Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DaBib- Review and Giveaway!!!

If you have ever fed a child, you know the typical scene. Food is everywhere. Not only is it on baby, but its on you, the dog, and everything within 5 feet of you. Well, we have tried a bazillion bibs and either they are too small, {B} can take them off easily, or they are too stiff and he refuses to wear them.Then I found these gems...DaBib! The bib (or DaBib I should say!!) is the perfect solution to all of my problems and baby {B}'s problems. It is a great size, so it fits over the shoulders and is long enough to go ontoo his lap. It has a nice and soft scrunch collar that is velcro adjustable so NO food gets underneath the bib onto baby's clothes or skin, and it even has a foldable food collecting pouch that is perfect for those messy finger foods you don't want ending up in baby's lap. DaBibs come in 2 different styles, and we were sent a style of each to try out.

The HUGS style bib is a super-absorbent Micro-Fiber terry cloth on the front, and a waterproof material on the back. This bib is great for the first year for the maily liquid diet and spit-ups galore. You will love how soft it is and how much it absorbs. This bib comes in a few different pastel colors.

The Giggles bib is my favorite for the stage we are in. We were sent the mini-check style. It is a wipe-off bib and is completely waterproof. I love that it is not stiff or plastic like other bibs we havae tried, and that it is machine washable so it doesn't collect mold or bacteria. This is perfect for those messy solid foods, and this bib comes in various designs as well.

These bibs fit infants to toddler and are non-toxic, lead-free and are just plain adorable. Both styles have great patterns and colors for boys and girls alike.

Buy it: Head over to the DaBibs website to buy any of their great products. These bibs only retail $12.99, so pick up one for you and one for a baby shower! They make GREAT gifts.

Win it: The ladies at DaBibs have generously offered to give 1 DaBib in either style (Hugs or Giggles) of your choice to one lucky n.c. baby blog reader!

ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY: You must complete the mandatory entry before completing any other entries! All other entries are optional, but the more you complete, the better chance you have at winning! Leave one comment per entry.

1) Mandatory: Head on over to the DaBibs website and tell me which style and color bib you would choose if you win!

3) Follow n.c. baby blog (or tell me if you aleady do)

5) Share this link on Facebook ( you can do this once daily!)

6) Blog about this giveaway and leave your link so I can find it! (+3 entries, leave 3 comments) 7) Purchase anything from DaBibs during the giveaway period (+5 entries, leave 5 comments)

8) Enter any of my other CURRENT giveaways ( 1 entry for each giveaway entered)

9) Subscribe to n.c. baby blog via email ( on right side of blog)

10) Add my n.c. baby blog button to your blog! (+3 entries, leave 3 comments!)

GOOD LUCK!!! Giveaway will close 4/13 at 11:59 pm EST. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be picked the following day by Random.org and will be emailed and announced on the blog. Winner has 48 hours to confirm their prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Thank you to DaBibs for providing the sample and the giveaway prize!

DaBibs provided samples for my review and the prize for my readers. No other compensation was recieved. All opinions are 100 percent my own.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

and the winner of the Kinderglo night light is...

The winner of the Kinderglo night light is...

...#168 sueparks2003

THANK YOU everyone for entering this giveaway! I am blown away at how many awesome and diligent readers I have. Please make sure to enter my other current giveaways! I also have a great one coming up tomorrow, so check back! Winner has 48 hours to claim her prize, otherwise I will choose a new winner.

365 Love Letters Week 12

My daughter is (half) asleep in my arms as I type this one handed. I get a little lonely at night sometimes when I finish editing these photos. I stare at picture after picture of my daughter and get strangely excited for her 1 am feeding so I can see her squishy cheeks in person again, and kiss them.  She wouldn't let me put her back down so here I am, finishing this post one handed. But I can't get mad cause her smile in these photos are so sweet.

Another week of letters. I'm having more fun with these each day. Advice gets hard sometimes but something usually comes to me by the end of the day. Big thanks to Rachael for suggesting Day 84's advice! I love that quote. I'm am saving your other suggestions to give to Lil' J as I continue these.

Anne Geddes' people sent her new book to my job. I saw it up for grabs and snatched it up. It's inspired me to try to get more creative with my photos. I hope to have one funky/cute/creative photo to add to the mix next week.

My favorite photo this week is Day 81.I loved her expression, her cute hat, and the bright sky. The love letter is a bit cliche but oh so true!

Thanks again for letting me share these with you! As a thank you, everyone who comments on this post before April 11th will be entered to win an Easter onesie from Tutus by Gayle. There's a photo example at the end of this post!
Thanks for reading! Everyone who comments on this post before 4/11 will be entered to win a custom Easter onseies from Tutus by Gayle, between newborn and size 18-months. Use code "BABYMAKINGMAMA" to get free shipping. Friend her on facebook or twitter for an extra entry. Winner will be announced randomly drawn and announced on my facebook page.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not paying for your kid's college doesn't equal debt

This post brought to you by Ashworth College. All opinions are 100% mine.

