Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tune in Tuesday - Three Prizes!

Congratulations winners!  Rather than clutter your facebook walls and jam your email inboxes, I will be posting winners as one email from now on.  Today's winners are super lucky ladies!  All three of these prizes are awesome!  Random has spoken, and here they are:

Monkey Toe Diapers - #98, Tannis
Green Bumkin wetbag and wipes - #22 caedmen
Little One Books gift certificate - #7 lydiasgt

Congrats again!  I look forward to seeing everyone in April as we dive into Earth Month with lots of great reviews and giveaways!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Give it away Friday - Best Bottom Diapers


Best Bottom diaper covers are cute.  Super cute.  They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and did I mention they're cute?  I was so excited when I took mine out of the package.  The material felt thick and durable.  And then I put it on Stinky, and I was totally not in love.  It wasn't about the snap in liners.  I love those!  They even have a little tag that says Best Bottom!  Perfect, because I don't have to dig through the laundry looking for the right noes!  It wasn't about the bright blue on dark brown.  I thought it was black.  It was cuter than I expected.  It wasn't even about the slippery feel of the inside of the liner.  I actually loved that!  It made it seem so wipe-able!

Nope.  It was that the Best Bottom cover isn't stretchy.  And Stinky...well, he's...he's like that tea pot.  You know...short and stout?  And since the Best Bottom doesn't have much give, it's a little hard to get onto him.  I love the "One Size" feature.  It's one of my favorite diaper features.  But I really wonder whether the Best Bottom will last until potty training.  He's got room to get taller, but he's on the next to last snap on each side, and he's 13 months.  They fit great now, but I worry a little.  With any luck, Stinky will slim down as he gets more mobile.  He's not walking yet, so there's a good chance.  And if he slims down, problem solved!

That said, I still love the Best Bottom covers and liners!  I do!  The liners are SUPER absorbent!  Seriously.  My first test for a new diaper is ALWAYS overnight.  I don't know why.  I just like to get that out of the way right off the bat.  And the Best Bottom?  A-maz-ing for overnights.  Best Bottom has a doubler option, but we don't have the doublers and we don't need them!  The inserts are great on their own!

I love covers because they can be reused when the inserts are just wet.  I'd love to try that with the Best Bottoms, but for some reason Stinky poops EVERY time he wears them!  No kidding.  He's probably worn them a dozen times, and every time he's had a messy poop.  We haven't had the chance to try reusing them, but the leg gussets have held everything in!  They're great!

They're cute as can be and really trim fitting!  Best Bottoms fit, and fit well, under even Stinky's slimmest blue jeans!

I love our Best Bottom diapers!  They're great!  I know you'll like them, too.  You can find out where to buy a cover at a great price here from Best Bottom diapers!


You can win a cover and 3 inserts right here!  You get to choose your color and insert size!  (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn on April 5, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry!*


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I was given this product in exchange for a review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Give it away Friday - Minx Designs


You've probably noticed that things have changed a little around here!  What do you think?  I LOVE the new look!  It's so much more me, and so much more professional-looking!  I'd like to offer a SUPER HUGE thank you to Erin of Minx Design!  Erin, your work is amazing!  I appreciate everything you've done!

If you've never heard of Minx Design, I'd like to give you a little background.  Minx is owned and run, as I said, by Erin.  Erin's a single work at home momma of a sweetie pie little boy.  She's an amazing website designer!  And if you need any work done...banners, buttons, logos, etsy shop designs...anything at all!...you should really contact her.

I don't think I'm a hard person to work with, but I sure felt like it when I was working with Erin on my design!  Her website was easy to follow and walked me step by step through the "ordering" process for my new design.  Erin emailed me back quickly to ask some questions, and we began working.  Well...SHE began working.  Our email "conversation" is 88 emails long.  I just checked.  That means roughly 40 times, she emailed me with a question or an idea or a mock-up...and roughly 40 times I told her she needed to change this or that.  ;-)  But she never once seemed frustrated with me about my picky-ness!  In fact, I emailed her yesterday and asked her another question, more than a week after the site went live, and she was more than willing to help!  She made sure that everything was perfect, exactly the way I wanted it to be.  And she did a phenomenal job of it!  I highly, highly recommend Minx Design!

I'd like to also introduce you to Erin's little boy.  He's a little cutie.  Just look at him!

Erin's working to obtain a service dog for little Thor.  Thor has some significant developmental delays and a specially trained service dog would be a lifesaver for their little family in so many ways!  Please take a look at Thor's website, and if you feel so compelled, send along a donation to help them reach this great goal!

