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Archive for October, 2009

30 weeks and counting

Thoughtfully penned on October 30th, 2009 and generally concerning Pregnancy, S

Well, today marks the completion of 3/4 of this pregnancy journey. The wee babe and I are kicking along, and I feel like I’m getting bigger by the day. It’s very likely that we will be greeting this sweet baby girl in less than 10 weeks! Where has the time gone?!

Monday I went for my last every-four-weeks doctor appointment (and passed my glucose test with flying colors – woohoo!). It always seems that once I drop to appointments every 2 weeks the rest of the pregnancy flies by; I’m sure it will be even more so this time with the holidays upon us.

At this point in my pregnancy with Little we were buying a house, preparing for a beach vacation, and packing boxes (not to mention I was working 30ish hours per week). With Boo, I was cleaning like CRAZY. Not just my usual household cleaning, or even the usual baby-prep cleaning; I was dusting baseboards and door frames, wiping down walls throughout the house, cleaning blinds, and thoroughly cleaning the refrigerator. Right now, I’m lucky to make it through the day upright (and usually that’s after I’ve taken a nap). I don’t know if it’s just this pregnancy or having a 3 year old and an 18 month old or what, but I feel like I have very little energy and can just barely keep my head above water with the laundry and day-to-day housework that needs to be done. Oh well, I’ve learned to accept it. :-)

As far as preparing for the baby goes, we still have a lot to do. Things like buying a car large enough for all three of our children to ride in, moving Boo to his big boy bed so the crib will be available, putting Little and Boo into the same room so the baby has a spot. You know, the little stuff. She also has all of five diapers. Guess that’s the part that really matters. At least if we want to stay dry while holding her.

She does have a name. For some reason it was a lot harder to figure out her name than it was with the other two.

She does have clothes. I’ve gone through Little’s clothes and pulled out what I think the wee babe will probably be able to wear. I have also been given a lot of clothes (with more to come this weekend) by a sweet and generous friend who had a baby girl in January 2009.

She will be very welcome and well loved. I just hope Boo doesn’t “over love” her!

And that’s the summary for the 30 week mark. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Momma makes a mess

Thoughtfully penned on October 29th, 2009 and generally concerning Crafts...kind of

I write a lot of funny things that the kids say and do, but don’t often tell funny stories on myself. I could claim that it is because I don’t do anything embarrassing, funny, or to make a fool of myself, but I would just be deluding myself if I believed it.

Several weeks ago I decided that I wanted to make something handmade for my new nephew. After contemplating a few different ideas I decided to make a plaque with his name and a sweet quote on it. I gathered all the supplies (and my best friend, Lindsey, the decoupage queen) to accomplish the job and we set to work.

One of the supplies I had on hand was a new bottle of all-purpose roll-on glue sold under the name of a certain lady who is famous for her homemaking, cooking, and crafting skills. When it came time to glue the paper onto the plaque I started to open the glue.

I took the lid and the roller parts off and was trying to figure out how to break the inner seal. I squeezed the bottle a bit and bam! the inner seal popped out of the bottle and hit me smack between the eyes!

All Lindsey and I could do was laugh. There was glue everywhere! All over my face, my arms, my shirt, my pants, the table, the chair, every surface within a few inch radius of the glue bottle.

And that was just the beginning of the disaster plaque making experience.

Little speaks

Thoughtfully penned on October 27th, 2009 and generally concerning E, Life with littles

The things Little says and the way she phrases things have been cracking me up lately. Here are a few examples of her latest wisecracks.

~A couple of weeks ago she was telling us about an episode of Caillou she likes. In the show there is a big storm and Caillou’s home loses power, so the family has a “camp out” in living room to stay warm around the wood burning fireplace. In Little’s words, “And then Caillou’s daddy puts some wood in the TV/XBox thingy and makes a fire!”

~When we went on vacation a couple of weeks ago my parents borrowed my aunt’s minivan so we could all ride together. The van has a TV/VCR in it, so I was telling Little that she would be able to watch movies in the car while we traveled. She asked (with awe in her voice): “They have an XBox in their car?!” (Obviously watching Netflix via XBox is making a big impression on her life!)

~Wednesday evening we were sitting around the dinner table chatting about our days. Matt and I were asking Little about her morning at BSF and inquired if they went outside since it was a pretty day. She said, “We didn’t get to play outside, but we went on a walk outside. And it was more fun than a duckling!”

~On Thursday’s all of Little’s closest friends are in school or mother’s day out programs. We usually use the day for errands, doctor appointments, or just stay-at-home and chill days. This week Little was asking when she would be old enough to go to school (which is a fairly common refrain around here) and I told her that when she started school she would probably stay at home with Mommy and Jack and we would have school here. Incredulously she asked, “We’re going to build a school, Mommy?!”

