Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm sorry.

Lately I stink at blogging. There is no real, legit reason. Just life.
And in theory, I should be better at chronicling these life experiences so I will be able to use this blog as a memory jogger.
Yet I don't blog.
I'm sorry.

I will do better!! Promise!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Big Boy

Time has flown.
He will be 6 months--tomorrow.

It has been a blur of awesomeness. Birth, nursing, exhaustion, more nursing, first smile, nurse again.

We do ALOT of nursing in this house.
We stick to what we are good at.

180ish days went by so fast. I wish I could have them back. Times 3 kids. I want them all to stay babies, it's was easier then.

But it's amazing to see them grow and turn into bigger little balls of awesome-nosity.
Yeah that's a word.

I just made it up. So it counts. But I digress, here is my adorable little man...growing bigger by the second.

Heavy sigh.

He has these fantastic little elf ears, and cheeks that look like he is storing acorns for the winter.
I do love him so.
More and more each second.

Motherhood rawks.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Big G Cereal and DC Comics #MyBlogSpark Giveaway

It goes without saying that when you have a son-you know superheroes.
All forms and types of superheroes.  Whether the superhero is a popular well known character, or the one your creative child just made up while in the privacy of their bedroom, they are all enjoyable.

And on a high note, General Mills and DC Comics have joined "forces" to make the first meal of the deal extra "super"!!

In my review pack from MyBlogSpark I got:

  • 1 box of a participating Big G cereal (We got Lucky Charms-YAY!)
  • 1 set of the collectable DC Super Hero comic books
  • 1 Green Lantern action figure
My original intentions were to stash the action figure and comic books for Clyde for Christmas and just show both kids the cereal and let them be excited about that.  But my over excited 4 year old wanted to fully express his mad homeschool skills and he cut open the box with safety scissors before I could stop him.
Surprise ruined.

Plus Bonnie decided to play nice and she read the ENTIRE comic book set to Clyde while sitting on the couch together.  It was their sibling bonding time.  Now she wants her own set...so we will probably be trolling the cereal aisle on the hunt for her.

Wanna know the best part??  One fabulous "The Dill-io" reader will also win the same prize pack I received!!

Easiest Part...just leave a comment on this post!!  Giveaway closes  in 3 days--its a quickie!! So what are you waiting for you..write a comment on this post!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tips for keeping your family flu free #lysolcoldandflu

Its getting to be that time again. Fall- which I love, flu season-which I do not love. And with young ones in the house and a new baby...it seems like we are a rescue haven for germs. They love us. They want to live with us forever. And make more baby germs. Eww.

Yuck. I know. So I try to combat and discourage their setttlement in our house and bodies in a myriad of ways. And I have developed a few tried and true methods that seem to work in our house to keep the sickies away from the house of the Dill-io.

Here they are

1. Wash Hands. After everything. Playing outside, pre-eating, playgrounds, soccer practice...etc.(like duh, you say but you would be surprised how much little stinkers like my four year old boy try to put off hand washing) My

2. Sanitize the toys on a monthly basis. In hot water and vinegar or bleach. Let them soak in a tub for a bit and air dry in the tub after the kids go to bed and wah laaa wake up to clean toys! (This tip is mostly reserved for my 2 boys...they tend to be the grossest ones who put toys in places...like a nose or in the mud)

3. Change bed sheets and blankets weekly--this is especially important because of school age children...the germs love coming home with my daughter and trying to plant themselves in her bed while she sits in her school clothes on her bed and does homework. Nope. Not gonna happen in this house.

4. Eat lots of fruits and veggies --eating right and getting the good foods in little bellies and parent bellies always make for healthier happier and less sick kids

5. Sanitize doorknobs and light switches-- I am a tad Obsessive Compulsive about this one. I do it all the time. Like at least once a day. Something outrageous like a bazillion (well not really but A LOT) germs reside on knobs and switches and those germs love to jump from the switch plate to little hands.

6. Wash in hot water. I know this is completely ungreen and not crunchy of me but I do wash sheets, coats and blankets in hot water. Hot water kills germs and bacteria-its a fact. And in my opinion the only good flu germ is a dead flu germ.

7. Stay away from other sick people. (Huge DUH factor here) When I know a family member or friend is sick I immediately put on the brakes with hanging or being around them. No offense to the grandma or friends who read this but if you are sick--know the Dill-io's will not be logging in some hanging time until you are healthy again!!

These are not miracle tips, but I do find that they help us to stay healthy and fight the flu season off with a stick in this house!! I hope they help you out as well!!

What are your good tips to combat flu season??

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hellman's Chicken Challenge breaks dinner monotony!!

Once back to school starts it seems like the days just fly by.  And before you know it, its dinnertime. 
And you find yourself scrambling to come up with an meal idea, I know for me sometime I get caught up making the same old dishes time and time again just because its easy.

Well not anymore.

Hellmann's® and Best Foods® mayonnaise are kicking off the first-ever Chicken Challenge, a series of head-to-head chicken dish challenges that will help moms switch up their weekly go to recipes. Each week on Hellmanns.com, two chicken dish "challenger" recipes from Chipotle Lime Crusted Chicken to Baked Buffalo Chicken will go head to head against one of the most popular recipes on Hellmanns.com, i.e. Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Try one of the featured Hellmann's® chicken recipes each week and cast your vote for your favorite.
With so many delicious recipes to try out at Hellmanns.com, you're sure to find dishes the whole family will love.

So what are you waiting for??  Head over to Hellmanns.com, try out one of the weekly Challenge recipes, vote for your top choice, and duh, enter the weekly sweepstakes.  Cuz after all, who doesn't like winning stuff??

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Hellmann's® prize package in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place. All opinions are my own

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Big baby

He is getting so big. *Tear*

Where does all this time go?? I need it to slow down, I want to remember every little thing.

It seems like just a moment ago I saw the two blue lines, now I have a bubbly little boy to take care of.

God is good. And I love babies. I hope I am blessed with more down the road.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kix and #MyBlogSpark #Giveaway

In this house the Pickle kids love cereal.  LIKE LOVE CEREAL, would consume no other foods for ALL meal times if it were up to them.  And me being the psycho weirdo mom that I am I "screen" all the cereals that come into my house. 

