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Dec 15, 2011

Big Plans for Childrens' Church

So, if you are a regular reader, you may remember me mentioning something about a party Christmas morning for the kids in one of my rooms at church. Well, I thought I would write a little post explaining this party a little more. I love this idea but completely forget where I got my inspiration. It may actually be from some curricula that I have been going through lately for the room.
photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Well, first off, the real reason we celebrate Christmas is what? Jesus' birth.
What do we all do when someone has a birthday? Have a birthday party!
Yes. We are having a birthday party for Jesus. I thought this could be a great way for the kids to remember more of why we have Christmas and that this really is the best time of year. (Well, now and Easter of course)
I have a cute little game for the kids to play (still all in my head). I am going to make a "pin the star on the tree" game for the kids, of course using tape instead of pins. We will play Christmas music during their time in the room and when they leave they will all get to take home their "Shepherd staff" candy cane. I taped the canes to a little picture that they can color in when they get home. I am hoping this will start to help them remember the shepherds that were watching their fields the night Jesus was born. I love finding the traditions that are so linked to the Christmas story, but are not always thought of in that way.
I also made poms-poms for the kids to play with and take home as well. I know LJ loves shaking some Penn State Pom-Poms that are at my mom's house, so I think the kids will really get a kick out of this.
I am really excited for this Christmas Birthday Party. I have to go over to the church sometime before Christmas to make sure I have it all decorated and ready for the party. Since Christmas is on Sunday, we are not having Sunday School before church like we normally do so that I will not have that time to set up.
Time is flying by quickly and there is much left for me to do.

Until next time... Merry Christmas Preparations!

Dec 12, 2011

14 Days!

I can't believe that time is marching along so fast! We really don't have that much time left before Christmas is here. We have been doing more and more to get our house ready for Christmas, all along finding ways to link what we are doing to God and Jesus for LJ.
One of the first ways Christmas time became noticeable was when Hubby's brother put a bow on the front of our van. I quickly forgot it was on our car too. It was almost a week before I saw it again and thus remembered it was there. Oh my! A couple days after the last Christmas post I did, I was able to get the garland going up our stairs. LJ helped me too! He loves finding ways that he can help mommy and daddy. It wasn't much that he helped but it made him feel good to be able to say he helped me out.
One big way that he helped me with Christmas decorating was with the tree. I would put the branches out of the bag they were in and he would put them in the correct color pile. Then when I was ready to put the branches on the tree, LJ would hand me one at a time from the pile I needed. I know this made him so happy because he was telling everyone he saw that he helped mommy with the "mimis tree." I love how he says Christmas. Brings a smile to my face every time. Part of it may be that he is so in love with everything Christmas, and not just presents.
We have been getting more and more Christmas not just in the house too. LJ has been enjoying Christmas shows (especially Curious George's A Very Monkey Christmas) and Christmas crafts in Sunday School at church. Well, Shepard's Flock really. Since I am one of the two ladies that handles the nursery and toddler rooms at our church, I have been working on putting together more of a curriculum for the toddlers, with bible stories, crafts, and so much fun. Many times it is a little rushed as I am getting it together during the Sunday School hour to be done during the service. Either way though, the kids seem to really be enjoying it. The other week LJ made a little manger with a baby pop stick wrapped in a tissue blanket.  One thing LJ doesn't know yet though is that all of this fun Christmas stuff he is doing in church is going to end in a big party Christmas morning. :) More on that later.
For now, I will leave you with one of my favorite Christmas pictures from our house. There really is no more cozy scene than a burning fireplace (stove) and a lit and decorated Christmas tree!

Until next time... Happy Christmas Prepping!

Dec 4, 2011

I Love Christmas Time!

WARNING: This post will be a bit of stream of consciousness from an extremely excited lover of Christmas and all that it means and entails. 
Okay, I am getting so excited for Christmas it is not even funny. Now that I am hearing the music more, going to Christmas concerts, and having Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinners at church, I am completely ready for everything Christmas. At the end of the week, I brought down our one box of Christmas decorations and got our mantle all decked out. I also put up all of our stockings, including those of loved ones that are no longer around. Okay, so yes, one of those is for our late cat, but hey, we loved him too.
I have not quite Decked the Halls, but that will be done soon I am sure. If I can wait until Hubby gets home one afternoon this week, maybe then. Otherwise I may just have to find the bag with our lit garland and do it myself while he is at work.
You know, now my head is swirling with other ways to incorporate carols into this post? All because I said "Decked the Halls." Oh my. It also doesn't help that one of the blogs I read is having a really great event and one of her latest posts was about caroling. I of course now have to put in a nice little plug for that blog. ;) I would highly suggest AYearwithMomandDad.com if you want to follow along on her very own Bloggy Advent Calendar. Each day she is having something new to help get in the Christmas spirit, or get things ready for Christmas. It is a lot of fun and it is fueling my love for this season!
I am in love with watching LJ and BG fall in love with Christmas and this season as well. Right now BG is more into the lights and all things shiny, but LJ is learning what Christmas is all about and he loves it. He likes helping me decorate, learning about Baby Jesus and how special he was/is, and everything else we are doing this time of year.
Our next big thing will be putting up our tree and decorating it. I am excited to have LJ help us decorate the tree again this year. Yesterday we put up our outside lights, and it is too early to bake, so the tree is our next step. Yes, baking. That is a whole different part of this season. I tend to do a bit of baking of cookies and making of treats for friends and family and neighbors. It is something to show we are thinking about them and we love having them in our lives, but it is something more thoughtful than buying little trinkets at a store. Maybe LJ can help me a little more this year with that as well. If you have been reading this blog since last year, you may remember that we make fudge annually. Well, I am sure that is going to happen again this year. I know I have two batches of fudge to make myself, though it will not quite be like my mom's. I have two different flavors of morsels and at least one batch will have little yummy treats added into it when it is being made. I like to do things a little different at times.
The days are marching right along and there is much to do between now and Christmas. Some of those things are Christmas related while others are not. What are those "nots"? Well, right now I have two ladies who are pregnant with girls and due not too long after Christmas. Knowing my line of business, and you can figure what might be going on. Well, one lady even asked me to make her a diaper bag. So, that still needs to be done too. Of course I cannot stop there though. Of course.

