Toddler Ornament DIY

My family loves to make Ornaments at Christmas time.   This is rather difficult to do with a toddler...  so here is what I came up with.

Very very easy.
Clear plastic ornament (got mine from Michael's) but a ceramic one would work as well.  I just wouldn't suggest glass.
Acrylic Paint- red, green and white.
Soft paint brush (about 1" wide)
Moist towel or wipe
Dry towel
Cup of water (I prefer to use an old plastic coffee can)
Some where to hang wet ornament, nearby and out of reach of small hands
Willing toddler in messable clothes

Place a squirt of each of the paint colors on your plate.
Use paint brush to apply paint to hand of toddler.  Have toddler grab or pat the ornament, I turned mine as he was enthusiastically "pat pat"ing it. Once you finish with warm color hang ornament out of  toddler's reach.  Use moist towel to wipe paint off of hand and follow with dry towel.  Give the ornament a couple of minutes to dry before applying next color so that you don't end up with a brown, pink, light green and tan ornament.  Repeat process for each color.
Hang to dry and clean toddler, yourself and whatever surface you are working on  :P

Also would make a good grandparent gift or gift tag.  It is a rather quick process, the set-up and clean-up is what took us the longest, and it wasn't that bad.

Still Cookin'!

Well today I am 27weeks and 2 days pregnant!!!!!!!   I am further than I got with Lil'C who was born at 27weeks 1day.  So to celebrate... Coupon code for my etsy shop for my readers!!
I'll leave it till Lil'K makes her appearance or..I run out of stock, whichever comes first.

Etsy Link:  StitchinFrog
Coupon Code:  KeepCookin

Repairing elastic in Smartipants

We all know that I use cloth diapers, and I love them.  But after so many washings and tons of abuse elastic can begin to wear out, just like any article of clothing.  I searched the web for a tutorial for repairing Smartipants (my favorite brand and the majority of my stash) elastic but couldn't find one, so I'm making one!

Now before you proceed...  following these steps WILL DESTROY YOUR WARRENTY! So if you still have your warranty contact Smartipants FIRST!  If, like me, it was already shot due to using baking soda or something in the wash, then continue.  Or, if you don't care about destroying your warranty and just want it fixed today. 

Avoiding NICU head aka Plagiocephaly

Image from Here with tons of info for the medical people.A more severe version go here and for the same thingsI'm saying but in doctor speak, go here.
You maybe asking yourself...  what is NICU head or Plagiocephaly?  It is where the skull gets misshapen due to being in the same position for extended periods of time. It is very common in preemies/long term NICU residents, but is becoming more common in termies as well.

I have been promising this post for awhile and have finally gotten to it!  YEAHHH  to having interwebs again!
Now I have to start off with some basic info....  I am NOT a medical professional, but I am the Mom of a NICU grad.  A long term NICU resident. We were in the NICU for 5.5 months (figured out the other day.. 170+ days).  In our NICU plagiocphaly was EXTREMELY common.  The fact that we managed to leave the NICU with a "normal" skull shape was amazing to many of the medical professionals there, and has inspired some changes in our NICU.

The first signs of NICU head. Lil'C was only a few days old.
So how did we avoid NICU head?  One way is that our nurses rocked and let us know about it.  Another is something I have said before... the greatest asset a NICU child can have is their parent(s)!
A parent gives a unique perspective on the medical interventions.  A parent will notice if their child's head has been in the same spot over 24hrs, which you should point out to your nurse(nicely!).
Even when we were barely allowed to touch him we could still make sure his head got turned side to side daily. We even got center when we started to notice him showing signs of NICU head, which is when we got really serious about finding out how to avoid it.
In the beginning there wasn't much we could do. But we did start letting the nurses know at each shift change about when the last time his head was turned. We made sure his head was turned every 12 hrs (each  shift change). They are supposed to do that anyway but nurses have so much to keep track of, and I would rather they focus on the other things.
The blanket roll method

