Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Joovy theBabaSling {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Remember how I told you there would be an upcoming review from Joovy?  Well, well, well.  Now is the time.  First I have to take you back to the beginning of May…  If you follow us at all on Facebook then you will remember that we were vacationing in WDW at that time.  (Yes, we busted Banjo out of school to hit Disney before the crowds got crazy.)  Joovy sent us theBabaSling before we left on our trip.

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I’ve always liked to do the whole baby wearing thing, so was ecstatic to take it with us on our pre summer vacation.  Plus, theBabaSling is uber chic looking, so I’d be styling.  But then I got to thinking that I wouldn’t use it all that much, because we were after all taking our Joovy Caboose stroller.  Cache would just sleep in the main seat of the stroller, Ruby would sit/stand on the platform, and Banjo would walk.  That was the plan.  And all went according to plan…

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For about half of our first day in the magical world of mouse.

At first all was right in the world.  Baby Cache just road along sleeping, Ruby was more entertained by jumping off of her seat on the “train” and running around before getting back “all aboard”, and Banjo was quite content to walk along with his cousins.  Then EVERYTHING deviated from the plan!

Ruby became a hot mess and didn’t want to ride on the platform any longer.

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She wanted to SLEEP.

Need I remind you that this was our very first day in the most magical kingdom on earth?  And Banjo?  Well, he grew tired of walking.  He grew tired very fast.

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What happened?  Where did we go wrong?  Well, for starters we should have purchased a Joovy Big Caboose Triple stroller before heading Orlando.  That would have been the solution.  However already being in Florida when we made this discovery… We didn’t have that option.  We will definitely know for next time.  But since I had the handy, dandy BabaSling all was right again in the world!

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The hammock style of the sling was perfect for carrying tiny Cache and the  comfort padding… perfect for my bum shoulder.  The shoulder I’ve had surgery on twice and I’m now a candidate for a total shoulder replacement.  What?  I’ve never told you about that before?  Yeah.  Remind me to tell you sometime all about my shoulder problem.  😉

This sling carried Cache all over the parks.

He was able to meet all the characters just like the big kids.

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Can you believe that Stitch actually sports a Dandy Giveaway logo???  😉

TheBabaSling comes in sooooo many beautiful and vibrant colors.

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As you can see from our vacation photos we have it in Scarlet Red.  I can’t tell you how many compliments I received on it while at WDW.  Too many to count.  One stranger just came up to me to say, “That’s a nice looking sling!”  Why, yes.  Yes it is.  🙂

Since Disney I’ve been using the BabaSling all over the place.  Particularly on the 4th of July at the lake.

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It was a long day.  The BabaSling put Cache right to sleep.

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It’s my hero.

*This posting and review are sponsored by Joovy, but all opinions are strictly my own.

DIY Burp Cloth Cupcakes REPOST

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Shop BabyBunch.com Today! Remember the posting I did way back when on burp cloth cupcakes?  I’ve decided to repost it, because I came across the cutest shop that actually sells them!  Not mine, but ones that aren’t DIY and are super adorable.  Because not everyone can be all about the DIY.  And… to be honest the cupcakes took me quite a while to make, so I would probably just purchase them from here on out.  😉   Baby Bunch is the place to get the baby gift cupcakes: blue_pj_cupcakes

But also lollipops made out of rompers:

