Sunday, October 30, 2011

Family Fall Fun Pictures

Digging out pumpkin seeds
What's in there?
The crew (minus baby)
Bobbing for Apples
Enjoying the leaf pile
Eating pumpkin seeds and drinking cocoa
Costume party - all 6 rugrats!
Enjoying the evening fire!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our Pintrest Lunch

"Pumpkin" cheese ball (or "cracker dip) 

Vegetarian stuffed peppers - the recipe called for 2 small sweet peppers - it filled 4 green peppers with enough filling for at least 1 more. 

"Panera Bread" style black bean soup.  I didn't follow this recipe quite  like I should have, it ended up not being as "chunky" as it should have been.

Corn bread (not pictured.. and not from pintrest!)

Pumpkin Spice Cake Muffins

Overall - decent meal, lots of good veggies.  Snack was an apple (caught in the teeth while bobbing for them) and hot cocoa which 1 small child chose to wear instead of drinking.

Good food all day long!

Fall Fun Day

Today is fall fun day for the kids.
Why?  Because we decided it to be so.
Who?  My sister and I declared it.
What? Oh we're having fun just check out the agenda:

Food: Black Bean Soup, Stuffed Peppers, Cheese ball, Pumpkin muffins
Events: Bobbing for apples, raking and jumping in leaves, Carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds, fire with smores, costumes.

A day of cousinly fun!
(pictures later)

Friday, October 28, 2011

God's amazing healing

This afternoon someone shared a fantastic devotional on my Mom group on Facebook.  The author shares with her readers many truths about insecurities.  It's powerful stuff.

As I was reading through it I thought about the message.  I was considering what it means in my life and in the lives of some of my friends.  I took some time to think about the class Mr. Crum and I are taking at church: Restoring the Foundations.  This class is aimed at healing - physical healing, mental and emotional healing - all types of healing that people so desperately need.   

I need healing too.  We all do, we're broken people and have wounds that cut us so deeply that we let them change who we are.

As I connected the above article to myself, my friends, and my class, I was thinking about God's healing.  Here's the really cool thing about how God heals.  Have you read the gospel?  I can't think of a time that Jesus said something like, "You are healed, now here are the things you have to do.  Remember, if the clocks strikes midnight and you stop doing these things, you will be sick again."

It's like that for us too.  When God heals, it's done, over, taken care of.  Why is it that when I ask for healing of something emotional/mental/relational, etc... I keep going back to it?  I doubt that it's been healed.  I let myself live like I'm sick even when I am not? 

Wow.  That's where I am right now.  How do I remind myself that God is healing, he has healed, and my old issues are in the past, taken care of and I don't need to worry about those things anymore?

Making Memories Blog

I "discovered" this blog this morning. Enjoying browsing through it - some fantastic family ideas!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Little Lou & Tiny

Eternally Hooked: Review & Giveaway

I am in love with a baby in a pumpkin hat.

I saw this hat on the Eternally Hooked Facebook page a couple of months ago and HAD to get one, somewhere - somehow.  I thought it was perfect for my fall baby.  It is absolutely perfect.  

Eternally Hooked makes adorable hats, photo props, headbands, diaper covers... the list goes on.  Kim appears to be a master at crochet.  She inspires me to want to learn.  In fact, her story amazes me.  Kim bought a hat she adored for her own daughter, and decided to learn to crochet her own hats.  She decided it and she did it!  She has quickly perfected the art and loves sharing it with others.

11 days old

Eternally Hooked loves trying new designs and is open to new ideas about products.  Her fantastic artistry can be ordered in sizes ranging from newborn to adult!  The above pumpkin hat is newborn sized and fits my "small" 11 lb 7 oz newborn!  It is somewhat snug on him, but not too small.  It would certainly fit on smaller babies as well.

Kim's craftsmanship is phenomenal.  I dream of one day learning to crochet such fine work.  Her shop is busy, so make sure to order soon for Christmas time!

Eternally Hooked Crocheted Designs has offered to give one of my readers a $20 gift code for the shop!  This contest will open tonight and continue through midnight, Friday November 4.

Some of my favorite designs:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What a day!

