Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wittlebee

Hey everybody! Have you noticed the advertisements around the Internet for Wittlebee? I did and after doing the math I realized the clothes came out to just a few bucks a piece. For $39.99 a month (shipping is included) you can get a box of 6 articles of clothing tailored to your child's age, clothing size, style, color preferences, etc. You can even speak with a stylist about what clothing you want for your child or leave notes for a stylist if you're a phone-aphobe like me. The best part is that you won't know what you actually get until it arrives at your doorstep but it is all based on information you input in your profile.

I love surprises! I thought I'd give it a try. The only downside, in my opinion, is they don't do clothing larger than 5/6 so I can only get clothes for my two youngest (I alternate months between Judah and Zoe by updating my profile every month). I hear rumor of them offering bigger sizes as the company grows and expands.

We've gotten two boxes thus far, three if you count the one that just shipped for us this month but I haven't gotten yet (squee!). The clothing is mostly name-brand and higher quality and brand new. It comes to $6.67 per article of clothing (and remember shipping is included in the price so each piece of clothing is probably closer to $5 each!).

Judah's June Box
You may notice Judah has 8 items; Wittlebee recently reduced the number of items received to 6 in order to provide bigger brand names. They started off as a company that wanted to help families build their fast-growing children's wardrobe with *basics* but it has evolved into so much more. People want more graphic tees, colors, outfits, etc. and not just tights, socks, undies or a plain t-shirt.

Check out all the customer boxes from this summer on this Wittlebee Facebook Album! They are about to roll out fall stuff. It takes up to two weeks to process your order, pack and ship so it's good to start thinking ahead to new seasons.

Zoe's box is in the mail. I picked the styles Princess and Nerd (you can pick up to two) and I have found that the more satisfied customers are the ones who chill out and relax about the details. I don't need to give the stylist a huge laundry list of likes and dislikes. I keep it simple and have fun with it. On this box, for example, I mentioned that Zoe loves every color and that she is a very small 3T (so they wouldn't send 3T-4T sizes) and that we love girly skulls. I cannot wait to share with you what arrives here tomorrow or the next day.

So far we haven't been disappointed! If you're already spending money on clothing every month you might as well save time, energy, gasoline, stress with dragging children out of the house, etc. and sign up. It's super fun!!! And the great news is you can also skip a month if you find you need a break.

Please use THIS LINK for $10 off your first box. It's my referral link so by referring you I earn credit, which I could really use. Each household can have two boxes at a time (they are working on organizing things better in regard to that but for now I think you have to order them separately). Or I have ads for Wittlebee to the left and at the bottom of my blog. 

More pics to come of Zoe's first box and her new box that should be here soon.

ETA - I found Zoe's picture on the Wittlebee Facebook and it is HERE! The outfit she is wearing is Carter's I believe.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Living the Dream...

Is anyone else watching the Olympics and reverting back to that young child, sitting close to the big bubble-tube television, in absolute awe, pretending that you are in the great arena with them under those big lights? Little boys and little girls beg for lessons during these wonderful competitions as they watch sports and athleticism they may not ever knew existed before the commencement of the games... Dreams are made when you watch the Olympics. Not dreams of money or fame. But dreams of becoming great, of becoming someone special, of doing something special.

Children don't see the normalcy. They see the glittery leotards, the muscular strength, the poetry in motion. They don't see the hours put in, the blisters, the doctor and chiropractor visits, the lack of life since every spare moment is spent in study or exercise. It's so easy to have an idyllic vision of our human heroes, to want and desire to become just like them and accomplish great things. Fulfilling our dreams takes hard work, determination, grit. It takes spirit!

I still get starry eyes when I watch a young girl do a bazillion back-flips and tucks and swirly-whirly moves on the tumbling floor. Who can resist?! But then four little ones jump on my lap, clamoring for my attention and I know that I am someone special, accomplishing great things, doing the most amazing work every day I live and breathe.

The Olympics look very different from adulthood but I still put on my kid glasses. I enjoy watching the thrill and awe in my children's faces, their delights in the acrobatics of the divers and gymnasts. I call to them when their favorites are on and then I watch my children and I see dreams being made. They may not ever become Olympians (heck, maybe they will! Who am I to say or limit their potential?!) but they can dream. God is a dreamer, He made us dreamers. If nothing else I want to impart to my children to always dream! Even if it seems impossible, try. Even if the work that goes into it goes unrewarded for a long time, dream! Dream what you love. Do what you dream.

