Purex Promotions for You! #win

As a Purex Insider, I get a heads up on many great Purex contests, promotions, and new products. Here are a few great things you should go check out:

Purex’s Pinterest “Pin It to Win It!” sock count guessing game–5 winners will get a years’ supply of Purex!

Crystals Coupon: ‘Like’ Purex on Facebook for a $1 off Crystals coupon.

Dry Idea Sweepstakes ($1000 in Prizes). Sign up as you can from now until July 13th using my code here (please share with friends!): http://insiders.purex.com/dryidea?id_4902

The First Time #BlogDare

On October 8, 2008, I was handed that bundle of joy and expected to know what in the world to do with her. I was a first time (single) mom.

I had spent months worrying about making sure everything was “just right”–were the crib slats close enough together and the changing table sturdy enough? They say nothing can really prepare you for being a parent, but I think with this one, I got lucky. Aside from her milk allergy and RSV at 2 months, she really was a good baby. My parents were there for the first two weeks, but after that, Mallory, A, and I were on our own. We made it, testing out the waters with a newborn.

Being a first time mom was not at all a scary feeling for me. I had decided to keep my child because I fell in love with her even before I knew what she’d be like. Having A gave me a purpose, a focus, a reason. She was truly my everything. We grew together, learning about the world and love. We fell in love with Mr. Burgher (she did first–blame her!) and renewed our love for Pittsburgh together. Being a first time mom was actually an amazing experience for me–one I’ll never regret.

This post was part of the Bloggy Mom’s Blog Dare.

a mom blog community

“Easy” Sure Has Changed #BlogDare

Today I was prompted by “The Blog Dare” over at Bloggy Moms. Honestly, the prompt intrigued me and helped me find something to write about today, so I was super excited to play along. Today’s prompt is “How my idea of “easy” has changed since becoming a mother.”

The Staples "Easy Button"

“Easy” sure has changed since I became a mom. I can’t tell you that life is any harder than it was before, but I can tell you that my definition of easy sure has changed. Here’s my thoughts about how “easy” has changed.

1. Getting out the door.
Back in LBK (Life Before Kids), I was able to get out the door with a small purse that contained (precisely) a phone, chapstick, a compact, my ID, my debit card, my health insurance card, and a hair-tie. There was no one to kiss goodbye, and locking the door was a breeze with two hands.
Today, I have a huge tote bag as my “purse”, filled with lots of “in cases”. There are sippy cups, snacks, blankets, crowns. All require multiple trips to the car and then it’s back up the stairs to separate the kids from their toys or the dogs or both. Locking the door with one hand while trying to make sure A doesn’t run down the stairs and on the street or ‘lil Man decide to attempt mastering going down the stairs all while balancing an umbrella, coupon binder, and my water sure is fun. (Wait–is that me or Mr. Burgher?) 😉 BUT, I have two free-spirited kids who have their wants and needs (like getting a goodbye kiss before I head out the door or a favorite blanket to snuggle in the car), and I am so lucky getting out the door is no longer easy.

2. Flying
One ticket meant barely any dent in my budget–I used to fly up and down the coast multiple times in a year to visit my family in PA. I could jet with one carry-on and maybe my laptop (as long I wasn’t scrapbooking).
Four tickets (and oil prices) hurt the budget. Car seats, strollers, sippy cups, diapers…do I need to go on? But, flying and watching our kids look out the window to the world below (even when they cry or I get vertigo) is still a great memory. Maybe not easy, but great.

3. Dating and Seeing Friends
In LBK (and LBHusband), it was easy to stay out, meet people, and not worry about what to do with the kids. Although I didn’t date much, I was free to enjoy nights out with my friends into the wee hours of the next day. It was easy to meet people who shared my interests and to maintain friendships (even with people who lived 10+ hours away from me).
Today, to go on a date means that Mr. Burgher and I have to make sure my parents are able to watch the kids (which, let’s be honest, we are really lucky because they love to and frankly have weekend custody many weekends because they are so attached to the kids–who wouldn’t be?) and that we I am able to stay awake past 11. Last night, for instance, we went on a date to the grocery store. It was quite romantic, picking out trash bags and pickles. 😉 And seeing friends? Well. I have friends who live close, and I haven’t seen them since? Christmas? I have friends who live just about an hour up the highway and it’s been many months. I have Tweeps and PodCamp friends and we rarely meet up. Our kids don’t keep us from seeing each other, no! Our kids keep us in the house or at the Aviary or Zoo and not at the mall, the local dive, or the hockey rink. Life has just changed. It’s not easy relying on just family and each other, but it sort of has become reality. Thank goodness we all stay in touch with the internet, right?