First of all.  I am blessed.

Our van has been falling apart bit by bit for a while - first we discovered there was no heat in the front (this was 2 winters ago).  We dealt with that by covering ourselves with blankets, cranking up the heat in the back end, and eventually, buying a dashboard heater that shorted out the fuse for the lighter.

Last winter it decided it didn't like cold weather anyway and gave us an immense amount of trouble when it came time to start up.  Or drive... we made it through the winter and figured we would look for something new when we had the spare cash.  

What is spare cash anyway?  Where do people get "spare" money?  It seems like when we save money for something - like the chimney that's falling apart - we end up needing to do something else - like fix the van.  We cope with that and push things farther back on "the list" than we want to.

Anyway.. today..

This morning I drove with Randy to work, then the boys and I went to church to do just a little work and be part of a meeting.  I noticed that there was some smoke coming from the van and assumed it was fluids burning where Mr. Crum had spilled them yesterday.  I didn't think too much about it.

This afternoon I had my "incision check" at the doctor's office.  On the way I noted the van was smoking again.  I thought it was kind of odd, seemed like it should be clearing up, not smoking more.  Well, it got worse - and quickly.  I made a wrong turn and ended up on a highway I don't usually travel.  I was ALMOST to the doctor's office and the smoke turned into smoke and loud knocking.  Then it happened.. the oil light came on... and then.. the power steering quit on me.  Right there on a busy highway - with all 3 of my boys, at 3:30 in the afternoon.  I was stuck.  We only have 1 vehicle and I was in it.

Again, I am blessed.  We had 2 friends do all they could to try and arrange rides/childcare for their children so they could help to rescue us.  One was able to do it.  Thank you Mrs. Clifton and Ms. Rockett for your help/attempted help.  Forester Rhodes also helped us out, he picked Randy up at work and helped us nurse the van off of the highway all the way to the mall (where it sits).  

We were able to get everyone home by 5:30 (2 and half hours after I left on this journey).  We were greeted by Mrs. Schroeder, who had brought an excellent dinner.  We have been given a generous offer for a newer van - with heat (but no AC - I don't care so much about AC).  

Blessed.  Thank you God for your many blessings.  Thank you for your faithfulness even when we struggle.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Family Day

If you know me, you may well know that I like adventure.  I don't get bored, instead - I make fun.  Today was a family day - we spent time with our boys and some friends.  I've decided to invite people we fellowship with to join us about once a month for a "big event".  In August we went to the fire station for a tour, in September we went to the apple orchard, tonight was the PUMPKIN PATCH!  (early December will likely be sledding/hot chocolate).

Oh, and did I mention - I like cheap (or better yet free) adventures.  This morning's adventure was free - Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic!  This was one of the rare times that Monkey did MOST of the project on his own (with some coaching).  Tonight was kind of an expensive one - I think we spent $18 for the whole thing: corn maze, petting zoo, snacks, train ride, pumpkins, hay mountain, mud puddles, photo opps...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Forced Rest

I am really looking forward to going home tonight.  Would you believe, I already have big plans for the weekend?  For real - we bring baby Crum home and already have plans.  The truth is, I like to be on the go.  I like to be around other people, I like to really experience life with my family.

Don't get me wrong, we have plenty of down time at home too.  We'll even get (a little) downtime over the weekend.  I'm good at moving - and if I'm not moving, well - I want to crash.  Maybe that's why I want to keep going.  I had a professor observe that about me once.  He commented about my high activity level.  My response?  Yeah, but I'm always tired.  Okay, so he pointed out then that I'm probably tired because I'm on the go so much of the time.

This week I have had some forced rest.  I've still busied myself with little things - making a mermaid tail, feeding a baby, reading, etc.  I've missed the big activities - play dates, grocery shopping (yep, that's a big activity in our house), visits with family, cleaning the house, etc.  

