Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Lillebaby is on top of the world!


Right now, as you read this post, we are in the middle of Stinky's 1st birthday party!  YAY!  We made it!  He's on top of the world right now, right where he likes to be!

One way we help him have that coveted birds-eye view is by carrying him in his Lillebaby Nordic carrier!  

Stinky's a little bigger than the baby in that picture.  He's around 22 pounds, now.  He's getting a little heavy for this momma to carry!  Momma's got some medical issues that have been making carrying difficult some days, and the Lillebaby Nordic has been really helpful!  It's a breeze to strap on.  Since I'm the only one that uses it, I leave the straps set for me.  I leave it in the back of the car, and when I need it I just throw it on!  Easy as that.  

This week daddy was at class and we needed to go to the grocery.  It's been a while since I had to go with all three kids; I decided to brave it, but I wasn't in the mood to chase two kids through the store while pushing Stinky in the cart!  Enter: Lillebaby Nordic!

Sorry about the photography...Little Lou snapped the shot for me!  Stinky LOVES the Lillebaby Nordic!  When we went to the grocery, he was in his winter coat.  Usually he's just got clothes on.  It still worked perfectly, but I did have to have Little Lou re-snap the neck support one time.  I think it was just because he was wearing his coat, though!

Stinky doesn't love being carried on the front anymore, so I don't have a picture that way.  I could take one, but he'd be screaming.  I love it, however, that the Lillebaby Nordic has an adjustable crotch so that it can be used for a small baby facing in or a bigger baby facing out!  In fact, there are 6 different positions that you can use with the Lillebaby Nordic!  You can carry babies from 7 to 42 pounds!  (You just need to purchase a separate infant cradle for newborns.)  I tried Bugsy in it.  He's right at the top end of the weight.  I couldn't get him onto my back by myself, so I tried him on my hip.  He's a little tall for the hip carry, but not too heavy!  I am confident he'd be okay on my back!

I LOVE the Lillebaby Nordic!  The manual refers to an optional hood that is available to purchase.  I originally posted that I couldn't find that for sale, and was quickly referred to this page: EveryWear Hood.  I couldn't find it because I was looking for the Nordic hood!  The EveryWhere Hood will fit the Nordic and is just $10!  I'll be sure to update soon (when mine comes!) and let you know how much we love the hood feature!  Thank you, Lillebaby, for a great carrier!

You can buy a Lillebaby Nordic here for just $80 plus shipping!  


You can win one right here on my blog!
(Contest will end and the winner will be drawn March 8, 2011 at 11:59am EST!)

(This counts as one entry.  You must do both.)

Follow this blog with Google Friend Connect AND visit Lillebaby  and tell me something you learned!  Leave your email address!

(Please leave one comment for each.)

1.  Follow My This N That Life on twitter.  Leave your twitter name and email address.
2.  Like My This N That Life on facebook.  Leave your facebook username and email address.
3.  Follow this blog with NetworkedBlogs.  Leave your email address!
4.  This is your last chance to use your extra entry!  Have you used it yet?  If not, say, "I'm on top of the world!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

He was so little. Teeny Tiny. I'd even say he was itti bitti!


That's right...itti bitti!  Little Stinky weighed in at 7 pounds when he born, but dropped to 6 pounds even before we left the hospital!  (He was a 37 weeker...a "near-preemie.")  My smallest prior to him was a little over 8 pounds (39 weeks) and the biggest was almost 9 pounds (38 weeks)!  I didn't know what to do with such a little peanut!  Too bad we weren't using cloth back then, because the itti bitti line would have been perfect!

That's right.  We're wrapping up this day with a trip down itti bitti lane!

I am super excited about itti bitti diapers!  I'm sure you've heard that this Australian-based company is coming to the US in March!  If you aren't excited about it, you should be!  I received two diapers from to review for you, the d'lish and the tutto!

These were my first minky diapers and I was instantly in love with their softness!  The are SO luxurious!  No kidding, every time I put one on him, Little Lou rubs his tiny booty and says, "These are my favorite."

I really love the d'lish. 

I LOVE the trim fit of this diaper!  AND even though he's 22(ish) pounds, he has tons and tons of room to grow in a large d'lish!  It's snapped in to the smallest setting...without overlapping...but if he were tall and skinny, there'd be 2 more snaps we could close!  He'll be wearing this for quite a while!

Besides the fit and the softness, I love the sewn in liner!  You can't possibly lose it in the wash!  It's soft, to, and super absorbent.

I like the tutto a lot too, although the d'lish is my favorite of the two.

I LOVE that the tutto is one size!  Unlike some other OS diapers, this one truly looks like you could use it from birth to potty.  It gets tiny!  Stinky has a lot of room to grow in this one, too! 

The tutto has a definite "learning curve."  There are three snap-in liners, which you can use in various ways to customize the absorbency for your child.  These took a while for me to figure out, but I think I've got them down now.  I think.  Or if I do it wrong, at least it works for me!  :)

Also, when I first got the tutto I thought it looked like a great overnight diaper.  I washed it several times and then put it on him to sleep.  He leaked through...the first 2 nights.  I was disappointed.  BUT after a few more washings, it became my favorite overnighter!  I use it more than any other diaper for overnights.  I LOVE how absorbent it is!  You just have to keep in mind that you really do have to wash this diaper multiple times before it reaches maximum absorbency, but once it does, it's amazing!

I can not say enough good things about itti bitti diapers!  I love them and I know you will too!  They are definitely a "must have" in your stash!

You'll be able to buy itti bitti in the US in March (and you can already buy them in several other countries), or you can win TWO of them here!  That's right!  One super lucky winner (please be me...please be me...) will with both a d'lish and a tutto! 
(Contest will end and a winner will be drawn on March 8, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

(You must do both!  This is one entry.)

