Friday, April 23, 2010


And well....

It's been well over a month since I've posted something new.

Life just seems to happen and to be honest blogging comes last.

My sister showed up and surprised me with a three week long visit. I enjoyed every second of it and discovered that I could live without browsing the internet for hours per day. That being said, even after she left to go back home I have purposely shyed away from being on the computer too much. I've begun to realize that there is so much stuff I want to get done but I have been having a terrible time in the past couple of weeks prioritizing my time productively.

That being said, please be patient while I find a balance in my life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One of those days....

You ever had one of "those days"?

I feel like the Queen of "those days"!

Seriously, no one will answer their phone or call me back, not even my husband!
I'm trying to make plans people!
To add insult, Joey won't even let me watch Mickey Mouse with him.
I swear I put deodorant on this morning. He should know, he made me take a shower.
Really, he did. He said, "Go take a shower Mommy!" and pushed me into my room. I swear I was going to take a shower anyways, but really thanks for the confidence Joey.

I hate these kind of days. The cashier at the grocery store wasn't even nice to me. And then when I got into the car to drive off I realized I never grabbed my groceries after I paid for them. Really? How can you forget that?

OK, so I am probably self loathing a bit. But it's hard when you wake up with a "you against the world" mentality.

I suppose I should go make dinner though. The dinner menu says 'mashed potato bowls' but I am thinking cereal.

Sue me!

*Edit to Add:

I feel like a dummy now. Turns out no one was answering their phones b/c unbeknownst to me my sister made a surprise plan to visit from Tennessee for my birthday. Josh didn't answer his phone b/c he was busy coordinating the pick up, Holly wasn't answering her phone b/c she was at the airport and my BFF, Kara wasn't answering her phone b/c she had to lie and say she was coming up here this weekend for a Test so I wouldn't go down to Albany to see her like we originally planned. I had been waiting for her to call me ALL DAY so we could hang out after she did the test and she did a very convincing job at getting me to believe that. Love you Kara!

In hindsight, something fishy was up but I didn't think about it. Now it all makes sense! I'm glad to have my sister back in town!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Motherhood is tricky and is full of so many dynamics.
As a Mom and moreover, a stay-at-home-mom, I feel that I am constantly doing something. Whether it be catching up on laundry or my blog, clipping coupons or cooking dinner or getting some 'me' time, Joey is always front and center in my mind.
I do not watch much TV, but I do cop to being on the computer more then I would like to admit. The other morning Joey and I were doing our regular morning routine: he eats breakfast and watches an episode or two of Mickey Mouse and I sip my coffee and check all my daily visited websites and emails (I know Mom of the Year right here...yikes!), when he said, "Mommy come sit right here" as he patted the couch.

At first I said No. I hate admitting that and saying it out loud. I was in the middle of writing and apparently did not recognize what my son just asked of me.
He never wants me to sit and cuddle with him and I just told him No?

In what all took a second from start to finish, I snapped out of it and broke our morning routine; because sitting with my son and snuggling is a way better option. He even shared his cereal with me. =)

In lieu of that event I started thinking about balance and I came to this conclusion. Motherhood is a delicate balance.

Even though being a great Mom means having your own personal time it also means putting your family above all other things. My husband and I have been discussing this a lot lately.
I love volleyball and play on one rec. team on Wednesday nights and a club team one weekend out of the month. Both are competitive and a whole lot of fun. I am usually able to find a babysitter or it works out well with Josh's schedule, but lately I have been asked a lot to play on other teams.
So my question is when is it too much volleyball? My husbands question is, "You are leaving us to go play volleyball again?"
We are kind of at a standstill on this topic, but I do honor and respect his opinions and I do understand where he is coming from. He works long and hard hours and so when it's his day off the last thing he wants me to do is leave to go play. I don't expect people to understand this dilemma, especially if they don't have kids, but it poses a really good question...
How can I balance it all?

This is something I want to explore because right now I don't have the answer. All I do know is that my most important commitments are my family.

I read a lot of blogs about Mom's who seem to have it all together and I wish I was one of those people but I also see the Mom's who do everything for their family and not enough for themselves and I fear that that is a really good way to lose yourself and who you are. Everyone needs time for themselves emotionally and physically.

So I guess what I am asking is, is it possible to balance it all?
I would love input!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mystery solved

I was starting to wonder why Joey's shirts were oddly stretched out!

Let me tell you, this one was a doozie to get off of him!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Organizing your digital photos

Growing up as a child my Mom took TONS of pictures! Those where the days when digital camera's didn't exist and you never took more then one photo of the same thing in hopes of getting the perfect shot b/c you had to develop every single picture on the film. Well, with all that developing my Mom collected quite the assortment of photos. Even with having the best of intentions, my Mom never got them all into photo albums and through the years made their way into a brown paper sack that stayed in the back of the closet.

Guess who organized them and put them into corresponding photo boxes labeled by year a couple of years ago? ME!

So when I gave birth to my son I resolved to never have my pictures unorganized.

Lucky me, we are in the digital age so keeping photos in order is a cinch, but still a little work.

I own one photo-card that holds about 500 pictures on it.
Guess who sometimes takes 500 pictures a month?

Needless to say I am always loading them onto my computer and then backing up the files. To make it easy and to keep everything in chronological order I neatly put the photos in corresponding files. That way when its time for me to scrapbook Joey's annual scrapbook I have the files in order. That way when I upload them to a photo printing site they come to me in order and ready to be put into a scrapbook.

Here is my digital file organization system.

