Saturday, March 31, 2012

No Foolin' April 1st Giveaway!

Stuff N Junk by Heidi Large Pouch.
For my VERY FIRST giveaway I am offering a "you" design large zipper pouch!  Please choose from the fabrics shown below, lining will be a grey nylon (as shown), and choice of black or white zipper.  I can also add a webbing wrist strap with or without a snap!  Bag is 10"x13" and as it will be hand made just for you, please allow 1-2 days for me to make it.  (musical note fabric no longer available)



Large pouch shown on the left

Available fabrics:
From left to right:  Royal blue satin brocade, cream satin brocade, chocolate brown satin brocade, pinks and greens cotton camo and bright pink satin brocade.
Please complete the Rafflecopter below.  Winner will be notified by email and all specifications to be confirmed via email.  Thank you so much for stopping by!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn't win?  Want to purchase a custom pouch, bag or blanket?  Visit my Etsy shop and send me a message!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Manic Mommy Monday

Manic Mommy Monday!
I had a completely different post idea in mind today.  It was very selfish...  It was self-serving and kind of hurtful.  And then I opened my emails and found out that an in-law lost a loved one over the weekend.  This is not the first in-law to lose a family member this month.  In fact, it's not even the second...  While I would love to preach to everyone how important it is to appreciate each other more that would be quite hypocritical on my part.  Honestly, even an hour later I was saying some pretty mean things out of pure frustration and anger.
Then my daughter had a bit of an episode today that brought us all around to keep things in perspective.
While I was in another room thinking about lost loved ones my husband was in the front room with our two daughters.  The older was hitting her dolly and saying "bad girl" then threw her on the ground and stomped on her.  Where do kids learn these things?  I'd love to say she had to learn it somewhere else, but where could that have been?  She doesn't go to daycare and we don't have her in any classes...  We had a talk today about monitoring our television, no more grown-up shows if she's in the room, far less t.v. on in general.  When we tried to talk to her about it things went a little funny.  I was nursing the baby so I couldn't exactly get up and talk to her right then, but hubby wasn't getting up either!  I finally told him that in order to get a response from her he needed to get on her level, not act like a child.  I know, not very nice, but when he got up and knelt down to her she responded!
At the end of the night she was hitting another dolly and saying something we couldn't quite make out.  I finally realized what she was doing!  There is a scene in Princess and the Frog where the lightening bug Ray smacks his "bottom" and says "Big back porch!" referring to his butt!  I'm pretty sure that is what she was doing earlier in the day!
It is very sad to not be able to talk to someone you love, not to be able to hear their voice, but I tried to step back a little today and hear what the people in my day were saying, and to respond a little kinder than maybe I have been.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway! $546 Lifetime Supply of Cloth Diapers!

Booty Buns Giveaway Event
Welcome to the Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers! Over 175 blogs have teamed up to present this amazing cloth diaper giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering.
Here's your chance to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!
 

This amazing cloth diaper prize pack includes:

20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
(these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!)
20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes
40 microfiber inserts
20 cotton flannel liners
Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)

First, a little about Booty Buns...

Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
In case you haven't heard about them, Booty Buns Cloth Diapers are incredible one-size cloth diapers that truly fit from birth to potty training! They feature a snap-down rise with 5 different snap settings (most one-size diapers only have 3!) and a waist with 10 regular snap settings plus 2 crossover snap settings. The diapers have hip snaps to prevent wing droop on smaller sizes. The incredible size range of this diaper fits from 3-45 lbs!
Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
Booty Buns Cloth Diapers are pocket diapers and each diaper includes 2 snap-on microfiber inserts that can be stuffed into the diaper or laid on top with the included cotton flannel liner against your child's skin. The diapers have a waterproof PUL outer and a soft suedecloth inner with dual gussets on the inner lining to ensure everything stays IN the diaper! Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers come in an assortment of bright colors and each diaper includes a matching handmade flannel/terry wipe. You can find out more about the diapers at Booty Buns, or check out the detailed Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diaper Review at Daily Mothering!
Booty Buns Cloth Diapers
Booty Buns is dedicated to encouraging others to "go green" and "give charity." Shannon, the owner of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers, leads by example. For every diaper that Booty Buns sells, she donates one Booty Buns Cloth Diaper to a child in need in the US and third-world countries. Booty Buns is the exclusive cloth diapers donator for Operation Showers Of Appreciation, and they are also donating diapers to babies that have severe medical issues here in the US. Shannon hopes to donate a lifetime supply of cloth diapers {20 diapers} to every baby in need around the globe. You can join in this effort by purchasing your own set of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers and telling your friends about Booty Buns!
Make sure to stop by and follow Booty Buns via Facebook, Twitter and Blog for news and giveaways!

