Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We Have a Winner, Punkin'

Sorry, guys. I intended to get this posted YESTERDAY. But it has been a little crazy 'round here. Tired, bored kids (too much rain!!), tired momma, two sick kids, one trip to the doctor, a broken printer, all the regular stuff, plus one long discussion about the phases of the moon (random homeschooling moment). I just couldn't sit down long enough to churn this out. And then there was today. All still tired, one ear infection, lots of nose wiping, cooking for 12 people (tomorrow's lunch), speech, dance, hungry mouths...Ahhhhkkkk!!!! But finally...here it is.

Drum roll, please.

And the winner is...........




wait.

You don't think I'd give it up that easily, do you????????????


'Cause....first.....

we have some "housekeeping" to do. Just kidding. Did y'all have teachers that used to say that? Like before class REALLY got started, they'd have some mundane business to tend to like passing out papers or doing a sign-up sheet for group projects or reading the announcements for the day?? MY teachers always called that "housekeeping." Ha! I figure if I'm not going to do ACTUAL housekeeping (umm...'cause I'm not), then I might as well do "housekeeping" here. Maybe, just maybe, I'll feel like I accomplished something.

If you're wondering why I'm not using THIS time to get on the ball and actually clean my (real) house, well I'll tell you. I'm waiting for the baby to fall asleep...again! We have officially entered what I like to call the "12th Month Nap Scare," in which baby goes through a growth spurt at 12 months and just CAN'T sleep!! This causes Mommy to briefly freak out that we may be dropping the morning nap...and that just can't be! Right?! Really...I know it's probably just a phase. My kids have all gone through it. A couple of weeks of this and we'll be back to normal...for now!

FYI: According to research by Dr. Marc Weissbluth (I'm a fan), most babies through 12 months and up until 21 months still require two naps a day.

For us, usually right around 16-18 months we are dropping down to one nap.

And DID YOU KNOW?

Interesting, huh? Yep. That's me. Just FULL of interesting facts. Like, for instance, how I divulged the "best-tip-for-apple-lovers-ever" last year when I wrote about Honeycrisps. Remember that? Man. I've been waiting and waiting (very patiently, of course), and FINALLY they are BAAAACK!!! And the best part is they are way cheaper than they used to be. Right now they are running $1.96 per pound--about 60 cents per pound more than Granny Smith. A small price to pay, I'd say, for a TO DIE FOR apple!!

Okay. Okay. I suppose I've "kept house" enough. Besides, little man is finally snoozing, so I have no excuse for sitting here with the laptop. Got to move on with my day. So...without further ado..........

After assigning a number to each of your entries and then entering them into my random integer generator.............The winner is #3. (I had a copy of the page complete with time stamp to prove when the results were generated, but every time I pasted it here, it ballooned into this ginormous THING and caused some of the other text to balloon as well! I couldn't figure it out. I'm sure it was fixable, but sometimes dealing with html is NOT what one wants at the end of two ultra-long days.)

That MEANS.............................................................Monica!!!!!

You ARE the winner, Dear!

Monica "The-Non-Blogger-So-I-Cannot-Offer-You-A-Link" Monica!

But hey, it pays to be my friend on Facebook apparently! Ha!! Congratulations, Monica!! And to the rest of you, thank you, thank you, thank you for participating! I had so much fun. (Man, I don't know how 'Becca didn't win!! She had like 7 entries! Ha!) I enjoyed getting to know some new followers as well! Kathy, your family is just precious. "Jensoup," any friend of 'Becca's is a friend of mine. (smile) And "Jmberrygirl," you're so young and fresh! Oh, my goodness! How nice to have you all here!!!

Monica, I'll be gathering up your Pumpkin Packet and getting it to you soon! Yay!!!

Speaking of pumpkins...

See what my mother ("Mimi") did for my kiddos?


Between our schedule and the rain, this may be the closest thing we can find to a pumpkin patch this year!

Noah the Pumpkin
(Noah likes to tell something and then wink at you while clicking his tongue.)

Saylor the Pumpkin

Gabriel the Pumpkin

Atticus the Pumpkin
(Atticus scrunches his nose up and smiles so hard his eyes are practically closed.)


