Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Good Things To Remember This Halloween

Halloween is tomorrow and I'm not sure about yours but my kiddos are so excited! I am too! Dressing up the kids and seeing other friends and family dressed up is so fun! But Halloween can also turn into a not so fun night if you aren't careful. Here are some good things to remember this Halloween as you take the kids out trick-or-treating and hand out candy to other kids. Most of these I'm sure you've already heard before, but it never hurts to refresh your memory! 

1. Use the Buddy System- This is a great tip for kids and adults alike. If possible, go trick-or-treating with a group of a few parents and their kids. The more of you there are the less likely your chances are of anyone trying to hurt you or any of the kids!

2. Keep your cell phone on you! - This is kind of a given, but it's always good to remember you cell phone just in case. You never know if you may need to call someone because of an emergency or just for directions somewhere. It's always smart to have a cell phone on you. 

3. Stay in well-lit and well-populated areas.  Even though we'd like to hope there aren't harmful people out there who would want to hurt us or our children, there are. And Halloween is a great holiday for these creeps to be lurking! So staying in well-lit and well-populated areas reduces your chances of someone trying to harm you or your children and if anyone did attempt to there will be plenty of people around to witness. Also, don't go in to someone's home to get treats! Stay outside at the front door and let them bring it to you, unless you know them well of course. 

4. Don't eat candy that's not individually wrapped in it's original wrapper! You just never know. Like I said, there are creeps are there who want to hurt people, as unfortunate as it is. Also, don't eat home made treats from people you don't know well. It's unfortunate that this has to be something to remember, but better safe than sorry! 

5. Be compassionate to other children.  If you are handing out candy at your own home be kind and compassionate to the children who come to your home. Their may be kids who grab a whole handful or candy or a child who takes 10 minutes to pick out one piece of candy, or one who is too shy to say trick-or-treat. You don't know their story so don't judge them or get irritated with them. They could have special needs or just be especially shy. Just try to be understanding and compassionate towards every child that comes to your door. 

I hope these tips are good reminders for you as you take the kiddos out tomorrow evening! I hope it's a fun and safe Halloween for you all! Happy Halloween! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Strong Mom Series- Rena

  Today's post comes from Rena, AKA An Ordinary Housewife, a stay-at-home-mom to a 3 1/2 year old "princess" and 20 month old "monkey." She blogs about recipes, crafts and activities, ways to save money and her favorite products! After reading her "Strong Mom" below, be sure to check out An Ordinary Housewife for more great stuff! Also find her on facebook and Google+!

 First of all, thanks to Michelle for letting me guest post and for thinking I'm a strong mom. I feel I am a "strong mom" because I persisted in providing my first baby with mama's milk until she was a year old, when many would have given up. 

When I was pregnant with baby #1, I was all set to breast feed. I went to the class, read up on it, etc. DH was supportive and we were ready to go. Everything seemed to go well with the birth and I was allowed to feed her soon after birth. After about 18 hours, the nurse wanted to take K to the nursery. A couple hours later, they asked if they could feed her a little formula. Though distressed, we agreed, not wanting my baby to starve. K ended up going to the NICU. She had aspirated and contracted pnemonia. When it was time for me to check out (nearly a day after her last feeding) a nurse came in to show me how to use the hospital pump. That would have been useful knowledge to have after she was taken to the nursery. K was only in the NICU for a week, but due to such a bad start I never was able to catch up with her appetite. We also had issues with latching because she was not used to the faster flow of the bottle. 

 So I pumped, tried to breast feed her, took fenugreek and blessed thistle and managed to make sure she had at least 1-3 feedings of breastmilk a day. By the time she was about 6 months old, I was down to one bottle of formula a day. Then I got really sick with a kidney infection. I could scarcely sit up for 2 weeks, couldn't keep my food down, had terrible back and neck pains and the doctor prescribed a painkiller but said not to give K breastmilk produced while on it. I still had to pump to keep my supply, but had to dump it out. Dumping out pumped breastmilk when you struggle with low supply is one of the hardest things to do! By the time I got better, I was back down to one bottle a day and around 8 months old, K wouldn't latch at all, except to bite. I still continued pumping until the day after her first birthday.