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

Want a Dandy Deal?  Use Coupon Code: ‘bbafpj2011‘ and get 10% Off and Free Shipping On All Orders Over $100 At Baby Bunch! Now if you are up for the DIYer challenge then here you go… Back in the fall (of 2010) I helped my mom throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law.  Well, I guess I should start with something from a few years back.  When Banjo was a baby he spit up a lot.  It was seriously out of control.  Thank goodness for hardwood floors!  One thing that I learned fast was when it came to burp cloths the prefold cloth diapers made the best ones.  My mother-in-law sent me a tonof prefolds that she embellished with printed grosgrain ribbon.  Perfectly absorbed and perfectly cute!  So going back to the fall when I helped with the baby shower for my SIL…  I knew that  I wanted to make her some burp cloths using prefolds.  I also knew that I wanted to make them look cute for presentation and using my favorite among favorites… FABRIC!  So I created some burp cloths that incorporated all of the above!   In addition to the prefold cloth diapers and fabric I used these supplies:      – corrugated scalloped bulletin board border – thin ribbon – decorative long pins – felt – rubber bands I started by cutting a piece of fabric slightly larger than the center of the prefold diaper.  Then ironed the edges of the fabric in to make the seam creased for attaching to the prefold.     Using pins to secure fabric down the center of the prefold: Sewed around the fabric edge:   The finished burp cloths: Ready for creating a cupcake… First, fold the thin part of the diaper in on the fabric (or under if you would like the fabric to show in a swirl at the top of the cupcake):     Then fold in half (long ways) again:   Roll up like you would a sleeping bag: Secure with a rubber band: Cover around rubber band with the corrugated boarder:   Add on a felt flower with the long pin in the center:     Tie around a ribbon: Voila!  A Cupcake Burp Cloth! If you choose to fold the burp cloth with the fabric showing then you will get the swirl effect for the “icing”. These were fun to make and worked great for decorations on the cake table!

Sprinkled Joy {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

About five years ago, I was up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got out of bed and decided to get something done.  We had just moved in to our very first home that we had purchased a couple of weeks earlier, and I was in the middle of decorating.  There was a large wall that ran from our living room to our dining room, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  That night, though, I came up with the most perfect wall college of different sizes/shapes/colors of frames that just happened to fit together perfectly.  I included some of the most important things to us in these frames (our marriage certificate, a family picture, a picture of Jesus Christ, etc.) along with some cute decorations (a large teal J, burlap background, etc.), and that large wall college has been a staple in every house we’ve lived in since then.

Since having children, we’ve had to make some changes to the pictures in the frames, and over the past year, I’ve had an empty 8×10 white frame that I couldn’t figure out what to do with.  Pure laziness, I know.  When I discovered Sprinkled Joy, though, I knew that I had found the perfect fit for that empty frame!

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Sprinkled Joy is an Etsy shop that specializes in customizable prints and printables that are perfect for every room in the house or for any occasion.  There are a number of prints for family reunions, weddings, anniversaries, baby shower, birthdays, etc. that could then be framed and hung in a bedroom, living room, family room, or nursery.  I love that there is literally something for everyone in this shop — all customizable at an amazing price with a quick turnaround time.

One of my favorite parts of working with Sprinkled Joy over the past few weeks has been my interaction with Sarah, the shop owner.   She has been quick to respond to my messages, to update me with changes along the way, and to allow me the chance to make changes to my proof.  If you’re looking for someone who will ensure that your customizable products looks exactly the way you want it, I would highly recommend Sarah at Sprinkled Joy!

Sarah tells us on her About Us page: “In January 2012 I put some products up and people began buying them – I was shocked, and super flattered. From there Sprinkled Joy has grown beyond any expectations I initially had and has some regular customers and many new happy ones. I always love it when I can create something that has been personalized especially for someone and hope that my designs can bring an extra measure of joy into people’s lives.”

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The Original Famous Couples Subway 8×10 Print

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Newborn Stats Birth Announcement, Size 4×8

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ABC Name Print – Customizable

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Family Tree for Large Families

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Important Places, Tell Your Story in Longitude & Latitude

**This is the print I worked on with Sarah to create, and I could not have been more pleased with the outcome!!  I especially loved the idea of creating a print of these important places because my husband and I met in Okinawa, Japan, which is where we had our first date and where my husband proposed.  The interesting thing, though, is that we discovered a few weeks into our dating that we had both lived about a mile away from each other in a little town in Utah for about eight years!  My husband’s family moved to Washington state about the same time that we moved overseas, but our family would fly through Seattle during our summer trips back to visit grandparents.  We’ve loved how these places have forever changed our lives!

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Are you already imagining one of these prints on your wall??  Enter below to win on 8×10 print of your choice from Sprinkled Joy!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be  drawn no later than the evening of August 31st and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Sprinkled Joy, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

Hotslings Adjustable Pouch Carrier {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

The other day at the commissary (on-base grocery store), I was getting the boys into the special rocket cart that has seatbelts and steering wheels for two kids, and I started thinking about how this routine would have to change in the next several weeks when Baby Boy #3 arrives.  My four-year-old has been dying to use one of the carts that has room for four children and stretches out  about 12 feet, but I absolutely refuse to attempt pushing that massive thing through the store — in all honesty, I’m not exactly sure that I even could push that massive thing through the store. 

