#NSNation: First days down.


On Monday, my final (as in second for this order) shipment of food arrived from Nutrisystem.  I'd actually been tracking the package and had expected it on Friday and then Saturday and finally got it on Monday.  Not sure what happened with my delivery guy, but apparently he finally found my house. =)

Now I was pumped, ready to go on Tuesday, and then I came down with some crazy ass sort throat, that has now turned into a sinus infection, and no voice! (My students kinda love this.)  I made the decision that sickness or no sickness, Wednesday was the day.   Wednesday morning I ate my first bite of Nutrisystem food - a Blueberry Muffin.  I'm not gonna lie.  I am a picky, picky, picky eater and it drives my family crazy.  However, I was very surprised and please with the Blueberry Muffin - it was extremely moist and flavorful and didn't taste like sawdust coated with Splenda.  Now, that being said, the amount of water I am supposed to drink every day scares the crap out of me.  Allow me to illustrate.

Holy water batman!  I know that you're supposed to drink so much (6-8 glasses of water a day), but honestly, I'm lucky if I get one on most days.  I'm a horrible water drinker.  My vice these days?  Arizona Sweet Tea - I love me some sweet tea.  BUT I've quit cold turkey.  Instead, I carry my massive bottle of water around and I drink that baby.  I can even add lime juice for a little bit a flavor and just so you know, I'm kind of a sucker for limes.

I've only been following the plan for (almost) 2 full days.  I'll be updating my weight loss, food preferences, struggles, and successes every week.  And because you know I'm a sucker for junk food and the thought of not getting any made me want to eat nothing but crap for the last week, my official starting weight on Wednesday was 147.6.

Now wish me luck.  I have issues with veggies, especially raw veggies, and it's not like I'm really hungry because the plan calls for a lot of food during the day - I just really, really want a bunch of onion rings and some cupcakes covered in buttercream frosting.  Oh and maybe a donut and chocolate milk. ;)

BUT I'm tough, I'm gonna do this.  I'm gonna make these changes.

p.s. I apparently have a wish to die of humiliation as I let the hubs take pics of me in a bikini Tuesday night.  Yeah, not so pretty.  In four months, once I look hot and sexy and under control, I'll post the before and after Nutrisystem photos.  Really, you should stay if you'd like a boost for your self-esteem, these before pics will make you feel sexy compared to the flabby crap hanging on me.  

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem?
Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog

Disclosure: I’m receiving the Nutrisystem Women’s Plan in exchange for
 blogging about my honest Nutrisystem experiences.
All opinions are my own and my results may differ from others.  
On the Nutrisystem plan you can expect to lose 2-3 lbs. a week.

Apparently this is normal.


Have I mentioned Thaddeus's new phase?  Oh, I haven't?  
Well, allow me to illustrate.

Yeah.  That's a bruise.  From a BITE!  Apparently my son is a vampire in training.  Last weekend I was putting Thad to bed - we'd already read our book and were cuddling for a few minutes.  Well, when we cuddle, I hold him facing me like I did when he was little and needed burped.  He loves to look, touch, etc. with my face, hair, etc.  When he's super tired he'll rub in face on my shoulder and into his burp cloth (he loves his burp cloth) and sometimes he'll stick the burp cloth in his mouth and bite.  I'm guessing it feels good on his gums/teeth.  Well, he missed the burp cloth and bit me instead.  


I screamed and then he stopped, widened his eyes, and began to BAWL.  The poor guy.  He obviously didn't mean to bite me and then he freaked out when I reacted.  Lol, needless to say, he hasn't bitten since.  

Hitting however -- well, that's a different story.  Apparently, it's normal.  

Not cool toddlerhood, not cool at all.

Does your little one hit or bite?  Did they hit or bite at 13 months?  What did you do to make it stop or did they grow out of it?

Wordless Wednesday: TP Tampering


Sprout Change WINNER!

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You're the winner of the Sprout Change Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

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Comment 15 on the second page = 215.  

Off to email you!  Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen!  
Thanks to all who entered - more giveaways coming soon!

So my marriage isn't "perfect".


Ok, I debated about posting this, but sometimes you've just got to let it out, ya know?

