FTF: 5 Things I Won’t Miss About Having Toddlers in the House

There are about a trillion things that I can think of that I will undoubtedly, sorely, heartbreakingly, devestatingly miss about having little bitties living with us.  When they grow up, I just know that I’m going to crave their littleness…The oh so wonderful feeling of carrying their warm sleeping bodies from the car with their heads trustfully resting on your shoulder, the little cries of “Mama!  Mama!  Mama!” for every and no reason, the unexplained head butt into your butt, the unabashed requests for mommy snuggle time. Oh wait.  This is supposed to be five things friday, not gazillion things that make my heart melt.  So let’s get back on track.  There are, however a few things I won’t be missing about having littles running around here:

1.  Bag full o’ crap EVERY single time we leave the house or come back.

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2.  Tissue paper out the bathroom all the way into the bedroom.
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Why? For the love of corn, WHYYYYYYYYY???

3. Aftermath of #2 and having to keep the trash can out of reach.
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4. I have nothing to say about this one.
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Ok, I lied. Seriously, WTF?

5. Everyday.  All. Dayam. Day.
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No exaggeration, I re-rack the shoes at least 3 times a day.

Five Things Miss K Said This Week that Melted My Heart

Miss K has always been a sweet girl but lately she’s just been getting me in the gut with her golden heart.  She gets that from her dad.  I sometimes wonder if being her primary caretaker was the absolute best thing for her and when I hear her echoing positive words and sentiment that I say to her, then I think ok…maybe it’s good that she and I are together afterall.  I’ll try not to cry while writing this.

1.  “This was a great dinner.”  I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been having a hard time getting on the same wavelength as the rest of the family and it seems like my husband and Miss K haven’t been enjoying the food I’ve been making lately.  She has no idea how much it meant to me that she said those words.  All I made was some vegan phyllo dough egg rolls, cut up and salted some cucumbers, bell peppers, and radishes, and warmed up some fried rice.  I just want to know that she’s enjoying something I made that’s reasonably healthy for her.

2.  “You can do it, Sia!  I know you can!”  I don’t even remember what Sia was trying to do but she was encouraging her sister without any prompting from me.  I wasn’t even in the room, so I know it came from a pure place.

3.  “I’m proud of you, mommy.”  For what?  “For being so good.  And for playing candy crush saga.”  I love this on so many levels.

4.  I wasn’t sure how my kids would react when I unexpectedly turned on the hose and sprayed water.  50% chance of delight, 50% chance of freak out.  So without realizing she was even listening, I said, “Let’s see if mama’s awesome or mean.”  And bless her heart, she said “She’s AWESOME!!!”

5.  “Don’t worry, Sia!  It’s gonna be alright!  Mommy’s coming back!  She loves you!”  Sometimes Super S flips out when I leave the room and my little bitty three year old took it upon herself to comfort her baby.  And I really love that she told her that I loved her.  Whether she’s just repeating the words or she feels it from my actions, I am just so incredibly thankful and relieved that she believes that I love them.

One other thing happened when I went to pick her up from school today.  Super S sometimes gets really REALLY happy when she sees Miss K since they’ve been separated for a few hours (seriously, it’s like 3 hours and in that time Super S also takes a nap but maybe to her it feels like an eternity?).  Today was one of those days.  She tried jumping out of my arms so she could go and hug her big sister and squealed in delight.  When I put her down, Karina hugged her and kissed her and instantly took a carrot from her lunch and tried feeding it to Super S.  Those interactions just slay me.

Five Things that I should be able to do easily but can’t

So I actually do all of these things – they’re just surprisingly difficult when my littles are around.  It’s the kind of stuff that no one ever tells you about before having kids.

