Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Gifts

I made four homemade gifts this year! They were fun to make, and they were my favorites to give out. Here is what I made:

1. Saige's Foot Print Reindeer Ornament

2. Ready to Bake Snickerdoodles. I made the dough, rolled them and covered in cinnamon/sugar, spread them out on a piece of wax paper that was set on a plate, and froze them. Once frozen I put them in a container and wrote up instructions on how to bake them. This is what they will look like when they are baked:

3. Coconut Sugar Scrub. Ingredients: 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of sugar, squirt of coconut mango body lotion from Bath and Body Works. Smelled SOOOOOO good.(No picture, sorry).

4. Magnets! (My Favorite)
Process: Brush modge podge on the flat side of a clear, flat, glass marble. Sprinkle glitter on it (the really sparkly glitter worked the best!). Let it dry overnight. Dump the excess glitter off. Brush modge podge on the glitter. Brush a little modge podge on a magnet. Put the magnet on the glitter and push lightly. Let it dry overnight.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

1. Only one non-water drink a day. (I've been doing this for two weeks now with success, I only "took a break" on Christmas and the day after.)

2. $75 a week to spend on groceries and personal care items (I am not including baby formula in this, but I am including diapers and wipes).

3. Mailing or handing out birthday cards to people on my birthday list.

What are yours?

Monday, December 26, 2011


In 2006, I was blessed to celebrate my first Christmas as a Mother. That year I could relate to the Christmas story in a whole new way. I’ve always thought that “it must have been hard” to give birth to a baby in a stable, but I really had no idea what Mary was missing out on. She had to travel a far distance right before she gave birth, and the traveling did not occur by car. She had to give birth in a dirty stable with only her husband there, not in a clean hospital with doctors, nurses, and her mom. These things must have been hard to endure, but the thing that got to me the most was what told in Matthew 2:13 and 16.

Matthew 2:13: When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Matthew 2:16: When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

I can’t imagine Mary’s emotional state as she dealt with the fact that someone was trying to kill her child, and that because of her child, many many other children were killed.

This Christmas Eve, my Sister and I sung a song called “Breath of Heaven.” It’s a song about what Mary may have thinking right before she gave birth. It's such a powerful song, and makes you look at Mary in a different way. I hope it speaks to you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Static Ball

Cold weather means extra static in the dryer. Although it's funny to see Aubree's hair once she takes off her very staticky shirt, static is incredibly annoying. Dryer sheets can only do so much, and lately I've been too cheap to buy another box of dryer sheets (even on sale, with a coupon, and part of a catalina deal). I saw a tip online that said to roll up a ball of aluminum foil and stick it in the dryer, and it will take away the static, so I decided to try it. I pulled out a sheet about the length of two lasagna pans, rolled it up, and threw it in the dryer. I am happy to announce that IT WORKED! There is no static!!!!! The ball of foil (which is now a more compact ball) can be used over and over again to keep the static away. Now I don't have to buy dryer sheets again!!!!

* Update: After a few loads, I noticed the static comes back a little bit and the ball gets smaller. I am going to put in two or three more balls to see if that helps.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quick Tip: Easy Way to Open a Plastic Cap

I have the hardest time opening up bottles that have the plastic caps with the tiny grooves. Specifically Mott's Apple Juice bottles (yes, I still drink Mott's, no I'm not worried I'll die from Arsenic poisoning). They are soooooooo hard to open. Here is what usually goes down:

1. I pick up the bottle and try to open it, and think that this time, I can actually open it with no problem.

2. Hold it tight with one arm and then try to open it with the other hand.

3. Put the bottle between my knees, then try to open it.

4. Grab a shirt sleeve or paper towel and use it to cover the cap and then try to open it.

5. Skip #2-#4 and go straight for what I have found out really works: WET the paper towel, and use that to cover the cap and open it. Cotton is actually stronger when it is wet, and when it's wet, it can grip the cap better and allow you to open the cap up without making your hand hurt.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

It's starting to look like Christmas around my house! We have the outside lights up, the inside railing lights up, and today I printed out two "add a cotton ball everyday to make Santa's beard" advent calendars for Caura and Aubree (which are hung up under my regular calendar). Although there are a lot of decorations still to go up, there is one major thing that we still need: a tree...a real tree! We love to get real trees, thank goodness none of us are allergic to them. Many people are under the impression that a real tree is bad for the environment because you are cutting down a tree that should stay in the world. Here are a few reasons why you should feel good about getting a real tree:

1. Christmas trees are farmed. If they weren't used for Christmas, they wouldn't have existed in the first place.

2. When a the farmer cuts down the grown Christmas tree, he plants a new one.

3. You are keeping farmers in business.

4. Real trees are biodegradeable, artificial ones are not. Artificial trees will eventually end up in a landfill, where it will stay for a very...long...time.

