"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

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Monday, March 29, 2010

bVg tote winner!

jess (@graceandbrynley) wins for her second tweet on 3/13 ... that daily tweeting must be where it's at!

thanks for participating everyone!!

jess has been emailed & has 24 hours to respond before i must draw a new winner.

Weekend Smiles

Instead of a long drawn out post on why my weekend rocked, I'll just summarize.

A great friend in town for her Spring Break- she's B's godfather's fiance & we love to see her when she's here (she lives in Arkansas til graduation in May).  We met up in Chicago & went for a bike ride down the Lake Shore bike path.  The Hubs & the Godfather used to go last summer all the time, when we lived in Lincoln Park.  This was my first real ride (excluding a quick spin around the bike shop parking lot) on my new bike!  Here's my new bike, here's B in his trailer, & here's the view at Navy Pier! (disclaimer- all pictures taken from my iPhone)

We did discover that B, like me, is allergic to penicillin, so throughout the weekend we had to keep up with Benadryl & watch his rash.  It didn't stop us from having fun though!  (and yes, he has food in his mouth)

Yesterday was gorgeous, when the sun was out & we did some shopping we needed to do.  We are all in a wedding on May 1st & we needed to get B's tux, the shower gift & my dress for the bachelorette party.  After shopping we took Tucker to the park.   Here's a few pictures from yesterday:

I got these amazing shoes & I can't wait to wear them out with this awesome dress!

A few other honorable mentions...

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Did you watch? I did. And I'm so excited for people in America to start getting IT.

I got a blog review request & if it comes in time, my wedding shower dilemma will be solved!

My shoes for the actual wedding are 'on the truck for delivery'.  If you're my twitter friend, you may have participated in my poll to decide which style to get. I ended up waiting too long & ordered the only pair in my size (hopefully)! I haven't worn exciting shoes for a long time so I'm excited, all though I know I'll be terrified of being a giant in 4 inch heels!

And... because Blogger is sucking it up right now & not uploading half of these pictures... I'll just tell you, rather than show you, that there are 4 large boxes of products for Baby D.  I'm waiting on 2 more packages & then everything will get sent!

Oh! And The Kind Diet is waiting for me at the library!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's a Hairy Situation

Or perhaps Greasy would be more correct.

As you all know, I'm working on switching to organic, vegan, etc, etc products.  So far, I've liked the things I've switched to ... except the shampoo.  I've bought Trader Joe's organic shampoo & conditioner & then I tried some organic shampoo from an Etsy shop.

So far, no luck.  As soon as I get out of the shower & comb my hair, it feels greasy.  Right after I blow dry it, it feels greasy.  The back especially. Ugh!

Any ideas? Any suggestions?

I've been thinking about going no 'poo or possibly conditioner only... but I'm leery because I am in a wedding on May 1st.  I also have two bridal showers & a bachelorette party before then ... I can't have yucky greasy hair.

What do I do?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sugar Frustrations. Part 2.

So to picking up where I left off in this post...

B ends up sleeping almost the entire rest of the night, leaving all of us incredibly perplexed on Sunday. And tired. We start chatting about what could've possibly gone wrong as we watch B spinning circles & running around our house, like a maniac.  Seriously, what's gotten into this kid?

And then we figure it out.  The Amoxicilin! See, they make it all pink & bubble gummy to entice kids into taking it.  I mean, really, B was sucking it down like it's water.  Only, B doesn't really eat sugar or artificial flavoring.  Yes he eats fruit, which is full of (natural) sugar, but he doesn't eat cookies or cake on a regular basis.

Fast forward to Monday morning when I call the pediatrician's office to ask if I can get a new prescription. I'm told by a friend that I should be able to get a sugar free version.  The nurse calls me back, where she proceeds to laugh at me & say (in the rudest tone I have ever heard from a medical professional) "What do you mean, you've never given him a cookie? Or a cupcake? Not even on his birthday!?" She sounds bewildered.  As though all normal 14 month old children chow down on cookies & cupcakes everyday.  I guess this is America, right, where a large percentage of the population is obese, so shoveling cookies down a toddler's throat is apparently acceptable.