Cute, huh?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Today I am NOT very eager to try the new suggestions for peanut butter uses you guys shared on this recent post. I do NOT crave peanut butter. Ever. Just like I was NOT dipping pretzels right into the jar of peanut butter last night while vegging on the couch. Never!

My baby is NOT playing like crazy right now in his crib instead of falling asleep. Especially since company is coming in less than an hour (and my house is a wreck...and the food is unprepared)!! MY baby is always considerate of Mommy's schedule and keeps to one himself.

I am also NOT reminding you of my very first bloggy giveaway. And I am NOT emphasizing the fact that the contest closes at midnight tonight!! Because if you really wanted a chance to win, you'd take it, right?!? You certainly don't need ME nagging you to comment, comment, comment! So, I'm not. Definitely NOT.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One Year Blogoversary.......and a Giveaway!!!!!

Today we're (...okay...I'm) celebrating The Davidson Den's ONE YEAR Blogoversary!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!! (Honestly, I can't believe I've kept it up this long. Whew!) So. I'm doing.....

my VerY fIRsT GivEaWAy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who just jumped up and down?!! Who??! Come on! Admit it! Ha! I've been wanting to do a giveaway for a while now. I just didn't know exactly what to do. NOW I have a great excuse...and a decent great idea!! Happy Blogoversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay. Now. Want to know what you just MIGHT get??!!

Well........

In order to tell you THAT.....

I first need to point out.....

that one year ago TODAY I did my very first post.....

and it was all about our trip to the Pumpkin Patch.

So.

I'm giving away a Pumpkin Packet.

"What's a Pumpkin Packet," you ask???

A Pumpkin Packet.

includes:

* pumpkin recipes
* pumpkin color pages (for your kids...or kids you know!!)
* pumpkin learning activities
* a bag of candy corn pumpkins (LOVE them!)
* a pumpkin book
* a freshly-baked loaf of my favorite pumpkin bread
* and anything else pumpkiny I can think of!!

(Should I have a picture of the Pumpkin Packet right here?? Well, of course I should!! Do I have time to do that today?! Well, NO!!! So...sorry. Use your imagination. 'K?)


"How might I win such an AWESOME! prize," you ask???

You will be entered into a random drawing ONCE for each of the following things you do:


1) Make a comment on this post.

2) Become a Follower and then comment again letting me know you are Following. (If you're already a Follower, comment again letting me know you already Follow.)

3) Grab my button (see it over there on my sidebar?) to put on YOUR blog and comment again to let me know you've got it. (If you already have it, comment to let me know that.)

4) Follow me on Twitter. (Instructions same as above...I'm tired of typing the same thing over and over.)

5) Go back and read my post on last year's trip to the Pumpkin Patch and comment THERE.

6) For TWO (yes, TWO!!) extra entries: Blog about this giveaway and/or post your own Pumpkin Patch story with a link back here.

You'll have to be QUICK, though!!!!!! Hear me????????????? We've got to hurry!!!!! (My brothers will be the only ones who take that phrase as a joke...)

This contest will end at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning! That's tomorrow night, people!!

Happy Blogoversary (to me)!!!!

(OH!!! If you don't have a Blogger/other blog identity, you can either create one OR comment anonymously (but in that case be sure to leave your name and an email address in the actual comment so I can contact you).)

Winner will be announced Tuesday, October 27th. Yay!


Update: Comments are now closed. Thanks, y'all!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peanut...Peanut Butter

Remember the other day when I mentioned I was NOT dreaming about peanut butter? Umm...well, I was. (Obviously, ALL those things I said I had NOT done, I actually had.) Ha! Why am I explaining the "Not Me! Monday" meme to you?! Surely you've picked up on the idea.

Ahem.


Alrighty then...where was I? Oh, yes.

Peanut butter.

This post.
will be.
self-explanatory.


(Enjoy!)


Peanut butter and...chocolate.


Peanut butter and...crackers.


Peanut butter and...sliced apples. (Oh, my. One of the most delightful things ever!)


Peanut butter and...a spoon.


