Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Parenting your second child

I hate trying to write this.  I hate trying to describe Oliver at all, because any time I do it sounds like either a) I don't like him or b) I'm just comparing him to Wes.

Well, obviously I like my kid.  And if we're being completely honest, is it actually possible to not compare your kids?  Especially if they're super close in age.
Wes, for the most part, has always been "easy" for me.  Yes, he has tantrums.  Yes, he pushes back at me.  He's human.  But at the end of the day I've always thought I was a pretty good mom!  And I've never questioned whether or not I'm being the best mom possible for him.
Oliver makes me question myself every damn day.  He has tantrums.  He's defiant.  He's stubborn.  Until very recently he had zero interest with cuddling or being close to me.  I call him my stinky boy because he just glares out at the world (with his "stink face") almost constantly.
And every day I wonder what I'm doing wrong.  Why did he have six different tantrums today.  Why doesn't he want to give me hugs and kisses.  Why does he get more excited to see a bird fly across the sky than he does over anything I could do.
Seriously - I could juggle and do back flips and I wouldn't get a smile like that.  But a bird passing by gets a huge grin.

There is no easy answer.  I was accustomed to having a child who didn't have tantrums (with Wes).  And now I'm the asshole eating my words because it turns out there's not much you can do in the moment when you have a toddler who has tantrums.  I didn't judge the moms of tantruming kids before, necessarily, but I definitely wondered why they couldn't control their kid.  I mean, I could control Wes, shouldn't everyone be able to do the same with their own children?

If you were hoping to find some magical advise on how to deal with your stubborn toddler, I really don't have any.  Stop blaming yourself, for one! And know you aren't the only one dealing with it.

And to my sweet, Stinky boy - you may make me want to rip my hair out on a daily basis, but at least I know life with you will never be boring.

...but dear God, if v3.0 is even more stubborn/intense/challenging I may end up in a padded cell.

Do you have a stubborn toddler?  How do you deal with it?  Because seriously, I need all the advise I can get, hah!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

DIY Hair Pomade Recipe

So Wesley, being the absurdly cool 3 and a half year old that he is, has a pretty snazzy haircut.  It's technically an undercut, I think.  Basically it's buzzed all around and long on top.  Because he inherited his father's super fine hair it needs product with some serious hold to style it.  Product with serious hold that you buy usually either a) is a shitstorm of chemicals or b) is very expensive (and sometimes both) so I decided to try my hand at making my own.

When I do DIY stuff like this I really only do it to either save money or minimize the chemicals in our house.  So when I look up a recipe on Pinterest and it has 37 different ingredients that just doesn't work for me because that gets expensive! So I made my own simplified version.

Beeswax (I got mine here, but if you can get it locally I totally recommend that!)
Coconut Oil
*optional* Essential Oils (I pretty much exclusively use Young Living oils because, well, I sell them!  If you need information on any Essential Oils I'd love to help you out)
Double Boiler (I just use a Pyrex bowl on a sauce pan, because I'm fancy like that)
Container (I used a mason jar)

So you'll need equal parts beeswax and coconut oil.  For a single batch a quarter cup of each works well for me.

If you're rigging a makeshift double boiler like me, put enough water in your pan that it barely touches your bowl when it's place on the top.  Bring water to a bowl.  Place bowl on top.  Bring the heat of the burner down to low.  Et voila.  A super fancy double boiler.

First melt the beeswax because it will take a bit longer to melt than the coconut oil...
Throw in your coconut oil...
Once it's all melted pour it into your container and add your essential oils (if you're using any)...
I'm aware I need a shorter mason jar, I forgot to get one.  When I eventually remember I'll switch over.

I added five drops each of Cedarwood, Frankincense, and Lavender.  For one thing, I like the way they smell.  And they'll help keep his hair healthy.

Then you just need to let it solidify.  It really is that easy.

So in hand it feels really smooth, not waxy or sticky.  And once it's in hair it doesn't harden really, and stays pretty malleable.  It's pretty damn fabulous, actually.  If I still had a pixie cut I would totally use it.

He clearly wasn't into me taking photos at that moment.  When I asked him to take a nice picture, this is what I got...

