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    Do you know where your family is?


    2009 - 08.26

    This is a compensated review from BlogHer and AT&T FamilyMap

    I was recently given an opportunity to check out a new program offered by AT&T Wireless cellphone service that allows you to register the cell phones in your family and from there, check on their whereabouts.  For those who have children with cellphones, this is a fantastic idea.  I try not to be a nervous parent, and I think most of the time, I do pretty good.  I don’t hover too much, I make practical judgments and I don’t take chances.  And as careful as I am, there are times that I need to let him and go and do things on his own.  School is obvious, but not as stress-inducing as it’s a walk to the corner to catch the bus and the school is barely a mile away.  But what about those times that he’s going on an outing with a friend and their family?  Or when we send him to Elko to stay with my in-laws as we often do when he has breaks from school?   Those times, it’s nice to know where he is.  And it’s nice to be able to know when he arrives at a destination too.  Basically, this service from AT&T Wireless gives a parent like me peace of mind.

    This brand new service is called AT&T FamilyMap.  And it is exactly what it says.  It’s a map of your family!  From your home computer or even your mobile phone (if you have web browser capabilities), you can log into your account and with the click of a button, check up on your family and see where they are with your own eyes.   Think of how handy this is when you call your teen aged daughter and she says she’s at the library but the FamilyMap tells you she’s at her boyfriend’s house instead!    But more than that, it eases a worried mind.

    The features here are truly nifty too!  You can set up schedules for the different phones in your family and it will automatically check on the location of that phone at the given time.  So if you need to know if your daughter made it to school or your son made it to soccer practice on time, you can with amazing ease.  You’ll be sent a text message to your phone with the status so you know right away.

    I’ve been playing around with this and have been very pleased!  In spite of my husband’s phone showing up as being in Florida for the first day (still not sure why that happened), it works perfectly, showing me when he gets to work, and even better, when he’s on his way home (I can’t be the only one who counts the minutes until their husband gets home at night, can I?).   I couldn’t locate my son’s phone at first until I found out that it had fallen behind his bed and the battery had run out.  One charge-up later, and I could see when he got to school and where he was playing down the street at a friend’s house, even!

    Need more information? To learn more, and sign up for a free, 30-day trial, check out the FamilyMap site. Free trials are AWESOME! Also, check out how the rest of the BlogHer Reviewers explored AT&T FamilyMap – you have 10 chances to win a $100 Visa gift card. You read that right… you can WIN. And you can win right here too!

    Because that’s the best news yet: there’s a contest! What do you need to do? To enter, just leave me a comment below and tell me how you keep your peace of mind – or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. The contest will begin at 8/27/2009 and will end 9/20/2009. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.

    Rules:
    No duplicate comments.
    You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
    You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
    This giveaway is open to US-residents, aged 18 and older
    Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
    You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

    Your peace of mind can be regarding your family, as mine is, or it could be a strategy for keeping your cool at work, or dealing with difficult family members or anything else you can think of! Please no “scary” stories, just share the good stuff with us! What helps you get through the day, the tips and tricks for calm and serenity that work the best for you.

    What can you win? As I mentioned before, a $100 Visa gift card, to use however you’d like! In addition to peace of mind, who couldn’t use that? So don’t be shy, leave your comment below and enter today! This contest will be over September 20th, so don’t delay.

    Oh, and check out the official contest rules.  Good luck!

    ETA: Thank you to everyone who entered this contest!  I fired up random.org and their handy dandy number generator and the winner is comment #…. 7!  Lucky 7!  Congratulations, Bonnie!  I will be contacting you shortly for address information.  And again, thanks to everyone for chiming in, I really enjoyed reading all the responses!

    Happy Baby Cloth Diapers


    2009 - 06.22

    I’ve made no secret on my other blogs that I have been cloth diapering both of my youngest children, aged 2 and 1 years old.  And I love it!  It works so well for us!  And while I do have a decently sized stash of diapers that work well for us, I always love trying out a new diaper, to see if maybe it’ll work better or if I’d like to expand our stash.  I’ve had great luck so far, thankfully.  And the nice thing about cloth diapers is that even if you try something and it doesn’t work, there are many avenues for you to sell that diaper and recoup a great deal of your cost in the process.

