These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things…

February 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

I have long had the idea that maybe one day, I would start my own business, offering my favourite things. Not that I’m the one to come to when you’re looking for something. But I do tend to research. And research and research and research. I rarely end up buying something I don’t like, because I research everything like crazy! I don’t spend money unnecessarily, and I want to make sure that if I’m buying something that’s a higher dollar item, that it’s the best, and I won’t be disappointed for the amount of money I have to spend!

So here are a couple of my favourites.

Britax B-Ready stroller system. When our first child was 13 months old and we found out we were expecting #2, we realized we would need a double stroller. We also have a very small car, so the stroller had to fit in the trunk. We didn’t have the option of buying a minivan. So we searched and searched for the perfect stroller. Our other issue was that our 13 month old was a giant. He was already outgrowing the 30lb weight limit that most of the stroller system’s have for the bottom seat. I wanted a stroller that would put my toddler on the top, and my infant on the bottom. There is ONE stroller that does that. And it’s the Britax B-Ready. We’ve been using it for a year now, and love it just as much now as we did when we purchased it! It cost us a pretty penny, since we had to buy the coordinating car seat, and all the extra attachments, but it will last for years to come!

 

 

 

 

HipKiddo cloth diapers.

I wasn’t into cloth diapering with my first child. With my second, it still took about 7 months to convince my husband that I wanted to go for it. And he finally relented. But of course, he wouldn’t allow me to spend the shocking amounts of money that it costs to buy some of the best these days (upwards of $35-$40 EACH). So I found a local company called HipKiddo that has their diapers made in China (yeah yeah, I know… not locally MADE) and are really cheap! Only $10 per diaper, and so far, I’ve had zero leaks. And I even let my little guy nap in them. They’re fabulous, come in a bunch of different colours and styles, and they never leak. What more could you ask for?

 

Stay tuned for more of my favourite things!

 

A Hard Day

February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

Yesterday was  a hard day. I have a very busy almost 3 year old who has good days and bad days. Yesterday was a bad day. I have a number of bruises, I had a headache, I was in pain in other ways, and my children must have known. They decided to be busier than I’ve ever seen them. They knew I couldn’t catch them.

When afternoon naptime came, I could finally breathe. Granted, DS1 did not sleep. He “played” in his room for two hours instead. Anyway, when I put the kids down for a nap, I went outside to go get the mail. It was a beautiful day here yesterday – the sun was bright and high in the sky and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. It was my favourite weather – cool enough that you need a sweatshirt, but not so cold that you’re freezing in the meantime. And as I walked out my front door, I looked into my yard and saw crocuses. For some reason, my husband thinks that crocuses are weeds. Probably because they spread pretty easily, and they keep coming back. But I think they’re beautiful. And they go through a lot – especially ours. My husband digs them up, he mows them down, he plays football on top of them… yet they keep coming back. Over and over and over again.

Those crocuses reminded me of life. We can be stomped down. We can feel like we can’t take anything else. It feels like everything has gone wrong and absolutely nothing has gone right. It feels like the whole universe is against us. But we are like the crocuses. God gives us strength over and over again – to push through the dirt and grow again. And like the crocuses, we grow stronger after we’ve been abused and beaten down.

I love my crocuses. Now if only I could keep my husband from mowing them down…

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday!

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday we celebrated the first year of my precious DS2. And of course, we had to make an awesome theme! So we chose a family favourite book – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. The book has lots of options for food in it, and great ideas for decorations. And after two days of cleaning and preparations, here are the results!

 

Dishwasher Detergent

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here’s my recipe for dishwasher detergent, as well as tips for making your dishes as clean as they can be 🙂

1 cup borax

1 cup baking soda

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 packages lemonade kool-aid – sugar free

 

Put 1-2 tbsp in each load. Also add 2-3 drops of regular dish soap (no more, or your dishwasher will overflow!), and a splash of vinegar. This makes your dishes clean instead of foggy. It works great!

Living on Less

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m a day late, but Happy Birthday to my precious DS2! He is one little year old, and I am in denial!

I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world who feels this way. I’m sure I’m not the only one in the NEIGHBOURHOOD who feels this way. But there are definite moments when I feel sad. I want to give my kids everything. Not everything they want, mind you. I don’t want to raise spoiled brats. But I’d like to be able to give them everything I want to give them.

For example, yesterday was DS2’s birthday. His party is next week. I want to give him toys, as well as a new outfit, and shoes. I’d like to get him new socks, and a new fancy diaper. I’d like to get him a variety of toys (not like he needs them) and whatever else I see that suits my fancy at the time. But we can’t. And that makes me sad.

