Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Baby Organic Baby Food

Mindful Momma is having a great Happy Baby Organic Food giveaway.

HAPPYBABY is committed to making baby food as healthy and delicious as homemade.

meals come in 15 flavors with a great variety of meats, veggies, grains and fruits for baby’s budding palette. Their food trays are BPA FREE, with individual cubes for less waste and no heating in plastic.

BABY contains no nuts, soy, dairy, sugar, wheat or eggs. The meals are all organic with 100% natural ingredients.

You can order HappyBaby products from Amazon - we also have products available at our local Babies R Us and Whole Foods.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Before & After House Pictures - Fairway Drive

Kitchen - We gutted the kitchen in the summer of 2004. I was pregnant with Davis and VERY hormonal. I changed the floor plan and cabinet configuration right in the middle of construction. I think it was worth it! Yes, those are avocado green METAL cabinets! They now reside in our laundry room and have been painted white.

Breakfast area - This little area was pretty tight for a table so we turned it into a window seat. It is definitely one of my favorite places in the house - the window looks out onto the backyard. Again, avocado green shutters.

Dining Room/Family Room - We removed the wall between the kitchen and the original dining room and made it into a little family room.

Living Room - We removed the back wall to open it up to what is now the dining room.

Den/Dining Room - This room was originally a den. Over the last 5 years it has served many purposes, but now it is our dining room.

Basement - We remodeled the basement in the summer of 2005. We live in this space. The basement has a family room, playroom, guest room/office and laundry. Do you see a color scheme developing?
Bathroom - We remodeled the bathroom last summer. It is our only full bath so it was a bit challenging not having a bath for a couple weeks.

Stairway - The whole house was covered in this turquoise carpet. We opened up the staircase and ripped up all the carpet.

Transition area

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Creative Bathroom Storage

I saw this great idea over at the Nester's place. Traditionally, the vanity space in the bathroom has been reserved for a sweet little chair for you to sit on while applying make-up and curling your hair.

If you have the time to do such things, congratulations! If on the other hand you need more storage space in your bathroom, this solution works for me!

I would love to tell you I whipped up this little skirt on my own sewing machine, but I'd be fibbing. My dear friend, Chris, who also enables my
pillow addiction made this for me. She simply sewed a little pocket for me to slide a tension rod through. The Nester can show you how to create a no-sew skirt.

Right now, I have a trash can and a potty seat stored behind there. I also have a little drawer unit to store the kids' bath toys and extra toiletries.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Beach or Bust

I love everything about the water! Any kind of water will do, but I especially love the beach. We are fortunate. The past few summers we've been able to vacation at two beaches - Panama City Beach, FL and Bethany Beach, DE.

Davis in the pool at Bethany Beach in 2005

Meg adjusting to the sand last summer.

Each beach is special in its own way, but there's nothing quite like the white sand at Panama City Beach. Each summer we load up the car and head south for a month. It's a great opportunity for us to visit with friends and family. It's also a great opportunity for me to dig my toes down into some delightful white sand!

With the possibility of a move, we might not make it down south this summer. Rest assured we'll get to a beach somehow, and at least two of my kids will be in Huggies Little Swimmers.

Head on over to The Parent Bloggers Network to share your summer stories.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kale - 2 months

Dear Kale,

You're 2 months old today. You came into our lives quite unexpectedly, but you complete our family perfectly. You're cooing and smiling at your brother and sister already. You really are such a sweet and loving little boy. We love you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WFMW: Blogger in Draft

Awhile back my friend, Ilene, introduced me to Blogger in Draft.

Blogger in draft is a special version of Blogger. A laboratory where Blogger experiments with new features before releasing them to everyone.

If you're using Blogger and want to try it out, log on to If you want to stop using it and go back to “normal” Blogger, simply log in to Your blogs and posts are the same regardless of whether you use Blogger in draft or regular Blogger. The only difference is what you see in the interface.

One of the great "experiments" tested and passed through Blogger draft is scheduling future-dated posts. Hopefully, Blogger draft will continue to put out new features to make blogging easier.

For more tips head over Shannon's place.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Where Joy and Sorrow Meet

I’ve often said my heart lives in a place where joy and sorrow meet. It’s a small little place in my soul where all my blessings and heartaches come to mingle. It is bittersweet. It is my life.

I take comfort in this place. It reminds me of all I have and all I’ve lost. My joys and sorrows know each other well. They’ve spent years learning to coexist.

I am thankful for this place. I am thankful for a loving God who provides me with the strength and peace to take up residence in this place.

I am blessed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Updates: Kale & Open House

Kale's ENT appointment didn't provide us with any new information. Basically, the doctor suspects there is fluid involved, but his ear canals are too small to examine. We will go back in six weeks for a possible cat scan to look at the structure of his ear. The doctor also wants to put him under for about 5 minutes for a procedure similar to having tubes put in. The risks associated with anesthesia will be reduced after 4 months of age, so we wait.

