Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Pintester Movement: Watermark Tee

I LOVE Pinterest. I'm on it more than I'd like to admit. I've gotten so many great ideas and yummy recipes it's amazing. Now, I'm pretty good at actually trying a lot of the things that I "pin", but there are a few projects that I pinned wwwaaayyy long ago that have been figuratively collecting dust.

One of my very favorite blogs is holding a challenge called
 "The Pintester Movement" (<click for the link)
The idea? Pick a Pinterest pin and DO IT!

Challenge Accepted.

This was one of the very first DIY projects I ever pinned. 

I started with a V-neck tee from Target that is 60%cotton, 40%polyester because I liked the tee and I knew I'd never actually wear it if I just got one of those Hanes T-shirts that everyone tries to tye-dye in elementary school but ends up with a poop brown shirt that finds it's way to the bottom of the closet because it's hideous.
I also decided to do a onesie for my kiddo since I literally have 35 white onesies just hanging around the house.

I followed the directions and wet the shirts, pulling them over plastic bin lids and writing on them with Elmer's Blue Gel Glue

Excuse the dark pics. I have a baby so all crafting is done after bed time.

For my shirt I chose a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorite books. For the onesie I chose a quote from Calvin and Hobbes because my son's name is Calvin...get it? duh...

After waiting for them to dry overnight I drug out the biggest pot I have (which is quite large indeed) and some Rit-Dye and said a little prayer.

I just dumped the whole onesie in, but thought an Ombré look on mine might be fun. So I let part of it hang out and gradually shoved more into the pot. I have no idea how long I waited or even how many "waits" i did. So don't ask. I just made it up.

Once I was satisfied with the color (read: I ran out of time) I laid them flat to dry... and waited... again.

The next day (yes, this took me 3 days...sheesh) I soaked them in cool, soapy water and washed and dried them.

Here's the result!
Self-timer shot... always super awkward.

Good luck reading these bad boys but I guess that's not really the point... right?
And yes, I had both shirts in the exact same vat of dye. Crazy. The onesie has some fun confetti-like spots on it. apparently you really need to stir that dye up before throwing your stuff in it. Oops. I don't know what happened in the middle of my shirt but the glue didn't dissolve off so it's still kind of crunchy and has a bunch of lint stuck to it. Maybe it will get better with more washings?

Alright, I did it and there's photographic evidence for all the interwebs to see.
Now it's your turn!

And seriously, if you haven't heard of you really need to check out her blog, she's hilarious! GO!

Update 8/19/2013: The excess glue left on my shirt came out the second time I washed it. It looks perfect and I wear my shirt all the time! Calvin has unfortunately already outgrown his onesie, so I guess it will get saved for the next kiddo. :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

8 Months

As I write this I have a very grumpy 8 month old who is vehemently refusing to nap. To much to do, to much to see, napping is not an option right now. *sigh*

Calvin is usually a very happy baby, but he's getting old enough to decide what he wants to do and what he will refuse to cooperate with. Which does create some frustration. 

One of his favorite things is swimming. Tristan takes him to the YMCA on Saturdays for the "Shrimp and Kippers" swim lessons. I originally thought it was ridiculous to put a baby in swim lessons, however, I'm not the best judge considering I am not what you would call a "strong swimmer" myself. So I gave in and I'm so glad. They get some father-son time, they play in the water with other babies and sing songs with "swimming motions". They both just love it. It's a great way to get kids comfortable in and around the water, and from what I hear it's pretty freaking adorable.
I took 40 pictures and this was the best and least blurry...

I'm still kind of in denial that he's getting so big. Look at that picture! He looks more like a kid and less like a baby everyday. 
2/3 of a year old...sheesh.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What I've learned this month:

I hope everyone is had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend! I'd like to thank all those who have put their lives on the line and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect this amazing country of ours.

