NickMom Asks for Holiday Stories

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client.

Tis’ the Season! Round these parts, we do holidays in a major fashion. We always have. My Mom’s side of the family gets together every year for each and every holiday. It’s something I have participated in since I was little and is something I look forward to each year. The entire year is mapped out and very little planning goes into these events since they have become routine. Each year, Easter is at my Grandparents, Thanksgiving is at my Aunt’s, Christmas Eve at my other Aunt’s, Christmas Day at my Mom’s. This is what tonight looked like for us:

This isn't all of us... just the folks that were in the room when I snapped a picture.

This isn’t all of us… just the folks that were in the room when I snapped a picture.

With family like mine, we have all the entertainment we ever need. Each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas we spend hours laughing together and reminiscing (some of us have more stories to tell than others). Hearing about stories of my Mom’s childhood has always been fun for me, and it occurred to me a few days ago that I’m not sure what stories I’ll tell my kids once they’re older. Which is why when NickMom asked me about funny holiday stories, I thought up

5 Holiday Stories the Family Would Rather Forget

The time I was so excited I puked.

Ok, so I’ve mentioned before that my Mom gets super into holidays – Christmas and Halloween especially. So just keep that in mind when I tell this one OK? I was about 12 or 13 and was headed to bed on Christmas Eve. I played all the games that were made mandatory by my mother and tucked myself in. My parents came in and kissed me goodnight and I laid staring at the ceiling wondering when I would see my parents sneak down the hallway to do their “santa-ing” (yes, I knew… but I also knew full well, and still do for that matter, that I absolutely must put on a show about it and believe in the magic). I couldn’t fall asleep. I just laid there with butterflies of excitement burbling up in my stomach. I remember padding down the hallway to my parent’s room knowing I would be shamed for getting out of bed on such an important night. I told my parents my stomach hurt, and was shooed back to my bedroom with a case of the jitters. Again, I laid in bed staring at the ceiling questioning if there was any chance this feeling was “just the jitters.” It was then that I made a mad dash to the bathroom and completely emptied the contents of my stomach. I continued to do this throughout the night, and eventually my Mom joined me, the two of us battling it out for floor space between bouts of vomiting. This my friends, was no case of the jitters, but a full blown case of the flu. Don’t worry though – puking our faces off didn’t ruin Christmas. The whole family still came over and celebrated while my Dad ferried gifts between floors so my Mom and I wouldn’t infect everyone. While we played with Christmas gifts the next two days, my Dad and brother spent the days following Christmas playing hide and seek with the toilet while they took their turn.

The time my Grandmother made a new cocktail.

Grandma's new drink #nickmom #shop #motherfunnyOne of the holiday traditions my family members have is to drink Manhattans on Christmas  and Thanksgiving Day… and while we are a far cry from a family of drinkers, basically any other family function as well. If you’ve never had a Manhattan, I can only describe it as the most foul mix of very strong liquor you will ever have, plus a little cherry juice. But clearly, I’m the black sheep in the family since everyone else thinks they are the cat’s meow. I honestly don’t know how there aren’t more stories like this one on the list, but alas, this is the only time I can distinctly remember anyone in the family being noticeably tipsy. One year at Thanksgiving I sat at the table with my Grandmother long after the rest of the family had gotten up. I was in college, but not yet 21 so while I knew a good deal about alcohol (sorry Mom), it was still somewhat taboo for me to publicly know anything other than the fact that I did not appreciate the sips of Manhattans that were offered to me. As we sat chatting, coffee appeared in front of us and I watched as my Grandmother picked up a glass of white wine and tipped it up into her coffee. This wasn’t something I had heard of before. I wasn’t a coffee drinker, but the tastes didn’t seem like they belonged together, so I questioned her while trying not to sound too interested. She explained it was one of her very favorite drinks, and that she has it all the time – which struck me as odd because in so many years and so many holiday get togethers, this was the first time I had seen her make this particular concoction. When she then added some red wine to the glass telling me it wasn’t quite strong enough I began to realize she may not have had her full wits about her and brought it to my Mom’s attention. My Grandmother continued to insist that it was a well known drink and that I should be sure to try it the second I turned 21. Later that evening (and again tonight just to make sure I’m not crazy) I googled “wine in coffee” and found no trace of this being a widely accepted beverage. I have yet to try her drink, and never once saw her create it again, but who knows… maybe this Christmas I’ll treat myself to an after-dinner red, white, and coffee cocktail.

