Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Twitter Hop

Welcome to the Tuesday Twitter-pated Hop hosted by Learning to Limit and Are Butterflies Ticklish?.

Last week we hit a record with 17 link ups! We hope to beat that number this week and even triple it! Please grab the button and share the hop with others. If more people link up, then there will be more followers for everyone! 

We don't really have any rules, but we do ask that you follow both hosts, which are listed in the number one and two spots below. We will follow you back! I suggest following a few others (or everyone) and if someone follows you, please make sure to follow them back.

Thank you for visiting and linking up!

 






 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Awesome Deals at Totsy!

I don't know why it took me so long to find Totsy, but I am so happy I finally did. I am sure I will find plenty of wonderful gifts for my little ones at this site. If you haven't signed up yet, you should consider checking it out now. There are plenty of current deals and more coming soon, so if you sign up, you can stay up to date on all the new things they offer. Some deals may sell out fast, so check back regularly!

 

A Few Reasons Why Totsy is an Awesome Place to Shop:
  • Products for moms, babies and children
  • Large selection of items, including everything from room decor to clothing to cookware to toys
  • $100 Eco-Friendly
  • Up to 80% off discounts on numerous items
  • For every purchase, a tree is planted in the name of your child 

Some of the current deals are Melissa and Doug puzzles and toys from Tedco. I know Melissa and Doug makes high-quality products that are long-lasting, educational and fun. There are some great puzzles on sale, including ones with animal, car and alphabet designs. There are also magnetic puzzle games that would be perfect for car trips! I am also loving the selection of cute Hello Kitty clothing and jewelry for toddlers and young girls. A few other current deals include toys, clothing for women, outwear for kids, housewares, and decorative growth charts. 




Disclosure: The post above contains affiliate links, but all opinions expressed are always my own.

Calling all Bloggers: Cash Cow Event

I enjoy teaming up with other bloggers to offer my readers the chance to win an awesome prize. The newest event I have signed up with is the Cash Cow PayPal Giveaway. If you want to gain more followers, then signing up for an event like this is a great way to gain exposure for your blog! If you also want to give back to your fans with the chance to win a little extra cash, then joining up will also help you do that.






Event Details

Giveaway Dates: 2/6 - 2/20


Sign Up: The sign ups are open until 2/4. Simply fill out this form, and you will be contacted with further details. You will be sent a link to the Facebook group for the event. Make sure to join, so you can stay up to date on the details of the event.

Fee: This is one of the lowest cost events I have signed up with, which makes it affordable and easy to join! The fee is only $5 for two links. You can add two additional links for $3 each. Options for links include Facebook, Twitter, Google, Email, etc!

Payment: To join the event, fill out the form mentioned above and send your payment to ashley@freckleberryfinds.com as a gift via PayPal. Make sure to leave your blog name in the notes, so Ashley knows who has paid.

Prize: The total prize amount will depend upon how many bloggers sign up for the event. To see the success of Freckleberry Find's past events visit one of these links- link one, link two, and link three.

Enter for Free: The blogger who refers the most blogs will have the entry fee refunded, which means you could join the event for free!

To read more about the event details, please visit Freckleberry Finds.

If you sign up for the event, don't forget to say that "Are Butterflies Ticklish?" sent you!

Have a Zombie Fan in Your House?

I am a fan of scary movies and so is my oldest. My son absolutely loves zombies. I am not quite sure why he likes them so much, but he often draws pictures of them. Just the other day he drew a picture of himself, me, and my husband fighting a gang of zombies. So, when I heard that A Belle's Tales was having a zombie giveaway, I knew I had to enter!

What can you win? The winner of the giveaway will receive the ultimate zombie pack! The zombie giveaway pack includes three books, two T-shirts, candy, and more!

Simply click the picture below to visit the site and enter!
(If you want to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse or you just have a zombie fan in your house, then these items are a must have for you!)




Just For Fun:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Twitter Hop

Welcome to the Tuesday Twitter-pated Hop!
This hop is hosted by "Learning to Limit" and "Are Butterflies Ticklish?".
We don't have rules for this hop, but I do suggest that you follow a few others and follow back if someone new follows you. We do request that you follow both hosts, which are listed in the first two spots. We will follow you back. 

Also, please consider grabbing the hop button and/or sharing this hop on your favorite social media outlet. The more you help spread the word, the more followers we'll all have!

Thank you for visiting and joining in on our weekly hop! 
 

 

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Little Bit Crafty Part 2: Fleece Snow Hat

I have not been able to sew much this past year, but my husband needed a pair of pants fixed, so I decided to drag out the sewing machine. It actually felt good to sit down and sew something, so when my oldest daughter asked me to make her a snow hat, I thought it would be fun. I have a ton of fabric, but only had one piece of fleece, which has a fire truck design. Not what the little princess wanted, but it would have to do for now. Unfortunately, as a novice in sewing, I was not aware that the fabric only stretched one way. The hat turned out too small for my little princess, but it did fit the two little ones. I think it turned out fairly nice, and my little one's like to wear it. I will be getting more fleece soon to make other hats for my girls in different colors.

I followed the tutorial from Make it and Love it.






















Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Weird or Funny Things We Say As Parents

I'm not sure about you, but I have heard myself saying some of the strangest things since I became a parent. They may be replies to questions or something I say trying to get my children to not do something. I have browsed through other mommy blogs and read some of the funniest things that moms never thought they would say, so I thought I would start compiling a list of those things you say that you never thought you would or ones that are just odd.

The bathroom is not a water park or swimming pool. 

We do not play in the toilet.

