The Soother Intervention

As I sat at the top of the stairs at midnight last night staring out the window at the street lights and listening to my child screaming at the top of her lungs, I began to wonder if I had made the right decision when we had her soother intervention.

I bumped into a friend last week and we were discussing our children's soother habits.  She told me that a friend had suggested she cut the tops off her soothers.  The child then cannot effectively suckle on that rubber teat and becomes frustrated with the whole idea, hence ending the soother dependency.  So I thought, hey, if she can do it, so can I.  Out came the scissors and with one tiny snip - off with it's head! (or nip rather)

And then came nap time. Wow. I've never seen Alice so angry.  She took one suck and handed me her suckie with scorn. And then proceeded to scream at me whenever I suggested she try her 'broken' soother.  Of course my husband chimes in that I cut too much off and it was a ridiculous idea.  This from the man who insisted that Stella 'NEEDED' her soother at the same age.  Anyway, a few failed nap attempts later, I gave up and just kept her up.  I got nothing done on my Sunday afternoon, but I hoped that by the time supper was done that she'd be too exhausted to fight about the soother.

The bedtime routine was pretty much as it had been the past few weeks.  Alice would cry and want milk and a cuddle and I would be in and out of her room a half dozen times before she settled.  Last night was really no different except for the volume.  Her crying was off the charts; a combination of exhaustion and soother withdrawal no doubt.

She only got up 3 times last night.  Which really has been the norm recently; the combination of teething and colds. Again, the volume and vigour of her cries definitely was amplified.

So I'm going to say that so far we are on the road to recovery for my little soother addict. Yes, my methods may be considered harsh and yes, my timing may have been off (full moon & teething) but it's got to happen sometime.  And the sooner the better.  I don't want her starting school with her suckie in her mouth.

Wish me luck on night two!  It can only get better....right?!
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Happy Halloween!

It's October 31st and we're getting excited to take the kiddies out for Halloween! Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other plans for us as it's presently raining cats & dogs here on the homestead.  Or should I say ghosts & ghouls?  Either way, I'm still not sure what we will be doing tonight.  Perhaps just driving to a few friend's houses to show the cuties off in their costumes, or maybe Mall-o-ween?  Who knows? Maybe we'll put on our rain gear and see if our neighbours will feel sorry for us and fill our bags with candy.

I'm not going to worry too much about it.  And neither should you.  Holidays should be fun and stress-free (in a perfect world)  and not just about gettin' stuff.  Whether it's Halloween, Christmas or Easter - the day should be fun and exciting and full of great experiences, not just things.  Things don't make you happy in the long run. But memories will outlast those toys & treats.

So tonight, regardless of the weather, we are going to have a great Halloween!  Even if it's just inside a blanket fort with flashlights, telling ghost stories.  It will be full of fun and we'll make some great memories.  And it won't cost us anything.  Now that's what I call a good time!

Happy Halloween from our homestead to yours!  Hope you and your little goblins have a smile-filled and memorable night no matter what you do!

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Saving the Planet and Your Sanity with Squishy Snak Pak

I'm sure you are like me when it comes to the morning madness.  Between dogs and kids and school and breakfast and getting dressed, we always seem to be cutting it close for time.

So anything that makes our morning a slightly less manic is gold in my books.  Recently I found this cool company in Saskatchewan called Squishy Snak Pak.  This business was started by Michelle, a mom of 4 looking to for an easy, healthy, fun way to feed her family on the go.  And what an amazing idea!  Refillable food pouches.  I'm sure you've seen them in the baby food isle;  they are so handy, but pricey and so much waste.  Squishy Snak Paks are the eco- friendly way to feed your little ones on the go.  And Squishy Snak Pak was kind enough to send me one of these awesome pouches to review.

And I can honestly say I'm very impressed and dying to get a few more.

Firstly, the Pak itself has very little packaging itself and what it does have is made from recycled paper products.  Woohoo! The second thing  I loved was the adorable pattern.  Both my kids were instantly excited and fighting over who got to use it first.

I loved the simplicity and practicality of this product.  With a simple Ziploc-type closure on the bottom and an easy screw-off and choke-proof cap it was easy for my 4 yr old to manage on her own.The pouch holds 1/2 cup of what ever deliciousness you choose to fill it with.  We started with homemade apple sauce and what a hit!  Alice slurped it up in record time and wanted a second round.  I then refilled it and packed it in Stella's lunch for school.  She hardly made it into the school before pulling it out of her lunch bag.  And she managed to bring it back, complete with the lid at the end of the day!  I can't wait to try out some of the great recipes that are on the Squishy website.

Cleaning the Squishy Snak Pak is a cinch.  You can easily wash it by hand, but it totally goes in the dishwasher too!  Amazing!

Overall, the Squishy Snak Pak is a hit and a must-have for our busy homestead.  Kids love it and toddlers can feed themselves brekkie in the morning!  It's reusable, portable, BPA-free and just plain awesome! Squishy Snak Pak is made by a Canadian mom and it will definitely help us with the morning madness.

Wouldn't you love one for your homestead? Here's your chance:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received the Squishy Snak Pak free of charge for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
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Dragonfly Farmstore - a little preview

Going to pick out our 20lb meat share!  Mmmmm!
I'm just too excited and couldn't wait until my post was done.  Here's a couple pictures from our visit to Dragonfly Farmstore to pick up our monthly meat CSA and we got a farm tour to boot!  Full post will be up soon! In the meantime, stop by Dragonfly and show them some love!

Stella talking to the turkeys.  She was so excited when they answered her!

I'm totally in love with this picture!
 I was completely shocked by how friendly and docile the piggies were.  And they didn't smell either.  In fact the entire farm smelled earthy and green.  Our host Cindy said the animals don't smell as they are grass-fed, organic and antibiotic-free.  Amazing!

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A Day in the Life: Mia Stella

Some of you may or may not know, but amongst other things I'm a mother of 2 wonderful daughters.  And anyone who knows me personally knows this is kinda a big deal as I can say that when I was younger I never wanted kids.  That may sound awful, but I think it worked out pretty well.  I spent my teens and 20' doing things that I wanted to do and exploring the world.  It wasn't until my 30's when that crazy clock started ticking.  And then...we had Stella.

We picked the name Stella; star in Italian and it completely captures her personality.  At almost 4 yrs old she oozes happiness and energy and much so that I wish I could bottle it and sell it! From the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed she is bouncing and spreading positivity all over the world. We have her in dance and gymnastics to try and channel some of this awesome force.

I find myself trying to step back from my mom duties and just revel in her warmth and happiness.  She wants to grow bigger so she can touch the sun and every butterfly sends her into a bout of shrieking and dancing.  When we go for walks she stops to hug each tree and admires every flower and bug.  She reminds me of what it's like to experience true happiness and I find myself trying to just 'be' in these fleeting moments; just like her. 

And if I'm not experiencing that moment, Stella is right there to keep me in check...

"Mom?  Did you lose your smile? Here....I have an extra one in my pocket for you!  It's a big one!"
(as she hands me this incredible invisible smile)

Mia Star.

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