***Tinsel and garland are not biodegradeable...please make sure you take everything off of the tree before you throw it away***

5. Lastly, they smell amazing.

Enjoy decorating your tree (whether it be real or artificial)!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Deciphering Baby and Toddler Sizes

Baby sizes can be really confusing, especially since many stores display them differently. Here is a quick guide for you.

1. Preemie size is for a Preemie. This is not for a small baby. Usually even if your baby is small, they are still too long for a preemie outfit.

2. Newborn size is a good choice for a smaller baby (under 8 lbs) for about the first month of their life.

3. Month Sizes are displayed differently depending what store you are in. You will see 0-3 or 3 for average babies aged 0-3 months old, and 3-6 or 6 for average babies aged 3-6 months old. Remember when you just see one number, such as 3, that means the baby is up to 3 months, not just became 3 months. This seems to be a confusing point.

4. Now the tricky part. Some stores skip 6-9 months. The reason for this is that babies don’t grow as rapidly during their 6-12 months, and there isn’t much difference between 6-9 month clothing and 6-12 month clothing.

5. The next size is 12-18 months or 18 months.

6. The next size is 18-24 months or 24 months. So in going with the previous patterns, 18-24 should be the same as 2T right? Wrong. This is where it switches. Size 18-24, or 24, is for babies ages 18 months to 24 months. Size 2T is the size for the entire year of the 2 year old child, not up to 2 years old as the previous sizes have followed.

7. 3T is for a 3 year old, 4T is for a four year old, and 5T is for a five year old.

8. Then there are youth sizes 3, 4, and 5. If you go to the front of Gymboree, you will see size 4, if you go to the middle of Gymboree, you will see size 4T. What is the difference? Not much. The “T’s” are usually a little wider in the tushy to allow for a diaper, or if your child still has “baby fat” or hasn’t thinned out to look more like a kid yet. I find that they are not that much different in size. They usually are different in price, however. Youth sizes tend to be more expensive than Toddler sizes.

--Remember that these are made for the average size child. If your child is between the 25-75 percentile, they should be able to follow the sizes according to their age. If your child is below the 25 percentile, they might need to go down a size. If your child is above the 75 percentile, they will need to go the next size up.

--Also Gerber brand is tiny. Buy a size up.

I hope this helps!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oooh You're My Best Friend

What makes a Best Friend? I’ve been asked this question before, and since I have THEE best friends a girl could ever have, so I feel that I’m a good person to ask!

You know you have a great friendship when:

1. You can give and take equally in the friendship. Sometimes life can be hard and we need to take more than we give, but it should even out.

2. You have different lives than your friend but that doesn’t affect the friendship. My bestest friend does not have children, has been married for a lot less time than me, and even lived in Sri Lanka for half a year. None of this made our friendship less great.

3. You can tell your friend 100 good things in a row and she won’t be jealous of the good in your life, or you can tell your friend 100 bad things in a row and she will not be annoyed, judgemental, or think you’re a downer. These are also the first people that you want to tell when you have good or bad news.

4. You don’t have to compete with them. If you are going through something difficult, you can talk to them about it without them saying, “well that’s nothing, I’ve got it way worse, listen to my problems.”

5. You can tell them I love you without feeling weird about it.

6. You can have fun with them.

7. You could not see them for a while but then “pick right back up” the next time you see them.

8. You can allow them to see you without make-up, or without a clean house.

9. You can vent to them and they understand that you’re just venting, and they don’t try
to fix it.

10. They make you feel good about yourself!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Thankful...

1. For healthy children.
2. That the only complaint I have about my Husband is that he doesn’t put the twisty tie back on the bread.
3. For the best friends a girl could ever have: Danielle, Beki, Joann, Shannon, Jaci, Carrie, and Dale.
4. That I get to work at “Stay at Home Mom.”
5. For coupons.
6. For my Crockpot.
7. That I only had to pay for a babysitter like twice in five years.
8. For candy.
9. That Caura’s Kindergarten is half day.
10. That Aubree likes to hold my hand.
11. That Saige smiles every time you smile at her.
12. That praying works and God is good!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving is on Thursday! What a great holiday! It is a holiday that forces you to find something to be thankful for, you get to eat delicious food, and it is a holiday that any American can celebrate (regardless of religion, race, occupation, position in the family, etc.)

