Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joys of Pregnancy

After your child comes, you tend to get lost in those magical moments and forget all the bad that came with pregnancy.

It's natural.

It's normal.

Of course, when you find yourself pregnant again those irritating factors come back with full force. Some come back slowly and can be deemed as not as bad as some.

Issues such as sleep and acne are labeled as annoying.

I may only be five weeks along, but damnit. The acne that has blindsided me is killing me.

I don't feel like a 28 year old mother with one in the oven, I feel like I'm 14 again, embarrassed and wishing she could hide behind her hair... or a veil!

With Roo, the acne lasted during the 1st trimester and disappeared as soon as I hit the 12 week mark and I'm dreading the fact that these spots could last for another 7 weeks!

But it is the miracle of life, right?

I'm battling the acne for a better reason.

I'm growing life.

And I admit it, I'll put up with acne for a baby.

Wouldn't you?

Monday, June 29, 2009

To Eat Or Not To Eat

With my first pregnancy, I ate.

Like crazy.

If I wanted it, I ate it.

And I paid for it. I gain a lot of weight and still have a few pounds hanging on to this day.

With first pregnancies, you have no clue and proudly state: I'm eating for two!

With any pregnancy after that, you know better.

And thankfully, I know better. But I'm still scared.

I'm still worried it will get crazy and I'll resort to eating. I find myself seeing certain foods and craving the taste. I've resisted anything bad so far, not even allowing myself the gooey taste of a cheeseburger. I'm making sure I get my veggies and fruit and oddly the thought of ice cream makes me cringe.

Hopefully this sticks with me for the next 9 months.

Any tips?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Review: Ecousable

Did you know that everyday over 60 million plastic water bottles go into landfills?

I am sad to say, I used contribute to this statistic.

But no more.

In my attempts to go green and make this planet a better place for my children, I jumped at the chance given to me by Mom Fuse to review Ecousable water bottles.

From the Ecousable website: Ecousable, Inc. invents, produces and markets reusable eco-friendly products that are fashionable and affordable for everyone. Our company’s product line is founded on its desire to save our natural resources in an ecologically, environmentally and economical way. The two flagship products, Water Wrapz™ (a removable and reusable band to identify your water bottle) and EcoUsable bottles (Stainless Steel bottle that are 100% recyclable) reduce the amount of plastic water bottles one uses, while saving money everyday. The Company will also offer other planet-friendly products manufactured by sustainable companies looking to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to be the premiere online source for eco-shopping, offering reusable eco-friendly products, to reduce the carbon footprint for the future generations.

I received the 18 oz Stainless Swirl Filtered bottle and was super delighted. I live on a farm with well water and if you've ever had well water, you know the need for filtered water.

I ripped it out of the package, washed it and filled it.

Of course, I made the mistake of tilting the bottle backwards and attempted to sip that way and my first taste of the Ecousable was horrible. But upon further inspection, realized that wasn't the way to drink out of it.

Once I got it right, I fell in love.

I couldn't taste any well in my water!

It's convenient, cute and durable against toddlers who like to throw things.

Now I use this bottle everyday, I even have to fight my husband over who gets to take it to the gym.

You can purchase Ecousable products directly from their website.

Thank you to MomFuse for this opportunity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stay Cool

Back in March, my favorite editor contacted me about writing a feature for the wonderful parenting magazine, Playground.

Immediately I went to work.
I researched and wrote... and wrote some more.

Now, three months later with three drafts, one late night and a million edits my efforts have paid off.

I'm on page 25.

If you can't make it to Central Florida to pick up a copy, you can click on here and download a PDF of the issue.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pre-Review: All Modern Baby

When you first become pregnant, you start thinking about ALLLLLLLLLL the items you'll need to comfort and entertain your baby. And when you really think about everything you need, it can be very overwhelming.

Enter: All Modern Baby.

All Modern Baby is a fantastic site that has everything (and more) that you'll need to make your little bundle of joy happy.

