Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lemme Upgrade Ya!

In case you didn't know, I'm a Crowd Tapper (click the button in the sidebar) and a member of the Old Navy Style Council. It's not just a fancy title, either. I am totally an ambassador.  I'm veritably swagtastic.  And I got to upgrade my style for the summer with Old Navy's white jeans.  Plus, I got to bring a friend!

I'll let the pics do the talking.

I received a coupon for me and one for a friend.  I immediately called my bestie and off we went!

In case you didn't know, Old Navy has a fit for every shape: There are six in all, the four I named plus the Rock Star and the Dreamer.The rise on the Rock Star was too low for me and I didn't see the Dreamer. After perusing the display, I decided to try four fits: the Diva, the Flirt, the Boyfriend, and the Sweetheart. 

We took our finds to the dressing room.

 Then it was dress up time!

The Flirt: They hugged every curve and had a bit of a lower rise.

The Boyfriend: a bit straigher than I like my jeans, but a nice fit. They were my second faves.

The Diva: My third fave, I just thought the fabric felt a bit thin.  I think they had a higher stretch material content.



The winner: Sweetheart!  The rise was perfect, the fabric comfy (not too thin and followed my curves without being too tight) and the cut was sassy. The Sweetheart is perfect for curvy girls like me. Here I am in the crop version, though I got the jeans that day.

While there, I downloaded the SnapAppy app and snapped away.  I totally scored a $5 coupon and used it to buy a Tami Tank!  Woot woot! Here's my final outfit.

I plan on picking up a few more Tami Tanks and the Sweetheart crops this weekend.  Thanks, Old Navy and Crowdtap!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I've been doing

The school year is winding down so I'm making plans for the summer and for the fall.  This summer, I plan to do a home summer camp with day trips for the babies.  I got the idea from Pinterest but I haven't full mapped out my plan. I need to sit down and give it some focus. I also plan to get my business off the ground. 
Yes, business.  I'm a Thirty One consultant.  Check out my website.  Go ahead, take a peek. 
I am also thinking about the fall, whether full time is the way to go. Lots up in the air so I probably won't post much over the weekend.  Sugar baby turned one   I'll post pics ASAP.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

50 things about me

I got this idea from blog I've been frequenting lately and I thought it would be a great way to share things about me.  For the record, I'm starting this at 8:43 pm on November 28.   We'll see how long this takes.
1. I'm a Sagittarius.
2. My mother, my oldest daughter,  and I have the same middle name.
3. I love me some Facebook.
4. I love playing board games with my brothers.
5. I'm the oldest of four and the only girl.
6. I have five kids.  
7. When I was in third grade, I wanted to live on a farm with my eight kids.
8. In my senior book,  I wrote that I wanted 3 boys.
9. I had my first child when I was 18. I had been out of high school four months.
10.  I didn't know I was pregnant until I was about six months.  He kicked.
11. I breastfed all my babies, sometimes for a pretty long time. As of February 2013, 56 months and counting.
12. My husband is 3 years younger than me.
13. We met at Burger King.  I worked there.
14. I have a B. A. in elementary education.
15. I scored in the top 15% of test takers on the PLT. I have never taught full time but I'm still certified.
16.  I'm three classes shy of my M.Ed.
17. Grilled cheese sammies are my fave.
18. Cilantro disgusts me. It tastes like soap.
19. I love each of my kids the best. They are each my favorite.
20. I cloth diapered my last two kids.
21. No, my tubes aren't tied. 
22. I don't know if I want more kids.
23. I like going to the movies by myself from time to time.  I can see what I want and I don't have to share my snacks.
24. I still want go live on a farm.
25. If I was super rich, I'd buy an island and go off grid.
26. I recently relaxed my hair.  I needed a change. It was a hard, hard choice.
27. I don't eat many veggies.
28. I eat lots of ice cream.
29. I took 3 years of French (I, III, & IV) and 2 years of Latin I'm high school.
30. I took Spanish in college.
31. I'm not fluent but I can speak passable Spanish
32. 4 of my kids have Hebrew names. The other's name is Welsh bc it was the only one on which we could agree.
33.  All of my girls' names have to do with water: dew from heaven, autumn rain,  and a brook or stream.  Water calms me, even though I'm a fire sign.
34. I drive American cars. Especially Dodges.
35. I love Modern Family.
36. And Real Housewives of Atlanta.
37. I'm Team Kandi.
38. My fave ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
39. I have a problem with cloth diapers. I am obsessed.  The most I've paid for one-$43.  For one diaper.
40. Yes, I had a goodmama. I lost it, though.  Just have an insert now.
41. I've never stolen anything.
42.  I never tell my husband how much diapers cost.
43. I love Johnny Depp. He's the dreamiest.
44. I think Darryl on the Walking Dead is HAWT.
45. I don't like wine, except Moscato d'Asti.
46. I do like bourbon. 
47. And rum.
48. And vodka.
49. But not gin.  It smells like turpentine to me.
50. I was offered full scholarships by 2 different colleges. I probably should have gone there but I'm hard headed and stubborn so I didn't.

