The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Friday, September 30, 2011


Today Molly is one and a half. Whoa. Where did my little baby go? Can't believe that this baby....

is now this baby.

It is hard to believe how fast time has gone by.  Most days I will tell you time is dragging on and on and on, but then it is time for a well check and I freak out thinking it can't possibly be that my children are old enough for another well check.

Here are some things about Molly at 18 months. 

Molly is in the 49% for weight and the 90% for height.  Her sister was thinner and shorter at her age. (Not that I would compare!)  Her head size is in the 97%, so as I have suspected all along, she takes right after her father!!!!  She is wearing mostly 18 month clothes, though if you put her in a disposable diaper for church, those pants fall right off.  Her shoe size is a 6 1/2.  She is sporting quite the mullet and her hair is a bit lighter than Isabelle's. 

Molly has also become quite the talker.  Her favorite phrases are, "Oh no," "excuse me," "don't want it," and "get it," when wanting me to pick something up for her.  She says a TON of words and at this point will repeat anything her sister says (or does for that matter.)  It is pretty precious to watch her mimic Isabelle and want to be just like her big sister.  She has started to sing some songs also and her favorite shows on TV are Baby Signing Time and Blues Clues.  She can tell you some colors and some animal sounds. 

She is still a cuddle bug and still prefers her momma to her daddy.  She gives about a million hugs and kisses a day to whoever will have them.  She loves the outdoors and wants to play outside with sister constantly.  She is also quite the daredevil.  I will eventually post the video of her jumping off the coffee table onto the chair.  Pretty crazy how fearless she is.  I am sure she gets that from J also, because I am nothing like that.

Molly eats likes a horse and unlike Isabelle doesn't really have a favorite food, unless you count juice as a food.  Because she doesn't drink milk, she gets juice in the mornings and she would continue to drink it all day long if I would let her.  When Molly is hungry, she is cranky (another Jason similarity) and you can always tell when she is getting full when she starts dancing at the table.

Molly is a great sleeper.  She takes a nap during the day and sleeps about 12 hours at night.  If she isn't in bed by 7 pm, things get a little crazy and despite our repeated attempts to get her to have a later bed time, she always goes back to 7 pm. 

I am a little sad about the fact that Molly won't be my baby for much longer.  I don't know why it upsets me, but it does.  I think she might have a harder time adjusting to a new baby than Isabelle will simply because she has been my baby for so long.  She already hates it when Isabelle is on my lap and she isn't. 

I love my Molly girl.  She has been such a blessing to our family.  She is such a different child and so wonderful and great in her own way.  I am so thankful to be her mom and see her grow up and learn and experience new things.  I can't wait to see her love on and play with her new baby brother.

 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 125:3-5

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Money Saving Wednesday-Official Cloth Diaper Review

So as I have posted before, we started using cloth diapers.  I was pretty reluctant at first due to MANY comments from friends and family that using them would be the most. disgusting. thing. ever.  However, that is not what I have discovered.  Here is my final post and official review of all things cloth diapers.

First off, you should know that before cloth I was a die hard Pampers fan.  I have talked about how to save on disposables in this post and considered myself pretty savvy in the diaper saving arena.  Still, we were spending about $80-$100 every four to six weeks on diapers.  That was after we got Belle potty trained, we were spending MUCH more when we had both girls in diapers.

The cloth diapers I purchased come from a company called Green Bees.  I met the owner at a Just Between Friends sale where she entered a MK drawing.  Before her, I literally knew nothing about cloth diapers other than what I knew from my mom who cloth diapered decades ago.  So I could not have told you about prefolds or pocket diapers or all in ones or anything else.  She showed me her diapers, I liked them and I (eventually) decided to try them.  In total I spent $280 for 30 diapers, two pail liners, 36 cloth wipes and 2 wet bags (think what you would put in a diaper bag to hold dirty diapers when out and about).  You should also know to score all these great things I took advantage of a sale and a package deal Green Bees was offering.  Buying individually would be more expensive.  I was able to justify the cost considering Molly will be in diapers at the minimum for 4-6 months more and using them just for her would already be a savings. 