The blanket roll method with an extra light sheld
One of the other parents told us about Early Intervention and we started asking the medical people about it, but it was early on and we were told that there wasn't anything EI could do for us that early.   We did have one awesome nurse who came up with the blanket roll method.
The blanket roll method requires many receiving blankets.  We used two as sheets to cover the mattress in the isolate. One rolled into a tube on either side another rolled at his feet.  Another blanket was laid over the top of all of these creating a little nest. A cloth diaper and/or scrap of faux fir was placed under his head as a pillow.
The idea was to basically swaddle him/mimic the confinement of the womb as much as we could since he missed those last 3 months in utero.  We baised this idea off of Dr.Sears  (oops... read both books at the same time)  Dr. Karp's "Forth trimester" theory, we figured if it had proven helpful for termies it should really help someone who had missed the whole third trimester.  He stayed a lot calmer after we did, plus it helped avoid NICU head. we still had to make sure his head was turned at least every shift change, but not being on a flat surface helped.
In the beginning we were barely be able to touch him, so the great thing about the blanket roll method is that the nurses were able to do it whenever they had to change his bed anyway.  That way he wasn't disturbed unnecessarily.

Christopher with his EI happies. Froggy pillow under his head and snugglie wrapped around him
Later on we were able to finally get Early Intervention to come in, unlike EI when you are at home they don't actually touch/play with the baby.  They bring HAPPY things!  Bendies, Frog pillows and snugglies.  They generally work the same as the blanket method but are easier to change/customize. 

Kangaroo care is the BEST! This was my favorite day, first day happy holding.
Once he finally got big enough to do kangaroo care, we started that.  Kangaroo care also helped us avoid NICU head by putting him in different positions and in different angles.  Later on when he was in a crib we also used a Boppy as a positioner.  He continued to use the boppy to sleep in at home, which you shouldn't do unless your LO is on O2 and a monitor, it's right on the bobby not to, it just isn't safe otherwise.
Once we finally got home kangroo care morphed into baby wearing, which I highly suggest for all parents whither you had NICU time or not.  Wearing him in a wrap and later a sling allowed him to be nearby, kept him calm and relaxing for me.  I only retired my sling about a month ago when it got uncomfortable with my pregnancy bump.  He was 19mo and 17lbs.  My sister comfortably wears her much heavier (aka healthy normal termie) 1 year old.
The Plagiocehaly is becoming common in termies is due to the "bucket baby" mentality.   A bucket baby is when parents keep their baby in containers such as the baby carrier/car seat, swings, bouncy seats, strollers and cribs. I firmly believe that car seats should stay in the car... my sister isn't as strict as I am about that.   She has no issues but my niece isn't a bucket baby, a true bucket baby is almost always in some bucket device. Babywearing is a great way to keep that from being an issue and is easier on mom and baby.
Now I'm not saying these devices are bad. Christopher loved his swing in the NICU and loved it some at home. The trick is to use these things sparingly.  Ok... getting off my soap box.

Soo how does his head look after 5.5 months in the NICU?    You would never know he spent months in a bed.
No NICU head. The ears are genetic.. both sides, he didn't have a chance. :P

We Finally Have Interwebs!!!

Thanks for sticking with me during the move!  We are settled in and after a month of fighting with a certain internet company...  we have internet!  I should be able to begin posting regually again and I have  few ideas that ya'll will like.  :)   Until then... some much deserved cutness!

Current Updates:  Currently 25weeks with second pregnancy, who is a girl!  Lil'k does not have a heart defect like big brother! She is also on target with her growth.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (to the fellow Americans) and a great Thursday (for the non-Americans)!

Don't forget to checkout my new Etsy shop!  Nursing necklaces and ring slings!

Cleaning Recipies

I have gathered TONS and I do mean TONS of cleaning recipies from alllllllllll over the web.  From tons of websites... I feel bad that I didn't include links.. but this is intended to be printed so links wouldn't help much.. 
You are welcome to share this with whomever, I didn't create most of these and I got them for free so who am I to charge or say who gets them?
So make sure you have a LOT of paper in your printer and print away.  If you know of any recipies to add, let me know & I'll add it for everyone :)
Hint: Set your printer on front and back print if you can..
Click me for Recipes


I know it has been forever since I have posted.. so here are some updates!

First Update:  Christopher is getting a new.....

Second Update:  My rings slings (including my newest design) and my nursing necklaces are now for sale on Etsy
And to all my Aussie readers... I even figured out shipping just for ya'll!
DIY links for the old Sling design and Nursing necklaces

We have also moved and internet is not up yet, It will be a bit until I'm able to start doing real posts again.
I have plans for some more NICU posts and a Smartipants elastic repair tutorial.  So, hang with me for a little longer!

Friday Happy: Cuteness

I have a silly little boy.   He just got this jumper from his Grandma last weekend.

