Liam’s Second Birthday Elmo Style

We celebrated Liam’s 2nd Birthday Saturday August 26th 2017. He had a great time opening presents, seeing his Elmo balloons, and eating his daddy’s Elmo cake.

We enjoyed the sunshine and Jimmy John’s subs while catching up with family. It was a relaxing time that was much needed.

Party Prepping

Daddy making the Elmo cake!

Making the goodies bags!

 

The Day of the party!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed the day and thank you all who came and celebrated! Two years have gone by in a flash. We are excited to see what is to come with Liam’s 2nd year!

DIY Elmo Crayons

Liam had a Elmo/Sesame Street themed Birthday Party and I wanted to add something special to the goodies bags. I have always wanted to make my own crayons. I thought this was a perfect excuse!

Instructions:

1 Preheat your oven to 250.

2 Use a knife to cut off the paper on the crayons. If you don’t do this, you will end up frustrated with the paper not coming off!

3 If you want multi colored crayons, crush into larger pieces. I snapped them into 4ths. A little smaller would have helped them be flatter in the back. If you want one color you can crush into smaller pieces. If you crush into smaller pieces for a multi colored crayon, it will bleed too much and end up making one color.

4 Put into oven for 10 mins. Any longer will make the multi colored turn into one color.

5 Let it sit until fully cooled and pop them off. The small mini Elmo molds took about 30 mins to cool. Don’t freeze them, it makes them crack.

6 Color away!

The Real Solution to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

You may be here to find answers to your exhausting problem: your child will not sleep through the night and you’re about to check into a psych ward. You would rather put duct tape on your sunburn and rip it off than sleep another night waking up 5 times.

The solution is neither close nor far. Because your child will be ready when they are ready. Guess what mommy, the magic solution is patience. Or you just drag your feet throughout the process like I did.

You can go onto your favorite Facebook mommy group and beg for answers. You can try everything under the sun like essential oils, music, bedtime routine, daddy help, or whatever you find on the magical google. But he will not sleep until he is ready.

When will they be ready?! That is the most irritating, hair-pulling, and exhausting question a mom can ask herself.

It does have a lot to do with circumstances. Do you share a room? Do you breastfeed? Do they have health issues? Do you sing to them every night? Many things can contribute to their sleep habits. Or you have no issues and get the beauty sleep we all envy and will sell our left leg for.

Here are a few ideas that can help your child create good sleeping habits. Remember all families are different.

  • Establish a consistant bedtime routine. This helped us create a calm time for our son to know it is time to sleep. It helped him  to fall asleep on his own. It took months for him to finally sleep through the night but this helped the process.
  • Find a sleeping helper. We put an Eeyore in his bed. 
  • If your child is past 16 months and they still breastfeed at night like our son did, you can slowly wean a feed at a time until you are fully weaned. This also prevents pain. This was the only method that helped our son finally sleep through the night. Do what works for you.
  • Comfortable temperature. If it’s too hot they wake up. Too cold they wake up.
  • Night time diapers. These have helped us because the pee won’t wake him.
  • Dinner about an hr before bed. This helps keep him full all night.

These are just my experiences. If you’re going through sleepless nights, I feel you. I left my keys multiple times in my locked apartment because of sleep deprivation. I’ve locked our son in our car. I’ve tripped multiple times in the middle of the night. The list is long. Not to mention patience is rare.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Find support and remember this won’t last. Remember if something doesn’t work, don’t loose hope and don’t feel like you’re failing. Always ask for help. You got this! 

Water Wipes Review

I got the chance to try out the Water Wipes for FREE by Influenster in exchange for my honest review. I have been interested in trying them out because of the advertisement and the ingredients. This is my experience with the wipes and information about them.

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What is their claim?

WaterWipes have been carefully designed to be gentle on babies’ sensitive skin. They are the only wipes that contain absolutely no chemicals, just 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract – a natural skin conditioner.

You can find more information about their wipes by going on their website.

Where can you find these wipes? To name a few…

Our Experience 

The number one thing I noticed the most about these wipes is how wet they are. I personally like that because our current wipes are not as moist as I prefer. Water Wipes clean his bottom more effectively and quicker. I do not have to use as many wipes to clean up a better diaper mess. They seem to clean his face and hands easier as well.

They are a slightly shorter wipe comparable to other brands we have tried, however I do not mind that.

These seem to help his rashes from teething and soothe them a lot better than our current wipes. So far Liam has not shown any negative reaction and the small travel pack I received is just the right size to test these out.

Conclusion: they are very moist, smaller yet cleans well, and has no scent for those who are sensitive. 