Am I the only one who thinks this nurse is a bit of a whack job for yelling at a mom who doesn't give her toddler extra sugar?  (I guess I know I'm not the only one, since the Huz is pretty pissed about it & my MIL agreed with me... & then told me to mock the nurse by bringing her organic treats the next time I go in)...

Whoa. Stop the presses.  Just got a phone call from said nurse regarding yesterday. We'll get to that momentarily. 

Well now this story has taken a turn.  So yesterday, I'm all sorts of irritated that the nurse would speak to me as if I'm crazy.  She literally just called me. Right now. While I'm typing this.  Not joking.  And she says that she forgot to call Walgreens to ask about the prescription! WTF?! What if this was more serious than a sugar high?  What if he was allergic?! (Not that far fetched, considering I am, in fact, allergic to it!)

So I decide to tell her how I feel about yesterday's conversation.  I'm nice about it.  In reality, I'm shaking because I HATE confrontation. (If you knew me in high school, you'd try to disagree with this statement, but I've always hated confrontation.  I'm a big talker, but that's about it.)  So I tell her that I was offended with her response & that I think I'm actually doing my son a big favor by not letting him know how artificial sugar tastes yet.  I tell her I think it was inappropriate for her to question the way I feed my son.  She says she certainly didn't mean to, but she does love to see 1st birthday pictures of kids with frosting & cake- as in sugary cake.  Did you all see pictures of B on his birthday? Did I post one?  I will. Complete with frosting & cake.  (All organic, naturally sweetened frosting & cake, that is).  I assure her that he had a party complete with frosting, cake & all the things he could ever want.  And then I thank her for getting back to me & I hang up.

So that's that.  I feel better about being honest, but I'm still a little leery of this practice that I'm sending my son too.  Our regular pediatrician had suggested that I wean him, shortly after his first birthday "because cow's milk has more calories" & he's a little on the small side.  Ignore that he's growing perfectly & he's healthy- he's just small.  Ignore that he was less than 6 pounds when we came home from the hospital.  Ignore that he is on the charts, because apparently he's not fat enough for our doctor, I guess.  She suggested I stuff him with Carnation Instant Breakfast.  Um, no thank you.  I'm not sure what's in that stuff, but I can assume that I can't pronounce most of it.  She then suggested I give him Life cereal to make certain he has enough iron, because (in her words) "It has some sugar in it, so most kids will eat it right up!"

And we're still breastfeeding.  And when we're done, we won't be jumping on the cow's milk bandwagon, thank you.

Again I ask, am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?

Sugar Frustrations. Part 1.

B has a sinus infection. Yuck.  As someone who has never had one, I can't really relate.  But the Hubs has had many a sinus infection.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that he always has one & occasionally it gets worse.  We had taken B to the pediatrician's office last Friday, because his fever came back with a vengeance- over 102 degrees! EEK!  This is when he was diagnosed with the secondary infection- sinus infection.  We were given a script for Amoxicillin... again, something I know little about, because I'm allergic to all things ending in 'illin (except for chillin'. Okay, that was lame, but I couldn't resist!).  So anyway, fast forward to Saturday evening.  The Huz & I were on our way to a movie (a date? ooh la la!) while my in-laws were at our house with a sleeping B.  But, did I mention that my wonderful Huz lives in a constant fog of sinus infection, himself?  Right, so he got the theater mixed up & unless we wanted to see Diary of a Whimpy Kid, we were SOL on a movie.

Little did we know, it must've been the stars aligning to send us back home.  We wandered around Best Buy a bit, cause that's dear hubby's favorite store, where we pretended to be 15 year old girls & we purchased New Moon.

