Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MAM Baby Products- More Than Just Pacifiers!

With Lauren's new bundle of joy coming soon, we were super blessed to receive an amazing package in the mail from MAM Baby filled with great products from binkies to bottles! Lauren's got no idea what she's having quite yet, (but I do!), so what makes it even better is the selection is an assortment of mixed colors, so it will still be a surprise at her shower.

All of MAM’s pacifiers are designed and developed by pediatric dentists and orthodontists. MAM's attention to detail and work with developmental psychologists have resulted in a wide variety of pacifier sizes that suits baby's various developmental stages. The anatomically correct pacifiers allows for healthy jaw and teeth development and ensure a maximum level of comfort for babies of all ages. (In English, this means that MAM pacifiers are designed to help decrease overbite, and other developmental issues some children face.) MAM offers pacifiers with either a silicone or latex nipple. The patented ultra soft silicone is silicone with a difference! It's silky soft and no other silicone feels softer, and thanks to the anti-slip surface, the pacifier stays in baby's mouth easily.

Both Alex and Abbie had MAM pacifiers, so Lauren is super excited about the great assortment of paci's we received. The itty bitty newborn ones, from 0-6 mos, and from 6 mos+.  MAM makes other interesting products too, aside from binkies and pacifier holders. The MAM Bite and Brush Teether is designed to massage baby's gums and help clean new teeth. It's got soft, gentle bristles, and a design which  makes it easy for little hands to grasp- I could see Lauren's new baby loving this product!

The new MAM Bite & Relax is great to help relieve the discomforts of teething, and helps to reach all the way to the back. The texture helps to soothe sore gums and works like acupressure to relieve pain.

The New MAM Anti-Colic Bottle also looks amazing! Lauren said she used other vented bottles with both of her other kids, because both of them had tummy issues and spit up a lot. I love that it can be sterilized in the microwave- which makes it perfect for busy moms on the go-like Lauren.

I'm excited to actually be able to welcome the new baby into our world this spring. I will make sure Lauren writes a follow-up post after her new little one gives them a try!

Special thanks to our friends at Team Mom and MAM for sending us a box of goodies to review.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Odyssey of the Mind- Cross your fingers for us!!

So in the meantime, I've been overloaded with normal life, but back in November, I agreed to coach my son's OM team. I volunteered because I figured, "how bad can this be?". Their problem is the first one- a vehicle problem. The last few years, the vehicle problem has always been a smaller scaled vehicle- about the size of a shoebox.

This year, the vehicle needs to be big enough for at least one person to ride/operate. I'm scared. Our regional competition is on the 10th of March. Did I mention I'm scared??

Have you ever heard of OotM? What kind of problems did your childs/class' team work on? Did they make the deadline??? Help show some support!!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Famous Last Words: DUDE, What were you thinking?!

The idea that I'm pregnant is starting to sink in. It's been about 13 weeks (on Thursday) since I found out.. that I was about 15 and a half weeks pregnant.

Yes, that means that I've officially rounded the corner to my third trimester. My flesh keeps wigging out every time I walk past a mirror that shows the belly, and my head freaks out every time the little life inside of me decides to mambo. (I'm convinced that I'm breeding the next So You Think You Can Dance winner...) Plus, I look HUGE!!!


I went to NY last week for a little bit of R+R.. Rest and Rejuvenation. Mentally, physically, spiritually. It was lovely. I honestly did not want to come home- as horrible as it sounds for a mom to write that- I loved not having someone scream at 7am that their brother won't let them into the bathroom, or the screech of "she's annoying meeeee" shortly thereafter.

My trip up to NY had me re-telling the story about how I found out that I was pregnant a gazillion times over, until the listener had tears running down their faces, three people told me I should re-tell this at a comedy club (after I have the baby, of course), and four yelled at me that I didn't post this on here.

So.. I decided what the hey. I'm going to share it with you guys. If I can't share it with you, then.. well, I wouldn't be much of a blogger, would I???

2011 was a hellacious year.  

That's one of my favorite words right now. It wraps up so many feelings into one.

So yeah- it was horrible. I was feeling absolutely awful all year long, to the point where I downloaded an app onto my phone (WomanLog), so I could start keeping track of my body better. I've always been one of those ladies that knew their bodies better than they should, especially after my first kiddo. The thing was, before he entered my life, I had horrible problems with cysts and I thought that perhaps it was starting all over again.

My body was not behaving at all, so I kept track of it in my log- every ache, pain, discomfort. I told the hubster and one of my best friends that should I collapse and die unexpectedly, they needed to log onto my app, show it to the doctor doing the autopsy and figure out what the heck I had.  

