Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of 2014! The Pierogie Mama's most popular posts

Here's a round up of the top posts from the blog this year!



Honorable mention.. Ruby's birth story! My baby is almost 10 months and I can't believe what a year it's been.


December in photos

This month flew by and I'm realizing that 2014 ends TODAY. So here's a quick recap of our month.

Lots of toddler art // cutting down our tree from the forest and riding it down the slope 
// hide and seek // holiday potty training // 
obsessions with battery powered candles // meeting Santa


 
Sister love x2 // belly off the ground crawling success // baby fairies are the best!

December is the best food month. 
Kozy Shack copycat rice pudding // home smoked salmon // 
It's not Christmas without pierogies! // Bavarian Soft Pretzels

 See you in 2015!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Visiting the Seattle Aquarium and how I almost lost my mind (I mean, my camera)


Lately I feel like I've been truly losing my mind. And everything that I touch. Doesn't normally mommy brain disappear after 2-3 months? I feel like mine gets progressively worse over time. In the last few months I've been continually losing my car keys, glasses, Boba and have broken a cell phone (but been on and off without one for almost 3 months). A couple weeks ago I lost one of my most treasured possessions - my camera. I'm a photoholic, ask anyone who knows me, and to lose the memory card alone was just devastating. Because I know computers crash without notice, I've been in the habit of using the memory card on my dslr as a mobile external hard drive and have gotten lazy about uploading them onto the computer. I mean, what are the odds that I'll lose the camera, right? It's certainly not small like a cell phone. Well, friends, it happened, but this story has a good ending, so read on!

A few weeks ago we visited the Seattle Aquarium. I hadn't been there since high school and Penny loved our visit to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium shortly before Ruby was born (and we also visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach back in October, still working on the post for that one!) so we took a family trip and were tourists in our own backyard for a day. 

It's a relatively small aquarium, and on the day that we visited it was very blustery outside so we opted to run through a lot of the outdoor exhibits on our way to the next indoor area.

The main room has a lot of viewing tanks that draw childrens' attention. Penny's favorite was the touch a tank, where she got to touch starfish, urchins and other coastal tidepool creatures.
My favorite exhibit, which is a curiosity to all, was seeing the Giant Pacific Octopus. Most of the aquariums that I've visited have an octopus, but they always seem to be hiding. On this visit, the octopus was out in the open and there even was a volunteer standing next to her with tons of information. 

I loved walking around and showing the girls all the gorgeous colors that you can find throughout the different ecosystems that make up the Pacific Ocean.
You can kind of begin to see my love affair with my camera, right? Don't get my wrong, my cell phone camera does a great job for 90% of life. But these scenes require a little more firepower and I'm thankful to have my camera handy for them.

The last part of our visit was at their felt board area where Penny got to make her own ecosystems using the felt creatures. Somewhere between taking these pictures, playing with the felt, changing diapers and going to the car, the camera was set down and not given a second thought until we came home and I went to upload pictures for this blog post. 
We scoured the truck to see if somehow it was tossed in there without us thinking. It wasn't there. I contacted the aquarium, only to get the voicemail machine for several days. I even put out a lost ad on craigslist! I prayed and prayed that someone had found it, saw that the memory card was full of pictures of our family and turned it in at the front desk. It was a long shot, unfortunately there are people out there who would just call it "finders keepers" and take off with it. I think a week passed by and I finally reached out the the aquarium one last time via facebook.

This time I got a message back and they had my camera! Joy of joys! We picked it up and now I have these pictures to hold on to forever.

It was a close call. I've had this camera for over 5 years, it was a college graduation present from my parents and it's traveled the world with me - on our honeymoon to the Dominican Republic, our babymoon to Europe and everywhere in between. I was beside myself that in all the places that I've taken it, that it could have been lost so close to home.

What it comes down to is that even though we get bogged down in life because of that jerk who cut us off or that unapologetic glare from another shopper while you deal with your toddler's melt down at the grocery store, there is still so much good in this world. There are still people out there who when presented with an opportunity to get a nice camera for free they choose to do the right thing and help it find it's owner again. For all the less-than-helpful experiences I've had from strangers since becoming a mother, I've been met with ten times as many helpful ones.

