Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thumb Sucker

When Harris was a wee little thing, he used a pacifier. It didn't last long, about 3 months or so, and then his adorable left thumb replaced that little chunk of silicone, and  I was forever relieved that I didn't have to worry about some other mom seeing me pick up my baby's pacifier out of a puddle touching my baby's pacifier, and then putting it back in his mouth without using a pacifier disinfecter. I figured he would grow out of it, and thank God, He could never misplace his thumb. Fast forward 3 years, and Harris is still a thumb sucker. Now, it is not a really bad habit, mainly he would suck his thumb only when he was tired or hungry, but, then again, when is a preschooler not hungry... or... beyond tired (because he refuses naps...). So, well, he was beginning to get cute little buckteeth, and we knew it was time to interject. The first thing we tried was a product calls THUM. It is meant to make the finger taste bad, thus, deterring the child from sucking it. I had seen this stuff before, in fact, I had used a similar product for myself when I was in grade school while I was trying to break the habit of biting my nails. It was bitter tasting, and very effective for me. This THUM stuff, we found was a bit different. Instead of bitter, it was SPICEY. Harris hated it, and I don't blame him. One night, I went to his room in response to sobs, and asked him what was wrong. He told me he had an owie on his mouth., I figured he had bitten his cheek or something. I turned on the light and his face was bright red from just below his nose to his chin. he looked like Bozo the clown- I kid you not. I laughed, I couldn't help myself, and because I did, he did too. We wiped his face, got him a drink, and went back to bed. That was the end of our "spicey thumbs" as we called it.

Enter Plan B. I had seen in the One Step Ahead catalog, a thumb cover made of rubber and disposable bracelets that would help a kid break the habit. It was expensive, however, and I didn't like the idea of the disposable bracelets.

My trusty friend Etsy popped into my head, and I decided to look there for a possible solution. Sure enough, I was not disappointed, and I found a lovely seller that made these fantastic covers! Now, I completely feel that her price was more than reasonable, and I almost picked one out to buy when I smacked myself in the head and said- duh Lynn! Make one! So, I did.

Harris looooves his "thumb mitten", and it is working PERFECTLY. He is so proud of himself, and wants to wear it all the time. He continues to wear it, (he has had it about 2 weeks, and I think has broken the habit) and I am happy to let him wear it whenever he wants to! I highly recommend you check out this woman's shop if you are in need of a thumb guard. Her guards are made with a grommet that the kids cannot undo, whereas, I used a hook and eye closure that Harris can take off if he wants to. Do you have a thumb sucker? What have you tried???

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Something Crafty!

I know that I was just whining and complaining about the fact that I have been feeling not-so-crafty lately, but I just stumbled across a picture that reminded me that I had something I wanted to share!! I am going to mention my friend Kat here again... not because I am secretly infatuated with her, and no, she is not my roommate, or my long lost sister, or my second cousin twice removed that thinks she is my sister... We hang out once a week, and our babies were born 2 days apart, so uh... yeh. ANYWAYS, we held Stella's birthday party on Arden's birthday, and vice versa! Well, since I am a big fan of handmade, I decided to make little Arden a play kitchen. I knew, however, that space was limited, so I created a fabric play kitchen that could be rolled up and stored when not in use, as well as taken along with the family on car trips and the like! I think her mamas liked it, and it was a blast to make!

I was very excited to use some mini rainbow fabric that I have had in my stash for a few months. I bought it on a whim and have been saving for the perfect project. This one totally fit the bill! The top in cream canvas with black burners, embroidered to look like they are hot hot hot! The "sink" which, unfortunately doesn't show up very well in the photo is made of a vinyl, and I embroidered "hot" and "cold" onto the faucet handles.

I am tempted to make some more of these cuties!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Doing it Right... My Baby Girl Turns 1

In the spirit of renewed sense of self, I wanted to post about a big event in our lives! Our newest addition, baby Stella, turned 1 year on December 4th, 2010! It was hard to believe that time had gone so quickly with our first, Harris, when he turned 1, but the time flew even faster with Stella. Sometimes, it seems as though she is still a wee babe, as she is such a petite little thing, even now. At her 1 year appointment, (she was really 13 months) she weighed a scant 18.75lbs! She still has only 3 teeth (even at her current age of 13 and a half months) and she is not even remotely interested in walking. All of these little things combined make her seem so bitty and babylike, that I have realized I will have to (or rather, want to) wait a little longer to get pregnant with child #3. Harris seemed so much older at 13 months than Stella does, and I am so enjoying her continued babyhood.

On December 2nd, we had a birthday party for her. It was fantastic, and I loved every minute of it! My friend Kat came over the day before to help blow up a ridiculous number of white pearlescent balloons. She must have had some serious beans the night before or something...

Here is the little sweetness herself, donning her new made by me tutu! This tutu, by the way was ridiculously easy to make and involved no sewing besides one line to connect the elastic into a circle! I will defiantly make more, but next time I will go with brighter colors for sure. The gold tulle that I used seemed to mute the whole thing. Ah well, you live and you learn!

I was really quite pleased with the spread of food. We made cheese fondue, spinach dip, fruit salad, Facon wrapped Water Chestnuts (yes, I wrote facon, not bacon- we used MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips) with Teriyake Sauce to dip, MorningStar Chik'n Nuggets, and Turkey Meatballs. As for the beverages, I purchased some Starbuck's Frappucino drinks and emptied the contents into a pitcher. The Frappucino itself was served to the adults, while the freshly washed bottles were refilled with chocolate milks for the kids. I thought it was ingenious. No one drank them lol. Aah well, I enjoyed them for the next few days, and they looked darn tootin' cute I tell ya! I saved the bottles for future parties. Maybe when the kids are older...

