Friday, October 30, 2009

My JACK-o-Lantern

 Get it?

His name is Jack. (just in case you didn't know that part - it's kind of crucial for it to be cute)

I think I'm going to use his name as a springboard for all of his Halloween costumes.  At least until he develops a voice and can pick what he wants to be on his own.

Let's see, he could be a Jack-in-the-box, a Lumberjack, a Jack hammer (don't know how to do that one), a Michael Jackson, an Andrew Jackson (he could be a big $20 bill!).  The list is endless!  Do you think he'll be scarred for life?  Naaaaa!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

See, I Can Be Creative!

I don't want to bore you with the "why" story of how I came up with this idea.  Let's just say that I saw a need, and I fixed it.  Have you ever seen the site "There I fixed it?"  I feel like I could submit this.  Maybe it's not that wacky, but it certainly made me think, "there, I fixed it!"

This is my grocery list*, held by a small binder clip, attached to a carabiner key chain, attached to a grocery cart.  I even cut a piece of cardboard to put behind the paper so it's easier to scratch off items from the list. 

Now that I have this 'contraption', my darling son won't eat my grocery list, and I can still put it down to continue my shopping.  (I'm experimenting with hanging the pen on the binder clip, but so far, the pen just goes in my pocket when it's not in use)

Go ahead.  Call me a nerd.  I deserve it*.

*I created my own grocery master list.  I even listed everything in the same order that my grocery store aisles are stocked.

Stop by We Are THAT Family to see what other nerds creative people are coming up with these days to make our lives a little easier.

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Pants Allowed

My son is member of a gang. I just know it.  Not a bad, break the law, color specific type gang.  A 'no girls allowed', meet in a clubhouse, secret handshake type gang. 

He has decided that diaper changes are not for him, and therefore will NOT lay still for one second of them.  I have tugged, pulled, pried and turned him back over to get him to lay on his back, but it seems that nothing works.  So, I've decided that the gang he is in must have this rule - NO PANTS ALLOWED!

I will not be following this rule, but I'm not speaking for Daddy. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

That Darn Squeaky Door!!

There is nothing worse than getting my 9 month old son to sleep in his crib, only to have the squeaky door of his nursery wake him up when I'm trying to leave his room.  Sometimes, when Daddy comes in to check on him at night, he inadvertently wakes him up because of that darn squeaky door!

Yes, we have WD-40, and yes, I could walk it from the garage up to his room to fix this situation.  But when I think about needing it, I'm holding a baby-sleepy or sleeping-and can't go out searching the garage for this wonder oil.

So, the other night, I thought to myself, "What else would work?" I know PAM will work (as well as potato chip grease from your fingers-just sayin'), but I had the same problem as before. I'm upstairs when I think of it, and it's downstairs.

So what did I have upstairs with us when I needed it?  BABY OIL!! I put baby oil on some cotton balls and worked it into all of the hinges on the door. 

No more squeaky door waking up my sleeping baby! And no more waking Daddy when I come back to bed after being with Jack (because I used it on our door too!).  That's what works for me.  Stop on by We Are THAT Family to find more tips and what works for others.  Have a great day!

I also used it on my metal shower curtain rod to help the metal curtain hooks glide a little more smoothly.  It's not quite as loud either, which helps eliminate yet another 'wake-the-baby' sound.  

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jack's Family Photos

I don't remember where I got this idea.  Maybe I came up with it all by myself.  Sometimes I have waves of creative genius.  Not often though.  Most of the time, I steal borrow ideas from others. I'm sure this one came from a friend who did this a long time ago with her kids.

Jack has a lot of family members that live 3+ hours away.  This makes it hard for Jack to learn these family members by face and name. We don't get to see these relatives very often, but I want him to learn who they are and that they are part of his family.  I decided to collect pictures of everyone, and make a photo album for him.  But instead of putting it in an album that may get forgotten, I decided to put the pictures on the refrigerator.  

(PLEASE ignore the dirty fridge. You'd think I'd wash up the streaks before taking a picture I knew would go online, but I guess I'm not that thoughtful )This isn't everyone that I need to put up, but I ran out of magnetic frames.  They are at the bottom of the fridge, so they are at eye level for him.  I have visions of him looking at the pictures and studying his family while I'm working in the kitchen.   I decided to put their names on them so that when he's older, maybe he'll learn to recognize their names.  I like the way they look.

A Fate Worse Than Death

And by death I mean SLEEPING.

Because my little Jack has a snotty nose (sorry), there is a need for me to help him out with that snot (sorry).  I have now found something that my son hates worse than sleeping:

Having me suck out his snot (sorry) with this thing is a fate worse than death for the little guy. 