My main page of "My Pictures" folder looks like this.
It's hard to tell but the files are labeled 2005-2010 and there is also some photo book files in with it along with digital scrapbooking files.

Then each picture (I typically organize photos into each folder on a weekly basis) goes into it's corresponding year and month.
Again the picture it too small to see the words, but in my 2009 file I have 12 folders, one for each month of the year and 2 extra folders with some misc. picture files.

I know this sounds kind of like a no brainer, but it is What Works For Me! I have seen other people's computers who have file names for pictures but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. By using this system it keeps me from having to individually label every single picture with the date, b/c we all know that the time stamp on our digital camera's don't work half the time!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To compare is not fair

Apparently I am a poet. =)

I have always been notorious for comparing myself to others. I compare looks, talent, ability, sincerity, etc. While I think that this is normal human function I do not think 'comparing' is always fair or a good assessment tool.

My case in point, while its normal to compare parenting styles, I do not think it is fair to compare children. And here is why...

If you have hung around me enough you know that Joey and I come as a package. Unless it is a situation where Joey is not allowed or able to be taken care of properly he is cared for otherwise, any other time he's my plus one. Bringing Joey along undeniably means sporadic tantrums, sloppy kisses, high energy outburst, and a lot of bribing coaxing. It may not always be fun to deal with the not so pretty side of two year olds, but it's life. When those tantrums strike it makes me feel vulnerable to others judgments and critiques which inevitably turns into the normal comparison statements, "my son never did that when he was Joey's age" or "my son never had problems with that."


I know people mean well when they make these statements, but it in no way helps me.
I admit, Joey is a handful. He is strong willed and equally opinionated. It's his way or the high way. (He gets that from his Mom and Dad). But it doesn't give others the right to compare. It does nothing for me.

Lately, in a mad attempt to shape him up I have questioned every parenting move I've done in the past three years. What have I done to make such a wild and crazy kid? How can a kid be so strong willed? How can I get others to understand that all kids are different? I have scoured the internet, researched behavioral disciplines, and come to many conclusions. But today when I was called back to play land to pick up a non compliant Joey, who hit two kids, I felt defeated and embarrassed. Have I failed my kid?

It was then I realized the mistake I had made. I let others compare my child to theirs and in some way or another I was made to feel that Joey was not normal or ill-behaved. I was attempting to mold my kid into the ideal picture of someone else's kid. That is the injustice that I have done to Joey. I do not deny that Joey has more frequent tantrums or timeouts then the average two year old, but the average two year old either has a sibling or other children to model their behavior after. Joey has neither.

As an only child, Joey has the luxury of being tended to first. He does not wait behind anyone else, therefore his patience is not tested. He gets my full attention, that way he never lacks company and never has to entertain himself. I cannot help the fact that Joey is an only child, but I have come to realize that the comparisons I have been dealing with all have been done with children who have grown up with a way different childhood.

Today I began to research a lot about Only children. It is a very real possibility that Joey will have no siblings. I've decided to change the ways I do some things with Joey. From this day forward I will only take comparisons at face value, but will also keep in mind that others mean well. I've also realized that with the lack of a sibling or other children I will need to introduce that even more into Joey's life. I have a feeling that the more socialization I expose Joey to the more he will understand and the better behaved he will be.

But I do want to say that the point to my story is to remember that comparing your kids to others is what you want to do least. Instead, revel in the fact that you have been entrusted in caring for the less then 'normal' child...the one who walks to their own beat...the one that carries your heart on the outside of your body...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rewards Charts

My husband and I have been pretty diligent in correcting Joey's occasionally, not so awesome behavior. Part of the process has been creating rewards charts and him earning stickers when he meets our expectations of a desired behavior.

I wasn't exactly sure how to make a rewards chart or what to put on it. I brainstormed for awhile trying to make the expectations both helpful and a learning moment for Joey. I searched around Google and found a great website that offered free pdf documents of rewards charts. Find the website for the rewards chart here.

I started off by printing two rewards charts in different colors. I printed them onto white card stock to make them more durable.

I opted to make two different charts. One for Behavior and one for Chores.
I used scrapbooking stickers to decorate mine and it is completely up to you on how you want to design it.

For Behavior I chose 5 different task for Joey to achieve: Manners, Listening, Walking, Inside Voice, and Sharing.

For Chores I chose: Set the Table, Put away his Laundry, Pick up Toys, Brush Teeth, and Potty Time. I wanted to think of a better name besides chores, b/c obviously some of these task are not chore like, but oh well.

Once the chart has all the desired task labeled I put them in sheet protectors. I used sheet protectors because I have so many of them and that way I can reuse the paper once the charts are full. Just toss the sheet protector and put the chart in a new one.

I added some ribbon to it and called it good.

*It doesn't have manner stickers on it b/c we just started it the other day.

Joey loves the idea and we love that he is willing to modify his behavior to earn stickers. We hung the chart low on the wall so Joey can see his progress. We also award with tiny star stickers he can put on his hand for each task he perfoms. Once the entire chart is filled out Joey can choose one prize from the prize box. I haven't made the box yet but it most likely will be full of toy cars, stickers, a piece of candy, etc.; everything that Joey likes.

With the Rewards Charts I found it easier to make task that fit Joey's needs and personality. Joey loves setting the table, so he feels like he is being a big boy and helping out "Mommy". I try to incorporate the Rewards Chart through out the day and always give Joey chances to earn stickers. Occasionally he does task without me asking. I also reward him even when he is not doing the desired behavior just for the stickers, that way its unpredictable and he will strive more and more to have good behavior and responsibility. For example, this morning I handed him his sippy cup and he said "Thank You" without me reminding him too. For that he earned a sticker. And you can bet his manners were very good the rest of the day.