Follow this blog with GFC and like on facebook!  Leave me your facebook name and your email address.

(Leave one entry for each.)

1.  Follow My This N That Life  on twitter.  Leave your twitter name and email address.
2.  Like My This N That Life on facebook.  Leave your screen name and email address.
3.  Enter my sister's itti bitti giveaway on Crum's This N That.  Come back here and tell me you did!  Leave your email address.
4.  You can use your extra entry if you earned one!  You have to say, "I SAID put your brother down!"

I was given these products at no cost in order to review.  The opinions are all my own!

Even my littlest Monki loves to learn! Afterall, Monki See, Monki Do!


We start teaching them early around here.  Now, I don't want you to get the impression that I sit my infants at the table with a calculator and a pencil and expect them to produce anything, but from birth I have a habit of just doing little things..."Left foot, left foot, left left left!" when I'm washing them in the tub, "Oh, look!  There's a sticker on your hand!"  We pretend things, too.  We have a lot of fun, but we get things done!

I was recently introduced to Intellbaby's MonkieSee line.  It is AMAZING!  I wish I could tell you that after just two weeks on the program, my two boys were reading.  Wouldn't that be a great story??  I can't tell you that, though.  Stinky can't even TALK yet...and Bugsy, while improving rapidly, is still in the "mimicking" stage.  Like I said, though, it's just been two weeks.  I can imagine how quickly they'll pick up the words!

We were sent almost the whole collection for review:

We received 6 DVDs: Baby's First Words, All About Colors, All About Shapes, Memoflix, Memoflix Whole Word Phonics ABCs, and A Guide to Teaching Babies to Read.  The kids LOVE the first three!  They ask for them!  I hear the theme song over...and over...and over... in the car, in the grocery store, in the bathtub... so you know it's catchy!  They sit and watch and repeat words.  They're really learning!  They aren't as thrilled with Memoflix.  They watch for a few minutes and then find something else to do.  I think the Memoflix DVDs would be better with the littler babies, as the speed of it would capture their attention and keep them hooked!  I really like some of the ideas in the parent video!  What a great resource!

The books are really cute too.  The kid really like the bright pictures!  I love that there are lists of words at the back.  Every word used in the book is listed at the back so you can practice them!  I also love that they have the words telling what the pictures will be, then they have the pictures.  It's so neat they way they've developed them, so that the babies learn to associate the words with...well...words, not just the pictures they "always" go with!

We also received four sets of flashcards: All About Me, Colors and Shapes, Around the House, and Word Pairs.  These are Little Lou's favorite part!  (She's 5 and reading like a champ already, so she doesn't really "need" the program.)  Little Lou likes to play teacher and try to make the other kids read.  :)  She gets frustrated when they can't read, but I know eventually they'll get there!

I think my favorite thing about MonkiSee is how it captures the attention of even the youngest Monkies...and I know they're learning!

You can purchase the entire MonkiSee kit here for just $139.95!  You can also purchase the pieces "ala carte" for as little as $9.95 a piece!  This set is well worth the money!


You can win a set of the three MonkiSee DVDs (Baby's First Words, All About Colors and All About Shapes) right here!  That's a $50 value!
(Contest will end and a winner will be drawn March 8, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

This is one entry!  Must complete both parts!

Follow me with GFC and like Monki See on facebook.  Leave me your email address!
Leave a separate comment for each!

1.  Tell Stinky what you were doing on his birthday (2/26) last year!  Leave your email address.
2.  Follow My This N That Life on twitter!  Leave your twitter name and email address.
3.  Follow me on NetworkedBlogs.  Leave your email address.
4.  Like My This N That Life on facebook.  Leave your facebook name and email address.
 5.  If you'd like to leave your extra entry from the other day on this post, you may!  You need to say, "I ate pickled herring for lunch."  Leave your email address!

I was given the MonkiSee kit free in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own!

Labor with this guy was a SNAP(PI)!


Stinky wasn't due for 3 more weeks, but when I woke up that Thursday morning, a year ago today, I knew I was in the early stages of labor!  I had a busy busy day ahead of me, with meeting I COULDN'T miss!  I had an Early Intervention meeting for Bugsy in the morning, a full day of work, and then "Getting ready for Kindergarten" with Little Lou in the evening.  I was booked tight!  The contractions were constant and consistent all day long...never more than 8 minutes from the time I woke up in the morning, through the meeting, 8 hours with a dozen 4-year-olds, and the pre-k program at the library.  I even called my hubby on the way to the library to tell him that AFTER the program I'd be going to the hospital, so I'd give him a call and he could meet me there.  (I'm a planner.)  But labor was a snap!  Once we were at the hospital, things got a little willy-nilly.  An overnight stay, stopped labor, manually broken water, and pitocin drip later, Stinky came quietly into the world the next afternoon.

Did I say it was a snap?  I meant SNAPPI!  That's right.  Babies are tiny when they are first born, so we'll start with something small.

When I found out I'd be receiving a Snappi to review (and one to give away) I couldn't wait!   I was using nothing but covers and pre-folds at the time and though I'd heard of Snappis and contemplated buying one (or more) I hadn't yet.  My pre-folds were working just fine folded into thirds and laid in the covers.

When my Snappi came, I wasn't sure what to do with it.  Thankfully, they come with instructions, or I would have been at a loss!  Do you know what I discovered the very first time I used the little thing?  I like the way it helps to fan out the backside of the diaper!  I had never thought to do that before.  I found that I like the way that works! 

The Snappi works well and does exactly what it's supposed to do...hold the diaper as a pin would.  Unfortunately, most of my pre-folds are older ones with a tight weave, so it's harder to use the Snappi than it would be with a loose weave diaper.  I can still get them to go on most of my diapers, though!  I love the way it holds "stuff" in!