Well, I better get back on track with preparing my heart, house, and family for this great Christmas Season.

Until next time... Happy Christmas Season preparing!

Nov 30, 2011

Oh the Dichotomy of our house!

Do you want to know one of the presents that is found on my family's Christmas list this year?

Yes, we are asking for a household scale. We have never had a scale in our house. We did when we were not married and still living with our parents, but as a couple we have not owned one, or really wanted to/felt it necessary.
Now we have found ourselves in an interesting dichotomy. LJ has always been light. He is below the 3% for his weight, while being in the 40% + for his height. At one of his last visits to the doctor, we were told that we should own a scale and weigh LJ every week. If he does not gain weight or worse loses weight in a week, we would have to call and take him in to the doctor. Coming from the genetics that LJ comes from, I was not too worried, really. My dad was 5' 5" and weighed like 110 pounds, in his mid 30's. I graduated high school at a whopping 92 pounds and was 5' 4". Genetics were against LJ from the start. He is the spitting image of my father. It is a wonderful thing to the point that I can sort of watch my dad grow up and see what he would have looked like if he ever hit 40 (Lord willing I will see LJ reach that point). Fattening up my son has been a focus since he was born.
Now, Hubby and I on the other hand are a different story (hello, dichotomy). I have not grown at all in height since graduation. My weight on the other hand had gone up. My first year in college I gained the freshman 20-25, but we were all thrilled about that as I was now a more normal and healthy weight. When we started trying to have kids, the weight crept on even before a baby bump could. I even had the dreaded question of "When are you due" asked when I wasn't. Yes, it got that bad. Well, now after two kids, I am at my highest non-pregnancy weight. I had not thought of it too much until a doctor's visit following a car accident. In the little write up they give you after each visit, it had my BMI. It was just over 30. I looked that up and found that I was technically obese. OBESE!
As for Hubby, what can I say, we are decent cooks and enjoy food. :) Can sympathy pregnancy be another excuse? I was able to get him to finally switch doctors and go in for a yearly physical. The doc said he should either grow 4 inches or lose some weight.

While neither of us feel that what the "experts" state as our ideal weights is really within reasonable goals for us, we do feel losing weight would probably be good. So, we have set goals for ourselves to lose about 20 pounds each. This leaves our house with two people trying to lose weight and one trying to put on as much as possible. You know, this makes dinner very interesting. It does not help that LJ likes eating what we are eating and he loves his fruits and veggies. The other night we even had quinoa for dinner and LJ loved it. He didn't want to add anything to it either. No chicken, no veggies, just the quinoa. I am thrilled he likes things like that, but man! I am trying to fatten you up kid!
I know this may mean a number of meals will be totally different for LJ and Hubs and I. I also know this means the temptations are always going to be present. Ice cream, cookies, chocolate, candy; they are in our house for LJ, but act as huge temptations for Hubby and I.
All I can say is.... This should be fun....

Until next time... Happy Healthy Living!

Nov 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to send out a big ole "Happy Thanksgiving!" To all of my readers. For any Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving a little late. :)
We will be spending the afternoon with family stuffing our faces. I hope you all have a great Turkey day!

Nov 9, 2011

Show Season is Upon Us!

November and December brings around the "season" of craft shows and fairs. As a crafter, that means it can get pretty busy around here. Not only am I trying to be the best mom and housewife, I am trying to sew up some new things and build my inventory of older patterns as well.
This year I have my placemats and napkins back for round two.
I also have my glasses cases and bibs back as they are just classics in my book.
New this year are some really great additions. First, I have a cup cozy for your hot beverage cups.

While I do not start to decorate for Christmas or anything like that until after Thanksgiving, I know that there are plenty of people who frequent the craft shows and fairs that are looking for things like that, so I have broken out my Christmas material already this year.
I have also made some baby hats that I think will become a staple of my inventory as well. They are really cute. I made my first one for BG and added some ties so she could not pull it off as easy.
For the hats that can be worn by little boys, I have kept the ribbon off of the hat. I will say that my BG got a ton of comments about her cute little hat that day in the park.
I do have more up my sleeve, but not as much time or pictures. I also have a few ladies due with little ones that I am sewing for as well. Busy Busy Busy!
Until next time... Happy Crafting!

