Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tips and Tricks- March!

It's almost April? What? Where did March go?? It seems like this month has flown by, and with all of that amazing weather it was so nice! Now its back in the 40's and I'd like those 70 degree days back please!

Anyways, enough whining- on with the goods!

1. When you have a pair of sweats or a hoodie that has a tie- stick a small safety pin through the string on the inside of the seam at each opening.  That way, the string will never get pulled half way in during washing or wearing; and you cant see the pin from the outside.

2. To get pet smells out of carpet, mix half vinegar and half water in your carpet cleaner and shampoo carpets.  Make sure you get the carpets good and saturated with the vinegar- then make sure you vacuum up the water really well.  Then once it dries a little bit sprinkle baking soda all over the area and let it dry completely, 100% totally dry. Once all dry, vacuum it up and the smell should be gone.  This works great if you happen to move into a place where the previous owners thought it was cool to have their pet use the living room as a potty.

3. I found this idea from Karen from the wonderful blog The Art Of Doing Stuff via Pintrest. When making a salad (or anything for that matter), you can chop the onion super small by using a a POTATO PEELER.  Holy freaking amazing. According to her, you can chop all kinds of stuff using the peeler- and if you ask me shes a genius.

4. Also found on Pinterest- from use a staple remover to open up a key ring. Saves your nails and your finger tips! I cant agree with them more, this is an epic win.

5.  This one came from the super cute blog- 7th House on The Left. To magnify the volume on your ipod/iphone put it in a drinking glass. I use this on the treadmill, I just pop the phone into a glass and slip it into the cup holder- no need for headphones or speakers!

 6. Since spring is coming and some of you may be planting some pretty flowers- Real Simple gives us the tip to line the bottom of your flower pots with coffee filters.  The water gets out, but not the dirt!

7. A sweet reader, Alanna, sent me this tip in an email for when you are cooking ANY sort of fish, ie. lobster, salmon etc. at home. Just pour about a half a cup of white vinegar into a bowl and sit it on your counter and leave it there for a few hours.  There will be NO fish smell whatsoever in your home.  I tried this last week and I must admit, it worked amazing!!

8. Kristen, fellow momma and overall sweetheart, shared a natural remedy for cradle cap. At bath time she busted out the strawberry yogurt and warmed it a bit, then rubbed it into her little guy's scalp for 10-15 minutes. Then wash out and bath and brush hair as normal. The strawberry works as an exfoliant, and after one application she could see a huge improvement.  She suggests using it once a week to keep the flakes at bay! Thanks Kristen!

9. Summer is coming, and that means picnic season! The awesome blogger at Why Not Do It Yourself had this idea floating around Pinterest, and its sheer amazingness. Use a cut out 2 liter pop (I'm from Pittsburgh, its pop to us!) bottle to catch the drips from the drink dispenser!!

10. When Grayson was teething sometimes he just wanted something cold on his gums, but he didn't like any teethers that I could find.  I got an idea after looking at his binky- its a Gumdrop, and its the kind where you can put your finger in and he can gnaw on it. So I simply filled it up with water and propped it up in the freezer to solidify. Then when he cried, I would pop the frozen bink in and he was instantly happier. Now if I could have only realized that before I bought 15 teethers that he didn't like...

11. This month Pintrest came through with one of the most simple and brilliant packing tips ever. It came from Select Study Abroad's blog- and all you need to do is put a small piece of plastic wrap over the top of the bottle, then screw the cap back on.  No leaks in the luggage, and no need to buy travel sized bottles!

12. It wouldn't be right if Martha Stewart didn't have a good idea for us. This one is pure amazing. When wrapping a present, put an extra fold in the paper to act as a pocket to hold the card. No more loosing cards in the car or them falling off on the gift table! Click the picture to get taken to her step by step directions!

13. A sweet reader left me a comment that Hairspray (any kind) will get kool aid stains, permanent marker stains, and other stains out of surfaces. Worth a try when the little one learns to drink kool aid!!

14. Jessica of Ginger Tea and Fairies commented on Tips and Tricks 2 and left me not one, but TWO, tips from a great grandma! The first was to get rid of a splinter by using the sticky part of a band aid, putting it over the splinter, and head to bed. The next morning the splinter will come out when you take the band aid off. She also used vinegar to help cool and heal burns, any kind of burns- and according to Jessica it works wonders!!

15. A sweet reader left me an idea for all of those lost socks. She uses her husbands and sons old socks to cover her good shoes to avoid scratches. Um, yes please!

