Monday, July 30, 2012

Girls Night Out

  I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a wonderful weekend. My amazing husband treated me to a day off and took the baby all day Saturday so I had an entire day all to myself. I was really excited that a few friends and I had a girls night and went out for drinks and appetizers and then went to the movies to see Magic Mike. I have to say it was not a very good movie, but I was glad I saw it! The strip club scenes alone are worth watching it. There were a lot of people in the theater so we had to sit in the second row, even though my neck was hurting, they were fantastic seats! I felt like I was right at the end of the stage.
   I do not always post every little thing I do on here, but I wanted to mention girls night for a few reasons. First, it is important for your partners to chip in once in a while and give you an entire day off. It helps restore you ability to be a great mom and it lets them not only spend quality time with the baby but also appreciate what you do and go through everyday. Many moms I know feel guilty leaving their child or for feeling good about going out, but it is important to refresh and start again.
   There are countless studies on this not just from child rearing but also from working. Studies suggest that workers who made a point to take a vacation and did not think about work, came back and were even better workers because they were refreshed and appreciated their jobs even more. So the next time you are feeling guilty leaving baby with your partner or with a sitter, remember it really is helping you both. It helps baby learn to be with other people and have some independence and it helps you refresh yourself and be a better mom and it is important for your sanity!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taking the Pain Away

    It has been a very busy couple of days. Yesterday, my son, Xavier turned four months old. I cannot believe how fast the time goes. Someone once told me when I was pregnant that when you have a child the days go by slowly but the months and years fly by. They were certainly right, there are rough days where I literally count the hours until his bedtime because we are just both cranky and then there are times when I just want time to stop and stay for a while so that we can never miss anything.
      One of those things I never want to miss is comforting my son. As a "present" for being four months old, babies have to get their second round of vaccinations. He did good with the first round when he was two months old, but this time was different.  He got them done in the afternoon and he was just sleepy the rest of the day. I gave him some Tylenol drops to help. However, last night at midnight it happened. He morphed into the miserable baby. My husband and I handle him in shifts. I handle any wake ups from midnight to 5am and my husband handles him from 5am to 9am. Usually he wakes at 6am so hubby gets the early shift. I usually only get up with him at midnight (he goes to bed at 8pm but usually doesn't get up until midnight) for a feeding and then at about 4 am for a feeding when I pump as well ( I breastfeed). However, last night, I got up at midnight, 1am, 2am, 3am and 4am. He was just grumpy and sore and running a fever. All day today he had a bad fever, some light swelling at the shot sites. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was not worried about him, as it was perfectly normal.
         What I thought was so amazing was you could see he knew something was wrong, he knew he felt bad. He openly leaned on me, he would cling to my shoulder, hug me more then before and still smiled and cooed when I attempted to cheer him up. It is one of those amazing moments as a parent when you realize that not only does a little living being depend on you, but you are his choice to depend on. There is no one else he rather be with then his mommy or daddy, that he knows he can get through anything as long as he has his mommy and daddy by his side. I was a very proud parent to know that he trusts and loves us to know he will be alright. It really is a joy to be a parent and it's moments like these that help get you through the crazy ones.

Monday, July 23, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons!

   When life gives you lemons, make lemon juice! There are literally thousands of benefits of lemons and things you can do with them. I am a big fan of lemons and anything to do with them, including the color yellow. However, I rarely have them in my house, just because of cost, I will only buy them for specific reasons and instead I usually keep the cheaper alternative of the giant bottle of lemon juice in my fridge. It seems to last forever. I wanted to find things to do with just the lemon juice. So I compiled a list of just lemon juice uses (some are mixed with water ). However, I left out any other ingredient combinations. Though there are tons of mixtures with salt, vinegar and honey that lemon juice is useful. If you are like me and always have a giant bottle of lemon juice on your refrigerator door, these are uses for just that! I have tried the majority of them and really am pleased. Enjoy!

