Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's on your fridge?

While I have plenty I should be writing about, I decided to take part in this fun challenge.  Now, I can't do it nearly as cool as some of the other bloggers, seeing as I can't figure out how to get the little arrows to point to each individual item on the fridge, but the pictures give you an idea.  Dirty Diaper Laundry started the idea and I found it on Cloth Diaper Geek

 Here is my messy fridge.  I think it was even this messy before kids, we just had other papers on it instead of the drawings ;-)

 Here is the pasta skeleton Wildman made at storytime.  The top picture is of Wildman when he was 3 months old.  The bottom left picture is of my husband and I holding Wildman right after he was born.  The bottom left picture is one of the first of hubby and I together.
You can see that Wildman has gotten a little carried away with the fall and Halloween coloring pages.  I actually had to take off a few watercolors and other paintings because things were getting so colored.  The bottom pumpkin is Wildman's and the upper pumpkin is Sweet Pea's. 

We also have things on one of the sides, but I figured the front was enough for now.  What does your fridge look like?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Sorry for the delay in writing.  After the visit to the specialist, we were given somethings to do.  So, between that and trying to get myself and the kids back on a schedule (along with Halloween coming up), things have been hectic.  Unfortunately, since my last post, we have had to take Wildman to the ER for an anomaly involving lots of swelling and blood.  Needless to say, we were horrified by our treatment at the ER and I have been dealing with phone calls to the hospital since then.  After the pediatric specialist found out about Wildman's latest issues, he decided to have him try the medicine that he was hoping to hold off on and have Wildman come in for a cystoscopy.  We have that scheduled for next Friday.  The procedure is suppose to take 30-45 minutes, as long as all goes well, and Wildman will be under general anesthesia.  The doctor is concerned that there is no improvement and many steps back.  He is afraid he missed something and that there is something going on that wasn't seen on the VCUG and ultrasound. 

This puts me in a predicament.  Following my instincts, I didn't think that the first diagnosis was correct.  It seemed too easy.  It would have been wonderful if bladder spasms was all it was, but deep down I felt there was more.  Now my baby is going under anesthesia and I am torn between wanting them to find something and wanting the procedure to show nothing.  If they don't find anything, then what?  If they find something, then there can be a fix.  I will feel like I have been on the right track.  Then again, if they find something, it could mean there could be a longer road ahead.  The doctor suggested the possibility of a small flap of skin or maybe a stone that had broken up.  The nurse mentioned some sort of pocket.  Being a mother, my mind has lately ventured to some sort of lump.  I hate thinking like that.  I want to think everything is roses, but, it's hard to explain. 

So, anyway, I do promise to get the review up.  Now that I am done with Sweet Pea's costume, I just have curtains to make, decorating her room, planning for her first birthday, working on vacation and baby scrapbooks and, oh yeah, getting Christmas things together!  I really need to make a schedule and some lists!  ;-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

WIldman's Specialist Visit

Well, last week Wildman had his visit with the pediatric urologist.  The morning started off with some ultrasounds and a VCUG.  I am glad that we chose to do this at a pediatric hospital.  I can't imagine having him do the VCUG with someone who is use to working with adults.  Immediately after the tests we went up and spoke with the doctor. 

I must first say that I am always a little bothered when a doctor walks in and says he knows what is going on without having spoken with me and basing his decision just on the films.  He was also a fast talker, which always gets my defenses up because I just get this feeling that someone is trying to pull one over on me.  Anyway, he did a quick exam of Wildman.  I had also written down the specific dates of all previous appointments and the reason for the appointment and what was done, along with any major issues Wildman had along the way. 

The doctor said that, structurally, Wildman is fine.  He thinks that Wildman is having bladder spasms.  He said that he is unconsciously holding his urine, probably due to the spasms being false alarms.  He also said he appeared constipated (which is news to me since there seems to be no issues with how that area functions ;-).  What we got out of the visit is that we are suppose to do timed visits to the bathroom, every 2-3 hrs.  We are suppose to increase his fiber intake and avoid a whole laundry list of things.  The things we are suppose to avoid are things that could lead to constipation.  We go back in January to have more films taken and to see how Wildman is doing.  If he still has any blood or is painful, then we may try a medication to help with the spasms.  The medication can't be started until there are no signs of constipation, since a side effect to the medication can be constipation. 

The doctor said that the blood could be due to some vessels in the urethra that are bursting.  He said they use to do a scope and cauterize the vessels, but that could lead to a stricture.  Now they try and let it heal. 

I am glad that Wildman doesn't need any surgery, but I still feel like the answer doesn't make sense to me.  It seems to simple and, since it tends to be common, something one of the other doctors would have diagnosed.  From a medical standpoint, I would also think, if the blood is coming from closer to the bladder, Wildman's urine would look like it had blood in it, instead of the drips that come afterwards. 

On a high point, Wildman has only had 1-2 incidents of blood since the appointment and has only woken up very painful once.  Hopefully following the diet and timed visits to the potty will help. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Restocking Day!

Hello again!  Sorry for not being on in a while.  Between the end of vacation and Wildman's issues (which I will write about later), things have been pretty hectic.  We have actually been living out of our pantry, for the most part, since we got back from vacation.  So today, it was time to restock.  I went ahead and made out a menu for the rest of the month and then we went shopping.  Not everything was as good a deal as it could have been, but it was still pretty exhilarating getting some really good deals and feeling like we have a stocked pantry.  Now I only have to worry about perishables and really good deals for the next few weeks.
Snickers bar and the teas are not pictured.

In order to prevent us from having to go to five stores today, we went to CVS last night after our walk in the park.  We got our Halloween candy for $5 each - $1.50/3 cpn and earned 3 EB.  We took advantage of the cpn for the free Dr. Pepper 10, along with $0.55 off Pepsi Max and $1/2 Sierra Mist Naturals.  I used another $1/1 cpn for the Finish tabs and a $0.25 cpn (from the machine) off of a Snickers bar (they were buy 2 get 1 free, so of course I had to purchase 2 M&Ms).  We got our milk pretty cheap (I forgot to use my $1/1 cpn, maybe next time) and they had the Lipton green teas for 5/$5 - $1/5 cpn, along with 1 EB earned.  In total, we got $51.73 worth of product for $22.03, a 57.4% savings.  We also have 4 EB to use next time.

Today we started out at Walgreens.  We took advantage of the Cottonelle ultra deal.  We bought 3 packages at $5 ea - $3 Walgreens cpn - $0.50 mfg cpn = $11.50, or $0.32 per roll and we earned 4 RR.  We purchased 2 packages of Halls cough drops at $1 - $1/2 cpn and we earned another 1 RR.  We then used a $3 cpn for the Bengay.  In total, we got $32.77 worth of product for $15.48, a 52.8% savings and we have 5 RR for next time.

