This photo is of me and Dan when we were kids. I was 13 (Yes, I realize I didn't look it) and he was 17. So as you can see, I have known him literally more than half of my life. We haven't been together all those years,since we dated, split-up, both married psychopaths and then eventually found each other again, but we have known each other for a very long time. (I hope I didn't give away my age there!) I honestly cannot remember exactly what it was that initially attracted me to my husband when I was a teen. It was probably the fact that he was a nice guy with a great personality but still had the "bad boy" image that a lot of young girls like. This is not the way he is now, and NOT what attracted me to him when we reunited years later. If he was still the bad boy then, we would not be where we are now because I simply wouldn't have tolerated it!
Anyhow, after years of knowing/being with a person, it can become all too easy to forget what attracted you to your partner to begin with. When you live with someone day in and day out for years, you become blind, in a sense, to things that used to make you swoon. Sure, those things may still be there, but when you're dealing with chores and jobs and babies all day long, they may become easy to overlook. Not to mention, when a relationship is new, people are on their absolute best behavior because they want to impress their partner. In the beginning, I NEVER would have allowed Dan to see me in PJ pants with stubbly legs, no make-up and my hair up in a messy bun or ponytail. Just like he would have never belched or farted as loudly as possible without excusing himself.
But as the years go by, you tend to get comfortable. You see each other at your worst, and little by little, you stop putting forth 100% of the extra effort you may have put into the relationship when it was brand spankin' new. I still try and make sure I look and smell nice for Dan when he comes home, and I do wear lingerie to bed a lot. But I must admit, I love my Pajama Jeans and fleece PJ pants, and Dan has come home to me with bags under my eyes and covered in unidentifiable baby goo on more than one occasion. And it doesn't phase him one bit. Yep, we're that comfortable! That's right...The new relationship smell has worn off and has officially been replaced with the too-tired-too-stressed-up-all-night-covered-in-spit-up-no-time-for-romance-surrounded-by-babies-24hours-per-day smell. (Whew, that was a mouthful!) Day 3 of the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment is all about remembering the positive traits that made you go gaga over your partner back when the relationship was new. You know, back before children and bills and broken appliances took over. Back when nothing in the world mattered but the two of you. ~Sigh~ I remember those times. I wouldn't trade what we've got now for anything in the world, but it definitely was nice to have that butterflies in the stomach feeling I used to get whenever he walked into the room. Today's challenge is about
getting that feeling back by recalling all of the wonderful things about your spouse, identifying the obstacles in life that prevent you from seeing them now, and how to make a more conscious effort to look at your partner in a fresh light, therefore recapturing some of that new relationship spark! Luckily, it was easy for Dan and I to remember what attracted us to each other when we reunited almost 6 years ago. He's my best friend, and we complement each other perfectly. We make each other laugh, we speak without words, and we are both very physically attracted to each other. I love so many things about him...His kindness, his sense of humor, his loyalty, his nerdiness, and even the fact that he is so laid-back where I am a total worry-wart. We truly balance each other out perfectly, and are very much in love. He was able to come up with reasons he was attracted to me, and luckily, time hadn't diminished this for either of us. However, we do find it a challenge to find the time to devote to enjoying each other lately.
With 2 small babies, a preteen, and his busy work schedule, it's darn near impossible to make any child-free time for each other. So while we were very happy to discover that we are still just as attracted to one another as ever, if not more so, we did realize that we need to make more time for US. Just the 2 of us. Without the babies or the chores. I do not know how we're going to accomplish this, but we're making the commitment to trying our best to make the time. We are a one income family and can't always afford to go out, let alone pay for a sitter. So maybe we'll have to get creative and find other ways to bring back some of that new relationship allure. Maybe have date night in? Or pack a romantic picnic and take it to the lake or river, just the 2 of us. Or perhaps we can get super creative and take on different personas, pretending to be complete strangers complete with different names and accents, meet in a public place, flirt like mad like we had just met, and then have him "take me home".
(Hey, if anything, it would get a good laugh!) Since getting out together without the kids in tow isn't always an option for us right now,
we have discussed what we can start today to get some of that old passion back. He has agreed to stop farting on me and belching so loudly that the pictures might fall off of the walls, and I have agreed to ditch the fuzzy Eeyore pants in favor of something more attractive every now and then. We've also agreed to compliment each other more often and not to walk past the other without some form of flirtation, whether it be a wink, a kiss, a hug, a cat-call or a smack on the butt. It may not be as good as being able to have a regular "date night", but hey, it's a start!Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 4 of the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment.For more information about the Intimacy Experiment, make sure to check out K-Y Brand's Facebook Page, Couples Place. I wrote this posting while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review. In addition, K-Y® Brand sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. All opinions expressed in this article are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.
My 10 year old son is obsessed with anything that has to do with space or aliens right now. Hey, it's better than the High School Musical phase or the very disturbing Lady Gaga obsession he has recently outgrown. (We hope!) He is about to turn 11, and is officially in the pre-teen stage of life. How did that happen, by the way? It seems like it was only yesterday that he was my cute little snuggle-bug who couldn't get enough hugs, who absolutely believed in the magical healing powers of "Mommy Kisses." Well, this is no more. Sadly, now I have a swarthy, sullen, and often challenging child to deal with. Instead of kisses I get eye-rolling. Instead of public hugs and "I love you, Mommy", I get shoved away since it's not "cool" to be seen loving on your mama. Okay. I can deal. I remember being that age, and I'm sure I did the same things, much to the dismay of my own mother. My baby is growing up. He's still a sweet kid, but is challenging authority every step of the way.