The cereals that they want me to buy tend to be sugary, HFCS, hyper inducing not so umm, healthy options.

The kids and husband say the cereal I want them to eat more closely resemble..ummm...twigs, like from a tree.  Not real. 

And Kix is a great alternative for both of us.  It tastes great, and is a decent source of fiber and Vitamin D.  Plus the kids think it tastes yum.

Yay for both mom and family to have happy cereal habits!!

MyBlogSpark sent me 6 12oz boxes of Kix to "Kid-Test and Mother-Approve" and needless to say..check and check.

Now on to the fun part!! Wanna win the same prize pack I got from #MyBlogSpark??  Then do this:

  • Go here and tell me in the comments something interesting you read on the Kix timeline
  • Follow the Dill-io on FB
  • Follow the Dill-io on Twitter
Good Luck!! Giveaway ends on 9/23/11.  I will give the winner 24 hours to respond to my email, if no response then another winner will be chosen.  

Disclosure:  Kix cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. I received a free product sample for the purpose of review for this post.  Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation. The sponsor of this giveaway is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Friday, August 26, 2011


It would appear that lately in my life I am going through a growth spurt. A growing of my faith, patience and upbeat attitude is underway. And to say its been easy is uhh...a lie.
Its been EXTREMELY hard.

I miss Bonnie--like everyday. But she is loving public school and is well ahead of her class in her subjects, so I am pleased. Growing my upbeat attitude even though I want her to be home- CHECK.

Trying to juggle the boys and their needs, growing my patience and overcoming my self doubt that I am capable of running this household-CHECK.

In the midst of my mom turmoil I find myself doing household tasks that enrich our quality of life.
Like mending Gator.

This is Gator
We got him for Clyde when he was a little baby and its one of the few lovey's he stuck with. Gator has been across the country with us, survived potty training (that was ugly for Gator sometimes) and copious amounts of abuse. Most recently someone cut his foot with scissors (no one would cop to it..hmm..) and he was losing stuffing. So I put his foot surgery on the high pri list and got to it the other day while catching up on Torchwood on the DVR.
Don't judge me, Torchwood is a great BBC X-filey kinda show.

And now he looks like this...

All better now. But a little battle scar to show for it. Its character, now he looks tough.

When I gave him back to Clyde he grabbed Gator by the leg and half ran half dragged back to his room to get right back into the chaos.

And it got me thinking how similar Gator and I are.

He is sooo loved around this house that he gets put through the wringer from all the "fun" and "trouble" he manages to get in to with Clyde. And minus the occasional little stitch he is no worse for the wear.

I am feeling like I have been put through the wringer lately but it always seems like I come out the other side just fine. Maybe I get a little "character" out of the deal, but I am better because of it. My "stitches" are of the invisible variety and the Lord is doing the patching up on me...and its working.

I am getting the spiritual repair and then going right back in the thick of things...and I do love it. So like Gator, I am going to take my licking and keep on ticking.

Because that's how we roll in this house.
G'd up monster truck tough.
I'm out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The winner of the #Myblogspark and FiberOne giveaway according to random.org is Comment #9 Nydia@zerohousepaymentforever!!

The winner has been contacted and stay tuned for another #myblogspark and @Kix Cereal giveaway!!!

Thanks for the comments!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toughen up Juice

I have been feeling discouraged lately...and overwhelmed. Bonnie went back to public school (post on that later when my heart is not so heavy.) so I am minus one in the house.

Now I know for some have one less underfoot is a WAHOO moment but honestly I am near heartbroken. I wanted her to homeschool again this year and after family go round it was determined she would go back to a public school. She is so pumped and loving every minute, and doing very well..for that I am glad.

Jet pilot is doing pilot stuff away from our little home so I will be minus my love.
Heavy sigh.

And the littlest member of the Dill-io clan has thrush.

Yeah, no kidding.
Really, thrush?

I am still in disbelief, and the kid never complained once. In fact he slept like a champ last night.
From 9pm til 7am!!!


If you know my kids you know that they DO NOT EVER sleep that well. It's like a wonderful miracle!

And I fell and hurt my ankle.


Like I need to wear a super cool, orthopedic foot sleeve thing to help ease some of the strain on it.

Sidenote: I am NOT wearing the brace...it's goofy looking and makes my foot hot. And it would mess with my already fly image ;)

So yes the pity party is in full swing and if you want an invite lemme know and I will put you on the V.I.P. list.

I know it will all be okay and eventually will work out better than I could have planned. So I keep trying to pick myself up by the bootstraps (or flip flop straps because I hate shoes...I was born in California, it's like being part hippie from birth) and get over it.

Here is the solution I have come up with....




I laugh at you.

Or more specifically Clyde and his amazing smile/tongue combo laugh at you.

Added to this regiment is a tall glass of toughen up juice over ice.

And that cute face always has a way of just bringing a sleepy mommy right outta that self induced funk!

I'm off to get that juice now and get the rear in gear for a fierce and fiery kickball practice for my little handsome boy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest by #Jif

For the past 10 years, thousands of young chefs have shown off their originality in the kitchen by revamping the classic peanut butter sandwich with a twist in the Jif® Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest™. Now through October 12, 2011, us gracious parents can help our incredibly talented kids (ahem), ages 6 to 12 submit their creative sandwich recipes for a chance to win a $25,000 college fund. To mark the 10th Anniversary, this year’s Grand Prize Winner will also receive an additional $10,000 for educational products. 

AWWW SOME right??

A separate contest invites peanut butter fans across America to enter the That’s Why I Choose Jif Essay Contest for a shot at being on the judging panel at the final event in New York, where five kid chefs will contend for the grand prize.

Parents can help their children submit their own imaginative recipe online at www.jif.com or www.jifenespanol.com or by completing the downloadable entry form available on both websites.

Sandwiches will be judged on creativity, taste, how nutritious it is, eye candy appeal and ease of preparation.  Qualified entrants, who submit their entry in the first six weeks of the call for entries will receive a Jif Back To School gift pack while supplies last — provided the entry is submitted online or postmarked by September 1, 2011 and received by September 8, 2011. Ten semifinalists will be posted on both websites to take part in a nationwide online vote in January 2012. Anyone age 13 and older can vote to help select the five finalists, who will go on to compete in New York in March 2012.

