August 31, 2007

Sticky Flip Flops

With my flip flop stuck again to the kitchen floor, even after just mopping two days before, I think that maybe I am not necessarily a bad housekeeper. Maybe it's just having a house full of little boys.

I find it is quite impossible to ever keep up. Unless of course the kids were to go away for a while. But then how empty that would be.

We didn't even have pancakes for breakfast today, but somehow stickiness just happens here.

Lately, I am taking more notice of how often I do straighten the couch's toss pillows, say, eleven times on a slow day. And the bed. I made our bed in the morning (though no one could tell now!) but then it's just so perfect for jumping and cuddling and wrestling and spelunking.

Books. They are everywhere. But I am happy that my kids carry books from room to room, plopping into chairs and under tables, into all sorts of nooks and crannies to read their favorite tale.

In the back of my mind is a constant loop of a favorite poem "Babies Don't Keep"

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking...

...The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

A pile of dishes before me and dirty socks below, I am feeling quite fulfilled tonight.

-Steph

Babywearing Tip of the Week: It's So Hollywood

Have you seen the latest place that Grayson and I have been able to model the lovely Nest slings?

It's the Celebrity Baby Blog! We've hit the big time! It's so wonderful to know talented friends in high places!


But really- more & more new celeb moms & dads are wearing their babies. I think babywearing is a wonderful trend, if you want to call it that. Let it be trendy! What an awesome thing for babywearing to become popular and eventually "the norm" as it should be!


Check out the Celebrity Baby Blog's babywearing archives for photos of all your favorite Hollywood mamas & papas doing the sling thing. Mamma's Milk also has a great gallery of celebrity parents wearing their babes.

By the way, be sure to note the rockin' discount you can get at Nest right now! I hope my favorite Dragon Blossom doesn't sell out too soon...

And I know that 'Babywearing Is So Bloggy', too. Share your babywearing pics for a future post! Email me at jsprecourt@yahoo.com with your photo and a link to your blog!

August 30, 2007

Twenty-Five Bucks



We love Marshall's, yes we do...

$25 for both pair. His cost the most, of course!

The Choice Is Yours

Overheard in the playroom:

"Will you pick to have a bad day or a good day, Carter? The choice is yours."


This public service announcement brought to you by the very proud mother of a very wise six-year-old.


August 29, 2007

Bloggymeetup Fiesta Style!

Calling all NW Indiana bloggers- we're having a bloggy meetup this weekend at Don Pablo's... email me at jsprecourt@yahoo.com if you are interested!

So far on the list:
Adventures In Babywearing
Crooked Eyebrow
Oh Me, Oh My, My Wonderful Men
More Than A Single Mom
Mimi's Toes
I Should Be Folding Laundry

*Also- I am really brainstorming the idea of a really big blogger meet-up sometime, but don't know where or when yet!!


Sesame Street Was Down With It

The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog posted the BEST video...
you
have to check it out here.


Wordless Wednesday: Oh Snap


















Save 10% off your order at Trendy Tadpole
use code: funny by 9/15/07


August 28, 2007

knittybloggymeetup

I finally was able to meet up with Arianne from To Think Is To Create last night. I think she found me while reading the Chicago Moms Blog and she lives close by. We finally had the chance to have a knitting night together at Starbucks!

Arianne, let me just say that I think you are a delight and I am so excited to have a knitting friend! Here's a photo of the first knittybloggy club.

Hubby encourages me to go out, too, as he noticed how much happier I am after I get out and recharge my batteries. Even if it's just for an hour or two, it does help, I admit! And I make a point to be thankful for every time I can escape- no matter how short or long. I don't come back home saying I wish I could have stayed out longer. I just say how nice it was to get out. I am sure it's a blessing to my hubby to have a happy wife!

Cross posted at And She Knits.

August 27, 2007

A Little Bit More Famous

You gotta check out Jenn's post today and read about how my picture was in the Washington Parent magazine!


Confessions Of A Really Bad Housekeeper

With school starting this past week I am hoping to finally fall into some sort of routine. Lately, the following has been my current schedule for housecleaning:

-My flip-flop is officially stuck to the kitchen floor: I guess I need to mop.

-Kids have to drink their morning OJ out of fine goblets: maybe I should do the dishes.

-Kids wear Christmas pjs to bed (it's August): time to do some laundry.

-Hubby towels off with a yellow ducky hooded towel: time to do more laundry.

-Kids have made drawings in the dust on my dresser: I probably should get out the Pledge.

-"Wouldn't it be fun if we went out to eat as a family tonight?!": I really need to get groceries.

