Brotherly Love

>> Friday, October 31, 2008

Caden truly loves his brother. He watches him and tracks him across the room. He smiles and laughs as he watches Lucas play. Lucas, too, finds Caden entertaining. He comes and sits next to him and talks to him or engages him as he see us doing. He calls Caden by the nicknames Hubby and I sometimes do. I have even caught him sticking his finger in Caden's mouth in an attempt to calm his crying brother as he has watched me do countless times. Nothing makes my heart leap so high as to watch my boys loving each other. I know there will be fights and jealousy and one may even steal the other's girlfriend someday. But for now, I am seeing the beginning of their life-long relationship that will only grow from here. And it makes me swell with joy and love and just a titch of mommy-pride.
A precious and unscripted moment at our little petting zoo today. I said "Lucas, will you come take a picture with your brother?" And this is what I got- so precious!! Of course then, he was off running through the corn maze again. Sometimes you gotta be quick to catch these moments but they are there and I am drinking it all in.

My little firefighter and his dalmatian- what a duo!

Talking to his brother and trying to help soothe him. In the car, Lucas talks to Caden and sings him songs (either from his music class or ones that I have made up).

Playing together- Lucas had a toy spider that he was "crawling" up Caden's arm. Caden just sat and stared at Lucas and watched as he would walk around the room. The picture doesn't do it justice, but just look at where Caden's eyes are fixed- on his big brother whom he already adores. (insert the sound of my hear bursting!)


I have my Reasons

>> Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I recently posted over at Chicago Moms Blog about one of those neccesary evils of motherhood. I got notified today that the post has been picked up for syndication and will possibly appear on several news and parenting blogs across the country. Kinda fun! If you have a free minute, check it out.

And in case you are like me and can't get enough of these smiling little faces, here is a pre-halloween preview of the 2 main reasons why I do what I do. I would do just about anything for my boys!

Firefighter Lucas and his trusty dalmatian Caden


According to Cruella DeVille, the eagle goes "tweet, tweet."

>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lately, Lucas has been immersed in imaginative play. Being such a verbal and imaginative child, he is able to act out scenes from different things he has watched or stories that he knows. He loves Jonah and the Whale, Sprout's Fireman Sam, and stories about hubby and I as kids that he begs us to tell and re-tell. But, his favorite movie these days is 101 Dalmatians. He only watches it in 15-20minute segments but he is fascinated with all the puppies and the story. If he can't remember the name of one of the characters, he wants me to just choose one so that he can continue replaying the drama to himself. More often than not, he wants hubby and I to be involved in the story with him. He assigns us characters and we have to pretend to be them along with him. Even when I am doing my mommy tasks, Lucas wants me to perform them in character. There seems to be a trend of gender reversal where he assigns himself and hubby more female characters and me more male characters. With Caden and our pup Hadley (yes, even they get characters), it goes both ways. I don't think this is Lucas' commentary on gender equality. I really think he just picks his favorite characters and most of them just happen to be the girls in these stories. In Fireman Sam, he always wants to be the little girl "Sarah" and wants me to be her brother "James." But sometimes I get to be Fireman Sam himself and rescue any number of characters from danger.

Going along with the dalmatian theme, this morning I was assigned to be "Rolly" (should I take that personally?) and he was "Penny" and Caden was "Lucky." He was pretending that Cruella DeVille (the lady who steals the puppies for those of you who aren't as well-versed in the story) was eating breakfast with us and then coloring with us and finally reading books with us. "She is not mean, mommy," he said. "She just needs some friends." Can't argue with that!

As we were sitting and reading his favorite book of animals, he was going through each one and telling me what sound they make. I am not talking about ducks and sheep and pigs here. He was looking at pages of all different kinds of birds and then insects and then fish and making up noises for each. Do you know what sound a stick insect or a centipede or a flamingo or a starfish makes? Lucas does, apparently, and they are hilarious!! Some sound like a laugh, some a whoosh, some like little bells. I couldn't wipe the grin from my face at the pure imagination and inventiveness of this 2yr. old boy on my lap. While on the bird page, he made a "tweet, tweet" noise for the eagle. "The eagle is a very sophisticated and majestic bird," I informed him. "I bet it makes a more dignified noise than "tweet, tweet." (Actually, I have no idea what an eagle's noise sounds like so he may be right.)
"No, Rolly,"he said. "Cruella DeVille told me that the eagle says 'tweet, tweet'."
Well, Penny, then I guess he does.