In thinking of how I could still use this special rocket cart (which also has an upper basket part and a lower basket part — my favorite for keeping produce and bread from being smashed by cereal boxes and meat!), I determined that I’d have to break down and get some sort of carrier or sling to wear the baby on me.  I’ve tried a couple over the past few years, but I always feel like I’m not wearing it correctly or like I have way too much fabric wrapped around my body. 

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I discovered the Hotslings website after quite a bit of searching through all the options available, and I figured that it had all the makings for a successful baby-wearing experience for me: not too much fabric, the ability to adjust sizes, and choices for wearing the baby in different positions.  And, the bonus?  Super classy and stylish designs! 

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My initial thought was how much I loved the compact size of the Hotslings Adjustable Pouch Carrier — the entire carrier fit snugly inside a cute case that can also be used to hold a wipe container and 1-2 diapers.  I received the Silhouette design, and I like the versatility of the pattern along with the practicality of not showing every single stain or mark that may get on the fabric.  It was easy to adjust and easy to shift into new positions.  I love it!

Semi-Reclined / Cradle Carry (8 lbs to 4 months)

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Front Carry (2 to 8 months)

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Hip Carry (6 to 8 months and up)

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Hotslings can be found on Zulily this week, and you can enter below to win a Hotslings Adjustable Pouch Carrier in your choice of design!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the evening of Saturday, August 3rd, and emailed within 24 hours.   If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Hotslings, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

Lorex Sweet Peek Video Baby Monitor {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

About a month ago, our (locked!) house (in a very safe neighborhood!) was broken into during the day while my husband was at work and the boys and I were running errands.  I came home in the afternoon, sent the boys in the house to get their shoes off, and started getting the groceries out of the van.  I walked in the door to find our safe completely broken open in the front room with the documents strewn around, a couple of pictures knocked off the wall, and the back door still partially open.  The boys and I were back in the van and down the street at a friend’s house within record time, and the police responded to my call within minutes.

We got a phone call a couple of weeks later from the detective, who said that they caught the person and had our items back.  I was honestly shocked to have gotten that phone call since I thought it was a long shot that anything would be returned!  We’ve made a few changes at our house, though, including installing a home security system, and we’ve had LOTS of conversations about it with our four-year-old who is still trying to process what happened and, more importantly to him, why it happened.

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In preparation for baby number three to come in the next several weeks, I was thrilled to have the chance to review a video baby monitor from Lorex Baby — especially after this experience!  We actually have never owned a baby monitor because I couldn’t imagine that it really would put me at ease; I never feel like I’m able to hear anything on those monitors, outside of shrieks and cries that I can hear just fine without one.  A video monitor, though, is a different story.  I like the idea of being able to actually see that my baby is snug in his bed without blankets over his face or in places that could potentially cause strangulation.

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We were sent the Lorex Sweet Peek digital baby monitor with a wireless camera, and I have to say that my husband has probably had more fun with this item that I ever imagined someone could!  Immediately after he had it opened and set up, he and the boys spend a good part of the afternoon going in to the room to dance/play/tell jokes/whatever while the others watched on the monitor.  They loved being able to turn on the light and the lullaby music, and they played a rousing game of “walkie-talkies” with the two way talk feature.  🙂

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The Sweet Peek includes:

2.4″ Portable LCD Monitor… so you can hold your little one comfortably in the palm of your hand. Enjoy bright, crisp vision by day and night.

Crystal Clear Night Vision… the clearest black and white picture let’s you see every little move they make, even when it’s lights out!

Digital Zoom… use this super function when all you need is a closer look.

Two-Way Talk… while you catch up on emails in the home office, sing your baby to sleep using the monitor’s high-sensitivity microphone.

Soothing Lullabies… classic pre-set lullabies will rock your baby to sleep in no time.

Built-In Nightlight… the wireless camera has a built-in nightlight to softly illuminate the room and help your baby relax into a sweet sleep.