Peanut butter and...my finger.


Peanut butter and...honey.


Peanut butter and...homemade blackberry jam. (Yes, ma'am! Mamaw??? You hear that?!?)


Peanut butter and...bananas. (Blech. This one's for the kids!!**)


Peanut butter and...pretzels.


Peanut butter and...celery. (Okay. I eat celery cooked in things and that's fine with me, but I have yet to be able to eat the stuff raw. However, my Noah will eat ANYthing and absolutely loves celery with or without peanut butter.)


Peanut butter and...toast.


Peanut butter and...graham crackers.


Peanut butter and...vanilla wafers. (YOU have GOT to try this!!! Leslie Ellis, wherever you are, I have YOU to thank for THIS idea. Yum!!)


Peanut butter cookies. (Used to hate, but I've since grown to enjoy them just fine.)


Peanut butter pie. (Only teeny tiny slices.)


Peanut butter cups. (Duh. May as well say it...anything Reese's.)


Peanut butter balls.


Peanut butter fudge.


Peanut butter-swirled brownies.


Peanut butter-filled Oreos. (Don't know if they even make these anymore, but I sure wish Back to Nature would make a healthy alternative of them!!)


And last but not least...Peanut butter M&M's!!!!!!!!


**Moms: I get away with this as "dessert" all the time! Take half a banana, slice it lengthwise along the top ALMOST all the way through (like a banana split). Fill the opening with peanut butter, then top with 5 (or more if you really must) little treats like raisins, dried cranberries, mini-marshmallows, M&M's, chocolate chips, etc. (depending on what you have in your cupboard and how much of it you have!). We call them "Banana Boats." (The little treats "ride" in the boat.) Easy, low-sugar snack/dessert the kids will love!

As we cannot POSSIBLY afford organic peanut butter (on account of the fact that we actually DO eat it with basically all the things I just mentioned and therefore, it seems, go through it before we can even get it stirred up good), I compromise and purchase this brand. (And it's available at regular grocery stores!)


No sugar, no preservatives, certainly no trans fats. Just plain old natural peanut butter. (Peanuts and salt, that is. The addition of the salt doesn't bother me, as it's not that much.) Truly scrumptious!!! (On a side note, PLEASE do not buy Reduced Fat peanut butter!! Good grief. Fats/oils from peanuts are healthy!! Enjoy them!)

So.......what are some of YOUR "peanut butter...ands"????? I'd LOVE to hear!


P.S. Go here to read more about the health benefits of peanut butter.


P.P.S. Tomorrow is a big day. Hint: A giveaway just MIGHT be involved. (Stick around!!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the good and the grisly about gDiapers

As many of you know, I started using cloth diapers back when Gabriel was about 8 months old. For some wacky reason, he had developed an allergy to his diapers! Whoever heard of such? Well, rather than search high and low looking for just the right diaper that wouldn't irritate my little guy's sensitive skin, I decided I'd dive into the world of cloth diapering since I had wanted to anyway from the very beginning with Baby #1. (By the way, don't ever let anyone discourage you from doing something just because it sounds like a lot of work. I would never have known the difference, had I started out with cloth.)

ANNNNNYhoo...I spent the next several weeks researching, shopping online, and trying out several different cloth styles. And since that time, Baby #4 joined the team and, from the get-go, I just swaddled his little bottom in cloth--right alongside his not-so-much-bigger brother. I have thoroughly enjoyed diapering this way, with the exception of when someone has a stomach bug. It is at those moments that I will do just about ANYthing for a package of disposables!

I'd love to share some of my experiences with you (the handful of friends who happen to read my ramblings). Maybe it can help someone out there to avoid being completely overwhelmed by the the very W-I-D-E world of cloth diapers, as I was.

But for today, I'm just
going to start simple. One diaper at a time, as it were. Today's installment of
"Works for Me Wednesday" is all about gDiapers. (Remember THIS picture (on #24)??)

Those of you who know of what I speak can begin ignoring me....right...now.

