Archives for November 2011

Bounce Dryer Bar: A Review


It’s no secret that doing laundry is not high on my “Things I Love To Do” list. In fact, it happens to hold steady on my “Things That Feel Like Legalized Torture” list right in between cleaning toilets and painting. Remember this picture?

When a person hates laundry, she tends to put it off until it turns into this...

Right. It’s safe to say that the laundry and I are not BFFs. But, like anyone else, I have a family that prefers wearing clean clothes on a daily basis and my husband, for some odd reason, will not include buying new clothes and getting rid of the dirty ones into our monthly budget.

Weird, huh?

So anytime I hear of any product that has the potential to make doing laundry even one step quicker/cheaper/easier, I’m all game for giving it a try. Which is why I was pleased to try out the Bounce Dryer Bar.

In the grand scheme of doing laundry, pulling out a dryer sheet and tossing it in with the clothes is not that great of a time suck. However, the Bounce Dryer Bar, by eliminating the need to reach for a dryer sheet, has given me one less thing to think about and as a busy Mom with a 100 thousand things on my mind, that actually provides a tremendous amount of freedom. With the Bounce Dryer Bar, all you do is peel the backing off of what feels like a big bar of soap then stick it inside your dryer and voila! Laundry just got one step easier. It’s simple, convenient and automatic. There may also be a cost benefit as the dryer bar will last up to four months leaving your clothes smelling fresh, feeling soft and controlling static cling without the need to constantly run out for more dryer sheets.

This is the part of the review where I confess that I am actually a liquid softener kinda gal. I love how good my clothes smell when I use liquid fabric softener as opposed to dryer sheets. So I was admittedly a bit skeptical when I began using the Bounce Dryer Bar. But I needed not fear (and neither should you). The Bounce Dryer Bar not only makes my clothes smell amazing, but it also acts as an air freshener for my entire laundry room. And, oddly enough, that actually makes me enjoy doing laundry a little bit more. It’s a miracle! And look at how much my family enjoys their clothes after using the Bounce Dryer Bar!

See how happy they are? Look at their smiles!

So this is the part where you get the chance to win a Bounce Dryer Bar and see just how right I am about this new product. You may also win a $50 Visa gift card from BlogHer! To enter, leave me a comment or answer this question: What do you like the least about doing laundry?

If you would like more information about the Bounce Dryer Bar before giving it a try yourself, you can visit their Facebook page here. For more opportunities to win, visit the Bounce round-up page on to read other bloggers’ reviews!

Rules for Entry: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.

This promotion will end on Tuesday, December 6 at 5:00 PST.

Disclaimer: This is a paid review for BlogHer on behalf of Bounce Dryer Bar. Although I was compensated, the opinions expressed are my own, which means that yes, I actually have become that girl who gets excited about laundry products. It’s official…I’m a grown up.

Disclaimer #2: While I was not in any way swayed or coerced in my review of the product, my family was totally and completely bribed with the promise of cupcakes if they complied with my request to look like they were madly in love with their freshly cleaned clothes.

Cry Me a Freakin’ River: Part Two

“It’s only hair,” I keep whispering every time this small boy comes strolling by. He glances up at me out of the corner of his eye and gives me that mischevious grin and I blink back the tears. “It’s only hair. It’s only hair. It’s only hair.”

That is my mantra.

I got Landon’s hair cut this weekend and in doing so, I went ahead and ripped my heart out and handed it to him. He’s carrying it around in his back pocket now…

Geez, Kelli.  Get a grip.  It’s only a haircut.

You’re right.  It is only a haircut.  But it also is one more step forward out of babydom and I’ve told you before, I’m not ready for these toddler years to end.  Everytime I look at Landon, I still see this kid:

And this one:


But somewhere along the way, my baby with the Bieber hair turned into a boy with opinions.  He possesses clarity and wit and can connect events and moments together in a coherent manner.  He is one month from four and I am fighting off a minor panic attack.

“I wanna hab thpike haiwr,” he told me as we walked into the salon.  And I fought off tears as I watched the stylist shave off his long surfer dude locks and give him the big boy spiked haircut he desired.  I knew in doing so, we were officially saying goodbye to the baby.

I don’t know what it is about this kid, but he has had me wrapped, tied and sewn around his little finger since the day he came squalling into the world.  He is a delight and of the three, he is the one I most long to hold back…to slow down.  Sloan has always been so big and advanced that watching him grow and get older, while still emotional, has been exciting.  I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

Tia has developed so many interesting and beautiful traits in the last year that I am delighting in her growth.

But Landon…

Maybe it’s because he’s the baby.  Perhaps it’s due to the fact that he’s such a munchkin that I sometime forget he’s almost four.  It could be that he’s the most affectionate of the three, still wanting to snuggle close throughout the day.

Whatever the case, he’s the one that makes me long for a pause button.  I wish I could just make time stop, so I could really, truly cherish the moments when he presses his soft cheek to mine.

