Friday, July 30, 2010

Car Seat Swaddle Blanket Tutorial

When Jessica was a baby, all problems could be solved by feeding her. Baby John on the other hand, screams anytime he is tired, instead of just going to sleep. Typically, all you have to do is swaddle him, and he will calm down and eventually go to sleep. Unfortunately, that has proven difficult in the car....until now! Introducing: The Car Seat Swaddle Blanket Tutorial!

First you are going to need a piece of material (preferably knit or flannel) approximately 45"x45" is ideal, but I only had 45"x 36" left of my cute helicopter print so I made it work. ;-) Usually when swaddling the kids, I fold the top corner down, but in this case I cut it off.

Next, I lined the corner I cut off up under the shoulder straps.

Then I cut a slit large enough for the buckle to easily slip through.

Then about halfway between the corners on each side, I cut a slit going all the way to the lower part of the shoulder harness. This way the top piece could slip through the shoulder harness.

Finally, serge or hem all edges. And "Ta-Da!" A pretty cranky baby becomes much calmer almost instantly!

I will probably leave this blanket in the car seat at all times. To keep the blanket in place, put the infant head support over the blanket. I think we are really going to enjoy this Car Seat Swaddle Blanket when we take the kids on a 9 hour car trip to visit family in a few weeks!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


After me and my siblings broke a significant number of Mom's glassware, she switched over to Mason Jars because 1) They were less inclined to break when we dropped them 2) They are more difficult to tip over at the dinner table and 3) You can frequently find them for pretty cheap...especially if you find them at a yard sale! Slowly but surely, I am loosing more and more of my drinking glasses. Eventually I plan switch completely over to Mason Jars as well. For little ones, I plan to switch over to tall baby food jars! Aren't they cute??? Mini-Mason Jars!!!

One of the things that has been problematic with teaching Jessica to drink out of a glass is that her mouth is too small for many of the glasses. She started using glasses periodically at about 18 months old; however, I may start John out using a glass much earlier. Technically you could hold a glass for your child and completely avoid the sippy cup entirely. However, I must say I enjoy being able to give my kids sippy cups when I don't feel like getting juice stains out of clothes, when we are not at home, or when I would like them to feed themselves so I can do some other things! The only problem is that I don't buy baby food. I make my own. So....I am going to have to find someone to give me some more tall baby food jars.....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One Year

I just wanted to take a moment to make note that it has been one year today since we had our miscarriage. It is amazing how much can change in a year. Although the experience is still something that I look on as being difficult, I can now see how the experience has shaped my life in positive ways. I have much to be thankful for today! However, I still believe there is a room in heaven full of rocking chairs for rocking all of the babies that did not get to be rocked here on earth, and I fully intend to park myself there when the time comes! May I never forget just how truly precious and fragile life can be.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Week

This week after getting the house back in order, I was able to get Jessica's pants from last year turned into shorts! Now that she is not wearing diapers the pants fit great in the waist....just a little I took care of that! I still have a few dresses to alter, but there is no immediate rush.

Doesn't she look adorable??

Speaking of potty training Jessica is doing really well!!! The only accidents we are having are at night. Usually I think she just forgets when she wakes up that she is in training pants. I have to admit I am very surprised at how well she is doing since I didn't have anything to do with this next step on the road to potty training! She is incredibly independent!! Speaking of which, she decided that she wanted to cook the other night while David and I both thought the other one was watching her. So instead of cooking at her play kitchen, she goes into the fridge, pulls out the eggs, and starts cracking them and scrambling them....on the kitchen floor!!!!!! All of the bowls and pans were behind locked cabinet doors.) What Jessica lacks in speaking, she makes up for in "self-help" skills!
We also did our grocery shopping for the next week and a half, only spent $78, and it only took about an hour! I felt pretty good about that! I did purchase a few non-whole food items (spaghetti noodles, tomato sauce, cheese, and bread), but I have planned a lot of meals from scratch for the next week and a half! Cooking from scratch makes me happy! By the way, this is what Jessica wore to the grocery store.

Isn't she cute?

I couldn't pick just one picture!

The boots came from a friend down the street.

She obviously likes them!

Our friends down the street also gave John this cute costume!

