I thought to mix things up a bit, we'll talk about how things are going by talking about things we currently love:
1)Bi-O-Kleen Bac-Out: It's this natural enzyme spray cleaner that is good for so many things. It takes (organic) stains out of clothing, cloth diapers, carpets and such with no problem. What's even more amazing, ants hate them so we've been able to use this friendly-around-kids spray to quarantine the ants we've had in the house. People tell me it's a Florida thing but it was no fun to find ants in the house, esp. since we've working so hard to keeping it so clean to prevent roach problems. :( The ants were coming in thru the cracks in the base boards looking for water [at least that's what people have been telling me they do and yes, it's been fairly dry here.]. But with the baits we've put out and the Bac-out to quarantine them, they're pretty much gone. How annoying, though. I'm just glad they're not spiders. But a large mass of anything buggy gives me the heebee jeebees (or however you spell it). Blech!
2)Talc-free baby powder: We've never actually used it on the kiddies' bottoms but we've been using it incessantly to take sand off their bodies after our many beach trips to try and keep the car clean. Seriously, this stuff works like magic! You just sprinkle some on and then brush it off - voila! No more sand! This really helps with the post-beach trip diaper changes. :) Plus, someone gave us the Jasmine-scented one, so we're all a nice-smelling, slightly white bunch after a trip to the beach. :)
3) DEET-free bug spray: Because it's so warm all the time, I think Florida is home to a lot of bugs! Mosquitoes, no see-ums, you name it! So everytime we've gone out, we've had to remember to spray ourselves down from head to head. However, those no see-ums still seem to get Kev and I - I'm thinking even though we can't see them, they can still see where we've not sprayed! Doh! [The kids have not been bitten as much as us, praise the Lord!] Anyhow, we heard it gets better when it's not so hot - we're looking forward to it. But anyhow, the spray has been one of our best friends lately. :)
4) The extensive Pinellas County Library system: I think there are about 5 librares that are pretty close to us - we've been to 4 of them already. Not only are there programs galore (puppet shows, dog shows, storytime, etc), there's a ton of kiddie and non-kiddie DVDs to rent out and lots of fish books. [Trust us, we know; we've taken about 30 of them home already!!] One of the library even has an entire floor devoted to kids - we're impressed. Plus, we can borrow books from any of these libraries and return them all to the closest one. Needless to say, we go there a lot and the kids don't complain! :)
5) Forums: The main way I've been meeting moms is through these 2 forums - Mamasource and Mothering. It's definitely a different age these days, I guess. I've tried going to play areas and library to chat with people but it seems as if they're already in a group or don't have too much time to chat b/c they're running around chasing after their kids, too. But thru these forums, I've gotten to know these moms a bit and have even met up for playgroups and such. It feels a bit funny sometimes to meet up with perfect strangers but it's been working out great. :) I do miss all of you mommies I used to hang out with, though! Much love to ya!!
6)Our little Weber grill, meat thermometer & Cooks Illustrated: We've been grilling lots since it's been so hot and it's been great! :) Kev, the master griller, has been reading up on how to make the juiciest, tenderest meats (thanks to Cooks Illustrated!) and we've been reaping the benefits. No more tough chicken, dry steak or charred hotdogs. Yay!
7) Joovy Caboose Ultralight Double Stroller: So, we finally jumped on the bandwagon and got ourselves a double stroller. It was a tough, agonizing decision because I wanted something light, yet sturdy. Something that fits in the Camry's trunk when folded. Something that's fits through doorways and not hard to steer. Something that can accomodate an infant car seat when we have another. So, after lots of research, we decided to try this double first. The next one on our list was the Baby Planet Unity Double - a side by side double. Anyhow, praise the Lord b/c this stroller ended up working out great. Aidan doesn't mind sitting on the bench facing me, though he does do contortionist moves to see the front sometimes. There is a lap belt for the little guy, so at least he can't pop off at whim. It only weighs 21 lbs, so not too hard to manage and fits in our trunk! It steers great and fits thru aisles just fine (we took it outlet shopping without a problem). I like the big sunshade and the parent organizer but don't like how hard the basket is to get at, though. When Aidan prefers to walk, I don't feel like I'm pushing a train (it's not that long) and it's much better than pushing those shopping carts with a car in the front! Anyways, the long and short of it is, we do like it and anticipate using it a lot. :)
8) Cloth trainers & Thomas/Sesame Street underwear - Yuppers, Aidan is now formally pottytraining! It took a long while to find the right time to do it, from selling the house to moving, but we're finally settled somewhere. Plus, we wanted to make sure Aidan was pretty ready so it wouldn't take a bazillion years and lots of accidents. ;) Welp, we started about 3 weeks ago and for 2 weeks he's been in underwear during the day and a diapers at night. Yay! Thanks to all the moms that gave me great advice about training and for praying for us. :) Having Thomas & friends and various Sesame Street characters on your butt seems to be a big thing for a 2 y.o. boy. :) I also invested in cloth trainers for long outings where bathrooms might be hard to find (though we stashed a new little potty from freecycle that's in our trunk right now for places with no potties), which has been a God-send. Thanks Auntie Jen for lending us some from cousins' stash. [Sshhh! We won't tell them they shared!] We're also getting to know where the bathrooms are at the places we frequent and who has the nicest, cleanest ones. :)
9) And the last one is just for the ladies - Nordstrom's free bra fitting: After you have a baby (or two or three) and esp. after breastfeeding, your body is just not quite the same, esp. in the chest area (at least that's how it is for me). Since I have finally weaned Jana, I decided to go for a bra fitting. They do a great job and really know what they're doing. Actually, a lot of times, you end up being surprised at what size you actually are. And have a great fitting undergarment is an awesome feeling b/c your clothes will fit better, too. Plus, they are currently having their famous Anniversary sale, so it's very likely that your bra will be on sale!
Anyways, long post, eh? Before signing off, we just wanted to welcome Baby Lucas Foung and Baby Boy Naran into the world! We love you guys!! Alrighty, over and out.