Monday, March 28, 2011

For safety's sake...

I don't know what I was thinking by getting a brand new set of drinking glasses last year when I was "revamping" my dining decor with new glasses and new cutlery. We have toddlers now and although they are not drinking from glasses, glasses still get broken. I started out with a full 16 piece contemporary drinking glass set (that I love) but now I've only got about half of the pieces left from what's been broken or even lost throughout the house. Yes, somehow we lose glasses, I don't know how.
So, now I've started my project of packing up our porcelain dishes and glassware and replacing it with reusable plastic drink ware and unbreakable Corelle dishes. Reusable because of two things: 1. It saves us money from having to constantly buy disposable plastic cups and paper plates, and 2. It counts as our little part of helping the planet by reducing our carbon footprint by way of not throwing away paper plates and disposable plastic cups. After I started cloth diapering last summer it really made me sit back and take a look at the other areas of our home that we could make more responsible changes. The kitchen was the first thing that came to mind. We simply quit buying disposable dining products and started using dish towels and wash cloths in lieu of paper towels. We still buy and use paper towels from time to time, but we use the "select-a-size" version to last us longer and to prevent more waste from happening.
Anyway, the straw that broke the camel's back this weekend (when it comes to safety) was when Eric was loading the dishwasher. He opened the cabinet to put something away, a snack bowl fell out and landed on top of a glass sitting on the counter. The glass broke and shattered instantly then it fell off the counter landing right on top of Eric's bare foot. His foot was bleeding, and he grabbed the broom to sweep up the shattered debris while I wrangled the kids in attempt to keep them out of the kitchen. It could have been a lot worse, especially if Eric or I wasn't there as an extra pair of hands. The kids love to hang out in the kitchen if at least one of us is in there so it frightened me that there were pieces of dangerous broken glass all throughout the kitchen (and the kids prefer to walk around barefoot). That was my little nudge into getting safer, non-breakable items for our kitchen.

Here's a deal I came across on Target.com for a set of 8 "splattered" plastic tumblers for only $5.58!
Follow this link to check it out.



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yummy recipe!

I wanted to share with everyone the lasagna recipe that my dear friend Christina shared on her blog recently. I made it for Saturday night's dinner and it is absolutely delicious! The kids loved it too! Check out the recipe here.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

The differences between Mommy and Daddy

This is just one instance of many when I sit there and analyze how different I (Mommy) am from Eric (Daddy). Not when it comes to parenting, just when it comes to handling certain moments. We both handle matters with concern. Resolutions to said matters are simply executed differently between the two of us.
Thursday night, more like Friday morning, Kaylan woke and couldn't find her paci in the crib with her. This is a regular occurrence in our home each night with one of us going into her room during the night at least once. We've tried to encourage her to look for it herself but sometimes it actually ends up out of the crib and onto the floor.
Anyway, Thursday night. Kaylan woke screaming. After the silent showdown between Eric and I, each of us waiting for the other to be tired of hearing the screaming enough to go in to Kaylan's rescue, Eric finally got up. He knows when I throw my pillow over my head to muffle the sound of a crying baby that it's his turn to go.
I nodded off once I knew he was up, until I heard Kaylan scream bloody murder a few minutes later.
I quickly jumped up and went straight to her room. I walked in, her room light was on and Kaylan was sitting up on her knees, screaming in sheer panic, almost ready to throw up. Eric had thrown the blanket over her head in attempt to not disrupt her with the bright light, but that seemed to startle her even more. Meanwhile, Eric was on his side, laying on the floor in nothing but his boxers, looking for Kaylan's paci on the floor. Immediately, I turned the light off and got Kaylan up out of the crib. The girl seemed traumatized. Eric said, "I can't see anything now." Really? I then handed Kaylan off to Eric for him to take her to our *dark* room so I could look for the paci with the light on, all without disturbing her. It was nowhere to be found at the time (we just found it today), so I grabbed the back-up paci out of my make-up bag and Kaylan was pleased enough to go back down in her crib, as wide-eyed as she was after what had happened.
Granted, it was 2:00 in the morning and Eric was in zombie mode not expecting his daughter's paci to up and disappear like it did. It kinda made me wish I let him sleep and I had gotten up to handle the matter. I'm not saying that any bit of what I do is better compared to how Eric is a father. But at least I would have had enough sense to avoid draping the covers over my child's head as she sat straight up in her crib, already caught of guard by a missing paci and a bright light filling the room. He meant well, I know he really did. But I think the light to her room was the only bright thing in there for the moment.



