July 31, 2007

My Kids, They Have Quirks

I just learned of Noah's secret stash of Tootsie Rolls from the bank and fortune cookies from dinner last night... he is saving them for when his friend comes to stay tomorrow night.

And Gray, well, the last three nights he has gone to bed with a glove on one hand. The night before, it was a camouflage fleece mitten. Last night was a red stretchy glove. Just on one hand.
Okaaaay.

We're off to the park now (Tuesdays are park days around here) where Carter will no doubt charm all the moms with his sweet smiles and fascinating stories.



Ok- back from the park and oh yes did Carter do some charming... here he is with his new "lady" Allison!


July 30, 2007

My Mom Has A Blog (P.S.)


My mom has a blog. Sometimes I am not sure if I should declare this too loudly because I never know what she's going to post about!! She's crazy. You remember the swimsuit in the snow? My boys call her Mimi and she is such a Mimi. She is youthful and happy and her blog is named Mimi's Toes. How cute is that?



Today is her 51st birthday and you know what, just like any other blogger, she just
lurves comments. My brother and I celebrated her birthday early with her last weekend in Chicago. It was the most beautiful day.

She's spending her birthday this year in Florida with her best friend- her sister- my Aunt Diane. (Aunt Diane is also who came up with Gray's name- I posted about that before somewhere...)

So, I'd love for my Mom to have a zillion birthday
wishes waiting for her when she gets back. It would just tickle Mimi's Toes pink, and she loves pink.



P.S. I just had a thought that if we can get at least 51 commenters on her blog before the end of her birthday today, that would be awesome. So hop on over and wish her a happy bershday if you'd be so kind to spread the love!

July 28, 2007

Almost BloggedHer

I'm not at BlogHer.

I did get to go to an awesome event Thursday night, sponsored by Yahoo! (thanks, Yahoo!) with the bloggers of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog and Chicago Moms Blog (I write over there sometimes!) We partied it up at Viand in downtown Chicago and from the moment I drove my car up to the complimentary valet and was escorted into the restaurant "I'm with the Chicago Moms Blog" - I was taken to a roped off area and ushered in... so very V.I.P., I tell you!

(Ok, I'll admit that from the moment I got in my car and had an hour + to spend alone on my way downtown felt very V.I.P., too. It was heavenly!)


There was delicious food, fabulous chatter, and lots of great swag! I got to see my gal pals- the "original batch" of Chicago Mom Bloggers- Amy (she's live-blogging this weekend), Me, MJ, Sara (also live-blogging this weekend!), Danielle, & Jessica; and I met many more fantastic, creative, & super-smart Moms that I hope to see again! Jill and Beth from Silicon Valley Moms are awesome and I feel privileged to work with those two!





...Amy & I take a picture of our cute selves





After that great evening, I was really wishing I could attend the conference this weekend, but next year will be much easier for me to sneak away for a couple days... I'm really hoping it's
somewhere awesome- like California or Hawaii!

Now, with all these parties about blogging, and blogging about blogging, I think I need a blogging vacation! Who knew!

July 27, 2007

Miracles On The Horizon


In Chicago last weekend, Carter asked when we were going to see Noah's doctor. He has associated our trips to Chicago with our trips to the Children's hospital there. It's been almost a year now since our last visit. Almost a year now then, that Noah has been off his special diet.


I am excited for the day that the beautiful city of Chicago will only have good memories and reminders of healthy, happy times. The zoo will become a place to visit just because and not only promised for after doctor appointments. We're getting there, because last weekend as we were taking in the city, I felt like something very new and very good was on the horizon. Like, we've finally made it.

If I had this blog a few years ago, you better believe I would be telling everyone about Noah and asking for prayers. Sheesh- I'm still telling everyone about Noah, and Praise God that I can tell about his healing. But there is a little boy in blogland that can really use your prayers right now, and I know how his Mommy's heart is hurting right now. Will you please take a moment to pray for Tammy & little Parker, and their whole family?

Ending tomorrow is a big ol' bloggy contest to help Parker and his family. Please click here and check it out. See if there is something you can do to help, whether it is sending your support of a few dollars or a few prayers. Or you can make it lots & lots of dollars and prayers! Whatever you can do. I know you can at least pray for Parker.

Miracles do happen. I've seen a few in person.

July 26, 2007

iPod Shuffle


I've found a new way to shuffle songs on my iPod.
(Thanks, Gray.)

