Saturday, August 31, 2013

Luvs NightLock Diapers #DDDivas #sponsor

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Luvs. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

See that ^? Oh yes, there is something new coming from LuvsLuvs with Night Lock isn't available on retailer shelves nationwide until September 16th, but I was provided with an exclusive sneak peak at the product, even before it becomes available!

The Luvs with Night Lock helps keep babies dry through the night. I don't know about you, but I've woken up to too many leaks in the morning. I am not a fan of leaking diapers. Babies who sleep through the night often sleep 8-12 hours. That is a long time for those diapers to keep everything in...and this is also one reason why we don't cloth diaper at night. It's difficult for diapers to keep babies dry and comfortable throughout the night, so I was excited to see how these worked!

The Luvs with Night Lock definitely did their job. Both of our youngsters were still comfortable in the morning, and there were no leaks! 

New Luvs with Night Lock is the size 4 (left) diaper, the size 5 is a traditional Luvs diaper.

Here are a few photos of the new Luvs with Night Lock and a traditional Luvs diaper. The new Luvs diaper has a green border on the top, with a softer tab landing strip. *Edit* I have learned that some regular Luvs have this new look, too- I didn't know! Our Luvs hadn't been changed yet.
 The monkey is still there, just with a cute new pose. New Luvs with NightLock offers the largest absorbency area EVER to lock away wetness, even overnight. So baby has a restful night of sleep and mom has a more peaceful night to take care of – well, Mom!

Beginning September 16, 2013, to coincide with Luvs with Night Lock appearing on shelves, for the first time EVER, Luvs will be offering print-at-home coupons 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Keepin' Things Clean with OxiClean! sponsored:

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for OxiClean. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Oh, no. It's 7am, you're running late you grab your coffee and head out the door only to trip over that last step and end up wearing that nice, hot coffee (and I bet your shirt is white, too). So, what do you do? You run into the house, take off the shirt and toss it on the floor while grabbing the closest clean shirt you can find.  After you get home you realize that your shirt probably will never be the same, that coffee stain is set.... Yeah, I've been there. BUT, I've also been able to revive the clothes from some of those horrible stains that have fallen upon our clothing, thanks to OxiClean.

My favorite load of laundry to use OxiClean in may surprise you... but with so many little boys, it's a must. It's our sock load! Sometimes our boys will come home and their little white socks will be BLACK. I swear, they must be walking around in the mud with just their socks! OxiClean really helps keep our family's socks looking fresh!

We've also used OxiClean for other things. I was desperate to get out a stain on our bathtub, but nothing was working. I had tried bleach, as well as several other cleaners, but the stain stayed stuck. I took a little OxiClean powder....

...and a little water into a nice paste, put it on the stain and let it sit for a while... scrubbed, and voila! 

Really, this wonderful powder can be used for a lot more than laundry.

Laundry, however, is what is on my mind our children get ready for school, and we purchase them their new school clothes, I start to think about how long those new clothes will last. I hate seeing new clothes looking worn after only a few washings. OxiClean helps to keep clothes looking better longer, though!

What are the toughest stains you have dealt with?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tales of Surgery, Infection, Wisdom Teeth and a Newborn!

It's been three weeks since I've given birth to little mister, Orrin. Hard to believe time has gone by so quickly. It always seems to do this to me, though. I cherish these days with a newborn, it's one of my favorite times with my children. The days seem long, but the weeks fly by!

The last three weeks have been quite exhausting. I've been recuperating from the loss of blood and blood transfusion, but I also am still struggling with a lot of health issues. I was supposed to have surgery last Monday on a kidney stone and to replace some stents, but it had to be cancelled due to a kidney infection. Now I wait and see what antibiotic I will be on since I am allergic to so many and nursing (there are a few you're not supposed to use when breastfeeding). Of course, it's been nearly a week and I am still not on antibiotics, so my infection is only getting worse.

Then, I had to have two of my wisdom teeth pulled the other day. One broke in half, and the dentist said they always take them in pairs (in her office anyhow). Not fun, and I definitely NEVER want another tooth pulled... I will explore all options before ever having that done again!

