Friday, May 27, 2011

Small Blogging Break

My family was planning on going on vacation this week to visit my husbands grandmother but sadly a week before our planned trip was able to happen she passed away. We've been out for her funeral and have been spending time with my husbands family, so unfortunately I've had to take a break from blogging.

When I do get a chance to get back to blogging, I thought I would write a piece on death and what I've learned about how to talk to your kids about it.

It will probably be a boring piece but it might be useful down the line.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For All Those Escape Artists

A couple of weeks ago we found out that while Aaden was in his car seat he would slide his buckle down and wiggle his arms out of the straps. There was nothing I could do to keep him in his car seat safely. We tightened the straps, I scolded him, I tried to reward him, but the fun of becoming Houdini was much more exciting.

So I went online to find out if there was any solution, any gadget I could buy or quick fix I could do. After about 5 hours of scouring the internet all I found was a whole lot of parents that had the same problem, other parents scolding them for not being better parents, and not a lot of help.

What I did find was a lot of reccomendations to switch out my buckle to a more child proof one, but at the time Aaden wasn't unbuckling the buckle he was just sliding it down (a different story now). The buckle they recommended I change to is this one (Link to Amazon) . I also found a website (unfortunately I couldn't find it again) that sold these little gadget that you clip onto the strap so that if your child does open the buckle the straps still stay were they need to and your kid doesn't get out.  But, they charged $19.99 per fancy clip plus shipping costs and I took one look at it and realized I could make the exact same thing for under $10.

At first I found this at Walmart:

Mitten clips. They were on sale for only $2 since they are out of season. And it worked great till Aaden figured out how to open the clip. So I bought suspenders that had a smaller clip that he couldn't open and  made my own.

Here is mine:

I cut and hand stitched the strap together. I'm not trying to go for fancy or make more to sell, just trying to get something to work to keep my son strapped in. So far it has worked, but that's just for quick around town drives. I'm curious how it will do keeping him secure in his seat on a long drive. Once we go on one I will let you know. OR! if you make your own and test it out, PLEASE let me know how it works for you.

I first put the clip under the buckle because he hadn't figured out how to undo it yet, he just knew how to slide it down and wiggle his arms out

Now, Aaden knows how to unbuckle the buckle so I moved the clip above the buckle so even if he gets it open the straps stay where they are at and he stays safe.

I know in these last 2 pictures his buckle is too low but I just put him in the seat so I could take the pictures. You can tell he was so happy about it :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bring On the Pregnancy Comments...

This post is from my cousin-in-law, Abbey,  who I just love so dearly. She writes her own mom blog called which I love reading and I completely recommend to everyone. Abbey is incredibly pregnant right now and sent this post to me to put up that she wrote right before she had her first child. I thought I'd put it up because, If you have ever been pregnant you have run into at least half of these comments, and I hope you laugh and associate with this as much as I did.

Thank you Abbey!

In case you were interested in unleashing the wrath of pregnancy hormones, here are, in my opinion, the 10 most incredibly annoying things I have heard in the past 8 1/2 months. Please note: if you have, in fact, uttered one of these statements, please don't feel bad (or offended). Mostly, these things are just annoying in repetition. Because you weren't the only one saying it. I decided this post would be a helpful, informative guide to dealing with the preggers in your life.

10. It's a shame that such young girls are getting pregnant these days. There are several variations to this comment, and I've had a few. This is partially due to the fact that I look like a pregnant 5th-grader (I'll appreciate my youthful looks when I'm 40, I think). This is also partially due to the fact that people are not smart. Seriously. Take a look at my left hand. I'm married. And my age is none of your business. But just to get you off my back, I'm almost 25 and have been married for 3 years. Plenty old enough to be starting a family, in my opinion.

9. You'll need practice for when that baby comes. Spoken mostly by other parents, this comment really pisses me off. Obviously, I have no idea what I'm doing. I get that. But, do I want to practice on your child? Absolutely not. Especially since your child is the one screaming/throwing a fit/running down the hallway.

8. Your life is going to change once that baby comes! What?!?! You're kidding me! A newborn is going to change my schedule a little? I'm shocked, really shocked. I might be a first-time mom, but I'm not an idiot. That being said, I can guarantee you that I'll still be going out to eat, watching my TV shows, and taking the occasional nap. I do have a husband (see #10).

