Review | Boon SUDS Bottle Washer

I posted on my review site about the Boon SUDS bottle warmer, come and check it out!

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Life Lately, Vol. 4

In an effort to blog more often, a random update is in order.

-Nate: has been working quite a bit of overtime lately, because he is teaching this semester in addition to working at hockey games, and he is just plain slammed at the clinic. It's a good kind of busy and won't last forever, plus he really loves his job and all of the 'extra' commitments it's requiring at the moment.

Also, I hurt my back last week and he fixed me right up like the top notch Physical Therapist that he is. I really appreciate his Sports Medicine mind for moments like last week---it really sucks to be injured and it seriously feels amazing to be well. Being on the other side of the patient-caregiver spectrum just solidifies my love for our profession. But I'll happily stick to treating my geriatric population instead of Nate's athletic population. And I'll keep my own personal PT around for future issues, until I'm actually geriatric--then I can treat myself no problem.

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-Me: besides my wonky back (has never happened before and I hope it never happens again!), I'm feeling like the extra solo parenting hours are not quite as jarring as they were in the past few months. Maybe we are just falling into a nice routine overall, or I'm getting used to doing four out of five weekday dinners alone and my fair share of bedtimes without my teammate, too. Whatever the reason, life with three is feeling more balanced and less chaotic, even when I'm totally outnumbered by my children. And forget what I said about not drinking during the week. That was ridiculous and unnecessary, silly Julia. Cheers!

Long week = picnic pizza party AND a movie. Yes.
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Me and my boo.
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Also, knowing that we are leaving for a four night trip to HOT AND SUNNY MEXICO in sixteen days does wonders for my mental state. Yes. Fist pump. Yes. Nate and I are going on a beach vacation with our friends Erin and Ben. No kids. (insert numerous emoticons here). All four grandparents will be here to spoil the children rotten and I will certainly miss their little faces, but oh----to have zero responsibilities, endless/uninterrupted sleep, and no need to wear a winter coat+boots+hats+other stupid cold weather gear? Glory glory alleluia. I just cannot even fathom and to say we are excited for this trip is the biggest understatement of the year.

Selfie to commerate the moment that my daughter confirmed I'm turning into my mother. 'You look like GoGo today, mommy. You have that hair bow (?) and that necklace (??). You look like her now.' Okay then!
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-Truman: our boy turns FIVE on Sunday and it's causing me to feel all of the feels. We've been parents for five years. Five years ago I was super pregnant with Truman and didn't know this special little being that is such a bit part of our lives now. How is this possible? It seems like yesterday and also a different lifetime when baby Truman entered the world.

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Truman is incredibly helpful and happy and seriously such a joy. We butt heads 1% as often as I do with his sister and watching him enter the 'golden years' of being a bigger kid makes me excited for the day when all of our children are ages 5-9. Well, at least until the teenage years hit, then I don't know if the years will seem quite so golden. Anyway, Truman isn't perfect, obviously but he's certainly one laid back, fun, relatively easy little dude.

He had the best parent teacher conference full of gems like, 'He is just a great kid and will do something big someday.' We love our first born so much, and I'm having fun planning his birthday party--our first time doing a drop and go 'kids only' party. Eight five years olds can't be TOO wild, right? Truman requested Angry Birds cookies so I'm gearing myself up to attempt these royal icing beauties. Wish me luck!

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Seriously, the best big brother ever.
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Building up his 'ceps by practicing holding little brother alone.
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Oh, and speaking of cookies, I saw this pin on Pinterest and have deemed this recipe my newest favorite of all chocolate chip cookies. It's worth the hype, my friends.

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-Cecelia: I'm *finally* starting to work on Cecelia's second year album (as in 13 months through 24 months...super behind, obvi) and can't help but smile when I read back all of my old blog posts about our girl. She's still our little firecracker, but it seems like her emotional meltdowns have come down a notch from where she was even just six months ago. Or again, maybe I don't get quite as flustered when she is hysterical over not being able to properly fix her baby doll's diaper, or when she screams at the top of her lungs for what seems to be a half of an hour because I told her 'no' to candy for breakfast. Our biggest struggle is still getting her to use her words instead of melting into a puddle of tears when she is frustrated. Some days are better than others, but overall she has just become so freaking hilarious and entertaining. I mean, she may or may not sing the chorus to Outkast's 'Ms. Jackson' in the most adorable, high pitched baby voice ever. Let's just say we have been rediscovering some of mommy's favorite college songs together.

