Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine's Day Giveaway: $43 Prize Package [CLOSED]

For this Valentine's Day giveaway, I have some great prizes for you all to show how much I love you readers! First, from me, is 4 different Valentine gift tags (so you can use a new design each year!) and 100 red confetti hearts. You can sprinkle them on the dinner table, bed, or tissue paper before you wrap your gift.

Next is a red, tatted, lace heart earring and pendant set from Lace Dreams Designs. Super cute to wear on Valentine's Day!

Then on to an adorable kids' lacing hoop featuring Minnie Mouse from Can Do Stitching. The little ones need to feel loved too!

And last of all a cute pair of retro-inspired heart earrings from Moon Beans Gifts and Jewelry. Perfect for all ages!

One of you lucky readers will win all these prizes, a $43 value! We also have some great coupon codes for you to use:
Mandatory Entry (1 comment):  Tell me your favorite items from ALL 4 shops (see links directly above).

1 entry each (4 total possible): Heart each shop on Etsy and leave your username.

1 entry: Follow Can Do Stitching on Pinterest.

1 entry: Like Moon Beans Gifts and Jewelry on Facebook. Leave your name.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle/The Shop at Pooh Corner on Facebook. Leave your name.

1 entry: Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect.

1 entry each (4 total possible): Post this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your blog.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Thursday, February 7. The winner will be announced on Friday, February 8. Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to the U.S. & Canada. Good luck!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

You Know You're a Breastfeeding Mom When . . .

The great Facebook page Breast is Best asked this question and these are my favorite responses:
  • You grope yourself several times a day to see if one breast feels fuller.
  • Someone mentions milk, and the first thing that comes to mind is yours.
  • Getting intimate with your hubby something feels wet, but it's just your breasts leaking all over the place!
  • You press your breasts to prevent leakage from the let down.
  • You have several built-in, guaranteed moments of sitting down to relax and enjoy your squishy! Nobody gets to say, "I'll feed the baby, keep doing whatever horrible task you're doing/talking to whatever grating human being you're interacting with." Nope, you have a real, great excuse to close yourself off from the world whenever you want!
  • You can eat more food than a pregnant woman and your husband put together!
  • Your baby squeals with excitement when you take your shirt off. [All I had to say to Caden was, "Do you want some (dramatic pause) milk?" and he would laugh hysterically in anticipation! So funny!]
  • Your baby gets more excited than your husband at the sight of your breasts.
  • You have to have "the talk" with everyone who comes over to your house: "If you're gonna hang out for more than a couple hours, you're gonna see my breasts." 
p.s. I didn't have an acrobatic breastfeeding baby (in reference to the photo). Did you? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dealing with Morning Sickness

If any of you are suffering from bad morning sickness like I am, here are things I've learned to help me deal with it.

Eat small servings. Eat small meals and snack in between. It's tempting to want to eat more because you're hungry or feel okay, but it's best to wait at least 15 minutes to see if the food stays down or fills you up. Don't go too long without eating either; that makes nausea worse.

Skip "sick foods." Eat real food instead: the nutrients and fiber will actually make you feel better. However, stay away from greasy, spicy, and sugary foods. Try produce low in acidity, like bananas and avocados.

Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is key to managing morning sickness. If you have a hard time drinking, like I do, try using a straw. I also found that drinking cold water first thing in the morning before eating works best for me.

Don't overwork yourself. It's tempting to want to run errands or get a lot done when you feel semi-normal. But it will only end up making you feel worse the rest of the day. Only work 1 or 2 hours and take a break. If you still feel well later, continue working. Keep your to-do list short and top-priority only. If you work outside the home, talk to your boss about taking small 5-minute breaks to eat, sit down, stretch, or get some fresh air. Overall, it will keep you more productive and using less sick days.

Get rest! Take a nap if you need it. Go to sleep as soon as you are tired. On days I don't feel well, I get Caden ready for bed early so that I can go to sleep and all Justin has to do is tuck Caden in once he's sleepy.

Some of you may have many children and feel that these tips are impossible to follow. Ask for help from friends and family. Talk to your husband about which household chores can be skipped for a while. Cut down on activities to make earlier bedtimes easier. And don't feel guilty. You can't take care of your family if you're not taking care of yourself.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Only Child Expiring August 2013

Belly sticker courtesy of Watch Me Grow Stickers
Yep, Caden is going to be a big brother. I suspected a couple weeks before Christmas, took a test the Saturday before, and broke the news to the family on Christmas day. Caden knows there is a baby in my tummy but thinks everyone else has one too. Haha.

So far I've been miserable. Really bad sickness day and night even with medication. I learned my lesson though from my first pregnancy and force food and water down anyway so I don't end up dehydrated. The worst is the smells. Everything smells bad, even things that used to smell good, like popcorn and Justin's soap.

I had my first appointment Friday. I'm about 9 weeks along (I thought I was 11) and due really close to Caden's birthday. I really hope it's a girl!

Unofficial ultrasound of Little Peanut

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Eh, No"

Caden's new favorite movie the past few weeks has been Cars. Not sure how that happened. Maybe he remembered his friend watching it every time I babysat him last year (though Caden was never interested in it at that time).

