We’re 10 months into this g-tube life, and I’m getting smarter about everything. I’ve started preparing now for our vacation that starts on Sunday! So far I’ve made 8 of the 18 feeds that C will need while Hubster and I are away. Doing a little at a time takes the pressure off instead of food prep turning into a 4-hour affair the night before vacation!
Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about sharing memories! On July 3, 2014 at 1:00pm ET, please join us for the #ShareItForward Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing the new personalized Coke® bottles and the best ways to share them, and giving you a chance to win prizes!
My little one-year-old girl went into her brother’s trampoline and instantly knew what to do. She was jumping and having herself a grand ol’ time! We’ve had to close off the trampoline area with a large gate, because they wanted to be in there at the same time. It started to turn into a toddler cage match.
Hubster and I went away for the weekend to attend a wedding. The kids were so excited to see us when we came home. They had lots of fun with Nana and Papa, but C was very ready to be home. He’s my little homebody! When we got home, he declared that he was going to go for a walk. He even decided to put Baby Jo’s shoes on for her! He’s our little helper.
Disclosure: As a blogger for Tastefully Simple, I receive compensation and product for review purposes. The opinions below are entirely my own.
Summertime is family time in our household. Hubster is home from work at a regularly scheduled time. It makes it easier to meal plan. That means the slow cooker gets put away for the season and we start to cook meals that take longer to prepare. There is something about putting time into a meal that makes it more satisfying. We have more meals with appetizers, grilling and dessert. There is quality time spent together while the food cooks instead of scarfing down a quick dinner before or after the kids’ bedtime.
RSVP for the #FoodDeservesDelicious Twitter Party!
Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about easy summer meal ideas using Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing and Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing! On MONDAY, June 23rd at 3:00 pm ET, please join us for the #FoodDeservesDelicious Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing creative ways to use Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing and Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing, and giving you a chance to win prizes!
Baby Jo wanted to walk to the car on her own. C proudly took her hand and they walked down the hall together. I hung back a little and simply admired the sweetness of their friendship.
Disclosure: I’ve received two entries for a giveaway in exchange for this post. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
The Color Run is hitting your cities like never before with amazing new participant gear (t-shirt, headband, wrist band and sling bag), fresh music and color crazy race attractions. This is 5K magic like only The Color Run can do! I participated in The Color Run last year and had so much fun that I’ve registered for two events this year. It’s the most fun 3.1 miles you will ever run or walk, with dashes of color, beats to dance to and people cheering! There’s no doubt why it’s called the Happiest 5k on the Planet.
When a friend of mine told me about Bryan Haltom’s case, I felt that the least I could do was to offer a platform for this mother who continues to seek justice for her son nearly 18 years after his death. Lynn shares her story below. Please look carefully at Bryan’s picture. He was driving that car when he was murdered.
Today I had the crushing realization that my son is different.
No, I’m not delusional. I’m reminded that he is different 3-4 times each day when I administer his tube feedings, every week at his OT and speech therapy for sensory processing disorder, whenever I schedule his listening therapy into our day, and when I glance at the counter and see the stacks of syringes and extensions.
One of the things on my 30 Before 30 list was to run a 10k. There are some people for whom running comes naturally. They can easily run long distances with little to no training.
I am not one of those people.
Happy Father’s Day, Hubster. We love you.
Something big happened yesterday. David Gray performed his song, “Back In The World,” on the Today Show. Mr. Gray has graciously allowed Postpartum Progress to use his beautiful, and perfectly appropriate song, as its official song for Climb Out of the Darkness 2014. Postpartum Progress released this official video yesterday. Every time I watch it, I’m moved to tears.
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of New York Life. All opinions are 100% mine.
It's the choices you make that define you. That's a pretty powerful statement, no? We have all had to make choices that have changed the direction of our lives. Have you made a choice that changed your family's future for the better? When other people who depend on us are involved, those choices become even tougher!
C has been having individual occupational therapy sessions for his SPD for two weeks with the same therapist that led his group sensorimotor therapy that he enjoyed since February. His speech therapy was finally approved, too, so we can address his language processing and feeding needs. He had his first session with both of them together this week. Things went quite well. They pushed him and he rose to the challenge. He was close to going over the edge at one point.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. I am also participating in a contest as an additional aspect of this campaign. #BrewItUp #BrewOverIce #CollectiveBias
My boy loves to work on puzzles and he was in need of a bigger challenge. His aunt and uncle gave him a few puzzles for his birthday last month, and we’ve been working on them regularly. This large floor puzzle with vehicles is C’s favorite and we play it when Baby Jo takes a nap. He recently asked me to help him. When I said I was busy with something, he went ahead and did it himself!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #MyPicknSave #CollectiveBias
Father’s Day is a special day to celebrate the men in our lives and all that they do for us. I will be visiting Pick ‘n Save, a local Wisconsin grocery, to shop from their large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats to create a special Father’s Day meal for Hubster.
