"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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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mother-Ease Winner!

We have a winner! It's always weird to me when random.org picks the first or last entry, but I'm sure it's not weird for Amy, since she was #1 & the winner!  

Congratulations Amy! I'll be sending you a message & you have 24 hours to respond :)

True Random Number Generator  1

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happiness is...

completing a 21.5 mile bike ride that commences in pouring rain, has massive, treacherous hills to climb with approximately 30 other adults.

learning to watch grown up tv, while being able to enjoy the humor.  thanks jon stewart. i appreciate education & humor entwined.

getting hit on at a stoplight. although a gentleman in a dirty truck that has balls hanging from it who yells "do you have facebook" is questionable... as is that pick up line. no sir, i do not have facebook... at least not for you!

fall premiere week. both our dvr's will be full by week's end :)

great couple friends.

good music. always makes me smile.

bargain shopping. got 14 pieces at Old Navy for B & me the other day, in total $100.00. wa-hoo, fall newbies for me & B! plus a sweet coupon for a Halloween costume!

Monday, September 13, 2010

good days ahead

today is a good day.  unfortunately, mike will be gone for 3 days... but... it's still a good day. things are happening, we're having a good time & i'm excited for what's next.

...of course, that crispy fall weather is helping in the morning! by mid-afternoon it's still in the 80's, but 55 degree mornings & cups of coffee go well together.

we have a bike ride in wisconsin this weekend & i'm packing the week full beforehand.  today it's the dog park, story time & a few errands...

tomorrow it's the family museum & the farmer's market.

more dog park, bike ride shopping, cookie baking, book reading, shoe shopping, new recipes (butternut squash risotto - thanks grandma, for the squash!) laundry & cleaning thrown in there... 8th grade football games & more.

AND... here's something cool if you're in the quad-cities... the qc times has deals (just like groupon, for those who are familiar) & this week's is a sweet gift card to the best mexican restaurant in the country (i feel qualified to make this statement, as we've searched high & low through seattle, chicago, peoria, & all of iowa & have never found a restauarant up to par with azteca).  i'm picking up $100 worth of gift cards today! want in on it? here's the link: http://upickem.net/84sQzUlQZ1Z

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

please excuse the awful picture quality - we forgot our camera & these were all taken from my iphone (3G)

 Last weekend we took B to the Circus.  It.Was.Amazing! I'd actually never been to a circus before (I grew up in a tiny little town... there were no circus' coming through there!).  They packed so much into those two hours, they aren't kidding when they say
"It's the greatest show on Earth!"

B started out a little skeptical... like he couldn't quite figure out why there were all these people hanging from fabric ... and the clowns! They were actually pretty cool looking & not creepy at all.  Then the dogs came out.  A whole bunch of dogs, all different sizes, walking on their hind feet, jumping over all kinds of hurdles... one in a dress, dancing.  B immediately started jumping up & down, dancing along to the music & clapping.  He LOVED the dogs.  Personally, I loved the elephants.  They were so well trained & they had tricks like you wouldn't believe.  Seriously, awesome. 

At one point there were 6 horses that ran around in a circle (forgive me, KC, if you're reading this, I'm sure there's more technical terms for it!) & the horse in the back kept nudging the others.  I leaned over & asked Mike why he thought that one was slacking off, head-butting his friends.  Mike replied that he was actually supposed to do that, to keep them in their circle.  Oh, that makes sense!  Then my mom commented that they looked sad, which I agreed with... which then had me asking about the treatment of the animals in the circus.  Do you think they like it? Or are they miserable? Does anyone know? (Kace, I'm looking at you!)

The tigers were gorgeous, as they jumped & growled & showed off their tricks.  The acrobats were awesome, as they wrapped themselves up in their threads (again, technical terms in a circus for $400, Alex?), the clowns were hilarious, & even the villian, Mr. Gravity, was pretty funny! The magic tricks were pretty tricky - we adults couldn't quite figure out a couple of them, the dancers were graceful & the animals rocked.

Will we go again? Definitely! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CSN Stores... upcoming!

Since we moved from a two bedroom town home to a 4 bedroom house, with a finished basement, we're missing a lot of things... or just lacking in a lot of things.  Luckily, CSN Stores has offered me a $35 gift certificate for a review item!  I'm trying to decide what I'd like & I'm looking at things like Corelle (since I'm missing some of mine that we got for our wedding!), some baby products (of course), something to hold all of my jewelry (cause I have a ton of Cookie Lee bling for my own collection!), or furniture.

Of course, shopping with CSN Stores is super easy, because they have over 200 online stores with anything you could ever want or need! I can't wait to share with you what I get & how it complements our new house :)

Thanks CSN Stores!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Abby Evans Photography Session - discount available!

"I love to watch people interact and I love to capture relationships with photography." 
---abby evans

If you're my friend on facebook, you've probably seen my newest album.  We finally got professional pictures of B taken ... at 19 months! We had newborn shots taken when B was about a week & a half old & really didn't like the experience... we then tried 3 month shots & really hated that experience.  That's when Mike bought me a Canon Rebel XS & told me to get to work, because we weren't putting B through this anymore.  What changed his mind?

