Monday, December 1, 2014

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

So much for posting even a few times through the Hopes and Plans link-up. This month has been crazy and I had intentions of blogging on Mondays, but the free time just didn't present itself. Due to that I decided that I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)


Hopes and Plans

Here's to the September of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - Not much has changed in this department.  I have left my electronics out of the bedroom, but haven't been very deliberate about limiting my time using them.  I did however remember to bring my watch so I was able to leave my phone outside of the room we stay in at my in-laws over Thanksgiving.  Truly being unplugged at night is a great feeling for me.  I'm just going to stick with what's working for this month since I know it's going to be so busy with Christmas sneaking up on me :)     

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - This month I don't think I made anything actually homemade!  I did bake some packaged cinnamon rolls and cookies from a bag, but I'm not thinking that counts.  I'm hoping Kai and I can make some Christmas cookies this month, but finding the time is the tough part.  I'd love to hand out some baked goods to our neighbors.  I'll cross my fingers :)  I'm having a friend over for her birthday this Thursday, so I'm going to make something delicious for breakfast.  Even if it doesn't include baking I'm going to count it. 
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail -We sure did make a few Thanksgiving crafts to send to grandparents!  We only got around to using the stickers though, maybe next year Kai will be a bit more patient.  We sent a letter today to Kai's cousins and I have about seven letters in the works right now, but I'll count those in next month's tally.  I ran out of stamps this morning, so I'm considering that a win for snail mail!

4. No Picking - No change, but my face has been a bit more clear because of the dry weather.  Can't really count that as finding any self-control though. 
5. Church - We went 3/4 weekends in November!  It was wonderful.  Kai and I went once alone because John had hockey, but we went the other two weekends as a family.  Kai did okay in the nursery, but was always crying when we went to pick him up.  The helpers in there said he was fine until parents started showing up so I'm crossing my fingers that's actually the case.  We missed this past weekend, but I'm already thinking about which service we'll attend next week.
6. See a Friend - The flow of friends in my life has been steady and wonderful.  The most special to date was last Friday.  Right after John and I moved to the Twin Cities I got involved in a church youth group volunteering with a great group of girls.  I got to lead their small group from 10th-12th grade.  They are now in college, getting boyfriends, some getting close to graduating and thinking about marriage.  They have a Facebook group that I occasionally stalk because they are notoriously difficult to get a hold of.  They planned a small get together for half-price apps at Applebees last Friday and I crashed their party.  It was so wonderful to see them all.  I love them dearly and wish we had more time to spend together.  I don't think they'll ever know just how much impact they had on my life.  Here's to hoping I'll get to see some or all of them over Christmas break!
7. Go Walking/Exploring - It's freezing here so we maybe we on one outside walk in the past month.  Most of our walks now are at the mall, which isn't terrible, but it's not outside.  We haven't explored too many new places, but that's ok.  Kai and I did go to the zoo last week and it's amazing how much he's growing and developing.  He walked most of the zoo as I braved it without a stroller.  He climbed through all the tunnels and smiled and waved at other kids.  
8. Sew/Craft: Christmas crafting is in full swing!  I've finished lots and lots of ornaments, four crowns, some napkins and a Give Me Jesus embroidery loop.  I still have lots to finish so I'll be working away!  One fabulous thing that happened this past month was the second homemade gift exchange I decided to participate in.  The blogger from Craftaholics Anonymous puts it on twice a year, once in the summer and once around the holidays.  If you want to check it out it's right on the top toolbar on her blog. I did it this past summer and didn't receive a gift in return, but my partner said my gift is on it's way this time around.  Here's what I made her:

9. Savor - I'm working on it everyday.  Sometimes I just sit and watch Kai take the world in.  It's the best feeling ever.  I love it!

Thanks for reading!  My boy is telling me that he's awake, so I'd better get him.  Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, November 3, 2014

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

So much for posting even a few times through the Hopes and Plans link-up. This month has been crazy and I had intentions of blogging on Mondays, but the free time just didn't present itself. Due to that I decided that I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  I'm already happy about my first month!  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)

Hopes and Plans

Here's to the September of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - This is my most successful goal so far, but I failed to turn off my devices by 9pm.  I may have even reverted a little because my phone has been near me a bit more.  I haven't brought my phone into our bedroom though, so that's a win!  I'm going to try and have my phone off between 8:30-9pm and then once I get the hang of that I'll start limiting my iPad time.  I know it helps me wind down and relax at the end of the night, but I'm hoping to do a lot more crafting while we watch TV since Christmas is right around the corner!      

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - This month was not as good as last month for baking.  I did make the Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip muffins again.  I was able to pass some along to friends and bring them to a get-together with John's family, but a few still didn't get eaten.  I think it's safe to say I need to bench that recipe until next year.  My mom gave me a pumpkin cookie recipe that I might try this month.  I have all the ingredients currently so I have no excuse.  As far as the apples from last month I was able to share a lot of them with family and friends (my mom made applesauce), but I still haven't used any of mine.  The few that looked bad fed the squirrels outside if that counts :)  Maybe I'll make something fall-themed in the next few weeks and hand it out with our leftover Halloween candy.
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - We did well on this one too!  We've written to eight people so far on my list (some of them more than once).  We haven't had any art time recently but I hope to get some in this week.  He picked out some Thanksgiving crafts at Michaels, so I look forward to getting creative with those.  Kai has actually gotten some mail back from his letters to which is probably more fun for me than it is for him.  I'm also thinking about Christmas cards.  If I want to get them done it should probably be soon...  we'll see. 
4. No Picking - I don't know if this will be accomplished within my 27th year. Argh.
5. Church - No change :(  We were all planned and ready to go Saturday, but I was so sick.  I'm just going to keep praying that the opportunity to go is wide open and we don't have any other plans infringe on it or overlap with it.  Otherwise maybe we'll have to try and start going Sunday morning.  Kai and I are usually already up. Here's to November... 
6. See a Friend - This one we've done well on. I tag-teamed Ikea with our wonderful friend Anna who has a little gal named Emma, went for a walk with our friend Katie, saw my friend Amy whom I haven't seen for over a year, hung out with Michelle more than once and had two baby showers where I saw friends.  It was a wonderful month for friends!  I think this month my goal is to see one friend on a weekend/evening without Kai.  I rarely get time for myself and that sounds pretty wonderful. 
7. Go Walking/Exploring - We have gone on a couple walks, but we haven't explored anything new this month.  Kai did get to carve a pumpkin for the first time and loved it!  We went to the apple orchard again.  Last week we went home to be with my family for an overnight and Kai got to ride in the combine with Grandpa Dan and that was an adventure for him!  His favorite book currently is about trucks/tractors, so he loved it.
8. Sew/Craft:  This month I made some cloth diaper inserts for some covers I purchased and a baby hat.  I didn't complete too many projects, but I started a bunch.  I have some hand warmers and a neck warmer in the works for a friend's mom, a t-shirt quilt and some more baby hats in the works.  I finished the biggest, most wonderful project yesterday with my sister.  We made a bench for the completely not kid friendly brick hearth. My brother-in-law made the wooden part and my sister and I did the foam and fabric.  I LOVE how it turned out!  Here's the tutorial we used as inspiration! I'm hoping to craft a lot in the next two months for Christmas!
9. Savor - I'm working on it everyday.  Sometimes I just sit and watch Kai take the world in.  It's the best feeling ever.  I love it!