Have you visited the Seattle Aquarium?
or
Tell me about a time when a stranger was kind to you!

See what zoos The Pierogie Mama has written about

Friday, December 19, 2014

Overnight Potty Training?!


You're going to hate me. Potty training has been soooo easy for us!

As more and more of Penny's cohorts were potty training, I grew anxious to see what was in store for us. We had a couple experiences with potty interest when she was about 15 months old, and then I got pregnant and *I* lost interest in potty training and resigned myself to the couch. This past summer was also a failed attempt (mainly because, again, I couldn't keep up while having a 3 month old strapped to me). So we relaxed, enjoyed the fall and as the holidays approached, I had no hopes of her potty training because what kid potty trains around the holidays? We're constantly out of the house, out of our routine, the excitement of aunts, uncles and cousins...and how do we deal with public bathrooms?

It all started a couple days before Thanksgiving, where Penny woke up from her naps dry. I decided to give it a shot and put her in some Gerber cotton training underwear. I maniacally followed her around, pestering her if she needed to go potty and within 20 minutes or so she said she did so we got out her princess potty seat and plopped her down. To her great delight, it came and I rewarded her with a chocolate chip from a pretty jar that sits in our bathroom. We continued this for the next 3 days (with diapers during naps and bedtime) and she even stayed dry all through Thanksgiving weekend while visiting my in-laws and running around after all of her cousins.

For the following 2 weeks I would reward her with each successful potty by giving her a chocolate chip from the jar. She knows that a poop = two chocolate chips, a couple Frozen stickers and perhaps a tattoo if I have them laying around. We'd make a big deal out of successful attempts; I'd list of each person who is proud of her and I'd tell her to announce to Ruby that she went potty (because her sister's admiration is already important to her!).

Over the last week I cut out the chocolate chips for going potty. The little stinker was starting to play me and would go potty even if she just had one drop (because any potty meant a chocolate chip). So mama wised up and changed the rules to chocolate chips for poop (and she won't let me forget that she gets 2 Frozen stickers and a tattoo).

If I were to give anyone some tips on how we did it, this is what I would suggest.
  • Keep it simple. I'm sure that she could have potty trained when she was 15 months old (not kidding), but the timing wasn't right. I was in my first trimester and exhausted. The following round of interest was when Ruby was brand new and it just didn't work for me to wear newborn Ruby and be standing over the toilet with Penny. So even though the timing wasn't ideal and I didn't get to capitalize on an early potty trainer, waiting until she was absolutely ready made it so much easier and less stressful on each of us.
  • Figure out what reward system your child wants, and go for it. Even though we generally stuck to the one or two chocolate chip rule, if convincing her was a little more difficult that time I would allow her to grab more than her allotment. The stickler for rules in me had a problem with this at first, but I remembered that we're dealing with a child and honestly the toilet can kind of be a scary thing. Keeping it upbeat, happy and rewarding is important.
  • If you are crafty by any means, sew a panel of fabric with your child's hero onto the front of the underwear. As you can see by my picture, it doesn't have to be perfect. Whenever I would put Penny into her underwear I would tell her "Remember, we're wearing our Frozen underwear. So don't pee on Elsa and Anna!" That was a huge motivator for her! I know that there is Frozen print underwear available, but I couldn't find the Gerber training underwear style and I already had a bunch of plain ones and also extra fabric laying around. 
I have to say, after cloth diapering 2 kids for 9 months, I am relieved in the break from laundry work. Penny is now 33 months old. It's a bittersweet transition though, because I miss that fluffy butt of hers. We still put on a diaper for naps and night time, even though most times she ends up dry. It just ensures that she will sleep longer. She's also passed the torch to her little sister is my resident cloth diaper model. 

How is potty training going for you? Any tips to share? 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, December 15, 2014

My mom life: "Why hasn't this been invented yet?"








If I had a penny (haha, so punny) for how many times a day I think "there's gotta be a better way of doing this," "why hasn't that been invented yet?" or "is there an app for that?!" then I'd probably be writing this post from my office in my winter getaway tropical cabana. You too, right?

