Friday, September 30, 2011

A Penny for Peanut's Thoughts

Yesterday, peanut made a stinky in his diaper. This is a pretty regular occurrence.  If you knew the number of cloth diapers in our stash, you'd be well assured that other than the fact that peanut is a super squirmy baby, there is normally nothing funny or otherwise noteworthy about his stinky diapers... That is until further inspection.
I don't make a habit of inspecting peanut's stinky diapers, but I couldn't help but notice... Sitting in a pile of mess was the shinny face of Abe Lincoln staring back at me.  When I told Rich about it, his first response was, "When did he eat that?  Baby, I swear I watch him while you're at work."
Rich proceeded to text the incident to his family, who texted back:
A)   That's not too impressive.  Text me when he's up to pooping out dollar bills.
B) You need to figure out what your feeding him  and feed him more.  We need $100 bills next time.
C) You cheap-skate!  Stop using your son as a piggy bank!

I know this could have been a serious issue so I shouldn't make so light of it.  I think it means peanut is quick and we need to keep even more of an eye on him.  I'm definately glad I didn't know he'd swallowed the penny though--I'd be so worried waiting for nature to take its course. StumbleUpon

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Declutter with Peanut #Walltracks

Before Peanut, we lived in a one bedroom apartment.  We planned to put his nursery in the dining room area.  Rich and I shared a single closet, which wasn’t too small for two people.  Sure we knew we’d likely outgrow the one bedroom apartment when Peanut came along—but we really had no grasp on just how much stuff a kid can accumulate. 
Fast forward over a year later and we are simply amazed by the plethora of toys this kid has.  Rich and I are on a tight budget and sometimes I feel a little bad that we don’t buy peanut more toys.  Then I take a good look around and realize he has more than plenty thanks to his loving grandmothers, aunts and uncles.  On a daily basis, I  find toys everywhere throughout the house.  I have no idea how he came to own so many, or how they get distributed so efficiently, but it’s a nightly chore to pick up after peanut.
So if you are also finding yourself surrounded by a cluttered living room—try these few tips for keeping it all together.
  1. Keep it real—My first tip is to limit the number of toys you buy in the first place.  Peanut doesn’t really even need all of the toys he has.  In fact, he prefers to play with my clothespins.  Sounds archaic and cheap, but it’s true—he doesn’t need it all.
  2.  Spread the love-- If there are toys that are no longer being played with, sell to a consignment shop, pass them on to a younger cousin or donate them to a worthwhile charity.
  3. Minimize the damage—if you have toys that are broken or missing pieces, get rid of them.
  4. Rotate stock.  Peanut has a short memory span and isn’t totally fascinated by any one toy.  Rather than giving peanut free access to all of his toys, we place some in hidden storage.  This way, he plays with the toys that are out—which are more than sufficient, and is surprised when I bring out “new toys” he’s forgotten he owns.
  5. Re-use containers—Peanut’s still young, which means in addition to lots of toys, we have lots of wipe tubs floating around.  We use the wipe tubs to store those chain link toys.  You could also use them for crayons, cars, etc.  The tubs become a new toy too, since peanut loves dropping the toys into the tubs.
  6. Open up—we love using open storage bins.  They make for easy access for peanut to play, but also quick for us to stash the mess.  This is also how we supper organize all of his changing table accessories and bed linens.
  7. Book it—Book cases aren’t just for books.  We place toys and open baskets/storage bins on old book cases we keep in the room.
  8. Hidden in open places.—We uses decorative baskets and ottomans with lids to store peanut’s family room toy collection.  This helps us do a quick pick up before guests arrive.
  9. Hanging around.  –Make creative use of wall space.  Hang clothes on wall hooks.  Mount cans or tubs to the wall for more storage.  I sewed a collection of pockets together to make an easy to use storage solution on peanut’s changing table.
  10. Be colorful—Use different colored containers to identify different types of toys, or different toy owners.
I'm regularly overwhelmed by the clutter, but I think the best tip is to not take it so seriously--easy advice to give but hard to remember to follow.  The house was tons more organized before peanut--but I'd rather spend my energy playing with him--than following after him to pick up the clutter.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Get out and Play!

