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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The RED Washcloth Trick

As I mentioned in my shoe organization post, which was also about all the crazy things that happened as I was trying to organize my kids' shoes, I have a red washcloth trick to share with you.  

Really, I thought I would have been able to get this written earlier but life happens.  Kids have off school, there was a holiday weekend and my baby started crawling!  So now I have to child proof my house.  I still haven't finished child proofing the house from my last baby who is now 4. Hmm, maybe I don't really need to child proof it at all.  I could just watch my baby like a hawk, but with 3 other kids to take care of, I doubt that will happen.  At least I can put him in the pack and play to contain him when I have to leave the room.  See  how easily I get distracted.  Back to point of this post - the red washcloth trick.

My grandmother used this on me years and years ago because I easily got bloody noses.  So when my daughter slipped while getting out of the bathtub and ended up with a bloody nose, the first thing I thought of was to get a red washcloth.


Why a red washcloth?

To hid the blood.  Some kids cry (or cry more) when they see blood.  By using a red washcloth, you can disguise the fact that they are bleeding profusly and calmly get them cleaned up.  

We didn't have any solid red washcloths so I grapped the reddest washcloth we had (a Cars Lightening McQueen one) and used that.  It still worked.  And since my daughter wasn't in hysterics, she cooperated and her nosebleed quickly stopped.  This trick works for more than just nosebleeds too.



Has anyone else heard of this trick?

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Operation: Shoe Organization

This weekend I felt the need to commence operation:  Shoe Organization.  I'm happy to report it was a success, although there were a few crazy obstacles to deal with.


With 4 kids, there is bound to be some craziness happening each day.  This past Sunday was no exception.  After church I felt the need to organize the kids' shoe area.  I thought it would be a quick and easy update, however that wasn't the case.  We keep all the kids shoes in our laundry room closet, along with their coats, winter hats and gloves.  It's just a central spot for all the outdoor wear and it works for us.  We had a hanging shoe organizer for my two oldest kids and my 4 year old's shoes were on the floor in bins.  She started out having just one bin, then she got more and more shoes so now she has two over flowing bins.  The baby only has 2 pairs of shoes and so far we keep them in his room, but eventually he'll get more shoes and his shoes will be stored in that closet too.  Here is what the closet looked like before I organized it.  


It was a little worse than this, but I had just taken out their heavy winter coats and decided to store them in their bedroom closets for the season to make more room in here.  More room for what you ask?  Well, let me tell you....

We love to go to yard sales.  We're real bargain shoppers around here.  So when I saw a huge hanging shoe organizer at a yard sale Saturday, I had to buy it.  It has 4 columns with 12 rows.  So you could store one shoe in each pocket for a total of 24 pairs of shoes, or one pair of shoes in each pocket for a total of 48 pairs of shoes.   We did a combination of both and were able to fit everyone's shoes in, even the baby's.  I also have some boots on the floor under the organizer since it doesn't reach the floor but comes close.  

Of course during any of my organization projects, things get worse before they get better.  Here I have shoes all over the place with my little helper in the middle of it all.  



It was about this time that I realized the baby was in need of a diaper change.  But before I could get to that, I heard a little knock on the laundry room door that leads to the garage.  My 4 year old was outside riding her bike, or so I thought.  When she came through the door, she had black stuff all over her hands and on the top of her head.  She said in the sweetest, most innocent voice ever that she had found paint on the driveway and 'oopsy' got it in her hair.  She didn't want me to go outside to see, and insisted that she could clean it up.  I was trying to figure out where the black paint came from when my husband said it's not paint, it's grease.  You see we have this huge moving truck in our driveway since my mother in law who has lived with us for the past 3 years, is moving out.  

My daughter must have walked or rode her bike under the truck where there is all this grease.  

Regular soap did clean it up so we used some grease cleaner with pumice to wash her hands.  It took lots of scrubs but it finally all came off.  I changed the baby's  diaper, and my husband put him down for a nap.  Then it was time to tackle the hair.  I used the same grease cleaner to wash her hair.  I thought I got it all but when I started drying off her hair, I noticed the towel was turning black.  Next I used some dish soap and that worked to get the remaining grease out.  At least my daughter was sitting still and not complaining the whole time I vigorously scrubbed her head.  I think she knew she had messed up big time.   

