Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mommy where do babies come from?

As a member of the blogging for books program, I am asking to read books and then to write a review of what I think of that book.  This is a book review on the book God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  If you read my last review on Mercy Come Morning, you will realize that these two books are by the same author.  I did not realize this until after I had read both books and was surprised to find out that Lisa Tawn Bergen writes children's book too.

 This is the book review I posted on the Blogging for Books website.  It is my own honest personal opinion of what I thought of the book, God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren.

Book Review:  God Gave Us You

 God Gave Us You is the first book in a series of book by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  God Gave Us You is a delightful fiction children's book.  The art work by Laura J. Bryant is beautifully illustrated.   The story starts out with a little Polar bear cub that doesn't want to go to bed so he ask his polar bear mother "where did I come from?".  Polar Bear mother has a quick response, she says "From God."    The Polar Bear mother explains how at each phase of her pregnancy from before conception to delivery polar bear cub's parents rejoiced in knowing  "God gave us you."   

I really enjoyed reading this to my two youngest children.  It helped me to remind them that each of them are a give from God and how much I wanted each of my children.   My favorite parts of the book is when the daddy polar bear sang to the polar bear cub when he was in his mother's tummy,  and how the polar bear mother prayed for her cub before he was born.  This book's positive message of how God chooses each child for each family, is one that I think every child should hear.   

I also like that this book comes in a bar board book not only because they are are the perfect size for little toddler hands, but also because they make it harder for my little toddler to destroy.  He really enjoy bring this book to me so that I will sit down with him and read it to him.    

You can also check out her other books in the series.  Water Brook Multnomah

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Water Brook Press as a member of their Blogging for Books program. All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meeting Geoffrey Giraffe

Yesterday we decided to stop by our local Toys'r us/ Babies'r us combination store. We went their looking for a new car seat for Little Man. We were surprised to find out they were celebrating Geoffrey Giraffes Birthday.

Me holding Little Man as he shakes Geoffrey's hand.
My Oldest called me on his cell phone (he received a cell phone because he has all "A's" in his classes).  He informed me Geoffrey Giraffe was walking around, and he thought that Little Man would want to see him.  I asked my oldest to meet me in front of the store and this is where he took our photo.

Geoffrey, me and Little Man posing for a picture.
Little Man is not smiling in this photo, but he had big smiles after this photo was taken.  I wish that Mare Bear could have seen Geoffrey Giraffe she would have loved him.  She loves big mascot of any kind.  However she was home with her aid resting.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weaning can be easy

No one ever said that wearing a 12 month old was going to be easy.  I guess it has been to long since I weaned a little one that I have forgotten how painful it is to wean.  Not only for me, the engorgement is enough to make anyone cranky, but also for the young toddler that wants a little comfort food.  Weaning is a stage of life.  I have to tell myself that this too shall pass.  I went on-line and tried to find a little information about how to help make the weaning process a little easier.  Most of the sites said to do it slowly, and they are right.  The slower you wean the easier it is on you and baby.  Well, I did do it slowly.  I went extremely slow,  I dropped a feeding once ever 5 days.  When I got down to two a day (once in the morning and once at night) that is when it got really tricky.  That is when I had problems with engorgement, when I went to nursing once a day.  If I had it to all over again I would keep the two nursing session and just cut how long he nursed each time.

Hint: Some people say cold cabbage leaves helps with engorgement, but I found that my reuseable gel filled breast pad (there are lots of brands to choose from) that Iput in the freezer worked wonders for me, and I did not smell like cabbage.

Not too sure of this white stuff.
Now it is time for Little Man to drink whole milk. We tried giving him formula when he as 11 months old, but he did not want anything to do with formula.  It came out of his mouth as fast as it when into his mouth.  It took him a while before he would drink milk.  He likes drinkable yogurt and that is how we started him on the road to drinking milk.

Give it to me mom, and let me try it
I had to stop giving him juice for a little while.  He has a sweet tooth and he would not drink milk if he knew he could have juice instead.

This milk is pretty good.
Now Little Man loves his whole milk.  He is still a little whiny and wants to nurse, but I have found other ways for me to comfort him.  A good book, a hug, a back rub and a fun silly song.  And if that doesn't work there is always big brother, sister, or Dad!

When it comes to weaning a baby the best thing to do it PRAY!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giveaway: Hearts for Hearts Girls doll

CLOSED Chip is the winner and will be notified by e-mail.

  Hearts for Hearts Girls

Changing the World One Heart at a Time! That is the goal of the new Hearts For Hearts Girls doll line and fashion collection from Playmates Toys. The collection features six dolls from around the world, each with an inspiring story to share.

