Saturday, January 31, 2009

A New Look

So last night, I got tired of my old look. Honestly, I kept stumbling upon other blogs that looked a lot like mine and out of vanity, I wanted something different, unique, totally mine...and close to free.

So, I set out to istockphoto.com, did some messing around with images in gimp.org, read and brushed up on my html sk-illz, spent a couple of hours I should have devoted to laundry...

and VOILA!

I still need to update my blog button to match my header and THEN mess around with getting my reviews page to match (right about now I am wishing I had a wordpress blog so I could just simply ADD a reviews page and everything would match, instead of having to fix up another blog..sigh)

Anyways, what does everyone think? Does it look OK? Colors look good? Anything I should work on changing? I'm pretty proud of it since it took me a few hours to get it looking this nice; however, I did save all that info just in case my adoring fans (*hugs to the 10 of you! LOL*) can't accept the change.

I could be like that mom with the really ugly kid, but she just doesn't see it...so you guys let me know if my blog is that ugly kid, OK?


And now I really must do the laundry or hubby will kill me...

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Stay At Home Fear

Well, technically, I suppose I am a work from home mom, but my paycheck generally goes into savings or into paying for unneeded items-like toys or the like. So my part time job doesn't cover any bills, or buy food, and certainly wouldn't support us if something happened to my husband's job.

And that is my fear, and probably the fear of all stay at home parents. What happens when the bread winner gets laid off?

My husband found out yesterday that his company laid off some really close friends of ours, all guys and gals who had been with the company a long time. He also found out that more lay offs are coming by the end of Feb/March, so needless to say, we are slightly nervous.

I have faith we will be fine no matter what happens. We follow Dave Ramsey's advice on finances, we have an emergency fund and no debt besides our house and Bill's truck, both of which are easy to manage. Plus I'm working, and that money can be easily applied to bills, food and the like.

But, for what about those stay at home parents that don't have a work at home job? Well, I had a few ideas that I thought I'd share:

*Offer to watch working friends kids for half what they are paying for daycare. This works well for me since I do have a degree in Early Childhood Education, but for anyone already staying at home, watching other kids can be a great way to generate income while helping friends cut their bills too. Some states have laws over home day cares and accreditation, so that is why I advise just starting out with a few friends or neighbors kids, so you can keep it under the table and not have to pay for all the state licensing, insurance, and the like. Also, they are probably kids you are familiar with and have watched from time to time anyway! I would suggest not having more than 4 kids (including your own) to watch, so I could watch two other kids, at about $100 each a week.

*Work nights so the bread winner can have days free to go to interviews and search for jobs. Wal-mart, love them or hate them, right now is doing great and the two near my house here in Mobile are hiring.

*See if a company that offers health care to part time employees is hiring. Starbucks is/was one such company. I worked there through college and after because of the great benefits, quitting only when I got pregnant with Little Dude because two jobs was just too much. I don't know if they still offer benefits to people averaging 20hrs/week, but it is one place to look at. You can also check out Forbes Top 100 Places to Work to find companies with great benefits.

*Try being a contract worker like me. Send out your resume showcasing your typing, writing, computer and editing skills and emphasizing how you are a quick and eager learner and see if any marketing or web based companies can use you for data entry, editing, or writing. Even go by places like ManPower to see if they can place you somewhere.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mom's Night Out

My sweet husband gave me a mom's night out. Oh and it was much needed and greatly appreciated. I went to Barnes and Noble, I drank coffe, I read stories, I shopped, and I got a fabulous pair of shoes, and, most importantly, I got recharged. Oh it was heavenly. And what was going on while I was out? Bill had a fantastic time playing with the boys, and caught this little gem of fun:



Oh yea, he has a fireman hat as his football helmet, a beer coozie as a watch, his football, and some sunglasses he got as a goodie at his friend James' birthday party last weekend.

Isn't he just the cutest? I know, I am biased, but really, he is pretty cute in this getup.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Freedom Of Choice Act (FOCA)

I know abortion can be a hot button for many people, so I have avoided talking about it before on my blog.

But the FOCA coming up for a re vote in our Senate soon has made me speak out.