But for those of you still hangin' with me...


gDiapers are, in essence, flushable cloth diapers. They have cotton outer pants that go on like a regular diaper, only the Velcro straps fasten in BACK rather than in front, which helps to prevent diaper removal by the baby. Attached to the cloth pant (by cute, little orange snaps) are water-resistant liners. The liners are machine washable but need to be hung to dry. This is no big deal because they dry in like ten minutes. Inside the liner, you place a flushable insert. This is the actual "diaper." It does all the absorbing and catching, etc. These inserts can either be placed in the trash or flushed down the toilet after each use. Ingenious.




good:

1) Something about flushing it ALL down the toilet makes me happy. Somehow it sort of erases the memory of the yuckiness (unless, of course, the liner needs to be washed).

2) The pants are soft and come in cute colors.

3) Customer service is AWESOME! (I have even been personally contacted several times.)

4) Shipping may be a tad pricey, but it is always CRAZY fast!

5) They're easy to use. Even daddies (
love you, Babe) can pop an insert in the liner...once daddies learn to get the diaper up good and tight, that is. (Rise is everything.) I've heard that many daycare centers even accept them over traditional cloth diapers.

6)
gDiapers are healthy for babies, as they contain no chlorine, latex, perfumes, dyes, plastics, or other chemicals.

7) They are better for the environment, because even IF you don't flush them, they will biodegrade in about 50-150 days.

8) They work consistently well. You know? For those of you who use prefolds and covers as your primary diapering system, you know that sometimes things shift or just don't get where they need to be in order to prevent leaks effectively. And different prefolds absorb at different rates. gDiapers are great in that one flushable insert is exactly the same size, absorbency, and fit as the next. Their website does a great job of explaining how to use the product as well. (See "All About Fit" and "All About Flushing" here.)

9) They are wonderful for quick changes. There's no fussing with bulky prefolds, no pins, no parts (at least, not once they are loaded up and ready).

10) They're durable. I am slowly having to replace most of my regular diaper covers that Gabriel used. I don't know if I was just too rough on them or what. But to have only lasted through one child...well, that's not good. Not so with my gDiapers! All the Velcro is working just as well as it did when I first got them. AND if the Velcro wears out, gDiapers will send replacement Velcro for free.

11) Did I mention they're cute??



grisly:

1) The swish stick (used for breaking up the flushable insert just before flushing) sort of
grosses me out sometimes. Mostly when I catch my toddler with it in his hand after being far too quiet in the bathroom. (Ugh!!! What
was he up to??!?)

2)
gDiapers are really not great for exclusively-breastfed babies, at least not in the very beginning. Poops are just FARRRRR too runny and a consistency that is not as easily absorbed (quickly) by the flushable insert. To be fair, though, the liner still does a good job of catching runny poops before they get out and actually LEAK. BUT you'll have liners to wash at every diaper change, and those liners stain immediately. (Hate stains.)

3) They're not that
great for using at night, in my opinion. Certainly ONE insert is not enough!! gDiapers suggests you place one insert in as usual, and then roll a second insert and place up front for boys and in the middle for girls. The downside of this is pretty obvious: You use up TWO inserts and, therefore, will need to buy refills sooner than you normally would. That said, I have used gDiapers at night many times (in a pinch), and this method really does work just fine.

4) As the liners are merely water-resistant, after a couple of "wets" the outer cotton pants will start to feel damp. (However, if one changes the baby's diaper as often as one SHOULD, that is never a problem.)

5) You have to BUY the refills, so they're not nearly as economical as ACTUAL cloth diapers.

You might wonder, at this point, if you're
going to be purchasing refills (for roughly the same price as disposables--if not more!), then why not just use disposables?? Well, for me it goes well beyond the environmental concerns, like this for instance: Dioxin, which is a by-product of paper bleaching, is a harmful carcinogen. (That's why when I DO buy disposables, I buy chlorine-free.)