Some people might wonder why I would put myself through that. Why not just give up and give her formula? I was determined. I had a goal in mind and would not be dissuaded, no matter the obstacles. It was hard and very discouraging at times and I did consider giving up. But I didn't give up. And I think that makes me a strong mom. :-)

If you would like to share your story and show us how you are a Strong Mom please send me an email at mommyferg02(at)gmail(dot)com!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Green Sprouts Sea Friends Bath Toys Review & Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was sent these items free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed in this review are my  own. 

I am so excited to share with you another great product from Green Sprouts and iPlay Babywear! This time I was sent the Green Sprouts Sea Friends Bath Toys to review! Both of my boys were super excited when they arrived and were ready to take a bath right then and there! 

The Sea Friends Bath Toys are made specifically with babies and toddlers in mind. These bath toys are PVC and formamide free so if your baby puts the toys in his/her mouth it is ok. They float in the water and will even stick to the sides of the bathtub when wet! They come in a five or 15 pack of friendly sea friends like a whale, octopus, and crab! 

My kids love the Sea Friends bath toys! They play with them every time they take a bath! They like to pretend they are at the beach and see the different sea friends in the ocean! It's really fun to watch their imaginations run wild with these fun toys! I like them because they are safe for my kids to use and iniate all sorts of creative play! They are perfect for the bath tub because they are flat and don't have little crevices that can hold water and create yucky bacteria and mold! I have to throw out bath toys all too often because they get gross. With these I don't have to worry about that! Plus with the mesh bag that they go in that suctions to the shower, they have time to dry before the next bath time! 

We just love the Sea Friends Bath Toys from Green Sprouts! They are fun and creative and safe too! This makes both mommy and kiddos happy! At such an affordable price they are great for at home and make great gifts too! 

Buy It!
Win It!
One lucky reader will win a set of Sea Friends Bath Toys from Green Sprouts!
Must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one entrant per household allowed. Giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen at random and emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

DoTerra Essential Oils Giveaway! {Whatever Goes Giveaway Hop!}

Welcome to the "Whatever Goes" Giveaway Hop hosted by Mommy's Favorite Things and Mama's Baby Cupcakes

This hop is an open theme so whatever the blogger wants to showcase goes!! After visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other bloggers and see what they have to offer! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner. 

Here at The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom I am giving away one bottle of DoTerra Balance Blend! {RV $26.67}

Do you ever feel anxious or disconnected? It happens even to the best of us! DoTerra Balance Grounding Blend uses a blend of pure essential oils like spruce, rosewood, and frankincense to help you feel calm and collected. Can be used topically or aromatically. 

Be sure to check back in a few weeks for my personal review on DoTerra's Balance Blend from Christine's Essential Oils

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one entrant per household allowed. Giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen at random and emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Good luck!

Muck Boot Company Boot Giveaway! {4 Winners!}

We're gearing up for boot season with a fabulous giveaway from the Original Muck Boot Company!


Kid’s Hale Boots:

The Original Muck Boot Company makes a big splash for Fall/Winter boots this season with bright, pop color blocking for kids. Each style of the Kid’s Hale outdoor sport boot features bold, bright colors for either boys or girls. The Kid’s Hale boots are 100% waterproof all the way to the top of the boot, not just to the mid-sole like most boots on the market. The stretch-fit topline fits snug around kids’ little legs, keeping warmth in and cold out. The boots are easy enough for little ones to put on themselves but stay put through any activity, which will make mom and dad happy. The collection stays true to the traditional Muck Boot quality, providing comfort, support, and protection for little feet! The Kid’s Hale features a 4mm SBR flex-foam bootie with four-way stretch nylon, a PK mesh lining, a diamond tread self-cleaning outsole, and 100% full-boot waterproof protection. The Kids' Hale Boots are priced at $64.95.

