Archive for October, 2010

October 29, 2010

>trick or tweet blog hop

>Hadley was almost four months her first Halloween. We were given a couple of hand-me-downs that we stuffed her in, laughed hard because of the look on her face and snapped a picture:

And then I picked up a cat costume from Old Navy for $5.

I took this great picture, stripped it off her because it was 90 degree day. And never put it back on her because we didn’t get any trick or treaters.

Last year was different.

She was the cutest duck. EVER!

And we got a couple of wears out of it.

This year, Hadley had an opinion on a Halloween costume. A fairy, princess, ballerina. She’s worn the costume a lot already and is looking forward to the weekend.

Share your trick or treat stories with Cole’s First Blog by joining the blog hop.

October 27, 2010

>a new chapter

>Yesterday, the wind blew in. Just as I was thinking fall really didn’t feel much different in Minnesota than in California. Except for the fall colors, of course. But the wind came. And the clouds came. And the cool air came.

This morning, I flipped on our front porch light in anticipation and I was not let down. This morning, I watched snow flurries flutter to the ground, melting upon contact. And then I was reminded… I am not in California any more.

And while the weather is one clear marker in this huge change we’ve made in our lives, there are so many other larger changes. We left our friends. My family. Our support system. We put faith in the notion that all those that are important to us in California will still be there, just a little further away.

We uprooted our family from the things we’ve known and were comfortable with to move to a place we really don’t know, but believe that we can do better for our family there.

I’ve stretched my comfort levels and reached out to new people in hopes of making new friends. Longing for adult conversations and other children for my kids to play with. When that introverted person started to crop up, I pushed through into the uncomfortable to do this.

And our efforts have paid off…

Not only have I met some very nice women with kids Hadley’s age that I get along with, we have in fact already started doing better for our family. Financially, things are much easier. We have a home that is our home. A place where our kids can grow up. Meet friends. Attend school.

So, in essence, those snow flurries this morning remind me that we have in fact turned into a new phase of life. A much more grounded phase. Stable phase.

It’s the time of our lives…

October 27, 2010

>wordless wednesday: I’m 7 months old

>

October 26, 2010

>and the winners are…

>First of all, THANK YOU for stopping by my blog and entering this wonderful giveaway. It was the most successful giveaway thus far with 123 entries.

Second, A HUGE THANK YOU to the wonderful people at Simplisse for developing such a wonderful product, sharing it with me and with my readers. I wish I knew of this product when I was having my first baby.

NEXT, the winners of the Simplisse Manual Breast Pump are (selected at random using Random.org):

#30 – Michelle S.
#91 – Jennifer (Organic Mama)
#16 – Lindsey F.

Please watch for an email from me regarding your prize.

Finally, we have 25 Simplisse Sample Packs to give out to those who entered. These people will be selected at random and sent an email with a form (Google doc) to fill out to provide mailing information. Please watch your emails for this.

Congratulations!

Stop by next Monday for another great giveaway!

October 25, 2010

>’tis the season

>That’s right… Halloween is next weekend, which means we start to go almost full force into the Christmas season. Many start their holiday shopping. Get Christmas photos taken. Have holiday cards designed. The season is most certainly upon us… 


I was never a Christmas cards shopper. Until I had children. It seems like it’s the right time to send out pictures to friends and family whom don’t get to see quarterly photos because, well, I am just that lazy (or as I like to believe, busy – I have two under two!). So I take a little time to find just the right holiday photo cards that best represents our family.


Shutterfly has an AMAZING amount of holiday cards, there is sure to be something to fit your needs, whatever holiday you celebrate. And they are SUPER AFFORDABLE! (Big hurray sounding out over here). Check out some of my favorites:


I love the Snow Flurries Cocoa holiday card. I love the brown tones and the three panels for photos, wonderful when you have two kids to feature and a family. I also love that it’s a “HAPPY HOLIDAY’S” card versus a “MERRY CHRISTMAS” card. While we are not religious, we do celebrate Christmas, but like to wish those in our network who do not celebrate Christmas a happy holiday. It’s just something we strive for.



The Holiday Windows card is to die for. Maybe because they picked the most beautiful picture to display in it and my heart is partial because I have two little girls. But I love the simplicity and the option to display a photo of my girls together.

I also am in love with the What a Year card. I love that it allows for three photos and a quick snippit of text to share with folks the highlights of your year. What a wonderful way to share, without having to send an extra piece of paper or write a note on the back.
Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
October 21, 2010

>the quiet girl

>Today’s post is part of Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop. The prompt is to write about how you were labeled as a child. If you’d like to participate, click on the button below to sign up to receive the weekly prompts and to link up your post.

Mama's Losin' It

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I was always deemed the “quiet girl” because, well, I was just that. Quiet. I didn’t yell and scream on the play ground or raise my hand often in class. I followed the rules. Enjoyed my alone time. And I often burried my head in books. I was up for “Quietest Senior,” but someone else quieter beat me.
It was my nature. It still is.
Well, I don’t get much alone time anymore and I don’t burry my head in books anymore. More like baby diapers. But you get what I’m saying.
Most people interpreted my “quiet” nature as shy. But I wasn’t shy. When I had something I felt merited saying, I said it. And maybe this part of my nature has improved as I have aged.
My dad used to worry that people would think I was stuck-up because I was so quiet. I really don’t know if people felt this of me. I’d like to think no, but I suppose it’s possible.
But the biggest thing with my introverted nature is that people will stop me in public when I am happily lost in my thoughts and ask “Why are you so angry?” I’m not angry, folks, just lost in my own thoughts and not walking around with a smile on my face.
Does everybody else in the world walk around with a smile plastered to their face? At all times?
Personally, I find this comment quite annoying, but it’s been a chronic comment. My. Whole. Life.
I’m the quiet girl. I tend to be introverted and sensitive. I used to hate it, but I’ve learned to embrace it. It’s who I am.
What were you labeled as a child?

