October 2013 Citrus Lane Box!

With the craziness of the recent move, I have been neglecting my Citrus Lane reviews!  I still get this awesome box each month, it’s one of the highlights of the month!  🙂

This month’s box, instead of sunny yellow on the outside packaging, was pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month!

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And as usual, it was filled with lots of awesome goodies!

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BOPS from Good Boy Organics

Okay, snacks are always good, but this one is even good for you!  Well, better for you than regular potato chips anyway!  BOPS stands for Baked Organic Potato Snacks.  Now, there are plenty of baked potato chips out there, but they tend to be very lacking in flavor.  These snacks are 65% less fat than regular chips, certified USDA organic, and completely free of gluten, preservatives and trans fats.  They are also chock full of yummy flavor!  Sara had these with her lunch yesterday, and let Mommy sneak one or two.  Very good, and no icky, greasy mess!

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Rythym Sticks from Hohner Kids

We are gathering quite the collection of musical instruments from our Citrus Lane boxes!  We may need to start a neighborhood baby band!  🙂  These sticks are easy for any little one to grasp and painted with durable paint that can stand the test of many a jam session.  There are lots of ways to play with these, and if you have Rock Band fans in your house, this is a fun way to let the little ones play along with the older kids!  Who doesn’t olove to rock?!

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Twinkles To Go by Cloud B

Okay.  I love Cloud B.  I mean, seriously, I love every single product they make, everything is super high quality, well thought out and just super adorable!  Imagine how excited I was to see this adorable little octopus friend in our box this month!  This is a perfect companion for on the go, or just the regular night time routine.  With a simple press of a button, she shines beautiful stars and bubbles onto the walls and ceiling!  You can change colors, from blue to red and there is even an automatic timer so you don’t have to worry about the batteries wearing out too quickly.  Our little Octopus friend will be right at home with our Twilight Turtle, also from Cloud B!

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Ladybug Magazine

What a gorgeous, lovely magazine!  Filled with stories and poems and beautiful artwork, this magazine is just perfect for a quick story before naptime or even just relaxing together.  Sara is a big bookworm, just like her mama, so how exciting to have her very own magazine!  Included along with this awesome magazine was a really generous offer for a FREE 3 month digital subscription from Cricket Magazine!  Yay!

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Besides the outside of the box being different this month, the inside also had some surprises!  What better way to remind moms and dads (and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles, etc!) to take care of themselves and to raise awareness?!  We had a lot of fun with the mustache, in honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  I love the extra little activity, and of course, the kiddos loved playing with the mustache!

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So ends another awesome month of Citrus Lane!  If you are totally jelly and wishing you had your very own box of goodies delivered right to your door each month, carefully curated just for your child, then click HERE and give Citrus Lane a try!  Shipping is always free, and you get an awesome array of goodies each month specifically for your child’s age.  Use coupon code FIRSTBOX to get 50% off your first box!

Happy Halloween!

 

Technically, only Matthew has his “official” Halloween costume on in this picture, but you get the idea.  🙂

So after a month filled with planning, parties and fun, autumnal activities, the big day is finally upon us!  We absolutely adore Halloween in our home, everything from the decorations and spooky tales to the fancy costumes and makeup.  This year we have pirates, arrr!, and a princess and even a wee little fairy.  (Again, not in the photo above, but I’ll share their “official” costumes with you all manana, I promise.)

We like themes in our house.  I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with mama’s OCD tendencies.  Yeah…..

Anyway, I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!  Try and stay warm, and don’t forget the parent tax on the kiddos Halloween booty!  This year’s tax rate went up again, can you believe it?  It is especially high on anything chocolate…..

Be safe, friends!

The Incredible Shrinking Baby!

Our family decided to squeeze in a visit to the pumpkin patch this weekend.  It was one last Halloween-y thing that we hadn’t done yet that just needed to happen.  I wanted to get out the door as early as possible to avoid the huge crowds, so as you can imagine, with four kids scrambling about, well, it was chaos.

