Easy Scepter for Costume

 

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Have you read the book “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. The story is so cute and the illustrations are adorable and beautiful. Last year was the first Halloween that I was able to plan a family costume and I LOVED it! I’m not saying we will always to this as our boy gets older and wants to choose his own costume, but right now, I am going to live it up!

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Our first coordinated Halloween we were Woody, Jessie and Buzz from Toystory. I found the Woody onesie through Target.com and went from there. It was simply too adorable to pass up. All of our costumes, except for the onesie were put together with stuff we already had or created (as you can tell with my chaps, ha, ha). Sometimes, I think it might we worth spending the money to save the time, but I really liked how it turned out.

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First Halloween with a baby. I wish you could see Dave’s Buzz wings.

I’m excited to share our “Where The Wild Things Are” costumes and how I made them. So far we have the scepter that Max uses to rule the wild things.

You will need:

  • cardboard tube (wrapping paper roll tube or paper towel tube)
  • styrofoam ball
  • 3 black pipe cleaners
  • black spray paint
  • gold or tan paint
  • clear acrylic spray paint
  • paint brush or foam brush
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • piece of paper
  • elmers glue
  • gold glitter

 

Screen shot 2016-10-02 at 4.54.27 PM.pngCut the cardboard tube to the length you want. Mine is about 14″ long. Spray paint it black. I held it in one end with 2 of my fingers to spray paint the other end and then switched. Let it dry.

DSCN1311.JPGPaint the styrofoam ball with the gold or tan paint. The color is not that important because the gold glitter will be over it. The paint is just so that if there are spots the glitter doesn’t cover, you won’t see the white of the styrofoam. Let it dry.

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Use your brush to spread the glue on the painted styrofoam ball. You can either do half of the ball at a time or try to do the whole thing all at once. Lay out a piece of paper or newspaper under the ball and sprinkle the glitter over the ball. Tap the ball to get off the extra glitter. Pour the extra glitter back into the container. Let the ball dry

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Spray the glittered ball with the clear acrylic spray outside, in a well ventilated area. (Using the spray now will work because we have already painted the ball. Styrofoam will melt if you use spray paint directly on it, so don’t use it instead of acrylic paint.) This will help the glitter not to come off. Otherwise, you will be finding glitter on everyone and everything… until the end of time. Let it dry.

Screen shot 2016-10-02 at 5.05.32 PM.pngPlug in your hot glue gun. Glue one end of one of the pipe cleaners to the inside edge of the cardboard tube. Hold it until it is stable and then curve it over so that the other end of the pipe cleaner can be glued directly across from where it started. Do the same thing with 2 other pipe cleaners, around the edge of the tube.

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Once the pipe cleaners are glued in place, you can bend them out of the way in order to insert the foam ball. First, use the hot glue gun to put glue on the top edge of the cardboard tube and then place the foam ball. Hold it in place until it feels solid. Then you can bend the pipe cleaners into the positions that you like them.

Screen shot 2016-10-02 at 5.10.57 PM.pngFinally, put a small drop of hot glue in between where the pipe cleaners cross at the top, so that they will stay in place.

IMG_20161002_153540.jpgTa-da! Done!

What did you do all day?

I recently read an article from the website How Does She that rang true for my life right now. The author is Nicolette (isn’t that name adorable!), and she has 4 kids, keeping her crazy busy. I only have the 1 little guy right now, but with everything that he does so new to me, it keeps me on my toes. He is only 5 months, which does take a lot of work. Mostly, it’s waking up, eating, changing diapers & clothes, playing for a little while, and then getting him down for a nap… again! Pretty much my life revolves around his naps.

I loved reading Nicolette’s article and feeling the same way. Today, I at least got a cute shirt on, though I was in my yoga pants all day. And I had some makeup on, though it wore off pretty quickly and my hair was in a quickly put up pony tail. My motto is to do what I can to look my best, then do the more important things (taking care of a sweet little being).

Go check out Nicolette’s article if you need a good laugh and to feel some camaraderie among mothers. We’ve all been there, or are there right now, even if we try to only show our good side.

Love spending my day with this little guy.

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Tidying Up

I’ve always been a fairly tidy person. My home just feels more comfortable and peaceful when all the stuff is in its place. This doesn’t mean that its out of sight necessarily, but its at least constrained to a smaller area.

Since having my baby, it has been so much more difficult to keep the house organized… until I started my basket system. Voila! A place for all those toys and books and blankets that accompany a child entering the family.

