Categories
family fun

Back to School Fashion: First Grade Chic

ffd337807cf6f03e5fe0495851f5966b
Click to view the collection on polyvore.com and find links to all the products.

BB will be the first to tell you that some things are fancy and fashionable and other things just are not.

She’ll definitely be the first to tell me these things as we’re wandering the aisles of Target or H&M in search of the perfect Back to School Look. We tried not to go crazy with our back to school shopping this year – focusing on the things that the kids need and not just the things they might like – so that image above there? Yeah, we didn’t get all of those things.

But I thought I’d put together a little collage on Polyvore that shows off a couple of things we did get along with some fun bling and pretties that would round off the look nicely. Things that BB would rock with her looks if she had a little extra fun money.

Everything in this collage can be found at H&M except the back pack. The reason for all the H&M love is two fold:

  1. H&M totally gets my daughter and her love for all things glitz and glam. I looked at a few stores online before confirming what I already knew. I could buy her entire wardrobe here.
  2. There are some bargains to be found at H&M. Most of the tops and dresses we buy here are $5 each and they are super dreamy, comfortable soft cotton tops that seem to stand up well to the test of time. I buy the dresses a little on the large side for my long-limbed daughter and tend to get a lot of mileage out of them.

The backpack is from LL Bean – we don’t have this pattern because we bought ours last year and now they have all new patterns – the purple one above is right up BB’s fashion alley but she’ll have to wait until she outgrows her bag because these suckers are durable and LL Bean swears by their 100% guarantee.

We got BB the adorable (if slightly creepy perhaps?) top in the collage above along with two other super cute tops and a skirt that is very similar to the one above but apparently not online. The shoes, sunnies, hair clips and clam shell purse are not hers yet but would make excellent belated birthday or early Christmas presents if you find yourself saying, “I really want to spend money on that six year old cutie today.” Or if your daughter said to you the other day, “Man, I wish I dressed more like BB. How can I attain her style sensibilities?” DONE.

Categories
motherhood

Cloth Diapering: The Journey Begins…

Good news: I finally got my husband on board to try cloth diapering! It wasn’t easy ladies, this man had his reservations and then some! But somehow, for some reason, he came around – the weird thing is I’m not sure it was because of anything I said or did. Anyway, I showed him the four major options and surprisingly we both ended up at the same place – we are planning to try basic prefolds with waterproof covers – our thinking is that it’s the least expensive and if this doesn’t go over well, we know we’ll use those prefolds elsewhere.

Here’s what we’ve ordered so far:

  • Gerber Diaper Service Quality Prefolds – I went back and forth and hummed and hawed, but these got decent reviews and the price was, well, okay. I ordered two packs so we should have enough to get through one day – initially we’ll just fall back on disposables if we need more, but at some point if we like this, we’ll be buying more, not necessarily the same brand – I suppose that depends on their absorbency, etc.
  • Thirsties Diaper Wraps in Mango and Rose – I know these covers have no reviews but Thirsties in general had wonderful reviews and I liked the look, price and idea of these.
  • Mommy’s Touch Diaper Pail Liner – There are so many different options for wet bags but the reviews on this one seemed good, the price seemed fair and at some point you just have to make a decision. We almost waited on this until I pointed out to the reluctant dh, “Where do you propose we put the dirty diapers before washing them?” I want to pick up a trash can or bin to put the liner in as I’d hate to learn the hard way just how waterproof the bag is.
  • Snappis – these seem to be a cloth diapering standard – I ordered two as I really can’t imagine needing more than two – one might have been sufficient, but what if it breaks?
  • Flannel Baby Wipes – this was actually Dan’s suggestion as he pointed out that it would be easier to dispose of than a a nasty poop covered disposable with no diaper to hide in, cheaper in the long run and eco-friendly since we’re going that route. I’m planning to pick up a spray bottle and try the recipe for Homemade Diaper Wipe Solution that Simple Mom mentions at the bottom of this post.