The Freedom of Choice Act sounds nice, doesn't it? I like Freedom, I like Choice. For the most part, I usually like Government Acts too. But don't be fooled by the nice name, because the Freedom of Choice Act takes away freedoms while tossing aside all current Abortion regulations.

If it gets voted through by our Senate, President Obama has already stated he will pass it, so guys, we have to stop it in the Senate.

Here is a summary of what it is:

*It takes away all State regulations on Abortion.
*With State regulations taken away, that means: a minor girl of any age can go get an abortion without parental knowledge or consent.
*It takes away the choices of nurses, doctors and hospitals to not preform abortions
*It removes the restrictions on how abortions can be preformed, allowing women to do it however they want or desire, which opens them up for trouble should they decide to try doing on themselves or going to someone that is not trained in how to preform abortions
*It will lift the restriction on partial birth abortion, where a baby in the second and third trimesters is induced, halfway born, and then either the neck is broken or the brain is sucked out in order to "abort it" before "birth" at which time it would have been legally considered human.
*It will set aside portions of tax money to fund abortions


Yes, I am strongly pro-life, and if you care to know why or desire arguing with me about it you can email me at coordinatedychaos@yahoo.com

Anyways, I wanted to make it clear that I am biased. However, know that voting against this Act DOES NOT mean abortion laws as they are now will change. They won't. Abortion will still be legal, and States will still have the current restrictions they chose in place. ABORTION WILL STILL BE ALLOWED, but in the current safer, guided ways with limits and rules. Here are the current restrictions and the number of States with them:

- State abortion reporting requirements in all 50 states
- Forty-four states’ laws concerning parental involvement
- Forty states’ laws on restricting later-term abortions
- Forty-six states’ conscience protection laws for individual health care providers
- Twenty-seven states’ conscience protection laws for institutions
- Thirty-eight states’ bans on partial-birth abortions
- Thirty-three states’ laws on requiring counseling before an abortion
- Sixteen states’ laws concerning ultrasounds before an abortion

FOCA will remove all these restrictions completely. Taking away these restrictions will only hurt the women this Act is meant to help by taking away the right to full knowledge (like the states that require an ultrasound; looking at the baby, and seeing the heartbeat, fingers and toes, can help a woman decide if abortion is what she wants so that later, when she has a pregnancy she does want, she is not shocked to see the early ultrasound and haunted by the uninformed choice she made for what she thought was just a blob). It will take away the right of nurses, doctors and hospitals to choose not to assist in abortions, currently protected by 46 states. One of my best friends is a nurse who just adopted a little girl after years of trying to have one. Could you imagine her losing her right to say no, I won't assist in an abortion? It takes away the requirement for counseling before an abortion-if something so dramatic is going to be done to a woman's body, doesn't it seem reasonable to help her prepare mentally for what she is about to go through? Yea, that will all be taken away.

Here is a list of sites you can get more information on FOCA from:

READ THE ACT:http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/assets/files/Abortion-Access-to-Abortion-FOCA.pdf

PRO-CHOICE STANCE:http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/issues/abortion/access-to-abortion/freedom-of-choice-act.html

ACTIONS OF THE ACT and LINKS:http://www.nrlc.org/foca/index.html

WHAT THE ACT DOES:http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=29839

LATE TERM/PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION INFORMATION :http://www.abortionfacts.com/online_books/love_them_both/why_cant_we_love_them_both_18.asp

WHAT MICHELLE OBAMA SAID ABOUT PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION: http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/05/michelle_obamas.html

To Fight Foca, go here to sign the petition, write your Senators and Representatives OR comment here or through my email at coordinatedchaos@yahoo.com, let me know your name, state, and area of representation and I will write and mail a simple statement saying: "Please Vote No To the Freedom OF Choice Act" to them for you. You can also go here to directly email your Senators and Representatives: http://actions.nchla.org/Core.aspx?Screen=compose2&SessionID=$AID=970:SITEID=-1:VV_CULTURE=en-us:APP=GAC:ISSUEID=15856$


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vlogging the First Crawl

Well, JR is starting to do the very awesome and cute army crawl. I think this is my favorite crawl. Working at a daycare, I saw babies crawl in all sorts of ways, but I just LOVE it when they go through the army crawl stage.

