Monday, January 31, 2011

Sick 31/365

We had quite the scare at home today. Big Boy woke up from his nap flushed and on fire. I immediately took his temperature and found it to be 105! I'm actually pretty calm under most circumstances, but I can't lie, my heart was racing when I saw those numbers (the last time he had a fever that high he stopped breathing and has a history of febrile seizures). My first instinct? Google it- see if he's dying; after fighting the urge, I quickly decided to call the Ped instead. She suggested getting him into a tepid bath and then giving him a dose of Ibuprofen. I then rushed him to their office, by that time, the poor guy was quite pitiful. It turned out to just be an ear infection. For some reason, (well there are technical terms involving words like "white matter" and other scientific words that basically mean his brain is set up a little differently than the average) his temperature spikes really high with minor infections. The good news is he's doing much better now that he's on an antibiotic. 
Mothering can be so nerve wrecking at times. When we first discovered that Big Boy had his health problems, I decided to cling to Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That's been my life verse for his life and has gotten me through many doctors visits (it's so hard to hear physicians say that your baby is somehow "imperfect" because to you, they are absolutely perfect). What's the highest that you child has ever spiked a fever? Do you have a life prayer or verse for your child? 

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mama Pear Designs Lactivist Apparel Review 30/365

Breastfeeding symbolImage via Wikipedia
        This post is long overdue. A few months back, I had the pleasure of "meeting" Lara the owner/ designer of Mama Pear Designs on twitter. My immediate impression of her produced nothing but respect for her passionate desire to share the "lactivist" call with the world. I wrote about her Breastfeeding Blitz a few months back. 
        Mama Pear Desings mission, as described on the website is  "To create breastfeeding awareness and offer support to nursing moms. We know firsthand how wonderful breastfeeding can be, and strive to make others aware of its amazing benefits for moms and babies!" There is a ton of useful information and resources available on the site.
        In addition, Mama Pear Designs offers advocacy gear available for purchase. And the best part is that they do this with stylish apparel for the whole family! Check out the CafePress store that includes items for baby, mom, dad, and also includes gear like totes and water bottles.  If you support breastfeeding and want to get your message out to the public, consider ordering a Mama Pears Design t-shirt! I personally own two and just can't say enough good things about them. Prices on the tees average range from $21.99-27.99 (and don't forget that their is a special each month). The two shirts that I own are pictured below:
"Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom, Healthy Earth."

"Just add baby to (L)activate."

      Both are printed on American Apparel tees and have definitely started up a conversation or two. If you are looking for a great and stylish shirt that also boasts an awesome message, check out Mama Pear Designs, I promise you won't be disappointed! 

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bed Bugs 29/365

Don't let the bedbugs bite...
And if they do?
Hit them with a shoe!
Until they turn...?
Black and Blue!
And if they don't......?"

     If the thought or even mention of bedbugs makes your stomach turn, then this post os not for you- please stop reading immediately! On the other hand, if these tiny creatures gross you out yet intrigue you at the same time, then please read on. 
     It sounds insane to be grateful for bedbugs, but ironically, my family is. The hubcap is an excellent commercial exterminator and Cincinnati is in the middle of a huge bedbug epidemic, so the pesky buggers have given him so awesome business (and is also partly what has allowed me to quit my job and stay home with the boys). 
     The majority of the US population has yet to see a bedbug with their own eyes so today my friends, I have a treat for you. If, you are ever in a hotel, or movie theater and happen to come across one of the bugs pictured below, then yes, you have the right to freak out, scream, and run for cover....

