Category Archives: Uncategorized

In Search for the “Perfect” Sippy Cup!

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Baby L has been 100% off bottles for three days now. I started introducing him to whole milk a week or two before he turned one. When he turned one, I wanted to be done with the whole buying formula thing and I wanted to be done with the bottles.

I definitely did not want my kid to be that 3 year old still needing a bottle…Poor Suri Cruise.

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-04-10/gossip/27061381_1_baby-bottle-suri-cruise-sippy

The transition to whole milk was simple enough. Baby L hasn’t had any issues with new foods or liquids.  Honestly, he would probably eat or drink anything put in front of him.  The transition to only sippy cups hasn’t been difficult, but isn’t smooth sailing quite yet.

I’m pretty sure I have bought every sippy cup on the store shelf- trying to find the “perfect” cup. There are sooo many to choose from.

This is a snapshot of my “sippy cup cabinet” at this time. And, I’m pretty sure there are some in the dishwasher too!

Babies sure are picky when it comes to their drinkware.

I have quickly learned that Baby L does not want to be burdened with having to lift his hands higher than shoulder-level to drink his milk.

Any sippy cup that needs to be lifted and tilted is out of the question.

I only have about 3 or 4 of the above featured sippy cup…money down the drain. The only way Baby L will use this is if I am sitting there holding and tilting it for him. Otherwise, it becomes just another toy to be chucked across the room.

Baby L has decided he prefers to drink from a straw, which I am actually very happy about. According to the article below, cups and cups with straws are preferred over the typical “sippy” cup. Using a sippy cup for a prolonged period of time can result in lisps and other speech difficulties. I guess then I’m not too upset over those four or five cups barely used, collecting dust in the cabinet…

http://children.webmd.com/news/20080212/so-long-sippy-cups-hello-straws

Okay, so I bought a bunch of different sippy cups that all have some sort of straw. And again, he has to be picky. Apparently, some of the straws are more challenging than others. It is true. My husband and I had a difficult time trying to drink from some. And yes, we did try.

The winner, after trying four or five, ended up being….the Playtex Lil Gripper.

Baby L loves this cup and has had no difficulty using it. I am slowly building my collection. I usually buy them at Walmart or Target. They are about 5 bucks a piece…figures my kid wants the expensive sippy cup.

The only downside to this particular cup is that it occasionally leaks. Yes, I know every cup advertises “spill proof” or “leak-free.” All us moms know that is not true. In this cup, liquid seems to remain in the straw and if the cup is lifted upside down or thrown on the floor, everyday occurence in my house, the stored up liquid will leak onto the floor. Minor details though.

My kid is drinking his milk three times a day all by himself. That is what matters.

Just a little laugh…

P.S. Let me know your “sippy cup” experience. Any other sippy cups out there I should try or you recommend for a straw loving baby?

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Mom’s Night Out- We Party Like Rock Stars…

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Mom’s Night Out- we party like rock stars- at least in our own mom world-which really means we have a burger, one alcoholic beverage, and we are in bed by 1030…

Tonight I went to my once a month Mom’s Night Out. And of course had a great time- I always do. My fellow mom’s are excellent company and we always have a night full of laughs. Our conversations tonight varied from our discussion of our love for beans to the fact that I could probably flirt my way into getting us free drinks for the night to learning our state capital has one of the highest STD rates…Goodness knows how we find our topics of conversation.

Anyways…

When Baby L was just a month old, I decided to try out this mother/baby group at one of the local churches that was advertised through the hospital. I figured it would be an avenue to meet other new moms and would serve as a support group for the adventure I will call breastfeeding. It was successful in both. The woman leading the group, a lactation consultant, provided an enormous amount of information and advice concerning breastfeeding and everything that goes along with that. I also met a group of women that have become more than just a baby support group-they have become friends.

About 5 or 6 of us started meeting for coffee every week after group. We started to get to know each other. Added perk- we all have boys and they are all within a month or two in age of each other! Pretty awesome!