Surprise Gift Company Review

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Do you like surprises? This company sends hand-pick high quality products that are unique in the way they will surprise any friend or family for all occasions. Today I will show you what they sent me, to review. Surprise Co. sparked my interest when I saw a celebrity post about their box last year. Please excuse the beat up box, I had it in storage when we moved the beginning of the year. It was packaged beautifully. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this box for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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This box’s theme is spreading Happiness. I am impressed with the quality and beauty of the products. There is variety in the box and very easy to spread happiness with it’s lovely notes, bright colors, and beautiful designs. There is an amazing gift guide that does all the work for you!

What Is Surprise Gift Company All About?

So many times we aren’t sure how to respond to the kind things people do for us or know what to say when people encounter the sad situations of life. Surprise Gift Co believes in acknowledging those moment’s. Whether its a celebration or a cheer up that’s needed, don’t let the moments pass by without recognition! Life is hard, and everyone has something they are going through whether it’s wonderfully exciting or terribly heartbreaking. Our goal is to be there!

What is in this box?

  • Mini Pop up Cards
    • These are adorable and a great way to make someone smile. I love the design and how tiny they are.
  • Happiness Book
    • Filled with sayings and just feel-good quotes
  • Larger Cards
    • It comes with a fun instructional book that helps you write messages to your friends and family
  • Two journals
    • Cute designs and very great quality to write down anything and everything
  • Napkins
    • Happy themed napkins!

Where can you find Surprise Gift Company?

There are many options to choose from on their site and you can have a fun time finding special ways to say I am thinking of you. This company is full of awesome products to keep the positivity and good thoughts flowing in your life!

Which box are you most interested found in the gift guide?

-Kristina Stone

 

18 Months Toddler Update

Where has half a year gone?! It feels like last month we had Liam’s 1st Birthday party. This past few months have been a lot of new things and developments. Liam is growing into a toddler and less a baby. He has learned so much and his personality is showing more and more. These past six months accelerated his speech, abilities, and social skills! After the year mark life gets interesting, hard, fun, exciting, and challenging.

Developments

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Social

  • Liam started kissing on the mouth about a month ago. If Daddy or I pucker our lips and make the kissy noise after asking for a kiss Liam will kiss us on the lips.
  • He has started high fives recently.
  • He has officially starting to wave back properly or waves goodbye to his class.
  • Hugs and today he hugged me from behind as I was sitting on the ground.
  • Babbles while is reads a book with me as though he is reading it to me.
  • Hits quite often now but will be gentle after a few reminders.
  • Shows compassion when someone is hurt or sad.
  • Crying or showing signs of frustration when he doesn’t get his way.
  • Sharing with others even though he doesn’t quite understand that yet.
  • Takes turns throwing a ball with me.
  • He likes to pull us and tries to get us to stand up and has us follow him.
  • Holds hands while walking.

Communication

  • Can repeat almost clearly the words shoe, sock, tree, uh oh, no, dada, momma, and hat.
  • Sighs more, please, milk(this is new), all done without being asked! He can sometimes sign thank you when asked.
  • When he asks please he usually means for food. Today he did that and I got him a snack.
  • Says “uh oh” when he hits his head or drops something.
  • Can follow a few directions like “go build a tower”(gets blocks), “go get woody or Chaucer the Bear(gets those toys), “kisses”, “get a book”(gets a book), “clean up” (cleans) or “clean your face” after I hand him a wipe he will.
  • Sounds like he is “singing” The ABC Song.
  • Pretends to talk on the cellphone by holding is up to his ear and babbling.

Newer Intellectual or Cognitive Skills

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  • He can match colors, shapes, and pictures.
    • Examples:
      • we have a cute box of little books and they have matching pictures on the cardboard container that holds each little book and he can match them in the proper places.
      • Matches puzzle pieces.
      • He can match shapes on his shape car. He can almost match all of the shapes in the proper holes.
      • He can match the colors in his All Better book. The sticker bandaids can be placed back onto their colored spot in the book and he can match them by himself.
  • He can put away things back where he got them.
  • Remember familiar songs or parts of a book and react to them, in the same way, each time.

Newer Physical Developments

  • Has 4 new teeth(top pointy and bottom molars).

Fine Motor Skills

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  • Can use a spoon!
  • Can hold a pen almost correctly and pretends to write.
  • Grab small objects and place them into their proper places or containers.
  • Builds a tower with blocks or stacks toys.
  • Points at things.
  • Tries to blow air(watches me blow on his food).
  • Pushes anything that looks like an on button.
  • He tries to put on his socks and shoes. He also will bring over our shoes and knows who shoes are whose. He has tried putting my shoes on my feet or has tried putting on our shoes on his feet. It is just too cute.
  • He can put on hats.
  • Tries to put a key in our front door.

Play

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  • Liam likes to play ball.
  • LOVES to have Daddy or Uncle hold him up to the ceiling and tap it.
  • He has been obsessed with the lights and wants to have us turn it off and on. We even have him use the switch.
  • He loves anything that has a box or container so that he can take things out or put things in.
  • He likes to match things up like his puzzles or little books.
  • He likes to pretend he is talking on a phone.

