LuLaRoe review and giveaway

Have you heard of LuLaRoe?  It is a popular clothing company that is most well known for their leggings.  I kept hearing about how incredibly soft and comfortable their clothes were but I hadn’t had the opportunity to try them for myself until recently.  A LLR distributor reached out to me to see if I was interested in trying out a pair of leggings and she offered to give a pair away to one of YOU too!  Yay!  Of course I jumped all over that!

So she sent me some leggings and I have to say they TOTALLY live up to the hype about how soft they are!  I love the way they feel!  And they’re super comfortable too.  I so badly wish I’d known about these when I was pregnant because I practically lived in my one pair of maternity leggings and these would have been perfect for my big ‘ole belly!  They have “normal” colored ones like the pair I have on but they also have tons of fun and crazy prints too so there is definitely something for every personality.

I took some pictures to show them “in action”.  Y’all must know that I really love you to have done this because I am definitely not crazy about pictures of myself right now. (But getting there!  23 pounds down and counting!)  And of course my children needed to get in on the action so don’t mind Hudson and his cheesy grins and bag of pretzels.  #momlife

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Would you like to win a pair of your own?  Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leggings: LuLaRoe (obviously)
Dress: Loft maybe?  Or Gap?  It was a hand-me-down from a friend
Sandals: Target
Baby Carrier: Lillebaby

(P.S. HUGE apologies for how quiet it’s been around here on the blog.  I am way behind on the kid’s updates nor have I done a non-kid related post in ages.  Life is crazy right now but I do plan to *someday* get back at it.  Promise.)

So what about you?  Are you a LuLaRoe fan?  Never heard of it?  Totally obsessed?  Familiar with it but haven’t tried it yet?

Parker’s 4 month update

Four months with this little sweetie here in our lives!  Here’s what’s up with our little man.

growth

At his four month well baby visit Parker was 17 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 25 1/4 inches long.  I had to move him up to the middle rise setting on his cloth diapers.  He’s totally out of three month clothes and already on to six months.  He’s so much bigger than Hudson was at this point!  Hudson was 3 pounds lighter and the same length as Parker at 4 months but Hudson was still in 3 month clothes.4 month comparison

eating

Parker eats every 3 or so hours.  He still nurses several times during the night.  He spits up a lot but it’s not nearly as much as he used to.

sleeping

I lay down with both boys around 8pm and nurse Parker to sleep while Hudson falls asleep.  Parker sleeps until 6 or 7 in the morning, waking a couple of times during the night to eat.  During the day he takes a couple of naps.  For a while he and Hudson (and sometimes me!) were taking a great afternoon nap right after lunch (and then Parker would take a couple of other naps during the day).  Now they only nap at the same time about 50% of the time, a lot of days Parker takes a morning nap and wakes up right before Hudson goes down for his nap.  Having them on opposite nap schedules is a bummer since I don’t get a break but oh well, things will straighten out eventually.2016-05-05_14.43.11 copy2016-05-12_15.12.40 copy2016-05-18_10.32.55 copyWe had one crazy night where Parker was wide awake for a couple of hours during the night.  I finally strapped on my Lillebaby carrier and walked him around the house and he fell asleep.2016-05-08_05.05.04 copy2016-05-27_14.03.07 copy

new accomplishments 

He is rolling from back to front and from front to back very easily and frequently now.  He babbles and talks and coos all the time.  He’s not crawling but he uses his legs to push himself forward or he rolls around, especially in his crib during nap time.

I put his teething necklace on him this month because he has been chewing on his hands and drooling like crazy.  I don’t see any teeth yet though!  2016-05-21_13.48.15 copy

He takes a paci and sucks his thumb but doesn’t seem totally sold on one or the other yet.

We started using the Bumbo seat this month and Parker loves it!  I think he really enjoys sitting up and looking around.  2016-05-07_19.12.43 copy

adventures

Since Parker is holding his head up so well and sitting up in his Bumbo we started putting him in the seats in the nursery class at church.   He doesn’t typically last through the whole class and sometimes he needs to eat or nap but he sits in there for a little bit.  2016-05-22_10.48.22 copyI took Parker on his first trip this month to visit my grandparents 2.5 hours away.  My mom rode with us so I wouldn’t be totally on my own with the boys.  Both boys did great on the trip and we had a lot of fun.

random pictures

Hudson shared his Fuffle with Parker.  He loves his little brother!