The time I tried to cook.

As I mentioned, Thanksgiving has always been spent at my Aunt’s. As a guest rather than a host I never really paid much attention to any of the efforts that went into preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, I knew there was some baking and roasting and lots of time in the kitchen, but if you asked me how to cook a turkey I wouldn’t even know where to begin. When we moved down to South Carolina, A and I quickly realized that we would have to pick and choose which holidays we came up to Baltimore for, and sadly, Thanksgiving was the first to get the axe. In an effort to keep tradition alive, I told A and a couple friends that I would happily cook a Thanksgiving Dinner for them. Let it be known now, I have never claimed to be a chef. Hoping for a beautiful dinner, I purchased a Turkey from the grocery store and was shocked to find it still frozen solid 2 days later when I went to cook it. In an attempt to clean the turkey (or whatever the real term is for getting those bags of who knows what out of the middle) I ripped the bags and eventually ended up pulling most (but not all) of the frozen contents out in small pieces. A quick call to my mom assured me that the turkey would still be fine, but that I might want to run some warm water through it and on it to try and thaw before cooking. I was undeterred. My Thanksgiving dinner was sure to be a success. I moved on to pumpkin pie. I followed the instructions, but was a little nervous about how watery my pie filling seemed when I put it into the oven. Not too much later, I realized I had completely forgotten to add the condensed milk and I ended up with a more pumpkin cake/bread hybrid instead of a pie. I wasn’t too worried though, I planned to make homemade whipped cream, so in all honesty nobody would really care what the “pie” tasted like since it would be covered in amazingly delicious whipped cream. Except, having never made whipped cream before I left it in the mixer just a teensy bit too long and ended up with a very sugary butter instead of whipped cream. So yeah. My first shot at making Thanksgiving dinner ended up with gross, overcooked Turkey, some strange concoction of pumpkin flavored bread in pie shape, and super sweet butter. To date, there hasn’t been a second attempt at me cooking a Thanksgiving dinner.

The time my boyfriend killed a bird.

He Killed a bird. #shop #motherfunnySometimes when I look back at my relationship with my husband, I wonder how it is he stuck with me. Our first Christmas together I invited him to the madness that is our house on Christmas Day. I warned him there would be about 20 of my family members in attendance and told him to stay away from the Manhattans if he planned on driving home that night (seriously, one sip of those things is enough to put me down for the count). He decided to come anyway and I got as anxious as any girl would get when her cute boyfriend is about to meet the entire family. As he pulled up to my parent’s house, he started looking around his car, clearly searching for something. When he eventually made his way into the house, he informed us that he had hit a bird on the road and, though it was small, he hadn’t seen it come “out” of his car. Sure enough, there was a dead bird lodged in the grill of his car and he was asking for advice on removal. It was at this point that my Aunt, you know the one he had never met and hadn’t even been introduced to, launched herself out of her chair, ran to the kitchen and grabbed a plastic bag. She then excitedly asked “CAN I HAVE IT?!” Oh yes, she asked my boyfriend if she could HAVE THE DEAD BIRD STUCK IN HIS CAR. You see, my Aunt is an artist and apparently bird feathers make extraordinary paint brushes. Her elation at the idea of having an entire bird worth of feathers was rather adorable, though equally as mortifying for me. What happened next? Well, we spent that Christmas with a dead bird in a ziploc bag full of rice sitting proudly on the front steps waiting for my Aunt to turn it into paintbrushes.

The time my {other} Aunt gave us the bird.

Yep. Another bird story. But this one the credit goes to my other Aunt. This Aunt is very prim and proper. She is always sweet and kind and loving and I think the meanest thing she has ever said to anyone is “I’m very sorry.” She sings in the church choir, never interrupts, and puts out a Christmas Eve spread that rivals Martha Stewart. After one of our Christmas dinners, we decided to play a family game of Chubby Bunny. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, you go around the table and each person inserts a marshmallow into their mouth and repeats the phrase “Chubby Bunny.” You are unable to swallow, chew, or spit and the game continues until the last man (or woman) is standing. Imagine our surprise when my Aunt joined us for a game. As family dropped out, my Aunt continued to pack her cheeks with more and more marshmallows. It was pretty clear from early on that she would win the game, but myself and my uncle wanted to see how far we could take her. We crammed marshmallows into our mouths and watched as she daintily placed each marshmallow into the perfect place to allow her to retain a beautiful annunciation of “chubby bunny.” As she repeated the phrase for the last time, my father called her name from the other side of the room. She turned to see what it was he wanted and found a camera in her face. The click of the camera was only a millisecond faster than her reaction. But the picture could not have been captured at a more perfect time. What exactly did my father capture that evening? Well…… this.

