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Foodie Pen Pal - July

It's that time of the month again! (Not that time!) I mean time to divulge the details of the decadence goodies that I was mailed this month!

The Lean Green Bean

We have a delightfully decorated box full of yum-yums here!!




My personal fave had to be the Southern Garlic Cheese grits!! The whole family wanted to try a little taste of the South!!


I also loved that I got FRESH produce! A zucchini from her garden! How thoughtful! This is going to be grilled with some flavorful spices this week!

She also remembered my sweet tooth and even my little boy! I love that Foodie Penpals are all so considerate! :)

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
 If you’re interested in participating for August, please visit The Lean Green Bean to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
 You must submit your information by August 4th as pairings will be emailed on August 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

#Shakeology & BBL Update

Hi everyone! It's AMAZING how much has been going on lately! And, it's also amazing what going for a 4-6 mile bike ride each night takes from my "computer time!" It's worth it, but I've missed my blogging!

It takes me roughly 23 minutes to do the bike ride, 15 minutes to cool down, 10 minutes to shower, 5 minutes to get dressed, brush my tangles, etc.... All in all, it's about an hour before I can get back to life. But I'M LOVING IT.

In case your wondering, "What does biking have to do with Shakeology OR Brazil Butt Lift?" -- the answer is: A LOT! I am in a pretty serious relationship with my shakes. We never miss a date! But, unfortunately (and pretty common for my luck) I got a copy of the DVDs sent that is skip-prone. So, I called and they are shipping me out a new copy, but it hasn't arrived yet. (sad face) So, in the meantime, I've kept up really well with my exercise regime.

The shakes are great. I use one scoop of mix, 8 oz. of water, 1 tbsp of sugar-free vanilla pudding, 1 tbsp of greek vanilla fat-free yogurt, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cup of raspberries, 1/4 cup of strawberries. Voila! It's to die for. I never get sick of it! What's really great is the "Tropical Strawberry" mix that I ordered is Vegan. So no weird mystery animal parts make it into the shake. (Unless I want them to! Which, I'm pretty sure I will not. Ever.) Another cool fact about the shakes is that they are totally safe for kiddos (in moderation) with the exception of the high fiber, high protein potentially leading to gas for them, it's a great vitamin boost! My toddler is going through a picky spell, so we're glad he is a shake nut!

I'm hoping that my DVDs come tomorrow. I will be putting it in overdrive, catching up and learning the "routine" and hopefully laughing with my boy as we "dance" together each day! I took my before photos, you'll see those at the end of all of this craziness! I hope to see a big change! They are pretty horrid!

WISH ME LUCK!

BayAreaMom​my's 1st Blog Anniversar​y Giveaway




Bay Area Mommy


Bay Area Mommy is celebrating her 1st blog anniversary with a giveaway for a Kindle Fire (or $200 Amazon gift card) and 2 Diamond Candles. Wow! This summer has been hot and it's about to catch fire!! Enter for your chance to win one of these AWESOME prizes!
The Kindle Fire is open worldwide but the 2 Diamond Candles is restricted to the US only since they don't ship outside the US.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

**Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for prize shipment, or inquiries about prize redemption. Adventures of Mommyhood is merely a participating blog, spreading the word about the giveaway, helping to celebrate!**

It's A Date Night Giveaway --- Coming Soon!!!

 Gluten Free for Jen is celebrating something special and she want's YOU to be included!




Gluten Free for Jen

I am helping a fellow blogger to celebrate a very special time. On August 23rd her and her husband will be celebrating their 9 year wedding anniversary! Of course that means- DATE NIGHT!

To help celebrate she has put together a giveaway that features things to help make that Date Night fun!

So far our sponsors are (and counting!):

Park Lane w/ Alisa- A $63 necklace
Corset Chic- a $30 corset of winners choice
Lilla Rose- a hair clip valued at $16
Cloud 9- Sugar Scrub valued at $24

UPDATE: 2 new prizes added: A lavender gift basket (bath & body type products) worth $28 and a second necklace valued at $54- so far over $200 worth of prizes!
Make sure to watch for the giveaway post! You don't wanna miss this one! Full of fun things for mommy's to win!

Summer #BlogChallenge - July 20 - I won the Lottery!!!

Going Green with the Grizls


Well, if I won the lottery I would:

1) Pay for college debt that is outstanding

2) Pay off our land

3) Buy our dream home on a lake

4) Buy my parents an RV

5) put away the rest of the money for my son

6) Maybe I'd throw a grand or two to my bro too!

**This is assuming that the pot is LARGE.**

I'd also love to travel, buy new vehicles, and other more frivolous wants, but I had to cover the main stuff first.

Review & Giveaway - The Green Bumkin!

The Green Bumkin is an awesome, proudly Canadian cloth-diaper business run by a friendly, fabulous mama named Amy!


She was an amazing sponsor for the Canada Day Extravaganza! Unfortunately, the post was slow because of the 2 holidays on either side of the border, and I didn't get the review diaper in time to do a complete write up for you guys! So, without further ado, a few days late, we are going to take a look at this awesome diaper!!
Here is a picture of the front of the woodsy AIO! And believe me, it's an AIO like no other!


She sent a chocolate brown diaper with adorable woodland critter tabs in matching fabric--complete with birch trees and everything! This diaper screams Canada--land of many beautiful things (including Green Bumkin diapers!!) I fell in love instantly. Amy and I you see, share a love of moose! So, she did some special searching to find a fun moose-y sorta themed fabric for me! Well done Amy!


Amy shipped the package super quickly (it wasn't her fault the post on BOTH sides of the border was slow!) and she took the time to do the extra step of vacuum-sealing the diaper! It was in perfect condition when I opened the fluffy mail!

Here is the bum-view.

And, a tag shot!