And now for the giveaway!!

Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
ONE WINNER will receive this gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546!
And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada.
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
Sign in using your Facebook account OR your name and email address.
Click "Do It" for instructions on how to complete each entry.
There is no mandatory entry. Complete as many entries as you wish.
The more entries you submit, the better odds you have of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 3-12-12

Just a few words...
March 21st is a hard day for me. Twelve years ago I lost one of the best friends and most incredible person I could ever be blessed to know. My Grandpa Bill...
An amazing thing is happening today though, that has made my day quite a bit brighter. My sister-in-law and nephew were able to travel across the country to be at my brothers graduation from Basic Training.
Hero's come in many shapes and sizes. I am proud to say that both of these men are two of my favorite hero's. I will never be able to express how much I have loved them both and how proud I am of all they are and were.

SNEAK PEEK: $500+ Cloth Diaper Giveaway Starts Saturday!

Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
Would you like to win a LIFETIME SUPPLY of cloth diapers?!
The Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers starts this Saturday, March 24th! Over 175 blogs are coming together to present this fantastic fluffy giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering. Mark your calendar because you don't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!

ONE WINNER will receive a gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546! And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!

This amazing prize pack will include:

20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers (these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!) 20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes 40 microfiber inserts 20 cotton flannel liners
Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)
This giveaway will be open to U.S. and Canada.

Come back March 24-31 for your chance to win it all!

 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Manic Mommy Monday 3/18/2012

Manic Mommy Monday!
Oh Monday, how you have ruined me today!
Manic Monday...  Check!
Started the day with an 8:30 am appointment that "they" told me I needed to bring my daughters for.  Both of them.  Didn't actually need to though.
Got home to drop off Big Sister and while I was nursing Baby Sister, Big decided to take the keys off of my laptop!




Went back to the same office at 11 am for Baby Sister's 2/3 month check up and her first shots!  Waited just over an hour for the doctor during which time Baby decided to take a nap!

Came home, got some work done, got the keys back in the laptop, then made cookies for my brother.  My sister-in-law and nephew get to fly out to see my brother graduate from Army basic training.  Mom and I made no-bake cookies, which are one of his favorite types of cookie!

Mom's car died at some point today so she borrowed mine for a bit.  I also made garlic and cheese biscuits with some left over spaghetti for dinner.

Now it's time for Baby Sister's bedtime feeding so mommy can crash out!

Here's to a quieter Tuesday!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Randomness...

So I was "talking" with a friend via Facebook about how "Disney" we are trying to make our kids...  This is a bit off topic for my blog as far as sewing and such, but it is right in line with my kids, so here it goes!
My husband and I are major Disney FANatics!  No.  I take that back...  We are Disney FREAKS!  We are all about everything Disney.  We have been going to Disneyland about twice (or more) a year for the last 16-17 years.  The benefit of living in central California!
In the beginning we used to make fun of my husband being a Disney vacation drill Sargent.  We would leave around 2 am to head South.  We would make one stop for breakfast and then head straight for Universal Studios where we would spend about half the day, have some dinner and then head to our hotel.  Our hotels are usually within walking distance of the park.  In the morning we would head to the park to arrive just after opening and would stay until closing.  Exhausted, we would do this for anywhere from 3-4 days.  Now, I had been to Disneyland quite a few times in my life before I started going with my husband, but from that point on I can tell you that Disneyland isn't just magical when you go, it's amazing to watch the transformation imaginations create!  I have pictures from when they broke ground where Disney's California Adventure now resides.  My husband was there for the opening of Tower of Terror and even got to go on a test ride before it officially opened!


