Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Badge !

We've got a brand spankin new badge! What do ya think? If you've grabbed our badge go ahead and update your blog! Oh and all of those pages up there on the nav bar are in full working order now! :) Read more!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Guest blogging at the Foster Family!

I'll be guest blogging over at the Foster Family but until then I thought I'd share the craziness with all of you!
My first thought as a guest blogger in Jenni's house was how totally jealous I am that she has not only one but two precious little babes. I have always had a fascination with multiples, have always dreamed of having a set, or dare I say, two sets ::choke:: I think it would be pure bliss. And I'm sure as she reads this she will laugh hysterically and kindly tell me careful what you wish for! And I get it, I totally get it, it's easy to get wrapped up in the love drunk idea of twins or triplets but there is this whole thing called REALITY!

Well so here I am to offer that same concept and insight into the life of a WAHM. Sounds great right? Sounds like the best of both worlds, you get to continue to make money, have adult interaction, AND stay home with your beautiful bundle. You're right, it IS great! End of post.

Ok not really... in all seriousness it is the classic double edged sword. I have blogged a little bit in the past of my duality as mom and business owner and it seems with how busy I've been lately that this is a natural topic of discussion. As I said, working from home is absolutely the best of both worlds and it's also the worst of both worlds. Yes, I get to provide an income for my family, I get the confidence of knowing that I own and operate a successful business, I get the satisfaction and flexibility of making my own schedule, and I get to watch every moment of my son growing up. However in the meantime I get to endure complete exhaustion as I learn how to juggle 5 million plates in the air and oh the devastation if one of those plates drops! At times things can look pretty hectic and I'd love for you all to be a fly on the wall of my home. I offer you the following... a typical day in the life of mompreneur...

Wake up, change kid, feed kid, coo and giggle with kid and realize I've missed 4 phone calls because I cooed too long. Get babe to sleep for first nap, begin opening business emails, start replying to most important ones while stopping every 10 minutes to play the pacifier game with the sleeping kid. Proofread emails 1500 times because I lost my train of thought playing the paci game and none of my sentences make any sense. Stop emailing completely because kid has projectile puked all over himself, wipe him off, put his bib back on him, and get him back to sleep. Get half of the emails sent, check voicemails and prioritize call backs. Start checking orders interrupted by babe waking up from nap. Feed babe, coo and giggle with babe, projectile vomit #2, time to change kid since we have a 2 vomit rule per article of clothing. Change my own clothes thanks to vomit.

Where was I??? Oh yes, put kid in Bumbo or Jumperoo and begin making business phone calls. Apologize to first client since I forgot to turn off the baby goo ga tone of voice when saying hello. Walk into the other room to complete phone call since Jumperoo is making monkey noises. Finish phone call number 1 promptly when child begins to wail from the other room. Take kid out of Jumperoo and move to Boppy with paci for another nap. Continue with business phone calls. Try to maintain composure and control gag reflex in the middle of huge business call when babe decides it's time to poop next to me on the couch. Change kid, find blowout surprise, wash changing pad cover due to blowout, and onto outfit #3.

Pick up kid, almost faint realizing it's 3:00 and no food yet for the day. Grab something from fridge to eat. Start order processing, stop promptly realizing it's 3:30 and the dogs have not been out to pee nor eaten breakfast yet. Take care of dogs, answer random door visits from the Mormons trying to share God's message with people or the neighbor kids selling pies. Take various phone calls from hubby asking about bids or customer service or scheduling for business #2. Realize orders needed to be shipped, start frantically packing up orders. Realize why the kid has been screaming for a half an hour, it's past his feeding time. Get bottle for babe, prop bottle with blanket, sit next to babe and continue packing orders. Urge child to eat quicker since it's 4:45 and the post office will be closing in 15 minutes. Pack up kid and orders, rush to post office, get orders sent out phew! Clean projectile puke off of carseat, replace bib. Ponder dinner options during the ride home. Hubby gets home and gets kid duty, I cook dinner, then check personal emails and check in with family and friends. Submit various PR pitches, edit website, blog. Make list of things to do, orders to fill, and PR tasks for the following day. Head to bed!

Notice you didn't catch a shower in there... notice there was no teeth brushing in the agenda either, those are "special treats" sexy huh! And there you have it, the life of a work at home mom! So YES it is wonderful.... but remember.... careful what you wish for ;)

Thanks for having me!!
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Work from home, surveys for cash, I went for it!

