Friday, December 12, 2014

Wait, it's almost Christmas?!

So, this year it just doesn't feel like Christmas. For one, we do not have any snow. It's been a record-breaking warm December (which I LOVE because I hate the cold!), which makes it hard to imagine Christmas coming soon. Even though I dislike snow, I do like a white Christmas.

And secondly, we are moving! Yep, we finally sold our house and put an offer on a new house. We are supposed to move the weekend before Christmas. So instead of lights on the house, a decorated fresh tree, and Christmas stuff everywhere we have a house that is getting more bare by the day and a fake empty tree sitting in the living room. Hard to get in the spirit without any visual reminders.

I finally got most of our Christmas shopping done online yesterday. We are trying to keep it really simple this year because of the move and Hubby and I told each other we aren't getting each other gifts because the new house is our present.

Speaking of the new house, I'm really excited about it! It's bigger than our current home, has 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms which is nice with our big family, and has a nice big backyard. So happy to finally have a yard for the kids to play in! Almost 1/2 acre, fully fenced, big deck, and garden area. Our dog will love having so much more room too. It's been fun trying to visualize where all our stuff will go.

Anyway, today 5 of the 6 kids are sick. Fever, throwing up, diarrhea. At least they waited until after my birthday yesterday. And hopefully they get over it quickly. Especially because the older boys are supposed to have a going away party with their friends tonight. Jason so far hasn't gotten it, and hopefully Jakey feels fine by tonight, so I'll probably just keep the little ones in my room while their friends are here, because I can't cancel because I don't have anybody's phone number lol.

Gotta go take care of my little Caleb who started it all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kupp Review

I was happy to get the chance to review these really cute kid cups through Moms Meet. The Kupp is a reusable kids glass with a BPA-free silicone sleeve. I received 4 Kupps in different colors and my kids were so excited to see them and started claiming which one was theirs.

On first impression I really liked the silicone sleeves with the handle. But I thought the glass seemed pretty thin and had a feeling that we'd have at least 1 broken by the end of the first day. I was only a little wrong. It took 2 days for the first one to get broken. One of the twins took it outside and it fell off their slide. Within a week 2 more were broken, on purpose by the other twin who took them outside and threw them on the cement on purpose to watch them shatter. So we now have 1 unbroken, and 3 empty sleeves.

Although I did like the idea of Kupp, I think they are better suited to kids 5 years and up. Little kids are just too clumsy/mischievous for fragile glass cups. My older boys had no problem keeping them intact and are always careful with our last unbroken one. I like that the Kupp and the sleeve are dishwasher safe, and you don't have to remove the sleeve to wash it. My older kids like using a glass instead of the plastic kid cups too, so it makes them happy to have one of their own.

*Disclaimer: I received this product free from Moms Meet to provide an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Announcing...

Well, since it's now Facebook official...

We are excited to announce baby #7, due in May 2015!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ginnybakes Review!


I recently had the chance to try and review baked goods from ginnybakes. From their website:

"at ginnybakes, our passion is to create outrageously delicious and nutritious treats for everyone to enjoy. we believe that your body deserves the finest ingredients, so we work tirelessly to bring you the best we can find. our certifications aren’t just for having a logo on the box. we are gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, vegan and kosher because we believe in quality and excellence. there’s nothing more important than nurturing the body and mind so you feel great."


The great thing about these products is how they make yummy products without all the artificial stuff that's added to everything these days. They are gluten free, vegan, kosher, organic, and non-GMO! I received boxes of premade cookies as well as cookie and brownie mixes to try out. 

I was not a fan of the premade cookies, though to be fair I don't like many premade cookies. They were too hard and crumbly for my taste. But my kids loved them and ate them faster than I expected. One exception was their bite-size snack packs of cookies, those were pretty good and a nice little treat to just grab and go.

I enjoyed the fresh made cookies and brownies from the mixes. They came out softer, though still a little crumbly, and the taste was great. I was excited to share these with my son's best friend and his family because he cannot have gluten. It was nice to have a yummy treat that he could have while he was here playing and I sent them home with a plate of cookies and a cookie mix.