He hated it before I bloodied his nose with this weapon, but now I'm sure he hates it even more. Sorry, Jack!!

For the record, I think I must have scratched the inside of his nose getting in there.  It's not like he's calm and cooperative when I'm going at his nose with this weapon.

He's okay, really. A couple of wipes with a tissue, and it was fine.  Please don't call Children's Services.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My First Award

I received an award! (And I immediately say in my head "What's it all mean, Bazil?")

Mandy, at Mommy Musings, passed this award on to me this week, and I'm honored!   I don't remember how I found her blog, but it was shortly after I started mine.  I was hooked on her blog, because she has a little girl only one month older than Jack, and a lot of what she was posting was what I could relate to.  I love Mommy Blogs. Thanks so much, Mandy!!!  (I hope Little M gets her naps figured out!)

Okay, now down to business....Here are the rules:
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

 Here are 7 things you may not know about me (though, since most of you reading this are family, you may already know this stuff).

1-I've recorded a CD.  In a real studio.  So maybe it only has 5 songs, and none of them are my songs, but it's still a CD, and it's still really cool!  And I'm also credited on a real album.  One that's sold to the public. (so it's name's still in there!)

Avenues by Canvas (Audio CD - 2002)
9 Used & new from $24.49
This item has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
4.5 out of 5 stars (2)

2-I have been on TV.  This is a running joke in my family.  I really was on TV, but it's even worse than the 'I recorded a CD thing.'  I won a Karaoke competition in a hole-in-the-wall bar years ago (before I met my hubby).  The prize was a trip to Vegas to be in a big competition for a karaoke CD maker, which would be aired on TV. was an infomercial that aired at 4:30 in the morning.  Once maybe.   But I had a blast in Vegas with some great friends!

3. I've been to Great Britain THREE times.  Can you believe that?  I can't. The first time was with my Dad when I was 16, and the next two times was with my college choir on a choir tour.  They were  the most amazing vacations I've ever taken.  I LOVED being in the cathedrals and castles.  My favorite place was Wales.  All of it.  I would go back in a heartbeat if we could afford it. 

4.  I ramble.  A LOT. I can go on and on.  You may have guessed that. 

5.  I went to Alaska last summer with my husband and mom (Thanks, Mom!!!). That is my other most favorite vacation ever.  We took a cruise tour from Fairbanks down to Vancouver. Rick and I often toy with the thought of moving up there.  It was so beautiful

6.  I love cooking new things. It may stress me out to try new recipes, but I really do love making new meals for me and Rick.  But I always end up forgetting what I've tried and never making it again!

7.  I struggle with knowing what to do with Jack all day, every day.  I want to be a great mommy, but sometimes I worry that I'm not doing enough.  *sigh*  

These are the 7 blogs I'm choosing to pass this award to.  *You don't have to pass it on if this isn't your thing.  No pressure.  But it's kind of fun coming up with those 7 things and seeing who you 'read'. * (I'm learning a lot about praising my son from her!) (she has a ton of ideas for rhymes and songs and FELT!) stories about her kids are so funny!  And she takes great pictures!)'ve read her blog longer than I've had mine.  I always end up laughing or learning something) (I just recently found this one, and I've told ALL my mom friends about her.  GREAT ideas!!) (she's in Wales!  I've been to her town!  That makes me smile) has a daughter with special needs and is so honest about dealing with it all) 

Ok, so that's it.  You don't have to leave a description telling why you nominated your 7 blogs, but I thought I'd add it to my list.   I hope you at least check out some of those blogs.  Thanks again, Mandy! 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Getting Up To Speed

It's been a while since I've mentioned any Growth Chart Moments, though they're happening almost every day around here now.  I'm going to try to remember all of them, and get you up to speed on Jack's accomplishments. They are in order as best as I can remember.

He can now walk (assisted with our fingers) with shoes on.  He had a good solid month of walking like this barefoot, but with winter coming up, I wanted to get him used to having shoes on his feet.  He had to learn how to walk all over again the first time I put shoes on him.  But now he's back to normal, cruising and walking all the time.  Baby shoes are adorable!!!

He is now 'crawl running.'  When he sees what he wants (like the doorstop that makes LOUD noises when hit), he crawls really fast towards it.  I call it crawl running.

Bath time is now in the big tub!  We went from the baby tub on the kitchen counter, to the baby tub in the big tub, now to just being in the big tub.  He loves it.  He scoots around on his little bottom, and sometimes even tries to crawl around. 

