Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The one about the evolution of a personality.

Tristan is becoming quite the little handful lately. His favorite past times include pulling hair when not getting enough attention, foot biting (yes, that's a thing), and general trouble making. It's amazing to think that he was a little tiny baby not so long ago and now he's evolved into a little trouble making boy. Zak and I were both tired by the end of tonight and we both sat down and sighed and said, "What's he going to be like?" He's all boy. Rough and tumble with a lot of gusto. He's also just about the happiest little guy you'll ever meet.

Today was sprinkled with giggles about being able to pull off his zippered sleeper. He spent the whole day half dressed because every time I re-zipped him he would rip it off again and giggle.

Parts of me are sad because as he grows bigger and I realize that this is my last little baby, I'll definitely miss the parts where he learns new things constantly and the excitement that comes with first steps, first words, and learning faster than I can keep up. Little minds are exciting to watch. 

He keeps me so busy most days that I get pretty exhausted by the end of the day, but I look back and I'm happy that I got to see him all day even if 11 of the 12 hours were spent trying to keep him from launching himself off of the couch. The child has no fear. He's giving me major gray hair. 

Some other exciting developments this week were his first words. He said, "Night, night," and, "Dada" with purpose. That's pretty cool stuff. So while I'm super tired, I'm also loving every minute of this. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The one about Kandoo Wash Your Hands soap!

I am currently battling a certain 13-month old for control of my computer. I gotta tell you things have really ramped up now that I stay at home and watch my kiddos and my sister's kiddos while she's working. I find it a little hard to get my blogging done and keep 3 toddlers and a 6-year old at bay! Tristan loves the computer keyboard and the on/off switch (why did they put a fancy light on there?). He's constantly trying to strong arm his way into using the computer instead of me!

Having a house full of toddlers has a lot of fun benefits, too, like when Kandoo sent us their cool Wash Your Hands soap to try. All the kids were excited to try it out. We got the Funny Berry scent. Kandoo has a lot of cool features. For one, the hand soap is a foaming hand soap with an easy to use pump. My daughter has a hard time working traditional hand soap pumps but this one is big and pumps easily. The pump is shaped like a frog and the kids all love that.

The foam is purple! My daughter and the other kiddos think this is super cool. It's also great because it lets them know when they've got soap all the way on their hands and also when they've washed it all the way off. This is great because my daughter is the worst for just letting it run off her hands and not scrubbing at all therefore not washing away any germs. But with Kandoo she is taking the time to really scrub, plus she thinks it's really fun so she might even wash her hands extra.

The scent is great. It smells fabulous. It's definitely a pleasant berry scent.

My kids both have eczema, so I was a little concerned it might aggravate their allergies. We are very Free & Clear over here. Kandoo is mild and hypoallergenic. It hasn't aggravated anyone and so that means it's definitely a winner.

Finally, Kandoo is a /moisturizing hand soap which is really great for the winter months when dry, chapped hand season is definitely in full swing.

All in all, I would definitely recommend checking out Kandoo for your toddler. If you check out their website right now, you can get a 50 cent off coupon!

NOTE: I received this product for free, but the opinions are my own. I truly love this product!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The one where I eat pie for breakfast, because I can.

Last night Zak and I took a much needed date night. We went to O'Charley's for dinner. I got a bunch of horrible for you but delicious fried seafood and Zak got a steak. We both took home pie and I ate mine today for breakfast. OH MY GOD. Their caramel pie is so damn delicious it's ridiculous. And it tastes pretty amazing with a mudslide flavored coffee, too. Sometimes I eat dessert for breakfast because I'm grown and feel like it. Do you ever find yourself eating a totally non breakfast food for breakfast? Seriously if you don't you should. Other substitutions that I've eaten before include cakes, nutty bars, and cheesecake. All are fabulous breakfast foods. And if you have them with coffee that's the same as eating oatmeal, right?

Zak and I also went to the casino. We love going to the casino, although it's not a hobby that we can afford to do all the time. We like Ameristar, it's our favorite casino. We like to play Blackjack. We didn't do to awesome last night at Blackjack, but it was still fun to play the game. I'm not a card counter or anything like that so I'm not crazy good at it, but we stick to the basic rules and we do alright. The dealer was pretty lucky last night. Oh well. Then we played video poker and I won $15! That was pretty cool. So we took our losses and hung our hats and didn't lose all our money.

