Friday, July 31, 2009

friday favorites - a good gymboree sale

I love getting good quality clothes at a great price. I have learned my lesson that yes you can buy cute, cheap stuff, but after a few washes it usually just looks like cheap stuff. This than tempts me to go buy more cute, cheap stuff and at that point I haven't saved any money at all!

I was remembering from last year that I bought Bubbie a ton of great stuff at Gymboree for back to school on a really good sale and was hoping it would take place again this year. Well it is! While I tend to find Gymboree a little too "matchy matchy" for him as a "big boy", I can get great deals on good jeans, cargos, khakis, basic tees etc and then just add in some random pieces from other places with them at a later time.

Okay, so you want to know more about the sale. Well first it's only a good deal on big kid clothes, so for once, Sass gets nothing, it's Bubbie's turn! All the big kid clothes are marked to $10, $15 or $20 right now for back to school. Where I live, it is also tax free weekend! SCORE! And if you have a $100 worth, you can do it all online with free shipping. Double Score! On top of all that, I have a 20% off your total coupon and it's gymbucks time!!

What are gymbucks? Gymbucks are a great way to save money. You earn one $25 gymbuck for every $50 you spend. Say I spend $175 on back to school clothes and shoes. Gymboree than gives me $75 in Gymbucks to use at a later time. Since I'm not buying Sass any back to school clothing now, I will save the Gymbucks to get her some fall/winter clothes. When I go to redeem my $75 in Gymbucks I can pick out another $150 worth of clothes and only pay $75 for them. And you can use them on sale items!! Basically I can walk out of Gymboree then with a $30 dress for about $9.

Another reason I prefer to spend a little extra on my kids clothing..... it resells awesome! There are some people CRAZY for Gymboree on Ebay and half the time I end up making money on the clothes I sell on there because people get bid happy. This helps me recycle our clothing budget over and over. Although I am currently holding on to everything until we find out what new baby is!

Here are a few of the items I have in my cart ready to check out:

2 pairs of jeans Reg price- $29.75 sale+coupon =$18 a pair:

super cute pullover reg price: $22.75 sale+coupon = $12

Fun stripey tee shirts: Reg price $14.75 Sale + coupon = $8

Toggle tennies Reg price $29.75 Sale + coupon = $18

Now I just have to wait for the cool weather to roll in..... in about 3 more months!

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

want to help baby stellan

MckMama has asked that anyone who would like to help baby Stellan during this time of need to donate to String of Pearls. String of Pearls is an awesome organization that supports families during their darkest hours of a terminal pregnancy. I can't imagine any more crushing news than knowing I would never get to love on my baby because of a fatal illness he or she had in utereo. MckMama discovered this program when she was pregnant with Stellan and thinking he would never live here on earth.

So what does that have to do with that gorgeous baby girl in my post (no that's not Sass, we only wish she had that much hair!). Last night Sugar and Spice contacted me and asked me to send you guys over to her etsy store. Right now she is donating a portion of her sales to String of Pearls in Stellan's name. She will do this up until August 8th. I have never ordered from her before, but am drooling over these cute hats, so I too will be contributing to her donation before the day is over. She is running a special right now where you get a free clip if you order any three items!

I have my eye of several cute things such as:

super cute
pink headband

and this cute flower clip

and of course one of those darling beanie caps!! So get to shopping and help support an amazing organization!!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

organic coupons - must print before end of the week!!

Our friends at Stonyfield Farms have paired up with the movie Food Inc. and are offering some GREAT coupons until the end of this week. I am so excited to print some of these off! It is not easy to find coupons on organic foods so jump on this before the deal ends. I found out about this deal by following Stonyfield on Facebook. If you aren't a follower you might want to be so you don't miss any more good deals!

Super Dad and I have a date planned on Saturday to go see Food Inc. I will let you know ALL about it when we are done!

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blog with integrity

A few days ago I stumbled across this article on NPR. It basically talks a lot about mom blogs and how corporations are now targeting them to do reviews or "advertorials" on their products because they know that moms are the bigger spenders in households. The article discusses whether readers are getting honest reviews or not because these mom want to keep receiving free products. It was very interesting. I highly recommend reading it if you are a mom blogger or if you are interested at all in how this side of blogging works.

This morning I have added a new badge on the left side bar that looks like the image above. I read about this pledge that bloggers can take to blog with integrity in the NPR article. I feel strongly about blogging with integrity so I have signed the pledge and displayed the badge now on my blog. By doing this you as my readers will know that I will fully disclose if I am writing about a product that I have been given by the company or writing about something I personally purchased.