Your toys do not belong in the toilet, and no you cannot clean your toys in the toilet and no, your action figures do not want to go for a swim either. (Yes another bathroom one--my children seem to gravitate towards the bathroom as if it is an exciting land ready for exploration.)

Do not lick the floor.


Do not lick the walls.


Do not lick your sister/brother.


Do not lick me.

No, poop is not a good substance to use for creating an abstract art mural on the wall, or the bed, or the floor, or yourself. 

Are you pooping? (Yes another poop one, who would have thought so much of my conversations would relate around poop someday.) 


Did you wipe your bum? No? Well please go back in the bathroom and take care of that.

We do not play in the garbage can. (or eat out of it. or do anything with it.)

I don't know if butterflies are ticklish, but please do not tickle the butterfly. 

The living room is not a jungle gym. My husband usually says that he is not a jungle gym, since the kids are usually climbing all over him. 


We don't show people are bottoms. 


We don't sit on other people. I don't care if you are an extreme wrestler, we don't sit on someone's face.

No, you cannot see my belly button. 

No, not every person wearing a ski mask is a robber. (My son saw a man walking home from work with a ski mask on, it was very cold. He started screaming "hey mommy, look a robber a robber!!"  So, maybe ski masks do freak me out a little too, but I knew who the man was, at least I think I did. Maybe we watch the news or Law & Order too much?)


No, there are no Yeti's in this house. (Weird, I know.)



I am sure this list will continue to get longer, as there are sure to be other funny, odd, or weird things I find myself saying every day. Do you have any to add to the list? I would love to read them!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are you signed up for the Glade Right At Home Program?

 I am always looking for new ways to save money, so I love when companies offer coupons on some of the products that I use the most.

If you have not previously signed up for the Glade Right@home Program, then click on the link below to start receiving the free newsletter. What will you get from the newsletter? You will start receiving recipes, money-saving offers, time-saving tips and more from the free home-care e-newsletter from the makers of Glade® sponsored by the SC Johnson company.



Disclosure: The post above contains affiliate links, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are always my own.


Top Ten Ideas for Working at Home

This is a post I created for a board I am a moderator for. I thought it may be helpful for someone who is looking for a job working from home. 

One of the best pieces of advice I received from another mom when I first started looking for a work at home job was to find out what I was passionate about. It took me quite a few tries to discover what I really was passionate about. I thought about starting my own scrapbooking business, but it never really played out. I looked around at a bunch of online jobs, found a lot of scams, and found some that were interesting.

Finally, I found writing. At first, it seemed like a lot of work and not something I could do for a living. Then, I realized that I people would actually pay me to write for them. Not everyone can create medical articles that are informative and interesting. Not everyone can create marketing copy that captures a customer's interest. I am constantly learning new things, and building my skills. Yet, I have found something that I can do from home that I truly enjoy (most of the time.) Of course, there are always assignments or projects that end up taking much longer than I anticipated, or end up being a lot of work. The fact that people actually pay me, and even come back requesting more work still surprises me. For the most part, I have found something that I am passionate about--sharing knowledge and information with words.

You need to be confident in your abilities and find the thing that you are passionate about. You may not always find something that you are truly passionate about at first, and that is OK. Explore the possibilities and discover the things you can do. You need to find something that you can do, and that you do well. Do you want a "job" or do you want to do something that you truly enjoy?



Top Ten Ideas for Working at Home

Do you enjoy writing on a blog? Are you interested in medicine, parenting, heath, emotional disorders, etc..? Can you create an article on these topics? If so, there are people that will pay you to write these articles. You can also find jobs writing on forums as a forum poster.

Do you enjoy helping other people? Do you like the customer service industry? You can work for online chat and telephone customer service companies.

Are you good at multitasking? You could be someone's virtual assistant.

Are you an excellent typist? A transcription company may be a good fit for you.

Are you creative? Do you sew? Create your own designs and sell them on etsy or ebay.

Are you an artist? There are people who will pay you to illustrate books for them, or create business cards and brochures.

Do you like photography? You can start your own photography business.

Can you do web design? You could build websites for companies.

Do you like to sell things and have parties in your home? Maybe you would like to be a consultant for a well-known company. There are consultant jobs for everything, including religious items, toys, candles, cosmetics and food items.

Do you have room in your home for more children during the day? Do you enjoy babysitting? You could start your own in home daycare. This option should be explored fully before going through with it, as there are certain regulations on how many children you can have and certifications you may need to do this legally.

These jobs all take work. Not one of them will be easy. But if you find one that you truly enjoy, then the training and work will be worth it to you.

Do you want more information about any of these ideas? Do you have ideas of your own?

Do you have a top ten list to share? Link up at ohAmanda.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Tuesday Twitter Hop

Welcome to the Tuesday Twitter-pated Hop!

This hop is hosted by "Learning to Limit" and "Are Butterflies Ticklish?".
We don't have rules for this hop, but I do suggest that you follow a few others and follow back if someone new follows you. We do request that you follow both hosts, which are listed in the first two spots. We will follow you back. 
Also, please consider grabbing the hop button and/or sharing this hop on your favorite social media outlet. The more you help spread the word, the more followers we'll all have!
Thank you for visiting and joining in on our weekly hop!

 

Monday, January 16, 2012

This blog is now a dot com!

I decided to purchase the domain name for this blog, so you can now find me at www.arebutterfliesticklish.com. Please update your bookmarks if you are using the blogspot link. I think that you will eventually be redirected to the new site, but I am not sure when that will start happening. If you are on the site and the widgets on my sidebar are not working correctly, it may be because you are visiting the blogspot website.