Chicken & Rice

My family has their own cookbook.  Over half of the thing is desserts because.. well, we're bakers.
One of our recipes is Chicken and Rice, a family staple.  I tend to make it when I don't feel like putting much effort into cooking or is someone isn't feeling well.  It's kinna a cousin to chicken soup.

Details on the new adventure.

Our little family

I have been hinting at the new family adventure for awhile now, and here is what we have going on..

Friday Happy: Can he make it?-part 2

Did you see the video last week?  Well here is part 2 and what happened every other time he tried it... See why we freaked out in the other video?

Aren't guys great?

DIY diaper wipes and solution

So we have LONG established that I'm a gung-ho cloth diapering mom who loves to DIY everything I can.. so is it any suprise that I make my own wipes and solution?  Nah.. didn't think so.
Well here is how I do it.
You will need: a box to hold your wipes. (I find that the Kroger brand wipes box works best for this, their wipes suck but the box is fantastic!),  Bottle to mix in (squirt bottles work great, we got that one for free at a Dollar general grand opening), baby oil, aloe vera gel, your favorite baby shampoo, and wipes.  To make our wipes we took 4 flannel receiving blankets (we use the rest at Flat diapers when we need them) and cut them into squares the size of the wipes that came in the box, about 6"x6"  I surged the edges but you don't have too.  You can also use the CHEAP baby wash cloths.  The expensive ones have to much grip and won't "pop-up" well.

Busy weekend and an even buisier week

R-L Top: Purreed Pear (lil bro thinks it looks like pureed people.. ), Triple berry Jam.   R-L Bottom: Sliced pear, dehydrated pear, Gumbo Starter (mom's newest canning idea), Dehydrated apple.

So.. we've had a busy weekend here at the pond... can ya tell?

Friday Happy: Can he make it?

This was recorded at a family get together.  Now.. ask yourself..  Can he make it?

The poor tube did not survive the afternoon.  The last guy is the father of the boy, and the guy in the middle is my DH.

What crazy stunts do the guys in you life pull?

Swiss Chard

It's in the bottom left corner of the box.. that was months ago.  It is now 2-3 times that size.  And I have another block that is just as big
No DIY today... at least not from me...  I need some help! 
I have Swiss Chard growing like CRAZY in my garden... with one problem......
What do I do with the stuff???
I tried cooking it like turnip greens/spinach but it ended up having a dirtish taste.. (not a member of the raw foods movement..) I had rinsed it off before hand. 
Do ya'll have any recipies or anything on how to use the stuff?
Every tried canning it or dehydrating it?  Does it work?

Help a girl out! 

Touched out

I have hit a nursing mom phenomenon...  I'm getting very, very touched out lately.   I about chewed Hubby's head off last night because he wanted to snuggle while watching a movie.  He started snoring in my ear... I wanted to rip his head off so bad... Violent... I know.

Have you ever been touched out? 
Should have seen the "discussion" this sucker sparked.... *Sigh*
I feel like I'm constantly in-demand..

Friday Happy: Baby Giggles

I know... I know... I'm late...  Our computer has been on the fritz.  So, better late than never!!  :D

All right the funny video for the week.   My mother and Lil' C, she knows just how to make him laugh.

How can that not make you smile?  :D
I hope ya'll are having a good day! 

What have you been up to this week? 

DIY Camera softie

No I did not create the original tutorial.  I found it here at Pink stitches which I found at Craft Gossip... If you don't know about Craft Gossip, you should!  And yes... you may just hate me for showing you.

I made this little orange camera for my niece's 3rd birthday gift.  My sister (her mother) is a professional photographer.  Her response on seeing the camera?  "It says Canon on it because it is well made!"  :P    Can you tell what brand all her cameras are?  :P

My Boys...

But Mommy... I don't wanna wake up for breakfast...
It has been a few long weeks here at the pond... My boys are.. well boys. 
Hubby is still looking for a job, Lil'C is finally learning to scoot.  He can now move all the way across the kitchen. :) 

Hopefully he will be really crawling and walking very soon. 
They are figuring out "rough & tumble" baby games to play together.. mostly it is a game of toss in the air.   Or Hubby will lay on the floor while Lil'C sits on his neck and beeps his nose... repetitively.
We have also realized why Lil'C doesn't like to eat with spoons.. apparently they are to slow.  He prefers to "drink" his meals.  He only wants to drink his food right out of the jar.  Hubby tend to feed him now and he will even hold hubby's hand so that he won't take the jar away.   It's rather funny to watch.

