Posts Tagged ‘baby stuff’

Free Stuff: The PINCHMe Sample Box

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

I have no idea how I ended up on the blogger list for PINCHMe, but they keep sending me boxes of cool stuff and I love it. It’s a monthly box that sends you new (free!) samples every month in exchange for reviewing your samples on their site. No shipping costs, no credit card, no monies at all required. You do have to sign up for a member profile and fill out some details about yourself – if you have pets or kids, how old they are – so they know what kinds of samples would fit your life. I’ve gotten everything from nail polish to pet food coupons and I’m almost out of Olay body wash from my last box so I’m happy to see I got another one this time.

Because they’re giving free stuff away, PINCHMe is pretty popular and they sometimes run out of some of the samples. This month’s Sample Tuesday is on February 23rd at 12 Noon EST, so login and claim new free samples ASAP to get the best stuff. Otherwise you’ll be sad, like my friend who only got a kitchen sponge.

Here’s Linc and I opening this month’s box:

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That NextStep milk box was gone before I even finished taking photos of the rest of the stuff. Linc is a fan.

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Luckily there was a delicious granola bar to sustain me.

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Linc and I are both excited about these Boon Snug sippy lids – you can put them over any cup to make a sippy. Very handy when all of our’s are disgusting and rotting under the couch, or at restaurants, or when we visit childless people who think a plastic cup is child-friendly enough (only if you want juice poured on your cable box).

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The, uh, PERSONAL ITEMS samples. Plus coupons. I love coupons.

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Yesssssss another month where I don’t have to buy body wash. And that’s a huge jar of fancy moisturizer!

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Baby stuffs! So handy when you have a baby who insists on pooping a million times a day.

Don’t forget! PINCHme is a monthly subscription site that lets you try products from leading brands, completely for FREE! All they ask is for your feedback on the products. Every month, an amazing range of free samples are released on PINCHme for members to claim. These samples include grocery, baby, pet, beauty, home and personal care. Be sure to visit PINCHme for this month’s Sample Tuesday on February 23rd at 12 Noon EST to claim new free samples!

PINCHMe sends me boxes from their program in exchange for social media posts but no other compensation is exchanged or required and all opinions are my own.

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All The Perfect Little Pieces {Win $100 from Mustela and BlogHer}

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014


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My baby is amazing.

It doesn’t matter that he’s my third baby, and I’ve already done this newborn thing twice before. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2am and I’m exhausted. It doesn’t matter if his tiny fingers are ripping all the hair out of the back of my neck. He’s an itty bitty miracle.

When I’m nursing him, the hairs right behind his ear gleam like they’re made of copper. It’s the only time I am really sure he’s going to be a ginger, since the fuzz that grows in a perfect imitation of his father’s hairline on top of his head is white-blond. When he’s sleeping he makes sniffling snorfling noises and says “mmmmm” and “oooooo” and “eh eh eh eh eh” when he’s having mysterious baby dreams. I can no longer sleep without those noises, or I wake up in a panic that he’s TOO quite or TOO sound asleep. I cover his chest with my palm and feel every rib at once as they move up and down with his breath.

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His ears are like tiny monkey ears on the outside, covered in a light layer of fur, and seashells on the inside, pearly pink and smooth. I can’t stop touching them while he’s sleeping in my lap, because I know in just a few weeks poking him is going to wake him up. When I’m feeling stressed, I smooth the tiny M that Linc gets between his eyes or the lines on his forehead or the little creases he gets by his eyes. His baby skin is so soft, but so incredibly sensitive.

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I first heard of Mustela a few months ago when I was photographing a newborn for a client, and I couldn’t stop smelling their baby. Then a friend suggested it when I mentioned Linc’s cradle cap was acting up. Now I’m the one recommending it to friends for all stages of motherhood. The 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash is a tear-free, soap-free gel, specially formulated for the delicate skin of babies, but is great on the older kids too. It rinses very easily from Caroline’s hair and truly is tear-free, so there’s no more fighting when it’s time to wash it out.

