June 30, 2007

Baby Names- Am I Crazy?

I love any and all discussion regarding baby names. Beck at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends always has something comical to say regarding the subject like here and here, and recently I came across this article in the news about a New Zealand couple not being allowed to name their child "4real"- for real- I am not making this up.

Elizabeth posted not too long ago about there being a Braxton Hicks in her daughter's class. This cracks me up. And as much as I hate celebrity gossip, I still love to hear what the stars name their babies. The weirder the better, don't you think?

I looooove to know what pregnant mommies are naming their babies, but we kept Grayson's name a secret until he was born. Too many opinions. So we decided to just keep it a secret. We had our families pretty worried, I am sure, because after some of the first names we had told them... I had my heart set on Tazo (it means third son!) and I still love that name. Hubby said no way. We could call him Tay! Or Taze! Yeah, hubby said no way.

But, we named him Grayson and he's such a Gray. Not a Tazo. It totally worked out.

And for a girl, oh how I have my heart set on naming a girl after my mom and my hubby's mom. My mom's name is Rhonda and hubby's mom is Barbara. Rhubarb! Isn't that just brilliant? At least perfect for a middle name! We could call her Roo or Rue... I seriously still like this name. I think my family thinks I am joking. I am not joking.

I've heard some crazy names, but the name always ends up fitting the child perfectly and then I totally love it. Have you ever met a baby that didn't fit their name?

And be honest- Rhubarb... am I crazy? Even for a middle name?

June 29, 2007

Yup, It's Officially Summer

In full force, charging like a lion, Carter ran right into the screen door today while visiting at Lori's. I literally almost peed my pants because I was laughing so hard. He only cried a little. No worries- the screen is just fine.*

*If you know me well, you know that I would never wish my kids any harm, but this was just.too.funny. You had to be there. I am still laughing about it.

Babywearing Tip of the Week: Which Carrier Is Right For Me?

I am asked quite often- Which carrier should I buy? Which one is best for summer? Long trips? Quick trips? Newborns? Toddlers? Nursing?

I know it can be quite overwhelming to babywearers- amateurs and novices! I have given some recommendations in my big babywearing post here, but recently I've found the Sling Comparison Chart at Mom 4 Life to be another great resource. It even includes price ranges, which is very helpful, too!

If you want to know my own personal opinion, I prefer a ring sling for quick trips. For longer trips, I like my mei tai or wrap. For newborns I like the ring slings and wraps.

I find that at Gray's age, it is easiest for me to nurse him in the mei tai or wrap (as shown here.) For newborns I think ring slings, pouches, and wraps are very easy to discreetly nurse in.

For wearing on your back, I like mei tais and wraps.
I like mesh water slings for the shower with a newborn and for the pool with baby or toddler. And don't forget about Solarveil slings if you are out in the summer (and these are also great for in the pool!) I also like my mei tai for hotter weather as well. And I like having a fancy sling or two for dressier occasions, or just feeling pretty!

I am nursing Gray here in a Moby D Baby Carrier by Moby Wrap in red silk with black cotton, available at Mom 4 Life. It's delicious!! I love these pics- I think this second photo looks like I'm being chased by the papparazzi! (I am nursing Gray in both photos, by the way.)

I am fortunate to be able to try out many different types of carriers, and if you have this option, go for it! Some boutiques sell them or you can find other moms wearing them or selling slings at La Leche League meetings and other Mommy gatherings. Try them out if you can! Seriously, I'll be at the park and we're all trying on each other's slings! Otherwise, check out the Sling Comparison Chart and also you can just ask away here! Most places, including Mom 4 Life have a great return policy as well.

I must also thank Heather at Mom 4 Life for honoring me with the Mom 4 Life 4titude Award! She read about Noah's Story and I am very honored to receive this award!

Today at 9:30 am (MT) Heather will be on Babies And Moms Radio talking about babywearing as a guest on their show! If you missed it, you can check out the podcast later today.

If you have a Babywearing Tip of The Week or babywearing story you'd like to submit, email me or leave a comment here!

June 28, 2007

He Who Smelt It

Gray's latest saying is "Ah, toot!" if he or
anyone else lets out a toot.

So you better watch out if you're around.

He'll totally out you.

