Friday, June 25, 2010

Melting Crayons

This was our first attempt at melting crayons. As most of you are aware, having a toddler around makes you have more than an abundant supply of broken crayons. We usually only use the washable crayons because of obvious reasons. 

We started out by gathering all the broken crayons

Next we peeled the paper off of them and cutting them into small pieces. I used baby food containers to separate them into color categories.

I have a nifty button on my microwave called "Melt" so put one container at a time and used trial and error for the melting time.  I used wooden skewers to stir them.

I just had a regular size muffin pan (I wish I had the mini muffin pan) and I lined it with muffin paper.  I also had some plastic mold for soap.  By the way, those molds should never be placed in the dishwasher:)

 I placed them in the freezer to speed up drying time since it's already so hot and humid here.  I didn't notice any weird film from the washable crayons, but I stirred them like crazy after the melting process.

Voila!! Easy Cheesy!! 

What I would do next time...Use a silicone mini muffin pan or even a silicone ice cube tray and not make them in the any shape that resembles candy:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thrown a Curveball....

I'm new this this mothering thing.  When I say that, what I mean is that even though I've been a mother for a little over 2 years, what I thought I knew is now changing.  I still follow "my own rules" and try to incorporate some of the attributes that many women, including my mom, grandmother, and aunt have instilled in me.  We generally follow the Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting approach.  It may seem weird to some people and totally natural to others, but it has truly worked for us. 

 Here's a little recap of the obvious to date differences in my children:

Baby Girl (Chloe)

  • Breastfed for the 1st year of her life
  • little to no crying
  • easy to soothe
  • loves to snuggle & slept in the family bed for most of her first 18 months of her life
  • loves to be around people and other children
  • adaptable to all surroundings

Baby Boy (Carter)
  • Breastfed for the first 3 months of life 
  • cries all the time
  • hard to soothe
  • not a cuddle bug and has been in his own crib since about 4 months old
  • cautious of people
  • does not adapt well to unfamiliar surroundings 

My daughter was breastfed for most of her 1st year of life with no issues. My son was in the NICU for almost two weeks, and although I pumped like a mad woman and he was able to get mommy's milk via bottle, when he got home he wasn't having it.  He wouldn't latch on, and on the rare occasions that he did, he was very very frustrated.  I was able to give him strictly breast milk for the first 3 months of his life due to a large amount in the freezer, but I couldn't keep up with pumping with a hand pump and a 2 yr old.  I ate blueberries, almonds, oatmeal to keep my milk supply up and still nothing.  It just stopped and it makes me cry thinking about it.  He now drinks formula, but the thing that bothers me the most is that he doesn't like me to hold him and give it to him.  He would much rather be laying on a pillow with the bottle propped up. He's getting the nutrition he needs, but I still feel like I failed this challenge as a mother.  He is now 7 months old and is exactly the same way, but he now holds his own bottle.


My daughter will to this day pretty much will stop crying as soon as I pick her up.  My son, well, his screaming intensifies.  I can "try" to put him in the cradle position to rock him, but he fights me and I'm not about to force him into that position. I usually just have to hold him outward, walk around, go outside, and wait for him to find his thumb.  I just want to hold him close, cuddle with him, and sing to him so bad, but he acts like I'm torturing him when I try.  And before someone suggests that something is wrong with him, there's nothing, Nada, zilch wrong with him other than a thick skull with a mind of his own.  I wonder where he gets that?? I refuse to admit that he's "Just a crier." I don't believe in that and never will!


Although a lot of people are scared and cautious about co-sleeping all I can say is "to each your own".  It has been one of the most rewarding things that we have done with our children.  Some of the first comments I hear is that "You should be very careful.  You might roll over him." Umm   I'm careful with everything I do with my child and I have never rolled over my husband or dog in the last 5 years of sleeping with them.  I feel like telling people that "You have to be smart about it, Stupid!" Don't sleep next to your child if you've had a bottle of wine or took an Ambien.  Duh???