Crisp Sound… you won’t miss a beat when you can tune in to every baby breath.

450 ft Outdoor Wireless Range… this feature ensures that your family is always in the comfort zone.

Accommodates up to 4 Cameras… tots, toddlers and tweens. As your family grows, add three additional wireless cameras and keep an eye on everyone.

Up to 8 Hours of Battery Life… with the power to go all day and all night, you will always have a reliable pair of eyes and ears in the nursery or playroom.

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One Dandy reader will win a Lorex Sweet Peek video baby monitor from Lorex Baby!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries  only.

** The winner of this giveaway will  be posted  no later than the morning of  Wednesday, July 31st,  and emailed within 24 hours.   If the winner  does not respond within  48 hours, a new winner  will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway  were sponsored by Lorex Baby, but all opinions are strictly my own.

MyLittleSeat {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Growing up, my dad worked a completely consistent schedule and was home by 4:30 p.m. every night, which allowed our family the opportunity to eat dinner together almost every single night.  Even during my high school years when we’d all be running in opposite directions, I think we did a pretty good job of having as many of us at the dinner table as possible, and I can’t remember even one time that any of us ate dinner in our own rooms.  (I do, however, have incredibly fond memories of our Chili’s takeout dinners on Friday nights in front of the TV watching Survivor and The Apprentice!)

My husband’s schedule, while consistent, doesn’t mean that we have the option of eating dinner together every night, but we do try to eat at least one (and usually two!) meals together as a family everyday.  As parents of young boys, though, these meals can be highly exhausting!  Both of my boys are good eaters, but they can get active and it’s rare to have both of them actually sit at the table through the entire meal without a number of reminders.  In fact, just the other day, I mentioned to both of them that I was planning to put seatbelts on their chairs so that they would stay in one place and finish eating!

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Well, these products from MyLittleSeat are even better than my idea of having seatbelts installed on our chairs — this sling style travel high chair allows for any chair to become a high chair safe enough for young children!  These seats can be used in your own homes, at friends’ houses (whether they have children or not), in restaurants, and on vacation.  They have the cutest designs for their sturdy fabric, and the best part is that fold down into a matching compact travel bag that is just larger than the size of a diaper and wipes container!

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“Determined not to “go back to work” as a result of the love affair that comes with having a baby [founder Stephanie Collins] set about finding something creative to do from home-preferably only during nap time.  Being new parents who travel quite often, and overwhelmed with all the additional baggage necessary while traveling with an infant, Stephanie and her husband would often secure their baby to a seat for meals with whatever was on hand (initially using a sarong while in a coffee shop at the airport). With inspiration from her grandmother who used to secure her children to adult chairs using towels, she made multiple trial versions of a compact, fabric, baby sling style harness that secures an infant to an adult chair – and after lots of trials and experimentation, mylittleseat was born!”

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We have loved to try our MyLittleSeat travel high chair on my two year old (who, admittedly, is on the smaller side but fits comfortably), but I’m very excited to use this next year when we’re in a new country with an infant!  We have lots of travel plans, and this product will work perfectly to safely keep our youngest addition upright and restrained without much inconvenience or prior thinking.

One Dandy reader will win a MyLittleSeat travel high chair, in any design!  Enter below to win!

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning of Saturday, July 27th, and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by MyLittleSeat, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

Mommy Time {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I can remember the first night we came home with our first little boy from the hospital.  He had been in the NICU for a week since he was born a month early, so our transition into parenthood was a bit choppy to say the very least.  We made the hour-long drive home up the long, windy hill with speeds that were incredibly too fast for our new baby, and we got settled back into our home as a little family.  About an hour after we got back, my husband left to go pick up our dogs who had been staying at a friend’s house while we were gone, and I was scared out of my mind.  What would I do if my baby boy cried??  What if he needed something, and I couldn’t figure out what do to??  What if he stopped breathing??

In the end, I sat on the floor holding my bundle of joy and watched The Biggest Loser for the first time.  I was petrified and couldn’t come up with anything better to do than just sit there and hold him.  I still have fond memories of that moment, even though I was scared and lonely and so completely overwhelmed with my new life.