So I am sure that with his newly-found astronomical obsession, he has wondered what it would be like to send his parents off to space to live among the aliens at least once. I mean, what kid his age wouldn't? Without Mom, there wouldn't be anyone to tell him to do his chores or make sure his homework is completed in a satisfactory manner.There wouldn't be anyone telling him his hair is getting too long and is in desperate need of a trim. There wouldn't be bedtimes or mandatory showers, and he could eat ramen noodles for dinner every night instead of having to choke down REAL food, which of course includes vegetables. Without Mom, there would be no rules. In my own defense, I think that if I were to get abducted by little green men and sent to some far off world, there ARE some things that
my son would miss. He may not want to admit that, though, since it might just ruin his image, haha. Here are the top 10 things I think my son would miss about me if I were abducted by aliens:
So I think that while the idea of having his mom shipped off to some distant planet might sound like a lot of fun at first, he would quickly realize that without his mom, things just don't work. There would be no one there to share his secrets with or to talk about his day with, there would be no fluffy towels fresh out of the way, and there wouldn't be those hugs he claims he doesn't even want anymore. But he knows as well as I do that Mommy hugs are the BEST....as long as his friends aren't there to see!
- Clean socks and underwear. Without me to wash them, they would inevitable become so crunchy they could walk themselves to the washing machine. But without fingers, they of course wouldn't be able to push the START button, therefore they wouldn't get cleaned. Ever. And that just wouldn't be good.
- Someone to complain to. Kids love to complain, and if I weren't around, he would only have his dog or his baby brother and sister to complain to....and none of them really speak English (yet), so they're not the best conversationalists.
- He would miss my charming, often corny personality. He needs someone to laugh at! And moms make great butts for the best of jokes!
- He would miss the Cincinnati Chili that only I know how to make properly.
- He would miss hugs. He may not readily admit that, but even as a 5th grade pre-teen, when he has a bad day and no one is looking, he does still seek out a good Mommy hug every now and then.
- He would miss getting rides in my nice, used Mercedes. He gets carted around in style. And he obviously cannot drive. So No Mom=No Ride.
- He would miss having someone around to answer his sometimes bizarre questions. Things that no one on the face of the planet would readily have an answer to. I am always willing to entertain his requests, even if it means consulting Google.
- He would miss having his own personal cheerleader, who always believes in him and encourages him in all of his endeavors.
- He would miss electricity and running water. Yes, my husband makes the money to pay the bills, but I am the one who manages the money and makes sure things get paid. The hubby has a terrible memory, so without me, these things just would not get done.
- Most of all, I think he would miss just having me around. Not because I am the world's greatest mom or because I always let him do what he wants. (I certainly don't.) He would miss me because as imperfect as I may be, you only get one mother, and I was blessed enough to be put onto this earth to be his. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here
Yes, this picture is ridiculous....I am a very pregnant Super-Woman, and Dan is what else? A ninja! This was taken on Halloween. Yep, we were the nerdy, overly enthusiastic parents that dressed up right along with the kiddies. Did we get strange looks? Probably. Did I feel more than a little bit retarded? Definitely. But we didn't care, because we may be silly, but we're great at being silly together. And that is what day 2 of the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment
is all about. Connections that are made outside of the bedroom. Doing things together as a couple, no matter how small, can help keep you emotionally connected to one another. When was the last time you cooked a meal with your spouse? Held hands in the grocery store? Had a pillow fight? (Okay, if you're not goofy like we are, maybe a pillow fight isn't the best example,lol.) Do you hug and kiss your partner in a non-sexual way regularly? All of these little, often over-looked activities promote what is known as "transferable" desire. All of these things add up over time, and while they may not seem sexual, they create an abundance of transferable desire, which in turn helps fuel sexual desire. To put it in plain English, if you're happy and fulfilled in your relationship outside of the bedroom, you're more likely to want to do the naughty IN the bedroom! Makes sense, right? I know when Dan ticks me off, I don't want his paws all over me. But when we have fun together, and take the time to really communicate and connect outside the bedroom, it's all systems go once we hit the sheets. This isn't exactly rocket science, but it's amazing how often these little things that bring a couple together can be put on the back burner or even forgotten while dealing with the stresses of everyday life. You know how when you get a nice, long hug or some lip-action you experience a "high"? You get filled with what I like to call the warm fuzzies. Well, there is a scientific reason for that! When we have positive physical touch, our brain releases a chemical called Oxytocin. It's a natural, feel good hormone that brings on feelings of emotional and physical pleasure. FYI: Oxytocin is also released during childbirth, breastfeeding, arousal, and during orgasm. So you know what I'm talking about! It's the GOOD stuff! ;) So today's daytime assignment was easy-peasy for us. We had to write in our journal about whether or not we feel we have a transferable relationship, and then asked if we, as a couple, do the following things on a regular basis. (I think we've got this part down! I will include my answers, just to show how much we actually do on a regular basis!)
