January 29, 2010

Giveaway: twirly skirty

I am so happy to be able to host this giveaway. These skirts are simply adorable.

up for grabs is your choice of any twirl skirt from Laken and Lila on etsy . exact details will be given to the giveaway winner.

Here's a little something from her shop...

WHY SHOP lakenandlila?

* There are so many wonderful childrens apparel clothing stores on etsy - why shop lakenand lila?

1. I pride myself on overdelivering to my customers. I love to go above and beyond in customer service. If a problem ever arises (which it has not) you  I work together to come up with a solution.

2. All designs are created to be simple. My designs are my own. From the pattern to the fabrics. I topstitch my waistband to prevent rolling.

3. No raw edges will ever be found on my garmets. I use a professional serger or finish each seam.

4. A boutique label will be found on each of my items on the bottom left corner. It makes each piece look refined, pulled together, and stylish.

5. Each piece is truly made with love - like I am making it for my own child. Most of my customers are repeat clients if that doesn't speak for itself.


Photography provided by: Christy Pacanowksi Photography www.clpphotography.com

Blossom Portraiture Art by Suymey Benson - www.blossomportraitureart.com

All designs are copyrighted by Laken ; Lila. Photos are copyrighted by Suymey Benson. Please do not copy or use without permission.”

Christy Johnson Photography http://christyjphotos.blogspot.com/

Winner is nzar79 !!! congrats. remember to check back often as I will be having tona or reviews and giveaways in the near future :)

Heres how to enter!!!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry in order to have it counted.

This entry is mandatory! If you do not do this, your other entries will not count!

Please post here telling me another print or product from this seller that you would like to try. Include your email address in your comment. http://www.etsy.com/shop/lakenandlila

Want more entries?

*Follow my blog and post letting me know that you are

*Post about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment with a link.

*Follow us and tweet this giveaway! Please tweet, "win a twirl skirt from LakenAndLila and Blend it baby http://www.blenditbaby.blogspot.com/ " Leave a comment with a link to your status.

US & Canada Only. Giveaway ends Feb 6th at noon.I will email the winner. If I do not hear back within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.

January 24, 2010

Fluffy mail: cloth diaper giveaway!

Cloth diaper giveaway!

This week I have the pleasure of giving away a hemp fitted diaper of your choice from Fluffy mail on etsy. They were recently brought to my attention when a member of the eco-friendly family asked about them and nobody had any experience with them. Off I went to check them out, and boy was I suprised. Their diapers looked cute...REALLY cute! so I sent them a convo, asking if they would be willing to do a review / giveaway. As you can see, she said yes. She was so nice and polite, honistly I was suprised ( you dont get that much anymore)

They sent my diaper out right away, and even let me choose my own print :) I chose sydney swirl for my little one

Alright onto the review!

What I like:

First and most obvious reason I like these diapers is their cuteness. These diapers are drool worthy AND they have tons of prints to coose from for girls and boys. We all know how hard it is to find decent boy prints out there :)

I am also huge fan of the size system they use. most companies use xs, s m, l . Fluffy mails sizing is 0, 1, 2 only three sizes and i like the Idea of that.

The fit. I LOVE that it is so trim, I have a little 10lb-er and most fitted dipes w/ any absorbancy to them at all, give her one huge hiny. This diaper fits like a dream, no tugging and pulling to get the fit just right. I must say, even my husband got it right with no coaching :)

Lastly, and lets face it.. most importantly, the absorbancy. I put this diaper to the ultimate test. My daughter is a super soaker. Im talkin' pee through a BG at night, not a GM out there can hold this pee all night gal. I put this cute, trim fitting diaper on fully expecting a leak by morning. NO LEAK! I was shocked. she leaks every-single-night and now I found the solution! I could do a happy dance right now 8pm to 10am withought a leak. This is an awesome night time diaper. 

It also makes a great daytime diaper because you can remove one of the hemp doublers making it even more trim. I am absolutly in love with this diaper. l-o-v-e!

what I dont like:

I dont like that all of my OTHER diapers dont preform as well as this one does. Really I couldn't find anything wrong w/ this diaper. I even asked my husband who ALWAYS has something bad to say about CD's. nothing, nada. I really wish I had the money to switch my entire stash to these diapers. Im in super squishy diaper heaven. ahhh.....

Now heres the fun part, you can win one of these fabulous diapers! Its quick and super simple.

Here's how to enter to win!

Please leave a separate comment for each entry in order to have it counted.

This entry is mandatory! If you do not do this, your other entries will not count!

