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Month: April 2009

Kind Notes Review and Giveaway

This giveaway has now ended.

kindnotes1Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and I’ve seen several people scrambling to come up with the perfect gift for their mother, wife, or grandmother.  That’s why I was thrilled to receive a sample of KindNotes in the mail last week.  I was asked to review KindNotes as part of the Momfluence Mother’s Day Gift Guide.  Not only is it a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, it is a perfect gift for any time you just want to let someone know that you care.

So what are KindNotes?  KindNotes are a container of tiny inspirational messages, each enclosed in a decorative envelope.  Each package contains 31 notes, enough to open one each day of the month.  The container, envelopes, and messages are fully customizable.  You can choose the type of container, color of ribbon to embelish it, and pattern of the envelopes used to contain your notes.  Then you can choose from over 400 inspirational messages, quotes, and proverbs or you can choose to receive blank notecards to write your own messages in for a more personal gift.  For an additional fee, you can also have the messages hand written by KindNotes.

kindnotes2The KindNotes I received were specialized for Mother’s Day and contained notes such as “Everything that I am today is because of you” and “Thank you for all the wonderful and amazing years you’ve given us.”  The notes came in a beautiful glass jar, adorned with a pink ribbon that matched the pink pattern on the envelopes.  My only complaint is that the filling below the envelopes, while attractive, takes up most of the jar and makes it look as though you are getting very little product.

Overall, I think that KindNotes is a great product.  The company is family-owned and each package is individually handmade to ensure quality.  With all of the customization options, they could easily be given for any occassion.

So, are you ready to hear the best part?  KindNotes has agreed to give away one fully customized (up to $45 value) KindNotes to one lucky reader! Keep it for yourself or give it away as a gift.  It’s your choice!  To enter the contest you must do one of the following:

  1. Write a blog post linking to this post and, then leave a comment with a link to your post.
  2. Tweet about this contest including a link to, then leave a comment with a link to the tweet.  Feel free to copy and paste the following:@deew27 is giving away a great gift from!  Find out how to enter:

Contest will end Monday, May 4, 2009 Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. Central.  One winner will be chosen via and notified by e-mail.  Entries that do not meet the requirements when the contest closes will be deleted before a winner is chosen.

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I ♥ Faces – Week 16 – Reflection

I’m getting my entry in at the last minute for this week’s I ♥ Faces weekly challenge. This week’s photo isn’t the best, but when I saw the week’s theme I decided I had to use it. Last weekend we went to the park and Zach loved looking at his reflection in this silly mirror.


Don’t forget to check out the other entries over at I ♥ Faces! There are some great ones this week!

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13 Months


Dear Evie,

You turned 13 months old just over a week ago.  Your 13 month birthday came and went with little fanfare since it just happened to fall the day after we buried your Great Grandfather “Papop”.  Since our last minute trip to Louisiana, I haven’t had any free time to sit down and write your monthly letter so I’m going to try to do this as quickly as possible just so I can have something to look back on years from now.

It seems there is something magical about that 1st birthday.  Until the day you turned one you were still my little baby.  Now you’re suddenly a big girl – one that walks, and talks, and wants to feed yourself without any help.  It’s all going by so fast that I can barely keep up.  At your one year wellness check you were 31 1/4 inches tall and weighed 22 lbs 11 oz.  It seems that nearly every day you have outgrown another outfit or pair of shoes.

A little over two weeks ago you stopped nursing.  We had been weaning gradually, but it didn’t seem you really wanted to let go quite yet of your special time with Mama.  You finally went about three days without it, then had a bad night where I sat up with you for over an hour before finally giving in and letting you nurse.  After that you never really tried again.  Sometimes you stick your hand down the front of my shirt (and if I dare try to remove it you let me know that is not acceptable) which seems to give you some kind of comfort.  I’m sure it looks a little odd when we’re out in public, but as long as it is just a transitional thing for you I don’t mind so much.  I have to admit I was a little sad yesterday when I packed away my breast pump and supplies for good.  I miss it because it was our special uninteruppted time together, but at the same time I am enjoying seeing you become more independent.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying having my body to myself again too.  The next stop is trying to break you from the bottles.  I’m willing to give you some time on that though.  The bottles still allow me to get some snuggle time in.

