Giveaway #2

>> Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I thought I would go ahead and post my second giveaway so as to brighten your day and mine - it has been rough around my house today. We just got back from Florida last night visiting my parents and had a million errands to run and Lucas WON"T nap at all which always makes the day so frustrating. He needs his sleep, he really needs it. When he doesn't get it, everyone suffers. And on top of that, it is Halloween and we had fun trick-or-treating plans with some of our friends. Who knows if that will happen now. Anyway.... on to the free stuff.

I am giving away a copy of the babywearing instructional DVD Tummy-2-Tummy. They have done an awesome job of showing you the step-by-step for pouches, ring-slings, mei tais, and wraps. I signed up to be a distributer so I could offer it with the ring slings I make and sell. I think baby-wearers of all expertise levels can benefit from this DVD. It is really good.

So leave a comment here, making sure I have a way to contact you if you win (some people didn't on my last giveaway). I will close this giveaway on Sunday at midnight and pick someone Monday morning.

Thanks to all who have visited my blog through the giveaways! I hope you come back! I will be offering a discount on my slings and free shipping in November for those who found me through this giveaway. So check back next week for more info and the checkout code. Have a safe and fun Halloween! :)

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. THANKS FOR VISITNG AND I HOPE YOU COME BACK SOON!!

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Fall Y'all Giveaway!

>> Monday, October 29, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It's giveaway time in the blogosphere! I have been wanting to giveaway a sling online for awhile so why not jump on this particular bandwagon and join in the fun. Plus, how could I not participate in something with "y'all" in the title!

I am giving away this ring-sling. My slings are all handmade (by me) from 100% cotton batik fabrics. The rings are aluminum and super-strong. The fold is triple stitched for extra security.
Ring slings are, in my opinion, the most versatile of all baby carriers. You can use them from newborn all the way to 35-40lbs. and there are so many different ways to wear it. The weight is distributed across your back so as to not overburden your shoulder. The are also great for discreet public nursing.
This sling is a beautiful creamy beige with cream colored swirls. The fabric is light and breathable but strong. No more frumpy baby carriers - you will be stylish and hip carrying your little one around in this sling. Plus you will have your hands free to do whatever - push the shoppping cart, chase your other children, put on lipstick, ... you choose!
Those new to baby-wearing, you'll wonder how you lived without it. Your sling comes with a detailed picture instruction booklet so you can get started right away. If you already have a sling, you can't have too many. You wouldn't not buy a pair of fashionable pumps just' cuz you already had a pair of flip-flops. :)

If bold and pink is more your style, you could also choose this sling if you win. You'll be sure to catch people's attention and feel like the most stylish girl on the block.

Just comment on this post if you want to win this sling and make sure I have a way to contact you if you win. I will close the contest on Friday 11/2 at midnight and will randomly select a winner on Saturday. I will be posting another giveaway later this week so check back. Anyone can enter. Be sure to tell your friends. Check out the homepage for bloggy giveaways for literally hundreds of giveaways from generous mommy bloggers out there. Thanks for checking out my site. Good luck!

P.S~ For those mamas who don't win this sling, I will be offering a discount in November for anyone who tried to win. So don't dispair, you can still get a beautiful sling of your own! :)

*** THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED FOR COMMENTS/ENTRIES. THE WINNER WILL BE DRAWN AT RANDOM AND ANNOUNCED LATER TODAY...STAY TUNED!! :) MY OTHER GIVEAWAY IS STILL OPEN SO ENTER ABOVE AND GOOD LUCK!***

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Beach therapy (aka Babywearing on the beach)

>> Sunday, October 28, 2007


My Southern friend and I agree on many things. Two things we disagree on are which college football team is the best and which is better, mountains or beach. Yesterday, her team won and mine lost (boo,hoo). But at least I got to spend most of the afternoon and evening playing in the sand and letting the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico wash over my feet and take all my anxieties out to sea. I love the mountains too, but the beach to me is my therapy.

