2.29.2012

The Lonely Crib

Yesterday Daddy asked where to put the box of spring clothes he dug out of the attic.

"Just toss it in the crib"

Then I wondered how the pretty crib we spent weeks picking out for Christopher ended up just being an oversize laundry bin.  I has been 4 years since it was assembled in the nursery with a pretty crib bumper and fancy mobile and I can't honestly remember any of my three boys spending an entire night in it.

Christopher was not a good sleeper, he spent most nights being rocked in his little bassinet at our bedside, we would be up in hour or so shifts, just rocking him.  After so many sleepless nights I was too tired to take him to the rocker to nurse at night so I started feeding him in bed. It wasn't long until I realized that if I fell asleep while nursing him he would sleep peacefully at my side for hours.

Hours.

That is how we ended up cosleeping,  It was either that or no sleeping and seriously there just isn't enough coffee in the world to make that decision.  I read the baby magazines at the doctors office, I felt like I was being accused of being a bad mom for not just putting him in his crib, shutting the door and letting him cry it out.  I never told anyone that we couldn't get him to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time and most of the time less than an hour. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but I was, I thought if I told you my baby doesn't sleep well that you would judge me for it.  I told people "he gets up once or twice" when I really meant he gets up once or twice an hour.  I refused to listen to him cry, it just seemed wrong, so I picked him up and brought him back to my bed and snuggled with him until he fell asleep, sometimes I would put him back in his bassinet, other times I would just keep him with me all night. When Chris was 9 months and walking we put the day bed side on the crib and put it at the foot of the bed, he would sleep there for a few hours and somehow eventually end up in our bed.

When Jacob was born we pulled out the bassinet and put it next to the bed, I would nurse him in our bed and put him back in the bassinet to sleep.  Once he was rolling over and pushing up to crawl I had him sleeping in the crib until he woke to eat and then just kept him in the bed.

If you are keeping count, that is four of us in one Queen sized bed.

Once Jacob was weened at a year, we picked up a toddler bed and put it at the foot of our bed next to the crib, the boys would fall asleep there and still eventually make it into our bed at some point.

Then came Dominic. While I was pregnant we moved a full size bed into the nursery for Chris & Jacob to share, finally I had enough room to stretch out my cramped legs.

Now I sleep in the Queen bed and Dominic sleeps in the pack & play in the same room. Daddy sleeps with the boys in their bed so he doesn't get woken up every time Dominic gets up.  Dominic nurses every 2-4 hours at night, sometimes he goes back in the pack & play, sometimes he stays with me.  The crib is full of laundry that needs to be put away.  The toddler bed is disassembled under my bed.  I have learned not to worry to much about how much they sleep or where they sleep.  We are happy, healthy and well rested and that is all that matters. 



Wordless Wednesday - Jacob & Dominic


2.16.2012

Cute Overload! Deal today on Totsy.

Curious Baby: My Curious World
Soft? Check.
Crinkly? Check.
Mirror? Check.
Ribbons? Check.
Everything Dominic Loves!
In a lovely little book with a message Mommy loves!
The price: $5 on Totsy with free shipping! AWESOME.

Looking for books for your Big Kids? Totsy has those too!

What is Totsy? 
Totsy is an online shop that offers 48-72 hour sales on brand name 
Mommy & Children's goods at up to 90% off retail.
How do I sign up?
Just click here and sign in with Facebook, EASY!
What about spam?
Totsy will send one daily email with a sampling of current and upcoming sales
so you can jump on the best deals before they sell out!

Yes, I am being compensated by Totsy (per facebook allow, not per purchase) 
but seriously I love Totsy and I am happy to share the deals with you!

Become.com Adventures in Informed Shopping



I'm a Mom, a busy one. So when it comes to shopping, I just don't have time to research the best products and prices.  This is where Become.com comes in.  They offer everything you need to get the best deal; buying guides, comparison shopping service, product reviews, articles, forums, and other useful shopping information. Become is the only fully integrated Web-wide product search and comparison shopping site on the Internet.

Become.com is fast and easy to use - great for Super Mom's who don't have time between refilling sippy cups and fingerprinting.  Become.com helps you make an informed purchase at the best price without the hours of research. What exactly do they offer you ask, here are some of my favorite features:

Relevant search results - no spam!

Focus on what you want  - choose the button that displays the results you want; all results, product reviews, buying guides, discussion forums, or product details.

What’s in the AIR™? AIR (Affinity Index Ranking) filters out the thousands of irrelevant results that other sites produce no more useless clicking through irrelevant pages.

‘No surprises’ price feature - Become gives you the total price including shipping and taxes, so you know the lowest price is really going to be the lowest price.  