Monday, March 21, 2011

The Sippy Files

So, I'm guessing I birthed two of the laziest kids when it comes to each of them holding their own beverage.
K never got around to holding her own bottle when she was bottle feeding, but somewhere around 10 or 11 months of age she got the hang of holding her sippy cup and drinking from it. That ability didn't come without weeks of trying a billion different kinds/brands of sippy cups. I don't mean to exaggerate, we really only bought about 8 different kinds, and none of them resulted in the magical ability for her to automatically grasp the concept of drinking from something other than a bottle. Finally, Mommy went old school. I thought back to my childhood, and what I remembered was drinking from the primary colored Tupperware cups with the sippy lids. Do they still make those? Yes! In fabulous bright colors too! As soon as I got my hands on these types of cups we gave it a shot and Tupperware was the answer to my sippy cup prayers. Who's to say that K was just tired of giving me a run for my sippy cup budget money and finally decided to give in to drinking from something other than a bottle? Who knows, maybe I humored her enough by bringing her various brightly colored grails for her to chew on and shake around much less drink from.
As Kaylan got older, becoming more mobile and acquiring a little brother, we switched her to a sippy cup with the leak proof valve. That way she could leave it laying around where she pleased and I wouldn't have a puddle to wipe up. And Dylan can get a hold of it and shake it around without whole milk showering over him.
Now, it's Dylan's turn. And so far, it hasn't been fun. He absolutely refuses the sippy cup. He never got around to holding his bottle for more than a minute, so there is no way he is going to willingly take to using a sippy cup as quickly as I want him to.
Lately, whenever we hand him his sippy while he is in his highchair, he will pick it up and throw it down on the floor. When we were first introducing the sippy cup to him, Eric and I both thought that maybe he just needed to know that there was something in there for him to drink. So, we would kinda help him tilt his head up just enough to where he could drink from the sippy. D really didn't like that, and now whenever we come at him with a sippy cup he instantly shoves it away. For the boy to be not even a year old, he's pretty strong and he doesn't mind putting up a fight. I can't even get the cup near his hands for him to hold it himself, he wants nothing to do with it.
I went into parenting the second child thinking that I could use the things I learned from parenting the first child. That is a serious misconception; because as every pregnancy is different, so is each child. One thing I swore I would not do again is buy a ton of different sippy cups to find the *right* one. My mindset was "the right one is the one I say he will use". Yeah...I went to Babies r Us on Saturday and bought a couple different (different from the ones we already have for Kaylan) sippy cups in hopes that it will at least ease the transitioning if nothing else.
Tommee Tippee cups are what have been recommended to me by a couple fellow mommies so that was what I purchased, one of the "first sips" cup and one of the "transition" cups. They both seem pretty similar to each other except in size. We introduced the transition sippy to D on Sunday. It has a flexible spout like a bottle, but the spout is shaped to where it is more sip friendly (as opposed to sucking) and it also prevents the child from having the tendency to bite down on it and using it as a teether.
The first couple tries didn't go so well. I was tempted to not give him a choice but to drink from the cup. If he kept refusing it, he would have to get thirsty eventually, right? Then he would have to drink from a sippy cup. I opted out of going to that measure since he was still less than a year old and needed his formula. So, before each bottle we would practice with the sippy even if it meant we would get nowhere with it.
Today showed a slightly better result. By this afternoon he took about two ounces of his formula from his sippy cup (I held it for him while he drank) and then he finished off with the bottle. There's a bit of hope that we can get this transition behind us. As simple as it seems to me, it's not such a welcomed change to my little creature of habit. I at least want him to be able to hold and drink from a sippy in time for his birthday party ;) Wish us luck!



My Review of Bergamo Toy Box - Natural

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

The Bergamo Toy Box is a wonderful addition to any room. The toy box provides ample storage for toys, games, blankets, or pillows. The rich finish compliments any room and is easy to assemble.