So there you have it!  The simplest DIY hair product you'll ever find.

Do you make any hair products for yourself or your kids?  Would you like to?

In case you were wondering, we actually usually have his hair pulled out of his face in a pony tail.  Because, like I said, Wes is an absurdly cool kid.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Super Simple Babywearing Costume!

Whether you're a die-hard babywearer or just a "I only wear my baby when I have to" babywearer, odds are, with Halloween coming up you've considered a babywearing costume.  Because let's face it, if it is your kid's first (or even second) Halloween, they're probably going to just end up in a carrier at at least one of the events where you plan for them to be dressed up.

Well, never fear, less-than-crafty-babywearer!  I have a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution for you - a dog costume.

Yes, you read that properly...a dog costume.

Turns out size large dog costumes fit very well over many structured baby carriers.  Here, I'm using a Lillebaby Complete, but many carriers will work.  What's great about the Lille specifically is 1) that the shoulder straps can unbuckle and 2) how the hood attaches.  Any carrier that has arm straps that are not permanently attached to the body of the carrier (any soft structured carrier that has the ability to unbuckle the arm straps or any mei tai) will work easily.  If you have a SSC that the arm straps are fixed, you could make it happen, but it will take more work.

Step one - Unbuckle everything.
No fixed arm straps here! 

Step two - Attach the hood.

So this is super simple in a Lille because they don't use snaps; I was able to take the chin strap of the "hat" part of the costume and feed it through the plastic slide.  If you have a carrier with a hood that attaches with snaps, you could always add snaps to the "hat."  If you don't already have a snap press, that isn't exactly an economical option.  If all else fails you could either ignore the hat completely or just put it on your kid's head directly.  I promise, I won't tell anyone your kid is wearing a dog hat.
I just put each strap through the plastic slides used to hold on the hood
Step three - put the waist straps through the leg holes.

Step four - Pull the front/head end of the costume over the carrier like you were putting a t-shirt on it.  Your baby will not be in the costume at all, only the carrier will.  Pull the arm straps through the arm holes.

If you have a carrier with straps that are fixed to the body panel this won't be possible.  Instead you could cut open the front/arm holes of the costume and pin or use tape to wrap the "arms" of the costume around the arm straps of the carrier.  This isn't ideal, but hey, it's a cheap and adorable costume.  Some dog costumes are actually velcro around the neck, so obviously that would be easier.

If you were able to attach the "hat" as a hood, pull that through!  If not, don't worry about adjusting the costume to try and hide the head hole until it's actually on a person with a baby in it.

And that's it!  You're done!

Oliver doesn't really tolerate hoods (or hats of any sort) so when he's not wearing it I'll just shove it in the head hole of the costume.  I actually used a safety pin to attach the tag of the costume (on the body) to the base of the hat/hood so that there wouldn't be a gap when he was wearing it.  There was no pinning to the carrier just one piece of the costume to the other.

Lucky for us babywearers - people are obsessed with their dogs so there are tons of dog costumes to choose from!  Don't want to be a skeleton like us (which, I got this costume for $6 at Target with a 40% off Cartwheel offer #justtakemymoneytarget)? How about baby is a banana and Dad dresses as a monkey? Or mom is a web and baby is the spider? What about Dad is an apple (or any of the other snacks from The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and baby is the caterpillar? Let me know what you pick in the comments below!

All pictures are my own and none of these links are affiliate links.  I don't make any money off this post, just trying to spread the word!

Friday, October 25, 2013

W 18 Month Update

So...this is super late.  But he did just have his 18 month check-up the other day, so it's cool, right?
I can't believe my baby is a year and a half old.  And this whole month he was all "big boy" no "baby."  Part of that might have been because this month was the worst of my back problems so he was spending a lot of time with The Sailor, all I know is he just feels so darn grown up.

So, he's still lingering around 25 pounds and wears 24 month clothes and size 5.5 or 6 shoes.  Since he potty trained this month all his pants fall off though, haha.

We didn't go to any classes this month because my back was so messed up and the act of pulling him out of the car seat was damn near excruciating for me, but we played outside behind our house a lot to make up for it and he made lots of trips to the parks around base with The Sailor.

