Thursday, May 31, 2012


a schedule
a routine
a prediction

all things that help you know what's coming, what's next, what *should* have already happened. When I became a sahm about a year ago we were in the midst of a full blown 4 room addition (plus basement), I was 6 months pregnant with 2 under 3.  I was barely surviving let alone implementing a routine... which is what EVERYONE kept advising me to do.  Well I'll be honest and say I still haven't done that.... I'm trying, I really am but it just seems one more thing keeps creeping up on the horizon that prevents me from doing that.  This week is the massive garage sale I am participating in.

But one thing I have discovered that is helping me tremendously is a to-do list.  I bought a pretty notebook and keep it very handy - every morning while I'm waking up and enjoying my hot tea I think of 7-8 things that I want to get done that day - normally one cleaning item, one organization item, one personal (IE - balance check book), etc.  I am blown away with how much this is helping me stay focused throughout the the day.  And you know there are always those days that those things just don't get done so I've decided that Fridays are my 'catch-up' day.  I do not plan any to-dos for that day and anything that I missed throughout the week get accomplished then. It has been working out wonderfully.

Now for some of you this might be a no-brainier but for me who had worked outside of the home for 7+  years I had a very hard time finding my groove to be home and getting stuff done.  My house was much cleaner while I worked because my kids weren't there the majority of the day... my mom's house was where the mess was! :)

My advice if you're stilling trying to find your routine/schedule is to start small... very small and soon you'll build confidence and strength to make it larger and more inclusive.

Do any of you have any tips for maintaining a schedule/routine?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Which is the bigger Challenge? The Newborn? Or the almost 3 year old?

I saved my personal post for this week.

Being 39 weeks pregnant is quite emotional.  I feel really great, this pregnancy has been an absolutely breeze and look at that...I am so close to the end that I even feel comfortable speaking in the past tense!  The end is so close I can almost touch it!  And I am just itching to hold baby J.

The past few days however have just been incredibly emotional.  I am quite anxious to hold him that it almost brings me to tears to think about it.  My arms are just aching to hold him and snuggle and have those first moments!  My body is going through a lot right now too getting ready for delivery.  I am contracting like nobody's business!!  It is enough to make me incredibly uncomfortable, but not enough to warrant a hospital trip.  It almost seems like my body is playing tricks on me!  Last night was the first time that I honestly thought we might be in business.  I was contracting every 2-5 minutes and they were getting more and more painful.  It was approaching 11 PM, so I decided to go to bed and lay down (maybe sleep even) and I fully expected the contractions to wake me through the night.  Nope!  Again, my body thinks it is funny!  I got a good night of rest and the contractions never woke me!  The sleep was wonderful so I can't complain!

This pregnancy is just so different from Miss A's.  With her, my BP shot up at 32 weeks and I spent the rest of my pregnancy on bedrest and PRAYED to make it to my due date.  My due date was just fixed in my head and I wanted nothing more than to make it to that date.  I never had one contraction and I never dilated prior to my I never once thought she would come early and I never got to that "any day now" feeling. Plus I was seriously praying for her to stay in there!!!  But this pregnancy has been so different.  I really feel like he could come at ANY time!  It is annoying!!!  LOL

On top of my growing emotions and anxiety...we are having serious nap issues with Miss A.  It is incredibly frustrating.  I keep trying to tell myself that it is ok and that I shouldn't get upset, but hugely pregnant me is getting incredibly angry by the million treks up the stairs to put her back to bed until she FINALLY goes to sleep.  She is tired.  And she needs to sleep.  And the stubborn streak runs a mile long from both my husband and myself.  I have never met such a stubborn and willful child.  I love her so much, and I hate being upset with her.  I hate even more yelling at her.  Most times when I do completely blow my lid and yell at her, I end up bawling.  I just hate it.  I try to let her just play in her room and let her do what she wants...but then she will not sleep.  If I don't go up and put her back to bed, she will just play the entire time and then be a wreck through the evening.  So I find myself making the journey, dragging my pregnant body, up the stairs repeatedly to put her back to bed until she finally goes to sleep.  I wish could get this nap thing worked out before baby J arrives.  I am having serious anxiety about how I am going to balance the needs of the newborn with the almost 3 year old and her bag of tricks.


Seriously.  How do you moms of more than one do it?  Throughout my pregnancy I have gone back and forth with thinking how easy/hard it will be to balance them.  Of course, right before I am slated to deliver, I am wracked with panic and fear about it!!!  Miss A has just been giving us such a hard time with nap and attitude and bossiness that I am seriously concerned about how I am going to balance the two of them!  She is used to getting her way and having my undivided attention 100% of the time.  I don't know how she is going to react to baby brother!  And I am seriously anxious and nervous about how I am going to meet the needs of the newborn AND the toddler while keeping my sanity as well.

I am just an emotional mess.  Any advice or pep talks welcome!!!  And hopefully I will have big news soon!!!  Send happy baby and happy delivery thoughts my way PLEASE!!! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Importance of "Mommy Time"

    Being a Mommy of three children (soon to be four!) five and under, "Mommy Time" can seem to be non-existant.  Let me ask you this ... When was the last time you were in the bathroom without an audience?  Yup! I can't remember either! I eat, sleep, and breathe children and I am sure alot of you out there do to.  Which is awesome Mamas, please don't misquote me.  I can't imagine life without my babies and would do anything just to see their smiles but sometimes it can be overwhelming.  The key to happy babies is a happy Mama and in order to achive this we must have balance.

    Becoming a Mother was the greatest day of my life! I told my eldest, Jubbs, that she was born with magical powers because when she came she was the one who changed Robin into Mommy!
And from that day forth I was Mommy.  But somewhere over time Robin has disappeared.  It wasn't til recently that I noticed that I was just going through the motions, that I wasn't letting the "light" in.  I felt as if my life was on auto pilot.  I knew then that something must change.

    As many Mommies know, adult conversation is not something we get to have on a daily basis and we tend to seek it out where ever we can - Hey, who hasn't chatted it up with some random stranger in the store? I know I have.  In fact, I used to do it quite often.  Being a stay at home Mommy has this effect sometimes =)    Luckily, I am married to a great man. He has really stepped up with the children lately and given me time just to go visit with friends and have adult conversation.  This new found time has really done wonders for my in every aspect of my being. 

