Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Little Update...

So, in the last month or so my family has experienced a string of bad luck.  Our Jeep has been broken into twice (the second time they stole our new stereo), our debit card number stolen (someone tried to book a trip on Orbitz, on us!), the job my husband was supposed to start has been postponed and possibly given to another carpenter (after it had been promised to us and he passed up other jobs in order to be available), and that is just scratching the surface!  My brother has been in and out of the hospital and I have a number of friends whose family members have been diagnosed with diseases (everything from sepsis in a close friend's newborn to cancer in grandparents). 

We've been incredibly busy in addition to these trials and I just haven't had the time or energy to devote to my blogs, sadly.  As things begin to slow down and we enter into November I am hoping to get caught up and introduce you all to a new blog project I have been working on and am very excited about!  I lvoe and miss you all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kiss Me Again Review

Wow- what a powerful book!  Kiss Me Again, Restoring Lost Intimacy in Marriage, by Barbara Wilson helps couples overcome their sexual pasts in order to foster better intimacy, both sexually and relationally, in marriage. 

I personally don't have much in the way of a sexual past apart from my husband, nor a problem being intimate with him, however I have had much to overcome in our relationship.  My husband was previously married which has been a far more difficult history for me to overcome than my own, and although this book does not specifically address this issue, there were many principles that I could directly apply to our circumstance to help bring healing for both of us.  Although, for the most part, I feel that my husband and I are pretty open with each other, the discussion questions in the book gave us a wonderful opportunity to sit down and really talk about where we are in our relationship and how we can grow closer together and to the Lord.

I also found that much of what Barbara Wilson discusses in the book could be applied to nearly any male/female relationship you've had in your past that involved a break-up, whether it was sexual or not, since much of what she talks about is breaking bonds with the people from our pasts to fully invest our hearts in our spouses. 

I found this book to be very insightful and thought provoking- my copy is dog-eared, underlined and worn.  I think that many women and marriages could find healing, perspective and greater intimacy with their spouse by reading this book and participating in the process it offers.

To purchase your own copy you can visit Random House.

If you would like to become a blogger for books with Waterbrook Press you can visit here.

This book was provided by the publisher for review through a program seeking honest reviews.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So for those of you who haven't heard, on October 1 the makers of Sleepy Wrap released a brand new carrier for kiddos 15-45lbs and 1-4 years old called Boba (stands for Boulder Baby).  The Boba is a soft, structured carrier that can be worn on either front or back and has ingenious foot straps for toddler's feet to rest in, keeping their legs aligned at the proper 90 degree angle for maximum support.

We were generously sent a Boba to review and were so excited to try it since I had recently been looking into getting a more structured carrier.  Although Lion Cub is only 4 months old, he is already 16lbs and has very good head and back control, so carrier tailored more to a bigger child seemed to be becoming necessary if I was going to be able to keep wearing him.

So, what do I think?  Well, I first tried the carrier on with R-Man who is 3 1/2 and about 28 lbs.  I was thinking, "This is probably going to be really uncomfortable!" But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the carrier dispersed his weight across my back and shoulders very evenly, making me think that if I needed to, I really could carry him in the Boba.  Plus he LOVED it!  I believe his exact words were, "This is so cool mom!"

The next test was with Lion Cub!  I have primarily worn him on the front, since at this stage of the game that is the easiest, and I really can say that I like the Boba a lot!  We have worn it just about everywhere- the apple orchard, the store, breastfeeding group- you name it, we use it!  The straps are really well padded and pretty easy to adjust.  The bottom belt offers a generous amount of support to my back, which is especially important to me having scoliosis (it tends to get worse with the more children you lug around!).  The buckles are both very secure and the length of the back support for the child is nice and long to accommodate a long child (which Lion Cub is!).

What don't I like?  Well, sometimes the buckles seem a little too secure- the large, bottom buckle has a double latching system that can be a little tricky to unclasp when it is on your back.  Also, when wearing the baby on the front, the top clasp (that you hook behind your shoulder blades) can be a little hard to reach.  With that said, however, it hasn't detoured me from using it.

In fact, especially as Lion cub gets bigger and older and I am able to wear him on my back more, I am quite sure that Boba will be our go-to carrier!  It is so well designed with both baby and mama in mind that I think it is pretty hard to beat.  It is rare to find a company who puts as much research and development into making an all around wonderful product such as this, and the fact that it is 100% Organic and made in the US is just the icing on the cake!  Oh, and did I mention that it can easily be adjusted for moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas to all get in on the babywearing action?!  Gotta love that!