Other than that, things are going good. We are adjusting to being a family of 8 and all that that entails. It entails a lot of extra food. We need a mass grocer where I live, seriously. If you're listening planning and zoning, MASS MERCHANDISER. A Costco would really come in handy about now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The one where cops are nicer to me than Zak.

Zak and I run a side business doing process service for a few lawyers. It really helps us get through any hard times we come up on money wise. Basically being a process server means that you serve subpoenas and summons on a variety of different people in a variety of different types of cases. We do two main types of subpoenas, evictions or rent and possession suits and civil subpoenas in Department of Revenue DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) cases.

Generally Zak handles all the eviction suits and I handle all the DWI cases. This is because of one reason and one reason only, cops are nicer to me than Zak. The DWI cases that we handle are always generally serving subpoenas on police officers.  I don't know what it is about cops other than the fact that I'm a woman, but I can't really figure out any other reason why cops hate Zak, but they do. They constantly berate him and hate on him and generally treat him bad saying things like, "DON'T EVER COME ON MY PROPERTY AGAIN!" and other crazy fun stuff. Or they say they can't accept subpoenas (but you have to y'all). But cops to me are awesome and super nice and do things like joke around with me. Even if I go to their house.

This is such a weird phenomenon that Zak and I haven't quite figured out, but it works out okay because I have plenty of time to get them done and cops generally have crazier schedules than regular people. I have been able to successfully serve more cops faster and easier.

Zak is a nice guy. I don't get why cops hate him. It's so weird. I like to think that they like me because I'm cooler than him. What can I say?

Monday, February 16, 2015

The one about moving and kids.

Moving is horrible. Every time Zak and I move we say that this will be the last time we move for like 5 years. But that never happens. We are at that point in the move where you are so very over it, but you still have a ton of little shit that needs to still be moved and you want to off yourself when you think about it and are ready to just throw it all away because you hate moving so much.

Another thing that I want to know is how the Duggars ended up with 19 kids. Right now we have 4 kids in the house and my sister and I are doing stuff for them all day long. I don't know how you get to 4 kids and think, "Hey, how about 15 more?" The mere maintenance on that many children is insane.

One good thing about the move is that now that I am regularly cooking for 8 people I am no longer making an insane amount of food for no reason. Now I'm making an insane amount of food and it's because we have an insane amount of people in our house. I love cooking, but I've always cooked for an army even when the army wasn't very big.

Some parts of the move have actually been really great, though. Now the kids constantly have somebody to play with and I've had to do a lot less entertaining all day. Harper and Ted are two peas in a pod and end up in all sorts of trouble all day long. Their favorite activities are dumping out entire totes of toys and not picking them up or running back and forth as fast as they can throughout the house. We are pretty much constantly hearing pitter patter of little feet.

Finally I want to talk about the Swan Princess. They have the Swan Princess movies on Netflix, but not even the originals, the sequels and all of the kids love them and we've been in constant Swan Princess mode over here. The movies are so bad, they are practically unwatchable. Why do kids love terrible movies?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The one where I try and solve a medical mystery.

My son has atopic dermatitis, aka the most frustrating nonsensical syndrome a parent can deal with Or at least this parent can deal with. Basically it means he is allergic to something in the universe that could be anything. He is constantly rashy. Usually it shows up in patches of eczema. Today he got a rash that started on his legs and wrists. A normal for him eczema type rash. Okay, we can deal with this. No big deal. Then he got hives all over his trunk. They itch him like crazy.

So basically when these bouts of dermatitis pop up I have to spend my day calling doctors and letting them know he's in a flare. Going through a list of new things he's been exposed to or possibly semi-new things that he's been exposed to before, but may be reacting to now. Or perhaps it's an environmental thing that I have absolutely no control over. We just don't know what causes it. His blood allergy testing came back positive for one allergy, dogs. He hasn't been around any dogs, but he's still broken out and uncomfortable with a full body rash! IT IS SO FRUSTRATING. I don't know what's worse, not knowing at any point what could cause your kiddo to break out into a terrible rash or the fact that he's extremely itchy and uncomfortable and on more drugs then he should be to try and help his skin.