    I have found that Robin is not gone, nor should she be.  Just because I am Mommy doesn't mean that Robin should go away.  Mommy is just another description to add to the list along with Daughter, Sister, Wife and Friend.  I have found that IT IS OKAY to have a little time to yourself, a time where you can just relax.  Whether it's an hour to read a book, a lunch date with a friend, a late nite movie or a side-aching laugh fest with your bestie or even a bath by yourself ... We all need to pencil in just a little time for ourselves.  This is NOT being selfish, we still love our babies we just need to be able to take a breathe too.  Also, this rule of time applies for our men!  If they are gracious enough to give us our time we need to give them theirs as well.  And if we all are lucky, occasionally someone will take our children for the night and we can enjoy our husbands all alone =)

    I am no professional, nor do I claim to be.  All I know is my experiences in life and all I can do is share them with whom ever will listen and if it opens just one person's eyes then I have done good ... So Mommies (and Daddies) go forth and claim a piece of the ever ticking clock for you! ~Robin  =)

Monday, May 28, 2012


This day off has put me in a total tailspin!!  Here I am, sorry so late : )

Memorial Day has me thinking of all my family that Cub will NOT get to meet, hear stories from and make memories with.  I waited until I was 30 to have a child and I think while it was the best decision for our family, it's sad because my son has now missed the opportunity to know so many of the most important people in my life.  He won't get to bake with Nana, he won't get to run around the house being chased by Mumsey and he won't be put on a horse for the first time by his Great Grandpa.

I often cling to the memories I have of the past, big family occasions.  I can still smell the foods, hear my cousins and aunts and uncles...and I wish that my Cub could have that.  He won't, we have to build new family memories and traditions I know--but it hurts all the same.  I love our new reality but miss the old times my family had. 

Happy Memorial Day to those who serve, have served and who have been lost for our country.  I am a proud great-granddaugher, granddaughter, great niece, niece and sister in law of men who have fought for our country.  Just as we remember our own families, let's remember those who have fought for us and our country, and the sacrifices they and their families have made. 

<3 Jen

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interrupting Your Regularly Scheduled Program

Well maybe not program, but I am interrupting my baby wearing series to share with you all a more personal post.  :)  Keeping with this weeks theme on TMG! ;)

As I've shared before I have a son who is going to be 5 in July, and a daughter who will be 3 in July also.  What I didn't share with you is that I have two angel babies.  I lost a very early pregnancy a year ago in April.  I was to be due Christmas Eve.  I was so sad, but since it was so early I dealt with it fairly well.  We have a history of fertility issues, so I was amazed we started trying in Jan and were already pregnant in April.  It wasn't as easy to get pregnant again and we tried clomid again.  I had conceived my son with clomid, and my daughter was a miracle who happened after a terribly long cycle.  This time the clomid wasn't even regulating my periods at all.  I was disappointed that the clomid wasn't really helping me be able to TTC.

 Low and behold after another really long cycle I conceived and found out in mid November.  We were elated and felt like this was finally it.  Well at 6 weeks or so (it was never determined for certain how far along I was) I started to bleed.  I lost my sweet little baby again.  This baby was to be due in between my children's birthdays.  It had felt so perfect.  My kids birthdays are 3 days apart so it was no small feat to have a baby due in between them!  I was crushed, heartbroken, and it was just in time for the Christmas season.  How was I going to get through the holidays knowing I should be holding a newborn, but instead lost another baby.  I bought myself a sweet angel figurine holding a baby that I put up on my shelves that had my children's baby picture and baby shoe with their birth info.  I needed something I could look at and know that these babies would never be forgotten.  Since it was also Christmas season I bought an angel ornament.  It has so much meaning to me and I hung it up with my children's 1st Christmas ornaments.  It helped me to have something.

Time passed and I was doing well, I thought.   Then winter changed to spring and I hit a wall.  Here I was and time was just passing by so quickly, and I was still empty.  My arms and womb both longing for that third child we were to have.  I decided it was time to start working on a little memorial garden.  I went to the local greenhouse and picked out a red and white rosebush and planted them so when I look out my kitchen window I can see them. :)  I already had a boy and girl garden figurine that I placed in between the rose bushes.  It was amazing how much this healed my heart.

It's so hard when you have such early miscarriages.  We hadn't told many people we were pregnant, and so it was like it had never even happened.  It's not talked about.  You know I was lucky to have a wonderful best friend and mom who I could talk to about my feelings.  Just getting them out, validating them, made me heal so much.  I realize that I will always have these two babies in my heart.  The song I Will Carry You helped me too.  It's a beautiful song that really touched my heart. " I will carry you all my life, and I will praise the One who's chosen me to carry you." I needed this song and there it found me one day.  I hope that if you have had a loss also, that something I have shared here will help you.  Know you are not alone.  Here is a wonderful support network also that helped me.  Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope on FB

Well my story does not end there.  We still wanted that third baby.  We were determined that no matter what is to happen the next time, we were going to trust in God and hopefully add to our family. We tried the clomid but yet I had a 70 day cycle. I was getting so frustrated taking test after test to see what was happening and all negatives.  I took a HPT the day after Easter and saw that precious word.... PREGNANT.  I started to cry and thank God for giving me another chance.  I will be 10 weeks on Saturday.  I had a ton of anxiety and worry about this pregnancy, and I'm not sure when I will be able to relax.  I don't think until I'm holding a healthy baby.  Pregnancy is so stressful and worrisome as it is, it's so much harder adding on top of that the fears I have from my last two pregnancies.  Our due date is December 22nd.  Looks like my angel babies wanted to give their mama a most amazing Christmas gift this year. :)  I am having terrible "morning" sickness.  What a joke that name is!  I had it with both children, so to me it's a wonderful sign that this pregnancy is going to be okay.  I was able to feel our little bean this past week!  Such a little jumping bean! Can't wait til he/she is bigger and I can feel those powerful kicks!

So that is my story.  My journey to where I am today.  Hopefully I'll be able to share with you and update you on our pregnancy in the weeks to come, amongst my baby wearing series.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Must be something in the air

So far two out of the three posts this week here have been super personal.  I figured what the heck... how about one more.

I had all these intentions of what to write today (product review, more surveys, etc) BUT... my son has completely given up sleeping and has been nothing but a terror lately and well.  I'm tired. So very tired.

He used to be the BEST sleeper ever and best napper to boot.  But about 2 months ago we went through a huge growing spurt - physically and mentally (yes his head grew too!) and ever since then we've struggled with getting him to bed and keeping him asleep once we finally gets there...... sigh.

I just keep repeating to myself -

The days are long but the years are short.

Oh how I want to really enjoy these days :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guide to Buying Used Cloth Diapers

When I first started to cloth diaper, it was inconceivable to me that anyone would want to buy used cloth diapers!  I just could not imagine using a diaper that had been on someone else's kid's tush and always wondering if they had taken proper care of the diaper like I would.  And let's face it...the *stuff* our kids put in their diapers...YUCK!

Of course, curiosity and frugality led me to browsing the used forums!  And let me tell you...if you are hung up on buying used diapers like I should check it out!  It can be totally worth the extra effort to search for what you are wanting!!!

It all makes sense to me now.  What is the first rule of cloth diapering...don't buy an entire stash before you try it on your baby.  And what does this lead to?  Diapers that have been used once or twice, did not fit well or work for baby/caretaker, and are now being sold at a HUGE discount because they are technically "used."  This type of diaper is a main part of the used cloth diaper sales!  Who can pass up a next to brand new diaper for multiple dollars off?