We started bringing kids about seven years ago, with my nephew.  He was (counting on my fingers) about four months old.  Now I hear what people "normally" say...  "Why would you bring them that young?  They aren't going to remember anything!"  Someone actually said that on our second trip with my daughter.  We were taking a picture with Mickey Mouse, she was (counting on my fingers again...) about seven months and this dude says "Why are they wasting their time?  That kid will never remember!"  To which I replied "First of all, it's not about her, this is for me.  Second of all, she's free admission, why not?"

My nephew will be seven this year and he has gone to Disneyland about twice a year since he's been born.  My daughter just turned two and she has been to Disneyland five times, one of those being on Christmas day!  Why do we do anything when they are that little?  If we are that worried about them not remembering why do we celebrate holidays with them?  Why bother having birthday parties?  Because it is about the parents!  It's about our memories...



With that said, the next questions have more to do with how to bring a kid to Disneyland, what is a good age and what do you do?
First rule of thumb, be aware of your kid!  I have seen so many parents that push their kids past their breaking point because they want to get every last cent of value out of that ticket price.  If the price of the ticket is more important than the fun of watching your kids explore the magic of Disney, then don't go.  And please don't get so wrapped up in your own thing as to lose them.  I've taken my fair share of kids to the nearest Cast Member, sobbing, because they don't know where their mommy or daddy is.  Disney is about the kid in all of us, but it's about remembering your inner child through the wonder of that little piece of you that holds your hand.  The first time I walked my other nephew through the entrance it was an amazing thing!  We didn't tell him where he was, he was so enthralled with the colors and the music and the magic!





Second thing to remember, your kid does need a nap.  While there are quiet spots around the parks, and you do have to look for those, once your precious angel passes the point of no return everything else is a slippery-slope down hill...  If that means you have to leave the park for a good rest, so be it!  Trying to calm down a kicking, hitting, screaming ball of crazy child is much worse than simply missing a parade or show.


video

Third, feed your kid!  Disneyland does let you bring in food, but do check their website prior to arriving so you know what types of food are permitted in the park.  We like to bring fresh fruit, dried fruit, crackers, regular snack foods that the kids can not only eat in their stroller, but also when you are in line for a ride.  Keeping a full tummy also helps kids to relax in that hectic environment while keeping them busy.  It also cuts costs while at the park.  While Disney has gotten better at food service for children, bringing in your own kid snacks (and drinks) plays a big role in keeping costs down.  When my sister-in-law goes to the park she brings a gallon water bottle in the bottom of the stroller.  They also carry a regular plastic drinking bottle.  This way they can fill up bottles or cups with their own water while keeping the cost down.  If you don't bring your own stroller, this may not be helpful...


Four, pack a good bag and extras...  I made my diaper bags for our trips, so I know I have plenty of room for everything I will need throughout the day.  Of course there are all the "regular" items you bring, diapers, wipes, what-have-you's...  I also pack two to four small blankets (usually 1-2 per kid) and quiet things for the kids to do, like a small board book or two.  Generally we go in large groups, so there is always someone to entertain the kids, but if you are just going with your own family unit, I would suggest bringing small items while waiting in lines for rides or for parades to pass by.  Even little key chains that light up or make noise are great for small interruptions!  Maps are free at all entrances and from many Cast Members and kids love the bright colors!  We also play games and sing quiet songs while in line.