We’re not poor. We have enough. Our bills are paid and we have no debt. We are all clothed and there is always food on our table. We have enough money for what we need. I try and make the budget work better by making my own things – cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent. I also use cloth diapers, and am working hard to potty train our oldest.

This is one of the things I’d like to change this year. Perhaps there is some way, as a family, we can earn a bit more money. I don’t believe the solution is sending me back to work and putting our children in daycare – I don’t believe that would benefit us as a family. I would rather sew our clothing than allow my children to be raised by someone else. But how? What is the solution?

He is Good!

February 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m overwhelmed. By the goodness of God.

The last several months have been packed with stress. DH has had to change jobs several times just to find work. Our kids have gone through sickness like we’ve never seen them before. DH and I have been fighting like crazy. There have been issues with our vehicles, issues with our home, issues with our families. It has been nuts.

But yet, God is good.

Today we received some good news. It doesn’t even matter what the good news was. What matters is that God is good. All the time. He is always faithful, always true. He always provides and always protects. He is faithful.

As I type, I am listening to almost nothing (the hum of our old refrigerator is pretty loud), and that almost never happens. There are two sleeping boys in the back of the house. This is one of the small things that reminds me that God is good. So far this week, only ONE has napped, every single day. And right now, both boys are napping. Allowing me time to reflect on His goodness, and His grace.

My house isn’t tidy. My dishes aren’t done. My laundry is folded, but not put away. My floor needs to be vacuumed, and my bathroom needs to be cleaned. But here I am reflecting on the faithfulness and goodness of my God. How do I convey what I’m feeling right now? How do I get it across to you that I am overwhelmed by the grace of God? How do I let you in to what is going on inside of me?

There is a phrase in the Bible that I love. “But God”. It is usually surrounded by horrendous circumstances that we can’t even imagine, and then it says “BUT GOD” is faithful, is good, is just, is true, provides, repairs, forgives, makes new.

My home has been full of stress and anxiety. But my God is faithful. My God is true. My God is able. My God provides. My God forgives. My God repairs. My God makes new.

I don’t think I have ever been more grateful than I am right now for the faithfulness of God.

Pensive and Pondering

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spring!

Today is the first day of February. We, as a family, are on the verge of some incredibly major life changing decisions. And here in south west Canada, we are on the verge of Spring! I know it’s a comparison that people make over and over again. But I can’t help but cherish the coincidental new beginnings. Things are going to be hard in the next couple of months in our home. Decisions will be made, and require major follow through. Budgets must be adhered to. Adjustments are being made. But in the end, there will be the refreshing newness of Spring.

There are so many things I want to change. I wrote about it at the beginning of January. I haven’t changed most of them. Hence, the lack of New Years’ resolutions. I’ve fallen into the “typical” category – people who don’t actually follow through on their resolutions. Granted, I didn’t actually MAKE resolutions… I made a statement. “Try Harder”. And in some areas, I have done that. I have definitely been trying harder at fitness (Kenpo yesterday…a lot of sweat, but not so much pain), and eating healthier (we have never gone through fresh veggies and feta cheese as fast as we have been since January), I’ve not been trying harder at “wifing” and “mothering”. The important things.

Why is it that we leave the most precious things until the end? Granted, eating healthier and becoming fit are things that will benefit my husband and children, but I am not directly becoming better to them. But what does becoming better mean? If you’re reading this, I really do want your thoughts and opinions on how to be a better parent to toddlers, and how to be a better wife. In my mind, a lot of it looks like a cleaner house and teaching them ABC’s and 123’s, and I know that cleaning and teaching aren’t necessarily the answer. I know part of it is bettering myself – any parent of toddlers can tell you that you spend exactly 1.2 minutes on yourself each day, on average. And increasing that amount will automatically put me in the “better Mom” category. But practically, what does it mean?

I have a friend whose children are the same ages as mine. And yesterday she baked Valentine’s Day sugar cookies with them. With a 2 1/2 year old and a just turned 1 year old. I find that a little crazy, and am at the same time, jealous that she found the time/energy to do something so awesome with her little ones! Does trying harder at “Momming” mean baking with the kids? Does it mean making play-dough and playing with them? Does it mean actively sitting down with them and teaching them things? Or is it more vague… like teaching them to say please and thank you (which my 2 year old does very consistently) and adding lessons into daily life?

Help, those of you who read this blog. Give me your insight!

Where Am I?

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