Thursday, August 23, 2012

California Teachers Union Putting Our Kids at Risk

I don't have children in public school that Prop 32 would affect directly, however as a taxpayer I'm sickened to learn what's happening in our California schools and what the teachers union is doing. My aim is to help put an end to it! Voting yes on 32, to Stop Special Interest Money, is one giant leap towards putting our children's safety in the schools the number one priority, and get the big money out of the hands of California politicians!

Christine Young is the mother and blogger behind, where she shares about life with lots of kids and how to make it fun. Below is a brief article she wrote for me to help spread the word!

"As a mom of seven, and a parent of four children in public school here in California, I’m disgusted with how special interest groups like the teachers’ union always put our children last, behind their bloated paychecks and pension benefits.
But, now they’ve gone too far. Earlier this year, the California Teachers Association killed a bill in the legislature that would have made it easier to fire teachers who are known child molesters!

It’s almost too hard to believe, right? Well, read for yourself what one Los Angeles area teacher did to his blindfolded students - Associated Press story - and how the teachers union conspired to keep perverts like him in the classroom - LA Weekly article.

California isn’t alone in having a teachers union that protects sexual deviants – New York is battling a similar problem.

This is why we need reform like Prop 32, which is on the November ballot in California. We have to stop the special interest money that keeps these groups powerful and detached from doing what’s best for our children.

Of course the opponents of the measure are spreading lies about how cops, firemen, teachers, et al are against 32, but keep in mind it’s only the union leadership that is against 32. I know plenty of teachers who don’t like what their union does and certainly don’t want sexual predators in our classrooms!

 See for yourself what California Prop 32 will do, it’s very strait forward.

And join our Facebook Group “California Parents for Reform” where we discuss this and other issues facing our schools and families."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Breast feeding is best but sometimes the unexpected happens...

The day after Jesse was born, before the hospital would release me, I unexpectedly had to have some tests run because of some scary symptoms I had before I delivered him. I wasn’t able to nurse him for 24 hours due to these tests and the iodine that would be in my system. So, because nursing him was my number one priority they allowed me to do so for his first few feedings. Then I had to begin to pump and dump (pump so that I would continue to produce breast milk but that have to just toss the milk). During this 24 hour period he was forced to be fed by bottle with formula. My plan all along was to get Jesse to take a bottle at some point, but I wasn’t anticipating it beginning at birth! I wish I was prepared and brought my own bottles with me to the hospital but I never would have thought I would be forced to bottle feed him. I had to use the bottles that the hospital provided me with and he hated them. Fortunately 24 hours went by fast and he got hungry enough to use them getting the nourishment he needed. Then it was back to breastfeeding!

When any new mommy chooses to bottle feed it’s so hard to decide on which brand to choose among the hundreds of options out there! One I’ve found that comes so close to breastfeeding are the Comotomo baby bottles. Their bottles are naturally shaped and the silicone teat closely mimics breastfeeding helping to prevents nipple confusion. The soft, skin-like, squeezable body gives baby the feelings of natural breastfeeding. It’s comforting to know that the Comotomo bottle has anti-colic vents allowing baby to get more milk, less air and slow milk-flow to reduce vacuum that can lead to ear pain and bubbles. It’s 100% free of toxic chemicals and its silicon structure is unbreakable and really comfortable to hold! Comotomo (find them on Facebook here) sent me a couple of the awesome bottles to try and I so wish I had one with me at the hospital on that first day for Jesse!

I think every mom has a point in their babies nursing time that they have to leave their baby for a short time and bottle feeding may become necessary. Maybe you’re like me and just like the convenience of handing baby to dad with a bottle so we can have a break. Or maybe your baby is like mine and every time we pick up our fork to eat baby loudly proclaims he’s hungry too (I swear they can smell our food triggering that squeal that says "feed me!"), on such occasions as this it’s super convenient to put them in the swing with a bottle so we can enjoy our dinner bringing happiness to us all!

What about you? Are you a breastfeeding mommy who also uses bottles with breast milk? It’s totally worth occasionally pumping and having a nice supply of breast milk stocked up in the freezer!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My little helper!

