Saturday, July 31, 2010

Penny's Big Day - Baptism

Like I mentioned earlier, my baby, Penny Lane, became a child of God last Saturday. She was baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church, just like myself (and all my family), Lucy, and Kyle (who was Chrismated), too! She participated in the traditional Orthodox Sacrament of Baptism and was named in the Church, Penelope. Penny is truly blessed to have my sister, Olivia, as her godmother. Thanks, Olivia!! Penny Lane loves you!

Several of you asked, on THIS post, why she was being baptized under the name Penelope and not her legal name, Penny Lane. Well, let me explain a little bit about the Sacrament of Baptism in the Orthodox Church... The Bapitism service has remained roughly unchanged for the last 1500 years, so much of the service is just like the services performed in the early years of Christianity. The Sacrament is rich in symbolism and every set of the process reflects the journey from evil into the light of the Lord. Baptism is a covenant, an agreement between God and man. God promises to be our Father and we promise to be His children. Baptizing infants, before they are aware of what will take place, is an expression of God's great love for us. It shows us that God loves us and accepts us before we can even know Him or love Him. It shows us that we are wanted and loved by God from the moment of our birth. (site)

The baptism begins with a symoblic Exorcism. The priest calls upon the sponsor to renounce Satan and all his works from the child. The renouncing of Satan is done facing the west, it is where the sun sets, the place where the ancient Greeks believed to be the location of Hades, the gates of Hell. Then the priest faces east, where the sun rises. He asks the godparents to accept for the child "Christ, who is the light of the world". Renouncing Satan and accepting Christ expresses our faith from the master of darkness to the master of light.  The priest makes the sign of the cross over the child, this is repeated often during the service. The cross is the sign of victory, this puts the devil into flight. In the ancient times, slaves were branded to show which master they belonged to. The sign of the cross brands us as member of Christ's flock. (site)

The child is then given his/her Baptismal name, in Penny's case, Penelope. We are named for a Saint that is recognized in the Orthodox Church. From the moment the child is received into the Church, emphasis is placed on individuality, with his name he is distinguished from every other child. This is an expression of dignity in the eyes of God. It is the Church's expression of acceptance of him as an individual in his own right, a new beginning of life through baptism. (site) Hence the name Penelope after St. Penelope (later known as Irene the Great Martyr) the parton saint of happy marriage :)  Her feast day  is  celebrated on May 5th. And because some of you asked, Lucy was baptized for Saint Lukia, the parton saint of the blind :)

The child is next baptized in the baptismal font and emersed in Holy Water three times. We believe that Christ died for our sins. The full immersion in water symbolizes death. Through baptism we share mysteriously in Christ's death. The baptized infant rises out of the water as a new person, cleansed of every sin and promising the surrender of his life to Christ, his Savior. The triple immersion symbolizes the three days our Lord spent in His tomb as well as the Holy Trinity. The child is baptized naked, as it comes from the womb of his mother, so he emerges from the womb of God - the baptismal font. The removal of the child's clothing signifies the old slough of sin which will be cast off entirely through baptism. (site)

Next, the child is anointed with blessed oil, chrismated (or confirmed) and receives Holy Communion. Olive oil is blessed by the priest and applied to the child's hands, feet ears and mouth, in order to dedicate them to the service of Christ. The godparent(s) then anoint the entire body of the child with the oil. This originated with ancient Greek wrestlers who anointed their body with olive oil in order to make it difficult for the opponents to maintain a grip on them. In baptism the child anointed with olive oil expresses a prayer that with Christ's help he may be able to elude the grip of sin. Sacrament of Confirmation is administered immediately following the baptism. It is considered the fulfillment of baptism. Human nature purified by baptism is made ready to receive the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for Confirmation is "chrisma", which means anointing. Thus by this Sacrament we are made Christians "Chrismation" is the ordination of laity and becomes an ambassador for Christ in this world. Immediately following the "newly enlightened" receives the precious Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. (site)

The priest then cuts three locks of the child's hair. This is an expression of gratitude for receiving God's blessings in baptism and confirmation. Having nothing to give in return, the gift of his hair (a symbol of strength like Samson) is a promise to serve God with all his strength. (site)

The baptism concludes with a procession around the baptism font by the priest, child and godparent(s) This is believed to be a reflection of the celebration of angels dancing and expressing their joy that a new soul has been registered in the Book of Souls.

