When Dust Bunnies Mate…

So a few days ago, I dared to take a peak under our bed and thought hmmm…maybe it would be a good idea to go through everything “stored” (in other words, all those random things we’ve just shoved under there, not having a clue where else to put them =)) under the bed and give the rug a good vacuum…Oh…my…goodness gracious, ALABAMA!!! There was sooooooo much dust! Yuck, gross, ughhh! It was like a bunch of little dust bunnies got together and mated! (And you know what they say about rabbits! Hmm?)
So as I’m pulling things out and disturbing all the dust that’s been collecting while no one’s been watching, it starts flying everywhere. All I’m thinking is my bedding that was just freshly laundered is going back in the washer and all the furniture I had just dusted is gonna need another serious wipe down! I know…you’re probably thinking, “Crazy lady, why would you do all those other things first?” But remember, this was an impromptu cleaning emergency caused by my sudden discovery of the dust that had been harmlessly collecting for some time, but was now attacking my house and innocent children! Worst of all…I’M ALLERGIC TO DUST! So just imagine…I’m a mad woman with vacuum extension in hand, twisting and turning in every direction trying desperately to suck up each speck of dust that flies into the air, meanwhile trash talking every last one of them. “Take THAT, you little piece of fluff!” (What can I say? I’m passionate!)
I admit before kids I did a much better job of keeping up with dust, but now I’m just relying on my sinuses to adapt to their surroundings. Sorry allergies, but you just gotta deal!
I’m happy to report though that the dust from beneath the bed has been conquered…at least for now! And baseboards…watch out! You’re next!

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Hidden Potential: The Beauty of Building Blocks

So maybe this won’t be all that enlightening to most, but I just have to say I think building blocks are great!…awesome…totally cool…the bomb? I don’t know…whatever today’s lingo equivalent is.

Anyways, building blocks! I know they are a rather simple concept, multicolored blocks of varying size and shape that interlock to create a myriad of children’s creations. Create creations?…probably not the best description, but you get what I mean. However, these little guys have potential! And if there’s one thing I’m addicted to…it’s potential! Hence, all the random things I hold onto in the hopes of one day turning them into something fabulous! That’s another story, but for now, here are some of the things I use my building blocks, I mean Layla and Kenley’s building blocks, for… =)

1) Building- The very reason they were created! Build, stack, create away! Watch in amazement as those blocks turn into monstrous towers, airplanes, dinosaurs, giraffes, trees, etc. My 3 year old made her’s into an ark and then decorated it with her animal bath toys! (I forgot that the bath toys still had water in them…you know, the kind you squirt? Needless to say there was a sneak attack on Mommy, but you better believe I retaliated! Good times!)  =)

2) Colors- For the little one not quite ready to do a lot of building, the blocks can be used to teach basic colors. I divide up the colors to make towers or objects . Then I take some of the leftover blocks and ask my youngest which tower it goes to. To help with motor skills, I try to get her to actually stack with me.

3) Patterns- For my 3 year old, I use them to teach the concept of patterns.  I create various patterns stacking the blocks and then try to see if she can continue it with the leftover blocks.  As she grasps the concept better, I can make the patterns more complicated and eventually she can create her own.

So there you have it! My esteem for building blocks! I know…I’m a total nerd. Building Blocks…fun for all…who’d of thought?!

But seriously if you have a use I haven’t thought of, please leave a comment and let me know! =)

Hugs…

Elizabeth

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Signs You Are a Mom #16

16. You’ve discovered the art of distinguishing the face (and stance) that says, “Leave me alone, Mommy, I’m pooping!”

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Creative Mom Idea #1: Displaying Your Child’s Art

For all of you moms out there that have a special little artist in the family, this just might be for you! My three-year-old, Layla, LOVES painting, drawing, coloring…really anything artsy! Not having much room on my frig to display her lovely artwork, I decided to purchase a frame that could be hung prominently in our kitchen and designated to original masterpieces by my little resident artist! About once a week, she chooses one of her new works to be put on display for family and guests to admire. It’s become quite the big deal to her and she has even taken it upon herself to name her pieces!
So go out, get yourself a frame and matte (the matte definitely makes it look more professional =) ), and enjoy your kiddo’s priceless works of art! (Ooh, and if you have a few or several little artists running around, you could make a wall collage of frames filled with their artwork that gets switched out periodically!) And don’t forget to take digital photos if you can’t hold on to EVERY precious picture! Happy Art Collecting!