California Delicious Giveaway
June 6-10, 2014
Open to US
I love giving gift baskets. You can personalize them so much more than a flower arrangement. Customize gifts for the tea lover in your life, a Father’s Day gift, the wine connoisseur and more. These California Delicious baskets are fun to send and even better to receive. So if anyone wants to send one my way, I’m an avid coffee drinker.
Disclosure: I received this product complimentary for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
There have been many times that a car trip overlaps with the kids’ bedtimes. We often put them in pajamas before we drive home, but we still need to put them into sleep sacks when we get back home. I didn’t know that a car-seat compatible sleep sack existed until I received this Merino Kids Organic Cotton Sleep Sack for review. They actually have a patented safety belt aperture that allows the freedom to move baby from car seat to stroller to crib without disrupting sleep patterns. Very cool.
In many households, this would be a normal lunchtime picture. Brother and sister eating at the table together, each of them feeding themselves their food.
In my home, this moment was enough to bring tears of joy to my eyes. My tubie with sensory processing disorder is doing a few amazing things in this picture:
This girl. She’s 90 percent sweetness and 10 percent spitfire.
So much sweetness.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #LaundrySimplified #CollectiveBias
When I had my kids, I never imagined I would spend so much of my time doing laundry. Sorting laundry, washing laundry, folding laundry, putting all the little things back in the little drawers. I did two loads of laundry today and three loads yesterday. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but I did four loads the day before that. Do you ever feel like you’re perpetually stuck in the laundry room?
The last detailed update that I gave you all about C’s health was when he had an EEG done to look further into the brain activity that was picked up during his sleep study. I didn’t update you on the results because I was a little confused by them. The EEG was normal; however, I showed a few videos of C’s episodes to his pediatrician. The pediatrician said that if he didn’t have a normal EEG, he would order one based on the videos. He recommended waiting to see if these episodes continued or started to occur more frequently. If so, then we’d look into a longer-term EEG and he’d have to stay in the hospital for it. If not, then we can just move forward. I haven’t noticed any changes in the past month.
Now that C has turned three, it has become even more apparent that we’re but one soul inhabiting two bodies. He is super chatty at bedtime, just like me, and talks my ear off about anything and everything his little three-year-old mind dreams up. Here is a sample from one of our bedtime conversations:
Why would you juice fast? That’s kind of crazy! Well…I used to think it was a little crazy. Then I watched documentaries like Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, realized how much better I was feeling as I increased my vegetable intake, and remembered how much juicing aided in my healing process when I was very ill with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) as a teen. The influx of vitamins readily absorbed by your body, the cleansing process on a cellular level, the detoxification of every part of your body – I decided it was worth it. I want a fresh start!
“Sister, you’re my best friend, best friend, best friend.”
There’s never any doubt that C absolutely adores his little sister. He lights up when she enters the room, asks her to play cars with him and crawls around the apartment with her. He can make her laugh harder than anyone else.
Disclosure: I am receiving product and compensation from Cottonelle for this post. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
We have 50 minutes until we need to leave the apartment. Hubster jumps in the shower while I tube feed C. When Hubster emerges from the bathroom, there are 25 minutes left for me to get ready. C heads into the bathroom and moments later calls for my help. I walk into the bathroom to find him with his pants down and a mess around his ankles. He didn’t make it to the potty in time and now he will need a bath. I frantically fill the bathtub and give C a quick scrub. Suddenly I’m left with just 15 minutes to get myself ready.
Imagine being 23 and moving to a new state with your husband, where both of you were about to embark on your graduate education. One week in, you start to feel very sick. You decide to take a pregnancy test on a whim – just to rule it out. Surprise! You’re pregnant. You become so ill over the next few weeks that you’re unable to leave your apartment. You’re forced to withdraw from the university and quit your graduate assistantship. Suddenly there you are – in a new state, jobless, unable to attend school, pregnant and too sick to function. The two of you are now dependent on your husband’s menial income from his graduate assistantship.