Women's Arctic Adventure Boots:

New for Fall 2013, the Arctic Adventure is a stylish choice for women who seek warmth, comfort and fashion. These casual all-purpose winter boots are as functional as they are comfortable, withstanding temperatures from -20°F to as high as 70°F. Providing 100% waterproof protection, the boots feature a fleece lining, a 4mm CR flex-foam bootie with four-way stretch nylon, a new multipurpose rubber outsole for optimal traction and stability, and a stretch-fit topline binding that keeps warmth in and cold out. Muck Boot has successfully mastered the quality and long-lasting all-purpose boot for hunters and outdoorsmen, and is now proving that Muck Boots are also a perfect fit for outdoorsy and stylish women. The Arctic Adventure comes in Black/Purple, Black/Maroon, Chocolate/Dusty Pink, Black/Hot Pink, Geo Print, Black/Black, Green Flower Print, Swirl Print, and Pink Flower Print. The Arctic Adventure boots are priced at $144.95

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy were recently given the opportunity to review a pair of Kids' Hale & Women's Arctic Adventure Muck Boots. Here's what they had to say about Muck Boots:

To find out more about Muck Boots, visit their website at Then, make sure you like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter too! The Original Muck Boot Company wants to give you the chance to win a pair of Muck Boots for yourself and one pair for your kiddo, ARV $209.90!! Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below before Wednesday, October 23rd at 2pm EST.


The Original Muck Boot Company will launch their Kids' Hale Fan Favorite Awards when this contest ends at 2pm EST on Wednesday, October 23rd and MORE boots will be given away! Head to the Muck Boots Facebook page for all the details and to enter! Good luck!!

Disclosure: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Prize fulfillment is solely the responsibility of The Original Muck Boots Company and not the participating bloggers. Giveaway is open to residents of the US states, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 2:00PM ET on 10/23/13. 4 winners will be selected at that time and winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send an email to thriftyniftymommy (at) If you're interested in having your company or products featured with a giveaway like this, please contact thriftyniftymommy{at}

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy 4th Blogging Birthday to Me! {Plus a Giveaway!}

I am so happy and excited to be celebrating my fourth blogging birthday! The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom has been around for four whole years now! I started this blog when Noah was just six months old! It started as just a way to express myself and write down my feelings as a new mom and has now become a wonderful and fun hobby for me! I wanted to celebrate by having a giveaway! My readers are the reason I am where I am today! You are all so supportive and I can't think you enough for being with me these four great years! 
To help me celebrate, Diaper Junction will be giving away 3 Diaper Rite cloth diapers! One one-size all-in-one, one one-size pocket, and one one-size bamboo pocket! And I am throwing in a Diaper Rite wet bag and a set of Diaper Rite flannel cloth wipes! Be sure to check back in a week or two for my review on the Diaper Rite AIO! 

One lucky reader will win all of these cloth diapers and accessories! 

Must be 18 years or older to enter. The giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Only one entrant allowed per household. Items not in stock will be substituted by something of equal or lesser value at Diaper Junction.  The winner will be chosen at random and emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Treats for Mommy and Baby! {Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop!} #treatyourself

Halloween is almost here and there's one thing that's on everyone's mind... treats! Welcome to the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop, hosted by So Easy Being Green and Viva Veltoro! In this Hop, you'll find lots of special treats to keep you entering giveaways until it's time to go out and gather your own! Be sure to hop around to all the giveaways in the Hop Linky below, and don't forget the ultimate treat... the Treat Yourself Grand Prize!

Here on The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom I am giving away a special treat for mom and for baby! One lucky winner will win a prize pack with 12 yummy Peter Rabbit Organics snack pouches, and a luxurious set of soaps from Brosily Bath and Body

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! You can do just one entry or all the entries! It's up to you!

Giveaway is open to US residents only. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one entrant per household allowed. The winner will be chosen at random and emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Brosily Bath and Body Review! {Treat Yourself Sponsor Spotlight!}

Disclaimer: I was sent these products free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

It's time to share with you another sponsor for the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop! This time it is a treat for mom! (Or dad) Brosily Bath and Body is a skincare line of natural, vegan, skincare products that will pamper your skin! 
Brosily Bath and Body was created by Navine, a mom who's daughter was suffering from eczema. She soon found out that her daughter was allergic to a lot of the products in the mass produced skin care lines so she started learning about making her own skin care products. After taking some classes and using her own knowledge on botanical oils and herbs, she began creating her own soaps and skin care products. After having friends and family request soaps of their own, Brosily Bath and Body was created. 