The end result of Rewards Charts use should be that Joey will complete the desired task and behaviors without being asked too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Scene and Heard Sunday

Another weeks has passed by, it seems like this year is going by so quick!

-This week really showcased how fast Joey is growing. From telling me NO, to being a little ladies man, to learning to help me with certain household chores. It amazes me that in three short years my baby has grown to be a child.

-I'm loving how American Idol is going. The competition, at least for the ladies, is fierce. There are so many good singers that its going to be close when it comes to narrowing down to the top 12. My absolute favorite performance this week was Katelyn Epperly's version of Coldplay's The Scientist. It was beautiful and she sung so well.
Watch the performance yourself!

-I have been getting a lot of stuff done lately and I feel good about being so productive. I want to tackle our bedroom sometime soon to decorate. Josh and I talked about painting our dresser to match our bed and nightstands and he gave me the go ahead. I plan to decorate our bedroom so that all the elements our removable. We aren't staying in this apartment for too long and I would hate to leave behind my creations.
-I made two fun projects this week. Check it out the tutorial here if you want to give it a try as well.

I plan to do more decor like this and will take the "live laugh love" project and incorporate it into a collage of picture frames.
I am also itching for a buffet or long/skinny utility table to paint black/brown. I have the perfect spot for it in our apartment and the picture collage would look great above it. I hope garage sales start soon so I can find the perfect table.

-I finally made Joey's rewards chart and will feature the how to's in this Wednesday "Works for Me" post. Joey seems to really like the idea and he loves getting another sticker when he does something listed on the chart. My favorite so far is his responsibility to set the table for dinner at night. Check out his napkin presentation. He was so proud of his task and insist every night to set the table. Last night he made a setting for his firetruck. Silly boy!

-My hubsters and I have been watching a lot of movies on Netflix lately. We've been watching some older movies and have really enjoyed the early career movies of John Travolta and Kevin Spacey. Netflix is awesome. It's cheap entertainment and you don't even have to leave your couch. I did rent "The Time Traveler's Wife" from Redbox the other day though and let me tell you, I am super confused about time travel and even layed awake last night trying to make sense of the time travel taking place in the movie! Apparently I have a lot of time on my hands!

-And last, but certainly not least Joey has a new game he loves to play with Mommy and Daddy. It's called, "tumble mountain" (his words, not mine) and it involves us stacking his blocks up so he can knock them down. Fun for him, not so fun for me when I concentrated pretty hard to make the tower in the first place. I do have to say though that it is pretty fun to make cool stacks of blocks and toys. Joey was pretty proud of me for this creation....

Of course he knocked it over like Godzilla right after I took the picture.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Motherhood is Scary

I think every mother knows THE ever real fears that are associated with having children. Will my child be healthy? Will he develop normally? How can I keep him the most safe?

I remember when Joey was first born, I had the huge fear of SIDS. I don't think anything worse then that could happen to your own child. I used a baby monitor all the way up until 2.5 years and constantly checked on Joey at night. When he turned one I was more relieved, when he turned 2 the fear subsided.

But one thousand more fears take its place and continue to add up from the day he took his first breath.

I fear most the things I have no control of, but I obsess over the things I do have control of. I am a safety freak when it comes to windows, plugs, streets, and heights. I have an overly active imagination that scares the heck out of me at times. I know that when Joey is with me he is safe. So naturally I have trust issues with others.

Don't get me wrong I love that my family babysits Joey and I trust them too but normally I leave without a verbally demanding list of do's and don'ts. Like I said, its a control thing. I reason that everything should and will be OK as long as I verbally remind others.

As Joey starts to grow from a toddler to a child I start to feel that I don't have control over the things I wish I could. I know I can't protect him from everything but I would lay out my life for his own. I pray every night that he has a wonderful, long life and grows to be an old man.

I am able to grasp tangible reasoning's to understand certain things, but unfortunately Joey does not fully realize the "cause and effect" theory quite yet.
Just today my friend, Marie and I took Joey swimming. We have discovered that by using a life jacket Joey has more freedom in the pool and in turn, I don't kicked all the time. We all got out of the pool to put our feet in the hot tub when Joey stood up and just jumped into the pool. With no regard to anyone around him Joey made the decision to get in water (life jacket on) without an adult and that SCARES ME!

We have a rule for swimming. Joey is not allowed to enter the water until an adult is in and gives him permission to do so. So for Joey to completely disregard that rule doesn't surprise me but more in so, worries me. I began to question his reasoning and then my mind went wild!

"What happens if he escapes the apartment at night when we are sleeping and knows what elevators to take to which floor to get to the pool and jumps in?"

Of course most of this question is absurd and ridiculous. We have a hotel lock on our door which he cannot reach, he would have to enter a code to get into the other building where the pool is and the doors to the pool are so heavy that they are difficult for me to open. But of course there is always the slight possibility.

All of this ran through my head in a matter of seconds so I did the best thing I knew to do. I went into the pool, set him on the deck and took his life jacket off. I then let him jump back in and let him go just enough for him to realize that he had to really kick and struggle to keep his head above water and that he can't go without the life jacket. I then sat him down and lectured him that he cannot swim alone.

I am not sure how much got through to him, but I hope enough.

Like I said motherhood is scary. But I also believe those fears are what make us good mothers.

So next on my to do list?
Research how to teach a child to flip over on their back and float in the water.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Crafty Time

I have been eager to get my hands on a couple of different craft projects so today I took full advantage and got down to business.

