Monthly Archives: March 2011

Sunday Surf for week of March 20

I got carried away again this week so we have another mega links Sunday Surf.

Food and Recipes

Celebrating 20,000 Hits: Interview with Christine Ortiz of “Milk & Honey Organics” – For those in the upstate SC area, check out this interview. I have tried out this service yet but really want to and found the interview interesting.

Bacon Irish Soda Bread – Unusual bread recipe

Making Lunchtime Fun: Muffin Tin Meals! – I’ve heard of this idea before and love it but still have yet to implement it. Guess I’m just lazy?? I even have a nibble tray so I’m set. Maybe this week will be THE week.

Seriously Eating II: 94 Recipes from Serious Eats’ Healthy and Delicious Column – The title says it all

Dehydrating the Days Away – Funny post about dehydrating food. I have good memories of my parents doing this when I was a kid, especially my dad’s beef jerky.

Finding Better Health Through a Traditional Diet – Another great post from Natural Parents Network about what a traditional, real food diet is

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins – A friend brought me muffins like these after I had my daughter and they were fantastic!

Easy Breakfast and Lunch Ideas – Loved all these ideas!

Healthier Nachos and Green Brown Rice - I have never heard of green rice before. I totally want to try this.

Miscarriage

The Other Side – Sad story, recounting mourning with a friend through her miscarriage

Sound Bites from a Miscarriage Journey – Having been through miscarriage myself, I can truly relate to and appreciate this post

Moms Supporting Other Moms

Please Think Before You Comment – A mom of a nursing toddler gives some thoughtful advice

Let’s All Try Not to Be Jerks – Great post about how moms need to support each other

Lactivism, Breast Feeding, Bottle Feeding, Formula And Mothers At War - This one goes hand-in-hand with the “Please Think Before you Comment” post above

Childbirth

Birth Without Fear Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Scared – Although I can honestly say that birth did not scare me, I really, really liked this post a lot.

An Alternative To Perineal Massage For Childbirth Prep – Good info to keep in mind for my next pregnancy

One Response to ‘Eww! Birth is Icky!’ Squeamishness – I really appreciated this post about birth, sex and breastfeeding.

Parenting

Feeding to Sleep - My sentiments exactly!

Attachment Parenting Series: Beware of Baby Trainers – Some solid information that explains this “Baby B” of the AP style

Carseats – Lots of great links and info about the recommendations for rear-facing and booster seats

Shepherding a Child’s Heart: a review by Anne Sokol - Great review on the reasons this book is concerning

Eco-friendly Stuff

Sarah’s Stitches Wet Bags - I hadn’t heard of Sarah’s Stitches before and enjoyed learning about them in this review

Homemade Cleaning Spray – Good stuff and piggybacks nicely with my green spring cleaning tips!

Check out Adventures in Mommyhood, Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics,Cloth Diapering Mama, Fabulous Mama Chronicles, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


I’m Stylish! Who Knew?

Becoming Crunchy decided I was cool enough to receive the Stylish Blogger Award! I’ll have to add it to the collection. (Does 2 constitute a collection??)  To accept, I must follow these rules. I think I can handle that!

  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve the award.
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

Here are my 7 things!

  1. Even though I’m the biggest wimp ever, I gave birth naturally and can’t wait to do it again! I actually look forward to another water birth one day.
  2. Overflowing toilets scare me…really.
  3. For some reason, every week when I meal plan I feel like I need to reinvent the wheel. I don’t just have a bunch of go-to meals we repeat each month. Every week the majority of our meals are new to us. I really need to not stress myself out so much by finding and coming up with new things each week but I can’t seem to help it!
  4. Related to #3, I have WAY too many cookbooks. It’s a problem. I LOVE them so much yet I don’t actually use them much. I mostly find recipes online. I did go through a little spell this summer where I relied mainly on my cookbooks but somewhere along the line I slipped back into my old ways. I love Zip List so I will blame them for now.
  5. My husband is an unexpected baker. We both were laid off last year so my husband tried his hand at baking and discovered a hidden talent. He now works full-time and does the baking thing on the side. His favorite cake to make was my daughter’s Candy Land birthday cake last year for her first birthday.
  6. I’m still nursing my 2 year old with no immediate plans to stop. Although this is not the norm in our culture, there are a ton of wonderful benefits for both of us and is recommended by health organizations as well.
  7. I love pugs….and cheese.