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On Your Mark…Get Set…GO!!!

Well, the last week completely flew by for our family.  It was jam-packed with appointments, meetings, but lots of fun as well…including a daddy-daughters’ date at the children’s museum and a mommy’s day out for me…yippee!!!

Now, I told you I would let you know how the beginning of last week went when I was absolutely dragging. Well, I’m happy to report that the girls and I had a great day.  We found a great spot in our community that has a little hill and bunch of small bushes and trees…just perfect for…AN EGG HUNT!

I know, I know…Easter was in the spring, but it was so much fun! I keep the little plastic colored eggs in a bucket for the girls to play with in their toy chest so we just used those! I filled a couple of them with quarters because the girls love the rides at our local mall and I figured that would give them a little something else to look forward to on another day!

Kenley is still too young to hunt for eggs, but she was an excellent helper! She even spotted a purple one and pointed very enthusiastically until Layla grabbed it for her! It was a great time for all three of us! We then went to our playground for a bit, but didn’t last long before heading back home because somebody had to use the potty…no, it was not me!

After the potty break, we made lunch and then discussed our plans for an obstacle course! Layla and I brainstormed what we could use.  I was super impressed when she suggested that we grab the sit n’ spin from the garage and use that.  I thought, “Perfect!”  We gathered all our goodies, headed to the basement, and built our course! Here’s how it went…

(With great excitement) “On your mark…get set…GO!!!!!”

1) Hit the music button on the sit n’ spin, sit, and spin away, making at least one full rotation

2) Jump off and get dressed up…a backpack, a necklace, a bracelet, and a hat! (remember, I have girls =))

3) While all dressed up, perform a quick hopscotch using colorful bath tub grippies (I don’t know what you call ‘em, but they’re those colorful circles that suction to the bath tub floor so kids don’t slip!…we use them to make hopscotch all the time =))

4) Remove hat, backpack, necklace, and bracelet and skillfully maneuver your way through the tunnel! (one of those tunnels that usually attaches to a kid tent)

5) Escape from the tunnel, grab the purple ball, and shoot it into the laundry basket…SCORE!!! Obstacle complete!  Woo-hoo!!!

It was great, and as the girls went through it (I helped Kenley, of course) we did a play by play commentary! Layla really liked that part =)!

I ran through the obstacle several times too and I’m pretty sure that by the end of the day, I was more worn out by it than the girls =)! But yeah, it turned out to be a pretty wonderful day =)! Now if I could just manage to get my laundry done, the bathrooms cleaned, the dishes put away, the floors vacuumed… =)

I’d love to hear about some of the fun you are having with your kiddos as the summer wraps up, so please feel free to leave a comment and share your adventures!

Hugs,

Elizabeth

 

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Fake it ’til You Make It!

Have you ever heard that saying? Well, it’s going to be my motto today. I didn’t get as much sleep as I really should have last night and now I’m paying for it, but I’m just going to keep telling myself I’m awake and ready for anything =)! Haha, I’ll let you know if it works. Mainly, I’m just trying to prepare myself that I may be dragging a bit and a little shorter on patience than usual, but I don’t want that to affect my time today with my girls…If anything I want it to be an opportunity to push back on those feelings and resist the temptation to just “get-through” the day and instead make this a day full of wonderful memories for them. So, here I go…I’m up for the challenge! =) Have a wonderful day, Moms! We can do it!!! Love to you all…