Great purchase

By GaMomOf2 from Savannah, GA on 3/21/2011

 

5out of 5

Pros: Durable, Convenient, Lots of Storage, Kid- Friendly

Best Uses: Toys, Home, Books

Describe Yourself: Stay At Home Parent, Parent Of Two Or More Children

Was this a gift?: No

We are very glad to have purchased this particular toy box! My husband put it together within an hour (while watching a movie). It is very sturdy and a decent size, even roomier than I had imagined. Our play area went from a V-tech battlefield to a clean, open play area for the kids thanks to their new toy box. Very happy with the purchase of this item, can't do without it now!

(legalese)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

"My Irish twins are celebrating in St. Patrick's Day style today! Dylan won't put the bottle down and Kaylan just puked everywhere."

^That was my Facebook status on Thursday, St. Patrick's Day.
It was awful, Kaylan was in such a crabby mood, and I can't really blame her for that because I woke up feeling the same way.
Earlier in the week, Dylan had a runny nose for a day or two and then that was it, no fever, vomiting, or restless nights. He would have a few little sneezing spells so I chalked it up to allergies, the pollen out here is stupid crazy!
By Wednesday, Kaylan's nose had started to run just a little here and there, not like a faucet or anything, so I figured since Dylan dried up Kaylan would do the same. Wrong again Mommy! Thursday, Eric took some time off work and got home around 10 in the morning for all of us to go to town and take care of errands and enjoy a weekday for once. It gets so busy around the malls and stores over the weekends when it's overwhelming enough to get two kids out of the house for an afternoon. We had such a lovely, fun filled day planned out, but it was anything but that. We got all of our errands taken care of, but Kaylan was absolutely miserable. And by the time we got home, she was upset (from not feeling all that well), tired and exhausted. As soon as we got in the door she had a meltdown and got so worked up she started puking all over Eric. She continued being crabby throughout the evening, she hardly even touched her dinner--and the girl normally stuffs her face at every meal. We went on to do the bath-to-bed routine with the kids, but when it was time for pajamas, she had yet another meltdown and puked all over Eric...again.
I felt so helpless, knowing she felt like crap and there wasn't much of anything I could do about it. Unfortunately, for her young age, there aren't any medicines to help treat allergies/colds (the only ones I've seen are for children age 4 and up). If it was anything less, I wouldn't worry so much about medication because I don't like feeling as if I'm dosing up my kid. I just really hate to see my child suffer through such a thing because I knew just how miserable she felt.
First things first, we laid Dylan down to get that out of the way, he was feeling okay after all and he's our better sleeper. We changed K's pajamas, rubbed some vapor rub on her chest, gave her a dose of children's Motrin to treat any pain such as headache due to sinus pressure, then we gave her a sippy cup with some ice water in it to help soothe her (possible) soar throat (what I was experiencing). She refused to go to bed for a little while and simply wanted to be held and cuddled. Eric and I sat side by side as she laid in my arms the way I held her when she was a baby. As I was nodding off myself, Eric finally got her in his arms and convinced her that it was time to lay down for bed, then we laid her down together. She didn't put up a fight at all. Daddy has a magic touch too!
Once that was done, I took whatever kind of sinus/cold medication we had (luckily we had the night time formula) and collapsed into bed by 10 that night. I felt like crap that day, with so much pressure in my head and sinus cavities that it made my teeth hurt. And a scratchy soar throat that felt like I had swallowed broken glass. Sleep = sweet relief. I can't remember the last time I went to sleep that early, and I did not have a problem with it whatsoever.
The next day, Kaylan seemed to have broken her fever during the night and was back to being more of herself that morning. She obviously still felt kinda droopy because all she wanted to do was cuddle with me the entire day. I can't complain about that. Eric got home from work early Friday afternoon and saw his boy playing and laughing, and his two girls cuddling on the couch. And a peaceful weekend ensued.
Thank you God. Even though we are faced with occasional illnesses, we have the comfort, love and company of our families.

Interesting fact to tie into the St. Patrick's Day theme:
Irish Twins
The term is used to describe two children born to the same mother in the same calendar year or within twelve months of each other. The phrase originated as a derogatory term associated with Irish immigration to the United States and England in the 1800's. The implication was that large groups of close-in-age siblings were the result of uneducated, poor Irish Catholic families' lack of birth control as well as self-control.

