The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Monday, August 29, 2011

Updates on Cloth

My apologies if you could care less about cloth diapers.  Frankly, they are all I think about these days.  I. Am. Obsessed.  I have used them for a couple of days now, but not full time because I only have five diapers.  Here is what I think so far.

First, they are so easy to put on and snap up and we have had no leaks.  This was one of my major concerns since the diaper is a one size fits all.  I was sure they would leak.  Nope, not even during nap time.

Second, they aren't as bulky as I expected.  I won't say that they are the same as disposables, because they aren't.  However, Molly didn't have as humongous of a butt as I thought she would.

They are also not hard to change.  Molly is a toddler, so really if she poops, I just plop it out in the toilet.  No craziness involved.  I am actually thinking I need cloth wipes since now I am left with the problem of still having to take out my wipes, when before I would just wrap them up in the diaper.  I could still do that if I had cloth wipes.

My house doesn't stink, but that was never a concern.  My garage door is right by my laundry room, so we keep dirty diapers in the same place where we were taking the disposables.  When I am ready I just get them out of the garage.

That's where the only gross part has come in.  With disposables, I never have to bring dirty, stinky diapers back in the house.  So yes, it was smelly for like one minute while I dumped them in the washer.   But really that wasn't that big of a deal.

Overall I am very pleased with my diapers.  I wish I had more actually to be able to see what a full day in cloth looks like and what a full load of diapers is like to launder.  Right now I will be waiting to purchase more just because of cash flow, but I am closer to making a total switch to cloth than I thought I would be after trying them out.  I really feel like an idiot that I didn't try this sooner!  

Are you considering cloth?  What would it take to make you switch?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five-Pioneer Woman Edition

The Pioneer Woman has a new show starting this Saturday on Food Network.  I will not be watching it because I don't have cable.  I have not been sad about not having cable until now.  I think I might cry.  In honor of PW's new show, I thought I would do five of my fav PW recipes that you must try.  Like tonight.  Seriously, they are awesome. 

In no particular order.

1.  Blackberry Ice Cream.  This ice cream is worth the work.  It is delicious.  I have only made it a couple of times, but I like it more with each bite. 

2. Thanksgiving Stuffing.  Okay, so maybe you can wait to make this one.  But truly, I love this stuffing.  I have always been a stove top kind of girl.  (I realize many of you are cringing right now)  Jason has always been a more fancy kind of stuffing eater.  This is perfect for both of us.  We even make this when it isn't Thanksgiving and add in a rotisserie chicken and have a delicious meal.  LOVE IT.

3.  Cinnamon Rolls.  Simply the best you have ever eaten.  They are more wonderful than words can describe.  Just writing about them is making me want to make a batch.  Melt in your mouth, wonderful, gooey, cinnamon-y goodness.  Make them now.  And since I know this recipe makes a LOT of rolls, you can bring a pan by to my house.

4.  Chicken Fried Steak.  I actually think this is what she is making on her first show.  Jason made us her chicken fried steak last year for Christmas Dinner.  I think that is what I will request this year also.  We are obviously Okies.

5.  Comfort Meatballs.  I love these.  They are like mini meatloaves and I have posted about them before.  If you need a dinner idea that everyone will love, make these.  Yummy.

6.  Blackberry Cobbler.  Okay, okay, I realize this is six, not five.  I could not bear to see this left off the list.  If you are a person who doesn't like pie crust (like me) this is perfect for you.  All the goodness of a fruit cobbler, without the nastiness that is pie crust.  Add some vanilla ice cream and you are in heaven.

There you go.  Start cooking.  And if you are lucky enough to have cable, be sure to watch PW tomorrow on the Food Network. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I did it

I bought the diapers.  Only five though.  I am going to try them out on Molly first.  I figure if I can handle them on a toddler, I can handle them on a baby.  Maybe that is not exactly logical, but in my brain it makes sense.  Want to see what they look like?!/greenbeesdiapers

Here is the facebook page of the company I ordered from.  She doesn't have a direct website yet, so this is all I've got.

