Pucker Up 3

Swell & Good

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fabulous evening...

with a fabulous group of ladies! I don't know what I would do with MOMS Club. Most likely I'd go a bit insane. I joined our local MOMS Club when RC was about 3 months old. It has been great. We get together about weekly so the kids can play and us moms can have an adult conversation. Of course those conversations are mostly about our kids, but at least it is an adult conversation! In December I took over as president as our previous one stepped down to start a different chapter of her life. I had no clue what I was doing, but we needed someone to fill the shoes. Tonight we celebrated our end of year (we go July - June). We said thank you to the previous board and welcomed the new.

Left to Right: Thea, Stacey, Miriam, Linda, Erica, Me, Julie, Jennifer, and Meghan

It was a great night of games, talking, and food. Especially the s'mores dessert I made! Yum yum! My favorite part was giving out prizes and my thank you gifts to the previous and upcoming board members! The group also surprised me with file folders with funny things like "To do" and then boxes to check like "Someone else" or "Never." They will be perfect for organizing MOMS Club, Thirty-One, and International Experience things. I also got a gift card to Barnes and Noble; which is perfect as I have a pretty good size nook book wish list going!

Julie & Stacey attempting Minute to Win It's Yank Me
Linda (with Miriam aiding) attempting attempting Minute to Win It's Yank Me

Me and the gifts I got for the previous board members. These are for two that weren't able to attend. Love the All-in-One Organizers I got for them!

All in all it was a great night with great ladies that I will dearly miss if we have to move. I hope that doesn't happen, but I am thankful for the ability to keep in touch via social networks!

When Allergies Attack

One thing I really hate...allergies. I have had allergies since I was a kid. Mine are all environmental and pets! Luckily for me, the worst that usually happens is swollen shut eyes. Of course, now that I have my son, swollen shut eyes can be a huge problem! I glad that 1 - 2 Zyrtec a day and I am fine. I can even have pets if I keep taking the allergy medicine and I don't touch the cat and then my eyes of course!

Unfortunately some sort of allergy is attacking my 15 month old! We aren't sure if it is a food allergy or something environmental. The poor boy has broken out in hives 3 times this month already and two of those have been in less than a week of each outbreak. The first time RC broke out was June 7th. We got into the doctor, he had a look and said, I'll send a prescription in for him. Watch him for any breathing issues and take him to the ER if he does. Luckily for RC and breathing issues! RC was on the medicine for 5 days. He cleared up no problem. While on it he had a little breakout when we went strawberry & bean pickin'. One reason I am leaning toward environmental!

The next outbreak was last Thursday, June 26th. We were at a friends house. The boys were playing in the kiddie pool (no chemicals) and running around the yard. Well RC wasn't running, but he was trying! He didn't show signs of a breakout until later that night. The next day, full blown hives. I called my friend just to make sure that her son didn't have any bites or anything as some of RC's spots looked like small bites. The doctor was called and another prescription called in. All was looking good...until Tuesday morning.

We were at Sandy Bottom for our monthly MOMS Club meeting. RC was playing with his friends. I went over to watch him as the playground was really too "big" for him. Not that that stopped him! I noticed he was starting to break out again. I continued watching him. We weren't there that long after he started breaking out and by the time we got home he was covered in hives again all over his body. Thankfully not in his diaper region!

On the way home, I called the doctors office and told them he had broke out horrible again and that that night would be the last dose of the current round of medicine. I also asked them if he should just see an allergist. I didn't hear back from them that day. We got home and he took the last dose that evening. It did NOTHING to make it better. I felt so bad in the morning when he woke up and just looked miserable.

Over the day he got worse and worse. We got a call from an allergist, but no appointment until July 10th. He was put to the top of the call list for cancellations but I wasn't holding my breath. Last night RC took more of the medicine he was put on plus Benadryl and he slept in diaper only. I was thinking maybe since the hives kept getting worse overnight, maybe his pj's were playing a role. This morning he woke looking a bit better and the allergist called with a cancelled appointment for this afternoon!! Woohoo...until I realized his 15 month well check was basically at the same time! We decided the allergist was more important even though the well check couldn't be rescheduled until almost a month later.

