Monday, September 17, 2012

Win a Combi® Coccoro Car Seat!

As many of you know, i'm 'big' on car seat safety.  This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week!  In honor of it, Combi® is giving away one of their Combi® Coccoro Car Seats!  (and you get to choose your color!

These are great seats for those who have small cars!

From the website:
"The lightweight and compact Coccoro convertible car seat is compatible with smaller vehicles. Three Coccoro seats can be installed in the rear-seat of many small, fuel efficient vehicles. A 5-point harness with padding, Tru-Safe® Buckle, forward and rear-facing lock-offs, energy absorbing EPS foam and 4 position height adjustments make for a safe and comfortable environment for your child. An adjustable infant insert can be accommodate infants starting at 3 lb. and position your child at the recommended 45 degree angle. The single-pull adjustable harness system, shoulder belt retainers and washable seat cushion add convenience."

If you would like to enter to win your own Combi® Coccoro follow the instructions below!

To Enter our Giveaway:
Step 1: "Like Us" on Facebook (If you haven't already)

Step 2: Click on this link an submit your official entry

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tutorial: How to save your toilet paper from your toddler!


So i have an almost 23 month old.   If you have one of these around then you are probably in the same boat as me.  They find the toilet paper FASCINATING.  When they are going potty they have to use 1/2 the roll to wipe and when they are bored it always brings entertainment.  For my daughter it probably does not help that her grandma bought her the Curious George movie for Easter and in it is a scene where he fills the entire bathroom with toilet paper.  Monkey see monkey do lol!

Anyways, i'm fed up with the toilet paper waste (it would be one thing if she just unraveled it but most times she shreds it as well) so i started thinking of a plan.  I had this idea in my head for a while (i don't know if in the past i saw a picture of something like this or what), but i just haven't found the time yet to do it.  Well, this last weekend i've been working on re-decorating my bathroom and i figured that now it was time.  I had the sewing machine out, i had left over fabric from another project in the bathroom, there was nothing stopping me.

So i popped a movie in the my daughter and got to work.
(this is my first ever tutorial so sorry if it's not the best)
Materials needed:
buttons (3 or 4)
Thread and needle (to sew on buttons)
Sewing machine (although you could do this by hand)

The fabric i had to work with.  I found it for $4 a yard at a local store and bought it to starch to the wall behind my shelves.  Part of my bathroom re-do.  I also painted the shelves and got the new shower curtain ;)

Cut your fabric out.  I don't know what size you'll need cause i wasn't smart enough to measure it LOL!  I just happened to have the EXACT amount of fabric left over to do this project.  Didn't have to cut or anything.  (Ignore the two strips on the bottom, i didn't end up using them.)

For you to do this project you will want one piece of fabric that will wrap around your roll of toilet paper completely (a new roll) with a little bit to spare (maybe 1/2 an inch) for a seam allowance.  And you want it twice as wide as the roll as you will be folding it in half.

For the 2nd piece you'll want it a little bit bigger.  You will see why in the pictures below. 

fold smaller piece of fabric in half lengthwise and then stitch around

when you get to the end, leave a gap, about 2 inches.

Turn right side out

Use long pointy thing to turn out corners.  Chopsticks work.  Or if you're lazy like me use what you have on the table, like a star on a stick.

If you just happen to have your iron out from other projects you can use it to press your fabric to make the next step easier.  Normally i don't even bother though.
top-stich around

add a loop of elastic at one end and stitch in place
then very precisely figure out where you want your button. 

sew button in place.  Ta da!!

I added 2 more buttons so as the roll gets used up the cover will still fit.  As i put my design to the test i might have to add another button.

cover in action!  on the last button.
NOW, for the next little project.  A holder for your extra roll of toilet paper!  You will need that 2nd piece of fabric and then some ribbon. 

First you want to take your square of fabric and fold it in half right sides together and stitch around like you did before leaving a 2 inch gap (sorry i do not have pictures).  Then you want to turn it right sides out (use your star again for the corners!) and then press.

measure out your ribbon.  You will want extra length past the fabric like shown.
make sure before you sew the ribbon down that you seal the ends by burning them. Once the ends are sealed you want to top-stich around the entire square and by doing so stitch the ribbon down the sides.
Now all you have to do is tie the 'sling' to your toilet paper roll holder bar thing and then slip a roll in! 
And then the best part about the extra roll holder is that when your toilet paper is in use above it will hold your toilet paper cover so it will not fall on the floor :)  Easy-peasy!

