Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY: After a 2 yr old...

I'm laughing fact I even laughed about it later the day it happened...but at the time, 
I. was. horrified. just know they are up to something! No, you can't watch them ALL the time. No, you can't predict what is going through their minds at these moments. Yes, you can instruct them to do or not to do certain things, but you will ALWAYS forget something. I learned that just from listening to all the stories about my cousin's 4 kids! If you are naive to think your kids will never act like "so & so's" or they would never "think to do something like that" let me just say...your day is coming...if you have kids...something will happen & you will be left standing there...just shaking your head in disbelief! 

Needless to say I have had a few upsets since Greyson became mobile. Lots of messes, lots of things broken but as have to get over it. When you have kids you have to be prepared for anything...prepared as in, you WILL have something ruined & it's our jobs to either fix it, try to fix it, pay someone to fix it...or give up & buy a new one. =) 

There have been a few things here & there that Greyson has broken or made a mess of, but nothing this drastic. No, this was a first!! He has never been a big coloring fan...even when we tried our BEST to get to color a picture for his Poppie after his knee surgery. He just didn't want to take the time to scribble. 
How was I supposed to know he would find it SO MUCH FUN to take a pen to my micro-fiber cloth couch!! AND the walls!! It's amazing how fast he worked in the 5 minutes I left the room. I thought he was watching PLANES but instead he was busy scribbling with a pen. on the couch.

These were the only pictures I know to send to his daddy & a few other people when I was mid-freaking out. It was much much worse. The whole front of the couch was covered...there was a mark on the backs of the cushions, of course scribbling all down the cushions & all over the other arm as well. I'm just glad he missed my pillows!

The first thing I did was google how to get ink out of microfiber. Thankfully that's where I learned he was not the FIRST 2 yr old to take a pen to a microfiber couch. There were several similar where it was the grandma's fault not noticing the child had a pen & she was worried they wouldn't get to spend Thanksgiving at her son's house that year! LOL 

So the main thing to do was use rubbing alcohol or a baby wipe. I started doing a few spots & surprisingly they came out, but as I worked I figured it would be easier to just have someone come clean it. It was taking too long & not showing me the results I wanted. 
After I called a few places & learned it would be about $100+ I decided to go back to trying it myself.

DIY: Upholstery Cleaning!

You will need...
*About an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol (depending on how big the mess is...if it's just one spot or mark a few dabs on a cloth & your this case however....)

*small container to pour the alcohol in

*clean white cloth to scrub with

Next: Just dab the cloth in the alcohol & start working! I tried a small area to start with & let it dry just to make sure it wasn't going to do something weird to the color. 
Once I saw that it was actually working I continued to clean. 
Take breaks.
Clean some more.
Clean some more.
Feed, change diapers, do laundry, fold laundry, load dishwasher, read books, play, nap time
Clean some more.
Finally you should start seeing the end of the tunnel!

By the time Matt got home from work (about 8:30pm) It was looking something like this:

Not bad! You can still see some blue streaks here & there, but I will keep working on it then next couple days & it should all come out. It dried nicely & probably 97% of stains came out to start with.

Greyson was punished. He was not a happy camper. He had privileges taken away & one of the most devastating was no cupcake after supper. (If you haven't found out by now my kid is the biggest CAKE lover out there) He probably cried more over the cake than anything! 

SO he has told both his Nana & Mimi that he would not write on anymore furniture. I hope it sticks.

Note: For walls, just use a magic eraser & it should come off. =) found those later...that was neat. 

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2 Months!

This little girl has stolen so many hearts =)
She is growing so fast & has her daddy wrapped around her little this little doll baby!

so far you...