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The book Mommy Time by Sarah Arthur came at the perfect time for me, as I’m prepping myself for the thought of being a “new” mom again.  Mommy Time is a compilation of 90 daily devotionals, all focusing on different parts of motherhood.  Each of the daily devotionals gives great insight to the role and calling of being a mother, and most include personal experiences from the author (always my favorite!) as well as a scripture or spiritual connection.  Many times I was crying from being able to so completely relate to the exhaustion or the feelings of inadequacy that come from being a first-time mom, and other times I was crying from laughter.

I read this book over the course of a couple of days, but I could imagine one sitting down and finishing it at one time or taking a full 90 days (or longer!) to enjoy each piece of writing.  This book would be an excellent book for those who are preparing for motherhood or are in the throes of motherhood already; it would also make the perfect baby shower gift to give to a friend or family member.

**I received this book to review from the Tyndale Blog Network, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Q&A with author, Sarah Arthur:

 What is your hope for this book, Mommy Time? One of the best ways I’ve found to stay balanced during the crazy transition of motherhood has been to talk with other moms. And that’s what I hope this book is: a conversation, a story, one new mom sharing with other new moms what God is doing in her life. In that sense it’s less a devotional book than a memoir, or maybe a devotional memoir, tracking my spiritual reflections during the first three months of my son’s life.

Tell me about the personal experience(s) that prompted you to write such a book. As a new mom, I felt totally overwhelmed by bringing a human being into our lives, not to mention all my bodily changes and the relentlessness of caregiving. Yes, there are lots of joys! But motherhood is hard. I thought it was important to be honest about that. So often Christians are tempted to sugarcoat their experience and cover it up with sentimentality. I wanted to open up a space for other moms to acknowledge their experience and say, “God is okay with the fact that I’m having a hard time. And God is here.”

How do you carve out time to spend in God’s Word in your busy life? I’ll be honest, whatever pattern of “quiet time” many Christians idealize was not invented by new moms. There have been seasons in my life when I deeply, intensely studied Scripture— through Bible classes in college, getting a master’s degree in theology, reading certain books, and attending certain small groups. But during this new season, I have had to draw from the well of those experiences rather than carve out new ones. I have had to tell myself, “Holding this child is what God has for me right now.” If I can free up one arm so that I can read a good devotional book, even better.

How did you write this book as a busy new mom? Why was it important for you to do so? A major shout-out to my husband and my son’s grandparents: I could not have written this book without them. When Micah was tiny, I didn’t write a thing. But writing is in my blood, in my bones. It’s one of the ways I connect with God. So in those early days, I couldn’t help thinking, “I’ve got to remember this moment, this thought. I need to write it down someday.” Once we finally settled into a routine, and I had childcare lined up, the writing began—and so did the opportunity to breathe, to spend time in God’s presence. It was a gift.

God is in control. Why is this truth so important for new moms? We live in a culture of fear: fear for our kids’ safety, fear that we won’t measure up as parents, fear that our children will flunk life, etc. And retailers prey on that fear. So we are surrounded by magazines and books and websites that try to sell us things to give us a false feeling of control. But the truth is, every day I have to unclench my fist and release Micah into the care of the One who made him in the first place. And that’s hard. But if I can practice it now, I can do it when Micah walks out the door with the car keys. Hopefully.

What encouragement would you provide to the new mom who is overwhelmed and feeling lost? You are not alone. Lots of moms, including me, fall into the trap of presenting ourselves as totally together—which just perpetuates that feeling of isolation, like you’re the only one flunking motherhood. But we are all there, sister. I’m sitting here at my laptop unshowered with no idea what to make for dinner tonight, checking my phone fifty-seven times a minute to make sure Micah’s day care isn’t texting me about some crisis. So we’re in this together. And meanwhile, we have a God who holds us and our children in the palm of his hand, who isn’t particularly concerned that the same load of laundry has been in the washer for three days. We rest in grace.