Oct 26, 2011

One of those days

Today is just one of those days. Hubby has been out of town since Sunday night. We were hoping that last night was going to be his last night out of town, but they had to extend it for at least one more night. BG had a bad night too. She was up at least four times and I have idea why she didn't sleep well. After her last time waking we were dozing in my bed (as I wasn't sure if she would stay asleep when I moved her) and Hubby called, thus waking BG. This time she decided she was done sleeping. It was 7. Not long after LJ woke up too.
This morning and early afternoon were just one of those days. Both kids just are wound up or totally upset for no reason. One of those days when you lose your temper way too easy and just want to SCREAM!
I lost my temper, I yelled, and I apologized multiple times to LJ for mommy getting upset so easy. I think he knows when we are all just having a bad day.
I can't wait for Hubby to come home. I am also so thankful for living so close to both my parents and my in-laws. Monday I could go over to my parent's house for the evening and earlier I got a blessing call from my mother-in-law inviting us to dinner tonight. I am looking forward to getting some other adults to talk to and to have extra hands for the kids.
Here's hoping one of those days does not happen again for quite some time!

Until next time... Happy Living!

Oct 15, 2011

Party Planning Checklists Review

I can't believe I am saying this, but the thought of planning BG's first birthday party has already crossed my mind. She is 8 and a half months old. Yes, that is almost 4 months away from a party, but in that time we will have Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and all that comes with those times. I don't want it to get to be January and I don't have a party planned.
Party planning takes time. One of the biggest things to take up your time when planning is food. Well, that is if you are anything like me. When our big families get together, food tends to be a focus of the gathering. That means that I make sure to have varying types of food and plenty of it. Planning for all of that food and things like venue, guests, theme, and decorations, it can be exhausting and frustrating trying to keep everything straight.
Now there is an eBook to help you with your planning. Party Planning Checklist by Theme Party Queen is a FREE eBook that helps you plan for your parties by keeping track of things like food recipes (by category and prep day), table arrangements, grocery lists, and more.
I like that I can plan for multiple main courses, appetizers, desserts, and more all in one place. I can figure out how I want the tables and where I want to put things like garbage and recycling all in one packet. It helps me find the things I may be forgetting and give details where I need to so others can help me with my prep work and set-up.
You can get your own Party Planning Checklist by liking them on Facebook or signing up for their newsletter (providing our email). This is a really nice resource for any time you need to plan a party and need a little help with your planning.

Until next time... Happy Planning!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Oct 14, 2011

One Day Left!

Today is the last day to enter to win your own 8 oz bottle of Prefense Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer.
This is a nice hand sanitizer. I keep it in my diaper bag all the time now for when we can't easily get to a sink to wash hands or LJ might be playing around some pretty germ-y stuff. The giveaway ends at 1201 am October 15th.
Entries are pretty low so your chances of winning are even better if you enter.

Until next time... Happy giveaway entering!

Oct 12, 2011

Slow Cooker eBook for FREE

I just found the perfect eBook for this time of year. If you are anything like me, the slow cooker gets a lot of use during the cooler winter months. For us that is mostly because it just makes so many great comfort foods.
If you like the Family Circle facebook page, you can then get a 15 Slow Cooker Favorites Cookbook from Family Circle. There are some great looking recipes in there. They even have two desserts. I may have to try out the crab and corn chowder recipe. :)

Oct 11, 2011

Only 3 Days Left!

There are only a few days left to enter to get your own bottle of Prefense hand sanitizer. Prefense sanitizer really is great stuff. I make sure to keep my bottle in the diaper bag so we have it whenever we are out. Cold and flu season is coming upon us quickly and I want to try to keep my family as healthy as possible. Prefense lasts all day long, so you know you and your kids are covered.
If you want to help keep your family happy and healthy this year, head on over and enter my giveaway to win an 8 ox bottle of Prefense's hand sanitizer with no alcohol.


Oct 8, 2011

What to Make next!?

As a follow-up to my last blog post, I had been a little inspired. I really want to get a bunch of things that I can make relatively quickly to sell at craft shows this season. After LJ's preschool and lunch with my mom, I came back and perused my sewing room to see what inspiration I could find. I found a bunch of pieces of holly fabric that I cut in strips to make napkin rings. Well, the napkin rings I was making are just too much work for the outcome. I wanted to think of something I could use these for. So, What did I make, bias tape! Okay, I know it is not try bias tape as it was not cut on the bias and all, but it worked out nicely.
I sewed three of the strips together and then found that they were about twice the width I needed. So, I cut the strips down to make two long 1 inch strips and then sewed those two strips together. After ironing everything flat, I was ready to start putting the strip through the bias maker I had bought months ago and not used. I was amazed at how quickly it came together. The maker I have makes 1/2" bias tape. Of course that is with just the two sides folded over. So, I folded it in half then to make some great double fold bias tape.
I ended up pinning the double folded tape while I ironed it so it would hopefully hold a little better. That is why you see it pinned while being wrapped around the cards. Once it was done I was ready to wrap it around something to store it until I could use it. I got out two of my business cards to act as the cardboard core.
I couldn't think what to use it for at first but then another crafty idea hit me. While perusing the internet for ideas I came across some ideas for a glasses case. I put a few of the ideas together and then used this tape to compliment the holly fabric I used for the case. This bias tape circles the top of a glasses case now. :)  I don't have any pictures of it yet, but I have a second case already cut out and ready to sew up. Maybe I will make a little tutorial or something of it. Who knows!
You know, now that I think about it, I have had a very crafty week. Earlier in the week I made a very cute little bag that I think I will have to make more of since they are so cute!

Until next time... Happy Crafting!

Dont forget to enter my giveaway for a nice big bottle of Prefense's Alcohol free hand sanitizer! Giveaways ends October 14th.