And there you have it!  I haven't yet tested this against the toddler but i think it will work!  At least the cover should ;)  The extra holder might not work until she's a little older but we'll see.  But i love it!  So much that i took 1/2 my day (and 2 movies for my daughter) to make this tutorial for you :) Enjoy!  I would love to see your creations as well!  (and comment below and tell me how i did!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring is in the Air!

*breaths in deeply*
Ahhhhhhhh, spring is in the air!  At least here it is! 

With spring comes all sorts of thoughts of what we want to do in our yard.  We bought our house the middle of last summer, but most of our work went into the house, not the yard.  But with the warming of the days comes the itch to get in the dirt and DO SOMETHING!

I have so many plans swirling around my head!

I have very large plans for our garden this year along with things to be more self-reliant.  I'm in the process of cutting out beds on the edges of our yard for garden beds and also making our existing raised beds larger.  I also want to make a patio, move our clothes line back some, make our compost pile better, build some privacy screens around our patio for things to grow on, do some AWESOME paths, build our chicken house, build some rabbit hutches (this might happen next year), and grow a variety of food including:
 apple and perhaps peaches

And we'll see if i add to the list. 

It's a lot, but i'm so excited.  And i'm excited to be able to do this all on a lot that is only .11 acres and has a 1,200 sqft house on it WITH a car port.  I will have to be creative and really utilize the square foot/intensive gardening technique, but i know i can do it :)

And now some pictures of the awesome things swirling in my head....

This is the best set up for sprouting seeds i've ever seen!  I actually purchased the supplies last night and have mine set up in our living room! SOURCE

Use your old bottles to water your plants down at the ROOTS where they need it most! SOURCE

Build a fence using wood pallets that you can normally find for FREE! SOURCE

a privacy fence that we could grow our grapes on SOURCE

Using ikea storage bins as nesting boxes for your chickens.  Easy to gather eggs and clean! SOURCE

a raised bed made from pallets.  You can find pallets for free all the time!  Just make sure they have HT printed on the side for 'heat treated'.  Others can be treated with chemicals which would leech into your garden.

Patio furniture made from pallets.  Again, could be made for nearly FREE!

Yet another way to use pallets in your garden.  can you tell i love pallets? SOURCE

square foot gardening.  Grow more food in less space! SOURCE

So i think that is it for now, at least for what i can find pictures for.  I'm very excited for the days ahead, it's just going to be a lot of work. 

If anyone has pallets, spare wood or glass bottles they are not using, i will gladly take them off your hands!

What are your plans for this spring/summer in your yard/garden?
Happy digging everyone!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My OB said WHAT?!?

I just wanted to share that i've been featured on the website, My OB said WHAT?!?

You can see the post here.

If you scroll down the pink comment is my story explaining.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Letting out all the hurt

Hello there my readers.  I'm not 100% sure why i am making this post but i feel like talking but not sure who to talk to.  So writing it is. 

And just a warning to you sensitive souled people, i'm not intending to hurt anyone's feelings with anything i write.  I'm just trying to make sense of what is running through my head and to get my thoughts 'on paper'.  I'm sorry if anything i say hurts you, but if it does hurt maybe it's best to step back, evaluate the situation and see why what i've said as offended you so much.  Is it because there may be some truth?  i don't know.  Just some things to consider and keep in mind.  But again, i'm sorry if this hurts.  I hurt too. 

For a long time now i have been struggling.  Struggling with my self worth, struggling with my identity, with who i really am.  I struggle with how i react, how i'm supposed to react and what others think.  I spend a lot of time worried about what others think.  a lot of time.  I'm always worried about it and i hate that it bugs me so much.

Growing up i had a lot to deal with.  My dad was abusive (mostly emotional and verbal but some physical) towards everyone in the family (i have 5 siblings).  Just writing that down is extremely hard for me.  It actually makes me want to delete this entire post and forget about the whole thing.  But i feel if i can't explain where i've come from that you won't understand why i'm here.  So as my hand shake i will keep typing to try and help myself.

As i said, my dad is abusive.  And so i grew up in fear my whole life, always walking on egg shells.  I always was trying to be the best child i could be, the most perfect i could be so that he wouldn't be so angry, so that he would love me, because why would someone be so mean and hateful if they loved you?  I grew up not really knowing if i was loved because even if my father said it, he rarely showed it.  And then because of his actions i could not even believe what he said since it contradicted every thing it would say. 

I also grew up with a lot of guilt.  I lot from my father (If i could just do the things he wanted, if i could just not cry, work hard enough, be *good* enough then *i* would be good enough) but also from my mother.  If i expressed how i felt about something she would tell me that it really wasn't that way, or i shouldn't feel that way, or something along those lines.  She would say things in passing that would make me feel guilty about whatever situation it was.  Hard to explain, but lots of guilt.