Brosily Bath and Body believes that if it is not good enough to eat, then it's not good enough for your skin either! All of their soaps and body butters are made with natural, wholesome, food grade ingredients. They make their products in small batches in order to ensure that they are fresh for you. They are created with products such as emollient plant oils, vegan milk from nuts and seeds, and organic herbs. They are scented with essential oils for a truly luxurious experience! 
I received the Rose Geranium soap, and the Mint Tango soap and body butter to review. They smell amazing! As soon as I opened the envelope I was greeted with this wonderful aroma and I had to try the body butter right away! 

The body butters are crafted with rich mango butter and essential oils to hydrate your skin and leave it feeling soft and soothed. I just love my Mint Tango body butter! A little goes a long way and it makes my skin feel so soft! With the cold weather upon us, I know it's only a matter of time before my skin starts to get really dry and cracked. I know the Mint Tango body butter will be my saving grace during that time! I'm hoping that if I keep applying it daily I can avoid the dry, painful winter skin all together! The smell is pretty amazing too! You can choose from five scents for the body butter, including Lavendar Bliss and Vanilla Spice! 

The soaps I received are really awesome too! The Rose Geranium soap is for the ladies with a sexy, balancing mix of rose geranium and lavender! The mint tango is made with refreshing mint and creamy mango butter to leave your skin happy! Both of these soaps work really great! When I use them they lather up so well! I feel like I'm really getting a good clean because I see the lather and the bubbles working. The soap also leaves my skin feeling so soft! Most bar soaps I have used leaves my skin feeling dry and filmy, but not these! My skin stays soft long after I've washed! I really love that! These soaps also have stayed hard and in shape since I've been using them which means they will last a long time! I did read that they will soften if you leave them in too much water and moisture but as long as you set them on something dry they wills stay hard and last a while! 

I am in love with my vegan bath and body products from Brosily Bath and Body! I love how great they make my skin feel and the good feeling I get knowing they are made with the most natural of products! 

Visit Brosily Bath and Body and tell me one product you'd love to try! 

Be sure to come back Thursday, October 17th for your chance to win a cucumber aloe soap, citrus delight lemongrass soap, and a vanilla soap from Brosily Bath and Body in the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Peter Rabbit Organics Review {Treat Yourself Sponsor Spotlight!}

Disclaimer: I was sent these items free of charge in exchange for my review of the products. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I'm excited to share with you my first sponsor for the Treat Yourself giveaway event that is starting this Thursday the 17th! This sponsor has the perfect treat for your little ones! They are Peter Rabbit Organics and they provide healthy, delicious, and convenient snacks for babies and toddlers! 

Peter Rabbit Organics makes fruit and veggie snack pouches that are healthy, made without any added salt or sugar, and delicious! They are a private-owned business run right here in the USA. They have fun flavors like Raspberry/Blueberry/Banana, and Sweet Potato/Corn/Apple! We were sent a few samples to try from Peter Rabbit Organics! 

We were sent the Strawberry and Banana, Pear and Apple, and Sweet Potato, Corn, and Apple flavors to try. My boys gobbled them up in a matter of days and were asking for more when we ran out! They loved them! They are such fun little snacks for at home or on the go! I love them, not just because my kids love them, but because they are great for my toddler to have as a snack while we are out and about without a huge mess of crumbs or liquid everywhere! They are also healthy which is a huge plus in my book! 

Another thing I love about Peter Rabbit Organics is that they are very convenient to purchase! You can check out their Where To Buy page and find a place to purchase them at a local store or online! I shop at Publix and Walmart for almost everything. I can purchase Peter Rabbit Organics at both stores for a really great price! They are healthy, convenient, easy to purchase, and affordable! What more could you want from a snack for your kids?! 

What flavor pouch from Peter Rabbit Organics do you think your little one would like best? 