I would definitely buy the ginnybakes mixes again whenever I'm in need of a gluten free baking mix.




*Disclaimer: I received free boxes of baked goods and mixes in exchange for my honest review of this product and company.*

Friday, July 11, 2014

A way past due update!

My poor little bloggy has been so neglected. :( The last "real" post I did was almost a year ago after Rachel was born. I keep thinking I need to start posting regularly again, but then life gets busier and it gets pushed to the bottom of priorities list. I'm not even going to try to catch up on everything that has happened this last year, especially because most of the pictures are on the external hard drive and I don't feel like pulling it out, finding them, and choosing what to post. So I guess a quick recap of how everything is going. Here is the most recent pic of all of us together at Jacob's baptism.


Rachel- Oh my, this sweet girl has stolen my heart! I never realized how much I would love having a daughter! Of course I love all my boys too, but there's just something amazing about having a little girl. She loves to be cuddled and will go to pretty much anyone, but then cry because she wants mommy lol. Such a mommy's girl! She has 4 teeth, crawls all over the place, pulls herself up on everything and moves around the furniture, can stand for a few seconds alone, and is not at all interested in trying to walk alone yet but will if she's holding on to something. She still nurses frequently, and eats finger foods, and is nice and chubby, growing faster than any of her brothers did! Still not saying any words (though she babbles "dadadada" a LOT) but she knows the sign for "milk" and has started using it occasionally. I love to dress her up and have way too many headbands, flowers, and bows. :) She's usually a very happy girl and such a joy.

Caleb- This boy has got quite the stubborn streak for a kid who is barely understandable lol. He thinks every electronic device in the house belongs to him and will get very mad about thing like me needing to use my phone or not letting him play a computer game. I've thought about having him tested by the school district for speech therapy, because he is not very understandable and doesn't understand things as well as Isaac.

Isaac- If I go gray early it will be from this kid! He is a big ball of energy, likes to get into everything he shouldn't, and makes messes whenever my back is turned. Whenever him and Caleb are into something it is his idea and Caleb just follows along. He is also very loving. He wants to give everyone hugs and kisses (whether or not he knows them) and is a big momma's boy. He adores Rachel so much.

Nathan- He finished up his last year of preschool at the district's developmental preschool. His speech has gotten so much better. His articulation is still a bit behind so he has an IEP to continue getting speech help in Kindergarten, though he will be in a regular class. He is a smart kid and I'm excited for him to start Kindergarten in a few weeks, I think he'll love it. He's also very stubborn and will lie to avoid getting in trouble even if you catch him red-handed.

Jacob- He is so smart. Reading above grade level, and doing math above level as well. We had him tested for the advanced placement program but he didn't qualify. His test scores were very good, way above average, but not high enough for the program, mostly his language and comprehensive skills kept him back. His handwriting is terrible and usually hardly readable, he doesn't take the time to do quality work. Hopefully 3rd grade will be helpful in challenging him more and getting him working better. He's still very sensitive and loving also. He was baptized in June too. :)

Jason- He has also had trouble in school with doing quality work and listening. He started out with some of the same behavior problems as last year- crying, not wanting to listen, throwing fits. But luckily that got a lot better as the year went on. He does great at school when he actually tries, but he still needs to work on the quality. He has a best friend who he has playdates with every week and it's been good for him to have someone he's close to. He loves to play the xbox 360 and computer and has started to get the preteen attitude about being told what to do. He's usually pretty good at doing chores and helping, though he might roll his eyes a bit lol.

Nate- he's been working hard as a software development manager. Longer hours and more responsibility. Very proud of how hard he works. We've been married 11 years in a week and it's crazy how much has happened in that 11 years! Love him so much. :)

Me- I finally got my Associate's degree last December! So happy to finally have a degree. :) I plan to eventually get my Bachelor's too, but needed to take some time off, I was so burnt out from going to the school for 3.5yrs with so many kids. In January I started as a Consultant for The Pampered Chef. I love the products and decided that would be the cheapest way for me to get them! I really enjoy doing the cooking shows and earning free and cheap stuff. It's tapered off a bit the last few months because I've been very busy, but hopefully it'll pick up again soon.

