October 31, 2011

Fresh GraNOLA Review and Giveaway!

When I first started cloth diapering I was pretty nervous. I didn't really know what I was doing, especially in terms of detergent! Then I met Myndee, the brains behind FreshGraNOLA a line of fantastic all natural household products. Myndee contacted me and asked if I would like to try out some of her just for cloth diapers detergent as well as some of her all-natural laundry detergent. Umm, yes! Any time I can get more chemicals out of my house I'm excited. Plus, she's super sweet, easy to work with and a lover of one of my favorite Southern cities!

After eagerly awaiting the arrival of my package, I was so excited to open my mailbox and find a great big bag of the Wash Day scented powder and a great big bag of the Cloth Diaper Detergent. You can see how much of it I have used!




Now here is where I tell you a bit about me. I'm a scent junkie. I opened up that big bag of Wash Day detergent, took a big ole whiff and thought -- "I want to take a bath in this stuff!". Normally I use a very specific ratio of Tide:OxyClean:Downy to achieve the scent results I want out of my laundry. I was eager to find out if Wash Day would pull through for me. I put the Wash Day powder through some serious tests. First, it was the gross blanket my big, stinky boxers sleep on. Second, it was a dog bed my schnauzers puked on. Third, a ginormous load of wet towels I left in the washer for TWO days, on purpose y'all.



And Wash Day? It totally came through. One wash was all it took for all three of my stinky tests. Plus, when I use it I barely need any fabric softener. My clothes come out of the dryer feeling softer and cleaner than they ever did with my secret ratio of commercial laundry soaps. I'm totally a convert. Sorry Tide.


 {happy schnauzers in a clean bed}

Now, time for the BIG KAHUNA, the cloth diaper detergent.

My kid has super sensitive skin. Sensitive to the point where we slathered her up in Desitin every night before bed and she only wore Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers. Change one of those factors and diaper rash central. Then she started sleeping on her stomach and those diapers started to leak every single night. So we decided to try cloth diapering; I knew I could double stuff the front and everyone I talked to told me the same thing: It's better for her skin! It'll prevent diaper rash! After an initial wash in All Small and Mighty I was excited to go sans Desitin. Imagine my dismay when I opened her diaper to find it: raging diaper rash. Sigh. Hmmm. Guess Desitin it is.

Enter the FreshGraNOLA diaper detergent. I immediately re-washed all of my diapers to see if this could solve our problem. I was thrilled to find that the FreshGraNOLA detergent really helped with Evie's diaper rash. We still have a breakout once in awhile but there is still a night and day difference!
Aside from being super gentle on Evie's little bum, I found it to do a great job just as a detergent. I had no stink issues and no staining issues. I even did a soak on our diapers this past weekend to try and get some of the Desitin stains out and it helped a lot.

 {hanging out diaper rash free in my BumGenius 4.0s}


Since I am so excited about FreshGraNOLA's line of all-natural products and because Myndee is awesome, she is offering to giveaway one of two prizes to one of my fabulous readers! Lucky y'all!


The winner will receive either a box of FreshGraNOLA's fabulous all-natural diaper detergent and a scented room spray of his/her choice OR a box of FreshGraNOLA's All Natural Laundry Powder.

This is a Rafflecopter Giveaway. It will run from today, Monday October 31st through next Tuesday November the 8th. The winner will be chosen Wednesday November 9th and notified by email. The first entry is mandatory and the last one you can do daily for more entries! If you have trouble with Rafflecopter email me!

GOOD LUCK!!!

While I was supplied the products reviewed here at no cost, my opinions are 100% my own and honest.




Happy Halloween???

Happy Halloween. I think.

Evie is teething and not shy about letting us know she does not care for it.

Oh and my wisdom teeth have finally decided to make themselves known. I've been busting into the leftover c-section drugs all weekend long.

Evie is also sick with a horrible cough.

So she is going to the doctor today and I am going to the dentist first thing tomorrow. Pray for me, because really I'm terrified of the dentist.

So yeah, I guess we won't be enjoying any sugary treats at our house! :)

UPDATE: Evie has an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infection and a double ear infection. How does one get that sick? Poor little thing!



PS - Tomorrow is my very first giveaway! I am so excited!

October 28, 2011

Y3W: My Gross Hair

I am getting my hair done tomorrow! Hooray! It's been since mid-july and my roots are CA-razy! I should have had this done in the beginning of October but put it off!

Here is your visual:

How My Hair Looks Now


How I Would Like My Hair to Look


Let's all hope my stylist agrees shall we? She's amazing and I love her but she is kinda bossy! But hey I never leave the salon looking anything but great!!! So I trust her and her bossiness!