Dislikes

  • Baths lately, but gets into it once he starts to splash around.
  • Being in the carseat.
  • Doesn’t care for cow’s milk.
  • Rice.
  • Getting his diaper changed; wiggles or screams.

Recent Behavior Developments

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Liam for the past month or two has been hitting at home more and at daycare. He does this when he gets something taken away or needs to be moved. Sometimes there isn’t a clear reason. At daycare he is doing this to the smaller ones. We have been working on this.

18 Month Old Ped Appointment

Height: 2′ 7.5″ (16%)

Weight: 22lbs 8 oz (24%)

BMI: 15.94 kg/m2

He is still a little guy and is great health. I thought he may have had a reaction to the Amoxicillin that he used, but when talking to his Ped, he did not. What I saw the day after using this medication back in February was a red mark shaped like a heart on his knee that went away after about a week. About a week after he was done with the meds, he has some light red spots on his chest and back, but went away fast. She is not convinced this was related and if so, was not to be concerned about it. *I am adding this for my own records.

Liam has grown so much lately into a toddler and less like the little baby we took home in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing Compassion in Your Toddler for the First Time

Today I needed to sub in Liam’s class all day. I like being in his class because I get to see a new side to Liam. I see how he interacts with his classmates and teachers. I see him respond to songs. He knows how to sign now. He dances with his friends. He listens to instructions like sitting at a table for meals.

Liam has learned so much since October when we both started daycare. 

One particular thing he has learned that caught me by surprised and gave me the biggest smile is compassion. A little girl he is always hanging out with fell down and started to cry. Liam walked over and sat down next to her reaching out to her. She softly fell and was okay but Liam went to her. It was such a cute sight and happy to see him this way. At this age they are hitting, grabbing, or crying so it was a nice change to see him comfort his friend. 

Don’t get me wrong, these kids hug, dance together, and laugh but it is usually in between the grabbing. 

Confessions of the Sleep Deprived Momma  

As I type, it is 9:56pm. I went into bed at 8:00pm. I am so exhausted my body doesn’t want to fall sleep. I know any minute now Liam will wake up for the first time tonight, right after I almost drift off into dreamland. Dreamland? Scratch that. I’ve been so sleep deprived I cannot even remember the last dream I’ve had besides last weekend when I made Liam go back to bed with me or when my husband takes Liam for a few hours while I try to sleep. 

Sleep deprivation is the hardest thing I have had to deal with in my entire life. It is worse than dental work. It is worse than speaking in front of an audience(I am horrible at it). It is worse than breaking up with a high school boyfriend. 

Being extremely tired all the time really takes a toll on your mood, motivation to do anything productive at home, and having patience with anyone around you. It is especially difficult when you work outside the house.

Having a 18 month old who does not sleep through the night has many challenges! It can be so overwhelming that I just want to lock myself in my room for a week! This may sound dramatic but from what I have read, sleep deprivation is no joke and is serious. 

I feel like a horrible mother most days because of my lack of patience with a cranky toddler, messy house because I have zero motivation, and depression because the nights are long and the days are tiresome. 

This just needs to be said because as I scour the internet for solutions to Liam’s horrible sleeping habits, I realize I am not the only one and that it will eventually pass. 

Waiting for our time for sleep has been extremely difficult for me. I have many stages of how I deal with this. It circulates until I can’t take it anymore and then I go around the stages again.

Stage one is denial. This is when you cannot accept this is what it is and try to find all solutions you can. 

Stage two is numb to it all. You just go with it like a zombie on coffee.

Stage three is guilt. You feel guilty for it being this way and for being the mom/person you are while being so sleep deprived. 

Stage four acceptance. You accept this is the way it is and for a few weeks deal with it the best you can.

Repeat.

Sleep has never seem so amazing to me. 

-Justgoingwithit

Ipsy Subscription Review

I have been subscribed to Ipsy a few times now since they first started in 2011. If you like beauty subscriptions such as Birchbox, Glossy Box, Little Black bag, or many others then you will LOVE Ipsy. You receive many great products and brands, even companies many people haven’t tried or heard of. They have a variety of high end or drugstore products so if you fall in love with something, you don’t have to buy an expensive product. I believe Ispy has grown so much as a company and they truly strive for excellent customer service.

The History of Ipsy:

Ipsy was formally called MyGlam founded by Michelle Phan in 2011. I remember watching on Michelle’s Youtube when she announced the opening of the site and it was also when I received my first Myglam bag! Many other beauty gurus on Youtube joined as beauty advocates or stylists and showcase the website and the bags they get for each month. Beauty gurus such as Promise, Andrea, Jessica, and Bethany. Since then, there has been many faces of Ipsy.
There was a lot hype before it opened as well as a huge waiting list after the first subscribers signed up. I was apart of the first group! After some mishaps, they became one of the most popular beauty subscription service. You can read their about here.