I have not yet begun my experiment.  I feel I must wash them all first and right now I don't have the right detergent.  You can't use detergent with dyes or perfumes or brighteners.  So I am making my own. 

I think I may have turned into a hippie momma.  Oh well.  If hippies are saving money, I want to be a hippie.

Lastly, I thought I would show you some funny pics of Belle.  She has been cracking me up lately. 

 I have a very hard time getting this girl to put on clothes.  She is usually in pj's or naked.  Hopefully this will change when it gets cold outside!  And fyi, that is actually a minimal amount of toys on the floor.

 Again, just underwear and sunglasses.  Classy.

She decided it would be fun to wrap a bracelet around her nose and mouth.  This was the result.  And yes, she is wearing pj's.

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Going Off the Deep End

So, I had an MK appointment last night and the woman I met sells cloth diapers.  She does diaper parties and shows parents how to make it work, and well, I think she might have me convinced.

Before you go saying how gross it is (isn't all poop gross?) or how I can save money using coupons on disposables (which I do and I am pretty sure I am the most savvy diaper shopper on the planet), consider the savings with me for a minute.  For 24 diapers (which is enough to diaper your child the entire time they are wearing diapers) it is $240.  Disposables are about $50-$80 a month.  If you only keep your kid in diapers for two years you would spend $1200-$1920 a year.  Only $240 for cloth.  I realize I will be spending more in water to launder said diapers, but also consider that when I am done using cloth, I can sell them.  You can't resell disposables.  I could likely save my family at least $1000 by using cloth diapers.

HOWEVER, I don't know that I am ready to pull the trigger quite yet.  I want to hear from moms who have tried cloth diapers and can tell me their experience.  My mom used cloth, but as you can probably guess, they have come along way since the days of safety pins and plastic pants.  I want to hear from parents who have used diapers like fuzzi bunz, or other snap type of diapers with inserts and such.

The thing is, I am a little intimidated by the idea of switching to cloth.  I have used disposable with both Belle and Molly and truthfully those are gross also, but it is a gross I am used to.  Diapers are gross. 

The upside besides savings is the no diaper rash thing.  Belle and Molly both suffered with diaper rash and supposedly cloth diapered babies don't, or so I have heard.

So what do you think?  Good idea worth trying, horrible idea that I will regret (which I still maintain that if I hate it I can just resell them!).

And lastly, while saving the earth may be a benefit of using cloth, that IS NOT at all part of my decision.  Sorry if I offend any green mommies.  I am just more concerned about the real green....$$$$$. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toddler Advice, Part Two

Thanks for all the great comments from Part One.  Raising toddlers is not an easy job and mainly I feel I have learned things through trial and error.  Hopefully some of my failures will mean your success!  And as always, I would like to state, that while I realize not everything I do will work for every family, I do believe that what I do will work for the majority of families.

1.  Establish a schedule.  Or a routine.  Something that resembles a schedule or routine.  I realize that not everyone is routine or schedule oriented.  However, children are.  They thrive on routine.  Now I am not saying that you should schedule your days down to the minute, but having a general time for things like meals, snacks, naps and bedtimes helps your children remain seemingly normal during the day!!!  I was at a MK appointment recently (at 7pm) and there was a 2yr old asleep on the floor.  The mom informed me that he would sleep for a couple of hours and then wake up and be awake until 2 or 3am.  Then he would sleep until 8am and take a random nap during the day and start the process all over again.  This is not good!  Children need sleep.  For their brains.  Seriously.  Look it up if you don't believe me.  Not to mention, but I can't imagine what his behavior is like during the day.  My girls get ULTRA crazy and cranky during times when they are tired or hungry.  In fact, if Molly cries during the day it is usually because I have missed a snack time.  Want to see Isabelle go crazy?  Just come over on a night when it is later than her bedtime and she is still awake.  Routine and schedule are important.  Make one and get your kids on board.  It won't happen overnight, but it will happen and you and your kiddos will both benefit.