Of course there are diapers being sold for other reasons and in other conditions, but most mamas are quite honest and upfront about the condition of their diapers and accessories!  If you have questions, ask!  If you want to see pics, have them sent to you!  Most of the swap sites are FANTASTIC and mamas are quite willing to work with you!

With baby J on the way and quickly realizing that I would soon have TWO in diapers...I had a little shopping therapy a few months ago and bulked up my stash of BumGenius pockets from the swap sites.  These still remain one of our favorite diapers and they hold up really well, so I wasn't too worried about buying used.  Other than a shipping incident with one of my purchases (my package went to Alaska for some odd reason, but USPS was on it quickly), I can tell you that I had no problems and all items arrived in the condition that I expected!  BumGenius diapers hold up to bleach, and bG even recommends using bleach once a month, so I stripped all of my diapers and bleached them (still a little squeamish about germs) and now I have a large stash of BumGenius pockets for Miss A and Baby J to share!  I would have spent about TWICE as much if not more had I bought all of these it warms my heart to know that I helped another mama out by buying her diapers, I bulked up my stash, and I maybe even helped the environment a little by recycling!! :)

Of course, I do want to warn.  There are scammers out there and dishonest people.  I pray this does not happen to you.  ALWAYS use Paypal for transactions...even that you have that record and that backup if something goes wrong!  Most pages have a feedback page where you can check out buyer/seller feedback before you purchase!

Otherwise, it does not hurt to check out the used swap sites and see if you can get the diapers that you want for a fraction of the price!!  Who doesn't love that???

Likewise, if you are looking to destash and sell some diapers, you can use these same sites to sell!!

eBay and Craigslist are excellent places to start.  In addition to those, most cloth diaper retailers (Kelly's Closet, Nicki's Diapers, etc) have gently used sections as well where you can find used diapers at a fraction of the cost and you know that these retailers have checked the dipes out thoroughly.  Some of my other favorite sites to use are:

Diaper Swappers
Cloth Cycle
Cloth Diaper Trader
B/S/T Fluff and Stuff on FB
Cloth Diaper Swap and Sell on FB
Cloth Diaper Addiction Swap on FB

There are also Brand Specific swap pages for Sbish, BumGenius, Flip, Grovia, Best Bottoms, and more!  If you are looking for a specific swap site and can't find it, just give me a holler and I will try to help you!  There are literally ZILLIONS!

Best Bottoms Swap on FB
B/S/T BumGenius on FB
BumGenius for S/T/B on FB
Flip B/S/T on FB
For the Love of Thirsties on FB
Blueberry B/S/T on FB
GroVia B/S/T on FB
Kanga Care Rump Swap on FB
Softbums B/S/T on FB
Sustainablebabyish/Sloomb B/S/T on FB

Along with swap sites, comes the swap lingo!  Be prepared to say "WHAT!?"

EUC - Excellent Used Condition
VGUC - Very Good/Very Gently Used Condition
GUC - Good Used Condition
PPD - Postage Paid
BN - Brand New
NIP - New in Package
FSOT - For Sale or Trade
ISO - In Search Of
NWT - New With Tags
NWOT - New Without Tags
LN - Like New
And a ton of other ones, but these are the main ones to know!

Happy FLUFFY shopping!!! :)

Share below if you would ever buy used diapers, what your favorite swap site is if you do buy used, any experiences good or bad, or if you have questions!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In The Blink Of An Eye!

    Sorry TMGers =( it has been a very interesting week and we will address that now so let's just dive right in ...

    Let's start at the top and work our way down, so starting us off will be Jubbs.  Jubbs is 5 and about to finish her very first year of school!  My first little princess is such a big girl.  Where has all this time went?  She has a big girl tooth growing in already due to a dental procedure she had when she 3, but still!  She is the most polite, generous, kind, thoughtful, caring, outgoing, snuggley, loving little miss I know (most of the time, lol) and that makes me feel so good as a Mommy.  That is not to say that we don't have any difficulties at times that make us just want to pull our hair out, because we most DEFINITELY do!  She tends to be an "entertainer" and by this I mean when there are guests at our house she tends to act up.  Sometimes it gets to the point that we have to take proper measures to discipline her, but discipline is based on the action. We have two big ones that we use often: loss of privledges and the naughty chair.  Both work wonderfully.

    Next is Capt. Caveman, he will be 3 and a he's bit complicated right now.  He is my little lover.  My snuggly, shy, sweet, flirty little mister.  But lately things haven't been right with him and it is hurting my heart and driving my brain to it's ends.  He has not been devouring food as he usually does.  He got a haircut almost 2 months ago and he got a little accidental nip when he jerked in the chair (so not the girls fault at all) but the spot that was nicked has yet to grow any hair but the rest of his hair has grown back normally!?  He has been feverish on and off and randomly vomitted throughout a couple of days.  I cloth diaper and he has yet to potty train.  He has had a myriad of rashes ranging from a "normal" diaper rash, blisters and now these hard blister looking bumps! And boy oh boy is he ever itchy! I have tried EVERYTHING: oils, balms, powders, creams ... All worked at first but then the rash would come back looking worse than the one before.  I have taken all things into consideration, especially the fact that he is cutting all 4 of his "2 Year Molars" at the same time.  Fevers, loose BMs, and rashes have all been a part of all my children's teething and I really hope that that's all that it is and all my worrying has been for nothing, but as a Mommy I HAVE to know for sure which is why he has an appointment tomorrow with his doctor (who is also our cousin).  So please, if you will, keep him in your hearts, thoughts and prayers <3

    Who could EVER forget The Velociraptor?!  She is another big worry on my brain.  Well, not her exactly but my ability to provide for her nutritional needs.  She is coming up on her 6 month birthday and she is a very hungry girl!  We started with the normal rice cereal and eventually she took to it.  We have added applesauce, bananas, squash and sweet potatoes.  That girl LOVES to eat!  She gets SO excited and I love seeing her try things for the very first time, her faces are priceless!  You should of seen her popcicle face and oh how she loved sucking on that Peep =)  I believe the biggest reason for my sadness with The Velociraptor is the fact that my milk supply does not meet her demand and before the introduction of the baby food it was rough ... On her and my boobies!  And now that my estrogen levels are rising, it is even worse!

    YES! You read correctly.  I said it... My estrogen levels are once again on the rise!  Pvt. K, which I am currently calling this 4th blessing due to the fact that all my children's names start with the letter K, is about 8 weeks along!  This was a VERY big suprise to us both.  So ladies please know that you CAN get pregnant while breastfeeding!!!  Since I have yet to menstate due to the fact that I am breastfeeding the due date of December 31st is just an estimation.  And being that The Velociraptor was born Dec 1st she will just be 1 when she becomes a big sister.  This is all new to me eventhough all 3 were "suprises" the blessings were given to me equally apart ... Jubbs is 2yrs and 4mos older than Cpt. Caveman and he is 2yrs and 4mos older than The Velociraptor.  Though I am a bit nervous, I know that I will never be given more than I can handle and will always be provided with the tools I need for every situation.  I just need to take a deep breath every once in a while.