Next was a quick trip to Target.  I mainly went for the sale on chicken, I just wish that Target had released one of their cpns for the chicken also.  I did find some decent clearance deals.  The chicken was $4.99 ea.  I then found some Quaker granola bars marked down to $1.86 ea, and I just happened to have 2 $1/2 cpns with me.  I also found Sobe water for $0.71 ea and I had a $1/5 cpn.  The receipt doesn't show what the granola bars are normally priced at, but I think it is normally $2.50 a box.  So, we got $29.08 worth of product for $17.92, a 38% savings.  (The picture of my Target purchases is not showing up).

Our third stop was Cub Foods.  It has been awhile since I had been there, but I had found a cpn for $5 off $25, along with some great deals that I could match up the store cpns with mfg cpns.  There is too much to list, but some of the highlights:  General Mills cereal 2/$5 and $5 off when you buy 10, I used 3 different $1 cpns; Cheetos and Fritos were $1.79 ea with store cpn - $1/2 cpn; Country Crock sides were 2/$6 plus BOGO store cpn and $1/1 mfg cpn; frozen chicken was $3.49 for 2.5lbs; apples were $1.88 for 3 lbs; salad mix was $0.88; Sargento cheese was $1.88 ea.  We got $97.22 worth of product for $42.41, a 56% savings.

Our last stop was Krogers.  Now, I have to admit, I paid more for a few things because I knew the kids were done and there was no way we were going to make it to Aldi's.  I literally stood in front of a few items and had this internal struggle about paying for them, but I figured the well-being of my children (and my own sanity) trumped a better deal.  I also found that they now make Chicken bacon!  This is super exciting to me.  I don't eat red meat, and I am getting a little tired of turkey.  I would probably more more away from meat, but I think my husband would starve ;-)  Plus, the chicken bacon had a coupon attached, BONUS!  Some of the highlights:  Pepsi and Mt. Dew 24 pks $5.99 ea - $2/2 cpn; Silk $2.79 - $1/1 cpn; Sunchips $2.99 ea - $1/2 cpn; frozen veggies $0.99 ea - $0.50/3 cpn; Sweet Tea $2.69 - $1/1 cpn.  Another great buy was the Eggland cage free organic eggs.  They were only $1.79 ea!  That was cheaper than the store brand.  Plus, I had a $0.55/2 cpn.  We got $91.84 worth of product for $66.12 (ouch!), a 28% savings.

So, over a two day period, we got $302.64 worth of product for $163.96, a 46% savings.  Not horrible, I just have to remind myself that I purchased enough to last us over a month (I like putting it in a better perspective).

Any deals you have found that you just couldn't pass up?

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Pretty Good Day

Wildman swinging Sweet Pea.  This was a picture from last week.
While today started off chilly, it turned out to be a GORGEOUS day!  We started out by going to the park.  It is definitely a different feeling trying to help Sweet Pea walk around.  I have gotten so use to carrying her everywhere.  We even lucked out and a friend that Wildman had been hoping to see just happened to show up at the park.  Wildman loves the tire swing and the teeter totter.  Do you remember what your favorite playground equipment was?  Sweet Pea loves to swing.

Afterwards we got some awesome deals at Target.  We got $72.11 worth of product for $27.03, a 62.5% savings.  The make up was free.  The two shirts were only $.74 ea, with coupon.  One of the transformers toys was free, one was under $5 and the other one was under $15 (originally priced at $26).  The great thing is the rebate I will get worth $20, which includes a Transformers T-shirt, toy and a $5 cpn for another Transformers character.  Wildman is going to love these great finds for Christmas.  The best part was that I put the toys in one of the bags I had brought so Wildman wouldn't see them while we were shopping.  When I got up to the check out lane, I told the guy that I was trying not to let Wildman see the toys.  Wildman stayed busy with all the items they display at the checkout and the cashier didn't even take the items out of the bag.  He was awesome and just scanned everything in the bag.  I will definitely have to find him next time I shop.  He asked if I was one of those extreme couponers.  I told him that I like to find a good deal, but who needs so much of any one thing.  The book in the picture was a free book we received from vitamins that we had purchased for Wildman.

After we got home, we found out that Wildman's name had been drawn in the "cavity free" drawing at his dentist's office.  He won the game Uno Moo.  That is a fun game!  It is super easy and quick.  To top off the evening, the kids loved dinner (tortellini, which is my favorite pasta) and after bath time, Sweet Pea actually pooped in the potty!  Wildman and myself made a big deal about it and showed her how to flush.

Now both kiddos are in bed (Wildman in a sleeping bag next to his bed because he "loves sleeping on the floor) and we are one day closer to seeing the doctor.

It really was a good day! 

Friday, September 30, 2011

One of those weeks

I almost wrote a post last night.  Except, it would have been more of a pity party than a post.  I decided that you didn't want to read that.  So, I went to bed with every intention of today being better.  Today definitely had its perks, but also so downers.  Poor Wildman.  His issue with his nether regions just seems to be getting worse.  Each day he asks if he gets to see the doctor today.  :-(  Luckily, just one more week.  Hopefully, whatever we find out, there is something they will advise us to do to help him immediately.  Poor kiddo shouldn't have to cry when going potty. 

On top of that, I was trying to have the mortgage company explain some calculations they had made.  Now, I am a very smart person.  I can do all sorts of math things.  It doesn't make sense to me that I have spoken to them 6 times in the past 2 months, regarding our escrow, and I get a different answer and a different set of numbers each time.  It got to the point today that the representative started making those noises people make when they don't want to say something.  Hard to describe, but you know it when you hear it.  Of course, the supervisor was no better.  Sometimes it is things like this that makes you want to go back to the simple days of renting.

Luckily, things got better.  Sweet Pea is a teeter-toddling two-toothed sweetie!  She took her first few shuffle steps on September 7th and her first real steps the next day.  Now she is working on cruising around.  She still prefers to crawl, but she is trying to walk more and more each day.  She is so beautiful and smart and curious!  We new from the start that she would be totally different from Wildman, but sometimes I forget how "well-behaved" Wildman was.  The things she gets into!  I am glad that I have the gate at the bottom of the stairs.  When we head up at night, I let her crawl up.  She is so fast and there are about 15 steps.  Next week Mimi will get to show her off at her work while Wildman gets his tests done.

Aside from spending some quality time together, we decided to take advantage of the double coupons that K-mart had going on this week.  We scored a number of free things.  We got $34.40 worth of product for $13.13, or a 62% savings.  My deal would have been better if I had not gotten the Hershey bars and the marshmallows, but, we plan on camping out in the backyard this weekend and we needed some S'mores fixins'.  We got the brownie mix, shampoo, salad mix and two of the three shave gels for free.  The other shave gel was just $0.35 and the lunch meat was $0.24 each.  I was hoping that the grocery section of this K-mart would have had some of the other items people had posted as great deals.  I had been hoping to stock up on a few other items.  The kiddos did great out shopping today (we also sold some old jewelry for a steal and got some tulle to make a skirt of Sweet Pea for Halloween) that we had to get some milkshakes (for Wildman and myself).

I got to end my evening doing something for myself.  I call this my Wreath of Fall.  I think it captures the major themes of fall:  harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, falling leaves, everything.