7. You've got way too much stuff for this baby. I really just don't understand this comment. First of all, what is it that I'm not going to use? The carseat? Maybe the stroller? Perhaps the diapers? Or, maybe the crib. Second, who cares if I've got a lot of stuff? We've had a long, hard road to parenthood, and I'm excited to welcome this baby into our family. If that means I have "overprepared", then so be it. You ought to be excited for us, too.

6. Your feet are really swollen! Really? Because I hadn't noticed the throbbing pain every time I take a step (or just stand up). Also, I hadn't noticed that NONE of my shoes fit. But thank you so much for telling me!

5. You're about ready to pop! Closely related to #1, this deserves its own section. In church on Sunday TEN different people said this to me. Ten! Really, people, I'm NOT ready to pop. First of all, I've still got 5 weeks to go. Second, that's just another way of saying "you're fat".

4. What is the baby's name? This question in and of itself isn't annoying at all. I really don't mind when people ask me. What I do mind, though, is when people continue to pester me after I tell them that we don't have one picked out yet. Honestly, we don't have a name, and you standing here asking me repeatedly isn't going to change that.

3. I never got THAT big with my babies! Well, good for you! I, however, am this big with my baby. Have you looked at my body type? I am barely 5'3" and am pretty short-waisted. Where do you think this baby is going to hide? In addition to that, my baby is growing in my arms, face, thighs, and rear end. But thanks for pointing out that you were never as big as me.

2. Whoa! Are there two in there? No, actually, I'm just very large. But thanks for bringing that to my attention.

1. Haven't you had that baby yet? that a real question? Because isn't it obvious by looking?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Easy Clips and the Pull-Through Ponies

I was incredibly excited when I found out that my first born was going to be a girl. I have always loved doing hair. As a little girl I wanted a bunch of Barbie dolls so that I could do their hair and once I could braid I was doing friends' hair every chance I could. I assumed that my baby girl was going to be born balled like I was and prepared myself to patiently wait for her hair to go in. To my surprise she was born with a head full of dark brown hair.

But, after a couple of months her thick brown hair fell out completely.
It took forever to grow back in and when it did she had a bunch of fine, thin fly-aways that I had a hard time taming.

I did the sprout look for a long time.
And looking back I really should have stopped doing that and started doing these hairstyles sooner. These 2 styles are the first that I learned and they are both quick and easy to do.

First, The easy sweep over and clip look. It's a fantastic way to quickly give your little girl a clean look.

This all really depends on the clip you use and how you clip the hair in. Thicker hair needs a more sturdier clip like this:

But, if you try to put that into my daughter's hair it would slide right out. We use these kinds of clips:

Now, the quick way of setting the clip in the hair is to slide it right in front like this:

This works well on all hair types and will keep the hair in place pretty well. But, I like this look a little better:
You just pull a front section of hair back and place the clip in at the desired spot. If you get enough of the pulled back hair in the clip and you place the clip close enough to the roots it should stay in really well. It takes just a couple of seconds to put the clip in and an easy look for the whole day.

From collages

NEXT! The pull-through ponytail. Once you've mastered this little trick there are so many hairstyles you can do with it.

Take a front section of hair and wrap it with a rubber band. Do not wrap it around the hair too tight, maybe one less wrap than what you would do for a regular ponytail.

Then, push your finger straight through the hair just under the rubber band, from the front of the head through the hair towards the back of the hair next to the scalp. This will make a hole underneath the ponytail to then loop the ponytail hair through.
Bring the hair through the hole by bringing it from the front of the head through towards the back of the head (The same direction you pushed your finger through).

Take the hair that you just pulled through and divide it into 2 pieces and then gently pull them away from each other in order to tighten the rubber band and create that tight pulled-through look.
This will definitely take you a couple of tries to actually get it right and that's okay. Once you do get it down then it's just fun to figure out how you can work it into a new hairstyle like these:

Really, just have fun and play with it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Shameful Hiding Place

For those of you that don't know me personally, this is where I live:
Yes, I live in a trailer. My first shame I've been working on getting over for the past 2 1/2 years. We moved here very quickly and this was the most affordable and easiest place for us to move into. It's surprisingly nice inside with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a large step-down living room and was a great fit for our family…at first. Since we moved in we've had another child and we quickly found out that these things don't come with any extra storage space. We put a shed in and have packed that to the brim and now we're busting at the seams in this small space. No closet left unturned, no space underneath beds are unused! 

