Category Archives: Web Wednesday

Web Wednesday- Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas

Did you know that there are milk banks for human milk?  I am somewhat of a hippie, but I recognize how our culture is a little squeamish about human milk.  It even gags me out a little to look at my own.  But, if you think about it, it is kind of gross that we drink the milk of other animals. And what if we got all of our sustenance from Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ensure?  That is exactly what we do when we give our babies a diet of pure formula.  I am NOT saying that formula doesn’t have its place or that you’re bad if you give your baby formula.  But, premature babies and sick babies need special nutrition that only breast milk can provide.  Or rather, that is more optimal for sick and premature babies.

That is where the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas comes in.  They test and approve breast milk donors, pasteurize the milk, and distribute it to hospitals in which the babies’ mothers can not provide it, or her supply isn’t yet established.

How can you help?  You can make a milk donation, if you are a lactating mother of a baby under one year of age.  All you have to do is get pre-screened and approved and put a few ounces aside after each pumping.  The milk bank makes it super easy, and you can drop off your extra milk at one of several donation drop-offs throughout the Metroplex.  Or, you can make a monetary donation.  The bank needs money to pay for the processing of the milk, the courier charges, and testing of the donors.  You can also contact them and hook them up to your frequent shopper card like Kroger or Tom Thumb and automatically donate a portion of your everyday grocery shopping bill.  Easy, peasy!  There are also volunteer opportunities.

This is an amazing organization that sole purpose is to provide a chance for the tiniest members of our community.  Babies who need every ounce of help, just for survival.  I wish I would have known about them when I had Sydney.  I heard about milk banks with Easton, but barely could keep my head afloat nursing him, going to school and working full time.  I really wish I would have pumped more and stocked up so that I could have had milk for him for a full year, and so that I could have donated the extra.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to donate this time.  I wish I would have known then what I know now, which is why I am sharing with you today.

Go check them out:

Tomorrow- Thankful Thursday- The power of your words

My daily prayer:  Thank you God for showing me the little things I can do to serve you, and my brothers and sisters.  AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving:  I am thankful for three healthy children with very healthy vocal cords.  I am also thankful for ear plugs.

If I had Kardashian Kash:  I’d have a water slide and a lazy river around my property.  Happy summer!



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Web Wednesday- Home Sale sites

When I want something, I obsess over it until I can find a way to make it happen. And, I will. That is both my strength and character flaw. I can steamroll my way into getting what I want, but I also work hard and creatively. I am not one to sit still and wait for life to happen. When it does, I get a bug up my butt to add some excitement. Last year, actually about a year and a half ago, I decided it was time to move to the ‘burbs. My first step in any hair brain idea, is to get Jeff on board. Once he’s on board, watch out world!

So, when I got the green light to put our house up for sale, I wanted to make sure I knew every house in every area we were interested in. I wanted the most house for the least amount of money. My want list out numbered my realistic need list. But, I was a girl on a mission, and even my unrealistic dreams come true. For instance, when I was pregnant with Ebro- I had him over Spring Break, and came back the next week and finished out the semester and my degree. And, I didn’t induce. I am a hippie when it comes to babies, and let them bake until they are done. He just happened to be on my schedule, unlike either of my girls.

So, once green-lit (or green-lighted? I should know, but hey) I started the search of all searches. I wanted to be ready to strike once my house sold. I knew the prices for homes in every area, I knew the average square footage, I knew the schools, I knew where to stay away from, I was ready. I had iPhone apps, email subscriptions, and browsed the sites at every spare moment.

My favorite site was Zillow. It gave a Zestimate, which turns out is useless in Texas due to some law (I could have quoted the law to you this time last year). It had all of the pictures that the agent put on the web and it was updated within 24 hours of the agent’s updates. It was pretty accurate, although it sometimes showed homes for sale that had been sold or were under contract. I loved the interactive maps, blogs, Q&A areas, and all of the info. I also had my house up on Zillow and would obsess over how many hits it got in a day (much like I do with my blog). I could get messages from buyers and found agents on there, too.

