Monday, October 31, 2011

Pregnancy cravings

I didn't have strong cravings last time around. I might have told Drew I was Really craving ice cream on a daily basis during the summer to get him to go get it for me- but really, who Wasn't craving ice cream. It was 95 degrees in Iowa in the middle of summer.

But this time? I have a lot of food aversions- things I absolutely Can't do, like meat, can't do meat. Or salads- which suck because I love salad.

So what have I been craving and eating? Bagels and cream cheese, or bagels with peanut butter or bagels with butter and orange marmalade. I eat 2-3 of those a day. And orange. Lots of orange juice.

But the weirdest craving of all? Ham and cheese hot pockets. Without the ham. I pick that out. So basically? Cheese hot pockets. Gross, fake, high in calories/fat and low in nutrition hot pockets. I eat these 2-3 times a day. Sick huh? The weird thing is I don't even enjoy them that much, I just hit a point in the day when I need to eat, because I'm starting to get dizzy/shaky/nauseous and the only thing that sounds remotely acceptable is a hot pocket. Definitely ready for That phase to be over.

Which might be sooner rather than later because yesterday I hit 14 weeks- and I haven't felt extremely nauseous since Saturday so Yaay!

I do need to start eating healthier now that I'm over most of the nausea- so if you have any healthy snacks/meals send them my way!
What do you do when your husband texts you at 3 PM *reminding you that it's his turn to host poker night at the house tonight after work and could I whip up something quick to have for the guys? **And I'm using the word remind loosely- he says he brought it up a few weeks ago, I have Zero recollection of this, but regardless, if a dozen work guys are coming to your house, more than a 3 hr notice would be GREAT**

Anyway so I panicked for a few seconds (that's all the time I had) surveyed the fridge to see what I could throw together- because running to the store wasn't really an option, I needed those precious house to straighten up and shower for the first time in 3..okay i think it was 4  day so sue me (I've been SICK.) I decided I could whip together a nacho dip and just have a little nacho station if Drew had time to stop by and pick up a few bags of tostinos (him doing that by the way made it so 2 guys I'd never met showed up before him. Slightly awkward.

So the nacho's seriously turned out amazing. Seriously delicious. So if you husband springs guy night on you, here's what you can throw together in a crock pot for a few hours

Big thing of a velveeta cheese (and the real reason I will NEVER go 100% organic)
smaller block of mexican velveeta cheese
A lb of ground beef with taco seasoning (already browned)
Large can of crushed tomatoes (mine had garlic in it) but you want to make sure to drain the liquid out
and some milk to thin the cheese out.

Sounds simple, and it is, but these guys were Raving about it. And That is success. These aren't just a bunch of frat guys that would eat anything either. They are mostly married, in their mid 30's and quite established in their career in the finance word- not sure why that matters, but when a bunch of guys in suits go up for 3rd helpings it feels better than when my brothers and his friends do.

I chopped up some lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and peppers in different bowls- oh and I had salsa and sour cream to make a little nacho station.

The men were happy and full, hubbs was happy and Jasper and I also enjoyed this deliciousness.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

And the winner is......

Sorry it took so long to do this- I haven't touched the computer since Friday- and it's been lovely! Hope you are all having a fabulous Halloween Weekend!!! And now...the winner is.......

Comment number 3                                                                                                                                         Stephanie Thigpen said...
i follow you on the twitter! @mrsstephaniet

I guess this goes to show that it IS okay to be the first commenter on a giveaway- for some reason I'm always hesitant even though I know it's supposed to be random- but a more middle number for some reason FEELS like it would have a better chance. Not in this case!!

Stephanie- email me your contact info and what size coat you would like and I will forward them your info right away! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

I was so excited when I read that one of my new (ish) favorite blogs was going to be doing a a fall link up fest with a few other fabulous blogs.  I haven't joined in many of these link up things that I see all the time- but the few times I have I have found some great new blogs to read! If you haven't checked out Casey's blog yet- you absolutely MUST! She and her family are absolutely inspiring.

So for those of you who are joining from the blog hop, allow me to introduce myself!

I'm Darlene, 25 year old stay at home mamma to 4 year old Jasper. 

