Friday, August 26, 2011

I made this!

It took a lot of time and patience, but I did it!!


Don't forget to enter the Boon Squirt giveaway! Ends 9/02/11.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tutu Cute!

"Ohhhh Mommy! What's all this fluffy stuff?!"

My beautiful daughter in a tutu I made.
Diaper is Best Bottom.

Don't forget to enter the Boon Squirt giveaway! It ends 9/02. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Facebook Can be a Positive Experience

Another wonderful Facebook post. I know of at least two posts where I have "vented" about Facebook and how annoying people can be on it. However, this is post is not about that.

It is about an awesome page that I have encountered that has brought together many wonderful people. I know these pages have been popping up everywhere since someone started our page, so maybe some of you can relate to it.

A little background information. My husband and I share a Facebook account. It has both of our names on it, and we each friend our own friends and mutual friends. It was the easiest way for us to do it without me losing my head from past incidences. We also grew up in the same small town in Louisiana. Many people that were born and raised in this town know us and our families.

Now, you probably realize where I am going with this. If you don't, I will spell it out for you. Someone opened a page titled "Remember in Hackberry when..." Hackberry is the name of the town that we grew up in. People had begun being added and someone added our Facebook account. I had noticed from the gazillion notifications I kept getting from all the replies and new posts to the page. Out of curiosity, I went to the page and began reading people's stories. At the time, we were the youngest generation on the page and I was laughing hysterically at everyone's stories. People were posting the things they did at Hackberry High. Since my Mawmaw had been a principal, teacher, coach, etc at the school (and still substitute teaches), she was brought up a lot. It was funny to see that people thought she was mean and the things that they got in trouble by her for doing. My Mawmaw definitely is not "mean", but she does discipline the way teachers should discipline. Then, the more I got to reading, the more I saw Mr. Man's grandparents being brought up. Both of our grandparents owned stationed, stores, camps, etc in the small town. It was insane to see how much people remembered all of that. And for the history and stories to be carried down to me and him for us to share with our kids.

After a while of reading, I couldn't resist. I had to post replies to some of the stories because they were hilarious. Plus, I had some questions about things that I was just learning about. I guess many people began seeing my posts and kept asking who I was, whose child I was. Finally, I had explained who I was and many people knew our parents.

By this time, it is midnight and I still couldn't stay off the page. I was so afraid I was going to miss an awesome story about someone or something. At this moment, someone posted on the page about not getting anything done. I replied saying it was midnight in the UK and I was still going at it. Then someone else replied, "Wow, you sure did get out of Hackberry." And that's it....

Everyone (when they are in their younger years) dream of leaving the small town. They want something new and they want to be 'someone' (well sort of). Most, after a few years of leaving, dream of going back. Mr. Man and I, on the other hand, did not necessarily want to leave but we knew it was for the best for our futures. And after being gone so long, we really have no desire to go back. Since the hurricanes most have left and the town has changed so much. It doesn't mean we don't miss it. And our families are still there. However, it is not something we care to go back to.

As I was reading through these posts, someone posted something about "Uncle Horace". I had a Grandaddy that had just passed away a year or so ago named Horace. As far as I knew, he was the only Horace that I knew in that town. Then someone else said, "And Aunt Gusta." Well Aunt Gusta passed away when I was only a few years old, so I really did not know her but I have pictures of her and I also knew her name. Then goes on about picking figs in their back yard. That's when I realized it had to be the same people we were talking about. Someone else (which happened to be my cousin) posted, "Yea, I remember that. But I knew them as Granddaddy and Grandmother." Well that was when I realized it was definitely the same people because that is what me and my siblings called them. Now, the person who started this post I had contact with in high school as her daughter was one of my cheer coaches for a camp. Little did I know, they were my cousins. Then the Mom of the cousin use to bring Mr. Man's Mom to school back in the day. Starting to get a little odd, now. Then she proceeds to explain how we are all related. It gets better! She also use to live in England. In a town right on the side of us when she was in High School for about a year. She started talking to me about places, restaurants, etc... all of which Mr. Man and I have been! CRAZY!

Needless to say, that group has brought back some awesome memories and filled me in on some funny stories of my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I also found some relatives that I did not realize were relatives.