Trulia is another site I liked. I didn’t use it as much as Zillow, but would use it to compare properties and at the time, it would get updates quicker than Zillow, so I had email updates to not miss any homes being listed.

Finally, I’d use It didn’t always showcase all 25 pictures the agents would upload to MLS, but it was updated in real time. It’s information was the most accurate. I don’t remember why this wasn’t my favorite site, but it was the one I went to last, and only to cross check info on Zillow.

I still get the occasional email from Zillow, and I still log on time to time if a house goes up for sale on my street. What can I say, I am a nosey suburbanite. 😀

Tomorrow- I love my aunts!

Friday- All you didn’t want to know about breastfeeding.

My daily prayer: Thank you, God, for stepping in when I don’t have the strength to do your will. Thank you for reminding me of your will when I am overcome with emotion. AMEN!

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Web Wednesday- How the Internet Freaks the Crap out of Me

I have a love/hate relationship with the web.  Whenever my family has a question, and another member answers it, my mom usually asks, “what’s your source.”  Now armed with iPhones, my parents are the best example of if you have a question, Google it.  My phone is my source.  Well, anytime I don’t feel well, or the kids have a funky rash, or there is a weird spot on the dog and we Google it, we are usually told that we’re going to die.

I have yet to get onto WebMD, type in my symptoms, like slight cough, and haven’t been told anything less severe than to “seek immediate medical attention.”  The whole reason I log in is to see if it is something that can wait until the AM, needs to even be checked out, or to confirm that I am just overreacting.  According to WebMD, I have cancer and am going to die.  Every time.  And every time I go to the doctor, guess what?  I am fine.  I know better than to type in my children’s symptoms;  I’d be a basket case.  The only time I use the internet for the kids is for rashes.  And I stay away from WebMD.  I use the pictures or search feature in Baby Center, or search KellyMom for the babies.

My employer has a wonder internal website with all the information about me.  It has my finances, my career path, and my health and insurance information.  They even have their insurance and WebMD powered site that alerts me anytime a doctor submits information.  Every time I went to the doctor with early contractions, it is listed in the site.  Every shot, every blood test, everything.

I’ve always had some minor kidney issues, but it really started acting up when I was pregnant with Easton and continued even after I had him.  I had some back pain that felt like a UTI, but I didn’t have even the slightest infection.  I was finally referred to a nephrologist and continued seeing her through my pregnancy with Quinnlee.  I had less symptoms with her, but still had elevated protein levels. The doctor always told me that we’d keep an eye on things and to come back in a few months.  I’d come back, see her then do blood work and then would be rescheduled to come back in a few months.  I wasn’t told to do anything other than to take Vitamin D and not take Advil.

So a few months after my appointments, I get an email from WebMD saying there are new items in my medical history.  Every time I log in, it says I have chronic kidney disease.  Holy cow.  That must mean I am going to die.  Lately, I’ve really been dragging.  I am so tired that if I didn’t know myself I would think it was depression.  I can not describe how overwhelmingly fatigued I get.  So, I jumped on the trusty web and researched this.  By the way, Q sleeps 8-9 hours at night, so I have no excuse there.

My research lead to me finding that anemia causes fatigue and chronic kidney disease causes anemia.  Bingo!  Let’s find a new doctor that can tell me what I need to eat and drink to get better.  I can’t take any meds since I’m still nursing, but there has to be something I can do besides taking iron.  I go to the new doctor and he tells me that it is only Stage I or II so, it is no big deal.  So what can I do?  Take some drug that I can’t take while nursing.  Curse you WebMD!!  Got me all worried for nothing and I put off my exercising until I could figure out this fatigue.  Well, that just makes it worse.

So, no more WebMD for me.  No more self diagnosis.  I’ll just drink lots of water, watch my caffeine and occasional alcohol consumption and hope for the best.  Now I am going to learn everything I can about anemia and fatigue.  I am sure it will lead to some other imagined condition.  🙂

Daily Prayer:  Thank you, God, for the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Thank you for all of these things for my dear family, too.  AMEN!