July 25, 2007

In Which I Used The Kate Spade Fancy Soap

I was supposed to go to a Mom's Night Out with a blogging friend and others last night but it ended up just being another Mom's Night In with three very loud and messy boys. After everyone was pajama-ed and in bed, I was thisclose to collapsing from exhaustion. But the quiet house and my achy back and head led me to take a nice, hot bath.

First I had to clear the entire tub area of all reminders of children. You know, to set my mood. Then as I was looking for some bubbles (preferably not of the kid-kind) or bath salts, I picked up my frou-frou box of Kate Spade soaps. They were a gift from when I was in my friend Jen's wedding, almost 3 years ago. But they were wrapped so perfect and snug in a pretty green and white box. I even still have the matching pretty green and white gift bag that looks like a real Kate Spade handbag, only it's a gift bag. But it's a Kate Spade gift bag.

Anyway.

After the night I had, these lily-flowered-couture-smelling soaps longed to be used and not left just for show, tucked away in their pretty box forever. If any an occasion, twas now. I surely would not smell of little children after using my fancy soaps.

And after my hot bath I felt much better. Almost like a getaway. Still tired Mommy, but fancy smelling now.

Wordless Wednesday: Three Boys Splish

July 23, 2007

Got Boo?

The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog is having a Carnival of Breastfeeding: The Things They Say.

I absolutely love nursing my toddler. Gray is 21 and a half months old now and he calls it Boo. I don't know why he calls it that, but it's what he came up with and oh, does he love his Boo. He's lately been more social and in a sharing mood, so often he'll ask if he can give the "guck Boo?" (Gucks are geese but he thinks they are ducks.) Or "dog Boo?" I just tell him that's sweet he wants to share his Boo, but it's just for Gray.


We went to the county fair tonight. Upon this sweet sight, Gray yelled "Boo!" quite excitedly. I whispered "I feel ya, sister" to the Mama pig. Although I've never had 5 nurslings at the same time, there have been moments I've felt just like this.


Big 'Ol Bloggy Giveaway! *Updated With Winner!

*Updated with winner and a new giveaway below!

It's been my summer of giveaways, so of course I'm joining in on Shannon's Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway at Rocks In My Dryer! This time, the giveaway here is something from my own closet.

I have the cutest Vera Bradley Tweed Cinch Tote that I used one time (it matched a dress I had! I know you can relate!) I'd love to give this bag a home- to someone that will really use it. What a cute bag for fall!


If you wanna win it, just leave a comment and let me know! I'll ship it to anywhere! Make sure I can find you via your email or blog, in case you win. Sometime after 8 AM (CST) this Friday I'll randomly pick a winner from the comments! I'll have more giveaways here all summer long!

The Winner is... Miranda at Sweetest Cherry In An Apple Pie!

And check out my latest giveaway from DivasNBabes!
Enter by this Sunday night!


July 22, 2007

Free


Guess where we spent the most beautiful day ever?
Yes, that's Carter chasing the birds. So carefree. The best.

July 21, 2007

God In A Blue Shirt

On the way home from church the other night, Carter asked me where God is. I told him how God is a Spirit and is everywhere, in every place, all the time.

He then asked if I was talking to God in church that night. And I said, "Well, yes. In Praise & Worship I was singing praises to Him. And in prayer, I was talking to Him, too."


"No, who was the guy in the blue shirt that you were talking to?" He asks.


I think for a moment and realize he must be thinking of our Pastor. "Pastor?"

"Yeah," he says. "I thought that guy was God."


Please Hug Them Right Now

A blogging friend of mine lost her little niece Hannah on Thursday due to a terrible swimming accident. It was a day just like any other day, and then it just happened. Hannah's mom is a blogger just like you & me. Please hug your little ones a few extra moments today, and keep this family in prayer. Lift them up- their hearts are beyond hurting. Peace and comfort will surround them and may Hannah's spirit touch lives forever.

Steph

July 20, 2007

Three Boys & A Girl


T
he boys and their new baby cousin Abigail posed for a picture to surprise Mimi for her birthday this year. The photo above was one of the few shots where Gray was actually not half-running out of the picture...


If you have kids, pets, or a hubby
then you've got to have a gross story to share!
Win a Dirt Devil Kone here!


July 18, 2007

Throwback Thursday: You Can See My Belly

I love this picture of my cousin, brother, & me for so many reasons. I did use it as a Wordless Wednesday a while back, but had to post it again for a good Throwback.

