February 24, 2014

bits and pieces: sunshine, sleep deprivation, saying goodbye to survival mode, + a winner

Sunshine is apparently necessary for my soul. I am so, so thankful for the gorgeousness God granted our part of the country this weekend.

Sweet, sweet sunshine.

We took advantage of it all weekend long- we drove around with the windows down, and even stopped to play at Sonic:


Thankfully, the playground is still very much loved by all of our children... :) Even Zane had a little fun in the car after he ate:


That munchkin is getting so active. Feeding him is like wrestling a bear, and he's officially to the "I don't want the nursing cover on me in any way" stage, so we've started exclusively car feeding... :) The no-cover stage has also coincided with the "I have to pull away to see what's going on every 15 seconds" stage.  I'm not sure he'll ever be able to nurse in public again. Or sleep through the night for that matter. :P

I'm hoping that bringing solid foods on board soon will help him sleep through the night. Mamas, did it help your little one sleep longer? I can't remember anything from the last 10 years thanks to this latest round of sleep deprivation. :P

Going without sleep makes you do very strange things. 

Like washing a hammer.


I've washed disposable diapers, toys, crayons even... but a hammer??

I might have to have my homemaking card taken away for that one.

I have no idea how it got in the hamper. I heard the washer banging but didn't think twice about it. I have a theory on how the hammer got in the washer, but at least now I know- the next time I hear my new washer making ridiculous amounts of banging noises, I should probably go check on it and not just think it's overloaded. {obviously, right? :P}

Luckily, this book^ came in the mail just in time:

 

One of my favorite bloggers, Crystal from Money Saving Mom, was so kind to send it to me earlier this month, and oh my goodness, I loved it so much I read it in a weekend. Seriously. I had a feeling I would love it, and I did. Her advice in this book is so practical and spot-on {as usual!}, and like she does on her blog, she includes many ideas and ways to implement the strategies she's writing about. 

She makes your action steps doable, and she does a great job of breaking everything down so that you can make a plan that will work for your own life. And sometimes, it's just so good to know someone else has been in survival mode too. :) And it's especially interesting as a blogger to hear how other bloggers do life with a blog.

I'm implementing her advice this week- I'm working on getting up earlier, and hopefully putting Zane on a routine so that we can all function a little better now that he's getting older.

Oh, and before I forget to tell you, the Build-a-Menu giveaway winner was Kristen:
looks like a great time saver...low carb 4-6 for our family! Thanks! Kristen 
But the coupon code for BAM is still active if you didn't win and wanted to try it: use the code SaveMeMoney to make it only $4 to try it for a month! :)

Speaking of menu planning, we finally hit the grocery store again after taking a week off, so today I'm trying to do some meal and goal planning for the week before it's time to teach my combat class this afternoon. I'm also hoping to get a bit more sunshine in this week! :)

Thank you Lord, for the seasons. I would totally take sunshine for granted if it weren't for the gray winter. :)


How was your weekend? Did you feel any sunshine?

What's the craziest thing you've ever washed?? 

Favorite Sonic drink?
Mine: Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade with no ice. Every time, baby.

Mamas: how do you keep your older little ones covered when in public without a scene? {ahem}
I'd love to hear your ideas! I'm working on a designing nursing cover that REALLY covers in the next few weeks.



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45 comments:

  1. How was your weekend? Did you feel any sunshine?

    What's the craziest thing you've ever washed??
    Sweet sunshine! Hasn't it been just glorious. After what seems like months with no sun we've had almost an entire week of sunshine, I really do believe it's the best thing ever. We spent each afternoon riding bikes, walking and just sitting outside soaking up the rays. I can't believe how big Zane's got, that'll teach me to go on hiatus from blog reading for a while.

    As far as favorite sonic drink, Route 44 Dr. Pepper with Vanilla in it. Nectar...sweet sweet nectar. Speaking of which I do believe a trip to Sonic is now in order for today.

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    1. mmm! I hope your sonic trip is sunny too! :D yay for happy days! I'm so thankful for Vit. D! :)

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  2. I have heard that the Fisher Price Rock and Plays are miracle workers for getting babies to sleep! All of my little ones (4 of them) were horrible sleepers for the first year. :( We have baby #5 on the way in June so we bought one of the rock and plays. SO hoping that helps our baby sleep better! We bought the Snugamonkey one which is still clearance online at Target for $56. They discontinued that pattern so that is why it is clearance.