So I heard of the idea of surveying for cash, sounded like a good idea but almost too good to be true. I was highly skeptical and therefore, decided to go with some personal referrals for the first companies I signed up with. I was very concerned with being spammed after giving my email address out and I was also concerned with the information I provided remaining confidential. The next thought I had was- does it really work or am I going to do all of this work for nothing?

After joining the first two companies and seeing how they operated I decided to start doing some more research. First off, I googled "surveys for cash" and several articles about scams pulled up. This is where I found one website of a blogger that addressed the scam concerns and offered her own list of LEGITIMATE surveying companies, of which she had personally used in the past. This is where I started building the list of companies that I joined. From there I was directed to a handful of other companies and I'm still open to more as long as they are personally referred.

I had to teach myself how this whole game works and I think I've got a pretty clear idea now after joining probably 15 different companies. Each of them operate slightly differently, each of them have different ways of rewarding you for your time. My main requirement for the companies I joined was that they offer CASH rewards, not merchandise rewards. I could care less about getting a few bucks to use at Amazon, I want a check in my hands that can go into my bank account. The next requirement I had was that the "cash out" level remained relatively low for example a $5 or $10 cash out level versus a $50 one. That way the money I was making was easily accessible and I wouldn't be waiting for a year to reap the rewards.

There are a lot of types of surveying options out there. Traditional surveys with a variety of questions to submit completely done online, Poll surveys where you simply vote in a poll, and market research groups where you are approached to participate in a focus group or similar type of research which can involve actual product testing. I have joined companies encompassing each of these options. Obviously, the more companies you join the more surveys you get. Some companies may only send you one survey a month where others may send you multiple a day.

Depending on the company, your compensation for surveys varies but as a general idea you can earn anywhere from about .50 to $5.00 per survey. After doing just a few a day you can start getting a decent balance going. After doing these for about 2 weeks I think I've made somewhere around $30-$40. Certainly not something you will get rich doing but pretty nice to get your $10 checks in the mail, they add up quickly! I received my first check earlier this week for $12, I had only completed 3 surveys for that company. After requesting my check it arrived a mere 4 days later despite the website info stating 4-8 weeks!

So now that I've officially been paid I'm now a believer in the survey system! It is something that can definitely add some money to your wallet and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to work from home. It's a great option, very easy.

One of the main questions I am asked is whether or not the time put into answering the surveys is worth it. I would say yes. You spend a good amount of time getting your accounts set up IF you fill out the member profile questions (which pre-qualify you for more surveys). Granted I work on the computer most of the day so I have the ability to pop in and take surveys throughout the day but I think you could certainly save them all up for your free time and spend an hour a day taking them and make a good chunk of change once you get rolling.

If you want to see the companies I have joined, check out this post!

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The life of a stay at home mom...

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks..


Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar:

'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'
 
Happy Friday Ya'll :) Read more!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winner: Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! Using random number generator, over at random.org, number 5 was our lucky winner. That's you Jaime!! I have emailed you about winning, please respond with your information so that I can get the pillow to you, and congratulations!

Keep in touch, I will post more giveaways throughout the year! Read more!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pssst... vote for us... click below!

The voting has been re-set, so show some love and click here to vote for us, maybe we can get closer to the #1 spot :)
We Are A Top Baby Blog






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Blogging... for me.... in my own words

PS. LAST DAY TO ENTER THE UTTERLY YOURS GIVEAWAY...

What is blogging for you? A job, a hobby, or both? Both, it started as a hobby and I realized that I might as well try and make money while doing it, so it's become a bit of a 'side job' now if you could call it that.

If I could start my blog all over again I would... find a designer to create the layout the way I want, which I'm having to do now and backtrack, it makes a lot of extra work.

I started blogging because? I was asked to document my pregnancy week by week as a guest blogger. I found it so therapeutic and so much fun to reflect on that I decided it would be natural to continue discussing my life as I learned what it means to be a mother.

If you could blog anywhere in the world where would it be? A toss up between a secluded island in the carribbean or Ireland.

The thing I love most about my blog is? It's me, it's my life, it's my family... no details spared, brutally honest, that's why I started it and that's what I love about it.

My non-blogging friends and family think blogging is... odd, why would you put your life on the internet? But they don't understand the outlet that writing gives me, the sense of comradery that I get by chatting with all of you, and the emotional bearing of what I pour into my posts to be able to grow as an individual.