Be sure to check back on Thursday, October 17th for your chance to win 12 pouches of Peter Rabbit Organic snacks in the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Back Into Babywearing Mega Giveaway Event! {18 Baby Carriers Giveaway!}

Fall Back into Babywearing
What better way to celebrate the Time Change than a Mega Baby Carrier giveaway!?
So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, According to Jenny, and Thrifty Nifty Mommy have come together to throw a huge Babywearing Party! OnNovember 3rd, not only will you be falling back into time, we're hoping you'll Fall Back into Babywearing with some of the best baby carriers on the market! We have 18 Baby Carrier Prizes for 18 winners!

Are you ready to see the fabulous carriers and accessories that you can win!?

For more information, visit the Action Baby Carriers website.
For more information, visit the Chimparoo website.
For more information, visit the Comfy Joey website.
For more information, visit the CatBirdBaby website.
For more information, visit the BABYBJĂ–RN website.
Sponsored by bumbledoo. For more information, visit the bumbledoo website.
For more information on these Babywearing Accessories, visit babyWAWL and Red Charlotte.
For more information on both the Mei Tai and Oh Mei, visit the BabyHawk website.
For more information, visit the Rockin' Baby website.
For more information, visit the Baby K'Tan website.
For more information, visit the Bitybean website.
For more information, visit the Peanut Shell website.
For more information, visit the Boba website.
For more information, visit the Onya Baby website.
For more information, visit the Beco Baby Carrier website.
For more information, visit the Moby website.
For more information, visit the lillebaby website.

Do you have a Favorite!?!

There will be a separate winner for each prize pictured above. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm EST, November 3rd. Some prizes are open to US only, US/CAN, and 1 to World Wide residents 18+. Please use the Giveaway Tools widget below to enter.
Disclosure: You are entering to win one of the carriers or the accessories package above. Winners will be randomly chosen and matched to carriers. So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, According to Jenny, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and all participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Bloggers received no compensation for hosting this giveaway.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Strong Mom Series- Jennifer

I used to be the “I can do it all” mom who just hadn't figured out the sweet spot of  how to actually getting it all done. But I was determined. I was going to work, be the cook, maid, teacher, cuddler, disciplinarian, play friend, and everything else you want to be as a mother. I was going to do it all. Myself. I thought I could do it because I wanted to be a strong mom.

And then everything changed.
In June, my 5-week-old son was diagnosed with cancer. The “I can do it all” mom turned into the “just happy to survive the day” mom.  With a 3-year-old girl also at home, I have had to juggled my baby’s hospital visits (21 days in two months), constant doctors appointments, detailed at-home medical care, and emotional turmoil from not only me, my husband and my daughter.

It’s tested me as a woman, a wife, and a mom. But it’s ended up being weirdly great. Because above all, it’s shown me what real strength is.

Real mom strength is, my friends, realizing your weaknesses, and then asking for help over and over again. It’s not doing it all. It’s not being super woman. It’s humbling yourself for the sake of your children.

When your child has cancer, and your other child is going through something fierce, it’s a massive, beat you up behind the bleachers reality check. There is no more worrying over the unnecessaries of life.

No more rushing around to get the house clean because a friend is going to stop by for a quick visit or complaining that my daughter won’t keep the bow in her hair. Priorities are now giving medical care at home, long hospital stays, keeping structure for the preschooler left behind, and just trying to get through the day without being an emotional mess. And this isn’t just going to be a short term life crisis. This is our new normal, for at least the next year if not much, much, longer.

First things first, I had to admit that I couldn’t do it all.

This was gut-wrenching honesty to myself that I had to deal with. I thought if I couldn’t do it all, it meant there was something wrong with me. I was not only just not a strong mom, but a bad one. But it took cancer to teach me that, being humble may be incredibly hard, but it’s the absolute best thing you could do as a mom.

