Winner: EcoStore Giveaway $25 e-gift certificate

Katie, the eco-gods have smiled upon you!  Your comment, “I would like the Cream Cleanser (Household), Coconut Soap (Bath & Body ), and the Rosemary Orange Shampoo (Hair),” was picked by Random.org and you are the winner of the $25 e-gift certificate!!

I will e-mail Katie tonight and if I have not heard back from her within 72 hours, a new winner will be picked.  Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway.  I hope you all come back!  Lots of good stuff is coming in the not so distant future!

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“Oh…so that’s what they’re for!”

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I couldn’t fathom nursing a baby.  Breasts were strictly an erotic weapon in my book but I agreed to nurse D for the first 6 months and pump milk to feed him via bottle as I didn’t want to hear it from my mother–in-law; a certified lactation consultant. 

It’s funny how you think you’ll know exactly how you’ll act and exactly what you’ll do before you push a tiny 7 lb. bundle out of your nether regions and drink in every ounce of their preciousness.  As soon as I saw D cuddle into my chest fresh from the womb, I was sold.  I nursed him then and I nursed him up until he self-weaned at 15 months, never using a bottle.  I occasionally got the sideways glance at a restaraunt or was the object of whispered conversations at the mall, but when D wanted to eat, I nursed, even if I was in the middle of watching Wedding Crashers at a movie theater between my husband and a large lumber jack type scarfing down nachos.  Overall, nursing D and taking him straight from the tap to a sippy cup was one of my finest parenting accomplishments.  With the stars having alligned so wonderfully for my first nursing experience, you can imagine how I eager I was to attempt my next great feat; nursing twins.

Let me tell you, I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve moved back to the midwest or because people are getting more nosey by the day but no one has sat back quietly as I’ve nursed our newest additions.  I have always used the gorgeous cover I bought from Hooter Hiders from when I was nursing D so it’s not like I’m sitting in public, nips flapping in the wind!  I nurse them one at a time amongst questions and unwanted suggestions.  My favorite was from a trip to the mall a few months ago:

Middle aged woman sitting in commons area shoving most of an Auntie Anne’s pretzel into her yap, some kind of dip dangling off the corner of her mouth:  “I see you’re (barely audible whisper) nursing.”

Sarah:  “Yep.  That I am.”

Middle aged woman, mouth completely full of pretzel:  “Well do you really think that’s appropriate?  I mean, we’re at a mall.”

Sarah, motioning to the woman’s 2nd pretzel:  “Well, yeah, I know but when you gotta eat you gotta eat, right?”

Woman:  “Well, yes, but in my day giving the illusion of revealing yourself was something reserved for  looser women, not mothers.”

Sarah:  “Wow, I wasn’t aware nursing was a form of harlottry.  I’ll have to share that with the hubby.  Maybe he’ll start to find the midnight nursing sessions sexy.”

Woman, disgusted look on her face:  “Hmm, yes, well I doubt he’d be very pleased if he knew his wife was shaking her goods around the mall for every other man to see.  Nothing’s sacred anymore in marriage, is it?”

Woman gets up and begins to walk off.

Sarah, calling after her, pissed beyond belief:  “Ya know, God intended these for nourishment, not so some dude could get his rocks off!”

Woman shudders and folds her arms, picks up the pace and is out of sight.

Sure, I caused a commotion, and C had even stopped nursing to watch his mommy defend his right to eat.  As I looked around, coming down off the adrenaline high that turning into a mama bear can give you, I realized more people were staring at me than I usually care for.  I began to regret raising my voice so loudly at big-mouth-double-pretzel-dip-lip until I gazed down at C who had happily latched back on and was once again enjoying his afternoon snack. 

*sigh*

I should have decked her.

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever gotten unwanted advice or suggestions from a stranger?  How about parents, in-laws, or even a care giver?  Lucky for you, twittermoms brought Care.com to my attention today.  Imagine finding a care giver for your child and not having to worry about what they think about you whipping your ta-tas out at the mall!  They also offer tutors, pet sitters, special needs caregivers, and housekeepers.  Right now, my  readers are eligible to receive 15% off a Care.com subscription with Promo Code: TWMOMS  Feel free to check it out and while you’re here, leave me your  ridiculous story in the comment section!