Please post here telling me another Fluffy mail print that you like. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Fluffymail  Include your email address (if it's not on your profile)

Want more entries?

*Follow my blog and post letting me know that you are :)

*Follow us and tweet this giveaway! Please tweet, "Win a hemp fitted diaper from Fluffy mail and Blend it baby http://www.blenditbaby.blogspot.com/ " Leave a comment with a link to your status.

*Become a fan of fluffymail on facebook, leave a comment.

*Post about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment with a link.

US and canada Only. Giveaway ends  Friday January 30th. I will email the winner. If I do not hear back within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.

FCC Disclaimer: I was provided the product to review for the giveaway (Thank you Fluffy mail! I love the diapers!). No money or other perks were given. All reviews are my own and honest opinions.

The winner is...Wilma!!!.
 thank you all so much for entering, check back often as I have TONS of giveaways and reviews lined up. you wont want to miss out :)

January 22, 2010

Reflux: what a pain

    I finally got my daughter into the Dr.'s office after a week of green poop and horrific gass. It turns out that all of this ( and quite a few of her other symptoms) is from the reflux. I had heard about this before but never payed much attention. after talking to her Dr. for about 30 mins., I realized, this is a huge ordeal! I now have a long list of things to try before they medicate her. Luckily her Pedi. is just as aginst unnesisary medicating as I am.

   Now after every feeding I am supposed to put her in an inclined position in the swing, bouncer, or carseat. She is also supposed to take her naps in one of these contraptions, ugg. There go my days of baby wearing all day while I clean house. *sigh* I guess we'll just have to get used to this new way of doing things.

Reflux is a very common problem among babies. Who knew?!?
Spitting up, sometimes called physiological or uncomplicated reflux, is common in babies and is usually (but not always) normal. Most young babies spit up sometimes, since their digestive systems are immature, making it easier for the stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus (the tube connecting mouth to stomach).

   A small percentage of babies experience discomfort and other complications due to reflux - this is called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. These babies have been termed by some as ‘Scrawny Screamers’ (as compared to the Happy Spitters). There seems to be a family tendency toward reflux. GERD is particularly common in preemies (due to their immaturity) and in babies with other health problems. GERD usually improves by 12-24 months

   some signs of reflux include:
Frequent spitting up or vomiting; discomfort when spitting up. Some babies with do not spit up – silent reflux occurs when the stomach contents only go as far as the esophagus and are then re-swallowed, causing pain but no spitting up.

Gagging, choking, frequent burping or hiccoughing, bad breath.

Baby may be fussy and sleep less due to discomfort.

Breastfeeding Tips

Aim for frequent breastfeeding, whenever baby cues to feed. These smaller, more frequent feedings can be easier to digest.

Try positioning baby in a semi-upright or sitting position when breastfeeding, or recline back so that baby is above and tummy-to-tummy with mom. See this information on upright nursing positions.

For fussy, reluctant feeders, try lots of skin to skin contact, breastfeeding in motion (rocking, walking), in the bath or when baby is sleepy.

Ensure good latch to minimize air swallowing.

Allow baby to completely finish one breast (by waiting until baby pulls off or goes to sleep) before you offer the other. Don't interrupt active suckling just to switch sides. Switching sides too soon or too often can cause excessive spitting up (see Too Much Milk?). For babies who want to breastfeed very frequently, try switching sides every few hours instead of at every feed.

Encourage non-nutritive/comfort sucking at the breast, since non-nutritive sucking reduces irritation and speeds gastric emptying.

Avoid rough or fast movement or unnecessary jostling or handling of your baby right after feeding. Baby may be more comfortable when help upright much of the time. It is often helpful to burp often.

As always, watch your baby and follow his cues to determine what works best to ease the reflux symptoms.

what you can do to reduce relfux

Breastfeed! Reflux is less common in breastfed babies. In addition, breastfed babies with reflux have been shown to have shorter and fewer reflux episodes and less severe reflux at night than formula-fed babies . Breastfeeding is also best for babies with reflux because breastmilk leaves the stomach much faster  (so there’s less time for it to back up into the esophagus) and is probably less irritating when it does come back up.

The more relaxed your infant is, the less the reflux.

Eliminate all environmental tobacco smoke exposure, as this is a significant contributing factor to reflux.

Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Excessive caffeine in mom's diet can contribute to reflux.

Allergy should be suspected in all infant reflux cases, up to half of all  cases in babies under a year are associated with cow’s milk protein allergy.

Reflux is worst when baby lies flat on his back.

Many parents have found that carrying baby in a sling or other baby carrier can be helpful.