The breakdown on cost is that just using them for Molly until she is potty trained will save me anywhere from $120 to $320, assuming I am lucky enough to have Molly out of diapers at 24 months.  Once you add in the savings for Baby J, (assuming a boy will only be in diapers for 24 months also...HA) will be between $2500-$2700.  Neither of those figures take into account the savings from using cloth wipes!!!  Talk about a money saver.

Are you a mom?  Could you stand to save thousands during the first two years of your baby's life?  Think of all the massages and pedicures you could afford? let me address the concerns (or at least what my concerns were)

1.  Gross out factor...mainly poop on the diapers.  What do you do and how gross is it? 

If you have a baby you have already dealt with poop.  Probably at least one blowout.  That is gross, right?  Cloth diapers aren't any worse.  In fact from what I have heard, cloth are like totally blowout proof.  I will confirm that with Baby J.  If you are worried about how to get the poo off the diaper (Molly's just usually falls right off into the toilet), you can get a diaper sprayer, or if you are handy, you can make your own.  Problem solved.

2.  The smell. 

We keep the diaper pail in the garage where we kept the disposable dirty diapers so we really notice no difference.  Yes, you do have to bring them in to wash them, so that is something, but I have learned to start the washer before bringing them in so I can just dump in and go.  I do a cold rinse cycle, and then a hot wash with an extra rinse.  I also use homemade laundry detergent to save even more money.  You can find the recipe on Green Bees page also.

3.  Leaking. 

We have had a leak or two, but it was not the diapers fault.  It was human error with the insert and we have learned our lesson.  Once you put on one or two you get the hang of it and leaks should not be a problem.  We also learned that with Molly we have to use two inserts during nap and bedtime so she doesn't soak through.

4.  Church, Bible Study, Grandparents.

I am still trying to navigate outings for church and Bible study.  I have not yet put her in a cloth diaper for either of those and am not sure if I will.  I am concerned they won't put the new on one correctly, won't change her due to fear of what to do or not wanting to handle I am using up my stash of disposables at the moment.  Same for when grandparents visit.  The grandparents will eventually have to learn, but not sure how I am going to handle church and Bible study yet.  I will keep you posted.

Overall, I love them.  I wish I had done this sooner and can't believe how much money I am going to save.  If you are 'green' then you appreciate that I am not filling up landfills with disposables either.  Jason doesn't even mind them.  He still changes just as many diapers as he did before.  He still doesn't complain.  I have a great husband.

The cloth wipes are great also.  You can used cut up t-shirts or baby washcloths.  Put the wipes in a container and then pour the mixture over the wipes.  The recipe for the mixture for the wipes comes from Green Bees also. 

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp baby wash
2 c water

Mix together, pour mixture over wipes, shake container and you are good to go. 

I was going to get a wipe warmer to keep them in and still might, but for now they are in a Tupperware and are working out just great.

If you are looking for ways to save money, or if you are looking for ways to be more earth friendly, I encourage you to try cloth diapers.  If you are reluctant, buy a few (I started with five) and try them out during the day when you are home to see how easy they are.  Yes, you will be doing laundry often with a small load, but at least you can decide if it is for you or not.  Worst case scenario?  You hate them and can resell them on craigslist.  Yes, people buy used cloth diapers.


Monday, September 26, 2011

More Adventures in Cooking

Cooler weather means I am in more of a mood to actually use the stove and oven in my house.  Therefore, I have been cooking more new meals to try out on my family.  Sometimes I feel a little sorry for them, and then every once and awhile I make something dee-lish and it is all worth it.  I think.

Recently I made some pretty tasty chicken and I hope you get the chance to make it also.  My girls ate it like it was going out of style.  Do people say that anymore?  Anyway, they ate it.  Fast.  And then they asked for more, which NEVER happens.  We eat a lot of chicken at our house and it is nice to find some different ways to present the same food over and over again.