The once a week group at the church was designed for moms with babies under the age of 6 months. Before we knew it, our little guys were at that age! It was time for us to graduate from our Tuesday morning group- we had to make room for the moms with only week-old babies! We decided then that we would continue to meet once a week….and we did.

We have met every week since then (minus a couple hectic weeks). We have watched our babies grow into little boys! We have shared our excitements about their firsts, we have shed tears and shared our frustrations, and we have laughed! We use each other as a sounding board, asking questions, discussing our babies new stages of development, expressing our concerns.

We talk about feeding schedules, sleep schedules, introducing solids, and yes, we even talk about their poop. 🙂

And as crazy as our lives get, we have always made time for our once a week baby group.

I could not imagine the past year without this group of women. They have not only provided insight, advice, and sanity when I needed it, but we have created a friendship and bond I could not put into words.

Now that our babies boys are older and don’t need mommy 24/7, we have started going out for dinner and drinks once a month, baby-free. These nights, which I look forward to all month long, are our “girls night outs.” And though we may not live it up like we did pre-baby, pre-hubby, and although we are ready for bed at 10pm, we have fun, we drink, and we laugh! And honestly, that is all that matters.

I cherish these nights- I cherish these women.

P.S. I strongly suggest anyone expecting or anyone with a little one-reach out to your community resources. You never know who you will meet, how they will help,or the impact they will make in your life.

My child is going to grow up to be a… headbanger??!!

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Baby L is going to grow up to be a head banger!

He bangs his head on everything…the wood floor, the couch, the highchair tray, his toys, and yes, even me. It started about a month ago and at first I thought nothing of it. I decided to ignore it and figured he would stop. I was wrong. It continues.

I started googling, “baby head banging,” and discovered that it is actually quite common with babies this age and even more common with boys. Figures.

I tried to figure out the reason behind his self-inflicted pain. Maybe he is tired and this is his way of telling me? Maybe he is frustrated with a toy or something is out of reach?  I started to see a a pattern developing. He did head bang more often in the evening- maybe because he was overstimulated throughout the day and overtired? Well, at least that is what I thought for about two days-until- for the past few days, he seems to be head banging all the time, all day, and for no apparent reason. I just don’t get it.

I guess I shouldn’t have let my hubby convince me to go to that rock concert when I was 6 months pregnant…yeah, that’s what I will blame this on… 🙂

If he does it for attention- he gets it. I try to ignore it, but when he bangs his head on the wood floor to the point of making himself cry and leaving red marks on his forehead, I have no choice but to pick him up. I do try and immediately redirect his attention to a book or a toy. The pediatrician, at his one year checkup, said it is common and there isn’t much you can do, but to let them outgrow it.

Seriously kid, can we outgrow this soon, like soon as in this week?!

I guess this is what Santa is bringing you this year….

“Building” Memories- Lego Themed First Birthday Party

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So, Baby L’s First Birthday Party details!

Baby L, the birthday boy! 

We held his party Sunday afternoon, couldn’t interrupt hunting season on Saturday! We invited about 25 of our close family and friends. It     didn’t seem like too many people, until they were all here, all wanting time with Baby L. Baby L was overwhelmed with the number of people and already yawning, he had decided that morning he was ready to party then and didn’t need to take his nap. Figures.

Besides me under estimating the amount of food I would need- poor party planning on my part, oops!- I think the party was a great success. I kept with my Lego theme as much as I could with limited resources and a relatively small budget to work with. No need to go over the top for a party Baby L won’t even remember.

Below are some snapshots from the party( I will warn you- I have a very outdated camera, with a cracked LCD screen):

The Drink Station! 

I bought yellow solo cups( Buy one, get one 1/2 off at Party City-they have that deal quite often!) and took a Sharpie Marker and simply drew a smiley face, or more of a smirk, on each cup. I knew some people would drink wine and I wanted to spice the wine glasses up a bit. I found a link online for the lego man head template. (http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2011/03/lego-man-cookie-tutorial/) I copied and pasted it into Microsoft Word and printed it out on yellow paper. I again drew the “lego man smirk” as I will call it. I taped them on each glass. I added a wooden “1” I found at a local craft store and painted it blue.