Initially, I kept trying to put the toys back in his bedroom, because that was where they were supposed to be, right? But then I didn’t have toys within reach when I was in the kitchen or the living room with him, so I would have to truck back upstairs to get some toys and books for the endless variety show that has become my life. Ha, ha.

Then the day came when a bright idea hit me. Most likely, many of you have already discovered this brilliant solution. I have collected quite a few baskets through store sales and (my favorite) garage sales. So I finally put the two together, clutter and baskets, to create ORDER! Yippee!

I have a basket for baby things in almost every single room. Wait, let me think. Yep, every single room.

Kitchen Basket

This one is essential since it is where we spent a great deal of time. It’s not in the most convenient placing but it does the job.

Master Bedroom Basket

I try not to have too much baby stuff in here, but you can’t help it. It all likes to creep out into all areas of the house.

Living Room Baskets

There are 4 baskets in the living room. There is one more with blankets of all sizes. The bottom one on the shelf has diaper changing necessities and the higher one is only there to hold some pictures I am scanning. It isn’t normally there, but it is great to hide (sort of) the mess of photographs.

 

Baby’s Room Basket

A little bit messy, but all the toys are at least corralled into the corner.

 

 

Big, small, square, rectangle, oval. There is a huge variety of options out there to fit your individual needs. If you are looking for baskets for a reasonable price, my first choice is garage sales. You can try Craigslist or online garage sales in your area. Hobbylobby and Michaels are also great craft stores to look for baskets, and you can ALWAYS get a coupon. I know that Michaels will accept coupons from other craft stores. Yesterday, I was able to use a 40% coupon from Joann Fabric, plus a 20% off your entire purchase from Michaels. The cashier said that you can use both because one is a single item and the other is a whole purchase. Woot! Remember that most of these stores have apps as well, where you can directly look up coupons.

This can be such a simple solution to clutter. Yes, all the stuff is still in the room, but at least it looks a little bit tidier, its out of the way, and you can still grab a toy when in dire need to soothe a crying babe.

My little doll

As a child, my sister and I had cabbage patch dolls to deck out in frilly dresses, jewelry, and adorably miniature baby things. Of course, the dolls weren’t enough so our poor cats became pretty princesses in our doll clothes. Those poor, tortured things.
No longer do I play with dolls. Now I have a baby, my living doll (who happens to hate getting dressed).
At home, he tends to wear pretty simple outfits, often sweatpants because those are the most comfy. Mommy wears sweats or yoga pants most of the time too. 🙂

Stripes and sweats. And he’s a drooler!

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PJ’s and drool cloth.
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But when we are going out to visit someone, if its Sunday or if its a holiday, he gets to be snazzed up.

Valentine’s Day, complete with boutonniere and Valentine card for his girl

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Super Bowl with Daddy -engrossed in the game and missing a shoe.

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I have bought most of his clothes on really good sales that I find. There are 2 blogs that I follow who teach couponing and keep you aware of any amazing sales you might want to hit up, Cuckoo for Coupon Deals and Freebies 2 Deals. I get most of my baby clothes at Target, Kohls, and Old Navy, and you can always get them on sale or clearance. Kohl’s always has a coupon for 15%, 20% or 30% off. Target has their Cartwheel app and will sometimes have a discount on baby clothes.

Currently, I need baby socks because little guy’s won’t stay on. He’s growing so quickly that he can hardly stay in one size.

He sleeps in my arms

I love his precious snores and his sweet hand grasps. For the most part little guy sleeps in his crib and he does pretty well with it. He assisted easily when we switched from the bassinet. I’m grateful that he sleeps in his crib but now he isn’t very good at sleeping in my arms… and I miss it. Sometimes, I just want his cuddles and warmth. Sometimes this is the only way I give myself a break from the runaround of chores. My hubs is always telling me to take a nap, read a book, or just rest. I don’t listen very well. Ha, ha. But if I’m holding little guy, it forces me to simply be. Granted I generally have my phone filled with instagram, Facebook, or some
other good use of my time. Wink. But it’s nice, too be allowed a break from running ragged.

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Thank goodness for baby naps.

Smiles and Sleep

My absolute favorite thing about being a mom and taking care of this little joy, is when I go in to get him our of his bassinet, he sees me and grins from ear to ear. He shrugs his shoulders as if he is embarrassed that he is so excited to see me and grins that toothless grin. My little doll.