    As I am writing this post and sharing with you all my real everyday life and all the worries it brings, I keep thinking to myself:  "Where has all this time gone?"  "When did my babies get so big?"  "How did they get so smart?"  I have to remind myself on a daily basis to just slow down, relax and just enjoy every moment with them, both good and bad.  I have learned to listen to my children because no matter how insignificant we think what they are saying is, to them everything is a big deal and in order for them to talk to us as they grow older about the big things we have to show them now that what they say matters.  Being responsible for these blessings we call children can sometimes be stressful and fill my heart with worry but it is all most definitely worth it!  I can't imagine my life without my children, nor would I ever want to!  So take my advice Mamas (and Dads) put the cell phones and ipads down and interact with your babies, enjoy every moment and breath them in because in the blink of an eye they are grown.

    I hope you enjoyed the little peak into my week and I thank you for letting me share my feelings and concerns with all of you.  Enjoy the rest of your week and I'll see you next Tuesday! ~ Robin =)


Monday, May 21, 2012

One and Done

SO, we have decided to have  one child.

I am constantly getting harassed about having more.  I love being a mama more than life but I am happy with my only.  Technically he is my first born but not my first...I lost a baby at 22 weeks due to a chromosomal disorder.  So, I have two.  I only got to keep one!

It hurts when people tell me I JUST have one, or I ONLY have one.  I don't.  I consider my first son to be just that--my son.  He is as much as my child as Cub is, I just didn't get to keep him.  I am, after three years, starting to come to terms with it and have a bit of peace.  I really try to think that all things happen for a reason.  If my angelboy had survived, he would have been hooked up to machines and died within a month or so.  I lost my angelboy in June.  I was due in October.  I got pregnant with Cub in November.  How can I say that Cub wasn't meant to be? 

I can't.  If my angelboy hadn't left me in June, I would not have my Cub.

In reality, I have two sons.  My first and my first born.  Cub wasn't a bandaid, he was a very planned and very wanted child (ovulation kits, tons of doctor's visits because of my hypothyroidism, etc.) and I am perfectly pleased with being a mama to just him on earth.  I am over thirty at this point (not too far over, but enough!) and given my history I am afraid of losing another.  I can't take it physically or emotionally.  Daddyguy and I both work very hard to provide for our family and we can't see adding another mouth. 

So, I have two sons.  One I got to keep and one I couldn't.  I love them both.  When Cub is old enough, I will tell him about his big brother, I will share our family's story and I hope he understands why we chose to not give him any little brothers and sisters.

<3 Jen

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mei Tai

Wearing A in my first Babyhawk that I used with C.  C had picked me some flowers that I placed in the straps! :)

There are many different brands of mei tai’s, even WAHM make them and sell them.  They are a carrier that’s an Asian Style Carrier.  These were used for centuries and I have to tell you this is the carrier I would grab if I could only grab ONE carrier from my burning home.  I personally feel these are the most versatile and if you don’t want to buy many carriers this is a great choice! This carrier consists of a square body shape with a set of waist straps and longer shoulder straps.   Some people complain about the long straps, but I’ve never had an issue dealing with them.  I was able to always keep them up off the ground.  Many times this is the carrier I’d throw on when taking my baby out of the car and into a store or anywhere. 

It’s not hard at all to figure out.  There is not as many steps to putting it on as like a wrap.  It’s very functional because many different sized people can wear it.  It’s just tied with longer or shorter tails, depending on your size.   There is no thought process on adjusting for different sizes.  It’s just how you’ll tie it on.  Some people like the ease of a buckle but for me tying was just as convenient and I found that the buckles on some carriers like Ergo's were a pain for me.

 It’s so comfy!  I have found that I like this even more than the SSC, it just fit to my body better.  It felt like it was built for me and the Ergo always felt like more of a contraption.   I love my Babyhawk and loved it so much that when trading my woven wrap I ended up with another Babyhawk mei tai.  I love this brand because of the beautiful fabric choices, customizing choices, and the padded straps.  They aren’t padded too much like I find the Ergo to be, but just enough so it’s not digging in.   This is my only complaint about a lot of the WAHM ones I’ve seen, the fact that they don’t have that padded area on the straps.  I find that once the baby is heavier that padding is nice for your shoulders.   I like the fact that I can froggy leg the newborns and wear them that way and then as they get older put their legs out the sides.  I have always found my kids loved being worn in the mei tai.  I've worn them as newborns on up to toddlers in my mei tai.  If you are looking to only purchase one carrier, I don't believe you can go wrong with a mei tai!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cash Back Program

So another little secret I have to saving/stockpiling money for a rainy day…. Cash back for online shopping!!!  

I’m normally going to buy this stuff anyhow. So I make sure to go through this cash back program and earn extra money. Right now they are having major bonus cash back because of their anniversary on lots of stores that don’t normally have very high rates.  PLUS… sign up and after making your first $25 purchase you will earn a $10 gift card (Barnes & Noble, Target, Home Depot, or $5 credit to Ebates.

When I receive my checks I cash them and put them in that ‘special’ little envelope that are for days where I’m out of energy and time from raising three little blessings and just really need a night to order pizza! Here are some of the amazing deals I spotted! But be sure to check before you shop online there are a TON of stores.  So sign up here and start shopping (But only if it’s in your budget!!!).  I recommend putting a post-it note on whatever credit card you normally use for online shopping so that you remember to go through Ebates!

  • (20.0%)  39.0% Cash Back
  • Avon (7.0%)  13.0% Cash Back  
  • Birthday Express (7.5%)  13.0% Cash Back 
  • (7.0%)    13.0% Cash Back
  • Cafe Press  (6.0% )   13.0% Cash Back
  • Celebrate Express  (7.5%)    13.0% Cash Back 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Little Bit of This and That...

pregnancy week by week

I had a hard time deciding which of my many thoughts I would post on today, so I decided to do and update on me and then my post on breastfeeding that I have been cultivating for weeks.

First of all, I am 37 weeks pregnant TODAY!  That is so exciting to me!  Obviously babies come when babies come, but that 37 week full term mark is just a HUGE sigh of relief!  On top of that, I have been contracting like MAD since about 4:30 PM yesterday.  They are nothing exciting, just a little painful and definitely annoying, but nothing worth running to the hospital about.  I guess as an L&D nurse, contractions don't excite me too much until they are REALLY painful!  I definitely think they will stop and I will be pregnant for a few more weeks, but it is hard to not get a little hopeful too! :)  I am very comfortable being pregnant, so I don't mind a few more weeks!!