And of course, there's Orrin! Nighttime feedings and fussy times mean that I am more tired, and the fact that the only place he wants to sleep is in my arms (but who could resist?!) make that I am having a difficult time getting online and actually doing some work! 

I will be having surgery sometime in the next two weeks, and hopefully I will recover quickly! I just wanted all my readers to know I am STILL here! And, I hope to be writing a bit more this week between baby snuggles and feedings, doctor's appointments, and the occasional nap. :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Walking in My New Shoes! #sponsored #ReebokMom

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

There's no better time to make a commitment to getting into shape than after you've just had a baby. At least not for me! I am pumped and ready to lose some weight. When I got pregnant with Orrin, I was on a diet program, after having Orrin I still have 12 pounds to lose to get back to the weight I was while on the program. Getting my tush out there and moving is going to be the best way to help tone and lose some of this flab!

With a new goal came some of those needs is a good shoe to work out in. I was given a Famous Footwear gift card to shop for some new Reebok shoes. My kids have worn Reebok shoes, but me- I haven't since I was in high school. I was excited to get myself a nice pair of shoes that would help motivate me to keep my goals.

I picked the Reebok Women's FITNISRUSH. I was looking for a good shoe for walking, and this shoe had some great reviews, and the price was great! After calling my local Famous Footwear store, I learned they had the shoes in stock, but not in a 9.5, so I ordered mine online. 

 My first thoughts when I opened the box was that they looked large, and narrow, but overall well made and they looked like a great workout shoe.

I tried them on, and they were a bit big. This really surprises me since I usually go for a size 9.5-10 in shoes, but I do think I could have worn a size 9 in this shoe. There was plenty of room in front of my toes. The width was pretty narrow, as I suspected. I don't think I have particularly wide feet, but when I was wearing the shoes I noticed that there wasn't enough support on my inner soles, and my ankles would turn in. I also noticed that there was not enough arch support for my foot. I will likely buy some insoles to go with this shoe to help with the support of my inner foot as well as my arch.  You can find my full review here.

I loved that my feet didn't seem to get overheated in these shoes, however. I can't stand it when my feet are overly warm or sweaty. I didn't have an issue with the shoe creating an uncomfortable environment for my feet. The material seems very breathable. 

Other than this particular pair of shoes, Famous Footwear has a lot of other great Reebok shoes. If you are fond of the bright colors that are very popular right now there are several pair of Reebok that would be great for you. They also have some more classic pair, and of course, the pair that I purchased which has just a touch of that bright look.

It was nice to get myself a new pair of shoes during the back to school madness around here. I will definitely be looking at Reeboks for the kids' gym shoes this year. We always focus so much on the kids getting what they need, we often put things like a new pair of shoes for the adults on the back burner. New shoes is a great way to put your best foot forward, though!

Friday, August 9, 2013

GoodNites Indeed!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Your little one may have the potty business down pat during the day...but when it comes to the night, it may be more of a struggle.  I've talked about our children's struggles when it comes to staying dry overnight before, it's real and it happens, and a lot of times kids can't help it. What we can do is help them feel more confident (and save ourselves a little bit of midnight sheet-changing hassle) with GoodNites.

GoodNites Underwear are the most absorbent pants for boys and girls ages 4 and up. Specially made to protect while lying down, they help keep pajamas and bedding dry all night long and feature plush comfort with a discreet design. GoodNites Underwear help them maintain a sense of privacy and self-esteem until your child outgrows bedwetting. With GoodNites Underwear, there’s no need for a child to worry about wet sheets and other disruptions.
The underwear-like design helps kids feel more confident. Check these out!

