Saturday, December 31, 2011

Do it yourself Night Cream

Yeah, that's right, I'm still 'makin' stuff".

My latest is a night cream for my face.  I also made an aftershave balm for hubbers, but didn't take any pics, so maybe I'll post about that later.  They all go into baby food jars in the end so they'll all look the same regardless ;)

I got this recipe from the Elliot Homestead blog, which I found off of pinterest.  Three ingredients, easy peasy, all safe, and all easily pronounceable.

Night Face Cream:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
3 Tablespoons shea butter
2-3 drops of tea tree oil (has antisecptic, antifungal properites)

This makes a small amount, so preservatives aren't really necessary, although you could always add a single cap of vitamin E.

My shea butter is more on the thick, sticky, gluey consistency rather than the crystallized/grainy I see in her photo so our end product seems to have different consistencies.  Also, I hate the smell of 'my' shea butter, I used 3 drops of tea tree oil and wanted to use 4, but also wanted to make sure if 'felt okay' on my face before I added more.

This took about 5 minutes to make, maybe.  Used it tonight for the first time, I was a little worried that it would leave my skin shiny or greasy but that is not the case at all!

It feels wonderful, WONDERFUL, going on, like rubbing a silk scarf on your face. 

It absorbs into the skin nicely and the scent is very faint, thank goodness.  I can still smell the shea, but it is so very mild it doesn't bother me at all.  I don't really smell any tea tree, but that's okay with me.  I will try to remember to post in a week or two to let you know how my face is dealing with this cream. 

Currently, I am stoked I found a night cream I can make and with a little research, I can find essential oils that okay for your face and that smell good too!

Feel like ditching your expensive cream with all those chemicals for something cheaper and feels *awesome*?

Lest they think I am unappreciative.

I never had a chance to post about our Christmas dinner.  My mother made a whole turkey, brussel sprouts, stuffing, sweet potato rolls, rice, had wonderful wine and to die for ice cream.  She did this knowing it was just hubbers and I thought would be eating, (Jeanne had rice and a little turkey, although surprisingly Loki ate a ton of turkey and rolls).  It was so nice to have a wonderful, healthy homemade meal with the family.  Thank you so very much for going to all that trouble for us mom!  We love you!  The turkey was fantastic, so much better than my Thanksgiving one.

Dear husband.

I never really post about what you do for us and how great a father you are.  Please don't think I don't appreciate all that you give us.  As a simple example of your supreme awesomeness, just last night, Loki was having a like of trouble settling back to sleep.  I woke with him at 1:57am, and no amount of rocking, rubbing his back or nursing was soothing him. He kept jamming his finger into his mouth, his new second tooth is really bothering him.  Each time I could get him to calm down, he wold cry out again.  After an hour, my dear husband offered to hold Loki.  He sat in the rocker, spoke quietly and soothingly to his son, I wrapped them in a blanket and dove for the bed.  Loki quieted in his daddy's warm arms.  Over 90 minutes later I told Daddy he could put Loki down now.  I didn't expect him to hold him for that long.  But true to form, as soon as Daddy moved, Loki woke.

He said sleepily "Now lets see how long it takes for the other little monster to come in here."

I said nothing and started nursing a seemingly wide awake Loki at 4:41am.

At 4:48 Jeanne walked in the room "Daddy I want some milk."

I kid you not.  We were all quite, no one made a noise to wake her.  It's like she just knew.  Thankfully, the whole family went back to sleep, eventually, and did no until 7:20am.

Mom, Hubbers, I love you both, thank you for everything you do for this family.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Trains, trains, trains

Jeanne and Loki received a few Thomas the Train toys this Christmas from Grandma and Aunt Laurie.  This got hubbers and I thinking about a table they could use their trains or Lego's on.  A few clicks later and a train WITH train tracks and trains included was found on Craigslist.  I managed to get it in my car, but it didn't make 5 feet into my home without being descended on by the whole Baker clan. 

  Fun, fun, fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011 and just before.

Ah, The holidays.  We are miles and miles away from our family.  Some to the South, and some to the North.  This year we are staying home.  Jeanne is now 2.5 years old this month, so this holiday season is a bit different for her.  She understand more now, and we were able to build some excitement about all the present she was going to get on the big day.  We aren't 'doing' Santa, so she knows that the presents she gets are from her parents and family.