So, my little JR has started this phase, and we will see how long it lasts. I got a little bit of him moving on video Sat. and wanted to share, but now as I am sitting here he is full speed ahead and entirely mobile (and quick, too!)

So without further ado, here is a video of my sweet baby, starting to become mobile:



Monday, January 26, 2009

JR Babble!

I finally caught JR doing some super cute babbling on video, so I wanted to share it with everyone. My other son, Little Dude, also shows off some cuteness. I'm so blessed I get to share my days (even the hard ones) with these mostly sweet little people. Enjoy!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Children vs Church Part 2

We have success! Little Dude was an ANGEL at church today. He was sweet and quiet, he prayed, he looked at his book, he stood and sat when he was supposed to AND when a nearby kid tried to get him to play, Little Dude ignored him. Oh I was so proud.

So, it seems that after last week, we have had a break through. I'm sure we still have some outbreaks in our future, but gosh, it was so nice to see that our Kevin Leman style discipline had finally gotten through to him.

After Mass, Little Dude got even more positive reinforcement by getting to play and eat a doughnut with all the other families after church, and oh my goodness, he was so proud of himself for earning a doughnut.

And we are super proud of him, too.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Time Out

Today I took a time out. Not really for me, but for me and the boys. Bill got up at 5am to go to work, and won't be home until well after midnight, and for some reason it just seemed like a good day to step back from everything and just focus on the boys.

I didn't work or clean
I didn't blog, review, or vlog
I didn't turn on the tv or computer (well, until now, but the kids are alseep already)
I didn't worry
I just did.

My boys and I played all day, doing whatever they wanted. We dug in the dirt outside, we blew bubbles,we drew with chalk we walked to the tennis courts and played with all the acorns Little Dude could collect. Ben stayed in the sling all cuddled up to me all day. Little Dude had me sit and watch as he ran around outside, and when he called out "follow me!" I followed.

It was fantastic to just take a time out, and soak up my precious boys.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ode To The Gym

Since we moved down here, I have been a little sad about not getting to work out much. Sure, I can try to do videos and floor excersie at the house, but have you ever tired to excersie with two little kids watching you and climbing on you? Yea, it is kinda hard. And nap time is the best time for me to get work done, since I can finally work uniterrupted.

Also, unlike our little neighborhood back home, there isn't a place to take the kids jogging in the stroller here. At home, I could just step out the door and go jog down our street, but here, I really can't since our apt. place is on the corner of two major roads and both don't have sidewalks.

So, Bill and I were excited to discover the local Omni Fitness gym! They open crazy early and close crazy late, so Bill can fit in a work out either before or after work AND they have daycare for the kids! OH MY GOODNESS. Getting a 2 hour break from the kids during the day is just MARVELOUS and so motivating to go work out! The kid area is great with all kinds of climbing equipment and play houses AND the age groups are separated, which makes me super happy. Little Dude actually didn't want to leave yesterday because he had been playing with a little friend.

Yesterday, I did yoga and ran for a bit. I feel so good today and am so excited for it again tomorrow. And the best part? The yoga/pilates instructor is one of the girls from one of my mom's clubs! That made it super fun.

That, and the fact that for almost 2 hours I didn't have anyone climbing on me, pooping on me,spitting on me, pulling on me, or following me around asking "why?". Oh sweet gym, how I love thee.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Me Me Me!

My friend Jessica tagged me to share some info about myself. So, here goes:

I am: a work from home, cloth diapering, vaccinating, breastfeeding, pro-life mama and loving, adored and adoring wife

I know: how to play the French Horn, Flute and Piano; I am just not terribly good an any of them. I can also tell you a lot about the middle ages.

I won: My high school band won tons of awards; we rocked. I also rock Wii bowling. Oh yea, skillz here.

I want: More clothes. Do I have room for them? Or need them? No, but I still love shopping

I have: 2 great boys, 1 amazing husband, 1 crazy dog, awesome in-laws, and the best sisters and siblings in law ever. I also have a passion for reading. Don't bug me while I'm reading

I hate: people who litter. Can't stand it.

I miss: My friends and family in Raleigh

I feel:
pretty awesome!