October 27, 2011

Not My Child

So a few weekends ago I took Evie with me to Wal-Mart. I needed groceries AND cleaning supplies AND baby supplies AND furbaby supplies. So yeah Wally World it was. I no longer freak out about taking Evie places with me, in fact it is loads of fun to watch her watch stuff. She is so observant and loves the lights and colors. Plus I can ask her opinion on anything from buying the shrimp pad thai or chicken pad thai and if she wants apple cinnamon flavored puffs or blue berry? It's just more time for me to interact with my daughter.


However, I returned home 2.5 hours later (Wal-Mart is 5 minutes from my house) and told Chris I remembered exactly why I don't take Evie shopping with me. Probably eighty percent of the people we pass stop me dead in my tracks to shriek at me that Evie is gorgeous and has the most beautiful eyes they've EVER SEEN!!! This is usually accompanied by making of funny faces, wagging fingers and for those who don't catch my hawk like glare, grabbing Evie's hand. If Evie likes the person she will smile at him/her from under her eyelashes or bounce in the seat and say "AHHHH!". So yeah, Wal-mart takes FOR-EVER. It is worse than Target and worse than Kroger.

Don't get me wrong I truly appreciate this acknowledgement that Chris and I created the most beautiful human ever (obviously -- at least we think so), but it makes shopping take so long. Plus I can only fake smile through clenched teeth while thinking touch my kid ONE MORE TIME lady, and die, for so long.

Whatever.

This post isn't about that eaxctly. It's about a Wal-Mart encounter I had that same trip. With a beauty pageant mom, or at least a presumed beauty pageant mom.

Picture this.

I am stopped in drink aisle trying to haul a 24 pack of Coke ZERO into my cart without slamming it down, therby jolting Evie and "Pageant Mom" approaches me.

PM: "Oh my goodness! Would you look at those cheeks?!?"

Me: Tight lipped smile. I'm thinking Umm yes. I see them every day. "We think they're pretty cute..."

PM: "She's just beautiful! Those eyes, so blue! Who'd she get those from?!?"

Me (as I side eye her warily): "Well we both have blue eyes, but I'm pretty sure she got her color from her daddy." I'm thinking, what would you do if I said I'm not sure, but the sperm donor I used is Swedish. Your dark lip-liner and light pink lipstick is so hideous and anyway, WHY THE HELL DO YOU HAVE SO MUCH MAKE UP ON?????

PM: "Well she's just gorgeous. Gorgeous! You should put her in modeling school or pageants, show off how beautiful she is! You know they have a baby category!"

Then she gave me kind of a half wink and a smile and sauntered off, her overly bleached blonde hair and bright green "Mississippi Girl" t-shirt still burning my retinas.
And I'm thinking, "Ma'am. I have yoga pants, running shoes and a VOLS t-shirt on. My hair (with the 3 inch brown roots) is in a pony tail. I have on mascara and that is it. Why in God's name would you ever think that I would be a good candiate for pageant mom?" I was seriously irritated



Then I realized that it wasn't about the way I looked at all. It was about the suggestion that I put my kid in beauty pageants or modeling school to show her off to validate myself. It made me really mad, which is silly because I am sure that she meant it as a compliment, but really all she did was prove to me how hard it is going to be raise a little girl in a skinny, beauty obsessed world.

And that? That makes me so sad. I want far more for my daughter than trying to validate herself through her looks.
BIG PROBLEM

October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Tails Edition 2.0

As I mentioned last week, I am dedicating my next few Wordless Wednesday's to my furbabies! Last week, I introduced you to Maggie and you can read her story here.

This week I'm going to introduce you to our boxers Rocky Top and Princess Reily. They are littermates and it's nearly impossible to talk about one without the other, so I decided to combine their post.

Meet: Rocky Top and Princess Reily



{it's confusing but Reily is on the left, and Rocky on the right}



Rocky's full name is Lord Rocky Top of Neyland. We call him, T Dog, Rocky, Rocky Pants, Top Dog, Mr. T and his Daddy calls him Top Rock. I don't though, because I don't like it. He was born late at night on October 7, 2006.

Rocky was the biggest of his litter and we picked him because we wanted a big ole' tough boy. What we got? Well, that was slightly different. Yes, he is a big ole' boy, but tough? Shyeah right. He is the goofiest, gentlest, scardy-cat dog ever. He whines like a baby all the time. Here is what I imagine in my head, "Mom. Mom. Hey mom. I want a cookie mom. Hey. Mom. I'm cold. Can I snuggle with you, Mom? Moooooooooom!!!! I know you are trying to pee Mom, but I'd really like to come in there with you. Can I Mom? Huh, Mom? PUH-LEEEEAAAAAAAASE Mom! Can I lick the baby mom? Oh, baby! I love the baby Mom! Is it dinner time yet Mom? Can I go outside Mom? I love you mom." All of this conveyed by a tail that wags endlessly, a constantly worried face and whining.

