Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Tell if You are a MoM (Mother of Many)

Found this article on Because I could relate to almost all of them on some level, I thought I'd share it with others.

You know you are a MoM (Mother of Many) when:

1. You know where the bathroom is in any major store you visit.

2. Your car has more seatbelts than windows.

3. Your grocery budget is higher than your house payment.

4. You do most of your thinking and praying in the bathroom.

5. Creative decorating means lots of bookshelves and bunkbeds.

6. You no longer carry a purse, but use the diaper bag instead.

7. Your idea of good commercial building design means a comfy mother's lounge.

8. You constantly find yourself marveling how short the time is between birth and toddling, birth and schoolage, birth and graduation, etc.

9. Even your two year old knows that they must hold someone's hand in the grocery store.

10. You have a routine for stopping pacifiers, toilet training, cup training, and every childhood “phase”.

11. You have at least three witty replies to "Are they all yours?"

12. You just really wish people would not think they were clever for saying, "Don't you know what causes that?"

13. You have forgotten how many times you have been asked, "Are you Mormon or Catholic?"

14. You are still afraid to tell your husband how many more kids you want!

15. Your food storage takes up more room than your entire kitchen... And that is just for this week!

16. You have so much laundry that when you finally get to the bottom of the pile, it's actually stuck to the floor!

17. You spend a lot of time at church in the foyer or mother’s lounge, wondering why you can’t just stay home and listen to the baby fuss there!

18. You spend more money on diapers each month than you do on entertainment!

19. You instantly sympathize with any woman who is obviously pregnant in the middle of summer.

20. You are up to double digits in years that you have spent with a baby attached to you in one way or another!

21. Taking the kids grocery shopping with you makes you feel like a mother duck.

22. You hate carpools because you know who is going to get stuck doing the driving.

23. When you see photos of castles and grand mansions, all you can think is how many bedrooms it has (YES!), and how much space all those other rooms provide for the kids to mess up (NO WAY!).

24. You know that every time you move the couch or couch cushions, you will find Cheerios under them.... Even if you have not had Cheerios in the house!

25. You know the “law of crumbs”. “Any food item that will crumble will produce twice its own weight in crumbs.”

26. You know by experience that paint NEVER dries until it has been spread around in all the places you did NOT want it to be.

27. You know what to use to remove lipstick, shortening, and indelible marker from any surface.

28. You know how to get smashed raisins out of a carpet, and how to get bubblegum out of hair, and so do all your older kids.

29. You are certain one of your kids is sneaking rolls of toilet paper out of the house and selling them because you know there is no way they could be using that much of it, even if there ARE a lot of bottoms in your house.

30. When you go to order fast food, you order 6 hamburgers, one with ketchup only, one plain, one with no pickles or onions, two with no pickles, onions or mustard, and one with nothing but cheese, plus one fish sandwich, one chicken sandwich, one large hamburger, and one large hamburger with bacon. You then have to repeat yourself three times so the person at the window can get it right.

31. When your kids are learning a foreign language, you wonder how it is that they can find the words to insult each other faster than they can find the words to say “I'm sorry.”

32. If two kids bring home identical toys from their kid's meal, you know you have to put names on them first thing, or they will fight over whose is whose, even if both of them have one in their hand.

33. You spend a lot of time looking at the little kids, urging them on to the next step, while still wishing they could stay little just a bit longer.

34. You have a full baby book for your first two children, half of one for the next one, and nearly empty baby books or none at all for the later ones.

35. When the many-times-handed down clothing is finally too worn out to hand down again, you still have a hard time letting it go because it has so many good memories attached.

36. You don't have a wardrobe of “fat clothes” and “skinny clothes”. You have "regular clothes”, “pregnant clothes”, and “nursing clothes”.

37. When a child outgrows something, you put it away in a box in the closet or garage, even if you don't have a younger child of that gender, because you just know you are going to need it eventually!

38. Your idea of a great dining set is one that has lots of expansion leaves. When you see a corporate boardroom on TV, all you can think is what a great dining table the conference table would make.

39. You can list at least three different technological advances in diaper design which you, personally, have used on your kids.

40. You have at least one specialized medical skill because at least one of your kids has some kind of potentially risky condition which you deal with.

41. You sometimes wonder how it is that other moms get really nice gifts for holidays, and you end up with 6 pieces of cardboard with “I love you Mom your the best.” written on it in crooked writing. And you have a box in your closet that you put them in.

