Monthly Archives: July 2014

Home Spun Fun: Toy Bath

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How do you keep a toddler entertained while you need to get some stuff done in the kitchen?

Set up a toy bath station, that’s how.

We got a couple bowls, some suds, washcloth & towels, and we were off. (In the Learning Tower…we’re still loving that thing.) Then after proper drying time, it was time to put them to bed. I knew there was a reason I kept a cubby full of burp clothes and blankets around!

A little messy but a good time had by all.

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Obsession: Bio Oil

bio oil

When I was in my first trimester of my first pregnancy, I read an article where a supermodel swore by Bio Oil to keep her stretch mark free. So naturally I ran out to Target that day to get me some. And I experienced a bit of sticker shock: one bottle of that stuff is $20! But it did not disappoint.

It kept me stretch mark free through two pregnancies by applying it twice a day, every single day. I didn’t gain that much weight with My Girl, but My Bear was  different story. I was fully expecting to sport some stretch marks during round two, but I believe Bio Oil prevented that from happening. Especially because I have stretch marks from getting breast & hips during puberty – so my body has been susceptible to them in the past. But perhaps that magic potion kept them at bay when growing my babies!

So if you are pregnant, keep Bio Oil in mind. I don’t know if it works for everybody, but it was worth the $20 gamble for sure.

Before & After: Play House

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I snagged this play house on Craigslist. It was rough looking, but it wasn’t expensive. I originally had planned to keep it in its rough state; after all, it was going to sit outside for the rest of its eternity. But once we moved into our new house & I could see it while standing in my kitchen, I decided to make it a bit more pleasing to the eye.
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My intention was to have a gender-neutral color palate since our family consists of a boy and a girl. But My Girl made the trip to Home Depot with me and was pretty adamant on pink being the main player in our rehabbing story. So I grabbed some pink, green, white & turquoise Krylon spray paint made for plastic. I applied several thin coats (or at least attempted to be light-handed), but some paint still chipped off when I was piecing it back together. But otherwise, the paint held up pretty well.

And while I stood back and admired my handy work, My Girl promptly chalked it.
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Snapshots

I’ve been shooting some pics and testing some editing styles. I’m still very much a beginner in Lightroom and don’t really know what I’m doing. But I’m learning! Clickin Moms, I love you.

Here are some of my latest shots. Can you tell I’m really into variations of black & white at the moment?!

Hair Teasing & Hair Bows Hair Teasing & Hair Bows Hair Teasing & Hair Bows Hair Teasing & Hair Bows Hair Teasing & Hair Bows Hair Teasing & Hair BowsHair Teasing & Hair Bows
Hair Teasing & Hair Bows Hair Teasing & Hair Bows

Keeping It Real

When am I due? Oh seven months ago.

post baby body

This, folks, is my post-second-baby body. It has taken me seven months to come to terms with it. But I’m almost there. I’m almost comfortable being uncomfortable.

Weight has never been an issue for me. Maybe I’d hit the gym a little harder before a beach vacation or need to watch my brownie intake after a week or two of sloppy eating. But I’ve never been faced with an extra 15 pounds on the scale. That didn’t even happen at my four week postpartum checkup after having My Girl.

And maybe that is a part of why dealing with this extra weight has been such a struggle: it simply wasn’t an issue after having my first baby. I lost the weight obnoxiously quickly with My Girl. And I assumed the same would happen after round two. Boy am I wrong.

But as My Hubs has said more than once: my body is doing the best it can under the circumstances. My Bear is awesome, but he’s been a tough cookie: colicky, anti-sleep, anti-bath, anti-bottle, anti-anything-that-isn’t-his-momma.  I’ve yet to sleep more than a four hour stretch since bringing home My Bear. I’m unable to eat really clean or workout intensely because it really affects my milk supply. I’m really trying to make a napper out of this kid, so I’m home-bound with staggering nap schedules between my two kiddos. And when I do make it to the gym? My Bear isn’t the happiest customer & may or may not have been asked to leave in the past.

So I’m getting comfortable with the idea that 2014 just isn’t my year of beauty. It’s the year of baby. It’s the year I didn’t sleep, the year I sported a perma-ponytail, the year I wore a body shaping one piece to the beach. It’s also the year of love – oh so much love, the year I kept it all together when it would’ve been understandable to fall apart, the year I became my strongest self.