Well I hope ya'll all had a fantastic weekend :)
What do your boys do?

I drink from a sippy cup.. Friday Happy

I have had this song stuck in for days!! ... So I figured I would share!
It starts at after the theme song but this was the closest I could find.

yeah.. try and keep that out of your head now!  Yep, you can now hate me :P

Lil' C has gotten pretty good at his Tommee Tippee Sippy cups. I highly suggest these, but not the ones with the harder spouts.. he had problems with those.  Their bottle with a cereal nipple was the only one he could use at all, in the beginning.  He never got very good at any bottles.  I like alot of the TT products.. although they are rather expensive, we just don't buy many.  Sippy cups sure make car trips easier, though!

DIY vannilla :)

If you have been reading my blog for long you know that I love DIY... I have another one for you!   DIY Vanilla "Extract"!

What you will need....
3-4 vanilla beans
1 small bottle of vodka
1 Med-large bottle of vodka

Take the vanilla beans and splice them down the middle.  Drop them in the small vodka bottle and shake.
Make sure the vodka completely covers the beans.  Store the bottle in the dark for a few weeks,  until the vodka turns dark brown.  Use it as you would any other vanilla extract.  Use the larger bottle of vodka to re-fill the small bottle after each use, make sure that the beans are never sit exposed to air so that they do not mold.  I have been using my vanilla for years and have a friend that has been using hers closer to a decade.
Now... if for some reason you don't want to use liquor.... you can replace the vodka with vinegar. :D

More DIY:
Dish Detergent
Window cleaner
both of the above also have more links for many many more cleaners as well :D Check 'em out if you haven't before!

Make sure you check out the comments on the Dish Detergent, there is a FANTASTIC link for laundry detergent by one of my commenters!  :D

I got my beans from Rainbow Grocery but if you need a link... You can go here to get your beans!

Family Adventure

Sorry about Friday folks.   It was a crazy week...  On Thursday Lil'C had a checkup with his cousin Lil'E.  Yep.. two infants at a Dr appointment at one time, and both getting shots.  They both calmed down pretty quickly.  After that I started having a health issue and ended up in the ER.  Lil'C stayed home with my family while hubby, my mom and myself was at the hospital.   Mom left earliest and stayed with Lil'C until we got home sometime after midnight.  All in all.. I'm ok but have to take it easy for a bit.
Wait till I tell you about the booby traps I got because of all that!  It was hard not to laugh in the face of some "medical professionals"  but more on that later. 
Also this week is our church's VBS.  What kind of art teacher would I be if I didn't help with crafts? .... I'm not so good at taking it easy....     We're doing "Pandamania" it's ... interesting.  I came into it kinna last minute so they ended up getting mostly "pre-packaged" crafts...  and if you have ever done those you will know that they don't usually take long to do.   So I'm working on coming up with some ideas for filler crafts. 
Got any ideas?? 

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

As I have said before I prefer to DIY, and I have already shared with ya'll my window cleaner.
I have found a pretty effective method for DIY Dishwasher detergent.  
I searched all over for recipes and ended up mixing some ideas.. 

For my system you will need: (notice that it is divided into 2 sections)
Baking Soda

1 part vinagar
1 part castle soap
1 part lemon juice (or double the vinigar)
1 part water

Combine the vinegar, castle soap, lemon juice and water in a container.  A squirt bottle works great for this.  Shake before each use.

When your ready to run the dishwasher put your mixture in the main soap spot (the one with the lid) and put about a tablespoon or two of the baking soda in the pre-wash soap spot. 

The baking soda will help break up what is on your dishes and may even have a slight reaction with the vinegar in the main wash cycle to add to the scrubbing power. 

I love it and think it works great.   My mom still prefers to use Cascade (remember she prefers to buy) and I can now taste it when she does the dishes.  ick...  

What DIY products do you like to use?   Have you found anything new lately?
Check out this post for a large list of DIY cleaners.
Some more to add to the list:
 All purpose cleaning spray
 List of Homemade Cleaners (Faux Fabreze too!)
A nice multi-list

There is one common cleaner that I don't use.. DIY or store bought.   I don't use carpet "cleaners", you know those powdered thing?    We have a specific reason for that...  Years ago when we were replacing my parents carpet and we pulled up the carpet.... ick...   years and years and years (my mom is gonna hate me for posting this!!) of carpet "cleaner" powder alllllll over the place under the carpet and carpet mat..    My one exception would be in the case of fleas.. because one of the ways to get rid of fleas in carpet is by putting baking soda on your carpet since it dehydrates the evil little critters and their eggs.  ick ick...   
Do you have any products you refuse to use... most of the time?

