Organization = throwing stuff away

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Hi, it has been longer than I intended since writing my last post.  I wish I had a good reason, but I just kept rejecting my own ideas and pushing it off.  As is the theme apparently since starting back up these posts I have been trying to get life organized.  This has included big projects to even little projects.  It hasn’t been easy but it is definitely getting easier.

We have a lot of stuff and I wish I could say we were great at keeping it organized, or making sure we  don’t get duplicates we are not.  We get duplicates, a lot of duplicates in fact.  No household needs a full box and a partial package of lactose-aid medication when neither of us are lactose-intolerant.  Or 5 different areas band aids were being kept, which is also a thing that was happening.  All of this stuff lived in the area that is normally referred to as the bathroom cabinets, or as I liked to refer to it as; “Ahh I can’t flipping find anything!”

So last week I had the AHA moment when hubs was asking me when I would post my blog.  In order  to motivate myself to get the mess of a bathroom organized I would make it a blog post.  May not be very interesting but I was happy with how it turned out 🙂

BEFORE PICTURES 😦

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Picture 1: This is the bottom drawer of the medicine cabinet.  It kind of started to hold a little bit of everything, from hair products, bath-bombs to an electronic razor.  Nothing made any sense.

 

 

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Picture 2: This is the middle drawer which clearly is so organized.  It holds infant medicine, one of the boxes of lactose-aid medication, adult medicine both able to be taken when I was pregnant and not, and also vitamins.  We couldn’t really find anything.

 

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Picture 3: This is the top drawer and was probably the most organized.  However organized didn’t mean it made sense.  We had band-aids (one of the places), hair ties, nail clippers, face wipes, and hair brushes.  The drawer had cohesion…not.

 

 

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Picture 4: These are the cabinets, we luckily have to but I you can tell there is no organization, some medications, some facial stuff, some deodorant some shaving.  Everything is all over the place. The counters hold everything from hair straightener to toothpaste holders.

 

 

 

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Picture 5: I am ashamed of this one, there are plastic tubs and fabric tubs and bags and things open, and besides the grey tub I didn’t know what anything in any of them was.

 

So with those pictures in your head, and me lowering my head in shame at the mess I went to target.  I had the basic idea of what I wanted and ended up purchasing a pull out metal shelf and a shelf for the inside of the cabinet I had previously purchased the grey plastic tub and the fabric bin at target as well and those remained.  it took about 30 minutes worth of decisions at Target and an hour and a half of organization one night and I was really happy with how everything turned out.

AFTER PICTURES 🙂

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Picture 1: The bottom drawer now holds all of the electronic supplies.  Hair dryers, curlers, straighteners and even the razor and shaver my husband use.  Organized and now the drawer makes sense.

 

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Picture 2: Now I got to bring out my label maker for this one.  Now this holds all the things we use regularly from aloe vera, to Vicks liquid for a humidifier.  I also converted an old dried out wipe container that had been sitting under the sink with the dried out wipes in it to a first aid container.  I combined basic first aid of bandages, gauze, Neosporin and medical tape in the container and now it is quick to grab.

 

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Picture 3: Now this is stuff used almost daily.  It’s always good to have q-tips around and scissors I also keep a small pair in the restroom because then I know that when I can’t find them anywhere else in the house I have my back up pair.  It works we also have some that stay in our can opener because they sometimes are needed. I did get rid of a hair brush, even though I still have several more and that is because I tend to walk around the house with them, and if I have to hear hubs sing Veggie-Tales “Where is my hair brush” I will scream.

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Picture 4:  This is still a work in progress.  Items used regularly go up here as well as the stuff we keep on hand for guests like the little baby shampoos and conditioners. I also moved the storage around so that instead of band aids in a container I put the glasses wipes we use almost daily.

 

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Picture 5: This is where most of the work took place.  On the door you can see the metal drop down container.  There I have all of my facial wash and cleansers.  I tend to try products out and am currently in the process of trying out a few which is why I have so many.  Then you can see the metal shelving unit on the left side.  Here is where normal toiletries now are and the first aid kit originally was going to go there but that is now replaced by the extra bandages that are more kid oriented for when my nephews are around.  Then on the lower shelf you have the combined version of all of the medications.  I condensed as many things as I could and got rid of a lot of stuff that was expired.  I had cold-eeze that I had quickly learned had melted and reformed.  The grey tub in front is full of feminine hygiene because target deal so I stocked up.  Behind that rests the tub of extras, from extra razor heads, to extra tooth brushes, and three extra deodorants that belong to hubs, he never remembers he has them so we inevitably get more.  That got labeled and since we go into infrequently sits perfectly under the sink pump.  Then hubs travel bag which is rarely used was cleaned and then zipped up with one of everything he would need and zipped up ready for his (or my) next trip. The grey fabric bin that was under here got put on the back of the toilet and filled with bath time items and face masks.