We decided it was time to get a convertible car seat.  A friend of ours gave us her old front-facing car seat for him to use, but we don't think he's old enough to be front facing yet.  His infant seat only goes to 22lbs, and I'm pretty sure he's over 20lbs now, so we had to get something soon.  Craigslist is a wonderful thing!! 

His top teeth are coming in.  One has been there for a few weeks now, but the other one is still trying to come through.   It has wreaked havoc on nursing!  Without going into detail, I'm going to take a little break from it for a few days.  If any of you have advice or encouragement, I'll take it!!!  This is painful stuff!!

Jack finally tried to climb our stairs this past week.  And he did it on the first try!  I turned around to see him on the first step.  What did I do? I ran to get the camera of course!  And then I kept my hand behind his bottom and encouraged him to go up further.  He made it about half way before he fell and decided it wasn't for him. He hasn't tried it since.

As of yesterday, he understands what "I'm gonna get you" means.  It's so cute to hear him squeal with delight and anticipation when you say those words to him.  He crawl-runs away as fast as his little knees can take him!  It's so fun! He has yet to figure out what "come and get me" means.

Today, Jack clapped for the first time.  All it took was taking him to the PBR Rodeo!  He was sitting on Daddy's lap, and all of a sudden he just started clapping.  Every time he did it, we encouraged him.  Tonight at dinner, he clapped between every bite of chicken.  Yay for meat!

Whew! That is a lot of Growth Chart Moments!!!  I can't believe how much growing he has done in his short 9 months.  (He will be 9 months on the 14th.)  That's about how long I had him inside of me.  It amazed me how much growing he did in that short time while he was in my womb, and now it has amazed me how much growing he's done in our home.  What a little guy.  We love him so much!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Petroleum Jelly Flammable?

This isn't a sentence usually heard when someone is carving a pumpkin.  But last night, I texted my husband those very words while I was having a pumpkin carving party with my friend, Beth.

Beth and I have been BFF's since we were in the 3rd grade.  It's fun to say, "We’ve been friends for almost 25 years."  Then again, maybe it's not so fun.  That makes me feel very old.  We shared a locker every year from 6th grade through our senior year.  Sometime in middle school, she crossed over from being my best friend, to being my sister.  In high school, we did some wild and crazy stuff.  Not the kind that gets you in trouble with the law, but more like the kind of stuff that made our moms roll their eyes and wonder what was wrong with their daughters.  We used Kool-aid packets to dye Beth's blond hair almost every color of the rainbow.  We dressed up for spirit week in over-the-top outfits.  And we spent the night at each other’s house almost every weekend.

(I wish I could dig out my old yearbooks and pictures from the back of my basement, but I'm not that energetic right now)

As we got older, we went our separate ways, but we never lost touch.  She sent me a care package every year I was away at college.  (One year she sent me a box of Nerds and said "don't hang out with any nerds this year!" That was my favorite).  She came out to my school one year for Halloween dressed as a pregnant nun.  This is her humor.  She's my BFF.  (Love you!!)

Since I've gotten married, she and I started a semi-annual tradition of carving pumpkins. (This is us two years ago)

My husband says we are cheaters, since we use patterns, but I say we're resourceful!  Beth brings over her carving supplies (what did we ever do without these!?) and we carve away.  We had recently read a tip about how to extend the life of our carved pumpkins, and we were excited to try it out.  We were so excited to get to the carving that we almost forgot to open up the pumpkins and clean them out!  After the pumpkins were cleaned out, carved up, and ready to light, we tried out the preserving techniques re read about.  We sprayed the outside of the pumpkins with shellac and started to coat all the cut parts with petroleum jelly.  What a mess!!!  It was so hard to spread it in all the nooks and crannies.  As we were spreading it around, one of us thought to ask "isn't petroleum jelly flammable?"  After all, there will be a candle burning in this thing!   Instead of looking it up online, Beth decided to do a little test burn. She held the lighter up to a glob of petroleum jelly on the pumpkin.  She decided it was only going to melt and not burst into flames.  (Here are our pumpkins this year.)

Thanks, Beth!  My fears are put to rest.  Should I tell you now that I'm never going to light a candle in this pumpkin?  (Love you!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Cleaning Tips

This week has a theme!  We were asked to submit our cleaning tips this week.  Now, my family will laugh when I say I do have some cleaning tips, but really, I do!  I may not keep the cleanest house, but here are a few random tips I've used to make things just a little cleaner in my little world. 