But our real favorite is the Hydra Bébé Body Lotion. It’s so thick and smooth without being greasy, and absorbs very quickly even on just-washed baby skin. My hands are softer than they’ve been in years just from applying it to the kids. And I have been applying it to all the kids – on Caroline’s eczema-like rough patches, on the rash Evan gets from wiping is face on his sleeve, and on poor sensitive Linc, who gets a new case of baby acne or cradle cap or heat rash every day. They all love the lotion and you should see Linc smile when I’m rubbing it into his adorable chubby baby cheeks.

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Mustela has been trusted by parents for over 60 years and is developing new ways to protect skin both today and in the future. All their products are hypoallergenic and free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, EDTA and chlorphenesin. I feel good using their products on every inch of my little miracle for years to come.

You can learn more about their in-depth research, testing methods and science by visiting their website.

Mustela and BlogHer are giving you a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift card. Just leave a comment answering the question, “What is your favorite newborn moment?”  

And don’t forget to check Mustela out on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Sweepstakes Rules:

 

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1.     Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2.     Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3.     Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4.     For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. 

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 10/7/14 – 11/30/14.

Be sure to visit the Mustela Bébé brand page where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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Waiting, Impatiently

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

It is 8:32 pm on July 14th. I am 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which is 5 days more pregnant than I ever was with Caroline and 5 days less pregnant than I ever was with Evan. That’s a nice balance. Good symmetry. Seems like the perfect time to have a baby.

Unfortunately, my baby does not seem to agree.

I’m not technically overdue yet (TOMORROW), so I know the complaining about STILL being pregnant is annoying. Plenty of people have been much, much more pregnant and I could end up being one of them. (I REALLY REALLY HOPE NOT.) But unfortunately I let myself think “Oh, I am totally having this baby early!”

It’s not entirely my fault. My doctors all said I was in danger of early labor because of my high fluid levels. I’ve had tons more Braxton-Hicks contractions than with any other baby. This baby has been measuring big for two months and I basically LIVE at the hospital between non-stress tests and scans and regular appointments. My children can literally walk into the ER entrance and get themselves to the maternity ward.

But I should not have gotten my hopes up. People warned me. I just did not listen.

WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN????

 

I swear if it was ONLY my comfort (or uncomfort) level that I was worried about, I wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer to meet my baby. I never went through this end part with Caroline (I was induced unexpectedly after super surprise pre-eclampsia) so I would probably still be anxious, but I would be OK.

Unfortunately, due to E’s work schedule, I’m on a deadline. If I go a week overdue, he won’t be here for the birth. The moment where we finally find out together if baby #3 is a boy or a girl just…won’t happen. I’ll have to send an email he probably won’t get or a Red Cross message that at least 3 other people will read before him or just wait until he’s home again. He won’t be here to hold my hand or cut the cord or change a single diaper. I won’t be able to scream “WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!” as I push out a gigantic baby.

I don’t want this to sound TOO dramatic – he’s not going to be gone for months or years. His current work schedule is crazy and unpredictable but it’s not a deployment. He might be on a submarine under the ocean but he won’t be At Sea for more than a couple weeks at a time. The baby certainly won’t remember that he missed the birth but I know E will be so, so sad about it I won’t even be able to give him a hard time for “abandoning me”. I’m still not exactly EXCITED about it.

It would sort of suck to be in the room with just my nurses and the doctor. My mom – who’s here to watch the kids, in theory – has said she’ll fill in and I have friends who would take the kids if I really needed them to, but I’m not thrilled with that idea either. Mom watching the kids makes me being in the hospital much more relaxing. I don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re being terrors, she has to deal with it and love them because they’re her grandkids. Leaving them with someone else would mean lots of worrying instead of soaking up brand-new baby time.