The outer is PUL. The diaper has a sewn-in double insert. This all-in-one is like no other, like I said before, but did you know it has 5 LAYERS of Oeko-tex organic certified heavy bamboo/organic cotton fleece WITH a hidden Zorb layer? WOW!!! I love the fit on my 25 lb+ toddler--it's wonderful--it's very trim but not at all restricting. This diaper is the only one I've ever found with this type of sewn in system, and I think it is the reason it is so trim. I'm really fond of it. Another awesome fact? Only NATURAL fibers ever come in contact with babies skin, so mama can get those much-needed Zzzz's without worry!

So here is the inside...
...but lets take a closer look!

Here is the first sewn-in insert, folded out.

And this, is BOTH inserts (sewn-in) folded out!

I really love this system. It gives you AWESOME absorption but still has a trim fit. I was also reallly impressed that it dried fast. I hung it out with my regular pockets, AIO's and inserts, and it was dry and ready to come inside at the same time as the others! So, this is quite the dipe!

A snapping rise allows you to adjust the size of the diaper to grow with your baby! But, one size does fit most between about 12-35 lbs!

Here is a look a the diaper on our handy puppy model and next to a BG Artist Series.

We were able to use this diaper for long naps and at nighttime with one extra bamboo insert, just to be safe since I have a heavy wetter (and I've only been using wool successfully at night). The diaper as-is would be GREAT for kids up to a year or more I'd say, night or day. I ALWAYS overstuff at night as a precaution! This Green Bumkin diaper was really excellent at keeping the moisture away from our little guy -- and no leaks!

So, since we missed out on this great diaper during the Canada Day Extravaganza, let's hold a little contest to help one of you readers find a spot in your stash for a Green Bumkin! If you just simply cannot wait or know that this diaper is for you, BUY one!

THIS CONTEST IS OVER.

*DISCLAIMERI received a diaper for review. All opinions are my own.*

Brazil Butt Lift & Shakeology

Yep, that's what I will be doing for the next 30 days. You can decide to follow along, join in, cheer me on, or laugh it up. No matter what, I'm giving it a try.

You all already know I'm trying to repair my relationship with running, and that I have new shoes coming my way. I'm biking almost everyday. I go to Zumba when I can. I'm eating (a little) better, but at least I'm conscious of every morsel that I put in my mouth. Before, it was a free-for-all.

I will post some of my "before" photos... Eww. I am hoping that this will kickstart a little weight loss for me. I don't plan on turning into Jared from Subway, I don't even expect the results to be astounding. BUT, I'd love to lose like 10 lbs, so that running is a little less painful! The impact of carrying another 50 lbs is like running while pregnant but NOT being pregnant.

I just ordered my package tonight, so it will not likely get here until next week. But, I just wanted to put it out on the radar for all of you!! The before pictures as well as the basics of the Challenge will be posted July 23rd-ish.

I realized I needed to do something FAST because I have been taking LOADS of pictures of well, life. And, you know what? I'm not in 95% of them. The ones I AM a part of make me feel bad. I don't want to look back at all the pictures of my beautiful boy and only remember how unhealthy I was. So, I'd like to start trimming the fat.

So, here comes 30 days of some latin-influenced fun and some hopefully tasty daily shakes!

WISH ME LUCK!!!

MMM 20 - The Budget Tanked

Manic Mommy Monday!


I'm have SOOO much trouble budgeting!! I try to do $500 for gas, groceries, and fun money/life expenses. The only thing that isn't in that amount is phone bill, internet, and tuition bills. Otherwise, it all comes out of that pot. And, the pot is anything but bottomless. In fact, since I've spent it now, and we are barely half way through the month, I feel as if I do not have a pot to pee in sometimes! Ugh!!

How does everyone else do it? I did meal planning. I stuck to my list. I use coupons. It's just not a sustainable amount of money for me!! Grrr!!

In other news, I am getting my new running shoes---FINALLY sometime this week. I've been biking consistently each night, 4 miles. But, as soon as those shoes come, it's ON!! Not having running shoes was what I attributed to my NOT running. We all know that's only about 15% of the problem--the rest is my own personal procrastination and laziness! But, I don't want to be the chubba wubba mama anymore. I'd LOVE to feel amazing again. So, no more excuses. I've got a new running/training plan, and I'm doing it slow and steady.

It's also been HOT, HOT, HOT! We are NOT used to more than 4-5 days each summer that hover around 90 degrees, especially when they are also at about 90% relative humidity. Ugh. I REALLY hope that the weather breaks for running, or I will be doing it at about 4am.

I'm cooking my husbands birthday dinner. Ribs. His fave. And, after I got it in the over at 175 degrees, cooking it ALL DAY mind you, and it hit 87 degrees outside today, he called to say he is working until 9pm. Happy Birthday! :( I'm also making a homemade cheesecake--great for the weight loss!!

I hope all of you are having a super fantastic Monday! Mine wasn't THAT bad!!



Hot Fluff Cool Baby Giveaway Event

Welcome All, to another Fantastic Giveaway Event!!!




Welcome to the Hot Fluff Cool Baby Cloth Diaper Giveaway! This awesome cloth diaper stash starter event is sponsored by Greenie Beanie Bottoms and hosted by Just Add Cloth, along with over 75 wonderful and influential bloggers who all love cloth!

Cloth diapering is a great way to reduce our waste, help our planet, and save money. Cloth diapers are Hot items and Cool for your baby! Not only are cloth diapers more breathable in warm weather, but they make adorable accessories in Summer!

Starting your stash can be daunting, so this prize from Greenie Beanie Bottoms is a great way to get a variety of diapers to try out. Greenie Beanie Bottoms is an online retailer of cloth diapers, accessories, amber teething jewelry, and reusable menstrual and nursing pads.


They offer totally free shipping for all orders in the U.S. and low flat rate shipping to Canada.
Now on to the prize!

Our Hot Fluff Cool Baby cloth diaper prize comprises everything you need to get started with cloth!



One lucky winner will receive:











5 Fold-to-Fit Bamboo inserts by the Cloth Diaper Company


That's 10 pocket diapers in winner's choice of colors and closures, two wet bags, 12 cloth wipes, two pair baby leg warmers, diaper cream, two diaper covers, and five bamboo terry cloth inserts!

Bringing the grand prize total to over $300!!