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is a very special family tradition: making homemade raviolis. This is a tradition on Danny’s side of the family, and I have been very blessed to be included. The recipe is from Danny’s Great-Great Grandmother, who came over from Italy. They are so fun to make! You make a flour mountain, then make it into a volcano with egg lava in the middle. You mix up the egg and add some flour to make a dough. Then we roll out the dough, add a cheese mixture, and cut out a ravioli. Of course we also get to make a huge mess!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just A Spoonful Of Sugar

The Facebook status question was "Help! How do I get my 3 year old to take her medicine?" This was the boat I was in a few weeks ago with my own three year old, the sweet but "strong-willed" Aubree.

What we tried:

1. Putting the (already grape flavored) medicine on a spoon and expecting her to open her mouth and take it.
2. Putting the medicine on a spoon and telling her that after she took it, she could have a drink.
3. Putting the medicine on a spoon and telling her that after she took it, she could have a piece of candy.
4. Explaining to her why she had to take the medicine.
5. Threatening her with a punishment if she didn't take her medicine.
6. Putting the medicine in a medicine dropper and squirting it into her mouth while holding her down.
7. Putting the medicine in a little bathroom cup and letting her drink it up with a straw. (This was semi-successfull...we were on to something).
8. Doing it the Mary Poppins way, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!" Success!!!!

We actually put the medicine in a bathroom cup and added some sugar, then let her drink it up with a crazy straw. We had no more problems.

On a side note, yes, I know I've made another reference to another Julie Andrews movie. I love Julie Andrews. I will watch anything with her in it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nature Color Hunt

I took a section of an egg carton and colored in each of the six egg spots with a different color that could be found in nature. I gave Caura and Aubree directions to explore the yard and find something of each color and put it in the correct color spot.

This is what Caura came up with.

She loved it. Aubree, not so much.

On a side note, I had bronchitis the past week. Then I went outside to play and ran all around. Then I started wheezing so badly and could only take very short breaths. Danny then took my spot outside. When Aubree realized that I wasn't coming back out, she came inside and asked me what was wrong. I told her that I couldn't breath very well. She then went into the bathroom, filled up her bathroom cup with water, and gave it to me saying, "Drink this, it will make you feel better." I took a tiny sip. She put it next to me and said, "I put it here if you want more." Then she gave me a hug and I thanked her for taking care of me. She said, "You're welcome."

Sometimes she's a bugger, but she is also so so sweet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free Chives!!!!

Chives (also known as scallions or green onions) are used in many recipes. They top potatoes, they are added in soups and stir-fry dishes, and they are used to make sauces. I like chives because they are part of the onion family and have a mild onion taste, but act as an herb.

Do you know that you can continually grow chives from ones that you buy?

Go buy a bunch of chives (they are on sale for a $1 a bag at Acme this week). When you go to chop the chives up, make sure you leave the bulb with at least half an inch of green still attached, making sure you do not cut off any roots. Put the bulb in a tall glass or vase of water, not completely submerging the bulb in water. Place the glass in a sunny spot, such as a windowsill. Every day you will see the chive growing, and in about a week, they will be tall enough for you to have another bunch to chop up. Repeat.

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Inherited Flaw

For a few weeks I have suspected that Aubree has inherited one of my flaws. Today, it was confirmed.

The flaw is one that not many people are aware of: I throw a pity party for myself when I’m very hungry. I get sad because people don’t care that I’m hungry. I recognized this flaw early in my relationship with Danny. We went to his house and his parents had a bunch of friends over. I was very hungry. I remember feeling very hurt that Danny didn’t care that I was hungry. Then, Danny’s Mom said, “Denise, are you hungry? I made lasagna, you can heat up a piece.” I said thank you and started heating up a piece. Still in pity party mode, I thought, “at least someone cares that I’m hungry.” Danny had done nothing wrong, and I was mad at him. It wasn’t until after I ate the lasagna that I realized what had actually happened. I have since been able to almost overcome this flaw (what? You can overcome flaws? You don’t have to live with the cop-out “it’s just the way I am”?). The pity party sometimes still creeps up, but I understand it now, and can usually squelch it.

Aubree has no idea…yet. This morning she woke up very quiet and grumpy. After being very clingy, she told me she was hungry. I made her some oatmeal, which she wolfed down. A little later while I was upstairs, I heard her crying about something to Danny. She first cried because it wasn’t her birthday. Then she cried because she didn’t have a pink car, and really wanted a pink car. Then she cried because I told her we were only allowed to go trick or treating on Halloween. She wanted me to carry her everywhere and was just a whiney little thing. I asked Danny to take her to work with him. He pretty much laughed at me, and told me to “have a good day.”

While making up Saige’s beloved rice cereal, Aubree saw the bananas and asked for one. She ate about half of one, and instantly her mood changed. She was back to normal. Hunger induced pity party flaw confirmed.

The whole rest of the day, she asked for a pink car. I told her maybe for Christmas. She said ok.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"GREEN" Tips that save you money.