I thought it was super cool.

.... And then the addiction of Facebook arose from the dead...


Don't forget to enter the Boon Squirt giveaway! It ends 9/02.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

3 Month Photos

It was so hard to choose which pictures to upload into a post. All of them came out so wonderful! I look forward to her 6 month shots!

Don't forget to enter the Boon Squirt giveaway! Ends 9/02/11.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Review/Giveaway: Boon (Spoon) Squirt

The Boon Spoon, which is know as Squirt, is an amazing tool to have with solid eating babies! I saw how so many people raved over this product, but I had a hard time giving in to my temptation. When I started looking for a way to travel with baby food, this product kept popping up. Between the internet and my friends, it seemed super popular! So I gave in....

I emailed the company and asked them a few questions. In return, they sent me one to review. I chose the Cherry color, and I love it!

As most of you know, my daughter is not eating solids yet, but she will be in one short month! However, I still tested the product - with two of my friends' children. I tried it with a 6 month old and a 10 month old. Then, of course, I had to test it with my daughter. But only with very little breastmilk.

It is simply amazing! Seriously, the packaging says "Genius. (There. We said it.)" which made me giggle when I read it. However, it IS very much go genius!

So for those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, it is a baby food dispensing spoon. All you have to do is twist the bulb off, fill it up with up to 3 oz of baby food, attach it back to the spoon part, and gently squeeze the bulb to dispense the food into the end of the spoon and feed it to your baby. Simply easy, simply amazing!

It is also BPA, PVCm, and phthalate free, too!

The first baby I tried it on was a friend of mine's 6 month old. I was really curious to see how someone that age would take to it. The little boy loved it! He kept trying to grab at it and play with it because it was so bright. The good thing about it is that the bulb on the spoon has a grippy texture. The little boy kept throwing his hands, and I was inexperienced with feeding a small baby solids and I never once dropped it or lost control of the spoon! AMAZING!

The second baby that I tried it with was a 10 month old. She is almost 11 months old and tries to feed herself. So wanted to help, so what I did was place the lid that comes with it on the spoon. I thought, "perfect! A great way to see how the lid works and if it's sturdy!" She threw it around in her hand, even held it by the actual spoon/lid part and it never once spilled out. The lid never once came off. When it was time to eat, she loved it! And, of course, I was even more in love with it.

After that second adventure, I was dying to use it again. I decided to take some stored breastmilk and put it in the bulb. I only put about a quarter of an ounce in it because breastmilk is obviously liquid. I held the spoon upside down until I was ready to feed Baby A. She loved it! It was her first experience with an actual spoon, and she did great. I love the shape of the spoon and how it slopes from the bulb. It's the perfect shape for feeding a baby. The bowl part of the spoon is deep enough to wear the food (even breastmilk) hung up without overflowing and making a mess. It really is a genius design!

Everything about it is easy to use and clean. It is a great one handed spoon. It is also a great storage space for baby food on the go (which is what I plan on using it for). It is even dishwasher safe, and my dishwasher cleaned it well. Although it is super easy to clean by hand. I tried the dishwasher because it stated that it was dishwasher safe, and I wanted to see if it would be worth even washing in the dishwasher.

You can bet I will buying one or two more of these. Sounds ridiculous, but we travel A LOT and I would at least want two just for traveling overnight.

I had to put this in here... The packaging has the cutest little paragraph on the back that describes it. Here it is:

"Squirt isn't just a spoon; it's a revolution. It takes baby food, removes the jar and the mess, packs it into a single utensil and with one squeeze - boom! You get easy, one-handed feeding. Pop on the cap to seal food on-the-go. BEWARE: May cause gobbling and an uncontrollable appreciate for anything delicious."

Haha, isn't that too cute?! I love when companies put suck cute things like that on their products. It makes them that much more fun.

Did you also know that they "give back 10% of Boon's profits to children charities"? I didn't. Not until I read it on the packaging! Another wonderful reason to purchase their products!

Boon offered me a chance to giveaway one of their Squirt dispensing spoons. 

To enter, you must be a follower of my blog (1 entry).
You must also tell me which color Squirt you would choose if you won (1 entry). 