My blog is not a "big" blog in the blogging world. At this point companies are not knocking down my door to get me to write about them. I do this for fun. I don't make any money off this blog as we don't have ads on here. I do have some affiliate links, but these are of stores I have personally shopped and would recommend regardless. The products I have written about in the past have been purchased by me and are used in our home on a regular basis. I will tell you though if I write about a product I was "gifted" and I will be honest in my review of it.

Would I like to make money off my blog? Sure! I think that would be awesome to help bring in some income to our family while still staying at home with our kids, but I will not sell my soul to do so. I appreciate that anyone besides my family actually cares enough to read my blog and come back to it and most of all leave a comment, so in return I want you to know where I stand.

What do you think about "blog with integrity"? Do you think it's okay for mommy bloggers to receive free products to review on their blogs? Are you a mommy blogger? Will you sign the pledge? Let me know your thoughts!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

healing prayer for baby stellan

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray." (James 5:13)

"For with God nothing will be impossible."
(Luke 1:37)

One thing that amazes me about the "blog" world is if you get hooked in, you realize the community that has been formed among strangers. I tend to discover new blogs through blogs that I currently read and it always amazes me to find out that a blog I read is "friends" with another blog I read, or someone I know in real life really "knows" the people I read about on a blog. But what is super impressive to me is when a crisis occurs in the blog world, how fellow bloggers will gather around and support complete strangers in their darkest hours. If only "real" life could be like that everyday. So, today is my day to support and pray for a "stranger".

I have read the blog My Charming Kids for almost a year now. I love MckMama's writing sense and we have a great deal of similar beliefs in raising children so I get tons of new ideas there all the time. Well right now she needs prayer. Her youngest of four is in the hospital with a very serious heart condition and is not doing well. From what I have read he will most likely be going to a children's hospital in Boston today and will have to have a surgery that is very risky. This boy needs some serious prayer and I'm sure his mama and daddy would love some too. Therefore, I'm dedicating today's post to Stellan and his family.

You can read Stellan's whole story here and see MckMama's latest twitter updates on her left sidebar. If you have a few moments today, would you send up a prayer for Stellan?

For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17)

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Monday, July 27, 2009

last week to get you gDiapers on sale!!

This is the last week to get the everyday g's on sale for only $40. Everyday g's come with 6 diaper covers and 6 liners and the set is normally $70. Usually one cover/liner is $18.99 so this is really a terrific deal!! Use the code g1378swanson to get your gDiapers at this great price but you have to use it before the 31st when the deal ends!!!
This code only works on the Everyday G's set... click here to see the set!!

One of the great features of gDiapers is that they are biodegradable. This means if you aren't so sure about flushing them and end up just tossing the insert you still aren't hurting the environment like you are with disposables. This video shows a comparison of how gdiapers compose compared to a non chlorine diaper (ie a 7th generation type) and a traditional diaper (ie a pampers or huggies). Those things will stay around FOREVER!! Crazy!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

update on little miss stubborn

Unfortunately today I was unable to spend the day with Sass. I had a work commitment that I had to keep so she spent the night with my mom and the whole day. I told my mom my thoughts though and told her to just back off and see what she does. She did great. She did nap in a pull up but besides that no accidents all day.

We picked her up around 6 and took her to dinner where she drank an entire juice box. We were headed to Rita's after so I just told her that if she had an accident we couldn't stay and would have to go home. While sitting outside I noticed her doing the "potty dance" so I just gently reminded her if she need to go to tell me. She immediately said " i need to go potty" so off we ran and SUCCESS!! The Rita's man gave her a sticker for her success which made her day!

We played for a little bit after we got home when I noticed her acting a little funny. All of a sudden she goes " I have to poop!", so Super Dad rushed her to the potty. She had already had a little bit of an accident, but was able to finish in the potty! YAY SASS! Success number two!

After that we bathed and got ready for bed. I put a cloth diaper on her trying to back off and not make a big deal. While sitting down stairs all of a sudden we hear a little voice singing that she has to go potty so Super Dad ran upstairs and took her. Success number 3!!

In a matter of 3 hours she told us three times! I have to be gone again all day tomorrow, so we will see how it goes!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

the epitome of stubborn

I know she's cute. And she says the darn most adorable things all the time, but good gracious this girl has a mind of her own!

We have officially finished our three days of intense potty training and honestly, I don't think we are one step closer. The girl knows what to do, she's not afraid of the potty and is more than verbal enough to tell me.
She just. doesn't. want. to.