I probably tossed 3 grocery bags worth of trash and junk.   I was able to empty into other containers, and get rid of plastic tubs that was holding junk.  I had vitamins that I haven’t taken in years, and some sort of vitamin E oil that leaked over everything meant I got rid of a lot of damp ruined packages.  It felt great to have it clean and motivates me to keep the bathroom organized again.  We just make sure the little rugrat stays out of there.  Makes all of the below knee level creatures in the home angry.  But rather an angry kid and cat than an unsafe one.

Do you have any cool tips to organizing a bathroom.  The next small area we are targeting is the pantry but probably before that hubs is going to tackle making his office something he loves being in.  What storage and decorating things do you love.  I really have been metals (mainly copper) but have also been loving the look of wood.

Until next time

~Reave

Little bit of a catch up

Overall, I think our house runs on a pretty good system.  There is a certain level of chaos but we have an 8.5 month old chaos is to be expected.  This chaos increases when the plan changes, and that’s when it takes a village to keep everything going.

Normally my mom watches the little pipsqueak during the week.  It works out great overall and he definitely loves his Memaw time.  We are so thankful for this ability to have him raised around family and the fact that we don’t have to have him in day care is such an added benefit for us.

But when things happen (or get planned) that means that my dear husband gets to balance working from home and daddy-daycare it makes things a little more interesting.  This past week was one of those times.  This is when the village mentality is amazing.  With an unexpected trip to NY on the books for my mom we knew we would have to figure out a plan for our little man.  So with the help of a family friend, and one of our best friends, we got the time covered for the most part.

We wouldn’t know what we would do without these people, since hubs works from home it would be (and is) very easy to get distracted by the adorable baby giggles that occur regularly.  Let alone the cranky scream of hungry, tired, or overall boredom.  So with a family friend watching him at the house in the morning two of the days, our friend gladly accepting baby duty a third day it meant only two afternoons would be a tad less productive.

Once these baby day-care responsibilities were handled, that allowed us to actually spend time with our friend.  We played a lot of board games, and I am sure we could have played more, but I haven’t quite figured out the sleep deprived, parent and friend balance (it’s hard they should make a manual or something).  At the end of the weekend, I was so happy to have hung out with my friend, but it did point out some weaknesses in myself.

Things I want to work on before the next fun board gaming weekend:

  1.  Mitigate the chaos I can control
  2.  Ask for help in regards to when I am feeling overwhelmed
  3. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to be the same person I was before having a kid.
  4. Don’t feel guilty that my kid is being a kid

It was really easy for me to feel guilty for mess, but also feel guilty for cleaning up said mess.  It was really easy for me to feel overwhelmed but not feel like I could say anything.  Lastly, I have a kid and sometimes he screams, and sometimes I am going to step on Cheerios and that will send me over the edge.  Sometimes I will be oblivious to the time.  Sometimes he is going to scream, in the middle of the night, it happens, and trust me  I don’t like it either. Hopefully, this will start working a little better I have a few weeks to work on it. 🙂

Things to do this week:

  • Have a paperwork/mail clear out day
  • Put laundry away (clothes need a self-hang button)
  • Plant some plants
  • Play more games

I played a lot of games this past week, notable mentions are 5-minute dungeon, Monarchs, and some stain glass game that I really may purchase because I really enjoyed it. There were more, but I am running out of writing time.


Until next time

~Reave~

How to set a habit

Habits can be good or bad, but I believe that the good ones are necessary to have a balanced life.  When I was still pregnant we started setting good habits, we did laundry more than once a week, we got ourselves on a cleaning schedule, clothes got put away regularly, overall structure was added into our lives. It may seem really weird to start doing all of these things right before the biggest change ever, but I am so glad we did.  Granted it wasn’t the easiest transition, since we moved twice, had a new-born, and had 95% of our stuff sitting in storage.

So when we FINALLY got moved into our house we started re-implementing  these habits, with some additions.  It hasn’t been easy but if we hadn’t started doing them prior to the pipsqueak being born, I don’t know how we would even function now.  So today I want to talk about some of the habits we have formed; things we are working, on and things that we are struggling with.

Morning Routine: Pipsqueak typically gets up between 5am and 6am unless he is feeling generous, and depending on the way he slept hubs let me sleep in.  This mainly is determined by if the pip was up for 1.5 hours, playing the pull mommy’s hair game in the middle of the night,  So assuming I get up at 6am and hubs has been up for an hour he has normally got the remaining dishes cleaned that didn’t get done the night before, and has already given pipsqueak a bottle.

So it used to be that I would wake up and watch my YouTube videos while pumping.  I had been pumping exclusively since he got his four front teeth in because ow.  Now I get in the shower, eat breakfast at home and feed him his breakfast.  He then gets his teeth brushed by me while hubs changes him out of his pjs.  While I am showering and getting ready hubs has been making my lunch which is a routine I need to shift back to nighttime.