The Benefits of Subscribing:

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  • It is only $10.00 a month with free shipping for deluxe or full size products!
  • You take a quiz on their site to determine the types of products they will send you.
  • You can earn points by sharing your unique link. You are able to redeem a set amount of points for FREE products.
  • You try new products you have never tried before ranging from low end products to high end products that way you can discover brands or products you would want to purchase in the future.
  • Every month Ipsy has coupon codes or offers from the brands that were featured during that month, even if you were not sent that particular product!
  • Every month your products are in an adorable bag. Get ready to have a plethora of bags!
    • You can use them for storage, gifts, or your purse!
  • This is a great way to bring fun content to your readers by reviewing the bags each month.

The Website

The website has changed a few times and I feel this current setup is the easiest and simplest version to use. There are four tabs on the top labeled:
  1. Glam Bag
    • This tab is for inquiring about your glam bag of the month. It tells you the story behind that bag and its contents. You also have an option to review the items you received in exchange for points. Lastly, this will give you more details about the products you got.
  2. Offers
    • Ipsy Offers
      • “Score early access and sweet deals every week day @ 9 AM PT”

    • Brand Offers
      •  You get amazing deals from the brands that where in the bag that month. You get coupons codes to use on the brand’s site
  3. Points
    • You get to turn your points into bonus items in your glam bag for the month.
  4. Giveaways
    • I cannot explain how amazing Ipsy Giveaways are! So many in a month with AMAZING brands like Pixie by Petra, Eva NYC, IT Cosmetics, BeFine, and MORE. It is a huge loot!

Your Account

This is very easy to navigate and you can adjust your subscription and billing info. This is also where you can update your beauty preferences and take the test again. You can also edit your username, email, or password on this page.

Your Profile

This will showcase your photos you may have uploaded and your profile picture.

  • On the right will show any reviews you have posted.
  • On the left is your profile picture- your hair, skin, and eye color, and lastly how long you have been apart of Ipsy.

 

Customer Service

Everyone will have their own experiences and ALL brands have problems. That being said, throughout the years Ipsy has worked well with me if I ever had any problems. They are fairly quick to respond and even when it was my mistake, I was going to get sent another bag.

Past Bags from 2011-2017

Last Thoughts

I always come back to this subscription service! It is like that one mascara you always go back to after you ventured off to try something new.

Let Ipsy be your mascara!

If you want to sign up with my invite link either click the IPSY links or CLICK HERE.

-Kristina

 

New Developments in the Toddler World and Christmas 2016

Liam seems to be growing up at a faster rate lately. In the past month he has learned quite a few things and changing into a little boy. The little baby is fading away and this momma is feeling a sense of disbelief that she will no longer have a baby. He has almost outgrown his crib and barley fits his toy jumper. The only thing I can hold onto is that he still breastfeeds so he needs my comfort still.

A few new things lately:

  • He can now say “Uh Oh” and it is completely adorable. He still doesn’t say many words at 16 months. He can say dadda, momma, tree, and now uh oh. He does baby talk all day long though and you can tell he is using his vocal cards differently to almost distinguish between a question or sentence.
  • He signs more, thank you, please, and sometimes all done. But only when he wants to.
  • He pulls himself up onto our chairs and sits up to the table.
  • Two upper back teeth are cutting through so he has been cranky and clingy.
  • He is very emotional lately and learning how to manage his emotions.
  • We thought he had reflux at night or night terrors when he was acting really odd for a couple of weeks, but it turns out he had a growth spurt and was teething. We had an appointment that confirmed he grew a little quite quickly and also later I noticed two teeth had cut through.
    • Lately Liam has been screaming bloody murder at night until I nurse him. And sometimes doesn’t like me putting him back down to bed and screams again. He’s not colicky and it is not night terrors. But seriously, this new thing on top of him waking up a billion times at night is killing me!

      We have no idea why he’s acting this way! He sounds like he’s being tortured.

      I have a routine at night, make sure he’s eaten, and make sure he’s not cold.

      What gives?!!! -December 17, 2016

There are a few things that he already has been doing like stacking blocks but he is perfecting that skill. The same with climbing and keeping his balance while running.

Breastfeeding

Liam is still Breastfeeding, but he is slowly nursing less during the day when we are not at daycare. He now just nurses at night or before nap. I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel. And perhaps he will finally sleep through the night as well soon.

I cannot believe this little guy will be a year and a half very soon! Our life is so blessed!

 

Christmas 2016

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Liam’s second Christmas was fun and it was our first time buying a real Christmas tree. His second time going to see Santa did not go as well as last year, however he liked playing with the car. We had a nice Holiday season!

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-Kristina