April 17, 2014

Learning to speak boy

Forget my four years of college and two years of graduate school. Nothing I learned there prepared me for what I do on a daily basis....communicate with a tiny little BOY all day long.

Here is where my education is lacking:

 Cars, trucks, and tractors. That's about all I know...but that isn't going to cut it for much longer. Hudson is already obsessed with anything with wheels (or propellers) and soon enough he is going to know SO much more than me about all things truck. Dump truck, front loader, bulldozer, excavator...say what? 

 Forget all you learned about please and thank you. Key words in our house are (in order of importance): basketball, boots, PUPPY, airplane, outside, and fruit snacks. If you know those six words you are golden.

And all that stuff you learned about matching your shoes to your purse? Totally doesn't matter. Tractor rain boots and camo GO WITH EVERYTHING.

You better learn your tools. A full on tool obsession has broken out in our house. Thank you Green Toys for labeling each tool and making it a little easier on me. I always forget which screwdriver is the Phillips one. Now I know. Now if only the makers of real tools were that smart. 

You better know your animals....mammals, reptiles, dinosaurs...you name it. Thanks to this book I now know baby whales are called calfs. 

Sports. Period. I need to learn more about them. Baseball, basketball, football....you name it. And apparently Easter egg ball is a new up and coming sport. I better hit the books and get some practice time in asap.

I wouldn't trade learning this new language for the world. If it means I get to talk to that cute face every day then sign me up!

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April 16, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Chantal from Scattered Seashells

This beautiful, sweet, and charming breastfeeding story is brought to you today by Chantal from Scattered Seashells. I promise you will be glad you read it......

My daughter has the most beautiful eyes. They are small and rimmed with long, thick eyelashes. The color is amazing, a mix of blue and green and gray, with a ring of yellow right around the pupils, just like mine. They are so bright and full of fun, play, and a tiny bit of toddler wisdom. I've spent the better part of her life trying to capture them on film, but there is no better time to see them than when I'm nursing her.

Penny is a busy girl, a spirited young toddler at 22 months, a girl who cannot be stopped. All day long she is buzzing from this room to that. In one hand could be a block, and the other a book, and the next moment she could drop both of those for her favorite stuffed animal. If I ask for a hug and kiss, she responds with a playful scream as she runs away down the hall. If I want to spy those pretty eyes, I have to catch her and hold her down, brushing away that unruly hair from her face, if she lets me.

But when I'm nursing her, even for those few moments, the craziness stops. She looks up at me with those beautiful eyes as calm washes over both of us. My baby, my toddler, my daughter.

I remember the first time I nursed her. Her birth was a cesarean and my husband took her back to the recovery room while they finished stitching me in the operating room. For 45 minutes he held a crying baby against his chest, waiting for me to come back. They wheeled me in and I took her into my arms, lost in a daze, and this crying baby that was mine quieted down immediately as she latched on and filled her tummy.

Now here we are, over 22 months later. I can't believe it! My breastfeeding goal had always been a year, and then we would see what happens after that. Despite an effort to wean, though not a strong effort, our breastfeeding relationship is still going strong.

I've learned in the past few months that breastfeeding a toddler is not for the faint-hearted. She can talk now, so when she gets the idea that she wants to nurse, she starts clawing at my chest demanding her "mil-mil." She can understand when I say no, not now, though it upsets her. When she is nursing, half the time she is trying to stand, moving this way and that, wiggling with all that energy that courses through her body. Always moving!

Except when she's tired, and then she's cradled in my arms, a far cry from the less-than-7-pound baby that was mine 22 months ago. Then, I had to use a pillow to prop her little body up. Now, she drapes across my lap, her legs hanging off the side, her long arms reaching my nose, my mouth, my eyes.

Her eyes are still the same, though, and I'm lucky that I've been able to have these moments throughout each day to look at them. I know I'll miss the opportunity to relax with her once our breastfeeding time has finished.


If you would like to contribute your story to the Breastfeeding Diaries series, please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail

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April 15, 2014

Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
I'm a huge fan of BBQ. If it has BBQ in the name, chances are I'm ordering it or trying to make it at home. My husband and I created this recipe and it has quickly become one of our easiest healthy, yummy, go-to meals. AND you can make it in your slow cooker. AND it makes for amazing left overs too. That is totally a win-win in my book!

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There are lots of pulled pork recipes that call for lots of sugar and regular soda, but I decided to change things up a bit and make a healthier version by using A&W Root Beer TEN calorie soda. It's only 10 calories but it is FULL of flavor! The soda is one of four TEN calorie sodas:  7-up TEN, A&W TEN, Sunkist TEN, and Canada Dry TEN. I love that the A&W TEN helps make my favorite meal a little healthier....and the best part is that the slow cooker does all the work for you...just let it cook for 8 hours and then enjoy!