I know, I know.... That sounds morbid, and perhaps a little looney, but I really was feeling awful!

In 2011, I had a breast cancer scare, a cervical cancer scare, a uterine cancer scare (which supposedly ended up being fibroids)- and I thank god they were all scares- but they "scared" me to the point I thought I would die of a brain tumor, or something else outlandish.

Dear Aunt Flo only came to visit me three times- January, May, and July, and there was no real reason why. I even tracked the days the hubster and I were intimate, just to see if there was any correlation between being intimate and the feelings I was experiencing. Nothing made sense. 

Right before the holidays always seems stressful, but the week before Thanksgiving, Marissa and I decided to go window shopping. We trekked to the mall, and started feeling and touching through JCPenney, and I find THE.CUTEST.
FLIPPING.MONKEY.BOOTIES.EVER. ---I mean, EVER!!! I squeal, and Marissa looks at me like I need some prescription meds. I tell her how much I love them, and that I should buy them, just so Abbie can put them on her dolly. She again, looks at me like I'm a complete spaz, and tells me I do not NEED these booties, and I can figure something better to drop $6 on if I really wanted to. I pout, because I love these booties.. but totally understand, so we start walking through the rest of the mall. Marissa rolls her eyes. 

We head towards the SEARS wing; it's a farther walk, so we got some exercise, but our mall has a play-place there. We get to the middle of the mall, and we hear the distant wail of a kid in the play place. As we get closer, and closer, the noise keeps getting louder and louder. Marissa looks at me and says, "I sure as heck don't miss those days!" To which I giggle and tell her ditto, and we swap war stories of our kids screaming at octaves that are almost inhuman. As we round the play area and the child quiets down, and I look at Marissa and say, "You know, I love where I am in life right now, but every now and then I get that twinge that makes me think it would be nice to have another baby..." To which Marissa spins, glares at me, and says, "Yes, I get that same twinge from time to time, but the other 99.9% of me beats the CRAP out of it, and it goes away!" To which I bust hysterical laughing, and agree whole heartedly.

We decide to leave, but now we're hungry, so we stop at Mickey D's for happy meals. I order mine the same way as always, with extra pickles. As we walk into my house, we start talking about pickles.. Marissa tells me how she doesn't like McDonald's pickles, and how when she was pregnant with her oldest she loved Burger King's pickles, and her favorite pickle was Claussen. 

My mouth begins to water as I recall being pregnant with Alex, and how I over-dosed in Burger King Whoppers, with extra pickles, but how my most favorite pickles -hands down- are Boars Head Pickles. And not any particular Boars Head Pickles, but the big, fat, whole pickles that I used to walk around the corner to the Deli to buy when I was a kid. I told her how they kept them in a big, fat glass jar with a big, heavy, glass lid. How they would slice the pickle and wrap it in plastic, and how me and my friends would hang out on the steps and eat our pickles. It brought back memories like no other......

I look at her and tell her now I want a Boars Head Pickle like nobody's business, and she does too, so like two complete morons, we start googling Boars Head pickle locations, and whether or not they deliver to homes, because at this point in time, I would buy a whole vat of pickles, that's how bad I want one. We have no luck, so we decide we will have to settle for a pickle taste off on Friday, her Claussens vs. Publix's Boars Head Kosher Dill spears. 

That night I keep my googling story to myself, because it does sound certifiable, but I head to sleep early again. I'm usually a midnight-1am bedtime kind of gal. I climbed into bed about 9pm and fell into the deepest sleep of my life. I have the weirdest dream EVER- and wake up to Bri staring at me with a sheer look of confusion and horror on his face. I ask him what's the matter, and he asks me what the HECK I was dreaming about.... So like an ass, I tell him....

I was back in my hometown, with my friends Jessica and Jeremy. We were 12 again, and we had decided to go on an adventure. We ended up on a Goonies-style adventure after we climbed under the house of this older, abandoned house (which fwiw, is NOT abandoned, and I think my friends parents still live there). We went through all of these tunnels and caverns, got ourselves totally dirty, covered in old leaves, spiderwebs and dirt, and then we came to a door. A big wooden, arched door- it was locked, but there was a teeny window to the left, very close to the ceiling. Jeremy thought that one of us might fit through it, but none of us could. 

We climbed out of the house, and tried to brainstorm who we might be able to bring back with us that would fit. I remember being very upset, because my friend Jessica was really short, and very thin, and in all honesty, really should have fit. All of a sudden, while we were pondering who we could trust to come back with us the next day, (while picking cobwebs from our hair and shirts), Michael Jackson appeared. "I think I might be able to fit," he says, "if you'll let me try".   