Tomorrow- Saturday edition of Thankful Thursday and Family Friday all in one.  Why I am thankful for Jeffro, and how I try to remember the important things.

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Web Wednesday- Favorite Parenting Websites

I wish I had time to just browse sites more more often.  Fortunately, Twitter and Facebook give me highlights and I can click on a story if I want more detail. I also sign up for newsletters for almost any site that I remotely like.  That may be why I now get College F Book emails and Sexual Married Women.  Really?  Like I am going to click on those.  And, I’ve never looked at internet porn.  No, really.  Never.  Honestly, I am scared of what I might find.  No thanks!  But, I’d also like to unsubscribe from those gems of SPAM email, but I guess I will continue to just clean out my SPAM folder.

The Leaky B@@b

This is exactly what it sounds like.  Well, unless you’re thinking I lied about looking up nastiness online.  This is a hilarious,  informative and personal site about breastfeeding and parenting.  Tons of articles about every type of breastfeeding subject.  There is also forum where other “Leakies” talk about their experiences, problems and precious babies. While I do not plan to nurse past a year like the majority of Leakies, this site gives me encouragement and the tools to continue.  Even though this is my third time, it is not easy or fun for me.  I love bonding with my baby, the health benefits and the cost, but pumping is a pain and Q removes a layer of skin every time she chows down.  Nursing truly is a one day at a time activity for me.  I can’t think about January of next year being the end point.  Thank you fellow Leakies for your support!

Baby Center

This one is a little more medicalized and not au naturale.  This is one in which I get email updates, and I recently got one with a  link to a poop slide show to illustrate what is normal and what isn’t.  Anyone with a baby will tell you that there is more poop talk and concern about what is and isn’t normal than… I don’t know what.  Poop talk comes up at least once a day, every day until the day your baby learns to wipe his or her own bottom.  So, of course I click through the slide show.  It is one thing looking at your own baby’s poo, but a slide show was not as good of an idea as I had thought.  While it was informative, it still makes me dry heave just thinking about it.

Q had a rash on her arm, and I Googled “baby rashes” since Web MD always tells me that my symptom is a symptom of death or cancer.  Baby center had a rash slide show.  Helpful, and I wasn’t thrown into a needless panic about certain death.  Just a little fungal infection, which her doctor later verified.

Kelly Mom is the go to site for everything breastfeeding, newborn, etc.  Even before I go to La Leche League or other breastfeeding sites, I go to Kelly Mom.  When do I start solids?  Why does Q eat from the time I get home until bed time?  Do I pump and dump if I have a glass of wine?  What medications are safe to take while nursing?  Got a question- this site has an answer and the research sources to back up their posts.

Kellymom is on in which I get tons of info through their Facebook feeds.  I found out about the Time cover from their Facebook post.  Good advice, and a good source for any baby question.  Had I had easy internet access when Syd was born, I’d probably not have read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and used my online resources instead.  I should reread that book, but all of the same info is at my finger tips!

Tomorrow- How Sydster changed my life.

Friday- Boys vs. Girls

Monday- Was OK just okay?

My daily prayer:  Thank you God for providing what I need.  Thank you for knowing what I need better than I ever will.  And thank you for faith when I get impatient.  AMEN!

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Web Wednesday- App-a-licious

What apps have changed your life?  What occupy your time?  What is a time waster and what is a waste of time?  Apps entertain my children on long car rides, and they allow me to transfer funds between bank accounts when Beans eats a magic growing monster and needs emergency surgery.  So what do you like?

I could dedicate a an entire day to just this topic.  I’m sure we can visit it once a month on Web Wednesday.  Today we’ll look at entertainment apps for the iPod/iPhone.  Next time we’ll look at life style apps.

I am a HUGE Words with Friends fan.  So much so that I played all during my labor with Q-Bone.  I then found out that one of the creator’s wives gave birth at the same center! It is frustrating when folks use cheating apps, but it is a fun way to pass time when Q isn’t quite out and I need a little diversion when I’m rocking her.  It is also cool to see Syd’s vocab growth, and she may even beat me this time.  Plus, I love chatting with my aunt during our turns.  It is fun sending notes back and fourth.

