Why I Refuse to Allow Oreos In My Household

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Over the holiday season, we had a ton of candy and other various goodies float through our door. A lot of it we ended up throwing away, while other parts of it did get eaten.

We’re not a perfect family. We do eat candy and sweets sometimes. Heck, once in a while we even allow our daughter to indulge with an M&M or two.

But overall, I refuse to allow Oreos into our house. Why, you might ask?

I eat the entire container. And not over the course of a week or so either. Within a few days, we’re talking here. Sometimes even less than that. It’s hard to admit, but it’s totally true.

Well, why don’t you just use portion control tools then, you might also ask?

That is my self-control right there. Not letting a package of them enter my house.

There are a few products I don’t even try to control myself with because I know damn well it isn’t going to go well. Almost all moms have a product they have issues with too and if you say you’re not one of those moms, you’re probably lying to yourself.

You have a weakness. Maybe it’s not Oreos. Maybe it’s jalapeno chips, or chocolate chunk ice cream, or tater tots, or something entirely different, but I’m sure you have at least one food weakness. We all do.

But, that’s OK.

It’s OK to have a weakness against something so powerful that you won’t even allow it into your house. It’s OK to have something you can’t control yourself with. Food control is important in life, but it’s OK to have a weakness item or two.

Really, it is.

You’re not alone.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t allow Oreos into my house.

Easy, Natural Cleaning Tool For Tiny Stained Hands and Faces

jojoba oil

My daughter is in love with making messes. We craft daily and often times that leads to face and hand staining. No matter how washable a product says it is, sometimes we need more than water to get it off. We’ve tried a ton of different brands for our marker, paint, and stamp supplies, but nothing seems to come off quite like the packaging says it should.

That’s where my miracle product comes in.

Jojoba oil.

How many of you have heard of this delightful product?

I use it to remove my makeup nightly and one day I got to thinking. If it can remove the half ton of foundation I shove into my pores daily, it should be able to remove the rest of the stains on my daughter’s face and hands after a simple art project.

So, I tried it and it worked! I got a soft cloth wet with a little warm water, put about a pea sized smudge of Jojoba oil on the cloth, and lightly massaged her face and hands with it one day after a stamping project using adult, non-washable ink that wouldn’t budge for water or soap. It came right off. I was amazed. Every last stitch of the ink was off of her skin.

The one thing about jojoba oil is that you want to make sure you’re getting 100% pure oil. It should have only one ingredient it in; the oil itself. If it has anything more than that, it’s probably filled with chemicals and you don’t want to put that anywhere near your precious little one’s skin.

 

In short, make sure it’s 100% pure, cold pressed, non-refined organic jojoba oil with the only ingredient being the oil itself.

We found ours on Amazon.com, which is where we shop for practically everything. Lazy? Eh, maybe. But seriously, if you don’t have jojoba oil in your house, you need to get some right away. Especially if you have kids who like to messily craft and are constantly staining themselves!

Check out my post on messy painting, or if you’re not into that, watch out for my post on non-messy painting which will be coming in the next few days.

Writing to Your Child: A Hard Task Well Worth Its Time

 

writing to your children

You know those things you think you’ll remember about your child? Like, that time he said something really cute to the old lady in the grocery store. But, then it’s gone. A few months go by and you’ve forgotten what that adorable saying was, despite thinking you never would. It happens to the best of us.

What do I personally do to combat that? I write to my child. Monthly, I pull out my laptop and write her a letter. I date it and leave it in Google Docs so that someday I can print every single one and be flooded with memories as we read them together.

My dad started this tradition with my siblings and I. From the time we were each born, he wrote us letters. Now, it wasn’t exactly every month on the dot because he was a busy man, but he tried his hardest to stay on top of it while going to school, working, taking care of a house, and raising children.

At first I thought, there’s no way I could do it. It takes far too much time and what would I even write?

But, nonetheless, I gave it a shot because I know how important it was when I turned 18 to see that thick stack of letters documenting my life, written by my proud father who spent countless hours putting it together.

It’s been easier than I thought, actually. I just keep a little pile of notes about things she’s done over the month and write about them. Some of the letters are pages long, while others are a few short sentences. Just enough to document the important stuff, tell her I love her, and remind myself of the things she’s done as she grows so fast.

All of it happens in the blink of an eye. They’re born, then they’re running, then they’re driving your car away. You don’t want to miss those moments. Document them. For your child, for their future children, for yourself.

It might take time, but you won’t regret a single second of it when you see the finished product.

Want to involve your spouse in your writing too so they don’t feel left out? Check out this post.

Staying Connected as a Couple Through Writing in a Toddler-Run Life & a GIVEAWAY

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Staying connected as a couple in a toddler-run life is ridiculously hard. It doesn’t matter how much time you have or how busy you are, it’s tough to take one on one time for you and your partner.

Our life constantly runs around our toddler, making sure she’s well taken care of, which makes it hard to give each other the time we need as a couple. It’s created some hard times in our relationship.

Justin works 10 hours a day away from home. I, on the other hand, work 8 hours a day at home. I work before our daughter wakes, while she naps, and after she goes to bed. When she’s awake, I’m doing chores like laundry, vacuuming, mopping, etc. Of course, I’m also spending time with her, making sure she gets all the attention she needs and then some.

Because Justin gets off work and instantly has to come home to take care of our toddler so I can finish up whatever work and chores I have, we don’t get a whole lot of time together.

