01-22-2016

Five Favorites on Friday | Newborn Baby

So I’ve made it my personal goal to write more on my blog. Not just the monthly updates about Ruby but really work towards making this blog our family’s history.

So naturally, I’m writing a post about five of my favorite new baby things. Because what goes on in my life more than babies? This also will serve as a remember in case I forget what my favorite things are. Mama brain is a REAL thing!

So here’s a list of FIVE of my favorite things for new babies! This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own and I bought all these products myself.

  1. Lil Joey Cloth Diapers

These diapers are my favorites for itty bitty newborns. My babies have all been 7lbs and we cloth diapered Zachary and Ruby from the start. For both of them the first diaper on the bum was a Lil Joey. They fit great, we didn’t have any problems with leaks, and I love their snap down for the umbilical stump. My husband is really awesome and changes the diapers for the first two weeks, these also get the hubby’s thumbs up for ease. I bought a new diaper just for baby Quincy, and guess what? It’s nautical! (Which is truly why I bought it.)

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2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm

Yeah, try saying that 3 times fast! I absolutely love Earth Mama Angel Baby products, and their bottom balm is no exception. When my newborns are first born we try to keep their bum moist so that the horrible meconium poop doesn’t stick to them. It makes diaper changes much easier! I also use this product on older babies when they get diaper rashes and it works great.

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3. A carrier

I’ve tried a few different carriers over the years. The first one I tried was a Baby Bjorn but it definitely was not meant for someone of my height and it was horribly uncomfortable. I’ve also tried a Moby which I liked for around the house but all the tying was not fun while trying to make sure my 4 year old and 2 year old didn’t escape 😉

Which led me to the Ergo, I’m a big fan! And last year for my birthday Jordan told me to get another carrier for the house, while I love the Ergo it’s not great for sitting. Ruby always wanted to be close to me and I needed something I could sit in while teaching homeschool lessons. Enter Baby Hawk! It’s a soft structured carrier like my Ergo, but it ties like the Moby, which makes it so, so, so awesome and very comfortable. Ruby spent a lot of time in it while I’d made dinner or teach lessons.

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4. CJ’s Spritz

Okay, so maybe it’s time to admit that I’m really picky. Or I have a weird thing with scents. I really don’t like unscented wipes. They just…don’t smell clean. But a lot of the smells of scented wipes give me a headache and give my babies a rash. With Audrey we had to use cloth wipes because whatever is in mainstream wipes would make her rash worse. So I’d use water and just a little bit of CJ’s Spritz in a squirt bottle to clean her up. We do the same thing now, except that we just squirt our wipes. This makes the wipe a little wetter, which is useful, and it makes it smell so good! CJ’s has so many yummy scents, my favorites being Sweet Orange and My Pixie Pie.

spritz_so__75319.1431382948.500.7505. WubbaNub Infant Pacifier

I saved my favorite for last. Because without these I don’t know what I’d do! I’ve breast fed the last 3 babies with ranging success (2 weeks-10 months. It’s a range!) But around day 3 I need something to help them sleep that isn’t my boob. These pacifiers are the BEST. I swaddle up my baby and pop the pacifier in their mouth after they’ve fallen asleep and I’ve unlatched them. The little stuffed animal makes it so easy to find in the dark, and it also holds just enough weight that if they stop sucking it will hold it in place for them. They come with a Soothie pacifier attached, but I’m now seeing that you can buy one that you can attach to any pacifier. I think Quincy might need one 😉

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And here’s my Ruby modeling how we swaddle and pacifier the baby. With Audrey snuggling her, because that’s a big part of being the baby! Lots of snuggles.

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Next week I’ll share my favorite products FOR MAMA.

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01-04-2016

Hello, 2016!

Well, it’s time for a new year, which means it’s time to review last year’s goals.

And laugh.

I mean, see how well I did. And create some new ones for 2016!

My goals for 2015 were:

(Actually I made 12, but lost my list, so here are the ones I had on the blog.)

-Finish Ruby’s baby quilt. CHECK!

-Finish Audrey’s big girl quilt. CHECK!

-Have a baby girl named Ruby in February. Kind of check? I had a baby girl named Ruby…in January! SURPRISE.

-Graduate with my AA from Portland Community College. CHECK!

-Start my bachelors degree at Washington State University. CHECK.

-Buy a house by November. Kind of check? We bought a house, in December!

