Sad to see you go cloth diapers

If you ask parents are they looking forward to their child being out of diapers you can tell by their responses if you are talking to a disposable or cloth user by their answer.  Disposable parents will say they can’t wait until their child is out of diapers.  No more wasting money, smelly trash cans and explosions.  Believe me I know because I could not wait until Khloe was out of diapers.  Cloth parents will say the complete opposite.  The cuteness, money saving and lack of smell and explosions really make a difference.

180691_10150097346313306_4319095_n30212_392705218305_5587273_n62116_442791798305_58809_nWhen we switched to part time cloth around 2009 the love just wasn’t there.  Everyone I talked to had a different way of storing dirties, washing diapers and what you should and shouldn’t do.  I was new to it all and I just felt overwhelmed and ultimately only used cloth when we were low on funds and couldn’t purchase disposables.  When I was pregnant with Kaylee later that year I began to research more, build a stash as I could and fell in love.  After her birth I was shocked at the ease once we got our dirty storage figured out and our wash routine just right for us.  I was so sad when Keira trained because it was one less child in cloth, but over joyed when I found out I was pregnant with Kaleb.  I was so excited for newborn fluff again!  Kaylee self trained 4 months before she turned 3.  The youngest to train and I believe I owe that to cloth.  Again I was sad, but I still had Kaleb to prance around in his adorable cloth.

431876_10151811435383306_34613656_nOver the summer Kaleb learned how to take his diapers off so I began dressing him in a onesie, but he quickly learned how to get them unsnapped and remove the diaper.  Then I began fully dressing him in hopes of keeping a diaper on, but he quickly learned how to strip.  Now at almost 21 months I am lucky he keeps a diaper on over night and during the day he insists upon running around naked.  I littlebee (11 of 15)battle him daily to just keep a diaper on until he poops.  Constantly following him around looking for pee puddles.  Placing the potty in the middle of our living room and hoping he will use it, which he does AS A HAT!

I know it won’t be much longer before he is potty trained and I will no longer have a little in diapers.  With all the others it was sad, but I at least knew I still had one more in them at the time.  It helped to ease my sadness that my babies were growing up because I still had one that needed mommy for at least one thing, to change them.  Hubby and I are still on the fence if we want a 5th child.  For now I am hoping that even if just for a little longer our Prince will remain in diapers, even if it is just when we are not at home.  How I am so sad to see you go cloth diapers.buttonsdiaper (13 of 13)

Candy Land cupcakes with Nestles seasonal candy

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. nestles (5 of 8)I love unique and different.  I often create cakes and baked goods from scratch, while other times I prefer the ease of using a boxed mix.  When I use a box mix I like to try my best to make decorating a little different or add a little something extra to it.  I was really excited to learn I would be receiving a Nestles seasonal mix of candy.  I had fully intended on writing this post around Christmas time, but time got away with me between work and preparing for the the holidays.  Once I created the cupcakes I realized that despite the candy being holiday related my cupcakes in fact came out very bright and colorful.

Ingredients nestles (2 of 8)

  • Cherry Laffy Taffy (12 pieces)
  • Pixy Stix
  • Sweet Tart candy canes
  • Favorite box cake mix and ingredients
  • Jar of frosting

Directions

Begin by preparing your cake mix per the instructions.  Place your cupcake liners in the pan and fill each cup a quarter full.  Cut the 12 Laffy Taffy candies in half and place one in each cup and add the remaining batter to the pan.  Bake as directed.nestles (4 of 8)Once your cupcakes are cool frost them with frosting.  We used a vanilla and left it white, but you could easily color it or purchase a different flavor.  Then sprinkle the top of each cupcake with your favorite color Pixy Stix.  Take your Sweet Tart candy canes and break them evenly at the top arch (so that the bottom of the curve lines up parallel with the break) to create a little U shape (or rainbow as the Drama Queens called them) and stick one into each cupcake.  nestles (8 of 8)I thought they were so cute and bright and the Drama Queens began calling them Candy Land cupcakes.  They said it was like they had little mini hills with clouds and rainbows over them.  The inside came out really neat because part of it was like a normal cupcake, but the bottom was really juicy with melted Laffy Taffy in it.  Even better is we were able to create them in a matter of a few minutes and the options are endless based on coloring the cake batter, adding sprinkles inside the batter, adding color to the frosting or even flavors.  You can really have so much fun creating these in no time at all and even better you don’t have to be an expert cake designer.nestles (7 of 8)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I vowed not to be “that” mother

Let me start by saying I love Khloe more than anything. She is my first born. She is the reason I jumped headfirst into the life of motherhood. I would do anything for her or to keep her safe. I would give no thought to jump in front of a runaway vehicle, block a bullet or maybe even kill if someone was to harm her. She is my flesh, my blood, my daughter.  This post was very hard to write.  I’ve had parts of it written for some time and I finally decided to post it.