It has been kind of good to be "forced" to rest a little.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely relaxed.. my mind is still racing 100 miles a minute with things I want to do, learn, write, review... 
My body has gotten a rest though.  Well, okay - my body is working on healing still.  It will take a while, and I've got to remind myself daily (hourly) that my body needs a rest.  Shoot, I was proud of myself at lunch today because I made it all the way to the cafeteria without having to stop and sit down somewhere.  (I didn't make it back quite the same).  I'm still healing, but I feel good - I've had some forced rest for several days, now the challenge is forcing myself to rest.

Tonight I will have my whole family - all 5 of us - together again.  I want to love on my big guys, pick them up, cuddle them, carry them to bed... I can do some of that, but I cant' carry them to bed, that will be a hard one for Monkey when it comes to nap time.  How will I deal with it tomorrow when Crackers falls asleep on the way home from Mom Time?  I am not supposed to carry a 28 lb child into the house, or anywhere.  

Forced rest - I've got to force myself to figure it out so my body can continue to heal and be stronger in the end.  Today, after I feed Tiny, I think I will nap for a while.. the last nap before the big boys come home.  It will be a good one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: 1 week old

Baby Update 10/19 (late)

Because Tiny lost his oxygen today, the only things keeping him at the hospital are the need to be monitored for 24 hours, and a few tests.  At this point the plan is that he should be able to go home with us late tomorrow evening (if all goes as expected)!
The big boys come home tomorrow too!
Happy Anniversary to us!

Update 10/19 (early)

The respiratory lady just rolled away Tiny's equipment!  
That means, it's a matter of monitoring him for a day or so to make sure he's stable.
As long as he's stable, he can go home!

Update 10/18 (late)

Tiny's doctor reduced the flow of oxygen early in the day.  The nurse turned down the saturation one time during the day.  (More overnight).  
We've gone back to nursing, not forcing 90ml for every feeding.  He's nursing and then getting however much he wants from a bottle.  Nursing is hard work and wears him out, he's getting there though.
That's all folks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tiny Photos

Because my sister asked for more pictures...

Saying hi to daddy

Tiny on blue light special
Flowers from the church

Flowers from friends

What I think when the neonatologist won't leave me alone

Sleepy boy - he loves sleep

Thinking about looking at me, see those tiny eyes - he doesn't want to look.

Our "suite" Pull out sofa, recliner, mini fridge, mini freezer... I can't find the pool

Dish Liquid Winner

Amanda H
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Baby update

Tiny is doing fairly well.  We got to meet the cardiologist today.  That doctor seems to think that the neonatologists are making the heart trouble out to be a bigger problem than it is.  It IS a problem and needs medication, but he's pretty sure that Tiny will only need medication for a few months.  He said the thickening in the walls is not as big as the other doctors had seemed to indicate.

The Bili lights went off today!  

Tiny's feedings have changed from 3oz every 3 hours to 3oz on demand (every 3-4 hours).

He's still on oxygen because he's not quite absorbing it right.  Once they're able to wean him off of the oxygen the doctors will start talking (again) about how soon he'll go home.  Today the doctor said 2-3 days, or weeks, or more...

Mama update

Okay, so this is ridiculous...
I gained about 60 lbs while pregnant (according to the doctor's scale).
For the record, Doctors don't like people to gain that much.
This morning I walked down the hall all the way from NICU to the OB.
I love that it is really just down the hall.
I stepped on the scale, they checked my blood pressure... they removed my staples.

The average woman loses (I think) 15-20ish pounds when she has a baby.
I'm not average.
Since last Monday morning when I visited the OB (I hadn't been weighed after that)
I have lost a grand total of 
41 pounds


that leaves me 18 pounds to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.

The real work will start after that!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Thanks to my sister at My This N That Life 

She shared a fun picture story on her blog tonight.  Lots of pictures of my boys and their cousins.  Missing my boys today.  Pretty cute.

October 16 Baby Update

Daddy's teaching baby bad habits

Jen update: I am discharged.  Doctor wants to remove my stables tomorrow or Tuesday - why does that make me nervous?  Oh, right - I'm afraid it will hurt.

Tiny update:  The preliminary reading of Tiny's second ECG came back from the doctor at Riley Children's Hospital.  It appears as though Tiny has some thickening in his heart and that may be effecting his oxygen level.  I'm not going to try and explain how that works.  At this point it looks like it is probably something he will grow out of in a few months, but they will want to follow up on it regularly as he's growing to make sure it does correct itself. The doctor here wants to be a step ahead because he is somewhat concerned about the possibility of his oxygen level problem being related to infection, so...

