Thursday, November 22, 2012

Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Cloth Diaper Deals at

Holy moly friends, Diaper Junction has a PHENOMENAL sale in store for us for Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Save BIG this weekend with these great deals on name brand cloth diapers, baby carriers, cloth diaper detergents and more!

Double Reward Points ALL Weekend Long
Free Shipping on ALL USA Orders over $35
Free Gift Bag (while supplies last) when you order $79 or more! Gift Bag valued at $50+ and includes
  • Diaper Rite Wetbag
  • Rumparooz OS Pocket Diaper
  • Diaper Rite OS Pocket Diaper
  • $10 Stash Cash

Discounts you will LOVE on the brands you adore!
GroVia Newborn All In One Diapers – Buy 2 Get 1 Free
GroVia One Size All In One Diapers – Buy 2 Get 1 Free
GroVia Shells – Buy 2 Get 1 Free
GroVia Soaker Refills – Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Plus, Save 10 – 40% off
Boba Baby Carriers
TaylorMade Slings
Discontinued Kiwi Pie Diapers
Green Sprouts
Planet Wise
Best Bottoms
Aden + Anias
Select Bummis BabyLegs
Fuzzi Bunz
Fuzzi Bunz
Diaper Rite
and more!

Thanksgiving through Monday November 26th at midnight!
Shop this holiday weekend and save at!

*Plus, Flash Giveaways all weekend long on Diaper Junction's Facebook Page!

I don't usually partake in Black Friday but how can I resist when I don't even have to leave my house? I can't, that's how. I placed an order already during their pre-sale event - for $35, I snagged a new fitted diaper, doublers (finally!), cloth diaper wipes, and a new wet bag! I can't wait for my fluff mail and will be excited to see what else I can buy this weekend!

Year One

A year ago today, Daniel, you were born. A very superficial vein in between your eyebrows and a shock of dark black hair are just some of the features I distinctly remember noticing about you the moment I laid eyes on you. Immediately after you were born, the nurse gave you to me all fresh and covered in new baby goo (eww huh!?) and I just held you, I had never been so happy in my life before that moment! I remember counting each and every one of your 10 perfect fingers and 10 tiny toes, over and over, in awe of how perfect a little person could come out of someone as imperfect as me... but 10 months before, you decided to make me your mama so I won't complain! I was so happy because as much as you looked like your papa and uncle Joey when you were born, you had my toes. You definitely have my toes. My sweet little boy, you cried wail so distinct, as if to say "I'M HERE! LOOK AT ME!" and look at you we did. Your papa, bah-chan and I and when they joined us, your ji-chan and uncle too. A room full of the culmination of love and adoration we all started feeling the moment I discovered you chose us as your family.
The aftermath of you finally coming into this world and into my arms is a bit of a blur for me, I'm sorry to admit. But your papa remembers it vividly, recalling how you were born so quietly and cried only when the doctor did something to make you startle (probably a pinch on your cute little butt or something). You screamed and screamed until you came to me, naked and completely confused by everything except one thing: mama had you right then. Because at that moment, papa said you stopped crying. You knew you were home.
You were an average-sized baby at 7 lbs 10 ounces and 18 inches long, but it was your hair that made you seem so much older than you really were. Soon enough though, at the amazement of everyone who met you, your weight and height were exceeding the charts. At this moment, you look so much older than your 1 year of age not just because of your long dark hair (that we've already cut twice now) but because of your size - if I were to take a guess, since we haven't been to the doctor in a few months and aren't due for another visit until you actually turn 1, I would say you probably weight about 24 pounds and are 33 inches tall.

I know why you grow so well, you are a healthy young boy with a voracious appetite. When we first started giving you solid food at almost 6 months of age, you didn't like it at all. I was so nervous! I thought you would hate solid food forever! But little by little, you got used to having food in your mouth and all of the sudden, I realized you were even trying to feed yourself! Now, you have at least 3 meals a day, snacks in between and you still nurse 4 or 5 times a day - you are a eating, drinking machine! I think what did it for you in the beginning was avocado, boy that was your favorite. Whenever we went out to dinner, we would order you a little plate of avocado and you would be a happy camper. Now, I'm not really sure you have a favorite because you eat everything we give you with great vigor. It makes me so happy to see you thrive and love life through food; the world will be a delicious place for you, Daniel.