I blog because... I want to be able to reflect on my life, to see how things changed when I became a mother, how my heart has grown, how I have grown, how my marriage has grown. And I love the opportunity to connect with other women out there going through the same thing, to maybe inspire, share with, laugh with.

My husband thinks blogging is... a good outlet for me and a nice way to share my life (I asked him and this is what he said)

The best blog post I've ever written was? One of my letters to Holden... I get so emotional thinking about how fast he's growing and how I can't wait to be a spectator for his life and see all that he can become.

The best advice I have for mom bloggers is? Be honest, people want to connect with REAL people, not overexaggerated, inflated, untouchable people. They want to hear about people like themselves. And if you're going to put your life out there you have to be willing to put it ALL out there, not pick and choose.

The one topic I will not touch on my mom blog is? You know there probably isn't anything I wouldn't discuss, I'm all about free speech and I understand that everyone has an opinion and they're more than entitled to it. Even issues like abortion, politics, the like I would discuss... they may not be on the top of my list of ideas to blog about but my views make up who I am and how I live. So as of now nothing is off limits.

If my blog was a car it would be a? My blog is an extension of myself so an H1 Hummer would be it! Intimidating on the outside, looks like it would run you over, accomodates a ton of people, is safe, is unique, is innovative yet old fashioned, and once you get used to it you'd never want anything else.

If Hollywood made a movie about your blog who would you insist play you? Reese Witherspoon or Katherine Heigle they're both cute, quarky, honest, and great moms. I love their personalities!

The best comment I ever received was? One woman told me that my blog means the world to her and that it has made her appreciate her pregnancy and enjoy it each day no matter what. And that she can't wait to meet her child because she sees how much love I have for Holden. This is one of the reasons I blog, to connect with other women, to inspire... this comment made my day.

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A wordless wednesday post...




Vote For Us @ TopBabyBlogs.Com - A Top Baby Blog List By topbabyblogs.com


 


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giveaway! Petunia Picklebottom Heirloom backpack

HELLOH! It's pretty much adorable! Turns out that Petunia Pickle Bottom is turning 10! And to celebrate, they’re giving away a limited edition Heirloom backpack ($210, above) to one lucky reader. The beautiful bag is made with a specially designed fabric that showcases some of the company’s iconic patterns. Plus, it features a waterproof built-in changing station complete with detachable pad, two pockets for wipes, four bottle pockets and a handy key clip.

Online entries must be received between 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on 2/22/10 and 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 2/28/10. Hurry up and go HERE to submit your entry! Read more!

Fallen of the weight loss wagon

Umm yea... and trust me you don't want to see a picture of what that means exactly, it's kind of scary. I'm almost tempted to tell people that I'm pregnant again so that I can avoid the awkward stares. They glance at my mid section and then at my baby and back again as they're trying to deduce how old the child is and whether it is socially acceptable that I have a slight spare tire lingering or if possibly I may have another bun baking. I can hear their wheels turning... how nice.

So hubbs has P90X, he bought the program before our wedding to whip himself into shape, I watched it and it's brutal. And my new decision has come down to, do I go for the P90X OR do I go for the highly recommended 30 Day Shred with self proclaimed sadist Ms. Jillian Michaels. Decisions.. decisions.. but here's one decision I was able make, I'm fat and something needs to be done, I mean it's almost swimsuit season ::::shudder::::: And for all of you who know me who are rolling your eyes at the comment that I'm "fat" yea yea yea I know, but I'm my own worst critic and all the matters is that I'm happy with myself, so if calling myself fat is enough motivation to get my butt working out then so be it.

And this is going to be a group effort folks, I'm all about peer pressure, make that "spousal pressure" because if I'm going to bust my booty and try to eat better and work out then guess who's going to get down and dirty with me, yep that's right hubbs! I don't believe "for fat or thin" was part of the vows so it's time to climb out of the denial cave and get it going! Read more!

The Sunshine Award!

I was so happy to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award, I felt so special and honored!! My friend over at Hormonal Imbalances nominated me and if you're looking for a great blog to follow check her out. She's a fellow Coloradan mommy who cloth diapers (that alone is amazing) and is welcome to come and clean and organize my house anytime she wants!! Not to mention her adorable daughter Bella just about Holden's age.

So for my award, the rules for accepting the Sunshine Award are as follows…

1. Put the logo in my post or within my blog.
2. Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within my post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person who gave you the award!

My nominations, I'll try and spread the love around to bloggers that might not have received this award yet, I don't have 12 but these blogs are all awesome in their own way!

