Archives for October 2010

Halloween Festivities Are Seriously Lacking!

My favorite holiday is Halloween. I know that sounds crazy, but one day a year, you say “Trick or Treat” and people give you candy. There is just no better day all year long. 🙂

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely not into the bloody, gory, scary part of Halloween. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen was Scream, and I couldn’t even handle that. I hated it. But, what’s more fun than carving pumpkins, decorating with all the fall foliage, and candy? Not to mention adorable little children in their cutesy costumes. (For the most part. Some of these costumes nowadays are ridiculous. I saw a Captain Hook costume for a lady that made her look more like “Captain Hooker” than Captain Hook.)

Anyway…. down here, there’s not much to do for Halloween. Sure, each town square puts on their own thing. Kids dress up, get in line, and walk from table to table to get candy. The first year we did that and the kids ended up with about 10 pieces of candy each. Pathetic.

This year, we decided to go to the school’s Fall Festival. Jace was sick, so I took Ashley, Lucy, and Zander along with me. (Zander had been dying for 2 weeks to go. If I hadn’t taken him, he would have never stopped crying!) Zander found an old Peter Pan costume from a few years ago, and Lucy found a Tiger Lily costume that I made for Ashley back when she was in first grade.

When we got to the school, we bought a bunch of tickets to play games. Then, we went around from room to room playing games and earning candy, stickers, tattoos, and little prizes. Zander wanted to participate in the Costume Contest, so I signed him and Lucy both up.

Lucy was in the 3 & 4 year old category, and she ended up taking first place! A $20 prize, and a big bag of candy. She was in heaven! Zander had a lot more kids in his category (K – 2nd grade), and he didn’t place in the competition. But, he had so much fun looking at everyone’s costumes. The girl and boy that won first and third places were both from his class, so he was thrilled for them. The boy that took second was in Kindergarten and was a friend of Jace’s. Zander couldn’t have been happier for any of them. He’s such a great kid!

After the costume contest, that was it. There was just nothing else to do. So, at least the kids got to do something fun for Halloween. I just wish I could load them all in the truck and head back to Ohio for some good old fashioned trick-or-treating this weekend!

How do you celebrate Halloween? Do you go all out, or are you conservative? Are you crafty and make the kids’ costumes, or do you prefer to buy them in the store? I’d love to hear your Halloween stories since mine are seriously lacking this year! 🙂

Some Winners to Announce

Time to pick a few winners!

First, we have the 2 winners of the NOVICA $50 Gift Certificates.

Here are the numbers that Random.org selected:

 And here are the winning comments:

Next, we have the winner of the “Boosting Your Baby’s Brain Power” book.

Here is the number that Random.org selected:

And the winning comment:

Congratulations to everyone! I’ve sent an email your way. Please respond by Tuesday at noon ET, or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered, and to our fabulous sponsors!

TheFoundary.com from @Hayneedle – Check it Out!

Recently, Hayneedle.com launched TheFoundry.com, an online store where you can get tons of fabulous home essentials for up to 70% off.

They offer these ridiculously low prices through events. There are a limited number of items, and events don’t last forever. That’s why, when you sign up, you’ll get on their daily email list. Each day, they’ll send you that days events (and upcoming events), so you’ll know to check in and start shopping as soon as you can!

I’ve been browsing the site, and I can’t believe the deals they’ve got going on right now! I saw a 7.5 foot full pre-lit Christmas tree for just $199.00. Retail Price? $919.00!! That’s a steal! Or how about a 9 foot pre-lit garland for your fireplace or stair railings, not $59, just $15!!

And it’s not just Christmas stuff that’s on sale right now, either! They’ve got lighting, sheets, exercise equipment, cutlery, and so much more. All at unbelievable prices!

You need an invite to get in, so here’s one from me to you: Click Here to Join Now

Then, send some invites to your friends and readers, earn credits, and start shopping! If you find a great deal, let me know!

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post in any way, however, I may earn Foundary credits for each invite accepted. Opinions are 100% my own, and have not been influenced in any way.

Exciting News!!

I couldn’t contain my excitement anymore. I had to share it with someone, so I’m sharing it with YOU!