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    1. oh we looked at those- I wonder how big they can be in them? I'm tempted!! :)

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    2. We used the Rock and Play for my son, he had reflux so it was great because it kept him safely elevated for sleeping. We loved it and he slept wonderfully in it. I kept it right next to my bed and if he would stir a little during the night I could reach over and rock it until he was settled again. I plan on using it with our second child due in July :)

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  3. On pinterest, search for "infinity nursing cover " it covers front and back and both sides while doubling as a scarf and looking like a loose top when in use. I have never had a nursing cover with my 2 children but with #3 arriving soon I was determined that my days of scurrying off somewhere to nurse were over. I want freedom this time! Lol I made my scarf/nursing cover for 1.99 using reduced fabric. I wouldn't make it out of cotton but anything like jersey or something silky would work beautifully.

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    1. oh, I'll look them up! I've got a knit poncho style in mind, so I'm curious!

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  4. I just purchased a "Covered Goods" nursing cover. I had the traditional style nursing cover first, but my little Peanut is so, ahem, nosy that I was very much not covered most of the time. I LOVE the new cover and that everything is covered that needs to be. Now if I could just get her to sleep as well....

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  5. I found your site a little bit ago and I have to say, I love it! Thank you so much for your encouragement in so many areas of life. : )

    My hands-down favorite way to help babies sleep through the night is this book - The Baby Sleep Solution, by Suzy Giordano. It is AMAZING. I have had about 10 babies now (ha, not all mine!) whose mama's have used this book (along with my 2 kiddos) and it is incredible. Such a fast easy read - can be read in under an hour! And it basically helps you know how to GENTLY TEACH your babies how to sleep well. It's amazing. You may want to give it a try!

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  6. I'd love to see those nursing cover designs. For next time around.

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  7. We had a crazy busy weekend! Cleaned house, had a showing, hosted a Scentsy party, church, 2 birthday parties (1 rained out indoor party and one at a skating rink), and general craziness. We did have some sunshine, but even in Florida we aren't always in the sun. The rain decided to make an appearance, but at least it's warm.

    What's the craziest thing you've ever washed?? -- Too many things to count. Crayons have snuck in from time to time and made a big mess. Recently I've found legos in the machine.

    Favorite Sonic drink? -- I totally agree with you on this one! Cherry Limeade all the way.

    Mamas: how do you keep your older little ones covered when in public without a scene? -- No good answer here. I only EBF'd my youngest and we ended up being car feeders as well. She hated the nursing cover from day one. At church, in the nursery, I would try the cover but I also did the tank-under-the-shirt method, so only a small amount of skin could be shown. I was never comfortable enough with the coverage to nurse her in the middle of a crowd, but in a the nursery or the car it was more than enough.

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  8. My friend uses a pack and play crib sheet with another piece of fabric clipped on to go around her neck. She is nursing an 11 month old right now. It basically looks like an oversized hooter hider nursing cover

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    1. oh wow! is the extra fabric like a strip that wraps around the neck?

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  9. My little guy was super tall when he was born and he just keeps growing like a weed. We started solid foods early with him because milk just wasn't enough to keep him satisfied. Once he had a routine with milk and solid food he started sleeping through the night and napping well. I think he just needed something to stick to his ribs a little more and it helped!

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    1. oh, I'm hoping that works for us too! :D a full night of sleep would be amazing. :)

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  10. We always have Sunshine in Florida!..lol..I honestly could not stop my nursing babies from about 6 months on from stopping to check everything out every 15 seconds. They'd pull that blanket off constantly. Wish I could help on that one. On getting them to sleep at night...I think introducing foods will help and a good schedule. It worked for me but I didn't learn how to do that until kid 5 and 6! Also, not putting babies to sleep when they fall asleep nursing. If you can help that. Keep them up about 15 min. or so and put them to bed awake and let them fall asleep on their own. Learned that from a mom of 10 and it worked great with babies 5 and 6 ...who are now 15 and 18! Appreciate your blog..from this mom of six!!

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    1. oh wow, that sounds very wise!! I love to hear what works! :D We've finally started laying him down {totally my fault, because I did it with the others and then got in a habit of holding to sleep}, and I'm hoping that will work for us like it did you! that would be awesome!

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  11. I LOVED Crystal's book as well. So good. I can't wait to read it again. My baby isn't sleeping through the night either. . . He turned 9 months last week and is a rotten sleeper. I'm hoping when tooth number 8 comes in maybe it will be a little better. He also greatly dislikes any soft textured foods, so he's not eating much in the way of solids. Gnawing on things on the other hand, he loves but he doesn't get a lot of calories in that way. One of these days hopefully he decide food tastes good!

