Monday, August 30, 2010

girls and dolls

I's 105 degrees outside and we're not even to Fall yet, but I can feel it.  I know the school supplies at Target will only be there for two more weeks.  Then, you know what moves in?? That's right.  The Christmas trees, skirts, lights, ornaments, cards....and then.....the toys.

The commercials are weeks away.  You know the ones.  The sparkle and lights and smiling faces that show kids "You NEED this toy!" Each year I wait to see which newly created craze will end up on my girls' list.  One area I am always amazed with is dolls.  Pretty soon the dolls on the market are going to be so lifelike, we won't need to have more real babies.  :) Recently I was reading one of the girls' library books (you  may remember that they love the Christmas books), and this passage stuck out:

"There were dolls that said mama and dolls that said goo.
 Dolls that made music and dolls that made poo.
There were dolls that grew tall at the push of a button
 and a doll best of all that didn't do nuttin."
How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss

I wholeheartedly agree.  My  favorite baby dolls are the ones that don't do 'nuttin.' But there are still quite a few baby dolls on the market that are just "stuffed" so I thought I would offer some of my research insight with you on the best options for baby dolls. We also love to encourage baby doll play in our house because I heard a great quote once..."When a little girl plays with a Barbie, she wants to be like Barbie. When a little girl plays with a baby doll, she wants to be like mommy."

Recent research has shown that many of our plastics contain BPA (from phtalates in the PVC).  This chemical has been found to disrupt hormone levels in children especially.  You can now find BPA free bottles, plates, pacifiers, etc.  But what most forget is that the plastics in toys contain the same harmful chemical.  (I won't bore you with the details on whether or not phtalate free PVC is as safe as PVC free vinyl, so let's just stick with one chemical for now).  It's not necessarily a concern unless you have a baby putting the plastic doll in her mouth (which, let's face it...every baby does).  So, for the babies, here are a few BPA free dolls that they can "chew away" on:

Most fabric dolls are of course plastic free (but some still have plastic pellets that contain BPA and can leech into the fabric making it just as unsafe for babies).  Some that claim to be BPA free are:
Pottery Barn Kids:

Our favorite...Corolle Dolls.  They are manufactured in France and contain no BPA.  They also have different dolls for different ages.  The newborn baby dolls are either stuffed with just a plastic face and hands or just a lovey with a face, or completely stuffed and made of cloth.

As your little one gets older Corolle offers dolls for 18 months+.  Our favorite is the Calin doll.  You may remember that a certain "Calin" is my fourth daughter.

Another favorite is Tidoo. She's a Calin that can get wet.

They also have some funky dolls if you like something a little different:

As a bonus, the dolls smell like vanilla.

Another brand we love that contains no BPA is Madame Alexander.  Most know her as the maker of famous porcelain dolls, but she does so much more.  These are a few of her "baby" dolls.

I was recently introduced to a wonderful shop on that makes baby dolls.  Lovies for my Babies. She uses all fabric (great for babies!) and they are all machine washable. She does use "beanbag" type material to weight the babies so I can't be sure if it's BPA free, but they are SO cute! And totally customizable.

As your precious ones get older, it's doubtful that they will be able to avoid the American Girl catalog.  If she isn't ready for the historic dolls (or the 'just like me' dolls), a great option is Bitty Baby.
We have one at our house and she is WELL loved! The great thing about Bitty Baby is that she is a great size and has a plethora of accessories made just for her. She's also available in a multitude of skin tones, hair color, and eye color.

If BPA is not a concern, then some less expensive alternatives are the Fisher Price newborn dolls (and the Target knock off).  Both are made in China, contain BPA, but are stuffed and cuddly, and don't do anything special.
I hope this limited list is helpful for someone. :) Happy Shopping!! And please feel free to add to my list! I love to hear about other baby dolls.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Unfortunately I find myself asking this question more and more.  "Really?" Usually followed by "Seriously?" Maybe it's my age (and the wisdom that comes with being mid-30's), or maybe there truly are more and more ridiculous things in the world.  Maybe it's because I took a critical thinking course in college.  Or maybe it's the fact that I was blessed with common sense.  Either way, I'm sure I'm not alone.

Two weeks ago I had to fill out paperwork for Reagan's school.  Again.  The same information they asked for last year.  Again.  Part of me wanted to write on the information card "nothing has changed..." but I know that they probably already chucked last year's info card so it would have been futile.  I dutifully filled out our address, phone numbers, places of employment (I'm COO of Homefront Enterprises in case you were wondering), allergies, blood type, social security numbers, ebay and paypal login names, and pets living at home.  Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating a bit but you get the idea.  Then, I got to the Disaster Emergency Preparedness sheet.
 It said, "In the event of a disaster (i.e. fire, flood, terrorist attack, etc.), please provide FIVE in state family members/friends and THREE out of state family members/friends that we could release your child to."