42. You cook dinner in pots large enough to bathe a baby in, and frequently lament over the insufficient size of convenience appliances like mixers, waffle irons, and crock pots – and you compromise by owning two of each.

43. Your car is large enough to hold the entire family, but if you go camping, you have to rent a trailer just to hold all the camping equipment.

44. You can't believe with the size of the larger RVs out there that they couldn't fit more beds into at least ONE of them, and you really wish they'd design one with two bathrooms!

45. If you see a home design with a Master Retreat room, you think what a great nursery it would make.

46. You can quote entire pages from Dr. Seuss without having to pause to think about it, and can sing any number of Raffi or Disney songs from memory.

47. You can think of more than three great Christmas gifts for a child of any age... Because you always have a child close to the age in question!

48. You have at least one story stored up for each of your kids which is guaranteed to embarrass them if you recount it in public.

49. You know, and are thankful, that when they get too old to send to their rooms, that possession of the car keys gives you the ultimate power!

50. When the first two kids move out, you can't believe how much smaller your family feels.

51. You think that a mini-van is just too small to be a practical family car - but you wish they'd make a shopping cart about that size!

52. Getting the whole family to fit into the Wal-Mart photo booth, and then getting a picture when nobody is crying, making bunny ears, blinking, or sticking their finger in their nose is a major triumph!

53. Your stretchmarks might better be described as "pleats".

54. Your kids don't need as many toys, because they always have someone to play with.

55. Other people dream of buying a Porche or other sports car, but all you can think is that it wouldn't be good for anything because it is not cheap enough for your husband to commute in, and it doesn't have enough seats for the family, and there's no WAY you are going to let your teenager drive that!

56. You have to take off your shoes to count all the kids.

Written by Laura Wheeler

Co-Owner of Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc, and Firelight Web Studio – Laura writes instructional materials, produces infosites, and builds affordable websites for her business startup clients. Her varied experience allows her to give exceptional service, and to produce instructions on a surprising range of topics. Laura is a busy mom of eight, homeschooler, and home business owner.

This article may be reprinted if it is unaltered, and if the signature line is included with the article..


Friday, May 28, 2010

Clipping Coupons

Here's my Frugal Friday advice.  Clip coupons.  I know it sounds so simple, and those who don't do it probably think it won't save them enough to bother.  But it will.  When I first started cutting them out, I used to keep track to see if it was even worth the effort.  And let me tell you, some days it takes effort.  When I was keeping track of our savings I would count every dollar saved, whether by coupon or sale.  When I was store hopping (that's for another post) I was saving anywhere from $200 - $400 a month. That's HUGE!  Here's some easy tips on clipping coupons:
  • Invest in a coupon file system so you can find them easily.
  • Cut out more than you think you'll need. (You can always throw them away if you don't use them)
  • Don't buy something just because you have a coupon.
  • If something is on sale (that you use frequently), and you have more than one coupon, use them both.  If it's an item you use regularly it's worth it to buy it for the extra savings. (Don't do this unless its something you use a lot, or something like canned goods that have a long shelf life)
  • Don't get hung up on shopping at just one store.  Look through the sale flyers and see which store has the better sales for what you need to purchase.
I've added a bunch of coupon sites to my right sidebar.  If you don't get the Sunday paper you can just go to these sites and print out the ones you want.  Some of them require you to install a coupon reader.  It downloads in just a minute and you'll be on your way to saving more.

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Update

I didn't want to bore everyone with daily updates, but I did want to continue, because I'm sure there is someone out there who needs encouragement that they can get through this. You can do it! Just have patience.

Day 4 - We made HUGE progress today.  I noticed periods of time where she was actually playing and had forgotten about it.  Not long periods, but progress non the less.  Total crying time: Approx. 8 hours. YAY!!!

Day 5 - Much the same as Day 4.  A few more periods of time without missing it, but not many more.  I'm beginning to feel like its working though.

Day 6  - Today was MUCH better. She's still asking....and still crying, but she's going longer in between.  Total crying time: Approx. 5 hours.  WOOHOO!!!

Day 8 - I think we're going to make it.  Lots of crying first thing when she gets up, lots of crying in the car, but other than that just a bunch of whining to see if I'll give in.  She's truly ecstatic when naptime comes and I give it to her. We're down to about 2 - 3 hours of crying! YEAH!!!

I'm starting to think that maybe I was as addicted to it as she was :). After all I was giving it to her because I didn't like the pitch of her scream. Because it kept her quiet there was a benefit in it for the rest of us.  But, around Day 6 I noticed a BIG improvement in her speech.  Before, only about 50% of her words were clear, now it's about 75%.  It's getting easier to have a conversation with her now.