Avoid compressing baby’s abdomen - this can increase reflux and discomfort. Dress baby in loose clothing with loose diaper waistbands; avoid “slumped over” or bent positions; for example, roll baby on his side rather than lifting legs toward tummy for diaper changes.

 Although recent research does not support recommendations to keep baby in a semi-upright position (30° elevation), this remains a common recommendation.

I hope this information is helpful to you, and saves you a little time and eases your worries a bit. Nobody likes their baby to be in pain. This information should help keep you and your little one from dealing with unnesisary pain.



January 14, 2010

Longies, cocoons, and booties.OH MY

   When I lost my job a few months back, I decided it was a great time for me to start some crafts. I was always fond of crochet, so thats what I chose to go with. I tried my hand at a few projects, but I never though I would really get the hang of it, the patterns were just too confusing to me. After many failed projects, I finally got good at it. In fact, Im pretty great a it now :)

   I crochet almost daily now, and I enjoy every minute of it. Its a great stress reliever, god knows I need it. I've sold a few of my projects, and in fact, I saw one of my sold projects in action a few days back. Now thats a good feeling.

   I only crochet baby items. I just don't have the patience to make anything larger than that. I like the "instant" gratification of the smaller items.

heres a few of the items that I've sold recently

This is a matching cocoon and hat set. I love tho look of these in pictures, and have hade quite a few for my daughter.


This as ( obviously) an elf hat. I have made and sold a TON of these. I think they are my favorite thing to make right now. So soft and cuddly and super fast to make.

I really enjoy doing this and truely admire all the etsy sellers who make their living selling handmade items. I can tell it would be a full time job. Not something I'm quite ready to take on :) For right now, its just a little something I do to try and keep me sane. I cant say its a fool- proof method, but its something...right?


January 13, 2010

my little angels... HA!

   I said a few days back, that my children were little devils sometimes. Lets face it, who's kids aren't... right? I got to thinking about it, they really are good kids.  its just that they're are so many of them, if they arent all standing still being quiet, it looks like a mad house. If you have one kid asking you a million questions, its a little annoying, but  you can tolerate it. Now if you have 5 kids all asking you tons of questions, then it gets crazy, and loud. Even 6 quiet voices talking to you all at once in the grocery store is going to get loud. And I have yet to meet a kid who talks quietly.

   So, even if running simple errands with a small human zoo in tow seems like a daunting task, I have to try and see things from the kids point of view. I really cannot expect them all to just stand there and be quiet all the time. Thats just not a possibility, or fair. Kids are going to talk, and fidjet, and *gasp* ask questions. Its all part of being a kid. Do I expect them to still behave in public...YES...they are still kids, not animals. But I feel like I can let them be themselves while we are strolling through target, and not be embarrased.

Go ahead let the grumpy old men stare at our huge clan of children, all chattering away. I dont mind. they are just kids after all. I think our kids behave well. One-on-one, you would never have a problem, not a single one. Take 'em to the DMV wait in a long line, they'd do just fine. I think people( me included) just need to get the sticks out of their buts and realize that just because there are six of them, doesnt mean that they have less of a right to act like children. Even if it is an inconvenience to them, and it gets a little loud.
              I say, bring on the noise...

January 11, 2010

wool soaker GIVEAWAY!

   Alright, I have a Newborn size, PINK wool soaker to giveaway. This soaker has been felted, so it is 100% bulletproof! We all know wool, we love it, nows the time to get some for free. I recently felted one of my soakers that was a little on the big side and not working so well for us, and I really liked the way it turned out.  soooo, I decided to make another one to giveaway for this blog.

                                             A bit about wool and wool care

     Wool care is easy. And the benefits of wool are unmatched by any other diaper cover alternative. Wool covers are fantastic with their breathability, antibacterial properties and natural ability to hold liquid. Indeed, they are self-cleaning (as the the urine reacts with the lanolin to form a soap) for a week or two at which point they simply need to be gently hand washed and/or re-lanolized.

   Hand wash your wool covers in lukewarm water using a wool safe wash and little agitation. If the wash contains lanolin, let soak for 15 minutes. Lay flat to dry (after rolling in a towel and gently squeezing to remove excess water) Olive oil soap can be used for a simple spot cleaning wash.

  It is also nice to use a concentrated lanolin every month or so to provide a fuller lanolization. Simply dissolve the desired amount of lanolin (usually 1 tablespoon) in lukewarm water. And follow the same directions as above.

