Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: The face that I see in the mirror

More than your average hospital diaper bag

When I first had Zoelle, I found a cute, functional diaper bag at Target. It worked great, but it definitely had a few features that it lacked, including space and organization (something I thrive on). It also got dirty pretty easily and was not extremely well made (which means it did fall apart a bit after two years of use). Thus when I found myself pregnant with Meridian and realizing that I would have two in diapers, I was determined to find a great diaper bag.

Me being me, I did a ton of research and found Ju-Ju-Be and I have never looked back since.


*It's Washable! Machine wash a diaper bag? Yes! Only Ju-Ju-Be Not even kidding here-these things wash up beautifully if they do get dirty (and trust me, mine has gotten majorly dirty before).

*It has great organization! Depending on which bag you get, it is filled with pockets and spaces to store stuff. If you get a backpack style such as the Packabe (pictured right) that doesn't have a ton of pockets, be sure to get some Accessories to help organize it.

*It is a wonderful company! I don't think I have ever seen a company quite like this one. If you have a question, you can even e-mail one of the owners themselves and they will personally e-mail you back (again, I have had to do this before).


*My only con is the price. They are quite spendy bags. Although I am convinced that with this company you definitely get what you pay for (high quality, functionable, yet still fashionable, diaper bags). Oh, and even this isn't really a con because they have a for sale or trade message board called The Pink Room in which you can buy used bags for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Be sure to check out the Real Mom Giveaway contest over there for your chance to win your own Ju Ju Be of your choice.

Overall, I highly recommend a Ju Ju Be diaper bag to someone who is looking for a diaper bag *hint hint Gen* (oh I guess all the rest of you reading this too). :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm going to be an auntie!!

I have been waiting for what seems like forever to announce this! Really it's only been since Christmas Eve, yet it has been the desire of my heart for even longer than that.

My big sister is going to have a baby. It seems almost surreal to me imagining my sister as pregnant. Although I am quite certain she felt the same way about me when I was pregnant. You wouldn't think I would be this excited being that it isn't me that is pregnant, but I am. I am already a mommy, a sister, and a daughter. I have been waiting forever to be an aunt! After watching my sister lovingly take care of my two girls, I can't wait to do the same for her child.

I am convinced she is going to be one of the best mom's in the entire world. She is extremely wise, loving, and fun. My Zoelle is captivated with her and I imagine that Meridian will be too as she gets older.

So blog firends expect some posts about babies and baby items in the upcoming months. I'm going to do my best NOT to push different parenting beliefs on her and just let her do her own research and come to her own conclusions. So while I wait for July, I'll just be busy thinking and dreaming of babies and of being an aunt.

Congrats G & D! This auntie cannot wait for July!!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Ah yes, here I sit with a cup of hot Tazo Calm tea in my hand and my hubby's laptop on my lap. White Christmas is playing on our TV with my hubby snuggled in beside me. We just finished our third of four Christmases (Four Christmases anyone?) . We still have one more tomorrow and then we are done.

Chris and I couldn't help but feel so free this Christmas. Somehow it just seems more relaxed, different, just plain ole' free from past Christmases. We are free from anxiety, free from worry, free from fights. We just feel free. As we talked about it, we realized that we think it is because of how we handled Christmas this year. We didn't make it a BIG deal this year. Instead, we just decided to focus on each other, our two girls, and our families. We scaled back majorly on gifts, even for each other (which is tough on my hubby as his love language is gift giving). Partly because finances are tight, but also because we decided to truly accept this year that Christmas is not about the gifts, it is about Christ. You know what? I can honestly say, and I know he would agree with me, I didn't miss the gifts. As he pointed out to me yesterday, we can only remember a handful of gifts we have gotten each other for Christmas other years. It just isn't really important-it's just stuff. We don't NEED it.

I will forever remember this Christmas as being one of the best ever! Merry Christmas!

How about you? Did you decide to forgo lots of gifts and just focus on each other? Or are you still able to do that along with gifts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Red Rain Boots

Before I was a mom myself, I was never going to be that mom. You know the one with those kids. Yep, I think we all do. I think if we are honest with ourselves, we all have judged others before we were in a certain position ourselves. Whether it be judgement in parenting, marriage, or something else in our lives; we have all judged.