Entries for the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest must be postmarked by October 12, 2011 and received no later than October 19, 2011. Online entries must be submitted by 11:59 a.m. on October 12, 2011. For complete details, Official Rules and the entry form for the tenth annual contest, visit www.jif.com or www.jifenespanol.com. The Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. between six and 12 years of age by October 12, 2011. Void where prohibited.

Find Jif on Facebook or visit www.jif.com for more info, tips, recipes, contests & promotions.

Sooo what are you still doing here--- get to revamping the peanut butter sandwich-ing already!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My squirmy baby and the adventures of changing his diapers

My newest arrival who I have nicknamed  "Ferb" is a squirmy one when it comes to changing his diapers.  Its not his fault really-- he comes from a long line of wiggly worms and his parents are fidget-ers sometimes as well.  What can I say we have ants in pants??  
He like to wiggle and waggle at EVERY diaper change.  No matter what time it is.  He is just as wiggly at after a 4pm feeding as he is at a 4AM feeding.  And it drives me more than a little bonkers sometimes.   Because this sleep deprived homeschooling mom of 3 is not blessed with infinite patience.  Sigh.  Bummer I know.
But I do have a few tricks up my proverbial mom sleeve.  I have a baby mat with brightly colored toys and mirror that captures his attention EVERY time I change him there, needless to say I am mostly changing him on the playmat to keep him occupied.  
And it helps A LOT!!
And it looks like there will be more relief  on the horizon.  Huggies has just created a line of SLIP ON DIAPERS!!! AAHH!! RELIEF!!
Huggies and SocialMoms Blogging Program have teamed up and asked bloggers (like myself) about any tips and tricks to help combat the wiggly baby diaper changes.  
My second trick that I have is not really a trick at all...more of a learned response.    I breastfeed the baby until right before they fall asleep, whip em off the goods, and lay him down on the playmat (see above about all the good and wonderful the playmat does for my life!) change him with lightning speed and the agility of a ninja, put back on the goods and continue until the little angel FOR REAL passes out.   
And usually it works.  I have like a 99% success rate about 75% of the time (lol, was that confusing enough?).

And my final trick, well its just the daily reminding that he won't be this little for all that long.  He will only be this small for what seems like the blink of an eye.  Before I know it he will be flying thru the house in his underwear and superhero cape acting like he is saving the world.  (Yes, that scene happens quite frequently in this house.)  Tormenting his sister and making our lives all the more richer and fun because he is in it.  

What tips and tricks do you have to help combat squirmy baby diaper changing time?  I would love all kinds of new insight and advice...Lord knows I need it.
 I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Huggies blogging program, for a gift card worth $35. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Dill-io and our Destiny

I have been meaning to snap a picture and blog about this for some time:

How could we NOT fellowship at a church that has both a cross AND a picture of a Fighter Jet on the sermon notes page in the weekly bulletin?

I know.
Jets and Jesus, it can't get any better.

God's plan for us to come here was perfect. He knew exactly what we needed, proof positive that He rocks!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FiberOne and #MyBlogSpark #Giveaway

Recently (like within the last 4 weeks), Jet Pilot and I have decided to start a weight loss plan for ourselves.  And the most fundamental part of weight loss is eating less calories.

Enter Fiber One 80 Calories cereal to the rescue!!

With 40 percent of the Daily Value of fiber in one 80 calorie serving, Fiber One 80 Calories cereal can help curb your munchie muncherton factor, which in turn can help you stick to your weight loss plan.

And Lord knows I need all the weight loss assistance I can get!!

Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal is a new breakfast option that helps you feel satisfied without sacrificing flavor! YAY FLAVA!!

You can check out more information about FiberOne here:

#MyBlogspark sent me the following prize pack:
  • 1 box of Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal

  • 1 sensor pedometer with USB connector to chart walking progress

  • 1 neoprene iPod/smartphone holder with armstrap


    Answer this simple question:
    Is your current breakfast enough to keep you full until the lunchtime hour...and if not what could you do differently?

    Here are some other ways to enter as well:
    Follow me on Facebook
    Follow me on Twitter
    Follow FiberOne 80 Calories on Facebook
    Tweet this giveaway (Just hit the Tweet button on the top of this post)

    Giveaway ends 8/19/11

    Disclosure: Fiber One 80 Calories cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Nursing, The Milk Group and how I fit into it all.

    As a wannabe green mom its only natural I would be pro breastfeeding as well. (For the record when I started breastfeeding Bonnie almost 8 yrs ago NO ONE was breastfeeding. It was like a weird, crazy, thing to do)
    And thankfully I have blessed to be successful at nursing my children.

    With Bonnie, she was a model nursing baby- 15-20 minutes on each side and fell right to sleep after a quick burping session. As she got older she nursed for longer periods of time but never overindulgent.

    With Clyde, definitely an extended nurser and he went more the route of gluttony.
    Chronic over eater.
    He would nurse so long and so often that as soon as you sat him up to burp him you had to dodge projectile overflow milk that would just not stay in his baby belly. But he tried.
    And as far as time spent in a nursing position I think I actually spent more time in a cross cradle hold with that kid in the first 18 months than I don't know what. It was a wonderful time and I am so glad we shared it together.

    Then we come to the newest arrival and honestly he is a nursing enigma. Not extended, not orderly and by the book--no he is more a "snack" nurser. Like he just needs a bite to hold him over (not a bite per say but, well you know what I mean). However, he needs frequent "snacks"...and in my head I think

    "Well just nurse for 15 minutes kid and you will be so much more satisfied than the back and forth nonsense"

    You know, by this time in my parenthood you would think I would be used to the idea that kids are NOT all the same. Yet here I sit expecting them all to nurse and act the same. Will I ever learn?
    Probably not.

    And in the meantime I will be sitting on my couch with a swaddled baby in a football hold trying to run a household. Maybe by 2013 when this new baby stops nursing it will sink into my thick skull to expect total opposites out of the kids instead of similarities.