Normally before we really get started with the day one of us tries to make the bed.  This started initially as a way to deter us from laying in bed as soon as we got home from work, but now that we have the quilt my mother made us sitting on our bed its been nice, to have the bright colors seen and our room look nice.

During the day:  Since I have either a feast or famine type job I normally try to sneak in some paperwork and household managing type tasks between sessions and on my lunch break.  I organize to do lists, check the shopping lists, and go through emails to make sure we didn’t all of a sudden miss the mortgage payment, or forget to pay our water bill.

Hubs, he has a harder time.  It would be really easy for him to get distracted and mess around with small house hold tasks but he does awesome and keeping work during work hours.  So he focuses on a couple of household tasks while he is on his lunch break like switching over a load of laundry, and cleaning the dishes from lunch and perhaps a minor sweep or vacuum.

After work: This is where it gets interesting, because hubs works a different time zone than me he is done 4:00pm our time.  Instead of going to pick up the pipsqueak, which he does do if asked, he gets a lot done around the house.  Lately it has been outside the house work. But until I get home with the little one which is usually around 6pm he has those two hours to get things done that he can’t do for whatever reason when the pipsqueak is demanding his attention.  (He is a daddy’s boy, and yes it makes me jealous).  When I get home usually we let the pipsqueak finish his cat nap and here is where our habits struggle.

We try to feed him at around 6:30pm so that he can get his bath time, reading time, and then be asleep at the 7:30.  But if he is In a stubborn mood that doesn’t always work.  We have struggled with timing of dinner for the adults.  We either eat at 7:30 at night or try to eat while he is eating, and that means someones food gets cold.  This part isn’t easy.  Also after his bedtime, we have wound down ourselves so the last thing we want to do is be productive and pick up.

Normally, the kitchen gets left until the morning, which drives me bonkers, and I believe part of the reason I got out of the habit of making my lunch the night before was because I couldn’t stand the disaster zone that the dinner caused.  Other things though that I should be able to do and have tried to keep on top of is to make sure of is that the toys are put away before we go to bed.  Cats running into musical monkeys in the middle of the night creates for terrifying wake up situations.

It’s not perfect and writing this it’s clear to me that the biggest area I need to work on and we need to work on as a house is what to do after I return home with the little one.

One of the things that we both installed on our phones to help us with meeting these habits, and doing things on time, and overall mental organization was an app called Todolist.  We had looked at to do list apps before but never found one that worked cross-platform which at the time we downloaded it was needed.  This app allows hubs and I to share tasks we want to accomplish, keep track of our household bills and when/if they are paid.  It also allows us to make grocery lists and keep track our menu.  When we think hmm, wonder if they have paid x or when is recycling pick up we can look either know the answer or be able to get it done.  Plus there are achievements and badges the more you complete which means it just makes me want to get things done.

Hopefully talking about habits, makes any sense whatsoever, but  I find myself wanting to strengthen some of mine, and figured I would keep you updated on that progress.

Until next time

~Reave~

When Mothers Day comes around!

This year was my first mothers day and it was amazing.  I didn’t count being pregnant on mother’s day as my first one.  I know this seemed weird to some people, but I didn’t expect my husband to get me anything, I didn’t need big celebrations, I was more excited for this one to come around.  I got to “sleep” in although talkative baby means that it is more likely I will lay in bed and play on my phone for a few minutes before facing the day.

My husband asked which type of mothers day I wanted because he had heard of different versions of mothers day.  The moms who want to go away and be on their own doing things like spa days, the ones who want the kids and spouse to leave the house, and then the ones who want to spend time with the kid and the spouse.  I personally don’t get the viewpoint of not wanting to spend time with my kid, especially on a day that is dedicated to me being his mom.  However, I did let my dear husband take poopy diaper duty, it was mothers day after all.

So when I got up I got to sleep in, which in reality is more laying peacefully with my eyes closed smiling as I hear him loudly cooing and crawling after the cats; no he doesn’t catch them, yes he tries, and yes the cats purposely walk by him just far enough out of his reach to torture the poor child.  When it time was time to get up I was gifted with cute matching shirts with my little pipsqueak which he proceeded to blow out and have to have it watched during the day.

After that I got breakfast and then when asked what  I wanted to do my answer was I want to hang out and play Zelda.  Which is what we did for a majority of day.  The little man took his naps which is a miracle because he normally hates his nap time.  When he wasn’t napping he was harshly judging the dvd collection and pulling them all off of the display.  He attempted to judge the board game collection but those are heavier, and well our board games are awesome so he couldn’t find any fault.  So he played with his toys while I ran around and attempted for the 40th time to craft really good elixirs and to not get laser beamed in the face with by a guardian while I avoid the guardian on the giant maze at the top of the map.