We are also getting ready to move! We spent the last 3 months getting things in our house fixed up, upgraded, painted, etc. Took a lot of time and work but the house looks amazing. It's been on the market for about 2 weeks. I'm hoping we find a buyer quickly because there is a house I really love that I want to get. We will be moving to a smaller, quieter town. Bigger yard, no busy road in front of the house, and just more quiet. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gutsy Chewy Review

I've always been a fan of natural remedies for curing common ills. My thinking is the more simple and natural it is, the better for your body it will be. When Moms Meet gave me a chance to review Gutsy Chewy, an upset tummy remedy that is all-natural, I thought that would be great.

Gutsy Chewy was created by Dr. Haghighi, a gastroenterologist and dentist, who wanted to try out the natural remedies for stomach complaints that his patients would mention. He combined papaya, apple cider vinegar, licorice root, xylitol, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. Through clinical trials he found that his digestive supplement worked very well. These chewy supplements are also lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly!

I received both the citrus and wildberry flavors to try. I don't usually have a lot of stomach issues so I wasn't sure when I'd get a chance to use it. Well, I stopped drinking soda back in January. I've had a little here and there but only a couple times since then. So last week, after a couple very late nights up painting, I had a lot of Mtn Dew to keep me going one day. It gave me a terrible upset stomach for days. I didn't even remember about my Gutsy Chewy tablets until the next day and decided it couldn't hurt to try out.

It didn't immediately make my stomach all better, but I did notice a significant decrease in discomfort within a short time. And the tablets taste ok, kind of like a giant chewy Smartie candy lol. I do keep forgetting I have them, and there have been a few more times I could have used them if I'd remembered. I'm interested in seeing how they work for my husband, who gets an upset stomach from fast food.

Right now you can get a good deal on Gutsy Chewy- buy 2, get 1 free; buy 4, get 2 free; buy 8, get 4 free; or buy 12, get 6 free.

*Disclaimer: I received free Gutsy Chewy tablets of both flavors from Moms Meet in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, May 05, 2014

Score Big with ScoreBig.com

If you love to go to events but don't want to pay full price for tickets, or the ticket vendor says they are sold out, then you will love ScoreBig.com. You get to bid on ticket prices that you want, in the seating area you want. It's really simple.

First, you choose your event. There are sporting events, concerts, and more and it brings up the events available in and near your city.

Then you choose what kind of seating you want to get. If you are fine with the cheapest seats available then choose that. If you really want some 5 star seating or box seats, choose that. It shows what the average ticket cost is for that seating area.

Then you put in a bid. When you enter a number it will show what the likelihood of that bid being accepted is. You can change your bid or try your luck. Enter your information and submit your bid.

If your bid is accepted you will automatically be charged for the tickets and sent an email on how to get your tickets. If it is not accepted it will tell you an amount that you can pay and you have 2 minutes to decide if you want to get those tickets. You can go with that or bid again for a different seat rating or price.

I was give a $100 gift code to use at ScoreBig.com. Around here the only event available is for Real Salt Lake games (soccer). We recently went to a game for the first time and had fun so I was excited to get some more tickets to try out. We wanted 5 star seating to try to get in the club seating section (free concessions!). The 5 star seating was either in club or front row seats.

I first bid $50 each for 2 tickets and it was not accepted. I went back later and bid $55 each. That was also not accepted but it gave me the option to buy tickets for $60 each (normally about $90 tickets). We went ahead and bought them. Unfortunately it was not in the club seating. Because it only gives 2 minutes to decide if you want the offered price I did not take the time to read the small print that said where the seats would probably be. It was front row seats though, which are still really great. But my husband did not want to sit at a game for 2-3 hours with no food and drink (they don't allow outside food/drink and it's like $4 just for water), so he ended up finding a guy at work who wanted them.

So we did not get to use our tickets, but I really liked how easy it was to use the site. The only thing I didn't like was feeling rushed to decide if I wanted to the new offered seats because I didn't actually read the fine print saying where the offered seats would be. But I would definitely be willing to use the site again the next time we want to go to a game, or if there is another local event we want to go to. I looked on the website for the stadium where the games are and it showed those tickets were sold out, so this is a great way to get those "sold out" tickets!