They've got everything from Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs to hip modern baby furniture.

I was lucky enough to team up with All Modern Baby and will be bringing you a review of one of their products in the very-near future.

Stay tuned.

Kicking My Ass

The same illness that kicked my ass in January, came back will full force Jackie Chan kung-fu kicks yesterday.

And of course, yesterday was Father's Day and Mr. Me and myself's eleven year anniversary.

Nothing like spending your eleven year anniversary withering in pain while you force your husband to do everything child-care related.

Poor guy.

So today I'm recovering and am E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D.

When I get struck with this illness, the day after is almost as worst because my body is just dejected. It's down and out and I just want to crawl into bed, watch cartoons with my nugget and spend the whole day that way.

While it's tempting, I have a two year old that won't sit still that long and life continues with dishes piling up, laundry mounting and an army of animals that need to be fed.

And I must do what all Mommy's do when they are struck with illness, suck it up and be a Mommy about it.

No child waits for a sick Mommy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Only Natural

It's only natural.

It was bound to happen.

I'm creative.

Her Daddy is creative.

Now Roo is creative.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mommy Confession: I forgot to brush my hair

I must confess... sometimes I forget to brush my hair.

Sometimes I walk out of the house without brushing my teeth, putting on mascara or lotioning up my legs.

A common aliment amongst Moms is the lack of personal time.

We rush and rush and rush to do everything for our children that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.

My eyebrows tend to grow wild, my elbows get rough and my toe nail polish is usually always in sad need of repair.

When my daughter was first born, it was the worst. I was lucky enough to have a husband that allowed me (meaning he agreed to watch our daughter even though he was scared out of his mind if she cried) to shower daily. But just because I was able to stand under some hot water for a few minutes doesn't mean that I was able to fully groom myself. I tended to run around in a spit-up covered shirt and mismatching socks.

Before you begin to think I'm horribly nasty and ill bred with grooming, I mean when Roo was younger that I was in and out of the shower so fast that I was lucky if I remembered to wash my face. When you're a Mom, you have so many things on your mind: what to make for dinner, what appointments need to be made, how to please this person and ignore that person.

It's an endless cycle that means we sometimes put ourselves last and everyone else first.

I've decided that this non-hair-brushing phase in my life needs to come to an end. Especially before my daughter grows up and my wild mane becomes fodder for embarrassment. I think it's important that I get this under control so I feel better about myself. I think it's super important that I remember what it's like to be a woman.

One with beautifully arched eyebrows, clean teeth and darkened eyelashes.

Any tips?

Review: Skin Free

Recently, I've been attempting to make changes with my daughter's and my own skin care products. I'm a little scared by all the stuff I've been reading and when I was contacted by the people at Skin Free, who guarantee their products are all natural, I literally jumped out of my chair to accept this review.

Not only are their products all natural, they are made with vegan ingredients, made without perfumes, petroleum products, harmful chemicals, steroids and colorants. Skin Free also has a firm No Animal Testing, Cruelty Free Policy.

I picked out their Extra Moisturizing Soap & Shampoo Bar and the Niaouli Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin . From their website: The Extra Moisturizing Soap & Shampoo Bar is (a) soap is like no others. It’s rich, creamy lather makes your skin feel rejuvenated and fresh. Most commercially available “soaps” are actually detergents. They remove skin oils and break down the protective barrier that helps skin healthy. Removing skin oils causes itching and can contribute to cracking and infection of delicate skin.

The Niaouli Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin: This product makes your skin feel velvety and clean, not dried out, burning and itching. We added just a touch of light Organic Macadamia nut oil and some anti-inflammatory Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil to allow your skin to be moisturized while you clean out overworked pores.

The Extra Moisturizing Bar & Shampoo Bar was impressive to me. With sensitive skin, I am always trying out new products to find the right fit. The Extra Moisturizing Bar & Shampoo Bar had a nice clean scent and it didn't dry out my skin or irritate it in any way. I used it as a shampoo one morning and am sad to say, it did dry my hair out but as a soap, it was perfect.