Every date we go on, we bring our daughter. We just like it better that way. Seriously, we spend almost no time together, just the two of us. We always have our toddler with us. Now, I’m not complaining. We LOVE spending time with her, more than one on one time with just each other, but it does make it hard to remember that we are a couple sometimes and that someday, she won’t run our lives.

So, how do we stay connected as a couple? We write. Words are basically the answer to our every problem.

We keep a small notebook, one I got on sale at our local bookstore, and in it we write to one another. Whatever comes to mind. Song lyrics, stories, love notes, gratitude, things of that sort. Just anything that makes us think of one another. Then, every day, we each get a special note to remind us why we’re together and that while we don’t get to spend a whole lot of time one on one, we’re still connected and in love.

He writes my note before work and I read it when I wake up. I write his note when our daughter eats lunch and he reads it when he gets home from work. It’s a little silent activity to bring us together.

We have a growing little book filled with great memories and letters and it’s totally beautiful.

Now, you’re probably thinking this couldn’t possibly fit into your crazy schedules, but it can. In the time it takes you to scroll Facebook or drink a cup of coffee, you can write a little note. It doesn’t have to be long. Just something to remind your partner that you love them. Hey, it doesn’t even have to be daily. Try weekly if daily seems too daunting.

Give it a try. You’ll be amazed at the results it brings.

— GIVEAWAY —

Who’s ready for a giveaway?! Share this article whichever way you’d like. Facebook, Twitter, E-Mail, etc., and then comment on this post telling me you’re willing to write to your partner when you can, whether you have kids or not. It doesn’t have to be daily, just as often as possible. In return, those of you who enter this giveaway will have a chance to win a special notebook to write to your partner in.

One of you will win a simple black Moleskine Classic Notebook, my favorite kind of journal.

Giveaway ends Sunday, January 10th at 11:55 P.M. PST.

The winner will be announced on Monday, January 11th AT 12:00 P.M. PST and sent a message to ensure s/he knows s/he has won.

So, who’s in?

Wanting to stay connected with your children through writing too? Feeling like there’s too many cute memories to store in your mind and want to know a better way to keep them around? Check out this post.

Painting, A Mess Worth Making

20151127_185807.jpgIn our house, crafting is very important. We try to craft daily. Of course, there are days when it simply isn’t possible, but when we have time, we make damn sure to fit it in.

Why? It’s important. Making messes is important. Children grow from the messes they make. Messes make up our perfectly imperfect lives.

We do things like coloring with markers and crayons. We stamp. We play with beads. We use pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and Popsicle sticks. But best of all, we paint.

Painting is beautiful, especially with children.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not artist whatsoever. I mean that, too. I am the least artistic person you will ever hear about. My grandmother was an amazing artist, but I, well, I’m a little different. I can whip out a good article once in a while, but can’t draw anything but a stick figure.

Even so, I want my daughter to show her creative side in every way possible.

We strip her down, get one of her little toddler plates out, squirt as many colors out as we have, and let her go at it. She’s not the kind of kid to enjoy paint brushes. She likes to go at it with her hands, making as big of a mess as she can and it’s totally beautiful.

She usually only paints for about twenty minutes and then the clean up starts. It generally takes about twice the time it takes for her to paint, but it’s worth every second to see her smile as she creates the perfect piece.

We start the bath and plop her in as we scrub the paint from her face and hair, careful to get it out from underneath of her fingernails too. Then, when she’s all dried and warm, we move to the kitchen and rip up whatever we laid down to protect our floors. We wash the paint off her dish and get the parts of the floor that fell victim to the paint splatter which missed the protective lay-down.

And then, it’s done. We have a perfect creation done by our daughter.

Sure, it takes time and effort to clean it all up. It’s a pain in the butt, actually. But I wouldn’t change a single second of it.

While she doesn’t quite understand yet, she’s making memories. She’s growing her motor skills. She’s becoming who she will be a long time from now. She’s developing a personality.

Messes make a childhood. Slow down enough to see that, OK?

Lay With Me a Little Longer, Momma

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Our teeth are brushed and books are read. Her bed is all ready with each stuffed friend tucked in just right. She crawls in and we do too, all snuggling as a family.

Mommy. Daddy. Baby.

We’re all cozy as thoughts of what we still want to accomplish for the night whirl around our heads. After laying there a while, we get up and give her a kiss, telling her goodnight.

Then, as we’re about to walk out of the door, we hear, “Momma? Daddy?”

We sigh, knowing we have work to do, dishes to dry, and clothes to fold. We kiss her head once more and say, “Goodnight, baby.”

One night it hit me. What’s one more snuggle going to hurt? One more book? One more song?

Here’s this growing, sweet girl practically begging for my attention and I’m denying her just a few minutes more. Dread filled my heart when I realized how many precious moments I’d lost by not simply staying a little longer.

Instead of dwelling on that though, I decided to change it. I decided that every time she called me back, when reasonable, I’d go. I’d spend those extra minutes with her.

I want her to know I’ll always be there for her, no matter how old she is. I want her to know I’m there for cuddles, to read, to talk, or whatever else she may need me for in those last few minutes.

Sure, it’s less work time. Less time to do chores. Less time to sleep. But, my little girl is growing up.

She won’t always want me to stay a little longer.

For my take on how to remember those special moments spent with your little ones, check out this post.