I even got to wear the new mom charm on my bracelet.  I didn’t get to keep the box though because apparently the pink box it came in became pipsqueaks companion cube and he sobbed when I took it away to look at the charm inside.  He carried that thing around the entire house trying to crawl in a very lopsided manner.  I have tried picking it up and putting it away but he cries because he sees it and it is his companion cube.  For now he has a pink little jewelry box as a best friend, eventually I am sure he will find something equally as entertaining.

So with mom charms and freshly washed matching shirts we celebrated with my family, having a nice little cookout, exchanging potted plants because that is a tradition I didn’t even know we had started and it was a great time. My dear wonderful husband ended the night with two adorable picture frames filled with pictures of my little guy and some with me and him, because I know that I have very few pictures with just me and him because I am normally behind the camera not in front of it.  I am going to try to work on that because it makes me sad that  I have so few.

We didn’t play board games this weekend as it was mothers day weekend but we did get a lot of stuff done.  Now for the time being, I am going to take advantage of the time I have and spend time with the pipsqueak.  We are currently working on shifting his bed time, because he needs more a more regular sleeping habit.  We will see how that goes.

Until next time

~Reave~

Make yourself happy

I think I have kind of touched on some of the stuff that I have been doing recently to de-clutter my life.  It has been really difficult at times because it takes time to declutter but with the help of a great partner it has slowly been coming together.

I think the part I have talked about is the wardrobe overhaul that I have been doing.  It started with the stuff that I had that didn’t fit or I hadn’t been looking for when I moved.  So when I unboxed the final box of clothes if I hadn’t looked for it, or warn in a long time it didn’t get hung up it got donated.  I then started buying LulaRoe which is addictive but fun clothing.  So I started looking at my wardrobe more and realized that most of the clothes sitting in my closet didn’t make me happy.  I had clothes on them that were 10 yrs old that I wore not because I felt good in them but because I was too lazy to buy new articles.  I then began to take another look at my closet and decided if it didn’t make me happy to wear it I wasn’t keeping it.  This means that even stuff I wore recently was getting donated and it felt really good.  It felt like I was starting over with my wardrobe.  I ended up tossing a lot of undergarments I didn’t like and socks I never wore (the sock collection is still to large I need to have another go at it).

Once everything was in the donate pile my entire closet now is completed with white hangers which makes me feel like it is clean.  My shoes (which I also went through) were now organized in a pretty hanging shoe organizer.

The next part was figuring out how to get husbands shoes organized.  This was actually relatively easy because I had upgraded my shoe storage I took the old one had him assemble it where his closet is.  Now he has them nicely organized and not in a pile on the floor. If I can get him to keep the guest bed clean of his belts or random undershirts it will be a success.

One other thing I have been working on is getting the laundry situation figured out.  I hate laundry, it is my least favorite chore.  I would rather vacuum, do dishes, dust, do any other chore rather than laundry.  However, because my new wardrobe needs to be washed separately and air-dried I wanted to be proactive and not ruin any clothes.  I decided to go out and purchase laundry hampers specifically for the laundry room as well as the label maker.  Now there is an easy way to sort and keep clothes washed properly.

Since  I have been reorganizing I have also been selling things that I don’t need or want.  This means that my living area has been de-cluttered.  While I loved some of it like our kitchen table from our old place, it was just becoming a place where junk collected. Not having this extra stuff has made it feel more open.  I got to walk into the house yesterday with no clutter no mess and a yummy candle scenting up the place.  It feels good.  I was able to look and not see junk and papers. I was able to see some framed pictures that  I may be selling now because they don’t fit my style anymore.  I love having a clean home, and with that a happy mind  It shouldn’t be surprising because I always realize after a clean house that I feel mentally better.  But keeping the clean house with an 8 month old who loves his Cheerios is proving difficult.

Now I just have to hit the area under the stairs because I know I have far too much holiday stuff to even find any of it (maybe that can be a summer project).


Another thing  I have been doing for fun is playing Zelda Breath of the Wild.   It’s the hardest Zelda game I have ever played, but it is absolutely beautiful, and the bomb power up is way to exciting.


I want some recipes for low-fat baking…until then I will be hopefully doing a baking extravaganza sometime soon. 🙂

Until Next Time

~Reave~

It’s been a week

I guess holidays have that way of doing things.  So over the past week I kept wanting to sit down and write on here but life was a little busy.  I had a full caseload at work so couldn’t do it during my normal down time, and then by the time I got home every night it was a hectic rush to get things done and organized and baby proofed.  Normally we try to do a little bit each day not rush anything, because we still have stuff in a few boxes (I know that’s awful, but I have to much junk).