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Be sure to check out my current giveaway, a Simplisse Breast Pump. There will be three breast pumps given away at random, and 25 sample packs given away at random.

October 20, 2010

>wordless wednesday: a new tradition

>Last week the girls and I took off on a little road trip. Our last stop was in Osceola Wisconsin to ride the pumpkin train. I think we’ve started a new tradition.

Be sure to check out my current giveaway, a Simplisse Breast Pump. There will be three breast pumps given away at random, and 25 sample packs given away at random.

October 19, 2010

>and the winner is… (sweet olivia)

>Using Random.org to randomly select a winner, Noreen’s comment (number 8) was selected. Congratulations Noreen! I will be in touch via email with the details of your prize.

Thank you to Jennifer at Sweet Olivia for providing such a wonderful giveaway item.

Be sure to check out my current giveaway, a Simplisse Breast Pump. There will be three breast pumps given away at random, and 25 sample packs given away at random.

October 18, 2010

>must have monday: simplisse breast pump review & giveaway

>Let’s talk boobs! In the sense of breast feeding, that is. 


I’ve been nursing (with a five month break) since summer of 2008 when Hadley arrived. And it can be frustrating in the beginning. Even with baby number two. Learning how to nurse your baby. Your baby is learning how to nurse. Your nipples get cracked and bloody. And some of us lucky folks get mastitis, which is just the best thing ever!

And during this frustrating time (and for many of us for several months after) we have to pump our breasts. Which may just be up on the top of the list with mastitis. Not only is it time consuming when you have just delivered a slimy blob of joy who cries every two hours to eat, but wont latch onto your breast. but it can be rather painful on tender nipples that aren’t yet broken in. The hard nipple cups pinch and the suction feels like it’s going to pull your stomach out of your nipples.

So when I heard from Simplisse about their “comfortable” breast pumps, I had to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. Developed by a team of lactation consultants and mom’s, Simplisse’s patented “Super Soft Baby Face Flexible Breast Cups” conform to mom’s breast and are designed to mimic how baby would nurse, minimizing pinching and tugging.

They mailed me their manual breast pump companion to give a go. I’ve never used one, but there are occasions I wish I had one to just make myself more “comfortable” in between feeds or while weaning. I decided to try the pump while Hadley was playing in the tub. And while it was certainly a longer process (and more laborious) just because it’s a manual pump, it was incredibly comfortable. Honestly, I thought it was too comfortable to be true and it wasn’t going to work, but a couple minutes into the pumping, my milk came and, believe it or not, MY NIPPLES DIDN’T HURT! I wish this product was available when I was getting ready for Hadley’s arrival because I would have jumped on their double electric pump (maybe I will)!

Here’s the super cool part (listen up lactating mom’s and mom’s to be):

The nice people over at Simplisse are giving three (3) of my readers a manual breast pump companion! Did you read that, 3 PEOPLE WILL WIN A BREAST PUMP! 

Plus, 25 people who enter will be selected at random to receive a Simplisse Sample Pack that includes a selection of their line of breast milk storage bags, disposable breast pads and a sample size nipple cream.


Here’s what you have to do to enter: 

Visit Simplisse’s website and comment with a link to another product you would like from their breast feeding collection. Easy, right?

For those of you who really, REALLY want a breast pump, here are some more things you can do for additional entries:

* Follow @MinimalMom on Twitter for one additional entry. If you already follow, lucky you! All you have to do is comment here. Be sure to leave a comment with your Twitter handle (and I’ll be sure to follow you back).

* Like Minimal Mom on Facebook for one additional entry. If you already like, lucky you! All you have to do is comment here. Be sure to leave a comment with your Facebook name.

* Tweet the following: Win a Simplisse breast pump & sample pack @MinimalMom. #bfcafe #breastfeeding #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/29f6kjz You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Be sure to leave your Twitter handle in the comments section.


* Share the following on Facebook: Win a Simplisse breast pump from Minimal Mom! There will be 3 winners, and 25 will receive a Simplisse sample pack. http://tinyurl.com/29f6kjz You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments section.


Contest ends Monday October 25th, 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!


*Disclaimer: Simplisse provided a manual breast pump companion for me to try and provide an honest review, as well as breast pumps and sample packs for the giveaway. The opinions I provided are my own and I was not compensated for them.
October 15, 2010

>light a candle in memory and in honor

>I just learned of this very special, yet sad day. It made me take pause and being that I am approaching the 7 p.m. hour, I felt it only appropriate to dedicate this post in memory of children lost far too soon and in honor of those parents who mourn them.

The following is from JanasThinkingPlace.com and she describes the meaning of the day beautifully. Unfortunately, she has lost two children far to soon.

“Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In 2006, after years of pushing for it, the day was recognized by the House of Representatives. In 1988, President Reagan had declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But in my opinion, celebrating this day for ONE day is much easier for a parent who has lost a child than for the whole month.

The International Wave of Light is the simultaneous lighting of candles in memory of these babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss at 7pm in your local time zone tonight. The result is a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24 hour period. Just think about that for a minute. How beautiful!

So tonight at 7pm, wherever you are, light a candle or say a prayer (or do what you do) in memory of all babies who lost their lives far to soon and in honor of all the parents left behind to grieve the loss of dreams and bright futures for their children.”

Tonight, as the clock strikes 7 p.m., I dedicate this post to Jen, Raul and Baby Elise. My love and hugs to you always.