The only complaint I have (and really it’s only a half complaint because I don’t really mind it so much) is that you have suddenly become extremely clingy.  I’m not sure if it is related to the nursing situation or just a developmental thing but you want Mama nearly all the time.  When you’re in a clingy mood you will not let me put you down at all.  On very rare occasions you will allow your Daddy to hold you for short periods of time, but then it is back to me.  You actually cried at day care drop off a couple of times lately, which is very unusual for you because you LOVE day care (most of the time you would rather stay there than go home with me).  The trip to Louisiana seemed to make the clinginess even worse.  You were pretty much attached to my hip the entire time.  You did eventually warm up to Granny and Papa and would get down in the floor to go play but if anyone else tried to talk to you you would latch back on to me and hide your face.  That right there is part of your Mama’s personality and I really hope you are able to outgrow it because when you’re an adult you aren’t allowed to do that anymore.

You are talking more and more (when we’re at home and you aren’t being shy) and I just love listening to you.  It is obvious that you are putting meaning into the words you say now instead of just repeating sounds.  Just in the last couple of weeks you have started using “yes” (which is usually with a quick nod) and “no” (though it sounds more like “nah”) when I ask you a question.  Sometimes you even shake your head and say “nah, nah, nah” when you get caught doing something you know you aren’t supposed to be doing.  It’s so cute it makes me laugh even when I’m trying to scold you.  You also say “up” when you want to be picked up or want up in your high chair to eat.  Last week when I was trying to get your brother up in the morning, you patted him and said “up, up, up” until he uncovered his head and looked at you.  You also say “down” when I’m holding you sometimes because you just want to be on the floor where you can play.

You are getting better and better at walking.  You really want to be able to run and keep up with the big kids, but you still stumble now and then.  I have noticed in the last few days that you have been able to stand yourself back up without holding on to anything though.  Before long I imagine you and your brother will be racing each other through the house and I’ll be yelling at you to slow down just as I do to him.

As each month passes, I watch you and your brother get closer and closer.  I love standing outside the door in the morning listening to the two of you giggle and talk together before I come in to get you up.  You are starting to play together more and even though you steal his toys and frustrate him, Zach loves playing with you.  I see signs of that protective big brother coming out in him and it makes me so proud.  Even though he doesn’t like to admit it all the time, his actions show just how much he loves you.  And that huge grin you get on your face when he talks to you?  It shows just how much you love him too.  It makes my heart dance with joy.  I know there will come a time when the two of you fight like cats and dogs so I’m trying to soak up every ounce of love I can get now.

I am just so very proud of you and all the things you are learning.  I love watching your personality develop as you get to be more independent.  Even though you look more and more like your dad as you get older, you seem to get your personality more from me.  It’s almost like looking into a little tiny mirror some days, which is both amazing and terrifying.

I love you with all of my heart.

Love always,

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A Long Week

Last Tuesday, April 14, 2009, we got the call that Hubby’s grandfather had passed away.  It didn’t really come as a surprise as his health had been failing for quite a while.  While death is never a happy occasion, I have to say that I’m very glad that he is no longer suffering and has moved on to a better place.

I didn’t know Papop very well, but I’ll never forget the way he welcomed me with open arms when we were first introduced.  He always made me feel welcome and loved both in his home and his family.  Papop could build anything.  He nearly doubled the size of his house with all the additions he made. He was well known in the community and even added an office onto his home (with an outdoor entrance) for his Notary services. He was also a very proud Veteran who served his country.

With heavy hearts Hubby and I loaded up the car on Wednesday for the long drive to Louisiana. The trip took a little longer than expected, but after a few hiccups, we arrived in Kaplan Thursday afternoon just in time to change clothes and head to the funeral home for visitation.

The funeral service was Friday, complete with a military salute. It was a nice service, although I missed quite a bit of it because I had to take Evie out when she started getting noisy. Tears were shed and love was shared.

The most difficult part for me was trying to explain to Zach what was going on. While he seemed to understand, he kept asking me when Papop would “get his life back”. The concept of forever is apparently still hard for him to grasp. I’m guessing it will take a while for it all to sink in.

Hubby and I decided to stay through the weekend and spend some time with the family that we rarely get to see. This was indeed the best part of the trip. We really enjoyed getting to visit with everyone and especially enjoyed getting to meet our 3-month-old niece, Maggie. Zach and Evie got to play with all of their cousins on that side of the family and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Perrin Kids

The downside of the trip was that we discovered we were in dire need for new tires and ended up having to purchase them while we were there. We had to buy two and will have to replace the other two (along with fixing the air conditioner) before our next trip planned in June.

