Hard Decisions

Posted 09-27-2011 at 07:05 AM by Krista

One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was choosing my daughter’s godparents. She was still in the womb when the discussions began, and as an acknowledged people-pleaser, my stomach was in knots. Let me also mention that by “godparents” I mean we were talking about her guardian, in the event of our deaths.

Organized as ever, I made a list of potential guardians, and my husband and I crossed them off one by one. Our parents were out—I don’t believe in grandparents raising grandchildren, if there is another option. A grandparent’s job is to spoil, and I worry they will attempt to remain in that role, even if the child is living with them full-time.

My husband J. has no siblings. I have a sister, who at that time has been unemployed for three years, still lived with my parents, and has no real plans for the future. I couldn’t imagine burdening her with a young child.

Diaper Swapers

SAHM Guilt

Posted 09-26-2011 at 12:31 PM by Krista

It’s interesting that women who work out of the home often experience feelings of guilt that they aren’t able to spend more time with their children. I say interesting, because women who stay home also feel guilty if they don’t always enjoy it. For every woman out there that would like to be able to stay at home, there is another who wishes she could go to work.

I was one of those. I liked the simplicity of a career—there are rules, you follow them, get the job done, and get a paycheck. Raising a baby is a completely different experience—there are no guarantees that you will get her to stop crying, or to sleep, even if you follow all the recommended guidelines. I had read book after book before my daughter was born—I thought I was prepared.

There is no amount of preparation that can get you ready for sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and a screaming infant. Every time I changed a diaper or dressed her, I wondered if I was doing it correctly.

Enjoying the fruits of your labor- storing produce

Posted 09-26-2011 at 11:04 AM by whitneywalters

It is that time of year again, when gardens are producing mass amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits. I know that one of the most important reasons why plant a fairly large garden each year is because we are trying to save money on our grocery bill and in order to do this we need to store our vegetables and fruits in a way that will make them last as long as possible.

Our garden this year consisted of  sweet peas, sweet corn, green peppers, cucumbers, egg plant, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, green beans, wax beans, lettuce, spinach and squash. We also have blackberries, grapes, pears and strawberries. Of these items lettuce is the only vegetable that we can not store long term. I personally do a lot more freezing then canning, it takes less time and is easier in my opinion. If you have never frozen vegetables fresh from your garden try using this site for a great step by step guide.

When it comes to canning there are four items that I make and can every year. I make pickles, jelly, spaghetti sauce and tomato soup. My mom started teaching me to can when I was a really little girl but for those who have not canned before this site is really informative.

Best Friend Card

Posted 09-26-2011 at 10:40 AM by Britt Schwartz

Matt & I were married on October 5th, it was a beautiful Friday and I can still feel the butterflies in my belly. He and I were 19 & 20, respectively, on our wedding day. We were marrying on the one year anniversary of our meeting.

Needless to say, not many people were putting too many eggs in our basket and now looking back I can objectively see why. We were a statistical nightmare. We were both young, ignorant and some what irresponsible. Please don’t misunderstand me, we were NOT you’re typical young adults, we had endured trials that no person or couple should ever have to face but we were ignorant when it came to our finances and such.

Yet, here we are happily married, with two beautiful daughters, a wonderful home and about to celebrate our four year anniversary. How were we able to beat the odds and not only still remain married to each other but still be but as happy as we were in the beginning? I have three words for you… Best Friend Card.

Very early on in our relationship we started using the Best Friend Card. When Matt needed to say something to me that would make me upset hearing from my husband, he asked to use the “best friend card”. While the card is in play, either person is allowed to be completely honest and we’ve always been respectful.

I Survived My First Cake!

Posted 09-26-2011 at 10:29 AM by blairmarie333

I had purple icing in my hair and all over my kitchen. I spent 4 hours making a cake and it turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good.

My little brothers like color so I decided to do a rainbow cake (as so many DS mamas love) and I used two cake mixes and lots of coloring. I made 6 different colors and layered the cake with 3 colors per cake. I baked the cakes on Friday night and left them until Saturday to be iced.

I got both the girls down for a nap around 1pm and went to work. I first stacked my 2 rainbow cakes. I realized that the rainbow was not going to work well since you have to cut the tops off cakes to make them even for stacking. I didn’t want to waste all my hard work the day before so I just left them (lesson 1.) The caked ended up a little lopsided, but lesson learned.

Greener Grass

Posted 09-24-2011 at 10:04 AM by Krista

I am a Stay at Home Mom. For me, this came about more because of circumstances than choice. I have worked every day since I was seventeen years old, and I had no intentions of stopping. It just so happens that when I discovered that I was pregnant with my first child, I had gotten laid off the month before.

