Good Little Mommy

Charlotte has taken quite an interest in nursing lately, I have no idea why now all of a sudden but I'm glad she doesn't even think twice about it. We had an interesting conversation about boobies the other day as I was getting her in the tub...

Charlotte: Mommy, look at my boobies!
Me: Yep
Charlotte: I got boobies just like you!
Me: You sure do, because we're girls.
Charlotte: Lexi has boobies too
Me: Yes she does, Lexi is a girl just like us. Do you know why girls have boobies?
Charlotte: So babies can drink milk from them.
Me: You are absolutely right!

When we were doing mammal week as much as I mentioned mammals make milk I did not once mention that milk comes from breasts, only that mommies make milk, I'm sure she got that just from seeing me feeding her sister all the time. I don't talk about nursing at all with Charlotte actually, I've never even told her it's called nursing and she's picked that up too. I'm just hopeful that she is this enthusiastic about nursing her children when she grows up. Here are a few other things she's been talking about when it comes to breastfeeding...

She's asked me to put her baby to sleep for her while I was nursing Lexi to sleep.
She talked about when she was a baby that she nursed like Lexi did (she weaned around 15 months so not sure if she actually remembers nursing).
Once I was talking to her while she was nursing her baby and she told me to leave her alone because she was just nursing her baby.
She'll make her baby pretend cry and say, "Oh, I just gotta feed my baby."

Not a day goes by that I am not amazed by what she picks up from just watching. She is going to be such a good little mommy one day.


The Doctor Will See You Now

Even though today was the start of Dinosaur Week, Charlotte woke up wanting to play Doctor so that's exactly what we did! The pictures pretty much say it all...


Lexi's Luau

So today was the much awaited day, the day I was fretting over for so long for no reason whatsoever, the day that I have been thinking about for months...Lexi's Luau! The initial plan for the luau was elaborate as if I was planning an actual luau, I really had to cut down, then I had to cut down some more and then some more and finally I felt I had something that was manageable since I pretty much did everything by myself from the guest list to the menu to the decorations. 

I made a hula tutu (I've seen it called a Tula) for Lexi to wear for the party anticipating that she would be walking by then, she has taken a few steps but still crawling is her primary choice to get around.

I ordered her an adorable birthday onesie from Etsy.com so perfect for the occasion! I decided to get her one year pictures done in the tutu before the party just in case it got ruined, they turned out great, she's such a little model! She ended up not even wearing the tutu at the party but the one year pictures turned out so cute that I wasn't even worried about it, plus it was so hot it would have been really uncomfortable for her.

I planned on decorating the living room but my two little helpers weren't much help!

The kitchen all decked out even though the food ended up all going outside instead.

I made Lexi's cake, no luau is complete without a whole pig!

All the guests hanging out, it was so hot and muggy outside, it was a true test of love they all have for Alexis

I had made a smash cake for Lexi that looked like an apple to go with the pig but it was so embarrassing I decided to ditch it and serve her a little piece of the pig, she got the snout and looks like she enjoyed it!

Lexi's Luau was an overall success in my eyes, even though things didn't go exactly as planned I was still able to enjoy all the company and celebrate Lexi's first year of life! The trampoline was a huge hit, we definitely got our money's worth out of it in just one day!

Thank you everyone for coming!


Cooking Week: 9/20-9/24

This week was cooking week! It seriously was a coincidence that it happened to be the same week as Lexi's party and the week I needed to get all the food together! An awesome coincidence! WIN!!

 We started cooking week after having roasted chicken for dinner, Travis was doing the dishes and decided to show Charlotte what happens when you add dish soap to oil, she was fascinated and kept adding more and more dish soap until all the oil was pretty much broken up and gone.

 Since the oil in the pan was gone we decided to show her how water and oil don't mix.

 After stirring up the oil so she could watch it separate again. She added some food coloring after this to see what would happen, which was pretty much the same thing, lighter color ended up on the top and the darker color on the bottom.

 Here is Charlotte making oatmeal-wheat pancakes for Lexi on her birthday.

The recipe called for buttermilk (a lot of our pancake recipes do) but I never buy it so we always substitute it with our own sour milk  which is one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and enough milk to make one cup, let it set for about 5 minutes and voila! Charlotte was pretty surprised to see that the milk coagulated.

Rolling out flour tortillas

Washing veggies for the vegetable tray for Lexi's party. She even put all the vegetables in the separate spaces and even surprised me by keeping her snacking to a minimum!

