Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just Between Friends Pittsburgh!

Want to outfit your kids in great brands?  Looking for some new toys or baby gear for less?  You  won’t want to miss the Just Between Friends Children’s & Maternity Consignment event.  This is my favorite consignment sale of the season in the Pittsburgh area! I've hit almost all of them and this one has the best quality and inspected items for sale! 
Here's a couple shots of our score at the Fall sale last year!!

The Just Between Friends Spring/Summer Children's & Maternity Consignment event kicks off for everyone on May 3rd.  There is an exclusive pre-sale for volunteers, consignors, first-time parents, foster parents, military families and teachers on Thursday, May 2nd!    

What: JBF Pittsburgh Children's & Maternity Spring/Summer Sale
When: Fri., May 3 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat., May 4 - 8am-4pm (NEW Merchandise!) & Sun., May 5th- 8am-2pm (Many items 50% off). 
Where: RMU Island Sports Center in the Golf Dome, 7600 Grand Ave., Pittsburgh 15225
Admission: $3 on Friday (under 18 is free - or print your FREE admission pass below for Friday). Admission is free Saturday & Sunday.

Want to turn YOUR clutter into CA$H at the Fall Sale?  It's not too late to sign up to sell any new and gently used items your family has outgrown at the JBF event. Consignors prepare and price their own items using an easy, online bar code system. They earn 60% of their sales or if they volunteer at the event, 70% of their sales. Anyone interested in consigning can sign up for the Pittsburgh event on the jbfsale.com website (click here).

Volunteers are an important part of our JBF event. Our JBF Volunteers shop FIRST and earn 70% on their consigned items.  Anyone is welcome to volunteer at the event.  You can register to volunteer for a short 4-hour shift to guarantee early admission at the pre-sale event!  Start early preparing for Fall too!!

We hope to see YOU at the JBF Sale!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Birthday Adventure!

One of the treasures of living in Pennsylvania is there's truly so much to do within driving distance!

I cannot wait to travel to the Crayola factory just a few short hours away with Lily! My mom went several years ago when she was on a trip and loved it. She said it was right up my alley! I've mentioned many a time before on this blog that Crayola crayons are the only ones I use.  As a mom and a teacher...they are the bee's knees!

To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world's only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they're out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you're invited to join the fun!

You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens!

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!

Disclosure: All information and photo provided by Crayola. I will receive a box of the limited edition 110th birthday pack in exchange for this post.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My New Love!

Recently I had the opportunity to review some new yogurt! Yogurt is such a staple in my house. Lily loves "lo-guck", Andrew and Reagan are definitely into yogurt tubes --especially frozen for a yummy cold treat in the summer, and I have been eating a ton of yogurt this pregnancy because it's one of the only things that my stomach could handle during the first weeks. I'm still loving it everyday!
Müller yogurt is the number-one yogurt in the U.K. and has generations of loyal fans spanning many countries who love Müller yogurt for its delicious, creamy taste and unique flavor varieties.
Brought to you by the Quaker Oats Company, the first three products to be introduced in the U.S. are Müller FrütUp, Müller Corner and Müller Greek Corner.
  • Müller Corner products are top-sellers in the U.K., with a two-chamber cup that includes creamy yogurt in one chamber and delicious mix-ins like caramelized almonds, fruit mixes and chocolate in the other. There will be 10 SKUs of Müller Corner, including four thicker, creamier Greek-style yogurt products.

  • Müller FrütUp is a parfait-style yogurt, leveraging new technology that allows a fluffy fruit mousse to sit on top of the yogurt. Müller FrütUp will come in six varieties.

I was sent a strawberry FrütUp, a caramelized almond Greek Corner, and a choco ball Corner. 