All in all the trip was bittersweet. We loved getting to spend time with our family, but sad that another member of it was gone.

We got home Monday night at midnight, unloaded the car and went straight to bed. There is so much to catch up on after being gone for nearly a week. I have yet to even unpack our bags. My house is a disaster. I’m behind at work. I still haven’t caught up on sleep. Oh, and Evie is suddenly super clingy which doesn’t help with the whole catching up thing.

One thing I have been reminded of this week though, is to be thankful for everything I have. I have a wonderful husband, two amazing kids, family that is always willing to help out when I need it, and loving in-laws that I wouldn’t trade for the world. In the big scheme of things, that’s all a person really needs.

p.s. I’m way behind on posting over there, but have a great giveaway going on over on my reviews page!

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Mother's Day Mega Bash!

Entries for this contest are now closed. Winner will be announced on 5/1 at the Twitter party beginning 8:00pm Central and posted here following the party.

megabash_boxThis post is part of the Mother’s Day Mega Bash being hosted by  Make sure and read to the end for some amazing giveaways and join the #fitfam Twitter party live on May 1st at 6pm cst/9pm est!

I never thought much about family fitness until I was pregnant with my first child.  Of course I didn’t have much reason to think about it until then but it suddenly became very important to me.  I’ve always been a bit overweight and other than a few short spurts here and there, fitness has never really been a priority in my life.  It took a pregnancy and the birth of my son to figure out  just how important exercise and a healthy diet really are.  I realized that I don’t want to be the fat mom sitting on the park bench while my children run and play.  I want to be running and playing with them.  I taught myself to eat a healthier diet and exercised when I could find the time, but eventually I got off track.  A second pregnancy only got me more off of my health track and left me with an extra fifty pounds.

One of the things that really helped me stick to my goals before was knowing that my child was watching my efforts and learning.  I know that being a good example is the best way to teach my children to eat healthy foods and exercise.  With our busy schedule it is really hard to find time to schedule physical activities but we do love to have “dance parties” in the living room or stop at the park for a few minutes when the weather is nice.  My 3-year-old also loves to play the “exercise game” (Wii Fit) whenever he gets a chance but that’s about the extent of our fitness plan at this point.  I’m really excited to have discovered the We Fit Families forum and to have a place to get new ideas of things we can do together as a family.  There are also some great healthy recipes there that I’m hoping will help put my family back to healthier eating and help my husband and I shed some of the extra pounds we’ve collected.

gmarocksteeAs part of the We Fit Families Mother’s Day Mega Bash, I’m going to be giving away a Grandma Rocks T-shirt from Grandma’s Shoppe!  The winner gets to choose ONE of the following: Short Sleeve t-shirt for kids in size 2-4, 6-8, 10-12, or 14-16, Short Sleeve t-shirt for adults in size S, M, or L, or Infant Onesie in size 6,12 or 18 months.

To enter the contest you must have a Twitter account. Leave your Twitter ID in the comments section for each entry and do one (or all) of the following:

  1. Leave a comment telling me what activities your family does together to stay active and fit or a comment about a special grandma in your life.
  2. Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment here letting me know you did.
  3. Post about the giveaway on Twitter then leave a comment here telling me you did.  Just copy and paste the following message:  @deew27 is giving away a fun Grandma Rocks T-shirt as part of the #fitfam Blog Bash Twitter Party!
  4. Blog about the giveaway and then leave a comment here with a permanent link to the post (not just a link to your site).
  5. Stumble this post on StumbleUpon and leave a comment here including your StumbleUpon ID.

Please leave your Twitter ID along with each entry as winners will be announced at the #fitfam Twitter Party on May 1st.  You do not have to be present at the party to win, but there will be door prizes!  Each item above that you participate in will get you one entry in the contest to win the Grandma Rocks T-shirt.  You can enter as many times as you like up until April 30th at 11:59 est.  Winner will be chosen by according to comment number.  Any entry not including the required information will be deleted prior to choosing winner.

After you’ve entered the contest here, be sure to check out the list below of all of the other giveaways being held as part of the Mother’s Day Mega Bash!  We Fit Families is giving away a grand prize sponsored by McCormick’s Spices including a set of Super Spices, DietFoodsRX book, measuring spoon set, and a $200 gift certificate to the winner’s local grocery store so they can put Super Spice tips to use!  Be sure to RSVP for the Twitter party on 5/1 and find out how to enter to win the Grand Prize!

You can find the other giveaways at these sites:

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Madeline Alice Spohr


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