Saturday, November 30, 2013

Michelle's Pregnancy Journal: Week 39



Doctor Appointments:
November 27 (38.4 weeks) 39 week check up
December 4   (39.4 weeks)

Based off my LMP I have a due date of Dec 8. Ultrasound measured for a due date of Dec 7. I was tracking ovulation with temping and that gives me a due date of Dec 11. My Dr is choosing to go with Dec 7 and I there fore will be moving these posts to Saturdays and going with my Dr's choice. 

Baby Names:
We all know now its a girl so HER name is Mya Sue 

Food cravings: 
I've been sick with a virus that my kids first passed around, so I haven't had much appetite. Steak N Shake spicy chicken sandwich and a Peppermint/Chocolate Chip shake sounds mighty good though!

Symptoms: 
FALSE LABOR! This has happened twice now and I really don't like it. I let everyone know what's going on and then it stops so I'm not a fan of false labor at all. I didn't have it with the other girls so its new for me.

Cervical Check (38.4 weeks) high and closed. 

Weight gain:
10 week weight: 225lb
13 week weight: 228lb
16 week weight: 230lb
20 week weight: 232lb
24 week weight: 237lb
28 week weight: 240lb
32 week weight: 243lb
34 week weight: 243lb
36 week weight: 240lb
37 week weight: 242lb 
39 week weight: 241lb

Gender prediction tests: 
Child's hairline-[Girl]
Intelligender (at 10w1d)-[Girl]
Chinese Calendar From BabyCenter-[Boy] WRONG! 
(Some I did said girl, just depends on the site)
High heartbeat (at 10w1d)-[Girl] 
Heart Beat is now in mid 140s compared to 170s at 10w

Sleep:
My sleep isn't too bad besides potty breaks. I've also increased my water a lot so that makes me tend to go more as well.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Crafty Friday: Week 9 (Christmas Tree Treats)

We all love everything about Christmas. The presents, the treats, and the crafts are fun ways to celebrate Christmas! I found this cute little craft/treat online and knew we would have so much fun making and eating them.

 
Materials:
  • sugar cones
  • green or white icing
  • candy

First you'll need to coat the cones in the icing. Make sure to get a thick coat on these if you're using heavy candies like skittles and M&Ms. 

Then you'll need to get all of your decorating candies ready.
Here's our finished trees!

Cyber Monday Sneak Peek with NextStepBabyMonitors

Paid Compensation for this post as a NextStepBabyMonitors Ambassador 

Cyber Monday - Sneak Peek!

I love Cyber Monday because I'm not a fan of fighting a crowd right after a full tummy of Thanksgiving feast. Since I also have small children, its harder to find a babysitter and not have to go alone when shopping. Luckily Cyber Monday is a great alternative for the people like me that would rather click to purchase, and NextStep Baby Monitors is helping you accomplish some shopping as well!


This holiday season grab a fun high-tech gift that benefits the whole family --Smartphone Monitoring. Your one day chance to grab a smartphone baby monitor with LIFETIME tech support for under $99.

NextStepIP from NextStepBabyMonitors provides the convenience of smart phone monitoring allowing you to access your camera while at home or away. NextStepIP will not only last through your child's early years, but it can be used as a monitor for pets, your home, and even your elderly loved ones. View your camera from any iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, as well as any PC or Mac computer.

NextStepBabyMonitors is a family owned company based out of Southern California, who believes that when it comes to your child, compromising is not an option. NextStep gives you the highest level of personal support and specialized knowledge when it comes to baby monitor technology. If you're looking for a monitor that will pan and tilt so that you can see around the room, has clear night vision so you can see in the dark, or has clear audio so you can hear exactly what your child is doing, then NextStepIP is for you.

Are you not very technology savvy? Not to worry! What sets NextStep apart is their lifetime personalized support. If you ever change internet providers or get a new phone, NextStep is there to make sure your smartphone monitor is always working just how it should.