I am so excited to officially have my own domain name, and I look forward to working on my blog more in the future. Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hello 2012 Cash Giveaway!

Cute Like Me, Taking Time For Mommy, and The Penny-Wise Mama have teamed up with a wonderful group of bloggers to bring you this cash giveaway! I am excited to be part of this event and give my readers the chance to win some cash. Whether you have bills piling up or you would just love a little extra cash to get someone else (or yourself) something nice, wouldn't an extra $100 be awesome?


How to Enter

This giveaway is being run using the neat Rafflecopter form. Simply do the entries you want, and you will be entered to win. I do recommend entering as many ways as you can, which will give you more entries into the giveaway. It would be awesome if you could try to support each blogger that has participated in the contest by trying to do all of the entries.You can also come back each day and Tweet about the giveaway again for extra entries! 

The Prize:

There will be two winners of this giveaway. The first winner will receive $100 cash via PayPal, and the second winner will receive $15 cash via PayPal. 

Simply enter below and good luck! Thank you for visiting my blog and entering the giveaway!


   

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is it normal for a child to pretend to breastfeed a baby doll?

When it comes to a woman breastfeeding, there are varying opinions and no shortage of people willing to share their opinions. I have recently discovered that there is also no shortage of opinions when it comes to children pretending to be breastfeeding.

"Children who breastfeed baby dolls are going to become too sexualized and obsessed with sex or breasts." 

"Children who breastfeed baby dolls face long-term health implications that could be detrimental to their mental health." 

"A child breastfeeding a baby doll is just wrong or gross."

When I hear or read these comments, I am often taken aback. Isn't it natural for a child to play with baby dolls or mimic what they see others do? Has anyone ever said something in front of a child, only to later hear that word or phrase repeated several hundred times? Does anyone have children who like to play dress up, cook food in a play kitchen, and pretend to be a princess or superhero? Wouldn't it be completely natural for children to mimic what they see their parents do and want to reenact those scenarios?
 
Children have an incredibly imaginative mind, and they are able to take pieces of daily life and use those experiences in role-playing and pretend play. It is only natural for young children to mimic what they see occurring in their daily lives. If a mother usually feeds her baby with bottles, it is only natural that an older sibling will mimic the behavior by bottle-feeding baby dolls. If an older child sees a mother breastfeeding an infant every day, then he or she is more likely to mimic that behavior.

Is it normal for children to mimic their parents behavior?

A study published in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that children begin to mimic their parent's choices at a young age. The study was mainly covering what types of food choices children would make when allowed to select items from a pretend grocery store, but what they found was that children would often select the same types of foods and beverages that their parent's usually purchase or consume. (Sutherland, Beavers, and et al) This shows that even at a young age, children start to mimic their parent's behaviors. Whether it comes to making food choices or pretending to feed a baby doll or by pretending to dress up as a doctor, children use not only their imagination, but also parts of what they see occurring in their lives to participate in role-playing and pretend play.

What are the benefits of role-playing and pretend play?

Although researchers are continuously trying to explain what role pretend play has on a child's development, they have found that there are several benefits of role-playing and pretend play.

Building Social and Emotional Skills: When children use their imagination for pretend play, they are able to understand the emotions and feelings of others. While many children are not developed enough to fully understand how another person feels, role-playing allows the child to put themselves in another person's shoes. They are able to understand why someone feels a certain way or how that person would react to a situation, which helps the child develop empathy and an understanding of another person's thoughts or feelings.

Role-Playing: Some researchers have concluded that role-playing is especially critical for a child to develop social and emotional skills. They state that when children engage in role-playing, they are able to take into account the way another person would react to a situation, versus how they themselves would react.

Language and Communication Skills: When a child is able to sit and use his or her imagination through creative play, the child will explore his or her vocabulary and may use words that they have overheard from parents or peers. Children are able to reenact situations that have occurred, and they are also able to build stronger language skills as they learn how to communicate effectively. When more children are playing together, they learn how to communicate with another one and how to problem solve together, which relates to social development, as well.

Problem-Solving: When children use pretend play, they are able to create scenarios and problems during the course of playtime. They are also able to build crucial problem solving skills when they try to fix the problem or work out a different scenario. From pretending to build a castle out of blocks to pretending they are a mommy caring for a crying baby, they are focusing on problem solving, which helps cognitive development.

How does this all relate to a child pretending to breastfeed a baby doll?

The above benefits explain how role-playing and pretend play benefits the child developmentally, and if a child pretends to breastfeed a baby doll, then he or she is engaged in role-playing. In our modern culture, breastfeeding has not become the norm and is often unaccepted by others. There are many women who will not breastfeed in public, because they fear being asked to leave or being judged. There are women who are not even willing to try to breastfeed, because they think it would be too weird to have a baby nursing from their breasts, since they view breasts as sexual objects. Our society has made it easy to view breasts as only sexual objects, with numerous magazines and catalogs being covered with "sexy" women in revealing clothing, or even nothing at all.

While there are websites and campaigns designated to spreading awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, there are still women that face difficulties. Women are asked to leave public places or have to deal with family members, friends, and even doctors not being supportive of their decision to breastfeed. I know many breastfeeding mothers who have been asked to not breastfeed in front of company and never to do it in public, while others are told to just give the baby a bottle, as it would be easier. All of this does nothing to help support the breastfeeding mother, and these things also do not help a child understand that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby.

