Thursday, November 28, 2013

Caden's Christmas Tree - No Sew Felt Tree

So I didn't want to NOT have a Christmas tree and in our tiny condo I didn't have anywhere to put it out of reach of Caden. So I search the internet for a solution. Naturally I went to pinterests. A friend mentioned the idea of a felt tree. So that's what searched and I found this post about a toddler tree.  So I used this as a base idea.

I did it 'no sew' style. I used Craft Tacky glue and felt.

I got some felt stickers and let Caden stick some on.

I got a cheap little roll of garland at Target and a plastic star for the top but we haven't figured out how to attach it yet. So far Caden loves it! And so do I! We'll probably use this as our main tree for a couple years then it will become his bed room tree once he's old enough to not knock over or grab at a real tree and ornaments.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saving Sleep - Our sleep solution story

Caden started life out as a pretty darn good sleeper. We had some rough times at the beginning with getting him to sleep on his back, in his pack n play, or transitioning him out of being swaddled. But overall compared to what I've read and heard from people, he was a "good sleeper" At 6 weeks he slept "through the night" for a few months.

Then... he, my mom and I took a trip. Caden's first big trip, we flew to Raleigh, North Carolina. We all shared a hotel room and here's where I "broke the good sleeper" I made the horrible mistake of picking him up and nursing him every time he woke up. Even if he wasn't crying. I did this for a week because I didn't want to wake my mom or the neighboring visitors. I thought it was a good idea. Most night's he'd sleep from 8-4, so it didn't seem like a big deal.

When we got back from this trip is when I realized what a fatal mistake I had made. He now had to go back to sleeping in his own room, alone. He started waking up 2 or 3 times a night. I was exhausted. 7 months of no certain sleep routine does a number on your body and mind. Ask Levi, I wasn't the same person. I was cranky, snapped easier than ever, didn't have motivation. It sucked.

So, one day a few weeks ago I decided that sleep was probably the answer to all our problems and Caden needed to be fixed. After all the advice, the googling, and what have you, I couldn't quite figure out what was going to work best for us. I knew waking up with him and nursing him wasn't the answer.

I hadn't decided anything but one night, Caden woke up at 10:30pm after going down at 7:30pm. I lay in bed and decided right then and there that I was going to let him cry it out. I swore on my life when he was born I'd NEVER let him cry it out. That was just cruel and terrible. But I was fed up. Levi asked me if I wanted him to go get Caden. I said no, just let him go.

After a few minutes I went and got the video monitor to watch him for peace of mind. That help a lot. I could see that he wasn't hurt or wet. I repeatedly told myself "My parents and Levi's probably let us cry it out and we're fine, we still love our mom's" He cried for an excruciating 40 minutes and then crashed back to sleep. A huge weight was lifted when he fell asleep.

Ever since that night, he has slept at least 7 to 7, every night. My body took a few weeks to get used to it but ever since we "fixed" Caden, life has been so wonderful!!!

I'm convinced that the cry it out method is the quickest way to fix sleep problems. It is REALLY tough listening to your little baby cry and cry but it only took 1 night! ONE!

Fixing his nighttime sleep also helped improve his napping! He now takes a 2ish hour nap every morning around 10am and an hour in the afternoon, when we're home. When we go to work it throws things off but he definitely gets 2 hours or more some how.

I know everyone has different opinions about how to handle sleep and babies crying but this worked for us. And without the support of your partner nothing will work. You have to be on the same page and support each other through everything. I know a long while back Levi suggested we let him cry, I wasn't ready. I was, at the time, content with waking up.

Overall after being a strong "hater" towards the Cry It Out method, I have been converted and I suggest trying it if you can stick with it!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The 4th Trimester Bodies Project

The project is simple
"The 4th Trimester Bodies Project is an ongoing photo documentary created by photographer and mother Ashlee Wells Jackson. This project is dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding."  (

I've told Caden's birth story here

I decided to do this for 2 reasons:
1. I love what the project is about and wanted to help other mothers to realize they're not alone. That this new body is perfectly normal and beautiful and is a badge of honor!

2. Because I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone to hopefully learn myself that my new body is just perfect and nothing to be ashamed of.

Ashlee was a lovely lady to work with. She and her daughter Nova were so awesome to work with in their comfy little studio in the city. We shared stories and laughed about silly little things our children do. She made me feel comfortable, probably without even knowing how nervous I really was in the beginning. I love talking to other mamas and sharing experiences. It helps you to feel normal and human and that's what this is all about. Barely children is human, your after pregnancy body is human. It's nothing to hide.

