Rekindle Your Relationship

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Kids take a toll on a marriage. They do. No denying this fact. We all have friends that talk about how wonderful their marriage is and how the kids made them stronger and more happy and I say quietly in my head “Yeah right.” Not they didn’t. Sure, your children may have strengthened a bond between you, of course. But then when it’s 2am and a child is scream crying because they have a cold and your husband didn’t put the medicine back in the medicine cabinet and you are forced to search the house because it is missing, don’t try and tell me your tone of voice you use with him is the same one you used before kids arrived. This new tone of voice coming from your body is hard core, demeaning, annoyed, cutting at times depending on the situation, and very ugly. Personally, you hate that your voice sounds like this and the words coming out are what they are, but hey, you are flippin’ tired as hell and your husband doesn’t do what in your mind are the easiest tasks to keep things in life straight forward and simple. I’m projecting. This is our situation and I’m sure some women have husbands who do the voice, but from what I hear it comes mostly from the mommy’s mouth because we are, after all, always right.

And this is the beginning. Then you take into account that you both have 500 more chores now with a baby around, less energy, less sleep, and of course way less sex. If you don’t have less sex, let’s face it. The sex you are having is more on a “let’s have sex” quickie style and then move on. The days seem to be over where your sex drive is thriving and it all seemed so much easier and more natural. It becomes the dreaded……..clockwork.

What inevitably happens now, without this connection, without the sex, without the loving words, is resentment. Anger. Frustration. Disconnect. And then that awful tone in your voice starts happening all the time.

So yes, this can be sad. This can take over. This can ruin or even end a marriage. But instead of sitting around thinking about how unhappy you are, maybe try a few positive things to help restore your love and connection. We all, myself included, find it easier to truck along and let the negative sides creep in without facing them straight on right away. The longer we wait and settle in, the harder it will be to dig out. This hole of resentment can get pretty deep if we let it. So let’s dig people.

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Amazing Toddler Activities for Learning

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Now that I have a three year old, the old games we have been using are old news. I can see it in his eyes every morning when he wakes up, this kid need to be stimulated. His brain is like a sponge needing to be filled with knowledge about the world around him. So, faced with the task of keeping him growing both in body and mind, I have tried several inventive activities (and am trying more every day) to keep him appeased. And of course I will let you in on my favorites AND least time consuming for mommies everywhere. And keeping up with my “use what you have in the home” theme, most of these you won’t send you out shopping….much.

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Healthiest Formula for your Baby

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There are so many reasons your baby may need formula and none of us expect it to happen to us, until it does. You may feel down about this happening to you, but you can’t beat yourself up about it. Your baby will thrive and be as healthy as any other baby no matter what you chose to do. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as going to you local grocery store chain and buying the formula off the shelf, or even using a sample of formula given to you by your doctor. I have a long standing beef with the Food and Drug Administration in this country which I will not go into here, but I have learned since having kids not to trust anything off the shelf anymore. Most of the products you see on our shelves in America have ingredients that are banned in many countries. Crazy right? So when you are faced with a formula decision and are staring at the endless brands before you, don’t feel overwhelmed. Here is the best article I have ever found comparing each organic formula and the ingredients they contain to help you make the best choice for you and your baby.

Now, maybe you don’t want to jump into buying formula and would like to make your own? Formulas can be very very expensive and even the best ones have preservatives, so making your own at home will not only save you tons of money, but will be the healthiest option for your baby if they cannot have breast milk. It sounds like it would be hard to do, but in reality it’s very easy and only takes up to 10 minutes to make a day. This homemade option is fresh, healthy, and full of all the nutrients your baby needs to thrive without ingredients you may not want. Here is a full breakdown on how to make several types of formula (including options if your baby has a milk allergy) and also an amazing instructional video taking you through the steps. Again, if you have the energy, this is the best and most healthy option for your baby if breast milk is not an option.

Just remember you are an amazing mother, breast-feeding or not. And your baby will be happy, full of yummy food and grow to be big and strong with these wonderful and nutritious options.

Enjoy!