I hear:
Quiet; the boys are sleeping, whoo hoo!

I smell: Nothing-maybe bananas from the kitchen.

I crave: diet Dr. Pepper. Greatest stuff ever

I search: for a used Mei Tai or Ergo carrier

I love:
God and my family

I care:
about my toenails. I love painting them different colors

I always:
go to the library on rainy days. I love reading.

I believe: That only you can control your happiness.

I sing:
in the shower, the car, while watching Disney movies with the kids-and they tell me to stop, so I guess I am not that good.

I write:
all the time. I have the secret dream of writing a book

I lose:
my sunglasses ALL the time. Hopefully I'll never need real glasses; I'll be screwed.

I never:
Eat Jalapenos. I have no need to test my mouth; I know I am a wuss.

I listen:
to all music; classical, country, rock, pop, Grunge, Right Now I love Flogging Molly and Taylor Swift

I am scared of:
Strangers around my kids. I don't like anyone to talk to my kids

I need:
to work out more and eat better

I am happy:
about my life;it may not impress anyone but me, but I think it is pretty great and there is nothing I would change

I'm going to tag Nell, from Casual Friday Everyday, Andrea from Miss Priss Does a Blog, Caitlin from Soon to be The Briggs' from and Beth from Bringing Up Baby

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching History

I wish Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr could have been alive to see today. Though I am not the biggest fan of some of Obama's ideas, I am still quite proud to have the privilege of watching history in the making and very hopeful he will do a fantastic job.

Watching some of the pre-party things going on, I noticed too that Bush looks so relaxed and happy. With all the beatings he has taken over the years I am sure he is as happy to be out of office as the rest of us are.

I'm excited to watch the inauguration tonight and excited for what the future will hold.

And my goodness, do you not just LOVE the jackets Michelle Obama wears? I'm in love with the green one she was wearing today and the beige one yesterday was so lovely with her outfit.



Monday, January 19, 2009

Children vs Church

Oh yes, it is a battle of epic proportions going on every Sunday. Little Dude is an angel most of the day, EXCEPT for the one hour we want to spend in Church.

And what is really killing me about his horrible, embarrassing, temper tantrum from hell, church attitude?

It gets him what he wants, because he wants to leave church. And he KNOWS Bill and I will take him out of church before we kill him. So, the whole way to a corner for time out, he is smiling. Regardless of how long he has to stand there, or how much I lecture him, or make him sit in time out, or even smack his hand or swat his bottom.

He doesn't care. In fact, I think he welcomes it, because it means HE GOT OUT OF CHURCH.

So this weekend? We changed up the discipline tactic. On top of having to leave and stand in the corner, we stayed after Mass. Mass was done, and Little Dude thought that, after having missed more than half of it on and off in a corner with me outside, he would now get to go home.

But us parents tricked him; we STAYED. For the ENTIRE time he had missed for being bad. He had to sit quietly in the pew, with his hands on his knees or folded for prayer.

I think we might have had a break through. I'll let you know next Sunday, but I THINK he might have realized he needs to not hit, bite, scratch, scream, throw stuff, or roll on the floor kicking while we are at church.

I THINK.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Team Work

Having our two boys has changed everything for us in very good ways. Since JR's arrival, it has become pretty hard to do those spur of the moment get together our single friends might do, but instead we have spent tons of time as a family, and having lots of fun just finding simple things to do. Even being here in Alabama, as much as it is sad to be away from our friends and family and our home, has made me think more simply and to realize how really, Less IS More.

Being away from our family and friends has made us have to spend a lot of time finding ways to entertain ourselves cheaply. So we have a lot of dinners at home, a lot of playing with the boys, playing Wii, and lots of time being a family and just enjoying each other.


Me and the boys being goofy in our PJ's.

My husband and I even joke that we are "Team Z" now, since we don't have any help down here and it is "us" vs "them" (the kids) all the time. All joking aside, the very real teamwork that parenthood throws you into is such a wonderful way to celebrate and strengthen your devotion and I am loving every minute of it.


Team Z on New Year's (yes, we made it to midnight, my how our New Year's have changed since College....)



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy 7 Months, JR!