It is absolutely crazy to me though that I am 37 weeks.  This pregnancy has just been easy as pie and has FLOWN by!  It is so hard to believe how soon baby J is going to be here!  Now we are just anxious and excited and WAITING to meet our little boy!!!

So that is the update on me!

The other topic that I wanted to discuss a little...Breastfeeding.  Now I know many of you stopped reading right there.  But I hope you will stay tuned in, because this post is SO not about what you are thinking.

I wanted to share a story with you...

A few weeks ago, we took Miss A to her Disney World...aka the Pittsburgh Zoo.  Miss A is an animal FANATIC to say the very least!  So when we told her that we were going to the zoo, the 2 hour car ride there was absolute TORTURE for her!

In addition to being just an amazing day and enjoying one of our last outings as a family of three, I was also touched and amazed by the amount of new life at the Zoo.  We got to see the baby elephant (now almost a year old), the baby Orangutan (a few months old), the baby Gorilla (few weeks old), and the baby Sea Otter (just 9 weeks old).  New life was just everywhere!

The first baby that we saw was the baby elephant...and I was struck (never knew this) that mama elephant had HUGE boobs!  I guess I just never thought about it!  But obviously elephants breastfeed their young and obviously mama elephant produces milk and gets engorged just like any other mammal!  Not sure if baby elephant was still nursing or not, I could not find a zookeeper to ask!  But while we were staring (in awe) at the elephants, one little boy pointed out mama's boobs to his mom asking what those were...I was so thrilled to here her respond back that those were how the mama elephant fed her baby!  Some parents would have shoo'd their kids away and not answered.  I saw one mother ushering her daughter away and covering her ears so that she would not hear this conversation.  She was absolutely outraged and I heard her saying to her husband that she could not believe that other mother would talk about breastfeeding in front of her child!

But why?  Even if you choose not to breastfeed your children, the fact remains that the majority of other species out there do in fact breastfeed their young!  This is educational for our children to understand and they are going to find this out at some point!  Or am I wrong?

Next we moved on (after a LOT of coaxing for Miss A) to the Monkey house!  When we arrived, there was a large crowd around the Orangutan windows.  Mama was breastfeeding her little baby!  And there were tons of people crowded around watching her feed her little man!  I again saw the mother that covered her daughter's ears and she was again OUTRAGED and was ushering her *bawling* daughter away from the Orangutans.  I felt really bad for the little girl, she was probably 5 or 6.  She just wanted to see the monkeys and her mom was dragging her out of there because mama monkey was breastfeeding.  Miss A and I stood and watched mama Orangutan for a long time.  It was absolutely beautiful to watch her snuggle her little one and breastfeed just like humans do.  What was hilarious was mama got a little bored, I have no idea how long baby had been nursing, but apparently mama was tired of it and tried to climb down.  Well, baby orangutan was NOT having it and he just stayed latched and climbed down beside her!  It was hilarious!  My husband and I got a real kick out of that one!  Eventually he decided he had enough, and let his mama go...and then he decided to show off to the crowd by doing tricks on the ropes...such a ham!

Miss A was getting bored, I was quite amused, but we moved on anyway and the in next windows down were the Gorillas!  And what was mama Gorilla doing?  BREASTFEEDING her little tiny baby!!!  At this point I could have cried.  It was all just so beautiful!  She was sitting on the floor, almost indian style, cradling her little baby while he/she ate.  She sat there and stroked the baby's head and tickled its little feet just like I did to Miss A when she was nursing!  Miss A and I actually sat down on the floor of the monkey house, right next to the window, and sat with her.  So I was sitting shoulder to shoulder (with plate glass between) with mama Gorilla while she breastfed her baby!  I could have sat there ALL day!  It was amazing!  When baby was done eating, he/she started to crawl away.  Mama tried to help stand baby up, and fell over, tried again, and fell over.  Finally baby decided to just stay down and crawl.  You could tell that mama was amused, so she rolled the baby Gorilla over and tickled him/her.  It was just adorable and so amazing to watch just how similar our human behavior is to the behavior of the Gorilla.

At the end of the zoo is the PPG Aquarium where we met our last baby.  This one has a sad story, but it is getting better!  This was the baby Sea Otter.  He had only been at the zoo for one week when we got to see him and he was only 9 weeks old.  His entire family died in Alaska leaving him orphaned and alone and the Pgh Zoo adopted him and brought him to PA where they are nursing him back to health!  Obviously, he was not ready to be away from his mama quite yet, so they are having to bottle feed him.  He didn't take to it right away, but he is doing well now and putting on weight!  He was also a little ham rolling over and doing cute things for us!  It almost made me cry to think of all this poor little guy has gone through, and thankfully there are zoos that can adopt these animals and give them a chance at life.

At the end of the day, as a mother and a soon-to-be mother again, it was just an amazing experience to see all of that new life and how we are all so much alike.  I never thought that I would WANT to be compared to a monkey or an elephant, but observing the beauty of them rearing their babies, I am happy to be likened to them!

My question for you is this.  I completely agree with parents having the right to educate their children how they see fit.  And breastfeeding is one of those topics that I feel should be left to the parent especially of younger children.  But when it comes to animals, should we shield our kids from this very normal act?  Animals would not survive without their mamas and their milk.  The baby sea otter is lucky that he was found and can get a bottle.  In the wild, he would have perished quickly.  We are very fortunate as humans that formula is an option so that our babies do not perish if mama cannot breastfeed.  Animals are generally not so lucky and perish if something happens to their mama, so breastfeeding is just a normal fact of life in the animal kingdom.  Do the stigmas, stereotypes, and disgust for nursing in public extend to the animal kingdom?  Really?  Because asking a monkey or an elephant to cover up is just one CRAZY idea!

What do you think?  I felt bad for the little girl that was not allowed to see the Elephants, Orangutans, or Gorillas because of Breastfeeding.  I really hope her mom took her back later to see them!

Who knew that a trip to the zoo was going to be such an experience!  I have been there a ton of times before, but this trip was just amazing!  And it has made me even more excited to breastfeed baby J and enjoy those snuggles!!!

34 weeks at the Zoo!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired!

    It all started Thursday, I had some dental work done and was in a bit of pain (I can push my babies out but I can NOT stand any amount of tooth pain)!  I really just wanted to spend the rest of the day sleeping, which obviously I can't do being that I have three children - two of which are in cloth diapers and one that is breastfeeding. So I managed and slept when I could.  Luckily, hubs was there to help me out =)  I went to sleep Thursday night not feeling the greatest, but not the worst either ... Little did I know that this was the start of now a SIX day event =(

  I have no appetite, but KNOW I have to put food inside me.  I am not tired, but KNOW I have to get some sleep.  I have absolutely no energy, the only thing I feel like doing is wrapping myself with a blanket, rolling in a ball and laying on the couch.  But being Mommy and the center of the universe to my babies, I can't let myself do that as much as I would like ... the selfishness is gone out of me.