To start, we kept all the presents we and my in-laws bought the kids in my laundry room.  We wrapped them in glitter wrapping paper.  I bought it because it was pretty, and I knew my wrapping skills were minimal.  I just wanted the boxes to look oh so sweet when they woke up.. except it was a nightmare wrapping them, and in doing so my entire living room rug was covered in tiny silver glitter, never mind my body.  I knew I would a) have to vacuum at 5 am before I allowed my 9 month old to crawl and eat the glitter or get some in his eyes,  b) I would have to unwrap all the presents and get new paper and c) wrap them all again.  d) lesson learned.

Then presents from my family started to arrive, so I put them in the laundry room.  Then more arrived.  Then it was starting to get hard to find room for laundry in the laundry room.  Wowszer on the generous scale!  We wrapped all the presents and set them out the night before Christmas eve.  We are a secular home, so it was solely to build excitement within Jeanne.
She'll never guess what this is!  Thanks hubbers for the great wrapping job.  A Magic wand should be had by every little girl and it was so sweet of Loki to pick it out for her.

Christmas morning and we (finally) get to open presents!


You may notice the sliding window is open.  Yes, we had to open the windows on Dec 24th.

Carnage.  But that's what you want right? Legos, Olivia dress up clothes, jackets. pj's, soft trucks, puzzles, bugs to chew, musical cubes, clothes, you know, the bomb!

 Daddy and Loki listening to a recorded story from Awesome Aunt Laurie,
a bunch of Mega blocks, puzzles and Yo Gabba Gabba!
She was flipped out to hear Laurie's voice and having way too much fun.

I'll be honest and tell you that the beautiful, angelic, innocent, babes of mine are being..... 'fussy'.  They are not sleeping well (at all really) and Jeanne (I think) is transitioning away from needing her afternoon nap. This will leave the parents drained, tired, feeling robotic, in-human, CRANKY and fussy themselves.  The morning was awesome, it was so great to see the kids excited for their gifts, but the afternoon left me with two tired, kinda sick kids who refused to nap for various reasons.

Two weeks prior to Christmas
Pizza night!  Jeanne was happy to eat in the living room with her new tray, and we were surprised to see that Loki wanted some pizza too.  He's definitely my kid, he will do anything to get your food.  This night, he was daddy's best friend since he was the man with the pie.
Yum, mommy's homemade crust and daddy's cooking make the best pizza's!

A couple of weeks ago, we had a play date with the "Ladies who lunch", and this day we were making gingerbread houses!  Now, I'm pretty stingy with the candy in this house.  Chocolate, real chocolate no problem, but anything with artificial colors or HFCS isn't purchased, but I am trying to relax the noose on occasions such as these. I was in no was surprised that she was WAY more into eating all the brightly colored candies than she was in making the house, but that was OK.  I at least 'tried' to get her to put some candy on her house.
FYI, there were more than 15 kids in this home, ranging from 5 weeks to 5 years old, and they were all AWESOME.  Think of that, lots of kids, lots of candy, lots of toys, FUN.
The boy in the background is a little older than Jeanne, and he was spending serious time on his house.  By the end it was AWESOME.  I'm not just saying that, it was cool!  I wanted to take a picture of it but didn't get a chance.

In our playgroup, there is another boy Loki's age.  "R" is a sweetheart and I'm so glad Loki has someone his age to play with.  During the gingerbread play date, they were hanging out together.  

Here Loki is telling R all about this archaic toy he is playing with. "They are calling it a 'phone'.  Haven't they ever seen a phone, silly Mom's."

R: 'Hey, your Mom is taking a picture of us."

R:" Oh hey, watcha got there, does that feel good?"

R:"I'm just going to check it out, oh nom, it does feel good..."
Loki: arms flapping "MAAAA, he took my nom nom!"

Loki: "That's it, I don't have to take this, I'm outta here!"
R:" Woah Baker, take it easy!"

R:" Hey Loki, take a chill pill, don't go! Hey, Momma, tell him he doesn't have to go."
Random afternoon
Check these kids out.  Both of them chillin' with their sippy cups.
Loki: 'Hey, you taking pictures lady?