Oct 7, 2011

Behind the 8 ball

We are fast approaching that time of year when craft shows abound. I am quickly losing time to try and get items put together that I could possibly sell that the numerous shows in my area.
Since I first started Lynifer, I have wanted to do craft shows as a main way to get my brand out to the community. I was able to do one craft show in the beginning, with my mom. That is as far as it got. When was that craft show? Oh yes, that's right, it was within a year of things going south financially for most of America. Sales were NOT good.
Last year I didn't even try to get to craft shows since BG was due in Feb. and I was just trying to get ourselves ready for Christmas and such and getting settled in the house. Craft shows just did not work into our equation.
This year, things have flown by so fast, I have come upon craft show season and I don't really have much of an inventory to show. Between LJ and BG, I don't get much time to sew. It usually is an hour if that during nap time. I feel so out of the loop, I don't even know when or where most of the shows are going on and how I get my foot in the door. Then a great thing happened this morning!
As I was chatting with another mom waiting to pick up our kids from preschool, she mentioned that she was a crafter. She is actually doing many of the shows in our are, filling up her weekends completely in November (minus Thanksgiving so far) and possibly some in December. This was great! She even offered to take my stuff to the shows and set it up alongside her crafts and sell for me. Oh my goodness!
If I can get more inventory together in the next week or so, I have the potential to get my items out there for more people to see and touch and buy. I am just amazed that she is offering to do the hard part (taking a Saturday to sit at a show) for me. Don't get me wrong, I love craft shows, but at the same time, family time is more important to me.
Our weekends have become so precious to us since the weeks are always so hectic. Weekends tend to be when we can finally just do things we want to be doing whenever we want to and be a family. When having to make the choice of family time or selling a few things to make a little money, family time will trump. That is where my heart lies. Always will. :)
Do any of you do craft shows, or attend them as a buyer? 
As a seller, how do you balance shows and family time during such a busy show time of year?

Until next time... Happy Crafting!

Oct 3, 2011

Baby Girl Growing Up (8 months)

Baby Girl is now 8 months old. I don't know where the time has gone really. She has two working on three teeth and now she has fallen asleep in her own crib twice now. Most times BG will come into our bed and nurse until she passes out. Then I pick her up and carry her over to her crib once Hubby and LJ are through their bedtime routine.
I know that she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own and in her own bed, but I really don't know how to do that when she nurses right before bed and just falls asleep while doing so. There have now been two nights in the last week where she has not fallen asleep while nursing. Then when we try to get her to go to sleep, nothing works. Finally we put her in her crib and eventually she falls asleep.
I don't like to let her learn the cry it out right now because she shares her room with her brother. I don't want her to wake him or keep him up at any point. I have enough sleep problems with him (but that is a different post). So, if BG fusses too much when trying to go to sleep or in the night, I go to get her pretty quick so she doesn't disturb LJ too much. I am very grateful for him being a heavy sleeper like his father. I will say that much!
Also, last Sunday my Baby Girl learned how to crawl full on. Now she is getting faster every day. She loves shoelaces, toes, and fingers. She loves to put anything in her mouth that she can get her hands on. She can hold a bottle with "mommy milk" or juice in it all by herself and she loves that!
Oh and did I mention that she almost pulled herself up to standing the other night? The only thing that stopped her was the foam of her brother's kiddy couch giving way under her weight. Oh my, my big girl is growing up was to fast!

Until Next time... Happy Living!

Sep 30, 2011

Prefense hand sanitizer Review & Giveaway! (CLOSED)

I have two very curious little kids. I do feel that being exposed to some germs can be good, but too many times we are in places where germs are just out of control. We cannot know exactly how often tables are cleaned and how well. When was the last time that play gym was cleaned? When were we last able to wash our hands?
Now I can rest a little easier since I have Prefense. Prefense is a great hand sanitizer that does not use alcohol. It is all-natural, so it won't hurt if swallowed. This makes it totally safe for kids and it lasts a long time. I have used this for LJ and my nephews when we went to a local McDonald's. I especially used it before eating when they had already been on the playground. I knew that it would last all through them eating and playing and keep them from getting whatever germs might be on the equipment. All I can say is that my little bottle of Prefense came just in time!
What do I mean by it lasts a long time? Prefense will actually work to protect against germs for over 24 hours or 10 hand washings. I love that! The reason it lasts so long is that the silica base forms a protective layer that stays in place for up to 24 hours. Some tests have shown this to last up to 60 hours (I found this tidbit on the side of my bottle).
By not using alcohol, I don't worry about it being on my son's hands. Prefense is water based which also means that it is non-flammable. Prefense protects against staph, strep, E.coli, drug resistant MRSA strains, and more.
The scent is also great. It doesn't smell like much, but there is a slight citrus-y scent to it. The foaming action helps it to stay on little wiggle worm hands until it is rubbed in.
You can buy Prefense on their website at: http://www.prefense.com/products/. It can also be purchased on Amazon. This is a nice option for those who use Amazon perks like "Free Super Saver Shipping" or "Amazon Prime." Or you can enter my Giveaway and win one of their 8 oz bottles. The 8 oz bottle has about 640 applications in there. That means if you use the one spray a day (since it lasts that long), you could be using this same bottle for almost 2 years! How awesome?! Prefense can be found on Facebook and Twitter as well.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sep 23, 2011