If you live in Minnesota, what fun places have you been with/without kids?  How do you allow yourself to savor?    

Thanks for reading!  I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the last month.  Sorry if there's errors in this post as I'm finishing Kai is yelling "mama" from his crib so no proofreading for me (again this month!) :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wipes and Wipe Solution

I researched quite a bit about cloth wipes when I decided to cloth diaper. If I was already going to wash the diapers why not give reusable wipes a shot too. I knew I didn't want to make wipes from paper towels, just as much waste and more work. I purchased one package of twelve from Amazon, Bumkins brand, but made the rest myself out of remnants I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics and an old t-shirt. I've read that other parents use anything from baby washcloths to old receiving blankets to fleece. If you don't have a sewing machine fleece would work great because it doesn't fray. I have three different sizes/sets of wipes. The Bumkins flannel, long ones with one side micro fleece and the other side terry cloth and small ones with one side old t-shirt and the other side terry cloth. The old t-shirt is so very soft and it cleans very nicely. You might be surprised that you already have supplies to make your own.
                                     
Generally I use the terry cloth side for poop and the other sides for pee or light clean up. That system has worked for us for a year, although I do grab a disposable wipe sometimes when I'm feeling lazy, when my solution bottle is empty or when Kai had a disposable diaper on. I honestly feel the longer ones are a bit too long and the Bumkins flannel ones are wider than I'd like. The midsize wipe is perfect  but their sizes don't stop me from using them. Another note is that the terry needs to be pretty wet to slide across Kai's skin. When it's not wet enough it doesn't clean as well. I stack all my wipes in a pile next to my solution on our changing table. 
                                     
As for my solution I use baby wash, coconut oil and water. I have read a large number of wipe solution "recipes" on the Internet that include some kind of oil, different soaps, essential oils and more. When I first made it I just wanted to use products I already had on hand. I don't really measure anything because I'm still trying to find a good amount of each. Generally I put a little soap, a little oil and fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake it up. I have found the products below go well together. Aveno Baby Wash in place of the Johnson and Johnson wash smells awful! I've also tried the lavender scented Target brand wash and that works well. If you don't like the coconut smell, refined coconut oil or baby oil can be used. The bottle I use is a Windex Touch Up bottle. It works phenomenally! I just dumped the cleaner into another bottle and washed it up good and made my solution. (I found the idea from another great cloth diapering momma, but I can't find the blog post now! If anyone knows where it is let me know. I'd love to credit her.)
       
Do you use cloth wipes and homemade solution? What have you found that works? Thanks for reading!
    

Monday, October 6, 2014

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

So much for posting even a few times through the Hopes and Plans link-up. This month has been crazy and I had intentions of blogging on Mondays, but the free time just didn't present itself. Due to that I decided that I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  I'm already happy about my first month!  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)
Hopes and Plans




Here's to the September of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - I feel great about this goal, so great that I think I want to take it further!  I haven't brought my phone into our bedroom once since starting my goal.  I turn it off before going to bed and it has its own little spot on the island in the kitchen.  It also sits there a lot of the day as well.  If we're going out I take it with me, but if we're home it sits in its spot.  I can tell I've been using it less because I can now get three days out of a charge instead of two.  I can't tell if I've been sleeping better because Kai still gets me up in the night, but I do feel I've been falling asleep easier.  I've also been trying to be very conscious of how much time I spend mindlessly using my devices.  I think that's still a work in progress.
     For this next month I'm going to try and turn my phone and iPad off by 9pm, as well as keeping to my other goals.  I hope this starts feeling good to me and I'll make the time earlier.  I've also been thinking about not allowing myself access to my devices while Kai is awake, but he's so busy that sometimes a little check of Instagram makes my heart happy.  We'll see how this month goes and go from there!     

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - I've made some yummy goodies this month!  I found this recipe for Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Bread on Pinterest and no lie I believe it is one of the best recipes I've ever made.  I wanted to make muffins instead of bread so I did and it made twenty four.  The baking time was about 25 minutes if you want to give them a try.  They're so good I've actually made it twice this month.  I also made the standard Banana Muffins, but forgot the chocolate chips and sure missed them.  Whenever I've baked I've been able to share as well!  I have brought muffins to friends and to a MOPs group I tried out.  Makes my little heart happy!  Not sure what I'll decide to try this month, but John's aunt gave us 7 bags of apples (not exaggerating!) so it's safe to say I'll be looking for apple recipes!  I actually want to try this one out for our pup :)

3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - I've sent five letters this month!  Kai even helped by coloring some pictures to include in the envelopes!  I'm just going to keep on sending mail this coming month.  I like including Kai because it gives us a little art time together.  That's become an unexpected plus!

