Family Update

Yes, yes, another LONG overdue family update. It feels like ever since we moved to Tennessee that we’ve been going at high speed without a break in sight. We are constantly on the move, working on projects, there’s never any rest and this momma is BEAT!

J is doing great at his job, it’s of course stressful and very busy, but he seems to have a great staff. And even though the company is selling all of their nursing homes this year, we have high hopes that whatever company takes over will be exactly what the nursing facility and staff need to continue caring for their residents. J is also doing a lot of work around the house, current project is painting the interior, and then on nice days we are working on the backyard. We have definitely decided that this is not the home for us and will be listing it in 2019 and moving closer to Justin’s facility. Until then, we are just knocking out projects to update the house!

Boogie is almost done with her first year of “official” homeschool – she is going to be a kindergarten graduate! How crazy is that? She is a phenomenal reader, she’s already reading advanced chapter books and sometimes I can’t get her to stop reading! She’s grown so much this past year, sometimes I feel like she’s grown too much. This move has aged her in a way that I didn’t know was possible. She’s such a good big sister, she adores Bear. She is trying very hard to get along with Bubby, but they really butt heads… a lot of that has to do with his sensory stuff though, and she’s not sure how to handle it. We’re working on it though! Boog also loves her sister, I love the relationship I see blossoming between the two of them now that Bird can communicate and play more as a big two year old!

Bubby has come a long way since the move. He too has grown a lot, and the move affected him in good and not so good ways. We are very thankful that this move did bring us to an amazing occupational therapist. She is such a blessing to us, she’s able to reach Asher when I can’t. He’s learned so much from her and adores her, he even looks forward to going to his therapy now. He can now write his name all by himself, he’s identifying more of his ABC’s and he’s learning to identify numbers as well. Some of his behaviors he was exhibiting this time last year are almost entirely gone, while others have popped up. He’s trying so hard though, I know he’s hurting and stressed. I know he is anxious and still feels unsettled. He constantly asks when we are going back to our old house, which of course makes us feel awful and part of me wonders if we should have rented it out instead of selling it so we could go back someday. I’m praying that the next six months shows more growth and maturity, that not only he will learn to cope with some of his sensory needs but that I will learn better ways to help him as well.

Bird… oh Bird. She is a sassy pants. Welcoming Bear into the world completely disrupted her “baby” life and I think it threw her for a loop. My sweet girl has picked up on some of her older siblings less desirable behaviors, so we are trying to nip that in the bud real quick. Her red hair has definitely been showing, but let me tell you… she’s also the sweetest two year old and she has her daddy wrapped so tight, he cannot tell that girl no! She seems to be a lot like Boogie when it comes to learning, she has been following along with Bubby’s school work and picking up on her ABC’s. She really is precious and I hate that she’s growing up on me so quick! She loves picking out her clothes and she HAS to have a bow for her hair every day. She’s also rotten and sassy sassy sassy like I said and a whole lot of mess, but we all adore her!

Bear, oh sweet sweet Baby Bear. This boy is a delight. He is literally my sunshine when the rest of the world seems gloomy. On my hardest days parenting the older three, he makes everything seem better. He sleeps y’all. Like REALLY sleeps. He doesn’t stay attached to me wanting to nurse 24/7 like the big kids, he is content being worn and sucking on a pacifier and only wants to eat when he’s hungry or super tired. He’s always happy, he’s always smiling, he is so incredibly precious. He’s got these big beautiful blue eyes and they just melt me. I can’t even describe to you how much he has blessed us, he is literally the PERFECT last addition to our family. He IS our mic drop. I can’t wait to see his personality blossom and get to know the little man he is becoming.

As for me, I’m tired. Very, very tired. This move has exhausted me mentally, physically, spiritually… emotionally. I’ve been feeling a little lost amongst the chaos of everything, a little lonely, a little regretful and maybe a little overwhelmed. Okay… a lot overwhelmed. I’m not really sure where I fit into our world these days, I’m always busy doing something. I’ve had to step away from things I really love so that I don’t just go insane. You’ll probably see less giveaways and reviews on my blog, I have a few up right now but two of those are actually made by a sweet blogging friend from Mama Banana Adventures. We just have so much going on getting the house updated, parenting away from our families (i.e. less date nights and breaks for mommy), homeschooling, etc etc. It’s just a lot on my plate! Pray for me? Hoping that as we get closer to our one year anniversary of moving that I will feel more settled and relaxed about everything.

I’ve got some ideas to implement on Mustard Seed Mommy, I would love to start sharing more of our homeschooling journey with you. If you have any prayer requests just post a comment below, I would be happy to lift you up while you do the same for me! God bless!

Omaiki Reusable Pad Giveaway

Reusable menstrual pads from Omaïki’s Lötus line are a great way to go green! They’re trim, absorbent and made in Canada with Canadian materials. With a waterproof PUL backing, they keep your clothing dry and have wings to secure around underwear. Available in multiple sizes including thong-liners, they are a great way to keep toxins away from your most intimate areas. Read Mama Banana’s Adventures Omaïki Lötus review for full details and enter to win a set below!