Normally my brother (middle) and I (right) were very well dressed children. This is why I am quite confused at this picture. Where are my brother's pants? Why is my shirt so small? Why is my fly open?

Apparently we were having so much fun that those things were just frivolous concerns, and
maybe if they had taken the time to adjust all the imperfections and lack of clothing, this photo op would have been lost. I'll have to remember that...

Join in the Throwback Thursday fun at the Pinks & Blues Girls Blog.

Keep an eye out for the What's Grosser Than Gross? contest later today!


July 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: So Blessed



There's still time to enter the Kangaroodle contest here!

And tomorrow I'll have a new giveaway from Dirt Devil-
be thinking of your grossest clean-up stories for my

What's Grosser Than Gross?
giveaway!

Mommy Bloggers: Please Remember To Feed Your Children!

I know that blogging is addicting- I've seen it happen to me, where all I want to do is read blogs all day and comment, post, check comments on my own blog... and the cycle never ends! But all things in moderation, right? You have got to put things in priority order and I don't think checking Bloglines like a fiend should come before, say, your kids' needs or your job!

I'm quite appalled by the recent news story about a couple that horrifically neglected their children because of their Internet addiction. But, I can't say it surprises me. Sometimes you need to step away from the computer! I find it quite ironic that there must be Mommy Bloggers that spend more time blogging about their children than actually experiencing real life moments with them!

I am declaring for myself a blog-free day for the rest of today. I'm going to get in some extra kisses and tickle time and we're off to a picnic at the park!

Cross posted at the Chicago Moms Blog.


The Kangaroodle contest ends tomorrow night, too!


July 16, 2007

One Step Closer To Oprah


Ashlee & I are in the paper today, as well as our non-blogging friend Jen, talking about Mommy blogging and Ashlee's newest blogging endeavor, Mama Speaks!



The pics were taken last week before our new 'dos.


You can read the article here.
And although it says I am the mom to four kids, I still just have the three boys and none on the way, FYI!




July 15, 2007

I'm It

There's some memes going around! Here's a couple for today...

I was tagged by Haley at Love, Life, Family, & Then Some for the Four Faves Meme... here goes!

Four jobs I've held:
1. Sales associate in the Museum Shop at the Art Insititute of Chicago
2. Hostess at Ed Debevic's

3. Store manager of Express in the mall

4. Receptionist at a salon


Four movies I can watch over and over again:
This is a hard one because I don't usually like to watch movies more than once, but...
1. About A Boy
2. Rushmore (edited version)
3. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (with Johnny Depp, of course!)

4. Elf

Four places I have lived
:
1. Chicago right after graduating college (and I'll just leave it at that!)
2.
3.
4.

Four tv shows I watch:
1. The Office

2. Heroes

3. Project Runway
4. America's Next Top Model


Four places I've been on vacation
:
1. Paris, France
2.
Gatlinburg, TN
3. San Diego, CA
4.
Longmont, Colorado

Four favorite foods:
1. Chips & homemade salsa & guacamole
2. Chili- like this chipotle black bean one or Don Pablo's knock off!

3. Hummus sandwiches with Annie's Naturals Goddess dressing (Mmmm)

4. Pad thai when I can have peanuts again!! (Oh how I miss it!)

Four websites I visit
:
1. Chicago Moms Blog
2. Mama Speaks (of course!)

3. Mothering
4. The Green Guide

Four people I'm tagging...

Anyone who would like to play along as well as:
1. Arianne at To Think Is To Create
2. Jana at Sidetrack'd
3. Sheryl at Peanut Butter & Jelly Boats
4. Ashlee at Mama's Nest

Also...
Nell at Casual Friday Everyday wants to know what makes me feel hot.

I do have to say that my husband always makes me feel like a supermodel. Just having him around and in my life has done wonders for my psyche. He is always giving me compliments like we're still dating, so of course if I'm with him, I am hot! But for me personally, I feel my hottest when in a cute dress- not necessarily all dolled up or expensive (take this fun dress I'm wearing from Target for example!), but I just feel like I've got "it."

And Now With FAQs!

I've decided to post a Frequently Asked Questions section on my blog. I still welcome emails and questions in my comments, but lately these are recurring questions I have been asked and I just thought I'd do a whole post about it!



Today is the last day to submit your favorite breastfeeding picture to Musings of a Crunchy, Domestic Goddess.