The Restashing Project, Part 4

I am a fitteds kinda girl.  It's the prints and the softness that gets me. Occasionally, though, I use AIOs or pockets. Or rather my family does. My husband especially prefers the one step diapers to my loves.

I found Kara of KanneKrafts on the Instagram.  I love IG, the silent beauty of it.  She posted a shot of some fabric and mentioned that it was only $15 ($15!!!) and I was sold.  

Princess and Squirrel love Miss Kitty White and advised me that Sugarbaby, too, was a fan.  They are certain of this.  So this sweet little number was part of her Valentine's Day gift.  
Cute, huh?
As a diaper, the KK pocket does well. It comes with a microfiber insert, and the PUL feels very thick. I had a little wicking around the legs, but it wasn't fully prepped when I used it and was very minimal.  It's a diaper that puts a smile on this mama's face every time I see it.  I don't use pockets personally, but it is frequently OTB when I get home from work so the hubs approves. 

I don't have any good OTB shots because Sugarbaby has taken to objecting to being still for pictures.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Party Planning

Sugarbaby turns one on Saturday. One. A whole year old.  We are throwing her a party.

I hate throwing parties.  I basically overdid it, OD'd on parties with the first three.  They had shindigs every year, themed galas with magnificent cakes and entertainment.  Marionette puppet shows, costume parties, I was that mom.  Mind you, astronaut and squirrel's birthdays are nine days apart, followed by Halloween 12 days later, Lettuce's birthday 20 days later, Thanksgiving up to a week later, my birthday 2-3 weeks later, princess' birthday 3 DAYS later, Christmas a week after that and then New Year's.

Exactly. 10 hellish weeks.

Then,  I realized that I was creating my own misery by falling into the birthday party pressure. I realized I was spending a lot of money for something the kids wouldn't even remember. I realized that I myself am only certain of 2 parties-my first and a sleepover when I was 11 or 12. 

Yet I continued to get older.

So I stopped. Cold turkey. My friends were shocked.

That is not to say we don't celebrate birthdays.  We do, with cake and presents and a family dinner. Birthday kid's choice. They love it.  It's their day, their special day.

And guess what-they keep getting older.

But Sugarbaby is turning one, and a party she shall have!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sugarbaby has a cold

This is no fun for me.  She is fussy and demanding all night.  But It's not like her regular brand of demanding. It's something much worse. 

Usually she just demands to have all night access to the milk bar. Fine with me, she can feed herself. When she's sick, though, she wants more. Much more.

Sugarbaby's list of demands:
#1 access to the milk bar for pinches-she just pinches me over and over again like she wants me to be equally miserable.
#2 my pillow-she lays on it. Except when she doesn't.
#3 my head-she lays on it, too. Except when she doesn't.
#4 my abdomen-she lays across it. The better to pinch me; I guess.

I must not have met her demands because she woke me up Wednesday morning by sneezing a mass of sticky, yucky baby snot on my left eye.  I had to shower to get it off.

Get well soon, sugarbaby.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Remember when...

Blogs used to be a two way convo?  Remember when people used to comment with their thoughts and share?  This sense of nostalgia is brought to you by the reading of my old blog. I miss the back and forth conversation with my readers. It was more like I was sharing, as opposed to talking to myself.

Darn you, Facebook. Those blurbs have squeezed out quality musings. Twitter's even worse. It is so hard to condense my self to 141 characters.

Even Facebook kinda sucks now that all people do is share the same pics.

So...what brings you to my blog?

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Restashing Project, Part Three

Restashing has be an absolute joy!  I have found another diaper that I LOVE!

Mary from Timbutt2oos created this fluffy goodness for Popcorn/Sugarbaby (we're going through a name change).This package consists of one fitted, one hybrid fitted, a wet bag and half a dozen wipes. If ever there was a contender for my dear lovefluff ODCs, I have found it.

Before I gush about my dipes, let me tell you a little about Mary's customer service. I detest poor customer service. I don't like sellers who are non communicative or very curt or unprofessional. Mary is super sweet and kept me updated on my fluff status with pics. PICS.  I LOVE that. I will most definitely be ordering from her again, like today.