And ta da…a relatively easy drink station complete.

Guess How Many Legos! 

Again, this was very easy. I am an extremely hardcore yard saler- I get it from my mom. I try and go every Saturday. As my husband gets excited for hunting season to start, I get depressed because the beginning of hunting season starts to signal the end of “yard sale season” as I call it. Anyway-back to the party. Over the summer I had found a huge bucket of legos for only $2. For anyone who has ever bought legos, you know how pricey these blocks can get. I couldn’t pass up the deal-I figured I would find something to use them for or would end up giving them to M for Christmas.

Well- I actually found a few things to use them for.This was the first. I simply filled a mason jar I found around the house with legos, obviously counting them as I went. I then printed a sign out asking each guest to guess how many. The prize ending up being a Lowe’s Gift Card so the winner could start “building” something for themselves.

Lego-Themed Ornament Favors! 

Second use for my bucket full of yard sale legos! Christmas Ornament Favors.These were a huge hit! ( wish I had a close up :()

Because we mainly had adults at Baby L’s party and because his birthday is in December, I decided to make ornaments as the favors. I found clear, plastic ball ornaments at Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store. I paid about 79 cents for each one. They were normally more, but I caught them on a week they were on sale, plus if you sign up for Michael’s email list- you will ALWAYS get coupons- I never pay for anything full price there! I bought about 20 or so.

I then filled each one with a variety of legos- different colors and sizes.Then came the most tedious and time consuming part. I took puffy paint- I only had the fabric kind, but it worked great- and I wrote on each bulb, “Thank you for “Building” Memories with me! 2011″ I had some leftover ribbon from who knows where and I tied a piece on each ornament. They came out better than I had imagined.

Lego-Themed Page for Baby L’s Scrapbook! 

 I didn’t get a good picture of this, but it is simple to explain. I used construction paper to create legos for a scrapbooking page. I glued a couple “legos” on the page. I then had every guest write a message and sign the page. I will make this Baby L’s last page of his first year scrapbook- It will complete his first year of “building” memories. I thought of this because I really believe the frame with everyone’s signatures around it is way overdone.

How many frames from significant events can we have hanging on our walls?? We would have our first birthday, highschool graduation, college graduation, promotions, wedding, etc… the list could go on…

Party Decorations

So, I already had this candle holder, not sure the proper name for it. I simply added Legos around the candle instead of the stones I originally had in it. Simple.

Not sure if you can see, again fail on me for not taking a better picture, I created large lego blocks. I took old Capri Sun Boxes and wrapped them in wrapping paper. I then used construction paper of the same color and cut 8 circles. I taped them on. They worked out as great centerpieces and Baby L has been playing with them ever since.

Lego Candies. I bought these at a candy shop in our mall. They added a little something. I have read some blogs, where the person hosting has also made their food lego-themed and lego-shaped.  Honestly, I did not have the time, the motivation, or the culinary expertise for that. If you do- more power to you.

Baby L’s Birthday Cake 


I will preface this with- I definitely did not make this and would never have the creativity, patience, or experience to create such a wonderful cake!  My mother has a close friend who makes cakes out of her home and she is responsible for this creative masterpiece. She has made all of our cakes for every family event for the past few years and has never let us down. They taste as good as they look too!

Now on to the cake I made for Baby L’s smash cake. You will see I am no baker or kitchen connoisseur.

I made a cake in a 9×13 pan. I cut a rectangle and iced it. I then took marshmallows, cut them in half, and used them as the smaller lego circles. It doesn’t look  too good, but hey, it was intended to be smashed anyways.

Well, that is what I have for the night.  I have some Christmas wrapping to do and then it is to bed for me. Baby L’s one year checkup in the am!

Holiday Happenings…

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Baby L turns one on Monday!!! I can’t believe it!  Where did the year go?

As I think about baby L turning one, I think about this time last year- the beginning of the holiday season.