Well, this is a little rambling, but I just needed to talk.  Have a great evening!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Pet Helping Weekend

Well, our weekend started innocent enough yesterday.  Sweet Pea, Wildman and I headed out for a walk to the park yesterday morning.  On our way we saw a dog wandering around.  He had a harness and tags on, but his tail was tucked and he looked scared.  The road next to where we were walking is some what busy, so every time the dog got closer to the street, I would wave to make sure that the drivers saw him.  He started walking back the way we came from, so we slowly followed.  Another car pulled up and a girl got out to try and catch the dog, but he was too scared, so they left.  We followed him and saw him go up into another person's yard.  The man happened to come out and I asked if it was his dog.  He didn't recognize the dog, but went over to see him.  The dog headed to the man's backyard and the man was able to sit and get the dog to come to him.  He read the phone numbers off the tags and I called.  Luckily, they were the correct numbers and we were able to get a hold of his owners.  His name was Jack and they had been looking for him for about 45 minutes.  They were there in less than 5 minutes and were very appreciative.  Wildman and I felt really good about out good deed.  At our old home, when we had a new roof and siding being put on the house, the gate had been left open.  Our dog got out and was gone for 5 days.  We were so appreciative when we got the call that he had been spotted.  We were just so glad this guy, Jack, didn't have to be gone from home that long.

So, we continued on our walk to the park and back, stopping at a few garage sales on the way home.  We then came across another dog that had gotten out.  I was a little more leery of this guy.  He had obviously gotten off of a stake in the yard (he still had the tether attached to his harness).  He kept his distance and, at some point, found a scent he really liked because he took off into some open area between houses, but away from the busy road.  Wildman and I liked to think that he found a scent he remembered and he found his way home.

Today I decided I wanted to take advantage of the last day of Petsmart's Family and Friends Weekend for the 15% off.  I had already gathered coupons for each of the items I was going to purchase, along with the 15% off coupon and a $3 off coupon for a survey I completed.  Once we got there, we found a lot of other great deals.  I already had a $2 cpn for the dog food, $0.75 cpn for the cat food, and $1.00 cpn for the cat treats.  Once we got there, we scored another cpn for 2 free cans of dog food, a free container of cat food, $2 off the dog treats with purchase of a dog food and I had another $2 off cat food cpn.  In total, before taxes, we got $84.75 worth of product for $47.99 after coupons and discounts, a 43.38% savings.  We decided to go ahead and get the small bags of pet food, the canned dog food and the cat treats to give to the local humane society.  Wildman and I felt really good about our good deeds this weekend.  Along with building a tent this morning, Wildman said that finding Jack's mom and our donations for the humane society were his favorite things this weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2011


So, I had promised to update you on Wildman and I am just now finding the time.  This month has been a very "medical" month and it looks as though it will continue into next month. I should warn you that, while I have not gotten very graphic, some may be uncomfortable with my descriptions of one of Wildman's issues.

Feeling trapped in the fish bowl of medical issues!
Wildman was seeing specialists for two different issues.  The first issue, and simplest, was a murmur in his heart.  About 2 years ago, after first moving to town, we went to see the pediatrician for a cold/allergies that Wildman had.  The doctor heard the murmur (the first time I had ever been told of a murmur) and made note of it.  He said that many times when kids are sick, they can get a murmur, so we were to just listen for it.  Over the past 2 years, the murmur has come and gone, which worried the doctor.  After a previous visit this summer, the doctor stated that, at Wildman's 4 year old well visit, he would listen and determine if Wildman should see a cardiologist.  That visit came and it was decided we should see the cardiologist, so we decided to travel the hour to see the specialist so we could get in more quickly. 

The appointment took almost the full 3 hours we were told it would.  He had an EKG and, based on those results and the results of the doctor listening to his heart, he had a cardiac ultrasound.  That ultrasound has got to be one of the longest ultrasounds I have ever been part of.  Good thing that they had a movie playing, but Wildman is so inquisitive.  He was trying to find out about what they were seeing and he just kept being told to watch the movie.  That really upset me.  Why not answer his simple questions?  Anyway, after everything, it was determined that he has 2 murmurs.  One is more prominent when he is sitting and the other is more prominent when he is laying down.  We were told that they are innocent murmurs.  They won't get worse and, many times, they go away with age.  This was a definite relief!

The second medical issue is a little more personal.  I am only writing about it because I had never heard of any issues and it wasn't until another mother had a similar question posted on the Instinctual Mamas Facebook page that I felt I should write about it.  Starting in May, about a month or two after starting Wildman on cloth diapers at night, he would wake up in the morning saying his penis hurt.  This happened, off and on until the end of May.  We had gone to see Kung Fu Panda II and my husband took Wildman to the bathroom.  It was at this time that my husband noticed that there was blood coming from his penis.  We called the pediatrician and got an appointment.  This would be the first of many.

At the first appointment, we were told that this could be something normal.  That, due to it being summertime, some boys can get sores on their genitals.  We were to not let Wildman take baths, only showers, and to dab after urinating.  We did these things.  Wildman would still wake up in pain in the morning and there was still blood a few times a week.  When we called back, we got an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner.  At this time there was a white sore that would sometimes appear on the end.  She did an exam and recommended we treat it as a fungal infection.  To do a lotion regiment 3 times a day of an anti-fungal cream, anti-itch cream and triple antibiotic.  These did nothing!  So, we called again.  We are now at the end of June. 

4 year old boys don't like waiting for an answer 
At this next call, the Nurse Practitioner recommended we go have a cultural swab.  We had that done and it came back as a bacterial infection, so we started a 14 day regimen of antibiotics.  The blood seemed to stop, but the pain was still there.  I was still using the cloth diapers, making sure to strip them.  No doctor seemed to think they were the issue.  Then, a few weeks after the antibiotics stopped, the blood started again.  Once again we called the pediatrician, but they didn't know what else to do.  They recommended we see a urologist.  So, Wildman saw a urologist on August 31.  They examined for a stricture and then decided to try an antibiotic cream specific to the bacteria that had been found on the previous swab.  We got the cream and the bleeding got worse.  We used the cream for a week because I wanted to give it a chance to work, but finally I called to see if this would be normal.  We were told to stop the cream.  The urologist then felt it would be best to have us see a pediatric urologist.  It is amazing how long it can take to get an appointment.  You would think blood may speed up the process, but no. 

So, we were first scheduled at the same hospital that Wildman

The appointment didn't get moved up any.  It will actually be Oct. 6.  Wildman will have a renal/bladder ultrasound and then a VCUG.  I was told they do 2-3 of these a day and that there is a special team whose sole purpose is to entertain Wildman during the tests.  One of the tests is invasive and she said they will have a lights show and other things going on so he doesn't have to focus on the test.  After the test, we immediately get to meet with the doctor, who would also be the surgeon if surgery is necessary.