I can say with confidence that if I were looking into buying a carrier right now, Boba is the one I would get.  I think I would go so far as to challenge families to try it and not like, because once you use it you can't help but fall in love!  And hey, who doesn't like getting stopped in public and complimented on their beautiful carrier (as has happened to me!)?  The Boba just attracts that kind of attention!  :-)

So, have I convinced you?  Want to try one too?  Head on over to BobaCarrier.com and use the code mamakenz for a 10% discount through November 11- you won't regret it!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Aloha Friday- Oct. 9, 2009

 Here is how this meme is explained over at An Island Life-
"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!"
So, my question for this week is-

Do you decorate for fall?

Personally, I like to add fall colors to our home and place gourds and cornstalks on our porch, but we don't make jack-o-lanterns because we don't like to celebrate Halloween.

Answer my question, post your own then link up and find more at An Island Life!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Extraordinary- Book Review

I have mixed feeling about this book, to be totally honest.  On the one hand it gives great encouragement that we can do all things through Christ and that he desires great things for our lives in terms of what we can do for him.  John Bevere continuously references scripture and offers reflection questions at the end of each chapter to help drive home his concepts, which are all positive. 

On the other hand, much of it seemed basic and addressed to the new Christian, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but also not as captivating for the seasoned believer.  The book also seems to come from the "big church" stand point, which is something my husband and I left many years ago, so it is difficult to try to see things from that perspective again.

In spite of some of it's simplicity I think it offers good reminders for all Christians about what the Lord desires of us and for us, so if you would like to purchase this book to check it out yourself you can purchase it here.  You can also find out more about John Bevere's ministry here.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fluff Mail!

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Well, Lion Cub is still growing like a weed so I had to purchase some size mediums!  I had a few from R-Man but a lot of them the elastic was shot and so forth, so buying a few more was really the best option right now. Plus, R-Man still wears his fab fitteds as a just-in-case during naps (which he rarely wets, but still) so now that they are in the same size (crazy right?) I just couldn't resist!

So I got 4 new Fuzzibunz Onesize (which I TOTALLY Love!!), 4 Thristies Fab Fitteds and 2 snap in soakers to go with my GroBaby!  Very exciting and helpful!

Have you received any fluff mail lately?  Link up!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me Monday- I Didn't Burn this! Nope Not Me!

I didn't burn this grilled cheese sandwich to pure charcoal- nope, not me! 

I did not put the sandwich together while my three year old whined about wanting a treat before dinner and my 3 1/2 month old screamed in the exersaucer.

I did not put the sandwich on the stove, go pick up my 3 1/2 month old, start bouncing with him on the exercise ball and flip on a TiVoed episode of Oprah, all the while completely forgetting about said sandwich.  Never!

I did not only realize that this sandwich was nearly on fire after my husband arrived home a half-an-hour later and asked what that burning smell was (which I could not detect because my sense of smell only works about 1% of the time).

I did not watch my husband pull the sandwich off the stove, stare in amazement, laugh and take a picture on his iPhone... then look at me with sad, pathetic sympathy and commence to take over the dinner preparation for the evening as I burst into tears/laughter/frustration!

Nope- I would never do that!

Do you have an equally honest and embarrassing moment that you did not do?  If so, check out Not Me Mondays over at  MckMama, add your story and see what other mamas haven't been doing lately! :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook- Oct. 4, 2009

 For Today- October 4, 2009

Outside my window... dreary, fall day!  40 degree drop from a week and a half ago!

I am thinking... about my brother who is in the hospital struggling to recover from a surgery to replace his shunt.  Also about a dear friend who is having an anniversary today, in more than one way.

I am thankful for... my beautiful boys and my loving husband!  I am blessed- especially in light of others' loss and sickness.

I am wearing... a bathrobe and pjs!

I am remembering... Tyler Robles- a beautiful little boy who would have been celebrating his first birthday today.  He will NEVER be forgotten!

I am going... to a friend's house who recently had a baby to make them dinner.  Also possibly going back to the hospital to see my brother.

I am reading... everything I was reading last time I posted, plus more!

I am hoping... that my brother recovers and stops having seizures.

On my mind... my brother, birth, babies, loss and hope.

From the learning rooms... preparing for a week of learning about fall and continuing or study of Moses.

Noticing that... my hard drive is officially full- bummer!

From the kitchen... think roast, but not sure.

Around the house... toys, lots and lots of toys!

One of my favorite things~ blogging!  Haven't done enough of it lately- it is such good therapy!

From my picture journal...

To participate, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

My brother needs your prayers!