The night before I went into labor, the hubby, M, and I went and picked out our Christmas tree. We got home late, and decided we would decorate it later that week, seeing as Baby L wasn’t due for another two weeks. The next morning, the day my labor began, I took M to see Santa in the morning. Walking around among hundreds of other kids wanting to see Santa, while in what I would call excruciating pain, was not how I intended to start my Saturday morning.

Picking out our tree….

And…24 hours later…

                       

 However, I had no idea that Saturday would end with me in the hospital ready to deliver our Baby L…

Fast forward to three days later. We bring Baby L home. Our tree, still bare in the corner, is in desperate need of water. I had a newborn, I was breastfeeding every hour and a half, and my body was sore. Decorating for Christmas was not at the top of the priority list. However, The tree did get decorated- eventually. Some other decorations managed to find their place. But, lets just say I was not winning the neighborhood award for best Christmas Light Display. Christmas morning came. M, excited as always, flew down the stairs, ready to see what Santa had brought him. Baby L, well, it was just another day. Only weeks old, Christmas wasn’t any different than any other day. I didn’t even bother to take Baby L to see Santa. Who wants to take a newborn out in 30 degree weather to a mall packed with children? Christmas came and went.

Fast forward a year.

This holiday season I am ready to go and am excited for Baby L to experience the joys of Christmas. We picked out our tree Friday night. Baby L, though not as interested in finding the perfect tree as M was, had fun. We brought it home, put some strands of lights on- I made sure we had a couple strands of blinking lights to keep Baby L’s attention, and began sorting through the ornaments. Having a one year old definitely changes how you decorate a tree. After sorting through the ornaments, only a handful remained after pulling out any that were sharp, breakable, or too meaningful that I would be heartbroken if it were to break. Our bottom half of our tree is bare. Nothing too low that will tempt Baby L to grab. The top half of the tree- not as glamorous as previous years- looks pretty darn good, and  is somewhat baby proofed- if anything can be baby proofed these days.

This week I also decided it was time for Baby L to meet Santa. It was a year overdue. 🙂 I took M and Baby L to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Baby L sat on Mrs. Claus’s lap and M on Santa’s. I was able to get a decent picture.

My boys with Santa and Mrs. Claus- pre-meltdown

However, when I tried to get a picture of both boys only with Santa- a meltdown ensued. Baby L was terrified of Santa! He screamed, arms reaching toward me, his face saying “help me!”  As we walk away, Baby L catching his breath from his bout of crying, M says,” I didn’t want to be rude and pull his beard, but don’t you think he was the real Santa?” I think we’re approaching that age. That age where the “magic” of Santa is questioned. M has told me that the kids in his class think he is full of bologna for still believing. Second Grade?! Really? Already? 😦

Then to tonight, the holiday excitement hasn’t stopped. The whole family went downtown tonight to the local Christmas Parade. I had taken M in previous years and had a great time. Obviously, we did not make it last year-so, I was determined this year. Hubby didn’t have to work, so we were going.

It was amazing! 

Baby L absolutely loved it. Antsy to get out of his stroller at first, once the parade started, he sat on my lap for nearly an hour watching the parade with eyes wide with excitement and awe. He would bounce and dance as the marching bands passed, quietly whisper “dog” as the local rescue groups passed by with their dogs dressed up in santa and reindeer garb. His eyes would light up with the ambulance and police lights. I didn’t even need to watch the parade. It was pure joy to simply watch the reactions of my two  boys as they took in all the sights and sounds.

 

My boys @ the Parade

 

Enjoying the Sights and Sounds!

It is only the first week of December and I am so excited to continue introducing Baby L to our traditions during the holiday season. There is so much more excitement and joy to be shared! 🙂

Long Nights, Congested Baby, and a holiday in there somewhere…

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So, yet again, I have fallen behind on updating my blog.

The past week, Baby L has been quite congested- causing multiple nights of restless sleep and a number of unproductive days.

He would not stay asleep in his crib, and I couldn’t let him “cry it out” between the sniffles, sneezing, and coughing. Broke my little heart. His naps, or what turned into “our” naps were spent on the couch falling asleep watching price is right. Heaven forbid I attempt to unload the dishwasher before his little hands are tugging on my legs, his facial expression begging me to pick him  up. I think in a 48 hour time frame, we were attached about 47 of those hours.