We knew this was a possibility. As much as we tried to plan this baby around the Navy’s schedule, the testing that E’s doing now was supposed to be done in December. The command actually said “Plan your vacations for July and August, since that’s when we’ll be around”. Every time it got pushed back I thought “Ugh, this could be inconvenient” but until literally THIS WEEK I refused to consider E really truly not being here. Right now things are just slightly difficult – he’s not reachable by phone anymore so I have to call some office and they have to get a guy to run down to the pier and find him and then he has to get someone to cover for him and drive back up here to the hospital. But his boat is still tied to the dock, which is good!

I have a non-stress test in the morning (9 am, so possibly as you are reading this) followed by a regular appointment where I’m going to strongly suggest I am interested in them getting the baby the hell out ASAP. I feel like I’m breaking a bunch of birthing rules by even considering an elective induction. Admitting that on any of the pregnancy message boards will get you called a zillion things, none of which sound like “good mother”. But this isn’t my first time around the baby block and I did have a good experience with my last induction. Plus I have tried every single other possible thing to make labor happen on it’s own*** and nothing is working.

Why couldn’t this baby just COOPERATE, YOU GUYS?

Please send me lots of outside baby thoughts and keep your fingers crossed I’m so close tomorrow the doctor says I’m basically IN labor already and that my husband’s boat stays just broken enough that they stay in port and he’s right there with me when we find out if our Team Green baby is a boy or a girl. And so I can yell “WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!” as I push out what is probably a truly enormous baby.

I’m scheduling this to post at 7 am on Tuesday. Let’s hope that right now I’m already in the hospital having my baby and posting boring Instagrams of my IV all over social media (soon to be followed by adorable baby pics!)


*** The only things I haven’t tried are castor oil and black/blue cohosh. I’m not sure I can handle the side effects of castor oil and even Googling cohosh makes the internet freak the hell out about safety. But if my OB says “Sorry, one more week before we’ll talk about induction” I see a castor oil lemonade in my future.

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Friday, June 24th, 2011

Today I’m going to write a love note to my stroller.

Dear Baby Jogger City Select,

Can I just call you BJ? I feel like we’re definitely close enough for nicknames, since we spend so much time together.  I just wanted you to know I love you and appreciate you. You were a wise choice.

xoxo
Suzanne

Right now my husband is wondering why I don’t ever write HIM such nice love notes. Usually they just say “Make sure you watch when the dog poops. I think he ate a sock.” We’re super romantic.

Back when I was pregnant with Caroline, I decided that this time around I was going to shell out for a good quality stroller even if the price sent me into early labor. Because holy CRAP do you know what a “mid-range” stroller costs? I could practically buy a BABY for that much money (disclaimer: I do not actually support or condone baby buying). But I was never crazy about the stroller(ssssssss) I bought for Little Evan and figured I could put all the money I was saving with hand-me-downs towards something nice. E practically choked to death when he saw what I wanted to spend, but I think he agrees now it was a good purchase.

After much debating and ordering and cancelling and blog posting, I eventually settled on the Baby Jogger City Select with the doubles kit. I loved it the second I took it out of the box, I loved it when I was using it as a single stroller for Little Evan, but I love it even more now that it’s been 6 months and I’m ready to recommend it.

My little monkey in the CS as a single while Caroline was still an inside baby

PROS:
– Can be a single stroller or double stroller (with kit)
– HUGE sun canopy
– Easy to steer
– HUGE basket under seats
– Adjustable handle height for tall or short people
– Folds with (one) seat attached in either position
– Has an adapter for my Chicco car seat
– Folds with seat attached in lower position & car seat adapter in upper position
– Disassembles really easily & quickly to fit in small spaces
– Hand brake on the side is easier to use than a foot brake (especially in flip flops)
– My diaper bag hangs easily from the handle (which it says VERY CLEARLY you shouldn’t do, but I’m a rebel)
– Toddler likes it
– Baby likes it
– Good telephone customer service
– Parts are easy to replace (I replaced a broken brake/rear axle myself in less than 2 minutes)
– Straps are easy to adjust
– I think it looks nice and stylish (totally an important factor)
– Super easy to reconfigure seats
– Seats can be assembled a zillion different ways