He is quite simply the world's biggest lap dog and his big slobbery kisses are a sure fix for whatever has gone wrong. He is a Momma's boy and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Reily's full name is (deeeeep breath) Princess Reily Poopy Pants of the Porcelain Throne. Don't ask where we came up with that, because I don't know. Reily was born early in the morning on October 8, 2006. This gives Rocky and her separate birthdays even though they are littermates, which we think is kind of cool. We cally Reily, Reily Pants, Poopy Pants or just Pants. Hence why Rocky sometimes gets called Rocky Pants.

To go a long with our big tough boy, we picked Reily because she was the runt of the litter and we wanted a docile snuggly little boxer girl. She is little, and a girl and a boxer. Docile and snuggly? Again, shyeah no. She is 48 pounds of pure spunk and sass. She is very dominant (which is something we are working on). Reily never whines, even when she has to get big scary allergy shots in her leg. She does go on hunger strike a lot and I can be found putting everything from whipped cream to bacon bits in her food to try and get her to eat. She has a very loud, scary bark and despite the fact that she is a huge Daddy's girl, she is extremely protective of me. Just when you least expect it, Reily will crawl in your lap, one gangly boxer leg at a time for some snuggles and some belly rubs.

Reily is a mess, but she is always smiling and her big brown eyes are always laughing! She can be really stubborn but I love all the fun she brings into our lives!

October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!!!

Saturday we took Evie to the Pumpkin Patch, I took about a million pictures -- here are my favorites! Also, Evie was teething and we didn't know it so that's why we lack smiles!

{I liked this sign on the way in}   


 {Daddy walking Evie in to the Patch}

{Evie absorbing the sites of the pumpkin patch}
  

{Evie's Halloween Bow}

{reaching for my Daddy}

{Daddy helping me explore}

{Daddy's Sack of Potatoes}

{looking around}

{Mommy and Evie}

{Riding on Daddy's Shoulders}



{I LOVE GOURDS!}




{Family Photo After the Patch)


Phone Fun!

I actually don't have a ton of iPhone pictures to dump on you, shocking, I know! I took about eleventy million pictures on my real camera this weekend, so prepare for a photo dump soon!

Here are some of my iPhone pictures from this week!

Saturday we went to the Pumpkin Patch!


Then we went and hung out with our Tribe! This is a photo of our Godson, Leo and me!
The flash hurts baby boy's eyes so we had to turn it off that is why the color is off! But OMG
how adorable is this kid!?! I just want to squeeze him all the time!



Sunday morning Evie and I got up around seven and after breakfast we organized
the tupperware cabinet. Evie was such a good little helper! She loves the measuring cups!



Then I cleaned out all of her clothes that don't fit. I managed not to cry, but
did realize her closet is super empty. Must go shopping soon.




After dinner with my parents and William it was bath and bed time for baby girl!




Thanks to Erin at Confessions of a Magnolia Mom and Savanah at Savanah Smiles for hosting this link!



October 22, 2011

7 Months Old. A letter to my heart.

Dear Evie,

Today you have reached 7 months old. We are celebrating with a family trip to the Pumpkin Patch and maybe some pumpkin painting.

I think this is the hardest month yet for me, little girl. The word seven is hard to believe. It can't be seven months since you were born, you are still tiny, helpless and completely dependent upon me.

At least that is how I picture you, tiny and crying in my arms, the two of us completely baffled by one another. In reality, you are getting more and more independent. You can feed yourself your own bottle, pick up your puffs and eat them, gnaw on a mum-mum, grab your own paci, crawl, roll-over and sit all without my help. I'm proud of each new milestone you've reached, each new skill you've learned, but I struggle with the truth that seven months means you are closer to toddlerhood, to one year old, than you are to the newborn you once were.

Even though my heart aches to reverse time, for my itty bitty new born, it runs over with love each time you show a new way that you love me, that you love your Daddy. Last Sunday when I went to pick you up from your crib you held your chubby little arms up to me for the first time. You were upset and wanted your momma. After I picked you up, you stopped crying, patted my face with a sticky hand, laid your head on my chest and gently sighed. I love you too little bit.

I thank God every day for choosing me to be your mother. I can't begin to tell you how richly He blessed your father and me with the gift of you.

October 21, 2011

Saturday Laughs!

I'm linking up with Melissa at The Mommyhood Chronicles to share our top five laughs, as mommies, of the week.

1) The random thoughts that pop into my head about being a mommy. I think my kid is some sort of billy goat, octopus hybrid when I try to dress her. All of a sudden really determined and sprouts about four extra limbs, at least it seems like.

2) The way Evie loves to be naked and do a dance. Cracks me up every time!

3) The way people who don't know Evie all that well offer her a finger to hold and then get all freaked out when she immediately tries to eat it.

