Tuesday, May 7, 2013

1300 Facebook Fan Giveaway!

This blog has grown so much in the last couple of months.
A lot has changed here for us recently and I’m trying to just keep up which most days is a total joke but hey, keepin’ it real!
However, I really appreciate each and every one of my fans.
So to show you how much I love you all I am doing a giveaway just for you!

I recently purchased On The Spot Studio’s planner notebook and love it!
I have never been good at keeping a calendar/planner. They never seem to really fit my style and needs.
Especially now with the blog, all of our family stuff, babysitting, and ideas floating around in my head I really felt the need to get one good place to keep it all.
I find this planner is perfect to meet my current needs!

No matter if you’re a blogger, mom, small business owner, or are just someone who jots down notes (and like me loses them) you will love this planner! First off: Hello Fun Colors! I love the colors that Tiffany used throughout this planner. It’s cheery and honestly makes me enjoy writing down our schedules in it.
I’m notorious for forgetting to write things down or not feeling like it and just trying to remember everything in my head. Well, guess what, that isn’t working so well anymore.  I recently forgot several commitments I made to people and feel HORRIBLE about it.

This planner has 132 pages.
There is a full month calendar at the beginning of each scheduling period.
Underneath every calendar page has an important notes spot. I personally use this section in EVERY month.
There also are sometimes dreams and goals, jot it down, or just empty boxes for you to fill in whatever you need to.

Then within that month you have five pages with four rectangles. These pages work perfect for blocking out your daily schedule, client sessions, or whatever you need it to do for you.
For me personally I have a page that is just for blog stuff, a page for detailed family scheduling, ideas/sketches, and a couple of extras for when I run out of room in one or for my 3 year old to draw mommy a pretty picture in.
Here is an example of my blog page:
Blog Post Ideas
Blogs needing to be done ASAP
Reviews waiting to be completed
Current Giveaways (start/end dates)

Then you also have five standard notebook pages to jot down other notes during each month; perfect for keeping all of your important notes, memos, dreams, and ideas all in one place.
It honestly has made a world of difference for me!

They run March-February and honestly I just really love this planner.
One of my other favorite features throughout the planner is some of the months have a little “Goals & Dreams” spot under the main calendar. You have a perfect little spot to write out some of your dreams and goals for the month and then there are boxes to check them off when you complete them! Love it!

Without farther ado I am now giving away THREE planners! A $50 value for three lucky people! And if you don’t win one but you want to get one of your own you can go HERE. And use the code OTSS15 to get 15% off of your purchase!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just a few details: The planner prizes were purchased and will be fulfilled by me (Jessica @ Thankful For Thorns). The $100 gift card is being provided by On The Spot Studio. Although this did end up to be a review of this product all of the opinions are my own and I did not receive anything to do this review. Sadly its wicked expensive for me to ship this to Canada so I am only opening this to the US :(

Friday, May 3, 2013

Signing With Baby

When I was in high school I was required to take a language class.
I attempted Spanish and well I barely passed that class.
Even now I can only say a few things in Spanish.

Being homeschooled gave me more language options.
My mom did a unit study on American Sign Language.
I instantly fell in love with the language and excelled in ASL.

My plans for after high school were to go to Rochester Institute of Technology 
for their interpreter’s program. God had far different plans for me. 
I wasn’t accepted to RIT for their ASLIE program.
I ended up taking an online course that was very inexpensive and worked at a local clothing store.
I ended up getting engaged and we had plans to get married the following year.
Instead of going off to college like I had planned I got married and have since had two wonderful babies.

I had a cousin growing up that was the third child in her family and she refused to talk.
She could talk but she refused to. She would make grunts and her two older siblings would do all of the talking for her.
The problem was bother of her older sisters went to school during the day.
It was very frustrating for my cousin and my aunt as they had no way to communicate with each other.
So her parents began doing baby signs with her.
Signs like “more, please, thank you, all done, potty, cracker, cheese, drink, milk, juice, water, and play” made a world of difference in their family.

I knew even before I was pregnant that I would do sign language with my kids.
Between seeing the frustration of so many of the kids I babysat and my cousin I knew they had to be a better way.

When my oldest was probably 10 months old my best friend babysat for us.
We had already been signing for a while with him and when she was feeding him dinner he was able to tell her that he wanted “More Milk” in sign.
He was able to completely communicate his needs and wants with her without either of them getting frustrated.
We continued to sign with him consistently and when we took him for his one year check-up his vocabulary was double what was expected.