For months now, I have been scouring the internet, entering every Hayneedle baby giveaway that I could find. I entered faithfully, subscribing to lots of fantastic new blogs, and tweeting my heart out. Yet every single time, someone else’s number came up.

Earlier this month, Hayneedle and iVillage joined forces and hosted a giveaway for the chance to win a “Dream Nursery.” The grand prize was a $5,000 Hayneedle.com gift card, and there were 25 $100 gift card winners as well. I figured if I could at least win one of the $100 gift cards, I could put it towards a new crib that we so desperately need. After all, Hayneedle.com has the best prices on cribs that I’ve found.

So, I entered the contest. It was called the “Moment of Discovery Contest,” and to enter, you needed to upload a photo of yourself recreating the moment you found out you were expecting. Here’s my entry:

Direct link for subscribers

Guess what?

I WON! I didn’t just win one of the$100 runner up prizes, I won the grand prize! A $5,000 Hayneedle.com gift card! I never, ever expected it to happen. There were so many other great entries!

I’ve been in tears since I found out. We’ll be able to get the baby a crib – along with all the other gear he could possibly need. I never realized just how much Hayneedle.com carries – they have everything from breast pumps to baby monitors to educational toys – and MORE!

I’m still in shock, but I am so incredibly thankful for this. God has certainly blessed me above and beyond what I deserve.

I promised the wonderful people at Hayneedle.com that I would share all the wonderful things I buy with my readers and give you all my thoughts about the process of ordering, shipping, and the products themselves. It’s the least I can do since they’ve been so wonderful to me.

So, there’s the big, exciting news. I can’t wait to start shopping! I already know the first thing I’m getting: this glider. I cannot survive another pregnancy or newborn stage without a good glider to get me through.

Have any happy news you want to share with me? I’d love to hear it, since you took the time to listen to mine!

Really Woolly Kids: Trusting in the Shepherd (Review & Giveaway – 11/12)

I was recently introduced to Really Woolly Kids from DaySpring. I was sent a copy of Trusting in the Shepherd, Songs and Stories about Psalm 23:4 to review.

Lucy is enthralled. When I put the DVD in the player, and turned on the tv, she didn’t move a muscle. She sat on the couch, hanging on every word. I love seeing her so excited about something that teaches her about Jesus.

The DVD contains two fun stories about facing our fears and trusting in our Shepherd, Jesus. There’s fun music and even a sing-a-long to help kids learn the Bible Verse Psalm 23:4.

In the first episode, Gracie and her Ewe Scout flock head to her Grandma Tabitha’s for a campout to earn a new badge. The outdoors at night are scary, and Gracie becomes frightened. She has a difficult time enjoying her time with her friends. Grandma Tabitha steps in and shares Psalm 23:4 with the girls. She talks about how Shepherd is always around – even in our darkest valley – and will provide protection that only He can give.

The second episode deals with meeting new people. A strange new kid shows up at school, and Jacob has to face his fear. Jacob becomes afraid of the new kid, and decides he’s never going back to school again. Jacob’s father teaches Jacob that things aren’t always as they seem and thanks to the promise of Psalm 23:4, Jesus is always here to guide and protect us.

The song that they sing in the sing-a-long and in the episodes is fantastic. It’s catchy, and it’s full of truths straight from the Bible. It’s a fun, easy way to get kids excited about learning a Bible verse. Lucy is often bouncing around the house singing, “You are with me God, and I am BRAVE when you are near!”

The writers of Really Woolly Kids do a fantastic job of taking the truths from the Bible and breaking them down into stories that even children can understand. I am officially a huge fan of Really Woolly Kids and can’t wait to catch their next adventure! I noticed in the online store, there are several other DVDs on sale right now – most starting at just $5! You can bet I’ll be adding them to our collection!

I also want you to checkout the Really Woolly Kids website. You and your kids can head on over to Woollyville and find games, videos, and lots of extras. It’s tons of fun, and my kids have all really enjoyed it.

Want to check out Really Woolly Kids for yourself?
To Buy: Head to the Really Woolly Kids online store and start shopping! There are tons of really great items, and lots of DVDs to choose from.

