Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: Baby Jogger Performance Series Jogger

I am falling in love with baby products. All of my past reviews have been raves but I really can't help but talk about the things that I love to use and therefore, use all the time. When you are using something day in and day out and it makes life with a baby easier, you can't help but fall in love with it.

This one baby product that I'm reviewing today is a brand new purchase for me but it was manufactured 7 years before Baby C was born!

As a pretty serious runner, I knew I wanted a pretty serious running stroller. I did a lot of research and discovered the Baby Jogger Performance Series Jogger.


If you clicked on that link, you found that stroller costs a lot of money. After just dishing out a lot of money for another, every-day stroller (more on that one later), I couldn't bring myself to spend that much on a jogger. So, to craigslist I went! I finally found one that was really reasonable ($50!), the only downpart I could find was that it was so old.

We bought it on Thursday afternoon and I took it for a spin soon after we returned home. In fact, C and I ran to the consignment sale that I was a seller at, bought 5 toys, put them in our Ikea bag, and ran back home.

Gotta love that Ikea bag. Seriously, though, it is a great stroller. Even with all those toys and C in the seat, it felt like I was barely pushing anything. Of course, now it is snowing and I can't go running but, come sunny days, I'll be out again. Can't wait!

Please note: I was not compensated for this review (though i wish it were! sheesh that would have been nice!). This review is based on my own opinion. I love this jogger oh-so-much that i just wanted to share!

I find this hilarious

Maybe because it is late but I think this button is hilarious.
Maybe its because I've just become a crafter and a mother myself?

Review: The First Years Infant to Toddler Tub

In a phrase, "I heart this tub". It is on my MUST HAVE list for babies. Along with the Fisher Price Rainforest Booster seat (see this post), this is one of my top baby items that i absolutely l-o-v-e love. Baby C's first bath experience was...interesting.

Well, to be fair, her very first bath experience was brutal. She's born, she's placed on my chest and then, 10 minutes later, because she wasn't screaming loudly enough (seriously, that is what they told us), she was given a rough sponge bath. Well that certainly made her scream loudly!


Her first bath at home was a sponge bath. She found it both shocking and intriguing...the face says it all:



Now she thoroughly enjoys herself and can't get enough of her bath. She'd stay in it all day if we let her. This bath is great because it starts out with a newborn in their little sling, then they can recline in the tub and, finally, they can sit up in it. So it grows with the baby and it is comforting to them because they feel secure. i can't say enough about how much I love this bathtub!




Please note: I was not compensated for this review. This review is based on my own opinion. Baby C loves this bathtub so much that i just wanted to share!

CLOSED: "DON'T Pay it Forward" Giveaway

***UPDATE***
Well that was fast! Thanks for your participation, everyone! Allison, Mandy, Jenny, Bethy, and Julia will each be getting a crafty item sometime next month...I'll work as fast as I can!
***UPDATE***

Some of you may have read my post about the "Pay It Forward Giveaway" (seen here). Well, I think that might have been a little intimidating for some of you (except for Allison! yay to sign up!)

I know that I would have had 5 posts instantly had the giveaway had no strings attached (right...?) Well, it is time to test that theory. In honor of winning a banner over on the Roots and Wings Co. blog, I'm just going to GIVE AWAY a crafty thing to the first FOUR commenters. If you feel like paying it forward, awesome!

Here are the details:

The first FOUR people to leave a comment on this blog will receive something made by me. However there are some limitations.

1. I make no guarantee that you will like what I make.
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It will be done this year.
4. You have no clue what it is going to be, poetry, clothes, paper goods, or a little invention of my own. I may bake something and mail it you . Who knows? Not you that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

MVOTW

This week's memory verse comes from the passage that we studied in my CBS (Community Bible Study) class.

Jacob (soon to be renamed Israel) fears the retribution that may come with the imminent meeting of his long estranged twin brother, Esau. He finally comes to God (before, God had always come to Jacob first) and humbly acknowledges how greatly God has blessed him.