My marriage isn't perfect.  Now, I don't know many marriages that are, but I HATE admitting (I hate admitting a lot of things come to think of it...) that we're not that perfect  couple that agrees with each other all.the.time and never butts heads.

The hubs and I are very different, but also very similar.  He was raised by two drug addicted parents and spent his school years in Iowa and summers in Idaho.  A very cross continental kid.

Me?  I lived in a small town with my mom and my dad, a sister (my half sister didn't live with us...well, expect that one time she was in high school), a dog, in an average middle class family.

I was a studious, he couldn't have cared less about school. (He worked his butt off one time when he was young to bring home a report card with good grades, only had 1 C that time.  His dad made a comment only focusing on the C and not the other awesome grades.  After that, he didn't bother trying.  Sad, right?  Yeah, I don't really care for his dad that much.)

I was involved in everything, he only played sports.

I partied in high school, he partied more than I ever could have fathomed.

I'd only ever had run ins with the law when I was fighting tickets, he committed a felony at 15 (yeah, I'll share that one later...lol).

No, we didn't know each other in high school - we lived three hours apart.  We actually didn't meet until I was student teaching and working as a server at Applebee's (thanks to a push from my ex..lol).

Anyway, we're both driven, smart (the man hates school, but is a genius - seriously, the definition of ADHD, but brilliant), respectful, energetic, Christian, etc., etc.  So while we were raised in two completely different worlds, we put that aside and fell hopelessly in love.  (And got engaged a month after we met. Yep, true story.)

Well, I guess I should have realized that even hopelessly in love won't get the laundry done, pay the bills, or put you on the same page with everything concrete in life.

My biggest pet peeve right now:  When he doesn't come at night!!! No, I'm not joking.  Do I think he's cheating or having an affair?  Um, eff no.  But while he sees it as being responsible (not drinking and driving, which I get and very thankful for), I can't help but get pissed.  Why can't you just stop after a couple or at least an hour or so before you're gonna head home???

Now it's not like it happens every night or every weekend, but I'd say it happens at least once every 6 weeks(ish) and it drives me cRaZy!  He works for a catering company and a restaurant so he doesn't get off until late anyway so I understand wanting to a have a drink to wind down once in awhile, but why on earth does he have to meet up with all his buddies, who are neither married nor fathers, that have no reason to be at home???

I don't know.  I know this post isn't gonna solve anything, but if gives me a chance to vent my frustrations.  I love the man, I really do, but sometimes he makes me want to pull my hair out.  (Don't they all?)  While I know my marriage isn't "perfect", it's my marriage, and you can bet your sweet ass that I'll be doing my best to make it work.

p.s. I'm writing this as of Sunday evening and after some words yesterday, he came home last night. =)  Now if only I could get him to quit spending money outside of the budget...

What does your spouse do that drives you crazy?

Must Have Monday


This week's Must Have Monday ties into my little bookworm post.  
I know that I've mentioned it before, but Thad LOVES to read
and these are just a few of his faves.



What is your little one's favorites?
Do you have some that look as dog-eared as we do?

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Out of Focus


This is what taking photos is like these days...out.of.focus!  
Can we say it's a bit hard to sit still?

Have a great weekend everyone!

PPD: 1 Year Later


I've always suffered from stress and anxiety.  Before getting pregnant, I'd been taking Zoloft.  When I quit a few months before trying to conceive, I felt myself leave a cloud behind that I didn't know I'd been living in.  Holy energy and focus...wow.  While pregnant I suffered from pregnancy induced ADD (I don't know if this is proven, but I'm telling you, for me, it was).

6 weeks after having Thad I was diagnosed with PPD - I couldn't.stop.crying.  I was crying about everything.  I felt like the worst mother in the history of the world.  I wondered if I'd ruined my life, my husband's life, and now the life of this little boy I'd brought into the world.  I couldn't fathom making it to the next day.  Being a parent was hard, harder than I'd ever thought possible.  I didn't think I'd ever sleep again, read a book again, shower again...let alone feel sexy again...BUT after talking to the doctor and getting a prescription for Wellbutrin, my world slowly became manageable.