And this is Drew, aka baby daddy/hubbs/pappa. He works super hard in the finance/real estate investment world so I can stay home and raise our little.

And yes, he's a pretty big dork, and proud of it :)
Or I should say littles, because in April, Jasper will be a big brother! 

We are currently living and loving in a little bungalow in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado! 
I say currently because we move kind of a lot. We have been in the area for the last few years, but we have no idea what the future holds for us- and I LOVE that! 

Besides my family,  my passion in life is traveling! I've lived through out the US, Sweden and even Indonesia- so I guess you could say it's in my blood! 

When Jasper was 18 months we studied abroad in Sweden for 7 months- and ever since then the travel bug has bitten the whole family and we are trying to figure out a way to move back to Europe for a few years.

Another passion of mine is cooking. Organic cooking to be more specific! Since it was my father's job as a world traveling chef, you could say that's in my blood too!

Spending the last few years in Colorado, my family is now convinced I've become somewhat of a 'hippie', with my organic food, all natural/organic cleaning supplies, juicing my own juice, and now with my latest adventure, preparing to cloth diaper our littlest when he/she makes her appearance! 

Some other hobbies and passions of mine, fashion, SHOES, anything dealing with Sweden (and Europe in general) babies, living simpler, the great OUTDOORS and raising our son bi-lingual. I'm about 85% fluent in Swedish (used to be my 'native language) and I'm determined to get it back and the boys are along that crazy journey with me!

If you decided to sick around- let me know so I can make sure you stop by your blog as well!!

And since this IS a 'fall fest' let's talk quickly about Halloween costumes.

I'll be the first to admit I''m not so much 'into' Halloween. Let's blame it on the fact that I grew up in Sweden, where halloween doesn't exist- and the first time I went trick or treating- was last year with Jasper. There is something about knocking on peoples door and expecting a treat that bothers me! But the things we do for our children...

This year, Jasper is determined to be Harry Potter (he also wants me to go as Hermione and Drew as Ron but that's another story) but I want to share some of his costumes from the past, because who doesn't like pictures of cute kids in costume?

Jasper ( and really My) first Halloween. We didn't do anything halloween related besides give out candy, it was bitter cold and he was only 2 months old, but who can resist a little pumpkin? 

 Halloween number 2- a bumblebee! I couldn't resist. I mean how often is your kid going to let you dress him up as a bumblebee? He was super confused by his friend in an elephant costume- so he was trying to rip it off. 

Third Halloween- a spider!! This one was probably my favorite- he would stand and shake his whole body so the arms would go flailing. So adorable. And I'm usually Not a fan of spiders!!

Which brings us to last year. And the first year he decided himself what he wanted to be. A pirate! But a very specific pirate- Pippi Longstocking's grandpa. Yep good luck finding That costume. So I improvised and made one- he was quite pleased with it and that's all that matters :)

And now I'm off to find the last piece missing for Jasper's Harry Potter costume- can't wait to find some great new blogs to read! 


**Last day to enter my winter coat giveaway for a little one in your life!! Go HERE**

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some snow day pictures

Jasper all bundled up, ready to hit the snow

Slide fun in our back yard! 

Our yard is so pretty in the snow

We decided to go for a walk around our ' hood'. Snowy walks are the best

Rosy cheeks= proof that snow play was a success.

**Make sure you enter here to win a free winter jacket like the one Jasper is where in these pics! 
Christmas morning, 1998 was the best Christmas ever. I remember it had snowed the night before, and I was So excited I could barely sleep. It was our first Christmas in America. It felt foreign and different that we hadn't gotten to see farmor this year like every other year in Sweden, but we had my dad home, which we didn't often at Christmas. We were finally starting to settle into school and life in America, but it was hard. Really hard.

We opened all of our presents, except for the two biggest ones. Those mom and dad said we had to save for last. One was to me and one to camilla. Mine was the biggest. Obviously that meant it was the best.

We opened up the presents at the same time ( another rule from mom and dad) and as soon as I saw it, I just Knew. It took Camilla a second. On top of the kennels there was a note to go look out in the car. I was so busy opening up the present that I hadn't seen dad slip outside.