3 Under Three does she need an explanation!

After Jillian an incredible mom blogging about the loss of her baby

Molly & Mommy the deal finder mom! with adorable babe Molly

Nurse Momma a fellow nurse mom

The 818 because she's a hilarious Cali mom

Jayden & Mommy because she's an awesome lady with a super cute little girl

Moms Rock the Economy a blog that can help save my business!

When October Falls she hasn't posted in a while but it was amazing to watch her deal with waiting for her unborn baby to take it's wings, a strong strong woman. Read more!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Juggling Act: learning to manage business, a baby, and keeping a healthy relationship

So the blog has been a little bit neglected lately. And it has been on purpose. The hubby and I had a long discussion last week and it turns out that our relationship has been neglected while we have been trying to figure out how to balance all of the plates in the air.

This last year has been extremely stressful for us. There have been some major life changes in our household. You take the stress of a new baby, the economic times, and being self employed and it's a recipe for disaster. Our mission is to find a way to manage it all and we've been hanging on by a thread lately.

We are both self employed and while that may seem like an ideal circumstance I am here to offer you the other side of the equation. When you own your own business your entire life is consumed with it whether you like it or not. You literally work 24/7 and then even find yourself dreaming about work. It is certainly a double-edged sword. I spend every waking moment handling something from both businesses whether it's running bids, customer service, sending out orders, answering emails, pitching my products, you name it. I have become addicted, in a way, to the computer because of this, because I'm constantly on the laptop doing work. So when my husband arrives home from work I have a hard time shifting gears. It has just snowballed to where we'll literally speak to eachother for a total of 10 minutes in the evenings while sitting next to each other working on the computers. It was certainly time for both of us to open our eyes and strive to make a change.

Not only has it been hard adjusting to getting the same amount of work done when half of my time is taken up with caring for Holden, but the past year has come with the added stress of our business dropping by about half. With the housing market in the tank our business has suffered greatly which has meant a major adjustment to the way we do things. It's hard to turn the switch off in the evening and focus on each other on our family. But we're here to make it work, there has never been a challenge presented to me that I haven't tackled.

So after our long discussion we both agreed that it was time to find "US" again, it was time to start cooking together in the kitchen again, time to start snuggling on the couch again, time to go for walks in the evenings again. All of these things that have taken a backseat, will no longer be put on the back burner.

The best thing about my marriage and my husband is that we ALWAYS come together in the end. There hasn't been one circumstance in our 6 years together that has ever pulled us apart, instead it's quite the opposite, we come out so much stronger in the end. We have amazing communication, we make an amazing team, and we love each other with as much passion today as we had when we first met. So if you find the posts slowing down and the orders taking longer to ship and the emails not getting answered right away, I'm sorry but my family and my marriage come first, and I think all of us could stand to be reminded of this.

My challenge to all of you- turn off the tv, shut down the computer, and engage in a good old fashioned conversation over a glass of wine. Reconnect with your loved one, it will do wonders for your relationship and strengthen your foundation together. Read more!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calling All Mom Owned Businesses!!

Being a mompreneur myself I am all about supporting other Mom C.E.O's!! I will be creating a page on my blog for this purpose. I will gladly post info on mom owned businesses for my readers so if you're a mom with a business and would like me to list your company. Please fill out the contact form with your company name and website! Read more!

Vote for us! Vote for us!

Denver has a magazine called 5280 and they do an issue every year called Top of the Town where consumers vote on their favorite things from best coffee house to best dog groomer. So we're campaigning for votes if you all would so kindly oblige us!

Click here to get your ballot http://www.5280.com/tot/ they will ask for your email address to send the ballot to you. (they won't spam you, it's just a way to validate the ballots) Open your email and click the link that they give you, this will take you to the voting. There are a billion categories to vote in, you DON'T have to fill out all of them, just look to the rightside of the page where it says "Jump To Category" and select People. There will be a section for best blog/blogger and best entrepreneur. You can copy and paste this into each category and submit vote, that's it!

Best Blogger: Momma Maven In the Making ashleighandshaun.blogspot.com

Best Entrepreneur: Shaun Farrell, 5280 Home Construction (this is my hubby and he would love your votes too :)

Thank you thank you thank you, we really appreciate it ya'll!! Read more!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Giveaway: Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow!!