16. taught me that we should use baking soda and vinegar to fix funky towels. Over time, and with many washes, your bath towels will build up detergent and fabric softener residue, leaving them both unable to absorb as much water and smelling kinda funky when they do. Rather than give Target another lump sum, run them through the wash once with hot water and a cup of vinegar, then again with hot water and a half-cup of baking soda, as wikiHow suggests. That strips the residue from them, leaves them smelling fairly fresh again, and makes your post-shower experience a dryer one, at that!

17. My hubs uses this one at work, when light colored linoleum has a scuff you can fill it in with white toothpaste and buff it really well with a soft cloth. Sometimes doing this will save the customer from having to replace the section of floor, which is pretty awesome if you ask me.

18. Real Simple had a recipe for getting stains out of tubs. Combine equal parts baking soda and cream of tarter together and make into a paste with some lemon juice. Place onto the stain and let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse away!

19. With Easter coming this tip will come in handy! From Add baking soda to the water when you hard boil eggs. It raises the pH of the water and makes them easier to peel by reducing the albumen's ability to stick to the shell.

20.  A girl I work with swears by using mayo as a conditioner for her hair. She puts it on, lets it sit for five or so minutes, then rinses off in the shower.  I gotta say, she does have the nicest, shiniest hair Ive ever seen- so I think Ill be in the shower with a jar of mayo myself!

That's all for this month- since it slipped by so fast! I promise to have more for next month!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Month Six Must Haves

Its amazing to me that each month, the span of 30 days, I find new things for Grayson that we love and cant live without. But I guess when you have a bean who grows like a weed thats just the way it goes!

This was the month of the chapped cheeks, and all of the reviews said CJ's BUTTer. I picked some up at a local cloth diaper shop in a scent called (LOVE THIS) Monkey Farts. Its this delish smell of coconut and banana and is 100% natural and made in the USA. It cleared up dry chapped cheeks in a matter of 2 days. While we use the GroVia stick for diaper rash, I hear this works well for that as well along with about 40 other things. Bug bites, eczema, dry skin of any kind- heck you can even use it in curly hair. Its also cloth diaper friendly for those people whose children are not against wearing cloth like mine was.

These amazing little buggers suction cup onto strollers, high chairs, the tables in restaurants, etc.  They also light up, play music AND spin.  It keeps Grayson entertained for a good 20 or so minutes- and that's a good chunk of time if you're trying to eat dinner! They have several different versions, and at $9 each a few others will find their way into his Easter basket!

Lately Grayson has been obsessed with whatever we are eating, he forgets that he cant just chow down on a burger quite yet.  Someone suggested we try cutting up pieces of fresh fruit and putting them in this, so that he thinks he's eating as well. He hates bananas from a jar, but will scarf one down if he can suck it through this guy.  The tiny holes don't let food big enough to choke him get through, and the handle allows them to hold it themselves. Unless of course you're Gray, then you just expect us to hold it for you so you don't get your little hands dirty. No lie.

I thought Grayson would be too little for this, but he really does love it. He cant quite get the hang of putting the rings back on- but he can get them off in a hurry. Then they become fun things to chew on and play with. If you're willing to put them back on for him he'll play with them again and again, and each time he wrestles one off hes always so proud of himself he yells and giggles which always makes me melt.

I don't think I ever expressed my love for the Bundle Me Original, but it was one of the best things ever in the cold winter months. We never had to put a winter coat on Grayson to take him out, which made it super convenient. It had a fuzzy Sherpa lining that kept him nice and cozy. Now that its warmer out we need a thin version, so hence the "lite".  If you've never seen one before its basically a blanket that can zip on and off and attaches to your car seat.  Its a great alternative to blankets- this doesn't blow off in the wind!!- and bulky jackets that shouldn't be worn in the car anyway. The top part pulls up over the baby's face to keep him snug as a bug, and when Grayson refuses to nap all we have to do is plop him in his seat and pull this over his face and hes out like a light.  Plus the top part of this is also 100% weather resistant, so even if its raining the little bean wont get soaked!

The hubs is running in the half marathon this year, so he's been running a whole lot.  He wanted a jogging stroller so that he could take little man with him for some fresh air.  Everyone told me we needed a BOB- but dear lord I'm still recovering from the heart attack from that sticker shock. Plus we didn't know how often Patrick would really get to use it.  My MIL actually is the runner and she did all of the research and found and bought this one for us, and we love it.  It has a build in MP3 player so Grayson boy can listen to some tunes as Daddy runs, and its super light weight.  It also has a really good shock system, so we take it whenever we go walking in the neighborhood since some of the sidewalks are a bit uneven. If Grayson is passed out, he doesn't even notice the bumps.  I've never ran with it, as I only run if being chased, but those who have tell me its comparable to the more expensive models. If you're looking for a lightweight jogger without spending a ton of cash, I recommend this one!

Well, lovelies, thats all for this month!

