Archives for March 2011

Don’t Forget!

Don't ForgetI just wanted to remind you all that the 30 Day photography challenge starts tomorrow! We’ll kick things off with a self portrait so that we can see all the lovely faces that will be participting in the challenge over the next 30 days.

If you have any questions about the challenge, let me know. You can read more details here: 30 Day Photography Challenge. And you can get the list of topics here: Photography Challenge Topics

In other news, I have FINALLY picked winners for my giveaways that ended last month. So sorry for the delay. I’m still trying to get the hang of having another newborn around here. One would think I’d be an old pro at this by now! Check out the winners page to see if you’ve won!

Wordless Wednesday: So Much Love

Parker & Gage

Lucy & Gage

Jace & Gage

Zander &  Gage

Ashley & Gagw

The kids all adore their baby brother. Makes my heart melt every time they love on him.

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

What is a Twitter Party?

As I mentioned in today’s earlier post, I will be guest hosting the Clorox #ToiletWand twitter party tomorrow afternoon. Because of this, I’ve had several people ask me about twitter parties: What are they? Are they easy to follow? Are they worth the time? How can I participate? Can you really win stuff?

So, I decided to put up a post answering all of those questions and helping you get the most out of a twitter party. Hopefully, you’ll walk away from the post full of information, and you’ll join your first twitter party feeling like a pro. (Maybe you’ll try it out at tomorrow’s party?!)

First, what is a twitter party?

  • A twitter party is a virtual party held using the twitter platform. They usually last between 1 -2 hours and focus on a certain topic. Most twitter parties will have an “expert” on hand to lead and encourage discussions. Twitter parties often have question and answer times, prizes, and much more. And in order to participate, you MUST have a twitter account.

Are they easy to follow?

  • Yes and no. It depends on how you try to follow them. If you log into twitter.com and search the twitter party’s hashtag, you will quickly get lost and feel discouraged. To follow a twitter party, I highly recommend using TweetGrid. It’s the easiest way that I’ve found to follow a twitter party. You set the grids to do multiple searches at once. Here’s what my tweet grid will look like tomorrow for the #ToiletWand twitter party (click to make it bigger) :

TweetGrid
Are they worth the time?

  • Absolutely! You’ll have the chance to learn something new, get tips and tricks, make new twitter friends, and even win prizes! Since most parties only last an hour or two, the time flies by. It is absolutely worth it!

How can I participate?

  • First, you must have a twitter account. If you don’t have one, they’re free and easy to set up. Next, log into tweetgrid with your twitter username about 5 – 10 minutes before the party so that you have enough time to set it up correctly. Then, just jump in! Watch the hosts of the party closely. They may ask questions to win prizes. Reply to their questions, and make sure you use the proper hashtag for the party. If you don’t put the hashtag in, your answer probably won’t get seen. TweetGrid allows you to put the hashtag in every tweet, making it a whole lot harder for you to forget! Before you know it, the party will be over!

Can you really win stuff?

  • You absolutely can! I’ve attended lots of twitter parties, and while I haven’t won something at every party, I have walked away from some parties with some really fabulous stuff! I’ve won gift cards, an ipod touch, memory cards, batteries, and lots more. Even if I don’t win, I’ve still had a great time, and don’t ever feel like I’ve wasted my time.

I hope that helps you out and encourages you to start joining twitter parties. And in case I didn’t explain it well enough, there’s actually a website dedicated to twitter parties. You can learn more about them by clicking here. And, as always, if you have any more questions, just ask!

I’d love to see lots of you join us for the #ToiletWand twitter party tomorrow!

Join the #ToiletWand Spring Cleaning Twitter Party

Clorox ToiletWand SystemTomorrow, I’ll be guest hosting the Clorox #ToiletWand Spring Cleaning Twitter party from 3 – 4pm. There will be lots of chatter about Spring Cleaning, with tips and tricks for getting started, products that will help you get the job done fast, and you’ll learn more about the TolietWand from Clorox. The Clorox ToiletWand System makes everyone’s least favorite chore – cleaning the toilet! – fast and easy, so you can check it off your Spring Cleaning list and move right on down the list.

I would love to have you all join me along with @MomCentral and @DadCentral tomorrow. {There will be prizes!}

Here are all the need-to-know details:

What: Clorox #ToiletWand Spring Cleaning Twitter Party
When: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 from 3:00-4:00PM EST
Why: Talk about spring cleaning and how the Clorox ToiletWand helps jumpstart your efforts
Hashtag: #ToiletWand
Hosts: @MomCentral, @DadCentral
Prizes: 6 Clorox Bathroom Essentials giveaway packs and $50 gift codes
Questions?: Contact Matt M. at mmoretti@momcentral.com
Learn More: Visit: http://bit.ly/hOgo3h

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post in any way. However, I will receive a gift card for participating in the #ToiletWand twitter party with Mom Central and Clorox.

Parents Magazine – 1 Year for Just $5

Plum DistrictI love finding websites that offer fabulous deals – especially when they’re on products I love and/or need. So, when I found out about Plum District, and their amazing deals, I couldn’t wait to sign up. The very first deal I scored was a 1-year subscription to Parents Magazine for just $5! What a steal!

Click the link above to go directly to that deal.

