Happy Home-iversary Alyssa!

Since the girls share a birthday, we wanted to give them each a special day of their own to celebrate them as individuals. We chose to use their “come home day” from the hospital, since they didn’t get to come home together. It is a nice way to celebrate something that was not so fun at the time. (having to leave them in the hospital) So today is Alyssa’s 2 year home-iversary.

I have been thinking a lot about the day Alyssa came home recently. We got a new computer and have a picture slideshow as our screensaver. The slideshow always starts with pictures of us bringing Alyssa home. Why it chooses to start there I have no idea. Anyways, I’ve been looking at how tiny she was and how happy we were to bring home our first baby ever. I’ve heard a lot of parents talk about being very nervous to bring home their baby, even being surprised the hospital let them leave with this tiny little fragile life. We did NOT feel that way. We were so excited to finally have just one of our daughters home with us where she belonged. Seeing these pictures has also gotten both Russell and I excited about Sprout being born and coming home as well.

Last year we celebrated Alyssa’s home-iversary with a trip to the Oakland Zoo. This year however, with me being about to pop, and Russell having to work we weren’t able to do anything quite as exciting. Although I am trying to make the most of the LAST day that it is just me and the girls home alone. Just the three of us. After today things will never be the same! But I still wanted to do a post and take a little walk down memory lane. I hope you enjoy!

Just got home! So tiny in that little car seat!

You mean I live HERE?

About to be swaddled.

Alyssa at one year… when we lived in Santa Rosa.

Mommy and Lissie at two years. (Does she look like she is pretending to shoot herself in the head?!)

Alyssa- I love you more and more everyday. You continue to amaze me in the things you say and do. I know you’ll be able to accomplish any dreams you have. I can’t imagine my life with you and look forward to seeing you in your new role as a big sister. I love you always and am so proud of you. Thank you for everything you add to my life. You make it wonderful!

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Busy And A Book

The past couple of weeks have been very hectic around our house. Russell has been working some extra hours, making him miss pretty much all of the girls’ days. I am now 7 months pregnant and don’t get around as easily as I did a few months ago. Also, there was Christmas, which even though it was low key kept me quite busy. This mostly included sewing, wrapping and cookie baking. But along the way I did discover a cool thing out there on the world wide web. (Remember when people actually called it that? I think I am going to bring that term back!) I was really looking for something maybe on Etsy like a blank cookbook where I could write in all my favorite recipes. I have those recipe cards, but they get mixed up and lost very easily. What I stumbled upon instead was a free site with templates and everything for you to create your own book. Not necessarily cookbooks, but also baby books, family history books, wedding albums, etc. You can upload pictures, info and more, format and finally order it. They say it prints bookstore quality books, and it is relatively cheap. I have been working on my cookbook nearly everyday since I found the site. It will probably be a long time before I actually order one since I like my cookbooks to have pictures of each dish attached, and it will take a while before I getting around to making each recipe. But seriously, how cool would that be to give to our girls someday. A cookbook filled with all the recipes their mom used while they were growing up? A “Just Like Mom” cookbook. Anyways, I thought it was very cool and decided to share the website with you. Check it out by clicking here. And if you make a book, let me know! I’d love to hear what you made!

Published in: on December 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  

More Tips for Cloth Diapers

This is my third blog on cloth diapers. To check out reasons why to use cloth click here, and for a suggested starter list and basic laundering click here. Today’s post is more tips for the current user. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me!

Diaper Rash Creams

Please be careful about what types of diaper rash cream you use with your cloth diapers! Many of the most common brands like A&D and Desitin will react very poorly with cloth.

I just heard wonderful things about coconut oil as a diaper rash cream, and am so excited to give it a try. Our girls little butts are very sensitive to certain foods (tomato and citrus especially) and are prone to irritation. Coconut oil is supposed to work wonders and wash completely out with no changes to your laundry routine. I will be picking some up this weekend and will let you know how it goes.


If you are getting stains on your diapers try laying them flat to dry in the sun. The sun naturally bleaches and sanitizes! If you have set in stains, try sprinkling a little lemon juice on the diapers and then lay them in the sun.