Now if the allergist can just have an idea what it might be today that would be awesome! I am hoping RC isn't allergic to the outdoors but if he is, I hope he can take a medicine for it so he doesn't have to be stuck inside! Wish us luck!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mommy Talk Tuesday (Mommy Friends!)

This week's Mommy Talk Tuesday is on Mommy Friends! How important is it to have fellow mommy friends? What are ways you have made mommy friends? What do you do about other moms who are judgmental towards your parenting style or try to push their parenting thoughts on you?
Being a SAHM I think it is very important to have fellow mommy friends. Friends in general are great, but when you become a mom, I think you need to find friends that are moms as well. Other moms know what you are going through, deal with the same issues, and don't mind talking about your kids. Face it, when we become parents, our conversations always turn back to our kid(s)! Not something a non-parent usually wants to always talk about. It is such a benefit having other moms as friends. They are a resource, someone to talk to, someone that understands.

After RC was born, I joined a local MOMS Club that is part of International MOMS Club. It has been such a great experience. I wanted a group that met all year and if there were dues, were not expense. I don't see the point in paying an arm and a leg for friends after all! :) The MOMS Club seem to be perfect. Low annual dues, meets all year, and is pretty laid back! It has been exactly what I needed to find other moms like me. I'm even president of our chapter now!

I can't really say that I have had anyone that has been judgmental about my parenting style or pushed their beliefs on me. I'd probably just let it go if I can't think of something good/nice to say back.  I do like what one friend said once when her daughter was having a meltdown after a long day at the grocery store. A lady stopped her and said "I used to carry lollipops with me for when my kids did this." My friend responded with "I don't believe in rewarding bad behavior" and continued on! I on the other hand probably wouldn't have come up with something that good to say. I probably would have just ignored her.

I think it is helpful when someone shares a parenting tip. You can usually tell when they are being nice and trying to be helpful or just plan being rude. We all parent differently and we should respect one's choices even if we don't think it is the 'right' way to do it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why do I...

always get the bright idea to do a HUGE project, get started and then the momentum just totally slow down or even stop? This happened months ago and is starting again! This time though I have to push though and finish.

Months ago I decided to rearrange our guest room to make it a better office for me. The problem...I got the big furniture moved, but didn't get organized. This became a gigantic mess. My problem now is that we decided to be a welcome family for an exchange student this upcoming year. You are probably thinking...she has several months why worry now? Well, I have to submit pictures of various areas of the apartment, including a picture of the students room. Getting the idea yet?

Yesterday I started tackling the mess. Only as I started I was beginning to find I had no where to go with most everything that is in that guest room! I brought up the idea to my hubby that we should change around closets in our bedroom. We have 4 closets in our bedroom (yeah I know ridiculous right?). Of these 4, one is a walk-in that would make a perfect office! Well that is Travis' closet and he won't give it up. Which, by the way, he only utilizes about a 1/3 of the space with his clothes. It's a totally waste of perfect space. We got to talking and he finally decided our problem is that we just need to get rid of stuff!

Well this came down to mostly wanting to get rid of MY STUFF! Not quite fair, but I do have lots of stuff. The front entry closet was the first to be tackled. Between us we went from a huge mess to having it super organized. I just wish I had taken before and after pictures for our huge disorganized chaos!

Larger furniture was also on the chopping block. My side tables for one. Not too happy about that, but I have something next to the couch that will work for now and at least RC can't crawl under it to escape out of the living room! Today we took a decent amount to a local thrift store that donates to one of the children's hospitals. There is still a ton more to do though! I still am no where near being able to take pictures...of any of the rooms!