4. Health
Before (and ok, some after), Mr. Burgher and I didn’t care so much about our health. We both smoked, ate a lot of fast food (or Ramen or wings and pizza), and exercise was getting out on the dance floor for the “Cupid Shuffle”. It was easy to not care about our health or how the immediate decisions were impacting the future.
Three years ago, Mr. Burgher made it easier to care. He made the decision we would both put down the butts cold turkey (which with the exception of a few social slips by me, we have). I continued on cycles of yo-yo dieting and committed myself to a good plan in October. Recently, we started training for Mud on the Mountain and will go for a run together later this morning. We get checkups and flu shots. It’s harder to care about your body, but so much easier in the long run.

5. Love
In LBK, I thought love was easy (but oh let me tell you, was I wrong). You fell in “love” and that was that.
LBK and LBH was such a different love. With kids and a husband, love isn’t easy because you can’t stand to be without them. You yearn for the moment they’ll be back in your arms (even if they are back-talking or climbing over the couch), every second without them is like an eternity. It’s hard to think about how life without the three smiles would be.

Feel free to share how life has changed for you in regards to ‘easy’!

Why I Write

There are days when I feel like this ‘lil blog gets more attention from me than others, some posts that are more meaty than others. Some days that I log in to check the stats/comments and see if you readers are here and interested in the things that are being posted. Some days, I just don’t care.

The reason why I write this blog is not to be popular, liked, or give you stuff (although I really love to do it, and you really seem to like the chance to get goodies). The reason why I blog is to have a memory of the things that are important to our daily lives. There may be stories of the kids, reviews of things we’ve tried, notes about our adulthood. This is a great place to jot it all down.

Kids, one day you may not want me to write (and admittedly, I will respect that), but I do hope that one day you will look back at this blog and see some of the fun we’ve had and memories we’ve made. I am glad that you are the real reason why I write.

Tonight’s post was prompted by the Bloggy Moms Blog Dare for today, “I Write For”…


Speaking of “Why I Write”, it’s evident that you all really like Mr. Burgher’s couponing skills and his posts about couponing. He promised to start posting some deals here on the blog, but as a team, we decided that the deals would be best to be discovered in other ways. We blog to journal our family thoughts, so we trust you’ll understand. Let’s just say, a ‘lil Birdie told us you should head over to the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project‘s page and check out posts from BurghSaver! 😉

Why I Don’t Dream and Tell…and Why I Should

Today’s blog prompt over at Bloggy Moms helped me out a lot. It’s been a long day (a good one, though) and needed some inspiration. The prompt is “Your Most Vivid Dream”.

I don’t dream and tell. Honestly, I don’t dream. Instead, the Lord has blessed me with visions…so 96.5% of my “dreams” come true. It can be SCARY. Super scary.

Like the first time it happened. I had a dream, then a few days later, I was at a stop light with my dad. Things got fuzzy, my head spun, and I felt sick. We had been in this same exact place at this same exact moment…only it had been a few nights before while I, an innocent 10 year old, slept. Nothing bad was going to happen (I just knew what song was next up on the radio), but I was freaked out!

Thank goodness I am a PK. Growing up in a church, you learn about the gifts of the spirit, so I understood when Dad said it was not deja vu, but a vision. A gift. Something I should be thankful for.

But how can you be thankful for something that is scary? I sometimes force myself not to dream…or to wake up and tell someone my dream so that I don’t let the vision come true. Maybe I should share? I am really not sure how I feel about all that. Sometimes my visions are good, but other times they are not. I fear the day I have a dream about the kids or someone else I love, but as always, I know God is in control.

What do you dream about? Do you have spiritual gifts?