Draw Something- this is how I get through pumping three times a day for twenty minutes at a time, besides blogging ;).  Of course Syd set up her account on the iPad, so I have to use my iPhone and it is hard to draw when I have fingernails.  So funny, so much fun, but so sorry when I don’t play for a few days!  I am drawsome.  User name- elizardbreath 😉

Angry Birds- this is one of Ebro’s favorites.  I have bought several versions and he always wants the latest, greatest.  They are geniuses for creating new versions and charging .99 each.  Ebro loves it so much that he threw an angry bird plushie at Q’s head hoping to get rid of her.  Fortunately, she’s not a green pig, just a piggie, and they are best friends. And he and Syd go around humming the tune.  It gets stuck in our heads for days.  It is best for our Monday night drives to down town Dallas in rush hour traffic to taxi Syd to and from choir.  It keeps Bud busy, and me sane enough to navigate us home.

Zynga Poker- this is the other savior during my labor, I mean besides my loving husband.  I love playing against real people for fake money.  I am not brave enough to play online for real, but this is fun enough for me.  And, I love that I can play on my phone, iPad or through Facebook on the computer.  I love seeing when my friends are playing, and I love interacting with people all over the world.  I was in the middle of a tournament when hard labor set in and I don’t remember where I put down my phone.  Sorry poker peeps- baby Q took priortiy and all of my concentration.  That was the first an only time I considered drugs.  Fortunately, it was a quick delivery, but almost ten pound babies aren’t a cake walk.  Oh yeah, poker, different types of tournaments, you can send gifts to your fellow players, and talk smack.  Fun!

Kindle and iBooks- I have a Kindle, but it is convenient having access to my library on my phone and iPad.  I LOVE it- I haven’t figured out how to purchase books through the apps, but I have so much in my archives, that it isn’t that big of a deal.  I just discovered that I can use my iTunes money in iBooks.  Had I known this, I would have bought less Angry Bird Seasons for Ebro and more books for me.  I prefer reading on my Kindle, because it reads like a book and not a computer screen.  Computers wear my eyes out, but I find that my iPad doesn’t wear our my eyes as badly as my computer screen.

Some apps that drive me nuts are the Cake Maker or Donut Maker or any type of food maker.  Syd downloads them to her iPod and it downloads to both my iPad and iPhone.  I finally fixed it so I don’t have to delete it each time she gets the latest, greatest food Maker apps.  It is a good idea, but meh.  Fun for kids, but a little hard for little ones.

What apps do you like?  Next month we’ll look at apps that have affected our lives- more than fun.

Daily prayer:  Thank you for guiding me down Your path and not my own.  Thank you for reminding me to be more like You and not impatient or cranky, but rather kind and thankful.  I am truly grateful; you know what I need better than I do, and I am thankful for your wisdom.  AMEN!

Tomorrow- Thankful Thursday- I heart my mommy and other mother figures in my life.  Happy Mothers’ Day! (yes plural possessive)

Family Friday- TMI all about baby.  You think I’m open now.  I lay it all on the line, Friday.  Dudes, beware!

Manic Monday- Massage Envy, possible happy hour critique, and more!

Tuesday Book Club- What’s on my DVR?

Web Wednesday- Parenting Websites

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Web Wednesday- Survey talk

I have a love/hate relationship with surveys. I love the ones I can take at my choice of time, but I hate getting a popup asking if I have a minute. I really hate when I’m using an app and I get the “rate me” popup. Yes, it is a good reminder to rate them, but it is inconvenient to do a review using my phone.

Synovate has been my favorite survey company as far as rewards. The surveys are long, but you earn gift cards fast. I get CVS gift cards just for taking surveys! SwagBucks is another site that offers rewards, but I am not as into it as some of my friends and the hard core deal finders and couponers. is good, but I haven’t earned any rewards, yet. The downside is that there is a window for each survey and by the time I have a few minutes, my window is closed.