No way, no how. We have done stickers, prizes, jelly beans. You name it, we have tried it, but she wants nothing to do with us asking her, suggesting, nothing. She has to want to do it or she won't. She knows the difference between wet and dry, clean and dirty. She knows how to sit on a big potty, a little potty. She can even take off her clothes and put them back on correctly.

She just. doesn't. want. to.

This has left me in a predicament. I know she is capable. I know she can do it. Do I put her back in diapers? Do I got the pull up route which she treats like diapers? Or do I keep bugging the daylights out of the poor child telling her a million times to "tell mommy when she has to go potty?" I truly am at a loss at what the right thing to do is.

Tonight I had an idea. She's 2. Surely I can out smart the kid, right? Here's my thought.... tell me what you think. She HATES being dirty. We constantly have to have a napkin when we eat, a wet wipe when we paint, so on and so forth, yet she has no problem tinkling in her pants and not telling me because she knows I will make her go potty. She won't tell me if she is wet or dirty even though she knows what that means.

She just. doesn't. want. to.

To me, this means it's reverse psychology time. My plan is to put her in panties and pants. I'm not going to ask her to tell me, or ask her if she has to go, or set a timer, none of it. I am going to totally ignore her in all regards to the potty and let her have an accident. And when she has an accident, I'm just not going to say anything about it. I figure pants will be more uncomfortable wet than if she was just in a dress, but I am totally going to put the ball in her court and let her come to me. I know her and I know she won't like feeling wet. I have never let her stay wet long enough for her to be uncomfortable because I am constantly checking to make sure she is dry and running her to the potty. I am going a totally unconventional route. She's an unconventional girl, what else is to be expected. I am giving her a logical consequence... you tinkle in your pants, you are wet until you tell me, then I will help you solve the problem.

It might not work but I don't know what else to do to get the girl back into the game and I really feel like we made too much progress to go back to diapers, so it's worth a shot. And if you don't like my plan, please don't call DFACS on me. I promise to bathe her and clean her all up after my experiment is over and I won't let her sit around in her dirty undies all day or anything, but I want to see what she will do if I just leave her alone!

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and you shall be called......

The new baby needs a name.

We have a boy name, but are not settled on a girl name. I thought we were but super dad is not so sure. I figured where better to get some great ideas than from my fabulous readers! I think we both have procrastinated finding a girl name because we are so sure the baby is a boy, but just in case, we should probably be prepared with a girl name too.

So, leave a comment. Give me some of your best suggestions. What shall we call this child if she happens to be a she??

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

potty training bootcamp update - day 2

Napped with out a diaper and woke up dry!

UPDATE #2!!!

Guess who told me mid swim lessons that she had to go potty!! She was wet and freezing but she did it!


Guess who woke up DRY this morning!! Woo to the Hoo!!

We are about to embark on day two of our potty training boot camp. I actually hear Sass stirring in her bed as I am typing. Yesterday went pretty well. We did have two BIG accidents, if you catch my drift, but other than that it was just a little sprinkle here or there. She has gotten much better about using her words and letting me know.

Several prizes were earned yesterday. It was such a pretty day I tried to encourage her to pick things we could play outside with like bubbles and chalk. She ended the day picking two little mermaids that came from the dollar store and are now carried everywhere because they are her "friends". We kept the potty outside with us yesterday and I kept her tush exposed so she could see herself start to have an accident and then run to the potty.

Last night I read the "3 Day Potty Training" manual that you can download. It was really easy to read and gave me some great ideas. It was written by a mother of 6, so I am going to attempt to follow her method from here on out. We aren't suppose to go anywhere for the first three days, but Sass does have a swim lesson this morning, so we are going to venture out for that and then rush back home to get back to business. The part of this method that I like the best is you give the control over to your child. Instead of asking them a million times if they have to go potty, you just keep reminding them to "tell mommy if you have to go potty". We did this all day yesterday, and boy not asking them is a hard habit to break, but she was doing really good about telling me more and more as the day went on.


On another note...... a friend recently sent me this great blog called Faithful Provisions. I highly recommend adding them to your blog reader because she always has the scoop on great deals! Today's great deal that I am going to have to indulge in is a free pastry from Starbucks with the purchase of a coffee. Since I am with child, I have sadly had to give up frozen coffee drinks because they can't make them decaf. The idea of drinking hot coffee though mid July, in the deep south, at 8 months pregnant is so not appealing so, I have now become a fan of iced coffees. My current fave is a decaf, nonfat caramel macchiato. YUM! I will most definitely be stopping by this morning on the way to swimming to pick up my breakfast! You will need to either print off this coupon or show this to the barista on your handheld to get your free pastry! Have a good breakfast!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

love this

Ha ha! I saw this on Facebook today and it made me laugh! So cute!