Yesterday as I was getting ready to load our dishwasher Isaac came up and offered to help! How could I pass that up?! He rinsed off all the dishes and I loaded them into the dishwasher. He helped with every last dish and had a blast getting it done! (He was on his way out to ride his scooter hence the reason for the helmet:)) How adorable he is!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summertime Fun!

We are so very blessed to have a pool here at our condo. All the boys love to be in the water but Isaac especially, he wakes up every morning with swimming first on his mind. 
Most days Isaac just skips getting dressed and goes straight for his swim trunks and water wings! Fortunately for him the weather has been so hot these past few weeks we have spent a ton of time in the pool just to stay cool. Plus, I can't pass up a single moment watching my boys enjoying some summertime fun!!
Alex has been swimming great! He decided a few weeks ago to ditch his "floaties" and swims really good. He has a new game with his friend Riley where she is his swim teacher, they both love it! Here's Riley teaching him to swim down and touch the bottom of the pool...
Even Jesse loves to be in the water. Just being near the water makes him one happy boy!

Lovin' on my boy!
God is good!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My baby's 4 months!

Here we are already in July! I'm a few days late in posting pictures of Jesse reaching 4 months but I figured late was better than never, right?!

At four months he's still not sleeping through the night but he makes up for it with his adorable-ness! Jesse's constantly aware of all activity around him and thrives on the attention of his big brothers. Alex and Isaac are the best at keeping their "boo boos" happy, so much so that Jesse gets lonely when they aren't around. Seriously! He loves the noise, I have to put music or turn the TV on when it gets too quiet for my little guy. Not something I ever had to do with the other boys.

We just recently tried giving Jesse some rice cereal but he didn't like it too much so we'll have to re-introduce it to him in a few weeks when he may be more ready for it. Not to worry though the bowl that I mixed up didn't go to waste... Alex loved it! Yes, Alex, our 5 and 1/2 year old, gobbled up the infant rice cereal, he even asked for more! Not just then but he's asked for it a few times since! I only allowed him the pleasure that once and one other time (I thought maybe he would be grossed out the second time making it easier to say no from then on, but NO he would eat that stuff every day if I let him). Maybe it taste too similar to the Cream of Wheat that he loves so much. But come now, we're saving the rice cereal for baby. :)

I'm pretty sure Jesse's teething, he constantly wants to chew on his fists and anything else he can find to gnaw on. Poor guy has a long road ahead of him.

I can't get over his chubby little cheeks! And legs. And arms. And that double chin! I'm in love with all 13 pounds of him, every ounce! I thank Jesus for my blessings every day! God is Good!

Enter your baby in the Munchkin Bunch Contest! {PLUS GIVEAWAY}

With the arrival of Jesse, the latest addition to our growing family, I’m quickly reminded of all the necessary baby essentials needed for an infant (it’s been almost 4 years since we had Isaac so it’s not hard to forget)!
I’m learning how to stretch our budget with all the added expenses involved in growing a family which is partly why I was super excited to learn about Munchkin Bunch contest!
“Munchkin is asking parents of infants and toddlers to visit their Facebook Page now through July 23, 2012 and nominate their child to be a part of the Bunch by submitting their child’s photo.  After a public voting process, the final group will be announced on the page and the selected children will remain stars of the page throughout the six-month campaign. The Munchkin Bunch Class of 2013 members will be announced on August 1, 2012.”
When I heard about Munchkins Bunch Contest Class of 2013 I was pretty stoked! Munchkin is on their second annual search for, not one, but 5 lucky babies to be the recipient of free monthly deliveries of their wonderful goodies AND a $1,000 college scholarship! These goodies include a variety of Munchkin products to match their age, in order to help them reach new milestones. Product packages may include Munchkin’s Diaper Pail, safety gates and accessories, and many other items from the company’s extensive portfolio of nursery, bath, feeding, care and travel items.  So, now you can understand why I was so excited!

Hurry and go submit your Munchkin for consideration!