And Backs:

My sons' love spiderman, so they were super stoked that their night-time undies had their favorite character on them. I do think that the character theme gets a little "less-cool" once they get a bit older, but they were great for our 6 year old!
We took a three day test mission to see how these new undies helped. We were very happy to note that while there was an accident, no sheets needed cleaning and no leaks occurred. All that we had to do was a quick change of the GoodNites and the little one was back in bed and ready to catch some more much needed rest (as was Momma)!
It was noted that during the heat of summer, the GoodNites were a bit stiffling- not as breathable as regular underpants. However, the benefit of not waking up in a wet bed, having to wake mom or dad and change clothing and sheets seemed to outweigh this issue.
Do you have a child that struggles with night-time dryness?
Check out the GoodNites Facebook page (aka “Mission Control’) to engage in conversations around bedwetting and offer/receive honest advice in a private, trusting environment (the parent-to-parent network).  Sign up for the undercover mission online for the chance to win weekly prizes.
Use the following code to enter: 8675

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Schools are the germs. #ad #NIAM

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Back-to-school-germs are the one thing I dread each year. Having many children, we always seem to get hit hard, especially in the fall. During the summer we get to enjoy a nearly illness-free existence. We make sure to follow all of the important protocols for avoiding sickness, washing hands, covering mouths when coughing and sneezing, and keeping hand sanitizer around for when it's needed. Sometimes those precautions aren't enough.

We also choose to vaccinate our children. August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). I know not everyone vaccinates, but I personally think the benefits outweigh the risks for my children. That being said, one of the vaccines my children usually get is the yearly influenza vaccination. The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized from flu complications, like pneumonia. Last year we had a young girl in our community, who was in second grade, die after getting pneumonia following the flu. It was a huge eye opener for everyone. People still do die from these illnesses, and as a parent, I want to protect my children as much as I possibly can.

The Influenza Vaccine is a vaccine that doesn't have to be given as an injection. There is also a nasal spray available (although not for everyone). This may give you an option and your children an option (not sure about you, but I hated shots as a kid)! Vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.The risk of serious flu complications requiring hospitalization is highest among children younger than 6 months of age, but they are too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect them is to make sure people around them are vaccinated. A flu shot during pregnancy protects both mom and baby (up to 6 months of age) from flu- and I have always gotten mine during pregnancy. 

The influenza vaccine is available sometime in the fall, to find out when you can ask yours or your child’s doctor when they expect flu vaccines to be available in their office, and schedule an appointment for flu vaccination. Visit for locations offering flu vaccines near you. 

To find out more please visit for more helpful information from the CDC. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Orrin's Birth Story

I can't believe it's been a week since Orrin arrived in our lives! I am so glad to be here to tell my story. Here is my story to the best of my recollection (and perspective).

Let's start with a little back story. I've had two c-sections (my last two deliveries). I did not want them, but circumstances warrented them. I did not want to have a c-section for Orrin's birth. The hospital where I deliver is not VBAC friendly.  I spoke with my doctor throughout my pregnancy and let her know that I did not want a c-section. We did not schedule a surgery date, and decided on the "wait and see" game plan. While my doctor couldn't tell me I could have a VBAC, she couldn't force me to either.

Once I hit 40 weeks, things got a little more tricky. Since I was a c-section candidate there was pressure to have my surgery scheduled. I wasn't happy, but I decided to schedule the surgery for July 30th. It felt right...and I figured if I went 10 days past my due date it was probably time to get the little guy out of there (I have other medical issues going on and am on medications that really aren't that great to take during pregnancy). 

Well, unfortunately plans changed, and the 30th wasn't available. The doctor called me and convinced me to change the date to the 29th. It didn't feel right, but I reluctantly agreed. However, after being upset the entire day, I called the next day and cancelled. This led to a flurry of phone calls and a lot of emotions. I was told I would be transferred to a different hospital if I came there in labor. Eventually my doctor called me and talked for quite some time, and I, again, reluctantly agreed to the July 29th c-section.

So, on July 28th, I had a dream. In my dream I was having a contraction. It was an odd dream, and I woke up. I laid in bed wondering if I had had a contraction, or if it was only a dream. Within minutes I was asleep again, and in just a few minutes a was awakened by another contraction. I was 8 days "overdue". I smiled. I laid in bed catching a few minutes of sleep in between contractions until I was sure "this was it". 