What don't I like about the Snappi?  I'm not good at it, so I'm a little slow.  My one year old is impatient.  He screams at me and crawls away when I try to fasten him into a diaper!  Not a design flaw, not a product issue...this mommy just needs more practice!

All in all, I'd recommend you get at least one Snappi if you're using ANY sort of diapers that don't have either velcro or snaps!

You can buy a Snappi at just about any cloth diaper retailer for about $4, or you can win one right here! 
(Contest will end and winner will be drawn March 8, 2011 at 11:59am EST)

Mandatory Entry:
(This counts as 1 entry)

Tell Stinky Happy Birthday
Follow me with GFC!
Leave your email address in your response.

Extra Entries:
 (Leave a separate comment for each!)
1.  Follow mythisnthatlife on twitter!  Leave your twitter name and your email address!  
2.  Follow My This N That Life with NetworkedBlogs!  Leave your name and email address!
3.  "Like" My This N That Life on facebook!  Leave your facebook name and email address!

4.  If you earned an extra entry into this weekend's party by commenting on my post on Tuesday, you may use it here...but you might want to wait until ALL the giveaways are posted before you decide!  Just say, "I want an Oompa Loompa NOW!" if you want to use your extra entry!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stinky's Party!!

Stinky will be 1 on Saturday!


Hard to believe our precious third-born has been around a year already!  We've learned a lot, we've grown a lot, and we've USED a lot of things! 

For me, that means a lot of hugs, a lot of tears, a lot of money...

For YOU, that means a big blog birthday party with giveaways all day Friday!  Woohoo!!  AND one GIANT prize on Saturday, which will fly the moment he turns 1!  

Just thought you all deserved a fair watching!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


"I try to be a completely different person at home than I am at work."

These are words that someone spoke to me the other day.  They didn't bother me at first.  This person has a job in a high stress, low morals field.  It's easy to get caught up in what you see and hear around you every day.  Not everyone is "like me."  I get that.

What bothers me, though, is that idea of being two different people, one at home and one at work.  I wonder how many of us do that.  I've worked in the public all my adult life, until a year ago.  I know there are days when you are tired or grouchy or things are not going well at home...or work...and you just have to put on a "brave" face and go about your business.  You have to leave your work at work and your home at home (as much as possible).  Everybody...EVERYBODY...has bad days. 

What I don't I understand is this notion that we can actually BE two different people.  That we can go about life and totally compartmentalize our circumstances.  And that we'd WANT to!

Me?  I want to be the same person.  I want to be the same person whether I'm alone in a room or out in a crowd, whether I'm at church or "work" or just here at home with my own family.   I want to be the same person when I'm on vacation as I am when I'm in "reality."  I strive for that!  I won't begin to say I'm good at it, but it's certainly my goal!

I'm left contemplating integrity.  Have we lost sight of it?  Has our culture become so "ope-minded" that we've lost the desire to be who and what we really are, no matter our surroundings? 

Tune in Tuesday - in(courage) by Dayspring winner!

Congratulations to mattscraftywife!  You were comment #15 and you've won the Dayspring gift code!  I'll be email you in just a moment!

Here's what she said:
I like you on FB too now!

Monday, February 21, 2011

HUGE Mother of a Sale Diaper sale!

 If you cloth diaper, you need to know this:

Mother of a Sale is having a HUGE diaper event tomorrow and Wednesday!  You'll want to be watching...I am sure they'll go fast!

If you like Mother of a Sale on facebook, you can enter to win a $250 cloth diaper start up set!  This is AMAZING!  There are several ways to enter:
*Share our facebook event on your wall to all your friends
...*Blog about Mother Of A Diaper Sales event starting Feb 22nd
*Post on our FB page “MOAS I want to win the $250 cloth diaper set”
Be sure to tell them I sent you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Touch of Home Learning - Review and Giveaway!


I'm a sucker for all things "education," especially if I think they might be fun!  There are subjects that I can navigate totally on my own even without "curriculum," and then there's science.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not bad at science, I just tend to have a bit of trouble thinking of science projects and experiments on my own that will have any relevance...or make any sense to children!  For this very reason, I was really excited when I was offered the chance to review 60 Quick and Easy Science Experiments with Everyday Items from Touch of Home Learning!

60 Quick and Easy Science Experiments with Everyday Items is a downloadable ebook for children ages 3 to 7.  My kids and those I care for (aside from the babies) are all between the ages of almost 3 and 5 1/2.  We've done several of the experiments in the book and they LOVE each one of them!  The book advertises that the experiments can be done with everyday items, and they can!  With few excepts, I have already had all the supplies in my house, and when I haven't have the exact items prescribed in the book, I have been able to

We're currently working on a Transportation unit, and I was thrilled to find that there is a section entitled "Big Trucks, Simple Machines!"  It is a perfect fit to our unit!  Today we did one of the experiments.  The kids loved it!  It is nice enough to go outside today, so we took our cars and a broken shelf and went outside.

We raced our cars and discussed which went furthest and fastest and why.  We talked about whether it was better if we put the edge of the shelf leg up on the step or left it on the ground.  We decided that cars go faster if you give them a little push on the way down, and that gravity pulls them down the slope!  We had a great time, and they didn't even know they were learning!

Here's another project we've done from the book:

We didn't have the black tissue paper the book called for, so we used blue.  That meant we got to see what astronomers see when they look at the daytime sky rather than the nighttime sky.  The kids didn't care one bit, and it made for some great conversations about stars and clouds and why the sky changes from blue to black!