Of course there are situations when a mother absolutely cannot breastfeed, and there are women who simply choose not to do it. I am not saying that anyone should be criticized for the choices they make on how to feed their baby, as I understand from my experience why a woman may choose formula over breast milk. Yet, I think it is crucial that children are shown that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby. If children are shown from the beginning that breastfeeding a baby is normal, and not something disgusting or obscene, then they are less likely to view breasts as only sexual objects. While I do not deny that breasts have become sexual objects, they can serve two purposes. The normal, natural function of breasts is to feed an infant, and that is something that children should know. If a child mimics that act of breastfeeding a baby doll, then he or she understands that is simply a way to feed a baby.

A few points to consider:

A study published in the Bouremouth University Journal found that many children were unaware of "breastfeeding terminology or imagery." The children also associated formula and bottles with breastfeeding. Researchers concluded that "It appeared difficult for children to view breastfeeding as normal, perhaps because it is rarely seen or discussed, and formula milk feeding is so prevalent." (Angell) They also noted that the children seemed interested in breastfeeding, and it would be beneficial to teach them more about it.

Another study was done to see what experiences children had with breastfeeding. While many children did know that they had been breastfed or that their siblings had been breastfed, they had not seen their father close to their mother while she breastfed and few had never seen their mother breastfeed. Even though many girls stated that they would like to breastfeed and boys stated they would like their wives to breastfeed, many of the children said that would be embarrassed to breastfeed in public.

"Furthermore, when playing with their dolls, most girls did not pretend to breastfeed, and 771 (71.5%) reported their dolls had bottles, or pacifiers, and pretended to feed their dolls with a bottle. They say they would enjoy breastfeeding, but where embarrassed of doing that in public. The books and cartoons that these children usually read and watch do not show women breastfeeding. Many children consider breast milk to be the best food for the baby, but they have several misconceptions, and not all the children knew what breastfeeding was."(Galvão and Aparecida)

What I take from these studies is that children need to be exposed to breastfeeding as the normal way to feed babies. Many children are unaware of breastfeeding, and even if they do know what it is, they do not think it is OK to do it public. This is not only an issue in the US, as there are reports of this across the globe. Breastfeeding is the natural and normal way to feed a baby, and children should become better educated about breastfeeding. If children are able to learn that breastfeeding is normal and natural at an early age, they will be more accepting of breastfeeding as adults. No matter what choice children make when they are adults on how to feed their children, if they are educated about breastfeeding, they will be more accepting of others, whether they breastfeed or not. If children are more accepting and better educated about breastfeeding, they may make the choice to breastfeed as adults, which could help increase breastfeeding rates across the US and in other countries. There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding, so wouldn't it be beneficial for everyone if more women choose to breastfeed their babies?

For children that pretend to breastfeed baby dolls, they are simply engaging in role-playing and are also accepting breastfeeding as the natural and normal way to feed a baby. Why let children decide that breasts are purely sexual, as that is what most people grow to understand from watching television or reading magazines. Instead, why not let them understand the natural purpose of breasts, which is to nourish and comfort a baby.

For some great pictures of children pretending to breastfeed their baby dolls, visit The Leaky Boob.


References:

Angell, C. "Primary school children's perceptions of infant feeding: exploring their awareness using an adapted'draw and write' method.." Bournemouth University Publications. (2009): n. page. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/12898/>. 

Azar, Beth. "The power of pretending." Monitor on Psychology-American Psychological Association. 33.3 (2002): 46. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar02/pretend.aspx>

 Galvão Dulce Maria Pereira Garcia, Silva Isília Aparecida. "Portuguese school children breastfeeding experiences." Rev. esc. enferm. USP Journal of SauPaulo School of Nursing. 45.5 (2011): 1055-1062. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0080-62342011000500004&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en>. 

"The Importance of Pretend Play." Scholastic. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan 2012. <http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/the-importance-of-pretend-play>.
   
Sutherland, Lisa, Daniel Beavers, et al. "Like Parent, Like Child Child Food and Beverage Choices During Role Playing ." Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 162.11 (2008): n. page. Web. 13 Jan. 2012. <http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/162/11/1063>.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Bedtime Routine

The bedtime routine is always a long drawn out process here. Tonight was no exception. We start out by playing a game together, which sometimes turns into two games and results in some type of altercation. We then get drinks of water and head upstairs, where we read a book, say prayers, give hugs, and say good night.

The book part is always entertaining. I had no idea that children could stretch a book with a few pages to last for half an hour. The book part usually goes something like this:

Me: Snowmen at Christmasti---
Ayden: Hey mommy, guess how many ice cubes are in my cup!"
Me: Um five, so Snowmen at----
Regan: Mommy did you know owls can live for 14 days?
Me: Honey they probably live longer than that. OK, so the Snowmen---
Ayden: Mommy no you were wrong, it's seven.
Me: OK, Snowmen----
Ayden: Mommy when you went to my school, what classroom did you got to?
Me: I didn't go to your school, I lived somewhere else.
Ayden: Well when will I go there?
Me: You won't, we don't live in that area now.
Ayden: Well how do I get there? Where is it?
Me: It's too far away to go now, let's get back to the book.
Ayden and Regan: OK
Me: The snowmen were---
Ayden: Mommy why is that snowman doing that? Hey look a sight word from class! I know that word!
Me:Yes, Ayden good job, you are doing great. OK, The snowmen were---
Regan: Mommy Mommy!
Me: What Regan?
Regan: Ummmmm, I forget.

And there are the questions to which I have no immediate answer, such as "Mommy why is the sun so yellow?" "Why does the sky look blue?" "Are butterflies ticklish?"

And then there are ones that lead to even more questions, "Mommy what happens when snowmen melt?" "Well what is evaporation?" "Well isn't it sad that the snowmen melt and are gone forever?" "Mommy if the snowmen have gifts at Christmas (this was in the book we read) where do they hide them?"