2016-05-05_10.46.21 copy2016-05-06_17.53.59 copy We got the play gym out and Parker seems to like looking at everything and grabbing at the different objects.2016-05-06_17.59.57 copy 2016-05-06_19.53.47 copy I was holding Parker like this at supper one night and Hudson said “Parker doing yoga!”.  Funny boy!2016-05-06_20.02.50 copy2016-05-17_12.39.30 copy Hudson brought Parker one of those mail in card things that are inserted in magazines for Parker to “read” while we were playing.
2016-05-17_15.49.27 copy 2016-05-21_09.40.04 copy 2016-05-21_13.50.21 copy 2016-05-21_17.07.28 copy He’s so squirmy and he keeps nearly sliding himself out of his bouncy seat!2016-05-24_12.35.38 copy Afternoon walk with my precious boys2016-05-26_10.37.18 copy2016-05-26_15.49.52 copy Parker does this funny little thing with his mouth, we call it his turtle face because of the way he holds his lips.  Cracks me up!2016-05-28_18.11.49 copy 2016-05-28_18.11.56 copy 2016-05-28_18.25.12 copy 2016-05-31_11.30.54 copy 2016-05-31_13.55.47 copyIn case you missed them, here are Parker’s 3 month pictures
20 Mother’s dayIMG_1636 IMG_1641 Most everyone agrees that Parker looks like me (it’s nice to have my own mini-me since Hudson is totally Michael’s clone).
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Happy four months, precious boy!

Parker’s 3 month pictures

Parker’s 3 month pictures are here and they are AH-Mazing!  I love how they turned out!  Now the hard part…picking what I want to print to hang on the walls!

The blue in this shirt looks so good with his eyes but whyyyyyy on earth did I pick a button down shirt?  Never mind that it’s adorable, it makes him look SO old!  Waaaah!
1 4 I am so glad that Parker was already able to hold his head up well when laying on his stomach, that made for some really good pictures!  When we did Hudson’s 3 month pictures he wasn’t holding his head up well like this so we were a lot more limited on what we could do.

I’m also loving that arrow background!7 Check out this little vest, tie, and pocket square onesie – how cute is it??12 13 17 I think these pictures are my favorite – the turquoise looks so good with his eyes and we used the quilt that I made him as part of the backdrop which makes them extra special.20 21 22 25

These pictures were taken by our fabulous photographer Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography.

Hudson’s 2 year + 4 month update

It’s that time again – time for Hudson’s monthly update!  I have been terrible as of late at keeping notes each month so mostly I’m just going to share pictures I took.  The biggest changes in him these days are in the funny things he says and how he perceives the world.  Michael and I crack up all the time at his conversations!  He’s talking in multi-word phrases but not really sentences yet.  That doesn’t stop him from getting his point across though!

His #1 favorite thing right now is bicycles.  He loves to talk about them, watch videos with Michael about them, and ride them.  He calls mesh shorts “bicicycle shorts” and that’s all he wants to wear these days.  He loved riding this tricycle at a playdate we went on and didn’t want to do anything else.2016-05-10_10.06.08 copyWe borrowed a little bike called a strider from some friends of ours – it’s a bike with no pedals and it’s used for little kids to teach them balance.

