Thursday, July 31, 2014

DreamBaby Winner

Thank you all so much for entering our Dream Baby Giveaway! As you know, the contest ended yesterday. However, I am currently writing this post from my hospital room because I have birth to my twin daughters yesterday morning! Thus, I am not home to randomly select a winner. I am sorry for this delay. I will have the winner posted on or before this coming Monday. Thank you again for entering to win and for your patience! 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ozeri Pedometer Review

                                                              
   I am scheduled to deliver my second set of twins this Tuesday. These little girls already weigh over two pounds more than my 19 month old twins did at birth. I also have carried these twins over 3 weeks longer than my last set. Needless to say, I am bigger and have gained more weight with these kiddos. And I believe the old wives tale that girls make you crave sweets because that is all I wanted this pregnancy; so yeah, I may have over indulged in a few cakes, cookies, cereals, donuts, etc. Basically, after this birth I will have some work to do to lose the baby weight, some odd 55 pounds of it.

          Now, with two sets of twins, all under the age of two, who thinks I will make it to a gym? Or even be able to establish some home based workout routine? Oh, we have a treadmill, I think it is the thing in the basement that holds all of our unworn jackets and dust. Really the only consistent exercise I can count on in my day to day life is walking; and climbing the staircase 4 times each time I have to go up. So I was curious, just how much do I walk in a day? Is it really enough to be significant for my goal of getting back in shape (what shape that is I don’t know)?

          Thankfully, a tech savvy company called Ozeri offered to let me review one of their cool 4x3 motion TM Digital Pocket Pedometers, featuring Tri-Axis Technology. These things are pretty fancy; they were originally created for use in corporate programs to promote employee’s health and wellness. Oh, and they are streamlined and cute too.



          One of the things I like the best about the pedometer is that it not only records steps, distance, speed, time, but it also tells me calories burned. And thanks to the tri-axis technology and design, it can be carried in your bag or on your person. If you are like me, you forget what day it is most of the time, thankfully this gadget has a clock and calendar built right in! 


An economic feature is that it will shut itself off after 30 seconds of non-use to preserve battery, but once you move it starts back up where you left off. The backlit screen is also helpful at night time (if you are one of those crazy people who actually does a workout after the kids go to bed). I must say that my only complaint about this pedometer is that it only starts to track your steps when it senses 13 steps. So for me, a trip to the kitchen isn’t tracked although I would like credit for getting up to get a snack! Over all a great purchase, and you can get one from Amazon for under $20! 




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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lil Bums Cloth Diaper Giveaway!


Welcome to the Lil Bums Cloth Diaper giveaway hosted by Housewife on a Mission 
and sponsored by Lil Bums Cloth Diapers!

                                                                    Give Cloth a Chance!

Lil Bums Cloth Diapers easy-to-use pocket diapers are adjustable from 8-35 lbs and are the softest cloth diapers on the market. Organically grown bamboo cotton helps keep your baby healthier and our earth a little cleaner. The cloth diapers are made with a luxuriously soft minky fabric that’s not only incredibly smooth, but extremely durable and stain resistant. This will keep your diapers looking as good as the day you bought them for years to come.

Unfamiliar with cloth diapers, but have been wanting to learn more on how to use them and finally make the switch from disposable diapers? Go here to read how you use these cloth diapers with inserts! Then be sure to read the wash and care instructions!


Available in a wide variety of fun colors and patterns, Lil Bums cloth diapers are a great way to go green while saving you money.


Connect: Stay connected with Lil Bums Cloth Diapers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Buy It: Head on over to Lil Bums Cloth Diapers' website to start shopping today! If you sign up for their newsletters, you'll receive a 10% off coupon code!

Win It: One lucky fan is going to win a 6-Pack Starter Kit which includes: 6 Lil Bum Cloth Diapers, 6 Organic Bamboo Cotton Inserts, 6 Microfiber Inserts, 1 Large Hamper Wet Bag and 1 Travel Wet Bag-- a $110.00 value!

Open to US and Canadian residents (Canadians pay for shipping), ages 18+ and ends on 8/6/14 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the simple Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!

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Disclosure: Housewife on a Mission and the blogs participating are not responsible for prize fulfillment/shipment. Housewife on a Mission received monetary compensation for the hosting of this giveaway.  We were not compensated in any way for the promotion of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions please contact the host of this giveaway at info(at)housewifeonamission.com
*Check out all my current giveaways HERE!*
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Three Unusual Things That Were a Life Saver to Me This Pregnancy


My first twin pregnancy was apparently easy; although I didn’t realize it then. I think it takes time to give us perspective on things past. During my first pregnancy, I worked from home. I could nap whenever I wanted; eat when I wanted; shop when I wanted, etc. I didn’t have any other children. I had the house to myself. My biggest feat of the day was cooking dinner for my husband and I. Towards the end of said pregnancy I was put on bedrest, which is no fun by the way. That made things tricky in a house with a staircase. My dilemma became whether to start the day with a shower and tooth brush or not.