    Happy Baby Cloth DiapersI was thrilled recently to get the chance to review some one-size pocket diapers from Happy Baby Cloth Diapers.  I started out cloth diapering using primarily largely manufactured diapers, such as bumGenius and Fuzzibunz.  But I find now that I know more about cloth diapers and am more comfortable with them as a whole, that I am enjoying even more the diapers that are made by WAHMs (Work at Home Moms).   I love supporting crafty mamas trying to earn a few pennies for their families and often the workmanship is unparalleled.

    Such is the case with Happy Baby diapers.  I received two of the one-size pocket diapers to try out and I have to say, I am in love.  These diapers have quickly been elevated to “nap diapers” in our house, which to those of you out there who use cloth diapers, you know that is high praise indeed!  I can not only trust these diapers (and the super thirsty inserts they came with) to absorb what I need them to, but unlike some of our older Fuzzibunz, these stay on my son who has recently cultivated a newfound interest in stripping during naptime.  Not so with the Happy Baby diapers though!  There is no gaping, they fit snugly and comfortably, and so far my son has yet to try to remove them.  Yay!

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    As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot of extra room to grow here.  Then again, my son is getting close to potty training age.  Still, he’s on the skinny side so you might want to beware if you have an extra chubby wee one.  But I have played around with the different snap settings and I feel confident in saying that these diapers would fit small babies well without a whole lot of extra bulk.  The fit is trim and yet comfortable.

    The sewing is quality work.  The seams are all straight and tight.  The snaps are all applied correctly and evenly.  The elastic is tight and stretchy.  The fleece on the inner of the diaper is soft and effective at keeping my son’s diaper area dry in between changes. The PUL (polyurethane laminate) that keeps the diaper water-proof is thick and effective.  No leaks here!

    If I had any constructive criticism (other than the snugness on older children), it would be the pocket that you stuff with inserts.  It’s a little snug to get your hand inside and the position of the pocket can make it difficult to remove an insert from a soiled diaper.  I would probably move it up closer to the waistband so that the insert could be easily shaken out over a diaper pail.  That said, it’s a minor inconvenience on a diaper that works so well for us!

    I think I will certainly be interested in getting a few more of these to so that we have enough for naptime and outtings every day!  The WAHM behind Happy Baby Cloth Diapers is super nice to work with and you can be confident that she does a great job on these diapers.  Also? The price is VERY right for a one-sized diaper.  If you’re looking to start cloth diapering or if you already do and would like to try a new diaper, give these a try.  You won’t be sorry!

    Book Review: “Babyproofing Your Marriage”


    2008 - 02.21

    Babyproofing Your MarriageI was sent this book, gosh, about a year ago. And I’ve been dying to talk about it ever since. Along the same lines as Mrs. Fussypants’ completely awesome MarriageHacks site and League of Extraordinary Wives, this book discusses how we might be sabotaging our own marriages and how we can make our relationship with our husbands better during what is admittedly a very rough time: childrearing!Like I said, I wanted to talk about this book back when I first received and read it, but my own blog never seemed like quite the right venue for such a discussion. Still, this book seemed too great NOT to talk about. The pages seemed to be brimming with humor, insight and practical application. I tried to make up for it by recommending this book to every parent I know, especially if they’ve just had a baby. I don’t know if any of them took me up on it, but if not then it was their own loss.

    Like I said, this book made an enjoyable read as well as an informative one. Authored by friends Stacy Cockrell, Cathy O’Neill and Julia Stone, it was filled with silly cartoons and true-life situations that made me chuckle out loud on more than one occasion. And while sometimes I find non-fiction books to be dry and boring and difficult to get into, I genuinely looked forward to reading another chapter. Yep, it was a page-turner!

    I would say that if you are in the throes of early childhood and you find your relationship with your husband suffering from lack of tending, check this book out! I think it would also make a great baby shower present, particularly if you are close to the guest of honor. I don’t think this book could possibly have all the answers, but the mere fact that I remember it (and remember it so fondly!) an entire year later should tell you that it definitely was worth a read!

    If you’d like to purchase this book, you can find it here at Amazon.com!

    Rating: ★★★½☆