With 15 diaper changes and accessories to match, this is a great beginner stash for anyone just starting out in cloth diapering.

This giveaway runs from 12:01AM July 16 through 11:59PM July 31, EST. It is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Must be 18 or older. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Entering means you agree to the terms and conditions stated in the form.

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED.

*The participating blogs are not responsible if sponsor fails to provide prize. Bloggers did not receive review items or compensation for this event.*

Bay Area Mommy Event for Bloggers

Free Sign Ups for Kindle Fire and Diamond Candle Giveaway



Here is another great FREE Blogger Opportunity. I assume you have heard of the Kindle Fire, but have you heard of Diamond Candles? These candles have rings inside them which can be worth $10 to $5000. I know, you've probably already heard of them. Anyway, this giveaway is in honor of Bay Area Mommy's 1 year Anniversary. There will be 2 winners.

Giveaway runs July 25-Aug 15
1 Free link in exchange for posting about the sign ups.
Possibility to purchase additional links for $3.
Open Worldwide (if the winner resides out of the United States they get the cash equivalent)

What are you waiting for?


Sign up now & tell her Adventures of Mommyhood sent you!

Fluffy Wishes Charity Giveaway Event

Welcome to another fabulous giveaway--Fluffy Wishes Charity Giveaway Event!! This time Julie at My Cloth Diaper Stash has really outdone herself in the planning and organizing--and the result is pretty stellar! And, the organization Fluffy Wishes willl benefit too!

There are SO many great prizes, and all of you reading from the north side of the border---yep---you're eligilbe to win too! The event is open to the US and Canada and will culminate with a Twitter Party!! Let's get this party started!! More details and how to enter below! Good luck!


The long awaited Fluffy Wishes Giveaway and Twitter Party has finally arrived! We have tons of great prizes to give away, and all for a great cause. Many sponsors and bloggers have teamed up with Fluffy Wishes Cloth Diaper Closet and My Cloth Diaper Stash to help host this giveaway! 

Fluffy Wishes Diaper Closet is a cloth diaper lending service serving Southwest Michigan and newly expanding to Indiana! Fluffy Wishes provides cloth diapers to low income families who can not afford to diaper their children, or have to make the choice between diapers and the basic necessities in life. Fluffy Wishes runs completely on volunteers and donations. There is no cost to families who are approved for the program. 

The fabulous and generous sponsors that make exciting events like this one happen are as follows:
(Head to their pages and show them some love!!)

GRAND PRIZE (Ribbon n Stitches):
1 Bumkins Pocket Diaper
1 Bumkins Cover
2 FuzziBunz Elite's
2 Kawaii Heavy Wetter's
1 Thirsties AIO
1 Thirsties Fitted
2 Best Bottom Shells
2 Microfiber Inserts (1 Medium, 1 Large)
1 Changing Diapers Book
FuzziBunz Hanging Diaper Pail
Cutey Baby Wet bag
Rockin' Green Sample
Jar of Mother's Love
RUNNER-UP PRIZE (Hop Scotch):
1 Original Ergo Baby Carrier (Black/Camel)
SECOND RUNNER UP PRIZE (Jack Be Natural):
4 Bububibi Bamboo Pocket Diapers
1 Go Green Champ 2.0


And that's not all!!!
Some of the other fun and fluffy prizes include:
Glow Bug Cloth Diapers - Cloth Diaper
Buttercup Baby - Incredibum Bamboo Cloth Diaper in Raven
Pure and Simple Baby - Dandelion Organic Diaper Bag
Boba - Mystery Twitter Party Only Prize
Rockin' Green - Bag of Laundry Detergent
The Balm - $30 Gift Card
Rumpkinz - Mystery Twitter Party Only Prize
Super Lotion - Pure Joy Pack, (5) Happy Packs, Super Happy Pack, Lip Balm
Lollido - Green Pocket Diaper
Diva Cup - Size 1 Pack w/wash & Size 2 Pack w/wash
SoftBums - Omni Solo Cloth Diaper Pack
Fluffy Wishes - Mystery Twitter Party Only Prize (HINT: Econobum)
Green Baby Goods - $20 Gift Card
Ecobloomers - $10 Gift Card
FuzziBunz - 2 Elite Diapers (2 Winners)
Bummis - Cloth Diaper Starter Pack
Jack's Choice - $15 Gift Card
Kissed by the Moon - Hanging Planetwise Wet Bag
Scents from the Moon - $15 Gift Certificate
Kalasz Krafts - $15 Gift Certificate (handmade baby items)

Happy Bums - Itti Bitti Tutto in Ivory
Thanks to Celeste at  Thinking About Cloth Diapers the giveaway is open to our friends in Canada as well! She will pay the shipping for any winners over the border! Wow!!

 
  Additional Information regarding this Giveaway:
  • Use the Rafflecopter from below to enter. There are no mandatory entries. Remember that there are tons of prizes to be given away, so that increases your chances even more!
  • In order to be eligible for the Mystery Twitter ONLY Party Prizes, you still enter on the Rafflecopter form below, but must tweet at least once during the twitter party on July 24th (9-10pm EST) as well.
  • All prizes will be announced at the Twitter Party. All winners will be contacted by the e-mail provided on the Rafflecopter form.
  • Open to US and Canada. Good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

What is the hardest challenge you have been faced with? #BlogChallenge

Going Green with the Grizls


Well, it's been 5 days since I've posted in the #BlogChallenge! I'm really falling behind with this!! But, it is NOT the biggest challenge I've been face with.

My biggest challenge is multi-faceted and a little bit of a spiderweb. It's a blessing and a burden. I think my biggest challenge has been becoming a STAY AT HOME MOM.

Before we found out we were going to have a baby, I was an extreme adventurer. I was super into my career. I was pretty selfish. I did a good job taking care of ME but that was about it. Actually, I can't say that I was 100% selfish--I did a good job back then of writing letters, making little gifts like friendship bracelets or CDs, things like that for friends and family.