    But I do love those little post nursing satisfied faces that look milk drunk with eyes rolling back into their head.
    Am I weird or what?

    Do you hear that noise, yeah that's a Jet Pilot

    Sometimes we see things that are just so spot on that we feel the need to highlight it's importance in our lives.

    This is one of those instances, I saw this today while dropping off my oldest son off at swim lessons (I have two sons! I am so tickled pink at the thought of it!):

    Awesome right??
    You don't need to tell me...I know.
    My husband rocks.
    He's the bomb.

    And he drives a jet that carries bombs.
    Even cooler.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011


    Our trip to Sea World and the water park was a smashing success. The kids had a blast and Jet Pilot and I managed to enjoy ourselves as well. In between the 3,583,931 other people there and frequent nursing breaks I mean. And our great friends and neighbors are still our friends so we didn't scare them off with our weird ways. Phew.

    Here are the three main indicators that the kids had a blast and enjoyed their time in sunny San Diego




    All three kids were down for the count on our 6 hour plus drive back home to Central California.
    Sleeping babies are some of the best kind.

    And their little bones must be like 90 percent rubber because if I had to sleep for any length of time with my neck at these weird angles I would definitely need some of those disposable heating pad wraps I am always buying in my Rite Aid coupon shops.
    And a chiropractor.

    Wow, just typing that makes me feel old. I used to be able to sleep anywhere and in just about any position...now I need the overpriced tempurpedic mattress that we got on major sale because it was the display model and a memory foam pillow that cost me as much as a tank of gas to sleep normal.
    Oh well, there are some perks, at least when you get old you can talk loud and wear non-matching clothes and no one gives you a second glance.

    And bring umbrellas to random
    places, like Taco Bell on a blatantly sunny day.
    I like umbrellas.
    Big ones.

    Getting older is KINDA awesome.

    Glass half full-that's me.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Call me crazy

    We decided to do a mini vacation with our good friends (and neighbors) to Sea World and a water park--in San Diego.
    With a newborn.
    Yes, color me crazy.

    The packing logistics alone almost sent me into an anxiety attack.
    "What happens if we have continuous diaper blow outs for 3 days?"
    "Did we pack loveys for the kids?"
    "Blankets for the car...or just tough it out.."
    Not to mention just regular things like clothes or toothpaste.

    Overwhelming to say the least..
    But here we sit.
    In the car, packed (I think), and pumped for our adventure.

    Our kids have never been to Sea World, and they love animals so I think its going to be great. Hopefully the stars will align and traffic, potty breaks, nursing stops will all be smooth and quick.

    Have a Happy 4th of July, because someone great made a sacrifice to ensure you enjoyed this day with pure freedom!!

    Thanks to all those military men and women who have served, are serving and those that made the ultimate sacrifice, because if it were not for them...we would not be here today!!

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    True Story

    We are members of a co-op that has several pick your own crops on site. Today Clyde and Bonnie picked organic berries and organic nectarines to take home and enjoy...well after Clyde ate his weight in berries at the farm we managed to get a small haul home.
    Fast forward a few hours and post Vacation Bible Adventure to this comment:
    "Mama, dan I have some of doe-s burries we dot at the toe-op pulease??"

    Toe-op, that's cute right?
    Now how do I as good, no willpower for a cute face and phrase mother of three say no to that?

    Easy, I don't- I cave like a crumbled cookie.
    He had berries, as many as he wanted.

    I love little, almost 4 year old boys...they melt my heart like chocolate on a hot day.

    He's cute right?
    I know.
    He's painfully adorable.
    And he is half me, I am so lucky.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Baby #3

    From this...so sad right? Thank God it was only temporary

    To this...

    Count me as a super blessed mom...three wonderful and healthy children!! Now we are praying that this baby boy will start to put some weight back on and get back up to birth weight. He is still 4 oz short, and it's making me very mother hen-ish and worry wart.
    Plus, we have a tummy bug going on in our house and in between overly frequent potty breaks and catching puke...it's been stressful.
    To say the least.
    But it's been great.
    Amazing actually.
    Mama to three, that's me.
    It's all good in the hood

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    He's Here!!

    He is here.
    We had to force him out (by induction), but finally in the wee hours of Saturday, May 28th 2011--he came.

    And it did not go at all as I planned mentally--the goals in my head were:
    1-healthy baby
    2-natural labor with as little medical intervention as possible
    3-quick labor
    4-capture the whole process on video/camera
    5-look like a human (hair and make up done) in the memories captured

    Here's how things really went down.
    Went to my doctor's appointment as scheduled 2 DAYS AFTER MY DUE DATE for a regular post date check up. While we were there the doc put me on the fetal monitor and after about 15 minutes the doctor came back in to check my stats on the little graphy paper thing. He nodded, muttered to himself, and folded back up the graphy thingy then he said this
    "We need to talk in my office..."

    Jet Pilot and I gave each other a weary look, took a deep breath and said a quick prayer with our eyes to one another.
    Me..."Uhhh ok sure"

    The doc told us the baby was having periods of his heart beat decelerating and in a pre-term baby this was cause for concern BUT in a post date BIG baby boy like the one I am having it was a sign that he needs to come out because he was probably pulling on his umbilical cord for fun.
    All my kids love mischief.
    Even in utero.

    So doc told us to head over to hospital and get ourselves an induction. There goes Goal #2. Right out the window.
    Coupled with the fact that my hair was in a bun and I had no make up on. Goal #5 was staking claim right next to #2 outside that window as well.
    But Jet Pilot and I were ok with it because ultimately we know that Goal #1 is the most important.

    Fast forward a few hours and I am vein deep in Pitocin (aka the devil) and hanging in there quite nicely. Then we notice it (I am fortunate enough that I have 2 amazing cousins my age who drove across town and labored with me through the night)

    "Hey cuz, look at your hand..it's swollen"
    Me "Huh, it is.."
    "Maybe you should tell the nurse that your hand is swollen, or tell Jet Pilot to tell them.."
    Jet Pilot "Gimme your hand..let me look at it.."
    Me- begrudgingly giving my hand to Jet Pilot...I don't really like doctors so I try to fly under the radar and not draw attention to myself.
    Even if it means a hand that resembles sausages as opposed to fingers.