This project is run by a mom, a photographer, a wife. She needs your help to raise enough money for this project to be seen to fruition. Please if you can and you believe in this project, donate! They have a FundRazr page (

You can also participate by contacting Ashlee on the website (

If we raise $2500 as a group and donate it we can get Ashlee and her team to come out to the suburbs so please email me if you're interested in that!

So here's the final photo we chose for the book.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July Citrus Lane Box

Citrus Lane time again! If you're interested in joining Citrus Lane, use this link to get $10.00 off your first month!

Caden wake up from his morning nap just minutes before the mailman delivered our monthly box. He already loves boxes so when I put it on the floor with him he was excited before we even opened it!  He went straight for the bright yellow tissue paper!!

Here's what we got!

1. Jittering Giraffe from Tiny Love - It jitters, jingles and... that's about it. Caden is now 7 months and I thought that he wouldn't really be interested in this toy. It seemed a little young for him, but I clipped it to the edge of his pack n play and he was amused by it so this was a winner! It retails for $7.99 on and Amazon.

It was taste test approved!

2. On-The-Go from ZoLi - Its a snack stacker. It also says you can use it for formula, I've never used formula so I'm not sure how it works for that. Either way, once we start introducing different snacks I can see this coming in handy. I considered putting purees in it, but the description says it's for dry contents only, so that's out of the question. But that's ok! It's BPA and phthalate free so that's a plus. It has an 'easy pour spout' and you can carry as many or as little of them at a time as you need! It retails for $15.00! (There's most of the price of the box already!)

3. NurturMeals from NurturMe - At first I thought... oh another food we aren't going to use. But I read the ingredients.... organic quinoa, organic apples, organic pea. Ok cool! So basically it's dried quinoa, apple and peas that you mix with water, breast milk or formula. It's USDA organic, BPA, Gluten and GMO free. It's good for babies from 6 months to 4 years old! There aren't any sugars or salts added, or preservatives. They're especially handy for traveling, which we will be doing in a few weeks so if he likes this I may get some more! Unfortunately I don't believe they're available in any of my local stores so I'll have to order them online. But they'd be safer in my suitcase than those food pouches! The blend flavors range from $9.50 to $11.99 for a box of 8. So $1.50ish per 'meal' is about the same price as the pouches. But then you have to pay shipping, so that's a bummer. 

4. California Baby Travel Set - Basically these are just sample sizes of California Baby's Aloe Vera Cream and Calming Shampoo & Bodywash. We currently use California Baby Shampoo and Bodywash - unscented. And I love it! I can't wait to try out these 2 products. 

5. Little Buddy Wipes from Me4Kidz - Antibac wipes, who doesn't use them!? They're infused with fresh cucumber and tea tree scent, alcohol & sting free! I'll add them to my pile of wipes and see. These are more for cleaning hands, faces and toys. This packet of 32 retails for $2.49.

6. Postagram from Sincerely Inc - This is a sample of a Postagram with a coupon code for 10 free postcards. You're welcome to use the code CITRUS1307. It's an app that makes a postcard from a picture of your choice and then send it to friends. The picture is perforated so they can pop it out and stick it on the fridge or anywhere they want! That's pretty neat! You could be on vacation, take a picture and send it via snail mail! I like it!

Oh yeah! The wipes and snack stacker pasted the taste test too! Everything must be tasted!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Renaissance Faire Outfit!

After going to the Bristol Ren Faire a bunch last year, Levi suggested we dress up this year! Last year, he bought boots and a cloak. And I was pregnant last year so I couldn't try on any outfits with corsets. So I went on a mission this spring to find the perfect outfit.

At first I wanted to either dress up as a pirate or a woodland creature. But then I stumbled upon Venefica Corsetry on Etsy. I immediately fell in love with her work! I browsed thru all her current inventory and found a ruffle bustle that I couldn't stop thinking about! (pictured below) So I started trying to piece an outfit together around the bustle. Having a hard time I decided to send Stacey a message on her opinions for an outfit. She let me know she could make a corset to match and gave me suggestions for the colors of the rest of the outfit! She was wonderful to correspond with!

After about 4 weeks, my outfit arrived!!

It was like Christmas in June!

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as quality because I had never ordered something like this from anyone on Etsy before. But I hoped for the best. And I was pleasantly surprised at how AMAZING of a job that Stacey did. The corset is so incredibly detailed and very well made! It certainly will last me a long time! I can't wait to wear it to the faire!