I wanted to be thorough on this review so I put the Extra Moisturizing Soap & Shampoo Bar to the ultimate test. I gave it to my husband to test out. He spends all of his time outdoors working on trucks and in the barns so by the end of the day he's quite greasy. After using the bar for a few days, he reported that it effectively got all the dirt and grime off of him and it was effective as a shampoo.

I wasn't as lucky with the Niaouli Scrub for Blemish Prone Skin. As I said, I have sensitive skin and as soon as I whipped up the scrub and applied it, my skin caught fire. Once again, I handed it to my hubby to attempt and he liked it, the grittiness of it really cleaned his skin.

Overall, this review was successful and my husband's skin is cleaner because of it.

You can check out Skin Free's large line of products online as well at select Walgreens stores.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Holy Crap, Where Has The Time Gone? (27 Months)

Dear Roo,

Is it that time already?

Didn't I just give birth to you last week?

I will never, ever, get over how fast time flies and how fast you are growing. Some days I just want to put my foot down and demand that you not grow up so quickly. I feel like I'm going to miss something if I don't.

You are growing and learning at such an alarming rate that your Daddy and I look at each other at least twice a day, and ask one another: When did she learn that?

My favorite thing you learned this month is to Shake It. When I ask you to shake it, you put both of your arms out and wiggle your hips from side to side, all while singing, "Shake it, shake it." I encourage it constantly, while Daddy prefers you keep your shaking away from the sight of any boys.

Your vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds this past month too. Everyday it's some new words that I have no clue where you picked up. You can repeat every word I ask you to say and can count to five, with the exception of four. Somewhere along the way, four got lost and you could care less and are completely content with 1,2,3 and 5.

You've taken to demanding we give you two of everything, especially because you have two hands and need something in each hand at all times. You can identify whatever we put in your hands. Yesterday you proudly told me you were holding two toys.

You still love to swim and since we joined the YMCA this past month, you have the opportunity to swim in a big pool. You like to swim with your head above the water and your legs kicking like crazy, normally it's kicking me in the face but I don't mind.

We hit a major milestone this past month. We went away for the weekend without dear ole' Daddy. We drove up to Amelia Island to spend time with Grandma, two Aunts and three cousins. You fell in love with the newest member of the family and insisted on giving him all of your toys. You fit right in with the two oldest and out-cool'd them by having the best Hot Wheelz. You got to play in the beach three times and loved it when Mommy made you jump over the waves. You also loved looking for hermit crabs with the boys, digging in the sand with colorful buckets and collecting mountains of shells to take home for Daddy.

This past month was so much fun and full of great things. I know that next month will be just as fun and adventurous.

I love you very much,

Mommy

Monday, June 15, 2009

M.I.A.

I went M.I.A. for a little bit... and it was wonderful.

A super-short notice call from my Mom and the next thing I knew I was dipping my toes in the water off of Amelia Island.

Three whole days of fun, lots of sun and too much sand in unmentionable places.

And, the best part, I got to meet my brand new baby nephew.

Now I'm back home with an exhausted child and a list of unread emails that is a tad scary to think about. But it was great. No emails, no Facebook, just me and my family together having a lot of fun.

I'll be back tomorrow with my writer's cap on.


Did you know that there's only 29 more days to vote for me?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hot & Sticky

It's begun.

The hot, sticky (but not sweet) Florida summer.

It's normally hot in Florida year round, with an occasional break something in January and February and it's something I love.

At the end of June, this muggy crap rolls in making it almost impossible to function between the hours of 11:30am and 2:30pm. We're taking so damn hot that makeup rolls right off your face and if you don't have a/c in your truck (like me) it's safe not to venture outside.

Luckily, we're indoors between those times dealing with lunch and naps.

And even though I'm a Native of Florida and I have been dealing with these kind of summers for twenty-eight years, it never fails to knock you off your feet.