I think that moms are some of the most driven people to innovate new ideas because in the midst of our daily lives while we're trying to accomplish whatever it is we're trying to do, we've got the littles pulling us in the opposite direction. Bless their angelic little hearts, but whether you work inside or outside of the home, you know this plight. So many times a day I'm caught doing the same work over again (Ruby now finds it hilarious to unpack everything that I just put away into a drawer two seconds ago) or I'm literally juggling two kids and 5 bags of groceries. My stress level heightens, I become a crabby mom and sometimes there are days where it doesn't look like I did anything at all. I think to myself "there's got to be another way."

Well, to be honest, all of the innovating juices in this family come from my engineer husband and I am awfully pleased with myself when I go on a crafting spree and have something cute to show in the end. That's the limit of my creativity! So I will be relying on another mom who's had enough of whatever it is that's holding her back to come up with a better solution. "Like" if you get me.


Did you know that there's this new website, Mumzy, that speaks to all those things? At Mumzy, moms with ideas come to this place with a crowdfunding campaign and work with professional resources to help develop her small business. 

Mumzy is the first and so far only crowdfunding network for moms. This unique project tailors their support to this specific demographic because we, more often than anyone else, are faced with those problems and questions that I shared earlier. The US Census estimates that there are 82.5 million mothers of all ages in the US and with 4 million babies being born annually (Source: eMarketer, 2013), we've got a lot of incentive to be inventive. 

But what if you are like me and aren't really an innovative problem solver? Mumzy also gives you the option to explore the current campaigns and support the ones you love! Currently there are four live campaigns on Mumzy and as the network grows and raises awareness, who knows what mom will be inspired to fix that annoying problem that you, I and every other mom deals with? How exciting is that?


What I like about each campaign is that they feature a high quality video that tells you about the cause. Each one also outlines different incentives for however much you choose to donate - from a facebook shout out to a cameo in a video they produce. Mumzy is offering their own incentive to boost interest - the first 100 people who post a project to MUMZY will have a chance to win $1,000 back towards their project's funding goal!

Are you that mom who's been holding onto that great idea that's going to be a game changer for all of us? 

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting toddlers involved in the holidays



Toddlers are such a handful at times, but when things are good, it's pure magic with them. This year the spirit of Christmas is making a big impact on my 2 1/2 year old, Penny, and I have been going through a list of holiday activities with her. Here's a few ideas to help you get going on how to get your toddler involved during the holidays:

1. Picking out the tree together
2. Creating ornaments (we bought a couple ceramic ones from our local craft store and I let her paint them)
4. Cookies! Check out our experience below
5. More Christmas candy, like dipping chocolate covered pretzels and decorating with sprinkles
5. Make garlands using pom poms, popcorn, cheerios, macaroni noodles, cotton balls, beads
6. Hand print crafts
7. Felt board stories
8. Read Christmas books together
9. Make scented playdoh
10. Create Christmas cards
11. More craft ideas: make candy canes with beads and pipe cleaners, Popsicle stick ornaments, salt dough hand and foot prints, pom pom wreaths

I'm a baker at heart and it's been a long time dream of mine for the day when my daughters can help create goodies for our family. So last Christmas Adam made a kitchen step stool station for the girls that will safely bring them to counter level. While Ruby rode along for the ride, Penny and I got started with decorating our first cookies together.

Because fun and being mindful of the time (for both the toddler's and infant's attention span!) was of the utmost importance, I used Toll House Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough. Toll House has 4 different flavors of pre-rolled cookie dough to choose from, and I chose sugar cookie because that's a family favorite! The dough was already rolled out the the appropriate thickness so from Penny's standpoint the fun was ready to begin!


I showed her how to gently press the cutter into the cookie dough (just like how we practice with playdoh) and I moved the cut shapes to a cookie sheet for her. Following the instructions on the package, we let them bake and fully cool before moving on to the decorating portion of our activity. Meanwhile, we played with the playdoh from item #9 above because she wasn't done using the cookie cutters!
For the decorating portion I made a simple frosting using solid coconut oil.
4 cups of powdered sugar

1/2 cup solid coconut oil
5 T milk
1 t vanilla extract
food coloring
Cream together the coconut oil and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in milk and vanilla until it is smooth and stiff. Add a couple drops of food coloring until you get the color you desire. 

And then I was reminded of the valuable lesson about toddlers. Even when your plans are laid out perfectly, things hardly ever go as planned. 

