Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pony Cakes & Princess Bikes! It Must be Ella's 4th Birthday!

Before we headed for our vacation to Washington, I wasn't certain how long we'd been gone. I found a number of coupons to Toys R Us and, thankfully, decided to buy a bicycle for Ella's birthday before we left. Since we ended up being gone for a full month, this turned out to be serendipitous. As the time approached to return home, we realized that school had started at home and we had plans to fix our roof the weekend following Ella's big day. We ended up sending out a last-minute invite to celebrate with cake and ice cream on Sunday.

I am so grateful to have such terrific friends. We ended up asking more last minute because we love celebrating with friends. Illinois is a terrific place to have a summer birthday because the weather is fairly predictable and it allows us to invite families over to relax, chat, play, and eat without crowding people into our home. The downside to the humidity is that everyone's faces are always bright red, but that's okay. Ella and her friends had a blast running around and I was so happy to see my good friends again!

Beyond the bike, I'd also purchased a few other small gifts in anticipation of the party. I've also known that our pony-lovin' girl has wanted a pony cake for months. So, we arrived home Saturday evening and I ran out to get ingredients for the cake, balloons, and a fun tablecloth. I've gone all-out in the past, but discovered that a few special touches such as these are all a little one needs to have a memorable party.

We love our wonderful Ella and it's incredible to think that she is already four years old! I love watching her grow and I'm excited to see the changes and growth this year will bring. She's jumped right back into preschool enthusiastically, even with a new teacher, and it will be fun to what her this year.

Here are some photos from our party Sunday:
Just like last year, I am always an ambitious cake maker and always a bit disappointed by my execution. But it's the effort that counts, right, and my 4 year-old loved her unicorn!
Here's a video of Ella's "Big Surprise" Gift. It's short and I love her series of expressions!



Grandma Cathy also threw a fun birthday party for the three August Birthdays in our family during our family reunion! Here's some fun photos for the family:

Monday, August 30, 2010

What a Difference a Month can Make: All About Ezra

We brought Ella home and the first thing people said was, "He's so big, tan, and blond!" Much more than Ezra's physical appearance has changed over the past month, though. We visited with family and they'd never believe that our friends often commented on how easy he is to babysit. In fact, he went on interviews with me for the paper starting at around 8 months and people would always comment on how mild-mannered and well-behaved he was. These days, Ezra is more like a bull-dozer.
Our little guy is impetuous, unfailing curious, stubborn, hilarious, grumpy, sweet, and lightening fast. He wakes up a whirlwind, spreading toys and crumbs, spilling drinks, making an instant mess of his shirt, chasing after the big kids. I'm amazed at how much his vocabulary has grown throughout August, much of it due to spending tons of time with his very verbal sister and cousins. We've heard hello, goodbye, cute, bubbles, baby, night-night, mommy, daddy, Ella, no (firmly for no and as a sort of question for yes), and more.
Ezra is social, but has a knack for playing on his own. If his sister's around, he loves to shadow and mimic her, clearly mesmerized by her big-kid allure. She starting speaking for him these days and it's pretty sweet. She'll say, "Mom, Ezra  needs a drink." "Mom, Ezra wants his window down." "Mom, can you get Ezra a toy too?" It's incredible seeing their bond grow and lean toward hugs and joint play these days. Although Ella did tell me that she needed a baby sister because "baby sisters don't hit." Hmm...didn't know that.
I often find myself asking Ezra, exasperated, "What do you want?" He's a mystery, unpredictable, tempermental. He's also a joy, making me laugh, surprising me with soft touches or sudden hugs, looking up at me with bright, curious eyes. There's nothing quite like watching him toddle around, showing me his new discovery, delighting me with a mischievous look or a grin.
I've put together a slideshow of some of my favorite photos of the past month. I know not everyone wants to/has the time to watch a slideshow, so I've also included a few of my very favorites within the post.



And, yes, you will see some disposables in these photos. I will be writing about cloth diapering while traveling and being away for a month later. We definitely used them, but some sposies as well. We are back to cding full time now that we're home!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Packing

When you are packing for a trip, it's a chore, but one accompanied by anticipation. You struggle with what and how much to pack, trying to be realistic, but somehow convincing yourself that you need this or that. Then there's the last-minute ditching of items you deem unnecessary - tennis shoes, socks, and long pants for me this trip. I was feeling very optimistic when I decided that I could get by with just capris and sandals for an August Seattle-area trip.