Last spring, I had to call the doctor and ask to decrease the dosage of medication.  I was suffering from crazy rushes of energy - it was insane - I felt like I was on crack or something.  My thoughts were racing, I couldn't focus, and I wasn't sleeping well.  I was also about 45 lbs lighter than when I'd started the meds.  Apparently that little factor can make a difference.

Now, as the the one year mark comes and goes, I've had to decrease the meds again.  It's kind of hard to do your job and be a mom when you can't even focus long enough to make a grocery list.  Oh and did you know they don't make Wellbutrin in 50 mg tabs?  Nope, so for now, I'm cutting the 100's in half.  While I'm excited to decrease the meds, I'm scared as shit.  I'm not comfortable getting rid of the meds completely yet.  These days are better than I could have ever imagined they would have been a year ago.  I'm happy, I'm in love (with my husband and my son), Thad and his laugh, smile, face, his everything -- make me sooooo happy, I'm constantly thinking about having another baby - life is good.

And yet, every once awhile those feelings sneak in.  I get down.  The world sucks.  Why can't the laundry get done?  Why does my husband insist on not mowing the lawn?  Why won't Thaddeus eat his dinner?  All of those things add up and all of a sudden, I'm pissy, depressed, and hating the world.  While it doesn't always last that long, the fact that it even happens drives me nuts.  I swear, sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy or I've gone bipolar or something.

So for any of who are suffering, have suffered, or are just now being diagnosed - know this.  It does get better.  There will always be ups and downs, there will always be times you question your actions as a mother, there will always be times of stress in your marriage, but you can do this.  Don't be ashamed of asking for help, taking medication, or just taking time for yourself.  It will make you a better mother.  Trust me, it will.

My little bookworm.


Yep, that's me in all my post-pregnancy glory.  Be jealous.

From the time Thad was little (and would still take a binky), we've been reading to him - it easily became a part of our nighttime routine.  It was always dinner, bath, bottle and reading, then off to bed.  As a reading teacher, I know how important reading to kids is and how much it can influence their learning for the rest of their lives.  Do I feel pressure as a reading teacher?  Yeah, a little bit, but I'm not going to stress myself out too much over it.  I don't expect my kid to read at 18 months, because in all honesty, a kid isn't reading at that age, they're memorizing.   Anywho, off that soapbox.

I've always been a reader.  In fact, I can remember getting mad as a kid and stomping off to my room that I shared with my sister, slamming the door, and reading Go Dog Go! until I wasn't mad anymore.  Yeah, I'm a nerd like that.  Oh and to take that even further, in 2010, the kiddos at school asked me to count how many books I read that year.  I told them I'd shoot for a hundred.  Of course, working with the kids I do, they were extremely skeptical that I, or anyone, could read that amount of books in a year.  If it wasn't for pregnancy induced ADD, I'm pretty sure I would have met my goal - oh and maybe the fact that a newborn took up my free time. ;)  While I didn't meet my goal, I did make it 76.  Pretty darn proud if I do say so myself.  

Well, that love of reading has been passed onto Thad.  Lately, he'll grab a book and bring it to you. That's his way of asking you to read it to him.  He'll snuggle up on your lap and sit so still and engaged while you read all about dinosaurs, dogs, God, cars, and more.  He loves to read!  

Recently, he's begun to read to himself.  No, he's not actually reading, but he'll open the book, make sure it's the right way (you know, the words aren't upside down or something), and start going "uh..uh..uh uh uh...uh.  uh uh" as if he's reading the words.  It's too cute!  While I didn't get any video footage of it today, I did get this adorable picture.  

Do you read to your kiddos?  When did you start?  

How about a click for book loving toddlers?

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Must Have Monday: Bright Starts


This week's Must Have Monday is brought to you by Bright Starts!  When Thad was super little, he loved gnawing on and playing with his Bright Starts Snuggle and Teethe Dog (granted, his was the elephant, but you get the point).  And just recently while digging out some toys he rediscovered his Bright Starts Rattle and Shake Barbell Rattle - he loves to walk back and forth across the living room shaking the heck out of this thing.

