20 for 20 Reading Challenge. Can you do it?

20 for 20? Are You Up for the Challenge?

Are you up for a challenge that will not only benefit your children, but benefit you as well?  20 for 20?  Can you commit to reading 20 minutes a day with your children for 20 days?  I invite you read how this can change so much for your family!   My friends at Scholastic sent us some books to test drive for this challenge.  We would have participated regardless!

20 for 20 Scholastic Reading Challenge

Besides enjoying the glorious waters and beaches of Turks & Caicos for the Social Media on the Sand Conference, I also had the pleasure of getting to know some fantastic friends at Scholastic.  We all know them…I am sure many childhood memories can be formulated for that day in school…book fair day!  Who is with me!?  Or that day each month that the paper thin catalog of all those fun new books went home in your folder!  Oh I loved those days.  I used to go home and look through it 10 times in the hopes my parents would let me place an order!

Growing up we were not a reading family.  I honestly cannot remember one single time my parents read to me.  How awful is that?  I read because I had to in school or because…The Babysitters Club…need I say more?

I’d like to introduce you to Spangenbaby

I’d like to formally introduce you to Spangenbaby!


It’s the middle of the night and I am awake feeding this little miracle in my arms.  I am tired.  Very tired, however I don’t mind it one bit.  The middle of the night is when he and I can just be together.  No older brothers fighting for kisses.  No wet dog noses to check and make sure all is well with his baby.  No daddy to share this little guy with.  No TV, no visitors, no interruptions.  Just he and I and quiet silence except for tiny squeaks and breaths as he nurses.  I rub my thumb on his cheek and he peeks an eye open at me to say hello.  He slowly drifts back into his milk coma peacefully.

Spangenbaby Tired

I spend extra time after he eats burping him.  Not only to get him to sleep better but I love when I put him over my shoulder.  He throws up his arms up around my neck as if he is hugging me back.  I savor this feeling of his little arms thrown over my shoulder.  I sit and pat his back with my cheek against his.  It’s so soft.  I nuzzle my nose in the crook of his neck and take deep breaths of that glorious baby smell.  How I wish I could bottle that smell up.  I can hear is breaths in my ear and he makes coos and grunts to let me know he doesn’t like to be burped :)  His little head of super fine hair is so soft and I just sit and rub it in my hand, softly kissing his squishy, squishy, squishy cheeks!


I often fall asleep like this.  He and I just snuggling and being together.  It’s certainly not the most restful sleep.  OK so it’s not restful for me at all but I do it over and over and over because soon he will be sleeping through the night and our quiet, middle of the night time together will be gone.  I have the rest of my life to sleep so I don’t mind much.


34 Weeks + Freshly Picked Moccs Giveaway

As you are all mostly aware…#3 is on his way in July.  Spangenbaby, as I refer to him now (because he has no real name yet!) is a true labor of love.  We waited a long time for him to decide to take up camp in my belly.

Blue Confetti

I took for granted how easily Michael and Ryan came to be ours.  It was a rocky road to get to #3, but he is 34 weeks along and likes to pretend he is a ninja in my belly working to break his way free!  He likes to hold dance parties in utero at early morning hours (a throw back to my college days I am sure) and he prefers to eat strawberries all the live long day.  He does NOT like to be squished, so all those maternity shorts that go over the belly…he’s not having any part of that!  Nor does he like when his big brother Ryan decides my belly is the perfect pillow!  He opens up with his own rendition of a number from River Dance to annoy is big brother enough that he moves to a real pillow.

He also demands sno-cones (shaved ice).  Like all the time. <—I may or may not also partially pass my wants for these off as his wants but I am sure he is okay with this agreement we have as long as I keep putting strawberries on everything!  I mean, I have been neglecting sushi and booze for some time for this kid…he can certainly take one for the team and agree to me blaming him for wanting shaved ice!

7 months sober

I also feel like he should be celebrated more.  I talked about that here when I threw a Gender Reveal Party for Spangenbaby.  Why does only the first kid get a party? (shower).  Why then do you only get a sprinkle (I think that’s what they are calling it these days) if you are having an opposite sex baby?  Why can’t we celebrate ALL babies with a party?  I am going to start something here my friends!   You just wait and see!