So, that has been our medical adventure so far.  In addition to those things, Wildman had one other doctor visit.  Wildman first saw the urologist on August 31 and the cardiologist on September 2.   We had a well-visit for Sweet Pea on September 1.  The evening of August 31, Wildman was helping me bake and went to smell a container that had about 10 drops of scented oil in it.  He bumped it and got the oil in his eyes.  He wouldn't let us wash them out, so off to the ER we went.  I thought having to watch a lumbar puncture being performed on Sweet Pea at 27 days was hard.  Try watching them hold down your little one to irrigate his eyes until the entire saline bag is empty.  We are ready to be done with doctors.  I know our insurance must be hating us, but the hospitals and doctors must be loving us.

So, sorry this is so long.  I wish I knew who the other mother was who had a son with pain in the morning so I could discuss more with her.  I am glad that we decided to keep being persistent instead of just letting it be at "being a summer thing".  Just one more reason I love listening to my Mommy Intuition!


I have a laundry list of topics I have been meaning to blog about.  I still have a Rockin' Green giveaway to do, along with updating you on Wildman.  I promise those things are coming.  This topic came up last minute and I just have to vent.

First I should apologize for being duped into the whole scam.  For those of you who have not heard, the Save Baby Myah Facebook page, fundraisers, everything, were scams.   The mother, who has multiple aliases, started raising money shortly after Myah was born.  There is a Myah, but she is a healthy little girl (which is great to hear).  I want to apologize for the links that I posted for the different fundraisers, especially if any of you ended up giving money to this cause.  I personally bought 2 diapers from the Hyena Cart page.

I don't know what upsets me more about this whole situation.  I don't know if it is the thought of all the people who donated and prayed and tried to help this little girl.  The stories I read of people trying to get donated colostrum to Myah because her bloodwork didn't look good.  The WAHMs who donated time and supplies for fundraisers.  Or is it the thought that this woman is actually raising this little girl.  That someone could be so deceitful as to use a beautiful little girl to scam others.  What good could she possibly have thought would come of this?  What lessons did she think she could possibly teach Myah?  This is how you lie, this is how you run a scam.

What also upsets me are some of the comments people have left on the news stories.  People are so obsessed with their own problems that they can't seem to step out of their little box.  One person went on about how "big buisness" scams us out of billions and nothing happens, this mother ONLY scammed us for about $10,000.  She should only get a slap on the wrists and be sent on her way.  SERIOUSLY!  To me, this has nothing to do with the money itself.  Obviously this didn't work out as well as she planned because she is still living off the state.  What upsets me the most is how this is another drop in the "cup half empty" world we have been creating. 

I remember when I would go to stores and there would be the boxes on the counters for you to donate to help a local family who had medical bills.  Or there was a little boy with cancer.  You didn't think twice about putting some spare change in the jar to help them out.  Now, I feel like I don't know who to help.  You want to try and help individuals because the bigger charities cannot reach everyone.  How do you know who to help?  Heck, even the Susan G. Koman foundation has started to get greedy.  Sometimes it feels like it is harder to do a good deed.

There is something good from all of this.  Myah's mother did direct people to the National Marrow Donor Program.  I did get a kit, swabbed my cheek, and I am officially registered to be a donor.  I believe there are many others out there who also signed up in the hopes of being a match for Myah.  If you didn't sign up, I urge you to.  Bone marrow is something that we countinue to produce, but we can also give to others.  It doesn't involve major surgery and can save someone's life.

In closing, I want to again apologize for involving any of you in this scam.  It isn't something that you could look up on Snopes, and the only reason we know of it now is because the police wanted to prevent people from donating to a fundraiser that was going to be held this past Tuesday.  I know there are people who are in legitimate need for help, I just hope they can still get the help they need and scams like this don't deter too many people.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Get Your Sparkle Back

So, I am sure you are all wondering, "Why are we looking at a picture of a shower curtain?"

The short answer, "It gave me some of my sparkle back."

Let me explain.  I have had this shower curtain since I was pregnant with Wildman.  I LOVE it.  I love the bright colors, the sequins, it sparkles, it makes me smile.  I had it up at our last house because I felt it worked well with a kids bathroom.  When we moved to our current house, I planned on putting it up.  Then I thought I should leave the more subdued curtain up that was there when we moved in.  I thought it seemed more grown up and if we were to be making friends with people my husband worked with, I wanted to seem more sophisticated (yes, all of this from a shower curtain!).  So, I put it in a bag and put it in the attic.  I would think of it some times, but didn't bother with it. 

Fast forward to today.  I was taking boxes up to the attic from our garage sale.  I had taken down the subdued curtain to wash.  While in the attic I spotted the fish curtain and grabbed it. I stopped everything else I was doing, headed to the main bathroom (also the kids bathroom) and put it up.  When I stepped back, I couldn't help but smile.  I then said to myself, "I am getting some of my sparkle back.  Thanks Sparkle Mama."

I follow a great blog, The Sparkle Mama.  She is on Facebook and has a separate blog.  She writes about trying to get her "sparkle" back.  Tonight, this moment with the curtain made me stop and think about my sparkle, something I didn't think I was missing.

I have to say that I think everyone looses their sparkle at some point.  It can be short term, due to stresses at work, home, etc.  It can be long term, job loss, death, separation.  It can also just dull overtime and not be due to any one thing.  I know I have had times lately where I have felt as though I was floating along.  I love my life, but I didn't always feel as happy as I want to.  I was looking for that something to grasp that would bring my sparkle back.  This past week has been full of medical stresses (I will write about that tomorrow).  Add to that trying to deal with normal mommy stuff and preparing for a big vacation, it can be overwhelming.  What this curtain represented to me was the need for me to look in myself and find those things that make me sparkle again.  I need to be more true to myself and not worry so much about what other people think.  The funny thing is, I never found myself as someone who did care about what others thought.  This curtain gave me the "umpf" to realize I needed to schedule some more crafting time, more cuddle time and some more sparkle time.

You can do it too.  Whether your sparkle has dulled due to a temporary issue or because of something bigger, find something small that you can grasp.  Something that will help you shine up your sparkle, add some sparkle dust!  Heck, mine was a shower curtain, what is your thing? 

Friday, September 2, 2011

29 Diapers Review and Giveaway

I just wanted to let you guys know about a review and giveaway over at 29 Diapers.  The review was written by The Sparkle Mama so everyone could see how the diaper works for a toddler.  The diapers are ADORABLE!  Head on over and check it out!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Target, 8/30/11

Today I actually went to Wal-mart and Target.  There were a few items at Wal-mart that I needed that weren't on sale and I didn't have coupons for.  So, instead of trying to subtract out those items just to give you the amounts I spent on deals, I decided to not bother.  I did end up with free Cars Yoplait yogurt and men's body wash and cheap Dannon Real Fruit bites and Kashi granola bars.

