Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Recap

My brain is fried! I am dead serious. I can't even think of what we did this weekend and it's still Sunday!

Okay, I remember bits and pieces, but there was a lot of sun, work, and taking care of a baby. Just thinking about those things drains me now.

We had a very low-key weekend actually. My hubby spent Friday evening and part of Saturday (and, ok, part of Sunday, too) working on a DIY smoker from an old refrigerator. We'll save those details for another post. Let's just say, "the hubs couldn't be more ecstatic!" I personally enjoy anything that combines me eating and not having to cook.

Here's a sneak preview of what's kicked my vehicle out of the garage:

Okay, back to my weekend recap. Our little one is teething (again, sigh) and slept very little on Friday night. Who am I kidding?!?! She hasn't slept well all week! By the time my day ended on Saturday, I was past exhaustion. Seriously! My husband and I crashed on the couch to enjoy the silence before I crawled into bed a few minutes later. 

Today (Sunday) was really our busy day! The weather was beautiful here for once and it won't be nice again for at least another week, so we decided to soak up the sun. We worked in the yard, grilled hamburgers for lunch, and hung out as a family. 

We got so much sun and outdoor time, our little one took an extra nap! She was so worn out! No complaints from this momma.

With our lives being so busy, I really treasure these family weekends that are just us! We all need those times together, even if just occasionally.

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dry. Brush. Say what?

Five years ago my husband and I went on our honeymoon, a cruise to Puerta Vallerta, Cabo, and Mazatlan. It was amazing!

We swam with dolphins, drank margaritas by the pool, ate, went to shows, ate, snorkeled, danced (at the club and also with the dolphins), ate some more (yes, there was lots of food and no, we didn't refrain), and even gambled a bit. All in all, it was a spectacular vacation!

While we were on this trip, my hubby surprised me with a massage (a luxury only done on very rare occasions, like on vacation). I was so excited to be pampered!

My masseuse on the cruise did an excellent job! At the end of the massage, she started making recommendations for a continued skin treatment regime. She mentioned needing to use a dry brush daily for improving circulation.

"Say what," I asked.

"You know, a dry brush. Dry. Brush," the masseuse replied.

Okay, until that moment I had no clue women were running home daily and secretly whipping out their dry brushes. After further explanation and insistence on using this item, ahem... daily, I walked out with about $100 in skin care products and a dry brush. That was definitely not in my budget at that time (or now).

Flash forward five years and I am still using that dry brush daily and believe that it does wonders for my skin! It takes only a few minutes a day and I use just before my shower. I start at my feet, working my way up my body making short, upward movements across my skin (although some people will say to do circles). The rule is to always brush towards your heart. 

There is tons of information online about dry brushing and how amazing it can be for your body, including reducing/preventing cellulite, removing dead skin cells, better circulation, and improved digestion. See here, here, and here for more information. This is the dry brush I own (and love).

Honestly, I don't know 100% about any of that but I did come out of my first pregnancy stretch mark free and have never had cellulite. I figure, if it is preventative, I will just keep doing what I'm doing. So, maybe I missed the memo during my first twenty-one years of life about dry brushing, but thank goodness for a very convincing masseuse!

Do you dry brush? Why or why not?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Little One's Life: Month Seven to Nine

This is a tad delayed by about 3 weeks, which should come as no surprise to those that know me. My mind has been quite frazzled lately! I hear babies will do that to a person!

Believe me when I say, it's getting harder to be creative with her monthly pictures. It is also more challenging to take a good picture now that she wants to move constantly! Needless to say, I am relieved to know her monthly pictures will be ending soon (insert sigh, she is growing up fast).

Month 7- Her 7-month birthday was on her first Thanksgiving! She had a blast with my side of the family in my hometown (can't you tell by the picture). She rolls over constantly now, will sometimes stand on her feet (with help), and loves to PLAY (especially with our dogs). By the end of Month 7, she was crawling (backwards not forwards... yet). She celebrated her first Christmas in her own house with her immediate family (since it was on a Wednesday). The following weekend, Christmas was celebrated with her Daddy's side of the family.

Month 8- Wow, slow down! She is growing and changing so quickly! During her 8th month of life she mastered crawling (all directions now). She is into everything now! She also got her first tooth... and then her 2nd tooth this month! She is also saying "Da-Da" all the time. She tries to say other words but she isn't quite there yet. She loves dancing and giving hugs and kisses.

Month 9- At the beginning of month 9, she started eating meat. She loved it! She went on her first family vacation, a trip to the cabins camping! She now says, "uh-oh." She also knows how to lean over her highchair and "feed" her puppies. She pulls herself up and can stand as long as there is something to hold onto. She keeps amazing us everyday with something new she has learned.
What a blessing our little one has been for us! It is amazing how fast time flies when you have a little one!