If you haven’t heard of Plum District and want to join, click here for a direct link to sign up. If you use that link, you’ll also receive $5 off your first purchase! (You can’t use the $5 off on the Parents Magazine deal, because it’s considered a “Steal.” But, there are lots of other local deals you can use the $5 on.)

Check out Plum District and sign up today. Then, watch the deals come rolling in!

Win a 4-Pack of Yoplait Kids Yogurt

 

 

The first 20 readers to click on the “free yogurt” link above will receive a 4 pack of Yoplait Kids Yogurt.

Here’s some need to know info about Yoplait Kids:

  • Yoplait Kids provides an excellent course of calcium and vitamin D, and a good source of protein to help build strong bones
  • Yoplait Kids yogurt has 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt*
  • Yoplait Kids yogurt has the delicious taste that kids love
  • Yoplait Kids package size is 4-3.0 oz. cups
  • Yoplait Kids yogurt is available nationwide and in three varieties: Strawberry, Strawberry Banana and Vanilla
  • Packaging features kids’ favorite characters like Dora the Explorer, Lightning McQueen from the hit movie “Cars” and the Disney Princesses

*Yoplait Kids has 9 grams of sugar per ever 3-ounces. The leading kids’ yogurt has 13 grams of sugar per every 3-ounces.

Disclaimer: I received the above information and the opportunity to give my readers the chance to win free yogurt from MyBlogSpark and Yoplait Kids. I was in no other way compensated for this post.

30 Day Photography Challenge – Topics

30 day photography challengeAs promised, here are the topics we will cover during the 30 Day Photography Challenge:

  1. Self Portrait
  2. Flight – anything in flight (animal, machine, etc.)
  3. Fire – Please don’t burn anything down just to take a photo!
  4. Water – Anything that contains water
  5. Spring – What shouts Spring to you?
  6. Shadows – Normally, you don’t want to see shadows in a photo. This time, we’re making them the focus!
  7. Macro – Zoom WAAAAAAAY in
  8. Where I Live – Show us something unique to the area you live in
  9. Texture – Photograph something with texture in it.
  10. Technology – Shoot anything that has to do with technology
  11. Household Item – It can be your favorite, or your least favorite, just show us something from inside your house.
  12. Motion – Anything that moves
  13. Food – Pretty self explanatory
  14. Architecture – Any kind of building
  15. Vintage – Anything old/antique
  16. Toys – Self Explanatory
  17. Emotions – Something showing emotion
  18. Reflections – Anything that casts a reflection/shows a reflection
  19. Insects – Love ’em or hate ’em, let’s shoot ’em!
  20. Books – Get creative with a stack of books
  21. Church – A photograph of any church
  22. Fashion – Anything that has to do with fashion
  23. Color – Something that shows vibrant color
  24. Easter – What says Easter to you?
  25. Rocks, Stones, Pebbles – Self Explanatory
  26. Looking Up – Do what it says – take a picture looking up.
  27. Abandoned – Something that’s been abandoned
  28. Furry Friends – Can be your pet(s) or any kind of furry creature if you don’t have a pet
  29. Accidental Letters – Pushing you a little harder – find a letter made of something in nature or man-made
  30. Free Choice – After 30 days, show us anything you want to! (Family Friendly, of course)

You’ll note that I’ve made these pretty obscure – that’s because I really want to push you to think outside the box and get creative. None of the topics should really be too difficult, although some may push you to think a little bit. The goal behind this is to have fun and get shooting!

Please remember to keep the photos family friendly.

The 30 Day Photo Challenge will begin April 1st. I hope you’ll join us!

Not sure what the 30 day photo challenge is? Click here.

Spring Cleaning Made Easier with the Clorox ToiletWand {Review & Giveaway}

This giveaway will end Friday, April 8 at 11:59pm EST.

ToiletSpring is officially here, and we all know what that means: Time for Spring Cleaning!

Call me crazy, but I actually love Spring cleaning. It’s the perfect way to get rid of all the junk you don’t need anymore, and get the entire house looking (and smelling!) fresh and clean all over.

There is, however, one room that I hate cleaning. You guessed it – the bathroom. Yick, yick, yick. It actually sends shivers up and down my spine just thinking about it.

Maybe it’s because I have so many boys in my house, and for some reason, not one of them can aim properly. Maybe it’s because no matter how often I clean it, it still never seems clean enough. And the thought that germs fly through the air every time the toilet flushes? It totally grosses me out.

For years, I’ve been using a toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner to clean the toilets. I found myself replacing the brushes and the brush holders way more often than most people, simply because the germs the harbor totally gross me out. But, replacing them got expensive. There had to be a better way to get the dirtiest seat in the house clean without spending a fortune.

Enter the Clorox ToiletWand System.

I had seen the Clorox ToiletWand in the stores, and I still can’t figure out why I never tried it before now. Mom Central and Clorox sent me a Clorox ToiletWand System to try out in my own house and help kick off my Spring Cleaning festivities.