I saw a Halloween shirt in our bedroom and grabbed it so Abe could get Sara dressed as I did Isabella’s hair and instructed the boys on what to wear and assured Noah that yes, he did indeed have to go potty before we left.

Sara’s shirt seemed a tad large, which was strange.  She is only one year old, but has been routinely wearing 24 months to 2t.  When I saw the shirt was a bit big, I assumed I had gone up a size and bought a 3t, but I was in awe at how one size up could appear so much larger.  In general, it fit well enough, and we were off.

Now, I will point out that we do a lot of hand me downs in our house, what with the large and growing brood we have, it’s just economical.  The first thing Matt and Bella said when they saw Sara was that they recognized the shirt as one Bella used to wear.  I brushed them off, told them they were wrong, that I had just bought this one for Sara.  They didn’t put up much fight, but they had that annoying look in their eyes like they didn’t believe me.  If you have kids, you know that look.

Whatevs.

Fun was had, it was chilly, but there was a lot to see and do, and by the end of the trip, Noah and Sara were both crying so, it was past time to leave.

Fast forward to this morning.

I go into Sara’s room with some laundry to put away.  Ugh, I hate putting away laundry.  But I digress.  I opened her closet to grab some hangers, and there, right in front of me, is her brand new Halloween shirt, tags still on, staring back at me.

What the what?!

I go over to her little hamper and pull out the shirt she wore on Saturday.

Do you see where this is going?

That shirt she wore, the one that was only slightly too large, the one the kids recognized, and the one that I said was brand new?  Yeah, it wasn’t brand new.  It was an Isabella shirt that she actually wore a few weeks ago.  I had washed it and upon looking at it, decided it was too small and needed to be packed away.  That’s why it was sitting in our bedroom.  That’s why it was too large for Sara.  That’s why the kids recognized it.

Wanna see something completely crazy?

I decided to take a picture of the two shirts, side by side for size comparison, just to prove that I am not completely insane.  Partially, yes, but not quite completely.

 

Ignore the cookie goobers on the shirt on the left, it was pulled out of the hamper for this picture.  The cookie goober shirt is a Girls size 6.  The brand new shirt, tags and hanger still on it on the right, is a size 24 months!!!  Now come on!  Tell me it wasn’t an honest mistake, they are practically the same size!

Right?

Craziness.

I don’t have to tell the kids they were right, do I?  I would hate to lose my Mommy street cred.

TruKid!

Finding natural bath products for kids is, surprisingly, not as easy as a quick trip to the store.  A lot of products that are marked “natural” actually have some pretty nasty chemicals in them that you may not care to bathe your babies in.  And if you have your children with you when you are looking for bath products, well then you know that they are immediately drawn to the fun, colorful bottles.  Aren’t we all?

So what if you could find a product, actually a whole line of products, that are natural, organic, cruelty free, BPA free, eco friendly and come in fun bottles in bright colors that kids are drawn to?

Allow me to introduce you to TruKid, All natural body care for kids!

TruKid is a company that truly wants to make you and your children’s lives healthier.  Their website is filled with information and tips and tricks to keep you healthier, along with fun songs and rhymes for your kids to sing while they wash up.  Oh, and the songs are kid pleasers, for sure!  What kid doesn’t want to sing about stinky feet?  There will be lots of giggles while they are learning healthy habits, and that, of course, is awesome.

We had fun with the Bubbly Body Wash in the tub, Noah was instantly drawn to the bright blue bottle.  I have to say, the scent is really nice!  Very fresh, kind of citrus-y.  And it made plenty of nice smelling bubbles for washing up.

The sunscreen smelled just as wonderful!  It went on really nicely, not greasy and no funky chemical smell like you typically find with kid’s sunscreen products.

Another neat thing about TruKid, is that they have color coded and marked their product bottles with the “TruKid Learning System” symbols, which helps children to instantly identify what part of their body each product is for.  Little ones love to be independent, and TruKid is helping them to do that while they learn good hygiene habits as well!