Fast forward again... we're at home. Mother in law is popping popcorn, I'm giving Father in Law the rundown on Twilight (since I own all four books & have actually read them, this makes me somewhat of the family expert, plus I've managed to stay awake the two times Hubs & I have watched Twilight, whereas he has not).  Did I mention Hubs has a 13 year old brother?  I'm sure he was thrilled to watch New Moon (haha... yeah right).  I'm not sure that KStew has the same effect on tween boys that Mr. Robert Pattinson & Mr. Taylor Lautner have on women of all ages, what with her seemingly constipated & can't get words out of her mouth acting (Ooh, I've let you in on my secret almost disdain for the Twilight movies... & yet... I watch).

So anyway, back to the real topic at hand.  I should stop getting distracted.

B wakes up.

Weird.  But not completely uncommon.  I give him a minute. He screams. Uh oh- maybe he's stuck? (Yeah, he gets his limbs stuck in the crib slats, but that's an entirely different post, which I will get to one of these days).  I run upstairs.  He is, in fact, a little bit stuck.  I unstick him & nurse him- he is sickly after all.  Back down I go.  Ooh Taylor Lautner has his shirt off - good timing!

(Now that he's 18, it's acceptable to say that right? Seeing as I'm only  7 years older than him, I can say that, right? Any of these excuses working?)

And we're watching.  And again, B wakes up.  I run back up. And here's where the night falls apart.  I'll spare you all the details, as I've already made this post entirely too long by blabbing on about Twilight.  B proceeds to stay wide awake for the next three hours.  I try nursing, I try rubbing his back, I try co sleeping, I try a little CIO.  Nothing works.  I bring him back in our room where he discovers my alarm clock.  He stares at it as he's a crack addict, mesmerized by the glowing red light (is this a correct analogy? Any crack addicts out there who will confirm or deny this?) 

Hubs tosses him over to mother in law, who gives it her best shot.  After a while, in which she says he has fallen asleep twice, only to startle himself awake again & shout 'mama...mama... dada!" I realize it's time for more Motrin.  I go in, give it to him & bring him back to our bed, where he nurses & passes out.

Um. Crazy kid much?

Anyone wanna guess what happened to my sweet, calm, pretty well sleeping, tired little boy?

I'll let you (k)stew on it for a bit & get back to you in the next post... sans Twilight this time!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wix and Whacks Soap Review

So earlier this year I made the statement that I would not purchase personal products from stores like Target or Walgreens, etc., anymore.  So far, I've done pretty well, aside from a travel sized tube of toothpaste for the Huz a few weeks ago.  Of course, this is in part because we stock up on these items as stocking stuffers for Christmas.  Yeah, that's how we roll.  Boring gifts like shaving cream & new toothbrushes.

The first product I really ran out of though, was body wash.  I generally just grab a bottle of Caress, Dove, or whatever is on sale & smells good at Target, but not this time.  Not anymore.  So I researched. And harassed my dear friend, Brooke, who has given me lots & lots of recommendations.  And I researched some more.  And then one night as we were tweeting, Brooke pointed out Wix and Whacks.  I really liked that they're part of the Etsy Green Clean Guild, after Brooke explained what that was anyway!  I also really, really liked that their location is right here in Illinois.  It's practically two birds with one stone- buying safely AND locally! WaHoo!

So I ordered the Lime Coconut Cooler whipped cream soap.  I was so excited when I got it!  The container is so cute & it makes me smile every time I open it in the shower.  I love how creamy it is.  I just scoop a little bit out with my fingers & put it on my shower poof & wa la! It's super soapy & smells delicious!  It's pretty inexpensive as well, especially when you consider how great the ingredients are.  The only 'con' I had was how long it took to get here... but I'm blaming that one on my mail lady (remember, the suspected thief in this post?).  I think she inspects all my packages before handing them over... any day now I expect her to order some jewelry, but for now, I think she's spending her free time on Etsy, oogling the shops that I purchase from.

Another product I'm excited about is the candles from Wix and Whacks.  I ordered a few late last week & just received them!  I love that they're soy, which is so much safer to burn & I am all for safety in a house with a nosy little 14 month old.