Please tell me that you are not repulsed by my nice housecleaning schedule, but rather, you can relate.

And I am feeling a little bit validated after catching a small mention in the recent issue of Baby Talk about the new book A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder. Although I rarely agree with anything published in that magazine, I definitely will agree with what this book suggests. Such as: clutter can provide stimulation for developing minds. Your kids "mix and match things in creative ways. Having lots of things to look at and manipulate can be good for small brains," says co-author David H. Freedman.

Hmmm. I will say that I think that I am happier and more productive when I have a clean house, but when was the last time I put myself first? I think I can put off vacuuming for one more day, you know, for the sake of my kids' creativity and all...

Cross posted at the Chicago Moms Blog.

August 26, 2007

So I Think You Should Feel Good

I am feeling so much better and am very glad it's a new day.




Nina Simone: Feeling Good

August 24, 2007

Ups and Downs and Ups

This past week has been such a roller coaster for me. I am on little sleep- really just catching up the past few nights, but no more 'sleeping in' for me since school has started!

We had flooding from all the storms here, tornado warnings, more flooding. Hubby whipped up a solution to the problem with our basement and we have had no more water coming in the house, Praise God! I am still recovering from an emotionally draining day yesterday. It's not something I feel like blogging about, but some of you can probably tell I am just not myself lately. I should have been focusing on Carter starting his very first day of kindergarten, but my day was just cloudy. I am glad it is over and today is a brand new day.

Carter wanted to have lunch immediately after breakfast today because he goes to Kindergarten right after lunch. He is made for school. Last night at Back To School night, Carter's teacher told us "He sure is a wealth of knowledge with wonderful information!" She said it quite delighted. I told her I almost sent a note in his backpack to warn her of that. He is one of a kind.

He couldn't get on the bus fast enough when it came yesterday, so I didn't get a good picture. I decided to drive to the school so that I could capture him getting off the bus to go into class. This picture just makes me happy. He didn't even stop to say hi- ran right into class. He saw his name immediately, sat in his seat, and started on his work. It was his very first day but he looked like a pro. I know that much of the behavior that our children exhibit is learned from the parents, but I do think that I am learning something new about myself because of them every day.

I've also felt frustrated lately because I am not able to read everyone's blogs as I'd like, and comment, and participate in more of your fun memes and contests and such. I try as much as I can, but often I'll get a moment to sit at the computer and then realize that the playroom really needs to be vacuumed. And on the way to get the vacuum I notice the dishes in the sink. So I get those things done and then have something else to tend to. And lately by evening, I am just too tired to even think about turning on the computer. Then when I do get a chance to catch up, I see that I've missed you having your baby last week, or you having a really fun contest, or you just making a really good point about life. I hate missing out on these things!

I think learning to keep a balance between my real life and my blog life is a constant process. But, I do ask that if you have something big and important that you've just posted about or that is going on in your lives, please email me or comment here to let me know. I hate missing out!

So, to end this on an up... I get a girls night out tonight. My neighbor is having a jewelry party and it will be nice to get out- even if it is just next door.

Babywearing Tip of the Week: It's Healthy!


August 22, 2007

Throwback Thursday: Firsts



My first day of first grade, 1983. My mom wet-braided my hair the night before so that I could have those waves. And my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox- had to have one of those! I also remember the purple shoes... I think they were called "Roos" ? They had a zipper pocket on the side that you put pennies in.






Noah's first day of first grade, 2007. He had a haircut the day before, making sure that the stylist didn't cut any of the top... he's liking the longer look. He had his Star Wars Lego tee laying out to wear for the first day of school for several days. He also came home yesterday with a love note in his backpack from the next door neighbor girl. Oh my.


Thanks to the Pinks & Blues Girls
for Throwback Thursdays!

Surely You've Never Heard It Said So Cute




Enter the Baby Dagny Peekaboo Pouch giveaway here by tonight!

August 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Such An Angel


Water Water Everywhere

Oh, and I forgot to mention that there was lots and lots of water at my vacation destination. We've had so much rain lately- causing a flood in the finished part of our basement a few nights now (Carter thought it was blood in the basement and was so disappointed to see that it was just water.)

Yesterday I could be seen outside at 2:30 in the morning barefoot and emptying our basement window wells by the bucket. I scooped up a couple little toads, too. By the time hubby and I had everything under control, it was 4 AM and we were wide awake. So, we watched Soul Man and I did some knitting. At four in the morning. Soul Man. Yes, I think we were on the verge of craziness.

I never did go back to bed. Gray woke up right as I was feeling like I needed to crash. Then Noah & Carter were up soon after. And I didn't even have a Starbucks or anything to keep me going- not sure how us Moms do it, but we must run on Mother Power or something. Mine really kicked in and I made it through the day!