Genesis 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which you have showed to your servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two camps.
His prayer is a great reminder for me about how much God has blessed me in my life and how I need to thank Him instead of taking those blessings (like plentiful food, a reliable car and home, a good job for J, etc.) for granted. Who am I that God would choose to bless me? How Great and Awesome is the God I serve! May I remember His blessings in times of trouble and times of joy. It is so easy to either complain when things are tough and forget His great love for me and His compassion. It is also easy to only think I need God when times are tough and just coast when times are easy. I need to be daily thankful for whatever blessing (good or seemingly tumultuous) that He sends our way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We have a winner...and this time its me!

Special thanks to Roots and Wings for hosting such an awesome giveaway. You may remember it from this post.

I cannot wait to hang their beautiful P-A-R-T-Y banner in honor of all the birthdays in March and April. And, my cousin turned 28 today, so P-A-R-T-Y for her, too!


In honor of winning, I'd like to re-extend my prior giveaway offer with a twist. Stay tuned for details...I have to go pick up J at the airport!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

End of Vacation

A few highlights from the last days of Florida Vacation:

J played with Baby C in the pool



She became an expert jumper and learned to push off the deck on the count of "1...2...3!"



She also became independent and just floated around the pool
(don't worry, we were supervising her!)



On the way home, we were less one baby but plus two cats
(yes the very same gray cats featured in our blog header):





While they might not have screamed as loudly as the kiddos did on the way down (remember this post?) they still were pretty vocal about being in the car. They finally conked out half way there and looked like this for the rest of the ride home:

So happy to be home:

We're Baaaack!

Do I need to ask permission to use that phrase or picture...hmmm?

okay so we are back and man oh man am I feeling overwhelmed. As I emptied the trash and recycling today (our turn in the condo rotation...woo hoo) I thought, "If I can just get to March, I'll be okay." I've been making lists and checking them off all day. Then I get so overwhelmed that I make more lists to remember the first lists.

What a rotten way to live, though, huh!?! Not living in the moment but just looking for a "break" in life. We are instructed in the Bible to "...not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)" I've been thinking a lot about how I keep adding more things to my plate. I read recently that God is not impressed with our busyness.

Lindsay Edmonds quoted Dorothy Patterson on her blog:
"Busyness is not godliness. God is not impressed with your production capacity as much as He is concerned that the product of your home--your own children--be chiseled and molded and perfected to the best of your ability. You may tire of this mundane task, but the Lord admonishes you not to grow weary and promises to supply the energy and strength as needed in this all-important task. God's strength is for what He plans for you to do--not stamina for everything you might want to do!"

Even though I am not Catholic, I still think the idea of Lent is very important. I usually give up things that I like to eat or do on a daily basis. Until a few hours ago, I was planning on giving up a variety of sweets and caffeine. How much more of a sacrifice it would be to actually just "rest".

Rest is a sacrifice, you ask? Well, it would be for me because I am a "doer" and I like to be busy and appear busy--for a variety of reasons and most of those reasons are selfish and vain...the busier I am the more important, right? WRONG.

So this season of Lent, I will strive to rest in God and focus on my relationship with Him and then on my relationship with my family. I will give up my need to be busy all the time and relax and just invest in my God, my husband, and my daughter.

Phew. I really was just going to update on the end of our vacation and it turned into quite the deep post. Sorry everyone and thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your thoughts...





Monday, February 23, 2009

Another creative friend

I always knew that my friend from high school was super creative. We were in the same homeroom and Art 101 as freshmen and it was so neat to watch her talent bloom. Her projects were incredible and she went on to be in AP Art with her artwork hanging all over school.

Regardless of seeing her talent in highschool, I didn't realize just HOW creative she is until we rediscovered each other on Facebook last year. She is amazingly talented and I'd love for you to check out her blog. And, not only is she creative, but she is also beautiful and stunning, super nice, and about to become a momma, too!

Check out Natalie's blogs here:


PS It just so happens that she is hosting a giveaway--a gift certificate to pclayers! Yes, the same PC Layers that I got my blog template ideas from!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hilarious

I love visiting my grandparents in Florida. My grandpa is a first-generation American (conceived in Holland, born in America) and is hilarious. He doesn't say anything unless it is funny. Lately, his quips are even crazier and slightly less coherent. I just had to share what he told us last night while we were watching basketball:
They should make all the collegiate basketball players have tattoes on their arm with their height. Like 6 foot 10, 6 foot 12
Maybe it is just funny because he is my family member but, seriously. 6'12"?