Normally my mom watches my little pipsqueak and this week her and my dad are on their yearly vacation. This means that my husband who luckily works from home is on split duty of baby and work.  We were lucky enough to have a friend of my moms who my son already knew able to come over in the morning to give my husband some uninterrupted time each morning to get his conference calls done.  However, our basement isn’t as finished as we want it to be and is no way suitable for a baby to hang out in the afternoon with out a constant eye being held on him.  So we improvised.  We baby-proofed what we needed to made sure that the baby gate to the stairs was up in the basement and the door to the laundry room was closed.  This was all great except we had the realizing that unattended, that left him access to bookshelves full of board games, unhung decorative swords, and a plethora of movies and video games. Let alone the drinking fountain for our cats and their food.  So  I came up with the idea to create a sofa wall barrier.  Day one worked of this, and granted it makes our room look ridiculous because its a wall of sofas, but he wasn’t able to get into anything he shouldn’t be in and my hubs could keep an eye on him while working.

The added benefit of moving the sofas into a barricade we realized we liked the nice open space and decided to sell some end tables and our old dinner table to have some of that openness that the behind the sofa wall now had.  I decided to take pictures of everything we wanted to sell and actually listed them for sale.  One thing is already sold :).

The other thing that got accomplished this week was that we (I say we it was my husband), got all of the bushes cut out of our yard.  These were awful, probably very cute once upon a time, but not taken care of so were dead underneath, overgrown, and hideous.  The fence that used to attach to our garage also got ripped out of the ground which opens up our back yard.  The old owners had this fence up and attached to the garage because they didn’t want to fence the entire back property line, so by ripping the fence out of the ground we actually have another 10 ft. of back yard and even cool planter boxes that were going to waste.  They actually weren’t going to waste but our neighbor behind us was using them because the old owners weren’t.  We politely agreed to share our tomatoes that will be planted with him.

Now as the inside of the house is becoming a sense of calm as I did even more of a wardrobe cleanse, the outside looks like a tornado touched down in our yard.  We still have to rip the stumps out of the ground for the bushes, and call to schedule a special pick up, things are coming together.  If we can get the planter boxes cleaned up and fixed we should be able to get the vegetables planted in May which I am really excited about.

In other news I made a bunny cake for Easter and was really pleased with how the decorating turned out.  I didn’t make the cake from scratch and instead used a vanilla cake mix and added rainbow sprinkles to the mixture.  But I did make the buttercream frosting myself.  It is a simple vanilla buttercream and then I used Wilton gel food coloring for the pink.

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Easy Vanilla Buttercream

1/2 cup butter (softened)

4-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1-1/2 tsp vanilla extra

5 to 6 tablespoons milk

for the pink 1 drop Wilton pastel pink gel color

Cream butter until it has gone almost white, slowly add in sugar, extract, and milk alternating in parts until the consistency you want.  🙂   I believe the tip I used was 2D from Wilton (a drop flower tip of some kind I am not 100% sure the size).

I decorated the baking sheet with leftover frosting that was dyed pink and blue.

Overall it was  a rough week and my diet paid the price.  I ate out more than normal, drank fancy coffee (i.e. Starbucks) more than normal and just didn’t watch what I ate.  I paid for it on the scale this week, but I am starting over and not going to beat myself up over it.  On the positive side the cake that wasn’t eaten did get thrown away 🙂

No board game review this week because I forgot to write down the names of the ones we have played.  Will try to compile the names of them and add them into next weeks.

Until next time

~Reave~

Fed-is-best

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They want food, and mine never cared where he got it from

Sorry guys today I am talking about breastfeeding.  I know look away, it is uncomfortable to talk about, put them away who would talk about such things in public…shame shame. Well my plan didn’t go as I planned and  I want to talk about it.

 

Before I even had my son I wanted to breast feed.  Not only for the mother son bonding but also because hands down it was going to save me a lot of money.  So I researched early, I knew that due to the Affordable Care Act my insurance should cover a breast pump and that the hospital I was delivering at was very pro-breast feeding.  I started figuring out what I needed to do to get a pump so that  I could breast feed and pump once I went back to work.  I called my insurance company and figured out the details only to discover that my insurance didn’t cover breast pumps.  But how you ask, they are required by law you may say.  Unless your work went through the paperwork to be exempt from certain requirements of the Affordable Care Act which mine did.  This was annoying, how could a company for helping people not help its own employees.  So I went to HR and was like hmm, isn’t it weird that our consumers insurance covers these things but our insurance doesn’t.  I did what I tell every single person I work with to do, I advocated for myself and eventually got them to write the insurance company for an exception to cover my breast pump.  Hopefully anyone who comes after me knows to do the same thing because it was frustrating and I cried over my computer screen looking at the cost of breast pumps and how that would be too weird to ask for at a baby shower gift.  Once all of that was settled I confirmed with the insurance probably four times because I was nervous to all of a sudden get a bill from the medical supply company saying hey you owe us 250 dollars pay up.  It worked out OSF was great and I was able to pick it up about 2 blocks from my house instead of waiting for it to be delivered.