Also yesterday, Carter broke the lens on my kinda new camera and this had me quite upset because school starts tomorrow! This Mama needs her camera! So I trekked up to Best Buy to see what they could do for me.

They could send it off to be serviced but it might take a week or two. I let them know my disappointment about school starting and they're my babies and they must have photographs. The guy had mercy on me and said I could pick a new camera. And since they no longer carried my camera model anymore, I got an upgrade. And it was an even exchange! And I must say that I think Best Buy has the best customer service. Love the Geek Squad, too! There will be First Day Of School pictures after all!

Of course, my sleep schedule is way off and I am blogging at 4:30 in the morning again. My Mother Power is saying Starbucks is definitely necessary today...

August 20, 2007

Oh Mexico

This Mama took a vacation. It may have been in my house and for just 2 hours, but I was in desperate need of uninterrupted 'Me' time and was tired of having to leave every time I needed a break.

I snuck upstairs, curled up on my new huge soft bed with my knitting, and watched Miss Potter- which I loved! Hubby kept the boys downstairs the whole time- he told them I went on vacation to
Mexico. When I finally came down they said, "We missed you! How was your vacation!?"

I didn't have a tan to show for it, but I did feel quite refreshed. And it was good to be back.


August 19, 2007

So I Think You Should Laugh At This Woman In Labor

Here's a hilarious clip of Carol, also a contributor over at Mama Speaks,
doing the best birthing dance ever...





Be sure to enter the Rusty Bumper giveaway by tonight!

August 18, 2007

The Big Overreaction '07

Confession time. I did not toss out any toys yet. I did box up and put away quite a lot, and here's the honest truth: I am using this big toy recall as motivation to just clean up all the excess... and we have a whole lot of excess.

I know- I could hear the shrieks of anxiety through my computer from yesterday's post. I didn't mean to cause any mass confusion or anything!

First of all, if you have toys that were listed as recalled, I definitely advise that you do according to what the manufacturer suggests- take those offending toys away! But, as for the rest of the toys made in China (hello, that would be pretty much all our toys) use your best judgment.

And if you are throwing anything out, please be as "green" as possible and wise about how you are going about things...

I know my kids and I know that they play with probably 3 or 4 types of toys out of the gazillion trillion they have in the playroom. This is unnecessary and makes my tummy ache. What are we teaching them? In this area, toy recall or not, I had to make a change.

The playroom, by the way, is also where my computer is.
This is where all the magic happens, my dear blog friends. And by clearing out all the excess, I can actually breathe better in here.

I am very concerned about the existing toys we have that are China-made, but I also do not want to traumatize my children by taking away all their favorite things. That might be worse than lead poisoning.

I'm taking some time to really think about what I want to do next.
I do think I may get some lead testing kits for some of the toys my boys still want to play with. You can purchase them at most any hardware store, I'm told, and also a good friend of mine sent me this helpful link with the best priced lead kits I've seen online.

I plan to make better choices regarding all toy purchases in the future, and am having talks with family. We're already discussing Christmas and making some really good plans. I'll be gathering my thoughts about ways to have a home-made Christmas and some good ideas for frugal shopping in general.

Maybe I'll set a date for everyone to link up and participate, so start thinking. I know it's only August, but Walgreens has Halloween stuff out already. It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas- especially if you're going to be making stuff. Oh, and aside from knitting, I'm not crafty, so all the ideas I'll have will be for everyone and will require no skills, really.

Did I overreact to the toy recalls? I don't think so. I have found the blog Not Made In China very helpful at this time- they are staying very up to date with everything and even have lists of toys made in the USA.

I really do hope that parents will see this as a wake up call. Time to read the labels and stay informed, people! The only way to make a positive change is to do something about it... and that's what I'm intending to do.

August 17, 2007

Babywearing Tip of the Week: Like Shoes

Ellen from SoBeBabies has written something I think you all should read...

Baby Carriers Are Like Shoes


What? Excuse me?

No, I have not lost my mind. Bear with me.

Okay, everyone, how many pairs of shoes do you own? No, wait! Ladies, don’t answer that. Guys, how many pairs of shoes do you own? Ladies, you may answer this as though you were trying to please that judgmental someone who implies you can get by with one pair of shoes.

Guys? You there? What did you come up with? Four? Eight? Let’s count them, shall we?

1. Your everyday work shoes that are pretty comfy and stylish enough.
2. Those nasty dress shoes that pinch that you use for weddings and important business meetings.
3. Well duh: sneakers! You gotta have you some sneaks!
4. Boots for inclement weather.
5. Sandals or flip flops.

