Another School Year

IMG_5389.JPGWell it is August, and that means school. Yes another summer has ever so quickly flew by us in the blink of an eye. As I was getting BigD dressed this morning (well supervising beings he has stated he is “big” now), I was envisioning my little newborn so helpless and new in life that always needed me. But I can’t guard him too much anymore, I can’t baby him too much anymore, I can’t be his best friend for too much longer, I can’t be his only girl in his life for too much longer…I will just be his “mom” one day and be told to “leave me alone”. To watch him grow in the blink of an eye is just astounding.

I always remember when my parents use to tell me to not grow up too fast and enjoy being a kid…I wish I would have known what they were talking about then.

I always remember the random kisses my mom and dad would give me and those akward stares or random hand holding that I got embarrassed of, I wish I would have known what they were trying to hold on to.

I do those random stares, the stares of admiration in the boy BigD has become. I do those random hand holding (which he is starting to not like), to remember the hand of an infant that use to grab my finger in comfort. I always do those random kisses, to cherish his love forever. And I always say “I love you”. A million times. Over and over. I never understood why my parents said “I love you” so much after every seeing of each other, every phone call, and every good bye…but now I know and I do it as well. I love you never gets old. BigD even said to me one day after I told him that I loved him, “mom you say that all the time, I know you love me”. Of course I responded, “I will say it a thousand more times”. I love you.

Here’s to another school year, to another friendship found, to many more afternoon’s of sports, to cranky mornings and running late, to more memories and more “I love you”.     IMG_5390.JPGHow was your handling of your “baby’s” first day? I know I am not the only mushy mommy…

-Kaylie

Stress Free Packing Tips

A vacation from packing is always needed even before the actual vacation takes place. From planning outfits to trying to pack the bare minimum to trying not to over pack, which we end up doing anyways, packing is stressful. Now that I am done packing for our first family vacation with two kids, I will share how I try to keep my sanity through the packing process.

Start During Nap Time…so you don’t have to break open the vacation wine too early.

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Plan Ahead
This is the most important tip. You must plan ahead, even if it is just one day ahead. This will eliminate all confusion as to what to pack and will eliminate any over packing, which everyone regrets once they realize the rear of the car is dragging.

Check Room Gadgets
If staying at a condo of some sort, you want to always check and see what is all in the condo and what it offers on the beach. From coffee maker to DVD players to beach chairs. By planning around what the room already offers, you can be sure to pack everything you will be needing while staying there. And if you are not in a condo with a kitchen, then enjoy your time eating out.

Make A List Before Packing
This tip always helps me for everything I do… Lists lists lists. Every time something comes up in life, I make a list. Just ask my hubby, they are everywhere. I always say, you can never be too organized. By planning a list for each person and their needs, this will ensure you that all items will be available once away from home, if not then find the nearest store. Baby needs diapers, hubby needs shaving cream, toddler needs favorite blanket (I hope the blanket gets lost), and mommy needs wine… 🙂

Make A List While Packing
Making a list while packing will help out for when you walk away from that evil suitcase and come back for the fiftieth time because you are ready to scream and catch it on fire…this lists helps you start back at where you ran off at. No one wants to guess at what they packed and no one wants to unpack to figure out what they even put in. Once again, a lists saves some sanity.

Plan Travel Time
Always plan out your travel time according to your daily schedule, especially with a little one. Staying close to schedule will help little ones sanity, and your too. Plan stretch breaks, food breaks, and potty breaks. For little ones, plan feeding breaks so they can be comfortable while feeding and not just in their car seat for six hours straight. This means a six hour trip will turn into an eight hour trip, but for everyone’s sanity, this is perfectly fine. It’s vacation right? And if you are that family that strictly drives the whole way with no stops at all, more power to you…this mom can not do that.

Travel Snacks
Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean it is junk food time. Plan ahead (yes another list) healthy snacks for all while traveling. From fruit strips for the toddler to a trail mix blend for the driver, and of course wine for the passenger 😉 Happy bellies makes for a happy car ride. But not too many drinks, then potty breaks double.

And lastly…

Enjoy your family time. This doesn’t need a lists, this simply needs love from all. Enjoy each other and what each day beings. Don’t rush, don’t plan, just go with the flow and make many memories.

Does making lists help in your packing adventure? (I can’t be the only OCD one)

-Kaylie

Fruit Leather Strips {Blueberries & Strawberries}

Today, BigD and I had a great time trying out our fruit leather recipe. I love that fact that I know all what is in it (only five ingredients) and it is kid approved. Go mom.

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What you will need: 

  • Fresh blueberries and strawberries
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar (if fruit is not sweet enough)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Method:

1. Rinse all berries.

2. Cut up the blueberries (which roll everywhere) and strawberries to as small as you can possibly get them.

3. Place fruit into a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped berries. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on low for 10 minutes, uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit to determine sugar/lemon/cinnamon use. Continue to summer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit puree has thickened (another 5 minutes).