Five, pick your time of year carefully!  While I understand that going on vacation generally means the rest of the world is on vacation as well, really think about what you are putting yourself through.  Bringing a small child to Disneyland in the middle of summer may not be the best plan of action if you want to do a lot!  Make sure to take advantage of the Fast Passes though!  And early admission, if you get it!  Fast Passes can be picked up at many rides (near the exit) that will give you a time later in the day to return and ride.  You will not always get right on the ride.  This is a pass designed to get you closer to the actual ride, it will not get you on the very next car!  The nice thing is, you get your pass (using your admission ticket) and then you can get in another line, go get something to eat, watch a parade or show and then come back later.  One thing people don't tend to know is that you can get a new Fast Pass either when the time is up to ride that ride or after two hours!  And if you miss your Fast Pass time slot, you can still use the pass the same day!  Basically, if you get a pass first thing in the morning, say at 9 am for Space Mountain, and the time slot is for 12-2, at 11 am you can get another Fast Pass!  Then, if you are running late from lunch and you don't get back to Space Mountain until 3 pm, you can still use that Fast Pass for that ride!  There are also Parent Switch passes, but you have to ask for those at the entrance of a ride.  The Cast Member will usually ask you to see the other person and the child with you that can't ride the ride.  Like when we go on Soarin' Over California and my little girl is too small to ride, one of us stays behind with her, we get the Parent Switch pass, and when the first person gets off the ride you switch places and the parent that didn't get to ride can take the pass over to the Fast Pass line.  There are some rides I don't go on, or couldn't, like when I was pregnant last year.  In those cases when only my husband wanted to ride you can also ask the Cast Member if they offer single rider on that ride.  Sometimes that means you will sit next to a stranger, so I don't advise it for children, but a lot of the time they are looking to fill seats on a ride.  We've had my husband on and off of Space Mountain within 15 minutes during an hour or more stand-by wait time!

Finally, while you can plan the trip down to the second, make sure to follow your kids lead!  My cousin used to work at the park "escorting" the characters around for picture taking.  She and I both agree that it was heartbreaking (and a bit annoying) when parents would yell at or belittle their children to get that "perfect" picture!  I always tell the photographers, "She's rarely looks at or smiles for the camera, so please just get a few and we'll move on."  For my daughter it's more about getting to interact with the character!  When you take their lead, you end up with better photos, a happier child and wonderful moments!




Oh!  Something we found out on our last visit...  We like to visit the hotels, even if we don't stay in the actual Disneyland hotels...  They really do have some great shops and things you can't find in the park or anywhere else!  One thing we found this last visit is that if you are shopping in the Disneyland Hotel gift shop you may very well bump into some of your favorite characters!  Not only do you not have to stand in line for pictures, we had them fighting over who got to take pictures with our daughter!  Of course they aren't really fighting!  They are on break from Goofy's Kitchen restaurant next door and they are wonderful fun!!!

It is best to try and plan things ahead of time that you want to see and do.  And of course it's always best to eat during "non-regular" eating times.
If you don't think it's worth it, it probably isn't for you...  My daughter is infatuated with Disneyland and she's only two.  She's not afraid of the characters, as long as she gets a little nap she lasts all day and I have some wonderful memories of the little things she did during visits!
Please feel free to leave comments about ideas or things you've done to make amusement parks more enjoyable for your family!  If you have questions please feel free to leave a comment or email me directly at stuffnjunk@ymail.com and I will be happy to reply!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Manic Mommy Monday #2