If we like this, I will want to pick up more prefolds so I don’t have to do laundry every day and probably some extra diaper covers, etc. I’d also love to try these diaper liners but I agreed to wait on them for now. Any cloth diapering tips or suggestions for things to pick up or methods to try?

Categories
cooking & recipes daybook family fun memes & carnivals

Daybook: July 6th

Today…

Outside my window: It’s another beautiful day – bright blue sky, puffy white clouds. I had to turn on the AC, which to me says everything. Weather man says a high of 81 – we’ll see how hot that 81 feels when I go to my doctor’s appointment this afternoon. This week looks to be much warmer than last week, unfortunately for pregnant me.

I am hearing: The hum of the AC and Shrek The Third playing on tv – MM has been enjoying himself a little Shrek marathon for the past two days – lucky thing we own all three of them.

I am thinking: I’ll have to divide the laundry between today and tomorrow this week – which isn’t really a big deal when the machines are right in the bedroom – not like it’s costing me extra money apart from energy usage, etc. I don’t miss those prepaid laundry cards AT ALL.

I am hoping: That the dinner tonight goes well – it’s a new recipe I found on My Wooden Spoon and it sounds delicious, but after the Rachel Ray fiasco (see: last time I cried) of last week I’m a bit apprehensive about new dishes right now…

I am reading: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – I am loving it – I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile so I was incredibly excited when I won it in a giveaway at Serendipity‘s blog. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it right now…

I am creating: Nothing unless cleaning counts. We did so much cooking this weekend that I’m still getting caught up on the dishes, plus the laundry. I should probably also run the vacuum soon.

I am wearing: My new dress – so you know I’m in a good mood about that. It’s helping to stay cool in this hot summer weather and I don’t have to constantly pull my shirt down or my pants up over this gigantic pregnant belly, which according to the mirrors in the Walmart changing rooms is again bigger than I realized – it’s like it keeps growing or something. 😛

In the kitchen:

  • Monday: Tex Mex Chicken Pasta Skillet
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread
  • Wednesday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Mac’n’Cheese
  • Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Chicken & Dumpling Soup
  • Friday: Chicken Parmesan

Around the house: My little plant is not quite as lustrous as the first week we had it home. It’s hanging in there but I’m worried my good luck is starting to run out. Dan thinks it looks fine though so we’ll see. Pretty soon we’ll be putting up baby furniture but I’m actually thinking of waiting until after I have the baby – I figure Dan can probably do what little needs to be done while I’m in the hospital so it isn’t taking up room in the meantime. The crib we don’t even need to assemble until BB outgrows the co-sleeper so it’s really just assembling the co-sleeper, the pack and play and the baby swing and making sure all the little odds and ends are out, but if nursing goes well we won’t need much – although we do need to get diapers soon, but again Dan can always pick some up at the store that week. I keep checking for sales on diapers but I haven’t seen anything yet.

Plans for the week: Maintaining status quo? I still need to get the car inspected and get the oil changed, we’ll probably do that this week. I might get a library card this week too – I’ve been putting that off because I really don’t enjoy taking MM to the library when I need to actually do something there, but it needs to be done…

One of my favorite things: Baby Blueberry’s adorable travel system – Dan put it together last night and it’s just so pretty, I love it. That’s tied right now with the watermelon lemonade in the fridge that I’m using all my willpower not to devour right now…

A picture thought: This was an “outtake” from the weekend but it cracks me up.

Categories
daybook memes & carnivals

Daybook: June 29th

Today…

Outside my window: It’s beautiful outside – bright blue sky, big puffy white clouds and a blessedly mild 70 degrees. We had just enough rain this weekend to cool things down a bit and it looks like I’ll be able to stay cool for at least the next three days. You know it’s bad when I see rain predicted and kind of want to cheer and thank the lord for his kindness. Right now it is not raining so I have the screen door open bringing in a nice breeze and NO air conditioner running – hurray!