4. No Picking - I completely and utterly failed at this one.  Sometimes I'm not even sure why I try.  I've thought about trying to keep my heels on the edge of the rug (can't see my face close up that way), but I don't know if that'll work.  My only other hope might be to take down all the mirrors in the house.  Argh.  I just want this one to stick.  Any ideas?
5. Church - This one was sadly a fail too, but we've had family visiting or other commitments.  It feels yucky to say that though.  I feel that church should be our number one commitment.  We did watch it once on Sunday morning, but it's just not the same.  We have nothing on the calendar this Saturday night, so I really hope we make it. 
6. See a Friend - I have done great with this one too.  Kai and I see/visit/meet with a friend at least once a week.  We also tried out a MOPs group.  We went twice.  The first time went kind of poorly.  It was pretty much all social hour for the moms and Kai cried a lot of the time upstairs (At least the one time I checked on him and when I picked him up.  The sweet girl holding him also said he missed his mom a lot, so I assumed that meant he fussed)  The second time we went he was crying when I checked on him and then playing when I picked him up.  I was so happy!  Yay Kai!  Sadly I spent most of my time in a social hour again.  I also realized I was looking for a place to connect with God and other godly women, but there was no scripture reading or relating our discussions back to God.  I've prayed about it and I've decided we won't be heading back there.  If anyone knows of any other groups I'd love to hear suggestions!
7. Go Walking/Exploring - Just last week we walked ten miles!  We also went to the zoo, the library (for the first time!), storytime at Barnes and Noble and SeaLife at Mall of America. (See multiple Instagram photos of our adventures!)  One of the most fun was when we were at Target it had started to rain, so we got a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a pumpkin cookie at the Starbucks inside, ran to the car and shared our cookie.  I love my boy!  As it gets colder I know we'll be exploring more indoors and I'm so excited!
8. Sew/Craft:  Not sure why this didn't make the first round of goals, but it needs to be here.  Sewing/crafting make me warm and fuzzy inside.  I've made a ton of projects recently including reusable baby wipes, tag blankets, tablet covers and reusable napkins.  Most of these were gifts too, which helps fill my heart.  I have a monogram I'm going to try and work on this month, possibly using wine corks.  I have lots of friends having babies soon too, so I can just be crafting up a storm if I want to.  Kai also got to experience the sewing machine for the first time and loved pushing the back stitch button when I needed him too.  Seeing things through his eyes is so much fun!   
9. Savor - All of the above goals have allowed me to savor.  I feel so blessed and lucky to be where I'm at and to have the people I do in my life.  All I can hope is that I spend a little time each day taking in the wonder and love and laughter that life has to offer!

Do you have anything great you've baked recently?  Have you crafted any fun projects?  How do you allow yourself to savor?    

Thanks for reading!  I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the last month.  Sorry if there's errors in this post as I'm finishing Kai is yelling "mama" from his crib so no proofreading for me :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Losing Baby #2

Disclaimer: I plan to be very honest and descriptive when I talk about our miscarriage experience. I don't mean to sadden, gross out or offend anyone. Everything I write are my own feelings or John's. I want to be helpful to anyone going through a similar experience. While we were going through it I couldn't find any personal stories that were detailed enough to relate to which is what lead me to post. I know it will also be healing for me. Thanks for reading!

My period didn't come back after having Kai until he was almost eleven months old. John and I knew we wanted to have our babies close together so I was relieved I wouldn't have to choose between breastfeeding (which can delay the return) my sweet boy and conceiving another little one. I have a history of an irregular cycle so we figured it was our cue to try and if we hit the magic day great, if not we had time. I started getting negative tests mid-July. I was bummed, but figured it was our first try and I was focusing on the trip to St. Thomas we had planned. I packed pregnancy tests and other "supplies" to be prepared for both scenarios. After a few days on vacay, Aunt Flo still hadn't visited, so I took a test, negative. A few days later another test and a faint positive!  I took the test again very early in the morning (Here's the blog about finding out about Kai!) It took a little while to sink in, but I felt happy. John woke up right on cue, so I was able to let him in on our secret. We were unable to celebrate out loud because we had brought my youngest sister on vacation with to help with Kai.  We only had a few more days of vacation so we soaked in the sun, sand and beautiful Caribbean ocean water and then it was time to go home.  Here's a little tidbit I wrote on vacation for our sweet baby:

"Yesterday we found out you were coming. You are an answer to prayer sweet baby! The night before I prayed for a sign either way because I hadn't gotten my period and all the tests I had taken were negative. I took a test at 4am and surprise you're inside growing!  We love you already! Can't wait to meet you!"

After we got home I called the midwives to schedule my first prenatal appointment.  They don't see you until 8-10 weeks so I scheduled my appointment for August 28.  We had decided to tell people on Kai's first birthday August 23 because my sister was getting married on August 16th and we didn't want to take away any of their thunder :)  I was so excited to keep our secret just for us.  John and I could smile at each other and no one else knew our sweet news just yet.  I bought some big brother books to wrap for Kai for his birthday and we would let everyone find out that way. 
                                               

On Saturday, August 10th in the evening I started spotting.  It's not unusual during pregnancy, so John was sweet and kept encouraging me not to worry about it.  It felt off and yucky and not right to me.  I was headed home Sunday afternoon to help finish up a few last wedding details and by that point it still hadn't stopped but it was very light.  Everything I read online said to call your provider if bleeding is present so I called Monday morning.  I was transferred here and there and everywhere on the phone, until finally I left a message with the midwife nurse line and then all I had to do was wait for the midwife to call back.  She did finally call back and reassure me again that everything sounded fine because I wasn't experiencing heavy bleeding or cramping.  She said our best plan of action was to schedule an ultrasound.  That would be able to tell us if we were losing the baby or if the spotting was normal. If the spotting was normal it would just be considered our "dating ultrasound" to figure out how far along we were. We scheduled it for the next day, so I headed home Monday night.

Tuesday morning came and I was full of nerves and water. I still think asking a pregnant lady to drink 16 oz of water an hour before an ultrasound and then keep it in while the technician pushes her her bladder is crazy. John stayed home to hang out with Kai since still hadn't told any of our family about the pregnancy. I went to my appointment feeling like I was going to pee my pants the whole way. Since I had gone through a dating ultrasound with Kai I knew what I would be looking for. First they did an outer ultrasound, then she let me pee. Sweet relief! Second a transvaginal ultrasound, basically an inner ultrasound to see what's going on in there better. The tech said she had hoped to tell me something either way (if we were miscarrying or if everything looked good). Kai looked like this at his dating ultrasound at 9 weeks. Sweet little gummy bear, kicking and punching with a beautifully visible beating heart! 
                                    

She said they first look for the sac, then fetal pole, fetus and lastly heartbeat. She found the gestational sac and it was an empty, just black and empty. The technician told me that I wasn't even measuring 5 weeks and I knew that wasn't possible. Let's just say the dates didn't line up with what she was telling me. She said the sac was in a great position high up in my uterus and that the midwife would look over the results and get back to me. I appreciated her kind and encouraging words, but still felt defeated. The pregnancy didn't feel right to me and neither did the bleeding.

(Warning: Graphic details ahead.) I got home around lunchtime and John got ready for work. When he left I told him that I was feeling pretty awful. He told me to call if I needed him to come home. I was cramping, nauseous and flu-like. I started to bleed heavier and pass larger and larger clots. I knew something was going on. That continued throughout the day not getting better or worse. Around 7pm I sneezed and felt something come out. It was a feeling I've never felt before. I went to the bathroom and turns out it was the gestational sac, all the tissue that was in there suppose to be making a baby. It was like a tissue blob. I honestly didn't know what to do with. It felt so wrong to throw it away and felt even worse to flush it down the toilet. I didn't know how to properly get rid of it without feeling like I was discarding a child. I felt numb. We ended up burying it in the backyard. That felt weird too, but it was the best solution John and I could come up with. After I passed that my body felt so much better. It was strangly a relief. 