Sweet Susan of Freshly Picked is helping me celebrate this little guy!  Do you know Susan?  Did you watch her on Shark Tank?  That’s right, she totally dominated Shark Tank and I have had the privilege of actually hanging out with her in real life at some blogging conferences this past year.  She is kind of awesome!  If you don’t know her you might want to meander on over to Freshly-Picked.com and check out these amazingly adorable moccasins she makes for your little’s feet!   (Psst…also check out her brand new line of FABULOUS Bags!)

Freshly Picked Moccasins


From the Mouth of Babes…Honesty from a 3 Year Old

It never is so honest as it is from the mouth of babes…Honesty from a 3 year old!

I’m standing in my bathroom getting ready to hop into the shower.  As always, I have a spectator.  Nope, not my husband, but the smallest person.  Every mom knows exactly what I am talking about:  you pee with an audience, you shower with an audience and when you think no one is watching you sneak that cookie…well be damned you have an audience!  With #3 on the way I fully acknowledge this situation and actually don’t think too much about it until the other day…

Honesty from a 3 year old

I opened the shower door to get the water started.  There is a little person (pictured above) sitting on my bed.  My bathroom door is open and he is singing me a silly song…and this is the conversation that follows:

Ryan:  Wow Mom, your belly is getting bigger!

Me:  It is!  Why is my belly getting bigger?

Ryan:  Because there is a baby in there!

Me:  That’s right!  Baby brother is in there growing bigger!

{silence…I think I am off the hook}

It’s A….

  BOY!   That’s right!  You heard me!  Spangenbaby #3 is a boy!  If you are keeping track, that’s THREE boys!  One, two THREE!  I thought my house was loud now…I can only imagine the craziness it will become when there are three little boys running around! It will also be filled with imagination, make…

Gender Wives Tales + $100 Gift Card Giveaway from thatswhatchesaid.net

Blue or Pink…What Do You Think?

Blue or Pink?  What do YOU think? Saturday March 1st marked the 20 week Milestone for this pregnancy.  We find out gender on Wednesday and then we are having a gender reveal party on Sunday. You can read more about my family here.  I thought it would be fun to go through a list of  wives tales and tell you what I am experiencing and then you all can vote on whether you think Spangenbaby is a boy or girl and enter for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to a store of your choice!  Why?  Because I am pregnant and I said so :)

Gender Reveal $100 Gift Card Giveaway at thatswhatchesaid.net

Old Wives Tale: Toddlers
If a toddler boy expresses interest in a pregnant woman, she is having a girl. If he doesn’t show interest, she’s having a boy.

Ryan tells me at least 5 times a day that I am pretty and he pats my belly and says he’s patting the baby!  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Side You Most Rest On
If a pregnant woman prefers to lay on her left side, she’s having a boy. If she prefers resting on her right side, she’s having a girl.

Honestly, I prefer sleeping on my back…but lately I have preferring my right side.  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Dad’s Weight Gain
If the dad-to-be gains weight while you are pregnant, it’s a girl. If he doesn’t gain weight, you’re having a boy.

Well Fred is on a mission at the gym and eating right and he is down like 15 lbs and counting…  BOY

Old Wives Tale: Breast Test
If a pregnant woman’s left breast is larger than the right breast, she’s having a girl. If the right breast is larger, it’s a boy.

If I look, the left is notably larger than the right.  However they are both out of control!    I asked Fred, but made the mistake of lifting my shirt BEFORE asking the question so a definite answer never came out of him.  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: What Do You Think?
71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having.

Well I thought Ryan was a girl but obviously was wrong…however I do really feel this one is a girl.  I think I am just falling into the wives tale trap or trying to will some estrogen!  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Morning Sickness
If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy. If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl.

I was not sick one single day with Ryan.  This baby however was not the same.  Nauseous, nauseous, nauseous!  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Protein

When a pregnant woman craves meat and cheese, count on a boy.