Rejected older child

© Photographer: Redbaron | Agency: this is a referral link

You might be thinking, what kind of mother is she talking about? I am talking about the mother that coddles, dotes upon and treats the baby or babies different than her older children. You know the mother I am talking about. The one you see in the store whose young children are running around and acting crazy, but the older child is to blame because she wasn’t watching them or she did something that made them go crazy. She might just be following quietly and being well behaved, but it is still her fault. The child that craves her mother’s attention. Wants nothing more than to be treated the same way her younger siblings are treated.familyphoto1This is the mother I grew up seeing in not one, but two generations.  My mother is one of five children.  She is the middle child and only girl.  Growing up her younger two brothers did nothing wrong.  They were the the babies and they were treated as such.  I watched as they constantly let my Omi down, but never had any consequences.  If my mother were to have to cancel plans my Omi would flip out on her, but her younger brothers could cancel within minutes of their plans or not show up and nothing was said or done.  They could probably break into her house, steal anything of value and beat on her and she would be fine with it.  As I understood it better into my pre-teen and teen years I hoped my mother wouldn’t follow her mother’s example.  I ached for my mother to get the love and attention that her two younger brothers got.  Her older brothers always did their own thing and were not around much by the time I was this age, so I am not sure if they also got treated just as poorly or not.

I promise I am alive!

It might appear as though I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, but I promise I am alive!  I’ve been picking up extra hours at work when I can in preparation of us moving hopefully the beginning of March.  I also have the girls’ birthday party to plan.  I feel like I am just so far behind in everything and it is just crazy.  Time is just flying by and I never seem to get caught up.

I just love my job, I work with two amazing ladies, though I do miss being home with the kids all the time.  Luckily it is usually just Thurs. night for 4 hours and 5 hours Sat. morning, but I take any extra hours I can or I cover for my co-worker when she needs me.  Hopefully I will be playing catch up this weekend and this week as I can.

The kids have been crazy.  Keira left a pair of scissors in Kaylee’s reach and she got a hold of them without us knowing and cut most of the left side of her hair off and part of the right (because of the way she had it parted).  Hopefully this Sat. after work I am taking her to the salon and hoping they can find a cute way to cut it without her looking too boyish.a32434a086c011e3b35a125adb7eab4a_8

I’ve also got some amazing news!  Which is a post all on it’s own because it is just that great.  No I am not pregnant, though a few friends jumped to that when I said I was so happy on Facebook.  I think that is pretty much all for now.

Hubby was almost not my hubby

n560838305_839105_7976.jpgYes you read that right.  When I met hubby I had no intentions of having a relationship.  I had just left ended two back to back failed relationships and for once I was determined to live for me.  Hubby was just supposed to be a rebound, a fling if you will.  When we initially met I liked him well enough.  He was funny, sweet and I thought very handsome, but I just didn’t want to try anything again for a while.  I had an ok job, with the prospect of another amazing job in the near future.  I lived with my mother and grandmother helping to pay their mortgage, but I was rarely home.  When I wasn’t working I was out with my mom or friends.  I went to movies, dinners, drinks or just shopping.  I had dropped a ton of weight and I was feeling great.  For once I was coming close to being happy just being me.

Hubby tried and tried to charm me, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Then I found out I was pregnant with Khloe.  I was shocked.  Now what was supposed to be a fling would always need to be more.  Things went well for a while and then for reasons I won’t share right now we split up shortly after I found out I was pregnant.  Life at home was crazy and my mother was debating on walking away from the house and finding another place.  From the beginning I was planning to move with her, was going to look into daycares if I needed to and planned to be a single mom.