So, Target wasn't the cheapest trip, but it went pretty well.  The Cascade was all free.  They were $0.97 - $1.00 cpn = $0.03 money maker on all three.  The trail mix were $2.99 ea and I had 2 $1.50/2 cpns, making them $2.24 ea.  These will be great for an upcoming car trip.  The Diet Pepsi was $2.75 ea - $1 = $1.75 ea.  The Prevacid was $10.49 ea - (4) $3/1 cpns = $7.49 ea.  I also got 2 $5 gift cards, making the Prevacid more like $4.99 each.  That is an awesome deal!  Considering that a 48-ct pack is normally $25 and I got 56 for $19.96.  So, I got $76.01 in product for $42.28 before tax, a 44.4% savings and I still have $10 in gift cards to spend.


First, go to this link and view the flow chart, then come back.  Be warned, this may offend some, but it is hilarious.

Now that you have had a laugh, you can read the rest of my rant.

I can usually be pretty levelheaded about a lot of things.  There are two things that I cannot stay levelheaded about:  incompetence and incorrect information (usually leading to generalizations).  Needless to say, I encountered both today.

The first was incompetence, but what else should I expect from customer service at a certain warehouse store?  Good thing I didn't renew my membership!

The incorrect information is really what this post is about.  There is a group that I follow on Facebook (hence the link above) that is geared towards younger mothers.  I like the page because I feel there is information I can add, from my experience, to help these younger mothers (teens and early 20's).  Today, one of the admins went off on a tangent about a mother at Wal-mart who had a screaming child.  The mother sat down on a bench and lifted her shirt to "whip out" her breast to feed her daughter.  The admin started going off about how she should have covered or gone to her car and no one needed to see her breasts.  I, and many others were furious.  Yet, it wasn't so much these statements that got my blood boiling, it was the comments made by the administrators later on in the discussion.  One told a story about how a woman in line in front of her and her younger brother started to breastfeed her child and she asked the woman to go elsewhere and the woman went off on her (as would I).  The person telling this story then went on to say that if she was a man, she wouldn't whip her penis out and display it to everyone.  SERIOUSLY!  How can anyone be so inept as to try and compare the two!  Then there was a discussion about the sexuality of breastfeeding and how husbands shouldn't see another woman's breasts.  Someone tried to say how the main point of breasts was to feed a child, but everyone seemed stuck on the sexual aspect of it.  Sorry to tell you, when it comes to the evolution aspect of the human body, women's breasts were designed to feed their children.  Anything else after that is just a bonus.

On top of this, the women attacked the mother for not having a cover.  They felt that you should have a bottle or be prepared with everything you need.  Otherwise, you should go out to the car.

The thing that upset me the most about this entire thread was the group it took place in.  Those who breastfeed, or at least try and stay informed about it, know that the number of teen and younger moms who breastfeed is very low.  For a page that is geared towards this age group to start badmouthing a mother for breastfeeding her child is horrible.  Can you imagine the discussion if she had ignored her baby's cries to avoid breastfeeding in public?  I understand wanting to vent (hence, this post), but the way this was handled was inappropriate.  Instead of belittling this mother, a discussion regarding covering while breastfeeding or appropriate places to breastfeed could have been started.  The thread then wouldn't have reached the outrageous tone that it did.

It also upsets me that it was felt as though this mother, and others, don't know their children well enough if they don't know when they will want to be fed.  I am the first to admit that I carry the bare minimum nowadays.  If I think I may be eating at a restaurant or be someplace that may not normally have someone breastfeeding there, I will bring a cover.  For the most part though, I make sure I have fed Sweet Pea and changed her before we head out.  When we get to a store, I take the wet bag, stick a diaper, cloth wipes, solution and my forms of payment and head in.  When you have two kids, the last thing you want to do is drag a huge bag in and out of the store with you.  Most of the time, I can do a few stores before Sweet Pea wants to eat.  Other times, like today when she is teething, she wants to nurse more often.  Am I going to leave my cart and drag her and Wildman out to the car just to nurse where I won't offend anyone?  NO!  I am going to try and be discreet, but she is my number one priority at that moment.

I just hope that the discussion didn't dissuade some mothers from breastfeeding because they are more concerned about what other people think instead of considering what is best for their child.

One last note, another page that I have been following is also frustrating me because there is a mother who's son is having some similar problems to what Wildman has been having and there are people left and right telling her that a chiropractor will fix it all.  I have tried to put all the info in regards to our situation and what we have found and what we are doing, I just hate when people assume a one size fits all approach.  I hate to break it to them but a chiropractor will never be able to fix everything.  That is why there are doctors who specialize in every part of the body.

Alright, enough for now.  I must need to get a sandwich so I don't end up in the insult inferno (again, read the link above).

OK, last thing, keep Wildman in your thoughts.  We have two different specialists for two different issues that we are heading to this week.  We wanted to get it all done before vacation so we weren't focused on the issues and could have fun.  I am sure everything will be fine, but I go through "mommy moments" where I feel like my little man is falling apart!

I am really done now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Walgreens, CVS and Krogers, 08/14/11

 I decided to try doing the shopping on a Sunday this week for a couple reasons:
1.  I wanted to see if the items would be in stock
2.  I wanted to get my shopping over with for the next two weeks
3.  I was prepared

So, first we headed to Walgreens.  I did 3 separate transactions.  The first was the Revlon nail polish, regularly $4.78, sale price $3.99 - $2 cpn = $2.35 after tax and $3 RR.  The next transaction was the Dove hair products, regularly $5.98 each, sale price 4/$15 - (2) BOGO cpns (-$8.98) - $3 RR from first transaction - $2 RR from last week = $2.37 after taxes and $5 RR.  The last transaction was the Brach's candy, regularly $1.33, sale $0.99 - $0.50 cpn = $0.49, Bic Hilighters sale $1.58 for both ($0.79 ea) - $1.00 cpn = $0.58 for both, Pert shampoo sale $3.99 - $1 cpn = $2.99 and $3 RR, Colgate Sensitive toothpaste sale $4.99 - $1.50 cpn = $3.49 and $3 RR.  The M&M's were a filler and on sale for $0.49.  I then used my $5 RR from 2nd transaction so my total came to $4.08 after tax and $6 RR left to spend.  My grand total is $45.59 worth of product for $8.80, an 80.7% savings.

Minus a candy bar and a Gatorade
Next was CVS.  I just did one transaction because I had a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase.  The Caramello candy bar (eaten by my husband before I could take a picture ;-) was $1.19 - $1.19 cpn from CVS machine = $0, Trident gum was 2/$6 - (2) $1 CVS cpns (this was more a filler item), Milk $3.19 (received $1 ECB), Gatorade was 5/$5 (Wildman drank one of those) plus $5 ECB, Sunglasses $9.99, Bandages $3.49 - $4.29 cpn from CVS machine.  I also used $5 ECB from last week.  Total product was $34.49, I spent $12.78 after tax and have $6 ECB left to spend, a 62.95% savings.

We then headed over to Krogers.  I didn't get a picture of all our purchases but I did score free eggs and frozen vegetables.  I ended up with $74.41 worth of product for $44.65, a 40% savings.  I scored some great printed coupons for more Almond Milk, which I may use this week since the Silk Almond milk is on sale.  We went to Aldi's today and got TONS of fruits and veggies, along with some canned goods to stock the pantry. 