Thank Goodness for Pediatric Dentists

LJ is getting bigger every day. He is over three years old. I don't know where the time has gone really. I knew that he needed to go to the dentist for his first check-up. Until a few months ago we had one dental insurance, but the pediatric dentist that I used to go to was on on the list. I know that our regular dentist also takes kids, but how well do they handle kids when it is their first trip to the dentist and they are scared? I really had no clue and I didn't want LJ's first visit to the dentist to be a bad one.
I wanted to make sure that when I took him to his first dentist appointment, that he knew it would not hurt and that the dentist was not a bad thing. When I found out that our dental insurance was changing, I quickly looked up and saw my old dentist was on the list. I was thrilled.
Yesterday LJ had his very first dental appointment. At first he was scared and he did not want to cooperate. I understood that, but the dental assistant was great and worked with John until he was comfortable letting her see his teeth and he even let her brush his teeth with her "tickle" toothbrush. When it was time for the dentist to come and look at LJ's teeth, he again was wary, but Dr. Pyke let him move at his own pace of showing his teeth to the doctor and letting LJ hold the mirror that looks at the back of his teeth.
Did you know that over 50% of three year olds have cavities? I was happy when we learned that LJ did not have any in this visit. He will even have his name in the local paper as part of the no cavity club.
I am so happy that LJ's first time at the dentist could be a goodone. I am convinced that by taking him to a pediatric dentist made all the difference.
Do you take your kids to a special pediatric dentist or a family dentist? 
Does it make a difference in your mind?

Until next time... Happy Living!

Sep 11, 2011

What today brings

Many people are stopping to reflect today. Many people are taking moments to remember what happened ten years ago and what they were doing when events transpired. September 11, 2001 is a day that many will never forget.
Ten years ago I had just started college. My husband (then fiancee) and I went to the same campus of Penn State. We drove together and when one had a class and the other didn't, we waited for each other. That morning, Hubby had a test to take in his one math class. He had class with two other friends from high school. As we were all talking before the class, one said a friend just told them that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. We were like, what? We had no concept of what this meant. We all figured it was a small bi-plane or something like that. Maybe even a joke (we had many jokers in our group). Hubby and friends went into the class and began their test. I found a chair in the lobby of the building and sat there doing homework and just killing time. I would say within a half hour of the beginning of the class, maintenance workers and some faculty from the college were around the one TV that hung in the lobby trying to fix it and get it to show the news. I didn't pay a ton of mind to it, until they got it fixed.
When I looked at the pictures on the screen and listened to what was being said, I realized that this was so much more than we originally thought. The crowd of students and staff kept growing and a group of maybe 30 or more of us were sitting and standing there watching the screen as we watched the second plane hit. Then we were all watching as the towers fell. And when we heard that a plane hit the pentagon.
So much happened in the time it took Hubby to finish that math test. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day and they made sure students would be okay driving home if they did not live on campus. Everyone was in some state of shock as to what happened that morning.
I was just glad that Hubby and I had driven together. He could drive and my head could spin. My aunt lived in NYC and she went to NYU. I did not know where in her travels she would be in the city and if she was anywhere close to the towers. Another aunt and her family live in Yonkers and her son worked in the city as well. I didn't know how they were. I had a brother who had only recently retired from working at the pentagon and an uncle who still worked there. Were they both away from the Pentagon when this all happened?
We were all wanting to find out about those we cared for and make sure they were okay. We were all on cell phones trying to find out as much as we could. We all crashed the system and we couldn't get through.
Truly this is as far as I really remember of that day. Everything else has turned to a blur. It blurred quickly for me.
Today Hubby is playing in a concert with the Alumni Band in our area. There will be choirs, the band and a soloist. It will be reminiscent of a concert the band did shortly after that day. This is how we are remembering ten years. We are taking time to remember those who left this world that day and those who are out there still fighting for those who fell that day.

Until next time...

Sep 9, 2011

Free Tea Anyone?

I know I do not post many deals and such on my blog. Sometimes, though, one catches my fancy and I think you all may enjoy it as well. Come winter, I am a huge tea drinker. Actually, I drink tea all year, but winter is time for the hot tea. I love my breakfast teas and mint teas, as well as others. One company I have loved for their tea selections is Twinings. Usually though I only get this when I am out somewhere, as I opt for the classic Red Rose box when at home.
While cruising the latest deals online, I found one that I instantly loved. Right now Twinings USA is offering Three free samples of tea on their site. They have a bunch of different flavors for you to choose from. Personally I decided to try out their OFTC (organic & fair trade certified) breakfast blend, decaf English blend, and pure peppermint herbal teas.
So, if you are anything like me and love your tea, Twinings has a great deal for you right now. Who doesn't love trying new types of tea for free?

If you cannot click on the links above, here it is again:

Until next time... Happy Tasting!

Sep 8, 2011

Growing up so fast!

You know, children just grow up way too fast it seems. I have thought that so many times LJ was born. Then again I have felt that way since not long after my younger sister was born (she is 14). Now my baby girl has me saying it all over again. BG is growing bigger everyday.
My baby is already 7 months old and she has at least one tooth. I say at least because I think she may be cutting her second tooth only days after cutting her first tooth. When BG was one day shy of 7 months, she had one of her crankiest days. It just was not like her to not be happy playing on the floor or swinging if mommy had to put her down. I just did not know what was going on with her until finally mid afternoon she grabbed my one finger and started to gum it. That is when I realized that her gums were no longer smooth. BG's very first tooth was already cut through her gums. Of course! That was why she was so unhappy. I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. Well, I sort of do. When at her latest well check, her teeth didn't seem like they were imminent or anything like that, and that was the opinion of the doctor.
I knew that she was working on teeth, but that they were maybe a little further away. But now my girl has one tooth in the lower gum line. She has had a few more cranky days and I believe she may be working on one or maybe even two more teeth within the next few weeks. Who knows, it may only be a few days before the next one cuts through. If that is the case, I feel bad for my girl. That cannot be much fun.
As it stands, BG is growing very well. She started regular foods and I have been making most of them. We haven't really gone in any order of what she tries, we just keep it simple. At her well check she came out great. For weight she is in the 32-35 percentile. She is just over 50% for her height. She does have a big head though (66%). I think it is from all of those compliments she keeps getting. :)