Disclosure: I received product from Tutus by Terrah and Little Bug Shoppe for use at the kids’ party. The thoughts and opinions expressed below are entirely my own.
C is simply obsessed with Disney’s Cars. A Disney Cars birthday party was the only way to go this year. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Francesco, Finn McMissile…the boy is all about his favorite Cars characters. Baby Jo…well, without a preference at the age of one, she was just along for the ride!
Can I just say that I feel immense relief that Baby Jo likes to eat?! She was recently double-fisting slices of homemade pizza. Gosh, I love that girl.
Welcome to the second installment of “C Says the Darndest Things.” The bigger he gets, the more I’m shocked at what comes out of his mouth. I don’t know where he gets this stuff! *looks around sheepishly*
While having trouble fitting his water bottle into the basket on his bed, because he put too many cars in there: “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me right now?!”
I started writing this post early this morning. I was halfway done and naturally I didn’t save it before my site went down. Because it’s Monday, so of course right?! Let’s try this again, Monday!
Even with three weeks off of 10k training, I picked it right back up last week and things have been going well. My long run last week was 4.5 miles. I had a power snack when I was done, lots of water and some Arnica tablets. I was very sore that day and quite sore the next day, too. This week’s long run was 5 miles and it went much better than I expected. I battled major soreness during the first mile and thought, “There’s no WAY I’m going to make it five miles!”
It’s been six weeks since I told you I was starting the She Sweats 12-Week Transformation. I should be giving you a six-week update, but instead I’m looking at my calendar that only has the first two weeks checked off.
I could tell you that I failed. I could make excuses about why I missed four weeks of workouts. The truth? Life happened. C got a stomach bug that lasted over a week and turned into getting IV hydration. He had an EEG. We moved. The kids had their first joint birthday party just two weeks after we moved into our new apartment. The daily grind of special needs parenting continued.
Let’s support the Body Image Movement. How “Embrace” documentary will create global change. #IHaveEmbraced
Taryn Brumfitt is a woman with a mission. You may have seen her atypical “before” and “after” images circulating the web. Her Body Image Movement perpetuates her message of love and acceptance. It’s time for women to love and accept themselves for who they are. She asked 100 women to describe their bodies in one word. Many of them replied with a negative word and several of them said, “Disgusting.” You’ll see in this video that the women who are calling themselves “fat” or “disgusting” are beautiful, unique individuals. I cringed hearing them talk about themselves that way. Then I realized that I think those same things about myself. Do you?
Disclosure: I was selected to host a Mommy Party to celebrate National Moms’ Night Out and “Moms’ Night Out,” and was provided with a complimentary party kit. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
Did you know that National Moms’ Night Out takes place annually in May? Yes, ma’am! That means you have an excuse to get a sitter, put on those heels (or kick them off!), and pour that glass of wine for an evening of fun with your best ladies.
Despite his fierce independence, C is a mama’s boy at heart. He loves to give hugs and kisses. I enjoy when he climbs up for cuddles when I’m lying down. These tender moments are ones I’ll treasure forever.
Baby Jo might eat us out of house and home, you guys.
She wants to eat as soon as she wakes up in the morning. She wants a snack a couple of hours later. She’s hungry again at lunchtime. Then she wants another snack after her nap. Even after all of that food, she still is hungry for dinner every night.
I found myself close to tears a few times yesterday. A few times those tears even spilled down my cheeks. Mother’s Day served as a reminder of how difficult this year of mothering has been for me. During this third year as a mom, many difficult things happened.
You all may have thought I boarded the crazy train when I made my own natural toothpaste. Maybe this is even “crunchier” for you, maybe less so. I made my own natural, DIY borax-free laundry detergent this week! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I kept putting it off because I thought it would be a lot of hard work. Making my own laundry soap was actually really easy.
Disclosure: As a blogger for Tastefully Simple, I receive compensation and product for review purposes. The opinions below are entirely my own.
We had 12 adults at C and Baby Jo’s birthday party last weekend. I wanted to serve up a fun, out of the ordinary beverage that they would enjoy. Hubster and I are big frappé fans so it was only fitting that we would utilize this Tastefully Simple Caramel Macchiato Frappé Mix. I have to admit that after prepping for a joint birthday party with 12 adults and nine children in attendance, I was thankful for a beverage that was very quick and easy to prepare.
Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party all about celebrating our 2014 Graduates! On Tuesday, May 13 at 2 pm CT/3 pm ET, please join us for the#MyPicknSave Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing all sorts of great Graduation Party ideas, and giving you a chance to win prizes!
I don’t think I could have captured it any better. This single photo perfectly defines C and Baby Jo’s sibling relationship. So much love. So much fear.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. This post is not a healthcare professional’s opinion. All opinions are my own. #NaturalProbiotic
Staying at home with my kids means I’m there through everything. Every smile, every hug, every “first.” That also means I witness every tantrum, every skipped nap, the monotony, and I can’t forget the body fluids. Oh, the body fluids. We may live on a university campus, but I think even our neighbors would be shocked by the amount of body fluids going on in here every day. I’m sure any parent who stays at home would agree that parenting in the trenches 24/7 can get really hard sometimes.
My dear son,
How are you three years old already? You and I used to hang out together all day – just the two of us. Trips to the store, long walks, reading books, playing. I cherish our time alone together like it was yesterday. I’m amazed at how big you’ve gotten. Your strength, courage and resilience inspires me daily. You have been through more this year than any child should have to experience, and I feel like our bond has grown even stronger.
Photo Credit: Growing Up Bilingual
Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about making Mother’s Day memorable with Bigelow Tea! On May 5th at 1:00 pm ET, please join us for the #AmericasTea Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing ways to celebrate Mother’s Day, and giving you a chance to win prizes!
Dearest Baby Jo,
One year and one day ago, we took C to the zoo and the park on a Saturday to start a birthday celebration weekend. C was turning two on Monday and we wanted to give him a special weekend before you were born.
Yes, Mama looked very pregnant there; but we still weren’t expecting you until our scheduled cesarean on May 6 – and you weren’t even due until May 12. I put your brother to bed a few hours later and started to hang up his Mickey Mouse birthday decorations. That’s when the contractions started. They were very strong and only 4 minutes apart. I knew it was time.
Disclosure: I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Stonyfield. I received coupons to facilitate my shopping trip and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
I’ve always been very conscious about the quality of food that I’m giving my children, but I have to admit that I’m much more dedicated to quality after C received his feeding tube last summer. For C, he doesn’t eat much orally, so I want what he does eat to be packed with nutrients and free of all impurities: artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives. We buy organic snacks, dairy and as much organic produce as our budget allows. We go through a lot of Stonyfield yogurt each week! I use it as the base of many of C’s g-tube blends. The kids enjoy eating it and so do I.
There’s something that I am afraid of. I’m not talking about roller coasters or spiders (*flails wildly*), I’m talking about failure.
Baby Jo is turning one soon. I love this age – the curiosity, the wonder, the trouble making! Here’s mischievous Baby Jo causing trouble with our stock of diapers:
Two children. Two rounds of postpartum mood disorders. PPD, PPA, PPOCD and antepartum depression (during pregnancy) with Baby Jo. My mental health during and after pregnancy is kind of a crapshoot.
Baby Jo is turning one next week. I have been completely off of Zoloft for over a month and have been doing well. I knew that the PPDemons were behind me, so I didn’t think that my final appointment with my psychiatrist was going to be emotional for me. It must have been the finality of it all. Closure. I walked out of his office feeling on top of the world. I went through the depths of depression twice. I conquered what sometimes had felt insurmountable. I came out the other side not unscathed, but different. Better, stronger, wiser. More in tune to my own body, my own needs, my own strengths and limitations.
I can’t believe these were the best pictures I could get of these two today! We woke amongst an apartment filled with boxes, after moving yesterday. We missed church because we couldn’t find everything we needed in time. Later we enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked Easter dinner with friends from church. The kids are sleeping peacefully and I will be, too. I am exhausted!
Disclosure: I received a credit to make a purchase on ScoreBig for the purpose of this review. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
When Hubster and I were dating, we went to NFL games, NBA games, MLB games and hockey games. We bought concert tickets and even went to a few theater productions. It wasn’t until later, when we were married and living on a tighter budget, that we realized we weren’t able to attend all of the events we wanted because the ticket prices were higher than we could afford. If there had only been a place where we could name the price we were willing to pay and get an instant answer. If only there was a place that offered no fees and free delivery. That’s right – there is. ScoreBig offers tickets that are always below box office price, up to 60 percent below face value.
Disclosure: As a Tastefully Simple blogger, I received product and compensation for this post. The thoughts, recipe and opinions below are entirely my own.