- Hug/embrace: We do this all the time. You know that touchy-feely couple you just wanna choke? Yep. That's us!
- Hold hands: Okay, this one we don't do as often as we should. Maybe because we're always holding babies!
- Kiss: I would say we kiss at least 20+ times per day. Yes, really.
- Say "I love you": We do this constantly. Several times a day. That's something you can never say too much of, in my humble opinion.
- Call during the day to say "hi" or check in: Dan does this every day before he comes home to see if I need anything. When he was away on business recently, he called whenever he wasn't in his seminar and chose to stay in the hotel and talk to me rather than go out. What can I say, he's a good guy!
- Compliment each other: Okay....My husband isn't good at this! He does it, but not as regularly as I'd like. I get way more compliments out of him than his crazy ex-wife did, though, and that's (almost) good enough for me! He's just more physical than verbal and expresses things with tons of hugs and kisses rather than with words.
- Email each other: We never do this, but we don't need to do this. Plus Dan isn't behind a computer that is e-mail capable while he's working. So I guess this one doesn't apply to us.
- Eat meals together: We do this daily.
- Take the time to talk about our day: We do this everyday, as well. Even though my days are none too interesting lately.
- Do chores together: We actually do this! My hubby is in here talking to me now while he sorts and folds the laundry. We do everything together! Oh, and yes, he does dishes, changes poopy diapers, etc...I am willing to rent him out. Fees are negotiable! :)
- Go out on regular date nights: Yeah, I WISH we could do this. But money is super-tight and we have 2 babies. So dates are pretty non-existent. We usually end up getting take-out and chilling here at home.
- Watch TV or read the paper together: Okay. This to me is NOT quality couple time. I HATE the TV. My husband gets WAY too involved in it, and tends to ignore everything else around him. I am a firm believer that one of the absolute best ways to promote romance is to SHOOT YOUR TV. And as far as reading the paper together goes, well, I have internet. I don't need no stinkin' paper!
- Socialize with other people together: Yep. Pretty much every time we socialize, it's together. We basically have the same friends, for the most part, and the ones that aren't common friends don't live locally. Also, we have an agreement that neither one of us goes to a bar or anywhere that alcohol is involved without the other. Not to mention he has no desire anymore to go out to bars or clubs. He did a TON of that for years, and got bored with it. We don't see friends as often as we'd like, but it's hard with the kids and his work schedule.
- Participate in hobbies together: Yep. Got this covered.
- Go on vacations together: Vacation? What's that? I'll tell you what....if anyone would like to PAY for said vacation, I would be more than happy to take one with the hubby. But until then, we're too broke to go anywhere!
So according to the K-Y Intimacy Experiment
guide, of you participate in at least half of these activities on a regular basis, chances are you've got a good emotional connection in your relationship. I would say we're in pretty good shape here! I guess that's what happens when you're married to your best friend! Stay tuned tomorrow for day 3 of the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment!For more information about the Intimacy Experiment, make sure to check out K-Y Brand's Facebook Page, Couples Place. I wrote this posting while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review. In addition, K-Y® Brand sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. All opinions expressed in this article are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.
***Although the title of this post may be suggestive, I assure you this will be a PG rated post, as this is and always will be a family-friendly blog. So Mom, you don't need to cover your eyes in disgust. There will be no graphic accounts of my sex life posted.***
First off, I have a confession to make. This may come as a shocker to some of you, so please...sit down, brace yourself, have a drink....Prepare yourself for what I am about to tell you. Okay, ready? ~drumroll, please~ I am not a virgin. I have done that thing that two grown-ups who love each other very much do. You know what I mean. That thing that creates babies. Yup, I have done a whole lotta that! Okay. I know. Not so shocking, especially considering I have three kids, two of which are well under the age of 2. I did not get abducted and artificially inseminated by aliens, my children are not the products of Immaculate Conception, and I did not slip and fall into a puddle of....Well, you get the point! No need to be any more graphic than that!I am actually very happily married to the greatest guy in the world, and we have a very healthy, active marital relationship. But sometimes life gets in the way of intimacy. Especially lately. We have two small babies, Sophie, who is 14 months old, and Xander who is only a month and a half old. So needless to say, between all of the poopy diapers, spit-up, tantrums, and sleepless nights, (not to mention taking care of my 10 year old son, the house, the dog, and the fact that my hubby works LONG hours) it is sometimes difficult to keep that sense of intimacy that comes before having babies. Sure, we love each other just as much, and we're just as happy if not happier than before the monsters were born, but we don't get much couple time. Usually couple time consists of us collapsing into somewhat of a snuggle, each with a baby in our arms. Finding more US time, or improving the quality of the time we have available, is something we have been wanting to do for awhile now. So needless to say, when I got the opportunity to work with K-Y Brands and take part in their 10 Day Intimacy Experiment, I jumped at the chance.