As you can see, we have a lot of fun with the 60 Quick and Easy Science Experiments with Everyday Items book!  We really enjoy using it to supplement our different units!  I'm sure you'd enjoy it as well.

You can buy 60 Quick and Easy Science Experiments with Everyday Items here on the Touch of Home Learning blog OR you can win your very own copy right here!  This contest will end and a winner will be drawn at 11:59am EST on February 29, 2011!

(You must do both of these.  This counts as 1 entry.)

Follow this blog with Google Friend Connect AND go to the Touch of Home Learning blog and follow them with GFC!  Leave your email address so I can find you!

(Please leave a separate comment for each)

1.  Follow this blog with Networked Blogs OR twitter and leave your username.  Leave your email address so I can find you!

2.  "Like" My This N That Life on Facebook.  Leave your username and email address!

3.  "Like" Touch of Home Learning on facebook.  Leave your username and email address so I can find you!

I was provided with a copy of this book by the creator for review.  The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Royal Fun! - Zooble Review and Giveaway


I love to play.  I do!  My kids do, too.  So when I was offered an opportunity to review the Zooble King's Castle Playset, I jumped at the chance!

Isn't that the cutest little castle playset you're ever seen?  

Zooble is a family owned company in Vermont.  Jess from Zooble was very helpful and has been super kind throughout the last several weeks!  She certainly wants to make sure her customers are happy with their purchases!  And they are:

We had an ice storm and temporarily moved in with my parents just in case the power went out long-term.  (It didn't.)  Of course, we took our Zooble castle with us!  Little Lou loved playing with it!  She opened the little door and made all the people go inside for a party!

Somehow I've lost the pictures of Bugsy playing with the castle on his own several days later.  That boy has a huge imagination!  He laid on his belly for a good half hour playing with the figures.  He needed help to set the castle up (it kept falling over for him) but once it was up, those little characters got into some comic mischief!  He's a character himself!

We are really loving the Zooble castle playset!  The workmanship is beautiful!  The castle and "grounds" are made of thick felt, as are the clothes on the figurines.  Each of those little figures is made of wood.  They're wonderful!

My only complaint (and it's a tiny one) is that the hats are held on just by a couple stitches in the back, and I am afraid to play with them too much, for fear that the hats will fall off.  I've debated super gluing them right onto the little guys, but don't want to take away any of their charm!  Zooble has sold hundreds of these little figures and has NEVER had a complaint of hats falling off, though, and they are now adding a little dot of hot glue before shipping them!  "Problem" solved!

There are tons of other cute items in the Zooble shop, too!  Here's one of my's new:

I think we might have to get that for Little Lou's birthday!  Wouldn't that be cute along with the castle set?

You can even get extra people for your castle set!
There are other things in the shop as well.  I'm in love with this little bowling set:

There are tons of other adorable items as well!  I love them all!  

You can buy a castle set just like the one I have for $28 from Zooble on Etsy!


You can win a $25 Zooble gift card right here and choose anything in the shop!  This contest will end and a winner will be drawn at 11:59am EST on Tuesday, February 29, 2011.

(You must do both.  Counts as 1 entry.)

Follow My This N That Life with GFC AND visit Zooble on Etsy and tell me what you'd buy with your $25!  Be sure to include your email address so I can find you!

(Leave an extra comment for each one)

1.  Follow My This N That Life with Networked Blogs.  Leave your Networked Blogs user name and your email address so I can find you!

2.  "Like" My This N That Life on facebook.  Leave me your facebook name and your email address so I can find you!

3.  Follow me on twitter!  Leave your twitter name and your email address so I can find you!

I was given this product to review at no cost to me; however, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We love learning!

I realized last night that I never wrote about this week's progress with Stepping Stones Together!  I don't know how that managed to slip by!  I'm sorry for the delay.

We've been using the program most days.  It's still great!  Bugsy still really enjoys it.  He's doing great!  The other boys ask him to read to them now.  (Of course, 3 weeks in, my 3 year old isn't reading independently, but they all think he is!)  Today he even asked to read the book an extra time!  Of course I let him.  The 5 year old I babysit has become jealous of the Bug's reading program.  I had been using a different program with him, but he wants to do the same one.  It's certainly making my mornings take longer, but we're adapting!

As a part of the program, the child is supposed to choose his own book every other day.  We've done that up until this week, when I decided to build "units" around the books.  I happened to remember a homeschool site I'd used before, Homeschool Creations.  I was really excited, because this week there's a new unit, Transportation, and we were reading Pal the Plane from the transportation books!  I decided that we'd start a transportation unit, so I have the Stepping Stones Together transportation curriculum and the Homeschool Creations transportation curriculum printed out and we're using both!  They work perfectly together!  We've been able to reinforce the reading we're doing together with writing practice, matching words and pictures, etc. 

We've also been doing science projects from a great book lately.  The book, from Touch of Home Learning, is called 60 Quick and Easy Science Experiments.  This book is GREAT!  You'll hear more about it on Friday (if you've been around a while you know what that means), but today I discovered there are a couple of transportation/simple machine experiments in the book!  So, guess what we'll be adding to our "curriculum!"

We LOVE the Stepping Stones Together reading program!  Bugsy isn't reading yet, but he can repeat the entire book back to me word for word.  He corrects the other boy when he "reads" the wrong words.  His fine motor skills are improving, too, as he draws pictures, tries to write his name, and colors each box to show he's "completed" a book!

Thanks, Stepping Stones Together, for a great product!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Well that was fun!

I LOVE giving things away almost as much as I love trying them out!  This is more fun for me than you!  So, you're wondering who won this week's giveaways?!?  Was it you?

If your name is lulu and you were comment #165, you've won the My Baby's Green diaper!  Congratulations!  I'm emailing you with instructions!