Side note: Hudson is growing like crazy!  I didn’t notice until I looked at the picture how very short his pants had gotten.  Also those green tennis shoes are new – he’s already outgrown the tennis shoes we bought him 2 months or so ago and had to move up another half size.  He’s currently in mostly 3T, only a few 2T clothes, and size 8.5 shoes.  I haven’t measured how tall he is but I do know that he weighs about 30 pounds (he loves to weigh himself on my scale, then he’ll tell us he is “thirty point pounds”…he can never remember the .4 or whatever it was that day).
2016-05-16_16.51.59 copyAnother hilarious thing that he does is he narrates everything.  “Hudson running”, “Hudson laughing”, “People walking”, etc.  One day he laid down next to Parker and said “Two boys sleeping!” – so cute!2016-04-29_15.27.16 copyHe is a much better sleeper than he used to be.  I lay down with him at bed time and at nap time and he flops around for a while (not very long at nap time but usually quite a long time at bed time) and then falls asleep.  He typically sleeps from about 9pm – 7am and then takes one nap from about 1pm to 3pm.  He still sleeps in our bed.
2016-04-26_15.00.12 copyHudson loves to be outside.  He would play outside from the time he woke up to the time he went to sleep if we’d let him.  He loves drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing with a ball, riding his bike, eating strawberries out of our garden, going to the park, and just running around.  He’s not as big a fan of sitting in the stroller for our walks but he tolerates it.2016-04-26_17.36.59 copyI love this picture.  We were at the mall and as we were getting ready to leave Parker started crying.  Hudson reached over and held his hand and that calmed him down long enough for us to get to the car before he really let loose.  It was so sweet!2016-04-29_16.55.56 copyHudson has gotten so much better about playing independently.  Before Parker was born he wanted me to play with him nearly all the time.  I’m not sure if he’s just growing up and changing developmentally or if the fact that we had a new baby made him have to get used to not having me 24/7 but either way he plays a lot more on his own than he used to.  I like to observe him as he plays because he’s always thinking up new stuff.  This particular day he got a bunch of books off the shelf and arranged them very carefully on the floor.  I have no idea why but he certainly was enjoying himself!
2016-04-27_08.20.19 copy Another day I was trying to make a rare phone call (those are SO hard with little ones) and while I was talking he piled all the balls from our ball basket on top of me.  He said “Mommy nest!” (he likes to put the balls in/on something and call it a nest)2016-04-28_16.30.39 copy He is so very observant!  Scary observant sometimes – he’ll mimic things that he’s only seen or heard once.  He got a small wooden cylinder from his blocks and was pretending it was a bottle of eyedrops and he was putting the drops in his eyes like Michael does.
2016-05-05_07.29.06 copy Another thing he is pretty obsessed with right now are eggs.  He takes some Easter eggs, taps them on the table to “crack” them, then opens them up and pretends to put the egg into the skillet.2016-05-02_18.49.00 copy He enjoys helping me “do yogas” (aka workout – he calls all exercise “yogas”).  One day while I was doing a resistance band workout he took one of the bands, positioned it on the floor, and then announced to me that he had made a circle.  I think that was the first time I’ve ever seen him purposefully make any shape other than a straight line when he’s drawing (which he calls a pretzel) or a triangle with his fingers.2016-05-05_09.51.35 copyHelping me take a selfie after a workout2016-05-16_15.44.17 copyHe loves to help me clean and I try to involve him as much as possible by letting him help me unload the dishwasher, wipe down counters, wipe the stainless, scrub the toilet, dust, etc.  I caught him playing on his own one day pretending to clean – he was pretending to squirt the floor with cleaner and use his mop to mop it up.  Then he went and got one of the rags that came with his cleaning set and started wiping the wall (where he’d scratched it up many months ago and left a bunch of marks).
2016-05-05_10.13.52 copy 2016-05-05_10.34.34 copyFuffle and paci are still his favorite objects.  Recently he’s started putting fuffle up to his nose and kind of breathing it in and out or rubbing it on his face.2016-04-30_08.26.11 copyHudson is usually such a sweet big brother.  He got Parker a ball to play with and then got a similar one himself and sat down next to Parker so they could play together.2016-05-03_07.27.12 copy He really wanted Parker to hold this umbrella one day.
2016-05-03_11.01.41 copyShopping with two kiddos is not the easiest task but Hudson is pretty well behaved while we shop so that makes it a lot easier.
2016-05-04_11.41.04 copy While it looks like he’s making an “oops” face (which would have been very appropriate for the situation because we’d just had a debit card debacle at Kroger) he was actually spitting into his hands because he wanted to rub them together and “wash his hands”.2016-05-06_10.34.35 copy Picking out plants for our garden at Lowe’s.
2016-05-07_11.38.48 copyHudson has to inspect all of Parker’s toys.  We got the playmat out for Parker and of course Hudson had to lay on it and try it out for himself.
2016-05-07_07.21.45 copy Same with the Bumbo seat – and amazingly he actually could fit down in there!2016-05-08_20.04.03 copy Hudson loves pizza.  I’d say it’s one of his favorite foods for sure.  Since I’ve been trying really hard to eat healthy so I can lose some weight we haven’t been eating out hardly at all and instead have been making some yummy homemade pizza. Hudson loves helping to roll out the dough!2016-05-12_18.25.50-1 copy I haven’t been wearing Hudson nearly as much as I used to.  Actually I hadn’t worn him at all since before Parker was born, but this particular day Hudson was just having a really hard time and kept having little tantrums so I put him up on my back so I could finish getting food fixed and surprisingly he loved it and was totally content to ride back there.  I was afraid he wouldn’t like being worn anymore but that was not the case so I think I’m definitely going to do that more often!  It keeps him contained and makes him happy.
2016-05-14_10.13.48 copyWe went to visit my grandparents for a couple of days and Hudson had a ball pushing my Granddaddy’s walker around.2016-05-19_17.05.22 copy This boy loves to eat!  IMG_1722Sweet brothers ready for church.  IMG_1588 This picture.  Heart. Melter.IMG_1598 IMG_1603 Mother’s Day pictureIMG_1636IMG_1642IMG_1660 IMG_1662

Two is definitely a challenging age!  Everything (good and bad) is very big and dramatic (in fact as I proof this post Hudson is throwing a bit of a fit about nap time).  He has his periods of being very defiant and disobedient and emotional but he’s also loving and sweet and precious and hilarious!