Well, JR's 7 Month birthday was actually the 13th, but I was so busy with shots, cleaning and going through clothes that no longer fit, that I just didn't have time to get anything together for it.

So, with out further ado, here is my little 7 Month old baby:






Gosh, how is time going by so quickly? As of this morning, it is official: JR has his two bottom teeth, can sit up, roll over and had started doing the army crawl. He is also showing GREAT interest in our table food, so now that the teeth are in, I think it is time to start sharing a few of our good dinner foods in the food processor. Happy 7 months, JR!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Big Boy Hair Cut

Little Dude's hair was getting out of control again, so I decided to give him another haircut. I neglected to realize that my ever curious son would want to keep grabbing the scissors from me. So, after taking a few chops off, and going too far to look back, I had to break out the trimmer in an effort to fix it. I must say it came out very well!


The Before:




The After:





While I may not want to sign up for hair dresser's school just yet, I am rather shocked at how handsome my Little Dude is and how very grown up he suddenly looks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Moving Kinda Slow

I'm moving kinda slow this morning, but at least I didn't have to get up and go to work like my poor husband did. I'm still in my pjs and trying to get caught up on everything, but I don't think it will happened until later tonight.

Why? What Happened?

My toddler happened. Oh yes, you heard me. My toddler.

He has started sleeping in a big bed, now that he can climb out of the crib. It's been nice, it's been great, the boys get to share a room, JR has graduated from pack n play to real crib now, so he loves it too.

However, Little Dude has realized that he can get out of bed even more easily than he could get out of the crib. So, last night, we spent most of the night trying to keep him in bed. I finally threatened to spank him if he got out again. That was at around midnight. My poor hubby had to get up for work at 5am, and though I tried to take care of Little Dude without waking Bill, Bill would wake up anyway. Poor guy.

And me? Well, not so bad, since I only have to do some Dakno and then go to the store, but I am crazy tried. Shortly after Bill left for work around 6am my crazy toddler came and woke me up, all ready for the day.

How? Why? Aren't kids supposed to want to sleep? Sigh.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Glass is Half Full

My sister and I were goofing off over Christmas with some adult beverages, and on my cup appeared this cute little heart.

I need to be thankful for all the blessings I have all year round; my glass is half full and overflowing with love.





Friday, January 9, 2009

Miche's Take on Child Spacing

Some of my great blogging friends at Newbaby.com are talking child spacing and the pros and cons of different spacing lengths. Since I don't have time to do a video at the moment, I thought I would join in the conversation here.

Now, the big discussion going on is "When to have your second" child. Beyond "accidents", most people feel ready when they have their frist child. But the second can be a little harder to figure out. You want another, but when is the best time to add him/her to your bunch?

Well, this sounds cheesey, but really that is different for everyone. For me though, I like the spacing of 2 or 3 years between kids. With a space of at least two years, that means that each child gets a full year of being the only baby, of nursing, my body gets a full year of not being pregnant, and it gives me the time to forget how painful childbirth is, how much it sucks to not get sleep at night, and at about a year old the children start walking away from me. So, after a few months of getting to drink again, not nursing, and hearing the words "bye, mom" come from my baby's mouth, I felt it was time to add another baby, and so we did.

Now here are the pros of having children 2 years apart:
*Your oldest is eating solid food and starting to go on the potty
*You don't have kids in school, so you can still have everyone in pjs, don't have to leave the house, and can be very lazy in those first days or weeks home from the hospital with the newborn
*They are both in diapers, and you are still in "baby mode" so you still remember what to do
*They can play with the same toys
*As the baby gets older, they will be able to play very well together
*Your oldest is still young enough to not feel "dethroned" when the new baby comes home
*Your oldest is old enough to help with little things like getting diapers, wipes, blantes
*Your oldest is old enough to hold the baby supervised on the couch.
*Your oldest is old enough to play alone and is getting into pretend play
*Your oldest sleeps through the night
*You can choose to have your oldest stay in a crib as long as possible so he is contained OR you can choose to have him move into a big boy bed before the baby comes (never do it right when the baby comes) and pass the crib down to the baby.
*Your oldest is old enough for time out to be effective disapline
*Your oldest is entertained still with very inexpensive things-like the park, going to the pet store, feeding fish in a pond, digging or rolling in the dirt, and hasn't quite gotten into the electronic gadgets or "hanging out" stuff that older kids, say 8 and up, are into.
*With them close in age, they will be in the same peer groups and be there to support each other from peer pressure
*They will be doing the same type activities at the same time, so you won't be going to a Middle School football game and trying to entertain a preschooler, and you won't be going to a preschool play and dragging a bored middle schooler.