For extra entries, you can:
Fan Boon on Facebook (1 entry).
Follow Boon on Twitter (1 entry).
Share this giveaway on another social network (ie your blog, facebook, or twitter). For each way you share you get 1 extra entry. You can only share on each one time. 

Fill this form out for your entries. Please follow all instructions to make it easier on me. Thank you. 

This giveaway will close Friday, September 2. I will announce the winner once it closes.

It is open to U.S. residents ONLY! They will not ship APO.  

Boon also has a blog where they do fun activities and giveaways! You should check it out! 

*If the form does not work (as this is my first time using it), you can leave comments for each entry. Please list links if you share this giveaway on another site. Thank you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Bigger Picture

When I became a mother, my whole life changed. It did not necessarily change for the better or for the worse. It just changed. It was a change that I chose, and I change that I adore. A change that I always dreamed of, and I always wanted. Something that I was once so impatient for is right here before my eyes.

Now, most of you that I breastfeed. It is one thing that I was passionate about doing while I was pregnant. It is one thing that I am still passionate about doing for our daughter. It is one thing that I am determined to make work as long as I am happy and it makes the rest of the family happy.

With that said, some (if not all) know that we had some issues arise at her 2 month appointment. The doctor we were seeing immediately wanted me to put her on formula. I declined nicely as I explained that I would like to try and work it out myself. We monitored her and my feedings for a week. I woke her in the night (because she was already sleeping through the night), and I even woke her during naps or "dream fed" her during the day and night. It didn't do much. I went and saw a lactation consultant, and she said our latch was great and everything was going perfect. Baby A just didn't want to gain weight. After two months of hard work and determination, a new doctor had determined that Baby A just had a high metabolism. One of the rare babies that is super active and constantly burning calories.

As most of you also know, Mr. Man is currently deployed. He has been gone for 2.5 months. He was gone for my daughter's 2 month checkup and he was gone when I was working through the kinks. He is still gone. This fact has never stopped me. Has never changed my thoughts on breastfeeding, being a Mommy, etc. After all this is what I always have dreamed of.

Now, I will admit. There has been times where I just wondered what it would be like if I just switched her to formula. Would it be easier? Would she gain more weight? But then with the weight gain I wondered if she would still be as active, still developing properly.

Now, I know many people formula feed and it is a completely normal thing! I absolutely have nothing against giving a child formula at all. However, I do believe that if you can give your child breastmilk, you should.  (Disclaimer before anyone takes this and runs with it. This is an extremely passionate blog. Not meant to offend anyone.)

To move on, the last few days I have wondered where our breastfeeding would lead. Would I stop at a year? Would I go longer? Would I ever deny my daughter her nursing time due to her age? Would I all of a sudden take it away from her? Would she ever wean herself? And the list goes on...

Now, at this point, you are probably thinking... "Oh, goodness! She's one of those!" You know the one's that breastfeed multiple children at once. The one that is still breastfeeding her 4 year old son. One of those. (Which none of these are necessarily wrong, but I can say at this point and time, I do not plan to be one of those.)

Mentioned above is not where I am going with this. Where I am  going with this is...

The simple fact that I can successful breastfeed my daughter. I see many other Moms have a hard time with breastfeeding. Whether it be that their child will not latch on properly or the child has a sickness or whatever... There are many reasons. But every single time I hear of a Mom that is passionate about breastfeeding, determined to breastfeed but still can not - it makes me that much more thankful. That much more willing to go longer, to never deny my daughter her nursing time. To never just give it up because I have to go to work or because I want to travel or because I am tired of feeling exhausted or because I want to feel like I own my body. It makes me absolutely sad to see someone so passionate about breastfeeding and wanting to breastfeed, but just can't.

And that is where I am going with the blog....

The simple fact that I am  thankful for being able to breastfeed my daughter by my own choice. Thankful to have a husband that 1200% supports me and my decision on this and understands that bond that I have built with our daughter. Thankful that my daughter latched on perfectly from the very first nursing session in the hospital. Just very thankful, very blessed, very happy that I can and do have this opportunity that so many mothers dream of.