Unfried Chicken.

To be clear, I did not use a whole chicken, just the breasts.  Jas was a big fan also.  I served this with potato wedges and maybe green beans....I haven't been on much of a vegetable kick lately.  The thought of salads has been grossing me out.  So, we have been a little green veggie deficient around here.  I am working on it.

Next up, Chicken and Biscuits

Sounded good, was not good.  The girls took one bite, spit it out and would not attempt another bite.  Jason ate it.  Perhaps he was very hungry.  Seriously, it was edible, not horrific.  It contained veggies, and since we have been short on veggies around here, I ate it also.  I will not be eating the leftovers.  Jason hasn't eaten them either.  I will not be making it again. 

So there you go, one successful dinner, one not so much.  At least I am still trying, right?  My next big adventure will be cooking a whole chicken.  I was going to do it tonight, but seriously underestimated the time it would take a whole chicken to thaw out, so perhaps another night when the chicken is not totally frozen!  What new recipes are you making? 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Five-Garage Sale

We are having a garage sale this weekend.  So far we have done pretty well.  I know a lot of people who would say donate it all and write it off on taxes, but I like cold, hard cash myself.  We have made about $500 and will be open again tomorrow morning!!!  While hosting a garage sale you see a lot of interesting people and interesting things in general.  Here are the top five most common people/things we saw this morning at our garage sale.

1.  Minivans.  Apparently a must have for people who like to shop garage sales.

2.  Fanny packs.  What else could you possibly carry your money in right?

3.  OU shirts, hats, shorts, etc.  My guess (if I was guessing) is that like the MAJORITY of OU fans, they did not actually attend OU, but picked up some pretty sweet gear at other garage sales.

4.  Tattoos.  I would guess that 99.9% of our shoppers were tatted up.  Now, I can't really say anything negative about people with tattoos, since I am one of those types of people.  Just an interesting factoid.

5.  People in pj pants.  Even I got dressed this morning.  And the sale was at my house.  And I was up at 5am.  I still had time to put on regular clothes.  I find people who wear actual pj pants in public a little odd.  Guess I should just be thankful they had on pants at all! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Adventures in Cooking

I realize it has been awhile since I posted any of my newest kitchen experiments.  Truthfully I have not been as faithful to make something new every week.  I have made some new things, and since they are husband tested and approved, I thought I would share.  As for my kiddos, well they are a little harder to please, but don't let that stop you from making these yummy dishes!

First up is a great crock pot recipe. 

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

I will admit that I was a little skeptical at first.  But this turned out to be the best Stroganoff I have had in a VERY long time.  It was so yummy.  Jason loved it, I loved it and I can't wait to make it again.

Next is what we had for dinner this evening.  Again, the kids weren't huge fans, but they really haven't been fans of anything other than mac n cheese, grilled cheese, or grapes lately.

Chinese Takeout Lemon Chicken

Mine did not look like the picture, but was still great.  I also did not find snow peas so I used sugar snap peas instead.  Pretty easy to prepare if you look at the recipe beforehand, which I never do so I always end up a little stressed.  Also approved by the hubs. 

So there you go, two of my newest kitchen creations.  Up next is rosemary chicken and potatoes, un-fried chicken and chicken pot pie!  I will keep you posted. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five-Fall

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love when the tree in my front yard looks like this:

I love when it gets too cold in my house from leaving the windows open.  I love fall.

Here are my top five fav things about fall.

(in no particular order)

1.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  I haven't had one yet this year.  Haven't found a reason to justify the extra caffeine while pregnant, but make no mistake, I will have one.  Soon.

2.  Cloudy, cool, rainy weather.  I love weather that makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a good book.  Of course that is harder to do now that I have children, but I still love it.