Potty Training Bootcamp update:

The day is going pretty well. I have been flooding Sass so she will need to tinkle a lot which is working. I did let her go get something from her room this morning which resulted in our only big accident. Other than that she is getting better about stopping herself if she starts and finishing on the potty. For a while this morning it was so nice out, I let her play out back nekkie bottomed. This really seemed to help her see when she was starting to tinkle and then run to the potty. We are really working on using her words to tell me when she has to go potty, but still has a ways to go. Hopefully the afternoon will go well! She is napping now and I just made myself some peanut butter cookies as my reward... big mistake, they are so yummy I can't stop eating them! LOL! Wish me luck!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

potty training bootcamp

Sass has been potty training for several months now and we have totally hit a plateau. She will have great days and then really not so great days. She is good as long as we take her ALL the time, but she rarely tells us. Even if she has an accident she only tells us about half the time.

Since Bubbie is away this week at the beach with the "grands" I have decided it's time to go hard core on the potty training. We have been pretty laid back about it and worked on it here and there, but we are going full force now.

First thing first, we needed potty prizes. We have been giving jelly beans for going potty but they obviously aren't working. This afternoon I hit up the good ol' Dollar Tree and started stocking up! Lucky for me, my girl loves her some princesses and Dollar Tree is full of fun princess goodies. We have wands and bubbles, sidewalk chalk, new coloring books, and even pink silly string, plus oh so much more! I really should have taken a picture to show you, maybe tomorrow. Oh, and how could I forget... STICKERS! Must have stickers. Lucky for me, I found a book of 414 Ariel stickers for a $1! YAY!

We started this afternoon. I put all our surprises in a big gift bag and made Sass her first "potty ticket". I wrote the numbers 1-3 on it and started flooding the girl with diluted juice. I explained to her if she went potty in the potty she got to put a stick on one of the numbers and when all the numbers were covered she could trade in her ticket for a surprise. She took to this immediately telling me she had to go potty and Viola! she did. Sticker number 1 was earned. We took our ticket and our stickers to my mom's house for dinner. Sass preceded to then pee on the floor the next 3 times.... uh oh... maybe this isn't going to work. But finally we had two more successes.

She then came home and picked out her first prize, a pink fairy wand that lights up and makes a very magical sound. We made a new ticket, but this time it has the numbers 1-5 on it. She went potty two more times and earned two more stickers... three more to go until she gets back into the prize bag! Yay Sass!

We plan to go no where tomorrow. I am going to oj and cranberry juice this girl as much as I can and hopefully we will get better and better at telling mama when we have to go potty. I trained Bubbie this way with potty tickets and prizes, so hopefully it will work with Sass too!

Pictures and updates to come tomorrow. I'm too tired tonight to work on them!

* image from The EC Store

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Friday, July 17, 2009

some people can choose just one

I'm not one of them! I love trying all kinds of diapers. My favorites change on a regular basis. Since Sass only wears diapers to sleep now, there is a lot of new things to try since she was in full time cloth. Here are some of the diapers I am currently drooling over!

Smarti Pants

These are a brand new one size diapers. I have heard great things about them. They are the most affordable one size diaper I have seen around. The feature that sounds the coolest to me about these is that you don't have to unstuff them before throwing them in your diaper pail. Apparently the pocket is open at both ends and will release the insert in the wash! Pretty cool! Their special for $36.95 is only for 11 more days, so I may cave and order before then!

Kissaluv Marvel Fitteds

These new fitteds from Kissaluv are just too stinkin' cute! I don't really need them, but I want to try one! I feel like I can justify buying fitteds more when they are one size like this one because Sass can sleep in them now and the baby can wear them from birth to potty training! Kelly's Closet has free shipping right now too on orders over $29 when you use the code FACE68. Code expires on 7.19.09! Click here to visit Kelly's Closet

I just ordered a Thirsties Duo Wrap from Nell's Natural Baby. I ordered a meadow green one, so cute! I can't wait for it to come in! These covers are suppose to be as great as a regular Thirsties cover but even better because you can expand the size! I ordered a small and will be interested to see if Sass will squeeze into it at 23lbs. I'll let you know! If you want to order from Nell's click here:
Click here to visit Nell's Natural Baby.