No for the REALLY hard part! I have to pick some other stylish bloggers to award this to. I already gave an award to several bloggers awhile back so I’ll keep those blogs off and pick new ones. (Check them out, too though!) And if you notice these blogs are not on my blogroll, well I’m working on updating that soon! It’s been awhile since I’ve updated and I’ve discovered some awesome bloggers since then! I also am leaving off blogs that have already received this award for obvious reasons.

I award the Stylish Blogger award to:

My Awesome Olive Shoots

Party of Five

Diary of a First Child

Crunchy Betty

Confessions of a High-heel Wearing Hippie Mommy

All Along the Way

The New Mommy Files: Memories, Milestones and Missteps

My Inspired Baby

Like a Bubbling Brook

Dulce de Leche

Check these blogs and Becoming Crunchy out! You won’t be disappointed!

 

 


How Our Co-sleeping Relationship Ended

Tuesday was my daughter’s birthday. She was born at 8:09 am March 22nd 2 years ago. She was my beautiful little water baby. Today she is my beautiful little girl.

Birthday Girl

She took a major step this weekend and changed where she has slept for her whole life. She now sleeps in her very own bed and it was a decision she made on her own. My last day of sharing a bed with my daughter and husband was this past Friday and I didn’t even know it would be. I would have cuddled her extra tight. I probably would have been up half the night just gazing at her and stroking her sweet cheeks and breathing her in. I probably would have tried my hardest to memorize every detail of those last moments of her lying next to me. But, like almost all of her milestones, this one came lightning fast.

The Owl Bed

For her birthday we got her her very own twin bed with birdy sheets
and her Nanny (my mom) got her an owl quilt (one of her favorite animals) and an owl lamp. We choose to wait until her birthday party to put it all together and show her after she had opened all her other gifts.

And she absolutely loved it.

Moments after seeing her new bed

When it was time for her normal bedtime routine, after her bath she wanted me to skip straight to the bedtime part. She wanted to skip the rest of our routine. She kept telling me that she want to go to bed in HER room, in HER bed. I knew she was ready for this change but still expected some resistance. We actually weren’t even going to have her sleep in it the night of her party since we had my in-laws in town staying with us and it had been a pretty eventful day. We had a plan for the transition. But our daughter didn’t need our plan.

That first night she slept in her “owl bed” with no problems. She awoke once in the night to nurse and within 20 minutes she was fast asleep and didn’t wake until morning. I thought she might wake up earlier than normal but she didn’t. It was all very unexpected and bittersweet really.

It will be a week tomorrow that she has been sleeping in her own room so I guess it’s official. We are no longer a co-sleeping family. Our bed seems so big now and I miss my sweet girl sleeping right next to me. I actually slept horribly the first couple nights, unable to get comfortable or relax enough to get any decent rest. It’s  funny but it’s kind of how our co-sleeping relationship started out.

I never anticipated having to re-learn how to sleep without her beside me. The first couple nights I actually was already awake or awoke shortly before she did. We are still in tune even though she is across the hall now. She doesn’t wake up crying. She simple will wimper for a moment, and, if I hear her, I go in to nurse her. The last couple nights I did not even hear her until she came walking down the hall, saying “mama, mama, mama”. We met in the middle and walked back to her “owl bed”. The first time she walked to our room, she kept asking me to come to “owl room” and “owl bed”. I think she was actually worried I was going to put her back in our bed. Another time once she saw me coming towards her, she turned back around and hopped into her bed, waiting for me to join her.

The Morning After Her First Night in Her New Bed

There are still plenty of sweet night moments to experience with her (and my husband laughs that I actually am excited when she wakes at night). I know that our co-sleeping days will always be an extra special memory to me though and I will definitely miss them.


