Friday, March 28, 2014

modcloth's twirl around the world contest

Show off your twirling capabilities with the ModCloth ‘Twirl Around the World Contest’ and you could win a $350 gift card! Snap a photo of yourself twirling in your favorite spring ensemble and upload it to the Style Gallery or post on your Instagram account using the hashtag #modtwirl. Videos will also be considered on Instagram. Contest ends 3/31 at 10am PT. One Instagram winner and one Style Gallery winner will be chosen on 3/31 by EOD. Happy twirling!

I haven't decided if i'm going to try this one or not (poor Dave is not a fashion photographer)...  ;)

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Friday, March 21, 2014

ian turns 4

it's hard to believe that it's been (over) 4 years since i brought my sweet little boy into this world.  he is still sweet, but no longer so little.  gah.  4?!  well, maybe he is still little... at his 4 year check-up he weighed in at 34 lbs and is 39.5" which put him in the 25-50%.  he also had a hearing test- he failed on the right ear 4 times, so we are still waiting to see what the next step will be for that.  for his actual birthday he chose to go to super bounce at the mall and then he wanted to eat chinese for dinner while watching turbo.  not a bad day for a 4 year old!

it's really amazing to see how much he's grown over the last 4 years... i mean, i can tell how much bigger he's gotten just since isla was born.  it makes my heart ache a little bit!  he doesn't like to sit still- it's been hard to get him to focus on doing learning activities- i often wonder if i'm putting him at a disadvantage by not working on these things with him, but it's hard to get him to focus.  he does know the alphabet, and he can count to 10, and he gets a little mixed up counting to 20.  he knows his name, our names, his birthday, where he lives, colors, shapes.  i have been working with him on writing his name (it's short, so it shouldn't be that hard)!  he loves to read, but usually only wants to read in his room at bedtime.  he loves playing sports, and hopefully it will be warm enough to start playing outside soon b\c this kid is dying to have some fresh air!  he loves superheroes and ninja turtles, and cars and trains and lots of boy stuff.  he loves to sing songs, and i find it amazing that he memorizes them so quickly!  he has quite a sense of humor and a kind heart.  he is a wonderful big brother and he really loves his sister so much!  he is a people pleaser and he is very stubborn.  he hates to see you mad at him, but he really just wants to have his way.  i love this kid so much!

we decided to have a ninja turtles party for his 4th birthday.  i used my dear friend pinterest for ideas and i think we put together a pretty good party, there was pizza, and hamburger cupcakes and all sorts of ninja fun!

 party favors!

 turtle lanterns

 ooze 

 ninja turtle fruit/veggie trays (we had one for all the turtles)

 hamburger cupcakes

 the birthday boy's cupcake

 
cousins!

 
 captain america



pictures from his actual birthday
 turtle power!


 isla looks like she's wondering if ian is going to shank her


and to make me cry:

 a day old

1st birthday

2nd birthday

3rd birthday!

sigh!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

isla - 7 months & 8 months

now that isla is back to a normal sleeping schedule, dave & i are sleeping again too.  everyone is happy.  this girl still refuses to nap- i don't know how an almost 9 month old can stay awake from anywhere from 7-10am all the way until 10pm, but this girl has mastered that skill.  isla turned 7 months old on january 17  and 8 months old february 17.  here's what she's been up to.

isla celebrated her first christmas- it was pretty non-eventful as she was just 6 months old.  she got plenty of books, clothes and toys- but she was more concerned about being held and loved on.  check.  we left the the warmness of atlanta once again to return to the frozen wasteland we now call our home.  for the love... it is now mid-march and we are still facing sub-freezing temperatures and snow.  we're only 10" away from the all-time snow record, and we are not going to get a repeat of the 80 degree st. patty's day from 2012.  i really just want to leave my house, but it's too cold.  while we were in atlanta, both of the kids were sick and a call to our dr. was asking us to take them to urgent care.  of course, none of the urgent care facilities around there would see isla, so we were able to find a dr to see them that afternoon.  that was an unusual experience as we left with no explanations and a bunch of prescriptions.  after seeing dr. nick, we decided to schedule an appt. to see our regular dr. a few hours after arriving home- the kids had just caught colds and we were able to toss the prescriptions.  sigh. 