The dipes themselves are thick and plush, just the way I like them. They are not too bulky but they are one sized dipes so there is some bulk as Sugarbaby/Popcorn is a skinny minnie.  They have a nice soft velour snap in soaker and another lay in soaker underneath. I am a big fan of detachable or semi attached soakers to help reduce dry times so this is a plus.  The Punky Pirate print I got specifically to match an Olive Jane cover I got a while back.  The Diva Kitty has the cutest detachable ruffle. It is a hybrid fitted.  We all know I love fitteds but I hate covering them. Well, Mary added an extra layer of fleece on the inner so that it won't soak through as quickly. Not only is she super nice, she's super SMART!  The result is I get to adore my dipes.

Not that these soak through quickly.  I am impatient so when I got them, I immediately slapped one on Sugarbaby so I could take a pick:

Or three.  Don't judge me.  Sugarbaby took a piddle in one and only the front of the top soaker was wet.  It was just barely damp on the back, the second soaker and outer were dry.  That was the regular fitted, not the hybrid.  

Since I've gotten them, the Punky Pirate is in our regular rotation.  I'm saving Diva Kitty for April, her first birthday {time flies...}.  I have no complaints. 

The wet bag is adorable and I love the grommet and toy.  It's perfect for a day out in my diaper bag. I estimate it'll hold 4-6 dipes.  The wipes are soft and the serging is tight.  Great quality for the price.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A quickie!

Restashing is going well.  I've fallen in love anew with another brand.  I have a great review coming up and-my first sponsored giveaway!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A bowl of delicious

I like potatoes. This is evidenced by my generous curves.  I also like to try new recipes.  Plus, cooking from scratch allows me to control what's in the food-which is vital when you have a child with food anaphylaxis.

I picked up some leeks the other day on a whim and the first recipe that came up when I googled was this potato and leek soup. I love potatoe soups in general and I had most of the ingredients so I gave it a whirl.

Dear Baby Jesus,  thank you for Google.

It was AH-MAZING.   It also smelled absolutely divine!

I made a few changes-no white pepper ot white wine, because I had none. I also added garlic because I love it so. I also separated some for Princess before adding the cream. I tried to take step by step pics but after a while I stopped.

I attempted to control portions by serving it in mugs but that just caused my family to forgo spoons and drink it.  It was that good.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Restashing Project, Part 2

Other than my beloved ODCs, I have no allegiance to any brand and I love a good deal. I love fitteds but they can be pricy. I was browsing the Etsy-verse and found Greenchild Creations. Well, dog my cats! Popcorn was fluff poor so I ordered 2 flannel fitteds, 1 bamboo/cotton twill fitted, and one fleece soaker. I added snaps to my diapers, an optional feature. There was also a promotion going (spend $50, get a free flannel fitted) so I paid less than $75 for four diapers , a cover, AND shipping.And now, without further ado, my reviews.
Customer service:The sweet mama who runs the shop was a joy to work with. She shipped quickly and even added snaps to my free dipe for free.
Quality: WAHM dipes never cease to amaze me with their quality and these are no exception. They are lovingly made and the prints are adorable. The pink bamboo velour is already a fave around here. It's deliciously soft and squishy.
What makes 'em special: These fitteds are more of a pocket-fitted amalgamation.  They have three layers of fabric: the outer, the inner, and the "flap." They DO NOT come with a soaker. Instead,  they have an open interior between the outer and inner. I toss a microfiber insert inside, then lay the flap over the top. The result is a reasonably absorbent fitted that is nice and trim.

Final Verdict: I like them. Especially the pink bamboo/cotton twill combo. The lack of a soaker was a bit off putting at first but I found that the trimness and the ability to customize the absorbency made up for it nicely.  They dry super quick and the softness is amazing.  Popcorn is a itty bitty and they fit her perfectly.  (I also put one on Side Salad to test the one sized-ness and was able to snap it on his 40-something pound frame.  He then ran off to show the other kids.)
Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Restashing, Part I

So I've finally begun to rebuild my stash and it's crazy fun.  I just scored an ODC on Spots.  If you've been here long or on my old blog, you know I love my Oranges.  This one Lettuce selected (or, to be fair, he saif the print was nice which I interpretedas permission to buy).

I am too in love to be objective so just enjoy this photo collage.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Goals, resolutions, whatevs

I don't like the word resolutions as it pertains to those of the new year kind.  They reek of failure.  I do have goals, though, and I thought I'd share them.