He's just so darn sweet. He's responding to sound much more these days and has started following voices and images around the room.

We've decided to push back our Open House for a couple of weeks. Due to the rain, a lot of exterior work hasn't been complete and there just doesn't seem to be a reason to stress out about it. We've also decided to extend our house search into a different area that'll be a lot closer for Bob's work. We're going to look at this new area Sunday so I'm excited about that.

My mom gets back in town today . . . . YEAH! She's been gone for two weeks and has been greatly missed by all (especially her daughter who has never experienced sleep deprivation of this magnitude!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How to make a Green Smoothie

WFMW: Green Smoothies

I. eat. horribly.

Most days I eat my weight in goldfish and finish off my kids' PBJ sandwiches. I crave the high I get from my coca-cola, which always accompanies something salty . . . . . and sweet.

Eating this way is causing some serious problems and doesn't do much for the self esteem! I have no energy. I am cranky, and I am not losing any of the many pounds of baby weight I've been carrying around for the last 7 years!

Introducing the Green Smoothie. (click on the link for a how-to video or go up to the top of this page). I've been reading about them for awhile, but when I read my friend Laurel's post I knew I needed to give them a try. I don't love vegetables - I love these smoothies! When I drink one I know I'm doing something good for myself. It also fills me up for a few hours and gives me energy.

They are delicious and there are a lot of different ways you can make them. We have been using spinach, kale, bananas and frozen berries. Green Smoothie Girl has a lot of great tips.

We have our first CSA pick up soon so it'll be great to use our produce for something the whole family loves!

Check out more great ideas over at Shannon's place.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday #12 - Stressville

Things are stressful here. Deep. Cleansing. Breath. We're having our Open House this Sunday. We still have a lot to do to get ready. My tackle for today is to keep the kids out of the house so Bob can get some work done.

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

It's been raining like crazy so the exterior work isn't complete and the landscaper hasn't been able to come. I booked a "green" cleaning service for Friday so that's exciting.

Next week I'll post some before and after pictures of our house. Here's a sneak peek of our house before . . . . can we say 70's!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What Doesn't Work for Me - Natural Deodorant

This week is a theme-week at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm writing about what doesn't work for me . . . natural deodorant.

I'm a nursing mom whose hormones are running amuck. I'm not a sweet delicate flower. I don't perspire - I sweat! I've tried, but I'm not too fond of my "natural" body's scent. Who am I kidding - it's odor - plain and simple body odor!

Because of the potential dangers of aluminum found in traditional deodorant, I've been trying to use natural deodorants. They don't work for me! I've tried several different brands, but haven't had any luck conquering the odor and wetness.

Going Crunchy wrote about using a Deodorant Stone, which is a potential solution. With warm days heading our way, I'm willing to try anything.

What works for you?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Our Little Man

I'm in love. Again. He could possibly be the sweetest baby. Ever.

Before we were discharged from the hospital Kale had his hearing checked. He didn't pass the screening on either ear. We were told he would need to be retested at 4 weeks.

We met with an audiologist 4 weeks later. As we were leaving for his appointment, I said to Bob, "I have not sufficiently worried about this yet". He reminded me there was no need need to worry - no matter what the problem was everything would be okay. Smart man.

Kale passed on his right ear, but still had no response in his left ear. This result required another diagnostic test with the audiologist. A two hour test where he was hooked up to several electrodes. He was a champ and slept through the entire process.

The preliminary diagnosis is that Kale has mild to moderate hearing loss in his left ear. We have an appointment with the ENT doctor this week to rule out any middle ear fluid or damage. He'll need several more diagnostic tests before they are ready to make a final diagnosis.

I'll keep you updated on his progress. For the time being a mild hearing loss is serving him well in our very loud house!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Three R Thursday - Challenges

Well, Crunchy Chicken's Buy Nothing Challenge ended yesterday. I started off the month strong - then we had our first 80 degree day. I panicked because my children were running around in their winter clothes - sweating - with shoes that were too small.

Funny how buying clothes for them created a domino effect - buying clothes for them, turned into buying clothes for me, turned into buying a few things for the house.

It wouldn't be hard for me to justify all of my purchases, but I've learned something about myself. I'm a weak consumer who gets a high from purchasing things - I'm aware of my problem and Crunchy's challenge was an eye opening experience for me. It made me aware of all the mindless spending I was doing before - I'm going to keep this challenge in mind for a long time.

I'm excited about May's challenge. Green Bean Dreams is challenging us to read one "green" book. A couple of months ago Bob bought me
"Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living" by Doug Fine. You can check out Doug's blog here.

I look forward to reading Farewell, My Subaru and learning more about Doug. I'll bring you a summary at the end of the month.