[Not So] Wordless Wednesday - Kids are awesome

Wordless Wednesday - Kids are awesome

Kaya's getting so big.  The change from a scrawny little 4 pounder to this chubby sweet roly poly happy baby... I love it!  Tell me those aren't some kissable cheeks!

When Sammy was a baby, I used to follow him around everywhere with a camera, not wanting to miss one photo op.  Then, as he's grown, the camera comes out less and less.  I'm realizing that memories are made regardless of whether or not a camera is present.  But then again, I almost feel like Kaya is getting the short end of the deal, because I've taken so few pictures of her.  That's why I love Wordless Wednesdays - they remind me to pull out the camera and snap a good picture or two

This, my friends, is a rare moment.  A time when the two older kids are getting along and playing together without me having to intervene.  They took the couch cushions off and made not a fort like other kids might, but a throne that they shared.

Sweet moments like these are what makes parenting awesome

Buy some shoes, Help your school!

pediped® has just launched a new campaign, ‘pediped ♥ ‘s Schools’, where participating schools can earn up to $10,000 per year!  Schools that enroll through pediped's new initiative will receive 10% of all purchases of pediped® footwear.  Like we needed another reason to love pediped® shoes??

Each school that enrolls will receive an unique code that parents (and others in the community!) can use when buying shoes through pediped.com.  These purchases will be added together from now until May 15, 2014 and pediped® will send a check for 10% of all combined purchases for each school code in June of 2014.

School officials, PTA and PTO leaders, and even parents and teachers can enroll their school and track earnings on the pediped® website.

So when school starts back, make sure your school officials know about pediped ♥ ‘s Schools and earn your school some money!

You can connect with pediped® on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

Easy Clean Up! Ozeri Green Earth Pan Review

Easy Clean Up!|Ozeri Pan Review
I love to cook.  There is nothing more therapeutic to me than standing over a stove, mixing ingredients and putting my own spin on our favorite meals. Some are delicious, some need work... but my recipes are ever-changing and never taste the same twice.  Unless, of course, we end up really loving how something turns out!

The issue?  I hate the cleanup.  I don't use teflon non-stick pans because of the harmful chemicals that can leach into foods.  Sure, there are disputes about which health risks are associated to nonstick coating, but I don't want to take chances when it comes to my little ones.

Flat Head Syndrome: Tortle Review

Preventing Flat Head Syndrome|Tortle GiveawaySammy had a mild case of flat head syndrome.  As a first time mom, I didn't know about prevention techniques for keeping his head rounded.  Because he liked to keep his head turned to the right, he ended up with a bulge on the right side of his head and a flat spot.  Luckily we caught it before his soft spots (fontanels) hardened and were able to correct it with positioning.

baby with flat spot on head
See the lopsided forehead?  Didn't seem to phase him
So what is "flat head syndrome"?
Also known as positional plagiocephaly, flat head syndrome is an uneven head shape that results in a baby's tendency to rest their head in the same position. A new study from Calgary-Alberta-based Mount Royal University quoted in Pediatrics found that of 440 healthy infants sampled, 47 percent of babies ages 7 to 12 weeks had some form of Flathead Syndrome.

Failing Myself

I want to be that perfect mom.  The one that drives a minivan, brings their kids to playdates, does arts and crafts every day, bakes cookies, and still has time to make a three course meal and have a clean house.  I want to do everything I see on Pinterest, and host dinner parties, and have people stop me to tell me how wonderful my children are.  I want to be Super-Mom.

But I'm not.

Most days, I sit around in my pajamas pacing back and forth with a baby in my arms, a kid attached to my leg, and another one calling my name out over and over until I drop everything I'm doing to see another crappy drawing of a lady with "I love my mommy" on top.  I resent those drawings.  I'm not her mother, and she rubs it in every chance she gets.  I am however mother to the other two who demand my constant attention and I still cant figure out how to divide my attention up enough to make all three of them happy.