Erin has very graciously offered to give EACH of my readers 10% off all design orders on her website, providing you're a fan of both her and me and facebook!  Just use the code THISMINXFAN between now and April 30th!


Minx Design is going to give a $35 credit to one of you!  You can either use that for a Mini-Minx Plus package or another designer package of your choice!  The Mini-Minx Plus includes:

  • Custom 2 or 3-Column Layout
  • Custom Header
  • Background
  • Sidebar Titles (up to 8)
  • Blog Button 150x150
  • Matching Text and Link Color
  • Text Only Menu Bar
  • Signature
  • Includes one clip art image or digital kit from this list.

How awesome is Erin now?  I'll warn you, though...if you win this giveaway, be prepared to be amazed by Erin's work! (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn on April 5, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)


Follow both my blog AND Minx Design with GFC.  Leave your email address to confirm!

(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.)

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My blog was redesigned at no cost in exchange for a review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own!

Give it away Friday - Go, Baby, Go


I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to one of my favorite baby product stores: Go, Baby, Go!  I recently discovered this store, and LOVE what they have to offer!  Go, Baby, Go! offers everything from diapers to baby carriers, from skincare items to teething necklaces!  Go, Baby, Go! have everything!  AND beginning April 1st, they're sweetening their deals even more by offering reward points for every dollar spent!  When you buy items from Go, Baby, Go! you earn free products!  It doesn't get any better than that!

Another great feature that sets Go, Baby, Go! apart from a lot of similar companies is their consulting service!  Go, Baby, Go! probably has a consultant that's (somewhat) local to you!  These consultants can answer questions, help you choose diapers, etc.  There is a small fee for using consultant servies if you don't make a purchase during your consultation, but if you make a purchase that fee is waived.

In addition to the regular consultant services, Go, Baby, Go! offers diaper bouquets, should you want to do something a little "out of the ordinary" for baby showers!  What a neat idea!

Go, Baby, Go! graciously sent me a baltic amber teething necklace to try on Stinky!  I have to admit, I've been a bit of a skeptic when it comes to teething necklaces.  I'm more of a "traditional medicine" kind of girl, and the teething necklaces sort of feel like "alternative medicine" to me.  But, at the same time, I've been curious for a while as to whether or not they actually help.

I was super excited to receive the necklace, and of course put it on Stinky right away!  He fought me, but I won.  ;-)  The necklace came on a week when I'd been up 3 out of 4 nights with Stinky because of teething pain.  I didn't really think I'd be saying this, but he slept through the night that night!  Not only that, but his nose stopped running and his appetite returned.  Instant change!  I could say it was a fluke, but I've tried taking it off.  I've left it off for a couple days at a time, and when I do, the snot starts pouring again.  The fever spikes again.  The slobber runs again.  The crying...oh, the crying...  So yeah, I'm totally sold.  Thank you, THANK YOU, Go, Baby, Go!, for the necklace!  I had no idea it was exactly what we needed!

You can buy a baltic amber teething necklace of your own right here at Go, Baby, Go! OR you can win one right here!  (But only if you live in the US or in Canada and have a US address.  Sorry!)
Contest will end and a winner will be drawn on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 11:59am EST.


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I was given this product to review at no cost, but was not otherwise compensated for this review.  The opinions are my own!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stepping Stones Together - Update

We're still faithfully using the Stepping Stones Together curriculum!  We're still loving it.  And the Bug is still learning, every day!  I just want to give you a quick update and show you one way he's progressing.

This is how Bugsy was answering the writing prompts a few weeks ago:

Very simple, very "to the point."  True?  Yes.  But there was very little evidence of real comprehension.

This is how he's answering the questions (most of the time) now:

We're seeing improvement every day!  Thank you, Stepping Stones Together!

Reflo Cups - Review

Reflo cups.  Have you seen them?  

Reflo cups are a really neat concept.  They're toddler-sized open cups, with a nifty insert that controls the flow of liquid!  Each cup holds up to 6 ounces of your child's favorite liquid, and when tipped for drinking, the Reflo cup allows only a trickle of liquid to be released at a time.  This is a very neat concept, and I LOVE these cups, especially for older toddlers who are drinking fairly well from an open cup but need the flow control.

Stinky's 12 months old, though, and I think he's a little young.  You see, he's just learning to sip from an open cup.  I love that this cup shows him that, with a cup, you can't just pour into your mouth because the liquid will, in fact, pour down the front of your shirt.