Fast forward a couple of years and here I am, pregnant with twins again, and life is different to say the least. I am now responsible for 3 lives (plus 2 dogs) all day long. Oh wait, make that 5 lives including the 2 humans in my womb who make demands on me already! Because of the physical requirements of my life now, this pregnancy has just been harder on me. Not to mention the fact that these new twins (in utero) are already 2 pounds heavier than my previous twins were at birth! So this time around I have been on the lookout for small ways to make my life and this pregnancy easier.

On a good day, our house looks like a toy store that has exploded. I call my kids the Twin Tornadoes because they rip through the house, from room to room, taking out and down everything they can reach. Our home is strewn with the devastation of toys forgotten, sippy cups tossed that have been abandoned, and laundry baskets that have been plundered for treasure. Needless to say, there are billions of things to be picked up. (On that note, why do we have so much crap?) Until a few months ago, I was able to stoop and bend all day to pick up the debris, but once these womb-mates started getting big, so did I and it became difficult, painful, and contraction inducing to bend and stoop. Thankfully, I am married to a genius. He suggested I use this strange little tool we received as a gift from my mother many a Christmas ago, called The Gopher.

Here is a photo because the name doesn't help you envision it

Now to be honest, when we opened this silly thing up we both thought it was such a joke. It sat in our hall closet for 5 years, in the box, and we would laugh at it every time we saw it. Because, I mean, who needs a “reaching tool?” After those 5 years we bought a house and that tool has become invaluable to us. During my pregnancy I am using it to pick up after my kids. Too bad it isn’t strong enough to actually pick them up! You can even use this thing in the car for long trips. When your child throws or drops something and then throws a fit because they want it back, the passenger can reach these normally hard to reach items with The Gopher!

The next lifesaver item is really a no-brainer: a shower chair. You know, the type you would buy for the elderly or disabled so that they can sit down while in the shower. I originally bought the chair 4 years ago because our new house has a stand-alone shower. How in the world do you safely shave your legs in a stand-alone shower? The shower chair gave me a place to put my foot, thus saving my life a few times. During pregnancy, as many of you know, shaving your legs is often referred to as yoga because it is a workout to get to our shins! However, thanks to the shower chair I can sit down and brace a foot against the wall, effectively shaving most of my leg. You’re welcome husband and doctors who have to touch them.

Lastly, a bar stool. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this last item until about a month ago although I would have benefited from it my entire pregnancy. I don’t know about you, but an extra 50-60 pounds on your frame can really cause a lot of pain. When I stand I get painful shin splints and my feet, back, and belly hurt. This causes a real problem when you are trying to prepare meals up to 5 times a day. Thus, the stool. With a high top barstool I can sit at the stove while turning foods that require much supervision and I can sit at my kitchen island for food prep instead of standing on a cold, hard tile floor for hours.   

These days I am all about avoiding pain and exhaustion! If you have any other tips or tools that just make life easier, please let me know about them! After all, why work harder when you can work smarter?

Remember to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor and love on a daily basis and you will start to see life as a Mama on the Bright Side.


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Monday, July 14, 2014

Dreambaby Review and Giveaway

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most parents want their children to be comfortable, happy, and safe at all times including car rides. I of course am one of these parents. So my eye is always drawn to the products that can provide comfort, happiness, and safety for my children.

How do you kids act in the car? Mine can go for a while without meltdowns, however, they like to throw things and get carsick. Ugh. Two things that as the driver I need eyes in the backseat to really help with. For instance, when my son throws his binky and cries about it, if I can just glimpse back and locate said binky, I can use my ninja mommy skills and reach back for it without taking my eyes off of the road. Then there is my daughter, who cries, but she also cries before she vomits in the car. If I can see her well enough (while driving) I can be proactive and pull over before her hand wash only Britax car seat becomes covered in vomit.

Thankfully, a company called Dreambaby® makes this cool and useful adjustable baby view mirror which retails for $7.49, and I received one for review. Sure, I have my rear view mirror, but it can only show me so much while still showing me the cars behind us. Also, our new car seats are a different height and I can barely see the kid’s heads. The Dreambaby® adjustable mirror attaches securely to my windshield and it has this amazing telescopic swivel arm that moves 360° for a very good view of what is going on in the back. This adjustable mirror makes parent life so much easier and takes some of the anxiety out of driving with little babies in the backseat.


Dreambaby® also sent me their whimsical 2pack of adjustable car shades, which retails for $10.00, in an adorable zebra and tiger print. These shades are lightweight and convenient; very easy to move from car to car if necessary. An adorable feature of these shades is that they have a design on the front and the back. My kids and I both appreciate the comfort that these shades bring. They block out harmful and blinding rays of sunlight so that my kids can nap and not have to spend the car ride squinting.

Inside view
Outside view

The good people at Dreambaby® have decided to offer a giveaway of their awesome adjustable mirror and their 2pack of window shades for one lucky winner! Also, you can find any of their great products on their website. Don't forget to check out their Facebook page for review, new product information and so much more! They even have a Youtube page where you can watch helpful videos about their products. 