    Pictured above is the bedbug at every life stage (egg, nymph, and adult). And yes, oddly enough, we have containers of bedbugs at our house all waiting to have scientific studies done on them (actually having a container of dead bedbugs in my purse for comparison and discussion has actually come in handy a time or two- but I digress). 
    Although bedbugs are basically harmless (yes their bites can leave very uncomfortable welts depending on if you are allergic to them, but they do not carry disease), most people, including myself, would rather not share a bed with them. The only non-chemical way to get rid of these nighttime prowlers is to use heat. According to the NPMA Field Guide to Structural Pests by Eric H. Smith and Richard C. Whitman, "A normal hot wash cycle will kill bedbugs. Running dry clothes or other items (non-washables such as backpacks, shoes, etc.) through a hot drier (as hot as the fabrics can withstand, but a minimum of 140 degrees F/ 60 degrees C) for 10 minutes kills all stages, but don't run larger than half-loads. " These creatures are great hitchhikers and love to travel with people, but chances are, if you happen to just bring one home, you will not have an infestation. 
      There's huge hype in Cincinnati right now regarding bedbugs. Many times, my husband will get a complaint call only to find a beetle or some other type of harmless bug that has been mistaken for the bedbug. My goal of this post is to enlighten my reader to the physical recognition of bedbugs. People ask me all the time what they look like and so I hope this serves as a good visual :)
            Are bedbugs a problem in your part of the world? 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dramatic Face 28/365

    Little Man's personality continues to blossom each day! He's such a character I often find myself laughing so hard my sides hurt. He loves to make faces and really feeds off of people laughing at him. His latest is "Dramatic Face." Every time we ask him to make his "Dramatic Face," we get a variation of kissy face like the one displayed below. Good thing this little stinker is so darn cute- his sleeping habits are still less than desirable for his mama :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Owl Moon 27/365

Cover of "Owl Moon"Cover of Owl Moon

The children's book, Owl Moon, always comes to mind when there's snow on the ground. If you haven't read it, please check it out, the language is so beautiful! 

I was able to get this shot of the moon with my camera. I was pretty impressed with my digital zoom :)

I was able to get this shot of the moon with my camera. I was pretty impressed with my digital zoom :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Naptime Mommy Project 365 Link-up

This is the first time I've had the chance to actually make a collage. Each individual post contains details behind each photo. Thanks for visiting! 

NapTime MomTog Project 365

Monday, January 24, 2011

Soldier 24/365


The face of a soldier-
brave and true;
Calm, quiet-
I truly "Thank you."

The face of a soldier-
gentle, yet strong;
bittersweet goodbye-
He says, "It won't be long."

The face of a soldier-
just like me and you; 
I pray every night that-
my Lord will protect you.

My "little" brother deployed for Afghanistan today. My heart is heavy for him as he leaves behind his wife an 8 week-old daughter. My heart breaks for him that he will miss most of her first year- yet he complains not. Like so many brave men and women, he views the military as his duty and is happy to serve. Freedom certainly is NOT free. I have nothing but respect for our armed forces. 

Love you so much, Tommy! Come home to us safe! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Snowbird 23/365


Sitting, waiting-
Quiet as the snow found.

Watching, contemplating-
Like the flakes all around.

Perching, inspiring-
of God's blessings that abound.

The hubcap spotted this beautiful cardinal sitting in a pine tree outside of Big Boy's window. It reminded me to stop, listen, and "consider the birds" on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Funk Rock 22/365

A little 9 oz of heaven (or at least I'm hoping anyway-LOL) arrived in my mailbox for review today! We've been dealing with the ammonia diaper stink off and on for about the last three months. I've read rave reviews about this new product from Rockin' Green Soap, and can't wait to try it! My full review will be up next week. Wish me luck! Any other tried and true ammonia busters that you've found?

Friday, January 21, 2011

White Snow, Bright Snow 21/365

White Snow Bright Snow

Softly, gently in the secret night,
Down from the North came a quiet white.
Drifting, sifting, silent flight,
Softly, gently, in the secret night.

White snow, bright snow, smooth and deep.
Light snow, bright snow, quiet as sleep.
Down, down, without a sound;
Down, down to the frozen ground.