I was also able to make and can some salsa tonight and I hope to make some Strawberry fruit leather tomorrow and banana chocolate chip muffins to freeze as great breakfast options or snacks.  I made some pickles last week, which is a savings of almost $3 a jar (depending on your usual brand).  I LOVE CANNING!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why so mean? Learn how to debate!

Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn't the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior "context" and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.

First I want to start by saying I am not going to get into specifics of the debate I am referring to in this post.  What the debate was about is not the point.  It is how the debate was handled.

As all of us know, being a parent seems to entitle us to some very strong opinions.  Some of which we can't help but share with everyone.  I find myself in debates most often due to someone making a false generalization.  Whether it is political or parenting, I feel every opinion deserves to be heard.  I just can't stand it when someone tries to support a point with lies or name calling.

I recently responded to a link that someone had posted that was political.  I wasn't so much even taking a side as stating that there was more to the issue than what they posted.  As the debate progressed, I chose not to stick so much with my political side, but to point out the errors of politicians, on both sides of the aisle, over the past few decades.  All I received in return was name calling and absolutely no facts were presented.  Literally, I was called ignorant and a litany of other names.  At no point was anything I said attacking this persons specific political affiliation, just that the issue at hand was bigger than what they were focusing on. 

It was during this debate that I started to realize that the art of debate has really declined.  I love a good debate.  I love learning and I love when someone with an opposing view can give me verifiable facts that I can research.  I am willing to debate over anything, as long as it is a true debate, not a personal attack.  I look at politicians, religious figures, parents and I realize that we all could use a lesson in how a debate works.  I am simply amazed how dumbed down debates have become over the years.  They are almost to the point of grade school recess arguments.  The person who can come up with the best name calling wins.  Why have we let it come to this?

The kicker to the "debate" I had with this person is that they consider themselves a born again Christian.  I asked at one point why they were so bitter, a question that went unanswered.  I would have expected someone who is very religious to not stoop to name calling and personal attacks.  I guess I just like to live in my happy little place where my world revolves solely around Wildman and Sweet Pea.  As this person said to me, "Ignorance is bliss, you must be very blissful".  If only it was that easy, right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Wildman!

August 4, 2007

To my Wildman,

August 2008, first canoe trip
I know I tell you often, but not often enough, you are one of the best things to every happen to me.  You are my little man.  My confidant.  You have been there for me through a lot and you have taught me even more.  You have done all of this and today you are turning the ripe age of 4.

I remember how excited your dad and I were waiting for your arrival.  We decided not to find out if you would be a boy or girl, but I secretly knew you were a boy.  Your stubbornness was evident from the beginning.  First you didn't want to come out.  I do think having me push for 4 hours was a little excessive, but I see you just wanted to make a grander entrance.

1st Birthday, August 2008
You will always hold a special place in my heart.  Not just because you are my first, and only, son, but because you have taught me so much and made me grow even more.  There are no words to describe the feeling of you saying "Mama" for the first time.  Yes, you decided to be stubborn when it came to talking, and now we wonder if you will ever stop talking sometimes :-) but your words are beautiful.  Your first smiles, your first "I love you", the first kisses and hugs.  You have always been a mama's boy, even though you are starting to transition into more of a daddy's boy.

August 2009, Celtic Festival
I never get tired of having people tell me how precious you are, how special you are, how kind and sharing you are.  I never get tired of telling them how lucky we are.  You have this way of touching people, even though you are too young to understand the how and why of it.  I could never have asked for a more perfect son.  You made me realize there is a reason to this madness we call life.

I know I can be short sometimes.  I can be complicated.  You roll with it.  There is nothing in this universe that I wouldn't do for you.  I will always strive to show you how much I love you.  There are no words to truly describe how much I love you and how lucky your dad and I are to have you in our lives.

3rd Birthday, August 2010
We are lucky and honored to call you our son!

We love you so much and we wish you nothing but the best on your birthday!

Happy Birthday Wildman!

Mommy and Daddy

July 2011, with the sister he desperately wanted

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CVS 8/2/11

Well, I was hoping to get to 3 stores today, but I ran into some difficulty.  First, I am already off on my days after having a small stint in the ER Sunday morning, which threw off the rest of the plans for the weekend and made us a day late getting home.  Then, I chose to go to CVS first, since I figured I would have cold items at Aldi's.  Big mistake.  Aldi's closes at 7 pm, so I was 1 minute late getting there.  Then, I thought about getting a few free items from Walgreens, but they were out.  So, looks like tomorrow I should be inundating you with updates about Walgreens, Aldi's and Krogers.  As for now, I did pretty well at CVS.  We got $47.74 worth of product for $6.83, before tax, an 85.7% savings.  We also ended up with $6 in RR and 10% off our next beauty purchase, so it was more like $0.83 we paid.  I used $5 RR from last week, a $3 off $10 beauty purchase (2/$5 Nivea lip gloss and then 2 more that were clearanced at $1.04 + Pantene Pro-V at $3.49), free Pantene Pro-V coupon, $3/2 Nivea lip products, $3/1 Bic Soleil Razor, $1.50/1 Colgate toothpaste, (2) $0.25/3 Puffs tissue, $2/1 CVS snack item (marked at $1.49).  Now I need to finish tomorrow's shopping lists!

Friday, July 29, 2011

CVS and Target, 7/27 and 7/28

This week I ended up making two trips to CVS because I forgot something the first time.  During the first trip, I had to feed my husbands soda addiction ;-)  Yes, I could have gotten a better deal on soda at Target, but only if I was buying Sierra Mist, which is not my husbands soda of choice.  I also took advantage of the deal they had going on with the Finish dishwasher detergent.  I do make my own dishwasher detergent, but I like to have a back up in case I run out.  Plus, sometimes I need to run a store bought through, along with a dishwasher cleaner, to help clean things out.  I really scored on the Aussie product.  It was marked down to $1.24, plus the Herbal Essence products were 2/$4.97 and I had $4 in coupons for those.  The total amount of product is $44.91, I spent $15.19, a 66.2% savings.

Today I headed back to CVS to pick up contact solution that I forgot.  I also keep forgetting my green bag tag, so I picked that up.  The total amount of product was $17.98, I spent $9.98, a 44.5% savings.  Plus, I got 5 RR, so it is like I only spent $4.98 out of pocket.

I spent a little more at Target then expected.  I wanted to take advantage of their toy sales.  I was disappointed that some of the things others had mentioned weren't on clearance at my store.  I did get some good deals.  I decided to spend a little more on the granola bars than I normally would since we are traveling this weekend and they are an easy snack.  The total amount of product was $54.21, I spent $29.52 (before tax), for a savings of  45.5%.  The best scores were the jeans for $1.98 and the graphic tees were $2.  One of them is even the Marvel comic characters. 