I woke up my husband and let him know I was in labor. I was thrilled. I had a plan. We slowly got the other children ready, we had packed most of the stuff the night before so it wasn't too much of a rush. I continued to have contractions and bloody show. We left our house around noon and took the kids to their Grandparent's house. Then we headed to the hospital.

"Oh yeah, this is happening!"

We arrived at the hospital around 1:30pm. My contractions were strong, but not horrid. My husband asked if I wanted to go in. I didn't. I didn't feel like the contractions were bad enough yet and I didn't want to go in while in early labor... I decided to labor in the parking lot.  Around 2pm I felt my water break. It wasn't a big gush though, so I was worried that this would be similar to my water breaking with Annabelle (which ended up in a c-section). My husband said we should probably go in. I went in, but I said I wanted to use the bathroom first. I used the bathroom, and then stood in the hallway. I couldn't go in. I was too worried that if I went to OB that I would be transferred immediately. My husband knew my concerns and decided to go check out the OB's nurses station to see who was working.

He came back and told me all was well and that we should go in. He had told the nurses that I was in labor and that my water had broke, but there was no way I was going to come in if I was going to be forced to have a c-section or transferred. The nurse said to come in and get checked, and that I didn't have to stay if I didn't want to. My doctor was on her way to the hospital anyhow, and that it was good timing.

I went in, got hooked up to the monitors. Everything looked good, thankfully. Orrin was tolerating the contractions well. The nurse told me that there was actually another lady going in for a c-section in just a few minutes, and that's why my doctor was coming in (to assist the other OB). This was fantastic news. I knew I had at least an hour to labor before they could get me in for a c-section. 

My doctor had told me that if I came in in active labor and 6+ cm dilated that my chances of delivering naturally were pretty good. I was so nervous when the doctor came in to check me. She said I was 5cm and 90% effaced. I was glad to be that far along, but it wasn't 6cm. My doctor told me not to worry and that I had time while she assisted with the other c-section. Awesome. This was going to happen.

I know from my previous natural deliveries that once my water breaks I deliver very quickly (like, in less than 20 minutes), so I was wondering what was going on. My water had broken, we could see the leaking fluid, but labor was still not super fast. I had 2 IV's put in (just in case I needed an emergency c-section or medication). It was nearing 3pm. The contractions continued to get stronger, I had forgotten how uncomfortable they could get! I guess two babies without a labor can make you forget!

Around 3:40 I was checked again. This time 6-7cm, and completely thinned out. Then, about 10 minutes later, GUSH. My water really broke. Apparently I either had had two sacs, which I didn't even know was possible but the nurse said it happens sometimes, or I had "forewaters" (where the baby blocks part of the sac of water so only a little comes out, then when the baby moves the "big gush" comes out). Whatever happened, after that gush the contractions were stronger.

 My doctor came a little after 4 and checked me and I was 9cm, baby was still pretty high. After she checked, she took off her gloves, but I needed to push. I don't even remember the contraction, I just remember an intense push... they hadn't even gotten the foot of the bed off yet. I crossed my legs (made them a circle) as I felt Orrin come out. The doctor was trying to get her gloves on quickly, but Orrin was faster. His quick arrival had him laying on the bed cradled in my legs. I had done it. I had my VBA2C! I was so happy.

They laid Orrin on my chest, and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing how wonderful everything turned out. The nurses, doctor, and my husband were rushing around. They got the foot of the bed off and stirrups up so I could deliver the placenta. 

I laid there staring at the wonderful new baby. He had such a big umbilical cord! I mean, this thing was THICK. I hadn't ever seen an umbilical cord that large. Orrin's face was quite bruised, the quick final stage of labor really put a lot of pressure on his face...he had a 15" head circumference, so it was quite the squeeze! 