So i have a hard time knowing how i'm even supposed to feel most of the time.  If i'm feeling sad i feel that i shouldn't feel sad and i have to stop crying RIGHTHISSECOND because that is what has been drilled into me from my father.  Or somehow my mother makes me feel guilty for the way i feel.  I really can't go into details but it's pretty much how it always goes.

I really hate me on the inside because i feel like i'm a complete mess and that it's effecting my relationship with those that matter most, my husband and my daughters.  Our marriage has really been stressed from the very beginning due to me being on hormonal birth control and how crazy it made me.  What kind of crazy you ask? 

well, major depression for one, then anxiety, and the anxiety caused me to start having panic attacks (which i had never had before) and then the panic attacks would cause more anxiety and depression and it was just a big hot mess.  Example.  We'd be laying in bed to go to sleep.  Just because DH wouldn't be cuddling with me my mind would be racing with reasons why he wasn't, until i came the the conclusion that he didn't love me.  I'd start crying and hyperventilating until i just couldn't stand it anymore and i'd lock myself in the bathroom while i proceeded to bang my head repeatedly against the wall and scratch my arms.  I actually had the thought many times that i had made THE BIGGEST mistake of my life and that i needed to get a divorce because i didn't want to end up like my parents.  But then i couldn't bring myelf to do that because i felt incredibly guilty and worried about what 'everyone' would think if i admitted i had made a mistake and wanted a divorce.  But then i was scared to be doomed in a marriage with a spouse who really didn't care about me and didn't love me which would then start the entire cycle all over again.

Did i mention it made me crazy psychotic?  And the worst part was i didn't know why i felt this way.  I knew it wasn't normal but it came out of nowhere and i didn't feel this way until after we had been married.  It wasn't until my dear sister suggested that *maybe* it was my birth control that i started to see the light (what really upsets me is my doctor NEVER said that ANY of those things could be a side effect!  so i never suspected!).  Needless to say i went off of it immediately and i am so thankful i did.  Unfortunately those 5 months really took a toll on our marriage.  A start like that is NO way to start a healthy marriage.

So yeah, pretty stressful start on top of all my baggage from my growing up years.  Then enter our 1st pregnancy.  Everything was going great until our 1st ultrasound when the tec could not find any amniotic fluid.  We were told we'd have to see a specialist ASAP but the soonest we could get an appointment was a week away!  So after a week passed we saw the specialist who told us our baby had cysts in their kidneys and would not live after birth.

Big giant blow in our lives. 

Here we are living 2+ hours away from all family and dear friends and i'm going through a pregnancy with my child who is not going to live.  Even worse we are in a college town and our church ward was full of young married couples.  so everyone in our ward was either A) pregnant, or B) had a child under the age of 3.  I was treated like i had a deadly illness that no one wanted to catch. 

We'd be sitting in class and the lesson would be on service, compassion and all of that and everyone sharing stories of how they helped so and so in this situation or when they were going through ____ trial they were *so* thankful that so and so came to help.  All the wile i am sitting in my row completely alone because no one would sit next to me and bawling my eyes out because i was basically ignored by everyone around me and i had no family or friends to help.  I would then quickly leave the room so i wouldn't make too big of a scene and then of course everyone would come out and ask me how i was and if i needed anything.  I really hated that.  I understand my situation made people uncomfortable but it really hurt for them to say one thing and do the complete opposite.  All i wanted was a shoulder to cry on, for someone to show me some love and compassion while i got ready to go through the hardest thing in my life and i couldn't get it.  I was all alone.

THEN i get misdiagnosed and told i *have* to induce at 32 weeks when really the problme was a misdiagnosed bladder infection (which by the way went untreated for at least 1 week, if not 2 or more to the point where i was in INTENSE awful pain and running 101+ fevers even WITH taking vicodin which has fever reducing medicine in it!  I could have gone septic!!). 

So because i *had* to be induced we were robbed from our home birth experience that we desired so our daughter could be born in the most peaceful, loving environment we could have.  Instead i had to spend 3 days in the hospital being induced and then my daughter had to endure the birth with a rushed uninterested doctor who was in such a hurry for everything to be over that he pulled her out of me, i'm sure causing her harm in the process and then telling us that she was stillborn even though less than a minute later she tried to breath and tried again and again and again.  Never ONCE did that doctor check her for a heartbeat but instead insisted she was dead and that it was just a reaction that her body was having. 
So we never got to have the joy of knowing our daughter was alive and with us and able to hear everything we were saying.  She never was able to hear from her mother and father that we loved her earthside.  We were robbed from one of the most sacred experiences there are and there's nothing we can do about it since the doctors word is "law". 