Cons of having them 2 years apart:
*If you nurse for a year, you end up being pregnant again pretty soon after you stop-if you drink, then not much time to get it in...haha!
*You have a toddler-and all the toddler tantrums-while trying to nurse a baby
*Your toddler might want to try nursing again. Or even better, start yelling in the mall about how the baby is eating mommy, causing people to look at you strangly. Yes, I know, awesome
*It is hard to get out of the house at first, simply because you need so much stuff.
*They are both in diapers, so unless you use adjustable cloth diapers like BumGenius, you are spending a lot of money on diapers
*You are going to be potty training and going through teething at the same time.
*You are back to sleepless nights and still getting up early with your toddler who is not yet old enough to be left alone while you cat nap, like say a 10 year old might
*With them close in age, you might have to deal with competitivness in the future. To avoid this, my advice is to never compare your children and avoid putting labels on them at all costs. "Julie is pretty, Lisa is smart.." that only leads to them worrying about what happens when they stop being pretty or smart and jealous of the other label. Dr. Kevin Leman has great books about how to deal with this problem and how to avoid it. I have links to his books over on the left sidebar.

Well, those are my takes on it. My boys are 22 months apart and I am loving it. I also like the 2 year spacing because it gives me the opportunity to have 4 or 5 children before I reach 35, which is when the pregnancy risks all greatly increase. Since there are genetic disorders in my family(ex:I have a first cousin with Down's)we want to do all we can to not increase those risks. Bill and I are hoping to be blessed with a third about the time JR turns 2, but we will see. The memories of childbirth are still to clear for me to be ready to go through it again quite yet. But trust me, as soon as JR says "bye, mom" I have a feeling my uterus will start to beg for a baby again...

And you can check out the "Question of the Week" vlogs here:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The World of Boys

Welcome to the World of Boys.

Yes, it might as well be on a giant sign in my home now. I am now neck deep in "boy-ness" and it all hit me today while out at the park:

First, my toddler, upon realizing the ground was muddy, jumped into a mass of mud and rolled in it.

Second, about the time my toddler was rolling in mud, my other son pooped. EVERYWHERE. (side note that my wet bag worked great)

Third, while playing kick ball (after getting everyone somewhat cleaned up)my toddler saw an ant hill and decided it would be great fun to kick it.

Thus, we ran, me carrying him and the baby; him laughing, me scared the red ants were chasing us

Fourth, Little Dude picked me a flower-so sweet! Then, upon letting me look at it only, proceeded to rip it to shreds, laugh, and started ripping flowers out of the park's bed's while laughing.

Thus, we ran (again), me dragging him away from the flower garden sure that we will be chased down by other park goers for messing up the beds, JR spitting up in my hair, Little Dude still laughing.

Fifth, we finally head back to the car to go home and Little Dude meets a little girl. He smiles; I'm proud, then he directly informs the little girl that HE is the BOSS. (I blame this one on my hubby and his friends, they know why).

Last, we made it home; I put the boys down to nap and started the muddy laundry. I start to hear a horrible noise in my dryer. WHAT IS THAT????

Oh, you guessed it. ROCKS. LOTS of rocks. IN MY DRYER.

Oh the world of boys. Sigh.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Boys

While trying to catch JR on video babbling, I ended up getting this great gem. And yes, you will learn my boys' real names; however, you'll just have to pretend you didn't. This video was too cute to not share with out of town family and everyone else....




Monday, January 5, 2009

Scrub a Dub Dub..

I am turning into an eco conscious person. It didn't really hit me until yesterday when Bill and I ran to the store for hand dish soap and dishwasher soap. (I don't know what else to call them, so I hope you know what I am talking about: Palmolive vs Cascade...) But although I have always been concerned about cleaning up trash from the roads, since becoming a parent I have started becoming concerned with the chemicals I use.