Baby girl slept with us for most of her first 18 months of life.  A little for her benefit.  A lot for mine.  I was breastfeeding and it was far easier to have her near.  I liked her falling asleep in my arms and we both slept better.  When we knew transition time was nearing, we just took the natural steps.  We got her a big girl bed and started to crowd her out of our bed.  She now goes to bed, in her very own big girl bed, every night at mostly the same time, wide awake, with her calming music and lights strung all around.  She's happy to lay there with all of her babies, and I mean about 13 right now, surrounding her and reads books until she falls asleep. 

Baby boy slept with us for about the first 3 months of his life.  We mostly slept in another room from the hubby since he does get up so early.  Not that baby boys cries would wake him anyways!! When we got into a routine and transferred to the family bed, he slept right next to me, under my arm, next to the guardrail.  I decided one day to put him down in his crib, which is also in our room, and see how he would react.  Wouldn't you know, no whimpers or cries, he just rolled over, put his thumb in his month and took a 3 hr nap.  The next day I tried it with night time sleeping, and wouldn't you know the same thing happened and he slept pretty much all night.  It makes me a little sad.  I do love those times of cuddling at night and knowing that he is safe right beside me, but then I look at how well he sleeps and I can't but acknowledge that he sleeps best when he's in his own crib. 


Chloe is just like her momma!! A social butterfly.  She feels the best when she's with other kids.  She will talk to anyone and loves to giggle and laugh.  She feeds off other peoples energy and can get enjoyment out of going to the store or going to the park as long as there are people or kids around. She smiled at every random stranger in exception to one older gentleman that made me want to back off too.  

Carter is much more reserved.  He does like going outside, but not really anywhere else.  He doesn't like being in the car, although he is getting much better with age.  I don't think he cares either way about being around other kids, but he certainly doesn't show any enjoyment in his face.  When the random stranger walks up and tries to "google" him, he just looks at me like "What's their problem?"

So when I thought I had a good grip on motherhood, I got thrown for a loop.  I know you can hear it a thousand times that your children can be totally opposite than one another, but you don't really get it until you're there.  One thing that I've learned is that everyone is entitled to their own way of raising their children.  Some of it you may agree with and some you may not.  It's best to leave the criticize behind.  Don't state what you think or how parents are doing it all wrong unless you're asked.  And if you are asked, word it very carefullyThere's a bunch of us hormonal, over-tired, aggravated moms that will not stand for it.

Life is ever changing and being a mother is much harder than I thought. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

RECYCLE...Shower Curtain Painting Apron

It was time for a new shower curtain.  We used our darling shower curtain until the top tore and was literally hanging on by 3 hooks. I wasn't ready to get rid of it.  It was still in really good shape, although the top was not salvageable.  It was just too cute to throw out, so I decided to make Chloe a painting apron.

I laid the shower curtain out and cleaned it really good with Simple Green and allowed it to dry.

I used Chloe's cooking apron as a template.

I cut around the apron making the new apron about 3-4 inches larger to ensure it would wrap around her.

I folded the edges and sewed a triple stretch seam.  I have found this seam is very durable.  

I'm a sucker for recycling ribbon like the one above from our new shower curtain.  I keep ALL the decorative ribbon from new products.  You never know when it'll come in handy.  I cut the ribbon in 4 equal pieces.  Before sewing the ribbon in place, I treated the ribbon with Fray Check around the edges.  I used a basic stitch and sewed them into place. 

TA DA....New/Old Painting Apron

Front View
Isn't it CUTE?           


Back View  


Thursday, June 10, 2010

It happened. I didn't want it to...But, it did!

I caved...I did it...I didn't in my wildest dreams ever think it was possible.  I am now a Twilight fan aka Twi-hard!!! I'm even scared a little bit to say it out loud.  It's kinda reminds me of what my husband always says:  "We like Justin Timberlake..We just don't talk about it!" Differently, I WANT to talk about it.  This is how it started.