We finally will make it through the book, only after we stop to go through a few repeats of this same scenario. Then we say our prayers. My daughters always pray, and my oldest daughter sometimes asks me very sweetly if she can sit and talk to God after we pray, of course I always say yes. My son has difficulty during this time. I pray with him, tell them stories about Jesus and the Bible, and I tell them about God. Yet my son has trouble accepting things he cannot see.My son has some behavioral/emotional health issues, so he questions everything and anything, several hundred times.

After praying, it sometimes leads to talks about Heaven and death. My son started asking questions about death and where you go, even though we talked about this before (he needs a lot of reassurance and always thinks of new questions to ask). Talks like this usually get my daughter upset, and she starts saying, "Mommy I don't want you to die." "Mommy I love you, please don't die." "Mommy when are you going to die?"

I do think the questions are important, and I just keep trying to answer them the best way I can. I hope to be able to give my son faith, even if he has a hard time understanding it now.

After we say our prayers, I love yous, and good nights, I finally leave the room. Of course, my youngest daughter usually sneaks downstairs several times for a drink, a hug, or with some question, which usually takes us a while to understand because she does not talk very well yet.

For my son, we have to check in closets and inside his bed tent. Then he usually has several very important things to tell us, such as "I have gym tomorrow. Don't forget my gym shoes. Do you know what games we play at gym? Well we play this game and that game, but one of them is boring." and so on. 

The bedtime routine is both a time I love for talking and one that is overwhelming after a long day. Sometimes my husband does the bedtime routine, sometimes we do it together, and other times it is just me. 

Do you have a bedtime routine?



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sometimes You Just Need a Snack







Have a great picture to share? Link up at one of these awesome Wordless Wednesday hops!

Sakura Haruka

Create With Joy

Live and Love Out Loud

Mama to Four Blessings

Meltdown at the Grocery Store

We had a meltdown at the grocery store today, but it was not one of my children. No, it was me that started having a fit and crying in the store. I try not to be overly emotional, but sometimes I just can't help it.

I wanted to run to the store this morning before my husband left for work, but I did not have any money in my bank account. He transferred money from his account to mine, which is something we have done numerous times and the money always goes through immediately. I left for the store with my oldest, planning to drop him off at school after we finished shopping. On the way there, my low fuel light came on, so I knew I had to get gas too.We quickly grabbed a few things and headed to the check out lane. When I went to pay, my card was declined.

I am not sure if you have ever had a card declined, but it seems as if it instantly sets off silent alarms within the store. Suddenly, everyone in line starts staring at you, wondering why you are trying to buy groceries when you don't have any money. The cashier is instantly on alert, snatching back the groceries, demanding you produce another way to pay immediately. Other cashiers come over to see what is going on, and everyone stands guard, making sure you don't make a run for it with that loaf of bread or case of Coke.

I already have social anxiety, so I was not pleased with the growing amount of attention I was attracting. I asked the cashier to try again, and it was declined again. I asked her if I could use the phone for a moment, to call my husband and make sure the funds went through. She looked at the growing line behind me, and then at me, and said I would need to take it up with customer service for now and go over to the desk to settle my payment. She then yelled across the store for a manager, because she needed to void the transaction. All eyes continued to stare at me.

I called my husband and he said the funds were in there, to which I replied in a not so nice way. He was upset that I was blaming him, I wasn't, I was just frustrated with the situation. He mentioned that maybe the transfer wasn't complete yet, so I waited a few minutes. I checked my bank account information and it said the funds were in, so I went to customer service where my groceries were being guarded. I tried to pay again, and yet again it was declined. I wanted to try one more time, because I knew the funds were in the account. The customer service employee then said that I should not keep using my card and putting in my pin, because it could freeze my account. After this, my son became increasingly upset.

"Mommy, we can't try again, if we do we can never come back here." "Mommy she said you can't try to pay more than three times." "Mommy are you taking me to school?" "Mommy why can't you get the groceries?"

I called the bank and spoke with someone, at this point I was really flustered and just wanted to get my stuff and get out of there. The woman said my account was on hold and the funds were being held, then put me on hold while she tried to figure out why. After a while she finally came back on the phone and reported that there was no hold, and the funds were available. I asked if she would stay on the line while I tried again. She said she would.

So back to customer service we go. This time they just glared at me, probably annoyed with me. I tried again, and yes it was again declined. At this point, I just lost it. I slightly raised my voice to the woman on phone, telling her that it did not work and it was declined. She seemed confused, but said she would look into it and call me back later. I told her that was not OK, I remembered my low fuel light and was near tears at this point. I ranted about having no gas in my car and I couldn't even drive my son to school, what was I supposed to do? She replied that she understood and would look into it.

I don't think she really understood. I know she was trying to help, but her repeatedly telling me she understood did not seem genuine at the moment. I don't think she understood that I really was out of gas and could not drive my son to school. I don't think she understood how I felt standing there while everyone glared at me as my card kept being declined. I don't think she understood that the whole point of me going out shopping so early was so I did not have to take all of my younger children out with me, which I was now going to have to do later in the day. I don't think she understood I truly needed that dishwasher soap I was buying, because there was none at home and no clean dishes. I don't think she understood that my husband was now late for work because I had been in the store dealing with this mess for too long. In reality, I don't know this woman and she may very well understand those things. Yet, I was frustrated and had a meltdown on the phone in the middle of the store.