~And still on the school topic, on Saturday she was pondering things school related when she asked, “Mommy, when you are my teacher can I still call you Mommy?”

We also had several in-depth conversations this weekend on a variety of topics including Heaven/death/Jesus, school, and automatic car washes. She’s growing up, that girl!

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 23-30

Thoughtfully penned on October 25th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, In the kitchen, Menu Planning

A new week begins which means it’s time to post another menu plan and join in the Menu Plan Monday carnival at orgjunkie.com. Somehow our menu last week got all wopsidoodled, so there are several meals this week that are carry-overs.

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Friday – frozen convenience meals (grocery night)
Saturday – lunch: turkey sandwiches on croissants, chips / dinner: eat out
Sunday – lunch: fend for yourselves / dinner: Fallapalooza (church Fall festival)
Monday – baked potato soup, homemade bread
Tuesday – soup leftovers
Wednesday – King Ranch chicken, mexican rice, black beans
Thursday – leftovers
Friday – meatball stew and grilled cheese sandwiches

Last week’s pot roast with maple sweet potatoes and cider gravy was very good. I had to cook the roast for about 3.5 hours instead of the 2.5 hours in the recipe, so I ended up a little short on liquid when I went to make the gravy (I supplemented with additional cider and it was fine). Everyone in the family enjoyed the meal, so it’s a keeper. However, next time I will probably use some sweet potatoes and some white potatoes since Matt isn’t a big sweet potato fan.

For more menu inspiration visit Menu Plan Monday. Have a great week!

Thermometer Winner

Thoughtfully penned on October 23rd, 2009 and generally concerning Blogging News, Giveaways

Congratulations to commenter number 5, Amanda W who said: This would be great to have with flu/cold season coming up. Random.org has generated your number as the winner of the Temple Touch Thermometer giveaway! I have sent an e-mail to the address you left with your comment.

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway. I hope everyone has a safe and healthy cold and flu season!

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Our mountain vacation

Thoughtfully penned on October 22nd, 2009 and generally concerning Us, Vacation

Last week the kids and I had the opportunity to visit the Smoky Mountains (specifically Pigeon Forge) with my parents and nephews. My Dad was kind enough to come to West TN to pick us up so that I wasn’t on the road alone with both kids during the 7ish hour trip.

We headed East on Friday morning and met my brother about lunch time to pick up his boys before making the last bit of the journey. When we got into Pigeon Forge Friday afternoon, we checked into the hotel and took the kids to the indoor pool to enjoy a swim after being cooped up in the car for several hours. Little wasn’t wild about the pool (as I expected), but she enjoyed sitting on the steps with her Bebe and watching her cousins swim and wrestle around in the water (the boys are 12 and 8 years old).

Saturday was M’s day (M is the 12 year old) since that was the only day he was going to be with us (for some reason he thought it would be more fun to spend the week at the beach with his best friend than to spend the weekend with his grandparents and aunt). We ended up at a place called WonderWorks which is a kind of hands-on museum/interactive attraction. It has all kinds of “exhibits” that range from a climbing wall to stacking blocks with robotic arms, computer quizzes (anything from weather to space travel), a bubble lab, and a lot more. It was quite interesting (although quite busy since it was a rainy day), and the kids (all four of them) really enjoyed it, and so did the adults. Boo’s favorite part was pushing all the buttons he could reach, and Little really liked the bubble lab and the computerized painting station. We swam some more Saturday, and Little was brave enough to get in the water with me, although she held on very, very tightly the whole time.

Sunday we spent the day at Dollywood. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride anything! Aunt L and Uncle J met us for the day, and Little and Boo really liked getting to spend some time with them (we hadn’t seen them since Christmas). Little rode the kiddie coaster with Aunt L and L (her 8 year old cousin), and Little and Boo both rode the Rockin’ Roadway cars and loved it. After the kiddie coaster, Little wasn’t too sure about the other kids’ rides, but Boo rode the Piggy Parade and Lucky Ducky (both just go around in a circle). After those two Little said, “I think there’s some other rides that go around in a circle that Boo can ride.” As in, “I’m not going to ride them, but Boo seems to be having fun!” It was a fun day wandering around the park, watching the kids enjoy themselves, and spending time with my brother and SIL. And I got to eat chili-cheese ribbon fries…yum!