OK, so she is clean, baby is asleep and the two older kids are playing a video game together.  This wasn't so bad.  Of course one more thing had to go wrong.   As my daughter was trying to get out of the tub, she slipped and got a bloody nose.  She was crying so much I thought she might have broken it.  She asked if it was bleeding and all I could think of was a trick my Grandmother used to do (I'll write about that trick later since this post is already getting lengthy).   Anyway, I got her cleaned, calmed down and dressed.  

Finally I could go back to organizing shoes.  Here's the end result.  The closet looks so much better and more organized now, don't you think?


Here's a before and after comparison for you.  I love a good before and after:


I'm so glad that project is done.  Sometimes I think it's a wonder I get anything at all done with all the kid craziness interrupting me.  Ah, but that's what makes life fun.  I always say my life would be so boring without my kids.  



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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Monogrammed Burlap Pillow

It's been another busy week around here.  Lots of appointments and meetings trying to help my son who has Asperger's.  All of these meetings can be a bit stressful and emotionally draining.  But I do feel we are making progress.  Middle school has not be easy for him, and I'm glad we (the school and us) are working together to get him the help he needs.  So glad the school year is almost over, even though there is a flurry of end of the school activities such as art shows and concerts.  Soon it will be summer and things will slow down, right?  Who am I kidding, we'll still be busy with camps and day trips and such.  Although I do think I can sleep in, if only for an extra half hour.

For today's post I thought I'd share an easy project I did a few months ago as part of a Relief Society church activity.  We made these monogrammed burlap pillows:


The burlap was cut to size and sewn into a pillow case, envelope style.
Freezer paper with the initial cut out (using a Silhouette or Circuit) was ironed onto the burlap.

Using acrylic paint, the initial was painted.  There was a paper on the inside of the pillow case so the paint didn't bleed through to the back of the pillow case.

Once the paint was dry, remove the freezer paper, stuff with an old pillow or stuffing/batting.
I put mine in the dining room on this old bench.  I love how it adds a bit of rustic to the space. 


I made one for my sister too, just used a different type of stencil. 


So easy and so cute.  



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Friday, May 8, 2015

What I've learned from my kids

As Mother's Day is approaching, I found myself getting sentimental and thinking how blessed I am to be a mother of four wonderful children.  I remember growing up and 'playing house' and even in my teenage years wanting to be a mom.  Back then, I had no idea what motherhood would entail.  Even today, I feel like I'm still learning and figuring things out.

I thought it would be fun to think about what each child has taught me.  I used the first letter of each of their names to come up with a word and then expanded the idea from there.

S is for Superpowers.  My first child taught me that I have superpowers like the ability to read minds, and have eyes in the back of my head.  He also taught me that I am stronger than I thought.  I have been stretched - my capacity to love, learn, grown and have compassion has increased because of our adventures in autism.

K is for kindness.  My Sweetie Pie has shown me how to be kind and think of others.  This comes naturally to her and she is such an example to me.  When asked what she wants to be when she grows up she replies, "a mom".  I often say she is a better person than I ever could have taught her to be.  

R is for ready.  Having kid #3 has taught me that I need to be ready for anything.  She is such a fun loving girl, a bit rowdy and rambunctious, but also so happy and loving.  She makes me laugh each day, often several times a day because she'll say or do the funniest things.  I love her high pitched laugh and her confidence.  Life excites her and she is always ready for action.

F is for favorite.  Having a new baby in the house (well, not so new, he's 7 months already) brings a new level of love.  The other kids have someone else to love and willingly take care of.  This interaction has been amazing.  I love how they all get along with the baby.  However, it is very clear that I'm the favorite in my little boy's eyes.  When he cries, often times I am the only one who can calm him down, or I can calm him down the quickest.  Seeing how much he loves me, makes me want to be the best mom I can be.



I feel Mother's Day is a day to celebrate all women, not just Moms.  I know several wonderful ladies who are yet to be a mother or will never be a mother in this life.  They have had a meaningful impact on my children as their aunt, teachers, leaders, and friends.  

Raising kids is a tough job and it's been such a blessing to have the influence of other good women in our lives such as mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and friends - thanks for your love and support.

Wishing all the women out there a Happy Mother's Day!

How will you make your mom happy on Mother's Day?  

Share your time. Share the moment. Make a mother's day happy.