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  12. Oh I hear u ... Sleep ?? What is that?? Baby no 5 has decided that sleep is over rated ... Never had that one before / figure it's meant to keep me humble or I would think I had everything down pat - it has me stumped ...
    And eating solids and longer sleeps - with four of them YES... With this precious fifth one -NoPE :) we r nearly at the 9 month mark too and food is totally boring to her .... Sigh :) love her dearly tho :)

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    1. I so know what you mean! #4 did that for me- she was fussy most of the time, and it surprised me! LOL! #5 is so much fun isn't it? I think you enjoy it even more the older you get/more times you do it! : D

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  13. it looks like the beginning of summer for texas! sunshine inspired me to go into full project mode! garage is CLEAN!

    that book looks awesome! we've been in survival mode for about 4 years now... after crummy illegal doings by our bank, and the doors closing on our company, we were left homeless for 17 months! a time of refining by fire for sure! there were days that were like "God is my patience perfected yet????" hahaha. but it's a new season and we are moving forward from glory to glory!

    my youngest is at that stage in nursing too! yanking the nursing cover away so he can look around then pulling away and making a big ole mess lol. i've just been nursing in the car... it seems like he has been waking more now that i started him on solids!... maybe he just needs more? idk... co-sleeping sure does make it easier though, sleep nursing!

    I have washed all kinds of stuff! tools, ammo... husband rarely empties his pockets, you would think i would learn!
    the worst was a check-in tag/sticker that was left on my sons fleece pull over... yuck sticker mess all over that thing!

    and sonic- hands down strawberry-limeade :-)

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    1. way to go on your garage!! wohoo! and mmmm... strawberry sounds good! And I've totally had the sticker thing happen- it actually never came off! Did yours come off?

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  14. Wow I can so relate to this post! :) Ah, yes, sunshine is indeed necessary to my soul (warm sunshine even better but I'll take what I can get in New England!) I was visiting my mom over the past couple of weeks in Virginia and one day last week it was 70 degrees hallelujah! I sat outside with my 7 month old and we enjoyed every bit of it until I saw on my weather app that we were under a tornado warning... so we quickly went back inside ;) (no tornado though, thank God! Just a bad thunderstorm.) Our weekend was spent driving 12 hours back home (long car rides are never dull with a baby and a dog! Military family = lots of traveling!)

    Haha my daughter is the same way nursing. She is so observant and the world has way more exciting things to explore than eating! I can't nurse her in public, unless I have to when traveling as we recently have been doing, which I do in the car...and even that is pretty distracting! :) Ahh sleeping through the night... my daughter is 7 months old and has not consistently slept through the night, but I think she is finally getting there. I found that starting solids and even giving them to her right before bedtime didn't help, but I've heard that has worked for some people which is great! What we've started recently that has helped is trying to get on a better routine. I personally have found the E.A.S.Y. routine suggested by the book The Baby Whisperer to be helpful. Last night she only woke once but settled herself back down before I even went in there! :)

    Oh and I've washed lots of things that aren't clothes... mainly chapstick and tissues (which shred into a million little pieces and get everywhere haha!)

    I love your blog, your encouragement, and seeing your beautiful family :) God bless!!

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  15. You really washed a hammer?? Oh my!!!!
    We had sunshine yesterday and today, and it's so good! but it seems that the bad weather returns ...
    In France, I have never seen a cover for breastfeeding babies ... It is not unusual to see a mother breastfeeding without covering (and it is much easier!) I wore a large open shirt (or a t-shirt designed for) and we saw nothing (or little!) Anyway, with twins, there are few solutions to be discreet!

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  16. Oh I forgot to mention, if we do go out when she will need to eat and I don't want to nurse her in the car, sometimes I'll pump and bring a bottle.

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  17. With my third son, I had read that a baby could empty a breast reliably in 10 minutes. I would time him 15 minutes per side during the day. When he reached 12 lbs, I decreased night-time feedings to 10 minutes per side, then 5minutes per side, then 5 minutes on one side. He gave up nursing at night on his own! Definitely have to have them in a separate room because their stirring makes you wake up, whether they actually needed you or not. Both doors closed, that way, by the time you hear him, he actually does need you, as opposed to just resettling himself or playing.

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  18. I used shirts like this (zoom on the picture)
    http://www.vertbaudet.fr/future-maman-allaitement-tee-shirt.htm...
    And about babies' sleep...what is it?????????ALL my babies have their nights after 12 months!