(This is actually my nephew, Crackers.)

We just use this cup for water, at this point, since Stinky's not an experienced open cup drinker yet.  AND, we use it on the floor.  We learned early on that one of the GREAT features of this cup can also be a downfall.  You see, the insert is designed in such a way that, should it get stuck, you can turn the cup upside down, thump it in the kitchen sink, and the insert pops out!  That's a brilliant idea...but my Stinky is a thrower.  He LOVES to throw things from the high chair.  In fact, if there were a high chair throwing contest, he'd win every time.  When he threw the Reflo cup from his high chair, in conveniently landed, with a thump, right on its top.  Insert dislodged, the contents soaked the floor!  Lesson learned.  Until Stinky is threw the throwing stage, we use it at a safer height!

All in all, I like the Reflo cup, and so does Stinky!

I would recommend the Reflo cup to anyone with a toddler learning to drink from an open cup!  (Just be forewarned it may be messy until they get good at it!)  You can buy them here for just $7.99 a cup!  AND until the end of March, Reflo is offering free shipping on all orders over $10!  

I was given this product for review, but was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesday - joli mini diaper!

Time got away from me today!  Sorry this post is 3 hours past due!

Congrats to #79, Tara!  You're going to LOVE your diaper!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Has Spring sprung?

We've had a beautiful week in our neck of the woods!  Spring is so close I can smell it!  I am so excited to be able to play outside almost every day, to take walks on a much more regular basis, and to go to the park!  We're really looking forward to the warmer weather!

Thursday's high was 71, and though windy is was super sunny.  I couldn't resist the urge to head to the park, so I loaded up my troops and we spent most of the afternoon on the playground.  It was Stinky's first real trip to the park, and though he can't climb or swing or...walk...he had a blast!  I took a few pics of the other kids, but mostly of Stinky.  He loved it!

The kids took off running as soon as we got to the park.  Bugsy learned to climb the yellow ladder right at the end of last summer.  He LOVES the yellow ladder!  Little Lou likes to see how closely she can follow behind him.

Poor Stinky wanted desperately to join them!

Stinky discovered dirt!

He immediately pulled his finger out of the hole, but when I told him it's okay to play with dirt he was all about it! 

He was a one-finger digger this trip, but I imagine as the summer progresses, he'll be a...a boy!

He didn't love the taste, though!

Bugsy spent most of the time doing one of his favorite things:

That's right, he collected bugs!

Stinky tried really hard to play like the big kids, but he's not quite a climber...yet.

He tried SO hard to climb Bugsy's yellow ladder!

We had a great time, but we all wore ourselves out!

(Yes, that really is Little Lou taking a snooze on the teeter totter.  She was already tired from school, and this was an hour and a half into the park trip!)

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful weather we had this week!  Keep it coming, please!  We can't wait to enjoy more of your beautiful creation!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Give it away Friday - Green Bumkin review and giveaway


I'll admit it.  I'm one of "those" cloth diapering moms that, until a couple weeks ago, put the dirty diapers in *gasp* a plastic grocery sack to bring home.  That's right.  I was a wetbag-less mess!  And quite honestly, this was sometimes a deterrent from choosing cloth if we'd be away from home.

And then I was offered the chance to review a small wetbag and 2 wipes from Green Bumkin.  I'd recently started making the switch to cloth wipes, so I jumped at the chance!

I think it's a little silly to carry a huge diaper bag, along with my purse, for short trips, but I do think it's important to have a spare diaper (or two!) along for the ride.  I've started carrying my Green Bumkin wetbag as a mini-diaper bag, of sorts, for these shorter outings!

There are two clean OS pocket diapers and a travel pack of wipes inside the bag in this picture!

After I use one of the diapers, I stick the second diaper and the wipes pack in my purse and use the wetbag as...well...a wetbag!  It works great!  It's perfectly waterproof and machine washable.  The inner lining does come out of the bag during washing, but it's super simple to tuck it back in and go!  I LOVE that Green Bumkin wetbags are totally customizable!  I got to choose my fabric, pul, and zipper colors!  (I chose my fabric and then told Amy from Green Bumkin my top two pul/zipper choices and let her pick which looked better.)

And the wipes are fabulous!  I know when Amy makes these, she's making them for cleaning little bums, but I love them for wiping faces as well!  They're super soft flannel on one side and organic bamboo terry on the other.  They hold up great to washing and...wiping.  I love these!