In modern use, the term is not intended as an insult, but rather a description of siblings born close together. Irish twins are not actually twins and they are not the same as having twins, which are defined as two siblings born from the same gestation.
(Source: About.com)



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wholesome Chicken and Rice


Ingredients:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3 cups instant/minute brown rice
3 cups water
1/2 cup broth from cooked chicken
2 cans cream of celery soup*
1 cup fresh leaf spinach, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp paprika
salt and ground black pepper

*For a more wholesome, homemade meal, you can substitute the canned soup for a couple cups of your own homemade cream of celery soup.

Directions:
In large pot, bring water to a boil. Add rice, cover then remove from heat. Let set 5 minutes then fluff the rice with a fork. Next, add remaining ingredients: cream of celery soup, chicken broth, shredded cooked chicken, chopped spinach, garlic, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well then simmer on low for 5-10 minutes. Now you have a quick, comforting and easy home cooked meal. Refrigerate leftovers.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Etsy Find: Crafting Out Loud

A couple weeks ago I found one of the most adorable shops on Etsy called Crafting Out Loud, selling handcrafted toys and accessories. There I found such cute knitted hats for kids!
We got ours in the mail to us within a week of placing the order. But, due to the unpredictable weather down here in the south, I came close to packing them away until the next fall/winter season. Never had I wanted cold windy weather to cut through when spring is almost sprung. I thought to myself that I may have made this order at the wrong time of year...but how could I have passed up something so stinkin' cute? I'm glad I went for it!
Just yesterday (Saturday) we made an early day out of it, and headed out to town for a family day out. The temperature outside when we left was 39 degrees and a bit windy! Yay! I get to put the hats on the kids!!!!



K is sporting her koala hat and D is wearing his froggy hat. I can't help but smile when they are wearing them! The first time we tried them on after the hats came in the mail, I cracked up laughing and so did the kids, haha!
These winter hats are very well crafted, I'm talking QUALITY! Plus, with the hats being knitted, they will have a little stretch to them so they will be able to last through at least a couple seasons. They fit very well while providing a little room for growth and comfortable wear. And I especially like the protection over the ears. I only paid about $35 for the two hats that we purchased and I feel like it was well worth it.
So...even though warmer weather is practically here, I would still highly recommend these hats for the fall and winter months to come in the future! Find a link to the store in the right side bar under "Cool stuff I love".

**The review on these items is simply my opinion that I wish to share for anyone that may be interested. I do not benefit from reviewing this item/shop. :)**



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday

I promise to do another real post sooner or later. There's just so much going on in this busy mom brain of mine to sit and put thoughts together. Today, I caught some amazing pictures of my baby girl.
Kaylan, when not in her Little Miss Sass mode, likes to show affection and a sense to nurture. She'll come out of nowhere and rub Dylan's back while they're sitting side by side, playing; or she'll pat the top of his head as she walks by him. K also "babies" her stuffed animals by holding them to her chest, patting their backs, rocking them in her chair, etc.
Today, while we were in the kitchen/play area (former dining area) of the house, K and D were in their normal play mode and I had just fixed a glass of ice water for myself. Suddenly, Kaylan scooped up her sock monkey and ran towards me and pointed up toward the sink where I was still standing. She spoke her jibberish and finished the statement off with "ba!" I squatted down to her level because I think she likes talking to me better when I'm at the same level as she is. And it seemed like she repeated herself word for word to try and make an effort to get the point across, ending in "ba!" every time... She wanted to give Sock Monkey a bath!
Soooo...I sat her up on the counter next to the sink, ran the water. She made a point to *wash* his hands (that's where we wash Kaylan's hands before and after lunch each day) as she spent the entire time laughing and smiling. Bath time only lasted a minute or so, I didn't want Sock Monkey to get too soggy. I got K down from the counter and she helped me get a "fresh" flannel receiving blanket out of the dryer (not really fresh, it was there from last night, hadn't gotten to folding yet) for her to use as a towel to dry her baby. She wrapped him up and held him and even swayed back and forth. Then she laid him on the floor as if she was either going to put a diaper on him or lay him down for a nap.
A sweet little moment. It lasted for five minutes in time but forever in my heart!