If you think about it for a minute (it really doesn't take much longer), IF something has happened to both parents, and all FIVE of our in state relatives and friends,....I'm fairly certain that the elementary school won't be the only building left standing in all of Southern California.  And if something DID happen to our entire state, and somehow the school was left standing, I'm sure it wouldn't be really easy for my aunt in Kentucky to come pick up my daughter.

Who makes these forms?
I don't know what's worse...the fact that they have to ask these questions, or the fact that I filled it out.

Let's all just roll our eyes and shake our heads.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Funnies

Did this week blaze by for anyone else? Wow! I only wrote down three funny things...but here they are!

On our way to church Reagan said, "Wouldn't it be fun if dogs went to church?" I told her that Service Dogs were allowed in church because they are allowed anywhere that people go.  Skylar said, "I've never seen Circus Dogs at church." :)'s all the same right? :)
Again, while driving, Skylar said, "MOMMY! Watch out for the Pizzons!" Reagan corrected her and said, "Skylar, it's not Pizzons, it's Pigeon, with a J." :D
Reagan asked me, "Mommy, am I short?" When I asked her why she wondered that she said "because my skirt is a size 5 and I'm 7 years old." I said, "Well, you're petite." She replied, "Oh great! That's another word for short isn't it?" HA!

Can't wait to read about the "Funnies" in your house this week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Animals from the Reserve

You may remember that we live on a wildlife reserve.  Here are a few more animals we have seen around here lately:
This yellow bird just blends right in with the yellow flowers on the tree!
Then there's this bird:

and a few other "wild" animals:

Ok, so a few of them "might" actually be from our trip to the zoo....but I'll never tell. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

We heart the beach!

If you follow our blog, you will recognize this photo. It's one of my favorites from one of our beach trips this summer.  Skylar LOVES the beach and it just shows all over her face in this one.  I might add that she added the headband....not me. :)

Head on over to I Heart Faces and see all the other fantastic beach pictures!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friday Funnies

I didn't get to hear all the Funnies at our house this week. But I didn't want to deprive anyone of the chance to document the funnies at their own home.

Here are my two for the week:
1.  Bailey was stomping around my bathroom and banging on a drum while I was lying in bed.  So I said, "Bailey, what are you doing?" She replied, "Oh nothin.  Just bein' loud."
2. The girls have their own version of "Ring around the rosy" and I don't have the heart to correct them since I like their version better.  It goes something like this:
Ring around the Rosy
Papa caught a Posy
Astrik, Astrik,
We all fall down!

Have fun linking up with your own "funnies"! I can't wait to read them!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The land of the living

I've been MIA.  But with good reason.  That "little" virus that passed through all of us about two weeks ago decided to settle itself right into my inner ear.

After four days of watching the room spin and feeling sick to my stomach all day I realized this wasn't just a regular old flu bug.  I ended up in urgent care and was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis.  I was sent home with 7 meds (5 prescriptions and 2 otc drugs).
Anti-nausea med
Motion sickness med
ear drops for the pain
a decongestant
and Tylenol

Needless to say, I felt drugged for a few days.
The anti-nausea drug caused me to have a negative reaction and my joints felt like they were on fire.  It took almost two days for my hands to stop hurting even after discontinuing the meds.

The anti-inflammatory upset my stomach (which is great when you're already nauseated and your anti-nausea drug isn't working), so we've switched that one too.

I'm not convinced that the motion sickness med was doing anything to make me feel less dizzy (just really sleepy) so I stopped taking it today.

Today is the first day that I'm sitting up for extended periods of time.  It feels like a baby step but I'll take it.  I'm slowly joining the land of the living.

My friend Jaimie joked that she and I would have been able to get away with only prescribing two meds (since we're such fantastic internet doctors).  I'm beginning to think she was right.  I'm taking the "less is more" approach and it seems to be working better.

I'm so grateful my mom has been able to be here to take care of the girls.  Moms are great that way aren't they? :)

And because I like pictures and I haven't shared this one yet...(I don't think), I thought I'd leave you with happy smiles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Funnies- The Bailey version

We all took turns with a flu bug this week so there wasn't as much humor to be found, but there's always some with Bailey around!