I was CONVINCED having all the different seating arrangements was SUPER IMPORTANT in a double stroller, as if forcing my children to just sit facing forward was some sort of parenting travesty. When obviously the parenting travesty is that I’m using a stroller at all instead of wearing them in an organic cotton and hemp wrap I wove myself (I LOVE my babies. Why would I want to PUSH them away from me?). And even though I’m sure everyone would survive perfectly well in a standard side-by-side, we use the different seat configurations ALL the time.

 

Infant seat and forward facing full sized seat
Infant seat and full sized seat facing backwards
Two full sized seats facing forwards (also, cool whale picture, right?)
Caroline in full sized seat at 5 1/2 months
Seats facing each other – of course, THIS happens, but sometimes THIS helps calm down a fussy baby.
Both seats backwards – works great at the end of a busy day when everyone needs quiet time
Two full sized seats facing away from each other – will be useful in the future to separate squabling siblings

CONS:
– In some of the positions, the seats only fit if they’re not reclined/have the footrest down
– Seats don’t recline very far
– Brake sometimes doesn’t fully disengage
– My brake broke after only 4 months of use (covered under warranty)*
– Email customer service wasn’t great*
– Everything costs extra (the bars across each seat, cup holders, rain canopy, etc)
– A little front heavy, which means it takes a little effort to get it up onto a curb (but not INCREDIBLY HARD, which some reviews I read online seemed to imply)
– Sometimes the folding mechanism sticks and I struggle to get it closed
– The seat is a LITTLE on the smaller side, so if you have a very tall toddler they might be kind of crowded (but I think that would be a problem with ANY stroller)

Wow, my list of negative stuff sounds REALLY negative, but I swear I really do love this stroller. I use it 4 times a week at Stroller Strides (including sometimes jogging), walking around my hilly neighborhood, at the crowded aquarium, on the gravel paths at the Seaport, and at the mall. I had no trouble hauling it in and out of the van when I was 9 months pregnant or when I was 4 weeks post partum. I’m planning to buy the ride-on glider attachment soon, so the toddler can stand during the kind of mostly-running-around-but-he-might-get-tired outings we often take during the summer. It also makes it a TRIPLE stroller, so if we have another baby we’re already all set.

I don’t miss the snack tray and cup holder from my old travel system stroller, but I DO recommend buying the belly bars. It keeps Little Evan in the stroller even when I *ahem* don’t buckle the straps and is perfect for attaching toys.

I purchased my stroller (the 2011 version) from PishPoshBaby and was very happy with them – good customer service, very fast free shipping, and no sales tax. I also tracked down a teeny tiny discount code after a few minutes Googling, although it was only applied to the accessories and not the stroller.

So was that EVERYTHING YOU EVER DREAMED OF? Are you jealous? Are you bored to death? Are you going to buy one of your very own right this minute?

*So the story with the brake is one tiny spring somehow got twisted and it locked up my wheels. I called to ask if I could get just that ONE piece replaced and the person I talked to asked me to email a picture. I did, waited, emailed again, waited, emailed again and then gave up and called back. Second customer service rep just said “Give me your serial number right now. A whole new rear axle is on its way.” I had it within 2 days at zero cost. Eventually CS rep #1 emailed me back that she was still checking on sending me just a spring and I told her the problem was fixed. I did NOT say “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SEND ME THE WHOLE THING SINCE IT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT THAT HARD??” But I wanted to.

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Allora Handmade Winner, plus EVERYTHING ELSE from my brain

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The winner of Giveaway Week Day 1: Allora Handmade is…

#49 Majestic Domestic aka Bonnie!

Congrats!! I will forward your info to Jessica so she can set you up with your shop credit. I advise you to spend it on yourself and not try to do the nice thing and buy anyone a Christmas present. You’ll just resent them later because they’re wearing YOUR rosettes.