I can't keep up with my baby's at-home medical care and still have the elaborate craft or activity ready for 3-year-old everyday. I can't keep the house clean, especially the parts that need to be sterile, on my own and actually pay attention to my children. I don't have the time to do those extra volunteer projects at church anymore. I don't have the emotional energy to be there for my friends 24/7. There was no way I could make dinner from scratch almost every night anymore. Especially because most days I wasn’t home to do it, I was in the hospital with the baby.

The list goes on and on.

So with my pride in my hands, I learned to ask for help.

I had to have someone come in and start helping me clean my house. I never have been able to figure out how to have the whole perfectly clean house thing, but I tried. If I was going to be this reluctant stay-at-home mom, I should be able to keep the house clean, right? But now the stakes were higher. As my son is going through chemo his immunity drops to scary levels, and germs, mold and pollen become our most feared enemies. A simple fever could put him in the hospital. My stubbornness from pride wasn’t good enough anymore, especially after this sudden tidal wave of overwhelming life hitting. I have had to accept that I wasn’t able to do it and ask for help.

Initially there were lots of medical costs we couldn't cover. Hat in hand, as people asked how they could help, I had to say money. There were times I cried over this. I never have felt good at asking for money. But we needed it. So I did it.

I couldn’t find the words to tell my daughter that her new little brother had cancer. I had to ask a Child Life Specialist from the hospital, who even sat with us when we told her.

I am not seeing a therapist regularly, and have started on anti-depressants. I got to the point where I would have days of just crying and started getting panic attacks over relatively nothing. So, I needed help managing my emotions and stress. I couldn’t function as a mom if I didn’t.

I have been in and out of the hospital so much, I have had to ask my parents not only to take my daughter for almost weeks at a time, but to, *gasp* potty train her. We have been working on it for months now, but keep getting interrupted by all our life drama. She needed to just get it done. As her mom, I should be able to potty train her myself, but I have not been there as much as I would like. So instead of wishing or making the situation worse by continuing the complete lack of consistency, I had to ask someone else to do it.

I could write a book about this summer. Maybe one day I will (self-publishing is cool these days, right?). A lot of it is on my blog already. Having a child with cancer seemed like the scariest thing in the world. And it’s incredibly hard, but somehow we are all surviving.

Bottom line: The awesome thing about moms is they do what they need to do. No ifs, and’s, or but’s about it. They get it done. But the last couple of month’s I have learned that sometimes “doing it all” also means asking for help. And it will make you stronger in the end.

Jennifer Armitage is a blogger at The Bad at Cleaning Blog, where she writes about being a former career addict turned stay-at-home mom of two trying to battle the insanity of life one chore at a time. She is also a wannabe writer, pastor's wife, total geek, and a list of other weird titles. If you want to chat with her go to her blog, email her at, or like her Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Workout Wednesday!

Wow! It has been a few weeks since I've posted a Workout Wednesday! Things have been busy and I'll admit, I haven't been very motivated lately with my working out. I was just in a little funk there for a few weeks. But now I am feeling better and loving my workouts again! 

I am currently on my last week of month 1 of T25 with Shaun T.  I love these short 25 minute workouts! I really have no excuse not to workout when I'm doing these because they are only 25 minutes a day. They are not just simple little workouts either! I really work up a sweat when I'm doing them! My muscles still get sore and I'm still really pushing myself with these workouts. So far I've lost 3 more inches since I started T25! 

 This time of year is so much easier for me to make myself get active because the weather is nice and cool and I enjoy being outside! I like to go outside and play with my kids, and take walks and we are always out and about doing something! Eating on the other hand is not so easy this time of year! There are so many goodies and it is so hard to say no! I've been doing fairly well though with my eating. I do struggle and cheat some but I try not to let it bring me down. I just move forward and do what I can to stay on track. 

How has your workout week been? Have you been getting up and getting active? Are you struggling with anything this week? Share with us so we can encourage and support each other! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Five Great Reasons to Wear Your Baby

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional. These are just great reasons I myself wear my baby and wanted to share with you! 

It's International Babywearing Week so I thought I'd do a little post on one of my favorite things ever- babywearing! I just love wearing my little guy, and although he's a little older and sometimes would rather walk than be worn, we still babywear quite often. So if you're a new parent or a not so new parent interested in babywearing, I wanted to share with you some reasons I love babywearing! 