Calvin will be 8 months old the end of this month and every month there's always some sort of learning curve. Just when I think I got a handle on this parenting thing there's something new. So here's what I've figured out this month:

Babies LOVE hampers!

Why did it take sooo long for me to know this!? He played in it for an hour! AN HOUR!!! Nothing holds his attention or keeps him in one place that long. It was incredible, he sat in it, stood up in it (while we held it to keep it stable), played with his toys in it. It was like a fun little baby cage and I felt like a moron for not thinking of it sooner.

Just because he can't technically "crawl" doesn't mean he can't get anywhere:

"crawling' through the coffee table...
 And I mean ANYWHERE and FAST! This kid is like a tiny, army-crawling magician. Set him down one place, look away for a second and he pops up somewhere else. Favorite hang-outs include under the coffee table, the granite hearth in front of the fire place, anywhere the dog has left one of his chew toys, and anywhere he thinks he thinks might give me a heart attack. Needless to say, baby proofing is in full swing.

 Baby kisses are so damn cute!
Sorry for the aweful pic. I needed photographic proof.

 Calvin kissed me for the first time this week and I almost died from the cuteness. I kissed his cheeks a couple times then he grabbed my face, smooshed his mouth against my cheek and made a sort of smacking, grunting sound... Then he tried to suck on my chin. Hilarious.

All-in-all a good month. Cheers to a few hundred more!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Healing After Baby. AKA: The Vagina Repair Kit

You can thank my husband for the title. 
When I was coming to the end of my pregnancy I did A LOT of research about all the things that happens to your body after you push a person out of it that NOBODY tells you about. I'm the kind of person that prefers to be completely informed so I can prepare. Did I mention, nobody tells you about this stuff? This is one of my favorite blog posts from it totally lays it all out. I found it incredibly helpful, terrifying, but helpful. So I read and read and read about tearing, stitches, lochia and diastasis recti...If you don't know what those terms are and you are currently pregnant, you may want to look them up so you're not surprised. If you're not currently pregnant you probably don't want to know. And taking the wise advice of those who have given birth before me, I started buying and stashing items to make my recovery easier.

Here are my favorites. These items in a nice reusable container have become one of my go-to baby shower gifts. The recipient usually thinks I'm being funny... until they end up using it all.

Always Infinity Heavy Flow Pads : Because Lochia ain't no joke. These are super absorbent and thin. Much more comfortable than the ones the hospital sends home with you. 

Tucks Pads: Put them on top of your always pad for cooling relief. 

Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray (in the blue can): Heaven in a spray can. One spray takes the pain away. 

Lavender Essential Oil: Put a few drops in your peri bottle with some warm water to help keep things clean and speed up healing. And it smells nice to boot.

Epsom Salt: Super cheap and wonderful. Put some in your bath tub filled with a few inches of warm water or a sitz bath. Add some lavender oil and sit in it. Fantastic.

Cheap undies: Don't ruin your nice undies! Spend $8 on a pack of cheap-o's and just throw them away when you don't need them anymore.

Laxative: I personally didn't need this but I had it on hand just in case. Pooing after birth can be scary so unless you eat lots of fruit and veggies like I did, keep some in the medicine cabinet.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY: REST! With the steady stream of visitors you may feel pressure to get up and clean or cook or tidy up. Don't. The more you push yourself the longer it takes to heal. Seriously. Everybody will be so enamored with the baby no one will notice if there are dirty dishes in the sink or laundry piling up. Just rest and cuddle your baby. You deserve it and your body will thank you.

I can only tell you what I personally found helpful after my birth experience. Got any other suggestions? Bring 'em on!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Frozen Waffles for a Teething Babe.

Teething is rough on poor little gums. Offer your kiddo a little relief by letting them gnaw on some  yummy frozen waffles.

I've heard over and over again how great frozen waffles are for teething but I didn't want to just hand the kiddo a "Rhymes with Leggo" *wink* So I decided to make and freeze my own. I scoured Pinterest for a healthy waffle batter recipe and found a great one for Vegan Applesauce waffles by the never homemaker.