I told you I was passionate about this.... :D
Sorry for such a long post, but it was time to get it out there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blogging Has Been Difficult

Lately, blogging has been difficult for me. Not because I'm busy, not because my husband's away, not because I have a baby that still eats every 2 hours (except at night), not because I am doubled up on school.... just because I it seems every time I think about blogging, I am worked up over something. It is totally out of character for me to be such a negative, "venting" person, so I rarely do it. When I do get upset, I am over it within 10 minutes of thinking about it.

Although lately it seems that things are getting on my very last nerve. Most likely because I feel abused, I feel like my husband is being used and abused. I try to keep that nonsense away from blogging and other aspects of my life. It stays at the home and never passes to my daughter or anywhere else where it could affect someone else. With that said, blogging has been hard to do because I always end up tracing my steps back to something I am/was worked up over. So I apologize.

I know most of you will say that it happens to the best of us, and it is completely normal to have those moments. And this is very true. No single person is perfect, and I am well aware of that. It's great to have the support and encouragement from complete strangers whenever things get tough. So for that, I am thankful. So, thank you!

Also, I know that there are family and personal friends that read this. And some aren't so supportive, sadly. I will just leave it at that.

This post is being written, obviously because I have not been blogging like my normal self. I am always trying to dig to find something to blog about, and doing that just makes it a chore. That's not how I want my blog to become.

This was also written because it came to my realization, which in turn made me realize something much bigger. Something much more important. Something to be much for thankful for!

So be sure to stay tuned to the next blog where I will explain my current thoughts that have come from this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Giveaway Winner!!

I used a random number generator to determine the winner of this giveaway. There was 21 entries!! Thank you all who participated and be on the lookout for the Boon giveaway starting tomorrow!

The lucky winner is...... #9!! 

Rishel said...

shared on facebook (Rishel Hill)

babydraco_18_2006 at yahoo dot com

Congratulations Rishel on winning a dozen cloth wipes! You will have 48 hours to contact me with your email address for me to pass on to Kayla at TurtlesRUs.

Thanks again for everyone who participated. I had fun doing this giveaway! Watch out for the next one!! 


Owl Hat

My adorable daughter in her Owl hat!!

She is 4.5 months and will have her 4 month doctor's appointment this week! She's getting so big!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Teething Baby

It looks like we have a teething baby! She started acting weird a few days ago. I took her to paint ceramics on Wednesday, and the lady there said something about her trying to get teeth in because of the way she was acting and drooling. It had never crossed my mind. But then of course, I started thinking about all the changes and there was many signs of teething.

She actually does a chewing motion now, even while I feed her at times. Thank goodness there is only gums in her mouth at the moment. I am trying to acknowledge when she does it, so she will learn not to do those motions when she does have teeth, but it's hard!

Her drooling has gotten insane. Not only drooling, but spitting up. She has started spitting up a little more. She was never a spit up baby before so I noticed this change immediately. I think it has to do with her putting her hands in her mouth. She does occasionally gag herself, but she finds it funny.

She also has been very warm. Never a high temperature or anything, but I can definitely tell her body is warmer than normal.

And at night, she has become needy. She was never a needy baby. Always just so independent and happy. Now, she always wants Mommy at night time, which I am completely ok with since I always miss her while she sleeps.

It has been a nice little adventure so far. It has not been bad by any means, but definitely different.

Yay for teething babies!

Don't forget to enter the cloth wipe giveaway! Ends 8/15!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Veterans United Connect

This looks so interesting. Veterans United Connect contacted me to see if I had heard about their app. I had not, so they asked if I would check it out and do a post about it. Well, I'm not good at right posts for other people, so I told them that they could write the post and I would gladly post it. I did; however, check it out. It seems really interesting. It seems like it would be extremely helpful for active members and spouses for PCS'ing and connecting with other military families. Also, as Veterans, they can find people they were stationed with or deployed with. It is easy to use once you play around with it and seems very helpful!

Here is its description:

Time and distance can make maintaining friendships – even important ones – difficult. No one knows this better than service members and military families.

The transient nature of military life means a lot of friendships and support systems interrupted. Social media sites have helped to an extent, but scouring Facebook for an old friend isn’t always an easy task, especially if the person has a generic name or a new one.