My dear friend Allyson from good ole Boise, ID came to visit in May.  On one of our many shopping adventures we stumbled into TG Maxx.  It's truly one of my guilty pleasures heading to shoes looking for Dansko's and then off to clearance.  They always have so much fun stuff, mostly broken things from lamps to picture frames to Mrs. Meyer's Cleaner, which is now one of my favorites.  Wouldn't you know there with an aura surrounding it was "Twilight", "New Moon", and "Eclipse" all for $5 each!!! She was jumping up and down with pleasure.  I must have snarled a little when she jerked around and gasped, "You have not read these??"  Of course I have not read these.  My life is now filled with endless diapers and laundry with little time to even shower.  Well and also in true honesty, I've seen all the freaks on TV and me and my family are not the type to be sporting those terrible Twilight T-Shirts.  I won't even let my sweet babies sport Winnie the Pooh!!  I'm a little bit of a scaredy cat, well a big scaredy cat of "scary stuff" and I couldn't even watch the movie Babe because it made me sick to my stomach thinking someone was about to eat something that spoke.  Needless to say, that's never made me not want to eat bacon, so why would this be any different? 

After Allyson left, I cracked the first book open after the family went to bed.  The next time I looked at the clock it was 1:30 am and I grumbled not only because I didn't want to put it down, but I knew my sweet little man would be up rearing to go at 6am.  So with that said, it took me 3 days to read Twilight, 2 days to read New Moon, and 2 days to read Eclipse.  What has gotten in to me??? I couldn't even read 2 magazines from cover to cover in one week?  I was hooked and all I could think about was getting the last and final chapter Breaking Dawn.  I went to see Sex and the City 2 with Anita, and sorry girls if you have not seen it, it just wasn't as good as the first one, but what did I do next at 9:30pm.  Oh yes, it was off to Walmart, my own personal hell.  I stood in the speedy checkout lane for 20 minutes to get this damn book.  That's dedication!! It's what I'll assume it's like for someone hooked on drugs.  You get a taste and you want more more more!!

I just finished Breaking Dawn and I loved it although I'm a little sad it's OVER....sniffle sniffle.  There is definitely not any books that have done this to me and I'm sure my dear hubby hopes I don't find any other ones soon.  "Leftovers, AGAIN??" haha  Next mission:  Movies.  The first two are already on DVD (my mom already owns, hurray!!) and Eclipse comes to the theater on June 30th.  And yes, I will be there.  I won't be decked out in the T-Shirt, but trying to look incognito like it's not written all over my face:)

UPDATE (5 MINUTES AFTER POSTING):  I just read on the authors website that she's writing another one...Oh Lord, here we go..A rough draft was illegally leaked on the Internet, so the author decided to make a copy available to her "true" fans so no one would feel dishonest.  It's called Midnight Sun:)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hurricane Survival

So, the time has come....Hurricane season. It runs from June 1st to November 1st, with most of the tropical storm & hurricane activity occurring at the end of August to beginning of September. It's been all over the news here, but I'm not sure if y'all in the rest of the country know the current stats from NOAA.  This is there prediction so far not just for the Gulf of Mexico, but the entire Atlantic Basin.

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
The first thing I think when looking at these numbers is CRAP.  We arrived here last year and we experienced nothing, nada, zilch, when it came to "crazy" weather.  Sure we got the rain storms every afternoon with the loud thunder (which we have nicknamed "angels bowling" for the kids) and lightning, but other than that it was pretty boring.  And that was a good thing! 

We're actually in Phase III for evacuations which also includes all of metro New Orleans.  I believe that although I love my home, if they authorities placed an evacuation in order, we would stuff the car and head up to Oklahoma to be with family on the safe side.  My parents moved here just months before Katrina and although they didn't get much of anything from it (other than lots and lots of people), Gustav did hit and HARD!  It let it's fury out and they were without power for nearly a month waiting in line for gasoline everyday so they could keep the generator going so they wouldn't melt. 

  Below is a couple of pictures my mom took of some of the aftermath of Gustav on their street.

I'm going to be ready this year! 
Well, I'm going to be as prepared as best as I can!

I've gone through all the preparation guides and put together a list of things that would be good for our family.  I've not only started gathering supplies here and there, but made some cards detailing what to do and how to prepare when a hurricane is in the gulf, 12-24 hours before landfall, supplies, and food needed. I Put them into an excel spreadsheet, laminated them so I can use a dry erase marker to check off, and hung them on the tool peg board.

So when a hurricane or tropical storm travels into our "hood" at least we'll be prepared the best we can.  Sure being from the Northwest we're used to rain, ice storms, snow storms, and volcanoes.  But really that's just peanuts compared to the fury of a hurricane.  All that flight attendant training is kicking in and all I can think is "BRACE BRACE BRACE"!