My first one was a word/frame object. I have included a tutorial for your pleasure.

I started out with one of my silver wedding frames that have 3 5x7 inserts.
Any good mom knows that once children come along all the wedding pictures get taken down, only to be replaced by beautiful pictures of smiling children.
So instead of wasting a perfectly good frame that had served its purpose I decided to remix it.

1. I took the glass out, I tend to not like shiny everything.
I gathered all my materials: frame, paint, brush, fabric, wooden words, and hot glue gun.

2. I painted both the words and the frame black. Acrylic paint does not work well for this kind of project (to dull and the wood grain shows up) so I went with a gloss enamel paint in black. The words took two coats and for the frame I did three coats for good measure. There was no sanding needed.

3. While the paint was drying I took out the frames mat and pictures. I chose three different fabrics that I have fallen absolutely in love with! I am thinking about using the same material for more house decor, perhaps in our bedroom.
I cut the fabric a little larger then 5x7 and glued to the back of the mat with my hot glue gun.

*The fabric itself lays pretty flat so there is no real need to pull it super tight, but I would recommend ironing the fabric. I did not and mine is a bit wrinkled.

4. After all the paint is dry glue the words on to the fabric. Hot glue holds well and even seeped through the fabric a little to the backing which gave it a little extra security.
Put the frame back on and voila! You have yourself a neat remixed frame.


because I had a little time to spare between the coats of paint I undertook a small craft project.

I took a frame with a verse from the bible (which will be used with something else) and changed it into a monogrammed art frame.


I loved the color of the frame itself and found this awesome piece of scrapbook paper at Joann's. I wasn't sure what color to make the 'C' and boring me would have gone with a blue or brown but my friend, Marie, suggested red. I loved the idea so I took the wooden 'C' painted it with red enamel paint. I always suggest enamel paint on wood projects, especially if the wood is untreated or unfinished.

I don't love love this project. I think a bigger 'C' would have been better so I may redo it. But I also need to figure out a place to put it now. I am thinking on a wall collage of picture frames but I am not sure.


Today something happened to me that has never happened before.

Joey told me "no"!

It wasn't just a whiny "no", it was defiant.

Before his nap I asked him to pick up all the toys he took out of his toy box. He looked at me, squinted his eyes, frowned his tiny lips, and said a rough, "no"!

OH HECK NO! I don't think so.

I got down on my hands and knees and said "you will not say NO to me! You will pick up your blocks!"

I left it at that. Joey seems to thrive off of my reactions to his bad behavior, so now I act as nonchalant as I can and immediately redirect. We opted to count the toys together and because I was keen on having him be driven towards good behavior we celebrated with high fives and I gave him a special treat for picking up his toys. I explained to him that the treat was for picking up toys and that it made me happy.

He was happy too.

I suppose as a Mom to a toddler our battles have always been with discipline and tantrums. I knew that the day would come when Joey would become downright defiant, but I never knew how I would feel about it. Well today was a good indicator of that heart sinking feeling that my toddler is beginning to understand and reason like a smart child. He will push the boundaries and push me, but I am determined to raise him right and be smart all at the same time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have a sturdy disdain in my heart for facebook groups. Don't get me wrong, I am a member of some of them myself, but only ones that are actually necessary.
Me <---runs to go and make sure that is true!

Anyways, you know what groups I am talking about. A few of my favorite or not so favorite are
I bet my school can get more fans then your school
I bet this pecan can get more fans then Nickleback
I am cooler than you
I hate the new Facebook layout

I mean seriously, why even join a pointless group? I guess that is social media for you.

Anyways, in honor of silly facebook groups here is a list of facebook groups I would join if they were real....

-I let my Costco membership expire, but I kept my card so I can get in to eat at their food court.
-I take over 200 pictures of my kid each month
-Great coupon deals give me natural highs
-Yah, my kid wears a harness, aka leash....GET OVER IT!
-I get upset when other people are passive aggressive, but I am the Queen of the planet Passive Aggressiva
-If everyone drove like me the world would be a better place
-My kid only likes to go to Target with me b/c he gets popcorn
-I have to hide vegetables in meals I cook so my son and husband will eat them.
-I take my kid to the McDonald's Playland as a way for him to interact with other kids.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Is my son turning into....


Joey Tribiani? You know...the funny guy from Friends?
Just today I was walking over to Play Land at Fred Meyers to pick Joey up and I watched him put his arms around two older girls (ok they were probably like 4 and 5)while they were coloring. I then saw him attempt to kiss and hug one of them, all the while having the hugest smile on his face!

It made me laugh so hard, it was the highlight of my day. Joey is like a spitting image Joey Tribiani!
I have been working on teaching him "How you Doin'?" But he hasn't quite gotten it yet.

Oh how he makes this mama proud!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My hot date

Tonight Joey and I had a little date. Granted it was only popcorn and a movie but we had fun. Mickey Mouse, Georgie, Puppy and Howie also joined us in the shenanigans!
First off, let me start off by saying that I have trouble watching any show or movie that is kid stuff, especially cartoons. I don't know why it is but I am picky about what I watch. I don't watch a lot of TV and I never channel surf. I have set shows that I watch and that is it.
Anywho, I opted for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Yes I am that geeky person who loves anything HP. Convincing Joey to watch it with me was even easier. See the big bowl of popcorn and cookies? That was all I needed. Did I mention that those where GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!!
Of course we only made it a quarter of the way through the movie before Joey ran out of popcorn and it was his bedtime anyway so we called the date short. He did end the night off with showing me how he can fit three pacifiers (tuckies) in his mouth. Such a talented little boy! P.S. please don't mind about how messy his room is!