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

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These funny cards are easy to make at home and will make everyone who gets one smile from ear to ear. Here’s how:

  1. Take a photo of your little one holding a pole that is white. Umbrella pole, mop, whatever you can find.
  2. Put the picture on the computer and add font and hearts through some kind of photo editor. I use Pixlr Express.
  3. Print in 4 x 6 on card stock paper
  4. Cut out photo
  5. Make a small hole in the top of the pole image and slide the lollypop stick through
  6. Glue the photo onto previously cut to size red or pink construction paper
  7. That’s all folks

Hope you enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Must haves for the New Mom

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This is an awesome post, I have to say it. I wish this post existed when I was first pregnant. I have about 10 friends giving birth at roughly the same time this year, so I am inspired to let them know my essential must have list for their new babies. I swear I think we wasted at least a few thousand dollars on unnecessary items that we either never needed or the kids hated. Now, 3 years in and with 2 kids under my belt, I have a perfect honed down list of the items that will change your whole life. I will also write a few tips in here with each item that makes it easier, better and cheaper. And maybe at the end I will include the waste of time and money items as well. I included a trillion links to make your life easier.

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Replacing your Medicine Cabinet – Essential Oils

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Wow, has my life been changed by using these guys. I’m an idiot. A good friend told me all about these about 2 years ago and while I did listen, I never fully explored or embraced the uses of essential oils. I loved them, I felt that they made my house smell amazing, but I didn’t fully encompass the healing powers until now. Flash forward to my second baby, little to no sleep, desperate, and I am reminded by several other mothers that essential oils may do the trick to help my baby sleep through the night (after I also break him of the atrociously bad sleep habits I had aided him in forming as well). My first night using essential oils on my 6 month old and IMMEDIATELY he sleeps 12 hours through the night and blew my mind. THE FIRST NIGHT. Talk about instant results!!!

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Plastic Alternatives in the Household

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Plastic is awful. I mean, it’s convenient and is easy to use and comes in all kinds of fun colors and patterns to seduce us, but underneath all that flirtation is a big skull and crossbones. I know, but my plastic is BPA free! Ok, good for your plastic. But scary new research has come out reporting that “almost all” commercially available BPA free plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren’t exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun’s ultraviolet rays. According to research, some BPA-free products actually released synthetic estrogens that were more potent than BPA. AH!!!

Okay, so I glance in my pantry and see that although I know I shouldn’t really be using plastics, I still have quite a bit that I use on a regular basis. Damn. Baby bottles, Continue reading

Glyphosate – Veggies with a side of Autism

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This is a scary post. I hate scary posts, but this one is important. Recent research has shown that HALF of all children will have Autism by the year 2025. This is presumed to be caused partly by the intake of a wonderful pesticide called Glyphosate. Glyphosate is sprayed on crops to kill weeds and other crop killing plants that may interfere with the bottom line for farmers, mostly in GMO crops. So while you are feeding your child a healthy dish of greens, he or she may be getting a nice unhealthy dose of this disease causing pesticide which has been linked to Parkinson’s, gut problems and other chronic illnesses. The primary food groups of the Standard American Diet (SAD); that being, wheat, sugar, corn and soy; contain significantly more residual amounts of glyphosate because they are commonly grown using genetically engineered seeds and therefore, sprayed with glyphosate. That’s another strike on the ever growing list as to why you may want to reconsider consuming these foods as part of your diet. These residues “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.” 

When selecting what we eat at the store of farmer’s market, it’s so important to know the source of these foods, what has been put into them before they reach your plate and whether or not Glyphosate is one of those ingredients. The fight against GMO foods has to soon come to an end, mostly by consumers like us refusing to purchase anything that isn’t GMO free. It starts with us mommies, protecting our children from the great “unknown” that these companies serve us on a silver platter. If you want more information that will scare the pants off of you, click here.

 

Top Rated Products

I have found a few products and tricks that I could not live without. Being a Makeup Artist, I get free things sent to me all the time in the hopes that I use them on Celebrity clients. Some are good, some are bad, and some are downright amazing. Some I even find on my own. Here they are.

1. Origins White Tea Anti Aging Facial Moisturizer

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Biodegradable City

We have always used biodegradable diapers in our home and tried to stop using other deposable anythings like cups, straws, paper towels etc. But if you take a look at the amount of plastic that goes into just making the trash bags and zip lock bags we use, it’s enough to make someone cry. Straight into our planet for the next million years for our children’s children to deal with. There are AMAZING alternatives that I have found, and if you have Amazon Prime you get them shipped free, without tax. I just wanted to share some bags that are as good (if not better) than the ones you are using that are killing our planet. Here ya go!