If you've missed Months 1-5, check them out here!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Six Months Old

Grayson Boy,

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Pickle Baby!  Daddy woke up today all excited because today is your half birthday- and in this house we celebrate half birthdays! This month it seemed like you turned from a baby to a little man- you can sit up all on your own and don't need help from us.

  • You had your first bout of the stomach flu this month- starting off with your first fever. You were such a champ about it, and then you were nice enough to share it with Mommy. Lets get something straight, sweetheart, you share kisses with Momma and your sicky germs with Daddy. You even gave it to Grammy, that's how generous you were. It only lasted two days for you, and you were such a trooper.
  • When we took you to the Doctor for the flu you weighed in at 17 lbs 7 ounces and were 27 inches long, nestled happily in the 50th percentile.
  • You're wearing 6-9 month pants, but can still wear most of your 3-6 month shirts and jammies. Your pants just started to look like you were preparing for the flood, so we had to hit the stores. You're also ready for size 3 diapers, we're just finishing up the last of the size 2's so we don't waste them.
  • You ate your first french fry this month. You stole it off of Pappy John and decided you really like french fries. The other favorite snacks you discovered was honey wheat pretzels and ice cream. I have a feeling you are going to be just like Daddy and eat us out of house and home. You also started to drink from a cup, and can hold your own bottle (when you feel like it of course).
  • You're getting much more vocal, and now squeal with delight and growl when your angry. Usually both noises are loud, and Daddy and I just laugh because you sound so silly.
  • This month was also your first St. Patrick's Day- and we had so much fun celebrating Great Grandma Rose's Birthday with our lucky charm. You never got to meet her, but she would have ADORED you.  Daddy and I think she is one of your Guardian Angels, and we know she watches over you along with Great Grammy Doris.
  • We bought you a swing and slide for outside, and you love to swing. You laugh as you come close and go far away and could spend hours outside. 
  • We had lunch with Kristi, Chris and Marley one Saturday.  I let you sit on my lap next to Marley, and you reached right out and held her hand.Even though it was one of the cutest things Ive ever seen I still have to say no girlfriends yet, Bubbers, Momma's heart isn't ready for that yet.  
  • Youre not crawling yet, but you get up on all fours and rock yourself back and forth. You can scoot yourself backwards, and I have freqently had to save you from being stuck under the TV stand and coffee table. Daddy thinks any day now you're going to get that forward motion and take off!

That's about all for this month my little love- but I know there are a million things I'm forgetting. You do something new every day, and we're so excited to watch you grow up.  Thank you for choosing Daddy and Me to be your parents, its the best gift we've ever had!

Just look at how much you've changed so fast- its crazy!

Love Always and Forever-

Monday, March 19, 2012

There is Nothing Like Ice Cream

There is a little cafe thats about three blocks away from our house.  Yesterday I noticed a sign "Ice Cream Cones $1"
Well, you dont have to tell us twice.
Today after dinner we packed the man child into the stroller and set off in search of our desert. Grayson has recently been obsessed with anything we are eating, opening his mouth like a little bird for a taste. My Momma went with us, and was all too happy to share her Vanilla cone with the little guy.

Lovelies, is safe to say it was a hit. 
One of my favorite stories about the hubs when he was little was that after his parents would put him and his little sister to bed, they would wait awhile and then creep to the freezer to get some ice cream.  From down the hall they would hear baby hubster's voice yelling "Are you having ice cream? I can smell it!!"  Before it was even out of the freezer- I guess he had ice cream ESP? 
After watching Grayson lick his baby lips for every last drop of the soft serve I can easily see that along with those baby blues Daddy passed on his love of the cold, creamy treat. Add one more thing to the Good Lord, He is his Father's Child List.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Its flip flop weather!

Its in the (low) 70's! In March! In Pittsburgh!

Of course this means it will probably snow in June but I don't care!

Today we broke out the flip flops and sunglasses and hit the streets to enjoy the sunshine, and of course the man child accompanied us.

Its also St Patty's Week- so we've been rocking the green Irish themed shirts all week. 

While we were out an about walking around the neighborhood I FINALLY managed to get a picture of the smile that shows off the two little pearly whites we have going on in there. 

As far as Im concerned, flip flops, short sleeves, sunglasses AND a teeth picture make for a really good day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dear Lord, He is His Father's Child.

Sunday I decided that Grayson would get his first taste of peas.

I dont mind peas, they're not on my offensive veggie list (and oh trust me, there is a list). The hubs, however, HATES them. I vividly remember the first time I made beef stew. He took one sip of the broth and started gagging "EWW I CAN TASTE THE PEAS!!". Really? I put like a handful of frozen peas in a vat of soup- there was no way he could taste them. Now, he picks them out of everything they are in and makes a gagging noise at the offending peas.