There. Without even trying, for the absolute minimalist, we came up with five pairs.

My point?

Why the heck is everyone trying to solve all your babywearing needs with one baby carrier when you have five pairs of shoes? Okay, now, ladies, stop laughing. We all know you have just a few more than that stashed away. Shhh, I won’t tell.

So you did your research and plunked down the big bucks for a baby carrier, and, at first, you were happy. Your back and neck felt better and you were all set. But then, you realized, this well-researched purchase did not suit all your needs.

Well duh! Are you gonna wear your snow boots to the beach? Or your flip flops to a business meeting? The answer is usually No!, although one person actually did show up to my wedding with Tevas, but that’s a whole other story!

Here’s the thing. For most of us adults over a certain age, we have figured out that shoes are not a place to skimp. A shoe gets a lot of viewing time and can make or break an outfit, and further, it can make or break your back! Shoes are not a place to skimp because they are about both style and comfort.

Baby carriers are the same! Let me give you a few examples.

1. You got yourself an Ergo and you have been love, love, loving it. It is so much more comfy than the front pack infant thingy you had when your little angel was little which, frankly, broke your upper back and strained your neck. But you’re going to a wedding and you know that Ergo is going to look out of place there, so you are reduced to holding your sweet little baby. Man, you forgot how tiring that was! And you realize your baby can’t nap anywhere because of all the commotion and fussing over him. How convenient it would be if he could be nestled up against you and you could get on with the party.

Introducing: The Dressy Baby Carrier! Yep, there are gorgeous silk slings that can escort you and your little into a wedding in total style!

2. You bought yourself a pouch and it is so simple to use and fine for quick stints. But you are going to Italy and the sidewalks are not stroller friendly. You know you will be walking a lot and your toddler is not the type to keep up. How about a gorgeous Beco? You can pop your baby on your front or back when she’s pooped (as in tired). When you are not using it, you can roll it up into a snug little waist pouch.

3. The Beco was working great but now your darling angel has gotten to that age where he has got to learn to crawl and walk. The up-down-up-down is not working for you. After forking out all that money and only getting a few months usage, you fear you’ve made a poor purchase. Fear not! The Beco or other structured baby carrier is still great for some situations: nursing or sleepy/sleeping baby, and it will come back into its own once your angel has mastered this stage and you will go on to use it for years to come, I promise. But meanwhile, how to deal with this situation? You need something with poppability. A pouch would be great! Plus, when you are baby-less, it packs up small so you can stuff it into your bag.

4. You are at the mall with the stroller and were not intending on babywearing at all. Your little angel has other ideas and you wind up shuffling along, baby on hip, pushing your stroller with the other hand, secretly feeling rather miserable. You dig into your diaper bag, hoping beyond hope. Ahah! You had the foresight to stuff a pouch in there! It’s hiding in a corner but you deftly dig it out, pop it on, and now you can push that package-laden stroller with both hands and a straight back. Whew! Babywearing saves the day! Happy again, you are able to be kinder to your sweet little angel and sneak in a quick kiss on the head.

5. You are totally happy with your sling and always have been. But your husband balks at it and simply refuses to wear it. Your baby is now 9 months old and getting kinda heavy and you are tired of feeling the martyr. In a last-ditch effort to save your marriage, you discuss getting an Ergo and he agrees. Next thing you know, it was all his idea and the Ergo is his baby carrier! You sagely keep your trap shut and wave good bye as he saunters off smugly to the park with baby on his back.- Ellen, Sobebabies.

-I'll add that I think that we all have our own personal preferences and maybe a certain pair of shoes we wear all the time, and of course all you really need is one good babycarrier that you and baby love. But, it is sooo nice to get a new pair of shoes. And same with a new baby carrier. It puts a little spring in your step and offers many new babywearing opportunities...
-Steph

Don't forget to save $5 off your order at Sobebabies by using code: ABW !


August 16, 2007

Looooong Day

A toddler and chocolate soy pudding should not be left unattended. Oops. Let me just say that I am glad our new couches are dark brown. I am still finding globs of pudding in the craziest places. And I only left him for maybe a few minutes in the kitchen while I threw in a load of laundry...

I got some promising books at the library like New Knits On The Block and Speed Knitting to give me some good ideas for a possible home-made Christmas this year. Even if I don't go 100% homemade, I am having fun toying with the idea. I am wondering how I can get everyone in blogland involved to compile the fabulous tips you all probably have. But right now, me so sleepy.

