Citrus Lane Box January 2014!

Time for our monthly Citrus Lane review! ¬†ūüôā

I have aged Saraphina’s box up one full year after being a little bit disappointed in a few of her previous boxes. ¬†Now, that’s not to say her boxes weren’t great! ¬†The problem is when I compared her box to some of the other boxes that I saw on the Citrus Lane Facebook page. ¬†Hehe! ¬†Rather than be envious of the older boxes, I decided to just age her up and honestly, I have been very happy with the aged up boxes! ¬†That said, here is a quick peek at our January 2014 Citrus Lane box!


*Zig Zag Zebra Coloring Book from Barefoot Books (estimated value: $6.29)

Super cute book this month that is no ordinary coloring book!  The interactive pages have your little one adding their mad artistic skillz to the cute activity pages.  Every page is full color and sturdy, making this book not feel at all like a simple coloring book, which it most definitely is not!  Very fun way to introduce drawing and shapes and even colors to the little kids.

*Duo Tip Washable Markers from Faber-Castel (estimated value: $4.99)

These awesome markers have a colored tip on each side, one wide and one fine, plus they are made from food grade vegetable dyes, so when they inevitably get on your child’s clothes, the stains easily wash out! ¬†Yay! ¬†These are a perfect companion to the coloring book!

*Fruit Set from Plan Toys (estimated value: $8)

This set was exclusively made for Citrus Lane, so I estimated the price by looking up a larger, 6 piece set that was $16. ¬†These super cute fruits are made from wood and Velcro, so you can “slice” them with the included play knife for fun pretend kitchen play. ¬†My kids LOVE cooking with pretend food! ¬†We have had lots of play food over the years, and wood is definitely the way to go! ¬†The plastic play foods get smashed and unrecognizable, and the little cardboard boxes? ¬†Yeah, they don’t last ten minutes in our crazy house. ¬†We have been slowly replacing all the old smooshed stuff with wooden pieces, so this set was an exciting addition! ¬†It’s also fun to “slice” the food and get that satisfying crunch from the Velcro! ¬†ūüôā

*Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief from Mommy’s Bliss (estimated value: $10.49)

This is perfect to have on hand!!! ¬†I noticed a lot of moms saying they had no use for this item, just wait until their kids get their first case of the stomach flu! ¬†Trust and believe, this is a must have for the medicine cabinet! ¬†All ingredients are completely natural and 100% vegetarian/vegan with no gluten, dairy, soy or sugar. ¬†Even if it’s just a queasy tummy from motion sickness, indigestion or gas, it’s nice to know you have something ready to go to ease your little one’s discomfort. ¬†Yes, yes, yes, I love it!

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 FEBHALFOFF to get 50% off your February box!


Happy Birthday Noah!

My little Noah Bean is officially 3 years old today!  He was our Clomid baby, after our miscarriage.  It took nearly two years to get pregnant with him, and once we were officially pregnant, it was the scariest nine months of my life.

We suffered through secondary infertility after losing our third pregnancy. ¬†It came out of nowhere and left me feeling broken. ¬†Yes, I had two perfectly healthy, gorgeous, wonderful children. ¬†I was lucky, and I knew that. ¬†But after losing the pregnancy, well, it just leaves a hole that doesn’t ever seem to get filled.

I made myself and Abe crazy with charting and herbs and anything I could find to try and help us to conceive.  After countless hours spent researching through books and Google, I self diagnosed myself with PCOS and made a doctor appointment that confirmed my suspicions.

My doctor offered me hope.  She prescribed the Clomid after extensive testing and ultrasounds, and told me that if at any time I wanted to see a specialist, she would be happy to refer me.  She felt confident that she could help me, and her hope was enough to keep me going.

It was the fifth round of Clomid that was magic.  That, and I changed the days I took it.  My doctor prescribed days 5-9.  Through research, I read several studies that suggested days 3-7 might work better for women with PCOS.  Who knows, maybe it was just a coincidence.  That was the month I got that BFP.  That is also when the fear set it.