I have to tell you that I loved the ToiletWand so much that I immediately went out and bought a second one for the downstairs bathroom. For less than $10, I got a second Clorox ToiletWand System. Excellent value for everything it includes!clorox toiletwand

The Clorox ToiletWand is awesome. I love the fact that it cleans the toilet, (and does a spectacular job, I might add), and when you’re done with it, you pop the cleaning head off into the trash can. No dealing with the germs, no messy toilet brush holders, just a clean toilet, and far less germs in the bathroom.

It is so super easy to use, too, that even the kids can do it! And they love doing it, too. I used to have to break up fights because no one wants to clean the bathroom. Now I break them up because everyone wants to use the Clorox ToiletWand!

Here, take a look at how easy it is to use the Colorox ToiletWand with this short video:

Now, Mom Central, Clorox, and I want to give you the chance to try out the Clorox ToiletWand System and see if you love it as much as I do!

I get to give one lucky winner a Clorox Bathroom Essentials ToiletWand Prize Pack that includes a ToiletWand, a bathroom rug, a toilet decal, and a toilet paper holder. Everything you need to get your bathroom spic and span!

If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, you can download a $3 off coupon for the Clorox ToiletWand System here: $3 off Clorox ToiletWand

To Enter

Mandatory: Leave a comment and tell me if you love or loathe Spring Cleaning.
*Mandatory. If this is not done, you cannot win.

Want Extra Entries?

  • Blog About this Giveaway. Be sure to include a link to Blessed Beyond Words and Clorox. (5 extra entries)
  • Subscribe to us via email. (2 extra entries.)
  • Subscribe to us via reader. (1 extra entry.)
  • Become a fan of Blessed Beyond Words on Facebook. (Leave your Facebook first name and last initial, please.)
  • Become a fan of Clorox 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 Blessed Beyond Words on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Follow Clorox on twitter. (Leave your twitter id, please!)
  • Tweet about this contest. (1 Tweet Per DAY)
    Use the re-tweet button above, or here’s a sample tweet: 

    • Win a @Clorox ToiletWand Bathroom Essentials Prize Pack from @angievinez  – Ends 4/8: http://tinyurl.com/4fjvjfl
  • Grab our 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.)
  • Stumble this post. (Once. Please leave your stumbledupon username.)
  • Write a Review on Alexa (3 extra entries. Please leave your Alexa username.)

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 April 8th at 11:59pm (EST), and the winner will be selected via the “And the Winner is..” plugin. Winner will be notified via email upon selection, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Clorox and received a ToiletWand to facilitate my review and a gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate. The Sponsor will be fulfilling the prize as stated above.

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy’s Little Tough Guy

Mommy's Little Tough GuyDaddy says he’s preparing for the UFC. 🙂

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March is National Nutrition Month

yoplait yogurtThroughout my pregnancy, I was very careful about making sure that when I snacked, I went with healthy options. Yoplait yogurt was a staple in this house, because it’s a tasty treat that the entire family enjoys.

Now, Gage is finally here, and I am even more determined to keep our snacking on a healthy track. And, yes, I’ve still got my fridge stocked with yummy goodness that is Yoplait Yogurt.

Yoplait has so much to offer: Yoplait Original, Yoplait Light, Yoplait Fiber One, Yoplait Delight Parfaits and Yoplait Kids. Not only are they all tasty, but they’re good for you too!

Here are five great ways to ‘get your snack on’ with Yoplait this March:

  1. Start spring off right with Yoplait Light’s Two Week Tune Up Plan – Replace breakfast and lunch with a cup of your favorite flavor of Yoplait Light, a whole grain and a piece of fruit and you could lose 5 pounds in two weeks. Go to Yoplait.com for full diet details.
  2. Get more calcium with Yoplait Original style yogurt – Now with two times the calcium of the leading yogurt (50 percent of the Recommended Daily Value) in one convenient 6-ounce cup*, Yoplait Original style yogurt is committed to women’s health, offering a product that has even more of the calcium women need for strong, healthy bodies. Grab a free cup while supplies last during the Million Cup Giveaway on Yoplait on Facebook!
  3. Try the newest flavor from Yoplait Fiber One – Yoplait Fiber One’s new Blueberry flavor yogurt is packed with filling fiber, calcium, vitamins A and D, real fruit and the great taste of blueberries. With only 50 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat, this deliciously creamy yogurt won’t break your calorie bank.
  4. Stress less over snack time with Yoplait Kids yogurt – With a wholesome and fun snack like Yoplait Kids yogurt in the fridge, you can feel good about what your children are eating at snack time. Yoplait Kids provides an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, and has 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt**. With yummy flavors, and favorite friends like Dora and Lightning McQueen on the packages, Yoplait Kids is a hit with moms and children alike.
  5. End the day with a Delight Parfait from Yoplait – Even with two luscious layers providing a double shot of rich and creamy yogurt, these 100 calorie indulgences from Yoplait contain only 1.5 grams of fat per serving. Now available in two new flavors, Chocolate Éclair and Cherry Cheesecake, you can enjoy a dessert that’s 100 percent guilt-free.

*Leading yogurt has less than 25% Daily Value calcium per 6 oz.
**Yoplait kids has 9 grams of sugar per 3oz. the leading kids’ yogurt has 13 grams of sugar per 3oz.