I think he's just the most adorable 2yr. old on the planet learning about imaginative play and it is priceless. It is exhausting at times for my introverted self. It gets tiring having to make up stories and act things out and stay in character all day. My personality lends itself much more to doing puzzles and crafts and other more quiet things. But with Lucas, I have had to learn to step outside my own comfort zone and enter into his world. And his is a world full of really great things: puppies, and trucks, and trains, and people who need friends. He plays with his cars and trains and creates the most elaborate story-lines. I love that his imagination is just as vivid when playing alone as when he pulls us in. He definitely incorporates little boy themes of crash and construction and fire. But just as often, he acts out these tender scenes of compassion and friendship. He is my tender-hearted little rough-and-tumble boy with a very active imagination and the vocabulary to match. I can't wait to see what amazing things are in store for him.


More Giveaway Goodness

>> Monday, October 27, 2008

As a mom with a 2 month old baby, I am constantly looking for ways to simplify life. One thing I can't seem to be consistent with is meal planning and grocery shopping. There just never seems to be a convenient time to take my rowdy two year old and my infant to the grocery store to maneuver the aisles and fight the crowds and try my best to get everything on my list before one of the three of us starts to melt down. Have you been there? So when I was approached by PeaPod about trialing their grocery delivery, I jumped at the chance. PeaPod is is the country’s leading Internet grocer serving 23 markets, including the Chicagoland area. They have an amazing selection of groceries and they deliver them to your door. What could be better than that!!

They have a great selection of fresh produce and meats as well as the usual dry goods and boxed foods (ie: cereal, pasta, canned goods, etc...). You may see a slightly higher price on some things, but then again you are shopping from the convenience of your couch and then you choose when the groceries arrive at your door. Worth a few extra pennies in my opinion.
We may not be able to afford to do it for every grocery trip, but it is certainly one of those things that is good to have when you need it.

Check out their website ( to see if they have service to your area. They are adding new locations all the time. The folks at PeaPod would like to offer one lucky reader a $20 gift certificate on their first order to get you started and show you just how convenient and wonderful it can be to have your groceries delivered to your door. Just leave a comment on this post before midnight on Friday the 31st. One winner will be drawn at random on Saturday the 1st and the winner notified by e-mail. Make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you win.
Good luck and happy grocery shopping!!
Oh, and be sure to visit my other giveaway for a festive, holiday ring sling.


Bloggy Giveaway Goodness

It's that time again y'all... Bloggy Giveaway time!!! Hooray! Time to spend countless hours entering contests and visiting new blogs...and time to spread the giveaway goodness myself and offer up a free sling!! I just can't resist joining in the fun.
For those of you just stopping by, I am a babywearing, college football crazed, beach-loving mama who loves to share with the bloggy world about my life as mother, wife, nurse, friend... and my quest to discover and become who God created me to be. I have three boys- one in heaven, a two yr. old and a two month old who is sleeping on my lap even now. Add my Beagle pup and my part-time nursing job in the mix and life keeps me on my toes.

I am giving away a beautiful, red BabyLove (my little business) ring-sling. The fabric is red with subtle holiday accents and gold stars. The holidays are just around the corner and this sling is the perfect accessory for any festive outfit!! This sling is a one-of-a-kind, BabyLove Slings original. No one will have one like it and you will stand out in any crowd!

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. 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. :)

This week I am debuting 6 new fabrics as part of the BabyLove Slings Fall Collection. To win THIS beautiful red sling, just leave a comment on this post by Friday the 31st at midnight telling me which of the items on my website is your favorite and I will pick one winner at random on Saturday, November 1st. I will contact the winner by e-mail and post it here so be sure to leave me your contact info so I can tell you if you win. If you have a blog, I would love to visit you too. New bloggy friends are so fun!
If you aren't lucky enough to win, here is a coupon for free shipping on any order over $30 at my
online store. Just use the code FREESHIP at checkout (will expire the end of November). Give the gift of babywearing to your favorite mama this holiday (and that might be yourself!). Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back again sometime. Blessings!

