The Sleep Saga Continues

So, I know I’ve posted before on my children’s sleep habits and just how poor they are. But, this is a blog about my journey as a SAHM, and at least 2-3 hours every afternoon this week have been spent on fighting my 9 month old to get him to sleep! It is absolutely ludicrous! He is in a terrible cycle of being overtired and fighting sleep and then getting more overtired! How do I stop this cycle?? Any baby whisperer’s want to share their tricks? My house looks like a tornado hit it! Oh wait? Maybe it did!

Please please comment and let me know your ideas or maybe at least leave some encouragement! I don’t care if I’ve tried them already. I’m that desperate!

Petunia Picklebottom Surprise Outlet Sale

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Petunia Picklebottom is having a big surprise outlet sale today online. These bags are a little bit pricey, but I LOVE my Sashay Satchel!

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It has shoulder straps and backpack straps that are both easily hidden away. Backpack straps are a necessity with a baby and a 2 year old. Especially, if you don’t want to risk giving your 2 year old a head injury when you’re holding her hand walking into a store and have the baby on your hip. Plus, it is durable, holds a ton of stuff, and is actually cute! I would actually carry this bag as a purse if I didn’t have kids. PPB only runs sales a few times a year so go check it out and see if you can find something you can’t live without!

Mommy, Clean Your Room!!

To give a brief background (I promise I will try to keep it very brief): we moved into a new house in the beginning of October with our 1 week old son, after living with my parents for 2.5 months. We sold our old house to an all-cash buyer and had to be out in 2 weeks (one of which we were in Florida on vacation). Needless to say, we were terribly disorganized.

After several months of living in survival mode, we are finally trying to get past the “overwhelmed” stage and get to the “settled in” stage. We are getting closer, but I must say that just keeping the house neat and clean with 2 young kids has been hard for me to do. I have had a lot of trouble finding a balance of keeping the kids happy and feeling like they are getting enough one-on-one attention while keeping our house clean enough that DFCS would approve ;). I just can’t figure out how all of you awesome mommies are doing it. After all, I am not the only mom with 2 young children and a new house.

I finally decided that I needed to quit spinning my wheels and make a plan. I have pinned several things on Pinterest regarding a weekly chore list. I felt a little silly actually mapping out my chores for myself like my mom had once done for me (sticker chart and all), but the truth is: it works! I am not the tidiest person in the world and with 2 young kids our house had turned into a TOTAL disaster. It’s only saving grace was that we had yet to unpack several boxes of extra stuff which were tucked away in our basement. Less stuff = less mess = happy husband!

Now that we have unpacked most of our things, are in a bigger home, and have a new little guy, marathon cleaning days are just not possible. The only day I could do that would be on a Saturday and I am not a fan of wasting that valuable family day on cleaning!

So, the chore chart has been my answer! And when I follow through with it, our house is actually presentable. It’s amazing how much stress can be eliminated by a little bit of organization and a clean house. It am still tweaking my chart and will share it when I feel it is perfect (I haven’t told y’all that I’m a bit of a perfectionist)!

Here are a few of my favorites that I pinned as inspiration…

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Free printable at Organize for Free

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Free Printable at Little Green Notebook

I was shocked at how many cute ones there are available on Pinterest if you want to display them in your home. I love the idea of framing it behind glass so you could check it off each week like this one from Neaten Your Nest
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If you are having trouble keeping up and don’t want to waste your entire weekend catching up, you should give it a try!

The Sleepy Monster

Sleep!!! Sleep!!! Where are you?? I can’t find you anywhere!