Head to Facebook and become a fan of Yoplait on Facebook. There you’ll find the latest news, coupons for your favorite products from Yoplait Yogurt, and even a chance to win a prize pack of the Yoplait Greek Yogurt. All you have to do is “like” their page, and you’ll have access to all the latest goodies.

Disclaimer: I am posting this on behalf of MyBlogSpark and Yoplait yogurt. I have not received any compensation for this post, however, by posting, I am automatically entered to win a Yoplait prize pack. Information provided in this post was given by MyBlogSpark. Any opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

Coming in April…

30 Day Photo ChallengeNo, not another baby, and certainly not another pregnancy announcement. 🙂 But, I do have something up my sleeve!

Starting April 1st, Blessed Beyond Words will be hosting a 30 Day Photo Challenge.

Those of you who know me, know that I *love* photography. When we lived in Ohio, I had a very successful photography business. When we moved down to Georgia, the demand for professional photographers was seriously lacking, unless I wanted to lower my prices to compete with Walmart or shoot weddings every single weekend. I couldn’t afford to lower my prices, and I really didn’t want to miss every single weekend with my family. So, I shut down the business and only do shoots for family and friends now.

While you can still find me with a camera pointed at my own kids almost every single day, I need to keep up my skills and get creative. I’ve been seeing the “30 Day Photo Challenge” all over facebook, so I decided to put my own spin on it. And, I thought I’d invite my readers to join me. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to join in, you just need to have a camera and a way to post photos to your blog. If you don’t have a blog, that’s ok too. Just upload the photos to a facebook album.

Here’s how it will work:

For 30 days – each day in April – I will post a subject. You take the photo, upload it to your blog, and leave a link to your post/photo in that day’s linky here on Blessed Beyond Words.

Easy enough, right?

Next week, I’ll put up the post with the topics for each day. That way, there are no surprises, and you can jump in at any time.

I would love to have you join me in this. It’s a great way to practice your photography, let your readers get to know you, and get more viewers on your blog.

If you want to participate, go ahead and grab a button. Then, tune in next week to find out what we’ll be taking photos of every day. On April 1st, the 30 day photo challenge will officially begin!

 

30 Day Photo Challenge

 

Hope you join the fun!

3M Screen Protectors {Review}

3M ProtectorsMy iPhone goes with me everywhere. I use it to check emails, play games, surf the web, and even a phone call here or there. If I don’t have the iPhone on or near me, odds are good that one of the kids has it in their possession and is doing something with it.It gets tossed in the diaper bag, stuck in my back pocket, dropped on the floor, and I’ve even had it dropped in a toilet.

Because my iPhone gets used so much, I need a screen protector that can withstand all the abuse it goes through with my family.

I’ve used screen protectors in the past. When I first got the iPhone, I had a screen protector that cost almost as much as the iPhone itself. It was nice, but it didn’t last near long enough. The edges around the protector built up with dirt and just got gross. Then, it started bubbling, and it was a real nightmare. Because it was so pricey to begin with, I couldn’t afford to keep buying new ones. So, I found a cheap protector and tried that. After cutting it to the right size, (what a nightmare that was!), it was next to impossible to apply. Then, once it was finally applied, it wasn’t 2 days before it started bubbling. Sigh. What a pain!

Luckily, Mom Central introduced me to the 3M Screen Protectors. Around $15 for 2, 3M Screen Protectors are actually affordable. But, even better than that, they are SO easy to apply! Just peel and stick. There’s no spraying, no fighting, and no mess. I really loved how easy it was to apply the 3M Screen Protector to my iPhone. I also noticed that the Natural View Screen Protectors from 3M allow the images on my iPhone to remain crisp and clear. And it cuts down the glare quite a bit when I’m trying to access my phone outside on a sunny day. And there are NO fingerprints! With my hands and the kids’ hands constantly using the phone, I was certain I’d be dealing with constantly wiping off fingerprints. But, nope! The only time I have to deal with fingerprints is when Lucy finds my phone after eating her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 🙂

The Natural View Screen Protectors also have stay-clean edges to keep dirt and dust from building up around them. I’ve only been using the protector about a week, so it really hasn’t been enough time to see if this is true or not, but I can tell you that to this point, there has been no bubbling of the protector, and no dirt or dust has gathered up around the edges.

Another great feature is that you get 2 Screen Protectors per pack. This is especially wonderful when your 2 and a half year old decides to pull the first protector off and show you how proud he is of himself for doing so. (Also note: The protectors don’t leave any kind of residue on your phone when you remove them. I know this from experience.) I quickly applied the second protector, and had to explain to Parker that it needs to stay on. We’ll see how long that lasts. But, because they’re only around $15, you can actually afford to buy more if something happens.

I’m quite impressed with the 3M Screen Protectors for my iPhone and will continue to use them from now on. I would also recommend them to anyone with a smart phone.

To learn more about the 3M Screen Protectors, check out this video:

And, you can see here just how easy it is to apply the screen protector to your phone:

Also be sure to check out the 3M website to learn even more and see if they make a screen protector for your phone!

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of 3M and received a Natural View Screen Protector to facilitate my review and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wordless Wednesday: How to Eat a Cupcake

Direct Link

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Introducing Our Newest Blessing

Baby GageGage

Born: 10:06am
7 pounds, 11 ounces
20 3/4 inches

Yes, it’s true! Gage finally made his appearance! There’s quite a story behind this little guy’s arrival, so grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and read on.