Every tiny little cramp or twinge had me rushing to the bathroom, expecting to see blood, expecting to lose my baby.  I prayed and begged God all day, every day to just please, please let me keep our little bean safe.  I bargained, I pleaded, I was a hot mess.

I started spotting.

Words can not describe the fear I felt.

My doctor ordered an ultrasound to ease my mind, and while the tiny baby, flipping around on the screen made me breathe a little easier in the moment, I did not enjoy my pregnancy in the least. ¬†I was just too scared. ¬†I’d like to say the fear went away when I was pregnant with Sara, but it didn’t. ¬†Pregnancy is a terrifying time for a woman who has miscarried.

Noah was due on Halloween.  My doctor originally planned on inducing a week early, but she was on vacation that week.  Go figure.  We ended up going in a week later, where my giant, healthy baby was born.  (He was over 9lbs, ouch!)

The labor was long, and I had a nurse who told me my uterus was too weak to push out a baby, that I needed to prepare myself for a c section.  Well, my uterus happens to have that Latina attitude, thank goodness, and we proved her wrong shortly after she said that.  Neener, neener.

And now, the pictures.

How itty bitty do Matt and Bella look here!?  This is when Grandma brought them to the hospital to meet their baby brother for the first time.

On his way to his very first doctor appointment!  We brought him a cute 0-3 month outfit to wear home from the hospital, assuming it would be large on him.  Well, at nearly 24 inches long, he barely fit into it!  He was a big, healthy boy!

He was the happiest little baby, always smiling and giggling. ¬†That was before he turned two. ¬†He redefined the terrible two’s.

He looks so innocent here.  Looks can be deceiving.

My Noey.  He was supposed to be a Halloween baby, and I think he knows it!  He is obsessed with all things spooky, it is definitely his favorite holiday!

Happy Birthday, Noah! ¬†We survived the terrible two’s, you are getting less and less evil with your baby sister, and you are awesome! ¬†We love you to pieces, you brought happiness where so much sadness once was.


Flushed Away

So, as Noah’s third birthday is fast approaching, I have found myself wracking my brain lately, thinking of possible Binky Fairy gifts.

You see, the Binky Fairy comes to take all of the pacifiers away to give them to babies that don’t have any, and in return for the generous, albeit germ and slobber infested donations, she leaves a small gift. ¬†For Bella, she left a fairy book and a Tinkerbell bracelet.

We had her lay out all of her binkies on the night before her third birthday and sent her to bed looking forward to seeing what the fairy had left.  It worked like a charm, she never looked back or asked for a binky again.

I was having a hard time trying to think of gifts she may leave for Noah, but then something happened. ¬†The terrible two’s pushed their way in and without even knowing it, Noah saved me from worrying about the Binky Fairy. ¬†Well, until Sara is ready for her.

So what did Noah do to relieve the fairy of her visit?

It all happened so fast, and before my morning coffee even!

Apparently, Noah decided to flush a pair of underwear and his binky this morning.  In the toilet.

Yeah. So……

Honestly, I wondered how we went this long without the kids flushing things they weren’t supposed to. ¬†Matt was the king of flushing inappropriate things. ¬†Hot Wheels, foam bath toys, underwear, socks, you name it. ¬†Bella never even thought about it. ¬†Or, what she decided to flush was small enough to not require taking the toilet apart to remove the wedged items.

So since Noah decided to release his binky into the wild waters of the potty, I think it’s fair to tell him he is done with the binkies. ¬†Maybe that was his ritual, his own way of saying good-bye to his trusty old friend. ¬†Maybe he is just two and will lose his mind when I try and put him down for his nap without a binky. ¬†Either way, the whole fun morning has made me fondly remember this Tiny Toons clip from back in the day. ¬†Enjoy.

October Citrus Lane Box!

It’s the middle of the month, and that means there was a bright, happy package on our door step earlier this week! ¬†Yes, it’s Citrus Lane time again, and this month’s theme is Fall Fun. ¬†Let’s dive right in, shall we?