 Auntie gives the bird #shop

 

A big thanks to NickMom for giving me the motivation to put together some #motherfunny stories. Now I’ve got my ammo for the Christmas dinner table this year, and in years to come!!

Posted in family fun, holidays | 2 Comments

Track them when you need it most.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tagg™ Pet Tracker, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pettracker http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

We love our dog. The kids love her, and A and I love her. She makes it easy for us to love her (except when she goes through the trash… but she hardly ever does that)- she doesn’t go more than 3 feet away from us, she is amazingly patient with the kids, and compared to most of the other dogs in the neighborhood she hardly ever barks. She really only barks when there is good reason – if someone she doesn’t know gets too close to one of our kids, or if someone is at the door. We would be absolutely devastated if Liberty ever got lost. And now? She won’t.

sK6xvJR - ImgurThis is the Tagg Pet Tracker. It’s one of the coolest products I have gotten for review on Me as a Mommy. The inventors of the Tagg have seriously thought of EVERYTHING. It’s a little device that you can hook onto the collar your pet already wears. We put it onto Liberty’s collar and after a single head shake she paid no more attention to it.

taggondogThe basic idea isn’t that crazy to have been thought of. Attach a small GPS to your pet and be able to locate them when and if they get lost or run away. The accuracy is, in my opinion, pretty impressive. We fortunately haven’t had the need to actually track her because she was missing, but it has been fun playing with the tracker and seeing how accurate it is. Most of the time, it was more accurate than my iPhone location. In the picture below, Liberty and I were sitting on the couch in our house when I checked in. The blue dot 2 houses down is where my phone was reporting being (it was in my hand) and the pink paw is where Tagg had liberty… well… tagged!

tagg accuracyOk so how does it work? It was incredibly easy to set up. I went online, filled out some information about Liberty and set her home tagg zone. In all, it took me about 15 minutes to register and set all of our preferences. I then also went and downloaded the free mobile app to make tracking Liberty even easier!

As many of you know, I tend to get a little long winded about products I really love. So I’ve highlighted each of the cool features I want to talk about. If you want the short version, just look for the list of features ;)

Email Notifications

When setting up my profile, I was able to give Tagg an email address to send me alerts. I had anticipated getting alerts if Liberty left her home tagg zone, but the alerts go much more in depth than that. Without getting an obnoxious number of emails, I’ve been getting many more emails than I thought. Tagg sends an email if your pet leaves or re-enters their home tagg zone, if the tracker is getting low on battery, if the tracker turns off, and when the tracker is fully charged. For all I know, there could be other notifications we haven’t gotten yet. Which, speaking of notifications, by downloading the mobile app, I get those same notifications as a pop up notification on my phone – which would be insanely convenient in the event you actually lose your pet!

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Activity Monitor and Journal

This isn’t *just* a GPS. The Tagg monitors my pet’s activity levels and provides a history so I can compare her activity. I was fairly certain I would be embarrassed by Liberty’s activity levels, but was pleasantly surprised to see that she does get some good exercise each day. This would be extremely helpful if we suspected illness or something like that. Being able to look back and see when activity levels dropped could seriously help a vet. It could also help with weight management for pet owners that need to be conscious of that!

activityTurn on Tracking

In the event your pet gets lost, you can turn on tracking and Tagg will pinpoint your animal’s location every 30 seconds and email it to you. This would be fantastic for chasing down a dog on the move. Thankfully, we haven’t had the need to use this feature, but I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to know which way your pet was headed if they were to be missing.