Once the cookies were done baking and had cooled, I showed Penny the frosting that I had made and laid out all the sprinkles for her to choose from. SUPER excited. I slathered on the frosting onto each cookie and laid them out onto a piece of butcher paper for her.

And then things took a 180° turn. Suddenly, according to the toddler, all sprinkles MUST be put away and the frosting MUST be removed from the cookies. NOW. Like "mama give me a wipe, no no no no frosting on these cookies pleaaaaaaaaaaaase!"

Friends, life's greatest mysteries are not about Nessie, the Bermuda Triangle or Stonehenge. It's toddlers. No one will ever understand why.

And there you have it. Mothers dream about the day when we get to bake cookies with our sweets for the first time and how magical it will be. In my case, I was spared the flour dust parties (thanks to the pre-made cookie dough!), and I even thought it was smooth sailing until the end...and then true to form, my daughter makes it interesting at the very end!

Find out more about Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets 
Share your favorite toddler friendly holiday activity (or toddler friend holiday activity fail!)

Disclosure: Thank you to Nestle Toll House for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to create and decorate delicious cookies with NestlĂ© Toll House Rolled & Ready Cookie Dough Sheets!

Healthy Transformations

Today's discussion is sponsored by Sara Lee®. Read on for my transformation, learn about 45 Delightful People and healthy options from Sara Lee® Delightful Bread!

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Is it an understatement to say that this year has been a year of big changes around here? But isn't it for everyone, every year?

With Ruby's birth in March and Penny turning 2 in the same month, I learned quickly that I had to re-evaluate what is important to me and how to best manage my time. After all, not only did I need to survive the sometimes harrowing journey of motherhood, I wanted to thrive. I didn't want this year to be a "hard year," instead I focused on it being a "learning year." And that meant making some serious changes.



The biggest change that I made is accepting that I can't do it all myself. I can't always be the #1 caretaker (as I had tirelessly been with Penny), I finally admitted that I'm not a tidy person and never will be, laundry (especially cloth diapering 2 at the same time) will always be a daily chore and honestly (as much as I take true joy and pride in it), not every meal snack and treat will be made from scratch. If I wanted to maintain my sanity, keep a sense of myself, be a good wife and mom, I needed to just let it go and accept help when it's offered...

Can't all moms take a lesson in that? It's so hard!

Many of us use new year resolutions as a way to change for the healthier. Eat better, go to the gym more often, lose that holiday weight. This year's goal will be for an improvement in mental health. I will take time for myself more and not only accept help but ask for it. My hope is that I'll be a less-stressed mom and it'll show in my parenting and relationships.

Do you have a transformation that you want to share? 
Enter it in the Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People campaign and automatically get a free t-shirt and possibly be one of the 45 winners semi-finalists or the grand prize winner of $4,500!

If you're looking for ideas for other healthy transformations, check out Sara Lee® Delightful Breads. They are delicious and only have 45 calories per full-size slice. You can find them in oatmeal, whole wheat, Healthy Multi-Grain and wheat. They are heart-healthy and provide an excellent source of fiber and best of all...no artificial colors, flavors or high fructose corn syrup.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sara Lee®.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lights Extravaganza! Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach

The holidays are so full of traditions! Our family traditions include Candy Day, pierogies, cutting down a tree from the woods and a big favorite for the kids - The Lights of Christmas.
If you're a Seattle local, this is a light show you do not want to miss. My husband and I have been to most of the large light shows between Seattle and Portland and we keep going back to Lights of Christmas in Stanwood because it's such an awesome experience!
The Lights of Christmas is at Warm Beach Camp, just an hour north of Seattle. Warm Beach Camp is a Christian camp and conference center that lights up 15 acres with over one million lights during the month of December. The truly stunning lights displays are the best I've ever seen, but what sets this festival apart from the rest is all the other fun activities!
It's a truly festive experience with live carolers, plays, choirs, story telling, arts and crafts, shopping, a gorgeous Nativity scene and so much more. Here's what our experience was like this past weekend.

Most of my husband's immediate family showed up to walk the Lights of Christmas together. Penny ran around with four of her cousins while Ruby enjoyed being passed around and carried by the adults. As soon as we walked through the gates, we beelined for the closest donut stand and ordered probably a dozen packages of freshly made donuts and multiple cups of hot cider and cocoa. You cannot go to the Lights of Christmas and miss out on the donuts!