I am hearing: Kids playing outside, the chime of a wind chime nearby and cars driving by. So far I have not heard MM which means he might actually be napping, but somehow I doubt it.

I am thinking: That I’ve been pretty terrifically productive today and I hope I can keep up the trend. I’ve got a fairly ambitious dinner planned for tonight and laundry to finish – will I make it through the night in one piece?

I am hoping: Dan doesn’t have to work too late – I’d love it if he came home early enough to help me prep the chicken – I absolutely hate touching raw meat, but I’ll get it done either way. 😉

I am reading: The Sweet Potato Queens’ First Big-Ass Novel by Jill Conner Browne – I have to say, it’s really fantastic and I’m glad I went digging through my bookshelf to find it – what took me so long to pick this up? I have no idea but I’m glad I saved it!

I am creating: Nothing too creative at the moment – just a lot of organizing, phone call making and getting in order – I have a lot to do before the baby comes and a lot to do anyway. I’ve been creating progress! Today I finally got around to scheduling an appointment with a local pediatrician for MM who will hopefully also be the baby’s pediatrician – that appointment isn’t until August though. I also got a confirmation that BB’s birth will be 100% covered by our health insurance – hallelujah!

I am wearing: One of my favorite maternity tee shirts and my maternity jeans. I’d love to be wearing the gorgeous dress I bought at Walmart this weekend but sadly it’s in the laundry… and probably if I wore it every day it would lose it’s specialness right?

In the kitchen:

Around the house: I picked up some Dreft so I can start washing all the baby clothes and then put them away in the little plastic baskets we picked up – we’re planning to use the changing table as a makeshift “dresser” for the baby so we don’t have to buy some cheap piece of furniture that we’ll just want to replace in a year. Makes sense, no? Especially since we just bought MM a new bed (being delivered tomorrow) this weekend. In a couple weeks we’ll probably start putting things together and if we haven’t heard from Graco or gotten an infant car seat by mid-July we’ll be picking that up then.

Plans for the week: Work on laundry, set up MM’s new bed when it comes, watch Raising The Bar on DVD with the hubby, and my car is due for it’s inspection in July so we’ll probably do that and get it’s oil changed this weekend.

One of my favorite things: My new dress. Seriously – I am deliriously in love with it…

A picture thought:


Categories
blog-related

Thirty Four Days? Holy Cupcake Batman!

July 21st is in just thirty four days. Part of me wants to snarkily add, “July 21 isn’t for 34 more days! ::sobs into hanky::” but seriously? Thirty four days. That’s soon! And we still have a lot to do – like packing the overnight bag – oh and we need to put together at least the co-sleeper and soon the crib also. We need to assemble the baby swing and find all that other baby gear. I need to go through our various piles of baby stuff and figure out what we actually have and what we actually need. I need to acquire an infant car seat – my lovely bestie Andrea is trying to get me one from Graco to review on Mommas Review, but if that doesn’t work I need to head to the store and make some decisions – like – do I go for a travel system again or just grab a car seat – or grab a car seat now and get the stroller later? Or get one of those little stroller-like devices that the car seat attaches to but will only work during the infancy stage? Graco? Baby Trend? Evenflo? Pretty pink girly pattern or a cautious neutral? Amazon, Babies’R’Us, Target, Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, sketchy back alley dumpsters?

We also still need to get MM a new bed before my grandmother shows up. Have I told you our plan? My grandma, the angel, is staying with us for two weeks – she’ll be coming the Friday before my c-section and then staying for two weeks – and our plan is to buy MM a new bed with a slightly better mattress, a box spring and a bed frame – so that she can sleep on something resembling a real bed instead of just a twin mattress on the floor or our terrible couch – and MM will move onto it after she leaves. His old mattress we will save for BB to use when she’s older. We were going to buy him the whole kit and kaboodle – you know headboard, footboard, etc. But then Dan was like, “Wait a minute – we don’t even have a headboard or footboard on OUR bed? We could save a ton of money if we just get him the same set up we have. And he was right. So I agreed. We’re thinking if the kids really like rooming together we might get them a bunk bed when they are older and eventually get ourselves a full bedroom set also – but that’s like way out there, daydreaming kind of thing. This is now – with less than thirty four days to figure it out.