Happy 4th!

To all my fellow American's... Happy independance day!!!!

Time to blow stuff up!  At least that is what will be happening at my house.    Three Pyros with 42 acres to play.... yep.  Stuff blowing up.  Probably gonna set off the potato cannon and a sparkler bomb or two.

What does your family do for the 4th?
The 4th is a perfect day for swimming!
I have noticed that I have TONS of  Austrailian readers and I was wondering... when is ya'll independance day?  Australia is one of those places I have always wanted to visit.. I had a friend years ago who lived there and he said that the kangaroos were like deer are here... a pain in the neck.   I still think they are cool, but I don't have to worry about them totaling my car!
Yeah.. their not really that cute.. source

What is the most annoying animal in your area? 

Friday Happy! : Baby wearing

Found this on The Leaky Boob, it's from Marvelous Kiddo

Oh.. tis funny!  Enjoy!
I love that it allows me to take stairs with no difficulty.  Do you babywear?  What is your favorite thing about it?

Coupon Disaster..

My Attempt at a DIY coupon binder...  Fail..
I have been working on creating a simple to use coupon book for my mom.. Seriously.. who isn't trying to save money?    I couldn't manage to get a hold of  a pocket portfolio so I attempted to make a faux version out of one...  yeah.. didn't work

I just don't get it...

Oh No.. Here she goes again....
There are things in this life that I just don't understand... abortions being one of them. Yep... here I go getting all controversial again... I'm really, honestly, trying to understand the thought process that makes it ok..

Friday Happy!

For all of those who require or wish they required meds to get through the day.

Enjoy your Friday!

And another one bites the dust... :(

My Guys
Last Wendsday Big C got word back from the last place he interviewed at.. and pooh..  It was his second interview with them too... Plus it would have been a fantastic fit for our family.. :(
Currently he works as a dishwasher/cook for a local restaurant, barely making min wage... 
He has been looking for a good job since shortly after Lil' C was born.   He had a job he liked in OK, but then when all hell broke loose, he had to come back to MS to be with us.  He has interviewed and sent out resume's everywhere...  anytime he gets negative word back I get a text "I hate this state".. It's really eating at him.  This one was probably one of the worst, since it was a second interview and he was really excited about the position..

I know he is not a fan of MS (I think my MIL is part of the reason for that) but I was born here... my family is here... Lil'C's hospital and doctors are here...  The amount of paperwork it would take to move alone would bury us..
We have talked about moving to OK anyway, but the last time we tried his mom said that we/him could not stay with her because she decided to move an hour or so away from the job..  so he would have no where to live and no money since he wouldn't get paid for 30 days, which would still leave Lil'C and I at my parents with no car..

Does anyone know of a job for a 3 class short of a Bachelor in computer sciences?  He does have an associates with many MANY years of food service and customer service?    Preferably in MS or a WAH position?

DIY Extreme Wet Bag

Our old wetbag. Great single pouch wet bag.
As I have said before... we use cloth diapers.  When you use cloth then you become introduced to SOOO many other neat things..  One of which is the "Wet Bag", which is basically a carry all for wet/dirty things.   I suggest one to any parent, even the 'sposie using ones.    They can be used to carry dirty cloth diapers, wet swim suits, dirty outfits of a potty-training toddler, etc.  home to be washed.

It's a birthday today!

I get strawberry cheesecake every year.. I want these this year!
It's MINE!  :D 
Last year today we celebrated by me getting to hold Lil'C both of the two times that we were allowed to hold him a day.  Big C got to do the same on Father's day that year.
It is crazy how different one year can be.  Now I'm gonna go snuggle my miracle. :D

How the garden grows

The white bags are deer deterrent.
So this year I started off doing a square foot garden... then about a month ago my mom decided to add to it... but she wanted a traditional garden.   So now we have....  lettuce, corn, pumpkin, watermelon, squash, zucchini, tomato, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, strawberry, okra, sweet potato, regular potato, black eyed peas, navy beans, banana & bell peppers, peas cammomile, arugala, swiss chard basil, canalope, sage, chives and probably a kitchen sink...
It has kinna gotten crazy.   We have already been eating the carrots, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes and potatoes. 