How can you look at that bright, sunny tissue paper and not be happy?


As you can see, this month’s box was once again filled with all sorts of goodies!


Included in every box is an insert that gives you detailed information about all of the items, along with special coupon codes and the websites where you can find more great deals from the same companies featured in each package.


Oball by Rhino $4.99

This was the very first thing Sara grabbed out of the box, even before the food, now that’s saying something! ¬†This ball is extremely lightweight, collapses down for storage and springs right back to life when you are ready to play again. ¬†It’s hard keeping the kiddos from throwing balls in the house, but with this one, there is far less chance of them breaking anything or hurting themselves (or each other!) and that is a huge plus in my book.


As usual, Sara is referring to the packing list as she discovers all the contents of her box.


Munchkin 7oz Click Lock Trainer Cups $8.99 for 2 pack

Can you ever have too many sippy cups? ¬†I mean, especially at this time of year, with all of the family fun trips on the weekend and visiting with relatives for the holidays. ¬†It’s never a bad idea to keep an extra sippy cup in the car and even one at Grandma’s house, just in case. ¬†I don’t know about you, but with four kids, well, it is a miracle every time we make it to point b. ¬†Period. ¬†If after said trip we realized we forgot a sippy cup? ¬†Well, let’s just say the baby wouldn’t be the only one crying. ¬†An extra bonus to these cups? ¬†Guaranteed 100% leak proof. ¬†Go ahead and give the kid some grape juice, it’s all good. ¬†Now, if they play sprinkler once their mouth is full, well, it wasn’t the cup’s fault.


“What else do we have in here?”


Big Smiles Cheesy Potatoes by Ella’s Kitchen $2.49

Food is always a big hit in our house, and these pouches are super convenient, travel well, and reseal if you have leftovers.  Cheesy potatoes sounds like a yummy addition to any warm, fall meal, and definitely wins in the yum factor with Sara.


“Okay Mama, let’s bust these taters open!”


BabyGanics Smooth Moves Lotion $5.49

Cooler weather means dry, itchy skin. ¬†This BabyGanic lotion is silky smooth, with all kinds of great, nourishing ingredients that won’t only soothe, but will really benefit baby’s (or your!) skin. ¬†There are no nasty chemicals in this lotion, so no worries using on even the littlest ones. ¬†Yay for healthy skin!


DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Mini $4.99

This month’s box included a mama treat! ¬†This is a cleansing oil. ¬†Sounds counter intuitive? ¬†I concur. ¬†This 100% water soluble formula promises to dissolves away the dirt, makeup, sunscreen, etc that everyday brings and rinse off leaving skin soft, smooth and healthy. ¬†I haven’t tried it yet, but I am definitely looking forward to pampering myself, thank you Citrus Lane!


In My Den from Chronicle Books $8.99

This adorable book has a finger puppet, right in the middle, making story time interactive and even more fun!  This book is perfect for snuggling up to after a day at the pumpkin patch, and it has a super sweet message.  So cute, and as I have said before, we are book hoarders in our home, so a book is always a very welcome addition!


Try out your very own subscription to Citrus Lane by clicking HERE.  Once you follow that link, enter coupon code 10TODAY to save 10%.  Or, enter code 10MONTH for $10 off one month.    When you subscribe for a full year, they also give you two months free.  Who doesn’t love free?!

We love Citrus Lane in our home. ¬†As I have said before, the value of the products each month for the small price paid is just fabulous. ¬†And much cheaper than a ‚Äúquick‚ÄĚ trip to Target for me. ¬†I love being introduced to new brands and companies, and we have loved everything we have gotten so far.



Sometimes, no matter how cool the stuff in the box is, the box ends up being the best toy!

Potty Tots Review & Giveaway!

I will be completely honest with you all and just say that I hate potty training. ¬†I dread it. ¬†The Pull Ups Potty Dance? ¬†Ridiculous. ¬†We have books and DVDs and I even sat through Dr Phil’s Potty training in one day deal. ¬†You know what all of these things are lacking? ¬†Focus on the child! ¬†This is where Potty Tots is completely different. ¬†Everything is all about full immersion of the child into the realm of using the potty. ¬†There are adorable characters, cute songs, fun games, even an interactive website all designed to help get your child excited to use the potty. ¬†Brillante!