2.  Don't be afraid to discipline.  I am not going to go into detail on how I discipline my girls, but if you want to know some books that have helped shaped my parenting I would be happy to share!  Here's the thing.  You must have rules.  Not everyone is going to have the same rules, but you must know what you will and will not tolerate and stick to it.  You can't tell your kids one day not to stand on the coffee table and then the next day let them stand and jump on it and not say a word.  That is confusing.  Decide if you are going to make that a rule or not and then enforce it.  Children need boundaries and the parent who lets them get away with everything is doing them a disservice.  There are rules that as adults we must follow (called laws) and teaching your children how to obey authority early is easier than trying to do it when they are teenagers!

3.  Work on learning something new every day.  I am not saying that everyday your toddler will learn something amazing, but you should work on something everyday.  At our house I am working with Isabelle on recognizing words and shapes.  She is also learning to keep her hands to herself and off of her sister!!!  With Molly we are learning new signs everyday and practicing colors.  She is also practicing using utensils and putting together puzzles.  You can work with your kids on any number of things, eating with utensils, drinking from a cup, colors, letters, shapes, sign language, animal noises, picking up toys, whatever.  The point is, help them to be learning something.  I realize for some moms this goes without saying.  You are busy teaching your kids all day long, but for others I think this is important to mention.  Don't trust Barney, or Yo Gabba Gabba, or Sesame Street or whatever TV show your kids watch to do all the teaching.

I realize that these tips may seem easy or like they should be assumed by all mothers, but they aren't.  Remember that mom I mentioned earlier?  I don't think she is trying to harm her child, I just don't think anyone ever told her how to be a good parent, or showed her how.  I think that happens a lot of the time.  People simply don't know what they should be doing.  I hope my tips can help a few moms out there!

What tips do you have about schedules or discipline?  What are you and your kiddos working on right now?  I would love to hear!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Five-Being Nice

No one has ever described me as nice.  Not that I am mean, but nice just isn't usually the first word that pops up when someone describes me.  Maybe outspoken, or opinionated, or blunt.  Perhaps honest, or organized, or clean freak, but generally not nice.  Not kind or compassionate or tender.  I don't even describe myself that way.  I am more realistic, more to the point.  Think Dr. Phil.  I call it like I see it.  I am not one to sugar coat things.  Are you getting the picture?  So while I am not a mean person, I am not really an overly nice one either.  And that has started to bug me.  I think nice thoughts.  I feel kindness towards people, but I don't really say it that often.  Take for example my best friend, Rochelle.  I think she is pretty amazing.   She is a wonderful friend, a great mother to her son, and a pretty rockin' wife to her husband.  I have thought that for a long time, but it wasn't until today that it occurred to me to tell her.  (which obviously led me to writing this post)  Why have I never mentioned that to her?  Probably because being nice isn't a priority in my life.  Sad, isn't it.

So my Friday five today is a list of things I am going to do to try and be more "on purpose" about being nice.  And here's the thing...I am generally very nice to strangers, just not to people I all of these are for my immediate friends and family!

1.  Make a better effort to communicate with family members.  Picking up the phone to say hello and I love you is probably better than sending a text or email, so I will start with that.  If you are related to me and haven't gotten a call out.

2.  Remember to send birthday cards.  I used to be such a pro at this.  I was never late, always remembered and even got cards out to Jason's side of the family.  With children and a digital calendar, I have fallen off the wagon.  I don't think I have sent a birthday card this entire year.  Pathetic.

3.  Be more intentional to tell my girlfriends how wonderful they are.  I don't have a lot of girlfriends, so letting the ones I do have know how blessed I am to have them in my life should probably be more of a priority.

4.  Watch what I say.  This might be the hardest.  As I mentioned I tend to call it like I see it.  Not always a plus.  So I am and have been, working to keep my mouth shut a little more!