#1 Financial Goals: I'd like to increase my credit score. This recession took a toll on our finances. My credit score took a hit of about 100 or so points and I'm sick over it.  We have no savings left at all.  It sucks and we really need to buy a house like next year.
-Increase my credit score by 100 points. Duh.  I want my points back.
-Save some dough. I'm doing this gradually. I started saving by putting a dollar in an envelope the first Sunday od the year. The second Sunday I'll put in two dollars. Next Sunday, three dollars. And so on. The last Sunday, I'll put in $52. And I'll have over $1300 saved. Do the math. It's real.
-Get a full time position at my beloved school.  Preferably in the science lab. Or 2nd grade. Or third. Or fourth. Shoot, even fifth.

#2 Health: Other than my obscene cholesterol, I'm good.  Obscene like it has never been below 250. Even when I was a kid.  That's related to genetics, not diet.  But I want to better.
-Eat less red meat and pork.
-Eat more veggies.
-Dust off my work out DVDs and get jiggy with it.

#3 Personal: Continuing the theme of the best me,
-Spend more one on one time with each kid. Now that popcorn is getting big, that should ve easier.
-Spend more time with the hubby.
-journal consistently.

Do you have any life goals for the new year?

Friday, January 4, 2013

It Matters

This year we moved from a very diverse, urban/suburban-ish school district to a much less diverse one in more affluent area.  I have mixed feelings about this as a teacher and as a parent.  My kids attend much newer schools (brand spankin' new!)with much more technology. Astronaut has an iPad.  Squirrel has them in her class.  Princess checks out Nooks from the library.  The students as a whole are more focused and there are far fewer behavioral issues.

But there are major drawbacks.  My kids stick out like grains of pepper in a bowl of rice.  It's a new experience for them, though not necessarily a bad one.  They've made new friends, really nice ones, especially the Astronaut.  But there are definitely some drawbacks. For one, their idea of a open door policy differs greatly from what we've been used to.  They don't like parents to come into the children's classrooms. I'm used to sitting in, helping teachers.  Also Princess and her teacher had some issues.  And today I noticed that ina school with over 750 students, there are zero black teachers. What are the odds of that? They also failed to put my boy-who is state identified as gifted-in the proper courses.

Before Princess made her entrance, there was only one black girl. I guess she was The Black Girl.  Now there are two. She and P have had "friendship problems" because she feels like P is "taking her friends."  We'll call said girl, Frog (this is not in any way related to her looks.  She's a pretty child.).  Princess is slender, slightly above average height, has smooth chocolatety skin, big brown eyes with lashes so long they look like butterfly wings, long hair (down past her shoulders, though she rarely wears it out). I've only seen her twice but Frog is light skinned with very long hair-about mid back length-the same texture as Princess' but a little lighter in color.   These details will be relevant very soon.

Today, Princess told me that Frog is not black.  Now I've seen Frog and it is very clear that she is, in fact, black.  It's not that she's ambiguous, like the singer Miguel. She's a light skinned black girl.  So I ask "Well what is she then? "  I expect her to say Guyanese or Dominican or something like that-something with enough melanin to fool the eye at first glance.  Princess tells me that Frog says she is white. 

Apparently, Frog is mixed.  I had no idea.  And since her mom is white, she's decided she's white, too.  Now that she can't be TBG, I guess.  Let me say, this child is not black, per se.  She is biracial.  I am not suggesting she should deny her whiteness. 

You wonder why I care, don't you. It's because I care about kids and their wellbeing, even when they are mean to my kids. I'm a teacher.  Kids are my life.  My students, I love them like I birthed them.

I care because this is a little black girl and I'm a mama of little black girls.  It is a cold world for little black girls.  The world goes out of its way to tear them down.  Traditional ideals of beauty are very eurocentric.   Additionally, the assumption is that intelligence and class have an inverse relationship with complexion.

I care because this child is being set up to be ridiculed and embarrassed. No one will treat her like a white child.  Yes, this is America. Yes, it is 2013.  Yes, black people are STILL treated differently than others. It's just the truth.  Furthermore, no one is going to trear her black, then find out she is "white" and treat her differently.  I understand that her mother is white-she is not.  It's like hair color. If your mom is a blonde and you've hot auburn tresses,  you're not blonde. She will be looked at a bit funny by everyone for calling herself white.

I care because this could impact her school performance. Yep, black pride is good for black kids, says Harvard. It gives the the tools they need to survive and thrive.  By denying what is clearly true-that she is biracial, her mother is implying that there is something wrong with being black. She's attaching shame to it. And self shame can morph into self hate, a dangerous thing in girls. Self hate leads to self destructive behaviors such as eating disorders,  promiscuity, drinking, cutting, etc.

My heart breaks for this precious child and the utter confusion she must be feeling.  I'm scared of how real things will get for her.

Or perhaps I'm just reading too much into it.