We had originally thought our induction was scheduled for Thursday. Signals got crossed, messages missed, and it ended up being moved to Friday. It ended up being a blessing in disguise, because I got one last day of rest before becoming a mom of 6. With everything that’s happened since his birth, all I can tell you is that I really needed a day of rest beforehand!

We arrived at the hospital at 4:55am on Friday. They processed everything through right away, and by 5:20am, I was hooked up to the pitocin. The contractions came fairly often, but there was nothing strong or regular about them.

At 7:20am, my OBGYN came in and broke my water. The contractions picked up, and since I was almost at a 4, they decided to go ahead and insert the epidural without actually turning it on. Because I have scoliosis so badly, inserting the epidural isn’t an easy task. In fact, with my first 5 births, only 2 other epidurals ever took because it’s just so difficult to get them in right. Luckily, I had a very kind, very patient anesthesiologist, and he took his time putting it in. It hurt, but I knew it would be well worth it in the end.

Right after he got the epidural in place, it was about 9:15am, and the nurse checked me. I was at a 6. Fabulous! Things were moving right along, so we went ahead and turned on the epidural. Ahhhh…. heaven! (They really should give these to you at about week 36. Would make the last few weeks of pregnancy so much more bearable!)

About half an hour later, I had the strongest urge to push. The nurse checked me, and I was at a 9! They quickly called the doctor, and we all prayed he make it in time to deliver the baby.

He did. Thank heavens.

He got there, and it was a minute or two after 10am. He said I still had a ring of cervix left, but I could probably push right through it.

I did.

With 4 big pushes, Gage made his appearance in the world at 10:06am.

New Baby

I have to confess – I did not do so well during those few minutes of pushing. One would think that having been through the labor and delivery process 5 times prior to this, that I would be cool, calm, and completely under control.

HA!

I completely lost my “supermom” status for those few moments. I screamed like I had never screamed before. (Thank goodness I wasn’t feeling well and had no voice!) I cried and carried on and even told my husband at one point, “I can’t do it!” He gently rubbed my head and said, “Honey, you don’t have a choice. You have to do it.” My voice of reason when I had lost all self-control.

Immediately after Gage was born, I felt like the world’s biggest idiot. How could I freak out like that? Where on earth did that come from? We may never know, but I’m SO glad I only had to push for a few minutes. I can’t imagine how stupid I would have felt if I had carried on like that for hours! (blush!)

Overall, the labor and delivery was amazing. I had a very good friend that ended up as my labor and delivery nurse that day, and while our friendship has now been taken to a whole new level, she was the best nurse I’ve ever had. Truth be told, the entire nursing staff that I ended up with all weekend was amazing.

Gene went and picked up the kids shortly after Gage was born. They all just adore him. Everyone wants to hold him all the time, and they just love and kiss all over Baby Gage. It’s so sweet. I just hope Gage can put up with it! 🙂

The doctor let me go home on Sunday, after requesting I stay an extra day to get some rest.

It was so nice to be home on Sunday evening. A friend brought us dinner, and we got to chat for awhile.

On Monday morning, what had started as a little cough on Thursday of last week had turned into coughing up blood. Gene and I decided I needed to go back to the ER to figure out what was going on. I had no other symptoms, just the nasty cough.

Now, if you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, you know how crazy things got yesterday during that ER visit.

I went in for a cough, and when the chest x-ray came back clear of pneumonia, they started talking about blood clots. Things went from bad to worse, and the doctors had me scared out of my mind – literally. I couldn’t stop crying, afraid that I had just given birth to my 6th baby and was going to die of a blood clot. I posted on facebook begging for prayers from anyone that happened to log on during that time. My husband held me, and we cried and prayed, letting God take control of the entire situation.

The radiologist came in to take me to the CT Scan, and I really think he was sent straight from heaven. Before the procedure, he talked to me about what was going on, the side effects, why I needed to not breastfeed Gage for 24 hours or so, and what would happen if the scan revealed a clot. I started the talk with him in absolute hysterics, and by the time the entire procedure was over, I had a peace like I’d never felt before. I knew I had so many people praying, and I knew that God was in control, that I just couldn’t worry any more.

A few minutes after the CT Scan, the doctor came back in the room and announced, “It’s pneumonia! The x-ray missed it.” Now, never in my life have I ever muttered the words, “Praise the Lord, it’s just pneumonia!” but I did yesterday. No clot meant no treatment for a clot. Once the contrast dye made it through my system, I could resume nursing again, and everything would be right with the world. God is so good!

So, as you can see, things have been a little bit crazy around here. Today has been a much better day, and now that it’s been over 24 hours, and I can resume breastfeeding Gage again, things are even better.

The ladies at church are spoiling me rotten with dinners each night, and it has been such a huge help. I am so thankful for the family and friends that I have that care so much.

Thank you to each one of you that prayed for me, thought about me, left a comment on another post, or even just took the time to read this. Know that you are loved and appreciated.

Now, I’m off to go rest up some more. Maybe I can keep the excitement level down for awhile.

I gotta tell you one last thing, though, being a mom of 6 is absolutely amazing. I am so blessed!