Scene and Heard Sunday

Not too much excitement this week, but none the less...

-I felt really proud when I was asked by my local Fred Meyer Play Land attendant if Joey was an older brother. When I said no, she told me that Joey was acting like one for another younger boy there and that he did a really good job at it. I hope that someday by some great miracle from God that I can bless Joey with a sibling. For now I will relish over the fact that my crazy, wild son can be so nurturing too!

-I have been visiting Just a Girl's Blog and have gotten some great ideas for crafty projects and home design. Now I just wish I would make the time to attempt such endeavors.

-Got into a verbal altercation with the attendant at a Fred Meyer Play Land that I seldom visit all over how Joey takes off his identification bracelet. The details are irrelevant but it did result in me to not putting Joey in Play Land and me ripping up his sign in log at that particular location. It probably was a dumb fight but none the less I held my ground and didn't cower or whimper. I love that by becoming a Mom I have learned to stand up for myself and for my family.

-Joined Swagbucks which is just a search engine that you can gain bucks which in turn you can purchase gift cards and items just for searching as you normally would on the internet. In three 3 days I have earned 272 Swagbucks. When I reach 500 I can get a $5 amazon gift card. The goal is to earn enough Swagbucks to pay for Christmas next year. Click on the banner below if you are interested and want to sign up. It's a referral link, so I do get some swag bucks if you sign up with it. It seems cheesy and gimmicky but I love getting free stuff and I know you do too.
Search & Win

Making a Diaper Cake

Yesterday I went to my childhood friends Baby Shower. I wanted to make a diaper cake but not a tall, huge one so I opted for a sheet cake version. This was my first attempt at making a sheet cake diaper cake and I think it turned out pretty neat.

First off start with your ingredients. Most of this stock I had on hand besides the diapers. I try to buy cute baby clothes and shoes when they go on clearance or when I can get a great deal on them.

Basic Ingredients
Newborn or Size 1 diapers: One pack contains about 50 diapers. I also recommend choosing diapers that don't have a lot of design on them. In this case I loved the fact that the diapers I chose (Target's Up and Up brand) had polka dots on them in boy colors.
Baby toiletries and clothes/shoes

Cardboard layout fit to the size of your desired cake
Hot Glue Gun (don't worry if the glue gets on the diapers or product, typically it will come right off when dried)
Misc. items such as stickers, tag board, etc.


*Remember Diaper Cakes are personable and unique. No two are
alike and they should reflect your personality or the recipients. You can put as little or as much "ingredients" on it as you would like!

Step 1.

Take all the diapers and roll them individually and secure with a small rubber band.

Step 2.
Align how you would like to make the cake. The inside of the cake consisted of 4 groups of 6 diapers formed in rows of 2x3. Every "six" diapers were fastened together with a larger rubber band.

In my case I knew I wanted individual ribbons wrapped each diaper along the outer edge of the cake. I counted how many edge diapers there were and planned my ribbons accordingly. Because there were 22 diapers that could fit on the edge and I only had 7 ribbon types chosen I opted to have the 4 corner pieces stand out in a yellow color.
I cut the ribbons to size and wrapped it around the diaper to cover the rubber band and secured with a dab of hot glue.

Step 3.
Loosely secure the entire diaper cake together with dabs of hot glue. You don't need much, just enough to keep its shape for the next step.

Step 4.

Once the diaper cake is put together you can choose how you want to secure it so the individual diapers don't fall out. I always go with ribbon and wanted to accent this sheet cake as if there were two strips of Icing going along the edge.
First I tie a piece of string around the entire edge on top and bottom. This step is not necessary but it does ensure that when you wrap the finished ribbon around it it will be secure and snug. Once the string is on, wrap the ribbon over the string and secure each end with dabs of hot glue. Press the two ends together until the hot glue is dry to ensure a secured fit.
At this point I cut the string and remove it from the cake. The knot I tied with the string tends to get bulky and stick out.

Step 5.

At this point you are almost done. Lay out how you want the top of the cake to look like. Play around with a design and when you like what you have secure the clothes/shoes/etc. with COLORED push pins. I suggest colored because you are pushing these pins into the diapers and the idea of a diaper cake is for the Mom to be able to use every ingredient. There is nothing worse then a pin pricking a little babies tush. Pins are so tiny and are easily missed.

I finish my cake with an ingredients list so the Mom knows what size and quantity of items are on the cake. I also add some scrapbooking paper to the cardboard sheet to dress up the cake a bit more.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

Keeping a clean, organized and functioning sink

Kitchens can get messy real quick!
Finding a balance has really helped me keep my kitchen clean and my clean-ups quick.
Part of the routine is functional sink/station.

I hate having to bend over and rummage through the sink cabinet to get out dish soap, sponges, etc. So I keep it all in one place.

Here is my sink.

Nice and Big right?
I have found that filling the hand soap dispenser with dish soap has saved me time and money. The dish soap is dual purposes (for dishes and hands). I also keep a bottle of lotion and sanitizer for good measure.

In the sink compartment itself I keep a scrubbing brush and a sponge. I use the scrubbing brush to quickly clean up dishes that can't go in the dishwasher by just pumping a little soap on to it. The sponge is readily available for any spills or quick clean ups. At night the scrubbing brush and sponge go in the dishwasher for sanitation.