They also gave Jessica this costume for her birthday! I was going to make the kids' costumes for Halloween this year, but these are just too cute not to use!!!

She obviously likes it too!

Jessica and John are best buds! Here she is giving John a kiss!

Jessica really enjoyed pushing John around in the baby doll stroller this week.....he was a little uncertain about the experience...

She is also becoming an avid baby wearer! (Gotta teach 'em young!) Here she is with her baby in the Mei Tai that I made her!

Tomorrow Jessica is attending her 9th birthday party! I am still not sure how she is so popular when her parents are so introverted! This is a picture of the baby doll diaper bag I made for her little friend.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with organizing Jessica's closet more efficiently so she can get to her toys without them falling on her.... And Monday...a doctor's appointment for John! And since John got the short end of the stick this week, here's one more picture of him!

My big 2 month old baby boy!! Real men wear least to bed at night so he doesn't have to wear a pink diaper to church!

Friday, July 16, 2010


We've had a lot of changes happening at our house this week...

Jessica cut her own hair and will be wearing an up doo until it grows out! (The right side of her head has some very short layers in it.) Looks like I am going to have to get better at doing little girl hair...

Jessica also learned that she can climb furniture to obtain desired items. We had to turn the chest in her room around backwards and move out the desk. We also moved all of the stuff off the kitchen counters and put locks on the upper cabinets so that she can help me cook!

Jessica also learned to shoot her mother with the spray nozzle on the kitchen sink!

She has excellent aim....

John is getting cuter by the day!

This week we went out to eat a couple days, but I managed to get this accomplished:

This was the coat closet by the front door. It is now the closet that I will be storing the kids' games, movies, art supplies, preschool supplies, sand/water table supplies, and my scrapbooking supplies! I am finding new way to maximize our storage space!

Aren't you impressed?? Today the closet, tomorrow the world!!!!

We also took Jessica to the doctor this week. We decided to go ahead and see a speech therapist just to give her a little bit of help. She has already started communicating even more this week, but we figure a little extra help won't hurt! Jessica's latest new word is "Gosh!" She says it any time she has an accident, and sometimes when John is getting a diaper change or she is going to the potty. How did she make that association? David always says that when we are changing a particularly awful diaper!
I was very pleased to hear that one of David's relatives is a Speech Pathologist and said that it is quite common for 2.5 year olds to not be talking much yet! I will say though that it will be a little easier when she does start communicating better. People say all the time, "No it won't because then you won't be able to get them to shut-up." However, if you have ever had a somewhat non-verbal child throw tantrums when they can't explain to you what they want/need (which is exponentially more challenging as they get bigger), then you know just how challenging and frustrating it can be.....not to mention having to use creative methods to potty train, manage behavior, and do just about everything! I have a new respect for parents whose children remain mostly non-verbal their entire lives!

This week Jessica threw a tantrum as we were leaving the locker room at the pool. It took me a while to catch on, but I eventually realized that although she runs around naked at the house all the time, she did not want to leave the locker room in just a diaper! I wonder where she picked up this modest streak from...
Jessica also REFUSED to wear a diaper when we went out last night and to bed....definitely not bothered in the least by the new baby.....definitely not regressing!!!
So I have been busy making more of these fleece shorties to go over her training pants to give us a few extra seconds to find a bathroom!!! She has really been doing great! She didn't wake up last night to go to the bathroom, and only had a small accident when she woke up and was not completely conscious!!
Jessica has also enjoyed assessorizing this week with necklaces especially (you can see one that used to belong to Aunt Kim in the picture where she is wearing the denim dress), but here are a couple pictures of her at Sunday lunch a couple weeks ago trying on a friend's hat with her cool fish sunglasses!

And one of John from another Sunday lunch...

Next, I plan to get busy finishing some dresses for Jessica as she is very quickly out growing some of her dresses! Now David and I are both taking a deep breath in front of the computer hoping that we don't have to get used to too many more changes next week! We've had enough to last for a while!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Grocery Shopping, Concerned Strangers, and No Naps....Oh My!