Mom of 6(Ignore how exhausted I look in that picture. I did just have a baby.) 🙂

So Much for “The Big Day!”

I spent all day yesterday preparing for my induction. Packed all the bags, made arrangements for the kids, took care of absolutely everything. We went to Revival last night, and it was amazing. I have to admit, I was a little bummed, (for selfish reasons, of course), that they decided to extend the revival 2 more days. That meant I was going to miss Thursday night at least, because of the induction. Hubby and I decided that if they let me go home on Friday, and I was feeling well, we would all go back to the revival together Friday night.

We dropped the kids at my MIL’s house after the revival, kissed them all, and told them that the next time they saw Mommy, she’d have a baby in her arms and not in her belly. Everyone was so excited.

Hubby and I got home, and started to get ready for bed. To avoid TMI being posted and losing a million readers, I noticed a pretty gross discharge and hubby talked me into calling labor and delivery and just asking them if it was normal, and if we needed to come in early. I called over to the hospital, and a labor and delivery nurse answered the phone. I told her that I was on the schedule for an induction the following morning at 5am. She looked at the schedule and informed me that I was *not* on the schedule for Thursday, but that I had been moved to Friday.

I was NOT happy. I had not been notified of any change in the schedule. I’d already made arrangements for my kids. Gene had already taken off work. I know it’s just one day, but that one day can throw everything for a loop. I talked to the nurse for awhile about what was going on, and she called my doctor to let him know that I had not been informed of the change in the schedule. (By the way, it was not my doctor’s fault. It was a staffing issue at the hospital. I still love my doctor, I’m just hoping the nurses at the hospital are a little more on the ball when I actually have this baby.)

After I got off the phone with her, I double (and triple) checked my voicemail and checked the caller id on our land line. No phone calls, no messages from anyone informing me of the change.

I must say that I’m quite glad I didn’t get up at 3:00 this morning and show up there at 5am today. I probably would have lost my testimony all over that hospital. Thank goodness hubby made me call labor and delivery and we at least found out we’d be able to sleep in this morning. Actually, it’s kind of nice to have hubby home to myself all day.

Another thing that I can’t get off my mind is our revival. Tonight, the youth choir will be singing. When they sang on Tuesday night, the Holy Spirit took over the room in a way that I have never seen before. There was singing, shouting, men marching the aisles, and so many tears of repentance. I was blown away. All I can think is that maybe God allowed all of this to happen so that I could be at the Revival one more night. Maybe He plans to do something with one of my kids. Maybe He plans to do something big with me. Either way, I will be there tonight – baby in belly – and ready to hear what God has to say to me.

Then, tomorrow morning, I’ll get up bright and early and head in to the hospital and have a baby.

So, stay tuned. Looks like it’s going to be one more day before I have any news to announce.

Tomorrow is the Big Day!

I am so excited, I can hardly stand it…. BUT, I still have so much to do to get ready for Gage’s appearance! I have searched through our boxes, and I cannot find any 0-3 month clothes. No sleepers, no gowns, no outfits – nothing. The joy of moving 2 weeks before the baby is born, I guess. So, I’ve got to head out and get at least a couple of outfits for this baby to wear so that he doesn’t have to go naked the first 3 months of his life. 🙂 I need to pack the hospital bag. (No, I still haven’t done that.) I need to fold and put away all the baby blankets, bibs, and burp cloths that I washed. I need to sterilize pacifiers and bottles.

But most of all, I need to relax. And that seems to be what I’m struggling with most. I don’t know if it’s nerves about labor and delivery, since my last experience was so bad, or if it’s the fact that tomorrow, I will be a mom of SIX. Either way, I am a bundle of nerves.

I have to be at the hospital at 5am tomorrow. I doubt that I’ll get any sleep tonight at all, yet my husband will lie in bed next to me, snoring soundly. (How is it HE can relax right now?)

Hubby set up all the baby stuff yesterday – the swing, the cradle, the pack ‘n play, the car seat. Our house looks ready for a baby, so at least we have that much.

I will update you all just as soon as I can!

Enjoy the rest of your week. And stay tuned for lots (and LOTS!) of pictures!

Get Mega with the Mega Bloks Domino Build Game {Review}

Mega Bloks Domino Build GameThanks to Team Mom, I was recently introduced to the Mega Bloks Domino Build Game. Perfect for both boys and girls ages 3 – 6, the game teaches kids the basics that they need to know: colors, numbers, matching, and motor skills. The game is so simple to play – match colors and animals. If you make a domino match, you win a block to construct a zoo animal!

My kids, Lucy, Parker, and Jace have really had a blast playing this game together. It’s simple enough that I can leave Jace “in charge” and I can watch as the three of them play together. Lucy and Parker get so excited when they make a match and get to add another piece to their “animal tower.” (That’s what they call them.)

Here are some of the things the kids and I love about this game:

  • The bright colors and fun animal cards and building blocks.
  • Perfect for boys and girls.
  • Easy to play, but teaches kids vital skills.
  • The price: Retail Value is approximately $10.99, which is a fantastic deal!

I absolutely love this game, and so do my kids. The best part is, the two little ones can have fun with it even if they don’t play it the right way. They love building the “animal towers” and matching the animal cards. I love watching their little minds working as they do things together and have a ball!