If you go by Mrs. Cardenas and you were comment #37, you've won the 3 pack of Skoy cloths!  Yippee!  I'm emailing instructions to you as well!


Now, a great debate. 

My baby boy will be a year old in a mere 11 days!  Holy cow!  I can't believe it!  In honor of Stinky's birthday, next Friday's giveaway will be something he uses!  BUT here's the catch...I can't decide what to give away!

For an extra entry into a February 25th giveaway, tell me whether you want me to give away two small things or one BIG thing on the 25th!  Either way, you're going to want to be watching!

*Beginning next week, giveaway winners will be listed under a weekly "Tune-In Tuesday" post!*

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Confession

It's Valentines Day and I have a confession to make. 

I wait for him in eager anticipation every day.  I watch for him.  I listen for his truck to pull up.  When he arrives, I get up out of my chair, come in from the kitchen, leave the laundry unfolded in its basket, and open the door for him before he gets to it.  I greet him with a smile and a kind word. 

I can hear your collective "awwwwww."

The trouble is, that's how I greet the "package man."  That's right.  It doesn't matter if he's the FedEx man, the UPS man, or the mailman.  They get the same warm friendly greeting, no matter what sort of day I'm having!

My husband gets a nice greeting, too, though.  If it's been a good day, I greet him from my chair or the kitchen or the laundry room with something ewwy-gooey, like, "Hey there."  If it's been a bad day, I greet him with something more like, "Would you please put your bottom on the couch!  Oh, hi.  Sorry about the yelling."  Sometimes I even remember to smile...or at least not scowl.

I was thinking about that this morning as I was waiting for the package man.  Today he was bringing something for my hubby, but I still couldn't wait!  I was excited!  I know he comes right around noon every time.  I plan my day around it!  And as I started thinking about what I'd do in the morning in anticipation of him coming, I realized that my husband would be coming home, too. 

HE comes home EVERY DAY!  No matter if I've had a good day or a bad day.  No matter if I called and asked him to come home; no matter if I put in an "order" for him to be here on a certain day.  He always comes, every day!  And how do I greet him?  How do I treat the man that has committed to loving me every day of my life?  I glance at him, say hi, and go back to what I was doing.  Nothing special. 

He's special.  He takes great care of us!  He even took the kids all day Saturday so I could go out with a friend!  AND not only that, but he washed dishes for me...twice!  If you think THAT's great...he cleaned out the refrigerator...and there was something in there covered with, "eight kinds of mold!"  He is a great husband, a great daddy, a great friend. 

And I overlook it.  I forget that he chooses to be here.  Did you know the UPS man doesn't have a choice?  If I place an order and it's scheduled to be delivered, he has to deliver it, whether he feels like it or not.  But my husband?  He chooses to come home to ME every day!  He doesn't have to.  Even if I call and ask him to come home he could say no.  But he wants to!  And I want him to. 

He deserves my attention; my affection.  Today when he comes home, I'm going to greet him the way I greet the package man.  I'm going to meet him at the door with a smile and welcome him.  I might even make small talk. 

I hope he doesn't think I'm crazy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mother of a Sale

Have you heard of Mother of a Sale?  I hadn't until today!  I just thought I'd's a website dedicated to giving people great deals!  They have one GREAT deal every day, too!  Wow!  I'm in!  :)

(in) and giveaway!


I love a little "bling" now and then.  What girl doesn't?  Nothing too extravagant for me, though.  I'm a litle more "understated."

On a daily basis, I wear my wedding band, a pair of stud earrings, and a necklace.  I used to wear a watch, but I got out of the habit.  I wear the same jewelry EVERY day.  I'm boring.

I was given the opportunity recently, though, to receive a God’s Heart for You necklace from (in)courage by Dayspring ministries.  (in)courage is a great online community of love and encouragement for women of God...and for women to become women of God!

  The necklace they sent is beautiful!  

I was concerned from the picture that the pendant would be a little large for my taste, but it's absolutely perfect.  Each side of the pendant has a different word: Created, Chosen, Celebrated, and Cherished.

And they serve as constant reminders of God's love for me!  The words are so powerful:
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14 NIV
The Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession.
Deuteronomy 14:2 NIV
He will take great delight in you…
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

 The tab on the (adjustable length) chain shows just one more reminder of God's plan.

I JUST noticed that there's a tiny heart on the end of the pendant as well!  I hadn't seen that before!

I put the necklace on right away, and true to my typical form, haven't taken it off.  So, for several days now I've slept in it, showered in it, etc., and it is still as shiny and beautiful as it was at the very beginning!  (It may have a bit more baby slobber on it now than it did right out of the's been a great teething toy, too!)

If you love this necklace as much as I do, you can buy one here from Dayspring!  It's normally $35, but is currently on sale for $25!  There's also a 25% off coupon code this month!   Share your heart & God's love in February ~ Save 25% with code LOVE25.

You can win a $20 gift code to the Dayspring store right here on my blog!  I'd love to give it to you!  You will still be charged shipping, so please keep that in mind when deciding what to order!  Contest comments will close and a winner will be drawn on February 22, 2011 at 11:59am EST!
(This is for 1 entry)
Follow me with Google Friend Connect (right side bar) AND visit Dayspring and tell me what you think you'd buy with your $20!  Be sure to leave your email address so I can find you!
(Because who doesn't like more?)
Leave one comment for each extra entry
1) Follow me on Networked Blogs (right side bar).  Leave me your email address so I can find you!
2) Visit (in)courage and tell me something you love about their site!
3) Like My This N That Life on Facebook!
I was given this product to review by (in)courage by Dayspring at no cost to me.  The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Putting the junk back

Have you noticed I've been particularly quiet this week?  That never happens, especially not for a whole week!  It's true.  Just ask my mom or my sister!  In fact, you won't have to.  I'm sure one of them will chime in here.