Now this brings me to my next shameful admittance in this blog piece. I have now resorted to storing things here:

Yes, that is a bath tub. That is the bathtub in my kids' bathroom! I'm so ashamed! We are so running out of space! It all started with storing items from a function I was in charge of, then my work stuff got put in there and now, Easter and birthday presents are being hidden in there. Our kids take baths in our bathroom in the spacious garden tub so this tub has been sitting empty for a while. It was a quick fix at first to get things off our dining room table but now… I just can't think of (or find) a new place to put all this stuff. 

I'm not this person! I have organized, re-organized, eliminated, garage sale-ed, given away everything that I could and still this is what I have resorted to. I try to run a nice, organized home but we've never lived anywhere I really feel like we could stretch out and really make it our home. We're always busting at the seams and that doesn't make me feel like it's our home. I want a place that feels like our home! Not just a house but a HOME for my kids. 

That's not a bad thing to ask for as mom right? and I don't want to keep going crazy organizing and cleaning anymore! Or be ashamed of my storage alternatives ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Have a Crazy Eggy Easter!

By Jana

We have spent almost every Easter with my in-laws so truthfully we don’t have that many Easter traditions of our own.  We love decorating Easter eggs and rolling eggs in sand tracks with the family.  We usually have deviled eggs or Egg salad sandwiches. Here is the deviled egg recipe I usually use:

Deviled eggs

6 eggs (Hard boiled)
¼ C Miracle Whip
2 ½ tsp mustard
1/8 tsp salt
Paprika to sprinkle
Peel and have the hard cooked eggs remove yolks and mash with miracle whip, mustard and salt.  Refill egg whites and sprinkle with Paprika

And instead of decorating sugar cookies we have made our own eggs:

PB Easter eggs
6 T butter
¼ C Peanut Butter 
¼ C marshmallow cream
1 ¾ C Powdered Sugar
¾ lb milk Chocolate candy coating
2 T shortening

Cream butter, peanut butter and marshmallow cream together

Beat in powdered sugar drop on wax paper on a cookie sheet and form into egg shape freeze for about 10 minutes.  Microwave chocolate and shortening dip eggs in chocolate place back on wax paper and decorate with sprinkles.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pretty Headbands!

So, I just bought this group of headbands at the dollar store 2 weeks back and the little pack of rubber bands the other day so I got really excited and revved up to start this little series hairstyle tips for little girls. And since I fell in love with these headbands so much I thought I would start out our little series with them

Now,  I know what your thinking, "Headbands are easy! why would you do a piece on doing hair with headbands?" Well, headbands are easy to put on a head but they are hard to keep them on and looking good. So, here is my way of making the hair look clean and flawless as well as helping keep the headband in all day.

This is what my daughter looks like every morning when she gets out of bed:
I, in no way, changed her hair for this picture. Crazy looking huh! In order to tame this crazy do I use these products:
Spray bottle with water, spray gel (usually this is the cheapest brand), leave-in conditioner (she has very fine, thin hair and we live in a very dry state), plastic hair bands, and I use the roller brush to do her hair but most people use a comb.

Now, in order to get a good look for headbands I put a bit of her hair into a ponytail where the bow is in order for it to look clean and then the ponytail helps keep the headband to stay put. What I usually do is put the headband on her head to gage where the ponytail is to go.

Then I section off the hair and put in the ponytail. NOTE: while making the ponytail hold the hair close to the head when wrapping it with the rubber band.  That way the ponytail will lie close to the head and not point out in a funny way. (If you are wetting the hair and blow-drying it, wet it down before you put the ponytail in and then blow dry after.)

Once you're all done, put the headband back on and this is what it will look like:

And I think that looks better than this:

If you're not wetting and blow drying the hair this little do will only take a couple of minutes. I really like it because with the ponytail in and keeping the headband in place, my daughter is less likely to play with it all day. And this is an easy do to do on any hair length and thickness. All you need to do is just take a small amount of hair from her natural part and hide it behind the bow on the headband. A little effort with a great look for the whole day!
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