And if you're thinking what is up with all the giveaways and reviews and such this week, it's wrap up time for my summer of giveaways and I've got a few more fun surprises ahead.

First, I am going to hit the hay. Night!

Steph

Throwback Thursday: Eyes Of Wonder


Originally published May 5, 2006.


Gray saw bubbles for the first time yesterday and I, in all my twenty-nine years, saw bubbles for the very first time (again) too.

Be thankful for even the smallest things this very moment, this very life.





Visit The Pinks & Blues Girls Blog for Throwback Thursday.


August 15, 2007

Seriously... I Just Might Do It

I spoke with Emily Friedman of ABC news on the phone yesterday as she was interested in hearing my views on the latest toy recalls. (I love when people want to hear my opinion!) You can view the article here today. (You can read what I had to say on page 3 of the article.)

I think I'm really going to be serious about scrutinizing all of the toys in our playroom and want to plan out just how I can make all our gifts this year for Christmas. I wasn't kidding in my post yesterday. It just makes sense- from a "greener point of view" and also until I feel confident in what I am spending our money on for now.

And also, if anything, it's a time to re-think about the excess in my home right now. I would be embarrassed if some of you could see how many toys my kids have. I can blame it on loving grandparents and aunts & uncles, but you know, I could do something about this if I really wanted to.

Amy at Musings Of A Crunchy, Domestic Goddess has a great post with some good ideas during this time. I think we need to take this stuff seriously. I don't feel like I am acting in fear, but out of awareness. The only way we can get things to change is to do something about it!

August 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Perspective & Action


















Be sure to check out some fantastic contests here!



He'll Be The Kid With The Home-Made Gift

The Chicago Tribune called the other day to ask my opinion about the lead paint findings in some of our most trusted toys. I am a mom of three boys, hello! I live in Thomas-land... how could you do this to me you cheeky engine?!

Although I wasn't quoted in the article, parts of what I said are mentioned. I was asked what I'd buy for a child's gift if we were going to a birthday party and the first thought I had was maybe something by Melissa & Doug- you know, good, trustworthy, wooden toys and then as I was talking to the reporter on the phone I looked and saw that they are made in Taiwan. Hmmm. Right now books sound safe or maybe a gift card so that the parents can decide what the child gets?

Just as we read the labels on our food and our sunscreen, we have to be reading the labels on our kids' toys. Really, anything that has a label needs to be read. Of course, the toys that have been recalled were not labeled as "covered in lead!" but I am going to be extra careful about which toys I'll allow into our home from now on.

So just what exactly is safe to buy? I personally think home-made gifts are the most thoughtful sometimes, and I love to receive them, but not everyone feels that way. I can hear the whispers now- that weird kid whose family makes all their gifts.

Marcie, who blogs at My Two Boys and also the Chicago Moms Blog, has listed some safe lead-free toy options here. I am still tempted to try an all homemade-gift Christmas this year. It's sounding better by the minute.

Cross-posted at the Chicago Moms Blog.

I've also just learned of a new blog at NotChinaMade.net that is exploring the dangers of trading with China. Stop on by and see how you can win a $50 gift certificate to American Apparel and gain some awareness of just what manufacturing in China means.

August 13, 2007

It's Following Us

The other night during a late night drive home, Noah was marveling at the moon and I knew exactly what he was going to say next. I was transported back to when I was five or six years old and remember riding in the backseat of my parents' car and noticing that the moon was mysteriously traveling the same direction as our car... "It's following us," I remember telling my Mom & Dad.

And just as I was thinking it, that's what he said next, "It's following us! The moon..."

The age they are at now is capable of having concrete, real memories. What we say to them, what they see us doing is making an impression. I pray that I will apply this to my reactions, words, and touch. Because from now on, it's following us.

August 12, 2007

In Today's News...



We made the paper again!








Check out Mama Speaks and see what we have to review for you Mamas and giveaway today!

(Click on the photos for a larger view.)

August 11, 2007

Bloggy

You might see some changes and stuff in the next few days as I'm trying to figure out some bloggy things here. In the meantime, this blog is best viewed using Firefox, not Internet Explorer!

Steph

August 10, 2007

Bits

Some bloggy stuff to tend to here...

First of all, I have a contest page link in my sidebar that will keep you updated probably every day. So check it out regularly to see what is to be won!

Also, if you didn't get a chance to hear me talk in real life on my very first podcast ever, you can listen here at MomsBlogging.com.

Now for some Meme-age. I've been tagged a few times over this past week!

Expat Mom asks me to list 10 Things I Hate (and I ask if I can say that I hate the word 'hate'?)

Ok, so here goes. 10 things I dislike very much...