5.  Be more thoughtful and helpful.  Having a baby, lose a family member, kids driving you crazy?  I might just bring you dinner, or babysit your kids, or send you a present.  My good friend Stephanie is the queen of thoughtfulness.  This year alone she has sent me three magazine subscriptions at random all on things I am really interested in.  Why?  Because Stephanie is nice and thoughtful.  She thinks of others, and she is helpful.  As you can probably guess, Stephanie has about a bazillion friends.

So while my gift-ed-ness may be more in the area of administration/organization, I am aiming to be more nice.  I'll let you know how it goes!

What area do you excel in?  What area do you wish you were better in?  I would love to know I am not alone!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Toddler Advice-Part One

Okay, so I realize you may be saying to yourself, "who does she think she is to give advice?" but as a mom of two toddlers, and an older sibling of two brothers, and someone who has two younger nieces and a nephew, and someone who has worked with kids throughout my life, I do feel like I may know a thing or two about kiddos.  And while my advice may not work for you or your family, my bet is it will help most people who have toddlers or will have toddlers at some point.  If this doesn't apply to you, or you think I am a moron, feel free to quit reading!

1.  Realize toddlers talk....A LOT.  I was at the grocery store last night and a lady with a three year old son was in front of me in line.  Her son was walking around just talking and singing away.  Not to anyone, just to himself.  I asked the lady how old he was and we started talking about how much toddlers talk.  Seriously, a lot.  Non-stop is how I would describe it.  Now I am sure not every toddler talks non-stop, but probably most.  So, just be prepared.  You will wear yourself out trying to get them to be quiet, or stop singing, so stop trying.  If they aren't interrupting you and if they aren't screaming and you know, if you aren't in church or the library or somewhere that demands quietness, get over it.  Let them talk and talk and sing and sing.

2.  Have time where your children/toddler has to play by themselves.  Children learning to entertain themselves and use their imagination is very important.  You do not want a kid growing up telling you how bored they are all the time.  Kids need to be able to be by themselves and play all on their own.  If your toddler is not one to spend any time by themselves, start out small, with maybe just five or ten minutes a day where they have to play in their room.  Build up from there to maybe a half hour or forty five minutes of solo play time.  Not only will you have some time to get something done, or read a magazine or whatever, but your child will be able to learn some independence.

3.  Don't fight the good fight at mealtimes.  I am sure you have heard something about the difficulties toddlers can present at mealtimes.  At our house, Molly is a champion eater, but Belle, not so much.  If I fought with her about eating we would be fighting all the time.  And I am pretty sure I would lose.  So we have a dinner rule that we follow (that I stole from my good friend, Stephanie), Isabelle has to take at least one bite of everything on her plate.  If after that she only eats noodles, or bread or chicken, but no veggies, okay.  I am not going to spend every meal time begging and pleading and bribing her to eat her veggies.  She gets plenty of vitamins and minerals from other sources that if she doesn't eat her broccoli one night, it will be okay.  Fighting with your kids at mealtimes will only produce an unhappy kid and unhappy parents.  And I can promise you, it is highly unlikely your child will grow up nutritionally deficient.  If you are super worries about them getting veggies, sneak them in.  There are several cookbooks on the market that can tell you how.  I personally would rather Isabelle get used to eating broccoli in its regular form than 'hiding' it from her.  But that's just me.

So there it is, my first post about toddler advice.  I plan to post more.  I recently read a blog about writing blogs that suggested you focus on your passion.  My passion is my kiddos and being the best mom I can be.  I also want to help other SAHM who feel bored, or useless, or frustrated with their children.  So, you may see more about parenting on this here blog.  Maybe not though.  I have been know to change my mind!!!!  Have a great piece of advice about toddlers?  I would love to hear it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baby and other random news

So today was supposed to be the BIG blog reveal of whether or not we were having a boy or girl....turns out it isn't going to happen.  That little bugger would not cooperate.  Luckily for me, I have another ultrasound in a month and I hope that at that point we will be able to find out one way or another if we are having a boy or girl.

It would figure that after a month of agonizing over the decision to find out or not that we wouldn't really have a choice! 

In other random news.......

