Oops, Clumsy Me

Clumsy

I was born clumsy. I spent my childhood stumbling around, tripping over my own feet, tripping over nothing at all! In highschool I decided I should just accept that I would always be the klutz of all klutzes. 

It was sometime after college I became aware that I was getting better. Oh, sure, I was still clumsy, but not nearly as much as I once was. I began to hope again that I’d grow out of it entirely, like a child eventually does that one hideous set of clothes their mom loves. Could it be? Oh, please, please!

Well, I’m here to tell you, chances are, you’ll never quite loose that little klutz living somewhere inside you. Not fully. No, that could will rear their head at just the perfect moment (i.e. most inopportune time), but it’s OK. Life goes on and good friends understand, even if they laugh with you about it then or later. Duke of us may need surgery after because, hey, or bodies aren’t getting any younger; but it still isn’t going to give the insecurity you probably felt in grade school and high school. 

So, even if you are like me and will always have some little piece of the clumsy old me inside, fear not. You are not alone. In fact, I’m willing to bet there are more of us out there than we realize. Should we start a club for klutz survivors?  Probably not, though it would be fun to see how many would join. 

Until next time, steady on, friends! Steady on!

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Why I Chose a Loose Leaf Baby Book

Baby books. The easiest thing in the world to find and select for your little one to be, right? Or, so I thought. I was surprised at how difficult the search was to me. I looked at books in store and on line, but nothing I found has enough of the moments I wanted to capture. Then I discovered loose leaf baby books and realized that this was the answer I’d been looking for. 

For, if and when the book didn’t have specific pages I wanted to include, all I had to do was add one of my own!

Like with my pregnancy journal, I didn’t have time to design a baby book myself, but I knew I should be able to handle adding to the book without too much of an issue. This proved to be a great alternative for me and there were only two main things I ended up being disappointed with about the book I now have – this was the fact that there were no loose leaf baby books that I could find with a pocket on the cover for both a picture and baby foot print, and there were no additional blank page packs I could locate for the books. Both were things that could be overlooked or overcome.

I still wanted to check out all my options before purchasing, but because of an early delivery I ended up asking my sister to find a loose leaf baby book in town (I’d originally planned to purchase online.) She was able to get me one at our local Hallmark store and it ended up being as good as I could have found anywhere. I’ve still added pleanty to the book and plan to add a few more things before I consider it ‘perfect’ for me. But that is what makes the binder so great!

One thing I absolutely love about the book is that it is  not just through the first year – it’s a five year memory keepsake! This was a must on my list and, so far, I haven’t regretted this decision for a moment. The longer our daughter lives, the more important it is to me that she have special keepsakes like this to have and show her own children some day. As a person who never had a baby book even purchased for (that I know of), it’s something I want to do a good job at completing for our children. Only time can tell how well oil actually do though.

So what are some of the pages I’ve added myself? Well, i did have several things in mind, for sure, but the first thing I did was browse online to get a few more ideas on what I might want to add. I also looked through my husband’s baby book to see if it had anything I’d like to see in our kid’s. Being a first time Mom and not having a book of my own to compare it to, I wasn’t really sure what was normal to have or even what direction to think. But, I finally settled on a list of things. her are some pages I knew I wanted to add (and have):

1. Baby’s first 10 days. Here you log things like hire their breathing is, if they cry a lot, how nursing is going, etc.

2. A family year in review of the year of her birth. This is not anything normal you will see in anytime else’s books. Usually these are used as Christmas cards, but I thought our kids might enjoy seeing what was going on in our lives the year of their birth. So, it got added too. 

3. A one year milestone page that recordsow many teeth, words, favorite toys words, songs, etc., etc.

4. I made and added some paper pockets to keep things like baby’s hospital bracelets and ultrasound pictures, some there were none (only a labeled spot.)

5. I also added a place to keep some loose, but special items down the road

6. There was only room to record 2 showers, but we’d had 3, plus a list of non shower gifts, so I added pages to accommodate

7. I added a page that will be a yearly interview. Each year you ask your child the same questions and watch them grow. For the first year, since I can’t interview or daughter yet, I opted to go ahead and complete the questionnaire, but made note that it was “according to Mom!”

My biggest fear with this binder will be running out of room! Especially since I plan to add a few more pages to the other years in the book (only one page to record birthday celebrations after 12 months.) There is still so much that happens after the first birthday though. Am I going overboard or setting myself up for failure? Perhaps. But regardless, I am still going to do my very best to finish a book for each of our children. 

Are you expecting and looking for the perfect baby book/memory keepsake for your little one? Stay tuned. Perhaps I can help you locate the perfect one for you!