Starting Friday, May 8, join us to see how much time we can give back to moms within 48 hours. Share your moments using #TimeForMom and we will count the hours you are giving to make a mother’s day happy.

To find out more go to http://www.mormonchannel.org/timeformom


#timeformom



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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day cards, crafts quotes and gifts

Mother's Day is coming up.  Here are some of my most popular Mother's Day posts including cards, crafts, quotes and DIY gifts.  

Check out Brilliant Beginnings preschool for this cute Mother's Day card.

A Day In My Life has created this Father's day card, but I think it would work just as well for Mother's day.
 

Here's a custom newspaper from MarthaStewart.com that the kids can color and fill in the blanks to make mom feel extra special.

Amy at Our Daily Obsessions received this cute poem for Mother's Day last year.

Here's a simple and quick Mother's Day bouquet from The Trendy Treehouse:


And here's what I made for my mom and mother in law last one year.  You can find the full post HERE.




Does your Mom like to garden?  If so, I bet she'd love this gift basket of seeds.  DaNita from Delightful Order came up with this cute idea.  I love the seed packet holders, they read "a mother plants seeds of LOVE, HOPE, JOY!"


These MOM blocks are cute.  Lorraine from Extreme Domestication just mod podged some photos onto wood blocks to create this beautiful and easy gift. 


Mom's love photos of their kids and Grandmom's love photos of their grandkids.  So making a gift using photos of your kids is a great idea.  Kim from The Inadvertent Farmer made this photo project.


Printables make a quick and easy gift.  Just print and place in a frame.  I'm wondering if you could change the colors to match your Mom's decor.  Or paint the frame the same bold color as that of the letters. 

Check out these printable from Holday Snobs  


I love anything chocolate so getting these M&M's would be OK with me. (hint, hint).  Kinzie from Kinzie's Kreations made these for her church's primary class to hand to their moms.  There's also a game to play with them, so be sure to check out what she did HERE.


Beth from 123 Homeschool for Me shares how she made this cute handprint gift HERE.  I've seen several versions of this done in paper, fabric and even thread.  

I think this is a canvas, although I think would be easy to paint or mod-podge a frame to look like this.  
Courtney from A Diamond in the Stuff has some great DIY Mother's Day gift ideas such as personalized flower pots, coasters and pin cushions.  Check it out over at her blog HERE.







We “dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes” and “find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.” Mary Ellen W. Smoot, “Steadfast and Immovable,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 91

”Every one of us can mother someone—beginning, of course, with the children in our own families but extending far beyond. Every one of us can show by word and by deed that the work of women in the Lord’s kingdom is magnificent and holy. I repeat: We are all mothers in Israel, and our calling is to love and help lead the rising generation through the dangerous streets of mortality.”

“[The] ability and willingness properly to rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness … to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the admiration and the plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, … deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God”

Women affect so very much of what happens in the world for good or otherwise. In some measure, wives and mothers control the flow of blessings that come into their homes. "

“Motherhood …is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.”




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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Favorite Baby Swaddler - The Nuroo

(This is not a sponsored post, I just love the product and wanted to share.)

I mentioned in previous post about swaddling as one of the ways to calm a baby.  We love to swaddle our babies and have used this technique successfully with all four of our children.  For our first two kids, we didn't have the cool swaddlers they have out now.  We just used knit blankets, the stretchy kind so you can get a tight fit.  For the last two babies, we bought swaddlers.  These blankets are designed to make it easy to swaddle your baby.  Basically you just put your baby in and fold over the 'arms' of the swaddler to velcro your baby up tight.  No figuring out how to fold the blanket or trying to tuck the ends in tight.  Most of the swaddlers I've used were very similar in shape.  However, with my last child, I received a different kind of swaddler and I just love it.



It is the Nuro Swaddler.  It is a light weight stretchy fabric that makes it great for even the hotter months.  But the best feature by far is the adjustable sizing.  There are two pockets, one for smaller babies and one for older, bigger babies.  Then you just rip out a seam and it expands further for even larger babies.  You can find out more about the Nuroo Swaddler at their website HERE.

I started this post a few months ago but never got around to posting it until today.  My little boy is now 6 months old so these pictures make him seem so little.  Actually he was never a little guy.  He was almost 1.5 pounds heavier than my previous largest baby at birth.  And he grew a lot from there.  He was broad and long.  He started to outgrow his regular swaddle blankets as you can see from the picture below.