Now it's time to pack for home and it simply feels like a chore. I am excited to go home, but not about finding away to stuff the additional items we've picked up along the way for three people into our suitcases. Luckily, we have enough carry on potential items that things should be fine. When I traveled alone with the kids, I just had one backpack for the three of us. Now that Tim is traveling as well, I think we'll need to carry one for Ella as a carry-on to get our extras home.

I have mixed emotions today as I pack our bags. A big part of me is so ready to get on that plane tomorrow, but I will dearly miss my family and it's been such a treat to see them. Plus, the grass is always greener on the other side, right? I will have to return to cleaning my home, serious grocery shopping, and every day commitments and get out of vacation mode. But I think I'm ready.

Now I just have to get the packing done...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Space

My first year of college, I ended up as one of the (un)lucky few to be assigned to a three-person dorm room. While most students were adjusting to being away from home, their college schedule, and sharing a tiny space with one roommate, I was learning to adjust with two. This might not have been such a challenge had the college actually placed us in a room three times the size of the other rooms, rather than one and a half. Instead, we had to figure out how to jam three beds, three desks, and way too much stuff into two closets and far too little space.

Some young women would have probably made the best of this - and the best of friends. Unfortunately, three meant almost never having a moment to ourselves and invariably stepping on each other's toes. I remember it feeling distinctly like two against one for quite some time and I was the unlucky third. This wasn't all my roommate's faults, I know. It was awkward, however, living far from home in the middle of nowhere trying to respect my roommate's "towel on the doorknob" when her boyfriend came for an entire weekend..

Eventually, the one roommate jumped at a chance opening to move into a two-person room and the third slot never filled in our three-person room. Ah, suddenly we had two people and one and half times the space! My roommate and I actually became terrific friends at this point and had a blast together. I determined from that point on to always have space of my own, forgetting some of the great things I learned sharing a room with by big sister as a girl and sharing this space with my roommate.

Later on in college, I always rented a room to myself in shared apartments with a maximum of four girls. Other women would laugh as they discussed how fun and challenging it was to cram into a two bedroom, six person apartment. I didn't believe them, but I'm sure now that there were things I missed out on by being so miserly about my space.

Now I'm a mom and the concept of even personal space is a bit foreign. I don't worry about physical space as much as mental space. It's essential to make sure I am taking care of the clutter in my head and ensuring that I have a place for my thoughts, ideas, passions, etc. Part of that involves physical alone time, part of it is simply knowing how to re energize my brain throughout the day, and it also involves sharing and connecting with my husband.

Being on vacation and away from home for a month now has me once again reflecting on physical space. I've shifted around from place to place, to different sleeping arrangements, and homes. The small freedom I'm used to having by simply going out in my own car is now a luxury I didn't appreciate. I notice that even my dis feel it, a desire to be settled into "their space." And I've loved my vacation, but I  miss my own space and I think I appreciate it more  now than ever.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Independent and Oh-so Direct Little Girl

I am not certain if other moms struggle with this, but I find it a daily challenge to encourage independence, decision-making, and confidence in my almost 4 year-old while still teaching her to be obedient, polite, and respectful. I am happy to see that my little girl is growing into a true individual who is comfortable in her own skin, able to decide for herself, and comfortable speaking up. There are definitely moments where her bluntness can come off as abrasive and her desire to be independent branches off into defiance, but I think it's all a work in progress.

I am fascinated watching her and seeing how other people react to this tall, skinny girl with her frizzy hair and big eyes. Once she's comfortable with an adult, Ella is not afraid to say, "Read this book" (although we are constantly working on please) or "Let's play ponies." She is genuinely happy with who she is and is fairly confident that you will happily be her friend. One of my favorite moments during vacation included waking up one day to find her curled up next to my brother-in-law reading. Apparently, she saw him lying there, decided to cuddle up next to him, and proceeded to talk his ear off.

We went to visit some friend's of Tim's family last night and she quickly warmed up to the somewhat gruff grandpa. I loved watching her bravely ask him if he had ponies, then dollies, then pony movies. And he gamely answered her constant questions, including the persistent "whys' with good humor. And, while I wish she would more naturally wait her turn to speak, say please, and show more gratitude, I truly believe that with time, maturity, and good examples, these will come.