**Disclaimer: I was given $100 gift code to use in exchange for an honest review by ScoreBig.com**

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Smarty Pants Adult Chewable Vitamins Review

My children love taking vitamins. I'm sure that's because they come in yummy fruit snack-like chewy form. Wouldn't you be more excited about taking vitamins if they seemed like candy? I admit I've snuck some of my children's vitamins before just because they smelled yummy lol.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out some adult chewable vitamins from Smarty Pants Vitamins. These are a complete multivitamin, including Omega 3s and Vitamin D. It also is made with no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives! And it is gluten and casein free with no high fructose corn syrup. I know many chewable vitamins include a lot of those things, and are basically vitamin filled fruit snacks, but these are just about as healthy as you can get a chewy vitamin.

They have a sugary citrus taste. They don't really taste like fruit snacks, so if you are expecting that you will be disappointed lol. But they are yummy enough to curb sugary cravings. And the serving size is 6 vitamins so it seems like a nice little sweet snack.

Smarty Pants Vitamins can be ordered online or can be found at Whole Foods and CVS stores. Go online to get a $5 off coupon on your first purchase.

*Disclaimer: I was given a bottle of vitamins free to review. Opinions are my own, I was not paid to give a good review.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Introducing Miss Rachel!!!


Rachel Kathleen, 8lb10oz, 21.5", Aug 9 2013
Our beautiful little girl Rachel Kathleen has joined the family!

Rachel was due August 23rd. Because I started my school semester on the 21st I really hoped she would make her entrance a few weeks sooner. Not only that but I had gestational diabetes this pregnancy and they don't like you going overdue if you have that. So my midwife agreed to try doing a membrane sweep at my appointment when I was 37w5d. It made me have some contractions and feel very crampy but that was it, so I went back the next day for another sweep, which also gave me crampy sporadic contractions. The cramping and contractions died down by bedtime that day and when I woke up on Friday the 9th at 38 wks, there was nothing at all going. I really felt that labor was not going to happen that day.

37w2d
That afternoon I had to go pick up one of my foster sisters so she could stay at our house for the weekend while my mom was out of town. A few minutes after I got home with her I headed up to the bathroom and suddenly had a few small gushes of fluid. At first I thought I just took too long getting to the bathroom, but after I finished up my business and got changed and headed downstairs I had a few more gushes and started to believe my water had broken. It was about 2:15pm. This was a surprise to me as I've never had my water break until well into active labor/transition. I let Hubby know and told him that I wasn't having contractions yet so he could finish up at work and not to hurry. I also let my family know so that my mom and birth mom could head here from out of town and told Hubby to call my midwife (my phone had been dunked in the toilet a few days before and was dead, nice timing right?!) and to let his mom know too. 

My sister Kelsey showed up with her husband and son around 4pm. I finished grabbing a few things for my hospital bag that was already packed and then they watched my kids while I hopped in the shower around 4:30 to see if I could get some consistent contractions. By the time I got out of the shower around 5 I was having contractions 4-5 mins apart. My brother and his wife had showed up by then (they were going to help watch the kids while I was in labor) and Hubby got home around 5:15. I ate a granola bar and grabbed my hospital bag and everything I was taking and we (me, Hubby, sister) left for the hospital around 6pm.

In triage
Around 6:20 we got there, my midwife was already there for another birth and was excited to see me, and they put me in a triage room to check me and monitor contractions. I was 4cm and 80% and my water had definitely broken and contractions were about 4 mins apart. They finally moved me to a L&D room around 7:30 where I got hooked up to the monitors again and got my IV port (but no IV) put in. I sat in bed for a while, the contractions weren't too bad yet. 