Tangy sauce, gooey cheese, spicy pepperoni and a crust with just the right crispiness. Are your tastebuds dancing?
Things are never dull at the Novotny household. Sometimes I wish things were a little less interesting, actually. Last Saturday, C was up vomiting every 20 minutes throughout the night. The entire week last week was a saga (aka very long story that I don’t care to dive into!) of trying to get him hydrated just for him to start vomiting again so we could start at square one. On Friday night we ended up at the ER. That visit was a gigantic waste of time and we ended up back on Saturday night, when he got an IV. Here’s my brave little trooper and our silly baby who is very happy to be in Daddy’s arms.
If you haven’t seen this viral video yet, by American Greetings and Cardstore, you must watch it! They created a real job posting, posted it on real sites and conducted real interviews. Their working job title was, “Director of Operations.” It gave me goosebumps! Enjoy.
Three weeks have passed since C had his sleep study done at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It doesn’t feel like it could have been that long ago, yet this time has been filled with shock, stress and uncertainty. I haven’t told you about C’s sleep study results because I’ve been having a difficult time processing it.
*looks back and forth, whispers* You guys. I’m horrified. It appears that I am getting my first wrinkle.
It’s not a smile line, either. It’s directly related to the stress that has defined my life in the past year. It’s a forehead wrinkle from squinting my eyes. I tend to do that when I’m really stressed or concerned. Apparently more often than I ever realized.
Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets through US Family Guide and the National Railroad Museum to attend this event in exchange for this review. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
April showers are pouring down this weekend. We could have gotten bogged down by the gray skies, but instead we headed to the National Railroad Museum to hop aboard The Great Bunny Train!
Disclosure: I am being compensated by Spend Smart in exchange for this post. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
In case my recent DIY Toothpaste post didn’t tip you off (haha!), I’m very frugal. We’re a one-income household because I stay home with the kids. That means the budget is tight and I like to keep close tabs on where our money is going. It’s the little things that add up. Hubster and I have a rule that if we want to purchase something over $100, we need to talk to each other about it first. It’s helped keep us both in check by limiting impulse buying. There are some great tips below on how to spend smart. What are some of your tips?
Each year, 1 in 7 women face maternal mental illness. That is a staggering statistic. In my personal experience, I’ve learned that once you face maternal mental illness once, you’re more likely to experience it again. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression nearly eight months after C was born. I fell through the cracks the first time. My OBGYN only asked me if I was “feeling depressed” at my 6-week appointment. There is so much more to depression than feeling depressed.
Since I posted my (Kinda) Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday this week, I thought I would keep with the wackiness that was this week by creating a fun Throwback Thursday post. I hope you enjoy the madness…
There’s the time Hubster gave me a little push as I tried to scale that tree.
Spring has finally sprung in Wisconsin! Just last week, I had to scrape ice off the windshield before going somewhere. It’s been a loooong winter. Hubster took the kids to the park over the weekend and they had the greatest time together! I wasn’t complaining about the nap I took while they were gone.
Ever since all of C’s medical issues began, I’ve been on a mission to eradicate toxins in our household. Food, laundry, household and personal products…chemicals and toxins are hidden everywhere. Recently, upon C’s seventh request to brush his teeth that day, I realized that there are probably a lot of unwanted ingredients in our toothpastes.
Go ahead and call me crazy, but there are few things that get me more excited than saving loads of money. Children take up very little space themselves but they require an enormous amount of stuff. It’s disproportionate, really. All that stuff costs a small fortune. At first, it was tempting to buy everything brand new so that my child was the first child to have ever touched this book or that blanket. I’ve lived and learned that kids don’t really need brand new stuff. Even used kids items are often like-new because kids outgrow things so quickly! I love to shop consignment now. I can find things for a fraction of the cost – sometimes with the tags still on them. Cha-ching!
I’m starting a regular feature here with this title. C cracks me up on a daily basis and I’ve simply been doing you a disservice by not sharing his antics.
This week, I’m going to feature some “C”-isms related to his independent streak. Sometimes he makes me want to pull my hair out, but he sure is funny.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This #ProtectPixieHollow shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.