You Can WIN! I have a copy of the DVD “Trusting in the Shepherd” and “The Shepherd’s Promises Activity Book” to give away to one reader!

To Enter
Mandatory: Visit the Really Woolly Kids website and then come back here and tell me one thing learned or found interesting about their site.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win. 


Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to 5 Vinez Monkeys and the Really Woolly Kids website. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Really Woolly Kids on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Once per DAY – just leave a link, or copy/paste text that you posted with your Facebook User Name.)
  • Follow 5 Vinez Monkeys and DaySpring on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY.)
  • Grab our button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Grab the Baby Bonanza button and put it on your blog. (Leave us a link to your blog, please!)
  • Add us to your blog roll. (Leave a link to your blog, please!)
  • Follow our blog publicly  – either through Google’s Followers Gadget or through Facebook’s Networked Blogs. (Leave a comment for each one that you do. Anonymous following doesn’t count.)
  • Write a review of 5 Vinez Monkeys on Alexa. (3 extra entries. Leave your Alexa profile name, please.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)
  • **NEW** Vote for Me on Top Mommy Blogs. (2 extra entries. Can be done daily. Click the link or the button in my sidebar, then you must click on the words “Click here to vote.” Leave 2 comments every day you vote!) 

Fine Print: Contest is open to residents of the US. If you already do any of the above, you qualify. Please leave a comment for each of the extra entries you complete. However, you must first leave the required comment as stated above. Giveaway will end on November 12th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via random.org. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a PR rep from Propeller on behalf of DaySpring and Really Woolly Kids. I received a copy of the DVD to facilitate my review. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post, and opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. The sponsor is fulfilling the winner’s prize as stated above.

Lunchables Lunch Combinations (Review & Giveaway – 11/7)

Because I have so many kids, and life often seems crazy-busy, I love when I can take shortcuts. Mealtime is my least favorite time of the day, simply because I can never get everyone to agree on anything. You will often hear me tell my kids, “This is not a restaurant. You eat what we all eat.”

However, there is one lunchtime meal that I can buy that will have my kids shouting for joy, instead of griping and complaining. You guessed it! LUNCHABLES! My kids love them. And I love them too! They’re healthy, convenient, and ready to serve. I never hear a complaint when Lunchables are on the menu.

This summer, Lunchables introduced new Lunch Combinations in 3 new new varieties: Chicken & American Sub Sandwich, Chicken Strips with DOLE® Mandarin Oranges, and Deep Dish Cheese Pizza with DOLE® Mandarin Oranges.

I had the opportunity to test out these new varieties, and so did my kids. My favorite is the Chicken & American Sub Sandwich. I love that it comes with a bottle of spring water and jello. Everything is right there, a full meal, and it doesn’t leave me hungry after I’m finished eating. And the kids absolutely love the fact that the chicken strips and deep dish pizzas come with DOLE Mandarin Oranges. MMMMmmmmm!

Here are some fabulous facts about the new Lunchables Lunch Combinations that you should be aware of:

  • The chicken strips are made with 100% white meat chicken, and include a full serving of fruit.
  • The Chicken & American sub is made with rotisserie seasoned chicken breast, and includes a bun made with 8 grams of whole grain per serving. It also comes with a bottle of spring water.
  • The Deep Dish Cheese pizza has a crust made with 8g of whole grain, reduced fat cheese (that still tastes GREAT!), and a full serving of fruit.
  • The new packaging offers clear outside packaging so mom can see exactly what she’s giving her kids. The packaging is also largely recyclable, includig the sleeves, bottom trays, and water bottles.

I’ve been a fan of Lunchables since they were first introduced, and I love them even more now that they’re healthier and better for my kids – and myself! And with a suggested retail price of $3.49 per combination, it’s a deal that’s too fabulous to pass up!

You can find Lunchables Lunch Combinations at your favorite grocery store. However, thanks to the fabulous folks at Lunchables, I have 5 **full value** coupons to give away to my readers!

I’m going to make this an easy giveaway. And I’m going to give you the opportunity to win not one, but all 5 of the coupons with unlimited entries. If random.org pulls up a number with a comment you posted 5 times, you win all 5 coupons! (Make sense? If it pulls a number with a comment you posted twice, you get 2 coupons… and so on.)