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Here's what you'll need:
- 3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika 
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cans A&W TEN Root Beer
- 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

First, slice the onion and place it in the bottom of the crock pot. Try to create nice, large, pieces. Then, make a rub out of all of the spices listed above. Rub it all over your pork shoulder and then place it fat side up on top of the onion in the crock pot. Then, pour about 1 and a half cans of A&W Ten in to the crock pot...just eyeball it. Top pork with about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. Then, cook on low 8 hours.

Once the meat is cooked, remove the meat from crock pot and shred with two forks. Drain the crock pot reserving about 2 cups of the liquid. Put the shredded pork back in to the crock pot and add in the liquid until it looks good (and is moist) to you. Next, add BBQ sauce....as much or as little as you like! Let that warm in the crock pot for about 30 more minutes...and you are done! We served ours with a little bit of cheese on top and some homemade coleslaw! If you want to cut down on the calories even more, forget the bun and cheese and just eat the meat topped with coleslaw....that's what I do and I don't even miss the bun!
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You can find the TEN sodas at Walmart - click here for a coupon good until April 17th while supplies last! Follow the TEN Sodas on Facebook and Twitter to learn about more ways to enjoy TEN.

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April 14, 2014

Hudson's Easter Basket...and a Giveaway!

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I'm SO excited for Hudson's Easter basket this year! I can't wait to see the look on his face when he finds all of these goodies.

 photo IMG_6233copy.jpgThis year the Easter bunny is giving Hudson a Winnie the Pooh GIANT flap book, bunny ears, sidewalk chalk, a front loader truck (because what little boy Easter basket would be complete without a truck?) Home for a Bunny book, bubbles, and a stuffed bunny of course!

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I always LOVED stuffed animals when I was little and so far Hudson seems to love them too. He is going to flip out over this adorable monogrammed bunny from Peek-A-Who! I love it so much.

Want to know something else I love so much???

This photo from last year....

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Oh my word. The cuteness. I just can't take it. 

This year my friend Emily from Dear Owen has created the cutest and most thoughtful Blessing Basket! I love the idea of blessing others at Easter with these adorable baskets....read on for details on how Emily made her basket and a chance to win a printable bundle AND Target gift card so that you can make your own Blessing Basket!

This year to celebrate Easter, I wanted to do something special for a few friends to let them know how much we appreciate them. After seeing the idea of a blessing basket on (in)courage. I knew this would be a perfect opportunity to spread a little Easter JOY. 

After a quick trip to Target and Staples our Blessing Basket was all set. All we had to do now was deliver them! 

We filled the basket with treats for mama and mini. A candle, cute napkins and straws from the "Oh Joy" line at Target, and festive toys for the little one. The basket (also from Target) was perfect for holding all the goods. 

We also included all the items from our Printable Easter Bundle to the basket. Which I hope, made our friends feel extra special! 

After we dropped the basket off on the front porch Owen and I got to hiding our Easter eggs. We decided to put a spin on the traditional "You've Been Egged"  game and hide Easter Eggs in the yard for our friend. We helped them get started with their Easter Story by making one of the eggs a Resurrection Egg. You can read more about this here

Today, I wanted to give all of you, Julie's sweet readers, a chance to win your own Blessing Basket goodies!!!
And just in case you want to start your basket now, visit  Dear Owen to download your free door hanger and banner printables, perfect for making your basket extra special. 
Enter below to win a $20 Target gift card and a Printable Easter Bundle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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April 11, 2014

We like clean bums and we can not lie

I know, I know....no 5 on Friday today. Shocker! But I promise the world will go on. Today we have something serious to discuss.....today we're talking about tushies....bottoms.....bums.....booties.....lower cheeks.....your butt....whatever you want to call it. That's right, I went there.

Are you ready?

My booty has high standards. I like the fancy toilet paper. I stock our bathroom with Cottonelle....because that's a sign of a mama and wife who cares, right? Nice toilet paper? My friend's at Cottonelle love tushies too....so they came up with flushable cleansing wipes and clean care toilet paper. Genius I tell you.

Hudson has the cutest little tushy I've ever seen. Of course we use baby wipes to, well, you know, wipe his bottom. But that got me to thinking...what about my lower cheeks? Whoever dreamed up the baby wipe is a genius. It's kind of like pampering for your booty. If you are a mom then you know how great a wipe is...why not use them on yourself? Is that too gross? Did I cross the line with all of you? I hope not because let's be real...everyone reading right now totally thinks this is a genius idea. Am I right? Cottonelle makes a new flushable cleansing wipe you can use on yourself. Why didn't I think of that?

We like clean bums and we can not lie. We also like playing with toilet paper. Just keepin' it real.

Who's with me?

There is a coupon for $1.50 off Cottonelle toilet paper and flushable wipes on their facebook page! Go save some money...and keep your booty clean.

Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths
- Flushable
- Break up after flushing
- Sewer- and septic-safe
- Alcohol-free
- OneTouch dispensing tub
- Great for the entire family

Clean Care Toilet Paper
- Strong and effective for a confident clean
- Tuggable, huggable softness that goes a long way
- Two-ply
- Pairs well with Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths for the ultimate in clean

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle, but my love for a clean booty is all my own!

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