Today was grocery day. It started out so well....I got everything I needed for $55.94, saved $9.04, and only bought whole foods for some yummy from scratch cooking (including shrimp one night and steak another!!!). I finished my shopping in less than an hour with both kiddos. I did conclude that next week I should start going to two different stores again (on two different days) so I can get certain types of items for a better price.

It was what happened while I was grocery shopping that bugged me. A woman in the grocery store saw me wearing John in the Moby Wrap and was very concerned that I was smothering him. I tried to explain that he was perfectly safe, but she didn't seem to be listening and eventually walked off. This has happened before about the same thing! I had the kids at an outdoor festival, and John was in the black swim wrap because it is very thin and breathable. Two ladies standing maybe 3 feet away from me were staring and pointing at me with obvious concern that I was smothering him or that he would get heat stroke. I have also had concerned strangers look at Jessica strangely when she doesn't talk to them. I have to admit I find it rather annoying and upsetting to hear/see strangers "concerned" about what I am doing as a parent. Parenting is hard enough without random strangers being critical of what you are doing! Maybe I need some sort of sign or t-shirt....

Finally this afternoon neither of the kids really napped. John took some cat naps, but I was really hoping for a little time away from everyone to decompress! On the brightside Jessica has started giving herself reading time when she doesn't nap....but I am still nervous that she will come up with something destructive to do that I haven't thought of as long as she is awake!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

By Popular Demand....More Pictures!

I have a lot of relatives who keep telling me I need to post more pictures! So to appease our adoring they are from our weekend with David's parents!

David asked his dad to bring down his electric trains. His dad also brought some track down. Jessica thought it was absolutely fabulous!!!!

She is completely glued!!!

When Daddy was trying to fix some of the trains, Jessica decided to help of course!

What David's mother spent a good portion of the weekend doing since John did not want to be put down!

What we all spent our evenings doing. Sitting with Jessica watching the first half of Cars! It is one of her new favorite movies!

Our first family photo....I know....I don't know why we didn't get one earlier either!!!!

John cried all weekend. Towards the end of the weekend David's mother suggested that John was over eating and giving himself a tummy ache! Once he started using a pacifier instead of eating all the time, he became a much happier baby and a much better sleeper!!! Who knew overeating was not a learned behavior!?!?!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Father of the Year Strikes Again

David has become quite the pro when it comes to being a my humble opinion! However, occasionally he will do something that causes all of the other moms I know to hail him as Super Dad!! Such as when he rescued Jessica from a falling sheet of plywood (while holding a friends expensive camera)! This weekend he did it again!

He was carrying John while walking down the concrete steps at the front of our church and missed the last step. He fell straight forward, hit his knees, rolled to his shoulder, while holding John up in the air. Miraculously John survived the fall unscathed and actually didn't even wake up. David's poor knees on the other hand are still rather tender! Way to take one for the team Dad!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grocery Day!

Today was my first grocery shopping trip since having John in which I am trying to cook almost completely from scratch and stick to our budget (if not under cut our budget)! Cooking from scratch to me means using only whole foods (carrots, potatoes, milk, chicken, etc). Most of the time I get them as fresh and unprocessed as possible; however, this time I did purchase a few frozen veggies and pre-cut chicken pieces as well as a couple pre-packaged items for convenience while we have friends and family in town. Our budget has waffled between $100 and $400 a month for all household expenses depending on our economic and medical situation. Currently, it is on the books at $300, but I frequently under cut that and can do it on $200 a month.

Thoughts on my grocery trip: I usually go to two different stores, but since I had both of the kids with me, I only went to Publix because 1) They had about half of the items I needed on sale. 2) They have much better looking produce than the local Wal-mart. and 3) As a mom taking 2 kids to the grocery I appreciate getting help out to the car and free cookies in the deli! On the whole it was a very pleasant shopping experience, and I finished in less than an hour!! I was a little disappointed with the amount I spent: $101.93. (I did save $21) However, considering we will have friends and family over this week and will need more food and a little more convenience (and I didn't get to plant a garden this spring), I really did pretty well! Next week though I am hoping for a much lower bill and even more from scratch cooking (although most people wouldn't consider what I bought this week to be convenience food). Everyone in our house is happy to see that my energy has returned with the birth of baby John and with it the return of the healthy, from scratch, home cookin' we all like so much!!