    Jet Pilot "Oh my gosh your hand IS SWOLLEN-a lot!"

    So the nurse switches my IV of pain juice to the other hand apparently I had some sort of reaction and my body didn't like the way the nurse man handled the needle into my fragile vein.

    There was a birthing ball, broken water, and getting on all fours during this time. I had an amazing midwife who encouraged me to just work through it and trust my body.
    She was so fabulous.
    I love her.
    I want to have more babies and get care solely from this chick-that's how good she is.

    Also in the spirit of Dill-io children this one likes to cause trouble as well--when the midwife broke my water it was not the clear color it was supposed to be.
    Why, you ask?
    Because the little stinker had pooped in utero and was now swimming in poopy water. Meconium-great.

    But not a major cause for concern. Phew.

    So nurse checks me and I am at a six and then at what seems like hours later (although Jet Pilot said it was more like 30 minutes) she checks again and says it's go time.

    And here is the humbling part...when it came to pushing--I was scared.
    Scared I was going to have a 10lb baby,
    Scared I was going to stall and end up with a c section because I was induced,
    Scared because pushing hurts-- a lot.
    I panicked a little bit. Told Jet Pilot and my cousins I was not pushing...lol. Spaz I know. Wouldn't grab my own legs and help myself out and push this kid into the world already.

    Finally I think I came back to reality and realized- I. HAD. TO. PUSH. So I did. And it was quick, well quick for me--Jet Pilot said it was only 15 minutes--but by my internal clock it was about 28482 hours long.

    And then...he was here.

    All 8lbs and 12 oz of his handsomeness.
    He's beautiful. He's my biggest baby. He's perfect. And it was like I already knew him the second I looked at his little face.

    In short-it was a great experience and I am so glad Jet Pilot and my 2 cousins were there all along to encourage and motivate me. I could not have done it without them.
    We are all home now and getting used to being Dill-io, Party of Five.
    I love it. I love this life. And these kids. And a husband who flies Jets. It really doesn't get any better than this.
    Unless of course someone brought cookies.
    I love cookies.
    Or Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robbins. That's stuff is so good it should be illegal.

    In closing, I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed retelling it. I love to hear and read birth stories--makes me feel motherly and womanly. Two things I love.

    I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Tommee Tippee blogging contest for a chance to get a gift pack worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    D Day plus 1

    Yesterday was my due date. According to the medical professionals.
    Buuuuttt, according the baby I am growing from scratch...he has no plans to arrive anytime soon.


    I am super hard trying not to be down about NOT being in labor...is that weird??

    If there is nothing happening over the holiday weekend I am scheduled to be induced early next week.

    Not my ideal birthing situation, but it is what it is. Tell me not to be down, tell me to get a straw and suck it up...tell me to eat a California roll and get over it.
    Tell me something.

    Or tell me some tips to go into labor...I have made the birthing ball my new home and I am sitting on it as I blog...all it's doing is making me have to take frequent potty breaks---like every 5 minute potty breaks.

    I am actually past my wits end as to what to do with myself. I need peace, patience and motivation to get through this--all of which I feel like I lack at present.
    Pray for me.
    Slap me.

    Lord, please let this baby come soon. I am buckling under the pressure.

    Monday, May 23, 2011


    So not to be a totally dense-but I have been absent from the blog lately.

    Like SUPA absent.
    And its not like I haven't had a million things to blog about--cuz I have. 
    This house, these kids, our co-op and garden...not to mention the random musings from a mum of 2.5 children.
    However it just seems like whenever I have the time to sit down and blog...I don't.  I do other things.  Like sleep or scheme ways to make Jet Pilot go out to the store and buy things that contain chocolate and peanut butter.
    I know priorities right?  But I really do love peanut butter.  Its like a secret food husband I have.

    But I'm back...at least temporarily...my return to blogging is only complicated by the fact that my second son is due in 2 days. 
    And he is refusing to come out.
    Naturally all I want to do is meet him...I think about him constantly.  Yet he remains in his baby roaster (aka my uterus) til a time that remains undetermined at present.  I am really doing all the "tricks" to make the babies come sooner:
    red raspberry leaf tea,
    fresh pineapple,
    chasing (or trying to chase, I am really SLOW now) 2 kids around,
    running the household,
    birthing ball....yet....

    I am starting to take it personal-like he doesn't want to meet us.  Or me.  Maybe he thinks I am not as cool as I really am.  I feel like talking to my stomach and pleading like "Seriously little dude I am really cool and sweet and promise to love and cherish and love and squeeze you a TON!" Jet Pilot says its because he doesn't want to join the chaos that is our house.  But I am really thinking its me.  Yes it is totally possible I need my head examined.  I think I am losing brain cells just sitting here.  I feel old.
    But I just keep praying for peace and patience and continued faith in the knowledge that he will come when he is good and ready.
    I just know I AM GOOD AND READY to meet him. I wish we were on the same page...lol.

    Other than that things are good...new people are overwhelming and I hate moving neighbors.  But we have met an amazing Christian family who I think really likes my family and wants to be our buddies while we are here.  Phew.  We have convinced some innocent and unsuspecting folks that we are normal enough and now they are stuck with us. (Insert evil laugh here...jk)
    But still sometimes I severely dislike change...and I am not going to go into it more than that. Because its dark and I want to live in light.  Lots of light.

    However my coupon girls (Cindi, Gail, Nydia, Susie and Brittany) have been amazing to me this whole pregnancy.  They have sent tons of goodies and even went in together and got my little one this, which I totally love!!
    Its actually sitting here in our living room waiting for a cute little diapered hiney to sit and puke and pee in it. 
    Yet he eludes us.  Little Stinker.

    Sigh.  Double Sigh.  

