Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ABE 2.0 Winner!

The winner for the Eco Baby Prize Pack is Lindsay! She was comment #37! Yayayayay!!! Congratulations Lindsay! 

Thank you so much to everyone for participating in ABE 2.0! It was so much fun! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nursing School - Orientation!



I couldn't sleep last night. The countdown clock I've had on my desktop ever since I applied to the nursing program (counting down until the latest date we would find out our admissions status, and then counting down until, well, today!) read: "FINISHED!" Just like that in all caps. SQUEE! I got E's diaper bag all ready (emphasis on the diaper - I took like 8 or 10 cloth diapers to daycare with him so I don't have to remember them every day), cleaned out my purse, opened up all my new pens and pencils, and was so overwhelmed by my books that I decided to just leave them all in the box. Finally at midnight I showered so I wouldn't have to in the morning (mornings and I don't really get along), looked over the student handbook again (we were told to read it before we came to orientation) and went to bed.

I managed to roll out of bed at a decent time (6:30, I think? Maybe 6:45) and thankfully my alarm didn't wake E up, so I got to do my hair and makeup alone! I honestly don't remember the last time that happened. So it was great. Everything went smoothly; I knew what I was going to wear, and E woke up at the perfect time - maybe a tad late for when I wanted to leave - but woke up happy and he was super excited once I told him we were going "bye-bye in the car."

I was really worried about how he'd transition to daycare - we have a new daycare provider this semester and I honestly wasn't too sure about her yet. I mean obviously I was sure enough that she was a good and qualified caregiver, or I wouldn't have let him go there at all, but I just didn't know whether I loved her or not. When we got to her house I finalized some paperwork with her; meanwhile, E got down and started running around like he owned the place. I was amazed. After about 30 minutes I told him that mommy was going bye-bye to school, and that he was going to stay and play. He started to cry, but the daycare provider told him to say bye-bye, which he did, and then immediately diverted his attention to their family dog. It worked like a charm, and she said the only other time he cried was when she took the crayons away because it was lunch time! He had a really hard time transitioning to daycare last semester; it's amazing the difference 6 months can make at this age.

So I went off to orientation! It was great to be at the nursing building and not on the main campus - there are more parking spaces than cars, so no spending 20 minutes trolling for a good spot. I was amazed at how quickly I got parked and in the building. I was a little earlier than I had anticipated being, but it was fine. I sat in the front row because I'm cool like that, next to some super nice girls that I got along with well. Double yay!

We did boring things - went over paperwork and other things that I assume most of us already knew since the information was readily available on the website. But then the bombshell came, out of nowhere.... we were each getting an iPod Touch!!!  What?!?!?!?!

Turns out that this is the first semester they're trying to integrate technology into the program, so they're testing it on us. I don't mind... except that I just bought one. I wish I would have known, but I'm still totally psyched that their use will be not only tolerated but required in classes and clinicals. YAY! The one they're providing is only an 8 gigabyte - the one I bought is a 32 - so I'm having a hard time deciding what to do. I *have* to use the one they provided for clinicals - they took our serial numbers and stuff. So selling the 8 gig and keeping the 32 isn't an option. I can return the 32, but *sigh* all that space! Or I can keep both, but how selfish and excessive is that?! Sigh. I knew I had a bad feeling about buying one for a reason!

Anyway, they gave us all our iPods, and then we had our pictures taken for our program IDs that will get us in to clinicals and stuff. My hair had seriously wilted by this point so I'm kind of afraid to see that picture. Oh well.

And that was it! I picked up E and he had been having a blast at daycare. He was happy to see me but wanted to stay and keep playing ;) I can't explain to you how happy that made me; there's so much guilt associated with taking your child to daycare (at least for me) and it makes my heart sing to know that he likes it. That I'm not a bad mom for taking him there. That he enjoys the social interaction and change of scenery and doesn't spend the whole time worrying because I'm not there.

I have my first "real" class tomorrow morning at 9 am! I started the reading (90 pages) for the first lab we have this week and got about 2/3 of the way done with it. I'll finish it and start the reading for Lab #2 tomorrow night. Eeeek! So much to do already and we haven't even been to a class!

On that note... I'm going to bed. I got out of the shower right before I sat down to write this post, and I think my hair is dry enough to not soak the pillow :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Blogtastic Extravaganza 2.0 - Eco Baby!


I didn't participate in A Blogtastic Extravaganza last year but I had so much fun entering all the giveaways that I really wanted to be a part of it this year! I was so happy to be one of the blogs chosen to participate!

I have a great prize package full of my favorite products that have helped me become more eco friendly and save money at the same time!

The winner of my ABE giveaway will receive:

YAY! That's a lot of eco friendly, money saving goodness right there. 