1.  Dishes – since she learned how to crawl, Super S has been super interested in the IMG_20131121_110312dishwasher.  She climbs into the door and sits down and then starts messing with the silverware.  In the process, she gets all wet and I can’t load anything because if I load in the top drawer, she’ll get dripped on and she’s in the way of the bottom drawer.  For the same reason, I can’t unload the dishwasher.  When I do dishes by hand, she always comes up to me and screams to pick her up but I can’t exactly do dishes one-handed.  So then you’d think I’d do them when she’s napping…but we have a one story home and her room is close to the kitchen so it wakes her up.  I’d rather not do dishes at all.

2.  Pee – I know a lot of moms have problems with interruptions or an audience.  Those don’t really bother me much.  What does bother me is that Super S makes a beeline for the bathroom whenever she hears the door open.  It’s like she’s a cat that hears a can opener or me when a bag of fritos opens.  Then she runs in, climbs the wooden step that we have in front of the sink so that Miss K can wash her hands, and then stands there looking at me like “Bitch, what are you just sitting there for?  Turn on the water.”  Since I’m peeing, I just look at her.  That just angers the beast more and she starts grunting like an ape “HOO HOO HOO!”  Of course I’m concerned about her safety too but the worst part is trying to leave the bathroom.  I have to pick her up and physically remove her.  And then all hell breaks loose.  She acts like I took her best friend and ate her.  Crying, throwing body on the floor, banging on the bathroom door, all of it.  It’s awesome.  I’m considering staying in a constant state of dehydration just to avoid it.

3.  Sweep – This should be easy, right?  Wrong.  Both my kids have a crush on the toddler-helping-1broom.  They want to use it and hug it and take it with them everywhere.  So they both get all grabby and try to get it from me or from each other.  Usually it ends up in fistacuffs.  Once that’s settled, and everyone’s calm, I take the broom back and attempt to sweep because they’ve finally lost interest.  This only resparks the interest.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Then they finally give up and then just run through the dirt pile or in Super S’ case, forage for food in the dirt pile.  Sometimes Miss K wants to help so she tries but it ends up making more of a mess, kind of like the picture above.  I love crappypictures.com, by the way.  Hilarious.

4.  Fold Blankets – For some reason, folding blankets in front of my kids is futile.  Not only will they grab the blanket while I’m attempting to fold them, but they’ll inevitably fall (I don’t know what they think will happen when they go running into the blanket but it always ends up with a little girl falling on her face).  And even then, I’m ninja.  I manage to fold the blanket.  But I walk away and come back and the blanket is unfolded and thrown on the floor.  I don’t know if it’s an eff you to me or if they think they need to show the blanket who’s boss but 9 times out of 10, if I fold a blanket in front of them, it ends up on the floor within minutes.

5.  Open the refrigerator.  Or close the refrigerator for that matter.  If I open it,IMG_20140130_161044 Super S will come running and will start touching everything.  The other day the two of them were foraging in the the refrigerator – Miss K opened it, Super S assisted and I don’t know what happened but there was maple syrup all over the floor afterwards.  I almost lost it.  Miss K eats butter, Super S eats anything she can get her hands on and GOD FORBID I attempt to close it while they’re looking.  I love how Miss K. is holding a bag of bread in this picture.  They were pilfering grapes.  I actually find this really cute.  And not energy conservation friendly.  And sadly more work because usually it ends with some sort of food on the floor.

Five Baby Products I’m Glad We Didn’t End Up Using & Our Giveaway Winner!

This week’s Five Things Friday is five things we bought for our babies but I’m glad we didn’t use.  I’ve been chucking full tubes and packing up stuff since they’re still in good use.  Not terribly inline with my goals of reducing waste, but I’m ok with that.

1.  Swim Diapers – I’ve been using gDiapers as swim diapers for our bubs too.  Just don’t include an insert and you’re set!

2.  Formula – Because you never know when an issue might pop up (I could get sick alimentumor need to be separated from baby), we bought a can of formula in case of emergency.  Based on our experience with our older daughter, we bought a very broken down formula in case the younger one also showed signs of allergies.  Well, around 3 months old, she did.  So we prepared a bottle of formula and went to go see her doc.  Her pediatrician wasn’t concerned in the least and we just decided to cut out the dairy and we never did use that bottle of formula.  It was a $30 can but I’m glad I was able to breast feed her through the entirety of her first year.

