Friday, March 30, 2012

2 minute microwave play dough

Are you looking for a fast and easy play dough recipe? Look no further, I was sent this link where this awesome recipe was shared by one of their readers. I love love loved this recipe, there was little mess, the kiddos were able to help, and the whole process was done in two minutes. I have made play dough before, but it required using the stove and took much longer. After using this recipe, who would want to stand over a stove making play dough again? Not this busy momma!

Ingredients

1 c flour
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1/2 c salt
1 Tbsp oil
1 c water
Food colouring


Directions

Combine first 4 ingredients together; mix food colouring with the water and add to flour mixture.  Microwave 1 minute on high; stir and microwave again for 1 minute.  Stir and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Knead well.


I have also added cool stuff like coffee grounds, extracts, cinnamon, ginger or glitter ... just for fun.  

Let the fun begin.
Time to add the oil.
Little Miss L. picked purple because she said it was an Easter colour. 
Baby D loves watching his big sister.
The final product. I did double the batch, so I decided to leave it in the microwave for a few seconds longer but now realize I probably didn't have too - I may have cooked it a little too long.
Time to try out our play dough.
Baby D gets in on the action too.
Big sister doing what she does best - bugging her little brother.
My poor boy can't catch a break when his sister is around.
Little Miss L. made necklaces and bracelets for everyone.
I think someone likes the play dough she just made?!?!


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Thursday, March 29, 2012

one small act

What does kindness mean to you? Have you made a genuine effort in the last few days, weeks, or months to be kind to others? If so, what are some of the ways you have done so?

In this society of distraction - with smart phones, tablets, etc - it is easy to miss opportunities for acts of kindness. Offering a simple "thank you," opening the door for a peer, or lending a helping hand to an elderly individual who is struggling with their groceries take less time than writing a text, but can have a very positive impact on someone, and yourself. I love to people-watch, I love to place myself in a busy setting such as a mall or coffee shop and observe others around me. I like to watch how people interact with each other. I take notice when that one individual chases after the lady who dropped her scarf and didn't realize or the gentlemen who allows the pregnant lady behind him to go ahead of him in the supermarket queue. I know there are kind people out there...

I am most impressed when acts of kindness are from the younger generation. Over the past several years, I have seen the younger generation take initiative to make a difference in today's society. I have watched several young individuals step up to the plate, and today I would like to share with you an amazing story of one 17-year old who had the courage to make a difference in her small town of Brockville, Ontario.

Nicole Truesdell is making a difference by hosting a baby shower for low income and expectant moms. On Saturday, April 21, 2012 families will be thrown a baby shower where they will receive new or gently used items along with other items such as baby formula, diapers, high chairs, carriers, and gift cards. The shower will also have refreshments, cakes, and games! This was all Nicole's idea, and she has worked very hard to see her dream become a reality.

I was lucky to have the chance to interview Nicole and this is what she had to share with me...


Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.
My name is Nicole and I am 17 years old. First and foremost in my day-to-day life I am a mom and a student. In any spare time that I have I run a couponing group, a S.W.A.P (sharing with all people) group, and host a baby shower to top it all off!

What sparked you to throw a baby shower for low-income mothers?
I'm a low income mother myself and I saw a need for something like this in the city. I'm in a much better place financially than I once was, although still considered to be low income and I really think it's the right time to do something like this.

Why do you think an event like this is so important for not just the mother's but the community?
I really think this baby shower brings us together as a community. I see this as a community baby shower more than anything. Without the support of the community, we would not be able to help as many people as we are.

How many families will be taking part in this event?
At least 45 low income families, and at least 15 non-low income families. We are now at maximum capacity for both low income and non-low income families.

What has been the community's reaction? Are you receiving support?
The community's reaction has been really great. I've received many donations, and many offers to help out on the day of the shower. Lots of positive feedback!

Have you done something like this before? 
I have never done anything like this before, but it's always been in my heart to help other people. I'm really excited to see how it's going to turn out!

What have you learned by this whole experience?
I have learned that I can accomplish anything, regardless of my age. It's given me the best feeling ever to know that I'm 17 and essentially helping 60+ people in the community. Even for the non-low income families, it's a place to come and hang for the day... Eat cake with us, let the kids run around and have a good time, participate in the games, everything! :)

Thanks, Nicole for taking the time to share your story with us. You are a great inspiration and great leader for the younger generations, and someone who your community should be very proud to call their own. I think it is important to remember that one small act can mean the world to someone else.