Here's the pic I submitted. I love how Gray still plays with my hair while nursing. I never want to forget moments like these!


July 14, 2007

Light A Match!

I have three boys. It can get quite gamey around here sometimes. And the bathroom. Don't even go there. Just out in July are new Febreze Candles with an odor-eliminating core that also fills the air with freshness. I was sent the Apple Spice & Delight candle, and although that usually wouldn't be a scent you'd use in the bedroom or bathroom, I'll take whatever gets the stench out! It actually is a great scent- I love anything that reminds me of fall!

The Febreze Candles have a suggested retail value of $6.99-$7.99 with a burn time of 25-30 hours (wow!) and are available this month.

Oprah Can You Hear Me?

Am I the only one wishing for new episodes this summer? I miss me some good Oprah. I am a finicky viewer- I can't watch anything too sad or too scary or too freaky, but I do enjoy the Ask Dr. Oz shows, the advice from life coach Martha Beck, and of course Oprah's Favorite Things. Oh how I long to be an audience member for one of those big giveaways! I have been to the show once before when Paul Simon was on. That was a long time ago!

I'd love to be on again and think that Oprah should do a whole show about the up & coming blog world. I mean, it's huge now and we have such a community! Mommy Bloggers are a whole new demographic still almost undiscovered. I think we're just what Oprah is all about. I've got some great ideas, Oprah People!


If you are an Oprah fan, then you might just want to enter this giveaway. Revolution Health has joined forces with O, the Oprah Magazine, as a sponsor of the O You! Conference on September 29 in Miami. To celebrate, Revolution Health is offering visitors to this site a chance to win one of five trips for two to the conference in Miami.




The O You! conference is expected to draw several thousand women and will feature speakers including financial expert Suze Orman
, exercise physiologist Bob Greene, life coach Martha Beck, heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, and others. Revolution Health, which is led by AOL founder Steve Case, is an official title sponsor of the event.

I'd love for some of my blogging friends to win- so enter every day! Keep an eye out for me on Oprah- I'm telling you I'll be on there one of these days!

Oprah can you hear me?

July 13, 2007

The Hair, Part Two

Some requests have been made for a different angle (side view shown at left here) and also for more view into the actual red-ness of this wild color that is now my hair.

I did get stopped in Target today by a girl who said, "My friends and I just wanted to tell you how much we love your hair." We deduced that I definitely do not have Mom Hair. Mission accomplished!

A Portrait Of My Kitchen

I had been thinking about posting a sentimental and thoughtful post about how much time I spend in my kitchen and how much my kitchen says about me. But I think just preserving it in a photo will suffice for now.

Someday my kids will look back fondly to this picture and remember sitting at the island counter on their stools (this island coun
ter that we specifically planned for our someday-children when we built this house and now 8 years later it serves its purpose as the breakfast and lunch spot for three sweet little boys.)

Today I am reminded of the green tomatoes that I still need to fry up (Mmmm) and to the left of the tomatoes is the rocket fishbowl with our pet fish Luna. She is audience to all the happenings in the hub of our home.


Lori is having a sweet photo tag asking us to share our family table. Breakfast & lunch may be lively and entertaining and eat-at-your-own-risk at the counter, but dinner is reserved for our table whenever possible. It can still be quite lively and entertaining here, too. There is nothing like a conversation with your kids at dinner. Some of the best things our kids have said have been spoken here.

Babywearing Tip of the Week: Your Stories

I love to hear great babywearing stories and plan to include them here in the Babywearing Tip Of The Week every now & then.

Here's an awesome babywearing tale from Erin:

About a month ago I was at the mall, and Clark started to fuss. I went over into a corner and started putting him in the sling when I heard a big voice say, "In Africa our babies never cry. We just put them in - “, but then the speaker stopped short. She peeked around the racks of clothes between us and revealed herself. She was an older African woman who was shopping with her daughter. She watched us for a moment. She saw that Clark was happy and secure being worn so close to his mom. She grinned at us. "Well," she continued warmly in her African accent. "We put them in something just like that. That is very good." The woman, her daughter, and I all stood there smiling at each other for a minute before we went on our way.

Now that is an awesome babywearing story! Erin also shares another story about her love for babywearing here:

We had a family lunch with over 20 adults and 12 children on Saturday afternoon, and Clark took a nap in the pouch while the room buzzed with loud conversation and the laughing and screaming of kids. It is the only place he will sleep besides my bed and his crib (sometimes- ha!) It reliably makes him happier, calmer, and more comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. I can not imagine what a mom would do without one.


