I'll Always Hold Your Hand

My baby girl is already a month old, time is flying by as the days pass me by without a real end.  I am always sleepless, tired, and it all seems like a dream..a wonderful dream. 
But the best part, it isn't a dream. :)
 From now until forever I will always hold your hand my little girl, mommy loves you!

Milk Anytime Anywhere! #MilkUnleashed

When I think milk, I honestly think about how much I love it, but also how allergic my son is to it.  We have become very strict with allowing food he's allergic to entering our home, so we don't allow milk in our fridge anymore because of obvious dangers now that he is older.  So why am a fan of shelf safe milk?  I can count on my family coming over with their shelf safe milk in their bags for the little ones in our family and keeping it in their.  Our home stays safe.  We all know how important it is to have milk in our diet, personally for me I thought I had to have some milk in my diet while I was pregnant and now that I am exclusively nursing so I was able to when I was out of our home.  Milk on the go that I don't open or drink at home is great convenience. 
Milk was always a huge part of my diet growing up, and now considered a treat for me these days.  Shelf safe milk makes getting nutrients that everyone needs easy. One carton of shelf safe milk has eight grams of protein and nine essential nutrients – calcium, A, D and B12, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin and zinc. You might be wondering what exactly is shelf safe milk?  Shelf safe milk is real milk with no additives or preservatives that requires no refrigeration until it’s opened. Just Grade A wholesome milk. Makes it convenient to have milk anytime, anywhere.
For us, family can come over with their shelf safe milk in their bags for the little ones, and my home stays safe for my son.  For those without allergies, it is perfect for lunchboxes, diaper bags and purses, for on-the-go enjoyment. You can even freeze the single serving packages the night before and next morning toss it in your bag to have later as a healthy drink..for yourself or your kids. I love buying in bulk and I'd defintely recommend buying shelf safe milk in bulk to have on your shelf, in your pantry, or anywhere in your home.  We always have dairy free milk in our pantry for our son, it is very convenient to not have to store it in the fridge.  You save money, and you save many trips to the store.  Also having healthy options around keeps the kids healthy. 
"It’s a hassle-free, convenient way to enjoy milk. It’s milk, unleashed." 
Learn more about Milk Unleashed by following them on twitter, and becoming a fan on facebook.  You can find out where to buy here


*This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Milk Unleashed blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here. 

Let the Gift Finder Help You Get the Pefect Gift from NOVICA #Giveaway

You've heard about Novica before, one of the leading fair trade artisan websites that works with National Geographic that give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market.  I'm excited to share another giveaway with you!  In celebration of their new way to search on their site, you will be able to win a $40 gift certificate to Novica just in time for the holiday shopping you still need to finish up! 
Novica has just about everything you may want, all unique and great products but because of the many options , browsing around could get lost or overwhelmed quickly so they've solved the problem with a new Gift Finder.  Many easy ways to narrow your search for the perfect gift, you'll be pointed to exactly where you want to be.  Whether you are looking for a Romantic Gift for Her, Cooking Gifts for the Animal Lover Man, or Handbag Gifts for the Adventurer the search engine will help you narrow it down.  Much like the items you will find at Novica, the categories can get real specific and unique to every individual. 

Use the Rafflecopter below for your easy entries! :)  Giveaway is live for seven days, and gift code expires 12/31/12.  Good Luck!!

*I received a gift code for purpose of review, all opinions are my own. No other compensation was provided.

Hot Holiday Picks - HEXBUG Warriors Battle Arena Review

I have been very busy at home lately as many of you know.  First occupied by pregnancy, now with my newborn and toddler, my days have no end and have been very much taken over.  The holiday season is upon us, and I am finally getting decorations up at home and getting into our Holiday Hot Picks to share with you all this year. 

First up, Hexbug Warriors!  You are probably familiar with Hexbugs, but have you heard of Hexbug Warriors yet?  My son already loved the bugs, the Nano Hexbug, but his new favorite are the warriors.  We got to try out the Hexbug Warriors Battle Arena recently, and all the kids in the family can't get enough.  A huge hit for all ages around here, all the parents want to check them out, and kids can't get stop having little battles as they customize each little robot to their liking.