Anyway – so I need to get the bed, weed through our baby stuff, come by an infant car seat and oh yes – the blog. I go in for my cesarean Tuesday July 21st and I’ll be staying in the hospital for 2-4 days depending on recovery, etc. I will not be twittering during the operation or anything like that and I honestly don’t know when I’ll get to my blog again, though I promise to post an update as soon as possible, hopefully with pictures – but as far as real content – it’s kind of dependent on when I come home, how I’m feeling and how demanding newborns are these days. But I was thinking I should make a game plan – arrange for some content for your reading pleasure now, and mine later – or … how about before?

See, I’m thinking guest postswith your best birth stories, newborn stories, tips for either, whatever – hit me with your best stuff – but send it out to me before the big day so I can read the posts and soak up all that great advice, wisdom and I’m sure a good deal of wit and humor, too – beforehand, so I can USE it when it counts and read it when I’m conscious enough to actually take it all in and remember some of it. Lord knows I’ll be mostly incoherent for awhile afterwards. SO:

If you have a great (or terrible) birth story, some tales from the newborn days (first, second, third, fifteenth child – whatever, I’m not picky), some tips or well wishes that you’d like to share, I’d love to feature them as “Guest Posts” on my blog during the week of July 20th. Send me a story anytime between now and Thursday July 16th and I’ll schedule it to run during the week I’m away. If you want to post something meme-y or carnival-like in nature, let me know and I’ll make sure it’s scheduled to run on the appropriate date. You know, whatever’s clever.

Send any guest posts, ideas, questions or offers for free baby stuff to mommablogsalot (at) gmail (dot) com.

If this doesn’t work, I’ll have to make stuff up and that might get pretty dreadful, so please help a future momma of two out!

Categories
daybook memes & carnivals

Daybook: June 8th

Today…

Outside my window: It’s cool, high in the 60’s with several chances for rain. For the first time in my life, this thrills me – these 70’s-80’s+ days have kind of been killing me, being all hugely pregnant. I’ve been basking in the chilled breezes this weekend. I do feel a bit bad for hubby who was determined to ride his bike to work today, rain or shine – he definitely isn’t getting much shine today.

I am hearing: MM playing happily with a few toys while watching a DVD of Curious George episodes. I’m wondering if he’ll nap today – he’s been taking less for sure, but he still seems to need them a lot of the time. Or maybe it’s just me that needs them?

I am thinking: that it’s a good thing I mentioned the dryer to our office manager today! He immediately knew what the problem was likely to be and added us to the maintenance’s guys list – we should have normal drying times by tomorrow evening! Apparently this side of my building is a preferred nesting location for the local birds and they constantly have to take down the nests so that the dryers can work properly – no it isn’t normal for an average load to take 2-3 hours to dry! Phew!

I am hoping: My doctor’s appointment tomorrow goes well and that I like my new doctor… and that MM behaves or at least doesn’t drive me completely insane.

I am reading: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown – still – I have about 80 pages to go I think, and I’m hoping to finish it today if I can squeeze in enough reading time.

I am creating: a few top secret Father’s Day projects, more on that later, like after Father’s Day.

I am wearing: black capris, a red camisole tank top and a red and white striped tee shirt – I had to get dressed today to go to the office. 😛

In the kitchen:

Around the house: We started hanging up pictures this weekend, it’s starting to look more and more like home here – love it.

Plans for the week: finish the laundry (and throw a one woman party when the dryer is fixed!), doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon, research the local banks a bit more, furniture shopping this weekend hopefully, maybe check out the Farmers Market on Saturday.