Best day of her life: pajama day at Lori's, Valentine's Day party at Lori's, and a new heart necklace from Lori. And still getting suckers occasionally for potty training. #winning
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Wearing my 1980's Breckenridge dress and very into posing for the camera.
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So this is a new thing, too. 'Playing baby' just entered a new dimension as she demands that I cart her around in the carrier. No wonder I hurt my back, huh?
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Truman took this one. Thanks, T!
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She and I went for a run yesterday and it was a mere 14 degrees outside. We wore about 87 layers of clothing combined and I had to ask her to get out and walk during a part of our adventure, when we were on a little forest trail by a river and the BOB did not fit through the trees as well as I had hoped. It was a highlight of the day for some reason, probably because the bonding moments between me and my girl don't happen nearly enough---but they are really good for both of us when we make it a point to have our mother-daughter time. The entire point of the run, aside from busting up some of the cabin fever in the fresh air, was for us to find CC's beloved ducks. Well, the ducks are smarter than us and were hiding from the cold but me and my girl still had a fun time outside together. And then we got Starbucks randomly because we both had to use a bathroom, so obviously it was declared a win all around.

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Hmm, we might resemble each other sometimes.
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Best big sister...even when we are all a little bit frightened of our Cecelia.
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-Porter: we are sleep training baby boy and it's going better than expected. My friend Hannah sent me a summary of what an actual sleep nurse told them to do for their youngest babe. I'd describe it as a structured plan that does include some crying but we aren't following it as closely as we probably should. Nap training came first and we are always laying him down awake now, sticking to two naps at roughly 8:30 and 12:30. And apparently he really likes this schedule because he will take a morning naps that lasts about 30-45 minutes, then a KILLER afternoon nap that can be three freaking hour or longer. Insane, right?

Night times are still hit or miss but we haven't caved and given him a bottle in the past three nights. This is huge, people. (Here is where I will justify our lack of feeding to myself by saying that he is consuming SO much formula and also table food during the day that he truly does not need to eat more at night at seven months old. If he was nursing I don't think I could be quite as convinced of this.) Some of the nights he has slept straight through for eleven hours without a peep. Some of the nights he will wake up and fuss a bit, but nothing that warrants even a check in by us because he falls back to sleep within five minutes. Those are not the norm just yet.

The past two nights he has woken up and expected a bottle. Saturday night he was up for a total of 50 minutes and needed one check by Nate after 10 minutes---which ended up making him even more mad than if we just left him alone, watching him on the monitor instead. But after those 50 minutes of wakefulness, he did sleep until 7 am the next morning. Last night Porter was up for almost two freaking hours total, happily talking, then fussing, occasionally crying a bit, playing with his sleep sac, squealing, etc. Again, I'd watch him like crazy through the monitor to make sure he wasn't smashing his head into the crib or something painful, and I did send Nate in there one time. I freaking love when babies are curled up sleeping, all angelic and perfect-looking.

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Nate has no issue whatsoever sleeping through Porter's fussing, and he is much more level-headed about sleep training in general (i.e. he doesn't believe that we will scare the boy for life by letting him fuss, and he tends to think that Porter will still love me in the morning if I don't give him a bottle). Dads are good for rational thinking, no? I mostly just lay there and stare at the monitor the entire time he is awake, feeling somewhat guilty for not feeding him but grateful that he isn't totally freaking out. Pretty sure Cecelia totally owned us with 'sleep training' and I don't think we even gave it a half-hearted effort with Truman.

Anyway, Porter seems to be learning the way of sleep and it's pretty amazing. Keep up the good work, buddy!

Another Truman image. He really does love my big camera as much as I love Porter's smooshy cheeks.
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In this same vein, the other day at Target I had disposable diapers, formula, and store-bought baby food in my cart and I had to chuckle at myself. What in the world would the Julia of 2010 think about this new found path my parenting? It's one that is decidedly less 'crunchy' and includes more disposables than cloth (although yes, we still use CDs, too), one that includes formula for a baby that wouldn't nurse past 6 months, and one that includes store-bought purees instead of only homemade stuff? It mostly boils down to convenience and the fact that as our third baby, Porter is probably getting a different version of me as a mom than Truman did at seven months. AND THAT IS OKAY, as I've always been a middle-of-the-road type of mom and a big fan of going with what works, being flexible, and not judging others who choose differently for their kids. And every kid is so different, blah blah blah.