Months later I gave birth to Khloe.  After not having the birth I always planned for, being alone in the hospital and still recovering from 24 hours of induced labor and a c-section my phone rang.  Not even thinking I answered it.  It was hubby, my sister had announced Khloe’s birth on MySpace and he called me, not expecting me to answer.  We chatted a bit and I texted him a picture of our daughter.

Over the next month I was still very back and forth on if I wanted hubby to be a part of our lives.  I had no intention of taking him for child support as I made a decent salary and could afford all we needed.  I was surprised a lot had changed in him while we were apart and I decided when Khloe was a month old to visit him at work and let him meet her.  In chatting there it was mentioned that I was on unpaid maternity leave and had almost exhausted my savings and he quickly and without question handed me some money.  It was then that I thought that if nothing more we could co-parent and be on good terms.  The next months moved quickly and we decided to try and be us and ended up conceiving Keira and the rest is history.

littlecosmetics (14 of 15)Sometimes it dawns on me how close I came to not marrying this amazing man.  This man who I didn’t want to love in the beginning, but now I fall in love with more each day.  A man who rushes home each day to spend time with his family.  What if I had not answered the phone after having Khloe?  I would have ended up moving to California with my mom.  I might have met someone else, maybe had more children, but they wouldn’t be our children.  There wouldn’t be a Keira, Kaylee and Kaleb.  There might possibly never have been a SAHM of Drama Queens & a Prince.  I might be a full time working mom or have met someone and had the option to be a SAHM.  Perhaps I would have been happy, but maybe not.  All these what ifs sometimes scare me because it was so close to actually happening.  Each day I wake up and as insane as the kids might drive me I am grateful for them, my life and what I almost didn’t have.2013card (24 of 33)

Warmth and comfort with Nature’s Sleep

This post is sponsored by Nature’s Sleep

naturessleep (1 of 3)Our house is always cold and even when everyone else is comfortable I am freezing.  A lot of my problem is that I never keep my feet warm.  I am always walking around barefoot and with old, out dated floors sitting directly on cement you can imagine how cold they can get.  The kids all have slippers and I am constantly making them put them on, but never tell myself to do the same.  Nature’s Sleep came to my rescue with a pair of amazing slippers!naturessleep (2 of 3)When you look at slippers online you wonder will they be soft?  Comfortable?  Give you enough support?  Keep your feet warm?  I’ve browsed some online before, then happened to see the same slippers in store to be disappointed and ultimately happy I didn’t end up purchasing them.  With the Closed Toe Terry Slippers with Memory Foam I was not just happy with them, I fell in love with them.  They provided just the right amount of warmth and comfort I needed and didn’t know I wanted.  I felt like I was walking on a cloud.  The visco-elastic memory foam forms to my feet and I feel like they were made just for me.  Don’t get me started on the softness!  I couldn’t believe how soft they were while still being able to support my feet.  naturessleep (3 of 3)The only complaint I have about the slippers is them disappearing.  Of course that isn’t a real problem with the slippers, but with hubby and the kids.  I came down the other morning, went to put my slippers on to discover Kaleb attempting to walk around in them.  It was so cute I was upset I didn’t have my camera or phone available to snap a picture.  When he finally took them off I thought I would be able to have them back to myself, but I was wrong because hubby stole them.  Luckily they don’t fit him either, he just borrowed them briefly to walk across the kitchen floor otherwise I do believe I would have lost my slippers.  Finally I was able to put my slippers on, put my feet up and relax.
Right now Nature’s Sleep has the Art of Sleep Contest going on.  From now until February 15th create any work of art (can be a photo, painting, drawing or more) revolving around sleep.  It can be as simple a picture of someone on a bed sleeping or artwork posed on a bed.  The winner will receiving $500 or your choice of one of their memory foam mattresses.  Anyone can enter, even children just make sure the parent or guardian submits the work of art.  If you don’t want to participate in the contest you can register on their site or like Nature’s Sleep on Facebook to be notified when voting begins.  Registering enters you to win a product valued at over $250.

Buy It

You can purchase the same slippers that I received for $30 as well as amazing mattresses, pillows and more on Nature’s Sleep website.

Win It

One lucky reader will win their choice of Nature’s Sleep slippers by entering below.