I felt peace about losing the baby although it stung. We wanted him/her! It was possibly a blighted ovum which is a baby that implanted but didn't start forming because of a genetic mutation. I think the biggest hardship was not being able to talk to my mom about it. She is fabulous and would've been great and supportive but I didn't want to bother her or anyone else right before the wedding. (I ended up spilling the beans the morning of the wedding. I know right right?!?! I just couldn't do the day without her knowing.) Wednesday was like any other. I felt a little sore but with Kai consuming all of my energy I got through the day. 

We decided to go to  Bruggers for supper. Nothing like a little food to heal wounds (John got me a DQ blizzard the night before). While we were there the midwife called. She started to tell me how everything from the ultrasound looked good and it was okay that my dates were off. I had to stop her mid sentence to tell her that I had miscarried. She was so very empathetic. I only talk about this part because of the necessity of another Rhogam shot. A Rhogam shot is a shot a pregnant woman has to get before and after her first pregnancy and after every subsequent pregnancy if her blood type is the opposite of her baby's father. It helps her body not to attack the baby if their bloods come in contact with one another. I had one before and after Kai, but it didn't even cross my mind that I'd need one after our miscarriage. I went in for that the following morning bright and early before going to work. A nurse gave me the shot and after that the midwife I'd been talking to brought me back to a room just to see how I was. She gave us the go ahead to not wait to try for another one :) 

We made it through the wedding and the following week I got a care package from the midwife. I cannot rave enough about their personal care. They are the best ever! On August 28 I had a blood test to check my hCG level to make sure the miscarriage was complete and my numbers were good. Now we're praying for Baby #3! 

Please don't hesitate to post questions here or to email me. Thanks again for reading and allowing myself to heal :) 

I've thought of a few more details I wanted to share:

1. In case I didn't remember the miscarriage happened my insurance thought they'd send lots of mail explaining our benefits and what we owed them.
2. I'm thankful for the friends that shared their stories of loss with me before it happened in my life. That's another reason I'm sharing. 

Here's a website for Rhogam FAQs: http://www.rhogam.com/FAQs

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

Another Friday is here! I love when Friday comes because that means we get John home for two days starting after work. I'm blessed with an incredible husband and I miss him during the week. I think. Kai does too. He's not old enough to understand where daddy is going but on the weekends he knows he hasn't left. If daddy is still in bed on Saturday or Sunday morning Kai will not stay in the living room. He continually crawls to our bedroom until John gets out of bed to play. He loves his daddy! Anyway, again I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife. Check them out :)

{My Five}

{One} Yesterday Kai and I went to the Minnesota Zoo with a friend. We purchased a dual adult membership ($100) in which one adult is named on the card, me.  It allows me to bring any other person with me and Kai is free, so we've gone a handful of times with John and a handful of times I've brought friends.  It's been a very worthwhile investment for us.  Recently the zoo built a carousel and yesterday was Kai's first time riding it.  He did get to ride one in Florida last March but he was sleeping while riding in the Ergo, so that doesn't count.  Man did he LOVE it!  My heart was a mess of happiness just watching him right.  He was smiling ear to ear the whole time.  The only thing I wish was that John was there to see it.  It was the highlight of my week and probably Kai's as well!

{Two} A new development for Kai is tantrums.  Thankfully they're not quite the loud, screaming ones yet, but I have to try not to giggle when they happen.  He starts to throw toys and hit his hands on the floor.  Most of the time it's adorable and this week I've tried hard to communicate with him that I want to understand what is making him upset and I think he's starting to understand that and then he tries to help me understand.  I'm so intrigued about how his little mind is working.  I love that he's becoming a little boy and we're starting to communicate even if it's not verbal quite yet.

{Three}  I've been perusing Craigslist for quite some time for a Little Tikes Climber with a slide.  (I like to search for items on Craigslist often, but this has been my recent en devour.)  They are pretty expensive brand new and some people still want quite a bit for their used ones, so I'd been picky about what I want.  I didn't mind at all that it would be used because Little Tikes products can take a beating, but I knew I didn't want it to look ruined and I didn't want to spend more than $100.  Last Sunday one popped up for $60 and the picture made it look great, but it was taken apart already, so it was a little hard to picture what it would look like set up.  I emailed the poster right away.  We emailed back and forth a few times, agreed on $50 and John and I went right over to pick it up.  Kai loves it although he's still figuring it out.  I had to put a stool behind it to help him get up, but I know next year he will love it!  I am so happy that we found one!

{Four}  Tomorrow is the Open House at my in-laws garden center.  I always enjoy spending the day there and seeing all the people.  John grills hot dogs and we just do what we can to help.  (Feel free to stop by for free lunch!  Here's the address:  Midwest Garden Company 21392 CSAH 18 Dassel, MN  55325.  It's easy to spot from Highway 15.)  I hope Kai decides he's going to have a happy day and encourage all the customers to buy lots :)  Thankfully my parents live less than a mile away so Kai and I can sneak away for a nap or two if we need to.  It should be a fun time full of lots of sales on plants and anything garden related!  I'll try to post a photo on Instagram (emhammar) of all of us wearing our Midwest Garden Company shirts :)

{Five}  Chicken Corn Chowder.  This recipe from Freetime Frolics was delicious!  It was a bit time consuming and hard with a toddler clinging to my leg, but it was worth it.  It could have been a bit easier if my chicken was already cooked or if I used canned/frozen corn instead of off the ear sweet corn.  I felt like a true wonderful wife serving it because I worked hard and it was delicious. 

Do you have a worthwhile memberships to have with toddlers? What are your best Craigslist finds? Random question becuas I've been contemplating a very personal post... Where do you draw the line on what you share on your blog or on social media?  

Thanks for stopping! Check back Monday for Hopes and Plans!