Why cloth pads? Cloth pads are free from the toxins found in disposable menstrual products and many women report that they seriously reduce or stop menstrual cramps. In this fantastic starter set, you get 2 panty liners, 2 mini-maxi, 2 maxi and a matching wetbag! It’s a great way to try out reusable pads, add to your collection or to give as a gift. The Omaiki Lotus starter set can be found on their website and at select retailers. More information:

Omaïki Lötus Features

  • Made in Canada with Canadian fabrics
  • Organic cotton and bamboo
  • Washable
  • Thin but absorbent
  • Waterproof PUL backing
  • Nature-inspired prints
  • Serged edges for minimal panty lines
  • Available in 5 sizes for Menstrual Care
    • Panty liner 8.5″
    • Mini-Maxi 8.5″
    • Maxi Pads 11″
    • Maxi Plus 11″
    • Thong liner
  • Available in Incontinence
    • Light, Medium and Premium
  • Wings that snap around your underwear
  • Matching web bags with zipper and pouch

Enter the giveaway below! $60 arv open to USA & Canada 18+, void where prohibited. Good luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. Event organized by Mama Banana’s Adventures. Open to legal residents 18+ of USA and Canada. Confirmed Winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Mama Banana’s Adventures & participating bloggers are not responsible for lost or stolen prizes. For questions about this event contact MamaBananasAdventures@gmail.com

SoftBums Giveaway!

Cloth diapers are a great way to keep baby dry, chemical-free and save the planet from disposable waste. SOFTBUMS cloth diapers are well known for their excellent fit, Made in the USA quality and adjustable leg elastics. One lucky winner will win this Love Blossom shell + floral leggings perfect for Spring and Summer! You can shop at SOFTBUMs at my affiliate below to see their selection. Enter to win below and good luck! Giveaway is open to USA & Canada and ends 5/25.

SOFTBUMS features:

  • Made in the USA
  • 2 Styles, ECHO (AI2) or OMNI (Pocket)
  • One-Size that fits newborn and up!
  • Patented slide-size adjustable elastic
    • Helps prevent leaks
    • No need for rise snaps
  • High-quality strength hook & loop
  • Lined with super soft unbleached, hypo-allergenic fleece
  • Snap-in pod system for easy washing and fast changes
  • Save 10% with coupon GCDC2017 until 6/1/2017

 

Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents 18+, void where prohibited. All entries will be verified, winner will have 48 hours to respond to e-mail or new winner will be drawn.

Disclosure: This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. Event organized by Mama Banana’s Adventures. Open to legal residents 18+ of USA and Canada. Confirmed Winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Mama Banana’s Adventures is not responsible for lost or stolen prizes. For questions about this event contact MamaBananasAdventures@gmail.com

 

Child Training Bible Review & Giveaway

When we found out we were expecting our first child, my husband and I discussed all of the things we wanted to teach our child… one thing we didn’t discuss was discipline. It’s not really something you think about when you have a baby, it’s not really necessary at that point! As our family has grown, we knew that as they needed more discipline and training that we wanted to do so in a way that glorified God and taught them right from wrong biblically. I wanted to use our bible to help teach our children when they did something wrong or needed to learn why something they did wasn’t right or Christ-like.

I was incredibly excited to come across the Child Training Bible, an incredible resource made by a homeschooling mom named Mindy Dunn. As a mother of five children she wanted to raise her children and train them up using scripture. Just like us, she tried many different ways to utilize her bible in a way to teach and discipline, but found that directly using her bible over outward sources was the best way. So she created a system that anyone could use to create their own training bible.

All you do is head over to Mindy’s website and order the chart set HERE. You can order one set, or order larger quantities for your group (and receive a discount depending on how many you purchase). The sets include a training bible key, three tabbing charts, and a set of instructions. Then, you will have to purchase a set of highlighters, tabs and the bible you hope to use.

You can click the images below to order your highlighters and tabs.

        
I chose to use my Message bible for this, though I will say it was a little harder to find what I needed to highlight because of the way the Message bible is laid out compared to your typical bible. I may end up redoing it in my NIV bible at a later point, but for now this is working just fine!

We’ve started using this whenever we find a need to teach or discipline our children, some of the biggest issues we come across with our children are fighting, lying and tattling. They aren’t always very excited about this, but we’ve found that when we use the word of God to help teach them, they listen more and care more about what we are saying. Especially Boogie… she was incredibly upset the first time we did this with her. She was constantly hitting and scratching Bubby, it’s such a competition with them and that’s how she was reacting to his behavior. So I sat her down and we went over the verses on fighting and had her do some copywork and then write a prayer in her journal. She was ANGRY, she was upset, and then when she finally finished she realized why her mommy was having her do all of this.

Using scripture teaches our children not just what WE want them to know, but what God wants them to know… and I think that makes a world of difference. I saw my child’s heart soften as she copied her bible verses, and I saw my child write a prayer that asked God to help soften her heart towards her brother.

If you have ever desired an easier way to find the scriptures you need to help teach your child, this resource is the way to go. It’s also a great resource to use for your bible curriculum, we’ve really been able to utilize this during our bible studies!

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Mindy has graciously offered up a chart set to giveaway to one of my readers! Just fill out the widget below, entries will be verified.