I crave salads, fruits and vegetables.  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Hair on Legs

If the hair on your legs has been growing at record speeds, you might be having a boy.

Hair on legs is finer and slower growing!  Thank goodness because normally I have amazon hairy legs!  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Hands are Dry
If your hands are constantly dry, it’s a boy.

Mine are not this winter?  They were incredibly dry with Ryan.  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Urine
What color is your pee? If it is bright yellow, you will have a little boy. If your urine is a dull yellow, plan on a girl.

Well really haven’t investigated my pee that often in the beginning it was bright yellow I think due to all the extra vitamins I am on for my “issues”  But now it’s pretty dull I guess. So not really sure on this one?  NEUTRAL

Old Wives Tale: Nose
Do you feel like your nose is growing and getting wider? If so, you might be having a boy.

It totally did with Ryan.  I am not noticing this at all this time however I don’t think I noticed it until much later on in pregnancy last time.

Old Wives Tale: Headaches
If you are having headaches, you might be carrying a boy.

I did not have any headaches with Ryan but I am definitely having headaches this time around.  BOY

Old Wives Tale: Baby Names
It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particularly baby.

Well first off we haven’t even discussed names yet.  We didn’t decide on Ryan’s until I was in labor and already 5 cm dilated.  However I will say we like boy’s names for girls and the name I have in my head would be for either boy or girl.  NEUTRAL

Old Wives Tale: Heart Rate
If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl. If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy.

All the rates at all my appointments have been over 140 bpm. GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Shape of Belly
If you are carrying high with a big, round belly, you are having a girl. If you are carrying low with a smaller belly that sticks straight out, it’s a boy.

OK I am carrying higher than I did with Ryan however my belly is still small.  I feel like my belly is more round like I have an inter-tube on rather than a basketball if that helps.  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Shape of Mom’s Face
When your face gets fuller and rounder when pregnant, it means you’re going to have a girl. If your face is long and narrow, it’s a boy.

My face got really round with Ryan.  I have not noticed any fullness or roundness yet, however I see myself each day so it’s kind of hard to fairly asses this.  But according to the Wives Tale: BOY

Old Wives Tale: Key Test
This test involves a key. If you pick up a key at the top (the roundest part), you are going to have a boy. If you pick up the key at the bottom (smallest part), you are going to have a girl. If you happen to grab the key in the middle, congrats, it’s twins!

Well since my keys are on a key ring I’d have to say I pick them up by the smallest part.  However I am not sure this is fair either since they are on said ring.  GIRL

Old Wives Tale: Mayan Tale
The Mayan tale adds the mothers age at conception and the year of conception. If the result is a even number then mom is having a girl. If the result is an odd number then a boy is on the way!

I’m 32 and conceived in 2013 so that yields an odd number so that means BOY.  (for the record I was 28 and conceived in 2009 with Ryan and that was odd too!)

Old Wives Tale: Even and Odd
Legend has it that the Mayans determined a baby’s sex by looking at the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it’s a girl. If one’s even and one’s odd, it’s a boy.

So this one is a bit different than the above one.  I am 32 and conceived in 2013 so that’s ODD.  BOY

My word for 2014 - Simplify at thatswhatchesaid.net

My word for 2014

I know, I know…I am really late to the word game but it is what it is you know?  I am just starting to not feel as pukey and have been now trying to recuperate my house from the past 14 weeks of doing absolutely nothing but trying not to throw up.  If you are…

Big News for the New Year…

Happy Thursday friends.  We are on snow day #4.  Yes you read that correctly…NUMBER FOUR.  After a 2 week Christmas break already!  Lots of snow and ice are keeping us homebound and so we are going a wee bit crazy in here!  I also have a bit of work to do and it’s extremely hard when you can’t get out to get supplies and/or you have to spend your day refereeing two little boys who have had enough of one another!  But as always…this too shall pass…right?

On to the news…it’s big news.  Really big…I’ll let the boys (who took a few minutes from fighting with each other to pose for a few pictures for me) tell you the news!  It’s cuter from them anyway!

help wanted