Monday we loaded up and went into Gatlinburg to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. I had heard a lot of good things about the aquarium but had never visited. When we first walked in there was a HUGE tank of fish, and it would have been worth admission just to see Little and Boo’s faces when they saw that! We spent about 4 hours winding our way through the tanks of fish, lizards, and frogs. There is a section of “valves” that have wheels the kids can turn and my two would have spent hours right there. Little, although very hesitant in the beginning, really liked the “moving sidewalk” that carries you through a huge course of tunnel tanks containing sharks, schools of fish, stingrays, and various other sea creatures. It was really neat to see the sharks and HUGE stingrays swimming over and alongside of you. Little’s favorite parts were the ginormous stingrays (both in the tunnel tanks and the stingray tank) and a statue of a blue marlin with a fish impaled on it’s spear.

Monday afternoon/evening we swam again and Little went as far as sitting on the side of the pool and “jumping” into my arms. I was very proud of how brave she was in the pool because she has always been pretty terrified of water that is over her head! Boo on the other hand thought he could swim on his own and was constantly trying to get away from whoever held him. I let go of him a couple of times and let him go under thinking it would show him that he needed to be held, but he wasn’t buying it. He came up spitting and sputtering and was ready to go again. That boy is fearless.

Tuesday morning we went on a trolley ride and then Grandad took Little and L mini golfing and to the arcade while Bebe, Boo, and I did a little shopping. Boo ate up the trolley ride (he was very excited to ride the “choo choo”), and Little loved mini golf. I’m told she uses a croquet swing instead of a golf swing, but it must be effective since she shot a hole-in-one on one hole. Then we loaded everyone up and headed back to my parents’ house for Tuesday night before Grandad brought me and the kids home on Wednesday.

We had a few rough times (Little and Boo were tired, clingy, and missing their Daddy by the end of the trip), but it was definitely worth it. It is so much fun to see the looks of discovery on the kids faces when they experience something new and the looks of delight when they are having a great time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. It would have been better if Matt could have joined us, but we all had a great time!

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 16-22

Thoughtfully penned on October 18th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, In the kitchen, Menu Planning

I’m back from vacation and feeding my family again. :-) We had a great time on our trip (more on that to come later in the week), but it is wonderful to be home again and I’m looking forward to some home cooked meals this week (even if I am the one who has to cook them).

Fall is in the air around here with temps mostly in the low to mid-sixties for the next week; I’m excited to add soups to our menus again! Here’s what we’ll be eating…

Friday – frozen pizza (grocery night)
Saturday – lunch: chili dogs & tater tots / dinner: beef pot roast with maple sweet potatoes and cider gravy
Sunday – lunch: pot roast leftovers / dinner: loaded baked potato soup & homemade bread
Monday – leftover potato soup
Tuesday – taco salads, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole
Wednesday – meatball stew & grilled cheese sandwiches
Thursday – leftover meatball stew

The pot roast is a carry-over from a couple of weeks ago because I forgot to thaw the roast; I was quite disappointed because I’ve really been looking forward to that meal. The two soups are new-to-me recipes as well, so I’ll let you know next week how those turned out.

I’m also planning to do some baking this weekend – homemade bread, apple cake, and maybe a few loaves of heavenly banana bread with bananas I have in the freezer.

For more menu planning and meal inspiration, visit Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com

Happy Monday, and happy eating!

BTW – I’m hosting a giveaway for a Temple Touch thermometer check out my review and enter to win!

Gro Baby Bio Soakers

Thoughtfully penned on October 17th, 2009 and generally concerning Cloth diapers, Giveaways, J, S

A few months ago I was given (free of charge) a Gro Baby shell set to try out with Boo. I must say I love the Gro Baby diaper – the ease of snap-in liners versus “stuffing” pocket diapers, no problems with leaking (even overnight), and a trimmer fit than our Fuzzi Bunz. In fact, Matt likes the Gro Baby system so much better that he has requested that we use them with the new baby girl when she arrives in a few months.

And now Gro Baby has made it even better by introducing their Biodegradable Soaker Pads.


Bio Soakers, as they’re known, are biodegradable inserts designed to use when you are out and about, traveling, or any time you desire a liner that doesn’t requiring laundering. Just like the cloth soaker pads in the Gro Baby system, you can remove the soiled Bio Soaker liner and insert a new liner as needed while using the same shell.


The Biodegradable Soaker Pads are made of a soft certified natural, 100% Ingeo spunbound non-woven fabric that touches baby’s skin, a core of biodegradable wood pulp fibers (contains 3 grams of SAP gel compared to 10-20 grams in other disposables), and a 100% natural waterproof outer.  They attach to the Gro Baby shell using a sticker adhesive that holds the liner in place without damaging the mesh interior of the shell.

Bio Soakers are a great addition to the Gro Baby package, and will be a great addition to my cloth diapering stash.  I’m looking forward to trying out this new product!  In exchange for publishing this post The Natural Baby Company will provide me with a Bio Soaker Intro package free of charge.

Thank you to The Natural Baby Company for providing a quality cloth diapering product and an opportunity to try out their new product free of charge.