Alrighty folks, up for grabs is the super cute and useful Utterly Yours pregnancy pillow. Whether you're currently pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant, or know that another pregnancy is in your future at some point you will not want to miss out, for serious ladies!

We've all heard of pregnancy pillows, I personally bought up every one possible while I was pregnant hoping and praying for ANY form of relief from the aches, oh the aches... By the end of my 9 mos I used a combo of several products on the market. The Utterly Yours pillow was one of them, it was my favorite option for traveling for obvious reasons and it was absolutely the cutest one I had seen!!











You can read my personal review of the Utterly Yours pillow from when I was pregnant and decide for yourself if this is a good option for your needs. And keep in mind this is a MOM OWNED BUSINESS, which the Maven is a huge proponent of!!!!


The Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow will help women find the most comfortable resting position with its special revolutionary cubic design. When opened, it forms two triangles. Memory foam on one half of the pillow conforms to the mothers belly. The other half of the pillow is made of higher density foam to support the back while keeping the body positioned to one side comfortably. The fabric that connects the two sides stretches to accommodate women as their bodies grow throughout their pregnancy.

While one of the biggest complaints of pregnancy pillows is that they are too bulky-taking up half the bed at night and no place to discreetly store during the day-the Utterly Yours product is quite simply the most compact pregnancy pillow on the market.


So how to win your very own? (cutesy orange retro like the one above!)

Pick one or more of the following ways to submit an entry, you can get additional entries by doing any of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each.

1. Become a follower of this blog (2 entries)
2. Tweet about our giveaway and post a link to your Twitter profile (1 entry)
3. Click here to vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs (1 entry)
4. Click here to vote for us on Top Baby Blogs (1 entry)
5. Blog about this giveaway on your blog and comment with a link to your post (3 entries)
6. Follow us on Twitter! TheMommaMaven (1 entry)

Check back February 25 when our winner will be randomly selected!!
(Our comments are deciding to have a mind of their own for now... so go ahead and leave your entry in the form section on the top right of the page. All info is sent in an email to me, completely confidential. Until I get the little nasty comments fixed I will review entries this way :) thanks!)

 
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Survey companies I use myself that I recommend

Here's a list of the various companies that I have signed up with along with a description of how that particular site works and my opinion of it. If you're debating whether or not to join the survey world I would pursue these companies first and add more if you are interested.

The Survey List

Opinion Outpost: I get a handful of surveys from them a week. They pay pretty well usually $2-$3 and have a $5 cash out level! This system is very organized, very easy to follow, and one of my favorites. You also receive the chance to enter a sweepstakes or instant win if you don't qualify for a survey rather than getting nothing which is nice. You are always redirected back to them after completing your survey as opposed to other sites that leave you hanging wondering if you received credit or not. I like the way this site is set up the best.

Survey Saavy: I get a limited amount of surveys from them, maybe 3 total so far and I haven't qualified for any yet. However they pay very well if you DO qualify, I've seen $9-$25 per survey.

Clear Voice Surveys: This company sends me about 5 or so a week. They pay on the lower end from about .50 to $1.50 and it takes a while for them to credit your account. The cash out level is only $10. The main problem I've seen is that you have to jump on their survey invites quickly otherwise they meet their quota. One good thing about them is that they offer you .10 if you don't qualify for their surveys which adds up pretty quickly. Also a very organized system.

Daily Survey Panel: This company warehouses a TON of surveys and is very confusing at first. I hated it until I used it for a good few weeks and saw the reward points come piling in. They have a list of available surveys that you can take and then they have their DAILY surveys. There are 3 daily surveys they send you every day. So there is no shortage of survey opportunities with them. They basically are a middleman for several other survey sites and they refer you out to take surveys on other sites. The problem I had was that their system is not organized well, your points don't get credited until a day or so later so it's hard to track. The other confusing aspect is that you are supposed to continually attempt to take a survey UNTIL you qualify, so essentially you open your first survey and could try 10 times before actually getting to take one. That part is not good but if you're persistent and put up with it the rewards add up very very quickly. Their cashout is only $10 and they will do a Paypal transfer. Once you get the hang of this site it is fine but at first it is very confusing and annoying.

EPoll: This is a poll company where all you do is answer polls. I've done just a couple, they are usually surrounding pop culture and kind of fun. Reward can be used for cash or for a ton of gift cards to things from Home Depot to Red Lobster.

Bakerstreet: Haven't done anything with them yet but they only send you product test opportunities. No emails, no surveys, they only contact you when they have a product to test. Easy!