Our Top 10 Baby Must Haves

You will find that there are MILLIONS of products to choose from when you start your baby registry. I know as a first time mom, seven years ago, I was overwhelmed by all of the options and choices we would need to make for our precious little bundle of joy! Not only are there lots of different types of things you need, but their are different brands, colors, sizes, etc etc. It’s almost too much to comprehend.

Have no fear my friends… this seasoned momma has a list of top ten products you SHOULD put on your registry. These are things I have used (and am still using) for all four of our children and you can find every single one of these over on The Baby Cubby!

  1. A good quality baby carrier: Ergobaby Original – We use several different types of carriers for our children. You’ll see us using woven wraps, ring slings and soft structured carriers. It all just depends on where we are and what we are doing. The carrier we reach for the most however is the Ergobaby soft structured carrier. You can use this with the smallest member of your family (in our case, Baby Bear, who is currently 7 weeks old) with an infant insert, to the toddler of your family! Bird just outgrew the Ergo, but we were able to use it up until she was 2 years old! You will also find ring slings and stretchy wraps on this particular website, as well as the newer Ergo carriers that allow you to carry facing out (I prefer to not do so, but to each their own!) 
  2. Swaddle Blankets: Aden + Anais Organic Swaddles – These are by far the BEST swaddle blankets you could own. They are the perfect weight and just the right amount of softness to swaddle your baby. Our older kids also used these for the longest time as their naptime blankets. They are also amazing to use in the car for those times you have to have naptime on the go – you don’t have to worry about them getting overheated under these! They have the most adorable prints, I’m really digging that fox print! 
  3. Nursing Cover : Covered Goods Multi-Use Nursing Cover – If you plan to breastfeed, I always recommend this type of cover. No, it’s not necessary to cover, but I know that I feel most comfortable and more modest if I have the ability to cover. These are great because they also work as a scarf, a car seat cover, and even a shopping cart cover. I know that as a mom of four littles, it’s nice to have one product that has multiple uses! 
  4. Reusable Breast Pads : Bamboobies Nursing Pads – I LOVE these breast pads, not only are they super cute, but they are super absorbent and you can just throw them in the wash so you can use them again and again! I never liked the disposable pads because they irritated my skin, so these were the ticket for me! 
  5. Breast Pump : Medela Pump in Style Advanced – If you plan to breastfeed, even if you choose to exclusively nurse, it’s good to have a high quality pump. Whether you intend to go back to work or if you want to have a stash set aside, the Medela brand pumps are the way to go. I don’t use mine as much now, but with Boogie and Bubby I used them a LOT in the beginning to set up a stash as a backup and to help alleviate some of the engorgement I had with my body getting used to producing milk. It hasn’t been a necessity the third and fourth times, but I still use it occasionally after nights of SLEEP (hallelujah!) when my little doesn’t nurse as often as usual. 
  6. Pacifiers/Pacifier Clips : WubbaNub Pacifier Lovey – Alright, so this isn’t something I thought we would ever use. Boogie, Bubby, and Bird… none of them would take a pacifier. I was their pacifier. Sounds like a blast, right? Well, sweet Bear has thankfully been taking a pacifier a little bit better than his siblings. Mainly in the van, which is a lifesaver because none of our babies have enjoyed being in their car seats at this age! These WubbaNub Loveys are FANTASTIC, they can hug those sweet little stuffed loveys while finding comfort in their pacifiers… perfect. Bear has a blue bear in his Easter basket, but this fox is super cute too! 
  7. Burp Cloths : Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs – Burp cloths are a necessity, especially with Bear (he’s a very happy spitter). These however are another product that have more than one use! Those first 6 months of nursing and burping, you can use these as a burp cloth! Then, once your little starts eating solid foods, you can use it as a bib! How cool is that? And even better, these are the same soft material as the swaddlers I listed above. 
  8. High Quality Body Wash/Lotion: Tubby Todd Lavender Gift Set – This is one of my favorite bath and body products to use with my littles. Tubby Todd is made with plant based ingredients and natural extracts, you can rest assured that they will be gentle on your baby’s skin and they smell AMAZING! 
  9. Soft-Soled Shoes: Freshly Picked Moccasins – When your little starts cruising and taking their first steps, having a soft-soled shoe is ideal. This allows their chubby little feet to continue growing and developing, while still having some protection for the soles of their feet. You may have seen my review of Freshly Picked Moccasins here on my blog. We LOVE these, they are high quality and absolutely adorable. 
  10. Baby Utensils : Re-Play Utensil Set – We actually have lots of Re-Play utensils, cups, and plates, but the utensils… they are seriously the best. They are super sturdy, high quality and they are made from recycled milk jugs! Our kids love how colorful they are, we have purchased a variety of colors. These are perfect for the babies learning to use utensils and your older kids. Boogie, at age 6, still uses these! 

These are ten of our MUST HAVE products for all of you new parents out there, it’s possible to keep things simple and still have amazing products that will work for your child… especially those that have multiple functions and long term uses!

This post was sponsored by The Baby Cubby, however all statements and opinions are my own and I truly do recommend every product in this post!