You can buy wetbags in a variety of customizable sizes, as well as wipes and other items, from Green Bumkin's etsy shop!


You can win a small wetbag set with two wipes right here!
(Contest will end and a winner will be drawn on March 29, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)


Follow me with Google Friend Connect AND visit Green Bumkin on etsy and tell me which of her products is your favorite!

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I was given these items at no cost in order to facilitate a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Give it away Friday - Monkey Toe Diapers review and giveaway


Have you ever gotten something in the mail, and when you opened it, just the sight of it made you smile?  That's how I felt about my Monkey Toe Nykibaby diaper!

The fabric on this diaper feels thicker than a lot of the diapers I have.  That might sound like a negative, but it's TOTALLY not!  It feels, straight from the package, like a good quality diaper!  (It actually feels more sturdy than a lot of my mass-produced diapers!)  The color combination is adorable!  The bright blue on the Moss Green diaper is beautiful!

I love OS diapers.  I like that as Stinky grows, I can reuse the same diapers.  I love that if I feel like I need to add an extra soaker for overnights, I can just adjust the rise of the diapers appropriately and use the same ones! I love the adjustability of the Monkey Toe diaper because the snaps are tight enough to stay snapped, even when I'm fastening the diaper.  (I've had this problem with a few others.)  I LOVE the snap layout on the Monkey Toe Nykibaby diaper!

This has quickly become one of my top choices for "easy" diapers.  I stuff ahead of time, so even daddy or a babysitter could easily change it.  They don't leak, either, which is ALWAYS a plus!  I had one leak early on with this diaper when Stinky had 2 full sippy cups of milk right before bed.  Other than that, he's been perfectly dry!

The Monkey Toe Nykibaby diaper holds up to tantrums:

And everyday activities, such as watching daddy come home:

It fits my little guy like a glove, with very little "bulk" between the legs, and it's very trim fitting!

If you haven't tried a Monkey Toe Nykibaby Diaper, I really encourage you to do so!  They're great!  To help you out, Susan from Monkey Toe has offered each of you 15% off your purchase with the code MyThisNThatLife!  That makes a solid color diaper just $13.60 plus shipping!  What a great deal!  These diapers are SOOO worth it!

You can also win a solid color OS Nykibaby diaper in your choice of solid colors right here on my blog!
(Contest will end and a winner will be drawn on March 29, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)


Follow me with Google Friend Connect AND visit Monkey Toe Diapers on Etsy and tell me which color you'll choose if you win!  Leave your email address so I can find you!

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I was given this diaper to review at no cost to me, but was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Give it Away Friday - Little One Books Review and Giveaway


I'm a book lover.  

My love for books is something I am trying desperately to instill in my children.  So far, it's worked wonders with Little Lou, who reads like a champ!  She's in Kindergarten and reading chapter books at home.  She's amazing.  One way we've encouraged the love for books is by having...well...books!

That's the 8-foot long bookshelf my husband built last summer.  As you can see, the top shelf is totally full of books!  That's not all of them, though.  Not even close.  The top shelf books wrap down onto the second shelf.  There's a bin of leveled readers in Little Lou's room.  There are kids' books in the livingroom and in the car.  They're everywhere!

It doesn't take much to imagine why I fell in love the minute I stumbled across Little One Books!  If you have children, you need to check out this amazing online bookstore. 

Little One Books was created by two grandparents who were overwhelmed with choices when trying to find books for their grandchildren.  There simply wasn't a good "catalog" of books that told them exactly what they'd be getting, what ages books were good for, or why they should choose particular books!  So, they created their own.  And they've done a lovely job!  

I love how each age group (birth-age 5) gets its own category.  Within each age group are subcategories: Bundles, Music, Books, and Video.  Let's pretend you go to the 3 year old category and look at books.  You finally, after much MUCH thought, settle on this book:

as I did.  You'll find that not only does Little One Books give you the vital information about the book: title, author, etc, but they also give a short synopsis.  If you read further, you'll find that for each title on the site, there's a "Why we chose this" summary!  

That's right.  Little One Books doesn't have every book and title you'll find at other big book stores.  There's a reason for that, though.  They want to help you navigate all that chaos!  They want to help you make sure that every time you make a choice from their site...EVERY time...you'll get a book, cd, or video that your children will ask for again and again!  Something educational, perhaps.  Something silly, quite likely.  But something truly worth the time and money you spend.  Something you'll cherish!