*weigh 12.6 lbs & are 22 inches long
*nurse every 3-4 hrs or longer if you take an extra long nap & get about 4-6 ounces per feeding...that good milk is making you chunky =) still only nurse from 5-30 minutes per feeding
*are a GREAT sleeper just like your brother was!! You started sleeping most of the night around a month old but still woke up pretty early like 4 or 5am. At 6 weeks you added a couple hrs & make it completely through the night without waking up. Our last feeding is usually between 9:30-10:30 & you sleep ALL night until 7 or eat again around that time & go back to sleep sometimes until 9:30am! 
*have been sleeping in your bassinet since you were born...still have not transitioned to the crib even though its in the same room with us now, but I like having you right beside me
*definitely like checking things are very curious!
*still love sleeping on your tummy & tummy time, but you haven't been sleeping on your tummy at night anymore...I know...we're rebels but I think that is what helped you sleep so good so early!
*can sit propped up...great neck & head love looking all around
*are very laid back...still only cry when you need something. I have figured out what most of your cry's mean -thanks to the baby language videos on youtube- so you are very content MOST of the time. There is one cry that I have decided just want HELD! When that happens nothing will calm you down until someone picks you up & cuddles...that's all it takes!
*wear mostly 0-3 or 3 month outfits now. Very FEW newborn things still fit
*can still fit into your newborn cloth diapers...barely though! I think you will be growing out of those VERY soon. Still in size 1 disposables
*celebrated your very first Valentines Day at your very first Dixie Nationals! It was your first trip away from home too! We had lots of got to wear your cowboy boots, go to the free style reining show & watch daddy show his horse. We had a great time! 
*visited Mimi in the hospital & celebrated Valentines Day with her & Poppie. She was admitted a couple days after we got home from the Dixie's =( She did not get a very good report so they decided to try Chemo. She finished her first 5 day treatment with very few side effects & seems to be doing great!! We got to see her when she came home & you finally started talking to her & gave her a big smile =)
*got to help host a baby shower for our friend Courtney. We can't wait to meet her little girl in a few more will be about 4 months apart & she will be your first little baby friend!

What we are looking forward to:
*Nana & Papa Ritchey coming to visit in a few weeks so Papa can go hunting
*Going back with Nana & Papa to visit friends & family in PA
*Aunt Richelle's baby shower!

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Another little blessing!

I am SO excited to share that there will be another little blessing in our family later this year! 

Congratulations to my little brother Brandon & my amazing sister in law Richelle!! 
July can't come soon enough & we can't wait to find out if we will have a little nephew or niece...only another week or so until their gender reveal =) 
We already know this little one is going to be super blessed with the best parents they could ask for & LOTS of family to love & spoil them. We are so excited!!! 

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

DIY: Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've been trying to get back into using some money saving ideas around our home. 
After working full time for 5 years with benefits, I certainly saw a drop when we had kids & I decided to be a stay at home mom-only working part time. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to work from home...but lets face it...I only put in a few hrs a week & needed to find ways to spend less for more! 
I haven't done much at all yet...but have made some choices for our family that have really helped us save. For instance...
I knew that the #1 thing I was going to try & provide was breast milk for my kids...granted that everything went well. My mom didn't have much luck BF & I know several people that didn't produce enough & had to supplement. I'm glad formula is out there because I've even had to use it on occasion...but I also feel blessed that BF worked for me because that is a huge area where we were able to save in that stage of having kids. 
 I also tried cloth diapering when Greyson was 2 months old & haven't stopped. I do use disposables a lot because I only cloth diaper when we are at home or somewhere that I will be able to do laundry (like visiting my parents or on vacation in a home that has a washer) but even cutting the diaper buying in half has been great & there are a bunch of other benefits that come with cloth diapering especially since I am able to use the same CD on my second child!
 I tried my hand at home made baby food, but that didn't really last long since Greyson only ate baby food for 4 weeks before he was on table food. I will see how it goes the second time around!
I should probably do more things to save like using coupons etc. so I recently got this cool app on my phone that has specials for the week & if you buy those you get cash back at the end. That's what I'm talking about! All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt & check mark the things on it you got then money is added to your acount. I am SO not good at clipping coupons or remembering to use them AT the store so being able to do it after the fact is the way to go! 
NEEDLESS to say!!! I kind of do things...half heartedly! haha I mean I have definitely saved us money in those areas for sure but I tend to do what is the easiest. Which is why when I started seeing recipes to make your own laundry detergent, I figured that would be something easy to try. I just NOW finally got around to making it!