Jason's dad is here visiting and I think he might be melting.  The temps here are so hot and he is used to Seattle weather, so needless to say, he is a little out of his element.  But, he has been having a great time with the girls and they have enjoyed having him here.

Molly reading a book on top of Pa-Pa while he takes a nap!!

Molly is still allergic to milk.  For a long time milk made her sick, like throw up and diarrhea sick.  So after trying every milk known to mankind we just gave up on milk altogether.  Recently we thought we would try it out again....and this time no stomach issues, but instead a horrible rash.  Oddly enough, products containing milk seem to be fine.  Yogurt, cheese and even recipes containing milk seem to be just fine.  Anyone else ever hear of a similar situation?  I would like to know if she will be like this forever.

Lastly, I am working on a post with advice for mother's of toddlers.  I have read a lot of advice blogs lately and I love them.  It is interesting to see what has worked for other mom's and what things I have done also or what things I have tried that have failed miserably.  If you are a mom of a toddler, what is your best advice for other moms? 

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It is SO hot....

picture via

It is so hot, swimming isn't even fun.

It is so hot, that my a/c runs pretty much 24/7....which as you can imagine, impacts my electric bill significantly.

It is so hot that even at 10 am the swing set in our backyard is too hot to play on.

It is so hot that 95 sounds appealing.

It is so hot that even the bugs are staying away.  That's right, I have seen virtually NO mosquitoes this summer in OK.

It is so hot that my girls can't go barefoot anywhere outside, even in the shade.

It is so hot that this week we will likely break the all time record high in Tulsa.  The hottest temp on record is 115 and we will come close to breaking that tomorrow.

I am thinking of moving to Alaska.

Monday, August 1, 2011


It's been awhile since I have done and updates post and truthfully that is because there haven't been any real updates for a couple of months.  Sure, the girls are doing new cute things and we have done some fun, family things, but for the most part the last couple of months have been staying inside to avoid the heat, and me being sick as a dog from this current pregnancy.

Well, I am happy to report that all that puking is (mostly) over and sad to report that we are still hunkered down inside our air conditioned house trying to escape the sweltering temperatures here in T-Town.  This week, in case you were curious, temperatures are expected to be over ONE HUNDRED AND TEN DEGREES.  Over, not under.  That means it will be hotter than one ten.  HOTTER.  Have I mentioned how much I hate hot.  Anyway, moving on.

Soooo...the girls.  It is hard not to go on and on about how incredibly presh they are.  I am sure all moms think that about their kiddos.  But in order to keep it real, I will share some non-presh things!!!  Jason may kill me for sharing this...we'll see.  The other day when J got home from work, he needed to use the restroom.  A longer visit as opposed to a shorter one.  You know, #2.  Anyway, I thought it would be funny to give J the nickname poops-a-lot.  Turns out, Isabelle did think it was funny.  So funny that for three full days she called him Poops-a-lot Dickinson.  Luckily we were able to put a stop to it before Sunday morning church.

Molly has been quite the little cutie pie lately.  She is getting more daring, more vocal and is testing her limits more and more everyday.  She is climbing everything, including J's subwoofer in the living room, and is not a fan of being told no.  She is so different from Isabelle in that just telling her "no" in a stern voice is sure to produce a hysterical crying fit, where as Isabelle is hardly phased.  Molly takes after her father and it gets more and more obvious the older she gets.  We caught her with her tongue out when she was concentrating on something, which is SO Jason.

J's dad is coming for a visit.  The girls are excited to see their Paw-Paw.  I think he is excited also.  He might not be so excited when he sees the weather forecast for while he is here.  I think he may melt.  At the least, he will remember why he loves Seattle more than Oklahoma.

I hope the snow pictures helped you feel a little cooler while reading my blog.  Did I mention I hate hot?  Anyway, the last and final update is this.......drum roll please......Friday is the day we can find out the sex of this little baby.  I think that it is safe to assume we won't make our decision until Friday morning at the appointment.  So, I may or may not have a BIG update for you next Monday.  Of course, if you are on f/b you may know sooner than that!!! 

Have a great Monday.