My house stays semi-clean.  There is clutter everywhere, but thanks to the two year old and his love of anything crumbly, I vacuum daily.  The dishes are washed because I have a shortage of bottles and have to make sure they're cleaned for the baby.  It doesn't smell and there isn't any bugs (aside from the occasional fly that makes it's way in through the front door.

I am not a crafty person.  I can give myself second degree burns from a hot glue gun and after several gloopy messes, I gave up on even trying to make homemade play dough.  Sammy loves to draw, so I'll pull out his table and give him some crayons - but after about ten minutes I have to run interference to keep him from drawing all over the walls.

I try to cook decent meals for my family, but with my constant attention having to be focused on the two littlest ones we end up eating a lot of frozen quick meals (Thank you Chicken Viola for making my life a little easier!)

My kids still seem happy and well rounded, so maybe I am still doing something right.  Even when I feel like my life is upside down and I have accomplished nothing worth bragging about.  So maybe it isn't them I am failing, but my idea of what a mom should be.

Infant Costumes from HalloweenAdventure.com {Review}

Halloween Adventure Infant Costume ReviewThis is going to be Kaya's first Halloween.  No pressure, right?  Little man dressed up as a monkey for his first Halloween, which was pretty fitting for him - but I wasn't sure what kind of costume to get for Kaya!  I started browsing around HalloweenAdventure.com and came across some really cute infant costumes.  Since she'll be 7 months when Halloween rolls around, I picked out this super adorable "Baby Blossom" costume for her.

Cute flower costume for baby
Tell me that's not sweet!

cute costume for baby
This flower outfit is a jumper with snap leg closures, flower headpiece, and slip-on booties. The green jumper is made from a super soft material that closes in the front. Pink ruffles trim the cuffs of the bodysuit and match the pink flower petal headpiece.  There's even a tiny bumblebee on one of the petals, adding to the awww factor.  

You can find this costume on HalloweenAdventure.com for only $39.99 and it comes in sizes Small (Fits 6-12 Mos.), Medium (Fits 12-18Mos.) and Toddler (Fits 18 Mos.-2T).

Connect with Halloween Adventures via Facebook & Twitter!

Disclosure: I received the aforementioned product in order to provide an honest review.  However, all views and opinions are my own.

Say Cheese! Pediped® is looking for the next rising star!

Pediped casting call for babies/toddlers

Do your little people love showing off for the camera? If so, pediped® is looking for you!  The award-winning children’s footwear brand is hosting a national casting call in search for the next rising star to model in its photo shoot this fall. The casting call began July 22, 2013.

Tips for Winning Giveaways

Tips for winning giveaways

After my constant bragging posts on facebook, a couple of friends asked me how I win so many giveaways. I can assure you, it isn't luck.    Keep reading for my tips and tricks to winning blog giveaways.

Empower Portable Pilates Studio Review

Empower Fitness Portable Pilates ReviewI'm lazy.  There, I said it.  I hate working out; exercising seems like some form of punishment/torture to me. I'm the girl in the group that always got dirty looks when I was shoveling in my fourth piece of pizza because I've never had to worry about my weight.  I am tiny - 5'2" on a good day at 103 lbs.  I'm not bragging (I see you rolling your eyes and cussing me out under your breath) but it's the truth.  I've always been skinny.

Enter mommyhood.  After I had my first little guy, I was really sick and dropped 40 pounds (all my pregnancy weight) within two weeks.  A couple months later, I found out that my gallbladder was the issue and had it removed.  Now that I've had Kaya though, I'm not quite as happy with my body.  I have the muffin-top love handles, my jeans don't fit me as nicely as they did before... I'm pudgy.  I can't even wear shorts anymore because I'm so insecure about the increase in the size of my thighs.  For my height, I am no longer that flat-bellied skinny girl I used to be.

3 Months (+1 week)

My little Kaya is 3 months old (plus a week, I'm slacking.)  I don't know where the time is going, because I still don't seem to have enough of it hiding anywhere!  These last two weeks have been amazing with her - it seems like the first two months were just eat, poop, sleep but she's finally developing a little personality!

Here's a small little recap:

~Tracking toys (and Momma, and anything else that catches here attention!) - Kaya is watching everything, absorbing I'm sure!
~Picks her head (and chest) up when laying on her belly for close to a minute at a time
~Smiles, coos, and will laugh on (very sporadic) occasion
~When laying on her back, she will scoot from one end of her bassinet to the other by pushing her feet down and propelling across the mattress (this one is bothersome, really... It tells me that it wont be long at all before I have another mobile child... I'm not ready!!)
~Stares at her hands like they are the coolest thing in the world

Oh, and here's a new one - She sleeps through the night!!!!!!!!
Seriously, I could not be happier about this.  Sammy still gets up at least once a night; we have had sleep problems with Sammy since he was a month old.  Kaya has been sleeping from midnight to 4, and I was loving that 4 hour stretch.  But last night?  from 10pm until 7am I had a blissful, silent, amazing night of sleep.  It was marvelous!!

BabyComfyNose Review: A Definite Diaper-Bag Must Have

Ok, I've done it.  I broke down and agreed to review one of the baby products that I've so adamantly refused to even consider.  It's amazing how much you'll love something once you try it.

Noxicare Natural Pain Relief Cream

Noxicare™ Natural Pain Relief is a breakthrough natural, patented pain relief formula that is a proprietary combination of 7 of the world’s most potent natural pain relievers that quickly and effectively alleviate inflammation, muscle aches and nerve pain (burning feet)—with NO known side effects and without a prescription.

Enter for a chance to win a $200 Gift Card!

Remember my review of Aveeno Nourish+Dandruff control?  Well now Smiley360 is offering $200 gift cards!  Now that's my kind of giveaway!

Smiley360 is a place where you can write reviews and share them easily with your friends and network.  I have received so many free things to review and try out from this site, and I love it!

So what are you waiting for?  Take a short survey and be entered to win a $200 Beauty Gift Card!

For more information and official rules on the $200 gift card drawing, please click here

SANUS TV Mount Giveaway

Matt is a lover of big televisions.  When our 42" quit working last year, he decided we had to go bigger. And a bigger TV = a bigger risk to the climbing little monkey that we have running around.  So now we have a 50" television on a huge entertainment system that rocks and shakes every time Sammy gets near the entertainment system.  It's scary!

SAHM: Not a Glamorous Life

Do you ever feel like you aren't in control of your life anymore?  That your kids dictate your every move, be it the toddler asking for "more" of something or the new baby deciding that you aren't going to sleep until 2am?

Other parents (namely my mom) will say how rewarding motherhood is, that nothing beats the joy of spending time with your babies.  And then I realize - my mom wasn't a stay-at-home-momma.  I grew up with babysitters and family watching me while she worked.  She never had to spend every waking moment with her 4 kids.

Note to self: it gets overwhelming.  There will be days when you want to lock yourself in your bedroom and ignore the crying and the tantrums and the huge mess.  There will be days when you stay so busy that midnight rolls around and you realize you didn't even manage to take a shower.  When you run to the store to get milk in your pajama pants without brushing your hair because you have a 5 minute window where your visiting sister will sit with the kids so you can run to the convenience store 2 blocks away.

Buzzworthy Baby Giveaway

Welcome to the Buzzworthy Baby Giveaway! 
Co-Hosted By:  Luker Family Tales

Buzzworthy Baby

Blogger Opportunity - Chicco Cortina Travel System Giveaway

Prize: Chicco Cortina Travel System $349.99 Value 
Requirements: You MUST have at least 500 facebook fans 
Dates: August 15th - September 5th 
Hosted by: Everything Mommyhood & Fun With Four 
This event will be limited to 75 bloggers. Free Twitter with announcement post (or pay $5 waiver): 
Paid Options available, extra links $3 Most referrals receives a daily comment on entry form.

be sure to mention Momma Without a Clue sent you!

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, I know it's technically Thursday now so I'm late for this but the last few days have been pretty hectic.  My Grandma passed away Tuesday evening - way too young.  She turned 69 this year, and had a lot of health issues.  So here she is, my Gramma Karen, when I was about 3 years old.