Covering roads and hiding fences,
Sifting in cracks and filling up trenches.
Millions of snowflakes, tiny and light,
Softly, gently, in the secret night.
~ Alvin Tresselt

The "white death" as our city affectionally calls it, has been falling for about two days now... Although I am getting a bit tired of it, I prefer the romanticism in the poem above. The poem is also from one of my favorite children's books. How are you surviving the winter chill? My two have been dealing with a nasty cough/ cold as so, unfortunately, we haven't had the pleasure in playing in the snow. 
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sandra 20/365


"streets are empty, snow fallin down, cold winds blowin is the only sound. Darkness shares the night with the stars up in the sky, the moon and the clouds are getting ready to fight.., I know I should be sleeping, but I can't close my the painting of winter you created outside. the shadows of the trees seem to cover everything...time stands still just for once, no thoughts of tomorrow, or of days gone by..."

Have I told you how much I love my sister-in-law, Sandra? She's more like a real sister- and has been there for me through thick-and-thin. Although she would never think it, she's an inspiration to all she meets. Her strong Christian testimony despite many hard life trials, including a battle with ulcerative colitis, has served to encourage my heart on many a day. She's the first to offer an encouraging word to any person afflicted, and is the type of loyal friend that would be there for you no matter what! This post is a small token of the appreciation that I have for her life.

Another thing that she will never tell you, is that she's an awesome singer/ songwriter! She has a God-given talent and unique voice that calms my soul. Have I perked your interest yet?! If so, do me a favor and go listen to a sampling of her songs on Facebook. ImperfectMelodies  is sure to brighten your day and encourage your heart :) 

Love you, Sandra! Know that you are being uplifted in prayer at this very moment and by those that read this post! 

Winter is in full force here in Cincy. Sandra took these amazing photos on a recent winter walk :) Also, the first paragraph that started my post are the lyrics to a new song she is writing. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Throw Away Your Toys 18/365

        It never ceases to amaze me at the simplicity of what really entertains a child. I am confident that I could throw away all of my boys' toys and they would still find a way to engage in play (play is so intrinsically built into their DNA). And they would probably be the better for it. Using "non-toy" items as play props allows children to use their imagination; foster creativity. The toys of today are often over-the-top sensory stimulating taking away from a child's natural ability to imagine, create, and dream. Good thing it's raining out today, or I just might have packed up the majority of my children's toys and taken them to Goodwill. 
       Exhibit A below is Little Man playing with hangers- seriously, this kept his attention for a good half-hour- way longer than the average "toy" engages him. Do your children have any favorite "non-toys" that they enjoy?

Shop it to Me- a Fun Way to Get Discounts on Designer Clothes

     If you're anything like me, you resolved that you would NEVER leave the house in sweat pants, a ponytail, and without makeup, however, then you actually had children and became a hot mess (at least a few days a week). I'll admit, fashion has taken a backseat to mothering (as it should), however, I've decided that in 2011 I'd like to get dressed at least half of the week- LOL!
     To help me in this endeavor, I've found a great site, Shop it to Me. Shop it to Me is a free personal online shopper that arrives in your email as often as you sign up for (daily, bi-weekly, weekly, etc.). It's so fun and easy! Basically, you just sign up, choose your designers, sizes, interests and then your "SailMail" is delivered to your email with great discounts, promo codes, and specials! To learn more about how it works, click here.
     Usually something this cool is too good to be true, but Shop it to Me is a legit way to find the best deals on designer clothing and accessories all without ever having to leave your house! If your closet could use some sprucing up this year, consider joining. 
     As a final awesome perk, once you join, you can tell others about it and for every 10 people you get to join, you earn a free $10 gift card to an array of retailers (Whole Foods, Old Navy, Gap, etc.). What's better than free?

Disclaimer: If you decide to join by signing up through the link above, you will help me earn points towards a $10 Whole Foods gift card. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cloth Diaper Limerick/ Sweet Pea Diaper Cover Review 17/365


There once was a sweet, tiny boy;
who disposables did annoy;
his bum was so red
that changes he did dread
until cloth made him enjoy!  

Sweet Pea Diaper Cover in Indigo

Diaper Cover pictured above with prefold- very trim!

Sitting down shot- no bunching or gapping! 

LOVE that these diaper covers have gussets

Action shot! Little Man is on the second setting and is 14 mths- 24 lbs; plenty of room to grow!