Little Ones Books has graciously offered ALL of my readers have been offered the opportunity to get a free Celtic Air cd when you purchase any 2 books from Little One Books!  Simply use the code "celticair" at checkout!

 In addition, Little One Books has agreed to send one of my lucky readers $15 gift certificate to use on anything on their site!  You'll love cruising the aisles as you try to make your selection!
(Contest will close and a winner will be drawn March 29, 2011 at 11:59am EST)

(This counts as one entry.  Leave just one comment.)

Follow this blog with Google Friend Connect AND visit Little One Books and tell me which book you'd like to order and the age group you found it in.  Leave your email address so I can find you!

Extra Entries:
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Good luck!

I was given a great book to review by Little One Books.  Despite their generosity, all views and opinions expressed in this review are purely 100% my own.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In the Light

It's 8:10 am.  My son has gone through the house and turned off all the lights, asking that I not turn them back on.  "Cause this is a very dark forest, Mommy, and I'm looking for something."  Flashlight in hand, he's navigating the bedrooms and hallways.

"What are you looking for, Bug?"  I question.

"I don't know yet!  I won't know until I find it.  You can help if you want to, though."


Doesn't that sound familiar?  How many time have you or I wandered aimlessly, looking for "something?"

I do it all the time.  I'm doing it right now, to an extent.  I have a dream, a goal.  I'm going to be a writer!  (You may argue that I am a writer, but I'm going to be paid for it.  I am.  Somehow.)

But we wander.  We wander through the forest.  We pick our way over and under, trying desperately to navigate our circumstances.  Often we don't know what it is we really want or need, but we know it's out there.  We can feel it.  We know there has to be something!  And so we keep looking, wandering, stumbling through, until:


"Don't worry, Mommy.  I found what I was looking for!"

"What was it?"

"It was this penny right here.  I forgot you gave it to me the other day, but now I found it, so I remember.  Thanks for giving me a penny!"


We eventually find what we were looking for all along!  Or at least, if we keep at it, keep searching, we find something that fills our needs, whether it's what we think we were looking for or not.

Here's the catch, though, as I see it.  I learned this from my 3 year old.  We have to walk in the light.  That's right.  I said it.  If we walk out of the light, into the darkness, we'll be blind.  We won't be able to see what's right there before us, waiting to be found.  We won't be able to find the gifts that have already been given to us, because we'll be too focused on trying not to fall along the way!

But is we walk in the light, like Bugsy did behind his flashlight, we'll be able to see what's before us.  Sometimes it's a dim view, a vague understanding.  That's how I feel right now.  I can see the outline of what's in store, but haven't gotten close enough to view the details just yet.

But it's there.

And the only way I'll find it...the only way you'll find it...is to keep pressing on, through the darkness, and walk in the light.

Thank you, three year old, for reminding me to walk in the light!

Dear Lord, you've given me all the tools I need to navigate my way through the dark forest.  Help me to remember to stay in your Light, to walk with you, and to follow closely.  I know that the opportunities are out there.  I know that you've already set a path for me.  I just need to follow closely to you and you'll show me, glimpse by precious glimpse, the gifts and treasures you've already laid out.  Thanks for walking with me!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TogetherBe Mei Tai

Dear TogetherBe,

Several weeks ago, I wrote to you in hopes of reviewing your FreeHand Baby Carrier.  I have to admit, I was a little bit disappointed that you didn't have any FreeHand Baby Carriers available for review at that time, but was also super excited when you said you'd love to send a FreeHand Mei Tai instead!

You need to know that I'd never used a Mei Tai carrier before.  Frankly, all those straps were a little intimidating!

And good grief!  There's no WAY a fabric rectangle, held on by 4 fabric straps, is going to support my 20-pounder!  How does this crazy thing work, anyway?

Thank goodness the TogetherBe FreeHand Mei Tai came with a great instruction manual!  Not only that, but there's a great online video tutorial on the website!  I would have been lost without that video tutorial!

I want to thank you, TogetherBe, for making your Mei Tai so comfortable!  I would never have guessed I would like it so much!  In fact, on those super fussy days (hmmm...like today...) when I can't get anything done because Stinky needs to be held close all day, the Mei Tai is perfect!  For the diaper bag, the Mei Tai rolls or folds fairly compactly.  For dinner making, the Mei Tai is a must-have!