 I have gotten a few recipes off Pinterest & one from a friend. Her's lasted about 6 months but this one I found can last around a year to 18 months! 

I basically followed this websites instructions
so feel free to check out her website for cute extras!

First, you'll need these items!

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but I highly recommend adding it)
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (we chose to do pink for the scent but the white would be just fine. You can also use Fels Naptha)
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the detergent or cooking aisle (You could also get two 2 lb boxes if you can't find the large one)
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- or use 3-4 bottles of Scentsy Washer Whiffs.Scentsy washer whiffs are my top choice, (they smell out-of-this-world amazing – my favorite isQuiver), but when in a hurry, I opt for the Purex, (which can be found in the detergent aisle).
Those are the website's what I did.
I bought the only zote soap I saw so I'll have to get another block next time I'm at the store. I also only got ONE small bottle of purex crystals. I didn't like the scent of the ones the website showed...of course! So when I found a scent I liked better...they only had the SMALL bottles & I think they used 2 large ones! My reasoning in this was the fact that it says fabric softener & I don't usually use softener in my towels etc. so I wanted the nice smell but not a bunch to make much of a difference in the softener part. I usually use Downy Unstoppables because they specifically say it is not a fabric softener so that could be an alternative choice as well! You just might have to buy a BUNCH of those for this amount & those things can get expensive. As far as the optional Oxy Clean...I had about 1/4 of a container left so I definitely used it but if you get a whole container it'll obviously make more detergent.  
SO those are just a few things you'll need to make sure you get in the right amounts if you want to try this out.

I did try the microwave method...I do NOT recommend! You would think it would be super easy & less time consuming. Wrong! Cut it into chunks like so & maybe pop it in the microwave for like 30 seconds just to soften it a bit, but then I would definitely recommend grating it or putting it in a food processor.

The microwave method heats the soap & it expands...a lot! Once it's dry, you just crumble it up & it turns into pink, crumbly soap. Sounded easy...the ONE minute it required ended up taking like 15 to get the whole bar expanded & dry. Otherwise, you have sticky messy soapy pieces left underneath the puffiness. I just pulled the expanded pieces off & kept microwaving till I got it all. Once I started crumbling it, I could tell it wasn't going to be as fine as I wanted...SO I ended up putting it all in the food processor anyway!

Finally looking right! After that, it was EASY peasy!! I even had Greyson help me! =) 
I bought a very large jar at Walmart to store it in. The website mentioned scooping the detergent into the cool purex bottles for storage because the lid acts as a measuring cup with etched in lines, but you'll definitely need a bucket or something else to keep the rest of it in because it made a LOT!

I just started layering each ingredient & Greyson stirred it with a plastic spoon!

He had a lot of fun mixing it up!

By the time we finished, most of my jar was full. You can see just how big it is with Greyson sitting next to it! Had I put ALL the ingredients in it, I'm sure it would have been closer to the top. I will probably add more Oxy clean & the other bar of pink soap eventually.

He was pretty fascinated with it...when I took his picture he even told the soap to "say cheese!"

I am using the purex container lid as my measuring scoop. The neat thing about this is that you only need 1-2 tablespoons of detergent PER load!! One for regular loads & 2 for extra dirty or bulkier loads. That is where the cost effectiveness comes in. You don't use much & it still gets your laundry clean & smelling good! I used 2 T on a large load of towels & gotta say...I'm pretty happy with it. 
It works in HE washers (which is what I have) & only costs approximately $28 based on doing about 6 loads of laundry a week...that makes it last up to a YEAR! If you end up doing 4 loads a week it could even last to 18 months & you might have spent $28-$30 tops!