Baby Center Moms Panel:  Haven't received any invitations for this company yet but it came highly recommended especially if you have children.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Testing out the Jumperoo for the first time!

How did it go??? Well you tell me....














AHHHH jungle creatures are everywhere!!! So cute :) he enjoyed himself and had quite the convo with the frog and mccaw. Of course we had to put a pillow underneath him so that he could reach but he LOVES to kick and bounce so naturally he took right to the Jumperoo.

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Winner: V-Day giveaway

Thank you everyone who participated in the Valentine's Day group giveaway! We had a blast reading all of your hilarious responses. There were hundreds to choose from and it was nearly impossible. From the finalists I used a random number generator to select our final winner. Congratulations to Anne over at http://www.nikandnoelle.blogspot.com/ you're our lucky winner. I have emailed you to get the specifics for your Personalized Momy Tee.

Keep checking back, I'll offer giveaways periodically throughout the year guys! Read more!

Music Monday: Waiting on a Woman- Brad Paisley

I woke up with this song stuck in my head... made me smile... made me cry.... made me remember good times... made me excited for the future... made me scared of the "end".... and made me remember how much I love my husband and the love letter that he gave me for our one year anniversary telling me that when he gets to the 'other side' he'll be waiting for me to round the corner once again just like I rounded the corner on my Dad's arm at our wedding and how I rounded the corner in his house the first time that we met...... Read more!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Momma's got a brand new bag...

Ok well not a new bag, but take a look around, something's new!! We have a whole new look!! (again)!!You know I am kind of a freak about things... I seem to change my mind constantly... and this is just the product of one of those moments. I was bored with the old blog, ready for a facelift, so voila... new blog.

Now it is NO where near done! As good as I may be at html coding, I have found myself stumped with this one, so I'm waiting for an "expert" to help me out and fix some things here. Notice those weird red things at the post titles.... yea, I hate them too so they need to GO! Notice how overwhelming everything seems, too much going on, yea I see that too and I'm going to fix it. And see the pages like Contact Me, yep they don't work yet. But for now it's coming along, a work in progress. Kind of like a new pair of shoes, you love love love them when you buy them and over time you're bored and ready for a new pair, thus is my blog. So don't be surprised if we head down this road again a time or two in the future ;) Read more!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hooray for V-Day!


I must say I love the holiday, it's so romantic if you want it to be. Some people criticize it saying that it's just all about commercializing love and driving consumer sales. I have to disagree, yes our consumer land benefits from the officially declared holiday of love but that's not what it's about for me. In the craziness of life it's so easy to become complacent and forget about the love in our lives. Especially with a new baby, when the heck do you find time to nuzzle and cuddle your significant other and remind them of how much they mean to you? I am grateful to Saint Valentine for giving me a reminder and an excuse to tell my husband how much I love him since I know there is no way I could do that often enough. I'm grateful for the subtle kick in the butt to put forth the effort in our marriage that may have slipped away over the years. It gives us a chance to "rekindle the flame" to remember what it was like when we were newly dating, remember the butterflies, remember the fact that we held hands every single time we were in the car, remember all of the memories of the journey we've taken to get to this place in life.

So in the spirit of mi amore do me a favor and peel back the layers of chocolate covered strawberries, red long stem roses, and oodles of Hallmark cards that make you cry and remember what this holiday REALLY means, and get something out of it. Cherish the love you have for your partner, the love you have for your child and family, the things that have been neglected.

As for our V-day, I personally woke up to 2 cards, one from my hubby and one from my 3 month old son reading "Happy Valitines Day" it was precious. And we will be sitting on the couch together sharing tissues, no not from the sappy cards, but because hubbs and I managed to get sick somehow... So while you're out loving on your Valentine picture us sitting here in our PJ's, drinking tea, eating Sudafed, and running through 30 boxes of Kleenex..... how romantic... sniff   sniff   a-choo   ;) Read more!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kelly Moore bag giveaway!

Be still my heart... this is GORG!!! I seriously must have it. Kelly Moore brings you the most beautiful bag, technicaly designed to be a photographers bag but omg how about as a diaper bag. The ultimate girlie baby bag. I love it. Go see all of her fantastic and beautiful things Kelly Moore Bags

So want one of your own?? Uh huh, I know, me too! Head on over to see MckMama and submit your entry. Or go ahead and use discount code MckMama and get $75 OFF!!!