I am writing this to all of you in desperate hope that you will pray and spread the word for others to do so as well!  

You see, my brother, Kaleb, was admitted to the hospital last night for an emergency replacement of the shunt in his head.  This shunt allows the spinal fluid around his brain to drain, and since his other shunt had failed (it was 17 years old- darn near a record!) the fluid pressure was slowly building in his head causing a terrible headache and forgetfulness.

The surgery apparently went well but all day today he has been complaining of a pounding headache, vomiting blood and worst of all, suffered a Grand Mal Seizure tonight just after 10:00pm.  The doctors have not been able to identify the cause of any of these symptoms.  He has undergone many tests and been pumped full of drugs to no avail. 

Kaleb was born with Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect that leaves a hole in the baby's back exposing the nerves at the base of the spine).  He walked until he was 13 when a series of walking injuries and surgical complications left him in a wheelchair.  He is 23 and has had more pain and surgeries than most people could comprehend, but through it all he has always maintained an amazing attitude and has never really complained about any of it.  He is such a caring person and one of the nicest, most empathetic people you could ever meet.

Please pray for answers, recovery and relief from the pain!  And please, pass this on to others you know!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hmmmm... what could it be?

 Want to find out what is inthis box that I am so excited about?
Come back the week of October 12 to find out!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Aloha Friday- Oct. 2, 2009

I have seen Aloha Friday around so much but never really joined in, but today I decided that I would!  So, here goes- my laid back Friday post! Here is my simple question for you all to answer:

What do you just love about me?

Haha- just kidding!  How ridiculous would that be?!  I already know you all think I'm wonderful!  Okay- kidding again!  I am completely joking, so please, don't answer that! 

Okay, my real question, mostly for you stay-at-home-mamas:

What time of day do you actually get ready and put on real clothes?

My honest answer is that I am trying to get better and goodness knows there were many days this summer that I threw something on other than my nursing bra, boxers and a bathrobe as I heard my husband's diesel truck roar into the driveway after work!  However, it seems that Lion Cub is best behaved just after he wakes up in the morning, so I have been trying to shower and slip into something from my actual wardrobe by around 9 or 10 am while he watches Baby Einstein with R-Man.  So far it is going pretty well, but I am wearing the above described sleep-wear at the moment I am writing this, but hey, I'm getting a cold and it is rainy outside so I justify!  Haha! 

Okay, that answer wasn't nearly as short as I intended.  Oops!

What about you?

Answer my question, post your own then link up and find more at An Island Life!

Summer has officially left!

The leaves are beginning to turn and summer has officially departed, and with it my ability to throw my hair into a wet ponytail!  How under-appreciated my wet ponytails have been!  I hadn't realized how beneficial having a spring/summer baby was for this very reason- when I could manage to get a shower but not dry my hair because of my fussy little man, it didn't matter!  I could throw my hair up and I was set!  Well, those days are now gone and my blow dryer is back in business... now I just have to figure out how to make Lion Cub understand mama's need to get ready in the morning!

This getting ready time is especially important now that we are heading into a busier month!  We are going from virtually no activities in September to something nearly every day in October!  I think it will be good though- I tend to be more organized and motivated when I have more to do, and there certainly is a lot!  On top of keeping up on home-preschool and co-op I am also going to start attending a women's study again and a breastfeeding group to go towards my Certified Lactation Educator training (which I am beginning to pour time into again). 

Oh, and I'm working on a curriculum for a Chic & Savvy Mama's- Preparing for Birth and Baby class I would like to start offering this winter.  I am really excited about my ideas and think that it will shape up to be a very informative and fun class.  It is going to be a hybrid of preparing couples for birth while also teaching them about postpartum health, breastfeeding, attachment parenting and natural baby care!  I plan to offer a "tester" course to a few couples for free this winter and then start offering the class "for real!" 

Offering classes feels like the perfect fit for this point in my life.  I have poured so much time into my birth and postpartum doula training but with two small kiddos it is difficult to actually be able to put it into practice.  Teaching classes will give me the ability to work when my husband is home and can watch the boys and also bring in a little extra income which we could really use!  Plus, teaching is such a passion of mine!  I have been so positively influenced by the wonderful doulas, lactation consultants and midwives that I have learned from on my parenting journey that I just want to be able to pass that knowledge on to other families who will appreciate it and benefit from it!

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to all my bloggy friends who have been so supportive recently!  You have no idea what your kind words of encouragement and empathy have meant to me!  It is so nice to know that you are all out there when I am feeling quite alone and frustrated!  So THANK YOU!!