My Daughter’s Wardrobe, Closet and Toys – Project: Simplify

Week Three of Project: Simplify

I was so happy about this week’s hot spot since it is something that I’ve really been wanting to get to. I also had planned on changing out my daughter’s wardrobe this week anyway. Although we still have some cooler temps this week, spring has officially made its appearance so it’s time to pack up the winter clothes (that are not fitting well anymore anyway) and get out the spring clothes! I did not go through her toys since I had just done this in January after all of the Christmas stuff she got. I’ll go ahead and detail below how I did that though just for fun. :)

Before

Monday I worked on her clothes. I  washed everything she had that was dirty so I could have everything clean. After that, I went through all of her clothes in her drawers and closet and packed up all of the winter stuff to save for any future children/consignment/donation.  I had a pretty big stack of clothing and shoes that were handed down to me for Marcella from a girl from church so I took all of those out and washed everything in the correct size. (I already had all of this organized in her drawer by size so it was easy to just take it all out and wash it.) A lot of it was line dry so I hung it up on the drying rack and the rest I hung up or put in her (now mostly empty) drawer. I also moved everything from the closet in the next size up into the bottom drawer (where I keep storage clothes/shoes/etc. for later.)

Before

Tuesday was Marcella’s 2nd birthday so we spent all day celebrating. All I did this day was hang up and put away the now dry clothes from the drying rack.

Wednesday I decided to tackle the closet. I’ve really wanted to get Marcella’s closet organized. It bugs me every time I open it. It isn’t very large and in the last year since we moved back into our house (long story) it has gone from nicely organized to cluttered with stuff we don’t use or need anymore. I took out everything on the shelf above and everything out of the storage shelving out and put it in her room and slowly went through everything. I made piles of things to get rid of, things that belonged elsewhere, things that could be stored in the attic for future children and things to keep in the closet. I went through all of the shoes that were handed down to me to see what the sizes were since I never actually did that before when I went through the rest of the stuff. I stored the ones that were 2 sizes too big and kept out the ones that were only one size too big or her size now. I also put a couple too small pairs with the clothes that no longer fit.

Once I had everything separated, I tackled each pile one at a time. Some of the stuff I found I can just get rid of were some hangers that are from the store that you can hang a shirt and pants on. I don’t use these so I’ll either find someone who would like them or give them back to the store (tip from a friend.) I also found a stash of cloth diapers that were given to me that are too big or otherwise won’t work for my daughter. Instead of hanging on to them, I’m going to give them to some moms that could use them instead. Most likely, my next child is going to be smaller like Marcella anyway. I also filled a basket with items for the attic and my husband put those up for me. The last step was finding a new home for what needed to stay. I now have room for anything new we need to store in there which is great! I also took all of her books out and resorted them in her basket since it had gotten messy.

After*

 

I said I’d tell you how I organized my toys even though I did this back in January (so no pictures, sorry.) Basically I took every toy/book, etc that she had and put them all in our bonus room. It was a mess for a couple days while I worked through it but I was so happy with the final result. I then started making piles of like toys together (all stuffed animals together, all food related toys together, all books together, etc.) This helped me, since I’m a visual person, see what exactly she had so I could determine what went where.

We have 4 toy areas in our house. Downstairs we use the cabinets and drawer in our entertainment console to house toys. I like this because clean up is pretty simple and toys are out of sight for when we have company over. (We do have her baby doll with stroller out and her armchair out but everything else is stored when she’s not playing with it.) Upstairs we have a bonus room where all her large toys are  and we also have some open shelving and a closed cabinet as well. Of course we have toys in her room as well. Books and stuffed animals are in her closet and there is a small shelf with various toys and board books. Lastly we have a small bin of toys I keep on the bottom of my linen closet that I pull out for her to play in my bedroom if she is awake while I’m getting ready in the morning or for when we go somewhere. It’s easy to just pick up (hand holds on both sides) and go.

 

After*

I kept the majority of her stuffed animals in a basket in the closet in her room but took a few to place in each of her toy areas. All books, other than board books, stayed in a basket in the closet in her room. She still occasionally rips pages so I like these to be somewhere where I will most likely be around to make sure she isn’t ripping the pages (although it still happens sometimes.) The board books I divided up between the different toy areas. All of the larger toys (like her play kitchen, rocking horse, etc.) stay up in the bonus room. I also decided to have all of the food play things in the bonus room. She has a cabinet of her sports toys in the bonus room together as well. All dress up toys are mostly in her room while all of her musical toys are in her toy bin for on-the-go play.

 

What did you tackle this week? Clothes, toys, both? Did you have your children participate with you? I’d love to hear how it went!

*Sorry about the quality on these two pictures! Marcella broke my camera so I had to use my iPhone.