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Crochet for mommy with Tammy Hildebrand’s Crochet Wraps Every Which Way

This post is sponsored by Tammy Hildebrand

9780811711838Crochet Wraps Every Which Way: 18 Original Patterns in 6 Techniques
By Tammy Hildebrand
ISBN: 9780811711838
Pages: 112

Ever since I picked up my hooks again almost four years ago I’ve not created anything for myself.  I’ve made blankets, hats and clothing galore for the kids, but nothing, not even a hat for myself.  I keep saving patterns to create something for myself, but I never actually get around to using them.  I was very excited that I would be able to review an amazing book Crochet Wraps Every Which Way: 18 Original Patterns in 6 Techniques by Tammy Hildebrand. I knew that I would finally have to create something for myself.

crochetwraps (1 of 1)I couldn’t wait for the book to arrive and while waiting I must have looked at the patterns daily, trying to decide which I would create first.  I thought, dreamt and lived yarn ideas while I waited.  It felt like Christmas morning when it arrived (I am yarn and crochet insane) and fell in love more and more with the patterns than before receiving it.  Now for the task of ordering some hooks that I lost or didn’t own to get started on a pattern.  This posed a problem because I couldn’t find them at one of my local stores and Amazon was telling me a month or more to ship one.  Finally I got lucky and I would have a few I needed in hand in two days!

waterlilyAs I waited for my hooks to arrive I decided I wanted to work the Water Lily pattern and picked up some pretty yarn to work with.  I didn’t want to get something super expensive because I knew there were some techniques I wasn’t as familiar with and if I did well then I would upgrade my yarn.  With hook finally in hand I set out and began.  I was hoping to have a finished product to share, but between working more hours, the holidays and one birthday I am just about half way finished with the pattern.  I wasn’t feeling it when I first started, but now that it is is further along I am in love and can’t wait to finish it.  I am anxious to complete it and move onto Cascading Rivers or Sophisticated Lady (I still can’t decide)  I love that Cascading Rivers is shawl in style, but I also love the beauty of Sophisticated Lady.  Sure I will be creating both, but deciding which to do first is the hard part.crochetwraps (1 of 1)-2

About the Book

Crochet Wraps Every Which Way contains 18 beautiful patterns and 6 techniques.  Each technique has a pattern one easy, one intermediate, and one advanced project for each.  I was beyond excited about the Broomstick Lace technique and can’t wait to incorporate it into other patterns.

Tammy is  the vice president of the Crochet Guild of America and a crochet designer through her company, Hot Lava Designs.  You can find Hot Lava Designs on Facebook as well.

Buy It

You can purchase a copy of Crochet Wraps Every Which Way directly from Stackpole Books for $19.95 for paperback.

Win It

One lucky reader will win their very own copy of the book!

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Khloe’s 7th birthday!

Over the weekend things were crazy and busy so I totally forgot to post that Sunday was Khloe’s 7th birthday.  I can’t believe my oldest baby is 7!  I just want to cry because the time is flying by.  We got their big party booked for February 22nd, so now the fun of planning begins and I am farther behind than I would like at this point.  We had a great weekend.  After I got off work Saturday we went to our cousin’s house for her sons 4th birthday party and had a great time with family.  On Sunday after hubby got home from work we had Khloe’s special lobster dinner and birthday cake.  She was in such a great mood because of it all.  For her birthday gift on her actual birthday we just got her an outfit, but we’re purchasing Disney on Ice tickets for next month and hoping *fingers crossed* we can get them bikes they’ve been begging for and held off at Christmas for.  On with some pictures!

Here is my big girl the day she was born, oh how I miss her being so tiny.Khloe newbornHere is my super smart 7 year old.  Sorry they are cell phone pics, so they’re not as good as I would have liked, but it was already so late at this point and well past Kaleb’s bedtime.IMG_20140112_222707 IMG_20140112_222609And her birthday cake.  I’ve been such a slacker and haven’t baked a special cake in a few years, so this is store bought.  It’s strawberry topped with real whip cream and golden cake.IMG_20140112_222453

Buttons cloth diaper system, ease and cuteness in one

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

A little about Buttons Diapers00243-1-logoImage

Buttons cloth diapers were born at home. As a husband and wife team, we designed our diapers to be easy to use and affordable for everyone – the way it should be. We believe in keeping our lives simple, even when it comes to diapering. Our company is based in the beautiful Skagit Valley of Northwest Washington, where our family enjoys hiking, biking, sailing, and splashing in puddles. :)