And now, he's got a new favorite toy thanks to the Bright Starts family.  Thad was sent the Bright Starts™ Having a Ball™ Cluck & Learn Barn™ to review and let me tell you, he loves it!  

The Cluck & Learn Barn™ brings animal learning and ball drop surprise together to spark laugh out loud fun!  Toddler can drop balls into the chicken to activate fun barnyard sounds, and to see which barn door they’ll pop out of!  Pressing the buttons teaches animal names and sounds while ball dropping fosters counting and playing all at the same time!


2 ways to play: Silly Sounds Mode & Learning Mode

Silly Sounds Mode:
Drop balls into the top of the chicken to activate silly animal sounds
Balls will activate more silly sounds as they roll out of 2 different openings in the barn

Learning Mode:
Press the 3 light up buttons to learn animals sounds and names
Learn counting skills as balls drop through the barn
Open and close barn doors for funny barnyard sounds and to learn opposites

Clucking chicken will encourage toddler to play again

The day it arrived Thad was sooooo excited to see what was in the box.  We ripped open the shipping box before bed that night and set it on the coffee table still in it's packaging.  He stood in front of the coffee table and just hit the buttons over and over again while giggling.  Poor guy, he kept trying to get the balls out of the plastic, but alas, he had to wait until morning.  

The next morning was like Christmas morning (or what I imagine Christmas morning will be like this year...lol).  He was soooo excited when he came downstairs in the morning.  Nope, not interested in his milk - he went straight for the barn.  Now, this kid does love block and balls, but he really enjoyed figuring out where the balls went when he dropped them in.  He would giggle and giggle and crawl around grabbing the balls only to drop them in again.  Then he rediscovered the buttons on the front again.  Every time he'd push a button, he'd turn to make sure I was watching.  He seriously had a ball (no pun intended). =)

Overall, I have to hand it to Bright Starts, they've created a new joy in our house.  The only downside I could find was going to be that there wasn't a place to store the balls, but apparently you have to be smarter than the barn to figure out how to store them. ;)  So after that bit of rocket science, I have no complaints. 

If you're interested in purchasing the Bright Starts™ Having a Ball™ Cluck & Learn Barn™ , hop on over to Toys 'R Us and pick it up on sale right now for only $19.99.  Oh and be sure to stop by the Bright Starts on Facebook, they're oh so close to 20,000 and will be hosting a giveaway as soon as they do!  

Disclaimer: Thad was sent the Bright Starts Having a Ball Cluck and Learn Barn at no cost.  This review is of my true opinion and is an honest of review of this Bright Starts product.  

Sprout Change Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway!



We are committed to supporting a Reusable Future. The Earth is not disposable—and we need to treat her with the respect that she deserves, with reusable products that are sustainable for the environment and our economy. Reusables are our future, and we are passionate about making a difference, for our children, and for the Earth.
Sprout Change Cloth Diapers are sold by The Willow Store and Thad and I were recently lucky enough to try a CherryBerry shell with a Super Saver Insert.  The coolest part of this diaper - it's reversible!!!  On one side we've got a bright Cherry red and the other a vibrate Berry blue....both were fun and it made it difficult to choose what side to wear on the outside. =)

Unlike a lot of cloth diapers on the market, Sprout Change cloth diapers don't have snaps all over the front or aplix to keep the diaper closed.  Instead, there is a set of snaps on either side of the diaper while the waist and legs are adjustable using hidden elastics inside the diaper; thus, allowing an adjustable fit diaper from 5-40 lbs.  And I'll say this, after I got over my fear of screwing something up when I adjusted the elastics, I found out it was surprisingly easy and made for a perfect fitting diaper.

Now, the Sprout Change cloth diaper isn't a pocket diaper or an all-in-one, it's a cover (shell) and liner and is very easy to use.  If you're thinking of cloth diapering, but are intimidated by all the different types of diapers, Sprout Change would be a great place to start.  All you do is lay the liner inside the diaper and then snap the diaper on your kiddo.  Once it's wet, you just take out the wet liner and insert a new one - easily using the same cover (shell) multiple times before needing to swap it out.  Using the shell over and over again will allow you to limit the amount of covers you buy and stock up on liners - saving you time and money!