Car rides are still the hardest.

I'll continue to update every few days on how it's going, but I don't think there will be any more drastic changes on a daily basis.  If you're weaning your child, or thinking of doing it, just know you need to stick with it. You can do it!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Day 3

SOOO tempted to give it back.  I won't, but I'm losing my hair from pulling it all out.  When we took the pacifier from Princess Smiles (who is now 8) it only took 3 days and then she stopped asking.  Let me just assure you, this is NOT the case with Princess Joy.  I'm not sure she'll ever stop asking at the rate she's going.  LOL This is the face I get all the time when she's whining for it.

I was able to distract her for small amounts of time throughout the day - maybe 10 - 15 minutes 4 or 5 times.  We're taking baby steps, but at least we're moving :)

Total crying time: Approx. 9 - 10 hours.

Hopefully we show better progress tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Day 2

Day 2 was not better than day 1.  When she woke up I took it, and hid it, right away.  Within 10 or 15 minutes she was crying for it.  The entire day was like this.  Crying, whining....whining, crying.  Let's just say I'm almost bald from pulling my hair out. LOL  I was determined to get through this, but not sure how much more I could take.  Everyone was starting to complain of a headache from the constant crying, including her!  I was sooo tempted to give in just for some peace and quiet, but realized that's what got us here in the first place.  So, I stuck it out.

The lost pacifier was found in the afternoon by one of my older girls.  She found it in the dirty laundry.....ewww!  Thankfully, she brought it to me instead of giving it to Princess Joy.  We made it! Somehow I'm not convinced this will get any easier anytime soon.  We'll see.

Total crying time: Approx. 10-11 hours.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pacifier Addiction Withdrawals - Day 1

Let me just give you a quick overview as to how I got to this point in my life.  Princess Joy is our 5th child.  She was preceeded by her sister who was a VERY difficult baby.  She cried 16 - 20 hours a day for the first year of her life.  This made for 2 very weary parents.  So, when Princess Joy entered the world, with some very similar traits, it was very difficult.  The icing on the cake was that her screaming literally hurt our ears.  If she started while we were holding her it felt like she was damaging our hearing.  You know, the kind that it movies they show it breaking glass.  She never broke any glass, but we didn't doubt that she could if given the opportunity.  Not sure if it was the pitch of the cry or what, but we couldn't deal with it.  So, we gave her a pacifier.

We soon discovered that it saved our eardrums, so we gave it to her whenever she would cry or scream.  Well, in the past two years, we've had times where we've tried to break her of it, but she would get an ear infection, cold, etc. The crying would begin, and to save our hearing, we'd put it back in her mouth.

Now we have a two year old, who wants this thing in her mouth 24 hours a day.  She cries for it all the time, and the pitch of her cry is no better than it was two years ago. Her world came to an abrupt halt, the other morning, when she lost it! The girls and I searched the entire house for it, to no avail.  Six hours later, when my son got home from school, she was still crying for it.  His finding skills are amazing, and anytime the girls are missing something he can find it for them. When he couldn't find it, I decided to suck it up and break her of it once and for all (after all she is 2 now). I was not driving 1/2 hour to the store to buy her a new one!

Bedtime came with a total of approx. 11 hours of crying/whining and me only pulling out a few hundred of my hairs throughout the day :).  Then, as I was putting the kids in bed, I remembered I had a spare hiding!  I quickly told myself  'NO! You made it through the first day. Just keep going.'  But, to be totally honest, I felt a wave of compassion come over me.  How hard this must be for her.  She's had this thing all day, every day, for 2 years.  So, I told my hubby I was going to give her the spare BUT only at naptime & bedtime.  He laughed thinking I'd cave, but I knew I needed to stick to my guns.  So, I gave it to her and told her she could only have it for bed, and then she had to give it to me the next morning. You should have seen the look on her face when I gave it to her.  She was so excited!

(This is not a pic of her happy to have it back, just one with it hanging out of her mouth)

  We started calling her pacifier the *blah*. When she was little she tried to say 'Pa' for short but it always came out blah. So that's what everyone in this house calls it. :)

Shutter Love Tuesday

This has to be one of my favorite pictures.  I don't have photoshop (or any other editing software), so this is 'au naturale'.  It was the first picture I took that got me interested in photography as a hobby. With the wacky spring we've had my lilacs did do well, so I thought I'd reminice with this photo.