Next on our agenda was Bruce the Talking Spruce. It's adorably corny, just a tree with a face and a mysterious voice coming through and talking to the guests. You'd think that it was a pre-recorded voice, but they have a camera rigged up and "Bruce" really talks to you! He'll ask the children specific questions (asking "the little girl in pink") and impart a few tree jokes. What's a tree joke? Well, for example...

Our group of kids weren't scared of him and just had a great time talking to him.

Afterwards we filled up on more goodies (kettle corn) and headed over to the Polar Express Train, which drives around the camp.  No Lights of Christmas experience would be complete without a pony ride (according to the girls) so we headed over to the corral.

Our final stop for the evening was at the petting zoo, where there were llamas, goats and sheep.


20800 Marine Drive
Stanwood, WA 98292




Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Lights of Christmas. We were so honored to be invited to the event, we simply love it! All opinions are my own

Sunday, December 7, 2014

God Bless Our Christmas

As Christmas approaches, I've been pulling out my decorations and books that have been tucked away for a year. One of my favorites is pulling out the Christmas books - Rudolph, The Polar Express, Frosty and The Velveteen Rabbit. This year we've added a couple to the stack and we've been really enjoying reading God Bless Our Christmas to the girls.

God Bless Our Christmas is an adorable book that takes the child through different winter activities (illustrated with polar animals, my favorite!). 

It's easy to let the Big Guy In Red or his mischievous little helper take over Christmas. The idea of these seasonal characters is fun, exciting and different for children. I get it, I also have really fond memories of Christmas-time and many of them revolve around Santa and I want my girls to experience the same magic that he brings. But do you know who else accomplishes great feats in unbelievable circumstances? God. And he's not limited to a time of year or delivers only if we're good. 

This year will be Penny's first season of emerging awareness of Santa.  Because of how highly commercialized his image has become it's very easy for children to think that he's what Christmas is about. So using this book, as well as other developmentally appropriate stories and learning tools, we'll begin to teach her the reason for the season and the story of Jesus's birth.

The end of the book brings it all back to God's gift and the celebration of Jesus' birth. It's a wonderful, short book that points out the experiences that children will probably have during the holidays and a reminder of the blessings we're given.

Win it!
Thomas Nelson is a Christian publisher that includes books for kids and teens.  One Pierogie Mama reader will win a copy of God Bless Our Christmas! Check out how to win below.
Read my other Thomas Nelson Christian Children Book reviews:
I love you all the same



Disclosure: I am a Tommy Nelson Mommy and I was provided the books below for review.  All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breastfeeding through pregnancy


This past November marked a year since my older daughter, Penny, weaned on her own. She was about 20 months old and I was halfway through my second pregnancy with her little sister, Ruby. Choosing to nurse through pregnancy was not a decision that was lightly made; but it was a pure conviction that this was right for my girl and I. 
___


When I became pregnant with my second child in June of 2013, I realized I had a big decision to make. My daughter, Penny, was 16 months old, and I was no where close to being ready or willing to wean her. Was it possible, or even recommended, for me to continue nursing through my pregnancy?

My gut reaction was that yes; I can and should. My daughter still nursed 4-5 times a day and although she was nearing night weaning, I wasn't ever planning to make us quit cold-turkey. Even knowing in my heart that I wanted to continue to nurse, I knew I'd have a tough road ahead of me.

At the end of my first trimester I blogged about why continuing to breastfeed in the early part of my pregnancy was my saving grace. No, it wasn't always comfortable. Pregnancy hormones were coursing through my body, I was sore and nauseated. But for my toddler none of that made a difference. She had no idea why mama was so tired all the time. Some moms might think that breastfeeding during pregnancy is inconvenient, another worry on their plate on what to do when the new baby comes, but for me it was a break. It was a break throughout the day, several times, to just rest and relax with my daughter...because Lord knows there was little else to stop her!

In my second trimester the discomfort truly began to peak but I still pushed on. I purchased Adventures in Tandem Nursing to read up on what to expect and how to help cope.  As my belly ballooned we started side nursing more often and she began to naturally cut back on frequency and duration. I began to suspect that I was drying up at around the 17-18 week mark, and there were many times where nursing was just plain painful. I put up a few boundaries to help keep the nursing relationship a beneficial and enjoyable one for the both of us and that worked for the following month.