-Sell enough Jamberry nail wraps to take my family to Disneyland.

Yup, insert the laughter. ‘Cause that didn’t come anywhere close to happening! Oh, well! Disneyland will be a great place for them to go later in life…like their honeymoon.

-Post more on the blog. I don’t think this really happened. So better luck next year!

Looking back, I did pretty well. Granted my goals were things I pretty much planned to do anyway, so that might be why it worked out for me. But I really liked that. Goals that one can actually accomplish.

So my goals for 2016…

-Make a blanket for Quincy

-Finish Zachary’s twin sized quilt

-Unpack the house

-Donate a ton of our stuff. Because we have TOO MUCH STUFF.

-Convert our homeschool schedule to year round and 4 days a week.

-Have Quincy in May.

-Start saving money for our 10 year wedding anniversary which is in two years!

-Finish my ABC cross stitching

-Take the kids to Mt. Hood next December

There we go, 9 goals for 2016! Let’s rock this! <3

2015 was definitely a good time for our family. We had a few really crappy years there, and 2015 really made up for it. We started off with the birth of Ruby, we are blessed to be expecting a baby boy, we bought a house that is WAY better than we ever thought we’d be able to find, Zachary potty trained, Sydney was baptized, Audrey didn’t have any ear infections, surgeries, or ER trips. We traveled to Idaho, saw family from Utah and Germany. It’s been an amazing year and we are looking forward to what’s in store for us this year!

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12-29-2015

11 Months | Ruby Lyndis

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Well, this is the last month of Ruby’s first year.

And it’s very sad to me to think that she’s almost a year!!

She is very independent in most things.

This month we moved! We bought a house in Battle Ground, and Ruby is loving crawling up the stairs. In this house she has her own room (it’s a half room), it took a couple of nights to get her to sleep in it, but it finally happened.

She loves to say “ooooo” to just about everything.

When she doesn’t like something she does what we call the “devil banshee scream.” The name is pretty self explanatory.

She’s figured out how to hold her bottle while sitting up.

When she is really hungry and you are shaking the bottle she will spit out her pacifier and throw it across the room.

She also throws the pacifier when she isn’t ready for sleeping and she thinks you’re going to make her go to sleep.

Throws the bottle when it’s empty or doesn’t want it anymore. Apparently she likes to throw.

Just discovered books!

Loves to give mama kisses.

My first child to not be afraid of the vacuum

Wasn’t afraid of Santa. Wasn’t particularly fond of him, but no tears.

Loves to pull things out of drawers.

Starting to climb more every day.

Starting to gain more confidence with walking.

Finally got two more teeth on December 26th, 2015.

I can’t believe that next month she’s going to be ONE. This little girl has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives over the past 11 months.

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12-26-2015

Christmas!

Once upon a time I use to photoshop every single picture I posted. I’d swap out faces, fix flaws, and crop out what I didn’t like in order to have the “perfect” picture every single time.

And now I’m finding joy in the pictures that aren’t perfect. The faces that are silly. This is life. There are no edits, no do overs.

It’s messy, it’s imperfect. And it’s beautiful.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Enjoy the pictures.

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This Christmas was a bit different than years previous. We moved into our new house on December 22nd. It was a crazy exhausting day, but before Jordan and I went to bed that night we set up the Christmas tree. The next day the kids decorated it a little bit, I think we had like 10% of our normal Christmas ornaments on the tree. No tree topper. No ribbon. The rest of the house was sparsely decorated. Unless you count boxes and random stuff everywhere “decorated” 😉 No Santa plate. No cookies. Not even milk, because we didn’t have a refrigeration yet. That’s okay though, Santa doesn’t care. Our Elf on the Shelf only came twice this year, his job was easy! Our Christmas countdown started at “2 Days Until Christmas!” Stockings weren’t hung, they lay on the coffee table. My Christmas cards were late.

But in it’s simplicity it was wonderful. The kids still enjoyed themselves, loved their presents, and had way too much candy. Sydney and Audrey slept on the couch, read a few Christmas books. In years past we’ve let them watch Christmas movies until they passed out but our computer wasn’t hooked up to the TV yet, so that didn’t happen either. Zachary was booted for being a pest within an hour and slept in his bedroom. On the floor, because his bed wasn’t put together yet. Ruby slept in her pack and play in her room. Regardless of all of our “not normal” things it was enjoyable and it was memorable.