Wait! There's more!!
Munchkin Click Lock Cups plus some other goodies! At random one Cling to What is Good reader will win a prize pack from Munchkin including Click Lock Cups as well as some other goodies! (Winner will let me know age and gender and we'll customize the prize pack just for you!)
Required entry: Leave a comment by July 20th letting us know how many kiddos you are hoping to send to college.
Additional entries (leave a separate comment for each):
1) Follow Cling to What is Good via Google Friend Connect
2) Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook (or both)
3) Leave a comment on any other post on our blog
This giveway ends July 20th and is open to U.S. Residences only!
The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new one will be drawn.
Thank you Munchkin for supplying a prize pack for my winner. I did not receive any ccompensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alex and Isaac ride solo!

We all love riding the train at the zoo, it's a little train that makes a circle around the park, perfect for all little boys and girls who love trains!

The other day we visited this favorite zoo of ours and for the first time we let Alex and Isaac ride all by themselves, they were all excited to take on this new adventure! This one gigantic leap of independence for them was a little hard for me, a sure sign that my boys are growing up so fast!

Alex and Issac getting ready to board the train!

"Hi mom and dad!"

Daddy and Jesse patiently waiting for big brothers to come back

Both Alex and Isaac had a blast!

...and daddy and I did okay sitting back while our big boys went on the first of many adventures without us...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Overcoming allergies!

Several years ago I met the family who founded the company IMPaX. The Ims formulated a nutritional product called EnerPrime to help their daughter who was diagnosed with an auto immune deficiency. EnerPrime and the Im family have forever changed my life!

A word from the founders Greg and Brenda Im:
"EnerPrime is a synergistic blend of superfoods, adaptogens, andtioxidants, phytonutrients, herbs, enzymes, and micronutrients. These all-natural elements produce remarkable results, ranging from counteracting stress to slowing the natural aging process, increased vitality, better endurance, improved sleep, increased ability to handle stress, increased resistance to illness and an overall sence of well-being."

EnerPrime is S.A.L.A.D. in a bottle!
  • Superfoods replenish vital missing nutrients lacking in our diet
  • Adaptogens help counteract stress
  • Liver cleansers help our bodies detoxify
  • Antioxidants & phytonutrients provide anti-aging & immune system support
  • Digestive enzymes facilitate maximum absorption of nutrients
All during my pregnancy with Jesse I was great at taking it consistently. Actually Alex and Isaac were often the ones who reminded me to make our daily EnerPrime smoothie, they both love it too!

But, shortly after baby was born I got all caught up in just trying to take care of now three kids, forgetting briefly about my own health. I felt like I was just too busy to make our daily EP smoothie denying the boys of their request for these yummy smoothies. Before I knew it a couple weeks went by without any of us taking EP.

Then allergy season started and I quickly experienced severe allergy symptoms. Sneezing, watery eyes, sinus pressure headaches, wheezing, lethargy just to name a few. Alex even started getting the puffy eyes, runny nose and so forth. After several days of these nasty symptoms that no one should ever have to endure I remembered to take EnerPrime again.

I have to admit that it took a few weeks of taking EnerPrime twice a day again for me to finally feel relief from those horrible allergy symptoms. It wasn't until today that I realized that I haven't had allergy symptoms for a few days now. I truly believe that EnerPrime is my natural cure for allergies! Even with all the horrible winds we've had here in the foothills I've enjoyed being outside lately and I FEEL GREAT!! I finally feel like my quality of life is normal again. Instead of relying on Dustin to do the outdoor activities with our kids I can bring the boys to the park, I can sit out by the pool with them, and take evening walks with the family! (With allergies one can only be outside for a short period of time without suffering from severe symptoms, if you suffer you know what I'm talking about!) It's awesome! EnerPrime has truly been a blessing to me and my entire family!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tending the garden

Alex and Isaac had a blast with my parents while Dustin and I had a date night! The boys love spending time with Mimi and Poppy. Whenever they go over there they always have fun sharing pictures with us and telling us all about their adventures!

This time they got to help with watering their garden!


Thank you mom and dad for taking such good care of our boys for us!