At the beginning of the month we had some pretty miserable teething days, but no molars actually popped through!  So frustrating! But he enjoyed getting mini ice cream cones to help deal with the pain.

In other eating news, he has started to prefer using a fork and having a plate (as opposed to eating with his hands right off his tray).  I think this is another factor making him feel more "grown up."

With all the trips to the playgrounds with The Sailor he has mastered going down the slide by himself - backwards.  And he could do this for hours.  He loves climbing up and sliding down and climbing up and sliding down.  I actually think The Sailor gets more nervous watching him then I do, which is funny to me.

And he's getting much better at coloring!  Instead of just eating crayons he actually doodles quite a bit!

At the very end of the month we got rid of his crib.  It was not a fun transition, but I couldn't bend over any further to get him out because of my belly/back and he was almost able to climb out.  Those first few nights he would wake up, run to his door and start pathetically calling out "Moooooommmmmyyyyyyy" but if I went in to comfort him he would completely melt down and take hours to get back to sleep.  It eventually got better, but that wasn't until his next month so I'll leave that for our next update which is due in like a week, lol.

Does anyone else find it super hard to keep up with these updates?  But I totally wish I had more of them to document his milestones and personality from when he was an infant so I'm really trying to keep up...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wear Your Baby Wednesday - Chevron Tie Dye Your Wrap!

My name is Amanda and I have a problem...I'm addicted to dyeing wraps.

Phew!  I feel better after getting that off my chest!

Let's quite the chit chat and get down to business now, shall we?

The key to getting the dye job to turn out in this chevron pattern is precise folding (which is why you need the iron).  I literally ironed a crease in each fold that I did and I do not think it would have been successful (especially with the thickness of the wrap once it was all folded up) if I had skipped this.

As usual, first wash your wrap with textile detergent.  You can use "normal" detergent if you're in a bind, but I'm a better-safe-than-sorry type gal when I'm permanently altering expensive fabrics.

Then you get to folding.  First you're going to accordion fold the entire length of the wrap.  I started with the tapers (which are super long on an Ellevill wrap, by the way) hanging off my ironing board:
Then I reached to the other side and carefully pulled the fabric up to make my first accordion fold:
And I ironed the creases.

Then I continued for the entire length of the wrap being careful to make the folds as equal as possible and ironing in between each fold.
Once it was all folded and ironed I folded up the tapers of the wrap (and you guessed it - ironed those folds as well).

Next you'll take the top corner and fold it at a 90 degree angle.
And iron that crease (yes...you're still ironing ever crease).

Then you accordion fold that corner.

I tried to get more pictures, but because of the thickness of the wrap I couldn't take my hands off of it or else the folds (despite being ironed) came un-done.  All you have to do is continue to accordion fold the rest of the fabric on an angle and then secure it every couple inches with elastics.

The hardest part is over...woohoo!

Before I started this wrap I actually decided to try and "map out" the colors I was planning on using and it was a huge help while I applied the dye.  All I did was take screenshots (by hitting control+print screen) of the color chips from the Dharma Website then arrange them using Paint.  This is the pattern of colors I decided on:

Before you can start applying dye, soak the whole wrap in a soda ash solution for 30 minutes.  While my wrap sits in soda ash I mix my dyes.  And this wrap used a lot of dyes:
The colors were Dharma seafoam, paris green, turquoise, azure blue, wisteria, power berry, and jet black.

Then place your tied up wrap in a bin on top of a rack (so it doesn't end up sitting in dye) and apply your dye using squirt bottles:

Then let it sit.  Some people say overnight is fine.  Some people say 12-18 hours.  I like to let it sit for 18-24 hours just to be safe.

Then it's ready to be rinsed!  I'm a bad person and instead of running water over it to rinse it, I toss it right in the washing machine.  First I did a cycle with Synthropol then I did two full cycles without any detergent to make sure all the dye was out.  When you're removing your elastics, be careful...I've dyed a bajillion things and I still do stupid stuff like splatter blue dye all over my face.

And...you're finished!  Isn't she a beauty?