And while I’m counting down the months for when I can claim my body again, I am doing my best to cherish this time with My Bear. It will be fleeting. It will be missed, I’m sure.

But the baby weight? Not so much.

Home Spun Fun: Cardboard Post Office

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Oh the joys of having a massive cardboard box around! It is reason enough to buy a big piece of furniture: the cardboard loot is a payoff all its own.

We had this box out for a week, and it had all kinds of uses. The one that kept My Girl’s attention the longest? The post office.

We simply cut a flap into the side of the box and went to town. Everything in sight was being shipped somewhere: letters, books, dolls. There was an attempt to mail a chair, but that proved too great an ambition. And proved tantrum-worthy as well. A day in the life of a toddler…

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A Visit from the Poppy Fairy

A Visit From the Poppy Fairy
My Girl looooved her poppies (aka pacis…aka binkies…aka wubbanubs). A love where we’d return home from running errands, and she’d rush to find them and say “I missed you poppies!” There was a serious affection for those suckers. And I loved them too – the one thing I knew would calm her down in an instant. This was true when she was 6 months and when she was two. It was the cure-all. And for that reason, we all dreaded getting rid of them.

We tried a few times to curb the use of the poppy: when she turned one, it was only used for naps and night time. But when she was around 18 months, we had a horrid four hour delay in an airport (where My Girl & I got kicked out of an airport store) and we gave her anything to keep her (and those around us) happy – poppies included. And it was all downhill from there. Especially once her little brother made an appearance – I wanted to keep her as content as possible while she transitioned from an only child to a big sister.

A typical sight at our house: snuggles, a princess dress, and a poppy

A typical sight at our house: snuggles, a princess dress, and a poppy

But even then we had some parameters: no leaving the house with the poppy. This was partly to keep poppy use from getting out of control, but to be honest, it was partly for my appearance. I didn’t want to be that mom with a two and half year old sporting a binky and have to deal with looks from all those people who had an opinion about it. Silly but true.

paci fairy bookBut once we reached the two and half year mark, it was time. So I scoured the internet looking for tips and came across this nugget: The Paci Fairy book. The reviews seemed positive, so I doled out the $24 (people sure do cash in on desperate parents) and created our Poppy Fairy plan. A very elaborate, drawn out plan.

The Poppy Fairy made her first visit to deliver the book. My Girl was really excited to see a present waiting for her and was interested in reading it. And read it we did – for about three solid months, we read that puppy and hyped up the Poppy Fairy. And with a beach vacation on the horizon, we made that the goal date and incorporated that into the scheme: turns out the Poppy Fairy actually lives at the beach!

As beach time got closer, we talked more and more about the Poppy Fairy & giving her the poppies in exchange for presents. We went to Target and looked at fun things the Poppy Fairy has & picked out her most favorite (a Princess Sofia dress being the front runner).

As I said, an elaborate scheme this was.

So once we made it to the beach, we took a few days to get into the rhythm of vacation and decided day Day Four was THE day. After nap time, we gathered up a great deal of our family and headed to the beach. I enlisted my nieces to help hype up being a big girl and they helped in the send off of tying the poppy onto some balloons and watching them float away. They sang “Let It Go” as My Girl & I set them free, and My Girl was really buying into it and kept saying “I’m a big girl!” But then she got upset: upset about losing her balloons of all things! I was shocked.

Loading up the poppy for its balloon ride

Loading up the poppy for its balloon ride

A few hours later, we put her to bed and she cried for her poppy only a minute or so. And that was it. The next morning the Poppy Fairy left some presents – and more balloons – that My Girl happily opened.

Opening up the Poppy Fairy Loot

Opening up the Poppy Fairy Loot

And she mentioned her poppy a few times throughout the rest of vacation, but there was no meltdown even when she was dealing with an ear & eye infection. Totally surprising. Totally wonderful.

Considering how attached she was to her poppies, she has done incredibly well. But the one thing that has not gone well – and one thing I was not prepared for – was the interruption in her sleep patterns. I suppose when she would go through a sleep cycle in the past, she would groggily grab her poppy & soothe herself back to sleep. Without it, she wakes up and screams for her momma. It’s been an issue, but we’re working on it.

An elaborate scheme. A long story. But a successful transition.

So if any of you have paci/poppy/binky/wubbanub obsessive kiddos,  I would highly recommend giving the Poppy Fairy a try!