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Little B is making a habit of waking up at 5:15 EVERY single morning. I have read a lot about the 3-2 nap transition that occurs in babies around 6-9 months. It appears he is trying to go from 3 to 1 naps a day and only sleep 9-10 hours at night. He must be advanced ๐Ÿ˜‰

We have tried everything we can think of to get him to sleep later. I’ve made blackout curtains for his room. We have rocked, bounced, and patted until we’re blue in the face. I’ve even held the poor child down. We tried putting him to bed at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00. I don’t know if I can stand to sing his favorite, “Wheels on the Bus” one more time. I gave him a little musical stuffed animal to snuggle with. We’ve fed him as much food as he will possibly eat during the day. And NONE of it has helped!! He still woke up this morning at 5:15 and LOUDLY and BOLDLY refused to go back to sleep until his sister was awake. Then, he decided a 45 minute nap might make him feel better. Too bad big sister refuses to go back to bed once she is up. It’s official…my kids HATE sleep! At least we are never at risk of sleeping through church. Off we go to worship our Lord and Savior with my sweet little sleepy family!

Chocolate Oreo Allergy Friendly Cupcakes

It has been a RAINY, wet 4th of July weekend. Did I mention it rained a little bit? We had big plans to run the Peachtree Road Race (an Atlanta tradition) and then veg out at the pool for the rest of the day. God had different plans for our day…

My mom and dad kept the kids while we were running the Peachtree. We got a little wet, and a lot muddy at Peidmont Park after the race. So, after going home to get cleaned up we went to mom and dad’s for the rest of the day. The kids started getting restless so we decided to bake cupcakes for America’s birthday.

We were avoiding the grocery store, so we had to find an allergy friendly recipe that we had all of the ingredients for. I lucked up and was able to use the first recipe I stumbled on. B has allergies to dairy, soy, and eggs. But, we have been trying to add soy back into his diet to see if he has possibly outgrown the allergy (yes, his allergist suggested it). We had some Oreos, so I thought maybe we could find a way to decorate the tops with Oreos. There are a lot of cute pictures on Pinterest of owls and Cookie Monster cupcakes. But, since it was for the 4th of July, mom suggested we just out the Oreo in the center of the cupcake and use red and blue sprinkles for the top. Don’t mind if I do!

They turned out GREAT! I have tried to make cupcakes with egg replacer using several recipes and they were just ok. This recipe did not involve egg replacer. I might tweak the frosting recipe a little bit next time, but overall these were a total success!

We ate these for dessert after some yummy hamburgers from Farm Fresh Beef that we ate on homemade hamburger buns that my mom made with her home ground wheat. Eating healthy, whole foods tastes much better than most people think! Maybe I can talk my mom into writing a guest post or 2 on uses and benefits of home ground grain.

Happy Baking…

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Divvies Chocolate Cupcake Recipe (with Oreo Center)

YIELD
Makes 1 dozen

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) – we used finely ground wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar (we used sucanat with honey)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water
12 Oreos

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water until well combined. Add flour mixture to the mixer and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Batter should look and feel more watery than normal cake batters.

4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup 1/4 full. Top each cup with an Oreo. Cover each oreo with 1/4 cup full of cake mix. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan halfway through cooking, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Immediately remove cupcakes from muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

Divvies Vanilla Frosting

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, chilled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rice milk (we used Almond milk because it was what we had)
Sprinkles for top.

DIRECTIONS

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, margarine, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

2. Add rice/almond milk and continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mix until well combined. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to one week.

Pinteresting in My Sleep

Baby B woke us up at 5:15 this morning ready to start his day. I was pinteresting in my sleep and stumbled on a great blog post on Being A Godly Wife.**

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I really need to work harder to protect my marriage, shield it from the elements, and pray for my sweet husband.

I also stumbled on these great quotes on Pinterest this morning…

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Now I’m even more excited for my date day with my hubby to go pick up our race bibs for the Peachtree Road Race. I hope y’all have big plans for the 4th?!?

Nicole

**I’m still figuring out WordPress and blogging in general, so I’m sorry if I didn’t link that up correctly. This will be my next study topic ;).

Figuring Out WordPress

I have some ideas that (I think) are great for this site. The problem is, I am completely unfamiliar with WordPress. I’ve used Google’s blogger before, but after reading several reviews it seems that WordPress might reign superior. We shall see…
Just wanted to throw my first post out there so I can continue learning this thing that is WORDPRESS!