I swear it is a medical mystery. No one knows what is causing it. He's not old enough for skin testing. It's all just guess work. I can take away foods like blueberries and raspberries because they may be causing a reaction, but the bottom line is we don't know. I hate that he has to have anything cut out of his diet. He's already a no milk unless it's cooked guy. It also scares me the fact that he has these severe reactions and that one day I may have to use an epi-pen. It scares me that I have an epi-pen.

Lord knows I love this child so damn much that if anything happened to him I would die. I can't stand this. Help me get through this next little while until we can get this kid allergy tested and we all feel better.

Until then I'll be over here like Nancy Drew trying to figure out the cause and solve this medical mystery.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The one about moving and colds.

Things have been so hectic for me lately. We are moving in with my sister. This means that everything is in upheaval and I'm currently living out of 2 houses and making it work. Of course when things are at the craziest, that's when the kids get sick. Tristan got a cold and it is spreading like wildfire throughout the house. Horrible timing. But the good part about the cold is that I got to try out some of my new cold products that I got from Boogie Wipes.

I want to review those for you today. First let's talk Boogie Wipes. Boogie Wipes are superior to regular tissues, especially for a baby who can't blow their nose yet. Tristan has been a walking snot machine and he hates having his nose wiped. In fact, I'm generally holding him down and fighting to wipe his nose, so the gentleness of the Boogie Wipe is much appreciated by all. They have a light scent, which makes them pleasant to use. I love the pop-up container they sent me. Also I love that they are moistened like a baby wipe so that way I can get all of the hardened yuckies off of Tristan's nose when he wakes up in the morning. I would definitely recommend the Boogie Wipes!

I took Tristan to the doctor yesterday because I thought he was getting an ear infection, which luckily was not the case. However, the doctor recommended saline spray for his poor little nose. Perfect timing since I just got Boogie Mist from Boogie Wipes! Boogie Mist is gentle saline spray in a great shaped container. It's not shaped like a traditional nose mist and it just was the perfect size for a tiny nose. It really seems to help loosen up some of his snot and make it to where he can sleep a bit more comfortably.

All in all, I was very pleased with my products I got from Boogie Wipes. Definitely try them out next time your kiddos come down with a cold!

What my nightstand looks like.

NOTE: I received these products for free, but the opinion is my own.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The one about Quaker Steel Cut Quick 3-Minute Oats!

I was super stoked to go out to my mailbox this week and see my Bzzkit from BzzAgent! BzzAgent is a really cool service that matches up products with bloggers and other people with social influence. So far I've gotten Charmin Ultra Soft TP and Quaker Steel Cut Quick 3-Minute Oats from them. This post is about the new Quaker Steel Cut Oats I got!

I was feeling rather blase this morning and knew I needed to eat something, but it is grocery shopping time so all of my choices felt rather dull. But then I remembered that I just got the Quaker Steel Cut Quick 3-Minute Oats in the mail! If you've never had steel cut oats, they are totally different than regular oats. They usually take a lot longer to cook and the texture and feel is different. Steel cut oats have an almost nutty texture. Obviously, Quaker has figured out a way to make them cook even faster and now you can enjoy them in just 3 minutes.

I was given the Brown Sugar & Cinnamon flavor to try. I dumped the oats in a bowl, added some water, stirred and popped it in the microwave. 3 minutes later I got to enjoy a nice, hot breakfast.

Something I really liked about the Steel Cut Oats was the number of ingredients on the box. It barely had any. Less is more to me. I try and keep an all-natural diet wherever possible. This is definitely a food you can feel good about eating.

The texture is definitely different than regular oatmeal, but it's a really pleasant nutty texture. The flavor was really strong and it didn't taste watered down which was important to me. It was just all around a good, easy, healthy breakfast. It's one that you should definitely give a try to. They also have Blueberries & Cranberries flavor. I think I'll probably stick with Brown Sugar & Cinnamon flavor myself.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

NOTE: I received this product for free, but the opinions are my own!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The one that's excited about big things that are going on!