Anywho, as I started reaching for the Cascade, my eyes feel on Seventh Generation. I had heard a lot about it from some of my favorite bloggers out there, but had never actually seen it sold in any of the grocery stores near my home. Thus, I didn't really think about it anymore.

But yesterday, as my eyes fell on a wide range of Seventh Generation products, all the good things I had heard came flooding back. So I put down the Cascade, and picked up Seventh Generation's dishwasher soap.

And I have to say, I am VERY impressed, not only did it get my dishes just as clean as Cascade ever did, but ALL the ingredients are listed, along with explanations of what they are for:

Aqua (water), sodium silicate (protection agent and alkalinity builder), sodium polyacrylate, sodium citrate and sodium carbonate (water softeners), ppg-6 C12-15 pareth-12 (cleaning agent), xanthan gum (thickener), essential oils and botanical extracts* (medica limonum peel (lemon) and citrus aurantifolia (lime)). *d-Limonene is a component of these essential oils.

Our Phosphate- and Chlorine-Free Automatic Dishwasher Gel gets your dishes sparkling clean. Chlorine-free and phosphate-free (to help prevent algae blooms).


So I am impressed. And you know what else? Once per ounce, Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid was cheaper than Cascade (at lease at the Win-Dixie near our Alabama home). Cascade was 9.90 cents per ounce, Seventh Generation was 9.50 cents per ounce. The Laundry detergent was more expensive, at 13.1 cents per ounce vs. the store brand I usually get at 9.1 cents per ounce. I have not tried the laundry detergent yet; however, I will be. Even at the extra cost, it seems worth it because of this list:


* Non-toxic and biodegradable
* Hypo-allergenic
* Free of phosphates & optical brighteners
* No enzymes
* Safe for septic & greywater systems
* Not tested on animals
* Kosher-certified

Non-toxic? Biodegradable? Free of phospahtes? I'm sold. And for the concerned parent in me, this little tid-bit that I found on all their products in the Win-Dixie (Yes, I stood there looking and reading all about all the products, then comparing them to all the products I usually use...Bill was getting annoyed with our "quick stop for soap" turning into a marathon of reading..)gave me a piece of mind should our little Houdini channeling Toddler decide to stack chairs in the pantry and get to the cleaners:

From the Dishwashing Gel:
"Please keep all cleaning products out of the reach of children. Seventh Generation products, although not intended for consumption, aren't poisonous...."

And looking around on their website, you can print out coupons for their products when you register AND there is one for a $1 off laundry detergent. NICE.

You know what else I love? Their mission statement:

"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations-From the Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy"

I think this Mama has found a new way to clean my home, and without the worry of causing fumes to build up in the bathroom as I scrub soap scum away. For once, I am excited to clean.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Photos!

I know these are late, but better late than never! To all our family and friends we didn't get to see while in NC over the holidays, sorry we didn't get to catch up! I hope everyone enjoys the photos!
JR's very favorite toy was a cool nursery rhyme CD player from his Super Great Aunt Cindy-THANKS!!! He is army crawling to it in the picture and it is the go to toy for him now.

JR Getting Sleeping after all the relaxing at Grandma and Grandpa's!
Opening a gift for JR; Me, My sis Lisa, and JR
Little Dude's wildest dreams came true: he got the Tonka Trash Truck WITH a trash can and trash man. OH MAN!

After getting said awesome trash toy, Little Dude played with it all day and even put it to bed with him. You should also notice that he is wearing the PJs his Great Aunt Cindy gave him-as soon as he opened them he insisted on taking off his current PJs and putting the Thomas ones on.
JR got a cool story rhyme player; Little Dude was excited too!
JR looking cute, as always, with his big blue eyes. You can see that hair is finally starting to come in-and it is red!