Mega Bloks Domino Build GameIf you’d like to purchase the Mega Bloks Domino Build Game, it’s available on Amazon.com, Fred Meyers, Toys R Us Canada (Quebec only) and Walmart Canada.

I also want to let you know about the Mega Bloks Family Club. Members receive the following:

  • A printable Coupon for $5 off any $30 or more Mega Bloks purchase.
  • Other exclusive offers, contests, sweepstakes, and promotions on Mega Bloks toys.
  • Information on new Mega Bloks toys for kids ages 1 to 6.
  • Access to an Education and Informative Blog by a leading panel of mom bloggers with articles on the benefits of construction toys, product reviews, pictures, and more.
  • A complimentary email newsletter with great new building ideas, toys for kids ages 1 and up, and other helpful information.

To sign up, head to http://familyclub.megabloks.com

Also, while you’re there, be sure to check out the Mega Bloks Mom Search. Mega Brands is looking for 5 Mega Bloks Mom personalities to contribute to the Mega Bloks Family Club, a brand new Mega Brands blog and online community. If selected, each Mega Bloks Mom blogger will receive compensation, along with free Mega Brands product. You can learn more and apply here.

To learn more about the MEGA Brand of products, visit www.MegaBrands.com.

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blog tour with Team Mom on behalf of Mega Brands. I received the products necessary to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own. I have not been compensated in any other way for this post.

 

38 Week Checkup and Exciting News!

I had my 38 week checkup this morning. The doctor was late getting there, because he was delivering a baby. They hooked me up for a Non-Stress Test, and watched the baby for awhile. It wasn’t until the nurse came in and started pushing on my belly before I started contracting. I asked her if she’d come home with me, since she seemed to have the magic touch, but she politely declined.

A little while later, the doc came in and checked my cervix. We talked about my breakdown last Wednesday, and he asked how I was doing. (I never told you all, but I went into his office, convinced I was in labor, only to find out I wasn’t even contracting.) Last week was a very emotional week, and I was a total mess all week.

He checked my cervix and was pleasantly surprised to find that I’ve dilated almost to a 3! That’s HUGE news for me, because I’ve never made it past a 2 on my own before. We talked about letting me go on my own, but because my blood pressure has been spiking a little too high, he felt it was better to just go ahead and schedule my induction.

Sooooooo………. Gage Walker will make his appearance sometime this Thursday, March 10th. I’m so excited. I’ve been praying that I wouldn’t miss our revival at church this week, and since it runs tonight through Wednesday, this is perfect!

If I disappear for a bit, you’ll know why, but I’m going to try my darndest to catch up (and get ahead!) before I go off and have this baby.

Thanks for all your prayers and concerns, thoughts and emails. I really do have the best readers on the net!

38 Weeks Pregnant – Time to Pack the Hospital Bag?

38 weeks pregnant

38 Weeks Pregnant

Because I’ve never gone into labor on my own, I’ve never packed the hospital bag ahead of time and had it sitting there ready for weeks. Because so many have been scheduled inductions, I’ve packed the bag the night before, and had everything ready to go. The only one that was a complete surprise was Parker. I developed pre-eclampsia, and because everything happened so quickly, I had no time to pack a bag or get everything ready. That’s one birth I’d like to never repeat again.

Now, here I am at 38 weeks, still perfectly plump and very pregnant. I can’t go anywhere without people asking if I’m ever going to have this baby, and I refuse to answer the phone because the first question always asked is, “Oh, you’re still there? No baby yet?” SIGH. I’m 38 weeks. Talk to me after 40 weeks. Although then you might not like the consequences of asking such a dumb question.

My next appointment is on Monday, and since I haven’t been contracting at all, (which is extremely rare for me!), I know he’s going to tell me to hold on one more week. While I’d give anything to have this baby here, if the doc still thinks he needs more time to cook, then I don’t have a problem with that. I know this baby will not come without pitocin – none of my other ones ever have, so I’m not expecting this pregnancy to be any different.

But, do I pack the hospital bag? I’ve already got my hospital bag check list printed off and ready to go. I have everything I need, I just don’t have it all in one place yet.

Part of me feels like if I do pack the hospital bag, I’ll be jinxing myself. If I’m ready to go, I’ll never go into labor on my own. But, if I don’t pack it, maybe something will happen and I’ll go into labor on my own.

Now, that’s never worked before, so maybe I should try packing and being ready to go. Maybe that’s all this baby is waiting on.

So, as you can tell, my brain is running a million different directions, and I can’t make up my mind. So, where else can I go but to my readers?

Tell me: How early did you pack your hospital bag?

Family Friendly Friday – 3.4.11 {Guest Post}

Family Values Entertainment News, Mom Reviewed & Mom Approved – 3.4.11

Moms Speak Out

Check out this week’s Moms Speak Out section:

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids on Spring Break?

Speak up and make a difference! If there’s a question you’d like to have discussed, let’s hear it.

Please email me your Moms Speak Out comments and suggestions!