Last night the doctors decided to give Tiny an IV for antibiotics and nutrition.  After attempting 3 times and blowing the vein 3 times... they were running low on options.  The doctor decided to attempt a delicate procedure - putting the IV into his belly button.  It had been 6 hours since Tiny had eaten - at all - and they were not going to feed him before attempting this.  At about 8pm we headed down to our room to do my nightly check in with the nurses and allow room for the doctor to do this "sterile procedure".

Somewhere around 1:30am I awoke to a tall slender Asian man at the side of my bed.  Fortunately, the doctor is a tall slender Asian man.  He wanted to let me know that the procedure had been finished and they decided they would continue feeding him orally for now.  I thanked him and went quickly back to sleep... I'm not sure if there was anything else "important" that he said in that conversation.

This morning Tiny's bili-ruben count had gone down a little.  The doctors chose to keep him under the Bili light and on the Bili blanket for the day, just to make sure it continues to trend downward.  They will recheck tomorrow morning, if it has gone down (under 8), they will get rid of the lights and check it again on Tuesday morning to make sure it is still going down.

Tiny has been eating a LOT today - they've pushed down nearly 3oz a feeding for at least 3 of his "meals".  The doctors are insisted that he needs to be very hydrated to help thin the walls of the heart (if that's the issue).  To me it feels like they want to make him fatten up a bit.  Oi, his mamas working to keep up with him, but not quite able to do it yet.

This afternoon he decided (after a stern warning from a kind nurse early in the day) that he did not like the IV in his belly button - so he pulled it out.  Ugh.  They tried for quite a while to put it back in but ended up abandoning that port as well.  Tiny will be getting shots of antibiotic instead, a few times a day.  He will only be getting milk (breast or formula) - via bottle for the moment and they are insisting that the nurses need to try and get him to take at least 3 oz each time.

That's it for now.  Tiny is sleeping quietly and peacefully most of the time.  His blood sugars have been good (somewhat unstable when he goes several hours without nutrition or is jostled and poked a lot).  We are wrapping up our evening routine and will be headed to bed shortly.  Mr. Crum works tomorrow for the first time since baby was born.  I think he's wishing he could be here, but we need him to be doing his work thing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baby Update 10/15

For anyone that wonders, until Tiny is home, my blog will largely be filled with updates about his condition.  This is to spare me from writing multiple repeat emails, facebook messages, etc.  The primary focus as we step through these next few days or weeks will be mass communication with friends and family - a simple way to get the SAME message to everyone, and help with potential confusion or unclear messages.

SO here it is... Baby Update 10/15.

Personal note first: I should be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, 10/16.

from the "First Bath" series
Tiny will be here at least until Monday - but it's looking like it will be longer than that...

His Bili-Ruben numbers are high - he's got jaundice.  This is not a surprise - it's common with early babies and with babies of diabetics.  Once that number starts to go down and keeps itself down for at least a day - he'll be off of the bili blanket and light therapy.  He started on the lights yesterday and his numbers went up overnight.

The doctor noted at some point (I cant' remember if this was yesterday or the day before) that he's got a bit of a heart murmur.  Again, this is not uncommon for infants, generally it closes pretty quickly and is not an issue as the baby grows.  They did an ECG and at this point did not find anything unsual.

This morning the doctor noted that Tiny is having some obvious difficulty with breathing - his oxygen numbers seem to drop randomly for a minute or two at a time.  There is no reason that they can find at this point.  They ran tests first thing this morning, then more this afternoon.  Right now Mr. Crum is upstairs with Tiny as I wait for the things I need to do in my own room.  He told me they are running more tests to try and determine the cause of this mysterious trouble.  - it may be related to the heart murmur.

Tiny has been nursing a bit, the jaundice has him tired though and it's hard for him to do the work of nursing, so I'm pumping as much as possible for him to get the best nutrition possible.  Right now he's got oxygen in his nose, monitors on his chest, blue lights above and below him... he'll be getting IV antibiotic, and probably IV nutrition.  It's a set-back as far as feeding goes, but we'll work to get him back on track as we're able.