What exactly do they have? On Become.com, you are sure to find what you are looking for - they have everything from circular saws with dust collection and clarks artisan black woven leather slides to console cup holders and jogging strollers.

 Post brought to you by your friends at Blogsvertise & Become.com but I really do think it is pretty awesome.

2.15.2012

Am I Feeding Toddlers or Monsters?

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like the kids know you are exhausted
so they are intentionally bringing out their inner monster? 

I had one of those days this week, but now, I know why.


The kids got up extra early, 5 am, bad start to a bad day.  I brought them downstairs, put them in underwear, put on a movie, gave them each a sippy cup full of apple juice and a snack cup of cereal, made my coffee and settled down on the couch.  Within an hour every toy had been strewn about and I had to preform multiple boo-boo kisses because they kept tossing each other off the couch.  My head was pounding and my coffee was getting cold.  Both kids are hungry again, so I go to the kitchen to get some refills and reheat my coffee.  I hear a thud, Jacob's daredevil leap off of the table to the couch went wrong, more boo-boo kisses are distributed. I spent the rest of the morning running kids back and forth to the potty, cleaning up accidents and issuing timeouts.  My headache was getting worse, my coffee is still in the microwave.

Lunch time rolls around, the kids are begging for food so I throw together peanut butter and jelly, quick and easy. They devour it.  Sticky fingers are wiped.  Then they ask for more.  Back to the kitchen, reheat coffee again, cut up apple slices.  Another thud, rush back, more kisses issued, another timeout. Just noticed Sonic the Hedgehog is on, when did they learn to use netflix?  More craziness ensues, from 5am to 5pm, messes everywhere, didn't prep dinner, didn't do laundry, no crafts, no reading time. Poor Dominic is having a bad day, he hasn't had a single uninterrupted meal all day.  I haven't eaten at all.  I chugged my cold coffee.

What went wrong?

What can I change?

The next day 5am happens again, not cool.  Bring the kids downstairs, Chris gets his underwear, Jacob gets a cloth diaper, skip the movie and hand them each a book.  I am tired, but today I am going to play my best Super Mom roll and make breakfast.  I scramble eggs, cut them into stars, serve with toast and a sippy cup full of milk.  The kids sit and eat every last bite, I feed Dominic, then have some coffee.  The kids are civilized, no boo-boo kisses, cars are everywhere, but they are playing with them not throwing them at each other.  We have cheese and grapes for a snack. I get some chores done, we design felt robots, do some color sorting games.  They even clean up so I can vacuum the playroom.

Lunch time rolls around, I cook up some french toast, because it's what they asked for.  I add some yoghurt to dip in because kids like to dip, the food is eaten, sippy cups are filled with water.  The kids are happy.  We dance to some Less Than Jake and act like a bunch of goofballs for a bit.

Early afternoon we turn on the TV, I put on Bob the Builder, Jacob falls asleep, Chris watches quietly then asks me about making compost piles, so we talk about where garbage goes while I feed Dominic. Jacob gets up and they both play nicely while I prep dinner, Dominic naps peacefully.

What was the difference?

Food.  They ate good nutritious, low sugar foods and drinks on the good day and Fruit Loops on the bad day.  Did you know the first ingredient in Fruit Loops is sugar?  Avoiding sugar eliminates the crazy sugar highs and lows.  They focused on their tasks instead of just tearing things up and bouncing off the walls.

Quality activities.  We didn't start the day with the TV, we started with books, they were still sleepy so they happily curled up on the couch with their books.  The nutritious food made them more focused so they actually participated in craft time and enjoyed it.

Cloth trainer.  Jacob is potty training, he has good days & bad days.  He knows he is wet, he asks to go potty, they go on and off like underwear and I'm not cleaning puddles all day, cloth is a good transition for kids who aren't quite ready for underwear. 

Do you find what your child eats influences their behavior?  What foods do you avoid? What else do you have in your routine that helps keep chaos at bay?




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Wordless Wednesday - Having Fun



2.14.2012

Valentines Craft - Felt Roses

So if you want to show off your craftiness on a budget, try out this fun craft.  
This would make a great Valentine for Mommy or Grandma.
This one isn't very kid friendly in my house, 
but if your kids are old enough to use scissors they can do this.


All you need to make a dozen roses is two sheets of red eco-felt, 
a package of green pipe cleaners, scissors and glue.  



Cut each sheet of felt into 6 squares and round the corners.
 
Now you have 12 felt (almost) circles. 
Take each piece and cut a spiral, about 1/2 wide to the center. 
 Don't be too neat, imperfections add dimension. 
Clip off the little pointy end, Just because it makes the next step easier.


Then take each felt strip and roll it up from the outside to the middle and fold under the center part. 
As you roll it let it get a little more loose on the last couple rounds.