This is something that could really help my husband and I reconnect, despite the chaos that is parenthood. Let me tell you a little more about the Intimacy Experiment. Yes, K-Y is well known for their sexual enhancement aides. (Which are wonderful, if I do say myself!) But the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment is about so much more than just good sex. It was actually developed by the experts at Good In Bed, and is a 10 day experiment that helps couples reconnect on a mental, physical, and emotional level in AND out of the bedroom. I have been with my husband for several years now. I actually met and dated him when I was 13, and reconnected with him some years later when he located me on MySpace and pestered me until I agreed to meet up with him again. So yes, he is familiar. I can finish his sentences, and look at him and know exactly what he needs before he even verbalizes it. (Which is great, if you ask him, since I will magically show up with a beer or a snack right before he asks for one!) But when is familiar TOO familiar? In relationships, we tend to get very comfortable, and fall into a routine. Which isn't bad. Having that level of comfort and security in a relationship is a wonderful thing. But it CAN sap away at some of the passion and excitement that we generally experience in the beginning of a relationship....IF YOU LET IT. That kind of passion and desire doesn't HAVE to be a thing of the past just because there are babies and chores and bills to pay. THAT, my friends, is what the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment is all about: Recapturing that "new love" feeling, reigniting that spark, and remembering why we fell in love with our partner to begin with! It is sooooo easy to take a relationship for granted, especially after you've been with a person for years. It's easy to
"forget" all of the wonderful traits that caused us to swoon in the beginning. The K-Y Intimacy Experiment is about one thing and one thing only, in a nutshell: Bringing intimacy and closeness back into marriages and relationships, even with all of the day-to-day stresses we all tend to experience. Think of it as free relationship counseling without the hefty therapist's bill or stiff, wanna-be-leather couch! The best part is, while I conduct and post my own experiences with the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment over the course of the next 10 days, you can participate, too!
The folks at K-Y want to spread the love, and are offering this eye-opening experiment to ALL couples who want to put some Va-Va-Voom back into their relationships and between the sheets! You can download your own copy of the Intimacy Experiment at the Couple's Place
By K-Y Brand Facebook page! You will find all the information you need under the Experiment Tab
. Please keep in mind that the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment guide can be downloaded as a .pdf file. So make sure you have the latest version of Adobe installed so you can download and enjoy it!Like I said, over the next 10 days, beginning today, I will be recording my experiences and thoughts about the Intimacy Experiment. I hope you'll join me in my journey! Also, at the conclusion of the experiment, I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY that 2 of my lucky readers can win! The catch? You HAVE to be a blogger, and you MUST be willing to post your own 10 Day K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment on your blog. The winners will also receive the same box of K-Y brand goodies to help facilitate their experiment that I received and is pictured above. So stick around for your chance to WIN and take part in this awesome program, too! *Do NOT enter to win on this, or any other post during my experiment. There will be a separate post at the conclusion!*So without further ado, let me begin my challenge....Day 1: The Love Nest
Today's Daytime assignment (yes, there are day and night assignments. To keep with the family-friendly theme of my blog, I will be posting about my daytime activities. The night's activities are better left to the imagination!) is to turn your bedroom into a "Love Nest." A personal adult playground, if you will, devoid of clutter, stress, and reminders of the life that happens outside of those 4 walls. Basically, the goal is to promote romance by creating a relaxing and sensual ambience, free of children and laundry and the stresses of everyday life. A place where you, as a couple can retreat and enjoy one another. I have to be honest, I felt an odd, sinking feeling when I realized that I actually HAD to find a way to do this....You see, I am a VERY protective mama, and both of my babies sleep in the room with us. Sophie usually sleeps in her playpen, and Xander ONLY wants to sleep nestled up in Dan's armpit. (Which can be pretty gross, since he sometimes wakes up with....interesting....smelling hair!) We also have a swing, a bassinet, and a MamaRoo in our room. As well as crates of baby toys and books, and bottles, and wipes and diapers....Oh Lord. This is going to be more than challenging! So I spent half of the day de-baby-izing the room, although it may not last too long....The playpen is in the hallway, and the bassinet and swing have found their way to the nursery for the time being. I hid the toys and diapering supplies in the closet (thank goodness we have a walk-in closet!) and I closely inspected the floor for any Cheerios or Puffs before vacuuming. I then got out our good bedding, which is black and red with a velvety scroll design on it and I even broke out some satin sheets, some candles, and burned a few CD's to set the mood. I am also making some yummy Ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, and a few other sides in preparation for another review/giveaway, so the timing couldn't be better! What man doesn't get in the mood for love when presented with a nice, juicy steak and some wine? Good timing, if I do say so myself! I couldn't 100% eliminate the presence of children from the room, but I can make it as child-free as possible, at least for one night! Thank GOD for my video baby monitor. Hopefully worrying about whether or not the babies are breathing in the nursery won't keep me from enjoying today's scheduled night time activities, wink, wink. (Insert cheesy 1970's Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow music here,lol)
Stay tuned for tomorrow's assignment!
And remember, for more information about how you can participate in the K-Y Brand Intimacy Experiment, please visit the Couple's Place
on Facebook! Disclosure: I wrote this posting while participating in a blog campaign on behalf of K-Y® Brand and also received product samples to help facilitate my review. In addition, K-Y® Brand sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.
All thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own, and were not influenced in any way.