Monday, September 8, 2014

To My 27th Year

I've been participating in the Oh Hey, Friday link-up from September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for about a month.  I assume that the purpose of a link-up is to find other blogs to read and relate to, so every week I make an effort to read and comment on a few of the submitted posts.  One I stumbled across last week was Amanda's blog Marry Mint.  She's adorable, has an adorable little lady and hosts a Monday link-up called Hopes and Plans.  I'm not sure if I'll participate every week, but anyone who knows me well knows I love lists.  A few possible blog posts came to mind right away and they are easy ones to be held accountable and updated on, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Check her out and check in here on Monday's for Hopes and Plans :)
Hopes and Plans


I'm dedicating my first Hopes and Plans blog to my 27th year. I turned 27 last Wednesday, so I've got a full 52 weeks and 12 months to fill with love, laughter and happiness.  Bring it on 27!

1. Use Less Technology - Oddly enough I've been thinking about this for a while and our sermon on Saturday night touched on it.  After Kai is down for the night I've been known to be sitting in front of the TV, playing a game on my iPad and having a texting conversation.  Thinking about that makes me a little sick to my stomach.  I was on the front of the cell phone era, so I didn't even have one until I was off to college.  I'm honestly embarrassed to even write about some of the tangible ways I'm going to limit use because they show how much I really use it :( 
     I will not be using or bringing my cell phone into the bedroom at night.  I keep using the excuse that I only use it to tell the time, but I play games/read/check email and Instagram before I go to sleep.  I know it's not good for my sleep to do that and since Kai still refuses to sleep through the night I need all the help I can get.  I will make a charging station on our kitchen island and it will always be put there when I go to bed.  I will move my watch that has a light to my nightstand or walk to the kitchen so I can see what time it is when Kai wakes up.
     Since I should be savoring John and Kai when we're all home I will also put my phone in it's resting spot from 6pm on.  If I get a text I will allow myself to answer it, but I can't move it from there after 6pm.
     I don't plan to be quite as strict about this one because sometimes a girl just needs some mindless iPad games after Kai has gone to bed, but I will consciously decide that playing games is better than (or all I can handle) my other options like crafting, reading or just enjoying whatever TV show we're watching. 
     I'll see how these play out and possible add more as the year goes on...

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - I've baked a few times in the past few months and I've found that I enjoy it!  The main reason I don't bake is because I love sweets and they're not John's favorite so I end up eating them all, like them all.  I could eat cookies/ice cream/muffins until I'm sick.  One of the Instagram accounts I follow talked about baking and gifting her goods to neighbors, friends, her husband's coworkers and I got to thinking... hey I can do that!  I don't have a "how many times" I have to bake in the next year, but I do want to do it more.  Since last year there wasn't much baking going on over here, baking a couple times in the next year will be great! 
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - I love getting snail mail and I've never met anyone who doesn't, so I'm going to make sure I write one or two handwritten notes each month.  I have a list of people I know would like to get a letter, so I'll work from that.  Let me know if you need some snail mail :)
4. No Picking -I've had this goal about fifteen trillion million billion times and it has never stuck.  I've been a picker ever since high school.  I pick my face to the point that I have scabs and I know it's not healthy.  I pick "zits" that don't even exist.  I pick with I'm anxious, sad, upset and plain bored.  I don't want Kai to grow up thinking that it's ok to see flaws in him that don't exist.  I don't want him to think it's good to pick at existing acne or zits.  It's plain not good for my skin or his.  I have no idea how I'm going to battle this and honestly I've already broken it a bunch of times since last Wednesday, but maybe having it on my blog will hold me accountable.  I just want the habit to stick the other way - no picking.

5. Church - I love going to worship at church and during Kai's first year of life we didn't make it there often.  I was anxious about leaving him in the nursery and then when we did he cried the whole time.  My goal this year is to get there more often.  I feel so full after going and I'm so thankful for the blessings God has given me.  

6. See a Friend - My head and my heart are full after spending time with friends and I hope my friends feel the same.  I know that it's an integral part of taking care of myself so I need to make time for it.  It's a double plus when those friends have kiddos for Kai to play with.  He gets some socialization and I feel good about that too.  I know I need to do this at least once a week, if it happens more great and if I go a week here and there without that's ok.  I just want to remember that it is extremely important for me. I may also join a Moms Group at our church but I haven't decided about that yet.  I'm torn between building new relationships and cultivating the ones I already have.

7. Go Walking/Exploring - Kai and I need exercise and we need adventure.  I'm going to try and brainstorm a list of places we've never visited and knock them off one by one in the coming year.  The list will be it's own post!

8. Savor - I want to take time to savor life, take time to drink in the moment, time to truly experience the beauty in life and in my little family.  I want to fully embrace all of Kai, all of John and all life has.  I know some days won't be great, but I want to continually be taking everything in, not running for my camera to capture the moment.  I want to build memories without having something to remind me.  I don't want to give John or Kai any leftovers of myself instead live the hours I'm awake to the fullest. 

Here's to 27!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

As always I'm linking up with September Farm and Farmer's Wife, click the icon at the bottom to check them out :)

{My Five}

{One} Tonight John and I get to go on a date!  We've been out together without Kai maybe three times since he was born (I know, not great for our relationship!) so I'm pumped for tonight.  We're celebrating my birthday so I got to pick the place and decided on Fujiya. I am oh so excited to stuff my face with delectable raw fish and maki rolls I can pack in.  I will definitely try not to late afternoon snack today!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it...  John said I can choose what we do for our weekend too.  Not sure yet what sounds fun. My birthday was actually on Wednesday and it was delightful.  I got to snuggle with my boy, meet my mom for coffee (Caribou offers a free medium drink for birthdays!), have Chipotle for supper and watch the season premiere of The League.  Here's to a great 27th year!


{Two} My sweet youngest sister got crowned Dassel Ambassador last Saturday night!  I couldn't be more proud of her. When I ran I lost, so she said I could borrow her crown sometime.  What are sister's for? :)

{Three} So The League premiered on my birthday which was a treat.  It is honestly one of my favorite shows.  It's about a group of high school friends (and one of their wives) who are in a fantasy football league together.  The humor isn't for everyone, but holy buckets does it get me rolling sometimes.  I remember nursing Kai as an itty bitty newborn and he was just vibrating because I was laughing so hard.  Seasons 1-5 are on Netflix and John and I have watched them over and over again.

{Four} To make The League and the NFL season a little bit more fun this year I joined John's friends Fantasy Football League.  Truthfully someone dropped out and they needed a tenth player.  I jokingly told John I'd love to join and on draft night he came home having drafted two teams instead of one.  He did a pretty good job, but I totally feel like I have something to prove since it's me and nine other guys competing.  Week One started last night, so we'll see how this goes.