Bailey loves a certain "Barbie" bowl that a friend gave us.  But she doesn't call it a Barbie bowl.  She calls it a Barbie-Q bowl. :0)
I was helping Bailey get dressed and I said, "Oh, you have a booger." To which she replied, "and fries?" I'm sure I don't have to mention that she also mispronounces the word "burger."
Speaking of boogers, if Blogger wasn't being such a booger right now, this is where a video would be of Bailey playing on the wii fit.  I was going to have my first ever "video friday funny" but I've been out of luck on uploading videos all week.  Oh well.  Maybe some day.
Bailey saw a baby doll on a commercial that drinks from a bottle and says "mama."  She said, "I like that baby!" Reagan said, "Back when I played with dolls, they didn't do anything.  You had to use your imagination."  Ha!! Is she 7? Cause she sounds like an old lady!

If you'd like to play along, just grab the Friday Funnies button and write your own post about the "funnies" at your house.  Then, link up with your post's address.

Can't wait to read them all! Just as an FYI, I leave the linky open for six days (until it's time to write a new post!).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First and Second

Our summer is over.

It's the first day of school.  First day of second grade for Reagan.
She's growing so fast!

This morning she said "This year is going to be different from last year." I said, "Of course.  It's good to have change.  Different teachers do things in different ways, but I think you'll like having a new class and a new teacher." Then she was quiet for a few seconds and then said, "Yah, it's good when school changes.  But if next summer is just like this one, that would be ok with me."

My thoughts exactly.  We had an awesome summer.  
At the beginning of the summer, I had Reagan make a list of all the things she wanted to do before going back to school.  With only eight weeks, I wasn't sure we would fit it all in.  We only missed one thing.  Not too bad for a list with 18 things on it.  Reagan also managed to read 32 chapter books.  Thank the Lord for the library!

She has matured so much in the past year.  She's asking more mature questions, becoming even more helpful, and independent.  

And even more beautiful.  Inside and out.  Only 4 more hours until we go pick her up and hear all about her first day (over our traditional first day of school ice cream of course). 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Not Me Monday!

I don't usually participate in "Not Me" Monday (mostly out of sheer embarrassment), but today I decided to go ahead and put it out there. :) And because I love me some sarcasm, I couldn't resist. This blog carnival was created by MckMama in an effort for all of us to share what we did "not" do this week.  Head over to her blog and read what everyone hasn't been doing!

This week, you would NOT have found my potty training 2 year old in just panties....and boots....playing outside.  I think at one point she may have had a hat on too.  

I did NOT just finish writing a blog post about being more healthy....only to come down with the flu.

My potty training 2 year old did NOT decide that after 5 days of no accidents, she was going to squat on the carpet and poop.  *sigh*  (Three kids and she's the first to do that).

My 4 year old did NOT bring me something, only for me to realize AFTER I took it from her that it was NOT a booger! 

My 7 year old most definitely did NOT say that she's excited for school to start so she can talk with kids her own age that don't drive her bonkers. 

I think that's enough for this week!! What have you NOT been doing this week?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Funnies

I've been waiting all week for this! My kids gave me some awesome material to share!! As a tip, if you have trouble remembering what your kids say, email it to yourself right away or text it to yourself like I do.

If you would like to participate, just make sure you follow "the guidelines" and link up! I loved reading the Funnies last week and almost spit my coffee out on the computer!! I still chuckle every time I think of Jaimie's boys "dinner table conversation", the Gomez family's "little meatball" and Mindy's sons method of "finding money in mom's purse!" Oh my word. If you didn't get a chance to read the link ups last week, make sure you go visit! They are good ones!

Here are our own Friday Funnies this week:

We took the girls to see Toy Story 3 in the theater (and took out small personal loan to do so), and as we were leaving the girls saw the ad for "Despicable Me." Skylar said, "Oh look! It's Spectacle Me!" Reagan: "No Skylar, it's Respectable Me!" I said, "Actually, it's Despicable Me." Reagan said, "Oh great, you're going to put that on the blog aren't you?" HA! She's on to me!!
Bailey got used to having no clothes on the bottom half of her body during potty training so this week, even though she's been in big girl panties she randomly takes them off.  I asked her "Bailey, why are you doing that?" and she said, "Ummm, I d'know.  I likey nakey." :)
My mom has been coming up about twice a week to go to the chiropractor just down the street from us.  When she was here the other day Bailey asked her, "You go see the firecracker?"
One morning Skylar woke up and said, "MOMMY! Did you know that Yaya (my mom) was on Dancing with the Stars?" I said, "Really?" "Yah, but she got eliminated."  Quite the imagination!
We were sitting at the table eating dinner one night and Skylar looked outside at the pool.  Her princess bouncy balls were floating around in the water.  She said, "Look, those balls are walking on the water like Jesus! Maybe they're Jesus's balls!!" ;)
We were sitting at a red light and then it turned green.  From the backseat Bailey yells "Go buddy go!" to the truck in front of us.  I have no idea where she heard that!
Skylar brought me a plate of unifix cubes when they were playing restaurant one day and I asked, "What is this baby?" She put her hand on her hip, rolled her eyes and said, "use your 'magination mommy."
Reagan said last night, "Did you know that black widow females eat the males after they mate?" I said, "I did know that." Reagan sat for a few seconds and then said, "I'm glad humans don't do that.  I would miss daddy."
I told Bailey to go ask daddy for something and she stood at the bottom of the stairs and yelled, "Honey!"
I was writing words for Skylar to read and when she got to "fork" she sounded it out and then got all excited because she thought she had got it right.  Unfortunately it came out "focker! focker! focker!"
I was closing up the house so that we could leave and run errands.  I heard one of the dogs barking outside so I said, "Who let the dogs out?!" and Bailey started singing "Who...who.....who...whowho."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our country tis of thee...