Pink Lemonade Shop’s 9 year celebration giveaway

Rafflecopter BannerI’ve posted several times about mama cloth and specifically my favorite brand, Pink Lemonade Shop.  If you’re a fan of my Facebook page you know I routinely share sales and stocking announcements and such over there too.  Well PLS is turning 9 years old this week and they’re celebrating by teaming up with several great brands and bloggers (like me!) to bring you a cloth pad chat and tons of giveaways!

Monday through Friday they’ll have a Flash Giveaway every day on their Facebook page. They also have a HUGE Rafflecopter giveaway you can enter to win right here at the bottom of this post. On Thursday they’re hosting a Cloth Pad Chat with EIGHTEEN winners chosen from those who attend and who knows what else they’ll share, Sue always has something up her sleeve!

Pink Lemonade Shop is thrilled to have been in business 9 years. They’ve come so far and they can’t wait to see what the next 9 years has in store for them.

The Flash Giveaways

Flash Giveaways will be daily and the sponsors include, in order of appearance, Taylor’s Pure & Natural, Eco Sprout, Grace Green Beauty, Smart Bottoms and Eclipse Sun Sleeves.  Follow PLS on Facebook to enter these.

The Rafflecopter Giveaway

This giveaway includes prizes from Allen’s Naturally, Eyla’s, Logan + Lenora, Momme Meals and of course, Pink Lemonade Shop!  Keep scrolling down to enter!

The Cloth Pad Chat

Our Cloth Pad Chat w/ Flash Giveaways is Thursday May 26th at 7pm est. Nine winners will be chosen to receive 50 points each and nine winners will be chosen to receive a mystery cloth pad or pantyliner! Winners must be present to enter to win and will be chosen at random from those who participate.

*The Cloth Pad Chat prizes are open to both USA & International winners.

RSVP for the Cloth Pad Chat here.

If you are totally confused about what all this is about check out my blog posts about mama cloth 101 and how I used mama cloth for my post partum recovery.

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Spring Oily Bash

A few weeks ago our local oils group threw another oily bash like the one we did in the fall.  We kept the same basic format – we had various stations set up for everyone who attended to rotate through and if they visited all the stations (they had a card that we stamped) they could turn it in to be entered into a drawing for a door prize.

We charged a $5 entrance fee.  That basically helped us cover the cost of renting the room, the make and take materials, and the refreshments that we provided.  The event was open to the community so we had a good mix of people who weren’t using oils yet, some who were brand new, and some veterans.

Station 1: diffusers (I took this before we started, we ended up with several more diffusers later)

IMG_1568Station 2: Thieves productsIMG_1564Station 3: Make and take.  This time everyone got to make a relaxing bath soak to take home in a cute little sachet bag.IMG_1560IMG_1562Station 4: Food.  We dialed it wayyyyyy back this time around when it came to the food.  In the fall we did a huge spread and it was really fun but also a lot of work.  For this event we just had cookies made with lemon oil (and some water if anyone was thirsty).

The cookies were incredibly easy to make and sooooo good!  I usually am not a big fan of non-chocolate sweets but I was very surprised and how much I liked the lemon crinkle cookies!  I will definitely make them again.IMG_1573IMG_1572Recipe from here.

lemon crinkle cookies recipeBecause Young Living just recently released their line of Vitality oils we highlighted those at the bash.IMG_1582Station 5: Ningxia Red bar.  This was a new and very fun addition!  Every person who came got a Ningxia shot (1 ounce of Ningxia Red with their choice of essential oils added).  This was a huge hit!IMG_1553IMG_1555IMG_1552club red shotsStation 6: Peppermint, Purification, lemon, and lavender oilsIMG_1569Station 7: Frankincense, copaiba, RC, and Thieves oilsIMG_1570Station 8: PanAway, Stress Away, and DiGize oilsIMG_1575Another new thing we added were the addition of some other stations that weren’t required in order to fill out the stamp card but were available for anyone to visit.

The station I worked at for part of the time had the KidScents oils and products.
IMG_1574We had one set up with various supplements and skin care productsIMG_1558There was an Oils of Ancient scripture set for people to see and smell.IMG_1557And we also had some of the animal oils and products on display.  IMG_1556Then we had one table that had other various and sundry things – a Raindrop kit, an Aroma Complete set, a Premium Starter Kit, etc. and there were also some people available to help with sign ups if anyone wanted to join that day.IMG_1565IMG_1566Like last time we had several vendors – people from our oily team who have businesses selling oily accessories.  These bags that are made to hold oils were a new and very cool addition!IMG_1559Diffuser jewelry from Designing DivaIMG_1563Crochet diffuser items from Hearts Desire by JessIMG_1567

We had so much fun!  It is a blast to get to hang out and talk about oils with so many fellow oilers.  It’s also neat to get to meet or catch up with people that we see all the time in our oily Facebook groups but have never met in real life or don’t get to see often.  I love putting faces to names!