Here on the East Coast, we have had one heck of a winter....sleet, snow, ice and COLD! Sure, we get a glimpse of springtime here and there. Today is in the mid-60's. But if I know Virginia weather, and I think I do, this is just a tease. I'm certain we'll have at least one more cold snap before we can officially say farewell to Old Man Winter and a great big HELLO to Spring! The nicer weather today got me thinking about all the fun activities I simply cannot wait to participate in with my family. I would love to go fishing, although the hubby would have to be bound, gagged, and dragged,lol. I would also love to pack up a nice, big picnic with some thick, hearty sandwiches, some cold fried chicken and some extra sweet tea and of course all the sides, like watermelon, fruit bowls, German potato salad (we're not mayo fans here) and maybe even a selection of cheeses and a bottle of wine for Mom and Dad. Okay...Maybe not the wine...My 10 year old is in 5th grade and taking DARE class this year, and he gets really mad if the hubby even cracks open a beer, and we're not even regular drinkers! So maybe some sparkling grape juice instead. :) Another thing I am super excited about is the fact that now that Lil Miss Thing is a toddler, she is old enough to really enjoy playing on playground equipment. (With extremely close adult supervision, of course!) I have been looking at a lot of different equipment, like wooden swing sets ,
in preparation for the warmer weather. Take a look at what I believe is the ultimate wooden play structure! This is NOT the same swing set I had as a child of the 80's/early 90's! And guess where I found it? CSN Stores! They literally carry everything, from cloth diapers to cookware to games and everything in-between. And they also have an amazing selection of outdoor play gear,too! So definitely check them out! To help celebrate the arrival of spring, CSN stores is offering one of my lucky readers a $20.00 Gift Certificate good for anything your heart desires from one of their 200+ stores! What a great way to start out the season! Here's how to enter! MANDATORY ENTRY: This MUST be completed before any extra entries. Yes, I do check!
Please leave a valid e-mail address in every entry so I can contact you if you win!Please comment once for each entry. If an entry is worth 3, comment 3 separate times.
EXTRA ENTRIES: (Cause you REALLY want to win this!)
- You MUST be a Public GFC follower of this blog. Private does not count! Please leave your follower name.
- Tell me what you're looking forward to doing with your family this spring!
- Subscribe via e-mail (3 entries)
- Follow me on twitter and leave your twitter name. (2 entries)
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- Follow me on Networked Blogs. Leave follower name. (5 entries)
- Like CSN Stores on Facebook. (2 entries)
- Follow CSN on twitter . (2 entries)
- Look around CSN Stores and tell me what you might buy! (1 entry)
- Enter my BabyBond Nursing Cover Giveaway. (5 entries)
- Vote for me on We're On The Fence. This can be done DAILY. (1 entry/day)
- Comment on any non-giveaway post. Can be done DAILY. (1 entry/day)
- Tweet this giveaway!
- #Giveaway From #NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3 @csnstores 20 gift code!http://alturl.com/43xpw Ends 3/12 Daily Entries! Leave link to your tweet. Can be done 3 times/day. Tweets MUST be at least 3 hours apart! (1 entry/tweet)
This giveaway ends Saturday, March 12, 2011 @ 11:59pm EST. A winner will be chosen using random.org and will be notified via email. They will have 48 hours to respond before I will need to choose another winner. In exchange for this post, CSN Stores has offered me a $20 gift card code to give away as a prize to one reader. Giveaway is valid in the US and CANADA only! Good luck, and Happy Spring!! (Soon, hopefully!)
Just in time for celebrating reaching 100 followers, I have a wonderful giveaway for you all from the generous folks at BabyBond
Nursing Covers! I just wanted to take the opportunity to say a great big thank you to all of my readers. I have only had this blog for a couple of weeks, so to reach 100 followers so quickly is absolutely amazing to me. I hope you'll stick around for more adventures in Mommyhood, as well as some tasty recipes, and some awesome product reviews and giveaways. So now without further ado, on to business!
We all know that breastfeeding is the best possible choice for nourishing our babies. There are so many benefits to nursing. Aside from providing 100% of the nutrients and vitamins baby needs during the first 6 months of life, breast milk also contains many illness-fighting substances that make for a much happier, healthier baby. Breastfeeding is also beneficial for a baby's psychological development. It provides mother and child the opportunity for plenty of close, skin-to-skin contact, as well as eye-contact and a chance for baby to interact during meals. It has been proven that much of a person's psychological and emotional development starts in infancy. Babies who nurse have been shown to have a greater sense of security and are calmer, happier babies than their bottle-fed counterparts. (This of course is a matter of opinion. I know plenty of bottle fed babies that were happy and healthy kids.) Breastfeeding is also good for Mommy! Did you know that while nursing, the body burns a TON of calories, helping to shed that extra baby weight quickly and effectively? That's a HUGE bonus in my book! And if these reasons to nurse aren't convincing enough, breastfeeding is FREE. Let's face it, in today's economy, free is good, and hard to come by! So as you can see, there are a plethora of wonderful reasons to consider nursing. It's better for baby, better for mommy, and better for the pocket-book!For a long time, breastfeeding mothers have been something of a taboo.