Since having my Little Bug, I have had to learn to care for another human-absolutely. I make sure he has sunblock and sometimes let myself burn on accident. I forfeit workouts at the YMCA when I get paged for a sad kiddo. I have gotten 3 haircuts in 2 years and they've been at Great Clips for as cheap as possible. Forget about highlights---I just had my mom do the box version and I'm FINALLY able to comb through it again about 4 weeks later! I used to spend my days working out, tanning, getting an eyebrow wax, highlights, going for hikes and walks, browsing in stores, or doing hobbies like crafting.

Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE MY SON! It's just a very hard adjustment to be a stay at home mom. I sometimes get sad when I see my friends and their blossoming career highlights. I'm happy for THEM, but I wonder if I'll ever get back into the working world. It's a true BLESSING to BE ABLE to stay at home, but it's also hard to pay for my tuition debt since the very thing it went to pay for is on a hiatus.

So, that's my biggest challenge. Trying to overcome the pangs of my heart that are still attached to my career. Because to be honest--I was really good at what I did. I feel inadequate MANY days as a homemaker!! My house is usually untidy, my child throws tantrums, I don't make gourmet meals or homemade bread each day. I'm lucky to get in a workout. I'm NOT supermom. Not even close. So, being mediocre at this job, which is the most important job in the world, is hard for me.


Today's Run with My Old Friends

Today was a slow-start kind of day. I had to bring the jogging stroller and a tyke who was not-so-keen on running with mama today! We went for the 2-mile goal, and we did make it---with 2 stops to find a rock to hold and a few flowers to look at and smell. It's amazing what tiny things help to keep him happy!

We are going to be doing a 4-mile bike stretch this evening too, but wanted to get the run in before we go pick those yummy berries! Incentive! I'd say we ran enough to eat what? Half a gallon!?!? :)

My shoes -- Mizunos -- have carried me from 2003 on the college volleyball team to now. I'm hoping to upgrade and replace them soon, but we'll see how it goes! They have far more miles than one should ever inflict on a shoe! They need to be retired and if they were car tires, I'd be runnin' on rims I think! Replacing shoes is like moving away and saying goodbye to a good friend though! Haha! Does anyone else have that attachment to their kicks?

Well, I hope some of you mamas (and daddies) are getting out there today to have a great run too. Whether you are just starting, training for marathons, or RE-starting like ME!! The best time to start is now! Good luck!

Strawberries & Crab --Oh, my!

Hey all!

We had an AMAZING crab feast last night at a local restaurant for our ONE YEAR!! anninversary--a month late! Our toddler is normally pretty busy in the restaurants when we go out to eat, so we assumed that we were embarking on a really insane endeavor--all you can eat crab with a 15 month old...

He was an angel! It must have been entertained by mama and daddy stuffing their faces with crab legs! He sure didn't care for it himself, but we do know he's not allergic to shellfish! This is the first time since I was about 8 months pregnant that we went out for crab! Yum!

Now this morning, we are setting off for another cool adventure -- strawberry picking! The season is almost over here, so I'm so happy we were able to find a place and get in--so tonight or tomorrow night will be busy with making jam! Our Little Bug LOVES (like is kind of weirdly addicted to) strawberries! It should be really fun to watch him feast with little red fingers and a juicy face! It's going to be a hot one (I really wanted to do it at 8 am) but Hubby has a root canal at 1030!! Yes--I'm apprehensive too, but he insisted that he'll feel fine and that picking strawberries afterward is a great idea! [stay tuned for the post about the sore husband recovery plan! LOL!]

We had a full day of laundry yesterday -- it had been too humid to try and dry clothing on the line and too hot to even think about doing it in the dryer. So, that is how we spent all of yesterday! Playing in the pool and doing load after load. But today, we have clean undies and socks!!

Right now the best thing in the world for the little boy is his fishing pole. He doesn't need a security blanket, or a lovie, or anything like that--nope, he falls asleep with his little Cars fishing pole. So adorable and funny! The first thing he says when he pops up in the morning is "ish, ish, ish"!

Hopefully I'll have some great photos and yummy jam to talk about VERY soon! The Fireweed is also nearly in full bloom, so I'm going to try my luck at some of that jelly soon too!

HAPPY TUESDAY!

Manic Mommy Monday 19!!! Crispy Critter & Travel Flurry!


Manic Mommy Monday!


Okay, I'm getting a jump on the week and writing this Sunday night. The baby just went down and I'm WIPED, so we'll see if I can make coherent thoughts into readable sentences! I put on SPF 50 today at about 1pm and was out and about until 5:30 pm. Burnt. Not terribly but burnt.

I saw Darryl Singletary in an hour long street concert, ate dinner with my parents, let my boy have some park time with grandma, and watched a LONG but great parade today. We slept in until 9am, but as wonderful as that sounds, it made up for the chaos between 2-5am. Bug decided to wake up and make me sleep with him around 2. But he kept sitting upright, saying "Mama" or "Kitty" or just singing or crying---making ANY noise he could. Then he'd kick me and swat me as he flailed around, getting comfortable. I had to stay awake enough to grab him if he decided to superman over the side of the bed, in spite of the pillow barricade. Bah! I think it might be due to teething? He never does weird sleep stuff...

Hubby thinks he'll be going on a 2 month promotional detail, which means lots of travel back and forth and camping for us! It also means a change of scenery and some hiking adventures for us while dad is working! The downside is that I got called today to go to the Mark Twain National Forest for dispatching. That detail would have been a sweet chunk of change, and I LOVE traveling for fire assignments--that's how I've seen half of the country--but I just can't leave my boy! Not only is it a logistical nightmare, he's only 16 months old! And still at least partially breastfeeding. So, I said no. There is always next time. Then, my sister-in-law is going to Africa for the 2nd summer in a row for her Master's--and this time, my dear husband says "I'd totally fly you out there for a week or so." Way to tear at my wanderlust heartstrings, babe! I would LOVE to check off another country and continent on my travel list--but again, the baby..... I know I will probably never again get a chance to go to Africa. But I just don't want to throw away our precious time breastfeeding and cuddling at night -- I guess I'm afraid I'd get back after one week and maybe Bug would have moved on from mommy needs! We were apart for a week for the training in June, but we were still together at night and still breastfed 2 times each day. Gollygosh I have no idea what to do!