In a past life, these were bottles of Starbuck's Frappucino

In addition, I also served Mimosas. I served spiked punch at Harris' 1st Birthday party as well, and while I got some strange looks initially, I promise, that punch bowl was BONE DRY by the time the party was over, and the mimosas did not fail to elicit the same effect. So, if you ever think to yourself "should I serve alcohol at my child's birthday party?" I say, if there are going to be adults, the answer is yes- the moms and dads will thank you- maybe secretly, but thank you nonetheless!

The cake was made by me from a crumb cake mix that I got at Trader Joes. I used 2 boxes for a 2 layer cake, and let me tell you, it was the best birthday cake I have EVER had! I made the icing from scratch, and it turned out really well. The cake was simple, and decorated with a mini banner that I made from construction paper.

Mini banner on top of the cake... probably my favorite detail!

Here we are, gearing up for the birthday song and a cake mess.

 Amazingly enough, the little lady didn't want the cake. AT ALL. She didn't even try the icing! Oh well, I don't need to tell you that that fact meant more cake for me... yes siree! 

 I must also mention, that this year, Stella's birthday fell on the 2nd night of Hanukkah, and following the party, we made sure to light our menorah. Happy Birthday Little Stella!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Where Credit is Due

I want to send a thank-you shout out to Kate, (who I can unfortunately not link to because I cannot access her blogger profile...) who blogs at who left a very lovely comment on my last blog post, "In a Rut".

Among other splendid things, she writes:
"As a reader, I always enjoy what you have to say. I'm pretty picky about blogs and you are one of the few who seems to consistently tell wonderful stories about particular moments in your family's history. As my partner and I continue to struggle to find a way to bring family into being the stories are as inspirational to me as they are mundane to you (I hope that makes some sense)."

Kate, that made perfect and complete sense to me, and I soooo appreciate that comment! I think that I really needed to hear that last bit about the stories being as inspirational to you as they are mundane to me. That is how they feel so often... purely mundane and nothing else. Your comment made me think about the blogs that I read, and the stories that they tell. I often find the stories to be moving and titillating, all the while realizing that they may be just run-o-the-mill daily experiences for the blogger. Thank you THANK YOU Kate, you really made my day!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In a RUT

I recently sat, staring at my blog with a bit of bitterness lingering in my mouth. To me, this blog started off with such excitement and promise. I was giddy over the potential of my online diary (with pictures)! It was originally meant just for me. I suppose it is still, meant for just me, but it seems to be painting a picture of my current life as dull, boring, and uneventful. I suppose I am feeling that way as of late. It seems to be an accurate depiction. I look at my profile snippit and read this"

"A conglomeration of crafty, homey, greening goodness, Family Style Love is a way for me to find my way through life as a new mom in a two-mom household. With recent discoveries that I am becoming a dirty hippy, I am walking myself, and anyone else who wants to come with me, through the increasingly wonderful world that is my life, filled, of course, with Family Style Love."

Only, I don't feel that I am fulfilling any of those claims to myself or others. Crafty? Yeh, whatever, I can't even remember the last time I did anything that I would consider "crafty". Homey? Ummmm, the last time I posted anything about a project in my house was last March, I think, when we finished our main bathroom remodel. Greening goodness? Pshaw! I think that the last time I mentioned anything "green" was in some rant about chemicals in our daily lives... once again... I want to be inspiring. Of course, inspiring to others would be nice, but I want to inspire myself as well. I have not been doing that. I have a lot of things I am interested in doing, but have I done any of them? Nope. Is it a lack of time? Is it a lack of energy? Is it a lack of desire? Is it a lack of patience? Is it a lack of support? I have no idea. I feel so blase lately, and it is really bringing me down. What would a person be classified as when they have over 500 inspiring pictures of home decor ideas, for example, but has yet to utilize a single idea? Am I a perfectionist? Am I unenthusiastic? Am I broke? Am I all of the above? ugh. Any insight out there? What can I do to shake this nonsense???

Saturday, January 8, 2011


TU·MUL·TU·OUS  [too-muhl-choo-uhs, tyoo-]

1. full of tumult or riotousness; marked by disturbance and uproar: a tumultuous celebration.

2. raising a great clatter and commotion; disorderly or noisy: a tumultuous crowd of students.

3. highly agitated, as the mind or emotions; distraught; turbulent.
Relaxing for the evening, I ponder the sweet, tender moments I had had with my son at his bedtime. Sigh, how delicate were his smiles and the look of wonderment in his eyes as I read a book with him. How sincere and gentle he was. I told him I would read the book twice, then it was time for lights out and bedtime. After the book was done (for the second time) I reminded him of our deal. He asked me sweetly if he could stay up to read the book again by himself. I told him that it was ok, as long as there was no singing, talking, or yelling happening also. "I promise" he said, and I retired. About 30 minutes later, I hear energetic crying upstairs. 3 minutes later, the crying has turned to sobbing and I realize there is no self- soothing to be had. After going upstairs to ask what he needed, and hearing that he wanted saline nose spray, I admittedly felt guilty. What a horrid mother I was to let my son scream and cry for that long, when all he wanted was some spray for his poor little nose. Of course, I felt horrid for only about 10 seconds before he let me know that he wanted the nose spray so that he could receive his special treat for receiving a spray; a piece of candy corn. Yes folks, that is how it works in our house. BRIBERY. And bribery with candy at that... My frustration turned to giggles, however, when I let him know that he had broken his promise, and his response was "No, I fixed it!"


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