Lastly, I want to get some gcloth to try in my gDiapers. I am hoping to order some of these before the baby is born. Unfortunately, the great coupon code that I have doesn't apply to these. It only applies to the everyday G's 6 pack, but is still a great deal. Use g1378swanson if you want to order those. As I get other good codes I will be sure to post them!

What are you wanting to try out? Is there something I haven't listed that I need to explore? Leave me a comment and fill me in on your faves!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

A picture is worth 1000 MckLinky's - Name that picture

Hi everyone! We're running a test tonight for MckLinky and need everyone to give us their caption of Superdad and Bubby! Just click the link under the picture titled "Click here to enter your caption" to give us your caption, thanks!

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try gDiapers for only $40!! ...wait, what's a gDiaper?

What's a gDiaper you say? It's a hybrid between a disposable diaper and a cloth diaper. The outside is cloth but the insert is flushable. There's no plastic to throw into our landfills.

Did you know a normal diaper takes 500 YEARS to decompose. Just one diaper! How crazy is that. The great thing about the gDiapers flushable inserts in you can trash them if your potties won't support the flushing and they will still decompose way faster than a traditional sposie. And if you are into composting, you can even compost them! YAY!

Are you curious now? If so and you want to try them out I have a great coupon code for you! Use the code g1378swanson and you can get the everyday g's 6 pack for only $40!! This is a huge steal considering just one cover is normally $18.99. You can use the code as many times as you want too and order up to 10 packs per order. I actually ordered smalls and mediums with this deal because I know when I need my bigger covers the deal will be over. This makes a great baby shower gift for anyone you know that might not want to go the disposable diaper route! Stock up now though because this deal ends on July 31st!

And for you veteran cloth mamas... if you aren't digging a disposable insert, gDiapers did just come out with gCloth!! You can also tri fold a prefold and lay it inside your gDiaper. That is what I am going to do at first!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


See those little bandaided knees? Do you know how many times this little girl has taken off running this summer and ended up with knees just like those? Yet, she still loves to run. You would think she would have figured out the consequence by now, but you can't slow her down!

Parenting and teaching consequences is one of the hardest parts of this job. Some times the consequence ends up in skinned knees, others a sad, sad kid. We have really been working on learning this lesson this summer and it is no fun! But God calls us to shepard our children and this is part of my job as their mommy.

Nothing stinks worse than seeing your child upset and knowing you could fix it, but in the long run you wouldn't be teaching them want God wants them to know. We had an instance like this with Bubbie this week. He wants so badly to go to the bookstore and get a new "jack and annie" book. We told him the other day that if he cleaned up his playroom and ate a good dinner we could go to the store after dinner. Well after way too many reminders, pleas, etc. we had to do what we knew would crush him..... tell him, sorry, but no book. You would have thought the world had come to an end in our house. The tears that ensued were unbelievable and we could have stopped them in an instant by telling him we would take him anyway, but that was not what God wanted us to do. This was a chance for him to learn consequences. No fun for anyone but these lessons never are.

My biggest struggle is when to stick to my guns and when to give in. How to know which battles are worth fighting. Our biggest usually revolves around picking up toys and eating meals. Don't get me wrong, I think this boy is dynamite, but strong willed, messy and pack rat all come to mind too!

Everyone always warned me about the "terrible twos", no one prepared me for the "frustrating fours". Boy oh boy, it's so much harder! Please tell me the fives are fantastic!!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

not me monday

Not Me Monday is brought to you by one of my favorite blogs, My Charming Kids. This is a place where blog mamas can unite together and confess all their imperfections as moms, you know... all the things we would NEVER really do! ;)

After Super Dad had a "guys" night on Friday night, and "guy" time to mountain bike on Saturday morning, I never would have told him that he got to have "kid" time the rest of the day while I went to visit to new littles in the hospital and get my new baby fix. I mean, who would be excited to leave these sweet little faces to go hold new babies? Not me!!

And even though I just wasn't sure it was a great idea, I absolutely would not have encouraged him to take these two little bitties hiking up a mountain. I wouldn't have even gone as far to encourage them to take a lunch and enjoy themselves. That would just be wrong to send Super Dad out in the wilderness with these little monkeys.

While hiking said mountain, Super Dad never ever would let Sass continue to drink out of his camel bak through the 1.3 mile trek. Knowing I had told him she had gone potty right before we left the house, and that she was in panties, not a pull up, he would never let her fill her tiny bladder the whole way up the mountain.

And I absolutely would not have laughed out loud, really hard when Super Dad called me to tell me that Sass did great! She hiked the whole way up! And then while riding on his shoulder on the way down peed all over him! Never would I laugh at that! That would just be mean!

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