We are trying a new budgeting tactic--with the help of Excel. I had tried to keep MY expenses (including gasoline, groceries for the household for the month, and FUN money) under $500 each month. Well, I doubled that last month, and not only was I unsure of where it went, hubby was not happy either! So, I'm going to try to reign it in with the accountability tactic, and if that doesn't work, I'm going to have to go to cash. Paying for groceries with cash scares the crap out of me! It will take so much longer figuring and estimating before going to the register! I would be mortified if I didn't have enough money when I got all rung up! $10 here and there adds up so fast, and usually my mental running tally works way better! I'm so ashamed that I spent so much money! But, I do know I didn't buy anything major. So, other than 4 shower gifts and a benefit check for my uncle, I didn't have any oddball expenses that I know of. Crazy how much life costs these days, eh?

Welp, I think that's the weekly round up! Other than the fact that melons, peas, berries and all of mother nature's goodness is in full peak loveliness now!! Loving it! HAPPY MONDAY!



Getting ITunes to Start #Running

So, here is a bit of my CURRENT playlist:

1. Gold Digger
2. Boondocks
3. *This One Is Embarrassing* "Get Naked" - Tommy Lee
4. "Brand New Skates" - Melanie
5. "Poker Face" - Lady Gaga

SO, not only do I have MOLDY oldies on my MP3 player, that's right, no Ipod here. I also have not updated any new songs since 2008 -- the Lady Gaga song came from a friend. So, I'm breaking down, I'm getting ITunes. My husband is going to think running is a million dollar investment! Haha! Between shoes, clothes, music, race entries......

Oh well. It's worth it. I'm worth it! :) Right? Right.

What do you run to? Recommendations?
I'm taking requests now.
Do you want me to try running to a favorite training song of yours?
Comment and I'll see what I can do!

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Summer Reading -- for Moms, Stress, & Brides!

I just read 3 Chicken Soup for the Soul books that were REALLY fitting for my life and very timely for what I've been going through in the last year. I've been wed (just celebrated one year a week ago), become a stay-at-home-mom (going on 18 months now!) and have been trying to manage stress (perpetually!) so all 3 of these books were GREAT summer reading for me! I cannot wait to dig into some more of this great series! I had kind of forgotten about them, since the release of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II -- back in the nineties maybe? It's been a while, but I'm glad I rekindled my love of reading and am learning a few things along the way!!

You can enjoy them too, here is a bit about the books and where to get 'em! Tell your friends to visit my blog, become part of the Adventures of Mommyhood fun, and the more traffic I get visiting will allow me to do some fun giveaways for these great books, and, the more chances you'll have to win!


Chicken Soup for the Soul - Stay-at-home-moms: 101 Inspirational Stories for Mothers about Hard Work and Happy Families

From the publisher:
With stories by famous moms, and stories from other moms who elected to stay at home or work from home. Every stay-at-home and work-from-home mom will view this book as having been written just for her! This book contains 101 great stories from mothers who have made the choice to stay home or work from home while raising their families. These multi-tasking, high-performing women have become today’s power mom.

I think this would be perfect for book clubs or mommy groups, as it has a reader guide. I know as a stay-at-home-mama myself, I sometimes need a little boost when I'm dealing with the fallout of a tantrum, when I miss the working world, or when I just need to feel a connection to others like me!! This book is great because I can actually read it during naps and downtime--a chapter here and there (as with all the Chicken Soup books!)

You can get your own from Amazon. I recommend it to any mom who wants to read war stories from a large sisterhood (and get away from baby talk for a few minutes!) Enjoy!


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride!



From the publisher:

"The wedding day, and each day leading up to it, is a special and exciting time. In this collection of 101 heartwarming and hilarious stories, brides and grooms, families and friends share their memories of the big day. With stories about everything from the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events, the honeymoon, and all the joys and frustrations in between, this book will delight and encourage any bride or newlywed. A great gift for bridal showers, engagements, and weddings!"

As a fresh-from-the-aisle bride, I totally related to this book. It was great to hear about those that had unique engagements, fantastical storybook weddings, embarrassing moments and how they overcame challenges, all relating to "the big day." I think you can enjoy this as a teenager thinking about "Some Day" or as a woman that's been married for 40 years. I thought it was uplifting and energetic and was a quick beach read! Buy a copy now on Amazon.com!


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress: Manage Your Problems, Big and Small, Every Day

From the publisher:
"Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. We all have stress in our lives. What differentiates us is how we handle it. The combination of these stories, from people who have learned how to manage stress, and Dr. Brown's practical advice, will have you wondering what you were worried about! Who knew there were so many easy ways to manage your stress?"

Everyone gets stressed. This book is a manageable sized read that can help you TAME that stress! It won't stress you out more, thinking about how you're ever going to have time to read it! It's broken up into short chapters and can be easily taken along in a purse or bag for waiting at the doctor's office, subway trips, car rides, or just a break in your work day! Easy to follow and uplifting to practice, this book provides a nice reminder of how to enjoy the simple things in life and not get so wound up about things that really don't matter! Sound like you could use it? Buy it on Amazon.com now!

Look for more great books in the 'Chicken Soup' series, as I review new ones each month for you to enjoy! Have questions about ones you've seen here? Go ahead, ask! I read each and every comment and I adore hearing from you! Chicken Soup are true classics. Enjoy!

Okay, Here come the shin splints.

I know I've been spouting about running again. Guess what? I've had exactly 4 runs this summer. They were spaced far enough apart that each time it was like starting over. Each time, the shin splints came the next day, without fail.

I STILL haven't gotten new running shoes. I REALLY want to get a pair of new Mizunos. I like the Wave Runners but have my heart set on Wave Prophecy's because I'm a "heavy plodder."