I definitely wanted something that was easy, lasted a long time & cheap! My main concern & the first thing most people think about is the smell. At least that's the first concern my husband had! The pink Zote soap has a good smell, oxy clean has a good smell & of course any scent beads you put in will have a good smell. The nice thing about that is you can choose your own scent! The rest of the ingredients didn't really have a smell so it all works together. I've heard that using felsnaptha soap instead of the zote soap smells more like tide but I guess anyone could experiment with the scents & find what works for you!

Now I know there are a hundred other DIY house hold items I could make to save money...I am slowly but surely adding different things to the list. This is just a simple one that took me about 30 minutes to make (because of all the microwaving) but would actually only take a few minutes if you process the soap first then add everything together! I'm already impressed with instead of buying laundry soap I'll have more money to actually makeover my laundry room! Oh wait...I'm supposed to save money right?? =)

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1 Month!

Rilynn is already almost 2 months old!! I'm a little behind on her 1 month update...I'm starting to sound like a broken record...time is going by WAY too FAST!! =( 

so far you...

*were 8lbs 12oz 21 inches long at birth & lost a whole pound before leaving the hospital. You were back up to 9.6 lbs at your 2 week appointment but didn't grow any longer! 
*started nursing a couple minutes after you were born! You have done latch issues like your brother had...=) You nurse anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes tops! In a bottle, you take about 3 ounces of BM every couple hours
*sleep a LOT...your brother wants to play with you but you are usually too tired to see what toys he is trying to share with you =)
*make a scowl face (which we call your classic expression) like you are trying to figure something out! Usually when someone is in your face talking to you or when mommy sticks the phone in your face to take a picture! Im sure you are wondering what that thing is!
*can hold your head up & have great neck control! Tummy time is no problem...Greyson did NOT like tummy time but you seem happier on your tummy than your back. You even rolled over for the first time at 4 weeks old but that was a one time thing...I think you were going after your paci =)
*like to be held by everyone & are a very content, laid back baby. Your favorite past times are hanging out in your swing, bouncy seat or bassinet to nap or take in all the sights & sounds
*wore only newborn clothes at the beginning, now fitting into some newborn but mostly 0-3 & 3 month sizes! Nana & aunt Richelle bought you some beautiful Sunday dresses...we like getting all dressed up with bows, cute socks, shoes & outfits!
*wear newborn size CLOTH diapers...this is mommy's first experience with prefolds & covers. I have found out that you are a heavy wetter & I usually have to double up! We use Imagine Baby Products prefolds/all in ones & bamboo fitted diapers at night. You wear size 1 DISPOSABLE diapers when we go out...that is what they had you in at the hospital! We had one pack of newborns at home but you quickly grew out of them & we went back to size 1's
*hardly cry, but when you do, you have a very distinctive one! The nurses at the hospital said they could tell who was crying over the other 9 babies in the nursery with you! =) You do not like loud noises & if you get startled your little mouth makes quite the pouty face & you start in. We have had a couple nights where you were very uncomfortable & mommy has had to use Colic Calm to help you with your tummy issues
*used to nurse every 2 hours all through the 3 weeks you started sleeping longer at night going from 9 or 10pm to 3am, nursing, getting a diaper change, then staying awake until 4am & then sleeping usually until 7:30am before your next feeding. Thankfully you are still sleeping all the time so I can usually count on you napping at the same time as Greyson in the afternoons...sometimes mommy joins you unless I have cleaning or laundry to do =)
*experienced your first snow day in Alabama on January 28th!

What we are looking forward to:
*Your first road trip to the Dixie Nationals 
*Nana & Papa coming to visit in March so Papa can go hunting =)
*Our trip to PA -but not the missing daddy part =(

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Newborn Photos!

Steven Bagley quickly became one of our new best friends when he did Greyson's newborn pictures! Since then he has been around shooting fun events (like our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, birthday parties...etc) & I just love what he captures. It was a no brainer who I would ask to do Rilynn's newborn photos. He did an amazing job & even snagged some of Greyson =) 

Here are just a few of my favorites!!! 