Long Battery Life

The battery life on the Tagg Pet Tracker is pretty impressive, ours lasts about 5-6 days between charges. When it does need charging, it only takes about 2 hours to fully charge. With 3 kids I really don’t have the time to constantly remove, charge and replace Liberty’s Tagg, so it’s nice to know I can go awhile without needing to do so. One of my favorite features is the notifications of battery life. I can totally, 100% see myself (and many others) forgetting to charge the Tagg and having the battery die and then it be totally useless in an emergency situation. The long battery life, paired with notifications to charge and a reminder to put the Tagg back on your pet takes all the forgetfulness out of the system and makes it so your pet constantly has an active tracker.

Truly, the Tagg Pet Tracker is an amazing device. We are fortunate and have a dog that doesn’t run away, but I know so many dogs that will bolt the second you open the door. This device would be so handy for pet owners that have “normal” dogs ;) Even with our dog, I feel so much more secure knowing that she has it on and if something should happen I know we’d be able to find her. The one and only downfall I can find is that your pet has to be 10 lbs for the activity monitoring to work. When I first heard about Tagg, I wanted to use it on our outdoor cat to see how and where she spends her days. Unfortunately, at just 8.5 lbs she isn’t quite heavy enough. That said… A and I have been discussing giving it a try anyway. The fear is that the device would get lost, but we both eventually realized… we’ll be able to track it and find it again!!!

What pet do you have that you would like to track with a TAGG Pet Tracker??

If you’re interested in getting your own Tagg, now’s the time! Using the discount TAGG10 you can save 10% off of a Tagg Pet Tracker. (The Tagg Pet Tracker is normally $99 with 3 months of free service).

Posted in furbabies, reviews | 1 Comment

Disney Planes Soar Into Our House!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

I haven’t seen Disney’s Planes the movie yet… but Mason has and he loved it! His very best friend, Austin (and Austin’s mom Katie), is somewhat obsessed with the Dinsey Pixar Cars the movie, so when Planes came out, they offered to take Mason with them. He went, had a blast, and still frequently talks about what a great time he had. We had the chance to check out all of the Disney Planes toys Walmart currently has and haven’t stopped playing with them yet! Although my original plan was to get the Planes toys for Austin, Mason and Audrey both fell instantly in love and I knew we’d have to hold onto them. Having not seen the movie myself, made this shop even more special for me!

The kids and I ventured out to our local Walmart on the search for some Disney Planes or Cars toys. There was a great selection of toys to choose from, you can see the selection and lots of other pictures not included in this post in my Google+ album. Eventually Mason chose a two pack of cars and two planes, and Audrey chose a 2 pack of cars and a Planes toy. The entire trip through Walmart Mason regaled Audrey and I with stories of each of the Planes characters from the movie. If you have a 4 year old, you know how exhausting it is to listen to them talk… since it’s usually an ENDLESS STREAM OF NOISE; but for once there was something new and interesting that Mason had to say – as a Stay at Home Mom, I usually know everything going on in Mason’s life, but for once he was actually telling me stories about things I wasn’t around for.

#shop for Disney's Planes and Cars

Mason couldn’t wait to tear into his new toys. Hayden picked the check out line to decide she was absolutely STARVING TO DEATH, so we finished up and I opened up the kids’ toys in the car before we even got home. I nursed Hayden while Mason and Audrey had a blast playing with Cars and Planes in the back of the van.

Disney Planes #shop can't wait to open

Once we got home the kids played with their toys and have played with them every day since. I don’t really see this trend coming to an end anytime soon. I absolutely love when Mason and Audrey play together, especially when it doesn’t involve toys that make noise or electronic devices. Watching them use their imagination together is such a pleasure, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy joining them every so often. Even Hayden has gotten into the Planes action with a little nibble on Dusty…

Disney Pixar Planes Dusty the plane #shop

Mason’s been obsessed with his Angry Birds sets (also from Walmart!) for quite some time now, so I can’t say it was a total shock when the bad plane (or at least that’s what he tells me!) joined the ranks of all the bad piggies. You can’t see them in the picture, but the good planes and all the angry birds are all lined up on the other side. Talk about a major showdown!!

Echo Disney Planes toy #shopThe Disney Planes and Cars movie toys we got have become fast favorites with the kids and with me. I love them because the kids aren’t watching the TV/iPad/phone and they are actually somehow able to continue to play nicely together with them. If the playing nicely trend continues, we’ll be headed back to Walmart soon to buy more of these fun toys! I used to wonder at the collection of Disney Cars toys Katie had purchased for Austin, but watching my two (or three if you count attempting to eat as playing) play with these makes me wish I had started buying these earlier!