At 23 weeks we took our planned babymoon. Because nursing had steadily decreased to only 1-2 times during the day and once at night time, I prepared myself that the night before we left may very well be the last time I nurse Penny. It's fairly common for that age to wean over night, especially because I had never spent a night away from her until that night. So I snuggled my Penny close, quietly reflected on the past 20 months that we shared this special bond, and let it go. My husband and I left her in the capable hands of her grandparents and took a refreshing break to prepare for our second child (that was due the day before Penny's 2nd birthday...but she had other plans!). When we returned, Penny wasn't terribly interested and I never offered again. Weaning her was an emotional time for me, it meant that after a 9 month pregnancy and 20 months of nursing, she no longer physically needed me for nourishment. But the excitement of the next baby coming eased my heart a little, and I wondered if she would regain interested once she saw her little sister nursing.

Ruby was born a week after her sister's 2nd birthday, and my oh my how my life has changed! Having 2 children just a hair over 2 years apart has not been easy, but also has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As Ruby grows and gains more mobility, Penny has begun to interact with her more and I catch some of the sweetest moments that they share together. Though Penny never asked to nurse again, she understands the importance of it. Sometimes when Ruby is crying, she exasperatingly says "Mama, give Ruby MILK!"

This was originally published as a gust post on Mama Pure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Crafting - Felt Stockings

I'm not a crafter by any means. But sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet and I go a little craft crazy for a little while. Does that happen to you?

Ever since Penny's first Christmas (2012), I've had the idea to make our own Christmas stockings. I'm a very novice seamstress, at best, but I felt like this wasn't beyond my ability. So after a little bit of pinterest / etsy inspiration, a felt stocking tutorial, a trip to the craft store and .. ahem .. 2 years of procrastinating.. I got them done!

So here's a photographical journey of how I made my stockings (I'm going to call it that instead of a tutorial, because I am in no position to be giving anyone instructions on how to sew!).

Did you notice the polar animal theme?

Crafting these cuties definitely started my Christmas mood! Normally I had my Christmas pandora station running on my laptop while sewing away, but I learned that Idina Menzel (as in, Elsa) has a holiday album out this season so I jumped on that one!



The album list includes:
  1. Do You Hear What I Hear
  2. The Christmas Song
  3. Baby It’s Cold Outside (Duet with Michael Buble)
  4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  5. All I Want For Christmas
  6. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  7. December Prayer
  8. When You Wish Upon A Star (my favorite)
  9. Silent Night
  10. River
  11. Holly Jolly Christmas
  12. White Christmas
  1. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (Bonus Tracks on Target Exclusive with Michael Buble!)

Buy it on itunes or Amazon



This week I will be pulling out all of our Christmas decorations, but here is our mantel in the holiday mood!


Have you handmade any decorations in your house? 
Tell me about them!

Disclosure: I participated in the Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Merry Fluffy Christmas! Buttons Diapers and Sew Fatty giveaway



This post was originally part of the Merry Fluffy Christmas giveaway.
_______

Yay! This is one of my favorite giveaway hops of the year! I'm really excited to get some extra fluff under (and on) your Christmas tree!

I've been a long time lover of Buttons Diapers - in fact, did you know that I was the first blogger to review them back in 2013? Amy, the owner, and I know each other through my sister-in-law and I was so excited to help Amy get her business off the ground and into the hands of Pierogie Mama readers. Since then, Buttons Diapers has grown to have 12 colors of solid covers, 6 prints, wet bags, flannel wipes and a new addition has been hemp inserts, which I will be sharing with you about in the new year!


Buttons Diapers are an AI2 (All - In - 2) system for cloth diapering. This means that you have a re-usable cover with snap-in inserts. When the baby wets the diaper, just snap out the insert and reuse the cover. If the baby soils it, just toss all of that in the wash. This is a really economical way of cloth diapering because you don't have to buy as many covers as you do inserts! Buttons Diapers recommends a starter pack of 6 covers, 18 day time inserts and 2 night time inserts (the "basic package". This will get you through about 2-3 days of diapers. You can add more to last longer, but I personally recommend always washing diapers at least every 3 days. 