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  19. My youngest of four is 18, but "back in my day" there was no such thing as a literal nursing cover, other than a blanket. None of my boys tolerated a blanket over them. Not sure I would either! The air must get stale and thick under any kind of cover! Anyhow, a carefully placed shirt, tucked around their mouth/cheek, covers very well and their head and body covers the rest. Babies like to look up at their mamas when feeding. For the nosey baby who pops off on a whim to look around...you just have to react quickly and cover with your hand until they are ready to come back! :) Oh how I would love to go back to those days!

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  20. Our weekend was crazy as always! Never seems to slow down despite our attempts at doing so. As far as washing goes, I learn my lesson in college with gum and an ink pen, so now I load the laundry (or do it when I'm sorting) and check every piece and ever pocket. Then the laundry baskets get hidden to ensure no run-a-way toys get accidentally dropped in there.

    I've got a 7 1/2 mo monster baby who down right refuses to be covered when nursing. He gets his stubbornness from his mama because I equally refuse to sit out of life to nurse in the car or another room. So my strategy has been to always wear a nursing tank or stretchy tank top under a shirt that I can lift up. This way my mid-section is always covered, as is my chest, and the only sliver of skin showing is usually covered by little man. When he's done, before I let him pull back too much, I slip my tank top up (or let my other shirt fall down) and no one is any the wiser. In fact, I've been nursing him in restaurants, dress shops, etc and have had several people not even realize he was nursing. Most of the time anyone who walked up just thought he was sleeping in my arms.

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  21. If you really can't use a cover look up Undercover Mama... they are tanks that clip onto your nursing bra to turn every shirt into a nursing shirt.... so you can lift up your top shirt and still be completely covered underneath! I just ordered some for when baby #3 gets here in about 6 weeks :)

    QUESTION for you.... my husband works long hours.... leaves around 6:30 and comes home at 6. His job is a huge blessing to us and others so I am thankful.... but speaking of survival mode, my two older kids are up by 6am every day.... I am so tired and can't imagine how I will survive when I am feeding a baby all night! Any tips on early risers and multiple kids?? I've tried training them and then my mornings just start with me angry and yelling because they wont stay in bed.... :(

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  22. Nursing cover? I just used a small receiving blanket. was too hot in south florida to use covers. the kids would suffocate LOL. i was a very frugal mother. used cloth diapers, made my own baby food. kids slept with us too so never got up at night

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  23. My little lady is the same age as your boy, within a few days. She's Aug 19. She is waking up in the middle of the night, too! Her older brother never did this! I think I will also try solids at night. She likes bananas! She's also exclusively breastfed. She's been doing the unlatch thing, too. It's gotten better, though. For a cover, I've always used a muslin swaddling blanket. My favorite nursing cover. They're usually a good size and very, very light and breathable! My son did great with them and my daughter doesn't mind it, either.

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  24. Check out the nuroo nursing scarf. You can wear it so many ways. Only down side is the cost. But it works as a poncho, scarf, vest, and shawl very versatile. You might also consider learning to nurse in your ergo! While you are active at the park he can sit and nurse and your just need a burp rag to cover the top of you. I love your blog btw!

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  25. I hate to even tell you this but I wish someone would have been honest with me. Child #2 is a boy and he did not sleep through the night until he was almost two and a half!!!!!! It was awful. But when I started getting sleep again it was heaven..... Now at 4 he regularly sleeps through the night. And...I found our key to our truck in the washer today...you know the one that locks/unlocks the door. Praying it still works after having a "bath". Yikes.

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  26. James (5 months) is eating food now. We have been making his food which has been cost effective as well we KNOW what is in the food. But as far as sleeping through the night that is big NO! We have had about 3 nights that he has slept other than that we are up about 12:30 and 3:00. Then he is up again at 5:00. One day I will sleep again :) Thankfully my husband and 12 year old daughter are there to help out when I forget something due to sleep deprivation.

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  27. I love reading your posts so much! Your #5 and my #4 are almost the same age (we were due the same day, but mine was early and yours was late!) so it makes me giggle hearing how they do the same things...so busy, relegated to car-feeding, pulling away every 15 seconds, no more sleeping...*sigh* it's a season, right?! Mine is on solid food - a LOT - and he still wakes to eat at night many nights, so I don't know what to tell you. Except that they are all different. :)

    As far as crazy washing, it's not so much crazy as it is frustrating when I forget to do the "sticker check" on their shirts and then they get perma-glued onto the fabric during the dry cycle. So many times. :)

    Enjoy the beautiful weather before it turns back into the crazy heat! (at least we won't be super-pregnant in the TX summer!)

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  28. AWESOME WEEKEND! Great weather and sun here in the south! Celebrated my oldest daughter's 7th birthday, was wonderful!!