Just to give you an idea of what we're dealing with here:

Mulitple Prayers UPDATE!


Thanks to everyone who clicked on over to the Miller's blog and prayed for their babies! In case you missed their latest update, they've made it to 32 weeks and the babies are looking great! Keep praying for them and their twins.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Diaper review at Baby Cheapskate!

I had the privilege of reviewing RiteAid Ultrafits for Angie at Baby Cheapstake.

Head on over there and check it out:

UltraFits Size 3 Diapers

As an aside--Yes! I am going to cloth diaper--I was just waiting to get my new cloth diaper stash from Peas and Carrots. Since I got them while we were in Florida, we're starting when we get home!

Have you ever used these diapers? Have any favorites that you'd recommend? Leave a comment and let me know! If you do leave a comment about your fave diaper, you'll automatically be entered for the next giveaway--incentive!

Please note: I was not compensated for this review. This review is based on my own opinion. We love these diapers and continue to use them for night-time use!

We have a WINNER!

Thanks to all my last-minute posters for stopping by to enter!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

11

Timestamp: 2009-02-21 04:59:03 UTC


Congratulations to Alexis who said:

Alexis said...

okay you can enter me a third time cause i wrote my entry about this :) can you tell i want to win? haha!

Just goes to show you that it pays to enter three times! I'll be contacting you soon, Alexis!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Giveaway Opportunity

In honor of My First Giveaway being drawn tonight, why not take a stab at another fun giveaway?

Check out this neat crafty blog created by two sisters. Just click on the picture of the item they are giving away below:

They are giving away a fun party banner, much like the banner that the Crafty Twin made me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Georgia Peach

It is no secret that Baby C was born with enough Peach Fuzz to keep her warm on the coldest of nights. Seriously it was hard core fuzz. Thankfully, she has lost most of that fuzzy hair! Now she can just enjoy peach fuzz in its edible form. Here is Little C eating her first (frozen) peach:

*Multiple* prayers

I've seen a lot of blogs about mamas in hospitals, praying and waiting for their babies to arrive who may have a medical condition (MckMama), or about seemingly healthy babies who arrived only to get sick while in the hospital (Kelly). I've read and followed those blogs and prayed for the babies and their parents.

Now I have a very good friend from college who is in the hospital waiting for her twins to arrive. They've gone through a lot of ups and downs lately but everything is holding steady. Despite the great news, they still need your prayers for healthy babies and a healthy delivery. Please visit their blog and encourage them with a comment!

Here is their blog:

Mind Your Millers

Thanks!

New toys!

Well, The Twin (check out her newly-public blog) found a steal of a deal on the local Craigslist so that the babes wouldn't be bored. So, they technically have a new toy, too, as illustrated below:



However, the real reason for this post is to talk about my new toys! I finally received my shipment from Peas and Carrots diapers of brand new cloth diapers. I cannot wait to wash them and try them out on C! Woo hoo. Who knew you could be so excited about diapers?

The second toy is my birthday present from J.



Yeah, I'm just a little excited! Hopefully I won't spend too much time on that thing :-o

DON'T FORGET: Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for my giveaway! Tell your friends!

The Twin goes public!

The twin's blog is finally public! Now you can all read about her fun life with Little Miss (aka Baby R) and see her creativity in action!

Check her out by clicking on this cute picture of her family:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MVOTW


I know a lot of you may have become my follower to win a great bib and burp set. Thank you for doing so! I hope that you'll stick around for a few more weeks as I plan on giving away more items...and not just baby things!

In the meantime, please get to know me in my About Me section. You'll find that I am a Christian. One of my resolutions for 2009 was to memorize a Bible verse every week. Here is this week's:

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

Why Memorize scripture?

Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61).

Billy Graham said, "I am convinced one of the greatest things we can do is to memorize scripture" [Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, p.88].

Monday, February 16, 2009

D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R

What a trip.

I have to start by saying we are so thankful for prayers for safety and alertness. And whoever prayed for us to stay awake sure prayed hard because we never got tired...even 20 hours after we woke up from our 3 hour sleep.