Memory of Pap

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I got a great idea. Pappy’s car needed a wash, and I was going to make it happen with my “minions”–my brother and cousin. We stepped out into the hot South Carolina sun and searched for our tools. The rain barrel would prove a good source of water, and low and behold, the pampas grass sure did look like sponges. Somehow, we managed to tear off shoots from the bunch without cutting our hands on the razor sharp edges and dipped the fluffy tips into the rain barrel. I can’t exactly remember, but I think we got one side good and “washed” before Pappy realized what we were doing. Next thing we knew, he had the grass in his hand and was chasing us around the house. Oh, were we in trouble! You see, the grass has tiny “tufts” that dried to the car, essentially running the paint job. Our little moment of helpfulness turned out to be one big bit of mischievousness.

I took this photo of Pampas Grass while in SC last week, thus sparking my memory of Pap!

This post is going to be linked up over at Bloggy Moms based off yesterday’s Blog Dare prompt of “Something mischievous I did as a child.”.

We know that we are in trouble with our kids already. Prepare me. How bad will it be? Share something mischievous you did as a kid–comment or link below!

If I Had an Extra Four Hours…

After writing my last post, a WordPress prompt caught my eye. Oh, what I would do if I had an extra four hours!

* We would have a clean kitchen (atleast it’s just “stuff” and extra food that needs to go to the pantry or stockpile and not perishables or dirty dishes).

* The guest room would be reclaimed and Mr. Burgher and I would share my scrap room for “office” stuff like couponing. (Sigh.)

* The bills would be organized be category. (I try to do this every three months or so.)

* I would catch up with my friends (several of you I owe long phone calls)!

* I would clean out my closet and get the winter stuff to the surface (::sniff::).

* I would sleep off this horrible case of the blah’s I’ve had since the weather started getting cooler.

Comment or link up! What would YOU do with an extra four hours?

Parenting the “Right” Way

BWS tips button

Today I am conquering another prompt from The Mom Pledge Blog. It’s been one I’ve been meaning to write about for awhile, so I am glad to finally get to share with you.

The Prompt: “There is no one, “right” way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.” Is this difficult or easy for you to accept? Why? Has taking The Mom Pledge changed how you view the choices of other moms?

The Response: One of the reasons I took the Mom Pledge is because I firmly believe that there is no specific, golden, right way to parent, provided you step up to your responsibility of being a parent (as long as that is your calling in life–there really are some people who cannot parent, and they are aware of that).

I’ve been thinking about a post about things you can and cannot do as a parent, but every time I sat down to try to write it, I thought about how it would go against taking The Mom Pledge. I wasn’t going to call someone out for “bad” parenting, but I realized that it might offend some parents who for them, the way they parent IS the right way.

First, is it easy to accept that there is no “right” way to parent? For me, I know that I am parenting the right way for my family. I also know that other parents have to do what they have to do for their family. We may not always agree on what is right, but it’s what’s right for each family. True story.

Take diapering. For us, cloth diapering is just not the way to go, but it doesn’t mean that we are anti-cloth. Frankly, I wanted to give it a shot, but really, the choice needs to be up to the primary caregiver. Mr. Burgher would be that person. While he is a SAHD, he is in no way laid back and free to bake brownies for all the neighborhood children. There is a 2 1/2 year old to keep busy, an almost 6 month old who is teething and trying out new fruits and veggies, laundry, food prep, a dog, a pool, and coupon collection and organization. With two in diapers for most of the past 6 months, it just wasn’t logical for us. It’s “right” for us to go with disposables.

Or take breastfeeding. For us, with Lil Man, it is what is right and works for us. He really took to it, but his sister was a different story. Both of our children gave us different way to do the “right” thing as parents. But, for some mothers, they just know their limits and know that breastfeeding won’t work for them. While I can advocate at least trying, those mothers know what is “right” for them!

It all really boils down to personal preference, and since I’ve always like to do things “My Way”, it’s pretty easy for me to accept that there is no “right” way to parent. The Mom Pledge helps me affirm this and makes me think once, twice, even three times before reacting to the decision of another mom or dad.

What do you think? Should we all follow a book that tells us how to parent or go with our gut?

I Wish I Would Have Known…

I chose to write this post as part of Life With Levi’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is “I Wish I Would Have Known”. Enjoy!