Passing the time
My mom showed up soon after and we just talked and waited. Around 9 I asked to get up and walk around. I was 5cm and 90%. They hooked up the mobile monitors, but the contraction monitor would not pick up my contractions and I had to keep moving and holding the heartrate monitor because it would move out of place. I was very annoyed at the contraction monitor not working because I wanted to show them proof of how much I was hurting lol. Around 9:30pm we got out the birth ball to sit on and I was hooked back up to the regular machine so at least I was able to stop holding the heartrate monitor in place, even though the contractions were still not showing up.

Sweet nurse Brooke on the left, awesome midwife Julie on the right
Near 10pm I could feel that I was getting close to transition. I was getting shaky and no longer wanted to go natural. I told them I wanted an epidural. I've had natural births and didn't need to prove myself to anyway, so I decided I wanted to enjoy the end of my labor instead of dreading each contractions. My nurse, Brooke, checked me and I was 6cm and 90%. She called for anesthesia and hooked up my IV to get some fluids in quickly. When the anesthesiologist came in I was in the middle of a contraction. He was asking me if I wanted the epidural strong or light. I held up a finger for him to wait a minute as I felt baby move down and my body started to push a little. I almost asked Brooke to check me again because I knew I was complete or close to it, but I decided I wanted my epidural anyway so I said nothing cuz I didn't want them to refuse for being too far along lol. Having to sit completely still while the anesthesiologist did the epidural and my body wanted to push was torture, but luckily he was very quick and the epidural took effect quickly. Each contraction got less intense until about 5 contractions in I could no longer feel them. Unfortunately I really couldn't feel anything, he had made it way stronger than I'd wanted. But I was happy to be out of pain. He put it in around 10:30 and my midwife came in around 10:45 to put in an internal monitor and found out I was ready to push.

Feeling good after the epidural
We decided to wait to push for a little bit because we were still waiting for my birth mom and mother-in-law to show up. Around 11pm my midwife said we should start pushing because Rachel's heartrate was dropping so we needed to get her out. Pushing is so much harder when you can't feel anything! Much easier to push effectively without the epidural. But they brought in a mirror so I was able to watch everything. Birth mom and mother-in-law were able to make it there while I was pushing. I finally was able to see her head and dark hair and slowly she made her way out. 

Daddy assisting in the delivery
Hubby was gowned up and able to help deliver the baby with help from the midwife. Her shoulders got stuck a little so they had to push my knees way up by my head but she got unstuck quickly and at 11:30pm Hubby laid Rachel on me. 

First cries and lots of vernix
She didn't cry much, was covered in thick vernix, and had a full head of hair. I helped rub her down with the nurse and talked to her as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. 

Daddy cutting the cord
Hubby was able to cut the cord and then Rachel was laid skin to skin on my chest. 

Holding her skin to skin
Thrilled mommy and daddy
Her breathing was a little wet so we had to get her to cry so she could clear out her lungs, and she gave us some loud screams and sounded much better. I just held her while the placenta was delivered (which I didn't even notice) and I was cleaned up. I asked my midwife if I had any tears, and I didn't which was awesome since I tore with my other deliveries.

Getting weighed, 8lb10oz, 21.5"
I let the nurses take her for a few minutes to weight and measure. She was 8lb 10oz and 21.5"! I was shocked at her size. Not only had I measured right on track this whole time (always measured 2wks ahead with my boys) but she was 2 weeks early too. I was thinking 7.5-8lbs tops, but she surprised us. If she'd gone to her due date she would have been my biggest baby! She was brought right back to me in a few minutes and I held her and attempted nursing. It took a few minutes to get her to latch on and then she nursed for a while. 

Daddy getting some cuddles in
I finally let Hubby take her around 12:20am and he held and cuddled her for about 15 mins until they took her to be checked out at the warmer for a few minutes. 

Checked out perfect, Apgars 8/9
They moved us to a mom and baby room around 1am and after letting the moms and my sister hold her for a while we settled in for a short night of little rest.

Brothers meeting her for the 1st time
Because of my gestational diabetes they had to check Rachel's blood sugar levels every 6 hrs the first day, and luckily they were always fine. She was also Coombs positive, which means we have different blood types that had gotten mixed during the birth which increased her chance of getting jaundice, so they had to test her bilirubin every 8 hrs during the stay. Again, luckily they were always at the low-intermediate risk level. With all those checks plus the normal vital checks for me and her, we really were not given much time to rest lol. 