I’ll keep the rules simple. In fact, there are only two rules. Here’s how we’ll play:

  1. You can comment as much as you want, but you cannot comment twice in a row.
  2. Each comment MUST be a complete sentence and you MUST talk about Lunchables in your comment. (Every comment you leave!) {Ex.: “Hi, Mom” is not an acceptable comment, but “My mom loves Lunchables” is fine.}

That’s it! No other rules, no hoops to jump through. Oh, but I should mention: Because I’m offering unlimited entries, I will NOT be emailing the winner(s) directly. You will need to check back on the 8th of November or subscribe by email to have the winners post sent directly to your email.

The contest is open to US residents and will close at 11:59pm ET on November 7th and winner(s) will be selected using random.org.

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of Weber Shandwick on behalf of Lunchables. I was sent one of each of the new Lunchables Lunch Combinations as well as full value coupons to allow all of my children to test out the new varieties. I was in no other way compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

Wordless Wednesday: "Helping" Mom

This was our last Chicken & Dumplin’ Making adventure:

Helping Mom

Helping Mom

Helping Mom

If you’re participating in Wordless Wednesday, sign in here:

Filtrete Water Pitchers (Review)

Being pregnant, I go through more water than most fish. You can usually spot me with a bottle of water in my hand whenever I’m out and about, or at home.

But those bottles of water get really expensive. And, because the kids see me drinking bottles of water, they want to drink them too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great that my kids want to drink water. I’m not complaining about that at all. But, with 5 kids, a husband, and myself, we go through a 24 pack of bottled water a day. That adds up, even if we buy the store brand bottled water.

I’ve tried water pitchers in the past, since I know it’s not environmentally friendly to go through that many bottles of water. But, replacing their filters could be pricey. I felt like I was constantly changing the filters and always spending more money. To me, it just wasn’t worth the hassle or hefty price tag.

Thanks to Mom Central, I had the opportunity to review the Filtrete Water Pitcher. I can’t believe how different this pitcher is than the others that I’ve tried in the past. First of all, it fills up super fast. There’s no waiting around for it to fill up. I love that! Second, it doesn’t take up a ton of room in the fridge. It fits nicely in the door, and I save way more space than when I have bottles of water in there. And third, the filter lasts for 3 months – or 100 gallons. It probably won’t take us 3 months to get to 100 gallons, but I love that it goes that long.

I ended up buying each member of the family their own reusable water bottle. Since the kids like drinking straight from water bottles, and I like having something that I can take on the go, I figured it would be the perfect solution. The water bottles were a hit, and the kids drink more water than ever now.

The water from the pitcher tastes great, too. I haven’t had any complaints from anyone in the family, and I can definitely tell a difference between water from the pitcher and water straight from the tap.

Another great feature the Filtrete Water Pitcher offers you is a button on the top that changes color when it’s time to change the filter. There’s no second guessing about when you need to buy a new filter, and no changing filters too soon or too late.

And if you want even more assurance, you can sign up for Filtrete’s Clear Advantages and get reminders sent to your email address alerting you when it’s time to change the filter. That’s not all you get with the Clear Advantages, either. There are all sorts of tips and tools for creating a healthier home.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the Filtrete Water Pitcher and would recommend it to any family out there. If you’re drowning in a sea of plastic water bottles, or if you’re tired of constantly changing the filters in other water pitchers, you should definitely give Filtrete a try!

The Fitrete Water Pitcher can be purchased at most retail stores: Walmart, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, etc., or you can also purchase it online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and many other online retailers. The full list can be found on the Fitrete Website: Where to buy the Filtrete Water Pitcher  


Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Filtrete and received the water pitcher to facilitate my candid review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

The Maclaren Volo Stroller – Heaven on Wheels (Review)

I have used a lot of strollers in my time. A lot. Some I have really, really loved, and others that I have really, really hated.