You learned to walk early. I remember so vividly the day when we were visiting your Japan ba-chan and ji-chan when you learned to stand on your own for the first time - it was a snowball from there. A month later, you look your first steps at 9 months and you've been racing towards toddlerhood ever since. But I know you aren't in a hurry to grow up because as far away as you dare to venture away from me, you turn to find me and run back just as quick. My little boy you will always be.

You are such a social boy, always smiling at others and so, SO curious. Everything makes you laugh, it's such a joy to hear your happiness spill from your lips. It makes me want to cry, that's how beautiful it is to me. I love the way you grab my face with your little hands and force me to look down at you when I'm wearing you in the baby carrier, the way your eyes search for me in a room to make sure I'm still there. I'll always be there, sweet boy. It reminds me to walk slowly, move meaningfully, look intently at you and cherish you because you don't know about the ugliness of the world yet, rightly so. You only know of the world your papa and I have been able to show you so far and hopefully, it's been enough. I fear that, daily... but when I see how happy and well-rounded you are, I fear a little less and feel much more pride.

We are in for a long, eventful voyage - your life will be long, beautiful, and ever changing; some days, you will think the world of me and then next second, I may be your worst enemy. No matter what the condition, I will always always love you with every single cell in my body, every breath I have taken and will ever take for the rest of my life. You are my pride and joy, every time I look at you I am taken aback by the beauty and perfection that I have been allowed to have as my sweet little boy, my first born. One day, you will know how it feels to fall absolutely, deeply in love with a child of your own... but not too soon, please. Let me enjoy being your mama first.

I love you.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Pancakes, the missing food group

I want to take a minute and talk about how so many moms, who once couldn't care less about the nutrition label or ingredient list on so many of the processed foods they consumed before, suddenly have a kid and realize "why AM I eating food made of things I can't pronounce?" or that the 200% sodium content in their Top Ramen they had for lunch and dinner is probably really bad for them? Overnight it's organic this, free-range that, the current hot ticket item GMO-free labeling, whole grains or if the child is REALLY lucky, GLUTEN FREE -  extra points for how many likes you get on the status update you posted from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. While I'm not that extreme, I will admit that I am completely guilty of choosing healthier options for Daniel now that he's around... and I'm actually benefiting, too.

One thing I adopted since becoming a mother of an early toddler who could eat table foods (which is AWESOME by the way, such a money saver!) is making my own foods for my entire family, not just Daniel. Biggest example: bread. I love bread. I could live on sandwiches or anything bread-related. The best thing about this bread maker I received from a friend is it makes dough too. PIZZA! Just the fact that I know every single ingredient I'm putting into my little bread-baking pod makes my head rest easy at night.

Just because it's healthier for everyone, I bought whole wheat flour and one evening threw together batch of ingredients for whole wheat bread. I was so excited to share a healthy slice of whole wheat bread in the morning with Daniel and as I knocked the loaf out of the baking pod, I noticed how incredibly heavy and dense the small loaf was. I didn't slice the loaf, I carved it and looking back, I should have used a chainsaw. A few bites in and I was completely turned off; the next time I made bread I followed the White Wheat recipe, MUCH better result! Half white flour and half whole wheat makes a loaf with the density of white bread with the sweet, hearty taste of whole wheat. It's perfect.

I have fond, fond memories from childhood of Saturday morning pancake breakfasts made by my mom where I would eat so many (which was only like, 2) and I would be so full I felt like I  might puke. I felt that way when I made these pancakes, it was so nostalgic! Being the budding penny-pincher that I am and just because I had every single ingredient on hand already, I went for a simple pancake recipe that I could throw together on the fly. Daniel and I had breakfast from mixing bowl to dining table in less than 20 minutes! I also recently made this for a Saturday morning breakfast for us + Gary, I had just shy of double the yogurt the recipe calls for so once everything was incorporated, I added a generous splash of milk. Worked like a charm!

6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cooking oil for your cooking surface (I used olive oil Pam)

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, incorporate together and mix well. It will be incredibly thick, add a splash (2 to 3 tablespoons) of milk to this mixture to loosen it up if desired. On a greased skillet at medium high heat, add 1/2 cup of batter; flip pancake when bubbles appear on the surface. Make sure the batter isn't too think as it won't cook through as easily. Top with your choice of condiments and enjoy with your little one!