NextStepIP Pro 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fruit.0 Review

Thank you fruit.0 for the samples to help with this review
Like any busy professionals with demanding jobs, we spend loooong hours camped in our offices with fewer and fewer breaks for proper meals. Of course, vending machines full of candies and jars stuffed with cookies were always around to silence a hungry stomach. The office kitchen would also have some fruit but no one knew when it was brought in and the brown spots on the apple were less reassuring. Our wish was simple. Why can’t we have a healthy alternative snack that tastes good, that is full of nutrition and is prepared in a way that’s easy to carry and enjoy whenever, wherever we needed it? The answer was fruit.0! A delicious, organic fruit snack with none of the artificial stuff. We absolutely enjoy these snacks and we hope you do as well.



I'm all about looking for on-the-go healthy snacks to carry in my purse. Since I go "rummage-sale-shopping" once a month, I usually get up very early around 5am. After getting myself and 2 children together, I don't have time to make a healthy breakfast for us. When I first saw and read about fruit.0, I was all about trying them. They are healthy, organic, and much easier to throw into my purse when I'm on the go. This snack is made up of 100% fruits, with no added sugar and preservatives. Fruit.0 is also rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. Since you can eat these straight from the package, there is no mess or preparation time.

Mango, Pear, Pineapple This is a delicious snack made from mouth-watering mango, pear and pineapple. Besides enjoying its naturally sweet taste, you will get 80% of your daily vitamin C needs in each pouch. As always, all our snacks are USDA organic certified and 100% fruit with no sugar, flavor or artificial preservatives added. 

Ingredients include: Organic Mangoes, Organic Pears, Organic Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate 

Usually I don't care for Mango, but I was up to trying it out. I'm actually surprised that I really liked this flavor combination. The pineapple doesn't overpower the pear like I thought it would. You're able to get a taste of all 3 fruit. The consistency isn't thick but not watery either. It's sweet, yet has a tangy taste to it.

Blueberry, Blackberry, Banana If you like berries and bananas, this is for you. You will enjoy a snack that is rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. Of course, all our snacks are USDA organic certified and 100% fruit with no sugar, flavor or artificial preservatives added. Enjoy this delicious snack with none of the guilt.

Ingredients include: Organic Bananas, Organic Blackberries, Organic Blueberries, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate

I love everything about the Blueberry/Blackberry/Banana Fruit.0. It was delicious. Even my 7 month old enjoyed it after he took mine away from me. These fruits are amazing when paired together. You even get that same tangy aftertaste with the Fruit.0 as you do after eating real blackberries from the vine. The banana makes this Fruit.0 a little thicker than the Mango/Pear/Pineapple, but I don't have a problem with the thickness. My 7 month old really enjoyed eating this one, and actually cried when there was no more left.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Otterbox for iPad & iPhone Review

Thank you Otterbox for the iPad & iPhone case to help with this review


As we approach the upcoming Holiday season, Mama's Baby Cupcakes has teamed up with several companies we think would be a great fit to purchase/wear/give to others in the upcoming months. Thanks to each and every sponsor showcased in our Holiday Gift Guide, and if you see the cute button above then you know its Holiday approved!

We design and manufacture protective cases for smartphones, tablets and mobile technology. Outdoorsy, professional, clumsy and busy — just like you — we don’t leave home without protection and hope you don’t either. OtterBox protection can withstand the worst situation you never imagined getting into.


After having iPhone's for years, getting an iPad made sense to us, especially after seeing my mother-in-law's and how kid friendly they can be. While my mother-in-law has a cover, we didn't want to buy one directly from AT&T, and have since noticed how much a case is needed with small children playing games and poking at the screen. 


How beautiful is this grey/pink case you see above?! When I was looking on the Otterbox website and saw it, I knew it was meant to be and I anxiously awaited for it to arrive!

Since the iPad was a birthday present for me, I told my husband he had no say so in the case color (hehe!) Once it arrived in the mail I couldn't wait to get it on the iPad. Our iPad is the white front and grey back so I already knew the grey would look good, but after cleaning the screen and making sure all was ready to go, I was thrilled to see how the pink looked since grey/pink combinations happen to be a favorite of mine as well.