In your book, you say that “motherhood is itself a spiritual discipline.” What do you mean by this? Christians often talk about certain spiritual actions or practices that bring us into the presence of God, that deepen our relationship with Jesus. We talk about Bible study, prayer, worship, serving others, etc. But through motherhood, I’ve realized that we can also seek God in the everyday ordinariness of caregiving. The working class, the poor, the enslaved, and illiterate Christians have been doing this for centuries without ten minutes each morning to pray or read Scripture. It is not beneath us to pray while folding laundry. In fact, there is a sense in which having such focus requires more discipline. If we let God in, motherhood can help us grow stronger spiritual muscles and become more like Jesus.

You endeavor to help moms cultivate “awareness of God’s presence in the small things, in the daily tasks of caring for infants.” Can you provide an example of this? It was my husband who began praying for my son’s body while giving him a bottle—since there isn’t much else to do besides sit there. He prays for Micah’s little feet, that he will stand strong in the Lord; for his legs, that he will walk with Jesus all his days; for his stomach, that he will “feed” on God’s Word; etc.—all the way up. Rather than texting or talking on the phone or checking Facebook, we can take those moments and turn our thoughts toward God.

In your book, you say that the idea of being a new mother “both exhilarates and terrifies me.” Can you explain what you mean by this? Motherhood is exhilarating because it’s a new adventure, a new challenge (for those who like such things), a chance to do something deeply and eternally meaningful. But it’s also terrifying—for all those same reasons. Adventures are difficult. They hurt, they change us, and not always for the better. And what if we mess things up? A whole new generation of humans will have us to thank for their years of therapy. But even deeper, there’s the reality of loss. We don’t want to look down the years (or sooner) and see the inevitable goodbye. And yet we have a God who, as a Parent, knows all those joys and heartbreaks.

As a new mom, what is the best advice or encouragement that you have received? Go easy on yourself. Nobody cares that you haven’t showered. Really. And if they do, hand them the baby and say, “Thank you for helping.” Then soak in the tub for a long, long time. Because someday soon our kids will start to pick up on the fact that we really don’t mean it when we claim God is in control. But he is.

Uncommon Goods {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I remember my mom telling me when I was in high school that it was incredibly difficult to find gifts for me, which surprised me!  I’ve always looked forward to all holidays and special occasions and haven’t ever been disappointed in gifts that I had received.  Thinking more about it, though, I don’t think that it’s because I have incredibly high expectations for gifts or because there’s just one gift that I have to have — rather, I’m pretty practical when I purchase items and I’m not very sentimental.  I suppose that that combination had made it difficult to find something that I would appreciate or would even keep for very long.

I realize now that one of the reasons that I had never really thought about it before was because my mom has always been such a good gift-giver!   She does the most amazing job of putting together fun, small packages to send to my boys every holiday, and she’s the aunt/sister/cousin/visiting teacher who not only remembers your birthday but also has a card and thoughtful gift in your mailbox or on your doorstep just in time for your special day.  I, unfortunately, did not inherit that innate ability to show my love and appreciation through thoughtful gifts, so it has taken me a little longer to learn the ropes.

On Mother’s Day this year, I woke up to find the sweetest letters written to me by my husband and my two boys, and they did such a great job of showering me with their love that I knew I wanted to make Father’s Day just as special for my husband and father/father-in-law.  If you’re like me and need a little extra help in the gift-giving department, then I would highly recommend starting your search at Uncommon Goods!

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Uncommon Goods features a variety of items for gifting for all ages, all price ranges, and all reasons!  You can search through their large inventory by category, but my favorite search link is the “Occasions” tab that will open up a number of choices ranging from more common gift-giving ones (birthday, baby shower, anniversary) to ones that my mom thinks of ahead of time and I don’t think about until after the fact when it’s too late (graduation and housewarming).

And then, if you still need more help finding that perfect gift, each of the Occasions is split further into more specific categories!  Since Father’s Day is on my mind, I spent most of my time there — they split it further into Gifts for Dad, Gifts for Grandfather, and Gifts for New Dad.  Here are some of my favorites from their Father’s Day gift selection:

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World Scratch Map

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Guitar Pick Punch

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Working Man’s Hygiene Kit

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Dad Infinite Joy Personalized Art

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Travel Chef BBQ Set

Enter below to win a $50 Gift Certificate to use at Uncommon Goods for your next gift-giving occasion!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the  morning of June 7th and will be emailed within  24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a  new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Uncommon Goods, but all opinions are strictly my own.