June 27, 2007

Throwback Thursday: True Love

So you want to hear our engagement story... we met at church in the fall of 1998 and started
dating soon after. Our first date was Friday October 9. We went to dinner at a little restaurant in town (nothing fancy) and then to see the movie Simon Birch. I cried. (At the movie.) Here's a pic of us just after we started dating. You think we're in love?

Within the first couple months we just
knew. After dating about 3 months, there was a huge snowstorm and Jeff was stranded at my house for a couple days. (I lived with my parents at the time.) We really started talking about everything then. Soon I had a ring on my finger and was planning a wedding!

We were married Saturday October 9, 1999. Exactly one year from our first date. Aww. We honeymooned in Paris, France. And my hubby still treats me like his new bride even after almost 8 years. He's the best, I tell you.

Thanks to Pinks & Blues for hosting Throwback Thursdays every week!

The must-have summer sling giveaway

winner has been posted!

The Great Gift Exchange (Or: Send Me Goodies Cause I Love It!)

I signed up to be a part of The Great Gift Exchange over at An Island Life.

Today I received my surprise gift from Sherry at Yellow Rose's Garden. She made this awesome picture frame for me and I love it! The colors are so happy and go perfectly in my house. I was thinking about putting one of my babywearing photos in it!

And if you want to see what I sent to Sherry, she posted about it here. It was fun picking out gifts even if I didn't know her. I sent her a really pretty photo frame (I heard she liked photography), my favorite Alba Botanica lip gloss, and since I had read that she had a spoiled cat named Rocky, a gift for him, too. Isn't this a HOOT? Yes I just said HOOT.

The must-have summer sling giveaway

ends tomorrow!

June 26, 2007

Nothing Says Summer Like Sugar & Artifical Flavors

I'm Laughing With You

Last night I stopped and totally laughed at myself as I was cleaning up after dinner. I get almost giddy when I am putting away leftovers and find a lid that actually fits the storage container. I did a happy dance. Over Tupperware.

And being able to laugh at myself makes me happy. I am the biggest dork and I know it. Like this story. So glad I didn't crawl under a rock and die like I wished at the time...
No matter how embarrassing, I will laugh about that forever.

June 24, 2007

Not A Day Goes By

I'll hear people say, "I thank God everyday" for certain things like family, health, what have you. And I am sure many of those people really do thank God everyday. But many say they do and really don't. We might go through a rough time in our lives and say "I'll do anything" for things to be ok. Then when everything is normal again, off we go with our normal lives.

It's been almost 1 year since Noah came off his special diet. And close to 3 years seizure-free. I can honestly say that not a day or night goes by without me thanking the Lord for Noah's healing. That my Noah is here. That he is seizure-free. That he is a normal little boy. That he wakes up in the morning. That he can go to school. When I greet him good morning. When I check on him at night. Sometimes I just say thank you. That's just enough.

I imagine that I'll never really forget. Months will go by without me hearing myself yelling to my hubby to call 911! Over and over it used to play in my head. My stomach would drop like rollercoasters when I didn't think I could possibly take it anymore. But now it's all tucked away. Visions of Noah at his worst have been replaced by years now of a healthy, happy, laughing, talking boy full of life and full of promise.

I don't want anyone to have to lose or almost lose life to truly appreciate it. There are just too many things and people and blessings and situations to be thankful for that get overshadowed by worries and things that are so unimportant and so irrelevant. Life should be lived. Not put off for tomorrow or punished because of what
happened yesterday.

Noah's growing up, right before our very eyes it seems, and when many parents wish their kids would 'just stay little' I must admit that I am so very grateful to watch this little boy grow up. Because he can. We were told he might end up in an institution. I don't even want to know what that life is like. I just know it wasn't in the plans for us. I am so thankful. Each one of my precious babies... how is it possible that my heart has enough room for how much I love them?
Sometimes I just say thank you. And that's just enough.

June 22, 2007

Date Night

Hubby & I went to a restaurant opening tonight.

It was sooo nice.

The food was deelish!

My date was quite charming.

I got to wear my new dress!

And red shoes!

Good night, indeed.