(Adapted from the Greek Yogurt Pancakes recipe by Everyday Belle)

The addition of the whole wheat flour gave this recipe a nice richness in taste that I don't think would have been there if I used only white flour. Word of caution though, like I said above about the density of whole wheat bread, using whole wheat flour in this recipe creates fairly dense pancakes so if you don't thin it out w/ a fluid, you need to keep the batter in a thin layer on the skillet. I didn't put anything on top of the pancakes when I gave Daniel his; Greek yogurt has a bit of a tanginess, but the pancakes were actually sweet because of it. Just right for plain pancake bits!

Enjoy! We sure did!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guest Post: Papa Gar-Bear

Guest posting is something I have considered for my blog for a little while now, so you can imagine my excitement when Gary asked me tonight if he could write a little something for this here place in cyberspace. Here's a first-hand look at the other, better half of my life, the father of my child and the pillar of strength I lean on. Take it away, papa!

Hello followers. For those of you who got a bit excited for the next update from Julia, I'm sorry to disappoint you. But, as one of the main characters in Julia's story, I figured that it would be nice to give you all my perspective on things every once in a while as well. So, please bare with me.

I guess I'll start by first explaining the title of the post. When I was younger, I was well known for my seriousness, and my bit of an easy temper. Growing up as the oldest of three...with the words, "you're the oldest you're supposed to be looking out for your siblings," constantly being recited to me, I ended up having a protector type personality ingrained into me. My siblings and I are close. Closer than most siblings, I like to think. We are all pretty close in age, having about 2 years in between each of us. (I'm currently 27, brother is 25, and sister is 23). But without boring you with too many details, the three of us have all the same friends, and we hung out as a large group quite often. The catch was, that even though we were out as friends, I was still an older brother. So, when I noticed something I didn't like, I would be very vocal about it; not only to my siblings, but to my friends as well. So, I ended up with a reputation amongst my friends and siblings of having two sides to me. First, there was Scary-Gary. Which, I'm sure you can imagine who that is. Then there is Gar-Bear. The guy who wasn't out as a big brother, but as someone who was much more chill and fun to be around. Over the years, I like to believe that I loosened up a lot and became more of the Gar-Bear that my friends and siblings saw in me. Then, Julia and I got the news that we were expecting. Suddenly, Gar-Bear graduated, and out came Papa Gar-Bear...a nickname that my little brother was very quick to coin. I guess its better to be Papa Gar-Bear than to be Scary-Daddy-Gary or something.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up

I know I keep saying I'm not going to be blogging as often because of a certain other passion of mine at the moment, but you know how you always have plenty to say when you should be doing something else and nothing to say every other time? Yeah.
  • NaNoWriMo
  • My mom coming up to see us today, the look on D's face when he saw her, and how he held his arms out for her to hold him before she even made it through the gate of our apartment complex.
  • His year-old portraits. Seriously, who told him he could grow up so fast? (Before you say anything, yes he's just barely turning one, yes he is very big for his age, and yes he is wearing Vans.)
  • Having creative friends. It's always nice to have someone to be my soundboard and a resource.
  • Pugly Pixel. Seriously, is there anything better than this little gem on the web anywhere? I think not.
  • Same vein, different arm: Stubtle Patterns. Great resource for blog designers.
  • Nutella Hot Chocolate. Yup mhmm. As always, thanks Pinterest!
  • Finally, finally being okay with saying something is out of my hands... and feeling good about it. 
Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 1 - Recap

Image courtesy
I definitely will not be blogging every day of this month in regard to NaNoWriMo but I wanted to take a little bit of time while the boys are snoozing to reflect on the first day of National Novel Writing Month!

I started writing a scene from a running list of ideas I have on a text file in my hard drive. Sometime this year, I started having really vivid dreams and would sometimes wake up remember quite a bit. I started writing some of them down; the initial scene I wrote today was from that list. When a writer tells you that a book often writes itself, they are not kidding. This scene took a few paragraphs for me to get a sense for where it was going but after the dialogue started it took a really intense turn and I was so nervous for my character! When I finished that scene, I was fine with how it ended because it is how I imagined it should. It is going to be a nice segue to the next chapter, which we'll see how it decides to write itself!

By the end of the afternoon, I had down 2,586 words - to achieve a goal of 50,000 words over the course of 30 days, I need to write 1,700 words a day. So for a first day, a first book, and first challenge I've taken seriously, I think that's a pretty decent start. Now let's just see if I can keep it up!