I am really looking forward to some of the deals I have seen for Krogers and Aldi's next week.  Looks like I will be stocking up on cereal and strawberries!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I Want for You

So, I am not quite sure what led me to this train of thought last night.  I don't know if it was just randomness in my head, or if it had to do with the fact that, since May 29th, there have been six different people who have died who were either related to or somehow connected with my immediate family.  To put this in perspective, I didn't have anyone that I knew pass away last year and the previous few years there was normally just one person.  So, this is a lot for me.  The most recent two people to pass away was someone I went to school with who was younger than me and a father who worked with my husband.  Both affected me in different ways, but they both got me to think about what I would want my kids to know before I would pass away.

I know, a morbid thought. 

Always a ham!
I started thinking about what I would want Sweet Pea to know about raising kids.  What I want Wildman to know about being a real man.  I want both of them to stick to their guns, yet be open minded enough to listen truly listen to someone.  Try and see their side.  I would want Sweet Pea to know that, no matter what anyone says, breastfeeding is best.  I want Wildman to support his future partner in whatever decision they would make, but to also know this (since he wants to breastfeed a baby, I think I have this covered with him).

I want them to know how much I love them. 
To have no regrets.
To live a life that makes them happy. 
To know that their parents aren't perfect, but darn well think they are.
To know that we are very proud of them already, and they should always be proud of themselves.

The list could go on and on.  I have been so lucky to have the family support I do.  I have really been able to raise both of my kids they way that worked best for me at that time without any outside pressure.  I sometimes wish that I had been able to do more of the things for Wildman that I have been able to do for Sweet Pea, but I know I was doing what was best for all of us at that time.  Plus, I don't think Wildman could have turned out to be any more wonderful than he already is.

The loves of my life!  I can tell they will always be there for each other!
I want you to think about what you want your kids to know.  Write it someplace, e-mail, journal, somewhere. 

I remember having to write to my future children when I was in college.  I wish I could find that letter and see what I thought I knew then and compare it to now. 

I have so many wishes for my kids, but I know they will travel the path that is best for them.  I just hope that I will always be there to help them when they need help, guide them when they need guidance, and to hold out a hand and help them dust themselves off when they stumble.

Make sure you tell those you love how much they mean to you everyday.  Especially your children, for, while adults may have years of memories of your time together, your children live in the here and now.  Make it count.

Staples and Pier 1, 07/26/11

Today I decided to put some $10 off coupons I had to use before they expired.  I started at Staples.  I had a $10 off $10 coupon from their Rewards program, a 20% off one item coupon and a Charmin mfg $0.25 cpn.  They still have the 16 pack Charmin Basic on sale for $4.99, the 10-pack of poster board was listed at $6.50 (needed for some homeschool projects for Wildman) and the Crayola dry erase crayons were on sale for $3 (homeschool and fun).  With all discounts, I paid $3.50 for $14.49 worth of product, a 75.85% savings.

Then we headed over to Pier 1 to use another $10 off $10 coupon.  After looking through all the clearance items, we picked out the two mini martini glasses (usually $6 each, marked down to $1.98), the monkey ball (Wildman chose as a gift, was $4.50) and the three mini gift boxes (I thought these would be great to display some of the jewelry I make, normally $12, marked down to $3.18).  I paid $1.78 for $28.50 worth of product, a 93.8% savings.

Tomorrow I hope to get a few things at CVS and Target, but we will see.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Something I heard today...

So, I was at a playgroup that they hold at the library today and a mother wanted help because she was trying the Ferber method with her 13 month old. She had tried it for 2 days and it was breaking her heart. She was following the chart and everything. I told her (and the "leader" of the group agreed) how I had slept with my two kids. My son (who will be 4 years old) moved to his own bed around 1 and he sleeps fine. I told her that they will find a sleep method that will work for them, that maybe this isn't the one. Two other moms then said that she should stick with it because they used the method with their kids when they were 4 months old because the would wake up when they laid them down in their cribs (one mom also closes and gates her sons door, but that is another discussion). I guess this mother and son have been traveling for the past month to take care of sick family members and have been sleeping together (I don't know if that is bedsharing or co-sleeping). The leader said that this may not be the time to try this. 
What do you guys think? I know there are many of you who don't like CIO (like me), but do you think there is a certain age where it does work and an age where it is just too stressful?  How did you decide what worked best for you?  Did any of you try CIO and then decide it didn't work, or has it worked for you?

Aldis 07/21

So, I was trying to get all creative and get all three shots of my purchase to come up side by side, but it didn't work.  I ended up getting 36 items for $38 at Aldis.  I ended up with 5 lbs of strawberries (3 of which are already cut up and frozen for smoothies).  They were also doing a BOGO on nectarines and peaches.  I ended up splurging for dinner this weekend.  I bought some ground beef for my husband so I could make him hamburgers for that nights dinner and to freeze.  He also really wanted some Swiss cheese, so I appeased him ;-)  Otherwise, I think that I did really well considering that Aldi's doesn't let you use coupons!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shopping Trips, Week of 07/17

This week I went ahead and did a few small trips to the stores.  There was nothing that I found I absolutely had to stock up on, so I am mainly pantry and freezer cooking this week.  Now, I don't know if you guys want me to list the coupons used or not.  I am not going to this time, but let me know if you do want them listed.

Krogers,  07/17
 I am not as impressed with this shopping trip.  I ended up with $47.17 worth of product and paid $25.03, a 47% savings.  I was proud of myself for sticking to only items on sale and with coupons.  Unfortunately, it was a spur of the moment trip and we were all hot and tired by this point.  Hopefully I will do better next time.

CVS, 07/18
The CVS I visited didn't have everything I wanted. so the trip was kind of a bust.  I got $11.34 worth of product for $3.02, a 73.4% savings.  I have finally used up all my formula coupons, which is good because Wildman will soon be too old to attend the group I donate the formula to.

Target, 07/19
Again, since so many deals that I see posted are regional, I didn't get all the deals I had hoped for.  Plus, I don't have a SuperTarget that I shop at, just a regular old Target.  Today we got $58.94 worth of product for $26.54, a 51.7% savings.  I do wish I had used some of my Recyclebank points to get some better Kashi coupons, then I could have used a coupon on the free product, but overall, pretty happy.  Again, I stuck with only items I had coupons for and most of the items were on sale.

Papa Murphy's, 07/19
This is more as bragging for Sweet Pea and Wildman.  We had 3 coupons for free mini pizzas at Papa Murphy's.  One was from Wildman's Parent Educator for doing so well with reading.  The other two were from the summer reading program the library held this summer.  Both kiddos have finished all 6 levels of reading.  Sweet Pea listened to over 60 books since June 1 and Wildman listened to over 120 books since June 1.  Those numbers don't account for books that had to be re-read.  I am so lucky to have kiddos that love books.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Babies Have Blissful Booties, Do Yours? My Blissful Booty Review

Right to Left:  Large Cloth Diaper w/ booster pad in Buttercream, 4 wipes, Just Peachy Wipe Water Concentrate, Wipe Water Bottle, Wild Berry Lip Balm, Medium Cloth Diaper w/ booster pad in Celery

So, I recently had the honor to try out some of the products Blissful Booty has to offer in order to review them. I had previously purchased a Blissful Booty Cloth diaper from them for SweetPea after reading a review on Instinctual Mamas. The diaper I had gotten at the time was their Ultra Cloth Diaper in celery with pink snaps since, I must admit, I prefer snaps to hook and loop. For the review, I was sent an original Medium cloth diaper in celery for SweetPea, an original Large cloth diaper in buttercream for Wildman to try at night, 4 cloth wipes, the Wipe Water Concentrate Just Peachy scent and bottle, and Wild Berry lip balm.

