Friday, August 24, 2012

My Toddler

Audie's first birthday will be here soon, and things are changing fast. I no longer have a baby, I have a toddler.

Very often in the last year I've found myself thinking, "What happened to my 'teenie-nincey baby' (as grandma says)?" I was excited, of course, about the new things he was doing, but at the same time, very sad that it was all happening so quickly. I know that I am not alone in this feeling. I know that every parent has felt this same way. But more times than not, I would look at my child, think "When did he get so big?" and then feel sad.  

Well, a few weeks ago, after putting Audie to sleep, I sat near his bed (yes, I said "bed" not "crib" - we converted his crib to a toddler bed when he was about 9 months old, but that explanation is for another time), and just like so many times before, he looked huge and very much like a little boy and not so much like a baby. But instead of being sad, I was excited this time. I imagined him walking and later talking, and I thought of all the fun activities that we could do now that he is getting bigger, and I realized something for the first time.

Every time I think of my child, I want to feel this way. I want to be excited about what's next in his life instead of sad about what is no longer. I want to be completely enamored with the stage he is in currently. Yes, it's happening quickly, too quickly. That fact will always make me sigh and wish that time could slow down a bit.  But my point is this: I don't want to wish that he is anything other than what he is. I don't wish that he was still a baby, I love that he's a toddler. And the fact that it's going by so fast is just a reminder to me that I need to be even more present for him, actively listening to him, watching him, taking mental snapshots of him, and trying my best to remember the person that he is at this exact moment.  He is changing fast, so I better pay attention.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An update...

So it's been March since my last post.  Here's why:

I discovered Pinterest.  Okay that's not the entire reason, but it is a large part of it.  It's not just because Pinterest can be a huge time-waster and I suddenly have no time to post, but because I came across so many blogs with the same concept as mine - a stay-at-home mom writing about kids, diy projects, cooking, and other home-related happenings.  Except unlike my blog, these were much more developed and professional looking, and in a nutshell, these people actually knew what they were doing.  Why would anyone care about reading my blog when there are so many other (and better) ones out there?  Also, when I decided to start writing this blog, I began researching "blog tips" and quickly became overwhelmed by "link parties," "buttons," and advertisements.  Along with that, I was equally frustrated with basic html issues and the format of my blog template - I would try something, it wouldn't work, and because I have no idea what I'm doing, I couldn't fix it.  All the while, I was still dealing with a child who wouldn't take consistent naps and a husband who wanted me to stop spending so much time on the computer.  So what did I do?  I didn't touch or even check my blog for 5 whole months.

Then I realized something:  while I am hoping that this blog will be helpful and inspiring to others like me, I'm not writing for them.  I'm writing for me.  It's so easy to just let the days go by without much purpose and direction.  Each day I try to get things done around the house before my husband comes home while I spend as much meaningful and quality time with my son as possible.  Other than that, not a lot gets done.  I have projects that I've started - some years ago - that have never been finished, cleaning tips (thanks to Pinterest) that I've been wanting to try, but have never found the time to do, and LOTS of activities I should be doing with my child, but just like that, the day is done, and none of those things were even attempted.  Before you think that I'm being too hard on myself, I do understand that there are going to be days where not a lot is going to get done, and that's okay.  But my point is this: a huge part of why I started this blog was to give myself some motivation to get those things least once a week.  Once a week, I'd like to have something to write about.  Plus, I also just love to write.  I loved writing when I was in school and always did well in my English classes.  Writing allows me to collect and organize my thoughts into something that makes sense - at least it makes sense to me.  It forces me to be intentional in the things I do and the choices I make for myself and my family. 

So the new plan is to try my best to post once a week.  I'm not going to worry about who or who isn't reading it...or about what it looks like and how I need to make it better right now.  I'm simply going to write.  I will attempt to set aside a specific amount of time to devote to it each week so that I do not spend countless hours on the computer obsessing over it (while annoying my husband at the same time).  Along the way I am hoping to learn more about "blogging" in general so that I can develop my blog and who knows, maybe people will start "following" and actually leave comments so I know they are out there.

But for now, it's time to make lunch for the sweet baby that has waited so patiently for me to finish writing this post.  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Under $5 Door Bells

So it's been a busy past few weeks.  Little man is still struggling to take naps during the day, and now that he has learned to roll over, he tries to do it in his sleep...but he hasn't quite mastered it yet so that means that he wakes himself up.  I get frustrated at times, but then he smiles at me or gives me a giant, wet kiss, and I forget all about it.

When it came time to take down our Christmas decorations, I somehow overlooked the bells that were hanging on the back of our front door.  A few days went by...then a few weeks...and then a few months.  By that time, I had gotten used to hearing the bells whenever anyone opened/closed the door.  I finally got tired of looking at the Christmas bells and decided to make these.  I got a bag of bells (I think they were $2 or maybe $2.99) and a faux-wooden embroidery hoop (marked down to $.99) at Michaels.  Then I used fabric strips (different lengths) to tie the bells to the hoop.  I threaded the fabric strip through the bell, tied it, then attached it to the hoop by tying a slipknot .  It couldn't be more simple.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Perfect Pancakes

I have searched high and low for a perfect and somewhat easy pancake recipe.  I believe I've found it: 

*Note: This recipe allows for you to make your own buttermilk (which is great for me since I never have any).  If you have buttermilk, then simply use 3/4 -1 cup of buttermilk in place of the milk, vinegar, and butter.