Now.
I have enjoyed
gDiapers for several reasons. They have saved me on more than one occasion when I have not done the LAUNDRY and therefore have nothing with which to clothe the baby bums. I've found they're great for going places when I don't want to deal with coming home with stinky laundry. They NOW have actual CLOTH inserts available, which I only just got, so I'll have to let you know how they do. (But I'm excited about not HAVING to go buy refills.) I also just really LIKE this company. They are clever and creative and cool. One thing I really like is how they put a "g" in front of everything. Each pair of "Little g's" has a "g" color name, like "grasshopper green," "glam black," "goo goo blue" or "ga ga pink" and some of the pants have a printed fabric with every "g" word they could think of (groovy, giggle, genius, gorgeous, grow, green, etc.). They even have a buyer's incentive program called "
gThanks" (cute) in which you get a free gift after buying ten gDiaper products.

If you think you might like to try these out, your best value is to buy the
starter kit available on the gDiapers website or at Whole Foods Market. You'll get two pairs of "Little g's" pants, three liners, ten flushable refills, and a swish stick all for $27. Normally, a pair of "Little g's" costs $17-18 and comes with ONE liner. So, already you SAVE MONEY by buying the starter kit. The bonus is the swish stick (valued at $2.50) AND ten refills (refills run $14.50-16 for a package of 32). Catch the starter kits on sale (by chance) or pick up a coupon (sometimes they have them ON the rack at Whole Foods) and you have really done well.


I actually just got an email from them: Right now (through the 24th) you can
get 4 "Little g's" (in specific fall colors) for $49. Unfortunately, I'm not getting paid to tell you that. (Gee!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Who Knows?

I have yet to figure out why I can be working on a post, and it looks just fine...until I actually publish it, at which point the font sizes go all haywire!! I always use the exact same font size (for all my text), yet Blogger acts like I've got five different sizes going on. Totally weird.

Anyway, I just wanted to apologize to those of you who are getting 15 notices for the one post (well...now 2) I made today. Just ignore me. 'K?

Definitely NOT Me


If you're one of my three blog followers (okay...19, but who's counting?), then you know I do NOT keep you waiting for weeks at a time (and certainly not months) to finally post something. I mean, I have such a dull, uneventful life that I most assuredly have nothing better to do than sit at the computer all day every day and churn out some of the best, most creative, photo-filled blog posts ever to grace the internets. Right??!!

Besides, I would have died first before I neglected to tell you about the time that my sweet, innocent daughter (back when she was just over 3 years old) did
NOT stuff a toilet chock-full of toilet paper, flush, and then leave it to overflow for two hours, while the bathroom, three bedrooms, and a hallway became literally flooded (and her parents slept soundly). A professional emergency clean-up crew was NOT called in (on a Saturday morning) to rip out ALL the carpeting, some insulation under the house, and the baseboards in the bathroom and set out huge fans to air it all out. We did NOT then endure an entire month (or was it two??) to get the insurance assessor over here, get the insurance money, shop for new carpet (ugh...how I detest the stuff), paint the bedrooms (might as well do it while the floors are bare), and then get the carpet laid.

And then...oh, my...THEN...my 7-year old son would
NEVER have dropped a tiny plastic bathroom cup in the VERY SAME TOILET about a month ago RIGHT at the very moment he was flushing. Because that would just be CRAZY!!!! And the cup would NEVER have become 100% lodged inside said toilet so that NOTHING could get past it. (Oh. My unhandy husband just may become handy after all.)


This pic is NOT proof.


I also NEVER take random videos of my baby, while letting the rest of the children run around like wild (hoopin' and hollerin') animals. For REAL. My home is the calmest, most peaceful house on the block! You KNOW it's true.



video


Oh!!!! We ALSO have NOT had a single moment's trouble with our family car. It has run perfectly, in case you were wondering. I mean, we would NEVER have driven and driven it with a very old, very bad battery. Our battery may as well have been brand spankin' new, 'cause our kids NEVER leave the lights on all night long and we have NOT had to (quite regularly) get out the jumper cables. Anyway, our engine was NOT shutting down for no apparent reason at stoplights during heavy traffic. And I was NOT freaking out! I am all manner of calm and collected when my vehicle is threatening to break down with me and my four little ones aboard. So...it was definitely NOT me. In case you thought it was. And it didn't cost us over a hundred smackeroos to determine that our car runs just fine...so long as it has a decent battery inside. And while we're on the topic of our PERFECT car, we are NOT currently driving it while the hatch, which broke this winter (and was replaced), is being held together with good ol' duct tape. That's WAY too redneck for us. We Davidsons always have things promptly repaired by professionals IF (and that's a big IF, mind you) they break.

