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BOBA makes toddler travel safe and easy! REVIEW

Babywearing is the trendy thing to do it seems, I'm always seeing celebrities sporting slings, soft-sided carriers and packs in the pages of magazines. I don't know about the trendsetting potential in my family, but I do know I come from a long line of baby wearers. My mom used soft-sided carriers in the eighties. Her mom used slings--sometimes even crafted from material that she just "had on hand." One thing that generations of women, and now even men, will tell you is that babywearing makes life easier.

We were so excited to try a Boba 3g. We've been experimenting and transitioning as our boy grows and stretches out and becomes a toddler, we're always on the lookout for a good model for our changing needs. I only wish we had found Boba a few years ago when he was just a wee babe. We did  try Infantino (epic fail for us and our needs - though my husband didn't completely dislike it) and Ergo (worked well during the infant stage) and we love our Kelty backpacks for hiking, but who wants to wear a frame pack grocery shopping? So, the Boba has entered our lives to help simplify toddlerhood!

These little foot straps are what made us want a Boba 3g for sooooo long! It is the perfect way to make our toddler just a little more comfortable being worn. The kiddos can have a little tension on their legs, helping to alleviate and distribute their weight more evenly, since they are obviously heavier and "leggier" than the babies. The carrier is super versatile. The only part we didn't LOVE about them was that my son being a hulk was able to straighten his leg and pop the snaps, so until he learns to calm down (and since he thinks this new trick is funny) we roll without the straps for now.

Here is a picture of our carrier that shows the straps and belt as well as the "hood" for sun and weather protection, or just to give your sleeping wee one a little privacy. I am smitten over the "Tweet" print. Being a family of bird nerds, this super uni-sex print was just made for us! It's actually a little more of a dark brown in appearance, though this photo looks like it's black fabric.

We liked the generous material and the fact that the straps are a little more comfortable than the straps of similar carriers. Our son LOVES the carrier and it's been a lifesaver in grocery stores and in situations where I need my son safe but need my hands and the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. 

Here you can see our toddler is able to look around while comfortably riding on dad's back. This is the usual way that we wear him now, as he's about 28 lbs. and is not extremely petite, so the front style makes doing things like dishes or other chores hard! Plus, he's really wiggly and active and wearing him on the front is a good way to get walloped by accident as he's pointing excitedly to something he sees in the store or outside!

Here is about as "still" as he gets. He and dad were actually running around the house with the Boba on -- it's a new game they've invented and as long as he never confuses us and thinks that mom is going to run around like that, it's all good! Haha! We intended to be able to hike a ton on our latest outdoor adventure but we ended up being in the middle of the Midwestern Snow Storm that hit in the last week (and it's snowing right now as I type this...) so we ended up using our Wagon Stroller for the trails so that he could be packed in blankets. So, these aren't the most adventurous photos, but we did find out that on trails with a lot of stairs, a Boba cannot be beat! It's hard for toddlers to walk safely down outdoor hiking trail type stairs and carrying them freestyle makes it dangerous for BOTH of you, since you don't have full range of view or motion to grip rails or catch yourself. Having the kiddo on your back while hiking stairs is IDEAL!

Here's a quick shot of the front style, our son doesn't mind it, but it's not his favorite way to ride anymore. He did however nap like this on our trip, because naps got REALLY screwed up, so he was tired a lot and we still had to keep our dinner reservations and such, so it was a lifesaver! We love our Boba! If you want to buy one you can go to the Boba Family website and peruse all the styles and patterns available--they also have organic cotton as an option. The new Boba Air is super packable and lightweight--great for traveling abroad and wanting to bring a carrier!

***We received a Boba 3g for the purpose of completing this review. All opinions are honest and I was not compensated in any other way. ***

5 Small Ways to Change Your Life in a Big Way! (and be a better role model for your kids!)

5. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier. You will feel 15 times better the next day.

4. It's true...get in a walk everyday. Walking works! Even if it is just walking further to work from your car or taking Fido for an extra stroll at night. You'll feel better.

3. Kick the caffeine. You don't have to nix it all, but if you keep it to ONE cup of coffee, tea or soda, your body will thank you. Even better...replace the missing ounces with WATER!

2. Be more positive. Listen closely to what you say all day long tomorrow. Is most of it negative? Take a mental pause before speaking this week--if it's negative, spin it to be positive. If you can't do that, maybe just keep it to yourself. It's easy to fall into a negativity spiral. No one likes that. Not even you!

