Friday, April 29, 2011

Taco Cups

At least once a week our family has tacos. We love them! It's kind of a pain though with Noah. It would be too messy to give him his own taco (not that he isn't messy with every food he eats!) So we usually just give him a few chips, some slices of cheese and a little ground beef on his plate. A while back I stumbled across "Taco Cups" on the internet and knew we had to give them a try!


So today Jeremy and I fixed tacos for lunch and gave Noah his own Taco Cups to try out. They were a hit! You just use Tostitos Scoops for the "cup" (which were on sale for $1.88 last week.) You could put whatever you want inside. We just put a piece of lettuce, seasoned beef, sour cream, cheese and taco sauce. Noah was able to pick them up without spilling them. He even ate 7 of them!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Play-Doh Fun

We pulled out our basket of play-doh again today despite our previous blunders. Everything seemed to be going well. I showed Noah my impressive sculpting skills. First I taught him how to roll the dough out into a snake. He loved it. Thinking hard, I also decided to show him how to make a worm. Maybe next time I can show him how to make a rope out of play-doh. I don't know why I didn't think of that earlier.


At least five minutes had gone by, I had run out of sculpting ideas and Noah's attention span had expired. It was time to pack up the play-doh. I must have been too caught up in rolling snakes to realize that half of Noah's red play-doh was no where to be found. I searched high and low for it. I have some suspicions as to where it may have gone though. Not so innocent Asa had been scouring the kitchen floor the entire time and Noah has been guilty of eating the molding compound before. Just wait, tomorrow I will let you know who the culprit was. At least it's non-toxic.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Friday to Bad Monday

Let me start by saying that I am completely exhausted from our busy Easter weekend. As usual it was a wonderful weekend but it went by way too fast. Finally the boys are down for their naps and I have a brief moment to myself- BRIEF.

Friday evening we attended our church's Good Friday service. We snuck into the back row about five minutes late. Because it was a special service, there was no nursery and Jeremy and I did the best we could to keep the boys "under control." In an attempt to keep Asa quiet, I gave him a bottle during the service. Just moments after he finished it, he sat up and let out the manliest burp ever. As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, when a few heads turned to glance back at us, Jeremy pointed his finger at me! Thanks honey.


Yesterday we had a family dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Noah is starting to get that hang of this whole egg hunt thing. Almost. He did a great job of finding the eggs. Instead of putting the eggs in the basket however, he opened them immediately to see what he had found. The eggs contained money and candy! Each time he found candy he said "Mmmmmm," and popped a jelly bean into his mouth. But when he found money he said, "Oh no!" and dropped it to move on to the next egg.


Fast forward a little and here we are, Monday. The kids all have sugar highs and I am wore out from the events of the weekend. Pictures to come soon. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and were able to spend time reflecting on the true meaning behind the holiday. Jesus suffered and died on the cross for everyone's sins so that we can spend forever with Him. He rose again on the third day and is alive. AMEN!



Friday, April 22, 2011

How to Wash Cloth Diapers

Perhaps the biggest reason I did not use cloth diapers sooner is because you have to wash them. Duh. Anyways, it's really not as bad as it sounds. Pretty much the worst part is actually changing the diaper and you kinda have to do that whether you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers.



Just to make it simple I thought I'd share the process with those of you that are interested. just for the record, it's best to follow your manufacturers directions.
Dirty Diaper Storage

Step 1: Store diaper till washing day. (If it is poopy, you will need to shake the poop into the toilet. Breastfed baby poop will wash out easily and doesn't need to be removed.)

Step 2: Empty diapers into washer. If you have a diaper pail liner you can wash it with the diapers.

Step 3: Cold rinse to remove residues.

Step 4: Hot wash and add detergent. No fabric softeners (they will leave a build up that affects absorbancy.)

Step 5: Second risnse (if necessary)

Step 6: Dry- Line dry or place in dryer.

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Tips
~Keep diapers in a sealed container till wash day
~Dry pail, less smell
~Many manufacturers recommend placing covers in the dryer every now and then to "seal" any small holes in the waterproofing layers.
~Sunlight is a great, natural whitener
~Vinegar in the rinse cycle will remove soap residues, neutralize urine odors and remove stains. Only use 2 Tb spoons though!