Dreams can fade into darkness or come to life, they can change and morph as we change and morph. Dreams dare us to become something new, something better. They challenge us to try new things or seemingly impossibles. Dreams require action in order to become reality. They can be difficult when put in motion but the reward (that gold medal!) is so worth it. Dreams give us a jumping off point... just as the diver steps out onto the diving board before taking the plunge into the waters below. Dreaming is excitement and adrenaline! It gives us life!

I still watch the Olympics through the eyes of my child-self. I have more reality and more life now, I have an idea of the hard work these athletes go through daily. But I still see the glittery leotards and superhuman strength. I still dream and will always dream. This is one dream that won't become my reality but oh the fun and oh the joy! To dream... it is to LIVE.

Are your little patriotic Olympians dreaming big? Are you?!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Catching up!

As a mom of four I get a lot of comments in public. Some are very nice, some are weird, some downright give me the creeps and some just rude. I was in the grocery store with all four of the kiddos this week when an enormously tall black man says "WHOA!" I startled, engrossed in reading food labels, when he added "You are BLESSED!" Made me smile! That is a new one and definitely a more welcome comment to the "My, your hands are full" sneer.

Judah-boy loves food. He is a foodie. He skipped the jarred junk and went straight to table foods. We started slow, with things he could mash with his gums. I only introduced foods because of his interest and since he could stomach it we felt fine giving him food. He now eats every meal and whines if anyone has food but him! We started with fresh banana and avocado and other soft, soft fruits. Here he is enjoying his first spaghetti meal recently and he loved it! He might be a pasta-boy like his Daddy (me??? Not a huge Italian food lover).


Daniel and I got goofy on the fourth of July! This is a normal picture. The other ones I looked like a zombie about ready to eat his face off and he was cross-eyed. Oh the fun!



A couple months ago (I forget when exactly) I began putting Judah in his bed for bedtime. Cosleeping is great... for a period of time. Then it is time to move on out before someone falls out of bed (yikes!). From the first night of sleeping in his own crib we all finally got good, uninterrupted sleep! Yup, he slept through the night. The only nights he may wake me up is when he's teething hardcore.


Judah is 10-months-old now. He has been crawling for some time now and gets into everything. He loves to "drum" on everything, too! He says "Buh" for bye, "Nuh" for no and just screams for food when I put him in his highchair. He, of course, says Mama and Dada and a whole string of unintelligible, but oh so adorable, words and sounds. He tries to talk on the phone by putting it up to his face. He pulls blankets (or shirts or bags or whatever he can find) up to his face to play Peek-a-Boo. He loves to clap when I say "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay" and waves bye-bye, too. The best part is when I tell him "Say 'bye-bye'" and he looks at the front door while waving!

He does so many other amazing and wonderful things. I have no idea how much he weighs since I do not take him to the doctor but he's a big boy. He's 10-months but has been wearing 12M clothing since about 8 months. With all his eating I've also noticed his cloth diapers are getting snug and need one less button snapped! And he's super long! Don't know where he gets that from since his parents are shorties (okay so we have tall family members; I'm the "runt of the litter" in my family).


We're still breastfeeding, too. He's easily distracted when nursing. Just yesterday I laid down in my bed with him to nurse him real quick (he loves to lay in my bed to nurse, even if we don't snooze). He was staring off and nursing so I leaned in close and said "Boo!" to his face. He burst out laughing and spewed milk all over my face! Ahhhh gotta love it! I love his delight with the world and especially with his sisters. He's becoming a real big Daddy's Boy, too! Our girls have all been Momma's Girls. Of course Judah has his days but he's really connected with Daniel in a different way than our girls at this age.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tubing!

My oldest daughter, Elaina, has battled ear pain, on and off, for the past two years. These last several months it has gotten so bad she was losing hearing. In school she couldn't hear her teacher. We finally got a referral to the ENT doctor (Ears, Nose, Throat) and after being on the waiting list and going to several appointments she got tubes put in her ears yesterday (Friday).

I was an anxious wreck. I stayed up Thursday night cleaning the house because I was alone, it was quiet and I finally had two free hands (and no little tornadic toddlers or babies in my wake) for once. I woke up and put on a happy face for Elaina, trying to be her calm because I knew she was scared. She decided Daddy would take her and he didn't hesitate to be her hero and protector. I stayed home with the littles with strict instructions that he call me every time something happened.

Oh such a simple procedure and yet... when it is your own child in the surgical suite it's a whole other story. Your mind will play games and you'll fear that your child will be that rare child where something goes wrong.