 If you have a photo you want to share, check out:


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Indestructable Pacifier Teething Ring - Product Review

OK, truth be told, my 2 year old daughter still has a pacifier.  We're in the process of taking it, but that's for another blog posting.  About a month ago, she started biting holes in her pacifiers, which I assume is because she's getting her 2 year molars.  Anyway, she was going through a 2-pack of pacifiers in an afternoon.  There are 2 reasons this is a problem for me.

1.) It gets expensive fast.
2.) I live 1/2 hour to the closest store.

So, on my next trip into town I found the RazBaby teething ring pacifier!  I figured if it looked like a pacifier she might take it, and I hoped that she'd not want to use it as a pacifier because it's bigger and doesn't work the same.  It worked amazing as far as a teething ring goes.  It's indestructable!  Never again will I need to buy another pacifier.  I still have one problem she's using it as a regular pacifier.  Because it's bigger I can't understand anything she says.  I tell her to take it out of her mouth - which she does - but it didn't break the addiction.  Oh well, at least it's not breaking my purse anymore :).  It makes a great conversation piece too.

If you'd like to see what other kind of great baby products they have CLICK HERE.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Online Shopping + Frugal Friday = An Amazing Deal

I've always been a window shopper.  I'm not one to go walk around the store looking for a gift, etc.  I'd much rather be home & look through a catalog, or online.  Most of the time I will even buy it online. 

When deciding whether to buy online or go to the store there is a lot to consider.  I live 1/2 from the closest store, so its a 45 mile round trip for me.  Not very practical.  The gas to get there costs more than shipping charges.  But even if you live close don't rule out shopping online.  Here's my latest example:

When my daughter was born a friend gave me a gift card to a specific store at the mall.  I never go to the mall . . . . and I mean never.  I might have been 3 times in the past 2 years.  So, I never think to go to this store, even with a gift card in my purse.  Finally this morning I decided to check out their online store (I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner).  Here's what I got:

  • 5 pairs of shorts - ($10 each X 5 = $50 value)
  • 1 pair of jeans - (1 pair = $15 value)
  • 5 shirts - ($10 each X 5 = $50)
  • $5 shippin ALL the time.
$120 total +tax.  This stuff is not ridiculously priced, but none the less, this is a TON of money.  I wouldn't even consider spending this much all at once. But check out how it worked out.

  • 5 pairs of shorts - ($5 each X 5 = $25)
  • 1 pair of jeans - ($3.99)...I thought this was awesome :)
  • 5 shirts ($5 each X 5 = $25)
  • $5 shipping
Ok, now I have the order down to $58.99.  Here's another tip....
In your internet search field put in the store name & promo code (or coupon code). There are sights out there that find them for you.  You can get percentages off, free shipping, and more.  I never place an order without checking for this first.  I found a code for 15% off my order, which saved me another $8.10.  Now my total was down to $50.89 +tax. Don't forget the only reason I was shopping at this particular store was my giftcard.  Thanks to my amazing friend my giftcard was $50.

After they added in tax my total was $2.04.  Yes, that's right!

$120 worth of clothes for $2.04! Now that's my kind of bargain!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I WON!!!

I won this gift set from Gift-A-Cupcake! She was expecting her second baby and whoever came closest to the 'birth stats' won a set of bath items from Springdale Spa. It was me! And I have to tell you....I was even more excited when I used them. The scent is warm vanilla sugar and is amazing!

Gift-A-Cupcake offers these awesome gift baskets shaped like cupcakes. I recommend you go check them out HERE!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cleaning Using the Three Step Method

I haven't done Tip Tuesday in a while, so here's a new one.

I've read a few books on organizing, decluttering, etc.  The best advice I ever heard was this....I call it the 3 step method.
  • Put it away
  • Throw it away
  • Give it away
The concept is to put everything into one of these categories.  If it doesn't have a home then either throw it away or give it away.  I know it sounds harsh, but its an excellent way to go about it.  I'm not perfect at it - by any means - but I'm working on it. 

I used to think, "I might need it someday" or "Once I get rid of it I'll need it."  Then I heard someone say that if you are keeping things that you 'might' need or use someday then you are not trusting that God will provide it when you do need it.  That totally changed my outlook.  I'm working on decluttering.  If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Readers are Made on the Lap of a Parent is giving away 4 books, a personalized library bookbag, bookmarks, reading achievement awards and stickers!

This awesome giveaway features a personalized library book bag from HomeSpun Threads. The theme for the book bag is Fairy Tale Hero's. Your little princess could win a Princess and the Pea bag or your little prince could win the above Dragon or Prince bag. The books in this giveaway are the 4 shown above.