Tiny's name means "God helps".  We know he does and he's helping our "little" guy right now.  As we walk between the post-partum unit and the NICU, I am reminded again and again how blessed we are.  There are so many babies and families distressed and in need.  I wish I could know all of their stories.  I wish I could offer to spend time sitting with their babies and giving their parents a break.

God Helps.  Our baby will be healed and we will know God's love more fully.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Introducing Tiny

Tiny was born at 36wks, 5 days (or 35 wks, 5 days) depending on which date you prefer to use...

He was 11lbs 7oz and 22inches long.  I couldn't make this up!

Tiny's spending a few days at NICU to make sure his blood sugars are stablized - they're pretty stable now, just need to stay that way for several more hours.  He's working on learning to nurse - he'll get it.  The main goal we are working on right now is getting off the dextrose IV (that's the extra sugar they're pumping into him).  Once he's off of the solution completely, they'll monitor him for 24 hours, then he can move down to the "regular" room with mommy & daddy.

5am, ready to go.. this is my actual belly.. ridiculous!

Tiny.. look at those little cheeks!

Feet prints

Go Green Event Winner

The winner of a 2 piece layette set from 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

9 hours

In 9 hours I will be checking in to the hospital.  In 11 hours I will be IN surgery... shortly after that I will see this baby... and the horde of family that want to see him too!  

While he is in NICU the visitors will be limited - no one under 18 years old (other than his siblings), and there may be a limit to how many people can visit at once.

We don't know how long he'll be in NICU, maybe an hour, maybe a day, maybe a few weeks... we'll keep people updated via blog/facebook/email, etc.  Please do not try to text our phones as Mr. Crum does not have texting available and it is costly on my phone.

Looking forward to sharing the news of Azariah's arrival.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Do you ever listen to radio shows and feel convicted about something?

I very rarely do this, I have a select number of radio shows that I will listen to and they're not the types of shows that make me feel like I need to change or do something better.

Today was different.  As I left the church where I work, with my boys, I turned on the radio (they love music).  It was a talk show.  I don't often admit this, but I really strongly dislike Christian talk radio.  I like NPR for talk.  Since I was trying to lull my boys to sleep, I played the local Christian station that we listen to often.  I did not change it after it switched to talk, because I wanted them to be bored and go to sleep.  This tactic did not work today.

I did not hear the whole show, it's only a 10 minute drive between church and home.  I did, however, hear enough that I had to take some time to mull things over.  Shoot, I'm still mulling it over -  which is why at 11:45pm (yikes it's late) - I'm up writing about this radio program.

Here is the basic problem that was presented.  Women grow up thinking about how wonderful it will be to start on a career, at some point get married have children, take some time off, then at some point go back to working part time or full time.  This is normal and expected in a lot of cultural groups in the US.  It is okay for women to have these grand dreams about how life is going to work out as they grow and to express those things to husbands, friends, co-workers... anyone who will listen.

Men are taught that they have to work.  It is great that they have children and we're so very glad when they take some time off to be with the family - as long as that time off does not present a financial struggle for the family.  It is okay for men to have dreams, as long as they don't interfere with being responsible for earning money, raising children, leading the household... the list goes on. 

WOW!  That is a lot of pressure.  I had not really thought about things that way but I see it as so true in my own life.  I know that Mr. Crum has dreams and interests and things he would love to do with his time.  I want him to be able to do the things he wants to try - but I am skeptical because I don't want those things to interfere with my comfort and ability to stay home and raise our children.  I don't want to figure out how we can save or earn the money that it will take for him to go back to school so he can get into a job that he really loves and finds fulfilling.  It's scary to think about what it would mean to us as a family - especially to myself.

So here I am, wondering how I can be better at encouraging Mr. Crum to be the man he wants to be.  How do I make room in the life of our family for him to get more into the beekeeping that he was enjoying a year ago.  How do I encourage his dream of going back to school and still acknowledge the reality that it is going to be a little while before we are able to figure out a way to afford it?  Can I support his sense of adventure, his love of nature, his desire to work outside in a way that is meaningful to him and builds him up?  