Overall, we loved this diaper.  It rated high in fit, style, quality of material, and ease of use.  We really liked the fact that you can reuse the shell multiple times.  The colors were great and didn't bleed.  It was also a trim fitting diaper, especially compared to some cloth diapers on the market.  In all honesty, I can't even think of a downside to this diaper.  Oh and my favorite part about this diaper and The Willow Store - they support work at home moms here in the US!  They also manufacture all of their diapers here in the US and use American materials as much as possible.  Another great company supporting our country and the people that live here.

You can buy Sprout Change diapers from The Willow Store for $16.95 and a Super Saver Insert for only $4.75!  The Willow Store also sells reusable wipes, pads for women, and reusable towels (instead of using paper towels), showing their commitment to green living and green products.

One lucky reader will win a 
Sprout Change Diaper of their very own!

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but I love to feel the love.  =)

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*Open to US*

Giveaway will end on September 25th at 11:59 PM CST.  Winner will be chosen using random.org and emailed.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  Please leave your email address or make sure it is public in your profile so I can contact you. 

Disclaimer: This review is based on my personal experience and is my honest opinion.  I was given the product(s) mentioned above to review at no cost.  No other compensation was received.  A special thanks to The Willow Store for providing the product to be reviewed and prize.

So my nerves are a bit frazzled.

So you remember how I blogged about officially having PCOS and precancerous cells in my cervix?  Well, I go back to the doctor Monday for my 6 month check up.  We'll do another screen to see if the cancerous cells are still there and if they've changed at all (more or less of them).  Am I worried?  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit.  It's the things like this that make you stop and think about all the wonderful things in your life.

For now, I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but I will be thinking about it.  I plan on enjoying the weekend, watching football (Go Hawkeyes!), putting off the laundry and the dishes, and enjoying the company of my family before life gets crazy again on Monday.

When times get stressfull, what do you do?  How do you cope?  Anyone else ever had this happen with your cervix?

I'm about to rock the system, the Nutrisystem. #NSNation


So you remember how I posted about losing a crazy amount of weight since Thad was born?  Well, yeah, I have lost that and maybe a little more, but I'm at the point where those last stubborn pounds are just.not.coming.off.

My solution?

Nutrisystem, baby!

I just signed up with Nutrisystem and picked out all my food (hello convenient and delicious - well, the jury's out on that until I try it, but I'll be sure to let you know).  No counting calories (and yes, I've done that), no more debating on what to eat, figuring out what would actually be the healthier thing to eat (you know what I'm talking about) - just a simple, laid out plan.  I am pumped!

Starting weight: 145.8
Goal weight: 130
Pounds to go: 15.8
Time frame: 4 months (or less)

This will take me through the holidays.  Am I terrified of this? Yes.  Am I bit bummed that I can't indulge in every.sweet.treat the holidays bring?  A little.  Am I nervous?  Yes, but I wouldn't be human if I wasn't.

Part of me is afraid.  Part of me is nervous.  Afraid of what will happen if I don't meet my goal, afraid of relying on a program so wholly to help me reach my goal, but if I wasn't nervous and a little afraid, I'd be lying (and maybe just a mammal).

Anyone else ever used Nutrisystem?

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem?
Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog

Disclosure: I’m receiving the Nutrisystem Women’s Plan in exchange for
 blogging about my honest Nutrisystem experiences.
All opinions are my own and my results may differ from others.  
On the Nutrisystem plan you can expect to lose 2-3 lbs. a week.

Brushin' those toofers.


My sister, the newly graduated dental hygienist, has been on me to brush Thad's teeth and wipe out his mouth since he was six months old (ok, maybe even since he was born on the wiping his mouth out part).  Well....I'm guilty of not really doing any of that until his teeth really started coming in.  A few weeks ago we made a special stop during our weekend grocery trip to buy a toothbrush!  While it's nothing special, that .88 cents was well spent.                                                                                                                         I was pretty apprehensive before brushing Thad's teeth the first time, but I guess I shouldn't have been - he LOVES getting his teeth brushed!  He'll open his mouth right up and let me brush around, but after a few seconds he'll try to chomp down on it.  Then we go back forth between opening the mouth and chomping on the brush...lol, either way, we get those teefers clean.                                                                                          Do you brush your kiddo's teeth?  When did you start?  Did your doctor ever say anything about the type of toothpaste to use?  (We were told at his 12 month check up that we could use flouride toothpaste and even if he swallowed a little bit of it, it wouldn't hurt him any.)