{Five} I'm going to try and end on a funny note.  Kai hasn't been feeling the best this week, but we've also been trying to wean him off of nighttime nursing.  I'm so tired of getting up at all hours.  I'm fine if he eats after 4am because he'll go back to sleep.  If he eats earlier than that he wants to get up at 6am and this momma can't handle that.  It was midnight on Tuesday and he was screaming.  He's smart and he has us wrapped around his little finger.  We were trying to help him settle down, but nothing was really working and we figured it was his cough and stuffed nose bothering him.  He kept reaching for the nightstand so I was handing him everything one by one and he was pushing everything away.  Finally I handed him a breast pad (I have to put one in on the side he isn't feeding on still because I would be soaking wet if I didn't, sorry TMI) and he put it into my shirt.  I thought maybe it was an accident, so I put it back on the nightstand and we did the same little song and dance again.  Can this kid seriously be so smart?  I feel bad that sometimes I don't think I give him enough credit.  Good grief baby boy.  I love him to death.  After I was stunned by his intelligence he got what he wanted and slept until 6am.  I should have told him all I wanted for my birthday was a good night's sleep.
 
 Thanks for reading!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

I missed a week.  Oops :)  Here's my next Oh Hey, Friday check in.

{My Five}

{One} The wedding went great.  Kai did awesome.  It was beautiful and another sister is married.
From Left to Right: Me, John, holding Kai, brother-in-law Ethan, sister Hannah, brother Caleb, my mom, my dad, sister Caitlin, sister Erin and brother-in-law Ryan.
{Two} One of our cousins decided to make their trip to the wedding their summer vacation with their young kids and we got to spend an evening with them and Erin and Ryan.  It was a lot of fun.  They came over and we shared pizza and lots of good conversation.  I wish they didn't leave six hours away.  Kai enjoyed playing with their kids Reese and Asher.  I need more mom friends.

{Three} My sweet baby turned one!  Holy buckets!  Where did the time go?  Here's a letter I wrote to our new one year old...  We learned he LOVES cake!
{Four} I made his cupcakes and frosting from scratch and they were wonderful!  I would highly recommend the recipe.  I found it on Pinterest, click here to check it out. I had to double the recipe to accommodate all t our guests but I ended up with 30 cupcakes even though it said it would make 24 and doubling the frosting was crazy, WAY TOO MUCH!  All things considered they were delicious!  I love to bake. 

{Five}  Today we had his one year appointment.  Three shots and a finger prick to take blood.  Big boy was a champ even though I was trying not to tear up.  It's awful to watch him endure pain.  Thankfully he still loves his milkies and he calmed down quickly.

Until next week!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

{One Year}

Dear sweet Kai,

Guess what?  You turned one!  Can you believe it?  I'm not really sure I can!  I can remember in detail the events of the Friday and Saturday of your birthday.  I remember when I went into labor, remember telling your daddy I thought I might be in labor, remember having contractions while we walked around the lake, remember my water breaking, driving to the hospital... and so much more :)  I thought maybe I'd lost some of the details, but nope.  Boy was it all worth it!  Baby Shoop Shoop you were so worth it, all of it!  I can't believe you've grown up so fast!

We had a wonderful time celebrating you on your birthday.  You got some of your favorite foods, you got cake (Friday and Saturday) and you were blessed by so many gifts.  You were hugged and held by lots of people who love you.  We took lots of pictures to commemorate your big day.  You are so loved!  We felt so blessed by all the people there who wanted to celebrate your special day and we hope their are many more wonderful birthdays to come.

Sweet boy I want you to know that I love you and lots of incredible events happened this past year, your first year.  I am so proud of you!  I could stare at your while you're learning.  You learned to breastfeed after a rough start, you've learned to crawl, sit up and roll over, you've learned to eat table foods, you've learned to say mama and dada and da (for your Comet).  You are taking steps and you laugh when others are laughing and yell at others when they're not paying attention to you.  Right now you do a funny thing where you crawl around in circles and make silly noises.  You wiggle and scream while getting your diaper changed and you would rather be naked than dressed.  You love playing outside in water or sand.  You love going for walks in your stroller.  You love dogs. I don't want to forget anything about you. Sometimes I snuggle you extra time if you fall asleep in my arms because I know I won't get this time back.  Please stop growing so quick!

You are a lucky boy because you have the greatest daddy around!  I don't want you to ever forget that no matter how old you get.  He has be growing and learning just as fast as you are.  He loves you with a fierce love.  He is excited to come home and see you and you two love to laugh together.  Daddy said he is excited for hockey season so you two can watch together.  I'm sure when you're able to walk you'll have your first pair of skates :) 

I'm sure this next year will be full of fun and laughter and love.  Never forget that daddy and I love you so much!  Comet loves you too!  Keep learning and growing and smiling.  Love you baby boy!

Momma


Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

Third Friday in a row and this one will be easy :)

I'm still linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife.  Check them out, they're fabulous!



My Five {Wedding Edition}

{One} My sister and her high school sweetheart are getting married tomorrow!  I'm so excited for them as it's been a long time coming. Yay to Auntie Hannah and Uncle Ethan!  We wish you both many years of happiness, laughter and love.


{Two} Our dresses are long and chiffon (similar to this dress or this is the dress I'm just not sure).  They are light, light pink with some pleating on the bodice. I feel like I look pregnant in it, but they're pretty so we should be a pretty rocking bridal party.  The guys are just wearing black pants and black vests and ties.  I think Ethan might be wearing a suit coat as well.  I'll be Instagramming all weekend.
Bridesmaids Caitie, Erin, Emmy, Sarah and Bride Hannah.
{Three} My mom is a florist at heart and is putting together all the flowers as I type.  She has done it before for our sister Erin's wedding and for mine and also for some friends.  She has had great luck ordering flowers in bulk from Sam's Club until this time.  Everything was supposed to come on Wednesday, but she only received about half.  After about 45 minutes of me calling around to FedEx and Sam's Club I found out there was basically nothing they could do to help us.  Surprise, surprise.  The carnations were delayed because of a shipping error in Tennessee and the hydrangeas were stuck in customs in Florida.  I know I was very polite on the phone, but after thinking about it I was a little upset they weren't more helpful.  It's one thing to get a shipment wrong when there's no time crunch.  Thankfully the delayed flowers came yesterday, albeit not all the correct ones, but enough for my momma to finish everything she needed to make.  (Sigh of relief...) My flowers were one of my favorites parts of our wedding, so they'll be gorgeous I'm sure.  Next week is going to have to turn into a picture follow-up :)

{Four} Kai is not walking on his own yet so it's been decided that he'll walk down the aisle with myself and the groomsman I'm paired with.  As long as he's not cranky it should go pretty smoothly I think.  The rehearsal tonight should be fun.  Kai has a mind of his own.