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Reflux – GER

Having a baby with reflux is incredibly overwhelming. This is not at all what I anticipated having a baby to be like. My expectations included a little bundle of smiles, cooing, and snuggles, along with late night, early morning feedings, crying and stinky diapers. It did NOT include a screaming little one, arching his back, looking at me in desperation for me to stop his pains and discomfort. Oh, my poor little darling. All I want is to help him feel better and feel the joy from living and learning in this world.

Last week, I got a cold, which wrecks my sinuses and causes headaches and almost constant blowing of my nose. So it was already feeling under the weather, and then on Friday, my baby boy screamed and screamed and screamed. He arched his back, would hardly eat anything and couldn’t nap. When he did eat, it was only 1-2 ounces at a time and he would start spitting it out, unable to get it down. Normally he was eating at least 3 ounces, and sometimes 4-5 ounces in a feeding. It was torture to hear those, not so little, cries and be unable to comfort him. I bawled for about an hour while trying to soothe him and to calm myself enough to do so. When my husband called to see how my day was going, I started crying again. He deciphered through the tears that I was not doing well and said he would pick up dinner and be home as soon as he could.

We already knew that little guy has reflux, but because he wasn’t eating or sleeping, we were more concerned and decided to go to UrgentCare. Of course, he was good for most of the time we were there. We were secretly happy when he started screaming, so that the doctor could see what was really happening. Doesn’t it seem like they are always perfect angels the second you are trying to explain the problem. He was able to calm down quite quickly and fall asleep out of exhaustion though thankfully.

We were sure little guy must have an ear infection or some other pain inducing problem, but the doctor checked him and all looked good… besides the screaming and arching back. He asked what dosage and concentration the medication was, but we didn’t know the concentration. He said it sounds like he might need to go on a higher dosage. Even though it doesn’t really change anything we are doing or give us a timeline for when the reflux will end, it did help us to feel okay knowing that he doesn’t have something worse going on in that little body of his.

The symptoms of reflux often look similar to and are often mistaken for colic and so nothing is done initially. Here is what to look for (and what we saw as it escalated):

  • Screaming/crying, especially during or after eating
  • Arching back
  • Irritability
  • Won’t eat as much at one time
  • Spitting up
  • Sounds like there is fluid in his throat, gurgly maybe
  • Coughs
  • Might not be gaining weight
  • Poor sleeping
  • Doesn’t like to lay flat on back
  • Gassy

My baby has silent reflux, which means that the reflux doesn’t generally come out as spit up. It just comes back into his esophagus and causes irritation. This was confusing for us in determining what was wrong, because we didn’t realize that a baby can have reflux without spitting up. My cousin’s baby, on the other hand, projectile vomited when he spit up, so there is a wide range of what you might see.

We are bottle feeding at this time, so if you are breastfeeding, some of these might not work for you. Breastfeeding is better for babies with reflux, so that is a benefit you will have. Some things that we have tried to do to alleviate his discomfort (and the screaming):

  • Eating more upright. When he is eating, we make sure that he is held more upright than laying down.
  • Use a bouncer or other inclined seat to feed. This seems to have helped my little guy be able to get more formula in.
  • Feed your baby smaller amounts, more frequently – My little guy is eating around every 2-2 1/2 hours right now, instead of the 3 hour increments he was doing before.
  • Feed a small amount, wait 10-15 minutes and then see if your baby will take any more.
  • Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes following eating.
  • Baby massage. Our doctor suggested doing bicycle legs and clockwise rubbing of the baby’s tummy. This seems to help with his gas if he isn’t already worked up. He won’t let me bend his legs if he is really upset.
  • Use an exercise ball to bounce him. This has calmed my baby just about every time, no matter how upset he was.
  • Use a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. They are inclined, which will help with your baby’s reflux while he sleeps.
  • For those breastfeeding, diet changes may help or supplements that you take, since the baby will get some of this through breast milk.

Some things that I haven’t yet tried so I can’t say if they work or not, but I have seen these suggested:

  • Infant probiotics
  • Chiropractic care with an infant certified chiropractor. My pediatrician says they don’t recommend this until after 12 months. From what I have read, it is more like a massage. It isn’t like the cracking you probably imagine.
  • Essential oils

Having a baby with reflux is exhausting and heart wrenching. It can wear you down in a day, but it generally lasts much longer. Finding support is critical, even just someone to talk to. Feel free to email me if you have questions or need someone to bounce ideas off of (though I am only going on my experience thus far). Also, comment if you have any ideas of how to help with infant reflux.