Well, I got the little guy all situated in his high chair. He saw the spoon and like a good hungry boy opened his mouth and smiled.

Then he tasted the peas.

He gagged. Literally gagged and choked himself. Spit the peas out and gave me the 'You Crazy Momma' face. Then, that little bugger stuck his tongue out and proceeded to wipe his tongue on the sleeve of his shirt as to remove the offending taste from his mouth.

As I sat there in disbelief all I could think is "Dear Lord- He is his father’s child!!"

Later, after I stopped laughing, I really started to think. Besides the chubby cheeks, dimples and bald head Grayson is 100% Patrick’s son.

They have the same big blue eyes and the same super long eyelashes. He definitely has his Daddys big old head. They both never stop moving. They have the same temperament, and both have this desire to figure stuff out and to see how it works. I just know that someday I will come home to a taken apart electrical appliance because they both just wanted to see how it worked. They both love to go outside, even when its cold.

They both enjoy loud crazy noises- and making silly faces when Momma tries to take a picture.

Oh, and they even sleep alike.

Now, I saw all of these little things before but it never quite rang true until I saw the peas.

I guess its good that I wont mind at all if my little boy ends up just like his Daddy; even if it means hes a picky eater.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Fever

Well, we made it 5 months with no real sickness. Then, on Sunday, it happened.

I picked the Man Child up out of his crib from a nap and as usual kissed the top of his bald head- lovelies, it burned my lips.

Took his temperature and it was a whopping 104 degrees...commence Momma freak out moment. I immediately called the hubs, to make sure I could read the thermometer right and wasn't hallucinating.  He confirmed the reading, and so we called the pediatrician.

LOVE that office, we had a doctor return our call within ten minutes.  So we started the Tylenol, put him in one loose layer and set about holding him at all hours since all he wanted was to be snuggled.  With the meds his fever went down to 102, which I still wasn't thrilled with.  So needless to say there was no sleeping in our house Sunday night. Monday morning it was off to Grammys for the day to get nursed back to health while Mommy tried not to fall asleep at her desk.

Well,  it took 24 hours but finally his fever went down to 99.3. Last night he slept like a little rock and I may or may not have been passed out stone cold at 8 PM. Today he's back to his beautiful happy self, but I'm still dragging. 

It makes no sense how in college, which really wasn't that long ago, I could pull all nighters or survive on 3 hours of sleep and be totally fine.  Have I really aged that much in 5 years??

I think so lovelies.

Now, the kiddo is in bed and I think Momma is going to take a respectable nap on the couch before going to bed myself.

Bouncing like a crazy man in his Daddy's hat- yep, hes back to normal!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blog Update and BBQ Chicken Eggrolls

After getting the comment that the black comment box was hard to read, I agreed, so I switched it up a bit.  Hopefully this will be much easier for you lovelies to see.  Id love to have someone who actually knows what they're doing to do a blog layout for me, so if you know anyone (or if any of you do that yourselves) let me know!!

I also wanted to share that I got an email from Kim over at A Real-Life Housewife  about someone who literally copied my entire tips and ticks post and put it onto her blog as her own.  She was sweet enough to leave a comment, and I myself left her a bit of a snarker- which she probably deserved.  I was just kind of shocked that someone would take literally hours of my work and try and pass it off as their own, without even a simple link back.  I guess people will never cease to amaze me.  BUT, regardless of another persons rudeness I was super happy to hear from Kim because it reminded me to go back and check out all of her tips.  She was the genius behind putting the bag of vinegar on your shower head and it will dissolve all of the gunk, and  has some amazing  other tips that you should all check out!

I also wanted to share with you an amazingly easy appetizer recipe that I didn't get a chance to take a picture of before they were scarfed down- BBQ Chicken Eggrolls.

I bought a package of egg roll wrappers, a pound and a half of chicken breasts, and a bag of shredded cheddar cheese and I used some bbq sauce that we had on hand. 

I started by poaching the chicken breasts in some chicken broth and then once it was done I tossed it in the mixer to shred up.  Once it was cool I mixed in enough BBQ sauce to coat and a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Then I scooped a few tablespoons into the middle of an egg roll wrapper and rolled them up.  I sprayed a little cooking spray on the tops and popped them into a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until they were nice and crispy. Then I loaded them onto a tray and served them with BBQ sauce for dipping.  They hold in the heat so they stayed warm for about 30 minutes, and taste pretty good cold as well.  Or at least I think they do.  I made about 30 of them and they were all gone after about 40 minutes of being at the party.  They also would taste yummy in wonton wrappers as smaller bites.

Now we're off to Home Depot to get some stuff for a project that hopefully Ill be able to share tomorrow with you all!