Stripping cloth diapers

If you use cloth diapers for any real length of time, chances are they are going to need to be stripped every now and then. You’ll be able to tell if your diapers need to be stripped if they are still stinky after washing. The most common reason for stinky diapers is detergent buildup. Cloth diapers only need about 1/4 the amount of soap recommended for regular use. Buildup of detergent is easy to check for. Simply run the diapers through the wash with NO detergent and open the lid part way through the cycle. If you’ve got suds you have been using too much detergent.

It could be possible you aren’t using enough detergent also, but I would recommend washing with no soap and checking for suds before jumping to adding more detergent. If you have been using too little though, that is an easy fix. Simply start adding more (in small increments!)

Now, down to actually stripping. I use the baking soda method and have been very happy with. I add 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda to clean diapers and wash on hottest setting until there are no more suds. (I turn up our water heater when stripping to get the hottest possible water – but make sure to turn it back down when you’re done!) Simple as that! It leaves my diapers smelling brand new.

If you are curious about any other part of cloth diapering please let me know! I am always happy to answer questions.

Published in: on December 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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Big Girl Room

Yesterday we had planned on spending the day hanging out with Russell’s youngest brother and his wife, but due to some crappy LA traffic on Wednesday night they weren’t able to make it over to us. So instead we took advantage of some extra time and got to work on the girls’ new bedroom. AKA the old guest room. The girls “helped” a lot and I have a few pictures to share with you.

Alyssa in the toy chest

helping... quality control?

testing the beds

You can see the owl art we picked up at target, but please notice the girls’ banners with each of their names on them. They were a gift from my friend Courtney over at Court’s Crafts. Go check out the stuff she comes up with… she totally inspires me. If only I could do paper crafts… I am hoping she will be willing to make another banner for Sprout. Although, ideally, it would say Wyatt or Amelia instead of Sprout. And yes, in case you were wondering, I just announced our picks for baby names.

Also, notice the beautiful quilts hanging on the back of the girls’ beds. Those were a gift from my parents’ friend, Delia. She also made the wedding quilt that was on the guest bed, and you might remember our friend Mr. Turtle. She made him too!

toy chest and bookcase

owl lamp detail

And in case you were wondering, the dresser is in the closet. Our girls still do have clothes 🙂

And the best part is… the girls LOVE it! They smile when they walk in the room, and play in there a lot. Alyssa walked into the nursery once, barely looked around like “I am so over this” and bounded into her new room. There has also been a lot of “whoo whoo-ing” around here lately. I guess they feel like big girls now.

Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 7:57 am  Comments (1)  

I Wasn’t Kidding

There isn’t anything my girls can’t use as a ladder.

And no, that is not where we normally keep the high chairs.

Happy 21 months to my little munchkins!!!

Kylie Bear

Alyssa Bean


Published in: on November 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm  Comments (4)  

It’s My Monday, Give Me A Break

Many of you who know me know I like to be organized, and to plan ahead. So I am not sure it needs to be said that I am struggling to be patient about moving the girls into their “big girl room” (currently known as “the guest bedroom”) and get the nursery ready for the baby. Maybe it is nesting, maybe it is just me, but it drives me crazy that it isn’t done yet.

Yes, I know I am only 22 weeks.

But the books say you shouldn’t make any changes for older children during the 3 months before, or the 6 months after the baby arrives. Which means by those standards we should have the girls completely transitioned into their new room by the end of this month. Here is a sneak peak as to what that room currently looks like.

Did I mention we have guests coming for Thanksgiving?

We are so thrilled Russell’s brother and his wife are coming over to spend Thanksgiving with us, but that means I really need to get my butt in gear getting that room decent for guests. And then immediately after they leave get it completely switched out with all the girls stuff.

Here are the big problems I am having.

1- I can’t put the baby stuff in the nursery until we move the girls stuff out. BUT, I don’t want to move the girls stuff into the guest room until we are ready to move them too.

2- We have a ton of old clothes for them, but nothing to pack them up in, so they are just laying on the bed.

3- I haven’t decided whether to keep or toss our clothes that were covered in lighter fluid. I washed them about 50 times, but you never know. (If you don’t know about that I need to do a post soon with all the craziness the girls have been up to)

All of that is to say, this girls room/guest room problem is making me crazy. So this morning to take my mind off of it I spent a little quality time with my sewing machine. I made a super soft, cozy cover for the diaper changing pad

and two pairs of (already loved) owl flannel pants for the girls.

owl print detail

We also spent a lot of time yesterday searching for sturdy and functional pieces of furniture for the “big girls room”. The girls went with us to nearly 10 stores and they did AWESOME. They were so patient, listened when we asked them to follow us, and didn’t break anything! Major success. Although by the end of the day (and three trips total) we ended up buying everything we were looking for at the first store. Now it is time to assemble some furniture and store it in the garage until after Thanksgiving. Also I need to make curtains for their room, which I am very excited about now that we have picked a theme!