Okay, so now to the real beginning. After planning a 3 AM departure, we tried to get some sleep by going to bed early. 12:45 AM rolled around, R was up, and we couldn't sleep so we thought, "Let's just head out now." (I will note that J thought it was an absolutely wretched idea to leave that early on so little sleep but we were adamant about going so off we went.)

Well, R decided she did not want to have anything to do with sleep. Nothing. She wanted to "talk" and cry--both of which kept me company and awake (!) while I drove. About 2 hours after we started, she finally fell asleep. Not even an hour later, she woke up screaming and C decided to join her--here is a little snippet of the sounds we heard for the next 45 minutes:



Joyous.

Around 5 AM we ran into accident #1. We could actually see it looming on the horizon from quite a distance away. The closer we got the larger the accident looked--come to find out, it was so big that it closed down the entire highway and we were re-routed off of I-75 and onto US 41 for the next 25 minutes. We can only say that we are grateful that 1) the girls were finally quiet and 2) that we have larger interstates now as neither of us can imagine driving to Florida on a 2-lane road like our parents used to do!

Then, around 9 AM we ran into accident #2. Again, we were re-routed off the highway because the accident was so big. We know that at least two people died in the accidents we saw and we pray for their families and praise God for keeping us safe.

We arrived a little after noon and cannot wait to do it all again in a week. Ha.

Here is Baby C--she was the only one who slept in the car:



And the sleepless wonder, Baby R:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

We're headed to Florida tomorrow! My postings will definitely be few and far between until Friday night when I announce the WINNER of my first giveaway!

While you are waiting anxiously for my next post, don't forget to sign up for my Bib and Burp Cloth Giveaway or my Pay it Forward Giveaway.

Have a great end to your weekend and a wonderful start to your week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Last post of the day, I promise

Seriously, I promise not to post 4 times every day. Its just that a lot happened today AND today is Valentine's Day. Here are a few highlights from today:

J took C out for a daddy-daughter date. He proved to be a boring date as she came back home fast asleep. J then managed to sneak C into the crib without her waking up. She decided she'd slept long enough 8 minutes later so J made me go in and get her. This is what I found:

C had a VDay gift for me! Aww. Thanks J and C for your thoughtfulness. That Nerd Rope was gone in 2 seconds flat but the card will be kept forever.

After bumming around for a few hours, we went up to visit the twin and her family. The girls hung out with each other, took a bath together (where we experienced an hilarious #2 incident), and then prolonged their bedtime by playing with a fun stroller toy ingeniously attached to the bottom of a dining chair by the twin (I told you she was creative)

Here are some priceless photos of the two of them together:







Happy Valentine's Day!

Pay It Forward - first five

So, this is an interesting post. My love of all-things-free and giveaways, led me to this blogger: CutieFruity. I'd seen her hilarious bibs and adorable bellybands on Etsy and had liked what I'd seen.

When I saw she was offering a free handmade item, I was all ready to sign up. Then, I realized there was a catch--if I received something from her I, in turn, would have to send something to 5 more people.

Hmmm.

I thought about it for a while and then finally took the plunge and cannot wait to receive something from her! Now it is your turn to think about posting a comment below...and, if you don't want the weight of paying it forward, feel free to still sign up for my first giveaway!

----Now for the details----

The first Five (5) people to leave a comment on this blog will receive something made by me. However there are some limitations.

1. I make no guarantee that you will like what I make.
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It will be done this year.
4. You have no clue what it is going to be, poetry, clothes, paper goods, or a little invention of my own. I may bake something and mail it you . Who knows? Not you that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

Here is the catch if you choose to do this: You must post this on your blog and be ready to make something for five people too. This will be fun! When you receive the fabulous item I make you, you must post a picture of it on your blog.

New Blog Header Title!

I am so excited to have a beautiful new image as my header. My creative friend (who I mentioned before in this post) has an equally creative sister who makes these blog headers in her spare time. I keep telling her she needs to charge for them! She is so good at what she does! Go on over to her site and check out her other images she's made for friends:

The joys of solid food

I've been wanting to post on babyfood since I started this blog. Who knew that I'd become so obsessed with it? I LOVE solids. It really is fun!