Recently, a representative from Maclaren contacted me and asked if I would like to review the Maclaren Volo Stroller. Because I’ve been searching for a new stroller that would be a good fit for Parker while we’re on walks, I figured this was the perfect opportunity for us. While we don’t have much in our neck of the woods, one thing we do have lots of is walking trails. Hubby and I have been making much more use of these, and it’s been great for getting the kids active and outside. The only problem we have had is that we have to lug around the big, heavy double stroller every time we go for a walk. Being pregnant, it’s so hard for me to get the big stroller in and out of the back of my truck. So, I’m sure you could see why I was thrilled to test out the Volo. One of it’s main features is that it’s lightweight!

When the stroller arrived, I couldn’t wait to put it to the test. And neither could Parker! He instantly fell in love with it, and didn’t want to wait for me to put it all together. By the way, assembly was super easy! I was quite impressed with how quickly I got it all put together – even with Parker’s um… help.

We buckled Parker in and headed off to the park next to my MIL’s house. It was a welcome relief to toss this stroller in the back of the truck, and I had no problems at all getting it out once we arrived. Love it!

Parker jumped in the stroller, I buckled him in, and off we went. We walked about half an hour, and I couldn’t believe how light the stroller was, or how easy it was to push him around. It rolled as smooth as could be, and turned on a dime. I had no idea pushing a stroller could be so wonderful. Even Ashley loved pushing it, and I can never get her to take a turn pushing!

At the end of our walk, Parker didn’t want to get out. In fact, he screamed bloody murder when I tried to take him out. I’m quite certain he would *still* be in the stroller now, if I hadn’t pulled him out. He absolutely loves the stroller, though, and it’s become his favorite new “toy.” The past few days, I’ve had to take him on “walks” around the house, just because if he sees the stroller, he thinks he has to be in it.

I am totally impressed with the Volo stroller. It is absolutely fabulous. I didn’t know I could fall in love with a stroller, but I have.
There are lots of features the Volo has that I just adore:

  • It’s lightweight. (REALLY!)
  • It comes with a 5-point harness buckle that’s easy for mom to use, but hard for baby to break out of!
  • It folds compactly and has a great carrying strap. The strap makes it super easy to carry.
  • It comes with a very nifty rain cover that’s easy to put on, and completely protects your child inside from the weather. 

Overall, this is a super fantastic stroller, and one every mom should consider. It is a little pricey, (average price is around $130), but it is definitely worth every penny. You can purchase it on Amazon as well as many other places like Albee Baby, CSN Stores, Baby Earth, and more.

I love the Volo, and I will definitely be using it for a long time to come!

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a representative of STC Associates on behalf of Maclaren. I was sent a Volo stroller to facilitate my honest and thorough review. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post.

BabyNameWizard.com – Tons of Fun for Moms to Be! (Review)

Having been through pregnancy 6 times now, I know what it’s like to obsessively search the internet for the perfect baby name. Believe me, I have been there done that many times over. You want to know what the name means, how popular it is, and all the information you can on it. Right? Come on, admit it. You obsess.

A baby’s name is a big deal. You’ve all read my latest drama over our baby boy-to-be’s name. You want their name to be perfect. It’s ok! We all worry about it, and none of us wants to set up our child to be made fun of for the rest of his life.

Recently, I was introduced to BabyNameWizard.com, thanks to RoleMommy.com. I have to tell you, I am hooked. Even though we knew what we were naming this baby if he was a boy (or so we thought), I’ve had a ball playing on the site. It’s totally addicting! There’s just so much you can do on there.

The site was created by Laura Wattenberg, the author of the book The Baby Name Wizard. (By the way, if you’ve purchased every baby name book out there, and still can’t find the perfect name, or if you only want to buy ONE book to find the perfect name, you need to get this book!)

If you’re not a reader, and/or like the idea of an interactive website, then you definitely *must* check out BabyNameWizard.com.

The Name Matchmaker (available with the Expert Tools) has to be one of the coolest features on there. Just give it a few names that you like, and click “Match Names.” It then gives you a fantastic list of names – some of which you may like even better than the ones you put in!