Aug 23, 2011

Guest Blogging

Time completely got away from me. Another great blog, Happily Domestic, has been hosting a very fun event called Fluff Fest. Before it all began Beth was looking for guest bloggers.  I figured I would see if she would like a post from me and well, she did. :)
Yesterday was the day my post was put up on her blog.
What did I write about? I have been becoming more and more passionate about showing families how they can cloth diaper for almost no money. That is what I blogged about; Diapering for Almost Nothing! I highlighted ways to diaper for the cost of a few very cheap but very good covers.
Feel free to go check it out. While you are over there, you can even check out the giveaways that are going on. Fluff Fest continues until the end of the month. A month of Fluff, how awesome!

Aug 22, 2011

Training Pants Anyone?

With LJ potty training, we go through a lot more big boy underpants and trainers these days. We have our share of store bought trainers and underpants, but I know that I can also make him trainers and the like.
Over the months I have found a bunch of free patterns online for making training pants. Many of the patterns have The body of the trainers as all one piece, like the pattern here. Then I was able to find a pattern that has the front and back wings separate from the middle panel of the trainer. I can then use FOE as the binding around the legs and waist. The pattern I found is a Ditto Daddy Free Trainer Pattern. The page says that the pattern cannot be made waterproof, but I made the center panel water resistant by using rip stop nylon and it seems to fit LJ nicely.
While I did use the pattern, I didn't follow the instructions all the way. Once I have a pattern to work with, I tend to make the item the way I would like to and not always the way they describe. I used rip-stop nylon for the outer layer of the front to back panel. I didn't want that material against LJ's skin so I made an inner layer using a t-shirt sleeve and some microfiber (absorbancy). The wings are made from scraps of fleece. This way the wings are stretchy where they need to be but the center isn't (I don't think it need to be stretchy here).
Now LJ has a pair of partially waterproof training pants that have a little bit of absorbing power. I am thinking that once they are clean we are going to try them out for nap times. If need be I can always add a little more absorbancy, but LJ has been doing very well with his potty training. Now for a picture, albeit blurry, of LJ showing off his new underpants. It was very nice being able to try them on him at various times during the fabrication process. :)

Aug 20, 2011

Oh the Life of a Potty Training Mommy

LJ has reached that time in his life where it is time to graduate from diapers and move in to big boy underpants. We had made the move to using pull ups while out and at night a little while back. I would use cloth trainers or big boy underpants while at home, on occasion. When we were home, LJ would do okay. Many times he did his best when he had nothing on from the waist down.
Well, last weekend, we decided enough was enough. We were not getting anywhere using pull-ups as much as we were. They stink for potty training. They are just too much like a diaper for the kid to really notice or care that they made the pull-up wet. Even messy pull-ups would not always warrant the cry for a change.
We had known for a while that LJ possessed all he needed to be potty trained. He knew when he had to go. He could hold it for a sufficient amount of time (no "I have to go potty" and you only have like 2 seconds to get them to the pot). He could even stop himself mid stream if need be. There were times when we would be at home, he would start to pee in his big boy undies and stop himself, hold it until we got to the potty and I helped him pull down his undies, and then once sitting on the potty, he would finish emptying his bladder. I also think he holds it until it will benefit him in some way as well. He seems to always be able to sit and go potty if say there is a new toy car in it for him or he knows I have the grab bag of candy in the diaper bag.
As of Monday, we have gone to big boy underpants all day (using night time pull-ups only at night) and we have had maybe two accidents. I count this a Huge success! I have even put him in bed for naps and had him wake up dry or only slightly wet (if this happened, it didn't even make it to the bed).
I think our biggest hurdle was getting LJ to want to use the potty when we are out somewhere. He doesn't like loud noises and many times the potties are too loud when we are out. To help him get over this fear a little more, we did encourage him with a new car or two. Once he realized that there are some pretty cool potties out there, he didn't mind letting us know if he needs to use the potty while not at home. LJ has found a love of potties that let him stand up (urinals), have handles (handicapped), or are just plan different in some way.
I can't believe my little man is growing up so much. I guess it will be time soon to make sure we have a few more fun big boy underpants for my big boy. They grow up too fast!

Until next time.... Happy Living!

Aug 1, 2011

6 Months!

Today marks six months of life for my little girl. I can't believe it really. She has been growing so much. What has the past 6 months been like?
My baby has gone from this
to this
yes, that is rice cereal all over her!
BG has gone from no control of her arms and legs to playing and interacting with her toys and the world.
We have gone from preemie clothes all the way to 6 month or so clothes.
Where I stopped pumping milk for LJ when he was 4 months and he never did really latch, BG and I are still breastfeeding and going strong! I am so happy for this milestone in particular. When formula was all LJ was getting at this point in time in his young life, BG has not had one drop. Yay for not having to make bottles of formula (especially in the middle of the night).
BG has even started table foods and her mommy has been making all of them. We have not bought jars of baby food. Already my little girl has tried bananas, avocado, rice cereal, mashed potatoes, squash, and one or two other foods.
My girl has been in cloth diapers more than she has been in disposables. I have not had to buy disposable diapers yet. She is starting to outgrow the 1-2 sized sposies and I have a bunch of size 2 still.
When we brought our little girl home, she was able to sleep with her head at one side of the bassinet and her feet at the other. Now she is almost too long for the bassinet and she will be moving in to share a room with her brother before we know it.

