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Category: Everyday Life

Homemade Crib Rail Protection you Won’t Find on Pinterest

It may be a slight exaggeration to say that my son is part beaver, but seriously, has your crib ever looked like this?

I know we shouldn’t compare children, but my daughter never left marks like this. Teeth marks, yes, but not gnawing like she was going to bite through the bars completely.

I knew I had to do something when I came in to get him from his nap and there were brown paint chips all over his face from the crib. That can’t be healthy.

I remembered seeing somewhere about how people used pool noodles and you could make a fabric overlay for them and use that. Great idea! But I am not a sewer, and have no sewing machine or time to learn. And besides, this was an emergency. Something had to happen, like, now, before he got a splinter in his mouth.

So, this is what I came up with on the fly, without purchasing anything. Read more

How Long Can our Family Go Without Buying Any Shampoo or Toothpaste?

How long can I go without buying our family any shampoo or toothpaste is the question I am going to answer this year. Since the start of the new year I have not purchased any new shampoo or toothpaste for our family, and honestly, I think we can make it all year, or longer without buying any more.

What Inspired this Challenge?

Trying to save money, for starters. But secondly, when I looked in our linen closet and saw that we had several full bottles of shampoo, a few full tubes of toothpaste and like a million samples that were unused I started thinking, “I bet if we were to use up some of these samples that we could go a really long time without buying any product.”

How Did I Acquire So Much Product?

Read more

I Hate Teething, but I Love Good Deals!

Friday was one of those mornings. Asher was teething, again, and was super whiny and screechy and needy and I had to get out of the house ASAP before I lost my mind. I was so thankful that the rain stopped so we could get out, and also thankful for stores that open early because by 8am we were packed up, in the car, and ready to roll.

I also just have to say that I love Meijer! I always spend more money than I need to when we shop there, so I limit our trips, but either way, I still love it.

We took our time there, exploring the clearance sections and of course we stopped by the fish tanks. Those are always a big hit with the kids. We meandered through the kids clothes section and then finally picked up the few items I actually came into the store to purchase before heading home.

If you have time to browse and can shop during the week and early morning, you can sometimes find some great deals. That was the case today and I was so thrilled. I was able to find some kids Valentine’s cards for 30 cents a box. I don’t know if we are going to save them for next year or just play with them now because they have characters on them my kids like, but either way, we can do something with them. I also found some heart shaped cookies for 80 cents that we very much enjoyed at lunch. And I found chocolate for me and John for about $1 for both hearts.

It makes my day to find such fun deals, and it didn’t put us over budget!

Did it really help with the teething? Unfortunately no, but I guess great deals can’t solve all the world’s problems. The chocolate on the other hand….

What’s a great deal you’ve found lately?

Top 5 Reasons Our Family Loves Slugs & Bugs Music

I love Slugs & Bugs! No, not the creepy crawly kind. I really can’t stand that kind. I’m talking about the kids music. I say kids music because that’s really who it’s intended for, but, not so secretly, I really love it too. Slugs & Bugs is the music brand started by Randall Goodgame and Andrew Peterson in an effort to create fun, quality music the whole family can enjoy. You can read more about their story here.

Here are the top 5 reasons why our family loves Slugs & Bugs music:

1. Slugs & Bugs LIVE

We recently saw them in concert at our church and it really helped enhance my kids love for Slugs & Bugs. It was exciting for Maddie to get to meet Mr. Randall Goodgame and thank him for the fun time. I was excited to get to meet him and thank him for his ministry and heart for kids and God’s word. The concert itself was full of action and interaction and videos. It held Maddie’s attention the entire time and even when it was getting close to bed time, she was still enthralled. She came home wanting to do all the actions for the songs, and we still do, at least the ones I can still remember.

2. It’s silly, fun and smart

The silly songs are intelligent, well-written and so much fun. I mean, everybody loves “The Camel Song”, right? And I can’t lie and say that the “Mexican Rhapsody” has not randomly popped into my head. Pico de gallo anyone? Oh, and my kids like them too. My almost three-year-old, Maddie will randomly burst out into “Tractor, Tractor”, or the “Bears” song. And after the concert she also randomly asks, “Have you looked under there?” (Check out the “Under Where?” song if you want to know why) Read more

Baking Soda is so Versatile

imageI received a free box of Arm&Hammer Baking Soda via Smiley360, along with a little booklet detailing a variety of ways it could be used. I already use it in my refrigerator and in cooking, but there is so much this inexpensive little product can do.

The first way I used it was in the bottom of my dishwasher to ward off smells when it’s starting to fill up, but not quite ready to be run yet. This worked great! I will definitely do that more.image

The second way I used it was for an art project with my daughter. We made “paint”. It was so easy and she loved it. Plus, all the ingredients were edible, so I didn’t have to worry when she stuck her thumb in her mouth. I’m sure it didn’t taste all that great, but at least it didn’t harm her. And clean up was super quick in the bathtub. Everything washed right off with no problem. I think we’ll do this again and make multiple colors to try next time.imageimage

There are so many uses. You can check them all out for yourself by visiting the Arm & Hammer website. Thanks Smiley360, for this fun free sample.

What My Baby and Our Garage Door Taught Me About Frustration

garagedoorOur garage door needs some TLC. It’s actually the motor I think. When the weather is below freezing and stays that way a while the door has trouble opening all the way. Sometimes if you open and close it several times you can get it to go up enough to get the car out. We have a small car, thankfully. And we’ve about got it figured out how low the door can be so we can still get the car out.