Babywearing Tip of the Week: A Babywearing Story

Jen, a friend of mine, emailed me this great babywearing story:

I have been wanting to get in touch to thank you for your advice on babywearing. I cannot tell you how many times during my pregnancy I Iooked back at your very informative email, going through the resources. Wow! that was a bit overwhelming at first. Then I logged into thebabywearer.com and was blown away by the options
: ) And found tons of advice.

I took Mason with me to a wedding in Las Vegas last weekend. It was just the two of us, and babywearing saved my life! The wedding was beautiful. I ended up wearing Mason the entire reception. He was the perfect date.

Now that's what I love to hear! If you have a babywearing story you'd like featured for the Babywearing Tip of The Week or have suggestions or questions, just email me or leave a comment here!

Jen is wearing a Beco Baby Carrier available at SoBeBabies.

It's a summer of giveaways!
Enter the StrollerMama giveaway here!

June 21, 2007

It's Good

I escaped tonight! By myself! I went to the knitting shop and took my time looking at all the yarn. I browsed. I touched. I bought. I drove with the windows rolled down. I bought fresh fruit at the store. I came home happy. It's good.

It's a summer of giveaways!
Enter the StrollerMama giveaway here!

June 20, 2007

Summer In Pair-eee

It was about this very same time in June 1998 when I visited Northern France and Paris. You could say it was an enlightening time for me- mainly vacationing by myself with a group- but ultimately being alone in another country.

I love this photo- it was so sunny there but the darkest, black clouds hung above that Chateau, which we did visit!

Here's little me under the Eiffel Tower. (I'm in black & white.)

I only have fond memories of France. I hadn't even met hubby yet here, but by the very next year I was back in Paris with him on our honeymoon!

Have fun with Throwback Thursdays at the Pinks & Blues blog...

June 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Days Of Summer

Sun Scream

Noah is the 'sun scream' monitor in our house, reminding us everytime we head out to play.

It's that time of year to make some serious sunscreen choices. First you should make sure your old sunscreen hasn't expired- it is sometimes recommended to replace your sunscreen every year to be safe. So if you're still using that 5-yr old bottle of Water Babies, um, it's time to replace it.

I came across this article from The Green Guide- Screen Test: Reading the Micro-Fine Print and found it very helpful in knowing the right kind of sunscreen to choose. Just like with the food we eat, we gotta be reading those labels!

Check out the end of the article for The Green Guide's suggestions for safer sunscreen. I just purchased some Alba Bonatica Kids mineral sunscreen on sale at the grocery store. I think it was only $5.99. The cheap stuff isn't always worth it in this case, and you just might be able to ge
t the good kind for a bargain after all.

I think we need a bigger pool...

June 16, 2007

I Will Forever Be A Daddy's Girl

My Dad has rough hands from working a laboring job, stained from paint, oil, strength.

His face shows signs of age and weathering life. His hair with its share of silver (I am certain to be responsible for quite a few of those gray hairs.)

His heart, however, is a soft pillow where I will always have a place to rest.

One of my favorite photos-
Carter & my Dad, 2004

June 15, 2007

Little 'Tar


I could have melted with love straight down to the ground as I watched you discover a star in the sky for the first time last night.

Well, so what if it was the light of an airplane. You
pointed with your tan little arm up to the night sky and said "Wook! A 'tar!"

Of course Mommy is fluent in your language and knew you were saying so sweetly, "Look! A star!"

As I put you in the car and we drove away, you followed that star.

When it got farther away, you waved and said "BYE!" and then "Shhh" with your finger to your lips- for in your mind the star
was going night-night. Oh how I love you.

June 14, 2007

i rocked the dorothy hamill & R2-D2

June 13, 2007

Monchichi Monchichi

Tagged for a meme by Insparenting...

What was I doing 10 years ago?