My Mom, Me, and My Grandma
The thing I remember the most about my Grandma is how she used to save up all of the Sunday comics, all year long, and give them to me every summer when we would go up to Illinois to visit.

Rest in Peace Gramma Karen. I love you
February 27, 1944 to July 9, 2013

How I (Almost) Killed Magic

My sister wrote a post about her little girl losing a tooth and waiting for the Tooth Fairy.  When I read it, I almost cried.  You see, last week was extremely tough for me.  With Lexi out of school for the summer, Sammy starting to realize that Momma can't hold him 24/7 anymore, and Kaya starting to get demanding... Let's just say that my head wasn't exactly in the mommy game.

So here we were, me trying to find a movie that Sammy and Lexi would both enjoy so I could work on some homework, while bouncing Kaya to try to get her to stop screaming, with Sammy throwing a tantrum at my feet because I was holding the baby instead of him.  Lexi started her incessant talking, as a 7 year old is prone to do.  The topic this time was fairies (I had just passed up a Tinkerbell movie on Netflix.)

Here's how the conversation went:

The Juppy Baby Walker {Review}

With Sammy, I did the usual bent-over hunch that all momma's do trying to teach their baby to walk.  You know the position:  Kid in front of you, you leaned down to make sure both of their hands are firmly in yours, making them resemble silly little monkeys with their arms stretched way above their heads.  It's just the way it was done.

Now this new product claims to "simplify and improve the way we help our babies learn to walk."

Choosing a Baby Name

I love my baby girl's name.  Kaya Marie.  It's unique, sweet, and simple.  It wasn't easy for me to find though.  Man, I was 6 months pregnant and we still hadn't decided on a name yet.  I loved the name Paisley, but Daddy didn't.  Best conversation ever:

Me:  What about Paisley?
Matt: We are not naming her after a color!
Me:  Paisley is a shape...
Matt: Same thing.
Me: OK, so can you get me a gallon of triangle paint later?  Need to touch up these walls...

We just couldn't agree on a name for anything!  I really wanted to use the middle name Marie, for my aunt who passed away a couple years ago from breast cancer that had metastasized into her bones... She was one of my favorite people in the whole world.  But coming up with a first name was hard.
image courtesy of docstoc.com

I found this No-Stress Guide to Baby Naming on thebump.com that had some good suggestions for keeping the arguments to a minimum, and on Baby Center was an article "Choosing a Name" that has a baby name finder and other resources to make it as painless as possible.

Did those help me?  Not so much.  Instead, I did what any momma who was realizing that her due date was fast approaching and their pregnant belly was still being referred to as "the baby" would do - I found an online list of baby names and meanings and spent hours days weeks looking for a name that stood out, that I loved, that we could agree on, and that couldn't be turned into a mean nickname.

Winning out?

Kaya \ka-ya\ as a girl's name is pronounced KAH-yah. It is of Japanese, Zulu, Turkish, Hopi and Hindi origin, and the meaning of Kaya is "restful place, yew tree, forgiveness; home; stone; willow, wise child; the one with the beautiful body, profile".

Now, two months later, and I still love it.

Best Sites for Discount Baby Clothes

Babies grow. Fast.  And baby clothes?  Expensive!  I fully recommend shopping at thrift stores and yard sales for the staple items - because babies grow so fast, most items are gently used, most items only being worn once or twice before they're outgrown.  But you definitely want a couple of "going out" outfits for baby, and those are better new.

So where do I shop for cheap baby clothes, or at least really good discounted baby clothes?  I've compiled a list of the best websites I've found:

Buzzworthy Baby Blogger Opportunity

Sign-Up and offer your readers the chance to win their own beautifully personalized canvas wall art from Buzzworthy Baby! This giveaway will run from July 12th through July 26th and sign-ups will close on July 10th. 

Bloggers receive two free links for this giveaway with an announcement post. Help promote the sign up form so we can some Co-Host spots!