Monday, September 13, 2010

September = School?

So, it is now September. And with all the back to school sales at stores, commercials on TV, and friends talking about sending their kids to school, I have been thinking... I need to start thinking about education for my kids.

So, these last few weeks I've been researching Home Schooling and Private Schooling. (I am too afraid of public school to research that yet. lol. BUT, I WILL, when I work up the courage)

I realize that my children are not yet 2 and 1 yet, but I think that if we get an early start, they will be so much better off and more prepared when they do go to school in a few years. From my research, I have found several websites and online articles which I have found to be of interest. The first of which is: . This is an article on what your child should know (academically and socially) coming out of grades K-5. The article also encourages you to check with your child's classroom and State's academic standards ( for more information on what your child is required to learn.

The State of Wisconsin does keep close tabs on its Home Schooled children. This is the Home School Legal Defense Association article which informs you of the Wisconsin State laws and regulations on Home School Education: . It defines Home School and puts guidelines on things such as number of hours of study, age at which you are required to be enrolled, and the freedom from state assessment, curriculum, and certified teachers.

This is my favorite Site yet: . It is the journey of a mom and her children through Pre-School education. She includes teaching materials, subject ideas, her own developed curriculum, and other resources to help you make your child's education journey a success. She also has an Elementary Blog and a High School Blog.

I am planing to begin Home School Preschool when Bre turnes 2. I don't mean the sit at the kitchen table and complete your worksheets type of home school. I mean, we will begin our learning process and developing our education skills in a structured manner. I plan to have lessons which we will tackle a week at a time, incorporating our lessons into our every day activities. Generally, getting Breanna excited and ready to learn, whatever avenue of education I decide to pursue.

I am ALMOST ready for our education adventure!  (still biting nails)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All the little Children

I just saw a video of children being buried alive in the amazon. i do not want to share it with you because i can not get the image out of my head! it makes me want to go collect all the unwanted children and care for them myself! It's a good thing that our God is a merciful God. I have to keep reminding myself that those children will be with him. what would poses someone to bury an innocent child alive!

and why the HECK would someone video tape this horrific act and not do anything to stop it?! I want to go to the film maker and kick him in the face! how can you just stand by and allow someone to not only be treated that way, but to be killed! because she was 2 years old and couldn't walk or talk yet. "Jesus loves the little children... All the children of the world..." I love my children, and I want you all to know that I would have no problem using old testament law on ANYONE who does anything to hurt my child! "An eye for an eye..." My foot up your ASS! obviously i am COMPLETELY horrified at this whole thing. why the CRAP did i hit play on that stupid video?!

my head is spinning from trying to think of ways to stop this from happening to any child. and the thing that is so depressing is that i know that no matter what i do, it will still happen. the world is in such a bad state right now that people kill their own children! or do worse things to them... It's times like these that make me grateful for biblical prophecy. I am so glad to know that there will be a day where there's no more pain. I truly know the meaning behind the words "for me to life is Chrst, but to Die is gain." Oh to escape this horrible place.

can you imagine being God and seeing your creation, what you created to be good, created to glorify you, what you love with everything you have... become something so terrible. like being a mother, who raises a son she loves so much! and through no fault of her own, he turns into a murderer. how can you un-love him. you can't. but it makes your heart break every time you think about your creation, your off spring, being such a bad person.

It's no wonder God caused the Flood in Genesis. I always wonder why he did it so early. If today's times are just as bad, or worse, why wouldn't he have waited until now to wipe the slate clean? or, have come back and set things right before they got worse? Obviously I'm not God. I just wish I could do more for this world than sit back and watch it kill its self. and drag the innocent down with it.

God, I love my children, and I thank you for giving them to me. But next time, would it be too much to ask to get rid of the bad stuff before the good gets a chance to be tainted? 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wilted Lettuce?

What do you do with Lettuce that is going bad?

Have you ever had cooked lettuce??

Tear the head of lettuce like you would a salad (i used romaine). Boil the lettuce until it is limp. Drain. Add a table spoon of butter and a quarter tsp of vinegar. S&P. also, add fresh mushrooms if you like. DELICIOUS! even Chris liked it.

Frugal food tip :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Poop-Poop in the Potty

Did you know that you are supposed to Flush baby poop down the toilet? Even when you are using Disposable diapers?