Temple Touch Thermometer Review (and giveaway)

Thoughtfully penned on October 15th, 2009 and generally concerning Giveaways, Life with littles, Sidetrack'd

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity through MomSelect to review a Temple Touch digital thermometer. When the package arrived in the mail I immediately opened up the thermometer (that they sent for me to keep, free of charge) and tried it out on the kiddos. There are a lot of nice features on this thermometer – a backlit display so you can take temperatures even when your child is sleeping, memory recall, a timer feature, and it can be used on the temple or the armpit – but what I like most is that it is quick, easy, and accurate.

It is just next to impossible to hold my children still for the 60 seconds or so that it takes our regular thermometer to register the temperature in their armpit, but the temple touch thermometer registers the temperature in just 6 to 8 seconds. I can even keep the 18 month old still for that long without having to hold him down. Taking a temperature is as easy as pressing the “on” button, waiting for the two beeps, pressing the sensor firmly to the temple (about half way between the end of the eyebrow and the hairline), and waiting for the long beep that means it’s finished.

We’ve used the thermometer several times (both with and without elevated temperatures) on the kids, on Matt, and on myself over the last few weeks; every time the readings have been accurate to what I expected. The information that comes with the thermometer states that it “rapidly samples the heat flowing from the blood vessels in the skin surface and translates it accurately to the body temperature” so that you don’t have to worry about adding a degree or remembering to adjust the number in your head so you have an accurate temperature.

The Temple Touch thermometer that I was sent is sold at Walgreens and retails for about $20. Having used a regular digital thermometer for the last three years, I’m looking forward to continuing to use the temple touch with Little and Boo as well as the baby girl when she arrives. I would definitely recommend this thermometer for anyone with children, especially small children.

And, best of all, MomSelect sent me a second thermometer to giveaway to one of my readers. If you’d like to enter to win, please leave a comment on this post (and make sure I have an accurate e-mail address to contact you if you are the winner). For a second entry, tweet about the giveaway and include @sidetrackd in the tweet. I will randomly choose and notify a winner next Friday, October 22.

A Baby Naming Meme

Thoughtfully penned on October 12th, 2009 and generally concerning Life with littles, Meme, S

I saw this meme at Stephanie‘s the other day and thought it would be apropos since we are in the midst of playing the baby-name-game. It’s all about our children’s names.

1. Do you have any cultural or religious naming traditions?

Not cultural or religious. Little’s first name is just a name I’ve loved since hearing it years ago; although, after we decided on the name we found out that Matt had a great-great-aunt (or something like that) with the same name. Boo’s first name is a family name (on Matt’s side) that has been in every generation dating back to the mid- to late-1500s.

2. Did you or your partner come to the marriage with pre-selected names?

We came into the marriage both with names that we liked individually and names that we both liked; however, none of those names show up on our children’s birth certificates.

3. Did you consider the sound of the first and middle and last names together? Did this make any sad eliminations?

Oh my goodness, yes. I make a huge deal (it could possibly be called OCD) about the flow of names. The first test for any name is how it sounds with our last name. We also consider how the first and middle sound together and how the three names sound as a whole. I’m quite particular.

4. Did you have veto powers?

Veto powers are held and very frequently used by both parties.

5. Did the baby naming cause arguments?

No arguments. It just takes us a long time to name our children.

6. Do you think it is easier to name boys or girls?

Neither! We struggled with Boo’s middle name until just weeks before he was born, and the wee babe remains nameless with less than 14 weeks until her due date.

7. Did you eliminate names because of people from your past or present who you don’t like or because a certain image comes to mind.

Absolutely! We both had certain names that this applied to, but Matt seems to have a lot more negative name associations than I do (at least with names that have been tossed out there). He is also quick to point out crazy nicknames, etc that might arise from the name or initials.

8. Did you / would you survey your children to get their thoughts on the name?

Little was just barely talking when we were naming Boo, so this didn’t apply. Now Boo is just barely talking as we name the wee babe. However, we have asked Little about what she thinks we should name the wee babe – at first it was always Annabelle (with the first “a” being a long vowel sound) which we quickly dismissed; lately she either says she doesn’t know yet or she makes something up that we quickly veto.

9. Did you tell people the name or possible names before the baby was born or were they “in the vault”?

We’ve always shared our names as soon as we’ve decided on them. We also share our “short lists” because otherwise people would drive us crazy asking (many of them already think we take way to long to find a name).

10. Did you use baby name books?

We’ve looked at them with all three children, but never found them useful; every name either of us suggests the other seems to shoot down. Mostly we just make fun of the names that are in there.

Let me know if you decide to play along with this meme; I would love to read your answers.

By the way – be sure to stop in Friday for a kid/baby related product review and giveaway!