A few other companies I can't wait to try out are BLSoaps & SpaTherapy, but I know I already love Wix and Whacks, so I'll be doing plenty of shopping with them!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baby D

I wanted to do an update on the items I've received for Baby D & share some of the amazing gifts that have been given!  (This will also help with those of you who have just recently contacted me asking what we still need!)

Here's a few pictures:

Ring Sling, books, Lovey, carseat toy, onesie, Muggabug cloth wipes, disposable wipes, handmade knit hats & mittens, SleepyWrap, SleepyWrap Teddy Bear, Grandma El's ointment, baby socks, Target giftcard

Gorgeous quilt handmade by Jewel at PieceMama.  This is SO amazing- I want to buy one now!

Diapers & covers- xsmall/newborn on left & medium/large on right. 

I know we've got a set of one size diapers coming, along with a couple more covers, as well as a Mommy Necklace & a few other items. Thanks to everyone who has already sent these items & to those of you who are shipping soon! I truly appreciate it & I know Baby D's mama will too.

If you'd still like to help, shoot me a message on twitter or by email: amandawallace526 at gmail dot com


Monday, March 15, 2010

Sick Day

We're a little sick over here... Well I'm not really sick, but I'm super tired.  B is sick. He has a yucky virus. So we've been a little mia online & on here. Sorry about that. We'll be up to speed soon... (I hope).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get yo-self some Brooke Van Gory

this giveaway is now closed. congratulations to the winner & thanks for participating. thanks to Brooke for sponsoring!

Brooke Van Gory.  Have you met her?  ...I have.  And she's fabulous.  And her work is fabulous.  I've been searching for a new tote bag, cause it's (almost, God willing) Spring time & I need new bags for new seasons.  It's kind of like water... I require it.  Anyway, I couldn't find one I really liked or that I felt was worth the money in my bank account, so I started chatting with Brooke.  And guess what? She said she could make a tote!  And after talking with my friend, Madison, I knew I needed a bag by Brooke!

We picked out some fabric & I decided it was worth some money in my bank account, so she got to work. Very quickly.  I knew Brooke had a ton of orders that she was in the middle of, but she squeezed me in to her schedule.  In the midst of other orders, she found time to complete my bag & showed me pictures!  I was in love.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  So she tossed it in the mail.  And there we sat.  For 8 days.  8 days.  Did I mention, Brooke lives about 20 minutes from me?  I spent the week anxiously running to the mailbox (best week of Tucker's life during this yucky Winter crap).  And everyday I didn't see it.  I began to assume that my mail lady had heard how great Brooke is & she'd obviously taken the bag for herself.  Finally, on Friday (like I said, 8 days later) I opened my mailbox & saw the box.  Hooray! 

Here's the basics (directly from BvG on Etsy):
The Fundamental is a generously sized tote-style diaper bag. It is perfect for daily running around, for trips to the park, or to leave with a sitter. A bit smaller (not by much) then The Expedient this bag was bult to allow for plenty of room inside to allow for diapers, blankies, toys, and bibs, and 2 outer pockets for "mommy things".

This bag is also daddy friendly! How do I know? Because my diaper bag loathing husband carries one! And so does his brother, also a new daddy! I do find that with the male crowd, however, they tend to like solid colors of duck cloth for the whole bag.

This bag has 2 large flap pockets on the inside, and 2 smaller pockets on the outside. It is fully lined for durability, and can stand on it's own. Also on the inside, is a small zip pocket, to keep any items that you need to keep hidden. The bag closes with a tab closure and metal magnetic snaps.


Height: 13"
Strap length: 23"
Strap Drop: 13"

I love that there's 3 sections on the inside- 1 for my wallet & other mama stuffs, the middle for food & snacks, B's water, & a change of clothes & the other side for wipes, wetbag, etc.  Because I sell Cookie Lee Jewelry, I always have a few catalogs in my bag & whaddya know?  The outside pockets seem to have been measured perfectly for them! 