The Defender Series iPad case employs multi-layer technology built with high-quality materials to create a rock-solid protective solution. The inner shell of the iPad case is composed of high-impact polycarbonate and includes a foam interior that delivers added shock absorption and protects the back of your iPad from scratches. The rugged silicone outer-layer absorbs impact from bumps and shocks while the textured exterior provides enhanced grip. The built-in screen protector prevents scratches, smudges and fingerprints from getting on your screen. The integrated shield stand acts as a protective cover on the front or the back and doubles as a kickstand for typing or viewing


Not only was I happy to have a case, but one that also comes with a stand for easier use is a huge bonus. While I prefer to still blog on the lap top, I do answer emails and quick Facebook questions with the iPad and I'm always holding it with one hand or laying in my lap. After a couple minutes that would get pretty old, so now the option to be able to use the cover as a kickstand has been great for me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Preparing for Baby: Keeping a Clean Home


One thing I struggle with as a SAHM is a nice clean home. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not "Susie Home Maker" and have a spotless house, but its clean. With a new baby arriving, everyone wants to "nest" and clean as much as possible, but I'm a little different. When I prepare for a new child, I want to make sure my home is not only clean, but also in order so things are easily found by my family for things they might need. 

The most important thing I do when making sure my home is ready for others to help with my children is to ensure their clothes are in order. I like to make sure all clothes (or as much as possible) are clean and in their place for WHATEVER may arise when I'm at the hospital. Since Madison is 6 and McKenzie is 4 1/2, this does make things a lot easier. They're more self reliant and they know where things should be so that is even less stress on me.  

When dealing with this and having a toddler however, I always feel the intense need to have everything in a specific spot to ensure an easy time for others in my home. Toddlers can go through multiple outfits in a day, so obviously you'll want everything nice and neat for others to find. 

Talkin' Tattoos Tuesday: week 39


Welcome to week 39 of Talkin' Tattoos Tuesday! I did an intro post where I explained my goal in posting these every week and how you can submit your photo to be featured. Check out the post if you need to refresh your memory. Since I've went through all my tattoos, now I'll be sharing photos I've found online, and the occasional viewer submission when they come in. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Rag-A-Muffinz Review

Thank you Rag-A-Muffinz for the shirts to help with this review


As we approach the upcoming Holiday season, Mama's Baby Cupcakes has teamed up with several companies we think would be a great fit to purchase/wear/give to others in the upcoming months. Thanks to each and every sponsor showcased in our Holiday Gift Guide, and if you see the cute button above then you know its Holiday approved!


Rag-A-Muffinz (formally The Itty Bitty Boutique) is a one woman business ran by Shanda and is an Online-Based Children's Boutique offering a variety of fun/funky clothing for little ones in a huge variety of sizes and designs. 


After looking for a couple of months for Brantley a shirt to wear for Christmas pictures, I was told about Rag-A-Muffinz. I was truly amazed at the amount of designs there was to choose from. It literally took me a week of going through them to decide on what I wanted. I went with a onesie that says "I ate Santa's cookies" for our Christmas pictures. To me, this is hilarious since Brantley is a chunky baby. I also got a onesie with a football and Brantley's name, just because I thought it was adorable.

In the past when I've bought personalized clothing, it came in a plastic bag. Other times it came in nothing but a bubble mailer. So when I received my package from Rag-A-Muffinz, I didn't expect it to be wrapped so nicely. My onesies came folded up neatly in a burlap drawstring bag. If you're thinking about buying these as a gift, you won't need to wrap it. I've never seen another company that put this much thought into the packaging. My four year old daughter loves using the bag as a little purse now.

Rag-A-Muffinz press their designs onto Carters shirts and onesies so they are very true to size. The colors are vibrant and eye-catching. These onesies photograph beautifully and are great quality! I've got many comments on how cute these are and lots of people ask where I got them. The Santa cookies onesie always gets a little laugh out of everyone.

Rag-A-Muffinz includes washing instructions which I've found especially helpful! I've bought outfits in the past that did not include instructions, so I ended up washing them wrong and ruining the product.

Bob and Larry’s ABC’s iPad App Review & Giveaway 11/29

I received a promotional code from Storypanda to help with this review.

It's important to know our ABCs - luckily we have Bob and Larry to help us learn everything from A to Z! Our favorite VeggieTales characters guide us through the alphabet while Larry the Cucumber narrates the whole adventure. Featuring animations, sounds and 3-D effects the app is a fully interactive and educational experience. 

We recently purchased an iPad, and have had fun finding educational games for our girls to play and learn with. Technology has come such a long way since I was a kid, so having true educational apps is a must for a us with our children and the iPad. When I got the pitch to review the brand new VeggieTales app, I knew it would be a a hit for our kids. 