I think the people at customer service gave up on me at this point, as they all walked away, while one still stood guard at the cart. I flew from the store with my son and had another mini tantrum in the car. I apologized to my son for getting so upset, but at this point he was also very upset. He was convinced the people at the store were mad and wouldn't let us back ever, he was also very concerned about getting to school.

I came home, with my son. I could not drive him to school, as there was no gas in the car. I came home without groceries and with no answers. So, here I sit, waiting for someone to call me back and explain why I can't access my money. I stopped by the ATM later in the day and tried to take money out, my card was still declined. Still no phone call back, so I have no idea what is going on.

I do feel bad for getting so upset with the woman on phone, as it was not her fault, yet I am frustrated over this entire situation. I think I am done with banks at this point. Thankfully my wonderful husband had some gas cans in the basement and put gas in my car, so I was able to take my son to school. I was also able to stop by his work later and he gave me cash to go to the store (we did not have cash at home, or I would have just paid cash in the first place). I know the whole situation is not a big deal in the grand picture of things, but I was so frustrated during this time. We have food, a home, and family--we are blessed, so I do my best to not stress. Although, I am still worried about why my account is frozen, and I wonder what is going on.

I guess even mommy's sometimes have meltdowns at the grocery store.

Tuesday Twitter Hop

I am thrilled to be a new co-host of the Tuesday Twitter Hop! Rebecca from Learning to Limit started this hop on her blog, and she has been gracious enough to let me become her co-host for the hop. I found Learning to Limit while searching through other blog hops, and instantly found a blog that I knew I would enjoy reading. I definitely recommend taking a minute to visit her and check out some of her posts. I am so excited to be teaming up with her, and I am sure you will enjoy checking out her blog as well!

For the hop, we do not have any strict rules to follow. We do ask the you follow both hosts, which are listed in the number one and number two spots. We will follow you back.

Don't forget to check out the other links listed and find others to follow!

Please feel free to grab the button and spread the word about the Tuesday Twitter-pated hop. The more this hop is shared, the more people  we will be able to reach, which means more followers for everyone!

Simply link up your Twitter page below, and start hopping!

Thank you for visiting and joining in on our weekly hop!





Sunday, January 8, 2012

Celebration Giveaway

This giveaway is in celebration of now having over 700 fans on Facebook and over 400 followers on Google Friend Connect. I am thrilled to have gained so many new followers and fans. In appreciation for visiting my blog, I want to offer my fans a giveaway. I will be sponsoring a giveaway for a $15 Ecomom gift certificate or $15 cash (sent via PayPal). There will be two winners chosen.



Good luck and thank you for visiting my blog!


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Friday, January 6, 2012

My Tandem Breastfeeding Story

I had never planned to tandem breastfeed. I thought that women who did tandem breastfeed were amazing, but I never considered that I may actually be in the same situation.

My husband and I were blessed with our first child, and I made a decision to breastfeed, not really knowing what that entailed. I should have become better educated about breastfeeding before I had my first child, but I did not. I only learned about the benefits of breastfeeding and how milk production worked well after I was already into my breastfeeding journey, which resulted in a few overwhelming months of confusion.

My son was a year old when we found out that we were expecting baby number two. I will admit, I was shocked. I still felt like a new mommy, and I was not ready to have another baby. My husband was excited, I was stunned. I slowly began to find happiness in my new pregnancy, and I knew that this baby was another blessing for us. Although I accepted my pregnancy and had found joy in the prospect of bringing home another child, I was concerned about the impact it would have on my son. He was still so young, and he was still breastfeeding.

My son was very attached to his nursing times, and he often used nursing as a way to find comfort. I visited my doctor who informed that I needed to wean immediately. I will preface this by saying I do like my doctor and did trust him, but I did not agree with his recommendation. He strongly advised me to wean my son immediately, stating that my body would become overworked trying to provide nutrients to a developing baby and a breastfeeding infant, as well as myself.


I took to the Internet and did my own research, and I found that it was possible to breastfeed while pregnant. I read through so much information that I became convinced that I could make it through my pregnancy. I continued nursing my son on demand, which was not always easy to do. I became uncomfortable and my milk supply dropped, which made nursing sessions hard. I sometimes limited his nursing sessions by counting, and I sometimes used distraction to avoid nursing him. I disliked having to do those things, but my son would have continued to nurse all day long if I let him.

I had read stories of the wonderful bond that siblings who are tandem breastfed share. However, that was not the case for us at first. Our little girl arrived and things did not go well. My son loved his "nu-nu" and was not willing to share. He often pushed his little sister away or tried to pull her off when she was nursing. I finally managed to nurse them at the same time, and he disliked that, as well. I was confused and bewildered. Everything I read had said how wonderful the bond would be, and how tandem breastfeeding would help the older child adjust better.

I will say that it took a few weeks (maybe a few months) before it became easier. I would sometimes nurse them at the same time, and sometimes I would nurse each child separately. I had to remind him that his sister needed nu-nu too, but he was young and it was hard for him to understand. I finally found a system that worked, each child had their own side. It may sound strange, but letting him have his own side really helped. I would nurse him on one side and my little one on the other side. It also made me realize that one breast can produce enough breast milk for one baby. I never knew that a woman could successfully exclusively breastfeed a baby from one breast, but it is definitely possible.

Once I figured out what worked, I then saw the bond develop. I can imagine a tiny outstretched hand reach across my chest to stroke a tiny baby's head. It was sweet and something I will cherish forever. We made it for nearly a year, and my son weaned around the age of three. Overall, it was a wonderful experience for us. I never thought I would ever tandem breastfeed, but I am glad that I was able to have that experience.