Once I had my little one breast-feeding felt like it was going okay at the hospital.  He had a good latch, and besides him cracking one side, which hurts to even think about, I thought he was doing well.  The consultant made some minor adjustments but I thought things were going well.  The issue with breast feeding though is you don’t know how much they are actually getting.  I didn’t know how much was normal to be getting when I pump.  I wish I had, because than the next several months wouldn’t have been so dang difficult and stressful.    I started pumping before I went back to work so that I could get used to it, and figure everything out.  Even went to an additional consultation because I felt like I wasn’t using it right, size of the pump shields matter, who would have thought it made such a difference.  But I never got the big surplus and that freaked me out.  I started drinking the tea and joined la leche league online and thought I was getting some good information.  It was all very supportive and I continued to think I got this.  All the while I was feeling like a dairy cow.  Because I wasn’t pumping a whole lot anything I did pump was liquid gold and used for emergencies which meant that  I was the one doing all of the feedings.  As much as I wanted to have my husband do feedings I just didn’t have the extra supply.  This was exhausting but still worth it because I wanted to get to the 6-month mark.

Fast forward a little bit and we were having difficulty getting into the new pediatrician because of a transfer of records So when we finally did get in he was already 3.5 months old.  When he did his weight check I was devastated he was severely underweight.  We all knew he was tiny because he was so long but getting the numbers that he was less than 1% was heart breaking.  So we increased how much he ate his bottles got bigger and he still wasn’t gaining.  So we had to do weekly weight checks for a while until our pediatrician told us something that devastated me. I had to start supplementing with formula.  I was mad, I was sad, I was so many things when I got this info that I couldn’t really process it.

I was mad. I was mad at the pediatrician for taking so long to get us in.  I was basically starving my son and if we had gotten in more timely if they hadn’t lost his records the first time we sent them they would have caught it sooner.  I was mad because how did I not realize that it wasn’t just that he was a colicky baby but that he was hungry, I wasn’t providing him enough nutrients.  I was mad because I had to switch OBs last-minute and they should have mentioned that because of some things in my medical history and that because I was a first time mom my supply might not be enough.  I was mad because I had been made to believe breast-is-best, and that I was doing the right thing by sticking to it and not supplementing from the evil formula industry.

I was sad.  I was sad because I felt like a failure.  I was sad because I could have done long-term damage to my son just because I was listening to the breast-is-best community and ignoring the fact that I knew I was not producing enough.  I was sad because I felt like I would be losing that bond because now he needed a bottle as well as me when I was home. I was sad because I felt like I wasn’t a good enough mom because I wasn’t enough.

The worst part of all of this was that a small part of me was also relieved.  I was relieved that it meant that my husband could take him for  a late night feeding.  I was relieved that the stress was reduced because I could breathe a little if I didn’t pump enough that one work day that was chaotic.

Once we started supplementing and mixing bottles he started to put on weight the weekly weight checks got to stop. He left the scary under 1%  on the charts.  While the doctor was never concerned about his life because of the fact that he has always been such an active child and never lethargic.  We got to see our normally very fussy colicky baby calm down.  He seemed more content and not wanting to eat every hour.

I still get mad thinking about what could have happened if the pediatrician hadn’t been so amazing and supportive in regards to the supplementing.  He understood that it was an emotional impact on me and encouraged me to still breast feed as long as I want as well.  It became an addition and not a replacement which helped.  I see these heartbreaking stories about people who never had a pediatrician encourage them in the right way.  Stories about infants who weren’t lucky enough to have weight noticed and corrected.  I am so lucky that I started supplementing because my little one is growing like a weed.

I know now that I still get to bond with him because I am the one who can get him down for the night.  He still comes to me when he needs soothed.  But now my husband gets to bond with him too, my husband gets to give him his morning bottle so I can get a little more sleep.

I was a firm believer in breast-is-best unless you have to do something else.  Now I realize how damaging that mantra can be because it makes people who cant do it feel like less of a mom.  Now I believe in Fed-is-Best, and however you choose to do that if you and your baby are healthy because of it.  Go for it.


*edit* I had my normal game and baking round up but it didn’t feel right, look for it next week. 


Until next time

~Reave~

Enjoying a good day of baking

One of the things I love about my home is the kitchen.  I love having lots of room to bake and store cool baking tools that  I use once in a blue moon.  This has resulted in a several really cool cakes being made including two surprise cakes for my nephews.  Recently my brother celebrated his birthday and I decided to make him his favorite cake…from scratch.

Spice Cake

2 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup applesauce

3/4 cup Vegetable oil

1 tsp gingerIMG_0309

4 eggs’

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz cream cheese

2 sticks of butter

6 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla


Overall this was a combination of different recipes.  The first recipe I found had cornstarch in it and I was out of that and the second had buttermilk in it and well that isn’t something I just tend to keep handy.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, clove, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg)

IMG_0315

3. Cream together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and applesauce.

4. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined.