The girls tried to wake us up at 3 am, and were sent back to sleep.

I made all four kids their own pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama pants. And they each got a shirt that was one of the turtles “colors.”

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11-29-2015

10 Months! | Ruby Lyndis

This is another month in which we are going to pretend that I’m on it 😉

This month has been very exhausting! We are in the process of buying a house, and really I feel like that is a full time job! I’ve pretty much sworn that I’m never doing it again.

Anyhow, my baby is really cute.

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This last month introduced us to a few new things with Miss Ruby.

Ruby celebrated her first Halloween, and her first costume was a representation of the Gryffindor house at Hogwarts. She makes mama proud 😉

She also celebrated her first Thanksgiving, she enjoyed eating all the yummy foods! Mashed potatoes, yams, and rolls were her favorites.

She started letting go of furniture and leaning with her bum against the couch. Eventually this turned into her “trying” to walk, which was basically her belly flopping onto the floor and becoming very irritated.

She hates pants!

She figured out how to climb up the stairs.

She has taken a few steps unassisted, if she’s properly motivated.

No new teeth yet, but it looks like we are working on those top teeth.

She has figured out how to pull on her hair bows. Which means she usually snaps herself in the face.

I’ve convinced Jordan to keep her bows on during church. The compromise is that she won’t wear one the other days of the week, or the rest of the day on Sunday. Only during church. This deal does have the clause about monthly photos being taken.

She doesn’t try to suck her thumb anymore. She’s purely a binkie baby.

When she gets angry about being put in her crib she throws her binkie or bottle out of the crib. Then screams because she actually wanted those.

She’s FINALLY settled down into something that resembles a routine. She is usually awake at 8 am, eats, then plays until about 11 in which it is time for a short 30-60 minute nap. Eat around 1, play, sleep at 3 until about 5, play until 8. Bedtime seems to be either 8 or 10 depending on her mood. Occasionally she will fall asleep on her own, but on the days where she can’t I’m enjoy the snuggles.She claps about everything. If something makes a big noise she says, “Ooooo.” She waves, in the sense that she sticks her hand out. No actual movement yet, so we joke that she’s saying, “Goodbye, peasants! Your queen is leaving now.”Oh, and guess what? Ruby’s going to be a BIG SISTER in May! <3DSC_7519

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10-31-2015

Halloween 2015

When your mom has had a Harry Potter addiction for the past 14 years (which is more than half her life, let’s be honest here) it’s only natural that at one point in your life you’ll have to dress up as Harry Potter characters to please her.

2015 was that year.

Why did I wait so long? (Several of my friends have expressed confusion that I waited until now.)

Well, I currently have four beautiful children, and there are four Hogwarts houses. (Also, spell check didn’t try to tell me that Hogwarts isn’t a word. I can die happy now.)

SO THIS IS THE YEAR!

Now, while I am completely obsessed, I am really careful with my children and what I let be put into their minds. We don’t do scary, and the Harry Potter books can get scary for some children, and the later books get darker and IMO too dark for my small kiddos. So, I make them wait until they are eight years old to read the first three books. The rest are undecided on what ages they are appropriate.

So, only Sydney has read any of the books. She’s the only one who understood it. The rest of them just went along with it to please me 😉 They’re awesome!

Sydney is my intelligent, reader who thinks long and hard on everything. So clearly she’s Ravenclaw. Audrey is loyal, true, and the sweetest little girl I know. She’s also a particularly good finder (in case you’ve seen A Very Potter Musical, haha) so she’s the perfect Hufflepuff. Zachary is a stinker, so he’s Slytherin 😉 And Ruby is brave to join our family (okay…so I already had a Gryffindor diaper, so she automatically got Gryffindor.)

HAlloween

This year we saw the grandparents, and got soaking wet getting back to the car, so we decided against going to our yearly Trunk or Treat, since it was pouring buckets. No thanks! Instead we went to my mom’s house and my sister did my make up. Which made up for my lack of a costume.

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This year we only carved FOUR pumpkins, despite having six ready for us. Jordan’s rotted quickly so it got tossed. And after carving theirs I just didn’t feel like carving another, so just the four this year. Next year we might just paint them, because this is the reality.

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Seriously, EVERY. STINKING. YEAR.