For now, my biggest hope is that she will retain this confidence as she grows. That she won't take as long as I did to learn to be comfortable simply being Ella. Because she is a wonder just as she is: clever, direct, loving, snarky, and sweet. And I wouldn't have her any other way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm Now a Contributor on the Doopsy Blog

Joanna at Doopsy Diapers invited me to become a contributor on their new blog. I'm excited to be a part of the Doopsy blog and share information, tips, and experiences related to cloth diapers! My first post, Top Seven Common Mistakes Cloth Diapering Beginners Make is up today. Be sure to head on over, check it out, and leave some comment love! If you have suggestions for topics you'd like to have covered, please leave them on the Doopsy facebook page. Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What are You Grateful for?

My friend, Erin at The Mother Load shared a wonderful list of things she's grateful for today and asked "What are you feeling grateful for?" I wanted to join her in focusing on the good things in my life, my abundance of blessings, the people who bring me so much joy. In no particular order, I am grateful for:

* My sweet husband. We've been apart far too much this month and I miss being together, sharing our days, simply being in the same room together. Everything is better when we're together. Saturday can't come soon enough.
* My two children. They can be rascals and drive me crazy, but I adore them.

* Candy. It's a lifesaver with Erin for her kids. I like to have it on hand for a rough day for myself.
* My family. It's been far too long since I've seen my sisters and their families. I loved seeing my nieces and nephews, introducing my kids to my family, and spending times together.
* The ocean. I know I've mentioned it frequently recently, but I love the peace I feel when I see it. For me, the ocean represents home.
* The new home I've built. Being away from my house, my friends, my everyday life for so long has truly helped me to appreciate what I have.
* My blog and my blog friends. You are incredible and I'm so grateful to know you. People who dismiss the blogging community are truly missing out on some incredible friendships.
* My mini Dallas vacation. It was a piece of heaven and I loved it! I kind of wish it had been the finale of my vacation.
* My faith. Life is complex and I am so grateful that my faith gives me an eternal perspective through my joys and trials.
* My work. I've always wanted to write professionally and I love being a freelance writer.
* Lastly, I'm grateful to be me and I'm not certain I could have always said that about myself.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hitting with Your Mouth - PYHO

Today I'm joining Shell at Things I Can't Say for Pour Your Heart Out. I hope you'll visit her blog and read some of the other posts linked to this as well.

It's not new to me that the mouth can be a vicious weapon. I can distinctly recall random moments in my life when someone's words slashed across my emotions. My reaction made them powerful because they angered me, silenced me, stopped me from moving forward, or reduced me to tears. I carried the wounds with me for a time and could repeat those words back when I felt frustrated, hurt, alone, or defensive.

I grew up amongst sisters, where words are the preferred weapon of choice, both defensively and offensively. We rarely ventured into the physical once we passed toddlerhood - except for the occasional snapped bra - and I never experienced the roughing up some of my friends with brothers received. But I learned quickly that words can bite, sting, belittle, and silence. A carefully chosen phrase or a criticism cloaked in sarcasm can be more effective than any punch and is often remembered long after.

I am entirely guilty of using words as defense mechanisms, to camouflage my insecurities, and to protect myself and my pride. I've born the guilt of uttering what can't be taken back. I've witnessed my words cause another pain. I've seen words put unnecessary distance between me and the people I love. And I've learned that hurtful words never bring the expected satisfaction. Any derived pleasure is momentary and the effects of misplaced and unkind words are bitter without the sweet. When I catch myself wielding words through gossip, contention, defensiveness, or sarcasm, I strive to stop myself, acknowledge what I'm doing, and apologize. I don't always get it right and often screw it up, but I know it's important to keep trying. I also expect the people I love to call me out on it and to demand more of me - which my kind husband thankfully does when I am being petty or hurtful,  usually because I'm being defensive.

As an adult, I've come to understand how powerful and destructive someone's words - combined with their attitude and demeanor - can be. I've experienced moments of rash, irrational, and deeply hurtful words on rare occasions, but this has thankfully never been something I've consistently dealt with. It's horrible how someone can expertly, concisely, and cruelly wield words to control others, keep them guessing, and manipulate their emotions. It's unbearable that some people constantly wonder what they're going to get when they approach someone, but love them so much that they'll put up with what comes their way. It's heart wrenching that some families tip toe around someone, accommodate their random whims, and soak up their moments of kindness like manna from heaven. Words can be hurtful, but they can also make others truly miserable, bitter, and small. As can the things that are unsaid. And words can be just as hurtful as a slap.