Pictured is Erin wearing Clark in her Kangaroo Korner pouch sling as a
newborn (right) and also recently (above.) She says: You can see how much he's grown, but we are still loving it!

July 12, 2007

The Hair

It's what you've all been waiting for!

<----Yesterday
Today!---->














And it's RED. Like this picture doesn't even capture how red
some of it is. I love it! And my awesome stylist, whom I thought couldn't be any more awesome, actually did this for me after closing. It was just me & her. She's the best, I tell you!

Throwback Thursday: Hippie Day

Scene is 1994, newly a senior in highschool. Pictured here with my theatre buddy Shawn.

We had spirit week and my favorite day was Hippie Day. I had a blast shopping for something to wear at the Salvation Army with my best friend Jen (and I think this is when we realized we should have been shopping at thrift stores all along.) I found this dress and shortened it myself, then made the matching headband. I actually ended up using this a year later for my costume as a hostess at Ed Debevic's in Chicago.

And I know- my outfit is more mod-60's than hippie, but whatever!

The Pinks and Blues Girls Blog is where it's at for Throwback Thursdays!

Check out my latest giveaway from Polkadot Patch Boutique!

July 11, 2007

Boo-Hoo!

Ok- the haircut is a bust. And I am bummed. Or was bummed. I had my "before" picture taken and everything. One foot out the door with the car running practically, waiting for hubby to get home. There was a mix-up at work and straight from his mouth, "I am so sorry. You know I don't mess with your hair appointments."

All is well, though- because apparently there would not have been room for me to have my color done tonight, but I now have an appointment* tomorrow for both cut and color.

Woo hoo!

*Because I have the best hair stylist ever and she fit me in somehow (maybe because I was near tears?) whatever the case- she's awesome.



Woo-Hoo!

My hair stylist had a cancellation! Hair cut tonight. Maybe color? I was already having a bit of a "day" here and this has really got me motivated again!

Don't forget- I'll pick the winner tonight for the Podonbutai contest from All Natural Mommies. Maybe I'll share my new 'do pic then, too...


July 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Mama & The Birthday Boy, Then & Now














There's still time to enter the Podonbutai contest-
hurry & sign up by 10 pm!

Bloggy Stuff -update!

Look at me! I was interviewed by Blog Interviewer here. How honored I am to be interviewed among the most interesting bloggers on the web. (Well, at least that's what their site says.) You can rate me (I have no idea what that does or what that means) but go ahead and rate me if you'd like. I was checking it out just a minute ago and gave myself a thumbsdown on accident. Ah well!

If you want to get a cool "link to me" button for your own blog, you can ask Drea about it from Fina' Drea (that's who did my fine blog design and button!) She's also having a contest right now for Blessed Baby, so check that out, too! If you make buttons & stuff, then leave a comment here and let people know, 'cause people are asking for some buttons!

Speaking of buttons... do you have a Mama Speaks button yet? If you have trouble copying & pasting the button, try just right clicking on the html box and then click "select all" then "copy" then try pasting it that way. Still having trouble? Let me know! Did you see the great treasures Mama Speaks has been giving away everyday lately? Today's is too cute.

And then of course tomorrow is the last day to enter to win a Podonbutai from All Natural Mommies. And it officially went on sale last night!

I do have more giveaways on the way- stay tuned- there's some goodies to be had!

Oh, and Christine at From Dates to Diapers is in the know on all the giveaways in blogland it seems! If you're looking for giveaways, head her way- she'll point you to the good ones! And also be sure to check out An Island Review for even more contest & giveaway updates!

Now I'm off to go play with some non-bloggy buttons... I have big plans to finish knitting this sweater tonight and putting on some cute little turtle buttons...

*This just in! Ginormous has officially been added to the dictionary! Love that word! So has 'crunk' which I don't use very often unless of course I am referring to that 'crunk' in Gray's nose or the 'crunk' dried at the tip of the mustard bottle...

July 9, 2007

This Mom-ness

I'm a bit conflicted now about my reference to Mom jeans and Mom hair and the like. I love being a Mom, it's a good thing, and bottom line is that I'm a Mom and whatever hair I have is technically Mom hair. So I should just embrace my Mom-ness. I don't think I have a choice otherwise.