Let me start by saying I use cloth diapers.  And because I use cloth diapers, I use flushable diaper liners.  They're what keeps me going in my cloth diaper endeavor!  Here is how I make dealing with a poopy cloth diaper just a little less messy  When I change my son's dirty diaper, I put the dirty liner in a little basket I keep by the changing station. After I put it in the basket, I use the antibacterial hand sanitizer on my hands.  When we're done with the diaper change, I say "let's go put your poopy in the potty!"   We walk to the bathroom and watch the poop go down the potty, sometimes saying "bye-bye poopies!" (meaning I say it, because my son is only 9 months old)  I have only had to touch the liner once, I've cleaned my hands quickly, and I didn't have to move his changing table to the bathroom!  (And just maybe I'm getting him used to the fact that poopy goes in the potty, so potty training will go quickly!) 

When I made this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls, I knew it was going to get messy.  I was going to have to mix crumbled cake with frosting.  Luckily, I knew my hubby had a box of disposable, vinyl gloves in the garage.  I grabbed some of those and mixed away.  Not only did it make the cleanup practically nothing (just throw the gloves in the trash), it made it kind of fun to play around in the cake-play-do-like mix.  By the way, I highly recommend making this recipe, but be prepared for a lot of mess and a divinely rich dessert. 

When we bought our new van over two years ago, it had that "new car smell" and it also looked spotless.  I loved it.  I don't know about you, but my cars have never stayed very clean for very long.  This time I thought I'd try harder to keep my new van clean.  I went to Wally-world and purchased a Dusting Microfiber cloth for around $2.  I keep it tucked in a bottom compartment in the van console, and pull it out every so often to dust my dashboard. Every once in a while, I throw it in the washer to get the dust and dirt off of it.  I've also used it to wipe the rain off my door when I have to open my window in the rain.  It has kept my dashboard clean for these 2+ years.  If only I could keep my cup holders clean too!

And finally, back to the cloth diapers.  I found this company when I was looking for cloth diaper tips that sold trial-run packages of cloth diapers.  They included a bunch of different brands of diapers in this package so you could "test drive" different brands before you spent all your money on them.  They send out a pack, let you try them for a few days/weeks, then you return the pack to them.   I loved that concept, but like some others who commented on their site, wondered how they kept the diapers clean.  It turns out that they strip them every time they get them back. So, I took this bit of wisdom, and strip my diapers every few weeks as well.  It really helps to get the stink out.  All you do is put your diapers in the washer with HOT water, dissolve some Oxi-Clean, let them sit in the water for a while (usually I let them sit for a half hour), then finish the wash cycle.  I also do an extra rinse on the days I strip them, just to make sure they're squeaky clean.  This has kept my diapers looking great, with very few stains.

Those are all of my random cleaning tips for this week's What Works For Me.  Stop by We Are THAT Family to see what other cleaning tips you can find. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First "Man Night"

Last night, I kicked my husband and son out of my house.  Actually, I asked Rick if he would take Jack out for some time while I cleaned my kitchen.  You'd think I would have plenty of time to clean it during the day, but when there's a Boozle trying to get in the dishwasher and trashcan at every turn, it's quite a challenge to get any cleaning done.  I suggested that they go to some manly places like Lowes and Manards, and do manly things.  (Look at power tools?)  I even said he could take my ring sling!  HA!  That's soooo not manly.

Anyway....Rick took Jack to Lowes to get some things we needed and then over to Manards (across the street from Lowes-how convenient!).  I had two and a half hours of uninterrupted cleaning time, while they had some Daddy-Son bonding time.   Everyone was HAPPY!!!   My kitchen sparkled by the end of the evening, and dessert was waiting on the men-folk when they returned. 

Jack LOVED his time with his daddy.  He sat in a cart for the first time and loved it! (I'm still waiting for my wonderful sister to finish handcrafting an adorable 'cootie cover' for our trips to the grocery store, before I put him in a car - LOVE YOU!)   He looked around at everything.  Daddy said he almost turned his head all the way around just to see everything. He watched intently as they checked out, Daddy swiping the credit card, the lady behind the counter pushing buttons on a register.  He even cried when Daddy tried to put him back in the van to go home!  He didn't want to leave the wonderland that is Manards. Daddy completely understands this. The final treat was that Jack didn't cry all the way home.  In the evenings, Jack tends to cry in his car seat - the entire trip home- no matter how long the trip.  I guess he liked being 'one of the guys', and being one of the guys means you don't cry on your way home.  What a good boy!  It made it much easier for Daddy, that's for sure.

Jack loves to be with his daddy!

I see many more Man Nights in our future.  Jack can't get enough of his daddy, and Mommy appreciated the 'break'.  (Is it a break when I have to clean while they're gone?)  It melted both of our hearts to see Jack so happy to be with his Daddy, and to love on his Mommy when they returned for the evening.  He can't live without either of us!!  And that's a good thing.


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