My friends at school were talking about their college funds. When they asked me how much I had in my savings account. Money wasn’t such a personal thing back then. Or at least we didn’t know it was. So when I got home I asked my parents how much was in my college savings account.

My mom chuckled. I was confused.

“Well?” I pushed.

“Nothing,” she told me.

“NOTHING?” I was shocked. My parents who had been drilling education and the need to go to college in me since I could talk had nothing saved for me? “How am I going to go to college then?” My eye began to water as I felt my dreams washing away.

“You’ll take out loans,” she told me so matter-of-factly.


I let that word simmer in my mind for a while.

Years later I was in line waiting to go on stages for the Miss Teen Georgia Pageant (betcha didn’t know I was a pageant girl). I listened as they announced the reigning queen, and shared her achievements. That’s when I heard something that changed my life. The man over the microphone said she had applied and won enough scholarships to pay for her entire college degree, and books.

By this time I new scholarships existed, but I didn’t realized the extent that they helped. I worked hard to get good grades so I could go to college, and I had a fantastic GPA, but not the 4.0 I thought many academic scholarships wanted. I also didn’t realize how many independent scholarships were available.

You may remember my he says/she says from a few weeks ago discussing paying for our children’s college education. He says we should help our kids out and I say they can do it themselves.
Not paying for college doesn’t mean you expect your kids to take out tons and tons of loans and be in debt the rest of their lives. There are so many options. The GI bill, there are schools like Ashworth College , which are less expensive (by 50%) than other accredited online schools, grants and scholarships. It is possible to graduate without debt.

After hearing that announcement in that pageant I was determined to do that same. My senior year of high school I applied for scholarship after scholarship. A $500 scholarship here, a $1000 scholarship there. The good things was after writing a few scholarship essays I was able to recycle most of them for other awards I’d apply for.

Sadly, I didn’t win any. So I had to take out loans to pay for my books and living expenses that my grants didn’t pay for.

That next year I got married, and we were poor enough to get grants to pay for our school, and my husband’s athletic scholarship paid for our housing. We also worked part time, and full time in the summer to make ends meet.

I wrote for my college newspaper, and met others who had applied for and won journalism scholarships. By then I had started to realize the more specific the scholarship, the better.

We transferred schools where was husband wasn’t able to play collegiate sports. I created a resume and cover letter like I would for a job, and started applying for awards specific to my studies. I also visited my Universities’ multicultural office to inquire about other scholarships I could apply for. Based on my financial need and grades, I was able to obtain a full scholarship as long as I kept a 3.0 GPA, did service, and other requirements to stay in good standing.

I wasn’t satisfied yet. I was still working a couple of jobs to pay for our living expenses, and if I traveled for internships (which I planned to) I’d need money for that. I asked my professors and counselors if they knew of journalism scholarships I could apply for, and I worked with an adviser to perfect an application for an award I didn’t even know the amount of.

A month or so later the Dean of my college called me in to sit down and discuss the scholarship I had won--for $20,000. My mouth dropped. I was shaking when I called to tell my husband I had won an award that would more than pay for both of our college education.

That spring I went to a journalism convention as a volunteer and met scholarship winners who also were at the event for free. I picked up an application and tried to decide which to apply for. They ranged from $2,000 to $10,000 and I decided to go big or go home. Imagine my shock when I won again.

By then I had lost my need-based scholarship, but obviously I didn’t need it anymore. My last year I applied and won one more scholarship from a local television station, which helped pay for my internships and pay off the original loans we accrued.

I still worked through college to gain work experience (which also helped me to get the scholarships). I worked hard, and it paid off. I didn’t depend on my parents to pay for my schooling, and I didn’t need to take out loans and rack up mounds of debt.

I’m a strong believer in scholarships. So many companies and organizations offer scholarships to students. So many go unclaimed, and so many people don’t know how to find them. You don't have to skip out on saving for retirement to pay for your children's schooling. And they don't have to take out a mortgage to pay for loans. It doesn't matter what race you are, if you don't have a perfect GPA, or if you don't come from an affluent background. There are scholarships out there for everyone. I'd encourage those who are worried about saving for their student's schooling to work with their kids to find these, and improve their resume so they can win some of these awards that are out there.

That's what I plan to do with my daughter. And if we happen to save some money to help, well she's not going to know about it. Because I want her to work her butt off to earn the scholarship in my name. And if things go as I hope and she doesn't need it? Well, it would be a nice graduation present.