1. Throw a grocery bag full of "stuff" away from each room in your house. Donate it. Sell it. Repurpose it. Whatever you need to do. But almost all of us have extra clutter which not only makes us stressed, it is just sitting there. If you haven't used it in 6 months...try to let go! It's even better if you can find a few bag loads from each room!

There! Small things that add up to BIG change!

Cloth Diapering Best of Class ~ Top 10 Diapers in my Stash

Well, unless we have another kiddo, our cloth days are slowly winding down our cloth diaper adventure. We're still using diapers, but just not exclusively. We use the potty a lot. Which is great, but I just had to reminisce a bit about some of my all time favorite diapers. I hope to add photos of each one, a cloth diaper "Best of the Class of 2013" yearbook, so to speak! haha! Some have been with us since the start, others are fairly recent arrivals. 

10. Bunzuke Pocket
9. AppleCheeks Pocket
8. Dick and Jane AI2
7. Teeny Textiles Fitted
6. Monkey Doodlez TAG
5. Harp Diapers AI2
4. EcoBubs Pocket
3. Blueberry Coverall Pocket
2. Itti Bitti Tutto AI2 (before he outgrew them)
1. Chelory WI2

Do you find yourself sad when you know you will be putting away your stash, maybe even for good!? Do you find it hard to sell? I never thought I'd be attached to something that was made to hold poop. And yet, here I am.

New Year's Resolutions, Revisited.

Everyone is high on New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of the year. Most people, come Groundhog's Day cannot even remember what it was they swore they were going to fix, change, or improve---unless their automatically drafted gym memberships are staring them in the face each month! So, to help curb that rut and to try and be more proactive, I'm reevaluating myself again and for spring I'm cleaning up my act...again.

1. Journaling for my son at least a few times each week. I've been good at this so far. Each time he does something laughable or sweet or says something new...whatever it is. If I try to set aside 5 minutes as soon as possible--maybe when he's preoccupied with a truck or Curious George-- I jot things down. I plan to bring each filled notebook to our safety deposit box, and when he's grown and I'm gone, he'll have a tangible reference of not only his life, but a little piece of me too!

2. Traveling. In recent months, I've lost my favorite uncle, my dog who was also my furry soulmate, an ex that shaped the person I am today, and have had almost every family member over 30 diagnosed with SOMETHING rotten. So, we are getting it together and just doing it. It IS costing us in gas and groceries and such. Extra expenses...but not by a lot. We're exploring our state, branching out with small road trips and hopefully if we continue the trend, globe-trotting with our boy! LIFE IS TOO SHORT.

3. Setting a Good Example. Until now, I'd say at least 40% of the time, I'd fall into the "Do as I say, not as I do" category of parenting and life. This is sort of a catch-all item, but it definitely includes attitude, manners, language, gumption, eating habits, exercise, and just about everything else. I have been a much more polite person since becoming a mom. BUT, I still watch too much TV. I throw a random toy into the toy bin during clean up. I slip and say "shut-up" to the neighbor's barking dog, instead of asking Fido to "be quiet." Guess what? My little carbon copy is watching. ALWAYS watching and listening. Clean up your act, mom!

2. Accept myself. I need to start being nicer to myself. Since childhood I've struggled with positive "self-talk" and I still do. Some days I need to sit back and realize that I'm not SuperMom. That's OKAY! I will never be the mom to make homemade organic cookies, sew clothing, tear into a DIY bathroom project at naptime, and run a marathon each month. I think I'm finally realizing few can. And that's okay!

1. Appreciate & Enjoy Life. This is the big one. In the chaos of planning things, housework, jobs, family, SOCIAL MEDIA, and personal tends to forget we are only here for such a short time. So I need to try very hard to remember each day to stop and enjoy a sunset, a rainbow, a game of catch, the smell of spring, even changing a poopy diaper.... these little moments are what make up life. By not digesting your surroundings and what is happening here and now, you're missing out on it! I plan to boycott smartphones/iphones as long as I can. I will not get sucked in further by other distractions. Who knows...I may even ditch the internet and sign off for a while.... Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I'm going to Live My Life!

Buy Green Earth Day event!

This Contest is now over.

Want help going green for Earth Day this year? Why not enter to win a a little bit of moola in the form of a gift certificate to!?

In celebration of Earth Day 2013, members of the Homestead Bloggers Network have partnered with to make going green even easier! With a generous gift card for $250, makes going (or staying) green even easier!

