Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Please tell me I'm not the only one...

There are times during parenthood that you really start to question what you're doing. The times when you sit for a second and think, I seriously can't be the only person that's considered doing/has done/will do this, right?

A couple recent examples: 

  • We have a Summer Infant video monitor. I love it. The color and picture are great. The sound is incredible and it even has the ability to let you talk through it by simply pushing a button. When B goes down for a nap, or down for the night, I grab the monitor and it almost seems like the second it's in my hand I go into ninja-mode. I catch myself tip-toeing, being cautious with the noise emanating from the electric toothbrush and hair-dryer, not because these noises are in the baby's room, but because they are next to the monitor! The second it happens I catch myself and realize how silly it is. I know he can't possibly hear any of these noises through the monitor. But it never fails, the next time the monitor is in my hands, it happens again! 

  • B has been a teething monster the past couple weeks. Truthfully he's been teething since he was about 3 months old. The baltic amber necklace he wears solves the majority of any teething complaints I've ever had. That is, until molars reared their jagged little heads. At just shy of 11 months old, B started to push through his first molar. It took a full two weeks before that puppy popped all the way through. Just as that one finished up, the top ones started coming down. Yes, plural. One on each side. Tiny little tooth stalactites wrecking havoc on poor B's little gums. This made today a rough one. I can usually rely on babywearing to get me through most days where B is extra clingy, but today was different. He didn't want to be held, but didn't want to be put down. Didn't want to nurse, but kept burying his head in my chest. Didn't want to sleep, but had the reddest eyes because he was fighting it so hard. What to do, what to do...I started to recall a conversation with a friend from a few days ago about laying in the crib. After pacing the floors, I had to try. (Now, I'm not a petite person. I'm 5'10" and I won't mention my weight here, but I'm certainly not mistaken for a runway model in terms of skinny-ness. :) ) So much to B's surprise, in I hopped. and much to MY surprise, nothing broke! On me, or the crib! I sat on one side and B crawled into my lap and fell asleep after about 30 seconds. AH...Bliss! Until I realized I had to move. I couldn't sit cross-legged for very long and my knee started to twitch. I gently placed B on the other side of the crib and then had to figure out  how to get myself out of the crib without waking up the little man. I will tell you I was not the least bit graceful, or successful in my attempt to get out of the crib. He woke up, but I did secure 15 minutes of peaceful sleep for him until then and wouldn't you know, I replicated the exact position from the crib in the chair, hoping he would go back to sleep. Yeah, not so much! I'm not going to lie, I foresee this situation playing out again in the future, but I will have to plan out my escape route before getting in the crib this time. :) 

I'm sure there will be more of these moments in the future, but  for now, this will give you a glimpse into a "day in the life of..."

So, please tell me I'm not alone! Please tell me you've had your own moments like these? and PLEASE feel free to share them below!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of...Wool?

Lately I feel like I should nickname myself Oprah. Let me elaborate a bit, the more I dive into the world of cloth diapers and other eco-friendly alternatives, the more I find myself saying. "Wow! This is my new favorite thing!" I don't want to come off misleading, but I truly am finding a whole world of products I never knew existed, and loving all of them!(This next product is no exception) So, I apologize for my overuse of the phrase "favorite thing".

I've mentioned before that I tend to lean towards the "frugal" side of things. When I was introduced to this next product as a way to save time and money, I was hooked before I even tried them! What is this fantastic product? Well, its Woolzies 100% natural wool dryer balls. Wool dryer what-now? Wool dryer balls; they act as a drying-time-reducing-static-cling-killing-natural-fabric-softening dream come true. One of the first things you are told as a cloth diapering newbie is to avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets. The oils and chemicals in these products not only leave a reside in your appliances, they also leave a residue on your diapers that can make them ineffective. This got me thinking, if it's not "safe" to use on diapers, why would I use it on my clothes? So I've been doing my laundry with no softener and no dryer sheets. In Arizona, that's a recipe for crunchy laundry. With super hard water, clothes take a beating. Add line drying to that and you've got some pretty scratchy clothes. I was anxious to try out these dryer balls (I'm sure Polish Prince was looking forward to drying off after a shower and not worried about getting cuts from the towels...ok, it's not that bad, but you get the idea!) The folks behind Woolzies were fantastic and set me a set of dryer balls to review AND one of you will get your very own set as well! Keep reading!