1. Fussy baby no more! Both of my boys did not like the swing or bouncer when they were infants. They would sit in them for five minutes or so and then start fussing. They rarely napped in the swing like a lot of babies do. So doing anything with a fussy baby who wouldn't swing was pretty impossible. That's when babywearing became my lifesaver! All I had to do was strap baby to me and he would quit being fussy. He was close to me and that made him happy. Now I could do the things I needed to without having to go back and forth trying to calm a fussy baby! 

2. Hands Free! This one is a big one for any parent! Sometimes babies just want to be held. Or sometimes when traveling you really don't have the extra arms to carry baby and all your luggage! Or sometimes you have another little one who needs your help and carrying a baby makes that quite difficult! Babywearing is great because you have baby right there with you but you have free hands to do what you need to! 

3. Nap Time on the Go! A lot of the time wearing Isaac will lull him right to sleep. I guess just being close to me and feeling my warmth just calms and relaxes him and he falls asleep. So when we are out and about during nap time I always wear him so he'll still get in that very important nap! 

4. Lots of Snuggles!  I don't know any parent who doesn't love snuggles from their little one! With babywearing you get special snuggles anytime you wear your baby! Whether they are a newborn, infant, or toddler those snuggles are precious and special! 

5. You can pretty much do anything with a baby on your back!  Ok, not anything, but you can really do a lot when wearing your baby! Hiking, shopping, cleaning, even swimming! Yes, they have water slings that work great for wearing your baby in the pool! Babywearing makes it possible to do things with your baby that you normally wouldn't be able to! It's convenient, easy, and fun! 

Do you wear your baby? What are some reasons you enjoy babywearing? Happy International Babywearing Week! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Strong Moms- Mercedes

Hello to all of Michelle's readers!  I'm really excited to share my story with you as part of the new Strong Mom series.  I think it's so important that we celebrate our triumphant moments, our own as well as each other's.

I'm Mercedes from the Project Procrastinot blog, and I'm a mom to newly one year old boy/girl twins.  Fall is my favorite time of year; pumpkin-flavored everything always reminds me of when my husband and I began dating nine years ago.  We met in college in Tulsa, OK, but have been living as expats and currently live in Scotland.

My twins turned one just last week--the most bizarre, time warped year ever.  It's also been the hardest year.  

During most of my pregnancy and up until the twins were about 10 weeks old, I was living with my mother in Oklahoma while my husband, EJ, was working in Angola and looking for a new job.  Thankfully, he was there for the birth of our babies, and three weeks after.  When he left, it was one of the hardest and most frightening times of my life.  I knew I had my mom's support, but I was so sad for my new family (and the postpartum hormones didn't help!)  I didn't know how I would cope without him, but somehow, I did.

About six weeks postpartum, I had to have surgery to remove a mass from under my right arm.  The doctors thought it would be a lymph node, but it turned out to be a bit of breast tissue that had migrated--the surgery was brief but I was so sleep-deprived (and still recovering from a c-section!) that what little bit of energy I had been clinging to was gone.  Recovering from the second surgery and caring for two babies was so incredibly hard, but somehow, I did it.  

We moved to Scotland when the babies were about ten weeks old.  When we got here it was the dead of winter, so cold and with only a few hours of daylight.  I had literally zero acquaintances in Scotland and was completely consumed with caring for my two little ones.  I wondered how I would make friends, if I would feel comfortable in my new home, and if the sun would ever shine for more than two hours a day, and eventually it did. 

My babies are 53 weeks old, and still don't sleep through the night.  On a really good night, they will wake up only twice--each.  Sometimes when I lay down in my bed, I wonder how many times I will have to walk up and down the hall to the babies' bedroom, and how I will make it through the night, but somehow, I do.

Ok, ok.  That might paint a grisly picture.  But like I said, this has been the hardest year of my life!  

But it has also been a great source of joy and pride.  

When my son opens up a book and turns the pages, babbling to himself, I just can't stand it.  When I take my babies out to eat for lunch and my daughter is bopping away to the background music, it's pretty much the cutest thing ever.  If you've never felt your heart seriously melt into a gooey puddle, just wait for baby-kisses. They are the best.  