Hugs,
Elizabeth

P.S. I know I’ve posted this prayer before, but here it is again…I need it this morning (really every morning) =) *

*Written for my girls, Layla Christine & Kenley Joy

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Making Life Easier #3: Formula Dispenser

3) The Philips AVENT Formula Dispenser! Mommies-To-Be and Mommies with little precious babies, here’s a little product that was great for me when my girls were using formula. Both of my daughters nursed, but occasionally I would supplement with formula (especially if I was out and about). This little dispenser has 3 compartments to store your formula powder.  Just measure out what you need before leaving the house, and when you need to make a bottle its ready to use! (This also works great if you’re making preparations for a babysitter.) Sure, you can purchase on-the-go packets of formula, but in the long run its a lot more cost effective to buy a big container of powdered formula and one of these nifty re-usable dispensers.  Also, a plus to this particular one, the AVENT dispenser, is that the formula divider is an insert that can be removed; thus allowing it to later be used as a snack container! (Please note that not all brands have this option.) Hooray, I love it when things have a double use =)! I also love it when things make life easier and save me money all at the same time!  Woo-hoo!!!

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Where Were You During the East Coast Earthquake?

We were right in the midst of it! I’m not sure how you Californians do it! I know this may not have been that big of a deal to most, but personally, I was…shall we say…terrified?! Yeah, I would say that would be a rather accurate statement!

I was getting Kenley dressed on the changing table in the girls’ room before leaving for the pediatrician when suddenly the entire house started shaking. I honestly didn’t know what to think at first. I mean we don’t get earthquakes here!

I held Kenley still with one arm and held Layla tight against my side with the other. Right after it began there was a slight pause which made me think, “Okay, it’s over!” But then it started right back up and got even stronger…Layla kept asking over and over, “What is it? What is it?” I’m not sure what I said. I think I was afraid to say… honestly, I wasn’t sure what I thought it was. Maybe on the west coast it would have been an immediate no-brainer, but being on the east coast and coming up on the tenth anniversary of 9/11…a few possibilities were running through my head…none of which I really wanted to voice. I was just praying everything was okay…that my husband who was an hour and a half away was okay, that the rest of my family was okay, and that I would just get my girls out of the house safe and sound.

As soon as the shaking was over, I scooped Kenley up in nothing but a diaper, grabbed Layla by the hand and told her to quickly come with me and not let go of my hand. She nodded showing she understood and held tight to me. We carefully made our way down the stairs. We passed the living room and saw some of the effects of what had just happened. I pulled the girls into the kitchen to quickly look out the window and saw neighbors running to the house, quickly followed by banging on the door. I yelled out, “We’re coming!” And headed down the last set of stairs to get the girls out. My neighbors and I were all shocked and just wanting to make sure everybody was okay and accounted for.

We spent the next several minutes on the driveway, making phone calls and looking up on my neighbor’s laptop what was going on. At first, I couldn’t reach Sean. And well after our experience with 9/11 which I’ll tell you about some other time, I really wanted to just hear his voice!

I finally reached my mom and she was okay. It seemed that the girls and I were actually closer to the center and being that my mom was between us and where my husband works, I at least felt a little better, thinking the impact would not have been as great where he was. Shortly after speaking with her, my phone rang and I was relieved to see Sean’s number on the caller I.D. He was okay! They evacuated his building, but it seemed that everybody was fine.

After about an hour and forty minutes of waiting outside (just in case of aftershocks), my neighbors and I all decided to head back into our homes and begin cleaning up. When I came back in, the biggest thing that struck me was that the huge mirror over the fireplace had fallen and completely shattered. I had noticed it when the girls and I were passing by the living room to get out of the house, but what amazed me was that I hadn’t heard it when it fell. How could I not have heard it?