Waste removal
As the Pampers bag recommends, you'll want to dump bowel movements in the toilet. Then just roll the diaper into its backsheet, using the tape or fasteners to keep it closed, and dispose of it in the trash.

Besides, this also cuts down on the smell in your trash can.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

wizards, vampires, fairies and the easter bunny!

So, as I'm sitting here watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I had a thought. Why is it that some people have an issue with make believe?

Lets look at a few different characters that society accepts, weather true or not: the all important Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, Tinkerbelle, Wizards (harry potter), Vampires (twilight), Dragon Tales, Power Rangers, The Tooth Fairy...

All of these characters are widely known. Many of them are taught to young children to be "Real". Many parents sneak their christmas presents under the tree to pretend that Santa Clause did it. Same with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Is it wrong to tell your children that these characters are real? Is it wrong to LIE to them?

Some other characters, many people have an issue with, Harry Potter and Twilight... many people won't let their kids watch the movies, or even boycott the books because they promote magic... blah blah blah...

And some make believe characters don't even get discussed, they just get watched on TV without even an explanation. I mean, are monsters real? Sesame Street seems to think so. Can you "wish" yourself into a distant land where dragons exist, or have visions of the future? 

How do you get across to your children that some things are real, and others aren't? Is it ok for you to tell your child that Santa Clause is real, but Vampires don't. When is it ok to let them watch the Little Mermaid but not to let them watch Harry Potter?

Wouldn't it be much simpler to tell your child that Santa is not a real character, but is a fun make believe character that is used to represent the Christmas Spirit. Explain who the real Saint Nicholas was. Tell them that the Easter Bunny is just a fun way of bringing in Spring. That Harry Potter is just a made up character that is fun to make believe. That magic is just a fantastic idea that is fun and entertaining to pretend.

You can't tell a child that they are not allowed to have a tea party because the tea in the pot is pretend. that they are not allowed to play House because it is wrong to pretend that you are an adult who is married with children. That they can not pretend they are a Power Ranger because real people don't transform into robots (or whatever that show is about...). You let kids be kids. As long as they know the difference between reality and fantasy, what is the harm in a little fun? After all, what would we accomplish if we had no imagination? 

Now, if your kid starts shooting their pretend wand at other kids and saying "Obliterate" or shooting their pretend gun at someone saying "You're Dead!" then, I'd suggest a change in entertainment and an education on playing nice. But that is a whole other blog post that I don't wish to get into at this moment.

Monday, August 9, 2010

homemade cheese

after watching martha stewart this morning, i decided i'm going to try to make homemade cheese. i will update you and let you know how it turns out. i'm kinduh really excited about this!

here is the recipe i will be using:

make your own and tell me how it turns out :)

(7 hours later)

So, I did end up making cheese. It was not hard at all, at least this kind wasn't. It turned out crumbly like feta but more smooth and waxy tasting like cheese curds with a very mild flavor. I guess other kinds of cheeses have a more cheesey flavor but are a bit more difficult to make and require enzymes to culture. But this only took about an hour or so because it has to drip until the whey drains out.

So the white lump in the colander is the cheese, the liquid on the right is the Whey left over. I can use this in place of milk in any recipe or make it into a drink. If I had a garden I could use it to water my plants! I could also do the process again and make "Ricotta" cheese which literally means "Re-Cooked". I'm not sure what i'm going to do with it right now, but I will find a use for it!

After it was done draining, I crumbled it and mixed it with a bit of salt and some oregano. Bre sure liked it! it would be good with crackers or on top of a salad. 

My next Cheese adventure will be something a bit more challenging. Maybe a harder aged cheese??

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toilet Paper!!!

Why is it that toilet paper is so much fun when you're a toddler? It seems that every time you turn your back, your child has half the roll unraveled! I started putting the roll on the back of the toilet instead of on the dispenser so this would not happen... and something worse happened... the whole roll was dipped in the toilet. fun.

Our bathroom is designed right now so that the sink is in a separate room from the toilet. So, now I put the toilet paper by the sink. Unfortunately, if you forget to grab it, you have to open the door and reach around the wall to the sink to grab the toilet paper while trying to hover over the toilet. lol.

My new project is to find some way to make a toilet paper shield. I read about taking an empty plastic bottle or pop can and cutting both ends off and making one slit, so it makes it a bit harder to pull the toilet paper out so fast. The other thing I thought of, was cutting the toe off of a sock or stocking and using it like a muff. But, this means that you'd have to pull it aside every time you go potty. But I guess that is better than the alternative. I'm tired of my toilet paper touching the floor, or wasting a roll when it is thrown into the toilet whole!