{Five} After tomorrow more than half of my siblings including myself will be married.  We're all growing up.  Crazy and awesome and bittersweet and hard and fabulous all at the same time.

Thanks for reading!  I post a lot more frequently on Instagram if you'd like to follow me there: emhammar :) Have a wonderful weekend!





Friday, August 8, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

It's another Friday and I honestly almost forgot to post.  Here I am though, so here it goes :)

My Five

{One} Kai took his first steps two days ago and a few more yesterday and today!  I'm one proud momma!  He has one week to be prepared to walk down the aisle at Auntie Hannah and Uncle Ethan's wedding though.  Can't say I believe that's going to happen.  He's going to be darn cute in his little suit though!

{Two} Last weekend we went to Ikea and there was a tent/tunnel that Kai fell in love with!  He was crawling back and forth and even pushed an older kid out of his way so he could get though (we'll have to work on that!) After that I thought it would be a stellar birthday gift.  I remembered seeing one at TJMaxx, so off I went to purchase it.  It's this model.  Feels a little flimsy, but we don't plan on going camping with it, so it's great for us.  I also couldn't wait until his birthday so it's in our living room right now and Kai is loving it and the dog has been sleeping in it.  It's fabulous!

{Three} I've been working on being a better wife.  Sometimes I get wrapped up in being Kai's mom that I forget that being John's wife is equally if not more important.  My relationship with Jesus comes first, then John then Kai.  I just feel like I've been slacking in loving John well, so I'm working on a list of tangible things to do.  I am planning to keep that list in a place I see it so I can hold myself accountable.  Maybe I'll share some of them if I have some free time :)

{Four} I made these muffins and used this acorn squash recipe this week.  Of course I added chocolate chips into the muffins.  Both recipes were winners. Oh how I'm longing for fall.

{Five} I'm in the market for a wrap baby carrier and/or a ring sling type carrier.  I'm not sure if I should make one or if I should just support another momma on Etsy or go cheap and buy a used one on eBay.  I'm at a loss.  I've done a lot of research and still can't decide.  Any suggestions would be awesome!

Two weeks in a row, here's to hoping I post next week as well :)  Until then, have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

I'm a little saddened by the fact that I haven't blogged in SO long, but I'm chalking it up to life and soaking up every ounce I can of my baby boy and our little family.  Some of the blogs I regularly read do a post called "Five Things Friday" and I'm going to try and stick with that.  Here goes nothing!

My Five :)

1. Last week we took a family vacation to St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands.  John and I have been there three times before so we felt comfortable bringing Kai.  He did incredible besides crazy terrible sleep (but what's new there).  He loved the sand and the ocean and snuggling with mom and dad for literally every nap.  Best part, watching him take it all in.  He learned and grew so much!  He would sit on the beach and watch the waves roll in, digging his feet into the sand.  When he got courageous he would crawl back and forth into the waves and back out into the sand.  He ate his fair share of sand and salt water and peed all over me while nursing on the beach the only time I forgot a swim diaper.  It was also wondering to water Kai interact with John.  He is enamored with his daddy!  I could tell he loved having uninterrupted time with him.  Family vacations are the best!  To see our vacation photos click here!  (They're worth it just to see the water, the perfect shade of turquoise!)

Magen's Bay Beach, St. Thomas

2. I can't believe we're approaching Kai's first birthday.  It's bittersweet for me!  My little baby is gone and in has come a fiery and giggly toddler.  I was attempting to make some invites before starting this post, so we'll see how those turn out.  I can't wait for his party :)

3. Three is a big shout out to my incredible husband.  He had a big project at work (which came to a good point before vacation) so we've had him around a bit more often.  Kai loves it, I love it and the Comet loves it.  I couldn't be more thankful that he is such a hard worker and so motivated.  Sometimes I'm not a very uplifting to him so I'm making it a point to try harder.  John deserves the best from me as he strives to give me his best.  Plus he's the world's best daddy!

4.  Confession:  I've been feeling like motherhood can get lonely, but at the same time sometimes I feel I need time to myself.  Maybe it's because my adult interaction is a lot of times limited to John or because Kai is still little and needs so much attention and care.  It could also be that I'm not very good at looking out for myself.  I basically get whatever time is left after Kai, John, Comet, the house, my family... so there is no time left.  I should probably be working on that.

5. Lastly, since it's August 1st, I'm going to strive to smile more, laugh more and give more hugs.

Thanks for reading!  I'll be back next Friday (hopefully!)

Linking up with Amy @ The Farmer's Wife and Karli @ September Farm today for Oh Hey, Friday!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Six Months.

Height & Weight: You weigh 18 pounds and 4 ounces and you're 27 inches long.  Good gracious, where did my tiny baby go??  

Health: You've been in tip top shape except for two short-lived colds.

Sleep:  You have gotten SO much better! I think the turning point was around five months.  You sometimes have trouble going down at night, but we have a routine and it seems to help.  You have bathtime, look in the mirror and have snuggles with daddy, then you eat and snuggle with me.  I usually lay you down awake and you fall asleep, but sometimes you fall asleep nursing.  I feed you again at 10pm before I go to sleep, but you are generally very drowsy. Most nights you sleep until sometime between 3:30-5:30 (You did make it to 6:40am once!) If you wake up before 4am daddy or I give you your paci and you fall back to sleep.  Your naps had gotten better as well.  Some days are better than others.  I lay you onto your tummy, you snuggle up with my scarf and your paci and most of the time fall asleep.  The past week has been awful and we've had lots of power struggles at nap and at bedtime, but I think it had to do with all the milestones you hit this week.  Bedtime has been close to normal the past three nights, but naptimes are still terrible.  I hope soon  you decide again that little naps are good for both of us.

Diet:  Milk is your favorite, but you've tried carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, peaches, pears and oatmeal.  Tomorrow we're going to try peas :) 

Clothes:  You are a chunker.  You can't even fit into anything six month size, haven't fit into them since 5 months.  You are wearing 9mo-12mo.  Pants are just plain  hard because of your fluffy cloth diaper butt.   

Baby Gear Love:  Your jumper is a favorite!  Recently we bought a high chair and you love it! I think it makes you feel like a big boy.  You love frozen teething toys and anything else that can fit in your mouth.  You have started to like toys that make noise and light up.  You spend lots of your time on the floor with mommy and daddy rolling around and playing toys or looking at books. 

Likes:  You still love bath time, singing silly songs with daddy, tasting different foods, looking at colorful books, video-chatting with aunties or Grandma and Grandpa, petting Comet, going for walks with mommy and being naked.