    I have tried everything from hot baths to sleepy time tea and nothing seems to be helping.  I feel as if there is no ending in sight, eventhough I know there will be.  My biggest worries are ... How is this affecting my milk production?  Is the Velociraptor getting enough to eat?  Do I need to give her supplimental bottles (eeek!)? My mind is just a cluster of self-doubting questions which isn't really helping me right now. She is 5 months old now and starting to require more than just me for nourishment, though she has not started on anything yet. 

    I know I am not the only Momma that has gone through this and I would love to "hear" about your experiences so PLEASE leave your stories below in the comments.  I am sorry that this is such a short post and that all I did was complain about being sick ... I promise that next week's post will be much more interesting PLUS I will be announcing my SweetPeas winner =)  Thank you all for understanding and I hope you all have a GREAT week! ~ Robin =)


Monday, May 14, 2012

Quick and Dirty Lasagna Cups!

I have a cupcake fetish...I am obsessed!!  I have shared this with my son, when he sees a cupcake he points and says "Mama!!  CUP!!"  So when I googled "cupcake tin meals" I was THRILLED to find recipes!  I tried my hand at one from Can You Stay for Dinner? ( which had loads of cuteness...

I am all about "quick and dirty" when it comes to dinner because after a day with my 23 at work, coming home I am exhausted and want to have fun with my Cub.  I don't want to break the bank (um, I make LESS than teachers in districts being at a charter!)  So I modified this delish recipe for my wallet, time and patience!!

I preheated my oven to 375 then took my cupcake tin, sprayed with olive oil non stick spray stuff and put wonton wrappers in each one, making a cute little "holder" for my cheesy goodness.  I sauteed and crumbled about a pound of chicken-basil sausage (I LOVE Sprouts, if you have one, can't beat them) but I have also used ground chicken breast or even ground turkey as the original calls for.  I poured about half a jar of sauce into the meat and let it simmer (I just used what I normally buy, I don't have time to make my own, although you totally can.)  In a bowl, I mixed a container of low fat ricotta and 3/4 a bag of shredded mozzarella and threw in a few shakes of garlic salt.  Now the fun begins!  I just layered cheese mixture, meat, cheese mixture, meat and slapped some of the mozzarella I kept on each little tin then sealed those suckers up with another wonton wrapper.  Toss in the oven for about 10 minutes and there you have it!  Lasagna cups!!  Cub loves them, my husband loves them and we have 12--enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow for us all.  You could make and freeze, they're adorable for a party and it's handy if you are looking for portion control. 

I made these in the time it took Lightening to go from his three way tie race to Radiator Springs and finish the new road--plus a Display of Greatness from Cub AND a snack demand-snack then was stolen by his bulldog sister-and another demand for more.  Pretty successful!

If you make them, let me know how they turn out : )  What I love most is that you can really adjust these and make them to suit your taste, time and budget!!! 

<3 Jen

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To all of you Mothers, Future Mothers, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, Step Mothers, Foster Mothers, Guardians, and anyone else who cares for a child...Happy Mother's Day!  We need to remember and spoil our mamas every day, but it is nice to have one day devoted to making Mom feel special and letting her know just how much she means to us!  Enjoy your special day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sling Pouch

 Notice his sweet little foot pushing against the fabric. <3

The pouch sling is very versatile and is so small it can fit into your diaper bag without any issues.  It’s got nothing to adjust which can make wearing it pretty simple.  I found it to be a great diaper bag carrier that was there just in case.  Since it is so simple it can be folded up and fit into your bag and not be taking up much space. There are many positions that a baby can be worn in a pouch sling, making it versatile!  There are thousands of beautiful fabrics to choose from also!  We all know that’s a plus.  Really it’s a wonderful gateway carrier.  I say that because it was the carrier that took me over the edge.  I got hooked!  It was such a wonderful tool for mothering.  I never looked back, I was officially a baby wearing mama!

There are some more things to take into consideration when choosing a pouch sling.  These are easy because there is no adjustments, but that also means that they are sized.  This means you must take into consideration a lot when choosing your size of sling.  There will be a sizing chart for each brand and make sure to read it and follow their suggestions.  Being bigger busted will mean a different size possibly.  So take all into consideration when doing your sizing.  Also realize that your husband, or anyone else who may want to wear baby,  might not be the same size as you therefore not be able to use this carrier.  This isn’t really a bad thing, just something to take into consideration when choosing what carrier is right for your needs. 

This is one of the easier carriers to buy at brick and mortar stores like BRU, etc.  Of course on the other hand these are carriers that can be bought online and there are tons of choices.  I have also sewn my own.  Here is a pattern from Kharma Baby that works great!

The pouch sling will let you carry your baby in a cradle position, a kangaroo carry, and hip carry.  Hip carries are really nice for when your baby is bigger.  There may be even more carries but these are the ones I used the most.  There are wonderful tutorials online and great video tutorials on you tube.  I never had any issue learning how to use any of my carriers thanks to this wonderful tool!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Little Tip..

Today's post is just a simple tip on saving money that honestly could not be any easier for many of you.

Cloth napkins and dishcloths!!!!

STOP buying paper napkins and paper towels. I'm not kidding here.... by far one of the easiest way to save money in your kitchen is to use cloth.  I do a load of laundry at least every other day (sometimes every day!)... at the end of the day you just toss all the dirtied cloths or napkins into whatever load you are doing.  They are small so they don't take up much extra space or detergent.

Take a trip to your local Goodwill, Gabriel Brothers, Target, etc... pick up some cheap dish cloths, put a basket in a handy spot and use them for everything you would a paper towel. Plus some of them you can use more than once... wipe up a split glass of water... ring it out and use it again.  We do have a hook on the wall by the sink where we hang the ones we use for our kids face and hands to avoid spreading germs or bacteria.

And while you're shopping pick up some cloth napkins. Fancy ones if you want your family to feel special :) Once again - they last longer, you're only using one per person at dinner (not 20 paper napkins if you're having BBQ ribs), and at the end of dinner just throw them in with your next load of laundry. Super easy and super cheap!

It's sorta like cloth diapering... you'll have that initial investment but once you get that post cost there is no additional cost until you need to replace.

Here's just a couple deals I found on Amazon:

Hemstitch Dinner Napkins White 1 Dozen- $23
Lilypad LunchMates Set of 5 Reusable Cloth Napkins - $11.95
Excello Waffle Weave Dish Cloth, Natural and Black Plaid, Set of 12  - $7.99
World's Best Dish Cloths - Set of 12 - Assorted Colors - $8.95

And if you're talented you could probably make these yourself even cheaper :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How Life Gets Away From Me!

I am that person who can't see the forest but for the trees.  I've been in the thick of a few work issues and I totally forgot to contribute today!!!  This is how life has been getting away from me since August of 2010.