I hate seeing Baby L all congested. There is only so much you can do. Every two seconds, I feel like I am wiping his nose- which is pretty darn challenging. You would think I was wrestling someone a lot bigger than a 25 pound 11 month old. The way he bobs and weaves from the tissue approaching his face makes me think he may have a good chance at a boxing or wrestling career.

And don’t even get me started on the infamous nose sucker! 

To Baby L, using this thing is like declaring war. He is ready to fight! 

Well, both boys are in bed. I’m off to do the typical household chores. Here is to a night of good rest! Let’s hope! 🙂

Bumps, Bruises, Cuts…Oh My!

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Baby L has started walking and I have quickly realized that I am not mentally prepared. I admire his fearlessness, but at the same time, I cringe every time I watch him fall, sometimes inches from the corner of a cabinet or table. 

Yesterday, Baby L and I were playing in his play room- a room that I thought was pretty baby proofed.

No room is baby proof!

Before I even know what happened, Baby L, while walking, had fallen into the side of his play table. I waited for a reaction as I have quickly learned not to overreact every time he falls. I look down at him-  his facial expression is one of pain, however, nothing is vocalized until seconds later. A pretty good sized knot and bruise quickly form above his eye. I pick him up, comfort him, and within minutes he is on the move again.

I guess this is just the beginning of many bumps, bruises, tears, and mini heart attacks for mom…:(


Owning a Home-a To Do List that NEVER Ends!

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We have lived in our house now for a little over 3 years. After tearing out all the carpet, painting every room, replacing EVERY light fixture, remodeling the kitchen, and so much more- my “things to do around the house” list isn’t any shorter than day one.

The one “to-do” on my list that is never-ending is the tedious task of painting trim. Once you finish painting trim in the house, if you ever finish, it is already scuffed up and discolored and ready to start again.

But let me tell you, and as my mother has always preached, fresh trim makes a world of difference!

When I moved into our current house, I thought the trim looked great….UNTIL I decided to repaint it.

The trim around the door is the original trim color. The baseboard is what I have repainted. 

 Better? I think Yes.

I challenge all of you  homeowners, who have the time and the drive…look at your trim. Could it use some touch ups?

So, to today, taking a break from my hallway trim, I decide to dive into a “to-do” that is needed, but I could never find the time or the motivation.

My hubby watched Baby L so that I could actually be productive and not worry about Baby L getting into something every five minutes that he shouldn’t be. I almost had forgotten what productivity was until today. For all those moms out there, you know what I mean.

Our walk-in closet in our master bedroom was in desperate need of a fresh paint job. The walls were covered with scuff marks from the many mornings my husband has come home from a long shift at work and tossed his work boots in the closet, with no concern as to where they landed or what marks were left on the wall.

Closet walls, after much wear and tear! 

The shoe shelves needed a face lift as well. My husband had built shoe shelves for me the first month we moved in. However, they were only pieces of plywood with what i would call a five years olds spray paint job. They needed to be painted.

My shoe shelves!

I love them, but I would love them to be more appealing to the eyes! 

I cleared everything out of the closet-a task in and of itself. I was slightly embarrassed by the number of shoes piled up in the corner of my room. How in the world have we acquired this much stuff?

After hours of edging in around the ceilings, trying not to spill paint on the carpet, callouses forming on my palms from gripping the rollers…the closet and shelves are painted. Everything is back in the closet- more organized than ever.

Scuff marks-Gone! 

Shelves Painted and Organized! 

And..an added perk…I found a diamond stud earring that I lost two Christmases ago! 🙂 Pays off to take time to clean and re-organize those places in the house that may not seem so important!

P.S. My week of cooking is going quite well. My pulled pork yesterday was a huge hit with my boys and my in-laws. I highly recommend the recipe!

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/slow-cooker-pulled-pork/detail.aspx

Tonight, I made an orange chicken that wasn’t too bad. Not what I order @ The Cheesecake Factory, but hey, I’m just starting this whole family dinners thing.