    The new coupon show on THAT network drives me crazy...I am not going to elaborate more than that...EVERY neighbor with the exception of MAYBE 2 families on my street thinks I am total nut job and I walk around spending pennies on my weekly groceries living in a house filled with junk food. 
    I would be soo lucky.
    Well not really but you know what I mean.  Lucky on the spending pennies part...not so lucky on the junk food part.
    After watching that show it made me realize I am still a brand snob and while I have let most brand loyalty go I refuse to budge on some stuff.
    Like bread.
    Or anything frozen.  I love frozen foods...but have no self control so I have to not have that stuff in the house to be tempted.  Its the devil.  From a food perspective.
    Don't be confused though, I still love coupons A LOT.  And I use them fanatically,  just not on "that" stuff.

    I am about as stockpiled for the new kid and the house as I think I can be...I am giving up the drug store game until after he is born and its kind of nice not to be pouring over ads and blogs trying to figure out the best deals.  Stalking the deals is something I truly enjoy but I just can't find the gumption to stay on top of it every week.  Hopefully things will change after my son is born. In June. Of 2012.

    So I guess the purpose of this post is multi fold, to apologize for my absence, to announce I am still here and alive, updates on NOT being in labor and how much I love coupons and good friends. 

    That's all.  Thanks for letting me get that all out.  I feel better now.

    Oh and I am trying to convince Jet Pilot to get rid of the microwave...I feel like its actually shooting waves out at me and changing my molecular make up.  To change me into like a Klingon or something.
    Now I am bringing this post to a close so that I can call and make that head examination appointment; because I'm sure you are reading this and thinking...this chick is bonkers!
    And I am.
    A little bit.
    But its okay, because those that know me and love me...they kinda like bonkers...

    : )

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Rite Aid Shop 4/10-4/16

    This week's shop was not as well planned as I thought...I had good intentions but a poor delivery.  
    I blame being 300 days pregnant...
    my mind gets be-jig-ity with the baby boy hormones.

    So I did two shops and the first one was a fail.  But I got the L'oreal Shampoo/Conditioners that I "needed" for the stockpile so it was worth it for me.  Kind of.  Until I messed up and spend $1.98 over what I wanted too and had to PAY for my shop.  Which I hate to do, I am always trying to get out of the store and just pay tax.  

    Ok come to think of it I did three shops this week, but the VERY first one was just meh...I read on several msg boards that people were getting UP+'s for purchasing 2 Gillette and 2 OS Body Wash in the same transaction.  Yeah nooo. 
    Not so much.  
    I guess I misunderstood or they didn't know what they were talking about.  So those are going back to the store...$6 back in my pocket.

    Shop #1 I am not going into

    Shop #2 (sorry no pic, just use your imagination..lol)
    4 L'oreal Vive Pro Shampoo/Conditioners -- $2.50 each ($2 UP+ wyb 2)
    1 Scunci Hair Clippy Glittery thing for Bonnie (cuz she was such a good girl) -- $3.99
    1 bag of Sour Patch Gummy Bunnies -- $1.99 (where I blew it OOP wise)

    Coupons I used:
    $3/15 from Survey
    4 $1/1 L'oreal Vive Pro from here 
    $7 UP+'s 

    Subtotal: $1.98
    Total OOP: $2.92

    Earned $4 in Up+'s 

    Shop #3
    8 Physicians Make Up on clearance 75% off -- $1.49-$3.73 (not what I needed at all but I wanted the peelies I had to create overage to pay for my cough drops)
    26 RA Brand Cough Drops -- .50 each ($1 Up+ wyb 2)

    Coupons I used:
    $4/1 Physician's Formula Peelies on the front of the products!!

    Subtotal: .82 cents
    Total OOP: $2.61 

    Earned $13 in UP+'s 

    There was a huge bin of 75% make up and other random stuff at the random Rite Aid I shopped at today so I grabbed all the products that I thought my Mother and sister in law would use.  There were more make up products there but I didn't want to clean the store out because I totally hate when people do that to me.  
    Buuuut I wanted to, I am not gonna lie.  LOL.  

    I also gave a few packages of cough drops to my mom because I think she uses them as candy...lol.  It seems like every time I see her I give her cough drops and yet she is always out of them.  

    So it wasn't a huge haul like I wanted but I am always daydreaming about getting 38943 items and only paying tax.  

    Plus, I added some things to the stockpile that we needed.  I have not bought shampoo or conditioner in a deal shop in over a year because I got about 30 John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioners on clearance at CVS for .13 plus q's so it was a GIANT Money Maker.  And we were getting down to the last few sets because we have used/donated so many over the past 12+ months.

    If I can convince my Jet Pilot to drive me to another local Rite Aid on one our trips off base I may try for more clearance make up and more cough drops...I will have to make the sad face and beg but it would be worth it.  I hate to drive at this late stage in my pregnancy...I feel like blimp all day anyways and then to put a steering wheel in front of me and its just a recipe for a cranky pants mama.  

    **After I return my Body Washes back to Rite Aid it will be like I spent just change OOP to pay for my shops, so I guess that's good.  And I have also added to my UP+'s so I am always liking that.  I just wish I was better at pre-planning for my shops so I don't go back 2-3 times a week.  
    I hate to drive.
    I like to passenger seat it.  Its where I am most comfortable.

    Soooo....you get anything good this week at Rite Aid??

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    9 years and counting

    I have been married to Jet Pilot for 9 years...it doesn't seem that long.

    I remember being a youngster and being all googly eyed every time I saw him across a room. And we were just dating then. Or when he was in his military dress uniforms I would always get a little choked up and dumbstruck. Like I forgot how to breathe sometimes. Some things haven't changed.

    I still get choked up when I see him in uniform.
    Pulls right at my heartstrings.

    And he reciprocates all that love right back...by doing stuff like this when I least expect it...

    Nine roses.
    One for each amazing year of marriage we have had thus far.

    I know, you are tearing up--me too.
    My Jet Pilot is the man and husband I would have asked the Lord for if I would have the intelligence to know what I need.

    He completes me.
    And he makes me googly eyed-even still at this moment as he is sleeping soundly on MY side of the bed when he started out on HIS side.

    Here's to 99 more amazing and love filled years!!

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Wisdom from a young lady

    I have a dear friend who I call "Peach" and she has a daughter whose recent blog post offers well timed wisdom to a mom of 3 like me. 
    I have recently been caught up in some emotional stuff lately and reading this post this morning really helped me to step back and take a deep breath and just well...recenter. 
    Sometimes we need insightful thoughts from someone else to really bring up back to reality.