SItting down shot- again, no gaps or shifting! 

Awesome laundry tab for easy line-drying! 

And this one is just because I love how he's being a ham :)

        I met Nancy, the owner of Sweet Pea Diapers at #MeetSweetPea, an @EcoChicParties twitter party a few months ago. I was instantly drawn to her diaper covers based on affordability and a few unique features. 

       The first thing that I LOVED about Sweet Pea Diaper Covers is that they retail at a very affordable $10.95. Since they are one-sized, that means that you could cloth diaper a child on a budget! I'm actually a pocket lover at heart, but I've been wanting to add some more affordable options to my stash to share with other local mamas that are wanting to start their own stash with limited funds. If you are looking for a thrifty alternative to cloth, consider purchasing 6 or so Sweet Pea Diaper Covers along with a dozen or two prefolds , and you could have a starter stash for under $200 (the amount of diaper covers and prefolds of course would depend on the age of your child as well as how often you would like to wash- please don't hesitate to contact me if you want to talk cloth or have any questions). And just b/c the diaper cover is affordable, doesn't mean that the quality is compromised! Of all the one-size diaper covers that I own, the Sweet Pea is the most affordable while still being of high-quality. 
       Pictured above on Little Man, is the Sweet Pea One-Size Diaper Cover in Indigo with snap enclosures along with a Bummis (toddler-sized) Indian Prefold (tri-folded). The fit, is super trim which I feel is extra important now that Little Man is up and running around - who wants a bowling ball between their active little legs? In addition, the Sweet Pea has inner-gussets to provide extra protection from blow-outs and leaks, how cool is that? 
       The final unique feature of the Sweet Pea Cover is the laundry tab- the little white loop is a simple yet brilliant added feature to make line drying even more convenient.
      So in review, if you are a thrifty mama looking to start a diaper stash while on a budget, or a current fitted or prefold mama looking for a new and innovative cover, then I think the Sweet Pea Diaper Cover is for you! It's a snap closured, one-sized cover with bonus features of inner gussets and laundry drying tab that is sure to please both your pocket book and your aesthetic side (go check out the fun colors available here).
       Sweet Pea Diapers have been described as the, "Most competitively priced multifunctional cloth diapers on the market." Now I know from first-hand experience that that is true! Make sure to check Sweet Pea out on FACEBOOK and TWITTER for more information. 

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nothing Says Sunday like Football and Pizza 16/365

Yes, I'll admit, I love football! And for some strange reason, pizza just goes with watching it (FAIL in the mothering natural health department; success in coolest mom of the year). Nothing says Sunday more than gathering around the tube to watch a game with pizza in tow (well, nothing other than church that is- so it's more like "Church-Football-Pizza"). Any other football addicts out there? 

The Apple 15/365

Little Man's current favorite snack is an apple. I just love watching him devour one (it takes a good few hours seeing has he only has 6 teeth). I've been working on learning the settings on my camera and playing with my editing software. These are three of my favorite photos capturing Little Man's snack time. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Collection 14/365


1 Collection
    2   Buses
       3  Racecars,
         4  Police Cars
           5 Ambulances
              6  Construction Trucks
                  7  Fire Engines
                     8 with missing parts
                        9  doors that open
                           10 minutes of fun.

Like most little boys, Big Boy LOVES HotWheels cars and has his "collection" that he enjoys lining up. Do your children collect things? 


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Girl- A Self-Portrait 13/365


Still a girl at heart,
emotions heavy;
mood hair;
lacking energy.

Still a girl at heart,
eyes starring;                                
clothes portraying;
someone that has it altogether.

Still a girl at heart,
womanhood slowly turning
the girl into a routine-

Lord, restore in her the joy
of childlike wonder 
in the holy ordinary. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wonder 12/365


   Big Boy-
   eyes wide and bright,   
   wheels turning-
   with delight.

Precious Boy-
focused with might,  
not tainted by-
adultish "rights".

My Boy-
I love this sight,
may your holy curiosity
remain without a fight.