Okay, so actually the kids were not too bad this year. Audrey did scoop out a lot of her pumpkin, and Sydney gave it a good effort (her pumpkin had extremely an extremely tough shell, it was difficult for Jordan and I), and Zachary was a stinker.

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In the beginning Zachary ran off after blowing raspberries at us.

In the middle Audrey got bored and Sydney got frustrated.

So in the end, they watched Hocus Pocus. Jordan scooped, I carved, and Ruby ate a snack.

This year our theme was “simple” so the kids either choose a face from Pinterest (and EASY one) or drew their own, and I carved it out. Jordan did Ruby’s sunshine.

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That’s a wrap! We had fun, got lots of yummy goodies, and stayed warm and dry tonight while we watched Hotel Transylvania with the kiddos, pausing it to pass out candy to those brave souls who were trick or treating.

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10-29-2015

Nine Months Old | Ruby Lyndis

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Look! It’s still October, so I’m doing pretty good. And this picture was taken ON her 9th month, so I’m doing REALLY good.

Do you recognize that bed? Nope, it’s not mine. But it’s the same bed that I was on while I had my maternity pictures taken, NINE MONTHS AGO!

But seriously, my baby is now nine months old. Just no, not cool, Miss Ruby.

Ruby loves to be sang to, her favorite is Fall Out Boy. I usually sing “Alone Together” while I rock her to sleep.

Ruby also likes to dance to Fall Out Boy, especially “Phoenix.” Okay…maybe I just like Fall Out Boy and I listen to them often. But it’s why my kids like my music 😉

She is doing better on the sleep front. I feel badly for complaining that she’s my worst sleeper, because in reality she isn’t a bad sleeper. But her 3 older siblings were fantastic sleepers. She’s just not fantastic at sleeping yet.

But she did sleep in her own bed for an entire week, she went to sleep in it and woke up 10 hours later in it. Which is pretty awesome.

She loves fleece blankets. I hate fleece, so Jordan (and probably my Gramma) get a good laugh about it.

She’s not so much a thumb sucker anymore, and is a big fan of her pacifier.

She doesn’t like pureed food, but loves table food. Jordan is awesome at feeding her things off his plate. She loves beans!

She has started to tease her brother, and she LOVES making him angry. He is definitely her favorite person and if he pays her any attention she’s laughing up a storm.

She got TWO teeth this month!

This month she got to go to the pumpkin patch.

This girl can be such a calm, patient little thing. And luckily she chooses pretty good times to do that. But most of the time she wants to be on the floor getting into EVERYTHING. She loves CDs, she loves to clap her hands, pull herself up on anything and everything, she is constantly moving around!

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10-01-2015

Why I Homeschool, No Apologies

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Every single time I talk to someone new I get asked where my children go to school. I absolutely hate this question, because I know the response I will get as soon as I say I homeschool.

“Oh, wow. I could never do that.”

or

“I wish I could homeschool, but I’m just not patient enough to do so.”

I really hate both these statements.

I want to start off this post by saying something; I am not patient in the least. That’s not me being modest. Or humble. I’m seriously not patient. When listing my attributes no one would ever use the word patient to describe me. No one ever has, and no one ever will. But yet I get that label the second someone hears I homeschool.

Want to know why I homeschool?

First, I am extremely selfish. I worked hard to get my babies here. Most were overdue, and most took lots of planning, dedication, tons of tears, prayers and my savings account to get here. I don’t want to share them. I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. I want to watch them learn and grow. This is also why we’ve made it a priory for me to stay home with my kids. I was there for their first smile, their first laugh, first tooth, first step. I want to be there for the first time they solve a long division problem, the first time they successfully sound out a word. I want to be there when they surpass my math abilities. And they will surpass my math abilities, in a few years in fact.

Second, I’m paranoid. I do not believe that school is the safest place for my children to be. I don’t think school is a positive place to be. I think that’s it can be extremely harming to your self worth. I was bullied through most of school, and I don’t think it gave me “character.” I don’t think that being teased and tormented daily is a necessary part of life. I don’t think it made me a better person. It made me a more sarcastic person, it gave me zero tolerance for it. And school is not a safe place for that. Zero tolerance rules don’t keep bulling out, they just mean that you get bullied badly enough that you’re scared, and ashamed, to tell. Which I don’t think it useful for the real world. In the real world that’s harassment, and it’s illegal. It’s not “kids just being kids.” It’s adults losing their jobs and having restraining orders filed against them.

