Savvy Tips and tricks learned along the way...
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Welcome to little things
This web site is a culmination of things I have learned during various experiences in my life. I hope some of this information will be useful to you. There are a broad range of topics I have written about here. I have also included some things I made or found that I would like to share. Enjoy!
Preschool Blog (9 more articles.)
Drawings of a 4-1/2 yo Girl
The love of girly things and mythical creatures has inspired drawings to take on new shapes. At 4-1/2yo, Baby Bel just started, this past summer, drawing mermaids, unicorns, rainbows, and butterflies. Faces haven't quite graduated to any new levels. I suppose they will continue to be "stick figures" and standard smiley faces unless serious interest in more realistic drawing occurs. Still, I am quite proud of these drawings and continue to encourage her art work.
Toddler Blog (82 more articles.)
Painted Horsey Craft Project
We tried this particular arts and crafts about 3 months ago with no interest on baby J's part. But this time, he did it from start to finish. It was his third attempt in the past 3 months, and I guess the third time's the charm.
From Michaels craft store, I just got an unfinished wooden horse shape (they had many different shapes like butterflies, flowers, etc.), some kids washable paint, foam star stickers, and craft gems.
He painted it all by himself. And when it dried, he stuck the stickers on (he chose only green stars, his favorite color) and told me where to put glue drops so he could stick the gems on.
I was so proud of this accomplishment that I had to document it! I guess I will put magnetic tape on it and stick it to the refrigerator.
Baby Blog II (20 more articles.)
How to Make Diaper Rash Cream
I have tried several different diaper rash creams and have not really found one to work perfectly for me. I have used Aveeno, Desitin, Butt Paste, Vaseline, Triple cream, and Aquaphor. None of them really did the trick. They would help a little, but not totally. After spending lots of money on them, I tried to find a "better" brand, and found them to be super expensive. So I started developing my own diaper rash cream.
After experimenting a bit, I ended up with a cream that works better than anything else I have tried. Our son is prone to eczema and is alergic to certain baby wipes, like Costco's Kirkland wipes, and to his own poop. Whenever he poops, he gets red around the rectum and I always need to put cream on. He also gets diaper rashes during really hot weather. This rash cream I developed works well for all those conditions. So I'll share it with you now, and you can make it yourself if you so choose.
The ingredients are not expensive, and once you get them, you can continue to make batches and batches of this cream, along with other types of creams you might want to make. The main ingredient is castorlatum, which is similar to petrolatum, but it is made from castor oil. It seems to be the thing that really makes this diaper cream work well. It creates a barrier to protect against wetness, which is a major cause of diaper rash.
The virgin coconut oil is very healing and conditioning. The sunflower oil is great for the skin and adds softness and spreadability. Tamanu oil is very healing to the skin. (I also use straight Tamanu oil on mosquito bites, and they are healed permanently within 20 minutes. No more itching all week long.) You may be able to get away without the ground oatmeal. I heard that oatmeal is good for the skin, but mostly after it has been cooked. The oatmeal I used was raw, and I bought it in colloidal form (superfinely ground). ROE is to prevent the oils from going rancid, which they seem to do quickly in hot weather. But you can use a liquid capsule or two of vitamin E.
Castorlatum - 3/4 cup
1. Melt coconut oil by placing a container of it in a warm/hot water bath.
2. Mix in the Zinc powder until it fully dissolves.
3. Add Sunflower oil, tamanu oil, oatmeal, and ROE
4. Place castorlatum into a mixing bowl.
5. Slowly add the oil mixture to the castorlatum, a little at a time, mixing it in with a fork.
6. Beat the mixture well until it becomes like a diaper cream texture, making sure that the coconut oil re-solidifies.
7. Place into a jar, and use liberally as needed. I usually apply it using a Q-tip.
Beauty Blog (22 more articles.)
Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara
I started using Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara almost a year ago. It immediately gave me serious length in my lashes. I had been using Loreal Telescopic, which seemed to work pretty well. But when I put on Neutrogena's Healthy Lengths, I saw an immediate difference. I was stunned, and decided I had found my new favorite mascara. It also stays on all day without smudging at all. And it comes off pretty easily with eye makeup remover.
My only complaint about it is that after a while, the formula in the tube starts to dry out and can cause clumps. Especially if you put on lots of coats, like I used to, before I started using a lash lengthening serum. Now I only do 1-3 coats for regular day time use. My other favorite mascara is Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. This doesn't clump, but doesn't load on as much product as the Neutrogena mascara. It also smudges a little when I use really emolient eye creams.
I had also acheived very nice length with Artistry's Length and Definition mascara, which basically attached tiny pieces of fake lashes to your lashes. It was amazing, and I loved the way it looked on. But it didn't last long, I used the tube up fast, or it dried out fast. And it was a pain to wash out at night. You have to rub them off your eyelashes over and over when washing. And then you end up with a sink full of little black eyelash looking like things all over.