Daddy's already wrapped around her little finger
But Hubby and I enjoyed the time in the hospital to just hold her and do nothing else. Anytime I wasn't nursing she was in daddy's arms, it was so sweet. 

Cute bow hospital cap a sweet nurse made for her
My milk started coming in the first day and she was eating really well, except for some trouble latching on my left side. She only got down to 8lb4oz by the time we left the hospital Sunday. At her 4 day checkup to get her bilirubin tested again she was already back to 8lb7oz, and by her 2 week checkup she was 9lb3oz. So she is a great eater.

Just home from the hospital
I have been loving having her here, cuddling, dressing her up in cute outfits, and kissing her adorable face. I don't think it's just bias that she is completely adorable, a beautiful little baby girl. The boys love her so much, always wanting to hold her and give her kisses. Here are some more pictures of her from the last 2 weeks (there's a lot!):














Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Family updates

It has been way too long since I've posted anything on here! This pregnancy has just flown by and we will be meeting our baby girl sometime in the next few weeks (hopefully soon!). I have pretty much everything ready and just really wish every day to go into labor. I'm exhausted and my body is ready to not be pregnant for a while lol.




Jason started 3rd grade this year. So far he is enjoying it. He had some problems last school year with crying and throwing fits in class. He is a bit immature for his age. So we had him on a smiley chart that his teacher would mark every day and that seemed to help. So far his teacher this year hasn't mentioned any issues, so I'm hoping that it will go better. I'm planning to take him in to get his eyes checked soon. Hubby and I both have bad eyesight and I've wondered if maybe part of Jason not paying attention very well has to do with not being able to see the front of the classroom clearly. So after the baby is born I want to get him in to check.


Jacob started 2nd grade and is also enjoying it. I was sad he didn't get Jason's teacher from last year, but she moved to another class so he got a new teacher but she is really nice. He is such a smarty pants and I hope he'll keep doing well and liking school.
Nathan will be continuing preschool at the developmental preschool for the 3rd year. I'm glad he still qualified because it's helped him a ton and because it's free and he gets bussed there. His speech delay is only minor now, he has improved so much and would probably do fine in a regular preschool, but I'm glad he'll continue to get help for this year. He starts back in a few weeks and is so excited. He has been sad that the older boys get to go to school and he doesn't.

Isaac. Oh boy, this little guy is such a troublemaker! The majority of the messes in our house are because of him. He is so active and into everything. He makes up for it by being too dang adorable to stay mad at. I love his curly hair. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He's also talking a ton lately and getting more understandable. Such a sweet boy.


Caleb is the little follower. If he makes a mess it's usually because he is watching Isaac lol. He smiles a ton with his huge smile and adorable dimples. He also gets quite the temper when he doesn't get his way, stomping around and yelling gibberish. He talks a lot too but most of it is not very understandable. He thinks my phone is his personal Netflix device and gets mad and yells, "Mine!" when I try to use it.

 Nate is doing great at work. He recently got promoted to a manager position which he likes, though it means he's working longer hours. It's hard on me when he doesn't get home until 7pm or later and I've had a long day with the kids, but I'm proud of how hard he works to support us.

A few months ago we upgraded our kitchen. It was crazy and messy for a month not having a working kitchen, but it looks so nice! We refaced the cabinets, got new quartz countertops, and new laminate wood floors. My school semester starts 2 weeks from tomorrow. I'm nervous to be going to school with just having a newborn right before, but it's the last 2 classes to get my Associate's Degree. I am so happy to finally have accomplished that! I plan to take a break for a year or two before continuing with my Bachelor's, because I've gotten burnt out with school and kids and all.
I am 37.5 weeks pregnant. Just ready to be done! And also scared that I've got to have a baby come out of me some time in the near future lol. But really excited to hold her and see what she looks like and have fun dressing her in the adorable girl clothes I finally get to use.


There's a lot more that has gone on this year that I need to catch up on, but I figured I should at least get a little update in about everyone. :) Hopefully at some point I can do a monthly recap with more pictures.