Probably the best thing about my sink is that it can hold that really cool cutting board/strainer. Not only does it serve its intended purpose but it also hides dishes for when last minute company comes over. I like using this board over my sink b/c it saves time. I don't have to dig out a strainer and the board is big enough to cute multiple things. I've seen this board at Macy's, Target and Costco and come in a variety of colors.

See it in action!

To round out my sink organization I installed a towel rack right on the cabinet door. I keep dish washing detergent and kitchen spray underneath the sink and I never feel like my cabinet is overflowing with 1000 types of kitchen products.

Keeping my sink in this working order has helped me with keeping a clean kitchen and also cleaning as I go so there is never a big stock pile of dishes in the sink. This is what works for me!

Does anyone have anything to add to this organization either of the sink or the kitchen? I would love to hear it! Anything to make my life easier. =)

Vegetable Applesauce

If your kid(s) are anything like my Joey you know that getting them to eat vegetables is like pulling teeth.
Joey doesn't have the greatest eating habits in the world but I am a stickler for the Food Pyramid recommendation of eating enough fruits and vegetables. We don't seem to have a problem with Joey eating fruits but when it comes to vegetables I always have to trick him.
The other day I bought a jar of baby food squash, put some cinnamon on it and called it applesauce. Joey gobbled it up! =)
With is loving affinity of applesauce I usually find I can mix some sort of vegetable in with it so that he is getting double the nutrients in one serving.

As I write this blog post I can hear Joey searching for cookies. He'll never find them! Muhahahaha!

Making homemade applesauce is super easy and healthy.

4 apples (any type, peeled and sliced)
half can of pinapple tidbits
1 can of cooked carrots (drained)
cinnamon and sugar to taste

In a crock pot put all ingredients and pour the pineapple juice from the can into mixture. You can use as much cinnamon and sugar as you would like but the pineapple and its juice really serve as the sweetness factor for this recipe. I recommend sprinkling the cinnamon/sugar on to the carrots themselves as to further hide the carrot flavor. Cook on Low until apples are soft.

When the apples are soft (not mushy) start mashing them and stir to incorporate the mixture. Mixture will be textury. (If your child doesn't like the texture you can mix in blender). Turn off crockpot and let sit to cool.

When cooled, place in individual serving tupperware or regular tupperware.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seen and Heard Sunday

In a brief recap of our week, here are some things that went on.

-Running running everywhere! Joey doesn't stop. We go over to my parents house a lot so Joey can run wild (can't really do that in apartment living). The weather has been absolutely beautiful so we have been spending a lot of time outside.
I taught Joey the importance of sidewalks and why he should use them when we walked from my parents house to Chambers Bay. It was a beautiful sunny day and opted to take Joey out sans stroller or Puppy harness, not sure if I will do that again.

-Joey keeps has quite the fascination with Fuzzy (my Mom's cat). He will want to call Grandma just so he can talk to Fuzzy. Two days in a row he brought the mail in from my parents house only to walk past Grandma and Grandpa and shove it in front of Fuzzy's face. Apparently Fuzzy pays the bills around here.

-Baby Genius? My brother, the wonderfully nerdy Chemistry major he is, taught Joey that those big concrete red balls outside of Target are Protons. So of course every time we go to Target (which is a lot) he points out the Protons.

-I finally decided to start working out and lifting weights again after perusing through an old college friend's Facebook page and discovering that she is involved in Fitness Shows and is looking great, especially after having a baby.
I want to be physically fit not only for me but for my family. I don't consider myself fat by any means but I do have a layer of fluff that could stand to never be seen again. So I am eying for working out three days a week and staying as active as possible so that I can tone up and lean out.

-Had to have a talk with Joey about appropriate bathroom behavior. We have always had an "Open Door" policy when it comes to the bathroom so that we can encourage Joey to try Potty Training again. Well I apparently have had too much of an open door policy because I caught Joey with a tampon mimicking what you do with it (he was fully dressed). I can't believe I am telling everyone this, but kids catch on so quickly. And so you can understand why I have started locking the door. <----(insert Mom of the Year Moment Here)

-And finally....Pretty sure our downstairs neighbors moved out of their apartment into a new one on the way other end of our floor. When we first moved in we received a complaint that Joey was being a little too loud (toddlers walk/run loudly!). So I made a 'peace offering' to them with a nice bottle of wine and asked them to please let me know if the noise was a problem again as we were working with Joey on being "Tiny Guy, Quiet Guy."
Well we never heard from them again (even though there have been numerous times where Joey has thrown raging fits on the floor while kicking his legs and pounding on the walls). The other day I was getting on the elevator and saw our downstairs neighbor getting off the elevator on to our floor with groceries in hand. With quick deductive reasoning I soon realized that they probably moved out, more than likely b/c of Joey's loudness. I am too afraid to ask the Apt. Managers, but I have noticed that our apartment has been very cold lately. We haven't had to turn our heat on since before Christmas because we are on the top floor and the heat rises into our apartment from downstairs. So there goes our free heat. =)
And yes I feel bad that our neighbors moved (because of us). But in our defense the floors seem almost paper thin here b/c it sounds like a herd of elephants from up above when we were only walking. And further more it probably wouldn't have been as big of a problem if both our neighbor and Joey and I weren't home all day.
But of course we are still working with Joey on being more tame, even if there is no one underneath us.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hurricane Joey

We have breaking news coming into the newsroom tonight.

It appears that between the hours of 2pm and 3 pm this sunny afternoon, a freak Hurricane ripped through the living room. Deemed Hurricane Joey, the wreckage produced massive amounts of scattered blocks, an emptied out diaper bag, train tracks leading to nowhere, and couch pillows tossed about. Left in its mist this Toddler of a storm left large traces of fingerprints all over the window and TV.