Come Monday, I pick up all the rest of the paperwork that is needed for the student's placement. That is the day I want to be able to post the pictures. That gives me one day to really get a ton done. One day to balance RC, other house chores, organizing and deciding what to get rid of, and somewhere in there sleeping!

Wish me luck! I need it!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mommy Talk Tuesday (Best and Worst Baby Items)

This week's Mommy Talk Tuesday is on Best and Worst Baby Items. There are so many baby items out there it's hard to know what you really need and what you don't! When we were expecting RC it was overwhelming. Did we need a swing...if so what kind? What about car seat/stroller? Teething toys? Furniture? Etc, etc, etc. We decided to try and limit the amount of baby stuff. Here are the things we opted for:

Ocean Wonders™ Deep Blue Sea™ SpaceSaver Swing & Seat was a total score. We got this at a resale shop for just $25! It lasted up several months until RC was more mobile. There were times he would swing for 2 - 3 hours during nap time. We found the key, at least for him, was the vibrating seat. If it turned off while he was napping, he would start to stir. We actually loaned this to a friend that had bought a super expensive, high tech swing that didn't vibrate. They found this one helped their child to calm down and nap! This is a definite must have.

Luv U Zoo Jumperoo was by far the best thing we purchased. We bought it brand new, so we spent a decent amount on it, however, RC jumped and played for an hour or more at times. It didn't last us as long as it could have but that is because RC prefers to move freely around now. I would suggest this to anyone having a new baby.

Cloth diapers...we decided fairly soon after we found out we were expecting RC that we wanted to cloth diaper. They are a huge money saver, better for the environment, and just plain cute compared to disposables! There are so many options out there. I went to Abby's Lane and found out tons of information about cloth diaper and what I would need to get started. Best thing we could have done for our pocketbook, the planet and our son!

Sophie the Giraffe is a teether that I wish I would have been told about before I spent $20+ on other teether that RC hated! Sophie is soft, great to chew on, and squeaks! RC loved his when he was first teething. He doesn't use Sophie too much now to chew on, but he sure loves to make her squeak!

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace is another one of those items I wish someone would have told me about BEFORE RC began teething! I was skeptical at first, but after having RC wear one, I have seen teething symptoms decrease. It doesn't take away all least not for molars, but for the smaller teeth it works great. I love that I found a natural pain reliever than having to give RC tons of medicine to help.

Baby Carriers are another one of those I wish someone would have told me about. I most likely would have skipped the whole infant car seat thing. In fact, whenever we decide to have a #2 we won't be hauling an infant seat around stores anymore. Baby carriers are so much easier to tote your child around in. It gives them that sense of security, allows you to bond with them, and when they are feeling down allows them to be close but let you be hands free for other tasks! My first carrier was a Moby Wrap. I hated it...well sort of. For a plane ride with a 1 month old, it was great. RC slept the whole way. The problem....dealing with 6 feet worth of fabric to wrap around you when you have no wear to set the baby!!! I finally decided a wrap wasn't for me. My carrier now is the Beco Butterfly 2. It is awesome. You can carry an infant to a toddler up to 45 lbs! I use it around the house if RC is feeling down or just wants mommy time and I have things to do. I use it for hiking and shopping as well. You can even nurse in it, though I never tried that as I didn't end up having the need for it. There are a ton of carriers out there. I suggest attending a babywearing class if there is one near you to test out various types. There are even some companies that will let you rent them to see what you like before buying!

When it comes to worst baby items, we really didn't have much of anything that we hated. We steered clear of products that just seemed silly; such as a cover for a boy while your changing them. We opted for a wash cloth! After all it doesn't take long before you either get quick at changing them or they out grow the stage that they pee almost immediately when exposed to the air!