Food: Seafood. I don't like looking at it or smelling it. And don't even ask me to try sushi. Never have and probably never will! Also, meatloaf. Blech. The name alone...

Fruit: Ah, I'd say I like all fruits, but I am not into melons.

Veggies: I love my veggies, but hold the fresh alfalfa sprouts. Not a fan. I love grilled bean sprouts in my pad Thai, tho!

Celebrity/People: I used to enjoy watching E! News, but lately every "celebrity" story I hear is just garbage and lacks substance. It seriously makes me sick to my stomach how much attention is given to all that nonsense. It's so five minutes ago.

Event/Situation/Incident: Seizures. I can honestly say that is something I HATE.

TV Shows/Movies: Hospital/crime scene/court shows (except Ally McBeal!). Please don't make me watch!

Music: Extreme country. Southern rock is just fine. Twangy-whiny-whisky-my-girlfriend's-dog-
car-trailer-boots-cowboy-beer-boogie... not fine.

Household Chores: Bathrooms- tubs, toilets, sinks- I hate it all. Please don't use my bathroom if you ever come to visit!

Around the World: All the legitimate need in other countries (including our own) and all the excess of materialism and un-necessities in the U.S.

About Myself: How I think too much, read into people too much, and want to fix too much.

Tagging Glass Half Full, Frog And Toad Are Still Friends, Cooked Eyebrow, & I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Laura Williams' Musings tagged me for the Middle Name Meme.

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.


2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. (Ha- I find that amusing.)

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

R- I am real.
U- I am uplifting when friends need me. (And I have many, many friends to lift me up, too.)
T- I am theatrical. A great creative outlet- knowing how to improvise is a great tool in life!
H- I am happy.

That is the truth!

I tag:
R-Raising Contentment
U-UTMommy
T-To Think Is To Create
H-Hyperactive Lu

Nell at Casual Friday Everyday wants to know 3 Little Things In Life I'm Grateful For:

(Assuming the main things are covered like Family & Friends)
1. I am so thankful for our little house. It may be small but we love our home and it meets our every need.
2. I appreciate knowing how to knit. I feel good and productive while doing it, and it is such therapy!
3. My iPod- it honestly is the only way I can get anything done around here anymore! Put on some good tunes and I'm quite efficient!

I tag Mel & Jen.

Whew.

Babywearing Tip of the Week: Real Men Wear Babies

Tamara from Changing More Than Diapers... asks: Do Dads wear babies?

I know Dads that wear their babies. My hubby still wears Gray and I am required to make sure the mei tai is handy whenever I leave Gray with Daddy. The other night Ashlee & I escaped for about an hour to run some errands and squeeze in a little Starbucks. When I got home, Jeff was wearing a zonked out Gray.

You can see more about my hubby babywearing here, here, & here, too.


TheBabywearer.com has a great article: Babywearing: A Dad's Experience, written by- of course- Dads!

Also, to see one of the sweetest things ever, watch this video of a new Dad wearing his newborn in a stretchy wrap, step by step- so you can see just how to do it! (Thanks to the Magic City Slingers Blog for the heads up on this link!)


Is that not the most precious thing!?

Yay for Babywearing Dads!

August 8, 2007

I'm A Mom, And I Blog, So Listen To Me- Updated!



I'm the Featured Mom Blogger over at MomsBlogging.com and you should check me out!

Also later today possibly you'll be able to hear me talk in the MomsBlogging.com podcast interview... I just hope my voice doesn't sound funny. It never sounds right when I hear myself on tape.

*The Podcast is here!! P.S. My voice isn't sooo bad but I'm so embarrassed by how many times I said "you know" - ah!

Nell from MomsBlogging.com and Casual Friday Everyday was a fabulous interviewer and I think I talked her ear off!

Throwback Thursday: 2 Years and 2 Years and 2 Years








This summer, 2007 at a
luau.














Two years ago... big baby bump with Gray inside, Chicago summer 2005.










And two years before that...
Summer 2003 at a friend's party, we were just the parents of two little boys.

(Yeah, Hubby really likes that shirt he's wearing- and being totally honest, he almost wore it to the luau!!!!!)



The Pinks & Blues Girls Blog is where you'll find Throwback Thursdays!


Tight Sleep

Most of you already know that we co-sleep with Gray. But did you know that we sleep on a full-sized bed? For three people? Uh, yeah. I know.

But, no longer! Today our new ultra soft and ultra big King-size bed is to be delivered!

I can hardly wait.

And almost even better- I went shopping at Target for new sheets and found the matching comforter set on clearance for $24.98. What!? The whole set! They had only one left and it just so happened to be for a King! It was for me!