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

About the diaperbuttonsdiaper

  • One-size cover (9-35lbs) two-size inserts
  • AI2 diaper
  • PUL outer cover
  • Double leg gussets
  • Crossover snap cover
  • Snap in inserts
  • Size small (9-20lbs) & large (20-35lbs) inserts in daytime & nighttime doubler (sold separate)
  • Daytime inserts 4 layers of microfiber with fleece on top
  • Nighttime doublers 6 layers of microfiber that snap to daytime insertbuttonsdiapers2

My Thoughtsbuttonsdiaper (7 of 13)

buttonsdiaper (10 of 13)buttonsdiaper (13 of 13)Fleece oh how I love thee!  One of the few fabrics Kaleb can wear without irritation.  I just love the Buttons diaper system.  Sure I love my pocket and of course my fitted diapers, but with Kaleb rarely keeping a diaper on we either go through almost no diapers or a ton of diapers a day.  He’s at that phase that as soon as he pees in one it is removed and I find it some where in the house.  With the Buttons system one he wets the insert I can put in another insert, use the cover with a fitted or lay in a prefold.  I like this because with just inserts or prefolds and one cover I feel like we’re going through less diaper laundry because I am not washing multiple pocket diapers for a little pee.buttonsdiaper (12 of 13)We received the one-size diaper cover in Pebble and the large daytime insert.  It was packaged so cutely, but Kaleb attacked it before I could get a picture screaming “mine, diaper!” and ran off with it.  When I was finally able to wrangle the diaper away from him he had already removed the packaging from it, I was lucky enough to get it in the washer without him screaming at me.  I love the gray color and the cute little pop of color with the red on the back in their button logo.buttonsdiaper (6 of 13)buttonsdiaper (1 of 13)The diaper system is a one-size diaper cover and sold separate snap in inserts.  The covers come in 9 colors (Tangerine, Sweet Pea, Strawberry, Snow, Pebble, Banana Cream and Apple).  The inserts come in daytime small and large with 4 layers of microfiber and a top layer of fleece.  The nighttime doubler also comes in small and larger with 6 layers of microfiber and snap to the daytime insert.  I really like the option to snap the nighttime doubler to the daytime insert for my heavy nighttime wetter.

buttonsdiaper (9 of 13)buttonsdiaper (8 of 13)As usual my concern is the size.  Kaleb is already 30lbs and has chunky thighs.  He is not very chunky, but built big.  Double gusset diapers always worry me because of his thighs and cutting into them.  Generally it fits nicely, but the inner gusset causes the outer to be too tight leaving red chaffing lines. I was happy to find that after using the cover almost all day (of course changing the insert or diaper under it) that he did not have any chaffing or marks.  It had a nice tight, but not too tight fit and contained both pee and poop nicely.

buttonsdiaper (11 of 13)I was never a big fan of the elastic waist in the front because I could never really get a good fit.  I felt like I really had to pull and stretch to get it just right and then it always seemed to cut into him.  With the Buttons cover I found that it really didn’t dig in like others and he didn’t seem to pull at it or be bothered by it like others.  While I usually don’t like single row snaps I found that these were nicely spaced and held it on much better without wing droop like some other single row snap diapers and covers.  The cover contains 11 snaps that can be crossed over for a smaller fit.  Kaleb still has 2 snaps on each side available and might possibly be close to potty training so this system could very well take you from shortly after birth to potty training.  He was 29lbs a few months ago, so I believe he is now a little over 30lbs now.  I think unless you have a child with a larger waist I could easily see this fitting even past the suggested 35lbs.

Where to buy

You can purchase the Buttons diaper system directly from their website.  The cover is $11, small and large daytime inserts are $3.50 and the small and large nighttime doublers are $5.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Layla Grace Valentine’s Day gift sale

Valentine’s Day Gifts at Layla Grayce!

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and now is the time to pick the perfect gift! Now through January 31st, Layla Grayce is offering 15% off Valentine’s Day Gifts with promo code LOVE15. Don’t miss your chance to shop and save on aprons, fashion accessories and more. Happy Shopping!