To my Family in Florida, Missouri and New England, I love you all. Thank you so very much for your generosity.  I will call you all very soon.  I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lip balm, an experiment

So, we recently I purchased coconut oil for Loki's rough skin.  It turns out he needed a bit more help than that, but since we had it in the house I've been experimenting with other 'do it yourself' stuff.  I recently made all natural chest rub for the kids, in place of Vicks vapor rub.  The smell is great, and it seemed to sooth him, but I think it could have used more coconut oil.  I'll perfect that later.

Now however, we've realized that we go through a ton of chapstick/lip balm and that money adds up.  Especially with as often as 'some people' leave them in their paints pocket to be washed.  But I'm not naming names.

Anyway, I figure I'd give it a try, here is my first experiment.  I'm following this recipe:

First, though I'll do a half batch
1/8 cup of beeswax (4g or 0.2 ounces)
1.5 Tbs Shea butter (70 grams or 0.7 ounces)
1 Tbs coconut oil (18g or .65 ounces) (substituting this, as this is what I already had)
1 tsp essential oil total (I will probably do 1/4 rosemary and 3/4 peppermint)

I added all the oils, then microwaved them until melted, checking every 20-30 seconds.  Added the essential oil, stired quickly then poured into the containers.

I've read enough sites now about making your own lotions or lip balms etc, that I've picked up a few tips.
If you think you will do this, even as an experiment, do to the dollar store and pick up 'dedicated' tools for the beeswax.  A grater, a Pyrex bowl for melting or a microwave safe bowl.  The wax is a total pain to clean.  Also, stirring and pouring into small containers is done much easier with a baby spoon or a disposable pipette.  I had a baby spoon on hand already.

OK, they are done and I am waiting for them to harden, I already know I would measure out the essential oil in a separate container before adding.  They evaporate quickly in the hot oil.  My house smells great, but I don't know how much is still in the balm. 

... time passing...

Brr, cool, and tingly.  It smells great, my lips are soft, but whoa quite the MINT sensation.  I'll definitely reduce the peppermint next time by half maybe... But there will be a next time!

I used a (cleaned) sample container from clinque and a tin from some mints.  Hubbers agreed that the MINT was a bit strong.  Perhaps 1/4 tsp of each and a *touch* more beeswax, just a touch.  And that is why I listed the grams baby.

Happy lip smacking!

P.S.  Want some?  Send me a tin or a container baby!

Wrap, wrap, wrap

We got a bunch, BUNCH of gifts in the mail for the kids, and since this is the first Christmas where Jeanne understands giving and getting gifts, we are wrapping them all instead of giving them to her as we receive them.

So off I go to wrap, wrap, wrap. 
With new wrapping paper by the way.

Never, never buy wrapping paper with glitter on it, your house, hands, clothes and food will never be the same.  Ask me how I know.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sick boy

Loki did not sleep well last night.  This first time he fell asleep was 1:00am this morning.  I thought I would just be dealing with a tired babe today. We were up at 5:30 am.  He also did not take his morning nap.
A friend came over for a short while for a play date Jeanne, and again, I thought he was just 'wired for sound'.  Shortly after the play date ended, Loki vomited on me.  Then he did so 5 more times over the next 7 hours.

We took 3 baths and a shower today.  I can't get the smell out of my nose.  Yuck.

No, he does not have a fever.  Yes, I took him to the Doctors.  Virus.  I just put him to bed (8:20pm). My plan is to shove as much ice cream down my gullet (and a glass of water) as fast as I can, brush my teeth and go to bed.  I'm sure the night will be tough.

Get better baby boy!

P.S. Thank you so very, very much dear husband for staying home today and helping.  Loki was certainly a Mama's boy today. 

P.P.S. Jeanne, thank you for being so good today.  You'll get extra kisses in the morning

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do it yourself Peppermint foot scrub

Made this for a Christmas present for someone special.  All natural, and smells great!  Damn, wish I had more coconut oil so I could make this for myself!

Do it yourself Eucalyptus Chest rub

Making this right now.
Eucalyptus chest rub

Loki vomits each and every time I give him Tylenol.

I'm making this to help during this flu and cold season, since I know I won't be able to give him any medicine.  Bees wax is a bitch to cut, but its all good.  By the way, coconut oil is wonderful on your skin.  Expensive, yes.  But it doesn't leave your skin greasy like Shea butter, olive oil or some high dollar lotions.  We got the coconut oil in hopes to relieve the rash on Loki's face.  So far so good, not gone, but better.

