we built this incredible community together. This is why we are very saddened to announce that TeetheMe will no longer be shipping boxes to our members.

        They proceeded to go on and offer up another company (which by the way is the next one on my list to write a review for - Stork Stack). So with all this being said, I am not going to dwell on this monthly subscription service any longer. It is sad as I was very pleased with my first box, but sometimes things do not work out. 
        Were you part of the TeetheMe Community? For how long? Ever have any problems with them? I will admit as much as it irritated me that my last box was a "copy" of a prior box I did like the City Grips Stroller Handle Covers that came in that.
    Next box on deck to review: Stork Stack

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    21 Questions with Trey

    1. What is your favorite color? green
    2. What is your favorite toy? hexbug
    3. What is your favorite fruit? bananas

    4. What is your favorite movie? Toy Story II

    5. What is your favorite thing to eat? sausage

    6. What is your favorite outfit? jeans and 2 shirts

    7. What is your favorite school subject? gym

    8. What is your favorite snack? candy

    9. What is your favorite animal? meerkats and polar bears

    10. What is your favorite song? ABCs

    11. What is your favorite book? The Lorax

    12. Who is your best friend? Zoe

    13. What is your favorite cereal? Cherrios

    14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride on the 4 wheeler

    15. What is your favorite drink? Juice

    16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

    17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Flashlight, books, lizards, polarbear, hyena, buzz, woody....

    18. What is your favorite thing to eat for dessert? Candy

    19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza
    19. How old are you going to be on your next birthday? "um... free" aka 3
    20. What do you want to be when you grow up? "Make candy"

    Little man snoozing - almost 3 years

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    No pizza boxes

        I just have to share this! Today I read a very interesting article as to why pizza boxes cannot be recycled. We don't order pizza all that often but I am guilty of just tossing it into the recycling pile. And for some reason I was under the impression that there was a sorting center that could sift through the items that are being recycled. 
        What do you do with your pizza boxes? Do you recycle them or toss them out?
    Homemade pizza! Liv made hers with mushrooms on

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Cookies for milk

        Yep, you read that right. Cookies FOR milk. I have been fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed all my children for the first year of their lives and the same plan is in effect for Bear.
        With the Tweedles, once I returned to work, I was a pumping champ! I filled up our deep chest freezer to the brim with both of them. So much with kiddo number 2 that we purchased another freezer for our food, which we later "sold" to my parents. Anticipating another overflow of supply with Bear, we purchased another deep chest freezer off of Craigslist.
        Lately I have noticed a slight decline in my milk supply and I have been doing what lactation consultants suggest: stay hydrated, eat oatmeal, powerade, Mothers Milk tea, pump often and even fenugreek. (I'm not really digging the fenugreek, not for the amount of pills I have to take but for the awfully gross smell of maple syrup is makes me reek of.)
        A while back I received a few samples of Milkin' Cookies. They are these awesomely delish cookies that contain food galactogogues, which are ingredients that help to increase breastmilk production. According to their website the cookies are made with healthy ingredients like whole wheat flour, flaxseed, wheat germs and oats. And they are all natural.

        I tried both of their flavors - the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the cranberry almond oatmeal cookies. I liked both and did notice an increase in my supply shortly after them. Since I'm a sucker for cranberries and almonds I decided to treat myself with those ones. I placed an order and let me just tell you, I was surprised shortly after placing it. I received an order confirmation AND a follow up personalized email message from them letting me know that my cookies will be baked and sent the next day! (I give companies MAJOR kudos when they take the time and practice excellent customer service! It makes me feel like they appreciate my business and makes my experience with them special.)
        When I get them I plan on sipping on some Mother's Milk tea and nibbling on my cranberry almond oatmeal cookie, hopefully once the kiddos have gone to bed so there is some silence to enjoy. Some nice calm "Mommy Time". I highly recommend these cookies if you are ever running low on your supply. The cookies are delish! They gave my milk supply a nice boost. The customer service is excellent!
        What have you done or heard to do to help keep breastmilk supply up? Have you tried or made any lactation cookies?
    These are sooooooo DELISH!