I recently looked into a few meal replacement shakes with a friend, but honestly, the program cost MORE than the $200 shoes I want, so I held out for the shoes. It sounds silly, but I think having new kicks is such great motivation to run!!

Plus, my old Mizunos have SO MANY miles on them! They are from my college volleyball days back in 2003!!! Yikes! Not only that, but another sad fact is that I wear them for Zumba, running, and other fitness/lifting--so they are more than ready to be retired.

Welp, today, though I still haven't coughed up money for new shoes, I'm starting a training plan. I've been biking for 2 weeks to "warm up" my muscles slowly, and I'm planning a summer of fun--couch to 5k to 1/2 marathon. Here I come.

Wish me luck. Tell me your motivation. Anything is encouraging and appreciated. I've never been this heavy and I've never gone this long without running, so I need all the help I can get. But truly, my soul is yearning to run!

My Creepy Crawly Irrational Fear #Blog Challenge


Okay, there it is. In all of it's disgusting 8-legged glory. But it's not just any spider. It's a Twelve-spotted Fishing spider a.k.a. my arch nemesis. Now, I actually felt a bit physically sick to my stomach searching images of the sick creature. My fear has gotten progressively worse as I've gotten older (say in the past 10 years at least).

I am not a fan of 'regular' spiders either, but this particular beast is GIANT! I saw them all the time on the docks of the northwoods lakes where I lived and worked growing up. We just called them "dock spiders" and "gross." When I was a naturalist I was reading "Canoe Country Fauna" and spotted this guy. I then found out what I was up against: The Fishing Spider. Aptly named, the Fishing Spider (several species are available for your arachnaphobic dismay) the arachnid waits commonly on docks and rocks around bodies of water watching for minnows, YES, minnows to swim by. It is a carnivorous spider whose prey is the size of your pinky. Do you know what that means for your pinky? [Da dum, da dum, da dum -- Jaws theme] Correct. Stay out of the water!

I hadn't seen one in the flesh since about 2003 until last weekend. The epic camping trip turned trip from Hell. This spider added to that adventure. Ick! I was standing in the water, Lord only knows how close I was before I saw him there, creeping, waiting for me! When I DID see it, it was only about 6" from my leg. The reflection of the water kind of hid him, so I didn't react until he was way too close for my comfort. I didn't get a picture either, because they strike in me a paralyzing fear and it is always fight or flight, nothing else. So, I ran out of the water. Then, I splashed the area where the spider was to get it to go away--you should have seen that sucker move! My husband even said it was amazing and a little creepy how it JETTED across the water! Like 10 feet in just a second? I have no idea, physics was never my strong suit, but it was FAST.

Dolomedes (genus name of these ickies) are large spiders of the family Pisauridae. They are also known as fishing spiders, raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders.

Here is another variety--check out all the disgusting spawn! Blech! **Photo found at wild-facts.com**


Want to know something gross? Nearly all "Dock Spiders" are at least semi-aquatic with the exception of one-a spider that lives in the Southwestern USA that prefers to live in trees. Is nowhere safe?!?!

Okay, you've survived this post this long, now for the pincer--I mean clincher--these little uglies CAN STAY UNDER WATER FOR UP TO 15 MINUTES!!! You didn't know you were takin' a dip with a monster, did you?

Thanks for sharing my fear! I hope we all sleep spider-free in our dreams (and our realities) tonight!! Ick!

Happy 4th!!!

Happy 4th of July to all of you out there!!! We are just layin' low, the in-laws are here and it's HOT so I've been tappin' away on my laptop, staying cool!

My husbands' bday is tomorrow, so we're celebrating today. Thunderstorms are a-brewin' and I've been working on my writing a bit.

Tried Body by Vi or whatever they are called--shakes last night, but they are too expensive for me to try the program. :( I think I'd end up drinking a "meal-replacement shake" and then eating too anyway! Good old-fashioned exercise for me I guess!

We watched "We Bought A Zoo" last night and it was more of a drama than I expected, but cute. Left me wishing I lived closer to our local zoo that I used to be an active docent at; I am also thinking I may start volunteering there again.

Tonight, the movie is going to be "One for the Money" which I had hoped to read before viewing, but it just isn't going to happen!

Also, thinking about getting the Love & Logic series rented up on DVD and trying it out for my toddler. Any opinions from those that have tried it?

Have a great holiday folks!

Happy 4th!!!

Happy 4th of July to all of you out there!!! We are just layin' low, the in-laws are here and it's HOT so I've been tappin' away on my laptop, staying cool!

My husbands' bday is tomorrow, so we're celebrating today. Thunderstorms are a-brewin' and I've been working on my writing a bit.

Tried Body by Vi or whatever they are called--shakes last night, but they are too expensive for me to try the program. :( I think I'd end up drinking a "meal-replacement shake" and then eating too anyway! Good old-fashioned exercise for me I guess!

We watched "We Bought A Zoo" last night and it was more of a drama than I expected, but cute. Left me wishing I lived closer to our local zoo that I used to be an active docent at; I am also thinking I may start volunteering there again.

Tonight, the movie is going to be "One for the Money" which I had hoped to read before viewing, but it just isn't going to happen!

Also, thinking about getting the Love & Logic series rented up on DVD and trying it out for my toddler. Any opinions from those that have tried it?

Have a great holiday folks!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight - OwOOLy Love



Amy is the Amy-azing proudly Canadian WAHM who is the crafty creator and owner of OwOOly Love!! I saw Amy's work on Canadian Creations and knew instantly that for wool--she was where to go! (She is also a go-to gal for fleece, too!)

How It All Shakes Out
Daytime: 5
Nighttime: 5
User-friendliness: 5
Quality: 5
When All Is Said And Done: 5

Amy uses awesome wool sweaters for upcycling to make beautiful wool soakers, longies, and shorties! Talk about being green! Using cloth AND recycling unused goods to make your diaper covers!!
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Here is the fishy on the bum and a great shot to show how wonderful the colors are!
Amy created a gorgeous fish-bum pair of longies for my boy. He wore them quite a bit for the first while when we got them to test out, but now it's been 90 and humid, so it's been about 2 weeks since we've worn longies to bed or otherwise. However, we still LOVE THEM!!