Mixing the pudding for the banana pudding (which after the party I realized didn't get set out for the guests to enjoy)

I thought I had some pictures of her helping make Lexi's cake and some bread but guess I don't...I really enjoyed cooking with Charlotte, we even checked out a book from the library about cooking with toddlers (which we will be checking out again in the future), we didn't try any of the recipes but since we enjoyed cooking together so much we are going to do Cooking Week again. I was planning on doing it right after but thought we'd be cooked out so decided to pick a random week when we're feeling bored or maybe during the later fall when the holidays roll around and we get to cook lots of yummy treats. We checked out some books about cooking, markets, farming and restaurants and even an awesome book about food in general with lots of real pictures of food and information about calories and the food pyramid and all that interesting stuff that goes hand in hand with cooking. Here were some of our favorite books from the week:

3 books by Helen Cooper which all have recipes in them

Bring on Dinosaur Week!!!!


Homemade Laundry Detergent

We made our own laundry detergent! So far I love it! Simple to make, makes a lot for a small price and seems to get my clothes cleaner than commercial detergent. The first load I washed with it was a load of cloth diaper inserts, when they came out they were soft like when I first bought them and I swear they were whiter. Here's the recipe I used but I think we'll also go through this list and try some others.

Here are the only ingredients: soap, borax, washing soda and water (not pictured)
The washing soda was the hardest to find but we finally found it at our local Ace Hardware store.

Dissolving the soap in the heated water, not as quick as it would seem, once the water starts getting super soapy it takes longer to get the last pieces dissolved.

The day after is was a firm gel but a quick stir broke it up and it's super easy to use! I love it!


Happy Birthday Alexis Marie!

I'll remember that day for the rest of my life. Born on a Monday (on her due date) I started having contractions while watching Blue's Clues with Charlotte. Travis, who had happened to stay home that day for no reason (which turned out to be a good thing), whisked Charlotte away to Grandma 'Lene's house and we stayed at home for a few hours until I thought it was time to go to the hospital (I was sitting at a 3-4 for a couple weeks already and didn't want to wait too long). We checked into the hospital about 11, they broke my water around 2 and Lexi was born at 4:04 pm. Lighter than her sister but longer and tons more hair and just as cute! I love you Lexicakes!!!!

 Born September 21 at 4:04 pm with a head full of hair and ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.
7lbs 14oz
20" long

One year later with even more hair she's a bundle of chubby love
21 lbs
30" long


The Case Of The Mysterious Rash

Sometime during the week Charlotte woke up scratching her armpits. I ignored it at first but after a closer look I found this under both armpits


She had been on a walk with Travis the night before so we walked the route to see if there was anything she could have brushed up on, nope.
She also had a popsicle she'd never tried before so I thought maybe that might be it but then again why would it only be under her arms, so that was ruled out.
Possibly laundry detergent? Nope.
Then it dawned on me a few days later, the morning before the rash had appeared Charlotte was watching me get ready for the day: Shower, brush teeth, deodorant, body spray, hair gel. She always asks me to put deodorant and body spray on her and I always do but usually with the caps on. That morning I had actually   barely touched her pits with the deodorant. I felt terrible after I realized I had done this to her and deodorant  now goes on the list of things that makes her skin break out.
Hopefully this is a skin sensitivity she will grow out of or else she is going to be one stinky teen.

Edit: It took about a week for the rash to stop itching but as of 9/28 there are still traces of it...

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Today was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. I came to terms with the fact I can't speak like a pirate worth a darn! We decided to celebrate with a trip to the beach with our fingers crossed in hopes of finding buried treasure.

Charlotte painted a tube and I glued on the gems she picked out for her own custom spy glass

The weather at the beach was amazing

The girls digging for buried treasure


Babies Week: 9/13-9/17

I didn't get many pictures during Babies Week, we were having too much fun! Charlotte loves babies, we have a whole basket filled to the brim with baby stuff in her room.
The first day I was the baby and Charlotte was the Mommy. She adores being the Mommy, she read me stories and tucked me into bed, brushed my hair, fed me food, all the good Mommy stuff.
We watched Sean and Madison on day 2, not a lot stuff got done that day, we took everyone on a walk around the block, found out our neighborhood was on lockdown for something that turned out to be nothing, Sean and Maddy went home and the kids slept away the rest of the day.
Day 3 we headed to the zoo! I caught wind that they were feeding the elephants a special treat and packed the girls up and headed out. We were there for a very short amount of time but we were able to see some baby animals while we were there.
Going to Grandma 'Lene's was our goal on day 4. I took Lexi's tutu to her to be sewn so I could get her one year pictures scheduled. We had a nice visit and headed home to get some lunch and much needed naps. I got both girls out of the car and both arms full of stuff and went to put Lexi down so I could put the rest of the stuff down and lo and behold little Miss Lexi refused to sit and took her first steps to a chair in the kitchen and of course since my hands were full of stuff I wasn't able to reach for my camera. What a stinker!
On the last day we talked about animals and their babies. I found some pictures online of Mommy animals and their babies and made a few activities from them, matching Mommy to baby, circling babies only, circling Mommies, naming the baby animals: puppy, kitten, joey, calf, foal, etc.
The whole week I've been pulling sheets out of the curriculum package I have. It's really just random stuff but I try to fit it in the best I can, the main stuff from the curriculum I try to use though is the letter activities. I've come to the realization that Charlotte has no real interest whatsoever in writing her letters. I can't get her to trace worth a darn, she refuses to do it so for now I'm not pressing learning letters but will try to sneak it in as I think of different ways to introduce them.
We checked out some books for Babies Week too, I had a hard time finding some about animal babies but there were plenty about human babies, here were our favorites:

Next week is cooking week and Lexi's first birthday, can't wait to tell you all about it!