Then again i had to deal with isolation and abandonment.  We had a total of 4 meals brought in to our home, one from a friend the day we came home from the hospital, and then 3 from our church after we had been home for 4 days and were told we'd have meals brought in as soon as we were home (even though they were informed we were home).  And we only had a weeks worth brought because we were told 'after that you should be feeling *much* better'.  No other friends or family ever brought us anything.  We were left alone with the day to day.  Most days i didn't even want to get out of bed let alone dress, shower or eat. 

I knew i was going to be depressed, i already was.  But also expected to be surrounded with love and support.  We had moved home 2 weeks before her birth and so we were with family and friends again.  We had lots of words of support but not much after that.  I struggled with my grief process because i felt rushed and guilty that i was depressed and upset.  I felt like everyone just wanted me to be better and 'get over it'.  And if i brought the matter up at all people would then say 'of course not, take your time' but then i'd feel the pressure again based on actions and things said.  It was a very hard confusing time for me. 

Then, to complicate things we unexpectedly found out we were expecting again just 6 months after our daughter passed away.  On one small hand we were excited but on the other big hand we were scared to death and worried.  It was hard to be happy when we still felt so much sadness, but the pressure from EVERYONE to 'be happy' again made it hard.  If i'd bring up my grief it seems like others would say 'but you're pregnant again!  Be happy!' as if having another child fixed everything.

If anything it has made things more complicated in ways.  Don't get me wrong, i LOVE my daughter more than i can even express.  She has brought *so much* happiness into my life and i wouldn't trade her for anything.  But it's not that cut and dry.  I still have mountains of unsettled grief buried deep inside me because of all the pressure around me to 'be better' because we have a healthy baby now.  I can't be sad because i have to be happy for her.  I also don't have time to grieve.  We've been blessed with a daughter who has silent reflux and we didn't find this out until she was SEVEN MONTH old!  7 months of pretty much non stop crying at night, never sleeping, never nursing well, crying crying crying.  And even after we found out it didn't fix everything.  7 months is a long time for a child to learn things.  and then throw in that we moved when she was 8 months we moved in with my parents for 3 months and then lived in a house we were renovating, her first year has been HECTIC and so she has no rhythm, no pattern, no way of doing things.  I'M her constant. So she doesn't sleep through the night (not even by a long shot!), struggles to sleep without nursing, and is just very high needs in everything in her life.  

and then the judgment i feel in this aspect in my life is huge.  I feel judgment from every single side of me.  Our circumstances don't seem to matter, only the outcome, and since we do not have the 'good' baby i am a bad parent and not doing things right, even though i'm doing things the best i can for MY baby.

I know i've been going on on a lot of different things but i just felt like i had to write about everything i've having to deal with because i've reached the end and i have taken all i can take.  I'm starting to sink and i feel like everyone is just standing to watch.  I get some sticks thrown at me that are thought to help, but i don't feel people are really listening to my issues.  I'm told often that i just need to pray, or read my scriptures, or go to the temple and it will fix everything.

But what these people don't seem to understand (even when i've tried to explain it) is it's not that easy.  Growing up, those experiences were used as a way of abuse.  So instead of feeling the Spirit of God, i felt the spirit of contention, the spirit of the devil.  It's hard for me to get past these fears and to move on.  I feel very alone and small.  I feel uncared about and unimportant.  I don't like to feel this way, but i don't know how to not feel this way.  When i pray i don't feel like my prayers get past the ceiling, and instead of feeling the Spirit i feel the opposite instead, i feel cold, dark and alone.  And i feel like a bad person for even saying these things because Prayer and Scripture reading are the answer to everything in my 'culture' so to even suggest that i don't want to do them makes me an evil horrible person.  But i have a hard time doing something in my life that makes me feel so insignificant and alone.

And so, i've reached the end of the road.  I cannot stand my periods of break downs anymore (they are coming closer and closer together these last months).  My sister has been setting a path in front of me these last few months and i think i've finally hit bottom enough to follow her lead.  Today i called and set up an appointment to get counseling.  This is extremely hard for me to do because it makes me feel like a failure and i have a VERY hard time asking for help, even when i desperately need it.  I've been trained to put on a 'happy face' and to not let anyone know how things really are.  So it's very difficult for me to even say anything negative or say anything is wrong.  But they are, and they have been for a long time now. 

But i won't let my fears stop me anymore.  I want to be a new person and i want to change how things are.  And the first step is talking with someone who can help me.