ETA: My first batch was a half one. I used
8.2 ounces of coconut oil
3.9 ounces of bees wax
7 drops of eucalyptus oil

This was too hard, so I am re-melting it now to add more coconut oil.
~added 1.7 ounces of coconut oil and 5 more drops of oil

Friday, December 16, 2011

Loki's first tooth!

Just a tiny peek of a clear tooth is poking through.  Perhaps, perhaps this is why his sleep has been horrendous.  Could explain the random cries in his sleep that I can't soothe away.  (please, please, please be the case!).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ladies who lunch.

When I first told my family I was moving away, far away from everyone, my Uncle mentioned several times that I should find a 'mommy group'.  He said it would be good for Jeanne to have other kids to play with, and for me to keep my sanity.  Still, I had only one feeling about this.


Oh goodness, that is just not for me.  I am a very anti-social person, and generally can't stand other people.  My husband is too, that's why we're so good together.  We don't seek out friends, we generally don't have 'friends' outside of our work environment, so we spend lots of time at home, doing whatever we want (now whatever the kids need).  That, and I've been told more often than not in my life that I'm a mean person and usually a "B" to others.  I don't dispute this.  I'm judgmental and always right, and that usually sets other people off.

Well, after arriving here, I quickly saw that North Carolina is far different than Massachusetts.
1) Everyone is so nice.  Everyone says 'hello' as you pass.
2) KIDS.  There are children everywhere.
3)  Jeanne really did like daycare, and like playing with the other kids at daycare.
4) Jeanne was and is a very social and happy kid and wants to play with YOU.


I decided to make an effort to smile at others (a thing not done in Massachusetts.  I would speak to other adults at playgrounds, in hope to find some playmates for Jeanne.

I met some fast.  Nice women, they are all nice.  Turns out I met a woman who heads a Mom and Dad group that gets together so the kids can play and the parents talk.  Huh, sounds good.

Then I was too nervous to actually go to anything.  I didn't really know these women, and since Winter set in, most of the play dates were in peoples homes and I felt uncomfortable going into someones home I hadn't met before.  So the Winter passed and Spring came.  So did Loki.

Holy cow did I need to get my (then) almost two year old out of the house.  I dove in and went to a play date. The whole 'speaking to others' thing is actually not so easy to do when there are 6 or more moms and more than 10 children with ages ranging from newborn to almost 5.  So I did little talking and a lots of watching.  I was completely outside of my comfort zone.

As an only child from a single parent, silence is a part of me.  I need silence, quite and calm.  I know, kids, they don't comprehend this, but I have a strict rule about screaming in my house.  It's not done.  It makes me jump, my heart race and make me feel like I'm having a panic attack.  My husband thinks its hilarious, but then he is super sensitive to scents, so when he tries to make fun of me, I just make him walk through the perfume section in the mall or a candle store.  Then he gets it.  But play dates, they contain a lot of screaming.  I take a lot of deep breaths, and remember that this is for Jeanne.

I went to another, then another.  Finally by the third or fourth, I could remember a couple of the Moms names, but then there were so many kids to remember too.  Soon after, I think I was able to have a short conversation with a Mom, and that was nice.  The whole talking thing was hard, not only due to the children, but because I don't really know how to 'small talk'.  Only child, moved a lot, not a ton of friends, not big on talking.  I felt/feel like I'm still learning (please be patient with me).

Now, I have two babes.  I've heard some of the Mom's comment about watching other children grow up in this group and how nice it was, how it was a second family to some.  More months go by.

Now, I check the meet-up site weekly in hopes to find more times we can get together with these Moms.  Jeanne loves them, and asks to see other Moms and kids every day.  More babies were born soon after Loki was born, and two more just recently.  We hold each others babies, we help someone else's kid up the stairs, and make sure they know not to hit.  But corrections, beyond the obvious hitting/spitting/pushing are left alone for "The Mom".

This group is made up of mostly Mom's, I've met one Dad, and everyone is different.  Everyone has different parenting philosophies, political views, and ways of living.  I think I have quite a few things in common with some of these Mom's, and absolutely nothing with others.  But that is O.K.