But a new, free Facebook application created explicitly to foster reconnection for service members and spouses hopes to change all of that.

The app is called Veterans United Connect. It’s integrated fully within the Facebook platform and generates friend suggestions and matches based on a shared history of military service.  

Users select the places and years they served, covering everything from boot camp to their final duty station and everything in between. They can also narrow by branch, rank, unit and other identifiers.

The app suggests matches of others who may have served during the same time and at the same place. Service members and spouses can also check out and communicate with people on individual pages for bases and installations across the globe.

“The goal is to foster even stronger ties and communication among a community that’s already given so much to our country,” said Rob Stretch, social media manager for Veterans United, the nation’s leading dedicated VA lender and sponsor of the application. “The bonds they forge can be life-long. We want to enhance their experiences during and post-service as much as possible.”

Veterans United Connect isn’t just for finding and reconnecting with old friends. The application also allows active duty service members and spouses to connect with and learn more about the communities they are about to move to.

In advance of a PCS, users can dig into a particular base’s page and ask questions and interact with personnel and families already living there. Spouses and service members can find out about school districts, local neighborhoods and base life from people already on the ground.

They can also start forging new friendships well in advance of their move, which can make the transition so much easier.

A pilot version of Veterans United Connect was launched in 2009 and attracted both a large user base and the attention of Stars & Stripes. App developers wanted more, so they spent time revamping the platform to generate even more friend suggestions and matches for users.

The improved and updated version of the app launched this week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I am doing it!

I have decided to take the plunge and continue to make things. I made majority of Baby A's hairbows and then as she outgrew her current bow holders, I decided to make her another one. While doing all this, I have had a few friends ask me to make them things. On top of all that, I wanted to make Baby A a tutu for some pictures coming up. Well, of course, that lead in some interest, too.

A few of my other friends suggested I sell them. That was an "I don't think so" until just recently. I was making them for fun and for myself and friends. Then I just go hooked. I could  not stop making stuff. I just kept purchasing supplies and creating new pieces. However, we do not have the room for me to have all of this stuff. Baby A definitely does not need 500 hair bows, 20 hair bow holders, 2000 tutus, etc etc... I'm sure you get the point.

I have started a Facebook page. It's called Southern Belles & Puppy Dog Tails. There are no pictures up yet, and I am still waiting for some stuff to come in. But I took the plunge anyway. Heck why not, right. All for fun, not necessarily profit.

The Facebook page is mostly to watch my progress because I have also decided to take sewing lessons. I have been crocheting for a while, but I would also like to learn how to knit. I will post my progress on my page. And of course pictures of all the exciting things I create!

Mr. Man is being supportive, too. I do not think he thought I was serious at first about learning to sew and such, but once I started, he became more supportive. He knows I'm doing it just to give me something to make and for fun. I think he secretly likes it! :)

Anyways, if you want to follow my progress, you are welcome to. At some point I will need to find some babies to make things for, and I'll do some giveaways too. Maybe auction off things as I lose storage space and need to get rid of stuff. You can find me here!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cloth Diapering: Detergent

As most of you that are interested in cloth diapering know, you have to use a special detergent for your cloth diapers. It must not have any dyes, fragrance, enzymes, or brighteners.

Here is a great site to read which detergents are safe for your cloth diapers and their rate of safeness. Diaper Jungle.

Really, any detergent that is free of all that I mentioned above is a usable detergent. Many swear by Rockin' Green and Charlie's Soap.

However, I absolutely love, love, love 

When I was purchasing my cloth diaper detergent, price played a major impact. When I went to Diaper Junction, which is where I buy majority of my cloth diapers and accessories, I saw that it was highly recommended for many reasons. 
1. It is made by a Work-at-home Dad who is able to be with his kids all day and mix detergents (and other great cloth diapering solutions) at night.
2. Made in the U.S.A.
3. Fabulous scents, with seasonal scents!
4. Obviously meets the guidelines for what is needed for cloth diapering detergent. 

Definitely do your own research, even check out Diaper Junction's detergent section. You will find sample packets, too! 