It is so wonderful to have my big boy and my little girl. I could not ask for more, really. God has blessed me so much. Both of my children are so good and my heart melts daily because of them. I am so happy to be a mommy to these two children and a wife to my wonderful husband (had to mention him at some point). ;)

Happy Six Months Baby Girl!

Jul 15, 2011

BabyBond Nursing "Cover" Review & Discount

"Cover mom, not her baby." The BabyBond Nursing Sash allow this to happen. Moms can stay modest and not show more skin than they are comfortable and baby is able to stay uncovered so mom and baby can bond more.
From the site:
BabyBond Flex™ is worn like a sash, functioning like a nursing top. Nurse from the top of your shirt. Separate the layers of fabric to achieve latch on. Double panel keeps breast covered above & below. Belly & back remain covered with your own shirt. Removable 9 x 12″ double layer terry velour burp cloth. Able to attach any cloth or wear without cloth attached. Stores in matching pouch.
Let me say, I love my BabyBond, even if I did end up asking for a size too large. :) At first it took me a few tries to get to a point where I felt comfortable using the BabyBond. I found it worked better for me (with my too large for me BabyBond) to put some safety pins in it where the next size BabyBond would sit. Once I had it to a size that worked better, I was able to start nursing my little girl almost anywhere and feel comfortable that I was not showing too much skin. I am a fairly modest mom and this helps my sweaty baby not have to be covered every time we nurse in public.

I received a Flex BabyBond to try out for this review. The difference between the original and the flex is an added removable burp cloth. The Original Bond has a built in burp cloth. The terry velour burp cloth is super soft! I am in love with the removable cloth. My little one tends to be messy when she nurses, so I can put the cloth under her chin to catch some of her dribbles and keep them off of me and the sash.
The BabyBond is easy to take everywhere with you because it comes in a super easy and convenient storage pouch. All you do is roll up the sash and tuck it in to the pouch. I put a clip on mine so that I could easily clip to whichever diaper bag I am using.

I love this product and recommend it to moms who are planning to nurse their little ones.

And now for an awesome bonus for my readers. The wonderful people at BabyBond have offered a discount of 25% off products on their site. The code for this discount is: LYNIFER.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure. This post may contain some affiliate links.

Jul 14, 2011

Words of Advice

Our church family was blessed on Sunday to learn that one of our moms is expecting once again. We were all so happy for her. This is going to be a big adjustment again for the family as her two boys are going to be 9 and 10 when the newest addition arrives. Actually the youngest has his birthday about 4 days after the mom's due date. :)
One of the first things I mentioned to her when we found out was about using cloth diapers. She was interested in learning more about them. I told her that they are not the diapers she remembers and she was happy to know that. We have three women (I included) that use cloth diapers in our church. Two of us were there for the big announcement Sunday. 
I can't wait to school her on the new cloth diapers that are out there. The other mom may even have a bunch of BumGenius that she can sell to the new mommy, since her youngest is now potty training. There are so many diapers available to new moms. While you can still use flats and covers like our moms and grandmothers used, you can also use prefolds, and pockets, and AIOs. Oh My!
This is where I want a little bit of your help.
What words of advice would you give to a mom new to cloth diapering?
I want to be able to offer her not only me advice, but the advice of other moms who have used cloth and may have differing views from mine.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Jun 30, 2011

Bat in the House?

Do you know what to do if you get a bat in your house?
Monday afternoon will be a time I don't soon forget. My baby girl was in her swing sleeping, my big boy was playing and watching one of his shows and I was working on a blog post while I had a few moments to myself and our pup was sleeping at the foot of the couch. It came to my attention that I was hearing rustling somewhere around my stairs. "What in the world am I hearing?" Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fall off the side of the one step going to our second floor. "What in the world just fell!" Of course my dog was right over to check things out, but luckily she quickly backed away. I turned around in my chair to see the floor and realized that what I was looking at was a bat.
I have never had to deal with a bat in my house, so I had to idea what to do. I did know that I could throw a towel or something on top of it to try to keep it from flying and try to keep it in one place. I found an old child's towel that I had made into a flat diaper (but didn't end up liking it) and I put that on the bat. He then tried crawling out from under the towel so I had to put shoes and things around the bat to keep him in place. NOTE: bats cannot take off from the floor, they need a place to hang from in order to fly. Getting the bat on the ground makes it easier to get them out of the house.
*So, Bat on floor, check. Towel or some thing to surround the bat and keep it from hiding, check.*
our heater grate
Then I called my in-laws who are about 30 seconds away. Luckily, my father-in-law had just gotten home for lunch and he was able to come right over. He was then able to use the towel to pick up the bat. At this point the bat had gone through the small squares in our heater grate. This helped keep him in one place, but meant lifting the heavy grate to get to him. Thank goodness for the catch-all my Father-in-law made for that heater too!
Then "Bat Manuel" (yes, Hubby named him that, from the Tick) went outside. This is also about the time my Mother-in-law called back thinking that maybe, just in case, we should call the health dept to see if they want to test it to make sure it wasn't rabid. So, I had to go back outside, find the bat who had started to crawl to a nearby tree, and put a bucket over him.
Then, after talking to the guy at the health dept., I learned what you should do when you find a bat in your house and you want it tested. If anyone had any non-protected contact with a bat or is bitten, it should be tested (this includes waking to a bat flying around your room).
*Get the bat into a plastic container and tape it shut* (you can add air vents if you really want to)
*Get the bat chilling (in a fridge or in a cooler with ice around it)*
*Call your local health dept and schedule a pick-up*
Bats can chew out of a box, so use plastic. Also, if the bat should die before they come to pick it up it needs to be chilled or the testing cannot happen. If they start to decay at all (kept too warm), the test cannot be done. If they freeze, the test will come out inconclusive. Fun stuff. So, once I was able to get "Bat Manuel" into a tupperware container and taped shut, it was time to put it in a bag and into a cooler to chill out. That is then where he stayed until my in-laws came over later that night to take it to the state lab that is only about 30 minutes away. This was a little better because otherwise the little guy would have to stay in our cooler until Wednesday morning. This also gave us an excuse to have dinner at the nearby Cracker Barrel. :)
Everything turned out fine, which made my mother-in-law feel so much better.
We still have no idea how the bat came into our house, but we did learn that it only takes a small space for a bat to come in. They are like mice in that they only need a space large enough for their head to fit through in order to get in somewhere. This time of year, that more times than not can mean spaces around a window AC unit. Needless to say that we have since made sure to go over every space around our AC units to check for places bats could get in. They follow cool air currents and once one makes a path more follow the same path.
Side note, we had a second bat the next day too. John found that bat and came over to me telling me he found, "'nother animal. 'nother animal." He is not scared of these little guys, though he does not feel the desire to touch them (thank goodness!).
For those who do not already know this, the human shots for rabies are now a series of 4 shots. It is no longer the 30 shots (1 each day for a month) like it had been.
I hope through my new experience, may I never have it again, you have been able to learn something new today.

