11:03 AM

What's working

Claudia over at my fascinating life asked what's working for you?  I liked that question so much I want to answer it again!  It's a good question because it is helpful to yourself to focus on the positives and give your self some credit and it was great to hear other ideas of things that are working in other houses.

Making my own Starbucks Tazo Chai Lattes from scratch!

My Grocery store stopped selling Tazo Chai tea concentrate.  First I looked high and low in my town and the neighbouring town and I scowled and pouted at the shelf stokers and even considered writing a long letter of complaint to any one and every one when thankfully I found this recipe, now I can make a copycat version at home and save money, haha on you Starbucks and grocery store!  Also please let this serve as a general warning to all people who's job it is to provide a mother with her caffeine, DON'T mess with it, or you will feel her wrath.  I promise you this is no harder than making a pot of tea, next time I will double it though since it keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.  It cost about $1 for 7 servings, and that is music to my accountant husband's ears since the pay for being a stay at home mom is not optimal we are penny pinching.  You should be able to find every thing you need at a bulk food store near you.

The 3 S
You may have heard your grandmother (or that guy who wrote a best selling book) tell you about the 3 S secret for putting a newborn to sleep?  Swaddle, shhhhh and sway?  Turns out back to the sleep basics works for a toddler too.  Sleep is going pretty darn good in this house our routine is only about 15 min and we are getting good long stretches for naps and all night long.  About 50% of our success is just her make up, she is built to be a good sleeper IF you set the stage right.  Black out shades (or a blanket over the stroller). We use the sleep sac even at nap time to act as the swaddle factor, and on bad days we swaddle her with a big felt afghan.  We turn on her lullaby CD and sway or rock in the dark while I do long shhh in her ear until her breath matches my deep inhales.  Then she is in the play pen (we are still to scared to let her near the wood of her crib) and if she is fussing I stand outside the door and shhh loudly at her through the closed door.  We devised this plan since getting up and leaving her once she drifted off woke and aggravated her so now I stay outside the door instead to make my escape more seamless.  This is where we are now with sleep but it has come a long way, very gradually shifting from our bed to the play pen and then to her own room.  Next step crib.  I think we need to get on that as she discovered that if she rocked hard enough she could move the play pen across the room, yesterday she made it to the door and had jammed it against the play pen preventing the door from being able to open.  Oh right this is about what works... ignore that part...

Thou shall not skip a nap .... EVER!!
Okay I admit that I break this rule from time to time, but then I always regret it.  Now it takes an awful tempting adventure to lure me into missing nap time.  My kids are just so much more lovable when they have napped and when I had quiet time to myself to be fresh and ready to love.  The kids don't always want to follow this rule either but I have a bag of tricks when all else fails.  The other day I put them in the car and drove the rolly hills and back country roads just north of my house.  With no stop and go traffic, the oldies on the radio, we all had a great time and once they drift off I will do drive through for a hot apple pie and milkshake or stop for an ice cream at the small town corner store.  Once in my sleep deprived state I did run a stop sign but since we had not seen a single car in more than a half hour I didn't feel too bad about it.
Living in mess
Since we are not having overlapping naps and the little one wont allow me out of her sight and I pulled muscles in my back from lifting her so the carrier is not an option until I heal, I am not cleaning much at all.  Honestly the most gets done by grandma during her weekly visit and the bare minimum each night by daddy.  I don't know if you have ever felt this way, but when the house was clean and the kids wrecked it .5 seconds later I felt frustrated and angry with the kids.  But when the house is a mess and they simply add to it I don't blame them and I don't get mad. Until we have two kids who nap together and we are all better adjusted to life as a family of four, I guess we will just be a hot mess, but we will be happy.