Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Magic" Rice Krispies

Yesterday, my darling little boy was up  before his big sister, and when I say "earlier" I mean at approximately 6:45. Remembering that my darling little princess usually sleeps until 8:00-8:30, this meant that little buddy was going to need a "snack" before breakfast.

Little Buddy likes Rice Krispies, so I poured him a small bowl, added a bit of sugar (because without a bit of sugar, Rice Krispies are a bit bland - ok, a LOT bland), and topped it off with a bit of milk. A few minutes later, he had abandoned the half-eaten bowl to push a barstool over to the cabinet where I keep my baking supplies (not quite sure what the fascination is that my children have with this cabinet) and he brought me the red sugar sprinkles that we top cookies with. I thought about it for a second, and said, "Ok, sure, why not?" and I sprinkled a few sugar crystals into his rice krispies...  he was fascinated by the red sugar crystals and went back to eating his now-red/pink rice krispies.

I wonder what he would do if his Rice Krispies were blue? or green? hmmm ....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Laundry Confessions ...

It's been a LONG time since I've blogged,  and while I've got several topics I want to do (and pics to go with them, even!) extra time has not been plentiful lately...

Time for me to be really honest ... I struggle with folding laundry and getting it put away. (Might have something to do with adding 3 children to the family, then again, who knows why)

My previous method to make sure that the laundry got folded and put away was to dump it on my bed as it came out of the dryer. That way, I had to fold and put away the laundry before I went to bed! While this works great in theory, the problem is that, often, there was still laundry piled on the bed until after sweetheart got home from work. While this doesn't bother him, it drove me crazy because I was trying to accomplish all my housework/laundry before he arrives home from work so that our evenings can be "family time," not "chores time."

My latest solution that I'm trying and is working so far ... no more laundry on my bed ... instead, I fold it in the kitchen and sort it on the kitchen table... since I'm in the kitchen a lot more throughout the day, it drives me crazy to see laundry stacked in my kitchen, so I put it away! And, since it's on the kitchen table, I have to put it away before we can eat dinner ...

I guess I'm tricking myself into getting it finished earlier, but, hey! You can't argue with what's working!

How do YOU get this accomplished?

Monday, April 15, 2013

God's Amazing World

Here's an aspect of some (though not all) pregnancies that few people want to talk about: hemorrhoids. I've experienced them with (severely) with my last two pregnancies, and I can tell you from personal experience: IT'S NOT FUN! They burn, itch like crazy, and generally make life miserable... walking, sitting, LIFE is uncomfortable.

However, it's not a topic of conversation that I ever remember having with my doctor until AFTER the hemorrhoids were a problem ... and boy, were they EVER!!! My daughter couldn't understand why mommy was having such a difficult time holding her, but the extra weight of her sitting on my lap was unbearable... and the specialist my doctor referred me to said that they were afraid to send me into early labor if they treated the hemorrhoids... what's a girl to do?!?!?!?! Just "tough it out" for the next few months?!?!?!!?! Not cool!

Here's what I did: I called my grandma. Grandma was about 90 years old when I called her. She was raised Amish, and she has a good sense of when things can be treated "naturally" and when it's time for medical intervention. So, I trusted that, if there was something I could do, my grandma would know.

Would you believe that MOLASSES is a natural help for hemorrhoids?!?!?!?! Grandma said to take 1 tablespoon of "Blackstrap Molasses" either "straight" or dissolve it into 1 cup of near-boiling hot water and drink it ... My first reaction was: since molasses won't hurt the baby (pregnant at the time means baby's health is TOP PRIORITY), I'll try it. The first 2-3 days, I made 2-3 cups of "molasses tea" a day (morning, lunch, night) ... relief was AMAZING! After just a few days, the hemorrhoids weren't as uncomfortable and life was bearable again. After that point, I simply made 1 cup a day to keep them at bay.

When hemorrhoids hit again with baby #3, I tried it again, and SUCCESS!!! Same results.

While I certainly am not against medical intervention (had epidurals with all 3 deliveries), I am more than willing to try natural remedies whenever possible.

While some people might not want to talk about it, as hemorrhoids are embarrassing to discuss, they CAN be a reality during pregnancy and life ... if you're one of the "lucky ones" to experience hemorrhoids, I hope this little bit of info helps!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

On-track cleaning

With 3 children under the age of 5, things in my home rarely stay in the room in which they actually belong. Toys end up in every room of the house, things from their bedrooms end up in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, you name it. When I'm cleaning, it would be so easy to get distracted as I begin to put things away, however, I've found a trick that works for me, so I'm hoping someone else might find in useful, too!

