Friday, February 17, 2012

Fluffy Bottom

Babies (er, toddlers) in cloth diapers are just so darn cute.

We would cloth diaper for the cuteness factor alone. The money savings, reduced chemical exposure, and absence of late-night diaper runs are just a bonus. I mean, look at that cute fluffy butt. He's just adorable. (But I'm biased.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm A Believer

You may remember a few weeks ago when I posted about dealing with breakouts. I've been blessed with extraordinarily clear skin (even as a teenager), but things changed drastically for me post-partum. All of a sudden I found myself with numerous breakouts a month. It was as if my skin changed overnight and I simply didn't know how to care for it. So I sent out a virtual SOS, asking for suggestions on skin products. I tried a few different things, but one product line emerged as the clear winner...
Philosophy On A Clear Day Skin System

Seriously. This stuff is amazing. I saw noticeable improvement in my existing breakouts within one week. And by two weeks, my skin was all but clear again.

I started with the On A Clear Day Skin System, which includes a cleanser, all-over acne treatment, acne spot treatment, and retinol clarifying lotion. Per the recommendation of the woman at Sephora, I also picked up some Hope In A Jar Oil-Free Moisturizer. Twice a day, I wash my face with the cleanser and apply the all-over acne treatment (for large breakouts) or spot treatment (for more isolated breakouts) as needed. At night, I use the retinol lotion provided in the kit, which helps even skin tone and lighten scars from old breakouts. In the morning, I use the oil-free moisturizer before applying my foundation. Three steps, twice a day. It's as easy as that.

Shout out to my friend and fellow-writer Mandy for the recommendation. This stuff is pricy, but it works. I'm now a believer. A devoted follower of all things Philosophy.

P.S. I was in no way compensated by Philosophy for this review. Opinions are my own. And awesome, if I do say so myself.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Day In The Life

I haven't done one of these for awhile, so here's a look at Will's schedule at 18 months old. Although he's with Grandma two and a half days a week, this is what a typical Tuesday looks like when he's home with Mama.

Will - 18 Months Old

7:45 AM: Wake up, diaper change, and snuggles with Mama.

8:00 AM: Breakfast. Usually a flax toaster waffle, banana, some other kind of fruit, and milk.

8:30 AM: Play time! Will's favorite toy is his train table, so we typically start there. He also enjoys his blocks, puzzles, fridge farm and trucks.

9:30 AM: Get dressed for the day, pack up the diaper bag, and head out the door.

10:00 AM: Story time at the library. We read books, sing songs, and play with friends.

10:45 AM: Snack. He usually has a fruit and vegetable pouch (Ella's Organic) on our way home from the library.

11:00 AM: Quiet time with Mama. We read books and sing quiet songs before he lays down.

11:30 AM: Nap time. Length varies, but is typically 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

1:30 PM: Lunch. Will usually asks for peanut butter, so he has a peanut butter sandwich, fresh fruit, cheese, and milk. We offer veggies, but he just feeds them to the dog.

2:00 PM: Play time! We typically return to the train table, but I try and do a fine motor activity too (like an art project, object sorting/exploration, etc).

3:30 PM: Snack. He usually asks for another pouch, but we try and limit those to one a day. Instead we offer him raisins, cheese and crackers.

4:00 PM: More play time! Will is very active in the afternoon, so we typically end up chasing each other and Stella through the house. I can't wait for the weather to get nicer so we can head out to the park.

5:00 PM: Daddy gets home! Will loves to greet Daddy at the door ("Dada, ho-ma!"). Daddy and Will typically play trains while Mama starts dinner. Will really likes to "help" cook though, so sometimes he insists on staying in the kitchen.

6:00 PM: Dinner time. We offer Will whatever we're having, but he's typically not interested. Instead, he usually eats pasta in tomato sauce, another peanut butter sandwich, fresh fruit, yogurt, and milk. He's more prone to try his veggies at dinner time, but again, they typically go right to the dog.

6:30 PM: Quiet(er) play. This isn't really quiet play, but it's a little more mello. We usually play with blocks or trucks in the living room, read books, and look through his animal flashcards.