The fit of Buttons Diapers is very versatile as the covers as considered to be "one size" and are made to fit most babies between 9-35 lbs. I've had both of my girls use these diapers as day time and night time options without any problem. Both girls are side sleepers and at first I was curious if the cover would hold up to leaking from the side overnight. It did! Because of the double gusset feature on the legs it holds up really well keeping pee or poop inside. Having used these covers for the last 2 years, and currently 9 months of overlapping 2 in cloth, the elastic has held up and is as strong as it was on day 1. I can't say the same thing about my Bum Genius diapers!


Having fluff under the tree is wonderful in itself, but if you're a cloth mama like me, you like to spread that fluffy cheer every where you go. That's why Pollyanna from Sew Fatty is offering a Pierogie Mama reader a one of a kind cloth diaper Christmas ornament! These are adorable for your tree and I also hung one on my door wreath last year!


Buttons Diapers and Sew Fatty have generously offered one Pierogie Mama a prize pack of 2 Buttons Diapers AI2 covers with 3 daytime inserts and a Sew Fatty handmade cloth diaper Christmas ornament (the print on the ornament may be different from what is shown). Enter to win this fabulous prize pack below!



This giveaway is over. Thank you to all who entered! 

Disclosure: The Pierogie Mama is not responsible for prize shipment. I was not compensated for this post.



Friday, November 21, 2014

The JBF Lynnwood Toy Sale is here!

Have you shopped a JBF pre-sale before? Did you know that there are 3 ways that get you in the door before the public?

Consigning

Volunteering
Winning a Pierogie Mama giveaway ;) (well, for a JBF Lynnwood or JBF Everett event, anyways!)

This event was my 3rd time consigning (2nd time for JBF Lynnwood) and I got to knock out ALL of my Christmas shopping for kids + two nephews in one fell swoop. Let's all breathe a collective sigh together. Because if you're like me, it's really easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, searching for the right toy at the right price. Imagine my glee that I got it all done in the span of an hour last night. !! More time for the real reason for the season, right?!


So as Pierogie Mama JBF tradition goes, I like to post a few pics on instagram and then I like to post after my pre-sale shopping on the blog so that when you go shopping for the rest of the event (which is today, Friday 11/21 and tomorrow Saturday 11/22 - see times at the bottom of the post) you sort of know what to expect and maybe will get a chance to snag what I left behind for ya!

Here's what I picked up:

Psst... had to omit a few things because there's certain aunties who peruse the blog and I didn't want to give away Christmas surprises too early! :)


Here's some fun stuff that I saw:


The JBF Lynnwood Toy Sale and Holiday Bazaar is a little different from other JBF events because the primary focus is taking care of your holiday needs. For consigned items it's mostly toys, with holiday clothes and home decor thrown in. Heidi, the owner of JBF Lynnwood, also invites local vendors to set up their table at this event and they get to share their products and services with you (many have great event specials going on too!). Unfortunately I didn't get to see all the vendors last night because most were just getting set up, but I can tell you that I saw Jamberry, Miche, 31, Tupperware, Usborne, Strider Bike and Smith Brothers Milk tables. Those are already big crowd favorites!


The schedule for this year's JBF Lynnwood Toy Sale:
Friday Nov. 21st 2014 9ap to 7pm

Sat Nov. 22nd- 8am to 3pm (50% off sale from 12-3)
*Free admission- suggestion canned food donation to Mill Creek Food Bank
Located at Gold Creek Chuch
4326 148th St SE, Mill Creek, WA 98012


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by JBF Lynnwood. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Penny for your thoughts (vol 3)



Look, that leaf is running away from the wind!

I want you to take me up the North Mountain.

It's a STICKOSAURUS!

Only girls have boobies. And mamas.

When Santa comes to our house, I will get chocolate from him. Really really REALLY mommy! We will share it.

In a very angry, teeny tiny toddler voice: Wurt (Squirt, the dog) tried to trick me! So I went upstairs to hide in the bafroom. Wurt, stop trying to find me! Mama, Wurt ate my sawich. I need it back!

I think I like Ruby Booby.


What do leggings look like? A horse, pants or a kitchen box? I ask her questions in the same format, so now she's trying to test me!


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