So what can I find at Maybe the question should be, "what can't I find at" From clothing to composting, they've got you covered! believes that the power to make a change rests with consumers. Take a stand and demand healthier, greener products as a customer and let's make a change together.

Additional prizes are offered by participating blogs:
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. The Homestead Bloggers Network and participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.
Giveaway is open to US & Canadian Residents ages 18 and over only. Entries close on April 22 and winners will be drawn by April 26. This giveaway is part of the Homestead Bloggers Network and sponsored by

Participating Blogs

  1. Heather Harris - The Homesteading Hippy
  2. Mary Hitchings - Raising Dick & Jane
  3. Dani Meyer - The Adventure Bite
  4. Chris Dalziel - Joybillee Farm
  5. Annie Bernauer - Montana Solar Creations
  6. Jen Fowler - Frugal Upstate
  7. Teri Gelseth - Sustainability is a Journey
  8. Chris McLaughlin - A Suburban Farmer
  9. Kristi Stone - Let This Mind Be In You
  10. Lindsey Knerl - Lille Punkin'
  11. Krystyna Thomas - Spring Mountain Living
  12. Shanyn Cascia - Fresh From Home
  13. Wendy Hammond - The Local Cook
  14. Angela England - Untrained Housewife
  15. Amanda Jones - Adventures of Mommyhood

  • Colleen Anderson - Five Little Homesteaders

  • Gretchen Backyard Farming Connection
  • DIY: Kestrel Boxes for Bird Viewing, Teaching, and Habitat Enhancement on Your Land

    Build Your Own American Kestrel Box!

    Okay, first things should really try to have these up by Feb. 1st for the hawks to find during their migration back to the north country, we're off by about two months, but we figured we'd see if they still might find it this year. If not, we'll clean it out and hope for next spring. 


    One 1" x 10" x 8' board [white pine works great!]
    Two hinges (we used one and it did just fine)
    1 1/2" galvanized nails
    wire (you can use a 2" spring loaded safety hook too)
    straw or wood shavings
    spray varnish (for weather protection)
    air nailer (or the old-fashioned way!)

    Here is a really simple illustration we found online and then modified in several small ways--farm style as we call it! We didn't have 2 hinges, so we used one in the middle. We didn't have a latch, so we made one. Simple fixes! Here is the link to the original illustration, courtesy of the MD DNR.

    1) So, assemble your box, as shown. 

    Make sure you have a good supervisor for the job. 

    Here is the bottom of our box... holes drilled for aeration (mute and condensation build up fast)

    Here is the top, where we have installed ONE hinge instead of two. We also did NOT bevel the top of the lid at all, as the directions suggest. also, a photo of the main body before the lid.

    This is our make-shift latch sans hook. It really looks lame but works wonderful. And, saved us a trip to town, which is about 25 miles!

    Here is our finished box, pre-varnish. We just used a clear coat to help weather seal the box.

    Here, I could have been more helpful (we were "post-holing" in the snow, so our little man couldn't really walk on his own.... BUT, a photo opp was just TOO tempting, so I ran ahead and dad was a good sport! The things he puts up with....

    There it goes...hopefully when we check it later in the spring, ya know, when the snow might finally be gone, we will have some eggs! It's common to find other species using the box, so make sure to bone up on your egg I.D.!! Even if we get another non-target species this year, we're happy! We missed the mark for the optimal Kestrel nest-finding time, but we still wanted to get the box up on our property.

    Go be a wildlife steward on your homestead! Kestrels increase in number and successful breeding by the simple placement of these boxes. They should be about 1/2 mile apart if you want more than one box up. It's also helpful to place it near the edge of a large field or open space for hunting. Place aluminum around the bottom to deter squirrels (we are still completing this step, as we DID have to go to town for that!) Have a fun time out there as a family, making your property just a little more friendly for the critters that live there!

    5 Tips for Potty-training Boys

    Well, it seems like just yesterday that most of my "Five Tips" posts were about cloth diapering. Now, we've switched gears and though we are nowhere near done with diapers (at least not this month) we're getting closer. So, I bring to you my first "Five Tips for Potty Training BOYS" post!! For some of you, this will be TMI. A lot of these apply to girlies too!

    5) Start young. We started introducing the concept of potty training at an early age. Whether or not it would have been different for us had we not gotten a potty for our kiddo when he was under a year, we'll never know. BUT... he's been peeing on the potty exclusively for about three months (when naked) all on his own. He will occasionally say "potty!" in time for me to strip him, but that's still tricky. He started going potty assisted and with lots of reminders (pee only) at about 15 months.