4. Remove from heat and cool. Place cool fruit into a blender to puree. Taste again and adjust the sugar/lemon/cinnamon if necessary. The puree should be smooth.

5. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sturdy plastic wrap (oven safe). Pour out the puree into the lines baking sheet to about an 1/4 inch thickness.

6. Place the baking sheet into the oven at 140 degrees for 8 hours. The leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.

7. When leather is ready, you can easily cut your strips with the paper and roll it up into your fruit roll. Place a string around it to keep it secure. Put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Have fun and enjoy! This is a great recipe for kids to get involved with as well, it shows them what exactly is going into their food and intrigues them to eat it when it is done.

How did your fruit leather turn out?

-Kaylie

Thanks, but No Thanks

20140730-102431-37471903.jpgOver the past three short months, I have been questioned or told certain things regarding me nursing my son and our ways. I am hoping that I am not the only crazy one and that this list will sum just a few things up for the nursing mom and her family…

1. You are bringing a bottle…

No. Bringing a bottle is not as easy as just bringing a bottle. We have covers for that if it suits the mother and baby (which will eventually become nosey and will fight this cover). It takes time to prepare this bottle. Whether it is taking those precious ounces out of your freezer that you have worked so hard for, or quickly pumping to accommodate others by just using a bottle. No thanks, I have my Hooter Hider.

2. How long do you plan on breastfeeding…

Quite frankly, we have no clue. Hell, I know that I am thrilled that we have made it past the first week, then the second week…I made it this far, I am sticking it out till LittleD has enough or until my body has enough. And NO, I will not just stop breastfeeding because he gets teeth. So don’t ask.

3. You are just going to pump…

No, we are not just going to pump. Like I mentioned previously, it is very hard to plan a pump and (I know I am not the only mother) we do not like our pumps. For me, the only time I want to see this pump is when I am away from baby. Other than that, I don’t want to see that evil thing.

4. You can just skip a pump…

Once again, no. A lot of people ask this and are very confused at what all it takes for a mother to establish and keep her supply up to par. If a mother is not by her baby, she must pump to make her body think that it is with her baby. If not, over time, this can decrease our supply that we have all lost many sleepless nights, made many many tears, and worked so hard for. We can not just skip a pump. It doesn’t work that way.

5. It’s time he should be in his crib…

Breastfeeding 101. You get more sleep when you either co-sleep with or share the same room with your breastfed baby. So thanks, but no thanks, things are working just fine and I know one mommy that is getting plenty of sleep without having to stir up the entire house or hike all the way to LitteD’s room. We will transition when both of us are ready, not when you think we are.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Do you have a pet-peeve about certain questions or statements from others about breastfeeding?

-Kaylie

Toddler and Technology

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What happened to the good ol’ days of playing with toys, getting dirty and in trouble at times. What happened to childhood. Everywhere you turn, you constantly see phones glued to peoples hands and constantly in their face. This has become our society and the sad part is this is how we have raised our children in a society so unsociable.

A simple car ride has turned into a gaming session or a movie theater. Either are ways of easy entertainment. That sums up all technology. Easy entertainment. It does not end in the car, it also takes over the couch chit chatter, the swinging on the front porch social hour, the joyous afternoon stroll… Technology is the new society and the way of socializing. But as one mother, I am trying to stop this in my house.

I do not approve of the dinner table electronics. That includes all participants at the table. I strive everyday for a sit down family meal. In the car, my number one rule for the DVD player to be on is if we are traveling longer than an hour. I am nuts about technology and how it can easily take over a family and silence all dinner nights and all car rides. To me, that is time of chatter. That is time for children to feel extra wanted, extra opinionated. That is a time for all to express their feelings or how their day went. A time of want.

We as parents need to lead by example. This is my biggest pet-peeve. As parents we sit and complain about how much our children don’t go out and get dirty or in a little bit of trouble like we did as kids…but take a step back and look in the mirror. What have we been doing since day one of this innocent soul entering this world? Technology. From their first moment on Earth, we rush to post it on a social media, like everyone actually cares. To their first word, we post it in a social media, for all to see through video. What happened to just the ones we love and who are important in our families lives, what happened to them being there in person. Technology has put many gaps in families.

I constantly battle this with my very own husband. I monitor his phone use and have to remind him that it is family time. Without someone there to strive for conversation, for normal lives for our children, then technology will win. Tables will be silent and car rides will be Mickey Mouse playing in the background the entire ride. Yes Mickey is our savior on those screaming rides, but we can’t rely on technology to disipline our kids, to keep them calm. . To me, technology is wiring them up in the first place. They sit and gaze at a scream for hours upon hours and finally get chances to not be in front of a device, and they do not know how to act, how to control themselves. Technology is our generations norm, and I can say as one mother who is against all of this technology, I am not making it a norm in my house.