I put in the names Gage, Sawyer, and Walker – 3 of my favorites for this baby boy – and then clicked “Match Names.” Now, I’m in love with many of the names it recommended. While I know this baby’s name will be Gage, we don’t have a middle name yet. I’ve added about 10 names from the list it gave me to our list for potential middle names. I’m going to drive my husband nuts!

The Expert Tools do cost a little extra. It’s $12.95 for one trimester, (which is a fantastic deal!), $29.95 for 9 months, or $34.95 for a full year. They are 100% worth it, though, no matter how long you decide to subscribe.

When you sign up for BabyNameWizard.com, you also get their email newsletter sent to your inbox. It is fabulous. I love the articles, the celebrity names, and everything that’s included. It’s one of the emails I get that I actually look forward to!

I would highly recommend BabyNameWizard.com and the Expert Tools that are available to all my pregnant readers, and especially to those that need help finding the perfect baby name. The tools on this site will definitely help you out, and you will have a blast playing around with all the fun things to do!

Disclaimer: I received the opportunity to review BabyNameWizard.com because of my relationship with RoleMommy.com. They gave me a 3 month subscription to the expert tools on the site to get my honest and thorough review. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

"Oh, Baby!" Book winners….

Time to pick the winners in the “Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year” Giveaway.

Remember – we have FIVE (5) lucky winners in this giveaway!

Here are the numbers Random.org gave me:

And here are the winners:

Congratulations to each of you! I’ve sent an email your way. Please respond by Thursday at noon EST, or a new winner will be selected!

Thanks to all who entered!

Why We Had to Change the Baby’s Name

On Facebook on Friday, I casually let it “slip” that we would be naming our baby boy Sawyer.

Later that night, though, we decided against using that name and went with another name. (Yes, I’ll reveal it in this post. Just hang on!)

I have wanted a Sawyer since I was pregnant with Parker. It was one of our top 3 choices for names, but majority ruled, and I lost. Sawyer only received my vote, Spencer only received Ashley’s vote, but Parker received 3 votes – hubby’s, Zander’s, and Jace’s. After all, they loved the name because it represented “Spider-Man” – one of their favorite heroes.

So, I gave up the name Sawyer. And I’m glad I did, because Parker is a Parker, through and through.

When we found out we were pregnant, the first thing hubby said to me was, “Well, if it’s a boy, at least we already have a first name.” And then when we found out it looks like a boy at our most recent ultrasound, we started calling him Sawyer that same day. 

And then I discovered something.

Southerners cannot pronounce Sawyer right.

Since I first heard the story of “Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn,” I have pronounced Sawyer as SOY-er. Down here, though, it’s pronounced SAW-yer.

I hate it. 

If we gave this baby the name Sawyer, sure, we’d call him Sawyer (SOY-er) at home. And I’m certain all of our friends and loved ones would call him Sawyer (SOY-er) as well. BUT, the moment we’d ship him off to school, he would become known as Sawyer (SAW-yer), and I can’t have that.

So, after much discussion, we’ve decided the baby’s name will not be Sawyer. It breaks my heart, but I just can’t stand the way the name is pronounced down here.

Side note: I’ve never watched the show Lost, but I’m aware that there’s a character named Sawyer on there. Out of curiosity, how do they pronounce his name?

We’ve talked things over with the kids, and hubby and I have discussed this at length: the baby’s name will now be Gage.

We opted for Gage for several reasons: 1. It fits in really well with the names of our other kids, and 2. Zander has 6 letters, Jace has 4 letters, Parker has 6 letters, Gage has 4 letters – I thought it made the perfect little pattern.

Now we just have to come up with a middle name for baby Gage. And, no, we won’t be using Sawyer as the middle name. I guess we’ll figure out the middle name in another post.

Scooby-Doo Halloween Prize Pack Winner

Wow! This was one popular giveaway! I wish I could afford to give a prize pack to everyone that entered. Heck, I’d love to win it for myself. But, I can’t do either, so I guess it’s time to pick the very lucky winner of the Scooby-Doo Halloween Prize Pack.

Here’s the number that Random.org selected:

And here’s the winning comment:

Congratulations! I’ve sent an email your way. Please respond by Tuesday at noon or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered. More giveaways will be coming next week. Hope you’ll join in!