we celebrated ian's 4th birthday in january- and isla enjoyed that because it was more time for her to be held and cuddled.  i took both of the kids (with dave's help) to the pediatrician and isla had her 6 month check up.  the ped told us that she sounded like she had maybe had a touch of rsv at some point, but was sounding really good.  she was weighing in at 12 lbs 7 oz, and i am unsure of the length.  weight is less than 2% and height was less than 5%.  she also had her shots and caught up on some others.  i've decided that while i'll probably keep her up to date on them- that i will not do that many shots again.  my doctor is willing to let me space them out how i choose.  there is no telling what caused the craziness the last 2 months- but a lot of it started shortly after...  we decided to start solids shortly after this and that was met with zero success.  after the first 10-15 attempts, i was beginning to think she wasn't going to be interested in eating.  she was nursing well though, so i wasn't as worried.  we had tried oatmeal, avocados and sweet potatoes with no luck!   sometime in february, i took her to see the pediatrician again because she kept coughing and throwing up- and although her check up came back as "perfect", it was her weight that had me a little nervous- she weighed in at 12 lbs 10 oz- only 3 oz gained in 3 weeks.  the ped told me that i should try a fruit with her, and they would re-check her weight at her 9 month appointment.  we decided to try applesauce for her- and she loves it.  i have learned that what they say about 2nd children and so on is true.  with ian, we tried all the fruits and veggies to schedule and i had made all of them.  with isla- we're still eating applesauce- if i remember to feed it to her... oh, boy.

on february 1, isla went from daily yoga to movement!  she had been pushing up on her arms, and then her hands and knees since late december... and finally she crawled!  it really doesn't take long to really get moving- now she is so fast, you can't turn your back for a minute!  later that week she started sitting unassisted as well.  the doctor at her sick visit said she though she would be walking by 10 months- we'll see!  time has just flown too fast!

 plank!

 celebrating christmas in georgia

 giving me the stink eye

 opening christmas presents!

 christmas planking!

 4 generations 

 my heart = bursting

 nap time with gg

 ooh, new toys!

 with gg & pop

 playing nice!

 sunday best!


 brother's birthday

 hanging with dad

 all smiles!

  valentine's day!



























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Saturday, March 8, 2014

product review - merino kids

i always say that i'm going to be a better blogger, and i just keep being terrible.  isla has had a lot of trouble sleeping lately, and we are just very tired.  this post has been sort of a long time coming, as i've started it about 100 times, but i can definitely say that we have now been using this product since october, so i have plenty to say about it! 

i was asked to review the merino kids sleep sack last summer shortly after i had isla.  of course, she was very tiny, and it was very summery, so i wanted to wait until she was a little bigger and i was a little more comfortable.  she was also doing well with being swaddled, and i wanted to see how long that would last.  well, right around the time we moved into our new house (late october), she was done with the swaddle and we were ready to move on. we started using it as soon as she was done with the swaddle and the nights started getting colder!

about the merino kids sleep sack:
  • it's made from superfine merino which means it's natural, itch-free and allergy safe.  
  • it's fire-resistant without the chemicals that are in jammies
  • grows with your child for up to two years (maybe longer if they're little like mine)
  • regulates body temperature- insulates child when the air is cool and releases excess body heat when the temperature rises.  your baby stays warm and dry and won't overheat!
  • machine washable!
  • easy to get baby in and out
  • has a belt aperture which enables the child to wear the sleep sack in a stroller or car seat!

my first impression of the merino kids sleep sack was that it was gigantic!  i think i could probably put ian inside of it comfortably (although i have not tried).  i was initially worried about putting isla in the sleep sack with it being so big, but it fit her perfectly (she was probably around 8-10 lbs at the time) and i knew that there was no way it could move up around her face.  the merino kids sleep sack snaps at one shoulder and then has snaps underneath each arm to make it tighter for smaller babies.  now that she is mobile, she can move easily in it, although she hasn't figured out how to stand in it yet (which is good for us).