TruKid has very generously offered a coupon code to my readers, so that you can all try out their awesome products for yourselves.  Just visit their website, and with an order of $30 or more, you will receive a FREE Bubbly Body Wash!  Just enter coupon code “bubblymom”.  (Limit one use per customer.)

Check out TruKid’s awesome line of products on their website HERE.

“Like” TruKid on Facebook HERE.

Follow TruKid on Twitter HERE.

 

The awesome folks at TruKid provided me with samples, free of charge, in order to write this review.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really do think their products are awesome.

Feliz Cumpleanos, Saraphina!

The day is here, my baby is one year old today.  (And yes, she is still drinking bottles, carry on now.)  She doesn’t look any older than she did yesterday.  I dare say, she doesn’t look a day over 11 months old.  But alas, it has been one whole year since her eventful birth.

This is where I am going to recount my birth story, it’s a mommy thing.  You don’t have to read it.  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Last year, I went into the hospital on the 25th to be induced.  Four babies, and all of them had to be served eviction papers to vacate the womb.  I hate the induction process because you are tied down to the bed while they poke you and prod you and run iv’s, etc.  It is terribly uncomfortable, and then they expect you to sleep all night to “rest up”.  Yeah, that never happens.  If not because of the discomfort, then because of the excitement!  Abe, on the other hand, has no problem snoring up the whole maternity floor.  Good for him.

So, of course I didn’t get any sleep, and the next morning they decided to start the pitocin.  That is the medication that causes the ungodly contractions.  I was tolerating it pretty well, so they decided to up the dose which had me doubled over in pain and ready for the epidural.  The back pain was what was hurting the most.

Here’s where it gets fun.

I got the epidural, and my back pain went away.  Hallelu-yerr!  But……I still felt every single sensation below the belly button.  I told my nurse, but she seemed to believe I was mistaken.  She checked me, as I was wincing in pain, and still was unconvinced that my epidural was not working properly.  She told me to push the epidural button as much as I felt I needed, that it would give me a little extra relief.

We cranked that baby like crazy.  My back pain, as I said, was completely gone.  But the contractions, the pressure, everything else was 110% natural and unmedicated.

During one check, when they wanted to break my water, they noticed that Sara had her hand on top of her head.  They decided not to break the water because they thought the hand may come out first and complicate the birth.

That’s what I wanted to hear.  Complications.

Things moved really quickly after that.  At my next cervical check, my water broke.  They said I was at about a 6, but with the water breaking, I felt the heavy pressure building up fast.  Abe told the nurse that I tend to dilate pretty quickly and that she should call the doctor.  She hesitated, but called my doctor so she could come soon.

It was less than twenty minutes after my last check, when I measured only 6cm dilated, that I told Abe I felt like I needed to push.  The nurse, who was perfectly lovely and very sweet, seemed to doubt my Spidey senses.  She offered to check me again, and then seemed astounded when I was fully dilated and the baby’s head was near crowning.

Funny how a mama who has had three previous babies tends to know when “It’s time”.

Now, mind you, my epidural was failing me.  It took away the back pain, yes.  But it was not my back giving birth.  We were quickly told that I may have a “window” in my epidural.  “CLOSE THE WINDOW!!!!”  But there was no closing of that window.  I was oh so privileged to experience a completely unmedicated birth.   Well, unmedicated where it counts.  Unmedicated where you don’t want it to be unmedicated.

It burned.  I won’t go into any more detail, but I could have puked or passed out from the pain.

When Sara was finally born, she didn’t cry.  She didn’t make any noise.  She was quickly whisked away and the on call pediatrician was called in “stat”.  I was so light headed, the room was spinning and the voices sounded distant.  I heard one of the nurses ask Abe to stop filming the baby.  I knew that wasn’t good.

I felt myself ask if she was okay, it all felt like a foggy dream.