As soon as I downloaded the app, I started playing on it. Our kids were in bed for the night so my husband and I went through the book and looked around at its features and to learn more about what all it has to offer from a children's point of view.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Preparing for Baby: Meals ahead of Time



Here I am, two months away from delivering our fourth son and my mind is spinning with all the preparations that have to be done between now and then. Thankfully I can always rely on mother nature to infuse me with some “nesting energy” to ensure that I get the bottom of the dishwasher cleaned (done), wipe off the tracks on the sliding glass doors (done - wouldn't want the baby to see that kind of dirt) and finish other completely senseless and random chores.

One of the more important planning that needs to be finalized before the baby’s arrival is FOOD! The baby’s meals are taken care of - he will be breastfed, so that one was easy. However, mama needs good nutrition in order to keep her milk production flowing and healing from her c-section. The rest of the family needs their energy too in order to process and properly relate to this new family dynamics. There is nothing worse than a low-blood sugar meltdown right before mealtime. 

I have three ways in which I plan for meals, and I normally start working on step 1 several weeks prior to the scheduled delivery. The reason for my advanced planning is that I want to capitalize on the small boost of nesting energy, and also because babies don’t always adhere to scheduled events, as they have been known pick their own birth-date. 

Step 1: Cook and freeze. I am unfortunately not the best friend with our kitchen and all its appliances. However, I have over time mastered the crock pot, so that is where I will turn for this process. On the weekends, or during the day while I am at work I will make soups or stews - all healthy meals packed with vegetables and protein that can easily be thawed and heated. I try to freeze my concoctions in small portion sizes, so I can easily prepare a quick lunch for myself and the kids, or make a meal for the entire family by using two frozen portions. I keep these pre-made meals rather simple since I can always jazz them up with a fancy salad and some fresh bread from the bakery. But the main point of this step is to have food ready for the days when my husband has returned to work, the helpful relatives have left and we are now truly on our own! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Michelle's Pregnancy Journal: Week 38


Doctor Appointments:
November 20 (37.4 weeks) 38 week check up (with nurse) FORGOT
November 27 (38.4 weeks) 39 week check up

Based off my LMP I have a due date of Dec 8. Ultrasound measured for a due date of Dec 7. I was tracking ovulation with temping and that gives me a due date of Dec 11. My Dr is choosing to go with Dec 7 and I there fore will be moving these posts to Saturdays and going with my Dr's choice. 

Baby Names:
We all know now its a girl so HER name is Mya Sue 

Food cravings: 
I can't really think of many cravings besides loving the smell of my washing machine right after I wash a load of clothes LOL


Symptoms: 
FALSE LABOR! Yesterday I had "contractions" for 45 minutes and thought I was possibly in early labor. After getting baths for our girls and walking around cleaning, they stopped. I go to the Dr Wednesday and am debating the cervical check or not because it most likely will send me in to labor like it did with Madison and Macyn

Weight gain:
10 week weight: 225lb
13 week weight: 228lb
16 week weight: 230lb
20 week weight: 232lb
24 week weight: 237lb
28 week weight: 240lb
32 week weight: 243lb
34 week weight: 243lb
36 week weight: 240lb (I think from being sick)
37 week weight: 242lb 

Gender prediction tests: 
Child's hairline-[Girl]
Intelligender (at 10w1d)-[Girl]
Chinese Calendar From BabyCenter-[Boy] WRONG! 
(Some I did said girl, just depends on the site)
High heartbeat (at 10w1d)-[Girl] 
Heart Beat is now in mid 140s compared to 170s at 10w

Sleep:
My hips and lower back have been hurting more than normal (I'm sure preparing for birth) so I wake up time with my outer hips feeling like they're burning if I sleep on one side or the other for too long. When I get up to go potty it can also be hard to get up because I'm really sore. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Crafty Friday: Week 8 (Play Makeup)

When my daughter turned 3, she started to get very interested in my makeup. She would beg and beg to wear some. Not wanting her to be in that just yet, I bought her some play makeup from the store. It was plastic, didn't look real and easily fell apart. I found online how to make play makeup and it was the easiest and most useful craft I've ever done. Your daughters will love this!