Yesterday, I had a friend tell me that although I am very very pregnant I am “all belly”. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said and definitely goes on the “appropriate to say to a pregnant woman” side of the list. I’m not even going to evaluate whether or not it’s true. I certainly feel very belly-ful and can also still get my non-maternity pants on – I just can’t button them. Or zip them. But my butt fits!

The glider we ordered from Babies R Us came in on Saturday. Of course it wasn’t until we got it home, up the stairs and right side up that we realized the gliding mechanism is TOTALLY defective. One of the screws is rubbing against the metal frame, making a terrible noise and preventing any sort of gliding from taking place. No, it cannot be bent back into place – trust me, we tried. E spent ALL DAY Monday trying to get a hold of the company, because it says in GIANT ORANGE LETTERS on the packaging “DO NOT RETURN TO STORE – CALL 1-800-BLAH BLAH”. So of course when they FINALLY called him back they said “Oh yeah, you should return it to the store.” Luckily, Babies R Us was willing to do an even-exchange and get us another (hopefully non-defective) one in 7-10 days. You can bet your ass we’re opening the box right there in the store to make sure it’s not all screwed up too. No way we are dragging ANOTHER chair home again just to drag it back.

(Side note: It took three different people almost a full hour to figure out HOW to do the even-exchange. One cashier literally just stared at the receipt for five full minutes while I stared at her staring. I *know* retail computer systems can be confusing but SERIOUSLY? CALL A MANAGER. OR SOMETHING. I have four different pieces of paper that show how much I paid and I don’t even want my money back.)

The new master bedroom is closer to being done than not done but we’re trapped in renovation limbo until the carpet goes in on Thursday, which means my clothes are in one room, E’s clothes are in another, there’s a banister in our guest room, bed rails in the nursery and we’re sleeping on mattresses on the floor of the 3rd floor. And by “floor” I mean bare plywood. BUT! My new closet organizer is in! I haven’t had a real closet in 3 years and am using this bedroom move to viciously edit my wardrobe down to stuff I actually wear and by actually wear I mean wear on a regular, consistent basis and not just for a couple of hours once every few months so I can feel less guilty about not giving it away.

I’ve started having nightmares about giving birth. I had them last time too, but figured since things went pretty well with Baby Evan I’d be a little calmer this time. The dreams never involve the actual BIRTH part, just weird hospital frustrations and baby mix-ups and birth certificates with “Special Snowflake Davis” on them. But they’re the kind of dreams that you wake up from just as exhausted as when you collapsed into bed after chasing around the world’s fastest toddler all day.

And because now that it’s November no one really cares about Halloween costumes anymore, this is where I share pictures of Little Evan in his costume(s).

He still thinks tiny gourds are delicious. Even ones he originally called "BALL" and threw at passersby.

I taught him that monkeys scratch their armpits and say "Oooo ooo ooo!" This is his best try.

There are pants that go with that costume too, but considering THIS is the meltdown that occured when I tried to get him to take a picture with me, the fight over the pants was totally not worth it.

Yes, I DID buy a second costume to dress Evan in for answering the door. There are a limited number of years you can dress up kids without their input and I'm taking FULL advantage. (Also: He is not holding a candle. Tiny LED candle-like light)

Despite this face, he actually LOVED the outfit. Except for the hat part. Why don't they make costumes without hats?

P.S. The rest of the giveaways are still open but Uff Da closes tonight!
Day 2 is open until November 2nd! Uff Da Designs
Day 3 is open until November 3rd! Taradara
Day 4 is open until November 4th! Peggy Ann Design
Day 5 is open until November 5th! aPearantly Sew
Day 6 is open until November 6th! Gussy
Day 7 is open until November 7th! A knit Phoebe Mouse…by ME!
Day 8 is open until November 8th! Hugs & Kisses Designs

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