So many questions to try and work through.  I want to be a good wife and mother, I want my husband to feel secure in his choices and supported in his dreams.  How do I live the way I want and help him do the same?

That's it... something that's been on my mind.  I've got to work it out.  It will not happen today or tomorrow, it will take time, but I want to commit to learning how to be a better encouragement to his dreams.

Don't miss the Tropical Traditions Dish Liquid

Seriously, I like this better than Dawn Dish Soap.  Don't forget to enter!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Little boy, Big anxiety

My sweet Monkey is a mama's boy.  Right now I think he would admit that, we'll see if it remains true over the next several years.  He's a thinker too.  He's always been one to observe the world around him and right now he's working on observing and absorbing all the information he can about what it means that mommy is going to have a baby on Wednesday.  

Monkey is very anxious about the upcoming changes in his world.  These are reflected by his questions (which come all day long, but especially at night).  I totally understand the need to ask questions at bed time.  That's when my brain is always turning and trying to figure out everything out that is going on in my own world.   

Why Azariah going to be a baby?
Why I big boy?
How bout my big Nana grow up and be man?
Why I go Aunt Elizabeth house?
Why you have belly ache?

The list goes on.  He's trying to figure out what is going on in his world and how it is going to effect him.  He learned tonight that Grandma's dog is gone because he was sick.  He was concerned for Grandma, but also reminded that he is sad because he misses his dog.  He notices that Skoshi and Cocoa are both gone - and we're sending him to his aunt's house for a couple of days.  He's very anxious about going away from home while mommy has baby Azariah.  

We know he'll be okay and he'll learn that even when he feels insecure, there are people caring for him.  He's going to have a great time with his cousins, and with Nana and Poppy.  In the end, he'll come home and get to adjust to life as the BIGGEST brother, not just the big brother.  We'll make sure he gets lots of snuggle time with mommy and special activities (like Lowe's Build and Grow) with Daddy.  

For now, over the next 2 days, we'll keep reassuring him and trying to help him relax even in his anxiety.  Big fears, a lot to deal with for a little guy.  He'll make it through and "normal" will change to something he won't remember as different.

I love my boys.  I love that this big guy is not afraid to ask questions and tell us he's sad or scared or excited...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baby Update

Well I saw the doctor twice this week (she likes visiting with me).  She expressed concerns that baby's swelling hasn't gone down any - it hasnt' increased either.  She's also concerned about his size.  Her fear is that his shoulder will get stuck which can have serious and even life threatening results.

She's concerned about my blood pressure which has been increasing.  She did run labs for pre-eclampsia, those came back fine.  My weight has been ridiculous - I've gained a lot in a short amount of time (between Monday and Thursday this last week I actually lost a pound).  My sugars are stable now, but haven't been, etc.

She recognizes my desire to deliver naturally - or as close to it as possible.  She also stated that she strongly urges us to have a C-section.  I asked how soon she would want to do it if we decided to have one, her response, "I would do it tomorrow".  Yep, she's that concerned.

So we made the agonizing decision to make the call on Friday and told them we would do the C-section.  I told the nurse that due to Mr. Crum's work schedule, the earliest we would be able to do would be Wednesday, the later in the week the better (we can't afford for him to miss much work).  They scheduled Azariah's arrival for 8am on Wednesday - just as soon as we would agree to it.

So, family time from today until Tuesday, then baby comes and the boys are (hopefully) going to stay with Auntie Elizabeth for a few days.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Neighbor's Trash

I admit, sometimes I can't resist pulling things out of the trash.. either for selling online (currently helping fund our chimney repairs) or for our family use.  This morning I spotted these and couldn't resist.  Thought about picking up a crib also - not for baby, but to turn into a desk...

October fun at Chuck E Cheese

This message came from Chuck E Cheese.  I am passing it on for the interest of those readers who would enjoy some fun family time, or an excuse to wear costumes!

