Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things for Baby

There are a few things I absolutely loved having when my girls were babies. Today I want to share two of my favorites.

 The first thing is called Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector. This is so amazing. I found out about this product just before I had my third daughter. I had mastitis with both my other girls even though I did everything right.  When I found this product I was hoping that it would prevent mastitis.

How it works is simple. You insert over the nipple on the side you are not nursing. When your milk lets down, you collect in the Milkies allowing your breast to drain naturally. Most mornings I was able to collect around 4 oz or more. I rarely had to pump and still had plenty of milk stored up.


 Another thing I love is my cloth diapers. I started using them when my oldest had just turned two, my second was about 7 months old, and I was pregnant with the third. It started using them because I wanted to save money. We were spending $80 a month on disposables and cloth only cost us a few hundred for several years.

At first I wasn't sure but was willing to give it a try. The more I used them, the more I started falling in love with them. The poop didn't bother me because I learned shortly the I had worse poop messes with disposables. The washing didn't bother me either. It just became part of the routine and I never really noticed the extra laundry. It ended up being easier then I ever thought. 

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What did you or do you use that you love for your baby?

Microwave Kool-Aid Playdough

Kid's love play-dough, but it can be expensive to keep play-dough stocked. Growing up it was one of my sister and my favorite activities. My girls are no different. They can sit and play for an hour.

My mom always made play dough from scratch. I can remember her standing over the stove making us a new batch of play dough. 

In High School I helped out in a special education preschool room. Several times during the year I made play dough for the kids. The teacher had a great recipe that could be made in the microwave and used Kool aid. I thought it was a much better recipe then the one my mom made. It smells so good and is so easy you can make it almost anywhere. 

Now that I am a mom, this is the recipe we use in our house. I makes a large batch of play dough, so all the girls have plenty to play with. 

Microwave Kool Aid Play Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 Tbs oil
4 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 cups water
1 pkg of kool aid

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Heat water and oil to boiling in a microwave safe bowl. When cool to the touch, mix together. Knead as it cools till it is all mixed and smooth.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Potty Training Woes

I have now potty trained all three of my girls successfully. I can now tell you that you can read all the wonderful books, blogs, and articles you want but nothing will really prepare you for potty training. 

Let me tell you that everyone makes it look so easy and maybe it is for them. But all kids are different, so your child may be easy or maybe not. Let me tell you how different mine were.

First I will tell you I did use the boot camp method with all three at some point. This was the most effective way to train. They got underwear and potty breaks every 15 minutes to start. The time gradually turned into every couple hours after about a month. They all started somewhere between 2 and 3 years old.

My first was the easiest. By day three she successfully peed and pooped in the potty. After that it was easy until about a year later when she was constantly having accidents. It was her not wanting to take a break and go to the bathroom. I took away her dress up clothes since they were important to her and I was tired of washing them. Every time she went in the potty she got one back and when she had an accident, one was taken away. Within a month she was back to being accident free. 

The second was the hardest. She had no desire to be clean and would play in her wet clothes after her accident. It was very frustrating and I just couldn't get her to care. For about 6 months I was cleaning her up several times a day. She rarely went a whole day without having an accident and NEVER pooped in the potty. 

I tried rewarding her but nothing seemed to work. We even gave her a Barbie when she finally pooped on the potty. Finally I decided to take away her My Little Pony's every time she had an accident. Like her sister, she could earn them back by going in the potty. Again like her sister, after a month she was accident free and finally pooping on the potty. 

The third was in between the two. She learned quickly how to pee in the potty and had no desire to use the potty chair but instead the big potty (we have one of the seats that has a built in child seat). It took her a few months to finally poop on the potty. The crazy thing is, it took us going on vacation to get her to start pooping on the potty. She went at our hotel, at her aunt and uncle's house, and at gas stations. For most of our trip she stayed dry. It has now been two months and she has had very few accidents. 

In my experience potty training takes work. It is so worth it once they are trained but it is much harder then most want to admit. It's ok if your child is taking a long time to learn. It's ok if you feel like it will never end. You are not alone. It will end eventually and it does get better eventually. 

I'd love to hear your stories. What worked for you? What kind of crazy stories do you have? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The 5 Love Lanuages of Children


Do you love your child? I mean really love your child they way they need to be loved? I didn't really understand what my child needed to feel loved until I read The 5 Love Languages of Children.

There was so much I learned, I could never list it all. I can say that I now understand my children much better. When we have poor behavior I take a moment to reflect on if I've been feeding their love bank.