Follow these money saving "green" tips!

1.Unplug – unplug electronics and appliances when you are not using them. There are certainly things that need to remain plugged in, such as your refrigerator, but many other things aren’t used daily, or can easily be plugged in and out. This really does save money. Ideas of things to unplug: can opener, toaster oven, microwave, computers, radios, fans, hair appliances, lamps, nightlights, and chargers.

2.Turn off lights when you leave a room. Wait until the last possible moment to turn the lights on. Turn off your TV if you are not watching it. You do not need it for background noise, you are just used to having it on for the background noise. In a week or two, you will be used to not having it on.

3.Be more conscience when using your heating. Keep the temperature as low as you can stand it. You will get used to not being at a constant 72 degrees. Turn your heat way down when you are not at home. There is no need to heat your house all day while you are at work. It won’t take that long to heat it up when you get home.

4.If you use paper towels, use less of them, and reuse them. If you are just using a paper towel to dry your hands, you can hang it up and let it dry out to dry your hands the next time you wash. Or this can be used to clean the counter.

5.When you are done with a dish, scrape the extra food off and rinse it. This will save you time, energy, and water later on when you go to load your dishwasher because you are not scrubbing off the dried on food.

6.When you are loading the dishwasher, don’t keep the water running, turn it on and off when a dish needs to be rinsed. If the dish needs to be scrubbed, then just scrub and wash it, then dry it and put it away. It does not need to go in the dishwasher if it was already washed.

7.Manually dry the dishes when the wash cycle is finished in your dishwasher.

8.Do all your laundry on the same day so that your dryer is running continually. Your dryer uses a lot of energy to heat up. If it is running continually it does not use the extra energy to heat up every time like it would if you did one load each day.

9.If you have a separate freezer, make sure that is full. The freezer uses more energy to keep things frozen when it is not full. If you don’t have the food to fill up the freezer, you can fill up used empty milk jugs and juice bottles with water and line the bottom of your freezer with them. (This is also a great way to reuse!) You can also fill up Ziploc freezer bags with ice that you make (and then use these ice bags when you have a party, instead of buying ice.)

10.If you are just buying one item at a store (such as a birthday card), tell the cashier that you don’t need a bag.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Aubree!