Have you ever tandem breastfed or nursed during pregnancy? I would love to hear your experiences!


NOOK Tablet or $275 Cash Giveaway

I am thrilled to be a part of this awesome giveaway. Measuring Flower has teamed up with Surviving Mommyhood and Life With 2 Boys, as well as many other wonderful bloggers to bring this giveaway to our followers.





Giveaway Details

The Prize: NOOK Tablet OR $275 Cash

Details for the NOOK Tablet with Cover


  • 7" VividView Color Touchscreen
  • 16 million+ colors, IPS2 display
  • High resolution display (1024x600, 169 pixels per inch)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

  • Dimensions: 8.5" x 5.75" x .75"
  • Rayon bookbinding cloth exterior
  • Stone faux suede interior lining
  • Interior slide pocket
  • 3-point clip device to securely hold your NOOK Tablet
  • 4 colors to choose from:  Turquoise, Tangerine, Vivid Pink, and Storm Gray

Details for the $275 Cash Prize 


You can either select the NOOK Tablet with cover or choose the $275 cash prize. If you choose the cash prize, you must have an active PayPal account. The winner will be awarded with $275 cash sent via PayPal.


Time Frame:

The giveaway will take place from January 6, 2012 at 12:01am to January 20, 2012 at 11:59pm.(Eastern Time)

Open to U.S. residents only.

How to Enter:

  • The giveaway is being run through the Rafflecopter form below. 
  • All entries must be done exactly as stated.
  • You can only complete each entry once, unless it notes otherwise on the form. 
  • Please use a valid email address in the form, so you can be contacted if you are the winner. 
  • If you are already a follower on Facebook, Twitter, etc. the entries will still count.
  • If the entry asks for specific information, please leave the same name that you signed in with, so the entries can be verified easily.   

Thank you for visiting my blog and entering the giveaway! Good luck!





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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Anything Can Be a Song

My youngest daughter has decided that anything that happens can be turned into a song. We have been waiting for her to talk for a long time, and she still has a hard time getting her point across sometimes. Maybe singing is her way of expressing herself? I know all children develop at their own pace, but she has been quite stubborn with talking. So, I am happy that she is trying to communicate in some way.

Her latest songs are also quite funny. She fell down in the kitchen the other day, but she was fine and there were no injuries. Yet she felt the need to tell us about it by singing, "Fell and broke my head.....Fell and broke my heeeeeeaaaaaddddd....."

Today, while looking for her brother's lost sippy cup, I was entertained with another song,  "Loooosssttt yourrr cuuup.....looost yoouuur cuuup....."

What I take from this--anything can be a song. You can turn any situation into a song and find happiness, just like my little one. OK, maybe not every situation, but she sure makes the cutest songs. Who knows, maybe I have a future superstar in my house?


Some pics of my little girl. 
















Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Organization When You're a Mom

I know organization is important, for moms who stay at home, work from home, or work outside the home. There are so many things that need to be done, but the days can get hectic if you don't have a schedule or plan in place. I know a lot of moms that stay at home who do more than I ever did when I was working, and I know moms that work outside the home that have to try and get everything done around their work schedules. I am now in a place where I am able to work from home, which is a wonderful opportunity, but it can get overwhelming. I don't like being glued to the computer all day, but I know I need to get work done. I am trying to do preschool with my girls, but it is difficult to stick to the schedule.
I created a schedule and have papers hanging all around my desk. It is cluttered and I often get distracted, especially when I have a lot of work to do or have things I need to do around the house. I have been browsing through online stores that sell planners, to see if there is anything that catches my eye. I like to be able to look at things on a calendar or piece of paper, versus using an online planner or the one on my phone.

So, my first step to becoming organizing is to redo my schedule. I was updating it weekly, but I couldn't even stick to the schedule of updating a schedule. This is my current way to try and stay organized, but it clutters the kitchen walls and is not as effective as I would like. I have papers up that relate to things with my son's school (lunch menus, days off), as well as charts for cleaning, important dates, and a detailed plan for every day.




I found a few great sites that offer free planner printables that I may use at some point.

MomAgenda Printables

MommyTracked Printables

The Household Planner Printables 

Printable Calendars with different designs

For right now, I am using some planners that are available on my desktop. I am still hoping to buy one of those beautiful mommy planners. Mom Agenda has planners for sale that look wonderful. I love the blue one and the one with a zebra design.

Do you use a daily planner? How do you stay organized?

Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop

I have posted before about the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop, but I wanted to mention again, because I think it is so unique and lots of fun. If you are looking for new blogs to visit or you want to gain more followers, this blog hop is a great way to do that.

The Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop is hosted by Take It From Me. You can grab the links and button, and the entire linky list will appear on your blog. Anytime someone is added to the linky list, it will appear on your blog, as well as everyone's blog that has the list.

The rules are simple, follow Take It From Me (first blog listed-host), grab the button and the linky list code, add your blog, and start hopping! Remember to leave a comment on new blogs you follow, so the bloggers can visit your blog, as well. Also, please follow back anyone that follows you.

Want to get the code and button, so you can add it to you blog? Visit Take it From Me and read more information about the blog hop. 




Calling All Bloggers: Hello 2012 Cash Giveaway

With the start of the new year, I know that many people are probably looking for ways to refill their wallets and bank accounts. If you are a blogger and you are looking for a way to help your fans win some extra cash, why not join in on a giveaway with a prize of $100 or more!

I think joining in on giveaways with other bloggers is a fantastic way to help give your readers a chance to win an awesome prize. I am always looking for new ways to help let my readers know I appreciate them, and what better way to do that than by joining in on a giveaway. 