Green Spring Cleaning Tips

 

via media.therenewableplanet.com

Check out my guest post at The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Green Spring Cleaning Tips. I have a list of ten tips that will help you in your efforts to organize and freshen up after those dreary winter months. From which house plants help improve air quality to an eco-friendly alternative to moth balls, I’ve got something to help you out!

 


Great Stuff I Read for Week of March 13

Here’s a quick list of the great stuff I read this week!

Inquisition Monday: Attachment

Guest Post: Tex-Mex Enchiladas

Buying a Pram or Pushchair

Change, Growth, Loss and the Transformation of Babies

Disposables, Wet Wipes and Baby Food: Who Needs Them 

Breakfast Bentos and Green Smoothies

Cloth Diapering Papa

Bake Your Own Bread

Judging a Mama by Her Kid’s Behavior

Little Things That Help with HG Survival

Check out Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust Diaries, ChildOrganics, Hobo Mama, I Thought I Knew Mama, Mama and Baby Love, Mama Eve, Maman A Droit, Momma Jorje, Monkey Butt Junction, Motherhood Moments, My Inspired Baby, Navelgazing, and The Parent Vortex for more Sunday Surfing!


What Makes You So Special?

7,000 hits is here! As is customary here at A Little Bit of All of It, we have a guest writer since we have hit another 1,000 hits. I think you are really going to enjoy our guest writer this time! Let me introduce you to Cindy Winter-Hartley. She is a proud wife of nearly 24 years and the mother of three sons. Nathan is almost 21 and attends the United States Military Academy, Aaron is 16 and has a servant’s heart for the Lord. Isaac is an athletic eighth grader and the family “ginger.” She blogs at My Awesome Olive Shoots. Be sure to check out her blog for some inspirational stuff!

Before you do one more thing today, I want to encourage you to ponder this question. What makes your family unique?

Throughout the day, whether you are changing a diaper, emptying the dishwasher, (yuck!); whether you are in a carpool or gathering a few moments of quiet in a bubble bath (wouldn’t that be nice?), devote this day to searching the qualities which make your family special.

To get you started, here are a few ideas. Are there physical features common to your family? Do you have a special ethnic heritage? What are some special skills or weird talents you share? How about foods you all like or hate? Notice things you do together, the overall personality of your family – once you begin to do this, soon you will see a family identity. This is the beginning of cultivating a rich sense of oneness in your family.

We began to create a family identity when our children were young. When our boys had high-pitched voices and no facial hair, nearly every day, we gathered around the table and sang a silly song about our family. We even had a family cheer which they all loved to do together. Sometimes we would place a globe on the table and say to them, “Do you realize that there are only five Winter-Hartley’s in the world???” Their chests would puff with pride as we would remind them how special it was to be a member of our family.

Think of your own family. Doesn’t it just humble you to pieces when you think that God, in all His wisdom, divinely choose YOU to be the parent of your child? I could still cry when I attempt to take in the privilege the Lord has given me to be the mother of my three sons. Despite all my flaws and issues which the Lord is perfectly aware of, despite my husband’s imperfections which pale in comparison to mine, the two of us were chosen to be our sons’ parents! Wow! He could have placed those babies anywhere in the world and the Lord decided to grace us with the honor of being called Mom and Dad to three splendid yet very human children! We truly have a reason to celebrate being a family and so do you.

Lest you think we encouraged our sons to be conceited, let me explain what we consistently told and remind them. Our family is no better than anyone else’s. We don’t act stuck up but we do stick together. We call our family a five-piece puzzle. The puzzle isn’t complete without each of us because we can depend on each other. Now our sons are young men. They have matured, they shave, they have big muscles and they are all taller than me. But guess what? When our oldest son comes home from college, I can still hear him tell his 14 year old brother “good night, I love you!” as Isaac drifts off to sleep. Our 16 year old middle son Aaron will be talking on his cell phone with a friend and without a hint of embarrassment tell Isaac the same thing each night. That’s the power of family identity.

One day our boys will forge out and make families of their own, I can’t wait to hear their family cheers and see their families blossom. Though our children are older, still the concept of family identity holds a prominent place in our lives.

It’s all too common to hear about the dissolution of family and personally, I want nothing to do with that notion. Neither should you. Your family is unique and wonderful, today is the day to embrace that.


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