Giveaway: EcoStore USA $25 e-gift certificate (CLOSED)

Did you enjoy my review on EcoStore USA’s products?  Interested in getting your hands on some Citrus Spray Cleaner of your own?  EcoStore USA is offering up a $25 gift certificate to one of my readers so that you can make that happen! 

To enter, go to EcoStore’s site and leave me a comment here telling me which products from three different categories you would choose if you won.  This is the only way to enter!  Following me on twitter and other such flattery will be appreciated but not accepted as an extra entry and the winner will be chosen randomly.  Contest ends on February 13, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (EST)  The lucky winner will be announced on this blog and e-mailed.  If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, another winner will be chosen.  Good luck!

EcoStore USA

Have you heard of EcoStore USA?   Their eco friendly, plant-based household cleaning products are as effective as the leading supermarket brands, and their body and baby products are gentle on your skin.  I recently had the opportunity to try several of their products from their household and baby lines for a week so that I could review them for this site:

Baby Sleeptime Bath

With the gorgeous scent of lavendar and geranium, this gentle bath enhancer knocked my twin 8 mo. olds out for the evening and even sent my 3 yr. old into a relaxed state.  I was skeptical since we’ve tried similar products from Johnson & Johnson and California Baby and neither did what they claimed they would do.  This stuff, however, holds up its end of the bargain.  A single capful was all it took and my husband and I actually got an uninterrupted evening.  Priceless. 

Baby Body Wash

All three of my boys have sensitive skin and two have varying degrees of eczema.  I was very worried about using this wash on them as up until now the only cleanser that has avoided irritating their skin has been an expensive specialty soap made by Aveeno.  I am happy to report that after a week of use, this wash not only managed to get my boys clean but it also began to clear up a few of the drier eczema spots on one of my twins!

 

Pure Oxygen Whitener

This stuff gave oxyclean a run for its money and I can see why it’s the companies best seller!  Letting this stuff soak with a washer full of baby clothes that just faced the poo patrol twins (it was a really bad week!) was one of the smartest moves I made this week.  Every sleeper and onesie that I thought would be graced forever with the mark of a diaper explosion up the back was bright and stain free upon removal from the wash.  I also used this with our whites this past week and everything looked like it had been bleached bright again!     

Citrus Spray Cleaner

This all natural cleaner did wonders cleaning a multitude of surfaces.  It didn’t matter if I was scouring the sink top, the kitchen counters, my stove top, or my tile floors; everu time I used the spray I became increasingly impressed with how well it worked.  My favorite part about it was that there were no strong fumes just a great lemon-orange scent.  Being a mom of 3 small boys, this was such a nice perk since I didn’t have to worry about them breathing anything nasty in while they followed me (by foot or Sleepy Wrap) during my cleaning spree.

I’m not a “green mama” by any standards and I suppose the biggest reason is the very cost of it.  Do you know how expensive it is to turn yourself into an enviornmentally conscious human being let alone a family of 5?  It’s outrageous, especially for us single income folk!  Organic food, natural products, etc. are all so much more expensive than just buying the everyday fare I’m used to.  I’m happy to say though that EcoStore USA has realized that “it’s not easy being green” and have kept their prices down by safely super concentrating their formulas so that using a little goes a long way thereby ensuring the value of your hard earned dollar.

I know, it all sounds great, right?

Perhaps tomorrow you might have the chance get your hands on your own EcoStore products.  See you then!

Must Have Mondays: The Coolest Stuff and Toys for Moms and Boys

I love finding new things on the internet that I feel like I must have.  This is going to start being a regular feature every week starring a few items that I come across in my web surfing that I think other moms should most definitely know about.  So- I guess let’s kick off!

1.  Pot-tee Prize

 

Seriously, what a one stop shop great idea!  The kit comes with everything seen here:  

  • Guide – filled with tips and tricks to help both of you get through this big step
  • Sticker Chart and Cute Stickers
  • PoT-Tee Prizes – A variety of fun prizes in a canvas tote for your child to choose from
  • Diploma – Every graduation deserves a diploma, especially the switch from diapers to undies 

If only I had known about this when D was potty training!  I guess there’s always round two when we start guiding the twins toward a world without Pampers.