As usual, if you have any questions feel free to ask!  And don't forget to check out my other dye tutorials and babywearing posts here!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Baby Deux - Weeks 23, 24, and 25

Oh hey, remember me?  The worst blogger ever?

I actually have a pretty valid excuse for disappearing for almost two weeks; although my back is feeling amazing compared to how it felt a month ago it still isn't perfect and when I sit upright for extended periods of time it hurts like hell.  Like I'm sitting right now in order to type this on my desktop computer...

But any-hoo...viability!!!  That one is pretty exciting!  Basically all it means is if BabyDeux tried to take an express pass through his gestation and high tail it out of my uterus there's a chance he would survive.  He definitely needs to cook a bunch more, but if it happened it wouldn't necessarily end in tragedy.

The heartburn has started.  Sometimes it comes if I haven't eaten in a while.  Sometimes it comes right after I eat.  Sometimes it comes when I'm sitting down.  Sometimes it comes when I'm standing up.  Sometimes it comes when I'm laying down.  It is completely unpredictable and completely shitty.  So I have to make sure I have Tums on me at all times.

I've been having weird insomnia when I fall asleep fine in the evening but then I wake up at like 1 and can't fall back asleep until like 5.  It flipping sucks.Which may be contributing to the fact that I get exhausted super easy.  Yesterday The Sailor and I tidied up the entire house (which was a hot mess from me being hurt for so long) in preparation of a cleaning lady coming today to actually deep clean and I was exhausted by the end of the day.  And it wasn't like I was doing anything intense, I was just puttering around putting things where they're supposed to be!

I actually feel kinda cute right now.  It probably helps that I definitely no longer just look fat and I got some cute maternity clothes, but we'll see how long it lasts.  I'm always jealous of the women who feel gorgeous and feminine throughout pregnancy...I just feel like I'm going through puberty all over again and getting fat at the same time.

Little dude is super active.  He's actually kicked me in the cervix a few times and it's really not cool.  It feels like someone is violently checking to see if you're dilated only from the inside.  Even The Sailor has been able to feel kicks from the outside, but he's not that interested in it.  It actually makes me pretty upset that he really has no interest in my belly; when I bring it up he generally says he'll be excited when he gets to meet him in January...which is great.  But I'd like to have someone actually be excited about this pregnancy with me.  My Dad would much rather talk about W and my Mom was completely disinterested in my pregnancy with W, too so I wasn't expecting much excitement from them.  But I figured since The Sailor would actually be home this time around he would show more interest in it.  On top of that, despite having significantly more local friends for this pregnancy (in case you don't remember I moved from the East to West coast when I was like 5 weeks pregnant with W) no one really seems all that excited.  Maybe I'm just imagining it, but it's almost kinda lonely.

In happier news we started actually putting furniture in the new nursery!!!

Crib - craigslist - $100
Changing Table - Yardsale - $60
Rocker/recliner - Yard sale - $20 then $55 on reupholstering supplies.

The banner and a few other wall decorations I got from Joann's in the teacher section, I got a few things from the Target cheapie section that I'll be using for different projects, and the only big thing left to purchase is a ceiling fan and about a bajillion projects left to do, haha.

The chair is blocking part of the closet, but it's no big deal because I can still easily access one side of it which is all I'll need on a regular basis. There won't be a dresser, I'll organize his clothes in the closet in hanging shoe organizers just like I did (and still do 18 months later) with W. And obviously the random stuff on the windows won't be staying there!

And some "symptoms" that didn't make it onto the collage - apparently BabyDeux is comfortably resting on my bladder because sometimes when he kicks or I sneeze (or laugh, or bend over...) my bladder leaks.  Super fun Not!

But what is super fun is nesting.  I'm not usually a super clean freak.  If the house is a bit messy I'm really not bothered by it.  But we got a carpet cleaner yesterday and I was pee-my-pants-excited (hardy-har-har) watching The Sailor clean our couch.  Then we had a cleaning lady come today to deep clean the house and I've been absolutely giddy about it.I loooooooooove how clean my house is right now.

And  think that's all for right now!  I didn't take a 25 week picture, we were too busy cleaning up the house yesterday...


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