Firstly, Amy used SUPER fast shipping, even winging over the border and everything, it got here in no time flat. The next awesome detail was the longies were vacuum-packed and smelled wonderful! When I opened the package they sprang to life (expanded from being packed AND from the lively colors!) The sweater was super soft and had great colors, very manly! She specially embellished the bum with a fish and showed me the results in a picture before we got them, but they were even better in person! Amy is a master craftsman when it comes to wool! She is also way friendly and very punctual with communications regarding orders. She wants every customer to LOVE what they purchase, and is definitely all about putting in extra effort to make sure that you do!

For daytime use, especially on cool, rainy days, wool cannot be beat. We use it inside the house or for walks/bike rides and light play outside. 1) I don't want him to get too hot since wool is a great insulator. 2) I don't want to wreck our wool in the sandbox or other dirtier play settings! So, I'm a little bit more careful than you may need to be, but I adore my longies and would be crushed if we ruined them! The wool wicks away moisture and when put over a fitted diaper or a flat with a snappi, we have no problems at all with wetness and leaks.

This is the back.
PhotobucketIF you can put on pants, you can put on wool longies! These are super easy to use. Now that my husband knows they aren't "just a pair of pants" he knows how to pair them with appropriate diapers for under the woolies. However, since playtime with daddy usually means getting super dirty, I don't often let dad outside with a woolly bottom boy for fear of having to upcycle the soakers into oil rags for the garage! But, they are that user friendly, even dads can dig wool.

PhotobucketNight-time for us means wool always. We love that our boy can be snug and cuddly and stay pretty dry during his overnight slumber. OwOOly Love is no exception. The longies have been great for chilly nights and even perfect for camping, when the temps drop in the wee hours. Our guy doesn't particularly like covers, so we end up putting him in long jams quite a bit. These adorable longies are great for nighttime.

The quality of the wool is wonderful and dependent on the quality of the sweater beforehand I guess! But, Amy uses the best of the best and is always on the hunt for really nice wool! Since she's got a little one too, she knows what is suitable to put next to baby soft bums, so fear not, you're in good hands.
Overall the only improvement I think would be the bomb for Amy's soakers and longies would be to have a sweet OwOOly Love tag sewn in, so that everyone would see what kind of a great product they have! And it's great for getting the brand out there. I would also think a line of "super soakers" would be neat, with a little extra absorption sewn into the "wet zone" for additional wetness control and nighttime. Otherwise, I'm over the moon for my longies from OwOOly Love!!







CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Raffi

For those of you that haven't heard, Raffi is an amazing kids' performer/singer/songwriter that is very proudly Canadian! Perhaps his most famous song is "Baby Beluga" -- which is actually what we called my son for a few months when he was pale as a ghost and such a BIG boy!


Millions know Raffi for his work as an entertainer but a very admirable and fascinating bit about Raffi his commitment to child-honouring. He founded his own record label called Troubadour. Since 1997 he has been developing a focus on "Child Honoring." To read in-depth about the philosophy of Child Honoring--respecting the earth and the child, please visit this website for more! He wrote a Covenant about Child Honoring and has edited a book published in 2006 on the topic as well.

It's great to see a children's entertainer and mentor that is not all about the $$$ of all the marketing that revolves around our children. He is also a supporter of limiting television time for kids and because of this has apparently turned down some pretty major deals. When folks say NO in the face of money, it makes you realize they are in it for the cause and not the resulting fame/fortune! Pretty awesome--I can't honestly say that I'd say NO to some of those things!

In 2010, Raffi founded the Centre for Child Honouring on Salt Spring Island in Canada. There they advocate for an "ecological worldview, a paradigm shift in the way we think and make decisions that affect our children’s world today and the world they will inherit."  Child honoring is an option for schools to look into as well!

The CD's that we've been playing around the house and the ones you'll have a chance to win are The Best of Raffi and Evergreen Everblue. Little Bug LOVES TO DANCE! But he really loves it when a song has a good beat! Baby Beluga is still my favorite and is included on the 'Best of' CD. Evergreen Everblue has a good message but isn't quite as catchy, in my humble opinion. But, at 15 months music is music and I love having positive music geared toward kids playing throughout the day.

You can find ALL of Raffi's music, videos, and books by visiting his website. You can also try to win a copy of both CDs that I mentioned above in the Canada Day Extravaganza!! Stop by Raffi's Facebook page and say thanks for the great work in child honoring and thanks for the giveaway sponsorship! Wish him a Happy Canada Day and tell him Adventures of Mommyhood sent you!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Lunapads

Lunapads is the foremost brand for ladies' who want a healthier, more earth-friendly, fashionable choice during their periods! They are a great, proudly Canadian company and a sponsor for my Canada Day Extravaganza! Eco positive periods!!

Here is a look at a regular and a long maxi with wings!
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The ruler is a standard, Smokey the Bear 12" ruler.

Don't you just love the elephants and the poppies/daisies? So feminine but really cute too! Definitely cuter than pale pastel plastic and bleached cotton!

Not only plastic and cotton lurk in conventional period store-bought disposable products--many of you have heard about the "moldy tampon" incident? That's right. Mold and who knows what else can be in and on those products. And, if you search a bit about this incident, the company (I won't mention names, but it's a biggie!) responded to the worried customer by basically saying 'it's a common thing and the mold won't hurt you.' I don't like mold on my cheese and I certainly don't like mold near my lady parts. Eww. Major eww. Lunapads has a bit about this on the blog...go read up!

Here is the flip side of the pads and their matching liners!
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Even before I had heard about moldy tampons, I HAD read about the potentially harmful effects of having bleached cotton inside your body for many hours of your life. So I was already thinking about a safer alternative. I didn't have to worry too much THEN, because I was pregnant. After labor, I stuck with the pads instead of tampons--that was my first step. Now, after cloth diapering my child for over a year, I've decided to use cloth for mama too! I have used these 2 pads a few times each in my last cycle and I'm loving them! I need to try and build a mama stash now that I'm finally seeing "an end in sight" with cloth diapering!