Now that I am becoming more familiar with certain products and how they worked with RC I would tell any new parent that:
1. you don't need it all!
2. sometimes you can make due with what you have. (Such as a changing table. You will probably end up changing them on the floor, the bed, etc.) We did opt for a changing pad in our bathroom but it did make sense with doing cloth diapers and cloth wipes and having everything right there and not wanting to lay RC on the cold, hard counter top.
3. wait and see how your kid reacts before you go buy high dollar items. You might be able to borrow a friends swing to see if your child likes it. If they don't you can save your money!
4. Check out resale shops before buying brand new. You might just score an amazing a $75 swing for $25!
5. Get a baltic amber necklace and sophie the giraffe for teething!!! It will save you money rather than buying a ton of other teething toys and medicines!
6. Invest in a high quality carry. Don't just opt for one at the discount store. It will end up hurting your back and your child may just fuss because it hurts them too!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Strawberry Pickin'

Today we went for a fun family outing to Vaughan Fam's Produce to do a bit of strawberry pickin'. RC and Travis love strawberries and it was the final weekend to get it in. It was a fun afternoon. RC had to ride on my back through most of it as he wanted to eat all the strawberries right there. In fact, he got one before I could get the bucket away from him. We would have let him eat more, but we weren't sure if they had been sprayed with chemicals at that point. Later we found out he could have stuffed his face and been fine! Oh just meant that daddy did most of the pickin' for us as RC wasn't diggin' me bending over with on my back. Plus he wanted to eat his snacks!!! Even though it was the end of the pickin' season we still managed to get two buckets worth a little over 7 pounds of strawberries!
That one daddy!
Just chillin' on my back! This is the life! (wish this would have been with my good camera. That sky is great!)
Our strawberry haul! Just look at him eying them up!
As we went to pay we found out there were may peas and snap peas as well. We grabbed two more buckets and went a pickin'! They also had some pretty good deals on squash, peaches and onions. Some of Travis' favorites. He got a huge zucchini for just 50 CENTS to make zucchini bread. He should have enough for a couple loaves!!! For breakfast tomorrow we are going to try our fresh chicken eggs as well!
May Peas (deshelled)
Snap Peas
The rest of the goodies
All in all it was a nice family outing to the farm. RC is already lovin' the strawberries. We now have 1.5 drawers in the freezer filled with them!!!
Prepped for the freezer

Friday, June 8, 2012

Madagascar 3 Crowdtap Party Kit

I recently joined where you can answer questions regarding products and get a chance to sample products and more. My first product I got to test was a digital party kit download for Madagascar 3.
For getting this chance we were supposed to host a Madagascar 3 party to gear up for the upcoming movie release on June 8th. The kit came with everything needed to host a party. It included a cake recipe, character masks, games, coloring activity sheets, and decorations. The drawback...being a digital download only, there were many things that would have taken A LOT of printer ink.

I decided to host my party with my MOMS Club. Unfortunately, I chose a bad day/time and only a couple of people could come. We still had fun though. The kids enjoyed the activity sheets, we had Madagascar 1 playing, and the cake was delicious! Due to the low number of attendees, I didn't print the masks or decorations. It was just too much ink to use up. However, the kit really was awesome and came with some great stuff. I only wish I was able to throw a better party!


There are many firsts a baby has. There are the happy firsts (smile, first laugh, first tooth, first steps) and the sad firsts (mostly illness). Today we had a sad allergic reaction. To what we have no idea. It doesn't seem to be a food allergy as he hasn't had anything new in the last few days. Except animal crackers, but those that have anything that he hasn't had in something else. No new detergents, soaps, etc. either.

The doctor is thinking environmental, but more like indoor environmental than outdoor as he hasn't been exposed to anything new outside. Well inside either for that matter. It all started with playtime with daddy. Hmm...hopefully it's not an allergy to playtime with daddy! I am thinking something in the rug perhaps, unless daddy brought something home with him from work.

Luckily the hives that RC has are not itchy. That would really make him miserable. Instead there are just quite a few. On his face, arms, torso, back, and legs. Hopefully the medicine the doctor prescribed will kick in fast. Hopefully we will find what triggered the reaction, though we may never know. For now, my poor boy looks uncomfortable. I am so thankful though that he is not so he doesn't have to suffer through it.