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Day in My Life...

I follow many blogs and one of my favorite posts to read enlighten me about a typical day in that blogger's life. When I think about my own life, my "typical" day has changed significantly over the years as I am sure many of yours has as well. Once, I was a high school student and had my days filled with dance team practice, sports games, classes, studying, and friends. I then ventured off to college where my days (and priorities) switched to academics, my boyfriend (now husband), shopping, friends, parties, and finding myself while learning to be away from my family.

Flash forward a few several years and now I am married, with a child, 2 dogs, a mortgage, and a job. Man, does life change fast?!?!? It seems like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to my parents and climbing into my packed (to the brim) Pontiac Grand Am and driving off to college. I digress.

My days are more or less defined by my child these days. For me, that is exactly how I want it and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

Before I go through my schedule I want to forewarn you that although I wish I could be like other fellow momma bloggers who rise an hour before their child to work out, shower, pray. and read, that is not the case for me. I LOVE my sleep, am not a morning person, and therefore let my child be my alarm clock. In many ways, I wish I was that mom as my day would probably feel a lot less, ummm, crazy busy. So there's my self-disclosure! Here we go. A somewhat typical weekday with my little:

Wake up.

Change and feed my little one. Eat breakfast together. 

Do a little cleaning. Today, I vacuumed while holding the little one as she screams at the noise if not held. I would have taken a pic if I had an extra arm as it is a sight to see! We then take and send a silly pic or two to the hubby.

Change diaper and change outfits (current one had some moisture leak through, whoops). We then play together for a bit!

Nap time for baby. I work on what needs done! Today, I blogged.

Change diaper again, feed baby, and then lunchtime. I had leftover baked potato and my little one had green beans. She is my fav lunch date:

Then, it's playtime again and I try to return some calls and throw a load of laundry in the washer. By the way, do you ever feel like this is you:

Laugh out loud! I received this in a baby center email today and it totally fits!

 Okay, back to my day! I also prepare whatever I need for dinner. We are having chicken and rice so I pull chicken out of the freezer.

I workout (Zumba and 10 minute abs today) with my assistant:

She watches, dances, and laughs. Yes, laughs at me.

This wears us both out so after another diaper change (yes, lots of diaper changes) it's naptime again! I continue to work on my blog stuff with Friends playing in the background!

Since I feel icky from a workout, I shower. Then, it's more playtime for the little and me until the hubby gets home (my favorite part of the day)! I do try to pick up before he gets home so our house looks less chaotic and feels less overwhelming.

The calmness feeling dissipates about 2 minutes after the hubby gets home when our little one runs through the house again. 

We take a family stroll through the park, I cook dinner, we eat, and then we focus on getting our little into bed.

After our little one falls asleep, the hubby and I literally crash on the sofa where we remain until bedtime! Whew, what a day!

I go to bed early most nights and typically am up several times to give our baby her pacifier and complete at least one feeding (sometimes 2-3 feedings) during the night.

Oh, Happy St. Patrick's day everyone! I went through the whole day forgetting about this fact! That would have never happened before baby but that is how my mind works now!

What does your typical day look like?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


With a little one in my life, I find my world completely go, go, go with no pause button. Okay, so my life has always been this way, but since baby life is busy in a different way. Now, I go all day long and sometimes feel like I never really accomplished anything. I have had to learn that at the end of the day, it's okay to feel that way. 

All the busyness (yes that's a word, for me at least) aside, I am given a million different moments. Beautiful moments. Hard moments. Happy moments. Many of these moments become treasured memories. Yes, even hard/bad moments can be cherished as they challenged me and pushed me to become who I am today. I wanted to share some of my moments with you through the course of my day:

I wrap up my day feeling blessed! My little one is teething and has had some rough moments today, but that seemed to make me appreciate the good moments even more.

What does your typical day look like?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Saving Money with Wool Dryer Balls

About a year ago I stumbled across a Facebook group discussion on wool dryer balls being used as a replacement for dryer sheets and fabric softeners. What? Uh, Come again?

Okay, so this was a new concept to me, but isn't a new idea at all. People have been using wool dryer sheets for years as an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners.

I was given a set as a gift by my wonderful hubby (he made himself, he's so handy) and I will never go back to dryer sheets! To possibly help convince you to make the switch, here are 10 reasons why you should use wool dryer balls:

1. Wool dryer balls will save you money.

You will spend less when you aren't buying fabric softener and dryer sheets. Which, I promise, you won't miss!

Your drying time will most likely decrease as well, saving you money on energy costs. That savings will add up over time!