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • cooking spray

This is what you do:
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine milk with vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour." 
  • Combine dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. 
  • Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk.  
  • Pour flour mixture into the wet mixture and whisk until lumps are gone. 
  • Use cooking spray on your griddle/skillet just before you add the batter (I've noticed that the spray can sometimes turn brown if you add it too soon).
  • Look for bubbles on top of your pancake - this means it's ready to be flipped.
  • Add delicious toppings (fruit, nuts, etc.) or a tab of butter and plain syrup.  Enjoy.
I like to double the recipe and freeze the leftovers.  A few minutes in the toaster oven and you've got a quick and oh so yummy breakfast. You're welcome.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Take on Cloth Diapers

As we prepared for the arrival of our little Audie, we quickly realized that due to our change in income (which is almost half of what it used to be now that I am no longer working) using cloth diapers was the right choice for us. As I did research, I was also further convinced by, what I consider, to be the other advantages of cloth diapers. I will not take much time in going into too many of the details simply because others out there have already done it. So, here is my run-down on cloth diapers:

Here is the article that started it all for me:

These are the two websites where I bought the diapers because they were running a good promotion: and

These are the diapers I use: and here is their official website:
Here is a link to their FAQs which I thought was helpful:

These are the wipes I use: (to start out, I bought two sets so a total of 20 wipes - I am pretty confident that this will be plenty since I should only need to use one or two wipes when there is a poopy diaper.) Some people use a spray bottle with a solution of baby wash, baby oil, and water to spray the wipe right before using it, and others pre-soak the wipes in a solution (or just water) and keep them in a regular wipes container. I did this at the beginning, but now that Audie is only pooping once or twice a day, I keep the wipes dry and wet them when I need them. Also, some people use disposable wipes when they are not at home, but like everything else disposable, I try not to do that in order to save money. So, I take pre-soaked wipes with me in a travel-sized wipes container.

This is the smaller wet bag that I keep in the diaper bag for when we are out and about:

This is the laundry detergent I use now for ALL of our laundry: and here is their official site: (You have to use a natural detergent with little-to-no chemicals otherwise a residue will develop on the diapers and they would no longer be absorbent)

The process: Wet diapers go directly into the wet bag until laundry day. Poopy diapers and wipes get rinsed off in the sink (since we pretty much only use this sink for rinsing out diapers, it gets cleaned and disinfected about once a week). Some people install a kitchen sprayer to the back of their toilet and rinse the diapers that way. (Keep in mind, the "rinsing" is mostly for a younger baby's diaper since the poop is still "loose." When the child gets older and the poop becomes more solid, you can just dump it in the toilet.) Pretty much everything rinses easily off of the liners, and then the liners go into the wet bag until laundry day. Some people I guess think it's gross because they think poop and whatever else gets in the washing machine, but instead, everything gets rinsed in either the toilet or sink and a mostly clean diaper goes into the wash. Some people also think that since you may be doing more laundry and using more water, that cloth diapers aren't as practical as they sound because your water bill may go up. Even if your water bill goes up, you are still saving THOUSANDS of dollars PER CHILD (keep in mind that ALL cloth diapering supplies you buy can be reused with each baby that comes along - if the diapers are taken care of properly of course). And in an effort to save even more money, I try to line dry everything as often as possible.

Benefits of using cloth:
The cost - I've already mentioned that.
The fabric - soft organic cotton (or hemp, or other all-natural fibers depending on what brand you use) instead of disposables that are filled with chemicals
Less chance of diaper rash - while a rash may appear at some time (if the baby is sick or on medication), if the diaper is being changed regularly, your child is far less likely to develop a diaper rash due to the above point "the fabric"
Environmentally friendly - less waste and especially important...less waste filled with human feces that is sitting in a landfill somewhere
The look - cloth diapers look adorable! And depending on the brands/styles, they come in TONS of different colors and prints!

Here is another great link about why I chose cloth diapers. Seriously, why aren't more people doing this? :)

If you are curious about cloth diapers, I hope this helps to gives you a better idea of what cloth diapering is all about. There is a TON of information and a TON of different products and brands out there. The key is to do your research and make an educated decision for what is best for your family. Disposables are not your only option! Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions at all!

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And seven months later...

...I'm back (with a 5 month old and almost ZERO down time!). In fact, I'm hoping to sit here for just a few minutes while Audie takes a nap - hopefully a nap that will last longer than the usual 20-30 minutes. I used to think that 20-30 minutes was a reasonable amount of time. Turns out it is just long enough to use the bathroom, straighten up the living room, and unload about half of the dishwasher. That's it. Then he's wide awake again despite my futile attempts at getting him back to sleep. I then unload the rest of the dishwasher one-handed while I hold him in the other. Oh how I've mastered the art of "one-handedness." In fact, I am currently typing with one hand as I manage a breast pump with the other.

But all is fantastically wonderful in the world of "babyhood." I am completely head-over-heels in love with a short, fat, bald, little man who throws up on me (among other things)on a regular basis. I couldn't be happier! The Lord blessed me with a healthy pregnancy, an amazing delivery, and the most precious baby boy in the world! I really can't complain. Although Audie takes only short naps during the day and fights sleep as if his life depended on him staying awake, he usually sleeps well at night, and is, for the most part, a very happy, laid back little guy. (Oh by the way, he just woke up - 20 minutes on the dot.)

So now as a mother and all day "stay-at-homer" (literally - my husband and I share a car), I have realized that I would like to use this blog to post things that interest me as a stay-at-home mom in hopes that others like myself, might stubble upon it and see things that interest them. So, I shall start with my first baby-related post: Cloth Diapers.