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I’m looking forward to doing this again in the fall!

Parker’s 3 month update

Parker is three months old – he’s growing and changing like crazy!  Here’s what he’s been up to:

growth

Parker is now 15 pounds, 6 ounces and 24.5 inches long (approximately…measuring a baby is hard!)  He has outgrown the majority of his newborn cloth diapers and fits nicely into our one size diapers now.  He’s currently on the smallest rise snap but I actually think he could move up to the middle rise.  In disposable diapers he’s in a size three.  In clothes he wears some 3 months and some 6 months.  In sleepers he’s in 6 months because otherwise his feet are all scrunched up, in onesies he can still wear some 3 months since they’re stretchier and don’t have legs.

I took this comparison picture when I was working on my newborn cloth diaper post – on the left was his very first cloth diaper and on the right is that same diaper at 2.5 months.
2016-04-21_15.41.13 copyIn a one size diaper cover2016-05-03_12.17.14 copyBusting out of a size 2 disposable so we went and got size 3s.2016-05-03_19.48.37 copy

eating

He’s still pretty much on the same “schedule” (put that in quotes since I don’t keep him on a schedule, he just eats when he’s hungry but that usually falls into a pattern) of eating every 2-3 hours.  Most nights he goes about 5 hours in between feedings.  He’s still a great eater and is obviously gaining weight.  He spits up like crazy but that’s normal for our kids apparently.

sleeping

Parker is still a great sleeper, especially compared to the way Hudson was.  We’ve fallen into a nice little routine too which I think has helped.  With Hudson we didn’t really have a night time routine until much later but since Hudson already had his routine Parker has kind of just adapted to that as well.

After supper we get them both in their pjs and ready for bed.  I lay down with them (usually around 8pm) and nurse Parker to sleep (unless he has just recently eaten, then I just pat his back until he falls asleep) while Hudson falls asleep.  Once they are both asleep I move Parker to his crib (which is attached to our bed) and get up.  Most nights Parker will wake up one time to eat during the night and then be up for the day around 6 or 7.  Occasionally we’ll have nights where he will wake multiple times and nurse off and on all night but for the most part he’s just waking up once to eat.2016-05-04_07.45.12 copy

During the day all three of us lay down for a nap after lunch time and I do the same thing – nurse Parker to sleep while Hudson falls asleep.  Parker usually sleeps most of that time and often continues to sleep even after I get Hudson up (I can’t let Hudson sleep past about 3:00 or he won’t go to bed so I have to wake him up).2016-04-26_15.00.12 copy 2016-04-07_13.26.20 copyThe rest of his naps aren’t quite as structured.  I do usually rock him and lay him down for a morning nap after Hudson and I eat breakfast.  Then he’ll fall asleep randomly during the day if I’m wearing him in the carrier or while we’re in the car.

His gas issues aren’t gone totally but are definitely better and not waking him up as often.  I’ve been giving him a probiotic daily which I think helps and also putting him on his stomach to sleep has made a big difference in how well he sleeps too.

new accomplishments 

Parker is holding his head up really well.  When I lay him on his stomach he pulls his head up and looks all around.

He smiles all the time and “talks” constantly, especially in the early morning hours.  He also rolls from stomach to back easily and once he almost made it all the way over from back to front.  Not quite there yet though.

He has started chewing on his hands some and drooling.  I have a teething necklace for him that I want to put on but because he spits up so much it would get all nasty from the spit up so I haven’t done it yet.2016-04-21_17.20.48 copy

He has started holding on to a ball that has lots of finger holes and it distracts him for a few minutes if he’s getting fussy.

2016-04-28_16.35.57 copyadventures

Our church presents new babies with a little Bible in front of the congregation.  Parker got his Bible this month.

(photo cred Stephen Hunter -thanks for capturing this for us!)