Potty Tots was invented by a mom, Jill Leech. ¬†I love that. ¬†Who better to know what’s best for our children? ¬†She saw a need for this in the market and so she made it happen! ¬†Her philosophy is to make learning fun, and she did exactly that with Potty Tots! ¬†The characters are multi-ethnic, easy to relate to, and honestly, they really are adorable.

Through the Potty Tots website, once you go through all the amazing information and fun activities, you can order a Potty Tots kit for a boy or a girl.  Each kit is specifically geared towards your child, getting them excited to start potty training.

The kits include a potty training guide book, an illustrated potty chart, a progress chart with clings, and an animated DVD with bonus music videos!

The kit is literally jam packed with all kinds of goodies that are perfect for helping you and your little one gear up for potty training with as little stress as possible.

Something super cool and unique with this system, is the progress chart that is included. ¬†There is a large sheet with tons of adorable vinyl cling Potty Tots that are used to show your child’s progress. ¬†Ideally, this would be hung in the bathroom, but we use ours on the refrigerator, where everyone can see Noah’s progress and cheer him on. ¬†The more cheering and excitement there is, the more interest and success there is, trust and believe!

Noah would literally run down the hallway to move his little Potty Tot down the field, it was cause for celebration!

And of course, he also loved the book, which not only stars the Potty Tots, but they use the very same system in the book, showing the chart in use and everything, which is even more exciting for the child because they get to do exactly the same things as their favorite characters in the book. ¬†Kids like to imitate, the awesomeness here is just, well, awesome. ¬†This system has worked wonders with Noah’s potty training. ¬†We have tried several different methods, taken several breaks, even assumed the kid would wear diapers into his teens. ¬†Well, maybe not that bad, but potty training can be a stressful time. ¬†Anything that helps encourage your child, and you for that matter, is worth it’s weight in gold. ¬†Potty Tots is most definitely worth it’s weight in gold!

This is a system that you will use now and then pass down to the next child or share with your friends and family.  No silly gimmicks, no complicated maneuvers, just plain, simple, tried and true methods that make potty training something that does not need to be dreaded.

Check out Potty Tots for yourself at there website by clicking HERE.  They even have diplomas that you can print out for your little one!

“Like” Potty Tots on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Potty Tots on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Did you check out their website and “Like” their Facebook page? ¬†Once you do both, leave me a comment or send me an email to let me know and you are entered to win a Potty Tots training kit of your very own! ¬†Share this review with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, and I’ll let you have an extra entry. ¬†Hey, I’m cool like that.

I’m telling you, this system is effective! ¬†I really wish I had had it for my oldest two, but now I know where to go when Sara is potty training next year. ¬†Now go enter and good luck! ¬†Winner wlil be announced Saturday, September 29, 2012.

The awesome folks at Potty Tots provided my with a Potty Tots kit free of charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated in any other way, and Potty Tots really did make potty training fun in our house!  They are awesome!

Crappy day. Literally.

Today, the kids went back to school.  They were up bright and early and feeling extra excited to start a brand new school year.  This year, Bella is in first grade and Matthew is in fifth grade.  This is the last year that they will go to the same school together.  Well, until they are enrolled in med school together, but I digress.

They were dressed and fed and I even snapped some photos before heading to the bus stop.


I assure you she is happy here.  The sun was in her eyes, and with the dramatic flair just oozing out of her, she had to squint and make these funky faces no matter how many times I threatened to show her friends how silly she looked.  Oh well.  Are you looking at how badly our yard needs weeding and cutting?  Stop that!  Just look at the cute babies!  Sheesh!


Matthew managed to smile without the horrible squinting and whining his sister did.  Thank you, Matt.  You are the awesome kid today.  You know who is not the awesome kid today?  Dare I say, the most un awesome kid?  That title belongs to Noah.  Let me explain.