Is there anything better than a new Disney movie release? My son sure doesn’t think so! Ever since our trip to Disney World last year, the boy has been obsessed with all things Disney. It’s an obsession that I encourage because I enjoy it, too. The Pirate Fairy was released this week, so we stopped at Walmart to snag our copy. C was excited to grab the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD that included a free gift: The Pixie Hollow Bake Off DVD with 10 animated shorts! Tinker Bell has a bake off with head baking fairy Gelata (voiced by Giada de Laurentiis) in this bonus movie found exclusively at Walmart. I’m always trying to find more things for C to watch to keep him occupied during his tube feedings and if it includes something related to food, that’s even better.
After many months of fighting a postpartum mood disorder and having my antidepressant turn me into a human inflatable, I am very excited to announce that I am starting the She Sweats Summer Challenge through He and She Eat Clean! The Summer Challenge is 16 weeks long. I’ll start with the She Sweats 12-Week Transformation and follow it with the Extreme 4-Week Shred.
Sensory kids are tough. They generally do what they want, when they want and ain’t nobody going to convince them otherwise! For months, I had anxiety about potty training C. Would he be ready? Would he play games with us, like the first time we attempted? Would he have major meltdowns?
“I don’t know how you do it.”
I get those words a lot. I usually smile and reply, “You learn to deal with what you have to deal with.” That’s the truth, but there is a lot more to my truth that I don’t add. The truth in its entirety is just too much.
Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC. or the manufacturer of the product.
This sleep study was originally scheduled for January, was denied by our insurance company, we took it through the grievance process, won, and rescheduled a couple times because C kept getting sick. It finally happened earlier this week! I was pretty anxious about it. With C’s sensory processing disorder, he hates having anything on his face or head. Well…they had to stick a ton of monitors and electrodes all over his face, head and body.
Disclosure: I am receiving product and compensation from Zoobean for this post. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
Subscription services are all the rage right now. What’s cooler than getting a box of exciting products at your doorstep each month?! Zoobean is a subscription service that stands out with its mission to build literacy early and often by curating apps, books and resources for individual children. All of Zoobean’s curators are parents and educators or librarians who focus on your child’s age, reading level and interests to create a unique subscription for your child. No two subscriptions are the same because they’re tailored to each child’s unique interests!
We took these pictures while we were at the railroad museum last week. Baby Jo’s silly, mischievous smile cracks me up. It’s the same smile that I can be seen flashing at the camera in some of my baby pictures!
C has a high threshold for certain sensory input, like vestibular and proprioceptive. He likes to fall on his bed either onto his face or backward onto his butt. Here he is falling backward to get the input he needs.
Disclosure: I am participating in a review program with Beech-Nut and MomSelect. Although I am receiving product and compensation for this post, the thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
I’m one of those moms that is a little obsessive about knowing what is going into my children’s mouths. I was already like this when C was a baby, but now that he’s been through all of his health issues I’m even more adamant about proper nutrition and zero additives. For the most part, I made both of my kids’ baby food; but there were occasions when I didn’t have time or it wasn’t possible to travel with a bunch of homemade baby food. Beech-Nut has answered the call of moms like me who are looking to take all of the added junk out of baby food and give our babies real, natural ingredients just like we would make.
I have a confession to make. There’s an entire side of my family that I don’t really speak with. Naturally, there’s the pleasantries and small talk at funerals and the occasional wedding; but there’s not a relationship there except one formed by blood. It was not my choice, nor was it really my parents’ choice. There are many levels of complexities that I can’t even begin to understand. The bottom line is that the relationship was fractured for numerous reasons, for many, many years.
If this is any indication of his driving habits in 14 years…
Here’s C doing donuts in the living room in his Little Tikes Cozy Truck!
Disclosure: As a Tastefully Simple blogger, I received product and compensation for this post. The thoughts, recipe and opinions below are entirely my own.
Spring is in the air! Okay, well, it was for a day or two before the snow decided to come back. I’m still thinking spring – bright colors, citrus, sunshine and warmer air! My parents both turned 50 years old this month and I wanted to incorporate those thoughts into their cake. Tastefully Simple introduced their new spring-summer line and there are some fun new gluten-free items to try!
We’ve had the pleasure of having Hubster hang out with us for the past few days while he took some time off of work. Yesterday, we went to the Railroad Museum and the kids played with their favorite part – the train table! It was fun to watch Baby Jo get in on the fun now that she’s a little bigger.
I belong to a few Facebook groups for parents of tubies, kids with severe feeding challenges and blended diets. One mother posted a picture of her son’s new Blendtec blender with hope that a new blended diet will benefit her son. I commented that the blended diet is changing my son’s life. Then I sat back for a moment and let those words really sink in.