3.  Desitin – According to the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database, desitinDesitin ointment is not that bad; it has highly toxic fragrances that are of concern but otherwise is of low to moderate hazard.  But when you look at the ingredients, you see that there are methylparabens, BHA (according to this site, is potentially carcinogenic to humans”), and other questionable ingredients.  With our second baby, I’ve only used Earth Mama Angel Baby bottom balm, which is made up of natural ingredients.

4.  Bottles – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bottles – we did use them for the formula my older daughter needed for her allergies and they’re absolutely a necessity so mom can get away sometimes.  But I’d say my younger daughter drank from a bottle less than 15 times; 10-12 of those times were when we went away for a weekend and the baby stayed with my parents.  I’m glad we didn’t use them because that’s one less habit we’d have to break!  The flip side is that it also means that it was ALWAYS me who fed her.  In the middle of the night, in the middle of the day, everyday.

5.  Little Fevers – My older daughter’s Little Fevers expired a few months after my littlefeversyounger daughter was born.  I’m glad neither of them needed it enough to wipe out the whole bottle!  Same thing with baby Benedryl.  Tossed that too.

 

 

And finally, congratulations to Lauren Allen, the winner of a new pair of Good Natured gPants!  You should have an email from me waiting in your inbox.  Woohoo!  Giveaways are fun!

5 Kind Things to Do For Your Loved Ones

dalaiSince it’s be kind week on mycrunchylife.com and it’s five things friday too, here are five ways to to be kind at home.  I was looking up benefits to kindness and came across some information from psychologist Sonja Lyubomirksy, whose research suggested that students who performed five acts of kindness were happier than a control group who didn’t.  Side note…this psychologist’s name sounded incredibly familiar so I looked her up and sure enough, she is at the University of California, Riverside, where I attended two years of college.  I am 98% sure I was a research assistant for her my sophomore year.  She was doing studies on happiness back then too.  Back on track: those who performed five acts a day were happiest of all.  Furthermore, happiness is even greater when the acts of kindness are directed towards those we know as opposed to strangers. It feels good to strengthen our relationships.  So how about we do some nice things for the people we love?

1.  The next time someone in your family asks you to hand them a blanket, don’t just hand it to them, tuck them in.  My husband just did that for me the other night and I thought it was so kind.

2.  Leave a love note for your spouse or child on the bathroom mirror.

3.  Volunteer to do your partner’s or your kid’s chore for them.  Tell them it’s because you love them.  Maybe they’ll pay it forward!

4.  Put down the remote, the laptop, the phone, the tablet, or the game controller and listen to a loved one tell you about their day.

5.  When your loved one is taking a shower, throw their towel in the dryer.  When they come out, they’ll have a warm snuggly surprise waiting for them.

Click here to enter our Be Kind Week giveaway for a free pair of Good Natured gPants!

Five Things to Make with Oatmeal

I buy ten pound boxes of Quaker Oats from Costco.  And the crazy part is we actually go through the whole box.  We’ve bought maybe 3-4 boxes of these oats and my husband and I don’t even really eat oatmeal for breakfast.  So what do I do with all that oatmeal???  Here are five things (along with five pictures that I didn’t take):

1.  Granola – By far, our favorite one is this one from ohsheglows.com.  It’s vegan and oh cinnamonbungranolaso delicious.  Ironically, I used it to top some oatmeal I made for Christmas brunch.  I didn’t think about it at the time, but that’s a hell of a lot of oats.  It packs some protein punch with the crunch of buckwheat groats and walnuts.  Between the maple syrup, mejdool dates, and coconut oil, it is borderline decadent!  This is great by itself, with milk, on top of yogurt…all kinds of great things to do with this.  Maybe I’ll make a couple batches tomorrow.  It makes your house smell incredible.