Hailey, from Cute Like Me, has teamed up with The Penny-Wise Mama and Taking Time for Mommy to give fans the chance to win an awesome prize! You can help give one of your fan's a New Year's that they will remember!


Giveaway Details:

The giveaway hop will take place from January 15th to January 30th.

You only need to contribute $5 per follow link, which can include your Facebook page, Twitter profile, or Google Plus page.

Interested? Want to participate? Click here to read more information and details about the event!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten Things We Buy From the Dollar Store

I am a huge fan of the dollar store and so are my little ones. They love getting to go browse through all of the stuff at the store, and I love finding good deals. I know some things from the dollar store are not worth it, but we have found some that are worth it for us.

Small Toys: Yes, some of the toys are poorly constructed and cheap quality (they are only a dollar). However, my children love to spend the money they earn on something new, and the dollar store is the perfect place for them. They usually save up for something big, but we may take them to the dollar store just to spend a little bit of money once in a while. My oldest has a few sets of dollar store figures, and they are great for him. You can buy a whole bag of army, police or fire fighter figurines for $1.00. My daughters love the little dolls and princess crowns.

Books: From adult and children's bibles to coloring books, there are so many books at our local dollar stores. We have a few religious books for the children, as well as fun books with popular characters (Sesame Street, Wubbzy, etc.). I have also found a few books from the dollar store that turned out to well-written and interesting. My oldest daughter loves the Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears learning and activity books, and they are a great price compared to activity books that cost $10 from other stores.

Wipes: Our dollar store is usually stocked with packages of baby wipes that feature a Care Bears design (which is of course why my daughter had to have them). The wipes are a bit thin, but they are gentle on my children's skin and work OK. If I am out of coupons or the name brand wipes are not on sale, the dollar store wipes are great.

Snacks: I know they are not very nutritious, but my children do like to have an occasional honey bun or other snack. I like to buy foods in bulk at Sam's Club, but sometimes the snacks at the dollar store are more cost-effective. You never know what you may find at the dollar store either. The food they have is not always generic brands that you don't recognize. My  husband and son love a certain brand of chips that cost three times as much at the regular grocery store, and I can get bags for $1 at the dollar store. I was even at the store once and they had bags of Goldfish crackers for $1.

Decorations: I have found tons of cute decorations for every holiday at the dollar store. We also stock up on wrapping paper, tape, and gift bags here too. The same gift bags we buy for $1 cost three to four times as much at other stores.

Craft Items: I buy craft items for my children and for my son's classroom at the dollar store. I can get glitter glue, paper, markers, crayons, stickers, etc. cheaper here than anywhere else.

Cleaning and Organizing Supplies: I do not buy actual cleaning products here, as I do have some brand preference. However, I have bought sponges, buckets, storage containers, wipes, and brooms for just a $1. I did purchase a mop at the dollar store before, but it was quickly replaced with something sturdier.

Toothbrushes: Our dollar store has name brand toothbrushes for just $1, and it is usually cheaper to get them there than at another store, even with coupons.

Soap: Our dollar store stocks Softsoap brand hand soap for just $1. Unless it is on sale for $1 at the grocery store and I have coupons, it is usually cheaper to buy it from the dollar store.

Fireworks and Glow Sticks: So, this may be something that only relates to our family. My son loves fireworks, but we live in a state where only fireworks that stay on the ground are legal. Our dollar store has a bunch of neat items, and my husband will set them off for the children on special days during the year. They love it. They also have plenty of glow sticks that my children love to have during special events.



What are your best dollar store finds?

Do you have a top ten list to share? Link up at oh amanda!


Top Ten {Tuesday}

Monday, January 2, 2012

Deals on Target's Online Clearance Section

If you are looking for toys to stock up on for birthdays or even for the next holiday, check out the clearance section at Target. I noticed a few great deals while browsing the site today, and I have included them here for you to check out.


Fisher Price Little People Play 'N Go Construction Site $5.58 regularly $15.99

Littlest Pet Shop Multi Pet Pack $6.61 regularly $18.89



Fisher Price Manny's Repair Shop $6.98 regularly $19.99



Pop On Pals Boys Amusement Park $12.24 regularly $34.99

Tonka Chuck and Friends Stunt Park $9.78 regularly $27.99

Other great deals:

Twister Hoopla $6.98 regularly $19.98

Fireman Set $12.24 regularly $34.99

WowWee Alive Leopard Cub $20.98 regularly $59.99

Have you found any great deals at Target? Please share them! 


A Little Bit Crafty

I think I am just a little bit crafty. I enjoy scrapbooking and I have completed some work that I am proud of. I have given most of it away as gifts, so I don't have anything that I can take a picture of. I may try to create something new soon, so I can take pictures. My grandmother gave me a sewing machine several years ago, so I have tried to use that. Since we moved, it has been kept in storage, but I feel motivated to pull it out and start trying to sew again. My grandmother supplied me with a ton of fabric, so now I just have to settle on what to make and what fabric to use.


This was my first sewing project. I made matching dresses for my girls. The seams are a bit unfinished, and the lines are not perfectly straight. (It is a bit wrinkled from being stored in the dresser, but you can still get an idea of how it looks.) I think it was OK for a first project. I followed a tutorial online, but I will have to look for it to figure out which one it was. I cannot find the smaller dress, but it looks the same, only I think the colors are arranged in a reverse order. My girls did wear them and they did like them, but they are too small now. So, now I have to start a new sewing project. I am going to take a look at the fabric I have and see what inspires my creativity.

Are you working on any sewing projects at the moment?
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