Upon arriving home from her afternoon workout, Joey's Mom was completely puzzled how such a freak storm hit so unassumingly. It was then discovered that directly in the path of Hurricane Joey was a resting Uncle Cody who did not notice the Hurricane's approach until it was too late. After being hit mid range with a flying block Uncle Cody was able to maneuver the Hurricane into his waiting room for a much needed nap. The aftermath, although messy, resulted in a quick clean up. The only set back seemed to be a lack of Windex so the fingerprints remain for another day.

This is reporter Bloggy McBloggerson reporting live from Mom of the Year's residence in Tacoma, WA

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tattle Tale?

Today I realized that Joey is such a tattle tale. But...not in the way you think.

The kids rats himself out!

Apparently he hasn't gotten the memo yet that you keep your lips zipped until someone else tells on you.
Not my Joey though, oh no; he is becoming a little Honest Abe at heart.

Today for instance I dropped him off at the Fred Meyer Playland so I could some grocery shopping because he SERIOUSLY ran from one side of the store to the other. All the while me chasing (slowly) behind him. I really didn't want to make a big scene and run sprints at the store. I did however catch up to him sitting on the couches, which apparently was his plan all along. After that nice ordeal...and everyone staring at mel I promptly checked him into Playland. I gave him the nice "reminder speech" to be a good boy and play nicely and walked away fully knowing that the attendant would probably not have good news for me.
After some leisurely shopping (I had an hour to myself) I went back to pick Joey up. The first thing out of his mouth...
"Joey a BAD baby!"

All I can think is....GREAT! I am not shocked or surprised because it's not news to me, but hey wait....did Joey just rat himself out? Now that is a surprise!

Of course Joey goes into no further detail then that and all the attendant could tell me was that he was very impatient...which means that he was demanding and wanted to be the center of attention. You can't fool me on little words that have make a large bite!

I then broke the news to the attendant that Joey is hyper all the time and let me tell you, she gave me those "sad, poor Mom eyes"! I don't know how I am supposed to take that, but whatever.

Anyways, I have started to think about it and Joey is always telling on himself. When I come home from Volleyball or running errands Joey always has the news to report first hand that he in fact was not well behaved. I just got back from working out and Joey told me, "Cody a bad baby". Which translates into, "I was not good for Uncle Cody."

So until Joey catches on I will take him being honest, unless he tells me I am smelly or something, then we will have to talk. I figure this phase is just incidental and I shouldn't push my luck and hope that Joey is always honest with me. I give him a year and half and he will start telling on others and keeping his lips sealed on his many a doings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Kristen over at We Are That Family host a really awesome link up at her website on tips and advice on things that work well for her. Topics revolve around household tips, cooking, cleaning, raising children and crafts. She has an amazing blog that follows the life of their family. She has the strongest convictions and from what I read a SuperMom!


Keeping your garbage can clean and organized.

Garbage cans tend to get sick and disgusting super quick, especially when you have a kid in diapers. Even after you take out the trash the smell tends to linger and with apartment living any smell is never a good smell.

I have a large garbage can but not the luxury of having a large kitchen so the can is placed underneath our lame excuse of a counter bar. This means that any unsightliness goes majorly noticed and Joey thinks that the garbage can is a toy. Not the kind of double bonus I like to brag about!

To keep things clean and organized I store the trash bag roll and a can of Lysol spray inside of the can itself. Just like this...

When I pull the liner out to take the garbage out I have everything in one place and I don't have to search for another bag in the deep abyss known as my under sink cabinet. The Lysol I use is also an air neutralizer so it disinfects and also kills odor in the surrounding area. A bonus to this method is that b/c the trash bag roll and the can take up a little bit of room on the bottom you can never overfill your trash and not be able to tie it shut.

And this is What Works For Me!

P.S. I never thought I would be taking a picture of my trash can!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mom of the Year Moments

I have stories.

Lots and lots of stories.

I shake my head as I write this because like all, I have had some not so proud "Mommy Moments".
I think at one time or another every Mom has been initiated into the "Mom of the Year" club. If you haven't please call me and tell me how you have managed to elude this distinguished club!

The phrase, "Mom of the Year" showed up in my vocabulary early on in motherhood. At it's finest moments they are usually caught for everyone to see. I can tell you about the first time I was initiated into this fine club. During the middle of the night, Josh came downstairs to me frantically trying to soothe a crying, 5 day old Joey only to catch me trip over the infant seat and fall on the couch with Joey in hand perfectly unscathed b/c some how my "Mothers Intuition" kicked in just time to know how to fall gracefully with a newborn. Did I mention that I just had a c-section and was unable to move from the position I landed in?

From then on I became a contributing elite member of the "Mom of the Year" club.
If you haven't caught on yet, my blog title is sarcastic. I wanted to be clear in case anyone hasn't caught on to that yet. OK good, so let's move on.

Span ahead to when Joey was two and half (we'll skip those two years in between for posterity) and you will find that I have a very active and curious toddler on my hands. During a vacation in Lake Tahoe I got Joey those amazingly cool Color Wonder Markers that only work on Color Wonder paper. I let him color in his carseat while we were on extended drives to keep him busy and happy. (Do you see where this is going?) Things are going great one evening, when on our drive to have dinner, Joey starts hysterically crying. I have no idea why. He seemed fine and after I got him calmed down we were on our way. It wasn't until I took him out of his carseat only to discover bitten off marker tips. SERIOUSLY! I diligently searched for every single tip and matched with it with every marker I could fine. Through deductive reasoning I determined that he had scraped the inside of his nose with a rigid edge of one the markers because he kept saying, "nose hurt" and that made perfect sense to me especially since he was a little snotty and I could see nothing up his nose.
Fast forward a week and a half and we are back home when I notice Joey's nose is making a whistling sound every time he breathes. He mentioned something about his nose hurting a few days prior but I figured that the scrape inside was still healing and I didn't see anything still. So of course like any good Mom I wait until he takes a nap to do detective work. With my flashlight and suction bulb in hand I go to inspect the situation. As I look up his nose I say to myself, "what is that white thing I see"? "Is that a big booger"? I try to suction it out, but to no avail it doesn't move. It's at that moment that it registers with me! A MARKER TIP! Are you kidding me?????
I quickly take him to his Pediatricians office because they are so awesome to get me in at the last possible appointment of the day only to find that they cannot remove it with the instruments they have. We are referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor but wouldn't be able to get in until the next day. By this time I feel terrible. How could I have not noticed it before? How could I make such a huge mistake? But having self pity was not the answer. After attempting to get the marker tip out of his nose by ENT Doctor by strapping Joey down to a board, we were still unable to get the tip out because Joey was struggling too much. So as a last resort Joey was scheduled to have surgery to have the marker tip removed while under anesthesia. The surgery required no cutting at all and took no longer then 20 minutes start to finish, but I sat in that waiting room feeling like a fool. To this day Joey still will not allow anyone to touch his nose.

I can look back now and laugh about the entire ordeal. I mean how can I have even expected that by giving Joey a marker it could break off in his nose. And furthermore, why did Joey have a marker up his nose in the first place? After that adventurous day, Joey is no longer allowed to have any sort of pointy object or coloring utensil unsupervised. You understand why, Right?

So, my name is Keana and I am the Mom of the Year!

And trust me I have more stories to come and many more that haven't even been written yet!

Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday

Is it bad that I associate Fat Tuesday with eating everything under the sun in preparation for eliminating all the bad stuff on Ash Wednesday?
I think not, OK so maybe it's a bit bad. =)

For all you Catholics out there, tomorrow is the start of lent.
In a quick definition look up of Lent I turn to

"Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Conventionally, it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. The forty days represent the time that, according to the Bible, Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan."

Ah temptations temptations. They usually come in the form of food for me. Typically each lent I give up the junk food. It's the one thing that I find hard to stray away from and am always tempted to eat. So this year is no different.

However, I also see Lent as a way to improve ourselves in the eyes of Jesus and to strive in different ways to be more like him. To me its almost like a New Year's Resolution, but this time its for Jesus.

For Lent, I promise to
1. Lay off the chips
2. Sacrifice my needs and wants for the ones I love.
3. Become a better Mom and find new ways to teach my little man, especially about the Bible.
4. Permanently stop making excuses for not achieving the goals I want to achieve and
doing the projects I want to do.
5. Prove to myself that I can be a "Mom of the Year," in my own eyes, at least.

These goals mean a lot to me because I always find myself being tempted and lured not do the things I know are important. I can ask for forgiveness of my sins and let me tell you, Jesus does forgive, but it doesn't mean anything to ask for forgiveness if we aren't willing to make the necessary changes in ourselves to be resolved of our past mistakes. The 5 goals listed above should be something I strive for at all times in my life, not just during Lent. But the promise of Lent and the Love of Christ allows me to find new beginnings and hope to achieve the much needed changes in my life. The end of Lent and the Resurrection means a renewal in Faith and the rebirth into eternal life; and the most wonderful thing about Christ is that he is always there, open arms and all.

So I ask you, even if your faith does not practice Lent, what would you do to renew faith and resist temptation?

Monday, February 15, 2010

How can I be a Mom of the Year?

In setting up this blog my intentions are two fold.

Not only is it to share in the lighter side of mommyhood, but I also want to dabble in all the aspects that contribute to being a successful Mom. My blog is intended not only for stories, but also for ideas for creating family fun to running a household, from creating a budget to making a house a home (decorating).

I live by the three F's.
Family, Faith and Frugality.

Obviously the first 2 are of the utmost importance, but I have found that being frugal in certain parts of my life have made the other parts that much richer!

This blog will hold a plethora of ideas. It may seem a bit sporadic and disorganized, but what better way to take on this journey then to just to dive in head first and get going?

Meet Joey

Pretty cute isn't he?

Don't be fooled.
I have that kid!

That kid??

Oh yes THAT KID!

You know the one I am talking about!
That kid that throws the hugest, most unbelievable, most embarassing fits in the middle of frozen foods aisle.
That kid who decided to jam a marker up his nose only to have the tip break off and then require actual surgery to remove it.
That kid who ripped off all the wall paper from his nursery during nap time.

He is that kid who makes you worry and fret over his number 2's in his diaper for days because he can't find where he put that penny he sneakily took from you.
But he is also that kid that makes life worth living. That kid who makes you look forward to things yet to come and who always keeps you laughing. That kid is why I look forward to building a life around family and faith and all things good. Because of that kid I feel blessed and extremely loved.

Oh how I love that kid. I really do. He is my proudest accomplishment, my favorite person and the one gift that has given me the most amazing feeling of all. Love.
He is also why I am able to dedicate a part of this blog to the most wonderful and outrageous "Mother of the Year" stories. We will get to me.

For now go check out Kristen's story at We Are That Family. She it witty, funny, and is well spoken on all topics revolved around That Family!