Materials:
  • Makeup containers
  • Nail polish



Instructions:
Clean the makeup out of the containers. (rubbing alcohol and Q-tips work best.)
Fill each compartment with any color nail polish. Make sure to fill to the top.
Let dry in a dry, cool area for 24-48 hours or until completely dry.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful for our Followers Giveaway Hop #Thankful4You


Welcome to the Thankful for our Followers Giveaway Hop hosted by So Easy Being Green.
YOU are the reason that we host giveaways so it's time to show our appreciation to you... our readers and blog followers. Normally we offer giveaways with entries to help boost our blog, but this Hop is all about making it easier on YOU. Each blogger in this Hop is offering a wonderful prize, worth at least $25 and ALL giveaways have only ONE way to enter! Hop around to them all as we show you how we're Thankful for YOU!

Here at SnorgTees, we specialize in pop-culture inspired, random, and all around funny t-shirt designs. We started this company in 2004 out of our basement, and faked everybody into thinking that we own an actual business. We've even shipped a shirt to NASA. That means space. So, technically, we're a universal company.


I absolutely love my SnorgTees shirt I reviewed. SnorgTees offeres a variety of funny shirts to choose from in kids, and adults sizes, with the option of hoodies as well. 

I thought SnorgTees would be a great option for this giveaway hop because they're a fun company that has many options to choose from so that means YOU get what YOU want vs me offering a certain prize. 

OTHER EXAMPLES!

Enter below for a chance to win your choice of shirt in size and print. 
Open to US only

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Combi All-in-One Activity Walker

 Thank you Combi for the walker to help with this review
As we approach the upcoming Holiday season, Mama's Baby Cupcakes has teamed up with several companies we think would be a great fit to purchase/wear/give to others in the upcoming months. Thanks to each and every sponsor showcased in our Holiday Gift Guide, and if you see the cute button above then you know its Holiday approved!
Combi USA
The all-in-one activity walker with a colorful automotive theme provides a playful and stimulating experience for your toddler. This features a lockable bounce feature, anti skid pads, steering wheel with light and sounds and a attached fun mirror. The snack play tray under the removable hood makes it a safe and comfortable environment for your child. A wipe able seat cushion makes cleaning easy. This is recommended for children that can sit upright unassisted.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Operation Smile & CampusBookRentals.com

Sponsored Post


 Operation Smile is an amazing company that goes to different countries to help children with deformities get the medical intervention they need for a more normal, healthy life. 

Since 1982, Operation Smile, through the help of dedicated medical volunteers, has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities. 

You can donate to Operation Smile to help make a difference to the lives of others that don't normally have the chance to get help. Every time you rent from CampusBookRentals.com, you're helping donate since part of your proceeds go to the charity and get children just that much closer to help. 




Books can be so expensive!!! You use them for a short period of time and then they sit and collect dust. CampusBookRentals.com is a great way for students on a budget to rent the books they need, save money, and then turn around and send them back when done. The best part is that you can treat the books like you own them because they allow highlighting marks with no risk of a "damage fee". How awesome does it sound to save 40-90% off retail of books, get free shipping both ways, have the books for as long as you need, and highlight needed sections?!

You're able to select your renting period, whether its one semester or the whole school year, and then you get a 15 day grace period if you need the book a few extra days. If you decide you need the book longer than expected, you simply get online and extend the rental period and you're all set until the new due date. They also offer 30 day risk free trial period of the books. After a couple weeks you've decided a particular book isn't needed, you can simply return it for a refund, which then frees up money for other books you need!

If you go to CampusBookRentals.com's sister site RentBack.com, you can now rent out your owned books to other students and make money!! 

This is such a genius idea! You find out about renting your books from them and yet you have old books laying around, so why not send them in to make a little extra money? You could put the money toward renting new books for other classes, and then don't have the clutter of the old books in the way! 

All you have to do is find the book on their site, print out a shipping label, and mail the book in. From then on, as long as your book(s) are in demand, CampusBookRentals.com takes care of everything else and all you do is rake in the extra cash. 


Since we're nearing Christmas, I think this would be a great time to clear out clutter, check to see what books are no longer needed, and take advantage of the great offers I mentioned above. Everyone can use extra cash around the holidays right?!