Everything went perfectly.

Of course!

In fact I heard the van pull into the drive not long after Daddy told me they had taken her back for her surgery (the hospital is really close) and was shocked to see how quick it was. So for other parents that may be going through this soon here is what happened.

Elaina couldn't eat anything after 1:30 in the morning and could have water up to two hours before surgery. Daddy and Elaina got to the Children's hospital and checked in. Not long after they arrived they were called into a private room where Elaina got changed into a gown. Elaina had a lovey from home, a dude doll we named Amadeus and he looks just like Daddy with his glasses and green mohawk. She and Amadeus said goodbye to Daddy and a kind nurse reassured her as she led my trembling Elaina to the surgery room. She helped Elaina get situated on the bed and they gave her the gas mask pretty quick as they knew she was nervous. They scented the gas with strawberries and then asked Elaina if she liked chocolate - of course she does! So they put some chocolate in there as well. Mmmm... chocolate strawberries... and sleepy bliss!

About 10-15 minutes later Elaina was taken into the recovery room, a large room with many beds and curtain partitions. Daddy was called to the recovery room where a very groggy Elaina woke up. She got apple juice, got dressed and came home. She was still glassy-eyed when they got home but it wore off real quick. She ate a giant bowl of blue Jell-O, then some veggie chips and half a PB&J sandwich. She was starving!


She also decided to try on her new Bat Girl costume that I ordered for her for our Autumn Party (instead of Trick-or-Treating). Yes, I think ahead! Anyway you can tell in the picture above she's still a little out of it and has blue lips from the Jell-O! She was like a limp noodle getting into the thing but she really wanted to wear it! Sorry it is sideways.


Believe it or not but this wasn't long after the other picture. She came out of the anesthesia fog pretty quick, had no pain or discomfort either. I thought her ears would be ringing or in pain but they weren't! Her sweet aunt brought her some bright, cheerful flowers which Elaina loved! Elaina got out one of her drinking cups and filled it with water. I told her it was too small for the flowers. So Elaina tried pouring the water in the vase and missed it by a ton but due to the anesthesia she was completely oblivious that she was missing the vase, ha ha! Daniel and I were giggling behind our hands.


After care is easy - we have drops we put in her ears twice a day for three days and no water in her ears for at least three days so sponge baths only. So we're almost done with the aftercare and she'll go back to ENT for a follow-up appointment to make sure everything looks good in her ears. So far she has been able to hear us a lot better (a hearing test she took weeks before surgery had special technology to "cut through the fluid" and we were able to find out her hearing was temporary and only caused by the excess fluid; NO permanent hearing loss, yay!).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting School Ready

My Thoughts on School
I guess school is almost here. When did that happen? I thought school got out a week ago! Ahhhh that is the beauty of homeschool. You can have year-round, half days, partial weeks, start here and end there, vacation time anytime. So we plan on starting the day after Labor Day.

I'm starting to gather up all the curriculum I've collected and build our little school. I think there is the vein of thought that runs through every homeschooling parent's mind and that is "Am I going to screw my kids up?" Well I'd rather screw them up than someone else. I jest, I jest! In all seriousness we're going to make mistakes (better to know that going in than to be caught off-guard and let guilt break you down) and then we're going to learn from them and move on.

We have a minivan and the A/C has been busted for the past few summers. We're finally getting it fixed. Once it is fixed and we know how much it ends up being we're considering getting a second car. It'll be the first time we've had two cars in 5 or 6 years.

My Thoughts on the Weather
Rain already!

My Thoughts on Laundry
Enough already! LOL!

I got a front-loader this year when our top-loader fizzled out on us. I love it! It gets my cloth diapers super clean, too. My husband still hasn't hung my outdoor clothesline but it's been so suffocatingly hot it's not a HUGE deal though I really would like it up THIS year. (*hint, hint*)

My Thoughts on Babies
Now those who have followed my blog since the beginning (in other words the When Does Daddy Come Home?! blog that didn't have the number 2 in the URL! But also this blog here, too) knows that I love babies. I love birth. I am what one might call a 'birth junkie' (can't get enough of birth-related information and topics and stories). But after having baby #4? Judah may have cured me from wanting to bring forth more fruit from this womb. Not because of his personality or anything like that, by any means! I'm just so extremely busy that I'm typing this at 12:24AM because it took so long for him to go to bed tonight, then I had to finish packaging up jewelry orders and then edit some pictures I took for my online shop...