If you’re like many of the parents we know, you might be dreading Halloween. Let’s face it – costumes can be quite an ordeal. That’s why Chuck E. Cheese’s wants you to get the most out of those costumes this year.

For the entire month, Chuck E. Cheese’s is celebrating Chucktober! That means costumes are welcome throughout October. Don’t have a costume yet? Cut out and color a Chuck E. or Helen Henny mask. Having a party? Make it a costume party with Chuck E.’s new party invitations!
To sweeten the deal, Chuck E. Cheese’s is throwing in 10 FREE tokens when you bring in the Chucktober coloring sheet! Parents can find all these activities and more on the Chuck E. Cheese’s website at

We hope your readers find these as fun as we do, and we would love to see them enjoying their Chucktober trips! We’re welcoming photos and videos from trips to Chuck E. Cheese’s to share with our fans on Facebook. Parents can send their photos to and look for them on the official Chuck E. Cheese’s Facebook page.

Storyland Yoga DVD; Review and Giveaway

I have to admit something.  I like yoga.  Yep. It's true.  And I like the idea that my kids can do yoga too.  I have tried a few various yoga DVDs with Monkey in the past and he is generally interested in them for a few minutes, and then ready to do something else.  He's not keen on most kid's yoga videos.

Last week I took the Storyland Yoga DVD with us to play with some of Monkey's friends - This was a great test to me regarding the effectiveness and enjoyment of the video.  The kids that were "playing" were ages 21 months, 3, 4, and 5.  What a crew.  This is a very active and noisy bunch that loves to run, jump, and play loudly together.

We popped in the video and tried out the "Save the Whale" story.  The kids were instantly captivated by the story.  They immediately started trying out the yoga positions and motions with the video.  At one point, the 5 year old looked at me and stated, "This is kind of like exercise".  All 4 kids participated in the yoga story telling.  (the 21 month old and 4 year old were less enthusiastic than the other 2).  When the mother of my son's friends came home, the 5 year old asked if they could watch it again and show her the video.  They really enjoyed this yoga video!

Here is what I like about Storyland Yoga:
This DVD is what it claims to be.  It's a story.  It is not pushing "correct position" or learning position names.  Instead, the children are encouraged to move their bodies as they tell stories.  It offers 2 stories for the children to choose.  They are guided with ideas about how to act the stories out.  As the children learn how to move to the story, they can begin to put together their own stories and act them out.  What a fantastic way for kids to learn to get exercise while playing (without even knowing that's what they're doing)!

This is the BEST Kid's Yoga DVD I have tried with my children.  I recommend trying it with your own family!

More information about Storyland Yoga by Playful Planet.

Playful Planet has offered to share a DVD with one of my fantastic readers!

Sponsored by

Motivated... or not so much?

Okay.. there are SO SO many things that need to get done around this house.  I thought (in the middle of the night) that I would conquer it all today so I would feel ready when baby comes.

It's 8:30 and I've done a bit of trash-picking (yep, I am one of THOSE people sometimes)... and fed my kids, taken Mr. Crum to work, started a load of laundry - that's a big deal right now because I don't like to go to the basement... started a video for Monkey (I figure it's been a few days since he's watched TV, he can have some TV time this morning while I clean).  Next is dishes... or maybe the front porch... or the kitchen table... hrm.. lots to get done.

Did I mention that I haven't packed anyone for baby's arrival - that's high priority today too - I had enough dreams last night about baby arriving today that I figure I should be prepared!

How are you today? motivated?  getting things done?  tired and slacking?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Almost 36

... weeks pregnant.
Fighting to get all my scripts filled because my ONLY insurance company is convinced that I have a "primary" insurance company that isn't them.  Oi.. need to get that straightened out.

Tomorrow I go visit with the birth planner lady.  I'm not sure what all I need to tell her, but I have a ton of questions about NICU.  Maybe since he's stayed in longer than the doctor initially seemed to think she wanted, he'll be able to avoid NICU - either way, I've got questions and I want to be prepared for it if it happens, at least as prepared as I can be.