1. Her best feature is her smile. You will think about her smile for days after you see it.
2. Her hair does not knot unless it gets something stuck in it.
3. She is a good sharer, if asked nicely.
4. She loves to color (paper, skin, etc).
5. She loves Dora the Explorer.
6. She has such a good imagination. She has imaginary phone conversations every day, She will pretend that people she knows are over visiting. She also makes me pretend cookies.
7. She cuddles her baby doll when she sleeps.
8. She likes to play in the sandbox.
9. She doesn’t mind getting dirty, but wants to clean up promptly after playing in the dirt.
10. She says please and thank you without being told to do so.
11. Her favorite song is “ABCDEFG.”
12. She likes to shake her groove thing.
13. She’s hilarious and she knows it.
14. She is cautious.
15. She wants to do everything by herself.
16. She doesn’t like amusement park rides.
17. She still wants to put everything in her mouth.
18. She likes to brush my hair. She calls it “making me a puppy.”
19. She likes long French fries. She will sort through her pile of fries to eat the “big” ones first.
20. She purposely snorts when she laughs.
21. She likes to push me on the swing.
22. She learned how to snap. She is extremely proud of herself for this feat. It is the cutest thing ever.
23. She likes to sit on the counter and “help” me make dinner.
24. Ask her what her name is, she will say “aubalee.”
25. Caura is her best friend.
26. She is gentle with Saige and loves to make Saige smile.
27. She loves books. She loves to read them herself, or be read to. She especially loves big look and find books.
28. She loves to play (mess) in the sink.
29. She is not extremely social, but will generally attach to one person at each place we go. This person usually does not mind because Aubree will just cuddle with them the entire time.
30. It takes her a little time to warm up to people or activities when in a group.
31. She learns how to do things on her own, and always has. She learned how to drink from a sippy cup and a juice box just by watching Caura do it. She just recently learned how to ride a tricyle, and roll her tongue. All without anyone teaching her.
32. She loves doing movements to songs.
33. She likes to push the buttons on the microwave.
34. Her favorite color is purple.
35. She likes to put everyone else’s shoes on.
36. She likes to be told that she’s “silly.” And likes to tell others that they are “silly.”
37. She’s nuts about nuts, although she calls them all peanuts.
38. She really wants Caura to like peanuts. When Caura says, “no thank you,” when offered nuts, Aubree turns to me for reassurance and asks, “Peanuts are good, right?”
39. She wants to do everything Caura does.
40. She likes to sound out words. To her, every word starts with a “t.” “T-t-t-t-red, t-t-t-t-couch, t-t-t-t-baby.”
41. She likes to pray. She prays for people every night. She also prays for her baby dolls, stink bugs, and for swiper to stop swiping.
42. She lines up all her baby dolls on her pillows when she goes to sleep. Then they all have to be covered by the blanket. Then her favorite doll has to lay on top of her.
43. She has the cutest nakey dance ever.
44. She really gets her feelings hurt if someone other than Mommy or Daddy tries to discipline her.
45. She loves lip gloss.
46. She likes to wear her hair in a braid or a ponytail…for about 10 minutes.
47. She eats so much better if it’s off of my plate.
48. She is “strong-willed.”
49. She likes watching shows on Netflix.
50. She cleans up without being asked, but doesn’t clean up when she is asked.
51. She likes to show her “muscles,” and tell everyone she is “strong” or “big.”
52. She loves to play hide and seek. Her favorite spot to hide is wherever Caura is hiding.
53. She likes to put mousse in her hair.
54. She likes to eat bananas, but only “the white part” (meaning she wants it peeled before I give it to her).
55. She points with her middle finger.
56. She refers to everyone as “he.”
57. She holds up random fingers on her hand and asks me what it means (in sign language).
58. She can now steer her bike and the train at Nanny’s.
59. She can swim “all by herself” (with swimmies).
60. She doesn’t like to go in the pool if it’s too cold.
61. She likes to ask me what time it is.
62. When she gets out of the bath, she likes to see how big her wet footprint is on the bath mat.
63. She loves to snort like the characters on Peppa Pig.
64. She responds better to a whisper.
65. She treats bread as if it were just a plate. She just likes to take off or lick off whatever the bread is holding.
66. She likes to eat peanut butter with a spoon.
67. She likes to brush her own hair.
68. She likes to make Saige laugh.
69. She follows Caura.
70. She can be a bully to Caura.
71. She likes to eat oatmeal when it’s cold.
72. She likes to draw “faces.”
73. She likes to play that I’m her Baby.
74. She likes to answer the questions asked on the kids’ shows.
75. She likes when I spin her around, hold her upside down, etc.
76. She likes to spin on the tire swing.
77. She likes to give me Big kisses, tiny tiny kisses, loud kisses, quiet kisses, quick kisses, long kisses, and lots and lots of kisses.
78. Often when you tell her she looks beautiful, or she did something well, she will say, "I'm a suppah star!"
79. She loves to wear her flip flops.
80. She loves marshmallows.
81. She likes to strap herself into her carseat by herself. She calls it her “magic.”
82. After she brushes her teeth, she likes to show me how sparkly they are.
83. She sleeps with a warm blanket, even if it’s hot out.
84. In the bath, she puts bubbles on her face and says she looks like Santa.
85. She wants to read “Little Red Riding Hood” every night.
86. She likes to take pictures with my camera.
87. She loves her “baby,” a doll that will forever trump all others.
88. She says anything that she really likes is her favorite. (She has several favorite shows, foods, toys, etc.)
89. She likes to smell candles, lotions, lip gloss, etc.
90. You do not want to wake her up before she’s ready. You don’t wake “the dragon.”
91. She has very expressive eyes.
92. She has a great “cheese” face when asked to say “cheese.”
93. She loves feetie pajamas.
94. She doesn’t like to be called any nicknames.
95. She wants to put on my deodorant every day.
96. She says “Bye, Sweetie!” to Caura when she gets on the bus.
97. She likes to get water from the water cooler at Church.
98. She can be extremely meticulous, or “OCD” about things. For instance, she straightens things up in a row and puts things in a pattern
99. She likes to tell people that she loves that she wants to keep them.
100. She is a sweetie and a blessing, and her family loves her very much.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to Save On Christmas Gifts

Who needs to save money while buying Christmas presents this year? (I mentally just saw hundreds of hands raised). There are so many ways to save at Christmastime that you should never have to pay full price. Here are several ways to save this year (warning, I’m giving you a lot of websites):

1. Use coupons. With today’s economy, stores need your business. They put out coupons and deals to get your business.

2. Sign up for the email and mailing lists at your favorite stores. They will email and/or mail you coupons and promotional information. Set up a separate email account so these type of emails don’t get mixed in with your personal emails.

3. If you shop on line, please please please use one of the rebate sites, such as How does this work?
-You sign up.
-When you go to shop online, go to first and type in the store you are planning to shop in.
-The website will list all coupon codes available for this store, as well as the percentage of cash back that you will receive after you finish your shopping. (For instance, if Old Navy is offering 5% cash back, and you spend $50 dollars, you will get $2.50 in cash back).
-You click on the store and a “ticket” pops up and automatically directs you to the store.
-Within a few days, you will receive your cash back in your account.
-Ebates will then send you a check quarterly. This really works. I’ve been using this website for over a year. If you do decide to sign up with, please use my referral link:
When you make your first purchase, I will get $5 for referring you, and you will also get a $5 or $10 gift card.