If you would like more info regarding the baby shower or you would like to send a few words of encouragement to Nicole, please send an e-mail to nicoletruesdell@hotmail.com 





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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

yoga time

This morning, Little Miss L. tried yoga for the very first time and she absolutely love love loved it! I think we may have found her calling...
Time to start...
Getting into her pose.
Baby D was enjoying yoga too.
I think Baby D was checking out the ladies more than paying attention to his poses.
P.s. The photos are a little blurry- that's what happens when I use my phone camera! Pin It

Monday, March 26, 2012

20 hours later...

Let me start off by saying the beautiful weather we had last week got me in the outdoor kind-of-mood. As I went to Costco last week, I stumbled upon a gorgeous playground - I fell in love as soon as I saw it. I knew it would fit perfectly into our backyard and I knew Little Miss L. would be over the moon excited to have her very own playground just steps from her door. I made a few phone calls, and talked my dear father-in-law into picking up the six large boxes and bringing them to our home. Once there, I made a few more calls and recruited my awesome father and brother to come over this weekend to help us put it together.

Let's just say, I have learned a few very important things this weekend. First, you should really read the instructions before purchasing a product that needs to be put together. I knew it would be no small task but I didn't realize it would be a 20 hour project and no I am not exaggerating! It took three adult men, two days to put this contraption together. Second, always make sure the individuals who are putting together such a contraption are well fed, and lastly, organization and reading instructions are the key to success.

I already knew I had great men in my life but after watching these men spend their entire weekend putting together a playground just to make one little girl very happy - confirmed it all! After two long days, Little Miss L. was now able to zip down the slide, and swing as high as the clouds. I have a feeling she likes it as she said to us before heading to bed last night, "I think I need to go outside and say goodnight to my playground," and as soon as she woke up this morning, she ran into our room and told us it was time to go out and play. 

As the boys worked hard outside, I was being spoiled inside as my momma made us lots of scrumptious food, and helped me around the house all weekend long. We were one lucky family this weekend and we would like to thank all of you for helping us, you have provided our children with years of entertainment.
The boys get started. There were about a trillion pieces.
This is Little Miss L.'s "why, is the slide not up yet?" face.
Baby D showing off his new teeth.
Baby D loves tasting new food.
The playground after day 1.
The playground is finished! We have one very happy girl.
Little Miss L.'s first swing on her new playground. I have to say it is one good looking piece!
She could swing for hours, and I mean hours!
Ready to go for a slide...
Yippee! This is the life!!


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Friday, March 23, 2012

bring on the sunshine

Spring is here, which doesn't normally mean picnic season has started, but we have been having abnormal weather- I am talking shorts and t-shirt kinda weather! We aren't complaining, we love spending most of our days outdoors. As soon as the kids wake up in the morning, the first thing Little Miss L. asks is if she can go outside and play.

Wednesday, we had our first picnic of the year. We lathered on the sunscreen, packed our munchies, and hit the park to meet-up with our friends. It was the perfect morning for the kids to get their energy out, and I loved watching Little Miss L. conquer all the fears she had the year before. She flew down the big slide, and wanted to swing as high as she could on the swings!

I can't wait to spend more of our days just like this one...
The girls hit-up the swings.
Big girl conquers the big slide.
Baby E isn't too sure what she thinks of the sand.



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Thursday, March 22, 2012

bridal shower

This past weekend was full of celebration! The weekend proved to be beautiful, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the barbecue was put to good use. Who could ask for anything better!?!?

Saturday, we spent the day outside. The kids are loving this sudden change in weather (we are breaking records over here) and Little Miss L. spent hours zipping around on her tricycle. We also had the pleasure of two great friends joining us for lunch. I love love love barbecuing, so it was the perfect day to pull the big boy out for some grilling. It was great to catch up with our friends, and the kids love love love spending time with you guys!

Sunday arrived and I was super excited for the day. Why might you ask? Well, my good friend Jenni will be heading to beautiful Jamaica in a few weeks to tie-the-knot to the man of her dreams... which means it was time for us to celebrate her bridal shower. Jenni's sister hosted a super cute bridal shower, it was decked out in her favourite colour, pink. I love love loved all the small details (things like that get me excited.) To end a fabulous day, we headed to the comedy club for some laughs. It felt good to get out, have a few appetizers and laugh out loud for a couple of hours.

I am looking forward to more weekends like these. Let's hope this wonderfully warm weather sticks around.
I truly believe that small details and great company make the party.
A floral centerpiece is a great way to add character to any table.
I love this - the perfect way to inform your guest what they are eating.
Yum, Yum - I know you are getting hungry just looking at this table.
These cupcakes were as good as they looked.
The party favours.
What's a shower without a few games?
I loved this handmade prize. Bring it home and make some yummy cookies to remember a wonderful party.
Some of the ladies enjoying the party...