My parents have such an amazing garden, it's absolutely breathtaking just how beautiful it is! It's come a long way from when I was younger but they have always had a very sucessful bounty! There's something very satisfying in eating a fresh salad from all the hard work you put in to growing your own veggies! I think we're going to need to build some planter boxes like theirs (on a much smaller scale of course!), so we can grow a garden of our own and enjoy some fresh foods...

Monday, April 30, 2012

"The coolest birthday card ever!"

The boys and I did some shopping for cousin Josh's birthday gift but we didn't find anything "cool" enough! I suppose every 8 year old boy loves to get cash so I came up with a creative way to give it to him! The boys had a blast helping me out with making it.

1) We started with an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardboard (I cut out the bottom of an old box).
2) We glued a piece of black construction paper onto the cardboard.
3) I folded some dollar bills and let the boys tape them on the paper to form our first letter "J".
4) We taped on dimes, pennies, and nickels to complete the rest of his name.
5) The boys used our foam sticker letters to finish our card off with "Happy Birthday"

Pretty easy and the boys really enjoyed making this for their cousin. Oh and Josh absolutely loved it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Funny Faces!

Isaac and Jesse making silly faces!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One very happy big brother!

Alex begged me to let Jesse sleep with him so we gave it a try! He was so excited!

If you hold a baby like this he thinks it's time to eat...
...and if he doesn't get what he's looking for things can get ugly.
Lesson learned. Alex acts quickly to change Jesse's position and all is good.
A very, very happy Alex says "'Nite everyone!"
Note: Just as I had mentally predicted neither one of them actually fell asleep. But Alex was in heaven for those few moments of cuddle time with Jesse (and I'm sure baby enjoyed it too)!

Friday, March 9, 2012

My handsome cowboys!

Isaac was beyond excited when my aunt Liz pulled out her toy horse during our visit! He was grinning from ear to ear! I love the imagination of kids, he was talking to the horse and petting it like it was real, I think they even named him "Boots"!

Here are my three handsome cowboys having a blast!

Jesse even got on the horse with Alex (of course he slept through the "ride")!

Alex and Isaac both had fun playing on the horse but I have to say that Isaac thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want to get off!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome baby Jesse!

It all began Friday around midnight. I was having a contraction every fifteen minutes and they kept me up all night long. I finally dosed off around seven in the morning without any interruption from contractions until they began again at nine Saturday morning. They were becoming more and more painful but not close enough for me to feel like we needed to rush to the hospital.

Andrea came over to see how I was doing and started timing contractions for me. Some were only 3 minutes apart so she took Alex and Isaac home with her for the night so that Dustin and I could go into the hospital to have our baby!

We arrived at the hospital around seven Saturday evening. I was only 3 cm dilated and after two hours of no progress they sent me home. The nurse said to come straight in if my contractions became harder and closer together or if my water broke.

Once we were back at home I couldn't sleep at all so I paced our living room, took a few baths to ease the pain during contractions and even straightened up the kitchen counters!

Sunday morning I was sitting on our couch gripping Dustin's hand in pain refusing to go back to the hospital only to be sent home. My contractions were still not closer together than 15 minutes. Then at 8:30 suddenly my water broke! I'm so glad that happened because I might have had the baby right in our living room! That was our cue, Dustin took all of two seconds to grab the keys and rush me to the car.

The moment my water broke suddenly my contractions became so strong and right on top of each other. Let's just say that the car ride to the hospital was extremely long (in reality it was only 15 minutes). I was in so much pain, I cried out to Jesus to help me! He did! We made it to the hospital just minutes before 9 and with strength from the Lord and coaching from mom and Dustin baby was born at 11:04am Sunday, February 26th!

Jesse Christian born Sunday, February 26th at 11:04 am
7 lbs. 1 oz. 20 inches!

Despite being in labor for two days we still hadn't decided on his name! We thought we had time since his due date wasn't until March 1st. After staring at his precious face we decided on Jesse (not until filing out the birth certificate did we choose Christian for his middle name)!

Just moments after baby was born big brothers arrived with Uncle Jacob, Aunt Annie and cousins Adin and Gabe.

I am so very blessed!
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