It just hit me tonight full force that I have become that mom. The one I certainly was NEVER going to be. It was about 7:30 p.m. and our girls had just finished their baths. We had them almost all ready for bed when I realized that Zoelle was out of pull-ups (I haven't found a good cloth alternative to pull-ups) and we needed to go buy some. I could have just gone myself, but I like to have my family with me. So, with the girls in their pj's and the hope that Meridian would fall asleep in her carseat, we got ready to go. I asked Zoelle to go get her boots on and this is how our conversation went:

Z: "Ok mom."
Me: "Thanks honey and hurry up, ok?"
Z: "Mom do I wear my orange boots or pink ones."
Me: "Honey you don't have orange ones, just red or pink ones and the red ones are rain boots for the rain. Wear the pink ones ok?"
Z: No answer
Me: "Zoelle did you hear me?"
Z: "Yep."

Sure enough what does Zoelle come over to me wearing? The red ones. I looked at Chris and declared, "No way am I allowing her to wear those. What in the world would people say? It's bad enough the kids are going to the store in their jammies. I was never going to be one of those moms!". It hit me then that I had somehow in my mind determined that others would judge me for the red rain boots and pajamas. I certainly didn't want someone seeing my kids dressed like that for fear of what they would think!

It was the look Chris gave me that made me realize I was completely foolish. Who cares what people see. I mean they may have looked at Zoelle with her red rain boots, pink pajamas, fleece coat, and hat and thought what horrible parents to bring their kids in Target looking like that. But those people didn't know my heart, they didn't realize that all I wanted was my family with me shopping. To spend just ten more minutes together before the end of the day. And you know what? It's ok that they didn't know my heart, for I once was in their shoes too declaring that I would never be that mom.

Tonight it took a stubborn little girl and her red rain boots to realize that God wanted to teach me a lesson in judging others. What will it take you?

Friday, December 18, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

As many of you know, all I really want for Christmas is a great DSLR camera. In high school I took photography and absolutely loved it. When cameras switched to digital, I followed suit but only with a point and shoot camera. I have always wanted to get a new DSLR, but so far, we haven't. Well this year, I asked Chris if we could just get each other that for Christmas with any money we get, we both agreed it would be well worth it.

However, I also know that if we get a nice DSLR camera, I want and need good photo editing software. So, here I am, once again trying to win something. I would SO love to win this or this! I figure it's worth a shot and since blogging about it gets me an extra entry, why not try, right?

So sorry for anyone who is getting sick of my posts about giveaways. I always figure it's worth a try and it's fun for me to do. I am working on writing more about "us" in here, it has just been a very busy time of year right now. I will though!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Extra Day

I told you that Ju-Ju-Be was an incredible company! This is just one way how they are!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Day Of Giveaway

Today is JJB's (Ju-Ju-Be) last day of The 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. If you want head over here: and enter to win a gorgeous Mint Julep Be Spicy!

Wordless Wednesday: Making Memories

Zoelle 6 months w/mommy:

Zoelle 2.5 w/mommy:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For My Dear Husband

Honey, you do so much work around our house. You often cook, clean, do the laundry, change diapers, feed kids, feed me, feed yourself, help put girls to nap/bed, and pretty much anything else. On top of all this, you work hard for our family each and everyday. About the only thing you don't do is breastfeed (sorry I know you are pretty bummed about that). ;) I feel completely blessed to have you as mine.

Thus, for all the hard work you do...I think you need to help ME win this:

I mean it would be perfect for you to use when you take Zoelle on her daddy dates and then uh hum...I could have another Ju Ju Be! :) Love you.

Oh, and for all you reading this...feel free to follow the link to try and win your man a Ju Ju Be Messenger bag.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ju Ju Be Be Sets

Someday I will dedicate a whole post to the incredible diaper bags that Ju Ju Be diaper bags are. However, for now, I will post that if you want to try a little "piece" of Ju Ju Be, go check out: to try and win a full Be Set. I've only ever tried the small be set piece, but everyone always raves about how nice the complete set is. Go check them out and enter if you would like!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wean Me Gently

I know I look so big to you,

Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.

But no matter how big we get,

We still have needs that are important to us.

I know that our relationship is growing and changing,

But I still need you.

I need your warmth and closeness,

Especially at the end of the day

When we snuggle up in bed.

Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,

Or find something to take the place of a nursing;

A book, a glass of something,

But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,

Having you near me is enough.

I guess I am growing and becoming independent,

But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,

Please don't break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,

Because I am your mother,

And my heart is tender

~Cathy Cardall
When I first got pregnant with Z, I knew from the start that I planned on breastfeeding. During my pregnancy, I focused so much on the thought of getting a natural labor/delivery that the breastfeeding aspect of having a child did not even occur to me. Thankfully, and from what I hear, also luckily, I had absolutely no pain while breastfeeding. I never got the cracked, bleeding, sore nipples. The worse I ever got was mastitis, which I now look back and wonder if it really wasn't just a severely plugged duct.

My first time breastfeeding my little girl was amazing. She latched on beautifully and then just stared up at me with her big blue eyes. I knew right then and there that I would do whatever to make sure she would get my breastmilk. I had heard the horror stories from friends and families, yet I also knew the beautiful ones, and I was determined to have a beautiful one.

My original goal was to make it to six months. I did not want to have to buy formula, plus I knew the health benefits of breastfeeding were wonderful. It seemed like in no time at all, that we reached one year of breastfeeding. It was going so well at a year old, that I decided to continue on and let my Zoelle wean gently. When Z was 14 months old, I got pregnant with M. I cried and cried because I knew the chance of her continuing to nurse was slim. I felt like I truly wasn't letting her wean gently and that I was going to devastate her. A dear friend pointed out to me though that Zoelle was very smart and that if she chose to wean during my pregnancy I could rejoice in how long we did make it and our relationship would still last. Imagine my surprise when not only did Z continue to nurse during my pregnancy, but my milk never dried up (well techincally it did, but it just changed to colustrum). The very first time Zoelle went without nursing was the two days I was in the hospital after giving birth to Mer. I was not sure if Zoelle would ask again, but I shouldn't have been surprised when she did. As she saw me nursing her sister on the day we got home from the hospital, she too asked to nurse. I latched her on and within moments, her eyes got wide and she popped off and said, "Mmm...that is good. What is it?". When I told her it was mommy's milk she was so happy.

Today we are still nursing. Just once a day in the morning. I've been struggling lately with nursing her. Or maybe it is just both of them. Or just the fact that my breastfeeding experience with Meridian has been completely different (not bad, she just doesn't like it as much). My goal was to always allow Zoelle to wean gently and on her own, but lately I have been thinking of weaning her myself. The only problem is, I know it will be much harder on me than her. I need to be ready emotionally.

Thus, I had to type this out and share my thoughts. Not really sure where else to go with that. I know that most think I am strange to even be extended breastfeeding. However, it was a choice we made for bonding reasons, health reasons and I am proud that we have gone this long. I always said I would for sure not go much past two, but who really knows...maybe I'll still be nursing her at three! After all, I do really want to wean gently.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sleep Issues

This little girl...

looks so beautiful when sleeping, doesn't she? Unfortunately, she only sleeps for 45 minutes to one hour before she wakes up. I'm not talking about just for naps, this is at night time too.

I am at a loss as to what to do, or what it could be. So, naturally, I want to ask my blog readers their opinions. Here is some info on what is happening:

*she goes down fairly easily as our goal is to put her to sleep awake, but sleepy
*she is on an eat/play/sleep schedule
*I don't think it is hunger waking her up though
*I've suspected acid reflux and so we are on day 3 of medication with no change yet
*I always make sure to get her down on time for a nap
*she sleeps easily and much longer in her carseat, but I want her to be able to sleep in her crib too
*it's not her teeth as I can give her mortin and she still wakes all the time
*this started about a month ago
*she is still a super happy, easy, baby
*mommy is just worn out and tired from it all

Honestly, it wouldn't be that big of a deal except I feel bad for her as I know her body needs more sleep. Also I am missing my husband at night after the kids go to bed. Since one of us is constantly working to get Meridian back to sleep after she wakes up after the first 45 minutes to an hour, we don't get time together. Also, the girls share a room and Miss Meridian is waking up her big sister. Not something any of us enjoy as it makes for a crabby little girl the next day.

So, any advice blog readers? Have any of you dealt with this with your little ones? If so, how did you get through it?

Oh and could you also pray for us and specifically for Meridian's sleep? We would so appreciate it! :)