8lbs 15oz baby boy!
After I delivered the placenta things got a little sticky. There was a lot of blood. I didn't really realize what was going on, but I heard the nurse saying my husband's boots and pants were bloody and they gave him some booties to cover them up. I knew I was bleeding (I mean, there is always blood during birth), but I didn't realize how much. The doctor reached up into my uterus to make sure that there wasn't any placenta left or any large clots. If you've never had this done, it is PAINFUL. She pulled a few clots out, but overall it didn't seem like a big deal. The cord had stopped pulsing, so Orrin's cord was cut by my husband. Then I had a small tear that had to be repaired, so that was done. 

Things from here on out are fuzzy, I can't remember for sure the timeline, but this is what happened as far as I can remember.

The nurses took Orrin to get his measurements and assess him. The doctor checked my uterus level and massaged my abdomen to help it "clamp down". She then told me she needed to go inside and remove some clots, she didn't think my uterus was shrinking down like it should and I was bleeding more than I should. She then reached up into my uterus and pulled out many more large clots (I seriously felt like a puppet- and this hurts SOOO bad)! I was given pitocin via IV with the bleeding. The nurse then had to massage my abdomen for 15 minutes, which was horribly painful. 

I somehow ended up with three IV sites... I'm not sure why I had three, though.

Right Arm
Left Arm
 The doctor gave some orders and went home. After the nurse was done with my abdomen I sat up to nurse Orrin. I asked for some food because I was starving, and I felt weak. I was in a lot of pain, and nursing made it hurt so much least I thought it was nursing that was making it worse. The nurse saw that I was in a lot of pain. I had taken my pain pill, but it wouldn't be working for about 45 minutes. The pain was bad, I was crying. 

The nurse said she needed to check where my uterus was (it's supposed to be belly button or lower). My uterus was getting bigger. The nurse called the doctor back to the hospital. I was given morphine via IV....and then I became a puppet again. The doctor pulled out many more large clots. I was given an oral medication (4 pills) and a shot in my leg to help control the bleeding more. I was told I was hemorrhaging and that I had lost nearly 2 liters of blood. Because I had lost so much blood they needed to quickly give me a lot of fluids. I was given fluids through both of my IV's. I needed to have my abdomen massaged for quite some time. I don't remember how long exactly, but I do know it was very uncomfortable. I felt cold and weak. I don't remember much after this... but I do know that my bleeding finally waned and I was stable. I don't remember much for a two hour block of time, though.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Let the Kids Chew Away!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Orbit for Kids. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating

Ah, oral hygiene. It can definitely be a challenge to get kids to stick to a regular routine! In my experience, kids start out loving to brush their teeth. My toddlers always are happy to brush... it's the 6+ age that I see a major decline in "willingness" to complete the task thoroughly. It's important, though. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are important parts to our daily routine, but sometimes the struggle is a bit rough to get through. We've gotten fun toothbrushes to help the kids remember and want to brush...light up brushes, superhero toothbrushes, even fun singing toothbrushes! There are a lot of great products out there to help keep kid's teeth healthy.

I want my kids' teeth to be protected...and not just in the morning and at night when they brush. With snacking throughout the day I worry about how clean their teeth are, and if there is anything left in their teeth just sitting there waiting to cause a problem. I want my kids teeth to last well into their adulthood (hopefully throughout their adulthood!) and I love using gum to help do that. Awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance, Orbit for Kids sugarfree gum helps to rid teeth of debris as well as stimulate saliva which helps protect teeth by reducing plaque acids and strengthens teeth. What a fun option to add to a child's brushing, flossing, and rinsing routine!

I know my kids love to chew gum. Even before we tried the Orbit for Kids sugarfree gum, sugarfree gum has been something that my children have enjoyed. I can say, Orbit for Kids was a huge hit at our house. The strawberry banana flavor really took off with the kids... so much so that we found a few sneaky children hoarding the gum for later! Orbit for Kids also comes in a bubblegum flavor (which would likely be my favorite since it would remind me of my childhood)! Each pack comes with 14 pieces and is priced at $1.29 per pack.

Did you chew gum as a kid? Do your kids chew gum?

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