Oh this time change thing is not good for me...  I was just getting used to my youngest daughter sleeping more through the night and then "they" go and throw me this curve ball!
Today is my older daughters birthday!  I now have a TWO-YEAR-OLD!  Let the adventure begin!
I was reading a blog yesterday that sort of turned me on my ear...  My husband's cousin recently started a blog and I am (admittedly) addicted to reading any blog that a family member puts out there.  It gives me a peak into their world and makes me feel like I am not a horrible person because I don't like talking on the phone all day every day!  She works in the field of psychiatry and is a fairly new(ish) mommy of one adorable little girl!  Only two posts so far I devoured the first, about self-soothing, and moved right onto the second about attention and attunement.  This is where I noticed my mommyhood fail!  She spoke about ADHD and disorganized maternal attachments and a whole slew of things I had to read two or three times to really digest.  And while I was in my sewing/computer room reading this post both of my daughters were in the living room.  My younger daughter, being only two-and-a-half months old was asleep but my (just turned) two (today) year-old was in the living room with the t.v. on all by herself.  We have gates up to keep her in the "baby-safed" rooms of the house.  Now, in my defense, I was not that far away.  The room I was in shares a wall with the living room, but I was not within veiwing distance.  My older daughter called for me and I immediately thought "I am a horrible mom."  Instead of taking an opportunity to hang out with my daughter, I'm goofing around on the computer!  I stopped reading, turned off the t.v. and turned on the radio.  We danced around the living room for a little while.  When she was done with that, I asked her if she wanted to read books.  We read The Cat In The Hat, then looked at the pictures in a few books.  When she bored of that I dug out all of her Little people and we played with them for a while.  I showed her how to make the animals go up the doorway of her Ark, how they drink water and eat apples and corn from the farm playset, played with the boat and the big fishing hook.  Soon she was playing and I was sitting there watching her thinking "I almost missed this.  I almost missed out on a very important moment."
We are now at my office.  Baby Sister is sleeping again and even though I have to answer the phones and get my invoicing done (not to mention I'm typing up this post) I have made a few stops today to play with my daughter.  We are in the same room here with just a little gate that keeps her away from the computers and electrical stuff.  So far we have played with her Thomas trains, building blocks, did some coloring and when I answer my work phone, she has a phone in with her and she talks to her "customers".
The benefit to working for my dad was that I could keep my kids with me and not in daycare.  I'm just still learning how to be there for my kids and for my job.  We'll work it out!
Don't forget to check out some other Manic Mommy Monday posts for the blog hop!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wow, I suck!

Yup, you heard me right!  I totally suck!  I missed my Friday post!  My excuse?  Well, I have been planning a small get-together for my 2-year-old's birthday and I completely zoned out!  Let me tell you what I did do yesterday...
I made:
A chocolate cake, from scratch, with cream cheese frosting.  After it was frosted it ended up on the floor!  Thankfully we live a block away from a grocery store.
Home-made mac-n-cheese
Strawberry ice cream, fresh!
Shredded pork.  Have you ever tried to cut the fat from pork?  It really suck!  Even though the pork turned out really yummy, I may spend the extra money next time and get it trimmed!
We also had Cesar salad with freshly grated Parmesan and I made a peppermint-green tea with a splash of maple syrup.
I actually really like to cook, and especially to bake!  I tend to want to over-do it when we have get-togethers but I think lots of people do.  Right?  I got lots of compliments on the ice cream!  I used fresh strawberries, whole milk, sugar and heavy cream.  It tasted just like when I was little and my Nana would make ice cream.  I don't do the whole "low-fat, sugar-free, low-sodium" stuff when I have people over.  I just can't do it!  I like when food tastes like food.  When you taste something and it takes you back to a place and time that you haven't thought about in years!
What I did not finish was the Belle costume I have been working stalling on.  I had every intention of getting it done!  No really, I did!!!  I especially wanted to have it done because my dad made my daughter a dress-up storage thingy!  I found a how-to here.  Well, in all honesty I found it on Pinterest but I am getting a little worried about Pinterest right now...  Read this article if you are not up-to-date on Pinterests confusing terms...
Anyway, I'll save that rant for another day.  Here is the picture my dad sent me of the (almost) finished project:

Just needs a wee bit of pretty paint!
How close am I to done with that costume?

Oh, just a bit...  And to think, I wanted to do four costumes!  And when I say "four" I meant I wanted to get those done by her birthday, I want to make her a costume for each Disney Princess!  I only compromised on the one by her birthday because I also have a two-and-a-half-month old that I am nursing, making it harder for me to sneak away to the sewing room.  Her birthday is really not until Monday, so maybe if I get a couple hours tomorrow I might be able to knock it out.  Of course, tonight is daylight savings, so I'm already losing an hour!  Oh, excuses-excuses!
I will let you know Monday if I get any sewing time in!  As it is, I've been up since 6 am and it is almost 10:40 pm and I still have to feed the baby and get her back to sleep!