2016-04-18_06.53.57 copyIMG_1459IMG_1469IMG_1471We tried out my new camera remote control to take a family picture of us in our coordinating clothes.
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random photo dump

Hudson loves his little brother!2016-04-06_15.13.45 copyHudson really wanted Parker to play with him – he kept putting the hammer and balls in Parker’s hand, it was so sweet!2016-04-23_11.09.17 copyfamily play time2016-04-23_11.24.45 copyI love watching these two together!  2016-05-03_11.01.41 copyThankfully Parker is a better car rider than Hudson was – he cries when he’s over tired or hungry but a lot of the time he just sits quietly or falls asleep.  That’s nice.  2016-05-01_11.39.09 copy2016-04-12_16.47.44 copy 2016-04-17_09.26.02 copy 2016-04-18_17.21.36 copyFridays are grocery days for us.  I was worried about how hard it would be to grocery shop with two but it hasn’t been as difficult as I expected – I wear Parker and he sleeps the whole time.2016-04-22_10.02.15 copy Parker is usually easy to get to sleep but on the occasions that he fights it I put him in the Lillebaby carrier and he passes out right away.2016-04-22_13.02.59 copy 2016-04-30_08.26.01 copy We tried some Mommy and Me yoga.  It wasn’t a very good workout for me but Parker had a blast and smiled tons! 2016-05-03_10.52.10 copy 2016-05-03_12.11.50 copy 2016-05-04_11.41.04 copy We ran some errands at the mall and Parker started to get fussy.  Hudson held his hand and he calmed right down.  That didn’t last very long though and by the time we got in the car Parker was full on mad…and then we got stuck in traffic that made our trip home very long with lots of screaming.
2016-04-29_16.55.56 copy walking around the neighborhood2016-04-26_17.36.59 copyI love dressing the boys in matching or coordinating clothes!  It’s hard to get a good picture of them both but we try anyway.
2016-04-24_11.57.56 copy IMG_1587 IMG_1495 IMG_1603 IMG_1598 IMG_1594Happy three months, sweet precious!

3 month comparison

mama cloth after birth

cloth pads for post partum recoveryI’ve shared before about mama cloth – what it is, how I use it, my thoughts, etc.  I didn’t start using cloth pads until after Hudson was born but I knew I wanted to use them in my postpartum recovery with Parker.  While I was pregnant I started building my stash of BIIIIIIG pads to use postpartum.

IMG_1606I purchase all of my mama cloth from Pink Lemonade Shop.  They carry 12″ and 13″ pads to be used postpartum (or if you just have a really heavy flow during your normal cycle).  When I got my order I laughed out loud at how HUGE they were!  However once I actually used them I loved the size – nice and comfy and great for the heavy bleeding after having a baby.  No worries about leaks.

I didn’t start using my mama cloth until six days postpartum.  I had some large maxi pads and Depends that I wanted to use up so I used those for the first few days.  However, once I switched I wished I had started using my cloth pads earlier!  They are so much more comfortable!

I had 11 postpartum sized pads – five 13″ pads and 6 12″ pads.  That was enough for me to wash every other day.  By the time I started using them (day 6) my bleeding had already slowed down a lot.  If I’d used them from the beginning I would have probably needed to wash every day.   Once I was past the initial crazy amount of bleeding, 11 was plenty.  I will definitely add a few more to my stash for next time (no, that’s not an announcement!) so that I don’t have to wash quite as often though.

I mentioned before that I’d heard that using reusable menstrual products can result in your period (or postpartum bleeding) being lighter and less painful.  I still don’t know if that’s true or not but I will say that I only bled for two, maybe three weeks.  When I went back for my six week check up my doctor was very surprised to hear that I’d bled for such a short time.  I guess maybe that isn’t the norm?  I don’t remember how long I bled with Hudson (when I didn’t use mama cloth) to compare but I thought it was interesting and worth noting.

IMG_1624Because the pads were so much bigger than my regular pads I bought a larger wet bag to store them in.  My favorite wet bags are these Bummis brand ones so I got a medium and it was the perfect size!

IMG_1621I was a little nervous about using mama cloth after giving birth because I wasn’t sure if it could stand up to the mess that is postpartum bleeding.  However it was great and I will most definitely do it again!  For now my pads have been packed up but once my period returns the postpartum pads will be great to use as overnight pads as well.

Did you use cloth pads in your postpartum recovery?  Would you try it for next time?

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making the most of my time with Cinchshare

If you’re in direct sales/network marketing then I’d guess you’re doing some of your parties on Facebook – that seems to be all the rage these days!  It’s super convenient, you can share from the comfort of home, and they can participate in their jammies.  But something that can make online parties even more convenient is to use a post scheduling program.

While I love doing in person classes and events it’s not always practical for me.  I have little ones and I don’t want to be gone all the time teaching, plus a lot of my team is not local to me at all so I can’t easily go teach for them.  As a result I do the vast majority of my business building, supporting, and teaching via social media.  I teach a lot of classes on Facebook  – introduction to oils classes for newbies as well as more specific/detailed classes for my team.