Perhaps you remember when I introduced my dear friend, Abby, who is starting a photography business?  Well, she recently relocated from Phoenix, where she started her business & she now lives in Chicago! Yay for us, right?  So we ventured out a couple weeks ago & she got to work.  B was comfortable with her, of course, but even if he hadn't known her, I know it would've gone just as well.

Abby was fantastic with him, chasing him around & just letting him do his own thing, while snapping shots. (In the past, each photographer just sat there waiting for B to do something picture worthy & then tried to set up the shot. Ummm.... not happening people - you've gotta be ready or you'll never get that picture worthy pose!)

These pictures definitely capture the little boy that is my B. 

Take a minute & check out Abby's website & her blog, where she writes about everything from photography to wine to family.  Are you in the Chicago area & you want to book her for your next photo shoot? Mention you read about her on Big City! Baby & she'll give you a discounted rate of $50.00 a session.  This includes 5 fully retouched photos AND full rights to print them or use them however they want (this is super important to me!).   Not in Chicago, but still pretty local (Illinois, Iowa, Omaha area)? Shoot her an email & chat with her about traveling - abby@abbyevansphotography.com

I can't wait to have these photos hanging in my house! 

Aren't they fantastic? 

Monday, September 6, 2010

mother-ease review & GIVEAWAY!

Picture of B will be added soon... he's napping & I left the camera in his room :(

I received a Sandy's fitted diaper from Canadian company, Mother-ease Cloth Diapers, in gorgeous, gorgeous green - I was so excited for it, since we're pretty much out of green diapers these days.  I was also given a Sandy's Cloth Diaper Liner & an Air Flow cover (in Oceans), so I could try it on B for overnight.

First - a little background:

Mother-Ease uses 4 different fabrics for their diapers.  You can choose from Cotton Terry, Organic Cotton Terry, Bamboo Terry, & Stay-dry.  I choose the cotton terry, because I wanted the color!

Here's what Mother-ease has to say about their Sandy's fitteds:
These cloth diapers are made from our same soft stretchy terry cloth using the same quality of workmanship, but they have an extra layer of absorbent terry sewn to the inside of the diaper. The fit of the cloth diaper is slightly roomier. Elastic at the waist front and back as well as the leg openings, together with the snap closures at the sides create a clean pant-like look. A serged edge finishes the diaper. Our large Sandy’s™ cloth diaper is one of the most absorbent cloth diapers ever, and holds 15 oz. When used together with our Sandy’s™ Cloth Diaper Liners it makes an extravagant nighttime cloth diaper.

I'd definitely agree that these are incredibly absorbent diapers.  I go back & forth in my personal opinions about fitteds & one issue I always have is when a fitted is soaked completely through after an overnight.  I can't stand thinking of how B's booty must feel, sitting in this soaking wet diaper all night long ... this was definitely not an issue with the Sandy's Fitted & that makes this mama a happy mama!

I was a little concerned as to the fit of the diaper & cover, because B is just hovering around 21 pounds.  Sandy's are available in two sizes - Small is 8-20 pounds while Large is 20- 35 pounds. I ordered a large & was worried it'd fall off of him.  This was not the case.  It is a bit larger than most of his diapers, but it's not so large that it's an issue, especially at night.  We haven't had a single leak, both without the extra Cloth Diaper Liner during the day, & with it overnight.  Awesome, awesome, awesome.

The Air Flow Cover comes in a variety of colors & prints - all listed as Eco-Themed (& we all know how much I love Eco- anything!).   Mother-ease Cloth Diapers stands by the breathability in their covers, which is a great concept.  Of course, all cloth diaper products should breathe more efficiently than it's disposable counterpart, but some breathe better than others.

Bottom line: Great diaper combo & I'll be thrilled to continue using it as B gets bigger, & future kiddos after him!  My only 'complaint' is that personally, I'd rather they offer a third, in between, size for my munchkin of a kid.  All in all, certainly a diaper I will use & certainly a diaper I would love to purchase!

Speaking of purchase... Want your own Mother-ease Cloth Diaper? You can purchase them at the Mother-ease Cloth Diaper website (it has a handy shopping cart for the US or for Canadians) or you can win one right here!  Mother-Ease has generously offered up one Sandy's Fitted Diaper, as well as an Air Flow Cover.

Here's how to enter:

mandatory entry: follow my blog & tell me which Sandy's color/fabric you'd choose, as well as which pattern/color of cover you'd pick. 

as always, please leave me an email address or some other way to contact you, so you can win! 

extra entries: 

follow Mother-ease Cloth Diapers on twitter, as well as @mandyw526

tweet this once a day: Win a Sandy's Fitted & Air Flow Cover from @motherease & @mandyw526:  http://tiny.cc/t9uzb Ends 9/28 #giveaway

like Mother-ease Cloth Diapers on Facebook

And lastly, as always, sign up for Swagbucks using this code:   You'll get 40 Swagbucks just for signing up & by searching, you'll win 'bucks that you can turn in for prizes, gift cards & more!

fine print: open to all US or Canadian residents. winner will be drawn on September 28 at 9pm cst via random.org. winner will be notified & has 24 hours to reply.

the world is my stage

and so is the fireplace!