The three of us look the King of Pop up and down and give him the go-ahead. We tie a rope around his waist, and tell him good luck. While we're dusting off our pants, and still contemplating who we could bring back, should Michael Jackson NOT fit, we hear this loud rumble. We look towards the house. It rumbles again, this time louder- and then it begins to shake, and collapse, and the ground swallows the house!!!

The three of us look at each other and scream in perfect unison, "OH MY GOD- I KILLED MICHAEL JACKSON!!!!!" and we run as fast as we can back to my house. I woke up right after that. It felt so real! The texture of the leaves, the smell of the dirt..

I giggle after telling this to Brian, knowing full well that I sound like a complete moron, and see that he's looking at me like one-flew-over-the-cuckoo's-nest, and he pats me and tells me that he thinks I need to get more rest. I agree, roll over, and say, "The last time I had crazy dreams like this, I was pregnant with Alex."   

I pause a millisecond, think if it could be possible, draw an almost immediate, "Nah", and roll over and head back to sleep.

That day was pretty uneventful, but the next morning was the kicker. So I wake up, the kids are home from school for teacher prep day, the hubster has an interview or some class for unemployment. I'm laying in bed, because I honestly feel like death. As I'm laying there, my popcorn ceiling starts to connect dots cartoon style- sound effects and all- fuller breasts *ping*------------Monkey baby booties *ping*----------Boars Head Pickles *PING*----------- CRAZY dreams *PING!*  

Oh. My. God.

I jet out of bed, dig through my bathroom cabinet, find a test- cause everyone should have one under their sink somewhere- and take the plunge. It's going to say no. It has to say no. I barely ovulated this year. Dear Aunt Flo only came three times. I thought I had cancer. I have no energy. The two I have are tons of work.. Within seconds the two VERY dark lines come up like exclamation points. 

......I swear if you look at what time high tide was on that Friday, it was the exact moment I looked at that test. I gasped the biggest gasp of my life... twenty three minutes later I was still sitting on the side of my tub waiting to wake up from this dream. I did not.

I told the kids that there was a very big chance that I might be having a baby. They have been asking for one since Abbie was born- so I made sure to tell them I still had to go to the doctor to make sure that my test wasn't wrong. I packed the kids into the car, went back to JCPenney and bought the monkey baby booties. (I HAD to!) They picked this super cute giraffe snuggle blankey, and we got a box. I decided I would surprise Brian and have them give him a gift when he came home. 

As we were leaving JCPenney, Marissa called. I asked her if I could still swing by to print out a paper I needed, and I told her that I needed some tissue paper, because the kids bought Brian a gift. She wasn't sure if she had any, but she'd look. 

When I got there, I gave her the box, and asked if she had enough paper to cover what was inside. She lifted the lid only about an inch, and almost fell over! No.......Yes.....No......Yes. Are you sure? Yes. 

And what does my darling friend do?! 


After she settled down, she invited me to stay. I think I was there most of the day.. basically numb. She laughed at me the whole day, until Bri called and said he was going to be heading back.

I left, she wished me luck, and I got home seconds before my husband. I placed the test in a baggie, and put it in the box, so there was no misinterpretation of what the items meant.

The kids gave him the box, and he was confused... his confusion switched immediately when he realized what it was and he was absolutely elated. He would have a dozen kids or more, if I agreed to it. I knew he would be happy, but I've been waiting 12 weeks or so to wake up from this dream, not quite sure what I thought..think..

I know that babies are the biggest blessing life has to offer, and I am starting to get excited about this baby, but I swear when I die, my first question to God is definitely going to be, "DUDE- What were you thinking?!?!?!"   

And it's even funnier when the baby looks like it's asking the same thing... No?? 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eyeglass Wearers Unite! Zeiss Educational Tools for Better Vision

I wear glasses for distance, and Lauren wears contacts daily. She jokes that without them she'd be blind. I keep trying to talk her into getting a pair of glasses as back-up, but she's pretty stubborn.

This month, we were provided with a ton of great educational tools that were created to enable eyeglass wearers to better understand their vision correction needs, ensure they get the most out of their next eye exam, and receive the best lenses to regain sharp vision from Zeiss.

Did you know that kids should start receiving eye exams at 6 months old? The schedule should be: 6 months old, three years old, right around the time they start school, then every two years, to check for any early signs of eye disease.

Don't be afraid to ask your eye care professional about the different lenses available to you, and how they can better meet your individual vision needs.