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Red, Blue and WHITE

        Happy Election Day! Right now the hubs is chasing the Tweedles around before bath and Jax, the dog, is watching the chaos. She is a good ol' dog. She is a furry white Bichon Frise and is 7.5 years old (although I am sure she has aged doubly these past few years with the Tweedles around her - haha)
        She is well behaved and knows when she does something wrong. She has become much more protective over this house, that happened after Liv was born. Now she barks until she knows we are all ok. She does this great trick where she wont move towards the treat until we say "ok" - and I always try to trick her with "Oklahoma" or "Okinawa".
        So why am I bragging about my dog? Well, if you have a dog (or any pet) I am sure you have come to see them as a member of the family. And although some times I want to glue her paws to the floor (but never, ever would) I still love her. She was my first "baby".
        I was very lucky to be chosen for the Eukanuba Bzzagent campaign. As a BzzAgent I am sent a sample for free to try out and share the experience. I am excited to test it out on Jax. She definitely deserves it!
        Interested? On the BzzAgent campaign page it states:
    Did you know your dog may have dental health issues you can't see? In fact, 85% of dogs have serious tartar build up by the age of three.* Plaque and tartar are often invisible to the naked eye, but with Eukanuba's help, you don't have to play pet detective to have a healthy, happy and smiling pooch.
    Recommended by vets, Eukanuba with 3D DentaDefense keeps your dog in top condition from tooth to tail. Ensure your canine's canines are healthy — feed your pup the only leading brand that provides complete nutrition and superior tartar protection in every adult and senior diet.
    *Source: Banfield Pet Hospital - State of Pet Health 2011 Report
        I received my bzzkit in the mail yesterday and the kids and I just had to check out the UV Black Light enclosed.  What's that for you ask? It is apparently a way to see the tartar build-up on the teeth. Jax totally passed with flying colors! She just had a tiny amount on the 2 large fang teeth.
    The Bzzkit!
        I haven't been able to run to the store yet to pick up our free bag of food (I plan to do that Thursday with the Tweedles and Bear in tow - wish me luck!) I'll post some feedback on how Jax takes to it. And of course, I will be sharing with my fellow dog lovers out there too!
        Ps. Major kudos to BzzAgent and Eukanuba for the ball! Jax LOVES it!
    **I have been trying to load up some pictures but for some reason it is taking way too long to upload - I will try after the election  bc I have a feeling there is a lot of activity going on from that**

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Seeds ya later!

        Yeah. I am that cheesy! That title is making me giggle but that is exactly what we did this fine evening. After the kids and I did "table time" today (we talked about the trees in the fall and why the leaves turn color and then colored leaves and made mobiles) I brought in all the pumpkins from outside so we could gut them.
    Liv's falling leaves
        We had about 9 of them of all sizes so there was plenty of seeds to scrape out. We didn't carve out pumpkins this year simply because we lost track of time. We also did very minimal decorating but the kids took part in doing it so it was fun and seasonal for them.
        I set up a gutting station on the floor in my kitchen and got the big ol' glass bowls out to collect them. And that we did!! I made sure we gathered seeds in separate dishes so that we can attempt to grow some over the summer.., attempt being the key word. Hopefully we can get some. The rest are going to be roasted, lightly salted and devoured until the very last seed is gone!! What is your favorite way to prep pumpkin seeds?

    picking out the first pumpkin to gut

    Seeds Seeds Seeds!

    Cleaned and ready to roast!

    Smashed up pumpkins


    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    21 Questions with Liv

    1. What is your favorite color? pink
    2. What is your favorite toy? stuffed giggly lemur
    3. What is your favorite fruit? grapes

    4. What is your favorite movie? The Little Mermaid

    5. What is your favorite thing to eat? octopus

    6. What is your favorite outfit? polka dotted dress

    7. What is your favorite school subject? Numbers

    8. What is your favorite snack? fruit snacks

    9. What is your favorite animal? sealion

    10. What is your favorite song? A Whole New World

    11. What is your favorite book? Rapunzel book

    12. Who is your best friend? Katelyn & Isabella

    13. What is your favorite cereal? Coco Puffs

    14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play Ghost & Hide

    15. What is your favorite drink? Smoothies made with frozen bananas

    16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

    17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Shineyside & Bun-bun

    18. What is your favorite thing to eat for dessert? Cookies

    19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Cheeseburgers
    19. How old are you going to be on your next birthday? 5 then I'll be 6!
    20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Costume Designer


    Seems like just yesterday she was a wee baby bit!