since it has been very cold here (many nights in single digits and below zero this winter) and the windows in the house aren't the best, isla's room has stayed chilly despite our insulating efforts.  when she wakes up in the morning (or the middle of the night for that matter) she has been comfortably warm without feeling overheated.  she has a few pairs of jammies that are footless, and dave has put her in the merino kids sleep sack and she has had warm feet upon unzipping (warmer than mine are in socks)!

another benefit of merino is that it blocks odor.  this can be a good or bad thing.  we have another sleep sack that we use when this one is being washed (since we air dry it) and whenever she wakes up wearing it, i can always smell her diapers- not with this sleep sack- it is odor free!  it's also very easy to wash- i use a wool safe detergent and wash it on our handwash cycle and then lay it flat to dry.

the price of the merino kids sleep sack is $99.99- i know, you may be freaking out seeing that.  don't- this sleep sack is well-worth the price.  remember the other sleep sack that i use when this one is being washed (it's also the sleep sack we used with ian)?  that sleep sack is a size small and only covers the 10-16 pound range.  now isla is 8 months old and still within that range- so it wouldn't matter to us- but i know people who have babies that are almost out of that pound range at 2-3 months of age!  with one sleep sack that costs $20-$25 only lasting 2-3 months, you would need to buy one in every size s-xl just to get your child to their 2nd birthday.  with merino kids- 1 sleep sack has you covered from birth to 2 years, and maybe even longer based on your child's size!  they also have the toddler size sleep sack that goes from 2-4 years!

i also previously mentioned my worries about isla wearing the sleep sack during the summer- well, the merino kids sleep sack is perfect for baby to wear year-round because of its ability to regulate temperature.  in the summer, baby can just sleep in a onesie or even just a diaper and stay the perfect temperature.  it's perfect because the need for blankets is eliminated- no need to worry about whether or not your baby has pulled his or her blankie over their face!

one final thing i want to rave about is that the merino kids sleep sack is not made of fleece like some of the others.  i don't know why parents think fleece is such a wonderful thing, but it isn't!  not only can fleece be treated with chemicals to make it flame retardant, but it is also very warm- too warm!  once in a hurry, i took ian to the pediatrician in his jammies- a fleece blanket sleeper.  while there, the pediatrician informed me that wearing something like that, even in the dead of winter was a risk for overheating.  the other sleep sacks aren't quite as thick as blanket sleepers, but it's still fleece that's most likely being worn over jammies.  the one that we use as a substitute is not fleece, but a cotton/minky fabric.  i also mentioned earlier that the merino wool is itch-free and allergy safe- something that probably would've been a Godsend for ian's eczema as a baby!

overall, this sleep sack has been absolutely wonderful for us, a little cumbersome at her small size because of the extra material, but i know that it is only because there is so much extra room to grow into.  i see us using this for a couple years into the future and maybe longer if another baby ever comes along.

if you've managed to read through my really really long review, now you can see some really adorable pictures of the sleep sack in action on a super-cute baby!

 ready for bed!


 flipped over!

 wearing our merino kids to Disney on Ice!  staying very warm!

 one of my favorite features- you can buckle your child into their car seat/stroller/swing wearing the sleep sack.  this is going to be perfect for road trips!  someone was ready to get out of their car seat though and not happy!  

testing the sleep sack out in the swing!

*Disclaimer:  I received this item free of charge in exchange for reviewing the product.  All opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Monster Jam is coming to Chicago!


Monster Jam is coming to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont THIS weekend!  I have always wanted to go to a Monster Jam event!  It seems like every time they come to Atlanta, I have at least 5 friends who are posting from there about what a good time that they are having (and most of these friends are the ones without kids)!  I think this will be such a fun event for not only Ian (who loooves his Monster Trucks), but for Dave & I as well!