I've also got another ultrasound tomorrow to check on baby's swelling and my "extra" fluids.  On Monday it looked like I didn't have as much swelling in my own body, but tonight I feel/look very swollen.  My blood sugars have been a little more unstable this week because of the insurance issue (couldn't refill my insulin) - but we've got samples now so they should stabilize pretty quickly.

I'm anxious right now.  I want this baby out - I feel pregnant... you know - sore back, swollen legs, congested, etc.  But also I want to see him and know that he's doing well.  At the same time, I don't want him out - I know the longer he's cooked the healthier he should be.  AND.. okay, this is silly - this is baby #3 but the thought of giving birth terrifies me... do you KNOW how they get out???

I could opt for a C-section, the doctor would be happy with me if I chose that - but it's not what I want.

Friday he'll be officially 36 weeks.  Praying that whenever he arrives he's healthy and we can both leave the hospital quickly.

Tropical Traditions Dish Liquid: Review and Giveaway

*This is a coconut based product*


I know, I know.  It's silly, bubbles are NOT a sign that my dishes (or anything else) are getting clean.  But the truth is, when I was dishes, I like to see bubbles.  I BELIEVE my dishes are getting cleaner when I see the "evidence" of bubbles that stick around for a little while.

I like products that are green.  Not so much the color green, but free from added strange chemicals that may or may not harm my family as they are exposed to them over days, weeks, years, etc.  I like the color green too.  Mostly, I like learning ways to help keep our beautiful world healthy as my children (and hopefully someday grandchildren) are growing up.  I also want my kids to live with the expectation that they will do what they can to protect their world and continue to make it a safer place.

I don't like products that stink.  Who does?  I'm very particular about the smells that I bring into my house.  I don't tend to be big on flowery smells - but I'm not entirely opposed to them either.  I do like sweet smells, and natural smells.  I'm a very sensory person - the way things smell is definitely important to me.

Why bring a product into my home that has no function, or does not function well?  The truth is - we do plenty of that.. silly kid's meal trinkets, stickers, flyers... I'm working on getting rid of those things that have no function or don't function well.  These things make clutter in my house and life and I don't like it.  Products that work well are important to me, there is no reason to spend my money on things that are going to last for short amounts of time, or not work in the way I expect!

Right, that's what I told you in my title that I was going to post about.  Dish liquid.  What do "Bubbles, Green, Smells, and Function" have to do with dish washing liquid?  
Tropical Traditions (trusted retailer of so many amazing green household products) has a fantastic dish liquid that meets all of these categories.  Now.. it says on the bottle that it's "low sudsing".  I find that although it is low sudsing, the bubbles last for the entire time I am washing dishes.

I've also discovered that it works better on my dishes than some of the high priced, name brand dish soaps that you can find on your grocery shelves.  I add just a teaspoon of soap to my water as I run it and have enough bubbles to wash a whole meal's worth of dishes.  

The smell is light, much like many of my children's bubbles (I don't think I'd use these to make bubbles for my children though - I like them too much for my dishes.. my children can use the grocery store stuff).

Information from the Tropical Traditions Website:

Household Traditions Dish Liquid is free of:
  • Fragrances
  • Dyes
  • Petroleum Solvents
  • Respiratory and Skin irritants
Household Traditions Dish Liquid is an effective and concentrated dish soap developed by and for people with allergies, asthma and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.* Household Traditions Dish Liquid is a coconut-based product—it contains nature’s versatile, renewable harvest. With coconut’s natural moisturizing qualities, washing dishes is even soothing to your hands. Household Traditions Dish Liquid is safe for you but tough on dirty, greasy dishes. It breaks down safely and rapidly making it safer for the environment. It is also low sudsing, making it ideal for camping or other outdoor uses. Household Traditions Dish Liquid is free of fragrances, phosphates, petroleum solvents, chlorine, dyes and other common triggers for respiratory or skin irritations.

Ingredients: Deionized water, coconut and sugar-based cleansing and sudsing agents, plant-based surfactants, emulsifiers.

Tropical Traditions Dish Liquid is top of the line.  It is also on SALE right now!  Check out their current prices!
This stuff lasts a long time and is well worth the cost of buying it right away.

Tropical Traditions has offered to send one of my readers a bottle of dish liquid to try for themselves!