When did I come to this realization? Oh, maybe while I was in the grocery store today singing along to Let's Hear It For The Boy and then retorting "Because I said so." to a questioning child...

I can still wear hip jeans and have cool hair, but I can't avoid this Mom-ness.

I also can't avoid sharing this Mom Jeans video...





Have you entered the Podonbutai contest yet?

I Forgive You

Kitty Carlisle Hart once said, “Every night, before I go to bed, I look at my face in the mirror and say, ‘I forgive you, Kitty’.”

I am tired. And when I am tired I am not a fun mommy. I am not very productive around the house either. So at the end of the day, I lie in bed thinking about what I shouldn't have said, how I could have handled things better. What else I could have/should have gotten done.

But by then, when I am lying in bed letting those thoughts swarm about, it's all in the past. What does replaying it over & over or worrying accomplish? Absolutely nothing.

If God is faithful to forgive, who are we to not forgive ourselves as well?

Remember today is a brand new day with a brand new start. Another chance. I am so thankful for second chances! (And third and fourth and eighty-seventh chances.)






July 8, 2007

Bangs Update

My hair appointment is this coming Saturday. I haven't decided officially whether I'll go bangs or no bangs, but after shopping yesterday among a sea of many women with some pretty bad hair, I am being reminded of the growing-out period that always follows a well-intentioned bang cutting. And mom bangs. I don't wear mom jeans and I don't want mom bangs.

And also after going to the beach yesterday, although there were many swimsuit-model-bodies prancing around (mind you they were all under 15 years old and hadn't ever given birth), the majority of the female (and male) beachgoers had me leaving feeling pretty good about myself.


Have you entered the Podonbutai contest yet?

Seen what Mama Speaks is giving away today??



July 6, 2007

Dreams

For real this is what I dreamed the other night...

I was making my way through a small candle & bead store when a woman just leaned back in front of me with closed eyes and was praying or something. Then she said that she could see my crystals and that I should have extra energy crystals where Motherhood is and I am very low, with little crystals left. I could see the crystals like they were on a necklace, and it was very bare. "You need rest and need to get built back up," she said.

Can you have a wake-up call while sleeping?

I know nothing about energy or crystals or anything like that at all, but they could have just been representing something else in my dream. Like uh, yeah... I am worn out. I am not getting enough rest and it's truly all my own fault. I can eat healthy, exercise, be super-mom, but go without sleep? It never works out for me. My body and mind retaliate.

I do think dreams can be important and something not to ignore. Hello, anyone hear about Joseph? I've had some interesting and bizarre dreams in my time- with each of my pregnancies I dreamt I gave birth to a puppy. Please tell me this is normal.


Win a Podonbutai from All Natural Mommie
s!

And check out the new Podonbutai photo gallery
with pics of me wearing my 3 month old niece Abigail!
(I look mighty nice wearing a girl!)

July 5, 2007

Babywearing Tip of the Week: The Podonbutai- A Giveaway! *Updated With Winner!

*Updated with winner below!

Traditional baby carriers are probably my very favorite. Most traditional Asian carriers have two straps (or four in the case of the Mei Tai) and a wide rectangle of fabric that goes over the baby. The straps are wrapped around the baby and the babywearer's body and then tied, and can be worn on the front or back.

Never before has there been a fusion of traditional carriers until... The Podonbutai! I am more than excited to reveal this awesome creation by Jenn at All Natural Mommies. The Podonbutai is named accordingly: pod for podeagi, onbu for onbuhimo, and tai for mei tai! I think I am in love! Whether you are a professional babywearer or new to wearing your babies, this is a MUST HAVE!

If you are wondering just how this is even possible to wear such a combination, the Podonbutai can be worn as either a podeagi, onbuhimo, or mei tai!

The Korean Podeagi (top left photo) has one strap at each corner that cross the babywearer's front (if back carrying) or back (if front carrying) and ties underneath the baby's bottom. It can also be worn without the straps on the shoulders for those with neck and shoulder problems. See a podeagi back carry here.


The Chinese Mei Tai (photos at right) consists of 4 straps - two longer straps for the shoulder area and 2 shorter straps for around the waist. The Mei Tai allows for easy back carrying and also distributes the weight nicely for wearing on front, hip, or back very comfortably. I highly recommend the Mei Tai when wearing a larger child!