2.    The Slurp & Burp

If you’ve ever nursed, you know how some idiots can act.  My favorite is when I’m asked if I could, “Please do that in the bathroom.”  Oh yes, please, let me feed my infant in the same place people excrete bodily fluids.  This little beauty might stop people from being so offended at the site of something completely natural; a mother nourishing her baby the way God intended.  Not only does it allow you to discreetly nurse without having to wear those hideous nursing tops but it comes in some pretty cute patterns, too.  Bonus perk:  a sewn on burp cloth.

3.  Time Out Pad

 

This has to be, by far, the newest thing at the top of my “Must Buy Soon” list.  Keen Distrubution makes this great time out pad that makes it easy for even the tiniest offender to understand the concept of “time out.” 

Whenever you need to use it, you simply set the timer to the appropriate length and seat him (or her) on the pressure sensitive mat.  If the child gets up before the end of the programmed time, an alarm sounds to alert you and the countdown pauses until the child is seated once again.  Once the full time-out countdown has elapsed, a finish tune is played to let everyone know that the session has ended.  Then the apologies and hugs can commence and life goes on with a wiser child….right?

Mommy time

Tonight was one of those nights.

Cold temperatures, more snow, cabin fever, and three boys with more energy than AEP finally pushed mommy over the edge.

“I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!” I frantically told my husband while he was on his way home from work.

I’m sure I’m not the only SAHM who is under the impression that they are supposed to be the indisposable super woman at all times. Laundry clean and folded? Check. Dinner on the table when hubby gets home? Check. Children clean, fed, and into their pajamas by 7:30? No problem.  Hubby wants a little “night time delight” after I’ve had three small boys crawling all over me all day and I’m tired as hell because I’ve had to chase kids AND try to catch up on housework? Get over here, tiger!
Wouldn’t it be nice if it just worked out that way? Unfortunately, it doesn’t. You have days like I did today (and have for almost five days consecutively); at any given time I’m putting one baby down for a nap, feeding the other, informing my oldest that going through life with one hand down the front of his pants is not an option, or dealing with all three of them wanting to be paid attention to at the same time.  Housework gets pushed to the side, a pile of whites (oh, hell, let’s be honest…whites, darks, jeans, reds, and towels) sits on the couch in an unfolded mound, and dinner gets on the table late and slightly over cooked because one of the twins still has a hair trigger that shoots if you take longer than the alotted 3 seconds to get a fresh diaper on his heiny and today my cat-like reflexes weren’t their sharpest.

So what do you do?  How do you get yourself back into enjoying the job of raising your family and taking care of your home?  I personally get out for a few hours to recharge the batteries.  I grab a Starbucks, go to Borders, and revel in the deliciousness that only trashy tabloid magazines can bring.  On a regular basis, I don’t care who’s wearing what or who’s doing whom.  But on night’s like tonight, it’s all I care about.  It’s surprising how a triple shot and a couple of hours of reading all about how Miley Cyrus is slutting it up with an older man can make me want to go home, kiss my babies, and go to bed happily knowing that I’m going to wake up and live the same interesting mess all over again. 

Whatever you do to bring youself back to peace with sweeping and wiping butts for a living for no pay, remember to take that time for yourself and to revel in it.  Too many times moms forget to make themselves happy because they get so lost in trying to keep everyone else in their home smiling.  If you’re miserable, what good are you to your children?

If you dig organics…

Earth's BestI don’t feed my boys organic food all the time, but if I can get my hands on it for cheap I’ll buy it.  Amazon currently has a pretty killer promotion going on for qualifying Earth’s Best products.  Purchase any product and earn 15% savings by entering EARTHBE3 at checkout.  Save an extra 15% if you click on the Subscribe & Save (which, of course, you can cancel at any time).  That’s an extra 30% off!

Example:  Purchase any of the variety packs of 2nd stage Earth’s Best baby food for $11.20.  After entering the code and the Subscribe & Save discount, you end up paying $7.84 for 12 jars or $0.65/jar.  Even better, the 1st foods come in a 24 jar package for $14.72.  After discounts, you’re getting 24 jars for $10.30; about $0.43/jar.  Pretty decent considering I pay about ten cents more per jar at my Target! 

Fantastic February

This is quite possibly going to be the busiest and most challenging month in quite some time. I’m taking on way too much way too fast. Let’s see if I make it!

I am going to attempt to cross off several things off of my giant to-do list.  And by several I mean why am I doing this to myself?  Kicking off February 1st, I’ll be implementing a new schedule into my daily life and working out every morning at 6 sharp so I can get rid of the extra ass that’s taken to following me around.  Look for lots of posts about my new zest for organization, eating like a rabbit, and working out with a giant smile plastered on my face because being out of shape and out of breath is fun!!!