Operation: Cozy Winter Tid-Bit Tips to Test, Episode 2 – Oatmeal’s Holiday Spin

Operation: Cozy Winter Tid-Bit Tips to Test, Episode 2 – Oatmeal’s Holiday Spin

Have you ever made a bowl of oatmeal and wanted something different than the usual? Oh, don’t get me wrong, adding fruit, Cinnamon, other frequently used things can dress up the flavor of your bowl of oats, but sometimes you want something different than the norm. 

One day while prepping for my own morning meal, I decided that I wanted different. What I would have settled for while making my bowl of oatmeal, would have been to use milk instead of the water the package called for, but we were out of milk. It wasn’t more than a minute or two before I had a brilliant idea! I could use hot Coco as my liquid base! We had some hot chocolate Keurig cups left over from the Christmas holidays and I could always say ‘yes’ to Chocolate, so I thought “why not?” And I went for it. I was quite pleased with the end result, and it became my new favorite breakfast until the hot chocolate Keurig cups were gone!

I shared the idea with my mother-in-law, who was visiting at the time, and she tried a serving herself. That all happened early this year. Now, with the holidays just around the corner, hot Coco has again made it back into our home, and this yummy breakfast has been reclaimed!

If you are hungry for hot Coco Oatmeal yourself now or just want to try a holiday spin, here are some simple instructions to follow:
1. Hot Coco Oatmeal – Make your cup of hot Coco (strong is best). Using this as your liquid base, follow the instructions on the package for cooking of the oats, starting with the shortest preparation time, and increasing as needed. (Optional additions: marshmallows, peppermint flakes, or other favorite additives to your hot Coco ) Cool to preferred temperature and serve! 

2. Pumpkin Oatmeal – Make your serving(s) of Oatmeal as instructed in package (optional: substitute milk for water.) Add to taste, 1 Tablespoon – 1/2 cup (per serving) of canned pumpkin; add sugar, pumpkin pie spice, Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to taste. 

3. Chocolate pumpkin Oatmeal – if you’ve ever had a chocolate pumpkin pie, you aren’t shocked at all for this suggestion! Make your cup of hot Coco, add preferred amount of pumpkin after cookng the oats; add spices above to taste. No additional sugar required.
I hope you can find one of these holiday spins enjoyable for your own breakfast sometime this winter. I’m willing to bet that even a person who is not an oatmeal fan would enjoy at least one of these, inlet they happen to hate both chocolate and pumpkin – in which case there just isn’t hope for them. 

Though there are probably others who’ve gone before me and figured out actual recipes with real measurements, I’ve still had fun ‘creating’ these in my own mind. And sharing my creations is an added bonus of fun.  Let me know if you are interested strong me share actual recipe creations (set measurements and all). And please share some ideas you have, or holiday spins of your own you’ve already created for that good ol’ bowl of oats! 

Thanks for reading, and until next time, blessings!!

Operation: Cozy Winter, Tid-Bit Tips to Test, Episode 1 – Hot Coco

Operation: Cozy Winter, Tid-Bit Tips to Test, Episode 1 – Hot Coco

Ahh, the smell of hot Coco by the fireplace, while snuggled up under a blanket as Christmas tunes play in the background. The time for all this has not quite come for many of us, but for a few it has! Either way, I don’t know that it is ever to early to start thinking ahead for those special holiday moments we wish to experience. 

When it comes to warm winter beverages, hot Coco is hard to beat (if you are a chocolate lover that is.)

Here are some recipes I have found on Pinterest for different variations of hot chocolate that I’d like to try. Perhaps one of them will help you find your own perfect cup of Coco:

Crock-Pot Thick and Creamy Hot Chocolate from Creating Through Life

Mexican Hot Coco from Premeditated Leftovers

Decadently Thick Italian Hot Chocolate from The Stay at Home Chef

Disney Land’s Hot Chocolate from Six Sisters’ Stuff

The Best DIY Creamy Hot Chocolate Mix from Living a Sunshine Life

Nutella Hot Chocolate from CafĂ© Delites

All of these recipes look fabulous to me and I hope to try each of them this season! If you are now craving hot Coco like me, but currently only have a store bought mix on hand, here are a few simple, cheating tips that might dress up your sweet cup of heaven:

1. Ditch the water entirely from the directions and use milk instead!

2. Consider adding a little extra Coco mix to your cup for an added richness.  

3. If you like it smooth and creamy, try a water and milk combo to achieve the perfect silky sip. 

4. If you are craving a spicy Mexican Hot Coco, no problem! Look in your spice cabinet for Cinnamon and Cayenne pepper! Use to taste with your Coco mix, and you’ll have your own cup of Mexican Hot Coco stand in!

5. Add a teaspoon or so of chocolate chips, or Nutella to perk it up. Or anything else you have on hand that may fit the bill!