When I went back up to the girls’ room, I noticed books had fallen, Layla’s nightstand and lamp had fallen, and I hadn’t realized it when I was standing right there. But yeah, the mirror…it was mainly the mirror that got me…a large mirror falling and shattering on a marble fireplace and I didn’t recall hearing anything of the sort. It’s just weird…especially considering that now I hear everything…every little creak in the house, a trash can being rolled outside, the air conditioning turning on, the UPS truck going by…And you know what? My mind is working like a computer…as soon as I hear a sound, it’s like I go through an automatic database search…sound equals…and then once I identify it I feel fine, but I have to identify it!

I don’t imagine this feeling will stick around long, but I think it’s definitely been a little amplified being a mom and the fact that my little ones were looking to me during the whole thing. Kenley isn’t old enough for any of it to really have had a lasting effect, but Layla is at a not-so-good age for this kind of a thing. She’s old enough to be completely aware of what’s going on and be terrified, yet not quite old enough to grasp that this kind of thing is VERY RARE…at least where we live.

Layla was handling everything pretty well until bedtime last night. As we were trying to put her down, she seemed to become very concerned with the earthquake and wanted to know if one was going to happen during the night. We tried to assure her that this was something that rarely happens and she might never experience another one, but that Daddy and I would take care of her and her sister. She insisted that if one DID happen during the night that we come and get her and Kenley “quickly because things could fall and hurt us”. My husband kept the calm face, trying to ease her mind and I just hugged her against me so she couldn’t see the tears running down my cheek. Eventually, with some encouragement she went to sleep, but it was by mommy’s side. I’m sure tonight will be fine, but yesterday was a big day for this little three year old and well, she needed to be close to mommy and daddy, and you know what?…Mommy needed it too! Thank you, Lord, for my family…I love them!

I hope all of you and your loved ones are safe and sound. Please leave a comment if you’d like to share your story…

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Teething =(

So last night…okay, it was actually 5 in the morning, but to me it still felt like night time…I woke to the desperate cries of my teething one year old (she usually sleeps until at least 7). The poor thing was miserable! And my initial thought…”I am soo not ready to be up!” My second thought? “I am sooooo not ready to be up!” I know…mother of the year! It’s terrible…I admit it! Here my poor baby is in pain and all I can think about is how much I want to close my eyes and go right back to sleep, BUT I mustered the energy to push myself out of bed, carefully, but clumsily maneuver my way down the stairs to the kitchen with one eye closed and the other only a third open, grab her a cup of milk, and crawl back up the mountainous stairs to finally rescue my poor baby!

I took her with me to my bed, laid her on my shoulder while rubbing her back and trying to calm her. She eventually accepted the milk, let me change her diaper, and cuddled right up in my arms.

It was still dark out and the only light was the moon shining through the double window in our bedroom. She drank her milk and stared right into my eyes as I brushed the hair gently across her forehead. I tell you what….it’s those moments that you just want to breath in as deeply as you possibly can and NEVER forget! I thought to myself, “Wow, what an absolutely beautiful little creature!” I glanced over at my husband sweetly sleeping and with a grin thought, “We did good, Babe…we did real good!”

Eventually she finished her milk and just laid there all snug in my arms. Little by little her breathing got slower and deeper and I felt her little body melt right to sleep. You know it’s funny, when I first woke to her cries the only thing I wanted to do was go back to sleep and then suddenly with her there in my arms in the light of the moon…all I wanted to do was hold her and somehow, someway not let the time end. So I just sat with her for a while and then knew I really had to lay my little one down, in the hopes that she could get some more rest. Begrudgingly I took her back to her room and laid her in the crib. She made not a peep! That is…until I went to close the door, at which point she let out a couple loud protests, but quickly drifted back to her slumber! I climbed back into bed, saw the clock (ugh!), and thought…it was so worth it! =)

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Signs You Are a Mom #15

15. That dull aching pain in your lower abdomen is your bladder reminding you that you’ve had to go to the bathroom for the last two hours!
It’s amazing what gets put on the back-burner when milk is spilling, diapers are drooping, dinner is burning, and the baby’s crying! =)

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