I'l have to take a picture and let you know how it goes for me.

Any body have other ideas?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

mandatory breast feeding

Today while watching Good Morning America, Gisele Bundchen (model) says Breastfeeding should be a "worldwide international law". She said to Us magazine, "Some people here (in the US) think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?' I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."

Thus spurs the debate. Is it right to allow mothers, who are capable of breastfeeding, to give formula to their babies instead?

I understand that some moms try to breast feed but their bodies just won't produce enough milk. I understand that some moms have a medical condition which doesn't allow them to breast feed due to medication or other health risks. But working moms, the work place is required by law to give you a place and time to pump frequently. And did you know you are allowed to breastfeed in any public place? This is your right.

Here are some actual excuses I've heard for why some moms don't breast feed:

"Breastfeeding doesn't fit into my working lifestyle. My high demand job does not allow for regular frequent breaks to keep up my milk supply."

"I think the breasts are a purely sexual body part and should only be shared between me and my husband. It just feels wrong and sexual to have my baby sucking on me."

"My husband wants to share the responsibility with me, he feels like breast feeding would take away from his share and not allow him be an intimate part of the baby's life."

Honestly, I have heard all three of these excuses being used. I will let you draw your own conclusions on that one.

But think about this. How could you encourage moms who are unable to nurse, or moms who adopt, that formula is safe and that their babies will grow up normal and healthy if you are telling everyone else that they are not allowed to use formula. Formula will not kill your baby, just like eating McDonalds every day won't kill you. There are just better alternatives. The best thing I think we can do is encourage all new moms to do what is best for their babies and to help them understand the benefits of breastfeeding.

Then again, why are C-sections optional now a days? It's safer to do a vaginal birth in most cases. Why aren't cigarettes illegal? Is it ever healthy to smoke? Why aren't bicycle helmets the law? When do you draw the line between what the government tells you what to do and when you can choose for yourself?

For me, that line should be when it affects no one but yourself or your property (a bike helmet, a cigarette or wearing your seat belt...) compared to when it affects the health or wellbeing of others and their property (driving under the influence, speeding, littering...)

where does breastfeeding fit?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Frustrated Shopper

so this post has nothing to do with anything much except for just a rant about customer service!

I was at walmart today. I had to pick up my prescription and just needed to get the kids out of the house. they said it would be about 45 minutes to an hour before I could pick it up. (which is ridiculous because all they have to do is put the darn pills in the package) so, the kids and I did some shopping. After about 45 minutes we returned to see a huge line. So, I figured we'd just wait for the line to die down and walk around some more. 10 minutes later the kids were getting fussy, so we just decided to wait in the STILL huge line.

10 minutes later with kids screaming and everyone in line getting frustrated with me... it was my turn. The pharmacist got my script and I said "I have a few other purchases and I don't want to have to wait in line twice with my kids." she said "ok" and started to ring me up. I asked for a pen and she stopped. she said "since you are writing a check and have other purchases, why don't you go up to the front and pay for it all together?" I was like, "EXCUSE ME?!" she said "i have a really long line." I thought to myself "DUH, I was just standing in it for like 10 minutes with my kids! i do NOT want to do that again at the registers, you are ALREADY ringing me up lady. i UNDERSTAND that you are being inconvenienced, but HELLO so is everyone in line who has to wait with me...." I mean, come on. I am in no way saying that a lady with kids needs special treatment, but only a month ago I paid for more stuff at this register than just my script, I also wrote a check, and just because you have a long line means I do not have that right any more?? I'm sure that everyone in line with me will agree that my kids just need to get out of here.

So, I didn't put up a fight. instead I bottled it all up inside me. I almost stopped at customer service and complained, but that would only defeat the purpose of getting through the line quickly and getting my kids out of there. But, I think that when I'm done venting about it here, I will write the store and make sure they know how horrible their customer service sucked today. I hope they do better in the future. Not only look out for the efficiency of the pharmacy, but also of the customers. After all, isn't the customer supposed to come first??