I didn't find it gross at all to use and wash pads. Maybe cloth diapering has de-sensitized me. I just devote a travel-size wetbag to my used pads and liners. I wash them every other day, using unscented detergent (the same as what I use on my diapers!) I sometimes throw a dash of Ruby's Red Wash on if there are any real bad-looking stains, but so far, they're lookin' good as new!

The distinctly beautiful "L" which signifies your great, quality product!

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Lunapads also carries DivaCup, carry bags, and kits to make your period less of a pain!
If you do end up wanting to buy a kit, you'll save 10%! The website is a treasure trove of information for you -- help with deciding to use cloth and why you should switch, where to find a retailer that sells Lunapads, a fun blog to interact, body care items, underware and more! It's really a great resource and just a fun place to poke around and read up on some women's health issues that affect you! There is a "Sale" tab--a place we all LOVE to go! There is also information about the charitable missions that Lunapads is part of!
I always say that packaging with care and beauty makes it known to the customer that the business goes the extra mile to make you happy!
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You should go visit their website and see what all the buzz is about! Switching really isn't that hard! The first step is collecting some mama cloth! So, don't delay any longer. Go start your stash now!

Also make sure to ENTER TO WIN a gift certificate, kindly sponsored by the folks at Lunapads!!
Stop by their Facebook page and say Hello, Thank you, and Happy Canada Day! You can also let them know you're comin' from Adventures of Mommyhood!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Glowbug Cloth Diapers

Neta and Sarah are the super cool Canadian mamas that founded Glow Bug Cloth diapers ... your Proudly Canadian source for affordable cloth diapers!! When they met at a prenatal yoga class, they both knew they wanted to use quality diapers that were affordable--but couldn't find any! So, they created a business around a need, and now, they are a great cloth diaper company and a super fabulous sponsor for the Canada Day Extravaganza!!

Here is what you get:
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This is a great daytime diaper. I really love the fit of this diaper. It’s super trim. I adore the snaps and their placement for sizing and fit. It's very similar to Baby Babu and Booty Buns, if you've had any experience with those.

Here's a look at the snap on the inserts for where they can be secure inside the pocket.
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Awesome feature: it comes with 2 microfiber inserts!!! Our toddler definitely needs doubling for his heavy wetting! Microfiber just isn’t a good option for overnight use for us anymore. It would probably work okay for a baby under one maybe just using the inserts provided. After that, you would probably need to add different types of absorbency.

The inserts snap into the pocket so that they don’t ride up. My favorite feature is that you don’t have to unstuff! Even if the insert stays snapped in, it will turn itself inside out in the washer so that everything gets clean. The Glow Bug is a good diaper for the money you pay for it! It's nice that you can easily build a stash of these diapers, even on a pretty tight budget. I love the inner gussets, especially to hold in those toddler or EBF poops!

And a shot of the double leg gussets!
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Here's the proof that you have a Glow Bugon your hands!
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The outside I call Dalmation -- hubby says cow. But, the background is like newspaper grey, so I have no idea! I guess it could be either!
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My husband says these snap-in pocket diapers are some of his favorites. I've also heard that they are good for daycare, though I don't really know since we don't have a daycare provider.

Here's the Spec's:

-One Size (fits most babies from 8lbs-35lbs)
-2 generously sized pocket openings
-Waterproof PUL outer
-Double Gussets to contain all messes
-Insert comes out on its own in the wash!
-Affordable!

There are SO many prints to choose from--making it a FUN and AFFORDABLE way to build a stash, for boys or girls! They also offer great solid colors with fun colored snaps for unisex diapering! Go visit the Glow Bug website to see all the colors, patterns and options and to buy one or two or a stash for yourself!!

You can also ENTER TO WIN a Glow Bug Cloth Diaper!!!

MMM 18 - THIRD TRY.






Manic Mommy Monday!


GAHHHHH! This is my 3rd post for todays MMM. How typical! Ha! I have typed up and deleted 2 FULL posts already. This is my third and final try. Geeze!

We are up north at my mom and dads. Visiting the "Greats." (Proper noun) - relatives, though they deserve the "great" description (adjective) as well.

I as you know got a new laptop--REALLY sensitive touchpad settings and it is causing me to lose my work and type weird letters in the middle of other sentences because I move the mouse accidentally. GRRRR!

My Chaco tan is coming along, which makes me happy. This is the only summer other than the time I spent in Costa Rica bumming around, when I've had a Chaco tan...picture to come...

Our Words at this point include: Fish (eesh), Please (geeze), Thank You (tan que), Cheese (gcheeze), Squirrel (quirro), duck, chicken (chick chick or buck buck) puppy, woof, uh-oh, mama, dada, kitty.
My glucose test came back great. No Diabetes yet. I've been biking 4 miles everyday and Bug LOVES it. If it weren't so hot, I'd run. But, it's HOT.
Since it's HOT (Canadian Border standards, not elsewhere in the world) we have a little pool set up on the deck. Filled with water from the hose. My parents live in town, and we haven't put anything into the pool except water--there are LEECHES! Seriously--baby leeches. Like 3 of the little guys, they were about a centimeter or less in size, and were actively seeking out blood. WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? Has anyone else had this happen? Will birds drop them in? I have no idea. So, I fished them all out and now I'm baffled. It's not like it's lake water!!!

Speaking of fishing, my little boy is ADDICTED to his fishing pole! He wakes up and says "sheesh, sheesh!" It's like a blanket or stuffie the way he's attached to it. But not just that pole ANY pole, so that's at least reassuring. I can just replace it and have a few stashed about for him. We like icefishing poles for him, since they're shorter than even "Snoopy" poles.

My parents just took Bug for a walk. Thank goodness. I've been trying to get a little work done for a week! So, Happy Monday to all! I am off to type like I've never typed before. Or nap. I could really use a nap! Have a great week! *Ps* If you see weird errors, it's because I still haven't figured out the touchpad thing. I'm working on it!