What do you do to keep conversations in your house?

-Kaylie

Super Mom

 

20140728-114848-42528146.jpgWe have all had that moment where we stopped and looked around and wondered, “Where’s my cape?”, as the toddler is climbing the cabinets to finally get his own cup for milk that he has been asking for about ten minutes now, but you did not hear him over the crying infant in the “helpless/boredom” stage of life where he is interested in doing things but just can’t do things…all of that on top of the washer and dryer both going at one time and you trying to fold ONE item of clothing within a ten minute period. Did you read that in one breath?

  • Being a mother in general is a 24/7 job alone.
  • Being a stay at home mom is a fulltime never-ending job.
  • Being a full-time working mom is a full-time, clock out at 5:00 job (or what ever time your shift ends).
  • Being a full-time student (yes some mom’s are students) is a never-ending study session when the kids are asleep.

Where’s my cape?

I can say that everything I listed above, I qualify as. I work two days a week, go to school two days a week, “study” when BigD is at school on Fridays (yea right, studying with an infant), and maintain my status as a wife…which means I try to acknowledge the hubby at least one time per day. But it is hard. Whether your plate is not as full as the other moms, just simply being MOM is full enough. But we all know that as soon as things are quiet, something is not right. When we finally have that “nothing to do” status, you sit and look around and wonder… there is something I can do, I can’t just SIT here and not do anything. Or at least I think that way. Even when the hubby has the kids and I am all alone relaxing, I soon think…

  • the floors can be swept…then cleaned
  • the toilets haven’t seen any type of cleaning product in about two weeks
  • OH and the dust! Don’t turn the fan off, that will need a pressure washer
  • I can put the dishes up that have been drying for a month now and we have been just rotating dishes from the dry rack as we use them…
  • the list goes on

Mom’s can’t stop. I know I can’t. Out of all the times I say I need a break and some quiet time, I soon feel as if something is off. Being a mom is the new ME and the new way of life for ME…I will proudly wear my cape all day.

Do you have the urge to do things even when you don’t need to?

-Kaylie

The Battle of the Breastmilk

Each day I look into my freezer and gaze in admiration of the many bags of breast milk that I have stored within a two month span. Might I add, when I say many, to me that is a total of 72 ounces. Yes TOTAL. Being able to accept the fact that you can only produce so much extra aside from the normal daily feedings (if you are EBF). I had to quickly come to terms with the fact that I was not a overproducer. I am only a normal producer.

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The first time I realized that I had no
“stash” in my freezer was when I was about to return to work, I panicked. How am I going to keep up. Granted I only work two days a week and only need 12 ounces of milk while I am away, but those 12 ounces caught up with me. I began to pump every second I could while still exclusively breastfeeding…what second.? But I managed and didn’t get discouraged and now over a two month span, and many midnight pumps, I can proudly say that I have 72 whopping ounces in MY freezer.

Don’t compare stashes
This was the first step I had to come to terms with. Seeing all of the other posters on my Facebook breastfeeding/pumping support page
“show off” their stashes that were in the Hundreds, and even donating their left overs after baby has been EBF…I soon began to wonder, what was I doing wrong.
It wasn’t me.
I was making enough for my baby and to have a few ounces left over to pump was a miracle in my eyes.

Once I came to terms with what I could produce, I soon watched my
“stash” grow.

Do not get discouraged because of others, simply be thankful that you are able to breastfeed and provide your baby with the liquid gold and pump when the times are available. It may seem small at first, but it will quickly add up.

What’s your battle with breastfeeding?

-Kaylie

Starting a Blog while Baby is AWAKE

After researching and my interest that other people would be interested in me and my daily life, I decided to start a blog. While the baby is awake granted. 

Now I am here trying to find my first perfect topic and I am here…writing about the baby awake and me trying to once again multitask.

I am very excited to share my experiences in life with being a wife, student, mother, sister, daughter, to a dysfunctional family, and friend. I plan on writing about eco friendly products that I have been trying out for the past few months while transforming my family into a more chemical free family and organic eating family…yes the hubby thinks I am crazy, but hey this is MY hobby.

After debating on what topic to cover first, I decided now to just give a general overview of my blog and what to expect from it. While the baby cries. It is of course nap time and according the The Wonder Weeks app, we are one day away from a leap…God help us on our way to Florida next week…

I am hoping that you enjoy my blog and I will be venturing out with all topics on here. From daily life events to eco friendly products, to the crazy kids, husband, and even dog.

What topic would you like to read about in a blog?

-Kaylie