We are so proud of Penny and  could not be more pleased that she has begun her journey in God's love. Kisses Penny Lane, we love you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pretty Penny

So, my momma is working tirelessly to get me the beautiful pictures from Penny's Baptism last weekend... They are worth the wait, trust me! But for now I will tide you over with this. 

My baby became a child of God last Saturday and we could not be more proud of her! Here she is at the Luau we threw in her honor after the Baptism... Isn't she gorgeous?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just a peek...

Where Have you Been?

That is the question that I know you all have been asking... I know you've all miss my linguistic genius the last few days. I've been busy. SUPER busy! Doing what you ask? 

Well, I've been getting ready for this:

We can't wait for Penny Lane's big day!! Stay tuned for a recap of the festivities :)

(No, her name is not Penelope. Her legal name is Penny Lane. She will be baptized 
Penelope in the Church!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I love ya, won't you tell me your name?

I introduced myself HERE but I'm like an onion... So many layers! hahaha. I try and let you all take a little peak into my life without out giving away what a huge nerd I really am... Oops. That didn't work! Well, now you know my secret. BIG NERD.  I love that you all are interested in my random babbling... So, for your viewing reading pleasure: me more tidbits about me! Woah, calm down! I know you're excited and all, but really..........

I like to take pictures of my girls. Lots of them. I had a Canon Rebel that died a painful death and I am still sad over it. I love to play around in lightroom and edit my photos... Although most of the time my girls end up with a weird filter that makes them look like aliens. I'm still learning :)

I like to put chips on EVERY type of sandwich. I like the crunch.

I feel like I have an above average amount of weird stuff happen to me/ around me. Once I saw a homeless person pushing a homeless midget little person in a shopping cart. This freaked me out. See #15 HERE.

I have had to change clothes in the Target parking lot more times than I'd like to admit. Megan from Tale of the Trees liked this story and thought it would make a good post. So... Last month I was taking the girls to zoo, by myself (mistake no.1) and it was nice out so I had the windows down (mistake no.2). While sitting at a stoplight a car pulled up next to me and shouted, "Your kid just threw a shoe out the window and it hit my car!" I smiled and said sorry as they rolled their eye and rolled up their window. I looked back and sure enough, there was Lucy sans one sandal. So, I detoured to the closest Target and grabbed the kids out of their carseats. Put Lucy in the cart and Penny on my hip, thinking that would be easier than toting the carseat (mistake no.3). Penny proceeded to barf all over my sholder and back. While I was trying to pull up on my shirt to look at how bad the the barf on the back was, I guess I grabbed my bra strap wrong and it sanpped. No lie. Thanks Victoria's Secret. So I had to buy Lucy some new sandals, Penny a new dress, and myself a new shirt and bra. I changes us all in the parking lot... It takes talent.

Do you see what I mean about random weird stuff? Oh, and an other time I was in the grocery store bee-boppin' around to Boy George on the speakers when my butt got smacked. I wheeled around and it was a little person with a nose ring and a gold tooth. I can't make this stuff up. Seriously. I think I have a magnet.

I am very random.

I fancy myself and artist. Just smile and nod :) You can see some of my work HERE.

I have the BEST friends in the entire world. I can always count on them to pull through for me. You all are da bomb (see, BIG nerd).

Eh, thats all for now... Tell me something interesting about YOU!

Monday, July 19, 2010

"You Met Them on the Internet?"

That's right, I crossed the line. You know the one from "online friends" to "in real life friends." Megan invited me to come along and meet up with a group or bloggers from out town and near by. It was a BLAST! We met up at Lindsey's cute house and had pizza and wine and just chatted away. I got to nervous talking and could not shut up (sorry ladies!) Lindsey's little dog Nuts was hilarious :) Anyway, it was so great to me all of you (minus Megan & Katie M who I already knew) I hope we can get together again soon! Here we are in all our glory (stole this from Megs, thanks!) (minus Katie S. who left early)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vibin' with My Vibe

Do you remember THIS post? I wrote about my love affair with the Phil&Ted's Vibe Stroller + Doubles Kit way back when I first got it. Is the love affair ongoing? Does it still make me happy all the way to my core?? Well, let me tell ya...