We had one of the best Christmas' ever; the kids were so excited. Little Dude was crazy about all his toys, though got tired of opening the gifts after about the third one. Bill and I stepped up and helped him unwrap the rest, which was super fun for us too! JR was excited with all the other chaos going on and getting held by everyone all the time! Yes, he was in heaven. Being with my in laws was so relaxing and nice; I really wish we could have stayed longer! I hope everyone had as wonderful of a holiday as we did.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Hair Do

It has been a few weeks now since I got my hair all cut off, so I figure it is about time I share a picture! Here you can see that it looks a little more curly than usual-that is because of the way the girl cut my hair! Apparently the fluffy mass of hair I have always had was really curly hair just horribly mistreated. I thought the hair stylist was going to faint when she saw my crazy long, sad mass of unmanageable hair. Either that or she was dreaming of what she would buy with the money I was about to fork over for her help.

So, a big list hair of dos and donts, a few over priced-but-still-worth-it-'cause-they-work products and one fabulous hair cut later, I got this:



All I do now is use Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioner for curly hair every other day, Brush it out after a shower, comb my bangs flat, run a squirt of Redkin light moose through the rest of it, let it air dry and then NEVER TOUCH IT AGAIN. The caps are for the benefit of my hair dresser, as that is how she said it to me, so I figured I would reiterate the importance.



You can also see my awesome, super comfy Peekaru modeled with JR. He loves it, I love it, and it is so quick and easy to use over all baby carriers. In the pictures we are at the Wilmington, NC beach over Christmas with my family. Here are some fun pictures of our beach trip:



Grandma and Little Dude playing in the sand



Bill, John and Lisa



Me, my awesome mother in law, Patty, Lisa and John all piled in the back seat of the van while Bill and Ed took the navigator seats in the front and Little Dude and JR got the middle seats.









Friday, January 2, 2009

Escape Artist

Last night was a night I knew would one day come, but I was still unprepared for it. Bill and I had talked about how it would come, what we would do, how cute it would be...

Yes, my son, Little Dude, can climb out of his crib.

Around bedtime last night, Little Dude decided to not let us brush his teeth, so we had to hold him down to do it and thus he lost his bedtime story as a result. (Yes, we warned him that would happen if he didn't open his mouth, but he still didn't) So, off to bed he went, screaming like a banshee and crying about wanting to still play.

We, foolish parents, thought nothing of it, figured he was over tired, and would fall asleep after crying for a bit.

Instead, we heard the screaming get louder, a little thud, and realized he was at the door of his bedroom, trying to open the door. GOOD LORD HE'S FREE flashed through my head.

Then, Bill and I realized he wasn't coming out of his room. Why? We went to investigate and realized that in his struggle to open his door, he had somehow LOCKED IT.

OH GOOD LORD HE LOCKED HIMSELF IN HIS ROOM IN THE DARK.

After a few minutes of us trying to stay calm while he cried on the other side, we finally got him to unlock the door. And after snuggling with us for awhile til he calmed down, we tried putting him back in his crib-to which he let us know THAT was NOT going to happen!

Our other option? To put him in the big bed that is in my office, which is also JR's room. He LOVED that idea, so off we went, putting him in the bed, arranging pillows around him like a protective barrier, because, you know, pillows will stop a 27 pound toddler from rolling off. Right? Anyways, we got him all situated, put his friends, his music box and special blanket with him.

And though he seemed peachy good and content in there with his brother, all Bill and I could think of was how many ways he could cause trouble with his FREEDOM.

My computer!
The pens!
My work notebook!
His Brother!!
Is he going to draw on the walls with my pen?
Knock over the computer monitor?
Climb into his brother's crib?
WAKE his brother?
Open a window? (they were locked, but for all we knew we had Houdini on our hands here)
Open a door? (same as above)
Get into the fridge?
Get stuff on my work papers?
Put stuff in his brother's crib?

GOOD LORD!! The possibilities for trouble!!

Needless to say, us parents didn't sleep so well, because at every noise we woke up convinced our toddler was up to something. Much to our joy though, Little Dude stayed in the big bed, got into nothing, and sleep like a lump on a log.

So today, I will be working on the bedroom set ups and trying to figure out what will be best and then taking a nap, because I need it.

Oh my...how am I going to get Little Dude to nap? Uh oh...


I am Now Publishing on AddsYou!

Well, now that I have everything more caught up I am FINALLY taking advantage of my spot on AddsYou, a forum where you can get your writing published and make money doing it! I will keep you guys updated on how this little venture goes...

Social Publishing Network | AddsYou
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