4) Watching Evie try to eat peach or banana slices! Soooo slippery mom!

5) Last Sunday I gave Evie some puffs in her high chair and went into the other room to quickly fold a little laundry. I came back and nary a puff was to be found. I looked on the floor and all around. Nothing. I pulled Evie out of her chair and nothing there either. Then the little piglet opened her hands. She stuffed all those puffs into her little fists. Puff Hoarder!

I hope you have enjoyed my Saturday laughs! Come link up!

Y3W: Football Fall Follies

I am so looking forward to this weekend! Chris and I are taking Evie to the pumpkin patch on Saturday! Squee!!! She has the cutest little outfit and bow to wear and I have been trying to learn some photography skillzz so I can take some fantastic pictures of Evie!

On Saturday I think we have plans to gather the tribe to watch the UT vs BAMA game. This was JJ's idea and I think that it's because he knows the VOLS have a snowball's chance in hell of winning this game and he is a BAMA fan, but hey, stranger things have happened. Plus, we haven't been with our people since Leo's baptism on August 28th and I'd really like to see my Godson before he's 16. I can't remember the last time we've gone two whole months without seeing them. I miss them a lot. Note to self call friends today!

I'm also going to find time to make Evie's Halloween costume. I'm not crafty either so it should be interesting.

Also, any opinions on if I should send treats to daycare for Halloween with Evie? She's in the infant room, I mean what could I send? Rice cereal? Mum mums? I'm thinking that might come later, but if the other mom's do it, I'd better because I sooooo don't want to be judged by the other day care moms!

I can't wait to post pictures of the pumpkin patch for y'all! I expect sheer unadulterated adorableness!

PS: My first review and giveaway is coming up soon! If you cloth diaper you'll want to watch for this one!

October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Tails Edition

I was a Mom long before Evie was born and Chris and I were married. I don't often post about my dogs and cats because, unfortunately, they have taken a bit of a backseat in everything since Evie was born. That is natural I suppose, but it doesn't mean I love them less. So for the next few Wordless Wednesday's (and by wordless I mean I'm going to talk a lot) I'm dedicating my posts to my first children, who are loyal and love me even on days when I barely have time to pet their heads. They also happen to be covered in fur and walk on all fours.

So, with out further ado...

Meet Maggie Mae



Maggie is a miniature schnauzer and will be eight years old on October 23. It is very hard for me to believe that almost 8 years have come and gone since she picked me to be her mom. Her real name is Margaret Mary. Yes. I have a German protestant dog with an Irish Catholic name.

I've heard it said that as animal lovers we have one or two pets who our souls connect with. Maggie is definitely that pet for me. We've been through everything together. She helped heal my heart after a stupid boy broke it. She was there with her soft fur for me to cry into, kisses to remind me that I was loved and a super fast tail wag to remind me that it was time to be happy again and that life really is beautiful.

Maggie is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. She loves nothing more than to cuddle on your lap and get her belly rubbed. Other than "Paw!", "Other Paw!" and "Sit!" she knows two commands "Give Momma kisses!" and "Give Momma Hugs!". I have friends who call her the anti-schnauzer because of her sweet nature. However, she does like to bark a lot and we often call her Barky von Schnauzer.

Ok actually I take that back, she might love food more than cuddling and is constantly trying to snake the other dogs food. But other than that, really she loves snuggling with her Momma best!



October 18, 2011

FAIL: Mom Brain

Today I am linking up with Mama G at Growing Up Geeky  for Toddle Along Tuesday to discuss our FAIL moments as parents.

When I was first pregnant, I didn't believe in baby brain and I was wrong.

Then before I had Evie I would think that mommy brain was a myth. Why I didn't learn my lesson the first time I don't know, but I firmly believed in the power of organization and lists. I've been proved wrong again. See the below evidence of my Mommy brain in the past FOUR days.

Also, note that these pictures are re-creations of actual events that happened. Also, yes, my trashcan is disgusting, washing it is on one of those lists I so firmly believed in. Maybe it'll get done one day.


Exhibit A: My husband opens the trashcan and chuckles to himself. "Ummm, honey, come look at this." he says with a smirk. Doh. No Sarah. Dish towels do not go in the garbage. I thought I had put it in the washing machine.


Exhibit B: Clean bowls that ended up in the refrigerator on top of some half eaten queso from a few weeks ago. The cabinet right beside the fridge is where they normally go. I had no clue where Evie's bowls had gone until I opened the fridge and saw them there. ::facepalm::




Maybe the universe is punishing me for my disbelieving ways. If that is the case, then universe, I totally already believe in "Toddler Mommy Brain".

In any case, at least the cause of all this nonsense is pretty darn cute!


And PS -- Her Daddy is so screwed when she pulls that face on him in two years. Not mommy though, mommy is tough.

Come join us and link up! :)