Review of Phil&Ted's Vibe + Doubles Kit... Almost a Year Later.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, the Vibe  is like four strollers in one! Because the doubles kit is detachable, you have the option of it being just a single stroller when the need be. And just as I predicted there have been times that I only had one of the girls and only need a single stroller. Super convenient to just pop the jump seat off and strap the midget in the upper deck seat. This is nice as I don't have to mess with taking a double stroller out of my car and replacing it with a single stroller just to run into Target. It takes about 5 seconds to detach the jump seat. The entire stroller can be folded down with the jump seat attached. So I generally just leave the seat on all the time and take it of when I need to. (site)

The Vibe is designed for a growing family. Its four position capabilities make it it compatible with most of your kiddo-riding needs. On average, a family with 2 children will buy 4 different strollers in the early years of raising the kids. I can completely attest to this fact. Before Penny Lane, we had the Quinny Buzz, which I L-O-V-E-D. But it does not have a doubles kit and Quinny does not make a double stroller... So the hunt began for a double. Like I said in my other post, I originally bought a side-by-side double that was super massive and overwhelming. Had I stuck with the side-by-side, I would have also had to purchase a compact single to leave in my car. The Quinny and side-by-side would not both fit, even in my SUV.

Lets talk about the design for just a minute. I am a sucker for anything that is beautifully designed. The Vibe is just that. Its cool and innovative. Two things I adore :) Its sleek all black design fits my style great. But if you wanted to add some color you can switch out the seat cushions for a pop! (site)

The question I get most about the Vibe is, "What about poor Penny?!? Doesn't she hate it in the back?" The answer is, no, she doesn't! She doesn't mind it at all! First of all, at this point, she is too little to care. But once she's older, she won't know any different, so it won't really matter. Plus, you have to start thinking like a kid to really answer that question. I remember back to when I was little and my parents had a Land Rover. It had two pull down jump seats in the way back. They faced each other and were basically plastic with a tee-tiny bit of cushion on them; SUPER uncomfortable. But where did my sis and I always want to sit? In the jump seats, of course. Cause that's what kids do... They like the little cubbies to hide in, or the cool jump seat in the way back of the car, or the secret seat on the back of the stroller! She likes it back there. And she's napping most of the time anyway :)

So do I still love it? The answer is yes. I do still adore my Vibe + Doubles Kit. For me, my girls, and my life style, it just works. Its great for some one my size and its not heavy at all. (site)

Plus the girls look pretty darn hip ridin' around in their Vibe + Doubles Kit. And isn't that whats really important? Looking hip?

As with anything, I do have a couple thing I'm not 100% crazy about. There is not a sun shade for the jump seat. I had to get a stroller parasol to clip on the back for when I go walking with the girls. Otherwise, poor little Penny Lane isn't protected from the sun (see the pic above, its pink). Not a huge deal since the parasol works just fine, but I think its a element they over looked in the design. Also, the attachment for the Maxi Cosi car seat is STILL not available from Phil&Ted's. That was really annoying when Penny was a new born. I would have to get her out of the car seat and into the stroller every time instead of just popping the car seat and baby, et al, on the stroller. This is no longer an issue as Penny has outgrown riding around in her car seat other than when she's actually in the car. The Phil&Ted's rep assures me the attachments are coming soon... We'll see. Other travel system attachments ARE currently available, such as the Chicco Keyfit, Graco SnugRide, and Peg Perego Viaggio. So, unless you have a Maxi Cosi Mico, like me, you set!

All in all, I DO recommend the Vibe + Doubles Kit to anyone who is in the market for a stroller that grows with your family. It has a been a good fit for my family, maybe it will be for yours? I'd like to hear what you think!
You can get the Vibe + Doubles Kit at Ding-Bats!

NOTE: These are my opinions and I have not been compensated in anyway for them. I realize everyone has their own opinions... And I'd love to hear them :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Thank you so much to EVERYONE who entered my giveaway!!!! I loved checking out all the blogs of everyone who entered!!

I was so excited to see so many of you "like" Ding-Bats on Facebook!

I had 149 entries, I'd call that a success

I added everyone up, separating out everyone's comments and ended up with 149. Plugged that into the handy dandy randomizer and VOILA! I have a winner!!

Katie from Loves of Life, come on down!

Katie, please send me your address, soon, to mybeatlesbabies [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll ship your radical new diaper bag to ya!!

Again THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! This was too much fun! I love doing giveaways! I know ding-bats wants to do an other soon! So, stay tuned for that!!!!!

Enter or be Square? Blerg....

That doesn't work at all...
BUT, what does work is entering my GIVEAWAY! Hurry!! You have till NOON (cst)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Open Letter...