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone had a good one!
Lil'C and his Great-Grandfather "Daddo" (Dah Do)
Lil'C and one of his Grandfathers (my dad)  "Poppy"

Lil'C and Daddy Big C

We had a DIY Father's day. I made Big C a tie and then used India Ink to stamp Lil'Cs foot print on the bottom. I used this pattern. Big C says it is a bit short.. but it is a good pattern. If you have a "thicker" guy, you may want to lengthen it a bit. I also made lil'C a matching bow tie using this pattern.

Poppy's Father's Day gift was a little more involved.  Actually everyone in the family helped in some way.  He has had a saw blade that he wanted turned into a clock for some time now...   Big C picked up the clock works, hands and spray painted the base coat (Rust-oleum),  My sister did the lettering (my hand-writing is BAD), I put it together and drew the stick-cousins.  The guys also took Poppy to the movies to get him out of the house so it could be finished.
The stick cousins are just drawn on with sharpie.
Lil'C is 6'oclock.  The other circles are for future cousins.  Which will be a WHILE!

Well to all the Dads out there... Happy Father's Day!

One year old! Both ways!

My big boy :)
Today Christopher is One year old gestationally.  June 17 was my due date.  He was born 15 months ago so he has been a "one year old" for 3 months now. Now when people ask me how old he is I can just say "one year" instead of " __ months old and __ months gestational"  and then have to go into the whole 1 trimester short explanation.

DIY baby food grinder case

Finished bag. Wait till you see all the features!

Lil'C has a Kidco Baby food grinder (edited to update link to new version by the same brand).  It works pretty good, but I dropped it the other day at church and snapped the latch on the case.  I decided I needed a working case, since we usually use it when out and about.   So, to the sewing room I went. 

I found something!!!!

I found another Micropreemie mom-blog!  And her MP is older!  :D  It is like peering into the future.  A must-follow for any MP mom!
Here is her Birth Story
She also has a GREAT series on dealing with insensitive comments!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Here is her MP post list!   I'm just starting to read through them all.  I think it is gonna take awhile :D It just makes me so excited to read that it isn't even funny!  :D

For my new readers....
My Birth Story

And my MP posts...
Pumping Queen- My pumping helper
War of the Passy- My stance on Passies
Pre-Nom- Dealing with pre-nursing babies
Breastfeeding in the NICU- My BFing info
Being Kanga and Roo- All about Rooing
Comfort Babies = Not worth the Effort  - About the term "Comfort babies"
Saving you Sanity - Keeping your sanity as a NICU parent
Swaddiling in a womb with a view - How to swaddle when you can't touch
Make it Personal- the NICU is your nursery
Drs: The Good, The Bad, The Dangerous- What to watch for
NICU Happy Song- A MUST WATCH for any NICU parent :D

Are you a MP parent?  Have any NICU posts you want to share?  Post them in the comments!  :D

Friday Fun!

A don't know how much more geeky I can make it.   DH & I both love Stephen Torrance.


DIY Nursing Necklace

I have been coveting some nursing necklaces since Lil'C has gotten REALLY REALLY good at removing my glasses.  I have such bad eye sight that I do actually walk into walls/poles/chairs/stairs/etc. without them, and he can remove my glasses in about 10 seconds flat.   That can become really dangerous.

I dream of...

Hopefully my mannequin won't be ruined in storage...
A full sewing space!
As I posted the other day.. we are currently staying with my parents until Big C can find a better job... (I wonder how many families are doing that right now...)  In our last house (rental) I had a room just for my sewing/crafts... I miss it..

I shall 'splan

It wasn't supposed to be a big deal...
I kinna feel like I need to explain myself...  After seeing all the other bloggy Moms doing the flats challenge I feel kinna left out...
or something like that...
The reason I decided NOT to do the handwashing part is actually pretty simple...  I've already done it.   I lived in Hattiesburg, MS in August of 2005.   I was living in a nice apartment complex off of I-59.  No one took the storm all that seriously...  We were all joking about how we would all get a day off from class... and that would be the extent of it.... boy were we wrong.
The eye of Katrina actually passed directly over my apartment.  I still vividly remember the feel of the walls of my neighbor's apartment shaking under my fingertips.  I remember watching the faux chimneys on the sides of the apartment buildings rip off and fly past the windows.
My neighbor had friends from the coast, with him who had run from the storm to the "safety" of Hattiesburg.
After the storm passed we were without power and water for about 2 weeks.  
Between the two apartments there were 8 people.  I fed everyone on a small 1/4" steel grill that didn't have any feet.  We burned the wood from the faux chimneys to cook and heat water. 
I had two of these.
Me and the only other girl between the two apartments (were we outnumbered or WHAT!) ended up washing clothes in my fabric stash buckets.
Yep.. I washed clothes for 8 people for 2 weeks in buckets.  See why I decided not to hand wash?  I've had enough hand washing for a life time.