Also, this month you can look forward to a professionally designed blog courtesy of Hannah at Sherbet Blossom and some new ideas popping up here and there.  If you haven’t had your blog designed yet or just need a face lift, I strongly recommend her.  Just look at her work here, here, and here.  Seriously, I love what she does! 

Lastly, and most exciting, I’m hosting my first giveaway and posting my first official review under Queen Mommy.  I’m currently trying out some products from a great new store, EcoStoreUSA, and will have a review on them shortly.  They have generously agreed to host a giveaway on my blog so soon we’ll have a $25 e-certificate to their online store up for grabs.  Stay tuned!  This should be one hell of a month!

Achieving Balance as a SAHM

Ever have one of those days where you feel like you can’t do a damn thing right? 

Today is one of those for me.

The house is in upheaval, I have way too much to accomplish, and I’m starting to feel like I never get enough quality time with my boys even though I’m at home with them all day. 

Desperate for some kind of answer, I googled for it.  I don’t cope very well with stress so almost anything that’s swamping me gets googled.  You’d think that if something was getting a little overwhelming that you’d try like hell to get on top of it and make it seem not so bad.  Not me!  I go into some kind of horrific paralysis and start to fret about never being able to get anything done and how my day is ruined.  I know, completely productive, right?  Joy of joys, I come across an article by none other than one of my favorite moms, Tsh.  I found some of the best advice I’ve ever read about finding a daily balance in your life between your home and your children and at this moment, it was exactly what I needed to hear. 

An Article by Tsh @ SimpleMom:  The Daily Balance of Parenting & Housework: Four Useful Reminders

1.  Let go of perfection.

I’ve written already about how perfectionism ultimately makes you more unproductivebut it also makes you more of a control freak.  If the towels, the dishes, and the table setting has to be just so, then no one in your home will want to do it.  Which means you’ll have to do it.  When imperfect people live together in a home, the home will be imperfect.

2.  Let them help.

Let your children put their special touch on housework, and they’ll better understand that they matter in the home.  They’ll take more pride in the work if you’re patient and forgiving with their final results. Plus, when they’re young, they actually think chores are fun.  Take advantage of that.

You know what?  My daughter’s towel-folding chore has improved drastically since she first started helping about six months ago.  I know she’ll get the hang of it.  In the meantime, the perfectionist in me has to show her grace and be satisfied with wonky towels.  I cringe, trust me, but when I think about the big picture of things, I’d rather her develop a good work ethic at a young age than have stacked towels worthy of Martha Stewart.

3.  Let them wait.

As important as it is that they help, there are also tasks that must be done by a competent adult.  It won’t kill children to learn to wait.  When you’re paying bills, and they want to play Candy Land with you, teach them the value of patience.  It’s hard for kids, but the sooner they learn that they are not the center of the universe, the better.

It’s also good for kids to learn how to play alone.
My children are not good at this, being the social butterflies they are – but they still have alone time during the day.  The same 3-year-old who helped me with today’s laundry also has a 1-2 hour quiet time every day.  She doesn’t have to sleep, but she has to play quietly by herself in her playroom.  This is when I try to get a good portion of my chores done that require concentration.  There are plenty of “Is my quiet time over?” shouts from down the hall, but at least it’s a bit calmer than the rest of the day.

4.  Let them have your utmost attention.

Ultimately, there are unique times when we, as the parent, need to let go of our agendas and focus fully on our children.  My 8-month-old son has a cold at the moment, and he was wailing as I worked on the laundry.  I had a mounting pile of clothes before me, but I stopped and played with him on my lap for awhile instead.  That was more important.

My to-do list might barely get checked off on those days, but I have to stop and ask myself – how do I define a successful day?  Is it getting a lot done?  Or is it pouring into the lives that matter for eternity? Sometimes it’s hard to remember.

Lovely article, no?  Occasionally I just need things like this to smack me right in the back of the head to put things into perspective.  What do you do to make sure your house maintains that balancing act of work and play?

Free Dr. Pepper!

Feel like a little ice cold refreshment?  Click here and get a coupon for a free Dr. Pepper 20 oz. or 2 liter.  I live off of this stuff.  Believe me, it is delish!

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