4. Check out daily deal sites. These are sites such as and They have daily deals where you can buy vouchers to stores, restaurants, and for services for about half the price you would normally pay. For instance, I recently bought a $20 voucher for Whole Foods Market for $10. Last year for Christmas I bought a $50 voucher for Coldwater Creek (my Mother-In-Law’s favorite store) for only $25. I got to buy her $50 worth of clothes and I only had to pay $25. It was great! There are so many of these type of sites, if you want a list of all the daily deals, go to Every day this website lists all the daily deal site deals available.

5. There is a website called This website allows you to buy a gift certificate for a restaurant. You choose your denomination. For instance, you can buy a $25 certificate for $10. This will be in the form of a printable page. My idea is to find the recipient’s favorite restaurant, and buy a gift certificate for $10. Then, when you give the gift, add in an extra $15 in cash for them to use at the restaurant. They then will have $40 to spend at the restaurant, but it only cost you $25. *Just so you know, this website often has sales making the $25 certificate as low as $2 to buy.

Now, go get a head start!

Mother's Have Three Arms

Mothers have long said that when they have a child, they should also get a third arm. However, Mothers don’t need to look ridiculous with a third arm sprouting out of a random part of their body. They already have three arms, it’s just that the third arm is not in the form of an actual arm. When their two arms are full, the Mother’s third arm comes in the form of…
…their toes, to pick things up off of the floor.
…their chin, to hold the bottle that is feeding their baby.
…their mouth, to open things.
…their child’s own arms, to hold on to their Mommy while she is using her real arms.
…bags/pockets/bra straps, to hold things
…armpits and elbows, to hold even more things (you know Mommy’s have to hold a lot of things)
…their breath, to blow the baby’s too long bangs out of her eyes
…their shoulder, to hold the phone to their ear when they are holding a child in one arm and fixing the ponytail of the other child with their other arm.
…their knee to hold up their child against the sink so she can wash her hands.

The funniest thing about this third arm, is that Mothers use them without even thinking of it, and without much difficulty. The rest of the world sees the Mother using their “third arm” and often will offer to help them because they look like they are having a difficult time. However, the very resourceful Mother will usually say, “No thanks, I’m fine.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I have three little Girls. I’ve always known I was going to have Girls. I am completely happy with this. I get to play Barbies and dress up and sing Disney Princess songs all day long. I know America’s ideal is to have at least one boy and one girl, however, I do not in any way feel like I am missing out. I am completely happy and satisfied with my three beautiful, healthy, well-behaved, and fun girls. No, I don’t want to “go for the boy.” No, I was not “trying for a boy” when I was pregnant with Saige. I was trying for a baby, and I got a stinking cute one.

For some reason, when people find out I have Girls they feel the need to tell me, “Ha, just wait until they’re in high school.” Please stop telling me this. Every age so far has brought good and bad, and I’m sure we will get through the less desired parts of the teenage years, and we will find that the good will once again outweigh the bad.

I'd much rather you tell me something encouraging...or just tell me my Girls are cute.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quick Tips

Here's a little list of random tips that I felt were important enough to share, but that weren't important enough to have an entire post written about each one.

1. When you bring a “wishing well” item to a bridal shower, don’t wrap it. If it’s special enough to wrap, give it with the regular gift. You don’t have to wrap a bottle of dish detergent. Also, don’t demand that the bride “open the wishing well” at the shower. Again, we don’t really need to see that she got a bottle of dish detergent.

2. Don’t throw out your rotting bananas. These are the bananas that make the best banana bread and banana cookies.

3. Use a lint roller to get off dust on your lamp shades.

4. If you don’t have a lint roller (for lamp shades OR clothes), roll a piece of tape around your fingers sticky side out, and use that.

5. Peroxide is pretty good at getting blood out of fabrics.

6. Before you put conditioner in your hair, squeeze out the excess water. It will make your conditioner work better because it will be less diluted.

7. Don’t ever wear white underwear under white skirts and white pants. Wear flesh colored underwear. Please.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Heaven is a little bit sweeter
Now she can dance in jubilee
God tells her, “good and faithful servant”
He tells us “I will comfort thee.”

Heaven is a little bit sweeter
This world is a little less
Her kindness, her calmness, and her love
Among others, she was one of the best

Heaven is a little bit sweeter
Here, there is much to reminisce
We will never forget her, how could we?
She will be forever missed.