I’m a Disney freak, so I’m pretty excited for when Disney’s Planes the movie comes out on DVD. Seeing how much Mason enjoyed it makes me know I’ll enjoy it too… and hopefully having a familiarity with some of the characters will make Audrey enjoy it too! If you’re anything like I am, you probably already liked the Disney Pixar Films facebook page, but if you haven’t be sure to do so! And while you’re busy doing things, make sure to stop by your local Walmart and pick up some of these awesome toys!

Posted in cutest kid, Disney, shopping | 3 Comments

When Funny Isn’t Funny.

I think it’s pretty well known that I’m a cloth diaperer. You just need to look over in my sidebar, or at ANY picture of Hayden… or Audrey… and almost all of the pictures of Mason and you’ll know. So I don’t pay much attention to commercials and advertisements for disposable diapers. But tonight I was catching up on Big Brother (it’s my guilty pleasure) and a commercial for Luvs was on and I heard/saw half of it. The part that I saw was enough to make me google to find it because all I could think was “Wow! That’s super offensive to first time Mom’s!” Turns out the one I saw is one of many… and I can’t decide which one is the most offensive. As a mom of 3, I know they are true. But thinking back to my time as a first time mom, already insecure and unsure about EVERY parenting decision I was making, and pretty certain I was going to majorly screw up this whole parenting gig, I just can’t even imagine how these commercials would have made me feel. The fact is, I think they are offensive. There is a hint (or more) of truth to them, but it seems like an absolutely horrifying marketing strategy. A great way to alienate a whole bunch of moms (which now that I think of it, that’s totally cool with me – maybe those Mom’s will be alienated enough to switch over to AppleCheeks!!)

Like I said, I have no clue how long these commercials have been out, this could be super old news… but if you haven’t seen them, here’s a few.

This is the one I saw. All I saw was her grabbing the cereal off the table and the whole “second time mom” bit. Ok. It’s true. I used to pack SO MUCH JUNK in my diaper bag. Now? Hayden needs 1 or 2 diapers, a wetbag and some wipes. That’s it. I don’t even use a diaper bag anymore. I just shove her stuff into the bottom of my purse. But implying a first time Mom is too busy worrying about all that crap and will forget her baby? NOPE. Truthfully, of the 3 I found this one the least offensive… except of course the crotch dangler. Because UGH.

This one was almost funny. Until I thought of all those moms of preemies who made/make people sanitize for a reason. A very valid, important, and necessary reason. And here’s Luv’s poking fun. Cool.

Last, but most certainly not least on the scale of offensiveness, we have the Luvs Breastfeeding Commercial. I’m going to pause for a second and say I do applaud them for involving breastfeeding. It’s awesome to see anyone support (sorta?) and normalize breastfeeding. But this? Not the way to go about it.

I just recently wrote about my journey with breastfeeding. Again, the commercial holds some truth. With Mason, I covered up both of us whenever we were outside the house, and often even when we were in the house if we had company. With Hayden? Well… in the first 24 hours of her life I continued carrying on a conversation with people neglecting to notice she had stopped nursing and left my boob completely exposed… twice. So yeah, it’s true, I was much more conservative and modest with Mason than I am now. But if you look at the reasons for my modesty you’ll see why I take serious issue with this commercial. For me, it was never an issue of modesty. I don’t have any problem with showing off the portion of my boob that shows when I feed my children. It isn’t much of anything exciting since (most of the time) I cover up the second they are done eating. It’s a tiny bit of skin and to be completely honest, I probably showed more when wearing bikinis during my pre-children life. The reason I covered up with Mason is because I was completely and totally insecure about the decisions I was making as a Mom, breastfeeding being one of the huge ones. I wanted (and still do!) to be the perfect mother. I wanted to be the one that EVERYONE said “she is such an amazing mom” about. Super mom ain’t got nothing on the mom I was going to be. It is sad (and a totally different debate) that no matter how you decide to feed your child you will be judged. No matter which side of the formula vs. breastfeeding fence you stand on you’re going to be judged for doing it. So I think it SUCKS that Luvs thinks it’s ok to take a sensitive situation like breastfeeding (or your child’s health, or your child’s sleep, or your child’s needs) and poke fun at it.