First, let me say, I am new to the Greek yogurt craze.  I'd been super hesitant about trying Greek yogurt because I want my yogurt to taste like yogurt.   This one does. The caramelized almond Greek Corner was delicious. It was a perfect choice for a "dessert" for me.  I love almonds, I love caramel and I found a Greek yogurt that is still yummy! Extra creamy and thick. Plus an awesome source of calcium and protein.  This newbie Greek yogurt goer has found one she loves!
My next flavor to try was the delicious vanilla yogurt with a chocolate covered rice cereal ball to mix in was amazing! Perfect mix for this pregnant mama.  Lily loved sharing this with me too! Who doesn't love chocolate?  And let's be honest, the mix-ins are just fun. :)

Ok, I saved my ultimate indulgence for last! The strawberry FrütUp:
This decadence WAS dessert for me when I was craving something sweet but didn't need the "extra" stuff that things like chocolate cake and cheesecake bring into my life. Lowfat yogurt with strawberry mousse can be described as nothing less than scrumptious. 

You can find where to buy, all the 16 different flavors, and a ton of information on their website at: http://mullerquaker.com/home as well as connecting with them on twitter and facebook.

Of course, these goodies are not just for the pregnant chicks, but I will say I am oh so grateful they came into my life when they did!! I've been eating them like crazy these last few months!

And for one lucky reader, I'm able to offer through Müller yogurt, a giveaway of ten free product coupons! 

Here's all you have to do:
~Follow my blog via GFC or Follow on Bloglovin
~Visit Müller yogurt and leave me a comment telling me which flavor you'd like to try.
~Like My Not-So-Little Guy & My Little Punky Pie on facebook
~Tweet about the giveaway and be sure to include @littlepunkypie and @MullerQuaker. {you can do this daily for more entries}

Leave separate comment for each entry.

The winner will be chosen by random.org on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11:59p.m. EST and notified by email!

Good luck!

***Winner:   Congratulations, Tracy!!

Disclosure: I was provided free product for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Will Love You If...

It's not always easy when people leave your life.  Especially when it's by choice. That has always been difficult for me because I'm a communicator. I like to work through the tough stuff to keep relationships healthy.  However, both parties have to be willing to participate in order for it to have any resolution. 

Back when I wrote about Thanksgiving Day, I touched on how our day simply didn't go as planned. That was all I wanted to share at that time.

What ultimately took place was the ending of relationships.

In a very bizarre sequence of events throughout Thanksgiving day, it culminated with me being told my husband was no longer welcome in the home of some family friends.  After I attempted to reach out the next morning, asking for some clarification and offering my feelings of hurt and confusion, my words were met with silence. Nearly 5 months later, there has not been a response.

Andrew's 13th birthday was a mere 5 days after Thanksgiving.  It went unacknowledged by the people who said they loved him and treated him as family. I was extremely hurt by this.  It could have been very easy to send him a text to simply wish him a Happy Birthday regardless of what was going on with adults.  After all, it was simply my husband who wasn't welcome anymore, not my son, right?  

Andrew was unaware of the Thanksgiving Day details and only asked what had happened after his birthday. I made the choice to put aside my own feelings of confusion, hurt, and sadness to celebrate my son's life in the days between Thanksgiving and his birthday.

As an adult, I understand the difficulty in relationships.  As a boy whose dad left when he was little, half of his grandparents are deceased while the other half live in different states, and not being accepted as a grandchild by my outlaws because he's "not theirs, it's not as easily understood.

Making the choice to ignore a 13 year old boy's--MY 13 year old boy's-- birthday because you're mad at his parents is simply not ok with me. 

I posted this status on facebook the morning after his birthday: "Thank you for the birthday wishes for Andrew! Phone calls, text messages and emails too! Explaining why there were some who did not, well just sucked and as hard I tried, hurt and disappointment was still present."

My son was hurt and it was at that point he asked what happened on Thanksgiving Day.  I {age appropriately} explained and told him I was sorry he had gotten hurt in the process.

The status prompted me being deleted and blocked by the members of our family friends.   That was it. No replying to my message from the day after Thanksgiving, just deleting and blocking on facebook.  Nearly 20 years with family connection and apparently, that was it.  I was hurt.