6. Try half milk, and half heavy cream or half and half (if you have it on hand) for an even richer taste.

Even if you don’t have all the ingredients to make one of the recipes above, or a favorite of your own, a mix can still be saved with any number of tricks. Not all options are for everyone, but I hope one of these can work for you when you need more than just a store bought mix can offer – but it’s still all you have. 

Good luck, friends! Check back for more holiday postings! 

Blessings!

Don’t Delay, Start Planning Summer Vacay Today!

Don’t Delay, Start Planning Summer Vacay Today!

If you are the parent of a child going into third grade this year, get out your calendars and start setting cash back now for a great Summer vacation! Heck, if you have a child of any age under 4th grade, start planning today for the most awesome vacation ever. If you love traveling, sightseeing, etc., and need to start saving early for vacations, trust me, this one is going to be worth it!
If you haven’t heard of the Every Kid in a Park project, now is the time to start researching! This program is looking to provide every child a window in their life that will allow them to see all U.S. national parks for free! That’s right, your 4th grader (or 4th grader to be come school year end) can enter parks for free until the end of their 4th grade year. Did you hear? Free!!

And if this alone wasn’t exciting enough, hang into your hat! There is one park that they can get you in for free too!! Yes, it’s true! What park would this be and would it be worth it to start planning your vacation today? Yes, I Believe it would. Because, the park I speak of is non other than Yellowstone National Park!

Yellowstone charges by car, not person, and with your child in your car and them having the free pass, you get a free pass too! How awesome is that?! And there are so many things you can do along the way and so much to see in between! 

Even though our daughter hasn’t even entered Pre-K yet (and won’t for a long time), my husband and I have already begun to plan the biggest vacation of our lives! When a friend of his shared about their own vacation to Yellowstone and how they got in free, it soon erupted into a desire for more on our part; more countryside, more hiking, more camping, more national park adventures! And so, we have developed the makings of a schedule to complete the year one of our children can have their free park pass. 

We’ll do a lot of camping along the way, and have various stops between parks. Well have great teaching opportunities for our children about the great world we live, and we’ll probably also have opportunity to teach important survival skills along the way.

It will be the adventure of a lifetime! The Great Adventure, if you will. An adventure we plan to last for nearly a month!! Why go small when you could go all the way? We sure couldn’t if we waited too long to start planning though. That’s why our plans are in the making today.

So, friends, please heed the words I say: Start now, don’t tarry, don’t delay; Start planning your vacay today!!

Visit: https://www.everykidinapark.gov/

A Perfect Pregnancy Journal – The Great Search!

Not everyone knows or cares what a Pregnancy Journal is, and if you are like me, you didn’t even know it existed until someone mentioned it in conversation or found it while browsing the web. But when I leaned of them, it didn’t take long to decide that I wanted to have them to pass onto my children. But, I knew I didn’t have the time to create my own. And so began my own search!

While journals for this special time are amazing books you can some day gift your children, not all journals are created equal. Shocking, right? I’m not sure if it was pregnancy brain, or something else that originally made me think funding the perfect Journal would be as easy as 1, 2, 3, but it wasn’t… At least not for me. There were several questions I found I needed to ask myself to figure out what I was really looking for in a journal. Once I did, it helped, though some of these questions didn’t get answered until some time after purchase. 

And so, friends, with this post, my goal is to help you get a feel for what’s out there, what to expect, what to look for…and hopefully, I can help you find the perfect Pregnancy Journal for you to pass on to your little ones. 

Now, without further ado, here are the questions (according to me) that you should be asking yourself:

1. Do I want totally blank pages or a pre-prepared pages? If you are a writer, and know you’ll have the time to dedicate to journaling every step of the way for nine months, this will make your selection process the simplest of all. But if you know you need or want pre-prepared pages in the journal, your search may not be that easy. 

2. Do I care more about cover appearance, content, or both? One of the things I felt was a roadblock for me in selecting a journal was the fact that some covered were girly in appearance, some boyish, and others gender neutral. But each seemed completely different from the next content wise. And since I was purchasing the journal prior to finding out gender, I felt as though it would be appropriate to stock with a gender neutral cover, making my task feel especially difficult and limited. 

3. Do I want lots of blank space to write a midst the prepared questions, or do I only want blanks to fill in? Some journals may shock you on how little or how much space they offer you for writing. 

4. Do I want a scrapbook, or non-scrapbook format? There are journals that offer easy to fill scrapbook formats, while still maintaining the special journal content options for you. 

5. Do I trust the journal to convert everything I consider to be important milestones in my pregnancy journey?

6. Do I care what order/time some of the questions are asked? Some journals that ask specific questions throughout will be focus them on specific weeks… But this may not be the week you experience those milestones.