Related Posts
The Cloth Diaper Experiment
Cloth Diaper Update

Laundry Mishap

A little over a month ago, Noah- being typical made a mess. He got into my laundry detergent and dumped it all over my carpet in the hall way! I spent hours trying to clean up that mess. I ran our carpet cleaner over and over the puddle. It just got bubblier and bubblier. I was finally left with a faded blue stain. Luckily my laundry detergent wasn't full. It was actually less than half way full.



The next day I went to the store and bought a new jug of detergent. I came home and placed it on the dryer. Sure enough later that week, Noah dumped the full, brand new detergent on my carpet again! What a waste. Laundry detergent isn't cheap either. I was out another $8+ and I spent another two hours trying to clean the carpet.

I kept hearing about people making there own "homemade laundry detergent." I had no idea you could do that. I had my doubts about it too. Does it work? Is it worth the effort? Where do you get the ingredients- Amish country? In the end, is it actually cost effective? Well, I found out for myself.

First, here's the recipe I used.


Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Soap (grated)

In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

I've been using this for just over a month now and it is FABULOUS. First of all it was cheap to make. The total cost of all the ingredients was cheaper than the $8 bottle of detergent I was previously using. Plus, I still have enough ingredients to last a year!

It was so easy to make. It only took like 10 minutes to throw it together. The first batch that I made lasted about 5 weeks. I can live with 10 minutes every five weeks. Also, I noticed my laundry was much brighter after the first load. It makes sense though. I mean look at what my old detergent did to my carpet!

By the way, you can find the ingredients at your local grocery store too! I had to go to a second store to find the Washing Soda though. They don't carry that at Walmart. Check Ace Hardware if you have one nearby.

Anyways, If you're interested in savings some $$$ or you have a two year old that enjoys pouring out laundry detergent give this a try.

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Tips
~The detergent won't be bubbly so don't worry when it isn't!
~You can add a scent if you want.
~I recommend using Fels Naptha or Ivory for the soap.
~For inexpensive fabric softener add two table spoons of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
~1pint = 2 cups






Thursday, April 21, 2011

Confessions of a Mom


Some of yesterdays events inspired me to write about some of my "Confessions" as a Mom. I guess there are a few things I just need to get off of my chest.


1. I didn't want kids. I'm happy that God blessed me with children but until a couple of years ago they were never in my plans.

2. I look forward to going to the grocery store. I stay home with the boys for at least 50 hours a week. I really look forward to getting away no matter what the reason.

3.  I HATE Barney and Friends.

4. Losing pregnancy weight is much harder than I ever imagined. I had never had a problem losing weight before in my life. It's as if my metabolism suddenly realized I am not a teenager anymore and came to a sudden halt.

5. I hated breastfeeding. I felt like a fat dairy cow. I was exhausted and it wasn't fair that I had to take care of every feeding!

6. I felt like I had to breastfeed both my boys or I would be a horrible mother. After all, "breast milk is best for your baby." I know breast milk is the healthiest choice but it doesn't always work out and I felt super guilty when it didn't work for us.

7. For Mother's Day, what I really what is a day away from my kids. A "me" day.

8. I didn't enjoy every minute of pregnancy. Especially not the morning sickness,  nausea, stretch marks, Braxton Hicks contractions, back aches, pinched sciatic nerve, insomnia and weight gain. However I loved feeling baby kicks and hearing the heat beat over the monitor. That was absolutely amazing every time.

9. I don't appreciate unsolicited advice. For example, if you happen to notice my stretch marks (not easy to miss) please keep your remarks to yourself. If you say,  "You should have put some cocoa  butter on those," I might not say anything to you but I'm probably ready to bite your head off or snap back at you. And just for the record, I did use cocoa butter everyday and still got stretch marks.

10. Even though car seats save lives, they are a huge pain in the rear end.

11. I don't like changing diapers. I don't mind changing diapers but I certainly don't enjoy it. I've been in situations where a child needs a diaper changed (ie, nursery) and when it comes to decide who will change the diaper, it's always a mom. "oh she's a mom, she likes changing diapers." Really?! No way!

12. Baby carriers never get any easier to carry.

13. The last book I read was by Dr. Suess.

14. I always carry around baby wipes.

15. I have a song from Seasame Street stuck in my head right now.

16. The last movie I saw was by Disney.

17. Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever had to do!