The contest ends Thursday, May 20th at midnight and the winners will be announced Friday May 21st.

Click on the link and enter to win!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bed Bug Bumper - Product Review

*DISCLAIMER* - This is a product review only.  I am not advising you sleep with your child.  Please do your own research on the pros & cons of co-sleeping before making that decision.

Here's a little background into how I came across the website.

From the day my husband & I were married I always said I would never co-sleep with my children.  I wasn't against it, it just wasn't for us.  Then came our 6th child.  It started the very night she was born.  From 7pm - 4am she just wanted to be held.  During the day she would sleep anywhere: crib, floor, car seat, it really didn't matter.  But come bedtime and she would be up every 10 - 15 minutes if she was not in someones arms.  Let me just say this got old fast.  By the time she was a week old I couldn't function anymore.  Then one night while absolutely unable to function I fell asleep with her on the couch.  She only woke up once to nurse and that was it!  I wondered if I was onto something.  So I continued to sleep on the couch with her.  I tried my best to be safe about it.  I would sleep sitting up, with her cradled in my arms between me and the back of the couch.  My back was suffering....but I was sleeping :) 

I know there are many people who are dead set against sleeping with your child, whether it be for personal reasons or safety reasons.  But let me just say that the safety of my other children, as well as my own safety, was at risk.  I was falling asleep standing up while making lunches, holding the baby, etc.  Not to mention the fact that as soon as I got in the car it was a struggle to stay awake behind the wheel.  So please keep that in mind before giving judgement. Thanks! :)

Once I realized she was able to sleep at night, and it wasn't a matter of her days and nights being backwards, I started to look into products that might assist her (and I) in getting her on track (remember, I was against co-sleeping).  I tried swaddling her tighter, I tried having her sleep in the car seat, I tried the womb bear/sleep sheep, I tried having her sleep with one of my shirts, and more.  Nothing was working.  Then I found the co-sleeper.  The problem was that my husband and I were pretty sure she wanted body heat/cudding and that's why she was sleeping so good while being held.  With a co-sleeper they are not technically next to you. I thought it was on the expensive side if it wasn't going to work. 

While doing research on the pros and cons of co-sleeping (I was starting to give in to the sleep deprivation) I came across They make foam bed rails that fit under your sheets but work like a regular guard rail.  The whole reason they came up in my search was because they make one for co-sleeping.  The cost was really reasonable ($20 + $6 shipping).  I figured it was worth a try.  After all, sleeping on the couch was getting old and my body was starting to feel it. 

From the very first night we were only getting up once in the middle of the night.  This was great considering she was only about 3 weeks old.  I put her between me and the bed rail.  It felt so good to get a decent night sleep.  I'm still not totally comfortable sleeping with her, but now that I have a good month of semi-sleep, I've started working on transitioning her to her cradle.  I recently heard somewhere that, when it comes to babies being able to regulate their own body temperature, women should really be pregnant for another 3 months.  That would be the 'ideal' for the infant.  I'm not sure whether this is true or not, but it seems to be the case here.  She'll be 3 months old next week, and I'm already seeing a huge difference.  In the mean time, during this transition, I'm very grateful I found go bed bug :).  I feel safer than putting her between us and now I'm able to function during the day.  If you have decided to co-sleep I highly recommend this item.  You can visit them gobedbug by clicking HERE.

On top of the great product, the service was super fast.  They also offer regular bed rails as well as additional products.  Don't hesitate to go check them out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Day Tribute

My mother raised me on her own until I was 8 years old. At that time she married a wonderful man, who adopted me, and treated me as his own. She was only married to my dad for 9 years when he suddenly passed away. This time she was left with 4 children to raise on her own. Let me just tell you she is amazing! I wouldn't be the woman, or mother, I am today if it weren't for her love and guidance. She never gave up on me (that's for another blog entry), and for that I am forever grateful.

She is an amazing mother.

She is an amazing grandmother.

But most of all...
She is an amazing woman!

I thought it was quite fitting that she ended up getting married on Mother's Day weekend. I'm not sure why. Maybe because she's been an amazing mother and she deserves the perfect gift of happiness. Maybe it's just because so many have prayed, for so long, that someone would come into her life and give her a love like no other. I thank God for bringing her somone who loves her, makes her laugh, brings her joy, and puts a smile on her face. Now she'll get to be an amazing wife!

I Love You, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday





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