I was also NOT speaking to a friend recently about first (baby) haircuts when I realized that my poor firstborn is STILL bearing (wearing?!?) the brunt of my seemingly unhealthy emotional attachment to his hair. That did NOT happen, because it is NOT true. Certainly, I would NEVER have let my long-awaited, much-anticipated first baby boy grow hair THIS long.



Cute kid. Mullet?
NOT so much.


And I would NEVER have allowed it to get THIS scraggly.


Or........five and a half years later.......THIS scraggly.



There is NOT a pattern of behavior on my part here.

NEVER!

But with or without haircuts, my family did NOT recently stay in this one-room cabin for three consecutive nights and love it. (Well, most of it.)


And because we did NOT have a bit of fun playing "Little House," I am NOT ready to sell our large home and try something more one-roomish, preferably with one toy per child and about 30 acres of land to roam! I am NOT desperate enough to consider homes like THIS...



or THIS



just to find some sanity.


And while I've been telling you about all the things I have NOT done, I have NOT been munching on cereal straight from the box and dreaming of all the things I love with peanut butter. That might mean I have a problem with food or something, and that just can NOT be true! My feelings about food are totally under control, just like everything else in my life!

The "Not Me! Monday" blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Birthday Plans

I've been too swamped lately with planning parties to blog or read blogs, so that's the reason for my absence amongst the internets. Two October birthdays four days apart makes for a very busy weekend coming up. The only reason I sit here NOW is because Gabriel is "challenging" the nap he seriously needs, and I am sitting here waiting for him to get still. (Thank goodness we finally got the Dell issues worked out--well, mostly. I HEART wireless internet.)

I've got a very dirty house, many errands to run (and a broken Expedition...so I'll not be going anywhere anytime soon), and lots of food to cook. I truly don't know how it's all going to come together...

Anyway, I thought I'd quickly share the invitations I made. And hopefully one day I'll get around to sharing the party details. (But don't hold me to it.)


Saylor is having a tea party. (Did ya figure that one out?) Her ACTUAL birthday was yesterday, but we're doing the party this weekend out of necessity. She's invited just a small handful of little girls (and we're hoping her best boy friend will come help "serve" the little "ladies"). I'm hoping to serve two different types of tea, homemade scones, tiny sandwiches, and cake.

The invite is simply blue card stock I cut out in the shape of a teapot. (There I go again--stating the obvious.) After writing the party details on it, I embossed flowers all over and then rubbed a pink crayon over the raised flowers. Added some ribbon and fancy multi-color eyelash yarn and there you have it. Simple, albeit somewhat time consuming.

And then there's Atticus. This is the BIG, most important FIRST birthday party!! I've scanned two different invites because. well. there WERE two different invites. 1) I couldn't decide between the two photos of him reading the book, and 2) I only ordered four of each from Walgreen's and didn't feel like going back for more. (Isn't that disgusting?) Anyway, I tried to send THIS one to people who MIGHT not get the whole "Goodnight Atticus" thing, since the title of the book (in the picture) is somewhat visible. (I was disappointed in this photo, because it was slightly out of focus, but it was really the best "shot" for this particular invitation, wouldn't you say?)

And then THIS pic was just so stinkin' cute, I just had to use it, too.

Atticus's Goodnight Moon theme birthday party will be at dinner time this Friday night. I will serve bowls of "mush" (soup) and bread and, of course, cake. It's going to be a cozy pajama party.

This invite is green card stock to which I added a hand-drawn telephone, balloon, and picture frame to mimic the objects in the story. The yellow lettering at the top was done with a yellow Galaxy marker (love those). Yeah, also quite time consuming. Next time...I'm making ONE and taking it to Kinko's (or FedEx...whatever) for color copies. I'm not sure why I feel the need to go through all this to invite FAMILY over. I just do. (Okay. I'll admit it. It's fun.)

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