We have been frequenting the library this summer and I'm always amazed at the books the girls pick out.

Bailey seems to pick whatever is at her eye level on the 'put back' shelf.  Reagan has cruised through 30 chapter books this summer, and Skylar.....well she has decided she loves the United States.  All of them.  She wants to learn about each state, what it's like to live there (and what language they speak...which really cracked me up).

We've checked out every kid atlas about the US that the library owns. And renewed them.  Twice.  She and Reagan will sit on the couch and pour over the atlases and talk about what it would be like to visit each state.  They talk about which state is their favorite (Reagan likes Kentucky because it has a lot of horses on the page.  She about flipped out when I told her that her aunt and uncle live there! Her other favorite is Virginia because it's where she was born....and it had horses on the page).

I thought it was a great opportunity to teach them about the names of each state.  So, this summer we've been learning this song.  It was my favorite in fourth grade and the girls have already learned quite a bit of it!!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!! (remember to scroll down and mute my playlist so you can hear the song).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big winner!

I just won an award.  For being random.  How cool is that?! Well, technically for being "versatile" but it's basically the same as random and "random" is one of my favorite words.

I've never tried to make this blog anything specific.  It's just about our family, figuring out God's plan for our lives, eating and being healthy, and having fun along the way.

I was given the award from Jaimie (a fellow versatile blogger and all around supermom/friend) and I'm supposed to give you seven random facts about myself and then nominate a few others for the award.

So here goes:

  1. I'm 5'2" and really hoping my girls get some of their daddy's height. But not a lot.  Just enough to make pants fit off the rack.  
  2. I love aqua.  A lot.  And chocolate.  The color and the food. 
  3. I started buying organic almost everything after Reagan had an allergic reaction to pesticide. 
  4. I run (blog post about that in the works).
  5. I saw my first movie in the theater when I was 5 (ET) and decided I wanted to make movies.  I kept that dream until I got to college and took film courses.  I changed my major quickly to writing.  
  6. I didn't like my husband the first time I met him.  He was rude. Although he begs to differ.  
  7. I used to be a college professor and love when my old students find me on facebook and still call me "Professor."  Someday I will teach college again...until then, I get to teach my three blessings every day. 

Now for my nominations:
Liz@Sugarplum Creations: My blogging kindred spirit.  She's extremely versatile.  She's a great momma to three beautiful girls, crafty as all get up, and takes beautiful photos.  She's also just sweet as can be and a blessing to me.

Christine@ Mommy Madness: She is a friend and a blogging guru.  She has an amazing daughter (that happens to be my husband's goddaughter) and she's been on a journey that inspires me to greater things.  She also loves coffee creamer nearly as much as I do.

Anna@Annas Joy- If you look up "versatile" in the dictionary, I bet there's a picture of Anna.  She has traveled the world, been in the Air Force, gone on missions trips, started fostering precious kiddos, and just announced that she and her husband are expecting their first bambino.

Kelly @ Three Kids, a Minivan, and a Lot of Love: Kelly is crazy talented, has three adorable kiddos, takes awesome pictures, and seems to be a current day renaissance woman.  You may remember that she redesigned my blog, cause she's awesome like that.

Julie @ The Peapod Four plus one- Julie has three kids also (just now realizing how many folks I know with three kids).  She is a wonderful mama, a wonderful friend, and tries to deny how talented she is, but if you follow her blog at all, you will see that she makes cakes and dresses and pillowcases, and quilts and shoes (yes, I said SHOES).

If you've been awarded and feel so inclined, please write a post about your own randomness, er, versatility, and nominate other fellow bloggers for the award.


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