Japanese Onbuhimos (left) have one strap at each corner that also feed
into rings or loops on the bottom so that the strap will go under the child's legs and then can be tied by crossing the front or back of the babywearer's body depending on front or back carry. It can be tied like a mei tai or podeagi, or also Tibetan style by feeding the straps up through the shoulders and tying off (as shown in photo at left.)


You use just the top rail/straps if wearing the Podonbutai as a podeagi or obuhimo, and for the mei tai you
add a strap through built in loops for the waist. Just remove the waist strap when not using as a mei tai! See the Podonbutai Frequently Asked Questions here.

Jenn's original and very unique design is genius, in my opinion, because sometimes it is convenient for me to wear the mei tai, but I have found it very hard to put Gray in it while he is sleeping. So, I removed the strap and wore it as a podeagi during the fireworks the other night! (Yes- he fell asleep during the fireworks!) I was able to hold him while he slept and put on the Podonbutai as a podeagi with no assistance needed!

The Podonbutai comes
with a matching bag which makes it quite portable and convenient to keep the extra strap in when not in use. It is wonderful to have so many options in just one carrier! The quality is superb- I am just in love with my Podonbutai!!!

*Check out the new Podonbutai photo gallery with pics of me wearing my 3 month old niece Abigail! The FAQ page has been updated, too!

All Natural Mommies features many products from cloth diapers to baby carriers. Jenn is offering FREE SHIPPING on all baby carrier orders through July 31! Just email Jenn@all-natural-mommies.com before your place your order. The Podonbutai will be available to the public beginning Monday July 9, 11 PM (EST)!

Be one of the first ever to own a Podonbutai! Jenn from All Natural Mommies is giving one away in the fabric of your choice!

Here's how to enter:
1. Fill in the Mr. Linky below
2. Link to this contest post and All Natural Mommies in a post on your blog by Wed. July 11

Everyone is eligible to enter. If you don't have a blog, just enter your name in the Mr. Linky, please also sign up for the All Natural Mommies newsletter, and leave a comment so that I can contact you.

The winner will be chosen at random from the Mr. Linky list Wed. July 11, 10 PM (CST.)

Congratulations to our winner: Renee from When 2 Became 3 !




And Now For One Of Those Really Important Decisions In Life

Bangs or No Bangs?

I have a hair appointment scheduled for next week and can't decide what I want to do with my hair! This is the longest I've gone in a while without a trim or cut. I've really enjoyed it short, but was thinking about growing it longer again and maybe doing some major bangs. I totally like the bangs in this picture. Is it me? I don't really want to do the wispy or piece-y kind. I want the bold, blunt, thick kind. The side swept bangs don't work on me because I end up just tucking them and then it looks like I don't have bangs at all.

I am always on the fence if I want to do bangs or not, then will see someone with really cute bangs. And I don't mind being daring and going for it, I'm adventurous like that.

Usually I just tell my stylist to do whatever she wants but she likes a little guidance from me, too. I like having my hair all one length with no bangs, but it's starting to drive me nutty having so much hair in my face lately, and I can't get a good pony tail without wearing a headband, too. Oh, the trials in life!


P.S. Hubby has just chimed in that he doesn't know about this bang thing. When he thinks of bangs, all he can think of is Kathy Griffin "and that's not good."


Throwback Thursday: Just A Baby


I absolutely love this family photo. Carter was just 3 weeks old here. He was such a precious little cuddly cubby bear of a baby. Noah was about 17 months old. And we were still just baby parents!


While pregnant with Carter, all I craved was celery. It was an addiction, actually. When he was born early weighing 9 lbs 12 oz, I thought it must have been from all that celery!


Last fall, at just 4 years old Carter tried a little modeling and walked his first runway in a fashion show. And next week he will turn 5 years old... which means this fall he will be making that first walk into kindergarten class! I would say "where did the time go?" but I honestly think I've enjoyed and will continue to enjoy every possible moment!


Join in on Throwback Thursdays at Pinks & Blues!

July 4, 2007

My Own Declaration

Noah had his first sleepover at our house the other night. His little friend, just 6 years old, will celebrate the 4th today while his Mom serves in Iraq. She serves to protect my freedom while I complain about having to sweep the floor for the third time today. While I count the minutes until bedtime for the kids. While I dream of having a moment of peace so that I can breathe think function blog uninterrupted.

She's in physical combat for me, and I've made it my own declaration to go into prayer battle for her. While her son slept sweetly on the top bunk in my boys' room, I just cried and prayed.