Before his cheeks thin out and his torso lengthens, I want to just hold him and breathe him in.  Before his muscles are defined and he develops the sinewy body of a little man, I want to tickle his Buddha belly and feel the powdery soft flesh of his arms.  I want to hear his laugh and memorize his movements.  I want to kiss his nose and feel his tiny hand pressed in mine.  I want to feel the warmth of his weight snuggled against my chest in the darkness of the early morning.

I want every one of those moments to be doubled.

He wanted to stop taking pictures. I think he's giving me the bird...

I know there are delightful days to come.  I know without a doubt that the joy and light that this child brings to our family won’t be dimmed with age.  But for now, for today, I feel a mixture of emotions.

I am sad that he is growing so fast.  I’m sad that a simple haircut changed him from a baby to a boy in an instant.

I’m excited to see what the future holds.  Because he is my third born, I know there are milestones and joys that lie ahead.  There are changes to come that are natural and good and I am anxiously awaiting the process of watching not only Landon, but all three of my children grow up.  It’s beautiful and wonderful and thrilling and exhausting and I’m overjoyed that I get to be witness to their growth.

I just wish that it didn’t have to happen so fast.

My People

I was fifteen years old the first time I visited the former Soviet Union.  An entire world opened up before me in brilliant technicolor.  Amidst a backdrop of dark clouds, we stepped off the plane and my soul lit up.

“I’m coming back here,” I whispered.  I knew because it was as if I had stepped into a place already familiar to me; a place that had been carved out for me long ago.  I just needed to find it.

Our trip lasted fourteen days, but I fell in love in less than a second.  It wasn’t just the glamor of the foreign trip, though there was a bit of that.  We were only a handful of years removed from the fall of the Iron Curtain and as Americans we were still treated very much like royalty.  But it was more than that.  I felt like I knew those people.  Their language was like the chords of a melody to me and I soaked it up as though I had been ravenously searching for it my entire life.

It was love at first sight.

And I did go back.  I went back the next year and the one after that.  I minored in the language in college and while others in my class moaned and complained about the work, I asked for more.  I met with my professor in the afternoons and had him explain the grammar to me over and over (I still don’t get it).  I bought book after book and in my spare time practiced translating stories.

I’m only now realizing how weird that is…

I went to Ukraine my junior year and lived with my adopted people.  It was the hardest and most wonderful four months of my life.

This has always just seemed natural to me.  It’s felt natural to meet Russians everywhere I went and to befriend them…because they’re my people.  I don’t speak as fluently as I’d like to anymore, but the sound of the language still sets my heart aflight.  It is a melody that I can’t describe and that has only been recently revealed to me as…odd.

When we lived in Texas and I coached at WOGA, I often attended the Russians only parties because why wouldn’t I?  I fit there.  My favorite memories of that time are looking out to the back porch and seeing Lee standing in a circle with all the Russian men as their mouths moved in rhythmic fashion.  When they laughed, he laughed.  When they nodded their heads, he nodded his head.  He had no clue, but he didn’t care.

He’s my people, they’re my people. You remember him kissing the cross, right?

My husband is so good to push me and prod me to keep up my skills in Russian.  There are many times when we are in public and we hear Russian and he immediately introduces me and makes me start speaking.  Sometimes this drives me crazy because it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing and because people look at me like I’m a nut job.

But I’m so grateful for his prodding because he knows me so well.  He knows how much I love and need to accompaniment of Russians.  Without it, I feel a bit lost at times…

When we lived in St. Louis, I never really thought it odd that my children were the only children with two American parents in the Russian school.  It just seemed natural to me that my children should be there.

They’re our people.

Moving down here I have already, again, been blessed to meet and make Russian friends.  As we all gathered around the table on Halloween night, they asked me…


“Why what?” I asked.

“Why do you speak Russian?”

No one has ever really asked me that question before and I didn’t have an answer.  Because I love it?  I love everything about the culture and the people, the food and the traditions.

Because you’re my people, I wanted to say.  But that sounds odd, so I just shrugged and smiled.

“You are the first American I ever meet,” said the man next to me, “That want to know Russian.  I don’t understand.”

And I don’t either.  I don’t know why God embedded these people so deeply into my soul.  I don’t know why my heart shakes when I hear the language spoken.  I don’t know why I feel at home in a group of Russians.  I don’t know why I long to go back to the country and take my children there so badly that sometimes I physically ache.  I really don’t know why.

I just know I love it.  They are my people and I love them.

So I don’t have my Mom Blog card revoked

In order to fulfill my obligation as a mom blogger, I hereby present you with a few Halloween pictures.  Not many words today.  My computer crashed on me yesterday.  My phone crashes on me at least once a day right now as well.  Apparently I have somehow offended the technology gods.

They’s mad.

Instead of 1,000 words – I leave you with a few pictures, which are worth more than that, right?  So here are your 13,000 words.  Just click the picture to see it enlarged.  I know you want to.  How can you resist looking at those cherubs up close?

We celebrated the awesome that is Halloween with our new group of Russian friends.  This means there was trick or treating, lots and lots of food, some vodka (I mentioned we were with Russians, right?) and a whole lot of laughter and fun.  Today finds Tia with pink and purple hair still because she didn’t want to wash it out yet and Landon continues to bear the faint outlines of a mustache.

And I’m tired.

The End.