I've been thinking about this post for about a month now.  It was after the Thanksgiving party we had a a Mom's house.  At one point, I looked around and saw Jeanne giving the hostess a hug and Loki on the floor playing with two other little boy babies.  I could never have imagined this for myself or my children.

I am so happy to have found this group.  I know both my children enjoy your company as I do.  A special thank you to one Mama who took the time to ask me if I was OK, then had the patience to listen to the answer.

If you find my gruff or rude, give me time.  I'm working on it.

Thanks again ladies (and gents).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A long, rambling rant on sleep and the parenting thereof. Hopefully coherent.

Everything you are doing is wrong.
No, wait, everything you are doing is correct.
Well, actually, whatever you did for your first babe won't work for your second because they are different.  Thus, what was correct to do with child #1, is now incorrect with child #2.  I have no idea what you are supposed to do with more than two children.

Parenting books, there are lots of them.  You can find books that tell you to let your children cry themselves to sleep.  Other books will say never let them cry alone, that this destroys any bonds of trust between the two of you.  Some books will say if your child is crying in your arms, it's not really 'crying it out' because they know you are with them, even though they are still upset.  These books will tell you that all children sleep habits are different, but that all children need lots of sleep. (They haven't met my son).  Then there is the 'sleeping through the night' issue.

Some will tell you by 8 weeks they can sleep all night without nursing/bottles.  Some will say 4 months, or definitely by 9 months your babe should be able to sleep through the night.  Oh, and don't forget that the definition of sleeping through then night is 5 hours, not the actual whole night.  That is preposterous.

I've met moms whose children at 3 or 4 years old still wake up during the night.  I've met moms who swear their 4 month old will sleep from 7pm to 7am.  My children aren't too keen on sleep. 

Jeanne, at 2.5 years old, fights going to sleep.  Every night, she brushes her teeth, we read books, snuggle and turn on her star night light.  Every night, for the last few months, she will come out of her room.  When we ask her why she is out of her room, the excuses range from being scared, to mumble mumble mumble, to needing to make her ''safe circle", to needing water.  We've tried everything.  No really, we've snuggled her again, we've taken her stuffy's away, we've yelled, we've remained silent, and just turned her around.  Nothing.  Nothing works.  We're exhausted and out of ideas.

I'm sure there is another parenting book that can give me a pithy explanation and solution, but I'm too tired to read another book.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let's enter December and count how many times we turn on the AC.

Chilling out at the playground.

Loki, all smiles in his high chair.

More lego creations.



The following video is LOUD, FYI.  We are at an indoor bounce house, thus the NOISE!

Must concentrate.

"You're big mama"!  You are too sweetie.

Hasn't been cold enough to put hats on yet, so I threw then on while in the house.

Gatta spread the love around.

Special Daddy and Daughter night out.  
Big girl gets spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and no bib! 
No stains on the jacket when she came home either.

Have we mentioned what a hit the Lego's are?

The special ladies in my life.

Just before Thanksgiving and we're out in short sleeves.  Amazing.

I needed to find more things for Jeanne to do creatively.  A trip to Michael's and a while bunch of web searching for 'crafty' ideas and we're on our way.  This last minute purchase totally makes her day though ($5).  A toddler lap tray. Now she can color anywhere she wants, and does!

Mom (and Jeanne's) first attempt at salt dough ornaments. 

We used water paints, our first time with that too.  Jeanne loved watching the water change color and mixing them all together in the tray.  Jeanne painted her hand print, the dinosaur and the candy cane.  ;) She's never seen a candy cane, so she thought blue and black would be perfect, and I agreed.  I rather like the multi-colored dinosaur.

Look at her concentrating.  Since taking this picture, the yellow is all gone, and she spent an hour just using the paint to change the jar of water different colors and pouring the water back and forth between glasses.  I'm so glad she likes this but am still sorry it took me so long to search for this stuff.  I'm sure I also wasn't willing to go buy stuff last year either.  It's too bad she 's home all day with the parent who can't draw a stick figure well.

Original creations by the one and only Jeanne Nuit!

Oh, and Loki is moving onto table food.  For breakfast, egg yolks, spinach, cheese and bacon.  Yum!

Lastly, we never taught Jeanne or Loki this word, it's all them, we swear.

By the way, it was 5.  I had to turn the AC on 5 times as of December 10th.  Then it finally got cool, 40'sF.