    Thanks Baby Peach for helping me out today...it was exactly what I needed.

    Check out her thoughtful post here

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Stand on your head. Drink lots of water.

    My kid has hiccups really bad.

    Not such a big deal except that this kid is the one in my belly that is still growing.

    It's like chronic hiccups.
    Poor baby.

    I have never had a baby that got the in utero hiccups this early (or late?) in the pregnancy. It feels silly.

    It's a quiet time just the baby boy #2 and mom can share together. And in this house that says ALOT.

    Lately it has gotten louder and louder around here-between Jet noise, jet fuel, the smell of manure (yay Central Cali farmlands!), and 2 homeschooled kids who have only one volume--HIGH/11/MAX. It's loud.

    So I am trying to find the small joys in the little (QUIET) things.

    Like baby hiccups.

    They really are so dang cute.

    May needs to get here fast, I am getting anxious to meet this little smidger.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Wheel of MY Fortune

    I am debating as to whether or not I should audition for Wheel of Fortune.

    Lame. I know.

    But I love that show.

    And they are holding auditions tomorrow in my hometown. But it's supposed to be rainy tomorrow and standing in the rain for XX amount of hours as a fat 7.5 month pregnant lady--not ideal.

    Plus I will want snacks.
    And a chair.
    And more snacks.

    This is sounding like less and less of a good idea.

    Now stalking Rite Aids for $3/1 RA Gain Detergent peelie coupons--that sounds like a good idea.

    If only I could convince the rest of the family my idea is a good one.
    Yeah that will happen.
    Like. Never.
    My family would rather get root canals and their toenails pulled out one by one simultaneously than hit more than one drug store at a time for me.

    So WheelMobile it is.

    Or maybe not.

    Although it would be cool to win thousands of dollars, I think I could handle that. My Jet Pilot would be happy!!

    Glad we had this talk, thanks for hearing me out.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Clearance shop on base

    No one will be able to duplicate this shop (it's clearance and from the store on a military base) but it was soo exciting that I just couldn't help but mention it.

    So pretty please just indulge me,

    I bought:
    1 Cottonelle 12 pack-- $6
    2 Flintstone Vitamins-- $3.37 with additional 75% off (.87 cents)
    1 Tylenol Meltaways-- $4.49 with additional 75% off ($1.12)
    5 Blink Tears-- $8.99 with additional 75% off ($2.24)

    Coupons I used:
    5 $4/1 Blink Peelies that were RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE CLEARANCE EYE DROPS!!

    Subtotal (after coupons): .05

    Total OOP: A nickel!!

    **There are no taxes imposed on purchases made from military exchange stores--so literally a nickel!

    I am not sure why these things were on clearance, the expiration dates were still a year out so I think they were just changing the floor set and these things had to go.

    And I am totally not complaining--tp is always on the stockpile list around here. Jet Pilot was glad that I spied this deal and while I know he despises waiting on me to get these shops done he loves the savings. Plus my brother and mom will totally be able to use these eye drops for their allergies!! Score all around!!

    So had any good shops lately??

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011


    Vacuuming my house is giving me Braxton Hicks?

    Yes it is.

    My life just got that much more complicated.

    Totally a victim of pregnancy amnesia.
    What can I say I am naive-amazingly blessed, but naive nonetheless.

    And now back to my saga with the Dyson and constantly flexing abdominal muscles. Or the articles formerly known as my abdominal muscles, sad but true.

    Washboard abs are over rated right??

    French fries would be nice right now...

    Total victim of having the attention span of a goldfish.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    What makes us #Fabulous

    This post is written to receive extra entries to win an Tablet2 from FabulousSavings.com!!

    The House of the Dill-io is #fabulous because:

    Our van is full and our checkbook light,
    but our love for each other will light the night,
    we are #fabulous!

    Baby #3 is on his way in May,
    and when he comes- poopy diapers and all he will brighten our day,
    we are #fabulous!

    From our dirty socks, 
    to having fun just throwing rocks, 
    we are #fabulous!

    We find the joy in every day
    in little things for which we don't have to pay,
    we are #fabulous!

    We cheer our Jet Pilot in the Navy, 
    his job is awesome and totally GRAVY, 
    we are #fabulous!

    We love to stalk the coupons and online deals,
    it helps us pay for ALL our meals,
    we are #fabulous!

    We love our family time together,
    because it lifts our hearts as light as a feather,
    we are #fabulous!

    Thanks to Fabulous Savings for this chance to win a Tablet2,
    if you pick us we will be true and not blue and we will give many thanks to YOU!!
    We are #fabulous!

    Wordless Wednesday

    How do they ACTUALLY sleep like that??

    Bringing the deal stalking heat back!!

    I have been kind of slow to get back on the deal stalking wagon.  Don't get me wrong I have been reading the message boards/deal blogs AND printing out the hot printables but I have been slow to actually go out and GET the deals.  For no real reason, pregnancy exhaustion...laziness...rising gas prices, etc..

    However I am on the road to redemption.  I went deal stalking today to 4 stores after the kids and I finished school.  I hit Walgreens (a store I never shop..cuz I am not as mentally adept to conquer the coupon to item ratio rules), Rite Aid, Target and Wal-Mart (yeah I know but I wanted to test out the new coupon policy that ALLOWS overage!).

    And I didn't do too bad if I say so myself.

    Store/Coupon Breakdown:

    2 Up and Up brand All purpose cleaners with bleach-- $1.37 each
    (this Lysol knock off is my Jet Pilot's favorite cleaner, as I try to clean with just organic vinegar--lol.  We are a work in progress!)
    1 Up and Up dental floss-  .89 cents

    Coupons I used:
    2 $1/1 Up and Up Cleaning Product IP from Here
    1 $1/1 Up and Up Oral Care Product IP from Here (this q auto adjusted to .89 cents with no beeps)

    Subtotal: .74 cents
    Total OOP: .80 cents

    4 Challenge Tuscan Butter-- $1.98

    Coupons I used:
    4 $2/1 IP from becoming a fan of Challenge Butter on Facebook

    Subtotal: -.08 cents
    (yes WM owed me $$ but I just wanted to see what they were gonna do once my total went into the negative.  After much ado from the cashier she just brought the CSM over and he over rode it no problem.  So it would appear that some management read the new coupon policy email-Phew!)