    4) Expect pee and poop on the floor. It's best if you just plan to scrub the carpets--a lot! But, it's all about learning--we don't expect puppies not to have accidents, why should we be harder on our kids?

    3) The Naked trick works. I used to wonder how letting kids run around naked all day made them potty train. To me, it just seemed like instead of peeing in a diaper, they'd do it wherever they wanted. This is true for the first few times. It takes your attention and patience, but being naked helps a lot. Our family teases us that our son is rarely clothed.

    2) Don't be afraid to find their currancy! For some kids, it's gummy worms. For us, it would be great if we could give him lots of gummy vitamins without worrying--he loves them! But, we had to settle for a chocolate chip or Hershey's kiss for pee (or some other small bit of candy--sixlets and those types of candies work great!) and a Dum-Dum sucker for poops. Maybe your little one likes money--nickels? No matter what, positive reinforcement helps.

    1) Ready, aim, fire!! For boys, this one takes time...BUT you can help them to have a brighter future, one without a wife nagging them about pee on the sit by trying these 2 tips:

    - Before they are able to stand up at the big potty, you can have the sit facing the tank. It goes right in the pot!
    - Once they can step up using a stool or even for little kid potties, if you have them stand and hold either the tank or the wall (like the frisking pose on Cops) it creates the right angle and it goes right in -- no aiming manually!!

    Campfire Cones - super fun family outdoor goodies!

    Check out these campfire cones! 

    Ingredients: Sugar Cones, Peanut Butter, Mini Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, Bananas, Aluminum Foil

    Directions for your delectable dessert:

    1. Chop the bananas and get some marshmallows and chocolate chips ready. Super easy, super portable.

    2. Spread some peanut butter on the inside of the cone, then put in the bananas, marshmallows and chocolate chips. (You can add fun, creative extras here -- jelly? craisins? hot fudge? sprinkles? LOAD up and put your flair on it!)

    3. Wrap the whole darn thing in aluminum foil, then put in over the hot coals for 5-10 minutes, turning often

    4. Unwrap your cone, check to see that everything’s super messy looking and melty… if it looks like a 5 napkin's done! Bon appetit!

    This is a kid pleaser folks! Take it on EVERY camping trip to improve upon the old S'mores routine!

    I stole this recipe from my friend Sandy, who I assume stole it from here:


    Mom to Bed by 8 ~ Ended GC Opportunity

    This contest is over.

    Mom to Bed by 8 welcomes you to the 7 Day Flash $100 Giveaway!

    Organized by by: Mom to Bed by 8 and Baby Costcutters

    One lucky reader will receive their choice of $100 via paypal or Amazon E-Code!

    Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Adventures of Mommyhood is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

    A Reminder to Be Ready... and Tips so YOU will be!

    Everyone has heard of Doomsday Preppers. I have watched it and firmly believe the first season was better than the junk they are showing now. I liked the Hunger Games trilogy. I am actually really interested in the prospect of being proactive about life in general. I even went so far as to tell my husband that the show was silly and if they saw how we lived our daily life they'd THINK we were preppers, simply because we change our own oil, use cloth diapers, grow a garden, have chickens, etc.

    So, last week, when we had a minor situation at our home, I was blown away by how far off the mark I was about our families' preparedness.

    The power company called. This should have been my little alarm going off, racking my brain, thinking of what we'd need to do to prepare for this seemingly minor inconvenience. They were scheduling an outage for our area for anywhere between 1-3 hours. Great. We can handle that. "Thanks for the call. Goodbye." After I hung up, I wrote it off, thinking of some activities to do outside, since it would be during daylight hours; knowing that I should not plan a supper in the crockpot or something that requires day-long cooking.

    So, the power turns off. I go for a glass of water--oh yeah! The pump for the well is powered by electricity. Shoot! I'm thirsty and there's no water for a few hours. Oh well, we have a few bottles here and there, anywhere from 1/4 full to 3/4, varying from gallons to 10 oz. bottles. So, I can make it. My son can make it.

    The power comes back on in a reasonably short time. I go for water, again. NO WATER. I still just write it off, knowing that it sputters and squirts and takes a while to "recharge."

    Six hours go by since the electricity came back on. Still. No. Water. Now it's kind of bugging me. Of course, I have a sink + 1/2 the counter full of dirty dishes. [I was going to wash them during naptime, which was during the outage.] I have a MOUND of laundry to do. [I have no routine, I just wash it as it adds up. It had been a busy week, so it added up!] My son and I hadn't showered yet that day. [We wait until we're done with the days' dirty work to shower, unless we go to town.] Oh, and it's 2 days before Easter. [Because why wouldn't it happen over a holiday weekend!]