I wrote my post on Monday about Bugsy's adventure with Stepping Stones Together and then I stood up from my chair and started cleaning.  You see, I decided over the weekend that I want to turn the garage into an exercise room which will house the equipment I don't own.  When I get in the "mood," I get going and can't stop! 

So, Monday while the kids were napping and I would normally have been posting, I was rearranging the kitchen.  We've had a computer on a little desk between the kitchen and livingroom for a few months.  It was supposed to be for the kids to use, but unfortunately it no longer turns on.  I really want them to have a usable space where they can play computer games and get on select websites and such, but for now we just don't have it.  What we did have was a desk with a mammoth computer that served as a giant eyesore in the middle of not one but two rooms!  I spent my naptime cleaning and rearranging the kitchen, then, into a configuration I still don't like, but it's a little less annoying, I suppose.

And that led to Tuesday, when I spent my naptime working on the kitchen counters and cabinets...which led to laundry...which led to...well, you get the picture!

The trouble is, when I clean I think.  I guess that's not trouble, per se, it's just what happens.  I've had a lot of time to think this week!  You know what I've been thinking about?  Cleaning.  Boring?  Maybe, maybe not.  Could I write a sermon about it?  Probably.  Instead, since you're here, I'll just tell you about it.

You see, I was moving furniture.  Do you know what's under furniture?  Well, at my house (6 little kids deep!), there's dust under the furniture.  And Cheerios.  Puzzle pieces.  String.  Teething toys.  Socks, even!  So, of course, as I was cleaning and rearranging, I had the daunting task of not only moving the furniture, but trying to remember exactly where under the furniture each sock, puzzle piece, and Cheerio belonged so I could put them back!


You don't put the "junk" back when you move the furniture?

Okay, I don't either.  But that's exactly the point!  When I clean and rearrange my house, I don't put the junk back where it was.  I pick it up!  I put it where it belongs, and if it no longer belongs anywhere, I get rid of it!  It would be ridiculous for me to keep it, or at least to keep it where it doesn't belong!  I think we all agree on that.

So why is it, then, that we do that with our lives? 

We make "changes."  They can be anything.  Maybe we start a new diet, but we keep the cookies, we just tuck them back behind the celery sticks instead of leaving them right there on the counter.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Or maybe we decide we need to change our attitudes, but JUST at home.  They can stay nasty at work, but at home, things need to be different.  So we keep the junk, we just move it over there. 

MAYBE we even do it with God.  Not you of course.  Or me.  But THEY do it.  No.  No, I contend we all do it, at least to an extent.  I hope I'm wrong.  I hope it's just me and that the rest of you "have it all together."  But just in case, do these sound familiar?

"I know I shouldn't be watching these movies, so I'll move them to the closet in my bedroom.  That way the kids won't find them."  (For the record, this happened to all of our "R" rated movies for a while.  They're gone now.  Permissible, but not beneficial.)

"I know I should be praying before I eat lunch,  and I will...when I'm at home.  I don't want my co-workers to think I'm weird.  They wouldn't get it."

"It'll be okay if I keep smoking, but only outside or in my car.  That way I won't be bothering anyone else."

"I'll study my Bible when I find a good study that fits with my lifestyle and doesn't take too much time.  I'm too busy with all the other 'stuff' in my life right now."

I'm sure there's something there that rings a bell.  Or if there isn't, there's something else similar.  For some reason we have this idea that we can rearrange and "make room" for Christ but in the process we take all our "junk" with us!  Do you know what the Bible says?

2 Corinthians 2:17 - "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Did you catch that?  When you give your life over to Christ, you're a whole new person!  It's like a "free" pass to the garbage dump!  Take all your junk, box it up, and throw it away!  You don't need it anymore.  You don't have to take it with you!  In fact, if you are going to fully surrender to Christ, you can't take it with you!  The old has gone!  Hooray!  Thank you, Jesus, for taking away my junk!  Help me to keep it away!  I don't need it anymore!

(So that's why I've been quiet.  I've been thinking about my junk.  There's a lot of it.  I've got a big box.  I'm loading it up.  Again.  And I'm giving it to Him.  He said he'll take it to the dump FOR me!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Giveaways closing VERY VERY soon!! LOW LOW entries!

In less than 2 hours, my giveaway for $35 CSN money will close!
At the same time, my SHMILY coin giveaway will end!

Hurry and enter these great giveaways!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm elated.

Bugsy thinks he can read and I'm elated.

I told you last week that we'd started a program called Stepping Stones Together.  What I didn't tell you is that the Bug has always had, and probably will always have, some special needs and needed special help in certain areas.  When he can't do something, he gets frustrated and he gives up.  Case in point: he refuses to take off his own shirt most of the time, because even though he's 3 1/2, he physically can't get some of his shirts off.  So he's given up trying.  So, like I said, if he finds something's too difficult for him, he just won't do it.

Cognitive skills have always been an issue.  Bugsy is bright.  Very bright.  He's compassionate and funny and amazing.  But sometimes things aren't as easy for him to understand.  He needs a little more explanation, and then he "gets" it.  And when he gets it, he GETS it!

So, anyway, we started this Stepping Stones Together program and we LOVE it!  When I tell Bugs that it's his "learning" time (he loves learning time, or I'd call it something else), he runs to the table, no matter what else is going on! 

Today, he said to me, "Mommy, you don't have to read the book first, because I already know it's called My Puppy Sam and I can read all the words."  Now, the book wasn't called My Puppy Sam.  And Bugsy couldn't read all the words.  He guessed based on what he saw in the pictures and what he remembered from Friday.  BUT after I read the book to him, he could repeat it back word for word.  And for the first time, today, he was able to point at each word as he "read" it.  I think that's big stuff!