  This is a great opportunity to add some cutemess to your NB stash. To enter this giveaway just leave a comment about why you love wool (also include your email  ).  If you are new to the wonders of wool, let me know why you are wanting to give it a try :)  for an extra entry post about this giveaway in an online forum( be sure to leave a link) and leave a comment letting me know you did :)

    A winner will be chosen randomly friday @ 12pm Good luck!

The Winner is LAR1203!!! congrats
Be sure to check back often, as I will be posting more giveaways and reviews in the near future :)

Like a bat out of hell

   Alright heres where it really gets fun. you know, those days where you have so much to do your head practically starts spinning. This is one of those days. :) on todays schedule, and mind you, this is on top of the every day clean up the house, take care of the kids, make meals stuff.

1.go to the post office to send out FLUFFY mail
2. stop by the child support officce
3. stop by the EDD office
4. go to the bank and get a statement
5. go to the social services dept ( this will take aprox 2 hrs, and with a baby and small kids in tow, not likely to be fun)
6. strip my diapers.  my diapers have amonia smell, and I want to get rid of it before it gets bad. this task alone cold take me all-day-long * sigh*
7.finish a pair of longies

  Yes, today will be one of those days where people look at me like I am just a *bit* crazy. Hair in a loose pony tail, huge diaperbag, a baby in a soft carrier, a child holding onto each hand and paperwork held under my arm scrambeling to get all of this done.
  On a good day, people will look in awe at how well all of the children act, and how well they are togather. They will come up and ask "how we do it with all of these kids", tell me how cute the baby is, ect. THOSE are the good days, and I wish everyday could be like that. BUT we all know that isnt the case. On those other days, the ones where my prefect angels have decided to trade their wings for horns, people stare wondering why on earth we decided to have 6 kids. Some people just ignore the fact that we are there, and some of the more brave people come up and try to resolve the problem themselves, offering the kids candy and such.
                      So we shall see, what kind of day today will be.

January 08, 2010

Poor baby

   Ah the joys of motherhood. There has been a  stomach bug going around our house for the last week, it usually lasts about a day. One kid gets it, then passes it onto another. Its pretty mild, but sick whinny kids are not fun. Times that by 6!

  My 5 week old baby now has it. she's so miserable. You think whinny kids are bad, oh no, try a sick baby. Taking care of a mindly sick 5 year old is a little frustrating, but do-able. Pass out some extra hugs, watch a few movies and your golden. Throw a sick baby in the mix, now you've got trouble. Hug them all you like, even watch an entire day of Dora, it does you no good. A baby doesn't want to be consoled when they are sick. They want you to make them feel better. NOW.

  When a baby is sick, you spend your entire day, trying to make them feel better. four baths, three masages, pick her up, put her down, feed her, brush her hair, bicycle her legs, go for a walk, drive the car, do the stinkin' chicken dance. stop. breath. PLUS attempt to do all the regular everyday things that need to be done...like eat lunch.

   With all the attention going twards he sick baby I am sure, come tomarrow, I will hear about all the things that happened while I was pre occupied with the baby. broken toys, "he hit me", "the dog ate my homework", "my shoes are on the roof", "I lost my jacket". 

But thats tomarrow, right now, baby wants bath number two...

January 07, 2010

are we there yet?

Okay, so I said I would write about where we are in our lives right now, and a little about how we got there. Here we go, buckle your seatbelts.

  I have to say It all started when we decided that  we needed a bigger house with the baby on the way and all. 3 kids there full time, 2 more there everyother weekend and wednesdays, and one on the way, we just were not going to fit all of that into our tiny 3bedroom 1 bath barely 1k sq ft home. The hunt was on. It took us about 3 months to find a house that worked for us. Our move in day was september 1st, 2009. we loved this house 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 3 car garage 2,400 sq feet, it really felt like home. The $1550 a month price tag was the only drwback, but with both of us working, we thought we could make it work.

 Heres where it gets crazy. On september 3rd, I was fired from my job. I had been there for 4 1/2 years, and never really been introuble. This was a shock to us. I'll save the detail of my termination for another post. Here we are a new house, me 26weeks pregnant, and low and behold, now Brents Ex is taking us to court. OH MY GOD! this could not get any worse.

 We end up actually getting more custody of the boys because of  T's( brents ex) selfish behavior. This was great for us, not we got the boys on brents days off, and *gasp*, brent and I got some alone time on the weekends when all of the kids were gone. It really worked out great for us.

   When I lost my job, obviously, lost my insurance. so I applied for medical. 2 months later I was denied. They said I made too much money on unemployment. because of this, my OB dropped me as a patient.  I recieved no prenatal care for my last 2 months of pregnancy, because nobody would take me.