Here we go, here we go! Down to zero!
After working with my psychiatrist to taper off of my antidepressant, I finally went down to zero again last week. I anticipated the withdrawal and am relieved to report that it has been much easier than last time, when I came off of Effexor. That doesn’t mean it has been easy.
Disclosure: I am being compensated by JJsHouse for this post. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
A story about a consignment store owner helping a plus-size teen find a prom dress has gone viral this past week. It’s an inspirational story that really spoke to me. I remember experiencing similar feelings of frustration and disappointment in the dressing room many times. While I may not have been looking for a prom dress at the time, it was still devastating not to find that shirt, pants or dress that fit well on my body and made me feel good about myself.
Disclosure: I’m posting this on behalf of US Family Guide for The Great Bunny Train at the National Railroad Museum.
The National Railroad Museum’s first event of the season will be held on April 12-13, 2014!
The Easter Bunny is coming to Green Bay, WI! Each admission to the Great Bunny Train includes a day of entertainment, crafts, and games for children of all ages, including a chance to ride the train and meet the Easter Bunny. Television station WFRV (Channel 5), Green Bay Seven Up Bottling Company, Sunny D, Great Harvest Bread Company, Green Bay Packers and Rasmussen College are event sponsors.
Disclosure: I received the #JAdoreVoxBox complimentary from Influenster. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
I enjoyed opening up the #JAdoreVoxBox from Influenster and discovering the goodies inside! This Vox Box is all about beauty and indulgence. The Créme Caramel Red Rose Tea was delicious, and C enjoyed sharing the Hershey’s Kisses with me.
Sometimes I look at Baby Jo and it’s like looking in the mirror. It totally freaks me out when she makes a certain face just like I did in one of my baby pictures – or even one that I still do! I’ve created another mashup collage of pictures of Baby Jo and me at 9 months old. Here’s the one that I did a few months ago. The likeness continues!
Disclosure: This post includes an Amazon affiliate link.
C has a high need for vestibular input with his sensory processing disorder. One of his favorite ways to get that is from swinging in this awesome swing we bought from IKEA. Here’s a video of C “stimming” in the swing!
“Shake, Mommy? I drink shake!”
We’ve switched C’s diet from 3.5 cans of Pediasure each day through his gtube to a blended diet of mostly organic whole foods. He still asks me if he can drink a “shake” sometimes. I cringe every time, because now it’s even more apparent what that influx of sugar does to him. Within an hour, his behavior is completely out of control. He runs wild, unsure what to do with himself. It results in outbursts, hurting his sister and me, and throwing tantrums. The crazy thing – he used to be like that ALL THE TIME. It was all that Pediasure and sugar coursing through him. Eek.
Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Cutie P’Tubies in exchange for this review and giveaway. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
It doesn’t seem to matter which barrier cream we use, how tight C’s g-tube button is, or how active he is…fluid leaks out regardless. We were using gauze for a long time. That always fell off if we didn’t use tape, but if we used tape then C’s skin would break out. I eventually gave up and didn’t put any dressing around it, resulting in some stains in that area of his shirts. During a late night Pinterest session, I came across some adorable g-tube pads. I didn’t even know that these existed! I clicked through to the Cutie P’Tubies Etsy store and found the motherlode of cute for G tube pads, J tube pads, Cecostomy pads and Trach pads.
Disclosure: We had the opportunity to try the Bouncin’ Bus complimentary in exchange for this review. The thoughts and opinions below are entirely my own.
The Bouncin’ Bus is one of those things that you can’t miss when you see it around the community. We’ve seen it at the On Broadway Farmer’s Market and at various locations around Green Bay and the Fox Cities. We were intrigued, but hadn’t checked it out. I’m so happy that we finally did!
Disclosure: This post includes an affiliate link to Blogging Concentrated. I’m passionate about this conference because I learned so much from it! The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own.
I’ve been blogging here for nearly 3.5 years, and there came a point in the past year where I realized I needed to make this passion not just my hobby but also a source of income for my family. As a blogger and stay-at-home mom, I wanted to also contribute financially to the family finances. That’s when I started to look into blogging conferences.
Sometimes it feels like parenting is just one giant exam after another. I don’t know if there’s really a correct answer to some of the exams, but I’m sure there are ways to fail. My latest exam had me feeling completely unprepared. Frantic, even. Here’s a breakdown of my most recent exam – tell me how you’d handle it!