My little guy loves drawing the pictures, too, almost as much as he loves filling in the boxes when he completes a book!

 He likes answering the questions.  Today I asked him, "What would you ask your dog if he could talk?"  And he replied, "I would ask him I love him."  (I think we still need to work on questions vs. statements!)
So far, I'm very pleased with the Stepping Stones Together program!  Check it out!  It's just $19.99 for 90 days, or $39.99 for a whole year!  It's great!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daddy's special day!

Today is my husband's birthday.  Happy birthday!  (I just found out he reads my blog sometimes, so I had to send him a shout-out!)  We were "wasting" some time this morning before we got moving, and I suggested to the kids (who don't understand that they're supposed to let parents sleep in on birthdays) that maybe they should make cards for daddy.  Here's Little Lou's card:

We laughed out loud when we read it.  She told us the best thing about birthdays is the cake!

Later, we went to Chick Fil A for lunch.  CFA is a big deal, because we have to drive 30 minutes to get to the nearest one.  (PLEASE bring one closer!)  We were sitting there eating our chicken...okay, our ice cream...and Little Lou said, "I'm so glad you have a birthday today, Daddy!  You get to be special!"  She went on to tell us that we're really only special on birthdays and holidays.

I've been thinking about that since we left the restaurant.  I want my family, all the way from Daddy down to Stinky, to know they're special EVERY day.  I'm afraid we haven't done the greatest job of celebrating each other each day, and I want to change that.  I want Daddy and Little Lou and Bugsy and Stinky...and even Harrison, the black know that I value and treasure them each and every minute of each and every day.  I'm trying, and will keep trying!  Thank you, Little Lou, for the reminder!

Do you have any special ways you show your family members you value them; that they're special EVERY day not just on birthdays?  Share them here!  I might try to adopt some of them!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Four. FOUR!!!

Did I mention that we've had FOUR snow days?  In a row.  Four.  Without a break. 

If I counted correctly (and I may be off by one or two), my routine-drive, slave-to-predictability daughter has been in school 12 days since December 23rd.  If you're keeping track, today is February 4...That's 12 out of 42 days...not counting weekends.  If you're paying any attention at all, that's a very rapidly increasing amount of stress and tension for her dear, sweet, tender, loving momma.  ;)

I love my children.  LOVE them!  But holy cow, could I ever use a break!  My patience is running thing, as are my ideas to keep them busy.  If I hear the words, "You're mean!" or, "I'm not playing with you!" or, "He's bothering me!" one more time, I just might lose my mind entirely!  Yep.  They're wearing me down, and they know it! 

I think they've pretty much figured out that I am going to let them watch movies when they want or eat snacks when they want because I just don't care right now.  The littlest one and the biggest one are in their room right now, playing instead of napping, and I'm ignoring them.  Why?  Because I just don't have it in me to tell them...AGAIN...that they need to lay down and sleep! 

They've been in pajamas all week (except Stinky...and yesterday Bugsy wore clothes because he couldn't get his Crocs on over his footies) and I just don't care.  I'd be in my pjs, too, if I didn't have responsibilities!  (And besides, I'm in sweats...which sometimes double as pjs...)

The thing is, I think maybe I need an attitude adjustment more than they do!  That's right...I'm admitting it.  Here and now, for all the world to see.  I am frustrated and irritable.  I'm low on patience and high on...grump. 

  I'm frustrated BECAUSE I'm frustrated! 

I'm deciding, right now, that when naptime is over (not for another 25 minutes at least, if I can control it at all), I'm going to be joyful.  I'm going to make the afternoon more fun for all of us.  I'm going to do everything I can to be a shining example of God's love and grace. 

And maybe, just maybe, we can enjoy the rest of this last snow day together!

Please, Lord...let this be the last one! 

My Baby's Green Cloth Diaper mini-review and GIVEAWAY!

Contest Closed!  Thanks for playing!

I have a confession to make.  Before the mailman came to my house yesterday, I had never used a pocket diaper.  Or and All in One.  Or an All in Two.  Or any kind of cloth, other than a prefold and cover.  I've got several coming for review, but I had never used them!

I found a great deal the other day, though.  My Baby's Green had a huge inventory sale going on! She's got everything from cloth diapers to wooden toys!  There are tons of things I'd love to have for my kids!

So, I found this great deal and I couldn't pass it up!  When I placed my order, her OS diapers (regularly $16.95) were on sale for $12.95!  AND she had a 50% off gift code! I ordered 2 diapers for just under $20 shipped!  It was AMAZING!  They came USPS, but I ordered them Saturday morning and received them Thursday! 

I couldn't wait, so I washed one and put it on him as soon as I could!  As luck would have it, it was just in time for nap!

AND guess what?  He didn't leak!  In fact, I couldn't even tell whether he was wet (after a 3 hour nap) until I pulled the insert out!  What great absorbency!  They were perfect!

I even just put on a pair of blue jeans over an MBG diaper...and they still fit great!  (He's about 20 pounds, but he's a peanut...still in 6-9 month jeans.)  They're adorable!

I've just used these diapers one time each, but so far they're great!  I'll definitely be using them many MANY more times!

Do you want to try one of these great diapers?  You can buy one at My Baby's Green on sale for $14.95.  You can buy an organic diaper (that needs a cover) for $10.95.  AND Tina at MBG has generously offered each of my readers an extra 20% off!  Just use this code:

OR you can win a SHERBERT OR COCONUT colored diaper right here!
(I made that big because it's a new addition!)


Follow My This N That Life publicly via Google Friend Connect (right column) AND go to My Baby's Green and subscribe to the page by email.  The link is in the far left column.  Be sure to include your email address in your comment!