There is something so calming about hearing the ocean waves hitting the shore and feeling the sand retreat from under your toes with each wave. I love the beach in all weather. I have a history of being quite the sun-bather (although not much since having kids for obvious reasons) and love the feeling of the sun warming my skin as I lay perfectly still on the sand. But I also love the beach in the rain, almost more than the sun. I love to watch the rain fall on the water and the sand and bask in the grandness of God's creation as the dark clouds move over the water. I love the beach when the air is crisp and the wind is strong enough for kite-flying and wind-surfing (one of which we did and the other we watched yesterday). I love the feeling of my feet buried in the cool sand. I especially love watching Lucas learn to love all that too. As we drove up, he smiled and started to excitedly say "beach, mommy, beach!" That's my boy!

There is something magical about the ocean, something mysterious yet transparent. I feel so connected to my Creator when standing in front of some of His best work. At the beach and on the ocean, one can witness both great storms and great calm. I have lived through many hurricanes and witnessed all too first hand the devastation that insues. You can even see the broken pier in the picture above. But to be on the beach on a day like yesterday, with the warm waters perfectly calm despite the wind and the almost vacant beach, one can't help but think that God Himself must find great pleasure in the glorious pink and orange sky as the sun sets over the horizen. I stood there, holding Lucas, and hummed "How Great Thou Art" as we watched the sun sink. I couldn't think of anything more appropriate to say. Just down the beach, a couple got married surrounded by their friends and family as the sun set behind them. So perfect. I have always imagined that when Jesus returns, it will resemble a cloud when the sunlight is passing through and the rays of light are streaming out from all sides. The beach at sunset, in the rain, in the sun, in the wind, in a storm or silent calm... all points to a creative and amazing God.

I need to soak it all in, enough to get me through the cold Chicago winter. And get me through the moments when I feel far from calm and far from He who created me and the beach that I love. I have moments of both great storm and great calm too. Maybe that is why I feel so deeply tied to this place. I got home and didn't even care that my Gators lost. I was on a beach-high. The mountains are amazing too. But for me, it doesn't get much better than this.


























The obligatory picture of Lucas in the sling on the beach... my sling goes EVERY- WHERE with me.

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Little Angels

>> Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tomorrow is one of my closest friend's daughter's (Autumn Grace) 2nd birthday. She was still-born but is no less a part of her parents' and brother's lives... and mine. Some of you know but others don't...three and a half years ago, my first son Micah was born and lived for three days before going to be with Jesus. It was easily the worst moment of my life but yet, one of the best too. My son was born and grabbed my finger. Then I had to let him go and say good-bye.

I know the pain my friend feels and I want to live it with her. But not take it from her. The pain means it really happened. Our kids were real and we held them and touched their faces. We kissed their skin and tried to decide what part of their faces looked like us, just like all new parents do. Except we didn't get to keep them and we don't understand why God let that happen. But they are part of our family none-the-less. It surely seems like a nightmare - did that really happen to me? To my friend? Did I really have to live that and bury my child? How did I live through it?

There has been some recent discussion on another friend's blog about heaven and reincarnation, etc... I know the existence of heaven is not a given for everyone. But for me, it is. It has to be. It is where Micah and Autumn are now and wait for me and for all those that love them and painfully miss them. What I know for sure about heaven ends there though. I have so many deep questions about what existence looks like for our babies in heaven. Are they babies at all? Is their heavenly form still an infant or can my Micah walk and jump and swing a bat or throw a ball? Will he know me when I get there? Will he need me to be his mother? Just typing that makes me cry.