So, it was time for the bus stop, which is literally right outside our door.  Noah and Sara were happily watching the Wiggles and Noah did not want to put pants on to come outside with us.  Fine.  Deciding not to fight with a two year old, I decided he would be fine, sitting down and watching his movie for the all of five minutes that I would be outside with the older kids.

Come on, Angie.  You know better.  *sigh*  I had a fleeting moment when I said to myself that I just should have dragged him outside with me, but I decided he would be fine.  Never trust a two year old to be unsupervised.  Not even for five minutes.

I’ll warn you. ¬†Things are about to get ugly here. ¬†We’re talking major gross out nastiness. ¬†You can stop reading right now and just imagine what ridiculous thing my kid did. ¬†I wish I could do that. ¬†Really. ¬†Read on if you have a stomach of steel or just a morbid curiosity. ¬†Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.


Wow.  Let me start by saying, some mamas would never admit what I am about to admit to you.  That makes me awesome for being honest and sharing the nitty gritty, right?  Or maybe it just shows how stupid I am.

So I walk into the house, like I said, after only five minutes outside with the kids.  I am immediately hit with a terrible smell.  My first though is the dog.  Poor dogs.  Always getting blamed for bad smells.  I did a quick survey of the kitchen and living room, not seeing any evidence of dog poo.  Good start.  Now, my mind goes to Noah.  He is currently potty training and was wearing regular underwear when I left.  At worst, I figured he may have had an accident.

That’s not the worst. ¬†That doesn’t touch the worst with a 110 foot pole. ¬†As I walked down the hallway, noticing the eerie quiet, I suddenly got a bad feeling. ¬†I quickly opened the door and gasped. ¬†I mean full on, GASPED.

Right here I could insert a photo of what I saw, because you can bet your butt I took pictures as proof to Abe of what my day was like. ¬†I decided not to do that though. ¬†The gross out factor was way too high. ¬†I mean, seriously. ¬†I’m brave, but I love you guys, I wouldn’t do that to you. ¬†So let me paint you a picture here.

I open the door to see Sara sitting in her bouncy chair, Noah standing right next to her, both of them, completely and totally covered head to toe in poop.  Noah poop.

We’re talking on the face, schmeared in hair, all over the bouncy chair, insane. ¬†They were holding balls of poop in their hands. ¬†Noah’s poop.

I think I said “Oh my God!” about a hundred times. ¬†That’s all I could say. ¬†I didn’t even know where to start, it was just, it was just……oh my God!

I did take one picture to share with you. ¬†It doesn’t have the kids in it, but it is gross and poopilicious. ¬†Just to give you an idea. ¬†Fair warning, don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it.


It’s pretty disgusting.

Still with me?

So that bouncy chair?  Well, it had these adorable little animals hanging from a bar for the baby to play with.  They were so ridiculously encrusted with poo, I decided to cut them off and trash them.  Here is a photo of one of the toys, the foamy bit is from spray bleach before I decided to just trash them.


Are you beginning to comprehend the situation?  My stupidity?  My literally crappy day?

Oh my word, what a mess!!!!

I had to soak the babies in the tub to get them clean, meanwhile, bleach the heck out of everything poo smeared. ¬†Big load of laundry, lots of bleach, a whole heck of a lot of “Oh my God!” ¬†There were poopy handprints everywhere. ¬†I had to wash Noah’s brand new SpongeBob backpack we got him for dance class because it was covered in poo. ¬†Everything, oh my word, just wow.

It was my fault. ¬†I’m an idiot. ¬†I shouldn’t have left him, I should have dragged him to the bus stop kicking and screaming. ¬†It would have been annoying, but there would have been a lot less poop.

Have I said poop enough times in this post?  Ugh.  I sincerely hope your day is going so much better than mine.  And please, let my stupidity be a lesson to you.  Never trust a two year old.  Especially one that is potty training.  Poo is bound to happen, and when it does, may the force be with you, mami!