Oh yea and stay tuned for our Udderly Yours giveaway coming up... you will want to see this if another pregnancy is in your future!!
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who knew?! His favorite toy... Help us name Mr. Ray!!!

So when my family was in town we visited the Denver Aquarium which was fantastic, much more interesting than I thought it would be. HL slept the entire time in his stroller, but mommy enjoyed herself. Since he wasn't able to enjoy the real fish I decided to buy him an adorable sting ray in the gift shop, I thought it was really cute and something to add to the toy box. I had no idea that this sting ray would become his absolutely favorite toy! Notice the common denominator in all of the photos! He literally lights up and starts giggling and talking the second you put Mr. Ray on him. He loves to squeeze his beanbag center, he likes to nom on his face, and he loves to grope his eyeballs. The sting ray has become part of our morning routine, he will play with him until he gets tired and then drifts off clinging to his favorite little stuffed animal (whatever you call a sting ray??)

Problem is that I never expected the huge toy to go over so big and now he needs a name... so any suggestions?? I put a poll up with a couple of ideas that popped into my head. So help us name the adorable sting ray.
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Baby Pee.... on the couch... yes on the COUCH!

So I had a major mommy fail this morning! Poor Holden, you're going to be one tough cookie when I'm done with you. We had a nice peaceful morning, got out of bed, got some breakfast- the usual nummy Nutramigen bottle, hung out with the sting ray on the couch, chatted and played, watched some tv. Great morning, but I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't go to sleep after his typical hour and a half of wake time. So I scooted him back up in the Boppy to give him his pacifier and oh... my.... gosh.... there was a pool of pee the size of a dinner plate underneath him!!

Um yes, yours truly, Mom of the YEAR, forgot the whole CHANGE the diaper part of the morning routine!!! ::::slaps forehead:::: you've got to be kidding me, I totally forgot to change him when we woke up before giving him his bottle. And this goes to show you that my child could care less if he has pee in his hair and poop up to his ears, he doesn't complain! So I have to be diligent about changing him on a schedule rather than waiting for him to fuss because he's wet himself. I mean the kid was sopping wet, onesie completely drenched, sweat pants that could be rung out, socks soaked... and he was just happily playing with the sting ray. (which reminds me, since Mr. Ray has become such a favorite, I think he should have a name... any suggestions?)

So sorry Holden for being a horrible mommy this morning and letting you play in your pee pool. Now I have a child to bathe, a couch to clean, and laundry to do including the changing pad because his clothes were so wet that they drenched the changing pad while I got them off of him... Read more!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Music Monday- Free & Easy Down The Road I Go- Dierks Bentley

Lots of decisions to be made in the Maven household... so the Music Monday post today is in spirit of this. Not to mention my love of Dierks who was FAB in concert...

Aint no tellin where the wind might blow...
Free and easy down the road I go

If you only get to go around one time
I'm gonna sit back and try to enjoy the ride

I could make a million or wind up broke
Free and easy down the road I go

Can't take it with you when you go so
free and easy down the road I go...

Someday I know it's gonna take me home so
free and easy down the road I go...
Read more!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

3 months along, who is this child?!

Hey better late than never, I've been waiting to post this until I had all of the updates! It's hard to keep the updates regular because Mr. HL is changing and growing so quickly I, myself, can hardly keep track! I almost have a 4 month old... what the heck... when did THAT happen? First off, and I'm proud to say and I'm no longer afraid of taunting the colic gods.... THE COLIC IS GONE!!! And yes I'm shouting at you because IT'S GONE!!! At about 13 weeks old we saw our last hideous, horrible, devilish, colic monster rear it's head. And now I'm left with a baby who peacefully hangs out on the couch, eats his food, and calmly puts himself to sleep. What in the world do I do with myself now?! I guess I can stop being a sucky business person and get some loose ends wrapped up finally.

So that's the most exciting news. Next up we've had a lot of firsts at the 3 month mark. He ROLLED over for the first time about 2 weeks ago. Back to tummy and then he was ***thisclose*** to rolling tummy to back, that will be soon I'm sure. I have yet to get it on camera because the little monster has a sixth sense when the cameras come out and immediately stops whatever he's doing dang! We have now become a fan of the Jumperoo as you can see in some of the previous posts. And we tried out our oatmeal cereal for the first time a couple of nights ago. Surpringly, he ate very well from the spoon and seemed to enjoy the oatmeal although I think he had no idea what it was, he kept looking at me like "why are you feeding me my milk from this stupid contraption mom?"