My plans to deal with it are as little clothing as possible, bare feet and a pool. We're hoping this results in a tan and prunny feet.

Wish us luck. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: Tiny Star Couture

My daughter has crazy hair that runs on the thin side and tends to stick up all over the place. So when I stumbled upon the best site ever the other day, Tiny Star Couture, I was elated.

Even more so when I found out they were looking for reviewers!

I spoke with Erika and she sent me the most adorable purple Lillian hat.



The presentation of this product upon delivery was super nice. It comes in this cute purple mesh bag, which my daughter promptly turned into a purse to tote her Hot Wheelz around in.

The hat is a soft crochet and can easily fit any head size (their website says their hats fit girls from 1-8 years old). The bow is hand sewn and glued to a clip that can be removed from the hat, depending on my two year old temperament.

The hat is perfect for days when I don't want to wrangle with Roo to put her hair into ponytails. I can just slap the hat on her head and she's the cutest girl on the block.

What I loved most was how girlie the hat was and how everything on their site is geared towards the girl (okay Mom) that loves to accessorizes.

From their website: At Tiny Star Couture, LLC we delight in the girlie, playful side of our Tiny Stars. The clippies and headbands you find on our site are designed to add a girlie touch to any outfit. Our hair clippies are special because we use a one-sided soft-grip to help gently hold all hair types better. They are also completely covered in ribbon, which means no metal showing no matter where you clip it on your hair.

Also available through Tiny Star Couture are princess capes and tutus, personalized jewelry and adorable onesies, all hand made.

You can purchase products from Tiny Star Couture by visiting their website here. All orders ship in the U.S. for only $2.00.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One Hurdle Down

Today's trip to the Y was successful...well, successful for Roo, not so much for me.

I got all signed in and took her to the "Child Development" area and signed her in. She didn't even look back at me.

She only had eyes for toys.

Me, I was gripping the door frame trying not to cry.

There was a younger girl that understood my hesitance and answered my questions as I watched Roo play. There was an older lady that tried to push me out the door but I wouldn't budge.

I have to admit, my heart was breaking. My girl is so grown up. When the hell did this happen?

Finally, I slinked out the door and went to work out. I held back my tears and ran a mile on the treadmill before sneaking back to the glass windows to peek at her.

She was right at home, playing and being social. I was so proud of her.

I let her play for thirty minutes total, telling myself I couldn't stand to be away from her for a second longer.

And when I went to get her, she ignored me!

She continued to play and the only way I got out of there was by bribing her with the pool.

Maybe tomorrow when we go it'll be better for me. Maybe I'll make it to forty-five minutes? Or maybe I'll never go back and keep my daughter all to myself forever?

:)

Monday, June 8, 2009

One Giant Step

My daughter has never been to daycare. Hell, she's had two babysitters in her whole life (meaning only two date nights for my husband and I in TWO YEARS!).

I've taken on the task myself of entertaining her, schooling her, diapering her... everything.

Tomorrow this changes.

Tomorrow I am joining the YMCA and taking advantage of their in-house daycare.

And to be honest, I'm super nervous.

Not that she won't fit in, or that she'll hate it and scream the whole time.

I'm nervous because this is uncharted territory for me.

It's been me for two years and now I'm turning my wild child over to some stranger to look after. Sure, the staff at the Y is qualified, but that doesn't help my nerves.

It's only an hour a day, but I'm unsure if it'll feel like a whole eternity or if it'll pass like quicksand.

I decided to join the Y because Mama is tired of carrying around a spare tear and needs nothing more than to burn some extra calories. And I am entrusting these strangers to look after my child because I feel like she could use some friends to babble with.

Sure, Mommy is fun but a toddler that speaks her gibberish is more fun.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sore Loser

I've never been good at losing.

Think you could help me out?

Go Here and Vote For ME!

:)

I'll do something shameless for you, all you have to do is ask. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Crazy Dreams

I've developed a little problem lately.

I'm having crazy dreams.

Okay, let me rephrase that, I think I'm having crazy dreams.