  The next thing to happen would rock our world the most. because we are still in court over this issue, I cant say much, so i'll just give you the outcome so far. Brents boys now live with us full time, we take them to counceling once a week, and have to drive the kids back and forth to school in a diffrent twon that where we live so they can stay in the same school. They are safe here with us and thats all that matters at this point.

  Unemployment sent me a total of 3 checks from september to november 1st. I called to speak with someone about where my money was, and they said that I had a phone interview scheduled for the 24th of december, to discuss my "disabiliy" I was VERY pregnant, but had no DR. The outcome of that intervied was that I was considered disabled and therefor not able to collect unemployment benifits. I have no dr or insurance, so nobody could sign my paperwork stating that I was disabled. Finally I called the disablity office to see what I could do . They advised me to go to the ER, they could sign my paper work, and could not turn me away for no insurance.

   GREAT a way out of this financial mess!  That day ( December 3rd) we headed to the hospital, I had been having some spotting, SO i told them that was my reason for comming in. They sent me to OB, turns out I was in labor. :) I had my baby Riley that day.  The dr. that delivered her told me that he could sign my paperwork, but he would be back later to do so. He never came back. I asked another one of the dr's from his practice if he could sign it for me and her told me that he would "check with their supervisor" he came back and told me that he could not do it, but the mercy maternity clinic could do it for me. okay thats a pain, but it least them I can get some money.

   I call the maternaty clinic, and they tell me that because I have never actually been seen by them, they cannot sign my paperwork either. So Im screwed. I called EVERY walkin clinic, and dr's office in anderson and redding, nobody would sign my paperwork.

  Unemployment decided to do an evaluation on my case, because of the disability/ unemployment issue, and they found that they never got a note clering me to go back to work for an earlier disability in april of 09. I did give my employer a note ( or I wouldn't have been able to return). they are trying to say that i comitted disability/ unemployment fraud. they think that I got benifits while still working, then tried to get unemployment while disabled. AHHH. now I have to prove that this is not the case. SHould be easy, I'll just call my Dr's office and get a copy of the note. They dont have it. but they wrote me a note saying the estimated time of disability and dated it for april, but they would give me a note saying that I was released to go to work after that disability ended. SO i called my work, surely they would have a copy of the note I gave them. NO.  so I am literally screwed. no imcome, and no way to get any income. PLUS unemployment wants me to pay them back for what I did recieve.

  So, thats where we are at right now. no money comming im, and the bills still comming regularly. I want to say, It couldn't get any worse, but I dont want to jinx myself....

Eco- Friendly kindness

    There have been alot of difficult things that led my family to where we are right now. This post isn't about all of that., but about the kindness of practical strangers, who happen to know about all of that crazyness. I post on the Eco-Friendly family on the bump.com regularly, its part of what keeps me sane through this crazy time. I let these people know whats going on in my life, they listen, give advice, and generally make me feel, at least for a little while, that things will get better eventually. They really are a great group of people.

  Yesterday, while we were all sitting around watching a movie, the doorbell rang . We were suprised, because we NEVER get unexpected guests, and it wasnt a visitation day for any of the kids. I hop up and look out the peep hole, ans nobodys there...weird. I open the door and theres a package WITH MY NAME ON IT! thats the most exciting feeling, getting something in the mail just for you, that isn't from a bill collector :) Well it turns out what was inside was only partially for me. It was a box filled with  clothes and great condition cloth diapers for my little Riley. the package was from one of the ladys from my message board, HikerBreide. I  could not believe it, these were things that she needed, but we simply couldn't afford at this time.

  It turns out, one of the gals from the bump, jenni, set up a sort of "diaper drive" for my little Riley. She had read a post of mine, part of which talked about how I was doing diaper laundry at least once a day, because we only had 11 diapers and 3 covers that fit. Jenni took it apon herself to set all of this up for us, people send her cloth diapers, and she will send all of them to me all at once. It turns out, that package I recieved, was box one of two. The second box( from everyone else) will be comming in about two weeks. I never asked for this, nor are she and I good friends. She simply saw that we were in need, and cared enough to help and get other people involved. I am so unbeliveably grateful for her and her generosity, along with the other women who participated in this.

  These diapers, as great as they are, are more than just diapers to me. They are a symbol that someone, a few someones actually, care about me and my family. They dont know me, they wont ever get to see us in person, they arent getting anything in exchange for their kind act. They just cared. I wish I had the words to tell them all how much this means to me, but I dont. So, I'll just do my best,  say a thank you, and hope that they relize how much it means to me.