3.  Hoodies, sweaters, boots, turtlenecks.....all fall clothing.  Shorts and tank tops are not for me.  I love the fact that it is cool enough to layer up!

4.  Leaves changing color.  Maybe, just maybe this year I will make it to the Talimena Drive.  Supposed to be great fall color there.  I am a little concerned about fall color this year due to the drought.

5.  Fall food.  Soups, stews, chili, bread, all warm foods.  Tonight I am making chicken and dressing.  I am so excited.  There is something so nice about being able to turn on my oven without my house getting insanely hot. 

So there it is, five of the millions of reasons why I love this time of year.  My least favorite time of case you didn't know...SUMMER.  So glad it is over.  Happy Fall.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our lives...

I haven't done an updates post in a bit, so I thought you should know what is going on these days in our lives.

I'll start with J.  He is easy to talk about.  He works.  All. the. time.  I am not complaining.  We are so blessed that he has the job and the employer that he does.  During this economy his company has actually grown and stayed busy while others are falling apart.  He has a great boss and fantastic coworkers, so it is hard to complain.  Eventually it will slow down (I think) and things will get back to a normal pace for him, but for now he is super busy. 

Belle.  I could write forever about that girl.  She is so stinkin' funny.  She has been telling Jason and I that we are her honey bun, sweet pea, baby cakes and sugar pie.  Then we have to tell her that she is the same thing.  If she says we are her sweet pea, we are expected to tell her she is our sweet pea, not our baby cakes.  If we don't say the same thing she corrects us.  She has also been thoroughly enjoying the outdoors.  Since it has been cooler (with the exception of today's 96!) the girls have been able to play outside more.  I think Isabelle would live outside if she could!  Jason and I took both the girls to the park on Sunday morning and Belle was in hysterics when it was time to leave.  She is totally into reading.  Yes, I said reading.  No, she can't read yet, but she is sure trying.  We spell words, sound them out and say what they are and while I realize she is mainly learning from memorization, not from phonics right now, I am okay with it!  She knows quite a few words and likes to see them in places other than her books...for example, stop signs.  LOVES them. 

Molly is great as well.  She is saying more words, putting words together and cracks me up with some of the things she repeats.  I am pretty sure she is in the process of getting two more teeth which for Molly means a little diaper rash, nasty poo diapers, crankiness and difficulty sleeping.  It is awesome.  NOT.  She loves to brush her teeth and similar to how her sister was, asks to do it about 50 times a day.  Hopefully these girls have their dad's teeth and not mine.  She is also in cloth diapers pretty much full time now.  We are loving them and since I went ahead and purchased a package of 24 diapers, I am not having to wash them as much.  None of my initial concerns have turned out to be valid.  It really is just as easy as disposables.  The only thing I have done is put her in disposables for church and when she is with family members who aren't exactly down with cloth yet.  They will be eventually!!!  Pretty soon they won't have a choice!!  We have even decided to do cloth wipes!  Have we lost our minds?  Molly is my sweet girl.  I am sure I have said that before, but I am saying it again.  She is so sweet.  She chases Jason down in the morning when he is leaving and when he gets home in the evenings saying, "kiss, kiss" over and over again until she gets a hug and a kiss.  She still loves to sit on my lap and snuggle and doesn't mind when her sister puts her in a choke hold to hug her.

And I am just dandy as well.  Trying to stay busy.....HA.  I am working a lot in MK, doing a Tuesday morning Bible Study, and attempting to keep up with the house and the girls.  We have decided to host Thanksgiving at our house this year with Jason's family and so in addition to getting our garage sale together, we are also trying to get some things done around the house before the holiday season arrives.  It is surprising to me how quickly you accumulate things and have things fall apart in your house when you have children.  After seeing it firsthand there are a lot of things Jason and I have decided to wait on until the kids are older.  Seems crazy to get new carpet or hardwood floors when kids just puke on them, spill drinks on them and track dirt all over them!  Again, not complaining, just stating a fact.  Kids mess stuff up! 