I opened the car today and there sitting on the front seat were two fuzzy puppies. The cutest puppies I'd ever seen in my life. I picked up the bigger one, the Golden Retriever. I had the bigger kennel so I knew he was mine. Camilla got a Cocker Spaniel.

I named him Teddy Bear (because that's exactly what he looked like, and I was 12 and not super original) and we were inseparable. He was supposed to sleep in the kennel, but every night after my mom had checked on us in our bedroom that we shared with Camilla and Sugar (the cocker spaniel) I would get him out of the kennel and bring him into bed with me.

He became my protector. Sometimes my mom would set up a gate to keep the dogs from the living room, and he never, ever would cross over it. Not even when we left the house for hours with a roast sitting on the table. We thought he couldn't get over- otherwise what dog would leave a delicious smelling roast sitting there on the table?

Once when the gate was up and he couldn't get to the living room, my brother tackled me (just messing around) and I shrieked. Teddy thought I was in trouble and jumped over that gate and a couch in half a second and had my brother by the sweatshirt ready to pull him off of me. Turns out he Could get over that gate, if given an incentive.

We were best friends. Even long after he grew out of his kennel, and we finally had our own room, he would start off the night sleeping in bed with me (taking up 2/3 of the bed) and I would lay smushed against the wall until he got hot and wanted to sleep on the cool floor. After Drew started sleeping over sometimes in college, this tradition was still the same. Drew had ZERO space while Teddy wanted on the bed- wasn't until Ted decided to hop off that I would give Drew some space. Teddy came first.

When my parents were in the middle of a divorce the summer I turned 16, he was there for me. I couldn't talk to my friends about it- they all had the perfect family life and not one of them had divorced parents. But Teddy, he just knew. He knew when I was feeling sad. He would come and lay his head down in my lap and just stare up at me with his big brown eyes. They say dogs don't like to look you in the eye? Well not Teddy. He had better eye contact than anyone I know.

To this day, whenever I go back to my moms where he has lived out in the country for the past 13 years,  even when his arthritis was bothering him, the second he saw me he would come running over. I would sit down on the porch, and he would put his head in my lap and we would just stare at each other.

I remember the day I left for college. The first time, in 7 years I'd left him for more than a week. I was distraught. I wanted him with me. I wasn't used to going to bed with out him. And I know how dumb this sounds, trust me I know, but he was the most loyal friend I've ever had.

Everyone that has come into his life, would tell me what a Special dog he was. How wise he was. He was seriously like a wise old mad with a heart of gold.

The day I brought Jasper home from the hospital, I held him up for Teddy to look at and smell. Know what he did? He refused to look at him. He turned his head away. The dog with the best eye contact I've ever encountered refused to look at this little person. I'm convinced it's because he knew I was no longer just his. He had to share me with this other little person know. And he was right. Told you he was wise. He eventually did warm up to him, and became Jasper's little protecter as well.

Yesterday my mom called me with the news that they needed to put him to sleep. He's slowly been getting worse, and I've been expecting this news for the last couple of years. Which is why every time I leave my moms house I make sure to take 5 minutes before we pull out of the drive way, giving him hugs and kisses and telling him what a good dog he is. I've been saying goodbye to Teddy for 3 years now. And I cry every time. I don't cry leaving my family and coming back to CO anymore. But Every time I say good bye to Teddy, I cry.

So while I wasn't there to get to say good bye, I did say good bye in October. I would have loved to see and say good bye to him again, but it would have been cruel to keep him in pain until December.

His ashes will be buried along side Sugar, his best friend who died of a seizure the day Jasper was born. In a spot over looking the creek he spent the last 13 years playing in. After Sugar was buried there, we were worried he would try to dig the grave up, but instead he would go lay there on top of the grave. I think he felt at peace there, and it gives me peace that he will be there with her.

I know with out a doubt I will never feel for another dog or animal the way I did for Teddy. I think after having kids you can't love an animal the same way. At least so far I haven't. We got Jasper a dog, Remi, but my love and energy goes toward Jasper, and while I love Rem it's nowhere near the same.And maybe that's a good thing, because the pain I feel right now? The sadness I feel? All the tears that I've shed for my beloved Teddy?  I don't think I have it in me to do again for another pet.