Lemon Juice Uses (either fresh or concentrate)

1) Put a 1/4 to 1/2 cup in your laundry to brighten whites (works even better if you can then hang those whites outside in the sun)

2) Squirt some on apples, pears, avocados and potatoes to keep them from turning brown

3) Removes bad smells from refrigerators, cutting boards, microwaves or simmer on stove top as an air freshner

4) Squirt on window sills, thresholds of doors, along baseboards, and cracks for insect repellant, you can also add it to your floor wash for insect-repelling and cleaning

5) Use on hard water stains, debris and glass (either straight or mixed with water in spray bottle)

6) A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep it from sticking to the pot, making clean up a lot easier

7) You can use it to naturally highlight your hair, soak strands in concentrated area, or put in spray bottle with water and spray all over, dry in sun

8) Use as an astringent/toner for your skin put it on a cotton ball, it eliminates oil and tightens pores

9) Apply undiluted to itchy rashes such as poison ivy to soothe and help keep it from spreading

10) Take 2 TBSPs with 8 oz of warm water in the morning to naturally regulate your digestive system

11) Lemon juice mixed with water in a spray bottle is a great household cleaner for stove tops, counter tops, etc.

12) To sanitize your dishwasher put 1/4 cup juice in soap dispenser and run in normal cycle

13) To clean the grout around tiles

14) Cleans silver

15) Cleans tarnish off of brass

16) Put lemon juice on small cut or scrape to disinfect the wound

17) To eliminate odors in your humidifier pour 3 or 4 teaspoons into the water

18) Tuna salad is great with about a teaspoon of lemon juice, it helps to cut some of the fish taste out of it. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Easy Lemon Bars

  We are off to go visit some family that live out of town this weekend. I love cooking for lots of people so I offered to make dinner, which will consist of my famous meatballs and pasta. However, I figured I had to make some sort of dessert that is light and also easy and cheap for me to make. A great opportunity to check out my dessert board on Pinterest! I had pinned quite a few recipes of Lemon bars so I decided I would try one. The one I picked had two ingredients! Here is the recipe!

Easy Lemon Bars
- 1 box of Angel food cake mix
- 2 cans of lemon pie filling ( total of 42oz).

Mix dry cake mix and pie filling together in a large bowl. I just did it by hand. Pour into 9 x 13" baking pan. Bake 350 degree for 25-30 minutes. The sides will brown. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I thought these tasted great especially for how easy they are to make. They will definitely be a repeat in our house and they are great if you have to make a lot as well. I especially like that they have a cake like texture but a rich lemon taste. I store them in the fridge because I like the taste of them cold. They make a great summer treat!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Definition of a Next Generation Stay At Home Mom

   I have been asked many times what a "next generation stay at home mom" is, so I thought it fitting that early on in this blog I would address it. It is just a name I came up with as I was thinking of things to write about. There are many blogs about stay at home mom's but I have noticed the majority of them are from veteran moms and who do things the way the past generations have ( at least stay at home mom style ). Honestly, as a new stay at home mom I added the next generation because I believe we have different challenges and goals then our previous generations have had. No longer are the days of the June Cleaver's or the workaholic moms, but instead a delicate balance.
     In fact when telling many of my friends that I am a stay at home mom majority are very surprised to see that someone my age with my first child would choose such a path. My path did start for financial reasons, but has ended up more from our personal preference.  My husband is an extreme type A personality, he has a hard time sitting still. One of his jobs that he does on most Saturdays is a hobby that also happens to pay. I cannot argue with that. If I got paid for my hobbies he would let me pursue them at my whim as well. So we figured with him mainly working six days a week it would be unfair to our kids if we both worked full time. We at least did not think it would work for our family. My main order of thinking is that I can always get a job but my child will only be young once and I do not want to miss it and I want to be there for everything possible so we are very fortunate to have a great relationship.

- Identityless, ie- Mrs. Husband's name, or so and so's mom only
- Keep all feelings and interests buried and only pursue in the supposed free time that we as moms know we will never get
- We have to be perfect on any level (according to societies standards)
- Are responsible for all household duties, chores and child rearing while the husbands rest and are not allowed to be stressed
- Follow all rules for child rearing, house keeping, etc.

- The term "mom" and "wife" are only an aspect of ourselves, not our whole identity, they are some of the many sides of us. We are a woman first and foremost.
- We now realize that we have to put ourselves and our happiness first. For if we are not happy our family is not happy. We have to take care of our physical and emotional needs first before we can help our families.
- We are able to pursue many outside interests for we are very multifaceted. It helps keep our sanity and make sure we are fulfilled as human beings.
- We make sure that our husbands/fathers/partners contribute not just financially to our household. They are present with child rearing, household chores and duties as well. The entire household weight is not on ourselves. Not only is it not fair for us, but it is not fair for our partners to be left out of our household life because they must earn a living for us. The next generation of stay at home mom's recognize this as an asset. We make sure that partners feel they are contributing other then financially and we revel in watching them do so, we do not nag that they do not do as well as we, we teach, encourage and watch as they develop their own methods.
- Unlike previous generations, our primary concern should be our children. It is now acceptable to let the laundry pile a little, or have a cheap take out dinner in the oven once in a while if it means you spend some extra time playing on the floor with your little ones. After all, we realize our children will remember the time spent with us, not what the house looked like.
-Lastly, we do not conform to societies standards, but rather stretch boundaries in all aspects of our families' lives. We read and find out the most up to date information and make informed decisions on our own. We do not have only one way of doing things, but rather a plethora to choose from and do so by our own methods.