I wish I had profound truth born from tragedy to share. Truthfully, it has taken a lot just to get me to this still very broken point. No one knows why God allows sorrow and pain to enter the lives of His beloved. I only know that before Micah was born, I seemed untouchable. I could usually accomplish what I wanted. I got into the college I wanted. I got the scholarship I wanted. I got the job I wanted and way before I ever thought I would. I seemed to be able to work hard enough and be charming enough to achieve what I wanted. Then I had a major health scare that shook me up. Then Micah died and all of a sudden, nothing I could do would get me what I wanted. I couldn't sing praise songs at church or really even pray because I couldn't make the words come out of my mouth. I wasn't angry with God. I questioned the purpose of prayer and if it really made a difference. But mostly, I just asked God why. What lesson was this supposed to teach me so I can learn it quick and be done? But I couldn't work hard at that either. It was not for me to accomplish or finish. There is no spiritual merit badge for successfully walking through tragedy and learning the intended lesson. No neon lesson. No well-marked path back to happiness and joy. Just a simple word - walk. Just keep walking and trust that I will give you your next step. You can't do it, you can't even see it. You will not fall though you feel like you are sinking. Just walk and I will walk with you.

So, why tragedy? I have no idea. What is heaven like? No clue. Here is what I do know. My first son is with God and I will see him someday. I can't accomplish everything or charm my way into success. All I can do is walk and know that He is leading me. And tomorrow I will cry with my friend as we look at pictures of her beautiful daughter and visit the site where our children's earthly bodies lay. I will not say "it will be okay" or "she is in a better place." I will probably not say anything. We will just cry and feel the pain that makes it real. But we will both keep walking, even amidst the questions and hurt, because that is all we can do. That's all He asks of us, any of us.

Happy Birthday Autumn. Give my son a hug for me until I can give him one myself.

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Locks of Love

>> Monday, October 22, 2007

I needed a change. So yesterday I went and got my hair cut. That always makes me feel somewhat renewed. My hair had gotten so long that the stylist asked me if I wanted to donate my hair. I had been thinking about that anyway but thought it needed to be longer in order to have enough. But, she cut 7inches off my hair and I guess that is enough. I will be sending it to Locks of Love. It feels kinda weird to have a braid of my own hair sitting on my desk right now. Kinda cool though...

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Now for some sunshine

>> Sunday, October 21, 2007

All that I just wrote in the post below is truly my current state of mind. But, so as not to pull everyone down in the dumps with me... here are some recent pictures of Lucas that are like rays of sunshine that always burst through my little rain clouds.

Lucas playing in our backyard.

Lucas dressed as a leaf walking down the aisle with a bridesmaid at a wedding last weekend. I admit I was skeptical about the success of Lucas being a leaf in our friends' autumn-themed wedding, but it turned out to be super cute. An exhausting day for all three of us though.
Lucas was so tired, in fact, that he laid on the dance floor at the reception and said "night-night." If you know Lucas, you know how tired he had to have been for that to happen.

Still tired the next morning at breakfast....

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When it rains, it pours

Life can be so overwhelming... I am in the midst of a funk... too much circling my mind...

I had my final Wheaton French Market of the season yesterday and it did not go as I had hoped. Most of my other Markets have been such a huge success. Lots of slings sold and lots of opportunities to meet local moms and share with them the awesome-ness of babywearing. Yesterday was no such day. I sold a few and meet a couple moms, but the Market was comparatively dead and I came home totally bummed. All that work for so little gain. I have already been feeling kinda stuck in this little business venture lately so having an off day didn't help matters any. I don't know how to make it take off. Do I learn to be content with what it is or do I need to find ways to build and find the time to do it?

On top of that, my son is sick...again. He had pneumonia on his first birthday last March and since then every little virus or bug or if the wind blows the wrong way brings us to the point of coughing and vomiting and nebulizers and then diarrhea and HORRIBLE diaper rash that doesn't respond to ANYTHING. It is almost more than I can take at times. Everyone has an opinion. Pediatrician: "Kids get colds. Use this cream." Chiropractor who had a table next to mine at the Market: "It's because he was immunized. Your home probably has mold. He needs extensive chiropractic adjustments probably not covered by insurance." Any number of people: "He has allergies. He has...." You get the point. I think there are shreds of truth in everyone's opinion but how do I sort it all and make sense enough to do what is right for my son? He is getting better now. But how long until we are here again, asking the same questions and crying the same tears of frustration? That chiropractor made me feel like the worst mom in the universe. It didn't take a lot of convincing.