Before I became a mom, I knew that there were a lot of things about my life that would change. My evenings were spent reading books, magazines, blogs, and websites about pregnancy and motherhood. I would soak it in like a sponge, but I don’t know that I took more than 10% of it to heart. Now that I am a mom, I know that there are a lot of things that no book, magazine, blog, website, or other parent (or in some cases, non-parents ::ahem::) could have prepared me for. These are the things I wish I would have known…

There is no greater love than the love a mother/father has for their child. For me, I knew I was a mother the moment I found out I was pregnant, but I wasn’t a MOM until I heard Arianna take her first breath of life. Five months ago, I got to feel that joy again when Evan was born. From that moment, for each baby, all I wanted to do was hold them and love on them. Every day when I look at my babies, I feel that love wash over me again.

There is a good deal of guilt being a parent. About four and a half weeks into Arianna’s life, I had a mommy meltdown and I needed a break from her. The second I dropped her off with my friend for the night, I immediately wanted to turn around and get her back–why should I want to feel any joy without my baby? But I needed it. I was a single mom, taking care of my baby pretty much alone 24/7, and probably would have gone crazy if I didn’t take a little break, have dinner with my friends, and sleep in. Now, I feel guilty when my family drops me off at work because I am missing some of the “new” moments in their life. I feel guilty when I eat cheesy macaroni or buttered popcorn in front of lactose-intolerant A. Will the mommy guilt ever let up? Probably not, but I think it’s a good kind of guilt…it proves you are a good parent I guess.

There is a lot of pain involved in the first few days, but it goes away. Since I had an “emergency” c-section with Arianna and didn’t get to try VBAC with Evan (I met my scheduled date too soon), I can only talk about the pain of surgery regarding childbirth. That and weeks of contractions makes a body weak, tired, and battered. Anyways, the surgery, the adjustment to nursing, followed by odd body reactions–excretions that don’t need discussed, lead to the need for a lot of healing. I can’t tell you how quickly the pain goes away, but it does. But it is also painful, so I am not going to deny that truth.

How great baby wearing is when A was little. There is a great feeling when I wear Evan in our Moby Wrap–it reminds me of when I was pregnant and cradled him close. This is an amazing feeling, and I think that not enough people know how convenient it is to cuddle a baby close yet have two free hands (because when you wear a baby, you really SHOULD have two free hands, not having to support the baby all the time). I’ve been able to shop without a meltdown and walk without a stroller. I’ve found it also helps with those people who like to come up to babies and touch and coo. They still love to look at the baby and compliment how cool it looks to “wear” a baby–but there’s something about the baby being so close to their parent that keeps the touchie feelies at bay.

You have to be willing to laugh, and laugh a lot. There are a lot of opportunities to laugh as a parent, and you have to be ready to do it. Both of our kids give us so much to laugh about every day–attempts to roll over, grunts, singing silly songs, eating pints of blueberries without abandon–and we are thankful. It makes life worth living.

Be ready to get flack about your parenting choices, but remain strong. You, the parent, knows what is best for you and your children. Be it breastfeeding, diapering, discipline, education, childcare, religion, television, diet…there is going to be someone who has something to say about your choices. It’s important to have atleast one or two other people to turn to who understand your choices; however, you can’t expect everyone to agree with you. Keep your head up, and be proud to make your own decisions. It will make your child unique, and the world needs more of that.

And finally, Babies really do grow up fast!I can’t tell you how quickly the last two and a half years have flown by. Our daughter has gone from smiles and coos to talking in sentences, counting by twos, and trying to write her name. It feels like our son is doing everything his sister did at lightning pace. The whole “Cherish them, they grow up so quickly” sure is one piece of advice that I wish I really would have taken to heart. Sadly, there is nothing you can do about this one–they just keep growing (which is in itself a precious gift)!


This post is part of a quick linky that encourages bloggers to write for 5 minutes (fiction) about a topic on a Friday. It was a lifesaver today. 🙂 Check it out, I’ve linked up over at The One Minute Blogger, where you can either get inspired or check out other blogs that participate. Enjoy my short, silly fiction.

Crack! went the egg, out spilled the hopes and dreams of a mother chicken into the pile of white, fluffy powder in my shiny stainless steel bowl.

Pop! went the oven, reminding me of the time some of the Lucky Biscuits, pizza, and buffalo chicken cooked just a little too hearty.

Ding! went the buzzer, and suddenly the smells, the waiting, the lack of patience came to fruition.

A and I cut big slices, dipped them in bowls of freshly made icing, and sighed.