One of my favorite things: We got new measuring cups at Target this weekend! I was getting a bit tired of the poor, mismatched set, whose labels were wearing off so that guessing which size cup you had was like a logic / guessing game and the handles were slowly falling off half of them. For some reason their website doesn’t show the set we got – but they are stainless steel and perfect and they were just $10!

A picture thought:

Doesn’t he look so sweet and comfy chatting on the phone with his grammy and papa?

Categories
family fun

Moving Diary (Days 5 and 6 – May 23rd & 24th)

Day Five: Clearly We Need To Go Shopping

Our pantry raiding continued Saturday morning as Dan managed to make pancakes sans eggs with a fruit juice “syrup” for breakfast. It was surprisingly better than I’d expect, but it was clearly time to go grocery shopping, so we headed to Copps, the closest grocery store, to attempt to pick up some staples and foods for dinner that week.

I was pretty happy with Copps over all, but disappointed that they had no greek yogurt – we’ll clearly need to look around a bit and figure out the best place to get our Fage fix. We also went to Target and got a tea kettle, something we never needed at our first apartment which had a “boiling water” tap thing. We got a $20 Kitchen Aid tea kettle in red (I get almost all appliances in red, when I can) and I’m pretty happy with it so far. The reviews of this kettle on amazon.com are pretty terrible but I haven’t had any of the complaints mentioned by the (2) reviewers – it pours just fine and the handle has never been too hot to touch, if at all. We’ll see how it holds up over time.

Anyway, we had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for lunch and continued unpacking. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful as we worked hard unpacking and trying to make it feel like home. Keeping with our BBQ theme for the day we had hamburgers for dinner.

Day Six: Going Out About Town

Sunday morning Dan drove my dad to the airport bright and early (even MM wasn’t awake yet when they left) to fly home. When MM finally woke up I made us oatmeal for breakfast with my new tea kettle. When Dan got back we drove to Babies R Us to get baby proofing things – the new apartment is just different enough cabinet / door wise that we needed new things that we didn’t own yet. We also checked out a couple malls, a local Burlington Coat Factory (for some reason I was convinced they wouldn’t have those here so I was very pleasantly surprised) and a radio shack.

We went to Dairy Queen for lunch to celebrate and use up some old gift certificates. For some reason I’ve never really liked Dairy Queen so I wasn’t expecting much but either DQ’s are different in Wisconsin or I am, because I liked both my lunch and my dessert. I got their blizzard of the month, a Raspberry Truffle and it was oh so good. And of course MM loved his ice cream, too.

Later I took MM to the little playground at the apartment complex. This was actually pretty disappointing – the equipment was a little big for him and in general the whole thing was really run down and not well kept at all. We may use it again but I’m definitely planning to check out the neighborhood parks soon. MM still had a good time playing until I got skeeved out enough to leave – I did take some cute pictures while we were there though.

That night Dan made homemade meatballs and we had that with spaghetti for dinner. He is absolutely in love with our new kitchen and I have to say I am, too. That night we’d finally cleared out enough of the boxes that I was starting to feel “moved in” and we went to bed happy. MM has definitely adjusted well to his new home and although he asks to see his various family members frequently, he seems to be content with things. Who could ask for more?

This concludes “The Moving Diaries” – if you missed the first two installments you can read part one here and part two here.

Categories
family fun

Best Of The Best

Lori @ Building Our Nest came up with this great idea of a “best of” awards show kind of post. It looked so fun, I had to play along. So without further ado, the awards go to…

Best place online to waste time: I think I waste more time on Facebook than anywhere else, but recognition must be given to my Google RSS feed (where I read all your blogs) and GoodReads.com where I plan all my future reads.

Best online purchase I’ve made recently: Without a doubt, it would have to be my new Canon Powershot digital camera – I am absolutely in love with it! 🙂

Best place to go when your husband gets home from work and you need a break: The only place I tend to go in this situation is the grocery store, usually Trader Joes and it is indeed a welcome relief.