I pray for his Mom's safety. For her heart. For his heart. That he knows God's love and that he doesn't suffer from any emotional harm while his mom is away. I pray that everyone serving our country can come home now. This lump in my throat hasn't gone away all week.

My, how I've seen life in a new perspective.

July 2, 2007

She's Still Doing THAT?

I have to take a moment here and say how blessed I am by my hubby's support that I am still nursing Gray, who is almost 21 months old.

In a conversation with some acquaintances recently it came up that I was still "doing that" and some women said "she needs to stop that!" He just looked at them and said "Really? Why?" To which, of course, they did not have an answer! He said, "you know it's more common now to nurse for the first 2 years." They didn't say another word about it.

There still isn't much support out there for Moms of nursing toddlers. To have my hubby in agreement and supporting me 100%- it's a wonderful thing.

I continue nursing Gray because I know it is best for him & me. Of course I consider the fact that there is evidence of many benefits to nursing past the first year for both baby and mom. There are so many benefits that I can't even begin to list them all. But I'll just be honest. It works for us. And I love it. And so does he.

Even if it means I have to eliminate dairy, egg, and nuts from my diet. (He's allergic.)
Even if it means I have less freedom. Even if it means somedays I am no more than a milk machine. It is so worth it. Breastfeeding my children has been one of my most cherished parts of parenting.

I don't know how long I'll nurse him. I am happy with our nursing relationship right now, and am open to letting things just happen naturally.

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7 and Musings Of A Crunchy, Domestic, Goddess is having a photo contest asking for your favorite breastfeeding picture of you and your child. I have been wanting to get a really good one of me and Gray at this age, so I am going to see if Ashlee can snap a good one of us today during our play date at the park. I'll post it here later. I'd love to see your photos if you have them, so let me know if you post something on your blog.


There's something new to win at Mama Speaks so stop on by to see what we're saying today, too!

Mommy Envy?

I was watching the Today show this morning and saw a piece called Do You Have Mommy Envy? Of course we all have it a little - that mom you see with a newborn and she's already back in her pre-pregnancy jeans. I am still not back in my pre-pregnancy jeans (from any of my pregnancies!) and I might not ever be that tiny again. That is something I'm totally fine with now. Doesn't mean I don't still have a little envy about it, though. And you see the Mom that "has it all and does it all and knows it all"... well, you know as well as I do that at the end of the day, we're all wiping counters, noses, and butts just like the next Mom.

If you have mistaken me for one of those Moms that "has it all and does it all and knows it all", you should stop by my house unannounced on any given day and your image of me will be something completely different, I am sure. I am just speaking figuratively here, please don't stop by my house unannounced. It's a mess!

I think that our own insecurities can highlight other Moms' so-called "perfect qualities" when really those same Moms are feeling just as insecure or incapable. If I see something I like in another mom, like the way she talks gently to her children or remembers to actually bring snacks to the park, I don't let it make me feel "less-than." Instead I allow my heart to apply the good things I see in other Moms to my own life. We make the choice to feel Mommy envy. And we also have a choice to make a change in our own lives, and also to be content just the way we are.

This post is also cross-posted at the Chicago Moms Blog.


July 1, 2007

Ankle Biter

So you all know by now that we are always trying in little & big ways to live more green. I have really enjoyed the daily tips from Ideal Bite. They are perfect if you are just starting out and are an ankle biter like me, or even if you are the well-seasoned tree hugger.






Click here or on the button above, or the one in my sidebar to sign up for the daily tips. Enter your first name & email address- really easy, quick sign up! After you sign up, you can tell your friends and be entered to win fab eco-prizes! You can check out the Biter Gear like Gray's 100% organic super-soft onesie and Biter Bottles (I really want one of those!)


The latest in green at our house is that we've offically switched over to cloth napkins! I really like Ideal Bite's
tip on "going cloth." And I must brag a little about how we really got the jump on going green with cloth. The other day a HUGE box of green cloth napkins (38 cloth napkins- I am not kidding) arrived from Jess (O Mama Mia). Included was a sweet note on helping me go green with some new green napkins. I have to say I am so blessed with wonderful blog friends. I am
totally knitting her little Starlet a sweater!




And I have already added to my collection... aren't these napkins just HAPPY? Got 'em off ebay... they just make me smile! Don't ya just want to come over and have lunch with me and my happy napkins?


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