Follow Friday: Week 36

Kindred Spirit MommyI know, I know. It’s been WAAAAY too long since I’ve done a Follow Friday post. I’m so sorry! It seems to be the story of my life lately that I’m behind on everything. I’ve got to get my act together before March, that’s for sure!

Anyway, let’s get back to the real reason behind this post: to spotlight a super-fabulous blog that you need to check out and then follow!

Today, I’m going to spotlight one of my absolute favorite blogs. I recently found her, can’t even remember how, but I am so glad I did!

Kindred Spirit MommyThe blog I’m talking about is Kindred Spirit Mommy. Lindsey is the author behind the blog, and she’s pregnant with her second baby – a boy this time. (She already has a gorgeous little girl named Emma.) Lindsey and I have really hit it off, and although I’ve never even met her, I feel like I’ve known her forever. Maybe it’s because we’re both pregnant and hormonal. Maybe it’s because we have so much in common. Maybe it’s because I know she believes the same way I do. Or maybe it’s because we’re just kindred spirits.
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I hope you’ll take some time and swing by Lindsey’s blog, Kindred Spirit Mommy. She has **tons** of super fabulous giveaways going on right now, along with posts on crafts, and so much more! And if you’re a pregnant mom to be, you will definitely want to check out her blog, because she’s got a fantastic baby event going on right now to celebrate the impending birth of her baby boy.

Lindsey, I am so glad I found you and your blog. You’ve been such a support to me, keeping me calm, and trying not to let me get too excited about certain surprises! 🙂 You are truly a blessing to so many, and I’d be honored if you’d put this button on your blog:

Is there a blog that you think deserves to be followed? Leave a link here, and I’ll consider featuring it in a future segment of Follow Friday. (Be sure to leave a comment and tell me why you think it’s “Follow Worthy.”)

Don’t Forget the Other Kids! (Zappos Kids Apron Review)

When there’s a new baby on the way, the children you already have can quickly become jealous. After all, they’ve had all the attention, and now there’s all this talk of a “new baby.” It’s important that you continue to nurture your relationship with your other child(ren).

One of my favorite ways to show my other kids that they’re not being “replaced” is by finding something special to just them and doing it together. For Jace, our special time is making chicken and dumplin’s together – or just cooking in general. He’s my little assistant in the kitchen, fetching things, helping me stir, and, of course, taste testing. So, when the opportunity to review an apron from the Zappos‘ new household line of products, I jumped on it. I knew that Jace would love it, and it would make our time in the kitchen even more special.

The apron arrived quickly, and it is absolutely adorable! I opted for the monkey kids apron from Highbury Kids. (Are you surprised?) When I showed it to Jace, his entire face lit up. He couldn’t wait to help me with dinner that night, and he was even more excited when he found out it would be our homemade chicken and dumplin’s!

The apron is an excellent quality, and has endured multiple washings. It’s holding up well, and we haven’t had any problems with it at all. Jace absolutely adores it, and every evening at dinner time, the first thing he does is grabs his monkey apron off the pantry door and put it on. I love how special it makes him feel, and at just $19 for the apron and a chef’s hat, it’s a small price to pay to make a child happy!

If you haven’t ordered from Zappos.com before, there are a few things you need to know. First, they ALWAYS offer free shipping – both ways! Second, they have a 365 day return policy. Third, they offer a ton of different products, and now they’re offering a full line of housewares too! They have cookware, bakeware, small appliances, cutlery, and so much more. And that’s just in one division! They also have shoes, clothing, handbags, and so much more. If you haven’t checked out Zappos.com yet, you really need to head over there. There’s an entire kids’ section, and you may just find something for everyone on your list. (Including yourself!)


Disclaimer: I was contacted by a member of Kel & Partners on behalf of Zappos.com. I was sent the necessary items to complete my review. I was in no other way compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

Shutterfly Photobook Giveaway Winners!

Whew. This was tough! But, thanks to the help of Random.org, I did it! 🙂 I got all 10 winners for the Shutterfly PhotoBook Giveaway. Random.org was extra kind to me, and didn’t repeat one winner in their selection! I love when that happens!