So I keep going back to this Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara. I originally got it in black, but also ended up getting it in brown for my daytime mommy look. And I love it. I have quite a few mascaras in my queue to try. So once this runs out, I will most likely try a different one. But for now, this is my go to mascara.
I don't get to go out much at night anymore. But when I do, I usually layer a couple different mascaras. I layer the Tarte mascara over my daytime Neutrogena one. And/or I layer Clinique's High Impact mascara, which is nice for declumping since the formula is thing, but nice and dark and shiny. Neutrogena also makes a Healthy Volume mascara, which would probably be great for layering over the Healthy Lengths.
I would love to use a mascara that has lash lengthening peptides, but one of the ones I found by Physician's Formula didn't get very good reviews, so I might not try that one.
I have also used Benefit's They're Real mascara, and that didn't seem to do much for me. It clumped my lashes into spidery legs, but that was about it. I have seen nice effects of this mascara on my friend, though. Just not me.
My eyelashes are normally short, sparse, and straight. So almost non-visible without any mascara or curling. The Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara has brought them to their longest potential. And now that I am using a lash lengthening serum, I don't have to use as much mascara, so not much clumping anymore.
Health Blog (7 more articles.)
Attack of the Sour Patch Kids
I've been trying to lose my baby weight for a while. Not trying too overly hard, but still trying. I've been working out for 30 mins 3-5 times a week doing My Fitness Coach for the Wii as well as other workout videos. And I've been taking Green Coffee Bean Extract. I also reduced my meal portions by quite a bit. I owe this mostly to the green coffee bean extract pills because before them, I could not for the life of me decrease my meal portions. I would just pig out. Now I notice I eat significantly less for each meal. I actually started to lose a few pounds in a couple weeks.
But suddenly I got this terrible sweet tooth and have been craving and eating tons of sour sugar coated gummies, like Sour Patch Kids. I have been eating those or other candies I can find in the closet, that have been there untouched since last Halloween. Why this sudden sweet tooth? I don't know... But I hope I get over it soon. I haven't really gained weight during the last couple weeks of the sweet tooth indulgences, but I feel chunkier, especially around my torso and double-chin area.
Baby Blog (63 more articles.)
Last Baby Blog
This is my last baby blog, and I thought I would list all the unexpected little surprises that I encountered in the first year of raising a baby. I will continue to add more of these as comments as I think of them.
I have also started a Toddler Blog to continue tracking baby's milestones and my ramblings about her. So you can read more about her there.
HATING DIAPER CHANGES
Baby Gear Blog (12 more articles.)
Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing
Baby J has slept in the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing since he was a newborn. I try not to rely too much on the swing, but its been a really good tool for getting him to sleep sometimes. We started out putting him in the bassinet, but it resulted in lots of spitting up. This cradle swing puts him at a little incline to combat the reflux that many babies often have. Plus it has nice music and white noise and a cute mobile.
Pregnancy Blog (14 more articles.)
Baby J is Born!
Turns out I didn't have time to make many posts here. I found myself involved in so many other activities such as entertaining the toddler, getting things ready for the new baby, doing Christmas shopping, etc. I was going to post lots of other pics of his 3D ultrasound and my growing belly. But alas, time flew by, and at 37 weeks, Baby J arrived, yes, 3 weeks early. But he is healthy and doing well. A little jaundice, but nothing that required the home installation of the blue lights.
His birth story was goes like this:
It was about 10pm on a Wednesday night, and I had just put Bel down for the night. I got up and walked into the kitchen and got a really bad cramp. I walked into the bedroom to go down for bed myself and got a couple more breath-taking cramps. I could barely get onto the bed. When I finally did get on the bed, I started to feel fluid flowing out. My hubby called the doctor, and we went to the hospital, still leaking fluid.
The fluid was quite bloody, so they weren't sure if my water broke or if I was just bleeding. So they admitted me. Oh, and I was having contractions 2 minutes apart. At that time, I was still 36 weeks and a few days along. He would have been considered premature.
We spent that night at the hospital and waited the whole next day for something more to happen. My contractions had slowed to about 5 minutes apart, and they became less intense. But, the doctor didn't want to induce me until we were past the premature stage, which was just one more day away at that point.
So late that night, they induced me with pitocyn. That sped things along, and I got an epidural. They finally could feel that my bag of water had not yet broken, so they took care of that. That sped things up quite a bit (same as last time but even faster). In less than an hour, I was ready to push.
Pushing lasted about 2 contractions and he was out. It didn't take much, especially since his head was already visible by the time I started to push. Wow, what a difference from my first baby. It took at least an hour trying to get her past my pelvic bone, let alone crowning. But being more than 2 pounds lighter than his sister, he effortlessly slid right out. They plopped him on my belly and it was done.
It was love at first sight, of course. My sweet little boy. I love him so much. I am so happy to have him here. I can't imagine life without him. I feel so much more mommy-like having two children now. Sometimes I have one in each arm, and I don't feel myself anymore. I feel like somebody else. I feel more like a family. I feel like there is so much more love circulating around me.
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