More giveaways at the Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

**Sling photos by Drea**


#162 and good things to come

>> Sunday, October 26, 2008

My little pumpkin

I started this blog, 161 posts ago, as a way to have an online presence for my tiny little sling business. A friend suggested it and I took her advice, not having any idea of what I was getting myself into. I had no clue what this bloggy-world was or what, if any, part I could have in it. 161 posts later, this blog has become so much more than that to me. I have no idea how many people read my musings here but I continue to post because of what it has become for me. Most people reflect on the life of their blog in round number posts, 100 or 200, or on their blogiversary. But without being overly dramatic, here in BabyLove Slings post #162, I am feeling kinda introspective.
This blogs has really become a place where I feel like I have a voice. I can share about my kids and not feel like I have to apologize for being a proud mama. I can talk about parenting and the challenges of being a mom and a woman and feel that there are people who understand exactly what I am writing about. I can process my feelings and grief and frustrations and feel like someone is listening. But even if no one is, it is still therapeutic for me to get it all out. I went to counseling for awhile after Micah died and it was really helpful in getting me connected to how I was feeling and how everything had affected me. I truly feel that being able to write on this blog has done similar things for me. It has also opened up so many cool opportunities for me. From ChicagoMomsBlog to some really great new friends, this blog has enriched my life and broadened my vision. (OK..that sounds a little over dramatic but I think it is pretty true!) So thank you to who ever is reading. And I really don't know how many people are reading, but I hope that if you are then you like what I have to say and can connect in some way. I would love to hear from you and know you are there. Why do you blog? Why do you read the blogs of others?

This is going to be a busy week for me and this blog and my little business. I am hosting a couple giveaways, launching a new collection of fabrics for my slings, and possibly having a little online sling party to which you all are invited. I have been really preoccupied with life lately and haven't been able to do as much with this blog and my business as I would like. But I do have a lot still to say and some good ideas so bear with me. And some of those thought and ideas will be debuting this week. So stay tuned...

Love y'all!!


Leap Frog Loot

>> Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lucas (right) with his face painted at the LeapFrog party.

It seems that lately there have been quite a few opportunities for me to get together with my bloggy-friends. The most recent was a pizza party sponsored by Leap Frog. We had a fabulous time. Lucas loved playing with all the toys at the KinderCare where we had the party and I got to (sort of) listen to a fascinating conversation about what kind of toys our kids should be playing with. How much "screen time" and how much technology is right for our kids at different ages? What kids of electronic toys do moms feel good about giving to their kids? These are the questions that the Leap Frog folks and their panel of experts posed to us mommy bloggers and they were eager to hear what we had to say. They fed us, they entertained our kids (toys, face painting, etc...), they gave us an outlet for "adult conversation" ... that would have been enough in itself. But to top it all off, they oh-so-generously gave us free toys to take home. A-Mazing!!! We got this cool phonics toy and some Tag Books for Lucas and even a couple sweet toys for Caden once he gets a little older. We scored, and we scored huge!! Thank you SO MUCH Leap Frog, for throwing a fabulous, albeit a bit chaotic, party and for so generously sharing your wonderful toys with us. I have put some aside for Christmas and gave Lucas some to play with now. And so far, he LOVES them. The more we play with them, the more I will have to say. But for now, thank you Leap Frog!! We had a blast!

How much "screen time" do you let your kids have? We are in the midst of figuring this out right now. More on that soon...

P.S.~ Want some LeapFrog action of your own... Visit and get $10 off orders $50 or more for Leapster2 and Didj and other cool toys. Until 11/15/08 you can use code HY8BHPR at the checkout.


One thing I need and one thing I want...

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I usually put this type of thing on my contests page, but I haven't updated it in months and these are two that are too good to miss.

Fellow Chicago Mom Kim, is hosting a fabulous giveaway over at Hormone-Colored Days. One lucky reader will win a Nokia SmartPhone...oh-so-pretty!! I have let Lucas play with my phone one too may times and it is falling apart, literally. Kim's very generous giveaway ends tonight at midnight. I would love to win this one... this is the thing I need.

Now the thing I want...
I am a babycarrier glutten, I admit it. The Simple girls are giving away another Beco and I want it! Becos are soft-structured carriers, kinda like a Ergo, and are super cool and super comfy. I want, I want, I want!!!

And the BabySnazz website is giving away a Beco too!! Check out their super cool site and enter to win...

Win a Beco Butterfly from babySNAZZ!

Check out these cool contests... and stay tuned for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival coming soon... so many contests, so little time! (literally!)
Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button



>> Sunday, October 19, 2008

I love this time of year. The crisp air, breaking out my favorite sweaters, and of course...pumpkin picking! We took the boys on Saturday and it was fabulous! The weather was perfectly fall-ish with sunny skies and a warm breeze with air temps in the low 60's. This is the weather that helps us Chicago transplants endure the winter. Enjoy some pics of my little pumpkins in the pumpkins! :)