This time around I honestly hadn’t been nearly as consistent in working on signing with my baby. It’s funny how different things are when you have two kids.
But recently I stared signing “more” with Bug.
At 8.5 months old he is now able to sign “more” during meal times to let me know when he is ready for the next bite of food instead of the whining/screaming/hitting his highchair tray. It really only took maybe 3 meal times and a couple of snack times for him to get it.

The next word I plan on teaching him is “all done.”
I would really rather him sign all done instead of spitting his food back out at us.

Did or do you sign with your babies?
Is it something you want to do but aren’t sure where to start?

You can go to your local library, they usually have great resources on baby sign books.
My local library has a wonderful set of baby board books by Lora Heller
There are also great free resources online such as ASLPro.com's baby dictionary and 
http://www.babysignlanguage.com/ has a ton of great things as well!

Be sure to hop and over and check out all of this great information on The Parenting Patch blog:
Parenting Patch: baby sign language
Parenting Patch: Poppy Signs Milk

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Grow Your Stash Bash!

If you’ve looked around the blog much lately, you’ll see that I have been posting quite a bit about cloth diapers. We are a cloth diapering family. I love talking about cloth diapers whenever the opportunity arises. Including in the ladies bathroom at the County Fair while my husband waits and wonders what happened to us.

Parents decide to use cloth diapers for a multitude of reasons. Some choose cloth diapers because it is kinder to the environment. Others choose cloth diapers because of the long term cost savings. Some families, though, are truly struggling: they are part of the one in three families in the United States and Canada who have to choose between buying disposable diapers and buying food or paying rent. Now before you pass judgment and state that a couple shouldn’t have kids before they can afford diapers you should know that even hard working families can struggle.

While you might know that we are a cloth diapering family; You might not know that we were one of the 33% of families that didn’t know how they were going to diaper their little one, while still paying the bills and having food to eat.
Cloth diapering was a no brainer for us as far as expense. We bought a very modest stash of 24 one size pocket diapers. Knowing we had enough diapers to diaper our son from birth to potty training was a huge weight off our shoulders.

Regardless of why these families choose cloth, the start up costs can often be intimidating. For that 33%, the start up costs can be crippling and seemingly insurmountable. That's where Cloth for a Cause, Cloth Diaper Addicts, Viva Veltoro, and Leettle Baby... and the Build Your Stash Bash comes into play.

Cloth for a Cause is a brand new Canadian charity. They've been operating since 2011 with a simple mission: to help those 33% get their babies in diapers. In the year and a half that they've been open, Cloth for a Cause has expanded from one little chapter in Prince George to fourteen stretching across Canada. They've helped nearly 150 families get their babies in cloth. Last month, Cloth for a Cause became a legal charity. Not only does that mean that their ability to help struggling families has grown, it also means that their need for assistance has grown! You can help by donating to Cloth for a Cause through their PayPal account or by sending a cloth diaper donation to one of their chapters. (If you live in Canada and are making a donation of $20 or greater, they can issue a tax receipt!) If you're near one of our local chapters, you can donate material goods and cash directly to the chapter. If you're not and you'd like to donate some diapers, our Nova Scotia chapter has a large need for services!

Now for the Grow Your Stash part of the Grow Your Stash Bash!


Several wonderful companies have teamed up to put together to help us put together two awesome packages to Grow Your Stash!
Package #1 is open to Canada and the US:
One Best Bottom Shell and two medium inserts from Nicki's Diapers
One Glow Bug Spectrum Package (six diapers, eight inserts, and a wetbag)
One newborn diaper by Diapers by Chris
One pocket diaper and insert from Hunny Bunny Baby Wear
One fabulous bag of Rockin Green detergent!
One AppleCheeks swim diaper!

Package #2 is open to Canada only:
A Thirsties Package (Thirstiest Prefold, a Thirsties Stay Dry insert, a Thirsties Duo Cover, and a Snappi pack) and a Rockin Green sample pack, all nicely bundled in a Cozy Bums shopping bag.
A fifty dollar gift certificate to Lagoon Baby
One Glow Bug Spectrum Package (six diapers, eight inserts, and a wetbag)
One pocket diaper and insert from Hunny Bunny Baby Wear
One fabulous bag of Rockin Green detergent!
One AppleCheeks swim diaper!
One diaper and wetbag from EcoWays!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bummas Baby Cloths Giveaway!

A sweet blogger friend has a giveaway going on currently.
She has allowed me to post the rafflecopter for you to enter it here but be sure to go to her blog to read the full review!


a Rafflecopter giveaway