Now, before you go and say I'm off my rocker let me see if I can explain myself.

This past week I've been waking up and freaking out. One night I was POSITIVE there was a spider hanging from web in front of me. Last night I woke up FREAKED out that there was something wrong with Roo. I was so freaked out, I hunted down my husband (who stays up later than I) and made him stop what he was doing to come and check her out.

One of the most disturbing things about it, is that I wake up and think I've been awake this whole time and cop a HUGE attitude with my husband and snap at him that I'm really not crazy.

But I think I am.

I haven't altered any diet, I am not taking any new meds, I am doing everything I normally do and still I have these "illusions."

It mainly bothers me because I get so grumpy and pissy with my husband demanding that I'm okay, I'm awake when I'm not.

Why? Why in the world is this happening?

Does this mean I've gone off the deep end?

Review: Pork Chop Kids

While my daughter is past the learning to crawl age, she will occasionally drop down and army crawl across the carpet like a soldier on a mission. So when I was asked if I was interested in doing a review for Pork Chop Kids, I jumped on the bandwagon.

Not only a functional product, a damn cute one.

With a motto like, "from your chops to your toes" I knew this was my cup of tea. From their website: What could be cuter than your little one's thighs? Pork Chops hug your baby's chops and provide warmth, style and functionality. You can put them on, but they can't take them off! The unique design keeps baby warm, provides padding for those crawling days and diaper changes are a cinch...no struggling with tights. Pork Chops were born from the evolution of necessity…warmth, protection, easy diaper changes, no missing socks, non-skid and runway-ready fashion!"

The biggest problem I had was picking only one to review. Dots, basics and stripes, it was hard to pick, but I did. I tried out the bright stripes


While they are a tad tight on my nugget's chunky thighs, I like how they stay put while she runs all over the place. She did her best testing these babies out. She trudged all over the house and they didn't slip from her thighs once. There's also non-slip grips on the bottom to help her out when she goes barreling across the tile.

But my favorite thing about them, the colors. They're very trendy and while may not match with everything I put on her, they're too adorable to resist.

Retail starts at $18 a pair and you can purchase directly from the website by clicking here. And even better news, they've offered a discount to my readers! Just use this discount code - MOM10 at checkout for 10% off all orders

Thank you to MomFuse for this review opportunity!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Family

Having family is super important.

While I am surrounded by my in-laws and love that, there is really no substitute for your own family (meaning my parents and siblings).

There's just times when a girl wants to hug her Dad or watch her child play with her grandmother and I'm there.

I'm so there right now.

For years my parents lived in the same county as me. They were always minutes away and I would spend almost every weekend hanging out with them. Almost four years ago they moved to South Carolina where my Dad had a new job waiting for him. My sister, who lived a mere three streets over from me, went with them and my brother, who attended college in SC, just decided to stay put in his new home state (traitor).

And it's sucked ever since then.

Sure, I could come up and visit for a few days before heading back to Florida, but it's not the same as having them all close by. I hate missing all the fun stuff and the important stuff.

Like, I hate that I missed the birth of my newest nephew and hate that I can't go fishing with my older ones.

I hate not having my sister in law closer so her niece can play with my daughter. I miss arguing with my own sister about the stupidest of things.

Most of all, I miss my parents.

I hate that Roo doesn't get to spend more time with her grandparents, who I know miss her like crazy. And I hate that they aren't here to watch her grow up and discover new things. I miss shopping with my Mom, grilling with my Dad and the general mayhem that comes when you put all of us together in one room.

Maybe one day we can all live in the same state and distance won't be such an issue for us. Maybe one day it'll all be perfect.

Maybe....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Craptastic

Today is turning out to be one of those day.

You know, one of those day where you are snappy, grumpy and just all around bitchy?

It doesn't help that I got pooped on today either.

:)




p.s. Did you know I'm up for an award with Nick's Parents Connect? Did you know that you can vote once everyday? Click here and make me super happy. :)