There are six Hearts For Hearts Girls:

    • Meet Consuelo from Mexico City. Colorful and warm, Consuelo provides aid to hungry children who are homeless and live on the streets near her parents’ bakery.

    • Meet Lilian of Belarus. Determined Lilian provides aid to girls whose parents must find work in the big city and are forced to leave their children with orphanages.

    • Meet Dell from the heart of Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains. Dell creates music and knitwear to share with others in need of warm clothing.

    • Meet Rahel of Ethiopia. Rahel, who dreams of becoming a doctor so that she can make a real difference for people in her region, journeys with her family into the wilderness of Ethiopia to help bring back aid to her community.

    • Meet Tipi from Laos. Based on a real girl who shares her art and storytelling with others through dancing, drawing, and puppetry, Tipi leads her school in a mural contest in hopes of winning much-needed books for her class.

    • Meet Nahji who hails from Assam, India. Brave Nahji breaks tradition to bring courage and education to the girls who work in the tea fields of India.

    To learn more about each doll check out their website. Hearts for Hearts website

    Marebear with her doll Consuelo.
    The authentically dressed and lifelike dolls each represent a girl who is working to change her community in ways that are unique to her home country. Included with each doll are a friendship bracelet and a story booklet that explains how these multicultural girls live and contribute to their families, communities, and culture. Each doll also comes with a special code that unlocks a free membership to the kid-safe Hearts for Hearts Girls Website, which features:

      • Additional information about each of the Hearts For Hearts Girls and the countries in which they live

      • Educational activities and lively games that are fun and rich in culture

      • Intriguing stories about real girls who are making a difference

      • While all girls are welcome to visit the site, the code unlocks access to additional features, including a larger array of games and a “myHeart” page
    Additionally, through a partnership with World Vision3, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Hearts For Hearts Girls doll is donated to programs that support girls in that doll’s country. Whether it’s malaria nets in Africa, schoolbooks in Asia, or food supplies in the United States, these programs help girls to thrive and succeed.  

So would you like one of these dolls for your daughter?  You can either go to their website and buy one now and/or you can enter my giveaway.  Check out there website at Hearts for Hearts Girls to purchase a doll. 

We received the doll Consuelo, she is from Mexico.  We also received the "Come A-Callin' play set" for Dell .
It was late a night we we heard a knock at the door.  It was a box with Consuelo, one of the Heart to Hearts Girls. I couldn't open the package quick enough.  It was one of the Hearts for Hearts Dolls.  Marebear was so excited to open the box.  It a Hearts for Hearts Girls.

Here is my daughter, Mare Bear, with her new doll, Consuelo.  She likes Consuelo because Consuelo care about  kids who are hungry.  Mare Bear knows what it is like to feel hungry, she has a feeding tube, and like Consuelo she has a heart for kids that are hungry and homeless.  

This is Mare Bear wearing the bracelet it come with.  
This is Mare Bear brushing Consuelo's hair.
  As a mom, I have to say I love these dolls.  It is really refreshing to have all the Hearts for Hearts Girls dolls modestly dressed.  I think they are the perfect size for playing and dressing.  It is nice to have a doll that teaches girls to go out into the world and be the change you want to see in the world. I think these dolls are also a nice way to teach your daughter about the world they live in.  You can go on the Hearts for Hearts website to learn about that doll's country.  I think the website is fun for girls and is user friendly too.  I also like that when you buy a doll a portion of the money is donated to a program that supports girls in that doll's country.  

I am so happy to be bless to giveaway one of these Hearts for Hearts Girls.

    The giveaway winner's prize pack will contain:
    • One Hearts For Hearts Girl, accompanied by a friendship bracelet, story booklet, donation for girls in need through partner World Vision and a special product code your daughter can use to unlock a free membership to the Hearts For Hearts Girls website, which provides access to the “myHeart” page and an array of games and activities.
    • An outfit that is authentic to one of the Hearts for Hearts Girls’ culture, in which your daughter can also dress her doll
Here is how you enter:  CLOSED

  • Mandatory: Leave a post stating which Hearts For Hearts Girls your daughter would most like to meet and learn more about.  Make sure you leave your e-mail so I can contact you if you win.  Hearts For Hearts Girls Website
  • Follow me on Google for 2 additional entrees.  You must leave a post stating you are following me for each entree. 
  • "Like" the Hearts for Hearts Girls on Facebook page for one additional entree.  You must leave a post telling me you "Like" the Hearts for Hearts Girls on Facebook page to get the additional entree.   Hearts for Hearts Girls Facebook

The giveaway will end on October 1st at midnight.  You must   I will randomly pick a winner and the winner will be notified by e-mail and posted on my blog.  The winner with have 7 days to contact me or another winner will be chosen.  You must be a US resident to enter.   