Happy happy!

August 7, 2007

Wordless (Tuesday) Wednesday: How YOU Doin?





















Be sure to enter the Olive Kids contest- ends Wednesday night!
More great contests going on here, too!


911 Is Not The Yarn Shop

I have been trying to get these robot buttons ordered from a yarn shop I visited while vacationing in Colorado. Every now & then I give them a call and leave a message and it's just been phone tag.

I decide to call again and the person answers "Blippitybloppity911?" (that's what it really sounded like to me) and I say "Is this the yarn shop?" and they say "This is Blippitybloppity911" really fast and again- I am confused.

"I'm looking for a knitting store. Are you in Colorado?" And she says "This is the police in (my town), Indiana." I say, "Oh weird! I'm from (my town), Indiana!" Then she says "Is everything ok there?" and now I realize that maybe this person thinks I am being held hostage and trying to disguise it by saying I am calling a yarn shop.

Sooo, I explain that I don't know that happened- I even looked at my phone where it shows the number I dialed and it was the full number for Woolen Treasures. No idea how 911 got called. But, she had to send an officer out anyway just in case.

There I am waiting by the front door, no shower yet that day, with three little spectators peering out, for an officer to come. I explain the situation again and all is well. Much to the boys' dismay, there were no flashing lights and his car was even un-marked. But still, they are now going to be police officers when they grow up and thought it was the coolest thing yet to happen all summer.

August 6, 2007

Walk Two Lines Down Memory Lane

We were married just 6 months when I suspected I might be pregnant. I just had this feeling. Well, I hadn't been feeling well, but that's not the feeling. I just sensed that I might be pregnant. So, one night on my way home from work, I stopped at the grocery store and filled my cart with random items to go along with the one intentioned pregnancy test. I think I picked the cheapest one (I could go look right now as I saved them all. I know I'm not the only one that has done this.)

I brought the groceries in the house and snuck the test upstairs. I think hubby was home by then. I nervously took the test and there was definitely one line and one very faint, if you squinted the right way, second line. I remember feeling a numbing sensation and an excitement. We had planned to have at least two or three kids, but thought maybe that would be after two years of marriage. It had only been 6 months. But I had a hard time hiding my delight.

I asked hubby to sit with me in our living room, and I really gave him a scare at how serious I was. He was so excited to hear this possible news, to my great relief! We went out and bought several more tests (like 5 or 6 or 7, I think) and every one of them had that light second line. Little Noah was in our hearts and in my womb.

You can share your feelings of the first time you found out you were pregnant over at MomsBlogging.com.

August 5, 2007

So I Think You Should Dance

Grab the love of your life or the nearest baby or child or your friend or a stuffed animal or whatever and dance away to this happy happy song. You can find the lyrics here. Sing along.

I am really into happy lately.

August 4, 2007

This Mama Knows...

Today my little story about Boo is featured at Mama Knows Breast in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, and I won a copy of her new book!

The first moments of Gray's life outside the womb are some of my most treasured. We were able to bond and nurse immediately, and hubby and I snuggled and ooohed and ahhhed over our newest son for a good hour or so, all alone before anyone had to come tend to the routine hospital stuff.

Initiation of breastfeeding within the 1st hour of birth is the first and most vital step to reducing infant and under-five mortality. To me, it was just so natural to do right after he was born.


And still, with Gray being almost 22 months old, breastfeeding him is so natural and not something that I ever view as shameful or a burden. The fact that I am still nursing him at this age is something I enjoy and know is best for him and me.

Whether you nurse your child for one day or one year or even
more, every little bit of that Mama's Milk makes such an important difference in their entire life.

Yellow



Hubby and I had a date night last night! A luau! It was so nice to go out together and I got to wear cute yellow shoes!

Yellow is my new favorite. It's so happy.

And the band even played the New Shoes song.

Something else that's happy is Shakadoo... you can see what they had to ask me over at Love Shak, Baby.

Happy!

Yellow shoes!

August 2, 2007

Babywearing Tip of the Week: Birds Of A Feather...

I am so thankful for my babywearing friends! If you would like to learn more about babywearing, or just want to find babywearers like you, you're not alone!

My journey began by attending a La Leche League meeting, and there I learned about a Natural Parenting group full of babywearers in my area. That's also how I met Ashlee! My circle of babywearing friends is growing, and it's so much fun. We can offer support and try out each other's baby carriers, too!

To find babywearers near you, try checking out your local LLL, Mothering.com's forums, and the Babywearer.com's forums has a "Babywearers Near You" section! Be seen wearing your baby and I'm sure you'll meet other babywearing Moms. Or you'll at least get some new recruits!