    I had an a toddler and a little, older baby when I nursed- I had a cover but I have to be honest, I didn't care if anyone saw. I had little patience with two babies to even worry about that. If I could find a nice nursing room at the mall or my car I would, but in all honesty, my child needed to eat and the way I saw it, no matter what I covered with (could have been a tent), someone might get a small shot of side boob, it's not the end of the world. If someone is repulsed by that or perverted, that's their issues to work through. For me what worked best was the least amount of under clothing in the way, nursing tank and/or bra only with just a tank top. Nothing that I lifted up but rather pulled down so nothing was in my daughter's way. Then at the top of my cover, I could see down and she could also poke her head out if she wanted to check out what was going on. She was also a large baby, 9lb at birth and 20 lb at 5 mos. so that was a challenge at times, I hope you find or make something that offers you more modesty and is comfy for the baby.

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  29. This is just what I needed to read today! I am still nursing our fifth little one and am bleary-eyed to say the least! I felt obligated to let you know that you are definitely not alone, though. While I have not washed a hammer, I did wash a flashlight, not a small or normal sized flashlight, but one of those mega-monster things that can double as a traffic beacon if you have car trouble! I have no idea how it even got in the house (really I had no idea we even owned it but I digress...) much less my laundry! I, too, heard something but since it was not accompanied by sweet little voices and was in another area of the house, I didn't really worry about it. I am thankful that I didn't dry it (that would be confirmation that I had actually lost my marbles!). Amazingly, the flashlight still works and is clean to boot! Who knew???

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  30. Mandy: I just love your blog. :) Every time I read one of your posts it's like hearing from a good friend—it's a great pick-me-up every day. So thank you! Thank you also for your Do.Read.Learn.Be. goals sheet. I have started printing one out each Monday morning after my husband heads to work and planning my goals, both for work and home. Since I work from home, it all gets a little blurry for me and I tend to get overwhelmed by my job and housework...It has been a wonderful help to have it all written out. I don't always get through everything, but I'm trying—and I have so much more joy in the process! Wishing you and your family a wonderful week!

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  31. The joys of littles! We had some sunshine but it was -30 so we enjoyed it from inside. As for nursing in public: used a cover for a few months with my first and then started wearing a camisole/tank top with stretchy straps underneath a regular shirt and haven't looked back. Pull up the shirt and pull down the tank. Everything is covered and most people don't even know I am.nursing. Baby pulling off happens and is just part of life. So is not getting consecutive hours of sleep. Babies wake for lots of reasons and my husband and I go by the philosophy that if we meet their needs when they are young they will outgrow them. I always figured night waking was better than not waking at all. And, contrary to popular belief, solids don't help a baby sleep longer. People often see a correlation because babies start learning to sleep longer and deeper around the same time that solids are usually introduced but that doesnt meant it is an effect of solids.

    Also, I have never washed a hammer but I have washed screwdrivers, shoes (that I didn't know were in there), matchbox vehicles, permanent markers, twine, and more nuts and bolts than you can shake a stick at.

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  32. All of my 5 little ones were so interested in the world around them, I had to have quick reflexes to avoid being exposed! I found that a nursing tank was a great addition to my wardrobe. And I also LOVE Sonic drinks! We don't have one super close to us, but when I go, I get Strawberry Limeade...not much of a Cherry girl :)

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  33. Great post! Weirdest thing I've washed....believe it or not a live baby frog. My youngest loves to put frogs she finds in the yard in her pocket and apparently she forgot to set this little guy free. Surprisingly, he survived (even after my blood curdling scream when i found him.) Crystal

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  34. Hey, it was a crazy weekend - Girl Scout World Thinking Day was Saturday. Sunday was church and a family dinner.
    My favorite Sonic drink is Cherry, Vanilla Dr. Pepper.
    I've washed a screw driver.
    My kids are 14 & 11. I started them on cereal at 2 and 3 weeks at bedtime. I know this is frowned upon, but my mom did it for 7 kids so I follows her lead. This did help them sleep better.

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  35. A routine is a great idea with Zane! We had my son on a routine very early on and it really helped to calm our home. We still have fun times and spontaneity, but there's a rhythm that my son came to expect and he functions so well. I think solids will definitely help him sleep through the night! Making sure he gets enough calories during the day will usually ensure he sleeps through the night, otherwise he'll be up to make up for those calories and get them.

    We had some great weather this past weekend too and went to the park. So fun!

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  36. My friend just started an ETSY business making nursing capes. Just funny to see you mention something about GOOD coverage for nursing mamas! She's "Dear Baby Beloved" on Etsy!

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