So, let’s get to the good stuff! Here are the numbers that random.org selected:

And here are all the winners:

Congratulations to each one of you! I’ve sent an email your way. Please respond by Friday at noon EST, or a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to all who entered!

No Wordless Wednesday Picture Today!

Photo came from here: Realm of Dreams

I was hoping to have some really, really big news to announce, but I still haven’t received 100% confirmation that it’s true. I found out about the possibility of it last Friday, but there hasn’t been another word since then. I am not a patient person, so this is driving me batty. (I’m quite certain the Lord is teaching me patience through all of this!)

So, I’m drawing a blank today. I’m sure I have other WW pictures I could share, but I’m tired and just not feeling well. So, it will have to wait until next week.

However, I still want to see YOUR Wordless Wednesday pictures, so share them here!

Lack of Baby Movement Worries Me

My babies have always been active while in the womb. Lucy was really the only exception. She rarely moved, and during my twice-weekly Non-stress tests, they would have to zap my belly to get her to move around. It was horrible. But, with her, I had rented a Baby-Beat Fetal Doppler to keep myself calm and reassure myself that everything was ok with her.

All of my other kids, though, were always moving around inside me. Parker was insane, and never stayed still. You could watch my belly roll from side to side all day long. I loved that feeling, because it assured me that he was all right.

I’m now 18 weeks and 3 days into my pregnancy. By this point in time in all my previous pregnancies, I’ve always felt the baby moving. Usually all the time. But this baby rarely moves. Every once in awhile, I can feel the little flutters, but nothing like with the other kids.

I can’t afford to rent another Baby Beat this time around. We have a few more kids than the last time, and hubby’s paycheck isn’t near what it was in Ohio. I just can’t tack on a $45+/month charge right now.

I suppose it’s completely normal for some babies to be calm during pregnancy. It’s just usually not the case with my kids. Maybe it means that this baby will be calm once he comes out as well. (Hey, a mom can dream, right? It wasn’t true with Lucy, but maybe it will be this time around.)

What’s your experience with baby movement during your pregnancy(s)? Have you had active babies or calm, content babies? Maybe you’ve had both? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. And if you’ve had a calm baby, I’d love to know how you kept your sanity!

Dr. Scholl’s Winners

The answer to the Dr. Scholl’s question was 26. (That’s what I was told by the folks at Dr. Scholl’s.)

That means our 3 winners are……

Lindsay

debbie

and

daisy351 

Congratulations! Ya’all are going to love these inserts. They are a god-send for me!

I’ve sent an email your way. If I don’t hear from you by Thursday at noon, a new winner will be selected.

Thanks to those who entered!

The Yard Sale Rocked!

On Saturday, I posted that I was participating in my first ever yard sale. It was hosted by my MIL’s apartment complex.

When I first arrived, I expected the day to be a nightmare. The complex neglected to inform anyone that they needed to supply their own tables for the yard sale. There were no signs near the entrance, nothing. I was certain I was going to spend 6 hours sitting outside for absolutely nothing.

Boy, was I wrong. I had a ton of baby girl stuff set out, and with everyone on earth (except me!… and Lindsey from Kindred Spirit Mommy) having little girls, the stuff went pretty well.

Around 1pm, all the old people hosting sales got tired of sitting around and closed up shop. That meant all the tables by the road (that were actually bringing people in!) went bye-bye, and we still had 2 hours left! So, I enlisted my 13 year old and her friend to make some big signs and stand by the road, waving people in. We actually got quite a few more customers because of them! Although, I have to interject with something here, I had to make Ash run back in and make a new sign because her first one said, “Make me an offer! Name Your Price!” I didn’t want her arrested for soliciting herself!

Overall, I ended up making a $62 profit for the day, which isn’t bad at all for as cruddy as the yard sale exposure was. Of course, I then went out and spent $20 of my profit on stuff at other people’s yard sales in the complex, but I still walked away with $42 more than I had that morning. Not too shabby!

At one point I sent hubby a text and told him I wanted to do this every weekend. What a great way to get rid of the junk around here and bring in some extra money! Of course, we’d have to find somewhere to hold the yard sale. Anyone offering their yard?