I doubled the recipe and tweeked it a smidge by substituting 1/2 the flour for whole wheat flour and tossing in a little vanilla and cinnamon. I figured a little extra flavor would be welcome since they would not be slathered in butter and syrup.

So here's what my version ended up looking like:

  • 1 C. All purpose flour
  • 1C. Whole wheat flour
  • 2Tbls. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1C. (natural or homemade) Applesauce
  • 1C. Almond milk
  • 1tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp. Cinnamon

1. Preheat your waffle maker. We have this baller Waffle Stick Maker which is PERFECT for this. The waffle sticks are the perfect size for Calvin to hold and chew on. A regular waffle maker totally works too but if you have kids you might want to consider a waffle stick maker just because they're super fun! They have apparently discontinued our particular model but there are a bunch out there, some less than $20.

2.  In a med. bowl mix together all the ingredients. You want it thin enough to spread but not so thin it runs everywhere. And a few lumps never hurt anyone so don't worry about those.

3. Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray (even if it's a non-stick waffle maker), pour the batter in and cook.

Your baby wont care if they're not perfect.

4. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

5. Put on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop those suckers in the freezer for an hour or two.

6. Once frozen, throw them in a zip top bag and store in the freezer until baby is ready for one.

So nice and cold on the gums.

There ya go!

 I feel like it goes without saying that you need to watch your kiddo when you give him something to chew on like this. Don't want them ripping off to big a piece and choking. Just covering my butt.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cloth Diapers: The Specifics.

My original post about Cloth Diapering (Here) has been pretty popular but I've gotten a few more specific questions about what we use for diapering the kiddo. So here ya go!

Do you ever have to touch the "mess"?

 No. If the diaper is wet, just put it in your wet bag as-is. If it's poopy, remove the poo either by plopping it into the toilet or spraying it off into the toilet with your diaper sprayer, spray with bac-out and put (as-is) in they wet bag. If you're using pocket diapers, the washing machine will remove the pads from the covers for you. Just double check and make sure they are all separated BEFORE you dry them. I get 1-2 per wash that didn't make it out. They're still nice and clean, you just want to take the pad out so they will actually dry.

Can you use diaper cream?

  Yes and no. The commercial diaper creams that 90% of parents have in their diaper bags aren't going to work when you use clothies. The residue will actually end up making your dipes water resistant instead of absorbent. Not good. So you need to use Cloth Diaper friendly cream. We use Weleda Calendula Baby Cream. NOT the diaper cream. Since we use clothies Calvin has never gotten diaper rash, we only use it when his tushie is a smidge red and before bed to keep him moisturized. A little goes a long way, I just replaced the tube we've used since he was born.

How do you pack wipes?

 Since I make my own wipes (Tutorial Here) I either throw a hunk of them into a travel wipes case or I use store bought ones. I usually have a spare pack of them lying around from when we travel. Use what you have. My diaper bag came with a travel wipes case, but how cute is This one?                                 

What do you do when you change a diaper when you're not home?

We have a smaller wet bag that we use just for outings. (it has cars and trucks on it... get it?) I change him as normal and just throw everything in the wet bag. Even if there's poo. It's easier to change him quick and deal with it at home. It's kind of weird taking a dirty diaper out of the wet bag to get the poo out, but if you rolled it up good there shouldn't be a problem. If a disposable wipe gets lost and ends up in the washing machine it's no biggie, just toss them before they hit the dryer.

My biggest advice is to make them fit YOUR life. We use disposables when Calvin goes to bed and twice a week when he's at the babysitters because that's what works best for us and I am perfectly fine with that. Using cloth diapers is a choice not a prison sentence, it shouldn't be scary or make you feel like you'll fail if you ever use disposables again.

Have more questions? Let me know and I'll be happy to answer as best I can.