Of course if I did get pregnant again they'd be welcomed with open arms but there are no plans for more bio-babies (as I call them) in the near future. Although Abigail did come up to me tonight and said, while giggling, "Jesus give my mom a baby girl in her tummy!" And then she told me, very seriously, "He said He was going to do it!" Well... maybe He'll give us a baby girl through the act of adoption. ;-)

My Thoughts on the Bahamas
YES PLEASE! Sans kids. Not because I don't love them nor because I don't want to spend time with them. But because I want to sleep in and lay on a beach without keeping an eye out for pervs looking at my kids and making sure they don't eat sand or drown (the kids for that last bit, not the pervs).


My Thoughts on the CAPPA Conference 2012
I was excited to be part of the conference in a unique way - as a vendor! I bought a table and sold my stamped and wire-wrapped jewelry. It was a big hit and I got to meet so many wonderful ladies. One reason I was able to go was that it was right here in KC so the drive was like 10-15 minutes. I'd go home to breastfeed Judah during the times the ladies were in session. Nothing official but the CEO wants to speak with me about creating jewelry specifically for their site, too. The next conference is near my anniversary and is in Florida so I'm really wanting to go. BUT I want to go to that conference as an attendee, not a jeweler. I am so excited to pursue certification in Childbirth Ed.

*CAPPA - Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association trains women and men to become labor and postpartum doulas, lactation educators, childbirth educators, etc.

My Thoughts on Going to Sleep Right Now
Good-night, sleep tight and don't let the pesky bed bugs bite!
XOXOXO


Monday, July 23, 2012

After a long hiatus...

A blog friend of mine deleted her Facebook and is instead updating about her family via her blog more often. I am considering following suit. I'm kind of over the Facebook thing!

So loads of things have been going on, otherwise I'd probably be on here more often. Look at my Abigail girl! She's starting to look so grown up. She turned 5 in March. Elaina braided her hair. If you know Abigail IRL you know that she hates her hair to be brushed or put up or messed with. Good job Big Sis!


Several weeks ago, maybe even months ago, I began to feel that our Sam needed a companion. Not just her human companions but a canine one as well! So I began looking at dog profiles at the local shelter. As I saw the dogs I gushed to Daniel about them and made a big list of dogs to meet. However Daniel kept putting off going in and I quickly crossed off dog names as they went to other homes. Finally one weekend I came across a photo of this beautiful furball named Reno. 


Reno had a very long bio and he sounded like the perfect dog for us. He is a gentle giant, leash trained, housebroken, not too old and not too young. But he had separation anxiety. Oh the separation anxiety. It's one thing to think "My pet misses me when I'm gone" and quite another when you are told the dog has jumped through glass windows and chewed their way out of the kennel and had to have medication to control the anxiety. It is a very, very real condition and not just a label. He wasn't unruly or untrained. He just loves his people. 





 Putting the crate away in the basement... kids had to play in it first though!

Reno was placed in a foster home as the shelter caused him great stress. We arranged to meet Reno on one Sunday. Another family was meeting him first. We had to bring Sam with us (found out later we are Sam's THIRD family to adopt her; it's no wonder she flipped out when we went to the shelter to meet Reno). I prayed if he was meant for us then the other family wouldn't want him. The other family wasn't prepared for Reno's separation issues. And I feel like I hit the jackpot.


Reno is an amazing dog. The most he does when we leave now is bark and pant. Daniel has gone to check on him only to find Reno snoozing on the couch. No little doggy "presents" and nothing chewed up when we're gone! He does great. I think having Sam helps. Sam is my German Shepherd/Chinese Shar-Pei mix. Reno is an Australian Cattledog mix. He's stunning and I sometimes cannot believe he's ours! He loves to lay on my lap and bury his face under my legs and have his tummy rubbed. He definitely loves his people! His foster mom (also a dog trainer) cautioned we never use a crate with him because of his anxiety (we don't use it anyway; our animals roam free) and I'm home almost all day, everyday whereas his previous people would lock him up while they went to work.


Enough about the furbabies! Here's my real baby and he's sporting one of his outfits from Wittlebee. Set your kids' clothes on auto-pilot. Fill out a profile on your style preferences and get a box of surprise clothes every month! How fun is that. Click on the company name to be taken to the site AND get $10 off your first box!


Getting so big! Judah is pulling up on furniture and walking along furniture. He's such a spunky little dude! He cracks me up. It's already almost 3AM here so I have to go. My eyes are starting to cross. Hopefully I'll blog more soon!