    2 Pedia Care Kids Meds-- $6.99 and $7.49

    Coupons I used:
    2 $2/1 Pedia Care from coupons.com
    1 $5/1 Wags in Ad coupon (I read online to hand this over last because otherwise the IP's would beep and not go thru)

    Subtotal: .48
    Total OOP: .85 cents
    ** I think I am going to go back to Walgreens and get some more Tylenol because when my kids get fevers they get LIKE FEEEEVVAAHHHS!!  And this will be a good addition to our stockpile!**

    10 cans of Sardines B1G1 50% off-- $1.29 and .64
    4 Trident Vitality-- .99 each
    6 AirWick Aerosol Air Fresheners B1G1-- $1.89 each
    2 NYC Nail Polish-- .49 and $1.99 each
    6 Jesse Girl Clearance Nail Polish-- .74 cents each

    Subtotal: $1.05
    Total OOP: $2.05 and $11 Ups

    Earned: $18 UPs for next time!!

    All in all I think it was a good haul!  I was super excited about Rite Aid and all the Ups I earned from the Sardines and Nail Polish.  I was reading on the different message boards that the clearance nail polishes were also generating the $1 UP so I hunted some up and took a chance and it paid off.  I plan on trying to make it out to another Rite Aid for more nail polish and sardines...my mom and my Jet Pilot said they would both give them a shot with crackers.
    Ewww. Gross.
    But if all else fails its a donate item or dog food topping.

    Major props to my coupon gals Cindi and Gail for giving me the daily inspiration to deal stalk and get out there and get those deals!!

    **Side Note--I also did the buy $25 of Johnson Baby Washes and get a free stroller from CVS, spent $4.24 OOP on 9 baby washes and got the umbrella stroller.  But they were out of stock and after a phone call with Corporate I found out that the store is supposed to call Online Services and mail the stroller to me. Ugh.  So we will see.**

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    PSA take 2

    FYI...being a Jet Pilot doesn't make you any less dorky than the Computer Science guy you were in High School.

    Now you just get paid to talk man stuff and geek speak.

    And it's ALWAYS about airplanes/fighter jets.

    And having the sense of humor of a mid-pubescent 5th grade boy is the norm. Even for the guy that runs the whole place.

    As I sit amidst a sea of too high pants, khakis and polo shirts as "party wear".


    And of course the token cowboy Jet Pilot from Texas who had to wear too tight jeans, flannel and a GINORMOUS cowboy hat to the command shindig.


    Work it Jet Pilots.

    Cuz I live for this, and there is no other place I would rather be than next to my man with a plan.

    That is all, carry on.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    EcoUsable Bottles Review and Giveaway

    As a progressive mother of 2 (and a half) I am always looking for to help us live as eco-friendly/eco-conscious as we can.  And since we are a family that doesn't drink soda, most juices-virtually everything except for water and token amounts of milk; a huge portion of our liquid intake comes from WATER.

    We drink COPIOUS amounts of water.  And since Jet Pilot and I educated ourselves on what and where bottled water comes from-that is no longer an option for us to intake if we can help it.  So we (read-I) started looking into alternative sources for bringing our own home filtered water with us everywhere we went.

    Enter EcoUsable.  From their site:
    "EcoUsable provides consumers with affordable planet–friendly, reusable products that are recyclable, health conscious and designed to improve the lives of people worldwide. EcoUsable pioneered the world’s first stainless filtered water bottle, the ECH20, which includes its own portable filtration system and provides instantly filtered water from almost any fresh water source. It removes harmful contaminants as you drink through the flip top straw.

    EcoUsable stainless steel water bottles are:
    • Available in an assortment of graphic prints & solid colors. 
    • Made from 304 food grade stainless steel (18/8). 
    • BPA free & Aluminum free. 
    • Non-leaching & liner free. 

    Since our bottles are stainless steel we don’t have to line
    them like aluminum bottles. The consumer doesn’t have to worry about scratching
    the liner, which could potentially leach aluminum into their water. 
    • 100% recyclable. 
    • Half turn loop top; fewer threads mean less chance of bacterial growth. (Most other bottles require 3-8 turns to open.) 
    • Easy to clean and fits ice cubes. 
    • Exclusive skid-proof mat bottom."
    Plus EcoUsable also does custom jobs/fundraising so that you can get something completely unique to your needs to promote your business/event.  They also do:

    • Custom designed hangtags
    • Download codes to feature 100MG of content such as music, videos, PDF content, etc.
    • Sports tops 
    • Bottle wrapz

    EcoUsable provided me with an awesome bottle package and as part of my awesomeness I am sharing some stainless steel bottle love with you all The Dill-io readers!!  Up for grabs is the purple bottle with the screw top!!

    My EcoUsable Collection
    BUY IT:
    You can purchase EcoUsable Bottles from here and use the CODE: ECO10 to receive 10% off your order

    WIN IT:
    One lucky The Dill-io reader can win the Purple EcoUsable Bottle pictured above

    Required to enter:
    If you would like to enter, just leave a comment!
    Be sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win!

    If you would like additional entries, you may add seperate comments for each additional thing you do, but you MUST do the required entry for any of the additional ones to count.

    Additional ways to enter:
    - Follow my blog via google friend connect
    - Subscribe by email to my blog updates
    - Tweet about this giveaway - this can be done once daily, for an extra entry each day - 
    - "Like" my blog on facebook, left side of page
    - Follow me on Twitter, left side of page
    - If you have a blog, add my button and get 5 extra entries
    Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry, and your email so I can contact you if you win.

    This giveaway will end March 10th, at 12 pm EST. Winner will be chosen via random.org, and I will contact the winner through email, and they have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

    EcoUsable provided me with all information, and the products and I will be providing the winner with the noted water bottle prize as above.  No other compensation was given that biased the outcome of this post/review.