Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My February Bluum Box

This review has been moved. You can now view it HERE.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Product Review: Bryton Floss Picks

This review has been moved. You can now view it HERE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Adjusting to Life with Baby #2

     Well, my little boy is now a week old. It's hard to believe. We're still adjusting, but everything is slowly getting into a sort of routine. I've been supplementing at night with formula. I know there are some that would frown upon that, but it works for us. I give him one small bottle before bed and one in the middle of the night. By the time I pump and otherwise get ready for bed, that equates to about a 3 hour stretch of sleep for me (4 if I'm really lucky...).
     At first I was afraid he wasn't getting enough to drink because we have those really cool diapers with the stripe that changes color when it's wet--only it seemed the stripes were never changing color. He was definitely having some dirty diapers, but no blue line. I eventually figured out he just wasn't wetting in the "right" spot. So much for those convenient color-changing lines! 
     It has been a really huge help having my mom and grandma here to help with my 2 year old, though. She can be rambunctious, and she is definitely craving extra attention with the new little one around. But she loves her brother and always wants to give him hugs and kisses. I even let her help feed him his bottle once and she was thrilled.
     So we are slowly working through this transition. But I love holding my teeny tiny baby in my arms. I love seeing his little eyes focusing on mine. I love the unique smell that newborns have. Most of all I love that he's healthy and seems to be growing like he's supposed to.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Valentine's Day Baby

     Well, my new little boy who wasn't due until the 22nd decided to come a week early. I spent most of Valentine's Day in labor, though I wasn't sure if it was real or not. Luckily we had "celebrated" Valentine's Day on Monday, to beat the crowds. And it's a good thing too! 
     So...I started cramping yesterday (Feb 14th) morning. I noticed these were definitely more frequent than the ones I had been having, but still not sure if they were real. They seemed to be getting more intense throughout the day, but I was still having trouble catching them consistently spaced apart, and I spent the day looking up info on contractions and kept reading about how Braxton Hicks could be as painful as real ones. Not sure I believe that 100%, especially now, but who knows?
     My husband ran a few errands and I laid on my side trying to count the minutes while my daughter took a nap. I tried to accomplish things like making fruit salad out of the fruit bouquet my husband got me (it felt terrible to do, but I couldn't let the fruit go to waste!) making sure last minute stuff was packed and taking a shower. 
     When my husband got home, I continued to count, still not sure they were consistently five minutes apart. But finally they got to the point where they had to be something. I was just so afraid of being sent home with these terrible "fake" contractions. But around 7:15 pm I told my husband he'd better get the infant car seat and diaper bags in the van and I focused on getting dressed and my hair brushed. 
     Well, we had to stop at Best Buy to get a camera because we couldn't find ours. Then we had to drive-through McDonalds because we hadn't eaten dinner yet. Then we had to stop and get Kay-kay's playpen from the church building (yes we decided to take her with us). 
     So we finally got to the hospital and checked in, changed into a gown. Then the nurse asked me a lot of questions, then she finally checked my cervix and I was at 8 cm! Now, I had been expecting an epidural and I was worried I wouldn't get it now! Well, they had to get me an IV and draw blood first. So then I've got one nurse drawing blood from my right arm and another nurse sticking an IV in my left arm, and fighting intensifying contractions all the while. 
     Next, the nurse said she was going to get the anesthesiologist for the epidural. Meanwhile, my husband and I are left alone in the room. Not long after, I felt a trickle, along with some pressure. Then I felt a gush and even more downward pressure. My husband tried to adjust my covers and I said "No! Take them off!" So he did and saw the baby's head ready to come out. I was actually trying to hold it in, not wanting to push too soon, but my body wasn't having it. 
     So my husband delivered our son, yelling all the while for someone to get in here! The cord was wrapped around his neck 3 times and his leg and he was purple. I guess this is normal, but still freaky for us! Fortunately the baby was fine and people started rushing in (including the lady who would have administered the no longer needed epidural). It turns out there were four other births happening right around the same time. But baby boy was fine, 8 1/2 lbs and 21 1/2 inches, born at 9:41 pm on Valentine's Day. We're all doing fine, just waiting out our time till we can go home with the best Valentine's Day gift we could have ever gotten.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Butterfly Cake

     Well, our little princess turned two this weekend. She got spoiled, as usual. More toys she doesn't need, a few new outfits and more cake than a toddler should probably eat in one day. But what can you do? She is the birthday girl after all. :-)
so, since I've been feeling pretty lousy in general lately, and our family doesn't live in town, I didn't really plan a party or anything. I still wanted Kay-kay to have a cake, though. But I didn't really want to do anything complicated, so I finally decided on a butterfly cake, which I made out of a round cake and three cupcakes.