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whispers & Words Wall Art Review


I will soon be giving birth to a set of twin girls, which means that I have the wondrously fun job of designing a beautiful, feminine, and of course pink, nursery. I knew from all my time perusing Pinterest that I wanted to have some sort of written word on my baby girl’s walls.  I found several companies that made such wall d├ęcor but their prices were outrageous! I also knew that I wanted custom designs with words that meant a lot to my husband and I; words that we would want to speak over our daughter’s lives time and time again. I even toyed with the idea of making these art pieces myself. The truth is, in my heart I am Martha Stewart, but in reality I cannot cut, sew or draw a straight line. So DIY for this was out!

One day, as fate would have it, I came across an adorable Etsy shop called Whispers & Words. The shop and its creations are owned and created by Carrie Mansfield, who also runs a blog under the same title. According to her blog, “… Carrie Mansfield [is a] self-proclaimed lover of travel, cuddly babies, international cuisine, the sound of the rain and the smell of the ocean.  When Carrie is not writing out her thoughts on Whispers & Words, she spends most of her free time working as a social worker, spending time with family and friends and coming up with alterations to favorite recipes in the kitchen.” Doesn’t she just sound so interesting and crafty? Here is a snippet from her blog about why she creates this art, “My hope is that this art never becomes trivial to me or to my buyers. My hope is that, like in our home, these pieces would speak encouragement, hope and light into the places they reside. And above all, as with everything, I hope that this shop is a reflection of my even greater dream…to honor and glorify God with my heart, my mind, my speech and the work of my hands.”


I visited the Whispers and Words Etsy shop and found some lovely handcrafted creations. What I really love is that everything has a personal touch; it isn’t copy and paste work. If you scroll past the available pieces you will see a link to request a custom order. Yep, that was for me! When I spoke to Carrie about creating three custom pieces for my twin girls new nursery she was very helpful! She asked what I wanted but also made suggestions to me, which I appreciated! Carrie has kept in touch with me throughout her process and allowed me to give input, and the work was done quickly.





I actually got to ask the artist about her process; I mean whoever gets to ask the artist this? And this is what she said, “…the beauty of the designs is that the process can change from piece to piece. As someone with an artistic bent, I've found over the years that I really hate doing the same thing over and over. With Whispers and Words I have the consistency of a concept (canvas designs that feature words and sayings that are meaningful to the buyer) along with the freedom to create images to go along with those words... I am inspired by scripture, music and quotes that evoke further inspiration or contemplation. Once I find the quote or lyric, an image or several images usually come to mind. I then look for photographs or other artwork of those images and then get to work on creating my own. I do most of the process freehand and use a number of other art tools to tweak and manipulate until it is as close to what is in my mind as it can be. As for custom pieces, I try to collect as much information as I can from the buyer to get them what they are looking for…Often people come to me for custom work because they have a beautiful image in mind but they just don't know how it could ever become tangible…”

                                 IMG_1563

You can purchase any Whispers and Words art through their Etsy site. You can also contact the artist and stay current on exciting news, giveaways and pieces via their Facebook page and Blog.



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Friday, July 4, 2014

35 Weeks Pregnant: To VBAC or Not to VBAC

Today I am 34 weeks and 6 days pregnant; exactly at the point where I gave birth to my last set of twins 18 months ago. I didn’t go into labor last time so I am not exactly expecting to deliver today, but it is an interesting day for me; wondering what if? When we went on our tour of the new hospital we were told that any babies born before the 35 week mark automatically went to the NICU. So my goal since then has been to just make it to 35 weeks at least. I really want to avoid the NICU.

Tomorrow I hit the big 35 weeks, so praise the Lord on that one. Last time I had an emergency c-section because my blood pressure was steadily on the rise. However, this time my blood pressure has been perfect throughout. I have a lot of painful contractions, but they don’t seem to be affecting my cervix. The last doctor who saw me thinks I may just make it to 38 weeks. Gasp! On the one hand, hurray! On the other, oy vey; I am tired and huge!!


The great debate lately has been whether I will attempt a VBAC or just a c-section. I am very torn. Most of the doctors in the practice do not recommend a VBAC. I have too many risk factors: twins, second set of twins, twins only 18 months apart, previous c-section; to name a few. On the other hand, one doctor told me that my risk factors only raise my chances of a ruptured uterus to slightly above 1%. Ah, but that percent still exists; and that is scary. I want to do a VBAC to have a full pregnancy plus delivery experience. But is it really worth risking my life or my children? I just don’t want to be selfish about it. My one hope is that I can carry long enough to go into labor on my own and at least get to experience that.

I have no delusions that labor is this magical painless thing that I am missing out on. I want the epidural etc. I just want that connection with my children if that makes any sense. For all I know this may be the last time I am pregnant (but hey why stop at 4 kids?) and I just want to know labor and to see my babies immediately after, and be given the chance for skin to skin contact and breastfeeding. All things I was robbed of last time.

Bottom line, we are blessed with our children. I am about to give birth in the next couple of weeks. My scheduled c-section is July 24. I am thankful for this and I simply pray for a smooth delivery; whatever the method.

Remember to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labor and love on a daily basis and you will start to see life as a Mama on the Bright Side.
  
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