What's your mom confession? I know you have some.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lots of Love

I am so blessed to have such loving and supporting family! I wouldn't trade my family for anything. They are always they for you.

Sometime last year one of our cousins had lost a loved one. They had updated their facebook status to request prayers. My sweet grandmother commented on their status saying, "I'm sorry for your loss lol."

I couldn't believe my eyes! "I'm sorry for your loss lol." Grandma! Seriously!?! It turns out that she though lol meant "lots of love". Now every time someone writes lol I smile a little.

Lots of Love,
Tracy


Monday, April 18, 2011

Chores List

I wanted share my chore "to do" list with everyone. Having three boys in the home plus two extra boys that I've been babysitting lately, this place can get messy fast! The previous paper pad I had on my fridge was no longer getting the job done. Chores began to feel overwhelming and no matter how much work I had done in a day, I never felt a sense of accomplishment.


 My first step was to organize my chores into daily, weekly and monthly lists. Of course the never ending chores, dishes and laundry made it onto my daily list. I also added no brainers like make lunch and boys naps. I don't know about you but when I cross something off my to do list, it makes me feel pretty good.

I was reading another blog that recommended laminating your to do list and using a dry erase marker on it. What a great idea! No need to use a different piece of paper everyday. I actually don't have the supplies to laminate my list though so I put it in a picture frame. The dry erase marker works great on the glass.

I was almost done but to be honest, I wasn't thrilled about framing and hanging a piece of black and white paper on the wall so I got a little creative. I pulled out my scrapbooking stash and did what I could to make it a little more presentable.

There ya go. That's my to do list. Notice I haven't crossed anything off today! Now if someone has some ideas for actually getting these chores done, please share lol.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Piggy Bank

If there is one thing that I've taught that Noah has picked up on already, it is to save for your future. Before he was even born, he had his own savings account and piggy bank. Well, yesterday I caught the little stinker making a few deposits into his piggy bank all by himself.



These deposits weren't the typical nickle or dime. Noah was saving animal crackers for his future and by the looks of it he had been saving up for a while! I just hope that in the future this habit will "pay off."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lunch Time!


For lunch today we had yummy Octopuses! The boys loved it. I got the idea from a friend several years ago before I ever thought about having kids. It was such an easy way to make lunch fun.

I just cut half the hot dog two ways to create the legs then I boiled them. The legs curl as they boil. The one pictured above didn't curl very well. Anyways, you get the point. Sometimes it's ok to play with your food!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cloth Diaper Update

It has been brought to my attention that I haven't given an update on The Cloth Diaper Experiment. So here it is. It has been three months since our family has discovered cloth diapers, something I thought was a thing of the past!


After hours of research on the internet I decided to order some diaper covers from Kawaii Baby. They had good reviews and they were the best value by far! They even had free shipping on orders over $70. If you're thinking "Geez, $70 sure is a lot to spend on cloth diapers," well, that's actually less than what we spend on two weeks worth of disposable diapers.

Jeremy and I were buying two big boxes a week of disposable diapers that cost approximately $20 a piece. That's $160 a month on diapers. Yuck. So the initial investment might seem expensive on cloth diapers but they paid for themselves in no time at all. Over time we will save hundreds of dollars!

We still occasionally use disposable diapers when we aren't home (church, grandparents house,etc) We would never expect anyone else to have to deal with cloth diapers.

We are so happy that we made the switch from disposables to cloth diapers. I'll admit that at first I was worried that it was going to be way more work than it was worth but it really hasn't been that big of a change. The biggest pain has been asking, "Honey, can you pick up a pack of disposable diapers for the church nursery tomorrow?" Seriously!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Texting Pro

Maybe it's just me but I can really screw up a text message. Especially because of T9. I don't really look at what I text, I just hit send. Only after I get a response like huh or rofl (Mom, that means- rolling on the floor laughing) I realize I goofed up. Here are of few of the texts I accidentally wrote and what I meant to write instead.

I'm so gassy today!... I'm so happy today!

Yea, the beer are good ;)... Yea, the beds are good ;) (I was pregnant when I did this!)

Joke you...Love you

Wanna go sins?....Wanna go shop?

I'm too fart....I'm too fast.


If my phone really is a "smart phone," why can't it figure out what I want to say?

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