     First I cut the round cake in half and cut triangles out of the straight edges and also cut off the round edges, as shown in the picture below.


     Next I put three cupcakes in a vertical row in the middle of the cake board. Then I lined up what were the the rounded edges next to the cupcake body. So there you have the basic shape of the butterfly. Now all that's left is the icing.


     I chose the colors pink and purple. I iced the wings pink, then used an icing bag and tip to put on the purple and smoothed it out. I added cocoa to the icing to make brown for the eyes and lines of the body. I got some of the squiggly candles for the antennae, which was perfect, since Kay-kay was turning two and the butterfly needed two antennae. So that is how I made my butterfly cake. Not super fancy, but my two-year-old liked it, and that's what's important, right?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day on a Dime (free ebook)

     Here is an article on inexpensive Valentines Day ideas from Living on a Dime. To go along with this, they are currently offering their Valentine's Day on a Dime e-book for free. I'm not sure how long it will be free, so be sure to download your copy ASAP. There are some really great ideas in there, as well as in their other books. 

Valentine's Day On A Dime
by Tawra Kellam
http://www.livingonadime.com/
Using a little imagination, you can make your Valentine's day a little more fun and a lot less expensive. If you want to add a little personalized romance or if you don't have the time or money to buy all the pre-made things in the store, here are some ideas to help you make the day special.
For The Kids:
  • My mom always made a great but inexpensive Valentine's Day treat for us. She would take construction paper and cut a big heart out of it. (About 8x10 inches). She would staple the edges together and write our names and an I love you on the outside. Then she would fill the heart with candy, purchased on clearance after Christmas. It was very inexpensive but we loved it!
  • Have a Valentine's Day treasure hunt. Leave little notes around with the last one leading back to the kitchen table with a heart full of candy.
  • Leave sticks of red gum in their Valentine's Day cards.
For The Lunches
  • Make heart shaped Valentine's cookies. Cut the kids (or hubby's) sandwiches with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Add a few Valentine's chocolates and put a note in red with a big heart on their napkin.
  • Serve anything red for the day. Serve red Jello, red pudding, red apples, toast with strawberry jelly, tomato soup, red applesauce, red Kool-aid, strawberry milk, or red frosted cookies. Use powered food coloring from the cake store to get the deepest shade of red. Serving all red things at a meal will really have wow factor even if it is something as inexpensive as red jello and tomato soup.
  • Make red heart shaped cupcakes. Make cupcakes as usual but place a marble down the side of the muffin tin between the muffin tin and each cupcake cup. This will make heart shaped cupcakes.
  • Make hearts out of chocolate chips in each of your pancakes.
Things To Do With Or For Your Honey
  • Mail your pre-addressed and stamped Valentines to Loveland, Colorado and they will postmark them and mail them for you. Send them to: Postmaster, Valentine Re-mailing, 446 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538
  • Make a treasure hunt for your spouse. Start by mailing or e-mailing him the first clue. Then leave clues all over the house, yard, car or his office telling him where to find the next clue. End the hunt by making a picnic in the back yard or going to a park for a picnic. Use your imagination and have fun. The simple things are the ones people remember.
  • Go to a bookstore together and enjoy the silence and browse. Get a cup of coffee and make a date of it.
  • Celebrate Valentine's Day AFTER Valentine's day. Everything is half off.
  • Mail a love letter to your hubby's work.
  • Send your spouse a sexy email message.
  • Leave "Why I love you" message all over the house. Buy a package of the cheap Valentines. Leave a message on each one and hide them all over the house for your honey. They will get to enjoy the gift for months!
  • Use lipstick to make hearts and love notes on the rear view mirror, car windows, bathroom mirror or windows of the house. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner.
  • Make a bunch of hearts out of construction paper. Put a love note on each one. Paste them all over the front door or car before your hubby or kids come home from work.
  • If you don't have money to go out, have a picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and have a romantic Valentine's dinner on the floor. Use some white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting!
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt, by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit http://www.LivingOnADime.com