This topic has been like a weight across my shoulders, twisting my stomach in knots, crowding out my thoughts. I need to let it go somehow, stop allowing it to consume me, and I'm hoping this post will be the way.  In order to move on, in my heart I feel that I have to say this: If a loved one has a temper that keeps everyone on edge, has great highs, but terrible lows, causes people to cower, cringe, or put on masks to  hide their emotions through their words, this is not acceptable. It's not normal. And their loved ones deserve better.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Feels Like Home

Today, my family took a trip about an hour north to Camano Island to enjoy some rare 90 degree weather and play at the beach. For those unfamiliar with the water in the Seattle area, the water in the Puget Sound is a bit calmer and rockier than you'd find at, say, Ocean Shores. But it's still lovely and cool on a summer day with glorious views of mountains and sailboats in the distance.

I loved sifting through rocks of all shapes and sizes with my daughter and nephew, imprinted with endless patterns, some rough, others silky smooth.  We were awed by their wide array of colors and amazed at how they ranged from incredibly tiny, to huge rocks covered in barnacles. The kids wrinkled their noses at crab legs discarded by hungry birds and challenged themselves to crossing the logs strewn across the beach. I showed Ella one of my favorite sites - the water shimmering and glistening in the sun.

It felt so wonderful to simply be together, to not be in any rush. We had no definite plans, no place to be. Just the sun, beach, and birds to enjoy. An ideal day.

Thanks to my sisters, I also had the rare treat of going into Seattle with some of the family on Saturday sans kids. I loved showing them the Seattle Sculpture Park and having my brother-in-law Clint capture this photo:
When I was a kid, I struggled to enjoy the chaos of Pike Place Market, but I love it now. I wished we could have enjoyed more time, but loved simply walking through. And the Seattle Pier is a site to behold, filled with so many people on a Saturday afternoon. I loved the ocean air and eating a Rock Fish Taco at Anthony's. Yum. Such a wonderful, Seattle day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Never Again

I wrote this last night and debated about whether I should publish it. But this space is important to me, as our my blog friends. It's probably not appropriate to put any more specifics than this here, but I did want to preface this by saying everyone is safe and well and I am no longer dealing with this individual. 

As I held my baby close tonight, sobbing, sorrowful, furious, heartbroken, disgusted, and saddened, I took deep, ragged breaths of evening air and tried to let his even breathing calm me. I felt such relief that he is young and oblivious, tired enough to fall quickly asleep as we paced and cuddled. And gratitude that my daughter, safely tucked away with her grandparents camping elsewhere, escaped exposure to this. I've never been in a situation like this before and my prayer is to never deal with this again.

I know the famous saying that no one can control how you feel but you.  My own ability to control and temper my emotions was put to the test this past week to the extreme. I've been away from my home, apart from my husband, and managing my kids in new places. All of these things certainly added to my sensitivity, but in normal situations they wouldn't be enough - even combined - to rock my equilibrium this much. 

To be in a situation where to put up with bad behavior to keep the peace is degrading and humiliating, but deciding to stand your ground and refuse to no longer accommodate selfishness and endure disrespect only makes things work is infuriating. When acting rationally, showing common courtesy, and putting others first is beyond someone else, it's impossible to decide how to act. And my reaction surprised me. 

I got to a point where I couldn't stand it any longer, where I would rather be directly bullied than deal with very thinly veiled passive aggressiveness and blatant disrespect.  I also realized that it's difficult not to be petty, sarcastic, and childish in response to this type of person, no matter how determined you are to turn the other cheek or act maturely. And I was surprised to realize that no matter how much I wanted to keep the peace for someone I dearly loved and found incredibly painful to hurt, I couldn't continue to endure this even for my loved one's sake. I also think that I naively believed that acting in a rational way and standing up a bit might garner some respect. It didn't. All it accomplished was to put a target on my back and increase the tension.

Plus, I despised the resentment I carried, the rising tension everyone experienced, the carefully leashed anger, all because of one person.  These emotions, minus an outlet, tainted everything around me and I was more critical. It caused me to take a long look at myself to reevaluate how I treat others in my own life as well - does my sarcasm, conceit, or self-centeredness serve to make others feel small or angry? Am I condescending? Yes to it all. And yes to consciously working to change.