Mandatory Entry:  
Follow my blog via GFC (sidebar!) (+1)

Additional Entries: 

Follow me on Twitter (+1)

Tweet about this giveaway (including link!) and leave permalink to tweet (+1, up to 3x/day at least one hour between tweets.) Suggested tweet: "Going green and saving green - Enter to #win products to do both from @HauteSingleMama during #ABE2! #clothdiapers http://bit.ly/qUYHoO " 

"Like" on Facebook: 

+1 entry for each sponsor that you "like"! 

I'm doing this the old fashioned way, so please leave a comment on this post for each entry you complete (and please send me an invite to Rafflecopter if you have one. Seriously.) US only, please. Good luck and have fun entering all the other ABE giveaways!!! 

*Please be sure to either have your email visible from your Blogger profile or leave me your email or Twitter name in your comment so I can find you if you win! Please be especially mindful of this now that I opened it up to anonymous comments :) Leave me some way to contact you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tiny Bites Food Shears - Review

When I first found this product, I was intrigued. Food cutting scissors?! I'm not a chef, so I don't have all the bells and whistles in my kitchen. But this was something I totally had to try.

From the day I opened the package, I found a MILLION uses for those babies. The most used? Cutting up grapes. I always worry about E choking on grapes, but it's nearly impossible to cut them into decent sizes using a fork and knife! The Tiny Bites Food Shears made it take no time at all - snip, snip, snip, and DONE.

I was super surprised at how sharp they were. They cut up chicken and steak! I was amazed. It is so much easier than using a fork and knife to try to get those tiny toddler sized pieces.

The reason that these shears serve their purpose so well is that they were invented by parents of toddlers!! Imagine that! Ed and Anila designed the shears with their own toddler meal adventures in mind, and blessed the rest of us in the process. These have honestly been a lifesaver for me. Look how much more safe and toddler friendly meals become with the Tiny Bites Food Shears!

Photo from www.TinyBites.com

Don't worry if you didn't win your Tiny Bites during ABE; they're available at a  retailer near you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

BlogHer 2011

I totally went.

I didn't talk about it much here because - well, let's face it, I just haven't really been blogging - and also because I was always just teetering on the edge of being able to save enough money to do it.

But I did it! I saved, I went, and I'm back. It was so much fun that it has taken me until now - 4 days after I got home! - to post about it. I've literally been recovering all this time.

My BFF and BlogHer roomie Katie summed it up extremely well - to be honest, a lot of it is a complete and total blur. I was so nervous/excited that I only slept for 2.5 hours the night/morning before I left, and I had an eight hour drive to San Diego. I made it though, and from then on it was nonstop fun. Staying up late, getting up... well, early for how late we had stayed up the night before... and party hopping. We skipped too many sessions and probably tried to go to too many parties. But it was amazing. 

I loved meeting some of the people I talk with daily in "real life."

I loved the parties. Rooftop parties in the city. Who gets to do that?!

I loved the swag. So much swag. Too much swag.

I'll post more on those topics later - with pictures, I promise - but for now? I'm totally saving my pennies for BlogHer '12 in NYC!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

ABE 2.0 Sponsor Spotlight - BabyKicks

I just recently got to try a BabyKicks diaper, and I have to say... I'm hooked.

The fit is a little bit different than diapers I'm used to.. it snaps differently, so it took me a little bit of time to get used to it. Once I figured out how to get it to fit right, I loved it!

The best thing about them in my opinion? is the insert.

Look how trim that is!

They are a hemp/cotton blend and they are SO trim, yet so absorbent. {Side note: did you know that hemp has antimicrobial properties?  Me neither! Amazing, right?!} My favorite use for them is under clothes that just look a little funny with the fluffier butt - you can't even tell there's cloth under there. I love a fluffy butt just as much as the next cloth diapering mom, but sometimes it makes E's pants look too tapered and just kind of... weird. Anyway. They make super great doublers for night time too - they add hardly any bulk so it's not like you've got this HUGE double stuffed diaper.

At $5 a pop they're seriously a steal. Since they're made of natural fibers, you can even use them right against baby's skin with a cover - I haven't tried that yet, but I really want to! That would be sooo much trimmer than prefolds! {Plus, the one con to the BabyKicks diaper - and seriously it is the only one - is that the pocket is a little narrow so it's hard to make the hemp insert lay flat when you're stuffing it. I saw a post on the BabyKicks Facebook page addressing this - they say you can just plop it on top of the diaper and use it that way! I haven't tried it that way yet but I plan on it!}

I really heart this company and their products - I will definitely be adding some JoeyBunz to my stash!

BabyKicks sponsored a portion of my giveaway package for ABE 2.0. I was not sent any product to try; my experiences were based on a diaper I already had.  I was not compensated in any way for this post; all opinions are honest and my own.