To me, this is ridiculous, as there is nothing more beautiful or natural than a mother feeding her child as nature intended. But nonetheless, nursing mothers have been forced to nurse behind closed doors or under a HUGE awkward drape of a nursing cover, completely concealing baby from the world. And I don't know a single baby that likes to be covered completely.My two babies certainly don't! And the brave mamas that dared to just whip it out and feed have received many disgusted looks, as this is somehow deemed indecent in the world we live in today.So while nursing can be a wonderful experience for both mother and baby, it does present it's challenges, especially when trying to feed a hungry baby when ducking into a room somewhere just may not be an option.
Nursing Covers has found the perfect solution that allows mom to discreetly nurse her baby in public while remaining modest, and all without covering baby! That's right! You CAN nurse your baby without showing the world your tatas, and you can still give your child the eye-contact and interaction they so crave. Human beings are social creatures, even during mealtime. I know I like "people-watching" on the rare occasion my husband and I get to go out for the evening. Babies are no different. They want to see the world around them and look into their mother's eyes as they eat. BabyBond
is in tune with this need, and have developed a nursing cover that is revolutionizing the world of breastfeeding. All of the BabyBond nursing covers feature a unique, double paneled "sash" that allows you to separate the layers to expose just enough breast for baby to latch on and feed, all while keeping the rest of the breast discreetly covered and allowing baby to have an unobstructed dining experience.
They have 3 models to choose from: The Original, The Flex, and the cover I received to review, The Couture. The Original and The Flex are sized, sash-style covers that are designed for easy, comfortable nursing from the top of your shirt. The Couture, however, is much more versatile than its predecessors. It is a one-size item that will accommodate most body types, and it is designed to fit the ever-changing shape of a post-partum woman's body, and can easily be adjusted for a close, secure fit. The Couture can also be used as a sash style cover, which wraps around the back and over the shoulder and across the breast. (Please note: You are supposed to nurse from the breast opposite the shoulder the sash is on. Yes, this DOES make a difference!) But the awesome part about the Couture is that it also doubles as a belly-band, which can be worn under the shirt to help cover mama's 6 pack abs as she nurses from the bottom! That's right! With the Couture, you can choose to feed from the top OR the bottom! How cool is that?! Here is some more info from the company, as well as a diagram showing how to use the BabyBond
I was so excited when I received my cover to try out for myself. It came in an attractive package, and was rolled-up neatly in a cute little self-contained pouch. I LOVE this feature! When you're done nursing, the BabyBond rolls neatly into a pouch, and it is compact enough to fit easily into any purse or diaper bag. There are also several color choices, all of which are fashionable and will match any outfit mama wears. No more duckies or silly, baby prints. I love baby prints, but I prefer to keep them on BABY, not on ME,lol. I chose Riviera, a rich, jewel-tone shade of blue. It is a gorgeous color! And let me mention also that the fabric is super-soft and slightly stretchy. It has a very high-quality feel to it, much like a top from an expensive clothing store. The instructions are even sewn onto a tag that is attached to the garment itself. This gets major brownie points from me, as I am probably the most instructionally challenged person I know! I am constantly going to YouTube for how-to videos. At first when putting on the Couture, I was a little confused. (I expected that, though.) The hubby was nice enough to show me how to put it on, and I must admit, I felt pretty dumb. It's so simple! Here is a photo of the BabyBond fresh out of the package.
Don't you just LOVE that color? I know I do! Here are some photos of me modeling my Couture, as well as an "action shot."I do NOT look my best, as I am completely sleep-deprived due to the fact that I have a newborn with a cold who doesn't know his days from his nights, and also a 14 month old whose sleep schedule is a bit off, as well. So ignore my frazzled appearance and the luggage...oops...bags under my eyes and look at the product. It's all about the product, people! :)
And here it is as a belly-band. I have shown it on the outside of my clothing for display purposes, but it is meant to be worn underneath.Here is a photo of me and the Xan-Man, showing the product in action:
Overall, I think this is an amazing, must have product for any nursing mother that wants the flexibility to nurse where she wants, when she wants in a discreet fashion, all while giving her baby the interaction and bonding time he or she thrives on. It is a beautiful, soft material, and is definitely of the highest quality. And best of all, it is easy to use! Xander didn't seem phased by the change at all, and he really enjoyed being able to look up at me and around the room while nursing. He even liked gripping and feeling the fabric of the Couture.I am thrilled to have discovered BabyBond Nursing Covers and will definitely recommend them to my pregnant and nursing friends and family members!
You know you want one! BabyBond Nursing Covers can be purchased here
on their website for $35.00. (A great value, if you ask me!) Remember, if the Couture isn't for you, they also have the Original and the Flex models to choose from!
The wonderful folks at BabyBond are generously offering 1 lucky follower a BabyBond nursing cover in their choice of any in-stock style or color! How cool is that?! Here's how to enter:MANDATORY ENTRY:
- PUBLICLY follow my blog on GFC. (Found in the right sidebar.) Please leave your follower name and a VALID email address so I can contact you if you win!
- Visit the BabyBond website and tell me which nursing cover you would choose, and in which color.
This entry is mandatory. All other entries will be void if this is not completed. And yes, I do check.