I feel like I am struggling to be an entrepreneur and struggling to be a mom and struggling to be a good sister to mine who needs me right now and struggling to ... I could go on but shouldn't. I am trying to find the cheerful way to wrap this up and nothing is coming. I am not seeing the "big-picture" lesson in this particular funk.

At least my Gators won a big game yesterday. There's my silver lining...

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First fall walk...

>> Friday, October 12, 2007


We took our first cold weather walk yesterday. After pumpkin-picking in 90 degree heat last weekend, the last few days have had highs in the 50's so fall has officially come to Chicagoland. I couldn't resist taking a picture of Lucas in his hat and bomber jacket. Don't let the flowers in the background deceive you... it was cold!

P.S.~ I found some cool contests today from two awesome mommies sharing their birthdays by giving gifts to others... Check them out!

Mamanista!
From Dates to Diapers

http://ooohpickmepickme.blogspot.com/2007/10/big-birthday-giveaway.html



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My seven things

>> Thursday, October 11, 2007

As a relative newbie to the blogging scene, I have never been "tagged" before. So thank you "b" @ Random Acts of Motherhood for the honor.

Here are the people I tag to write seven things that are true about themselves (people whose blogs I think are awesome and I read consistently - you should check them out):
1- My Two Boys
2- Earthmommy
3- Catherine (my real-life best friend!)
4- InTeDomine
5- Two Square Meals
6- Crunchy Domestic Goddess (who makes super cute t-shirts for mommies and babies!)
7- Drea

o.k.... Here are my seven. All are true, some are fun and others are deep. I guess that should be the first thing about me, I am a weird mix of lighthearted and complex. Sometimes, I can't figure myself out. Anyway... here are the real seven:

1. I am a military kid who grew up all over the world. I claim the South as my home (mostly Florida) because that is where I spent the most time and where my parents live now. My heritage is southern, my relatives are southern, I bleed sweet tea... I count myself Southern!!
Which leads me to #2...

2. I am a college football FANATIC!! All year I count the days to the first "College GameDay" of the season and could watch game after game. It is by far the BEST sport ever. Specifically, I am a Florida Gator. I didn't go to school there (almost did, but God had other plans...long story) but I have been a Gator fan my whole life. I love my Gators through the good, the bad, and the ugly which can sometimes come in the same season. Win or Lose... GO GATORS!!

3. I clean when I get angry. My mom used to try to push my buttons or criticize my boyfriend (which was easy since he was a loser) when I was in highschool so I would clean my room.

4. I have a tendency to lose my "voice," to not feel comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings. I tend to morph to what I think those around me would want me to be or say or think and my true-self sometimes gets lost in the process. I'm working on it....

5. My favorite evening snack is strawberry Twizzlers and a caffeine-free Diet Pepsi.

6. My newest passion is babywearing. I got a sling as a gift when my son was born and that has launched me into this new world of carriers and attachment parenting that I can't seem to soak in fast enough. I love trying new carriers or new holds. I really love teaching someone else about babywearing and watching them get excited about snuggling baby but having hands free. After losing my first son as an infant, I never wanted to be apart from Lucas when he was born. With my sling, I didn't/don't have to .

7. I LOVE my son's laugh. It brings me joy like nothing else can. He has this awesome belly laugh when you tickle his feet. Here's a taste. Try not to smile... I dare ya'!

video

So there you have it. Thanks "b" for wanting to know more about me. I can't wait to read everyone's responses. You can never know too much about your friends. :)

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Do you want broccoli or cookies?