After what felt like an hour, I heard baby noises.  Abe told me she was fine, but I sensed doubt in his voice.  Do you see her left arm in that picture?  How it’s held straight down and not pulled up or moving?  They suspected a broken clavicle.  I thought back to when they were going to break my water and her hand was on her head, wondering if that is what caused the problem.  X-rays were ordered, and finally, I was handed my precious little girl.

It is unfair to judge a mama’s hair and makeup after over 24 hours of labor and a particularly painful and stressful delivery, by the way.

She was born weighing exactly 9lbs.  To my shock and delight, she was also born with dark hair.  The trend in my babies seemed to be getting lighter and lighter, so we were all surprised at the little chicana baby!

The x-rays showed no fractures, so the pediatrician diagnosed her with having a “stinger injury”, something common in football players.  Her arm slowly began moving and gaining mobility.  What a relief!

We came home two days later, to a house full of siblings that already loved her to pieces.  What’s not to love?

It is so hard to believe that this was one whole year ago!  Now she is standing up and cruising around the house, giggling at her Noey and chasing the kitties.  Babies grow up in the blink of an eye!

Happy Birthday, Saraphina!  You are going to change the world, you have already made mine a better place.

Oh, hello again,ojo rojo!

Cooties

I said I wanted to be quarantined, when the kids had gloopy snot pouring out of their inflamed little eye balls.  I wanted a mini vacay, hiding in my room, enjoying the quiet, having someone wait on me hand and foot.  I wanted to avoid the cooties, the icky eyes, the aggravation of it all.

You don’t always get what you want.

Here I sit, at my computer at 3am, squinting between gloopy eye boogers.  I’ve been infected.  Not cool.

It started with terrible allergies that I believe turned into a sinus infection.  I don’t know if it was a natural progression from the sinus infection, or if a rogue kid cootie attacked me when I wasn’t looking.  But I am most definitely hit.

There is no hope left for me.  Don’t look directly into my eyes, it may very well cause nausea.  Let this be a lesson on how incredibly dangerous being a mommy can be.

Go on now, save yourself.

Sick Day

When I was a kid, sick days were fiesta time!  Lounging on the couch, snacking and watching The Price Is Right or Hollywood Squares, laughing at all the jokes I didn’t get.  My mom was always checking on me, making me special lunches or snacks and asking if I needed anything.

Half the time, I wasn’t even sick.  I just wanted a day off and time to catch up on my stories.  (Hey, I grew up with a mom and two grandmas who were obsessed with their “stories”.  Its genetic!)

That is most unfortunate for mis hijos.

My philosophy with them is, “Too sick for school, too sick for fun.”  I make them lay in bed, give them plenty of clear fluids and leave them to rest.  No video games or awesome daytime television.  No fun snacks or dance parties.  I want them to wish they were in school.  Mean Mommy!

There is an exception to my No Fun Rule.  If my babies are really sick, I mean like sad and mopey, lethargic, no doubt sick, well then I am jumping through hoops to make them feel better.  I break out the DS, we make crafts, they get their water or juice in fun cups with twisty straws, I get creative with the B.R.A.T. diet making shapes with their dry toast, you name it.

I love my babies, I want the very best for them.  If they aren’t sick, they need to be in school, learning and socializing.  But if they really are sick, it breaks Mama’s heart to see her babies sad and not feeling well.

Bella spent the day home sick yesterday.  She doesn’t get colds and coughs like the normal kids.  She just gets a high fever, sometimes with a headache.  We give her some Motrin and within the hour she is bouncing off the walls, acting completely normal and feeling fine.  It takes awhile for the fever to break though, so sometimes she is spending two or three days at home, driving me and Noah crazy.  (Noah likes to have his mama to himself while the kids are in school.)

She is back to school today.  She wasn’t sick enough for fun yesterday, which I think bummed her out a little.  See what I did there?  I made her look forward to going back to school.  I know, I’m awesome like that.