Quiet on the Set

Now that all the award shows are behind us, Spring is just around the corner which means Spring Break is almost here. I always find Spring Break to be a bit tough to schedule with working and making sure I devote more time to my daughter with her days off. I try and schedule a few fun things for her and I do to together and really cherish the time away from work. Maybe this week our family friendly picks can help you grab a few moments to cherish with your little ones!

Take a look at our Moms Speak Out section above, I would love to get your feedback on what you do for Spring Break!

As they say out here in Hollywood, “lights, camera, action!”

Do you have a favorite family movie you want to share? Send me a suggestion and I will talk to our team at the National Board of Mothers about reviewing it to be Mom Reviewed and Mom Approved.

If you are interested in finding other family friendly movies on DVD, here is a good place to start.

This week offers many great family friendly options for TV shows from the Parents Television Council. Here are my favorite picks: First, A Bug’s Life, a fun animated movie about what happens when ants need to enlist the help of other insects; second, Monsters, Inc., a fun family animated movie about how monsters really aren’t that scary. Here are some other family friendly options for the week:

Friday, March 4, 2011
Clambake, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) TCM Elvis stars opposite Shelley Fabares as an oil heir who takes a job as a ski instructor in this light-hearted musical romp.
Who Do You Think You Are?, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) NBC Singer Lionel Richie charts his family history by focusing on his maternal grandmother’s ancestry.  Determined to figure out the mysteries surrounding her father, Richie takes an investigative voyage from Alabama to Nashville and Chattanooga, ultimately digging up a connection to the dawning days of the civil-rights movement.

Saturday, March 5, 2011
A Bug’s Life, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC Family A bumbling ant recruits a band of insect circus performers to help defend his colony from an army of greedy grasshoppers.
Who’s the Boss?, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Hallmark Channel Mother and daughter bond when Mona drags the workaholic Angela to a blues club.

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Earth: The Making of a Planet, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) National Geographic Channel Examining the events that led to the creation of Earth.
Monsters, Inc., 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC Family A little girl accidentally enters the land of monsters, where she befriends two creatures who work at a “scare factory.”

Monday, March 7, 2011
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Channel During a Russo family vacation in the Caribbean, a frustrated Alex wishes her parents had never met.  After her wish is unexpectedly granted, she and her brothers work to reverse the spell before it’s too late.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) GMC Despondent over Ingrid’s death, Matthew leaves town. The family finds him working in a temporary town as a bartender. Matthew, with the help of his family and Peter Chow lets Ingrid go.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Suite Life on Deck, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Channel Snakes escape from a crate on the ship and Woody tries to recapture them.  Meanwhile, Cody realizes he is unable to make Bailey laugh, and Maya learns that Zack has dated more girls that she thought.
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) MyTV A game show testing how much contestants have forgotten since grade school in such subjects as math, geography, and social studies.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Minute to Win It, 8:00 p.m.  (Eastern) NBC A game show where contestants use household items to complete tasks in under a minute in order to win cash and other prizes.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, 8:00 p.m . (Eastern) Disney Channel Camp Rock’s future is threatened by a rival music camp with rich resources.  Mitchie and Shane team up to save their beloved retreat and challenge the glitzy Camp Star to a performance duel to determine which place is better.

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Finding Nemo, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Best animated feature about a clown fish who, with the help of a ditzy blue tang, searches for his missing son.
Antiques Roadshow, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) PBS (check local listings) Season 13 begins in Palm Springs, where experts appraise a 1937 painting by American expressionist Clyfford Still valued at $500,000.

To see the complete list of shows recommended by the Parents Television Council and/or to learn more about this great organization, please visit www.parentstv.org

I am very excited for the movie we have this week because the lead actor is one of my favorites, check out this fun family movie!  Check out below the National Board of Mothers® suggestion at the end for what age is appropriate. Enjoy!

RangoRango

Release Date: March 4, 2011

 

MPAA rating: PG

 

Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher and Timothy Olyphant

 

Running Time: 107 min

Johnny Depp is the voice of the funny Rango chameleon whose life gets turned upside down when he accidentally finds himself the sheriff in a Wild West town. Equipped with an active imagination and a friendly demeanor, this once ordinary lizard is thrust into a new reality and he isn’t quite sure what to do.

At times struggling with an identity crisis Rango is a lovable character and this cute animated story will give you lots to talk about from life lessons about what is important, to how you keep yourself true amidst tough situations.

The National Board of Mothers® does not recommend this movie for viewers under age nine.

 

 

 

It’s a wrap! I hope you find some nice moments to cherish with your little ones!

If there is something you would like to see on this blog, please email me at Family Values Cinema. See you next Friday!


Founder, National Board of Mothers®

Patty is first and foremost an experienced mother both to her teenage daughter, and to her Labradoodle Romeo. With a great passion for wholesome entertainment, Patty spearheaded the National Board of Mothers to establish a rigorous review process ensuring that your family’s treasured time is enjoyed with Mom Reviewed & Mom Approved products. Patty is most currently known for forging new ground with family friendly entertainment as the Founder of not only the National Board of Mothers, but also Family Values Cinema. You can read more about Patty and family friendly entertainment here or email her with any questions.

Disclaimer: This is a weekly guest post on behalf of Family Values Entertainment. I am not being compensated for this post, but links included in this post may be affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Blessed Beyond Words. Read more about my relationship with Family Values Cinema here.