My twin has a daughter, R, that is 5 months older than C. She started baby R on solids at exactly 6 months. After trying Earth's Best Organic Rice Cereal for a few days, she started reading Super Baby Food and implementing the ideas and recipes found in that book. I was intrigued. Who knew you could feed your baby millet and brewer's yeast? For Christmas, the twin gifted me with the Super Baby Food Book and two freezer food trays shown here:C started showing an interest in our food in the beginning of January so, on the 18th, I decided to start her a few weeks shy of her half year celebration. I didn't want to start her on grains so i decided to try sweet potatoes. After the first reaction of solids on her tongue:



she became voracious and acted like she'd been starved for the past 5.5 months. Its been smooth sailing ever since. She LOVES her solids and will sit in her booster chair and just kick those little legs when she sees the spoon coming. It is really quite hilarious. She now eats with gusto peas, carrots, butternut squash, green beans, avocado, bananas, apples and millet. (What is millet? I asked that, too! Millet is a grain that is more digestible than rice and just as good for you.)

Of course, with solids, you need to drink water, too! Here is a pic of her meeting her new friend the sippy cup:



I now put Rooibos Tea in her sippy. If you've read that post you know she gulps that down faster than lightening. I actually have to watch her intake because she can't drink too much or it would dilute her poor system!

A few of the blogs that I love to read have some great information on starting solids or using the Super Baby Food book. Check it out:

Baby Wise Mom

and

Passionate Homemaking


And don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Please note: I was not compensated for this review. This review is based on my own opinion. I love this babyfood book so much that i just wanted to share!

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Giveaway!

In honor of my first blogging week, I'm inviting you to enter my first giveaway! Sadly, it will probably only interest those who have babies or who have friends that are having babies.

A little about this giveaway:

You could win a coordinating bib and burp cloth set. The front is made of a gender-neutral designer fabric and the back is an ultrasoft chocolate brown fleece. Perfect for wiping up your child's messes or for giving to your friend who has messy children :)

Of course, Baby C is anything but messy, hence why I don't need this in my house! I wish! C is, unfortunately, a big-time drooler and spitter and I'm constantly cleaning up after her! But I digress.

Back to the giveaway! This set is from Sarita Baby. You can find some of her products on her Etsy store by clicking here She describes her store in this way:

"Sarita Baby is a line of funky baby accessories made out of designer fabric. Because who wants boring baby stuff?"

She makes baby quilts, onesies, blankies with silk tags (because Taggies is trademarked), and, obviously, bibs and burp cloths. Take a look at the adorable set you could win:



To enter, please just leave a comment in the post below...about anything!

If you want another entry (and why not? its a cute giveaway!), sign up to be a follower of my blog and then post a second time to let me know that you did that. And, if you are really desperate to win this set, you can get one more entry by posting about this giveaway on your own blog and coming back and leaving a third comment telling me you did so. Since I think only 5 of you read my blog, you have a very high chance of winning :)

The contest ends a week from today, Friday, February 20th at 11:59 PM EST. I'll use a random number picker to choose the winner and then announce the winner on the blog on Saturday. Please leave me a way to contact you (via blog or email) so that I can get you your prize! Alternatively, check back on Saturday the 21st to see if you are the lucky recipient. If I don't hear back from the winner by Sunday, the 22nd, another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!
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My crafty twin*

When I was in middle school, high school, and college, I used to tell my friends that my sister sucked all the creative juices in the womb and left me with pretty much nothing. What do I tell them now days, you ask? Well, no one really asks but, if they did, I could claim that I finally found some small bit of craftiness in me. It took about 26 years for it to appear but I'm glad I've tapped into it!

Regardless of that talent I've found, though, my twin is still much craftier than I (no, not in the evil sense!). And I have proof! She has made me many things over the years and now that her daughter and Baby C are around, she has gone overboard on the crafts. For our birthday, for example, she made me a wonderful pennant banner for C's nursery. I just wanted to share a few pictures of them so that you could all agree that she is very creative.




Also, if you look to the far right of the last picture, you can see some canvas paintings made by, who else, my sister. She has a lovely blog, too, full of cute pics of her daughter (baby R) but it is private. Feel free to ask her if you'd like to peruse her personal site!


*I was desperately trying to think of a creative title that had to do with craftiness and twins but, other than something like a "crafty evil twin" that was all I could come up with. See why I need my more creative sister?

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