Here is Stacey's information

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June Citrus Lane Box

Hooray! It's that time of the month again! Citrus Lane time!!! I get super excited every month now, even though I get on Citrus Lane's Facebook and there are tons of complaints about petty things. If you're going to complain then cancel and make your own damn box! Go to the store, order stuff online and put one together for yourself, that way you're guaranteed to love it. But the fun of Citrus Lane is the surprise, sure I don't like or use everything we get but in the end it's worth the fun and surprise. And we have used most things. Caden still loves his Innobaby Teether and his Green Toys Keys. I LOVE the Dapple baby dish soap, the Honest Company Shampoo & Body wash and use my Mommy Hook. We now use his Oogaa spoon at every feeding and I already loved Aden + Anais burpy bibs. So over all I'm still super happy with Citrus Lane. And this month we got a couple exciting things.

i play Reversible Sun Hat
- Periwinkle Pier - Can I say this is the most exciting thing in this months box! We use an i play swim diaper and love it! The second reason I was excited about this hat was I had been searching Target high and low for a hat with a chin strap, they apparently don't sell them for some odd reason. This hat has a chin strap! He'll be able to wear it outside and on the boat without worrying about it flying away! Also we received an adorable pattern!!! I was worried we'd get a boring white one. It's UV-protective 50+ and reversible! I couldn't find this exact one for pricing but they were all in the range of about $15.00. You can find them at 

Boon Odd Duck - This is adorable as well!! Caden loves, loves, loves his rubber duck that I got from Target before he was born that is supposed to tell you if the water is too hot in the tub. He chews on him and grabs for him while he takes a bath! So how he has another bath time friend!! It's free of PVC, BPA and phthalates and won't hold water so theres no chance of mold! On Amazon I found these ranging from $5.00 to $19.00! They put their website of on the little info card but I couldn't find the ducks anywhere on their site. Unfortunately they're made in china :-/

Happy Family Stage 2 Homestyle Meals Pouch - Basmati Rice, Coconut milk & Carrot Blend - This is up for debate on whether or not I'm going to try this product out. We were avoiding introducing rice to Caden because we've had a few friends babies (not all) get real constipated from rice. Also I could go on about how white rice is not that great for you and all rice grown in America has Arsenic in it... but that's a whole debate in it's self. So I can't really review this product for you, but I do plan on buying some of these pouches (in different flavors) for a trip in August so maybe I'll do a review then. A case of 16 of these pouches on Amazon goes for about $18.00

Last and least, 

Episencial Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35 - I've seen a ton of debate on this sample on Citrus Lane's facebook. Relax people, they put a sticker over it because it would be too costly to create a whole new sample sized bottle when they don't already have one. If it pisses you off that much then cancel the service but I really see no problem. Anyways, to the product itself. My beef with this is it's gear towards my baby, but it's only SPF 35. I'm a pale paranoid mother with a ghostly white babe... I put 70 on myself. 35 is not nearly enough for me to test this out. MAYBE I'll test it out on myself but I bet money I get sunburned!

This box wasn't nearly as great as the last 2 boxes we've received but I am glad we got it just because of the hat and rubber duck. I saved money on the last 2 boxes so I'd say we broke about even on everything. We'll continue the service next month and I'll be as excited as ever for it to arrive!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Mini POÄNG Chair

A couple weekends ago, my cousin and I went to IKEA because she was looking for a new cover for her POÄNG chair that she had gotten back from a friend of hers. I decided to make a list of potential things I wanted 'needed' of our house... Well needless to say I bought a bunch of stuff. (Carol bought nothing!)

Walking around, we stumbled upon the children's section of Ikea. I 'oo'd' and 'ah'd' at all the cute things I wanted to buy for Caden but knew he wouldn't use until he was older or we didn't need it. Then I saw it... a mini POÄNG! Kid sized! I took Caden out of the carrier and sat him in it, took a picture and sent it to Levi with the caption "We need!"

I wrote down the place to find it on the first floor warehouse area and told Carol I was going to think about it, I pretty much decided as I finished that sentence that I had to get it!

We wondered around some more, I found shelves that would work for what I envisioned a book wall to be in Caden's room and some other random things and we headed down stairs.

When I got home I immediately put together the chair! I decided it was too plain, so a few days later I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up these fabric markers.

While Levi had started on our kitchen project I sat down and drew this little design on the chair in fabric markers. I'm not sure if I'm done decorating it but I like it for right now.