Yesterday was filled with beautiful weather.  It was just perfect.  The sun was shining; it was neither too hot or too cold.  It was the sort of day that doesn’t come along often in the Midwest, and we know that they will soon be fewer and further between.  After diner, my husband and I knew we had to take advantage of the day.

We packed peanut up and we headed to the local park.  Peanut loves the playground.  He laughs the whole time we are there.  He’s also home all day with Rich, so he loves getting out and seeing other kids.  He doesn’t talk much yet, so I’m sure his screeching yell greetings are a bit scary to shyer kids, but peanut doesn’t know any better and has a blast.  He enjoys the swings, and crawling around on the equipment, but mostly he loves the slides.  Rich would place him at the top and get him to lean back, since we were afraid he might fall forward sitting up—he only one after all.  At first peanut resisted because he wanted to see what was going on.  By the end of our adventure, peanut was leaning back and lying down before Rich even had him seated.

Getting out is important to all of us.  I feel so much better having gotten out of the house.  I know peanut sleeps better with the exercise and the socializing is so good for his development.  My husband and I got a work out too lifting him up to the slide repeatedly.   I think it is also important that peanut grow up seeing his parents having fun playing outside too, so he can grow up active and healthy.
With all of these benefits, and an increase in the national obesity level, Clorox 2 is taking a stand. They are asking parents to pledge to get their children out doors to play.  September 24th is Worldwide Day of Play and families are encouraged to turn off the tv and get outside with their children . 

You can get involved by going to  ( taking the Clorox2® Play 2Day pledge to play outside!   On their website you can search for outdoor activities and  read about how other families are getting out to play.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: Mat Kearney's Young Love

Guest Post from my award-winning wordsmith:

When I was working at the Savannah Morning News, I’d occasionally find a CD sent to the paper from an independent artist looking for a little publicity, not knowing the paper rarely did music reviews. I’d take these discs and pop them into a CD player I kept on my desk. I’ve found a few acts I’ve come to enjoy very much. I’ve also found more then a few that were a waste of my time.
So when Kat told me to listen to this guy I’d never heard of, Mat Kearney, and his album, Young Love, released on Aug. 3, I figured, why not.
While he isn’t among the best random discoveries I’ve made, he’s not bad either. In Young Love’s 10 tracks, plus an alleged bonus track, the forgettable, “Seventeen,” Kearney teeters between accomplished story-teller and meandering and repetitive.
Completely unfamiliar of Kearney when I began the album’s opening cut, the single, “Hey Mama”, I quickly realized Kearney’s voice sounded like the Counting Crows’ frontman Adam Duritz fused with Jack Johnson whimsy with a light pop sensibility. And while “Hey mama” won’t win any awards for complex lyrical writing, it’s a fun opening number, very well-suited for those getting their first taste for the artist.
But after the second track, the satisfying “Ships in the night,” Young Love, takes a dip.
“Count on Me” is heavy on synth drums (which are present throughout the album), lyrics with counting and reciting of the alphabet and children back-up singers. Kearny also has a tendency of slipping to falsetto, which he uses to open “Count on Me.”
The following songs, “Sooner or Later” and “Chasing the Light,” are only slightly better.
But it’s after these misfires that Kearney and Young Love take off.
Kearney goes back to the Adam Duritz well again with great success in “Learning to Love Again,” a nice, acoustic guitar-driven tune.
Next is “Down,” which is as close as Kearney gets to a political statement, as he paints a picture of young people struggling to make ends meet and the hopelessness that comes with it. Kearney’s voice does a nice job painting the picture of pain and desperation and signals that the hardest thing of all may be to keep going.
“She Got the Honey” is much closer to the level of “Sooner or Later” and “Chasing the Light” than to “Learning to Love Again” or “Down.” Kearney rebounds with “Young, Dumb and in Love” about falling in love for the first time.
Kearney closes the album with “Rochester” a song about his father where again Kearny displays his knack for story-telling songwriting. With just his guitar and voice, Kearney keeps the listener’s attention as he tells the story of his father’s life.
In all, Kearney shows talent but he has to develop a more consistent effort.
Three stars out of five.
The product above was made available free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  I received no additional compensation for this review.  I am a member of the One2One Network which provided the product for review.  The opinions contained here in are 100% my own.