When you get your "set" of Woolzies Dryer balls, you will get a sleeve of 6 balls. The directions state:
"Simply toss 6 or more balls into the dryer to create loft while dryer tumbles. Reduces drying time, wrinkles, and static without the harsh chemicals of conventional fabric softeners." 

Hm, ok, sounds easy enough! So I tested them first with a load of towels. I thought for sure that my brown towels would dye these pretty ivory wool balls or at the very least leave a lovely brown, pilly, residue. But when the dryer was done I checked it out, and the balls looked no different than when I put them in there in the first place! The FAQ section on their website states that the Woolzies will last at least one full year or 500 loads, and in most cases even longer. I can see why! I've been using these for a few weeks now and they still look brand new! So, for $35.99 you get 6 balls, I'm not a mathematician but let's break this down. $36 divided by a minimum of 500 loads of laundry is about 7cents a load. That's not even factoring in the energy savings and potential health benefits because they are chemical free! Sounds like a great deal to me! Side note: Allergy concerns? Woolzies states "Since the wool is not directly touching your skin and does not shed, everyone can use WOOLZIES without any allergic reactions." :)
B wanted you to see a close-up!

An added bonus to using dryer balls...when removing clothes from the dryer, you'll have to keep an eye on these balls, especially if you have pets! The dryer balls end up stuffed in a shirt sleeve, in a pant leg, in the curved corners of a fitted sheet, the possibilities are endless! It is also slightly amusing when folding laundry and one of them pops out and rolls to the floor! Have a toddler? These will help to keep them entertained when you're folding laundry!

 Ok, now that I've got you hooked, here's how you get your own! You can order directly from their site here or take your chances on winning a set by using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Thank you to Woolzies for providing the items for review and giveaway. The opinions expressed are strictly my own and not influenced in any way**

Monday, August 13, 2012

Time Management

I used to really be good at time management! Heck, I'm a great multi-tasker, I take pride in my work, and I'm generally Type-A when it comes to organization. This last month seems to be the exception! I'm sorry my dear blog, I've been neglecting you. My days instead have been filled up with family visits, birthday celebrations, trying to keep up with a 10 month old running machine, and molars. Yes, molars. What 10 month old gets a molar!? 

Anyway, I've learned a couple things these past few weeks. I really love writing a blog; I love that I'll have a digital memory book to share with B some day, and I love that I can learn about new products and share them with all of you as well. I think when I took on the commitment of doing a blog that has product reviews that I didn't realize the amount of time and work that really goes into them. And I'm just a small, new blog! To the mama's that run huge ones with tons of giveaways and events, I salute you! I've learned that despite loving all the aforementioned things about blogging, I don't love it more than my time with my family and friends. I found myself distracted when I would be playing with B, my mind wandering to my next post, my next facebook update, my next photo. I'd feel guilty for wishing that time away for him to nap so I could get caught up on blogging. Then I took a step back. Was I seriously wanting him to nap, just to be able to talk about the fun things he was doing? That didn't make sense to me. So this last month has been like a sabbatical for me. Time to step away, unplug a bit, regroup, and re-evaluate priorities. I feel like my batteries are re-charged, I'm ready to get back at it, and I have a better plan for my time management :) 

With that being said, I've got a couple reviews/giveaways that will be posting soon and will also try to dedicate more time to documenting family time. My 1:1 time with my sweet little man is limited, I need to take advantage!! :) Thank you for understanding!