Stinky typically likes the back carry.  He's not much of a "snuggle on the front" guy anymore, now that he's mobile enough to care.  In fact, even on the back, he's constantly leaning to the side to look over my shoulder!  I think he'd love the hip carry, but I honestly need to watch that hip carry tutorial a few more times first!

Even though he's not typically a front carry baby anymore, the TogetherBe FreeHand Mei Tai saved us a couple weeks ago!  Stinky had his 12 month shots on Friday afternoon, and by Sunday morning he was feeling downright lousy!  He was snotty and congested and running a high fever, thanks to those pesky shots!  Had it been any other week, this momma would have stayed at home snuggled up with him, but we needed to go to church that day.  Thank you, TogetherBe, for making a carrier so comfortable that my sicky baby was able to sleep his way through church service nestled closely to mommy's chest!

In short, I LOVE the TogetherBe FreeHand Mei Tai carrier!  I was blessed to receive this carrier for free in exchange for a review, but I truly believe it's worth every penny of the asking price!

Love love love,
A very grateful mommy

I was given this product for free, in exchange for a review.  The opinion expressed are 100% my own.

Tune in Tuesday - Thirsties Giveaway!

I wanted to win this one myself.  I really did!  I LOVE the Thirsties duo wrap so much!  In fact, Stinky is wearing his right now for naptime!  However, I unfortunately am disqualified from winning my own giveaways.  I guess instead, I'll give it to #11... Jessica, who likes MTNTL on facebook!  Congrats, Jessica!  I'll be emailing you in a moment.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today we picked up the kids after a weekend at Mammaw's house. We're tired after a busy weekend, but refreshed!

As we were driving home, we discussed that Little Lou will probably be a lawyer someday. That girl can...and WILL...argue anything! It doesn't matter whether the argument makes sense or not. It doesn't matter whether you have a degree in theology or microbiology or peanut butter jelly sandwich making, she'll argue to the death!

 (I think she was 3 here.  She's 5 1/2 now and this little sweetie is a vague memory!)

As we were discussing our predictions for the future, she piped up from the back seat. (Of course she did!) "Nope! You're wrong! I'm going to be President of the United States of America! I know all about the Oval Office." Yep. And then she went on. "I'm going to be a 'Publican' and I'm going to tell everyone what to do!"

We explained to her that the president doesn't really get to tell everyone what to do. And then we asked her what she'd do to change the world. She responded, "I'm just going to teach everyone that not helping people is the same as hurting them!"  Wow.  How profound, coming from a 5 year old!

I want you to be prepared, because in 30 or so years, this little girl is going to be President of the United States of America, and she's already making plans!

AND I want you to know that we're already helping her prepare!  You see, she argues everything, but she's not very diplomatic (yet).  She's opinionated, but she doesn't want to hear that you are too (yet).  She has ideas and she knows what she thinks is "fair" but she doesn't know how to put her reasons into words (yet).  So when she wants another cookie, rather than tell her "no," I'm asking her to give me a good reason why she should have one.  Rather than telling her she has to wear a coat when we go out in the cold, I'm asking her to give me a good reason why she doesn't need one.

I'm teaching her to use critical thinking.  I'm teaching her to argue appropriately.  I'm teaching her to be a grown up with ideas and opinions and persistence, one that will be able to make her way through this wild, wild world and, if she chooses, one day become the president of the United States!  (Although I'm not sure the $151 she says she'll use for her campaign will get her there...or maybe that's exactly the kind of campaign we need!)

Dear Lord, my little girl is growing up.  Some days she's growing too quickly, some days not quickly enough.  But she's growing, nonetheless.  Please help me to be the best mommy I can be! Help me help her grow to be a God-fearing, people-loving, talented, opinionated, steadfast woman.  Help me to remember you created her to be just the way she is for a reason.  Help me to grow those good qualities in her and help her reign them in for your benefit!  Help me to see her the way you see her: precious, perfect, and a work in progress!  I need that help today.  And if it be your will, help my little girl to, someday, become the President of the United States of America!  (And if that's not your will, help her to see what is!)  Amen.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I NEED the break!

I just got out of bed.

That's right.  On a Saturday morning, I didn't wake up until 8:30!  Amazing!  I can't tell you how much I needed that glorious 10 hours of sleep!  The few times I did wake up, I forced myself to keep my eyes closed.  I didn't even check to see if it was nearly morning.  I can't tell you if it was light outside.  It might have been.  I didn't care!  Even the dog slept until 8:30!

My kids are at Mammaw's house for the weekend.  Yep.  All of them.  Even Stinky.  