Want to get your hands on a faboo bag or other item?  Here's how:

Go to Brooke Van Gory Designs & make a purchase!

Update: Brooke has offered up a discount of 10% on any purchase from now through March 31st. Use the code "Big City Baby" in the notes to seller. That. is. truly. fabulous. 

Or you can win a matching (to mine) tote bag here!  Brooke has generously offered up a Fundamental Tote (in the same colors as mine) to one of my lovely readers! 

This entry is mandatory & must be done to qualify to win:  Go to Brooke's Etsy Shop & tell me your favorite item.  Be sure to include your email address or another way for me to contact you.  If I can't contact you, you can't win. Got it? Good :) 

Extra Entries:

1. Subscribe to my blog. Be sure to confirm it; this will be verified (worth 2 entries- comment separately for each).

2. Follow my blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.

3. Grab my button; let me know where it is.

4. Follow Brooke's blog.

5. Heart Brooke's shop on Etsy, or heart a specific item (let me know what item it is)

6. Fan Brooke Van Gory Designs on Facebook.

7. Follow @mandyw526 & @crossbones_inc on twitter. Leave your twitter name on the comment. 

8.  Tweet this twice daily (minimum 4 hours apart)- Win a fabulous BVG  tote bag from  @mandyw526 & @crossbones_inc: http://bit.ly/a8A8HT

9. Blog about this giveaway; let me know where the entry is.

10. Make a purchase through Brooke Van Gory.  Let me know what you bought- worth 15 extra entries!

Giveaway ends March 28th at 9pm CST. Winner will be drawn via random number generator & will be contacted via email/twitter/text.  Winner has 24 hours to a respond before I will draw another winner.  Thanks for participating & Thanks to Brooke Van Gory for sponsoring!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SmartKnit KIDS Socks Winner!

Congrats to Kaylyn for winning with her daily tweet (Wednesday morning)! I'll shoot you an email or a tweet or something & you'll have 24 hours to respond with what colors you want for Miss Nat!  Thanks everyone!!!!

True Random Number Generator  28

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back to School, Back to School...

On Friday, I'm heading to North Central College to talk to an Admission's Counselor.  What?! I can't believe it either.

I've been thinking about going back to school for a year or two now... practically since I got out of school really, & now seems like as good of time as any to start deferring my massive student loans, so why not?

I don't know where to begin.  In fact, that's what has had me at a standstill for the past year or so.  No idea where to begin.  Well, that & the fact that we average a new city every 9 months.  But not anymore- that's behind us (unless we literally move behind our house, across the city line, which we may very well do, but that's where all the schools are, so that would be an acceptable move).

Anyway, I just printed off my old transcripts, dug out a copy of community college transcripts from when I was in high school, & I printed off a campus map so I won't get lost on Friday.  The Huz is coming home early to be with B.

Oh yes, B.  Unfortunately, this particular school doesn't have an onsite daycare... not sure what we'll do there.  Classes are mostly daytime.  I'll have to leave B.  Maybe with his daddy, maybe with a friend of mine. Or maybe, worst of all (for me, I mean), a stranger.  Oh no.

...perhaps that's the real thing that's been holding me in place, after all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cookie Lee gift certificate winner!

Cookie Lee jewelry gift certificate winner!

True Random Number Generator  25
 Madison won for her daily tweet! Congrats Madison... I'll send you an email! 

thanks for playing along everyone!

Baby D can Profit from Your Shopping

Want some new Muggabug

Want to help Baby D? 

How bout doing both at the same time? 

Janet, at Muggabug, has offered to take 25% of TODAY'S sales & generously make Baby D some items worth that much! How nice is that?  She has gorgeous wool covers listed & does custom work.  And how cute is this Ooga tshirt?

Check out Muggabug to see your options! And THANK YOU for all of your help! 

Please pass this along- tweet about it, blog about it, facebook it- just get it out there! Thanks!!