>> Monday, October 8, 2007


Jessica Seinfeld was on Oprah today sharing the secrets of hiding vegetables in other foods so kids will eat them. My first thought was "what a good idea!" especially considering the chore that meal time has become lately. But then do our kids learn the value of healthy eating? When they are old enough to make their own food decisions, will they choose a rounded diet or will they continue to eat chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese because that is what they know (they don't know it had cauliflower and spinach puree in there). I know she is trying to simply get kids those nutrients and for that reason I will probably try some of her recipes. But it seems that you should also teach kids to eat vegetables that they recognize as vegetables so that the will actually learn to eat vegetables... Is the short term solution of getting the nutrients in their little bodies worth the risk that they will not learn the larger long-term lesson? From a mama who hates the meal-time battle even at 18months, what is the right balance?

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God's hand of protection

So I don't profess to be a good driver. Maybe because I am always thinking about a million other things or am perpetually running behind or I try to cram too much into short amounts of time. Sound familiar, mamas? I don't really like to drive. It freaks me out a little for myself and my son to be in this large, steel contraption going 50+ mph with dozens of other people doing the same and faster. So much potential for tragedy.
Several months ago I got a speeding ticket just because I wasn't paying attention to how fast I was going. I wasn't really in a rush, at least not that time. I think I was giving Lucas a snack or his juice or any number of other things to keep him happy. A couple weeks later, I bumped the bumper of a girl at a light because I had seen the light turn green and started driving without making sure the car in front of me started driving first. Details, details... Too much on my mind. Then a few weeks ago, I got backed into by a cute elderly gentleman in the Target parking lot. Last Friday, I was turning left on a green arrow and someone ran the light. It was too late to slam my brakes so I floored the gas instead. The other car's brakes screeched and they swerved and thankfully our cars never as much as brushed each other. I sat in the parking lot I had turned into and cried. That car would have crushed my son. I couldn't do anything but repeat the phrase "God's hand of protection, God's hand of protection." I am not a great driver, but at least I am aware that it is one of my many deficiencies and I try to compensate. I can't control the driving of others and that scares me. In all these auto situations, the result could have been far worse than it was. I am forever stuck by how many times God's hand of protection keeps me from colliding with things that can hurt me or my family... in the car and elsewhere.
I am a nurse who treats patients coming in with acute heart attacks, strokes, and other emergency type situations. Just this weekend, I met a family whose 60yr. old father was within minutes of his last breath but we got him into our lab and opened up the blood flow to his heart and he is going to be fine (with a little medicine and quitting smoking that is.) He thought his pain was indigestion and almost didn't call 911. God's hand of protection.
How many times a day, a week do we find ourselves thinking "man, that could have been awful"? Or most times are we totally unaware of the ways God keeps us from danger? I am a natural worrier. But when I see how God sent his angels to protect my son and my car from being crushed by someone else's carelessness, I am reminded that God doesn't need me to worry about things for Him to take care of them. He is taking care of it already. Whether it be in the car or wherever else I need protecting, I am so thankful that His hand is always on me and those I love.

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Babywearing in the city

>> Monday, October 1, 2007




We took Lucas into the city this past weekend for the first time. The weather was perfect- the ideal end of summer/beginning of fall day in Chicago. It is days like that which make living in Chicago in February and March worth it. We walked aroung Grant Park and Millenium Park, soaking in the warmth and watching Lucas experience the fountains and the "Bean" with wonder and amazement. He loved Buckingham and Crown fountains (the one with the faces and where you can walk in the water). He was intrigued with being able to see his reflection in the "bean." Most of all though, he was overjoyed at the constant stream of buses passing by. He would point and yell (and I mean yell) "BUS!! Mama, BUS!!" Then "bye-bye bus.... BUS!!" It was so fun to see him having such a good time and being a little boy. Not too big to ride with mama though.... he still loves the sling and mama does too!

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