And next year the official Babywearing Conference is in Chicago! I'll be there!


This summer, these fine babywearing Mamas meet for Tuesdays at the park. I love Tuesdays!

Pictured, modeling the new line of nest slings: Ashlee- owner of nest and she blogs at Mama's Nest,
Robin- Life With All Boys, Jen- she doesn't have a blog, but has an awesome eBay store and is the Mom to Carter's new lady, & then Me!

August 1, 2007

Throwback Thursday: Little Buddies


Last summer was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that I believe will be life-long for Gray and his best buddy Xavier. Maybe because their Mommies can't get enough of each other either, too!





Exactly one year ago today Moose & little Peanut posed for these pics.
Aren't they adorable! Gray had like, no hair!


And I just had to add this photo taken in the fall at the zoo. I can't wait for hoodies and hat weather again!!!

Check out the Pinks & Blues Girls Blog for more Throwback Thursdays!

And you have until tomorrow night to enter the Chittypulga $75 gift certificate contest!

Childhood Dreams...

In collaboration with the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas sharing their Childhood Dreams, I'm re-publishing this post from last year's Elementary, My Dear.

One of my most vivid memories of kindergarten is when I convinced another little girl (I won't say whom, but I do remember her full name!) that I could write and she had me write a message to her little brother on a coloring paper. When the teacher saw my scribbling (seriously, I thought I was writing!) she scolded me. I think she thought I was trying to ruin her paper, when really I only had the best of intentions! I was only 5!

In first grade I remember having to go to the bathroom SO very bad it hurt- and I raised my hand to tell the teacher but she wouldn't call on me. I remember raising my hand with tears coming down my face and as I tried to hold it in, and I ended up having an accident right there in my seat, in my new gray outfit with balloons on it, so utterly humiliating. Of course then I was sent to the bathroom (finally!) and then to the office to wait for my mom to bring me clean clothes, and feel further embarrassment then. I couldn't help it!

One of the only things I clearly remember about second grade was being called out to the hall, and my mom was there, and she told me that my Gram had passed away. At that time I think I was closer to Gram than any other person in the world. I won't ever forget that hallway, the cold, dingy white-tiled floor and fluorescent lights on the ceiling. I missed a whole week of school and a neighbor made me a homemade Cabbage Patch Doll to make me feel better.

Oh, I do remember one other thing about second grade- my teacher Mrs. Gaddis had a fun way to get rid of your hiccups- when you didn't expect it she would yell, "BOO!" really loud and scare them out of you, but really she only did it for a kid once and thereafter every kid mysteriously always had the hiccups and wanted her to do it to them.

In the third grade, we moved and I went to one school the first semester and started a new school the second semester. That was a very rough year for me. My only friend for a while was my teacher, Mr. Green. No one else liked him because he was very strict, but since I didn't know anyone, I was very good at only concentrating on my schoolwork and would rather stay inside during recess to do my work or help the teacher. I think that was the grade I saw the plus of becoming a teacher's pet and I fit into that roll pretty much every grade after that.

In fourth grade I won the spelling bee (in my class) and had a really cool teacher who would let us have reading time (here I clearly recall my first reading of Where The Red Fern Grows) and we could sit on the floor or on a couch in our room. I found a writing exercise from this grade:


Hi. My name is Stephanie. I am eleven years old. I like to play the piano, sing, and act. I have one mom, one dad, two dogs, and one brother. When I grow up I want to be a singer or a secretary. But I really want to be an actress.

And from fifth grade, I found that I had big plans for the future-

The Year 2013
It's the year 2013. I'm living in a beautiful 4-story cabin in the Rocky Mountains. I married a brain surgeon who makes $64,000 a month. At the age of 23 I had twins: Rebecca & Kirstin. Every summer we visit my parents in Wyoming and my husband's parents in Washington. Our parents take us to Hawaii every spring break. We go the whole way by boat cruise. This summer we're moving to Hawaii because my husband is getting a better job for brain and cancer. Most surfers there hit their heads on surf boards and have brain damage. We already bought a 7-story mansion in Honolulu. I'm going to visit my friends Tanya & Erin in New York, New York when my husband works days.

By Stephanie, 5th grade, 1988.


I think I like just how my future has gone, but if hubby makes $64,000 a month by 2013, I won't mind at all!

Wordless Wednesday: Now Available

The sling is now available, not the Mama...
New styles revealed at nest today!
Shop nest (and see if you recognize any of the models!) &
Enter code: fall07 for free shipping on all US orders over $75!


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