PLEASE LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY!! MUST complete mandatory entry and leave a vaild e-mail address in each comment so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway will be open from 2/23/2011-03-09-2011 at 8:00PM EST. Winner will be drawn using random.org and will be posted here as well as e-mailed. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or I will have to redraw.Disclosure: The product(s) provided for the review were sent to me free of charge from the company or PR agency. The product(s) offered for the giveaway are free of charge, no purchase necessary. Any opinions expressed are my own honest opinions and are not influenced by any form of compensation.
- EXTRA ENTRIES: (Cause you know you really want to win this!)
- Visit BabyBond and tell me something you leaned that I have not mentioned in my review (1 entry)
- Subscribe via e-mail and confirm. Easy subscription box is in the right sidebar. (5 entries)
- Like BabyBond on Facebook. It would be awesome if you thanked them for this giveaway, although I cannot require you to. (3 entries)
- Follow BabyBond on twitter. Please leave me your twitter ID. (2 entries)
- Follow me on twitter here. Leave twitter ID (2 entries)
- Friend me on Facebook. Click the link on the sidebar. Leave FB name. (2 entries)
- Follow me on Networked Blogs and leave user name. Link in sidebar. (5 entries)
- Grab my button and leave a link where I can find it. (5 entries)
- "Like" this post on Facebook. Leave user name. (1 entry)
- Share this giveaway on your Facebook wall and leave me a link. (5 entries. Can be done once DAILY)
- Tweet this giveaway. You can use the tweet button at the bottom of this post, or write your own, but it MUST link to this post and @BabyBond. (Can be done 3 times per day, but tweets must be at least 2 hours apart.)
- Vote for me on We're On The Fence. Can be found on right sidebar. (Can be done DAILY for 3 entries each!)
But this past weekend, I spend a lot of time watching a Touched By An Angel marathon on The Hallmark Channel. Okay, with 2 small babies to care for, a good part of the time it was just background noise, as it's hard to be able to sit and watch attentively when I have so many things I need to be doing at once. I think mothers were the original multi-taskers,haha. Anyway, there was a 24 hour marathon of Touched By An Angel being aired over the weekend. I was very excited to see this, as I have always loved the show, and was eager to get my "angel fix". So I tuned in. And half of Saturday, I was bawling. I had forgotten how profoundly that show seems to affect me. I was downright emotional. Especially during the episode that guest-starred Wynona Judd, where her little boy is terminally ill, completes his "bucket list" and dies at the end of the episode. I must have gone through a whole box of tissues during that one!
That episode was immediately followed by another that had me falling apart. It was about a female law enforcement officer, possibly an assistant DA, who is brought face to face with the boy she dated when she was 17. She ran away with him and was shocked to learn that he was a violent criminal. And for some reason, seeing him again brought back all of the pain of her first love, and ultimately proved to her that the choices we make, even as teens, shape our entire lives. How being with the wrong guy can potentially ruin the rest of your life. I cried through this one, too, since it hit very close to home. I had a pretty rotten childhood, and I, like may teens, rebelled. I ended up dating and running away with a guy when I was a teen. When I was younger, I had the bad habit of trying to help people who had things worse than I did, and I tended to overlook the obvious, or I convinced myself that I could show them enough love to make them change. Yeah. I was really that naiive. So anyway, I was dating this guy who had it pretty rough. His mother never wanted him and he was in and out of the system all the time growing up. Somehow, I was able to see the good in him, as yes, we do all have a good side, and I thought I could help him. He ended up getting into some kind of trouble and was running from the police, (which I had NO clue about) and he convinced me to run away with him. So I did. For a month or so. And them my parents drove to another state and brought me home. I remember I was SO angry with them for that. But now, 15 years later, I realize that may have saved my life. The guy I was seeing was dangerous, although I was blind to that fact. He was trouble. And he always told me I was "never getting rid of him." And where is this guy now? In prison. For LIFE. For murder. Yes, really. I read this in the paper some years after I left him. I was lucky to have gotten away from him! Who knows what he could have ended up doing to me? How scary is that?!
I have never known anyone who was capable of taking another human life outside of military duties....So that episode made me weep. Not because I have any feelings left for this man, because I certainly don't. I was crying because I realized how differently my life could have ended up had I not gotten away from him. None of my children would exist. I would not be married to the wonderful man I am married to now, who subsequently is not capable of hurting a fly, unless he absolutely HAD to. I could have ended up dead. But I'm not. I had my own angels watching out for me during that time. I am convinced of this. What a humbling realization.....
So I watched a few more episodes. I cried some more. And I realized just how incredibly lucky and blessed I am. I am not overly religious. I believe in God, and I have faith, but I do not subscribe to one organized religion. I usually check the box that says: "Christian, Other." We don't go to church. I DO read my Bible, though, and I do pray. My husband is an athiest turned agnostic, (hey, at least that's a tiny step in the right direction) and I don't know when or if he will ever have any real faith. It's funny, because he was raised in a very Christian family, and even has an uncle who is a very talented minister, who has been televised and has written books. So when he came home and saw what I was watching, he rolled his eyes and said "Come on, really?!" I told him that it was nice to finally be able to watch a TV show with a positive message, and that having a little faith in something bigger than himself might do him some good,lol.