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5. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

 

IMG_0317Then you are going to grease two 9 inch round cake tins.

Evenly distribute the batter between the two and bake for 30 minutes (give or take your own oven).

Once the cake is done (meaning a toothpick comes out clean) run a knife along the rim of each cake and then let the cakes cool for ten minutes in the tin.  After they have cooled for ten minutes remove from the tins and allow them to cool completely before frosting.


To make the cream cheese frosting make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. Cream together until smooth the cream cheese and butter.  Slowly add in the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Don’t add the powdered sugar all at once or you will get an explosion of white sweetness in your face.  Once it is all blended it should be ivory in color.


To decorate my spice cake I first put a dollop of cream cheese frosting onto my cake spinner.  This way when I placed my first cake it would adhere to the base and not risk moving when I decorate.  If you don’t have a cake leveler or don’t want to waste any cake, place the first cake top side down so that the dome of the cake is on the bottom. Then evenly add a layer of frosting onto the cake.  Place the second cake also dome side down so you have a flat surface to frost.  Now you will want to frost the cake with a light layer of frosting to fill in any cracks or openings along the edges.  This light layer of frosting is called the crumb coat and will seal in any loose crumbs once refrigerated.

After you have let the crumb coat set proceed to decorate.  In my family they love frosting so I did a hefty amount of frosting and topped with a sprinkle of brown sugar, powder sugar and cinnamon. IMG_0320


What I will say about this recipe is it makes a lot of cake.  Overall the flavor was delicious but the batter made more of a consistency of banana bread.  It was a little more dense than I was expecting. I realize now it’s because I didn’t have the extra liquid from the buttermilk and should have gone with my gut and added more applesauce or a dash of milk.  Flavor wise it was delicious and the frosting you could just eat by the spoonful.


Hopefully you enjoy the break from a normal blog and liked the cake recipe.  If anyone tries it let me know how you tweaked it 🙂

Games we played this week: Lanterns, Patchwork, Sushi Go, Clank

Game to be reviewed: Patchwork is a game I have looked at for a while because it’s a game about quilting.  I always thought that this game would be okay but that the flavor was one that you wouldn’t pick up unless you know someone or personally quilted yourself.  So this game has sat on my amazon wish list for a while staring at me.  Recently it went on sale and I decided to finally pick it up.  The game is simple enough to understand it has a simple placing and purchasing mechanism that you don’t worry much.  When playing it had a feel similar to Blokus but instead of knowing which pieces you have you are in a game of strategy against another player trying to get the pieces you want without leaving them able to get all the pieces they need as well.  Set up was easy to understand if you can quickly look over  a rule book you will have the game down in less than 5 minutes.  The scoring at the end is brutal because for each empty square you lose two points.  It’s not all about finishing the game first which is nice.  I lost and still enjoyed playing it because it was a quick game that was a medium level of strategy without the difficulty or resource management issues that often go along with strategy games.  nice game to kill time or set up when you have 1/2 and hour to sit down and play a game with a friend.  Will be playing again.

Do you have any games you recommend or enjoy playing regularly.  Let me know 🙂

Until next time 🙂

~Reave~

 

Chaos before the calm

Anyone else ever go to clean something and then that becomes an entire project.  That is how my weekend project was.  Lately, despite having our house finally feel like a home, I have been feeling a level of discontent with the way the bedroom is laid out. As a FYI as I was writing that I got the genius idea to flip the furniture around in the bedroom to help and texted the husband about it.  But that kind of is the point of this post.  I was feeling discontent.  Everything should have been set out for me to love the bedroom.  We have brand new furniture for our bedroom, I have my own closet, and things were really pretty.  However, even though everything was set up to be that it was my favorite room in the house,  I kind of got angry every time I was in the room.

Perhaps this is because on the first night our old metal bed frame snapped for no reason, and I thought for a split moment we crushed our cat.  Or that our we were living out of clean laundry baskets for a while, or that our mattress had a definite slope in the mattress from how we moved and stored it.  After all of those things were fixed I started to feel a little better, but I felt cluttered.  If you have known me for a long time you know that I used to be the queen of collecting things.  My dorm room had a plethora of rubber ducks, my bedroom growing up had hundreds of Boyd’s Bears (yes I still own them, and thanks mom and dad for continuing to store them for me).  Lately however I have wanted to de-clutter my life.  So when I look in the closet and everything was mismatched and I wasn’t really in love with anything in my closet it was frustrating.  When we moved in I started my weight loss journey at the same time.  So that began the process of purging my clothes.  If it was super old and I wouldn’t want to wear it when I could fit into again it was donated.  If it wasn’t my style anymore  I donated it.  This meant a lot of stuff went to Goodwill and I was happy I felt less cluttered.  This weekend I continued that process.