Two alternatives to rock your world (and save it).

Heavy Duty Garbage Bags (for your kitchen bins):

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Freezer Bags:

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Both are right on Amazon and easy as pie to have delivered within 2 days, shipping is FREE. Hopefully these help, I have tried a number of companies with weak bags and these stand the true test. Enjoy!

 

 

Sensory Activities to keep your Toddler Busy

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Being a mother of one is the hardest job in the world. Being a mother of 2 really takes acquiring some kind of super powers. One day is fine, smooth, perfect. The next, you are a raging lunatic in a house filled with 2 more tiny little raging lunatics. I am on a quest to find ways to make things not only easier for ME, but also ways in which I don’t have to sit my toddler down to watch Thomas the Train every time I need time with the baby. I feel so bad resorting to t.v., so here are a few things I found which not only teach your child but give you free time as well. Here we go!

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Introducing…. Keaton Thomas! (a.k.a. labor still sucks)

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It’s been awhile since my last post but I have a good reason, I made a person. Another person. And this time I didn’t have a doula, I didn’t attend any expensive hypnobirthing classes, and I knew (unlike last time) exactly what was about to go down. I knew how it would look (like a war zone) and how it would feel (um, ouch), and that I would have zero dignity or modesty left by the end of this process. My doctor assured me that the second time was so different, that the baby would just fall right out. Needless to say, the baby did not fall out. Actually, as soon as the first contraction hit (once again I started in stage 3 labor, I skip the foreplay for some reason) I knew exactly what I was in for. I made it to the hospital and explained that yes I had stated I wanted another natural drug-free labor like I had before, but that I changed my mind and would like drugs. Drugs now please. Like, right now, what’s the hold up? Sadly, they took so long checking me in and processing me and getting nurses in the room that my husband had arrived and explained to me how much I want a drug free labor yada yada yada blah blah blah. I got scammed. I felt it all. It was work work work work work but after 7 hours I delivered a happy 8 lb. 3 oz. baby boy. His name is Keaton. He doesn’t sleep. Welcome to round 2! I will more than likely start having posts creep in on the dealings of 2 kids and maybe a few more therapeutic cries for help, just a warning. All in all, I feel like my family is finally complete and the missing piece is finally here. Extreme happiness mixed with severe sleep deprivation is a hell of a drug.

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For a tutorial on how to take monthly pictures of your newborn like the one you see above, click here. 

Homemade Fun and Games

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It is a constant struggle to keep my almost 2 year old entertained, I give him a new toy and it lasts about 1 day before it is old news. But there are a few fail safe games he loves and if I put a new twist to them he gets re-interested and begins fresh again with renewed interest. But, I am still trying to think outside the box and switch things up, so here are a few of the homemade ideas that not only worked in our house but stand the test of time. Boys or girls alike will love each and every one of these games and I dare them to not stay interested. Here they are….

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Fevers – Our friend!

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The first time Jack got a fever I was panicked. Horrified. I thought he was going to die. I called the doctor in the middle of the night expecting him to tell me to go straight to the emergency room. Not only did he NOT advise me to go straight to the hospital, he also didn’t sound too concerned about a 103 fever at all. He asked a few questions and then said to keep my son comfortable and hydrated and to use fever reducers only if he seemed in pain or achy. I was shocked.

Now, many many MANY fevers later and less of a nervous wreck about every little thing, I have learned exactly why my doctor was not on high alert about my son’s fever. It’s because fevers are good! And after lots of research it makes perfect sense why they are good. Here is the skinny:

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Advent Calendar Obsession

I wrote a post last Christmas season about making your own advent calendar. It involved sewing, cutting, stitching, and about 2 weeks of hard work and labor. This year as I unpacked my Christmas decorations I found no advent calendar, and after inquiring and accusing right and left I am left empty handed. SO BUMMED! This was supposed to be the advent calendar that my children passed down to their children and so on and so on! Deep breath. I’m also feeling much more lazy than I was last year so there is no way in hell I am going to try to recreate it. Having said that I decided to research every idea of an advent calendar using things from around my house and I actually found some great ideas. Perks: They don’t take up space in my garage. They are festive and cheery. Jack can help make and decorate them which he loves. They are cheap. They won’t crush all your hopes and dreams if you lose them. AND they take 5 seconds to make. Here are my top picks for advent calendars this year!

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