I was unable to find a job that would pay me as well, and like many others, I wasn’t willing to settle for less. The months stretched on, and my search was fruitless. I found that many companies didn’t want to hire me when they found out I was pregnant, because the places I was applying to offered paid maternity leave. Who would want to hire an employee that, in a few months’ time, would be leaving? And
that they had to pay to sit at home? No, thank you. Even if I didn’t mention it in the interview, they still found out when I did the urine tests. Of course, they never said that was why they weren’t hiring me, but employers that were once so enthusiastic about my experience turned cool when I mentioned that I was expecting.

With the six month mark looming ahead, it was becoming obviously that I was pregnant, and I knew that if I hadn’t found what I was looking for by then, I probably wouldn’t. I resolved to get a job after the baby came. I consoled myself with the thought that this way I could spend her first month at home.

Little water bug

Posted 09-24-2011 at 08:36 AM by whitneywalters

My two year old daughter loves the water which is a complete turn around from her first year of life. From birth to almost a year old she hated the water. We tried everything when it came to bathing her and nothing worked. She would scream the moment she hit the water. It came down to us washing her with a wet wash cloth and only giving a full bath if she was getting stinky. Being as my older two loved water from day one this was baffling to me.

I will never forget the day it all changed, I had Alex and Destiny in a bubble bath and instead of hiding from me like she normally would when she heard the bath water running she actually crawled into the bath room and wanted in with them, so I let her and she was actually happy and playing. I was in shock. From that day forward she has loved all types of water.

Parenting in the Rear View Mirror.

Posted 09-24-2011 at 08:03 AM by brewanothercup

I come across parenting stuff in the oddest places sometimes, and am always fascinated by how it’s almost like the universe knows I need something in an element of my life so it pops up somewhere else. I read an article a few weeks ago about making decisions using the rear view mirror phenomena – meaning that you’re basing your driving on what you see in the rear view mirror. Basically, you have no idea what you’re reacting to because you’re eyes are focusing on where you have been rather than where you’re going.

I started thinking about how this works for me in parenting – when I’m afraid my son will fall off the sofa because I’m thinking of the time he did, or when he plays in water on the kitchen floor and slips because (again), I’m thinking of the time he did. The reality is that he’s learning new things everyday, and one day he’ll learn how to safely get off the sofa and what it means for him when the floor is slippery.

He’s small now, so my rearview mirror isn’t full of distractions, but I can see how as he gets older it will be harder and harder for me to always look forward and not look back.  I struggle with living in the past as it is, and definitely struggle with this as a parent when he is growing so quickly.  When I’m scared – in any element of life – of something new, I use my rear view mirror to guide me.  What am I missing along the way by doing this? I struggle with the balance between living in the moment, using past events as learning tools, and allowing myself to experience things freely and newly.

What roads in life do you drive using the rear view mirror? How do you fight that, or do you?

They Do Love Each Other!

Posted 09-23-2011 at 10:32 AM by whitneywalters

My oldest two children were born fifteen months apart. Currently Alex is 5 and Destiny is 4 and they fight like cats ans dogs. No matter what we are doing those two will find something to argue over or fight about. Recently I heard them upstairs in the play room and they were arguing over his power ranger toys. Apparently Destiny wanted to use the pink power ranger in her princess castle and Alex was having none of it. I tried not giggle when I heard Alex very loudly exclaim ” Destiny, power rangers are not princesses because princesses do not fight bad guys, knights do!

There are days that I swear they will do anything to get under each others skin and while most times they argue instead of actually fighting I have had to break up a few fights were they actually tried to hurt each other. The car seems to the worst place for those to when it comes to fighting. I can not even get across town without hearing “Mommy she is touching me” or “Mommy Alex is being mean” around a dozen or more times. The fighting was not always so bad, it honesty started around the time Destiny turned three, I think part of it is because Alex is very much so into the girls are icky stage and just does not want his sister hanging around but I also know that it is mostly normal sibling rivalry made worse by the fact that they are so close in age. I do long for the days when they used to actually act like they loved each other all the time, they used to be stuck together like glue.

Schedules Or No?

Posted 09-23-2011 at 08:00 AM by Monica Beyer

I’m a pretty laid-back mama, letting my babies dictate to a degree what we’re going to do. Nurse on demand, bed share, the whole shebang. I like to take cues from them instead of trying to fit them into any pre-designed schedule. I honestly think it makes my life easier and more relaxing.

However, with my newest baby, this last summer was the time where I needed to maintain a schedule and I failed miserably. The older kids were out of school and Willow was nearing the year-and-a-half mark. I started going with the flow a little too much. I let the kids stay up way too late and sleep in way too often. Willow started following suit, until her routine at the end of the summer was like this: