Thursday, September 5, 2013


We have lived in our current house for nearly six years. We found it and moved in whenever I was pregnant with Demitri, our first baby. We were living an hour away at the time and wanted to find a place closer to our families while we started a family. It was the first place we looked at and since we needed to move immediately, we took it. Each of our kids has been brought home to this house from the hospital, and we've raised them here. As we added to the family, the house got smaller- or so it seemed.

It is a very modest three bedroom house with a large yard, but no basement. The ONE bathroom was quite probably a closet at one time, and the kitchen- don't even get me started. I'll just say that you can't completely open the refrigerator door because it's simply that small. The house has worked for us and has been affordable, but we need something bigger and better.

We found "the one" a couple of weeks ago! It's a six bedroom, two bath ranch style house with a completely finished basement and a humongous yard. Complete with detached garage, carport, deck and patio! I can't explain how happy I am to finally get out of this little house and on to bigger and better things.

We're in the process of moving now, and can't wait for it to be over with. I can't believe how much crap we have accumulated and managed to cram into this tiny house. I'm doing a lot of purging. Throwing away anything that's been in a closet and hasn't seen the light of day since the last time we moved. So far we've had to haul two truck loads of junk out to my mom's house to be burned, and there will be more.

We have a lot of shopping to do for the new house. The boys both need twin beds now, with mattresses & dressers. Larry & I need a new mattress, headboard, bed side tables, dressers.. so much stuff to buy. Not to mention the rest of the house. There is so much more room, we don't have enough furniture to fill it up with! We'll put our current living room TV in the basement and spring for a bigger one for the new living room. We'll probably get a new TV for our bedroom as well since the one we have now is an old school big box one. Adding to it all that we'll be paying for both houses for the month of September, and we've got an expensive month ahead of us. We'll have a month to move, but how much would you like to bet that it will come down to the last day? Ha.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Craft Time: Macaroni Necklaces

The boys beg to do a craft every single day, which is fine with me because I love to craft & hubby does as well. We're a bunch of crafting fools in this house.

I found some boxes of macaroni & cheese in the pantry that smelled weird (I'm big on smells) & didn't want to cook with it, but didn't want to waste it either. I poured the dry macaroni into a cake pan for the boys to play with. They entertained themselves by burying their hands & toys, mounding it up into hills & making it rain macaroni. That was fun enough, but then I thought of something we could make with it: macaroni necklaces! So stylish. I remember making them in elementary school. I knew the boys would love it.

Larry & I started talking about how we could color the macaroni. I thought about letting them paint it or use markers to color it. I brought it up to my mom & she said that all I had to do was add a few drops of food coloring to the macaroni and let it dry.

I got the food coloring down from the cabinet & grabbed some baggies. I also grabbed the plastic wrap. ;)


We used macaroni, but any kind of pasta would work great. I'm already thinking of the possibilities. Wouldn't a painted snowman look cute with a red bowtie pasta bow on his neck? :)

What you'll need:       
  • dry pasta
  • food coloring
  • baggies
  • plastic wrap


Put a handful of the dry pasta into the baggy.
Yes, I used breastmilk storage bags. I don't ever have time to pump, so the two million breastmilk storage bags that I have will never get used up. This was a perfect opportunity to use them. ;)
Add a few drops (I started with about 5) of food coloring to the pasta. The bigger the pasta pieces, the more dye you'll need to start with.

Seal and shake the bag to coat the pasta. Add more food coloring, a few drops at a time, if any pieces of the pasta aren't coated well. Some of the colors took almost 15 drops of food coloring before I was happy with the result.

I poured the macaroni out onto small pieces of plastic wrap so it could dry, because it does get a little wet from the food coloring. It was completely dry within a few hours.

We were able to make red, green & blue, but the yellow didn't look right. It wasn't bright at all. I'm guessing that's because the macaroni is already kind of yellow to begin with. We made orange instead, by adding a few drops of red along with the yellow. We made brown by mixing green with red, & a kind of teal color by mixing blue with green. We tried for purple, but mixing the blue & red resulted in a jet black color- pretty cool anyway.

As far as the necklaces go, I found this stretch bead cord in one of our craft boxes. The boys were able to string the macaroni onto it all by themselves.

Demitri made a red macaroni necklace, while Sylas used some of each color for his. 

FYI: if the macaroni gets wet the color will come off and can stain. So don't let it get wet, unless you're into that sort of thing.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pass the sugar please. But please don't.

There are two types of people in this world. Those with a sugar tooth, and those with a ...salty tooth? I was always one to go for the salty options- chips, beef jerky, cheese. My mom used to tell me that I took after her in that department. Neither of us has ever had much of a sweet tooth.

Then I got pregnant with my third child, and something in me changed. Not to mention that every single thing about my pregnancy with my daughter was different than my pregnancies with my boys, I wanted nothing but sweet stuff. I wanted waffles for breakfast every morning. I ate cookies & cream ice cream pretty much every night after dinner. I became obsessed with giant blueberry muffins from the bakery. I was a fiend for anything sweet! I figured these were pregnancy cravings, but they haven't stopped since I had Olive in December.

While the intense cravings have gone away (lol), I just had waffles for breakfast AGAIN. Damn it, they sounded so good! As I gobbled up my plate of buttery, syrup-sticky waffles I thought: "I need to kill this sweet tooth." I haven't lost any pregnancy weight, and I know that the sugar isn't helping matters! So far I've been blaming breastfeeding; I really feel like it's coming in to play here. I just want to eat all the time and I never feel full. It's annoying.

My will-power seems to have taken a hiatus, so next time I run in to you at the store and you notice that my cart is filled with nothing but ice cream, muffins, and brownie mix... don't judge me. I'm judging myself enough for the both of us!! Ugh.

Sugar Mama
(but not in the sense that I have money)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My sweet boys..

Demitri and Sylas have been doing something new lately... sleeping together, and it's so cute that I can hardly handle it. The other night, Larry & I put them to bed (in their separate beds, like always) and said goodnight. When we went in to check on them later, they were in bed together.

This is the second time they've done it, and in Sy's bed again. So funny!

When we asked about it the next morning, Demitri said that Sylas asked him to come sleep with him.

Demitri also said that there wasn't enough room for his pillow so they just shared Sylas', but that next time he'll need to bring his own blanket because Sylas always steals the covers... haha :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Olive's Graduation!

Every parent finds themselves saying it over and over... "I can't believe my baby has gotten so big!" Well, today I found myself saying it for the millionth time. My little Olive graduated...

...from rice cereal to oatmeal cereal, and she loved it!!! She has done so well with adding solids. We've been going at cereal for two weeks now, and from day one she was ready and excited. Demitri and Sylas did good with it when they were babies too, but I get the feeling that Olive likes it more than they did. They would have liked for me to skip the cereal and go straight to the veggies!

Such a lady. :) (That's Sylas in the background watching TV... lol.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Battle of the Baby Dish Soaps

If you read my Citrus Lane experience post then you'll know how excited I was to try out a new baby dish soap that came in Olive's box. Yes, this is what my life has come to. I get excited about new dish soaps.

Olive is breastfed but gets a bottle when I'm gone or when we're all out and away from home. I pump on the rare occasion that I have a chance, but she gets formula when she's away from me or when we're out in public, and I usually make her cereal with formula as well. So I find myself washing away both breastmilk and formula from Olive's bottles. I hand-wash her bottles, bowls, baby spoons and of course the breast pump parts separately from the rest of the dishes.

This Dapple Dish Liquid is "baby-safe" with "natural ingredients". You can read on the label that it is Dioxane-free, free of parabens, pthalates, SLES and dyes, biodegradable, rinses fast and is pediatrician recommended. That all sounds good to me, plus the scent is wonderful. I smell lots of sage and something else that I can't put my finger on, but it's a very herbal scent. Demitri and I love it. Demitri happens to love the smell of sage, it's funny. Every time we are at my mom and dad's he has to go to the herb garden and pick some to rub and smell. That kid. :)

This soap rinses well and leaves everything feeling clean. There is absolutely no scent left behind on the bottles/bowls/parts/etc. I'm so pleased with this sample! I've done about 10 loads of baby dishes with this 3 oz bottle, and it's still half full. It is by far my favorite baby bottle dish soap that I have ever tried. Want to hear about the others? Ok...

Palmolive Baby Bottle, Toy & Dish Wash
We always used this soap for our boys' bottles. I hate the strong scent and thought that it didn't make much sense for a soap claiming to have "no unnecessary ingredients" to have such a strong fragrance. The scent would stick to the bottles and you could smell it on them even after they were dry. I wasn't a big fan, but didn't realize that there were other baby dish soaps. This Palmolive baby dish wash is sold in the same isle as regular dish soap for under $3, and I never saw any others so I just went with it. It does get the job done, is inexpensive, and cleans well. I just can't stand the strong scent that it leaves behind.

Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Soap
When we had Olive we went back to the same old Palmolive baby dish wash, but I happened to see this Medela Quick Clean soap at Walmart while I was looking around one day when she was about two months old. I bought it even though I cringed at the price. This stuff will cost you at least $8 for a measly 6 ounces. I've seen it going for even more online and at Babies R Us. How ridiculous is that, for some soap?! Anyway, I gave it a try. The soap itself has a weird, almost chemical-y smell that is not pleasant, but the scent does not stay on the bottles or anything else I wash with it. It doesn't sud up, which isn't really a problem for me but might bother other people. It rinses well and leaves the bottles and parts feeling clean. However, it leaves a residue on nipples. No matter how hard I scrub and rinse, there is always a weird filmy residue left all over the bottle nipples. For what I paid, I didn't expect to have this problem. Since this was the second baby dish soap that I had tried and was unhappy with, I was glad to try out the Dapple dish liquid, and even more glad that I ended up loving it!

I'm trying to figure out where I can/should buy more Dapple dish liquid so that I don't run out. I'm almost positive that Walmart doesn't sell it because I think I would have noticed if they did. I'll check Target and Walgreens, but I know for sure that I can buy it at While I was checking on prices, I noticed that Dapple also makes toy & surface wipes and laundry detergent! I'd definitely love to try more Dapple products since I have fallen in love with this one.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Product Review: mybaby by Homedics Soundspa Slumber Whale

Our boys were always light sleepers.. and when I say "light sleepers," I mean that they would regularly wake up from the sound of me peeing in the bathroom... despite my best efforts to pee quietly. While they napped, we always tip-toed around and took ridiculous measures to avoid waking them up. We turned off the phones and TV, and avoided using the bathroom since it was next to their rooms. Heck, we didn't even go down the hallway if we didn't absolutely have to. Eventually, the boys grew out of it and now you can practically drive a train through their room and they won't even flinch.

We had our daughter in December, and with the boys (now ages 4 and 3) it is impossible to keep the house quiet for nap time. She wakes up at the drop of a pin as well. I swear, one night she woke from the sound of me tearing the toilet paper off the roll. I decided to take a whack at a sound machine for her room, to drown out the noise from the rest of the house. She always slept really good when she was in our room with us, and we have a fan going all night. I figured it couldn't hurt.

I read a few reviews online and found this little guy at Target.. The SoundSpa Slumber Whale from mybaby by Homedics! From reading the box I could tell that the Slumber Whale had some awesome features, and was only $29.99, so he (she?) came home with me.

Without further ado.. let me proclaim my love for the Soundspa Slumber Whale: I LOVE THIS THING! It works perfectly, and I am 100% pleased with my purchase. This cute little whale is everything I wanted in a sound machine, and then some! It's got some AWESOME features- quite a few little extras that I didn't expect, plus everything I did. The timer can be set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, or you can leave the timer off and it will run forever. We let it run all night and during nap time. And with the handy AC adapter, I don't have to worry about replacing any expensive batteries!

So. The white noise sound setting on the Slumber Whale is exactly what I was looking for- a steady and constant noise that sounds like a fan. I didn't care about the nature or ocean sounds, but they're included as well. There are three lullabies, an ocean wave sound and a heartbeat sound to choose from. There is a volume control knob to make it as loud or as quiet as I want. A little feature that seriously went above and beyond my expectations- when you turn the sound on, it starts out quiet and gradually gets louder until it reaches the volume that you have it set on. I especially love that it doesn't come on full volume when I'm taking Olive to her room for a nap and I have to turn it on. There's no sudden noise to wake her up. I love that the speaker is nice and big and the sound throws nicely to fill the whole room.

One cool feature that my husband and I were both surprised to end up liking is the projection. I was not looking for this feature, and honestly didn't expect to like or even use it at all. You can switch between ocean animals and a nursery rhyme pictures (like the cow jumping over the moon.) Both themes have three different pictures that the projector silently rotates between. We like the nursery rhyme theme and have ended up using it every night as a nightlight for Olive's room. You can swivel the Slumber Whale's tail to make the projection shine on the wall or ceiling, or anywhere in between for that matter. I LOVE that feature. An awesome addition to the projector setting is that you can dim it. With the dimmer knob, you can tune in to the best brightness for you and your baby. Love! I have to also add that the picture is projected clearly and is nice and bright on both the ceiling and/or wall. It's not blurry or washed out.

If you are looking to buy a sound machine for your little one, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Soundspa Slumber Whale! I really don't think you'll regret it :)

UPDATE: JULY 26th, 2013
One of the lights on the projector has burned out :( For a few days, the faulty light was creating a strobe-light effect in Olive's room as it was obviously in the process of burning out. It quit working completely and now we can't use the projector as a night light. I checked my receipt, and we bought the Slumber Whale on April 13th. We started using the projector as a night light approximately two weeks after we bought it. This means that the lightbulb lasted about three months. I'm not happy. I had actually read a few reviews online (before I bought it) by people who had the lights on theirs burn out, but I thought that the good reviews outweighed the bad. We had grown to love the projector feature so much and now that we can't use it, I am very disappointed. I wish I could take it back to Target to exchange for a new one.