My heart is heavy right now, and sitting here in Starbucks I've started crying twice already just writing this. I can't fully understand yet that he's gone. That I'll never see him again. Never stare into his brown eyes. Never feel his head resting on my lap.

My cousin sent me this poem yesterday, and while yes, its' a bit corny, it did help me a bit, so if you have recently lost a pet that you loved deeply. I suggest reading this.

The Rainbow Bridge

inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


It was 78 degrees on Monday and today we woke up to 4-5 inches of snow on the ground and more coming down as we speak. That's Colorado for ya! So bipolar when it comes to her weather.

Last night we snuggled up with my favorite cold weather meal. An open faced 'macka' (Swedish sandwich) and hot soup. Perfect comfort food.

After we eat breakfast and snuggle on the couch a little bit we will be heading out to play in the snow! This kid LOVES the snow and I know he would absolutely hate living anywhere we didn't get snow. As would I! There's nothing like getting all bundled up and frolicking around while the snow is coming down. 

After we get in from the snow we will be making hot chocolate from THIS

 We got out first dairy farm delivery!! Every Wed morning we will wake up to FRESH milk, milked from cows just 20 miles away. Amazing huh? I'm not a big milk fan usually- but this milk? SO tasty! Apparently I just don't care for milk from a  plastic jug (taste way better coming out of glass, trust me) that's been sitting in the grocery store for a week or longer. FRESH IS BEST! We also got whipping cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs, orange juice, egg nog and cookie dough!!

And now we are heading out to play. Hope you have a lovely day! 

And speaking of SNOW- make sure you enter my Giveaway for a fabulous winter jacket for your kiddo (or a child in your life!) Low entires and I will choose a winner via on Friday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Want to win a FREE winter jacket for your munchkin?

I was recently contacted by and asked if I wanted to review one of their jackets for Jasper. After doing a little research on their company I quickly said yes because we had just been talking about needing a new winter jacket for Jasper for the winter.

I've talked many times about how I live by the Swedish saying "There is no bad weather, only bad clothes" and about how I firmly believe kids need to spend hours outside daily, even in the middle of winter. So warm outdoor clothing? A complete must in our family.

A target brand jacket doesn't really cut it for our outdoor life style ( LOVE target, and love target clothes, but for warm winter gear I'm extremely picky.) The only places I've ever shopped for outdoor clothing for Jasper is Gap and Swedish company Polarn o Pyret. I'm willing to pay extra for that great, sturdy, warm winter gear.

When I read that Rothschild Kid's what started by a man (Samuel Rothschild) by a german born peddler I was immediately intrigued. Nobody knows winter gear like those Europeans! He started out by selling winter coats out of horse drawn carriage in Pennsylvania! How cool is that?

"A passion for design, dedication to quality and unsurpassed craftsmanship are the hallmarks that have made S. Rothschild the recognized leader in children’s outerwear. For over five generations, mothers have turned to S. Rothschild for beautiful coats, jackets and prams for girls and boys from newborn to pre-teen. A coat for every occasion."

After reading this on their website I was ready to test out a jacket for Jasper!

Between the email sending out my information and getting the jacket only 3 days had passed! Super quick customer service!! 

Before even putting the jacket on Jasper I was super pleased with it- when you have quality clothing- you can just tell the difference right away, ya know? Jasper immediately liked it also- he said it was a cool snowboarding jacket (there IS a snowboard on the inside!) and said how soft it was (super warm, fuzzy fleece on inside.)

I was going to wait to write this till we tested it out in snow (we are getting some tomorrow!) but figured since YOU guys get a chance to win one also, and it's getting COLD in parts of this country- I figured it would be better to get started!

*It's a tiny bit big on Jasper since he is growing through all of his 4T at lighting speed so I got a 5/6- maybe it will even fit him next year!! 

NOW for the fun part. One of YOU get's to bring home your very own Rothschild Kid jacket to test out on a little one in your life!

To Enter: 1. Mandatory.Become a GFC follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me you are. 

                 2. Mandatory. Visit and leave a comment letting me  who in your life you would give the jacket to. 

                 3. Follow me on twitter @darls10 and leave a message letting me know

                 4. Tweet about the giveaway, leaving a link to this post.
                 5. BLOG about this giveaway linking back to this post- worth FIVE entries (make                         sure you leave a comment for each one! 