I absolutely love customer service surveys. I have yet to win anything, but at least the company knows how I feel! Let me tell you how I feel about this little girl in the Chase bank drive-thru the other day. I put in my cash and my debit card, like the guy who opened my account told me I could, and she buzzes out saying, “sorry it took so long. I had to look up your account and fill out your form.”. I used to work in a bank drive-thru, so I get it. But, the other branches just swipe my card and go…don’t be passive aggressive with me, missy!if you need something, tell me!

I recently tested products for a magazine and filled out a survey. That was fun, but I was hoping to write a little and not have to do a simple survey. I love being asked for my opinion, and even live to give it when not asked!

What surveys do you take? I’m taking a poll… 🙂

Tomorrow- Thankful Thursday- I’ve prayed to meet some friends on this side of town and have been asked to join the neighborhood mommies’ group.

Family Friday- Finally! How did we ever survive without Jeffro for six days?

Manic Monday- reviews from the weekend.

Tuesday Book Club- the Red Tent

My daily prayer: thank you, God, for showing me what is good in my life instead of allowing me wallow in the things I can not control.

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Web Wednesday- to Groupon or not to Groupon

What is your favorite group coupon site? I subscribe to Groupon, Living Social, Google Offers, and somehow Sweet Jack, but it always ends up in my SPAM folder. I always forget about the Groupon Now. If I were smart, I’d consult it before going to lunch to save a few bucks. I also get Target’s Daily Deals text, it’s not a group coupon, but it’s a one day only deal, and I am a sucker for the free shipping and they have my credit card number saved for my “convenience”.

I follow Groupon on Twitter and have the iPhone App which alerts me to the latest deal. My inbox is filled with Living Social and Groupon deals, so I barely glance at them before deleting. I also subscribe to Corporate Perks which is like Groupon, but sponsored by work. So many deals, so many of them not for me. I get Target emails and texts- I am so inundated with deals, I don’t even look at most of them.

I’ve bought $5 for $10 of Starbucks and loaded it to an app that always shuts down before I can access the funds, movie tickets that I never used, I currently have $75 to the Melting Pot only $25 I can use at a time (found that out AFTER I bought them), indoor safari theme park tickets, carpet cleaning and who knows what else. So far, the carpet cleaning is all that I’ve used. Oh, over Christmas I bought a Groupon for $20 for $40 to Old Navy. I did use that!

I am currently looking for hair cut deals or a Brazilian Blow Out. I’m sick of wearing a bun because my split ends are deplorable. (And even though sweet baby Q sleeps through the night, it is exhausting being a nursing mother who works full time!) I do look closely at the carpet cleaning ones and I’d like an air duct cleaning, too. But, I’ve spent $5 here, $20 there for things that I wouldn’t normally buy, so I am trying to refrain and only buy things for which I’d pay full price otherwise.

The emails are so overwhelming that I’ve started a deal only email account, but I forget to look at it and then miss some great deals. But they come to my normal email, too. It is probably better that I miss or delete them. Jeff is tired of things arriving at our door via Fed Ex or me taking the kids across town to indoor amusement parks or bounce houses. Of course, after I paid retail for a bounce house rental for Ebro’s birthday, I now see bounce house deals at least twice a week. That is the other problem with couponing in general, the more you do it the more you see missed opportunity.

Tomorrow- What in the world would I do without Jeffro? We’d eat pizza every night, try desperately to keep up with laundry, and everyone would sleep in my queen-sized bed. All three children and me. If Reno hadn’t just had stomach surgery, she’d be up there too.

Friday- An update on my attempts at budgeting and coupon adventure.

Monday- a critique of Brio and more

Tuesday- Fifty Shades of Grey– finally!

Until tomorrow, GO RANGERS!

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Wonderful Wednesday

So welcome to my first wonderful Wednesday where I talk about family “stuff”.  This week Jeffro took off for an out of town gig and I am home holding down the fort.  Sydster has decided to sleep with her mommy even though she’s almost eleven.  Ebro is at Mimi’s and baby Q stays in my arms while Syd and I read our books.  It is great being just the girls, eating leftovers for once, and going to bed early (or staying up late and blogging). 