Dislikes:  When you're tired, but won't sleep, naptime, not being able to figure out a new skill. 

Social:  You enjoy other people, but you're starting to voice your opinion about wanting mommy and/or daddy.  You love your grandparents and aunties and uncles.  I love watching you play with your little friends.  The level of interaction is so wonderful.           

Milestones: The last week was incredible!  On Monday you started lifting your body off the ground on your hands and toes (plank) for less than a second.  Apparently you decided to skip your knees all together for right now.  Tuesday you were holding yourself up for seconds at a time.  Wednesday you were getting into your plank and scooting backwards and sitting up for a few seconds or longer when I'd place you in that position.  Thursday and Friday you were a moving machine scooting yourself across the floor.  Saturday you just continued practicing and then today you rolled from one end of the room to the other and when you couldn't roll anymore you started scooting backwards.  I'm sure forward crawling won't be far off.  You are amazing.  

Nicknames:  Daddy's nickname for you is Boomer and Mommy's is Goober, Gooby, Scooby.
We love you so much sweet little Boo Boo Bear! I can't wait to keep watching you grow!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Start in Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapering can be for everyone, but it certainly doesn't have to be! I'm in it to save money, to reduce what chemicals come in contact with Kai's skin and because he's just so cute wearing his fluff. We have been cloth diapering for about 4.5 months. We are still not cloth diapering full time and I'm not sure if we ever will. He wears one disposable every night. I've tried cloth at night but he always wakes up soaked and that's no fun for anyone. I've been reading up and I could buy different inserts to try, but I don't really know if I want to invest anymore at this time, especially without the assurance it will work for him. I like this blog post talking about different types of cloth diapering mommas. At first I was definitely The Newbie, but have since graduated to The Minimalist, secretly wishing I could be The Stasher. I did so much research and talked to every friend that cloth diapers, but I still think it's trial and error.  My cousin absolutely LOVES her Fuzzibunz and they worked great for her two boys, but the BumGenius have worked much better for Kai.  I hope I end up cloth diapering all the kids we're blessed with, mostly because I want the money we invested to go as far as possible. I'm just going to give a quick list of what we've used and are currently using because I'll write more detailed posts in the coming weeks.  Details on everything is just too much for one post!

What We Have Used:
Lil' Joeys Rumperoos - We were lucky to borrow these from a friend!  They were the first dipe that fit the little guy. 
Fuzzibunz Small - Kai wore these until about two weeks ago.  They weren't my favorite because if I didn't get to changing him quick enough (or didn't notice) right after he peed or pooped we were in for wet/dirty clothing.
WAHM Infant Pockets and AI2s (found incredibly cheap on Craigslist and they were great!)

What We're Currently Using:
Fuzzibunz Medium
BumGenius 4.0s and Freetimes - Snaps -  LOVE both of these :)
Flip Covers and Stay Dry Inserts - Snaps and Aplix - This is an incredible offer on a limited budget. 

Some Randoms I Don't Regularly Reach For:
Gro-Via Shell - Use with disposible inserts.  I got it on Craigslist. I wish I had one of their inserts, but they're expensive in my book.   
Charlie Banana Shell (Never Used) - Craigslist. I have no idea why this didn't have an insert with it. That's probably part of the reason I never reach for it. 
Kawaii (Never Used) - Got for free from Kelly's Closet.  It's too big for Kai still.

Wet Bags: I love all my wetbags!
Kanga Care (large in Blue, loving their new Charlie print!)
Bumkins (small in Croc)
Charlie Banana (small in Construction)

Wipes:
Homemade
Bumkins Flannel Wipes
Homemade Wipe Solution

Keep an eye out for the detailed posts coming soon!  Thanks for stopping by!  Feel free to leave a comment about what you love best in your stash or any questions you might have! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No-Bake Energy Bites

Yesterday I wanted to make something, anything really.  When I'm in that kind of mood I usually wander over to Pinterest to look what I've pinned to see if anything looks good.  I found two pins, Skinny Monkey Cookies and No-Bake Energy Bites.  I weighed the two, both looked equally tasty, but in the end I realized I didn't have applesauce, plus finding time to bake something with a 5 month old seemed like too much work.  No-Bake Energy Bites is it!  I went off the recipe from Smashed Peas and Carrots, but with my own twist.  I also doubled her recipe because as a nursing momma I eat all the time.  I didn't want to eat them all while making them and hoped for some leftovers.  Thankfully there are some left in the fridge for today's consumption :) 

Here's what I used:

2 Cups Oatmeal
1 Cup Peanut Butter*
2/3 Cup Honey **
1 Cup Flaxseed Meal/Ground Flaxseed
1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
2 Cups Crushed Honey Nut Cherrios and Graham Crackers***
2 tsp Vanilla

* I think any nut butter would work, especially if allergies are present.  There are many comments on the post from Smashed Peas and Carrots talking about different choices.  I actually used 1/4 Cup crunchy peanut butter and the rest creamy. That's what what I had on hand and it seemed to work just fine. 
** I used creamed honey from the Farmer's Market and it looked like it had cinnamon in it, but I'm not sure.  I think adding cinnamon and other spices would be great.  
*** I used these because I needed something to replace the coconut in the original recipe.  One I didn't have any coconut and two I don't like coconut.  My huband likes coconut so next time I would possibly split the ingredients in half and add coconut to half for him and maybe dried cranberries or raisins for me.  I would also like to try throwing some chia seeds in.  I love chia seeds :) 

There are so many different combinations that I could try I'm sure I'll be making these in the future!

After putting everything in a bowl I microwaved it for 30-45 seconds, which nicely melted the chocolate chips.  I like the texture better without crunchy chocolate chips.  I mixed it all together and rolled in into balls.  The mixture sat on the table for a little while in the middle so I could tend to Kai, but it didn't seem to matter.  I finished rolling them and put them in the fridge which made them harden.  (The original recipe says to cool and then roll.) They are so darn tasty!  Hopefully they'll last a few more days, but we'll see.  Enjoy!

For a photo check out my Instagram!  My username is emhammar. (My computer wouldn't upload for this post.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This Kid.

Seriously how did I get so lucky?  I can't even begin to put into words the love I have for this little man.  I can't get enough of his rolls, his ticklish toes, his pouty lip when he's sad, his toothless grins (which I don't think will last much longer), his contagious giggles, when he sneaks smiles at his daddy or Comet, his love for bathtime, his snuggles or his love for reading books.  He's my little Goober.  I consider myself so blessed.  I promise to post a six month update around Feb 23!  Stay tuned!