But I did learn something from the flats challenge.  I learned LOTS. 
I learned that I like using flats, most of the time.  DH hates them and refuses to use anything other than Smartipants.. or some other form of easy change diaper.  Sometimes, if all else fails, he will change a Flip. 
I think they are great for at home use and for healing diaper rash.   Sure I have gotten wet a few times since I started using them, but that is because I never use a cover.  It isn't like I get soaked... just a bit damp.   We have also had a few poo leaks.  These past few weeks have been crazy with him being sick.   The antibiotics caused horrible diarrhea which caused horrible yeast diaper rash. The rash needed to breathe as well as meds.   Well.. I REALLY don't wanna use diaper ointment of any sort in my Smaris..  So.. I got rather good at the origami fold... and learned to make sure I fold it right to keep the diarrhea from leaking out..  ICK!!!

I'm still hopping to eventually get a Snappi though... I'll have to beg DH.. :P

What did you learn from the Flats Challenge?  Have you ever had to hand wash?  If so, Why?

DIY window cleaner

I feel that we have had enough chemical exposure to last a lifetime... so I try and avoid it.
One of the ways I do so is DIY cleaning products.   One of those products is Window cleaner... it is actually very easy to make!
Spray bottle
6 parts cooled VERY black tea (I use 3 cups)
1 part vinegar (I use 1/2 cup)
2 marbles
1 t-shirt cut into squares. (I used one of Big C's old ones, with his permission)

Poor tea and vinegar in spray bottle.  Drop the marbles in the bottle, they help keep thing mixed (think spray cans).

When using, spray the cleaner on the t-shirt squares and NOT the glass.   This keeps you from over using and having streaks. 
Plus when it comes to unframed mirrors, it keeps you from ruining the mirror.  The liquids will seep under the edges and eat away at your mirror.  
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Here are some of my favorite DIY cleaning links!  It's enough to do your whole house!

Laundry Detergent
Giant List of 25
Green Cleaning
Cleaners from the Garden
Dishwasher Detergent

Furniture Polish

Plus a little helpful motivation!

What are your favorite cleaning links?

I got my first blog award!! :D

Check it out!  I got my very first award!!  :D
Big 'ol' thanks to Melissa at Our Monkey Life.  I think we have a simmilar since of humor...  so if you like reading my blog, you will probably enjoy hers.  Check her out. ....   seriously... I'll wait......

(Jepordy music plays)

Flats Challenge

We only partally praticipated in the challenge.  Lil' C did get some flats in his rotation.. Well .. flannel blanket "flats".

DIY babywearing sling

It's fun!

Monday I posted about Babywearing.  I have a tutorial for ya'll!! :D   DIY baby sling!


Our first time Babywearing in the NICU or "Rooing"
We babywear  Lil' C anytime we are in public.  We do this for 2 reasons, ease of movement and health reasons. 

Cloth Diapering in the Hospital

We have already established that I'm a cloth diapering Mama.. really .. it isn't that hard.
The LAST time he ever wore 'sposies.
But cloth in the hospital takes some maneuvering....  The last two times Lil'C has had a hosptal stay (one over night and one for about a week) we used cloth.   The time before (his open heart surgery) he used the hospital provided Dry Max Pampers......  OMG... his poor poor bum..  Chemical burn.  So I swore then to avoid 'sposies from then on.
So how do you use cloth in the hospital?
There are a few ways.

Flats Challenge

Lot's of wiggling going on
Next week is the DDL Flats Hand-washing Challenge.   For me it could not have come at a better time.  Lil' C is cutting teeth.  How does cutting teeth and a hand-washing challenge have anything to do with one another?  More than you would expect.  Cutting teeth causes ALOT of drool... Which in turn causes diarrhea... which causes some BAD diaper rash..  (Seriously... the last time his bum looked like this was when he had to wear Pampers Ultra Dry in the hospital).