I can't believe how big he's getting... weighed him the other day with clothes on at 12 lbs. 14 oz! That's two and a half times his birth weight, oh my. He has quite the personality these days too, definitely has a temper and a lack of patience (I have NO idea where he gets that from!). And he's quite the charmer, do you see that smile...ugh how can you not melt into pieces. Read more!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Parenting.com Baby Model Contest!

I tried this a month ago and couldn't get the code to work, so here I try again! Sooo many adorable babies in this contest, but I had to throw Holden in there because I think he's the most beautiful baby ever ;) If you do too then click below and  vote for him!


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Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy 3 Months Sweet Boy!

Dear Holden, you are officially 3 months old today... wow... 3 months that brings a smile to my face. We made it buddy, you and me and daddy, we did it. We've all been learning this thing together and so far no major injuries so a round of applause for the 3 of us!

Right now you're dozing off to dreamland next to me on the couch. We're watching Martha Stewart make superbowl recipes with an audience of all men, the Man Show. I'm looking at all of these men and thinking about how you will be one of them one day. One day too soon I'm sure... What kind of a man will you grow up to be sweet boy... lord knows you have the most amazing role model father to lead the way. Will you be a tough guy? Shy and reserved? A football player or a theater major? What will your dreams and aspirations be Holden... what plan will you have for your life...

I can't wait to be a spectator for your life bubba, I can't wait to watch you achieve all of your goals and learn about the wonders this world has to offer. I am so proud to be your mother. I am so thankful for everything that you have taught me so far and for the vast amount of lessons that you will continue to teach me throughout life. I cherish these times that I have you all to myself, just you and me, on the couch, snuggling together while you'll still let me. I love you son, with all of my heart and soul. Happy quarter of a year big boy... Read more!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Go See My Maternity Pics!

In case you missed my maternity photos you can check out a handful of them here. Our wonderful photographer and great family friend took the most amazing pictures... they make me cry still to this day... check out her blog post about our shoot. And if you're in the Seattle area make sure she's on your list of photographers, she has an amazing talent!! http://www.katiesweddings.com/2010/02/03/ashleigh-and-shaun-pregnancy-shoot/comment-page-1/#comment-20 Read more!

THE GIVEAWAY YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!

Entry open from February 4th to February 13th.
And the giveaway you've all been anxiously awaiting, right?! Ok well anyway here it is... it's your chance to rock the same duds as your favorite celebrity fans. See Jessica Alba sporting her "Honor's Mom" tee on the playground and enter here to win your very own. Not only are they cute, but who wouldn't want to show off their newly achieved mommyhood status! Not to mention showing off that name for your little one that you so pain-stakingly picked out during your 9 months of baby baking. So here's your chance to win a personalized mommy tee!

Brought to you by Bella B Maternity, Bella is proud to offer maternity for the entire family! From maternity wear and Mom wear, to things for Dads and tees for tots, to tutus and diaper bags it’s all there. Check out Bella’s gear and all of their celebrity fans like Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, and Tori Spelling. Head over and stock up on some upscale fashions and accessories at bargain prices. You can shop at Bella B Maternity

So how do you win? Well this giveaway offers you multiple chances to win because we've teamed up with some fan-tab-u-lous mommy bloggers out there to do a group giveaway! So become a follower here and then go visit our friends!! They are hilarious, wonderfully entertaining, and moms just like you. We're all trying to figure out this motherhood thing and we all love free stuff. In order to win become a follower and leave an entry on each of the participating blogs.

About your entry.... In the spirit of the LOVEY dovey holiday approaching you will need to share with us your favorite pick up line or the worst pick up line that you've had the pleasure of hearing. Us mommies need some entertainment and need to reminsce about the dating years while we deal with poopie diapers, so humor us. Each of us will pick our favorite from our blog, these winners will be pooled. and an ultimate winner will be chosen. Stay tuned to hear about the winner because for all of you NON winners, we still love you, and you will receive a 10% discount code to use on Bella's gear!

So get to blog hopping!! Leave an entry on each of the following... and if you happen to fall in love with us then do us a favor and VOTE for each of us on Top Mommy Blogs!!


 The818 button
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Monday, February 1, 2010

A Contractor's Son

2 months old and already a drill in his hands.... the tiny Makita is as big as him! HL was helping Daddy with the cabinets. They did a good job on the kitchen and Mommy thanks them ;) Read more!
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