Life goes on.

I worked through my feelings about it all in the subsequent months and after reflecting about the relationships, it was clear to me that the best choice for all of my family was to move forward and leave it behind. 

I have previously been on the receiving end of not being welcome and having my family attempted to be divided.  My husband appropriately refused the ultimatum given to him at the time and said about my son and myself, "Either we're all welcome or none of us are."   It was without question that if someone tells me my husband is not welcome, the rest of us are no longer involved either.  Families aren't picked apart.

Thus came my children learning about conditional love.

Ultimately, the crux of the entire situation was that my children were hurt in the process and that cannot be undone.  Investing in children and having them also invest in relationships, even at a young age like Lily, then dumping them is a lesson I wasn't happy about them receiving.  It is my job to protect them.

For months, we'd head in the car in one direction and Lily would ask if we were going to see them.  What do you offer a 2 year old other than "No, not today"?  I was grateful when she finally stopped asking. 

Shortly after New Year's, I received a text from one of their family wishing a happy new year, wishing the kids well and I was being thought about, but no reply was needed.   I simply thought it was nice.

About a month later, my mom and I talked about the situation and I was able to completely come to understand that what I wasn't willing to reopen was the fact that my children, especially my son, were hurt in the process and my son learned more about being loved conditionally.   I truly cannot express adequately how much Andrew learning that hurts me.  It wasn't an "outside" hurt. It was a lesson learned by people who told him they loved him and then dropped him like he didn't matter at all. I could never trust that wouldn't happen again. The door was closed for me. 

On my birthday I received another text from the same member of their family wishing me a happy birthday.  Again I simply received the text as was intended and pleasant.

Last week, I bumped into the same member of their family at a consignment sale.  We exchanged hellos and I was asked how the kids were. I said they were great.  Simply.  Pleasant.

As the person was getting ready to move on, "I meant what I said in your texts,"  was said. I acknowledged by saying I knew, however what happened with and to Andrew just couldn't be undone.  When I was asked what I was talking about and what happened with Andrew, I simply said, "He was taught about conditional love and more people leaving his life."  I was stopped and told, "We're not discussing this."

That was all the confirmation I needed that the conditions extended to all of us.  If it wasn't being discussed on your terms, then I didn't get a say.

And it was known what happened with Andrew because immediately after I posted the facebook status about his birthday being ignored, I was blocked and deleted.

Someone can attempt to hurt me all they want, but if my children are hurt, you simply can't uncross that line.

My husband was, of course, protective about how I was affected emotionally/stress wise as I don't need the stress while pregnant, but I assured him that I didn't feel any of that.  I shared I truly had moved on and had no desire to discuss all the details, examples or feelings throughout the duration of our relationships to explain my point of view.  I have two children and a baby on the way that are more important.  I'm not angry, I'm no longer sad, I'm just in a place of acceptance.  It is what it is.

I have left out so many details just as I said above to express my point of view, plead my case or whatever. I haven't written about this before now because it wasn't something I was sure I wanted "out there."   But decided, it is a part of my story and for someone who has always had difficulty letting go, this was a significant time in my life where I knew letting go was the best thing for me as well as for my family. There is zero longing on my part for it to be different or to go back.

I wish them well.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Steph Snippets

~Well, here we are again... two weeks since I've last blogged.  Suffice to say this pregnancy has been R-O-U-G-H.  Ask my family.  I haven't been nice either.  So, silence has probably been a much better option all the way around.

~I have a review that I did almost two months ago and a giveaway coming up next week on it! I feel terrible for the delay and am thankful for each and every opportunity.

~I also have a local giveaway to share next week! It's one of my favorite local "events" each year. Mamas with kids, be sure to check back!