7. Do I have a good enough memory to wait until gender discovery to purchase? If so, you may want to go ahead and scout out the journal that you think would be the best for for either gender and then order immediately after your ultrasound. But as soon as it’s in your hands, be sure to set aside time to document your journey. You don’t even have to to it in chronological order if you think your work best doing the opposite, out mixing it up!

8. Do I just want a Pregnancy Journal / Baby Book combination? The benefits of having this could be that you have everything in one place and don’t have multiple books to keep track of!

9. Is this my first pregnancy or do I need to shy away from journals that focus more one first time mom’s? 

10. Am I looking for something different than the norm? Like informational pages along with journaling pages? 

11. Is it important to me to have intentional pages for father environment? It may surprise you how few of these there can be. 

12. Are you a single mom? If so, you’ll be wanting a book geared towards you, without questions focusing on this you discuss with “your partner”.
So, do you have a better idea of what you are looking for now? If so, here are some related items to each question that may aid in your search:

1. For those interested in blank page journals, you might check out this one, this one, or this one. 

2. If you care about outward appearance: Boyish covered journals like thisthis, or this may interest you; or girly covers like thisthis, or that may be just the thing for you. However, if you don’t want to wait for Gender knowledge to purchase, you may decide gender neutral covers like one of these four (option onetwothreefour) fit you best.

3. If you are looking for a fill in the blank/decent journaling combo, you might check out this book. Or, you might even look at this one right before taking a peek here

4. If you are looking for scrapbook formats, while pricey, this book may be just the tool you are looking for! Or perhaps you would rather something like this.

5. If you want to be super cautious to insure your important milestones etc., are covered, you might check out this journal. 

6. Now, if you care about being accurate and neat in the precisness of when certain milestones are reached, I’m just going to encourage you to plan to stear clear of journals that are completely or mostly all guided journals (with full in blanks/check boxes, and very little room for journaling) you may find you are weeks behind or ahead in what they choose to cover each week, and that you haven’t been left space to alter or add. These can also have questions or sentences prepared for you to complete that just don’t make any sense for you or fit with your story. So, just beware.

7. Want to purposely choose gender specific colored book covers? See options on #2!

8. For those searching for a journal/baby book combination, never fear! These journals are here! (option oneoption two)

9. If you are a first time Mom, there are plenty of journals meant just for you! (This one being one among them.)But for second and third time mom’s, etc., it’s a little harder to find just the right one. This journal will accommodate any number of pregnancies. In the first page, below your name, there is a blank for you to document the what pregnancy number this is for you! And this journal also accommodates multiple pregnancies according to the product description. 

10. This calendar journal may fit the bill if you are looking for something unique. Or if you really want to do something even more so, you should check out this devotional journal for expecting mother’s that can record prayers, notes, and reflections. And here a new and unique angle not everyone thinks about; a book that includes a section for preparing for pregnancy, child care searching and classes, in addition to the normal sections.

11. And for those looking for a special place in the book for dad to join in, check out this journal, or even this one. But, while pricey, this one had dad in the tile and may be the one for you. Or better yet, check out some of the books specifically designed for dad! This journal, while reviewed as being blank inside, was created with dad in mind. So, if dad is a writer, and journaling fan it may be perfect for him. 

12. Single moms, there are journals or there for you to: reviews state this one doesn’t mention dad anywhere.

I hope this article has been helpful to you in finding a list of journals  you would like to explore more, but even so, I want to stress that before making your selection I recommend checking them out in person if at all possible and do your own research. Read the descriptions, read the reviews, both good and bad; find it why people rated then with a 2 or 5 star. Sometimes the con’s are pro’s to you and the pro’s are con’s!

I’d like to share at this point that I’m hoping to have a follow up article to go hand in hand with this one. Keep your eyes peeled!

So, in your own great search for the perfect pregnancy journal, what are you looking for? Do you look for the basics? Do you look for uniqueness/diversity; and what do you have in mind for that? If really be interested to know what things are important to you to share with your little one in you keepsakes. 

A Chaotic Life for Me

It’s been months since I’ve picked up ‘paper and pen’ to write even a draft for a post. Not how I’d imagined my year going.  But, for our house it’s been a constant adventure in parenthood. With a great deal of precious memories to go along with it, of course. 

I’ll at least be making efforts to return to the blog to once again share my life adventures with you. So much has happened since my last post (not to mention my last draft) that I hardly know where to begin, but I am determined to jump back in! 

So, in spite of past infant gas struggles, parental loss of sleep, teething struggles and looming projects, here’s to October being a ‘New Beginning’ for the blog.


I bid you ‘goodnight’ for now. Until we meet again, friends.