Anyway, that is what is up with us.  I think we may have a boy's name FINALLY.  Not saying it yet in case J decides he doesn't like it after all.  Here are a few recent pics of the girls enjoying the weather outside!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Five-Baby Boy

No, this is not about names, though I still haven't thought of one.  We do have new ones on our list and have banished others we were previously considering (thanks, Danny).  Today is all about my apprehensiveness about having a boy.

Five Fears of Having a Boy....

1.  Getting peed on.  I have seen it happen on movies and people have told me horror stories.  I don't mind changing diapers, heck I am even okay with cloth, but pee on me?  No thanks, it totally grosses me out.  It isn't even so much as having pee on my hands, but being peed on my face/neck area.  I am terrified I tell you.

2.  Boy Parts.  How do you clean them, what do you do with them, do they play with them...pretty much any question about boys' nether regions freaks me out.

3.  Energy.  Will this little bundle of joy have more energy than Belle?  Is it even possible?  How will I make it through the day if he does?

4.  Raising a momma's boy.  Don't get me wrong, I want my baby boy to think the world of me, but I also want him to be independent at some point.  How do you balance sensitivity and toughness?  In fact, if I were to really address the concerns here...I am not sure I know how to raise a boy to be a boy.  Glad I have such an amazing husband or I might be totally losing my cool right now.

5.  Choosing a name...okay, so I am still on this topic.  Sue me.  I want a name that is manly, not girly.  Trendy but not overused.  Classic, but not boring.  Something you don't hear very often but when you do you love it and for sure know it is a dude and a manly dude at that.  AND, if it could be biblical or a family name that would be a plus.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Do you have boys?  Have you been peed on?  Reassure me here people!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall is here....Sort of

So if you have seen the news or read my blog, or live in OK, you know how incredibly hot it has been here this summer.  Like one of the hottest on record.  Seriously. Hot.  I hate hot by the way.  Hate it. 

Anyway, on Sunday relief came in the form of highs in the 80's and lows in the 50's.  I have never been more excited for 80's.  I actually prefer 70's.  I wouldn't want 70's year round, because I like swimming....but I would take them for say, 9 months.  With lows in the 40's.  Perfect.  I digress. 

With the arrival of fall, my girls went nuts.  We have been cooped up in the house all summer long, watching what I consider to be way too much Signing Time and Yo Gabba Gabba, waiting for it to be cool enough to play outside.  So Monday morning when we woke up (to temps in the low 50's), this is what happened.  And please, please, please forgive me for the quality of the photos.

Yes, they are wearing their coats.  Yes, Molly's coat has ears.  Presh.

They took out pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals and had a little par-tay on the deck.

Molly with a red face because she has been running around in cold...okay, cool weather.

Obviously I am not the only one who is LOVING this weather.  Too bad it isn't lasting long.  Next week we are back in the upper 90's.   Gotta love Oklahoma.  I think I am moving to Alaska next year!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Five....Baby Edition

We found out the sex of the baby today.  I know you are dying with anticipation.  So Friday five today will be five names we are considering for the new baby.

1.  William.  That's's a BOY.  (insert whoo hoo's and yahoo's here)  Jason likes the name William.  I think of a horse named Will that lived behind my grandparents house that died when it got struck by lightning.

2.  Lincoln.  We have considered this name for awhile now.  I don't like it either.  I am not a fan of the initials L.D.  I think of dyslexia when I hear LD.

3.  Maddox.  Think I like this one.  Can't really decide.  Jason does NOT like it.

4.  Jason.   A name we can both agree on.  Obviously we would call him J.J.

5.  Micah.  A good biblical name.  Concerned it has been used more as a girl's name lately.  J and I have liked this name for awhile.  Not sure if he still likes it or not?? 

So.....I need suggestions.   I am clueless on names for this little baby.  Boy's names are so hard for me.  HELP!  What are your favorite boy's names?