Plus, traditional Universities aren't for everyone. Ashworth College is 100% online, affordable, accredited and a great choice for obtaining a quality education They're now enrolling students using their Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits. Military personnel and their families can now receive up to $13,500 for 36 months of education benefits. With Ashworth College offering tuition that is 50% less than the average accredited online school, benefits can go even further and leave extra for a spouse or dependent!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Thirteen Weeks

I don't know how much more of this I can take. I mean, really. I don't even want to write anything else - let alone put it somewhere for other people to read - because I'm depressing myself.

I was feeling lovely and peaceful and philosophical, and then yesterday hit, and now today, when I would have been 13 weeks pregnant and my baby would have been the size of a medium shrimp. Instead, I'm still wearing my pajamas, practically neglecting my sweet (alive and well!) little boy, passing clots that look like leeches.

I remain fascinated by my own body insides. I have always been body-curious - a pimple-squeezer, a tissue-examiner, a toilet-paper-checker. (In fact, if I weren't so drawn towards my own fluids, I wouldn't have known I was bleeding for several days. I could have miscarried quietly at home, without my traumatic Emergency Room visit. Last night in one of those morbid conversations I'm always roping unsuspecting Rob into, I explained that if I get pregnant again and this happens again, I am staying the fuck at home. If I go back to the ER, it will be because the bathroom looks Hitchcockian and I'm scraping myself up off the floor to dial 911. Dramatic? Yes. But my mother recently went to the ER in an ambulance, and they were lovely to her. I was treated like nothing because I was walking and talking normally, and, medically, my situation was merely unfortunate.) I keep wondering what it looks like inside my (broken)heart-shaped uterus right now. As much as the blood saddens me, it's also fascinating. What will it look like today? What might this be?

I'm also mildly annoyed at the encouragements to think about the "baby." When I (thought I) was pregnant, I tried talking to the baby - "Hi, in there! Hi, sweetie! It's Mommy..." - and it felt so forced and fake. I didn't think of Westley in "baby" terms until he started kicking me, and even then, I often forgot that there was a tiny human inside me. I realized years too late that it would have helped me to be reminded during labor, "You're having a baby. This is your body helping the baby to be born. Soon, there's going to be a baby!"

I suspect I may be atypical in this regard, but it is oddly comforting to me to think of my miscarriage in terms of "not baby." As much as it makes me feel stupid and unobservant - shouldn't I have known that I was pregnant with nothing? - my blighted ovum was a huge relief. I can't imagine the state I'd be in now if I'd seen the thing I feared most, a dead baby, in the ultrasound image. No heart is immensely preferable to a stopped heart.

Perhaps I'm in denial. (It's a stage of grief, after all.) Maybe all this there was no baby, there was never any baby stuff is protective. Looking at that blood and tissue as simply blood and tissue frees me from a sadness that I imagine could destroy me. Or at least put me on the fast track to alcoholism. But if I really think about it, plumbing my psychological insides, I realize that I truly don't believe in this baby. That perhaps I never really did.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Half-empty, Half-full

Hey, Batter Batter

This morning, Westley asked, "Mommy, is there another baby growing inside you?"

"No, honey. Not yet."

His little face melted into a frown, and he started to cry. I tired to get him to tell me what was upsetting him, but he didn't want to - or couldn't - talk about it. It didn't matter. I knew. The adults who had been joyful and busy and liberally peppering their speech with the word "baby" are suddenly quiet and sad.

Today was the first day in several that I've felt really weighed down by sadness. My bleeding has slowed to almost nothing, and I had the strange realization while in the bathroom that I'm actually sad not to be passing clots anymore. Feeling those large pieces of uterine insides stretch my cervix open before slithering down and out was disturbing, and somehow, I miss it. The process of "emptying" is coming to a close.

At the same time that I feel not-quite-empty, I'm struck that I can feel so full of love for Westley. It's practically a physical sensation, a fullness behind my breastbone that feels like anxiety and heartbreak...in a good way.

Westley has curative properties. He's getting a too tall to cuddle easily in a chair with me, but we still manage, and it's magical to hold him. He's so strong and grown-up seeming - in a T-shirt and jeans, he looks like a miniature Rob - but his silky hair, delicate skin, and sweet smell all remind me that he's still very new. It wasn't that long ago that he was the baby growing inside me.


New Camera Lens: He Says She Says

happy baby
Carter's Flower Bubble Sunsuit c/o Grandma- Thank you! :D Curly Hair Clippies from Walmart
He says: “Why do you need a camera lens that costs more than our TV?”
She says: “Why do you need fancy golf clubs that cost more than my lens?”

Plus, golf clubs can't capture moments like these!

What say ye?