It has started because I have recently become addicted to LulaRoe clothing and when I looked at those clothes I felt excited to wear them.  This wasn’t a feeling I felt about 90% of the rest of the clothes in my closet and 95% of the jewelry in my collection.  I always gravitate towards the same items, and what I realized today was that it wasn’t because I actually liked the clothing, it was because I was too lazy to find something I liked more, or to do laundry so that  I could wear the thing I actually wanted to wear.  So this is where my weekend project began.  I went to Target, initially I went to pick up baby cold medicine and adult cold medicine.  But wandering through the homeware section I decided, what if I stored my Christmas and flannel sheets during the spring and summer to de-clutter the linen closet.  This statement sparked a lets declutter life rampage.  So I bought a really nice hanging shoe rack for my closet, and some uniform colored hangers and a throw pillow that I had been staring at for a while.  (The throw pillow wasn’t part of the declutter process but it was part of the I loved it and it looks cute in the guest room process).

So when I got home, the process began.  I have a couple of jewelry boxes.  One that my grandpa made me when I was little and another that was I believe my great grandmothers.  I emptied every bit of jewelry out of those boxes and any of the other tiny boxes I had onto my bed and I started creating five piles.  The first pile was earrings that weren’t currently with its mate.  The second pile was jewelry that was so tarnished or in some way unusable that I threw it out.  The third pile was jewelry that was in good condition but were not my style anymore so it was being donated.  The fourth pile was jewelry that meant something to me.  The final pile was occasion jewelry.  What I mean by this is the random fun Christmas earings, or easter bunny earings.  The earrings that  I would wear for one specific reason but don’t overall serve a purpose.

Once  I put the donate stuff into a giant Ziploc bag and the garbage into a toss bag,  I started putting away what remained.  The jewelry that meant something or was something I often gravitated towards went into one box and the stuff that was random occasion or not something I reached for often went into the other box.  After everything was put away I matched what I could for earrings and sorted them into the pile they belonged.  Because at this point anything not matched was long gone in an apartment far far away.  I felt good my jewelry looked nice, it was limited to stuff I actually wanted to wear and was excited to wear.

Once the jewelry was put away I began to tackle the closet.  I took everything out of my closet and with each article I picked up, if I didn’t love it or get excited about it, the item went into my closet.  This included clothes that I have even wore recently.  I would look at clothing and go yeah I just wore this two weeks ago but often I don’t like how I look in it, I wasn’t happy in it, and it was grabbed because I didn’t want to look further for something to wear.  Anything that made it past the “does it bring me joy” phase was put in a nice white hanger and hung back up into my closet.  This meant that everything in my closet brings me joy and I get excited to wear in which helps.

My closet isn’t perfect, I now tackled to fun task of going through my socks.  I love socks, I have lots of fun ones.  And it is about dang time I enjoy wearing them and make it easier to find the ones I like wearing.  After the closet was done, I had a mess all over the room.  So what  I did next took will.  Instead of pushing everything onto the floor to deal with the next day I started putting the clothes away from a clean laundry basket and sorting them the same way.  By the time I was done, I had two clothes baskets put away and the mess from the hanger exchange and closet purge put away.

I am in control of my level of happiness.  And if I am feeling discontent I can’t expect it to change unless I am willing to make some of those changes.  This weekend I was feeling crummy, the whole house has a cold and it would have been really easy to push-off the desire to fix my feelings about our room until a next weekend.  But that would mean that it is another week where I feel angry that it’s not like I want it.  So instead I put on my big girl pants, mommed up, and kicked the weekends butt.  And on top of all of that we got to spend time with family and go to bed prepared for the week.  All in all I made it through the chaos portion of the cleaning of the bedroom.

Since the last blog we have gotten a couple more games in but haven’t played them all yet.  We played: Evolution The Beginning, Potion Explosion, and Tumult Royale.

Game Review: Evolution The Beginning -.  This game was on sale at Target the other day and I decided to pick it up.  Definitely read all of the rules.  This is a game that is so simple, yet the rules really matter.  Cards are played in a specific way and fed in a specific way that it matters.  This game was fun but once we really understood what we were doing it picked up in level of strategy and difficulty.  You have a species you had evolution characteristics and you try to survive the longest with the most food.  It’s interesting because if you make your species a flying species, your opponents can’t eat them with their carnivorous burrowing bunnies because well burrowers don’t fly.  It’s a balance because you want to have enough prey on the board to feed your carnivores but you can’t have too much prey otherwise you cant feed them all and they starve.  I am excited to play this game again now fully understanding the rules.  I definitely lose the game but I still claim there is an * next to my husbands win because he wasn’t removing animals in the right order.  Can’t wait to play it again.

Until next time, go listen to “I’m the one that’s cool” by Felicia Day it makes me smile every time.

~Reave~