This really should have been about three posts, so if you are still with me you must be a true friend.

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm  Comments (2)  

Time To Upgrade?

I recently had to buy Quicken for our computer for my new position as Treasurer of LVMoMs. A bonus to this is that Russell and I have been talking about getting it for ourselves anyways.

You see, our computer is a little old. As in, my brother gave it to me way back in 2003… and it was used then, old.

It has an old version of Microsoft Money, which we have been using to keep track of all our money stuff for the past few years. Anyways, Microsoft Money had pretty much been discontinued and in order to keep all of our finances in order when we do end up getting a new computer- we’d have to switch to Quicken anyways. So today I spent a little time trying to transfer all our accounts from Money into Quicken.

Luckily, Quicken has an easy import feature which can do this transfer for you.

Not so lucky, it only works with Microsoft Money 2007 and 2008.  And which version do we have? 2001.

Not. Even. Close.

In the end I did find a solution by downloading a 60 day trial of a newer version of Money and was able to get everything moved over without having to manually input every detail of every account. It does bring up the question though…

Is it time for a new computer?

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm  Comments (1)  

Big Girl Beds- An Update

The girls have been out of the cribs and in their toddler beds for a week now and a few people have asked us if they have been getting out of them at night.

Well, just a few times. But they never seem to make it very far…

Published in: on July 18, 2011 at 10:11 am  Comments (2)  

Goodbye Cribs… Hello Big Girl Beds

As I mentioned a few days ago the girls had begun climbing out of their cribs, which made them a little unsafe. So it was time to upgrade. But would it be a mattress thrown on the floor, cribs minus one side plus a soft rail, toddler beds, or full size bunk beds with a trundle? The verdict?

Toddler Beds.

I know, I know they don’t make as much financial sense in the long run, but for the time being we didn’t have to buy new mattresses, sheets, or anything else… and I found a great deal on very highly rated beds.

Daddy put the girls down this morning for their first nap in their new beds (Mommy got stuck at the auto dealership for 3 1/2 hours!) and the girls did great! They fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep long, and didn’t fall out. I am calling that a win. 🙂

So here is a little peak into their nursery new.

Alyssa's big girl bed


Kylie's big girl bed


And with the new beds come new possibilities. Like the ability to climb onto the twin bed and play in the window.

And now for proof that they are actually sleeping in these beds…

Kylie asleep

Even Leila thought it looked like a good place to nap.

Alyssa and Leila

Truth be told, this has not been an easy transition for me. I still want my little ones to be babies, and babies don’t sleep in big girl beds- big girls do. And the fact that I missed their very first time in their new beds made it even harder. But I am so proud of my BIG GIRLS who handled it beautifully. Just as easy as they dropped the pacifiers and the bottles they took to their new beds. So , good job girls. You make your mama proud.

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm  Comments (5)  

Is It Really Time Already?

Yesterday Alyssa climbed out of her crib by herself. I didn’t see it, but was hoping it was by accident. Today after they woke up from their naps I heard a thud and ran in the find Kylie on the floor, and Alyssa half hanging over the bar on her crib. I know we have little monkeys, but come on! They are not even 17 months old. I was sure hoping we’d be able to keep them in the safety of a crib for just a little while longer.

The mattresses are already on their lowest setting and since now that it seems I can expect this behavior everyday we have some decisions to make. We could:

  • keep them in the cribs and hope they don’t hurt themselves crawling out of them.
  • take one side off the cribs and get those little rails, so that when they do climb out they don’t have as far to fall.

  • buy those little toddler beds that would work for a few years, and just let them climb in and out themselves.

  • buy their regular sized twin beds that would be theirs until the move out someday.

So I need advice from those with older kids. What did you do when it was time to upgrade, and what can you tell me about the pros and cons of your choice?

Published in: on July 7, 2011 at 11:47 am  Comments (9)