2. They last a long time and are reuseable.

I have not had a dryer ball break on me yet! They are used with each and every load of laundry that goes into the dryer!

3. They can cut drying time.

Wool will actually help to absorb some of the moisture in the dryer, helping your clothes dry faster! The more wool dryer balls you put in your dryer, the less time needed to dry. 

By the way, I currently have 7 wool dryer balls in use.

4. Wool dryer balls are cloth diaper friendly.

For those that cloth diaper, you can use these. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are NOT recommended for cloth diapers.

5. Scents can still be infused in your laundry.

Think you will miss out on the great scents you get from dryer sheets and fabric softeners? Have no fear! You can put a drop of essential oil (I use lavender or tea tree oil) on your dryer balls to keep your laundry scented without the chemicals.

6. They are safe for sensitive skin.

Fabric softeners and dryer sheets have chemicals and scents used to make your clothes smell good. When you wear your clothes (or use your towels, etc.) these products end up on your skin and can cause irritation. 

This has never personally been an issue for me but is a concern for my husband and child, who have very sensitive skin. There are no concerns of irritation with wool dryer balls.

7. Wool dryer balls are made from a renewable resource.

Wool is a natural material and a renewable resource. Just a fun fact you can brag about!

8. Warning: Your towels may become fluffier and softer. 

Yes, beware of this! Those balls bouncing around in the dryer, pushing up against your clothes and towels, may just cause your stuff to have more fluff! Don't be surprised if you want to lay down in the soft, warm clothes when you immediately pull them out of the dryer as well.

Additionally, wool dryer balls can help cut down on the static

9. They don't affect absorbency.

Your towels will still absorb as normal!

10. Wool dryer balls require no care and upkeep!

Just toss it in your dryer and forget about it! Yes, it's that easy! I am sure you have a million other things to worry about anyways!

Okay, if that list doesn't convince you, I don't know what will! 

Why did you (or won't you) make the switch to wool dryer balls?

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Am I Currently Reading?

I read all the time! I thought I might take a moment to share the book currently open on my lap:

This book focuses on several different people who have come to a "fork in the road," so to speak. They all, by coincidence, end up together in a summer house, renting different rooms. This book had me hooked from the beginning! The personal struggles each character is going through can easily be related to struggles I have gone through myself or know others who have.

What book is on your table, waiting for you to open?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tips for Using a Nebulizer with Young Children

This week, my little one unfortunately got sick. Conveniently, her sickness arrived just a few hours after I wrapped up the 12 hour flu bug. No bueno!

I ended up taking her into the doctor's office because she sounded so congested, was coughing, and was wheezing as she would breathe. After struggling to watch my daughter be poked and prodded with every test ran imaginable, we learned she just had a viral infection. The doctor recommended we continue what we've been doing (lots of rest, plenty of fluids, ibuprofen as needed, humidifier, mattress slightly propped where her head lays in bed) and provide nebulizer treatments three times a day for a week. No problem.

Wait, what?!?! I had never used a nebulizer and had no clue what I was doing! After a brief talk from the nurse on how to provide a treatment, I began preparing my first treatment. At home. All alone.

Don't worry, we survived!

Flash forward to today and I have quite the hang of distributing nebulizer breathing treatments to my 10 month old. Little ones have a hard time sitting still, even for a 5 minute treatment. Here are some tricks I learned:

1. Stay Calm

Little ones feed off of their parent's feelings. Take a deep breathe, you will get through this! The calmer you stay, the calmer your child will be.

2. Pre-plan with Your Child

As you start to think about getting the breathing treatment ready, share with your child what is coming next for them. We all have somewhat of a fear for the unknown. Take that fear away by telling your child that it is time to do their breathing treatment. Even with a young child (like my 10 month old), talking calmly about what is to come can help them to better deal with the process!

3. Create a Routine

Since this treatment is very important for your child's health, create a routine that works for your little one. For us, that meant allowing some tv time (generally our tv stays turned off during the days). 

I had to switch it up frequently though. Sometimes, the tv wasn't enough. We also used books, singing, dancing... You get the idea!

4. Make it Enjoyable

Although you are using the machine for a more serious purpose, kids live for fun! Try to find a way to make this experience enjoyable for all! Our little one enjoyed watching the steam come out and we were able to point out how fun that was! 

5. Reward Good Behavior

Each and every time your child completes their breathing treatment, give a genuine thank-you. Let them know they completed an activity that is very important. We also gave hugs and kisses! Rewarding behavior increases the chances that the good behavior will repeat the next time you complete a breathing treatment.

Having a little one sick has been no fun! On the plus side, the extra cuddles have been amazing for this momma!

What tips do you have?

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