The only positive thing I can see out of this experience is that it drew the rest of us together to care for each other, protect one another, and appreciate the good, health, happy relationships we have together.

And things came to a head tonight. I think it's possibly one of the worst moments of my life. I don't think it would be right to go into specifics here, but it I don't ever want to deal with this again. And, even more so, I hope no one I love will ever have to either.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Down By the Bay

I've seriously missed blogging while on vacation and I miss keeping up with my blog friends as well! I'm excited and surprised to have an internet connection this week. We are on such a long vacation for a variety of reasons, but it's definitely made for a busy August! Today a part of me wishes I had an anonymous blog because I have a few things on my mind, but I don't want to hurt anyone by sharing them here. I also need to find a way to upload some photos from our vacation, but I'll probably need to wait until I finish  my vacation.

I love being with my family, even with the limited space, crazy kids, and sometimes conflicting personalities. Watching your daughter hold hands with a cousin she's instantly made friends with on a walk you remember from childhood is magical.  Seeing your son play with toys you loved thirty years ago is indescribably sweet. Looking in the backseat of a car and suddenly seeing a cherubic baby face in your fourteen year-old niece's makes you simultaneously long for the past and excited for the future.

I've looked forward to our trip home to the Seattle area for quite some time now. I have a long list of "must eats" - beef Teriyaki at Manna, Alfy's Pizza, Taco Del Mar, the local Mexican restaurant and "must dos" - see the sunset over the ocean, dip my feet in the water, take my kids on the Mukilteo ferry. They're too little to appreciate some of the more popular Seattle sites, such as the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, but the kids did loved the Woodland Park Zoo. Ultimately, it's not really about any one place or thing - it's simply wonderful to breathe in the fresh air, see the mountains, and be home again.

The hardest part of this all is being separated from my husband. Due to some unexpected work commitments, we've been apart for way too much of this month and it'll be another week yet. If he'd continued on one assignment, he'd be here on the weekends, but that didn't work out. And I miss him terribly. Some things just aren't the same when you can't share them with your best friend.

Right now, the kids and I are out by a Bay about an hour and a half from where I grew up for our family reunion. It's amazing here and the sun has thankfully made an appearance! I love seeing my kids dig their hands in the sand and wade through the seaweed to get to the water and discover sand dollars and clam shells. My favorite things are watching how much they adore their grandmother and staying up late playing games with my sisters.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Little Comfort One Size Bamboo Fitted Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway

 And the winner is...Comment #1 EHC. Congratulations! I will notify you via email and you will have 48 hours to respond.

I've been MIA most of the week, having a wonderful time vacationing and with a fairly low quality internet connection, then viruses attacking the laptop, blogging has been a challenge. I'm excited to be back to Seattle with a better connection and to share the Little Comfort one size bamboo fitted cloth diaper with you!

I recently had the opportunity to try a cloth diaper that is brand new to the US market, thanks to Debby at Otter Babies. In fact, the Little Comfort cloth diaper, designed in Ireland and made in Turkey using fair trade and labor practices, is going to be offered in the United States for the first time this month through a limited number of retailers. Otter Babies will be one of these retailers because of Debby's interest in seeking out new, innovative, quality products for her customers. 

This diaper intrigued me because of its promise to remain as soft as the first day you received it - even after 300 washes. When the Little Comfort cloth diaper first arrived, I was immediately impressed by how supple it looked. One touch of the incredibly soft bamboo and I was in love - this is quite literally the softest diaper I have ever felt!  I couldn't wait to pre-wash and try it on my little guy.I've tried other bamboo fitteds and they've disappointed me after the first wash.This wasn't so with the Little Comfort. While I haven't (yet) washed this fitted 300 times, I can say that so far the diaper is nearly as soft as the first day after several washes. 



While trying out this diaper, I was also curious about why bamboo might be a good choice for cloth diapers. I was excited to discover that bamboo is a great environmentally friendly cloth diaper fabric choice because it grows quickly, is bug resistant, and takes far fewer resources to grow than traditionally grown cotton.  It is also naturally breathable, highly absorbent, and antibacterial.  Add this to its incredible soft texture and it really does make an ideal fabric choice for cloth diapers.