These are photos of my diaper I purchased without any booster pads. As you can see, the fit is very trim.


Sweet Pea's Diaper

Side view of the medium diaper with two boosters.  Still very trim.
As mentioned above, I had purchased one of the Blissful Booty AIO Ultra diapers a few months ago.  I have loved that diaper, but never tried using it overnight.  I didn't get the booster pads with it and Sweet Pea and I already had a diaper routine that worked, so why mess with it.  The usual nighttime diaper consists of one of the inserts my grandmother has made wrapped in a prefold and covered with a cover.  I haven't had any leaks with this set up and she wears it all night.  I decided, for this review, that I should step out of my comfort zone.  I took the Blissful Booty Cloth Diaper and put two of the boosters in, then put it on her for the night.  Since Sweet Pea sleeps with me, I kept checking her throughout the night for any leaks (because we all know how much fun it is to wake up in a wet bed ;-).  I was super happy to wake up to a dry bed in the morning!  The other great thing is that Sweet Peas' skin wasn't as damp as it can sometimes be from our prefold method.  The Blissful Booty diaper and boosters did a great job of wicking the wetness away!  I think I have definitely found another go to method for my daytime and nighttime diapering needs!
Rear view of the Blissful Booty diaper with two boosters.

Wildman's Diaper

Front and side view with no booster pads.
Wildman has been fully daytime potty trained for almost 2 years now, he just uses diapers at night.  Up until March of this year, I had been using the disposable pull-ups.  I then decided to see if I could find a cloth trainer that he could use at night.  The Blissful Booty Cloth Diaper is the first "diaper" I have used on him.  Everything prior has been cloth trainers.  We had some issues to start with.  I don't know if I didn't prep the diaper correctly or what, but we had some leaks the first few nights we used this diaper.  After three different occasions of leaking, we finally had a few nights where he stayed dry.  We began to have a few leaks again, but this was more attributed to the need for more padding.  The boosters that the diapers come with are pretty small, especially for the larger diapers.  I wrote Cathy to find out if she made bigger boosters.  She stated that she had placed an order for larger and thicker boosters.  She had said that she had never needed those for her kids, but is seeing that there is a need.  At the time she had said it would be a few months for those to become available.  What I ended up doing is using one of the inserts that my grandmother has made and a bumGenius insert.  Those, along with the lining in the diaper have helped curb the leak issues we have had.  I do look forward to getting some of the thicker and bigger boosters so Wildman can have the same soft material on his little bum that Sweet Pea gets to enjoy ;-)

Side and front view with homemade and bumGenius inserts.

I have actually never used purchased cloth wipes.  My mom had made a bunch of wipes for me when I was pregnant and had decided to use cloth wipes and diapers.  It was definitely interesting trying something different.  The Blissful Booty Cloth Wipes are great and are a perfect size (so no fingers hanging over and getting dirty!).  They are 100% cotton and dual sided.  One side is super soft and perfect for wet diapers.  The other side has more texture and is great for the dirtier diapers.  Sweet Pea definitely loved them and, during a time when we had to use some diaper cream, I even used one as a liner in her diaper so she could still have something soft on her booty.

Wipe Water Concentrate

This is another product that I have actually never purchased, I have always just made my own wipe water.  The first thing I loved about this product was the smell.  The Blissful Booty WipeJust Peachy scent just puts you in a better mood and you don't mind that you are changing a diaper.  I also loved the squirt bottle.  For my own solution I have been using the peri bottle from the hospital, but it is not the best thing to travel with since it doesn't seal very tightly.  The spray bottle is wonderful.  I have to steal it back from Sweet Pea (she thinks it is her own personal chew toy).  It does feel like you are spraying a lot on a wipe, but this is because I have been use to just squirting it out.  It obviously isn't a lot because it takes 2+ weeks for me to go through one 4 oz bottle. 

The directions on the bottle state to add 1 tsp of concentrate per 12 oz bottle, then fill with water.  Now, this is where I have a slight complaint.  I was super excited to try this product, so I followed the directions on the bottle.  It wasn't until after I had made the solution that I looked at the size of the bottle that I was sent and realized that it was only 4 oz.  On-line the breakdown for the amount of concentrate for different size bottles is given.  I think that, especially for sleep deprived mommies (and daddies), it would be great if the directions on the bottle for mixing the concentrate were for that size bottle.  Again, it isn't a hard conversion for the amount for different bottles, I am just thinking that it would definitely make it easier knowing that the directions for the bottle you are using are the ones on the label.  Otherwise, this is a wonderful product.  It is definitely something that I may have to splurge on.  I can also say that I have had the concentrate for a little over 2 months now and have barely made a dent in the bottle, so it lasts A LONG TIME!  I have also heard of other mommies using it as a body spray and room freshener.  Just some ideas for you.

Lip Balm

I was really excited to have received a sample of the Wild Berry Lip Balm with the diapers.  The lip balm smells fantastic and it made my lips feel wonderful.  I use lip balm every night and I normally apply some type of lip product during the day.  I found that I preferred the Blissful Booty lip balm to any of my other lip products, including lipstick.  It just made me feel better.

Now, all of the previous products in this review have been reviewed before and have a description on the Blissful Booty webpage, so I haven't gone into great detail about the product, just about how it worked.  The lip balm, on the other hand, is not on the website, so I feel the need to give you some more info about it.  Cathy has stated that she will put up a listing soon and that it should retail for $3.  She also hinted that there will be another "flavor" available soon.  The lip balm has an SPF 15 and can be used on anyone 6 months and older.  The active ingredients (sunscreen) are Octinoxate (7.5% and Oxybenzone (3%).  The inactive ingredients, which make this a very natural product, are organic palm oil, beeswax, organic virgin olive oil, flavor, organic hemp seed oil, vitamin E, and rosemary extract.  I don't know what the price is for the lip balm, but I do know that Blissful Booty just rolled out a wonderful selection of new Blissful Booty Body Products and to read a great review on the products, just head over to Adventures in Mommyhood:  Mommy Outnumbered.

I feel very lucky that I got to try all of these wonderful Blissful Booty products.  The company is Mommy owned and family operated and is doing a wonderful job.  They have helped out many different moms in need through some of the various donation groups that are available.  They are also quick to respond to any questions you have about their products.  I definitely think that you will all love any Blissful Booty product that you would choose.  Everyone should have a Blissful Booty diaper in their cloth diaper arsenal.  Now I just need to wait until I can splurge on some of the body products!