Third, I honestly fail to see why school is so long and then kids come home with a mountain of homework. You kept my kid for 7 hours a day, and then there are several hours of homework? No. And my lack of patience? I think I’d stab myself in the eye if I had to help with homework. If you teach the lesson it’s way easier to help with the work. But if you weren’t there then the teacher is always correct and you are wrong. Eye stabbing.

Forth, I love the one on one personalized education that I can give my children. I spend an entire year (preschool) learning all about my child’s learning style. I learn what works, what doesn’t, what causes anxiety, their strengths and their weaknesses. When we start kindergarten they know the school drill, they know what’s expected of them and I know how to teach them. I love that each subject is individualized for them, their learning style and their ability. If a curriculum doesn’t work for a child we can change it so that it does work. I’m not smashing them through a mold and hoping it works out. I was once told that this was damaging because it makes them think it’s all about them and that they aren’t use to having to wait. I laugh. Last year, and in Kindergarten, Sydney was given lessons while I nursed a new baby and kept a toddler from harm. There is always someone yelling or jumping off of something. They have learned to study in a war zone, and they’ve learned to be patient while I get to them because their needs aren’t always met first. So she’s learning to pull out a book during the boring moments in life. I call this a win.

Fifth, I absolutely love the relationships they are developing with each other. Sydney and Audrey are best friends, they get to spend all day every day with each other. The most important relationships they will ever have are with their family. If you can get along with your siblings then you can get along with anyone. Especially when one of those siblings does everything in his power to irritate you.

And most importantly? I homeschool because it is what I feel is best for my children. These are my children that I have been entrusted with. It doesn’t make me a better mother because I homeschool. It doesn’t make you a worse mother because you send your children to public school. My job is to do what I believe is best for my children. Period. Their needs above mine. I’m not going to lie, this is hard work. But anything worth while is difficult. Yes, it would be nice to go to the grocery store without four kids in toe, and it would be nice to have some alone time. Both of those things will happen, long before I’m ready, and before I know it. I’ll enjoy them then, but for now I’m enjoying learning with my children.

And PS, you could so homeschool and you’d rock it. But if you don’t want to that’s okay too. We live in an awesome day and age where we have choices. You might think you’d never be able to homeschool, but I think I’d never be able to send my children to public school. You do you, but let’s still be friends. If you want to homeschool though, I’ll be your cheerleader. I look great in the uniform! 😉

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09-29-2015

8 Months! | Ruby Lyndis

We are going to pretend I’m on top of this. But honestly, she’s almost 9 months, so this post is a wee bit late.

Anyhow, Ruby turned 8 months!web

This sweet girl can pull herself to a stand, sit, and sometimes crawl on her hands and knees. But usually she prefers to army crawl.

She loves to get into things, paper being her favorite.

No teeth yet.

Wearing size 6 months clothes still.

Zachary is her favorite, she always has a smile for him.

She clicks her tongue, but uses the back of her tongue and not the front. We spent a while trying to figure out how to do that.

She still isn’t a great sleeper. She now stays up until 10 or 11 playing until she passes out. Life is apparently way too much fun.

She loves Cherrios.

Not a big fan of squash, but will now accept bananas.

She scrunches her noses and gives a really cheesy smile when she’s excited.

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09-21-2015

Audrey’s Bob Books| {Freebie!}

We are five weeks into school now and I decided to give Audrey another go with Bob Books. Previously we’d tried a few different approaches to reading with Miss Aud, and unfortunately she became super frustrated with all of them. Since I didn’t know where she was skill-wise with the Bob Books we started having her read them all, which helped me figure out where she was and also boost her confidence.

Audrey loves stickers, and she loves the accomplishment of adding a sticker to a chart. With Sydney we used this Bob Book process chart and it was fantastic. But Audrey is overwhelmed a little more easily and can get discouraged quickly. So I started looking for a single book set process chart and was finding very little success.

So what do you do? You make one! I also figured I’d share with all of you. She just finished the first set of beginning readers and tomorrow we will start the Kindergarten Sight Words set. In our house after every single book set they get to have a date. They get to choose who goes on the date with them and what the activity is.

Audrey’s first chosen date is taking the whole family out to ice cream. She’s such a kind hearted considerate little girl <3

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