Small enough that my son just grabs and takes it everywhere to have mini battles with his cousins, and a perfect toy that keeps me happy as it doesn't take up much space at home.  The arena fits right in my purse, a great toy on the go as well.  The Battle Arena comes with two warriors, two expandable arena pieces that are compatible with battle stadiums, and three standoffs that hold the arena in place.  The warriors come with little pieces- mechanical weapons and armor that are interchangeable so every child can customize to their liking.  Kids seem to love friendly competition and being able to make things their own, the Hexbug Warriors feeds both those cravings! 
The warriors have two modes, one training mode where they never stop unless you stop them, and the match mode.  During match mode each warrior has a shock sensor that shows colors from green to yellow to red and blinks more rapidly as its health decreases, and whichever little robot turns off first loses.  My son and his cousin played with it nonstop the day they first tried it out, only reason they momentarily stopped was because the  batteries needed replacing surprisingly quickly.  You can collect more warriors, as well as expand your arena into a stadium, as I said everyone loves it here in our home, specially my son- which is why we recommend the HEXBUG Warriors Battle Arena as one of our Holiday Hot Picks this year!  My son will be getting another little warrior or two in his stocking this year for being such a great big brother..shhhhh!!  Is there someone in your life that might love this?  :)  

*I received this product for the purpose of review, no other compensation was provided.  All opinions are a 100% my own. 

I CAN do it! I can do it right?! ----- I did it!!!

I gave birth to my son four and a half years ago without the help of pain medications, so the plan was always to try that again..even though now that I knew what to expect I was terrified

I started to get contractions Saturday morning, but far enough apart that I still went about my day with my family.  I still felt like I would never go into labor, and still wasn't sure how it would happen.  After a long day at a shopping center, and spending what felt like hours in the Apple store trying to figure out issues I was having with my MacBook the contractions only got closer and stronger, but again still bearable.  While we were grabbing dinner at Whole Foods that evening, I realized the contractions got really intense and I suddenly had no appetite.  I sat there with my eyes closed, and a slight frown as I prepared for any more contractions.  It took one more strong contraction to realize we needed to get home, and possibly prepare for going into real labor soon.

By the time we arrived home the contractions continued to come, but with no real rhythm yet so we stayed put.  As the night went on, the contractions were definitely getting stronger and closer so I called my family over to come over..just in case.  My family came over, but nothing seemed to be progressing while everyone was awake so everyone headed to bed.  I on the other hand stayed awake timing contractions, by 8 AM I finally started getting some kind of a pattern, contractions came every ten minutes lasting around a minute until 2 PM..then it all went away.  I called my midwife concerned and confused, exhausted, only to have her tell me "Well if contractions stopped, you aren't in labor yet."  I hung up the phone to finally relax since contractions literally just stopped, only to feel like I hadn't felt my baby girl move in a long while.  Something felt off, maybe I was just tired and really confused, but I was concerned.  Decided to head to the hospital and let them know about my baby's movement. 

When I arrived at the hospital about a half an hour later, my contractions came back but again with no real pattern.  They checked my baby, and after a few routine checks said my water had been ruptured so I had to be admitted for labor and delivery.  After all those hours of contractions, I was only at 2cm dilated.  I had to take pills to get induced, "to help move things along" as they said.  My contractions were already really coming along strong by the time I took the pills only to get more painful.  After hours and hours of contractions coming closer together, and stronger- about every minute.  I screamed when I could for someone to check on how things were coming along.  They checked and at about 8PM I was 7 cm, and they had to break my water as it was holding baby from moving down as they said.  After that things came along insanely fast and painful.  By the way, I did all these hours without any medications to help with the pain so at this point I was screaming and just about dying in pain.  After they had briefed me on my options and the possible side effects, I punked out and decided to stick with no meds like I did with my son.  My baby girl was born at 9:16 PM on Sunday November 18.  I held her in my arms and thought how everything was all worth it and smiled.  Just thinking of that very moment, it's a moment I will always remember.   

Did I mention that before the last hour, I was singing songs the whole time every time contractions came along.  I kept thinking mind over physical pain, and I have to say it helped.  I pictured my little boy singing, and replayed how he did a little happy dance in the morning on the bed when I told him that the baby might come out today.  I even played a little recording of him singing that morning during labor.  I cried, screamed, laughed, and all of the above as I said over and over again that "I can do it!" followed by "I could do it right?!"

Second time around was very different, they weren't kidding when they said "every pregnancy is different" because everything was different and very special in it's own way.  Tonight I am up watching the sun come up for the third week since her birth, a happy mom of two little blessings.  I am sleepless, tired and very much exhausted but can't help but smile.  Pregnancy isn't easy, giving birth is far from it, and raising our children can be challenging but in the end- all worth it...  I am so unbelievably in love with my little family, and enjoying every MOMent of it!  <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">