Heaven is a little bit sweeter
Her suffering has come to an end.
We’ll see you again one day... we love you
Dear Mother, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, and Friend.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Natural Birth...WHO DOES THAT???

On September 27th, 2006, at about 11:45 pm, my water broke. A few hours later, my contractions finally started. I got an epidural after my “hee hee whooing” made me hyperventilate. Caura was born at 11:04 am (on September 28th). I was a fan of the epidural.

On October 29th, 2008, I went to the hospital to be induced. I was given a dose of cervidil at about 9:45 am. The cervidil immediately put me into labor. I was moved to a delivery room and requested an epidural. My water broke. A very short time later, the baby was ready to come out. The epidural was at the door, but it was too late. After 8 minutes of pushing, Aubree was born at 1:43 pm. I became a fan of natural birth.

On April 8th, 2011, my baby’s heart rate was going all over the place. I was 4 centimeters dilated. My doctor sent me to the hospital for monitoring and then to have the baby. This time, I was better prepared to have a natural birth. I learned how to “hee hee whoo” without hyperventilating. I learned how to make my body relax during a contraction. I learned how to focus and be calm during the contractions. I learned not to fear the contractions, but instead welcomed them because I knew each contraction brought me closer to having my baby. My Midwife broke my water at 8:15 pm. Saige was born at 10:02 pm.

The 10 best things about a natural birth:
1. You don’t have to have an IV or a catheter.
2. During labor, you can get up, walk, and change positions.
3. Your baby will be born with wide open eyes. Everyone will comment on how she is “so alert.”
4. You can immediately get up and walk around after the baby is
5. You don’t have to get a needle in your back, and you don’t have to
heal from that needle in your back.
6. You don’t have to wait hours until you can feel your legs again.
7. You are in control of pushing. You know when to push and for how
long. You won’t “over-push.”
8. Many times it makes the whole birthing process (especially the pushing) go quicker.
9. You will feel so incredibly empowered.
10. For some reason, you just heal quicker.

Are you thinking about having a natural birth? Have confidence. You CAN do it!

*Disclaimer: Natural birth is a personal decision. I in no way feel that I am better than anyone else because I had a natural birth. I understand that having a natural birth is not a possibility for everyone. I understand that I have had pretty easy and quick labor and deliveries without complications, which made it more possible to have a natural birth.

****If you are having trouble leaving a comment through your google account try this: Sign out. Sign back in and unclick the "keep me signed in" option. If that fails, just comment under "anonymous" and then write your name in the comment box.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Caura!