1) Like My Baby's Green on facebook.  Thank them!  When MBG reaches 4000 fans, she's giving away 2 $100 Gift codes!  Leave your fb name in your comment as well as your email address!

2) Publicly follow My Baby's Green with Google Friend Connect on her blog!  Leave your email address in your comment.

3)  Follow My This N That Life on Networked Blogs (in the right column)!  Leave your email address in your comment.

4) Like My This N That Life on Facebook.  Leave your fb name and your email address in your comment!

Winner will be chosen Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 11:59am using

I was not compensated in any way for this review/giveaway.  All opinions are strictly my own.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SKOY cloth - Review and GIVEAWAY!

Contest Closed!  Thanks for playing!

On an average day, there are 3 adults, 6 kids, and a dog in my house.  Perhaps they're not all here at the same time, and some are only here for a few minutes at a time, but that's still the potential for a LOT of messes!

A while back I switched to the "select-a-size" paper towels because sometimes you just don't need that much and I hate throwing away more than I have to!  I have been looking for an even better option, and recently started seeing ads for SKOY cloths.  I asked if I could review their cloths, but to be honest I was a bit skeptical.

The cloths came in cute little 4-packs, tied with ribbons and packaged with instructions.

SKOY cloths are amazing!  I love them.  I've just been using two and have left the other two in the drawer.  I LOVE that I can just throw them in the dishwasher and wash them along with my dishes!  They come out of the dishwasher looking brand new!  You can wash them in the clothes washer, too.  AND you can wet them and throw them in the microwave to sanitize them...or to moisten the gunk and make it easier to wipe off the microwave walls!  I've used them to clean the stove, the sink, the counter, the table...

My very favorite use for my SKOY has everything to do with my littlest man!  Stinky is a messy eater!

That's right...he literally rubs the food all over his face and hair now!  That's no problem for my SKOY cloths, though.  I just wet one, wipe him down, turn it over, and wipe his high chair tray!  ALL with one wipe!  I've had to rinse the SKOY cloth a couple times, but usually I can wipe the baby AND the tray without even rinsing!  That job would several paper towels, easy!

If you're like me and have messes at home on occasion, you NEED SKOY cloths!  You can buy SKOY cloths here for $6.99 plus shipping, OR you can win your own set of 4 right here!


Follow my blog publicly with Google Friend Connect AND "like" SKOY on facebook.  Leave your fb name and your email address in your comment!

(1 each)

Follow my blog with Networked Blogs.  Leave your email address in your comment!

"Like" My This N That Life on facebook! Leave your email address in your comment.

Follow Crazy 4 Fluff publicly with Google Friend connect!  Leave your email address in your comment.

Comments will close and a winner will be drawn Feb 15, 2011 at 11:59am EST.

I was given the SKOY cloths for free in exchange for my review.  My opinions are my own. 

Pacifier weaning

For bad or good, my babies have all been "binky babies."  They've each had their own preferred "brand," but no matter which it was, they were attached.  

When Little Lou was a baby, she loved Nuks.

Of course, they didn't have these super cute ones then!  I read that when babies turn 9 months old they start to gain attachments to objects, so if we wanted her to give up the paci we should take it by then.  I took hers the DAY she turned 9 months old and never looked back.  She cried...that day...and then was fine.  She started sucking her blanket tags instead, and still, at 5, I sometimes catch her with those nasty tags in her mouth!

Bugsy was different, or so I though.  Gum Drops were the only pacifiers he could figure out how to work.
Of course, now that he's 3, you can buy them at retail stores, but when he was a baby, you could only order them online, at a pricey $3 a pop, plus shipping!  I had planned to take his away at 9 months, but then surgery was scheduled for 9 1/2 months and I felt bad, so I didn't.  I figured once he was recovered well I would take it.  I didn't have to.  He started throwing his paci in the hospital after surgery, and I figured that if he didn't want it, I wasn't going to force it!  So, at 9 months his was gone as well.

AND then there was Stinky.  Ah, Stinky.  I love you even more than you love your Soothie!
Stinky is 11 months old and has never gone a day without his Soothie.  Even in the hospital after he was born.  Even though they don't allow pacifiers at the hospital where I delivered my children.  Stinky's a sucker...literally!  

I've told myself a hundred times that I need to take the pacifier away from him.  I've probably told some of you I want to take it away!  But Stinky JUST started sleeping through the night...sometimes.  And I figured that until he was consistently sleeping through the night, I would let him keep it!  

There's a problem, though.  Stinky has a tooth.  Yes, A tooth.  Just one.  But that one tooth is sharp!  And Stinky has discovered that if he holds his binky tight enough between that one tooth and his top gums, it makes a silly *pop* when he pulls it out!  He does this often, now.  I thought it was harmless, until yesterday, when I took a good look at Stinky's binky and discovered that he's bitten a hole in it!  So I looked at another one, and...yep...another hole!

Today is a new day.  Thankfully, Stinky's not used to having that stinky binky all day long.  I've always limited them, really from birth, to just sleepy times.  Today, Stinky went down for a nap (although not willingly!) without the plug.  The jury's still out on whether we'll attempt bedtime the same way, but I'm done with the naptime pacifier.  (Or he is...or we both are.)

Some of you are probably thinking, "But he's still a baby!" and I respect your opinion.  This is what works for us, though.  Only one of my babies has ever had a bottle.  Only one of my babies has eaten jarred baby food on a regular basis.  (The same one...not the first one!)  I ditch the bink before they're a year.  And yes, I'm transitioning to cloth diapers.  

Wish me luck as I transition my itty bitty a little bit closer to "big boy."  We could BOTH use the encouragement!