That's it! Super easy. Now hurry up and enter- I'm going to announce the winner on Friday so I can email them with winner info before they go home for the weekend! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

You're gonna WHAT??

What's the crazy thing I'm going to do? Cloth diaper this bambino growing in my belly. If someone told me 3 years ago I was going to end up cloth diapering, I would have laughed in their face. Now? It sounds genius. 

I 'discovered' the cloth diapering world when Jasper was 25-26 months- but since he was fully potty trained by 27 months, it obviously didn't make much sense to start that up. 

But this time around we are totally doing it. Why?

I found a great list at giving a 10 list of WHY you should cloth diaper.

1. Your baby's comfort- would YOU like to wear stiff paper or plastic underwear 24/7? 

2.The Environment- disposables leave on average 2.7 TONS of non biodegradable waste- Yuck! 

3.Save money- on average you spend 2-3K to put a child through disposables. So if you plan on having 3 kids, you are looking at around 7-8 thousand dollars in diapers. That's CRAZY! To cloth diaper- it can cost anywhere from 300-800 (from statistics I've found) depending on what kind of diapers you use. And that will last through ALL of your kids- so you can spend on average $500 to cloth diaper 3 kids, or  7 thousand, huge difference!!

4. Potty training is easier, and happens early. For me it will be interesting to see if I think that changes since Jasper was super easy to potty train and happened at 27 months- which is pretty early for a boy since I see 4 year old boys running around in pull ups still.

5.Cotton diapers are gel free. The gel in disposables are known to cause diaper burns (like kids have gotten serious BURNS from their diaper!!) and it's also known to cause asthma- had NO idea of this when Jasper was in diapers. There's also dioxins in disposables.

6.Cloth diapers are much better looking. Heck yes they are- they are SO cute! 

7.More fun for mom. So far I can attest to this- I've been having lots of fun shopping for cloth diapers!!

8.Better cushioning for baby's bum.

9.Convenience. You will never have to make a midnight run out for diapers.

10.Being a leader is much better than being a follower.

Like I said this isn't MY list- but the factors that got me to want to CD is the environment factor, cost savings, cuteness, and all the crap in disposables.

After a lot of research, I've decided to try out several different brands that I've heard amazing things about.

Fuzzi Bunz

Bum Genius  and

Gro Via

I also bought 2 Australian made diapers from baby steals to try out. If you have any feedback on any other cloth diapers I would love the information!!

I'm not sure just how much cloth diapers will cost me in the long run-I know you can do it for a lot cheaper that what I'm doing (by buying used or prefolds) but neither of those seem to be for me. And money wasn't the biggest factor in choosing to cloth diaper. Either way I'm convinced I'll still save a ton of money since we plan to have more children.

So far I have bought 3 GroVia's from Guilt for $45- I think they are usually $25/piece and I got them for $15 each.

I bought 6 Fuzzi Bunz on Zulily for $13/piece and they are usually $20/piece. 

I just bought 6 Bum Genius from cotton babies- on sale AND it was buy 5 get one free- so I got all 6 for $88- so $14/piece instead of the usual $20. 

The two Australian diapers I bought were 40% off from baby steals- and I believe I bought them for $13.  So that brings us to 18 diapers for roughly $210. That might seem like a lot to some of you- but I can tell you I'm at Least half way done buying diapers- I will start off with disposables for the first few weeks because I know I'm not going to want to be dealing with all that extra laundry right off that bat but after that? I will be DONE buying diapers! Instead of spending $1000/year on disposables!! 

**Be sure to come back tonight- I should have an AWESOME give away up! Just need to snaps some pics once Jasper wakes up :) **

Friday, October 21, 2011

one year

That's how long we have been married on Sunday. I don't know where this last year has gone, but it's gone FAST. Like ridiculously fast. I feel like it was just last month we were heading back to Iowa for our fall wedding.

October 23rd, 2010 was a beautiful, crisp, fall day. We could Not have hoped for better weather. 

Everything about the day was perfect and I wouldn't change a thing about it. And having Jasper be there and be apart of it all? I can't imagine having done it any. other. way.