100 Things to Know About 5 Year Old Caura

1. Caura is a goody-two-shoes
2. She likes the attention to be on her, but sometimes gets shy when you ask her to perform something.
3. She loves musicals, particularly Hairspray and The Sound of Music
4. She asks 17,000 questions a day
5. She has a thirst for learning
6. She is a people pleaser, especially a Mommy pleaser. She asks me several times a day, “Are you happy with me?”
7. Her favorite thing to eat for lunch is an egg salad sandwich.
8. She prefers raw peeled carrot sticks to baby carrots or cooked carrots.
9. She says that anything spicy “stings her mouth.”
10. She very cutely mispronounces words like “chipmunk,” instead saying, “chickmunk” or “misk” in stead of “mix.”
11. She has the most beautiful olive-brown colored eyes.
12. She loves to do art projects.
13. She likes to pray for people.
14. Her favorite Princess is Rapunzel.
15. She could sit in any seat in the entire room, but she picks the spot that’s right smack dab next to me.
16. She loves her little sisters.
17. She loves to sing, especially if the song comes with motions.
18. She likes to help me cook and bake.
19. She is an expert hand towel folder.
20. She has maternal instincts.
21. She is smart.
22. She is clumsy.
23. She likes to compliment people on their hair, clothing, jewelry, etc.
24. She can make friends with anyone.
25. She likes to show off how fast she can run.
26. She sleeps in crazy positions.
27. She is very cuddly.
28. Her first pick of an instrument to play is a tuba.
29. She wants to know if the clothes that Saige wears or toys Saige plays with were once hers.
30. She is a people-person. She wants to know everything about everyone.
31. She loves to do handstands.
32. She will keep practicing something until she gets it (such as learning how to snap).
33. Every time we play barbies, we have to end it with a wedding.
34. She falls out of her chair everyday.
35. She is a mean sleepwalker.
36. She loves to be girly.
37. She has ants in her pants.
38. She loves roller coasters.
39. She is impatient.
40. She is a tattle-tale.
41. She wants everyone to be happy.
42. She wants everything to be fair.
43. When someone else wins a game, she is happy for them.
44. She loves to wear dresses, especially if they twirl.
45. She loves to plant flowers and plants in the garden, and gets super excited when they grow.
46. She braces me for news, “Mommy, this is exciting news,” or “Mommy, I’m sorry but I have some not so good news.”
47. She likes to watch videos on YouTube.
48. She likes to watch long movies.
49. If I make pasta or chicken nuggets for dinner, she will tell me that I am the best Mommy in the world.
50. If you leave without saying good-bye and giving her a hug, she gets really upset.
51. She really, really, really wants to learn how to read.
52. She loves to spot animals outside.
53. She loves Saige more than Mommy and Daddy.
54. She has an incredible sense of direction. She can direct you anywhere that she has ever been. It’s freakishly unexplainable.
54. Her favorite animal is a zebra.
55. She loves to go on vacation to Virginia.
56. Her favorite color used to be brown. Now, it’s “all the colors.”
57. She loves to play outside.
58. She is picky about the specific things she eats. For instance, she will only eat one kind of macaroni and cheese.
59. She likes to play that she’s Aubree’s Mommy
60. She wants to hold Saige everyday.
61. She thinks Uncle Matt is a jungle gym.
62. She has “The Grouchy LadyBug” memorized.
63. When she concentrates very hard, she sticks her tongue out to the side.
64. When Daddy leaves in the morning, she runs to the window in the living room to watch his car leave.
65. She gets very excited when she hears Daddy’s car pull up the driveway when he gets home from work.
66. She is a puzzle wizard.
67. Whenever I am cutting up food, she tells me, “Don’t cut your fingers.”
68. She is really excited about kindergarten.
69. She can paint her own nails.
70. She makes it “her job” to unlock and open the door for me.
71. She is missing 3 teeth.
72. She likes to feel her heart “beep.”
73. She loves when I trust her with a “big girl cup” (meaning a glass cup).
74. When she grows up, she wants to be a doctor, teacher, gas pumper, payer (cashier), mom, cooker…
75. When she wants something in a store she often asks, “Mommy, can I have this? Is it on sale? Do you have a coupon?”
76. She likes to help me clip coupons, and circle items in the store circulars.
77. She likes to give away the pictures she colors or paints.
78. After she brushes her teeth, she likes to show me how sparkly they are.
77. She likes to wear my necklaces.
79. She often sings what she’s saying.
80. She eats apples like orange slices.
81. She likes to help make her meals (like stirring the pancakes).
82. She just learned how to draw stars. She’s very happy about this.
83. She loves skittles.
84. Her favorite movie is Tangled.
85. She loves the dollar spot at Target.
86. She loves to Role Play. We act out the Three Little Pigs, pretend we’re running a restaurant, and act out the entire movie of Snow White with the barbies.
87. She likes to tell me what she dreamt about.
88. Her favorite singer is Keith Urban (good girl) and was really upset with me that I didn’t take her to his concert.
89. She asks me if characters on tv are real.
90. She really wishes she could go to Disney World again.
91. She likes to roast marshmallows, but doesn’t like to eat them.
92. She’s very loveable.
93. When we go somewhere, she likes to point out places on the road. “This is where (insert child who rides the bus with her) lives.” “This is where we got our car fixed.”
94. She is mildly scared of dogs, and very scared of thunder and the train in the night.
95. She likes to give treats to dogs at other people’s houses.
96. She loves to reveal any kind of art work to me.
97. When she gets herself a snack, she gets one for Aubree, too.
98. She tells Saige, “You’re a cutie pie!”
99. She has her own form of baby talk.
100. She makes me smile everyday.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


In The Sound of Music, Maria steps off the bus and while on the way to Captain Von Trapp’s house, she sings a song about having confidence. This song is my favorite in the movie because it is relatable today, 46 years after the movie first came out.

My favorite part of the song is: “The courage to serve them with reliance, face my mistakes without defiance, show them I’m worthy, and while I show them, I’ll…show…me…so…let them bring on all their problems. I’ll do better than my best. I have confidence they’ll put me to the test, and I’ll make them see I have confidence in me. Somehow I will impress them. I will be firm but kind, and all those children, Heaven bless them, they will look up to me, and mind me. With each step I am more certain. Everything will turn out fine. I have confidence the world can all be mine, they’ll have to agree I have confidence in me.” (I Have Confidence. Julie Andrews)

My favorite line is “I’ll do better than my best.” What a goal! How many times have we heard and said, “I’m doing the best I can.” With a little effort, we can do even better. I think of a sprinter who has just run their best time. They are proud of their accomplishment, but it doesn’t make them want to retire. It makes them want to work harder so that the next time, they can beat their best time. It makes them want to do better than their best.

I know there are many things in my life that I could be doing better. I think I will make “I Have Confidence” my theme song.