The Nuroo Swaddler was the only one that still fit him.   
Here he is getting all swaddled up.


So peaceful and content.


Like I said, it has 3 sizes.  You can see the two pockets in this picture below.


And here's the seam to rip out to extend the length.


Here's my baby before and after extending the length.  In the left picture you can see how his little feet are touching the bottom of the swaddler.  The picture on the right gives him more growing room.


Like I said, I loved this swaddler.  We only had one and I used it all the time.  I used it at each nap and all during the night.  It got so much use, that after two months it started to fall apart.  Here you can see one of the seams has ripped and the velcro isn't so nice.


I emailed the company and they were happy to send me a new one.  As you can see, my boy just loves his new swaddler.


Anyone else have the Nuroo?  Do you love it as much as I did?
This would make a great gift for a new mom, whether she's a first time mom or a fourth time mom like myself.


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Friday, April 24, 2015

How to Get Rid of Cradle Cap

My mother in law taught me this trick.  I don't know why she waited until I had kid #4 to let me in on this secret.  Maybe she thought I already knew about it.  Well, I had never heard about it before and in case you haven't either, I'm sharing her secret.  It's so easy and it really does work.


All you need is some baby oil and a baby comb.

Rub some baby oil into the scalp.
Using a baby comb, gently comb the scalp and 'rake' up the scales.
Then wash baby's hair as usual.

This is fast, easy and results are immediate.
When it comes back, just repeat the process.
I had to do this 3 times over the course of a couple weeks until the cradle cap was completely gone.


It was hard to take before and after shots with a squirmy baby and the micro setting on my camera.
So I'll leave you with a cute picture of my little boy, who I can't believe is 6 months old already!



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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Here's an easy and inexpensive way to make your own foaming hand soap.  I got the original idea from HERE and just had to try it for myself.  It really does work.

I love the foaming hand soaps.  With 4 kids, 3 of which can wash their own hands, the foaming hand soap means less soap is wasted per washing.  So when I heard of a way to make your own foaming hand soap for so much cheaper than what you can buy it for at the store, I just had to try it.

To create you own foaming hand soap, you can use any kind of regular hand soap, water, and an empty foaming hand soap dispenser. 



I received these awesome hand soaps as a Christmas present.  But they are not the foaming kind.  I loved the smell of them and thought they'd be even better if they were the foaming kind, so this is what I used to create my own foaming hand soap.  


Most of my foaming hand soaps were almost empty, so  I just compiled them all into one dispenser.  That left me with several empty foaming hand soap dispensers to work with.  I filled each foaming dispenser with several squirts of the regular hand soap.  I didn't measure the amount.  I added enough to cover the bottom.  A little really does go a long way with this stuff.  Then I filled the rest of the dispenser up with water.  That's it.  I haven't noticed any difference in my DIY version compared to the store bought version.  They both work great.


The regular hand soap is cheaper than the foaming kind, plus you only use a little bit of it.  I filled up all my foaming dispensers and still had lots of regular soap left over.  I'm sure this will last me several months if not a year.  The great thing about the soap I used is that it's colorless so it will match no matter what sink it's next to.   My next step is to take off the store label.  Maybe I'll even create my own label.





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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

There is never a dull moment when you have 4 kids.  And just because I'm an "experienced mom" doesn't mean I've got it all figured out.  Each kid is different and just when I think I know how to handle something, I get thrown a curve ball.  Between spring break, sick kids, problems at school and some feeding problems with the baby, I haven't had much time to blog.  So today, I have a short but delicious post for these Fudgy Oatmeal Bars.


I followed THIS recipe from High Heels & Grills.

It said to check the bars after 15 minutes and if they were browning, to cover the pan with foil.  Well, mine never did brown and after baking for 25 minutes they still looked like they weren't done on the top, so I baked for an additional 5.
Below you can see how they looked before I put them in the oven and after they were done.  They didn't brown much at all.


And because less is never more when it comes to desserts, I added some ice cream.  Since I couldn't wait for the bars to cool down before eating them, ice cream was the perfect topping.



They did taste a bit under-cooked so when I make them next time, I'll bake them for 30 minutes.  Other than that, they were soooooooooo rich and delicious.  

Nothing works like chocolate to make your day better.



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