    It turned out that our pump was going to need replacing (we knew this last fall, but the well driller said we could limp through winter and then dig a whole new well in the spring.) So, that old dilapidated pump lost prime during the outage. Apparently, they are nearly impossible to gain prime again once this happens and they are old and crumby. So, what started out as a small annoyance was now an issues of larger proportions.

    It took 2 days to get a well drilled. We live in a snowy region so naturally, we had to start a small fire to draw the frost out of the well site the night before. We managed showers at the local gym we are members at, and we did some laundry at the local laundromat. We melted some snow for water for the dishes. We also melted two 5 gallon pails of snow to use for flushing the toilet. We also went outside--just like camping! And dogs! Which I'm totally okay with, but when it's 2 a.m. and there is still snow out there, not to mention it's hovering around zero, I'd rather not venture out. Spoiled American that I am. We were able to drive 10 miles to the local bar/restaurant and get burgers the first night for supper. They also let us fill a gallon jug with drinking water to get us through the first night. And, thankfully, since the 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I DID have a manual cloth diaper washing machine! Big score there! Read about it here.

    We were lucky in some ways that we are experiencing a "harder" winter than usual, with snow on the ground longer this year than what we've been spoiled with in years past. It made watering the horses and dogs possible. It made doing the dishes easier. We DO live near a flowing well, so we could have made do during a non-snowy month too, but the snow sure made things convenient. We also burn wood as our primary heat source and we DO keep that stocked really well [thanks mostly to my high-energy hubby!]

    After it was all said and done, it wasn't really that big of a deal. It was something that we knew we'd have to do soon, so the added expense of a new well wasn't unforeseen. The thing that made me freak out was how unprepared we were! So, I learned a few things...

    1) Not to be lax on my daily chores. [added stress of dishes and laundry could have been avoided]
    2) Have a plan in order for when these things happen. [lost power, lose water, lose phone, etc.]
    3) Have an emergency kit! [for EMERGENCIES! Tornadoes, Blizzards, outages, etc.]
    4) Preventative Maintenance! [check smoke alarms, have CO detectors, fire extinguishers, make sure things are working correctly to begin with and NOT put off repairs!]
    5) Embrace small "hardships" so that you can get better at preparing for big ones! [this really WAS like camping in some ways - even posh camping, since we were still in beds, indoors! So, we made it an adventure.]

    Do you prepare? Have you had an experience that could have been much more costly to fix? 

    How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

    I've been trying SO hard to cultivate a better routine with my gardening, subsisting and homesteading. This year, I took a more vested interest in starting seeds -- even starting my annual flowers. Now, I used to think that annuals were silly and perennials were the way to go, and, I still do like the plants that come up year after year better for the most part... BUT annuals still play a big role in the birds, bees, and butterflies lives that I so love to see around our house. We also keep hives so it's in our best interest to have flowers blooming all year long.

    So, I started some annuals...

    I used some old peat pots that are a little bigger than your typical annual six-pack plastic containers like what you find in stores. These are 4" pots, but I thought I might have more luck with the roots if I had more heft to the entire pot, soil and all. It's all about experimentation for us! We try new things each year based on what didn't work the year before! I have been notorious in our family for having a Black Thumb. I can obliterate even the hardiest philodendron or succulent houseplant in very little time. So, what would make starting annuals different? 


    These starts are 3 weeks old. We are in Zone 3, so we don't stick things in the ground until at LEAST Mother's Day, but more typically Memorial weekend. They took about 3-4 days to sprout (they were uncovered) and now they are just starting to gain height. I feel like they should be much more vivacious by now, but I recently discovered that windowsills, contrary to popular belief, are not the best place for starting plants. Especially in cold climates. It makes total sense. I feel life a fool for every doing it that way!

    So, we put them on the counter NEAR the window during the best sun of the day, and then after the sun sets, we move them downstairs to be under the fluorescent bulbs for the night. We don't have grow lights. But, this mix seems to be working great. We haven't used any plant food or fertilizer, but if we don't see growth, I may be looking into a little liquid fish or something! I need some marigolds before Mother's Day or what will my boy give to his granny!?

     photo Green-Thumb-Thursday-Sunflower-300x300_zpsdda266d6.jpg

    Do you start annuals? Vegetables? Do you have tips for me to get better at this? Haha! I'd love to hear 'em!