And, we can't leave out my handsome little Bean :) He's been pulling up to standing a lot more--especially today! He even attempted to stand up on his own without having anything to pull himself up with. He was stuck on all fours (hands and feet) for a few seconds then plopped down on his butt! Oh, I hope it won't be long before he is walking soon! He expresses *zero* desire to walk or move his feet at all. Eric and I will stand him up to practice walking and he keeps his feet planted to the ground and will just lean his upper body in the direction we try to walk him in! He thinks that is the funniest thing apparently! Hopefully he will get the hang of it soon, whether with our help or on his own. I know it will make him a bit more happier to keep up with Kaylan and to get around the house easier. He still has a tendency to break down whenever I or Kaylan and I leave the room.
And D's second tooth managed to cut through the day following his first. He now has two white little stumps on his bottom gum. Only 18 more to go for him! We're halfway through Kaylan's teething! Ugh, will the teething ever be over with?!



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hey everyone! The new blog address will be www.sweetmamasblog.blogspot.com

I will be changing this before my next post, which may be tonight. Please take note, thanks everyone for following! You guys are the best!



Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Hubby is awesome!!!!!

Eric has been great this weekend when it comes to checking things off his honey-do list!
I think he felt bad after I told him this weekend that I was tired of everyone else borrowing him, haha! He's MINE for crying out loud! Let ME keep him busy!
So, without me asking him to, he installed a wire pantry rack on the door of our laundry room. This means more space in the "pantry" for groceries and it creates a better opportunity for me to use coupons by buying multiple items (and having a little more room for me to put them). It looks great and I am very happy with it!


For only $22 (from Lowe's) this little space maker is a good value, offering a simple solution for those of us without pantries or abundant cabinet space. They come in different sizes, but this smaller one works perfect for us!

Later this evening, Eric installed our enclosed blinds on the french doors! These blinds are awesome because it provides better insulation with the blinds and an extra sheet of glass on the window of the door. They are also super safe due to the fact that the blinds aren't hanging there for kids or animals to get tangled up in. It provides an outer tempered safety glass, and no cords to make the adjustments. You simply raise/lower and open/close the blinds using the adjustable switches on each side. It looks wonderful, no more ripped up and stained curtains!


These "add-on" treatments come in two different sizes: 64", which is the kind that we bought, and the 32(?)" (whatever the measurement is for the doors with the half-window on them). We found ours at Lowe's and paid around $100 on each.

As stated in the post title: My hubby is awesome! Oh, and don't let me forget to mention that he cooked dinner Saturday night--not on the grill either! I'm a bit spoiled this weekend!


***NOTE: I am planning on changing the url address of my blog very soon. I'll be sure to keep a reminder on each of my posts up until the moment it switches over. I'll let you all know what the new address will be in the future. :)***



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Feeling lazy tonight so I would like to post some of our latest pictures of the week, one of which is Dylan after he pulled himself up to standing for the first time! Oh, and, Mommy got her cupcake fix and Kaylan shared in the fun!







In loving memory of my step brother, Kenneth Farless. Today would have been his 34th birthday. We love and miss him everyday. Happy Birthday Uncle Kenneth!



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dreaming of cupcakes

So, this morning was pretty chill. I had a box of devil's food cake mix and decided to make some chocolate lava cupcakes. When it comes to devil's food cake, I'd rather get it in a mix as opposed to making it from scratch. Besides, I've got two spastic kids that are being good for the moment so something quick and easy is ideal.
I open the box of Duncan Hines, pull the bag of mix out and the whole back seam was split open and there was cake mix powder covering the inside of the box. NOOOOOOO!!!!
As upset as I was, I called the Duncan Hines questions/comments hotline and spoke with Jim. He informed me that, even though it may "look" safe, the mix could be contaminated due to open air, causing the gasses to be released and further causing the cake not to rise/bake properly and even causing an unsatisfying taste.
Interesting.
Within the next 7-10 days I'll be recieving a coupon for free cake mix. I know I won't be able to wait that long, but I'll definitely get a box tonight to satisfy my cupcake craving then use the coupon when it comes in to get my hands on another box ;)
Now, I have to get over this crazy craving I have for chocolate cupcakes! DC Cupcakes is on the DVR and I have yet to watch an episode since the new season started. I'd better not watch it today or I will probably start drooling then crying, haha!