Each and every one of these Luvs campaigns would make me feel like garbage if I was still a first time mom. Each one would make me question (again) the decisions I was making for my child and what is “right” and “normal” to do. It’s hard enough being a parent. It’s even harder being a first time mom. There’s no need to ridicule them for the things they do even if it seems silly to those of us more “experienced.” The fact of the matter is the commercials are true. By the time your second (or third or fifth) baby arrives you’ve realized that parenting isn’t as complex and intricate as you thought. That first baby has most likely grown up and survived whatever parenting methods you chose and you start to feel a little more confident in your ability to keep these small humans alive. The differences between a first time Mom and a mom of more than 1 is HUGE, I won’t deny that. But I don’t think it’s a good marketing strategy… or just very kind in general to make a series of commercials poking fun at these already insecure Moms.

Bad form Luvs.

Posted in rant | 3 Comments

Catchin’ up with Hayden

Hayden has been a busy girl. It’s amazing how many changes take place over just a few short weeks. Since my last update, she turned 4 months (WHAT?!), she started sitting on her own for a few seconds at a time, she got her first tooth, AND she went swimming in the ocean for the first time (I’m using the term swimming pretty liberally here).

Yep, you read that correctly… Hayden has a tooth. I haven’t been able to capture it on camera yet, but I assure you it’s there. Through the gums and ready to be sharpened on anything and everything; though my fingers seem to be her favorites.

We went to the beach to meet up with Krystal and Alena, some great bloggy friends and the water was calm enough that I actually took Hayden in to dip her toes in the water. We also sat in the surf for a bit, but she still doesn’t breathe in the wind, so that didn’t last very long. The big kids had an absolutely amazing time at the beach and I can’t tell you just how much I hate myself for not bringing a real camera. There are quite a few pictures of our trip on instagram, but that and the memories are all we have! Mason has changed his opinion of waves and instead of being terrified he had an absolute blast – even when a big huge wave knocked us both down (not the same day Hayden went in the water). In fact, as Mason and I got bowled over I was instantly calmed while I listened to him giggling. Once we both stood up, he did cry for a second, but only because he was worried we had lost his hat. I had been putting it back on his head so I wasn’t holding him and why he went down. I went down trying to lunge to catch him and the momentum of the wave just continued my lunge straight into the sand. Which apparently is absolutely hilarious even if you are a skinny 4 year old getting washed away by a wave. Audrey was, as usual, completely fearless and got more pleasure than anyone out of knocking down sand castles. Because that’s what 2 year olds do.

Anyway… here’s all of the pictures I haven’t posted the past couple weeks of Hayden. 4 months, 18 weeks, and 19 weeks!!

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Someone forgot how to use her arms for this photoshoot.

Someone forgot how to use her arms for this photoshoot.

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Posted in awesome friends, cutest kid, Hayden, Lovely Lamb, travel | Leave a comment

Marine Parents teams up with The Baby Bum for some AWESOME

I’m just going to warn you now. I might get a little gushy and lovey about this one.

Marine Parents has quickly become one of my favorite brands. The woman behind this company is absolutely amazing and is not only an incredible business woman, she’s also quickly becoming a fast friend. When I first heard she was teaming up with one of my favorite cloth diaper retailers, I knew it was going to be incredible. And guys? IT IS.

I can’t show you what this product is. Because for now, it’s an extra special secret. Marine Parents created a forget me not/emergency kit pouch exclusively for The Baby Bum. The only way to get your hands on them is to either a) have purchased the August Baby Bag (too late to do that now!) or b) WIN THIS GIVEAWAY! I have one of these pouches filled with little things and I can’t tell you how grateful I’ve been for having this in my purse. Because I love y’all, I’m going to pre-stock your emergency kit with a few of the things I think are most important to have – the ones I’ve been most thankful for having in my own kit! As an added bonus, if you tell me if you have a boy, girl or both I’ll make sure to stock it with them in mind (making you seem like even more of a supermom when you are totally prepared for them).