MarlMarl {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I have a picture of my oldest son when he’s about six months old sitting in his Bumbo seat eating pureed green beans, and he was wearing a white long-sleeved onesie.  You’d think that those green beans would be all down the front of him, right?  No way.  He is the cleanest eater I have ever known — we never needed a bib and could feed him on the go with a spoon in the most awkward of positions.  Fast forward another two or three years to another picture of him at Easter eating a melting chocolate bunny outside in the sun wearing his adorable three piece Easter suit.  And, again, no chocolate anywhere on his clothes — just a little on his cheek.

Well, his little brother has more than made up for that.

Our now-two-year-old still requires a bib for some foods (spaghetti, applesauce, etc.) and can make the biggest mess out of what I would think to be the cleanest foods (fruit snacks, maybe??).  This review was perfect for him!

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We were sent this absolutely adorable “Garcon” feeder apron from MarlMarl, suitable for children ages 0-3.  The snaps in the back are easy to attach but more difficult for kids to remove, and my favorite part is the extra material at the bottom that catches whatever might land in their laps.  My little boy put it on as soon as I showed it to him, and then proceeded to leave it on to play for the rest of the afternoon!  While he used it for a “dress-up” piece and brought us food as a waiter, it easily could be used in more formal atmospheres to keep clean while not catching the attention of others in the room.

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And, frankly, the beautiful Bouquet Rose Pink style for girls to wear could just about be an outfit in and of itself!

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MarlMarl also offers bib sets for boys and girls that come in a striped gift box with a greeting card for birthdays or baby showers.

bib_boy_set_1Macaron Boy Bib Gift Set

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Marche Girl Bib Gift Set

Personalization is also available to give an extra special touch to these bibs and to set them apart even more.

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Online store / Facebook / Blog

**This posting was sponsored by MarlMarl, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

 

Jacks and Roxanne {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I really love living in a small town and especially love the sense of community, and I admit that I can get a little over-excited when I think about community workers — there’s just something about the idea of each person having a specific job or role that contributes to helping other people.  I think that the mail service is ingenious, and I’m almost more excited about seeing the garbage/recycle truck each week than my two year old is.  Teachers and police officers are saints, and I love feeling like I’m doing some good by pulling over to the side of the road while the fire engine and ambulance go roaring by.  I’m so grateful for doctors during our well-baby visits and during our sick-baby visits, and I can’t imagine what I would do without our trusty Shell Oil station nearby to change the oil on our vehicles every few months.

I feel this same way about skills and talents, and I know that mine are to teach piano lessons and comma splices.  I love that there are people who like to cook delicious meals, create amazing cakes, clean and organize homes, and sew beautiful creations.  Mostly, though, I love these people because then I can focus on teaching piano lessons and comma splices in exchange for their services.  🙂

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 The creators of Jacks and Roxanne are two of those women who have amazing talents and skills related to sewing and crafting, and their creations are perfect for moms-to-be and young children.

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 My favorite item in their shop is the customizable, hand-painted Maternity Shirt that announces when your baby is due!  Gone are the days of being told that the baby should be coming any day now (when you’re only in your second trimester) or having questioning stares as to if you’re really pregnant or if you just ate a little too much.  These are perfect for maternity pictures, and I love the simplicity of the font that keeps these shirts looking classy.

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After baby comes, this Monthly Onesie Set is the perfect way to see the baby grow each month and to document the changes that take place.  You can choose different colors for the onesies, along with the fabric for the numbers and whether or not you’d like the name included.  These are a great baby shower gift for a friend or family member!

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 Jacks and Roxanne also offers other adorable onesies with appliqued designs, like this Baby Chick Easter Onesie that is perfect for springtime in general!

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They also offer larger sizes with appliqued designs, like this Striped Airplane Toddler T-Shirt with, hands down, the cutest model.  🙂

I know that it’s baby season on my Facebook News Feed right now, and I can imagine it would be about the same for you!  If you’re looking for a fun, personalized gift for someone you know is expecting or are looking for something special for yourself, head over to Jacks and Roxanne!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of April 26th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Jacks and Roxanne, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

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