A friend of mine had recommended a program called Cinchshare multiple times but I didn’t want to spend the money since I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d use.  However I got the opportunity to have a month long free trial and I decided to finally give it a go.  I wanted to maximize my free month and see if it was really worth it so I scheduled as many classes I could – I think I ended up doing 14 that month!cinchshare

During that time period I absolutely fell in love with Cinchshare!  It simultaneously increased the amount of classes I could commit to teaching each month while decreasing the amount of time I spent working.  Earning more while working less?  Yes please!

Here are some of the fabulous reasons why I love it:

  • – You can post to Facebook events, groups, pages, and even your personal profile.
  • –  I do all of my classes in events so this is super great for scheduling my class posts.
  • – I also have a couple of private Facebook groups for my downline.  I do most of my work at night after the kids are in bed and while *I* may be up working at midnight I know most sane people are asleep so I don’t want to post in my group in the middle of the night.  I used to have to try to remember to post the next day but now I can just type it up when I’m thinking of it and it’s convenient for me then schedule it to post at a more reasonable time.
  • – Same goes for my My Chocolate Moments Facebook page – I can schedule my posts all at once for the day or even days at a time.
  • – My personal profile is more spontaneous, I hardly ever plan out in advance what I’m going to post there but if that’s your thing you can use Cinchshare for that too.
  • – It saves all of your posts so if you reuse posts and graphics for multiple parties/classes it is so easy to use them over and over.
  • – Having the posts scheduled to post automatically frees you up to answer questions and interact with guests instead of having to constantly worry about keeping up with posting the new posts.  That doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal but it really does help!
  • – It connects with Canva so you can create graphics within Cinchshare

(I think I just said “post” like a million times…)

The other day I had an online class for some of my team.  I got stuck in traffic coming home and got in the door right at class time – thankfully I had it all set up and ready to go so the posts began while I took a few minutes to get everyone settled and then I was able to sit down and begin answering questions.  I wasn’t stressed at all about getting back before the class started.

It boils down to this: Cinchshare lets me work on my time and around my life.  And I love that.  I’m all about running my business…not letting my business run me.

Cinchshare has their own YouTube channel with lots of tutorials if you want to see it in action.  Their staff will also do trainings for you and your team to introduce you to the site and show you all the cool features.

I am a Cinchshare ambassador (anyone who has a Cinchshare account can be one – you get to beta test the new updates to the program before they roll out…exciting!) so I have a link for you to get a free trial.  Click here – there will be an option to try free for 7 days, then you can use the code CSFREE and get an additional 30 days.  Trust me, a month is more than enough time to fall in love with the program!  After your free trial a Cinchshare subscription is $10 a month or $100 a year.  The time that Cinchshare saves me and the way it helps me grow my business is more than worth that $10 a month!

Do you use Cinchshare or some other post scheduling program for your business?  Has it made a difference in your productivity?

Hudson’s 2 year, 3 month update

I didn’t keep great notes this month so this might be a shorter post, but here’s what Hudson has been up to for the last month.

growth

I hoped Hudson would still fit in his 24 month/2T stuff from last summer but that is not the case and he’s mostly in 3T things now.  He’s also already outgrown some of the shoes that just started fitting his feet right around when Parker was born (so about 3 months ago).

It’s no surprise though because this child eats like none I’ve ever seen before!  A few nights ago he ate a 16oz steak by himself.  One night we fixed breakfast for dinner and he ate three eggs, three pieces of bacon, two biscuits, and a banana.  It’s unreal.

Here he is drinking a “moosie” (smoothie)
2016-03-26_15.06.49 copy

We got his hair cut not long before Parker was born but he desperately needed another cut already and this time we went a little bit shorter.  It makes him look so big!

new stuff

Hudson has started singing a lot more this month.  Instead of just wanting to be sung too he now sings along.  It’s adorable!

Some funny things he says recently:

  • – He asks “Daddy go?” multiple times a day and so I’ll tell him that Daddy is at work and he’ll say “yeah!  hammer!”.  Michael doesn’t use a hammer at work but somehow Hudson got that in his head. (I’m sure it’s because Michael does lots of work around the house that does involve a hammer)
  • – When he wakes up in the morning or from a nap he says “all done sleeping!” and tries to get out of the bed.  A lot of times we’ll wake up and then spend a few minutes in bed before getting up but once he announces “all done sleeping” then he wants to get down immediately and doesn’t want to stay in the bed at all.
  • – He used to just say “yummy” but now says “yummy tummy!” or “yummy e tummy!” (yummy in my tummy)
  • – He’s constantly talking about things hurting or itching, no matter how big or small, he says “ow!  boo boo!  hurting!” and wants you to give it a “tiss” (kiss).  He usually says “diaper hurting!  clean diaper!” after he has pooped.
  • – Everything is “14 minutes”.  No idea where he got that but if you ask him about how long something is or how big or how much it weighs he says “14 minutes”.