How I manage to clean my house without getting distracted with other cleaning projects:

1. Formulate a plan. Pick one place to start and decide how you will work your way through your home.

2. As you work your way through your plan, if you find something out of place, take it to the room it belongs in. Here's where the plan splits:
     a. You haven't made it to this room yet: put the item down and GO BACK to the room you were working on. Don't bother putting the item away, just leave it!
     b. If you HAVE cleaned the room already, PUT IT AWAY. Go back to the room you were working in and go on.

Here's an example:
I'm cleaning my children's room (They're 4 and 3, so I still do it). Legos have been brought into their room and abandoned. Since the legos currently belong in the living room, I take the legos and toss them into the area where the other legos are on the floor. I leave the living room and go back to the children's room. As I continue cleaning, I find they've taken the Q-Tip container off my bathroom shelf and brought it into their room. Since I've already cleaned my bathroom, I take the Q-Tip holder back to my bathroom and PUT IT AWAY, leaving everything in bathroom in its proper place.

This method allows me the freedom to ignore the rooms that I haven't gotten to yet, even while I'm making brief excursions into them. It isn't that I don't see what needs to be done in those rooms, I have just taught myself that I will get to that room in a little while, and it can be a mess until I get there.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quick Inexpensive trick!

Take those less expensive, rounded plastic hangers and make non-slip hangers out of them!!!

Using your hot-glue gun, run a bead of glue down the top of each side of the hanger and allow to dry - DONE. That was easy! I did a wavy line down mine, it seemed to be a little easier than trying to make a perfectly straight line (which it doesn't have to be). 

(This is not original with me, but I can't remember where I saw this tip/trick, so unfortunately, I can't give credit to my source ... I'm bummed, because I always like to credit my sources -it's the English major in me!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Preparing for Baby - What NO ONE tells you!

Okay, after bringing home our 3rd precious little bundle of joy, I've decided to "get real" and share some of the things that people just don't tell you to make sure you have prepared so that bringing home baby is as easy and stress-free as possible!

1. Baby Stuff:
Everyone knows that baby needs clothes, burp cloths, blankets, but make sure you also have 2 JUMBO size boxes of newborn size diapers... babies go through diapers very quickly the first few weeks... you'll be surprised how quickly you use them! (Oh, and of course, a LARGE box of wipes is very helpful.) Those little packages they give you at the hospital don't last very long!

You'll also need: 1 box of Alcohol Swabs (find them in the diabetic testing supplies in the pharmacy section of your local "everything store" (wal-mart, etc); you will also want some laundry detergent for sensitive skin (I prefer Free and Clear All rather than Baby Dreft - it's actually hypo-allergenic). If you're nursing, you'll also want nursing bras, pads and at least 2 tubes of Lansinoh lanolin ointment.

For your diaper bag: 2 packages of wipes (the "to-go" size), hand santizer (for people to use before they touch baby, as well as you to use after diaper changes), you might also want some vaseline (I like it better than Desitin for diaper rash)

For You:
Okay, this might be a little Too Much Information for some, but I'm going to just say it ... childbirth is MESSY - there's a lot of blood and you're going to be bleeding for a few weeks (usually)... make sure you have pads - LOTS of them. You're going to want pads for Overnight, heavy bleeding, moderate, and light bleeding as it tapers off... I usually bleed for about a month after giving birth, although the last 2 1/2 weeks are fairly light.

Family Members:
To make things less stressful, I try to make sure I have 4 weeks of cosmetics for the entire household stocked... toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, lotion, contac solution, etc. Make a list of what you use and buy a few extra of each!

I like to have 4 weeks of dinners planned/prepped. Make it easy - over the last 3 months before baby's arrival, plan to make things for dinner that you can double and freeze half! Things like Sloppy Joes, lasagna, casseroles, etc, have worked well for me. I also count things like spaghetti - I brown the meat and freeze it, then make sure I have the sauce and noodles on hand. I also like to have 6 loaves of bread in the freezer (I double-bag them, using bread bags is easy!)

I also like to stock up on things like canned fruit, instant oatmeal, peanut butter, jelly and other non-perishables.

If you're planning on nursing, plan for some nutritious snacks as well ... nursing burns A LOT of calories, and you're going to need some nutritious snacks around!

Another tip: Pick up an extra of things like trash bags, dish detergent, dishwasher detergent, JUMBO package of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, whatever your household uses on a regular basis... no one wants to run to the store for trash bags the day after baby comes home!

One more tip: we try to save up about $900 before baby arrives. Some hospitals will give you a discount if you can pay your portion of the bill before you leave ... it never hurts to ask!