Give and Take

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tonight I found myself driving down memory lane. I attended an event up on the NorthShore and had to drive through my old neighborhood to get there - where I lived during my first pregnancy and all the events on either side. It is kinda coincidental that I would pass through there today, the National Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. I drove past the Chili's where I used to order my weekly boneless buffalo wings to satisfy my pregnancy cravings... the Blockbuster Video where Hubby and I got tons of movies during the last few weeks of my pregnancy and the first few weeks after to help take our mind off everything... the neighbor's house where I pulled over and threw up in their grass... Everything looks the same yet so much has changed, as evidenced by the sleeping (thankfully!) babe in the backseat.
The soundtrack for my drive tonight was a
CD given to me by a close friend today at lunch. She said that two of the songs reminded her of me. One of the songs was about just needing to cry as a release of the emotion and grief that life sometimes brings. So as I drove down familiar streets tonight in the rain, that is exactly what I did. I cried unabashedly because I was alone and the memories just overwhelmed me.
I certainly still miss him, my first born son. Tonight the hole in my heart that will only be filled in heaven seemed to swallow me up as I relived all that was during that time. The fear of what would be, being a week past my due date and just wanting him to be born so that we could know what we were facing, having him grasp my finger in the delivery room as they wheeled him away, hearing the news that there was nothing they could do, sitting in the first pew and watching all my family and friends say goodbye to my precious son that we all hardly got to know.
Time seemed to stand still for that moment. And then almost as if on cue, Caden began to stir behind me. Yes, life has changed since those days. Feeling the emotions of loosing Micah while hearing Caden cry in his carseat, I was struck by God's give and take. He gave me Micah but then he took him away. He gave me His peace and grace as I mourned that loss. Then, He gave me Lucas to take away part of my emptiness. He gave me contentment and took away my control. He gave me Caden and took away any notion that I can do it on my own. Tonight, He has given me eyes to see all that He has given me even in spite of what He has taken away.
Thank you Lord for the perspective I see tonight. Thank you for giving me Micah, even if just for a moment. Thank you giving what we need and taking as You see fit. I trust Your Hand and know You are good.
My Boys and their cheeks Micah 4/20/04
Lucas 3/23/06
Caden 8/11/08
No denying they are all brothers or who their daddy is!! The cheeks run in the genes! :)


Month 2

>> Monday, October 13, 2008

My sweet little baby is already 2 months old... where does the time go? He laughs when I play with him, he is SO smiley, he picks his head up to look around when on his tummy or up on your shoulder... He is growing up before my eyes. Everyone, even people I just meet, says he looks like me. And that makes me smile. :)

Here are some examples of where our time went:

Naps with Mommy- Caden sleeps best when "on" someone, usually me but also Daddy and his Pa (my dad). He is so cuddly and snuggly, how can I refuse!

My beach boys- just look at Caden's belly. Someone LOVES his nursies!

He does this adorable little half-grin. His whole face lights up when he smiles (and mine does too!)

Fireman Caden

A night on the town with mommy- I took him to a party sponsored by Method Cleaning Products and he slept in the sling the whole night. That's my boy!

Picking up his head already

A rare moment where he is not crying in his carseat... he is not a big fan.

My precious boy... I love holding you with you check against mine and hearing your priceless coos. I love how your whole face smiles and giggles with glee when I am being silly to entertain you. I love how you quiet so quickly when I pick you up or "rescue you" from well-meaning people who can't feed you. You know my smell and my voice... we are intimately connected both now and forever. I love you CLB!!


Slowing down

>> Sunday, October 12, 2008

It has been awhile since I have been truly present here in bloggy-land. It is certainly not because there is not much going on. Quite the opposite actually. Caden is two months old already and not much grass has grown under our feet since coming home from the hospital. We seem to be continually on the go or trying to catch up. I can see the toll that it is taking on my boys and on me. Caden is trying to get himself into a routine. He certianly gets sleepy and hungry and more predictable times these days. But each day looks so different around here that it is keeping him from being able to settle into a regular morning nap and this is causing him to have trouble settling into a long nap (more than 30-40min.) at all during the day. Lucas misses his playtime. He does love to get out and do things but he also loves to sit on the floor and play with his trucks and dinos. He needs his home downtime. We both do actually.

So my goal for the next few weeks, slow down. At least a little. I am resuming my part-time job in a little less than a month. Boy, has time flown. There are so many things on my to-do list and I seem to have very little time not occupied by feeding or soothing someone. Hubby's job has changed drastically lately so that has thrown a wrench in our lives a bit too. I think it is a change for the better overall, it is just taking some getting used to (he now works from 3am-noon every day!).

Anyway, I have A LOT to say. Posts that have been in my head for awhile and I am needing to get them out. But for tonight, I am just letting y'all know that I am alive. Just busy with life and soaking in all of it that I can. But I do need to slow down a bit so that I don't miss the truly important things. Like sitting with Lucas on the grass today and looking at the clouds. Or sticking my tongue out at Caden today to make him smile and watching him stick his out right back at me. Sometimes I pack life so full of "fun things" that I forget the simple fun of just being together. I want to get back to that.

Thanks for your patience as I slightly reconfigure my reality and my priorities. We will catch up soon.


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