What happened in August 2010 you ask?  Well, my child was born!!!  Since I became a mama, my world has been upside down and inside out.  I am seriously Alice who fell down that rabbit hole!!  (I also have Alice in Wonderland on the brain because I foolishly got involved planning a school tea...guess our theme?!)

I have let so many relationships, opportunities, things slip and fall by the wayside the moment I saw my son.  I wish I cared but I don't.  Every second I have with him is precious and I will never be able to get those moments back.

I struggle with this daily.  As I leave for work, as I reply to emails while D is in the bath....I am pulled so many different directions.  I want to sew and craft and teach and sleep lol!!  But D is most important.

Next week I'll be sharing some sewing projects...I'll be doing those after midnight lol!!!

<3 Jen

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sweet Pea Pocket Diaper Review and Giveaway!

    Happy Tuesday TMGers, here I am again to share with you one of my favorite diaper companies ... Sweet Pea Diapers!  I first fell in love when I started using their OS covers. I bought 2 and now own almost every color! They are very well made, I have never had any leaks or blow-outs. They have cross-over snaps, double leg gussets, come in a variety of colors and are super affordable. Other than the 2 "designer" covers that I bought just for the print (because that's all they are really good for), Sweet Pea Diaper Covers are the ONLY covers I use! And I have recently been lucky enough to try one of her OS Pocket Diapers, which is what I am going to review for you today.

     I recieved an Indigo OS Pocket Diaper for review and I must say that I am in love with this diaper as well! I have tried many pockets and they are all pretty much the same ~ you get a microfiber insert and you stuff it in the back. Here is where Sweet Pea mixes it up... I recieved 2 microfiber inserts, a small and a large. The large is quite unique, it has snaps so that you can adjust the size on it which is awesome for a OS diaper and then the small can be used as a doubler. As for the pocket diaper itself, it is open on both sides making for easy stuffing and easy washing ~ no need to unstuff it before you wash, just throw it in and the insert(s) with come out on their own!

    I first tried this diaper on Captain Caveman. As you can see from the pictures it fit quite well. There were no gaps at the legs or waist and it was quite trim eventhough I was using both of the inserts.

    He wore this for a couple hours without any leaking issues or red marks on his skin. So it worked very well for day time use.  I also tried this diaper at night for my super heavy wetter but in addition to the 2 inserts I also added a hemp doubler and he awoke dry.

    Next I used it on the Velociraptor and it fit just a nice on her as it did on her brother. There were no gaps at the legs or waist nor were there any leaks, blow outs or red marks from the elastic.

    She wore this for a few hours with both inserts and was dry when changed. She also wore this  overnight where she slept for about 7 hours and there were no issues at all. 

    This diaper is amazing! It withstood all the "tests" that I put it through and passed with flying colors! The overlapping snaps and snapdown rise make this diaper very versitile and very easy to use no matter your little one's shape or size. It comes in several different colors as well which makes coordinating you little one's outfit with a cover a breeze. I would definitely reccomend this diaper to anyone using cloth!

    I love learning a little about the companies I review and I love sharing their stories with you so here's a little bit from Nancy at Sweet Pea Diapers ...

   " Sweet Pea was started in Canada to give families the choice of a budget-friendly product line without compromising quality. We have 90 retailers worldwide including a distributor in the USA and in Australia. We will be revealing 2 new colors and 1 print this week! Our products come in 12 colors, range from o/s covers to prefolds and from wipes to wet bags! There is a wonderful variety. " ~ Nancy
   Awesome Nancy, thank you! I must say that you ladies (and gentlemen) are really lucky because Nancy has offered up one of her awesome OS pocket diapers or OS diaper covers (your choice) in the OWL print! I own the OWL cover and I must say that it is a super cute and a gender neutral print (and probably my favorite print, so far! Wait til you see her newest print... It too is a must have!)
   You can check out Sweet Pea Diapers on their website at:

    Thank you for inviting me into your homes again this week so that I may share this awesome diaper with you and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 7, 2012

Birthday Chronicle Review and Giveaway

Are you looking for a neat Birthday gift for someone?  Or would you like a keepsake for your children?  Because I Tried It has a neat feature known as the Birthday Chronicle!  The Birthday Chronicle is exactly what it sounds like!  It is a look-alike to a newspaper front page that has all the details from whatever birthday you chose from January 1, 1900 to December 31, 2011.  This is a really neat idea to have as a keepsake for someone.  I am thinking about ordering another for my Grandmother's 93rd Birthday this weekend...she would get a huge kick out of it!!!  I wasn't thinking about that when I submitted the info for the review though and I entered Miss A's birthday! :)

Included in the Chronicle are words from the then president, headlines from your birthday, and your Chinese Birthday Information!

All in all, I think this is such a neat idea!  I love seeing what was going on around the time I had Miss A.  Like most new moms, everything else in the world was a blur.  I remember two headlines from when I had her...Michael Jackson died and there was a huge Train Crash in Washington DC.  Michael Jackson made the Birthday Chronicle, the crash did not, and anything else didn't save in my memory bank so it is good to have a back-up!!!

The prices are unbeatable!  For just $2 (yes TWO) you can get the PDF file of your very own Birthday Chronicle sent to your email!  If you would like a hard copy on Stationary, the price is just $6.  And if you would like the hard copy on Stationary framed, it is only $20.  Excellent prices for such a sentimental and personalized gift AND all of the proceeds are donated to children in need!  How great is that!?

Other personalized items that they sell are Anniversary Almanac, Easter Bunny Letter, N is for Name, Santa Claus Letter, The origin or meaning of your first name, This day in History, and many many more!  All would make very nice gifts or keepsakes!

Honestly, I really love this idea!  I do kind of wish that the Birthday Chronicle included more information...such as product prices for the time you were born such as Loaf of Bread, Gallon of Milk, Gallon of Gas, etc and maybe some more information for the day of Birth.  But it is still a really neat (and personalized) keepsake!

Total Stars: ★★★★★

Because the actual Birthday Chronicle is sent in PDF format, I was unable to figure out how to make Miss A's into a jpg or other photo file that I could upload onto the blog.  Sorry!  But here is the sample from the Because I Tried It website!  Note whose Birthday it is! :)

Because I Tried It also has promotions and Freebies on their website regularly, so check back often!!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Babywearing Series

Since I love baby wearing so much I offered to write for The Mommy Goods about it!  I am going to be writing a series on the different carrier styles.  I will write about my experiences with  pouch slings, mei tai (asian style carriers), wraps (stretchy and woven), Soft Structured Carriers *SSC* (Ergo, Boba, Beco),  ring slings and rebozos.  These will be the ones I’ll be discussing with you in the following weeks.  I’m excited to share my love and knowledge of baby wearing with you all!