Fitteds can seem a bit daunting when you first begin cloth diapering, but now I wouldn't want to cloth diaper without them. I've found fitteds to be the ideal night time solution, especially paired with a wool diaper cover. Some of my favorite diapers are one size fitteds because they are versatile - you can wear them without a cover to let your baby's bottom breathe while you're at home, you can wear them without a liner, or easily add extra liners without adding a great amount of bulk. 


My son tried the Little Comfort a myriad of ways and I found the diaper to be incredibly absorbent for day time wear without a liner and a good fit for heavy night time wear with a liner. In fact, I love that it comes with two sizes of liners, so you can double up if necessary.  One of my favorite features are the snaps included on the size two liners, so you can include extra absorbency without having it slip or move during wear.


Like most one sized fitteds, there is a small learning curve when using the diaper on a newborn setting. While my son is older, I decided to follow the handy step by step instructions with pictures on the Otter Babies to size the diaper to the smaller setting. I resized it with little difficulty, but did feel that folding it down could create a bit of bulk, especially with a cover, more so than a slimmer fitted in a less fluffy fabric might.  But this is fairly common with a one size diaper on a smaller setting.


After trying the Little Comfort cloth diaper from Otter Babies, I give it the following rating (out of 5 stars):


Cost: **** Compared to other one size fitted diapers, $18.97 with two inserts included is definitely a lower price. I'm excited to see a fitted (especially with inserts for each size) below $20.


Fit: *** I like the fit of this diaper and think it would work well for a broad range of shapes. I do think that the bamboo fabric makes this diaper a bulkier in the snap area than other fitteds I regularly use, so I don't like the fit quite as much.


Absorbency: ***** This diaper is incredibly absorbent and definitely passed the heavy wetter test at our house. I think that the diaper plus one insert would be ideal paired with a wool cover for an average wetter.


Durability: ***** This diaper washes well and maintains its soft texture and lush appearance after several washes.The snaps are sturdy and I believe it will hold up well over time.


Color/Appearance: **** The Little Comfort has a soft, natural look that surprisingly appeals to me. I generally like bold colors and fun prints, but I can appreciate the supple look of this diaper that makes it look a bit luxurious, especially because it is even softer than it looks.


Otter Babies has generously offered one The Inquisitive Mom reader to be among the first to try the Little Comfort Bamboo One Size Fitted cloth diaper from their shop! 

To Enter to Win a Little Comfort Cloth Diaper from Otter Blotters, you can do one or all of the following. Please leave a comment for each entry. For example, 2 entries = 2 separate comments.

1. Mandatory Entry (Must complete for other entries to count): Visit Otter Babies and tell me another product they carry that you would like to try. 2 Entries. 
2. Visit the An Otter Thing blog and subscribe.  1 Entry. 
3. Publicly Follow my blog. 1 Entry.
4. Subscribe to my blog in reader. 1 Entry.
5. Blog about this giveaway up to 2 days before it ends. Be sure to include www.theinquisitivemom.blogspot.com and www.otterblotters.com in your post. 3 entries.
6. Subscribe to the Otter Babies Newsletter. 2 Entries. 
7. Follow The Inquisitive Mom and Otter Babies on twitter. 1 Entry each. 
8. Tweet about this giveaway up to 3 times per day (tweets must be 3 hours apart). Be sure to include @InquisitiveMom @Otterbabies and a link to this post in your tweet. 1 comment per tweet. Please leave a link to your tweet (right click on date stamp). You can use the following tweet: Win a 1 Size Bamboo Little Comfort Fitted #clothdiapers from @Otterbabies & @InquisitiveMom! http://tinyurl.com/2dhrgvg #giveaway pls RT
9. Read about the Otter Blotters and come back and share something you learned about them. 1 Entry.
10. Follow Otter Blotters and The Inquisitive Mom on facebook. 1 Entry each.


I will be on vacation throughout the week for a family reunion. I don't know if we'll have strong internet access. Please don't worry if you don't see your entries appear immediately. I will moderate them.

Good luck! This giveaway will be open Tuesday, August 10, 2010 until Friday, August 20, 2010 at 11:50 PST. Must be 18 years or older to win. Contest open to US residents only. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn. Winner will be drawn by using Random.org.

I received complimentary product to review for this post. I was not compensated. All opinions are my own.
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