“Disclosure: The Hearts For Hearts Girls doll, and information have been provided by Playmates Toys through MyBlogSpark.” 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Owl Birthday theme: Cakes

It was hard trying to make an owl cake, but with a little creativity I was able to pull it off.  For the head of the owl I baked a cake mix in a 1 quart batter bowl.  For the bottom I baked a cake in the small stoneware bowl that Pampered Chef sells ( it measures 9" across by 4 1/2 high).  To make the brown frosting, I used Wilson's brown  food color mixed with my favorite white icing.   The chest is white frosting that piped using a cake tip.   I placed chocolate chips on top of the white piping.  For the eyes I took a Oreo cookie, covered it with icing and put a chocolate chip cookie upside down.  For the ears, I cut the Oreo cookie in half and frosted over it.  for the beak I took the Oreo cookie and cut it in half and frosted it yellow.  

This is Little Man's own personal cake for him to tear up and eat.  I frosted it with white frosting.   I piped some of the brown icing around the edge.  The center is from a blowers, I cut off the ends of the blower to make it a circle (to see how to make owl blowers see my post,  Owl Birthday Theme: Favors and blowers).
There  is what the two cakes looked like at the party.

This is my husband with Little Man's cake.  He was so excited to blow out his candles, but he needed a little help from dad!

Check out the other post about the Owl Birthday Theme:
 Owl Birthday Theme: Decor
 Owl Birthday Theme: Favors
 Owl Birthday Theme: The Party and Game

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Owl Birthday Theme: The Party and Game

Owl Birthday Theme: The Party and Game

I just love 1st Birthday parties.  Here is a photo of me and Little Man at his 1st Birthdays Party.  He was so happy, and photogenic.  He had such a great time with his friends.  I cannot believe that he is already one year old now.

The Game
The game we played is like "pin the tail on the donkey", only it was "stick the owl head in the tree".  I took a poster board and glued a tree to it.  To make the tree I took green and brown card stock and cut it out by hand.  To make the flowers I used the Circuit to cut them out of card stock.   
To make the owls I used the Circuit to cut out 2' owls then I added googly eyes using a glue gun and cut out a yellow nose with yellow card stock.  

Here is what the owls look like up close.  

Here is Little Man getting ready to play the game.  It was his turn and he really did place an owl on the game board ( he took some owls off too).  Overall it was a fun game for all ages to play.  The winner was able to pick their favor 1st followed by the next closest and so on.

Check out the other post about the Owl Birthday Theme:
 Owl Birthday Theme: Decor
 Owl Birthday Theme: Favors
 Owl Birthday Theme: Cake

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: Mercy Come Morning

As a member of the blogging for books program, I am asking to read books and then to write a review of what I think of that book.  This is a book review on the book Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  This review is my own honest personal opinion of what I thought of the book.

Mercy Come Morning

Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a novel about forgiveness.  The story starts with thirty-seven year old Krista Mueller, a professor at a college, receiving a call from Dane that her mother is dying of heart failure.  Dane is not only the founder and Director of Cimarron , but Krista’s high school sweetheart too.   Krista has only see her mother twice since placing her in Cimarron Care Center, a nursing care facility that specialized in Alzheimer patient. Krista is reluctant to go, not only because she is fearful of her feeling towards Dane but also her unresolved feeling towards her mother. 

Krista travels back to her home town of Taos, New Mexico to see her mother one last time but her unresolved feelings of being unloved and unaccepted by her mother keep her from being able to say “good bye”. 

Among her mother things, Krista finds a Christmas carol book that her mother used as a journal in her younger years.  This journal allows Krista to see her mother as a young women with hopes, dreams and desires, not as the uncaring mother she remembers.   Dane also tries to reach pass the wall that Krista has put up to keep others far away.  Dane never stopped loving Krista, and he pursues her as he helps her to reconcile with her mother.
The book was a little slow as it developed the characters, but if you are willing to keep reading the story it is worth the effort.
 Throughout the book two questions are always on my mind; will Krista forgive her mother before it’s too late and will Krista open up her heart to Dane.  Many people can identify with Krista’s feelings of bitterness, sadness, and guardedness, and how all those feeling can washed away with forgiveness.  Mercy Come Morning is a powerful story of redemption , as it reminds us that it is never too late to forgive people. 

  Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Press as a member of their Blogging for Books program. All opinions are my own.

click to see my review on the Waterbrook Press website.

Owl Birthday Theme: Favors and Blowouts

Owl Birthday Party: How to make Favors and Blowouts

It is so much fun for the kids that are coming to the party to have something to go home with to remember the party.  I admit that I am not a big fan of favors, but when they are as cute as these, you just have to make them.   I though I would share with you how I made these cute owl favors boxes.

These are all the pieces that I need to make the owl favor boxes.  I used the "top note" die from the stampn' up big shot, while the circles I used the cricut to make 2 1/2' inch circles.  For the smallest circles I use 1/2 an inch. For the nose I cut a triangle out of yellow card stock.

I placed the pieces where I wanted them to go I used a glue stick to stick the pieces together.

For the ears I used the leaf from the stamp'n up bird punch.  you can also use a hot glue gun to get the pieces to stick together.

This is the final product.  I used the Circut to cut out a bag, but you could use a paper bag too.
Here they are all finished with goodies inside each of them and ready to give out to the kids.

To make the blowouts.  I bought some cheap blowouts at the dollar store and took off the "Happy Birthday" rings.  To make these I used Stamp'n up products. I used the Top Note and poked two holes in either end.  Then I used the owl punch to make the owl.  I added googly eye for dimension.
This is what they all looked like at the party
The kids all loved playing and blowing on these cute blowouts.

Check out the other post
 Owl Birthday Theme: Cake
 Owl Birthday Theme: Favors
 Owl Birthday Theme: The Party and Game

Monday, September 12, 2011

Owl Birthday Theme: The decorations

I had such a great time planning Little Man's 1st Birthday.  He was so excited to have all this friends over and to have all the attention on him.   First thing first I had to pick a theme for his party.  I have been to many 1st birthday and I wanted his to be different.  When I saw this invitation (on http://www.1stwishes.com/)  I thought how cute and I have never seen and own theme for a 1st birthday.
  Now that I had a theme, Owls, I had to think about the decor.  My friends let me borrow her Circuit machine to help me come up with some of the decorations.  I also used my Stamp'n up Big Shot Machine too.  If you have any questions about anything that I made, feel free to leave a comment 

Here is the plates and the napkins that I bought from 1st wishes website.

This is what the table looked like.  If you want to know how to make these you can see the "Owl Birthday theme: favors"

I made this wall hanging.  It says "Look whoo's 1"  I put it in his room when the party was over.

This centerpiece I bought from 1st wishes, but I made the little owl canister beside them.  I used the Circuit machine to make them then I filled them with candy.  

I got this Owl decal at a Dollar store.

Here is the centerpiece set up with the favors I made.  If you want to see how to make the favors see the "Owl Birthday Theme: Favors"

I made this sign and hung it up on the wall.  

Here is what it all looked like when I set it all up!

Check out the other post soon to come!
 Owl Birthday Theme: Cake
 Owl Birthday Theme: Favors
 Owl Birthday Theme: The Party and Game

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A brother's gift to his sister: love

I just had to share this video of my two youngest kids playing. It almost make me want to cry when I watch them play together. Mare bear was born with a condition call Rett Syndrome. It has robbed her of her speech, the ability to walk with out braces, and almost all of her purposeful hand movement. I worries what having another baby would do to her. How would she feel and how would her brother be around her. As you will see, giving her a little brother was a wonderful blessing to the whole family.

Happy Birthday to my Little Man

I am in disbelief that one year ago today I was in the hospital preparing to give birth to a baby boy; wondering what he would look like, and what his temperament would be.  Now, here I am waking him up with a "happy Birthday" song.  So much has happen in one year.  He went from a helpless human that needed me for his every need to an independent toddler.  Now he is walking  (and sometime running) on his own.  He can feed himself using his pincer grasp.  He can tell me what he wants either using a few baby signs that I have taught him or using gestures to communicate.  He can even play with his own toys independently, for a little while.   My Little Man is growing up.
But I think one of the saddest things about him growing up is that I am going to wean him off of nursing.  I have already started the process.  He is not as happy about whole milk as I would have liked.  We are down to only 3 nursing session a day; one in the morning when he wakes up, one as a mid-day snack at around 4pm and one right before he goes to bed.  I try to remember that this is all part of growing up, and it is good for him no to see me as a food source and his only source of comfort.

PS. I am planning his birthday party for today and will post photos of it later.