He is so incredibly expressive with his face while he’s talking or telling a story.  He definitely got that from me!  He’s hilarious to listen to, I try to take videos when he isn’t paying attention so I can always remember his sweet little voice telling stories.

pictures

Sweet boys in their coordinating Easter outfits

2016-03-27_12.08.00 copyIMG_1394 Easter egg huntIMG_1399 IMG_1405 IMG_1415Hudson asked to hold Parker and although he looks unhappy in this picture he was very proud of himself.2016-03-28_09.23.50 copyPretending to breastfeed his baby doll.  I know some people think that it’s weird when little boys pretend to breastfeed but I think it’s sweet – that’s how he sees Parker eat and so to him that’s how babies eat.
2016-03-28_10.50.13 copySharing his “fuffle” with Parker
2016-03-29_07.26.50 copyI (perhaps with poor judgement) bought him a cheap little recorder for Easter
2016-03-29_10.31.23 copyWe also got him a Boogie Board for Easter.  It’s kind of like a high tech Magna Doodle.  He loves it, however, we’ve had issues with it working so we haven’t been thrilled with it.
2016-03-29_15.17.53 copySidewalk chalk with Daddy (how many nerdy references can you spot?)
2016-03-29_18.03.22 copyHudson loves to help me clean and I absolutely let him!  I know he won’t always like it but I’m hoping this will teach him some important skills and such.  He likes to use my Norwex dusting mitt and dust the furniture.2016-03-30_10.08.40 copyShowing Daddy some of our yoga moves
2016-04-04_19.29.35 copyMichael his this thing that he uses for his bicycle and after reading “Where the Wild Things Are” one day Hudson started putting it on his head and calling it a crown (like Max’s in the book)2016-04-01_11.16.54 copySnuggling with my sweet boys2016-04-04_09.54.18 copyHe has no idea who Batman is but he was pretty proud of his Batman pajamas anyway2016-04-04_20.23.29 copy  The stuff that goes through his head…he just cracks me up!  He piled all the balls into Parker’s swing and called it a “nest”.  Then he laid his baby doll on top, grabbed the calculator he plays with (he calls it “calcy phone” and pretends it’s a cell phone), and pretended to take pictures of his creation.  Hilarious!
2016-04-05_11.39.44 copyLooking very serious in his safety goggles.2016-04-05_15.49.24 copyHe lined up his cars on my leg and we counted them over and over.  He did a great job – he can count to 10 when he wants to.2016-04-06_09.22.37 copy Hudson wanted to hold Parker after nap one day so I helped him.  2016-04-06_15.13.45 copyBut then he decided he needed a drink of water so he got to practice a very important parenting skill – multitasking.
2016-04-06_15.13.56 copyI love nap time!  Not just because I get a much needed break but also because I just love snuggling with the boys.  I know we won’t be napping together forever so I’m soaking it up while I can.2016-04-07_13.26.52 copyHudson got some sunglasses for Easter and he loves them.  He wants to wear them all the time – even in church or when it’s dark!2016-04-10_17.32.15 copyPlaying at the park.  It’s amazing to me how much he has changed.  Last year he was totally timid when we’d go to playdates.  Now he jumps right in and starts playing, and he loves to slide down the slide (which for a child who was terrified of basically everything is pretty great!)2016-04-13_10.11.22 copyHe set out all of these toys and told us this was a “cupcake party”.  He talks about cupcake parties a lot (we ate cupcakes at his birthday party in January and he talks about that pretty frequently)2016-04-17_12.19.00 copy He looks practically grown in this picture here!  Where did my little baby go?
2016-04-17_17.17.27 copyThe water department laid a sewer line along the back side of our property.  They tore down a bunch of trees and while it was sad to see all those trees go, Hudson enjoyed watching the construction vehicles at work.  He got on his own digger and sat there observing.2016-04-18_11.17.48 copyHudson has gotten a lot better about smiling for pictures instead of giving a stoic stareIMG_1456Checking out Parker’s new Bible
IMG_1472Taking selfies at the deli counter.  Shopping with two is not the easiest thing in the world but thankfully Hudson is pretty well behaved which makes it do-able.
2016-04-22_10.02.15 copyThis was so sweet – Hudson really wanted Parker to play with him so he kept putting the hammer and balls in Parker’s hand.  They are going to have so much fun together as they get bigger!2016-04-23_11.09.17 copy Daddy is definitely his favorite playmate right now
2016-04-23_11.24.11 copyHudson is strong willed and stubborn and…well…two.  I guess it’s just part of toddlerhood.  But he’s also incredibly sweet and caring and loving as well.