There's a line in it where Lightning says, "Better than a Ferrari, huh." And Luigi answers, "Eh, no." Well, of course, Caden picked up on that (and many other lines he recites during the movie) and now rejects things by telling me, "Eh, no."

On the one hand it's funny, on the other it's very annoying and makes me want to throw the movie out the window. I can't wait until I start feeling better so we can spend more time outdoors before it gets hot and stay away from the TV. For now, all I do is push the Signing Time videos, which has been working.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Surprise on My Window Ledge

Last year at our old house we had a bird's nest in our backyard. Although we have moved to an apartment, the same thing has happened. On the window ledge right next to the computer there is a bird's nest. A couple of birds have been there ever since we moved in. I hate them. They are loud and fight a lot and are very dirty. Our back porch and windows are covered in bird poo and feathers. I've had fantasies of destroying that nest, but there is no way to do it since we are on the third floor. Then a few days ago I saw eggs in the nest! Now I have to let them stay.

The mother is off camera to the left watching me warily.

Caden loves looking at them and saying, "Eggs nest!" (though it sounds more like "ates ness"). I can't wait for them to hatch! I never wrote about it, but the other ones I got to watch learn how to fly. It would be neat to see again!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten Easy Exercises You Can Do at Home

photo by Jahanta Behera

How many of you have some sort of health goal this year? We all know it usually doesn't last long, but it can as long as you have the right tools, one of them being easy exercises you can do at home. Try these out for quick ways to keep moving throughout your day!
  1. Skip.
  2. Walk around on your tippy toes.
  3. Do various styles of pushups against the wall.
  4. Stand on one leg and do squats.
  5. Give your kids piggy back or horsey rides.
  6. Hold the wall for support and do side leg lifts and back leg lifts.
  7. March in place while washing dishes, folding laundry, talking on the phone, etc.
  8. Roll your hands, high, low, fast, slow. It tires you out faster than you think! 
  9. Stand against the wall and then slide down into a sitting position, as if in an imaginary chair. Try to last through one magazine article or TV commercial break.
  10. Sit on the floor instead of the couch while reading or watching TV, extend your legs, and stretch them out. You lose flexibility and gain stiffness from sitting too much (and sleeping in the fetal position).
What exercises do you like to do at home?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas with Caden

Christmas Eve was spent with Adam and Kirsten, their friends, and the missionaries. They did their traditional breakfast for dinner and we all talked and laughed and had a good time. That night Justin put all the gifts under the tree and set up our biggest gift for Caden, which he ran to right away when he woke up the next morning.

Thanks to a couple pre-Christmas gifts, Caden knew what wrapped presents meant. He was very excited to open everything but was still timid with the wrapping paper.

He loves playing with the toy airplane at our church's nursery, so we told the grandparents to get him one.

He got tons of Hot Wheels cars and books from Great Grandma Amelia and clothes from Justin's aunt and uncle. We also got him Narnia 3 and a wooden toy bus. The first few days he loved the plane and bus the most, but now it's cars, cars, cars everyday.

He loves the musical book from Great Grandma too and asks me to read it to him twice every day before nap time. When I won't read it anymore, he reads it by himself.

After presents we watched Narnia 3. Then Adam and Kirsten came over to exchange gifts and eat my lasagna dinner. It was a fun Christmas and I enjoyed watching Caden get into it this year.

Justin also loved the present I got him, one he's been wanting for ages. I picked them out myself, though I did have him approve them before purchase since it was an online order and I didn't want to return them if he didn't like them. Although I got the right size, they're a bit small, so he hasn't worn them yet. Once he does I'll post a photo!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Goal Assessment

It's a new year and time to evaluate how well we did with our goals for 2012.

  1. Potty training: Done except for at night!
  2. Sleep: Caden sleeps in his bed (or on the futon mattress on the floor lately), but he still wakes up once at night. It used to happen only a couple times a week, but ever since he was sick earlier this month, his sleep has still not recovered and he wakes up almost every night. I either take him to our bed, or more often, sleep with him on the futon.
  3. Weaning: Finished in July!
  4. Schedule: I think the first part of the year was fine, but ever since we moved there's been no rhyme or reason to our days. Only nap time is pretty consistent.
  5. Discipline: We did great until we moved. We had a poster with our family rules and consequences and a time-out corner. We were consistent. But again, ever since we moved, we've struggled with consistency and matching the punishment with the crime. It's especially difficult right now because Caden is in a hitting stage.

  1. Read scriptures daily: I did great for 6 months straight, only missing a couple days. It all fell apart during our summer travels. I went without reading for a couple months and then got back in, reading most but not all days.
  2. Spend time wisely: I stink at this. Sigh. 
  3. Try 1 new recipe a month: Done. Most I posted on the blog. I did it for Justin and he loved it.
  4. Have 100% visiting teaching for the year: I think I did well on this one before we moved. I haven't been given any visiting teaching assignments in our new ward.
  5. Be more cheerful: Again, I think I did well before the move. I guess I haven't realized how much moving has affected our family!
We only accomplished one family goal, to visit our families, though we did improve on another one, making family trips besides shopping. We've bought passes to the aquarium, went to a ranch in October, and visited the temple for the Easter pageant and Christmas lights.

I had a rough draft of goals for this year, but certain events are forcing me to change them now. How was 2012 for you? What are your goals for this year?
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