The 5 Love Languages are: 
  • Touch
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service

My oldest has the love language of gifts. Anything can be a gift and she has so much joy. The hard thing with gifts is that I really need to make sure that I am still showing her love with all love languages or she will see gifts as empty. 

The middle is very much words of affirmation. She is very emotional when she is told she has done something wrong. She needs to be encouraged often as her ability to do something depends on that encouragement.

Our youngest is a touch girl. She is content and always has been content to just sit on my lap for long periods of time. She also has to have a paci and blanket even though she's almost three. When she is having a bad day, it is often because we have not had enough cuddle time. 
After reading this book, my relationship with my children has really changed. I feel more in tune to their needs. There is very practical advice for each love language. Their love language may change over years, but I have a guide to meet those needs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Earn money with Bing and Swagbucks

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Have you heard and signed up for Bing Rewards yet? I signed up about a year ago. I earn points by searching and turn them into gift cards. Everery time I get on my computer I spend a few minutes searching under Bing. I earn at least 16 points and now Bing rewards will reward you for searching on your phone too. Now you have the ability to earn at least 26 points. Additional points can also be earned by referring a friend.

What's really great is that I earn points on Swagbucks too. Recently Bing added Swagbucks as a reward.  I take my 500 Swagbucks and use 450 to purchase an Amazon gift card. Woo-hoo 50 Swagbucks left over!

Over the past year I have used my gift cards on Amazon to purchase Home school items along with other little things for me and my family. I've tried the surveys and other ways to make a little extra cash and this has been by far the easiest. It takes a few minutes a day but adds up over time. I'm not making much but every little bit helps.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: Reshaping it All

If you grew up in the 90s you know who Candace Cameron Bure is. Very few kids went through the 90s never seeing an episode of Full House. 

Back in November I had the privilege to hear Candace speak at a women's conference. She is very refreshing coming from the mad mad world that is Hollywood. Most stars are out of touch with the average person, never really being able to relate with normal hard working people. Most child stars end up messed up with drugs, alcohol, and very unsafe lifestyles. 

Candace is very different then the average Hollywood actress. She will be the first to tell you that she's not perfect. Every day is filled with mistakes. Reshaping it All is about her journey of faith, food, and constant struggle.

What I liked most about the book was the fact that she has practical advice but it isn't a how to on weight loss. What it really comes down to is your attitude and what are you going to do to make God the center instead of food.

It will make you feel encouraged and not alone in your struggles.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Life is Made of Valleys

I have to admit that there are some days that social media is a curse, but if you are looking in the right places it can also be a blessing. Once again I am participating in an on-line Bible study. It is a blessing to get to know other women who are so like you and going through the same struggles. 

The current study is by Derwin L. Gray called Limitless Life. This is my third study and am very excited for what this might bring. 

One thing I've learned over the past few years is that life is full of valleys. In order for us to really grow in our relationship with God and others you can't just stay on the plains. Even when you do, a valley comes out of no where. 

Some of the most challenging months of my life were three years ago. In one day my life turned upside down. I found out I was pregnant and within a few hours we found out we lost the house we had already started moving in to. On top of that our 5 month old was still recovering from whooping cough and could only sleep for about 45 minutes before being woken from a coughing fit. I was tired, losing weight, and felt totally out of control of my entire life.

I can tell you I've never prayed like I did those few months. It was really the first time I felt like things were so out of control that I had no choice but to give it to God. I remember vividly watching my sleeping daughter and praying that God would be with her and heal her. Feeling that out of control put me in a place I've never been before and had I not went through that experience, I would never had known what peace feels like when you no longer need to control everything. 

The label MOM has been mine for the past 5 years. There are times I feel that's all I am, but I feel like I can now embrace that label and be the mom God wants me to be. My kids have given me purpose. I'm here as their mom to guide them. I know now how precious time with them is. My label is one of the best I could have after Daughter of the King. God's given me a label to be proud of.

My valley taught me so much. My relationship with God and my family are the most important things and the only things that will last.

Your valley will bring to closer to God if you let it. It can also bury you. God is there and just waiting for you to ask for help and what's more, He is already there with you even before you ask. He will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Your life will have valleys. Some will make you feel trapped and others will give you hope. You are meant to be there for a time. You are meant to grow as a child of The Most High God. 

When you come out of the valley, look back on your journey. See where you struggled and where you let God work. Look carefully where He carried you and guided you. He was with you the whole time.