I believe this is the main difference between the different generations of stay at home moms.  We have learned many lessons from the previous generations of stay at home moms, both good and bad, I believe this next generation owes it to our children to carry on with the good and find new ways to add in to the best job in the world!

Ideas for Baby Wipe Containers

  I am a huge fan of Pinterest. If you have not tried it out yet you should. I actually did the unelectronic version of pinning before this was invented. I love magazines and I would rip out pages of crafts, decorations, or recipes I liked and keep them in a folder. It was hard to always look through the folder though as it was pages and pages to go through. However, I am frequently on pinterest pinning things and I try to go through and do things as much as I can. I actually usually remember them in my head and when I get a chance I go and do one. Recipes are my weakness as I love to cook! However, I try to throw in crafts and such as well when I can.
 Here is the url for the pin

    One of the things when having a baby that I never thought of is that everything for baby takes batteries. Tons and tons of batteries are needed. We finally decided to stock up on as many as we could. I found this great pin on pinterest of what to do with extra baby wipe containers. For only having a four month old we have a bunch of these already. I had actually saved them, thinking I may use them for something. We normally try to buy the wipe refills but sometimes you get the tub anyway. Glad I saved them as these are some great ideas! What I used today was the battery holder! It worked out wonderful. Granted, I am not as good at beautifying the wipe holder as they are in the pinterest link, but it serves it's purpose and we are pleased that they are not sticking in a drawer that is hard to open anymore. Check out this great link and let me know which ones you found to be the most helpful!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Story of Us

                 My husband, Nick, and three week old son, Xavier and I on our first Easter together as a new family!    
     It is the natural life progression, to move forward, to follow others, to do what others in your family have done. In my family the next step was have a child. I did the proper order, school, college, marriage, job, and now baby!
     My husband and I had been together for over six years and married for over six months. We were both secure and happy in our jobs, had a house, had two dogs and two cats and one lizard and now we had decided to try for a baby. I had come to a conclusion. Something was missing. We needed more. I took a look at many of my friends and family's lives. Not to compare, but merely to assess where we were and in what different directions we could take.
      We had three options from what I could tell, we could become the "jet setting couple" you know them, that couple that is married and in love and travel constantly to distant lands. You probably facebook stalk all their vacation pictures. They have impromptu parties and buy great gifts. The second option is the "sport couple" no doubt you have seen this couple trying out the latest diet trend, or work out trend. They are usually found signing up for marathons. They are on sports teams and some even follow their favorite professional team. The third, last, and option we chose was the "children couple". They have decided to expand their family to include children. They are usually exhausted and frazzled. They hardly ever take vacations, or hang out with friends much and usually they arrive late to all events.
       However, what I saw in the "children couple" was what I wanted. It was fulfillment. Not that the other couples are not fulfilled but the look of fulfillment that "children couples" have is the look that I wanted to have. I promptly informed my husband that I was ready to try for a child. He had been ready since we started dating, he is older than I and has wanted a child his whole life but agreed to wait until I was ready.    
       Two months later I was pregnant and we were ecstatic. I had a miserable pregnancy with bouts of morning sickness, fatigue, nausea and aches and pains. We both ended up getting laid off from our jobs. My husband took a job in a new company and we decided since my career path was obsolete in this economy I would stay home with our baby. It was not my first choice but I was willing to try it. I am very active and like to try new things so I was ready to dive head first into being a stay at home mom. Throughout my pregnancy I had ideas of the quintessential 1950s housewife. I would look nice and shower, clean, cook, craft, shop, be great at raising our child. Pinterest was a favorite while pregnant I would pin and dream of all the great cooking, crafting and organizing I would do. Three days past my due date I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! He was a surprise as we did not know the sex of our child, and we did think it was a girl. We named him Xavier Nicholas. Thus, our adventure begins!


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