The bride-to-be getting ready to open her gifts and her glowing sister by her side.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

let's talk contractions

After yesterday's post, I received several - and I mean several - messages asking me what my contractions felt like. I was a little surprised by this question, but the more I thought about it, the more I remembered searching the web for this answer the first time I was pregnant. I remember being pregnant and afraid of the unknown, I wanted to know exactly what I was going to be in for. The more I searched the net, the more anxiety I had. It seemed to me there was no 'one' answer to this question... each individual had a different experience.

If I had to describe what my contractions felt like, I would best describe it as my tummy would tighten in the lower area, get hard, and the tightening would work it's way up to my uterus. I would experience period-like cramping (but for me a thousand times worse.) When I first started having contractions, they were only in my stomach area and bearable but once they progressed, they became more intense and I could feel them in my lower back. These are extremely uncomfortable. At times, it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me. The stronger they got the more it felt like I had to make a bowel movement. After experiencing a few contractions, I was then able to to recognize when a contraction was about to start and when it would end. Once my contractions started, I was unable to lie down or sit. The only way I was able to get through the pain was to walk, and once a contraction started I would sway back-and-forth while breathing. I also found holding my tummy tight when the contraction started helped with the pain.

Well, there you have it folks... you asked and you received. Anyone else have the same experience as I did? Ladies, please share your experiences as I know there are lots of moms-to-be out there hoping to get some insight before their big day approaches. Pin It