Monday, August 2, 2010

writing on the walls

I don't understand those kids toys where you can write on the walls and then wash it off. Like those Bath Tub Writers. Or that mess free finger paint. It tells kids that it's ok to draw on your walls and furniture. Either it disappears or you just wash it off, no big deal... Yeah, I'm not a fan. I think that kids need to learn responsibility and they need to have consistency in order to connect the dots. You can't set a double standard. "Well, if you use these special crayons you can color wherever you want, but if you use any other kind of crayon you will get in trouble doing what I said you could do two days ago" I think that is cruel to do to the kids and it just makes for more trouble for mom or dad later.

Now, I don't however have a problem with those aquadoodle things. The pens you fill with water and write with them. My daughter has one and she knows it's just water. She also likes to squeeze it and squirt it all over the place. But our rule is that when she runs out of water she's done. Of course, she's only 2, so she doesn't really get that yet, but she will only learn if we make it a standard now. The difference is that it's not actually paint or ink. She knows it's just water and she is able to make that distinction between a marker and water. And when she's out of water she asks "More water please." HA! of course I have to say no.

One of the first "painting" toys my daughter had was a bucket and a paint brush that Grandma let her use on the back deck. When it's really hot outside she can "paint" all she wants and it dries right up. She doesn't even realize it's gone, I think, she just keeps having more space to "paint" but again, she asks for "More water please." She knows that it's just water, the same that is in her pool.

So, if you're looking for a christmas present for my daughters, lol, I'm not a fan of wall writer toys, but water writer toys are ok. I don't know what everyone else thinks, but those are my thoughts.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I am a huge advocate for homemade baby food. I do like the convenience of just grabbing a jar of pre-made stuff once in a while though, heck! i got 50 jars from someone who didn't need them. Was I going to turn away something that was free? NO! and that really helped while we were moving. (i was without pots/pans/microwave... for like 3 weeks!)

but when you make your own baby food, you now exactly what your baby is eating. No preservatives, no salt, and less cost. (that is always  plus) so here is my favorite website for baby food tips and recipes: it has AWESOME tips, facts, recipes, ideas... a GREAT resource.

Also, check out their teething biscuit recipes!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Problems I had with breast feeding

My children were c-section babies. Because of the numbness from the spinal I was unable to nurse right away. The doctor did not ask me if I wanted to give my baby formula, they just stuck a bottle in her mouth. When I was finally able to nurse I had a hard time getting her to latch on because she was used to the fast flow of a bottle. As a result, I ended up pumping and feeding her from a bottle for 6 months. At this point I found out I was pregnant again. My dr. told me I had to quit breast feeding because my body wouldn't support feeding 3 of us.

According to the MayoClinic "For most women, it's possible to safely continue breast-feeding while pregnant — as long as vigilance is paid to healthy eating and aggressive hydration." They go on to say that a baby may not like the taste of the changing breast milk during pregnancy and might self wean. But, that was not the doctor's decision to make for me. They did not tell me this when I was pregnant. 

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breast feeding for 6 months and continual breast feeding with additional foods for up to 2 years or more. Breast feeding should begin within an hour after birth. To ensure a good breast feeding relationship, bottles or pacifiers should be avoided. A new mother should have 16 week of absence from work to rest and breastfeed their child. Formula can cause constipation and does not contain the antibodies that are found in breast milk. Statistically, adults who were breastfed as a baby have a higher IQ and lower blood pressure.

If I had not encountered these difficulties, I would probably sill be nursing my first born. I just want you all to know the facts, learn from my mistakes. Do what is right for you and your family.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

things not to register for

As i think about all my friends and family members who are pregnant or have babies, i feel the need to share my list of things you should leave OFF your registry

baby towels you will probably receive some from your showers anyway, AND who says you can't use a regular bath towel? honestly, i think that regular bath towels are softer than the baby ones, and your baby will only fit in them for the first 9 months to a year. after that, what do you do with them? i had SO MANY of these from my showers and i rarely used them. waste of space.

beach toys Don't get me wrong. i LOVE my sand toys for my toddler, but you do not use them before your child is one. i would suggest asking for them for their 1st birthday instead. you'll just be storing them for a year or more before your child is old enough to use them.