Have you had any bats in your house? Do you know how they got in?

Until next time... Happy Learning Something New Each day!

Jun 27, 2011

How long to use a Monitor

Baby Monitors. Almost everyone uses one at some point when they have a baby in the house. We got one when LJ was born. I wanted to be able to hear my baby when I was not in the room with him. Since we did not get one at our baby shower, we picked one up at Walmart. We ended up getting the Safety 1st Glow And Go Two Receiver Monitor and it worked pretty well. We still have it, though from all the drops the receivers have had, they tend to get very quiet at times.
Fisher-Price Sounds 'N Lights Monitor With Dual ReceiversI have loved looking at other/newer monitors in case we decide to or need to replace our baby monitors. I like looking at ones with lights.Ones with lights give me a visual cue as well as the auditory cues when a child makes a noise. I think one of my favorite monitor sets in the same price range as our first monitor is the Fisher-Price Sounds 'N Lights Monitor With Dual Receivers. I like when the bases for the monitors are unobtrusive. I also find two hand sets to be the best fit for us. Sometimes, I would even love more. :)
Now, why am I talking about baby monitors today? Well, We started using a baby monitor when LJ was born. He is now over three years old and I still have the monitor on each night. Hubby thinks it is past time for us to turn it off. Of course, we will end up using it again when BG moves into big brother's room. I am feeling a slight twinge of motherly attachment, I guess you could call it. The thought of not hearing any noise that comes from LJ's room is something I am used to. I like knowing if he starts crying in his sleep or needs mommy for something. More times than not it is LJ whimpering in his sleep, and he needs to be covered up or he lost his blankie in his sleep. I have become so used to it, that giving up that connection starts to tear at the mommy side of me. 
So, my question for you is,
When did you stop using a monitor in your kid's room?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Jun 22, 2011

Camping, Cloth Diapers, And Wraps... Oh My!

This past weekend was our first summer vacation trip of the season. We went on our annual family camping trip with Hubby's side of the family, up to the Pocono Mountains. In all we had 18 people filling 3 camp sites. We always have a ton of fun, but this year I had some added responsibilities. BG is only 4.5 months old and we were going to be staying in a tent. I had to think about what we would do for diapering, and what we would need or want for her to sleep in, and where she could go when someone was not holding her. Luckily I did not have to think about what to do with food for BG as all of her food still comes from me. My oh my does breastfeeding make that so much easier!
For the diapering issue, we decided that instead of switching to cloth for the weekend, I would be sure to take enough of our stash to cover us for the weekend and not have to do laundry. I did take my camp washer just in case, but I didn't want to have to use it or the washer/dryer that was at the campground.
During our one full day at the campground, we (almost the whole gang) hike up the mountain that is located where we are staying. I have not been able to go on the hike for various reasons. I was determined to get up that mountain this year. I wanted LJ and BG to get up there too. That meant being prepared for Hubby and I to wear each child at some point.
BG after waking up, descending the mountain
I have not been lucky enough to get a Moby wrap or many other carriers for that matter. I have two more traditional carriers, but both are terrible for dispersing the weight of baby. After finding out how long wrap carriers are, I went out and bought the material myself and I now have my very own Moby style wrap. This is what I used for BG during the hike. I knew she would probably fall asleep during the hike, as it was around her nap time, so she was facing me so I could tuck in her head when she slept. We borrowed an Ergo from a friend in case Hubby had to wear LJ on his back, but he ended up walking for much of the trail or being carried by his Pop.
We had a lot of fun this past weekend, and the next few weekends are looking to be filled with more fun as we approach the fourth of July weekend. I leave you with a picture of my BG and what she thought of our camping trip. :)

Until next time... Happy Vacations!

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