Know your coating options:
  • Anti-reflective: Reduces reflections to a minimum for crisper, clearer vision in all lighting situations. 
  •  Anti-scratch: Provides optimum protection against scratches which can interfere with vision.
  • Anti-static: Repels dust and dirt so lenses stay cleaner longer. 
  • Hydrophobic: Dirt and moisture slide off the surface, so the lens is quicker and easier to clean.
  • PureCoat® by ZEISS: This high-tech coating offers all-round protection including hard anti-scratch coating, anti-reflective coating, and the anti-static function all in one. 
  • UV coating: Some lens materials block 100% of harmful UV rays. Those that don’t require a coating or treatment that offers full UV protection.
Additional options may be available, such as:
  1. Self-tinting lenses: Tint reacts to changing light, darkening in the sun and clearing indoors.  Self-tinting lenses like PhotoFusion® by ZEISS also offer full UV protection.
  2. Polarized lenses: Sun lenses that filter out almost all glare created by sunlight reflected off of water, snow and other surfaces
Finding the right lenses for you, really depends on the lifestyle you lead, so make sure to tell your eye care specialist what you do for work, play, or leisure.

Most importantly, don't leave your lenses in the sun or near a heat source, because it could potentially damage your coating and frames. Living in Florida, it's really hard not to be tempted to leave my glasses in my car. Get a cute or a funky case for them, and make it a habit to pack it every time you leave.

For assistance on finding a provider near you, what kind of questions to ask at your next check-up, or useful information about vision and lenses, visit the Zeiss Educational Tools page for more details.

Special thanks to MomSelect and Zeiss for sending us this helpful information to share with our readers. We have been provided a gift card and lens cleaning kit in gratitude for sharing this information with our readers. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Princess!!

We swore we'd never utter the word, but it's hard to deny that you are indeed that- our little princess!

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays today. I cannot believe you are six.. it feels like it was just yesterday that YOU were growing inside my belly. You make me giggle, you make me look at things differently, you make me a better mommy. I love your kisses, I love your hugs. I can't wait to see the woman that you blossom into, but I wish I could keep you little.. and mine.. forever.

Happy Sixth Birthday, Abbigaile!


Monday, February 20, 2012

How about some LOVE from 4BabyAndMom!

So after my week long trip out of state, my plane landed after 12:30am.. by the time I got home I was shot. I figured I could finish up pre-valentine prep on Monday, but I spent most of the day trying to get into the swing of home life again. So the day was basically spent calling doctors, setting up appointments, and all of that other fun stuff.

Monday evening, Babs finished her Valentines, and we attached her candy, and I realized they looked "cheap". So... thanks to Pinterest, I decided to make crayon hearts. Out to Walmart I trekked (on one of the busiest shopping days of the year!) and bought a mold, a gazillion crayons, and then went home- expecting to just whip up some crayons.

First, I will admit that they were a lot more difficult than I thought... unwrapping them, anyway. I used two different brands, just for some color variation. One brand was a little bit better than the other, but only once the hubster got out his razor knife, did the paper shells start coming off with ease.

We broke them into fourths, and piled them in the bowl. After the crayon prep was done, we put piles of them into the molds, threw them into the toaster oven (at 230*) for approximately 12 minutes. Fifteen minutes made the tops (back) turn darkest; at ten minutes, some of the crayon chunks didn't melt all of the way, so 12 minutes it was.

I placed the mold into a frying pan (just as a buffer) and placed it in the fridge. I checked on it in 10-15 minutes and turned it upside down, if they were cool enough they popped right out, if not, they went back in for a few more minutes. After I made about 40 of them, I called it a night. The last batch was the prettiest, by far, but I only took a picture of the second batch. The front of the heart (bottom of the mold) looked GORGEOUS!! A nice swirly (or chunky) blend of colors, but the backs of the first two batches were less defined, and more of a solid color. The last two batches had more of a distinct swirl of colors, but still were not as absolute as the front of the hearts (pictured above). 

All in all, I think they came out beautiful, and the kids enjoyed handing them out along with their Valentines.

Being pregnant and not feeling very well, I shamefully admit that was the extent of the craftiness this Valentine's Day. I did do Abbie's hair in a heart braid in the morning, but I couldn't really put my usual "oomph" into the day.

I love being crafty- really, I do. Earlier this month, I jumped at the opportunity to host a giveaway for 

If you've never been there before- you should definitely check it out. They have patterns for EVERYTHING, and tutorials showing you how to make many projects for around the home, kids, hair accessories, and so much more! They have great beginner items, as well as more advanced items- from crocheting, to sewing, and everything in-between!  

Our friends at have offered one of our readers their chance to win this HOT Valentine's themed pattern prize pack!

To enter, just fill out the RaffleCopter form below- if you cannot see the form, CLICK HERE to load this page separately. (It may need a minute to load properly).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Baby Days at Sam's Club!