(read this in your Monster Jam announcer voice for the best effect)

Monster Jam is the most exciting form of family motorsports entertainment on the planet.  The stars of the show are the biggest performers on four wheels: the Monster Jam trucks! The12 ft. tall, 10,000-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over - OR smash through. The 2014 touring season brings more Monster Jam excitement providing entertainment tailored perfectly for your family's budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old.

The Chicago shows are coming to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont February 7-9th!  You can purchase tickets online now at www.ticketmaster.com!  Ticket prices vary according to show so visit Ticket Master for details!


Showtimes:  Friday, February 7 - 7:30 PM.  Saturday, February 8 - 2 PM & 7:30 PM.  Sunday, February 9 - 2 PM & 7:30 PM.

Kids tickets are just $12!

Monster Jam Pit Party-  Pit Party prior to each 2 PM performance from 11 AM - 1 PM.  Walk the track, meet the drivers & grab autographs.  Pit passes available for $10 online and through the Allstate Arena box office! 

Here's your chance to save!  Adults can save 30% off on all performances using code MOM - click here!  Discount does not apply to Front Row VIP or Gold Circle seats.  No double discounts.  Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply!  All tickets $2 more on day of show!





*Disclaimer:  I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided  me and my family with complimentary tickets to Feld shows as well as opportunities to attend private Feld pre-show events.  All opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. Pin It!

Review of Disney On Ice Presents: Let's Celebrate

On Friday the 24th we had the opportunity to go see Disney on Ice Presents: Let's Celebrate.  The weather was terrible that day, and we actually debated not going, but at the last minute decided we still would go, and I'm really glad we did! 

Venue:  The show was at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, which for us is way more convenient than seeing a show at the UC.  We liked that we only had to drive to Rosemont and there was minimal traffic for us!

Tickets & Parking.  Dave had already told me that picking up tickets from Allstate kind of stinks.  He was right.  Their will-call is a separate building across the street.  Inside it was kind of chaotic.  People kept walking in off the street and right up to a window while I was still waiting in line.  Guess I should have moved around.  I did get the tickets easily though, but then I had to walk back to where Dave was waiting for me.  There isn't really anywhere to park near will call, so I had to gather the kids and carry both of them inside and wait on Dave.  That part was lame, but parking was free, so that was cool. 

Inside:  Once Dave got inside we were able to get right to our seats.  We had 3 seats, and Isla sat on my lap... although Ian mostly sat on Dave's lap.  There are tons of overpriced things for sale inside, from tshirts, to pictures "with" the cast members, which is to be expected at any kids show.  Luckily, Ian doesn't really bug us about that kind of stuff, so we were able to avoid it!  We had also had a snack in the car and drinks, so we avoided that too! 

The Show:  The show, Disney On Ice Presents: Let's Celebrate was basically about different celebrations- The Merry Un-Birthday from Alice & Wonderland, Halloween with Jack Skellington and Disney villains, Christmas with Minnie & Mickey.  Just like last time, Ian was a little scared at first in the beginning, I think because he mostly didn't know what to expect.  By the end though he was smiling and laughing.  We all agreed that our favorite part was Halloween with Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas - Ian loves that movie.  The show started at 7:30 and we were in our car by 9:15 and that was after staying a little extra afterwards to see some "behind the scenes" stuff.  There is a short intermission in the middle. 

Leaving the venue:  We actually got out and to our car pretty easily.  It had snowed during the show and the wind was whipping and it was freezing outside, so getting to our car as quickly as possible was a bonus.  We even got our of the lot relatively quick! 

So overall we had a great time and it didn't cost us anything*!  Here are the pics!

 the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington

 snuggling with this sweet little bunny who enjoyed people watching!

 Hawaiian Celebration

 Minnie in Japan

 Mickey celebrating Chinese New Year

 Chinese New Year Dragon

 Mardi Gras celebration!

 Christmas!

 Jessie & Buzz Lightyear

 Daisy Duck

 Closing Number!

my boys post show!

Can't wait until our next show!



*Disclaimer:  I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided  me and my family with complimentary tickets to Feld shows as well as opportunities to attend private Feld pre-show events.  All opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. Pin It!