Best reason to invite someone over to your house for dinner: Is there ever a bad reason? We have “Game Night” here once a month and have a handful of our friends over for dinner, games and general socializing. Always a good time!

Best thing my son has said recently: My son likes to play pretend and lately his favorite thing to do is assign “roles” to each member of the family. Sometimes he’ll tell me that I’m daddy or grammy or himself. Other times we act out scenes from a tv show or movie, his favorite being Madagascar. So anyway, a few weeks ago he told me that I was Alex and he was Marty (which was so exciting because I never get to be Alex – it’s his favorite – and I usually have to be Melman, the giraffe). And then just as I’m getting excited, he says, “Hey Alex, wanna bite my butt?” And of course I cracked up (it’s part of the movie, if you haven’t seen it – Alex is the lion and Marty is the zebra and Alex does indeed bite Marty’s butt at one point in the movie and it’s this whole thing…) and then was like, “He only let me be Alex so that he could arrange that whole scene. The little stink.” And I was so right, because he’s never let me be Alex since. Maybe I did a bad job?

Best place to eat out with kids: We love going to Applebees and always enjoy bringing MM there. For lower cost fare, Wendy’s can’t be beat.

Best news I’ve gotten recently: Um could any news be better than, “You’re having a girl!” Of course if I were having a boy I’d be saying the same thing, point is, finding out the gender was a huge thing this week.

Best way to show you care: I have to agree with Lori, getting a hand written card is always nice. Sometimes a phone call that’s unexpected is also nice, or even dropping in just to say hi. It all boils down to reaching out to say hello when you weren’t expected to.

Best reason to blog: Because you have something to say. Simple as that. 🙂

Best way to end a blog post: I like to end my posts in a question, like…

What would your best of the best be? Fill this out on your own blog and join in on the fun!

Categories
family fun

Weekend Diversions: Nothing Cute, Tumbling, Short Not-So-Love Notes & The Elusive Perfect Fit

First off – you must watch this immediately. I dare you not to melt.

This adorable little clip will air on Sesame Street on April 1. John writes (in his new blog that I might never have found without the wonderful Jen @ Daily Mish Mash):

“Of all the highlights in my career, I don’t know of one more sentimental than getting to walk through Sesame Street. Yes, there seems to be somebody always standing right below Elmo and his friends, mouthing along to everything they’re saying, but somehow I’m too filled with wonder to ever look at them. When you make contact with those big beautiful eyes, you’re done. Five years old again. Life is good.”

And of course, you know his whole blog is genius and you could easily spend a few wonderfully diverted hours there if you so chose. When you’re done, head over to Dear Old Love for some short notes to people other people have loved, or at least liked. You can find fabulous gems like Reintroduction:

Facebook keeps putting you in the list of People I May Know. Facebook has only slightly more tact than the guy who introduced us at a party and then said, “Oh, wait. Never mind. You guys totally did it.”

Two things to say about this (apart from the obvious, that’s awesome). I found this website through Google’s “cool” recommendations which you can subscribe to by following said link. Second thing of note is that Dear Old Love is a tumblr.com page which I just heard about yesterday. You can make your own tumblr.com page and post links to articles you like or wrote (or wrote and like?), upload pictures, etc. It’s like a personal RSS feed but more awesome. I made a page for myself here.

Okay and my last little gem for you today was posted by Blissfully Domestic a couple days ago. There’s this website called MyShape that helps you find clothing that will fit and flatter your specific body type. And I do mean specific. When you sign up, you’ll find yourself pulling out a tape measurer and taking measurements for things you hadn’t previously known were relevant. Then it tells you what basic body type you have and makes it super easy to shop online through their website for clothing that will fit you perfectly. If you can handle the pressure of being that honest with yourself, reaping the rewards could be pretty fantastic, no? My only complaint is the lack of a maternity section, but I’ll let that slide just this once…

That’s all for this week folks, I’m off to go watch that John & Elmo video… again… Have a great diverted weekend!