I'm used to the big kids being gone.  I have enjoyed the breaks when they've been gone.  Even mommies...especially mommies...need breaks now and then!  But Stinky?  Stinky's never left mommy's side for more than a couple hours!  (Other than naptime, when he's been taking one amazing 3 1/2 hour nap each day.)  I'm sure he's living it up, being pampered and spoiled by Mammaw and Pappaw and the big cousins.  (My understanding is that she had seven kids overnight last night!  Bet SHE didn't sleep until 8:30!)

Mommy, however, woke up and walked by his open door and got a little sad.

You see, as much as I need the break, this is his first time.  And it's a LONG time!  Two nights...what was I thinking?!  What do I do without my little Stinker for two nights in a row?  Who do I snuggle first thing in the morning?  Who do I chase after with a washrag all day?  Whose nose do I wipe?  What do I DO??

Truthfully, I think Stinky's a little young.  I never would have sent the others overnight at 12 months.  I wouldn't have sent Stinky yet, either.  I think that's part of my sadness.  But in just a couple months...3 short, short, months, Stinky and Little Lou will be spending an entire week at Mammaw's.  I need to prepare both of us.  We'll both make it, I know.  And we'll both be so busy doing the things we're doing that we will hardly notice how much we miss each other (I hope)!

In a little over 3 months, though, Bugsy's having surgery.  We're anticipating a week, or at least most of a week, in the hospital.  They kind of frown on baby brothers hanging around at times like that!  And so we made the decision, as hard as it is for mommy, that Stinky and Little Lou will spend an entire week away.  It'll be just me and Daddy taking care of the Bug.  He'll need our care and attention...but I can't promise that attention won't be undivided.  

Even now, after just 16 hours apart, I want to call and check on the little Stinker.  I miss him.  I need the break.  I NEED the break.  I've never needed it so badly!  But I miss him desperately.  I'll be so happy to have him back tomorrow!

For now, though, I will get off my backside and clean my house.  I'll go to the grocery in a bit, uninhibited by children, whether they're with me or at home waiting for me.  I'll eat a hot lunch...probably not "kid-friendly."  I'll cook a delicious dinner and have friends over.  I'll bask in the glory of this mini-vacation.

Oh...and I did just text Mammaw.  

I couldn't help it.  He's doing great.  So I suppose I should too!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Give it away Friday - joli mini Review and Giveaway


Have you ever had one of those days where everything is going wrong, and then the mailman shows up and brings you a bit of fluff and things start to look up?  If you have, you'll know how I felt when my joli mini diaper arrived! 

If you're like me, you would have taken it out of the packaging right away and rubbed the soft minky on your cheek because it is the absolute softest diaper you've ever felt.  You'd have washed it during naptime.  You would have heeded the warnings from the creator and been hesitant to put it on your baby at bedtime that night because the bamboo needs to be washed 10 times to reach maximum absorbency.

If you're like me, you would have been pleasantly surprised, come morning, because even after just ONE washing, your brand new, cute as can be, softer than soft joli mini diaper would still be perfectly dry on the outside...and totally soaked on the inside!  

That's right.  From day one I have NEVER had a leak (of any type!) with my joli mini!  We've used it overnight very frequently.  I wouldn't say Stinky's a heavy wetter most nights, but he does occasionally leak in some diapers.  Not this one!
The liner is different than any I've ever seen before.

I've always used it with the additional snap in portion, but I suppose you could use it without and just use the extra layer for overnights.

I LOVE the snaps on this diaper!  

There are two rows of two snaps!  I love love love that I can get a super-custom adjustment!  To say that Stinky has chunky thighs would be an understatement, and with the way these snaps work, I'm able to adjust the leg openings to be a "half size" larger than the waist!  I snap the waist into the 3rd setting with the outer snap and the thigh to the 2nd setting with the inner snap, and this fits perfectly!

This is my only diaper with a front pocket, and since Stinky's a boy, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it.

I shouldn't have worried a bit!  The insert is so absorbent that I don't really notice any more urine than I would with a back pocket, and I don't ever have to touch the poo since it's in the front!  Perfect!  

What I don't like about the joli mini?  Every once in a while one of the thigh snaps comes undone.  I think that's probably because I snap the snaps the way I do.

The other thing I don't like about the joli mini

When I'm taking pictures of it, Stinky unrolls the toilet paper!  ;-)

Have I mentioned I LOVE the joli mini diaper?  I do!  Not only is it a super cute fun print, but it works like a dream!  As I said, I haven't had a single leak and the diaper fits perfectly!