I haven’t been completely lazy, I’ve managed one load of laundry (from the washer to the dryer before it got ewey) and I fixed the dishwasher.  And I’ve managed to get out two blog posts in a row.  Go me.  

Sydster is finally adjusting to her new school.  I have found that she is like me, the more on my plate the better.  Take this week for example, I don’t have a husband to cook for (Jeff doesn’t do left overs or sandwiches for dinner) or son to chase after, and instead of getting stuff done, I go to bed early, read and generally do next to nothing.  Syd is the same way.  We took away a dance class so she wasn’t overwhelmed at her new school and her grades were less than stellar the first half of the year.  This second half of the year she’s had extra choir rehearsals, sang with the DSO and had various other extracurriculars eating up almost every school day and Saturday.  Our gas bill doubled from all of the taxi-ing her across North Texas.  And guess what?  Honor roll!  So when she said she wants to play the flute next year, I said where do I sign you up?  By the way, anyone know where to get a good deal on a flute?  I think I am just going to buy it and not rent it.  Thoughts?

Ebro is potty trained!  He was on his way to being diaper free when we moved, then he got used to the move and then we had Q, then he got used to Q and then he had a new daycare lady that traumatized him.  We are still not sure what happened, but he tells us that Ms. Wenda pulled his hair at nap time and got mad when he had to potty.  It has become a joke and an excuse for him to get out of bed to “tell you something about Ms. Wenda”.  But with the help of his new nanny, he finally gets it and potties in the pot and not his pants.

Speaking of nannies, we finally find a nanny we love for Q and Ebro and guess what?  She got a real job.  We knew that she was looking for a job for which she got her degree, but none of us thought it would be so soon.  We found a new girl, and she starts on Monday.  The kids really like her, and I hope that it works out.  I hate making changes.  But, when we hired someone for Easton, she lasted two months and then we found the one that watched him until he was a year and a half.  I hope we are as lucky this time.

Finally, yes, baby Q is a sleeper!  She turned three months on Monday and has been sleeping all night for two months.  Occasionally, she’ll wake up once for a quick snack, but then goes back to sleep until at least 7:30-8AM.  We found that swaddling is the best thing EVER and now that she is bigger, we put her in her sleep sack and she does just as well.  She sleeps in her bed and Jeff and I sleep in ours.  The funny thing is that I told him that she would sleep with us for a year.  That lasted about a week when I put her down for a late nap in her bed and she slept for four hours.  And, I tried it the next night and she did it again.  She continued and slept longer and longer until I would have to go in and wake her up.  Thanks to my Facebook friends who told me that I should just let her sleep.  I did and she does!  I do wake her up after eight hours, but that is for pain relief. 🙂

I miss Jeffro already, but am glad that we have these times apart, occasionally, so that we can see how much we appreciate each other.  Sydster is glad to have Mommy time, Q is glad to have endless dinner sessions since I clearly am not cooking or cleaning, and Ebro is happy at Mimi’s and Papaw’s.  I miss the little bud, but have to admit that it is nice not hearing a three year old scream.  He’s going through an unfortunate screaming phase.  There was nothing terrible about two.  Three is when my children become temporary monsters.  It should pass soon, though.  Man, he’s loud, but he’s also pretty sweet most of the time.  And, he finally loves his baby Fwinlee. 

Tomorrow, I will discuss and review some online purchases from Totsy, Google, Groupon and more.  I’ll talk about some of the deals I found on Brad’s Deals, Coupon Pro Blog and other dangerously helpful sites.

Friday is Fiscal Friday and I will discuss my couponing adventure.

Monday, I review downtown Plano, Bikinis, Hoffbrau, and more. 

I can’t wait until next Tuesday to further discuss Fifty Shades of Grey.  All I have to say right now is, if I read about her “inner goddess” one more time, I may scream, and not for the same reasons she screams.  I am vested in the story and have to see what happens, but I may not have to read all three books.  I find Christian Grey’s character unbelievable and I have a hard time with all of the kinkiness being okay.  That is all for now- I should finish it tomorrow and will have a full review on Tuesday, along with what’s on my DVR. 

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