Hey guys! So I am super stoked because I was accepted to be a Kandoo, Downy, and dreft blogger. If you haven't heard about Kandoo, they make really cool products for kids! They make saline sprays for dry little noses, cool hand soap, wipes for big kids, and they also make Boogie Wipes which are amaze gentle wipes for little noses with colds. Downy is one of the biggest names in laundry, I mean c'mon who hasn't heard of Downy. And dreft makes great baby detergent that I swear by for little babies. The smell of dreft=newborn baby to me and I just love it.

I was super stoked to get a package FULL of swag today from Kandoo, Downy, and dreft.

I got a cool Downy T-Shirt, a package of Kandoo flushable wipes, Boogie Wipes, Boogie Mist (Saline Spray), Kandoo Wash Your Hands soap, a dreft stain remover pen, a dreft stain remover spray, and Downy wrinkle releaser Plus. 

I am so stoked to try out these products and share them with you! I am really enthusiastic about working with these brands. They are bar none great products. Right now, you can visit Boogie Wipes or Kandoo and snag a coupon to get some of these products on your own!

A couple products that are really going to come in handy around my house are the Boogie Mist and the Boogie Wipes. Harper's tonsil surgery is scheduled for March 4 (the day before her birthday! Stinks so bad!) and they say she will have some nose discharge and if I'm going to wipe her nose a ton, I'll definitely appreciate the gentleness of Boogie Wipes. They also suggest using saline spray so I'm set now!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The one where we go debt free!

I just had to stop and scream from the rooftops that Zak and I are officially credit card debt free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a huge milestone for us. We are looking forward to living more comfortably and although it was a not so fun way to spend our tax return, we are incredibly happy.

I could not be more excited. The past few days have been pretty hectic for us. The kids have had non-stop long appointments. So I'm a bit tired, but I just had to shout out our good news! Hopefully I'll have a longer blog post in the next few days.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The one about the fabulous weekend.

Things have been a little crazy around here lately, so I took a little break over the weekend. Me and Zak got away for a much needed date night and then we had an awesome time celebrating Super Bowl Sunday. We had a little extra money, so we just had a truly fun weekend that was much needed and deserved. We are getting ready for some big changes coming up. We are moving in with my sister who is a newly single mom. The move has been extremely challenging since we have a lot of kids and no one to really help back us up so we can get stuff done. But at the same time we are under a crunch of time and have to get moved as soon as possible. That's been a big strain in the back of my mind. On top of that the kids have tons of doctors appointments that have just left me feeling a little ragged.

First I want to talk about my date night! It was super fun. Zak and I were going to see a movie, but then at the last minute we switched it up and decided to go to the casino. We went to Lumiere Place in St. Louis, We were originally going to go to Ameristar, but switched at the last minute. We had a really good time at Lumiere and although we didn't make any money (at one point I was up $60, should have walked away lol) it was fun playing Blackjack anyway. We were smart and didn't lose any money either so we stopped once we got to what we had originally.

Then came the eating fiasco. Everywhere was full up and had a huge wait, but we were on a big time crunch. We must have called 10 restaurants before finding one that didn't have a wait. We settled on Ruby Tuesday. Our meal was FABULOUS. We tried the cheese fries for our appetizer. SO good. Then for dinner we had the Peppercorn Asiago Sirloin. It was a really delicious steak. Finally our bellies were satiated and we both left and agreed that was a much needed awesome time. It's funny how a little date can put some pep into your relationship.

Now let's talk about the Super Bowl. I was definitely rooting for the Seahawks to win and it was a huge upset at the last minute which was a total bummer. The halftime show was really good and Katy Perry sounded great. I'm not a huge fan, but I still thought she did really well. The commercials were just okay. I really thought the Loctite one was hilarious, though. The movie trailers were pretty awesome, too.

Anyway, it was a fabulous weekend. I love it when I have weekends like that which doesn't seem that often. Usually my weekends are crazy busy. It was a nice break.

May is Mental Health Month - Spiritual Guides that are helping my journey

May is Mental Health Month. I am dedicating the majority of my posts in May to discussing mental health. It is so important that we keep an ...