Shhh...I've got a secret.


Yes, this is me hiding under my desk at work.
No, it's not part of my job description.

I'm not pregnant. (Although baby fever is running high these days...if only the hubs was done with school and we could save some money...ahhh...I wish...)


I am...


a closet blogger.  Lol, yup.  There are only two people in real life that know I blog.  TWO.

Why am I closet blogger?

  1. I have no desire for the entire small town I grew up to follow my blog and stalk me even more than they do on facebook.  
  2. I need a place that I can be me. No shows, no "only say something nice", no forced conversations about the weather.  My thoughts, my feelings, my blog.
  3. I need a place to vent about all the people that annoy me in real life.  Seriously.  
I would rather pour my heart out to all of you and give you all the honest, random details of our crazy life than try to have a conversation with my mother about the fact that she's often batty and that, no, my child does not still need to be eating baby food from a jar.

So, am I alone on this one?  Are you a closet blogger?  If you're not, how do you handle it?  Don't you ever want to scream and rant and tell your mother-in-law that she's effin' nuts without having to hear the backlash?

*Disclaimer: "In real life" refers to the people I've met and known all my life, this does not include all the awesome mom bloggers out there that are, in fact, real people, but I've never met in real life.

Hashbrown Casserole

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  No, it's not healthy for you...not in any way, shape, or form, but when the weather gets cold and the leaves start to turn, this is the perfect way to warm up your house.

This dish also has a special place in my heart as it was the main dish that was served by my grandma's church after her funeral.

I hope it warms your heart and your home as much as it does mine.

Hashbrown Casserole

1.5 c. chopped ham
1 c. sour cream
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 (2 lb.) pkg of frozen hashbrowns
1.5 c. milk
1.5 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Lawry's
1 small can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup

Mix all the ingredients together.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour.  You may want to stir it once or twice during the baking process.


Must Have Monday (and Thirsties Winner)


This weekend we kicked the bottle.  The baby bottle people, come on.

Was it easy?  Mmmm...kinda.

Saturday  morning started out a little rough, Thad wasn't really feeling the sippy, but did ok...until naptime.  He wanted nothing to do with the sippy.  He screamed, he cried, and yes, thanks to the gorgeous weather, I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I beat my child.

After fighting for an hour and forty-five minutes, he finally fell asleep.  Thank goodness, mama needed a break at that point.

I knew that bedtime was bound to be worse so I had the brilliant idea to go "sippy cup shopping".  As soon as Thad was up from his nap, we headed out on our adventure.  Instead of driving across town to get to my beloved Target, I decided to stick closer to home and headed to Kmart.

Upon arriving, we made a beeline for the sippy cup and bottle isle.  Right off the bat Thad grabs one off the shelf and begins to gnaw on it (um, gross...).  I put it back and proceed to have conversation with a very pregnant lady.  As I'm chatting he continues to pull the same cup off the shelf and I repeatedly put it back.  After finishing my conversation, I tell Thad that he can pick out a sippy and I'll pick out a sippy (they were buy one, get one 50% off).  Sure enough, he pulls the same one from the shelf.  Simple enough.  I pick out a different one, because I figured it's better to have a couple choices than to just go with the one the toddler picks out.

We make our way home, I wash the toddler's (yes, toddler) choice of sippy out, fill it with milk, and....he loves the stupid thing.

My choice?  Not so much...he was "ok" with it, but definitely didn't dig it as much as his own.

I should have just listened to the toddler.

NUBY BPA FREE 10 oz Sport Sipper Straw cup bottle - Wheelz
We've got  the Diego version.

Also, congratulations to Fiddlin' Dandi!  
You're the winner of the Thirsties Duo Diaper!

Please remember that you have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner will be chosen.

And for those of you that didn't win this time, stay tuned, 
another cloth diaper giveaway is going live this week!