~I'm 14 weeks pregnant today and feel like I have been pregnant for an eternity.  When I realized yesterday, we still have half a year left, I almost cried. I do truly enjoy the miracle and feel so very blessed with the gift of carrying this little one. This pregnancy has just been so much harder than my others. Realizing that I have been pregnant in my 20s, 30s and now 40s is like WHOA.  So, I'm blaming age for this one being so hard!  Next week update will be at 16 weeks.  I've decided that every 4 weeks is good for me to update on the blog. :)

~Andrew's lacrosse schedule has kept us pretty busy these last weeks. This week alone he's had 3 games.  Practice is Monday through Friday except for game days of course.  He loves it a lot.  I'm glad!  His team isn't doing so hot, but they do have half a team of 7th graders who have never played before, so they're still learning.  I'm hoping they get a win soon! {He's 43 ♥}

~My blog commenting has been horrific too. I have been reading.  Mostly from my phone though while laying in my bed which is difficult for commenting.  So, I'm hoping to rectify that soon and catch up.

~The weather has finally decided that it's going to be spring/summer-ish and not winter. Thankfully! So, we have been playing outside a lot too.  Lily is loving it! It has been a long winter.

~I admitted on Facebook recently that I love Barry Manilow.  Those of y'all in my life for a long time have probably known that anyway. My first cat's name was Mandy! I've seen him several times in concert in the past. Andrew's dad used to make fun of me because people would steal random stuff out of my Jeep Wrangler, but they never took my Barry Manilow cassette.  A few weeks ago, a local blogger was having a giveaway for tickets to an upcoming Barry show and guess who won?!  This girl!  I'm super excited!!

~Summer plans are in the works.  Out of state travel has been decided for June for Andrew and July dates are pretty certain.  What I appreciate about my relationship with my exhusband is our ability to work things out pretty easily for Andrew.  A bonus for the beginning of the summer, is Andrew is done the last week of May this year for the first time since we've lived here! So, we're driving to Nashville together {instead of meeting his dad halfway in Cincy} and Lily and I are visiting friends! I can't wait!   Also, Lily's 3rd birthday is this summer, so I've been working on party stuff sparingly too. The theme has been decided. The picture for the invitation has been captured and I've been doing some researching.  I love party planning!

~I have so many updates to do on this blog. I'll get there eventually.  Trying to live life and enjoy my days with just Lily and I as much as possible.  :)

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

12 weeks ~ baby i2


Hello last week of 1st trimester!

DATE:  April 4, 2013

How far along:  12 weeks

Total Weight Gained:
  Not sure! Last dr. appointment, 3 weeks ago I had lost 5 pounds

How big is baby?  "Your baby's the size of a plum!
The average fetus at 12 weeks is about 2.1 inches long and .49 ounces. Now that she's got pretty much all her parts, her main job is to keep on growing."  **taken from The Bump *** I copied the baby info directly from The Bump...instead of using the word "it", they describe the baby with he or she. Those are not my words.

How baby is growing
: **taken from The Bump
  • "Most of her critical systems are fully formed!

  • She's about to enter the growth and maturation stage, in which her organs and tissues will grow and develop rapidly.

  • She's now developing her reflexes -- if you poke her body, she'll likely move.

  • She's opening and closing her fingers and curling her toes, too.

  • Her brain is developing fast!"

  • Maternity Clothes:  some shirts for sure. Tshirts and comfy pants are my wardrobe. Can't wait for warmer weather and skirts and dresses.

    Sleep: Pretty interrupted. Lots of restlessness.

    Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week: finding results from our CVS! And learning our baby's gender and seeing the baby!  Big week!!

    Movement: late last week a couple thumps and after seeing baby via ultrasound moving like crazy, it makes perfect sense!

    Food Cravings:  icees and cereal

    Food Aversions:
    none really lately

    Gender:  We know, but we haven't yet revealed! :)

    Symptoms:  heartburn, irritibility, bloated, exhaustion, sore boobs

    What I miss: sleeping normally and not having heartburn

    What I'm looking forward to: Revealing our baby's gender