Dear Oreo Cakesters -

Please get out of my life. Your constant presence in my pantry has cause a major stall in my post pregnancy weight-loss. Your fluffy cakey-ness is all but irresistible to me. For this reason, I hate you. I hate you, very much. Until that moment when you cross my lips... At that moment I adore you. But that moment is fleeting and its back to hate.

And by hate you, I really mean love you. (site)

                        xo - Jessica

Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! I'll be randomly picking the winner tomorrow at noon (cst)!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Somethings fishy...


We spent Saturday at Lucy's favorite place in town, the Aquarium! She adores obsesses over all the fishies and aquatic life. She always brings her Ariel doll and does not let it go! Its adorable. We were lucky enough to spend the day with little miss Molly (and Katie & Erik) and Megan & Brent! This trip happen to fall right in the middle of nap time, so my children were a bit out of control at times... Molly was a dream. Poor Katie & Erik, I think Lucy really scared them of things to come :) Katie (km) was kind enough to share her pics with me! Megan took some to, but I haven't see them yet. (site) (km)
           We saw some really exciting creatures. (km)
                       Some were really beautiful. (site)

Some, not so much. I have a grave distaste for sting rays. See #16 HERE. (site)
The View Room at the shark is one of my favorite exhibits. (site)
Lucy's too! She kept saying, "Ooooh! Scawy!" (km)
We took a little break in the View Room. How cute is Molly?!? (km)

The girls were pretty worn out by the end... My little angel fish! (km)♥

Please don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! The last day to enter is July 14th at noon (central time!) Thank you so much to all those who have already entered! I love having giveaways because I get to go check out all the blogs of the lovelies that enter! Good luck! (site)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Where's Lucy?

Lucy likes to bury herself in pillows while watching The Little Mermaid.
How many times a day do you think we watch The Little Mermaid?
How many times a day do you think I hear Lucy scream "MURRRMAATE?"
How many times a day do you think I rewind Under the Sea, because its her favorite part?
 If you guessed A LOT, then you win! Yes, we're talkin' A LOT, A LOT.

Lucy is completely obsessed with The Little Mermaid... I mean COMPLETELY. Like, would watched over and over and over and over again all day long if I would let her. Now, don't get me wrong I love me some Little Mermaid... Just not 2-3 times a day, everyday. I can quote the entire thing, backwards. I probably dream in Disney animation... I'll have to try and remember tonight.

We are going to the Aquarium tomorrow with Megan & Brent and Katie, Erik, & Molly. Can you even imagine how excited Lucy is going to be around all those fish? I'm pretty sure she is going to be highly disappointed when she notices the LACK of mermaids. Last time we were at the Aquarium, she was showing off (shocking, I know) and pointed to the clown fish and shouted "NEMO!" This little old man standing next to us said that she made his day. Not going to lie... She made mine too.

And this little goob makes my day, everyday. Just look at those eyes... How could she not?

Penny Lane wants to remind you to enter my GIVEAWAY for an super rockin' Skip•Hop DUO. 
Go do it... Go on... You know you want to :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

5 Months - a Little Late

Penny Lane

•Is 23.75in (90%) and 13.8lbs(37%)!
•Sleeps 9pm - 9:30am - waking up once to eat at 5:30am. Then straight back to sleep She's a sleeper like momma!
•Sleeps in her big girl crib in the girls room! Lucy & Penny are roomies, now!
•Love her tummy time!

•Scoots everywhere! I'll put her down in one spot and seconds later she's halfway across the room!
•Drinks formula & eats oatmeal, green beans and LOVES strawberries!

•Sits up on her own if we set her up. She tries really hard to sit up on her own but can't quite yet :)
•LOVES to watch her sister play. Giggles for all!

•Is the happiest baby ever! LOVE to smile and giggle!
•Loves to listen to music.
•Love to jump in her bouncy seat. She thinks its hilarious!
•Loves to be outside!

•Love to be in the pool :-) 
•Has 2 teeth that have poked through!!
•Fits into 3mo outfits! 
•Still fits in new born size shoes!
•Is still wearing size 1 diapers.
Is the prettiest, smartest, happiest, friendliest, most loving baby in the world!! Just like her sister :-)

We are SO lucky!!