1. Working my tail off 6 days a week as the assistant manager of a movie theatre
2. Still living with my parents
3. Acting in a college musical (I was Becky in Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?)
4. Figuring my life out (1997 was one of those pivotal years)
5. Buying my first car- a 97 Chevy Cavalier Convertible- green, of course

Five Snacks I Enjoy:
1. chips & homemade salsa
2. dark chocolate
3. red & yellow bell peppers
4. ABC vegan cookies
5. fruit- like strawberries- mmm

Five Songs That I Know All The Lyrics To:
1. I used to know all the words to It's The End Of The World As We Know It
2. Any song off of Joni Mitchell's Blue
3. My ABC's (How could I forget as Carter sings this to me all.day.long.)
4. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song
5. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

Five Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire:
1. Probably live similarly, but even more comfortably
2. Move to Colorado?
3. Help out family & friends
4. Invest it in a way that it helps others tremedously
5. Tithe at least 10% of it all

Five bad habits:
1. staying up too late
2. being slow in the morning
3. letting the gas tank get too low
4. multi-tasking like a mad woman
5. making a grocery list & leaving it at home

Five Things I Like To Do:
1. Knit
2. Blog
3. Take walks
4. Cook yummy meals
5. Shop

Five Things I Would Never Wear Again:
1. gingham anything
2. baggy clothes
3. old fashioned tent-like maternity clothes
4. high waisted pants
5. shoulder pads

Five Favorite Toys:
1. Strawberry Shortcake dolls
2. My Little Pony
3. Monchichi
4. Barbie
5. Rose Petal Dolls

Five People I Tag:
1. Elizabeth at The Whole Family
2. Sheryl at Peanut Butter & Jelly Boats
3. Jaymi at The Flip Flop Mamma
4. Michelle at Busy Busy Momma
5. Robin at Life With All Boys

Enter to win a $75 gift certificate to MamaKanga today!

I Left My Heart In Colorado

This is my favorite picture from the whole trip. Me & my Aunt Susie talking as we hike at Chautauqua Park. I was wearing Gray in the mei tai on my back. It was beautiful there.

June 12, 2007


oday we had a playdate with Ashlee & Xav. Gray is
wearing his new favorite shirt (thank you, Rusty Bumper!)

oday Gretchen aka Mopsy over at Lifenut posted about our lunch together last week. Take some time and read every post she's ever written. I did that one day. You can imagine how excited I was
to meet her in person! And scrape hot dog from her son's mouth!

Today you should vote in the Modern Moms Fruity Cheerios contest. I will suggest you vote for my blogging friend Mel (picture is 3rd one down on the left labeled M. Helms)- it's an adorable picture of Mel & her daughter and I'd love for them to win $500!

Today I plan to finish knitting my hat.

Today I am getting more settled in since getting back from vacation.

Today is a good day.

Enter to win a
$75 gift certificate to MamaKanga today!

June 11, 2007

I'm Back!

Did you even know I was gone?

We just got home last night from the best-vacation-ever in beautiful Colorado. We stayed with my Aunt & Uncle and did not want to leave.

It was so hard to have those mountains at our back as we drove home...

I can't wait to tell you all about our trip- the gorgeous places we went like here at Loveland Pass- The Continental Divide! And Whole Foods! And who I got to have lunch with!

June 8, 2007

...And Dirt Don't Hurt

Stephanie_kissing_boo_booSomeone really has conducted a scientific study of the five-second rule. Next they'll be testing the claim that Mommy's kisses really make boo-boos feel better. And if you cross your eyes they'll stick like that. If you eat your spinach you'll really have muscles like Popeye.

I only hope that restaurants and people with hairy cats having me over for dinner don't practice this 5-second rule.

Apparently women were more likely to invoke the 5-second rule, and overall, people are inclined to eat dropped cookies and candy more often than dropped broccoli and cauliflower. Well sheesh, forget a scientific study- I could've told you that!

This post was also published at the Chicago Moms Blog.

June 7, 2007

like peas and carr-ots

Here's me & my best friend Jenny at a slumber party- age 7?

And us later on- still best friends in high school- backstage in a community production of Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

(Notice I am not including any middle-school pics. That is for the best for all of us.)

And prom- can't forget prom '95...

Here's a fun one of us visiting in Chicago summer '03.

of my very favorite photos of us at her wedding in '04.

I love you, Jen!

Here's my other Throwback Thursday.
Share your Throwback Thursdays with the Pinks & Blues blog, too!

June 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Fine Art

You have until Thursday to enter the Vincent Shoes giveaway!

I'm A Super Mom And I Would Be The Mom of 10 Boys- Seriously!