As a first time mama I found that my little man was quite the fuss budget.  He loved to be outside and also needed to be moved around.  No sitting still, he knew the second you’d sit and start to fuss again.  I am sure you have known some babies to be that way, and maybe you yourself are lucky enough to call one your own!  I had no idea there was even the term baby wearing.  All I knew is I got a snugli carrier at a garage sale for 3 dollars and thought I had found a steal.  Ha!  Little did I know I wasn’t just going to dip my toe in, but dive head first into the world of baby wearing.  Thanks to a lovely invention called  the internet, I was able to learn all I needed to get myself from the snugli to where I am today. 

First off I found out that my son LOVED to be worn.  He instantly calmed his unhappy self and became really mellow.  He liked being close to mama, and mama liked that she was hands free and could get some much needed chores done.  We could take a walk and he’d fall asleep, no fighting it!  He was a sleep fighter through and through, yet when he was worn he would fall into a slumber with ease.  It was like magic!  Well as I became more and more informed I realized that the snugli wasn’t as great as I had thought.  Also after he was 13-14 lbs it hurt my back terribly!  The straps dug into my back and sides.  I found out that the way a snugli, or bjorn are made is not the best way for a growing baby to be held.  They are just literally hanging by their crotches, thus putting all the pressure on their developing spines.  So I did some research on different carriers.  Wow there is a ton of choices out there!  Many seemed complicated (they aren’t ;) ) and I was afraid of wasting my money on something I couldn’t figure out how to use.  There are tons of choices of brands now!  There is absolutely no shortage of choices.  You can find nice carriers at many brick and motar stores.  There are many wonderful online stores, and even work at home mamas on Etsy, all offering so much to choose from!  You can even find tutorials on line and sew your own.  The word baby wearing has become more main stream and thus the carriers are more readily available.  I have grown quite the stash of carriers.  I now have a decent stash of carriers and own a lot of styles.  I have found what carrier works well with what age, and also the pros and cons of each carrier style.  I wore my son and daughter up until toddler hood.  Really only stopped because they would rather walk and run than be worn.  My life as a mother wouldn’t have been complete without a carrier nearby! 

~Laura B

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Extending your budget via the Internet!

So last week I talked to you about budgeting and knowing where your money is going.  Today I want to chat about how to legally make some extra cash on the Internet.  There are many scams out there and you must be very cautious…. BUT the sites I’m about to list below are ones that I belong too, I have used for many months, and I have actually received checks (or deposits) from them so I know they are legitimate and trust worthy.   This is actually how I paid for the majority of our Christmas presents last year.  Early October I started requesting my checks and accumulated a nice chunk of change and was able to come out of Christmas with no credit card debt hanging over our heads!
I know some people are very wary of these types of programs but the only one I have come across that is a huge scam is Panda Research – DO NOT join this one.  I also did not open a new email for these sites – I know some people do but I probably at most 1 or 2 surveys a day from each company – I just file them all in one folder and then when I have some down/free time I know exactly where to go to complete the surveys.
Our family does not have satellite or cable and sometimes during those late night feedings or crying sessions you need something else to focus on to keep you awake…. So I discovered online surveys – it was the best – I was keeping myself awake and making money! 
Below are my favorite 4 survey sites.... I hope you have some success too!
Mypoints - earn points to redeem for gift cards by reading emails and completing surveys
MySurvey - I make the most from this one!
Mommytalk - Earn $5 just for signing up! I quickly earned $20 with this program
Pinecone Research - This one pays a flat rate of $3 a survey and usually ends up in free product testing! (looking for Households of Hispanic Heritage)
**I receive a very very very small commission when you sign up through my links – 
consider it a virtual tip!**

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Taslie Skin Care's Natural Cheeky Bum Wash Review

As parents, we are always looking for ways to make things easier and take less steps!  For a long while, I have been wanting to try different "potions" and wipes solutions in spray bottles.  Sad to say that I honestly have never tried the spray bottle...I always prepare my wipes in a case already covered in the wipes solution and ready to go.  But I have always thought that for travel and in the diaper bag, those spray bottles would be lovely!  I can now say, my thoughts were correct!!!

I was sent the Taslie Skin Care Natural Cheeky Bum Wash for review.  This is a brand that I had never heard of, but after a quick look through their product line and mission, I was thrilled to try their products!  Taslie Skin Care was created by a mom (who else?) who wanted chemical free products to use for her child's skin care.  She even took it one step further and decided to put her products in sustainable (recyclable, biodegradable, etc) packaging (it's even cute!!)!!  This mom thought of it all!!!

I know, we are all more comfortable with our "name brand" cloth diaper accessories!  BUT, this wash is made from all natural plant based ingredients that will gently cleanse even the most sensitive skin while also being completely cloth diaper safe!  Here is the complete list of just SOUNDS soothing!!

Water (Aqua), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Centilla Asiatica (Gotu Kola), Hamamelis Virginia (Witch Hazel) Extract, Organic Herbal Blend Marigold and Chamomile Flowers Extract, Decyl Glucoside & Coco Glucoside (Natural Vegetable Surfactant from Corn, Wheat, Coconut Oil), Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange Peel Oil), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit Peel Oil), Hydroxymethylglycinate (Plant Derived Preservative)

Cost:  ★★★☆☆  One bottle of this solution, 200 ml (6.7 fl oz) retails for $13.99.  Many spray bottle solutions retail for $8-12, so this is not far above the average, plus you are getting all natural ingredients!  This is a Canadian Company, so I am not sure of shipping costs.

Ease of Use:  ★★★★★  It absolutely cannot get easier than this!  The solution is already made and in the *adorable* bottle ready for use!  Just pop the cap off, squirt squirt, wipe, and done!  You can squirt directly on baby or onto the wipe; I know Miss A does not like getting squirted on the bum! ;)  This is PERFECT for diaper bags and diaper changes on the run!

Smell:  ★★★★☆  Taslie calls the scent "fresh, fruity scent of grapefruit and mandarin essential oil."  I don't neccessarily smell the grapefruit and mandarin, but it is a nice clean fresh essential oil smell.  It is not a strong odor, so those of you with allergies or sensitive noses should be just fine!

On Baby:  ★★★★★  This solution worked very well for us!  Not only do I love the spray bottle, but the solution is fantastic too!  Miss A has notoriously the most sensitive skin EVER and we had no problems or rashes while using this product!  With all of those lovely ingredients, it is actually soothing for bottoms!  A+ in my book!

Overall:  ★★★★★  I love this product and would highly recommend it!  The solution is absolutely wonderful for baby's bum!  It smells great and the oils have soothing and healing properties for a sore tush.  It is all natural and cloth diaper safe!  And even better, it comes in an adorable spray bottle that is the perfect size for the diaper bag!!!  Love it!

Total Stars:  22/25

Please check out Taslie Skin Care's Cheeky Bum Wash and other products HERE!

In addition to the Bum Wash, they also make all natural Goat's Milk Baby Soap, Ollie's Happy Hands Sudz, Head to Toe Body Wash, and Moisturizing Lotion.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.