I don't know why but I tend to stick with "sleeping baby" pictures! She was actually awake part of the time & had some with her eyes open but I am just drawn to the others I guess. Greyson got to wear his Big Brother shirt & Rilynn wore her Lil Sister one too. Of course we had to get some cute cowboy pictures in...Daddy wanted the "naked cowboy" pose! haha 

Thanks to Steven for once again making me a very happy mama!
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Monday, February 3, 2014

2 Years!

Wow! Am I ever behind on posting an update on Greyson! He has learned so much it's hard to keep up...he is definitely starting the terrible 2 stage & has gotten a lot more vocal about his likes/dislikes & when he doesn't want to do something. I'm learning you can NOT reason with a 2 year old! While he is giving us quite a few reasons to sharpen our parenting skills (apparently I'm pretty consistent in my discipline via Nana...haha) he is still my sweet little boy who hands out kisses on a whim, tells me he loves me, prays the most adorable prayers at bed time & is able to do so much for me...makes me proud!! He's growing up too fast!! =( 

so far you...
*weigh 30 lbs (last time we checked in December) & are 35 inches tall
*LOVE cake & anything sweet but are generally a good eater overall...I can tell when you are growing because you start eating a ton & take super long naps...sometimes on your own! Today you asked me for 2 sandwiches at we go again! =)
*got to take a 2 week long road trip with mommy back in September. You met lots of extended family & friends & your great grandparents for the first time! You did really good being away from daddy that whole was a fun way to kick off all the new stuff going on in our family these days
*are a huge fan of Curious George & Thomas the Train....HUGE & your favorite movie is Planes
*remember things so well...names, events, things you did 3 weeks ago...& you repeat just about everything...NOT so good all the time! 
*still play so well by yourself. It makes my life so much easier not having to entertain you all the time while I'm trying to do house work or feed the baby
*LOVE being a big brother! You are a little obsessive sometimes & have given me a few heart attacks (i.e. getting her out of her swing & carrying your week old baby sister across the living room) BUT you are a BIG helper & can even make her stop crying with your "shhh's" & cute little remarks. You try sharing your toys, read her books, give lots of kisses & hugs, put her paci in her mouth when she needs it & when I think you are "too" in her face, you like to tell me that you are "just telling her Hi" LOL 
*adjusted to a new home, a new sister & a new room with a big boy bed! You have slept pretty well, waking up a few times in the night to ask for a drink, or bees (the bear) but told daddy to go back to his own room when he was done =) I think you are fine
*talk 90 miles an hour about anything & everything...your favorite past time is talking to family members of the phone 
*randomly started potty training at a friends said you had to go & you went! Your buddy Jace said he was proud of you to which you replied...Thank you! haha I guess we need to start focusing on that now
*wear mostly 2T clothes, size 6-8 shoes (depending on brand)
*could spend all day at the barn, checking the cows, & riding the "machines" if we let you...daddy is gonna LOVE it when you are old enough to help with the horses & cleaning stalls =)
*got a little pony named Baby Girl from Poppy & Mimi. You love to ride her & any horse for that matter!
*got your first pair of real cowboy boots for usually put them on at some point during the day
*got to play in our first snow of the year in Alabama & built your first snowman, made your first snow angel & went sled riding for the first time too!
*were in your first Christmas program (well 2nd technically since you were baby Jesus at 2 weeks old 2 years ago) & just started Sunday School at church =) 
*are starting to get a little defiant in the way of saying "no"  =( & if you don't want to do something it takes you a long time to come around. 3 hrs to clean up a mess...can we say strong willed!! I have a feeling that sort of comes from me...ehhh
*are also starting the temper tantrum stage...oh joy
*have an answer to everything HA it's kind of funny sometimes...

What we are looking forward to:
*Going to Dixie Nationals next week
*Nana & Papa coming back to visit in March!

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