2.  Banana Oatmeal Smoothies – A great go-to, filling snack or breakfast.  Just blend 1/4 smoothiecup of cooked oatmeal (well, I measure 1/4 cup of oatmeal and then cook it), 1 banana, 1/4 cup almonds or almond meal, 1/4 cup almond milk (or sub out yogurt or regular milk for a non-vegan version), and some ice cubes.  If I’m craving something a little more dessert-y, I throw in chocolate chips or chocolate syrup.

 

3.  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s simple and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard. oatmeal chocolate chip Hubs eats them up and once I took some for my dad.  He ate one, looked at me and said “WHAT is IN these cookies???”  He had never had oatmeal chocolate chip cookies before.  He’s a fan of chocolate chip cookies but far from a connoisseur like my husband.

 

 

4.  Breakfast – I make oatmeal for breakfast at least once a week for my girls.  For the two oatmealof them, I use 3/4 of a cup of oats and 1.5 cups of liquid (water, milk, whatever).  When they were less than a year old, I would grind up the oats into a powder so it was more like a cereal.  Side note – I bought prepared Organic oatmeal cereal in a box and it made my child vomit violently.  And I always wondered why the flakes were all shiny.  I know they fortify them with iron but really why give your kids food that’s even more processed than it needs to be?  Back on track:  Usually I just throw some cinnamon in while the pot simmers and frozen berries in it (Miss K prefers frozen, I’m not sure why) – they help cool down the oatmeal quickly.  Lately I’ve been making the oatmeal with coconut milk instead of water for some extra flavor, calories (my girls are skinny minis) and healthy(ish) fats.  The little packets of instant oats are convenient but they have way too much sugar, they create a whole lot more garbage, they are expensive and come in flavors like maple and brown sugar (which, although my favorite, is basically sugar and different sugar…).  Quaker Oats cook up quick – five minutes.  My personal favorite topping combo is coconut/walnut/chocolate chips, but we often will do fresh blueberries, strawberries, or bananas.

5.  Banana Oat Chocolate Cookies – These is a great vegan cookie recipe that is satisfying and bananachocolatechippretty tasty, if I say so myself.  They’re pretty healthy, too.  I didn’t think they lacked in flavor in the least, especially for a vegan dessert with no added sugar.  Since you roll these pretty small, I’d recommend using mini chocolate chips.

 

Five Things Friday: Lies I told my kid this week

On Fridays, I’m going to attempt to do a quick(ish) post that lists five things.   This week, here are five lies I told my three year old.

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1.  I told my three year old that my lemonade was water because I didn’t want her to have any.  Along those same lines, I drink chocolate milk several times a week and when she asks me what it is, I just tell her “it’s not for kids.”  I was about to defend myself by saying I didn’t *exactly* lie because I could have told her it was something besides chocolate milk but the thing is chocolate milk pretty much IS FOR KIDS.  So ya, I lied.

2.  I told my three year old that Pinkberry was closed when it wasn’t.

3.  I told my three year old that her sister was so happy to see her that she was screaming with excitement and that baby was trying to touch her hair because she thought her big sister’s hair was so pretty.  I lied.  Baby was screaming like a banshee because I wouldn’t let her yank it with all the might that a 17 pound one year old can muster.  Pulling hair just doesn’t get old.

4.  I told my three year old that I would only spray her hair with water one more time.  But then I sprayed it like five times.  I’m such a bitch (and she has unruly hair).

5.  I told my three year old that I could only stay with her for a few minutes while tucking her in.  She asked why I couldn’t stay with her until she fell asleep. I told her I needed to clean up the family room.  After leaving her room, I just spent the last hour surfing the internet, playing words with friends, texting real friends and writing this post.  Newsflash: the family room is still a mess.

I feel like I need to explain and justifies my deceit but this is supposed to be a simple post.  So I’m not going to.  I’m going to go to bed.*

*please note, the family room is still not cleaned up.