Janie from joli mini sent along a sweet little cuddle blanket along for Stinky as well!

Oh, and just for fun...introducing Caveman Stinky!

Are you interested in trying a joli mini diaper yourself?  You can purchase one here!  Unfortunately for you, this adorable giraffe print isn't currently available.  There are tons of other adorable options, though!  Everything from solid colors to zebra minky to embroidered dipes!  You'll love whatever you choose!


You can win one right here!  joli mini has graciously agreed to send one OS pocket diaper to one lucky reader!  This contest is open to US and Canada only, and if shipping is over $10 the winner will need to pay the difference.  (It is SOOOO worth it!)  
Contest will close and a winner will be drawn on March 22, 2011 at 11:59am EST.

(You must do both parts.  This is ONE entry.)

   Follow my blog with GFC and visit joli mini's Etsy shop and tell me what you think you'd order!  Leave me your email address so I can find you!

(Please leave a separate comment for each.)

1. Subscribe to my blog via email.  Leave your email address so I can find you!

2. "Like" joli mini AND My This N That Life on Facebook.  Leave your user name and email address.

3.  Follow My This N That Life on twitter.

I was given this product in exchange for review on my blog.  All views and opinions expressed are solely my own.  Thanks for the generous sponsorship!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My love of writing is not new.

I was born a little over thirty years ago with a pen in one hand and a book in the other.  Sorry mom.  I guess it would have been easier if I were made to be a marshmallow manufacturer or a pillow stuffer, huh? 

You see, Psalm 139:16 tells me, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  That's right.  This day, this crazy, headache-y, wanna go back to bed day, is not a mystery to God.  He knew I'd have days like this.  He knew that, as much as I'd love my job, I'd secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wish that I could have a writing career.  You know why?  HE put that desire in me!  He created me that way!  He made me to write!

Now, I wasn't really born with a pen in my hand.  (You're welcome, mom.)  But I was made to write, one way or another.  I even have a college degree to support it!  So, I have the know-how.  And I have the want-to.  But where's my platform?  Where's my publisher?  My editor?  Did they take the day...the week...the decade off?

I don't think so.  I think I'm finding my niche.  Slowly but surely, things are coming together.  You've probably noticed lately (how could you not?) that I've been writing reviews for companies about products my family has been using.  I LOVE this job!  It's not a "paying" job, at this point anyway.  It pays in products.  It pays in recognition of my words.  It pays in a small bit of sanity in the middle of my otherwise insane days.  

Do I plan to "quit my day job?"  Absolutely not!  I care for a great group of "littles" who I love very much and (mostly) enjoy caring for.  I love teaching them and learning alongside them.  They're great!  I can't tell you how much I learn from them each day!  

Am I supplementing that job with this new-found love?   Absolutely!  My love of writing is not new.  It's always been there.  It's the venue that's new and unexpected.  It's the venue that I love, along with the writing itself!  Praise the Lord for bringing me a platform from which to write!  I've been waiting for something like this to come along for quite some time now!

Will I always be a blog review writer?  I don't know.  I've got some ideas in mind.  I've been brainstorming.  I don't have a "plan" or even presume to know where we'll go from here for sure, but I'm working on it!  I'm glad to have you along for the ride!

So please, grab a snack, kick off your shoes, settle back and stay awhile!  I've been waiting for you, readers!  I'm so glad you're here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kid's CuteTure Etsy Shop

I want to take a minute to tell you about a really cute Etsy shop I found the other day called Kid's CuteTure.

Sometimes, when I have nothing "better" to do (and by that I mean I don't feel like doing housework!) I spend time cruising Etsy.  I stumbled across this shop with and am amazed by the craftsmanship of the products!  There are adorable crocheted hats, like this one:

 These hats come in an array of beautiful colors, and many of them are currently on sale!  They're regularly $20 and are currently listed for as low at $6!  You CAN'T get a handmade crochet hat for that kind of money!  The quality of these hats is amazing as well.  Look how cute it is on Little Lou!

This is the adorable purple and navy hat on Little Lou!  I LOVE it!  Keep in mind that Little Lou has a smallish (20") head and this is a 5T-14 (child size) hat, so it's just a tad big on her.  I ADORE it, though, and so does she!

If you haven't checked out Kid's CuteTure yet, please do!  You'll be really glad you did!