And there's nothing like breastfeeding.  At times it has been a struggle, but I am very proud of the fact that I still nurse my twins.  We've never had to supplement with formula and they are healthy and happy babies.  One year was my original goal and I'm happy to have reached it; where we go from here is yet to be determined!

So, am I a strong mom? I'd like to say, hell yeah!  

If you would like to share your story and be featured in the Strong Moms Series email me at mommyferg02(at)gmail(dot)com! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Five Tips for Keeping Your Marriage Strong After Baby

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on marriage at all! These are just my own opinions and thoughts that have helped me throughout my marriage after having kids! 

After having a baby everything changes! Your life is revolved around the baby's schedule! Feedings, naps, diaper changes, and late nights take over your whole life! It's hard not to put marriage on the back burner sometimes. But it's important to remember to keep that relationship nourished and strong after baby is born and throughout! Here are some tips I've come up with to help keep your marriage strong and happy even after having kids! 

1. Make time for each other, always.  Even when you are sleep deprived and smell like spit up, commit to making at least a little time for each other every day. When your little one is napping take the time to talk to each other and get a few snuggles in if you can. It really does help just to talk and know that you're both still there for each other! 

2. Don't blame each other. Things can get hard sometimes with a new baby in the house. You can't figure out why the baby won't stop crying. You haven't been able to get more than 2 hours of sleep all night. The dishes are piling up and the dog won't stop barking. Try not to blame each other for the feelings of frustration and exhaustion you are feeling. It's ok to express your frustration to your spouse, but don't blame them. This just causes a fight and makes things even worse. 

3. Express your appreciation.  It always feels good to be told you're doing a great job right? So make sure you are doing the same for your spouse. Tell them often how much you appreciate them and thank them for working hard for your family, whether they stay at home with the kids or go to work to pay the bills. Maybe even take the time to do something special for them to express how thankful you are for them and how much you love and appreciate them. 

4. Trust Each Other. This applies to any marriage, but it is so important. Without trust, no marriage can stay strong. It may be hard when you are at home with baby all day and your spouse is out all the time busy with work and other things, or even if it's the other way around. But if you can't trust your spouse then you have no foundation for your marriage and things just won't work out like they should. I know there are certain circumstances where trust is broken, but if your spouse hasn't done any of those things to break your trust, then just trust them. It's that simple. 

5. Get a babysitter! If it is at all possible, try to get a babysitter and have a date night at least once a month! If you have family close by or even if you have to hire someone, it's so important to get out and get some time alone without the kids! It rejuvenates you individually and as a couple! It keeps things fun and helps you get out of the daily routine with the little ones! I feel that this is one of the most important things to do in keeping a marriage strong after having kids! 

It is so important to keep the love and affection you feel for your spouse strong even after baby is born and your life becomes crazy with feedings, schedules, and sleepless nights! It won't always be easy, but it is very important to make that special person in your life a priority! I hope these tips are helpful to you and encourage you to go show your spouse some love and appreciation today! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Autumn AMP Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

 Happy October 1st and welcome to the Autumn AMP Giveaway hosted by The Parenting Patch and co-hosted by Hackanator, A Sensible Momma, Leettle Baby, Cloth Diaper Guru, My Cloth Diaper Stash, Conservamom, Cloth Diaper Addicts, and Thinking About Cloth Diapers. In honor of the autumn season, The Parenting Patch is giving away an AMP cloth diapers prize pack to one lucky winner. The prize pack valued at $83.10 features three (3) AMP One-Size Duo Pocket Diaper in red, orange, and lemon (yellow); three (3) AMP microfiber inserts; two (2) two-layer AMP Boosters; and one (1) three-layer AMP Booster. 

The Autumn AMP Giveaway continues until October 15, 2013 and is open to legal residents of the United States of America and Canada. To enter to win the Autumn AMP Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecoptor form. The first entry is free. All other entries are optional; however, the more entries you have, the better your chances of winning. Happy autumn!