What I Love

The best part about having a membership to the zoo: we went to see the elephants get fed at 11:00 and were home by 11:41 and I didn't feel guilty at all about not staying and getting my money's worth!


Char's First Dance Class

My little dancing queen started her first year of dance class. I am so proud of her and a bit sad to see that she is growing up so quickly! Right now she is in a ballet/tap class. Her little buddy Sean is in the class with her as well as 4 other girls. I heard she did well but wasn't able to see because parents aren't allowed into the classroom while class is in session. That was a huge step for me! I am so used to supervising her every move that it was really hard for me to wait for an hour until she was done and to see how she liked it. Thank goodness I had Alexis to keep me occupied. She really likes the class I can tell, she came home and started showing me all the stuff she learned, even telling me what to tell her, just like I was the teacher. So cute! I can't wait for next Saturday!


Step 4...

So some of my regular readers should know that I've been recently taking some steps to live healthier by home making stuff (see this post). I had already taken about 3 steps and wasn't quite sure what would be step 4, well I think I figured it out. I recently read a blog about making homemade laundry detergent. I've seen it before on a
special about the Duggars (you know the people with a million J-named kids) and thought it was neat but never looked into it. Now after reading that blog and reading how easy it is to make, I think that is going to be step 4! I think also it will help out around here with sensitive skin issues. Those of you that have known me since Char was a baby know that we went through a crazy bout of eczema (mostly on her face) that appeared when she was around 3-4 months old. Even now I am still in disbelief as to how bad it was. Sometimes I can't even look at the pictures, it was really heartbreaking to go through. Luckily, Char has seem
ed to grow out of the worst of it, she still gets signs of an outbreak on occasion but nothing like she used to get.

(Charlotte at about 14 months)
Her poor little face used to be red 24/7.

When Lexi was about 3-4 months old I watched her face like a hawk! Always checking her sweet baby cheeks for any signs of eczema, she has been free and clear up until recently.

I've been finding patches on the backs of her legs and on top of her feet and I know that it's eczema (ahhhhhhh). I guess there isn't much we can do about it but treat it and see what happens, but every little bit helps and that's why we are going to try making our own detergent. Here's hoping it helps!

Animal Week: Day 4=Reptiles And Amphibians

It's Friday and the weather is beautiful! There is no way we are spending the day inside doing "school" so we are going to the ZOOOOOOOOO! I mean what better place to learn about animals than the zoo!? So here we go!

Outside of our zoo we have a life size elephant sculpture holding a butterfly on the tip of its trunk. If you get the chance to look closer you will see that the sculpture is made out a whole bunch of butterfly cutouts!

Before we headed out to the zoo I printed some images of animals we have at our zoo for Charlotte to find while we were there.

Since today was Reptile and Amphibian Day we spent a bit of time in the Herp House. Charlotte really likes looking at the snakes and frogs and other little critters.

At the end of the trip (we were there for 4 hours) Char decided she wanted to let loose and get all wet. Since the place was practically vacant I let her go crazy! I even let Alexis out of the stroller to crawl around and splash in the fountains. It was a wonderful visit to the zoo. I'm going to say it was the best visit to the zoo ever. We have a membership so we journey there often and now that it's getting cooler I hope we'll be able to go even more.

The girls fell asleep on the way home from the zoo and had nice long relaxing refreshing naps and when Charlotte woke up she was ready to finish some activities from the previous days. We did some sorting and patterns with the fish she colored on fish day.

She did a worksheet about mammals.

I bought some prepackaged curriculum for her last year and never used it because it was right around the same time Lexi was born and I was trying to adjust to having 2 kids. But now that I have that down pat and Charlotte is becoming more and more interested in learning we are using some of the curriculum from last year. She glued patches onto jeans and we counted the squares.

She colored a worksheet on all things blue, Lexi decided to help, Char was not pleased.

Honing her cutting skills while making a sunflower.

She loves pasting, so gluing sunflower seeds to the sunflower was a real treat for her!

Finally, showing Daddy the animals she saw at the zoo.

Overall, Animal Week was mostly a success, even with a few minor bumps in the road. Next week we start Baby Week and hopefully by then we'll be back in the playroom turned school room, see you then!