7:00 PM: Bath time. We now start bath time by asking Will if he wants to sit on his potty seat (this isn't to get him to "go" per se, but just to get him more comfortable with the potty in general). Will likes to pick out his wash cloth and put his toys in the tub. When the bath is over, he likes to watch the water go down the drain. Then Daddy helps Will brush his teeth and put on his jammies.

7:30 PM: Bed time. After Will gets his jammies on, he gets a pacifier out of his crib (they are only allowed at bed time and nap time) and picks out a book. Mama and Will read the book he picked and sing two songs ("Beautiful Boy" and "Hush Little Baby"). We snuggle a bit in the rocking chair, and then I lay him down in his crib. I cover him up with his quilt while he snuggles up with his blanket. He's typically asleep within 5-10 minutes.

Overnight: Will still wakes up once a night on average. Sometimes he's able to put himself back to sleep. Sometimes he needs to rock in the chair with Mama for a bit. Some nights he's up for 10 minutes, some nights he's up for over an hour. It really just depends. But we're all looking forward to the days when sleeping through the night happens a bit more on the regular.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Because People That Have Known You Since You Were 13 Are The Very Best People

Ten adults, five children, one hell of a weekend

Every winter, my high school girlfriends and I get our families together for a weekend getaway. We've been doing girls-only sleepovers for the past 10 years, but we decided a few years ago that we wanted to get our husbands and kiddos in on the fun. So we all converge on a condo-style suite in the Wisconsin Dells for food, fun, swimming, and (once the kids are in their pajamas asleep) drinking.

The craziness quotient has increased exponentially since we started adding kids to the mix, but it's an absolute blast. The kids play. We lounge, laugh and cook for one another. We splash in the water park and play the Newlywed Game. We remind ourselves of why old friends (and their families) are some of the very best people in the world.

Cheers to a great weekend, guys! I can't wait for next year.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


A couple of weeks ago I made a casual call to a local preschool asking if kids had to be potty trained prior to enrolling (they don't, but they want you to be working on it). I chatted a bit with the school director, who then asked, "would you like to be placed on the waiting list for Spring 2013?"

Excuse me, what?

I've heard the stories about crazy preschool waiting lists in larger cities. But this is northeast Wisconsin. I honestly thought I was being the crazy mom by calling so early. And I wasn't even calling to register. I was simply calling about an enrollment/readiness question.

So Ben and I whipped it into high gear and set up a few appointments to tour preschools in our community. All were lovely. The teachers seemed great, and the facilities were nice. But there was one preschool that seemed like a really great fit. 

It's a small community preschool run by a very experienced early childhood educator. They run a Monetessori-esque curriculum, but integrate a different math and science program to more closely mirror what is taught in our local school district. The children range in age from 2 1/2 to 5 years old, so the curriculum builds to meet various educational and developmental needs. They focus a lot on the primary Montessori principles of self-direction, experiential learning, and helping one another.

The space is very home-like, with a kitchen and snack area, couches and chairs, various desks and learning stations, and plenty of soft, natural light. They really work to facilitate a community at the school, getting parents involved as much as possible.

We happened to be there during snack time, which really knocked our socks off. Two of the children were assigned to help with snack that day, so they set the tables with cups, plates and napkins, while the other children passed around platters of Kashi cereal and blueberries. Each child served themselves, but waited to eat until every child had filled their plate. For real. Most of these kids were 3 and 4 years old. It was the greatest exhibition of self-control and manners I had ever seen. 

Will (who at 17 months doesn't have the self-control or understanding to wait), started with his blueberries right away. The little boy next to us said (quite sweetly), "Wait! Not everybody has their food yet! It'll just be another second. We have to be patient!" Die.

So needless to say, we're thrilled. And while I don't want Will to grow up a second faster than necessary, I can't wait for next spring. Preschool is going to be great for him.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Looking for an ass hat? Well, welcome.

In a totally excellent turn of events, one of the top Google searches that now drives traffic to my blog is "ass hat".

Nothing like a little search engine optimization to turn your day around. I feel like Google just gave me a big virtual high five.

If you haven't seen The Ass Hat post yet, read on.