Don’t miss out on precious moments by wasting hours at the grocery store and fussing over budgets. Discover an easy way to save on baby essentials from P&G by buying them in bulk at Sam’s Club this month! Purchase all the basics for baby at your local Sam’s Club store to save time and money with this limited-time $10 Gift Card offer.

Stock up on P&G products at Sam’s Club in February so you can afford to give your baby quality products and a little more mommy time. Pick up any two of the following baby products to receive a $10 Sam’s Club Gift Card toward your purchase made from the first through the 29th: Pampers Swaddlers or Pampers Cruisers Diapers, Pampers SoftCare Scented Baby Wipes, Similac Advance Powder or Similac Sensitive Powder, and/or Dreft Liquid Laundry Detergent. Register for your Gift Card at by March 14, 2012.

With Baby #3 on the way, I'm taking advantage of this deal this month! Make sure you tell your friends and family that have little ones (or are expecting them!) to check it out as well.

Normally, I would host a fabulous giveaway (thanks to our friends at MyBlogSpark and Sam's Club) however, I was recently made aware of a young family in our area who's husband died unexpectedly. Because I like giving back to people in need, I am sending this gc and/or supplies to the family in need. I would love to believe that should a tragedy like this strike my family or someone I loved and knew personally, that my friends and community would come together for support.

Don't be discouraged, though. More exciting giveaways are going to be posted very soon- plus a comical due date story I need to share with you. This week has been one heck of a week.. an "only in my life" kinda week.

Special thanks to MyBlogSpark and to our friends at Sam's Club for providing gift cards to us, and the opportunity to share this information with our readers. 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Romance Film Favorites- WINNER!!!!

Congratulations to our winner! 
Please check your email, as you have 48 hours to claim your prize.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Romance Film Favorites- 4pk DVD Giveaway! Because We LOVE You!

This is going to be a really quick, old school giveaway. Because Valentine's Day is going to be here before we know it, we decided to show you our love! One lucky winner will have the chance to win this fabulous 4 pack of DVD's; perfect for a chick flick night, or just to add to your library.

The four pack of Nicholas Sparks Romance DVD's include: THE NOTEBOOK, MESSAGE IN THE BOTTLE, A WALK TO REMEMBER, and NIGHTS IN RODANTHE.

This is just for our readers- our fans- because without you, there would be no "us". Thank you for supporting us in our down time, believing in us when we were slow, and encouraging us through this difficult year.

We look forward to an exciting 2012 full of giveaways and awesome reviews.

To enter to win- just leave us a comment below. You can share anything you want- why you like our site, if there's anything you want to see come back [or see more of], or just a word of encouragement. Also, please tell us how/where you follow us (GFC, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, RSS, ETC).

This giveaway is open to anyone with a valid US address only and will end on  Thursday, February 9, at 11:59pm EST.


Send Your Valentine Something Sweet [or Salty] from The Popcorn Factory! Giveaway + Free Shipping

I grew up in a family that gave gifts for everything. You lost a tooth? You got a gift. It's Halloween? You got a gift. Usually, the gifts were not just from my parents, but they were from my aunts and uncles or cousins, as well. I miss being a part of a close-knit family like that [as much as they drove me NUTS when I was a kid..] especially when I look at my kids.

That being said...I have seven nieces and a nephew. One is still an infant, and only two are close enough for us to see randomly through the year. The others live in NY, and two live in California. This year, I told Bri that I would love to do something special for the kids we don't see too often, and send them little trinkets, or gifts for the in-between holidays. The majority of them are all getting old enough to know who we are, and being that we don't see them that often, I do want them to know we are here, we care about them, and love them- even if we're 1500 miles away.

While looking for something fun, functional, or practical to send, I found this cute LOVE YA! sampler set from The Popcorn Factory. How cute is this?!?

The LOVE YA! gift is only $4.99 and comes with their super delicious secret recipe popcorn heart and four foil wrapped chocolate hearts. Perfect for the sweet and salty lover in your family, or for the older kiddos this Valentine's Day.

There is a 20% off coupon that comes with the gift pack, which is great for your recipient to use at a later date, or for their parents, if you're like me!

Use Promo Code LOVEYA and get FREE Ground Shipping on this sweet treat!

Great deals like this don't last very long, so make sure you put your order in quickly- as this is limited to the first 2,000 sweeties out there!

I encourage you to visit The Popcorn Factory on Facebook to find special deals, give feedback on products, and check out their "perfectly corny" video. 

Want to take a chance to win one for your special Valentine? THREE readers will win this wonderfully delicious prize pack- to keep or send to that special someone. Here's how: 



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