Blankets unless there is a blanket that just PERFECTLY matches your decor... lol. you'll get TONS of blankets from your showers anyway. don't waste your time registering for them. if someone is going to shop off your registry, they will probably want to purchase something that is a little less common.

bottle cooler the hospital gave me one of these, actually two of these, and my doctor gave me one as well. no point in registering for something you get for free. and i rarely use it anyway.

bottle warmer i heard Dr. Sears on The Dr's TV show say that the only reason to warm your baby's formula is if he won't take it cold (usually breast fed babies). most bottle fed babies don't know the difference. if you start them from birth with room temperature formula, there is no reason to warm it up for them. AND, if you have a breast fed baby who is used to it body temperature, you can warm a bottle under a faucet of hot water. this works faster without the equipment taking up space in your cupboard.

crib toys this is a personal preference. I think the crib is for sleeping, not for playing. giving them interactive toys for the crib just makes them think that nap time is play time. instead, invest in a mobile or lights for the ceiling. these toys mesmerize the child and help them fall asleep instead of stimulating their senses.

diaper bag you will get one of these for free from your doctor or the hospital anyway. i think i have 4 of them from 2 babies. unless you have one you just HAVE to have, in which case, make sure it has outside pockets for bottles. honestly, i got a beach bag after summer last year on clearance. i LOVE it! it has much more room for stuff and was much cheaper.

diaper pail if you wan some sort of diaper disposal system, do NOT get a diaper geeny. it wastes so much space and plastic! get a kind that uses regular plastic bags and that dumps all the diapers into the same bag. much more economical. or, just use a garbage can with a lid. and another use for those plastic shopping bags... individually wrap the stinky diapers. this keeps the stink down a LOT! and it fulfills the "Reuse" in your three R's.

laundry soap don't waste money on Dreft baby soap. a lot of laundry soap companies have products that are die-free, fragrance-free, or hypo-allergenic. that is all that is required.

nursing stool my tip for this is to either use a stool you already have, or register for a stool you want your child to use when they get older (toddlers) the purpose is only to lift your knee and bring the baby closer to your chest while nursing. i just tucked one foot in, halfway into indian-style. this raised my knee enough to nurse effectively.

plates and silver wear these won't get used till they are one. before that they will only be spoon fed or eat finger-food. and bowls work better for this, i think.

Positioners like the bumbo seat. i did not have one for my first kid. i just put her in her bouncy seat when i needed to get something done. i borrowed one for my second kid who was a fussy kid and didn't like to lay down. she only used it for about 3 weeks. by the time she was 4 months old she was sitting up on her own anyway. i would, however, highly suggest a vibrating bouncy chair. the kind you can bounce with your foot. my first kid slept in hers a lot.

Swimmy Diapers don't bother with a package of disposable swimmy diapers. instead, go for the washable kind. they don't get that dirty, you can just rinse them and let them air dry to use the next day. the purpose of swimmy diapers is to hold in the poo, in which case, either hand wash or throw in the washer. no big deal. i got a package of disposables with my first and am still not through the diapers 2 summers later!

wipe warmer why spoil your baby's bum like that? i don't get warm wet wipes to wipe my bum! lol. and these can cause burns.

AND those are my thoughts!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Buy Used

Did you know that the best way to "Go Green" is simply by buying used items instead of new?

Think about it! If you need a pair of salad tongs, the most "green" thing to buy new is probably the stylish Bamboo kind. A renewable resource in abundance, clean production from start to finish, no plastic fumes or byproducts to tear up our atmosphere. However, if you find a pair of used salad tongs, be it plastic, bamboo, metal... #1. You are saving those tongs from the landfill, #2. You are preventing resources from being used in the production of a new pair and #3. Chances are you are contributing to a good cause in the process by shopping at a thrift store such as Goodwill , St. Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army. (all though, you could also find them for free on sites like Craigslist or Freecycle)

Lets translate that into something related to babies. (because we all know that babies cost a FORTUNE!) babies grow out of their clothes SO FAST! A new born will probably wear the same outfit for 3 months or less before he has to move into the next size up. Those newborn size clothes are still in great shape! No wear and tare, probably no stains if they are washed properly, and what do you do with them when you're done with them? Most clothing ends up in the aforementioned thrift stores, where they are destined to spend the rest of their days on the racks being useless.

SO: the next time you need to buy your baby a new pair of footie pajamas or an easter dress (we all know how many times those get worn before you out grow them) check the racks at your local thrift store, check the local free stuff, and remember: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome to!

Hey everyone! I am launching my new Blogger, as you can see. I am very excited about this. I have been wanting to write a blog for quite a while. for those of you who follow me on facebook or twitter, you already know that i have an opinion about a lot of things. I feel like i can add to the world of parenting and green living if i post a blog.

Please share me with your friends!

Check for updates soon!