I'm the featured SuperMom for June over at SuperMomz - check me out! SuperMomz is the place to check out for absolutely everything- if you haven't browsed the SuperMomz site yet, then get on over there! You can also get there through the SuperMomz button in my sidebar. There's some fantastic novelty items and also great baby carriers for wearing that baby! And we just might have a great giveaway coming up very soon from SuperMomz- stay tuned!

And I guess I feel like I should explain myself about yesterday's post. If you know me well, you know that I would be happy to have 10 sons. What a blessing that would be. As a mom of 3 boys, I am living the queen's life!

But I also think that it's ok to be honest and say that my hubby would like a daughter, and although the desire isn't as strong in my own heart, I think I would be so blessed to have a daughter some day, too. I find this a sensitive subject among moms of all boys usually- but I wonder if I would have said "I want another boy" if those same moms would be saying that I shouldn't write off a girl.

I want another baby in my belly, another toddler nursing at my chest, a son that will grow up to be a father or a daughter that will grow up to be a mother. I will love my child from the moment I find out I am expecting and have no way of knowing if he's a he or she's a she. I love my child already as I am praying for him or her to be conceived. There is nothing that could change that love- definitely not gender.

Win big in the Vincent Shoes giveaway...

June 4, 2007

Frilly Might Be Nice

Just a couple weeks ago I wrote this:

They Beckon Me

There is a huge open box of maternity clothes staring at me as I type. They are taunting me, asking to be worn again- or given away for good? Will I ever know the answer to this?

We think we are done with having kids, but it's not official. Having these clothes in my possession makes me nervous. I had given my whole pregnancy wardrobe away, but like a Ouija Board, they keep coming back.

Not many people know this, but about a year ago we tried to get pregnant with a fourth child. For the first time in our lives, we were unable to make a baby. Our older boys were "surprises" and only 17 months apart. Our youngest son was our "planned" baby that we conceived on the first night. After a few months of trying we became unsure if we were ready for a fourth child. We agreed that we were quite content as a party of five.

I worry that the moment I give these clothes away, I'll suddenly need them. But I also think that if I keep them here, I'll need them. And I'm not so sure I
want to need them. Does this make sense? No matter that they'll most likely be out of style anyway. They represent something deeper than just fabric with more give in the middle.

They are asking me if another life will inhabit my body, nurse at my chest, take hold of my heart. They stare me down... and I close the box.

And since I wrote this, hubby and I have been talking & praying about it- again.

Anyone have any good tips on how to have a girl?

Win big in the Vincent Shoes giveaway...

June 3, 2007

Can You Spare A Square?

World Environment Day is this Tuesday June 5. Check out what The Green Guide has to say about it here. And if you haven't already, go green at iGo Green.

I've posted about the little things we're doing to make a big difference in going green. Our next step is to only use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins or paper towels. We're not quite there yet. Until then, I've really been mindful to sparingly use paper products.

I am not sure that the makers of Bounty Paper Towels had the environment in mind when they started the One Sheet Challenge, but I think it's a good start nonetheless!

Put one new sheet of Bounty to the test on any household mess, and share the details on onesheetchallenge.com. The grand prize is a $30,000 kitchen makeover! Hello! I'd be happy with just a new energy-efficient dishwasher!

Now, which mess will I choose for this challenge? There are just so many to choose from!

P.S. Win cute shoes in the
Vincent giveaway!

June 1, 2007

Mixed Tape

I've been working on a mixed tape CD for an upcoming roadtrip.

It goes something like this:

1. On The Road Again- Willie Nelson
2. Nothing Left To Lose- Mat Kearney

3. 1234- Feist

4. What Would You Say- Dave Matthews Band

5. California- Phantom Planet

6. Icky Thump- The White Stripes
7. Beverly Hills- Weezer

8. Satellite- Guster
9. Last Goodbye- Jeff Buckley

10. Cartoon Music For Superheroes- Albert Hammond Jr.

11. Off The Record- My Morning Jacket
12. Save Me- Aimee Mann

13. Carey- Joni Mitchell

14. Come To Jesus- Mindy Smith

15. Free- Phish

16. Somewhere Over The Rainbow- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
17. Take Me Home, Country Roads- John Denver

And at the very end- just for the boys:

Yoda- "Weird Al" Yankovic

What songs must not be left off your roadtrip mixed tape?

Does your kid need a new pair of shoes? Enter the Vincent Shoes giveaway here!