But I might have been surprised to know that someday I'd have a cart full of fairly expensive baby essentials. It used to be so important to me to save money with cloth and breast milk and homemade baby food. Now it's important for me to remain sane within the chaos while creating more time in each day, somehow. And sleep is more important than it was before but I don't think I can buy that in a store. I didn't see 'unbroken sleep' on the Target shelves, at least.

Ah, the metamorphosis of motherhood choices with subsequent children. Such an interesting topic and one that probably deserves more attention than just this haphazard paragraph. But yeah, my Target cart was a light bulb moment that proves things have changed over time. And change is good. This little nugget is teaching me so much each day, like how babies taking sink baths will always be perfection. Add in sock lines and a chin dimple? I'm a goner.

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Back to Porter for a second: he's sleep training but also he got his first tooth, he's sitting up a lot better, and he's still basically the most delicious, perfect, ovary-punching baby ever. I don't know what we did before he came along with his big ears and big blue eyes and new-found hair on the top of his giant head. ZOMG he is just the best. And as I said on Facebook, 'I will not have favorites, I will not have favorites, I will not have favorites.' But dang it, Porter, stop being such a sweet baby that doesn't talk back or require discipline! No don't, just kidding. I can handle your baby-sweetness, promise.

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So yeah, these three rock my world. So much personality packed into those little/big bodies.
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That's our life lately. Totally riveting, I know.

Giveaway | Noonday Collection

When Melissa from Noonday contacted me about a possible review and giveaway, I went to their website to see what kind of company Noonday was. I hadn't heard of them before but when their site opened up, I immediately recognized Kelle Hampton in one of the rotating pictures. Next I read through Noonday's story and mission, and finally peeked at the jewelry. But this time I was totally sold;)

If you haven't heard of Noonday, like I hadn't, let me talk them up for a second. Their purpose says that "Together we are building a flourishing world where children are cherished, we are connected, women are empowered, and people have jobs". All of the jewelry is handmade by over 2000 artisans from ten different developing countries. They use items like recycled artillery pieces from Ethiopia,  metalwork in Peru, Water Buffalo Horn in Vietnam, and Tagua seeds in Ecuador. Noonday reps travel the world to find these artisan entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating opportunity in their communities.  They believe in the dignity and design of their work, creating dignified jobs as a powerful way to alleviate poverty. So basically, the jewelry is beautiful, handmade, and is a part of a great cause. 


Noonday Collection's first trunk show was hosted by founder, Jessica Honegger, in her home as a means to raise money to adopt her son and third child from Rwanda. The style and purpose of the products drew an overwhelming response, and the business quickly grew beyond a fundraiser. Thanks to Noonday sales, Jessica and her hubby brought home their son Jack in October of 2011 and orphan care and prevention remain a core value.

Melissa said I could use this image which is a good representation of what Noonday is all about (click to see larger version):

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This company is quite different than the rest, no? 

Here is where you can check them out, make a purchase, host a trunk show or become an Ambassador. Noonday's Spring line launches today, so have fun shopping!

But what do I think of the product itself? I picked the Clustered Charm Necklace after browsing every single long necklace on the site. I have been looking for something long and sort of 'fun' to wear with simple tops and this necklace totally fits the bill. 

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I don't own much yellow gold jewelry which makes this even more unique for my own collection, and I am in love with the pretty charms. It feels kind of eclectic and like I'm a cool mom when I'm wearing it;)
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I think it will pair well with many of my tops and I'll probably just wear my trusty stud earrings with this piece. It has a lot going on and can speak for itself in a simple outfit, and I already know that Porter wants to eat this necklace whole (will have to distract him with another sparkly object, I guess).
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The necklace feels substantial and expensive without being too heavy and it's just the right length for me. I really do love it!

Now for the giveaway portion of this post. Melissa is offering a $50 voucher to go towards the item of your choice on Noonday's site. Just enter the Rafflecopter drawing below from now until Tuesday, February 24th. I will email the winner directly at that point and you'll see her name on the widget once the drawing is complete.

Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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