Thursday, March 15, 2012

birth stories part two

Now that you have an idea how it played out the first time around, here is how it all went down for round two. As many of you know, I was becoming extremely impatient near the end of my second pregnancy. I was sick of being pregnant and just wanted to meet my little boy. My due date flopped around a bit, but in the end they went with August 18th. On the 16th of August I had my ob/gyn appointment. At this appointment, the doctor informed me that my cervix was soft and I was slightly dilated. I told the doctor I needed to have this baby as soon as possible. The doctor preformed a sweep at my request, this technique seemed to work the first time with Little Miss L. to get labour started. The rest of the day, I felt slightly uncomfortable and I started to lose pieces of my mucus plug. Around 7:00pm that evening, I started to have a few contractions here and there. I decided it would be a good idea to head to bed early and was asleep by 10:00pm. Throughout the night, I still had mild contractions and larger piece of my plug fell out. I woke up on August 17th and this is how the rest of my day played out:
  • woke up at 5:30am with intense contractions. Went to bathroom and lost the rest of my mucus plug.
  • 5:50am body starts to flush itself out. I was lucky, thankfully I did not experience bathroom issues during birth - yes, I know it happens all the time, but I didn't want to do the deed for all to see.
  • 7:08am contractions were strong and ten minutes apart. My body would not let me sit down or lay down. I paced back and forth in our bathroom and when a contraction would start, I had to sway back and forth - it was the only way I could get through them.
  • 9:15am I decided to take a warm shower to see if it would help me relax. The warm shower was great and I didn't want to leave. The hot water made my muscles relax and contractions seemed to be less intense.
  • 9:45am contractions start happening all over the place. Ten minutes and then five and then back to ten. I just kept telling myself to breathe through them as I swayed.
  • 10:30am I knew it was time to head to the hospital before too long especially because we were informed that I needed to be at the hospital at least four hours before birth since I had tested positive for strep B and would need antibiotics before giving birth. I didn't know how much longer I had, so I thought it would be a good time leave. The only problem was... we had no one to look after Little Miss L. and I didn't want to take her to the hospital with us. Luckily, we made a few phone calls and we had help on the way.
  • 10:35am I gathered my bags and had my wonderful hubby take them to the car because the pain was becoming unbearable. I knew I wanted to get to the hospital as fast as I could, so I could have an epidural. I knew it would make the contractions less intense and I would be able to rest.
  • 11:03am we finally leave the house and are on our way to the hospital. Sitting in a vehicle in the middle of your contractions is not an ideal place to be in labour. At this point in time, all I could think about was why we decided to live so far away from the hospital?
  • 11:45am we arrived in the hospital parking lot. It was one long and bumpy ride! The hubby jumps out and starts unpacking the car. As I am waiting for the last contraction to stop so I can get out of the car, my water breaks in the car. This wasn't a trickle, it was gushing like a waterfall and it wouldn't stop!! I did not want to go anywhere at this point. My body froze and I was going nowhere, I wanted to stay in the comfort of our vehicle.
  • 11:47am the hubby runs to get a wheelchair. There was a bit of yelling coming from both of us, as I did not want to move from the car. As the words kept pouring out of his mouth, I could care less what he was saying to me. All I remember was tuning him out.
  • 11:48am I finally decide to move myself to the wheelchair. Once again, more yelling occurred as the hubby was hitting every pothole possible on our way across the parking lot. I knew all he was thinking was get her inside as fast as I can because she cannot have this baby in the parking lot, but seriously he needs to work on his wheelchair driving skills. I may have put my foot down several times to stop him from pushing the chair, seriously at this point I didn't care if I gave birth in the middle of the parking lot.
  • 11:50am we sign-in to the hospital and are sent to the examining room to see how far a long I am. After several minutes of extremely intense contractions, I was able to lie down. They informed me I was already 7cm dilated and would not be able to get the epidural. What? NO epidural!?!
  • 12:00pm I make my way down the hall to the delivery room. They wheel me into the room and ask me to get on the bed whenever my contractions stopped and I was able to move. The triage nurse informed me she would be back once she tracked down a doctor. I stood up from the wheel chair and felt the instant need to push. I holler at the nurse to come back because it felt like the baby was coming right that second.
  • 12:02pm I am lying on the bed ready to push. The nurse is screaming for someone to come and help her. It was starting to look like this baby was going to be delivered by the triage nurse and my husband. I started to panic because I knew the hubby did not do well in these sorts of situations. It finally sunk in that I would not be having an epidural and I would have to deliver this baby naturally. I didn't know if I would be able to do this without the drugs. Everything was happening so fast, they weren't even able to put in an IV. A medical resident shows up - still no doctor to delivery my child.
  • 12:04pm I am in excruciating pain, a pain that I cannot describe. I just kept thinking to myself that I had not prepared myself for this moment... the moment I would be delivering my child au naturel. 
  • 12:08pm the doctor and her team finally arrive but I had already began pushing and the little man's head had peeked out. The doctor said it would only be a few more pushes before our baby would be out. I was screaming bloody murder at the top of my lungs. The whole hospital was hearing some naughty words escaping my mouth. I did not want to push any longer, the pain was too much. I just kept yelling at them to pull him out, it felt like he was stuck half way out and just needed a little tug. You would think you would fell like the baby is coming out of the hole it is supposed to, but instead it felt like I was pooping that baby out.
  • 12:09pm they kept telling me to calm down and breathe. At this point I was ready to murder my husband if he told me to breathe one more time. I squeezed his hand as hard as I could. I had to push one last time, I pushed and it felt like nothing I had ever experienced before - the tearing of one's insides and then there was a great sense of relief.
  • 12:10pm Baby D entered into the world. I listened for his cry but I didn't hear anything. I started to yell 'Why isn't he crying?' 'What's going on?' it seemed like it was a lifetime before Baby D finally let out a little whimper and then a little cry. I soon caught a glimpse, I knew I was in love again. He was whisked away to get weighed, suctioned out, and wrapped up.
  • 12:30pm it had now been 20 minutes since I delivered our son but I was still having intense contractions because my placenta did not want to come out. The doctor asked me to push several more times but nothing was happening. If she asked me again, I was about ready to let her have it. Is she crazy to ask me to push again, after all the pain I had just went through?!? That was the absolute last thing I wanted to be doing right now. 
  • 12:45pm they were still poking and prodding me. I finally said that I could not take it anymore and they agreed they would give me a break. 
  • 12:50pm after more than 40 minutes and still no placenta the doctor decided to help out by going in and pulling it from uterine wall. Let me tell you, it didn't feel pretty - I screamed in pain, again. Finally the stubborn thing came out. I am usually one not to want to look at gory, gross slimy stuff that comes out of my body, but I wanted to see what was causing me so much pain. To my surprise, it was a lot bigger than I expected. The doctor was so kind to give the hubby and I a little demonstration on how the placenta worked and showing us exactly where our baby had been living the last several months. It was one amazing thing and I really couldn't believe one organ could do so many jobs. I know many people who like to take theirs home and plant it or even eat it but as much as I enjoyed looking at it... that's as far as I was willing to go, the journey with my second placenta ended there. 
  • It was now time to hold my baby boy. He was so precious as he looked up and smirked at me. I knew he had me wrapped around his finger already!
Only minutes old. Welcome to the world Baby D!
I finally get to meet my soccer player.
There are no words to truly express the way you feel when you meet this little person for the first time.
Thank you to my hubby, I would not have been able to do it without him. I can't believe you didn't pass out!
Dear Placenta, you and I are no longer friends.

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