Please don't forget to enter my Skip•Hop GIVEAWAY! Thanks soo much to all of you that already entered :) 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skip•Hop Your Way to Happiness - a Giveaway

 Did you read THIS post? If you did, then you know how much I love my Skip•Hop DUO available at Ding-Bats. Here's a recap, you know just in case you didn't read the whole thing ;)

The Skip Hop DUO's multitude of pockets and compartments easily organize diapers, bottles, sippy cups, food and toys, while keeping your phone, PDA, wallet, keys and other personal items safe and dry. The Deluxe Edition features the new Shuttle Clips; a unique strap and  fastening system that allows the DUO to attach to the stroller, you can leave the shoulder bag attached or remove it for a cleaner look. The DUO Deluxe Edition is 30% larger than the original - so there's more room  for all your essentials - and it includes new magnetic closures throughout and a comfy shoulder pad. The DUO's clean, modern design has been a favorite of moms and dads for years, and the Deluxe Edition  improves on it in every way. (via site)

With 2 under 2, I can't stress more the importance of function. I have NEVER been a function over form girl, I always opt for the killer (in all sense of the word) 5in heels over flip flops. And when it came to my diaper bag, I was not different. With Lucy, I picked the froufrou bag that cost a small fortune... Well, my little nugget of gold is sitting in my closet as we speak. Instead, what am I rocking on my shoulder?

With the Skip•Hop DUO Deluxe, I actually didn't have to choose function over form; I got both! I love the fun colorful stripes and sleek modern design, but the best part is how functional it is! I can seriously fit everything I need for the 2 girls PLUS all my accoutrement! I love the over-sized front pockets which fits both sippys and my wallet and the cell phone pocket on the side! Not to mention its poly-canvas so it super durable and easily wipes clean, an excellent feature with messy little ones :) They really thought of everything with this design. (via site)

I LOVE this diaper bag! If you are in the market for one, I totally recommend it! 

I love it so much, I want to share the greatness with you! Have a baby? Going to have a baby? Not going to have a baby? PERFECT this giveaway is for you!! That's right, ANY one can enter! You know why? Because even if you don't have any kiddos, you will still love this bag! Its large middle pocket is big enough to fit your laptop. Instead of sippys, tote your water bottles. Its the perfect carry all!

Ding-Bats, Tulsa's most excellent baby gear store, is happy to offer you this little nugget:

That's right! Your very own Skip•Hop DUO in the super rockin' Wave Dot pattern. Squeal! There's just a couple of rules:

1. You have to be a follower of my little ol' blog.
2. You have to be in the US.

Here's how to enter:

1 ENTRY - Be a public follower of the blog
1 ENTRY - Tell me how you'll use the bag (for your kids, yourself, a gift?)
1 ENTRY "like" Ding-Bats on FACEBOOK
5 ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway on your site

Make sure to leave me a separate comment for each one of your entries. I'll count them all up and randomly pick the winner at NOON on WEDNESDAY JULY 14th


*I was not compensated for this review/giveaway. Just love the product :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You Can't be Serious?!?

Oh, but I am!! I'm hosting an other giveaway! WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!!! Settle down! Its exciting, I know :) Anyway, I will be announcing the giveaway details tomorrow. Until then...

Monday, July 5, 2010

No More Diaper Rash!

Moms, do your babies get diaper rash?

I wrote this post last year, but I've been reading a lot about some the new diapers  causing severe rashes. I even had a woman come in the shop the other day saying her daughter got such bad rashes they have given up putting her in diapers! So, I thought I'd update it and re-post :)

We use Pampers (see HERE for my diaper debate) and have never had any problems; with rashes or with leaks! With that being said...

Lucy & Penny have never had diaper rash (knock on wood!) I wanted to share my little secret with you all... When I was a baby, I would get terrible diaper rash. My mom used Desitin but I still kept getting it. :( Then my aunt told my mom that she used something different and her babies didn't have the same problem. She used Vaseline! So my mom started using it as well. Voila! No more diaper rash!

So, what do I use on my little midgets? Vaseline, of course! Specifically, I use Vaseline Nursery Jelly. Its just the same as regular petroleum jelly but with a fresh powder scent. I put a generous amount of Vaseline on the girls tushies every time I change their diapers. From front to back, making sure to cover all the skin that is under the diaper. Easy as that! If I start to see a little bit of redness I cover it with Desitin Overnight Cream and then put Vaseline on top of that. Stops the red immediately!

I hope you all have not had diaper rash issues with your babies, but if you do, I hope you try my little trick! And the Vaseline is really cheap :)

NOTE: These are my opinions and I have not been compensated in anyway for them. I realize everyone has their own opinions... And I'd love to hear them :)

Let Mommy Eat Cake

Lucy loves cake. She also loves sharing. Mommy loves cake too, but not all over her face & swimsuit :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010