I came to the realization that maybe God DOES have a hand in everything that happens...Maybe I was meant to go through some of the difficult things I had to go through when I was younger. Maybe those experiences were meant to teach me, and to get me ready spiritually and emotionally to be where I am now. A wife to a loving , kind man, and the mother of 3 beautiful children. Maybe there are angels that keep up from straying too far down the wrong road in life. I think of the person I used to be, and I look at my children now, and I realize that things could be very, very different. I thank God every day for my "angels." Miracles do exist. One is sleeping right beside me, and another is destroying my bedroom as I write this. And to think....If God didn't intervene and put me back on track years ago, even if I didn't recognize it at the time, my miracles wouldn't exist. What a humbling thought.
Do you believe in angels? In God? Have you had any similar experiences where God was helping and you didn't even realize it? I would love to hear your stories! The world is so full of ugliness at times, I think we should all take some time to reflect on the many blessings and miracles in our lives.
Okay. Sermon over. Thanks for listening!
1. Have you worn the same outfit more than one day in a row?
Okay...When I am just sitting around at home taking care of the babies, I have been known to maybe wear the same PJ pants more than one day in a row, but that's ONLY if they have no odor or indistinguishable goo, like spit up or some sort of mystery funk on them, and even then it's ONLY when the laundry is so backed up that I can't find any others. But as far as shirts and undergarments? No. Well, maybe I will wear a bra more than once, but not if I've had any boob-sweat or anything going on..I also bathe/shower twice a day and am obsessed with being clean and smelling good. I cannot stand feeling dirty at all. So while it sounds like I might get a little funk-a-licious, I assure you, I don't,haha. I might survive in pajamas, not put make-up on most days, and go around the house with my hair pulled into a pony or a messy bun, but one thing I CAN say is even though I may look like a train-wreck as many new moms do, at least I am CLEAN!
2. If you had to choose any LARGE city to live in, which would it be?
Ick. I don't like this question. I don't think I would ever want to live IN any larger city. Maybe in a suburb, but not in the city limits themselves. I live 50 miles away from 2 major cities now, and I rarely venture into either of them, since I hate the hectic nature of big cities, and I never really feel safe in the bad parts of town. And for some reason, whenever I drive to a major city, I inevitably end up getting lost and winding up in some horrifyingly bad slum neighborhood where I get all kinds of mean looks just for being there. True story. I went to DC once years ago to a club. We were a car full of teens trying to find our way back to Virginia, and we ended up in South-East DC and actually got threatened by what I am assuming were gang members and/or drug dealers for being in their neighborhood. And these guys were visibly packing. I almost peed myself. I am a wuss like that. Now if we can include suburbia as an option, I wouldn't mind living in the Cleveland suburbs. I am originally from Ohio, and my grandma who I am very close to still lives there. Plus, I like the snow. We don't get much where I live now. I also really like Toronto. Heck, I love Canada in general. But for now, I think I will stay put because we're quite happy in the city we live in now.
3. Fly or drive with the kids on vacation?
I wish we could afford a vacation, let alone airfare. If I had the ability to choose, I would definitely rather fly anywhere we needed to go. My husband's driving scares the daylights out of me. I'd rather sit on an airplane with 3 kids than sit in a vehicle that he is in control of for hours. Period.
4. What is your idea of "spring cleaning"?
Handing a mop and broom to my hubby and 10 year old,lol....Just kidding! Spring cleaning is a top to bottom scrubdown, complete with dusting, mopping, steam-cleaning, re-organizing, etc.
5. What is the best book you have ever read?
Easy question! A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving, hands down. Best book ever written, in my humble opinion. I am not going to go into what is a very complex plot. It is way too rich a story to be able to sum it all up in a few paragraphs. What I will say is that this book is a rare find. It's the kind of book that will make you laugh, make you cry, make you angry, make you question the fundamental values and beliefs we all are taught from early childhood, and it will renew your faith in mankind and in God in general. It is THAT powerful a book. You MUST read it. Get off of the computer NOW and GO GET THIS BOOK,haha. You won't regret it, I promise. This is a life-changing book. Seriously. Go. Now. But before you do, be sure to give me a follow and leave a comment so I know where to follow you back!
I am super excited about this giveaway, and I thought you all might be, too! Dear Crissy ALWAYS has the best reviews and giveaways, and this is certainly no exception! I have been drooling over stand mixers for years now, but we either couldn't afford one, or I couldn't justify the hefty price tag...They are expensive! But just think of all the things you'd be able to make with this baby....Pastas, homemade breads and biscuits (one of my favorite recipes is the copycat recipe for Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits.) cookies and pastries....The possibilities are endless!
I would personally stick to breads and pastas, as I am not one for many desserts or sweets. That's the hubby's area of expertise. I know he's been dying to make a homemade strawberry rhubarb pie, since it's one of his absolute favorites! Speaking of, if anyone has any idea where I can even find rhubarb, please let me know! I never see it anywhere!
Anyway, just wanted to share this amazing giveaway with you all. I couldn't pass up entering myself, and I know many of you would love to own one, too!
I have gotten flowers on 3 separate occasions in the past week. All from my husband, and none on Valentine's Day. All for no reason. And he's not even in trouble. This does not happen to me,haha. A girl could get used to this!