Sunday, before church, the door would just not cooperate. It would not go high enough to get out. After like 7 tries up and down with no success I was getting frustrated. We finally were able to locate the emergency release and manually opened the door so we could pull the car out.

As the car warmed up I waited for my husband to lock the door and close it back so we could be on our way to church. We were going to be late. I hate being late. I was mad at the situation. I was getting frustrated that it was taking so long to re-lock the garage door. John came back to the car and I thought he should do something one way while he was thinking of another way. (They were both right, but I was too frustrated to see that in the moment.) I got mad and yelled at him. Read more

New Years Goals for 2015

I am not a fan of New Years resolutions, but I do think it’s important to take time to reflect on the past year, to celebrate successes and learn from failures. I feel like every year my ultimate goal is the same – to become more like Jesus. Let’s just say, it will be a work in progress til the day I die. So in the mean time I have to set smaller, attainable goals to keep me headed in the right direction. Read more

Failure to Thrive

failure to thrive

It all began at the doctors office. Poor Maddie and mommy had to endure 4 vaccine shots. I hate these days. I know they are for her good. I know she will survive. But I hate subjecting her to this pain I know she can feel. I wish I could take the shots for her.

As if the shots weren’t hard enough the doctor called for blood work to be done as well, which would mean another shot for the blood to be taken. My little trooper did an amazing job despite all the pain and tears (some from me). But I regress.

The doctor is concerned, understandably so, by Maddie’s weight gain. She has slowed in her weight gain and is still under 13 lbs, just barely and that puts her in the 5% range for weight. Everything else is the 25% range. So she ordered some tests to be done to make sure that there are no underlying health issues going on with her digestive system. They took a urine sample as well which was quite interesting to see for a baby.

As I was waiting for the lab to call us in for the blood work I took a look at the doctors order. There were several tests ordered but what caught my attention and made me choke up and get defensive all at once was this:

Diagnosis: Failure to Thrive

Failure to thrive? Really? No way! This is my baby you are talking about! I felt like I was on the stand defending my motherhood. “She is healthy and thriving. I see her reach milestones every day. She can even sit up all on her own and is practicing for crawling. It’s not like she lays around all day. It’s not like I don’t feed her. I feed her often. I feed her until she’s done. I’ve even started giving her cereal and real food. She has been doing well with that. Sometimes I have to even refill her cereal bowl because she wants more. She’s thin and petite, but have you seen me and my husband? She’s no stick and she’s very active.”

I felt like it was a personal attack on me. Failure to thrive. I am her main food source right now. If she is failing, I am failing. Then come the self-accusations. “What if my milk is no good? What if it’s not nutritious enough for her? What if it’s slowed down and she really isn’t getting enough? Should I have pushed the formula more from the start? How can I make her drink formula that she refuses to drink? Am I really hindering her growth?”

Three words. Failure to thrive. They may not have been intended for my eyes. I know they were not meant to be a personal attack. I know that thriving in the doctors eyes is different than my eyes. But I just want the doctor to change the words and to see that although my baby is small, she is, in fact thriving! I felt like I got my first failing grade as a mother and I have to remind myself that this isn’t going on my permanent record. It won’t be used against me in a court of law. It was an order for blood work to ensure my baby is healthy. And that’s all.

This motherhood business is hard in so many ways. I want to do the best I can for my child and sometimes I don’t know what that is. I find myself praying for wisdom every day in caring for this life. Praying that God will help her, protect her, grow her and teach her despite my mistakes and ignorant parenting. And I know He will. I pray she will thrive, not just physically, but in truly living abundantly in and for Christ.



Just Another of Life’s Comical Situations

I will not gripe because I am practicing gratitude for my home, but I do have to express one of the joys of multi-unit living that I experienced yesterday. Maddie was on the floor playing while I was getting dinner together. I had just broken up some sausage and scooped it into the pan. I used my arm to turn on the faucet to wash my meat infested hands and lo and behold…..nothing. No drips. Nada. What to do?

It was almost comical how terrible the timing was. Not only did I have my hands full of raw meat and no running water, but I had a baby on the floor that I didn’t want to go near until this was remedied. What to do?

The first thing I did was assess the situation. Do I have any water? I had the Keurig container’s blue light shining at me so I knew I had that option, but then I would have to wash the outside of the container too. Hmmmm…..should i just stick my hands in the toilet and wash them first. Is that any better? Which is worse – raw meat hands or toilet hands? It disturbed me that I was even thinking these things. Finally, I remembered we have lots of baby wipes around so I “washed” my hands as best I could with the wipes. Then I extracted some water from the Keurig and went to the bathroom where I proceeded to wash my hands as best as I could with soap and the cup of water.

Once the water came back on I washed again. It was quite the unusual predicament! I guess there was an emergency water shut off, so no signs were posted. At least dinner came out good!

Have you ever found yourself in a similar predicament? What did you do?

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day – July 11th

CAD CFADon’t miss out on your free meal this Friday, July 11th at Chick-fil-A. All you have to do is dress in cow attire and you can either get a FREE MEAL or FREE ENTREE If you attempt partial cow attire you can get a free sandwich, but if you go all out you can get the complete meal for free. The only thing I love better than Chick-fil-A, is FREE Chick-Fil-A

We did this last year and it was great. What better use for my cow costume is there?

I’ll admit I was a bit self-conscious, but it was totally worth it. FREE is FREE.  So who’s with me?