Now to hold together all of your pretty roses, just flip them over and glue the underside.
I used hot glue, but white school glue or tacky glue would work fine if you are doing this with kids.

Now the stems, twist a 1" diameter circle into the end, then fold it in half creating a figure eight, twist once or twice to secure.  Glue around the figure 8 shape and press onto the bottom of the rose. 


Once dry assemble your flowers into a bouquet and give to your Valentine.


Cost: under $2 for the supplies. Win!

If you think this craft is too lengthy to try...
It took me just under an hour, to make a dozen roses, 
While nursing a baby, supervising crazy toddlers and taking pictures.
 Just sayin.

2.13.2012

Crafty Valentines Cards

We love any excuse to pull out the glue sticks and make a mess, so today we have a special installment of craft time with toddlers, Valentines cards!

When I told the boys we were making cards for Nana & Grandma they were so excited!

I dug through my bag of craft scraps and pulled out every piece of pink, purple and blue I could find. I cut these into shapes, hearts, dots, butterflies and flowers, I dug through some old scrapbook supplies for some love quotes that were appropriate.  Then I folded two pieces of card stock in half, grabbed some appropriate colored crayons and glue sticks.


Then let the terrible two take over with their own creativity and chaos.
Sat back and took some pictures.



Finished Projects:



Cute, and tons of fun!

My 3 year old is smarter than me

And he knows it.  Today he decided to test me, he does this frequently, so I wasn't surprised when he held up a matchbox car with a sly grin that makes me completely aware that he knows the answer and is testing me.

Chris: "Mommy, what is this car?"

Mommy: "It's a Volkswagen Beetle."
Chris: "No, Mommy."
He goes off to rummage through his car collection and comes back with these:


Chris: "This Beetle, this Volkswagen"

Mommy: "Ok, if you are so smart, what is this?"

Chris: "That a Gurl bug car."
Mommy: "Alright what's this?"

Chris: "That a thing."
 Outsmarted by a three year old, it happens so often I'm not surprised anymore.

2.12.2012

Mommy & Me Monday -4-


My little bundle Dominic, all wrapped up in his heaviest fuzzy reindeer outfit, a Peanut Shell sling and Mommy's coat.  We were all toasty warm on a cold day.  His brothers were having a great time at the park while we just snuggled to keep warm. 

It was a good day. 

Too bad Chris had a complete meltdown when it was time to go.  Can't wait until Spring so we can spend more time outside and less time demolishing my house.

Mommy, get out from behind the camera and Join Mommy & Me Monday


Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Quick Infant Mittens - How To

Having my third little bundle I had plenty of clothes for the little guy, but what I didn't have was mittens, it seems my washer has eaten every single pair over the last four years leaving me with a single dingy white one.  This really wasn't an issue when he was in Newborn size clothes because the fold over sleeves. Now that my munchkin is in the next size, his monster claws have been grabbing and everything, leaving evil little claw marks on his own face and my poor defenseless boobies.


"Why don't you just trim his nails?"

In my best sarcastic voice: "Oh goodness, why didn't I think of that?"

I did, I cut his little baby nails, filed them all nice and smooth, an hour later they were back.

So instead of trimming his nails every hour I opted to make some mittens for him.

I started by digging through the bag of clothing that was so ridiculously stained and worn that the only reasonable purpose I could think of using them for was sewing diaper inserts.


I found a 12mo size fleece sleeper, but any size shirt, sleeper or pants with a rolled cuff should work, just cut off the end of the sleeves, and turn them inside out.

 Just mark the cuff the approximate width of a cuff of an outfit that fits well. 
I winged the rest but you could just as easily mark an outline.

Set a short stitch length, do a quick back stitch. Then just sew up over the existing cuff and around a circle and back down the cuff, add another quick back stitch to secure it.



Cut out the mitten, then roughly trace the outline on the other sleeve and repeat the steps.



Look Mittens!


Now put the mittens on your little monster!


2.10.2012

Adventures in shredding paper

You read that right, we were shredding paper today. 

I pulled out some old magazines and told the kids to rip out their favorite pictures so we could make a collage.  Jacob loved the ripping part, Chris got upset if he ripped any of the cars, but he eventually understood that we were gluing them and it was fine if they weren't perfect.  So shortly after giving them 3 magazines the living room was already littered with paper shreds.


After all the magazine confetti was created we pulled out a piece of poster board and a glue stick and started our collage.  Since the only magazines I had were Zoom-Zoom magazines, the collage is 100% Mazda themed, but the boys don't mind at all.  They loved it so much they tried to show it to the UPS guy.


Here is a picture of the finished product, all set to be hung up in the boys room
ZOOM-ZOOM
bwaaahahaha!