Finding the right detergent for you depends on what you want to get out of cloth diapering. For example, if you plan on using them for multiple kids, I suggest you find a detergent specifically formulated for cloth diapers. I have one bag of Eco Sprout that I am currently using. I believe the 96oz. I have been cloth diapering for 4 months, and have not even put a dent into it. It cost me $13.95.

Don't let the thought of having to buy accessories to go with these diapers think you will spend just as much as disposables because that's far from true. At least in my case.

I know this did not cover very much about the detergent because there is a wide range of what to look for. Once again, depending on what you personally want to get out of your cloth diapers. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. 

I have personally tried Rockin' Green, Charlie's Soap, and All Free & Clear. Currently using Eco Sprout. 

Don't forget to enter the cloth wipes giveaway!! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ducks and Geese

The other day we finally had a pretty day after several days of rain. (It's back raining today, too!) I decided to bring Baby A to a local park area for a little picnic and to feed the ducks. There is always some ducks and geese in the area, and they are not afraid to walk up to you. While we were sitting there eating, a goose walked up to us. Baby A gets super excited at birds and any animal that is her height and they can get close to her. I held Baby A up like she was standing in front of the goose, and she got so excited. She was kicking her legs, throwing her arms, and slinging her body towards the goose. It was so adorable..... until the goose started hissing at her!

I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but Baby A didn't care. She just wanted the bird! It was so sweet and so funny, but I thought that Baby A may get attacked if I didn't "shoe" the bird away.

In the picture above, do you notice Baby A propping her foot up on the handle? She does that every single time I put her in that stroller. I try to tuck it underneath the snuggle bundle blanket thing with the other foot, but she pulls it out and props it right back up there! I think it's so cute!!


Don't forget to enter the Cloth Wipes giveaway!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway: Cloth Wipes

It's Giveaway time!!

I recently purchased some wipes from a lady on Etsy. Her name is Kayla and she is from TurtlesRUs. She has so kindly allowed me to giveaway a dozen of her cloth wipes! 

These wipes are seriously so amazing. These are the wipes I was talking about when Mr. Man decided to try them out on his own and absolutely fell in love with using cloth for wipes. We have had nothing but a great experience with these, and I highly, highly, highly recommend them to everyone who uses cloth. They have multiple uses, so you are not only restricted to using them on your baby's bottom, which means this giveaway is not only for mothers. Anyone who washes their face with gentler cloth or even needs something for quick clean ups, these are for you! 

From Kayla herself:
Cloth Wipes - Perfectly sized for easy baby or toddler cleanups...... diaper changing time, bath time, wiping dirty hands or face time.....all the while reducing, reusing, and recycling! Folds neatly into your baby wipe case! Use with warm water or your own baby wipe solution. 

These wipes are also great to use as makeup remover cloths, face washing, hand towels, and family many uses!

If anyone needs ideas on how to use these wipes or wants recommendations or recipes for cloth wipe solutions, just let me know. I will be more than happy to do a separate post on that for you. 

To enter, you must be a subscriber of mine! That is mandatory. Just go right to the side of the page and scroll down until you see where it says "Join this site". You MUST be a reader in order to win any of my giveaways. Please comment separate comments for each entry. This is one entry.  

Another mandatory entry is to go to TurtlesRUs on Etsy and tell me which design you would choose for your dozen wipes. You can choose any colors or designs! Please comment separate comments for each entry. This is another entry. 

To earn more entries:
Go to TurtlesRUs Facebook page and become a fan. TurtlesRUs Facebook. Please let her know that I sent you, and thank her for hosting this giveaway. Please comment separate comments for each entry. This will give you an extra 2 entries.

Blog about this giveaway and earn another 3 extra entries. Please comment separate comments for each entry.

Post about this on another media site, such as Twitter and/or Facebook and earn 3 more entries. Please comment separate comments for each entry. 

In this giveaway, there are two mandatory entries. Please pay close attention as I will not be responsible for any mistakes you make regarding entries.

This giveaway will run for 2 weeks. It will end on August 15th at midnight GMT. Winner will be announced August 16th.   

I hope you enjoy this giveaway as it is something I am passionate about! Good luck.