bwIMG_2460 bwIMG_2458Right now, The Baby Bum is taking a break from The Baby Bag, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cash in on some of their other super awesome deals and products! Some of my personal favorites? AppleCheeks, obviously, the Tervis Tumbler (does that count as AppleCheeks too?), and Aden + Anais blankets. I’m obsessed with all of these things, especially my daydream Aden + Anais – hubs and I have been known to fight over who gets to use it ;)

Check out all the great products The Baby Bag carries, and then come back for your chance to win a Marine Parents Emergency Kit (stocked with a few things I think you’ll need) and tissue case! If you’re on instagram, you can get an extra entry by posting this image:

MPgiveaway

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$100 to Amazon for all your Back To School Needs!

iPayX, the #1 vendor for secure online payments, is proud to provide online payment systems to businesses nationwide, and sponsor this giveaway.

Back-to-school season is here, Mason and Audrey started on Monday!!  Each year around this time I am reminded of how many things kids need. Backpacks, lunchboxes, clothes, shoes, socks, the list is endless!! But iPayX is giving you the chance to do some back to school shopping on them! This $100 Amazon.com gift card giveaway is perfect for picking up last minute supplies or even a little something for yourself.

Entering is easy – just use the simple Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US residents only and ends September 1, 2013.

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New Toys!

This week, Hayden discovered her hands. And then quickly followed that up by finding her feet. She is constantly grabbing her feet and playing with them. She also suddenly loves grabbing blankets and chewing on them and covering her face. She has been eyeballing our food so I’m fairly confident it won’t be long before she starts grabbing for that… and in just 2 short months she can have it!!

The big kids start back to school on Monday, and I’m really looking forward to having some alone time with just me and Hayden and hopefully the opportunity to do some work as well!! Audrey seems super excited about school but it could just be because we got her a Hello Kitty backpack. I’m pretty excited to see how the first day’s drop off goes!

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Posted in cutest kid, Hayden | 7 Comments

Playing Dress Up

Last night, after posting Hayden’s 16 week pictures I started reminiscing by going through old blog posts and looking at the kids. It made me realize that I don’t take pictures of the kids just to take pictures of the kids very often anymore. And so… for that reason and that reason alone I dressed the kids up in nice outfits and took pictures of them this afternoon. Mason is at the age where he has a mind of his own. He has his own ideas about how a picture should look and unfortunately our visions of the perfect picture don’t line up… at all. Audrey doesn’t really love being still lately, and Hayden… well, Hayden is 3.5 months old. She does great when we do her weekly photo shoots, but being distracted is kinda the name of her game right now. So I was pretty sure attempting pictures would be a mess. And for the most part, it was.

IMG_2259It also really didn’t help that it was about 399 degrees outside, so my camera started to fog up the second I pulled it out. We tried getting a picture of all 3 for a bit, but nobody was really all that interested.

IMG_2275 IMG_2278Audrey then wandered off complaining about being too hot, so I switched tactics and bribed Mason into giving his baby sister a kiss.

IMG_2283And then I rewarded the kids with a chance to let them be the boss. Mason and Audrey both chose their own poses. And though it’s not the angelic smiles with all 3 siblings together in one picture like I had hoped… I really love these pictures of my big kids.

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Posted in Audrey, cutest kid, Hayden, Mason | Leave a comment

16 weeks dude!

16 weeks. Seriously?? How has it been 16 weeks?!?! Hayden is making these weekly pictures infinitesimally harder and easier at the same time. She is super smiley and happy to lay on the floor now. But she rolls. I lay her down and she’s rolling around on the fabric making it all wrinkled and uneven and making herself look like her neck might be broken as I try to take pictures. Thankfully, if I can bribe Mason or Audrey to stand near me, she stops rolling to stare at them and giggle. The giggles!!!! She is such a happy little baby and giggles pretty often which is a great sound. This week, she’s stopped sleeping through the night and instead wakes up around 12 or 1 and nurses and/or fidgets for most of the rest of the evening. I’m finally getting used to it and have just learned to sleep with her latched so that we can both get at least some sleep!

She has fantastic head control and has recently fallen in love with sitting in the bumbo. She’s also trying really hard to sit up on her own and can do it for a few seconds at a time but makes absolutely zero effort to catch herself as she topples over, so I don’t let her try very often. Here’s our beautiful baby girl!

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Posted in cutest kid, Hayden | Leave a comment